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Climate Hustle

Chasing Pielke's Goodyear Blimp

Posted on 19 September 2011 by John Cook

Roy Spencer and John Christy have on a number of occasions misinformed the public and even US Congress about climate science. Skeptical Science (SkS) has begun documenting their misinformation (not finished yet, it's a big job). As SkS is solely about the science, we haven't critiqued their political views but examined their science. And as SkS doesn't allow ad hominem attacks, we haven't attacked them personally, but restricted our focus to their misinforming statements. Our resources on Spencer and Christy are part of a larger resource that documents quotes and articles from a number of misinformers as well as rebuttals of their misleading statements.

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. has observed our resource on misinformers and taken offense. It's not our scientific arguments that bother him. He doesn't flinch at the sight of Christy delivering demonstrably false statements under oath to Congress that contradict the peer-reviewed science, the laws of physics, and even his fellow "skeptics" (such as his hot spot statement). Pielke has taken umbrage at the use of the titles "Christy Crocks" and "Spencer Slip-ups". After registering his displeasure, Pielke then engaged in a lengthy defence of the UAH satellite data that Spencer and Christy were involved in.

Reading his post brings to mind a scene from the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. As wild west cowboys converge on them, Bill and Ted distract their approaching adversaries by pointing off in the distance and exclaiming "look, it's the Goodyear Blimp!". In this case, Pielke's blimp is a lengthy exposition about UAH data which had nothing to do with our critiques of Spencer and Christy's misinformation.

After some back and forth, Pielke finally managed to respond to specific examples such as Christy's misleading testimony to Congress:

"I am not aware of John stating that the predictions of global cooling in the 1970s were the same as predictions today. The models were much more primitive than, so clearly they are not the same predictions, and I am certain John knows that. However, this issue is not particularly relevant (when raised by anyone) to the current important climate science questions."

Curiously, this is in direct contrast to Christy's own words where he cites the similarity from 1970s climate science to current science as an argument to cast doubt on today's understanding of the climate system. Having brushed off Christy's misinformation, Pielke once again cries "Goodyear Blimp!" with a series of unrelated questions, on topics he is much more comfortable discussing.

So we observe repeated instances where Pielke is unable to acknowledge Spencer and Christy's misinformation, and trying to move the discussion to more comfortable waters. Confronted with the misinformation of his colleagues, Pielke turns a blind eye and instead laser focuses on the Goodyear Blimp of UAH satellite data. When confronted with specific examples, he brushes them off and completely changes the subject.

Personally, I find the crocks themselves significantly more offensive than the use of the word "crocks". But as to the question of whether Skeptical Science will change the titles "Christy Crocks" and "Spencer Slip-ups", I have no emotional attachment to the titles themselves and am happy to change them if they bother people. Suggested alternatives are welcome. The only requirement is they capture the fact that Spencer and Christy are misleading the public about climate science. So a title like "Spencer's Promotion of Misinformation to the Public about Climate Change" fits perfectly, although it doesn't roll off the tongue quite so nicely. And "Christy's Demonstrably False Statements to Congress While Under Oath" captures exactly what the series covers, but good luck making that readable in an 88-pixel button!

Nevertheless, SkS does intend to chase after Pielke's blimp. The questions he raises about framing and diagnostics are interesting questions worthy of discussion, and we're more than happy to delve into them. In the meantime, we will continue to document quotes and articles from various misinformers and add them to our misinformers resource. Our goal is to make the science more accessible and easier to find by grouping it by Misinformer as well as by topic. Of course, as observed in our exchange with Pielke, the information won't be found by those who have no motivation to find it.

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 108:

  1. Might I suggest a section:

    Roger's Red Herrings

    Yeah I know, which Roger? But the last name has the same problem - which Pielke?

    Dr. Pielke starts by claiming SkepticalScience engages in ad hominen presentations on the subject of the UAH MSU temperature record, an assertion he could not support.

    When that's noted, he puts forth several scientific issues not related to the topic of the post, asserting that "is where the discussion should be focused".

    After persistent efforts to try to steer Dr. Pielke back on topic, he asserts that his beef is with titles like "Spencer's Slip Ups" to categorize broadly criticisms of claims being made. But "Spencer's Slip Ups" and "Christy's Crocks" are conclusions. They aren't part of any argument to discredit someone or their argument. The only ad hominen argument here is Pielke's, as he is using the category title to discredit the content, which he hasn't given any indication he's read.

    Dr. Pielke then went on to reveal that he has a double-standard, admitting his standard is limited to those whom he has not "recently published with and/or closely worked with", while he actively seeks to defend those who has published or worked with. This was good evidence for both tribalism and the title of the post "One-Sided Skepticism". It also explains why Dr. Pielke describes the blog of Anthony Watts as "excellent", and asserting he complies to the highest scientific standards, while trashing the quality of this site, which he's given little indication he's read much of.
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  2. Again, perhaps "Spencer Speculations" and "Christy Curios"?
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  3. You know, I could go with "Christy's Cuckoos": a cuckoo is a bird that lays its own egg in the nest of a different kind of bird. Upon hatching, the interloper tosses out the legitimate eggs and/or hatchlings, and assumes the role of the infant - essentially stealing a set of parents.

    In the same way, Christy has planted distorted arguments in the nest of public opinion and Congress, to usurp the role of the actual conclusions of 97% of the working climate scientists; thus giving rise to the next generation of - cuckoos.
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  4. 15 - Bern

    "Get over it"

    Gets my vote.

    This level of criticism is soft stuff compared with what any academic would encounter in the average university common room.
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  5. It seems to me that, given the number of times Christy and co. have 'said the thing which is not' in defense of inaction on climate change, using the word 'crock' to describe their testimony hardly seems excessive. But whatever. As long as it is made clear the low quality of testimony we are talking about here, it can be labeled any old way.

    The idea is not to please Pielke, though. He is hardly neutral. The idea is not to be off-putting to people in genuine search of information about climate change. They may have been misinformed by Christy or Lord Monckton. Inform them better using the science, as you have been doing.

    Keeping it civil adds to credibility, up to a point. But there are points beyond which you need a human response because being human gives you credibility too.
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  6. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the word "crock", as used in "Christy Crocks", does not come from the expression "crock of gold". I could provide an image of the actual OED entry here but words used in that entry would offend SkS community standards, apparently.

    I know that for many people "crock" no longer has a scatological association, but please accept that for others it will always come with a noxious whiff.
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  7. Here in the UK crock tends to mean as logicman @ 27 says an old or less than roadworthy car and also the broken pottery that gardeners put in the bottom of plant pots. Both meanings seem appropriate in the context used here. Crock of s@#t is I suspect an American term. As John Cook is an, I hope proud, Australian he should be happy to use the meaning he feels comfortable with.

    This site is one of the most honest, informative and well moderated in the climate blogosphere and I can see no reason for all of this angst just because Dr Pielke takes offence at some well merited labels and then tries to derail the subsequent comments thread.

    If Dr Pielke believes that WUWT is excellent I can only imagine that he has never bothered reading the long lists of offensive ill informed and frequently ludicrous posts to be found there. Well why would he? I cannot imagine any well informed and respected scientist wasting his time so.

    John Cook should be proud enough of his own achievement with SKS to stand firm and when necessary call a spade a spade.
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  8. Why accommodate Pielke? Why even respond to him?
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    Moderator Response: [John Hatz] The SkS author team had a frank discussion of whether or not to respond to Pielke. Since he had publicly disparaged the integrity of SkS, we concluded that a response was warranted.
  9. I second the suggestion made earlier to rename these buttons with the more neutral-toned word "errors." Why give your plausibly-persuadable readers any reason to think that this site is personal in nature. Sure, you can click on "Lindzen Laughers" or whatever and see that the arguments are scientific and not personal in nature, but no need to raise any red flags otherwise. Even if these labels (and worse) might be merited.

    To be honest, I cringed a little the first time I saw them.
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  10. Time for neutral tones is long gone.

    Christy's science is a crock, and he more than deserves this title.

    Tell it like it is.

    And while I know you are striving for alliteration, "Spencer's Bombs" might be a more appropriate name for his work.
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    Moderator Response: [Albatross] Tenney, I understand your frustration, but please tone down the rhetoric. Next time it will be snipped.
  11. In retrospective, I think I agree with Kevin. Keep it simple and to the point.

    But keep it coming, please. It was a great idea to group arguments by denier, as well as the lessons from predictions series.
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  12. "I can't help thinking that "skeptics" are thin-skinned when it comes to complaining about perceived insults yet are are heavy-handed when it comes to dishing it out."

    People, people, people ... it's a tactic. Creationists have used it for decades now.
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  13. I have no emotional attachment to the titles themselves and am happy to change them if they bother people. Suggested alternatives are welcome.

    I don't what the outcome of these deliberations are going to be, but the statement above, indicates an open mind and this has to be appreciated.

    Take the recent example of the Christy-Santer contrasting topical post. It is not clear at all, from the post that Christy committed such a great faux pas that it deserves to be called a 'crock'. But it has been filed in that category. Christy, and Spencer are scientists - and even scientists have opinions - which is the a coalescing of a broad array of evidence, data, lifelong experiences, biases etc. Sometimes these may not congeal in a way that resonates with a supposed consensus that is put out officially (IPCC).

    I think scientists must be judged by the quality of their scientific work (which is itself not an easy thing). A Congresssional testimony is not the place of primary scientific exposition. People use it to put across their personal point of view. Every Congressional testimony has been, and will be like this. Hansen's influential Congressional testimony served as a platform for climate scientists of a certain view to push a certain paradigm. It may be easily questioned as to whether the summary of evidence existed at the time, for the certainty that was put forth in his testimony. For some skeptics, that may be a crock. But neverthless, Hansen did what he did and I don't believe in demonizing him.

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  14. Chinaman at 17 puts it very well. I have often thought that calling things 'Monckton's Myths' and such like does not fit with the serious manner that the SkS site generally approaches the issue of climate change.

    I would list the erroneous statements/notions in order of the area of science involved, together with the accompanying discussion/rebuttal and close with the name of the perpetrator of the erroneous statement/notion. Seeing as there is quite a lot of this material, it would be a nice feature for a visitor to the SkS site to be able to sort the material either as just described, or in the order of perpetrators. Perhaps the whole section could be entitled 'Known Falsehoods'.
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  15. Shub,

    I think a distinction can and should be made between scientists who come to different conclusions than oneself has, and scientists who have used their skills to distort the conclusions. This is particularly problematic when the conclusions are used to affect consideration of a matter that involves public policy, as climate certainly does.

    The basic issue boils down to a question of good faith.
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  16. I like Skywatcher's assessment in post 2. The names are already very generously polite. You could have similarly called them "Spencer's Stupidity" and "Cristy's Corruption" and been more accurate to boot. I'd just leave the titles alone for the time being. As another poster said, why even respond to Pielke's complaints? He made highly inappropriate accusations on his blog then blatantly ignored questions posed to him time and again on the matter on the previous post. -snip-
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    Moderator Response: [Albatross] Inflammatory language removed. Again, I understand your frustration, but please be polite.
  17. To be honest, the real issue is not what Pielke thinks, it is what people reading and commenting at this page think.

    In other words, all of you.
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  18. funglestrumpet @ 64... I think Monckton got off light in terms of how the alliteration of his name worked out. He's been much more deserving of the "crocks" title.

    The whole point to the alliteration of titles is to make them a better tool. It makes them more memorable, more likely that people will click through. Anyone who does work on websites will tell you that is how you get more people to click through to the data you'd like them to see.

    I have to say, these simple alliterations of people's names pale, by far, to what is constantly put out by Watts, McIntyre, Spencer, Monckton, etc. on their blogs. By comparison SkS is being really really polite to these people.
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  19. Shub,

    This may be ad homenimem, and the moderators may pull it. But I put the following proposition to you:

    If someone publicly states that as credo, as faith that some things are beyond science, then can we start to suspect that they aren't in fact scientists at all, but some sort of wolf in sheep's clothing? That they are not operating in good faith except towards their credo and their co-believers?

    Until a few minutes ago I had no idea that the Cornwall Alliance existed. Now I see that Spenser and McKitrick are members and signers of its credo.
    Cornwall Alliance Declaration on Global Warming

    You don't like the IPPC. How are you on other organizations with actual announced agendas? If you don't like Greenpeace having a say in what happens at IPPC, what about testimony under oath from Cornwall Alliance people?

    And y'know, I find your distinction between congressional testimony and publishing in the scientific literature most peculiar. I don't buy it in the least.
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  20. ooops...messed up the hypertext
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  21. #68 Rob, IMO McIntyre's titles do not compare to Christy's Crocks. If you believe otherwise, please point to an example. The various thread titles should not distract from the message, so I would propose something like Christy's Crocs which are comfortable and colorful, but relatively cheaply constructed and which should not be worn on a serious hike.
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  22. How about...

    "Christy's Mysteries"

    In additon to rhyming words, you get a literary allusion.
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  23. How about "Christy's Incredulities"?
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  24. Well, Dave123, that's definitely interesting. The language in that text definitely suggests a logical link between creationism and the anti AGW crowd. The worlds ecocystems cannot be "unstable and fragile products of chance" and so are immune from "miniscule variations in atmospheric chemistry." Not the kind of presupposition any scientist should sign onto.

    Is that site legit?
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  25. Crocks is the only one that seems a little aggressive. Perhaps change it to Christy Confusion. The cartoony font used and the alliteration in other buttons puts it in context anyway.
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  26. Dave123, I didn't know about McKitrick, but yeah Spencer is a typical example Cornwall thinking... that is science, politics, and economics are all synonymous with religion.

    For example;
    "We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception."

    Except, of course, we know for a fact that isn't true. There were these things called glaciations. Not exactly "admirably suited for human flourishing". Indeed, the last one nearly wiped us out.

    And before anyone accuses me of 'religion bashing' or somesuch... there are plenty of religious people whose beliefs conform to observed reality. Spencer isn't one of them.
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    Moderator Response: [Albatross] OK, that is enough talk about Spencer's affiliations with the Cornwall Alliance. That subject is now off-topic. Future references to Spencer's religious views or his affiliation with Cornwall Alliance will be deleted.
  27. Eric@71,

    Really? Regarding defending McIntyre, I do not think you wish to go down that road. But you did, so.....

    Do you not remember Mr. McIntyre saying this?
    "However, as CA readers know, the resulting Yamal chronology with its enormous HS blade was like crack cocaine for paleoclimatologists"

    Nice...not. And funny how McIntyre cherry-picked those pseudo-proxy series that showed hockey sticks, and which was dutifully and uncritically reproduced by Wegman in his plagiarised "Wegman report".

    But I think that I can better that. McIntyre,
    "James Hansen and his disciples have a more jihadist approach"

    I think just those two examples beat "Christy's Crocks" by a very long shot.
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  28. Albatross, titles please? You are correct that McIntyre uses colorful analogies, but I asked for titles.
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  29. Eric, you are now arguing semantics-- if that is the substance of your defense for McIntyre it is incredibly weak, and if that is what you consider "colourful" then we can agree to disagree.

    He used those terms to attack climate scientists, whether or not they appeared in a title is irrelevant.

    Thanks for showing us your very obvious bias.
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  30. Eric, 78:


    I would say: hostile, degrading.
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  31. and given what we just learned about McKitrick in #69: surprisingly hateful.
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  32. Eric... McIntyre and Watts are fostering an atmosphere of hatred toward climate scientists that is completely undeserved. I don't see SkS as taking that approach at all toward Spencer or Christy or even Lindzen. SkS points to the inaccuracies. No one at SkS would ever even consider calling any of these scientists a "jihadist." If they did John Cook would immediately banish them.
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  33. Rob, I agree partly. I looked at the full context of the Jihadist remark and it is inappropriate. It was not used as an analogy but a description. I just commented on the "crack cocaine" remark in the hockey stick thread.
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  34. Eric, #83:

    The "crack cocaine" remark is quite degrading as well.
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  35. Sorry alb, not meaning to sound "inflammatory" so to speak, just relating a relatively simple behavioral example. That example is in fact directly lifted from my own experiences working with children in mental health, and depressingly enough I think an unfortunately large percentage of grown adults never outgrow that level of operation.

    The point is, it's not the appropriate time to defer leeway to someone's demands when they are being unreasonable in the first place. Doing so more often than not ends up encouraging more of the same inappropriate behavior. I would think after sufficient time-based consideration such changes could be deemed appropriate, but if so it should be for proper reasons.
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  36. Just to give people an idea of the asymmetry involved in this debate, as far as "tone" goes, let's inspect Climate Audit's latest thread.

    1. Asserts Trenberth is a plagiarist
    2. Asserts Trenberth was given special treatment
    3. Says the "Team" (there's a name) are obstructionists on data and opposed to his ideas about openness

    A few threads earlier:
    1. "climate capo Kevin Trenberth"
    2. Refers to the analysis of Dessler as "Mannian"
    3. Another assertion about the process that Dessler 2011 was published
    4. Ends, "Perhaps the editor of Science will send a written apology to Kevin Trenberth."

    Do Watts and Pielke object to this treatment? And name-calling? Not that I've seen. The constant attacks on scientists from those now attempting to demean SkS for a few silly names on buttons can't be called anything less than preposterous from what I can see. If tone trolling is the best people can do to take down SkS than that should be more of a compliment. It's like in the middle of war zone and one side has stopped to criticize their enemy for grunting too loud. It was a nice try.

    But if the word 'Crocks' bothers the important crowd (ie not the blogging ideologues) we are trying to reach, I think changing it is correct.
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  37. Eric, I repectfully disagree.

    The general tone and the intent at CA and WUWT are to discredit and intimidate. Anything goes in order to achieve that. They entertain and even encourage the most ridiculous accusations by contributors, of conspiracy and what not. That is also seen in the overwhelming majority of the "skeptic" landscape. In fact, a most common skeptic argument is that this is all a hoax to get tax money.

    McIntyre has organized and conducted a campaign of harassment by abusing the FOIA, then used a less-than-perfect-reaction by the victims of the campaign to try to further discredit them.

    Accusations of scientific misconduct are as common as sand grains on the beach in the skeptic blogs. How much of it has been substantiated? [Crickets chirping]. Even the so-called "climategate" led to nothing.

    However, when the scrutiny advocated by skeptics is applied to them, we get things like the glorious M&M/Wegman fiasco. Then when GMU starts investigating and takes 5 months for what is normally limited to 60 days, what is the reaction of the self-righteous, integrity enamored skeptics? [More crickets]

    Beck has truncated graphs to make them look like they were showing periodicity where there were none. Monckton goes to the most egregious length of distortion, as was repeatedly demonstrated here. Scientists just trying to do their work run into zealots like Cucinelli who have the power and the fervor, ideological and religious, to carry on with witch hunts.

    SkS is very accomodating to opposing views compared to the skeptic hornet nests. Mods tolerated BP laying blanket accusations of fraud against respectable scientists without a shred of evidence multiple times.

    How bad does it have to become before we can call bulls#@t by its proper name? If skeptics don't like to be subjected to close scrutiny, they should not proclaim themselves as practitioners of it. If they're hurt by a somewhat inflammatory tone, they should start toning down. Tamino has received multiple threats of physical violence. In the early days of SkS, I had to endure streams of prejudice driven insults. Language a little strong? Cry me a river, Roger. At least it is supported by a real analysis, unlike the idiotic conspiracy rants dripping all over the skeptic blogs.
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  38. Let's not ignore WUWT's demeaning of scientists via that tried and true method, Josh's cartoons. Clever, because they don't show up in text searches and Watt$ maintains deniability.

    I won't link to an example, but you might recall the 'Dessler gets schooled' beauty. Giving the impression that a published scientist doesn't know what he's doing without overtly saying so; very noble. By contrast, the 'toon of the week' on the Weekly Digests here doesn't name names - and hence is not ad hominem.
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  39. There is an important word that has not been said yet in this article or its comments:


    That's what "Christy's Crocks", "Monckton Myths", "Lindzen Illusions", etc are really doing. These people richly deserve the ridicule, as the associated articles make clear. They also deserve it because because they support and encourage people who ridicule (and worse) climate science and scientists ... and nothing feels better than a bit of "eye for an eye". And that's what is upsetting Pielke, and maybe others as well.

    But do we want Skeptical Science to be a site of ridicule, or an authoritative, dispassionate, science-based site ?

    Let's take a step out of the muck.
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  40. Dr. Pielke does not like titles such "Spencer's Slip Ups". It's deeply offensive to him, as it suggests that Roy Spencer has "slipped up" or has made a mistake, which is impossible. "Christy's Crocks" is at least as offensive, as it suggests that Christy has made multiple statements are that are wrong - also impossible. But the "excellent" blog run by Anthony Watts is well above the fray, sticking to the science. Some other titles and quotes from WUWT:

    "The Worst "Cook"book Interview Ever?"

    Wow - a derogatory play directly on John's name. I demand Watts retract that.

    "Skeptical Science? John Cook - embarrassing himself

    Another fall from grace."

    "Speaking of Australia, John Cook of Skeptical Science works out as a cartoonist (and blogs “faux skepticism” in his spare time) , but he’d never be able to produce anything like this."

    (the above referring to a Roy Spencer book entitled "The Bad Science and Bad Policy of Obama's Global Warming Agenda")
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  41. Chemware#89: "do we want Skeptical Science to be a site of ridicule"

    Really? You're the first to call it 'ridicule.' How can discussion of science flaws be considered ridicule? Just because some who have made those flaws don't like it?

    Compare 'Lindzen Illusions' etc to some of the nonsense pulled from the anti-science sites, as in NYJ's #90. That's ridicule.
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  42. Philippe #87, you make some good points like the tone created by the Cuccinelli witch hunt. But Ernst Beck? His work is easily dismissed and doesn't seem relevant to this thread. Some of your other points are covered by other threads as well. Forum comments are broad, hard to measure and hard to compare forums. Certainly WUWT does not follow the same rules as here for comments (e.g. allowing ridiculous political comments). I don't think you can justify calling something by a term such as "BS" by pointing to threats (from who?), rudeness or insulting behavior. Most authors here do not do any such thing, they simply call things what they are based on the facts as they see them.
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  43. In response to the Christies testimony to congress about global cooling in the 70's, Dr Pielke said "However, this issue is not particularly relevant (when raised by anyone) to the current important climate science questions."

    It is important when that comment is used to imply that climate scientists change their minds and don't know what they are talking about.
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  44. Eric, read my post again. I am not pointing to threats to justify calling stuff BS, only to expose double standards.

    The BS stands on its own. The BS is the stuff similar to what is covered in "Christy Crocks" and "Spencer Slip-Ups." The BS is pretty much everything that Monckton eructs in his presentations. The BS used to be all over the place going unchecked. The BS is Pielke accusing SkS of ad-hom, then trying to talk about something else.

    The BS is calling a pseudo journal with a self professed agenda a peer-reviewed science publication. Would skeptics consider legitimate a publication with a stated goal of providing a "platform" for papers favoring AGW, to the exclusion of other works? If not, then why give any credence to the opposite? That's BS.

    The BS is Wegman doing a half a$$ed plagiarized job of not really replicating anything and then calling Mann's work flawed. The BS is a fanatic like Cucinelli then arguing of that plagiarized report to justify a witch hunt. The BS is advising readers to send FOIA requests from countries where they have no residence only to multiply the number of requests for harassment purpose. The BS is so thick we could use it for natural gas production.

    Beck is relevant because the lack of scrutiny applied to his "work" by fake skeptics is an indication of how one-sided they are. If you think Beck is easily dismissed, go give a shot at that on WUWT and come back to tell us how it went. I can't wait.

    Tamino received threats of physical violence on several occasions from anonymous writers, although he has not made a whine fest out of it. That is not BS but an example of the kind of behavior we are up against.

    Sorry Eric, you certainly are one of the better skeptics, and as such, more the exception than the rule.
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    Moderator Response: [John Hartz] It's time for you to rejoin the ranks of SkS authors.]
  45. Chemware,

    I don't see Monckton Myths as ridicule in the least. That is a pretty exact description of what the man offers. Even the lettering actually coheres with how the man presents himself. If that is ridicule, it is self-ridicule.

    Spencer slip-ups is pedestrian. The graphic is not provocative at all - referencing I guess his tendency to favor negative feedbacks. He might be upset if an overdeveloped sense of grandeur makes him sensitive to all questioning. But that would be his problem and not the problem of this site.

    Lindzen's illusions fairly describes what the man does as well: cherry-pick, dissemble, distract and appeal to authority to cast doubt on perfectly good science and disguise his own intellectual isolation on climate change matters. However, he does not cast himself as a magician, so it is a little impertinent. That graphic basically puts a pointy hat on his head and a wand in his hand.

    That said, the graphic is no different than that employed by Lessons from Predictions, which links to assessments by the SkS team. So it would seem the same level of levity is afforded to links of SkS products as it is to these personalized links. They too have pointy hats and wands. Welcome to the party!

    The one I can really see an issue with is crock, but that is because of an association I and many others were not aware of.
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  46. I'm tempted to agree with Chemware. At this point, the argument that Pielke is acting hypocritically has been established, beaten to death, brought back to life by a red priest, and beaten to death again. The evidence for the hypocrisy could fill an SkS-sized website, and it's threatening to do so now. Pushing the argument to the point of ridicule serves only to freeze dialogue and limit the progress of both science and its communication. Pielke has his open invitation to engage both the science and the discussion of his continued hypocritical support of the uncritical posts and comment streams at WUWT. Roger, Roger?
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  47. It's an interesting discussion here. I'm left with two thoughts:

    Perhaps the badge "Christy's Crocks" should be changed, to something like "Christy's Confusions", to avoid offending those who only know of one association for the word "Crock".

    However, that immediately leads me to my second thought:

    At what point do we draw the line, and stop letting the self-described "sceptics" control the framing of the discussion?

    It's a tough question to answer.

    On the one hand, being polite and analytical, not emotional, is what scientists are trained to do in their communication (some have more success at achieving this goal than others).

    On the other hand, as the interview interrogation of David Karoly by Alan Jones showed, that approach doesn't work so well in the world of the 'sceptical' media.

    Similarly, if it's a message for the general public, and you have one person speaking in a calm, scholarly tone about data, models, and probabilities, while another person is jumping up and down, frothing at the mouth, screaming about economic ruin and "condemning billions to a CO2 death"... well, you know, if the media themselves don't act like journalists and expose those claims for what they really are, perhaps the real sceptics need to?
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  48. Why chase Pielke's Goodyear Blimp or respond to his diversionary tactics at all? Is anyone being a tad oversensitive?
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  49. Why chase the blimp? Because it's a very interesting and fascinating blimp (hence such an effective diversionary tactic). There are lots of engrossing questions there worth exploring. But before doing so, I just wanted to remind people of what this conversation was about in the first place.
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  50. Surely if SkS had a blog list on a side panel, beneath or opposite the Christy Crocks button there'd be a link to
    'Climate Denial Crock of the Week'.

    I really don't understand the fuss.
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