A Great Example of How We Should Be Playing

I get irritated by the team-sport aspects of the climate debate, where we race to defend and attack certain work because it gives an answer we like or don’t like, rather than based on its methodology.  I confess to getting sucked into this from time to time, though I have also tried to call BS on skeptical work I thought was misguided (e.g. the Virginia AG witch hunt against Michael Mann) and I respect folks like Steve McIntyre who are controversial without falling too often into the team-sports trap.

For this reason I want to cite an article by Anthony Watt in which he criticizes, rightly I think, a skeptic for pushing a fraud/cover-up story that simply does not exist.  Ironically, the article occurs just days after Joe Romm, whose site would never tolerate the dissenting opinions in its comments section that Watt’s allows, generally equates Watt’s past work with the 10:10 video blowing up children.  (more comments on the Romm post here).

  • Luis Dias

    It is simply not true that Watts does not censor. He has censored me for showing dissent and criticism. I really don’t like this meme that Watts isn’t like Romm in his censorship abilities, since when I was nuked (and I am deprived of commenting there ever since) I didn’t use any kind of language that any other people there used anyway.

  • netdr

    Michael Crichton tells a story about a professor who read a study on nuclear winter which had an equation for expected deaths D = P*Q*R*S*T where all terms are unknown even to 3 orders of magnitude.

    The professor said “The science is abominable but if I say so I appear to be in favor of nuclear war. “

    I think that is what the reasonable climate scientists think when reading the climate Astrology of the waco’s.

    They would amend it to:
    The professor said “The science is abominable but if I say so I appear to be in the pocket of big oil. “

  • WaldoWalks

    As Luis posts, Watts censors. A lot, actually.

    And I would be impressed with Mr. Meyers’ fair-mindedness if he and Anthony Watts actually walked their talk.

    Silliness, folks.

  • Alex

    Hey, Waldo, I don’t condone censorship but I hope I don’t need to remind you about the biggest censor of them all – the RC site that you so happily send folks to.

    As far as I know this blog (Climate Skeptic) does not censor anyone. If you feel silenced on Watts blog, please post here. Plus, our large thread on this blog (Forecasting) got auto-closed by blogging software due to its age, but let me remind you that you left several dangling ends:

    You claimed that the skeptics have no reason to complain about lack of access to data, because it is available to them. Your exact words: “it’s all out there”. I asked you to provide a link to the exact list of stations participating in HadCRUT3. You provided a link to an incomplete and flawed version of that list, I called your attention to the fact that this is not what I asked. I am awaiting your response.

    I also asked you whether you will take back your words that “it’s all out there” if you will be unable to provide the above list. You repeatedly ignored the question, answering a different question instead which I haven’t asked. In the end Russ asked you as to what evidence would actually convince you that certain important data have not been made available to skeptical researchers. Care to answer?

    The ball is on your side. Please don’t try to hide behind censorship, because you aren’t being censored.

  • Ted Rado

    Alex: If you are waiting to get a rational answer from Waldo on anything, I hope you have a long life. Whenever asked to answer a specific question, he responds by running off on another tangent, raising a new off-the-wall point, or insulting you.

  • Alex

    Indeed.

  • Eric Anderson

    Witch hunt? Lesseee … Intentional refusal to respond to FOIA requests. This isn’t an “academic” thing. It is a legal requirement. Potential misuse of government funds.

    You might not think that the AG’s move is a good idea or that it will be successful, but it is not an unjustified, unreasonable, without-grounds witch hunt.

  • Justa Joe

    Watts doesn’t censor. These accusations are a common tactic of leftist trolls that spans beyond the climate issue. The trolls go to a blog, which they disagree with. The trolls set up shop and begin making nuisances of themselves. The trolls get banned from said site. The trolls then run around claiming that they were censored. It’s a perceived win/win for the trolls. Meanwhile warmist and most other leftist blogs have a zero tolerance policy towards any dissent.

  • Justa Waldoe

    This is just too precious.

    “Watts doesn’t censor”–rather, “trolls…making nuisances of themselves” are “banned.”

    But “warmist and most other leftist blogs have a zero tolerance policy towards any dissent.”

    So if one disagrees with Watts’ postings, one is a “troll.”

    If one is banned from a “leftist blog” it is because they have “zero tolerance.”

    I know that Joe will never see this, but it is a damn good demonstration of irony…or perhaps a double standard…or even hypocrisy.

  • Waldex

    And then, after a brief time away, I find that Alex has now asked the same question a third time.

    I’m not sure what to say here, my friend, I’ve already said ‘no, I am not willing to retract anything,’ but you don’t seem to understand this.

    So let me post even more plainly: it’s all out there, Alex, one simply needs to look.

    You wanted a list of participating stations and it was on the web the entire time (I would have found it had I looked a little harder). I believe the link I gave you explained why some of the stations were not listed in the study, and I believe if the information is not included in the list of participating stations, you now have enough information to seek out this information yourself–contact the agencies which provided the CRU with their information; explain that the CRU and IPCC is bilking you of your right to information; ask to be given the raw data. Plus, the links I provided have a wealth of other information and links to even more information, which I seriously doubt you’ve taken into consideration. All free of charge. And I seriously doubt you would know what to do with the raw data anyway.

    No matter what, Alex, you will not be satisfied; you are not really interested in what the scientists say, only in what you think you can prove incorrect with a limited field of inquiry.

    Russ also asked, ‘What information would convince me, Waldo, that the science/models/scientists is inaccurate,’ or something very similar. Well, Russ, a smoking gun–which I know you think you’ve provided, but have not, would work. Or, since I do not trust anyone on this site, perhaps the scientists admitting they were wrong all along.

    Or better yet, much more convincing evidence than you have provided thus far. So far Russ and crew and provided a handful of quotes misunderstood, misrepresented, or taken out of context; they have provided a couple of emails which, by Russ’ own admission, are only emails, albeit embarrassing to a couple of scientists, and these are always frequently taken out of context or misrepresented. And, of course, Russ’ infamous T-stats, which were roundly rejected by the more scientific group at RC.

    I know that there is this fantasy among denialists that there is overwhelming evidence and unanswered questions. But what you have presented so far is simply not that convincing.

    And, by the way, Watts censors heavily and Mr. Meyers does not censor because he does not read the comments.

  • Alex

    I have to say this case looks hopeless…

  • Waldex

    Funny Alex, I have exactly the same thought about you…