2011-09-17 22:16:42"There shall be no reframing" (Pielke response)
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.23.51

As I think a response is prudent, and since we need some sort of backbone to go off of for a response anyways, perhaps this could serve as one.  It is my opinion that we try to get this "debate" back on track and call him on his goalpost shifting, and while we can discuss such a tactic either here or in the General Chat section, I think it best if I get something out there:

">>There shall be no reframing.<<

Roger Pielke Sr. has responded to us once again, making this what is technically his third communication to us, and about various subjects.  Unfortunately, instead of recognizing and sticking to the context of both his initial jab at Skeptical Science and our response, he has once again attempted to reframe this debate to entirely new issues.  While we here at SkS can appreciate a legitimate desire to engage in civil and skeptical communication about science, this “debate” has been fed enough rope, and it is time to reel it in.

Pielke’s original post denigrating SkS focused on three main accusations: 

-       our series titles for John Christy and Roy Spencer, “Christy Crocks” and “Spencer Slip-Ups” (respectively), are ad-hominem; and our series themselves are ad-hominem;

-       SkS has questioned the veracity of the University of Alabama at Huntsville MSU satellite temperature data;

-       SkS needs to find a more “constructive” approach to the debate.

As we explained in our response One-Sided ‘Skepticism,’ Pielke decided to attack us without actually ever reading into the content of our series.  We will discuss more the appropriateness of calling John Christy’s series “Christy Crocks” below, but to summarize our response:

-     we did not ever call into question the accuracy of the UAH satellite temperature data;

-     our series examine what the peer reviewed literature has to say about each issue, a tactic we have gained a reputation doing;

-     the content of our posts, which are of course what the series are even about (i.e. as opposed to the titles), is comprised of criticism of several claims made by both researchers that extend into climate sensitivity, global warming causation, and so on, content which Pielke did not address.

Pielke responded to a couple of our points (one), and again we shall discuss these in more detail below, but the majority of his post consisted of shifting the goalposts to new issues, primarily (1) that there is no warming in the pipeline, and this is determinable through monitoring the OHC; (2) the OHC data shows that the satellite record doesn’t show warming in the TLT(?); (3) GCMs fail to reproduce the temperatures, by land, air, and sea, of the past century.  As any astute reader would be able to tell, none of these points were at all the intent of our response to him, none of them are related to the initial accusations he brought against SkS, and we have actually covered each of these at SkS before.

Our first attempt to re-rail this train (see the Update to One-Sided ‘Skepticism’) was met with dodgy responses to our questions and, once again, an attempt to reframe the “debate.”  No, Pielke, there shall be no reframing.  As leaving questions unanswered is always impolite, there shall be a second post following this one strictly for responding to the “answers” and questions Pielke most recently posted at his site, but that post will be second in importance to the initial complaints and responses.

 

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

To get back on track with the three main accusations Pielke wrote against SkS:

“our series titles for John Christy and Roy Spencer, “Christy Crocks” and “Spencer Slip-Ups” (respectively), are ad-hominem”

Easy one out of the way first: a “slip-up” is an error, plain and simple.  It is not ad-hominem to accuse someone of making errors in their work, it would simply be quite the empty series if Spencer’s work actually was pristine.  As we have shown though, this is not the case: in Barry Bickmore’s series Roy Spencer’s Great Blunder, which Bickmore was kind enough to let us re-post here, Spencer was shown to have used unrealistic parameters for, and chosen values that were not forced by, his simple model; our most recent set of posts dealing with Spencer’s paper published in Remote Sensing point out errors other researchers have found within the paper; and so on.

“Christy Crocks” is... ##########

“our series themselves are ad-hominem”

This is my quote, specifically Pielke said “The ad hominem presentations on this subject include those from the weblog Skeptical Science who have sections titled Christy Crocks and Spencer Slip-Ups[.]”  And, that’s it.  No other examples besides the titles, no discussion at all toward the content of our series (which is what actually matters, especially if sweeping assertions as “ad hominem presentations” are going to be made).  It is here that we call Pielke out on this one: accusing someone, even a blog online, of ad hominem presentations of the science without backing up that claim is itself insulting, and we would warn against such behavior if we can agree that the main interest is actually the unbiased education of the general populace.  SkS has developed a reputation for straight-forward reporting of the science, and for good reason too.

“SkS has questioned the veracity of the University of Alabama at Huntsville MSU satellite temperature data”

As we stated in our first response, “Unfortunately for this piercing critique, these two series of articles do not touch upon the topic of the satellite temperature data.”  Unfortunately some context was lost in translation, and Pielke thinks that these two series posts, The most recent satellite data show that the Earth as a whole is warming and Evidence is building that net cloud feedback is likely positive and unlikely to be strongly negative, demonstrate that we have talked about the satellite record.  First off, neither of these rebuttal strains are part of either series’ blog posts.  They simply aren’t, we invite our readers or newcomers to search through the listings here and here for either.  Second, of course we have talked about the satellite record and its implications and past errors, but apparently we were unclear.  We were accused of questioning its veracity, not of merely discussing the record.  In neither of those strains did we do the former, and we reiterate that we have not period.

SkS needs to find a more ‘constructive’ approach to the debate”

As already demonstrated, this critique rests upon the hollow assertion that SkS has resorted to ah hominem when talking about Spencer and Christy, and upon a lack of context to what our series even contain.  SkS’s main goal indeed is to explain climate change science and rebut misinformation, and we pride ourselves with keeping to the peer reviewed scientific literature and keeping our website user- and commenter-friendly.

 

PIELKE’S RESPONSES TO OUR OWN QUESTIONS

As we asked Pielke several questions in our Update to One-Sided ‘Skepticism,’ and as he has put forth answers to these questions, we would also like to take the time to respond to each of his answers:

 

##########"

2011-09-17 22:18:53
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.23.51

A couple things that come to my mind right now:

- quite long, is such a response warranted?

- need links (I will be pretty busy from here on after, but I can probably get some up - suggestions welcome for where they would be needed)  I have actually set up several spots where they would go, they might be determinable by the choppy structure in some places (like "...search through the listings here and here for either.")

- some sections are, obviously, empty, esp. the discussion on Christy Crocks (I think we should more directly and fully discuss its usage), and our responses to Pielke's answers, which I think several others are already working on in other threads.

2011-09-17 22:25:29
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.23.51

I also think it would be a good idea to modify the end to come up with a better conclusion, to restate our main points about the errors and false statements that Christy and Spencer have made.  Any suggestions?  It's here at this moment I must leave for a while, I'll try to get back soon.

2011-09-17 23:23:03
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.99.16

I think this is way too long. It is also very defensive and self-justifying.

If you want to use this as a way to cap the discussion/blogging exchange, it would be better to simply state positions rather than to re-hash the history of the debate as you see it; because Pielke will see it differently; so insisting on "having the last word" will just put a sour ending on it all.

I would be unhappy if we impose an ending on the situation on our terms solely with the justification that "it's our blog so we can turn you off anytime we want." That is the way WUWT operates, and that is the way Pielke operates (implicitly, since there is no commenting); but this is a dimension in which we want to be a bit above that.

To be specific, I'll cook up something based solely on your material above:

///////////////////////////////

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. has responded to us again, and inspired a series of comments, many overlapping. We can understand that this might be a bit confusing to answer to, so we would like to end the free-for-all and boil this down to the main points:

- He has claimed that our series' titles are ad hominem: Our perspective is that the titles are somewhat mocking, but call attention to the actual misrepresentations of fact and science of the authors targetted, not to their personal attributes. We believe the term "ad hominem" to be unjustified.

- He has claimed that SkS has questioned the veracity of the UAH's MSU satellite temperature data: We have never done that, and Pielke has adduced no evidence to that effect.

- He has urged that SkS needs to find a "more constructive approach" to the debate: SkS's main goal has been to explain climate-change science and to correct mis-information, to encourage the on-line discussion to stay within the context of the generally accepted and peer-reviewed scientific literature. We think that's pretty constructive.

- He has responded to the questions that we posed earlier, and we thank him for his answers; however, some of those answers did not seem responsive to the heart of the question being asked. He has also asked for our opinion on some questions of his own. We think that is fair enough, and we are preparing our considered responses to these questions; as well as further expansion on our original questions, to better understand Dr. Pielke's perspective. This will take a few days.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\



2011-09-17 23:48:25
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.23.51

Fair enough, though some points I do think ought to be elaborated upon/pressed on too:

- Pielke has not addressed anything specific in our posts in either series, and seems to not have read them;

- Pielke's statements about us criticizing the satellite record are false not only to the point where insistence on our part is a sufficient answer, but to the point where he has (a) brought up specific examples that (b) aren't even in the series and (c) don't even criticize the UAH MSU.

I also think that such an approach as "as well as further expansion on our original questions, to better understand Dr. Pielke's perspective." is far too kind.  The last thing I imagined this turning into was a little chit chat about our "perspectives."  He started our by accusing us baselessly, this seems like letting him off the hook.  Again I warn that his civility is a taunt, we don't need to be throat-slitters but we should be very stern about where he went wrong.

I do agree though that it is too long, some parts can act as framework for a more skimmed down post.  I don't fully understand your statements though about "turning you off," that is the last thing I was going for.  What part made you think that?  I'd want it better worded if that's a possible impression [or maybe we'll just nix that part, either way, in the interests of cutting down on length or just keeping face].

2011-09-17 23:58:37
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.99.16

Alex:

- Pielke has not addressed anything specific in our posts in either series, and seems to not have read them;

[THAT HASN'T BEEN PLUGGED IN THE COMMENT EXCHANGE, SO IT'S NOT GOING TO BE RESOLVED; IF YOU INSIST ON RESOLUTION, YOU'RE BACK IN THE COMMENT EXCHANGE. WASN'T THE POINT OF THIS TO PUT A STOP?]

- Pielke's statements about us criticizing the satellite record are false not only to the point where insistence on our part is a sufficient answer, but to the point where he has (a) brought up specific examples that (b) aren't even in the series and (c) don't even criticize the UAH MSU.

[DITTO]

I also think that such an approach as "as well as further expansion on our original questions, to better understand Dr. Pielke's perspective." is far too kind.  The last think I imagined this turning into was a little chit chat about our "perspectives."  He started our by accusing us baselessly, this seems like letting him off the hook.  Again I warn that his civility is a taunt, we don't need to be throat-slitters but we should be very stern about where he went wrong.

[BUT THEN WE GET VERY SPECIFIC IN THE FOLLOW-UP LETTER. THE ONLY WAY TO END, IS TO END. IF WE WANT TO STOP IT, WE HAVE TO STOP IT.]

I do agree though that it is too long, some parts can act as framework for a more skimmed down post.  I don't fully understand your statements though about "turning you off," that is the last thing I was going for.  What part made you think that?  I'd want it better worded if that's a possible impression [or maybe we'll just nix that part, either way, in the interests of cutting down on length or just keeping face].

[WHAT I MEANT IS THAT THE CONTROLLER OF THE BLOG CAN ALWAYS CEASE COMMENTS OR CENSOR A PARTICULAR COMMENTATOR. BUT THAT'S NOT THE APPROPRIATE WAY TO END THIS DISCUSSION. WE SHOULD AGREE TO STOP THIS SCATTERED FREE-FIRE EXCHANGE, WHICH I THINK IS GOING NOWHERE, AND GENERATE OUR CONSIDERED RESPONSE, WHICH CAN BE WELL-AIMED AND SINGULAR.]

2011-09-18 00:07:15
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.23.51

What's with all the caps?

I have not been keeping up with the comments exchanges, I am only aware of what has been said in the posts' bodies themselves.  If the happenings in the comments have turned into a major factor in the approach we want to take, then so be it, that's fine.

2011-09-18 00:08:48
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.99.16

Alex:

I don't mind being "too kind", if I get what I want.

Ya know wadda mean?

2011-09-18 00:09:50
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.99.16

The caps were just a cheap way of differentiating text source.

2011-09-18 00:29:03
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.173.192

Not sure how much of the original text will "survive" but if this sentence makes it, the name needs to be corrected:

"As we explained in our response One-Sided ‘Skepticism,’ Christy decided to attack us without actually ever reading into the content of our series.  We will discuss more the appropriateness of calling John Christy’s series “Christy Crocks” below, but to summarize our response:"
==> Christy should be Pielke (I guess?)

Another more general thing: should Pielke be addressed just by name or should his title be included to make it "Dr. Pielke" throughout the text? I'm leaning towards the latter, but I don't really know what is "usually" done in texts like these.

2011-09-18 07:23:30Posting a response
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191
I'll draft something up ASAP but there'll be a delay as I have family coming over today. My thinking is the emphasis, the whole point of this dispute, is Pielke's avoiding of S/C's misinforming behavior. So the emphasis shouldn't be defensive, about the ad homs but offensive, about S/C and how Pielke is okay with them. Anyway, when I get a mo, will read thru this thread and collect my thoughts into a post.
2011-09-18 07:32:04Draft text that may be useful
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.99.16

http://www.skepticalscience.com/thread.php?t=2779&r=13

at the top.

This argues that Christy's joke is not really harmless.

2011-09-18 09:09:40
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.30.40

BaerbelW: Thanks for the notice about the mistake, yes it ought to be Pielke (I will change it); as to whether we should address him as Pielke or Dr. Pielke, I think we used a mixture in our last response to him.

2011-09-18 09:13:49
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.30.40

As I reread I think that it does sound too defensive.  My intent was to really pin down these retorts to the accusations as he reiterated them in his first response to us, but yes I can definitely see that it's overdone to the point of taking the focus off of, say for instance the C/P misinformation or the discourse with Pielke, and putting it on them.