2011-11-22 08:37:07Muller is still lying
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
24.106.184.123

I just drafted a post to a new Muller interview in which he peddles all the same old canards here

id appreciate advise on the langauge, content, etc.  And would love a bit of help w editing, the best links to use, etc

I think the post is here:  http://www.skepticalscience.com/Richard-Muller-is-still-lying-about-climate-change.html

2011-11-22 10:52:10
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.126.143

JB,

I don't see any reason to pursue this:

- This is nothing new from him, no one is going to pay any extra attention.

- Right now, the deniers are hot after him: all we have to do is leave him alone, and he will become an anti-denier.

- The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

 

Don't take lessons from Joe Romm, who knows how to turn friends and neutrals into enemies, in an instant.

As someone once said about international politics: "One doesn't have permanent friends, one has permanent interests."

We're not trying to marry or have children with Muller: We're just trying to save the planet. We can put up with a few a-holes if we have to, if it gets the job done.

2011-11-22 11:01:26
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I don't have a problem with discussing the errors in Muller's comments here.  In fact it's probably worthwhile.  However, I wouldn't classify it as "lying."  For one thing, as neal points out, we don't want to make an enemy of or alienate Muller.  For another, I'm sure he believes what he's saying, and thus by definition it's not lying.  He's just misinformed and thus misinforming.

So maybe change the tone and narrative to something like "Muller is incorrect [or misinformed] about [x]" (I've only had a chance to glance at the post so far, but will give it a better read later).

2011-11-22 13:11:06
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

How on earth is this idiot our "friend"?  

I guess beyond that, I like to think SkS is an equal opportuity scientific correction machine: pointing out the flaws in the arguments of friends and foes alike.  

Dana, interesting point about what constitutes a "lie".  Ill take your advice and replace with "misinformation" which John has used for Mullers mistatements, eg;

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Muller-Misinformation-1-confusing-Mikes-trick-with-hide-the-decline.html

2011-11-22 13:13:07
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.126.143

JB,

He's totally freaking out the hard-core deniers.

2011-11-22 13:22:51
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

I know. And I see your point.  But just because he says one thing that is correct (the earth is warming) doesnt give him a pass on everything else.  Do you know how many skeptic foes of SkS admit the earth is warming?  (but argue it is good, to hard to stop, not caused by people, etc, etc).   

Anyway, I toned it down, gave it a new title, etc:  http://www.skepticalscience.com/More-Muller-Misinformation.html

2011-11-22 13:34:33
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.118.175

JB,

It's not a question of what it says, it's a question of what his conversion is doing to them. He was their "great white hope," the MacArthur genius who was gonna show them climate-scientists how to do climate science right, and show them that UHI was killing them.

And then he turned around and threw grenades on the deniers. (As they see it.) It's driving them schizophrenic, they don't know whether to shit or go blind.

So he hates Gore and is arrogant about how other people do science. I really don't care.

There's the story about the family camping in the woods in a big tent, and the eldest son is very ill-behaved: He yells at passers-by, throws things at them, and if they get too close he stands up on a chair and pisses out the window at them. Someone walking by gets very upset, and talks to the father. "How can you let your kid act like this? He's pissing at people out the window! If he were my kid, I'd toss him out of the tent." The father says, "Yep, he's poorly behaved. But you know, I'd rather have him inside pissing out than outside pissing in."

2011-11-22 13:59:03
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

Hi Nealjking, again, I see your point.  And lovely analagy!

But part of me sees these "Reasonable men and woman of the center" as the most dangerous.  Kinda like Obama. (dont get me started!)  Most the skeptic academics (Muller, Curry, Pilke Jr, Spencer, etc) belive there is warming, but want to stall about doing anything about it, say we dont know the causes yet, there is too much uncertainty, etc.  Unlike the truly wacky skeptics, these people are actual scientists at very respected institutions and come across as resonable, yet will continue to undermine rapid and serious action.  Muller may make the legions of Watts lover mad, but he has a megaphone like nobody else and is using it to spread lies that matter.  Not just little, inconsequential lies. But big ones like we dont know what is causing it or how bad it will be, scientists and the IPCC greatly exagerate the impacts, the scientist cannot be trusted and are hiding data, etc.  This is class A damaging stuff and I tihnk we should be far more focused on rebutting it than the pure lunacy of Monkton et al. 

Muller is brilliant but an egomaniac and is clearly trying to position himself as the voice of reason and go to guy for all things climate change.  Personally, Id rather have Jim Hansen or Gavin Schmidt or John Cook play that role.  

2011-11-22 14:30:31
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.101.55

That's better John, but it could still use some toning down.  For example, "or so say the geniuses at The Atlantic" seems unnecessary.  I also think "Yet he is seemingly immune to the facts and the science" is unfair, because for example when his own research confirmed global warming, he accepted it. 

"Simple and reasonable right? Apparently not to a brave-thinking Berkeley-based genius" - too snarky.

Think of it more as an opportunity to debunk Muller's myths as opposed to criticizing the man.  'Here's the myth and here's what the science says.'  And ease off the sarcasm :-)

2011-11-22 17:51:09
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.131.157

JB, I think it needs to be toned down too. I've done exactly the same thing, written a post when angry at some dirtbag denier.

Agree with your point about the middle-of-the-road deniers being the most dangerous of all. By positioning themselves as go-to people for the media, they can more effectively promote stalling tactics.

Your post structure (the numbered section highlighting the falsehoods) is a big no-no according to the "Debunking Handbook" too. And you heading "Polar bears aren't dying?" should be entitled "Polar bears are dying" Don't affirm the myth!!!!

Unlike Neal, I think it's important to correct these Muller falsehoods, just minus the obvious emotion. Your first blog title had me in stitches though! What were you getting at?

2011-11-22 23:13:53
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.118.175

JB,

"Personally, Id rather have Jim Hansen or Gavin Schmidt or John Cook play that role."

That's not an option: The deniers have NEVER embraced any of these.

I'd like to have a light-saber, too: But I can't seem to find any in the stores that actually work.

2011-11-23 02:49:13
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
2.33.129.61

I agree with JB on Muller but still we need to tone the post down.

Muller is not our friend and is not on our side, we have good reasons to hit him hard. But we need to be expecially careful and throw the punches at the right target. Example:

"Yet he is seemingly immune to the facts and the science."
could be
"Yet, when it comes to climate, sometimes he is seemingly immune to the facts and the science."

same message, better defined target.

I think that Muller gets the big picture right. From the same interview:
Muller said while there’s some “valid skepticism” about the models measuring global warming, “we know we are playing in the ballpark where things could go catastrophic.”

He probably likes to be at the center of the stage and that's the reason of his "extraordinary claims" (euphemism for bullshit). Then, in a carrot and stick strategy, I'd also quote a sentence like the one above. Reward him when he is right, throw a punch otherwise.

2011-11-23 20:19:12
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
124.179.95.162

JB

General opinion, not specific to Muller. The Enemy of My Enemy is my Friend. Muller is giving certain circles hives and piles. Oh Diddums, my heart bleeds for them. But he isn't quite as white as the driven snow! Damn Right!

So What?

He has served his purpose, delivered a tactical victory. After this he can't deliver much more because he has dealt himself out of the game unless his next project is to validate every single climate model. But if we now undermine the egotistical vain SOB, what do we gain?

Consider an analogy. Duringt WWII, Churchill had to deal with all sorts of dodgy characters because he needed them or their supporters or contacts or street cred. And right at the top of the list was Charles De Gaulle. Stuck up, BIG Nosed, Pratt, all vanity and gallic puff. But he delivered troops, street cred and 'stuff'. So Churchill played him, partly against Monty, untill Eisenhower took Normandy and the war. And even after that Churchill 'worked' De Gaulle. And the 'Free French' Liberated Paris! With some help!

What do we gain by firing arrows at our home grown GDG's? Even with their big noses and gallic whatnots?

Muller has served a purpose and now lets let him fade into the obscurity of B-Grade Academe.

Hard nosed perhaps but realistic!

2011-12-18 11:52:36
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

Hi all, and thanks for the feedback and good advice.  Having taking some time away from it then come back, yup - it was indeed way to harsh:) (Thanks Rob)  But the guy is just such a prick!!!

Regardless, I toned it way down, cut out a lot of cranky text, shortening and simplifying the whole thing, etc.  What else???

2011-12-18 12:32:47best rebuttal links?
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

Anyone have any suggestions about the best links/rebuttals for these "misstatements"?  Particularly 1 and 5 (I see there is a great post in the works on this)

1) Many scientists are exaggerating the degree or threat of AGW  link

2) Al Gore exaggerated the degree or threat of AGW and misled the public  link

3) Polar Bears are not dying  link

4) They [xxx] did something terrible and hid data  link

5) We don't know how much of the observed warming can be attributed to human activities  link

2011-12-19 00:59:46
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

I am working on a "closing statement" of sorts.  Any suggestions on the broader take home from this saga?  This is what Ive got down so far.  

When will it end?

Muller's change of mind about global warming when confronted with the data is reassuring. Yet the fact that he rejected identical (and peer-reviewed) findings by more experienced colleagues and only changed his mind when he performed the analysis himself remains troubling. Scientists are skeptical and contrarian by nature. But an outright rejection of any science that you personally have not performed is takiing things a bit too far. Muller is a highly accomplished scientists. But so are the members of the PBSG and it is unreasonable for a theoretical physicist to outright reject decades of work by an interntional team of wildlife biologists about the population dynamics of polar bears. 

2011-12-19 03:36:55Quote some of Michiael Manns reply to Muller
michael sweet

sweetdreamfiji@hotmail...
173.65.206.141

Michael Mann wrote <a href="http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/06/24/stick-to-the-science/"> this letter to Scientific American </a> that effectively states why Muller should be ignored.  Perhaps some of his points could be included in your post.  Pointing out some of Mullers past mistakes is effective.  Asking what he learned from these mistakes is also a good point.

2011-12-19 06:11:08
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.110.252

I think that's a good conclusion John.  For #5 see Foster and Rahmstorf and Huber and Knutti.  For #1 see IPCC is alarmist.

2011-12-20 07:31:45
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.220.143

JB - why does every scientific field have to recieve the "Muller seal of approval?' Why can he not accept that there people working in other disciplines that are as equally gifted and, more importantly, experienced? 

Muller is a proctologist telling brain surgeons how to do their job.

 

2011-12-20 09:32:04
Sphaerica

Bob@Lacatena...
76.28.5.93

Rob,

Image of Muller, hands still gloved and sullied from giving a recent proctology exam, preparing to poke around in someone's open cranium to demonstrate to the brain surgeons where they are going wrong.

Hey, you put the image in my head.  Now live with it.

2011-12-20 10:25:45
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.249.155

Hey, I assumed he'd at least prep for brain surgery! Even if he doesn't know the first thing about it.

2011-12-22 08:20:12
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
152.23.88.85

Rob "why does every scientific field have to recieve the "Muller seal of approval?' Why can he not accept that there people working in other disciplines that are as equally gifted and, more importantly, experienced?"

my guess is he is the real thing - just what the deniers loathe: an elitist academic know-it-all who has won too many awards for his own good.  Seen his web site? A shrine of egomania:  http://muller.lbl.gov/

How about I end the piece with this:  

"As Rob Painting would say, the last thing you want in an ER is a proctologist telling brain a surgeon how to do their job"  

I am actually serious...  

2011-12-22 08:42:05
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
152.23.88.85

Can you "make a falsehood"?  As in "he made five "falsehoods"

Is that proper english? 

2011-12-22 09:34:01
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

That doesn't sound right.  You could say 'advanced five falsehoods' or 'made five false statements/assertions'.

2011-12-22 14:19:37
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

Thanks Michael, Mann's piece is great. Pretty tough!  

"How, for example, have the lessons learned from his past failures influenced the approach he has taken in his more recent forays into the science of human-caused climate change?"

2011-12-22 15:12:44
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.17.80

"Seen his web site? A shrine of egomania"

Well I have now. I note he got the ending of LOST totally wrong. That's the end of his credibility in my books! 


2011-12-22 20:31:54as I keep saying ...
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
75.36.130.198

What are we trying to ACCOMPLISH with this?

2011-12-23 01:16:59
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
74.245.80.25

nealjking, as the banner says we are being skeptical about global warming skepticism, asking whether their arguments have any scientific basis, and explaining what the peer reviewed scientific literature says about it. 

IMO, it doesn't matter that he made the deniers mad, he is now their enemy, that he finally admits the earth is warming etc. To me, it is just about the accuracy of the science and people's statements about it, particularly highly influenial scientists. 

The ending is now worded as: 

When will it end?

Muller's change of mind about global warming when confronted with the data is reassuring. Yet the fact that he rejected identical (and peer-reviewed) findings by more experienced colleagues and only changed his mind when he performed the analysis himself remains troubling. Scientists are skeptical and contrarian by nature. But an outright rejection of any science that you personally have not performed is takiing things a bit too far. Muller is a highly accomplished scientists. But so are the members of the PBSG and it is unreasonable for a theoretical physicist to outright reject decades of work by an interntional team of wildlife biologists about the population dynamics of polar bears. As Rob Painting would say, the last thing you want in an ER is a proctologist telling brain surgeons how to do their jobs.

In a recent online letter to Scientific American, Michael Mann fumes about Muller's habiat of falsely accusing scientists in other fields of fraud and asks; "How, for example, have the lessons learned from his [Muller's] past failures influenced the approach he has taken in his more recent forays into the science of human-caused climate change?

 

 

2011-12-23 14:19:18
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
108.192.18.215

I regard the above-expressed attitude as similar to the Democrats, as opposed to the Republicans:

- the Democrats try to finesse everything perfectly, and end up with "the best is the enemy of the good"

- the Republicans (specifically the Tea Partyers) focus on what matters to them, and instead of pulliing knives on their allies, sink these knives into their true enemies, the Democrats.

- The result: In the House of Reps, the Republicans carry everything before them; in the Senate, where they are a mere minority, they manage to stop anything positive from happening.

So, yes, go ahead and attack Muller, if you want the global-warming prevention issue to succeed as Obama has succeeded in overwhelming the Republicans.

Oh, he hasn't?

2011-12-23 15:51:49
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.110.252

Misinformation is misinformation neal, and we shouldn't let it slide just because it's someone who's sort of on 'our side'.  Besides, it's just one post.  We've had several posts complimenting Muller's efforts on BEST.

2011-12-23 15:55:41
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
108.192.18.215

This just doesn't make my list of the top 1,000 actions needed to defeat global warming.

Nor the second 1,000 either.

2011-12-27 10:58:09ending
michael sweet

sweetdreamfiji@hotmail...
173.65.209.14

John,

I thought Manns comments in Scientific American were very carefully worded.  I would change "fumed" to commented or some other less loaded word.  "Habiat" shouel be "habit"

2011-12-28 02:49:59
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

John Bruno:

With all due respect, "putting Muller in his place" is not the highest and best use of your time and energy nor of the  time and energy of other SkS authors. In addition, posting your article now would be both a strategic and tactical blunder for SkS. The downsides greatly outweigh the upsides. Let this matter go! 

2011-12-29 02:38:55
John Bruno
John Bruno
jbruno@unc...
75.136.226.253

OK, will do, thanks Michael Sweet. 

John Hartz and NealKing: Muller's positions on ACC are indistinguishable from Curry, Spencer, Christy, Pielke Jr, and nearly every other academic denier in the US, ie "there has been some warming, but not that much, we don't know that it is caused by people, the resulting warming may not be that bad", etc.  Why should Muller get a pass to lie about such things while all the others get their misinformation corrected? eg here and here.  

As a biologist, it bothers me that Muller, unlike many of the other academic skeptics, continues to deny impacts of warming on biodiversity. SkS is primarily focused on clarifying misinformation about physical parameters, but we cannot ignore lies about what is arguably the most high profile and well-documented impact on wildlife.  This lie (polar bears are not threatened) pops up all over the blogosphere in comments sections and posts.  

And John Hartz:  This is not about "putting Muller in his place".  That characterization could be applied to nearly every post at SkS - but you well know that is not what we are doing here.  

As for tactics and strategy: it is a lot simplier than that. We use the science to uncover the truth and to expose the lies of others.  We don't selectively choose whose lies to correct based on Machavellian strategies.  For one, that would be biased of us to do so, ie political cherry-picking.  Two; it isn't possible that anyone could accurately predict the impacts of a single post or overall strategy on a system as complex as human politcal behavior.  Third, SkS is not remotely that influential! 

Moreover, I am not on your team or any other team.  I am just an individual scientist persuing truth and trying to hold those who lie about it for personal gain accountable.  I think that is true of most SkS volunteers.  Frankly, I'd like to see some SkS debunkings of bogus "warmist" research and statements, such as RealClimate is famous for doing, eg here  (Ive done such mild debunkings here, here and here and I do it in the PR literature too).  We shouldn't plan or scheme who gets the truth-squad treatment.  Holding those on "our team" to acount will only increase the credibility of the site and our work.  

2011-12-29 03:20:23John Bruno
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

If SkS is not a team effort, why do we go through the process of reviewing and discussing draft posts before they are published?

Why are five "thumbs up" required before a draft gets posted on the SkS website?

2011-12-29 03:22:23
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.149.82

John Bruno, when I read your comments starting from "As for tactics and stragegy ..." I felt like standing up and applauding.

Never-the-less, I cannot help but notice a large difference in tone between your Muller piece and the "mild debunking" you perform of people who are basically on your side but have made errors.  That difference in tone is also "political cherrypicking" just as much as choosing not to critique Muller's errors would be.  I do not think it is possible to subtantivally critique Muller without some comments which could be regarded as personal criticism.  He has at the very least been uncritical in accepting popular accounts of "climate science" in obvious preference to peer reviewed studies and the considered opinion of experts in the field.  Claims that "Muller is still at it", or that he is "making things up" go well beyond the role of impartial critique that you have correctly adopted.

Consequently, while I disagree with nealjking (frankly who cares if it is not in his top 2000 actions needed to defeat global warming, as nobody is asking him to take the action) and John Hartz, and think the debunking of Muller's myths is well justified, I also think you need do a significant rewrite which avoids implications of malice or fabrication.

2011-12-29 03:40:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

John H - I believe John B's point was that we're not on some "warmist" team.  SkS certainly has a "collaborative team" to produce the best blog posts possible.

I agree with Tom on both strategy and the tone of the article.  It's a good point that we should be consistent in our tone, and right now the Muller post is a bit on the harsh side.  But I do agree with John B that we shouldn't hold off on criticism just because the person producing the myth is on "our side", and in fact criticizing myths from "both sides" would make SkS all the more credible.  It is something we've done a bit of - i.e. see my post on Kellogg.

It's worth remembering that when someone on "our side" reepats a myth like "polar bears aren't threatened", then it lends all the more credibility to that myth (i.e. deniers can say "even warmists agree"), and thus debunking it is all the more important.

2011-12-29 03:52:58John Bruno & Tom Curtis
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Outside of us, nobody seems to be paying attention to what Muller said in New Mexico. Posting a rebuttal just highlights it to everyone including the climate deniers. We don't post rebuttals to Judith Curry's blog posts for the same reason.

 

 

2011-12-29 04:58:55
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

It would behoove everyone invovled in this discussion to review the comment thread to Muller Misinformation: a blog series initally posted by John Cook in March 2011.

After much discussion, a decision was made to proceed and the following articles were posted:

  • More Muller Misinformation
  • Muller Misinformation #1: confusing Mike's trick with hide the decline
  • Muller Misinformation #2: 'leaked' tree-ring data
  • Muller Misinformation #3: Al Gore and polar bears
  • Muller Misinformation #4: Time to Act
  • In this context, does John Bruno's proposed article plow ground that was not plowed in the above.

    If John Bruno's draft article, does indeed plow new ground, then it should be posted as "Muller Misinformation #5"

    In addition, a button should be created for the Muller Misinformation series and it should be displayed on the SkS home page.

    2011-12-29 05:54:47
    Tom Curtis

    t.r.curtis@gmail...
    112.213.149.82

    John Hartz, from John Bruno's current article:

     

    "Mullers "falsehoods", in order of appearance and with refuting links, were:

    1) Many scientists are exaggerating the degree or threat of AGW  link

    2) Al Gore exaggerated the degree or threat of AGW and misled the public  link1link2

    3) Polar Bears are not dying  link1link2

    4) They [climate scientists] did something terrible and hid data  link

    5) We don't know how much of the observed warming can be attributed to human activities  link1link2"

    I would say that (1), (2), and (5) are not currently dealt with in the Muller Misinformation series.

    2011-12-29 06:24:56My reaction to Bruno's draft...
    John Hartz
    John Hartz
    john.hartz@hotmail...
    98.122.98.161

    I just discovered that More Muller Misinformation is John Bruno's working draft.

    My generqal reaction to this draft: Readers will not painstakenly click on a link to another SkS article, read it, and then come back to Burno's article and repeat this laborous and time-consuming process over and over and over.

    Every link to another SkS post should be embedded in the title of that post and every title should be followed with a one paragraph summary of what the article covers. [Note: If SkS articles were written correctly, the lead paragraph of each article would be a concise summary of the article.] Doing this will enable readers to digest Bruno's new article without going back and forth to other articles.

    Personally, I do not find the tone of Bruno's article particularly harsh relative to other SkS articles debunking people like Pielk Sr, Monckton, etc. [I peronally do not give a tinker's damn about Muller being elevated to "hero's" status for chairing BEST. I suspect that he did very little of the heavy-lifting in that effort and didn't particularly like the results.] 

    Bottom-line: John Bruno's current draft needs a lot more work.   

     

    2011-12-29 17:13:32
    nealjking

    nealjking@gmail...
    108.192.18.215

    The issue is NOT whether we are elevating Muller to a status of untouchability.

    The issue is whether we are removing the thorn from the feet of the WUWTers: by attacking Muller, I think we are.

    And I would much rather have them limping around with that thorn in their feet.

    2011-12-30 12:20:17the SkS team
    John Bruno
    John Bruno
    jbruno@unc...
    75.136.226.253

    If SkS is not a team effort, why do we go through the process of reviewing and discussing draft posts before they are published?

    Why are five "thumbs up" required before a draft gets posted on the SkS website?

    I didn't mean it like that, as Dana correctly points out. I agree SkS is a team and I think the collaborative and intellectually interactive and supportive nature of the SkS family is truly a wonderful outgrowth of what has been created here.  I am proud and happy to be a very minor player in the SKS team.  I mean that I don't consider myself on some warmist team with a social-political agenda. In a sense, that isn't really true, since given the strength of the evidence and the magnitude of the threat, I am as committed as anyone else here to driving change to meet this challenge.  But framing everything in a team mentality, us vs them, and all that is really dangerous to the SkS enterpise.  Even the most ethical people find it nearly impossible to avoid "group-think" once they truly embed themselves intellectually into a team.  Maybe the difference is too subtle for words. But I think we all joined the SkS "team" because we agree on the role of science and what it is telling us, but we shouldnt begin enforcing team tactics and group strategy - if we do it will backfire because it is fundamentally contradictory to science, which in it's purest form doesn't have teams, only data and reason and free-thinking people.  That isn't to argue there should not be rules of conduct at SkS, procedures etc. 

     

     

    2011-12-30 20:20:53
    nealjking

    nealjking@gmail...
    108.192.18.215

    My view has nothing to do with "team" or "no team".

    I just think that focusing on Muller's faults at this point in time would be like fighting the Vichy government instead of the Nazis in WWII: a waste of effort that may simplify life for our real enemies.

    2011-12-30 21:25:32
    Tom Curtis

    t.r.curtis@gmail...
    112.213.149.82

    nealjking,

    you choose an interesting analogy as Allied troops did in fact engage Vichy forces in WW2, most crucially during Operation Torch in which Allied troops (primarilly American) invaded Vichy French colonies in North Africa to open up a second front against the Afrika Korps.

    Regardless of the strategic merits of attacking minor allies or neutrals, what is more problematic is the division of the world into enemies and their minor allies.  While recognizing that there are people who consciously oppose clear understanding of climate science, our enemy is falsehood rather than people.  On that basis if Muller is spreading those falsehoods, then it is entirely appropriate to debunk them.  Nor can I see any principled objection to naming Muller as a propogator of those falsehoods in doing so.

    2011-12-30 21:44:41
    Tom Curtis

    t.r.curtis@gmail...
    112.213.149.82

    As a side note, it strikes me that this battle regarding overall strategy is rather pointless.  We are all individuals volunteering our time.  Consequently we will apportion our time as we individually believe it is best used.  If our results do not obtain an overall concensus approving the post, well then fine, we do not post the result at SkS.

    On that basis, I sugget that John Hartz's suggestion at 4:58 am Dec 29th is a good one.  If John Bruno develops a Muller misinformation post that fits into the series and covers new ground, then it should be judged on its merits on a post as we would any other without regard to what particular subgroups of us may think is the best strategy.  We should still expect and contribute to by review the normal SkS high standard in terms of factual accuracy, clarity of exposition, lack of political content and lack of ad hominen or abuse.

    Having read the interview on which Bruno's article is based, I doubt that it contains sufficient material to require discussion of novel  "Muller Misinformtion".  However, if Bruno is able to develop a suitable post using quotes from that material, or from a variety of sources, then more power to him and his article should be judged on its merits alone. 

    2011-12-30 21:46:43
    nealjking

    nealjking@gmail...
    108.192.18.215

    The GOP and WUWT are far greater threats to the future of the planet than Muller; just as the Nazis were a far greater threat, during WWII, than the Soviets. It made perfect sense to cooperate with the Soviets to defeat the Nazis; and to postpone the issues with the USSR until later.

    2011-12-31 21:24:28
    Tom Curtis

    t.r.curtis@gmail...
    112.213.145.36

    One of the interesting things about reading Mann's "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" (for which, thankyou John Cook), is that it gives a detailed account of the history of the dispute.  The oddest people turn up in that history, like Richard Muller who is mentioned for two articles attacking the Hockey Stick in 2003 and 2004.  The former is critical of the Hockey Stick and exhibits notorious fact checking.  For example it attributes the resignation of six editors of climate research to a response by the publisher to their publication of Soon and Balianus rather than, the correct reason that, they resigned in protest over the publisher refusing to take action to prevent abuse of the peer review processes of the journal for political reasons.  However, I am more interested in its sage advise that:

    "Independent analysis and (when possible) independent data sets are ultimately the arbiter of truth. This is precisely the way that science should, and usually does, proceed. That's why Nobel Prizes are often awarded one to three decades after the work was completed—to avoid mistakes. Truth is not easy to find, but a slow process is the only one that works reliably."

    Despite this advise, in October of 2004, when M&M had just had their comment rejected by Nature, and just one day after it was submitted to GRL to eventually be published five months later as M&M 2005 Muller is already reporting M&M's that the hockey stick is a product of flawed statistics.  He writes:

    "That discovery hit me like a bombshell, and I suspect it is having the same effect on many others. Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. How could it happen? What is going on? Let me digress into a short technical discussion of how this incredible error took place."

    Bullshit!  Just the previous December he had already written criticizing the Hockey Stick on spurious grounds, and claiming that

    "When I wrote my book on paleoclimate (published in 2000), I initially included the  hockey stick graph in the introductory chapter.  In the second draft, I cut the figure, although I left a reference.  I didn't trust it enough."

    Ergo claims that the discovery hit him "like a bombshell" is pure posturing.  It is dishonest, to not put to fine a point on it.

    More troubling than this evidence of a relaxed attitude towards truth is his uncritical acceptance of the M&M line.   As recently elegantly expounded by caerbannog (see also here and here) , M&M 2005 criticism of MBH99 does not hold water.  As he says:

    "The bottom line is, unless you look at the singular values, you can't say *anything* about your data. You can't simply look at the principal components (aka singular vectors) without considering the associated singular value magnitudes and draw any reasonable conclusions about whether your data vectors contain a "common signal" or are just random noise. Without the information provided by the singular values, you simply can't tell (no matter what your principal-components look like).

    But that's exactly what skeptics did when they attacked Mann by claiming that his procedure generates hockey sticks from random noise. They never bothered to compare their "noise hockey stick" singular values with Mann's "tree-ring" singular values. Those of you out there who are familiar with the SVD and know how to interpret its output will fully appreciate what a spectacular blunder this is. Unfortunately, for most people, the SVD is obscure enough to them that they will never appreciate how stunningly incompetent the "Mann method generates hockey sticks from random noise" argument really is."

    I presume a professor of atrophysics at Berkeley does not find principle component analysis obscure.  Ergo his lack of criticism of M&M's critique, not to mention his rush to report the "successful" demolition of the hockey stick (and lets forget about any test of time requirement for criticisms) can only mean M&M where telling him what he wanted to hear.  Bye-bye to any critical faculties when he has bad news for global warming science, apparently.

    The point of this in this thread is that Muller is not an uncomfortable ally (like the Soviet Union was).  He is, and has been since at least 2003, an active participant in the climate wars and an ally of, unsurpisingly enough, the M&M, Watts, and Curry crowd.

    Seeing nealjking insists on having this debate, he should at least recognise Muller's real position.  And having done so, I say, show him no mercy.

    2011-12-31 22:47:29
    Rob Painting
    Rob
    paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
    118.93.101.160

    Kinda looks like Muller is a serial misinformer, and has been for years. Clearly he's not going to stop just because of the BEST results. He'll just churn out other bunkum. Have at him!!!

    Also, it would be nice if someone could provide a comprehensible account/rebuttal of MM2005's shennanigans because I certainly don't understand what they did. 

    2012-01-01 02:33:38Rob Painting
    John Hartz
    John Hartz
    john.hartz@hotmail...
    98.122.98.161

    Perhaps a new series, "M&M Meltdowns" is in order?  

    2012-01-02 07:58:49
    nealjking

    nealjking@gmail...
    108.192.18.215

    Sorry, had a longer version of the following written, but the system ate it:

    To be brief: Muller is currently the deniers' worst enemy, because his published BEST results cause real problems to their credibility, because of BEST's transparency and careful methodology. Future results will do the same, because Muller will not put his name to bad peer-reviewed science (He's a MacArthur prize winner, so he has a reputation to protect), despite his jerkish off-the-cuff remarks (which include a published claim that JK Rowling was "obviously" wrong in asserting that Dumbledore is gay!)

    By attacking Muller, we do the deniers' cause a great favor.

    2012-01-02 09:48:36
    Tom Curtis

    t.r.curtis@gmail...
    112.213.145.36

    Muller said Dumbledor isn't gay?  That's it!  The knives are out.

    2012-01-02 12:05:37Example
    nealjking

    nealjking@gmail...
    108.192.18.215

    Muller's remarks on Dumbledore:

    Dumbledore isn't gay

    (not that's there's anything wrong with that)

    Dumbledore isn't gay! What makes you think that JK Rowling is right when she claims he is? It is a common conceit among authors of novels that they think they can do anything they want with their characters, but it isn't true. The characters come alive and take on a path of their own. I have written and published a novel, and I know this for a fact. JK Rowling may think Dumbledore is gay, but once she started writing, she lost control. She didn't actually write the book; her muse did that. All authors know this. Now she claims Dumbledore is gay, but this is not from her muse; it is from her intellect. She has no more rights to make this analysis than does any outside critic. Read the books yourself. It is obvious Dumbledore is not gay, regardless of the claim of Rowling.

     

    I mention this point because I see that many of Muller's published remarks (not papers) are just off-the-cuff throw-away lines in talks he's given, rather like this silly remark on the Harry Potter series: He doesn't give references to them, they're like warm-up jokes. In the context in which the talks are given, I believe no one takes them at all seriously.

    But they do take seriously the BEST methodology and reports; and from what we hear, those are  giving major heartburn to the WUWTers and other deniers. More stomach-ache to them, say I!

    2012-01-02 15:00:48
    Brian Purdue

    bnpurdue@bigpond.net...
    60.228.22.178

    To take up Neal King’s point – is this Watts attempting to claw back his lost credibility after BEST?

    This is the beginning of the Wikipedia link Watts gives at the start of his World’s Temperature post today.

     This article is about scientific opinion on climate change. For public perception and controversy about the scientific consensus, see Public opinion on climate change and Global warming controversy. For opinions of individual dissenting scientists, see List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.

    PS Watts didn’t put the post together in five minute – it’s a major effort.

    2012-01-03 02:10:10WUWT post
    John Hartz
    John Hartz
    john.hartz@hotmail...
    98.122.98.161

    Brian,

    "A Big Picture Look At 'Earth’s Temperature' ” posted on WUWT was authored by "Just the Facts", not Anthony Watts.

    According to WUWT, "Just the facts" is a regular contibutor to the site. He/she knows the subject matter (atmospheric temeprature and ocean temperature) quite well.

    I do not believe that the post is "Watts attempting to claw back his lost credibility after BEST."

    Rather, the purpose of the post, in my opinio, is to lay down a comprehensive, fact-based, denial marker at the beginning of the new year. 

    2012-01-03 05:14:57
    nealjking

    nealjking@gmail...
    108.192.18.215

    IS there such a thing as a wikipedia article that lays out the terms of the debate in a way that can be accepted as objectively valid? Factually grounded, but not impugnable as "IPCC propaganda"?

    (I know it's difficult, since, as someone has remarked, "Reality seems to have a liberal bias.")

    Would it be worthwhile to set forth a review of the issues  of this sort?