2011-09-19 20:24:59Channelling my inner-Darth-Vader, my very own skeptic blog post
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

This is going to creep SkSers out even more than the Christian article I wrote in religious language. For my science blogging experiment, Steve has asked me to write a skeptic blog post so we can see whether the influence of comments threads works for blog posts that are completely skeptical as well as pro-science blog posts. So I've had to create a denier equivalent to How we know we're causing global warming in a single graphic, that is rich in content and concepts for the reader to have to process. Here's my attempt at climate denial:

Why we can chill out about global warming

Any comments to improve the post, particularly adding rich content, is welcome. And don't share this post around, it's my secret shame! :-)

UPDATE: just to reassure everyone, this post is not going live online. It will only be read by participants in a lab experiment at the University of Western Australia. After that, I will destroy the post and poke my own eyes out for reading it.

UPDATE 2: to further reassure people, the blog post is only viewable to SkS authors. If anyone else even got the URL, all they would see is an error message. Relax, you guys! :-)

2011-09-19 20:38:58
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.193.102.220

"Interesting" post, John!

Just wondering: where and under whose name will this be published? I can't quite picture this going live on SkS with your name on it. I can however envision the echo-chamber's reaction to it: "Cook no longer in the warmist camp! Rescinds his long-time views" and the like. Not really sure if that would be helpful for Steve's experiment (or SkS).

2011-09-19 20:39:10
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
192.171.166.133

Your link didn't work for me. Had to add the www. to get this

 

Reads in a very staccato fashion thanks to the short sentences, is that what you were going on?

Carbon is misspelled in the pie chart legend.

 

Isn't it easy being a climate 'skeptic', especially when you don't feel compelled to interpret the data correctly or include all of the data? :P

 

 

And what are you doing with this? Is it being posted? Where?

2011-09-19 20:52:45
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

This strikes me as toxic waste.

If it gets out in some way you don't expect, it could be hard to contain.

2011-09-19 20:53:14Where this post will be used
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191
It won't be published live anywhere, it will only be used in the lab experiment at the Uni of W.A. In fact, I'll add a dummy username (Grand Poobah?) and post it under that. Hopefully it won't ever get seen outside the lab. Currently, only logged in SkS authors can view the page.

It probably could read smoother. I wrote it on the iPad on the train on the way home this afternoon. Surprisingly (scarily) easy to write!

2011-09-19 20:57:29
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.49.149

2011-09-19 21:37:18
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.193.102.220

Neat smiley, eh pukey, Rob!

Just a heads-up: the post's date shows as "19 September 2001" so could be - if this should get out some way - construed as what John thought 10 years ago. I have no idea how big a risk there is of this actually getting out, but it might make sense to not have it online for too long. And certainly have a "ghost-writer's" name on it....

2011-09-19 21:42:20Ghost writer
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

Good idea, Baerbel. How about something short & snappy, like "John Crock"?

2011-09-19 22:38:16
perseus

owlsmoor@googlemail...
188.220.205.42

A graph of the long term climate variability (including the Eocene) is probably one of the more effective arguments for creating doubt (albeit completely irrelevant)

Be careful though you might be better than you think at this. Perhaps you could wait until April 1st?  Remember the public relations disaster King Canute had when he attempted to prove that he couldn't turn back the tide.

 

2011-09-19 22:40:23
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

>>>Another key driver

>>>Another dominant player

bit redundant.

2011-09-19 22:43:38
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

There would be an easy fix to any worries about this becoming public by accident, just add a disclaimer to the article while it exists online and remove it when you take it off-grid for your experiments.

I doubt this would be a problem though anyways.  Even if it does get out and the deniers try to push it we could very easily debunk each and every claim in the article.

2011-09-19 22:44:56John Crock
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191
I've been getting a bunch of abusive emails from a John Crock since the Pielke thing erupted. The last was today after I posted the blimp post, gloating that I did exactly what they wanted. Someone with too much time on their hands.
2011-09-19 22:45:22
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

Another suggestion: add some links.  Link to the OISM project, for instance.  Our articles are strong because of our references, make sure you tell where you got your sources.

2011-09-19 22:47:25John Crock
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

I just now made the name up, based on all the input from people who do NOT find the term "crock" offensive.

2011-09-19 22:53:41
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

JC:

By the way, I think we're all done with the Q1 - Q6 work; when is it going live?

2011-09-19 23:01:35
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

>>>A millennia ago, vikings settled in Greenland which obtained its name from the lush, green conditions at the time. ["millennia" is plural, that's like saying "a centuries."]

>>>...argue that humans are not going to have a significant effect on climate. [I wonder about the tense usage here, "are not going to" v. "do not."]

>>>To make expensive societal changes or spend significant taxpayer money... [one word]

>>>...up their mind is premature. [I like "rash" better here, add some force.]

>>>Over the last few decades, the sun has been unusually warm, achieving it's warmest levels in 1,150 years (Solanki 2005). [You ought to have a hyperlink here if you're going to give the paper name.  Maybe a graphic too, though the later ones do well.]

>>>...it's no wonder climate scientists and the IPCC [and the who?]

>>>no mention is ever made of the hockey stick in solar activity. [maybe you could post the grahic from our "Solar Hockey Stick" post, I think it was from Vieira 2011.  That's a better graphic than the one you have, I think.]

>>>Why do governments then lobby so hard for carbon regulation. [should end in a question mark, as it's a question.]

>>>Quite obviously, there is no revenue to be made from blaming climate change on nature. [I think this comes sort of abruptly, you went from science(sic) to conspiracy very quickly.  I understand fully how deniers operate in this fashion, but that's why they're completely silly.  It detracts from the convincing(sic) nature of the article.]

Maybe you can bring up how El Nino has increased to become more frequent than La Nina?  It is, afterall, a warming contributor ;-)

2011-09-19 23:18:28Links....
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

"Over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition"

[picture with plants v. CO2]

"CO2 levels were 20 times greater than current levels"

"Solanki 2004" <--- Solanki published this paper in Nature in 2004, not 2005.  Now, this presents an issue, as the paper's abstract states that the Sun is likely not the case of the warming we have seen.  Including this graphic may help to add substance, but I understand now why you didn't link to the paper itself.  I guess 'tis the nature of using a paper that doesn't support your conclusions!

[suggest, again, replacing the sunspot figure with Vieira 2011]

"Global temperature trends correlate closely to the PDO."

2011-09-20 05:15:02
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Not bad, John.  I'd specify the Thames River in the UK.  That Sunspot number graph looks kinda fishy to me.  Where's it from?

2011-09-20 07:10:24Sunspot number graph
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

It comes from Usoskin 2005 and is quite reputable. It concludes:

"...during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source."

It sure is easy writing arguments for climate denial when you're not bound by truth or integrity!

Re the Pielke blimp posts, feel free to go live whenever ready. Ideally would be good to be intersperse other posts between them so SkS doesn't become wall-to-wall Pielke.

2011-09-20 07:30:57
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I'll toss another up there now so to give a bit of a Pielke break, then do the answers tomorrow morning.

2011-09-20 08:23:57
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I find this post incredibly fascinating.  Just thinking out loud here...  What if you posted this with a title something along the lines of, "I was wrong and have seen the light."  Then follow up with a post, not too long afterward, (a few hours) talking about how it was an experiment in how easy it is to write a convincing anti-AGW piece.  Point out all the fallacies embedded in the piece and how easy it is to write this even when you know the information that shows that it's wrong, just by ignoring the truth.

Then maybe also talk about how hard it is to research and write rebuttals to these things.  How much reading and research is required.  How you have to, for instance, find and read the entire Usoskin paper to find the part where he finally says, "but this doesn't apply to the past 30 years."

It could be very powerful.  

2011-09-20 08:25:33
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

It could create quite a buzz as well...

The second title could be, "How Easy it is to Lie."

2011-09-20 08:28:31
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

It could be an effing disaster.

It could get out of control very easily.

2011-09-20 08:41:53
Alex C

coultera@umich...
141.212.59.77

It is not meant as a public post anyways, it's for his job.

RE the paper, that's fine, it's just that the resolution isn't as pretty.

2011-09-20 08:44:53
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Yeah, you'd want to think it through very very carefully.  You might even want to launch both posts at the same time.  And it might be something to do on April 1.

I'm not necessarily advocating this.  Just throwing out the idea.

2011-09-20 08:59:41
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

Yeah, I'd throw the idea out, too.

Out the window.

2011-09-20 10:22:49Rob's idea
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

All you need to know, Rob, on whether to publish this or not, is to consider how deniers will seize on anything to discredit SkS, warmists, climate scientists, anyone pro-climate science. It doesn't have to be fair, reasonable, logical or make sense. They'll just throw anything at us to try to reduce our effectiveness. Anthony Watts has been running the "SkS fall from grace, they used to be such a nice website but now they're just nasty,mean alarmists and you shouldn't listen to a thing they say" for ages now - just how long is this fall from grace before we hit bottom - must be a deep hole. His goal - reduce our credibility and hence effectiveness. 

So publishing this will be spun in all manner of nasty ways by the denialosphere, no matter what our intentions, and would go pear shaped very quickly and very badly.

Meanwhile, as they say, the best revenge is to live a good life. Our response to the denialosphere's attempt to discredit us is to keep doing what we're doing - explaining the science in clear, dispassionate language and calmly, methodically expose the misinformation. SkS being a credible voice and go-to place for climate information is the last thing they want to happen and hence we work towards that goal.

Thanks for the feedback on the denier piece, all. Will send this off to the UWA cognitive boffins this morning, let them mull over it. My greatest fear is actually converting some of the UWA lab participants into deniers :-(