Reactions to the New eBook

Hey guys. I haven't written any new posts for a little while because I didn't want to distract from the last post where I announced me new eBook. Or maybe I should be calling it an ePamphlet, since it is shorter than a book normally is? Either way, the point is I wanted to let that be the top post for a while to keep attention focused on the new book:

Fortunately, there's now a bit more to talk about regarding the book. Specifically, I'd like to talk about how people have reacted to the book. You may have seen the leading "skeptic" blog Watts Up With That (which I've condemned quite strongly in the recent past) ran a post promoting this book. I'm obviously happy for the exposure despite not being a fan of the site, and the people there seem to have reacted quite positively to this, so all in all things are good.

But of course, there are critics. Their comments are the ones I want to discuss. That's partially because I feel awkward highlighting positive remarks about myself as it seems like being... well, tasteless. It's also because I feel I should address some of the things they say because responding to criticism is a good thing. Mostly though, my critics are just too funny to ignore.

I'll start by highlighting a post by the blogger Sou, of Hot Whopper. She has a creepy obsession with the Watts Up With That (WUWT) website, seemingly writing posts to respond to every single thing the site publishes. She also has a tendency to say completely insane things, like claiming the proprietor of WUWT, Anthony Watts, is responsible for people being murdered.

Yeah, I'm not going to bother discussing her as a person. She's messed up, but what really matters for us today is the things she said in response to the post promoting my new book. Early in her post she says:

Anthony applauds a script kiddie who doesn't return the favour, and who spends some of his time hacking forums and much of the rest boasting about it and misrepresenting what he steals.

She doesn't actually explain what it is I misrepresented or how I misrepresented it. That's probably not surprising as the other things she says here are just ridiculous. For instance, I've never hacked into any forum in my life. She has no basis to claim otherwise. She's probably mixing me up with some other person who has hacked into a forum, but... yeah, I don't know how she'd make that mistake.

The real kicker is that she claims I spend much of my time "boasting about" hacking into forums. This is probably a reference to comments I've made in the past, epitomized by a blog post I wrote which began:

I’ve got mad haxor skillz. I’m a l33t hacker paid by evil organizations and shadowy conglomerates. That’s how I found Skeptical Science’s secret stash of Nazi fantasies. Or so some would have you believe.

I'd like to think most people seeing me say I have "mad haxor skillz" would understand that is not me bragging about being some "l33t haxor." I'd like to think most people would understand the facetiousness of my remarks, recognizing the over-the-top and completely silly terminology as my way of mocking the idea that I hacked into anything.

Sou apparently didn't. She also appears not to have understood the sentence, "Or so some would have you believe" was meant to indicate me discussing the fact people accused me of being a hacker doesn't mean I actually think I hacked into anything, much less that I used a great deal of skill to do so. This should have been obvious as my post goes on to say:

That’s it. I got intrigued by a link I saw on an SkS post, and I followed a couple links I found from it. My l33t haxor skillz amounted to nothing more than being able to follow a few links.

It appears to at least this one critic of mine, this is me bragging. It's pretty bizarre. So is much of the rest of her post (and her site), but let's not get bogged down on her delusional fantasies and fabrications.

Instead, let's look at another critic of mine, Brandon Gates. He has a blog post discussing my book. It is rather meandering, filled with a lot of empty rhetoric, attitude and insults that don't contribute anything or have any real style or flair. When you strip that all away, along with his discussion of the administration of WUWT (while I agree the moderation of him was inappropriate, this post is about my book), you're left with very little.

I'd like to leave aside Gates's discussion of me as a person as, like he points out, my person isn't relevant to what I wrote in my book. However, I have to take a minute to highlight one thing he writes about me. It may seem somewhat trivial, and I do get why people will sometimes misspell my name, but it's really weird to see:

I don't know much about Shollenberger other than we have the same given name. I can't be arsed right now to properly research his background or prior writings
Oddly, or perhaps not so much as I dig into it, there's some bad blood between he and Anthony for comments Schollenberger made about WUWT
The final phrase, "whose one field of mastery is deluding himself into believing whatever idiotic things he finds most convenient at any given moment", is about the only thing I wholeheartedly agree with Schollenberger on.
Never one to let personal feelings get in the way of disseminating lies about "lies", Anthony himself weighs in on why he's promoting Schollenberger's new book:
The Book
It's available as an e-book for the low price of $0.99 on Amazon. With some credit due, Shollenberger also hosts it for free on his own blog.
Going back to Schollenberger's Please Die in a Fire post on his own blog:
I gather that Nuccitelli's comment was lifted from some of the files Schollenberger

I know that's a lot of text, but there is quite a bit more. If you're not seeing the problem, let me quote this sentence which highlights it beautifully:

Shollenberger engaged me directly on the WUWT thread. And I responded (Schollenberger's text in bold):

I don't mind that people misspell my name from time to time. I don't even mind if a person spells my name wrong every time. But come on! How do you keep switching between spellings? How do you go so far as to write a sentence in which you spell a person's name two different ways? It's clearly not a slip of a finger while typing. He does it over and over and over. It's almost like he doesn't know how to spell my name so he figures he'll just use both spellings so at least he'll be right half the time.

I know that's not a minor thing, but I find it incredibly distracting. Also, I find it entertaining the first time he wrote my name was in this sentence:

other than we have the same given name. I can't be arsed right now to properly research his background or prior writings

It's good to know he apparently "can't be arsed right now to properly research" little things like how to spell the name of the person he is writing an entire post about. I feel like that might say something about how credible his post is, but let's just try to move on. After all, Gates's criticisms of my book are what truly matter.

I'll be kind and not discuss Gates's criticisms that don't even attempt to address any of the points made in the book. If he wants to resort to petty insults and snickering, he can, but I'd rather look at what he says in reference to the images photoshopped to portray Skeptical Science members in Nazi regalia:

[... ] take a look at the sort of things I happened to find when poking around in publicly accessible portions of Cook's websites. Here is an image of him, created by him or one of his Skeptical Science group members and posted to his website:
Link in the original. Top of pg. 5 in the book shows one of the images, John Cook's face photoshopped into a vintage portrait of an Nazi SS officer, with the insignia replaced with various Skeptical Science logos. Skeptical Science. SS. Get it? Poking fun at their detractors who in seriousness compare the SkS team to murderously xenophobic nationalistic fascists.

There aren't enough irony meters in the world. It gets better. Going back to Schollenberger's Please Die in a Fire post on his own blog:

Anthony Watts, this is shameful. You’ve just promoted an article in which a man is smeared for things like, having had a divorce and supposedly being brain damaged That much might just be disreputable, but what reaches the levels of truly disgusting is promoting this article when it smears a person for his father having fought in the German army in WWII to make a Nazi smear.

There’s far more to say, but given how dishonorable and disgusting this is, I don’t think there’s any point. Anyone who thinks this piece is acceptable, much less deserving of promotion and support, is a vile, wretched soul who shut up and go away. And that’s the nicest thing I can say about this obscene hit piece.

My bold, to emphasize the distinct lack of self-awareness. And yes, this is me at my most diplomatic, giving-the-benefit-of-the-doubt, self.

Unfortunately the bolding seems to get stripped inside blockquote tags due to the text formatting used on this (I've been meaning to fix that for ages now), but it should be clear enough without the bolding. Gates is making a big deal about how I'm supposedly a hypocrite for saying it is wrong to compare people to Nazis because I showed people the Skeptical Science group had images on their server in which the Skeptical Science group were portrayed as Nazis.

Reread that a few times if it doesn't make sense to you. It's hard to convey Gates's position here because of how nonsensical it is. Pointing out people possess images of themselves Photoshopped into Nazi regalia is not comparing them to Nazis. It is perfectly reasonable to condemn comparing people to Nazis while discussing the fact people have Photoshopped themselves into images depicting themselves as Nazis.

Moving on, Gates makes the remarkable claim:

After a number of pages devoted to not-Nazis, musing about when hacking isn't and other irrelevancies, he gets to his central point:

They came up with their categories so they could examine both ideas. In fact, Nuccitell specifically said:

The way I see the final paper is that we’ll conclude ‘There’s an x% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and y% explicitly put the human contribution at >50%’.

If we plug in the numbers from their study into Nuccitelli's proposal for how to publish their conclusions, we get:

There’s a 97% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and 1.6% put the human contribution at >50%.

I gather that Nuccitelli's comment was lifted from some of the files Schollenberger obtained from SkS servers.

Again, I never hacked into any forum. I quoted remarks from a person, Dana Nuccitelli, from a forum which was hacked, but it was hacked by someone else entirely. I didn't even obtain a copy of the files until years later. I don't know where Gates "gather[ed]" this idea from, but it's completely untrue and has no basis in anything at all.

It's pretty remarkable the only two critics of this book I've seen write a post about it so far both appear to be accusing me of doing things without any evidence whatsoever. Running afoul of the "consensus" isn't just getting me accused of committing crimes for doing things that are perfectly legal, it's also getting me accused of committing crimes for things nobody has any reason to think I did.

But let's move on. The key issue of my book is quite simple. As I explain in it, the authors of the most famous "consensus" paper write things like:

Of the 4,014 abstracts that expressed a position on the issue of human-induced climate change, Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97% endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.

That was written in a paper published by the lead author of this paper, John Cook. It shows how the Skeptical Science group has been trying to portray their "consensus." They keep trying to convince everyone they found a consensus humans "are the main cause" of global warming. That's completely untrue. They didn't find anything of the sort. I address this in my book by saying:

Nuccitelli and Cook were clearly aware of the distinction between the idea humans cause some amount of warming and the idea humans cause most of the warming. They came up with their categories so they could examine both ideas. In fact, Nuccitell specifically said:
"The way I see the final paper is that we’ll conclude ‘There’s an x% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and y% explicitly put the human contribution at >50%’."
If we plug in the numbers from their study into Nuccitelli's proposal for how to publish their conclusions, we get:
"There’s a 97% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and 1.6% put the human contribution at
>50%."

That is the entire point of my book. The Skeptical Science group came up with a rating system to allow themselves to quantify the level of "consensus" on two different issues: 1) Humans cause some amount of global warming; 2) Humans cause most global warming." When we examine their data in that way, we find there is only a 1.6% "consensus" humans are the main cause of global warming.

That's a big deal. The authors of this paper go around telling everyone there is a 97% consensus humans are the main cause of global warming, yet when we use a method of examining their data they designed, we find that number is only 1.6%. Pretty big deal, right? And pretty simple, too, right? I mean, nobody should have trouble understanding this... right?

Wrong. Apparently Gates doesn't understand it at all. He says:

And from this, that the cardinal sin committed by Cook et al. (2013) is that they didn't stick with how Nuccitelli "originally" envisioned the results.

Seriously, that's it. He expects what researchers say in private when putting together a study to stand, set in concrete, until the thing is complete, peer-reviewed and published.

Uh... no. I don't have the slightest idea how Gates came up with this idea, but the issue I raised obviously isn't that people changed their approach to a project. The issue I raised is when you analyze their data in an honest way, such as in the way they themselves designed, you get a radically different result than the one the Skeptical Science group presents to the public. Gates manages to ignore that, peppering his post with remarks like:

For shit's sake. We'd still be using stone hammers if that's how scientific enquiry actually worked, if that.

But where things get truly remarkable is in a comment Gates had apparently posted which got moderated out by WUWT for some reason (an action I don't agree with at all) in which he said (in part):

Here, again, is the crux of my argument to date:

"Why should your own subjective categorization be any more valid than theirs? Since when is a difference of opinion an a priori example of malfeasance?"

This isn't about some disagreement over a "subjective categorization." The Cook et al consensus paper rated any paper as endorsing the consensus as long as it at least acknowledged that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Seriously, that's all it took. Acknowledge the greenhouse gas is real, and the Skeptical Science group would claim you're endorsing the "consensus."

It is not a matter of "subjective categorization" to point out papers which do nothing more than acknowledge the greenhouse effect is real are not claiming humans are the main cause of global warming. Just looking at the categories used by the Skeptical Science group would confirm what I say. But instead, Gates "can't be arsed... to properly research" what I said, what the paper says, who committed what crimes, how to spell people's names or probably anything else. Instead, he just wants to say things like:

Alright, enough of this self-important bullshit. Main point is, next time one of these gibbering twits trots out a sob story about how they've been "censored" at a consensus AGW blog for raising "inconvenient 'facts'", I now have the perfect anecdotal antidote.

Bravo Brandon Gates. You and Sou are the first critics this book have had! I suspect you're also going to be the most deranged.

44 comments

  1. "The Cook et al consensus paper rated any paper as endorsing the consensus as long as it at least acknowledged that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Seriously, that’s all it took. Acknowledge the greenhouse gas is real, and the Skeptical Science group would claim you’re endorsing the 'consensus.'"

    Happens to be a central point of contention in climate contrarian circles. Given that not every paper on climate is an attribution study, inferring level of endorsement from the abstract alone is necessarily subjective. Hence the, the second phase of the Cook et al. (2013) study; author self-rated level of endorsement. I get it you don't agree with how they put together the final tally, but as they describe exactly what they did and the data are available for anyone to inspect and make their own assessment, claims of "cheating" and "deception" (your words) or "fraud" (Anthony's) range from ringing hollow to being over the top respectively. In my personal estimation of course.

    It was careless and is embarrassing that I misspelled your surname name and didn't do so consistently. Thank you for pointing it out, I will correct it post haste.

  2. Brandon Gates, I'm afraid I don't see how you've addressed anything I've said, other than me pointing out the embarrassing misspellings in your post.

    You don't dispute my characterization of Cook et al's results is accurate. Namely, you don't dispute that the "consensus" they found on the idea humans are the main cause of global warming is only 1.6%. You also don't dispute that the authors depicted their results as saying the consensus on the idea humans are the main cause of global warming is 97%. You claim:

    I get it you don’t agree with how they put together the final tally, but as they describe exactly what they did and the data are available for anyone to inspect and make their own assessment, claims of “cheating” and “deception” (your words) or “fraud” (Anthony’s) range from ringing hollow to being over the top respectively. In my personal estimation of course.

    I'll leave aside some more minor issues, like the fact the authors never published any data for 521 of their papers even as they claimed to have published all relevant data. While I think they are important in some ways, they do nothing to address the particular issue at hand. Namely, your only defense against me saying Cook et al actively deceived people is that they made it possible to see that they actively deceived people.

    That a person describes what they did does not make what they did right. It doesn't make it okay. It doesn't even make it honest. I can engage in a deception and describe what I'm doing in a way that is both accurate and designed to make most people not realize what I'm doing. In fact, that's how most deceptions work in studies. You tell people what you're doing, but you do so in a way that hides why it is wrong.

    But even if none of that were true, your argument is weird because you don't dispute any of the points I made to demonstrate the deception. Namely, the authors of this paper knew fully well the consensus they found on the idea humans are the main cause of global warming is only 1.6% yet they depicted it as being 97%.

    I don't know why you choose to ignore that basic and key issue, but you cannot claim with any seriousness to rebut my book or views while ignoring the central issue they repeatedly focus on.

  3. Brandon Shollenberger.,

    You don’t dispute my characterization of Cook et al’s results is accurate.

    It would be inconsistent of me to do so. The results being "accurate" implies that the analysis is empirically objective, and I hold that it is not, as stated several time previously. The paper's results prevail on how "AGW consensus" is defined, which I consider completely arbitrary in that it is subject to how you, me, anyone, cares to define it.

    That a person describes what they did does not make what they did right. It doesn’t make it okay. It doesn’t even make it honest.

    Again, here you imply that there is some universally objective definition of "AGW consensus". From whence does it derive?

    Namely, the authors of this paper knew fully well the consensus they found on the idea humans are the main cause of global warming is only 1.6% yet they depicted it as being 97%.

    No, they did not depict that. Again, I refer you to the abstract, which you have already several times quoted:

    In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.

    Table 2 of the paper defines 8 categories, and in the body of the paper the authors write:

    To simplify the analysis, ratings were consolidated into three groups: endorsements (including implicit and explicit; categories 1–3 in table 2), no position (category 4) and rejections (including implicit and explicit; categories 5–7).

    There's the definition of the consolidated buckets used to compute the results given in the abstract. Your accusation that they "depicted" something else is false, as anyone who actually reads the paper should be able to plainly see.

    If you don't like their categories, or how they binned them, I consider you entirely within your rights to do disagree with their definition and methods of binning the results. So long as you're clear on your own definitions and methods for tallying up the stats, I could not in clear conscience call you a liar for doing so even if I disagreed with your choices.

  4. Brandon Gates, this baffles me:

    It would be inconsistent of me to do so. The results being “accurate” implies that the analysis is empirically objective, and I hold that it is not, as stated several time previously. The paper’s results prevail on how “AGW consensus” is defined, which I consider completely arbitrary in that it is subject to how you, me, anyone, cares to define it.

    According to you, there is no singular definition for the consensus. Based on this, you say:

    Again, here you imply that there is some universally objective definition of “AGW consensus”. From whence does it derive?

    Now I have pointed out, many times, there can be different consensus positions to which different amounts of people subsecribe. The idea I imply there is only one position seems to require ignoring basically everything I've ever said, including things I've said on this very page.

    Leaving that aside though, your repeated claims there is no objective consensus position, and that any tally of the value must inherently be subjective because of this, flies in the face of what the authors of this paper have repeatedly said. When I point out how the authors have described their results, you say:

    No, they did not depict that. Again, I refer you to the abstract, which you have already several times quoted:

    While somehow managing to ignore the fact I have quoted the authors saying exactly what you say they don't depict. I quoted the lead author himself in this post, and The book provides a quote from the full author list (along with a couple other people) which explicitly states Categories 1-3 endorse the position humans are responsible for most of global warming. I could provide many more quotes as well, but... apparently you'll just ignore them.

    There’s the definition of the consolidated buckets used to compute the results given in the abstract. Your accusation that they “depicted” something else is false, as anyone who actually reads the paper should be able to plainly see.

    Even the paper says what I pointed out. While you keep focusing on the abstract, the first paragraph of the paper states:

    We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).

    The authors of the paper define the consensus they get by binning categories 1-3 as being a 97% consensus humans are the main cause of global warming. Categories 2 and 3 were for papers which did not quantify the human contribution, and we have the authors' own words saying they rated papers as fitting in categories 2 and 3 as long as those papers at least acknowledged the greenhouse effect.

    Merely acknowledging the greenhouse effect does not endorse the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. Yet, that's exactly how they depicted it. The authors have repeatedly claimed their results show something they know fully well their results do not show. It is dishonest, and it is fraud. You simply denying that it happened doesn't change that.

  5. Brandon S.,

    According to you, there is no singular definition for the consensus.

    Correct.

    Now I have pointed out, many times, there can be different consensus positions to which different amounts of people subsecribe.

    Thanks for clarifying that.

    While you keep focusing on the abstract, the first paragraph of the paper states:

    We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).

    In my blog post, I focused on more than just the abstract. To wit, I listed all eight endorsement levels. The top three used in the consolidated "endorse AGW" bin are:

    1 Explicit Endorsement with Quantification: paper explicitly states that humans are causing most of global warming.

    2 Explicit Endorsement without Quantification: paper explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a given fact.

    3 Implicit Endorsement: paper implies humans are causing global warming. E.g., research assumes greenhouse gases cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause.

    I take it your objection is that categories 2 and 3 don't include the "most" qualifier in front of global warming.

    It's pretty clear to ME what "humans are causing global warming" means without the "most" qualifier.

    It is dishonest, and it is fraud. You simply denying that it happened doesn’t change that.

    By the same token, repeating that it's dishonest and fraud over and over ad nauseam doesn't make it so either. To prove fraud in court, I believe you need to establish intent to deceive. For that, I think you'll need more than a photoshopped image of John Cook in doctored Schutzstaffel regalia and an argument that the survey instrument was inconsistently/ambiguously worded.

    As you point out, there may be arguments and evidence I've overlooked which a jury would find more compelling. If you think you've got a solid case, you might consider starting a class action lawsuit. Funding for it would likely be easy to obtain if class members were duly impressed with your evidence.

  6. Brandon Gates, I don't understand the point of this comment:

    It’s pretty clear to ME what “humans are causing global warming” means without the “most” qualifier.

    Are you saying it's clear to you "humans are causing global warming" does not mean the same thing as humans are the main cause of global warming/ If so, why not say. If not, why not say what it does mean to you.

    By the same token, repeating that it’s dishonest and fraud over and over ad nauseam doesn’t make it so either.

    No. The fact they explicitly defined their rating system to have categories for papers which endorse the idea of humans contributing to global warming then turned around and claimed any paper which fell in such categories (by binning them with the one category that did include quantification) endorsed the idea humans are the main cause of global warming is fraudulent.

    The authors knew fully well if you only examine the number of abstracts that quantified the human component to global warming, the result was minuscule (1.6%). They chose not to disclose this. Instead, they binned the category quantifying the human component with the two that didn't quantify the human component then claimed the resulting group all quantified the human component. You don't seem to be willing to address this simple point in a clear or direct manner, which baffles me.

    As you point out, there may be arguments and evidence I’ve overlooked which a jury would find more compelling. If you think you’ve got a solid case, you might consider starting a class action lawsuit. Funding for it would likely be easy to obtain if class members were duly impressed with your evidence.

    Please tell me you are joking. Calling something fraud doesn't mean you think a lawsuit should be filed. I can't even imagine what a member of the public would sue over for a scientist who lied about his results. In all the cases I can think of where a scientist did lie or commit other forms of fraud, the only people capable of taking legal action were the people responsible for his grants/funding and things like that. The general public has no standing to sue him.

  7. Brandon S.,

    Are you saying it’s clear to you “humans are causing global warming” does not mean the same thing as humans are the main cause of global warming?

    No. I'm saying that I interpret both phrasings the same way. It may be inconsistent, ambiguous and sloppy to drop the qualifier "most", but in common usage "humans are causing AGW" means to me that we're doing most of it. I assert you'd have to have been living under a rock since 1988 to not understand that is the message.

    No. The fact they explicitly defined their rating system to have categories for papers which endorse the idea of humans contributing to global warming then turned around and claimed any paper which fell in such categories (by binning them with the one category that did include quantification) endorsed the idea humans are the main cause of global warming is fraudulent.

    Pretty inept "fraud". The paper itself defines eight buckets, and explicitly says the final tally was based on consolidation of the first three bins. They made the classifications available at their most granular level for anyone to review them.

    Instead, they binned the category quantifying the human component with the two that didn’t quantify the human component then claimed the resulting group all quantified the human component.

    False. Here again is the actual text of the paper:

    To simplify the analysis, ratings were consolidated into three groups: endorsements (including implicit and explicit; categories 1–3 in table 2), no position (category 4) and rejections (including implicit and explicit; categories 5–7).

    Please point out where they explicitly say that all the papers in the category 1-3 bin "quantified the human component". You cannot, because it is not there.

    You don’t seem to be willing to address this simple point in a clear or direct manner, which baffles me.

    I addressed it directly in the lead section ("Background") of my blog post. I don't agree with your interpretations and accusations on this point, which is not the same thing as not addressing the point.

    Please tell me you are joking. Calling something fraud doesn’t mean you think a lawsuit should be filed.

    Fraud is a serious allegation. If you don't think what Cook et al. did in the 2013 paper warrants a lawsuit, I think you weaken the word to the point that it has lost its meaning. Cry wolf too many times, and soon people will stop taking you seriously. I've been deaf in both eyes to thinly-evidenced, cavalier accusations of "fraud" against climate scientists and activists since the E. Anglia crew were cleared of any serious wrongdoing after the Climategate e-mails were illegally obtained and released to the public.

    I can’t even imagine what a member of the public would sue over for a scientist who lied about his results.

    Then you lack imagination. I say this because I seriously doubt that you don't recognize the policy ramifications of what the sum total of climate literature and IPCC assessment reports are telling us: the planet is warming, we're doing it, and it's in future generations' best interest for the present generation to begin curtailing CO2 emissions by any reasonable means.

    In all the cases I can think of where a scientist did lie or commit other forms of fraud, the only people capable of taking legal action were the people responsible for his grants/funding and things like that. The general public has no standing to sue him.

    Laws change, sometimes as the result of what once would have been considered dubious cases brought to court.

    On the other hand, I can see why you might not wish to establish such a precedent:

    Real fraud requires a misrepresentation of objective fact about the product to induce the payment of money or property to the fraudster. That is what federal prosecutors accused the tobacco industry of doing — lying about the health risks of cigarettes, to induce consumers to buy them. (We represented one of the defendants in that long-running litigation.) What to do about global warming, by contrast, is not an issue for those who consume fossil fuels, but for legislators who may try to regulate it. First Amendment protections, however, must be at their apex when speech is directed to the state by constituents exercising their democratic rights to influence policy decisions.

    Essentially arguing that corporations must be allowed to misrepresent medical research under the banner of 1st Amendment protections of free speech. An aside: one wonders how their client fared in the case the author's firm represented ... my recollection is that tobacco companies lost quite a few of the cases brought against them.

    More to the point of citizens' standing to sue where they previously would not have been granted it:

    Allowing standing to review governmental decisions and to allow citizen suit enforcement is a good thing. Enhanced transparency and accountability leads to improved and more legitimate government decisions. Promoting citizen participation enhances the democratic process. In the context of climate change, improved quality control is essential because of the danger of sham credits, “hot air,” and the myriad of other ways that emission can be reduced on paper but not in fact. Because compliance requires the oversight of far flung projects almost too numerous to count, standing to challenge climate change decisions is vital. Laidlaw will allow all of us not only to complain, but do something about the weather.

    Some swords are sharp on both edges. I think people who are convinced that paying taxes on CO2 emissions will utterly ruin the economy, and thence our modern way of life, are going to become increasingly willing to litigate. Not just against the government, but against the researchers who support the government's case.

    And remember, these days, corporations are people too.

    I am definitely NOT kidding ... I think the writing is already on the wall. I doubt many people who read your book and take it seriously will see your fraud allegation as I do -- rhetorical hyperbole. It's just a matter of time before someone (or some entity) puts their money where your mouth is in court and goes somewhere with it.

  8. Brandon G: "I’m saying that I interpret both phrasings the same way. It may be inconsistent, ambiguous and sloppy to drop the qualifier “most”, but in common usage “humans are causing AGW” means to me that we’re doing most of it. I assert you’d have to have been living under a rock since 1988 to not understand that is the message."

    That's a most interesting take on meaning, considering that a major question is how much of the observed warming is natural vs. anthropogenic. I submit that most persons consider that adding "most" in that context, makes a significant difference in meaning. Even Cook et al. did; witness the quotation given by Brandon S. above: "There’s an x% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and y% explicitly put the human contribution at >50%’." The first half of the sentence ("x%") concerns the proposition that "humans cause [some] global warming", and the second half ("y%") refers to "humans cause most of the global warming".

    Let me ask you a further question, since you consider the two forms (with and without "most") equivalent. Do you think that those statements are also equivalent to "climate change is real, man-made and dangerous" ? Is that also common usage? Those of us living under a rock -- I favor granite myself -- want to know.

  9. Brandon Gates:

    No. I’m saying that I interpret both phrasings the same way. It may be inconsistent, ambiguous and sloppy to drop the qualifier “most”, but in common usage “humans are causing AGW” means to me that we’re doing most of it. I assert you’d have to have been living under a rock since 1988 to not understand that is the message.

    That's... an interesting belief. According to this, Categories 1 and 2 must actually mean the same thing because they are identical save the issue of quantification. If all papers ratered in the non-quantified category must reflect endorsement of the idea humans are causing 50+% of the warming, then there is absolutely no difference between the two categories.

    Nevermind we literally have the authors own words contradicting you, as they repeatedly stated they were rating papers as being in Category 2 or 3 despite the papers not saying humans are the main cause of global warming. So, you know, there's that too. Which when it comes down to it, is all there is. Because if you were to admit what the authors themselves said about their ratings, you'd have no way to argue this paper's results were presented honestly.

    Please point out where they explicitly say that all the papers in the category 1-3 bin "quantified the human component". You cannot, because it is not there.

    I have quoted the authors of this paper doing exactly that multiple times on this page. I believe the count is three different times that I've quoted them practically saying it, as well as one time where they explicitly stated it. That you choose to ignore what has been presented to you then claim I cannot present it to you does not actually mean it's never been presented.

    Fraud is a serious allegation. If you don't think what Cook et al. did in the 2013 paper warrants a lawsuit, I think you weaken the word to the point that it has lost its meaning. Cry wolf too many times, and soon people will stop taking you seriously. I've been deaf in both eyes to thinly-evidenced, cavalier accusations of "fraud" against climate scientists and activists since the E. Anglia crew were cleared of any serious wrongdoing after the Climategate e-mails were illegally obtained and released to the public.

    Quite frankly, this is idiotic. And I'm stopping here. Claiming the only time a person should use the word "fraud" is when they think a lawsuit should be filed is beyond ludicrous, but quite frankly, none of this matters. I've already clearly demonstrated the authors describe their 97% consensus as being that humans are the main cause of global warming. We've also seen they were fully aware of the fact their data did not support that, as when the issue of whether or not humans are the main factor is examined, the actual number is 1.6%.

    Moreover, we can confirm the authors rated papers as endorsing the consensus merely as long as they acknowledged the greenhouse effect by examining the papers they rated as endorsing the consensus, the comments they made in their forum or even the comments they made on the papers as they rated them. All of these confirm papers rated as endorsing the consensus merely needed to say things like, "Methane is a greenhouse gas."

    And that's what matters. You can claim I must be living under a rock to not agree about how words are used with you, but the ratings used for this paper were quite clear. So too are the comments the raters made. They make it abundantly clear most papers rated as endorsing the consensus did not quantify the human component, meaning they did not support the claim there is a 97% consensus humans are the main cause of global warming.

    As for your claim the authors didn't describe their results that way, I quoted the paper itself showing they did, another paper by the lead author showing he did, as well as a document authored by all the authors of the paper which explicitly did. You haven't disputed the validity of any of those quotes, so... if you want to ramble on about how all "fraud" must warrant a lawsuit to be fraud, you can, but... I'm not going to get dragged into something so stupid.

  10. HaroldW,

    That’s a most interesting take on meaning, considering that a major question is how much of the observed warming is natural vs. anthropogenic.

    Indeed it is, but it's not the ONLY question literature attempts to answer.

    I submit that most persons consider that adding “most” in that context, makes a significant difference in meaning.

    I agree. See again, not every paper attempts to do a quantified attribution.

    Even Cook et al. did; witness the quotation given by Brandon S. above: “There’s an x% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and y% explicitly put the human contribution at >50%’.” The first half of the sentence (“x%”) concerns the proposition that “humans cause [some] global warming”, and the second half (“y%”) refers to “humans cause most of the global warming”.

    Does the word [some] you introduced into the text necessarily indicate < 50%?

    Ambiguity is a two-way street.

    Let me ask you a further question, since you consider the two forms (with and without “most”) equivalent.

    They're not equivalent but that's how I interpret them. IOW, it's what I believe when people whom I think support the "AGW consensus" mean when they drop the "most" qualifier and say, "humans are causing global warming".

    Do you think that those statements are also equivalent to “climate change is real, man-made and dangerous” ?

    No.

    Is that also common usage?

    In my opinion, based on anecdotal observation, yes.

  11. Brandon S.,

    According to this, Categories 1 and 2 must actually mean the same thing because they are identical save the issue of quantification.

    Not must. Strictly speaking, categories 2 and 3 are ambiguous as to whether "most" observed warming is anthropogenic. I am arguing that under common usage, I personally interpret "humans are causing global warming" to mean that our activities are the main driver.

    If all papers ratered in the non-quantified category must reflect endorsement of the idea humans are causing 50+% of the warming, then there is absolutely no difference between the two categories.

    Buh? It's an explicit recognition that not all climate papers are attribution studies. Quantified vs. not quantified. "Absolute no difference" is not compatible with what the text describing those categories says.

    Because if you were to admit what the authors themselves said about their ratings, you’d have no way to argue this paper’s results were presented honestly.

    Sorry, but I'll go ahead and reserve the right to think for myself and form my own opinions. Thanks.

    I have quoted the authors of this paper doing exactly that multiple times on this page.

    Then it should be easy to indicate which of your statements above supports it.

    Quite frankly, this is idiotic. And I’m stopping here.

    Ok.

    Claiming the only time a person should use the word “fraud” is when they think a lawsuit should be filed is beyond ludicrous, but quite frankly, none of this matters.

    I thought you said you were stopping. In the spirit of putting thoughts in others' heads for them, you are implying that not all cases of fraud should be prosecuted. Quite the potential loophole.

  12. Brandon Gates:

    Not must. Strictly speaking, categories 2 and 3 are ambiguous as to whether “most” observed warming is anthropogenic. I am arguing that under common usage, I personally interpret “humans are causing global warming” to mean that our activities are the main driver.

    You can keep saying you interpret it this way, but the authors of the paper directly contradict you. For instance, Andy Skuce rated the paper ,Is The Extent Of Glaciation Limited By Marine Gas-hydrates (GRL) as falling in Category 3, quoting this portion of the abstract to explain his decision:

    "addition of methane to the atmosphere warms the planet"

    That obviously does not quantify any human component. In fact, it doesn't even directly state there is a human component. Then you have papers like Brick And Mortar Treatment By Cream Emulsion For Improved Water Repellence And Thermal Insulation, which Andy Skuce rated as neutral because "Borderline implicit perhaps but no mention of AGW or carbon emissions." Dana Nuccitelli rated it as Category 3 because, "reduced energy consumption addressing GW = implicit." John Cook was the tie-breaker, setting the paper as endorsing the consensus saying, "Mitigation + GW = implicit."

    None of those remarks include a single word suggesting the paper indicated humans are the driving force of global warming. The paper itself doesn't even have anything to do with global warming, merely tacking it on at the end of its abstract:

    A novel polymer cream was applied to brick and mortar in an attempt to reduce water absorption and to improve thermal insulation for household heating energy saving. Tests were carried out on surface energy, water contact angle, thermal conductivity and sorptivity of brick and mortar with and without cream treatment. A model house was built and a heating and monitoring system was developed to quantitatively evaluate the heating energy consumption in different conditions before and after cream treatment. It was found out that cream treatment can successfully impart good water repellence and enhanced the thermal insulation of the brick and mortar. The results from contact angle and surface energy measurements showed that the materials became highly hydrophobic. Experimental results from the model house showed approximately 9% heating energy consumption reduction in dry conditions and approximately 50% in wet conditions. In addition, the internal humidity typically was reduced to almost 1/3 of that of the control. It has been demonstrated that the novel cream treatment on masonry buildings can help reduce damp problems and save household heating energy consumption which can make a significant contribution to addressing social, environmental, ecological and economic problems resulting from climate change and global warming.

    There are literally hundreds of examples like this. There are also a multitude of comments from when the project was being designed which confirm the Skeptical Science "consensus" is not that humans are the main cause of global warming. I've quoted examples of these on many occasions, including in this book and post. You choosing to believe the authors meant something they clearly stated they didn't mean is... well, wrong. Your argument common usage justifies your interpretation when we have overwhelming evidence contradicting you which you've made no attempt to invalidate is nonsense.

    Buh? It’s an explicit recognition that not all climate papers are attribution studies. Quantified vs. not quantified. “Absolute no difference” is not compatible with what the text describing those categories says.

    No. There is no recognition in the rating system used that not all climate papers are attribution studies. Many, if not most, of the papers in Category 1 are not attribution studies either. All they are are papers whose abstracts said humans are the main cause of global warming. This includes papers like Utilization Of Carbon Dioxide As Soft Oxidant In The Dehydrogenation Of Ethylbenzene Over Supported Vanadium-antimony Oxide Catalystst. This paper has absolutely nothing to do with global warming, but it was rated as Category 1 because its abstract begins:

    This work shows that carbon dioxide, which is a main contributor to the global warming effect, could be utilized as a selective oxidant in the oxidative dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene over alumina-supported vanadium oxide catalysts.

    That is clearly not an attribution study. It is merely a study which says carbon dioxide "is a main contributor to the global warming effect." There is no recognition that not all papers are attribution studies in this rating system. There certainly isn't an explicit one. Papers which are not attribution studies show up in all the categories.

    Then it should be easy to indicate which of your statements above supports it.

    And have you ignore them again? Sure, okay. From the post, quoting a paper John Cook co-authored:

    Of the 4,014 abstracts that expressed a position on the issue of human-induced climate change, Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97% endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.

    From a comment, highlighting what the consensus paper itself said:

    We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).

    From the book, quoting a document the authors of the paper released to respond to a critic:

    C13 classified abstracts of climate science papers based on the level of endorsement that most of the recent global warming is man-made (AGW, Categories 1–3)

    All three of these statements say Categories 1-3 quantify the human contribution as being 50+%. There are many more. They are all false as Categories 2 and 3 were explicitly designed to capture papers which do not indicate whether or not humans are the driving force.

    I thought you said you were stopping. In the spirit of putting thoughts in others’ heads for them, you are implying that not all cases of fraud should be prosecuted. Quite the potential loophole.

    You really ought to try not to assume people are contradicting themselves when there are much more reasonable interpretations. In this case, when I said I was stopping there, I was indicating I was going to stop going through your comment to respond to what you had said. Having stopped reading any further does nothing to prevent me from responding to what I had already read.

    And no, I am not "implying that not all cases of fraud should be prosecuted." I'm explicitly stating that. Because the word "fraud" is not inherently a legal term, and there are many types of fraud which couldn't possibly be prosecuted. The fact a word can refer to a criminal activity does not mean every use of that word must refer to criminal activity.

    But again, that's a silly diversion. The primary issue at hand is your claimed interpretation of the Cook et al rating system which holds Categories 2 and 3 endorsed the idea humans are the main cause of global warming when we have a multitude of comments from the authors themselves saying otherwise. I'd really like us to focus on that.

  13. Brandon Gates,

    Hi. I read your comment

    Happens to be a central point of contention in climate contrarian circles...

    and questioned it. But eventually I realized I don't 'get out' much, maybe I'm simply not aware of the contrarian circles you're referring to. What climate contrarian circles dispute this? I'm aware of (ahem) Principia Scientific and the Sky Dragons, anybody else? In my climate contrarian circles we laugh at the skydragons....
    Thanks in advance for helping me out; I'm always glad to learn something I didn't know.

    Thanks,

  14. Brandon S.,

    You can keep saying you interpret it this way, but the authors of the paper directly contradict you.

    Really? Ok, let's have a look.

    For instance, Andy Skuce rated the paper ,Is The Extent Of Glaciation Limited By Marine Gas-hydrates (GRL) as falling in Category 3, quoting this portion of the abstract to explain his decision:

    “addition of methane to the atmosphere warms the planet”

    That obviously does not quantify any human component. In fact, it doesn’t even directly state there is a human component.

    It really should be common knowledge that cows emit methane, and that there wouldn't be so many cows if we did not breed them for dairy products and food. It's also widely discussed in literature that warming initially triggered by CO2 emissions leads to thawing permafrost, which releases methane in the process as a feedback mechanism. Trace the causality chain and you end up with human activity.

    Release of methane clathrates due to deep ocean warming are a frequently discussed concern in literature as a consequence of warming.

    I don't know how Skuce reasoned it since I'm not him, but at the very least I fail to see any direct contradiction of my argument here.

    It has been demonstrated that the novel cream treatment on masonry buildings can help reduce damp problems and save household heating energy consumption which can make a significant contribution to addressing social, environmental, ecological and economic problems resulting from climate change and global warming.

    Then you have papers like Brick And Mortar Treatment By Cream Emulsion For Improved Water Repellence And Thermal Insulation, which Andy Skuce rated as neutral because “Borderline implicit perhaps but no mention of AGW or carbon emissions.” Dana Nuccitelli rated it as Category 3 because, “reduced energy consumption addressing GW = implicit.” John Cook was the tie-breaker, setting the paper as endorsing the consensus saying, “Mitigation + GW = implicit.”

    I agree with that reasoning as I deem it consistent with the final sentence of the abstract, which you quoted. It's consistent with my position previously stated above:

    ... the sum total of climate literature and IPCC assessment reports are telling us: the planet is warming, we’re doing it, and it’s in future generations’ best interest for the present generation to begin curtailing CO2 emissions by any reasonable means.

    Again, I don't see how "the authors of the paper directly contradict" me. Their reasoning on assigning implicit endorsement seems quite compatible with my own.

    No. There is no recognition in the rating system used that not all climate papers are attribution studies.

    Good grief. It's implicit in how categories 2 and 3 are worded, specifically the common English words "not quantified".

    As I understand your argument, I could just as easily say that there's NO consensus among geologists that the Earth is approximately 4.543 billion years old because not every paper in the field attempts to estimate it. And by extension, because a significant number of people think the planet is no older than about 6,000 years that it would be fraudulent for a geology literature review to conclude that an overwhelming majority of papers implicitly reject the Young Earth hypothesis in favor of a much older but not explicitly specified number of billions of years.

    And have you ignore them again?

    Are you reading people's minds and imputing motive again?

    Are you still beating your wife?

    You have made a number of comments and cited a number of statements, I wanted to make sure we were talking about the same things.

    I have several times allowed that categories 2 and 3 are ambiguous and inconsistent with other statements in the paper itself. Here I'll extend that to comments made by the authors themselves in public and in private communications to others. Let these statements stand as evidence that I have read those statements and acknowledge your arguments based on them.

    My interpretation stands as previously stated. Explicit and implicit endorsement of the notions that "humans are causing global warming" (bucket 2) or "greenhouse gases cause warming" (bucket 3) are consistent with "humans are causing most of global warming" even without the "most" qualifier, or explicitly recognizing that humans are responsible for most of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

    My interpretation may in fact be wrong. You might be correct that Cook and crew were trying to pull a fast one. Thing is, I've read a lot of climate literature, and the sum total of the message is crystal clear: the planet is warming, we're doing most of it, and the prudent thing is probably not to be doing so.

    What you have not done is demonstrate that the results would be demonstrably different if the categories were differently worded so as to be more consistent and less ambiguous. And you're far from demonstrating that Cook et al. intended to defraud the public with they way they constructed their categories and survey instrument. No amount of believing such a thing, or stridently repeating it over and over and over again will make it so.

    You really ought to try not to assume people are contradicting themselves when there are much more reasonable interpretations.

    Oh irony. When were you planning on extending others the exact same courtesy?

    Here's another taste of your own bitter medicine: you are apparently still beating your wife. Just in case there's any potential misunderstanding, the previous sentence is metaphorical rhetoric and not meant to be taken literally.

  15. Mark Bofill,

    What climate contrarian circles dispute this? I’m aware of (ahem) Principia Scientific and the Sky Dragons, anybody else? In my climate contrarian circles we laugh at the skydragons….

    Even though Dragon Slayers are officially banned at WUWT, I've read -- and on numerous occasions been part of defending against -- assertions that "CO2 warming the planet" violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics because "heat flows from warm to cold, not the other way around". Another frequent theme is, "how can CO2 warm the oceans when LW radiation only penetrates water on the order of a few microns?" I'll grant that most climate contrarians I talk to there are probably lukewarmers like Anthony and dbstealey, who do not self-label as such, but are on record as saying they think the effect is real but "probably too small to be measured". Legion are comments like, "how can a trace gas have such large effect?" and "water vapor is the dominant GHG, so how can CO2 be the 'control knob'?" and "CO2 has always lagged temperature in the geological record, so it cannot therefore be the cause of warming" and "well duh, we're coming out of the LIA, it's just natural variability" and "it's not actually warming, GISS/HADCRU/NOAA/BEST/etc. adjust the surface records to fit the hype" and finally the trump card, "The Pause falsifies AGW, may it RIP".

    My original statement might have been more correctly stated, "Happens to be a common point of contention ...", but I don't think it was terribly far out of bounds as originally formulated.

  16. Actually that's fair enough Brandon, I think I understand and certainly do appreciate your response. There are a fair number of knuckleheads out there who don't have a clue what they are talking about, I tend to disregard them without giving it much thought. But you're right, it doesn't mean they don't exist, just because I tune it out.

  17. Brandon Gates:

    It really should be common knowledge that cows emit methane, and that there wouldn’t be so many cows if we did not breed them for dairy products and food. It’s also widely discussed in literature that warming initially triggered by CO2 emissions leads to thawing permafrost, which releases methane in the process as a feedback mechanism. Trace the causality chain and you end up with human activity.

    Release of methane clathrates due to deep ocean warming are a frequently discussed concern in literature as a consequence of warming.

    I don’t know how Skuce reasoned it since I’m not him, but at the very least I fail to see any direct contradiction of my argument here.

    Your claim was Categories 2 and 3 are endorsements of the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. As the quotes I provided demonstrate, the authors did not consider whether or not these papers endorsed the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. Instead, they merely required papers do things like acknowledge methane is a greenhouse. A person who thinks humans contribute only 25% of the observed warming could well acknowledge methane is a greenhouse gas, so merely acknowledging it is one cannot possibly be an endorsement of the idea humans are responsible for 50+% of the observed warming.

    As I understand your argument, I could just as easily say that there’s NO consensus among geologists that the Earth is approximately 4.543 billion years old because not every paper in the field attempts to estimate it. And by extension, because a significant number of people think the planet is no older than about 6,000 years that it would be fraudulent for a geology literature review to conclude that an overwhelming majority of papers implicitly reject the Young Earth hypothesis in favor of a much older but not explicitly specified number of billions of years.

    I have never said anything remotely like this. I don't know how you came to "understand [my] argument" like this, but it is not because anything I have actually written.

    My interpretation stands as previously stated. Explicit and implicit endorsement of the notions that “humans are causing global warming” (bucket 2) or “greenhouse gases cause warming” (bucket 3) are consistent with “humans are causing most of global warming” even without the “most” qualifier, or explicitly recognizing that humans are responsible for most of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution

    That papers in Categories 2 and 3 are consistent with the idea humans are the main cause of global warming does not mean they endorse the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. It means they don't take a position on that topic. Failing to take a position on an issue does not mean they endorse or reject the idea. It just means they don't say one way or another. And because they don't say one way or another, it is compeltely wrong to claim they endorse a particular position.

    That is exactly why you will never see me saying the papers in Categories 2 and 3 say humans are responsible for only a little part of the observed warming. What they say is consistent with that idea just like what they say is consisten with the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. You can't arbitrarily decide them failing to state a position means they endorse a specific one any more than I can arbitrarily decide them failing to state a position means they endorse the opposite one.

    My interpretation may in fact be wrong. You might be correct that Cook and crew were trying to pull a fast one. Thing is, I’ve read a lot of climate literature, and the sum total of the message is crystal clear: the planet is warming, we’re doing most of it, and the prudent thing is probably not to be doing so.

    Whether or not there is a particular consensus is completely irrelevant to whether or not Cook et al did their work in a good or honest manner. We can tell things like, they lied about what they did, even if their results happen to be "right." After all, it is incredibly easy to cheat to get an answer you know in advance.

    Oh irony. When were you planning on extending others the exact same courtesy?

    Here's the difference between you and me. I've spent a great deal of time and effort explaining the reasoning for what I say. You make absurd claims about what my positions are that have no basis in reality. We see it just above in your absurd "understanding" of my argumentt, just like we saw it above when you claimed:

    Again, here you imply that there is some universally objective definition of “AGW consensus”. From whence does it derive?

    When in fact I have done the exact opposite from day one, with me literally discussing how there are different consensus positions (with different levels of support) the day after this paper came out, explaining how Cook et al's results hide that. I even wrote a post discussing how the authors intentionally conflated the different consensus positions a few days later, quoting the authors themselves acknowledging that's what they were doing.

    So while you can try to pretend I'm being unreasonable in my depictions, you're the only one who consistently decides people believe things nothing like anything they have ever said or thought.

    Oh, and let's not forget you suggested I was responsible for a criminal activity I had no involvement with. Because, you know, that's sort of a thing.

  18. Just to simplify my last comment, this entire disagreement appears to stem from Brandon Gates saying any paper which states something as simple as, "Methane is a greenhouse gas" is an endorsement of the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. I say that's complete nonsense as a paper which places the anthropogenic contribution to global warming at below 50% could very well acknowledge methane is a greenhouse gas.

    Gates does say simply stating, "Methane is a greenhouse gas" is consistent with believing humans are the main cause of global warming, but that's uninformative as it is consistent with any number of positions. One cannot simply assume a paper endorses a consensus because it says something that is consistent with that consensus.

    Oh, and Mark Bofill, there is definitely a sizable amount of people rejecting the greenhouse effect. They also have a meaningful impact, with their views being quite popular at places like WUWT where noted Dragon Slayers are allowed to post frequently, advancing Dragon Slayer voews. I know Brandon Gates says:

    Even though Dragon Slayers are officially banned at WUWT,

    But if there is any sort of "official" ban on Dragon Slayers, it's not one that is actually enforced. That's why Tim Ball is still one of the (if not the?) most frequenter authors at WUWT>

  19. Brandon,

    Somehow as I said I was filtering my list of contrarians to include only 'contrarians who don't have their heads stuck up their @$$e$.' without realizing it. It's amazing how that cuts the list down to a manageable size. 🙂

    But I know what you are saying about people rejecting the greenhouse effect, I'm about ready to rip out my hair right now due to such an argument. It truly amazes me sometimes, the lengths people will go to and the tricks they will use to try to stave off the inevitable...

  20. Isn't it remarkable how excluding contradictory evidence will tend to make it easy to reach incorrect conclusions:? 😛

  21. Brandon S.,

    Instead, they merely required papers do things like acknowledge methane is a greenhouse.

    Read the first sentence of the abstract

    Methane may have been released to the atmosphere during the Quaternary from Arctic shelf gas-hydrates as a result of thermal decomposition caused by climatic warming and rising sea-level; this release of methane (a greenhouse gas) may represent a positive feedback on global warming [Revelle, 1983; Kvenvolden, 1988a; Nisbet, 1990].

    Keeping in mind that Nuccitelli rated this abstract as a 3 (implicit endorsement), ask yourself whether you think that methane clathrates "care" whether the initial warming triggering the feedback is due to any other man-made forcing (like CO2) or purely natural mechanisms (such as the orbital forcings responsible for the timing of ice ages).

    A person who thinks humans contribute only 25% of the observed warming could well acknowledge methane is a greenhouse gas, so merely acknowledging it is one cannot possibly be an endorsement of the idea humans are responsible for 50+% of the observed warming.

    Academic. Also noted in the body of Cook (2015):

    4.1. Sources of uncertainty

    The process of determining the level of consensus in the peer-reviewed literature contains several sources of uncertainty, including the representativeness of the sample, lack of clarity in the abstracts and subjectivity in rating the abstracts.

    I have never said anything remotely like this. I don’t know how you came to “understand [my] argument” like this, but it is not because anything I have actually written.

    Pot ... meet kettle.

    And because they don’t say one way or another, it is completely wrong to claim they endorse a particular position.

    Friendly reminder that authors themselves were asked to rate their own entire paper, not just the abstracts.

    That is exactly why you will never see me saying the papers in Categories 2 and 3 say humans are responsible for only a little part of the observed warming.

    Yeah, that would be pretty ludicrous since categories for "only a little" were among the eight bins:

    (5) Implicit rejection
    Implies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming

    (6) Explicit rejection without quantification
    Explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming

    (7) Explicit rejection with quantification
    Explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming

    Note that they are the mirror opposites of categories 1-3.

    What they say is consistent with that idea just like what they say is consistent with the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. You can’t arbitrarily decide them failing to state a position means they endorse a specific one any more than I can arbitrarily decide them failing to state a position means they endorse the opposite one.

    I can arbitrarily decide whatever I want to ... that's what "arbitrary" means. Hence, the good practice of soliciting multiple opinions on these sorts of things.

    Another friendly reminder that authors participated in this process and classified their own work. It stand to reason if the author thought their own results supported the conclusion that human activities supported "only a little" warming or none at all, they would have selected one of the bins 5-7.

    Whether or not there is a particular consensus is completely irrelevant to whether or not Cook et al did their work in a good or honest manner.

    If the results are of no consequence, one wonders why you then care whether Cook et al. were honest or not.

    Pull my other one.

    Here’s the difference between you and me.

    I allow for differing opinions on subjective topics, and don't presume that someone is perpetrating fraud just because I don't agree with their methods or conclusions.

    I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort explaining the reasoning for what I say.

    So have I.

    You make absurd claims about what my positions are that have no basis in reality.

    Sauce for the goose.

  22. Brandon S.,

    But if there is any sort of “official” ban on Dragon Slayers, it’s not one that is actually enforced. That’s why Tim Ball is still one of the (if not the?) most frequenter authors at WUWT.

    Good point. Now that I think about it, the ban applies specifically the Principia crew and at least one fellow called Konrad who asserts that CO2 leads to cooling at ALL levels of the atmosphere, not just the stratosphere. Much hand-waving ensues upon asking him why Venus isn't colder than Pluto.

    Most everyone else gets through.

  23. Mark Bofill,

    Somehow as I said I was filtering my list of contrarians to include only ‘contrarians who don’t have their heads stuck up their @$$e$.’ without realizing it. It’s amazing how that cuts the list down to a manageable size.

    My own (self-known) bias is that I have spent an (inordinate) amount of time on WUWT over the past year and a half to pretty much the exclusion of most other contrarian blogs. I check in on Dr. Curry's place and Bishop Hill from time to time, but not enough to have a good sense of how the main objections differ. Impressions are that most Curry fans are lukewarmers concerned about uncertainty and scientific integrity. The BH gang seem like the UK version of WUWT.

    It truly amazes me sometimes, the lengths people will go to and the tricks they will use to try to stave off the inevitable…

    On that we agree.

  24. Thanks Brandon Gates.

    Brandon Shollenberger,

    Isn’t it remarkable how excluding contradictory evidence will tend to make it easy to reach incorrect conclusions:?

    LOL. What can I say sir. The really funny part (to me) is that I honestly wouldn't have seen it without having someone point it out. 🙂

  25. Brandon Gates:

    Keeping in mind that Nuccitelli rated this abstract as a 3 (implicit endorsement), ask yourself whether you think that methane clathrates “care” whether the initial warming triggering the feedback is due to any other man-made forcing (like CO2) or purely natural mechanisms (such as the orbital forcings responsible for the timing of ice ages).

    That doesn't matter. The abstract doesn't state whether or not the human contribution to global warming is large or small, so you cannot state that it does.

    That is exactly why you will never see me saying the papers in Categories 2 and 3 say humans are responsible for only a little part of the observed warming.

    Yeah, that would be pretty ludicrous since categories for “only a little” were among the eight bins

    Those are for ones which actually state that the human contribution is small. Once you decide to arbitrarily interpret categories as meaning things that aren't stated anywhere, people can do the same. Nothing in Categories 2 or 3 state whether the human contribution is small or large, so if you're free to interpret it one way, people are free to interpret it another.

    Another friendly reminder that authors participated in this process and classified their own work. It stand to reason if the author thought their own results supported the conclusion that human activities supported “only a little” warming or none at all, they would have selected one of the bins 5-7.

    Interestingly, if you actually look at the categories objectively, you find papers could be classified in more than one category. I wrote an entire post about this because the symemtry you highlight in these categories is actually not symmetry. There's no particular reason to assume the authors of the papers would self-rate in any particular way.

    Though really, none of this changes the point. If you can arbitrarily redefine categories however you want, people can do the same even if you think their interpretations are "ludicrous." After all, they can think the same about your interpretations. That's why in science we normally state what things mean and stick to that rather than just hoping people can guess what we mean. I think that might be done outside of science too.

    I can arbitrarily decide whatever I want to … that’s what “arbitrary” means.

    Fair. I should have said, "With any reasonability." You can arbitrarily choose to believe whatever you want, even though it obviously untrue, if you wish. It'll just be silly and irrational.

    Pot … meet kettle.
    ...
    So have I.
    ...
    Sauce for the goose.

    These are not comments designed to further a discussion. I recommend you cut the petty attitude from your comments if you want to convince anybody of anything other than, "I'm rude, arrogant and don't care what you have to say."

    It generally helps to directly and clearly address what people have said. Using attitude and rudeness like this to avoid doing so is a bad thing.

  26. For fun, since I think the exchange with Brandon Gates has shown how fruitless discussion can be, I'm going to post a little material from the Skeptical Science forum (which he falsely suggests I hacked in a criminal activity). A couple hours after Dana Nuccitelli said:

    The way I see the final paper is that we’ll conclude ‘There’s an x% consensus supporting the AGW theory, and y% explicitly put the human contribution at >50%

    Which would have been the sensible way to do this project, with the authors examining the different positions people might take on global warming and how many people support those positions, he said:

    That's fine - I think we've agreed not to put IPCC endorsements in category #1. I'm okay with that.

    Category 2 is "Explicitly endorses but does not quantify (or minimize) AGW." Thus it doesn't require an assumption of >50%.

    This is the sort of remark I had in mind when I said the authors of the paper directly contradicted Brandon Gates in their forums. His suggestion Categories 2 and 3 endorse the idea humans are the main cause of global warming would fly in the face of an author saying, in a post titled, "Defining the scientific consensus," Category 2 "doesn't require an assumption of >50%" contribution. In the topic, "Proposed methodology," John Cook listed these as qualifications for Category 3:

    Mitigation papers that examine GHG emission reduction or carbon sequestration
    Climate modelling papers that talks about emission scenarios and subsequent warming or other climate impacts from increased CO2 in the abstract implicitly endorse that GHGs cause warming
    Paleoclimate papers that link CO2 to climate change
    Papers about climate policy (specifically mitigation of GHG emissions) unless they restrict their focus to non-GHG issues like CFC emissions in which case they're neutral
    Modelling of increased CO2 effect on regional temperature - not explicitly saying global warming but implying warming from CO2
    Endorsement of IPCC findings is usually an implicit endorsement. (updated this so it's more than just reference to IPCC but actual endorsement of IPCC)

    Not a single mention of humans being the main driving force of global warming. But that's a boring demonstration. What's more entertaining is this one from the previously mentioned post, where Cook says in the discussion, as I highlighted in a post more than two years ago:

    Okay, so we've ruled out a definition of AGW being "any amount of human influence" or "more than 50% human influence". We're basically going with Ari's p0rno approach (I probably should stop calling it that 🙂 which is AGW = "humans are causing global warming". Eg - no specific quantification which is the only way we can do it considering the breadth of papers we're surveying.

    This was a reference to the famous saying by a court judge where he said he may not be able to define what pornography is, but he knows it when he sees it. In other words, while Cook et al were fully aware of the fact there are multiple consensus positions, as indicated by things like Nuccitelli saying:

    For the first consensus position, only #1 qualifies as an endorsement, while #6 and 7 are rejections.
    For the second consensus position, #1 through 3 are endorsements while only #7 is a rejection.

    They decided not to examine both consensus positions. In fact, they decided not to examine either. Instead, they decided to use a "p0rno approach" and not even define the "consensus." they were examining. Then, after directly stating they had ruled out the definition of their "consensus" being ""more than 50% human influence," they went on to repeatedly claim they had found a 97% consensus humans are the main cause of global warming.

    Now mind you, they didn't decide to collapse these categories until after they collected the data. They discussed the possibility, with Cook saying things like:

    I'm not a big fan of complicating the endorsement categories unnecessarily but on the other hand, we can always collapse it down to a simpler final result and get the best of both worlds.

    But at the time they did their ratings, they intentionally left open the possibility of examining their data by comparing categories in a non-symmetrical way so they could examine both positions of interest (humans are contributing to GW; humans are the main cause of GW), saying they'd collapse the categories later if they wanted. Then, after they had finished their ratings, they decided to collapse the categories together to get a singular "consensus" position which they portrayed as humans are the main cause of global warming, a definition they had explicitly ruled out prior to beginning the project.

    Oh, and for more fun, these ratings were Phase 2 of the project. Phase 1:

    Jim's paper is "Phase 1" of TCP (see [link no longer works]. Jim's paper was submitted to Science but got rejected, it's now under consideration at Eos. Currently we're discussing the methodology of Phase 2.

    During Phase 1:

    However, to me, what had me falling one way or the other was this. As I was looking through the papers in Phase 1, I noticed a number of papers that were kick-arse papers that not only endorsed AGW but also quantified and found evidence for AGW.

    So John Cook looked at all these papers prior to designing the rating system, then he participated in the rating process, contributing a couple thousand ratings. Because apparently he saw nothing wrong with that. I like to think pretty much anyone who understands how science work would.

  27. Mark Bofill:

    LOL. What can I say sir. The really funny part (to me) is that I honestly wouldn’t have seen it without having someone point it out. 🙂

    No worries. Plenty of people do the same thing, or even worse things, without ever noticing. It's like how you say:

    It truly amazes me sometimes, the lengths people will go to and the tricks they will use to try to stave off the inevitable…

    And I suspect most people would agree with that sentiment. They just won't agree on who is doing it when.

  28. Brandon S.,

    That doesn’t matter. The abstract doesn’t state whether or not the human contribution to global warming is large or small, so you cannot state that it does.

    Hence the stated need to solicit author self-reviews of their own entire paper. By my calculations far and away the greatest discrepancy was in category 4 abstracts that should have been rated 1-3:

    Chg n % tot
    --- --- -----
    4>1 75 3.5%
    4>2 297 13.9%
    4>3 349 16.3%
    --- -----
    Total 721 33.8%

    This methane paper you're using as anecdotal evidence was a category 3. The SkS team overrated 7.1% of those papers compared to the self-reviews:

    Chg n % tot
    --- --- -----
    3>4 144 6.7%
    3>5 4 0.2%
    3>6 3 0.1%
    3>7 1 0.0%
    --- -----
    Total 152 7.1%

    On the other hand, they underrated category 3 papers at a rate 1.7 times greater than they overrated:

    Chg n % tot
    --- --- -----
    3>1 86 4.0%
    3>2 170 8.0%
    --- -----
    Total 256 12.0%

    I'll usually go with believing what quantified probability suggests over what mere anecdote suggests is possible.

    Those are for ones which actually state that the human contribution is small. Once you decide to arbitrarily interpret categories as meaning things that aren’t stated anywhere, people can do the same.

    Surely you're not suggesting that a PhD researcher would read all seven categories and think they weren't intended to be mutually exclusive? Or that upon seeing a category which uses the words "minimal", "minimize", "rejects" or "causing less than half" wouldn't choose one of THOSE categories?

    Interestingly, if you actually look at the categories objectively, you find papers could be classified in more than one category.

    ... looks like that's what you ARE suggesting. But of course, because you explicitly state in the Amazon summary of your book ...

    The point of this book is not to disprove the "consensus" on global warming, and it doesn't attempt to examine whether or not there is one.

    ... somehow I doubt that you will be much interested in testing a hypothesis that climate researchers are too stupid to know how to take a survey, to lazy to bounce an e-mail to the SkS team for clarification, or are such myopically naive hair-splitting pedants that they didn't immediately grok from context that Cook and friends meant categories 2 and 3 to be the mirror opposites of 6 and 5 respectively.

    That’s why in science we normally state what things mean and stick to that rather than just hoping people can guess what we mean.

    I agree with that.

    I think that might be done outside of science too.

    Politics being one exception which springs to mind immediately.

    Fair. I should have said, “With any reasonability.” You can arbitrarily choose to believe whatever you want, even though it obviously untrue, if you wish. It’ll just be silly and irrational.

    You're back to implying that subjective definitions can be objectively true or false. I know you've explicitly said otherwise, but "obviously untrue" does not seem compatible with the concept of a simplified and arbitrary definition of a very complex subject. 2 + 2 = 5 is "obviously untrue". It's objectively false by definitions which are anything but arbitrary.

    Using attitude and rudeness like this to avoid doing so is a bad thing.

    That's funny. Here's a challenge for you: write a full blog post that takes a critical position on something you feel strongly about but which doesn't impute motive.

  29. wow I thought arguing with skeptics that C02 is a GHG was tedious, but watching Gates twist and turn is hilarious.

    As you probably know Brandon long ago I used to do content analysis. Cook's study violated just about every control we would have used.
    It's stunningly bad practice. And yes, I think the consensus ( humans cause more than 50% of the warming) is held by the vast vast majority
    of folks published in climate science. Not that it matters. Rotten content analysis is still rotten content analysis. I don't see why my belief in AGW compels me to defend awful work.. oh ya it doesn't.

  30. Brandon Gates:

    Hence the stated need to solicit author self-reviews of their own entire paper. By my calculations far and away the greatest discrepancy was in category 4 abstracts that should have been rated 1-3

    The authors doing their self-ratings used the same criteria as the Skeptical Science group, so any issues with the rating system would be present in both. That the same rating system produces similar results when applied to different data sets doesn't indicate the rating system is fine.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that a PhD researcher would read all seven categories and think they weren’t intended to be mutually exclusive? Or that upon seeing a category which uses the words “minimal”, “minimize”, “rejects” or “causing less than half” wouldn’t choose one of THOSE categories?

    I'm not suggesting anything about what people would do. I'm merely stating if one allows people to arbitrarily redefine categories, there is no limit to what can be done. You can consider a particular redefinition "ludicrous" if you want, but that doesn't make it wrong. (Though I've shown as defined, the categories are not mutually exclusive, so it would hardly be surprising if some respondents failed to view the categories as mutually exclusive.)

    … looks like that’s what you ARE suggesting. But of course, because you explicitly state in the Amazon summary of your book …

    "The point of this book is not to disprove the “consensus” on global warming, and it doesn’t attempt to examine whether or not there is one."

    … somehow I doubt that you will be much interested in testing a hypothesis that climate researchers are too stupid to know how to take a survey, to lazy to bounce an e-mail to the SkS team for clarification, or are such myopically naive hair-splitting pedants that they didn’t immediately grok from context that Cook and friends meant categories 2 and 3 to be the mirror opposites of 6 and 5 respectively.

    You can believe or doubt whatever you want, but I gave a clear and simple demonstration of how the categories are not mutually exclusive, as defined by Cook et al. Your use of rhetoric and attitude will do nothing to contradict what I demonstrated.

    You’re back to implying that subjective definitions can be objectively true or false. I know you’ve explicitly said otherwise, but “obviously untrue” does not seem compatible with the concept of a simplified and arbitrary definition of a very complex subject. 2 + 2 = 5 is “obviously untrue”. It’s objectively false by definitions which are anything but arbitrary.

    I haven't said, or even suggested, "subjective definitions can be objectively true or false." What I've said is we can tell which subjective definitions were applied by using the authors' words to determine what standards they applied. This misrepresentation of yours is rather remarkable given how many words I spent examining which subjective definitions were used while not stating any were true or false.

    (Also, 2 + 2 does not equal 5 under any non-arbitrary definitions. All of math is inherently based on arbitrary definitions. That is a fundamental truth of math which should be recognized by anyone who truly understands it. I wouldn't normally stress this point but I happen to have a love for math and have discussed this very point on this site before.)

    That’s funny. Here’s a challenge for you: write a full blog post that takes a critical position on something you feel strongly about but which doesn’t impute motive.

    I would have to first write a blog post that takes a critical position on something I feel strongly about. I can't recall having done that, save for a couple posts in which I clearly indicated I was using a rhetorical approach. For the most part, I don't care much about these topics. I don't have any strong feelings regarding the Cook et al paper. There was maybe one or two moments where I did, but mostly, I just find it an interesting curiosity.

    Beyond that, why would a person need to not impute motive in any blog post? I criticized your attitude and rudeness. You can impute motive without using either. In fact, I can explicitly ascribe a motive to a person without using attitude or rudeness. I've done it many times. Ascribing a motive to a person has almost nothing to do with being rude or copping an attitude.

    Though for the record, all of this comment could be ignored because nothing in anything you said or I've said here has any real bearing on the central issue, as I have laid out here. You seem determined to avoid discussing the central issue. I don't know why. I wouldn't care to guess. I do, however, think it is remarkable how much time you're spending on tangents while ignoring it.

  31. Steven Mosher:

    As you probably know Brandon long ago I used to do content analysis. Cook’s study violated just about every control we would have used.
    It’s stunningly bad practice. And yes, I think the consensus ( humans cause more than 50% of the warming) is held by the vast vast majority

    Interestingly, I have no real opinion on what the actual numerical value for that consensus position would be. I think if the Skeptical Science group had used the consensus position of, "Humans are contributing to global warming to some extent," they would have found a 99+% consensus. I think if they would have used the consensus position of, "Humans are the main cause of global warming," they would have found a <97% consensus. I think by conflating the two they managed to achieve a very desirable figure of 97%.

    But I don't think that tells us anything about what any consensus on global warming might be. I think this paper is complete and utter dreck. I wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to generate truly useful information (on how strong any consensus is) from it. And I don't have any real views on the "consensus" on global warming, other than to say there have been other bad papers written to reach similar conclusions.

    I don't even find the idea of there being a consensus interesting enough to try to reach a conclusion on what any numerical values would be. I just think when complete and utter dreck is promoted at the highest of levels it's worth pointing out and discussing. I don't really care what the "right" answer is. I just don't like the idea of BS being promoted as sound science to the public and used as a basis for policy decisions.

    I can't say I've seen a "consensus" study I think was done appropriately or whose results should be accepted, much less trusted, but I also don't have any strong views on what such a study would show if it were properly done.

  32. Steven,

    I'm on record at ATTP's as saying I'd rather discuss tree rings than Cook (2013). Speaking of ambiguity ...

    As you probably know Brandon long ago I used to do content analysis. Cook’s study violated just about every control we would have used.

    Regardless which one of us you were addressing, I did not know you used to do content analysis. I know nothing of it, however ...

    [Shollenberger]: Now mind you, they didn’t decide to collapse these categories until after they collected the data. They discussed the possibility, with Cook saying things like:

    I’m not a big fan of complicating the endorsement categories unnecessarily but on the other hand, we can always collapse it down to a simpler final result and get the best of both worlds.

    THAT doesn't smell right.

    Painful as it is to admit, Brandon S., you now have my full attention.

  33. Brandon Gates, while I haven't done a literature review, I suspect it would be fraudulent to declare that a review found implicit rejection of a young earth hypothesis, but I could be wrong, as here you have a warming vs warming caused by man issue.

  34. Brandon Gates
    March 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    " I’m saying that I interpret both phrasings the same way. It may be inconsistent, ambiguous and sloppy to drop the qualifier “most”, but in common usage “humans are causing AGW” means to me that we’re doing most of it. I assert you’d have to have been living under a rock since 1988 to not understand that is the message."

    March 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    "Not must. Strictly speaking, categories 2 and 3 are ambiguous as to whether “most” observed warming is anthropogenic. I am arguing that under common usage, I personally interpret “humans are causing global warming” to mean that our activities are the main driver."

    **************

    [As background, I would mention that I am a lawyer]
    The law in Ohio in workers' compensation cases has dealt with the issue of causation and clarity in terms of what is necessary to prove a workers' compensation injury. In Fox v. Indus Comm. [ https://casetext.com/case/fox-v-ind-com ] the court held that:

    "in order to establish a right to workmen's compensation for harm or disability claimed to have resulted from an accidental injury, it is necessary for the claimant to show by a preponderance of the evidence not only that his injury arose out of and in the course of his employment but that a direct or proximate causal relationship existed between his accidental injury and his harm or disability; and where medical evidence is necessary to establish such relationship, that evidence must show that his accidental injury was or probably was a direct or proximate cause of the harm or disability.”

    Further: "However, the evidence here proffered [a causal relationship] was insufficient in itself to prove a direct or proximate causal relationship,..." [For lay readers these two passages would be slightly confusing because the court is saying that "a" causal relationship is some evidence of an injury and admissible. However, the court also holds that evidence of "a" causal injury by itself is not sufficient to prove a workers' compensation injury.]

    The basic point being that in important workers' comp matters, a claimant must prove by probability substantial causation to have a valid claim. The courts won't allow a workers' compensation injury where a doctor would state that the medical condition could have been caused by the workplace incident. Weasling and obfuscation are not allowed. See also Senvisky-v Steel Corp. https://casetext.com/case/fox-v-ind-com/case/senvisky-v-steel-corp#cited-link-1

    Also, Brandon S is right about fraud legal claims mostly not being cognizable in the context of Warmist Lies. The standard for fraud in Ohio is:

    in order to recover on a claim for actual fraud in Ohio, a plaintiff must
    establish the following six elements:
    {¶19} “ ‘(a) a representation or, where there is a duty to disclose, concealment of
    a fact,
    {¶20} “ ‘(b) which is material to the transaction at hand,
    {¶21} “ ‘(c) made falsely, with knowledge of its falsity, or with such utter
    disregard and recklessness as to whether it is true or false that knowledge may be
    inferred,
    {¶22} “ ‘(d) with the intent of misleading another into relying upon it,
    {¶23} “ ‘(e) justifiable reliance upon the representation or concealment, and
    {¶24} “ ‘(f) a resulting injury proximately caused by the reliance.’ See http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/7/2009/2009-Ohio-415.pdf

    The most fundamental problem facing a potential plaintiff would be showing damages flowing from justifiable reliance. There not only has to be a lie but reliance upon the lie.

    I would add that what made me very suspicious of AGW claims initially was the gross bias and intolerance of its proponents. In my 17 years of workers' compensation practice, I saw numerous instances (on both plaintiff and defendant sides) of supposedly well-qualified people giving incorrect or stupid opinions based upon their financial interests. (One doctor made 1,000,000 a year writing reports and testifying for employers His reports generally found no injuries or only small injuries. There were of course, plaintiff counterparts to this doctor)

    JD

  35. Just to clarify the relevance of workers' compensation law to B Gates' statements. In a matter of lesser importance and financial consequences than CAGW, the Ohio Courts (and I would assume most courts) require clarity and probability. Those who claim we are facing CAGW should be held to at least the standard for Ohio workers' compensation injuries.

    JD

  36. JD Ohio,

    [As background, I would mention that I am a lawyer]

    Excellent.

    [For lay readers these two passages would be slightly confusing because the court is saying that “a” causal relationship is some evidence of an injury and admissible. However, the court also holds that evidence of “a” causal injury by itself is not sufficient to prove a workers’ compensation injury.]

    Definitely a lay reader, but I think I understand the nuance. Basically, it means that unless it can be probably proven that the accidental injury was a result of being in the work environment, an injury in and of itself is not sufficient to warrant a workers' comp claim. E.g., if a worker strains his/her back in a non-work related incident (say, sports or yard work) but has a non-physical desk job, the court is unlikely to award workers' compensation on a claim that the injury occurred due to the work environment.

    I also understand from elsewhere in your comment that "it could have happened as a result of work activity" is right out, even if it's a medical professional saying so.

    Also, Brandon S is right about fraud legal claims mostly not being cognizable in the context of Warmist Lies.

    At least you didn't use ALL CAPS. I save my own broad brush for the final block of my response.

    The standard for fraud in Ohio is:

    Text snipped for brevity. (d) intent to mislead was my main point against Brandon's position. I thought, and still do think, that him saying "fraud" has meaning outside the legal context was a cop-out, because to me the word means "knowing, intentional deception" in any context.

    In my cursory review of Federal law, I understood that one problem with a fraud case is that demonstrable harm must have already occurred. "(f) a resulting injury proximately caused by the reliance" in the Ohio code seems consistent with that. It also seems rather limiting. For instance, it's my understanding that one can make an assault charge stick if it can be shown that the plaintiff reasonably feared that the defendant was going to cause them imminent bodily harm. No actual battery required.

    The most fundamental problem facing a potential plaintiff would be showing damages flowing from justifiable reliance. There not only has to be a lie but reliance upon the lie.

    Which is a big problem if damages must have already occurred. What I'm suggesting is that there has to be a way to argue that reliance will plausibly do future, reasonably imminent, harm. Cook (2015) may not be the best horse to run with, but I'm sure someone sufficiently motivated could come up with another paper, or category of research.

    I would add that what made me very suspicious of AGW claims initially was the gross bias and intolerance of its proponents.

    There are ostensibly more of us, so opportunity to witness negative behavior is greater. Qualitatively speaking, I grew up in SW Ohio, and I know firsthand that many folk in that neck of my woods don't like coastal liberal elites any more than your average eggheaded commie-pinko HuffPo warrior approves of knuckle-dragging mouthbreathers in flyover states.

    I'll put it this way. People on either side can be biased, ignorant, intolerant nitwits, and are capable of raising my hackles because I have folk near and dear to me representative of both stereotyped groups. It helps when I can have a genuine sense of humor about it, which is what you're seeing in ALL of the second sentence of the previous paragraph.

    Something I know for almost certain, debating which side is "worse" will be divided along strictly partisan lines even more so than this entire thread has been to date (my end of it in particular).

    In sum, since I can find bad examples on any side of any issue to my heart's content, figuring out what's true is probably better done looking for the good examples on either side. By extension, if I had to reject belief in anything on the basis that someone who agrees with my position is a gaping arse wound, there isn't much I'd be able to believe in at all.

    Your ending argument about people gaming the system for personal game is well taken. That said, my stock response is similar to above: everyone has to eat, and most of us are greedy about it to some extent.

  37. MikeN,

    All analogies break at some point. It's no longer an argument I'm going to attempt to apply to Cook (2015). They should have been consistent with how they applied the definition of AGW across all endorsement categories. That they didn't is a problem that I have not previously owned up to. I'm tired of defending this paper, probably should have stopped defending it much sooner, and I don't plan to continue defending it.

  38. Brandon Gates:

    Urg, I missed a blockquote tag there somewhere.

    I went ahead and added a couple since you mentioned this. I hope I got things the way you intended them.

    All analogies break at some point. It’s no longer an argument I’m going to attempt to apply to Cook (2015). They should have been consistent with how they applied the definition of AGW across all endorsement categories. That they didn’t is a problem that I have not previously owned up to.

    I'm glad to see we've made some progress on reaching an agreement.

  39. Brandon S.,

    Thanks for fixing the blockquotes, looks fine to me now.

    I’m glad to see we’ve made some progress on reaching an agreement.

    I'm not, dammit, but that's 100% my problem, not yours.

  40. Brandon S.,

    I have written a new post about Cook et al. (2013) declaring my volte-face with supporting detail: The Difference Beteween Fraud and Farce, Reflux. Misspelling in original title, which I'm loath to fix lest I break the post's URL.

    Though I must now admit to agree with many of your own points, I still cannot bring myself to endorse your book. Most I can presently say is that it has been influential on me, which I think deserves recognition and appreciation.

    Regards.

  41. Thanks for the heads up. I've only had time to skim over the post (I only got home a short while ago, and it's rather late), but I can already say I respect that you were able to recognize and acknowledge you were wrong in at least some ways. It also looks like you did a good job of explaining issues with the paper, which I think is important because it establishes common ground. While we may disagree about whatever issues, I think that we now agree on certain fundamental issue regarding this topic is a very good thing.

    I'll try to write a bit more later today after I've had time to sleep and then read it more fully.

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