Tag Archives: “Skeptics”

That's "Skepticism" for You

I'd like to share something I found interesting. And frightening. I came across this in my Twitter feed:

In case it doesn't come through, here is the image included in that tweet:


Anyone who knows or cares about history would understand this is grossly misleading as conflict between Christian and Muslim nations had existed long before the Crusades, and in general, no side of the battles was really "good." This tweet tries to portray Muslims as having harassed Christians in some one-sided conflict for hundreds of years before the Crusades, but in reality, both groups had done terrible things to one another for centuries before the Crusades.

Normally I wouldn't care about such nonsense. I wouldn't even care that this person says we should ban Islam, one of the most popular religions in the entire world. The reason I cared this time was I don't follow that person. I follow a proliferate global warming "skeptic" named Barry Woods, who retweeted it. I won't dwell on how Woods is, but he writes a lot to promote the "skeptic" Side of the global warming debate, and one of the common things he talks about is how people on his side are silenced, censored and/or oppressed. That made me interested so I responded:

The idea of banning a religion in any free society is insane. Woods defended the tweet, leading me to say:

The discussion ended with this wonderful close:

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Global Warming Skeptics, Sexually Assaulted?!!?!?!

Since I have written several posts criticizing global warming "skeptics" recently, I want to take a moment to point out their tacit approval of criminal fraud and fawning embrace of dishonest glory-hounds does not mean I think it is okay to sexually harass them. I never thought I'd need to point that out, but apparently it's a thing.
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Who Admits to Committing Fraud?

I don't use the word "fraud" lightly. I've long criticized people who do. Not only do I think it is wrong in principle, I think it is wrong from a strategic perspective. If you cry, "Fraud!" over every little thing, nobody will listen when you point out real fraud. It's called a sense of proportion. One's rhetoric should ramp up with the severity of what is being criticized.

I bring this up because I want to follow up on my last post which discussed a case of fraud involving $100,000. Or rather, it was a case of fraud where a person used the false promise of $100,000 to cheat people out of money. You can read that post for the details. It's a long post so I won't re-hash the details here. I'll just give a short summary.

Last year, a man named Douglas Keenan announced he would give $100,000 to anyone who could win a contest he had created. There were tons of red flags which should have made people suspect this was bogus, but despite that, several big names in the global warming "skeptic" movement promoted the contest. After people spent some time publicly discussing how they might try to win the contest, Keenan switched out the data set used in the contest for one the proposed methodologies would be less effective on.

This contest involved a $10 entrance fee. That makes what he did fraud. I've been pointing that out for the last year. Just 24 hours ago, Keenan admitted it. Continue reading

A Fraud is Coming to a Close

Something which has long bothered me about the global warming debate is how "skeptics" are so quick to cry, "Fraud!" about... well, practically anything. I discussed this recently where an organization made a list of hundreds of pieces of work they took (partial or full) credit for as part of applying for a grant. The list included over 500 items, and it turns out approximately 25 of those items should not have been included. "Skeptics" yelled and screamed about how this was criminal fraud that should be prosecuted.

That's nonsense of course. Nobody was able to show any evidence the inclusion of those extra items was done with the intent to mislead as opposed to having been a simple mistake. Nobody was able to show the inclusion of a small number of extra items in one document submitted along with an application could have had any effect on whether or not the grant was awarded. In other words, nobody was able to show this was anything more than an embarassing mistake.

At the same time, these same "skeptics" are happy to either overlook, promote or even defend criminal fraud when it suits their purposes. I'd like to discuss that today because I find it offensive these "skeptics" have robbed me of $100,000.
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Climate Change: The Facts - Part Three

My last two posts have been quite critical of the book Climate Change: The Facts. I stand by everything I've said in them, but I feel it is important to point out some parts of the book are actually quite good. One such example is the next chapter in my review, Chapter Seven.

Chapter Seven is written by Nigel Lawson, and he deserves praise for writing an insightful and informative chapter. To him, the global warming debate can be summarized quite simply: How much will the planet warm, what will the effects of that warming be, and what should we do about it? For each of these issues, Lawson gives a simple overview without any excessive exaggeration or rhetoric - exactly what you'd want from a book claiming to provide "The Facts."
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Climate Change: The Facts - Part Two

My last post was about a book I recently read, Climate Change: The Facts. The post discusses the first five chapters of the book, explaining a bit of why they are terrible and should be an embarrassment to anyone involved with the book. One such person, Mark Steyn, has referenced my post a couple times (most recently here) in a derisive way without actually saying I got anything wrong. One of his readers stopped by to fill in that gap, but as hilarious as his comment was, it didn't actually have any substance. (Personally, I'm hoping it was an awesome case of satire.)

This sort of approach to discussions has always bothered me, and it's given me the motivation to discuss more of the book. Also encouraging was my discovery the book has not been officially launched. According to Mark Steyn:

Next week, I'll be out and about promoting the official Earth Day release in North America of Climate Change: The Facts. We've been shipping out personally autographed copies for a couple of weeks as a SteynOnline exclusive, but starting next week you'll be able to get the paperback out in the wider world, too. It's already available in eBook format via Kindle, Nook or Kobo, so, wherever you are on the planet, you can be reading it in the next 90 seconds. But, as I said, the official launch is next week for Earth Day, so I'll be venturing onto the airwaves - as will my co-author Christopher Essex - and we'll keep you apprised of which shows and when.

I find it a little weird this book has been read and discussed for over two months now yet hasn't officially been launched, but at least that means any commentary I have will be contemporary.
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Am I a Skeptic?

I've been called a lot of things in my life, most of them not very nice. It usually doesn't bother me. People can call me what they will. It doesn't affect what I am. The problem is sometimes it's necessary to pick a "side" in a conflict. This point was brought to mind recently by Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That when he asked:

Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization, one that produces a policy statement, issues press releases, and provides educational guidance?

But I didn't give it much thought. Then I discovered Richard Tol apparently rewrote a couple parts of the latest IPCC report to downplay global warming concerns and promote his own work. The responses I got to pointing that out were disheartening. I tried to shrug it off, but then I got an e-mail from a self-declared skeptic referring to it which said (in part):

It looks like you're right but it's better for us if you don't talk about it.

That was my breaking point. I can accept whatever labels people want to give me, but the idea I should refrain from pointing out abuses of science because of what "side" I'm on is obscene. If that's what it takes to be a skeptic, I don't want to be one.
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