20 October 2009

Giant Fish, Big Fish and Minnows of the Liberal Blogosphere

Yesterday was sure interesting. Nothing like a little personal conflict to motivate dozens of emails to me and plenty of comments across the blogosphere. For better or worse I have a much better sense of how the liberal slime machine works in practice, having been inside now a bit. This is all the more ironic because I consider myself to be cut from a similar political cloth to many of those who are engaged in all out war against me. Here are a few reflections.

Here is how it works. The really giant fish -- public intellectuals like Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman -- confer authority on the big fish of the liberal blogosphere. They do so by applauding the work of the big fish and saying that they trust them. This is a useful exchange because the big fish amplify the writings of the giant fish in the blogosphere and do the dirty work of taking down their political opponents by playing some gutter politics that the giant fish would rather not be seen playing. This has the effect of establishing the big fish as people to be listened to, not because they are necessarily right about things, but because the giant fish listen to them and the giant fish set political agendas.

Among these big fish feeding the giant fish are Joe Romm, Brad Delong, RealClimate, and there are of course many others, but these are the ones I have first-hand experience with (lucky me). Each of these professionals has great potential to positively influence policy debates in positive ways. Instead they all actively have chosen to engage in pretty embarrassing and unethical behavior that caters to tribal, echo-chamber politics. Their behavior is not only a poor reflection on them as individuals but it serves to intensify partisan splits and actually work against effective policy making, as has been written about by Cass Sunstein and Clive Crook.

What do I mean when I say that they engage in embarrassing and unethical behavior? For instance, their blog etiquette is simply a disgrace, especially for people who claim to be professional, e.g., they each disallow substantive comments that they disagree with, either from me or from those supporting things that I have said. To provide an example, yesterday after I had accused DeLong of deleting comments from his blog he protested vehemently to me by email that:
My default is that everyone's comments are automatically published. (I do prune them later, if I think they are actively misleading. But I don't refuse to post.)
The screen shot below from DeLong's blog last evening (taken by an observer and sent to me by email this morning, thanks D!), do the comments look "actively misleading" to you? They are polite and on point. Yet they were immediately deleted by DeLong. Several other similar comments were "pruned" as well. Hey, it is DeLong's blog and he can run it like he wants, but to put forth a bald lie and then accuse me of "insanity" for pointing out that he actually deletes comments (when he does) takes chutzpah.

In the case of Romm and Delong they also engage in outright lies and character assassination. Neither links to my own words on my blog, apparently afriad of what might happen if people view what I have to say directly, rather than their cartoonish caricatures. Gavin Schmidt of Real Climate contacted my university once and demanded that they sanction me for opinions that he did not like on my blog, under a vague threat of harm to reputation. Joe Romm has ordered the media not to talk to me (given the response, I assume that the folks who listened to him were the same folks who feed him quotes;-). What is even more disturbing is how these folks interact on a personal level. I was completely taken aback by the unprofessional email responses I received from Brad DeLong yesterday. I have occasionally seen faculty members throw hissy fits in a faculty meeting, but never have I seen the degree of unprofessional behavior displayed routinely by professionals in the liberal blogosphere. What is with these guys?

But even the big fish apparently see some gutter behavior as not really becoming of professionals (though Romm doesn't seem to care), as to more effectively attack someone's reputation they also rely on the minnows of the blogosphere, people who see it as their sole job to "trash" someone's reputation via innuendo, fabrication and outright misrepresentation. Among these minnows are controversialist bloggers like Tim Lambert, who are professionally unqualified to engage in the substance of most debates (certainly the case with respect to my own work), yet earn their place exclusively by making mountains out of molehills (e.g., Lambert carpet bombs the internet with references to his post on the fact that I once botched a Google search, making insinuations of associated evilness in my soul) and ad hominem attacks (Pielke viciously attacked Al Gore!! Pielke is the Devil!!), without out once engaging the substance of my work (e.g., Al Gore agreed with my critique of his slide show and subsequently removed a slide from his show, I complemented Gore for his commitment to accuracy).

The big fish then feed on the minnows, for instance, Real Climate and Brad DeLong have cited Tim Lambert as an authority, including on my own work, yet to my knowledge Lambert has never actually engaged anything I've published in the peer reviewed literature much less any substantive arguments that I've made. Of course he doesn't -- he is not qualified to do so. Joe Romm just makes stuff up and even when shown to be in error he plows ahead. They then incestuously cite each other. This creates a valuable political smokescreen for the giant fish. The giant fish then get plausible deniability from engaging in what might seem to be less-than ethical behavior, the big fish get the ego-strokes of acknowledgment from the giant fish and the occasional top-line billing among favorable-leaning media. Similarly the minnows get to parlay inexpertise into a small role in the politics of personal destruction, and are cited by the big fish, but never by the media or the giants, which would be unbecoming.

So why me? Maybe I'm just lucky. But maybe it is because I have patiently and persistently built upon an academic record of peer-reviewed research on aspects of the climate that they disagree with, but cannot touch via conventional academic argumentation. Among the arguments I have made (with colleagues of course) in the course of arguing that human-caused climate change is a very real threat deserving of policy attention and resources to adaptation and mitigation:

1. There is no greenhouse gas signal in the economic or human toll record of disasters.
2. The IPCC has dramatically underestimated the scale of the stabilization challenge.
3. Geoengineering via stratospheric injection or marine cloud whitening is a bad idea.
4. Air capture research is a very good idea.
5. Adaptation is very important and not a trade off with mitigation.
6. Current mitigation policies, at national and international levels, are inevitably doomed to fail.
7. Current technologies are not sufficient to reach mitigation goals.
8. In their political enthusiasm, some leading scientists have behaved badly.
9. Leading scientific assessments have botched major issues (like disasters).
10. The climate science community is fully politicized.

Each of the above is of course open for debate. but oddly, my attackers never want to debate any of those topics, instead preferring instead to attack-the-man and attack-the-credibility. While such strategies speak loudly for themselves, I have no illusions that this is going to change. In fact, I expect it to get worse, as I have a major book on climate coming out next year that will be in bookstores everywhere. When that book comes out I am sure we can expect a feeding frenzy among the fish of the liberal blogosphere. It'll be fun. Stay tuned.

92 comments:

  1. No need for me to pile on - you've said it all.

    However, if climate science community is fully politicized, doesn't that make you question the quality of the science?

    We always hear that there is a consensus, but not what the consensus is based on. So I'll ask: what are the critical experiments that built that consensus? What were the critical falisfication tests that convinced people in the field that the hypothesis was robust? When have decadal climate projections/predictions been verified? I've been following this debate/clusterf@ck for several years now, and I still don't know.

    You might want to ask Joe Romm, Krugman, et.al., what their favorite climate science papers are. Or perhaps they could discuss the work of their favorite climate scientist. Then wait for silence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As if on cue Tim Lambert has helpfully compiled all of his posts over the years in which he attacks me. There are 9 posts (so few, Tim?):

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/roger_pielke_jr/

    There was one in there that I didn't remember. Lambert criticizes me for commenting on a draft report released to the public for comments. That is a bit like DeLong criticizing me for saying he deletes comments. Um, duh.

    I encourage everyone to read them and see what they say. Mighty thin gruel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This entire affair would be much more amusing if it were all strictly academic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just posted the following at DeLong's blog.

    Brad,

    You have now expunged at least five comments that I have been able to track critical of your attack on Pielke. None that I can see have been particularly venomous or over the top. Mostly they've just suggested that your attack was ill-informed. You have, by contrast, posted a variety of second-hand attacks by others upon Pielke that even a bit of due diligence would show have little substantive basis. It is hard not to draw the conclusion that you are not particularly interested in fair-minded debate.

    Ron

    One of those expunged comments was one that I posted last night. For posterity, I will repost it here.

    Brad,

    It is apparent based upon your reliance on reposting second-hand attacks on Pielke that you have little first-hand knowledge of his work. Joe Romm's distortions and well-documented disinformation about Pielke do not constititute a fair minded or responsible defense for posting an ad hominem attack. Either you should familiarize yourself with Pielke's work and offer a substantive critique or you should take your own advice to Dubner and Levitt and "abjectly apologize."

    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  5. Give 'em heck, Roger!

    I personally fall into the "unconvinced" category when it comes to climate change, but I find myself disturbed by the vitriolic nature of the "believers". Climate change has become a religion, and like any religion it has its fair share of zealots who would prefer to silence any dissenting voices rather than engage in a meaningful debate. (Which is sad, because I consider myself a religious person.) I love reading your blog because I believe it to be the most balanced view of this very serious topic that I have found on the Internet.

    Thanks for being a voice in the wilderness! Who knows, you may be the climate change equivalent of Martin Luther!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your comment about DeLong is tangential to the act you're complaining about.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Roger,

    Two things jump out from your commentary.

    1) The extent to which the Left rely upon the logical fallacy of the appeal to authority.

    But, why would we not expect that from a fundamentally authoritarian ideology?

    Case in point…
    Quantitative data from peer reviewed research may contradict the conclusions reached (and/or personal opinions developed) by the researchers. The Left will always prefer the opinions of the authorities over the contradictions presented by the objective, quantitative data.

    Democrat Camille Paglia commented on this appeal to authority. The last paragraph of her essay is quite insightful.

    2) Al Gore has a long way to go in correcting his many errors.

    He can start by no longer misleading people (like DeLong) into believing CO2 has historically driven temperature.

    Click here and here for details and directly cited peer reviewed science.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Roger:

    Is this the time to respond to my peer-reviewed, published mitigation proposals:

    "Irrigated afforestation of the Sahara and Australian
    Outback to end global warming"

    http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9626-y

    and

    "Replacing coal with wood: sustainable, eco-neutral,
    conservation harvest of natural tree-fall in
    old-growth forests"

    http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9625-z

    in connection with your:

    "4. Air capture research is a very good idea." and

    "7. Current technologies are not sufficient to reach mitigation goals."?

    Len

    ReplyDelete
  9. -8-Len

    No, not quite. Though I do have a (very) short piece in press with Nature Geoscience in which I reference your work. I also am discussing it in my new book under biological air capture, and not I don't view it as a current technology, but as a proposal.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Roger,

    Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.

    I am currently getting slimed and censored at the DeepClimate blog.

    Currently, I am falsely accused of ignoring 100 years of data in favor of 10 years of data.

    Of course DeepClimate consistently refuses to publish my charts documenting the on-going, unbroken 10,000 year cooling trend in both the northern hemisphere AND the southern hemisphere.

    I wonder…
    If 100 years trumps 10 years, does 10,000 years trump 100 years?

    Unfortunately, the badly misled readers of the DeepClimate blog may never face the question, much less ponder the answer.

    It is also telling that DeepClimate utterly ignored point #6 in the only comment I was allowed -- the far more relevant (per, none other than GISS) winter cooling trend in the Continental USA.

    Sad, just plain SAD (and very, very typical)!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Roger,
    I am looking forward to your new book.

    I have to wonder, though, how it is that you still consider yourself to be "cut from a similar political cloth" as these people. You have too much integrity.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The line of scientists eager to enjoy what Roger has experienced is a bit short. Inflicting the experience is how alarmists attempt to maintain the fiction about consensus. It should cause any rational person to doubt the "science" behind the fiction.

    [Soviet commissar in charge of history -- "The modern view espoused by all current historians is ....."

    Umm. Excuse me, but ....

    Bang.

    "As I was saying, the modern view held by all CURRENT historians ..."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tamara,

    He's a political liberal.

    But he's been targeted by the Democratic political machine.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Everything you say is true (in the outmoded, pre-PoMo sense of the word) but that is not a cognizable defense against the charge of recurrent incorrectness.

    Let it go. Be one with the Consensus. Landru welcomes all.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Roger - I think you are probably unique in the climate policy debate - because you can annoy or frustrate both sides of the argument! That's a good thing in my book! However, the climate alarmist side is particularly vitriolic towards you. I guess they see themselves as having won the science debate by actually avoiding it (using 'consensus' and 'denier'), but increasingly they can't see themselves winning what really matters - the 'action.' Pointing out that the 'Climate Policy King' has no clothes has them shouting "off with his head."

    ReplyDelete
  16. So you are now officially slotting yourself into "The Right"?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh *(^U! Now I have to ditch my half written piece for examiner.com. Can't you post a forward publishing schedule? Grumble, mutter, moan.

    Because I agree so often with the economic writings of Krugman and DeLong, I have often wanted to excuse their ignorance of climate change matters and over-reliance on thugs like Romm by saying that maybe they believe that writers on climate issues do as much background work as they do on economic issues. But I can no longer hold onto that faint hope.

    ReplyDelete
  18. -16-bigcitylib

    Um, no. I won't be giving up my core values because some guys (including you;-) call me names.

    ReplyDelete
  19. -18-Roger,

    Respectfully…

    1) What are your “core values” and what role does big government have in expressing those values (and why)?

    Is there no hope of rescuing you from the Dark Side? ;-)

    2) Again, I remind you of your 7/31/09 promise to enumerate why you believe it is necessary and advisable for governments to intervene in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions.

    I fear you have relied far too heavily on the demonstrably dishonest IPCC (and, maybe even on Al Gore).

    Wouldn’t you love to be able to stop me from asking that question over and over and over again? ;-) You can!

    Even better would be a formal enumeration of what informs your position along with an explanation of where -- in your view -- I got it wrong in my own brief overview of what informs my position.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 16-bigcitylib may have mischaracterized your political views, but I didn't see any name calling.

    Unless words like "conservative" or "the right" are smears. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. -20-Charlie

    Indeed, there is a history here.

    -19-SBVOR

    You'll get an answer, I promise, it is in the book;-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. -21-Roger sez:

    “You'll get an answer, I promise, it is in the book;-)”

    Oh good grief! You’re going to force me to buy your book?

    YOU BLOODY CAPITALIST! ;-)

    Well, fine. That’s one “core value” of yours which I can live with. ;-)

    Will you also include in your book your views on where I got it wrong in my own brief overview?

    Can’t you toss me one small bone -- maybe a teaser -- as to what most informs your views? From what I’ve read of your works, I’m guessing it is the demonstrably dishonest IPCC.

    Respectfully,
    SBVOR

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think that most of the heat in the AGW debate does not come from concerns on the climate or its effects on human well-being but because the fight against AGW is seen by many as a proxy to a anti-capitalism (anti-west, anti-market, anti-globalization and so on) cruzade. I believe this explains a lot...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Um, Roger, that's not a particularly helpful response. You're railing against "Liberals". Who else does that but the right?

    Surely you aren't staking out the mythical "center", are you?

    ReplyDelete
  25. -24-bigcitylib

    Are CAP and Grist "right wing" groups? According to your silly suggestion they are:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/10/caps-move-to-right.html

    If you want to know my vies on a topic, just ask, I'm happy to share them.

    ReplyDelete
  26. -25-Roger sez:

    “If you want to know my vies [sic] on a topic, just ask, I'm happy to share them.”

    Okay, I’ll ask (again):

    1) Why you believe it is necessary and advisable for governments to intervene in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions?

    2) What are your views on where I got it wrong in my own brief overview?

    Or, do you plan to address both questions in your next book?

    Respectfully,
    SBVOR

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bigcitylib,

    Despite my ironic handle, I'm a Democrat who has never voted for any part but Democratic, who passionately supported the Obama campaign, whose best friends are nearly all Democratic, and who is in favor of all the big "liberal" policies, including "a public option," carbon reduction (I favor taxation), etc. I'm pretty lock-step with the Democratic Party and have no shame in the fact.

    But I find the liberal blogosphere as obnoxious as Roger apparently does. It is full of self-righteous mutual self-love fests. I don't think that one must necessarily agree with the bloggy types to be a Democrat. I also don't think that one must be Kucinich to be a Democrat.

    Am I a Republican now?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Roger,

    Several years ago, I was banned from commenting on Brad DeLong's blog. To me, it's astounding that a *university professor* would ban anyone from his blog.

    But given the nature of my "offense," it's even more astounding. I forget the details (since it's been years) but one of his commenters stated that the IPCC had written something, which I didn't think they'd ever written.

    So I wrote a single-sentence comment along the lines of, "When did the IPCC ever write that?"

    And that got me banned from his site. A single question, asking a commenter to give further documentation about what they'd claimed the IPCC had written.

    P.S. Seriously. No kidding.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Roger:

    The important point is that my proposals only involve well-established "current technologies" – not new and untested technologies (like CCS), and are probably more than "sufficient to reach mitigation goals"!

    Are you willing to at least admit that "7" may be an overstatement ?-)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I would hate to be a student in any of Brad's classes.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Len,

    You write, "Are you willing to at least admit that "7" may be an overstatement/"

    ...but your proposal wouldn't be considered "mitigation" in the conventional sense "mitigation" is used in GHG debate. "Mitigation" is usually reserved for measures that prevent the GHGs from getting into the atmosphere in the first place.

    Your measure would be more aligned with "geoengineering"...removing CO2 from the atmosphere after it has already been emitted.

    ReplyDelete
  32. How is this post contributing to the depolitization of climate science? That you are reviled by RC could in fact say something less than compelling about yourself, could it not? Have you justifibly added and abetted irrationality in some way (even through no fault of your own- a reach I think but certainly possible)? The left and the right, these seem to me to be poles of emotionality rather than some conherent ideological reality in this day and age. I could certainly abide a reasoned arguement over the great complexity of AGW and the gathering technological response, but that pig might have been well-plooked when the ham-fisted dis-information propaganda from the carbon lobby weighed in. Those folks, whether you like it or not, are your forefathers, even if you would (and you would, right?) disavow the lineage. I'm white and I can't exactly disavow the benefits of slavery and racism now can I, even if I am not looking for its leverage?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Roger -

    Great post, though I think, in equating perfectly fine animals with people like Romm, Krugman, Friedman et al., you do a disservice to the fish. I've been in Romm's crosshairs as well as hit by the smear machine - it's a mark of distinction.

    Ken Green

    ReplyDelete
  34. The science for global warming may be settled but the evidence is not.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Those of you who are trustful of Krugman and DeLong's economics but not their views on climate change might wish to consider that they treat economists who disagree with them much the same way as they've treated climate research folks who do. That suggests that their ability to rely on serious arguments in economics is limited as well, Krugman's Nobel not withstanding. Take it from an economist who's been treated exactly as you have by DeLong.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well Roger, now you know how MT felt when you called down the wrath of Moranoo on him. Enjoy:)

    ReplyDelete
  37. SBVOR: You claim that the Left relies on the logical fallacy of appeals to authority. In fact, both sides in most debates appeal to authority. The difference in the climate change debate is that those who you characterize as being on the Left (but are really in the scientific center) appeal to recognized scientific authorities that are authorities for good reason (such as the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences) while those on the other side appeal to authorities that are not really authorities, e.g., a few dissenting climate scientists and a lot of other scientists (and non-scientists) who are not even actively publishing in the field.

    The fact is that authorities in science generally get to be authorities for good reason. Their opinion and interpretation of the data do matter more than yours to most intelligent people, simply because they have shown themselves to be knowledgeable in the field. And, I think the link that you have provided to your own interpretation of the data just serves to underscore that fact.

    Roger: Do you think that it is all everyone else's fault and that you are in no way to blame for the way that some of these people react to you? I can't honestly imagine that you are quite so lacking in self-awareness to believe this. Perhaps it would be better to look at "the man in the mirror" and ask yourself what it might be about your own approach to these issues that seems to bring out the worst in other people?

    ReplyDelete
  38. -37-Joel

    Do tell. What justifies lying, misrepresentation and character assassination?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dear Roger-

    Great article. Can you recommend any journal articles addressing the role of journalistic integrity in the blogosphere (and what it means for a culture increasingly dependent on distributed journalism)? A Google Scholar search turned up nothing.

    It seems like this is rapidly becoming a serious issue, particularly in the climate policy community, and no one really knows what to do about it.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  40. Roger: Okay...So, maybe I was wrong in my imaginations about the self-awareness part. My bad.

    ReplyDelete
  41. -40-Joel

    Go ahead, enlighten me, I'm listening.

    ReplyDelete
  42. -39-Dan C

    Good question. I'll ask Max Boykoff and get back to you, he'll know much better than I.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Roger: Well, to be honest, I am far from an expert on you and you could probably get a much better answer from people who have followed you more closely and perhaps interacted with you more.

    But, here are a few things that pop to my mind:

    (1) Some people may find it irritating how you try to claim the "middle ground" but that you seem to define this middle ground in a somewhat odd way relative to where others might justifiably think the truth lies.

    (2) Some people may think that it is legitimate to call you out...and even poke fun at you a bit...when you make what they might consider to be fairly careless errors (e.g., in regards to the botched google search example).

    (3) Some people might find labels of "character assassination" more than a little too strong and sanctimonious to describe criticism of you that seems to be at least in large part justifiable annoyance with things you have said or done.

    But, like I said, this is from a person who has read some of what you have written and what others have written about you with amusement but has not dedicated a lot of time to following you. I encourage you to engage with these people who you blast in this post and get their feedback on why they find you so annoying. It may not be a pleasant experience but I think it could be a constructive one if you are open to learning from it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. -43-Joel

    Some replies:

    1. Where have I tried to claim "middle ground"? Maybe I have used the term before but I doubt it. What I present here are my views. People are free to agree or disagree.

    2. I don't mind the poking fun at all. Of course in five years of blogging I will have made a fair number of mistakes and errors, and given that I poke my fair share of fun it is only fair in return;-) All this is fair game. It is the unfair that I object to -- like the idea that a botched Google search = climate denier.

    3. Well, when people lie about me, misrepresent my views, try to harm my professional career, make threats or refuse to allow me to respond when making such claims, I'll call it "character assassination." Others can call it what they think it is.

    4. Engage? If you are paying attention you will have seen that Romm and DeLong have both banned me from their blogs when I have tried to engage (Romm officially, DeLong now won't allow any of my comments). Romm used to engage but after coming out on the worse end of a few substantive debates he changed tactics;-) Attempts at email get rude epithets in response. Did you have another strategy in mind?

    As you can see I am not adverse to engagement. Have you tried asking these other folks the same questions? Might also be a learning experience ...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Nice to note economist Steven Horwitz's remark (#35). Back around 2007, he was a voice of reason among the comments of prominent blogs covering the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax. He got more than his share of Slushee Facials ("Glee") for his good-faith efforts there, from multiple sides.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Roger:

    I didn't mean that you literally used the term "middle ground". (Perhaps the quotes confused you but I meant it to indicate that I was using a colloquial expression for what I was thinking of and not as a literal quote from you.) In fact, it seems to me that you often, if anything, tout your credentials as accepting the basic science behind climate change, while at the same time contributing in ways that others might feel rather undermines this, even saying things that they might also think is not that accurate.

    I have to admit that I haven't generally read Romm or DeLong (although I do more regularly read Tim Lambert). And, having only seen some of the public parts of your engagement practices, I can't comment on all of it but I would say that what matters is not only that you engage but how you engage.

    Also, there are aspects of your description of events in this post that frankly confuse me. For example, you say that "Joe Romm has ordered the media not to talk to me." Without knowing what you are referring to, this seems to me like a strange description. Does Joe Romm control the media, or might it be more accurate to say that he strongly suggested that you were not the best person for them to talk to rather than that he ordered them not to talk to you? (For example, as a pure hypothetical, if I write President Obama and tell him in no uncertain terms that I think he should not sign a health care bill without a public option, would it be accurate to say that I ordered Obama not to sign such a bill? I don't think so because I am in absolutely no position to order President Obama to do or not do anything.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. -37-Joel,

    In typical Leftist/Alarmist fashion, you engaged in the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority AND smeared me and my evidence without offering one BIT of evidence as to why you consider my brief overview to be flawed.

    Nice job Joel! That’s a two fer!

    Now, would you care to man up and tell us all where you find the flaws in the peer reviewed science which I directly cited?

    No? I thought not. Otherwise you would have already done so.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Just as an aside, I will NOT comment or engage anyone in any kind of debate when the blog location is linked to "scienceblogs" of any kind. I have found that, by and large, the most reactionary, vicious, and closed-minded attacks will emanate from people who frequent those blogs and I have never seen such anti-intellectual behavior, at least to the degree that I witnessed.

    All you have to do to incur the wrath of people who will threaten you and come at you like animals is to disagree with something and do so with facts and figures. I've no explanation for it--other than to say, yep, stay away from scienceblogs.

    ReplyDelete
  49. -46-Joel

    "... even saying things that they might also think is not that accurate."

    It is pretty hard to respond to such generalities. What "things"? Who is "they"? I'm happy to respond to specifics.

    On Romm's silly orders to the media:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/07/breaking-romms-rules.html

    You can of course order President Obama to do whatever you'd like, and that would be just about as silly as Romm ordering the media whom to speak to ... which of course is my point.

    Feel free to follow up. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  50. SBVOR: Since you asked so nicely,

    Figure 1: I don't really know why it is relevant that CO2 levels are relatively low on the timescale of hundreds of millions of years. The fact is that human societies and the flora and fauna are adapted to the current climate and current sea levels. Also, the pace of the expected changes in CO2 means that changes in climate, sea levels, and ocean chemistry will be very rapid, i.e., on timescales about 5 orders-of-magnitude shorter than the timescales of tens of millions of years of the resolution on that graph. See also comments on Figure 2.

    Figure 2: You have taken two sets of data, both of which have issues of errorbars and resolution and have swept all that under the rug. (See, for example, the estimated errors in Fig. 13 of your source for the CO2 levels.) And, your reliance on carbon cycle modeling to reconstruct past CO2 levels is presumably not very consistent with what I imagine must be your general beliefs about the reliability of models in climate science. Furthermore, the argument has never been that CO2 is the only cause of climate change and, in fact, on timescales of hundreds of millions of years, there are dramatic changes to continental positions, mountain ranges, ocean basins and currents, volcanic activity, and many other things.

    Figure 3 and 4: What are the errorbars on the trend since 2002? Do climate models run with steadily-increasing greenhouse gas emissions show similar periods of no temperature rise? (Answer: Yes. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/images/GRL2009_ClimateWarming.pdf ) Your argument is akin to my saying that the seasonal cycle is disproved by the fact that we are supposed to be going toward winter and yet a plot of the temperatures here in Rochester over the last week shows a positive trend.

    That's enough detail for now. Just to summarize the other figures: The Greenland and Vostok temperature records are local records of temperature and do not necessarily give a full global picture. Besides, you are attacking what is basically a "strawman" argument in trying to show that warmer periods have occurred. We know that the orbital changes, for example, should have led to a slow cooling trend in the arctic over the last ~10,000 years and we understand how these orbital changes have triggered ice age - interglacial cycles. This same understanding is what allows us now to conclude that the current warming is very likely due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases and to make an estimate of the likely future changes in temperature due to the known radiative forcings due to these gases.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Roger,

    Thanks for the links. You do certainly get under Romm's skin. However, I seem to have missed the part where he "ordered" the media not to speak to you. Could you point it out specifically to me?

    ReplyDelete
  52. -51-Joel

    Sure, there are a few, but here is one:

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/06/17/the-breakthrough-institute-shellenberger-nordhaus-waxman-markey/

    ReplyDelete
  53. Roger,

    Thanks for the link. However, you seem to just be re-enforcing my conclusion. I said, "Does Joe Romm control the media, or might it be more accurate to say that he strongly suggested that you were not the best person for them to talk to rather than that he ordered them not to talk to you?" The evidence that you have pointed to me thus far could have best been summarized by you just saying, "Yes, your description would be much more accurate. I guess 'ordered" was a poor choice of words."

    This isn't just quibbling. You have made some very strong statements in this piece. For example, I am now quite curious to actually read what Gavin Schmidt actually said when he contacted your university because I no longer trust that your summaries of what people said are all that accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  54. -53-Joel

    Of course people will interpret things differently. You didn't like my word choice -- "ordered" -- great. Even so I'll stand by it as being a perfectly accurate characterization of what Romm did, which is why I don't accept your characterization. You like the phrase "strongly suggested" -- fine. We can agree to disagree on how to interpret Romm's actions. I won't saying anything about your trustworthiness because we have a different of opinion.

    So I hope that you will not claim now to have a monopoly on "truth" or "accuracy". I always encourage my readers to make up their own minds for themselves based upon data and information, and you are no different.

    Should you and I come to different interpretations, then the proper thing to do is to respectfully hear out each other's views and, if need be, agree to disagree. Saying that you don't trust someone, when what you really mean is that you come to a different conclusion based on the same data, is a perfect example of the pathologies of this area. Is there no room in your worldview for different perspectives, or is it truth versus lies all the time?

    Anyway, here is a link to my contemporaneous mentioning of Gavin's note to my university officials that you requested:

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/gavin-schmidts-demands-4931

    You'll be unsatisfied because Gavin refused my request to post up the letter, so you'll just have to trust me about what it says;-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Roger:

    Interesting and enlightening post.

    Enjoyed the depiction of the Giant Fish, Big Fish, and Minnows and the consequential cascading misinformation.

    Been told by others, on several occasions, that DeLong erases comments on a regular basis. Thanks for final confirmation!

    Wouldn’t pay too much attention to Delong. He’s merely stuck in a 1975 Keynesian Economics Classroom, afraid to come out the door as he knows Milton Friedman is laying for him just beyond the classroom door.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "If you are paying attention you will have seen that Romm and DeLong have both banned me from their blogs when I have tried to engage (Romm officially, DeLong now won't allow any of my comments)."

    I really think this aspect needs to be explored. Particularly in the case of Brad DeLong. This a professor at a major university. If anyone in the world should not be censoring comments from a blog, I would think it would be a university professor!

    Now, perhaps UC Berkeley considers the blog a personal matter, but right in the masthead for the blog is:

    Department of Economics, U.C. Berkeley #3880, Berkeley, CA 94720-3880; 925 708 0467; delong@econ.berkeley.edu.

    And my guess is that he doesn't dash out of his office at Berkeley any time he wants to post on his blog.

    In my mind, refusing to publish comments, and even flat-out banning of certain people from commenting, is deeply unethical for a university professor (or a scientist). It's essentially the same as a prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense. Or cornermen (cornerpersons!) holding the opposing fighter's arms, so their fighter can get in some uncontested hits.

    There must someone in academia who would be interested in studying this subject, or is already studying it: i.e.:

    1) How many blogs by academics and scientists censor comments or ban commenters (and how many do not)?

    2) On blogs that do censor comments or ban commenters, how frequently does that occur (i.e., what percentage of comments are censored, and how many commenters have been banned)?

    3) Why are comments censored or commenters banned?

    4) Do any universities have policies regarding professors censoring comments or banning commenters on blogs?

    This would be a hard thing to research, because it seems to me that people (e.g., Brad DeLong, RealClimate) who are dishonest enough to censor comments and ban commenters would not be likely to provide honest information on the percentage of comments that they censor or commenters that they ban, and the reasons why they do so. ("We censor comments whenever the comments make us look dishonest.")

    ReplyDelete
  57. Roger - It is not pathological at all to not trust a person to accurately summarize something if you have found in the past that the conclusions that you draw and that they draw from the same "data" differ markedly. Rather, it is wise to demand to see all the data yourself.

    And, speaking of coming to different interpretations, you seem to have a very situational view of this idea that everything is open to interpretation and nobody's interpretation is necessarily superior to anyone else's. For example, in that incident with Gavin, you seem to think it is okay to impose your own interpretation of what he did as if it were his own. It is simply not true to say that Gavin "admits to stealing a scientific idea from his arch-nemesis, Steve McIntyre (not a 'real scientist' of the Climate Audit blog) and then representing it as his own idea, and getting credit for it." He describes a sequence of events that you interpret in that way. It would be as if I said that Roger Pielke Jr. admits to fabricating a claim that someone ordered other people to do something when in fact the person in question didn't even vaguely have the authority to issue such an "order".

    Frankly, this innocent victim shtick seems is getting a bit worn to me.

    ReplyDelete
  58. -57-Joel

    When have I asked you (or anyone else) to trust me uncritically?

    Should you wish to debate the fine differences between the word "ordered" versus "strongly suggest" (and if that distinction hinges on "authority") then I would submit that we have little hope of resolving that particular debate. So on that I say, I hear you, and I respectfully disagree. Feel free to have a last word if you'd like.

    There is no need to re-debate my views on Gavin's actions as they are fully aired on Prometheus at the link (and others) that I provided.

    Again, I have no problem with how people choose to characterize my actions -- those characterizations can be charitable or not. As I say in this post it is the lies, unethical behavior, character assassination and efforts to have my employer impose sanctions on my that I object to as unbecoming of professionals (especially).

    Interestingly, with your focus on issues of semantics, you have been strangely silent on these matters. So, is it OK for Joe Romm to lie about me? Is it OK for Brad DeLong to lie in order to smear me? Is it OK for a US government scientist to contact my university and demand that they halt my blogging under a vague threat of reputation harm?

    Any thoughts on these questions?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Roger,

    Of course the relevant questions in the your paragraph are not whether it is OK for these people to do these things but rather whether it is OK for these people to have done the things that they have actually done that you interpret in the manner that you describe them. I certainly think I have demonstrated to my own satisfaction that those of likely to be two very different questions.

    But, like I said in my first message here, it might be things in "your own approach to these issues that seems to bring out the worst in other people." That doesn't imply that those other people are innocent and without fault. It just implies that some inward soul-searching might be useful. If I have convinced you of that (which I am not sure I have...but, hey, I tried), then I would consider this conversation successful.

    ReplyDelete
  60. -58-Joel

    I actually don't much mind this uncharitable commentary:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/pielke_pity_party.php

    If that is the best crtique that Lambert can come up with with all the material I've provided over the past 15 years, then I'm pretty happy ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  61. -50-Joel,

    1) Regarding your complaints with Figure 1

    Your only real argument is that change is bad. Sorry, it is also inevitable. I refer you to this post.

    2) Regarding your complaints with Figure 2

    Yes, I suppose I am guilty of the bizarre thought crime of not including every single detail in my “brief overview”.

    A) The data published by NOAA (and used by both my chart and, apparently, Figure 2) do not include the margins of error. Take it up with NOAA.

    If you want margins of error on the temperature data, take it up with Dr. Scotese.

    B) You discovered -- long after I did -- fig. 13, on page 201 in the peer reviewed science which I directly cited and even gave you a link to. So, exactly how is it that I “swept all that under the rug”?

    I clearly stated in my “brief overview” that I offered the opportunity to “the option to drill down deeper into the details and the citations”.

    C) As I discussed here, the climate of the Ordovician Ice Age was very similar to today’s (Ice Age) climate.

    And yet -- relying EXCLUSIVELY on the LOW END of the margin of error -- CO2 levels were at LEAST 8 times higher than today (and at LEAST 4 times higher than the absolute worst case year 2100 scenario from the IPCC).

    If the position of the continents made the difference back then, why do we see such a steady cycling between very similar “hot house” climates and very similar “ice house” climates over the ENTIRE 600 million years -- with NO consistent correlation to CO2?

    So, can we assume you do not subscribe to the alarmist “tipping point” rhetoric?

    3) You complain that:

    “The Greenland and Vostok temperature records are local records of temperature and do not necessarily give a full global picture.”

    Yeah, unfortunately, these are the only two places on earth (yet discovered) where all the ice did not melt during the previous perfectly natural, perfectly normal interglacial warming period -- the Eemian. I wish I could offer more ice core sites. But, I guess you’ll just have to take your complaint to Mother Nature.

    By the way…
    These two charts nicely debunk your alarmist rhetoric of the allegedly unprecedented changes which you fear so badly.

    ReplyDelete
  62. SBVOR:

    Yes, I believe that significant rapid change would likely have negative consequences for ecosystems already stressed by pollution and habitat fragmentation, to name but two problems. And, yes, I think the change could be quite disruptive for our society. These views are shared by most of the people in the scientific community who have published in this area.

    As for you, you presumably fear change associated with moving away from the use of fossil fuels (or sequestering the CO2 emitted by burning these fuels). Since they are a finite resource and we will have to make the move sometime, doesn't it make sense to do so before we have likely done irreparable harm to our environment?

    And, in that screed on change, you repeat the DDT ban garbage, which just shows how captive you are to your own extremist anti-environmentalist ideology that cares little for details like factual truth. DDT was never banned worldwide and the deaths due to malaria have much more to do with mosquitoes developing resistance to DDT and other pesticides due to their overuse in agriculture (which was something that Rachel Carson warned about) along with various other issues than they do to some non-existent ban (or even supposed pressure on some nations not to use DDT…which may have occurred in some cases). In fact, in India, deaths due to malaria skyrocketed in the 1970s even as DDT use there continued to increase (with the majority of it being used in agriculture). See http://info-pollution.com/ddtban.htm and http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/ddt/

    And, by the way, even the Malaria Foundation International, which worked successfully to prevent any “ban” (actually any phase-out with a definite date) of the use of DDT to fight against malaria in the Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants, talks about the problem of resistance and notes that having a chemical like DDT banned for all but disease control is probably a good thing: “The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations over two years ago. For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before.” ( http://www.malaria.org/DDTpage.html )

    That organization, unlike you, also does not say that the concerns about DDT are unfounded. In fact, they say: “It cannot be seriously disputed that DDT has devastated some wildlife populations, such as birds of prey.” ( http://www.malaria.org/DDT_open.html ) Nor do they claim that there are no health risks associated with DDT: “There is no doubt that there are health risks associated with DDT use. ” Rather, they argue that the benefits outweigh the risks when DDT is used as part of an indoor spraying program in places where it is needed and still effective for malarial control.

    I don't really see much else of substance to respond in your post. You are taking data well beyond its errorbars and resolution and making conclusions that are at odds to those reached by the scientists who actually study paleoclimate. Like I said, there is a reason why most put more stake in the views of respected scientific authorities more than ideologues who grab a few graphs from peer-reviewed articles off of the internet to justify their own preconceptions. You are merely providing a good illustration of why that is wise.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Roger Pielke,

    Please don't take commenter Joel's advice to engage in self-criticism sessions, either in private (unnecessary), or in front of the assembled village committee (harmful).

    Broadly speaking, Academic Scientists are supposed to:
    * think deeply and independently about their specialty;
    * interact with other experts, formally (e.g. via peer-reviewed publications) and informally;
    * communicate with the larger public.

    You are performing all of these roles. Which is not to say I would agree with all of your analyses or prescriptions. Then again, "agreement" can morph into "groupthink". That shouldn't be in the job description.

    Non-academic blogger Fabius Maximus writes often about the social and scientific aspects of climate change. He offers some insights that are valuable whether or not his positions on the climatology are correct, or not.

    Latest post here, links to earlier writings at the end of the post and on his sidebar.

    ReplyDelete
  64. > Among these minnows are controversialist bloggers like Tim Lambert...

    Lambert is in the reality-based camp - the one supported by every major science academy on the planet, by the near-total unanimous published climate scientists. There's nothing controversial about his position - unlike your cherry-picking, distortion and misrepresentation of climate science.

    And if Lambert is a minnow, that must make you a weasel, Pielke.

    ReplyDelete
  65. -64-David Cognito

    Do tell, what "cherry-picking, distortion and misrepresentation of climate science" are you referring to?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Beyond possible controversies within the field of climatology, there are meta-issues of how science should be conducted. Most of these meta-issues shouldn't be controversial, because Best Practices are well-known, from prior scientific controversies. These include practices on archiving of data, access to archives, facilitating critics' abilities to inspect and run the computer code in models, following peer-review practices, the handling of ad hominem attacks, and the like.

    It is not inconsistent to (1) Be firmly convinced that the current consensus on AGW is correct, while (2) Insisting that consensus-supporters and skeptics alike must adhere to Best Practices.

    It seems to me that allowing Defenders of the consensus a pass on the procedural issues invites corruption of the scientific process, albeit unintentionally and with the best of intentions.

    If only one-tenth of the criticisms of the Consensus Team made by McIntyre and Watts are correct: then that tenth should be eagerly identified and corrected. If the Team is reluctant to do so, its supporters should loudly demand this action.

    The result would be more accurate data, improved code, and models that better capture the historical record and, hopefully, the forces that drive climate change.

    This does not describe the state of much of the field, as seen from my outsider's vantage point.

    Terms like "orthodoxy," "heresy," and "argument by authority" come to mind when following most climatology debates.

    As a result, climate science is less robust, and I think it is very likely that public policy suffers as well.

    ReplyDelete
  67. -62-Joel (rhymes with troll),

    1) Once again, on climate change, your only defense is to rely -- as always -- upon the logical fallacy of [utterly unsubstantiated] appeals to authority:

    “These views are shared by most of the people in the scientific community who have published in this area.”

    2) Having lost the debate on climate change, you now shift your focus to DDT. Your central theme is to deny that there ever existed any global ban on DDT.

    Whether it was made illegal or not, eco-extremists absolutely were (back in the 1970’s) to blame for “phasing out [globally] the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria”

    After 3 decades of counter-scientific hysteria from your sort, the World Health Organization finally announced on 9/15/2006:

    “Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that this intervention will once again play a major role in its efforts to fight the disease. WHO is now recommending the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa.”

    Of course, that did not last. And the Eco-Imperialist hysteria mongers have probably once again signed the death warrants for millions MORE Africans.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Roger asks, “So, is it OK for Joe Romm to lie about me? Is it OK for Brad DeLong to lie in order to smear me? Is it OK for a US government scientist to contact my university and demand that they halt my blogging under a vague threat of reputation harm?”

    Joel responds, “Of course the relevant questions in the your paragraph are not whether it is OK for these people to do these things but rather whether it is OK for these people to have done the things that they have actually done that you interpret in the manner that you describe them."

    Let's start from a point of fact on which I assume we all can agree: Is it OK for Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt to censor (refuse to post) comments from Roger, after they have made comments *about* Roger on their own blogs? (I assume we all can agree that Roger's comments to Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt have been censored, because Roger can produce copies of his comments, and we can go to their blogs and see that his comments have not appeared.)

    Is that OK, Joel? Is it OK for Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt to post things *about* Roger on their blogs, and then not publish his responses? (And if you think that's OK, why is it OK?)

    ReplyDelete
  69. SBVOR: The documentation that you want is in the IPCC reports, which have been endorsed by most major scientific organizations on the planet ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus_on_climate_change ).

    As for DDT, there is some argument concerning how much of a policy shift that 2006 WHO announcement really represented (see, e.g., here http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/09/did_who_change_its_ddt_policy.php and http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/09/politically_based_medicine_at.php ) and some disagreement about what the right balance should be between using DDT for indoor spraying and using other measures like bednets, but overall there is fairly broad agreement. (As that WHO press release notes, Environmental Defense and Sierra Club currently endorse the indoor use of DDT for malaria control.)

    You say: "Of course, that did not last. And the Eco-Imperialist hysteria mongers have probably once again signed the death warrants for millions MORE Africans." Because you clearly know better than scientists, medical, and public health professionals what the right balance is between the use of DDT and other means in fighting malaria. After all, you are already such an expert on climate change and its impacts. I am sure your knowledge of all these things far surpasses these experts and is no way influenced by the fact that your scientific views and knowledge (or lack thereof) appear to be utterly and completely captive to your ideology.

    By the way, the silver lining on the ignorant rantings of people like SBVOR in regards to DDT is that it just motivated me to actually read Chapter 16 of "Silent Spring" (a book that I own but admittedly have only read small segments of). The chapter is appropriately titled "The Rumblings of an Avalanche" and it deals with the developing of resistance to insecticides. I strongly recommend it to those who can find a copy of the book. (A few pages of the chapter are available in the google books preview.) The chapter is very interesting and prescient and it provides a nice antidote to the nutty ideological rantings that people like SBVOR have promulgating on the web.

    ReplyDelete
  70. mark: I personally don't tend to find these "who's-censoring-who" and "what is the best comment policy?" discussions to be very useful. The problem of how to deal with the signal-to-noise ratio in the comments section of blogs is a difficult one for which there are no good answers. Each blogger comes up with their own approach. I noticed that Roger's father now doesn't enable comments at all on his blog. Whatever. To each his own.

    I appreciate that Roger has let me post what I have posted in his comments section here and I think I will let our discussion speak for itself and let others draw their own conclusions from that discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  71. > Is it OK for Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt to post things *about* Roger on their blogs, and then not publish his responses?

    I'm not Joel, but... Yes, it's okay. High-traffic blogs covering controversial subjects have to control comments in some way, if they want to have threads worth reading. The foremost answer to complaints about DeLong's comment policy should be... Get Your Own Blog.

    Which Roger has already done.

    What's Not Okay is for DeLong to get a free pass for his dishonesty (claiming "I don't censor comments" as he censors comments). When people document such unethical conduct (e.g. Roger, in this post), they are performing a public service.

    What's Not Okay is for DeLong et al.'s reputations to remain unsullied by their unprincipled hackery.

    Because of this kerfluffle, DeLong's credibility is down and Pielke's is up, among most readers who have been paying attention. E.g., I used to respect DeLong as an honest debater; now I don't. If his reputation sinks as low as it should, he might reconsider his stance. Or maybe he'll figure out right and wrong on his own, apologize, and mend his ways. 'brad' reads Roger's threads when they concern him: that apology might appear as the next comment!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I usually defend environmentalists at every turn yet I'm truly disappointed to read Joel's defense of the DDT ban. Is there no depth to which a person won't stoop to defend a dogma? How does one contrast potential and highly speculative deaths a hundred years from now with the millions of Africans who died needlessly thanks to the DDT ban. How many bald eagles were they worth? DDT resistance is only likely where it is used very lightly rather than heavily, which is exactly why light use is a truly dumb idea. Yet it is only environmentalists who recommend such light use. These are the facts on the ground. Ask anyone involved in public health in Zambia. Ask anyone who knows anything at all about malaria. They'll all tell you that the lifting of the ban is 20 years too late. Try to develop a conscience or shame somewhere in that thick head Joel! Blind dogma kills people! When you twist the truth into an abject lie then all your other arguments suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  73. -64-David Cognito

    Tim Lambert's specialty is not science but insults. From your comment it appears that that is your forte as well.

    ReplyDelete
  74. jgdes says: "DDT resistance is only likely where it is used very lightly rather than heavily, which is exactly why light use is a truly dumb idea. Yet it is only environmentalists who recommend such light use."

    Please get a clue. You have no freakin' idea what you are talking about and yet that doesn't seem to deter you. It is the heavy indiscriminate use that leads to the buildup of resistance. Go read the Malaria Foundation International website and see if they agree with you. Hint: They don't. Go see if they agree that it is worthwhile to decimate wildlife in order to save lives. Hint: They don't (and they argue that a program of indoor spraying can be relatively safe for wildlife and is what you want to do anyway to minimize the problem of resistance...although it will only work in areas where there isn't already resistance due to previous indiscriminate use).

    "Blind dogma kills people."

    Which is why people like SBVOR and apparently also you are so dangerous (although in your case it may be less dogma and more just extreme ignorance of the facts).

    ReplyDelete
  75. "mark: I personally don't tend to find these "who's-censoring-who"..."

    I don't consider this to be a discussion of "who's censoring-who".

    I don't think anyone is claiming that Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt have NOT censored Roger. And I don't think anyone is claiming that Roger HAS censored any of those three men. Are you making that claim, or are you aware of someone who has made either of those claims?

    If not, don't you think it's a bit disingenuous on your part to pretend this is a discussion about "who's-censoring-who"?

    "...and 'what is the best comment policy?'"

    Again, this is not the subject of the discussion...although I can understand how you might wish it were so, to avoid answering the simple questions I asked:

    "Is it OK for Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt to post things *about* Roger on their blogs, and then not publish his responses? (And if you think that's OK, why is it OK?)"

    Why not take a stab at honestly answering these two simple questions, rather than trying to dodge them?

    ReplyDelete
  76. jg, resistance appears where there is heavy use, not light. Plonk

    ReplyDelete
  77. "Is it OK for Joe Romm, Brad DeLong, and Gavin Schmidt to post things *about* Roger on their blogs, and then not publish his responses?"

    "I'm not Joel, but... Yes, it's okay."

    OK, let's go what I consider an analogous situation: Was it OK for Mike Nifong here in Durham to withhold exculpatory evidence in the Duke lacrosse "rape" case? After all, the guys had their own lawyers. And after they prove that evidence was withheld, they probably can collect money in a civil trial.

    So why is it wrong for Mike Nifong to do what he did (if you do indeed agree with me that it was wrong)?

    Wasn't it wrong because a prosecutor's duty is to the truth, not to obtain convictions?

    Are you saying that Gavin Schmidt (a scientist) and Brad DeLong (a university professor) have no obligation to the truth?

    "High-traffic blogs covering controversial subjects have to control comments in some way, if they want to have threads worth reading."

    Suffice it to say, I'm puzzled by the logic of this statement on many levels. :-)

    1) Are you saying that it's OK for "high-traffic blogs" to make comments ABOUT someone, but not to post that persons responses? But it's not OK if the blog is not a "high-traffic blog"? Isn't that a bit like saying that big, fast people to hit someone and run away, but it's not OK for small slow people to hit someone and run away?

    2) How do you consider the threads to be "worth reading" if they contain comments about someone (e.g. Roger) but then deliberately (and stealthily) HIDE the responses from the person being criticized/attacked?

    "The foremost answer to complaints about DeLong's comment policy should be... Get Your Own Blog."

    Again, I'm puzzled on many levels ;-):

    1) Suppose the New York Times publishes a story criticizing you...do you think the "foremost answer" would be to "publish your own newspaper"?

    2) Again, don't you think Brad DeLong and Gavin Schmidt have any obligation to the truth...to publishing the responses from someone about whom they have written?

    "What's Not Okay is for DeLong et al.'s reputations to remain unsullied by their unprincipled hackery."

    If you (properly, in my opinion) call "DeLong et al.s'" actions "unprincipled hackery" doesn't that mean that you actual think their actions were "not OK" rather than "OK"?

    Best wishes,
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  78. -69-Joel (rhymes with troll),

    1) At least you are consistent in your logical fallacy of an appeal to authority.

    2) Regarding your oft cited Wiki entry:

    I would probably agree -- but only on a theoretical level -- with the statement presented by Wiki. It is a GIANT leap from there to any assumption that scientists agree with any suggestion to regulate CO2 -- they do NOT!

    I refer you to my post on scientific consensus.

    3) How many footnotes did Rachel Carson -- in 1962 -- offer to directly cited peer reviewed science?

    I recommend a 2004 study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons titled “DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud”

    You can access the entire paper from the previous link or simply click here.

    If you get that far, you can next examine the countless studies and citations available on this page.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Roger, I am disappointed that Prof. Delong treated you so badly. I find his site to be educational and informative, but he can also extremely reflexive in his words when it comes to political issues. My opinion is that when a bunch of people are together in the us vs. them sense who generally agree, you end up with the most extreme view represented in terms of policy and rhetoric. Like children, the behavior of the group will be as bad as the worst behaved child. At times, Brad is incomprehensible because he seems to assume everyone agrees with his politics. The zeal on the left for these attacks relating to climate change has been revealing, but you should not have been misrepresented and the disgrace is on the offenders, not you. At times, Brad is very sensible and pragmatic, and he offers a ton of free education on his blog and I very much appreciate that since I am interested in economics. Hopefully, Brad will be big enough to realize his mistake and apologize for misrespresenting you. Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  80. -72-jgdes,

    Even the egg shell thinning is a myth.

    I refer you to this page (and the associated citations) as well as relevant sections in the 2004 study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons titled “DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud”.

    You can access the entire paper from the previous link or simply click here.

    The catastrophic effects of the bogus DDT hysteria is a perfect analog for the current bogus climate change hysteria.

    ReplyDelete
  81. AMac, Roger has misled you. DeLong did not claim "I don't censor comments". His stated policy is:

    "Comments that add to the post and discussion will be retained; comments that detract will be deleted (if I have time)."

    Hopefully you will make the appropriate adjustment to your opinion of Roger's credibility.

    ReplyDelete
  82. SBVOR: The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is not considered to be a serious scientific journal and is not listed in major literature databases (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journal_of_American_Physicians_and_Surgeons#Journal_of_American_Physicians_and_Surgeons ). And, JunkScience.com is appropriately named in that it is a purveyor of junk science. If you get all your information from sources that share your ideological point-of-view, what do you expect?

    I gave you links to the respected organization Malaria Foundational International, which led the fight to prevent any worldwide phase-out with a definite date on the use of DDT for malaria control in the Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2000. However, this group admits that "it cannot be seriously disputed that DDT has devastated some wildlife populations, such as birds of prey" when it was used indiscriminately. They also say "there is no doubt that there are health risks associated with DDT use". These aren't statements from some left-wing environmental group. They are statements from a group dedicated to preserving the use of DDT in the fight against malaria.

    Most responsible people support the responsible use of DDT as part of a program of indoor spraying for malaria control where it is determined that it is still effective (i.e., the mosquitoes are not yet resistant to it) and where it is determined to be a necessary component of the best solution. (There is a still some discussion around the edges still on weighing the health benefits vs the health risks; see, e.g., here: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/csp/v23n12/03.pdf )

    However, your views are way out in the weeds on this and represent the cynical use of the malaria and DDT issue by people with an ideological axe to grind against environmentalists.

    ReplyDelete
  83. -82-Joel (rhymes with troll),

    Forgive me, comrade, for I have sinned.

    I have read scientific literature not approved by comrade Joel.

    What’s that? For my penance, I must read the entire archives of Pravda?

    Yes, comrade. Thank you comrade.

    Don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia. Wiki articles are only as good as their citations (and a dispassionate reading of the same).

    Your Wiki article asserts, for example, that:

    “Articles and commentaries published in the journal have argued… that HIV does not cause AIDS,[41][42]”

    Following the first citation [41] takes us to this bit of peer reviewed literature (which, upon scanning it, seems more like a critique of political activists who black list any scientist who -- in the pursuit of the truth -- dares to question political orthodoxy).

    The first paragraph of the abstract reads thusly (emphasis mine):

    “One expects scientific discourse to be focused dispassionately on substantive issues. Yet doctors, scientists, and others who question whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) have been called the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers; their employers have been urged to dismiss them; laws under which they could be imprisoned have been envisioned; and media have been asked to purge their archives of anything potentially favorable to such doubting.”

    Gee, that all sounds vaguely familiar -- comrade.

    It’s pretty clear to me that HIV causes AIDS. But, I could be wrong. Black listing anybody who dares to question that is extremely dangerous to the pursuit of truth and -- potentially -- to AIDS victims.

    Perhaps you should attend today’s lecture. Just try to resist an urge to shout down the speaker.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Tim Lambert #81 --

    Pielke didn't mislead me. In #71, I characterized DeLong as "claiming 'I don't censor comments' as he censors comments. "Censor" was my shorthand. I apologize for putting that word in DeLong's mouth.

    What DeLong did say is "My default is that everyone's comments are automatically published. (I do prune them later, if I think they are actively misleading. But I don't refuse to publish.)"

    Does he adhere to that standard?

    In the body of his Superfreakonomics post, DeLong approvingly quotes a correspondent saying, "People like Chris Horner and Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke are dishonest and wrong, but they're not stupid or ignorant people—they engage in some high-level sophistry and deceit."

    The screenshot in the body of this post shows one comment by "Dylan Williams" to the "Superfreakonomics" thread (October 19, 2009 at 09:05 PM) that is short, civil, and relevant. It is absent from the thread--a post hoc refusal by DeLong to publish. At the same time, the thread contains multiple comments expanding on Pielke's stupid, wrong, sophistic, and deceitful conduct, including one by you.

    So it's not the topic that's out of bounds. Comments agreeing with DeLong are encouraged, but dissents may be disappeared.

    In that light, in addition to Steven Horwitz #35 supra, a Google search of "DeLong blog comments deleted" brings up multiple credible accounts of DeLong's unflattering-comment-cleansing policy.

    So, yes, I have made appropriate adjustments to my opinion of Pielke's credibility, and DeLong's as well.

    You too, I hope.

    ReplyDelete
  85. SBVOR: You can read whatever you want. However, if you almost exclusively rely on sources who have extremely strong ideological biases that happen to agree with yours and look only at the literature that they want you to see, why do you expect to get anything other than confirmation of your ideological beliefs? It would be bizarre to expect otherwise.

    As for that article about HIV causing AIDS: To the first approximation, all the holders of minority scientific views that have clearly lost on the battlefield of peer-reviewed science claim that they have been oppressed and blacklisted and so forth, whether the issue concerns HIV and AIDS, anthropogenic global warming, or evolution vs intelligent design ( http://www.expelledthemovie.com/ ). Science is a rough-and-tumble world and the losers are never going to be happy.

    ReplyDelete
  86. AMac, you seem determined to ignore DeLong's comment policy. His stated policy is:

    "Comments that add to the post and discussion will be retained; comments that detract will be deleted (if I have time)."

    His email to Pielke was an explanation that Pielke's comment had not been blocked or deleted (you can read it on DeLong's post). "Actively misleading" is a sufficient but not necessary for pruning a comment.

    The first deleted comment shown in the screenshot certainly was actively misleading: Pielke claimed that DeLong had said that he did not delete comments, when, in fact, DeLong had told him that he did delete comments.

    The second deleted comment, contrary to Pielke's claim in his post, was not "polite" -- Williams called DeLong "unprofessional" and "disgraceful".

    ReplyDelete
  87. Tim Lambert #86,

    If Pielke adhered to the comment policy that you find so admirable when practiced by your ally DeLong, we wouldn't have had this exchange.

    Pielke would have long since deleted certain of your contributions to this thread, along with some from other authors.

    Ah, how brilliant my arguments would shine, with opposing viewpoints pruned.

    Especially if Pielke's readership was naively unaware of how his policy was implemented (see links in #84 supra).

    ReplyDelete
  88. AMac, can I take from the fact that you have moved on from arguing that DeLong lied about his comments policy that you are are conceding that point and that Roger's claims that DeLong did are false?

    As for the respective comment policies, I think that Roger's practice of moderating all comments is more restrictive than DeLong's. Yes, he's letting my comments through, but I'm sure he knows that I'm saving copies of them and can post them on my minnow blog if he blocks them.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Tim Lambert writes,

    "can I take from the fact that you have moved on from arguing that DeLong lied about his comments policy that you are are conceding that point and that Roger's claims that DeLong did are false?"

    The short answer is "No," because your paraphrase doesn't properly render the meaning of what I have written. If you'd like a more complete response, quote me directly. Comments 71 and 84.

    You may find the Wikipedia entry "Loaded Question" helpful, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  90. "Ah, how brilliant my arguments would shine, with opposing viewpoints pruned."

    Yes, this is why censoring of comments is so wrong. It is dishonest, because it makes it appear that opposing viewpoints don't exist, when they actually do.

    No scientist or university professor should engage in such behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Brad DeLong gets caught out again:

    http://volokh.com/2009/11/08/against-climate-mccarthyism/#comment-685163

    Ouch

    ReplyDelete
  92. I think your big fish theory is semi-valid, but I am not sure the network as depicted is accurate. I think a lot of it was sui-generis and that Friedman and Krugman help a lot, but like Google's Page Rank, a lot of it just comes from all the links between the various liberal thinktanks blogs, the top liberal bloggers, and realclimate, etc.

    More importantly, perhaps, it's a mistake for anyone, you, Lambert, DeLong to assume Google is some sort of white box search engine that you or they know how the internals work.

    Google has various algorithms that they change and tweak all the time. They also, near as I can tell, personalize search results depending on who is logged in.

    Google actually has a service they call PersonalizedSearch where they definitely say they tweak the results depending on who is logged in. In fact, now they are saying they will do that for everyone. This used to require being signed in and having web history enabled. It's not clear it does anymore.

    So it's a mistake for any to believe that google is either a whitebox or that the search results they get from google will be the search results everyone will get from google.

    In particular of one quirk, I have seen several times where adding what would seem to be search restrictions ADDS results to the search results.

    ReplyDelete