02 August 2010

What is With These People?

Eric Pooley, an author of the book The Climate War and deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, says this about me:
Pielke is a hugely controversial and in my view dangerous figure.
Seriously. I wonder if he has read my book, or is just making stuff up to sell his own book, of which he writes:
I wanted to understand why it was so hard for our political system to respond to this threat—why Americans, virtually alone among people in the industrialized world, had not agreed to cap their greenhouse gas emissions.
Pooley hasn't much encountered data on actual emission of late, I suspect. Anyway, I am going to email Mr. Pooley to ask why it is he thinks I am so dangerous (and what that means anyway), and specifically, where he finds fault in the analysis of my new book.

18 comments:

models-methods-software.com said...

Those who refuse to do a little very simple arithmetic are doomed to write nonsense.

lkdemott said...

Maybe he has confused you with your father. I have heard that he is truly dangerous :)

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-2-lkdemott

Indeed, you should see him on the golf course ;-)

Sylvain said...

"Why should we regard climatologists as closer to cell biologists than to meteorologists? Because they are scientists, committed to rigor, peer review and the scientific method, and because their predictions have been buttressed by observed fact over the course of decades.'Meteorologists', on the other hand, are television announcers."

I guess that they will be glad to learn at the AMA, and the WMO, that they are only a bunch of TV announcer with no scientific rigor.

This guy's preach to a crowd of converted and wonder why its membership doesn't go up.

Harrywr2 said...

Congratulations :)

jae said...

OOOOh, you certainly scare me! :)

BTW, have you digested this?:

http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2010/08/july-22-23-rasmussen-poll-only-34-of-us.html

Frontiers of Faith and Science said...

What a great example of faith-based thinking.
You Pielke's are not simply wrong, you are dangerous.
And the fact that the rest of the world has not done squat about emissions still makes it all America's fault.
If Bloomberg was actually running a business publication, he would run this charlatan out of his job.

Matt said...

That well.com link is hilarious. He pretty much established himself as a windbag with his tenuous at best understanding of what meteorology is. Sounds like somebody spent a weekend reading realclimate and now fancies a big slice of the apocalypse-journalism pie.

hro001 said...

Matt #8: I agree, he's definitely windbag, with a highly exaggerated idea of his own importance ... no doubt acquired from having spent time with Gore [he likes to name drop!]

It's rather amusing that he should consider you "dangerous", Roger, considering that on his blog Pooley writes:

"Policy groups such as the Breakthrough Institute argue that instead of making dirty fuels more expensive, it’s time for intensive energy research and development to make clean fuels cheaper..."

with (I'm sure you'll be relieved to know!) nary a sign of his having observed any "seductive arguments for inaction ... dressed up
in a lab coat"

http://www.ericpooley.com/2010/07/29/in-wreckage-of-climate-bill-some-clues-for-moving-forward/

Then, again, it could just be that Pooley's ... uh .. "research skills" aren't exactly top-notch ;-)

eric144 said...

"I wanted to understand why it was so hard for our political system to respond to this threat—why Americans, virtually alone among people in the industrialized world, had not agreed to cap their greenhouse gas emissions."

I would too. France, Britain and Germany have right wing governments and they LOVE global warming. Every corporation on earth supports AGW. It can only be assumed it is a fear of the voters, like Australia.

I would be very interested if anyone has a better explanation.

Harrywr2 said...

eric144 said... 10

"France, Britain and Germany have right wing governments and they LOVE global warming....It can only be assumed it is a fear of the voters, like Australia."

It's always politically easy to find a reason to limit the use of an imported product, most populations are naturally protectionist.

The US and Australia have quite large inexpensively extractable coal resources. It's politically difficult to limit the use of an inexpensive domestic product.

Harrywr2 said...

Roger,

People like Morano and Watts aren't dangerous because they don't impact the opinions of the people who believe that climate change is real.

People like you are your father are dangerous because you believe in climate change but question the direction and methods of the leaders of the cause.

Marlowe Johnson said...

Roger,

I'm wondering if you'd care to respond to the main thrust of Pooley's rationale for characterizing you as 'dangerous', namely:

"He advocates a response so mild we might as well be doing nothing, and dresses it up in moderate clothing by saying he agrees that climate change is real. The problem here is that if the overwhelming majority of climatologists are right, we can't afford to wait. There are plenty of seductive arguments for inaction; Pielke's happens to be dressed up
in a lab coat."

As you know, I'm skeptical of the BTI/Hartwell approach, not because of it's political chances for success, but rather becuase of it's practical chances for success. This, I think, is not an uncommon objection that Pooley echoes.

cheers,

Jacob B said...

This is the whole quote:
"Pielke is a hugely controversial and in my view dangerous figure. He advocates a response so mild we might as well be doing nothing, and dresses it up in moderate clothing by saying he agrees that climate
change is real. The problem here is that if the overwhelming majority of climatologists are right, we can't afford to wait. There are plenty of seductive arguments for inaction; Pielke's happens to be dressed up in a lab coat. "

For many a linear decision is made: CO2=bad; therefore, limit emissions to reduce threat.

For Roger it seems CO2=bad, Therefore... Adapt, research, argue that we DON'T even need try to take small steps to limit emissions, wait?

This helps the folks in the CO2= Not bad (those who think otherwise are just a bunch of socialists who want to take your toys away); therefore, increase emissions as much as possible!

I've probably got this a little bit wrong- maybe when I pick up a copy of your book I'll understand it better but don't you think its at least a little dangerous to provide so much ammunition for the third group when that's not even what you advocate for?

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-13-Marlowe

I doubt Pooley has read Hartwell, much less my new book.

It is OK for you to be a policy skeptic of the best ideas out there, you'll catch on eventually ;-)

-14-Jacob B

Let's chat when you've had a chance to read my book

markbahner said...

"Because they are scientists, committed to rigor, peer review and the scientific method, and because their predictions have been buttressed by observed fact over the course of decades."

Let's see: a meteorologist says it will rain tomorrow. It does or doesn't rain.

A climatologist (or 1500 of them, in "the most rigorously reviewed document in history" "yada yada yada") says that in 35 years, the Himalayan glaciers will disappear. Then they say the actual number is more like 300 years.

So now we wait 300+ years to see if the climatologists' revised prediction*** is accurate. (Of course, the IPCC actually makes NO predictions. Just "projections"...nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

When Eric Pooley offers opinions about who is or isn't a good scientist, I've gotta ask: "What do you know about science?"

markbahner said...

"Pooley joined TIME in July 1995 following a successful twelve-year career at New York magazine where he began as a freelance fact-checker in 1983, before moving up to senior editor, contributing editor and political columnist. He wrote many cover stories for the magazine on subjects ranging from politics, crime and urban affairs to sports, the arts and media."

Now, there goes a man who obviously know his science!

Stan said...

"The problem here is that if the overwhelming majority of climatologists are right" ......

No, the problem here is that the overwhelming majority of climatologists can't prove anything using the scientific method, regardless of what faith they worship. I don't give a damn what they believe.

Now if they were to begin to handle their instruments the way real scientists, and replicate studies like real scientists, and allow transparency like real scientists, and use models in accordance with forecasting principles like real scientists, maybe they could produce some worthwhile science that the rest of us could evaluate. But the way they perform their work now, they are no more scientific than witches perusing tea leaves or stirring their brew over the fire.

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