Thursday, February 04, 2010

Betroffenheitstroll

Jörg Zimmerman has an excellent article about concern trolls on his blog. It is not exactly kind to the three amigos, Pielke Jr., Tol and von Storch, but the post makes some excellent points about theses self styled "honest brokers". Since it is in German, Eli asked Jörg for permission to translate and post. As they say, these issues have, as they say, come due, so here it is. You can play with Richard Tol over at Climate Progress

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Concern trolls

In internet jargon, there is the English term "concern troll". A troll is someone who disrupts discussions by provoking others. Through excessive, improper, aggressive or irrational behavior, the troll attempts to drive the discussion off the rails and cast doubt on accepted ideas. The "concern troll," which I occasionally translate as Betroffenheitstroll, is a special variant. He acts as if he accepts the group consensus but places it indirectly in doubt by pretending to find problems in what he claims to be his own position, creating reasons why one should worry that the consensus is false. In truth, the concern troll does not agree with the consensus, but he tries to hide that.

The concern troll is also found in the climate debate among people who show up saying that they themselves believe in global warming and also believe that human emissions of greenhouse gases are to blame, but do not understand certain things. And then, by and by, the classic objections of the denialist scene emerge one after another. It is difficult to ascertain the motives of others on the Internet because they have to be inferred indirectly. Thus, it can be difficult circumstances to separate a real skeptic who wants to deal with a few issues from the "concern troll". A true skeptic will be satisfied with answers, a "concern troll" never. It can be irritating for the casual reader when an experienced person recognizes and attacks a "concern troll" after one or two comments, because in the opinion of the naive reader the "concern troll" had justified doubts that one should have dealt with politely. The polite answer, of course, ultimately wastes time that could be spent more productively and that thievery is a concern troll goal.

There are several varieties of internet "concern trolls" as in any public debate. It can be scientists who ostensibly want to promote scientific inquiry by questioning existing results. If, however, all they do is ask questions without ever producing any results, leaving only unfinished projects, one is probably watching a "concern troll" at work, one whose only concerned is insuring that no conclusion is ever reached. McIntyre and his blog Climate Audit are fine examples of this, where as self-appointed "Auditor", he only seeks to discover errors in climate research. Naturally, in almost all cases he only finds fault in the IPCC and research that points to global warming being due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. And, of course, all the faults he finds are ultimately rebuttable or details which have no effect on the results. His discovery, together with McKitrick, of errors in the temperature reconstructions of Mann et al 1998, for example did not change the so-called hockey stick shape of the global temperature curve for the last 1000 or 2000 years, as has been confirmed by all subsequent research. Further, an error in the United States temperature records reconstructed by NOAA and GISS, were totally irrelevant to the global temperature curve and did not alter the relative order of years for U.S. mean annual temperature. While McIntrye and his blog have produced a big zero of meaningful results his annoying and persistent requests for information have cost those he pursues considerable time. No wonder that some of the targeted, such as the Climate Research Unit, regarded the requests for information as a sabotage attempt and talked about how they could defend themselves against McIntyre and others of his ilk who are using requests for information as ammunition for further attacks.

As word about such discussions burst onto the public scene in the stolen CRU emails, they provided other concern trolls the opportunity to complain about the politicization of scientists, as if this was produced not by the attacks on the science, but by the scientists who were under attack. Among those who volunteered, what a surprise, appeared the "honest broker" von Storch. In the U.S. there are others who claim the mantle of "honest brokers" for themselves itself, and use it to troll. There is Roger Pielke Jr., an environmental political scientist and economist who generally has adopted the view that while there is global warming, we do not know exactly how damaging it will be. Since dealing with global warming would cost money, one should weigh the costs of damage from global warming and dealing with it against each other. Of course, if Pielke Jr. deals with the issue, the costs of warming are low and the cost of fighting it high. The cheapest option in the opinion of Pielke Jr., is to wait until new technologies are developed which will make the cost of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions cheaper. Until then, it is better to do nothing. This mind set has lead to economic losses of at least 100 billion Euro in the period between 1979 (JASON report) and 2007 (4. IPCC AR4). It would have been at least that much cheaper to have begun limiting greenhouse gas emissions around 1980. Pielke Jr. is a special form of denialist according to environmental activists such as Joe Romm of Climate Progress, who calls him a delayer, one who does not deny climate change but collects arguments for delaying any action. This too is a tactic to maximize profits in the energy industry and to prevent tax increases.

Roger Pielke Jr., should not be confused with his father, Roger Pielke, Sr. Pielke Sr. is a meteorologist who is active in a number of climate research areas. And he too is an "honest broker" who claims to want to mediate between denialists, whom he calls skeptics and the scientists or the group of them that he politely describes as "alarmists". This mediation is not neutral. He asks, in a very concerned trollish way, whether we can trust the surface temperature measurements, or if they are distorted by the urban heat island effect. He is the eminence grise behind the SurfaceStations.org project, whose official front man is the weather newscaster Watts, who also runs the denialist blog Watts Up With That. They work hard to show that besides the actual urban heat island effect associated with growing cities, above all "micro-site" issues lead to small scale errors in the measurements. This includes, for example, air conditioners at the weather stations. According to the people at SurfaceStations.org it is obvious that such errors at the weather stations can only produce increased warming trends and they really push this view very strongly. Even if the measurements were contaminated in the U.S., that would be virtually meaningless for the global temperature trend. The temperature increase over the oceans dominates, where urban heat island effects certainly play no role. It is also seen in trends measured from satellites, which are also not affected by the urban heat island effect. That station quality had no effect on the temperature trends was also seen in an early study from that compared the temperature trends of good and bad stations, categorized according to Watts, and found no significant differences. A further re-analysis by Menne et al. 2009 showed that there were negligible differences in temperature trends for stations classified best and worst by Watts, or shall we say ostensibly so characterized by Watts, with Pielke Sr. hunkering in the background..

Concern trolls pretend to belong to a group, pay attention to what is being discussed, critically and carefully to consider the conclusions of the group, and then try to create doubt or to push their own agenda, including polishing their reputation as a critical observers and gaining a reputation as an independent commentator. As a side benefit this is also useful for selling books (if you will really want to find other motives).

Examples of concern trolls include two of the aforementioned individuals and a third, von Storch, Roger Pielke Jr. and the third amigo, Richard Tol, who have written an article in Spiegel Online "Save the IPCC", which at least for Pielke Jr. is hardly anything he would like to save, but rather hinder as much as possible. At root, this comes down to that in the more than 2000 pages of the three reports by the IPCC Working Groups, details in two paragraphs are in error or misinterpretations. Errors are inevitable in such a report, von Storch quickly adds, only then to argue as if they are avoidable. In the face of this contradiction one asks if this is the real reason they are demanding the IPCC chairman's resignation?

The concern trolls see several problems. First it is the fault of the IPCC that someone has stolen and made the Climate Research Unit Emails public. A ludicrous line of reasoning. If anything, an indiscreet glance at these emails shows first, that contrary to endless assertions by the denialists, no data was distorted by the CRU. Second, based on these Emails there is not a single scientific statement that has to be altered. Indeed, were it otherwise that would have happened already. Third, it is clear from the Emails that the CRU scientists were indeed put on edge by the McIntyre inspired concern trolls, and therefore wished to delete certain Emails. The circus after the publication of the stolen Emails showed that the CRU-scientists were right. Nevertheless, they are legally obliged to provide relevant information even when that demand is part of an apparent sabotage action by McIntyre.

Still, an investigation into the incident in the United Kingdom found misconduct by the CRU scientists who could not be charged because too much time had passed, and therefore this was inconsequential. Von Storch believes that this is especially important in proving a scandal but in my opinion, his theatrical display of dismay and demands for consequences is disproportionate. Anyway, no matter what you want to complain about CRU, what does the IPCC have to do with it? That is one question that burned out von Storch's logic switching units, but also those of many journalists. Fourthly, in the stolen e-mails, several scientists talked about how they could keep certain papers out of the IPCC reports. What is not featured by the critics, however, is that this concerned papers that individual scientists wrote to influence policy, introduced faulty or erroneous information into journals, something that peer review can often, but not always, prevent. In concrete terms, this included studies in which global warming was attributed to heat island effects on the basis of questionable correlations (McKitrick and Michaels 2004), a clear example of how denialists use pseudo-science to influence policy. Although as these scientists find, the strongest warming is found in areas which are the centers of socio-economic development, one must simultaneously recognize that these centers are on land in the northern hemisphere which according to theory, is the place where global warming will be most pronounced. This typical spurious correlation slipped through the dirty work of refereeing in a professional journal. Something like this should be sorted out in a review article as was discussed in the emails. Von Storch, who wants to be known as the "honest broker" thinks it awful that bad papers were not be treated seriously in the IPCC report, leaving one to question what is it that he really wants?

The next criticism of the three who allegedly are trying to save the IPCC by cleansing it concerns alleged conflicts of interest. They state that the IPCC chairman, Pachauri, has personally benefited from the fact that it was stated in the IPCC Working Group II report on social, environmental and economic consequences of climate change, that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, if climate change continues its dramatic progress. This claim arises because an institute that Pauchauri is involved in, TERI (Energy and Resources Institute), has received a research contract based on the erroneous paragraph in the IPCC report. It is true that Pachauri is chairman of the Institute and this Institute has received a major research contract to study the consequences of a melting of the Himalayan glaciers. Roger Pielke Jr's guess is that TERI would not have been considered for the research mission, if the said paragraph was not in the IPCC report. In fact we definitely know that the glaciers in the Himalayas, and worldwide the majority of glaciers (with some exceptions), are sharply declining and this has long term consequences for the local water balance. Even if the Himalayan glaciers decline only partially by 2035, by 2100 serious impacts on water supplies in parts of Asia are possible, and a study of these effects is a relevant issue for India. Pielke Jr. 's insinuation is based on a very shaky assumption: namely, that Pachauri had an opportunity to instruct the scientists writing Chapter 10 of the IPCC Working Group II report to exaggerate the risks involved in the Himalayan glaciers melting [ and then used this to snare a grant from the Indian government - ER added]. Pielke, Jr. makes no effort to make this libel plausible. He leaves it to the imagination of the audience for whom the background is not quite clear. In this context it is probably meaningless when Pachauri points out that he personally does not receive any payment from TERI and therefore according to the rules of the IPCC there is no conflict of interest.

Indeed scandal after scandal, shakes the credibility of the thousands of climate scientists, the IPCC and the thousands of pages of its reports - if you want to believe the "honest brokers". Apparently there was no mechanism in place to deal with errors in the IPCC report, as if the rounds of corrections, and the referees assessments for the IPCC report did not take place. Perhaps one could ask in the future that the scientists who worked on the WG I report of the IPCC look at WG II more closely, which would have prevented the errors about the Himalayan glaciers. Exactly this reform is on the IPCC's radar, even without the three star "honest brokers".

Meanwhile, something is happening, which is typical for the media: the law of the series. If a bug in the IPCC reports shows up, then the reader will be fascinated by a series of mistakes. Therefore, bad journalists (the rule) are always happy to report the Himalayan glaciers error as the second breakdown in climate science, (IPCC is just too boring to write, better throw it all in one bag) after covering the stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit, although the two events have nothing to do with each other. Strange when stealing from someone is described as a scandal of those stolen from and curiously, journalists cannot distinguish CRU, IPCC and climate research from each other- such a lack of selectivity might be forgiven for Betty Blueyes and Johann Six-Pack, but not in the media. And so, after Emailgate and Himalayagate (in the sense of Watergate, that is somewhat like comparing a tax increase to the 3rd Reich) now we have Hurricangate and Amazonasgate. What's behind that? I will analyze it in another post.

Comments below

35 comments:

Truth about trolling said...

Excellent article. It is not at all surprising that the unscrupulous are trying to hustle themselves into the latest kerfuffle for a little bit of narcissistic self promotion.

I wonder how these "honest brokers" would talk about politicization of science if it was them under the barrage of FOI requests, fraud accusations and death threats.

Anonymous said...

Good.
One typo noted:
> This mind set has lead to
should be "led to"

carrot eater said...

He didn't mince his words at all. Sums it up rather nicely and bluntly.

Nicely translated, by the way. Betroffenheitstroll seems to be a term almost unique to this author, and I doubt it'll catch on.

Anonymous said...

Cracking stuff.

rumex said...

Anonymoose,

I believe Pielke Jr has argued that he tends to turn his fire on the climate science community more than the deniers because they are the ones with the political power. Given events of recent weeks, I trust we will be seeing a more balanced approach from Jr in the future, with his finely honed critical faculties targetted on the anti crowd as well as the mainstream.

We will see this, won't we?

Anonymous said...

Shoot, move, communicate...no trolling.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.8d6e5773c60565dfc6e882b0a8dcbf18.4e1&show_article=1

I just report what is out there.

Anonymous said...

Yikes.)... This just in!

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/where-our-money-goes.html

will it ever end???

David B. Benson said...

rumex --- Please do not hold your breath...

Anonymous said...

God. Eli, no matter where the light goes; it just does not seem to stop! Why don't you post some of these things? They are of interest, yes?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/04/israel-study-shows-variable-sea-level-in-past-2500-years/#more-16087

Bye-Bye-Starling...

guthrie said...

PIelke junior was at a panel discussion at the Royal Institute in London tonight. I attended. There were some nutters in the audience, including Piers Corbyn, who made sure to butt in and plug is allegedly accurate weather forecasting.
Pielke said that he accepted the IPCC science, and I think a few people afterwards asked him why, although I didn't really eavesdrop.
There was one disruptive person who right at the start kept saying AGW wasn't proven or something like that, but after he shut up and things got going it was ok. The usual misinformation was visible amongst the attendees as well, one of them saying something about 600 billin dollars the US was spending on climate research, apropos of the IPCC not having much money.

guthrie said...

I rather thought that concern trolls were the people who said "Of course you are right about the science but you don't have to shout about it, can you stop berating everyone who disagrees with you." (After you've spent some time slapping down denialists, and also answering honest questions)

But a check of wikipedia suggests I'm wrong. Ah well.
Pielke junior did this evening say that he wanted to keep the IPCC, but that it needed reforming. The question of course is what sort of reform does it need, and can he garner jobs from it?

carrot eater said...

What reform does the IPCC need?

Clearly, thousands of references to the literature are simply too many to sort out; some dodgy citations of the WWF sneak in.

Better to base the whole thing upon nothing but Pielke publications.

Anonymous said...

Little Mouse has noticed that the pro polluters never criticise each other even when their explanations are contradictory. Also noticable is the complete lack of retractions when proven wrong.

Little Mouse's knowledge of climate science requires he trust others to interpret and explain. But some explanations start to leak very quickly.

The concerned troll is very tricky.

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse: Carroteater says "Clearly, thousands of references to the literature are simply too many to sort out.."

You just din't get it do you. The CRUgate emails make it clear that the Warmers conspired to keep opposing papers out of the Journals. For the past 20 years the way to get a grant is to try to fabricate a connection to any area of AGW.

No wonder the record is biased towards AGW.

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse says: Want to know how so many get it so wrong?

Symptoms of groupthink
To make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink (1977).

Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, disfigured, impotent, or stupid.
Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty".
Self censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
Groupthink, resulting from the symptoms listed above, results in defective decision making. That is, consensus-driven decisions are the result of the following practices of groupthinking[5]

Incomplete survey of alternatives
Incomplete survey of objectives
Failure to examine risks of preferred choice
Failure to reevaluate previously rejected alternatives
Poor information search
Selection bias in collecting information
Failure to work out contingency plans.

Anonymous said...

Wow anon... Thank you for the info. Very clear reading. Now I know just how the Credit Default Swap---mess started. Health care reform anyone?

Angliss said...

Sure, Markey, the CRU emails did just that - in your own deluded mind, perhaps. I suppose the fact that the AP read every email and found no evidence of collusion or other wrongdoing except possibly for UK FOI issues, Factcheck.org found no problems, that Nature and the AMS investigated every paper mentioned in their collections and found no problems worthy of corrections, and now Penn State exonerated Mann of the three most serious allegations against him and concluded that the initial inquiry committee lacked the knowledge to determine if the last allegation was warranted or not.

Oh, that's right - all that means is that Factcheck.org, Penn State, Nature, the AP, all the other competing and profit-driven traditional media outlets, CRU, the Met, et al are all in cahoots in the largest conspiracy ever devised.

The irony of a denier quoting a definition of groupthink is truly delicious.

carrot eater said...

Oh dear, is that so?

Well, in that case AR5 should be expanded. Instead of just Pielke papers, it'll include Pielke blog postings too. Just in case the conspiracy kept any good stuff out of the literature. Point is, you don't need or want anything non-Pielke.

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse quotes from the Bishop Hill: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/20/climate-cuttings-33.html
Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)
Mann thinks he will contact BBC's Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)
Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn't matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)
Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)
Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)
Reaction to McIntyre's 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper's editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460) [Note to readers - Saiers was subsequently ousted]
Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)
Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4](1189722851)
Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)
Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)
Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)
Funkhouser says he's pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn't think it's productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)
Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)
Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)
Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)
Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)
Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)

Now Angliss, can you count how many references to suppressing Anti AGW Papers there are?

I think you are "Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions."

Anonymous said...

Angliss, See... anon; has read the FOIA file, personally forming his or her own thoughts & developing an opinion on this subject. How are you doing? Got some time on your hands? Read the file yourself. Think for yourself. It is becoming all the rage.

Hank Roberts said...

I call plagiarism by 'Anonymous' who copypasted this-- and much else--without attribution:

Results ... about 2,070 for "Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it"

carrot eater said...

Hank - there is attribution. the URL is on the top line of the copy/paste.

If anybody else is up for the tiresome task of going through all those emails again, go ahead.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with wanting to punch Pat Michaels.

Angliss said...

Aaaaaaannd you have proof that any of those discussions brought fruit? Clearly the journal Climate Research is still around. The papers that scientists discussed keeping out of the IPCC report ACTUALLY MADE IT INTO THE IPCC.

See, I have read a significant portion of the emails, and the only truly damaging ones are the FOI-related ones that Mann has been cleared of and that might cost Jones his job. I took this whole mess on when it happened at this link: http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2009/11/20/climategate-not-likely/

The gist is this: the technical comments are out of context, the personal/political comments are rude and obnoxious but nothing more, and there's no evidence of scientific malfeasance shown in the emails.

If you want to dislike Mann for being rude or for suggesting that like-minded scientists stop submitting to a particular journal, that's fine. But it's pretty much the science equivalent of organizing a boycott of Nike for using sweatshop labor, or boycotting advertisers because they advertise on Glenn Beck, or getting your neighborhood to picket in front of an adult toy shop that's right across the street from an elementary school.

Or don't scientists have the right to speak and assemble?

Put another way, how is what they did any different from a business that refuses to sell to a customer because that customer keeps screwing them over? As producers of products (scientific papers), don't the scientists have the right to "sell" to whomever they want?

Again, the journal Nature concluded after reading the emails that the research they'd published hadn't been compromised. The American Meteorological Society concluded the same thing. So did Factcheck.org. So did the AP. Every person I've talked to who, you know, actually understands how science and scientists actually operate agrees.

Accept it, guys - Climategate is a dud. In a year, it'll be just one more death knell that came and went and left the science and data underlying the anthropogenic sources of climate disruption unmarred.

With apologies to Frank Herbert:

Climategate is the mind-killer.
Climategate is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
AGW science will face Climategate.
AGW science will permit Climategate to pass over the science and through the science.
And when Climategate has gone past AGW science will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where Climategate has gone there will be nothing.
Only the AGW science will remain.

TCO said...

I can understand a kvetches about Tol. And Pielke can be persnickety. But Von Storch is the real deal in terms of an honest broker. He's not a Koskid like Gavin or thin-skinned Mikie. And he's not a second rater type like Pielke. And I've seen the guy. He radiates ethics. Trust him very much to do the right thing whichever way it cuts. I can tell...

dhogaza said...

But Von Storch is the real deal in terms of an honest broker.

He does just enough to keep his reputation tenable, nothing more. He's more a fence-sitter, than honest broker. He's the guy Spencer would like to be, if Spencer could ever learn to be subtle.

He's not a Koskid like Gavin or thin-skinned Mikie

Oh, there's character assassination ...

Of course, he's not exposed to the attempts to get him fired, to get him convicted of research fraud, and as far as I know, he's not reported any death threats this far.

He is, after all, a darling of the likes of you.

It's also true that he can't quite bring himself to openly align himself with the anti-science brigade. He's a fence-straddler, not willing to destroy his scientific reputation entirely (just partially), but ditching science for pseudo-science.

But everyone sees through that. The smart ones, that is.

BTW, thanks for posting sober, or at least in one of those alcoholic moments of clarity (props to Pulp Fiction).

dhogaza said...

See, I have read a significant portion of the emails, and the only truly damaging ones are the FOI-related ones that Mann has been cleared of and that might cost Jones his job.

Frankly, Jones may well deserve it, but it has nothing to do with science (as I know you know).

But, unfortunately, it will totally discredit UEA CRU in every venue *outside of* science.

I'm sympathetic to Jones ... FOIA laws were passed to make government more open, but not to allow foreign citizen to flood a country with paralyzing quantiities of requests (I'm amazed that a Canadian can FOIA the UK or the US).

But my sympathy doesn't matter.

carrot eater said...

Eli has been dubbed "the old hare of climate blogging"

http://klimakrise.de/2010/02/07/betroffenheitstheater/

EliRabett said...

Von Storch and Zorita have behaved like jackels in the Swifthack affair. You could see the saliva dripping from their lips when they opened their blog.

For them it's all or nothing, because none of the people they went after or their colleagues or etc. are going to have nothing to do with them after this.

EliRabett said...

In German it carries the connotation of wise and wily. Eli is merely a stuffed and cuddly bunny.

EliRabett said...

As a small point, v. Storch has been pretty jealous of Stefan Rahmstorf, who has been the go to guy for a quote on climate change for German reporters (Rahmstorf is also on the advisory committee for climate change, Eli doesn't think v. Storch is). v. Storch and his cats paw Zorita, are clearly intent on displacing Rahmstorf.

Rabett Run, where you go to get your scorecard.

Boris said...

Zorita doesn't like Rahmstorf either:

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/11/zorita_goes_for_the_jugular.php

Reminds me of a Simpsons quote: "No one who speaks German could be an evil man."

Marion Delgado said...

Betroffenheitstroll? I'll spread it far and wide!

It has a nice ring to it.

Anonymous said...

Hello carrot eater, here is a nice new root for you to chew on. Some scientists know how to dig.

http://www.jgc.org/blog/2010/02/something-odd-in-crutem3-station-errors.html

Thank you, Eli... Starling-bye-bye

carrot eater said...

I didn't even know CRU published error estimates for each station.

Carl C said...

I think von Storch knows a thing or two about climate, and it's unfair to just blast him because he criticizes his colleagues. Of course I've been accused of "concern trolling" myself! ;-)

I think the whole thing goes to show that scientists are all too human and once they get outside of their little area of expertise, and go into a socio-political realm, you really can't trust them. That goes for the scientists who want to make a name for themselves because it's easier to attack something than do their own original research; as well as the "circle-the-wagons" crowd.

I think the whole field has devolved over the years, and the idea that we can trust anyone to make major decisions and know what to do with trillions of tax dollars is ludicrous. I mean it's like depending on the UN to get rid of some horrible dictator in Africa, which never goes right, but all of a sudden we think we can prevent global warming problems in 100 years?

I think the sad reality, is people can only come together and help after the shit hits the fan. So it will take a climate-related catastrophe similar to the Haiti earthquake or "Christmas tsunami" to get people to do anything. I'm sorry if this sounds like "concern trolling" -- I just think it sounds like reality! ;-)