Since like forever Eli has been telling scientists that it is time to get angry and not take anymore crap. As the bunny pointed out, the CRU Email theft was a real wakeup call, among others for Kevin Trenberth, who laid it on the line at this year's AMS
The climate change deniers have very successfully caused major diversions from the much needed debate about what to do about climate change and how to implement it. It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended. In a debate it is impossible to counter lies, and caveated statements show up poorly against loudly proclaimed confident statements that often have little or no basis. Scientific facts are not open to debate and opinion because they are evidence and/or physically based. Moreover a debate actually gives alternative views credibility. On the other hand there is a lot of scope for debate about exactly what to do about the findings.Of course, the climate change deniers did not take this well and tried a ferocious pushback. Give Trenberth credit, he was mad as hell and he was not going to take it. Now (thanks for the pointers) comes John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government, who called all the denialists out in plain spoken language.
"We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality... We are not—and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this—grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method."
"One way is to be completely intolerant of this nonsense," he said. "That we don't kind of shrug it off. We don't say: ‘oh, it's the media’ or ‘oh they would say that wouldn’t they?’ I think we really need, as a scientific community—and this is a very important scientific community—to think about how we do it."closing with
“I’d urge you, and this is a kind of strange message to go out, but go out and be much more intolerant.” He asked his audience to forgive him for what appear to have been unscripted remarks, adding: “But it is a thing that has been very much at the forefront of my mind over the last few months and I think we need to do it.”And, oh yes, go read Joe Romm on how industry is funding and creating sock puppets to spam comments and worse. The bunnies may not have noticed but one of the sock puppet factories got hacked (follow the link) by a computer nihilist collective called (what else) Anonymous, after the company HBGary threatened to unmask the members. It has not been pretty. Google HBGary for details. Turns out that HBGary and friends had proposals out there to attack bloggers and think tanks, and that these proposals were for the Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce among others. HBGary had clearly been up to this sort of stuff for a while, which sheds, perhaps, new light on the UEA CRU Email theft. Might not have been a bunch of crazy Russians after all.
The time has come the Rabett said. . . .