Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A Visit to the Whine and Fang

Ethon, who has been on sabbatical, came by the other day. The big bird was feeling dirty again, having returned too soon to the Pielkesphere where he caught a full load of Roger the Unhappy. Why is Roger unhappy Eli asked?

There was a pause for pate and scotch and a bird bath. Talking about an old source of much good liver gone to irrelevance is hard. According to Ethon it's kind of simple. The big lout lost a lot of access as more and more people saw through his game. The more people know about Roger the less there is. Even the poli sci department at Colorado wouldn't have him, mostly because they have some serious people looking at the issues associated with climate change policy. Roger thinks they stole his liver.

Losing Andy Revkin's megaphone on the front page of the Times has really hurt. You don't see Roger as the go to quote any more.

The whole thing is amusing to watch, with Kloor, Revkin and the Breakthrough Guys paddling faster to stay still while coordinating their churnalism. They are currently pushing the third way, but as has been pointed out there is no point trying to sell compromise to people who have political views on gravity, thermal radiation and especially lord knows what else, sky dragons (the especially brave can don welding goggles, look directly at the sun and turn in to a pile of feathers). The latest is so 1990s, lets do things that help with climate change for other reasons. Eli, MT, James and the Weasel were doing that on USENET twenty years ago. Unfortunately, the ship sailed because the Rogers (plural intended) provided cover and more is needed now.

Roger has a thing for Joe Romm, but he expresses it mostly through Keith Kloor with the occasional smarmy drive by. OTOH Roger's new love is Justin Gillis the NY Times environment reporter. Take the interview that Gillis gave to the Columbia Journalism Review, seriously, go read it. A key Q&A is

The Times launched Temperature Rising as climate coverage was in overall decline following the Climategate affair, the fruitless UN climate summit in Copenhagen, and the failure of climate legislation in the US. What inspired the paper to double down?

It was more or less a direct response to Climategate, which led to a lot of questions about the science. One was forced to read the e-mails and ask, “Do they suggest any sort of scientific misconduct?” As we studied them, it became clear to me that they didn’t, so we asked ourselves, “How do we respond in this situation when the evidence is all pointing in the same direction?” Points of contention exist within the science, as they should, but not about the basics of whether we have a problem. So, we asked ourselves, “What can we do to take readers back to square one, and can we better explain the underpinnings for this claim that we have a problem?” That’s when we decided to launch the series. The problem then and now is that it’s such a big topic that you’re really pushing the limits of what’s achievable within the frame of a newspaper story. But we decided to see if we could push those limits and give people climate change in bigger doses that might make more sense to them than the kind of incremental, he-said-she-said way the issue had traditionally been covered.
Roger churnalized this as

On the East Anglia emails that were released in 2009 Gillis makes a strong statement:

One was forced to read the e-mails and ask, “Do they suggest any sort of scientific misconduct?” As we studied them, it became clear to me that they didn’t, so we asked ourselves, “How do we respond in this situation when the evidence is all pointing in the same direction?”
Good guys, bad guys. All the evidence. One direction. That explains the lack of nuance in the NYT reporting of climate change science and politics.
Ethon was confused, where does the "Good guys, bad guys" thing come from? Justin was talking about the science pointing in the same direction. Surely the Honest Broker wouldn't mislead? Eli and Ethon had a little talk about the facts of liver. Ethon was shaken.


Anonymous said...

On looking Directly Into The Sun one sees that Judith's born again commentariat have ( thus far ) unleashed some 2,518 comments in defense of The Sky Dragon.

2,518 ? !?

We're talking Biblical proportions here- that's more comments than most climate science journals have non-institutional subscribers.

So instead of hitting on us taxpayers to subsidize her company's Met Data habit, why doesn't Judith offer her editorial services to John Wiley & Sons, rentiers extraordinaires who seem perpetually indulgent of proposals to add to their new journals list, if a political coterie of charter subscribers can be found to underwrite the venture .

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.


I'm not going to take the time to look into the chart that Dr. Pielke is complaining about. Specifically, the chart about natural disasters and the rise in costs. It doesn't really tell us anything about the intensity of the weather, agree? Nobody cares if there is an F5 tornado in the desert. And how can anybody say with any accuracy that severe weather events are on the rise, when it has only been in recent years that we can globally track them? Are the anomalous values for areas previously untracked? Is there a computer powerful enough in the world that can pinpoint any precipitation on the globe?

And I don't understand why current temperatures aren't compared to historical GAT? And couldn't you use that argument in your favor if you wanted? You could say the historical average is higher so we should expect the earth to warm?

susan said...

Classic! Don't have time to look but am going to criticize anyway. No wonder there's Dr. Ph.D. for a self-proclaimed honorific.

Susan Anderson, not a doctor, no Ph.D.

susan said...

Ain't nuthin' nor nobody gonna convince somebody who is determined to undermine straight English and say it means something different from what it does. This is not just sad but tragic, given our situation.

I'm not going to put my head in a noose over at [dis]"honest broker" because it's obvious from the comments that, for example, if a scientist (Mann) is persecuted, and people after the fact club together to defend him because they think he is being mistreated, they are in a conspiracy. If a careful look at the CRU hack reveals that there is no crime and statements have been taken out of context, and furthermore, scientists have revealed that they find lies about something as serious as climate change annoying, and the New York Times decides to do its duty and say so, that's a conspiracy too. A conspiracy of honesty and wisdom, but that doesn't signify.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

yes, quite classic. Yet another bogus measurement that tells us nothing about storm intensity. I'm sure you've read about all the beneficial effects of co2 on plants as well, Susan. Can you explain why an anomalous amount of dollars corresponds to storm intensity?

Concering the CRU emails, everyone has the same opinion just about different people. You think Fred Singer lies, I think Michael Mann lies.

Many people would also say that claiming record temperature highs and record ice melts are lies because...they're not records.

susan said...

Dr. Ph.D.

The facts are against you. Your unsupported assertions prove nothing, and you claim mine are unsupported, which they aren't but in the narrowest sense, here and now, they are in fact without backup from yours truly, except for my daily reading of various science and, for example, a number of items here:

In the end, neither of us can claim anything since I don't choose to pursue this any further here, but I was pointing out that your assertions are not supported and you have just underlined my point.

You could, of course, read Dr. Mann's book and note that his university supports him. But you seem to think the university and 98% of the world's scientists are in the conspiracy with him.

Steve Bloom said...

Good point about RP Jr. having passed his sell-by date, Eli. I rather suspect he tried to suborn Gillis the way he did Revkin, but the former wasn't buying. Come the AR5, we'll see how much the press falls for lather, rinse, repeat. A lot less, I suspect.

J Bowers said...

"I'm sure you've read about all the beneficial effects of co2 on plants as well, Susan."

A shame it has the opposite effect on the plants we eat. Maybe Jay could write a conifer cookbook?

susan said...

Well, it's very good for poison ivy and kudzu.