Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wisdom from the Danish

Over at Tamino's the nature of denialism is under discussion in the comments at a couple of places. Among the convenient claims from the other side was

No serious skeptic believes that extra CO2 does not come from humans. Just like no serious skeptic believes that that CO2 is a GHG that will cause some warming. The real questions are how much warming and whether warming is necessarily bad.
Eli pointed to a few dozen. In the other J summed up

Is the surfacestations.org project still going on, or has it basically ended? How many stations per week are being surveyed? I believe during the first six months of the project, it was averaging 15-20.

It looks like participation in the project almost evaporated once John V. posted his results a year ago.

My impression is that a lot of people were only interested in the project because they thought it would blow a hole in GISTEMP. When it became clear that it would more likely confirm the validity of GISTEMP, people basically stopped surveying stations.

but recently another swam into view by happenstance. The Rabett was poking around in places where his name was taken in vain, and virtue. Occasionally he can (with the help of language tools) read the stuff. Recently he stumbled on a post from Christoffer Bugge Harder on the Danish Klimaendringer (Climate Debate) site describing how a blogger who was working on a "new" theory showing Arrhenius wrong, was smoking some strange weed: (freely translated)
But you are driven to continue along your chosen path and without trouble you can almost certainly get Anthony Watts, Junk Science or co2science to present your "definitive repudiation" of Arrhenius when finished. There you can find odiments that lack context, logic and consistency and the kind of people whose only ambition is to show that one particular theory simply must be wrong. There will also be 100 comments from strange little men to thank you for having confirmed their suspicions that the whole thing is a big fraud.

If you're happy with this, it's fine with me. And you may also like to believe that you:
..... have lots of experience, have unusual views and deserve your self-confidence.
Rabett Run, the go to place for multilingual internet climate snark agglomeration.


Arthur said...

"Serious skeptic", hmm? I think we need a more coherent classification system for our skeptics. This suggests a scale:

"hilarious skeptic" - Marc Morano perhaps, or our friend the Viscount. Theime and his famous geocities pages. The jae and Jan Pompe team; many "skeptic" blog commenters, especially the amen crowd at ClimateAudit, (anybody who would fall under Tamino's "bag of hammers" description, really). Fun to pick on, but there doesn't seem much point...

"amusing skeptic" - Gerlich and Tscheushner no doubt - but then I always find Teutonic sternness amusing... Miskolczi, Chilingar, Spencer on occasion. People who should be ashamed of themselves for the stupid things they've gotten wrong, but amusingly aren't.

"serious skeptic" - Spencer on his better days, Pielke Sr., Lindzen, Lucia, McIntyre, Bob Carter, most of Morano's list that have any business being on there at all. What I find worst about this group is the deliberate ambiguity frequently found in their writing, which regularly leads to huzzahs from their "amen corner" (categories 1 and 2) but when confronted each will deny that was what they meant. Reminds me of the "code words" the Bush administration purportedly used with regularity to "appeal to the base" while publicly disavowing any such rabid notions.

"frighteningly disturbing skeptic" - those who have mastered the art of publicly profitable anti-climate economic alarmism all the while accusing climate scientists of what they are themselves guilty of - Lomborg, Pielke Jr, Crichton...

Unfortunately all categories of skeptic seem to be on full mobilization with the new US administration coming in. Ah well...

Anonymous said...

No serious skeptic believes that extra CO2 does not come from humans and no serious human believes that extra CO2 does not come from skeptics.

Hank Roberts said...

Er ... odiments?

I hope not. I'm not sure I can absorb two new words in a single day.

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, heck, make it three.

> svindelnummer.

Is it, alas, a false cognate? Google says "large number vertigo" -- such a prosaic meaning for such a tempting word.

Dano said...

I remember Hans Erren trying to say A. was wrong and he was going to do it. I called it 'Errendipity' and he never was able to get his Galileo-like paper published.



Marion Delgado said...

All my Danishes have ever said to me was that if I kill the old landlady Tanya won't have to continue streetwalking, and the headaches will stop. But I eat them before they get very far with that line of argument.

I want a wiser class of Danish.

Christoffer Bugge Harder said...

Dear readers,

my compliments for getting such a readable translation out of something written in my relatively obscure native tongue. To clear up the minor misunderstandings, I have tried to translate the complete phrase - if there are clumsy expression in the English, I am confident that you can clear it:

Of course, you are free to to continue along your chosen path and I am sure that you could certainly get Anthony Watts, Junk Science or co2science to publish your "definitive rebuttal" of Arrhenius when finished. That kind of people whose only ambition is to show that one particular theory simply must be wrong are not bothered by such petite details like context, logic and consistency. Surely there will also be +100 comments from strange little men thanking you for having confirmed their suspicions about how the whole thing is a big hoax.

If you're happy with this, it's fine with me. I cannot rob you of your illusion that you, as you have claimed: ”have lots of experience in adhering to unusual views and yet be right, thus earning self-confidence”.

For professionals knowing what they are talking about – and for the amateurs who, unlike you, pay attention to those smarter and more knowledgeable than ourselves, and who have the necessary understanding of the requirements of scientific documentation and consistency - you merely appear as an object lesson of those overconfident amateur clowns that is haunting climate science in numbers of 13 by the dozen, which scientists treat as comic figures, and who will never experience getting anything right. As Uncle Eli says:

”What amateurs lack as a group is perspective, an understanding of how everything fits together and a sense of proportion....this lack makes amateurs prone to get caught in the traps that entangled the professionals' grandfathers, and it can be difficult to disabuse them of their discoveries. Especially problematical are those who want science to validate preconceived political notions, and those willing to believe they are Einstein and the professionals are fools. Put these two types together and you get a witches brew of ignorance and attitude.

Unfortuantely climate science is as sugar to flies for those types”.

Christoffer Bugge Harder said...

The blogger I was interacting with is someone by the name of Frank Lansner, who is indeed a contributor to surfacestations.org, and an occasional guest writer at Anthony Watts page. Evidently, he thinks that he can refute Arrhenius by proving that temperature is dependent on pressure, and that this somehow falsifies Arrhenius´ work. Does not really seem like a new Galileo to me.

Take a look at his last post on WUWT:


Here, he (by plotting co2 and temperature for the last 10 years) claims to demonstrate how Oeschger, Dansgaard and all other ice core researchers got it all wrong, too.

To his credit, I should say that he does not seem to be one of the usual freemarket ranters with an ideological axe to grind. Rather, he is one who seems determined to getting entangled in every possible trap and commit virtually all the mistakes and erroneous assumptions climate science since Fourier´s days, e.g. when trying to refute Arrhenius with Ångström. References to people like Callendar or Keeling who came up with a good answer to his alleged "problems" 50-70 years ago just does not have any effect on this guy. Indeed, the level of solipsism is breathtaking.

Sadly, Denmark is haunted by public denialism to a degree that few other European countries can match - being the home country of Bjørn Lomborg, Ole Humlum, Bjarne Andresen, Aksel Wiin-Nielsen and Henrik Svensmark, all put together in a country of just 5 mio., we are at real tough odds. Are there any other countries with such a proportionally similar presence of prominent "skeptics"? With his interest in multilinguism and climate, maybe Uncle Eli could write a post about biases across nations someday?

By the way, Hank: "Svindelnummer" translates into "hoax". Same word as in "The great swindle", you know ;-)

Anonymous said...

MarkyMouse quotes: "Award-winning NASA Astronaut and Physicist Walter Cunningham of NASA’s Apollo 7 also recently chastised Hansen. “Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradict him,”

Also: "Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fears soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.” Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of anthropogenic global warming fears." http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=1a5e6e32-802a-23ad-40ed-ecd53cd3d320

EliRabett said...

Christoffer, you do indeed have a way with words. Eli can, more or less, get a lot of the Scandinavian languages via German cognates and translation tools, but thanks for these corrections and additions.