Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Art of the Grift

Eli had a giggle after reading Roger Sr.'s submission, but the Bunny's immediate concern was, of course,  finding enough calories for his feathered friend in the UK IPCC 5th Assessment Review.  After all, the winds have been strong,  up to 160 kph, but that's at ground level, up in the jet stream, where the Raptor flies it is a record 458 kph, with the low of the storm maybe at 930 mbar, enough even to blow the guy backwards. 

Not to worry, Ethon tweeted, while shining his beak, a Donna Laframboise for desert after an empty Pielkepie is tasty, if not nourishing.  A piece of  fruitcake after  thin gruel.  Well, Junior High School fruitcake, cause that is probably the place she last took a science course, and her understanding of what science is, is, let Eli be charitable in this season, lacking.

she writes
"The IPCC is a scientific body," proclaims the IPCC's website. But is this true? Does the mere fact that scientists are involved make an entity a scientific body? Would we describe a chess club as a scientific body simply because members were scientists? 
 There is a name for this fallacy, actually several, but Eli prefers Logic Fail.  The trick is to get the reader going so fast that she floats right over the wait, this is not that.   Eli might not describe a chess club with scientists as members a scientific body, but, Donna, the Royal Society, is also composed of scientists, you wanna argue that it is a chess club?  Though Laframboise is no scientist, she is a master of the false analogy which Eli assigns as indirect prevarication, not really a straight out lie, but designed to mislead.  Of course, once the bait has been swallowed, the indirect prevaricator reels in the fish 

Now some, not Eli to be sure, have been putting out the rumor that Donna L will be giving oral testimony at the Parliament.  Were Eli a member of the committee, he would start by asking her, if she considered the Royal Society and friends to be scientific bodies.  It can only go downhill from there as the bunnies will see. The written submission then stretches this already broken analogy using a rather adolescent understanding of science. 
The IPCC website acknowledges that it "does not conduct any research." Its reports are massive literature reviews. IPCC personnel survey the scientific literature and, in the course of writing multi-thousand-page assessment report make thousands of judgment calls as to what that literature tells us about climate change, humanity, and the relationship between the two.

Judgment calls are not science They are influenced by an individual's assumptions, breadth and depth of experience, cultural and spiritual, economic and political analyses, and so forth.
On the other paw, some, like Lucia, would busy out looking at how many pages there are in the IPCC AR5 or AR4.  Eli is above that.  Still, were Eli Lucia or Steve Mosher, something Ms. Rabett forbids on pain of messy divorce, a fierce debate would ensue about whether less than 3000 pages is many thousand and how this is a major scientific issue fail.  This would be blamed on Michael Mann and Steve McIntyre would be thanked for his helpful contribution.  The bunny is bigger than that and there are tastier fish in this barrel

Let us start with that somehow, somehow, scientific education got left off and experience in the area under study got pushed under the rug, but to really understand where she is going, take a look at the next in Laframboise's little listie.
IPCC personnel can be compared to members of a jury. Evidence is evaluated. Decisions are made as to what conclusions are warranted. No one considers a jury a scientific body - even when forensic science provides much of the evidence
The good Junior High School Scientist now throws her ace down on the table.  After all, she is a scientifical person who watches CSI on TV.   Having established her indirect prevarication (weren't looking were you Bucky?) she now reels in the fish.  Except, well, except that a jury of laypeople selected from the community is not like an IPCC working group.  The useful mapping of the IPCC working groups is to National Academy of Science or Royal Society panels pulled together to investigate questions of national and international interest.  And, of course, there are multi-hundred page reports generated like

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change:-Anticipating Surprises (2013)
The Nexus of Biofuels, Climate Change, and Human Health:-Workshop Summary (2013)
Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices:-PDF Booklet (2012)
Ecological Impacts of Climate Change- (2008) Advancing the Science of Climate Change- (2010)
Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change- (2010)

and, again, were Eli to be on the Parliamentary Committee, the Bunny would have a few of these on hand to show Ms. Laframboise and ask her precisely what she meant.  Eli would also recommend a wearing a face covering safety shield and a bunny suit to block the word salad that will emerge, but the important point is not to accept the "just like", it ain't. 
Well, if you have a false analogy, push it to the limit, and the next section of Donna's rant tries to say that anyone who knows about anything and has an opinion on it is not fit to render judgement on the thing.  This ignores a lot, but it is designed to appeal to the legally trained whose job is to keep the jury ignorant about facts that are inconvenient to their case and another part of which is to confuse the jury.  DL hauls out the names of a few AR5 authors and reviewers she considers tainted.  Folk like Michael Oppenheimer who was chief scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.  Eli can see that, Haroon Kheshgi who works for Exxon Mobil Corportate Strategic Research, and raise Mustafa Babiker, from Saudi Aramco. 

Let us close for the day, perhaps more tomorrow, with Eli's Analogy, Donna Laframboise is like a crooked nail. Just as a crooked nail must be either be discarded, or straightened out so must Donna Laframboise,

or as Robert put it Donna Laframboise is an inspiration to self-published resume-padders everywhere.


Rattus Norvegicus said...

I seem to remember DL discounting some early foundational works from say people like Tyndall and Agassiz because they weren't "peer reviewed". The poor dear has a pretty limited understanding of peer review.

Anonymous said...

"IPCC personnel can be compared to members of a jury. Evidence is evaluated. Decisions are made as to what conclusions are warranted. No one considers a jury a scientific body..."

Leaving aside the logical alternatives that arise from "...can be compared..." one has the brilliance of "not all birds are ducks, therefore birds are never ducks".

Her thimble-rigging is indeed a rasberry to logic and rational thought. If she ever darkened the doors of any of my laboratories it would only be for a brief period, until her palpable incompetence in scientific endeavour disqualified her from any further participation.

Bernard J.

Anonymous said...

Judith Curry found DL's submission to be 'hard-hitting'.

Hard-reading, sure.....

Anonymous Etc

willard said...

Link to Robert's comment:

Susan Anderson said...

"anyone who knows about anything and has an opinion on it is not fit to render judgement on the thing"

and on ... that's about it.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

I thought I was the king of self published resume padders! I can't even get my ideas published in the Journal of Crackpot Theories. lol. But then I realized that nobody cares about the things I am interested in. Writing gives me a good excuse when I'm sitting in front of a jury giving testimony, when people finally get around to taking an interest in these subjects.

Anonymous said...

You might be the cleverest bunny on the planet you're correct 3000 is not many thousands, but certainly is multi-thousands.

She is of course correct the IPCC is a political body set up by politicians. It doesn't itself do any science, it roots through the scientific literature choosing the papers that best support its purpose of assessing "on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change". It's charter gives it no option but to assume that climate change is human induced and that it will be catastrophic. Ergo it is a political body and Donna Laframboise is correct.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at2/1/14 1:49 AM.

If the IPCC cherry-picks the scientific literature for agreeable material, there must by inference be another body of published literature which refutes the physics and climatology of human-caused global warming. Such a body must also surely be compiled in a bibliography similar to the IPCC's.

If you could point to this work I would be most interested as I would like to assess the scientific credibilty of the same.

If you are unable to so point to such a bibliography I will conclude that in fact no such credible body of work exists...

Bernard J.

EliRabett said...

Our latest Anon (please take a number, 1 is taken), neglects to mention that the National Academy of Sciences is in the same sense a political body set up by politicians (Lincoln in that case) In its Act of Incorporation, the Academy serves to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government and it gets paid for that, something the IPCC does not beyond travel.

Laframboise is an ignorant twit.

geronimo said...

"Laframboise is an ignorant twit."

Ad homs are an admittance of defeat.

Do members of the US government sit with the scientists to provide SPMs for the politicians?

I'm geronimo by name, and I love rabbit stew - so watch out when you insult an izdzan-:)

Anonymous said...

"Ad homs are an admittance of defeat."

Eli's comment was not ad hominem.

Your point is therefore spurious.

Bernard J.

EliRabett said...

Having demonstrated that Ms. Laframboise, is a) ignorant, b) untrained and c) opionated, why yes, she is the classical clueless twit, although not a member of the House of Lords.

As to the rest, why yes, scientists in the US sit with politicians on a regular basis to set policy. Look up the Council on Environmental Policy, the Office of Science and Technology, the Office of Science Advisor (EPA), Chief Scientist (NASA) and many more. The same is true in other countries. In short, this is just another example of where Laframboise has not a clue