Fabricating Climate Doom: Checking Up on Jim Steele’s Science

A couple weeks back a fella by the name of Jim Steele joined the alley fight that is the SkepticForum ClimateChange board.
The man starts a post “More Respectful Climate Debate is Essential” which included the following:
1st) Misrepresent California temperature trends
2) “Many of the papers advocating such catastrophes were examples of horrible scientific research and some bordered on fraud”
3) “More alarming is the current push to suppress any skeptical discussion or debate.”
4) “The Co2 hype”
5) “Any suppression of open debate defiles science.”
A look at Steele’s linked article (his own) itself shows an ad hominem saturated political statement that had precious little of any science about the thing. Thus started my slippery sliddy slope into Steele’s rabbit hole. My self-righteous indignation and the baiting got the better of me and there were some exciting fire works, but as fire works go they faded into nothing again. In the end, I did my own paragraph by paragraph review, which Mr. Steele refuses to confront. http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/03/fabricating-climate-doom-looking-at-jim.html But, the thing is a marathon for sure and most of it does hover around politics, ad hominems and Steele’s rhetorical fancy dancing.
That’s why I’ve written another review of the same article, but this time culling out just the science claims in order to focus on them. Makes for a much shorter blog post too. If anyone here were interested in looking at it and then, if they see cause, pointing out my failures of fact or form, please do.

Friday, March 28, 2014 Fabricating Climate Doom: Checking Up on Jim Steele’s Science http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/03/fabricatingclimatedoom-steeles-science.html

Oh, on a related note, that is, understanding how “climate science skeptics” manipulate words and information,
and to avoid starting another thread, Stefan Rahmstorf has posted a very interesting and informative essay at RealClimate.com.
It looks into the science of statistics including that thorny issue “absence of evidence or evidence for absence” and interpreting statistics.
Worth the read.

The most common fallacy in discussing extreme weather events Filed under: Climate Science Communicating Climate statistics — stefan rahmstorf (http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/) @ 25 March 2014 http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/the-most-common-fallacy-in-discussing-extreme-weather-events/ Does global warming make extreme weather events worse? Here is the #1 flawed reasoning you will have seen about this question: it is the classic confusion between absence of evidence and evidence for absence of an effect of global warming on extreme weather events. Sounds complicated? It isn’t. I’ll first explain it in simple terms and then give some real-life examples. The two most fundamental properties of extreme events are that they are rare (by definition) and highly random. These two aspects (together with limitations in the data we have) make it very hard to demonstrate any significant changes. And they make it very easy to find all sorts of statistics that do not show an effect of global warming – even if it exists and is quite large. Would you have been fooled by this? ...

As is so often the case in this kind of argument, I agree with his premises, but not with the conclusion he’s trying to sell. :lol:
Occam

As is so often the case in this kind of argument, I agree with his premises, but not with the conclusion he's trying to sell. :lol: Occam
I'm assume you mean Stefan Rahmstorf? Come on give, got something specific?

.

Whoops, sorry. I thought the excerpt from Stefan was really another from Steele. I skimmed the latter, assumed it was attacking climate change reasoning, and made my comment. I should read more carefully rather than being in a rush. :red:
Occam

I briefly looked over your stuff, and I think you’re falling into the trap. GCC deniers don’t care about facts, honest debate, etc. They care about public perception. And to that end it’s enough for them to put out some claptrap, get it publicized, “debated” at all, and go onto the next thing. Propaganda doesn’t worry about facts, it’s just a matter of repeating something over and over and over until people either get sick of listening to BOTH sides, or people start to believe even a little or doubt everything. And these folks have gotten smart by basically polluting the debate by, well insisting that their garbage be part of the debate. You see the same thing in the current wave of bigotry passing as laws for religious freedom. By twisting things around and using half truths or “truthiness” they make their positions seem reasonable by merely showing up at the debate (or law).
I don’t think you fight that by facts. Their underlying program is to make people either sick of or distrustful of facts, including yours.

... I don't think you fight that by facts. Their underlying program is to make people either sick of or distrustful of facts, including yours.
This seems correct to me. The problem is that we try to demonstrate the existence of AGW with facts, to an apathetic public, and all the deniers need to do is sufficiently obfuscate the facts. An alternative tactic to address this problem does not readily occur to me.
I briefly looked over your stuff, and I think you're falling into the trap. GCC deniers don't care about facts, honest debate, etc. They care about public perception. And to that end it's enough for them to put out some claptrap, get it publicized, "debated" at all, and go onto the next thing. Propaganda doesn't worry about facts, it's just a matter of repeating something over and over and over until people either get sick of listening to BOTH sides, or people start to believe even a little or doubt everything. And these folks have gotten smart by basically polluting the debate by, well insisting that their garbage be part of the debate. You see the same thing in the current wave of bigotry passing as laws for religious freedom. By twisting things around and using half truths or "truthiness" they make their positions seem reasonable by merely showing up at the debate (or law). I don't think you fight that by facts. Their underlying program is to make people either sick of or distrustful of facts, including yours.
I know, I know. Where's that sobbing smilie :blank: So pathetically true. So how to engage that part in people? I keep having this faith that somewhere under it all there's that underlying conscience that longs for genuine understanding. And I keep re-realizing what a fools errant that is. Did I ever tell you one of my guardian angles is Don Quixote (Grandma Moses being the other). But, a part of this is also my own journey to understand what makes people think the way they do. In fact, I churned out another one this afternoon:
Sunday, March 30, 2014 Fabricating Climate Doom - Steele's Extreme Weather Extinctions Enron Style - examined http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/03/fabricatingclimatedoom-steele-enron.html
I think I'll spend the evening trying to find some interesting YouTube stuff on early voyages of discovery.
I briefly looked over your stuff, and I think you're falling into the trap. GCC deniers don't care about facts, honest debate, etc. They care about public perception. And to that end it's enough for them to put out some claptrap, get it publicized, "debated" at all, and go onto the next thing. Propaganda doesn't worry about facts, it's just a matter of repeating something over and over and over until people either get sick of listening to BOTH sides, or people start to believe even a little or doubt everything. And these folks have gotten smart by basically polluting the debate by, well insisting that their garbage be part of the debate. You see the same thing in the current wave of bigotry passing as laws for religious freedom. By twisting things around and using half truths or "truthiness" they make their positions seem reasonable by merely showing up at the debate (or law). I don't think you fight that by facts. Their underlying program is to make people either sick of or distrustful of facts, including yours.
I think facts are the only things that can fight the kind of ignorance that the spin merchants produce. If someone is lying, the truth will probably come to the surface at some point, by constantly presenting the facts it can work to help this process along. People need something to base their opinions on and given enough time will see what is closest to the truth, the decades long tobacco industry disinformation campaign is a good indicator of this. Tobacco products are still sold, but access is far more limited.
I know, I know. Where's that sobbing smilie :blank: So pathetically true. So how to engage that part in people? I keep having this faith that somewhere under it all there's that underlying conscience that longs for genuine understanding. And I keep re-realizing what a fools errant that is. Did I ever tell you one of my guardian angles is Don Quixote (Grandma Moses being the other). But, a part of this is also my own journey to understand what makes people think the way they do. In fact, I churned out another one this afternoon:
Sunday, March 30, 2014 Fabricating Climate Doom - Steele's Extreme Weather Extinctions Enron Style - examined http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/03/fabricatingclimatedoom-steele-enron.html
I think I'll spend the evening trying to find some interesting YouTube stuff on early voyages of discovery.
I look at it as a sort of information titration, you keep adding facts until you cross a threshold where the solution switches to a new state. Once that point is crossed, the power of the fossil fuel sector will rapidly fade and changes that once seemed impossible to create will all of a sudden seem inevitable.
I briefly looked over your stuff, and I think you're falling into the trap. GCC deniers don't care about facts, honest debate, etc. They care about public perception. And to that end it's enough for them to put out some claptrap, get it publicized, "debated" at all, and go onto the next thing. Propaganda doesn't worry about facts, it's just a matter of repeating something over and over and over until people either get sick of listening to BOTH sides, or people start to believe even a little or doubt everything. And these folks have gotten smart by basically polluting the debate by, well insisting that their garbage be part of the debate. You see the same thing in the current wave of bigotry passing as laws for religious freedom. By twisting things around and using half truths or "truthiness" they make their positions seem reasonable by merely showing up at the debate (or law). I don't think you fight that by facts. Their underlying program is to make people either sick of or distrustful of facts, including yours.
I think facts are the only things that can fight the kind of ignorance that the spin merchants produce. If someone is lying, the truth will probably come to the surface at some point, by constantly presenting the facts it can work to help this process along. People need something to base their opinions on and given enough time will see what is closest to the truth, the decades long tobacco industry disinformation campaign is a good indicator of this. Tobacco products are still sold, but access is far more limited.I don't think facts have anything to do with convincing MOST people. What can work, maybe, is movies. I know it sounds goofy, but movies like Day After Tomorrow can be very effective. Teach people without them even knowing they're being taught. On a totally different front, religion, I think the TV show Big Bang Theory does a great job of this. If you listen, every once and awhile you'll hear Sheldon say something totally anti-religious but always in character and part of the comedy. So everyone laughs BUT the info is out there. For example he trotted out how the Christmas tree is just a pagan symbol, etc. etc. That's the approach I think could work.
I don't think facts have anything to do with convincing MOST people. What can work, maybe, is movies. I know it sounds goofy, but movies like Day After Tomorrow can be very effective. Teach people without them even knowing they're being taught. On a totally different front, religion, I think the TV show Big Bang Theory does a great job of this. If you listen, every once and awhile you'll hear Sheldon say something totally anti-religious but always in character and part of the comedy. So everyone laughs BUT the info is out there. For example he trotted out how the Christmas tree is just a pagan symbol, etc. etc. That's the approach I think could work.
You can be creative in how your present them, but you need to base your position on solid ground or you leave yourself open to claims of fraud, such as climate change deniers do now. At some point there will be some kind of reckoning for what's going on, it's probably why some deniers are getting so militant in attacking people who are presenting the facts. Denial really is the worst fraud perpetrated on society and the cost is already in the hundreds to thousands of lives lost in climate related disasters and many billions of dollars.