AGW deniers, universally known for being totally full of crap, seem to be ramping up their lies and baseless attacks this holiday season.

This is how it works.  One denier makes a  baseless claim, as a comment on a blog:

Personal anecdote:
Last spring when I was shopping around for a new source of funding, after having my funding slashed to zero 15 days after going public with a finding about natural climate variations, I kept running into funding application instructions of the following variety:

Successful candidates will:
1) Demonstrate AGW.
2) Demonstrate the catastrophic consequences of AGW.
3) Explore policy implications stemming from 1 & 2.

Another denier blogger at “Bishop Hill” , taking the unsourced, vague, unsubstantiated, anonymous comment as fact states:

This confirms the stories that I’ve been hearing over the last few years.

There you have it.   That is all it takes to convince a deep thinking “skeptic”.  Not 1 of 48 commentors (at time of this posting) pointed out the obvious, shall we say weakness in this argument.

Then, the stampede starts.  (Also see Jez’s post on this here)  Deniers, not known for their creativity, start linking to the story, making the same point themselves, etc.  Pretty soon, CLIMATEGATE II!

Here is the “climate skeptic” linking to the same comment and going on and on about biases in funding, the corrupting nature of funding only being available for AGW “believers”, etc.  And the dopey commentors – skeptics! -  take it hook, line and sinker.

Here is an example from Pete:

So much of this is anecdotal and hearsay. There is a very easy way to deal with this in the next IPCC report: adopt the judicial model of majority and dissenting opinions for the major findings and recommendations. Since there is alleged bias in selection of IPCC members that might limit dissent, include links to “amicus briefs” from outside individuals and organizations. Construct a website in which outside individuals could register their name, affiliation and simple support or opposition to specific findings and recommendations.

Ironically, the anecdote he refers to isn’t this BS post he is commenting on, but instead the IPCC report, which is sourced, includes figures, all supported by data that can be downloaded, peer-reviewed scientific papers, etc.  But the argument and legend based on a skeptic blog comment gets a free pass.  Yup, these people are really critical thinkers.

I made a comment over at ClimateSkeptic asking for a source of such a funding agency.  Lets see if anyone responds.   We have performed this experiment before at CS;  the skeptics usually shy away when asked for facts, citations, etc to support their nonsence.

UPDATE:

Still no response to my query.  But I noticed two other commenters also had some issues with this logic and science-by-blog-comment approach.

Shills:

I agree that this post relies too heavily on anecdotes. That story about the funding application, if real, was possibly taken out of context.

Hunter:

How fucking gullible can you get? Did you bother to look up who that commenter was? Did you try to find out whether they were actually a scientist, or if they had ever in fact published a climate-related paper? Clearly not. You just found a statement that fitted in with your retarded beliefs, and parroted it unquestioningly.

 

6 Responses to Following the trail of denier lies

  1. Ben W. says:

    Nice work John. Here’s a good article from The Economist (‘Scepticism’s limits’ http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/12/trust_scientists) that hits the spot:

    Well, here’s my solution to this problem: this is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further “smoking gun” claims begins with: show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you’re a crank and this is not a story.

  2. “John Bruno is an Associate Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”

    Did your parents not teach you any manners? Dear me!
    Anyway….

    I’ve asked this before but so far not had a reply.

    Can you please tell me what exactly the “deniers” are supposed to be denying.
    I’ll help you out with a definition of “denial”:

    Quote:
    Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial_%28disambiguation%29

    So I ask for a list of facts supported by overwhelming evidence that are being “denied”. Just saying “AGW” will not do. I require a detailed list of facts with supporting evidence.

    Since this is at the heart of the dispute over AGW, it should be easy for you to do.

    Maybe you could also help me out with this:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/neuralnetwriter/GlobalWarming/Ice_Core_Context.jpg

    Now I have a very simple question.

    Where is the AGW?

    All I see is a natural fluctuation.
    To me the IPCC charts, which only go back about 1000 years, appear to mislead because they do not put the recent temperature fluctuations into context.
    Surely one must put things into context. That is after all what Phil Jones, and Michael Mann et al keep repeating in reply to accusations about their emails.

    So, I have simply put the IPCC charts into context.
    And I repeat

    Where is the AGW?

    If you claim it is there, how can it be distinguished from the natural variations?

    This again is at the heart of this debate, so I am sure you can answer that easily.

    Thank you.

  3. J.Roff says:

    Steve,

    I’ll help you out with a definition of “denial”:

    Quote:
    Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial_%28disambiguation%29

    Agreed – Wikipedia also offer a great article on Denialism here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism):

    “Denialism, the rejection of propositions on which a scientific or scholarly consensus exists”

    So I ask for a list of facts supported by overwhelming evidence that are being “denied”. Just saying “AGW” will not do. I require a detailed list of facts with supporting evidence.

    I require this too – please let me know what you find.

    Maybe you could also help me out with this:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/neuralnetwriter/GlobalWarming/Ice_Core_Context.jpg

    This doesn’t make sense. What am I looking at here? What are the -29 to -34 on the bottom graph?

  4. Hi J.Roff,
    “Denialism, the rejection of propositions on which a scientific or scholarly consensus exists”

    I didn’t think that science was built on consensus. If that definition was correct, it would mean that each person who revealed flaws in the current scientific consensus was a “denialist” until the consensus changed.
    That definition seems contrary to the scientific process.

    I apologise for not including the references which I had intended to do.

    The top Vostok chart is based on this data:

    Vostok – Isotope and Gas Data and Temperature Reconstruction
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-icecore-2453.html

    Vostok Ice Core Deuterium Data for 420,000 Years
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/deutnat.txt

    SUGGESTED DATA CITATION: Petit, J.R., et al., 2001,
    Vostok Ice Core Data for 420,000 Years, IGBP PAGES/World Data Center
    for Paleoclimatology Data Contribution Series #2001-076.
    NOAA/NGDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder CO, USA.

    Column 4 -Temperature difference wrt the mean recent time value (i.e. corresponding departure from -438 ‰ mean deuterium value)
    Deuterium data is from core 3G between 138 and 2083 meters below surface (mbs) (with one long missing section between 312 and 320 mbs), from core 4G between 8 and 138 mbs and between 1920 and 2546 mbs and from core 5G between 2504 and 2757 mbs.
    Ash layers help to make link between cores. No correction was applied for 3G and 4G core taken as reference depth. For 5G samples, a value of 3.41 m have been added to the depth measured in the field below depth of 2500 m.
    Deuterium values (column 3) have been measured on ice samples of length comprised between 0.5 and 2 m (down to 2080 m) then every 1 m. Data was re-interpolated on 1m intervals afterwards. The ice recovery is 85% or higher. Measurement accuracy is of ± 0.5‰ SMOW (1 s). From the surface down to 7 m a constant value (derived from surface and pits samples) of -438.0 ‰ is reported.
    The temperature change indicated in column 4 (temperature above the inversion).
    This temperature is calculated using a euterium/temperature gradient of 9‰/°C after accounting for the isotopic change of sea-water. No correction for the influence of the geographical position of the ice was applied.

    =======================

    The lower charts are based on this data:

    GISP2 – Temperature Reconstruction and Accumulation Data
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-icecore-2475.html

    Data:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt

    SUGGESTED DATA CITATION: Alley, R.B.. 2004.
    GISP2 Ice Core Temperature and Accumulation Data.
    IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology
    Data Contribution Series #2004-013.
    NOAA/NGDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder CO, USA.

    Column 2: Temperature in central Greenland (degrees C)

    ======================

    So to answer your question: “What are the -29 to -34 on the bottom graph?”

    “Column 2: Temperature in central Greenland (degrees C)”

    Just for the record, I am not an “AGW denier”.
    I agree that CO2 emissions are likely to affect the climate.

    But, based on the evidence I have seen so far, any effect, whether positive or negative on temperature, is too small to be discernible from natural variations.

    So I see no significant AGW.

  5. Anson Young says:

    Dr Bruno,

    I think you have this story wrong. As of Dec 20, 2009, on every website where I’ve found this allegation, there have been challenges to the original poster (Paul Vaughan) to ‘put up or shut up’, i.e., to show a copy of the funding application in question.

    His responses have been pretty lame, and he was unable to show that he had ever published any peer-reviewed studies. Nobody else has come up with a funding application containing similar language.

    So yes, there are some who initially believed him uncritically, but there are others who challenged him vigorously. His claim was found to be (shall we say) less than robust. Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to work?

    Here are a couple of links where your readers can see for themselves:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/11/perhaps-a-conspiracy-is-unnecessary-where-a-carrot-will-suffice/

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/12/9/follow-the-money.html?currentPage=2

    Money quote: ‘If Paul can produce the (one or several) funding application(s) so described, that would be rather meaningful. Until then, I’m afraid its hearsay.’

  6. John Bruno says:

    Dear Anson, thank you for your comment and update/correction on this. I may have “spoken” too soon. I have not followed the story at all. Been swamped with grading final exams, etc. (lame I know). To me it is very heartening to see bloggers demanding facts and evidence (no matter where they stand on AGW).

    JB

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