Has American Thinker Saved the World from the AGW Hoax?

Recently I received several emails with links to an article at American Thinker by Gary Thompson, claiming to have the “smoking gun” that disproves global warming once and for all. That’s it. It’s over, Johnny. Time to fold up those weather stations and go home.

Except that one of the scientific papers that Thompson thinks is a paradigm-shattering disproof of AGW is, in reality, exactly the opposite. The paper’s authors concluded:

“Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.”

Skeptical Science has a good post on this, with graphs and everything: Have American Thinker disproven global warming?

So what do we learn from the American Thinker article. Thompson cites peer-reviewed papers but his analysis consists of eyeballing graphs while spurning the peer-reviewed data analysis. This approach leads to the opposite conclusion of the papers’ authors. I first encountered Harries 2001 when documenting the empirical evidence for an enhanced greenhouse effect. After reading the paper, I had many questions. Rather than let the gaps in my understanding lead me to think I knew more than the authors, I emailed my questions to the lead author John Harries, an approachable scientist who was forthcoming with prompt and detailed replies. The American Thinker article does not disprove the greenhouse effect. It does however provide further evidence for the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Another good read at Skeptical Science: The Dunning-Kruger effect and the climate debate.

One of the best titles for a scientific paper has to be the Ig Nobel prize winning “Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments”. The paper compares people’s skill levels to their own assessment of their abilities. In hindsight, the result seems self-evident. Unskilled people lack the skill to rate their own level of competence. This leads to the unfortunate result that unskilled people rate themselves higher than more competent people. The phenonemon is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, named after the paper’s authors, and is often seen in the climate debate. There are many with a cursory understanding who believe they’re discovered fundamental flaws in climate science that have somehow been overlooked or ignored by climate scientists. Some take this a step further and believe they’re being deceived.

Jump to bottom

92 comments

1 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:24:18pm

I love how often AGW-deniers link to papers that, if you actually read them, are consistent with AGW.

2 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:26:27pm

I'd never heard of Dunning-Kruger before... that's a keeper!

3 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:28:02pm

re: #1 Obdicut

I love how often AGW-deniers link to papers that, if you actually read them, are consistent with AGW.

Oh, that's a common anti-science thing in general. I once got a page of links from some woman on a young feminist site, telling me how anti-perspirants were linked to breast cancer. About half of them were from reputable scientific sites, saying that it was nonsense.

4 ShaunP  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:28:13pm

re: #2 windsagio

I'd never heard of Dunning-Kruger before... that's a keeper!

I just downloaded the study and that's pretty deep shit. Essentially, stupid people think they are smart because they are too stupid to know better. Brilliant!

5 Randall Gross  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:28:15pm

Another smoking gun -- pointed at conservative's big toe...

6 [deleted]  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:35:27pm
7 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:36:10pm

re: #4 ShaunP

lol the wikipedia of it links to 'Crank"

8 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:38:54pm

Somebody once said that the student reads the text and skips the graphs, the researcher reads the graphs and skips the text, and the doctorate advisor reads both, but only to make sure they agree with each other.

9 cliffster  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:40:14pm

People are lazy. Put a link in there to [Link: www.puppies.com,...] and 70% of people wouldn't notice, but they would assume you are well-researched because hey, you gave them a link. 20% will click on it but just read the first paragraph and zzz. So if it's at least on-topic, then you're well-researched in their eyes too. 5% will try to read the whole thing but not get it, so then you'll be well-researched AND brilliant. I made these percentages up, of course, but I'm pretty sure 5% is on the high end of the number of people who would notice that you just linked to something that refutes your argument.

10 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:40:17pm

re: #4 ShaunP

I just downloaded the study and that's pretty deep shit. Essentially, stupid people think they are smart because they are too stupid to know better. Brilliant!

There's a lot of that going around.

11 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:41:51pm

re: #9 cliffster

Theres another version. When I'm being lazy I look at the source of the link and if its from a source I don't find trustworthy, I rarely read it.

*note the "When I'm being lazy" part :P

12 M. Dubious  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:42:28pm

It sure would be great if it was a hoax...

13 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:42:59pm

re: #2 windsagio

I like a study that was put out awhile ago about competence in the workplace. I think, but am not sure, it was the University of Edinborough.

They were hired by Bank of Scotland and Bank of England to examine competence. They took their sweet-ass academic time about it.

Their definition of competence was something like "Whatever the job, arbitrary as it may be, if there is more work left at the end of a day than the beginning-- not just a discovery of more work needed to do, but actual work added-- then the employee is incompetent. Likewise, if the work is 'done' but does not actually produce any positive result, the employee is incompetent." So you can be incompetent by causing other people work, or by doing a job in a way that does not actually produce equivalent output to a competently done job.

Their research basically showed that about 30% of employees, on average across companies, are so incompetent they actually cost the company time by showing up to work. They fuck shit up that other people have to fix, or propagate errors that waste resources and cost money. Another chunk are just non-competent-- they don't advance the company at all. Another chunk are competent. But about 10% are responsible for most of the actual work, the competence, the solutions that save a thousand hours.

When one vice president at some place was presented with these facts, he said it was ridiculous, and that if he had 30% incompetent employees, he'd know about it!

The professor responded, "This study applies to vice presidents as well."

14 drcordell  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:44:11pm

re: #11 windsagio

Theres another version. When I'm being lazy I look at the source of the link and if its from a source I don't find trustworthy, I rarely read it.

*note the "When I'm being lazy" part :P

Unfortunately I think we've all been guilty of that at one time or another. Seems that's the way we're headed as a society. You have the option to only be exposed to whatever viewpoints you so choose. It's scary.

15 idioma  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:44:20pm

This is why we can't have nice things.

16 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:45:42pm

re: #11 windsagio

Theres another version. When I'm being lazy I look at the source of the link and if its from a source I don't find trustworthy, I rarely read it.

*note the "When I'm being lazy" part :P

On the other hand, when you've read 24 NRO articles that are bat shit stupid, what's to think number 25 isn't going to be also? There's a large difference between trust worthy and informative.

17 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:46:23pm

re: #13 Obdicut

an interesting tidbit from this related article:

In a survey of faculty at the University of Nebraska, 68% rated themselves in the top 25% for teaching ability.

it also says that 93% of American drivers think they're above average. I think its more like 20% ;)

18 cliffster  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:46:32pm

re: #13 Obdicut

I believe that 100%. 30% seems about the right number for people who actually cost a company by being employed, even backing out their salary from the equation. Even if they were working for free, the company would be better off without them.

19 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:46:50pm

re: #15 idioma

This is why we can't have nice things.

I disagree, not only is a 1935 Martin 00-18 carbon neutral, it uses no combustible energy in it's playing.

20 RadicalModerate  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:48:49pm

Hmm. Spidey-sense tingling on #12.

21 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:49:55pm

re: #18 cliffster

Seriously. I have two QA guys right now checking out my projects, and they're diametric opposites. One of them will look over the build and deliver an amazingly accurate and thorough report complete with his suggestions and caveats.

The other one will write bugs in such an obscure manner that I really should request they be rewritten, but he'd be the one rewriting them, so there's no point. To read and act on one of his bugs takes me about five times as long as it does the first guy. And he provides no other benefit.

He actually was talking at lunch one day about how he had it made because he only had to put in minimal effort every day because he was so awesome. I would be so bored working like that, I just don't get it.

22 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:50:25pm

re: #20 RadicalModerate

actually it would be great. Yeah the leftwing conspiracy behnd it would be a pain, but imagine being able to not feel bad about polluting again!!!

23 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:50:29pm

The Left wiggles its finger at the Right's AGW anti-science. The Right wiggles its finger at the Left's GM food anti-science. For every case of AGW right wing demagoguery, there's another 3 left wing zealots playing fast and loose tih the truth. Meanwhile, real people are ground into poverty in Africa because they must choose between more productive crops and trade with Europe that restricts anything bred to out-compete European farmers. If I may compare a rotten apple to a particuarly offensive orange, the verifiable consequences to the poorest people is worse and more immediate for Left Wing anti-science.

In the mean time, I'm not clicking on any political links talking about AGW, left or right. I take Scientific American and a radio that can get NPR for that.

24 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:50:39pm

re: #20 RadicalModerate

Hmm. Spidey-sense tingling on #12.

I'm impressed!

25 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:51:13pm

re: #23 keloyd

- for false equivalence :p

26 drcordell  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:52:30pm

Booyeah! SI swimsuit models are ringing the closing bell today. I'll be right back!

27 Jetpilot1101  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:53:39pm

re: #26 drcordell

All I need right now is the market to trade sideways for another couple weeks so the options I sold expire worthless. Man I love options.

28 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:55:23pm

re: #25 windsagio

- for false equivalence :p

The analogy is a bit of a stretch, but I'm sticking to my guns. Both anti-AGW and anti-GM food positions are bad science. Both involve lots of political hot air. How is the equivalence false? Loose? yes! False? make your case!

29 A Man for all Seasons  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:56:36pm

re: #27 Jetpilot1101

All I need right now is the market to trade sideways for another couple weeks so the options I sold expire worthless. Man I love options.

Good to see you again.. How did your new jet training go? Is it a hot rod?

30 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:56:39pm

re: #23 keloyd

Your last sentence was great. The paragraph was a little muddled. I'm not sure why you think all resistance to GM is 'left-wing'-- some is religious, for example-- and Africa itself has often refused GM food.

Here's the other side of the aisle on that one:

[Link: www.sourcewatch.org...]

Tyere is no scientific consensus on GM foods. There is scientific consensus on AGW. The comparison isn't that good.

31 RadicalModerate  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:57:45pm

re: #20 RadicalModerate

I'm basing this on the fact he's made only 10 posts signing up in 2007 and only the one in this thread shows up in his posting history - that post being of a snarky variety, btw.

32 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:59:02pm

re: #31 RadicalModerate

I'm basing this on the fact he's made only 10 posts signing up in 2007 and only the one in this thread shows up in his posting history - that post being of a snarky variety, btw.

Well.. you go get him then.. Spidey

33 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 12:59:44pm

re: #28 keloyd

You'll note in the piece I cite that some of the activist groups in favor of GM are Marxists.

I'm pro-GM foods, by the way, because the alternative is worse, but I do not think they are riskless in any way.

Comparing GM to AGW is false. Comparing GM to certain solutions to AGW would be more accurate-- corn biodesiel, for example, does jack shit of good.

34 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:00:11pm

re: #28 keloyd

A few ways I feel its false:

1) Outside influence and the direction its coming from. The anti-AGW movement is largely organized and funded by corporate interests (ie the extraction industry). If there were undue pressure in the GM food issue it wouldn't be the people objecting to it... And they don't have much influence anyways

2) "Accepted Science" GM food is almost certainly safe, but its not on nearly the solid footing that AGW is.

3) Harm. Comparing the lost productivity of not having GM foods to the potential harm of ignoring Global warming, well... yeah. You can't really.

35 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:01:01pm

re: #33 Obdicut

You'll note in the piece I cite that some of the activist groups in favor of GM are Marxists.

I'm pro-GM foods, by the way, because the alternative is worse, but I do not think they are riskless in any way.

Comparing GM to AGW is false. Comparing GM to certain solutions to AGW would be more accurate-- corn biodesiel, for example, does jack shit of good.

No kidding. We agree.

36 Jetpilot1101  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:01:11pm

re: #29 HoosierHoops

Good to see you again.. How did your new jet training go? Is it a hot rod?

I've always been lurking just way too busy to participate half the time. While I still retain the name, the company has transitioned me to a newer albeit slower aircraft. I'm flying a high wing turboprop. While it lacks the "flash" of the jet, it's more than makes up for it with the improved avionics, glass cockpit and a whole slew of upgrades. I'm very happy and instructing is just as rewarding as it was in the jet.

37 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:04:41pm

re: #30 Obdicut

Your last sentence was great. The paragraph was a little muddled. I'm not sure why you think all resistance to GM is 'left-wing'-- some is religious, for example-- and Africa itself has often refused GM food.

Here's the other side of the aisle on that one:

[Link: www.sourcewatch.org...]

Tyere is no scientific consensus on GM foods. There is scientific consensus on AGW. The comparison isn't that good.

It's important to recognize that 'the Third World's often justified paranoia about the intentions of the First World' is not strictly a 'left-wing' phenomenon, although it may well be yapped about a lot by First-World lefties.

38 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:04:55pm

re: #35 Walter L. Newton

It was one reason I didn't have as high hopes for Obama as many of my friends, his talk of corn bio-diesel during the campaign. That's just vote-getting talk.

39 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:06:08pm

Obdicut -
European anti-GM laws are protectionist more than scientific. Still, the social-democrat types (broadly "left") in many countries are more eager to keep out GM food than the Tories, or whatever they're called across Europe.

I read some editorial in the WSJ about food aid to Kenya(?) about a year ago. They refused the GM seed because if any got into the granaries, they could trade none of it with their closest trading partners with cash in Europe. There is no scientific concensus on GM food because scientists have their careers and tenure to protect. Their path of least resistance is to make noncommital quotes for the media about possible risks, but with no proof ever forthcoming. We Americans eat it all the time or eat the pigs and cows who eat it, no problem.

For the record, I believe humanity IS contributing to global warming, somewhat, and that I should get to eat all the GM food I want.

40 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:06:35pm

re: #21 Obdicut

I guess even coding prowess doesn't inoculate some people against dontgiveadamn-itis. Like George Carlin says, they will work just hard enough to keep from getting fired, in exchanger for just enough money to keep from quitting.

41 wrenchwench  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:08:01pm

re: #31 RadicalModerate

I'm basing this on the fact he's made only 10 posts signing up in 2007 and only the one in this thread shows up in his posting history - that post being of a snarky variety, btw.

That means it's the only comment made in the last 6 months (I think that's the time frame covered under "recent comments".) You can use the calendar thingy to look for earlier comments. I usually start with the time period that follows the poster's registration date when there are so few. Search in 6 month increments. (If you are interested.)

42 Ericus58  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:09:26pm

Iran to ban airlines not using the term 'Persian Gulf'
BBC News Online 02/22/2010
Author: Jon Leyne
(c) BBC News Limited 2009.

"Iran has warned that airlines will be banned from flying into its airspace, unless they use the term "Persian Gulf" on their in-flight monitors.

The transport minister has threatened to impound planes that fail to comply.

The nation is most insistent that the stretch of water separating it from its southern neighbours should be known as the Persian Gulf.

To call it the Gulf, annoys the authorities; to call it the Arabian Gulf, infuriates them even more."


So, beware you cat lovers who refer to your precious as "Arabian".... they will come for you next!

43 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:09:59pm

re: #39 keloyd

There is no scientific concensus on GM food because scientists have their careers and tenure to protect.

See, why would you say something like that? That's just ignorant. First of all, you don't have to protect tenure. That's what tenure is. It's a safe state. You can't get fired if you have tenure if you say, "GM foods are great-- eat 'em up!" Second of all, careers in science are made from challenging assumptions and demonstrably proving things, not by kowtowing to public opinion.

There is no scientific consensus on GM foods because GM foods have not been studied enough-- or even been around long enough. The arguments against them are the same arguments we've been having for awhile about monocultures being vulnerable to disease, as well as issues specific to GM.

Did you read the article I linked?

44 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:10:28pm

re: #37 SanFranciscoZionist

Left and Right is just sloppy terminology for GM food, AGW, and protectionism. In Latin America, environmentalism is considered somewhat loosely right wing. Often, it is the elites who want to protect the earth by keeping the poor from having too much material gain, thus despoiling the earth. When your maid in her slum gets onto the power grid, so she can have a fridge and her kids don't drink spoiled milk, that's bad for the earth? American environmentalists of the left don't live in that world.

45 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:14:47pm

re: #42 Ericus58

I remember learning in French class what they called the "English Channel" - La Manche, literally "the sleeve." like on a shirt.

I'm guessing 2 centuries ago, they would have been just as strident about it as Iran is now. Just give Iran a century and they will be as calmed down and boring as you and me.

46 srjh  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:17:42pm

re: #1 Obdicut

I love how often AGW-deniers link to papers that, if you actually read them, are consistent with AGW.

Or they link to a scattered collection of denialist arguments that disprove each other more than global warming.

The climate is stable and has a very low sensitivity to forcing... look how extremely variable it has been in the past.

There's a conspiracy to keep skeptics out of the peer-review process... here's 500 peer-reviewed papers debunking global warming.

The temperature record is invalid and a global conspiracy... until we need to cherry pick from it.

There is no warming... and the warming is due to the sun.

There is no warming... and warmer is better.

The raw data contains inhomogeneities... you're not using the raw data, so you're faking the data.

That reference isn't peer-reviewed... here's a random nonsensical blog post.

There's an error in part 2, page 493 of your report, therefore 100 years of climate research is invalid... just ignore the thousands of errors we've made.

I know most of the science is unfortunately a little too impenetrable for the average voter to reach an informed decision, but once you strip back the smear campaigns, politics, and bizarre world government conspiracies that every scientist in the world is supposedly in on, one side is left with very little in the way of scientific arguments, and the scientific arguments that remain generally take Google and two minute's free time to debunk.

47 M. Dubious  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:17:48pm

re: #20 RadicalModerate

Me? No snark intended. True that I don't post much. I like reading better than writing. What's a spidey-sense?

48 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:18:11pm

re: #44 keloyd

Can you please tell me who the 'elites' are? I've heard so very much about them.

I'm American, and an 'environmentalist'. Am I part of the elite?

Do I get a badge?

49 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:18:43pm

re: #47 harald

What's a spidey-sense?

It's something that spiders have.

50 garhighway  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:19:05pm

re: #46 srjh

Or they link to a scattered collection of denialist arguments that disprove each other more than global warming.

The climate is stable and has a very low sensitivity to forcing... look how extremely variable it has been in the past.

There's a conspiracy to keep skeptics out of the peer-review process... here's 500 peer-reviewed papers debunking global warming.

The temperature record is invalid and a global conspiracy... until we need to cherry pick from it.

There is no warming... and the warming is due to the sun.

There is no warming... and warmer is better.

The raw data contains inhomogeneities... you're not using the raw data, so you're faking the data.

That reference isn't peer-reviewed... here's a random nonsensical blog post.

There's an error in part 2, page 493 of your report, therefore 100 years of climate research is invalid... just ignore the thousands of errors we've made.

I know most of the science is unfortunately a little too impenetrable for the average voter to reach an informed decision, but once you strip back the smear campaigns, politics, and bizarre world government conspiracies that every scientist in the world is supposedly in on, one side is left with very little in the way of scientific arguments, and the scientific arguments that remain generally take Google and two minute's free time to debunk.

Very well said.

51 Jack Burton  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:19:08pm

re: #42 Ericus58

Apparently Iran collectively has a small penis. That explains a lot.

52 garhighway  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:20:08pm

re: #48 Obdicut

Can you please tell me who the 'elites' are? I've heard so very much about them.

I'm American, and an 'environmentalist'. Am I part of the elite?

Do I get a badge?

If you are an elite, then you are a part owner of the "elite abyss".

Certificate to follow.

53 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:20:51pm

re: #46 srjh

Sadly, that even sums up most of the objections to AGW we see on LGF.

Well-put.

54 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:21:38pm

re: #46 srjh


re: #53 Obdicut

It did take a few seconds to parse tho >>

55 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:23:48pm

re: #48 Obdicut

Can you please tell me who the 'elites' are? I've heard so very much about them.

I'm American, and an 'environmentalist'. Am I part of the elite?

Do I get a badge?

It's the new 'Man'. We support seed banks and biodiversity and would rather our Southern Hemisphere brothers and sisters starve then risk a preponderance of crop monoculture. We believe Sleepless is not just a novel about Corn prions infecting the human race, but it's true also, because it' so well written.

We're so smart we're fucking stupid. We are the Elites, we are The Man.

56 wrenchwench  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:25:30pm

re: #41 wrenchwench

That means it's the only comment made in the last 6 months (I think that's the time frame covered under "recent comments".) You can use the calendar thingy to look for earlier comments. I usually start with the time period that follows the poster's registration date when there are so few. Search in 6 month increments. (If you are interested.)

It looks like you have a different search range from different "recent comments" buttons. The pop-up profile you get from clicking on a poster's football gives three months. A profile page gives six months. Or I could be wrong.

57 M. Dubious  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:25:38pm

re: #51 ArchangelMichael

I'd figure if they have a collective penis, it would be huge.

58 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:25:40pm

re: #55 Jeff In Ohio

Are we afraid that clay nanoparticles are poisoning our beer?

59 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:26:03pm

re: #55 Jeff In Ohio

I don't support monocultures because I think they will, in the end, lead to starvation. However, that's not a real argument against GM foods, just GM foods done in a factory-style way with monocultures.

60 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:27:15pm

re: #43 Obdicut

You must first get tenure. Even as a tenured assc. professor, you may want to not merely have tenure but become a full prof, or get some prestigous chair. Then there is consulting on the side. I know more about the politics of academe than I care to admit here (though in another field). Academic research is subject to fads and fashions. The hot thing gets more cash and attention. Mediocre work in fashionable areas is more likely to get into A level journals. Unpopular or unorthodox results must be backed up with more rigorous methods and usually old men who have their careers behind them and can afford to be brave, or just enjoy iconoclasm.

If you're talking about the link to sourcewatch.org, I did read it, but it's not really addressing science, just the sharp practices of the pols on both sides. Anyhoo, this is supposed to be a AGW thread, and I don't want start a big ruckus, so I'll be getting to work now.

61 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:27:44pm

re: #58 windsagio

Are we afraid that clay nanoparticles are poisoning our beer?

Aw, Jesus, should I be? The Huckster can't save me.

62 RadicalModerate  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:27:58pm

re: #41 wrenchwench

That means it's the only comment made in the last 6 months (I think that's the time frame covered under "recent comments".) You can use the calendar thingy to look for earlier comments. I usually start with the time period that follows the poster's registration date when there are so few. Search in 6 month increments. (If you are interested.)

Thanks for the tip- nothing really stands out on his other 9 posts other than they all were in late September/October 2009 - none of those being very incendiary in nature. With the latest rash of AGW-deniers posting on throwaway logins, I might have been a little paranoid on this one. If so, mea culpa and apologies to anyone offended.

63 windsagio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:29:52pm

re: #61 Jeff In Ohio

Don't worry its probably okay. It makes beer keep its head!

64 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:29:59pm

re: #59 Obdicut

I don't support monocultures because I think they will, in the end, lead to starvation. However, that's not a real argument against GM foods, just GM foods done in a factory-style way with monocultures.

True dat. I was just riffing.

65 Randall Gross  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:30:10pm

re: #7 windsagio

lol the wikipedia of it links to 'Crank"

The pertinent quote:

Nonetheless, since the nature of mainstream opinion can change over time, it is useful to define crankery in terms of characteristics which are independent of the allegedly cranky belief. Indeed, it is widely accepted that the true hallmark of the crank is not so much asserting that, for example, the Earth is flat as making this assertion in the face of all counterarguments and contrary evidence. Certain authors (see the references) who have studied the phenomenon of crankery agree that this is the essential defining characteristic of a crank: No argument or evidence can ever be sufficient to make a crank abandon his belief.
66 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:31:09pm

re: #48 Obdicut

Can you please tell me who the 'elites' are? I've heard so very much about them.

I'm American, and an 'environmentalist'. Am I part of the elite?

Do I get a badge?

The first rule of the Elite is we don't talk about the Elite. They would take my monocle and top hat away if I said any more.
Seriously, it's tricky knowing what to believe, but my comments are based on some long NPR thing about the green party movement trying to get a foothold in Mexico; I wish I could cite it better. Their greens are different than European greens.

67 Jeff In Ohio  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:31:18pm

re: #63 windsagio

Don't worry its probably okay. It makes beer keep its head!

Leave it to the Brits to make getting good head something bad.

68 Ericus58  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:31:19pm

Oh, that with enough time Iran would be as boring as you and I...
Given their present state of affairs and the path they are upon....

They will not go gently into that good night...
Rather with a bang is what I imagine.

69 RadicalModerate  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:32:21pm

re: #47 harald

Me? No snark intended. True that I don't post much. I like reading better than writing. What's a spidey-sense?

Just me being a little bit trigger-happy with the spate of all the throwaway logins trashing AGW is all. Should have done a little more research before making a comment here, and I apologize for the insinuation.

70 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:33:52pm

re: #60 keloyd

Your view of academia resembles the humanities much more than it does the hard sciences.

71 M. Dubious  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:34:40pm

re: #69 RadicalModerate

This is why I never post. You guys freak me out! No need for apologies Mr. Radical Moderate.

72 keloyd  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:48:43pm

re: #70 Obdicut

Your view of academia resembles the humanities much more than it does the hard sciences.


I speak from experience at the ragged edge of the humanities in finance/economics, so you're right. Still, I'm guessing the faculty who build up their CV in neurology or particle physics are not political or subject to intrigues and stratagems. AGW and GM food research? Vague data + money = shenanigans. Now you people are making me late for work.

73 Obdicut  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:52:04pm

re: #72 keloyd

AGW is not in the least bit vague data, dude. It's incredibly solid, multiply verified data.

You keep saying things that aren't true about AGW. You might want to acquaint yourself with the science. Skeptical science is a great place for that.

74 garhighway  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:56:28pm

re: #73 Obdicut

AGW is not in the least bit vague data, dude. It's incredibly solid, multiply verified data.

You keep saying things that aren't true about AGW. You might want to acquaint yourself with the science. Skeptical science is a great place for that.

The "plus money" part of that formula is a canard as well. As has been discussed here on prior threads.

75 Randall Gross  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 1:58:14pm

Icy trees look best in the late PM sunlight
Image: Icy-Trees-II.jpg

76 Jack Burton  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 2:05:41pm

re: #57 harald

I'd figure if they have a collective penis, it would be huge.

Then they wouldn't need to obsess over the name of a body of water as an extremely insecure person would. Impounding planes for calling it "The Gulf" is asinine and screams inferiority complex.

77 avanti  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 2:06:21pm

Scott Brown to vote yes on Dems jobs bill, big news.

78 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 2:11:24pm

I think we should talk a little about the way that deniers operate.

One of the most shameful and egregious is to openly and outright lie about what the work of honest scientists say.

This is a tactic that the right picked up in its attempts to discredit evolution. One of the more egregious cases was to take -out of context- a quote from Darwin, from the Origin of Species, about the complexity of the mammalian eye.

In that quote Darwin himself is bringing a possible question with natural selective processes.

The ID trogs then go on to claim wildly and untruthfully, that Darwin himself doubted evolution and supported the ID paradigm in his heart of hearts.

Of course, the ID propagandists did not bother to quote the very next paragraph of Darwin where he answers the challenge and concludes that natural selection could actually produce the mammalian eye.

This is of course no different.

It works because the propagandists know that the average person will not bother to read the actual science themselves. Most people would rather be told what the science says and falsely believe that they have the background to judge a "debate" on technical matters without actually looking at the facts for themselves or thinking through the science itself.

It is painful for the scientists to see this not only because it discredits and tarnishes years of hard work to find the truth, but also because the basic concepts involved are so very simple.

Natural selection is simple. If you are for whatever reason more likely to survive long enough to make babies, you will make more like you. If you get clipped before you can reproduce, you don't.

How can someone be so stupid that they do not get that?

The basics of AGW are just as simple.

If you put vast amounts of a gas in the atmosphere that traps more heat from the sun, your planet gets warmer.

How could someone be so stupid as to not get that? What dots are there that need to be connected?

It is not that people can not understand such a basic and simple concept.

It is that they are that willfully blind for other reasons. Propagandists work on double think and ignorance. When they falsely add the legitimacy of science to their lies in a filthy veneer of untruth, they are enabling the willful blindness.

They know that if people stopped to think about it for even a second, think clearly at least, the whole house comes tumbling down.

Again:

If you put vast amounts of a gas in the atmosphere that traps more heat from the sun, your planet gets warmer.

You really can not get around that... unless of course, you are being willfully blind, or worse, you are evil enough to care more for the money you get for telling the lie that somehow all that CO2 does nothing, than the consequences of people believing the lie.

79 Sol Berdinowitz  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 2:43:11pm

We talked a bit about scieate scientists and their professional image and how they present themselves to the world.

And they were until this century pretty much pursuing an obscure and arcane science. Then people like Al Gore propelled them to the center of a global debate with serious ramifications for the world economy.

And yet these guys continued being geeky scientists and did not brace themselves for the onslaught of scrutiny and criticism that came with their new role as soothsayers of World Catastrophe.

80 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 2:48:31pm

re: #79 ralphieboy

We talked a bit about scieate scientists and their professional image and how they present themselves to the world.

And they were until this century pretty much pursuing an obscure and arcane science. Then people like Al Gore propelled them to the center of a global debate with serious ramifications for the world economy.

And yet these guys continued being geeky scientists and did not brace themselves for the onslaught of scrutiny and criticism that came with their new role as soothsayers of World Catastrophe.

Your wording is deeply offensive.

When you say soothsayers of world catastrophe, and call us geeky, it allows you to believe that the science is saying something other than catastrophe or that somehow it is all just dismissable.

Al Gore did not make this into a world wide debate. The anti-AGW propagandists funded by the fossil fuel industry and their pet politicians made it into a fight.

Al Gore is not denying the science. The GOP is.

As to whether or not you think scientists are geeks to be ignored, say that the next time you use any technology more advanced than a flint knife.

81 Sol Berdinowitz  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 3:03:27pm

Sorry, I shouod've qualified that staement a bit more. After all, this is an AGW thread, people are ready to get tweaked.

I meant that they are being made out by some to be "harbingers of world doom", I see them as people doing their job. And generally doing it well.

And they have done it so well that they have become objects of criticism and scrutiy, which was never really part of their job description.

The deniers were just quietly ignoring the issue or playing it down until the likes of Al Gore made a popular issue of it, which forced them to kick over into turbo-denial mode and attacking every weak spot they could find.

And since most of the science is pretty unassailable, they attack the scientists, the methodology, and when that fails, science itself.

82 elizajane  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 3:37:24pm

re: #46 srjh

The site is not letting me ding today, but upding on this!

83 b_sharp  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 3:41:34pm

re: #48 Obdicut

Can you please tell me who the 'elites' are? I've heard so very much about them.

I'm American, and an 'environmentalist'. Am I part of the elite?

Do I get a badge?

The elites are whatever I'm not.

It's a term the anti-science, anti-intellectual, unthinking, completely un-self aware masses use to show they're better than anyone else.

84 b_sharp  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 3:49:51pm

re: #80 LudwigVanQuixote

Your wording is deeply offensive.

When you say soothsayers of world catastrophe, and call us geeky, it allows you to believe that the science is saying something other than catastrophe or that somehow it is all just dismissable.

Al Gore did not make this into a world wide debate. The anti-AGW propagandists funded by the fossil fuel industry and their pet politicians made it into a fight.

Al Gore is not denying the science. The GOP is.

As to whether or not you think scientists are geeks to be ignored, say that the next time you use any technology more advanced than a flint knife.

Nothing wrong with being a geek, pretty much every scientist I'm friends with is a bit of one.

85 MysticSmoke (from finger tips)  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 4:27:13pm

This calls for an excellent video about the Dunning Kruger effect, produced by Theramin Trees:

Dunning Kruger effect
86 eric  Mon, Feb 22, 2010 8:27:47pm

re: #4 ShaunP

i think it was an old Dilbert cartoon where Dogbert states :"Incompetent people don't know they're incompetent." Wherein he leads them to their doom.

87 bombarafat  Tue, Feb 23, 2010 5:16:46am

I think global warming is too big to fail.

88 garhighway  Tue, Feb 23, 2010 5:30:47am

re: #87 bombarafat

I think global warming is too big to fail.

Would you care to explain?

89 eachus  Tue, Feb 23, 2010 6:21:10am

Sigh! Global warming may already be too politicized now for the science to actually get out. I am in favor of reducing CO2 levels because I think that current CO2 levels are killing people. (Not directly, but by making it more difficult for newborns and the elderly to fight some infections.) Does this make me a global warming denier? I hope not.

The real problem is that the original hockey stick graph was a lie. Not only that, it was an obvious and bald-faced lie. The first time I saw it, I actually said aloud, "Where is the blooming Little Ice Age?" Michael Mann selected data to average it out of his graph. The Medieval Warm Period he disposed of by choice of starting date. I just saw an article at PhysOrg about the Little Ice Age in the Gulf of Mexico: [Link: www.physorg.com...] So much for Professor Mann's contention that the Little Ice Age was confined to Europe and the North Atlantic.

Does disbelieving the hockey stick on the basis of data make me a global warming denier? I hope not. Bad, perhaps criminally bad science does not mean that there is no anthropogenic global warming. It just makes it harder to sort the real science from the false.

Now to answer ludwigvanquixote:

How could someone be so stupid as to not get that? What dots are there that need to be connected?

How about the dots between increased CO2 in the atmosphere and global warming? Every good study I have seen based on historical data shows that CO2 levels lag temperature increases, and don't lead them. And no, I don't mean good in the sense that they agree with me. I happen to be a statistician, and the right statistical tools to apply are from the area of time series analysis. A lot of studies use tools from an undergraduate statistics course which are inappropriate when there is autocorrelation in the data.

It is not that people can not understand such a basic and simple concept.

1) It is not basic. 2) It is not simple. To give one nasty counterexample, volcanic eruptions increase atmospheric CO2 levels. Volcanic eruptions also cause global cooling. Yes, the dust contributes more to the initial cooling. However, any model used to predict global temperatures needs to include volcanic forcing, and get it right.

To repeat, I am in favor of reducing atmospheric CO2 levels, because I suspect that they are having unhealthy, and sometimes fatal effects on humans. As for global warming as such? I live in New Hampshire where it would be very welcome right now. ;-)

90 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 23, 2010 8:39:55am

re: #89 eachus

The real problem is that the original hockey stick graph was a lie. Not only that, it was an obvious and bald-faced lie.

And that is simply not even close to being true.

In reality, the hockey stick graph has not only been vindicated by more than one independent investigation, it's been corroborated by other sources.

91 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Tue, Feb 23, 2010 9:00:22am

re: #89 eachus

Your reply indicates that you do not know what a greenhouse gas is.

By definition, it is a gas that traps IR.

CO2 indisputably does this. This has been well established since the late 1800's. Since the sun puts out huge amounts of IR, putting huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere must increase temperatures.

Energy is conserved.

That has been well established since Newton.

92 Mike DeGuzman  Wed, Feb 24, 2010 5:50:15am

I'm not really into the Global Warming issue. I've seen too many graphs, scientific data, conspiracy theories, scandal, postings in LGF, links, etc. from both sides. Its just too much to comprehend. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH? But anyway, I'm still cold in northern Virginia, can't wait for the summer!


This article has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
House Votes to Back Two-State Solution in Middle East WASHINGTON (CN) — Rebuking President Donald Trump, the House of Representatives on Friday passed a resolution supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Smoke rises from Gaza City on May 5, 2019, after Israel launched over 350 airstrikes ...
Thanos
21 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 203 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
California Urged to Rethink 40 Years of ‘Piecemeal’ Freshwater Protections Ultimately the drought had relatively minor impacts on most urban Californians who suddenly had to do things like let their lawns go brown or – gasp – ask for water while dining out. But under the surface, 18 fish ...
Thanos
1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 267 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
VULFPECK /// Back Pocket (Live at Madison Square Garden)VULFPECK /// Back Pocket (Live at Madison Square Garden)buy on vinyl → vuuulf.com
Thanos
1 day, 22 hours ago
Views: 297 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
EVGENY POBOZHIY QUINTET - Stranger Thoughts Evgeny Pobozhiy Quintet - Stranger Thoughts Evgeny Pobozhiy - guitar, compositionAnton Chekurov - saxNikolai Sidorenko - keysSergey Korchagin - bassAlexander Kulkov - drumsRecorded live @ Blues-minus studio, MoscowViktor Farafontov - sound engineerAndrey Galyamin - videoSergey Gasparyan - mixing2019 ...
Thanos
3 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 356 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 191201 It was an ‘easy’ unchallenging weekend. While low key, we got a lot done. We worked on the upper wall, setting and pounding in the 72 bags we dropped in last week. There are now two courses done completely ...
Dangerman (misuser of the sarc tag)
3 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 303 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Marvel Studios’ Black Widow - Official Teaser Trailer Marvel Studios' Black Widow is in theaters May 1, 2020. ► Subscribe to Marvel: bit.ly► See the poster: marvel.com► Learn more: marvel.com Follow Marvel on Twitter: ‪@marvelLike Marvel on Facebook: ‪facebook.com For even more news, stay tuned to:Tumblr: ‪marvelentertainment.tumblr.comInstagram: ...
Thanos
4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 469 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Commanded to Love Some reflections on the the crucial role emotion can play in keeping us stuck in abuse — and in recovery and immunisation. You can support the channel at: patreon.com--opening quote:‘feel crime’ — the crime of feeling an emotion that ...
Thanos
4 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 2,430 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Sony Overtakes Nikon to Become Number Two Camera Company Behind Canon ony has been aggressively coming after the camera market for several years now, and it seems their efforts are paying off, as they have now overtaken Nikon for the second position behind Canon. Nikkei is reporting that Sony is ...
Thanos
6 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 734 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
The Weeknd - Blinding Lights (Audio) Official audio for The Weeknd "Blinding Lights" - available everywhere now: theweeknd.co ►Subscribe to The Weeknd on YouTube: theweeknd.co ►Follow The Weeknd:@theweekndfacebook.cominstagram.comtheweeknd.comSubscribe to YouTube Music: theweeknd.co ►"Blinding Lights" Lyrics:I been tryna callI’ve been on my own for long enoughMaybe ...
Thanos
6 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 706 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Tuxedo - Get the Money (Feat. CeeLo Green) Official audio of Tuxedo's "Get The Money (Feat. CeeLo Green)" Stream now: tuxedo.lnk.to Subscribe to the official Tuxedo Channel here: smarturl.it Lyrics:Get the moneyAll the timeYeah we want itDollar signs We’ll pile it up to the skyTen miles highNo ...
Thanos
6 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 737 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook