Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Turton Trifocal

"Skepticism is methodology-driven. If you're not on the side with reliable scientific methodologies, your position is not supported by valid methodology. It can thus only be ideologically driven. As yours is."
Michael Turton to me, by email yesterday.

For now I'll just make three pertinent points, to relieve me of my exasperation before I hit the sack:

1) Those "reliable methodologies" have led climate scientists to make predictions concerning future temperature trends that have turned out to be wrong. Repeatedly wrong.

2) I don't have a "position"; I have an attitude and that is skepticism; I take "positions" on questions of value, not questions of fact. The difference is categorical.

3) The charge of ideological motivation is deeply hypocritical: the Left have long pushed claims of CAGW way beyond the limits which the evidence would warrant precisely because it serves their ideological ends of expanding State power and contracting the freedom of the market.

And this: unlike him, I don't ban people so as to avoid having to debate the merits of the factual basis for CAGW claims (and then lie about it afterwards). He should take note of how John Callender is conducting himself in response to the Gleick story.


Additional points:

The Heartland Institute is tiny: its' total funding last year (not just for research on climate science) was less than U.S.$5 million. For comparison, the environmental groups on the "other side" as it were, the Sierra Club, the NRDC and the WWF are funded to the tune of several hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The Heartland Institute is largely ignored by the mainstream media: although they sent out invitations, they struggled to attract their opponents (apparently including Gleick himself) to attend debates and other events and to get their conferences mentioned in the mainstream press. I myself hadn't heard of them prior to the Peter Gleick scandal.

The Institute's donors do include some fossil fuel companies and the Charles G. Koch foundation, but the funds donated were on the order of a few tens of thousands of dollars (and the Koch donation wasn't even for the work on climate science, it was for their work on healthcare).

Question: how many of the paymasters behind environmental groups and CAGW activists are themselves invested in, or in some other way on the take from, "Big Oil" companies like Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell? My bet would be: all of them.

Steven Hayward at The Weekly Standard:
"Few public policy efforts have ever had the massive institutional and financial coordination that the climate change cause enjoys. That tiny Heartland, with but a single annual conference and a few phone-book-sized reports summarizing the skeptical case, can derange the climate campaign so thoroughly is an indicator of the weakness and thorough politicization of climate alarmism."
And down in Australia, Jo Nova reacts to the "ethics debate" Gleick's actions have apparently provoked among climate scientists:
"In this upside down world, Heartland are the ones trying to start a science debate on a shoestring budget, while the establishment scientists, with 10,000 times the funding, debate whether they should steal things instead."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is now in place, as of April 2012. Rules:

1) Be aware that your right to say what you want is circumscribed by my right of ownership here.

2) Make your comments relevant to the post to which they are attached.

3) Be careful what you presume: always be prepared to evince your point with logic and/or facts.

4) Do not transgress Blogger's rules regarding content, i.e. do not express hatred for other people on account of their ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.

5) Remember that only the best are prepared to concede, and only the worst are prepared to smear.