Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear ScottishSceptic, why do you keep threatening me?

Dear ScottishSceptic,

I have decided to dedicate this post to focusing on and tracking your curious reaction to my critique of your summation of the "climate science skeptics" community.  

I thought you were professing to appreciate the scientific process?

Isn't part of the scientific process critiquing each others suppositions and claims with the hope of distilling useful information from the chaos of competing opinions?

This discussion doesn't require us to like each other, all we need to do is be civil and rational.  I have done an above-board examination of what you claim is a representative list of the greater "science skeptical" beliefs.  You have no complaint !

Interestingly I was warned that first you would insult me... and then you would threaten me.

So, I'm not surprised - still I find your reaction curious and definitely worth sharing.  The following comes from the comments section to the blog post you take such offense at:  
"The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5) by ScottishSceptic - examined by CC"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

v said...
Good effort, but, let's face it, Haesler and his ilk *have no intention EVER* of admitting how wrong they are.


But, it is good that folks like you have the fortitude to keep dogging them!
citizenschallenge said...
We shall see, I sent him an invitation.

Mike Haseler said (February 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM

"The document is my copyright.

You have copied it without permission and then listed it under "denial industry" making numerous false claims.

This is a libel and therefore I am giving you notice that if you do not immediately remove my copyrighted material and stop libelling me I will take action."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

OK, so here we see the fake skeptic approach to a challenge for a civil constructive discussion. 

Here is Mr. Haseler's response in the form of the email he sent me:

from: Michael Haseler

to: citizenschallenge:

"This is a notice that you have committed a libel against me on your website and I require you to immediately stop.

In addition the material you have published is my copyright and I have not given you permission to use it, and I certainly would not have done so when you make false and ridiculous allegations about "denial" which is clearly and provably a lie."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dear Mr. Haseler,
You put together a public document that you profess is a reasonable summation of the so-called "skeptical community".

I have acknowledged that it is your work and linked to it.

I have done peer review on it.

I have challenged you to a reasonable rational dialogue.

But, you want to shut it down using threats. What are you afraid of?

~ ~ ~

As I pointed out earlier:
"… that's my review of your points, your response will reflect on what kind of skeptic you actually are. I welcome your critique of the comments and the scientific information I linked to."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Update Thursday morning. 

Another threatening email (now two) and surprise, surprise - it's laced with a lie in the first sentence.  I said nothing about who might be funding ScottishSceptics activities.

I kept my focus on critiquing his irrational and unsupportable claims against reputable science and scientists.

But, rather than defend his claims, he wants to silence me.

February 6, 2014  -   5:03 AM
from: Michael Haseler

you have lied about me and set out to damage my reputation by describing me as an industry funded denialist.

As the document shows, I am not a denialist.
I can prove I have no industry funding.
I can prove your remarks are damaging.
I can prove that you have lied about who was involved in producing the document.

You have committed a gross libel and  breach of copyright.

Therefore please remove all your lies, issue a prompt apology the harm you have done and immediately remove all content belonging to me.

Mike Haseler

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dear Mr. Haseler aka ScottishSceptic,

I have asked you for specifics.  

I have committed no copyright infringement and I find that your threats only make you look like someone who has something to deny.

As for lying,  why are you doing it in your email?  Where specifically do you claim that I stated you were an industrial funded denialist?

Perhaps you need to relax and read my critique with an attentive eye, instead of just getting pissed because I had the nerve to be skeptical about your claims.

Sincerely, CC

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Update #2 Thursday morning. 

February 6, 2014  6:26 AM
from: Michael Haseler


to avoid the stupidity of this heading toward an acrimonious legal case, I've contacted William Connolley as I'm sure you could not possibly argue that he is biased toward me and I have asked him to assist.

I would therefore request that you remove the article until we find out whether William will or will not help.

You cannot take an article showing that sceptics are not deniers and then write provably untrue statements about our views or categorise me or sceptics in general in ways that are provably untrue.

Mike Haseler
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mr. ScottishSceptic,
you write: "You cannot take an article showing that sceptics are not deniers and then write provably untrue statements about our views or categorise me or sceptics in general in ways that are provably untrue."  

Considering what your "list" consists of, the irony is too rich for words… but I'm working on it.

I look forward to William Connolley's input.

Please become acquainted with the Fair Use Doctrine.

Please keep in mind that this is supposed be about arguing the merits of your claims.

Time to start trying to prove your claims, by addressing my fair and open critique of your "list", rather than wasting your time with this needless harassment campaign.

No. I have no intention of removing my critique of your gross misrepresentations regarding the true nature of climate science and climatology !

Most Sincerely, CC
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

FYI regarding the use of "denialist

For your reference:

Syllabification: de·ni·al·ist 
Pronunciation: /diˈnīəlist   /
  • a person who does not acknowledge the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence; a denier:the small minority of very vocal climate change denialists
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one’s viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

5 general tactics are used by denialists to sow confusion. They are conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic.
Throughout this first week we’ll be discussing each of these 5 tactics in turn to give examples of how they are used, and how to recognize their implementation. …
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Second, denialism isn’t about name-calling or the psychological coping mechanism of denial. The first reaction of any denialist to being labeled such is to merely reply, “you’re the denialist” or to redefine the terms so that it excludes them (usually comparing themselves to Galileo in the process). 
However, denialism is about tactics that are used to frustrate legitimate discussion, it is not about simply name-calling. It’s about how you engage in a debate when you have no data(the key difference between denialists and the paradigm-shifters of yesteryear). There are a few more common defenses that we’ll discuss in time. …
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Finally, just because some people believe in stupid things, doesn’t make them denialists. A lot of people get suckered in by denialist arguments and benefit from having the record corrected or being shown how to recognize good scientific debate versus unsound denialist debates. 
We aren’t suggesting everybody who has a few wacky ideas is a crank, part of the reason denialists abound and are often successful in bringing the masses over to their side is that their arguments don’t necessarily sound insane to the uninitiated. 
Denialist arguments are emotionally appealing and work on a lot of people. We’re trying to inform people about denialism and how to recognize denialist arguments so that ultimately they will be less effective in swaying those that may not be fully informed about science. Hopefully, by creating awareness of the ground rules of legitimate scientific debate, citizens, policy makers, and the media may better distinguish between sound and unsound scientific debate. ...


Victor Venema said...

Do not worry about a libel case. "Scottisch" "Sceptic" just wrote a comment at Variable Variability: "some are lucky that I don't have the money to take them to court."

This paragraph describes what he thinks of the scientific process: "Perhaps the best way to put it is this. If you are an academic you are almost certainly being paid through taxes paid by most sceptics. As such you have a duty to do a good job and not to attack your paymaster. So when we find scientists attacking those who fund them, then sceptics rightly feel their money is not being well spent."

The scientific process should to lead to an answer he likes.

Given that he lives in Monckton-Land, I guess he had learned that threatening with libel is a great way to get attention. Best ignore such people.

citizenschallenge said...

Thanks for sharing.

I do disagree on one point, ScottishSceptic should be exposed, not ignored.

These frauds have been getting a free ride for too long already.

Victor Venema said...

Let's say it this way, I do not waste my precious life time discussing with any fool on a soap box.

I acknowledge that there is a moment when someone is sufficiently influential that it becomes necessary to expose the flaws.

On the other hand there is also a level below which you only help getting a fool a bigger audience.

It will be hard to determine where these levels lie and I did not want to attack you for engaging. The ensemble average over all fans of science, may well be a good estimate of these subjective levels.

citizenschallenge said...

Good point.
But, then you are a real scientist and are probable engaged in many far more valuable activities.

Me, I'm a guy on the street, a spectator so to speak, I have more familiarity with the thugs that populate the streets than you would. Thus I'm doing the best I can, where I can, with what I have . . . at least until it all gets too demoralizing and I finally drop out.

Cheers and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

PL said...

SS tries to appear well-mannered and reasonable when he posts on sites like ATTP and SHW. This shows he isn't reasonable, and exposes a general characteristic of the pseudoskeptic approach. I've had exactly the same threatened legal action from local pseudos based on letters to the editor in my local paper.

So, I agree with Victor that SS isn't worth the publicity, but the technique is worth exposing.

citizenschallenge said...

Science by threat of law suit.

How that for a debate style ?

William M. Connolley said...

I see I've been invoked. I ended up writing a post about it:

citizenschallenge said...

sorry about the types, the hurrieder I get the worse it gets.

citizenschallenge said...

That was an interesting read, must admit I agree with Mr. Connelley. I left the following comment at
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It's always interesting seeing how the bullies react when they get a taste of their own medicine. {Let that be a lesson to you timid lurkers out there, stand up to them, call them out for what they are.}

Mr. Connolley,
thank you for giving me a heads up on this post and for taking the time to look into this. I appreciate your assessment of this situation. May I have permission to repost this over at WhatsUpWithThatWatts?
~ ~ ~

Mr. Haseler,
Now can be get down to discussing the actual merits of that list of "Skeptical" beliefs. Like I've said before, we don't have to like each other, we just need to be civil and rational. Let's work at having a constructive learning dialogue. Have a good day sir.

jsam said...

Haseler has problems.

He writes things like<

“As chairman of the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum I know what sceptics think because I ran a consultation with sceptics. As a result I know Sir Mark Walport is just spreading unfounded lies. His only excuse is his total ignorance and lack of interest for the truth based on the evidence of what we sceptics actually say about climate."

in response to this:

(The comments have long disappeared as the Independent switched commenting platform.)

What do you call a Sceptic Consenus? A Septic Tank?

Cedric Katesby said...

I read your article with interest.

I have engaged with scottishsceptic on several occasions and decided to google other responses to him. Thusly, I found your blog.

This is purely anecdotal but it seems to me that traffic in climate denier blogs has gone down and that several of them have shut down completely without a new generation of bloggers taking their place.
Have you noticed the same or is it only me?

BishopsHill is defunct.
Climate Skeptic is defunct.
The Inconvenient Skeptic is defunct.

Scottish Skeptic is branching out into other stuff. (never a good sign).

I have never found it useful to tackle science denier talking points head on.
It's seems to only entrench their beliefs and ramp up the "sheer bloody mindedness" factor.
However, I have found that examining the conspiracy angle can shake things up a bit.
A scientific consensus is impossible to fake.
All science deniers of whatever topic implicitly rely on a global scientific conspiracy theory....which just doesn't work due to simple logistics.
So, just recently, I showed up at Scottishsceptics blog and (very politely) got him to ever-so-gingerly engage in nuts and bolts of the conspiracy.

I like to imagine that it got him out of his comfort zone for a little, tiny bit while he had to do some original thinking for a change.

Peter Miesler said...

I took a look, conspiracy ideation and slander is all the man has on his side.

Guess its true that contrarian blogs are dying out, but its seems the science based serious climate science blogs aren't doing that much better. No one wants to discuss it or think about it.

Thanks for dropping in, I'd like to ramble on some more, but gotta get going lots to do today.

I did drop by and left a comment at his rant against academia, but imagine it won't get through his moderation, though it was polite.