Thursday, February 6, 2014

ScottishSceptic allow me to tell you about the tragedy of our time.

I received another email from the ScottishSceptic and since he's changed tact I'll use the opportunity to write a few words about the difference between the "skeptical of science" community's war-footing and the world of scientists with their commitment to constructive learning.

But first Scotty's email:

12:35 PM - February 6, 2013 
from: Michael Haseler
to: citizenschallenge  
That's the whole point, it's not my list - it was drawn up to see if we agreed enough with each other to form an association. 
I'm not even sure if I agree to it - I think I was so pleased to have something people agreed to that I didn't care what it actually said by the end. 
Anthony and the other names were not involved - the people who contributed were just ordinary posters - those who eventually joined the Scottish climate and energy forum were all reasonable people and most work in professional jobs in science and engineering and take great exception to being called "deniers". 
They are increasingly hassling me to spend more of my own time trying to do something about this name calling. 

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Dear Mike,

What are you going on about?

Let's look at your webpage and read what you wrote:

The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5) 
"The Sceptic view is the final statement published 6th May 2012 prepared after a discussion on the blog Scottish Sceptic by a number of regular contributors to that blog as well as others who participated from Wattsupwiththat , Bishop Hill and other blogs.  It was an agreed statement by those participating in the discussion. As such it represents the most authoritative statement of the views of Climate "Sceptics"/"Skeptics" as of May 2012."
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OK, so you say Anthony and Bishop were not directly involved.  Fine, I've corrected the post.  {You know, come to think of it, could we see your personal emails for April and May of 2012 just to be sure?}

Beyond that, this back-tracking is silly and irrelevant. Remember what you claim on that page:  "As such, it represents the most authoritative statement of the views of Climate "Sceptics"/"Skeptics" as of May 2012."

Please try to understand it's not about who authored or supported that list; it's about the list itself and what it says about the way you folks think and the rules you play by.

The list does represent the climate science "skeptics" views as I've come to know them.  The tragedy of our time is that this view you have outlined so well is based on willfully deceiving people about the actual state of climate science.  I understand you may not like what I wrote, but I have every right to draw attention to the many artful deceptions within that list.

My approach was not malicious, I reviewed the claims point by point, I shared my opinions, made my claims, and then provided information to authoritative sources so folks can find the information for themselves and learn directly from what the real experts have reported.

It's your turn to demonstrate where my claims are mistaken.  Not with threats, but with a learning process.

Your actions and words over the course of this day expose you as someone who is on a war-footing.  The war-footing of a politician in action with nothing but winning on your mind and quite comfortable with manipulating and misrepresenting facts to win.  

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Science is about learning! 
Learning is about sharing evidence, trying to sort through the chaff to get at the kernel of knowledge. 
It's about appreciating that we all have more to learn. 
It's about setting aside our biases and trying to be objective. 
It's about allowing the evidence to carrying the day.  
It's about appreciating that when the evidence outweighs our conceptions, even if it hurts our feelings, we get over it, smarter and more capable for the pain.
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A rational skeptic ... 
... is skeptical of their own convictions. 
... appreciates that they themselves can be wrong. 
... looks at all the available data, information. 
... accepts superior evidence and is willing to put their own disproven notions aside. 
... embraces the learning process, even with it's difficult ego battering moments.
... doesn't automatically suspect that experts, they disagree with, are corrupt.  

One directional skepticism equals denial 

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Mike, I want to share some final thoughts from the late Stephen Schneider - this appeared in Skeptical Inquirer, vol.33 #3:17, May/June 2009 -  during the 2009 AAAS meeting. 

It's followed by a talk by him, where he explains the basics of what this global geophysical greenhouse gas experiment, we are running, is all about.

ScottishSceptic, you "skeptics" keep claiming you want to debate the issue.  Well let's do it!  

If you ( plus pals) want to draw attention away from your list, well OK.  I invite you to watch this video of Schneider's informative talk.  Mark down what he says that you believe is misleading or false, please list time-signature, so we can all follow along. 

Share with us your critique of Stephen Schneider's talking points and the evidence he shared.  Present your arguments and evidence, let's be rational about this.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

'Climate Change: Skeptics vs. Deniers
All good scientists are skeptical: I changed my mind from cooling to warming in 1974 when the preponderance of evidence shifted—and is now well established. I changed my views on nuclear winter making it “nuclear autumn” in 1984, incurring the wrath of the peace movement—again because the preponderance of evidence shifted with study. That is a skeptic—what all scientists should be. 

But real skeptics still accept a preponderance of carefully examined evidence even when some elements of a complex systems problem remain unresolved—and do not pretend that when there are loose ends some well-established preponderances don’t exist—that is beyond skepticism to denial—or political convenience often. 

So a skeptic questions everything but accepts what the preponderance of evidence is, and a denier falsely claims that until all aspects are resolved we know nothing and should do nothing—often motivated by the latter. 

If you deny a clear preponderance of evidence, you have crossed the line from legitimate skeptic to ideological denier.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Climate Change: Is the Science "Settled"?

Uploaded on May 13, 2010  |StanfordUniversity

(February 4, 2010) Stephen Schneider, professor of biology at Stanford and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, unpacks the political and scientific debates surrounding climate change.


Ian A said...

Seriously, you are wasting your time on this guy. He knows exactly the game that he is playing and howls like a little girl when called out for it (like you have done).

He is a denier. Not a very good one. Not a very original one. Definitely not one worth responding to.

citizenschallenge said...

That's a tough call.

By ignoring these clowns for the past two/three decades - and allowing them free reign on spreading their lies and crazy-making - we have managed to set our society on an ugly painfully destructive course.

Because in case you didn't notice they are winning the PR campaign and it's doing irreparable harm to society's ability to face up to these self-created challenges.

I'm actually trying to inspire folks by example.

We've wasted way to much precious time already - it is time to go after 'em relentlessly, Wherever their dishonest appears - someone, anyone, should help expose them for the dishonest frauds and dangerously disconnected individuals they are.

Then again we can just roll over and ignore it, taking comfort in only having one life to live - hoping that we'll be gone before the really ugly times arrives.

One day at a time and let's not worry about tomorrow - let the kids sort it out when we're gone.

citizenschallenge said...

FYI: I received this comment at the previous post:

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

February 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM