Friday, March 21, 2014

Of Recursive Fury, SkepticForum and science denialist's strategy of harassment

Interesting news today, particularly in light of my own recent experience at with one Jim Steele and the moderator of said forum. The same moderator who believes injecting graphics of an exploding head (link with care, it's quite disgusting) into what's supposed to be a serious discuss about climate science is fair play.

But try going toe to toe with a malicious climate science denialist, even though the fella in question, one Jim Steele, grossly misrepresents and downright lies about the science - plus he injects copious amounts of slander (and more lies) towards serious published scientists he doesn't like, or anyone else that gets in his way.  But,  you'd better not call him on it over at the "skeptic's forum".

Seems that only denialists have the right to free speech in that world, science supporters and defenders not so much.  Do I exaggerate?  Well, regarding that exploding head incident, here's his one liner response to my complaint:

Re: Dear Pyrrho, of Fair Play and exploding heads
Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:28 pm
"Free speech can be a real bitch."
Confront Jim Steele with his lies and our good moderator shuts down the discussion.

But, as I'd like to point out to my pal Pyrrho,  it's not Free Speech when only one side of a discussion get's to exercise it !
Don't forget, one directional skepticism equals denialism !

And this brings me to the latest incident in the War On Science.  Denialists have been up in arms over a study led by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky ever since it came out.  Though numerous reviews have found "Recursive Fury" stands up to scientific standards and is a valid study, (also see hereherehere) the deniosphere had been bombarding the publisher of "Frontiers" with complaints and threats of lawsuit. (also see here)

There is no legal foundation for a lawsuit, but that doesn't matter when you got deep pockets and lawyers who are more than happy to make expensive trouble for anyone, no matter what the merit of their case.  They understand the "threat" is all that's needed to make little organizations like Frontiers fold in fear.

This incident should let all rational supporters of science appreciate the need for a Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to help scientists who find themselves under the pernicious attack of the Global Warming Denial Machine (and here, here).  As it happens, CSLDF is having an important fund drive right now - if you can give, please do, your support is needed.

For the rest of the "Recursive Fury" story, and with a tip of the hat to DeSmogBlog for their generous sharing policy, I'll hand it over to Graham Readfearn at DeSmogBlog and his informative article.

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It's worth pointing out.
As with other climate science "skeptics" - our good Mr. Steele is great at making dramatic claims, freely attacking the integrity of accomplished scientists and their work with his one-sided story-telling.
But, when confronted with his many misrepresentations he won't defend his claims.
What's to be made of that? Perhaps he knows dang well that his charges are indefensible.  {4/4/14}
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Science Journal Set To Retract Paper Linking Climate Change Scepticism To Conspiracy Theorists After Sceptics Shout Libel (via Desmogblog)
Thu, 2014-03-20 19:42Graham Readfearn A psychology journal is said to be preparing to retract a scientific paper that found a link between conspiratorial thinking and the rejection of global warming science after climate sceptics claimed the paper was…


ligne said...

fwiw, the "exploding head" animation is from David Cronenberg's film Scanners.

citizenschallenge said...

Yea, I suspected as much.

Ironically, I had to sit through that movie back in about '83 during a stint as 'stewart' (cook/housekeeping) on a Gas Production Platform about an hours helicopter ride south, out of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Never could figure out the attraction of such obscenities.

Thing is, it was a small crew and they dictated what was watched, and after dark you weren't allowed outside…... Although during the day, off hours, I had the run of the place, got personal tours of various machinery and lessons in how things work. Very cool experiences. But, one of the best was going down the stretched metal stairs to the lowest level where supply boats would dock.

Just above the water - sit there and watch the waves form and moving in ways that was impossible to observe from the shore, or even a boat. Occasionally see weird things swim by. Now that's the sort of stuff I've always found way more interesting and worth spending my time focusing on. I happen to have always liked getting to know this planet I was born into.

Thanks for the memory jog.

citizenschallenge said...

It occurs to me, I should make clear:
"run of the place" is a VERY relative term,
there were plenty of Off Limits areas.

But, understanding and respecting those lines and the rules and gaining the crew's trust, afforded freedom to move about safe "corridors" and platforms at ease. … the helicopter pad was another very cool get away.

But, that was back in them "innocent" days.

citizenschallenge said...

For an index to the virtual debate between myself and Jim Steele see: