Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reflecting on lawyerly questions

There's a YouTube video called, "Mocked Meteorologist Gets Last Laugh - Piers Corbyn Wins Again!"  Hideous five year old, one-sided contrived nonsense, republished last year.  I don't have the time or interest to get into that one.  But, I did leave a YouTube comment, which in turn has lead to quite the lengthy dialogue with a lawyer defending the contrarian party-line.  Not that she's claimed to be a lawyer, but I'm calling her lawyer because of the character and substance of her grilling, er questions.  Reminded me of the prosecutor focused on conviction:  "Yes, no, shut up. No details!  I didn't ask you that, shut-up.  And don't you dare question the validity of my questions or you're in contempt."

I mean 60 comments long and eleven hundred words all told.  I've thought about using it for another post, but I have way too many other projects piling up.  My last comment however describes the way I see her tactics.  Since it's a summation of another text book contrarian tactic, I'm using it as the basis for this post.

Dear Contrarian Lawyer, 

It would be one thing if I thought you were an innocent just learning about this stuff, but obviously that's not the case.  I think you are very aware of your game of lawyerly manipulation of questions - probably got high marks on the collegiate debating squad.  Too bad you don't appreciate that's gamesmanship.  It has nothing to do with honest curiosity and learning about how things function!

Your "acceptable info window" keeps shrinking.  All intended to shield you from important and real down to Earth observations and understanding.

You are playing a debate game - intend on winning the moment and nothing else.  Your approach offers no chance for learning - and in fact, I fear learning is your enemy.

You got your "point" to make, no matter how contrived you need to be, to make that point.  Period.  Nothing else to discuss or consider.  You should watch some engineering disaster documentaries.  They are full of examples of how willfully ignoring known information leads to disaster.

I belong to the side that wants to understand how our planet operates.  When I think of your repetitive string of questions, it's all about hiding from those down to Earth realities.  

For my side, arriving at the correct understanding is the goal.  Doing that requires being open to all the information.  

It also requires being aware and appreciative of one's own weaknesses in understanding.  You know, a bit of self-skepticism, humility, an appreciation for one's own limitations.  And an appreciation that we're all humans dealing with our lives and trying to do our jobs well.  Also an appreciation for who the global community of climate scientists actually are and how well they do their collective jobs.

What do you contrarian folks have?  
A complete rejection of tons worth of valid hard won observations, evidence and understanding about our planet and climate system.  Why?

You link to people, who to be frank, fill the definition of "cranks"  The Idso Family cottage industry of absolute CO2 crazy-making being a prime example.

No one ever denied that Carbon is the foundation of life, I dare say climate scientists understand quite a bit more about it than you folks.  At my blog you'll see lectures by Robert Hazen that shares current understanding after centuries worth of systematic refinement of information gathering abilities and bright minds working the problems, resolving new questions, and formulating yet newer inquires, based on the more refined understanding.    

To confuse and conflate what carbon is to life, with what CO2 is to our atmosphere, ranks as a supreme example of malicious criminal mischief.  I mean it, I charge the Idso clan with an act of criminal vandalizing our children's future prospects. 

We the people have a Right to honestly learn what climate scientists are trying to share with us, without the constant screaming of malicious lies!  The fact that it's been denied to us, doesn't make it okay! 


This is a bit dated, but it does offer a much more realistic overview of the complexities of CO2 biosphere interactions in a world of rising CO2 levels.  
We are at GHG levels not seen to easily 10, 20 million years and that will keep getting pushed back as we continue increasing it.:

Global Climate Change: The Role of Living Things

Travis Huxman, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Topics that Dr. Huxman discussed include CO2 and climate, Gaia theory, the characteristics of life on Earth, and projected new distribution with a doubling of CO2 and changes in temperature. October 31, 2006

Medieval project gone wrong
Posted on 30 April 2011, by Hoskibui

With regularity, you might hear skeptics mentioning a website called CO2 Science and its Medieval Project.  It is a front for a research center called Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and their goal is to distribute: 
…factual reports and sound commentary on new developments in the world-wide scientific quest to determine the climatic and biological consequences of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content. 
The website is run by the Idso family (Craig, Sherwood, Keith and Julene).
Medieval Project
One of the Idsos' main projects collects temperature reconstructions of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that claim to show local warming and then posts them on their website with the Idsos’ interpretation. They conclude that current warming is not unprecedented since there were warm periods in the past in various geographic locations around the globe.The site is flooded with lots of references, but do the references say the same thing as the Idsos? CO2 Science has a powerful interactive map and by clicking on the dots on the map you get to a page where a summary of that study is displayed - or rather the CO2 Science interpretation of the study. ...

Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science 
by  Suzanne Goldenberg
Libertarian thinktank keeps prominent sceptics on its payroll and relies on millions in funding from carbon industry, papers suggest 
They include, according to the documents, a number of contrarian climate experts. "At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found," the documents say.Whether these funding arrangements actually exist cannot be verified. However, Heartland's website notes that Idso, Singer, and Carter were commissioned to write a report for the organisation.

No. 8: Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (A.K.A. The Idso Family)

Meet the 12 loudest members of the chorus claiming that global warming is a joke and that CO2 emissions are actually good for you.
—By Josh Harkinson | Fri Dec. 4, 2009


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