Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Steele saga - Repost 1/5 - Open let to San Francisco State University

This is a reposting of the first of five responses I made regarding various aspects of Jim Steele's 1/7/15 WattsUpWithThat 'essay' - in light of Steele's recent comment, I think it's only fair to bring it up again.  I'm tempted to run though it, polish, up date, but even considering this was written while still in a bit of shock over Jim's ruthlessness, I believe it's best to leave it alone.

My letter to San Francisco State University may seem a bit extreme, but we do the best we can, with what we have - and considering Mr. Steele's extremism and previous interactions with him, I wanted to be sure he knows, they know.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dear Mr. Steele, regarding your 1/7/15 WUWT post - an open letter...

Yesterday I became aware of a shocking, misinformation laced "Watts Up With That" blog post written about me January 7th by our good Mr. Steele.  Considering Anthony Watts won't allow me to comment at WUWT it seems appropriate to share this email I've just sent to Mr. Steele (among others).  I won't be responding to the specifics in that contorted dishonest WUWT blog post.  Although I'll be happy to answer any questions submitted to the comments sections after this open letter.

To whom it may concern,
Ms. Mendoza, Assistant to the Dean, San Francisco State University 
Ms. Griffin, Public Affairs, San Francisco State University 
Ms. Kelly, Academic Affairs, San Francisco State University 
Mother Jones
Four Corners Free Press
Climate Science Defense Fund

I am copying you on this email to Mr. Jim Steele because I feel seriously threatened by your emeritus instructor (http://www.sfsu.edu/~sierra/Instructor_JimSteele.html) and I'm hoping for an objective moderating arbiter.  I do appreciate Mr. Steele has a bone to pick with me, for reasons best understood by reviewing: 
INDEX - Jim Steele's climate science horror collection, Landscapesandcycles, 2014 

But, I believe I've written nothing to justify the viciousness and misleading prose of his recent WUWT article - over a matter that would best be handed with dispassionate dialogue.
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Mr. Steele, 

regarding your 1/7/2015 WUWT blog post.  I can see we are quite different, you fight your intellectual battles within the confines of an echo-chamber of like-minded who have convinced themselves that scientists are manipulative and untrustworthy - unless they share your "sceptical" storyline that modern climatology is a farce.  Along with that you seem to believe that anyone defending those scientists and their work is an enemy in your no-holds-barred grudge match.

I myself would rather objective, educated, informed individuals judge the validity of our respective opinions, claims and assertions.  I remain prepared to digest new evidence and recognize my mistakes.  Like scientists, I love learning and expanding my understanding, even when new evidence shows that my assumptions were wrong.  Also, just like serious scientists, I willingly allow the strongest evidence to drive my "beliefs".  

I do take heed of Mark Twain's observation, the one you closed your attack piece with:

¶22  Mark Twain astutely recognized, “In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other.”

That's why I've gone through the time and trouble to objectively itemize the various claims you're so strenuously broadcasting to all who will listen precisely because I choose to go to first-hand sources.  Which I've done, contacting a number of scientists singled out by you these past months.  Many have responded and shared information and studies, sometimes many studies.  I've spent hours, days, seriously looking through it all and digesting the information to the best of my abilities.

What I've learned is that occasionally wildlife scientists have made mistakes within their studies and interpretations.  But, I also know from reading many studies that along the way scientists have been very careful to enunciate limitations and uncertainties.  

It's true enough that media outlets often grossly misrepresent the science, but rather than laying blame where it belongs, you habitually attack the scientists instead.

I've also learned that these scientists you ridicule and scandalize with such venom, have been the very scientists who have been pointing towards areas needing more research and better understanding.

I've discovered that what you decry as "climate horror stories" and "bad science" has been part of pioneering science in difficult places regarding complex multifaceted dynamics.  More importantly, you yourself learned your details from the very scientists you so ruthlessly attack.

You deliberately ignore that these issues have been part of the scientific community's vigorous dialogue all along - instead you portray scientists as bumbling fools.  Quite, if not unforgivably, dishonest!

I've discovered that you ignore an incredible amount of important information when you tell your "science horror stories".  A fair play presentation would include such evidence and clarifying nuances.  But you ignore it all.  What's up with that?

The melodrama, absolutism, and lies about me together with the intensely hostile wording of your 1/7/15 WUWT "article" reveals a depth of animosity I am not able to comprehend.  Add to that the fact that you have threatened me in the past and I'll admit you do intimidate me.  You've even made my loved ones actively anxious.  Does that mean I should stop?  Sorry I won't, fear is part of life anyways.  I don't have enough time left on this good Earth to turn coward and hide from you.  

I keep trying to remind you that we don't have to like each other to engage in rational and constructive dialogue about our different perspectives.  All it demands is an honest desire to learn.

As I said at the beginning, I myself would rather have objective, educated, informed individuals judging the validity of our respective opinions, claims and assertions.  That's why I started my own blog, to allow me to share what I've learned and know; along with why I believe it; including copious links to expert evidence and learning opportunities.  

Now that you've taken it ballistic, I have no choice but to also share this dialogue with what I hope to be the moderating influence of San Francisco State University officials, among others.  Perhaps they can play referee.


January 25, 2015

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Dr. Dessler does a good job of explaining why Mr. Steele feels compelled to behave as he does:

Dr. Dessler: The Alternative Reality of Climate Skepticism

Published on Oct 1, 2014
Oct. 01, 2014

While scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change is a reality, many Americans remain unconvinced by the research and data. Andrew Dessler, an atmospheric scientist at Texas A&M University who studies both the science and politics of climate change, describes how climate skeptics interpret scientific data to support their particular worldviews.

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