Science Deniers Again Try To Discredit John Cook And Skeptical Science

conspiracy_theoryScience deniers never cease to amaze me with the tactics they use to discredit research and people. So they cannot win the debate on the science as it’s not on their side. This causes al kinds of interesting mental processes and conspiratorial thinking to deal with this disconnect from reality. Research by Smith and Leiserowitz shows that conspiratorial thinking is the number one response from climate science deniers towards global warming.

This is also why you see the assumption among science deniers that people have at best “questionable motives” or at worst “nefarious intent.” Which largely explains the defamation you see on science denier blogs and websites. It doesn’t take much for science deniers to jump from assuming nefarious intent to assigning nefarious intent and screeching “fraud” and “fakery” (see ‘climategate‘ for the perfect example).

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Another Scientific Consensus Conspiracy

The biggest threat to the denial of any scientific fact is evidence showing that there is a scientific consensus. Scientists are sceptical and questioning by their very nature. They love to poke and prod everything to see if it withstands scrutiny.

When scientists agree this is a sign that some serious prodding has ensued and that the evidence withstood it. That’s why studies like Oreskes 2004Doran 2009Anderegg 2010, and Cook 2013 showing that scientists agree the planet is warming and that we’re causing it are such a threat to science denial. Which then make them a prime target for attacks, I have more than enough articles on this website chronicling the attacks on just the Cook 2013 paper.

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Watts Up With 97 Hours Of Consensus

The so-called sceptics like Anthony Watts often have some very interesting predictions and speculations about global warming and climate change. Especially the predictions they make when dealing with their opponents can get very strange. The latest example of this was when Anthony Watts noticed a new widget on the Skeptical Science website.

Not much information was present what this widget was about. It had some sort of outline in it and a countdown, but what it was counting down to wasn’t obvious at the time. When you clicked on the widget it directed you to a page full of silhouettes.

widget crowd

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Guest Post: Legitimate Skepticism

This is a guest post by Dave123.

climategate cartoonWhat distinguishes proper skepticism from fatuous doubt? In some part comes down to who is expressing the sentiment. That is, who the person is determines if they are a legitimate skeptic or someone borrowing the title to disguise dismissive rhetoric. I don’t have sufficient training in the necessary physics and math to be a legitimate skeptic about the Higgs boson, the theory behind it or the experimental proof of its existence. I’m never going to have that level of understanding either. So I don’t opine about it. I’m entertained by it, but that’s as far as my engagement with the matter can go.

Too much of what we see called skepticism about climate science is expressed by people who are as unqualified to discuss the matter as I am to discuss the Higgs Boson.

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Roy Spencer, In Denial About What Science Denial Means

Dr. Roy SpencerClimate science deniers tend to be quite touchy when you call them a climate science denier, or denier for short. In my case this has even led to someone threatening to sue me for libel because I used the term climate science denier in a private email. Which wasn’t even aimed at them, I just used the term to describe the type of arguments that were being used.

The term also is quite simple in its origin, it means that you deny something. I use the term to state that climate science deniers dismiss or even flat-out deny the evidence climate scientists have found. You have similar versions of the term denier for those that reject the science behind vaccinations, AIDS, Evolution, etc.

I expect climate science deniers to not respond well when you use the term, that’s why I only use it when it’s truly earned. What I didn’t expect was that the usage of this term would lead to Dr. Roy Spencer writing the blog post ‘Time to push back against the global warming Nazis‘ (archived here):

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The Genuine Sceptic View

I get the occasional email asking me to help out with something. This time it was an email from Mike Haseler who is the chairman of the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum. The name of this organisation sounded interesting to me considering the subjects I tackle. I got even more interested when it was mentioned that this was to gather some information about the public debate about climate change.

But I always do a background check on the party that’s asking me to help out with something, no matter how small the request is or the amount of effort required on my side. Who you affiliate yourself with does matter if you want to be taken seriously. When I did a cursory check of the contents on their website any good feelings I might have had about this organisation evaporated.

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Bob Tisdale’s Ideological Armour

knmi logoOne of the things that completely baffle me is how climate science deniers can reject evidence.

Of course I’m not referring to not taking something at face value or wanting to verify something before you accept it. What I’m talking about is that they reject evidence even when it’s very obvious that it shows that they are wrong. It also often doesn’t matter how small the mistake it, they will still reject it.

One of these examples is a quote from a recommendations document written by the KNMI IPCC delegation that contained advice for the IPCC on how it can improve its procedures. This included recommendations for improving their reports and how results are communicated. Something that the IPCC asked for and the resulting recommendations from the KNMI aren’t shocking.

However, one passage was a bit confusing as to what they meant by it:

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Tea Party Supporters And Scientific Literacy


Photo by jackiembarr

On social media there’s never a dull moment with all the interesting and fun things that are shared on it. Also never a shortage of misinformation that’s being bounced around in your preferred ideological echo chamber.

The latest example of this was a tweet by Marc Morano that said “Yale Professor ‘Embarrassed’ to Discover Tea Party Members are Scientifically Literate” and linked to an article on CNS News (archived here):

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The Ideological Armour Of ‘Climate Sceptics’


Armour by Kamal Aboul-Hosn

Trying to engage ‘climate sceptics’, or so-called sceptics as I prefer to call them, in a fact based discussion is often quite frustrating. Not because you might not convince them to your own position, but because simple basic facts are dismissed. This prevents you from having a factual discussion on how we might want to react towards the changes we are causing in our planet’s climate.

A good example of this was my recent interaction with Bob Tisdale about his interpretation on a passage from a KNMI document:

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Chemtrails Are Just As Unscientific As Global Warming

contrailWell, according to Watts that is.

The term chemtrail comes from the chemtrail conspiracy theory where the claim is made that some of the contrails left by aircraft are chemical or biological agents. According to this conspiracy theory these are deliberately sprayed at high altitudes as ordered by governments. The more commonly stated reasons that I’ve heard for doing this is for mind control or population reduction.

I don’t think that I have to spend much time on telling you that this is complete and utter nonsense that’s not supported by any evidence. Just the logistics involved and the amount of people who need to be in on this make it impossible to do.

The reason I’m now talking about this is that Watts published a guest blog post by Tim Ball (archived here) in which Ball talks about the nonsense of chemtrails. With Watts saying this about it in a note he attached at the beginning:

Like with the essay Saturday about isotasy/glacial rebound being a myth, I don’t think the chemtrails idea has any merit whatsoever. Dr. Tim Ball points out more bad science – chemtrails, which are really just contrails, and which has a cult-like following much like some of the worst theories of global warming zealots – Anthony

I don’t really have a problem with him publishing something that discredits this conspiracy theory. It’s what I said that he should have done with the isostatic rebound myth guest blog post that he published:

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