Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dissecting the brain of an AGW denier

I have a lovely little email from Miranda Divine, a SMH opinion writer, that gives great insight into how the mind of a denier works when challenged by inconvenient truths.

It's not lovely: it is down-right rude, as was mine that prompted her response. But I had resisted the idea of publishing it on GWW due to the one-on-one nature of the correspondence.

That's until I read this from her latest column, commenting on the CRU hack:

And now damning emails leaked from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia have implicated some famous climate scientists in a conspiracy to manipulate data and suppress evidence to exaggerate the case man-made ''runaway'' global warming is threatening the planet. We see clearly the rotten heart of the propaganda machine that has driven the world to the brink of insanity on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

More than 1000 emails and 3000 documents, covering correspondence between climate scientists for more than a decade, was (sic) posted on a Russian website with a link to the climate sceptic blog Air Vent on November 17, by someone using the name FOIA (presumably after the Freedom of Information Act). FOIA wrote: ''We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.'

Miranda's wheels spin from the start. A mail-server hacked by cyber-criminals who then publicly post-up private correspondence between scientists, is not the heroic whistle-blowing act of 'leakage' that Devine seeks to portray. Rather, it's a bastardly act, yet she is oblivious to the tainted provenance of those emails. She has no evident moral compass at work here.

No consideration is given about the real-motivation of the hacker(s), one month before Copehenhagen. That would be venturing into journalism the other part of her job description. Instead she reward the criminals and publish extracts from the private emails to build-up false allegations of foul play by the community of climate sciences.

We knew but never before had seen such proof of bad faith, overwhelming in its small detail, its shameless dishonesty, its meanness, its totalitarian tactics, pouncing on every deviation from The Word, as handed down by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Yet her examples of cherry-picked and context-stripped extracts from private emails do nothing to support her hyperbolic claims of conspiracy.

The good thing is people can now see the tactics of the alarmists and their army of bovver boys. You can read the emails online and then you can read the sly attempts to explain away the misdeeds. Despite their feigned reasonableness and world-weary calm over the email scandal, climate alarmists are in a mad fumbling panic. They are exposed as dangerous megalomaniacs, foolish, but with enormous power.

Nowhere is there the acknowledgement that people express themselves more loosely in email, especially between friends and colleagues, than they do in making formal pronouncements. Nowhere is there an attempt to understand any context or background. Nor, as said before, is there an inkling that Miranda understands the unethical nature of how these emails were obtained and then published.

Rather, she gleefully piles on.

So how would Miranda Devine like it if I published her email so the world can judge for itself whether she is willfully blind to facts, and informed only by her prejudices?

The background is her follow-up article, "Going berko over a bipsycho", Miranda wrote in reaction to the overwhelming deluge of complaints about her provocative article entitled "Roads are for cars, not Lycra louts".

RE: Your "Going berko over a bisycho"
Sat, 31 October, 2009 9:06:13 AM
From: miranda Devine

: You are either delusional or a liar. The respones were easily split 50-50 - and I'm being generous. You need to go back and actually read them. I can add to those the roughly 400 personal emails I have received, the majority of which agree with my point of view. There is a groundswell of resentment against the arrogant behaviour of so many cyclists. I never had any intention of retracting anything I said. And pretending that my column will incite murder is a pathetic tactic which just exposes the poverty of your argument.

Miranda Devine - The Sydney Morning Herald - 1 Darling Island Pyrmont 2009 (02) 9282 1102

And here is what I initially wrote to her to deserve hers. In judging me, keep in mind I commute by cycle whenever the weather permits. I admit to exaggerating my claim a tiny bit, but nothing like that evidenced by the willful denial that Miranda seems to suffer under.

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 10:02:03 -0700
Subject: Your "Going berko over a bisycho"

Dear Miranda,

Your above article is nothing more than a transparent exercise in displacement.

I read every single one of the 478 responses to your inciteful piece. 474 of them pointed out you had no right to suggest that roads are not for bikes, one way or another. The other four were your regulars.

For your stupidity, you got pilloried, Miranda.

Rightly so; Imagine trying to turn one part of society against the other taking on a heated subject that boils down to survival on the road for cyclists?

Though you identified yourself correctly in that piece as a coward, it's not for not riding your bike (people can choose how they commute/recreate), but for not directly and clearly retracting your extremist comment that roads are for cars only. Right now there is a freak out there who read your piece, and is armed with the self-righteousness you promoted, driving a weapon weighing up to a tonne, who might reflect on your jaundced words and take it out on the next cyclist they see.

I suggest you explain more clearly how wrong your piece was.



Check out the comments under the second link and confirm for yourself whether they are split 50-50. Is she really being generous or mean?

So now you know you know how an AGW denier, and Miranda Devine is one too, can believe there is nothing to the message that climate scientists have been telling us for over 20 years. They just blank out the inconvenient truth and keep bleakly pushing their barrow.

Now you know they have no credibility.


VangelV said...

A reality check on your part might do some good. No matter how you spin it, the e-mails are extremely damaging to the AGW cause. They show that the leading proponents of AGW doctored data, had doubts about methods, and used tricks to hide the true temperature trends.

But those revelations pale in comparison compared to the corruption of the peer review process, destroying data to prevent it from being reviewed by independent scientists and using positions as gatekeepers to prevent legitimate papers from being discussed during the IPCC review. And those are nothing compared to devastating evidence of fraud that is found in the code.

It would help your credibility if you stopped playing amateur psychologist and start looking at the facts.

Wadard said...

VangelV - as much as you wish that was the case, I don't think any serious news organisation has taken up the 'Climategate' accusations, other than though the prism of "Climate skeptics say...."

Wreon-headed try on your accusation about corrupting the peer-review process, and preventing legitimate processes,but you probably don't know that FOI legislation has it that organisations don't have to respond to vexatious and continued requests.

But if you really are interested in following up on peer-review corruption - you will find history there - and this shows it is perpetrated by deniers:

Thanks for your contribution, anyway.

Wadard said...

Fraud in code? Pfffft - prove it cowboy.

Anonymous said...

"fraud in the code"...

It's hilarious watching the denialists trying to make sense of the code. One of them I saw thought he was onto something when he saw the word 'bias'. Idiot. They're like the monkeys in 2001 when they find the monolith, jumpin', hootin', scamperin' around but without the foggiest understanding of what they're looking at.

Ryan W. said...

AGW has taken one more devastating hit to its credibility with the release of the CRU's internal emails.

But it's just one more stake in an already cold corpse.

Anyone who can't provide their unaltered data set and the methods by which that data set was 'corrected' should not be allowed to publish in a 'peer reviewed' journal or be granted the credibility such publication provides. The publications based on non-peer-reviewable data are built on a house of cards. You don't need hacked e-mails to realize this.

The commentary of Megan McArdle's blog is well worth reading.

Wadard said...

Anyone who can't provide their unaltered data set and the methods by which that data set was 'corrected' should not be allowed to publish in a 'peer reviewed' journal or be granted the credibility such publication provides.

What if this hypothetical data-set is subject to pre-existing confidentiality agreements, as happens in the real world? And, what if there are provisions within FOI laws in the UK protecting institutions from having to release said data-sets to proved repeated vexatious claimants, who are only looking for PR for their do-nothing denier cause out off the whole time and resources wasting exercise? Like what happens in the real world.

Anonymous said...

what about all the observable data...the glaciers are melting...the artic ice cap is shrinking...plants are growing in places they where never seen before because of temperature increases...diseases are spreading to places they never u really think this has all be falsified???? get warming is happening and we almost certainly have caused...99% chance that global temps are increasing..95% chance humans caused it