Michael Stuart Kelly

Inconvenient Truth versus Inconvenient Swindle

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Brant,

I agree that there is a totalitarian drive among the greens and it needs to be combated. Otherwise, like the lady wants, ultimately we will be allowed only one square of toilet paper per sitting. What I am against is the drive to stop them at all costs, even by lying to the public.

For example, I read crap like pollution is not bad. Pollution is bad and saying it isn't comes with a whole new can of worms. There is a totalitarian drive in that angle, too (businesses currying favor from government monopolies). That one was all over Brazil for years.

I disagree about the money being only on one side. From what I have read, both sides are funded with government money. There's plenty of evidence of this out there. Our experts (all sides), funded by the public treasury (either directly or indirectly by tax write-offs) are simply not reliable sources of information. That's the sad truth. If any evidence were needed to show what the piss-poor result would be of funding almost an entire science with government money, there it is. I have no doubt that weapons development is also in this mix somewhere, and on all sides.

Nothing is going to convince me of the virtue of fighting lies with more lies. You fight lies with the truth. What galls me is that it is non-experts who are arriving at the truth.

Michael

Michael, I assume, therefore, you don't believe that the AGWers have made their case.

Who, on our side is fighting their lies with lies? Richard Lindzen of MIT? Arthur Robinson, publisher of "Access to Energy"? The President of the Czech Republic? Ellen Stuttle? R. Christian Ross? Jeffrey Small? Dragonfly? Greybird? Myself? I don't have such issue with any of these. If you mean that Swindle documentary, I haven't seen it. It may be lies and propaganda, which I wouldn't approve of, so if you want to discuss that point by point I'll go rent it and take a look see. I refuse to see Al Gore's crap. It's crap because it's essentially BS, on which premise we are now on.

The reason I'd see Swindle is to evaluate it factually and if it's lies I would like to figure out how to come up with effective, truthful presentation. It's hard to tell the public that failure to make your case rationally and factually means there is no case, but the BSers can shovel limitless BS easily burying the truth with myth and religion, assuming the public really cares about not being scared. It does sell newspapers and magazines and fuel political careers.

Now, the biggest liar I do know on our side, is the nuclear power industry, which is touting itself as an alternative to coal and oil to lessen that supposedly bad greenhouse gas and prevent global warming. Of course, they aren't on anybody's side except their own. They think they can ride a lie to success, disregarding and devaluing all the arguments they could use that are true and useful. Once they are found to be liars, their industry will be set back even more along with all their credibility.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Brant,

The lies are not big lies. They are overstatements and omissions. Evasions. Pretending something doesn't exist when it does or belittling what does exist. All because there is a goal "higher than the truth" at stake.

A fear mentality is being used for political clout, and it is exaggerated on purpose.

Green side fear: Mankind is destroying the planet.

Remedy: Enact restrictive laws, but pretend it is something else.

Anti-Green side fear: The Greens are threatening us with a totalitarian government.

Remedy: Allow businesses to have government protected monopolies and no accountability for damage done to individuals (and the environment when property is actually polluted beyond use or destroyed), but pretend it is something else.

Notice that the government is present in both? I repeat, it's all a racket. A fear racket aimed at gaining government favor.

What's my remedy? Get the government out of the story altogether. That includes funding, tax write-offs and special legal protections of all, and I mean all, special interest groups.

But let's not quibble. Let's look. Here is an example of what I mean by the first person on your list: Richard Lindzen of MIT. And this was a simple Google search.

Why So Gloomy?

GUEST OPINION

By Richard S. Lindzen

Special to Newsweek

April 16, 2007 issue

From the article:

Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research has always been funded exclusively by the U.S. government. He receives no funding from any energy companies.

From this source (Exxon Secrets FACTSHEET: Richard Lindzen), Dr. Lindzen is "a member of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and contributed to the Second Assessment Report."

Who funds that, I wonder? Need I go on?

So you tell me. Should I fight for Lindzen's government paychecks or the government paychecks of opposing scientists? How come there is such an issue when I say I don't want ANYBODY in climate science to have a government paycheck and that the fight for government paychecks is making the scientists unreliable?

Michael

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Michael,

Lindzen is lying?

I certainly favor cutting off the government money. This means all aid to education, abolishing the department of education, abolishing all public schools (eventually), etc. If I write a book and sell it to a university professor who buys it with part of his government paycheck, am I corrupted? Did I do something wrong? Is that professor wrong to get a government paycheck? No, probably not, as long as he is doing what would otherwise be done in the displaced private sector. Lindzen gets a private paycheck from MIT because MIT is a private school, but one, like most--only one or two significant exceptions--awash in government money.

And Lindzen gets his government (taxpayer) money as a reward for his position on AGW? That'd be more than interesting. I have no idea how that would work.

Government money corrupts scientific research, but in this AGW thing, it seems to play a rather small role, except for agencies like NASA that seem to be exploiting it to get funding.

--Brant

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From this source (Exxon Secrets FACTSHEET: Richard Lindzen), Dr. Lindzen is "a member of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and contributed to the Second Assessment Report."

Re this in that source:

Ross Gelbspan reported in 1995 that Lindzen "charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled 'Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,' was underwritten by OPEC." ("The Heat is On: The warming of the world's climate sparks a blaze of denial," Harper's magazine, December 1995.) Lindzen signed the 1995 Leipzig Declaration.

Probably Gelbspan got that from a book by Spencer Weart, the name of which I don't remember off-hand [see corrections]. Lindzen commented -- without mentioning Weart -- during a panel discussion in 2004 in which Weart was one of the other three panelists that he, Lindzen, wished he'd ever seen any of those consulting fees he'd supposedly gotten. Weart asked him about the issue in private afterward -- I overheard the exchange -- and apologized to Lindzen for the misstatement. Whether Weart has subsequently apologized publicly I don't know. Nor do I know if the other two "charges" are true. I can't see that they're of any significance if they are. There are many sources which underwrite articles and pay for trips to testify before Senate committees.

==

CORRECTIONS:

(A) I misspelled Spencer's last name as "Wirt." It's now corrected as Weart.

(B ) I got the chronology backward. Weart's book -- The Discovery of Global Warming -- was published in 2003, Harvard University Press, so Gelbspan might be the source of the story. According to Larry, who's read The Discovery of Global Warming, no reference was given in the book for the charge. (The copy Larry read was borrowed from the school library and has been returned, so I can't doublecheck exactly what was said in the text.)

==

I recommend to Michael that he read the whole last section of the linked source, the part headed "National Post (Canada), 'Relax, The Planet is Fine,' April 21, 2007."

Here's one comment which especially amuses me:

Q I read that you bet one of your colleagues that the Earth will actually be colder 20 years from now?

A I haven't bet on it, but I figure the odds are about 50-50. If you look at the temperature record for the globe over the last six years, it's gone no place. That's usually the way it behaves before it goes down. In fact, I suspect that's why you have this tsunami of exposure the last two years, with Gore's movie and so on. I think that this issue has been around long enough to generate a lot of agendas, and looking at the temperature records there must be a fear that if they don't get the agendas covered now, they may never get them.

That's what I suspect too, that the biggest urgency is to cash in while the cashing's still good before the catastrophic predictions DON'T come to pass.

Ellen

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Edited by Ellen Stuttle

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Ellen,

I am not attacking Lindzen. I just chose him because he was first on the list and because Brant insinuated that he (his side) received no government money. It looks to me like he makes a nice living off of government money from his end of the global warming scare up con game. His end of the job is to help keep the media pumping by nay-saying and apparently he does it well.

It's the old drug-dealer drug-cop routine. Get rid of the dealers and the cops are out of a job. I find your position that government money corrupts only one side of a controversy a bit, er... well let's say that I see no real reason to agree with it. If true, this would be the first time in human history to my knowledge.

For the sake of less nitpicking, let's remove the "L" word and merely say that the overstating the science part, etc., applies to him also. We don't have to call it lying. Let's call it spin. Here is how the game works. You get people wound up about what the government should do. Should it do A or should it do B? Side A and Side B keep at each other's throats to keep the issue alive. You are never asked, should the government get out?

You don't like one of the sources I mentioned. I don't either (and I saw no reason to mention the speaking fees from private companies, which frankly to me, is completely honest work anyway). I only mentioned that source because it came up 2nd on the Google search—second. You did not deny that Lizden received a check (ultimately from government funds) for serving on the UN committee. I figured that fact was pretty solid, regardless of the source. And you did not deny the Newsweek report that ALL of his research was funded by the US government. I could have provided many more sources. There were oodles of hits. I simply stopped where I stopped, but if you like, I can redo it in more detail and prove conclusively that Lizden receives lots of government money (other than his university pay).

You can trust this guy for a well rounded picture. I don't. I doubt that the general public that is waking up does either. (But I am sure his published findings are accurate and he does not alter his data or anything like that. In terms of integrity, I am confident he is true to his procedures.) It's not him personally. It's the fact that he is involved in a huge controversy over nothing and he is one apparently well-funded side of that controversy (well-funded with government money). It's a spin war with scientific data to make it seem real.

From what I have scanned and read over this time, information similar to what I gave about Lizden is easily found for most all of the prominent radical anti-AGW scientists. Everybody is on the government payroll.

This whole thing reminds me of political discussions in general. Who do you prefer? Rotten Thing A or Rotten Thing B? If you say they are both rotten things, everybody gets pissed at you.

Michael

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It does have a lot to do with government money--one side--but it also has to do with the establishment of a destructive totalitarianism controlled by radical greens. They have to be green these days, because communism is so out of date.

--Brant

If Richard Lindzen's position on AGW has anything to do with any government money, I'll eat my hat. I was thinking of self-perpetuating government bureaucracies like NASA. I suspect that it is easier to get research grants supporting the idea of AGW than vice versa, but I can't provide references as I don't have the time for research. I would be delighted to hear that government money is corrupting people like Lindzen--if he's corruptible that is; maybe private funds are doing that?--but I have serious doubts about non-government bias on any issue. Note, that the Bush Administration blocks many global warming initiatives like Kyoto, but that's very top down and the effect probably dissipates the further away from the President, who, BTW, has donned some green clothing rhetoric lately to armour himself against general media criticism on this issue.

So again, how does any government money corrupt Lindzen? What is the mechanism? "Unless you, Dr. Lindzen, come out against AGW we will cut off your funds." Who might be saying that?

Again, this begs the question. It has been established by general consent on this list that AGW is "essentially BS." End of story, unless Michael takes that back in a credible way. Or maybe Michael is only referring to the two documentaries and their alleged propaganda. Okay. Propaganda bad, truth good. No argument from me (unless we need propaganda to defeat the Hun, like in an actual war).

So this argument goes on? We are all agreeing on the essential point, aren't we? BS bad, truth good. AGW bad--it's not happening re the evidence. Mixing up basic scientific epistemology with education has made a mess here.

--Brant

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Brant,

With government money, it is a little more subtle than an outright order. But in the end, I think Lizden is more along the State of Fear lines. (To be fair, I need to read more of him to make an evaluation that is more than a general opinion, which is all I am presenting here.) His brand of impending doom is Greenie totalitarianism. AGW's brand of doom is planetary destruction. All of it sells newspapers, elects government officials, and makes for good trial cases with large settlements.

As for the actual global warming theory as per Gore, after examining it, I found it to be pure bunk. (I found much in the Swindle film to be pure bunk, also.) Climatology is not one science with one result. It is many interconnected sciences with many results. But I still think Gore's presentation was one hell of great job, especially at building up an integrated conclusion methodically in simple steps. I feel no shame at all in having taken pause after seeing the film. It was merited. I wish that talent had been used for something true.

My strong reaction was (and continues to be) against fear-mongering. We live in a wonderful world and it is not going to end tomorrow. Instead of just saying AGW is BS (which it is), I also believe that it is important to say that takeover of Ma, Apple Pie and The American Way of Life by the Greenies is pure BS, too.

After seeing what I have seen behind the scenes in Brazil with the pro-ethanol program (the world's best), which did nothing to halt the sale of petroleum products there, nor even result in the privatization of Petrobras (which, on the contrary, added ethanol to its line of products), I don't think the Greenies have a chance in hell of disrupting civilization. They can cause a nuisance and probably will for some time to come. Politicians will cash in where they can (Ellen informed me earlier that Gore and cronies are involved in lots of ethanol production speculation). There will be a few isolated disasters (like the DDT mess in third world countries). Lot's of heckling. But nothing catastrophic for civilization. Not even close.

We are all going to bump and grind and continue to make this world better and better, while making doo-doo at times along the way.

Michael

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Okay. Now it's time to take a break from all this for me for several days. Tomorrow I have to go back to making money, anyway.

--Rant

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Since I know Richard Lindzen in person, I'd like to state my assessment of his integrity and scientific calibre.

I consider Dick Lindzen the soul of scientific honor, and one of the most all-round brilliant intellects and finest scientists I've ever had the joy of encountering. He of course isn't infallible, any more than anyone else is; but he's the most compendiously knowledgeable, and the smartest, person in the area. I rank him as the safest bet of anyone to place reliance on for the accuracy of what he says about the science.

Lindzen has sought neither fame nor fortune. For sure he hasn't amassed fortune, though he has become rather a celebrity in the field. He's chronically sought after for interviews, talks, debates. He's deluged daily by hundreds of emails and has had to get an unlisted phone number at his home so as to have one phone line free for pre-selected callers. I'm glad to report that he's still in good health and has adequate stamina for keeping up a demanding pace. If anything, I suppose the grueling round has been good for him healthwise, since he's lost weight -- 10-15 pounds -- over the last few years.

I feel enormous gratitude for Dick Lindzen's unflagging endeavors and believe the whole rational world has reason to be grateful to him. I consider him a true hero, and I have confidence that when the history of science in this time is written, his name will shine as that of a luminary.

Ellen

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Ellen,

[snip]

You don't like one of the sources I mentioned. I don't either (and I saw no reason to mention the speaking fees from private companies, which frankly to me, is completely honest work anyway). I only mentioned that source because it came up 2nd on the Google search—second. You did not deny that Lizden received a check (ultimately from government funds) for serving on the UN committee. I figured that fact was pretty solid, regardless of the source. And you did not deny the Newsweek report that ALL of his research was funded by the US government. I could have provided many more sources. There were oodles of hits. I simply stopped where I stopped, but if you like, I can redo it in more detail and prove conclusively that Lizden receives lots of government money (other than his university pay).

All his research can't be funded by government money, since he's on salary at MIT. I have no idea what research funds he gets.

As to the IPCC panel, I suppose the participants were paid. Would have needed a fortune to recompense Lindzen for the aggravating hassles of trying to get any straight statement made from that report produced by committee. I'm grateful Lindzen and some others interested in the truth were strong enough for the ordeal.

It's the fact that he is involved in a huge controversy over nothing and he is one apparently well-funded side of that controversy (well-funded with government money). It's a spin war with scientific data to make it seem real.

"A huge controversy over nothing," is it? Over whether legislation should be passed in response to the alarmists? Is that "nothing"? And Lindzen is not engaged in any spin war; nor is he in the controversy for pay. He'd be glad to return to his academic life as it was prior to his becoming concerned about what was going on -- a number of years ago, when a friend of his who was on a Gore investigative committee told Lindzen that he, the friend, had been dismissed upon expressing doubt that there was AGW.

As to government grant money in general, I suppose you'd best add my husband to your list of "rotten" things, since he periodically gets some funds from the NASA Space Consortium and once got a hefty grant from JPL (Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, which is NASA-connected). Tainted money is everywhere in science. Way things are these days. Sure, I, and Larry, and I expect Lindzen as well and quite a lot of others would prefer that there weren't government funds involved in financing scientific research. But current reality is what it is and any university scientist doing research is getting some sort of financing from government funds, even if indirectly.

Ellen

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So again, how does any government money corrupt Lindzen? What is the mechanism? "Unless you, Dr. Lindzen, come out against AGW we will cut off your funds." Who might be saying that?

Jeez, is THAT what Michael thinks is going on, that people are getting government funds to be ANTI-AGW? Think again. People are under threat of losing funds, and jobs, and not getting tenure if they speak up anti-. Lindzen jokingly says that MIT can't fire him because he's too popular with the students. I think there's rather more to it than that; he does hold a prestigious research chair, and he's quite tenured (full prof.) But you can be sure that factions in the MIT administration don't find Lindzen quite convenient.

Ellen

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So again, how does any government money corrupt Lindzen? What is the mechanism? "Unless you, Dr. Lindzen, come out against AGW we will cut off your funds." Who might be saying that?

Jeez, is THAT what Michael thinks is going on, that people are getting government funds to be ANTI-AGW?

Ellen,

Jeez, THAT is not what Michael thinks. That is what Brant wrote. Michael wrote what Michael thinks.

With government money, it is a little more subtle than an outright order. But in the end, I think Lizden is more along the State of Fear lines. (To be fair, I need to read more of him to make an evaluation that is more than a general opinion, which is all I am presenting here.) His brand of impending doom is Greenie totalitarianism. AGW's brand of doom is planetary destruction. All of it sells newspapers, elects government officials, and makes for good trial cases with large settlements.

I mean that (not THAT).

I also think Lizden receives government money as documented. I see no value in claiming the contrary.

Michael

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I also think Lizden receives government money as documented. I see no value in claiming the contrary.

I didn't claim that Lindzen (would you mind spelling his name right?) doesn't receive government-grant money. I don't know what grants he has. I suppose I'd best have Larry ask him when next they talk. But it appears that you don't understand how government-grant funding of research works, since you seem to think that because the Bush administration has been stubborn on Kyoto, that it's from the administration that research funds would be coming. The administration isn't a research-funding branch of the government. And mostly the grants go to the university, not directly to the scientist, though there are cases of scientists who have direct grants which travel with them to whatever university they're affiliated with. Funding is done through various agencies, NASA prominently in physics areas, the N.I.H. in biology; I suppose the Meterological bureau (whatever the exact name) would be involved in global-warming-related research. There are long procedures of submitting grant proposals and being vetted by committee after committee -- and the vast majority of the people on those committees are not of a Bushian political persuasion. (I once worked for the research department of the American Cancer Society and was privy to the whole funding process in biological areas; it's a long, drawn-out, many-stepped procedure. I've seen it from the proposal-writing end with Larry and other physicists I know. It's nothing like, hey, G. W. Bush, I'll supply you with some stuff you'd like if you'll give me a grant.)

Ellen

PS: Folks, please don't miss my post #134 paying tribute to Dick Lindzen. That's what I signed on to post, but I ended up writing several items in a row.

PPS: Edit. Somehow the original of this post came out with duplicate material. I've deleted the duplication but not changed any wording.

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Edited by Ellen Stuttle

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As for the actual global warming theory as per Gore, after examining it, I found it to be pure bunk. (I found much in the Swindle film to be pure bunk, also.) Climatology is not one science with one result. It is many interconnected sciences with many results. But I still think Gore's presentation was one hell of great job, especially at building up an integrated conclusion methodically in simple steps. I feel no shame at all in having taken pause after seeing the film. It was merited. I wish that talent had been used for something true.

Climatology is not even a science. What it is, at this juncture, is a collection of -models-. The models are formulated to accommodate various measurements which are assumed to be central and crucial to climate changes. There are factors that are not fully weighted. For example, solar variation, sunspot variation, orbital perturbations and cosmic ray infiltration of our atmosphere. Put in the most charitable way, climatology is a collection of empirically based models and some heuristics. It is not the stuff upon which one should base policies that could break the economy.

Compound this with the natural tendencies of governments to look for Skies Which Are Falling in order to mandate Sky Falling Emergency Regulations and you have some real problems.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I didn't claim that Lindzen (would you mind spelling his name right?) doesn't receive government-grant money.

Ellen,

We are having trouble parsing. I initially responded to a claim by Brant (not you) that anti-AGW people didn't receive government money.

As regards what you claimed, I disagreed with your assertion that only the AGW people side of this debate can be corrupted by government money. I have no idea what criteria can back that kind of assertion.

Sorry about the spelling. "Lizden" is given all over Google as his name, including in write-ups about his participation in the Swindle documentary. From now on "Lindzen" it shall be.

Michael

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Climatology is not even a science. What it is, at this juncture, is a collection of -models-. The models are formulated to accommodate various measurements which are assumed to be central and crucial to climate changes. There are factors that are not fully weighted. For example, solar variation, sunspot variation, orbital perturbations and cosmic ray infiltration of our atmosphere. Put in the most charitable way, climatology is a collection of empirically based models and some heuristics. It is not the stuff upon which one should base policies that could break the economy.

Compound this with the natural tendencies of governments to look for Skies Which Are Falling in order to mandate Sky Falling Emergency Regulations and you have some real problems.

Bob,

I am in agreement with this. I merely add one other thing to it. The "real problems" you mentioned are not doomsday stuff. They are a mere nuisance (and a sporadic disaster, but that level is rare). I agree that hyper-regulatory measures need to be fought. I don't agree that science needs to be overstated to fight them. I think truth does just fine.

And even if these regulations pass in a few places, I have no doubt they will not "take." I have been seeing this stuff ever since there was an ecology thing in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 where the whole world turned out. The only practical result of that I ever saw (in Brazil) was some con artists started making money ripping off local governments and companies with a thing called "Agenda 21" and there have been a bunch of pop shows and clothing fads and things like that. I stand by what I wrote above:

I don't think the Greenies have a chance in hell of disrupting civilization. They can cause a nuisance and probably will for some time to come. Politicians will cash in where they can (Ellen informed me earlier that Gore and cronies are involved in lots of ethanol production speculation). There will be a few isolated disasters (like the DDT mess in third world countries). Lot's of heckling. But nothing catastrophic for civilization. Not even close.

We are all going to bump and grind and continue to make this world better and better, while making doo-doo at times along the way.

Michael

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I didn't claim that Lindzen (would you mind spelling his name right?) doesn't receive government-grant money.

Ellen,

[snip]

As regards what you claimed, I disagreed with your assertion that only the AGW people side of this debate can be corrupted by government money. I have no idea what criteria can back that kind of assertion.

Where did I make said assertion?

Ellen

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And even if these regulations pass in a few places, I have no doubt they will not "take." I have been seeing this stuff ever since there was an ecology thing in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 where the whole world turned out. The only practical result of that I ever saw (in Brazil) was some con artists started making money ripping off local governments and companies with a thing called "Agenda 21" and there have been a bunch of pop shows and clothing fads and things like that. I stand by what I wrote above:

We are all going to bump and grind and continue to make this world better and better, while making doo-doo at times along the way.

This hulleballoo goes all the way back to Rachel Carson (-The Silent Spring-) and the Club of Rome false alarms.

The Greenies and the anti-industrial-revolutionists have always been among us.

Hell, go look at the objections to factories in England back in the time of Blake and Dryden in the 19th century.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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[...] Green side fear: Mankind is destroying the planet.

Remedy: Enact restrictive laws, but pretend it is something else.

Anti-Green side fear: The Greens are threatening us with a totalitarian government.

Remedy: Allow businesses to have government protected monopolies and no accountability for damage done to individuals (and the environment when property is actually polluted beyond use or destroyed), but pretend it is something else.

You're cobbling up a symmetrical battle which does not exist. This last anti-green "remedy" that you allege, with one notable exception, is a null set. Nobody is calling for "no accountability" in the legal sense.

The exception is, as Brant alluded, the nuclear power industry, which has been coddled and swathed in extraordinary legal protections since before it began. It's been shielded from liability by government fiat, in efforts that pandered to irrational fears of "nukes in our backyards" and, by high irony, have delayed by decades any market incentive to create safer, fault-tolerant, privately insurable reactor designs.

Apart from this, though, and the natural-monopoly fallacies that have underpinned utilities for over a century (long before AGW furor), nobody is talking about government-protected monopolies. The responses in a political sense are solely to allow industrial civilization, especially power generation and personal transport, to continue to exist without the slow increments of totalitarian control.

[...] As for the actual global warming theory as per Gore, after examining it, I found it to be pure bunk. (I found much in the Swindle film to be pure bunk, also.)

Just for you, Michael, in Chicago, home of Lincoln Park Towing: {rueful smile}

And it's hey, hey, tow them away

Now, citizens, gather around

I think it's enough

And let's call his bluff

Let's tow the bums outta town

~ Steve Goodman, "Lincoln Park Pirates"

I've had enough. I'm calling your bluff. I'm challenging you to come out from behind your generalizations and provide four examples — far from "much," but a decent sampling — of what you consider to be wholly, unambiguously untrue in the hour-long "Great Global Warming Swindle."

(A production which, by the way, I have to note, you've misrepresented all along by not naming it properly in the title of this thread. Which title has thus smuggled in one of your points, that you see the two sides as being epistemologically equal, even without proving your case.)

I'm asking for timings of the four statements you dispute, which you can get from playing "TGGWS" at Google Video. I'm asking for exact quotations at those timings. I'm asking for two attempts at refutation for each example you raise, from what you consider to be responsible, independent, and unbiased sources, and which you can cite on the Net.

I'll even spot you one of these four right now, in fact. The documentary alleges that the political element that pushed AGW into hyperdrive, as a scientific trend, was Margaret Thatcher's campaign to expand the use of nuclear power and to break the back of the British coal-miner unions. It doesn't support this sufficiently. It ignores how such trends in "hot" research percolate throughout a worldwide scientific community. It also glosses over how government funding of research, as Ellen pointed out, isn't as neatly amenable to political influence as this mechanism of events would imply.

So, one such failing — if it even rises to being a fairly minor one. And coming, as I sense it, partly from the producers' perverse British "pride" in portraying their country as being a disproportionate part of the problem.

Anyway, that's stipulated, as the lawyers say. You can come up with three more examples and support them.

I'm tired of these insinuations. Put up your ante, please. Or admit that you aren't even going to try to genuinely back up what you're saying.

[...] I still think Gore's presentation was one hell of a great job, especially at building up an integrated conclusion methodically in simple steps. I feel no shame at all in having taken pause after seeing the film. It was merited. I wish that talent had been used for something true.

So you come to the viewpoint that I expressed 138 posts ago and nearly two months ago. That, by gum, it's wizard propaganda.

You could have said this at the outset — or just said that Gore's almost as good as Riefenstahl or Goebbels were in their day, as I did. You'd have saved the rest of us a lot of trouble, bringing up philosophic holes and detailed refutations that, by and large, you haven't bothered to address.

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I didn't claim that Lindzen (would you mind spelling his name right?) doesn't receive government-grant money.

Ellen,

[snip]

As regards what you claimed, I disagreed with your assertion that only the AGW people side of this debate can be corrupted by government money. I have no idea what criteria can back that kind of assertion.

Where did I make said assertion?

Ellen

___

Ellen,

I am going to indulge you this once, then I am not going to do this anymore. You are very good at reading and insinuating and know exactly what you are saying and why. And what's more, I am pretty sure you know exactly what I am saying.

But let's start. Here is the scenario. Lindzen was a participant in the Swindle film and one of his premises was about the funding issue, claiming that governments use funding as clout to make scientists embrace the global warming position, thereby casting doubt on the motives and integrity of all scientists receiving funding from pro-global warming side (they have 2 options, either they are stupid or they sell out). I don't remember if he was involved in stating that all this started with Thatcher, but I do remember him talking about the funding issue in strong terms. It is impossible for you to know Lindzen, defend him as you do and not know this.

So here is where you started:

I recommend to Michael that he read the whole last section of the linked source, the part headed "National Post (Canada), 'Relax, The Planet is Fine,' April 21, 2007."

Here's one comment which especially amuses me:

Q I read that you bet one of your colleagues that the Earth will actually be colder 20 years from now?

A I haven't bet on it, but I figure the odds are about 50-50. If you look at the temperature record for the globe over the last six years, it's gone no place. That's usually the way it behaves before it goes down. In fact, I suspect that's why you have this tsunami of exposure the last two years, with Gore's movie and so on. I think that this issue has been around long enough to generate a lot of agendas, and looking at the temperature records there must be a fear that if they don't get the agendas covered now, they may never get them.

That's what I suspect too, that the biggest urgency is to cash in while the cashing's still good before the catastrophic predictions DON'T come to pass.

I can't read this to mean anything but that the global warming people need to dishonestly get their hands on the loot while there is still time. Since I had made a point of mentioning that Lindzen was also cashing in on the Greenie takeover scare (the other half of the global warming scare) and received government funds for his own research, the meaning your attitude projected was pretty clear. Global warming = corrupt. Anti global warming = integrity. Both receive government money. What other conclusion is there to draw than one side is corruptible with government money and the other is not?

Anyway, I mentioned it.

It's the old drug-dealer drug-cop routine. Get rid of the dealers and the cops are out of a job. I find your position that government money corrupts only one side of a controversy a bit, er... well let's say that I see no real reason to agree with it. If true, this would be the first time in human history to my knowledge.

You gave your tribute to Lindzen. Is there any doubt in your mind that a person could read the following and arrive at the conclusion that you are saying that Lindzen would never allow his source of funding to influence his work in a spin kind of manner?

Since I know Richard Lindzen in person, I'd like to state my assessment of his integrity and scientific calibre.

I consider Dick Lindzen the soul of scientific honor, and one of the most all-round brilliant intellects and finest scientists I've ever had the joy of encountering. He of course isn't infallible, any more than anyone else is; but he's the most compendiously knowledgeable, and the smartest, person in the area. I rank him as the safest bet of anyone to place reliance on for the accuracy of what he says about the science.

Lindzen has sought neither fame nor fortune. For sure he hasn't amassed fortune, though he has become rather a celebrity in the field. He's chronically sought after for interviews, talks, debates. He's deluged daily by hundreds of emails and has had to get an unlisted phone number at his home so as to have one phone line free for pre-selected callers. I'm glad to report that he's still in good health and has adequate stamina for keeping up a demanding pace. If anything, I suppose the grueling round has been good for him healthwise, since he's lost weight -- 10-15 pounds -- over the last few years.

I feel enormous gratitude for Dick Lindzen's unflagging endeavors and believe the whole rational world has reason to be grateful to him. I consider him a true hero, and I have confidence that when the history of science in this time is written, his name will shine as that of a luminary.

Then you belittled the fact that he receives government funds (and don't forget that my source was Newsweek—and I presume that Lindzen did or will have a chance to complain if this information is false, and Newsweek will retract, as is their habit, if they are wrong).

All his research can't be funded by government money, since he's on salary at MIT. I have no idea what research funds he gets.

As to the IPCC panel, I suppose the participants were paid. Would have needed a fortune to recompense Lindzen for the aggravating hassles of trying to get any straight statement made from that report produced by committee. I'm grateful Lindzen and some others interested in the truth were strong enough for the ordeal.

To help downplay this side, you got personal.

As to government grant money in general, I suppose you'd best add my husband to your list of "rotten" things, since he periodically gets some funds from the NASA Space Consortium and once got a hefty grant from JPL (Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, which is NASA-connected). Tainted money is everywhere in science. Way things are these days. Sure, I, and Larry, and I expect Lindzen as well and quite a lot of others would prefer that there weren't government funds involved in financing scientific research. But current reality is what it is and any university scientist doing research is getting some sort of financing from government funds, even if indirectly.

In the hypothesis that you actually did not assert by now (by implication, I admit) that one side was the good guys receiving government funds and the other side was the bad guys receiving government funds, then I could just as easily turn this personal thing around. If you admit the possibility that all sides receiving government funds can be influenced in an unpleasant manner, you also admit this possibility for your husband. You can't have it both ways.

By the time you got to the complications issue, in my read, your position was well established and it is that "only the AGW people side of this debate can be corrupted by government money."

I didn't claim that Lindzen (would you mind spelling his name right?) doesn't receive government-grant money. I don't know what grants he has. I suppose I'd best have Larry ask him when next they talk. But it appears that you don't understand how government-grant funding of research works, since you seem to think that because the Bush administration has been stubborn on Kyoto, that it's from the administration that research funds would be coming. The administration isn't a research-funding branch of the government. And mostly the grants go to the university, not directly to the scientist, though there are cases of scientists who have direct grants which travel with them to whatever university they're affiliated with. Funding is done through various agencies, NASA prominently in physics areas, the N.I.H. in biology; I suppose the Meterological bureau (whatever the exact name) would be involved in global-warming-related research. There are long procedures of submitting grant proposals and being vetted by committee after committee -- and the vast majority of the people on those committees are not of a Bushian political persuasion. (I once worked for the research department of the American Cancer Society and was privy to the whole funding process in biological areas; it's a long, drawn-out, many-stepped procedure. I've seen it from the proposal-writing end with Larry and other physicists I know. It's nothing like, hey, G. W. Bush, I'll supply you with some stuff you'd like if you'll give me a grant.)

Out of all this explanation, is there any reason for me to believe that this procedure is any different for the global warming people? In my experience with government funding in Brazil, bureaucratic procedure is the same for everybody. The fact is that from my reading of all the material I went over on the global warming issue, I have every reason to believe that bureaucratic procedure is the same for everybody, too. So why the smoke and mirrors, if not to claim that global warming scientists are on easy street because they sold out and anti-AGW people have it extra hard because of their unyielding commitment to integrity, even when they get government funds?

There it is, about as clear as I can make it. To me, this whole analysis is a big fat nothing over nothing. Like I said, I am not going to do this again. I prefer to let inaccuracies stand before doing this again. But still, if I am mistaken on anything, please correct me so that I can retract whatever it is that is mistaken.

Michael

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I've had enough. I'm calling your bluff. I'm challenging you to come out from behind your generalizations and provide four examples — far from "much," but a decent sampling — of what you consider to be wholly, unambiguously untrue in the hour-long "Great Global Warming Swindle."

(A production which, by the way, I have to note, you've misrepresented all along by not naming it properly in the title of this thread. Which title has thus smuggled in one of your points, that you see the two sides as being epistemologically equal, even without proving your case.)

Steve,

Two points.

1. I am not going to get sucked into a debate defending something I don't hold. I don't remember claiming much "unambiguously untrue" in either film. I complained essentially about spin (the recent language is "overstating the science.") But for the record, a good example in Swindle is about sunspots being the cause of temperature changes. The fact is that, from my reading, I have concluded that there are several factors causing temperature changes, of which sunspots is probably one. But this issue was spun to debunk the effect of CO2, as if both were not the cause. I am going on memory, but that is the impression that was left in my mind. The rhetoric was thick as molasses on that issue and on others.

2. You make insinuations of dishonesty too easily. I did not misrepresent the title with no such evil intent to smuggle anything at all anywhere. If you look, the name of the film is not given once, but three times with links at the very beginning of the post. I made a play on words in the title as often is my habit. In my mind, I made a kind of pun to myself. I was foreshadowing how inconvenient I imagined this whole discussion would be from what I had perceived in other places. I was right, too. There has been an enormously low degree of rationality and civility during this entire discussion.

Let's do it this way. You can believe the spin and crusade all you want for your cause. I don't believe the spin on either side and I will have no part in such a cause. My position is that science is not settled on any of this. If that bothers you, then say I am bluffing if that makes you feel better. You can say you win if that's important to you. It doesn't mean anything and it doesn't change the way I think. I researched more than I needed to and I found what I needed to find (that everybody was spinning and bluffing), so I just don't care anymore. And I am more than glad to see others waking up just like I did, like in the article I linked to in my previous post.

ERAU professor seeks balance in global warming debate

By MARK HARPER

News-journalonline

May 12, 2007

If I ever do devote myself to spreading any message about global warming, it will be that science is not settled. Now that's the truth.

Michael

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May 12, 2007

If I ever do devote myself to spreading any message about global warming, it will be that science is not settled. Now that's the truth.

Michael

The only thing this statement can mean is that the AGWers haven't yet made their case.

--Brant

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Michael,

I was literally uproariously laughing out loud by the time I finished reading your post #145. Talk about "smoke and mirrors," that's an impressive job of producing a farrago of your own devising. I would agree that "[your] whole analysis is a big fat nothing over nothing" -- or rather of a figment brewed by you.

You say at the end:

[...] if I am mistaken on anything, please correct me so that I can retract whatever it is that is mistaken.

The one part I'll bother with correcting is this from your second paragraph:

Lindzen was a participant in the Swindle film and one of his premises was about the funding issue, claiming that governments use funding as clout to make scientists embrace the global warming position, thereby casting doubt on the motives and integrity of all scientists receiving funding from pro-global warming side (they have 2 options, either they are stupid or they sell out). I don't remember if he was involved in stating that all this started with Thatcher, but I do remember him talking about the funding issue in strong terms. It is impossible for you to know Lindzen, defend him as you do and not know this.

I haven't yet seen the whole of The Great Global Warming Swindle, only some snatches of it, and none of those were snatches Lindzen was in. Thus I can't say from my own hearing precisely what he did say in the movie about the funding issue. However, I've heard him talk about that at some length on a different occasion, and what he actually said then bears only family resemblance in subject matter to your rendering.

There's a brief part in the interview at the end of an item you previously linked (Exxon Secrets FACTSHEET: Richard Lindzen) where he talks about the ins and outs of scientific funding. What he says there is a shorter version of what he said on the occasion when I heard him talking about the issue:

Q You charge that the hysteria that's been created around global warming is an enormous financial scam. It's all about money?

A Well, how shall I put it? It's not all about money, but boy, there's a lot of money floating in it. I mean, emissions trading is going to be a multi-trillion dollar market. Emissions alone would keep small countries in business.

Q Are you suggesting that scientists manipulate their findings to get in on the gravy train?

A You have to differentiate the interests of different groups. In the scientific community, your interest is for your field to be recognized so that it will have priority in government funding.

Q So you are not accusing your scientific colleagues of corruption?

A No, I'm accusing them of behaving the way scientists always behave. In other words, some years ago, when Richard Nixon declared war on cancer, almost all the biological sciences then became cancer research. I mean, I don't call that corruption, I'm saying you orient your research so that it has a better chance to get resources.

Q And it helps if your findings suggest something catastrophic is about to happen?

A In this case it certainly has helped. First of all, the funding increased so greatly that it exceeded the capacity of the existing field to absorb it. You'll notice that Working Group 2 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came up with lots of scary things, but everything was always preceded by could, might, may, all these qualifiers. And the reason it was is those studies start out assuming there's a lot of warming. They assume all the science is in, and then they say, 'Well, how will this impact my field of insect-borne diseases, or agriculture, or health?' So they are almost, by definition, going to generate catastrophic scenarios, but they will never be based on anything other than the hypothesis that this will already happen.

That last sentence comes out garbled. I expect what he meant -- and might even have said and been misreported -- is "that this might happen." Also, he doesn't provide the caveat, though it's a true caveat, that not every scientist in the area tries to gear grant proposals to the AGW issue, just as not every biological scientist back in the 70s tried to find some cancer-research angle to work into a proposal. But a lot did (and some of these angles could become pretty farfetched, I'll add, from having seen many, many such proposals).

I repeat that I don't know exactly what Lindzen's own grants are, or how current they are either. Something I think you misunderstood about that Newsweek quote of which you've made such a case was its purpose, which I take to have been to make clear that Lindzen is not "in the pay of the oil companies," an erroneous statement often made about him.

==

Actually, reading through your post again, I will address one other point. The "this" you refer to is my comment (in post #129) that I, like Lindzen, suspect "that the biggest urgency is to cash in while the cashing's still good before the catastrophic predictions DON'T come to pass.":

[MSK] I can't read this to mean anything but that the global warming people need to dishonestly get their hands on the loot while there is still time. Since I had made a point of mentioning that Lindzen was also cashing in on the Greenie takeover scare (the other half of the global warming scare) and received government funds for his own research, the meaning your attitude projected was pretty clear. Global warming = corrupt. Anti global warming = integrity. Both receive government money. What other conclusion is there to draw than one side is corruptible with government money and the other is not?

You're confusing who's being talked about with the money issue. There are some scientists who have definitely sold their scientific souls on the AGW bit, but those people are in the small minority. And what they're selling their souls for isn't funds but prestige. There's also a wide range of genuine differences of opinion amongst the scientists. Lindzen alludes to those differences in another quote from that interview:

Q [Gore] would appear to have the support of the majority of your scientific colleagues.

A Not really. This is an issue that has hundreds of aspects. The very thought that a large number of scientists all agree on everything is inconceivable. Among my colleagues, I would say, almost no one thinks that Gore's movie is reasonable. But there will be differences. Some believe it is possible that warming could be a serious problem. Others think it's very unlikely. People are all over the place.

Neither he nor I was talking about the scientists in our respective comments about the urgency to cash in while the cashing's good, but instead about the political and business interests which have investments riding on various regulations being passed -- and here we're talking about BIG money, not the comparative nickles and dimes from grant funding.

Ellen

___

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I would agree that "[your] whole analysis is a big fat nothing over nothing" -- or rather of a figment brewed by you.

Since my name has recently been brought into this "discussion" again, I want to state clearly for the record that I could not agree more with ES's statement above.

RCR

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Q So you are not accusing your scientific colleagues of corruption?

A No, I'm accusing them of behaving the way scientists always behave. In other words, some years ago, when Richard Nixon declared war on cancer, almost all the biological sciences then became cancer research. I mean, I don't call that corruption, I'm saying you orient your research so that it has a better chance to get resources.

Ellen,

I get a kick out of statements like that. Let's translate.

Are the scientists selling out? Nah. They're just being scientists and scientists normally sell out, but not really. They are just selling out the way scientists do, which isn't the bad way of selling out. It's just being a scientist.

Heh.

If you find the Newsweek information erroneous, I suggest you notify Lindzen immediately. Newsweek should retract, especially since this information was given in an article authored by Lindzen himself.

Michael

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