Don’t Feed the Trolls!

Quite a while back (early December) I blogged about Peter fuckwit Sissons,a BBC presenter. He interviewed Caroline Lucas, Green Party leader, on the dayof the tedious Climate March in London. And trotted out a ludicrous ‘is climate change even happening’ set of questions, which I thought the BBC had realised was intellectually dishonest and bankrupt years ago.
And finally, somehow, someone has left a comment on that blog! I include it here, without cutting any a single foam-flecked word from it,and with my responses interspersed. There is a basic (eponymous) rule of blogging/the tinterwebs that I ambreaking here, and I may ruefully rue it, but I think there is a PrincipleAt Stake Here.

tallbloke has left a new comment on your post “MEN,eh useless or what?”:Peter Sissons was quite right to question Caroline Lucas on the validity of man made global warming theory. Science is an ongoing process,

Yes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we are sure of. I take it you are pretty sure about gravity. Or that eating a cake full of cyanide is a bad idea. Or that there is a causal link between asbestos/cigarette smoking and dying of lung diseases. “Science is an on-going process” can be simply a code for “there are things I wish weren’t true.”

digression.

Oh, and science can be kind of post-normal. And these problems can be wicked, if you kuhn believe it.
end digression

and the standard geen party line of ‘the debate is over’ doesn’t change that.

Geen or green? If it’s deliberate, I’m really embarrassed for you. It’s childish and demeaning (to you) and, crucially, not even funny. Jokes are supposed to be funny. If accidental, it’s at best careless: ironic for someone who is claiming to overturn established consensus. Surely self-appointed “mavericks” have to be more careful? More crucially, you are framing this (deliberately or accidentally?) as a debate between the BBC and the Green Party. You are at risk of claiming Climate Change ‘theory’ is a creation of the Green Party. You are ignoring the IPCC, the WMO, Woods Hole, Scripps, NASA’s
Goddard Centre. And, oddly, the Financial Times, which is by far the best newspaper on Climate Change. Do you think the Green Party is in a secret conspiracy with the FT? And the insurance industry too? Or do you have some other overarching explanation?

New evidence of other climate drivers and the uncovering of the falsification of data by Hansen, Jones and Mann means the question is still wide open.

Well, if *I* were making such a sweeping claim, I would feel obliged to provide some actual references, and links to peer-reviewed science. You have obviously not felt under such an obligation. Interesting. More likely you are waiting for me to ask for some, and then send a long list of previously discredited articles by Viscount Monckton and the like. And your “new evidence” will be the same old spurious sunspot stupidity.

You can choose not to publish this comment, which would of course be a perfect demonstartion of the way the contrary opinion is stifled by those afraid of scientific truth and open debate.

Ah yes, the deep-seated need of climate denialists to bemartyrs heroically bearing the slings and arrows and slights of a sinister Green Conspiracy. Oh, and “demonstartion”. You have chosen not to spell-check your email. Why should we take you seriously, if you are unwilling to display basic courtesy? Oh, and let me share a secret with you. Most people working hard on climate change have been through years of this sort of thing. And at least some (I’ve not asked everyone) went through the same process as me- of actually getting excited and hopeful when someone said climate change wasn’t happening, things were going to get better. And then we read the so-called evidence and reports, and realise that no, the horrifically gloomy stuff we had previously gotten used to was more likely, was happening faster
than was even predicted. Have a read of Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field
Notes from a Catastrophe, or Fred Pearce’s The Last Generation.You seem to think the Green Party is talking up climate change. Why would a political party wanting votes do that? You seem to think that climate activists are unreflectively hooked on gloom. Well, I and my colleagues aren’t. We think hard, and search hard for information. You (deliberately?) misunderstand what MCFly is about. We are not here to debate the science. We are here to inform the people of Manchester about what the council, businesses and locals are doing about climate change. If you want to learn more/flame about the science, there are plenty of places you can do that. RealClimate.org is an obvious place to begin. I suggest, if you are so sure of your facts and so eager that your contrary opinion is not “stifled”, that you spend the sort oftime we do at MCFly on setting up your own website, and inviting other people (us, for example) to comment on it. We don’t have the time or the inclination to get involved in trolling and spamming with people who don’t even give references for their unwarranted smears on people like Hansen and Mann, who anyway are only a few
among a much much broader consensus on the science(Oreskes reference). As you so astutely and incisively pointed out at the beginning of your comment, “science is an ongoing process.”Now, most people would say there is overwhelming empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that you are trolling. Still, science being what it is, I have to allow for Black Swans. I’m going to try to (get you to) falsify my hypothesis that you are a troll. If you can come up with a short (no more than 300 words), legible, spell-chekced and properly referenced [peer-reviewed, not funded by oil and coal companies. That excludes Pat Michaels, for example] reply to the above points, then sure we will post it. We will publish a blog post that links to whatever website YOU set up to display your wide and deep understanding of climate science.If you can’t, this conversation is closed. We don’t have time for trolls.

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2 Responses to Don’t Feed the Trolls!

  1. tallbloke says:

    Hi McFly,
    I don’t have wordcount or spellcheck facilities here on your blog but I’ll keep it short, sweet and as grammatically correct as I can.

    My blog is at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com . It has some articles on climate science, some on astrophysics and some on solar system dynamics. Wander by and have a look. You requested a list of peer reviewed science which backs up what I’m saying about climate science not being settled. It will be interesting to see whether ou actually address the science in their papers, or resort to the usual ad hominem and ridicule.

    Spencer and Braswell 2010 – uncertainty of the sign and magnitude of climate feedbacks.
    Lindzen and Choi 2009 – Contradiction of climate models by empirical data
    Ferenc Miskolczi 2007,2008,2010 – Stability of atmospheric optical depth, equilibrium of greenhouse effect.
    Nir Shaviv in Journal of Geophysical Research: Using the oceans as a calorimeter to determine the amplification of the solar signal at the ocean surface.

    “and science can be kind of post-normal. ”
    True, especially when the philosopher of science who coined the term, Jerome Ravetz turns out to be a personal friend of the troll you denigrate. Jerry has had a ‘road to Damascus’ experience regarding institutional climate science too. Check out his latst writing on the subject in the Guardian.

    That’ll do for starters, I don’t want to lumber you with too much homework. Hope you don’t get too rusty over there in Manc this autumn, it’ll be cold and long, like the winter.

    Cheerybye

    Rog Tallbloke

  2. MCFly says:

    Hi McFly,
    I don’t have wordcount or spellcheck facilities here on your blog but I’ll keep it short, sweet and as grammatically correct as I can.

    Well, “epic fail” as the young people say, (I’m told)
    MCFly, not McFly. My blog does not need to provide you with wordcount or spellcheck. You could quite easily type it (one is reminded of Capote’s squib on Kerouac) into a wordprocessing programme and then cut and paste, no? You know, taking responsibility for your own productions?

    My blog is at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com . It has some articles on climate science, some on astrophysics and some on solar system dynamics. Wander by and have a look. You requested a list of peer reviewed science which backs up what I’m saying about climate science not being settled. It will be interesting to see whether ou actually address the science in their papers, or resort to the usual ad hominem and ridicule.

    It would have been interesting to see you respond to the many questions I raised. Do you believe the FT and the Green Party are involved in a giant conspiracy? And the recent Deutschebank review of the climate science? Why would arch-capitalists be in on the plot? Oh, and “you”, not “ou”. Unless you were throwing in the French for “or”?

    You might be interested in my response to your attempt to waste my time on solar system dynamics, but I doubt anyone else is. I certainly am not. Solar system dynamics. I mean, what has that got to do with the astonishingly rapid build up of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere? Or do you deny that carbon dioxide et al ‘trap’ heat? Solar system dynamics may well explain why Mars or Uranus (chosen advisedly) is heating up or cooling down or whatever denialist talking points are echoing around the bloviatosphere this week, but I don’t live on those planets. I live on the planet where we’ve been digging up and burning fossil fuels in industrial (ho ho) quantities for 200 years and the delicious free lunch we’ve had from it is beginning to repeat on us and oh look, here comes the stern looking waiter with the big bill (or ‘check’, as you Americans say).

    Spencer and Braswell 2010 – uncertainty of the sign and magnitude of climate feedbacks.
    Lindzen and Choi 2009 – Contradiction of climate models by empirical data
    Ferenc Miskolczi 2007,2008,2010 – Stability of atmospheric optical depth, equilibrium of greenhouse effect.
    Nir Shaviv in Journal of Geophysical Research: Using the oceans as a calorimeter to determine the amplification of the solar signal at the ocean surface.

    I’ll wait for the “Skeptical Science” and “Real Climate” glosses, life being short and us all being dead a long time, but thanks for the heads up. I see Spencer and Lindzen’s names in there. Always good to see them doing their appointed roles.

    “and science can be kind of post-normal. ”
    True, especially when the philosopher of science who coined the term, Jerome Ravetz turns out to be a personal friend of the troll you denigrate. Jerry has had a ‘road to Damascus’ experience regarding institutional climate science too. Check out his latst writing on the subject in the Guardian.

    Sorry, you’re a mate of Jerome Ravetz? So what? So damn what? I rarely read the Guardian – too smug, too much opinion, too little fact. The FT is more my style. That and the Morning Star. But I’ll give the link a look.

    That’ll do for starters, I don’t want to lumber you with too much homework. Hope you don’t get too rusty over there in Manc this autumn, it’ll be cold and long, like the winter.

    MCFly isn’t another place for you to waste people’s time (as per my response over a year ago). This thread is closed.

    Cheerybye

    Indeed.

    Rog Tallbloke

    MCFly now out of troll food.

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