The Truth, Sourcwatch Style

Posted by: Keith Kloor  :  Category: Judith Curry, climate politics

This is priceless.

The person responsible for researching and writing the SourceWatch page on Judith Curry has an odd way of gathering her information. For example, here are some questions she emailed Curry last night:

Hello again Dr. Curry -

People who know climate science are having trouble making sense of your critiques, and I am having trouble making sense of your classifying my community’s most blatant global warming denier as “not an identified “skeptic” (as far as i can tell)”.

So I have additional Qs to you – and yes, I realize they’re obnoxious and I apologize for that, but IMO we need to get at the truth.

Has your handwriting been getting shaky lately, or your balance worsening, or your (verbal, etc) self-restraint just vaporizing? (I ask since these did noticeably happen to me, & not all at the same time; fortunately they didn’t persist.)

Are you being threatened or blackmailed; either on behalf of you, or on behalf of others (e.g. family members) close to you, including the younger generation(s)?

Would you take the enhanced [Jeffrey] Dubner oath? (“I swear that I have never taken money or received services –
whether directly or indirectly — from any political campaign or political group or government agency or think tank — whether federal, state, or local — or from anyone else — in exchange for any service performed in my climate communication endeavors.”) (“directly or indirectly” would include carrots/sticks for friends and family members)

I’m sorry to ask you so directly, and you’re certainly free not to answer any of these Qs; but they are the questions I have.

I especially loved the bit about the handwriting.

Coincidentally, I was rummaging through the thread of a free (and publicly aired) climate therapy session yesterday and came across what appears to be the lone contributor to Judith Curry’s SourceWatch page. There she was, Anna Haynes, “journalist by avocation,” in action, getting the goods on Judith Curry.

In case you were wondering, SourceWatch is

a collaborative specialized encyclopedia of the corporate front groups, PR teams, “experts,” industry-friendly groups, and think thanks trying to influence public opinion on behalf of corporations or government agencies.

SourceWatch is published by the Center for Media and Democracy, which calls itself (my emphasis)

an independent, non-profit, non-partisan media and consumer watchdog group

You know the opposite of Fox News, which is “fair and balanced.”

UPDATE: I emailed Ann Landman, the managing editor at the Center for Media and Democracy, to let her know about this post. In her response, (which is reproduced below with her permission), she provides useful context that elaborates on the quality control aspect of SourceWatch and the site’s journalistic function:

The Center for Media and Democracy asks that all information contributed to Sourcewatch be backed up by authoritative references, which helps the site maintain credibility. Unfortunately, since SW is a wiki, it is sometimes hard to adequately police this. The site is continuously a work in progress. We do our best to monitor contributions, but sometimes we simply have to address deficiencies as they are brought to our attention.  We also do not claim to have a neutral point of view.  The points of view expressed on SW could potentially be as numerous as our contributors (thus the requirement for authoritative references), thus we do not claim to be strictly a journalistic enterprise. We are a crowd-sourced enterprise.
Journalists do consider SW to be a resource, as the site is occasionally mentioned as a source by media outlets, including the New York Times, for example.

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159 Responses to “The Truth, Sourcwatch Style”

  1. intrepid_wanders Says:

    Wow… There is something very wrong with that woman.

  2. Keith Kloor Says:

    Wow, so that’s the same person who showed up at Anthony Watts’s office unannounced. I didn’t realize.

    I guess Judith ought to answer all of Anna’s emails.

  3. kdk33 Says:

    Fox has Juan Williams. 

    What’s the problem.

  4. PDA Says:

    “SourceWatch does not require a “neutral point of view,” and so opinions and views may be cited with attribution in most instances, if made apparent as such.”
     
    I don’t know what the value of such a site is, really, but it doesn’t seem like you can call them out on hypocrisy. I don’t require a neutral point of view on my blog either.

  5. Keith Kloor Says:

    PDA, I’m not calling them out on anything. Let the questions (and the questioner) and the “non-partisan” claim speak for themselves.

  6. The Blackboard » Tough questions from Source Watch’s crack journalist. Says:

    [...] Hat tip: Collide-a-scape. [...]

  7. Judith Curry Says:

    well, I am answering all of Anna’s questions.  bizarre as the questions are, they are easy to answer :)
     

  8. PDA Says:

    I think Anna is weird, but she’s just someone who edited Dr. Curry’s SourceWatch entry. You can do it too. It’s a wiki.

  9. Lewis Says:

    Priceless!

  10. Lewis Says:

    O, Judith, are you sure you should? She may not treat your answers with the most rational of care! But good on you, to! (I would treat it as spam!)

  11. Lewis Says:

    I like the therapy session bit, Keith! Wow!

  12. Lewis Says:

    Judith,
     
    Actually, I think this is more serious than at first I thought. Judith, please read Lucias post at http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/things-that-arent-right-stalking/
    and then Taminos at
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/silence/
    (the person injuncting is obviously a real sock puppet for you know who) and then this
    http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2010/03/the-sad-tale-of-anna-haynes.html
    And then consider very carefully whether you want to be in communication with this person.
     

  13. Lewis Says:

    Actually, I withdraw the sock puppet bit - don’t know who that is! ‘Nough said.

  14. S Basinger Says:

    She’s been very tenacious. Pretty scary stuff. I imagine that she’d make a rather frightening ex-girlfriend.

    http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2010/03/the-sad-tale-of-anna-haynes.html

  15. JimR Says:

    Keith - did you E-mail Anna Haynes about this blog post? If not she may come scold you and give you a lesson in netiquette. (A lesson from reading The Sad Tale of Anna Haynes).

     
    ;-)

  16. Neven Says:

    Anna Haynes isn’t that bad, but I think she is someone who is really, really worried about AGW and the huge success the denial machine is having in derailing any meaningful action in the US.
     
    People on the warmist side of the debate are a bit confused by Judith Curry’s behaviour though (like James Annan and Michael Tobis). She appears to be giving her opinion on a lot of things, even when she seems to be lacking the expertise and making newbie mistakes.
     
    And as confusion and doubt is the product of all the think tanks and PR firms that are employed to wage an untransparent war on anything that may threaten the economic position of their employers, some people like Anna Haynes get suspicious. And then she overreacts.
     
    My guess is she can be quite amenable if you treat her respectfully and transparently. If you don’t, she’ll think you have something to hide. She could have asked more directly though, like: are you thrilled by all the attention you’re getting, keeping an eye on them blog stats? Do you have libertarian leanings, by any chance? Aren’t you worried that your outcomes will contribute to the delay of meaningful action? That you will be used by the likes of Watts and Morano and the think tanks they are linked to, to further their agenda?

  17. Neven Says:

    “that your outcomes” should read “that your actions”.
     
    Those are questions I would have asked. Except that I wouldn’t have asked them.

  18. Neven Says:

    Here’s a comment by Anna Haynes on James Annan’s blog that underscores what I just said:
     
    “There are people who say we should just ignore her. But Nature’s not ignoring her, Scientific American’s not ignoring her - and at least one journalist (probably plenty more, given their pack nature) is eager to give her yet more airtime.

    So it’s necessary to call this stuff out, when it promises to continue being a source of public confusion.”

  19. Keith Kloor Says:

    Neven, I’m not sure what your point is.  Are you saying that Anna is equating Judith with a “the denial machine”? Is Anna’s aim to make sure that Judith gets ignored by media? Is that what “underscores” your point?

    If so, I’ve never seen a wackier way to go about it.

  20. Huge Difference Says:

    “Has your handwriting been getting shaky lately, or your balance worsening, or your (verbal, etc) self-restraint just vaporizing?”
     
    Okay, hands up if this is not happening to you too.  I’ll be honest.  In the past 20 years, my handwriting has become atrocious, my balance in my comments horrid, and if you don’t believe me on the self-restraint, why Kevin you can just go f yourself.
     
    I see no hands raised.
     
    So either we’re all senile or otherwise disturbed, or it’s the chemtrails again.  Couldn’t be the typing and the blogs.

  21. Neven Says:

    I was speculating about  Haynes’ motivation to do what she did. Many of Judith Curry’s comments are causing some confusion, as is clear from many recent blog entries on In It For the Gold, Stoat, Rabett Run, Jules & James, etc.
     
    Because sowing confusion is something that the (professional) pseudo-skeptics like to do, some people - like Haynes - get suspicious. Haynes sends wacky questions to see what the reaction will be.
     
    “Are you saying that Anna is equating Judith with a “the denial machine”?”
     
    No, and I don’t think she does. Yet. But inquiring minds want to know what is motivating Judith Curry to behave like an elephant in a china cabinet (as we say in Dutch).
     
    “Is Anna’s aim to make sure that Judith gets ignored by media?”
     
    Perhaps, if Judith only sows confusion.
     
    “Is that what “underscores” your point?”
     
    Her remark over at Annan’s blog underscores the point that I was making with regards to her motivation to send Curry those wacky questions.
     
    Keith, did I now explain my point sufficiently? Or are you still not sure?
     
    And what is your point? That SourceWatch is wacky?

  22. Keith Kloor Says:

    Neven,

    It sounds like you’re taking her questions seriously, which I don’t see how anyone can. They’re utterly absurd.

    As for me, that was pretty much the point of my post. But Nick Stokes in a comment at Lucia’s captured my other sentiment (my emphasis):

    “She’s someone writing on a Wiki page. Anyone can do that. Whether it is wise for Sourcewatch to allow that is a question. But it works for wiki, mostly.”

    Does SourceWatch, which presumably wants to have some credibility, approve of its authors emailing wacky questions to people its covering?

  23. JimR Says:

    “Anna Haynes isn’t that bad, but I think she is someone who is really, really worried about AGW and the huge success the denial machine is having in derailing any meaningful action in the US.”
     
    And that really is the problem. The whole “denial machine” narrative has become so overwhelming that some want to use it to denigrate any voice saying what they don’t want to hear. Anna Haynes is a creation of the “denial machine” any ‘anyone who doesn’t agree has ties to big oil’ mentality. She may be an extreme example, but there are many of that type floating around the internet.
     
     

  24. Anna Haynes Says:

    Apologies to Dr. Curry for Keith Kloor’s having publicized these questions; in light of Dr. Curry’s answers, I had no intention of doing so.

  25. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Neven, perhaps you could just summarise for those of us who are a little baffled by this, what is it that Curry is doing that invokes similies like “an elephant in a china cabinet”? I see this kind of reaction to Curry’s past comments and recent blog launch quite a bit from ardent C/AGW proponents, and I have to say that it - most particularly, but not exclusively, the likes of Tobis, the wabbit, Annan and of course noted geneticist Dr Anna Hayes - strikes me as oddly disproportionate.
     
    Mostly I get the impression that, rather than sowing seeds of confusion, Curry is uncovering and exposing confusion and uncertainty by the basket-load. To me your simile actually equates to “rocking the boat”.
     
    Brandon, AMac and other infinitely more reasonable commentators than I, caution against assuming motive, but if I am not correct when I say that I the oddly disproportionate cries seem to be in the vain of dogmatic heresy then I am left at a loss to explain the apparently plain and enormous “negative feedback” to Curry’s discourse on inherent climate uncertainties - your bull and china syndrome, riding rough-shod over a rather comfortable status quo that has been established gradually over twenty years, and is threatening to undermine the potential for policy action.

  26. Anna Haynes Says:

    While I’m here, folks, a q re Anthony Watts - does anyone know if he’s related to Doug Watts of the Sacramento political advocacy firm Russo Watts and Rogers?
    (Debra Saunders of the SF Chronicle got her start with them, I believe)

    The answer’s probably no, but people do sometimes turn out to be related to each other.

    Thanks in advance -
    Anna

  27. Tom Fuller Says:

    Anna Haynes emailed me several times for her entry in Sourcewatch on me. She put up the material pretty much as I gave it to her, but then when she went on Deltoid, OIIFTG, etc., she began twisting what I said.
     
    She also kept coming back for more information until I told her not to email me any more.
     
    She seems a bit batty, but no more so than some others I could name but will not in the interests of world peace…

  28. Anna Haynes Says:

    “people do sometimes turn out to be related”

    …I should say, related to other people who share their political views and goals; obviously, plenty of people have relatives who could not be more different.

  29. Anna Haynes Says:

    Science questions for Tom Fuller (have these been answered yet? I know they’ve been asked multiple times) -

    1. Which experts on sea level rise, ice sheet dynamics, and polar bear biology/ecology did you contact for your articles on polar bear populations and sea level rise?

    2. If I were to consult with the leading experts in these fields, would they agree with your news articles that polar bears are not threatened by anthropogenic warming and that significant SLR (with dynamic ice sheet decay) is not a concern?

  30. Anna Haynes Says:

    (BTW, I have a couple of comments in moderation, that bear on the topic of Mr. Kloor’s post; I hope they will appear soon.)

  31. Keith Kloor Says:

    Anna,

    Firstly, I saw your questions posted by Judith in a comment thread at her blog, which I linked to.

    Then as I said, I saw you announce in another comment thread that you were writing the Source page for Judith.

    At any rate, this thread is about you and your questions to Judith, not a forum for you to pose questions to others.

    So perhaps you can answer a burning question of mine: what prompted you to ask such patently ridiculous questions to Judith?

  32. Keith Kloor Says:

    Anna, all your comments are out of moderation (unless they are caught in a spam filter).

  33. Anna Haynes Says:

    > all your comments are out of moderation

    Thanks Keith. You got ‘em.

    And sorry. Whenever I see Tom Fuller, I think of ThingsBreak’s questions.

    > what prompted you…

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s to draw - and observe - the distinction between public and private. It seems this time what I thought was private wasn’t; I don’t want to compound the error.

  34. Anna Haynes Says:

    p.s. a clarification re my above “in light of Dr. Curry’s answers…” (which BTW I’d delete, if I had Edit functionality) since it could be misconstrued - she answered the same way 95% of us would.

  35. intrepid_wanders Says:

    Anna,
     
    I think Keith and the rest of us are interested in the Judith Curry/Russ Steele skeptic relationship and if that was what motivate you on asking Judith questions.
    http://ncfocus.blogspot.com/2010/10/judith-curry-on-our-own-russ-steele-not.html

  36. Andy Says:

    “So I have additional Qs to you – and yes, I realize they’re obnoxious and I apologize for that, but IMO we need to get at the truth.”
     
    In my experience obnoxiousness rarely leads to truth.  YMMV.

  37. lucia Says:

    Anna
    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s to draw – and observe – the distinction between public and private. It seems this time what I thought was private wasn’t; I don’t want to compound the error.
    Are you a close personal friend of Judy’s? Were you asking Judy questions out of purely private curiosity and with no journalistic goal?  If the questions were purely private, who was the “we” in “we need to get at the truth.”? Were you going to share the answers with which ever people constitute “we”?

  38. Tom Fuller Says:

    Anna, are you related to Billy Jack Haynes, by any chance? One never knows, and it would explain so much…

  39. Keith Kloor Says:

    Anna, I’m puzzled by your comment to Judith’s blog:

    “Please don’t blame SourceWatch management for the questions I asked in private email – as I noted on Keith Kloor’s site.”

    So does this mean your questions were asked out of personal curiosity, and not to elicit information for the SourceWatch page you were actively working on? (I see from the History at Judith’s page that you’ve been working hard at the page this past week.)

    In this History, I also see the reference for the entry dated 20:56, 29 October 2021 reads:”Added some details from JC email; I need to gather email content together as a ‘reference’ page.”

    So since this is all public on a wiki-and presumably you are identifying yourself as asking these questions on behalf of SourceWatch, why is it such a big deal to have these questions made public? If Judith’s answers are for public consumption, why not your questions?

  40. Anna Haynes Says:

    > If Judith’s answers are for public consumption, why not your questions?

    Keith, there wasn’t just a single email Q-and-reply.
    Tell you what, since it seems to be confusing as is, I’ll go ahead and gather the email back-and-forth together, that I distilled onto the page, so you can see the Qs I asked for it - I’ll try to get to that tomorrow.

    And a request for you and your readers - could you take a look at the page as is (which is incomplete, the real “science substance” is lacking; I need to add a list, with refs, of the contrarian assertions that JC has made but not substantiated) - and tell me if there’s anything unclear about it?

    (I do think I should add a sentence at the beginning of the “interests/disclosures” section to make it clearer that it doesn’t sound to me like her business is a major influence; while it’s fairly clear from her words, which I quote there, I’m getting the impression that that might not be enough.)

  41. Stu Says:

    I can understand Anna wanting to find out more about controversial scientists and the possible motivations of high profile skeptics. What I don’t understand is her seeming interest in the families/late wives, etc of these same people.

  42. Jay Currie Says:

    Judith, have you noticed the 9foot tall invisible bunny standing behind you? If not, why not? Big Oil?

  43. Neven Says:

    “It sounds like you’re taking her questions seriously, which I don’t see how anyone can. They’re utterly absurd.”
     
    Keith, I don’t take her questions seriously. I take her motivation to ask them seriously though.
     
    If I may ask out of curiosity: Do you believe there is such a thing as the denial machine? Do you believe in the links between various think tanks and Big Corporation? If you do, what do you think is the effect these think tanks are having on the debate on climate science, mitigation policy, etc?

  44. Keith Kloor Says:

    Neven,

    Do I think there is a nexus between some think tanks and corporations? Sure. But I also think you and Anna greatly overestimate their impact. You also see bogeymen at every turn because you closely follow the debate, which is dominated by the partisans on both sides.

    The general public’s grasp of climate science is better reflected in this latest survey, which, by the way, also says:

    “despite the recent controversies over ‘climategate’ and the 2007 IPCC report, this study finds that Americans trust scientists and scientific organizations far more than any other source of
    information about global warming.”

    That’s an inconvenient data point for you and Anna, though, hence the continuing focus on dark forces.

     

  45. Judith Curry Says:

    Well I am all in favor of full and open disclosure.  I suggest that any further discussion between myself and Anna Haynes be discussed openly in the blogosphere.  Climate Etc. would be fine, or you may find this thread at c-a-s to be more neutral.

  46. Neven Says:

    In that case, professor Curry, I’d like to extend the question to you as well:
     
    Do you believe there is such a thing as the ‘denial machine’? Do you believe in the links between various think tanks and Big Corporation? If you do, what do you think is the effect these think tanks are having on the debate on climate science, mitigation policy, etc?

  47. AMac Says:

    Neven #43 -
    Do you believe there is such a thing as the denial machine? Do you believe in the links between various think tanks and Big Corporation? If you do, what do you think is the effect these think tanks are having on the debate on climate science, mitigation policy, etc?

    I think that people and organizations typically act in their own interests.  Some of this is conscious.  Most is probably done unknowingly:  “to a carpenter with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

    You don’t think you’re part of a shadowy conclave that is scheming to impose socialistic coercion on an unsuspecting world.  Neither does Anna Hayes.  Is there somebody out there who is acting out of these beliefs (only seeing it in a positive light?)  Yeah, probably.

    The difficult exercise is to imagine that the mix of motives of “the other side” are rather similar in makeup to those of “my side.”  In other words:  most of the time, reasonable, independent agents are coming to their own conclusions.  Very much influenced by their experiences, their views on society and economics, and their human fallibility (selective insights, craving for social status, tendency to self-justify, etc.).

    Yes, as “Thank You For Smoking” engagingly illustrates, there are Conspiracies.  Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you, as the saying goes.

    I can tell you that it’s an alienating experience to be accused of being an agent — or dupe — of an conspiracy.  Twice, I have been invited to prove to my correspondent’s satisfaction that my blog commentary is not undertaken on behalf of the Evil League of Evil. (To a carpenter with a hammer…)

    In that regard, those who doubt the stance of the AGW Consensus should be pleased by the effect that SourceWatch-type activities have on their targets, and on the wider audience that is disposed to think kindly of the motives of people like Judith Curry.

    Another own goal.

  48. Keith Kloor Says:

    Judith, I’m curious: did Anna say her questions were for the SourceWatch page she was working on. I’m assuming so, but just want to confirm I’m assuming right.

  49. Judith Curry Says:

    Neven, sure there are some corporations and wealthy people that oppose CO2 mitigation (e.g. the Kochs) and they seem to spend a lot of money on this.  This is countered by the enviro advocacy groups and the rich people that donate to them, who seem to spend even more money than the likes of the Koch brothers.  This kind of thing has been going on for decades over a range of of environmental issues, and it is mostly a war of lobbyists.
     
    In terms of having much if any impact on the scientific debate, the so called “denial machine” has had very little.  They have added to the noise, they have raised “doubts” (somebody needed to counter the overconfidence of the IPCC), but nothing that should have derailed good policies in response to a perceived threat.
     
    The real damage to the IPCC science came from the likes of Steve McIntyre, and this had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the denial machine.
     
    Put the blame where it lies: a high confidence level in shoddy science, policy prescriptions that were not robust, and lousy politics.  Not to mention climategate, which seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  50. Neven Says:

    AMac, I’d love to engage with you on this, but I want to wait for Judith or Keith first. That’s only fair, as I asked them directly. It wouldn’t be polite to run off with you. ;-)

  51. AMac Says:

    Judith Curry #49 -
    In my opinion, it is not that the science is shoddy (cf. the science is settled).  Rather, the challenge is that the normal mechanisms for distinguishing weak from robust science do not seem to be reliably effective, in certain branches of climatology.

  52. Judith Curry Says:

    Keith, Anna Haynes identified herself as a blogger and contributor to sourcewatch in the first email that she sent.  I didn’t recognize her name.

  53. Neven Says:

    Thanks for the answer, professor Curry.
     
    “but nothing that should have derailed good policies in response to a perceived threat.”
     
    I’m from Europe, so maybe I’m not understanding how things work in the US, but everywhere I read that in the upcoming elections the Republicans will take the House and a lot, if not all, of their candidates parrot the noise and the doubts that are actively being spread by lobbying think tanks. That sounds like a pretty successful derailment to me.
     
    “The real damage to the IPCC science came from the likes of Steve McIntyre, and this had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the denial machine.”
     
    If we take Steve McIntyre as an example: there is some pretty strong evidence that he has been and probably still is in close connection with think tanks like CEI, GMI and Heartland (which in my view are think tanks that are very much involved in denial machine activities). You can read more about that here: http://deepclimate.org/2010/02/04/steve-mcintyre-and-ross-mckitrick-part-1-in-the-beginning/
     
    So I wouldn’t say ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the denial machine. The same goes for the Wegman Report.
     
    “Put the blame where it lies: a high confidence level in shoddy science, policy prescriptions that were not robust, and lousy politics. ”
     
    I have no problem agreeing about the policy prescriptions and the lousy politics, but shoddy science? That’s a pretty broad sweep. Did you have a look at the cryosphere lately? Glaciers, Arctic sea ice? Freak weather, broken records?
     
    So, in short, what I think you are saying is this: climate scientists are to blame for the massive PR success of the denial machine. They are The Accused, so to say (wink wink to Lucia). If this is what you’re saying, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people will be wondering what motivates you to say these things.
     
    Will you be attending the next Heartland conference on climate change?

  54. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Neven, LOL!

  55. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Neven, there is no compelling evidence of a connection between McIntyre and right-wing think tanks. Absolutely none whatsoever. If you’re convinced by that McIntyre stuff at DC, then all my other questions about how you come to believe the things you do are fully answered.
     
    Keith, I’m suddenly reminded that you never did give your assessment of Mashey’s mega-exposé in response to my assertion that it reads like the worst of attempts at rationalising a conspiracy theory.

  56. Neven Says:

    “Will you be attending the next Heartland conference on climate change?”
     
    If you don’t mind, I would like to expand on that. If for instance the Competitive Enterprise Institute or SPPI (Science and Public Policy Institute) would approach you to write a piece for them on how shoddy all the science is, would you accept?
     
    How would you feel if some think tank that is clearly out there to spread as much noise and confusion it can, would cheer you on or herald you as the next best thing? Like for instance Marc Morano making  headlines like: ‘Curry says climate science is shoddy, Congress investigates’. Do you feel you have to clearly distance yourself from that to show your independence and to show how your opinions are being spun into PR, or is your stance more of laissez-faire (because perhaps you feel the means justify the end, as your remark ’somebody needed to counter the overconfidence of the IPCC’ seems to purport)?

  57. Neven Says:

    “Neven, there is no compelling evidence of a connection between McIntyre and right-wing think tanks.”
     
    Simon, could you direct me to a statement of McIntyre that confirms this? Or perhaps if he’s reading along, he could enlighten us.

  58. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #57 reads to me as, “Can you prove he doesn’t beat his wife?”

  59. Neven Says:

    I am reading this Q&A with Judith Curry from a few months back, which is partly answering some of my questions: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/

  60. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    McIntyre is neither required nor should be expected to issue statements to counter every conspiracy theory floated by Mashey or his friends at DeepClimax. The accusation is pure and simply an ad hominem circumstantial attack, and an absolutely classic example at that, wholly typical of AGWers who, knowing full well that they cannot counter McIntyre’s science, attack the individual instead.
     
    That you believe that the absence of a statement from McIntyre directly refuting the baseless allegation somehow reinforces the allegation itself is also an additional logical fallacy.
     
    It’s also rather sick.

  61. Roddy Campbell Says:

    This is one of the craziest threads ever, crazy as in good, it’s exposed all kind of views, and has remained wholly polite.
    ““Anna Haynes isn’t that bad, but I think she is someone who is really, really worried about AGW and the huge success the denial machine is having in derailing any meaningful action in the US.”
    Neven - in your post above #53 you say your knowledge of US politics is a bit limited, so why are you so definite on the (US) denial machine?  I’m not expert in US politics either, but I recall the vote against Kyoto was 95 - 0 in the Senate?
    Judith #49 - crikey, tell it how it is!  :)
    I so wish I was related to Campbell Soups.
    Tom Fuller, are you a member of the UK brewing family?

  62. lucia Says:

    Neven
    They are The Accused, so to say (wink wink to Lucia)
    Why wink wink to me?  Are you alluding to the time I highlighted your tendency to resort to hyperbole by likening climate scientists to victims of gang rape?  See here: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/hyperbole-alert-losing-the-public-trust-is-like-being-gang-raped/

  63. AllenC Says:

    Surely Neven you can’t be serious?

    I mean, really, there are no bogeymen hiding in your closet.  There are no ghosts haunting your house and some people really can think for themselves!

    As for the expected success of the Republicans in today’s election, I believe it has more to do with rejection of many other Democratic support of policy matters (such as Health Care) than Obama’s stance on AGW. 

  64. Stu Says:

    I cringe at Neven’s love for these twisted analogies… :(

  65. Andy Says:

    Neven,
     
    Your comment about McIntyre denying links to right-wing groups strikes me as the same sort of arguments made by the right wing about Pres. Obama’s birth certificate.  As others have pointed out, this is going about it backwards.

  66. Neven Says:

    “Are you alluding to the time I highlighted your tendency to resort to hyperbole by likening climate scientists to victims of gang rape?”
     
    Lucia, thanks for distorting what I said. I knew I could count on you for that. :-)
     
    The good thing is that it shows what I believe Lucia, Judith Curry and Keith have in common (although Keith hasn’t answered my question yet): They think the denial machine is non-existent or irrelevant. IMO this is either naive or slightly disingenuous.
     
    Allow me to explain the latter. Lucia and Judith perhaps know full well that the denial machine is there and that it is very successful in its endeavours to maintain the economic status quo (large corporations making enormous profits at the expense of ecosystems and people) by countering any policy whatsoever that is aimed at dealing with the consequences of fossil fuel use. But they believe it’s a necessary evil (”somebody needed to counter the overconfidence of the IPCC”) and besides, the other side (Greenpeace, WWF) does it too, right? The end justifies the means.
     
    To blame climate scientists for the way climate science is currently perceived (as a bunch of hoaxers that want to take away our freedoms), and remain completely silent on the part the denial machine played in that, is what led me to state my hyperbole on Lucia blog, which she thankfully turned into a righteous indignated blog post. Because if the denial machine exists, my point is proven. And I really don’t see how any honest person with functioning critical faculties can deny the existence of the denial machine.
     
    Or downplay its role, but that’s up for contention. There is plenty evidence for a big role, but you have to want to see it.

  67. Neven Says:

    “Your comment about McIntyre denying links to right-wing groups”
     
    Andy, I didn’t say he denied it. I just wondered out loud if he ever made any statement about it. And if he did, what the statement was.

  68. AMac Says:

    Neven,

    One problem with your over-the-top way of expressing your views is that it is difficult for readers to figure out what you are really trying to say.

    “I exaggerate because everybody should be outraged about the underlying issue!”
    “I know I’m overstating my case, don’t take me literally.”
    “I’m being serious, these views are what I really believe!”
    “Oh c’mon, I don’t hold to hyperbole like that… or do I?”

    The linked “The Blackboard” thread was one example of how this played out.

  69. Stu Says:

    “Andy, I didn’t say he denied it. I just wondered out loud if he ever made any statement about it. And if he did, what the statement was.”
     
    McIntyre has stated a few times that he is left-wing. I’m not sure where I’ll be able to find a direct quote. If you’re really interested I could perhaps do a dig.

  70. Bishop Hill Says:

    McIntyre:

    I can’t imagine why anyone would regard me as a “radical”. My politics in American terms would be Clinton-ish, not Bush-y.

  71. AllenC Says:

    Neven,

    Please define “denial machine”.

  72. lucia Says:

    Neven

    Lucia, thanks for distorting what I said. I knew I could count on you for that.

    I don’t think I was distorting. But if I was, perhaps   you can clarify what you really meant by communicating what the non-distorted message we were supposed to understand when reading:  “They are The Accused, so to say (wink wink to Lucia)”

    In your answer, could you tell us whether  “The Accused” refers to the movie staring Jodie Foster?  If it does not, what does it refer to?

    Does the very specific reference to “Lucia” afterwards point to someone other than me? If so who? Does it point to something other than our previous discussion when you brought this movie up in context of climate change? If so, what does it point to?

    FWIW: I’m not indignant that you resort to hyperbole.  Indignation has nothing to do with why I point out
    ridiculous hyperbole when it rears its idiotic head at blogs and forums.  I think pointing out  ridiculous hyperbole has two positive effects:

    1) it helps people focus on saner more rational fact based arguments
    2) takes away whatever power the user might have intended.

    Now, if you were not resorting to ridiculous rape metaphors in your comment above, maybe you can clarify the function of the specific sentence involving a reference to a movie about gang rape (The Accused) followed by “wink, wink to Lucia”.

  73. Judith Curry Says:

    My statement “a high confidence level in shoddy science”  should not be misinterpreted.  Of course not all climate science is not shoddy (especially not my own :) .  Some of it is (including some that has been highlighted by the IPCC as having a high confidence level).

  74. RB Says:

    Judy Curry wrote an article about poor V&V practices in climate models citing Steve Easterbrook among others, and Easterbrook himself dropped by to dispute that claim. Therefore, it is hard to take  Judy Curry’s IPCC criticism at face value when attributing to the IPCC ”a high confidence level in shoddy science.”  Let’s just say she has a perspective that differs from the mainstream.

  75. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Neven the European conspiracist - are you a Brit?  If so, what happened to your common sense?

    ‘Lucia and Judith perhaps know full well that the denial machine is there and that it is very successful in its endeavours to maintain the economic status quo…’ - good to know that there is no chance that you might be wrong exaggerating there.
    ‘But they believe it’s a necessary evil (”somebody needed to counter the overconfidence of the IPCC”) and besides, the other side (Greenpeace, WWF) does it too, right?’

    I think Judith just pointed out (as I have to howls of abuse on Realclimate from time to time) that the amount of money, media control, and so on that sceptic conspiracists have doesn’t measure up to the amount that the warmists have had over the past couple of decades, and so, pay attention here please, you can’t blame the lack of US (or global) efforts to reduce GHG emissions on some imaginary one-sided capitalist big oil story.

    Whether Koch should or shouldn’t isn’t the story.  The story is that the US voted down Kyoto 95-0 decades ago, and the Chinese, Russians and Indians haven’t exactly bent over backwards either.

    ‘And I really don’t see how any honest person with functioning critical faculties can deny the existence of the denial machine.’ - pay attention again; ignoring the use of the word ‘machine’ and all its implications, what ‘we’ are saying is that the existence of some ‘capitalists’ opposed to such mitigation proposals as have been proposed is irrelevant.

    An example - because I am opposed to the UK Climate Act does not make me in the pay of some Koched-up conspiracy machine, or indeed make me a warming denier.  It’s a stupid policy, which was voted through with a massive majority because the media would have crucified anyone who dared vote against it.

    A ‘climate’ in which people can ask whether it is a good or bad policy, however caused, is A Good Thing.
     

  76. Neven Says:

    Lucia, it wasn’t a rape metaphor, it was a ‘blame the victim’ metaphor. If your righteous indignation gets in the way of your ability to discern the qualitative and quantitative aspects of analogies, you are obviously not fit for a rational conversation. What I have taken away from your writings is that you don’t believe there is such a thing as a denial machine, hence you blame the victim.
     
    Please define “denial machine”.
     
    AllenC, what is it you don’t understand about it? Maybe you’ll find this Canadian documentary informative: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=522784499045867811#
     
    Stu and Bishop Hill: McIntyre’s political preferences don’t say anything about whether or not he teamed up or is still teaming up with dubious think tanks like CEI or GMI. I’d like to know if he ever made a statement about it. Did he distance himself from them, or did he say: ‘Yes, I work together with people from these think tanks, because they are fine institutions with exemplary ideology and tactics.’ Or did he say: ‘Yes, I work together with people from these think tanks, because they help me in my personal vendetta against the Team, and I don’t care how twisted their ideology is, the end justifies the means’. Or didn’t he say anything ever?
     
    One problem with your over-the-top way of expressing your views is that it is difficult for readers to figure out what you are really trying to say.
     
    AMac, I express myself in an over-the-top way because I try to be honest and transparent, I’m not playing Mosher-like PR games. If transparency makes it difficult for people to figure out what I’m trying to say, then maybe there is something wrong with the eye of the beholder.

  77. Neven Says:

    Of course not all climate science is not shoddy (especially not my own .
     
    If the warmists had a Marc Morano of their own, this double negation would now be doing the rounds. ;-)

  78. Neven Says:

    So, this thread is about people asking Judith Curry (wacky) questions, yes?
     
    So here are the questions I asked professor Curry that got lost in a barrage of distracting comments:
     
    1) How would you feel if some think tank that is clearly out there to spread as much noise and confusion it can, would cheer you on or herald you as the next best thing? Like for instance Marc Morano making  headlines like: ‘Curry says climate science is shoddy, Congress investigates’. Do you feel you have to clearly distance yourself from that to show your independence and to show how your opinions are being spun into PR, or is your stance more of laissez-faire (because perhaps you feel the means justify the end, as your remark ’somebody needed to counter the overconfidence of the IPCC’ seems to purport)?
    2) If for instance the Competitive Enterprise Institute or SPPI (Science and Public Policy Institute) would approach you to write a piece for them on how shoddy all the science is, would you accept?
    3) Will you be attending the next Heartland conference on climate change?
     
    And there was this question for Keith (but maybe he doesn’t want to answer because he is a journalist and journalists aren’t supposed to take sides):
    If I may ask out of curiosity: Do you believe there is such a thing as the denial machine? Do you believe in the links between various think tanks and Big Corporation? If you do, what do you think is the effect these think tanks are having on the debate on climate science, mitigation policy, etc?

  79. Bishop Hill Says:

    McIntyre again:

    “I have no appointment or office with the George Marshall Institute, either as a “contributing writer” or otherwise. I have made two presentations in Washington at a meeting room on Capitol Hill in Washington co-sponsored by the George Marshall Institute (one of which was attended by David Appell). My travel expenses were paid, but I did not receive an honorarium or fee for the presentation.”

  80. Bishop Hill Says:

    Whoops

  81. Judith Curry Says:

    Neven, all this stuff is a side show.
    1)  People are saying all sorts of crazy things about me, and spinning my statements.  So what.
    2) No, i try to keep as neutral as a can, and avoid things like that
    3)  No, i wouldn’t go to the heartland conference and more than i would have gone to copenhagen last Dec.; I avoid attending politicized venues.
    There are a diversity of values and ideals, let them all be heard, what is the problem?
    I think policies like carbon stabilization targets are doomed to fail, either politically or in implementation, without any help needed from the denial machine.

  82. AllenC Says:

    Neven,

    Ahhh, the old meme of “denial machine” = big oil!

    I sure hope you don’t drive a car, take a bus, or use plastics.  Afterall, that would be a case of cognitive dissonance for you, now wouldn’t it?

  83. lucia Says:

    Neven

    Lucia, it wasn’t a rape metaphor, it was a ‘blame the victim’ metaphor.
    Uh huh.  If you don’t want people to think your “blame the victim” metaphor is a rape metaphor, you  want to pick a movie where the victim is a victim doesn’t happen to be a victim of a violent gang rape.  There are many movies involving victims, if you keep sticking to that particular movie, with that particular victim, who happens to be a victim of a particular crime, then whether you intend a rape metaphor or not, you are communicating one.  ‘Cuz that’s the way using metaphors works.

  84. Keith Kloor Says:

    Neven (78):

    Are you paying attention? I answered your question quite soon after you asked it.

    And no, this thread is not for asking Judith Curry questions unrelated to the SourceWatch theme of the post. But feel free to direct those over to her site.

  85. Eli Rabett Says:

    As Eli recalls, Roger Pielke Jr. also took the tack of blaming climate scientists for the wall of denial put up by the various think tanks.  Blaming the victim is the default response when you have been caught out.

  86. Tom Fuller Says:

    Denial machine. Evidence for. Please produce.
    Examples of what is not evidence:
    1. Existence of conservative think thanks that attempt to address multiple issues and have adopted climate change  as one such.
     
    2. Existence of conservative philanthropists that have been funding conservative causes and have adopted climate change as one such.
     
    3. Existence of conservative politicians who have reflexively opposed all liberal ideas and legislation and have adopted climate change as one such.
     
    As near as I can tell, the ‘denial machine’ ends up being Pat Michaels (modest funding to oppose CAGW), Marc Morano and The Heartland Institute. Nobody (to date) has linked anybody else to  ’the denial machine.’
     
    If there are more examples I would love to see them. What I expect to get is crap like Bjorn Lomborg having appeared at The Marshall Institute, the Koch Brothers supporting The Marshall Institute at a very modest level of annual donations, and the Koch Brothers funding others that oppose climate change as one of a dozen conservative initiatives.
     
    The machine is on the other side. It started with Margaret Thatcher’s needing a tool to beat the coal miners’ union and advance the cause of nuclear power in the UK. It led to British Petroleum making a seed grant to East Anglia University to start CRU. Involved in the issue and its resolution was a journalist/PR flack named Monckton.
     
    But show me concrete evidence to the contrary. Citizen detectives have been feeding sites like Sourcewatch for a while now-it should be easy.
     
    Oh, yeah-Lindzen smokes. Singer’s a Christian. They must be part of a machine…
     

  87. AMac Says:

    Eli (#85) -
    Is that a quote of what Pielke Jr. said, or a paraphrase?

  88. Lewis Says:

    I am sorry, I have to say it plain: I think Anna Hayes is a bully, a nasty peace of work and to excuse that by saying she’s a ‘little disturbed’ is just misogynistic nonsense. Because she’s a woman her nasty, smearing, stalking bullying does not get a pass. She should be told, in no uncertain terms, to leave people alone. The excuse of ‘citizen journalist’ does not excuse her from doing proper, honest, above board journalism! Stop it!
     

  89. Eli Rabett Says:

    Perhaps Eli might sharpen the issue a bit, who is paying Marc Morano to libel Michael Mann on a daily basis?

  90. Neven Says:

    Keith, I hadn’t seen your answer. Thanks.

    But I also think you and Anna greatly overestimate their impact.
     
    I agree with you up to a certain point. Like I said, all those Republican candidates saying global warming is either non-existent or a scam. That’s not a small thing.
    Let’s just say their impact shouldn’t be overestimated, but certainly not underestimated either. That’s my main problem with the whole thing.
     
    Neven, all this stuff is a side show.
     
    Sure (thanks for the answers anyway), but I need that side show to ascertain which sources I can trust and which not. Which brings me to another point regarding credibility and trustworthiness:
     
    There are a diversity of values and ideals, let them all be heard, what is the problem?
     
    If a certain person or group lies or distorts the truth repeatedly to gain a certain end, when should one stop listening to them or react to what they are saying? This is often my problem when debating (pseudo-)skeptics. A week ago one offered me a link to Singer’s NIPPC report. Through the years I have ascertained that over half of the people who were involved with that report have lied repeatedly (like Monckton or Easterbrook or Corbyn). But I still have to listen to what the report has to say to see if by pure chance there is something of substance in it. Why?
    Why can’t I discard CEI and GMI and Heartland as sources? And why should the values and ideals of liars be heard without any consequences? That’s wrong. Why would you keep engaging with those people?
     
    I think policies like carbon stabilization targets are doomed to fail, either politically or in implementation, without any help needed from the denial machine.
     
    I think I agree with that, as the root problem goes far, far deeper and goes beyond AGW alone  (most of the warmist masses are in denial themselves about that). But it needs a bit of help from the denial machine nonetheless. If the help from the denial machine wasn’t needed, it wouldn’t have been there in the first place.

  91. AMac Says:

    Eli Rabbett (#89)
    > who is paying Marc Morano to libel Michael Mann on a daily basis?
    ???

  92. Lewis Says:

    And people like the unmentionable wabbit etc piling behind her skirts to make more ad homin nonsense are even more disgusting the Lewis thinks! Don’t you realise what damage you do, you [SNIP]! I’m sorry, this makes me to damned angry!

    [DEAN: BETTER CHILL OUT. I DON'T LIKE SNIPPING AS IT'S A WASTE OF MY TIME. MUCH EASIER TO PUT PEOPLE IN MODERATION FOR NAME-CALLING AND OTHER ASSORTED INFLAMMATORY LANGUAGE THAN HAVE TO MONITOR THAT SORT OF THING. SO CHILL BEFORE YOU FORCE MY HAND.]

  93. kdk33 Says:

    The denial machine is the hobgoblin that prevents decarbonizers from having their way.

    There can no other explanation.

  94. Lewis Says:

    And, lastly, to repeat something I said before: there is no ‘conspiracy’, no ‘denial machine’, at worst there is a ‘confederacy of dunces’. I long ago realised that ‘conspiracies’ ( except the very few, in history, that actually existed - against Caeser, for instance, which by definition is unknown until after the event ) are the invention of those who feel inadequate or powerless, and are a less than intelligent projection by the same. To put it clearly, by definition, there can be no ‘conspiracies’ within rational discourse - all that matters is good or bad arguments. Stick to them and the world will seem less overwhelming to you and less frightening.

  95. Lewis Says:

    .92 Sorry, was a bit overwrought but no need for the shouting capitals.

  96. Keith Kloor Says:

    Lewis in #88 raises the most interesting element to me, which is really what prompted to write this post: the role of citizen journalist.

    Personally, I’m a fan of citizen journalism, as it can serve as a valuable supplement to the profession and fill needs unmet by a professional corp (already decimated and in the throes of change).

    A good example related to the climate change arena is what Michael Tobis did some months ago.

    But as the link (above) to the wikpedia page of CJ demonstrates, exactly what citizen journalism is and how CJ journalists should comport themselves isn’t so clear.

    So when I saw the questions that Anna sent to Judith, the first thing I thought was, is this citizen journalism? I’m wondering that even more now that it’s been confirmed that Anna identified herself as a blogger inquiring on behalf of SourceWatch, a quasi-journalistic enterprise produced by volunteers-citizen journalists.

  97. Lewis Says:

    Neven,
     
    What if I was to say to you the ‘denied’ enviro hawks are not the victims, they’re the perps and the real victims are the enviro doves? I’m not saying it’s true but there many who do think it’s true. Consider, for instance, how much further we might be if you and others didn’t keep throwing this narrative of yours in peoples faces? If we had discussed the issues and arguments and not peoples possible motivation? Think about it.

  98. Neven Says:

    If we had discussed the issues and arguments and not peoples possible motivation?
     
    What issues? That Global Warming doesn’t exist? That in fact the globe is cooling? That the disappearing Arctic sea ice is part of a natural cycle?  That it’s the sun? That Al Gore is fat?
     
    The only issue in my opinion is: will AGW be a little bit bad or will it be very bad? Add to that the realization that AGW is just one of many global issues, like the peaking of the production of several resources with ensuing wars, financial and credit bubbles, ocean acidification and pollution, top soil erosion, water scarcity, the diabesity epidemic, etc. etc…

  99. Lewis Says:

    No, rational issues. And a basic principal of rational discourse is that things are not either/or, black/white and that there is a distinction between the science ( which Judith, in fact, contrary to what seems your superficial reading, is doing very well to educate the more obdurate ‘deniers’ with) and the politics - it maybe, that some believe a very extreme view of ‘possibilities’ - does that mean they must follow your prescription or politics? No. Think again.

  100. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Neven # 90 - ‘…… the root problem [for failure of carbon stabilisation policies] goes far, far deeper and goes beyond AGW alone  (most of the warmist masses are in denial themselves about that). But it needs a bit of help from the denial machine nonetheless. If the help from the denial machine wasn’t needed, it wouldn’t have been there in the first place.’
    Round and round and round we go, ever more circular.
    - The machine exists
    - Therefore it helped with blocking carbon stabilisation policies
    - It must have helped
    - because if it wasn’t needed, it wouldn’t have existed
    - which it does.
     
    SNIP [Let's keep the insults out of the conversation/KK]

    Congress will never approve anything that does not bind China and India.  China and India have no intention of being bound.  It has nothing to do with denier machines, or big oil, or capitalism, or anything.
    And anyway - what is it that you actually want, in terms of policy?  And from who?  I hate this ranting that ‘nothing is being done’ from people who have NO sensible achievable suggestions for what could/should be done.  Drives me nuts.

  101. Roddy Campbell Says:

    ‘…the peaking of the production of several resources with ensuing wars’ - oh dearie me, the ‘water wars’ again.
     

  102. lucia Says:

    Neven-
    the diabesity epidemic, etc. etc…
    My cat has diabetes. Did the denial machine cause this?

  103. Lewis Says:

    That is to say, there are issues to discuss about the science (for what is science but discussion, investigation, enquiry) and, if we conceded hypothetically a ‘denial machine’, it has, as Keith pointed out been remarkably unsuccessful as far as the science and the scientist are concerned. And, if you concede that and its corrally (sic! my spelling is atrocious and google doesn’t help here), that the basic tenets of climate science, as regards ‘global warming’ (and there is preponderance in the cost/benefit analyses, are excepted and, also, I’m not I personally agree or disagree), then all we have left is the politics. Politics is also about discussion, negotiation and, yes, interest peddling, lobbying etc - but it is not about the science. since that is merely one input amongst many. It is about you, for instance, persuading an electorate of your policy prescriptions. Ironically enough, and I take you as a Brit?, the electorate were not consulted about our climate change act, in fact, it was done in-spite of them. Surely some might consider that a’conspiracy’, even more egregious for being done in the open! ?

  104. kdk33 Says:

    That Al Gore is fat?
     
    Conversely

    Sarah Palin is not!

    …and that really is the heart of the matter.

    just sayin’ :-)

  105. Lewis Says:

    Error: (and there is preponderance in the cost/benefit analyses, are excepted and, also, I’m not I personally agree or disagree) should read:

    (and there is preponderance in the cost/benefit analyses, and, also, I’m not saying I personally agree or disagree) are excepted
     

  106. Neven Says:

    Lewis, I’m not a Brit. And I’m not prescribing policy. I’m just stating that there are global problems.

  107. Neven Says:

    My cat has diabetes. Did the denial machine cause this?
     
    No, but if whatever caused your cat’s diabetes has huge profits for a relatively small group of people as a side-effect, the denial machine will be happy to jump in and make sure a lot of other cats get diabetes for as long as people will let them. Vous catchez mon drift?

  108. Neven Says:

    oh dearie me, the ‘water wars’ again.
     
    Have you seen the documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLp1ZnjsIXc
     
    Go live in a South-African slum, hot shot.

  109. Lewis Says:

    Neven, I don’t see any ‘denial machine’ attempting to deny people and animals insulin so what’s your point? Are you trying to make an analogy with people like the MMR nutters? Again, not a conspiracy but a ‘confederacy of dunces’. But this is a mistake of categories - that some may deny the positive benefits of a certain current medical procedure is toto caelo different from disputing all encompassing policy prescriptions for future eventualities that are supposed to be prevented (hew! What a sentence!?)
     
    PS Sorry for getting your Nationality wrong!  And you say ‘I’m not prescribing policy’ but you have one, don’t you?
     
     
     

  110. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Not allowed YouTube at work, I’ll watch it later, I love videos about South African slums, as they exemplify the issue Copenhageners can’t ever get to grips with.
     
    South Africa in essence has two grids - the white areas, and the mines.  That’s it.  Now, as you might have noticed Neven, SA is building a large coal power station, in the teeth of opposition from Greenpeace et al, with loans from the World Bank that the US abstained on (for fear of the warmist machine) and the UK also abstained on (for fear of the warmist machine) to provide power to those who don’t at the moment have it.
    That will enable them to do all sorts of things they haven’t before, like have clean water.  No thanks to the warmist machine.
    There are so many issues, like apartheid and its legacy, that are better recipients of mitigation dollars than mitigation itself.
    And I don’t see too many of the C20th wars, quite a decent set of wars in their own way, being fought over resources, or caused by climate change.  So water wars can run along, as far as I’m concerned.  We seem able to kill each other, indeed kill our own (China, Russia, Cambodia), without much need for a ‘reason’.
    Keith - sorry if I seemed to be being rude, not my style, and not intended.

  111. Lewis Says:

    Indeed, Campbell, it is poverty these people suffer from - and, what if, solving the one meant making the other worse? What then? Would Neven prefer to condemn people to poverty to ‘prevent’ climate change? These are the questions of politics, not science, that I mentioned.

  112. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Well, we have no idea what choice he would make, or how he would approach it, because he has given no glimmer of what policy choices he would make, only blamed the non-progression of mitigation initiatives on some imaginary coal-powered machine.
     
    Neven - go and read the Byrd-Hagel Resolution.  95 - 0 is not a denier machine inspired scoreline.
     

  113. Keith Kloor Says:

    All, there is a response from Ann Landman, the managing editor at the Center for Media and Democracy. I inserted it as an UPDATE at the end of the main post.

  114. AMac Says:

    Neven,
    Imagine an Italian flag for Skeptics (etc.).  (We could also do one for AGW Consensus advocates.)

    On the left (green), we put all {skeptics, denialists, doubters, lukwarmers, and dissidents from the AGW Consensus} who have considered the issue, and sincerely believe at least one of the following:

    (1) The science-based predictions of global warming aren’t compelling.
    (2) The policies proposed to mitigate AGW are unwarranted.
    They don’t have to be correct — just sincere.

    On the right (red), we put all skeptics (etc.) who are part of the denialist machine.  They fit one or both of the following descriptions:
    (1) They are part of a conspiracy (”an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; a plot”)
    (2) They recognize that AGW is real and will likely be bad for the planet and for humanity.  That is outweighed by their belief that denial of climate change and/or obstruction of mitigation policies benefits them.  (”Benefits” can be financial or intangible, like enhanced social status or increased self-esteem.  “Them” includes skeptics’ families and other narrow ethnic or national identities.)

    In the middle (white), we place those skeptics (etc.) whose motives we are uncertain about.
    For 100 representative skeptics (etc.), how would you guess they should be apportioned among the three colors?

    I’ll go first.

    Green: 90
    Red: 2
    White: 8

    OK, your turn.

  115. Lewis Says:

    Journalists do consider SW to be a resource, as the site is occasionally mentioned as a source by media outlets, including the New York Times, for example.


    Perhaps, those journalists, in future, might substitute their own research than base themselves on such a dubious source such as Anna. Keith, this is a case in point of why environmental journalism can get such a bad rap. It’s lazy don’t you think?

  116. Neven Says:

    Neven, I don’t see any ‘denial machine’ attempting to deny people and animals insulin so what’s your point?

     
    I think my point was that obesity and diabetes are increasingly becoming a problem, especially in the West. Would you concur?
     
    And you say ‘I’m not prescribing policy’ but you have one, don’t you?
     
    Not really, I’m still working it out. I think I know what’s wrong, but how to solve it is very complex. One thing I know is that there never will be a solution if the problems are perceived as non-existent. If enough people realize there is a problem and strive to understand it the solution will become apparent by itself. It requires a new way of thinking (not the thinking that solved the problem) and would eventually lead to a sustainable society.
     
    I’m not sure if it’s going to happen. When you see how easy it is to delude people with a denial machine…

  117. Neven Says:

    Correction: (not the thinking that caused the problem)

  118. RB Says:

    The Kyoto protocol was indeed a watershed event in another sense. It marked the beginning of a partisan debate in the United States. Skeptics may doubt the science now, but the partisan divide started growing long before McIntyre ‘03 : the scientific event, that is supposed to be how the IPCC case got damaged.
     
     

  119. Lewis Says:

    If enough people realize there is a problem and strive to understand it the solution will become apparent by itself


    The former has already been conceded (Keith, my ‘lettering’ has gone all haywire!). The latter is, possibly, a tad niave.

    But you end with the drum roll:

    When you see how easy it is to delude people with a denial machine…


    A little re-reading of this comment thread and a little quiet self reflection, I hope, may make you less pessimistic.

  120. Keith Kloor Says:

    Lewis (115):

    Don’t assume that environmental journalists are taking what they read on SourceWatch (or any Wiki, for that matter) at face value.

    As ever journalism student is taught in journalism 101, popular wikis (such as Wikipedia) are fine as an early initial step in the research phase. But no journalist worth his salt would stop there and/or think for one second that the information can be trusted enough without further follow up.

    All of my peers in the professional environmental journalism community operate this way. So I don’t know what your basis is for the claim that they have gotten some sort of bad rap.

  121. Neven Says:

    For 100 representative skeptics (etc.), how would you guess they should be apportioned among the three colors?
    I’ll go first.
    Green: 90
    Red: 2
    White: 8
    OK, your turn.

     
    Looks fine to me, AMac. And apparently it just takes those two red ones (and perhaps at the most 8 more) to get those 90 others to start blogs and spam comment sections of news papers etc.
     
    And vice versa, of course. On the other side of the fence there are people who genuinely believe future generations will be presented with a huge bill, and there are those who will abuse that to further an agenda or make lots of dollars.
     
    It reminds me a bit of the war in former Yugoslavia (that I experienced from relatively close).  On both sides you had small groups who really wanted a war so they could divide all those factories etc that used to belong to the people (Yugoslavia had a communist regime) and wield power over the new states. And thus they incited the population, making everyone scared, religious and aggressive. We know what happened.
     
    The weird thing is that both these groups got along quite well, dividing Bosnia for instance behind the scenes, while young men and women, soldiers and civilians, were dying at the front. I realized this when generals etc were brought before the war tribunal in the Hague. In an interview one of those generals was saying how in prison Serbs, Croats and Bosnian muslims got along really well, cooking together and exchanging war anecdotes.
     
    What I learned from that war is that special interest groups will always divide and conquer. People thought their enemy was the other nation, whereas their real enemy was the interest groups, in both the other nation’s camp as their own. As a result, countries like Croatia and Serbia are still being looted, and it’s a matter of time before Bosnia explodes again.
     
    The analogy with the climate war, is that there are interest groups on both sides, let’s call them the denial machine and the donation machine. ;-)
    I think both interest groups should be combated (by making them visible to start with) if we truly want to transition to a sustainable society. But it can only work if people on both sides of the fence realize that the current societal/economic system cannot be sustained and must be abandoned.
     
    Just as many warmists as denialists don’t seem to truly realize this and think we can just greenify everything and continue doing what we do. The enemy is Us.

  122. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Keith #120: “But no journalist worth his salt would stop there and/or think for one second that the information can be trusted enough without further follow up.”
     
    With respect, Keith, the discussion that this is precisely what has been going on for many years, in environmental journalism, deferring easily and swiftly to the authority of scientists is only just getting under way now.

  123. Lewis Says:

    No, Keith, I meant people have seen some sloppiness at work (remember the Nature/ Himalayas glaciers thing?) but I’m confident your right in 99% of cases for the top publications (not blogs, of course). However, there was a sense that before november 2009 some journalists were more ‘trusting’ than others. That’s probably wrong but the perception was there. So, no journalist, I think, would seriously put weight on wikipedia. But to put any weight on SW from what we’ve learned? That’s like relying on The  BP In House Magazine (fictional, I know!) for the straight up on BP!

  124. Keith Kloor Says:

    You have to be more specific, Simon. Are you saying that journalists defer to climate scientists?

    Romm and Tobis often argue the opposite on their blogs-that journalists are always screwing up the stories, because climate science is not emphasized enough. At least I think that’s what they’re saying. Michael should feel free to chime in here and remind/correct me how we’re screwing up.

  125. Neven Says:

    remind/correct me how we’re screwing up.
     
    Faux balance, Keith, faux balance.
     
    Some journalists screw up, others don’t. One thing is for sure, they aren’t independent.

  126. Keith Kloor Says:

    Neven, I was referring to the dominant memes from both sides. Of course it’s not as simple as that, but that’s how it’s presented, like a monolith.

    So every climate-related story by someone at the NYT or some major publication is usually seized on by either Morano or Romm as being sucky. It’s so predictable now.

    The latest example of this-but where both sides take offense simultaneously— is the SciAm article on Judith Curry.

  127. Lewis Says:

    Neven, your analogy with the Yugoslav conflicts of recent history is mistaken both in context and in perspective. I’m not going to argue about these because I, also, was ‘up close and personal’ (wasn’t everyone?). I’m going to address your subtext, your premise: that the ‘populace’ can be ‘lead’.
     
    I would maintain that in a healthy, stable democracy the ‘people’ are not stupid. In a sense, like with Mrs Thatchers ‘no such thing as society’, there is no such thing as the ‘people’ in the stable democracies we live in. That is something for Robespiere and other extremist demogogues. No, when you give a man or a woman freedom and stability they start to think. And no ‘denial machine’ has ever ‘denied’ that. Have a little more faith. If the ‘people’ say ‘no’, then ‘no’ is the answer

  128. kdk33 Says:

    Neven,

    I’m curious.  How is it that you are immune to influence from invisible advocacy machines?  How would you even know?

  129. Lewis Says:

    I live a rebors, at the moment, and among these ‘people’ you allied but mean to talk about. When ever I talk with them, I get nothing but articulacy, good sense and, let us say, an unexplored frustration that they can’t ‘have their say’. They don’t read blogs, unfortunately, often, they don’t read, except for rags like our tabloids, but being in a healthy, mature democracy, they absorb via a kind of osmosis the essentials they need to absorb. As the saying goes, people rub of on each other. In that sense, are the ‘people’ real.

  130. AMac Says:

    Neven #121 -
    Thanks for playing :-)
    And for the interesting war stories from the former Yugoslavia :-(
    I confess that I am confused.
    You’ve referred to the denial machine in every other comment or so; it sets the agenda for those who don’t think as you do.  The Wizard behind the curtain.
    But you agree with me that these self-interested, conspirational parties only constitute a percent or two of the “skeptical community”?!
    How do they arrange to have their memes dominate the conversation?  Is the average skeptic (etc.) so dumb that s/he never stops to wonder about the “From:” line of those daily JournoList-style talking point emails?
    Those of us who aren’t on the machine’s mailing list get a little bit tired of being lumped in with all the other skeptics (etc.), who doubtlessly are.
    (Of course, that’s exactly what you’d expect a denialism-machine controller to say)  ;-)

  131. Neven Says:

    I, also, was ‘up close and personal’ (wasn’t everyone?).
     
    Really? Did you visit your cousin who barely survived a grenade attack in Dubrovnik in a rehabilitation centre and see young bearded men, paralyzed from the waste down, gloomily drinking beer at 8.30 AM?
     
    I would maintain that in a healthy, stable democracy the ‘people’ are not stupid.
     
    I agree and thus it’s quite clear that our democracies are not healthy or stable. If they were we wouldn’t be facing all those global problems.

  132. Lewis Says:

    O please, Neven, you really are taking the biscuit! And your last two sentences show merely what I suspected, your contempt for the ‘people’. For it is only ‘unhealthy’ and’ unstable’ because you, like some child, can’t get your way!

  133. Anna Haynes Says:

    Hi folks; me again. Perhaps you missed my request above (November 2nd, 2010 at 2:49 am), that you *look* at the SourceWatch page and provide substantive, constructive criticism.

    (or perhaps I missed your substantive, constructive responses; in which case, a) my apologies and b) could you point me to them please?)

    Thank you.

    (and a small, small, small font p.s.: When you need to go somewhere, think before you hop into the Huff.)

  134. Lewis Says:

    In fact, I come from these ‘people’ you allied but mean to talk about. And I resent your patronage.

  135. Anna Haynes Says:

    And since Mr. Kloor and others would like to press me further re the questions I’d asked, the fact is I have nothing more to say on this topic; I intend to respect the lady’s privacy.

  136. Neven Says:

    Anna Haynes, the SourceWatch page doesn’t look wacky to me. I think it’s a good start.

  137. Lewis Says:

    This is deluded! Neven, are you serious? Think of the absurd questions this unmentionable put to Dr Judith Curry. You know, in the academic world there is still a modicum of respect for seniority  and even in the none ivory tower world? What do you think - should we enquire respectfully and open mindedly or should we decide first our interviewee is a nasty piece of work and try to elicit a response there from? Why is Judy now on the source watch wiki? Not because she belongs to BP but because she has made a stand antithetical to some? That’s pure McCarthyism!

  138. Neven Says:

    Stupid, stupid… I’d rather say there are a lot of unwise people (including myself).
     
    And I resent your patronage.
     
    I guess that makes us even then. The suggestion that you were ‘up close and personal’ (wasn’t everyone?) with regards to the the war in former Yugoslavia was pretty patronizing as well.
     
    How is it that you are immune to influence from invisible advocacy machines?  How would you even know?

     
    I don’t, which is why always doubt myself, or at least don’t trust myself, as everyone of us has subconscious motivations to rather believe one thing over the other. Nosce te ipsum. It’s always good to remember that one really doesn’t know much. I miss that a lot on both sides of the fence.
     
    But there are some fundamental things that are quite obvious. For instance, that our current economic system isn’t sustainable and that things that aren’t sustainable, must have a stop.

  139. Gene Says:

    Anna,

    I’m curious - earlier you said “Apologies to Dr. Curry for Keith Kloor’s having publicized these questions; in light of Dr. Curry’s answers, I had no intention of doing so.”

    Does that mean you would have publicized the answers had they been different?

  140. Neven Says:

    Lewis, take a deep breath. There is nothing in that Sourcewatch wiki page that is over the top. Besides, like Judith Curry herself says, it’s just a side show. It doesn’t mean much. Like I tried to explain at the start of this comment section, a lot of people on the warmist side are confused by what Judith Curry is doing and saying. It is only to be expected that someone starts a log to document things.
     
    The questions were wacky (although we haven’t seen the whole mail exchange), the wiki page isn’t. Have you looked at it?

  141. Lewis Says:

    Gene, don’t you know the best way to deal with bullies is to ignore them?
     
    Neven, How was I patronising. I said I will not talk about it. It was you who showed, unsolicited,  scars. I will not talk about that and it is of subject. Now, please, lets get back to the subject in hand which I would suggest is McArthyism.

  142. Lewis Says:

    Or should I put more clearly: Are you or have you ever been a member, in the pay of etc etc?

  143. Lewis Says:

    Neven, I’m not on any side (the old Groucho joke!) and never could be. All I care for, in all these debates, is being ‘above board’ and honourable. JC, has been as clear as possible about why she’s doing what she’s doing. Its outreach, an attempt, however niave, to bridge the chasm of the so called ‘blog wars’ and via doing that to make it possible to see the science as uncertain, yes, but well established in the more general community. By embracing the doubts of the doubters she also brings a sense of reality to those doubts. And separates the politics from the science. I think this is wonderful.
     
    But then to have SW search you out because your not quite toeing the line is disgusting. Why now? Think about it.

  144. hunter Says:

    Anna,
    SNIP
    [HUNTER: REFRAIN FROM NAME-CALLING AND INSULTS.]

  145. Lewis Says:

    hunter is wrong, Keith, and I think nowadays we should know better. She’s a quite sane (do some research hunter) bully. Perhaps she’s depending on her genda?

  146. Neven Says:

    Neven, I’m not on any side
     
    Sure you are. You’re on the side that thinks AGW is hoax or at the least harmless. You think there are too many unknowns and that until more research has been done no action should be taken. Is that about right?

  147. laursaurus Says:

    I intend to respect the lady’s privacy.
    Do you have the ability to grasp the concept of respecting someone’s privacy? Please tell me you’re not booking a flight to Atlanta!
    Heads up to Dr. Curry: I imagine at this point there may not be enough evidence to support getting a restraining order. Consider exercising your 2nd Amendment rights or hiring one of your fairly muscular male grad students to watch your back.
    Anna Haynes intruded on the private property of Anthony Watts, just last June, under the guise of amateur journalism. Not even TMZ or The National Inquirer stoops to trespassing on private property. Astonishingly, she continues this stalking behavior by pursuing  AW’s family members openly in this very thread. See #26. This person is obviously mentally ill with a history of physical confrontation. Seriously, she seems to only feed off the drama she creates in the blogosphere. Her victims really ought to be reporting her cyber-stalking behavior to law enforcement before things escalate further. She is not merely a political activist or citizen journalist. The woman needs help!
    Hopefully, Neven is just trolling online about supporting her irrational activities. The whole “denial machine” rhetoric is rather delusional and paranoid. I don’t think this is typical of environmentalists or Joe Romm’s fault.

  148. Lewis Says:

    .126, Keith, it maybe that this is how Romm or Morano use these stories, but it’s not how we ‘receive’ them, is it? To the general ‘populace’ the’re just marginal. At least in the UK. Does Delingpole or Booker matter? No. What is important is the general impression that ‘people’ ‘generaly’ get. It is that ‘global warming’ is real and is ‘actionable’, whatever one feels about it.

  149. Lewis Says:

    Neven, please don’t try to read my mind - it makes it ache!
     
    For the record - I don’t believe in ‘hoaxes’, ‘frauds’, ‘conspiracies’ etc. Stop trying to paint everyone as either with you or against you.
     
    I’m what Tom and I call ‘luke warmers’. Ie we believe global warming is real but we don’t believe in Armageddon and we believe there are rational, democratic, technical solutions out of these problems.
     
    It’s an opinion and a political one but has nothing to do about ‘taking no action’. You accused me of being patronising but I think there are many people who would deem your curt comment as the essence of patronising.

  150. Lewis Says:

    Keith, I’m always curious about what is fair comment?  In connection with this person, in particular. Could you do a post on ‘fair comment’ as regards a blog and also the comments there from? It would be interesting.

  151. JimR Says:

    People like Anna are created by the words of climate scientists like this.

  152. J Bowers Says:

    I think Anna Haynes is great. And if anyone has a problem with her tenacity, it’d be interesting to hear your opinion of Marc Morano’s encouragement of the flaming and hate mailing of Stephen Schneider. On the Watts incident, Anna had tried to get a response from him to no avail, she simply walked into his business premises and asked to see him which is open to the public, she was asked to wait, Watts came out and showed her the door, and she left. Big deal.
    60: “McIntyre is neither required nor should be expected to issue statements to counter every conspiracy theory floated by Mashey or his friends at DeepClimax.”
    Why not? It seems to happen to plenty of climate scientists, and often done through the legal tool of a FOIA request. Something McIntyre is very familiar with, don’t you think?
    Don’t dish it out if you can’t eat it.

  153. Lewis Says:

    J Bowers. You make me very tired. Let us say you had the aim of advancing a particular policy - let’s say a general tax on ‘carbon’ or whatever - do you think this way of going about it works?

  154. J Bowers Says:

    Lewis, smell coffee. It should help wake you up.

  155. Zer0th Says:

    [i]I think Anna Haynes is great.[/i]
    Ditto. If I were cutting the cheques at denialist central’s underground bat cave on the secret island, I’d be sending fiscal encouragement in support of her efforts. Neven too.

  156. hunter Says:

    Lewis,
    There are people who can act very sane but are not. Anne may be well educated but stalking skeptics and sending the kind of e-mails Anne sends out is not something a normal person does.
    As to FOIA requests, when McIntyre starts getting government grants, he should certainly comply.
    True believers are the bestest recruiting tools the skeptical movement could ever have.
    {Is this toned down enough?}

  157. JohnB Says:

    I must admit to being amused by the whole “Denialist machine” concept.

    Firstly because it’s so old. Ever since I started taking an interest in politics etc in the mid 70s, it’s been the same story. No matter what the topic, whoever opposed the green groups were in the pay of “Big Oil”, or “Big Timber”, or “Big Power” or whatever. It worked on TVs 10 second sound bites and they thought it would work in the internet age. Ooops.

    People actually do some looking for themselves and can’t find the links to “Big Whatever”, so they ask those making the accusations (as Tom Fuller did waaaaay back in post #86) and can’t get a coherent response.

    Secondly because it’s a variation on the logical fallacy “Poisoning the Well”. If you first line of defence is a logical fallacy, you simply can’t have much of an argument, can you?

    I must add that Anna would have to answer “Yes” to her own question;  “Are you being threatened or blackmailed; either on behalf of you, or on behalf of others (e.g. family members) close to you, including the younger generation(s)?”

    Since she is obviously a CAGW believer then people have told her that if people don’t do “something”, then her children will suffer. So she is being threatened.

    A final question for those who believe in this “Denial Machine”, a group that are (apparently) quite happy to willingly and knowingly doom future generations. Do you think that they don’t have kids and grandchildren? Is it your belief that these supposed people are quite willing to destroy the world their own children will have to grow up in?

    I urge you to consider the personality traits that would be required to be both a parent and a part of the “machine”. It just doesn’t make sense.  

  158. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Neven #107 and that Water Wars Youtube video - do you seriously recommend this gripping childrens’ programme on water, as they charmingly call it, ‘Blue Gold’?  The section early on on the fall of the Mayan civilisation being due to their farming practices changing the climate is especially moving.  And automobiles pollute clouds.  Apparently.
     
    Neven, seriously, do you have a scare filter?  Or do you like to believe that everything Greenpeace and FoE warn us about will happen, and that we can and should do something about it?
     
    Sorry re Yugoslavia - when I was reading International Relations and Communism in Eastern Europe, back in the late seventies, the tutor at St Athony’s, Oxford was always adamant it would end in war, which was some forecast.
     
    I think a distinction that is often missed in warmist/denier interface is that the anthropological effect on environment is very strong, whether dust bowls or war or river pollution, in fact so strong it dwarfs any secondary effect via climate.

  159. Steven Sullivan Says:

    er, JohnB, the links between Big Tobacco and the ‘independent’ voices saying cigarettes weren’t causing cancer, were quite real.
     
    The reality is that *some* of those who are typically on the ‘denier’ side of various progressive causes really *are* in the pay of industry.     *Their* existence is what poisons the well… that, and the fact that disinformation is real and  time-honored tactic in warfare.
     
     

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