In defense of free speech

by Judith Curry

If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that. – Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn has written a remarkable defense of free speech:  The slow death of free speech. Excerpts:

Of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. 

But I don’t really think that many people these days are genuinely interested in ‘striking the balance’; they’ve drawn the line and they’re increasingly unashamed about which side of it they stand. One side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘“Shut up,” he explained.’

A generation ago, progressive opinion at least felt obliged to pay lip service to the Voltaire shtick. These days, nobody’s asking you to defend yourself to the death: a mildly supportive retweet would do. But even that’s further than most of those in the academy, the arts, the media are prepared to go. As Erin Ching, a student at 60-grand-a-year Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, put it in her college newspaper the other day: ‘What really bothered me is the whole idea that at a liberal arts college we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion.’ Yeah, who needs that? There speaks the voice of a generation: celebrate diversity by enforcing conformity.

This is the aging of the dawn of Aquarius: new blasphemy laws for progressive pieties. But, once you get a taste for shutting people up, it’s hard to stop. Why bother winning the debate when it’s easier to close it down?

Free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out. Free speech, wrote the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson last week, ‘buttresses the political system’s legitimacy. It helps losers, in the struggle for public opinion and electoral success, to accept their fates. It helps keep them loyal to the system, even though it has disappointed them. They will accept the outcomes, because they believe they’ve had a fair opportunity to express and advance their views. There’s always the next election. Free speech underpins our larger concept of freedom.’

I’m opposed to the notion of official ideology — not just fascism, Communism and Baathism, but the fluffier ones, too, like ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘climate change’ and ‘marriage equality’. Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system. . .  a world where real, primal, universal rights — like freedom of expression — come a distant second to the new tribalism of identity-group rights.

Young Erin Ching at Swarthmore College has grasped the essential idea: it is not merely that, as the Big Climate enforcers say, ‘the science is settled’, but so is everything else, from abortion to gay marriage. So what’s to talk about? Universities are no longer institutions of inquiry but ‘safe spaces’ where delicate flowers of diversity of race, sex, orientation, ‘gender fluidity’ and everything else except diversity of thought have to be protected from exposure to any unsafe ideas.

A culture that can’t bear a dissenting word on race or religion or gender fluidity or carbon offsets is a society that will cease to innovate, and then stagnate, and then decline, very fast.

George Brandis

The Age has published an essay by George Brandis (Australia’s Attorney General) entitled Climate change proponents using ‘mediaeval tactics. Excerpts:

George Brandis has compared himself to Voltaire and derided proponents of climate change action as “believers” who do not listen to opposing views and have reduced debate to a mediaeval and ignorant level.

Senator Brandis describes the climate change debate as one of the “catalysing moments” in his views on freedom of speech.

While he says he believes in man-made climate change, the Queensland senator tells the magazine he is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints.

“In other words, ‘I am not even going to engage in a debate with you.’ It was ignorant, it was mediaeval, the approach of these true believers in climate change,” he said.

“I don’t regret saying that because in this debate, sooner or later somebody had to make the Voltaire point; somebody had to make the point [about] defending the right to free speech of people with whom you profoundly disagree.”

Rapper Kilez Moore

Pierre Gosselin reports that Austrian social critic and rap musician Kilez More produced and posted a climate science skeptic video.  Excerpts:

The video, watched mainly by young people, has surpassed the 100,000 views milestone. Congratulations to a musician who is surely reaping lots of scorn for getting young people to question what they are told. 

Really unbelievable how the massive propaganda works on people’s mind – and especially with this topic the mass media does its best to manipulate the thinking. 

It’s always the same story – try to discredit the speaker to prevent people from listening to the message. 

Stephen Hayward at the University of Colorado

The University of Colorado-Boulder has a three year pilot program to support The Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy . More than 20 donors have raised $1 million to support the program.  The scholar that was selected was Steven Hayward.   Presumably, the idea behind this is as a counter to the extreme liberal bias at the university. In the past month the following drama has been playing out.

CU-Boulder student leaders speak out against conservative scholar Steven Hayward.  Excerpts:

The student leaders pointed to a post Hayward wrote on the blog PowerLine in October titled “Off on a gender-bender,” in which he described his discomfort and confusion after attending an orientation for new faculty members about gender identity.

Hayward poked fun at members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the same blog by writing: “LGBTQRSTUW (or whatever letters have been added lately).”

In a follow on article: Stephen Hayward’s comments border on hate speech.   Excerpts:

Faculty group supports student criticism of scholar. “I found this offensive, bordering on what I think most people would say is hate speech,” Chairman Paul Chinowsky told the group during a meeting Thursday. “If any (other) faculty member said this, we would find ourselves in a dean’s office or possibly on suspension for writing this. I applaud the students for having the nerve to stand up to this. The question is, are we going to allow this or condone this from someone in our own faculty?”

Hayward, who was not present at the meeting Thursday, has said that he did not feel he has ever made a student feel uncomfortable or unsafe in his classroom.

Will Hauptman, who is enrolled in “Constitutional Law II” with Hayward, said the professor maintains a respectful and professional classroom environment.

Hauptman added that Hayward does not promote a political agenda in class and has included the university’s suggested statement about preferred gender pronouns in his syllabus for the class.

“He treats students with respect and courtesy,” Hauptman said. “He has never belittled anyone’s ideas or statements. Students participate frequently in class, and I think that speaks to their comfort with Hayward.”

CU law professor Aya Gruber said while she disagreed with the substance of Hayward’s comments, she didn’t want the faculty to become the “free speech police.”

“I don’t like what he said, but I want the right to say that I don’t like what he said,” Gruber said. “He has an absolute right to say what he wants, but along with that right, he has to expect this kind of backlash when you say things that are deliberately provocative and not very well thought out.”

The assembly ultimately decided to vote on a resolution at a future meeting to voice its support for the students, but speaking for himself, Chinowsky said he didn’t think that measure will go far enough.

He said if the university expects its students to respect diversity, the faculty members need to show their support for inclusion and a welcoming, safe campus.

“I don’t think we should allow that behavior, even if somebody is doing it for effect,” he said. “It’s offensive, and there’s no place for that in this community.

“We have an obligation to really support all members of the community here, and if we’re not, then what are we saying to the students?”

While in Boulder at the Conference on World Affairs, Stephen Hayward introduced himself to me.  One comment that I recall, humorously stated, was something like this:  “We need to add a ‘C’ to LGBTQRSTUW regarding university discrimination policies.”

JC reflections

I am broadly concerned about the slow death of free speech, but particularly in universities and also with regards to the climate change debate.

The Stephen Hayward issue bothered me in particular.  It seems clear that he is treating all students with respect, and does not discriminate against anyone in his classroom that is LGBT or whatever.  The furore is over what he wrote on a blog and said in a radio interview.  Presumably he was hired to provide exactly such diversity of opinion?

With regards to climate change, I agree with George Brandis who is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints.  While the skeptical climate blogosphere is alive and well in terms of discussing alternative viewpoints, this caters primarily to an older population.  I am particularly pleased to see the apparent birth of resistance to climate change authoritarianism by younger people, as reflected by the young Austrian rapper.

Climate change ideology, and attempts to enforce it in the media, by politicians and by the cultural practices of academia, leads us down a slippery slope:

Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system. . . A culture that can’t bear a dissenting word on race or religion or gender fluidity or carbon offsets is a society that will cease to innovate, and then stagnate, and then decline, very fast. – Mark Steyn

 

 

616 responses to “In defense of free speech

  1. Jim Cripwell

    Most democracies have the equivalent of the US 1st amendment; the right to free speech. And all these democracies realise that there have to be limits on what constitutes free speech. The is why we have laws, a court system, and an independent judiciary.

    There should be no barriers to free speech, except where we have a court ruling to the contrary. Only our laws, judges and juries have the right to restrict free speech.

    • “all these democracies realise that there have to be limits on what constitutes free speech. ”

      “Realise” ? I think what you mean is that politicians *decide* to compromise and undermine democracy by limiting free speech. What they *realise*, is that their power and privilege depends on some deception and secrecy.

    • David L. Hagen

      Unalienable rights
      US Organic Law: The Declaration of Independence – 1776

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      Those “unalienable Rights” include freedom of speech religious belief and free exercise of religion, as preserved in:
      Amendment I

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Managing Universities as so called “safe areas” of protected speech directly violates these unalienable rights.

    • David L. Hagen

      Robert Brown gives an equally politically incorrect article that is protected by our First Amendment: What Easter Really Means

    • Science (or perhaps more accurately these days Skeptic Science) is a tyranny of the facts. When you become a [skeptic] scientist, you give up your right to free speech – you give up your right to interpret the facts however you please and use them to say whatever you will.

      Yes OK, if science is a brand name for the opinions of academics, then they are not only free to say what they want but free to set their own standards and what they count as science.

      But the skeptic scientist does not have free speech.

  2. I don’t see where Steyn’s freedom of expression is being limited in any constitutional way. He is being sued for asserting that Mann’s scientific research is fraudulent. As soon as he shows that to be true in court, it will reinforce the first amendment by showing that one can tell the truth and not liable for that.
    the only limitation on his speech is if he is not telling the truth and is therefore legally libeling Mann. Being as he had an opportunity to change his statement to one expressing an opinion other than asserting a potentially verifiable truth, the situation seems straightforward.

    • “As soon as he shows that to be true in court”

      Tony, are you seriously asserting that courts determine truth?

      Andrew

    • Jim Cripwell

      Tony, you write “I don’t see where Steyn’s freedom of expression is being limited in any constitutional way.”

      It is not just Steyn. Talk to Roy Spencer. He had a discussion with Andy Dessler on how to interpret CERES and ERBE data. He wrote a peer reviewed paper for Remote Sensing, and the outcry was so loud, that the editor resigned; though the paper was not retracted. Now Roy knows that it is a waste of time trying to get any of his ideas published in the scientific periodicals. But, luckily, he has his blog. And, of course, this is but one example. Think of Livingston and Penn.

      Thank heaven for the internet, as the scientific establishment tries to close down all discussion on CAGW. And an enormous thank you to Judith Curry, and Climate Etc.

    • Bad Andrew,

      what gave you that impression? what I am saying is that courts determine constitutionality of speech. they have to look at facts and assertions and make judgements about their validity related the the relevance to the case

    • Jim,

      I have not seen any instance where Spencer’s speech has been infringed upon legally. I also do not see that valid science is being systematically refused publication. If that is the case, history shows that very quickly the inconsistencies in the “orthodox” science will become so egregious that, it ail fall apart very quickly. Are you aware of areas of research that are being refused to be examined, because they would lead to undermining ACC?
      Of course this would be a conspiracy of unprecedented proportions, as you point out the internet very very quickly would expose the fraud and the vast majority of qualified honest scientists would immediately demolish attempts to corrupt valid research, by posting unimpeachable analysis and research that could not be effectively argued against by the “orthodoxy”.
      I would guess it would take less than a year to expose any real systematic corruption in a field as politicized as ACC. Of course conspiracy theorist can maintain models for it for decades.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Tony, you write ” I also do not see that valid science is being systematically refused publication.”

      Fair enough. I do see exactly that; valid science is being systematically refused publication. I agree that in the end, freedom of expression in science will be restored. But with respect to CAGW, this will not happen unless and until the learned scientific societies rewrite what they have written about the “science being settled” with respect to CAGW.

    • Jim Cripwell

      I should have added that bad science is being systematically granted publication, when it ought to have been refused.

    • “I don’t see where Steyn’s freedom of expression is being limited in any constitutional way.” In point of fact, neither does he.

      The broad scope of this sentence is not helpful. It contains a straw man in that you attempt to redirect the issue from one of culture to one of legality. Steyn’s complaint centers on consistency with the intent and goals of free speech based on Framer’s Intent. His complaint is cultural, not legal.

      The context is that Mann has a past that includes as public record, email tampering and extensive public misstatements and characterizations. (i.e. Claiming himself to be a Nobel recipient.) Stein’s rant is directed at those (i.e. Mann) who attempt to stifle (through the legal system) the culture of free speech in pursuit of agenda. So far in Canada, Steyn has won every time the issue has had his name on it and been adjudicated. I do believe it will be the same here after millions are spent in litigation.

    • jbmckim
      not sure what you are saying here. Steyn is being sued, and that will certainly be limiting his freedom of speech if he loses the case.

      Certainly I see that his rant abut free speech as being about a cultural issue. We have been having this argument for hundreds of years in this country, and in fact freedom of speech has increased considerably in that time. the advent of the internet has been probably the biggest increaser of freedom of speech since the printing press, and certainly since the radio if not more than both.
      I do not see any attempts to legally ban even the most extreme fanatic and offensive sites on the internet.
      I have some friend on twitter that engage in the most idiotic vile and offensive arguments that I have ever seen publicly displayed.
      I certainly see a strain of leftist (for want of a better word) censorship that I find both unacceptable and offensive, but it has had little impact on the culture. There are arguments over hate speech, some of which I think are valid and some overreactions on both sides.
      I agree that in universities there are many anecdotal and often systematic examples of inappropriate suppression of free speech. Of course the right only is interested in their anecdotes and vociferously defends there offenses. The left has there anecdotes and interpretation of systematic suppression of free speech.

      Look at Ward Churchill. He made a statement that is certainly supportable from a political perspective, but he used the word “Eichman” and sullied the “9/11” sacred cow, so he lost his job and has been blacklisted. He even won a court case to that effect though the university was was considered immune from any damages or need to re-instate. Of course In some ways I think of him as a self serving quack, maybe even a fraud, but he was still a victim of PC.

      There is nothing in Mann’s suit that is trying to stifle free speech. It is trying to gain damages for libel. the degree of freedom of speech around the issue of climate change is quite extensive. that should be quite obvious. I see it here

      I think it funny that people keep going on abut Mann and the Nobel, when he was in fact a lead author for the organization that won the nobel. The other assertions about his misstatements and email tampering are more effectively considered in light of the environment of being one of the most vilified scientist in modern times. Not that I condone all his words or behavior, but I put it in the “cast the first stone” category

    • “He is being sued for asserting that Mann’s scientific research is fraudulent.”

      More specifically Steyn stated “Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph.” So we see that Steyn did not call Mann a fraud, but rather his work product. One of the definitions of fraudulent is a “misrepresentation”. In this context Steyn’s comment is defensible as it doesn’t assert intent. He could easily have meant that the hockey stick was the result of incompetence. In this instance, I find Steyn’s defense of free-speech appropriate.

    • AJ,

      “He could easily have meant that the hockey stick was the result of incompetence.”

      I am a big fan of Mark Steyn’s but that is simply not correct.

      “One of the definitions of fraudulent is a ‘misrepresentation’.”

      For a statement to be fraudulent, it has to be an intentional misrepresentation. Simple errors or incomptence cannot properly be called fraudulent. To my knowledge, Steyn has never denied that he meant Mann intentionally misrepresented facts, in addition to being incompetent in his statistics.

      Bad statistics and upsidedown Tijlander can be considered errors and incompetence. “Hide the decline” was flat out dishonest. As Dr. Curry herself noted in a previous post her some time ago.

    • GaryM,

      From M-W:
      Full Definition of FRAUD

      1b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick

      Note that this definition doesn’t state “an intentional act…”. I don’t think I ever heard Steyn clarify his comments one way or the other. My guess is that he believes Mann actually intended to deceive, but someone else might be of the opinion that he believe’s Mann is simply incompetent.

    • The case of Ward Churchill, also at Colorado, was defended as free speech, but in the end what got him was plagiarism. They certainly were looking at him more closely in the light of what he said, but he didn’t lose his job for that, as is right.

    • AJ, deceiving is an intentional act. Unintentional deceiving is just called being wrong.

    • It might be a little harder to prove Mann has been fraudulent, if his emails have been destroyed, or will be destroyed, or can’t be seen.

    • Jim D,

      “Unintentional deceiving is just called being wrong.”

      If I said “so and so, the founder of the fraudulent science of Creationism…”, I would have liabled the founder regardless if I thought it was intentional or not?

    • Tony: Let’s see. I listened to Steyn describe how he has had to pay $500K for the very beginnings of his trial with MM. He also has had issues with the “Ontario Human Rights Commision,”

    • Leave it to Tony to miss the point of the article.

      Are you denying that the incidents described herein, are happening?

      And regardless of whether they are happening or not, do you support the restrictions being placed on speakers by those who do not like the message?

      Steyn was talking about the greater issue. Not his.trial. Yet somehow you managed to gleam that when it was not even mentioned.

      I suspect you are one of the people all of these writers are talking about.

    • AJ, how is your example different from accusing someone of operating a fraudulent business, or more to the point, writing a fraudulent paper? There is no way to construe these as believing it was unintentional. Steyn could have said Mann’s mistake-ridden work, and that would not be suit-worthy. Fraudulent carries the meaning that these weren’t just mistakes. Scientists don’t lose their jobs for making mistakes, but they can for fraudulent work.

    • –Jim D | April 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm |

      AJ, how is your example different from accusing someone of operating a fraudulent business, or more to the point, writing a fraudulent paper? There is no way to construe these as believing it was unintentional. Steyn could have said Mann’s mistake-ridden work, and that would not be suit-worthy. Fraudulent carries the meaning that these weren’t just mistakes. Scientists don’t lose their jobs for making mistakes, but they can for fraudulent work.–

      But fraud is strongly suggested by the continuation of a “mistake” as it can be quite reasonable to think it’s unbelievable anyone is so stupid and/or such a sissy.

      So what is not done is as important as what is not done. Or actually, an error can quite trivial, compared an intentional continuation of this error.

    • gbaikie, later independent work has only refined Mann’s pioneering work, not overturned it. For a first effort at this, it set a good benchmark. This is one reason why Steyn is on such weak ground.

    • Jim D, you’re right. Steyn is so lost, he thinks Mann’s work is a “climate model.”

    • Let’s put it simply, Mann’s work has not be confirmed by any work that one could call independent. In fact a subsequent emulation of his work by Wahl & Amman found that the could very closely. Replicate the work, and that it lacked statistical significance for all of the early periods.

      One of the definitions of scientific fraud (which is not quite the same as ordinary fraud) is the calculation of a statistical metric and using it when it supports your conclusion but ignoring it when it does not. Mann calculated R2 in his work, he quotes it as supporting his argument for the 1815 step, but not when it shows a lack of significance for the 1400 and subsequent steps. His of RE as a sole measure of statistical significance is a known flawed approached from at least the 1920’s when spurious correlations were shown to generate high RE statistics.

      So don’t quote any of this “independent” support, hello bells, some of the studies generally quoted as independent and supporting it use Mann’s very PC1 data as input, some independence !

    • JimD said: gbaikie, later independent work has only refined Mann’s pioneering work, not overturned it. For a first effort at this, it set a good benchmark.

      That is perhaps the most absurd statement I have seen in this entire thread. It is widely known (even among CAGW advocates) that Mann’s early work (including the so-called “hockey stick” Steyn referenced) was of extremely poor quality, riddled with errors no undergrad would make. That it made it through peer review and was published is an indictment of the competence of the field in statistics.

      Because of the poor quality of the original research and Mann’s insistence on doubling down on its conclusions, nothing he has published since has been credible. Other proxy studies have been done better since, but they also have serious statistical and procedural flaws.

    • @ Tony Duncan, April 19, 12:23pm
      I also do not see that valid science is being systematically refused publication.

      Really? I think you need to give your head a shake, your eyes are painted on.

      M. Mann
      “I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”

      Jones to Mann.
      “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL”: “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer review literature is!”

    • Tony Duncan,
      The idea that for climate science to be corrupt and biased, there needs to be a conspiracy, is a fallacy – a strawman in fact. And a very tired old one at that.

      You just need to realise that climate science is funded by government, and government has a very obvious and very large vested interest in a finding of alarmism – CAGW. As such it is, exactly as as you would expect, allocating tax funds to those projects and people it thinks most likely to further its interests, which in this case means those ones coming to alarmist conclusions, thereby justifying more politics – ie more taxes and power over society.

      An organisation furthering its own interests obviously requires no conspiracy, that is just business as usual. But if it – or a cadre within it – worked *against* its own interests, now that would suggest a possible conspiracy. Like if for example, government climate scientists in general stopped just trying to prove CAGW, as now, and instead switched to being honest and finding the truth. Now *that* would certainly suggest a conspiracy.

    • government has a very obvious and very large vested interest in a finding of alarmism

      Really? Why would the government have such an interest?

      To me that claim is 100% unfounded conspiratorialism..

    • Tony Duncan:

      “I also do not see that valid science is being systematically refused publication.”

      Climategate emails P Jones to M Mann:

      “Kevin [TRENBERTH] and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    • Pekka: Come on. You either need to read Robert Higgs’s Crisis and Leviathan or else look at the evidence in front of your nose. The executive branch of the U.S. government, as represented by its current president, has taken a clear policy position (during two campaigns) that it wants to subsidize solar and wind and penalize coal, oil, and gas. This controversial policy depends heavily on persuading the public and the courts that “science says” we must engage in Urgent Mitigation. Hence the President and the Secretary of State running around making phony claims that every adverse weather event is directly caused by today’s CO2 emissions from human sources. If you don’t think that political influence extends through NASA, NOAA, EPA, etc., and all the research they fund, you are very naive.

      It’s not a conspiracy–it’s policy. Selling the policy requires tilting and slanting the evidence to make it as alarming as possible. And the people in the science agencies, who are by and large very sympathetic to green ideology, are not going to fight back against pressure to promote alarmism.

  3. In the United States of America somebody can make up any horrible lie they want about you, repeat it to thousands of people, write down the leis in emails, and there virtually nothing that can be done about.

    Nothing. It’s a disgusting situation.

    And if some moron says “you can sue”, you really need to sit down with a lawyer and listen to how freaking expensive it will be and how a jury would probably allow damages of a few dollars because juries in general do not like to see people get rich through court action. You have to be able to afford justice.

    Erosion of free speech my ass.

    Try being the victim of malicious slander and libel. Nothing. Absolutely nothing can be done.

  4. Theo Goodwin

    Excellent post, Saint Judith. The idea that “hate speech” should be illegal, which was embodied in law during the administration of Bush the father, was a terrible mistake for the simple reason that there is no uninterested way to identify “hate speech.” Some of us opposed that act vigorously and continue to oppose its offspring.

  5. A man who likens himself to Voltaire will invariably suffer from the comparison.

    If you want to defend free speech, defend it here.

    No more JC SNIP. No more timeouts. No more moderation. No more knuckling under when some neanderthal bully threatens legal action.

    If you can’t do those things, then perhaps your actions and omissions have more bearing than the words you _do_ choose.

    • Bart, your right to free speech does not obligate me to listen to it or provide a platform for it.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Judith Curry. + 1000

    • Let’s you and I start a blog, barty. We will say anything we want. That’ll fix ‘er.

    • curryja | April 19, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

      And I am grateful for the platform you do provide, for all who do write here.

      Just so, I’m mainly in accord with the moderation policies you enforce, and I fully endorse your ownership of your platform and the rights you exercise over it.

      However, that you recognize a private right to control what is said on the platform you provide argues strongly against the claims you make about free speech, in that you are a rational person who demonstrates reasonable grounds for the measures you take to protect your platform from the consequences of unmoderated writing, and the argument you make endues no such rational argument any power for the protection of a state, or more importantly, even of a Market.

      I’m not so concerned about the chaos that might ensue if people had to learn to judge for themselves the truth of what they hear before acting on it in private life, but if the Market were subject to people manipulating it without restraint, the loss of confidence would reduce the wealth of all, hurting rich and poor, buyer and seller alike.

      No fiscally conservative thinker could condone that.

      • A successful blog needs to weed out the noise that nobody wants to hear. I have been criticized from many quarters for the relative lack of moderation here. I do not moderate anyone based on their political or scientific views. I mainly moderate when someone gratuitously insults another commenter here, and I also delete repetitive posts that are off topic (think iron sun and planetary rotation).

    • That is downright comical, barty. How do you think these things up?

    • Don Monfort | April 19, 2014 at 1:48 pm |

      Years of studying Economics. How don’t you?

    • I studied some economic stuff, barty. I must have missed a class or two.

      “However, that you recognize a private right to control what is said on the platform you provide argues strongly against the claims you make about free speech, in that you are a rational person who demonstrates reasonable grounds for the measures you take to protect your platform from the consequences of unmoderated writing, and the argument you make endues no such rational argument any power for the protection of a state, or more importantly, even of a Market.”

      What? Judith’s exertion of her private right to control her private space somehow argues against the claims she makes about free speech. It somehow follows from her very limited private right that the state and the Market(?) also have a right to protect state space and Market(?) space. That’s nutty.

    • To reinforce what Don said – if you don’t like the rules here, start your own #%* blog.

      WordPress will let you have one for free. I have one. I average 20 page views a day. I don’t know how many views Judy gets, but I’m sure it’s thousands every day. You want to be a guest in her house? Take off your muddy boots at the door.

    • Judith,

      I have no problem with almost anyones moderation policy.
      My issue with the commenting on the blog is that you do not engage people whose comments seem to be completely at odds with your stated perspective. You allow comments to go uncorrected that, from my meager understanding, no climate scientist would consider tenable. and you do not support those commenters that DO correct those “incorrect” comments.
      For me it makes it hard to consider you someone that is interested in the truth or on promoting it on your blog.

      • The issues are twofold:
        1. My statement on the issue under discussion is clearly stated in the main post. The comments provide an opportunity for others to comment. I make no attempt to play ‘truth machine’ regarding the comments, since most of the topics I discuss on the blog are topics where there is legitimate grounds for disagreement.
        2. I don’t have time to respond to all comments; the few I respond to are either something that I appreciate or find interesting, or provides an opportunity to make a point that I would like to make.

        The bottom line is that science and policy debates are processes. There are very few hard scientific ‘facts’ in climate change, most of this is competing interpretations of inadequate observations, inferences from models that are not useful for many of the purposes to which they are applied, and theories and hypotheses that are open to debate.

    • Tony,
      On most blogs the host tries to be an authority who tells always her or his opinion, and ends up in ridiculing clearly erroneous views. People who write comments that get such a reaction will soon look for another blog to follow. In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.

      There’s much to criticize in the present state of Climate Etc, but I do think that this site is still unique in several positive ways.

      • Hi Pekka, I read your criticism of CE over ATTP, i found it interesting, have flagged it for a future blog post (when other topics are a bit slow)

    • “In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.”

      Did Pekka just join on the “Judith Curry is anti-science” bandwagon? When did Dr. Curry stop being a scientist, in Pekka’s opinion? (I am betting it has something to do with when she rejected CAGW dogma.)

    • I doubt very much that Pekka meant to imply that Judith is not a scientist. Actually, I am sure of it. He is observing that she conducts her blog differently form those of other scientists.

    • Judith said:

      “There are very few hard scientific ‘facts’ in climate change…”
      _____
      This would be an encouraging “fact” in and of itself for feeding the Uncertainty Monster, and certainly your promotion of this perspective is the reason why recently the Republicans have found it useful for their policy goals to invite you to testify in D.C. Though certainly the “pause” has given a bit of breathing room for this perspective (as long as the focus stays only on tropospheric sensible heat that is not taken as a decadal average), unfortunately, every day this perspective is getting less and less tenable as ever increasing hard scientific facts in the form of data, prove how rapidly the current climate is changing (from a geological perspective), and moreover, how the HCV is the most likely strongest causal factor.

    • I found ATTP very narrow minded largely because the restrictive policy was very one sided in its enforcement. The average participant and indeed AATP we’re not technically competent in the fields relevant to climate modeling but were very sure there were no problems in climate science. Bbd troll is a trusted insider

    • correction: differently from those of some other scientists

    • So Pekaa did not mean what he actually wrote. He meant something entirely different? Got it.

    • Link? to the ATTP discussion

    • Did Pekka write that Judith is not a scientist? Pekka is Finnish. Don’t expect him to always write English that is beyond faulty interpretation. Why don’t you give him a chance to explain himself before you get any deeper.

    • The declared goal of Climate Etc is different from the declared or implied goal of most sites hosted by climate scientists. This site would, however, not be that different from those other sites if Judith would give her authoritative view on every issue she is an authority at least, when compare to most commenters.

      The above applies equally in comparison with sites run by main stream scientists as it does with the more skeptical ones.

    • Bart,

      That you can’t differentiate between the right to free speech and a publisher’s right to edit and print / post what they choose to says a lot about you. Namely that you live in Bart’s world, where it is always about Bart.

      But then we already knew that.

    • Concerning comments at ATTP, I wrote also this

      https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/one-year/#comment-19572

      When I comment on Climate Etc at another blog, it’s done in the context of that other blog. Each blog has its own profile, but they may learn from each other.

      ===

      Perhaps I should state it directly. Judith is definitely a scientist, and that formed actually part of the logic that I had in mind, when I formulated that comment that raised suspicion. My English isn’t perfect, but I might formulate a sentence poorly also in Finnish.

    • You are needed here, Pekka. Don’t get discouraged and leave us in the lurch.

    • Pekka engages in selective “logic” in that discussion.

      “In the net discussion the communication has largely split to peaces. People who agree widely read each other and applaud comments that make the view very strongly. In that they make it sure that few who are not already in their camp pay much attention.”

      I would say the substantial majority of commenters at Climate Etc. disagree with Dr. Curry. Certainly the majority of comments are from those who disagree. Name another major climate site where the dissenters are so over represented, and allowed such lee way.

      “Thus I have concluded that Climate Etc is nowadays too strongly one-sided to serve as a forum for discussion that can maintain a wide audience and promote properly critical thinking. That kind of forum would, however, be valuable, and one of the potential ways of communicating to an audience that could make some difference. No site, where modestly skeptic contributors get ridiculed by the regulars (not necessarily by the host) can help much in that.”

      So a site that communicates would “promote proper critical thinking” except where the host of that site does not accept consensus CAGW dogma? Which of the consensus sites engages in actual critical analysis – of the CAGW dogma? Which engages in open discussion to the degree this site does? Not RealClimate or Skeptical Science certainly.

      And don’t tell me this is just a language issue. Pekka is making the same self-contradictory points made by so many other supporters of CAGW. He lauds the concept of open discussion and critical analysis, but criticizes the one major site in the climate blogosphere that is most open. And solely because the hostess comes to a different conclusion from her analysis. It is not enough to disagree with Dr. Curry, he feels the tribal need to disparage

      Funny thing is, when Pekka discusses the AR5 later in the ATTP discussion, I swear it reads like something Dr. Curry wrote.

      Pekka is a polite, gracious commenter. But he is as befuddled in some ways by CAGW group think as its more aggressive acolytes.

    • Funny thing is, when Pekka discusses the AR5 later in the ATTP discussion, I swear it reads like something Dr. Curry wrote.

      What’s perhaps more funny is that one or two sentences that I wrote on AR5 here ended up verbatim in Judith’s testimonial to congress.

    • Gary, you are misreading and misjudging Pekka. Check yourself.

    • timg56 | April 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm |

      What are the origins of free speech rights in your world view?

      Do they come handed down from an Almighty creator whom only you interpret? From the democratic voice of a referendum before the whole nation decided equally by all? From the tumult of a mob? From the Sacred Ancestors? Are they Tradition? Law? Regulation? Happenstance?

      The First Amendment was a bit of all of these, motivated by reasoning from the lessons of history. And in its life as pillar of the nation’s legal system, it continues to evolve under those lessons.

      Let’s look at http://www.forbes.com/sites/daniellecitron/2014/04/18/debunking-the-first-amendment-myths-surrounding-revenge-porn-laws/ for where a conservative legal interpretation gets us today. I’m not at all insinuating that Steyn’s published revenge fantasies against Mann amount to porn, by the way, or that very much of this very recent opinion on Forbes is even relevant. Merely, that it is manifestly obvious that where a private person may have private reasons for limiting freedom of speech within their private control we recognize and support, it is similarly patent that so may a state be required by reason, while respecting to the utmost the principle and right of freedom of speech, to exercise comparable controls.

    • Pekaa,

      I was not suggesting you got your thoughts from Dr. Curry. To the contrary, my point was that despite what appears to be your reflexive need to criticize her presentations of uncertainty, your own thoughts are often not so far apart from hers.

    • Don,

      It may shock you, but I disagree. I check what he writes. And he is consistent. I am not misinterpreting one or two comments. The discussion at ATTP is rather clear, and does not differ from his regular comments here.

    • Judith,

      Those lines were related to the warming trend, and how the signs of slower warming affected conclusions at intermediate and longer time scales.

    • barty, barty

      “Merely, that it is manifestly obvious that where a private person may have private reasons for limiting freedom of speech within their private control we recognize and support, it is similarly patent that so may a state be required by reason, while respecting to the utmost the principle and right of freedom of speech, to exercise comparable controls.”

      Look on youtube for Prof. Irwin Cory, The World’s Foremost Authority. I think he studied economics where you did, barty.

    • You don’t shock me, Gary. You are angry and it makes you predictable. Check yourself, or not.

    • My basic approach to uncertainty is similar to that of Judith, but I disagree on specifics. Some examples:
      – I have strong reservations towards the Italian flag, and I have presented my arguments here,
      – I accept the AR5 claim that it’s 95% likely that AGW is more than 50% of warming since 1950’s. I have explained my view on that at least twice here.
      – I accept more explicitly the precautionary principle (but I do not accept common overstatements related to it).

      There seems to be a systematic difference between my views and Judith’s views as I have understood them from her recent testimonials, but we do clearly use often similar logic in our thinking.

    • I often find myself thinking things Pekka has written, and feeling smarter for it.

      Though I have the humility to know I’m just not really quite that bright.

    • Don,

      No anger, just facts. Disagreement is not anger, or evil, or stupidity, it’s disagreement. I don’t think Pekaa is angry in his criticisms of Dr. Curry, just wrong. Presumably he can accept criticism as well, this being a blog and all.

      My internal diagnostics show all lights green. But thanks for your concern.

    • OK, Gary. I usually find myself in agreement with even your most angry tirades :) Perhaps you could review the comments on this thread and we could agree that it is a fact that Pekka did not accuse Judith of being anti-science, and he has not written or implied that she is not a scientist?

    • Don Monfort | April 19, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

      So.. you’re in favor of unlimited revenge porn?

      Have you let the people in your life know about this stance of yours?

    • I have never given any indication that I am in favor of unlimited revenge porn, barty. You just made that up. Since lollie had already played the race card today, I guess you were at a loss for what to throw at the wall.

      We know well that there are generally accepted limits to free speech that are policed by the state. That’s trivial. You have yammered on about it enough, already. Happy Easter! Get some rest!

    • Have you given the same lecture at RealClimate or the Guardian, to name just two?

    • “In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.”

      You have trouble reading that? Maybe he didn’t mean it. But the words mean what they mean. Pekaa tries to be dismissive without coming across too aggressive. Sometimes he screws it up. and his comments are then fair game.

      There is no doubt he knows Dr. Curry is a scientist. His implication is that this blog is not a scientific blog. And that dismissive attitude is just as misplaced and arrogant as calling her a non-scientist.

      And you have never seen me write anything in anger here, nor have I written any “tirades.” Feel free to post an example to the contrary.

    • You are being very obstinate, Gary.

      “In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.”

      Show me where that says that Judith is not a scientist, or that Judith is anti-science, or that other crap that you made up. Don’t you think that Pekka’s continual civility has earned him the benefit of the doubt? Be charitable and reasonable and substitute “Typically” for “In particular”, or substitute “another scientist” for “a scientist”. Or just take Pekka’s word that he did not mean to say that Judith is not a scientist. Are you calling Pekka a liar? Get a grip on yourself, Gary.

    • PS: Did you miss this part, garie?

      “The declared goal of Climate Etc is different from the declared or implied goal of most sites hosted by climate scientists.”

      The very clear implication is that Climate Etc. is hosted by a climate scientist. That’s Judith, garie.

    • And there is that little self-promoter with the obscure alarmist website again. Judith, why don’t you run some of these characters out of here?

    • Steven Mosher

      Tony

      “. You allow comments to go uncorrected that, from my meager understanding, no climate scientist would consider tenable. and you do not support those commenters that DO correct those “incorrect” comments.
      For me it makes it hard to consider you someone that is interested in the truth or on promoting it on your blog.”

      Is this a standard you are willing to apply everywhere?

      Willing to apply consistently? as in tell the blog owner they are not interested in the truth?

      If so, we can have some fun.

    • I was under the impression that economics concerned itself with the allocation of scarce resources. Hence an economic view of blog moderation and censorship would first concern itself with the relative (lack of) scarcity of blogspace available for all opinions.

      As someone who has been censored and moderated both (including here), I get annoyed on each occasion. As someone who has started several blogs for no cost, I have managed to find an alternative to just being frustrated.

      In addition to starting your own blog, you have the available alternative of commenting on blogs with a philosophical bent more congenial to your own point of view. If you crash a party thrown by adherents to one particular view of a subject, you shouldn’t be surprised if you are not made welcome.

    • Judith said:
      “There are very few hard scientific ‘facts’ in climate change…”

      Actual hard scientific facts are the actual data.

      There are different theories about what the data does prove, but the actual data is the actual hard scientific facts. Consensus Climate Theory is not Facts. Consensus Climate Model Output is not Facts.

      Global Warming is a Fact because it is supported by actual data.
      AGW and CAGW are not facts because they are not supported by actual data. It is only supported by opinion and model output. It is supported by model output that does disagree with actual data. This is a hare scientific fact.

      There are many of “these” very hard scientific “facts” in climate change. These facts are not supportive of the alarmism, but they are actual facts that do not support the alarmism.

    • “Actual hard scientific facts are the actual data.”

      The unmassaged data may be the closest thing to “hard facts” in climate science, but even that is pretty far from what most people would think the term means.

      Measurement errors of precision and accuracy in the temperature records, sea level records, ocean heat content, and paleo data, etc., not to mention WAGs on sea ice extent, abound in climate science.

      The fact that “climate scientists” report temps to within tenths of a degree, sea levels to tenths of a millimeter, and paleo records to any precision at all, does not make them hard data. We have estimations of proxies of proxies, on the basis of which want to use their adjusted, krigged versions to justify massive public policy changes.

      I think Dr. Curry is on the money with “There are very few hard scientific ‘facts’ in climate change…”

    • not sure if it is my browser, but i am unwilling to take the time to exercise my freedom of speech on the numerous responses to my comments as it is too hard to find the correct “reply to” in order to connect my response to the proper commenter.
      Too bad, as I have never engaged with Mosher and would be more than happy to do so.
      Od course I am used to having my words twisted and misconstrued, and I certainly do not always present my position in the most effective way.
      but I will finish by noting that Judith’s proclamations of her reasons for commenting nd allowing commenting are unconvincing as far as wanting to promote freedom of expression as opposed to other less honest motivations. whether they are conscious or not I can’t say, but it i obvious that she takes the time to respond to comments that can promote her message without bothering to comment on those that are blatantly ridiculous. Nor does she acknowledge the people who DO.

    • Gary

      I try to explain what I wanted to say:

      On most blogs the host tries to be an authority who tells always her or his opinion, and ends up in ridiculing clearly erroneous views. People who write comments that get such a reaction will soon look for another blog to follow. ..

      Up to this point I didn’t refer to scientists. Then I thought that the above is not necessarily typical to all blogs, as there are many blog hosts, who do not pretend to be authorities, and whom nobody takes at authorities. The next sentence was added to emphasize that scientists who run blogs related to their science are always considered as authorities, whether they emphasize that explicitly or not. (The only alternative is that they are considered to be fake scientists.) The implication is that whenever Judith writes on this site clear statements on climate science they are considered authoritative. Therefore she can not write regularly such statements without making this site very different, and different from her stated goals. That’s the intended meaning of the following sentence. The expression the blog refers to that particular blog discussed above.

      .. In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.

      Evidently my writing allowed for misinterpretation, but I do still think that reading it carefully and trying to figure out, what it could have logically meant, would have revealed that I wanted to tell with a few words the same that I explain in length above.

    • There are no welfare implications of Economic thought without utilitarianism. If you don’t buy utilitarianism as a sensible ethical system, you can’t use economic theory to derive government policy from economic theory–about anything at all, much less free speech. I wager most of the denizens have a more or less “natural rights” view of free speech, not a utilitarian one. So let’s not bludgeon them with some economic theory logic that rests on a theory of the good and the right that they don’t subscribe to.

    • Bart R

      You fundamentally misunderstand the concept of freedom of speech. What it means is : no *government* interference in what you say. This does not mean, for example, that a newspaper is obliged to print your letter.

    • “Bart, your right to free speech does not obligate me to listen to it or provide a platform for it.” – Judith

      Likewise Judith, Steyn’s right to free speech does not obligate Michael Mann to do nothing in the face of libelous statements.

    • Michael,
      Your “likewise” above is utter gibberish – devoid of even a scrap of logic.

    • –Michael | April 20, 2014 at 5:54 am |

      “Bart, your right to free speech does not obligate me to listen to it or provide a platform for it.” – Judith

      Likewise Judith, Steyn’s right to free speech does not obligate Michael Mann to do nothing in the face of libelous statements.
      Tuppence | April 20, 2014 at 6:11 am |

      Michael,
      Your “likewise” above is utter gibberish – devoid of even a scrap of logic.–

      Makes sense to me. And is also why Steyn is free to countersue Mann for ten million dollars:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/21/steyn-countersues-mann-for-10-millon-dollars/

    • Tuppence | April 20, 2014 at 5:44 am |

      You are quite correct in your premise.

      I understand quite well, for example, the First Amendment. It’s well-documented, thoroughly discussed by serious legal scholars, tested in courts through long years of precedent and qualified debate of the finest minds in law in the world, which is to say American jurisprudence. It has shaped the wider world, and spawned empires of newsmen and advertisers, entertainment industry tycoons and talking heads, while bringing down empires of tyrants and communists and criminals. The freedom of speech right of the First Amendment is a self-evident truth polished and gleaming through hard use and hard working into a jewel we rightly much prize.

      The “concept of freedom of speech”, as you use it, I don’t understand what you may mean or think you mean by it at all.

      You sound as if you’re unfamiliar with the Constitutional definition, the history, the foundations and the wider applicability of the right as has actually happened in the real world, which is to say America. Government doesn’t “interfere” in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution: government is fettered and chained, a loyal and devoted Cereberus, to uphold those rights. If you’re government, you don’t “interfere” with constitutional rights; constitutional rights “interfere” with you.

      As such, the other enumerated rights are balanced against all rights, and the government through every arm must uphold all rights guaranteed in the constitution fairly and treat all equally before the law. What comes next is a really long sentence full of complex thoughts; don’t launch into it unless you are prepared to read harder, but skip to the next sentence instead:

      In the Mann v. Steyn case, we see a very plain conflict of rights, and however much sound and fury we make of the right of free speech protections on Steyn’s side, as we must consider in America it isn’t the wealth of one’s backers or friends but the absolute guarantee the government will equally uphold the rights of all, no matter who we like or find funny or think good-looking or tall or whose voice is deeper, there is an at least equal free speech right of Mann as a scientist to not be deprived of his own ability to seek scientific truth, to not be hampered by defamations in that pursuit, and to be able to communicate the truth he finds in Science with any who choose to listen unobscured by malicious attacks on that right.

      The next sentence: sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

    • I don’t see an admission from Gary M that his tirade was wrong:

      “GaryM | April 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm |

      “In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.”

      Did Pekka just join on the “Judith Curry is anti-science” bandwagon? When did Dr. Curry stop being a scientist, in Pekka’s opinion? (I am betting it has something to do with when she rejected CAGW dogma.)”

      Are you just going to shine it on, Gary? Like joshie does.

    • Pekka.

      Here is the comment, in full. top which I responded:

      “On most blogs the host tries to be an authority who tells always her or his opinion, and ends up in ridiculing clearly erroneous views. People who write comments that get such a reaction will soon look for another blog to follow. In particular, when the blog is run by a scientist the result will be a blog very different from Climate Etc.

      There’s much to criticize in the present state of Climate Etc, but I do think that this site is still unique in several positive ways.”

      “There is much to criticize in the present state of Climate Etc.”

      Your attempts, and Don Monfort’s, to suggest you were not really being critical of Dr. Curry as being unscientific are belied by your own words. I think I now know what you meant, but there was no way to get it from what you wrote, and your subsequent comments, trying to back off from your criticism, did not help much.

      You criticize other blogs where the scientists belittle comments with which they disagree, but suggest that this blog is “unique,” but subject to criticism, because Dr. Curry does not do the same. This is what I meant by self-contradictory. She does not always speak “from authority” when someone makes a comment with which you disagree. In other words, Dr. Curry does not ALWAYS run this blog as a scientist (which you criticize in others), but as something else, that you do not define.

      I have no problem with you criticizing this blog, or Dr. Curry. You are generally polite in doing so. But I simply disagree with your criticism, and I completely disagree that even when allowing a free and open debate, on issues on which you think she should criticize the comments, she is somehow not acting like a scientist.

      You CAGW advocates almost to a person believe that scientists can, and should, properly act as advocates. And I agree. So what precisely is unscientific about how Dr. Curry runs this blog? When she advocates caution based on uncertainty, or allows commenters to say the same, when she talks about the politicization of the debate, she is still speaking from the perspective of a scientist.

      It isn’t that I don’t understand what you write, I just disagree with it. And I have as much right to disagree with you, as you do with Dr. Curry.

    • Don’t concern yourself about this foolishness, Pekka. Your integrity and credibility are intact.

      I recently asked Judith why she didn’t weigh in here more often to stop some of the interminable silly arguments about the basics of the science and she said she would have more time come summertime to get involved. Let’s see what happens. Now little garie can interpret this as me calling Judith unscientific. Or maybe Judith will delete it before he can read it.

    • DM,

      Sometimes I write long (too long?) comments, sometimes I write very short to see, how they are taken. Sometimes I feel it justified to explain, what I have written, sometimes I let those misunderstand who have misunderstood.

      I try to avoid arguing for long with those who will surely disagree even after all arguments. That applies, in particular, on matters of opinion. There have been cases, which I considers matters of fact, and on which I have argued to the end.

    • ‘Sometimes I let those misunderstand who have misunderstood.’ I’m gonna steal that and not remember where it came from, so thanks, now.
      =================

    • Yes Pekka, we don’t want to waste too much of our time arguing with the willfully ignorant and the disingenuous axe grinders. Although it can be entertaining.

      I have one last comment on this Gary M foolishness. This is another incident where a comment from Judith could have nipped a useless discussion in the bud. Maybe I am wrong, but I can’t believe that Judith agrees with Gary M’s hysterical (not in the funny sense) interpretation of Pekka’s comment. A Judith word to Gary would have given him a graceful exit and we would all have been saved a lot of time and aggravation.

    • Bart R
      Seems I was right first time : you just don’t understand what free speech means. And I don’t know how much simpler to state it than : no government interference in what you say.
      Or, is your faux air of superiority and needless long-windedness evidence that you doggedly *won’t* understand?

    • Tuppence | April 21, 2014 at 1:26 am |

      I said you were right the first line.

      So.. the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no government “interference” in any of those, too, right?

      If someone destroys your ability to pursue what makes you happy, no government “interference”?

      If someone takes your liberty, no government “interference”?

      If someone takes your life, no government “interference”?

      Mann’s free speech rights, according to Mann, have been interfered with by Steyn’s malicious defamation. Mann’s liberty was on plain reading of Steyn (which is silly, Steyn’s the least plain writer I know — you must despise him, if you think me long-winded, faux and superior) threatened. Mann’s appealing to the government to stand up for Mann’s First Amendment rights where Steyn’s First Amendment rights come into conflict with them.

      The “government” in the form of the courts is being called to settle a case where either the rights of one, or of the other party must be “interefered” with by the pillars of American democracy upholding the republic.

      Why do you hate America?

    • Bart R

      So.. the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no government “interference” in any of those, too, right?

      ?? … a truly desperate non-sequitur, that is.

      Mann’s free speech rights, according to Mann, have been interfered with by Steyn’s malicious defamation.

      More blatant tripe, this time from Mann though. Criticism – be it warranted or otherwise – may *dissuade* someone from speaking, but it doesn’t use *force* them to make them stop.

      Mann’s speech liberty is unharmed by Steyn. Steyn’s though, is under threat by Mann, who enlists the state to employ aggressive force against Steyn.

      Why do you hate liberty?

    • Tuppence

      Calling the fundamental guarantees of liberty of the USA a desperate non sequitur in a discussion of any rights in America is just more America-bashing.

      Defamation is an act of speech that amounts to force. Words do matter, have power, enact such force as to alter behaviors and frame the way the reader even sees. That same power of writing that carries the soul of America in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, in its anthem and its finest examples of literature is also in every snark and bit of bile delivered at the low end of the blogospheric digestive tract inhabited by the likes of Steyn, and, to be fair, Mann.

      The question to be answered is, does Mann’s writing power amount to the force of the fraud and other flaws of character Steyn’s writing alleges and insinuates? If so, Steyn is not defaming the more powerful Mann; otherwise, it is Steyn’s power that victimizes Mann, and that Mann seeks redress for.

      It’s unmitigated adulation of Mann to suggest his writing so powerfully persuasive as to amount to fraud, and an insult to Steyn to suggest his literary prowess too small to amount to defamation.

      Why do you worship Mann, and despise Steyn? Is it because you hate America?

      • Defamation does not amount to force. When oral or written communication get to force, that is called coercion. Defamation is merely impugning someone’s reputation. When it is false, the purveyor can be sued for libel or slander. But not criminally prosecuted.

    • Bart R

      Calling the fundamental guarantees of liberty of the USA a desperate non sequitur in a discussion of any rights in America is just more America-bashing.

      The discussion is over free speech, ie a condition where government does not aggress against anyone to limit what they say. In desperation you tried to move it elsewhere. You are merely engaging in more liberty-bashing.

      Defamation is an act of speech that amounts to force.

      Complete and utter nonsense. You again confuse persuasion with force. A common totalitarian ruse.

      The question to be answered is, does Mann’s writing power amount to the force of the fraud and other flaws of character Steyn’s writing alleges and insinuates?

      Of course it’s fraud. Or do you think his algorithms that find hockey sticks in red noise were mere incompetence?
      But anyway that’s *not* the bigger question re free speech. Even if it wasn’t fraud, free speech would mean Steyn can say it is if he wants. And Mann could in turn say Steyn is a liar. Without any bullying by the state.

      Defamation law is inherently a violation of free speech and liberty. Why do you worship Mann, and despise Steyn? Is it because you hate liberty? Or because you unswervingly support anything that advances alarmism ?

    • Tuppence | April 23, 2014 at 11:10 am |

      Oh. I understand better now. The phrase “government aggress” is a hallmark of Anarcho-Syndicalism, a sort of French hybrid of communism and libertarianism, where everyone will naturally say whatever they want, and eventually by magic they’ll come to only say what benefits them, and thus in the long run the collective will only say what benefits the group, or some such. Yeah, that’s a defunct French social movement.

      So the reason you hate America is that you’re French. Everything is explained.

      It’s sad that the part of their philosophy the Anarcho-Syndicalists had most right — _Min_archy — suffered such a blow when the bureaucratic French government shut them down.

      It would be great if we could have a world with no courts to settle grievances between civil parties — as Mann and Steyn now both agree to appear before by their common consent — because better means are available. It would be great if no laws concerning allowed or banned speech were needed. These courts and laws are expensive, and the people who engage in conduct that make them necessary pay very little of the cost.

      What Market Capitalist wants to see that? It’s so unamerican in the extreme, it’s practically French itself.

      Were there no laws of defamation, then Mann would still have resort to more basic torts of harm to his income or wealth, and still there would be a case in civil court without the specifics of acts concerning defamation. Or do you find what is written and said not only to not be plausibly equated with force, but also to not have any monetary value whatsoever?

    • Bart R

      Being of a totalitarian persuasion, your understanding of, and support for, free speech, was always bound to be low. And seems to go ever lower with each further comment you make.

      I have no idea if anarcho syndicalists think all that, or – more likely – your normal garbled ‘analysis’ required you to invent such strawmen to prop up your position. Whatever.

      The point is, it has nothing to do with the simple point at hand – free speech, which is when the government doesn’t physically aggress against you so as to restrict what you say (fines, jail, etc). A simple concept, but nevertheless apparently beyond your reach But which you nevertheless feel you don’t like.

      Your claims of hating America are comedic drivel. wtf are you on about? wtf are you on, actually? So I’m a frog eh? Never even been there, actually, can’t say more than ‘oi’ or ‘non’. Your barrel-scraping really is just rasping lunacy.

      It would be great if we could have a world with no courts to settle grievances between civil parties

      Who said anything about a word with no courts? I merely say we don’t need courts in *this* issue. Indeed, we need courts to butt right out.

      It would be great if no laws concerning allowed or banned speech were needed.

      Then rejoice – they aren’t needed. No property rights are infringed by speech, however libelous. Your reputation is not *your* property – it is something *other* people have in their minds.

      That’s what a free society would entail. Your hope that that is “unamerican”, is itself unamerican. I guess you’ve never been there. Or have, but so often dress up your own opinions as fact, that you can’t tell the difference yourself anymore.

      Were there no laws of defamation, then Mann would still have resort to more basic torts of harm to his income or wealth, and still there would be a case in civil court without the specifics of acts concerning defamation.

      Nonsense. This would eg mean a film critic that panned a film could be sued. In a free society – even freer than America – you would not have ownership of what other people think and say.

      Or do you find what is written and said not only to not be plausibly equated with force, but also to not have any monetary value whatsoever?

      Like the film critic, it may well have a monetary impact. That is no basis for a grievance though. You don’t have a right for other people to think X or Y about you or your works.

    • Tuppence | April 24, 2014 at 8:47 am |

      Being of a totalitarian persuasion, your understanding of, and support for, free speech, was always bound to be low. And seems to go ever lower with each further comment you make.

      How does the term _MIN_archist not make a dent? This black-and-white fallacy, that if someone isn’t for your argument they must be the opposite of what you self-identify as, how’s it working for you in life?

      I have no idea if anarcho syndicalists think all that, or – more likely – your normal garbled ‘analysis’ required you to invent such strawmen to prop up your position. Whatever.

      Anarcho syndicalists died out a long time ago. They don’t think anything, now.

      The point is, it has nothing to do with the simple point at hand – free speech, which is when the government doesn’t physically aggress against you so as to restrict what you say (fines, jail, etc). A simple concept, but nevertheless apparently beyond your reach But which you nevertheless feel you don’t like.

      You keep giving this alien definition of free speech, as if repeating it over and over again will somehow make it less unamerican. I get what you’re saying. I’ve known the concept you’re describing — which is older by far than both of us, and was known to the Founding Fathers — for a very long time. So did they. Which is why they specifically did _NOT_ enshrine it in the Constitution, and why the First Amendment did _NOT_ put that unamericanly abusive burden on the country’s citizens.

      Your claims of hating America are comedic drivel. wtf are you on about? wtf are you on, actually? So I’m a frog eh? Never even been there, actually, can’t say more than ‘oi’ or ‘non’. Your barrel-scraping really is just rasping lunacy.

      So.. now you’re insulting France, as well as America, and seek to make a virtue of ignorance and lack of worldly experience? By the way, as you don’t know it, calling someone a ‘frog’, to a frenchman, is slang for calling them a male organ. Just so you know. In case you ever find yourself in France.

      Who said anything about a word with no courts? I merely say we don’t need courts in *this* issue. Indeed, we need courts to butt right out.

      So.. you want to replace the judgment of the courts with the judgment of Tuppence? You decide who gets due process and justice, and who doesn’t, regardless of the Constitution and the law? Sounds kinda.. totalitarian to me.

      .. No property rights are infringed by speech, however libelous. Your reputation is not *your* property – it is something *other* people have in their minds.

      Who are you to say what is and isn’t my property? What I do or do not value? To replace my own valuation of what I regard as mine with your own views, and not allow me even resort to the courts? Sounds kinda.. totalitarian to me. Also, speech acts fall under slander; libel is written. Try to keep up.

      That’s what a free society would entail. Your hope that that is “unamerican”, is itself unamerican. I guess you’ve never been there. Or have, but so often dress up your own opinions as fact, that you can’t tell the difference yourself anymore.

      Okay, my Tuppence-to-Earth translator’s on the blink, I’ll have to skip that gem.

      This would eg mean a film critic that panned a film could be sued. In a free society – even freer than America – you would not have ownership of what other people think and say.

      Or do you find what is written and said not only to not be plausibly equated with force, but also to not have any monetary value whatsoever?

      Like the film critic, it may well have a monetary impact. That is no basis for a grievance though. You don’t have a right for other people to think X or Y about you or your works.

      Outside America, film critics can be sued, fired, persecuted criminally for what they write. America enjoys freedom of the press under our protections guaranteed by our government, which aggresses those who try to interfere with the public’s right to hear privileged or qualified opinion, to hear the news from newsmen and opinion from publishers, with the tiny proviso that the news be true and the opinion free from actual malice, which would harm not only the victim of the defamation but the reliance of the general public on that valuable and rare gift Americans enjoy: a free press.

      Here’s how the government ‘aggresses’:

      https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

      That’s right, the Supreme Court quashed the right of states to interfere unreasonably with the Internet. Judith Curry is protected from being held liable by ANYONE for anything appearing on her blog that she herself is not the publisher of, unless some special malice is involved. Threats to sue her for what’s said on Climate Etc. by anyone not her? They’re meaningless in the USA.

      We have free speech. It’s right here. Because the government has aggressed against anyone who wants to try to take it away.

      That freedom is balanced by the government aggressing just as much for people who say things Dr. Curry, or you, or I, don’t like, dispassionately enforcing one law for all. And in that law, those same legal principles, that same court system, defamation plays a real and necessary role.

      Steyn et. al could have taken a principled stance and still avoided burdening the taxpayer with this trial. They could have ponied up a settlement without admission of wrongdoing, or admitted breach of what they felt was an unfair law and then lobbied democratically to change it, or any of a number of other courses of action. Instead, they put the People in the position of having to pay a hefty price to listen to them and Mann over this nonsense. No one who costs the taxpayer needlessly is my friend.

      Why are they yours?

    • Bart R

      For a totalitarian like you feign being a ‘minarchist’, despite supporting defamation law, is simply hilarious. Integrity never really been your thing though.

      T > the simple point at hand – free speech, which is when the government doesn’t physically aggress against you so as to restrict what you say (fines, jail, etc).

      B> You keep giving this alien definition of free speech

      OK I get it now. “Alien” is your word for “objective” or “commonsense”.

      T> Who said anything about a word with no courts? I merely say we don’t need courts in *this* issue. Indeed, we need courts to butt right out.

      So.. you want to replace the judgment of the courts with the judgment of Tuppence?

      As you doubtless realise, but don’t mention since it undermines your totalitarian pitch, I judge nothing. Their being no property rights violations, the courts have no business interfering. Except of course if – like you – ones desires a totalitarian society, where there are no such things as private affairs.

      T > .. No property rights are infringed by speech, however libelous. Your reputation is not *your* property – it is something *other* people have in their minds.

      B> Who are you to say what is and isn’t my property?

      Nobody can “own” what other people think of them. Except in a totalitarian world.

      Speech in America is freer than elsewhere. But it is still far from perfect, being still blighted and sabotaged by defamation law.

      Steyn et. al could have taken a principled stance and still avoided burdening the taxpayer with this trial. They could have ponied up a settlement

      There is nothing to “settle”. It just Mann aggressing against Steyn, using unjust law and tax monies.

      No one who costs the taxpayer needlessly is my friend. Why are they yours?

      You are the one who supports this unjust law, the root cause of this needless expense, not me, So they’re your friends, not mine.

    • Tuppence | April 25, 2014 at 1:56 am |

      On the plus side, for you, free speech means you can do all the name-calling, repeat all the sloganeering, use all the fallacy you want, and there’s no law against those techniques of propaganda.

      On the minus side, for you, an America where everyone’s seen propaganda and spin all their life means people who haven’t just fallen off the proverbial turnip truck can see such things a mile off, and are.. skeptical.

      It’d be a great world, where words — even fightin’ words — even ‘hate speech’ and agitation and incitement to senseless violence, even temptation to crime and subournment of perjury, even fraudulent words, were none of the nanny state’s business. But words are the business not just of a nanny state, but any state, in the world as it is.

      Our currency is no more than words and pictures printed on paper or stamped into coin. Our bonds, the valuation of the national debt to those who invest in it, are mere words on paper. The contents of our pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs are conveyed to us on labels in words, in a world so complicated that countless people would die if they could not know what they were about to put into their bodies.

      Were it that simpler world, where words could only amount to ideas floating harmlessly and valuelessly about, my _min_archy would be truly close to the anarcho-syndicalism you espouse without understanding. I’d be glad to cross every written law and written precedent and written judgment of legislatures and courts and tribunals that have come out of the due and democratic processes of the history of America, if I, like you, thought my judgment better than the judgement of every citizen, were I tyrannical dictator, and the world simpleminded.

      But then, this isn’t that world. This is this world. Where we stand by our words, or someone makes us stand by them. If Steyn were Mann enough, he’d acknowledge his written words were malicious and false, and he’d say so to just as many people as have read those words, and he’d pay up what he owes, without courts getting involved and the taxpayers on the hook to make him stand behind the checks his mouth has written.

  6. Tony, there is no scientific justification for taking a mush of proxy data, “hiding the decline” and appending the instrumental temperature record. I think fraud is a fair description of using a mess like that for propaganda purposes. For climatology to survive as a respected science, climatologists need to condemn the worst abuses of cherry picking data, pal review, demonizing legitimate critics, fear-mongering extrapolations, noble cause corruptions and artificial certainties. It’s amazing to watch the contortions of the AGW defenders–they cling to contrived talking points no matter how odious or absurd they are.

    • Ken,
      Of course hiding the decline could be an egregious fraud in an area such as physics. In historical science though, as long as the reasons are explained, and the explanation is rational, then it can be quite justified.
      In my understanding the word “Fraud” necessitates a willful desire to falsify data in order to reach a predetermined incorrect outcome. I have yet to get a clear explanation of why Mann, et al would go to the trouble of fraudulently presenting incorrect data and a suspect methodology in order to get a result that would be very similar tot he result they would have gotten by being completely above board? since almost every reconstruction using similar and different data and methodology has come up with similar results, it seems idiotic to endanger ones career and reputation by doing so.
      the only argument I have seen is that MBH wanted to make the MWP and LIA disappear. First off making the LIA disappear ( which is of course inaccurate as the error bars are quite large enough to account for it and MWP) makes the case for ACC WEAKER if one is trying to fool people into thinking that past temps determine whither ACC is true or not. also MWP being higher than Mann showed does not undermine ACC since as far as I know neither Mann nor any mains tram climate scientists has ever said that there is no other explanation for MWP using natural variation.
      Of course we know the recent reconstructions have shown very similar results to MBH ’98 and most recent reconstructions of MWP do not show any global time specific increase asserted by many skeptics>

      as for you other aspersions on the “orthodoxy” as I stated above, if those things are three, there can be no more than a year or so before the entire edifice comes crashing down.

  7. On this subject, spiked online has recently launched a free speech campaign.

  8. Seven years ago, I was taking a Chinese history class discussing the end of the Ming dynasty. Before the class started, the professor spotted a young student reading a book by Dinesh D’Souza. With great dispatch the professor wadded through two rows of desk/chairs to confront the student. Looming over her he said “Don’t you realize D’Souza is a conservative?”
    I was struck by both his scolding tone and the assumption that reading a conservative author is taboo. The fact that his behavior needed no explanation told me much about university intellectual diversity.

    • In high school I was taken to task for pointing out the US supported dictators.
      your argument would have more force if d’Souza’s books were not full of ridiculous assertions and false correlations.
      But I agree arguing perspective as a negative is not supporting education

    • I have heard so many stories about liberal or progressive professors pushing some agenda or trying to discourage and limit dissenting opinions to their own. Problem is I can’t ever recall having one. You would think that after earning 3 degrees I’d have run into at least one. Doing so has been sort of a minor fantasy for me, as I am confident in holding my own. I even took a Sociology course titled Nuclear and Catastrophic Warfare, figuring the odds were good for the professor being anti nuclear and almost certain for some of the students in the class being so. Instead I met one of the most brilliant teachers I’ve ever had and one of the most challanging courses (except for Athmospheric Physics – easily the toughest).

    • “your argument would have more force if d’Souza’s books were not full of ridiculous assertions and false correlations.”

      Wrong, it would have the exact same force. There is a broader principle at stake that the commenter is addressing that overarches any specific work by any specific author. The professor was criticizing the student for reading a book by a conservative and he said nothing about the content. That puts him firmly in the camp criticized by Mr. Brandis, namely those people attempting to de-legitimize their opponents right to even participate in a public discussion (regardless of the content). In fact, you’re sidling toward that territory yourself in this comment, asserting that a principle as fundamental as free speech is weakened because someone might not use it in a way you approve of. That’s a sad conception of what’s at stake here.

    • “The professor was criticizing the student for reading a book by a conservative and he said nothing about the content. That puts him firmly in the camp criticized by Mr. Brandis, namely those people attempting to de-legitimize their opponents right to even participate in a public discussion (regardless of the content)”

      Such professor should want a student to read the best opposing argument.
      So professor should instead say here is book by a conservative which makes a much better argument [which professor may disagree with, but admits is a strong argument. Know thy enemy]. I would say conservatives tend have the advantage of knowing their enemy, where as liberals have disarmed themselves.

    • “. . .your argument would have more force if d’Souza’s books were not full of ridiculous assertions and false correlations.”

      Sounds just like Climate Science to me.

    • Back in my school days I remember the profs who were happy to condemn the US for supporting evil dictators were usually just as happy to deny the genocides commited by the Soviet Union and Communist China, and would also tell you that the Khmer Rouge were freedom fighters.

      These were the same ones who would always welcome the correct ideology in their student’s papers and penalize the “incorrect’ lines of thought, facts be damned.

      I see this same proffessional disorder just about every time I read the proclamations of the alarmists. Ideology > data .

  9. The skeptics need consistency on this issue. Apparently it is OK when Monckton threatens to sue Abraham when he accuses Monckton of a fraudulent presentation, but not when Mann sues Steyn. Monckton often threatens suit. Is he trying to suppress of freedom of speech? Thoughts?

    • More here. See the pattern. Fraud is a word often thrown at Monckton, and he clearly doesn’t like it. Perhaps he can sympathize with what Mann is doing.
      http://hot-topic.co.nz/recursive-fraudery-monckton-goes-mad-in-australia/

    • Consistency no.

      Take a look at the wild days of 2012 when Mann first started legal action.

      Titled: “Yay! Mike Mann took the bait, intends to file lawsuit against Steyn and NRO
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/23/yay-mike-mann-took-the-bait-intends-to-file-lawsuit-against-steyn-and-nro/

      Do you see any sign of concern about freedom of speech? No you don’t, quite the opposite.

      But now all the skeptics “act” like the lawsuit is some huge travesty against free speech that will bring down civilization as we know it.

      The sad thing is they must either have deluded themselves or they really think no-one sees through the act. The only reason they are harping on about free speech, and not saying “yay lawsuit!” like they were 2 years ago, is that they’ve realized they don’t have the evidence for their fraud accusations.

      Rather than admit that they were in the wrong they are instead trying to blame Mann. It’s like an abuser blaming the victim when they get caught.

    • “The skeptics need consistency on this issue. Apparently it is OK when Monckton threatens to sue Abraham when he accuses Monckton of a fraudulent presentation, but not when Mann sues Steyn. Monckton often threatens suit. Is he trying to suppress of freedom of speech? Thoughts?”

      It’s not about Monckton or Mann, it’s about what the State does.
      One could find it disgusting that a person uses the power of the State
      to punish a person for saying something.
      Analogous to a child going to Mommy or Daddy, and complaining about something awful some other child said to them. What is important is not that the child is whining to the parents, issue is what Mommy or Daddy does about it.
      But it’s only an analogy, as the State [at least in America] is not suppose to a Mommy or Daddy. And the degree that Americans want the State to be Mommy and Daddy, is the degree, America is a Nanny State.
      American are free to decide they want the State to be their mommy and daddy, but it’s disgusting, dangerous, irresponsible, and childish.
      The reason it is so deplorable is the State is not some smart wise nanny,
      rather the State is insane axe murderer which says it’s caring and kind.
      It’s one thing for the UK to a bit mad, but there global consequence when the Superpower has mentally checked out.

    • Jim D
      The truebelievers need consistency on this issue. Apparently it is OK when Mann sues Steyn, but not ok when Monckton threatens to sue Abraham.

      Yes, anyone who sues for libel is by definition trying to suppress free speech – which is of course the whole purpose of libel law. Which is why I would like to see it scrapped forthwith; let everyone say what they please, alleged untruths included (there being no true arbiter available, the very least of all the courts, being as they are politically controlled). With no libel law in place, people will take comments from whence they come, and not attach undue importance to them.

  10. Monkton is a fringe figure who most don’t take seriously. Those who threaten free speech used to equally fringe. The problem is they are gaining more and more power to enforce their views.

    • Why is Moncton still published on skeptic blogs such as WUWT?
      and there are others on various “skeptic” blogs that promote even fringier stuff.

      I agree to certain extent about attempts to limit free speech among the left ( I assume that is what you are talking about), though the assertion that they are gaining more power to enforce their views is just an assertion. conservatives have been pointing this out for at least 50 years, and I see no clear evidence that the situation is worse now than 20-30 years ago.

    • I think the growing issue here is the use of government power to magnify the power of individuals and corporations or NGO’s. There is the confluence of government and corporate power. There are a lot of things happening in the US that remind me of the late 19th century. Those excesses of corporate power were recognized and addressed by Teddy Roosevelt among others. In the 19th century government was MUCH less powerful. What has changed is the immense power of the NSA, the IRS, or the Justice department to silence or intimidate people. Nixon was impeached for this, but we are living in a more intensely partisan time than that.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Tony, you write “Why is Moncton still published on skeptic blogs such as WUWT?”

      Because there are many people, including myself, who enjoy reading what he writes. First, he has a wonderful way with the English language, so even if what he wrote was completely wrong, it would still be entertaining to read it. But most of what he writes is, IMHO, what needs to be written.

    • David Young,

      As I expected, your contention that Moncton is not taken seriously was almost immediately invalidated by the kind words of Jim Cripwell. God bless him.

    • Tony Dunan:

      I see no clear evidence that the situation is worse now than 20-30 years ago.

      I find it hard to believe that Larry King or Phil Donahue would have refused to engage with climate skeptics on their shows.

    • Steven Mosher

      Clear evidence?

      I sense a quibble ensuing when people give you examples.

      Lets see.
      Speech codes at universities.
      Dress codes at schools .
      Anti slaap laws.

    • k scott denison

      Tony Duncan (@tonydunc) | April 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      …conservatives have been pointing this out for at least 50 years, and I see no clear evidence that the situation is worse now than 20-30 years ago.
      ===========
      The IRS targeting of conservative groups comes to mind.

      IMO you aren’t looking very hard if you can’t find the changes.

    • k scott denison

      Oh, and Tony, please point us to the universities that 50 years ago had to have a specially endowed program in order to bring diverse ideas to their campuses. That a publicly funded university (Colorado) would need private donations to support a visiting conservative thinker speaks volumes.

    • –Why is Moncton still published on skeptic blogs such as WUWT?
      and there are others on various “skeptic” blogs that promote even fringier stuff.–
      I think WUWT would be happy to publish anything Mann wants WUWT
      to publish.

      There used to be a problem related to a limit of TV channels, and there was some merit, to idea of limitation of time and space devoted to “whatever”. This can not longer can argued as problem.

      So probably the reason WUWT is so successful, is Mr Watt wants a free and open discussion. People like this. Some people don’t.
      But anyone can start a blog- so there is no problem.

  11. In the US, speech is not entirely free. There are many laws restricting speech, including at least 15 categories.
    1. Defamation
    2. Obscenity
    3. Child Pornograhy
    4. Heckler’s Veto
    5. Commercial Speech
    6. Fighting Words
    7. Clear and Present Danger – Incitement
    8. Death Threats
    9. Hate Speech
    10. Copyright, e.g. speech owned by others
    11. False light
    12. Innuendo
    13. Infliction of Emotional Distress (Intentional or Negligent)
    14. Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions on Lawful Speech (or expressive conduct)
    15. Campaign contributions
    16. False statements not defamatory, e.g. lies, deceit, fraudulent statements

    • Roger, thanks for this input

    • Theo Goodwin

      Add a little perspective. The category of “Hate Speech” can be expanded as the passions of the moment require. Additionally, what counts as “Hate Speech” changes as the passions of the moment change. I recall vividly the first time I attended a lecture in which someone argued in great detail that describing someone as a ‘woman’ is an act of “Hate Speech.” That view has grown steadily in some circles. That lecture was forty years ago.

    • My pleasure, Dr. Curry.

    • The Supreme Court has held that virtual child pornography is absolutely protected by the First Amendment, but speech critical of incumbent politicians 90 days before an election is not.

      Progressives are quite acceptive of speech that undermines the conservative norms of this society, but are working hard to ban those that interfere with their acquisition of power.

    • From the Freedom of Speech entry at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

      The topic of free speech is one of the most contentious issues in liberal societies. If liberty of expression is not highly valued, as has often been the case, there is no problem: freedom of expression is simply curtailed in favor of other values. Free speech becomes a volatile issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial. The first thing to note in any sensible discussion of freedom of speech is that it will have to be limited. Every society places some limits on the exercise of speech because speech always takes place within a context of competing values. In this sense, Stanley Fish is correct when he says that there is no such thing as free speech (in the sense of unlimited speech). Free speech is simply a useful term to focus our attention on a particular form of human interaction and the phrase is not meant to suggest that speech should never be interfered with.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Gary M writes “The Supreme Court”

      I wish you would write “The US Supreme Court”. I don’t think the Canadian Supreme Court made the same sort of ruling.

    • “Progressives are quite acceptive of speech that undermines the conservative norms of this society…”
      _____
      That’s how a society evolves. 200 years ago neither blacks nor women could vote– that was the “conservative” norm of the time. Now we could have a black woman as President. Thank the undermining of “conservative” norms for that…

    • Jim Cripwell,

      My comment was a response to Roger Sowell’s, which began “In the US, speech is not entirely free,” and Mosher’s later comment about the first amendment to the US constitution. So I assumed readers would know I was referring to law in the US. But yes, my comment was in reference to a decision by the United States Supreme Court.

    • “In the US, speech is not entirely free. ”
      The US would a better country without these 16 categories which make the US less free.
      But if we want to limit free speech, we do grave injustice and harm if we do do ensure these things have a speedy trial.

    • “if we do do ensure these things have a speedy trial.”
      Should be:
      “if we do not ensure that these things have a speedy trial.”

    • R. Gates | April 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      “Progressives are quite acceptive of speech that undermines the conservative norms of this society…”
      _____
      That’s how a society evolves. 200 years ago neither blacks nor women could vote– that was the “conservative” norm of the time. Now we could have a black woman as President. Thank the undermining of “conservative” norms for that…

      – – – – – – –

      Except, one finds that it was the PROGRESSIVE PARTY of the time that repressed those individuals, and the ONLY party interested in true freedom that granted them ‘person-hood’ and the right to vote!

      DON’T try to re-write history in your favor.

      (In plain words, it was the DEMOCRATS who were KKK members, not the other way ’round. Note ALSO who gave LBJ the majority to pass his civil rights legislation.)

    • Jim,

      You are correct,

      R.Gates has been well programmed by his progressive teachers.

      Slavery involves one person being so superior to another, that he is entitled to own that other. This is a progressive viewpoint, not conservative at all.

      A couple of conservative values, right from the Bible (shudder), are “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “As you treat the least of your brothers, so you treat me.” (Not to mention progressives’ and liberaltarians’ favorite, the separation of church and state – “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s.”)

      I know it’s a shock to most here that these principles are not a result of the “Enlightenment,” a time in which western society began to catch up to Christianity. (A phenomenon primarily arising from the universities created by the Catholic Church.) But facts are stubborn things.

      Slavery, Jim Crow, and current progressive policies on education, “welfare” and taxation are all based on the belief that they are superior to, and thus entitled to run the lives of, their inferiors. Pure progressivism.

    • For more on Free Speech, scientists, and legal liability for speaking freely, see Part 1 of a 2-part series, link below.

      http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/climate-science-free-speech-and-legal.html

    • I’ve read it, thanks for reminding me, seems like i should read it again

    • jbmckim,

      I read it soon after it came out. I found it to be a very compelling argument for a foundation of modern conservative values.
      It was of unfortunately almost totally unscientific and had many ludicrous arguments and some very silly unsupported correlations.
      All in all it was a horrible work of scholarship that included some valuable and important ideas. Ideas, which, expressed by a rational logical author could be an important source for a powerful valuable conservative viewpoint.
      His arguments, when taken to their source often ended in “because the bible says so”, or a similar untenable place.
      His argument again Rock and Roll, had me literally laughing out loud.
      Again, there are valuable ideas in the book, but it is a piece of propaganda by any honest academic measure in my view.

    • jbmckim,

      Wow, I found an obvious reply button. It real his hard to reply on this site.

      The link you provided does address the one issue I brought up about rock and roll. It however makes a distinctly bizarre claim that he was led to this critique by somehow being unknowingly seduced by marxism. first the idea that you just just sweep his attack on rock and roll under the rug and the rest of the book is fine, is very suspect. 2nd that you can believe such an extreme explanation is the most likely one strain credulity.

      I think it makes MUCH more sense to assume that he was knowingly seduced by my other main critique, his uncritical acceptance of the bible as a viable authority in a scholarly work. Being as there is a horde of material showing strains of christianity opposed to rock and roll, this makes much more sense to me.

  12. Chip Bok had a good cartoon on this subfect at reason.com:

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/18/friday-funnies-modern-debate

  13. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    David Young says “[Chris] Monkton is a fringe figure who most don’t take seriously.”

    Stein, ditto.

    The Present  A handful of denialist “fringe figures” recurrently get in trouble for abusive and/or nonfactual and/or willfully ignorant and/or uncivil and/or libelous and/or slanderous speech … as a matter of repeated practice.

    The Future  The seas keep rising, the oceans keep heating, the polar ice keeps melting, CO2 keeps increasing, climate-change becomes ever more obvious, and public concern keeps growing, all without pause and without obvious limit, we are all seeing more-and-more plainly that James Hansen’s climate-change science, economics, and morality is basically correct.

    Conclusion  Free speech is in good health … but climate-change skepticism is increasingly feeble, denialism is utterly doomed, Mark Steyn is legal toast, and the “usual suspect” Chris Monckton/WUWT/Anthony Watts/Heartland/CEI essays are a global laughingstock.

    Thats obvious, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan,

      Out here in sunny, and thankfully not as bad a drought year as the one in the 1970’s, California it appears that one of our approaches to fighting global climate change isn’t working out as planned. Dr. Borenstein is requesting an evaluation of our efforts:

      http://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/its-time-to-refocus-californias-climate-strategy/

      “…Every California energy efficiency program needs rigorous evaluation of what worked and why, and what didn’t work and why not. And we need to study where else in the world the same sort of efficiency policies would (or wouldn’t) be effective. The greatest value from the state’s energy efficiency leadership is likely to be knowledge creation, not GHG reduction…..”

      I haven’t had a chance to look into what has gone wrong with our efforts (strategy) yet, by chance have you?

      I have been trying to figure out the hows, and whys of the proposed Residential Electric Rate Reform out here in CA; in case you’re interested in this kind of thing a summary of our proposed new approach is denoted here-

      http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/66CCE840-F464-42F5-8B6A-D9F0FC649F67/0/Integrated_ResidentialRateReform.pdf

  14. I’m a strong advocate of free speech, and I subscribe to that old cliché: “Fight bad speech with more speech.”

    So, in the case of Steve Hayward, I’m not too upset. He’s tough, smart and temporary.

    But ideal breaks down in any number of cases, when the process becomes the punishment.

    For example, the problem Steyn faces is the cost of fighting. When someone brings suit against you, the process becomes the punishment. Sure, Mann may lose his suit, and Steyn may win his countersuit. But once such matters are in the courts, all bets are off (witness the confusion of Judge Combs Greene).

    The purpose of Mann’s suit isn’t just to nail Steyn, it’s to chill speech, to make anyone who might criticize him think twice before doing so, and to self-censor.

    Or, take the on-going IRS debate. Regardless of your views, some folks feel they have been singled out by the IRS for treatment that, arguably, abridged their free speech. What is their recourse? Lengthy appeals, FOIA requests, depositions, etc. . . . and skyrocketing attorney’s fees. Again, the process is he punishment, and those sitting on the sidelines must weigh whether or not they wish bear the costs of expressing opinions similar to those who are being punished through process.

    On University campuses, the heckler’s veto is all too common, as is the all too predictable response of the administration: the hecklers and demonizers are accorded far more charity and consideration than the victims. Here, the “process” is a passive-aggressive administration mouthing platitudes. The message is clear: the administration has licensed unruly folks to disrupt, and one must wonder how far the hecklers will be allowed to go. That chills free speech.

    • BLOC,

      “On University campuses, the heckler’s veto is all too common, as is the all too predictable response of the administration: the hecklers and demonizers are accorded far more charity and consideration than the victims.”

      This is only true because almost all administrations are part of the same progressive movement as the hecklers. Those advocating the destruction of Israel have no problem getting honorary degrees and speaking invitations at major American universities. It is those who dissent from progressive dogma who are all too easily silenced.

  15. Should rabid-at-the-mouth “journalists” with no evidence be allowed to accuse professionals of fraud in printed media with no legal repercussions?

    Yes say the climate skeptics.

    Should Al Gore be allowed to discuss climate change in public with no legal repercussions?

    No say the climate skeptics.
    Al Gore Sued By 30,000 Scientists For Global Warming Fraud
    Written by Sarah C. Corriher

    Now, 30,000 scientists, including the founder of The Weather Channel, have come forward to sue Al Gore for fraud. Al Gore has made massive profits in the promotion of the global warming mythology, and he played a key role in getting the ‘Cap and Trade’ legislation passed. Perhaps this lawsuit will finally give the thousands of ‘dissenting’ scientists a voice again.
    <a href=http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/249-al-gore-sued-by-30000-scientists-for-global-warming-fraud.html

    Lawsuits FOR free speech!

    • Lolwot, you are on thin ice here. Gore has done a lot more than “say” things. He has made a lot of money from his advocacy. That’s a little different I would say. Gore is among the wealthy and powerful and should be held to a high standard. This fraud suit will not succeed I am guessing. The problem is that vast amounts of money magnifies Gore’s voice even though he has been dropped by the smarter alarmists because he is so obviously wrong about so many things. Gore is worse than even Monkton because at least Monkton has some knowledge of science and statistics. Gore is just a flawed scion of a powerful family, a worse than mediocre student in college, with a talent for self promotion and making money in shady deals trading on his influence.

    • The real problem here is not the false equivalency of lolwot, its the confluence of money, political power, and control over media. Despite the “fossil fuel industry” funded denial machine myth, the balance of both power and money rests with the green/climate machine.

    • “He has made a lot of money from his advocacy.”

      So has Steyn

      • Steyn is a paid political commentator, that is how he earns his $$. With regards to climate change, he is raising $$ for his legal defense by selling books, coffee mugs, etc. Steyn’s climate change skepticism is arguably costing him a lot of $$ in legal fees.

    • lolwot read it on the internet, and it confirms his bias, so it must be true.

      30,000 scientists suing Al Gore. Except that is not what Coleman said. Nor was it done.

      Take a 6 year old youtube video, lie about its contents, fabricate a law suit that was never filed, post it on a progressive blog, and presto! A conservative conspiracy ripe for the progressive sheep in the blogosphere..

      lolwot, I got this ocean front property in Arizona I can get you cheap….

    • The alarmists who honor Gore are a gift to the climate reality movement.

      That the man who says we must all immediately and significantly reduce our carbon footprint silmultaneously uses as much energy as 20 average Americans is a far better advertisement on how much the alarmists believe what they preach than just about anything.

    • GaryM: “Take a 6 year old youtube video, lie about its contents, fabricate a law suit that was never filed, post it on a progressive blog, and presto! A conservative conspiracy ripe for the progressive sheep in the blogosphere..

      lolwot, I got this ocean front property in Arizona I can get you cheap….”

      Wow you shot yourself in the foot there.

      The headline and lie was made up entirely by climate skeptics on right wing blogs. Eg:

      “30,000 scientists, including the founder of The Weather Channel, have come forward to sue former US Vice President Al Gore for fraud, alleging that he made massive profits in the promotion of the global warming mythology.”
      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3081633/posts

    • lolwot,

      Funny, you posted the link. The link was from a warmist blog in 2009. You made the claim here and now. And now you want to blame skeptics for misinforming you based on a post on some other blog in 2013?

      Oh, and try this one from desmogblog in 2009.

      http://www.desmogblog.com/john-coleman-still-waiting-lawsuit

      Maybe rather than Arizona beach front property, you would like a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge?

    • The link was from a health conspiracy theory website that was also pushing climate skepticism.

      Climate skeptics made up the headline and they’ve been circulating it for years.

      Here’s another one from June 2008, another conspiracy theory site (nice little alien head for it’s icon)
      http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/5162/Weather_Channel__amp__30_000_Scientists_sue_Al_Gore/

      And another ANOTHER conspiracy group pushing it, WakeUpCall4World! on Jul 2008:

      I count 9/11 conspiracy theories, denial of the theory of evolution, new world order rubbish…

      This headline was not made up by warmists, it was made up by climate skeptics at your loony fringe. It’s part of your own side’s propaganda. This is the type of “truthiness” and exageration your side manages to come up with and spread.

      The icing on the cake is your attempt to try and shift the blame to “warmists!”

    • yeah I see in the desmogblog article they link to that video.

      See the desmogblog did not make up that video title, the video title was made by the conspiracy nuts who put it up on youtube. desmogblog is debunking it, not publishing it.

  16. Walt Allensworth

    I am very hearted to read this Dr. Curry.

    I have long been saying that the quote “the science is settled” is equivalent to saying “shut up and sit down.”

    When our president says these words he is telling me that his opinion is the only important one, and what I think, and what millions and millions of Americans think that have not bought into the great con does not matter. It angers me to no end. This liberal totalitarianism and authoritarianism must stop. It is simply politics abusing science.

    There is one thing we’ve learned for sure, over the last 2,000 years, and that is the science is never “settled,” not any science.

    • Concerned Citizen

      +10, or at least we’ve learned that the science is never settled properly via a political process.

  17. I just spotted a relevant cartoon
    http://xkcd.com/1357/

    • relevent in that it shows the Steyn case has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Box 1 of the cartoon says the right to free speech means the government cannot arrest you for what you say. Steyn hasn’t been arrested.

    • Your understanding of what this post is about is faulty, lollie. But don’t let that stop you. Try playing the race card, again.

    • I like this one: http://xkcd.com/1356/

      If only someone would write a Kerbal for climate..

    • Steven Mosher

      Lolwot.
      Wait until the anti slaap appeal is over before you
      Opine about the relevance to free speech.

      The issue is misusing libel law to silence people.
      Tough question.

      There is a first ammendment issue. The courts will decide.
      Not you. Not me.

    • There is no apparent state action in Mann’s attempt to silence his critics. That is why Anti-SLAPP motions require that a statute have been enacted. You can’t bring such a claim under the first amendment against non-state actors. And boycotts etc. are also not generally state action.

      But there is a larger issue here is the coordination between progressives in government and their cadre in the “private” community. “Private” lawyers have long cooperated with government bureaucrats in pursing the progressive agenda, environmental law suits being one good example.

      Those who would resist the increasingly open totalitarianism of the left have to accept that the courts are not going to suffice to resist the movement. In the end, the only way to stop leviathan from gaining ever more power is elections, and a wilingness to vote against progressives who use slogans like “fairness” and “for the children” as cover for their actual intentions.

    • Great cartoon. Right on target. The only distinction is that Free Speech does not cover libel and slander, so not only do I not have to listen to your BS, if you commit libel or slander, I will take you to court. So talk and write and spew your BS to your little hearts content…

    • lolwat, why do you think Mann is suing Styne in Washington DC, as opposed to his native state?

  18. I cannot see, how scientific truth can ever be on winning side, when freedom of speech gets restricted.

    • Drapetomania was a mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity.

      It was scientifically demonstrated that possession of a uterus meant that women were subject to hysteria and unsuited to a life outside of maternity and child rearing.

      Eugenics is the scientific belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population by sterilization or euthanasia.

      It was scientific to remove ‘vestigial organs’ from people.

  19. Micheal Mann tweets: “Is #AnthonyWatts really the best front man the #KochBrothers can buy?”

    Anthony Watts responds: “I’m dealing with Dr. Mann’s libel separately, but for the record I’ve never gotten a dime from the Koch brothers, or “big oil”, nor am I a “denier for hire”, and Dr. Mann knows this because he backed down from a similar claim in the past when challenged on it. Now, knowing that, he’s demonstrated malice, fulfilling one of the tests for libel.”

    Commenter vigilantfish writes: “If there’s a lawsuit coming I’ll be absolutely delighted to funnel some government funding (via my salary) into your cause. I can’t believe that the oil-funding trope has survived this long…”

    Anthony Watts responds: “I have to give Dr. Mann due process first, but if it comes to that, its nice to know WUWT readers will help.”

    Interesting no? I thought by skeptilogic Mann has the freedom of speech to accuse Watts of being under the pay of big oil? So why are vigilantfish and Watts even discussing a move to chill free speech?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/14/the-other-divergence-problem-climate-communications/

    • Interesting. Seems like Mann’s statement about Watts should be easily verified or refuted, unlike the fuzzier fraud accusations.

      Ironically, the climate scientist that Koch Bros probably provide the most support to is Richard Muller

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      curryja opines [wrongly] “Seems like Mann’s statement about Watts’ [WUWT-donors] should be easily verified or refuted.”

      The Koch brothers do not disclose the organizations to which they give … those organizations do not disclose the sources from which they receive … and the relations among these various donors and organizations are inter-locking and multi-layered.

      Consequence  Denial-sphere funding in general, and its Big Carbon elements in particular, is utterly opaque (by careful design and deliberate intent).

      What relations thereby are concealed, the world wonders … and ponders?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Wait, has A. Watts never taken payments at all from Heartland? If so, then since the Koch boys have financed Heartland, then at least indirectly A. Watts has taken money from the Koch boys.

      • My understanding is that Watts received a small amount of funding from a particular Heartland donor (not Koch) to make some data publicly available.

    • And lolwot, fan and R.Gates chime in with the propagandistic talking points of the month.

      It is sheep like this that make the progressive movement so insidious.

      They join in the private progressive efforts to silence conservative/libertarian speech with such aplomb. All while being completely oblivious of the real intent of those leading the charge.

      Now if you drones can just find a way to combine the memes of anti-Kochism and the fictional war on women….

      Anybody in the market for some nicely pressed brown shirts?

    • barty, barty

      You really need to learn how to READ. The accusation isn’t that Watt’s may have taken a few bucks indirectly from Koch through Heartland. The accusation is that he is the Koch Bros bought frontman. I recall reading that the modest funding given to Heartland by the Koch Bros was earmarked and not for climate related issues. But you are free to shoot your mouth off irresponsibly, if you continue to feel comfortable making a fool of yourself.

    • What I find illustrative about the WUWT post is the graph of Alexa stats. The propagandist, pseudo-scientific site Skeptical Science gets more than twice the attention from progressive drones that RealClimate does. Tells you a lot about their mindset.

      • As far as I can tell, SkS is the most widely read ‘support the consensus’ climate blog. Last time I checked, the blog stats for SkS were very comparable to CE. WUWT leaves everyone else in the dust, and there are a number of other skeptical blogs that get higher number of hits than SkS. Real Climate used to be a leader, but infrequent posts and damaging their brand has I think contributed to RC’s decline in popularity.

    • Judith said:

      “My understanding is that Watts received a small amount of funding from a particular Heartland donor (not Koch) to make some data publicly available.”
      _______
      Overall, I’ve never made (or particularly cared about) a close connection between the Koch boys and A. Watts. He may have a popular blog, but he won’t make a big splash with policymakers. The Koch boys are really more interested in using their money in places that will advance their economic interests far more than A. Watts could do.

    • lolwot | April 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm |

      Pfft. Whether or not any one person would be the best frontman money could buy, why would anyone pay for the milk when so many cows give it away for free?

      Sure, in the old days a few celebrity pseudoscientists could be bought by Big Tobacco in some crude quid pro quo, but as much a detractor of WUWT as I am, I don’t see such a crude relationship between its pseudoscientists and public relations departments of private industry.

      So while the jibe may make Mann feel better about himself in some small way, it’s not really like there’s any more point to listening to that nonsense than there is to listening to claims that scientists fake their science to get government grants. And it is a fine hypocrisy for someone in Mann’s position.

      The best defense of Freedom of Speech is to hear the foot-shooting self-administered stuff that comes out of the mouths of .. well, all of us, eventually. Without free speech, we’ll all have much less to laugh at.. or be laughed at for.

    • “curryja | April 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm |

      Real Climate used to be a leader, but infrequent posts and damaging their brand has I think contributed to RC’s decline in popularity.”

      I think the editing or removal of BTL posts makes it become a echo chamber and so people who disagree with a post have learned not to both responding.

    • Why is WUWT popular?

      Ask: why are tabloids popular,
      Why are conspiracy sites popular

      Combine the two…

    • nottawa rafter

      lol wot
      The obsession with the Koch brothers et al. puts any tiny evidence of conspiracists on Watts’ site to shame. Looks like a case of pure projection to me. Your ilk see the Bros in every nook and cranny. Oooohhhh my. Have you checked your closet?

    • And unlike the Koch brothers, the state actually *is* in every nook and cranny (the cranny state?). And outspending everyone else in climate science put together by three or more orders of magnitude, making sure its science prostitutes do what they’re paid to do.

    • “Real Climate used to be a leader, but infrequent posts and damaging their brand has I think contributed to RC’s decline in popularity.” – JC

      Yes, it’s a popularity contest!

      And yes, to keep the eyeballs engaged, you ned to post regularly, even when you really have nothing to say.

      And advocacy demands eyeballs.

    • Michael, if you need to quote someone then at least be good enough to consider the context of the original quote, instead of gratuitously applying your own spin to it.

    • phattie,

      What?

    • Michael, the original comment was specifically and explicitly about the popularity of the blog – regardless of its other attributes or lack of.

    • and?

    • And so what was the point of your comment?

    • as you said, it ws about popularity – i addressed that topic.

      You mentioned ‘context’, which i found somewht obscure, so ideed, ‘what’s your point’??

    • You seemed to be implying that these blogs shouldn’t be judged by their popularity.
      Well, I happen to agree that they probably shouldn’t be, but that’s not what the original comment was about.

    • I agree with Doc. RC has become an echo chamber. They have gotten a lot more civil largely because the trolls seem to have gone away. Don’t know if that’s a change in moderation policy or whether the lack of skeptics made RC boring for trolls. In any case, RC used to be very bad about allowing all kinds of belittling comments and even name calling.

    • @ Tuppence | April 20, 2014 at 6:48 am |
      “And unlike the Koch brothers, the state actually *is* in every nook and cranny (the cranny state?). ”
      *****
      Yup, after Obamacare in the US, the Fed IS in EVERYONE’s nook and cranny!!!

  20. Letter from FIRE to Colorado State University – Pueblo President Lesley A. Di Mare [in part] …

    FIRE is deeply concerned by the threat to freedom of expression at Colorado State University – Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo) in light of the university’s deactivation of professor Tim McGettigan’s email account after he sent an email to students and faculty criticizing the university system’s leadership. By declaring McGettigan’s email a violation of university policy and labeling him a threat to campus security, CSU-Pueblo has gravely violated his rights and deeply chilled expression.

    http://www.thefire.org/letter-from-fire-to-colorado-state-university-pueblo-president-lesley-a-di-mare/

    More at Popehat …

    My God! Columbine? Virginia Tech? Arapahoe High School? What happened? Did somebody send a death threat? Did an angry student bring a gun to school? Were there rumors of a massacre?

    No. A professor criticized staffing cuts and rhetorically compared them to historical abuses of power.

    http://www.popehat.com/2014/01/21/colorado-state-university-pueblo-vigilant-against-metaphor-allusion-unpleasant-historical-references/#more-21448

  21. The problem of free speech is very acute , especially for a French, as free speech is not at all cultural in our law system, yet we don’t respect the law hopefully.

    Just see on another subject (my hobby, ignore it, or you will treat me like some treat climate lukewarmers or skeptics)

    “do not touch my science! – 01/02/2013 by Luc Allemand

    If one day someone lists all the evils of the Internet, we must not forget that mentioned AUTHOR in BOOK “Without this new medium, it is likely that SUBJECT would have gone for many years. “And it would have been a good thing! Those who have never heard of that SUBJECT can rest assured that they have missed anything. The phenomenon took the honors media in YEAR. …”
    and believe me this is the biggest error of academic science since long, much worse than AGW… maybe like having delayed germ theory with Semmelweis and his predecessors, until a chemist named Pasteur manipulated the media to make truth be accepted by media over the academics.

    NB: my furor against academic system is based on Thomas Kuhn and nassim Taleb vision of science, not a lone battle. Climategate is just one more evidence.

    http://www.larecherche.fr/idees/touche-pas-a-ma-science/fusion-tous-ses-etats-jean-paul-biberian-01-02-2013-97548

  22. Thanks, Mark Steyn, for the courage to speak out.

    National Security became the world’s Puppetmaster after WWII. See Steven Goddard’s discussion of Climategate and “What should we be striving for now?”

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/a-different-view-of-extreme-weather-from-1975/

  23. Political Junkie

    An other difference between Steyn and Gore:

    With Steyn, you just stop reading or listening to him – problem solved. Not so with Gore.

    It would appear that Gore (through his investments) made a great deal of money by knowing when to buy into “environmental” companies about to receive government funding and knowing when to bail out before many of them went bankrupt.

    Was he just a shrewd and spectacularly lucky or did he trade on insider knowledge and/or have an influence on the government? I don’t know, but he does appear to be a hell of a lot richer than Steyn.

    Did taxpayers get screwed? (On second thought, that’s obvious. I guess I should have said ‘Did Gore play a role in screwing the taxpayers from which he benefitted personally?’)

  24. “shocked by the totalitarianism” of a movement, progressivism, the central tenet of which is the acquisition of power?

    Universities are becoming the madrassas of the progressive movement. And university students are turning themselves into the American version of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Occupy Wall Street with its thuggish and often criminal behavior, was just the first manifestation of the phenomenon. They were the drop outs and losers of the youth cadre.

    The campuses are increasingly becoming free speech free zones, as students mimic the totalitarian philosophy they are taking from their “teachers” without the slightest hint of critical analysis.

    As progressives gain more power, they are becoming less and less concerned about showing their true mind set. Like Jack Nichoison in the climactic scene in a Few Good Men, they think they no longer need to worry about those stupid voters who can’t handle the truth. Obamacare, decarbonization, virtually complete control of the education system and the mainstream media, progressivism is on the march, and they are starting to do what progressives always do when they gain power – show their true colors.

    Even a relatively squishy conservative like Charles Krauthammer is being forced to admit what is going increasingly becoming the norm.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/375131/krauthammers-take-lefts-discourse-toward-mozilla-ceo-totalitarian-nro-staff.

  25. Political Junkie

    “An other” Geez! Should proofread my stuff!

  26. “Free Speech” is neither free nor are its impacts really speech. Free, suggests: without cost or consequences. Free speech in the above context really means: without serious consequences; i.e. jail time, prosecution, excessive bail, etc. There are always consequences to free speech whether related to job security, domestic tranquility, or the pursuit there of.

    Walking the streets with a sign: “The End is Nigh”, a religious rant, most people will ignore you, and rightly so since the earth hasn’t ended when the sign carriers have all passed away.

    It should have been the same when the CO2 alarmists carried banners: The End is Nigh. They too should have been ignored for the Earth has not stopped rotating, nor the heavens flooded the lands, nor the seas risen and cast the modern day Noah adrift. Rather, the climate alarmists campaign caught the imagination of a segment of our population as being likely. That segment of the population has money and clout so their free speech gets broadcast to all points of our world. That influential segment of the population are able to attract converts from academia in search of the next Nobel Prize.

    To understand Free speech entails detailing its consequences. Is the person who is speaking willing to own the consequences of spouting off at the mouth? Here I find a demarkation between those who are accountable for their free speech and those who are not. Climate alarmists appear to me to be those who wish to spout off at the mouth and are unwilling to be accountable for what they say, and in some cases, what they do. It shows up the most, when there is an error, a mistake, a particular piece of evidence that makes your stance quite untenable, requiring you to change.

    That’s it! We can identify Free Speech if the speaker is someone accountable for their own free speech, particularly if they own up to their own errors, AND make changes in what they say.

    The person carrying the sign on the sidewalk: “The End is Nigh”; what do they say and do when the prediction is wrong, a date certain for the end for all eternity has come and gone? The warmist carrying the sign: “The End Is Nigh”; what do they say and do when their calculations/predictions for an end for all eternity comes and goes? Do they say: our models are wrong we have to go back and redo everything? or, natural variability is something we always said would be in play and: “The End Is Nigh”.

    Claiming Free Speech is for charlatans who otherwise are not accountable for what they say or do.

    I prefer those who: “Walk the Talk”.

  27. Will J. Richardson

    “Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of every thing; and in no instance is this more true than in that of the press. It has accordingly been decided, by the practice of the states, that it is better to leave a few of its noxious branches to their luxuriant growth, than, by pruning them away, to injure the vigor of those yielding the proper fruits. And can the wisdom of this policy be doubted by any one who reflects that to the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression?”
    — James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions, House of Representatives: Report of the Committee to whom were referred the Communications of the various States, relative to the Resolutions of the Last General Assembly of the State, concerning the Alien and Sedition Laws p. 571, (1/20/1800)

  28. Pingback: Climate Change: “Shut up!” is not very convincing science | Dr. Rich Swier

  29. From the article:
    “During the spring of 1933, Nazi student organizations, professors, and librarians made up long lists of books they thought should not be read by Germans. Then, on the night of May 10, 1933, Nazis raided libraries and bookstores across Germany. They marched by torchlight in nighttime parades, sang chants, and threw books into huge bonfires. On that night more than 25,000 books were burned. Some were works of Jewish writers, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Most of the books were by non-Jewish writers, including such famous Americans as Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, and Sinclair Lewis, whose ideas the Nazis viewed as different from their own and therefore not to be read.

    The Nazi censors also burned the books of Helen Keller, who had overcome her deafness and blindness to become a respected writer; told of the book burnings, she responded: “Tyranny cannot defeat the power of ideas.” Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States protested the book burnings, a clear violation of freedom of speech, in public rallies in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and St. Louis.

    Schools also played an important role in spreading Nazi ideas. While some books were removed from classrooms by censors, other textbooks, newly written, were brought in to teach students blind obedience to the party, love for Hitler, and antisemitism. After-school meetings of the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls trained children to be faithful to the Nazi party. In school and out, young people celebrated such occasions as Adolf Hitler’s birthday and the anniversary of his taking power. ”

    http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007677

  30. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    Were I still a warmist…my opinion has changed in the last 5 or 6 years…I’d still despise Michael Mann and his contemptible and hypocritical attempts to silence his critics. I’d also still be appalled at newspapers and blogs which no longer allow skeptical comments and letters.

    That said, in a certain light some of what looks to be this growing impulse toward silencing skeptics can be seen as a positive… in that it’s strong evidence that the alarmists are on the defensive. The pause has hurt them, as has the growing body of work showing climate sensitivity is likely lower…perhaps much lower… than they’d have us believe. They’re running for their professional lives, and I expect… and predict… that attempts at censorship will continue to grow, at least in the short term.

    I just hope there’s no violence. I can easily see how some unbalanced individual might seize on the excuse of “saving the planet” to take a pot shot at someone.

    • pokerguy, you should amend your comment to read ‘I hope there’s no more violence.’ In addition to the tragedy at Discovery offices some years back, an Argentinian couple killed their child, then themselves, in despair about the coming climate cataclysm. On a lesser scale, protests are turning violent in England as companies try to extract unorthodox oil and gas, as chronicled today at Bishop Hill.

      There’s a reason that inciting to riot is a crime and not covered as free speech.

  31. Mark Steyn has a new post that references this CE post
    http://www.steynonline.com/6279/medieval-moralists

  32. Doug Badgero

    The late Charlton Heston warned us about this 15 years ago in a speech before the Harvard Law School Forum.

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/charltonhestonculturalwar.htm

    • Doug Badgero

      One of my favorite quote from that speech:

      “You are the best and the brightest. You, here in this fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River. You are the cream. But I submit that you and your counterparts across the land are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that and abide it, you are, by your grandfathers’ standards, cowards.”

  33. Craig Loehle

    There is always a tendency to believe that those speaking falsely, absurdly, against one’s cherished beliefs, do so with evil intent. When it concerns religious issues, there is at least a counter-admonition to love one’s enemies, to forgive the wicked. When it comes to climate change alarmism (and other PC issues) there is no such admonition. The evil ones must be silenced and/or jailed. When have we heard a single alarmist say they forgive the sceptics?

  34. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    “Big Carbon” Controls Public Discourse
    SIMPLY, EFFECTIVELY, ad even FAUX-LEGALLY
    BY QUENCHING PUBLIC DISCOURSE
    AND BUYING POLITICIANS

    North Carolina Scuttles Earlier Settlement With Duke Energy Over Mounting Public Outrage
    Crooks and Liars

    A proposed settlement would have allowed Duke Energy to resolve environmental violations by paying a $99,000 fine with no requirement that the $50 billion company clean up its pollution.

    Duke’s lobbyists prodded Republican legislators to tuck a 330-word provision in a regulatory reform bill running nearly 60 single-spaced pages.

    Though the bill never once mentions coal ash, the change allowed Duke to avoid any costly cleanup of contaminated groundwater leaching from its unlined dumps toward rivers, lakes and the drinking wells of nearby homeowners.

    Passed overwhelmingly by the GOP-controlled legislature, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke for 28 years.

    “For decades, Democrats have stifled small businesses and job creators with undue bureaucratic burden and red tape,” McCrory said at the time. “This common-sense legislation cuts government red tape, axes overly burdensome regulations, and puts job creation first here in North Carolina.”

    Duke operates 14 facilities in North Carolina with leaky unlined coal ash dumps, all of which have been cited for polluting groundwater. Duke was also cited this week for illegally pumping 61 million gallons of contaminated water from two coal ash dumps into a canal leading to the Cape Fear River.

    Records show that Duke Energy and its employees have provided more than $1.1 million to McCrory’s campaign and GOP groups that supported his candidacy.

    —–

    Duke Energy Attempts To Block Citizens’ Groups In Coal Ash Case: ‘Instead of cleaning up, what they’ve done is lawyer up’

    Duke Energy is attempting to block citizens’ groups from taking part in regulatory action against the company’s 14 polluting coal ash dumps across North Carolina.

    According to the Associated Press, Duke filed a motion on Monday to remove the citizens’ groups from the case, arguing that the groups ought to be “prohibited from expanding this enforcement action beyond the claims asserted and relief sought by” the state environmental agency.

    It’s no mystery how Big Carbon controls public discourse, eh Climate Etc readers? It’s as simple as 1,2,3:

    (1) Big Carbon corruptly astro-turfs as much faux-discourse as it needs; and then

    (2) Big Carbon quenches all the citizen-science that it can, and then

    (3) Big Carbon buys as many corrupt politicians as necessary to suborn the law.

    That’s where the REAL threat to open public discourse originates, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  35. What a self-serving load of garbage from Steyn; he’s not facing a court date for being impolite, but for making false accusations of fraud.

    I doubt Steyn could give a hoot about ‘free speech’, but it’s a handy rhetorical tool to try to protect himself from the consequences of his own actions.
    They don’t want free speech, but freedom to cause harm to others without recourse.

    Screw that.

    • Mann can’t produce any harm to himself. Has he lost his job? No. Has his wife left him? No. So, where’s the harm?

    • +50 Michael

    • State the harm, lolwot.

    • Mann has become a rock star among the CAGWers. Where’s the harm to Mann, CAGWers?

    • The harm of falsely accusing a professional of fraud is obvious.

      Skeptics want to abolish libel laws. The harm is obvious.

    • Really, but it’s OK for Mann to call Dr. Curry “denier, anti-science, serial climate misinformer.” Thanks for clearing that up for us.

    • IIRC, Dr. Curry isn’t taking anyone to court.

    • What harm has come to Mann? He is more famous, held in more respect by many of his peers. Again, where’s the harm?

    • The harm to Mann is so obvious to lolwot, he can’t say what it is. But don’t worry, he has unmasked a skeptic conspiracy to repeal libel laws. So he’s got that going for him.

    • –What a self-serving load of garbage from Steyn; he’s not facing a court date for being impolite, but for making false accusations of fraud.—

      Many people who foolish enough to trust Mann were misled by Mann’s trick of hiding the decline.
      And many people unfamiliar with history of global climate were seriously misled than there was no significant global cooling during the period known as Little Ice Age.
      As many of these people were misled by a graph of Mann’s hockey stick- a flat global temperature for 1000 years which then steeply goes up which had the appearance which seem to prove.to that human activity had large effect upon global temperature.
      Which btw, is currently is not a view supported by IPPC.
      Instead what is asserted is that after 1950 the rising temperature were largely caused by human activity. Which is kind of funny, and arguably less fraudulent.

    • reputational harm.

      duh.

    • With whom was Mann’s reputation harmed? CAGWers defend his every mistake and fraud. Skeptics and lukewarmers were never taken in by him. And pretty much everyone else never heard of him. His fraudulent hockey stick was widely known, and is now widely known to be fraudulent. But who outside the debate has ever heard of the inverter of proxy graphs?

    • “And pretty much everyone else never heard of him”

      But Jim2 said he was “more famous”

      And others have claimed he’s a public figure.

    • “In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, Michael Mann presents his conviction that climate change is real and potentially deadly, and defends his now famous “Hockey Stick Graph.” A truly readable book on a topic that will remain evergreen.
      (James Lovelock, author of A New Look at Life on Earth and The Revenge of Gaia )”

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Hockey-Stick-Climate-Wars/dp/023115254X

    • “The professor operates active Twitter and Facebook accounts. In several weeks, he’ll take part in an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. For him, it’s about engaging with the community.

      “For me to be able to get my message out there without a middle man works, and so I enjoy it, and I’m very engaged in that,” he said. “Getting young people involved is critical. The solution is getting younger people engaged.”

      He did that Thursday in front of 54 people, some of which were undergraduate and graduate students studying astronomy and astrophysics. Still, they gathered en masse to listen to Mann, a professor of meteorology, speak. Some students stayed after for a closer experience with the now-famous Penn State scientist.”

      http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/01/michael_mann_the_penn_state_pr.html

    • Jim2,

      Anyone who reads The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars ought to read The Hockey Stick Illusion for comparison and vice versa. HSCW does a very poor job of addressing the claims made by HSI, which is particularly damning when you consider that HSI was published two years earlier than HSCW.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Hockey-Stick-Illusion-Montford-ebook/dp/B005A54KEM/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

  36. School teachers have proven to me that they would like nothing more than the opportunity to vote amongst themselves about whether what you write and say should be heard.

    • Judy you can visit any campus in the USA and UK and find one thing in common to all; the administration buildings have the best office furniture and best computers.

    • It brings up that the UK TV/radio media don’t have the conservative equivalents of those in the USA. This is because the UK right is somewhat weak on principles (see Conservatives), and they don’t have the cult-of-personality leaders that the US conservatives thrive on. Farage (UKIP) is getting there on anti-Europe sentiment, but he needs stronger media outlets. In the meantime, they seem to have the Mail and Telegraph willing to publish their stuff.

    • He is correct, but groupthink is an inevitable part of the human experience. To join a group, to be social, to be part of a tribe, group, clan, organization, IPCC, NIPCC, military unit, etc. is to take part in one degree or another in groupthink. A shared memeplex. A groupmind doing groupthink. Those who reject groupthink (true rugged individualists and creative types) tend to be somewhat lonely, or at least loners, however free their mind might be. See:

      http://austindetails.me/2014/03/12/loneliness-of-creativity/

    • JimD

      Farage and Ukip are not anti Europe. They are anti Eu and its absurdities, its one size fits all policies, bureaucracy and the loss of sovereignity by the UK. Its a totally different thing.

      Many years ago I personally voted for what I was told was to be a free trade organisation but has metamorphosed into something completely different.
      tonyb

  37. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    The “free speech” concept is not the same if we talk: about gender orientation, about religions or about political views; than if we talk about something related to science.
    Steyn if you want to talk about science, YOU MUST KNOW about science. Otherwise, you are only adding noise to, for example, the climate change debate.

    • YES!

      We should have a . . . what . . . a “Truth About CAGW Panel!” It should be charged with deciding which opinions are and are not acceptable! Those who attempt to publish unacceptable opinions, or whose credentials aren’t sufficiently scientific, would be prohibited from expressing themselves!

      I nominate Al Gore to chair it!

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      Bloc, no need for being ironic. If you were a scientist, or at least a person that thinks before writting, you would have searched my other recent comments in this same blog.

    • k scott denison

      Antonio, your thoughts are, well, just plain wrong. The interesting thing about freedom of speech is that it is up to the listener to determine what is, and is not, accurate.

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      k, my point is that for debating about science: you must know about science. (I am not talking about an isolated listener).
      Example: imagine that you belong to the NASA stuff in early ’60 and that you must debate to decide whether (A) going to the moon in one jump, (B) by doing a rendezvous in Earth or (C) by doing that rendezvous in the moon.
      This is a multi-disciplinary discussion: safety of astronauts, rocket powers, budget available, mass required for different stages, …
      At the end we all know that the (C) option was the successful because Saturn C-4 rockets could become Saturn C-5 and because mass of lunar module were 14 tones instead of the initial 9 tones.
      My point, k, in this example, is that in order to participate in this debate, no matter what discipline you were in charge of: you should know about, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolkovsky_rocket_equation ; because without this knowledge your opinions mean nothing.

    • k scott denison

      Well, guess we’ll agree to disagree then Antonio. Requiring participants meet requirements to participate is, well, dumb IMO.

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      k, in the climate change scientific debate, people who want to debate must know (at least):
      – Has the value of climate sensitivity been scientifically deduced? (My answer is: no. Climate sensitivity value set by IPCC is science fiction).
      – What are the appropriate timescales in dealing with climate change? (IPCC uses many timescales: decadal to centenial. But the appropriate timescales are around or more than 1000 years. These 1000 years need to be carefully used as in my pdf: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k ).
      Regards,
      Antonio

    • Antonio (AKA “Un físico”)

      “Bloc, no need for being ironic. If you were a scientist, or at least a person that thinks before writting, you would have searched my other recent comments in this same blog.”

      ========

      Hmmmm . . . I was trying to be satiric, not ironic.

      In any event, I seem not to have been clear, so I’ll try again.

      Who is to determine which people are, and are not, permitted to express their opinion, and what sort of test would the “determiners” administer to ensure that aspiring “commenters” were properly knowledgeable?

      Then . . . who would determine whether or not the “determiners” were dispassionately objective (who would police the police?), and what sort of appeals process would obtain?

  38. anonymous coward

    We need a day each year to celebrate free speech. How about April fool’s day which seems to be losing relevance. The idea would be that on this day we should all strive to test the boundaries of free speech in some way. There are many things I wish I could say but can’t.

    For example the Saudi students at my university – I worry about their wives. At the end of year 1 they all go home and come back with their arranged brides. None of these young women speak English. They are not permitted to leave the home or be seen or speak to anyone else. They are completely isolated and alone – seeing nobody at all except for their brand new husband – a young man who is a complete stranger and who has been raised to believe he has the right to completely control his wife.

    And judging from the number of times that these same young men seem to want to use having problems with their new wives as excuses for handing in shoddy late work, doing poorly in tests, and cheating in assignments, there are a lot of problems going on behind those closed doors. The situation makes my skin crawl. But political correctness being what it is in Universities these days I dare not say anything about it except as an anonymous coward on somebody else’s blog.

    • Indeed marriage is a horrible institution of slavery

    • True there is not much breaking through the barrier of political correctness except for a few women mostly blondes who have more cajones than most men and couldn’t get the women’s vote even if they were running for VP.

  39. Dr. Curry,

    This post is just as fraudulent as your 2010 paper with Liu, which finds warming in the Southern Ocean even though OIv2 SSTs in that region clearly show cooling:

    “Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice,” Jiping Liu and Judith A. Curry, PNAS 2010
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/09/1003336107.abstract

    As I’ve pointed out to you in the past, OIv2 SST data clearly shows cooling:

    What part of your data did you make up to reach the conclusion you did?

    • Stand back!

      Wait for it!

      Here come the lolowts, fans and R. Gateses to vilify this scurrilous, unsubstantiated charge of fraud.

    • So, are you trying to get attention of Mann and SkS acolytes by using the ‘f’ word? Or the lawyers?

    • What lawyers?
      It’s freedom of speech.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mr. Appell is (by satire) showing plainly that ignorantly abusive discourse places its practitioners (Steyn/Monckton/Eschenbach/Heartland/CEI/WUWT, etc) outside the polity that sustains democratic communities.

      Conclusion  The Steyn lawsuit is irrelevant, because the abusively ignorant discourse of Steyn/Monckton/Eschenbach/Heartland/CEI/WUWT (etc) already has placed them beyond the pale.

      That’s common sense, eh Climate Etc readers?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • And on cue the progressive drones show up and defend the allegations of fraud by a pompous, bloviating fellow traveller.

      Pavlov’s got nothin’ on today’s progressive movement.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David Appell, in the event that the intent of your recent posts is *NOT* satirical, then please let me be the first to *CONDEMN OUTRIGHT* your wholly unwarranted accusations in regard to Judith Curry’s scientific integrity.

      These accusations are (as it seems to me) comparably unjustified, and comparably toxic, to the accusations that routinely are promulgated by Steyn/Monckton/Eschenbach/Heartland/CEI/WUWT (etc).

      Such accusations are putrid.

      Judith Curry, although we may disagree on matters of science and policy, please let me say that I (and many) have the utmost respect for your personal integrity and sustained commitment to public discourse that is open, rational, and respectful.

      Thank you, Judith Curry.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • “It’s freedom of speech.”

      “The Steyn lawsuit is irrelevant.”

      “The Lies of Judith Curry.”

      The courage of these defenders of free speech reminds me of the “peace activists” who go to the middle east and stand in front of Israeli tanks, knowing full well they are too civilized to shoot them. But who cower in fear at saying a negative word against Islamist terrorists.

      What profiles in courage you all are.

      This thread is a perfect example of the difference between conservatives/libertarians fighting for free speech for everyone, and progressives.hell bent on silencing those who disagree.

    • Fan: It is very easy to download the data for yourself, and calculate its slope. I’ve given the link to the data here, and the results of my own calculation, which agree with Bob Tisdale:

      http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-lies-of-judith-curry.html

      This calculation is trivial. When I informed Curry of it, her only response was that, huh, Bob Tisdale is usually right.

      I don’t see any other conclusion.

      Do the calculation for yourself, if you know how.

    • JC PNAS paper
      “the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century.”

      Some Guy in his mothers basement
      “Pick the region from 60 South to 90 South. I did this myself, with the time series starting in 1/3/1990 and ending in 1/29/14,”

      No call me Dr. Picky, but isn’t the second half of the 20th century a period of Jan 1st 1951 to Dec 31th 2000?

    • Tisdale did the calculation from 1982 onward here, and clearly finds a negative trend:

    • Curry’s paper was published in 2010, yet she restricted her data to the period 1950-1999:

      Why? She skipped an entire decade of cooling. On what scientific grounds was that justified? None that I can see. Leaving out a decade’s worth of data calls her motivation, and result, into question.

    • Listen to these words of wisdom you human graviety well, do a plot from 1951 to the end of 2000, calculate the slope.

      If it is positive, apologize and google for a shrink to deal with your mommy issues.

    • The little apple has increased traffic to his obscure little website by probably 10 times the usual 3 or 4 folks who stumble across on a busy day. Rather pathetic attention seeking stunt.

    • Don: Yours is a pathetic excuse for outright fraud.

    • The PNAS paper did show a warming trend (as per observations) which were in reality to short to capture dynamics in the SO.These were consistent with the observed increase(and poleward) in westerly wind which by its very geometry injects wind stress into the ACC.

      Since the mid 21st century ,we have a decrease in SO winds,increased O3 which are extending into the SO in the pacific basin) reducing SW forcing .

      In addition in the 21st century we see an increase in the lag rate of CO2 atmospheric emissions (Mauna Loa vs mid latitude and SP) which suggest changes in interhemispheric transport with concomitant increase efficency in the SO sink.

      Thanks for highlighting that and as Voltaire noted (Candide)

      Pangloss used now and then to say to Candide: “There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had {many apparently unrelated and accidental events not happened} you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts.”

      “Excellently observed,” answered Candide; “but let us cultivate our garden.

    • Do the plot from 1950-1999, and calculate its slope.

      Let’s see your results.

    • John Carpenter

      DA,

      You have a real predicament here. Somehow PNAS, a respected peer reviewed journal, missed this. How could such a respected peer reviewed journal miss something so blatantly obvious. Do you think PNAS is in on this lie as well? Do you think the reviewers were simply inept at their task and just glossed over the data or do you think they were in on the scheme too? In mean, if we cant trust the peer reviewed literature for accurate scientific results… then who can we trust? This problem appears to go deeper than just Curry… I smell a pulitzer in there somewhere. Get to it!

    • Jon: Good questions. But PNAS doesn’t have the usual peer review system — it’s most important factor is that a paper be sponsored by a NAS member.

      This NAS member seemed obviously very eager to push this Liu and Curry paper, despite its obvious disagreement with the Reynolds OIv2 SST data.

      Why did they push it? I don’t know yet.

    • John Carpenter

      “This NAS member seemed obviously very eager to push this Liu and Curry paper, despite its obvious disagreement with the Reynolds OIv2 SST data.

      DA, how do you know this? Seems completely speculative.

    • John C: You need to learn more about PNAS policies.

    • John Carpenter

      DA, to be clearer… how do you know the NAS sponsor was obviously very eager to push this paper? Also, what dataset are you using to compare? The one in your link is for 1990 to 2014. Curry reports from 1951 to 2000… the second half of the last century. These are apples and oranges.

    • John Carpenter

      “You need to learn more about PNAS policies.”

      DA, that does not answer my question. You either know something about the sponsor being eager to push this paper or you don’t. Your response is more indicative of the latter.

    • Judith,

      Excellent. Thanks for posting this. Brandis needs support. The current government took their policy to the people at the last election and won government with a large majority. But all the Leftist special interest groups are howling about repeal of legislation that protects their right to deliver vitreol they pronounce as acceptable but to makes it illegal to hurt their feelings by saying something that criticises their beliefs and what they consider to be important.

    • Peter, for me it isn’t about Steyn’s particular case but about the treatment of a 13 year old girl who called a rich and much decorated Aussie Rules player a name which was not even racist.

      I had enormous admiration for Adam Goodes until he started talking straight out of the celebrity airhead textbook about his hurt feelings. He got made Australian of the Year for his trouble, and has since become quite the demagogue. Meanwhile, a 13 year old child was detained by police at the stadium till two hours after midnight for referring to a burly forward by a typical sporting pejorative.

      So maybe Adam Goodes is the smart one with his icky sensitivities…but he might have at least waited till someone hurled an actual racist epithet at him before taking on living martyrdom. (I live around aboriginal people in a rural community and know what a real racist epithet is – both ways!)

      I don’t like the girl’s comment to Goodes, racist or not, and I am one of the skeptics who think Steyn may – just may – have a technical case to answer. But more and more we are hearing of people being prosecuted for what was in their minds when they said and did certain things. The emphasis needs to go back on to what people actually said and did, not what motivation can be attributed by that great Herd of Independent Minds whose taste for interpretation and artistic license is notoriously stronger than their sense of justice.

    • Mosomoso,

      Thanks. Excellent comment. The desire of the art to control debate and allow only what they want to say and hear (e.g “denier” is just foe by them) is a genuine issue that need to be confronted and stopped. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right we should all do what we can to protect.

  40. So did Mann actually use the Tiljander proxy upsidedown? Or did he use is upsidedown and deny it mattered in any way?

    • The Tiljander data is known to be contaminated over the most recent decades included. That’s stated clearly in the original paper. Thus only the earlier part of the proxy series can be of any value. Mann used, however, that data set in a way where both the scale and the sign as well as the weight given for the data set where determined automatically by the method. That automatic procedure gave the data the wrong sign based on the influence of the contamination, and a very small weight. Thus the data had practically no influence on the outcome.

      This can be taken as a warning of using data available from data bases without consideration on the metadata, which would have told in this case that the data cannot be used in the way it was used.

      There’s a later paper, where the data was used in a more serious sense upside down. That’s a 2009 paper by Kaufman et al. Mann is not among the 11 named authors of that paper. In that paper the signs of the proxies were determined by the people, who did the analysis. In this case the error was significant enough to lead to publication of an erratum, but changes in the ultimate outcome were small and conclusions unaffected.

      The professor in whose group Tiljander made her thesis work was pretty mad about this repeated error in use of their data, when he was interviewed on the Finnish TV after the publication of the Kaufman et al paper.

    • I see not many CAGWers want to answer the question. Mann created the code that inverted the proxy. So whether this was intentional, sloppy, due to mathematical incompentence, or some other form of incompetence – it is bad science no matter how you slice it. And that doens’t even include the other problems like the hide-the-decline issue. It’s hard to see how THAT could be due only to sloppiness.

    • It is also deceptive, whether intentional or not, to splice the instrumental temperature record onto the proxy one. Many proxies are natural integrators, so the instrumental record will have more variance than the proxy record. There is so much wrong with the hockey stick chart I can’t see how any honest person could defend it.

    • Er, ‘Thus the data had practically to influence on the outcome’?
      ====================

    • Uh, ‘practically no influence’. Must I read all through Amac again? With pleasure.
      =======

    • jim2,

      The basic idea of the original method of Mann was that the relationship between the proxy and the temperature is not known, but will be determined by the correlations between various time series including the instrumental temperature measurements. The Tillander results agreed better, when they were upside down, because the contamination made the time series to be like that. It did, however, agree pretty badly even upside down. Therefore it got a very small weight and had very little influence on the results.

      The much discussed faults of his method were not related to this issue. Actually his code worked pretty well on this, because giving the small weight was a reasonable outcome.

    • Ah, but Pekka. The relationship between temp and Tiljander WAS known. It was specified by those who originated it. Sloppy work by Mann at best.

    • From the horses mouth:

      The Medieval Climate
      Anomaly (often termed the Medieval Warm Period) of AD 980–1250,
      which is characterized by highly organic sediment and a minor
      minerogenic flux during mild winters, started and terminated
      abruptly, but also included a short (30-year) colder period
      lasting between AD 1115 and AD 1145.

      ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/paleolimnology/europe/finland/korttajarvi2003.txt

    • jim2,
      The relationship was known with some accuracy, but using that knowledge was in contradiction with the methodology of that particular multi-proxy analysis.

    • Pekka Pirilä’s comments about Tiljander are not correct. First, he says:

      Mann used, however, that data set in a way where both the scale and the sign as well as the weight given for the data set where determined automatically by the method.

      This is true for Michael Mann’s EIV methodology. However, Mann used two methodologies in his 2008 paper, and this is not true for the other (CPS). Neither the sign nor weight is determined by the CPS methodology.

      That automatic procedure gave the data the wrong sign based on the influence of the contamination, and a very small weight. Thus the data had practically no influence on the outcome.

      This is only true if one believes “the outcome” must refer to a singular reconstruction that contains everything but the Tiljander series. In reality, a central claim of Mann’s 2008 paper held the reconstruction was robust to the removal of tree ring data.

      That claim is only true if you include the Tiljander series. If you do not include the Tiljander series, that claim is false. Not only does a no-dendro/no-tilj reconstruction fail to validate prior to 1500, the shape of the result is dramatically different.

      This can be taken as a warning of using data available from data bases without consideration on the metadata, which would have told in this case that the data cannot be used in the way it was used.

      Mann was well aware of the problems with the Tiljander data. He explicitly discussed the series as potentially problematic. The issue here was not a failure to consider the metadata. The issue was Mann’s intentional inclusion of inappropriate data.

      For an accurate discussion of the Tiljander issues, I suggest reading these two posts. For people too disinterested to do that, I suggest at least looking at this image. The green line in it shows what happens to one of Mann’s results if you don’t include Tiljander.

      It is impossible to look at that and conclude Tiljander had a “very small weight.”

    • It appears I messed up the link to the second post I suggested people read. Let me try again.

    • Sometimes with Pekka it’s one step forward and two steps back.
      =================

    • Steve McIntyre

      Pekka’s statement that “the [Tiljander} data had practically no influence on the outcome” of the Mann et al 2008 is BS, as Brandon has pointed out above. The no-dendro reconstruction of Mann et al 2008 was highly promoted at the time of its release and was strongly impacted by the Tiljander data. In a different publication, Mann conceded that his nodendro reconstruction did not meet his (weird) verification criteria prior to AD1500 and thys was irrelevant to medieval-modern comparisons. However, he did not issue a retraction of this reconstruction at PNAS as he ought to have done. Thus, EPA relied on this false reconstruction in its Denial of Reconsideration documents.

      It is disappointing that Pekka assumes that Mann’s failure to retract the reconstruction means that the errors don’t “matter”. The errors do matter and the nodendro reconstruction ought to have been retracted.

    • Pekka, why was it reasonable to give upside down badly agreeing Tiljander any weight at all in the analysis? Don’t you think they would have dropped it, if it didn’t suit their purposes?

    • Steve McIntyre can you expand on rumors that you threatened the journal lewandowski published in with legal action?

      I had heard from some people that lawsuits chill freedom of speech, so I guess it must be a misunderstanding?

    • Steve McIntyre,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s really valuable to have you post comments like that here.

      I saw Pekka’s comment, thought it was wrong from what I’d read in “The Hockey Stick Illusion: The Corruption of Science“, and wrote a reply. But I decided not to post it. I didn’t post it because Pekka is regarded as a trusted authority on climate change matters by many of Climate Etc’s followers. So I thought, who am I to respond to this? Perhaps something has changed that I am not aware of, or perhaps Montford has been shown to be wrong on this.

      However, I do not hold Pekka in high regard. He has demonstrated he tends to BS about subjects he knows little about – such as energy policy, carbon pricing, renewable energy, wind, solar and nuclear energy matters. He tries to carry his arguments on bluster and by talking about his career as a chair of energy economics and by making statements such as “it is a clear fact“. But I have asked him many times to provide links to support his claims of “it’s a clear fact” and he almost never does. He can’t substantiate the assertions he has made in arguments with me. Once, when I persisted relentlessly and was clearly embarrassing him – about Denmark’s wind energy – he eventually provided a link to a Spreadsheet. But he’d misinterpreted generating capacity with energy generation. How basic is that? And he claims to have held a position as chair of energy policy. I sure hope the Finnish government didn’t rely on his advice regarding energy matters.

      JC SNIP

    • Well Peter has got Pekka pegged as a BS artist who can’t back up his opinions on various subjects but Peter lacked the confidence to post his comment disagreeing with Pekka. Pekka is respected by many on this blog because he is always civil and he obviously knows some science. That puts him way ahead of most here, so I think we should pay attention when he speaks. I don’t see Pekka as trusted authority and question his opinions, often. You, I don’t recall.

    • The analysis that I have checked most carefully is the one by Kaufman et al. On that I wrote above that the Tiljander data was fixed originally upside down. The analysis was limited to Arctic. Therefore it had a small number of proxy series and it was relatively easy to figure out the ways each of them influenced the conclusions. One proxy series might have had a sizable influence on the results. Correcting for the error made an observable effect, but it turned out that the change was not so large that it would have affected conclusions. Playing with the data series used in that analysis and trying a couple of different approaches in combining the information they contain did certainly not make me a stronger believer in the power of that type of multi-proxy analysis.

      O might add that at least two Finnish groups that have produced paleoclimatic data have been openly critical of multi-proxy analysis, one is that where Tiljander worked (but i have no knowledge on her views, only what I have heard from the professor involved). The other group is a dendrology group that has worked in Lapland. They have presented very critical comments on their web-site.

      What I wrote on Tiljander data is what I knew. It may be incomplete and emphasize too much a small part of what Mann has done. I spent some effort in understanding the early work, but lost interest, because I share the doubts of many on the power of the approach. The well known scientists of that field have written themselves that their approach cannot reproduce all the variability of the past and has a systematic bias towards less variability. They admit that estimating the strength of that bias is not possible. My intuition tells that the bias is stronger than they admit.

      I may have been overconfident in thinking that the pieces I know better give a good enough overall picture. In particular I have not checked the dominance of a few dendrological proxy records in the Mann et al results. It’s quite plausible to me that the claims are true and that they have a destructive effect on the evidential power of that research.

      The only reason I have maintained some interest in the Tiljander data set is that it happens to be from Finland. Otherwise the low weight I give on the multiproxy analyses as a whole would have taken over.

      I have also once commented on the book of Mann on the controversy stating that to me the book was strong evidence against many judgements of Mann. I didn’t like at all the picture he painted of himself.

    • Concerning the motivations in keeping the Tiljander proxy record, how could I know. I may tell that I don’t like the picture Mann paints of himself in his book, but i cannot know the motives behind some of his choices as scientist.

      Looking at the Korttajärvi record by eye tells how poorly it fits with anything when the contaminated part is included. Put upside down it has a blade, but the shape of the blade and of the curve is a poor fit. The data set is of more interest for the more distant past, but the generic problems of the multiproxy approach make the evidential power weak. Those became obvious in the calculations I made based on the data of the Kaufman et al paper.

    • Pekka

      It is difficult to see why tree rings have attained the high status given to them. They may be able to roughly record the wetness of the growing season in a particular very specific spot, but how they are supposed to be a worthwhile temperature proxy for a very large geographic area has always bemused me.

      tonyb

    • Pekka wrote:

      …I cannot know the motives behind some of his choices as scientist.

      That’s part of the problem. A scientific paper really ought to be written in a way which leaves the reader in no doubt as to why certain data and methods were chosen. If I was a reviewer, those would certainly be the questions I would be asking.

    • phatboy,

      One of the common requirements is that no data should be left out in any other way than as a consequence of a rule specified in advance of looking at the data. Following too rigorously such rules might lead in the inclusion of data that’s known to be erroneous. If the idea is to use raw data, even the reservations made by the original authors may be considered as insufficient. In the case of the Korttajärvi data the outcome was clearly a wrong role for the data, but there may have been weaker comments of the similar nature in other data sets as well.

      It must also be noted that the influence of the contamination was not fully understood in the Korttajärvi data. It was presented rather as speculation by the authors, when the data didn’t agree with expectations. Thus we might allow for the possibility that the data was actually right and the interpretation of the original authors wrong. I do not consider that plausible, but that kind of possibilities must be taken into account in an analysis of the multi-proxy nature.

      The original situation of decision-making that the authors of the multi-proxy analysis met was not as simple as we may now imagine. Therefore it’s also impossible to make conclusions on the original motivations. The complexity of the issues made it also impossible at the time to document everything on the choices in the published material. Some issues were certainly considered explicitly in a way that could be documented, but part of the choices may just have appeared self-evident then, and less self-evident only later.

    • Stepping backwards carefully, Pekka falls flat over the motives he would not see.
      =============

    • Thanks for your careful reply, Pekka. I wasn’t asking if you know their motivations, I was asking you to speculate. Anyway, the picture that Mann paints of himself is of a man who is out for Mann. He wears his motivations on his sleeve. He should retract and that’s a fact.

    • DM,
      I may speculate on the motives, but I do my best to avoid presenting the outcome in public. Usually I end up with a large enough number of potentially contributing factors to keep me highly uncertain also in my own thinking. I don’t trust blindly in the most benign alternatives, but I don’t accept the most condemning either without an overwhelming evidence.

    • Pekka Pirilä:

      What I wrote on Tiljander data is what I knew. It may be incomplete and emphasize too much a small part of what Mann has done….
      I may have been overconfident in thinking that the pieces I know better give a good enough overall picture.

      This sort of remark bugs me because what he wrote was not what he knew. What he wrote was wrong. He may have thought he was writing what he knew, but he was actually writing only what he thought he knew. Phrasing like this just seems like a way of avoiding an admission like, “Oh, I was mistaken.”

      And it’s not defense to say he may not know what he said wrong. If you make a strong claim, it’s unreasonable to just shrug your shoulders when people provide evidence the claim is wrong. If you care enough about an issue to make a claim, you should care enough to correct the claim. Otherwise you’re just caring when you’re right and being apathetic to being wrong.

      It must also be noted that the influence of the contamination was not fully understood in the Korttajärvi data. It was presented rather as speculation by the authors, when the data didn’t agree with expectations. Thus we might allow for the possibility that the data was actually right and the interpretation of the original authors wrong. I do not consider that plausible, but that kind of possibilities must be taken into account in an analysis of the multi-proxy nature.

      This is, to put it bluntly, complete and utter BS. The authors did not express any doubt which would allow anyone to conclude “the data was actually right.” The authors did present the idea of contamination “rather as speculation.” Mia Tiljander explicitly stated:

      Since the early 18th century, the sedimentation has clearly been affected by increased human impact and therefore not useful for paleoclimate research.

      She could not have been any more clear. There is nothing which justifies believing “the data was actually right” in the modern period. There is nothing which justifies believing the data in the modern period indicates the authors’ interpretation of the data was wrong. There is, quite simply, nothing which justifies Pekka Pirilä’s argument.

      Also, even if one did somehow feel as Pirilä does, it would not justify Michael Mann’s inclusion of the data. Mann’s inclusion of the data for his CPS method was built upon the assumption it was properly oriented as he retrieved it. It wasn’t. That means even if we accepted Pirilä’s argument, Mann was still wrong to use the Tiljander series as he did in one of his two methodologies.

      Incidentally, Pirilä also fails to address the fact the EIV methodology he discusses used at least one Tiljander series both “upside down” and “right side up” in different parts of the reconstruction. The only way that could make sense is if the authors were both right and wrong about their interpretation of the series depending on which years you look at.

    • Your blindness is willfull, Pekka; ugly in a policymaker of such esteem and renown.
      =========

    • Well, Pekka probably should not be burned at the stake for not being sufficiently militant in calling for the little Mann to be burned at the stake. Pekka allows that he has not studied the matter extensively and he is not disagreeing with the well supported criticisms presented by Brandon and Steve Mc.:

      Pekka:”It’s quite plausible to me that the claims are true and that they have a destructive effect on the evidential power of that research.”

    • Right, quite plausible it’s destructive, yet Pekka’s incurious. Pirila presents ‘The Case for Blinders’.
      ============

    • Don Monfort, he shouldn’t be burned at the stake, but perhaps his feet should be held to the fire. Not disagreeing when someone says you’re wrong is different than acknowledging you were wrong. I think it’s reasonable to expect Pekka Pirilä to check what Steve McIntyre and I have said then post whether or not we’re correct.

      And of course, I think it’s reasonable to expect him not to keep saying incorrect things. For example, I think it’s reasonable to expect him to acknowledge Michael Mann’s 2008 paper used two different methodologies (CPS and EIV), and the things he’s said about the paper only apply to the EIV methodology. Nothing he’s said has been true of the CPS methodology.

    • Brandon, you are already holding Pekka’s feet to the fire and I think he feels the heat. It would be interesting to see him do just as you suggest and give a detailed response to the criticisms that you and Steve M. have so clearly laid out. If he is not doing exactly as you suggest because it might cause him some embarrassment, I will give him a pass, because I like and respect the guy. Pekka has redeeming qualities. For one, he is not Willis.

    • Don Monfort, I’m trying. All too often people make glaringly incorrect claims then leave the conversation after their mistakes are pointed out. Then they show up somewhere else a couple days later acting like that exchange should be forgotten.

      Not only is that obnoxious, it’s terrible for communication. What kind of discussions can people have if that’s considered a valid tactic? Not only does it mean people can avoid admitting mistakes, it means they can repeat those mistakes as many times as they’d like because they can never be pressured into admitting them.

      It’s one of the reasons I comment here far less than I used to. When people use a tactic like that to the point where they’ll repeat the same mistake multiple times on one page despite ignoring multiple rebuttals, things are just too repetitive.

      On that note, I’ll add another redeeming quality Pekka Pirilä has. He’s not Steven Mosher.

      (Hint.)

    • Brandon,

      All too often people make glaringly incorrect claims then leave the conversation after their mistakes are pointed out. Then they show up somewhere else a couple days later acting like that exchange should be forgotten.

      Not only is that obnoxious, it’s terrible for communication. What kind of discussions can people have if that’s considered a valid tactic? Not only does it mean people can avoid admitting mistakes, it means they can repeat those mistakes as many times as they’d like because they can never be pressured into admitting them.

      I whole heartedly agree with this statement. Once some one does that, my trust in anything they say from then on is seriously eroded.

      But Pekka is one of those who does it. He has been unwilling to admit to his mistakes in the past and he has a tactic of making unsubstantiated assertions and, when asked to provide a link, he tries to bluff he way past it by alluding to his expertise

    • To give a detailed answer or to state that I agree, I would have to go through a lot of material, not only that stated as most essential by some, but more to be sure that they have not cherry picked. I don’t have any plans of doing that. Some other questions are of more interest to me.

      I have said that the criticism is plausible. It’s plausible to me, because the kind of errors that have been indicated are common, and because the original authors have not refuted the criticism in a way that would be immediately convincing.

      I made a comment on two cases of use of upside down Korttajärvi data. As I haven’t followed all steps of the argument as carefully, I missed additional details including the potential role Korttajärvi data would have in a modified analysis.

      I try to restrict my comments to what I know well enough, but I cannot avoid errors from not knowing what I don’t know (the “unknown unknowns” – you know). Having been told in web discussion does not mean that I have picked the message. I don’t know everything I have been told.

    • Pekka, @ April 22, 2014 at 3:58 am

      Excellent comment. Very fair. It wasn’t a response to my question but I do respect that response to whoever it was responding to.

      I am still feeling lack of confidence though over the previous arguments about energy policy, especially because I felt you tried to avoid providing support for your assertions and particularly about the arguments of Denmark’s wind energy, viability of nuclear v solar, and policies to price GHG emissions or fossil fuel taxes as a means to cut global GHG emissions.

    • Peter,

      I can assure you that I admit my error, when I accept to myself that I have made on error. I have done that even, when nobody else has commented on that error. That kind of honesty is fundamental for my idea of contributing to the discussion. I have no other ambitions than being able to communicate ideas I consider correct and interesting for some reason.

      When I remain convinced that I’m correct for solid reasons, I insist on that. That has been the case in some of our disagreements. You may disagree on the issue, but I trust my own expertize and judgment. (The Nordic power system is an issue I really have some expertize on fully professional level.)

      Then we have the third class, where I see that I don’t know enough to present an own opinion. That’s the case for many parts of the problems of multi-proxy analysis. As I have explained I have looked at some parts of that, but lost interest before digging into some other details.

      I’m certainly not infallible. I write comments, I wish I would not have written. If there’s an essential error, I try to reduce the damage by correcting the error. If the message is stupid in some other way, there’s often little I can do but to hope that my blunder goes unnoticed.

    • Pekka,

      I accept all that. However, I remind you that you were wrong significantly about the proportion of electricity generated by wind in Denmark (you confused capacity penetration and energy penetration). But most importantly you were wrong about the proportion of Denmark’s electricity consumption that is generated by wind. You never dis acknowledge that even though I pointed out to you. And you could not supply a link to what you repeatedly stated was a “clear fact”. What you thought was a clear fact was wrong. We all make mistakes, but they should be acknowledged, not avoided.

      The other really significant one was your argument that fuel taxes could work in the real world instead of GHG emissions pricing to substantially reduce global GHG emissions. You seemed to accept, after lengthy discussion across several threads, that GHG emissions pricing is unlikely to succeed in the real world and then you swapped to arguing that fuel taxes could work instead. I showed clearly why that option was even less likely to succeed, but you dropped out without admitting that is much less likely to be a viable option than GHG emissions pricing.

      It is because you didn’t acknowledge the point of either of these even when they were very clear that has left me feeling not confident in anything you say on other subjects where I am just another layman.

    • Peter,

      I could never confuse those two. Their difference is has been so self-evident for me for decades that confusing them is absolutely impossible.

      Of course it’s possible that I misinterprete some source that is not clear on that point imagining that they give the number for one, while it’s actually for the other, but even that’s absolutely impossible in the case of Denmark, because I know the numbers well enough.

      You must have misinterpreted something I wrote. Perhaps I was not explicit in my writing and the fault is mine in that way, but I couldn’t confuse them myself.

    • Pekka,

      Of course it’s possible that I misinterprete some source that is not clear on that point imagining that they give the number for one, while it’s actually for the other, but even that’s absolutely impossible in the case of Denmark, because I know the numbers well enough.

      You must have misinterpreted something I wrote.

      No, Pekka. That is not the case. We could go back and dig it all up again but I can’t be bothered. It went over many threads.

    • Peter,

      You are simply wrong.

    • What I can recall from that discussion, the question was the extent wind generation leads to reduction in CO2 emissions. You brought up some paper on that (nothing new in that paper for me), and I tried to explain, how the Nordic power system actually reacts to wind power production. One part of the discussion concerned the difference between the outcome for the Danish system separately and the Nordic system as a whole when the international transfers of energy are taken into account.

    • No Pekka, It is you that is simply wrong. You were wrong on may assertions. You didn’t know nearly as much as you thought you did. You didn’t have your facts straight. Mostly they were straight from the greenies play book. There were many papers and you had many misunderstandings about the real cost of wind and solar, the emissions avoided by wind and solar, the amount of wind generation actually consumed by Denmark. I provided many papers from authoritative sources on the aspects we discussed. It was obvious you were talking through your hat a lot of the time. When confronted you dodged and weaved and played your gamer of muddying the waters and saying “Oh its complicated, bla bla bla.”

      But the two that really stick in my claw are 1) your nonsensical, baseless, unsupported argument that fuel taxes could be used instead of pricing GHG emissions to mitigate global GHG emissions; and 2) the electricity generated by wind in Denmark, you continually avoidance of providing a source to back up your claim, and when you did you’d misunderstood what the numbers were in the source you provided; 3) I gave you an authoritative report on the proportion of the Denmark’s wind generated electricity that is actually consumed in Denmark; you made some pathetic dismissive comment about it and then produced a draft paper by a mate of yours at Imperial College. Hardly a comparable level of authority

      What is worst is that you never admitted you were wrong even when it was clearly. The facts were clear and you couldn’t admit them. On many things: solar, wind, wind generation, consumption and cost in Denmark, and on carbon pricing. You dodged and weaved.

      Its all back there spread across a number of threads.

      You are simply wrong!

    • Peter,

      My background for this is not from greenies, it’s from energy systems, I have collaborated with power companies on these issues, done research on them and lectured for power engineering students on them. All this from the perspective of energy systems and largely connected to power companies. Some of these companies produce also wind power, but that’s a minor factor in their operations. I had followed in detail (often on daily basis) the pricing mechanisms of the Nordic electricity market for years and, how different power plants as well as consumption contribute that.

      That’s my background, and on that I built also my comments. Evidently you didn’t understand my arguments as you are left with a so totally distorted view of those.

    • Pekka,

      That’s my background, and on that I built also my comments. Evidently you didn’t understand my arguments as you are left with a so totally distorted view of those.

      No Pekka. You are simply wrong. You were than and are again.

      I’ve seen you write about your background over and over again. You do it when you cannot support your beliefs. You were wrong on your facts about the points I’ve summarised here. You can go back and check if you want to. But I realise it is pointless, because you want admit mistakes or misunderstandings. There was no misunderstanding on my part about the facts you stated that were wrong and I showed you.

      As far as your background is concerned, so what. We all have backgrounds. And we all have expertise in various fields And we get information from different sources. You have a engineer friend in the nuclear industry and you have used that as an example to back up your claims you know a bit about nuclear. Sorry. Not persuasive. Not impressed.

      I don’t doubt you know a lot, but you certainly were not correct on things you were making assertions back when we had those arguments. There is a lot you didn’t know about the matters I mentioned above. And you made flippant dismissals about some of the authoritative reports I cited, while then producing low quality documents to refute what I’d presented.

      There was so much wrong with your arguments, and followed by this further denial confirms for me what I’d concluded back then.

    • Black Baltic waters
      Attract newly wakened bears.
      Blow, wind, blow; sun, glow.
      ====================

    • Pekka Pirilä, your response to my criticisms is not excellent as Peter Lang claims. You cared enough about this issue to make a bold claim that was wrong. You specifically said Mann’s methodology gave the Tiljander series “a very small weight.” That was not true. The Tiljander series were given a significant weight. It just happened other series (certain tree ring series) with a similar pattern were given significant weight as well. That means it is wrong for you to now say:

      As I haven’t followed all steps of the argument as carefully, I missed additional details including the potential role Korttajärvi data would have in a modified analysis.

      What you said was not just wrong for “a modified analysis.” It was wrong for all analyses. It’s true when you have two sets of data with significant weights and similar patterns, the removal of one will have little effect on the results. That does not change the fact both data sets are given significant weights.

      Additionally, you fail to acknowledge Mann’s 2008 paper used two different methodologies. You discussed traits of one (EIV) as though it was the only methodology used, but what you said is not remotely applicable to the other (CPS). Not only do you fail to acknowledge this mistake, you repeated the mistake in your second response to me even though I had already pointed it out. That means you repeated a mistake despite having been directly informed of it.

      On top of all this, you also fail to correct your direct misrepresentation of what the authors of the Tiljander paper have said. This was one you made only after being provided links which discuss, with details and references, material which directly showed your subsequent commentary on the data series was false.

      Put simply, you cared enough to state as fact things you didn’t actually know to be true. When confronted on them, you didn’t care enough to find out if you were right or wrong. In fact, you cared so little you repeated at least one of the errors which had been pointed out to you. You also went on to make another mistake, an error you would have recognized had you done the slightest checking of people’s responses to you.

      That’s not acceptable behavior. It’s lazy, obnoxious and possibly intellectually dishonest.

    • Very disappointed with Pekka but boots put in by Peter Lang and Brandon have cleared the air. Don must be an old roommate of his to support him.
      “It did however agree pretty badly even upside down” ??
      So it agreed pretty well when it was the right way up??
      Or it agreed pretty badly when it was the right way up??
      Or it doesn’t matter which way up it was because as Steve pointed out you could chuck data in pointing straight down and Mann’s algorithms would make it into an upwards hockey stick.
      Correct Pekka?

    • I should be really worried, if many of you were not disappointed in me.

    • No, Pekka. I thought initially that you might be an AGW proponent prepared to indulge in rational discourse. Viewing your posts over time has shown that you are just a Lolwat or Fan with a veneer of respectability.
      Brandon and Peter have you pegged just right. Don, Judith And Mosher treat you with civility so you must have something important going for you on the science respectability side which I have not fathomed yet.
      You know, denials aside, that Macintyre is right
      You know that Tiljander is important.
      Yet you dispute it assiduously for all you are worth.
      You would have to have studied the arguments more deeply than you admit or conversely you should not have commented at all in the way that you did.
      You can see your inconsistencies, if not ask your wife to read your posts out to you and listen. She will not laugh if she is a good wife you will understand if you are a good scientist.

    • angech, for what it’s worth, I’ve seen Pekka Pirilä make many useful contributions. It just seems he refuses to handle (some?) criticisms in anything resembling an appropriate manner. That’s unfortunate, and it should make one less trusting of what he writes, but it’s not that bad compared to many others here.

      Incidentally, I’ve had the exact same experiences with Peter Lang. I imagine there are people who might say the same with me. They’re wrong, of course :P

    • Thanks Brandon still a newbie and I have not followed all the conversations here all the time. My apologies to Pekka if I have been wrong. Is he working in a lab of AGWism and is unable to speak clearly due to risk of upsetting his friends.

  41. Bart R @ 3.51 asked timg56 “What are the origins of free speech rights in your world view?”

    This topic is covered by Chris Berg “In defence of freedom of speech” (IPA 2012) and Dan Hannan “Inventing Freedom – how the English-speaking peoples made the modern world” (Harper Collins 2013).

    Hannan wrote that “From [the Anglo-Saxon era came three inter-related concepts that were to transform human-kind. First, the idea of personal autonomy, including in contract and property rights; second, the notion that collective decisions ought to be made by representatives who are answerable to the community as a whole; third, the conception of the law as something more than a projection of the wishes of the ruler, as a folkright of inherited freedoms that bound the King just as surely as it bound his meanest subject.”

    The unique notions that rights come from the people and that the ruler holds their position through a compact with the people and have no authority without it have flourished almost solely in the Anglosphere countries. They underpinned the later development of freedom, democracy and capitalism and the growth of wealth in the UK then later the US which became the foundation of world prosperity.

    By contrast, almost all non-Anglosphere countries, as well as international bodies such as the UN, have the premise that authority resides centrally, in the ruler rather than the individual: rights and laws are arbitrary, at the whim of the powerful. This system gave us fascism, communism and Maoism and their attendant misery.

    The proposition that rights come not from a compact between people and government but from an external authority, e.g. through the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, is false and damaging. It has unfortunately held sway in Australia.

    In the above context, freedom of speech has arisen as a compact between people and government on what is a good and appropriate basis for civil society. It facilitates the operation of society by making ideas contestable and allowing criticism and the pointing out of errors and excesses, as well as by proposing improved ways of doing things. It hampers the imposition by the powerful of constraints which harm society at large, and individuals within a society.

    Berg has a much deeper examination of the origins of free speech. He summarises that “Freedom of speech as an individual attribute, rather than as an attribute of citizenry, is detectable … during the Roman Republic. But the true spark of what we now recognise as free expression occurred in the intolerant medieval world. In coming to terms with the morality of persecution, theologians and early liberals had to refine their views about individual conscience, and how those consciences related to the beliefs of a community. It is in the exploration of freedom of conscience that we find the seeds of free speech.”

    Berg defines freedom of speech as “the absence of coercion or retribution on expression by the state. This is a narrow definition but one with a deep historical and philosophical basis. It is the only coherent definition that protects both desirable speech and unpopular speech. … it offers a perspective on offensive speech that grounds freedom of expression in the very human dignity that advocates of anti-discrimination law seek to protect.”

    In terms of recent issues, Berg says that “Freedom of speech is an essential liberty: but how does it relate to other liberties?” Michael Oakeshott said that we had an “extraordinary” emphasis on freedom of speech, which was not as important as the right to free association and the right to private property. Berg considers that peculiar, given that Oakeshoot also described all human activity as a form of conversation, and placed at the centre of his philosophy the importance of human autonomy as a self-defining and self-recommending virtue. Berg says that for Oakeshott, a flourishing society is one in which individuals pursue excellence through morally autonomous action. When individuals act, they are communicating with other individuals in mutual pursuit of the good life.

    Berg agrees, and says that “Freedom of speech is not a self-contained value which can be isolated and separated from the suite of human virtues. It is a reflection of a deeper value – individual moral virtue and human liberty – which underpins any free society. As one US Supreme Court Justice wrote [in 1937], freedom of speech is “the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom.”

    Berg argues that “When we understand the value of freedom of speech in this light, it unveils the deep paternalism of those who believe that speech and the press should be limited.”

    • “The proposition that rights come not from a compact between people and government but from an external authority, e.g. through the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, is false and damaging. It has unfortunately held sway in Australia.

      In the above context, freedom of speech has arisen as a compact between people and government on what is a good and appropriate basis for civil society.”

      I can’t speak for the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and New Zealanders, but from the American perspective, this is wrong both historically and logically.

      The central proposition of the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution is that fundamental rights do not devolve in any sense from the government, or any compact between the government and the “governed.”.

      The Declaration – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….”

      Note the independent source was not another governmental body, like the UN, but an authority independent of government.

      The Constitution, drafted based on these fundamental principles, is not a compact between people and the governed, no matter what progressives try to say today. The people of the US, by adopting the Constitution, created the government and gave it certain limited powers. That is why the Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution. The drafters felt the people did not need a document to establish their rights.

      The free society you all take for granted, that we are quickly letting slip away, was a product of the very Judeo-Christian ethic so many of you see as de classe’. What is wrong with totalitarian governments? If there is no morality, whoever has the power, makes the rules. There is nothing immoral about monarch, or autocracy, or oligarchy, because there is no right and wrong. However, the only way to avoid the centralization of power that leads to despotism is democracy. And a democratic republic is the system most likely to stay democratic.

      It is not an accident that the free market arose in, and reached its fullest potential after hundreds of years of trial and error in the only countries governed by the Judeo-Christian ethic.

      With it, you get the American Revolution and the freest, richest, most powerful, most just, most generous society in the history of the world. Without it, you get the French Revolution, Robespierre and Napolean.

    • Faustino | April 19, 2014 at 9:20 pm |

      Wow. I’m sure the Athenians and the Iroquis Confederacy would have something to say about this exposition.. were their cultures not so completely appropriated by the ‘Anglosphere’.

      I have to agree more nearly with GaryM on this, which I am sure will give him every bit as much discomfort as it gives me, otherwise.

      Really, rights are what you take every day, not take for granted, not what you are granted, not a gift or a concept, but every action and every thought in each moment, and if they are not hard fought for when challenged, they cease to be self-evident, and they then cease to be at all.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      GaryM believes [wrongly] “It is not an accident that the  free market  FreeMasonry arose in, and reached its fullest potential after hundreds of years of trial and error, in the only countries governed by the  Judeo-Christian  Enlightenment ethic.”

      Myths by GaryM, facts by FOMD.

      Question for Dave Springer  The US Marine Corp’s first commandant, Samuel Nicholas of Philidelphia, was by personal conviction a FreeMason and a &langle;fill in religion&rangle;.

      Conclusion  The background of the Founders is far more subtle, nuanced, contradictory, and transgressive than politicians and high-school teachers mostly teach!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • fan,
      The “enlightenment ethic” was on full display in the French Revolution. Thanks for (unintentionally) making my point.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The killing-fields of the Founders’ far surpassed those of Europe, eh GaryM?

      Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?

      “White Americans [in 1784] have the most rancorous antipathy to the whole race of Indians; and nothing is more common than to hear them talk of extirpating them totally from the face of the earth, men, women, and children.”

      Jack Handy summarized it thus: We come in peace, seeking gold and slaves.”

      Nowadays Big Carbon employs similar rhetorical devices: We come in service of market efficiency, seeking cheap energy and shareholder riches

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • “In the above context, freedom of speech has arisen as a compact between people and government on what is a good and appropriate basis for civil society.”

      Sorry for that Gary and Bart. I was thinking of developments in Anglo-Saxon England where the king had to be acceptable to the people and abide by a compact with them; not as a deal negotiated with the king as to what rights the people had. I’ll rephrase and say that freedom of speech provides a necessary basis for a well-functioning civil society. I don’t see it as in any way the gift of government, or something that government can constrain for its own purposes.

    • +100

    • Faustino

      “As one US Supreme Court Justice wrote [in 1937], freedom of speech is “the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom.”

      Freedom of Speech is the essential, foundational attribute from which all other freedoms spring?

    • Lafayette to Jefferson:

      ‘Politics as you justly observe have ever been our hobby. Oppressed as they are on this European wrong side of the Atlantic, they are not so desperate as one might mourn them. The 11th July, 1789 Declaration of Rights, which has been honoured with your approbation is still the creed of an immense majority in France and elsewhere; nor is it possible for any party or dynasty in this and other countries to hope for duration out of the circle which it has traced out.’

      H/t to Max Beloff, writing after the various ideological holocausts of the first half of the 20th Century, who wants us to appreciate the irony.
      ===================

    • Faustino,

      Excellent enlightenment. Thank you.

      One tangential issue about this matter concerns financial markets. Anglosphere markets have performed best of all countries over the past 112 years. And Australia’s has done about the best of all – see Table 2: “Table 2 Ranking of annualised performance (stocks, real accumulated returns)” here: http://www.finsia.com/docs/default-source/policy-archive/rrz—final-030314-web.pdf?sfvrsn=0. The Anglosphere countries hold positions: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8.

      Why is that so? My friend (who incidentally is a Queenslander, ex RAAF engineer then environmental scientists who did his PhD on tree rings in the boreal forests of Canada) said this to me on this subject:

      “What’s the future for Australian Shares?

      Australia has prospered in the modern world, rising from a penal colony to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world and now recognized as being in the top three for quality of life. This success has been reflected in financial returns on equities. As pointed out by Dimson et al. (2002), Australia’s share market has performed better than all other major economies except Sweden since 1900. Drew & Walk (2014) suggest that this success may not be repeated and that basing expectations on past performance of the Australian market is unduly optimistic.

      We disagree. Consider the many factors contributing to Australia’s outstanding performance:
      1. Rich in resources: minerals, coal & gas, food and fibre
      2. Democratic in principle and practice
      3. Politically and socially stable
      4. Rule of law
      5. Belief in free-enterprise and rejection of communism
      6. Part of the Anglosphere with the inherent benefits to trade, security, education and flow of ideas and the advantage of a mother tongue which has become the international language
      7. Secure borders
      8. Never had infrastructure and industry destroyed by war
      9. Never suffered the turmoil, division and destruction of a civil war
      10. Unified by a common language, culture and history
      11. With a large landmass relative to population there is ample opportunity for growth
      12. Well-educated workforce
      13. Always had the stimulus of immigrants (keen, healthy, working age)
      14. High social mobility
      15. Well regulated financial institutions
      16. Debt and deficits are moderate

      These factors have held since the start of the 20th century. We have a reasonable expectation that they will continue to apply for decades. Consequently, we also expect that the good economic performance will continue. The past, at least in terms of returns on equities, will continue to be a good guide to the future.

      And the past, in fact, has been remarkably consistent, e.g., from 1883 to 2010, returns have varied with bull and bear markets but the long term trend has remained steady. Given this consistency, we can expect the long term trend to be a good guide to the future. ”

      Dimson et al. (2002), “Triumph of the Optimists: 101 years of global investment returns

      Drew & Walk (2014), “How Safe are Safe Withdrawal Rates in Retirement? An Australian Perspective
      http://www.finsia.com/docs/default-source/policy-archive/rrz—final-030314-web.pdf?sfvrsn=0

      This shows the practical benefits the anglosphere culture (of which freedom of speech is one important aspect) has delivered. It has delivered better economic growth that other countries have managed and that delivers better health, better education and other benefits that the less developed countries seek. It’s good! We should resist those who want to restrict the freedoms that have delivered the Anglosphere such enormous benefits.

  42. Steyn has responded to Judith’s post and quoted her extensively:

    http://www.steynonline.com/6279/medieval-moralists

    • Steyn is hawking this trial for all he is worth, selling mugs and books and dirty t-shirts he’s worn over the past year. Michael Mann and the “Scopes Monkey Trial of the 21st Century” is his claim to fame, and Steyn knows it.

      There is no longer such as thing as bad publicity, for those who will exploit even questions about their own integrity,

    • Quick, someone sue Appell for millions of dollars so he can be somebody.

    • Steyn is ten times bigger than Mann will ever be. He sits in regularly for Rush Limbaugh in front of 20 million listeners. How many books has Mann sold compared to Steyn? Steyn is among the most talented polemicists of our time. What does Mann have other than free money coming in from some source that he wont’ divulge?

      Steyn doesn’t need Mann, other than as a tool to mock the pretensions of global warming fanatics.

      Steyn is milking this because it’s perfect setup to frame the issue of freedom of expression, something he’s been involved and cared deeply about since around the time Mann was fantasizing his hockey stick.

      Mann walked right into a lion’s den when he sued Steyn and it’s not going to end well for him.

    • I’m glad you agree Steyn is milking this. He stands to make a lot of money off his reader contributions for his defense, even if he loses. Especially if he loses.

      Mann’s place in history is already secure. Steyn is still striving for his, with the handicap of being alighned with Mr Limbaugh.

    • Steyn is not “milking” anything. Few people understand just how expensive litigation like this is. Well, Mann and his progressive patrons do, which is why they are using lawsuits to silence dissent.

    • Gary M: So how expensive is Steyn’s litigation? Who’s paying for it — mugs and t-shirt sales?

    • Appell: What you call “milking” I call vigorously defending basic human liberties.

      You are impugning him by implying he’s doing this for profit or self-aggrandizement of some kind, which tells us how far gone you are.

    • Steyn has gone far beyond personal liberty, putting up large ads on his site about the Scopes Monkey Trial of the 21st Century. This could well make his career, and he damn well knows it.

    • potter: It’s my 1st Amendment right to go as far as I want. Deal with it.

    • Here’s one example of the costs of a single libel litigation.

      http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2013/10/williams-connolly-seeks-legal-fees-in-libel-suit.html

      No idea what hourly rate Steyn’s lawyers are charging. But if it is is south of $500 per hour, he is probably getting a discount.

      And Steyn just recently defeated another assault on his free speech rights in Canada (and the rights of Canadians in general) that lasted years. So this is his second go round.

      But yeah, I am sure the money his is making from mugs and t-shirts is awesome.

    • Gary: You have no idea what this is costing Steyn. Enough said.

    • k scott denison

      David, why do you care so much about Steyn’s book and t-shirt sales and so little about Al Gore’s exploitation os fear to make hundreds of millions?

  43. I recommend Greg Lukianoff’s excellent book about free speech on campus, “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate”. Also, if you want to learn about the ultimate test of people’s (maybe your) devotion to free speech, check out the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) at http://www.codoh.com. I can guarantee you will be surprised at what you learn.

  44. Tony Duncan (@tonydunc) | April 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

    “Why is Moncton still published on skeptic blogs such as WUWT?”

    For the same reason that you are still published here.

    The blog hosts value freedom of expression. Someone has noted that Michael Mann could publish any time he wants on WUWT or Climate Audit. In contrast, most people who disagree with with RealClimate and The Guardian’s institutional positions are prevented from posting or have their comments selectively censored.

    • pottereaton | April 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm |

      What a great experiment you propose!

      Do you hear that, all climatebloghosts who read CE?

      (And I know that’s most of you!)

      An open call to all of you to post to all the climate blogs you can find, as inoffensive and neutral a brief statement of your climate position in a topical and courteous way respecting the posted rules of each blog, but with your names attached.

      Let’s see how long who lasts where!

      Ready, set.. GO!

    • BartR: care to translate that into comprehensible English and tell us precisely what it is I am proposing?

  45. I don’t know what everyone else thinks but I draw the line somewhere between calling someone a climate misinformer and the Jerry Sandusky of climate science.

    Freedom of speech has its limits.

    • Bob: Except Steyn and Curry see no limits to what can be said or done. Does that make her the Monica Lewinsky of climate science?

    • It shouldn’t be limited when the point that was being made was that Sandusky was investigated by the same people at Penn State as was Mann and was also exonerated. The comment was clearly not suggesting Mann was a child molester. It was saying the investigations were a sham.

      Simberg did say that Mann molested data not children. That is opinion that should be protected by free speech laws.

    • And David Appell goes classless. What a shock.

      Please! Please pay attention to me!

    • But do we know that Judity Curry has not molested children?

    • David Appell is proving the point, although he doesn’t realize it. He shouldn’t be sued for saying something like that. It’s a bogus analogy and stupid, but people should not be sued for being stupid.

      The point Simberg was making was that the investigation of Mann by Penn State was a sham. He pointed out that Penn State also exonerated Sandusky. That should be protected speech, just like stupidly comparing Judith Curry to Monica Lewinsky should be protected speech.

    • I have a 1st amendment right to say whatever I want. Deal with it.

    • Steyn didn’t call mann the jerry sandusky of climate science.

      Apple, I don’t think Judith is going to kick your little disingenuous nasty butt off of here. She should, but she probably won’t. In fact, she will probably take this comment down, while she let’s you run wild. Girl needs to figure out who her friends are.

    • I don’t have to deal with it. I’m positively reveling in watching you make an ass of yourself.

    • No. apple. She is afraid of illegitimately being called a hypocrite for enforcing her rules and kicking your silly little nasty buttocks off of her blog. Of course if she did kick your silly little nasty buttocks off her blog, it would have nothing to do with the first ammendment. She doesn’t have to tolerate your abuse in her own house. You are scum.

      • He is also not smart enough to understand that the First Amendment is from GOVERNMENT censorship. As you correctly point out, everyone is free to make the rules of speech in their own homes.

    • k scott denison

      Well, Bob, that’s not even close to where I draw the line. Perhaps you are just too sensitive and thin skinned.

    • Bob,
      As others have pointed out you are wrong about the sandusky reference. You are also wrong about ‘Climate Misinformer’. That is what Michael Mann called Judy Curry. See my comment ( 528425) at the bottom of the thread.

    • I think (from what Judge Weisberg wrote) he is more interested in whether or not they defamed Mann by accusing him of fraud. Then whether or not it was said with malice:
      Judge Weisberg:
      “Opinions and rhetorical hyperbole are protected speech under the first amendment. Arguably, several of the defendants statements fall into these protected catagories. Some of the defendants’ statements, however, containwhat could be reasonably understood as assertions of fact. Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposely distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable. Viewing the allegations of the amended complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, a reasonable finder of fact is likely to find in favor of the plaintiff. ”

      http : / / http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014 /01/23/mann-v-steyn-mann-wins-round-two/

    • A nice point, ordvic. The key words are ‘most favorable’. At this point in the proceedings that is how Judge Weisburg must rule. It’s possible the progress of the trial will reveal a little ‘least favorable’. The jury will get to decide, bless their little pea-pickin’ hearts.
      =============

    • Kim, yes that was just the judges verbiage as far as the motion going forward, l know. Thanks for letting me know it is a jury trial, that I didn’t know.

    • Uh, maybe I ought to verify that little pea-pickin’ point. I do know that plaintiff’s counsel is formidable, and the first judge a fool.
      ====================

    • According to Volokh the first judge needs to go back to grammar school.

    • @David Appell (@davidappell) | April 19, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
      “I have a 1st amendment right to say whatever I want. Deal with it.”
      *****
      chirrrr … chirrrrr … chirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr … chirrrrr … chirrrr … chirrrrrrrrrrrrr …

    • @DA: I have a 1st amendment right to say whatever I want. Deal with it.

      Even we Australians know more than you Americans about your own constitution. For your information, not only does the First Amendment not grant you the “right to say whatever you want,” it does not grant you any rights at all. Quite the opposite in fact. It prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

      Prohibitions on making laws do not translate to rights of the individual. In particular the First Amendment does not confer the right to libel people, the right to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater, etc. etc.

  46. pottereaton | April 19, 2014 at 10:49 pm |

    If you’re a climate blogger, post the same neutral, inoffensive note to so many climate blogs as you can find (from blogrolls, etc.). Then note on CE the moderation, censorship or bans that you encounter.

    See? Simple.

    • I suppose you are complaining about being censored here, and I have no knowledge of that. I know that I can’t get a comment posted at RealClimate. Not even one. You, on the other hand, have been posting here all day it seems.

    • What inoffensive note have you posted here that was censored, barty? I would be interested to compare with the inoffensive notes that I have had censored. Perhaps Judith finds things offensive that we don’t.

    • pottereaton | April 19, 2014 at 11:11 pm |

      Uhhhh. What?

      What complaining?

      You proposed a testable hypothesis.

      For the same reason that you are still published here.

      The blog hosts value freedom of expression. Someone has noted that Michael Mann could publish any time he wants on WUWT or Climate Audit. In contrast, most people who disagree with with RealClimate and The Guardian’s institutional positions are prevented from posting or have their comments selectively censored.

      I merely clarified the experiment that would test it.

      And I’ve been posting here most of the lifetime of CE. I have no complaints about the moderation policies here, except that they too shield many scoundrels from derision by removing their more obvious blemishes from the public eye. Although sometimes I cast test cases of what one means by freedom of speech, and the distinctions our moderator makes between the private and the public function of limiting said freedom. That’s not a complaint, but merely an experiment.

      Are you suggesting you have something against experiments?

      Don Monfort | April 19, 2014 at 11:40 pm |

      Uh.. What?!

    • You are stuttering, barty. Better get that checked out.

    • Don Monfort | April 20, 2014 at 1:52 am |

      Do you often mock or deride people for physical differences, challenges and disabilities? Is it just stutterers, or do you also make fun of epileptics, paraplegics, the blind and the deaf? Not that I care, but it seems ironic considering you so lack the ability to READ HARDER.

    • k scott denison

      Bart, perhaps you should read harder. I don’t see where Don said anything about you being a stutterer. Just that it looked like you were stuttering and perhaps should get it checked out. Might be the sign of a serious condition, eh?

    • k scott denison | April 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm |

      Do you never wonder why so many people explain jokes to you, slowly and in small words, after you write stuff like that?

    • k scott denison

      Guess your sense of humor just escapes me Bart.

  47. Chris Quayle

    This blog is quite Zen, in that topics are raised and the student is left to find their own truth. To make up their own minds from the pointers, hints and ideas outlined. All that’s missing is the stick to beat the student around the head for stupidity, but perhaps moderation fills that gap. Anarchy and freedom make some nervous and insecure, for they need the herd, but others thrive on it.

    Freedom of speech ?. Absolute in principle, but should be constrained by consideration for others. Instead, we often get offensive for it’s own sake, which isn’t civilisation by any measure…

  48. Pandering to the Left is the easy thing to do until all the slippery slopes have been slid down and we’re all down in the cesspit. Next thing you know, they’ll be killing babies on the womb.

  49. It’s interesting watching the character, if you can call it that, that some show here on a Saturday night. The classless, angry expressions of impotence that take the place of rational thought tell you a lot about the person – not so much about anything else.

    And these people want to run the energy economy.

  50. I’m trending on reddit:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/climateskeptics/new/

    That’s my First Amendment right.

  51. Judith –

    I am broadly concerned about the slow death of free speech,…

    Really? You’re a scientist. The tool of your trade is a careful examination of evidence to identify causal relationships.

    Have you bothered to do any analysis that supports a conclusion of some “slow death of free speech?” Any kind of controlled study of variables to show that free speech is dying?

    And then you have the nerve to criticize others for “alarmism?”

    And seriously, Judith,…

    I’m opposed to the notion of official ideology — not just fascism, Communism and Baathism, but the fluffier ones, too, like ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘climate change’ and ‘marriage equality’.

    Steyn compares facism with multiculturalism and marriage equality and you freakin’ applaud?

    Sheece. Quite remarkable.

    • Shame on Judith for being concerned about free speech without first having done a careful analysis to examine causal relationships and for not giving proper weight to the price of potatoes and other root vegetables. She calls herself a scientist. How did I do, joshie?

    • Everyone’s concerned about free speech, Don. It’s sad that Judith is exploiting a concept like that to score points in the climate wars, and applauds Steyn for doing so.

      But the point is her hand-wringing about the “slow death of free speech.” Try to stay on topic.

      Care to step in where she failed, and come up with some evidence in support of her alarmism? You know, some evidence of the “slow death of free speech?”

    • John Carpenter

      Steyn compares facism with multiculturalism and marriage equality and you freakin’ applaud? ……you freakin’ applaud?

      Huh, Joshua, that seems a bit like a misrepresentation of what JC posted. I thought you had a problem with people misrepresenting what you write. I agree that often people misrepresent your ideas… but now it appears you are doing the same. Glass house… meet Mr. Rock.

    • No, I don’t care to play dumb games of your choosing, joshie. Carry on with your silly stalking.

    • John Carpenter

      “Free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out.”

      Joshua, by your reasoning, it appears JC is applauding people getting punched… cuz Styne also used those words.

    • John –

      She’s applauding Steyn’s political claptrap.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      You do not need to do a causal study to be CONCERNED about the slow death of free speech. In fact you dont need ANY evidence whatsoever to be concerned about it. You can just read what people say and be concerned.

      I’m concerned for your psychological health. That’s not alarmism. Thats just a concern. I dont need a study to be concerned. I dont need anything but you words to have concern.

    • So if you’re “concerned” and you hear a political rhetorician hand-wringing about the “slow death of free speech,” you do some research to see if he’s just full of it and promoting claptrap. You see, steven, you do that so as not to promote “alarmism.”

      Or you find some iota of evidence that there really is something to be “concerned” about. Do you have some evidence? Something to show that the freedom of speech has been diminished? Don declined to step in for Juidith’s failings. Maybe you’ll volunteer to do so?

    • > So if you’re “concerned” and you hear a political rhetorician hand-wringing about the “slow death of free speech,” you do some research to see if he’s just full of it and promoting claptrap.

      The alternative to your suggestion, Joshua, is of course to welcome such concerns, as they are legitimate in about any reality one lives in.

      INTEGRITY ™ – Thank You for your Concerns

    • Steven Mosher

      So if you’re “concerned” and you hear a political rhetorician hand-wringing about the “slow death of free speech,” you do some research to see if he’s just full of it and promoting claptrap. You see, steven, you do that so as not to promote “alarmism.”

      promoting claptrap? He is expressing his concern about the slow death of freedom of speech. Note, its a slow death. So as with climate which is slowly changing we might have to look really hard or wait before the signal can be seen. But still we can be concerned.

      Some things that cause me concern

      again, small signs, the kind of things we saw at the beginning of climate change.. which is slow warming of the earth..

      1. Speech codes at universities http://www.thefire.org/category/torch/speech-code-of-the-month/
      2. Limitations on Campaign contributions.
      3. Dress codes at schools:
      http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2014/02/court-school-ok-to-demand-removal-of-american-flag-184153.html
      4. The recent IRS crap is also a good one.

      so yes, I see evidence that causes concern.
      How much concern? well, as with climate change that is the big question.

      since we are talking about a slow death, I dont think there isnt anything that a good 2014 and 2016 election cant cure

    • willard –

      as they are legitimate in about any reality one lives in.

      Indeed. And in any reality you live in, there is no typical rhetoric because you can find insignificant differences between one claptrap and another.

    • Note, its a slow death.

      Yes. I am also concerned about that slow death of free speech. You know, ’cause when the sun turns into a red giant some few billion years hence, no one will be exercising their rights of free speech.

    • Steven Mosher

      I’ve linked up a few concerns about free speech being eroded Joshua.
      Mostly from the left.
      You see. I live in San Francisco. So I hear this stuff all the time.
      Again, you dont need many signs to be concerned about a slow death.

      Shall I continue? I have dozens cued up. should I just use the leftist ones?
      maybe just the leftist ones from SF..

      you and willard are deniers

    • Steven Mosher

      here josh and willard..

      fun reading

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/02/ter%C2%B7ror%C2%B7ist-noun-anyone-who-disagrees-with-the-government-2.html

      http://www.nyclu.org/pdfs/eroding_liberty.pdf

      Super liberal, read the whole thing

      ya know when super liberal folks are concerned about a slow death of free speech and liberal smart guys agree… well then I guess I have good cause for concern..

      http://jonathanturley.org/2012/10/14/the-death-of-free-speech/

      “The Death of Free Speech In The West

      Free speech is dying in the Western world. While most people still enjoy considerable freedom of expression, this right, once a near-absolute, has become less defined and less dependable for those espousing controversial social, political or religious views. The decline of free speech has come not from any single blow but rather from thousands of paper cuts of well-intentioned exceptions designed to maintain social harmony.
      In the face of the violence that frequently results from anti-religious expression, some world leaders seem to be losing their patience with free speech. After a video called “Innocence of Muslims” appeared on YouTube and sparked violent protests in several Muslim nations last month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that “when some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected.”

    • Steven Mosher

      hmm this guy stretches things a bit.

      but, there’s enough there for concern.

      http://www.salon.com/2012/08/31/ten_ways_americans_have_lost_their_freedom/

      And here is a new phenomenon

      http://benswann.com/cop-explodes-at-filming-citizens-says-hes-lost-his-freedom-of-speech/

      Yes things are changing.. lots of evidence that would cause one to be concerned.

      Funny thing. maybe if the concern continues there might come something we would call alarm.

      Alarmist propose policies. thats a clue. take it

    • So I hear this stuff all the time.

      So do I. I hear claptrap and alarmism all the time. The antidote is evidence. Feel free to provide evidence of some trend in the life trajectory of free speech.

      I’ve linked up a few concerns about free speech being eroded Joshua.
      Mostly from the left.

      You seem to be confused. I wasn’t asking for more evidence of alarmism and claptraps.

      And I wasn’t asking for you anecdotal collection of isolated examples that you might deem as death grip on free speech. No doubt, I could provide you with many from one year ago, five years ago, a decade ago, multiple decades ago.

      I was pointing to Judith’s alarmism. You know, such as hand-wringing of the “death” of free speech without any evidence of a trend. Perhaps your isolated examples are, in fact, examples that go against the trend. Perhaps free speech is thriving, growing day-by-day, week-by-week, even though rhetoricians and alarmists think the free speech sky is falling.

      Go ahead. Step in for Judith and provide the evidence failed to provide. I mean I’m sure she has it, otherwise she wouldn’t have written what she wrote. Shoot her an email and ask her for some links.

    • On the world stage, there are groups that give death threats for the wrong words or drawings. This has to be weighed up when applying free speech to certain subjects. Your free-speech protection is only by your own law, not theirs.

      • @Jim D – Free speech is not threats. Speech deals with expressing opinions. Once you cross the line from saying “I think this is wrong” to “I will kill you because you are wrong” you have crossed out of free speech and into a different realm.

        You can state “I hate xyz” all day long, and not a sole should threaten you (especially the government). It is when you decide you are going to bash xyz’s skull in that any action is necessary and it is not about your free speech, but about your intent. Assault is not hitting someone. Battery is. Assault is the threat of the physical.

    • Steven Mosher

      Progressive concerned

    • You are playing joshie’s game, Steven. He get’s to decide what evidence is. And he get’s extra points for being smug and smarmy. Dude lives in his own little world.

    • Steven Mosher

      “And I wasn’t asking for you anecdotal collection of isolated examples that you might deem as death grip on free speech. No doubt, I could provide you with many from one year ago, five years ago, a decade ago, multiple decades ago.”

      No you asked for evidence about the slow death.
      not death grip.

      There is evidence. The evidence causes concern.

      Now you might argue that its not evidence. But that’s just gainsaying.
      You asked for evidence. There is evidence. Evidence mostly from the left
      you know typical left wing rhetoric.

      But knock yourself out.

      Go find a college speech code decades ago. count the number of codes
      Go find free speech zones decades ago, calculate the area
      Go find policemen decades ago complain about citizens filming them.
      Go find Jonathan turley writing decades ago. count the words

      Suppose you do. suppose you find warming in the past.. thats the skeptical trick you are using now

      There will still be evidence for concern.

      Here’s a hint. there is always evidence for concern. its called human nature.

    • And finally John –

      In keeping with the technical parsing that you employed in the name of specificity and accuracy….

      I didn’t actually say that she applauded his analogizing multiculturalism and marriage equality to facism.

      I described a sequence where he made that analogy, within an article which she then applauded.

      Now would that mean that you misrepresented me? No, I don’t think so. As I said I think that your points were fair, and I agreed with them. But my original point was incredulity (yes, I’m arguing from incredulity) that Judith could read that kind of claptrap and not then either reject Steyn’s thesis of a “death” of free speech, or accept the larger thesis but make it clear that she rejects the examples that he used in support and provide her own evidence to support a conclusion of a downward trend in our rights of free speech.

    • Joshua,

      I fear you are too harsh.

      This is blogorrhoea, not carefully reasoned and supported argument.

    • Joshua – I think some of us had hoped you would come back from your sabbatical with a new set of rhetorical tools. Alas, same ol, same ol. This “controlled study of variables” shtick is getting hard to take. Scratch that. It was hard to take 2 years ago.

      Has it occurred to you that Mark Steyn, of all people, didn’t need to do “controlled studies, etc” because he was hauled up up before a government speech tribunal a couple of years ago? Maybe he has some first hand experience.

      Steyn is everything that you are not. He is broad-minded, knowledgeable, literate, funny. You are a tiresome bore of limited intellect. No doubt, though, that you will make a great apparatchik

    • To raise some concerns, Joshua, all you need is to point here, to point there, and then induce everywhere.

      INTEGRITY ™ — Everything, Everywhere.

      When will you ever learn, Joshua?

  52. John –

    Which part was a misrepresentation? Do you think that she isn’t applauding Steyn here? Styen’s rhetoric here is typical rightwing rhetoric. He’s a freakin’ rightwing rhetorician. And she is falling right in line with his rhetoric with this whole “slow death of free speech” nonsense.

    She’s no longer only looking the other way at the politicization of climate change by “skeptics” – she’s switched gears and is now actively participating.

    Did you read Pekka’s criticisms, John?

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua what is typical right wing rhetoric.
      please conduct a study. collect data. you know, do exactly what you demand of others.

    • Of course Steyn is a partisan of the right. And you are a partisan of the left. If I thought your speech rights should be limited because you were a partisan of the left, would you find that acceptable? Politics is generally about the conservative way of doing things vs the liberal/leftist way of doing things. Each side should be allowed to present its views freely and without restraint.

      Climate is now a hot political issue. The belief that mankind might be facing some climate catastrophe fifty or a hundred years from now should not be used as a reason to suppress speech or research or publishing.

    • Read Steyn. Or listen to Limbaugh when Steyn isn’t filling in for Limbaugh.

      But yeah, rightwing rhetoricians might not be promoting rightwing rhetoric.

      Excellent point, steven, as usual.

    • pottereaton –

      If I thought your speech rights should be limited because you were a partisan of the left, would you find that acceptable?

      How does that relate to anything I’ve written? Do you think I’m suggesting that Steyn’s rights to free speech be limited?

      I am criticizing the claptrap alarmism of Steyn’s rhetoric, and Judith’s increasingly frequent alignment with that sort of claptrap alarmist rhetoric. Stick to the topic at hand.

    • Steven, all you have to do to get your evidence of right wing rhetoric is to listen to right wing rhetoricians. Straight from the horse’s mouth. That’s science. Kind of circular, but it works for joshie.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua,

      You didnt answer the question.
      what is typical right wing rhetoric?
      You know specific examples and then how you determined that it was typical as opposed to atypical.
      Why do you hold others to standards that you dont practice yourself?

    • Steven Mosher

      Don in my reviews I think Marls Rhetoric is rather ATYPICAL as far as right wing rhetoric goes. He is far more allusive to classics than say limbaugh. Ah his humor is more urbane than say mark levin.

      As usual Joshua has a tin ear for these things. its so much easier to make vague charges.

    • steven –

      You didnt answer the question.
      what is typical right wing rhetoric?

      I did answer the question. Read Steyn. Or listen to Limbaugh when Steyn isn’t filling in for Limbaugh. They are wrightwing rhetoricians. Their rightwing rhetoric is typical of rightwing rhetoricians. Doesn’t get any more typical.

      If you listen to leftwing rhetoricians you’ll hear similar claptrap about the “death of free speech.”

      Now about that evidence, steven… Or are you just another “alarmist?”

    • Steven, the most interesting thing about joshie is that he is not capable of recognizing his own silliness. He actually believes that his little contrived zingers aimed at Judith hit the mark with unerring accuracy. Point out his inconsistencies and he just sails right along as if nothing happened. You want evidence of typical right wing rhetoric? Joshie ain’t sweating it. He will send you to your radio to find it for yourself. One of the silliest people I have ever encountered.

    • Steyn, if you read it, feels that bigoted remarks are under attack and being limited as free speech. I would disagree. People still can make bigoted remarks, and still suffer the consequences of them, not being prosecuted, but just vilified in the public forum, like the Colorado professor was, by other people using their own right to free speech. You can’t be prosecuted for bigotry any more than for stupidity, but there are lines for hate speech.

      • Why are there lines for hate speech? Free speech is easy if you agree with it. it is when you do not agree with it that it becomes either a noble cause or hypocrisy.

        If you truly support free speech, you should be support speech by those who you totally disagree with. Any less is hypocrisy.

    • Steyn, if you read it, feels that bigoted remarks are under attack and being limited as free speech.

      Reminds me of when alarmist complain that they’re being “censored” or denied the rights of free speech because they’ve had their blog comments moderated.

      Reminds me of how people have been saying that kids aren’t like they used to be – for probably thousands of years.

      Of course, notice that no one has stepped up to over one iota of evidence of some trend in rights of free speech. Not over one year, or five years or a decade or multiple decades.

      People can be “concerned” about whatever trend they like to see, and then point the finger at others and call them “alarmist.” And the white knights step in when the lack of evidence is noticed.

      Same ol’ same ol’.

    • You should write a book about your insight into other human’s behavior. Hopefully, it would keep you off here for some time.

    • “People still can make bigoted remarks, and still suffer the consequences of them, not being prosecuted, but just vilified in the public forum, like the Colorado professor was, by other people using their own right to free speech.”
      Ward Churchill was vilified as bigot, but being hideous creature was not enough to get him fired, wiki:
      “He was a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado Boulder from 1990 to 2007.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Churchill

      And was fired because:

      “In March 2005 the University of Colorado began investigating allegations that Churchill had engaged in research misconduct; it reported in June 2006 that he had done so Churchill was fired on July 24, 2007”
      In the report:
      http://web.archive.org/web/20060523111342/http://www.colorado.edu/news/reports/churchill/download/WardChurchillReport.pdf
      He committed plagiarisms on 2 occasions and fabricated a study
      claiming:
      “Europeans and Euroamericans intentionally introduced the smallpox virus to Native American tribes as part of a larger effort that Professor Churchill contends should be called “genocide.”
      In summary and conclusions of report:
      “1. Falsification, as discussed in Allegations A, B, C, and D.
      2. Fabrication, as discussed in Allegations C and D.
      3. Plagiarism, as discussed in Allegations E and G.
      4. Failure to comply with established standards regarding author names on publications, as discussed most fully in Allegation F but also in Allegations A, B, and D.
      5. Serious deviation from accepted practices in reporting results from research, as discussed in Allegation D.
      We did not find plagiarism in Allegation F.
      We note additionally that Professor Churchill was disrespectful of Indian oral traditions when dealing with the Mandan/Fort Clark smallpox epidemic of 1837. He did not mention native oral sources in his published essays but adduced them only retrospectively and disingenuously in an attempt to defend himself against charges of academic wrongdoing, as discussed in Allegation D.”

    • John Carpenter

      Well Joshua, she said Steyn wrote a ‘remarkable’ piece. How this becomes ‘applauding’ it is not clear to me. Applauding is done as an act of approval or congratulations or appreciation. Saying something is remarkable is none of that. It appears you have transformed… misrepresented… what she said by turning something she said was remarkable to approval by applauding. That is not to say she may feel that way, but I don’t know that for sure. She did not say ‘I completely approve of what Steyn says in this piece’.

      For arguments sake, let’s say she is applauding the piece. How do you know she is applauding that part? How do you know what parts she is or isn’t applauding. I find the argument you present to be rather… err selective… in pointing out the most negative aspect of the piece. Why go for that part only? That seems rather selective to me.

    • “Well Joshua, she said Steyn wrote a ‘remarkable’ piece” – John.

      Yes, it’s slightly ambiguous.
      By ‘remarkable’, Judith could mean; astonishingly bad, awful, appalling, ill-considered, stupid, wrong, irrational, disengenuous, dishonest…..or all of those!

    • John –

      Your points are fair and I don’t disagree with what you say. But in calling the piece “remarkable” and speaking of how she shares Steyn’s concern with the “death” of free speech, and her repeated alignment in editorializing in strong support of Steyn, and her complete lack of distancing herself from any aspect of Steyn in this matter or any other despite his own direct references to what she has to say on the matter, I think that it’s fair to say that she’s applauding Steyn in an overall sense. She is certainly welcome to clarify if she wishes to, to speak of how she found Steyn’s article remarkable and generally applauds him quite loudly but agrees that comparing multiculturalism and marriage equality to facisim is inane claptrap. If she does do so, I will be more than willing to acknowledge my misrepresenting what she said. In fact I’d be happy to do so.

      And even more, if she goes on to explain why she isn’t being alarmist about the “death” of free speech, and isn’t hand-wringing about a concerning trend for which she has provided no evidence, and isn’t aligning herself as an advocate on political matters, I will be more than happy to acknowledge my misrepresentation.

    • And John – keep in mind that the analogy of his situation to the plight of someone suffering under the iron thumb of fascism is a central tenet of Steyn’s thesis in that article. It is part of the larger argument that Judith signed on to directly, that there is some growing trend whereby we are witnessing a “death” of free speech, and that his case is indicative of some larger trend, the evidence of which can be seen in multiculturalism and marriage equality. I’d say that if you align your views with the general thesis of someone’s argument, but disagree with the examples that they use in support of their thesis, then to make your own argument valid you should point out that you disagree with the examples provided and find them invalid, and instead provide your own examples that support the larger thesis. Indeed, I look forward to Judith pointing out how she measures the trend in the life trajectory of free speech, and how her examples support an interpretation that free speech is dying.

      Of course, we could also discuss how she didn’t actually say that free speech is dying, but said only that she’s concerned about its death in the context of supporting Steyn’s argument that horrible things like multicuilturalism and marriage equality are comparable to the oppression of facism. That seemed like a good enough argument for my much beloved white nights.

    • heh. “iron thumb.” I love mixed metaphors.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua,

      Why does she take the side of Steyn? She is concerned with the slow death of free speech. And she does not like Mann. She has stated in more than one interview that she is ‘fond of my freedom of speech, thank you”. Steyn represents this position in his case. But just because she identifies with this and gives his views on this position support, it does not mean she endorses all analogies, opinions, political views and ideologies of Steyn. You have been very selective in taking this one analogy Steyn used out of many many different examples of his writings that JC has either commented on or linked to about the freedom of speech issue and concluded she is applauding it. That is selective and I don’t think it represents her opinion. The funny thing about selectively finding things you can get over on JC is they are so selective. Like you say, same ol same ol Joshua.

    • Steve, this is an analysis of what ‘left’ and ‘right’ mean, in different democracies. One of the oddities is that parties of the left, and judged as part of the left nationally and internationally, are of the ‘right’ and vise versa

      http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/politics/faculty/laver/Expert-CMP_Electoral_Studies.pdf

  53. In the end, climate activism will fail not because of its opponents, but its adherents. David Appell, FOMD, BartR, Joshua, Michael–you have joined the ranks of Mann, Gleick, Jim Prall, Stephan Lewandowsky, et al.

    I call your attention to the harm you cause, not because I am a skeptic. I am not. It is because you make it less likely that we will pursue right action on climate change.

    Shame on you all.

    • Tom Fuller | April 20, 2014 at 12:41 am |

      Uh.. I don’t really know the other guys you link me to, and I generally skip over most of their posts (though I admit, Michael’s are often funny and well-written enough to merit a second glance). I disagree with as much of what they’ve written that I have bothered to read as I disagree with what you’ve written that I bother to read.

      Does this mean you’re in the same group too?

      Ad hom propaganda techniques, name calling, obtaining disapproval by demonizing and the like, are transparent for what they are, attempts to manipulate by appeal to invalid bases and not reasoning.

      But since you like what I write so much that you feel you can categorize me, have a gander at:

      https://judithcurry.com/2014/04/11/curry-versus-trenberth/#comment-520527 and https://judithcurry.com/2014/04/11/curry-versus-trenberth/#comment-521526

    • “Michael–you have joined the ranks of Mann, Gleick, Jim Prall, Stephan Lewandowsky, et al.” – Tom

      You old flatterer….

    • David

      I read your piece. Are you still spoofing about the reliability of Judith’s data on the Southern Ocean.? My suspicions were aroused when you had the same opinion as me (a rare event) this time on the merits of that 2010 paper which, like much of climate science was based on very thin data.

      I expressed these doubts at the time over at WUWT.

      Would Judith write the same article today and reach the same conclusions as she did in 2010 after four years of the ever growing Uncertainty monster? I would like to think not.
      tonyb

    • George Turner

      Southern ocean and the ever growing uncertainty monster? That sounds like part of a viral ad campaign for the new Godzilla movie.

      Speaking of quark soup, physicists at CERN have confirmed that a particle called Z (4430) exists, and believe it’s made up of four quarks, two quarks and two anti-quarks, which would require some revisions to the standard model because previously it was thought that quarks could only form pairs (mesons) and triplets (baryons), both of which are hadrons. At present they’re calling the new particle a tetraquark, but obviously such a large group of quarks should be called a groupon.

    • George, your last comment could be characterised as “groupon-think,” hardly appropriate in a discussion of free speech.

    • John Carpenter

      Heh, one more reason not to trust a thing you have to say. Journalist…. my eye.

    • What you are doing apple, is not spoofing. It’s clowning. You are a clown.

  54. Attacks on free speech? There are no attacks on free speech in the US. Least of all by the government.

    “An Ohio statute, which resembles laws in at least 15 other states, says, among many other stern things, that: ‘No person, during the course of any campaign . . . shall . . . make a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official.’”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376018/policing-political-speech-george-will.

    Not to mention my earlier comment that the (US) Supreme Court has already held that the federal government can criminalize speech against an incumbent, true or not, in the 90 days before an election. at least if you spend any money so that other people might actually, you know, hear what you have to say.

    Oops.

  55. Mark Goldstone

    When I was a child we had a big debate about free speech and some held the view that even such things as child pornography was acceptable. This missed the point, of course, because such “free speech” was criminal in nature and no child could ever consent. Apart from such criminality, if anyone wishes to say what they want they should be allowed to do so. If people decide that they are mindless cretins for holding such opinions then that is also their right.

    The thing about free speech is that you don’t have to have evidence, you just have to have an opinion. If folks decide that such an opinion lacks evidence, so be it and if sufficient people decide that then they have the perfect right to ignore it.

    Simple free speech – you have the right to say what you want no matter how stupid or offensive. I have the right to ignore you tell you you are wrong or respond in an equally offensive manner.

    Of course that is not the same as politics. Politics is about convincing enough voters that you are on their side so that when you get into a politically powerful position you can ignore them and do what you want.

    What always amazes me is that some people still give respect to politicians even when they have been found out and voted out. Something about how they have dedicated their lives to public service. Well I used to be a dustman and collected garbage when I was a student, the pay was nothing like a politicians, but nobody ever thanked me for my public service.

    • “This missed the point, of course, because such “free speech” was criminal in nature and no child could ever consent”

      Quite a few children are on the Sex Offenders Register, for life, for texting pictures of heir body parts to each other.

  56. Worth thinking about in this context:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle

    “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” –JS Mill

    This is very “economic” and that’s no surprise. Mill’s project in “On Liberty” was to construct as many rights and freedoms as possible within the confines of utilitarianism. Very, very economic.

    Yet read the Wiki entry carefully, and think about contemporary scientific strides in developing mind/body relations, and you may get uncomfortable. I know I am.

  57. Mark Goldstone

    Of course, Senator Brandis was specifically, responding to an attempt to limit free speech by the Labour party on the basis that speech should not be “offensive”, so those that try to say that Free Speech is not under attack are presumably too ignorant to know the background.

    The history is that the right wing commentator Andrew Bolt made a spectacularly bigoted remark about “white aboriginals” and the labour party responded by trying to limit free speech by making it illegal to say something that offended someone else – a clear attack on the right of free speech and something that was so open to interpretation that it’s impact was likely to be far greater than would be reasonable.

    Brandis has been charged with setting this right and was responding to those who say that bigoted speech should be banned. It’s interesting because the right wing senator is simultaneously correcting a legal distortion whilst making it clear that he doesn’t agree with Andrew Bolt’s comments.

    Free speech is without doubt the very foundation of our modern democracies and those who want to limit it are acting in an inherently undemocratic manner. It is of great concern that those who call themselves “progressives” in our society are the first to try and limit what people can say.

  58. government has a very obvious and very large vested interest in a finding of alarmism

    Pekka > Really? Why would the government have such an interest?

    More taxes and powers.

    To me that claim is 100% unfounded conspiratorialism.

    You don’t need a conspiracy to explain self-interest. Furthermore, to suggest conspiracy here, is but to try and disguise the self-interest.

    • Who gets more power?

      What’s the self-interest in creating a flow of money that’s largely controlled by others.

      You have only your conspiracy theory as support for your claim.

    • Pekka Pirilä > Who gets more power?

      The state.

      What’s the self-interest in creating a flow of money that’s largely controlled by others.

      Control then is with the state, not the others anymore.

      You have only your conspiracy theory as support for your claim.

      This conspiracy strawman of yours is worthless, since you don’t need a conspiracy to explain self-interested behaviour. Indeed it is a smokescreen.

    • You discuss of self-interest, but there’s none. That’s my point. You only imagine that there’s some.

      • Government does have a self interest, and it is not the people, but of power. That is why there are so many regulations, half of them totally stupid. They accomplish nothing, but give a say to the government in how you run your daily life.

    • Pekka, my experience in government at various times from 1965-2004 suggests that there are strong incentives for politicians and bureaucrats to extend their reach and share of the economy. No conspiracy, that’s my observation about people with political or bureaucratic power. Those who, like me, are genuinely interested in the welfare of the community rather than self-advancement are a small minority. I don’t see such growth as beneficial, and CAGW has definitely given gov/bur opportunities to extend their reach and control, which they have seized.

    • Faustino,

      People have always numerous motives for their behavior, part of them unconscious. People close to power play power game, again party unconsciously. In politics one of the important factors is the concern on getting reelected, and among those dependent on politicians the need to maintain the position.

      Presenting particular views on climate policy is influenced by that kind of self-interest, but that may play in any direction. There’s no particular self-interest in supporting strong and costly climate policies as entering those will restrict the range of alternatives in many ways.

    • Pekka,
      As I pointed out here on a blog some months ago, an idealogue like Gov Jerry Brown doesn’t care about the consequences only enforcement of the rules in his self interest. His Air Resources Board is enforcing the rules for air quality and it capped the cement industry from further production. Most of the cement has to be imported from China or other states. Brown wants to build a super train that will require, more than anything else, a lot of cement. Even though it will require much greater harm to air quaulity due to importation he insists on the policy just to maintain control. The cement company doesn’ t care as it has a vested interest in Chinese cement as well.This is all about control not about the public interest.

    • ‘There’s no particular self-interest in supporting strong and costly climate policies as entering these will restrict the range of alternatives in many ways.’

      Pekka buys a clue to the madness.
      =============

    • I’m with Faustino on this, mostly. Liberal democracies that have a legislative body with members that only answer to local polities are almost designed such that revenue is a common pool resource and expenditures a local benefit. Virtually every liberal democracy on the planet is heavily in debt. I know some particularly dour people who say liberal democracy is a failed experiment and is in the process of dying.

    • I agree that government intervention is more acceptable for the left than for the right. Therefore the left has less inherent opposition towards government intervention related to climate policies, but that doesn’t mean that the traditional left would be naturally for it.

      Only people like supporters of degrowth and certain environmental preferences are likely to see promoting strong climate policies as a way to promote also their more general goals. The support of strong climate policies is more extensive than what what these groups can give, for the other support the issue is surely the climate itself, not some other motivation.

    • Pekka
      The state has no self-interest? C’mon!!!! It’s the most self-interested, greedy and brutal institution there has ever been.

    • Pekka
      The bottom line:
      * Climate science is funded almost entirely by the state.
      * The state stands to benefit hugely if it can sell climate alarmism to the public, since this means it can extend its controls and bureaucracies over society, and plunder them for more taxes.

      So what we have here is an egregious conflict of interest.

      Which goes quite some way to explain the Climategate evidence of how corrupt and biased mainstream climate science is.

    • @NW: Virtually every liberal democracy on the planet is heavily in debt.

      Would you call the US a liberal or conservative democracy?

      It is customary to express public debt as a percentage of GDP. This is the rightmost column at

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt#Gross_federal_debt

      A quick scan of this column shows that the conservatives almost invariably plunged the US heavily into debt and the liberals then pulled them out of it, more or less successfully.

      The biggest counterexamples are (i) Roosevelt, who during 1941-1945 plunged the US 67.1% into debt, and (ii) Obama, who during his tenure managed to decrease Bush’s debt of 20.7% only to 18.5%.

      In hindsight the US would have been financially well-advised to stay out of (i) WW2 and (ii) Iraq.

      • Your timing is off. The “20.7” was for the second term, Iraq started in the first term. It was not Iraq that caused the 20.7. It was the housing bubble bursting.

        There have been no burst bubbles under Obama.

        Also note the main index. Determining the party there is a lot more telling.

        Final note. Beware Wikipedia. The numbers on the second Bush term do not add up either. Wiki is not a good source. Whitehouse.gov is however.

    • Obama doubled the debt, tra la.
      ================

    • So why is doubling the debt bad, kim? Are you concerned about the interest due on it, or something else?

      Debt service as a percentage of federal outlays during the presidencies of Reagan and GHW Bush rose from 7% to 15%, see

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/09/5-facts-about-the-national-debt-what-you-should-know/

      The Clinton administration reversed this, bringing debt service back down from 15% to 7%.

      As of September 30 the federal government’s total debt was $16.74 trillion, while debt service was down to 2.43%. With money that cheap today I’m shocked that Obama hasn’t taken on more debt.

      Picky point: the debt when Obama took office was $10 trillion, it’s now $17 trillion. In order to claim he doubled the debt, you need to let him take on another $3 trillion. No big deal at 2.43%.

      A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money. ;)

    • Tiptoe, through the tulips, with me.
      =================

    • Virtually every liberal democracy in the west is heavily in debt.

      Peter Drucker ‘Schumpeter and Keynes,’ 1983, cites Schumpeter,
      ‘The Tax State’ published in the year before the end of WW1,
      arguing that through the mechanisms of taxation and borrowing,
      the modern State has acquired the power to shift income and
      through ‘transfer payments’, control the distribution of the national
      product. To Schumpeter this was not Keynes’ magic wand to
      achieve social justice and economic progress, but an invitation
      to irresponsibility because it eliminated all economic safeguards
      against inflation. In the past the inability of the State to tax or
      borrow more than a small proportion of the country’s wealth had
      made inflation self -limiting, now the only limit against inflation is
      political self discipline. :(

  59. The right and ability to speak, to express personal views has obviously expanded enormously over the last century. Partly this is due to technology, printing and the internet, but also because many societies have become considerably less authoritarian.
    An obvious example, a century ago JC would not have been able to host this sort of discussion. As a woman she would have been unlikely to be able to pursue a scientific career and would have lacked any social standing. Ethnic minorities were similarly suppressed.

    But while many more of us have the right and ability to speak, (publish, blog etc) speech is only free when it has no cost.

    Many US citizens are free to assert that the Earth was created around 6000 years ago in an act of divine magic. The only cost of this is that the scientifically literate will regard them as idiots.
    However asserting that the Earth formed by natural processes around 4.5billion years ago will get a person kicked out of most bible colleges. A person is free to make the assertion about the age of the Earth but in the context of universities with a religious agenda it carries the cost of exclusion.

    If a person asserts something that is intended to damage not their own reputation, but that of another person, the right to ‘free’ speech comes into conflict with the sense of natural justice that for one person to suffer harm at the hands, or words, of another requires that they can seek redress if that accusation is false.
    To claim that free speech implies that when that speech inflicts a cost on others the speaker has no responsibility to redress that cost would fly in the face of well established social ethics.

    As modern societies have abandoned authoritarian systems of governance speech has become considerably MORE free. Rarely do societies choose to penalise statements that contradict the majority dogma, but do still restrict speech that has the effect, intentional or otherwise of damaging, or inflicting a reputational/financial cost on other individual(s).

    In the past dismissing, for example, the contribution of women to scientific discourse was a conventional dogma and no speaker would have expected any damage to their own reputation by claiming that the female of the species was cognitively unsuited to logical analysis.

    Some of the complaints about the ‘slow death of freedom of speech’ looks suspiciously like those who would still assert those old dogmas are complaining that not only are they now disparaged for expressing such views, but those they potentially damage or denigrate have a ‘natural justice’ right to seek redress.

    The specific case of MBH98 and the long campaign against Mann is odd. An accusation of fraud is contradicted by the multiple lines of additional evidence that have largely confirmed the original work, while also exposing its statistical flaws. It is rather as if some people were still accusing Prof Doll of fraud because the initial epidemiological studies that shows a link between cancer and smoking were statistically weak and used old fashioned and now dubious mathematical methods.

    It has no effect, and is not intended to be, a reasoned critique of the science. Certainly nothing Steyn has said has any traction with the scientific community as I am sure JC will confirm. Its audience is the uninformed layperson who welcomes confirmation of their ‘scepticism’. Asserting Mann’s work is fraudulent is an attempt to damage the reputation of a scientist because of political differences not because there is any valid doubts about the science, just as was the case with DDT, CFCs, asbestos, lead and tobacco and cancer.

    • k scott denison

      izen, if free speech is alive and growing, please explain why a publicly funded university (Colorado) needs private donations to fund a visiting professor in order to increase the diversity of the opinions voiced on campus.

  60. ” Kilez More produced and posted a climate science skeptic video…” – JC

    Great – more conspiracy theory.

  61. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Dave Appell’s test-case “The *** of Judith Curry” was artfully constructed as a distilled example of Steyn-style vilification of Judith Curry

    Appell’s test-case raises seven natural questions:

    Q1  Did Appell/Steyn transgress rational bounds?
    Q2  Did Appell/Steyn transgress factual bounds?
    Q3  Did Appell/Steyn transgress collegial bounds?
    Q4  Did Appell/Steyn transgress professional bounds?
    Q5  Did Appell/Steyn transgress legal bounds?
    Q6  Did Appell/Steyn transgress civic bounds?
    Q7  Did Appell/Steyn transgress moral bounds?

    The common-sense answers are “yes, yes, yes, yes, plausibly, yes, and yes”, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Conclusion  Dave Appell’s “**** of Judith Curry” test-case shows us plainly the corrosive nature of Steyn-style discourse.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  62. Senator George Brandis addresses implications of political
    correctness, Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act,1995,
    Australia, and of media control recommendations in 2012, The
    ‘Finkelstein Report’ recommending the setting up of a regulatory
    body funded by government to oversee the news media, a new
    Media Council with power to enforce decisions and apply heavy
    sanctions :(
    vvhttp://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2012/10/in-defence-of-freedom-of-speech/

    • Beth/Belinda the serf.

      Well said. We in Australia and people in other countries should be very concerned about the Left’s attempt to control the media, legislate what can and cannot be said and thought and rein in free speech in Australia.

      What gets a hold in one country can be used as a precedent for other countries to follow.

  63. /http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2012/10/in-defence-of-freedom-of-speech/

  64. Over night, 21 comments landed in moderation, about half were David Appel’s. About half of the comments were released, including one of David Appel’s that points to another post at his blog

    David Appel has violated blog rules, which is why he went into moderation.

    David Appel’s right to free speech does not imply any responsibility on my part to read his comments or to publish them here.

    • George Turner

      You know, when you first give “the free speech talk” to a child, you can expect a few rough days as they run around the house screaming all sorts of vile things. ^_^

    • The Free Speech issue and censorship apply only to the government, including the courts. Individuals can listen to, or not, whomever they choose. Dr. Curry can deep six any comment she likes for any reason she likes.

    • I’d liken a blog to private property and with that there’s a question of property rights. A blog owner should be able to control their property. But their right may compete with a blog users free speech rights. I suppose one way to approach the problem is with a hierarchy of rights. Which do we think is the right that we should value higher? The majority of time I’d go with property rights as the right most in need of protecting.

      If property rights has 4 units of utility value and free speech rights has 1 unit of utility value, we can take 2 units from the former and give them to the latter, making it 2 units of utility value for property rights and now 3 units of utility value for free speech rights. We would have done what we thought was right but we wouldn’t have created any new net rights. We’ve just rearranged them, and with the new valuation trumped property rights with free speech rights.

      There are many cases where these rearrangements were warranted. But I don’t think this is the case with blogs. Some offer value because they are private property which can give them independence. An independence to chart their own course. An independence to agree with some, but not with others. Property rights can work well in practice.

    • Appel is apprently under the misapprehension that calling the host of the blog he comments on names and accusing of her of dishonesty is the way to win hearts and minds.

      As Tom Fuller points out above, this does nothing but damage to whatever point he is trying to make. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :)

      This is a great example of why letting fools expose themselves through their own words is 100 times more effective than suppressing them. Well, done, Dr Curry.

    • David Appel has violated blog rules, which is why he went into moderation.

      David Appel’s right to free speech does not imply any responsibility on my part to read his comments or to publish them here.

      . Thank goodness for the moderation. Appell is a very rude person. He had nothing to offer except rudeness. Basic manners to the host should be expected.

    • On second thoughts, Johanna is correct. I retract my comment and award Johanna +100 for hers.

  65. The true censorship of free speech is being carried out by conservatives in power. Canadian conservatives have enacted laws to stop climate change from being discussed.
    http://critical-angle.net/2013/11/04/pipelines-cause-climate-change-lets-talk-about-it/

    • George Turner

      They’re probably fed up with inane attempts to stop a pipeline by talking about rainbows and polar bears.

      The pipeline will eliminate emissions from the locomotives that currently haul the oil. Even if there wasn’t an alternate delivery method, and all the pipeline’s 830,000 bbl a day would otherwise not exist (in a World consuming 93.25 million barrels of oil a day), it still would represent a 0.3% reduction in CO2 emissions, which would reduce temperatures by approximately 0.006 degrees C, going by the EU goals of 2C by Lord knows when. But since the oil is going to be shipped with or without the pipeline, you don’t even get that much reduction. So of all the environmental considerations in building a pipeline, and there are many, that would not be one of them.

    • George Turner, you can try to justify censorship of speech but that doesnt change tthe fact that conservatives are doing it regarding climate science.

    • In the interest of freedom of speech, some may want to read another take on the story:

      http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/08/15/peter-foster-forestethics-fights-for-one-way-democracy/

  66. And in Wyoming in the USofA, conservatives are trying to ban teaching about climate change. Kids cant talk about it if they don’t know about it.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/17/3412131/wyoming-rejects-ngss/

  67. From the article:

    Joined by execs from Apple, Oracle, and Facebook, the Google Chairman asserted in a March letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S.; the Obama administration on Friday extended the review period on the pipeline, perhaps until after the Nov. 4 congressional elections. And as a ‘Major Contributor’ to Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us PAC, Schmidt is also helping to shape public opinion on the White House’s call for immigration reform; FWD.us just launched new attack ads (videos) and a petition aimed at immigration reform opponent Rep. Steve King. In Dave Eggers’ The Circle, politicians who impede the company execs’ agenda are immediately brought down. But that’s fiction, right?”

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/04/20/1334231/google-and-facebook-unelected-superpowers

  68. jim2, by your definition everything is faith. Makes the word meaningless which makes your comment the same

    • Eric pulls a Mosher. If you settle down a little, Eric, I think you actually know the difference between how the word “faith” is used vs “science.”

  69. In the UK it is now an offence to offend anyone. Similarly, a racist actg is any act that somebody perceives to be racist. Portmanteau legislation that can be applied as and when needed, and all working to shut free speech down.

    Just say no.

  70. I want to wish (Warmers included) all the contributors and readers of Climate Etc a Happy Easter. We have good reason to be joyful. He has made all things new.

    Andrew

  71. “Stephen Hayward at the University of Colorado”
    ——————
    With reference to the passage headed above, this is an extraordinary book documenting the implementation of a full-on code of political correctness at Stanford Uni at the end of the 80s. It’s horrifying.

    The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford
    Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The%20Diversity%20Myth%3A%20Multiculturalism

  72. Craig Loehle

    People easily forget that attempts to control speech spill over into other areas as well. They go along with arrests of people for bad thoughts (communism, radical islam, etc). It can go farther, in the Ming dynasty in china, every aspect of life was regimented, from clothing styles to housing, all in the name of “order” and “harmony”. Current progressive ideas include rigid dictating of what food can be served in schools, moves toward racial/gender quotas in hiring, regimented national school curricula, an attempt to put observers in newspaper editorial offices to check on “balance”, and on and on. The police vigorously object to being photographed and often arrest people who photograph them even in states where it is not illegal. Politicians and campus admins want to stop people who criticize them or make fun of them, and have sent the police after bloggers or twitterers who put out satire or criticism. It isn’t just about speech.

    • Advances in neuro-science in the next 50 years should make everyone wary of the penalties of having bad thoughts. Today they are kept sacrosanct due to our own censorship. In the future,they may be interpreted by scientific capabilities we can only imagine. Dont think for a minute that political ideology will just let those new discoveries go unexploited. Political correctness and the role of the thought police will take on whole new meanings.

  73. So, three cheers for Climate Etc. in this regard.

    All perspectives are welcomed.

    I enjoy the posts of ‘lolwat’ and ‘Fan of more Discourse’ not because I agree with them, but because they are civil and provide points of discourse.

    Unfortunately, ‘Real Climate’ and ‘Open Mind’ simply exclude any points that don’t fit their narratives ( though comically post ‘suck-up’ posts which agree with them ). Others either ban posters or ammend snark.

  74. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    makes three cogent points: “(1) Nothing Steyn has said has any traction with the scientific community … “(2) Asserting Mann’s work is fraudulent is an attempt to damage the reputation of a scientist because of political differences … (3)  Just as was the case with [special-interest denialism in regard to] DDT, CFCs, asbestos, lead and tobacco and cancer.”

    Is Mark Steyn himself conscious of these realities? There are two possibilities:

    • Steyn/NR/CEI appreciates (1)-(3) … in which event Steyn writes whatever NR/CEI (etc) pays, without regard for scientific evidence or journalistic ethics, and so he/they deserve our contempt.

    • Steyn/NR/CEI is oblivious to (1)-(3) … in which event Steyn (and his NR/CEI audience) are the victims of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, and so he/they deserve our pity.

    Question Which is it, Climate Etc readers? Has Mark Steyn/NR/CEI earned our contempt, or do they deserve our pity?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “Question Which is it, Climate Etc readers? Has Mark Steyn/NR/CEI earned our contempt, or do they deserve our pity?”

      Bleh.

    • Of course, the IPCC was the first to repudiate Mann by dumping the hokey stick.

  75. Uh, Jaimie Jessop’s ‘Alice in Denierland’ is good stuff. Click the link in Judy’s twitter feed.
    ============

  76. Another example published at WUWT of an editor knuckling under to pressure to censor an opinion piece:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/20/dueling-climate-reports-this-one-is-worth-sharing-on-your-own-blog/#more-107823

  77. Happy Easter, including to all the heathens among you.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “heathens”
      Thanks Gary. Same back atcha. I wear my agnosticism proudly. At the same time I do my best to respect those with a different point of view. The thing is, it’s too easy to make fun of religion. Too cheap. I detested Bill Maher’s “Religulous” What a sneering, arrogant, ignorant, self licking ice cream cone.

    • George Turner

      I think most people are pretty agnostic about the whole Easter bunny thing, if not outright skeptical. Why would a herbivorous mammal be hopping around hiding eggs? It makes no sense. I could perhaps rationally understand an Easter Echidna or platypus, since they’re monotremes, but a lagomorph?

    • Thanks, Gary. I’m not a believer, but accept good wishes from others in the spirit that they are given – unlike a certain egomaniac thug at WUWT. Happy Easter to you too!

    • johanna,

      I see what you mean. Willis has sunk to a new low. Man really needs help.

    • pokerguy,

      I was an agnostic for about 25 years, after being raised a Roman Catholic. So I can fully understand the perspective. All I will say (not interested in the least in starting a theological debate) is that those who taught theology at the Catholic university I attended were as open minded and informative about Christianity as modern climate scientists are about skepticism. I filled my graduation requirement by studying Bhuddism, atheism, Hinduism, agnosticism, everything but Christianity. (They only offered one course on Catholic doctrine, which I took. Surprisingly, though I was already well down the agnostic path I would follow for years, I found the priest who taught that one course more open, and more respectful and accepting of dissent than all the others.).

      It’s easy to make fun of caricatures. Not so easy once you meet the real McCoy.

      • @GaryM

        those who taught theology at the Catholic university I attended were as open minded and informative about Christianity as modern climate scientists are about skepticism.

        Should have gone to Dayton. One of my “religious” professors was a Methodist minister. ;-)

  78. Bob, If you look it up ‘climate misinformer’ is reserved for a discription of skeptics including climate misinformer of the year. This is also what Michael Mann called Judy Curry. I don’t believe Steyn called Mann that. Steyn also did not call Mann ‘the Jerry Sandusky of climate change.’ He referred to the Sandusky references of Simberg but said he wouldn’t extend it that far. He said “He remains Michael Mann of climate change.”
    http://nationalreview.com/corner/309442/football-and-hockey-mark-steyn

  79. Yes, as Bramdis writes, the climate change debate is a case in point. Emanual of MIT ‘let the cat out of the bag’ when he said that the basic science belonged to the mid-nineteenth century ‘pencil and paper, studies. Enormous differences have been made since then in our understanding of electromagnetic radiation and the properties of gases to absorb and emit radiation.

  80. davideisenstadt

    David Appell (@davidappell) | April 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
    The Lies of Judith Curry
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-lies-of-judith-curry.html
    thin skinned writer, pruducing a poorly reasoned piece of effluvia. he feels free and correct to label curry a liar; try to send him an email he disagrees with; he will tell you youre a criminal.
    truly a disgusting person, lower than despicable.

  81. if you have being leaving in the former Soviet Union states; you will know how much free speech means. In the west, nobody knows the value and importance of free speech…

  82. Why the ”Warmist” are always trying to silence the ”deniers” and the truth?
    the ”skeptics” are not much better – it shows that both camps don’t have confidence in what they are promoting…

  83. An oldie but a goodie. The 1995 Clinton “Commerce Conspiracy Memo.”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/04/the-clintons-conspiracy-commerce-memo-187092.html

    It shows not just the conspiracy obsession so common of the left, but the existential fear of conservaives bypassing the media filters of the Dem PR firm – NYTimesWashingtonPostNBCABCCBSCNNMSNBCTimeNewsweek, Inc.

    Remember when Richard Mellon Scaife was the the evil leader of the vast right wing conspiracy, before the Koch brothers? The effort to silence and demonize speech from conservatives is not a recent phenomenon. A real trip down memory lane.

    All you progressive drones, get your “Hillary 2016” bumper stickers today!

  84. An LA Times article on the Ohio statute I commented on above about criminalizing “lies” in political speech.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-lying-20140420,0,1265902.story#axzz2zQwwuVZ0

    But no, there is no need to defend free speech from encroachment by the government, and the progressives who run it.

    Riiiight!

  85. Pingback: HAPPY MONDAY — Winds Of Jihad By SheikYerMami

  86. Science and free speech are really contradictory.

    The problem with free speech, is that a real [skeptic] scientist isn’t free to say whatever they want, because a [skeptic] scientist can only say what the facts dictate. Quite literally its “tyranny of the facts”.

    Yes “consensus science” … the woolly “post normal” subject of which climate science is a growing part, is something where the only standard is you can convince a few academic colleagues to endorse your paper. So, yes they are free to say what they want and “free speech” to weave in political views to academic work seems to be almost a requirement.

    For these people, science isn’t so much a standard as brand-name for their views/work. But as such “scientists” have no more right to have their “science” heard than anyone else.

    But a skeptic scientist isn’t free to say whatever they want. Skeptic scence isn’t a democracy, a skeptic scientist doesn’t have “human rights” to colour their assertions with their own political thoughts. So there is no “free speech” for the skeptic scientist – just a tyranny of the facts.

    • @-Scottish Sceptic
      “Yes “consensus science” … the woolly “post normal” subject of which climate science is a growing part, is something where the only standard is you can convince a few academic colleagues to endorse your paper.”

      The basis of climate science is the process of radiative transfer of energy within the atmosphere. That was discovered largely by the US military in the 1960s as part of the development of heat seeking missiles.
      I doubt that was merely a matter of convincing a few academics to endorse a paper. Given the existential importance of military ordinance functioning as designed it was certainly subject to the tyranny of facts.

    • The problem with noble principles is that their expressions get misused and attempts will be made to use their wordings against the inherent meaning of the principle.

      How many times have we seen here comments by people who apparently have no idea on what science really is about, where they use sentences written to promote good science against perfectly proper science.

      I wrote above

      I cannot see, how scientific truth can ever be on winning side, when freedom of speech gets restricted.

      as an intentionally idealized statement, idealized in the sense that it’s meant to refer to scientific truth and freedom of speech as their ideals. Idealized also in the sense that I chose to exclude all appropriate limitations of freedom of speech as irrelevant for the pursuit of scientific truth.

      What Mark Steyn has stated may (or may not) exceed proper social and legal limits of the use of freedom of speech. It may be painful to one scientist and that might affect the later work of some scientists, but his statements is not a threat for the scientific truth.

      Limitation of freedom of speech is a larger threat for the scientific truth, even when it’s introduced initially for good reasons. To what extent we are facing the threat of limitation of freedom of speech is another question, but some signs of it are certainly present in the climate discussion. It’s fully clear in my view that many people feel that it’s in their interest to leave something unsaid that they would say without the pressure they perceive.

    • Pekka, good last para. There are certainly live threats to freedom of speech in Australia, the UK and it seems other countries. Limitations of freedom of speech speech are rarely introduced “for good reasons,” although I accept that some proponents of restrictions are well-intentioned, if misguided. Your focus of course is on the scientific area, and I agree that limitations of freedom of speech in scientific areas can only be detrimental.

    • “The basis of climate science is the process of radiative transfer of energy within the atmosphere.”

      No wonder it’s wrong then. The basis should be (combined) heat transfer within the atmosphere and that includes convection and evaporation.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Edim +1000

    • We might even say the basis for the delusions of catastrophe is the process of radiative transfer of energy within the atmosphere.
      =================

    • @- Edim
      “The basis should be (combined) heat transfer within the atmosphere and that includes convection and evaporation.”

      That was done in the paper by Manabe & Strickler in 1964.

    • izen, so why do you say that the basis of climate science is the process of radiative transfer within the atmosphere?

    • Scottish Skeptic, you are conflating two different things: an individual scientist’s personal conscience on what he should say regarding what he considers to be facts, and the question about whether any organization, whether that be the US govt or the IPCC has the right to stifle dissent through coercive laws or frivolous SLAPP lawsuits.

      These are two separate issues. You can’t use the former to justify the latter. Does that make sense? This is so simple, even a liberal intellectual should be able to acknowledge this distinction, even if they reject it. And if they do reject it, I’d like to hear the rationale. I honestly, truly do not understand how people like FOMD think.

    • “. I honestly, truly do not understand how people like FOMD think.”

      Oh, that’s real easy :

      Anything that advances alarmism : GOOD
      Anything that doesn’t : BAD

  87. Jim Cripwell

    Scottish Skeptic writes “The problem with free speech, is that a real [skeptic] scientist isn’t free to say whatever they want, because a [skeptic] scientist can only say what the facts dictate. Quite literally its “tyranny of the facts”.”

    Sorry. With respect go the hoax of CAGW, you have got things exactly wrong. The key issue in CAGW is the numerical value of climate sensitivity, however defined. There are no facts as to the value of climate sensitivity. None whatsoever, zero, nada, zilch. All the warmists have, is a series of guesses, based on hypothetical estimations and the output of non-validated models.

    We skeptics are slowly acquiring facts; empirical, observed, measured data as we add more and more CO2 to the atmosphere. It will be these facts that will, in the end, show the warmists to be what they are; charlatans selling snake oil.

    • @- Jim Cripwell
      “The key issue in CAGW is the numerical value of climate sensitivity, however defined. There are no facts as to the value of climate sensitivity. None whatsoever, zero, nada, zilch.”

      Our extensive, and growing, historical knowledge of past climate variation, from LIA MWP LGM etc provides SOME indication of the climate sensitivity to past changes in forcings and the resultant energy imbalance. It may not be sufficient to precisely specify sensitivity, but it does provide a little more than zero indication of how much things can change.

    • Jim Cripwell

      izen, you write “It may not be sufficient to precisely specify sensitivity, but it does provide a little more than zero indication of how much things can change.”

      I disagree completely. The key issue with observed data is what is happening in the atmosphere relative to so-called forcings, and natural variations. We have trouble sorting this out with modern data. I suggest it is impossible to do this with paleo data. I think it is clear that there must be natural variations, other than the “forcing ” of CO2, and no-one can show which is which.

      It is difficult with modern data. I suspect it is impossible with paleo data.

    • @ Jim Cripwell and Edim

      We actually DO have a great deal of data related to climate, the most important of which is that on all time scales examined, climate changes, and that the present climate is well within the bounds of historical climate variations.

      Second, despite the claim that ‘The science is settled!’, it is apparent that Climate Science in fact has no real idea as to what are in fact the primary drivers of major climate shifts, such as the MWP or LIA. Saying that this hiatus or that ramp in the TOE was ’caused’ by La Nina or El Nino is scientific gibberish unless the comings and goings of those La Nina’s and El Nino’s are understood and predictable.

      Third, we have accumulated enough data in the last 50 years or so to justify the conclusion, at least tentatively, that if atmospheric CO2 has ANY measurable influence on the ‘Temperature of the Earth’, however defined, it is minor in relation to other more important influences which we, at our current state of knowledge, cannot list in rank order.

    • @- Jim Cripwell
      The key issue with observed data is what is happening in the atmosphere relative to so-called forcings, and natural variations.

      Natural variations are driven by changes in the energy balance.
      Or are you claiming that temperature can change in some ‘natural’ magical way that circumvents the 1LoT?

    • Jim Cripwell

      izen you write “Natural variations are driven by changes in the energy balance.”

      It is really rather irrelevant to claim that changes are made by “energy balance”. This still leaves to question What caused the energy imbalance? On that issue, we have very little idea, and no way of sporting out which changes are “natural” and which “man made”.

    • Jim,I don’t think we fundamentally disagree. What I’m suggesting is that a Skeptic scientist can only say what the facts assert – what I should have added is that they don’t say anything when there aren’t any facts (i.e. data, tests. etc).

      There are very few certain facts determining climate sensitivity so a skeptic scientist couldn’t just dream up some value and then pretend this is “the settled science”.

      In contrast “consensus science” … can run an opinion poll and if they all agree the “science” is that temperature will rise by so much – or even that green dragons will materialise – then so long as they have agreement this is now what constitutes “science”.

      A skeptic scientist might e.g. think the idea of green dragons is a bit crazy – but without evidence to show that those involved are crazy or a testable hypothesis of some kind, then as a skeptic scientists they really have to remain mute.

      However, so long as they make it clear they are expressing views and not “science”, then obviously skeptic scientists are as free as anyone else to have a view, so long as they don’t call it “science”.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Scottish skeptic, you write “what I should have added is that they don’t say anything when there aren’t any facts (i.e. data, tests. etc).”

      I agree, and I also agree we are not really in disagreement.

    • –Third, we have accumulated enough data in the last 50 years or so to justify the conclusion, at least tentatively, that if atmospheric CO2 has ANY measurable influence on the ‘Temperature of the Earth’, however defined, it is minor in relation to other more important influences which we, at our current state of knowledge, cannot list in rank order.–

      Or we know that the rise from about 300 to 400 ppm of CO2 has had little
      effect.
      And we should expect a rise from 400 to 500 ppm to have if anything less effect.
      At least in terms of average global temperature. Rising CO2 should continue to add to greening of the world.
      What should be far more important is what causes global cooling.
      Some think a 5 C increase in global temperature would have significant consequences, I don’t think it’s possible within a century of time- don’t think it can very rapid, but even if it occurred and occurred rapidly it would have little effect.
      In comparison a 5 C cooling would very dangerous, and rapid cooling has actually occurred in the past and don’t really know why it has happen.
      So from our current temperature said to be 15 C, we have had rapid cooling and have never had rapid warming.
      We have had rapid warming from starting point of lower average temperature than 15 C.
      So if we were in glacial period, rather than an interglacial period, it could make some sense to have rapid and large warming from glacial cold to an interglacial warm. And having dropping temperatures from interglacial warm to normal glacial cool condition.

      There is way to explain this. Our ocean have a low average temperature- about 3 C. And if thoroughly mixed our ocean, getting the surface water mixed, then ocean surface would have this temperature of 3 C. So if *something* could thoroughly mix our ocean, we would have instant glacial global temperatures [we would a drop of more than 5 C to global temperatures].
      Or our tropical ocean surface temperature is about 25 C, if mixed, it could be 3 C. Just mixed, not a gain and loss of heat. And 40% of planet cools by 20 K or why Earth is 15 C, is no longer there. So mix ocean and our 15 C, becomes a 5 C world [or colder].
      Such mixing would slightly warm the entire ocean by as much as 1/2 degree, but our average air temperature would crash.
      Now if you had cold ocean, the surface of ocean could rapidly warm- if 10 years is considered rapid [which it is].
      This is not a theory as there no mechanism which mixes the ocean. But if something could mix the ocean it would cause rapid cooling, though such mixing over a very, very long time actually causes warming. And if stop it so much, then within decades one could get rapid warming up to 15 C.

      A similar thing would occur if stop the sunlight from reaching the entire tropical ocean- the surface would cooling within years, and if then it it’s then permitted for sunlight to reach tropical ocean, it warm back up within decades.
      So something which could be capable of blocking sunlight in tropics, is big orbital ring- like Saturn’s- at the equator. Or large thick volcanic cloud at equator. So it can outside atmosphere or inside atmosphere.
      No particular evidence of this happening at any particular time [except we have large enough volcanic eruptions in the past and had them near equator]. I am just saying what sort of thing could do this.

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  89. Or stalking for stunts.

  90. I find that hard to believe. Dana is lower than a snake’s belly.

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  93. Tom Anderson

    A minor point: My Bartlett’s quotes Voltaire as saying (in translation, of course),
    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    It was, and I hope still is, the prior generation’s more extreme standard for commitment to free speech. It was never an invitation to oratorical suicide by the speaker.

    • Tom Anderson | April 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm |

      So.. if Mann and Steyn both upheld Voltaire’s standards, the world would be different in the following two ways:

      1. Mann wouldn’t have sued Steyn for what he said about Mann that Mann disapproved of;
      2. Steyn wouldn’t have said it about what Mann said that Steyn disapproved of.

      As I said; who likens himself to Voltaire invariably comes off poorly in the comparison.

  94. A symposium about the “Future of Free Speech” at the National Constitution Center can be found at the link below. The subject of suppressing Holocaust denial arises several times, particularly at about 58.5 minutes. One speaker asserts that suppression of Holocaust denial promotes development of denial. Professor Fish makes the case for suppression of free speech in academia beginning about 13.5 minutes.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?318476-1/free-speech-us

  95. Green Compares Slavery with Global Warming
    http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/376388/green-compares-slavery-global-warming-wesley-j-smith

    Mark Steyn: Tiptoeing on ever-thinner eggshells
    Instead, the relentless propagandizing grows ever more heavy-handed: The tolerance enforcers will not tolerate dissent; the diversity celebrators demand a ruthless homogeneity. Much of the progressive agenda – on marriage, immigration, and much else – involves not winning the argument but ruling any debate out of bounds
    http://tinyurl.com/cfmnxon

    Fiction prepares us for a world changed by global warming

    Global warming is much more than scientific data on changes in the atmosphere; it is also a cultural phenomenon in which meaning is being shaped by the books we read and the films we see. And there are so many of them now that we can speak of a completely new genre, cli-fi, says PhD Gregers Andersen who has just defended his thesis Climate-Changed Existence and its Worlds; Global Warming in Fiction and Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen
    http://news.ku.dk/all_news/2014/04/fiction_prepares_us_for_a_world_changed_by_global_warming/

  96. Scottish Skeptic, conflates two different things: an individual scientist’s personal conscience on what he should say regarding what he considers to be facts, and the question about whether any organization, whether that be the US govt or the IPCC has the right to stifle dissent through coercive laws or frivolous SLAPP lawsuits.

    These are two separate issues. He can’t use the former to justify the latter. He must not be allowed to mistake his all too fallible opinion for a justification of tyranny. He’s got to make his case, like the rest of us, and if he is right, then hopefully truth will out. He must not be allowed to exempt himself from scrutiny simply because he really really really wants his opinions to be considered true.

    This is so simple, even a liberal intellectual should be able to acknowledge this distinction, even if they reject it. And if they do reject it, I’d like to hear the rationale. I honestly, truly do not understand how people like FOMD think.

  97. Laws. Originally customs. Backed by gods from whose demands there was no recourse. The administration of laws was taken over by hereditary castes who interpret divine laws and set penalties for disobedience. The emperor and the high priest were often the same person, hence the divine right of kings. When the high priests of the Aztecs declared that the world will end unless the god Huitzilopochtly received regular human sacrifices that became the law of the land. There were special occasions where large numbers were sacrificed, like at the dedication of a new temple.Their victims heads were posted on a skull rack called tzompantli in temple square. Their temples were on top of pyramids and when the last one was built over the previous one, 80,000 war prisoners were said to have been sacrificed for that occasion. Victims of their rain god Tlaloc were children and they were made to cry because Tlaloc used these tears to bring rain. Irrational? Not if you area true believer. One who knows the premise of his religion is absolute truth. Once you are enmeshed in such a belief system it is very hard to pull yourself loose, even if contrary evidence is presented to you. Generations go by and people simply subject themselves to it because they have been inculcated to believe it from infancy. Its power is evident even today as the Manson murders prove. Science is the only way out but it is being frustrated by the fact that we do not begin to teach it until they are in school. By that time religion already has a six year lead. This is how you breed creationists who are opposing or distorting science in the West. The situation is far worse with Muslims, Orthodox Jews, and some other Eastern religions. Free speech is going to do nothing for these people that are already cultified. As individuals, we can do nothing. Collectively, it might be possible to counteract these irrational trends. Unfortunately, control of the collective action of scientific societies is already taken over by warmist bands. As an example, in 2004 eleven heads of national science academies from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, and USA signed a document called “Joint science academies statement: Global response to climate change.” In it they advocate immediate action to reduce significantly the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They are also quite open about ignoring the science involved: “…lack of full scientific certainty…is not a reason for delaying immediate response.” When heads of scientific academies join to call for ignoring science and acting upon mass hysteria they have overstepped the boundaries of their competence, have prostituted science, and have become pawns in a political game controlled by warming activists.

  98. Brendan O’Neill has a long piece on FOS in today’s Australian. Concluding paras:

    In the 20th century, too, left intellectuals articulately defended the freedoms to think, speak and press one’s ideas. George Orwell decried the fact “anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness”, and said freedom of speech was essential if one was to “criticise and oppose”.

    Today, in a tragic turnaround, it is usually the Left who “silence with surprising effectiveness” anyone who “challenges the prevailing orthodoxy”.

    What went wrong? How did the Left go from championing to fearing free speech, from opposing censorship to cheering it?

    In essence, it lost its faith in everyday people, in the man and woman in the street whose rights it would once have defended.

    The main driver behind earlier leftists’ agitation for free speech was a powerful belief that people didn’t need politicians or pointy-hatted religious men or self-styled experts to tell them what to think or what was true; they could work it out for themselves by reading stuff, thinking about it and making a judgment call. If “opinions are free”, all is well, as Paine put it.

    In recent years, the Left has become more and more cut off from ordinary people, and now views the state, not the masses, as the best guarantor of truth and fairness. And so its old belief that people could be trusted to think and speak freely, and to reach ¬rational conclusions, has been replaced by a poisonous, pat¬ernalistic conviction that if we hear the wrong thing we might instantly turn into psychotic racists or morons.

    The Left no longer believes people should be protected from “tyrannies”, but rather than we must be protected from ourselves and our base instincts.
    Behind the Left’s love of section 18C lies a far larger historical story about its abandonment of its old liberal ideals, and its vicious turning against the masses it once might have fought for.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/why-left-has-turned-against-the-masses/story-e6frgd0x-1226896269164

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  101. Good piece on Mann-Steyn by Conrad Black in American Spectator:

    http://spectator.org/articles/58774/gospel-according-mark-steyn

    • You bet, here’s another one:

      Dr. Mann v Steyn, NR, CEI lawsuit, botched ruling? Who says?
      http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2013/07/mann-steyn-lawsuit-botched-ruling-who.html

    • citizenschallenge, Steyn has shown that all of Mann’s claims to have been exonerated are as false as his Nobel laureate claims.

      Your link does not show a SINGLE specific example of where Mann has been exonerated of fraud, just a lot of assertions without a single reference.

      I guess that makes you a serial climate disinformer, eh? ;)

    • Warmists show blind faith reliance on facts that are contradicted by the public record, and allow their view of reality to be conditioned by “hypotheses” that have been proven wrong by empirical fact.

      Warmists mistake nose counts for science and yet make accusations of heresy against people who would just ask climatologists to show a bit of epistemological humility and admit that perhaps their models need a bit of refinement.

      What’s up with that?

    • Of particular interest is Mann backing down in his insults to Bolt. He actually admitted he was wrong! Which is more than can be said for those who seek to defend him.

  102. Like step 3, many of you have probably heard this one a million times before.
    However, some of these extensions are notorious
    and can make Chrome gradual. Don’t try to satisfy the urge by eating everything else in the
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  103. Keith Sketchley

    “Bad Andrew”
    You mis-understand “shows that to be true in court”.
    Courts regularly determine the facts in a case.
    Indeed the common oath for a witness is something like “state the whole truth and only the truth”.

    Defamation law can be subtle, one typical factor is whether the alleged victim has a public personna (I don’t agree with that but it is law).

    Courts are not infallible, but they certainly are far superior to politickers and witch hunters.

  104. Keith Sketchley

    All:
    The nature of freedom of speech is that it is tested by what others find offensive.
    However, our free societies (AU, Canada, NZ, UK, US etc.) draw a line at making false statements about a person or persons (an organization being a co-operation of persons).
    Those who want to limit speech, aside from defamation, have a negative view of humans as incapable of evaluating statements and discovering truth. That’s because they deny the mind. They also evade that we have a justice system to stop initiation of force, which is what prevents use of the mind.