Pascal on the art of persuasion

by Judith Curry

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal

One of my favorite blogs is Brainpickings (it’s not on my blogroll since it is far afield from climate).  After reading the discussion on climate communications from the Lewandowsky-Kahan debate, this Brainpickings essay is a breath of of fresh air – How to change minds: Blaise Pascal on the art of persuasion. Excerpts:

Nearly half a millennium before modern psychologists identified the three elements of persuasion — attunement, buoyancy, and clarity — French physicist, philosopher, inventor, and mathematician Blaise Pascal intuited this mechanism as he arrived at a great truth about the secret of persuasion: Pascal came to see that the surest way of defeating the erroneous views of others is not by bombarding the bastion of their self-righteousness but 

When we wish to correct with advantage, and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides. Now, no one is offended at not seeing everything; but one does not like to be mistaken, and that perhaps arises from the fact that man naturally cannot see everything, and that naturally he cannot err in the side he looks at, since the perceptions of our senses are always true.

Long before we invented psychology and learned to apply it in reverse, Pascal adds:

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.

Pascal frames persuasion not as a factor of control but as something predicated first and foremost on empathy — on empathic insight into the context and concerns that animate the other person’s mind:

Eloquence … persuades by sweetness, not by authority… Eloquence is an art of saying things in such a way — (1) that those to whom we speak may listen to them without pain and with pleasure; (2) that they feel themselves interested, so that self-love leads them more willingly to reflection upon it.

We must put ourselves in the place of those who are to hear us, and make trial on our own heart of the turn which we give to our discourse in order to see whether one is made for the other, and whether we can assure ourselves that the hearer will be, as it were, forced to surrender.

Ultimately, Pascal suggests, the art of persuasion by eloquence is not one that grants permission for prettifying falsehoods but one that invites the beauty of reality to reveal itself:

[Eloquence] requires the pleasant and the real; but the pleasant must itself be drawn from the true.

The backfire effect

See also this previous Brainpickings essay The backfire effect: The psychology of why we have a hard time changing our minds.  Excerpts:

That humbling human tendency is known as the backfire effect and is among the seventeen psychological phenomena David McRaney explores in You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself  — a fascinating and pleasantly uncomfortable-making look at why “self-delusion is as much a part of the human condition as fingers and toes.”  McRaney writes of this cognitive bug:

Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.

But what makes this especially worrisome is that in the process of exerting effort on dealing with the cognitive dissonance produced by conflicting evidence, we actually end up building new memories and new neural connections that further strengthen our original convictions. This helps explain such gobsmacking statistics as the fact that, despite towering evidence proving otherwise, 40% of Americans don’t believe the world is more than 6,000 years old.

This also explains why Benjamin Franklin’s strategy for handling haters is particularly effective, and reminds us that this fantastic 1866 guide to the art of conversation still holds true in its counsel: “In disputes upon moral or scientific points, ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”

On biased assimilation:

Have you ever noticed the peculiar tendency you have to let praise pass through you, but to feel crushed by criticism? A thousand positive remarks can slip by unnoticed, but one “you suck” can linger in your head for days. One hypothesis as to why this and the backfire effect happen is that you spend much more time considering information you disagree with than you do information you accept. Information that lines up with what you already believe passes through the mind like a vapor, but when you come across something that threatens your beliefs, something that conflicts with your preconceived notions of how the world works, you seize up and take notice. Some psychologists speculate there is an evolutionary explanation. Your ancestors paid more attention and spent more time thinking about negative stimuli than positive because bad things required a response. Those who failed to address negative stimuli failed to keep breathing.

In other words, simply presenting people with information does nothing in the way of helping them internalize it and change their beliefs accordingly.

So where does this leave us? Perhaps a little humbled by our own fallible humanity, and a little more motivated to use tools like Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit as vital weapons of self-defense against the aggressive self-righteousness of our own minds. After all, Daniel Dennett was right in more ways than one when he wrote, “The chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them — especially not from yourself.”

JC reflections

After reading these two Brainpickings essays, does calling your opposition ‘Deniers’ sound like a good persuasion strategy?  Does defining natural climate variability out of existence seem likely to persuade anyone who knows better?

The emerging field of the science of science communication, where persuasion is the objective and policy action is the goal, seems more like propaganda to me.  These words of wisdom from Blaise Pascal, Ben Franklin and others point a path for persuasion, rather than propaganda.

While I disagree with much of what Katherine Hayhoe has to say, I think she is an effective communicator/persuader by slipping in through the backdoor of their beliefs – particularly in communicating with evangelical Christians.

 

350 responses to “Pascal on the art of persuasion

  1. I can’t resist asking this question. Katherine Hayhoe was mentioned and my question is, why is she housed in a Department of Political Science at Texas Tech? I find this odd when in fact, since she came there, TTU’s Geoscience program hired another climate scientist for its faculty

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  2. Good points. Lots’ to think about. Thanks Judith.

    • One point missing, I think : When arguing with someone who cannot change their mind, keep your cool and aim to influence those listening in.

      Not that even that is very effective in a world where so many cannot change their mind (eg, the 40% of Americans who don’t believe the world is more than 6,000 years old and deliberately and regularly reinforce that belief.). That’s why I am an advocate for basic education being extended from the conventional three R’s to the four R’s : Reading ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Reasoning. Without the fourth, the first three are of limited value. Reasoning is the “R” that binds them.

  3. On persuasion: I may even have found the link originally on this blog….http://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/

    • Aldous Huxley 1962 U.C. Berkeley Speech on “The Ultimate Revolution
      It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say, and this is a problem which has interested me many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago, a fable, Brave New World, which is an account of society making use of all the devices available and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, to say, mass produced models of human beings arranged in some sort of scientific caste system. Since then, I have continued to be extremely interested in this problem and I have noticed with increasing dismay a number of the predictions which were purely fantastic when I made them thirty years ago have come true or seem in process of coming true.

      A number of techniques about which I talked seem to be here already. And there seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of ultimate revolution, a method of control by which a people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs by which any decent standard they ought not to enjoy. This, the enjoyment of servitude, Well this process is, as I say, has gone on for over the years, and I have become more and more interested in what is happening.
      https://publicintelligence.net/aldous-huxley-1962-u-c-berkeley-speech-on-the-ultimate-revolution/

    • Crispin Tickell – Belief

      Now you come from an Anglo-Irish family. Your great, great grandfather was T H Huxley – Aldous Huxley was in your background too. Now this is a legacy of seriously thoughtful, intellectual address, isn’t it?

      Well T H Huxley was in many respects one of my heroes. Aldous was as well. In fact I think if anybody had any influence on me during my adolescence, it was Aldous Huxley. And I remember going to lunch with him and he asked me what essay I was writing that day for my history teacher. And I replied it was about the relations between the Pope and the Emperor. And he sort of took a deep breath, and for about 15 minutes he spoke about the secular versus the spiritual power. And I really sat back, staggered by what I heard, because he illuminated every aspect of this immensely complicated and still continuing problem, and I found it fascinating. When I sat down afterwards to try and write my essay, I was hardly able to write a word.
      http://www.crispintickell.com/page65.html

      Religion and the Environment
      Environment is the stuff of religion, and religion is the stuff of the environment. Their relationship once went without saying. Yet we live at a time when they are being prised apart. This is the slow-acting result of two main factors: our vastly increased knowledge of the natural world and the place of the human species within it; and our vastly increased knowledge of the human mind, and how and why we believe and act as we do.
      snip
      It can be argued that religion is one of the elements that holds us together, and indeed the society of which we are all part. Even among the most sceptical, religions and ethical beliefs have a profound hold
      snip
      But however many arguments we can adduce – moral, social, genetic, scientific or other – for religion, we still have to ask ourselves the awkward, inescapable, fundamental question. Is it true? Here I think there is only one answer. We simply do not know. That is not of course to say that it is untrue. As the well known scientist T. H. Huxley once wrote “… I am too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything.”
      This may be enough for some people. It was not enough for T. H. Huxley’s grandson Julian, who embarked on a search for religion without revelation, or E. O. Wilson who has since developed the concepts of scientific materialism and the evolutionary epic as substitutes for religion. Others have made similar efforts in the same direction. But none has reached anywhere near the human core. Some people may not believe in God, but most people want to believe in something
      http://www.crispintickell.com/page18.html

      The man who ‘invented’ Global Warming
      Sir Crispin Charles Cervantes Tickell is one of the most influential people behind the idea of man-made global warming. Yet you could easily be forgiven for having never heard of him
      snip
      So is AGW the most serious threat facing the world today, so far as Tickell is concerned? Well, almost. There is one other threat that he sees as even more urgent than AGW – the human race itself. Specifically, those feckless, irresponsible classes and nations that continue to breed at more than the replacement level of 2.1 children (Tickell, it should be noted, has three children. Considerations of overpopulation do not apply to his class, of course (1)). For him, overpopulation is the driving force behind AGW: we are a cancer on the planet. In language which we would normally expect to come from extremists, Tickell lays out his vision of the rest of the world.

      We are, he believes, “a malignant maladaption in the corpus of living organisms, and behave and reproduce like a virus out of control” (2). We are “infected tissue in the organism of life” (3). “More than ever,” he writes, “humans can be regarded like certain species of ant” (5).The only relief from this that Tickell sees on the horizon is that “it is hard to believe that there will be anything like current or future human numbers in their present urban concentrations or elsewhere. Whether weeded out by warfare, disease, deteriorating conditions of life, or other disasters, numbers are likely to fall drastically. We must, I believe, expect some breakdowns in human society before the end of this century with unforeseeable outcomes” (4). That’ll teach us to pollute his nice clean world!
      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100069775/the-man-who-invented-global-warming/

      • Figgers that a deluded malevolent misanthrope invented AGW. His spirit lives on.

        PS;
        The Low Fertility Population Survey, the only version of the UN spreadsheed ever close to accurate, shows 8bn peak in the 2040s, declining thereafter. We will need lotsa android workers and helpers.

    • In Medieval England the Church was all powerful. The fear of going to Hell was very real and people were told that only the Catholic Church could save your soul so that you could go to Heaven. The head of the Catholic Church was the pope based in Rome. The most important position in the church in Medieval England was the Archbishop of Canterbury and both he and the king usually worked together.
      A king of England could not remove a pope from his position but popes claimed that they could remove a king by excommunicating him – this meant that the king’s soul was condemned to Hell and people then had the right to disobey the king.
      For people in England , there was always the real problem – do you obey the king or the pope ? In fact, this was rarely a problem as both kings and popes tended to act together as both wanted to remain powerful. On two occasions they fell out – one involved the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, and the other Henry VIII.
      http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval-england/thomas-becket/

      “In fact, this was rarely a problem as both kings and popes tended to act together as both wanted to remain powerful.” !!!!

      Sir Julian Huxley
      He saw Humanism as a replacement ‘religion’, and as such represented an important strand in post-war humanist thought. In a speech given to a conference in 1965 he spoke of the need for “a religiously and socially effective system of humanism.” And in his book Religion Without Revelation, he wrote:
      “What the sciences discover about the natural world and about the origins, nature and destiny of man is the truth for religion. There is no other kind of valid knowledge. This natural knowledge, organized and applied to human fulfilment, is the basis of the new and permanent religion.” The book ends with the concept of “transhumanism”– “man remaining man, but transcending himself by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”.
      https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/the-humanist-tradition/20th-century-humanism/sir-julian-huxley/

      Who would be the Priesthood of the new Religion of “Scientific” Humanism that Julian advocated??? (Not a difficult question)

      Carbon week: The church of climatism
      Nigel Lawson
      Throughout the Western world, the two creeds that used to vie for popular support – Christianity and the atheistic belief system of Communism – are each clearly in decline. Yet people still feel the need both for the comfort and for the transcendent values that religion can provide. It is the quasi-religion of green alarmism and global salvationism, of which the climate change dogma is the prime example, that has filled the vacuum, with reasoned questioning of its mantras regarded as little short of sacrilege.
      http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/carbon-week-the-church-of-climatism

      • Calvinism (authoritarianism and original sin) crossed with cultursl marxism is your secular religion, I believe. Science was to be a third pillar, but it does not behave well.

  4. Nothing will persuade some people.

    “A breatharian is a person who is nourished by light and has no need for food or drink. Breatharianism is within human potential, but for most it remains dormant.”

    Persuade a breatharian that man cannot live on light alone. Persuade a Christian religious that God does not exist. Persuade a Warmist that the Earth is cooling in accordance with physical laws.

    Anyone suffering from a psychosis cannot be persuaded that they are in some way disconnected from reality. That is the nature of psychosis.

    Some prominent Warmists exhibit clinical signs of delusional psychosis. If they are delusional, they may reject observed fact, and substitute their own perception. “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” by Sacks, contains clinical studies of such people, amongst others.

    Have I persuaded you yet?

    • My mother, class valedictorian, has clinical psychosis. She has a lengthy set of equations that she thinks prove she has figured out the secret code by which the universe is run. It goes on and on for dozens of pages. I know psychosis when I see it. First clue, she is smarter than everybody. Like many here, she’s smarter than Taleb; smarter than NASA; smarter than NOAA; smarter than everybody.

      And then reality hits, and she’s just plain nuts.

      A few months ago I said right here that in a few months we would have the warmest SST and warmest land in the record, and now, according to NOAA, we have it.

      You’re delusional.

      • “and now, according to NOAA, we have it”

        Because NOAA is “smarter than everybody.”

        Andrew

      • Not everybody; but you? Yeah, they probably are.

      • JCH,

        That’s not Gavin Schmidt’s 38% chance of being the warmest on record is it? The same 2014 that was warmest by 0.02 C – well, 62% chance of not being the warmest by any amount at all?

        And of course, NOAA does say its previous reports are no longer to be believed, as its “improved” data sets – adjusted to set new warming records – supersede the older ones.

        It had to adjust its previous historical official temperatures down, to keep the warming myth alive, I guess. Or is NASA wrong, and NOAA now the official gold standard?

        In any case, neither the land surface temperature nor the sea surface temperature measurements are actually used by NOAA. As with other proponents of “global warming”, NOAA merely pretends it uses uses surface measurements.

        That’s not delusional? Another option is intentional fraud, or just complete disregard for science and the search for facts.

        More CO2 is good.
        Most people prefer warm to cold.
        Maybe you and NOAA are just contrary by nature.
        Maybe the seas really are boiling and we’re all doomed. Or maybe not.

      • “Not everybody; but you? Yeah, they probably are.”

        Hehehe. Lil’ grumpy this morning JCH? World not Warm enough for ya? ;)

        Andrew

      • Psychosis does not have a place in the victim heirarchy, which explains why your tactic of calling anyone who disagrees with you crazy fails.
        Please try again. You must call us something else….

      • Hint:
        Try to link psychosis with an action against the hierarchy then your line will have some teeth.

  5. Unfortunately Judith with what is happening today in the climate science community this might be a more pertinent quote “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.” Niccolo Machiavelli
    http://rhymeafterrhyme.net/the-integrity-of-real-science/

  6. Pingback: Pascal on the art of persuasion | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  7. Gerardo Rivera should work on his persuading skillz:

    The most important thing a television correspondent can do is to tell his audience what he’s seeing, and appearing on Fox’s The Five, his hair unkempt, an agitated Rivera did just that: “Those nine people, we can dance around it, but they’re dead because they’re black,” Rivera said. A minute later he returned to that theme: “This is a horrible, horrible crime committed by a racist sociopath.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/culturebox/2015/06/charleston_shooting_on_fox_news_why_the_network_could_barely_bring_itself.html

    By chance the rest of the channel was there to put itself into the audience’s shoes.

    • Willard,

      You wrote –

      “Gerardo Rivera should work on his persuading skillz:”

      Very persuasive argument. Has he indicated that you have persuaded him?

      I am not persuaded that Gerardo is likely to take any notice of you, if that’s the best you can do.

      • > Very persuasive argument.

        Were you correct that it was the argument I made, MikeF, I would agree with you.

        Blaise does not mention conditional agreement, so this may not be persuasive enough.

    • Thanks Willard for keeping us informed about the mentality of the far left wing extremists. Any time Fox is mentioned I immediately get a glimpse into the intellect or lack of intellect on the left. It shows how far they have to go to catch up. They are still knee deep in the utopian belief of human perfectability. The rest of are burdened with the real world.

      • I agree that Fox News is burdened with the real world and deals real questions, Kid. Here’s how that Gerardo segment ends:

        And then, right near the end of the program, co-host Greg Gutfeld said something that made clear just how far Fox and the rest of the media still has to go. “I want to ask Geraldo, when we see acts of racism like this, there’s a tendency to say that this is representative of a racist society,” said Gutfeld. “I would posit that the revulsion, the national heavy revulsion towards this act represents feelings on race. Does that make sense?”

        You just can’t get any realer than that.

      • And try holding your breath until it changes. Aberrant behavior. Statistical outliers. Along with numerous other human activities that have societal condemnation and yet they continue and continue and continue. The human experience hasn’t changed much over the millennia. Some have caught on.

      • It wasn’t racism that caused that kid to kill it was his mental illness as it is with most of these cases. That a peacefull african american church became a target was convience and fit it could have easily been a sorority.

      • We all agree that guns don’t kill people anyway:

        There are lots of relevant factors involved, but the fact that guns are proximate causes isn’t one of them. So the next time quotes the NRA slogan, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” in an attempt to end a discussion about gun control, do me a favor: point out that they have “mistaken the relevance of proximate causation,” pause briefly to enjoy the confused look on their face, and then patiently explain the fallacy to them.

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/logical-take/201302/guns-don-t-kill-people-people-do

      • People dont cause riots. Poverty causes riots.

      • Only in America, Mosher. The other societies with rampant legitimate poverty seem to be so civilised and have such adherence to social order that they don’t use that as an excuse.

        We have such ingenuity and an affinity to whining and making excuses. I wonder where that comes from.

      • “People dont cause riots. Poverty causes riots.”

        Wrong Mosher. People cause riots when their expectations are not met.

      • Willard, Since I didn’t mention guns and I don’t watch Fox news, I assume you meant that response for someone else? Regardless this is all off topic anyway.

      • In “X did not cause Y”, Irdvic, replace X by guns or racism. You should see the relevance. The Psychology Today was referring to a proximal causation thing.

    • So willy, are you all little politically correct lefties saying that Fox news is treating the Charelston massacre like Obama treated the massacre at Fort Hood committed by that U.S. Army turncoat Muslim inspired Allah hollering terrorist: Uh, it’s an isolated incident of workplace violence.

      Racism is not responsible for the Charleston massacre, just as the Muslim religion is not responsible for terrorism. An individual, who is a racist, is responsible. The left want to pin it on anybody they deem a racist, which means everybody who is not a leftie. It’s a sinister and shameful card they play. It’s too bad they couldn’t link that little cowardly runt to the Tea Party.

      • ask and you will receivea more genteel guardian of the true right,/a>

      • Nice work. This is what I am talking about. I never heard of them before. But somehow I am with them.

        Local news page from CBS affiliate in New York City. Read it. Look at the photos:

        http://pix11.com/2015/06/23/woman-slashed-with-machete-near-bryant-park/

        Are the Democrats collectively responsible for all that mayhem?

      • ==> “Racism is not responsible for the Charleston massacre, just as the Muslim religion is not responsible for terrorism.”

        Nice, consistent logic.

        ==> “The left want to pin it on anybody they deem a racist, which means everybody who is not a leftie. It’s a sinister and shameful card they play.”

        Uh. Oh.

      • While Blaise Pascal’s research and perspectives to be very interesting, don’t you think all this persuasion thing runs dangerously close to propaganda techniques, Don Don?

      • You are having problems with your writing, willy. It’s the coherence thing, again. Prions? Klingons?

        I didn’t read the post, willy. I skip most of the repetitive BS about science communication, etc. You go ahead and play your next move without me. I am sure you have something prepared.

      • The media says the victim is Korean. Do the democrats have a thing for yoga Koreans?

      • Yes, Asians and whites are the victims of the crimes documented on that page of a day’s happenings in NYC under the watchful eye of Comrade Blasio. He’s watching the cops.

        Scroll all the way down the page to get a mosaic of the perps. The Tea Party is supposed to be racist, so I don’t think any the unfortunate miscreants are members in good standing.

      • Don,

        If we use willard’s logic then all African Americans must be self hating racists, as the vast majority of violent crime is black on black.

        Having a brother who was a former prosecuter (in SC), I know this is not true, despite what willard’s logic would tell us. He earned repeated praise and support from Columbia’s black community for successfully prosecuting those who prey on their own.

      • >If we use willard’s logic

        What logic would that be, TimmyG?

        Must be a persuasion thing:

        Fox News’ immediate response to the deadly shooting at a black Charleston church was to repeatedly push the prospect that the massacre was a religious hate crime, rather than a racially motivated one.

        http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/19/foxs-scramble-to-make-the-charleston-shooting-a/204071

        Cue to Don Don’s “but Muslims”.

      • Don Monfort

        How did you sneak in there, joshie? Learn a new troll trick? Still the same old lame BS.

      • Don Monfort

        Thanks, willy. We have all been wondering how the mediamatters left-loon clowns would spin it.

      • After reading these two Brainpickings essays, does calling your opposition ‘left-loon clowns’ sound like a good persuasion strategy, Don Don?

      • Don Monfort

        It’s really dry around here, willy. Probably the CO2 induced drought of the millennium. When it’s like this those water bugs that look like big roaches sometimes wander from the countryside into the garage looking for a drink, some food, a nice cool place to relax, whatever. We have had coyotes and mountain lions in the neighborhood. My wife is more afraid of the bugs and she hollers for me when she sees one. I go out and squash it. I don’t even attempt to persuade it to leave. No namby pamby navel gazing on Mr. Monfort’s property.

      • Judy’s is not your property, Don Don, so this day dream may not be appropriate.

        Have you ever wondered about the distinction between to persuade and to convince?

      • Don Monfort

        Incoherent again, willy. And pointing out to me that this is Judith’s property is not only not connected to my little story, but it is what little joshie would call unintended irony. I didn’t just insult Judith, willy.

      • > pointing out to me that this is Judith’s property is not only not connected to my little story

        Of course it is, Don Don:

        We have had coyotes and mountain lions in the neighborhood. My wife is more afraid of the bugs and she hollers for me when she sees one. I go out and squash it. I don’t even attempt to persuade it to leave.

        This is not your property. Neither is it your hunting ground. It’s not even your turf.

        You’re not the new sheriff in town. Not yet. You need more persuading to do.

        Try to be convincing, for a change. Use arguments. You know what’s an argument, right, Don Don?

      • “This is not your property. Neither is it your hunting ground. It’s not even your turf.”

        Is that your argument, willy? I never said or implied any of those things that you just made up. Didn’t you notice that I was talking about my region, my neighborhood, my garage and my freaking house? I don’t live here. I come here for entertainment. I don’t imagine that I am going to persuade or convince anybody, especially the clowns like yourself. Do you think this is a real place, willy? And you are persuading or convincing anyone? What is wrong with you? What do you hope to accomplish with this foolishness?

        I haven’t looked. Have you apologized to Judith for that Kervorkian BS, willy? Well, at least you didn’t use Dr. Mengele. But you probably thought of it.

      • > I never said or implied any of those things [.]

        Of course you did, Don Don. Your story was offered as an answer about your use if “left-loon clowns”. You don’t need to persuade the coyotes of your story because you have empowered yourself with the right to squash them. When you don’t have that right, you need to use more persuasion skillz:

        Some of us humans have our own fears regarding coyotes: we may wonder what the coyote might be doing when he’s following us or bouncing in front of us without backing up, or barking distressingly — these behaviors seem always to be in response to dogs. Are we in danger? Statistically, no. But this doesn’t mean you should not take precautions: you need to know about coyote behavior and to remove yourself from a situation you might not like and you need to know how to dissuade a coyote from coming any closer: make yourself look “big” with arm-flailing, never turn your back, make loud noises, such as sharp slapping sounds with your hands, get your dog and leave.

        http://www.urbanwildness.com/urbanwildness.com/Understanding_Coyote_Behavior.html

        Therefore, you do imply that you come here to squash left-loon clowns, and don’t need no persuasion skillz.

        Big dogs own that kind of thing, Don Don

      • Using the fact that Judy’s a climate scientist as some kind of argument is more than insulting, Don Don. It’s fallacious. It needs to be dissuaded.

        One way to do so is to show that it can lead to absurdities such as “Kerkovian is also a scientist”. Since it relies on a trick one can find in the “method of convincing”, as Pascal calls proof theory, it is something that works quite well. It requires even less creativity than your own dissuading technique, Don Don.

        As a bonus, it usually makes big dogs growl, because they’re usually more used to squashing than to reading properly.

      • So to punish someone for stating the fact that Judith is a climate scientist, in the discussion about skeptics doing their own science, you play the Kevorkian card on Judith, who was not involved in said discussion. That’s disgusting, willy.

  8. Earth has warmed again. Look at the data for the past ten thousand years. Every cold period, including the Little Ice Age, ended and was followed by a Warm Period, such as the Roman or Medieval or, yes, even this Modern Warm Period. It is warm now because it is supposed to be warm now! It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it!

    I don’t need to persuade anyone that this is true. Most everyone knows this is true. I try to persuade people to look at actual data and think.
    I told this to a Pasadena Texas Policeman yesterday. He said, “Thank You, I am glad someone else does agree with me.” I often get a response that is similar to that. Yesterday, a little later, I did get one extreme alarmist in a hardware store. He handed my Climate Card back to me. I gave the card to him again and asked him to just look at my website, think about what I wrote, and then respond. He kept the card and said he would look.

    The Alarmists do take the natural cycles of the past and turn them into a flat line and then put the hockey stick blade on this end. They don’t still call it a hockey stick, but it still looks like a hockey stick. The natural cycles of the past have not stopped. Temperature is still inside the bounds of the past. Actual data does show this to be true. I don’t need to persuade anyone that I am right. I need to persuade people to look at the Actual Real Data.

  9. Quoting a Jansenist to justify jesuitry. No thanks. I’m reminded of the much-linked internet article a few years ago which claimed that Edmund Burke would have been an organic food faddist today because he was a conservative and all conservatives would be into things like organics and slow food if only they thought about it – not so? So all us conservatives need to get with down with Big Dung – that’s clear, right? Because our idol would have if he could have – logical, no? (In fact, Burke ate any old thing, and would today.)

    Please don’t decide on a tailored pitch to finesse your message through my defences. I can handle disagreement, but this “communication” is getting to be like watching synchronised swimming held in a tank of molasses. Something is moving down there, but what and why?

    And Katherine Hayhoe can leave my back door alone. Got something to say, honeybunch? Just come in and say it. Front door.

    • > Burke ate any old thing, and would today:

      Proof of concept:

      In a deli at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus, where Burke is director of the exercise physiology program, I caught the slender athlete-turned-researcher dousing his coffee with a small waterfall of half-and-half. I saw him ogle a plate of chocolate éclairs and then joke that such foods weren’t fatal. As if. And now, at a time when Dr. Recovery ought to be drinking something technical and precise, like a whey shake or one of the dozens of premixed “recovery” products spawned by his very own work, Burke sits down to a meal straight out of a junk-food fantasy: a leftover chicken burger. Not only does he seem to lack the kind of rigid self-discipline I’ve always associated with a high-performance diet, but the man eats everyday food, without measuring portions, without counting calories, and without a side dish of pharmaceutical supplements.

      http://www.outsideonline.com/1888016/ed-burkes-got-rocket-his-pita-pocket

    • There’s no nuance in the press ‘reporting’ regarding climate change. The no grey area approach does feel very propagandistic and entrenches people’s doubts.

      If the public authorities on the matter, NASA, NOAA etc. would take a little time to address hyperbolic scenarios presented by the press then skeptics would feel they had a little more to work with.

  10. The link to brainpickings in the first paragraph incorrectly links to brainpickings.com . It should be .org.

  11. ==> “After reading these two Brainpickings essays, does calling your opposition ‘Deniers’ sound like a good persuasion strategy?”

    Those who use the term “denier” generally say that they aren’t trying to persuade the people they are so-labeling, so the manner in which you’re applying Pascal’s views to the fight over cliimate change seems mis-aligned….

    Once again, it seems that you’re allowing your partisan stake in the fight to overwhelm careful analysis.

    As to whether the polemics and labeling is effective at “persuading” those who are not already ideologically aligned – in other words whether calling person “X” (as someone already convinced that there is no reason to be concerned about BAU) a “denier” might persuade “Y” to be concerned about climate change – is another matter. Personally, I don’t think that it does, but as such, IMO, neither does calling people “warmists,” “alarmists” “Neo-McCarthyists,” “Lysenkoists,” “warmunists,” “frauds” “hoaxters” “warmunistas,” “Naz*s,” “extreme weather deniers,” etc.

    So we might also ask the question as to why you and other “skeptics” regularly use at least some of those polemics. Who do you hope to persuade by doing so, Judith?

  12. I’m especially moved by a desire to empathize with the warming believers. History tells me that fear and superstition is human and very normal and that ideas of personal liberty and self-overcoming are exceptional and not normal. For the warming believers, communism and being told what to do and how to think feel right; and, personal responsibility feels wrong — is wrong! So, the rest of us just have to plod along, taking the risks, productively providing value to society, all the while getting leeched off of by those who refuse to buy into the free enterprise economy.

  13. I have doubts that people can really be persuaded anymore. Our fear of stepping on the wrong politically correct land mine has left us in a constant state of monitoring or own opinions to make sure they are still in line with the accepted party rhetoric.
    One can break free and chose to seek out truth, but it takes a huge effort and involves going back to original sources, as almost every media outlet is tainted by the party stance. It also requires the courage to be a heretic, or, as they call us, a denier.

    • ==> “as they call us, ”

      Fascinating to read your comment and essentially agree with all of it up to “as they call us.”

      As up that point the logic is non-partisan. Pity.

    • Not true. Some of our most famous American politicians have switched positions, some of them multiple times. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have flip flopped several times. It appears science, logic and reason had little to do with it so that’s a clue. There are several lesser known democrats from coal mining states that have come out strongly against climate change in a few southern states that have a lot of coal fired power plants.
      Currently the right has settled on a economic argument. At yesterday’s Senate hearing on EPA regulations all three of the republican witnesses stressed the economic impact on the poor or how it would cripple our manufacturing base. The thing that disappointed me was the the guy representing the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy didn’t mention the technology one time. No surprise there. I went to their web site and there is almost nothing about technology used in the production of electricity.

      In other news… Peabody Energy was sued yesterday for stuffing their employee retirement fund with company shares (currently trading at all time lows around $2.50 a share). The company has a negative book value and will likely default on billions of debt and has no money set aside for mining reclamation. It’s a sad thing.

  14. ““In disputes upon moral or scientific points, ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”

    What a pleasant and beguiling way to engage with people with whom you do not see eye-to-eye, and, in the end, learn something new.

    Speaking of France, there are other arenas where pleasantries and good faith interchange do not seem to be as productive in good faith enlightenment: Love & War. I refer to: Margareet McLeod Zelle known infamously as Mata Hari. There, pleasant and beguiling interchanges were a means to elicit secret troop movements and strategies.

    It all has to do with the participants’s attitude as they go into a discussion. It also has to do with the state of the knowledge, things on which the parties can agree.

    It appears to me at least, that the current state of climate mis- and mal- communication is one surrounded by unspoken yet prominent agendas; to compel others to behave similarly to one’s self. The mechanism to persuade is to use the psychological principle of shame and the goal is not to enlighten, which unfortunately, enlightenment becomes a ruse.

    • The old ‘Rules for Radicals’ trick.
      ‘The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself.’
      ‘ ‘Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.’
      Cut off the support network and isolate from sympathy.
      Go after people and not institutions; people are more
      vulnerable.’ Saul Alinsky.

      • Wow, thanks for pointing this character out, beththeserf.

        “Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” published in 1971 still has enormous effects on our country today. Hillary Clinton wrote her Wellesley College thesis on Alinsky, interviewing him personally for her research. After her graduation Alinsky offered her a job with his organization, which she refused to pursue other opportunities. President Obama worked for Alinsky organizations and taught seminars in Alinsky tactics and methodology during his “community organizing” period in Chicago. Michelle Obama echoed Alinsky’s words in her speech at the Democratic Convention.”

        http://www.newenglishreview.org/DL_Adams/Saul_Alinsky_and_the_Rise_of_Amorality_in_American_Politics/

        “This is “Chapter and Verse” on The Frankfurt School”

        http://www.britanniaradio.com/saul-alinsky-and-chapter-verse-on-the-frankfurt-school/

      • “We have permitted a suicidal situation to unfold wherein revolution and
        communism have become one. These pages are committed to splitting
        this political atom, separating this exclusive identification of communism
        with revolution. If it were possible for the Have-Nots of the world to
        recognize and accept the idea that revolution did not inevitably mean hate
        and war, cold or hot, from the United States, that alone would be a great
        revolution in world politics and the future of man. This is a major reason for
        my attempt to provide a revolutionary handbook not cast in a communist
        or capitalist mold, but as a manual for the Have-Nots of the world
        regardless of the color of their skins”

        Wow, that was the nastiest little book I have ever read. Every American should read this book and realize how we are being pawned.

        http://www.mynacc.org/Rules_for_Radicals.pdf

    • Beththeserf points to the author for the “by any means” way to manipulate society.

      Nickel elaborates further on the Alinsky background of our President and First Lady which provides us a better understanding of the how and why of the climate mal-communication emanating form the White House and its environs. Nickel provides a quote from Saul Alinsky’s book which outlines the strategy for a global confrontation.

      We don’t have to go very far in the climate change messaging literature itself, to realize that communication at the scientists’ level is also an “the end justifies the means” mentality as articulated by Stephen Schneider:

      “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well.

      And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination.

      That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

      This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” (I have spaced the comment to highlight that the intent and meaning is not to be honest, rather, effective).

      Alinsky and Schneider are brethren in mal-messaging for the church of the: By Any Means Necessary. The hymnal message is being played out by the various Disciples; from the White House through Governmental and International agencies as well as, within academic itself. After all, Schneider and Alinsky are the academics, the experts. Who else would we listen to?

      • Yes, nice post RiH. I had no idea the link between critical theory and the libs would be so easy or direct.
        I now understand who has stolen the Democratic party (and radical feminism). Its all in Rules. Stir up distress whenever you can.

      • RiH

        Retead your original post. The quote from Franklin is so refreshing and true the spirit of science and knowledge. I dont know if I will ever be able to read enough western wisdom to clear the foul taste of Rules from my brain.

        Also related to shaming:
        * RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

  15. Great post lands with a thud, judging by the comments. Anyway, there is a lot of good stuff there.

  16. After reading these two Brainpickings essays, does calling your opposition ‘Deniers’ sound like a good persuasion strategy? Does defining natural climate variability out of existence seem likely to persuade anyone who knows better?

    Well I question whether saying that a large group of scientists are suffering from “group think” or some other form of mass delusion is very persuasive. I also question whether attacking scientific organization with accusations of “advocacy” and invoking the “conspiracy police” and other such nonsense is very persuasive.

    • oops meant I meant to say “climate consensus police” although the policing aspect does make me think of a conspiracy..

    • So you rule out considering the possibility of groupthink, even though groupthink is a scientifically identified risk that affects group deliberations?

      Why? I really want to know the answer.

    • Group think and delusion are two entirely different concepts. It’s kind of cool how you unified them into one force. Do you have a paper coming out on that? with equations?

      • I am not making a psychological diagnosis. But what Dr. Curry is implying is that scientists can’t see the reality that global warming is not what they think even though the evidence is supposedly right in front in them. So yes that is a form of delusion.

      • I think that there is more groupthink in the press than in the scientific establishment, even climate science. It is the “communicators” who are trying to paper over the gaping holes and at least pretend that they do not see them.

      • We do evidence the old fashioned way, we make it up as we go along.

      • “I am not making a psychological diagnosis. But what Dr. Curry is implying is that scientists can’t see the reality that global warming is not what they think even though the evidence is supposedly right in front in them. So yes that is a form of delusion.”

        No, that is not it at all. You don’t understand the concept of groupthink.

        Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

        They key point there is limiting alternative viewpoints, a priori. In other words, it’s not a matter of delusion, but rather dismissing inconvenient evidence and viewpoints to maintain group harmony. When the process of decision making gets corrupted, you get corrupted, incomplete and artificially homogenous results. It has nothing to do with delusions or not seeing things.

        4. Stereotyping leads members of the in-group to ignore or even demonize out-group members who may oppose or challenge the groups ideas.
        5. Self-censorship causes people who might have doubts to hide their fears or misgivings.
        8. Direct pressure to conform is often placed on members who pose questions, and those who question the group are often seen as disloyal or traitorous

        Groupthink can have some benefits. When working with a large number of people, it often allows the group to make decisions, complete tasks, and finish projects quickly and efficiently.

        However, this phenomenon also has costs as well. The suppression of individual opinions and creative thought can lead to poor decision-making and inefficient problem-solving.

        Again, it’s about the corruption of the decision-making process and interference in the free flow of ideas. It has nothing to do with delusions.

      • Some of those excerpts were from this link (that didn’t show in the post).

        What is Groupthink?

      • I am confused are you saying that scientists are not aware of the obvious contradictory evidence (reality) or they are aware of it. Because if they are aware of it, then how is this different from suffering from a delusion.

      • And keep in mind that I said “obvious” Because if it weren’t obvious, then there is room for disagreement and so it wouldn’t be group think that is driving individual decisions but the differences in “opinion”. and different interpretations of the data

  17. At what point does the continued attempt of persuasion become oppression?

  18. There are several persistent commenters to this blog who seem to know they can’t persuade so they try to obfuscate and misdirect.

  19. Hey, I clicked on the link to the brainpickings blog and it redirected me to a phishing scamming site. The site said it was Macbook support and malware had been installed onto my computer and asked me to call a number.

    Don’t know how these things work, whether it was chance or the link in the article is corrupt so I thought I’d post this.

  20. Re: Pascal on the art of persuasion, 6/24/15:

    The emerging field of the science of science communication, where persuasion is the objective and policy action is the goal, seems more like propaganda to me.

    Encouraging progress on the epistemological problem. As pointed out on various recent threads, two sciences occupy center stage today, sciences mutually exclusive in their major tenets. In Modern Science, the objective (goal) is the advancement of objective (empirical) knowledge, directed toward arming the public to resist all varieties of charlatans, and especially the Post Modernists.

    In Post Modern Science, the objective (goal) is exactly the opposite, that is, subjective (less than empirical), to persuade people as an end in itself. And the more the people are kept in the dark, intellectually challenged, frightened, and victimized, the easier the persuasion task, and the greater the profit from the task.

    Science communication is not a disconnected art form in Modern Science, rather it occupies a particular position in the method. A Modern Scientist in climate has a simple task: predict the climate, validate the predictions with facts, then release for public action. To shirk on the predictions is unethical, a betrayal of trust however conveyed.

  21. I really enjoyed this post. I watched the play 12 Angry Men on stage last night. It reminds me very much of the tactics Juror number ? used to persuade the eleven of their error.

  22. One cannot understand global warming propaganda/persuasion without seeing it as a part of the politics. To really understand the “persuasion techniques” look at the way those involved try to persuade on other issues. The same people who use “deniers” also use ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, and ‘homophobe’ to label anyone who disagrees with their political policy proposals. See also ‘hate-filled, mean-spirited’.

    The purpose is to persuade the low information voters that they don’t want to associate with evil people. So it’s all slander, all the time.

    • You have it exactly right. All that behavior comes from the same mentality and is coupled with favoring government interventionism at the drop of a hat.

    • Yes, well stated.

    • This also points out the link between residual christianity in the current politics. No one wants to be excommunicated or burnt at the stake.

  23. “After reading these two Brainpickings essays, does calling your opposition ‘Deniers’ sound like a good persuasion strategy? ”

    it never has been a persuasion strategy.

  24. “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”

    This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.

    • Don Monfort

      Obama hasn’t done his own science. Why does he get to have an opinion?

      • Having an opinion is not the issue.
        The issue is changing your mind.
        Usually that happens when YOU discover something for yourself.
        so I’m agreeing with Pascal. Good for him

      • Don,
        +++!

      • Don Monfort

        That is a very convoluted and failed response, Steve. Have you caught the prions from willy?

        “Having an opinion is not the issue.
        The issue is changing your mind.”

        You don’t change your mind, Steven. That would very likely be fatal. You change your opinion.

        Did you miss that I asked you about Obama? Have you told Obama that he needs to do his own science, before he violates the Constitution to impose a lot of crap on the nation?

        By the way, what kind of science are we supposed to do? Is it like medical science with dissections microscopes double-blind clinical trials etc., or is it more like a squishy social science? Are we supposed to make up our own serially adjusted temperature series with the same old data that has already been stepped on multiple times, analyzed and re-analyzed, sliced diced kriged interpolated filtered and homogenized? Should we re-analyze the same old reliable proxies, cherry-pick the “good” stuff, turn it upside down and backwards and invent our own little unique stats techniques, until we get the answer we need?

      • Don

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        This is the topic. try to keep up

      • “Did you miss that I asked you about Obama? Have you told Obama that he needs to do his own science, before he violates the Constitution to impose a lot of crap on the nation?”

        1. You asked an off topic uestion. My topic is skeptics. Obama aint one.
        2. Obama doesnt have to do any science before he violates the constitution.
        3. He already has violated it.

        That’s why I blame republicans.

        You guys ran away from the debate.

      • Obama hasn’t done his own science. Why does he get to have an opinion?

        Good gawd, this is how far off you are. The enemy is on the ridge, and you just shot yourself in the foot.

      • Don

        ‘By the way, what kind of science are we supposed to do? ”

        1. You could pick any number of fields.
        2. you could pick any number of approaches.
        3. First an foremost.. you have the freedom to choose anything,
        so dont expect me to change your diapers or depends
        ##################################

        Is it like medical science with dissections microscopes double-blind clinical trials etc., or is it more like a squishy social science?

        1. It depends.
        2. if you like double blind tests, I can suggest a good number of them
        Anthony actually started by doing one.

        #################################

        Are we supposed to make up our own serially adjusted temperature series with the same old data that has already been stepped on multiple times, analyzed and re-analyzed, sliced diced kriged interpolated filtered and homogenized?

        1. No
        2. you could build a series out of data that has never been used.
        3. you could prove that krigging is wrong and win a nobel prize
        4. you could look at the UHI effect in detail.. that’s never been done correctly.
        5. you could repeat Anthonys work in australia.

        here is my prediction. Your mind wont change until YOU make the discovery. That is simple to show. Its also simple to prove me wrong
        and admit defeat without doing any science.

        ###########################################
        Should we re-analyze the same old reliable proxies, cherry-pick the “good” stuff, turn it upside down and backwards and invent our own little unique stats techniques, until we get the answer we need?

        1. No. that would not being doing your own science, that would be redoing some body elses science.

        I love rhetorical questions. got more?

      • Don Monfort

        You are confused, Steven. You quoted Pascal:

        “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”

        On that you commented:

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        That doesn’t follow from what Pascal said. Read harder. Think harder. I will help you:

        Pascal:”are generally better persuaded”

        Mosher: “will not be convinced”

        Now who we gonna believe? Mosher? Or Pascal?

      • Mosher still doesn’t accept the possibility that we already did discover something for ourselves, and have already changed our minds, which is why we are sceptics.

      • “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science”

        Sorry Mosher but what a load of crap!!
        People are not capable of changing their mind unless they do the research themselves?
        Maybe people simply see missing hotspots, desperate dodgy fiddlings with ship engine cooling system ocean temperatures and long streams of doomy predictions that failed and that’s why they are not convinced…

      • Now if you meant to say “This is why skeptics will be better persuaded, if they do their own damn science.” as Don below is suggesting you meant, then I agree.
        Although i dont’t really get the point because this goes for everybody, not just skeptics.

    • “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

      cAGW believers have done the actual science? Dumb comment Steve

      • I think he is talking about “skeptics” who do climate related research..

      • My comment says nothing about believers.
        My comment is about disbelivers in general.

        go take a logic class with the other guys

      • Steven Mosher: My comment says nothing about believers.
        My comment is about disbelivers in general.

        How about “disbelievers” in natural global warming? And what justifies the asymmetry?

      • “How about “disbelievers” in natural global warming? And what justifies the asymmetry?”

        1. What about them?
        2. What justifies the asymmetry? Life is not burger king. you dont get things your way.

        returning to the SUBJECT. If you are skeptic ( of ANYTHING), you generally won’t change your mind until YOU make the discovery.

        Like pascal said…

        Funny, when pascal said it you had no issue with it?

      • RE Mosher: “Note: I did not argue that the ONLY way was the one I suggested.
        did I?”

        Well you kinda did. But then because you generalize to such a great degree, it is hard to tell for sure. Being vague has its advantages. But you already know that.

    • One can – with good effort and reasonable technical skills – discover for oneself when analyzing climate science papers without doing and publishing ones own research. To realize that as probability one has to make the effort and then discover for themselves. The discovery process requires one to be honest with oneself.

      • Also I think the persuasion here deals with individuals and not classified groups like skeptics.

      • Mosher apparently believes that since has participated in some of the science, everyone who hasn’t should shut up and leave the floor to him.

        I’ve never pitched in a major league ball game, but I can still tell when a pitcher is getting lit up.

      • discover for oneself when analyzing climate science papers without doing and publishing ones own research:

        Of course one CAN.

        Note: I did not argue that the ONLY way was the one I suggested.
        did I?

      • “Mosher apparently believes that since has participated in some of the science, everyone who hasn’t should shut up and leave the floor to him.”

        Nope. If I thought that I would have argued that.

    • Unwilling to admit the scientific evidence that “normal climate change” makes it hard to estimate the size of the CO2 effect:

      http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/23/epa-chief-climate-deniers-arent-normal-human-beings/

      This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.

      Which skeptics will not be convinced of what? Are not all skeptics convinced that climate changes naturally, independent of CO2 changes?

      • “Which skeptics will not be convinced of what? Are not all skeptics convinced that climate changes naturally, independent of CO2 changes?”

        In general ANY skeptic of ANY science.

        In short the skeptical tools and arguments can ALWAYS be employed to take issue with ANY science.

        My claim is that skeptics ( of any variety of any science ) will not be convinced until they actually do some work.

        And even then it may not be enough.

      • Steven Mosher: My claim is that skeptics ( of any variety of any science ) will not be convinced until they actually do some work.

        It’s worse than that: you are hedging on what constitutes “some work”. I have done “some work” — am I supposed to become convinced that the global mean temperature will increase another 4C by 2100 if human fossil fuel consumption is not dramatically reduced? 3C? 2C? My calculation showed that, at the surface anyway, even an additional 1C of warming is unlikely; is that the work that is supposed to leave me “convinced”?

        Is it good to be convinced? Convinced, for example, that the Pons-Fleischman device produces fusion?

      • matthtew

        ‘It’s worse than that: you are hedging on what constitutes “some work”. I have done “some work” — am I supposed to become convinced that the global mean temperature will increase another 4C by 2100 if human fossil fuel consumption is not dramatically reduced?

        . you fail basic logic.
        My argument:

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        This DOESNT MEAN that IF you do the work you WILL be convinced.
        if says you WONT BE, until you have.

        So you could do the work and STILL not be convinced. But if you never do the work your chances of being convinced tend to zero.

        ##############################

        Is it good to be convinced?

        1. It depends.
        2. My argument doesnt depend on the moral status of being convinced or unconvinced. I merely note that skeptics wont change there mind UNTIL they do the work. I am not arguing that IF THEY DO THE WORK THEY WILL BE. If I wanted to argue that I would have.

        #######################
        for example, that the Pons-Fleischman device produces fusion?

        Note that people actually did work on the problem.

      • Don Monfort

        Mosher is just agreeing with Pascal, who said:

        “People are only persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered.”

        Actually, Pascal didn’t say that. Mosher misunderstood, or misrepresented. I am sure it’s the former, as I am usually always charitable.

      • Don Here is what Pascal said

        ““People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal”

        Here what I said

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        Pascals more general observation, is the basis for my more specific extension.

        I agree with him.

        I use his insight to extend the argument

        People ( skeptics and believers) are BETTER persuaded when they discover for THEMSELVES.

        that explains WHY Skeptics ( disbelivers ) will not be convinced until the do some discovery (science) for themselves

        Now It YOU may think that skeptics WILL change their minds without doing any discovery.

        Go ahead and argument that.

      • Don Monfort

        You are bordering on the disingenuous, Steven. You have said that your comment related to Pascals comment is in agreement with his:

        ““People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal”

        Here what I said

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        Plainly, it is not in agreement. And it’s not because you are going from general to specific. Pascal said one thing, you are saying another. Period. If it was your intention to bastardize Pascal’s statement to suit your purposes, you should have stated that up front. Your statement does not agree with Pascal’s statement. You know that. If you want your statement to be in agreement with Pascal’s, it has to read something like this:

        “This is why skeptics will be better persuaded, if they do their own damn science.”

        That’s it. You can’t weasel out of it.

    • By that standard Steven then the EPA’s endangerment ruling should be invalidated, as they certainly didn’t do their own science. They couldn’t even follow their own process, being so intent on getting the “right” result.

      • “By that standard Steven then the EPA’s endangerment ruling should be invalidated, as they certainly didn’t do their own science. They couldn’t even follow their own process, being so intent on getting the “right” result.”

        That is not even related to my point.

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        This has NOTHING to do with the validity of arguments.
        It is an explanation that people who are skeptical ( the EPA was NOT)
        don’t change their minds UNTIL they actually do some work.

        Take a class in logic.
        Attend it.
        do the work
        pass that work in .

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, maybe you would be happier on a blog where the participants only discuss “LOGIC”. Willy can probably lead you there.

      • Don.

        bad assumption.

        Stop assuming. do some work

      • My apologies Mr Mosher.

        I missed the site rule stating that one has to directly respond to the point as you consider it.

        I mistakenly referred to the point standing next to yours.

      • ““This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        This has NOTHING to do with the validity of arguments.
        It is an explanation that people who are skeptical ( the EPA was NOT)
        don’t change their minds UNTIL they actually do some work.

        So Steven, how would you define “work” as it pertains to this particular point of yours?

        I was drawn into this discussion after hearing some of “Mr Tiny Carbon Footprint’s” arguments about the impending doom we were facing. Didn’t jive with what I remembered from grad school. So I first went back and reviewed my textbooks and notes. Then I started on the same journey many others here have described, searching on the web, asking questions at SKS and Real Climate. Moved on to reading selected papers. Now I’d call this more of a case of performing due diligence rather than “work”. But it is enough to reach an informed evaluation.

        Of course perhaps your point doesn’t even apply to me, as I still don’t exactly know what it is I am supposedly in denial of. Well I am happy to admit to denying the Apocalypse is upon us.

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, you started this foolishness with a misinterpretation of what Pascal said in that quote that you are so fond of. He did not say:

        “People are only persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered.”

        Put you little logic hat on and do some work.

      • ““People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal”

      • “I missed the site rule stating that one has to directly respond to the point as you consider it.

        I mistakenly referred to the point standing next to yours.”

        ##############

        You are forgiven.

      • Steven Mosher: “People are only persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered.”

        Steven Mosher:
        ““People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal”

        Steven Mosher: “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

        You turned “people” into “skeptics”, and an ordinal relation into a sine qua non. You did those without any justification, and declared all questions irrelevant.

    • richardswarthout

      Mosher

      You have criticized the IPCC process for lack of traceability. I agree with you and could be convinced if scientists could read the reports and make assessments on some of the details. For instance, SoD who is a warmest, is very critical of AR5 Chapter 10 on its clarity – the conclusions do not line up with everything else in the chapter.

      Richard

      • RICHARD!!!

        ‘You have criticized the IPCC process for lack of traceability. I agree with you and could be convinced if scientists could read the reports and make assessments on some of the details. For instance, SoD who is a warmest, is very critical of AR5 Chapter 10 on its clarity – the conclusions do not line up with everything else in the chapter.”

        What does that have to do with my point.

        1. What could you be convinced of?
        2. Scientists have done what you asked.. the read reports and made assessments.
        3. in fact Non scientists have– Sod as an example.

        So, you say you could be convinced… without specifying convinced of WHAT?
        you demand that others do work
        AND you cite someone else who has already done some work.

        I read the chapter. I tend to agree with Sod.
        There you go… I made an assessment
        Now what are you convinced of.

        Here is my prediction. You wont ever even try to do the simplest thing in climate science.

      • richardswarthout

        Mosher

        You stated that “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”. I believed that was your point. My comment to you was:

        (I) could be convinced if scientists could read the (IPCC) reports and make assessments on some of the details.

        In that comment I was only saying that this skeptic could, yes, be convinced if the IPCC reports contained information as to how it reached its conclusions. I did read AR5 Chapter 10 and did read Hegerl et al (1996); according to SoD (who is a scientist). the Hegerl paper is central to the IPCC attribution chapters, AR3 -AR5.

        SoD tells us that after reading AR 5 Ch 10, the pertinent references, and references within references, he could not determine how it was concluded how the attribution group concluded it very likely that >50% of global warming is attributed to AGW?

        As I recall a major stumbling block was a recognition of by the attribution group of huge uncertainIty related to internal variability, but no discussion on the subject. SoD, at one point, talked to one of the attribution experts and was told to look at chapter 9, the modeling chapter. I looked at the chapter and found no discussion on internal variability, only a figure with a title similar to “pseudo model of internal variability”. The model was essentially a flat zero across the horizontal axis (probably representing time, but don’t know for sure).

        I will conclude:

        1. Your prediction “You wont ever even try to do the simplest thing in climate science.”. Has already proved false. Perhaps there is a problem with your model.

        2. Your indiscriminate reliance on Pascal’s statement and your conclusion that “skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”. Is not, in my case, true. Somebody show me that scientists have significant certainty regarding internal variability, and I’ll be on the path toward being convinced.

        Regards,

        Richard

      • Dearest Richard

        “I) could be convinced if scientists could read the (IPCC) reports and make assessments on some of the details.

        “In that comment I was only saying that this skeptic could, yes, be convinced if the IPCC reports contained information as to how it reached its conclusions. I did read AR5 Chapter 10 and did read Hegerl et al (1996); according to SoD (who is a scientist). the Hegerl paper is central to the IPCC attribution chapters, AR3 -AR5.”

        No,

        in comment 1. you said you’d be convinced if “scientists” couild read the IPCC and ‘make assessments”

        in comment 2: you said you’d be convinced by a report that contained information how it reached its conclusions. I read that chapter. it did contain information how it reached its conclusions.

      • Dearest Richard

        ‘SoD tells us that after reading AR 5 Ch 10, the pertinent references, and references within references, he could not determine how it was concluded how the attribution group concluded it very likely that >50% of global warming is attributed to AGW?

        As I recall a major stumbling block was a recognition of by the attribution group of huge uncertainIty related to internal variability, but no discussion on the subject. SoD, at one point, talked to one of the attribution experts and was told to look at chapter 9, the modeling chapter. I looked at the chapter and found no discussion on internal variability, only a figure with a title similar to “pseudo model of internal variability”. The model was essentially a flat zero across the horizontal axis (probably representing time, but don’t know for sure).”

        1. you relied on Hearsay.

        no cookie for you.

        What you have shown is exactly what I claim.

        you wont change your mind by simply reading documents.
        because there are ALWAYS ambiguities in documents.
        And because DOING THE SCIENCE FOR YOURSELF is too damn
        hard.

        So you picked the easy route.
        You made it even easier by letting SOD do the dirty work of talking to authors.

        you put in no effort to make your own discovery even in the pedestrian task of reading literature.

      • No more handwaving to the IAC report, Richards?

      • richardswarthout

        Mosher,

        My previous comment said: “In that comment I was only saying that this skeptic could, yes, be convinced if …”. – Is it not obvious that this was not an effort to repeat what had already been stated, but rather a effort to clarify what had been stated?

        “in comment 2: you said you’d be convinced by a report that contained information how it reached its conclusions. I read that chapter. it did contain information how it reached its conclusions.”. Yes, I did find some stuff and will do some more work.

        Have a great evening.

        Richard

    • This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science. …

      He’s not saying anybody has to do their own damn science.

      • A+ in reading comprehension.

      • Don Monfort

        A+ for triviality

        We know we don’t HAVE to do our own damn science. Has anybody said that Mosher is trying to force us to do our own damn science? I will help you:

        NO!

      • the funny thing is Don what I said was so trivially true that I’m having a blast watching the biggest brains on the thread knocking themselves out trying to gainsay it

      • Don Monfort

        You are confused again, Steven. I didn’t say that what you said is trivially true. I was commenting on what your parrot said you said:

        “He’s not saying anybody has to do their own damn science.”

        We know that. So freaking what?

        What you said is that your statement agreed with Pascal’s. That is obviously not true.

      • He’s in perfect agreement with Pascal. He has perfectly interpreted Pascal. You just jumped onto the wrong continent.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        ‘You are confused again, Steven. I didn’t say that what you said is trivially true. I was commenting on what your parrot said you said:”

        And I didnt say that you said what I said was trivially true.
        I commented on what i said.
        Not what you said.

        Read harder. See the assumption you made

    • Stephen, convinced of what? I would a expect the persuasion process to deal with matters as complicated and complex as AGW and climate science one issue/topic at a time.

      You might want to consider that your efficiency of word use in posting might lead some to judge you are being too general and particularly when referencing so-called skeptics.

      • I’m being general on purpose and vague on purpose.

        NOTE. all I did was agree with pascal.

        ““People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”

        and making a more specific case.

        IF you are skeptical of something… you generally dont give up that skepticism ( which is cheap and easy ) unless you actually do some work.

      • Don Monfort

        So it really isn’t “do your own damned science”, it’s “do some work”. Which could mean a little gardening. Nice transition, Steven. Pascal would be proud of you? Well, willy would.

      • @Stephen Mosher:

        “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science. …”

        I think you have this backwards.

        Most people are relatively UNskeptical until they do their own damn science. That is really at the heart of how climate so emcee has spun out of control. We trust that scientists examining a scientific question have done their jobs properly, have not overstated anything they have found and have made explicit their uncertainties or conflicting data.

        It is only when explaining their existing science carefully and realising that they have not done a good job that skepticism grows. I have read time and again of a scientist that is otherwise relatively unskeptical of consensus climate science, disagreeing with alarmist pronouncements in their field. That can actually be the opening door to further skepticism.

        Furthermore, I think your continuing characterisation of “skeptics” as a homogenous horde implacably disagreeing with anything a government climate scientist would say is cartoonish and pointless. And not interesting. What IS interesting (to me at any rate), is a response to reasoned argument. If a skeptic says something like “all temp series are adjusted and are therefore bogus” then simply pass it by. If they ask “how can you justify this adjustment when the data doesn’t appear to warrant it?” You can take that on and fight that corner, and then we all learn something – even if it doesn’t intially change minds.

      • Steven Mosher: I’m being general on purpose and vague on purpose.

        and making a more specific case.

        Make up your mind, maybe? Are you beinng “more general on purpose” or “making a more specific case”?

        You are writing free associations with no definition or logic whatever.

      • Don Monfort

        He’s making it up as he goes along. Really not very Spockian, Steven.

      • “So it really isn’t “do your own damned science”, it’s “do some work”. Which could mean a little gardening. Nice transition, Steven. Pascal would be proud of you? Well, willy would.”

        Discovery is the nice word pascal used. Its work. its science.

        Gainsaying? thats a stupid pet trick.

        sit fido

      • Steven Mosher – what does a non-scientist skeptic do to overcome his skepticism?

    • “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

      Stephen, I’m convinced. Just not the way you want.

    • Mosher: This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.

      Mosher: Note: I did not argue that the ONLY way was the one I suggested.
      did I?

      No you did not! It was a bald assertion with no supporting argument of any kind.

      • “Mosher: Note: I did not argue that the ONLY way was the one I suggested.
        did I?

        No you did not! It was a bald assertion with no supporting argument of any kind.”

        The argument is that it is implied by what pascal said.

        “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal”

        People are generally better persuaded by the reasons THEY HAVE DISCOVERED.

        This, i assert, explains why Skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own science.. their own discovery or their own work.. pick a synonym you like.

        They wont be convinced by reading other peoples discoveries.
        They wont be convinced by threats or name calling
        Doing their own science isnt the ONLY way, because I dont know all the ways of convincing, but i do assert that they will not be convinced unless they do their science. That very well may be the only way, but again, I dont claim to know all the ways of convincing.

        Its not that hard. be persuaded.

      • Steven Mosher: They wont be convinced by reading other peoples discoveries.

        That goes beyond Pascal, who only stated an ordinal relation. In that sentence, you have denied the way that most people in this debate have become convinced about anything. Well, maybe not “most people”, what with “An Inconvenient Truth”, gossip, political speeches and other non-reading. But some people, or at least 1 person.

        You have left out what skepticism you are addressing, and what anybody might become convinced of. So you have a strident aphorism about nobody and nothing.

      • Don Monfort

        Matt, maybe Steven is claiming that climate skeptics are a special brand of utter nitwits that Pascal didn’t know about. They can ONLY be convinced by doing their own damn science. How these cretins could possibly do science will soon be revealed by Mosher and his parrot.

      • > climate skeptics are a special brand of utter nitwits that Pascal didn’t know about

        Not at all:

        The Jesuit seemed to be confounded more with the passage from Aristotle, I thought, than that from St. Augustine; but while he was thinking on what he could reply, a messenger came to inform him that Madame la Marechale of — and Madame the Marchioness of — requested his attendance. So, taking a hasty leave of us, he said: “I shall speak about it to our fathers. They will find an answer to it, I warrant you; we have got some long heads among us.”

        We understood him perfectly well; and, on our being left alone, I expressed to my friend my astonishment at the subversion which this doctrine threatened to the whole system of morals. To this he replied that he was quite astonished at my astonishment. “Are you not yet aware,” he said, “that they have gone to far greater excess in morals than in any other matter?” He gave me some strange illustrations of this, promising me more at some future time. The information which I may receive on this point will, I hope, furnish the topic of my next communication. I am, &c.

        https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/pascal/blaise/p27pr/part5.html

        INTEGRITY ™ – We Exceed in Morals

      • I wonder about non-scientists (like myself) who are skeptics (unlike myself) because they trust well-credentialed and respected scientists such as Lindzen, Dyson and Happer.

        They are convinced by others. They have not done the work themselves. They simply place their faith in a different group than that trusted by most alarmists.

        Alarmists 20 years ago elected to trust Al Gore–not an absurd proposition at the time. He is intelligent, articulate, has access to the best and the brightest thinkers and he cited mainstream science ranging from Hansen to Lonnie Thompson.

        That was not an irrational decision for those unable or unwilling to do science themselves. It’s a bit lazy and alarmists have been forced to move on from Gore for a variety of reasons, but it was not irrational.

        I would argue that it is not an irrational decision for those unable or unwilling to do the science themselves to place faith in Freeman Dyson or Richard Lindzen and further that it is less irrational and less lazy than trusting a politician of whatever stripe.

        As it happens I don’t think either Dyson or Lindzen has looked far enough into the future to see the impacts of what our energy consumption will bring–but I would not criticize non-scientists for leaning heavily on what they bring to the table.

      • No Thomas, you are not following the plot. According your unpaid wannabe scientist co-author friend, you have to become a scientist to be cured of your skepticism. Even Pascal says so, according to your friend.

      • Failure to look far enough into the future does seem to be a common problem with us skeps. That’s why I totally missed out on stockpiling whale oil, IBM golf balls and betacords.

        The good thing about consensus people is that, despite a certain myopia about stuff which has actually happened, they see the future with clarity and in great detail. While the rest of us just roll along and follow our noses, they’re set to make a fortune in future coastal real estate and Greenland condos.

      • mosomoso,

        You’re right. The consensus crew can’t find real jobs. That’s why they all have to rely on the good old taxpayer funded trough to provide slop for their rapacious snouts.

        Sarcasm aside, how many of the giant brains are self funded? Surely using their ability to peer into the future, they should be immensely wealthy, and fought over by governments. Want to know when the next recession will occur? Call a giant brain! How can we win the war? Call a giant brain!

        Piffle. Pedestrian pretenders, too full of themselves to admit they were wrong. All good for a laugh, if you can somehow avoid supporting these scroungers. I guess God created them to make snake oil salesmen appear like pillars of moral rectitude.

    • Mosher, “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science”.

      This is a strawman argument there are plenty of skeptics that do their own damn science:

      http://notrickszone.com/100-papers-sun-drives-climate/#sthash.cZ2wMxuH.dpbs

      • the argument is NOT

        If they do science, they will be persuaded.

        The argument is

        If they dont do science, they wont be persuaded.

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, Steven

        “The argument is

        If they dont do science, they wont be persuaded.”

        Ridiculous argument. This had gone way too far.

      • > there are plenty of skeptics that do their own damn science:

        A paper that could be used by contrarian to bolster their ‘but it’s the Sun” claptrap does not entail a sceptic wrote it, Ordvic.

    • SM did not interpret anything wrong. He read the guy’s statement:

      “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”

      Based up that he made an assertion, entirely his own, about skeptics. I presume he means the ones that matter; the ones who have the chops to do the science. Some clearly don’t. His assertion does not have to be a slavish restatement of Pascal, though I think it is closer than you are giving credit. People is broad. People who can do their own damn science is exceedingly narrow. He borrows part of Pascal’s observation about people and persuasion to explain what he thinks it will take to persuade science-capable skeptics. I presume he means skeptics who are capable of doing their own science. He’s had a lot of experience with them. He thinks they will not be persuaded until they have done their own damn science. Maybe this is correct; maybe partially correct; maybe not correct at all. But in terms of Pascal, he’s saying a lightbulb moment in one science head is total darkness in the head of a skeptic until he farts around and finds the same switch himself. That’s slow science, and also, maybe, irrelevant science. No harm, just way late, and to me, unlikely to matter.

      Obama rocks.

      • perfect.

        He borrows part of Pascal’s observation about people and persuasion to explain what he thinks it will take to persuade science-capable skeptics.

      • Don Monfort

        You mangled and misused Pascal’s words, Steven. Your story is evolving with the help of newly acquired bird of a feather. A parrot. You better get that Stockholm syndrome thing checked out, Steven.

      • Well, in that case I have done the work. I have discovered Cook, Mann, Lewandowski, Oreskes, Nuccetelli…and formed my opinion accordingly.

      • In fact sometimes I discover stuff that is so enlightening

        https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/2015/20150623_r5

        that I wonder where I can find a good facepalm-protector to prevent bruising my forehead.

        This is much more convincing than anything that you’ve ever written Steven.

  25. Em Steven Judith is a climate scientist..

  26. Now, no one is offended at not seeing everything;

    Really?

    My experience following Pascal’s strategy is that as soon as you say something not already agreed-upon your interlocutor says something along the lines of “You are a fake skeptic”, “How can you be so right about the other stuff yet wrong about that”, “You are arguing in bad faith”, and other such stuff. Consider the treatment accorded Bjorn Lomborg and Christopher Monckton, each of whom agrees with all of the “consensus science” except the estimates of the magnitudes of change and their danger.

    Except for a very few, you can’t persuade other people that they are wrong, you have to argue in order to inform those who have not yet made up their minds. The most famous quote along those lines is the well-known remark by Planck.

    • There is a dimension not touched upon: hierarchy.

      Where a person considers themselves to be an expert, they can be very resistant to errors pointed out to them by who they perceive as non-experts. With someone such as Christopher Monckton, his style and a sense of him being an interloper on their area of expertise can work against him I think.

      It also doesn’t help that he is a “Lord” as it provides a distraction and creates a sense of privilege that carries a lot of cultural baggage working very much against the people he most needs to convince. My point being, WHO the persuader is, and WHO they are trying to persuade is a very important element.

  27. This helps explain such gobsmacking statistics as the fact that, despite towering evidence proving otherwise, 40% of Americans don’t believe the world is more than 6,000 years old.

    It’s worse than that: 40% of Americans have tested IQs less than or equal to 90.

  28. I have never had a problem saying “I don’t know” or “I was wrong” (though for me it’s more likely to be “I screwed up”.

    I recognize that the more I know, the greater the span of what I don’t know becomes. And not knowing something is not an impediment to learning it. In the same way, admiting I was in error is not a big deal. It can be a bit embarrasing or even humbling at times, but it hasn’t yet proved fatal and I come out the other side knowing more.

  29. Blaise Pascal didn’t have scientific journals of the internet or super computers pumping out statistics. He did his work longhand. I’m not sure though, that you could find as much wisdom nowadays in a truckload of peer reviewed gobbledegook. Sometimes quantity makes it hard to find quality. Thanks for sharing, Dr Curry.

  30. I can see why all this twisty persuasion and communication is needed.

    For example, the earth is largely a hot and squishy ball, which is bound to have effects on the thin crust we scoot about on. But who wants to go down there? That’s so 1958. Science be buggered!

    No, easier to find out if someone likes cheeseburgers or re-runs of I Love Lucy and then “communicate” to them the devastating effects of some ill-defined-on-purpose thing called “climate change” on cheeseburgers or Lucy. There’s a survey or two for that.

    But enough of these intricacies! Do we take Business Class or First to Paris? Decision time!

  31. Pascal’s Wager
    Pascal’s Wager seeks to justify Christian faith by considering the various possible consequences of belief and disbelief in the God of Christianity. If we believe in the Christian God, the argument runs, then if he exists then we will receive an infinitely great reward in heaven while if he does not then we will have lost little or nothing. If we do not believe in the Christian God, the argument continues, then if he exists then we will receive an infinitely great punishment in hell while if he does not then we will have gained little or nothing. The possible outcomes of belief in the Christian God, then, are on balance better than the possible outcomes of disbelief in the Christian God. It is better to either receive an infinitely great reward in heaven or lose little or nothing than it is to either receive an infinitely great punishment in hell or gain little or nothing.

    The conclusion that Pascal’s Wager draws from this is that belief in the Christian God is the rational course of action, even if there is no evidence that he exists
    http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/theistic-proofs/pascals-wager/

    We’ve lost our fear of hellfire, but put climate change in its place

    The good news is that the Gaia in question is not my ex-mother-in-law. The bad news is that she represents a chthonic deity even more capable of vengeance upon errant mankind. Gaia is the Earth herself; she is Mother Nature; she taps her foot in ever-growing impatience at the antics of our species; and, according to Professor Lovelock, she is about to exact the most terrifying punishment for our excesses. She is about to get carboniferous on our ass.
    snip
    “Billions will die,” says Lovelock, who tells us that he is not normally a gloomy type. Human civilisation will be reduced to a “broken rabble ruled by brutal warlords”, and the plague-ridden remainder of the species will flee the cracked and broken earth to the Arctic, the last temperate spot, where a few breeding couples will survive.
    It is going to be a “hell of a climate”, he says, with Europe 8C warmer than it is today; and the real killer, says Lovelock, is that there is not a damn thing we can do about it. We are already pumping out so much carbon dioxide, with no prospect of abatement from the growing economies of China and India, that our fate is sealed.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3622794/Weve-lost-our-fear-of-hellfire-but-put-climate-change-in-its-place.html

  32. If we apply Pascal’s Wager to the Gaian Cult, it would appear that the problem the Warmers have in convincing others is that there is no Gaian Heaven to entice people with reward, only the Hell of Thermogeddon

  33. How’s this for persuasion:

    The Sun can’t cause a minor increase in a made-up global temperature index, but we should use Awesome Solar Power to heat billions and billions and billions of homes.

    Andrfew

  34. It is a well known statistic that, overall, murders using firearms are way down.
    Obama knows this too, so all he can do is wait until a nutjob hits a “gun free zone” and before the bodies are even cold spout his anti-gun rhetoric. He’s patiently waiting for moments of traction.
    The useful idiots and complicit will say nothing about the overall statistic that gun violence is WAY down. The objective of the elite is disarming the populace so they are easier to control. This has been the social fascists objective for hundreds of years.

    • http://www.americanthinker.com/legacy_assets/articles/assets/Murders%201.bmp

      The US has about twice the firearms of the 90s and about 1/2 the murder rate. If guns killed people the murder rate should be 4 times as high.

      It is telling that some cities with the strongest gun laws have the highest murder rates – Chicago and DC being cases in point.

      There have been studies that say state gun laws are effective … but they didn’t use the gun murder rate per capita, which makes the studies look like invented nonsense. For example the studies show California has the among the toughest laws and Idaho among the weakest, with California having a much lower gun mortality rate than Idaho.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state

      The cold reality is the Idaho gun murder rate (0.7) is less than 1/4 the California gun murder rate (3.4).

  35. “He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides.”
    Side A: CO2 causes warming.
    Side B: Natural variability causes warming.
    Two camps can reenforce their side and exclude the others side. The middle camp can talk about both sides.
    Side C: Green is good for the economy.
    Side D: Green is disastrous to the economy.
    Side E: There is no time to lose.
    Side F: We have plenty of time.
    Side G: We need a carbon tax.
    Side H: No new taxes related to carbon.
    Side I: Large NGOs are suspect.
    Side J: Big energy is suspect.
    I don’t think it’s some much being unaware of the opposite side. It’s not valuing it, while attacking it.

  36. Pascal’s Dilemma is a false dichotomy.
    It attempts to control your mind by offering only two rational choices.
    Clearly though, there is a third choice, and perhaps others.
    The third choice comes from the realization that organized religion is a scam.
    Picking the third choice is recognizing that God was made up by intellectual elites to control the unwashed masses. Not only does Pascal’s delimma not give you a real choice between risk and reward, picking the choice to “go to heaven” GUARANTEES you a life of servitude to the intellectual elite who demand money and loyalty because they had fooled you into believing that they speak for an all powerful being.

    • David Springer

      By the way it’s called Pascal’s Wager and it specifically takes up all possible cases of whether or not God is real.

      And Jesus still loves you no matter which side of it you take up. LOL

      • Fun with irony.

        Pascal may have been one of the greatest scientific thinkers,
        demonstrating ‘method of experimentation’ over ‘method of authority’.

        And yet, the wager is about the untestable but highly authoritative.

  37. “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.” – Blaise Pascal

    Most likely true, but it is more fun aiding in and video taping their discovery

  38. Stephen Mosher,

    I did my own damn science!

    I could not find a single reproducible experiment that supported the Global Warming nonsense.

    I waited, prepared to be persuaded. I am still waiting. I find facts very persuasive. I have been persuaded that stomach ulcers are caused by helicobacter pylori, rather than spicy food or stress. Persuaded by science, properly done.

    The Warmist tactic of threatening the gullible with vague and undefinable threats of future harm to them and their families, unless cash is forthcoming on a regular basis, is thuggery. This is threat, rather than persuasion.

    It is remarkably effective. It is akin to a police officer saying “Comply with my instruction, or I may use deadly force!” Saves a lot of unnecessary talk. And so it is with the Warmists. Luckily, they are running out of threats.

    Rising temperatures? Weird weather? Extreme weather? Colder winters? Venusian tipping points? Mass starvation? The Second Coming? As a Warmist would say, hah! Just hah!

    The science is that more CO2 is beneficial to humanity. Burning coal to produce electricity is good. Using technology based on fossil fuel use to provide ample supplies of potable water is the basis of civilisation, from where I sit.

    Any questions based on fact, rather than supposition? I thought not!

    • “The Warmist tactic of threatening the gullible with vague and undefinable threats…, Luckily, they are running out of threats”

      And your side is running out of financially solvent coal miners.
      Peabody Energy (BTU) $2.48
      Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) $0.39
      Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANR) $0.35

      This is not a threat – News item 6/24/2015: California’s state pension funds Calpers and CalSTRS are going to sell their investments in companies that generate at least half their revenue from coal mining passed an Assembly committee by a vote of 5-1 on Wednesday. Pension funds are under pressure from activists to halt investing in fossil fuel for environmental reasons and the vote could increase the momentum for other funds to sell such assets as this has become a hot-button issue both domestically and internationally. Norway’s parliament voted earlier in June to reduce coal investments by its $880 billion sovereign wealth fund. In the United States, Stanford University and the University of Maine have made similar moves.

      You want threats? In 2013, U.S. electric utilities had 51,924,502 advanced (smart) metering infrastructure (AMI) installations. About 89% were residential customer installations. I have a smart meter and maybe you do too. Did you know smart meters can be disconnected from the grid with a simple software command? It’s even easier than breaking into Govt. computers and stealing emails I bet.

      • jack smith4tx,

        I’m actually on the side of facts. No danger of running out of them any time soon, I hope.

        As to financially solvent US coal miners, why should I care? The U.S. has about 5% of the world’s population. I presume a few US coal miners are more or less irrelevant in the general scheme of things.

        Even less do I care what the misguided folk of California say or do. The state is running out of water, I hear. It might face bigger problems than worrying about coal soon.

        Good luck with your smart meter. I don’t have one. I do know about smart meters, which is why I don’t have one. If I use electricity I pay for it. If I can’t afford it, I don’t use it. Same with water.

        So far, so good. Threats of the effects of global warming leave me cold, so to speak.

      • Mike,
        What did you find out about smart meters that made you choose to not have one? In Texas if you refuse to have a smart meter installed you are charged $15-$20 dollars extra a month to send out a meter reader. I have seen anti-smart meter groups on the web that claim all sorts of bad things but it just seems like they are being paranoid. What facts did you use to make your decision?

      • Jack

        Here is a good guide to smart meters but from the UK perspective so undoubtedly there will be differences for you

        http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/get-advice/energy/smart-meters-what-are-they-and-how-can-i-find-out-more/benefits-and-disadvantages-of-smart-meters

        The UK govt is very keen on them. So are the energy suppliers as they can read and invoice instantly.

        With energy supplies now very close to the limit here because of a failure to build new base load power stations it is possible the govt would allow disconnections or load restrictions in the event of a cod winter.

        tonyb

      • tonyb,
        Thanks for that link. Pretty good information for those not informed of what they can and can not do. One thing everyone should realize that smart meters can not shut off anything in your house, it’s either fully on or it’s off. Here is one reason I have heard why the utility companies don’t just cut people off when demand exceeds supply, If someone dies because the utility company shut off the power to their medical life support system they will be sued for millions. I notice in the UK they take that pretty seriously. I find it puzzling that Demand Response is not used more to deal with peak demand. There is at least one electricity provider here in Texas that has a pilot program that rewards people for cutting demand on request by giving them a rebate on their bill for the amount of electricity they cut back on when requested via a text message or email.. Just turning down the thermostat or not drying that load of laundry can prevent disruptive grid blackouts. In Texas they raised the price of peak power to $9,000 per megawatt compared to a normal price between $55-$65 MWh. That’s insane pricing! No wonder they have proposed a multi-gigawatt investment in grid storage.

  39. Blaise Pascal, Benjamin Franklin and James Burgh?

    I am deeply offended by this homage to dead white males. It is one big micro-aggression. It should have been started with a trigger warning for my delicate sensitivities. Where’s Al Sharpton? Cornell West?

    Oh, and there’s nothing new in the climate debate.

  40. Here’s something a skeptic can discover simply. If the red and green lines in this graph are somewhat parallel, AGW is correct to the tune of 2.4 C per doubling as an effective sensitivity over the last 60 years.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25/plot/gistemp/mean:12/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:240
    Seeing this however is more likely to lead a skeptic into cognitive dissonance because they believe these lines to be correct, but not what it implies. They say that AGW can’t be right even though it gives a pretty good imitation of being correct. It’s just luck, they will say, that AGW looks so good with the actual data. They will say don’t use 60 years even as evidence for AGW being somewhat correct. This is why Pascal is overly simplistic about what it takes to persuade. Evidence in support of a theory doesn’t persuade some. They are on a neverending search for alternatives because they can’t handle the consequences of the theory being even close to true. They won’t look at this graph and discover or even concede anything from it except an innate dislike of what it implies.

    • Don Monfort

      Thanks, yimmy. I am sure somebody will read that. But Mosher says you are wasting your time. Skeptics got to do it for themselves. You can go now.

      • Skeptics don’t have to do it for themselves, but obviously no one will listen to them if they have no science of their own to show. If they dislike the science, do a replacement then argue.

      • David Springer

        I have plenty of science of my own to show. My tax dollars pay for everything produced by NASA and NOAA for instance. All that data is mine as much as anyone’s. The data speak for themselves. ARGO and CERES find energy imbalance in the climate system is 0.5W/m2 more absorbed than emitted which is enough to heat the global ocean by a mere 0.02C/decade. Global lower troposphere temperature increase over entire 36-year span of satellite data is 0.12C/decade.

        The actual data surrounding so-called global warming is cause for rejoice not alarm. Other NASA earth-monitoring satellites unambiguously show the earth is getting greener as a result of modest warming and fertiilzation of the atmosphere with anthropogenic CO2.

        Thanks for your concern but it’s misplaced according to scientific observations that my tax dollars have funded.

  41. I don’t have to do my own science.

    I know the consensus doesn’t understand clouds because their science tells me so.

    I know the consensus doesn’t understand water vapor because their science tells me so.

    I know the consensus doesn’t know what “Global Average Temperature” is to any reasonable degree of precision because their science tells me so.

    I know the consensus doesn’t understand and can’t predict the PDO or AMO because their science tells me so.

    I know the consensus doesn’t understand the hiatuspause because their science tells me so.

    I know that the consensus’ absurd claims of certainty in the AR5 are really just subjective ‘expert’ opinion because the AR5 tells me so.

    Given all that the consensus tells me it does not understand, I can decide for myself that they are incapable of modelling global climate sufficiently to predict/project/guess what “Global Average Temperature” will be in 20, 50 or 100 years with sufficient precision to justify decarbonizing the global energy economy.

    Why should I do my own science when I can read theirs?

    • Well…

      The IPCC/Global warming GCM models illustrate that the current ability to model climate is substandard for prediction purposes.

      The range of future CO2 levels and the confidence range for GHG forcing is so broad as to be essentially useless.

      The claims that more warming is bad, more CO2 in on net bad, that weather will be worse etc. are unsupportable.

      The situation is that the future effects of more CO2 are so badly bounded it is like predicting an asteroid strike and not specifying if it is 1 meter or 10 kilometers.

      Future CO2 levels and GHG forcing need to be more reasonably bounded and the effect of these better bounded estimates investigated before an intelligent discussion of policy can start.

      It is hard to persuade someone with the argument “we think something bad will happen” and no supporting facts or details. That is where the climate change discussion is at the moment.

      Right now empirical measurement and realistic assessment of future emissions would indicate that there will be a small future change due to CO2.

      • PA, your rejection of climate science is based solely on its inability to model short-term fluctuations in surface temperature.

        If you would only accept that 20-year climate is sufficient for the purposes of projecting to 2100, you would find your objections vanish.

        If you don’t accept this, why not?

      • David Springer

        @pratt

        I reject climate alarmism because of satellite and ARGO atmosphere and ocean temperature sensing systems. Measured TOA imbalance is a half Watt per square meter which is enough to heat the ocean basin by 0.02C/decade. This is consistent with both CERES and ARGO instruments. Heat transfer from ocean mixed layer to abyss has been faster than anyone expected which is probably the cause of the unexpected hiatus in lower troposphere warming. During the satellite era, going on 40 years, lower troposphere warming is 1.2C/decade and falling as subsequent years of “hiatus” continue to occur.

        The measured rate of warming over the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries is cause for rejoice not alarm. Morever, other earth sensing satellite systems deployed by NASA have unambiguously confirmed that the earth is getting greener as a consequence of mild temperature increase and fertilization of the atmosphere with anthropogenic CO2 emission.

        In other words, what’s not to like?

      • What’s not ter like, DS? It don’t fit the IPCC agenda
        mission statement, that’s what’s not ter like.

      • But David, The polar bears! They are cute and cuddly and they are fragile and can’t adapt! They will be forced to eat dolphin or die! It’s terrible I tell you! Terrible!

      • Ken W,
        Let – them – eat – humans – preferably – of – the – alarmist
        – persuasion.*

        * And fer the sake of personal liberty and the economy,
        the sooner the better. Fffffft!

      • Vaughan Pratt | June 25, 2015 at 3:53 am |
        PA, your rejection of climate science is based solely on its inability to model short-term fluctuations in surface temperature.

        If you would only accept that 20-year climate is sufficient for the purposes of projecting to 2100, you would find your objections vanish.

        If you don’t accept this, why not?

        1. The RCP files were written in 2011 and updated in 2013. They contain a prediction of atmospheric CO2 levels in response to a given emissions scenario. Since I have downloaded them, in 10 years (2023) it will be possible to judge how well the 21st century is evolving relative to the IPCC projections.

        2. We only have good data since about 2003.

        3. Historically the two hemispheres are in sync a significant part of the time. Taking the temperature trend when the two hemispheres are out of sync doesn’t make a lot of sense.

        When the temperatures of the two hemispheres sync up again (and they will sync up again) we can draw a trend line from the last time they were in sync and may be able draw some conclusions about where things are headed. Currently the two hemispheres are about as out of sync as they have ever been and that can’t continue.

        4. The major climate cycles (which include a strong 65-70 year cycle) induce a sinusoid component on the temperature trend. Taking a 20 year trend typically gives you mostly one edge of a sine wave. This is not useful trend information.

      • @PA: the last time [the two hemispheres] were in sync

        When was that?

      • Vaughan Pratt | June 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm |
        @PA: the last time [the two hemispheres] were in sync

        When was that?

        Look at the chart. The southern hemisphere temperatures do a slow progression and the northern temperatures oscillate around the southern temperatures in a 70 year cycle.

        If the pattern holds the northern temperatures will decline to intersect the southern temperatures in about 15 years.

        Most of what is called climate is a heat engine redistributing energy between sources and sinks. It will tend to equalize the energy distribution.

        Since this has to have been noticed by real climate scientists there has to be a name for the phenomenon and it must be known that northern temperatures are going to decline.

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/pub/seager/Kang_Seager_subm.pdf

        This paper says the Northern hemisphere is warmer. Obviously from the GISS chart that isn’t always true.

        There are smarter, better informed people on the blog that may have an explanation for my observation.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        You wrote –

        “@PA: the last time [the two hemispheres] were in sync

        When was that?”

        In a previous comment you claimed –

        “Bottom line: extremely cold everywhere on the planet during the Younger Dryas.”

        Or did “extremely cold everywhere” mean something else then, and something different now?

        Sounds like Weasely Warmist Waffle Words to me, but I’m dumb. You might have to explain what you really meant, rather than what you wrote.

      • @PA: Look at the chart.

        Are you referring to this chart? This shows NH and SH temperatures since 1850 smoothed to a 10-year running mean (much less than that and it’s impossible to say what “in sync” means).

        Based on this chart it would seem that the hemispheres are “in sync” in 1880, 1920, 1970, and 1990.

        The only time SH goes above NH is the 20 years from 1970 to 1990..

        @PA: The southern hemisphere temperatures do a slow progression and the northern temperatures oscillate around the southern temperatures in a 70 year cycle.

        Either you have a different notion of “in sync” than I thought you meant, or you must be looking at some other chart.

      • Vaughan Pratt | June 25, 2015 at 9:03 pm |
        @PA: Look at the chart.

        Are you referring to this chart? This shows NH and SH temperatures since 1850 smoothed to a 10-year running mean (much less than that and it’s impossible to say what “in sync” means).

        I was referring to the GISS chart.

        However you do point out a problem, the temperature of the southern hemisphere before the 21st century isn’t any better than a guess.

      • @PA: the temperature of the southern hemisphere before the 21st century isn’t any better than a guess.

        In that case all reliable observations show SH temperatures being always been well below NH.

        And although NH appears to be turning down (the hiatus), SH appears to be turning down too, and by about the same amount, suggesting that hell would have to freeze over before they’re in synch.

        And since the IPCC doesn’t seem to be projecting any low temperatures for hell, they’d be wildly wrong at the first opportunity to judge them.

    • Gary

      1+

      This is the big self delusion. And it is the biggest impediment to actually learning more. They keep looking in the wrong closests.

    • Vaughan Pratt | June 25, 2015 at 10:44 pm |
      @PA: the temperature of the southern hemisphere before the 21st century isn’t any better than a guess.

      In that case all reliable observations show SH temperatures being always been well below NH.

      And here is a simple overlap of the two hemispheres (the south is the odd colors):

      So it is obvious that while there have been periods when the northern hemisphere has been warmer the temperatures always converge.

      There are two possibilities:
      1. The temperatures will converge within 15 years.
      2. The northern data is contaminated due to UHI or other problem.

      There is about a 2 PPM difference between Mauna Loa and the South Pole. This is too little to have a significant effect.

      • PA,

        First you said

        2. We only have good data since about 2003.

        Then you used data since 1850 to show

        So it is obvious that while there have been periods when the northern hemisphere has been warmer the temperatures always converge.

        Walking down a narrow 17th century Edinburgh street, the English playwright Ben Jonson noticed two ladies upstairs arguing with each other across the street from facing windows. He observed that they were arguing from different premises.

        The same person arguing from different premises is a more impressive feat.

      • It isn’t good data and the post 2000 adjustments make it unreliable.

        But it is what we have.

        The current numbers from whatever source (except satellites) show the two hemispheres getting out of sync.

        This is a little hard to explain for the post 1995 period without concluding that one of two things is going on:
        1. Temperatures are going to come down in the next decade
        2. There is some contamination or adjustment that is distorting the recent land data.

        There are enough anomalous features of the various data that I wouldn’t be surprised to find 2030 cooler than today.

        If 2030 (or even 2025) raw data is cooler than today, yet they continue to show a warming trend, there should be a major staff turnover at the climate centers.

      • Here’s a third possibility for what might be going on.

        3. NH temperatures are now rising so fast (for whatever reason) that the thermal inertia of the SH prevents it from keeping up, thereby breaking what has up till now been a reliable cycle.

      • Well, they seem to converge whenever the AMO or PDO flips.

        Since the separation started after the last flip it would seem that we should expect cooler temperatures in the next 15 years if the land data isn’t hopelessly contaminated.

        But this is an observation of past patterns and not a prediction.

        The CO2 level of the SH and NH are essentially the same and cross equatorial currents are usual reason given for the temperature difference between SH and NH (a likely source of the link to AMO/PDO).

  42. Vaughan Pratt,

    You might give PA a bit of a hint, and explain why the 20 year average of human height is sufficient for the purpose of projecting to 2100, and why it would be as useful as projections of climate.

    You might give him a clue as to why the current global climate is important to the residents of Ealing, as opposed to Edinburgh.

    I hope this helps.

  43. This passage reinforces my claim that a dialectical approach to science, in which people compete to win arguments, leads to better error detection:

    “One hypothesis as to why this and the backfire effect happen is that you spend much more time considering information you disagree with than you do information you accept. Information that lines up with what you already believe passes through the mind like a vapor, but when you come across something that threatens your beliefs, something that conflicts with your preconceived notions of how the world works, you seize up and take notice.”

    In short, a scientific community filled with passionate debaters is more likely to turn up the flaws in arguments that threaten their beliefs. A disinterested observer is likely to be an uninterested seeker after error, or at least one not activating his strongest error-detection apparatus. Of course, the passionate debaters are more likely to fool themselves, but an audience of fairly neutral users of the community’s results can read these discussions and not be fooled.

  44. To all the trend followers –

    Just say the trend is 2 C per century. You believe the trend is predictable, and continues forever. As a matter of fact, you might even believe in positive feedback, which you claim will even accelerate the trend. I might have trouble with that, because you’ve already admitted you don’t know whether the trend will be accelerated or not. But no matter.

    Let us stay with 2 C per century. After 50 centuries – a mere 5000 years – the average temperature will be 100 C above the present. Nonsense, you cry. The trend is only 0.2 C per century. OK, it will take 50,000 years.

    More nonsense, I hear you say. That’s ridiculous! And I would agree. The trend is unpredictable. Let us agree, the past is no particular guide to the future. You may disagree for the sake of saving face if you wish, but the future remains unknowable.

    Left to itself, without external heat sources, I reasonably assume the Earth will cool, roughly following Newton’s Law of cooling. But heat sources exist – the Sun, and anthropogenic heat, amongst others. If you expose a thermometer to enough of either, it will show a rise in temperature. Withdraw the heat source, and cooling recommences.

    Just physics. Calculable, verifiable, as clear as night and day.

    Unlike CO2 warming. Non existent. Best filed between alchemy and unobtanium.

  45. Pascal’s Wager is an example of the precautionary principle, which at it’s heart merely masquerades enlightened self interest as “beliefs.” Reasons for self interest are numerous and complex: at one extreme you tell yourself you believe because of positive feedback to your self esteem thinking you know the right thing to do, e.g., for the good of mankind; at the other extreme you knowingly or unknowingly have made a Faustian bargain for fame and material gain by taking this or that position. Whether it is believing in God or believing in climate change, beliefs are just that, beliefs based on one’s state of mind driven by something other than facts. For climate change, if the science were clear and demonstrable there would be no debate. But here cause and effect is not, and probably can never be, incontrovertibly proven and therefore the debate destined to remain, as Judith says, a most difficult “wicked problem,” simply put there are too many degrees of freedom. So we need to continue getting smarter to better frame and bound the probabilities and likelihoods of reality, as possible, but still driven by enlightened self interest. There is no place in the room for labeling (e.g., “deniers”), smearing and denigrating others – these are patently obvious propaganda tactics to diminish influence of opposing viewpoints while building support of the base that can only rely on “show of hands” consensus science.

    • > Whether it is believing in God or believing in climate change, beliefs are just that, beliefs based on one’s state of mind driven by something other than facts.

      I believe snow is white. I believe we are Thursday. Facts can’ t have driven my mind to form those beliefs.

      The truth is out there.

      • But “white” is scientifically defined as the absence of “color” measured by the wavelength of reflected light, all wavelengths are reflected. Thursday is Thursday based on “convention” derived from observation … going back to the Jews and Babylonians (also Chinese and Japanese) observation of the lunar cycles, and inserting religious beliefs to give a day’s rest etc. I agree that the truth is out there somewhere, we just need to get smarter.

      • > “white” is scientifically defined as the absence of “color” measured by the wavelength of reflected light, all wavelengths are reflected.

        “White” is just a word. Whiteness is a concept that rests in beliefs, therefore not facts, just like AGW, which is a hoax.

        I’m in a New York state of mind.

      • “white” is scientifically defined as the absence of “color”

        Since “black” meets the same definition, then scientifically speaking surely black must be white?

        Applied to a Party member, [the Newspeak word blackwhite] means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.

        —Orwell, 1984

        It is possible that Orwell went to his grave never having grasped the relevance to “blackwhite” of the CIE 1931 color space,

        This diagram projects out value (brightness) in the 3D hue-saturation-value (HSV) color cube to yield a 2D plot of the hues and saturations the eye perceives as the entire gamut of (humanly) visible colors.

        This projection sends black (or at least extremely dark gray to avoid 0/0) to the same point as white, namely the point on the curve labeled 5778 (K) as the color of daylight. (Yes the Sun looks yellow viewed from the surface, but at noon on a clear day the sky adds just enough blue to make daylight essentially the same color at the surface as in outer space.)

        So if you take the 2D CIE diagram as defining all humanly perceivable colors, then black is white.

        So what is white anyway? In a basement with a black floor with the lights out, is that sheet of paper you are absolutely and positively certain is white actually white, or is it the same color as the floor?

        A remake of the movie could have a color scientist undermining the Party.

        (I taught computer graphics at Stanford in the days before we had a graphics group. I was happy to hand that baton off to Marc Levoy and Pat Hanrahan when they arrived so I could pursue other interests.)

    • “There is no place in the room for labeling (e.g., “deniers”), smearing and denigrating others – these are patently obvious propaganda tactics to diminish influence of opposing viewpoints while building support of the base that can only rely on “show of hands” consensus science.”

      i agree there is no place for calling people propagandists.

      • Is claiming that additional CO2 will lead to climate change that is a net negative for the USA or the world more than a belief?

      • Those who claim that they “know” that more CO2 will cause a net worsening of the climate are in fact spreading propaganda

      • Steven Mosher

        “Is claiming that additional CO2 will lead to climate change that is a net negative for the USA or the world more than a belief?”

        is 2+2 = 4 more than a belief?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Those who claim that they “know” that more CO2 will cause a net worsening of the climate are in fact spreading propaganda”

        Those who claim to know what propaganda is are spreading propaganda.

        Asserting things is fun !!

      • @RS: Is claiming that additional CO2 will lead to climate change that is a net negative for the USA or the world more than a belief?

        A lot of people expect it will be. Are you saying that “expectation” is completely synonymous with “belief”?

      • @VP- “A lot of people expect it will be. Are you saying that “expectation” is completely synonymous with “belief”?”

        No I am not.

        Humans do have the ability to convince themselves that their personal system of beliefs are undoubtedly true and develop expectations based on those beliefs. Many are “certain” that their prayers are answered and expect the same in the future.

    • “Whether it is believing in God or believing in climate change, beliefs are just that, beliefs based on one’s state of mind driven by something other than facts.”

      Beliefs about beliefs are driven by something other than facts.

      • But an analysis can be performed to determine if a person’s beliefs are justified based on the available data.

      • And mincing words with affected elegance is not based on facts.

      • Steven Mosher

        “But an analysis can be performed to determine if a person’s beliefs are justified based on the available data.”

        and you can believe or not in the analysis

      • ==> “justified ”

        Let me guess. A determination that someone’s beliefs are “justified” is congruent with your own beliefs.

        By coincidence, of course.

      • Beliefs about beliefs are driven by something other than facts.

        I believe that.

      • Joshua

        Wrong again. Justified based on objective data.

        Let’s start with the objective, verifiable data that leads a person to conclude that more CO2 will lead to warming and that said warming will result in net harms.

        Please- show the assessment for 2115 or 2165. What rate of warming was used for that period? What conditions were evaluated as changing as a result of the predicted warming rate? Is there reasonably reliable data to justify the conclusions?

        If sea level has been rising at a given rate for a substantial period and someone claims that the rate of rise will substantially increase “in the future” and that will result in substantial damage—do you just accept their conclusion, or evaluate whether the conclusion seems justified?

  46. Looking at the sainthood of the climate change clergy, determined as they are to protect us from us, the egocentricity and grandiosity on display os drowned out a bit by the cognitive empathy of their collective sociopathy.

  47. I wrote what I thought was a reasonable response on a thread that was off topic. It went into moderstion and was deleted. Then I see all the bickering and nonsense on much of this entire thread. I don’t know why this happened but it makes me wonder.

    • I have spent 24 of the last 36 hours in a bus, airport or plane. I have moderated when I can. There is much more that should probably be deleted, but i can spend my time doing that or working on a new post.

      • JC, sorry I just didn’t understand my deletion vs others. I know your traveling and probably exhausted, I didn’t mean to be a pest.

      • I believe Judy is travel-fatigued. Knowing Judy I would not have expected this of her.

        I expect Judy is travel-fatigued. Knowing Judy I would not have believed this of her.

        Are these sentences completely interchangeable?

  48. “This is why skeptics will not be convinced until they do their own damn science.”

    Actually we have YOUR science already. And it’s a pile of doo-doo. Pretty convincing.

    Andrew

  49. “is 2+2 = 4 more than a belief?”

    It’s basic math. 1st grade math more. Comment less.

    Andrew

    • Steven Mosher

      is it more than a basic math belief?

      questions are so fun

    • Steven Mosher,

      Yes. 2+2=4 is more than a basic math belief.

      It is a useful belief. Nobody is spending billions convincing me it is useful. Quite unlike the nonsensical beliefs that CO2 and H2O from burning coal are more harmful than not, or that these gases will somehow warm the Earth to the detriment of humanity.

      If you could show an experiment demonstrating the alleged warming properties of GHGs, you might engender at least a modicum of respect.

      Faffing about with silly irrelevancies, demonstrates the paucity of the Warmist intellectual capacity, don’t you think?

    • “is it more than a basic math belief?”

      Not really. It’s an equation. And for some reason it’s making you wet your pants.

      Andrew

  50. Beta Blocker

    A good portion of the commentary which has appeared so far on this thread consists of academic musings and philosophical posturings concerning the art and science of communication and persuasion, as opposed to what will work in actual practice in driving the public policy debate concerning what to do about climate change towards a critical mass.

    Right now, it’s all mere kibbuke theater, as is the larger public policy debate over climate change — the Phony Debate, as it were.

    Why? Very simply because the voting public doesn’t see addressing climate change as a near-term priority, however scientifically real AGW may be.

    If you are an AGW activist, you don’t need to persuade the American public that AGW-driven climate change is happening. A solid majority of Americans already believes that it is happening. What AGW activists need to do is to find a way of convincing the majority of American voters that climate change is one of those real problems which deserves to be placed a lot higher on the public issue priority list.

    Actions speak louder than words. Actions influence the course of public opinion much more than do words. The reasons why the voting public doesn’t place climate change higher on its issue priority list are two-fold: (1) because most people don’t perceive climate change as a serious near-term threat to their personal health and welfare; and (2) because those who understand its potential consequences have not asked the voting public to make any real sacrifices in addressing the problem.

    Since there can never be an AGW Pearl Harbor or an AGW 9/11, an opinion-catalyzing event is necessary which can turn climate change into an active issue for earnest public discussion, as opposed to what it is now, mostly a topic for conversation on the Internet. AGW activists need an effective strategy for driving public policy debate concerning the importance of addressing climate change towards a near-term critical mass.

    === A Plan for Raising the Priority of Climate Change as a Public Policy Issue ===

    President Obama’s goal of a 28% reduction in GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 cannot be met unless the US Government puts a stiff price on carbon and unless the nation’s electric utilities make a substantial commitment to a combination of expanded nuclear power and expanded renewables, i.e. wind and solar.

    But since nuclear power and the renewables cannot expand nearly as rapidly as would be needed to replace most of the nation’s fossil fuel energy resources by 2050, strict energy conservation measures would be necessary to make up the difference.

    Higher prices for energy are necessary both to promote energy conservation measures and to pay the cost premium for incentivizing an accelerated adoption of nuclear power plus the renewables, wind and solar. Here is a strategy for how President Obama and the EPA could legally and constitutionally raise the price of all carbon fuels without asking for new legislation from the US Congress:

    1) Make full use of the Clean Air Act to its maximum legal authority, using the 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon as the EPA’s regulatory basis.
    2) Set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for carbon pollution at either 400 ppm CO2 equivalent, or at some higher concentration which is consistent with some specified acceptable rise in global mean temperature between 2015 and 2100.
    3) Develop a regulatory framework for carbon pollution which directly constrains emissions of GHGs and which imposes a corresponding system of EPA-administered carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated carbon tax.
    4) Design the EPA’s regulatory framework so as to equitably distribute the economic and social burdens of making the necessary GHG reductions as evenly and as fairly as possible among all classes of GHG emitters.
    5) Assign all revenues collected through the EPA’s system of carbon pollution fines to the individual states, thus giving each state a strong incentive to voluntarily adopt the EPA’s standardized GHG regulatory framework.

    The basic point to be made here is this: A clear pathway towards achieving the President’s ambitious GHG reduction goals currently exists, one which is legal and constitutional and which does not require another word of new legislation from the US Congress to be implemented. But it is a pathway which the Obama Administration has chosen not to pursue.

    If President Obama isn’t using the authority he already has in his hands to directly and indirectly raise the price of all carbon fuels, and to directly constrain their future supply and availability, then he isn’t truly serious about achieving a 28% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050.

    Actions speak louder than words. Actions influence the course of public opinion much more than do words. If the President wants to communicate the dangers of climate change to the American public, and to convince them that it is a problem which must be taken much more seriously than it currently is, then he must take bold near-term actions in reducing America’s GHG emissions, actions which are fully commensurate with the gravity of the AGW threat.

    There could be no more stronger message about climate change being sent by the President to the American people than by announcing he will be applying the full legal authority of the Executive Branch and the Environmental Protection Agency in aggressively pursuing a significant reduction in America’s carbon emissions.

    • You gotta be kidding! Sounds like you think Obama is the King speaking to his subjects. Progressive over reach at it’s worst.

    • Beta Blocker,

      Of course, the other 95% of the world’s population might just wait for the U.S. to go down the gurgler, regulating and legislating itself into a state of abject poverty.

      The U.S. would then provide cheap labour for the rest of the world, and rich pickings for vast quantities of waste paper in the form of old regulations, laws, directives, executive orders, decrees, and so on.

      These could be burnt to provide electricity to be sold at inflated prices to the huddled starving, penniless masses.

      Who said the paperwork generated by Government was useless?

      • @MF: Of course, the other 95% of the world’s population might just wait for the U.S. to go down the gurgler, regulating and legislating itself into a state of abject poverty.

        CE caters to those who’ve found someone wrong on the internet, someone urgently in need of being set straight.

        As one of CE’s few mavericks I’m here to agree with Mike.

        The insistence of the US government (as opposed to the Vatican advisors etc.) that CO2 isn’t increasing, or if it is then it isn’t raising the temperature, or if it is then it will be a wonderful world, or if it won’t then let’s geoengineer it, is viewed by perhaps 90% of the world just as Mike says.

        My sense however of global political warming is that Mike’s 95% might be a tad high. However it’s not a sufficient difference to motivate me to argue with him.

        Though if there’s to be any fencing my choice of weapon is fenceposts.

    • Beta Blocker

      “Higher prices for energy are necessary both to promote energy conservation measures and to pay the cost premium for incentivizing an accelerated adoption of nuclear power plus the renewables, wind and solar.”

      It is clear whom you are harming with a carbon tax: those who can’t pay the higher price of energy, essentially, the poor, the disabled, those on fixed income. You have now successfully targeted the vulnerable populations caught between the vice of carbon costs and their own survival. And, as you seem so easily and willing to subject others to carbon costing, I suggest you visit the funerals of those dying of inclement weather to which they have no capability to respond. There are only 2000/year at current energy prices. As the price of energy is artificially inflated, I would expect that annual number of deaths due to energy poverty to increase along with the impact of the carbon tax.

    • Beta Blocker

      ——————————–
      Mark Silbert: You gotta be kidding! Sounds like you think Obama is the King speaking to his subjects. Progressive over reach at it’s worst.
      ——————————–

      Under existing law in the United States, the US Executive Branch and the EPA are assigned primary responsibility for acting as the lead agencies of government in dealing with atmospheric pollutants which have been determined to represent a danger to human health and the environment.

      The five-step plan I’ve outlined above is consistent with how the Clean Air Act is supposed to work as it was envisioned by Congress when the law was passed, and also with how it has since been enforced by the EPA for other kinds of atmospheric pollutants.

      What is different about controlling GHG emissions is that CO2 is a well-mixed gas in the atmosphere and that every American who engages in any economic activity whatsoever contributes to the nation’s carbon emissions to some greater or lesser extent.

      Any GHG reduction target as ambitious as the President’s stated goal of achieving a 28% reduction in America’s carbon emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 must be thoroughly comprehensive in covering the classes of carbon emissions it regulates, and it must also be completely fair and equitable in distributing the burdens of compliance among all GHG emitters. A realistic plan which meets these criteria and which is both legal and constitutional would look like this:

      1) Make full use of the Clean Air Act to its maximum legal authority, using the 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon as the EPA’s regulatory basis.
      2) Set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for carbon pollution at either 400 ppm CO2 equivalent, or at some higher concentration which is consistent with some specified acceptable rise in global mean temperature between 2015 and 2100.
      3) Develop a regulatory framework for carbon pollution which directly constrains emissions of GHGs and which imposes a corresponding system of EPA-administered carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated carbon tax.
      4) Design the EPA’s regulatory framework so as to equitably distribute the economic and social burdens of making the necessary GHG reductions as evenly and as fairly as possible among all classes of GHG emitters.
      5) Assign all revenues collected through the EPA’s system of carbon pollution fines to the individual states, thus giving each state a strong incentive to voluntarily adopt the EPA’s standardized GHG regulatory framework.

      President Obama’s existing Clean Power Plan falls well short of being as comprehensive in its coverage and as fair in its application as it needs to be in order to achieve the President’s stated goals. If he does not put a stiff price on carbon in ways which spread the economic burdens of compliance equally and fairly among all carbon emitters; and if he does not take direct action to constrain the supply and availability of all carbon fuels, then there is no possibility the US could ever reach his target GHG reduction goals.

      ——————————–
      Mike Flynn:Of course, the other 95% of the world’s population might just wait for the U.S. to go down the gurgler, regulating and legislating itself into a state of abject poverty. ….

      RiHo08: You have now successfully targeted the vulnerable populations caught between the vice of carbon costs and their own survival.
      ——————————–

      It is not possible to achieve President Obama’s goal of a 28% reduction in America’s carbon emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 without incurring the risk of experiencing substantial economic and personal lifestyle dislocations.

      If the President doesn’t offer up a realistic plan for how to deal with these dislocations, and if he doesn’t openly and forcefully communicate that plan to the voting public, then he can rightly be accused of playing politics with the issue of climate change.

      ——————————–
      Vaughan Pratt: The insistence of the US government (as opposed to the Vatican advisors etc.) that CO2 isn’t increasing, or if it is then it isn’t raising the temperature, or if it is then it will be a wonderful world, or if it won’t then let’s geoengineer it, is viewed by perhaps 90% of the world just as Mike says.
      ——————————–

      The EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon uses IPCC 2007 AR4 as its scientific basis, and the Endangerment Finding has been upheld in the US Supreme Court. As the science component of any GHG regulation scheme, IPCC AR4 is now the law of the land when it comes to regulating America’s carbon emissions.

      Were the President to announce a firm and realistic plan for achieving a 28% reduction in America’s carbon emissions by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050, that plan would by necessity have to place a stiff price on carbon and would have to directly constrain the supply and availability of all carbon fuels.

      As things stand today, the issue of climate change is far down on the list of problems the American voting public is concerned about.

      However, the act of proposing a truly effective plan for reducing America’s GHG emissions would cause public debate in the United States over what to do about climate change to reach a critical mass. This is an event which would greatly test President Obama’s fundamental leadership skills.

      But if the President doesn’t announce a firm and realistic plan for achieving his ambitious GHG reduction goals, and if he doesn’t accept the political risks of communicating his plan to the voting public, then he can properly and justifiably be accused of playing politics with the issue of climate change.

      • Beta Blocker,

        “But if the President doesn’t announce a firm and realistic plan for achieving his ambitious GHG reduction goals, and if he doesn’t accept the political risks of communicating his plan to the voting public, then he can properly and justifiably be accused of playing politics with the issue of climate change.”

        Uh, he is playing politics with climate change. Is this news to you?

        The UN is playing politics with climate change, as is NOAA, NASA, Penn. St. University, Angela Merkel, etc. etc.

        Cimate Change is the biggest political farce of the past 50 years. As a significant problem, it deserves to be right where it is, “the issue of climate change is far down on the list of problems the American voting public is concerned about”.

      • Beta Blocker

        ——————————–
        Mark Silbert: Uh, he is playing politics with climate change. Is this news to you? ….. The UN is playing politics with climate change, as is NOAA, NASA, Penn. St. University, Angela Merkel, etc. etc.
        ——————————–

        Mark, I would encourage you and all other climate change skeptics who believe AGW isn’t a problem to directly confront the AGW activists and to demand an answer from them as to why the President and the EPA aren’t using the full legal and constitutional authority now at their command to aggressively reduce America’s carbon emissions.

        However, be warned that if you ask this kind of question of the AGW activists, then you as a climate change skeptic are implicitly acknowledging that the President and the EPA do in fact have the legal and constitutional authority needed to go much, much farther in reducing America’s carbon emissions than they are currently willing to go.

        And if the AGW activists respond with an answer which is anything other than that the President and the EPA have deliberately chosen not to fully utilize their existing legal and constitutional authorities in pursuing aggressive reductions in America’s carbon emissions, you will then have positive proof that fighting climate change is not the true agenda the AGW activists are now pursuing.

      • Beta Blocker,

        I don’t know who you are or what your agenda is.

        I see no reason to engage CAGW activists/alarmists as you suggest. I am 99.995% sure that the CAGW horde are left wing political activists intent on furthering the aims of the progressive mafia.

      • Beta Blocker

        ——————————–
        Mark Silbert: I don’t know who you are or what your agenda is.
        ——————————–

        I work in nuclear construction and operations in the United States. The stillborn Nuclear Renaissance here in America cannot be revived unless the US Government puts a price on carbon, especially on natural gas.

        Moreover, I would prefer not to see the United States covered with fracking wells from one end of the country to the other, which is just what will happen if President Obama’s current energy policies are carried to their inevitable conclusion.

        ——————————–
        Mark Silbert: I see no reason to engage CAGW activists/alarmists as you suggest. I am 99.995% sure that the CAGW horde are left wing political activists intent on furthering the aims of the progressive mafia.
        ——————————–

        As a point of information here, when I confront AGW activists with the fact that the President’s climate action plan isn’t nearly as aggressive as it needs to be in order to achieve his announced GHG reduction targets; and that the EPA isn’t pursuing carbon pollution reductions nearly as aggressively as existing law allows — the usual response is either a befuddled silence or else a vague assertion that right-wing politicians in the US Congress and in the state governments are blocking serious action in the fight against climate change.

        The fact is that if President Obama and the EPA wanted to pursue their existing regulatory authorities as far as the law currently allows, then very decisive near-term action could be taken in reducing America’s carbon emissions.

        Nothing short of repealing the Clean Air Act could prevent President Obama from moving smartly forward in pushing highly effective carbon reduction measures, if he wanted to take that road. And as long as President Obama remains in office, any legislative action by Congress to modify or repeal the Clean Air Act could be easily blocked with a presidential veto.

        If the President is as truly concerned about climate change as he claims to be; and if he truly does want to see America’s carbon emissions reduced 28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050, there is no excuse for him not to be employing the full legal and constitutional authority of his office in pursuit of his stated goals.

      • OK Beta Blocker now I understand where you are coming from and maybe we aren’t that far apart.

        You say: “The stillborn Nuclear Renaissance here in America cannot be revived unless the US Government puts a price on carbon, especially on natural gas.”

        You are in the Nuclear business and I was (no longer, not even a stock holder) in the Oil and Gas business. I would love to see a renaissance in nuclear. It has to happen for so many reasons, but not because it will save us from CAGW. Increasing the cost of fossil fuel energy to jump start nuclear energy is bass ackward. We need to reduce the over regulation of nuclear to reduce it’s costs.

        I have been very disappointed in our pointy headed President for his total lack of leadership in energy in general and nuclear energy in particular. He has had the opportunity to move our country towards a sound long term energy future by championing nuclear energy, and he has not done this. It was my biggest disappointment with this President until his ball fumbling in the Middle East and with Iranian negotiations.

  51. I replied to a day old comment, which I assume isn’t a good strategy if you want your comment considered. So I’ll ask again, Steven Mosher, what does a non-scientist skeptic do to convince himself to change his mind? I’ve always relied on those who make sense consistently and civilly to form my climate opinions. I’m a retired lawyer and have read extensively on the subject.

    • Steven Mosher

      “So I’ll ask again, Steven Mosher, what does a non-scientist skeptic do to convince himself to change his mind?”

      Start by questioning your skepticism.

      If you dont understand the science, you dont know enough to believe or not believe. So start with suspending judgment.

      in other words….. be a real skeptic. Suspend judgement

      practice that for a year.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Whereas academic skepticism, with Carneades as its most famous adherent, claims that “Nothing can be known, not even this”, Pyrrhonian skeptics withhold any assent with regard to non-evident propositions and remain in a state of perpetual inquiry. They disputed the possibility of attaining truth by sensory apprehension, reason, or the two combined, and thence inferred the need for total suspension of judgment (epoché) on things.[4] A Pyrrhonist tries to make the arguments of both sides as strong as possible. Then he asks himself if there is any reason to prefer one side to the other. And if not, he suspends belief in either side. According to them, even the statement that nothing can be known is dogmatic. They thus attempted to make their skepticism universal, and to escape the reproach of basing it upon a fresh dogmatism.[5] Mental imperturbability (ataraxia) was the result to be attained by cultivating such a frame of mind.[5]”

    • Welcome to Mosherville!!

    • Don Monfort

      Mosher wasn’t honest with you, scraft. If you look back up the page, Mosher has been insisting that Pascal says that you cannot be cured of skepticism, until you do your own damn science. So Mosher telling you now to practice skepticism for a year is just jerking you around. You come back in a year and he will tell you that you still have to do your own damn science. Of course, a few years ago, before Mosher started pretending to be a scientist, he had a very different perspective.

      • Don Monfort

        Here you go, scraft:

        http://www.amazon.com/Climategate-Crutape-Letters-Steven-Mosher/dp/1450512437

        You see Mosher used to be a skeptic and thorn in the side of the consensus crowd, until he got taken in by the BEST Project: for the Re-Juggling of Old Dubiously Adjusted Temperature Data. He got Svengalied by Dr. Richard Muller, who used to pretend he was also a skeptic. Muller allowed Mosher to work on the BEST Project, with no pay, but rewarded him by putting his name on the papers that were published in a pay for play journal of last resort. So Mosher now feels that he is on the side of “science” and that justifies him admonishing skeptics to do their own damn science. Stockholm Syndrome. Soap opera.

      • Whoops. Let’s try again. My facility with wordpress is not absolute.

        Well, the point is that Steven Mosher thinks, as a true skeptic, I should suspend judgment until I understand the science. My response is that every responsible person does that to one degree or another. I have suspended judgment – and that is skepticism or at least a major part of it.

        Steve Mosher, I assume you’ve suspended judgment on some facets of climate change – which facets? Which aspects of climate change are you absolutely sure of?

        For example, I can understand the greenhouse effect and can agree that continued pouring of CO2 into the atmosphere will raise temperatures, other factors being equal. But from what I’ve read, the various forcings built into the climate models have not been confirmed in the real world, and thus the temperature projections amount to speculation. Also, recent studies indicate that estimated climate sensitivity is quite a bit lower than assumed in climate models.

        Have you suspended judgment on future temperature increases, and associated effects such as sea level rise? Do you think we’ll have one meter of slr by 2100, or have you suspended judgment? More important, do you think the science is sufficiently developed for the IPCC to confidently and responsibly predict these things?

        Maybe most important, are you sure enough about these matters that you think the derision, bullying and sanctimony exhibited by the “consensus community” toward people that challenge the consensus is justified? Finally, do I appear so naive that I would believe, as a non-scientist, that I’m not even entitled to an opinion? That’s what people in your camp keep telling me.

      • scraft1 Finally, do I appear so naive that I would believe, as a non-scientist, that I’m not even entitled to an opinion?

        Speaking as a scientist, I would certainly say you’re entitled to an opinion, even to several opinions.

        But I wouldn’t say any more than that before I knew what your opinion is about whether there’s such a thing as a “Higg’s boson”, and why you hold that opinion.

      • Don Monfort

        I don’t think Mr. Mosher is going to answer you, scraft. He gets perturbed when we all don’t dutifully swoon over his “logic”. But this is how he felt about the climate science back in the day when he was exposing the Climategate scandal and was a hero of the skeptic crowd. Dude was a real publicity hound. Sold thousands of books. We don’t know what his financial arrangement was with his partner:

        breitbart.com/big-government/2009/12/29/the-green-religion-and-climategate-interview-with-steven-mosher/

        Did he really say:

        “I think one of the big, missing stories here is how the scientific publishing mechanism is corrupted. I mean, I think of “Global Warming” as kind of a religion, and what you see in the mails is how they construct the canon, of how they corrupt the journal publishing, to get the papers published what they WANT published, with the reviewers that they want reviewing it and the papers they don’t want published, they keep out.”

        Or was he quoting Pascal? Maybe he will clarify, when he gets done sulking.

        Dr. Pratt is the guy you want to ask about the science. He is no kibitzer, but a real physicist. His explanation of the greenhouse effect is elegant and the best I have seen. Just don’t ask him about the dubious strongly positive water feedback assumption.

      • David Springer

        Monfort wrote:

        “Dr. Pratt is the guy you want to ask about the science. He is no kibitzer, but a real physicist.”

        Pratt is not a physicist. He’s a computer scientist. Do you ever fact check yourself, Don?

      • Don Monfort

        Well David, I am proud that in all these years you have only caught me making one harmless mistake. Dr. Pratt deserves to be called a physicist. He’s got the chops.

        Fact checking: I consult my memory first. If it ain’t there, or I am not sure and the fact is of some importance, I will look it up. If it’s late at night and nobody is around to care except some surly nitpicker, I might not bother and just get myself another drink. Are we OK now, Springer?

      • David Springer

        No he doesn’t deserve it. We will never be okay but if we were I’d advise you not to drink and post on a science blog at the same time.

      • David Springer

        A Higgs boson walks into the Vatican. The pope says “I’m sorry but you can’t come in here”. The boson says “But without me you can’t have Mass”.

      • DS has a point. My training in physics only extended up to what would count in the US as a master’s degree. My thesis was on the quantum mechanics of tunnel diodes.

      • @DM: Just don’t ask him about the dubious strongly positive water feedback assumption.

        I’ll take that as your asking me about it again, Don, if in a roundabout sort of way.

        So first question. Are you ok with the idea that water vapor in the atmosphere increases by 7% with each degree rise in surface temperature?

        Your answer will determine which direction we go next.

      • scraft1: But from what I’ve read, the various forcings built into the climate models have not been confirmed in the real world, and thus the temperature projections amount to speculation. Also, recent studies indicate that estimated climate sensitivity is quite a bit lower than assumed in climate models.

        Yes, this is roughly my position, though I would take it a step further and say that climate sensitivity is even more sensitive to the definition of the term than it is to CO2 itself.

        Unlike Planck’s constant or Avogadro’s number, climate sensitivity is not the sort of number that can be measured in our lifetime, even if you could define it. Perhaps it might be of interest in paleoclimatology, but I regard it as irrelevant for the purpose of providing any plausible expectation of global surface temperature in 2100.

      • David Springer

        I pulled this off your thesis. I wasn’t aware there were quantum effects anyone was worried about back then. Just goes to show you learn something new every day!

      • David Springer

        I pulled this off your thesis. I wasn’t aware there were quantum effects anyone was worried about back then. Just goes to show you learn something new every day!

  52. stuck in moderation again without any reason

  53. Don Monfort

    The horse and cart went out long before the 70s, doc. The 70s were good times. That was my undercover brother Superfly period. I was about 6’8″ in my platform shoes. Working on domestic projects, between wars. Some friends of mine:

    On that 1976 tour I was present at this performance in Houston and a few other cities, whatever they were. I was rooming with the slim lady backup singer with the high cheekbones. The whole spectacle is on youtube. George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Big Baby, Glen Goins et al. Classic funk, doc. History.

  54. On a pris carte blanche …

  55. Let us not limit ourselves by petty, self-serving
    bureaucratic, empire building legislation, beyond
    small guvuhmint rule of law for all, enabling human
    ingenuity and creativity to blossom.Five Year Plans,
    -ffttt!

  56. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #185 | Watts Up With That?

  57. The trick is to persuade while remaining open to persuasion.