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January 30, 2008

Witanagemot Justice And Senator Inhofe’s Fancy List


Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change | Science + Politics

Witan_hexateuch.jpg

Anyone interested in the intersection of science and politics has to be watching with some amusement and more than a little dismay at the spectacle of professional immolation that the climate science community has engaged in following the release of Senator James Inhofe’s list of 400+ climate skeptics.

The amusement comes from the fact that everyone involved in this tempest in a teapot seems to be working as hard as possible in ways contrary to their political interests.

From the perspective of Senator Inhofe, by producing such a list he has raised the stakes associated with any scientist going public with any concerns about the scientific consensus on climate change. Not only would announcement of such concerns lead one to risk being associated with one of the most despised politicians in the climate science community, but several climate scientists have taken on as their personal responsibility the chore of personally attacking people who happen to find themselves on the Senator’s list. What young scholar would want to face the climate science attack dogs? Of course, those sharing the Senator’s political views may not mind being on such a list, but this does nothing more than further politicize climate science.

And this leads to the repugnant behavior of the attack dog climate scientists who otherwise would like to be taken seriously. By engaging in the character assassination of people who happen to find themselves on Senator Inhofe’s list they reinforce the absurd notion that scientific claims can be adjudicated solely by head counts and a narrow view of professional qualifications. They can’t. (See this enlightening and amusing discussion by Dan Sarewitz of leading experts arguing over who is qualified to comment on climate issues.) But by suggesting that knowledge claims can be judged by credentials the attack dog scientists reinforce an anti-democratic authoritarian streak found in the activist wing of the climate science community. Of course, from the perspective of the activist scientists such attacks may be effective if they dissuade other challenges to orthodoxy, but surely climate scientists deserving of the designation should be encouraging challenges to knowledge claims, rather than excoriating anyone who dares to challenge their beliefs.

I recently chatted with Steve Rayner and Gwyn Prins, authors of the brilliant and provocative essay The Wrong Trousers (PDF), who found themselves , somewhat bizarrely, on Senator Inhofe’s list. Neither has expressed anything resembling views challenging claims of human-caused climate change, however they are (rightly) critical of the political approach to climate change embodied by Kyoto. I asked them what they thought about being on the Senator’s list. Steve Rayner asked if there was some way to sue the Senator for defamation, tongue only partly in cheek. Gwyn Prins offered the following gem:

I think that pointing out that the mere fact of this funny headcounting is worthy of note: In the Anglo-Saxon witanagemot justice was achieved by oath-swearing so the number and the status of your oath-swearers mattered more than the facts of the matter; and this issue is being adjudicated on both sides – denialists and climate puritans – in just such a manner.

He is right of course, and this brings us to the dismay. The climate science community – or at least its most publicly visible activist wing – seems to be working as hard as possible to undercut the legitimacy and the precarious trust than society provides in support of activities of the broader scientific community. Senator Inhofe is a politician, and plays politics. If activist climate scientists wish to play the Senator’s game, then don’t be surprised to see common wisdom viewing these activists more as political players than trustworthy experts. If this is correct then maybe the Senator is a bit more astute than given credit for.

Ultimately, the mainstream climate science community might share with their activist colleagues the same sort of advice Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) offered to former President Bill Clinton – "chill."

Posted on January 30, 2008 01:15 AM

Comments

Gwyn Prins says that climate "denialists" (that loaded term) and "puritans" both are "adjudicating" the climate issue more on the number and the status of the scientists who agree than the facts of the matter; you say that Prins "is right of course".

Do you really mean to imply that the climate scientists who are persuaded that man's impact on the climate is something worthy of serious concern care more about the number and the status of the scientists who agree with them than the facts of the matter? And that this charge can be levied with equal force towards both sides of the discussion?

If not, then perhaps you might find that your own remarks contribute to what you say disturbs you - that "activist" members of the climate science community may find themselves being viewed more as political players than trustworthy experts.

Otherwise, I agree that criticism of one's scientific views is preferrable to personal attacks (which you refer to but do not document). But unfortunately we humans have a tendency to tribal partisanship, and it is difficult to turn scientists into dispassionate robots.

But in addition to cautioning "mainstream climate science community" to rein in their "activist" colleagues - itself a group policing effort of the kind you decry - do you care to make any concrete suggestions as to what the climate science community might do to best deal with political games such as those advanced by Senator Inhofe and Swift-boat veteran Marc Morano, other than to sit dispassionately by?

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 04:56 PM


Tom- Thanks for your comments. You ask:

"do you care to make any concrete suggestions as to what the climate science community might do to best deal with political games such as those advanced by Senator Inhofe and Swift-boat veteran Marc Morano, other than to sit dispassionately by?"

Yes. Rather than engaging in scientific headcounts or character assassination of political opponents, those wishing to oppose Senator Inhofe's policy agenda should offer up policy alternatives and explain why these alternatives are better choices. Of course, recommending policy alternatives is political advocacy, and scientists wishing to play that game should be open about it. As I write in THB, advocacy is an essential part of a healthy democracy. Just because Senator Inhofe is politicizing science does not mean that scientists opposing him should respond in kind.

The alternative of course might be simply to ignore the bait offered by the Senator, as he is firmly in a minority position in the Senate.

What should not be done, and I'm pretty confident with this recommendation, is to turn the public face of climate science into witanagemot justice. I have a sense that we'll need climate science for a while, so there's really no use destroying its legitimacy now.

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 01:06 AM


Tokyo Tom says:
"I agree that criticism of one's scientific views is preferrable to personal attacks (which you refer to but do not document)"

And continues:
"and Swift-boat veteran Marc Morano, "

Let the ad hominem documenting begin!

Posted by: lucia [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 08:20 AM


Received by email, a different view from JunkScience:

"Was just going to let you know I have linked your post from the JunkScience.com blog with some commentary on why I disagree with your conclusions. Here, if you are interested:
http://junkscience.com/blog_js/2008/01/30/witanagemot-justice-and-senator-inhofe%e2%80%99s-fancy-list/

Regards
Barry Hearn"

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 12:04 PM


Lucia, Marc Morano is what he is - a right-wing partisan and communications specialist who is a prominent veteran of the Swift Boat affair - and it's not an ad hominem to note it.

Morano himself, on the ongoing NYT blog thread by Andy Revkin about the AGU's strengthening of its climate change statement - apparently the thread about which Roger expresses concern in this post - proudly notes his prominent role in the Swift boat affair:
"He was the first reporter in May 2004 to report that the Swift Boat Veterans were organizing to oppose John Kerry."
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/earth-scientists-express-rising-concern-over-warming/#comment-8674

What is interesting, ironic and shows chutzpah is that fact that Morano, despite his own actual important role in the Swift-boat affair, recognizes the negative perception that most have of it, and so is quite willing to use the term himself against others. On the same thread noted above, Morano accuses Ray Pierrehumbert of "swiftboating" skeptical scientists!
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/earth-scientists-express-rising-concern-over-warming/#comment-8963

More on Marc here:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Marc_Morano
http://boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/12/17/on_a_swift_boat_to_a_warmer_world/
http://www.americablog.com/2007/01/why-is-rush-limbaugh-loving-swift-boat.html
http://pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/blog/?p=88
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/earth-scientists-express-rising-concern-over-warming/#comment-8674

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 01:36 PM


Tom,
Who's defending Mark Morano? I don't give a hoot about Morano. I think the list is silly and pointless, and tells us nothing about climate change.

I'm pointing out that, in a single post, you are asking Roger to prove that climate advocates use certain tactics, and then you immediately resort to them.

Your use of "Swift boat veteran" was clearly intended as an argument against the man-- Morano-- rather than the position he took. "Argument against the man" is , btw, the definition of an ad hominem.

Posting further evidence to show that you really meant the label as an argument against the man simply serves to prove the ad hominem was no accident.

Strangely, your using this tactic, sticking to it, and posting links attacking Morano's credentials pretty much proves this statement of Roger included in his post:

"But by suggesting that knowledge claims can be judged by credentials the attack dog scientists reinforce an anti-democratic authoritarian streak found in the activist wing of the climate science community."

Posted by: lucia [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 04:22 PM


Roger:

Thanks for the comments.

I just lost a response, because even though your blog indicates that we are signed in, apparently we are actually signed out after each comment. So after each comment we are required to log out and then log in again. I'm kicking myself that I forget that (though you and others have been spared).

1. I note that you continue to make implications of bad and repugnant behavior by climate scientists, but cite to none. Thus we are asked to trust you as the judge, and are unable to weigh the merit of your accusations ourselves. Is this really what you intend?

2. I note that, despite my inquiry, you have not clarified whether you really mean to imply that (a) those climate scientists who are persuaded that man's impact on the climate is something worthy of serious concern care more about the number and the status of the scientists who agree with them than the facts of the matter, or (b) this charge can be levied with equal force towards both sides of the discussion.

3. You seem to suggest that climate scientists who care about the climate should eschew examining the merits of claims made by others about the climate, in favor of making express policy arguments. While it might be the wisest approach when dealing with clear issue advocates like Morano - even when they are trying to engage the scientists in discussions of the science - this seems to me to be unworkable for most climate scientists, who after all are no policy experts but have relevant knowledge to share on the science.

Perhaps you also intend to suggest that "activist" climate scientis should otherwise comport themselves differently when responding to critics, but you make no specific suggestions.

4. While climate science is clearly being politicized, I think that this is an unavoidable consequence of the fact that parties with differing interests are unable to express those interests in the marketplace (as there is no market for the externalities relating to climate change factors) and government is instead being asked to act (or refrain) in ways that will benefit or disadvantage them differently - and not as a result of a few scientists trying to say that there is a problem or to express their views on arguments made by other scientists, interested parties, politicians or citizens.

It seems to me that comparative advantage principles indicate a rough division of labor on climate science: scientists can largely focus on telling us about climate science (and evaluating the consequences of policy proposals), while political scientists, economists and others can tell us how particular policies may gore one ox or another by providing different disadvantages or benefits.

You seem to tell us that scientists ought to be better policy advocates, while ignoring both the science and whose ox may be being gored.

Regards,

Tom

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 05:23 PM


Lucia, I agree with you that Morano's list is the list tells us nothing about climate change.

However, it certainly is not silly or pointless, but designed to promote a policy agenda.

Just as Senator Inhofe is a politician, and plays politics (as Roger notes), so does Marc Morano do political work for Inhofe. Morano is Inhofe's right-hand man on climate policy. Morano is a communications expert with a clear partisan bias, and preparing lists like this to promote an agenda is what he has done for his livelihood.

As the point that I was trying to argue was that Inhofe and Morano are playing political games, referring to Morano's Swift boat experience is NOT an ad hominem (which is, as use say, attacking the man rather than the argument), but raised directly in support of my argument.

You might argue that saying that "Inhofe and Morano are playing political games" is an ad hominem, since it does not address the merits of the list but rather the motives of those who produced it. Technically true, but it is the very definition of who these two are, as Roger notes, and is of course relevant to a dispassionate weighing of what they have to say.

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 05:57 PM


Tom- Thanks for your comments. Sorry for the lost comments, happens to me as well. The good news is that our tech people are at work on the site upgrade.

As far as your comments, it is not "bad behavior" that I object to. Boorish behavior is everywhere, and especially it seems on weblogs. I object to the tactic of using criteria of qualification to judge whether someone should be allowed to or viewed as legitimate to participate in democratic political debates. I think Senator Inhofe's list is a silly exercise to begin with -- see my letter on Oreskes in Science for why such head counting is a waste of time -- and I think the scientists coming up with their own list of (dis)approved commentators is harmful to the broader scientific community. Such strategies are of course part and parcel of the political rough and tumble. The problem presented by many scientists playing politics is that they hide their politicizing behind science, thereby harming the legitimacy of science. For details on this argument, have a look at The Honest Broker;-)

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2008 01:23 AM


Tokyo Tom
"You might argue that saying that "Inhofe and Morano are playing political games" is an ad hominem,"

I might argue that? I certainly wouldn't.

The statement above simply accuses people of certain acts (playing political games). It does not seek to prove the it's claim by labeling the people or pointing to their credentials.

Tom, if you don't want on lookers to think climate advocates spend time trying to advance their arguments by discussing the relative credentials of people on the two sides, maybe you should stop advancing your arguments that way.

In my opinion, Roger is correct when observing both sides argue by weighing credentials instead of arguments. You seems to demand Roger provide proof that both sides do it. I, on the other hand, demand no proof-- because as far as I can tell, what he has claimed is no more remarkable than "On cloudless days, the sky is blue."

But if proof is important to you, why don't you do the tally yourself. Afterwards, post your results on your blog. Then, if bloggers pick this little game, we can all waste our time doing formal evaluations of whose rhetoric is worse.

This will create even more data. Won't that be fun?

My guess is that, for the most part, non-advocate climate scientists themselves will ignore the game. After all, "whose rhetoric is worse" tells us nothing about which side has the best evidence. (In my opinion, the evidence supports the idea of AGW. But, as I said, I think there is about the same amount of rhetoric and game playing on both sides of the *political* debate. )

Posted by: lucia [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2008 05:34 AM


Roger, as I've noted, problems involving externalities are, through no fault of scientists, necessarily and inherently political (by requiring community agreement to resolve). As a result, the science would be politicized by differing interest groups even if the scientists had their jaws wired shut.

But rather than focussing on how to best foster an accommodation between differing interests, it seems to me that you relentlessly criticize scientists who care to express an opinion on matters that obviously affect a broader community of which they are part.

Scientists have as much right as the rest of us to care about issues, and while they may not be policy experts, they certainly have knowledge that is useful in weighing the validity of differing scientific claims. You essentially ask those scientists who care about a problem not to analyze and judge scientific claims made by others, simply because their conclusions will have political ramifications that they may intend. That's hardly realistic advice on the individual scientist level, and on a broader level it implies that society is best served if its most informed voices are silent.

The volume of the debate is evidence only of the importance of the issue involved, not that scientists have hidden agendas. Most of them are wearing their agendas on their sleeves, but none of them are dictating political responses.

Regards,

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2008 02:25 PM


Lucia, you continue to pick non-existent nits by not reading what I write.

1. I have not advanced any arguments on the basis of relative credentials, but simply provided support for my assertion that Morano is acting primarily on the basis of political motives.

2. I have not demanded that Roger provide proof that both sides argue by weighing credentials instead of arguments. Rather, I have noted that Roger has made specific assertions of bad behavior that he does not document and the reader cannot easily confirm.

Although in his latest response Roger states that "it is not "bad behavior" that I object to. Boorish behavior is everywhere, and especially it seems on weblogs", in his main piece, he specifically decries:

- "professional immolation that the climate science community has engaged in"
- "several climate scientists have taken on as their personal responsibility the chore of personally attacking people who happen to find themselves on the Senator’s list"
- "the repugnant behavior of the attack dog climate scientists"
- who "engag[e] in the character assassination of people who happen to find themselves on Senator Inhofe’s list"
- who "excoriat[e] anyone who dares to challenge their beliefs", rather than "encouraging challenges to knowledge claims".

Roger may have good reasons for not identifying particular individuals or incidents that bother him, it both leaves us unable to evaluate his claims and those who are his target without a clear charge to defend against (were they to desire to do so).

3. I agree that "whose rhetoric is worse" tells us nothing about which side has the best evidence. But it does help us to identify that a political game afoot, which is worth knowing.

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2008 02:56 PM


"it both leaves us unable to evaluate his claims and those who are his target"

This is what Lucia seems to be pointing out, if I may be presumptuous. You are looking for another list that adds nothing substantive to the GW debate. Supplying such a list would accomplish nothing useful. This post is not, it seems to me, meant to prove anything. For people such as myself and, presumably, you, essentially spectators to this field of science, the post is overheard conversation. I mean to say, it's advice to his colleagues. If they recognize what he is describing, then they may consider what he has to say. If not, fine. A list of people misbehaving is exactly what RPJr would not want to provide. Politics, or less politely, mudslinging, is the problem; sticking with science is the answer.

Posted by: clazy [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 02:08 AM


Tom- I have no problem with scientists engaging in advocacy. I do have problems with scientists engaging in advocacy when they say they are focused only on science.

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 03:41 AM


Roger, on most matters, simply speaking publicly (or even on back channels available only to scientists) on a matter of current or potential public interest is an expression of concern - and thus can be seen as "political" or and act of "advocacy", even if a scientist is extremely careful not to stray from science. Peer-reviewed publications, articles or commentary on blogs, letters and emails - all are inherently political if the topic itself is one with political aspects or ramifications.

So when you say you "have problems with scientists engaging in advocacy when they say they are focused only on science", what have you said or implied that is practically useful to any participant or observer?

I see nothing to draw from it, other than an implicit message that scientists should stop speaking (unless they prominently announce and repeat that they care about the issue), or that you're giving a club to others who are no less political - the Inhofes and Moranos - to discredit as "political" or "advocacy" anything inconvenient that a scientist has to say.

Am I misunderstanding you?

Sincerely,

Tom

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2008 07:31 PM


Tom,
Rest assured, I have read what you wrote. Not only have I read them, but things I said you said are still appear in the comments.

I can respond to your points:
1.In this point, you complain that I am mistaken when I point out you are advancing you arguments that Morano's actions are political on the basis of credentials, in particular a lable.

In your first comment, the support for your assertion that Moranpo's involvement in making the list is political are based was an ad homimen: the label "Swift-boat Veteran". This was sufficient for my first comment. Clearly you had said nothing more at that point.

Had you simply wished to agree with Roger's point that the list was political, you could have said:

" ...do you care to make any concrete suggestions as to what the climate science community might do to best deal with political games such as those advanced by Senator Inhofe and Swift-boat veteran Marc Morano, other than to sit dispassionately by?"

rather than what you did say, which was.
" ...do you care to make any concrete suggestions as to what the climate science community might do to best deal with political games like defending your claim by creating a list of supporters, as Inhofe and Morano have done?"

Note: in my version version, the proof of the idea that this is a political game is the description of the activity itself. It the version you posted, proof the list is a political game is the credentials of the people who who created the list.

Oddly enough, supporting a position by making a list to show crendential backing your position is a political game; it's also logically flawed. These sorts of proofs by credential counting are logically flawed political games whether s done by a climate scientist, swift boat veteran, the Pope, supposedly dispationate robot or you here in comments.

Yet somehow, *you* feel compelled to support your claims the list is political by discussing the credentials and background of the person who made it!

I suspect it's possible you don't see the merit in Roger's claim that some climate advocates focus excessively on credentials precisely because you don't recognize this behavior when it's done in support of political positions with which you agree.

2. In this point, you complain that I am mistaken when I suggest you are insisting Roger provide evidence to support his point.

In your Jan 30, 5:23 pm post under points 1 and 2, you criticize Roger for failing to cite specific instances of the repugnant behavior described by Roger. (Your oblique reference refers to Roger's opinion that climate scientists are often involved in supporting their side by comparing credential on both sides rather than advancing scientific arguments.

FWIW, Once again, you list 5 bullets and complain that Roger doesn't provide specific evidence to support those claims.

Yes, you are demanding Roger provide evidence that climate advocats engage in various types of political games. I know this because I read your intemized points posted above.

3. In this point, you pretty much agree with me. Yes. Identifying who engages in these rhetorical polys tells us nothing about which sides has the best evidence. And it does tell us that a political game is afoot.

I simply add: You are engaging in this political game but denying it. Like Roger, have no objection to anyone playing politics. However, I find it worth recognizing the symptoms, and I'm puzzled that you deny your are doing it right here, in comments, now!

Posted by: lucia [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 4, 2008 03:05 AM


Lucia, I am flattered by your efforts. However, I am happy to declare that I care about climate change, so therefore whatever I have to say on the issue has some political aim or implication. So do you, I dare say.

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2008 03:30 AM


I have been thinking about the advocacy role of climate scientists, and what I find missing from the discussion here is that the overriding concern should not, in the end, be whether one is being an advocate or what one's motives are, or wheterh they are giving an explicit disclaimer when they advocate, or whether they heartily endorse, and seem to want to insist that scientists defer to, the IPCC's conclusions.

What matters is who is right. If we determine who's advocacy we listen to based on who follows somebody's ground rules, they play nice, or whatever, it doesn't help if the science is wrong. For example, Roger's post addresses Tom Wigley's assertion: "In this issue, given that a comprehensive EXPERT document exists" that climate scientists shouldn't do anything other that to endorse the conclusions of the IPCC. If it so happens that what the IPCC is correct, that the science is solid & the best available, this would be by far the most important consideration.

What I see from Roger, here and elsewhere is a plea for a range of voices to be given a listen, which seems on the surface to be a fair, open-minded approach that would move things in the right direction. Unfortunately, in practice, folks like Roger, William Gray, Richard Lindzen, Bjorn Lonborg, and even John Tierney of the NYT, are given extensive exposure in the popular media without providing background that informs readers that the science behind their views is widely thought by EXPERTS to be suspect. Reading the responses of the site's hosts to Roger's comments at RealClimate.org have the feel of a playful but somewhat bothersome puppy being lovingly snapped at by a perturbed dame; it is readily apparent that he is out of his league on the climate science part of things. Roger seems to be focused on admonishing folks to "listen to me" without really having the bona fides that (obviously, in my view) warrant him having a voice of note on these scientific issues.

I would suggest the usefulness of one's view is, ultimately, ONLY a result of the soundness of the science, and has nothing to do with the packaging, framing, or who the messenger is. That said, the discussion at RealClimate is heavily scientific, and they seem like nice guys to boot.

Posted by: Neal Heidler [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2008 07:42 AM


I have been thinking about the advocacy role of climate scientists, and what I find missing from the discussion here is that the overriding concern should not, in the end, be whether one is being an advocate or what one's motives are, or wheterh they are giving an explicit disclaimer when they advocate, or whether they heartily endorse, and seem to want to insist that scientists defer to, the IPCC's conclusions.

What matters is who is right. If we determine who's advocacy we listen to based on who follows somebody's ground rules, they play nice, or whatever, it doesn't help if the science is wrong. For example, Roger's post addresses Tom Wigley's assertion: "In this issue, given that a comprehensive EXPERT document exists" that climate scientists shouldn't do anything other that to endorse the conclusions of the IPCC. If it so happens that what the IPCC is correct, that the science is solid & the best available, this would be by far the most important consideration.

What I see from Roger, here and elsewhere is a plea for a range of voices to be given a listen, which seems on the surface to be a fair, open-minded approach that would move things in the right direction. Unfortunately, in practice, folks like Roger, William Gray, Richard Lindzen, Bjorn Lonborg, and even John Tierney of the NYT, are given extensive exposure in the popular media without providing background that informs readers that the science behind their views is widely thought by EXPERTS to be suspect. Reading the responses of the site's hosts to Roger's comments at RealClimate.org have the feel of a playful but somewhat bothersome puppy being lovingly snapped at by a perturbed dame; it is readily apparent that he is out of his league on the climate science part of things. Roger seems to be focused on admonishing folks to "listen to me" without really having the bona fides that (obviously, in my view) warrant him having a voice of note on these scientific issues.

I would suggest the usefulness of one's view is, ultimately, ONLY a result of the soundness of the science, and has nothing to do with the packaging, framing, or who the messenger is. That said, the discussion at RealClimate is heavily scientific, and they seem like nice guys to boot.

Posted by: Neal Heidler [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2008 07:47 AM


TokyoTom:
Have I denied political motivations?

My point is not primarily that you have political aims. It is that in comments you complain that Roger suggests those who believe in AGW resort to political tricks, insist "the other side" does it more, and then immediately support your entire argument with the precise political trick. (That is: supporting your claim with nothing more than an ad hominem attacks-- claim to credentials.)


Mind you, I believe AGW is probable and action is advisable. It bothers me to see some make the argument supporting AGW look incredibley weak by resorting to logical fallacies as you have done here.

I ask you: Why do it? Third parties are bound to notice you rely on political tricks instead of science. Why shouldn't they suspect the science is weaker than it is?

Posted by: lucia [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 7, 2008 01:36 PM


Neal- What science have I cited (or produced) that is suspect?

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 10, 2008 06:44 AM


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