10 thoughts on “Seen in a fortune cookie

  1. H.D. Kline

    This sort of Kuhnian Paradigm shift is commonplace in science. With the ever increasing pace of change, fuelled in part by the increasing need for policy-based evidence, it is inevitable the mode by which science advances will be scaled up, streamlined and made ever more efficient and humane. I cannot help wondering if our friends at Greenpeace had something of this sort in mind when, on their website, they warned denialists, “We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.” Please excuse me for linking to a denialist site.


    1. usedtobespeedy

      Dear Kline

      Normally, I am in full communion with everything you say and I find your comments to be pleasingly orthodox. However, on this occasion, and as you note, linking to a DENIALIST website is not helpful! Such mistakes only pander to your average deluded Denialist, who seems to think that he has won the argument simply because the facts line up with his own perverted viewpoint. Nothing could be further from the truth, and serves only to illustrate his FAILURE to understand Climate Science. In Climate Science, as we all know, debate is not won by facts, but by ARGUMENTS. Sometimes, in order to successfully communicate the arguments, it is necessary to place less emphasis on the raw facts and to concentrate on the underlying truth, which the Deniers so stubbornly refute.

      Hence it is necessary to restrict the oxygen supply in this debate to those who have the sophistication to understand the difference.

      I trust you will not make this error again.

      Yours in disappointment,



      1. Burton


        I am absolutely on the same side as you on this. But some deniers are still stuck in the Socratic trap of expecting arguments to proceed from propositions and you have to feed them some slop in the form of facts. I am not a climate expert and so I keep a handy list of incontrovertible facts and here’s what I have so far. Precede each with “It is a fact that”:

        … a peer-reviewed graph called the hockey stick showed late 20C temperatures higher than any others in the graph. (This graph is so famous that Al Gore in AIT made the joke of misattributing it as “Dr Thompson’s thermometer”. I still get a kick through imagining all climate experts chuckling at this in-joke.)

        … many peer-reviewed papers reproduce the overall shape of the graph

        … computer models made by climate experts have predicted temperature rises of 6 C or more, sometimes much more

        … climate experts can think of no other reason why global temperature might be increasing and will rise sharply

        … other climate experts published data showing that 97% of scientists agree on the the above facts

        … there are famous climate deniers whose sources of income are not a matter of public record

        As we have to accept, with regret, a proportion of FTCs (https://climatenuremberg.com/2014/04/08/the-great-alienator/), I use the above list (written as key words on my palm) as a quick checklist. If, having been presented with this list, someone I suspect of being a denier quibbles with any of the points, I can write that person off as a probable FTC. (I would not advise trying to take names and addresses or photographs at this point. I hope some time soon that one of the environmental organizations that are so good at getting people on to the street for their cause will volunteer backup.) Others go into the PC (possible convert) hopper for further processing.

        As an aside, I think Lewandowsky has really clarified the errors in Socratic thinking. S said that he was wise because he knew he knew nothing. The Lewandowskian perspective shows that *uncertainty* is a much more powerful notion, precisely because, as uncertainty increases we can be certain that the impacts can be worse and, as L has cogently demonstrated, the need to act thereby increases. (That S didn’t know this now-obvious truth is clear — he spent an awful lot of time just sitting around.) But see what L has done here — we now know something, namely that we need to act. If we knew nothing before and something now, then we know more than we did before. Therefore L has increased the store of knowledge simply by pointing out a new source of uncertainty. It’s almost a miracle that this can happen each time L speaks.

        I realize that a denier can point out that anti-science scientists can increase uncertainty too, but that is to deny (ha — you see, it’s a trait) the clear and obvious distinction between clarificatory increases in uncertainty (which can come from climate experts and the IPCC) and obfuscatory increases in uncertainty which come from people who are not climate experts. I’d love to carry on, to elucidate the calculus which follows from this distinction, but have to sign off now. More PCs to develop, you know.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. H.D. Kline

        Speedy, you are right in every respect. Sometimes the rightness of our cause goes to my head, and I become complacent, thinking we are invincible. It’s that whole “only we, the select few transcendent beings who know, can Save the Planet from those who would cover every inch of Earth were covered in oil-soaked penguins” vibe. I exaggerate a little, for effect but you know what I mean.

        I can only apologise, and assure you that I shall endeavour to overcome my impulsive nature and do my best not to make the same mistake again. As a penance, I shall a 100W light bulb from my dwindling, secret cache and recycle it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. usedtobespeedy

        Dear Kline

        Please don’t be hard on yourself – that will be something for the authorities to determine. In your defense, weak as it is, perhaps you can mention that we are all human, and that whereas 97% of Climate Scientists are “Very Likely” certain of the truth regards Global Warming, , whereas 100% of DENIERS are 100% WRONG, 100% of ALWAYS! Your defence rests on that 3% figure, which by mathematical coincidence gives you a 97% chance of conviction and the resulting consequences…

        I hope for your sake that your small slip will escape the wider vision of the authorities, and that, in any case, your previously spotless record will be taken into account.

        Pack a toothbrush, just in case.

        Environmentally yours,


        Liked by 1 person

  2. nige t

    Well, brad, I’ve thought long and hard about this.

    For once, I’m not sure I fully agree with you.

    Old Max was a bit of a pisspot, but maybe, just maybe, he was on to something.

    Not about science ‘advancing’ through old scientists dying…

    …but others having to die so that ‘the science’ can be heard.

    Just my 10 cents / tuppence ha’penny.

    Oh, it might not have been Planck who was the pisshead – Dirac, possibly?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Utwig.

    I admire Greenpeace so much! They have resisted polluting the planet with disgusting carbon by staying as far away from Fukushima as is humanly possible. They lead the way in showing us all how to save fuel by ensuring their fleet of Rainbow warriors hasn’t even been the same ocean as Japan since the accident. They are to be commended for their dedication and commitment in the fight against nuclear in all its forms.

    In order to show solidarity to our Greenpeace brothers and sisters in their struggle to highlight the horrors of nuclear environmental damage, I too am seeking to place myself on the exact opposite end of the globe from Japan, and failing that, I will seek passage on the next research ship bound for the Antarctic looking for evidence of melting ice. In the unlikely event our ship is trapped in ice, I’m sure my fellow crew and researchers will refuse any rescue attempts that require the use of fossil fuels or the risking of life and limb by Chinese sailors. We will also refuse absolutely to try and hide the embarrassment of being stuck in ice while looking for melting ice, by making youtube videos and helping that website consume more of the worlds resources hosting our pathetic attempts at misdirection. Thumbs up if you like carbon.

    Who is with me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. H.D. Kline

      I am with you in spirit, utwig. Unfortunately, I have decided to “think global and act loco”, so I have arranged with a local activist goup to join a protest against nuclear fusion research in Culham. We have a tee-shirt that says “re-FUSE this!”, with fuse written inside a pic of 13A fuse, and a nuclear explosion in the background. It’s “da bomb”, as the youngsters say!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: What else are the lesser outlets saying about Our Scared Scientists? | CLIMATE NUREMBERG

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s