A Response to Collin Maessen’s Post

A few hours ago, I submitted a comment to Collin Maessen’s blog regarding this post. It hasn’t appeared yet. I don’t know if it ever will. Rather than wait, I’m posting it here. I’m doing so primarily because I made the comment at the behest of Andy Skuce (who I had been having an exchange with on Twitter). I’d like him to be able to read it even if Collin Maessen’s blog is unwilling to have simple criticisms posted.

Without further ado, this is what I submitted:


Dear Collin, given you accuse Anthony Watts of lying, it is reasonable to expect your post to be a paragon of integrity. Instead, it provides an incredibly unfair characterization. Watts says:

As has been previously pointed out on WUWT, when you look at the methodology used to reach that number, the veracity of the result falls apart, badly.

You respond to by flagrantly misrepresenting it. You claim:

No, it doesn’t fall apart. What Watts is referring to is a letter he published on his blog written by Richard Tol. I already have a response to this letter on my website called ‘Cook’s 97% Climate Consensus Paper Doesn’t Crumble Upon Examination‘.

This is untrue. The link Watts provides does not claim Richard Tol showed the Cook et al paper falls apart. Bjørn Lomborg (who the piece is by) specifically discussed problems with Cook et al’s paper. He then quoted Tol as an additional point of discussion. You have taken what was a separate point and falsely claimed it was the only point. To demonstrate, I’ll quote the piece:

The paper looks at 12,000 papers written in the last 25 years (see here, the paper doesn’t actually specify the numbers, http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/watch-the-pea/). It ditches about 8,000 papers because they don’t take a position.

They put people who agree into three different bins — 1.6% that explicitly endorse global warming with numbers, 23% that explicitly endorse global warming without numbers and then 74% that “implicitly endorse” because they’re looking at other issues with global warming that must mean they agree with human-caused global warming.

Voila, you got about 97% (actually here 98%, but because the authors haven’t released the numbers themselves, we have to rely on other quantitative assessments).

Notice, that *nobody* said anything about *dangerous* global warming; this meme simply got attached afterwards (by Obama and many others).

This clearly shows Lomborg’s criticism of Cook et al is not tied to, much less dependent upon, Richard Tol’s letter. Tol’s letter does not even discuss anything Lomborg said. In fact, if you check the original source (Lomborg’s Facebook post), you’ll see he didn’t even include the text of Tol’s letter. Tol was only brought up in the eight paragraph of his post, and he isn’t used as a reference for anything other than the claim Cook et al won’t provide data.

The actual argument made by Lomborg, hence the argument by Watts you’ve misrepresented, is Cook et al conflated support for the notion humans have caused some amount of global warming with support for the notion humans have caused most global warming. This was then exaggerated to claim the study showed a consensus that global warming is dangerous, an exaggeration promoted by the authors of the paper.

Amusingly, you criticize Watts for conflating things while his argument about Cook et al is they intentionally conflated things. You just “lied” so people wouldn’t know this.

Advertisements

11 comments

  1. First time commenters always need their comments approved before they appear on my blog (if I’m sleeping, like I was, this means it can take a while). I do this to prevent the occasional spam message and to prevent people from just yelling in my comment sections. But I don’t see your comment in my moderation queue, I only see the ping back from this post. You can resubmit what you wanted to say and I’ll apply the regular moderation procedure.

    I also didn’t lie. The blog post I link to from the quote you took mentions the point you raised:

    For example yesterday Anthony Watts again attacked this paper on his blog Watts Up With That (WUWT). The blog posts starts with a copy of what Bjørn Lomborg wrote about the Cook et al. paper on facebook. It repeats a lot of the already addressed criticisms towards the authors, which we already know have no merit. There were a few new details in there but Wotts has already talked about those.

    However, you do have a point that the reference I’m making isn’t complete and because of that it doesn’t accurately describe the blog post Watts made. I’ll correct that.

    Also please do not accuse me of doing things like this deliberately. There are multiple examples on my blog where corrections are made when necessary. And some projects specifically mention that if you notice a problem/mistake that you just have to point it out and I’ll take appropriate action.

    I also find this “I’d like him [Andy Skuce] to be able to read it even if Collin Maessen’s blog is unwilling to have simple criticisms posted” extremely unfair considering the procedures I have in place and the examples of me allowing criticism. The comment sections on my YouTube videos and the comment sections on my blog are filled with criticism and/or feedback. It’s this very feedback that I use to keep my blog posts and videos as accurate as possible. I even have the blog post series Mail Call and YouTube Comments that have their basis in this.

  2. Collin Maessen, I understand issues with why comments get caught in moderation. If I haven’t commented on a site before, I try not to jump to conclusions. I made a post here primarily so Andy Skuce could see my response to your blog post. That said, your site specifically informed me my comment had been received. I had to assume it had actually been received.

    Anyway, you say:

    I also didn’t lie.

    This is a non-sequitur. I never accused you of lying. I specifically put “lied” in quotation marks to indicate it was a non-standard usage. Namely, I was suggesting your basis for claiming Watts lied was faulty, and you were as guilty of “lying” as Watts was – neither of you were actually guilty of lying. You acknowledge this accusation in regard to you when you say:

    However, you do have a point that the reference I’m making isn’t complete and because of that it doesn’t accurately describe the blog post Watts made. I’ll correct that.

    You acknowledge you misrepresented Watts’s post. Unfortunately, you say:

    Also please do not accuse me of doing things like this deliberately. There are multiple examples on my blog where corrections are made when necessary.

    I did not accuse you of doing anything deliberately. I merely pointed out you “lied” in the same way Watts did – you flagrantly misrepresented your source. What Watts did was no worse than what you did. I don’t consider either to be lying. I don’t think either was done deliberately. I don’t think either of you lied. I merely think if you can flagrantly misrepresent a source without meaning to, it’s reasonable to believe Watts can do the same.

    I also find this “I’d like him [Andy Skuce] to be able to read it even if Collin Maessen’s blog is unwilling to have simple criticisms posted” extremely unfair considering the procedures I have in place and the examples of me allowing criticism. The comment sections on my YouTube videos and the comment sections on my blog are filled with criticism and/or feedback. It’s this very feedback that I use to keep my blog posts and videos as accurate as possible. I even have the blog post series Mail Call and YouTube Comments that have their basis in this.

    I think you are reading more into my remark than is necessary. I did not accuse your blog of censorship. I said I was posting a comment here in case your blog chose to engage in such censorship. That doesn’t say your blog will engage in such. I merely recognized the possibility your blog will and took steps to account for such.

    I can see why my comment would sound like I was suggesting your blog engages in censorship. That wasn’t my intention. I meant what I said quite literally – I posted here in case your blog engaged in censorship, not because I expected it to.

    Quite frankly, I made this post so Andy Skuce could read what I had to say without me having to worry about when (or if) my comment would appear at your site. It was simply a matter of practicality. Posting here meant he could read it immediately. I wouldn’t have to keep checking your page or try to re-submit the comment there.

  3. Dear Collin Maessen, I’ve read the update to your post, and I don’t see how it addresses anything I said in any meaningful sense. As far as I can see, the change to your post does nothing to address the fact your “rebuttal” is a total non-sequitur to what Watts said. Nothing in your changes addresses the fact Watts relies on the claim Cook et al’s analysis fails because it conflates support for the notion humans cause some amount of global warming with the notion humans have caused most (and perhaps dangerous) global warming.

    Right or wrong, Watts’s argument is incredibly simple. There is no reason it should not be addressed in a straightforward manner.

  4. Again, how do you think this comes across?:

    A few hours ago, I submitted a comment to Collin Maessen’s blog regarding this post. It hasn’t appeared yet. I don’t know if it ever will. […] I’d like him [Andy Skuce] to be able to read it even if Collin Maessen’s blog is unwilling to have simple criticisms posted.

    It doesn’t matter if you say “if” or “in case”. It would have sufficed to say “my comment is currently in moderation so I’ll also post it here so I can engage further with Andy Skuce.” That’s a far different tone that doesn’t insinuate anything. Especially with the policies I have on my website and examples of me allowing criticism.

    You’ll know if the comment is in the queue for my website if it appears in the comment section with a header telling you that it’s being held for moderation. If this doesn’t happen it probably never was received by my blog (WordPress handles the comment before it ends up on my blog). If you can give me the time you commented I can see if there’s anything in my logs that can explain this.

    Normally you use single quotes for non-standard usage of words, double quotes has a very different meaning. But if you meant a non-standard usage then I’ll withdraw my objection.

    Also what Watts did and what I did is very different. He accused someone of something that wasn’t true, which was easliy verifiable, contradictory statements were already available on his website, and this point was mentioned multiple times in responses to him. He repeated his claim several times, didn’t correct the statement, and added a further misrepresentation.

    What I did was verify the claim you made as soon as I noticed it, acknowledged the text wasn’t accurate, revised the blog post, added an update documenting the changes with an apology to Watts, and sent an update to my followers. The edit was also relatively minor as the blog post I linked to already contained a response to what Lomborg said.

    And yes the point you raise is referenced, but not everything is dealt with. Pay close attention to what I say in the blog post I linked to and what I cite for those points.

  5. Collin Maessen, it would behoove you not to make things up to support your claims:

    Normally you use single quotes for non-standard usage of words, double quotes has a very different meaning. But if you meant a non-standard usage then I’ll withdraw my objection.

    This is blatantly untrue. Quotation marks used to signify non-standard usage, commonly termed scare quotes, are not normally indicated via single quotes. Even the simplest of Google searches shows this. For example, Wikipedia makes it abundantly clear double quotation marks are commonly used for scare quotes.

    It is undeniable I was using quotation marks to indicate a non-standard usage. There is simply no other possible interpretation that could fit. The only way to deny it is to make things up as you have here.

    What I did was verify the claim you made as soon as I noticed it, acknowledged the text wasn’t accurate, revised the blog post, added an update documenting the changes with an apology to Watts, and sent an update to my followers. The edit was also relatively minor as the blog post I linked to already contained a response to what Lomborg said.

    Except not. You’ve claimed here, as well as on Twitter, that Lomborg’s criticism is dealt with by a link within your post. That’s untrue. The link to the Guardian piece by Dana Nucitelli in no way deals with the issue I’ve raised. You are once again making things up.

    And yes the point you raise is referenced, but not everything is dealt with. Pay close attention to what I say in the blog post I linked to and what I cite for those points.

    It is cheeky for a person who flagrantly makes things up to tell others to pay “close attention” to anything. Regardless, if you feel the issue I raise has been addressed by your piece or a reference within, it’d be a simple matter of pointing to where the issue I raise has been discussed. You’re welcome to do so here or on Twitter. I don’t think you’ll be able to.

  6. To be more clear, scare quotes (and all special sense quotation marks) follow the same rules as any special case quotation marks used within the text. Whether they should be single or double quotes depends entirely upon the style of the text they’re in. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to use them. As long as one is consistent, the usage is correct.

    That said, double quotes are far more common, at least within the United States. That is why the “air quote” is almost universally indicated with two fingers within the United States. The two fingers indicate double quotation marks. It’s possible single quotes are more commonly used within other countries; I haven’t delved into the matter enough to know. Regardless, my usage of double quotes to indicate a non-standard usage is perfectly in line with how the English language is commonly used.

  7. WHY THERE IS GLOBAL WARMING

    People in the USA, are being told by the U.S. government and media that global warming is man-made. If that is true, how can the government and media explain the high temperatures the earth has experienced in past years when there were far fewer people? Let us look back in the world’s history: for example, between roughly 900AD and 1350AD the temperatures were much higher than now. And, back then there were fewer people, no cars, no electric utilities, and no factories, etc. So what caused the earth’s heat? Could it be a natural occurrence? The temperature graph at the bottom of this article shows the temperatures of the earth before Christ to 2040.

    In the book THE DISCOVERERS published in February 1985 by Daniel J. Boorstin, beginning in chapter 28, it goes into detail about Eric the Red, the father of Lief Ericsson, and how he discovered an island covered in green grass.

    In approximately 983AD, Eric the Red committed murder, and was banished from Iceland for three years. Eric the Red sailed 500 miles west from Iceland and discovered an island covered in GREEN grass, which he named Greenland. Greenland reminded Eric the Red of his native Norway because of the grass, game animals, and a sea full of fish. Even the air provided a harvest of birds. Eric the Red and his crew started laying out sites for farms and homesteads, as there was no sign of earlier human habitation.

    When his banishment expired, Eric the Red returned to congested Iceland to gather Viking settlers. In 986, Eric the Red set sail with an emigrant fleet of twenty-five ships carrying men, women, and domestic animals. Unfortunately, only fourteen ships survived the stormy passage, which carried about four-hundred-fifty immigrants plus the farm animals. The immigrants settled on the southern-west tip and up the western coast of Greenland.

    After the year 1200AD, the Earth’s and Greenland’s climate grew colder; ice started building up on the southern tip of Greenland. Before the end of 1300AD, the Viking settlements were just a memory. You can find the above by searching Google. One link is:

    http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/kultur-sjael/historie/vikingetiden/erik-den-roede.aspx

    The following quote you can also read about why there is global warming. This is from the book EINSTEIN’S UNIVERSE, Page 63, written by Nigel Calder in 1972, and updated in 1982.

    “The reckoning of planetary motions is a venerable science. Nowadays it tells us, for example, how gravity causes the ice to advance or retreat on the Earth during the ice ages. The gravity of the Moon and (to a lesser extent) of the Sun makes the Earth’s axis swivel around like a tilted spinning top. Other planets of the Solar System, especially Jupiter, Mars and Venus, influence the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, in a more-or-less cyclic fashion, with significant effects on the intensity of sunshine falling on different regions of the Earth during the various seasons. Every so often a fortunate attitude and orbit of the Earth combine to drench the ice sheets in sunshine as at the end of the most recent ice age, about ten thousand years ago. But now our relatively benign interglacial is coming to an end, as gravity continues to toy with our planet.”

    The above points out that the universe is too huge and the earth is too small for the earth’s population to have any effect on the earth’s temperature. The earth’s temperature is a function of the sun’s temperature and the effects from the many massive planets in the universe, i.e., “The gravity of the Moon and (to a lesser extent) of the Sun makes the Earth’s axis swivel around like a tilted spinning top. Other planets of the Solar System, especially Jupiter, Mars and Venus, influence the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, in a more-or-less cyclic fashion, with significant effects on the intensity of sunshine falling on different regions of the Earth during the various seasons.”

    Read below about carbon dioxide, which we need in order to exist. You can find the article below at:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html.
    FUN FACTS about CARBON DIOXIDE:

    Of the 186 billion tons of carbon from CO2 that enter earth’s atmosphere each year from all sources, only 6 billion tons are from human activity. Approximately 90 billion tons come from biologic activity in earth’s oceans and another 90 billion tons from such sources as volcanoes and decaying land plants.

    At 380 parts per million CO2 is a minor constituent of earth’s atmosphere–less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present. Compared to former geologic times, earth’s current atmosphere is CO2- impoverished.

    CO2 is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Plants absorb CO2 and emit oxygen as a waste product. Humans and animals breathe oxygen and emit CO2 as a waste product. Carbon dioxide is a nutrient, not a pollutant, and all life– plants and animals alike– benefit from more of it. All life on earth is carbon-based and CO2 is an essential ingredient. When plant-growers want to stimulate plant growth, they introduce more carbon dioxide.

    CO2 that goes into the atmosphere does not stay there, but continuously recycled by terrestrial plant life and earth’s oceans– the great retirement home for most terrestrial carbon dioxide.

    If we are in a global warming crisis today, even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions and all other government proposals and taxes would have a negligible effect on global climate!

    The government is lying, trying to use global warming to limit, and tax its citizens through “cap and trade” and other tax schemes for the government’s benefit. We, the people cannot allow this to happen.

    The Earth’s Temperature Graph should be shown below:

    If the Earth’s temperature graph is not shown above, you can see this temperature graph at the link:

    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

    You can copy the temperature graph and place it in your computer.

  8. Faulkner writes: ” Eric the Red sailed 500 miles west from Iceland and discovered an island covered in GREEN grass, which he named Greenland. ” —
    But, take a look at F’s link: http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/kultur-sjael/historie/vikingetiden/erik-den-roede.aspx
    It reads: “Erik the Red’s discovery of Greenland
    It is for this reason that in the same year he sailed west and discovered a country with an inviting fjord landscape and fertile green valleys. He was extremely impressed with the new country’s resources and he returned to Iceland to spread the word of “The green land”. …”
    ~ ~ ~
    Faulkner , do you appreciate the difference between “fjords and (coastal) valleys… and “an island”? { they were on boats on the ocean, even if near the shore,}

    Do you understand that:
    “The ice in the current ice sheet is as old as 110,000 years.[4] The presence of ice-rafted sediments in deep-sea cores recovered off of northeast Greenland, in the Fram Strait, and south of Greenland indicated the more or less continuous presence of either an ice sheet or ice sheets covering significant parts of Greenland for the last 18 million years. …” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet )
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Your information about CO2 is interesting enough, but it’s grade school stuff, you are leaving out an awful lot of important stuff.
    Please continue your learning adventure, might I suggest

    {although if you wanted to get serious about Apollo 13 details, here’s the place to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is_xDi-XaPg}
    But, to get serious about CO2/AGW connection: http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect-intermediate.htm
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    In closing, Oh pleaz, don’t talk about “Earth’s temperature graph” while ignoring polar regions and oceans ! ! !

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s