See, I told you this

“Watching the Deniers” was ragging on about conspiracy theories today, so I posted a comment.  The comment, a reply and my reply follow:

  1. This is psychology, NOT climate science. Do you not know the difference?

    • zoot says:

      Title of blog: Watching the Deniers.
      Their psychology is a fit subject for discussion.

      Not sure about your psychology though.
      Do you have another neuron somewhere? You might be able to form a synapse.

  2. Sure, I get the title. However, I get slammed by this blog’s followers for “not following the science” when I digress to psychology, so I figured why not throw it back? By the way, your nasty ad hominem attack will fit well in my “why climate change advocates are just as clueless as they accuse deniers of being”.
    I appreciate your making this clear as I have explained over and over again and people just don’t get it. Thank you.

There you have it from a “Watching the Deniers” follower.  This is about whatever the “deniers” are doing and my following the subjects is going to lead into areas that are not hard science.  Like McKibben’s essay in Rolling Stone. (See the blog.)
I will be posting my research concerning Al Gore and problems with the science itself as soon as possible.  It is much easier to just write on the psychology and news articles, as is done on the “Watching the Deniers” blog.

21 comments on “See, I told you this

  1. Two points do not make a trend, nor do they add any proof to a theory. Until you have a legitimate trend line, it’s called COINCIDENCE.

    If they are hundred year storms, would that mean storms of the same size occurred in the 20th, 19th, 18th, 17th…..centuries? Maybe even at the same time. Not that rare, it seems.

    It’s okay for Al to be HALF wrong? What percentage do you start to call him wrong? 60% 70%
    How high a percent does it take? Or can he be wrong on some stuff and not others? What parts of the theory are okay to be mistaken on?

    No, we have not proved humans are changing the climate. We have observed the climate changes. Again, when virtually every outcome is predictive of climate change, it is not science. (WHAT WOULD DISPROVE IT?) Right now, we have correlation, sometimes not much, with the rising CO2 levels. Causality is a lot more difficult to prove. Do I think we should wait for 99% certainty? If you are going to call it “settled” science, yes. After all, if I drop a hammer, gravity works every time. Do I think a bunch of storms that occur every hundred years and melting arctic ice are enough to panic about, no. Do I think they help prove the theory? Not necessarily–there are multiple other possibilities, which we should be researching more fully.

    Should we look for better sources of power? Sure–we always have. If you are saying we should just do what we have always done, I’m with you.

  2. youa re absolutely right. i misread what occurred there. i am not conivnced that Coal pollution does NOT cause COPD. I would want to look into it more, but I certainly cannot argue with you and you may very well be correct.

    But then again you are ignoring what i am saying. two points do not a trend make agreed. Still two points that have NEVER known to have occurred in succeding years about an issue that a well established theory predicts happens. Well that IS evidence and could be the leading edge of a trend. Can you show me a case in the last hundred years where two of the most devastating storms to hit the east coast happen to occur in sicceeding years? Of course not, or they wouldn’t be called hundred year stor,ms. Sandy was the worst since 1821 maybe. Irene in VT since 1927. But you DO have to look at the specifics. Sandy happened JUST at high tide with a full moon. that certainly made the effect much worse. Irene happened after there had already been a lot of rain, but NONE of those factors is evidence against ACC. And I will say again if there IS a trend NO one is going to blame Gore for being wrong about frequency when he turns out to be so right about intensity.
    the POINT is that climate alarmists have been saying storms are going to cause more damage bedcause they will be bigger. Then big stomrs happen that cause more damage. this is not PROOF but it IS evidence for. Arcitc ice was predicted to melt and the arctic was predicted to warm faster than the rest of the planet. that HAPPENED and it is happening faster than all but the most alarmist predicted. it is not proof but it is EVIDENCE. You seem to be saying that until there is PROOF evidence is meaningless and should not be acted on. the precautionary principle says. hey, if people are predicitng stuff, concrete things, and they turn out to happen, why don’t we assume that what they are predicitng is POSSIBLE and take out some insurance against it. You re saying NO, until it is absolutely proven, not ONLY sheould we NOT take insurance we should not attempt to try out new technologies until we have figured them out completely. We should continue this radical experiment of raising CO2 to levels not seen in millions of years, when we KNOW WIOTHOUT A DOUBT that CO2 heats the planet and just assume that it will not be a problem, becuse it will cause inconvenience. Althought what you are actually saying is that it will destroy civilization becuase fanatics with no current power whatsoever will somehow take over, and ruin our economies because 99% of the people won’t do anything to stop them.

    you are right we have changed and again you ignored completely the part where I agreed with you. Apparently you cannot accept when I agree with you any more that is too bad.
    But now we understand that our actions HAVE caused change and we are finding out what impact that change is actually going to have. No one knows exaclty what it will be, and those who ignore the possibility of problems are not being rational. especially when they assert the precautionary ptinciple is worhtless in a sitiuation where it actually has genuine beairng

  3. John reposted the comment on this blog:

    john byatt says:
April 7, 2013 at 11:56 pm
Honestly RC cares nothing about children dying from COPD due to Coal power pollution
Reality check says:

    April 8, 2013 at 12:25 am
I would if there were any.

    I posted not other comments on WtD, but did add to the comment here.

    Again, two storms cannot form a trend. To even have correlation, let alone causality, requires three points. With ACC, you will need many more. Yes, these were huge storms. However, right now, there major problem seems to be hand-wringing. I am appalled at how towns are not rebuilt after tornadoes and floods. Everyone just gives up. That, to me, if far more serious than any climate change. If we just give up, it doesn’t matter what the climate does. We’re lost.

    We have ALWAYS had flooding, storms, tornadoes, etc. that caused massive damage. As noted above, it’s not the storms that changed, it’s the people. When I was young , everyone knew someone who had been in or seen a tornado. Same for flooding, blizzards, heat, etc. No one said much because at that point it was not believed that humans were the driving force of climate on this planet. We still thought nature/God/ whatever was the cause and we just dealt with it. We changed now and believe we are the driving force for climate.

  4. “Facetious” remarks are hard to recognize on the net sometimes. Someone on another blog sent me to a wikipedia article on it. Now I try to remember to mark the comments as such, even though using the /sarc tag seems silly.

    If Irene caused so much damage without record rain, then one would be lead to conclude that the practices of the residents were the problem. I live where 70 to 80 mph winds happen all the time. Trucks blow off the road, signs crash down. It’s just how it is–everything is either tough enough for the wind or it goes.

    Have you considered that we have far less tolerance for storms than in the past? Now they are all “crisis” and superstores? Maybe we changed, not the weather.

    The comment on WtD was that I did not care that children were dying of COPD from coal plants. Which is true, since children rarely get COPD and usually it is from their parents smoking (we can discuss whether smoking around kids is grounds to terminate parental rights, if you want). COPD in UNDERGROUND coal miners is in NO way related to children or to power plants. Not at all. Many miners smoke in addition to coal mining, so there is some question of what percentage the smoking was and what percentage the coal mining was. I was not saying that coal mining was not at all a factor in COPD, but the comment I made had to do with children and power plants. I am very familiar with coal mining. Above ground has no more risk than construction, although many people get confused about above and below ground coal mining. Underground has risks.

    • In that case either you were not clear or I misread what was posted. I remember no mention of children jst you saying there was no connection between coalminign and COPD. You explanation here makes much more sense, and seems reasonable.

      I do think there is some truth to the change in society regrading disasters. becuase of 24/7 media we are aware of disasters all over the world, so it must seem to people that they are more common. But Irene WAS a super storm and it brought a huge amount of rain. it was not a record, but the size of the storm and the size of Sandy was extremely unusual. Irene caused huge damage even though infrastructure was MUCH stronger than the one storm tht caused more damage in 1927. the sate is STILL recovering fromt he effect and it was over 18 months ago. It seems quite likely to me that ACC had something to do with having two of the worst storms in the history of the east coast in back to back years. I think the 1828 storm is the only storm on record tath was as devastating as Sandy. I don;t think that counts as “us” changing. It is not impossible but certainly is a very strong piece of evidence for ACC. And these affects are whent he temp is only 1° C warmer than 100 years ago. if we are already suffering storms that cause $20-50 billions in damages every few years, it seems at least possible that if temps go up another degree it could be significantly worse.

  5. I do know the report said a “small” contribution may have come from “climate change”. That’s not really quantitative. Would it have rained .55 inches at my house over the summer if there was no ACC? Would that have been much better than the .50 that did fall? That is why I did not include that statement. The certainty did not seem to be there.

    I don’t need sympathy from you, thank you. Trust me, I will not be posting “off topic” again on WtD. I’ll stick to the skeptic blogs for that.

    (Your comment on WtD really made me aware of how little you read/understand/pay attention to what I actually write. Your comment on COPD and coal miners was so far off I was shocked.)

    • Once agian you ignore most of what I worte and focis on the facetious remark i made at the end. Nevetheless is is ture. if you are attacked unreasonably on another blog I am happy to come to your defense. I jsut chastisezed soemone today for a personal attack on someone whose views I disagree with emphatically. But I make a clear distinction from a persons beleifs and them as human beings.
      And normally the difference between 50 inches and 55 is probably not going to make a difference, but there are certainly situations where it will make a huge difference. As I sadi i live in VT and irene dropped a lot of rain, but it was no record, yet it caused the worst damage in the states history in terms of actual dollars and probably the secod worst in terms of actual economic damage and that is with an infrastructure way sophisticated and structurally stronger than 1927.

      you also do not show how anything I wrote about flooding and ACC was incorrect, and I accurately pointed out to you what was innacurate in your comment. There is a huge difference betwen certainty and possible impact. I do object to McKibben and others tying to erase that difference. And i support you bringing up those sort of things.

      And then once agian you say something and do not provide any substantive support for your statement. You say that I lack understanding of what you actually write and then point to the issue of COPD and coalminers. Yet you provide no explanation for how I 1. distorted/misunderstood what you worte or for 2. how I was wrong in what I wrote about the issue.
      Please clarify, as I was rather shocked that you appeared to be denying that COPD was causually connected to coalmining, when a quick internet search provided numerous apparently reputable sources that showed a real connection. Were you not saying that there was no evidence of a connection in that comment? If so I apologize for miscontruing your words..

  6. Reality. discussing the question of flooding is quite valuable and I do consider Mckibben to be an alarmist, and seriously question his conclusions about things like this.
    You are slightly misreading the NOAA report. it does NOT say that climate change had no effect, only that it is not the major componenet and it is not really possible to determine what if any effect ACC is having. Certainly GCM indicate that if warming continues drouhgt and flood WILL be serious considerations. Still I agree that Mckibben sometimes exaggerates and gives innacurate information.
    The fact that there have always been floods does not mean that current or future floods won’t be impacted by climate change. but there are other important issues as well. Things like the containment of large water systems resulting in much worse localized flooding can appear to make floods seem more severe than they actually are and can cause localized damage much more than in the past. But just becuase these effects do not have a clear signal from climate change doe not mean that climate change is not happening or having an impact. in fact those other factors are likley to make the effects of climate change worse as they become more obvious above the natural variability.

    Again you completely distort my statement about off topic comments?
    you wrote
    “I am sorry you feel off topic comments are not a good thing. Perhaps at some point an off-topic comment will strike a chord for you and you will understand why I am not bothered by the comment being off-topic.”

    I reread both comments I posted and, I very clearly explained what I wrote to you and yet you are still responding almost as if I wrote the opposite if what I actually did write. What is your purpose in doing so? You are not going to anger me. I really have no emotional investment in this. It is just a waste of both of our time. I specifically agreed with you that off topic comments can cause you to learn importnat and unexpected things, and I specifically wrote that posting off topic is something you are quite free to do. the whole issue has to do with your being ATTACKED for an off topic comment. I went to the site to defend you from that attack, and I discovered a comment I thought was not only irrelevant but invalid. So I guess I would suggest you NOT post offtopic comments that are irrelevant and invalid unles you WANT to be attacked. But you are free to do as you wish. You just will get no sympathy from me unless you comment has relevance and is valid. In those cases I will be happy to defend you against people that attack you. that is what friends are for, no?

  7. reality,
    the blog Watching the Deniers is not specifically about science. it is mainly focused on pointing out the either blatantly incorrect assertions on what he terms denier blogs, or related issues.
    He sometimes points out science when it is related to what he considers gross misrepresentations by denier sites or just plain untruths. In almost every case I think he is pretty accurate in his assessments
    When you make assertions like “He posts pictures of fires as proof of climate change” without any link, I question whether that is accurate. What is the point of making such extreme accusations without backing them up?
    I never said you SHOULDN’T post off topic comments. What I was saying is that if you do so and if they are not relevant to anything on the topic and they are not valid, you are likely to be attacked in a way that upsets you. As I said, I am attacked all the time even though I pretty much only respond with on topic and accurate comments.
    Your mischaracterizing what I said in order to twist it into me telling you what you should or shouldn’t do is exactly the type of tactic used by people who are generally not interested in real discussion. Learning things from offtopic commetns certainly makes sense and is a good thing, but it is irrelevant to the issue.
    I agree that WTD just championed the article without giving any critic of the methods or validity, and yes the commenters are doing the same. I just read your critique of Lewandowsky and you make some valid points. I will try to get to that later.

  8. First, the blog WtD has very little science and yet it seems to be okay on that blog. He posts pictures of fires as proof of climate change. I don’t understand why he is not called to task for the propaganda.

    I did answer your question on the comment I inserted. On skeptic blogs, it is very common for comments to simply be inserted on any topic. Check out JoNova’s blogs where there are 200 comments or more. They wonder all over the place. Occasionally, the moderator will, usually in a humorous way, redirect the comments to the subject. Honestly, I have learned more from when the comments wonder off topic than when they stay on at times. The same is true on Junk Science. I suppose I just considered this okay to do. Now that you have told me not to do it on climate change advocate blogs, I will avoid doing so.

    I have an answer to the Lewandosky paper in the works (started yesterday, should finish today). I will again note that WtD had nothing on the science or propaganda aspects of the paper. He just championed it, yet no one seemed to care about this on the pro-climate change site.

  9. Reality,

    not sure if you are deliberately misunderstanding or mishcharacterizing the point I was making or just ignroing it. it seems to be a common occurance when i comment on your blog.
    My point is that you psoted something that was completely irelevant to the blog post and to ANY of the comments on the blog post. there was quite a discussion going on and you inserted yourself in a way that made no point realted to anything anyone was talking about. On TOP of that your comment was without basis and unnecesary and added no value to the question that you brought up. You offered nothing other than an fairly untestable assertiont that meant to insult the blog owner or the commenters or commenters of other blogs. It created a reaction in someone that was hostile and dismissive. Soemthing that is common in highly politicized subjects on blogs. Again I thought the content behind the insulting response to you ws quite valid. and your response in no way gave any information that undermined the point he was making.
    Yes of course there are going to be assumptions in psychology making that assertion, even as it is valid in general in no way gives support to your specific commetns on WTDer’s. No one is saying otherwise, and it seems like youa re just trying to confuse the issue.’if you have a VALID point that is worth consideration SUPPORT it with reasonable logic and with facts or evidence to support it.
    Ig you want to dispite the Lewandowsky paper there are certainly avenues one could approach that would be valid. I personally have issues with it, even though i do think it points out some important valid behavior and perspective that i have seen over and over agin on sites that “do not accept any evidence of ACC and uncritically accept any evidence agaisnt ACC”.Why not explore those avenues where it is possible to have an actual dialogue that could increase understanding of reality, rather than just being defensive and trying to confues the issue

  10. I aree with Glenn,
    but also I do not see anyone complaining that you are discussing psychology when you should be discussing science, when the POINT of your post is the psychology.
    My concern is that WHATEVER you are discussing as it relates to the issue of climate change should be backed up by more than unsupported assertions.
    As I posted on WTD, after reading your post I was MUCh less sympathetic to your comment as it had nothing to do witthe psot itself or any of the comments on the post, and in my view it was quite innacurate.
    I personally do NOT like to attack people the way your were attacked but i pretty much agreed with his point.
    If you want to post about the validity of the idea that “those who do not accept facts that support ACC, and uncritivally accept facts that do Not support ACC” (isn;t that a rather cumbersome way of my saying the word you won;t let me use) have alarge percentge of conspiracy theorists, then ypu are welcome to. I personally think that much of waht is made fo that study is overblow or misses the point somewhat, but I have no objection to your discussing such an issue.

    • I was not aware that off-topic posts were a problem. They occur on skeptic blogs all the time. I shall remember that for future reference.

      When dealing with psychology, there are going to be “assumptions” because there are not the same studies you get in hard science. Lewendosky did an informal internet study and may have gotten it published. I cannot provide “studies” that don’t exist. Psycology is more interested in manipulation of behaviour (whether it be therapeutic or selling you those miraculous vitamin cures) and in defining behaviour. Experimental psychology is more toward hard science, but I have not seen many studies about climate change beliefs that were done in a scientific fashion.

  11. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    Psychology is certainly a fundamental consideration, but so is the science. Because it is what the science is that is the basis for assessing the psychology.

    If the Science says A and then one sees various responses to that from people B, that says something about the psychology that leads people to process A into B. However if the Science says C and peoples responses are still B, that changes the psychological process at work into one that processes C into B.

    So one can’t adequately address the questions of psychology without first addressing the science.

    Perhaps rather than trying to tackle all the science you might consider looking at a manageable subset of it then moving on to the psychology based on that.

    But simply discussing psychology without grounding that in the science base first is pointless.

  12. I was simply trying to point out that I have tried on this blog to explain that I am writing in response to a particular blog. Said blog does not just address just science. When I digress to non-science, commentors here have said I should stick with the science and ask for examples of the science. This was why I updated the “About” for this blog. My “point” was the blog WtD is not a true science blog and I cannot respond to it if I only do pure science posts. The commentor made this clear when I questioned if the blog knew the difference between psychology and climate science.

    I know all believers in ACC are not saints, nor are all skeptics. I has been my experience that both sides attack in similar fashions while claiming the other side is at fault. Ad Hominem attacks on climate change advocates are not acceptable any more than on skeptics. There are times when the “discussion” deteriorates and one ends up just hurling insults. While I discourage this, I do realize the extreme polarity on this issue and know that in spite of our best efforts, we will sometimes veer off the desired path.

  13. Tony Duncan says:


    Not sure what your point is here. Are you saying the the fact that there is someone who comments on a website that supports ACCESS is rude and makes an ad nominee attack on you discredits the content of the blog post. Or are you just saying that there are supporters of ACC who are rude and resort to ad hominem. If the latter I agree that the tone of that response to you was unnecessary.
    On the other hand I agree with the gist if their response, that the point of WTD is to a large extent about psychology and your comment had no context and was just a flat out assertion that was irrelevant to the post.
    If I was running the blog I would likely chastise people for being unnecessarily rude and for attacking the person.
    But in my view this example does nothing more than show that. All believers in ACC are not saints. I already knew that.
    Tell you what I will go over there and complain about ad hom and see if there is any response. Certainly one should not have a double standard

  14. I went back and added a comment noting that you posted said comment here and I was amending my comment to say “some” blogs, since I do not have the time to go through both blog’s comments to match up writers. I do know that most of the complaints about not following science seemed to originate with individuals who generally comment on SkS. You were very good about providing scientific answers in the beginning and were quite complimentary for a while. Perhaps I did not meet your expectations? I suppose that is one reason why I thought my digressing from the “science” was not accepted. Or maybe it was because I refused to slam Monckton? Anyway, perhaps in the future you will find my writing more interesting or perhaps you can ask questions that require me to think and research. Whatever works for you. If my original comment offended you, I apologize and will try to be more careful in the future.

  15. john byatt says:

    I get slammed by this blog’s followers for “not following the science” when I digress to psychology,


  16. john byatt says:

    john byatt says:
    April 7, 2013 at 11:56 pm
    Honestly RC cares nothing about children dying from COPD due to Coal power pollution

    Reality check says:
    April 8, 2013 at 12:25 am
    I would if there were any.

    • Byatt says coal power pollution causes COPD in children and they are dying of it. Children rarely get COPD and it’s usually from parents smoking. Which is why I noted I would care if there were any children getting COPD from coal power plant pollution.

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