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1895 Montparnasse train wreck
The new FiveThirtyEight
Nate Silver claims that his new blog is a data journalism organization. Silver is a numbers guy, and because his analyses of political polls proved more accurate than those made by the often inept traditional media competition, he has become celebrated as a genius, if not quite a shaman. How ironic, then, that with over 97 percent of the 11,944 peer-reviewed studies of "global climate change" or "global warming" between 1991-2011 endorsing the consensus on anthropogenic global warming, with almost every scientific society or association long before having concurred on the consensus, and with the U.S. National Academies of Science and the British Royal Society now saying that the consensus is more certain than ever, Silver would hire as one of his science writers the egregious purveyor of disinformation on climate change, Roger Pielke, Jr. And the worst part about it, given Silver's reputation as a statistics guy, is that Pielke often is criticized for butchering statistics and data analysis.
With Roger Pielke Jr covering climate, how about Jenny McCarthy on vaccines? @capital_climate  @thingsbreak @NateSilver538 @climatebrad
Climate scientist Michael Mann is among many who are not impressed:
“Given Nate’s professed obsession with rigorous statistical analysis, it is rather disappointing to see him hire for his new venture an individual who has displayed a pattern of sloppiness when it comes to the analysis of climate data,” said top climate scientist Michael Mann via email. Pointing to a chapter in Silver’s recent book that addresses climate change (for which Mann was interviewed) he adds, “Sadly, this isn’t the first time Nate has been led astray when it comes to dealing with the science of climate change.”
After having been interviewed by Silver for that book, and despite obviously liking Silver, personally, when Mann read the result, he wrote an excoriating critique that should be read in its entirety.

Much more below the fold.

Among the many lowlights:

As a result, Nate's chapter on climate change (Chapter 12: "A Climate of Healthy Skepticism") is marred by straw man claims that don't stand up to scrutiny. These include the assertion that (a) climate scientist James Hansen's famous 1988 predictions overestimated global warming (they didn't), that (b) "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) settles on just one forecast that is endorsed by the entire group" (pure nonsense -- even the most casual reading of the IPCC reports reveals that great care taken to emphasize the non-trivial spreadamong model predictions, and to denote regions where there is substantial disagreement between the projections from different models) and that (c) "relatively little is understood" about the El Nino cycle (here I imagine that Nate might have misinterpreted our own discussion about the matter; I explained in our discussion that there are still open questions about how climate change will influence the El Nino phenomenon -- but that hardly means that we know "relatively little" about the phenomenon itself! In fact, we know quite a bit about it). Finally, and perhaps most troubling (d) while Nate's chapter title explicitly acknowledges the importance of distinguishing "signal" from "noise", and Nate does gives this topic some lip service, he repeatedly falls victim to the fallacy that tracking year-to-year fluctuations in temperature (the noise) can tell us something about predictions of global warming trends (the signal). They can't -- they really can't.

Nate's view of uncertainty, and its implications for climate model predictions, is particularly misguided. He asserts that the projections of the IPCC forecasts have been "too aggressive", but that is simply wrong. It neglects that in many cases, e.g. as regards the alarming rate of Arctic sea ice decline (we saw a new record low set just weeks ago), the climate models have been far too cautious; We are decades ahead of schedule relative to what the models predicted. Uncertainty cuts both ways, and in many respects -- be it the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, or the melting of the ice sheets -- it is cutting against us. Uncertainty, as many economists recognize, is thus a reason for action, not inaction! I'm surprised someone as sharp as Nate just doesn't appear to get that.

And after debunking Silver's cheap and inaccurate potshots at Al Gore, and deriding his cherry-picking and misrepresenting Mann's own interview statements for the purpose of promoting a false narrative:
Most disappointing to me of all was the false equivalence that Nate draws between the scientific community's efforts to fight back against intentional distortions and attacks by an industry-funded attack machine, and the efforts of that attack machine itself. He characterizes this simply as a battle between "consensus" scientists and "skeptical" individuals, as if we're talking about two worthy adversaries in a battle. This framing is flawed on multiple levels, not the least of which is that those he calls "skeptics" are in fact typically no such thing. There is a difference between honest skepticism -- something that is not only valuable but necessary for the progress of science -- and pseudo-skepticism, i.e. denialism posing as "skepticism" for the sake of obscuring, rather than clarifying, what is known.
Which brings us back to Pielke.
.@TheCostOfEnergy @thackerpd @FiveThirtyEight And Justin Bieber could be the site's music critic. The possibilities are just endless...
As Joe Romm summarized, more than four years ago:
Roger Pielke, Jr. is the single most disputed and debunked person in the entire realm of people who publish regularly on disasters and climate change. He trashes the reputation of any scientist who even suggests that there is the tiniest link whatsoever between climate change and extreme weather even though he himself has stated such a link exists (click here, reposted below).
Pielke is a political scientist, not a climate scientist, and he recently played politics in testimony before Congress, including an attempt to refute President Obama's science adviser, John P. Holdren, who has linked climate change and drought. Holdren, who is the former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, wrote a scathing response (pdf here), specifically noting that Pielke's views are "not representative of main-stream views on this topic in the climate-science community," while including a list of sources from peer-reviewed scientific literature that support the link.
In the rest of this response, I will show, first, that the indicated quote from the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) about U.S. droughts is missing a crucial adjacent sentence in the CCSP report, which supports my position about drought in the American West. I will also show that Dr. Pielke’s statements about global drought trends, while irrelevant to my comments about drought in California and the Colorado River Basin, are seriously misleading, as well, concerning what is actually in the UN Panel’s latest report and what is in the current scientific literature.

The key words are seriously misleading, because as is the case with all who misinform and disinform on climate issues, this isn't a question of having a different opinion, it's a matter of being wrong. It's a matter of repeating false accusations even after they have been debunked. It's a question of intent and integrity. It's a pattern:

Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and his colleagues were targeted by Pielke upon the release of their 2011 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) examining the increase of extreme events in a warming world. The paper found that the record-breaking Russian heat of 2010 in particular “is, with 80 percent probability, due to the long-term climatic warming trend.”

Pielke took issue with the conclusions and methodologies, saying he stood by his critique — even after Rahmstorf provided clarification that disputed Pielke’s claims — and accusing the authors of “cherry-picking.”

“Faced with this kind of libelous distortion I will not answer any further questions from Pielke now or in future,” Rahmstorf commented. “As an aside, our paper was reviewed not only by two climate experts but in addition by two statistics experts coming from other fields.”

To be so wrong so often, and to so persistently butcher data suggests that Pielke has an agenda, and will promote that agenda regardless of the facts:
Roger Pielke Jr. is a political scientist who has publicly questioned the scientific integrity of more climate scientists than just about anyone else on the planet. He has smeared literally hundreds of scientists (as I document here).

That is no doubt a key reason Pielke was included on Foreign Policy‘s “Guide to Climate Skeptics.” No doubt that’s why the websites that most prominently feature or reprint Pielke’s attacks are climate denial sites like WattsUpWithThat and ClimateDepot. It is also why he is probably the single most disputed and debunked person in the science blogosphere, especially on the subject of extreme weather and climate change (see here and here).

Pielke seems to be at war with the actual data, which would seem to undermine the entire premise of Silver's blog. Silver is an expert on statistics, but the disaster of hiring Pielke isn't only about ignoring the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, it's also about Pielke's own problems with statistics, for which he often is criticized, if not ridiculed.
Seriously love to see .@NateSilver538 or someone else .@FiveThirtyEight defend hiring someone who doesn't understand t-tests. #statsfail
Sometimes, Pielke's agenda takes him so far down the rabbit hole that he makes a complete fool of himself (to be generous). Apparently attempting to prove that a biased media over-hypes climate change (a premise that is absurd at face value), Pielke six years ago claimed there were 1,264 times as many news stories about a study finding a 1,000 year high in hurricanes as about one claiming there has been no increase in the past century. The former was co-authored by the climate scientist Michael Mann. Oops:
The fun is in the comments as folks try to explain to Pielke that there is a film director called Michael Mann and that maybe Pielke shouldn’t count those stories.  Pielke comes back with the claim that restricting the search to “Michael Mann” + nature + hurricanes + Aug 13-15 gives 1,412 stories.  Some folks might wonder how restricting the search gives you more results, but not Pielke. In fact, if you read what Google says at the link Pielke gave it says that there are “about 20″, and if you look at all the results there are just 11.  A similar search for the Landsea paper gives 5 news stories.  This difference may be due to one paper being published in Nature and the other in The Journal of Climate.
Which was updated:
Soon after I posted this, Pielke finally made a correction, allowing that being out by a couple of orders of magnitude was a “bit sloppy”. Heaven knows how wrong he would have to be before he admitted to being sloppy or very sloppy.
But Pielke's failures go beyond misrepresenting, misunderstanding, or failing even a basic Google search.
@thackerpd @NateSilver538 @capital_climate @climatebrad  and maybe the TEPCO people on nuclear safety?
Pielke has consistently been found lacking in accurately representing even basic statistics, whether it be about probability or t-tests or temperature records or the accuracy of models when compared to observed data.
Nature climate blog off to rocky start (The blog was later closed)

Uncertainty, noise and the art of model-data comparison

Model-data-comparison, Lesson 2

Revisiting historical ocean surface temperatures

The consistently wrong chronicles

Putting Roger out of his misery

How many of Roger's findings about probability manage to be wrong? Answer: he's more inventive than you might expect.

Pielke Pity Party

Question: when is 23% equal to 5%?

.@natesilver538 I hope the irony of bringing Pielke to a stats-branded enterprise doesn't cause all of reality to implode .@FiveThirtyEight

And Pielke's first post at Silver's new site, attempting to downplay the connection between climate change and extreme weather events, is in the same mold, and already is being eviscerated:
“Pielke’s piece is deeply misleading, confirming some of my worst fears that Nate Silver’s new venture may become yet another outlet for misinformation when it comes to the issue of human-caused climate change,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “Pielke uses a very misleading normalization procedure that likely serves to remove the very climate change-related damage signal that he claims to not be able to find.”...
Kevin E. Trenberth is a senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research:
“This is the same old wrong Roger,” Trenberth said by e-mail. “He is demonstrably wrong and misleads.”
.@538: first a climate sci denier then advice to use biases in evaluating health studies (1/2)
Pielke's post cites his own previous claim that the fifth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found "little evidence of a spike in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes," and that future spikes of extreme weather will be statistically undetectable for decades.
Dr. John Abraham, a thermal science professor at the University of St. Thomas famous for his formation of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, criticized Pielke’s assessment of the IPCC’s report. “You should know that we have already detected significant increases in Atlantic hurricane intensity, in extreme heat waves, large precipitation events and regional droughts,” Abraham wrote in an e-mail to Nate Silver expressing his disdain for the article, forwarded to Climate Progress.

“It’s ludicrous to say that extremes have not increased, and they have certainly increased in ways that are completely consistent with expectations based on atmospheric physics and climate model projections in response to increasing greenhouse gases,” Jennifer Francis, a research professor at Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Science who specializes in the connection between climate change and extreme weather, said.

In the comments of Pielke's post, it is being pointed out that Pielke (yet again) cherry-picked data, citing a study by the German reinsurance company Munich Re, while using the data from 1990 onward, even though the study itself compiled data starting 10 years earlier, in 1980. There is no reason to omit the first 10 years of data, except that doing so is the only possible means of pretending the data prove what Pielke wants them to prove. Munich Re itself, using all the data, came to the exact opposite conclusion of Pielke, an inconvenient truth that Pielke somehow neglects to mention.

In a follow-up post, responding to the extensive criticism, Pielke cites an analysis by two scholars from the London School of Economics (LSE), but ignores that their abstract (pdf) specifically states that because of their "inability to control for defensive mitigation measures, one cannot infer from our analysis that there have definitely not been more frequent and/or more intensive weather-related natural hazards over the study period already." Which would seem to undermine Pielke's attempt to make exactly such an inference. Pielke also ignores a later analysis by the same two LSE scholars, wherein they find "no significant trends at the global level, but we detect statistically significant upward trends in normalized insured losses from all non-geophysical disasters as well as from certain specific disaster types in the United States and West Germany."

The evidence and analysis don't prove what Pielke wants them to prove, but his cherry-picking the data and analysis to make it seem otherwise proves everything about Pielke. Right out of the gate, Pielke's contribution to Silver's site is to make a mockery of it.

Climate change is the most important issue humanity has ever faced. On the questions of whether it is happening, whether humans burning fossil fuels are the primary driver, and whether the impacts are happening and will only grow worse, there is no credible debate. The scientific consensus is overwhelming. To promote disinformation and misinformation about climate change is inexcusable and unconscionable, but by hiring Roger Pielke, Jr., that is exactly what Nate Silver is doing. It would be bad enough if Silver had hired Pielke in conjunction with a credible climate scientist, to create the sort of false equivalency that the traditional media so loves to promote, but to have hired Pielke at all undermines the very premise of what Silver claims to be trying to do. It undermines the credibility of Silver's blog and of Silver himself. The question is whether or not this was a mistake that will be corrected, or whether it tells us something about Silver himself.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nate Silver was never a lefty. (89+ / 0-)

    The guy is a libertarian, and said that if he voted (yeah, if) it would have been between Romney or Gary Johnson for the last cycle.  

    It should surprise no one that his efforts are going to have a strong libertarian bias, which includes a lot of science denial of all sorts, if it's bad for business.  

    Just because he read the polls right, didn't mean he was a liberal.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:11:06 PM PDT

  •  I hope Poblano hasn't let his success go to his (24+ / 0-)

    head. Just because you're good with statistics doesn't mean you know everything about everything.

  •  Nate seems to have managed (13+ / 0-)

    to keep his personal political views out of his analysis so far.

    Whether he does in the future is a matter for him, but on election predictions he has been remarkably accurate.

    Right now he is predicting that the Senate is a "toss-up" in the mid-terms, something that should worry everyone.

    The real issue is that the election is being driven by the DNC and the Third Way (Is there a difference), and that is the most worrying thing at all.

    Why would the electorate vote for "Republican Lite", when they can have the real thing?

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:16:04 PM PDT

  •  Disappointing (12+ / 0-)

    ... that he'd be so blind about the evidence.

    It is a much larger phenomenon than an election or a competitive sport. It's a shame he's refusing the effort to get to know enough about it to have a decent understanding of it. He'd likely be damned good at it if he put his mind to it.

    It's been a busy several years for Nate. He might be getting a little burned out, not wanting to make the effort to really understand it. That's the most diplomatic explanation I can cook up. He's tired.

    Disappointing. Really disappointing.

    But his predictions for Super Tuesday in 2008 kinda sucked. He retooled it for awhile before he got really good. Maybe he'll learn from being so wrong on this.

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:16:10 PM PDT

    •  You don't have to make a lot of effort (7+ / 0-)

      not to hire a guy whose work on a topic is so controversial and tainted. This isn't even an issue I follow much but I would know better, and I have put almost no effort into understanding it.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:35:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're too kind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, whl

      Nate believes this. He's already adopted the view the climate science is suspect and global warming is overhyped.

      that's why he hired Pielke for his site.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 02:07:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not science (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate, mightymouse

      What 538 is closer to what was done in the time before we had modern science.  Make some observations, run some numbers, try to guess what might happen, thinking that being mostly correct is good enough.  Statistics and science grew up together, but science is about underlying physical models that consistently explain the world, while statistics merely worry about percentages, and is tolerant to widely incorrect conclusions.  For instance 538 gets many things incorrect, but it is forgiven because it is not held up to the same standards as science.

      I am not surprised that Silver got this wrong, because in his world everything is possible.  In the next presidential election, anyone could win, and, over time, his techniques will determine who is most likely to win.  This is not true in science.  Everything is not possible.  We cannot just take a survey and decide that climate change is 70% not human related.

  •  Nate Silver sees himself as a contrarian (16+ / 0-)

    For all his emphasis on data, he believes himself to be operating outside the preconceptions and narratives that the rest of us allegedly hold so dear.  If anything, that's what motivates his "data-driven" approach: the belief in and the quest for knowledge and a decision matrix free of any ideological or emotional bias.

    Logically he'd thus be drawn to other contrarians, seeing them as like himself in that their positions, predictions, etc. are allegedly not influenced by "conventional wisdom", "interests", "emotional investment", simple inertia, and all the usual boogeymen.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:20:11 PM PDT

    •  and in this case (14+ / 0-)

      not influenced by the science.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:29:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, Pielke is not a climate scientist... (15+ / 0-)

        at all. He's commenting about something outside his area of expertise, which is political "science".

        As a scientist myself (PhD in physics) I have to say that, beyond the raw data, you have to the theoretical background to understand what the data is telling you. Pielke is totally unqualified in that regard. Being a contrarian is his only apparent "qualification".

        Perhaps  I should apply to Silver to get a gig blogging about bankers. I hate the fuckers, but don't have any background in the area. That should make me the perfect hire for 538, apparently.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by richardak on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:05:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think Krugman had it essentially right (10+ / 0-)

      Silver entered the realms of sports and politics as data first began to enter popular media analysis of those fields (and Silver helped that in some ways), though plenty of people in these fields were already using complex models, just not publicizing them. So he stood out for that reason, and because being contrarian with analysts that know nothing at all (and are mostly being paid to try to drive the polls rather than analyze them) was helpful for accuracy.

      But he won't have the same ability to stand out when entering fields that already are heavily data driven like the academic fields of economics and climate science. I think you're right that he's letting his contrarian/libertarian tendencies get the best of him to hire someone like Pielke with all of his past problems with data analysis so well-known. But even if he just tried to run data analysis without a climate denialist cherry picking numbers, these ventures wouldn't do much to change the information already out there, only repeat what's already been done (if he's not making serious errors).

  •  Now That's Funny (27+ / 0-)

    I have a feeling that there is more to this story. Nate Silver just doesn't hire someone like Roger Pielke out of nowhere. We'll learn more in due time.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:27:08 PM PDT

  •  Ken Hamm on biology. (5+ / 0-)

    Maybe Nate means "data driven analysis" in the way Fox means "fair and balanced."

    You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    by gnothis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:29:19 PM PDT

    •  Or when media talks about "balance of views" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when they're justifying hiring more extreme right-wing columnists. "Balance of views" never seems to convince them to hire columnists whose views are from the left. (I doubt more than a few Americans have read political commentary of an actual, Karl Marx-quoting socialist.)

      At least that's what my local newspaper said. And that was a big reason why I canceled my subscription.

  •  He gives his share of interviews. (5+ / 0-)

    Has anyone asked him why he hired someone like this and if so what has been his response?

  •  Contrarian makes him antithesis of data driven (7+ / 0-)

    I agree with your analysis, and it is ironic that this makes him the antithesis of data driven.  The article in question is not data driven.  It is ideologically driven.  You can find data driven information at another blog.  It is called and is where the climatologist hang out.  Relying on peer reviewed studies is being data driven.  Espousing bizarre correlations to a false conclusion isn't.  

    Pride comes before a fall they say, and Nate could have saved himself simply by asking the column be reviewed by people who understand climate science much better than he does.

  •  A larger pool of Data is more accurrate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Van Buren, Calamity Jean

    Silver is obviously a talented statistician.  However, it's not fair to denigrate others:  Silver was using a larger database.

    Modern statistics allows a smaller sample to project how the entire group will work out.

    Say we have 100,000 voters.  You might be able to project based on the votes of 100 people how the entire 100,000 will vote.  You can even calculate your degree of accuracy, the error chances, that is whether your poll of 100 people will accurately predict how the 100,000 will vote.

    If you polled 1000 people, your degree of certainty would increase and you chance of error would decrease.

    If you polled 10,000 people, your projection becomes more certain.

    But it costs a lot to do the polls.

    What Silver did was take the polls of others, combine them, and massage the numbers based on various criteria trying to get more accurate.

    Its like Silver took the results of 10 pollsters who each polled 100 people and then addressed the combined results.  Yes, we would expect that to be more accurate.  Silver is working with larger numbers.

    But its unfair to call out the people who polled 100 and call them incompetent and so forth.  They are doing the groundwork; we'd expect them to have greater uncertainty because they are working with smaller numbers.  

    This is partly why people like Rove and Karl Romney actually believed Romney would win.  Mostly self serving delusion, I believe, but also they had polling numbers, probably because they used underlying pollsters who were also inappropriately biased.

    Praise Silver for his good work.  

    “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers (Of course this also applies to me.)

    by MugWumpBlues on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:37:44 PM PDT

  •  Silver has generally worked with (8+ / 0-)

    …very short event horizons of very narrow focus, more aligned to a tip sheet at the dog track.

    Stats are easy. Fundamentals are harder to overlay. Black swans are beyond their ken.

  •  Roger Pielke Jr is the Bill Kristol (13+ / 0-)

    of climate change.

    He keeps getting everything wrong.  Yet he's consistently right up front in interviews on the latest results.

    He's basically a tool of the right wing climate change deniers.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:41:09 PM PDT

  •  I read that article earlier today... (12+ / 0-)

    I won't be giving 538 any more page views. I'm not going to help them get ad revenue so they can spread lies and doom future generations.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:45:12 PM PDT

  •  WAMM, Nate should walk this back... (10+ / 0-)
    It would be bad enough if Silver had hired Pielke in conjunction with a credible climate scientist, to create the sort of false equivalency that the traditional media so loves to promote, but to have hired Pielke at all undermines the very premise of what Silver claims to be trying to do. It undermines the credibility of Silver's blog and of Silver himself. The question is whether or not this was a mistake that will be corrected, or whether it tells us something about Silver himself.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:47:44 PM PDT

  •  Will Silver hire a creationist? (11+ / 0-)

    That seems to be the next "logical" step. Put those scientists in their place, you know, just to be contrary.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:12:45 PM PDT

  •  Speaks (4+ / 0-)

    Speaks of Nate Silver to hire a pos hack like Pielke. Why not hire Pat Robertson for science commentary?lol.

  •  Silver, to me,... (0+ / 0-)

    ...has always been tweaking his political numbers to try and claim he is correct when the election happens.  I take him as one voice in a sea on thousands, trying to make you believe he is a signal through the noise... and if his "new" site strays from its original intent of data-driven analysis then it will become what it strives to rise above, more noise.

    "All great truths begin as blasphemies." George Bernard Shaw Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

    by theBCI on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:20:53 PM PDT

    •  You were here in 2012, did you write a (0+ / 0-)

      similar comment to caution against taking him as the solo voice?

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:34:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's called Marketing (0+ / 0-)

    Just look how much attention he has drawn to his new venture and website.

    Oh to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...

    Hook. line and sinker?


    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:27:07 PM PDT

  •  the IPCC alarmist? LMFAO!!! (9+ / 0-)

    OMG. These scientists if anything have been so over cautious and so restrained with what they report and the review process for their assessment reports have such stringent review processes it is amazing they are able to get anything published.

    Absolutely shameful. Just skimmed so may have missed if Nate has had a response to Mann ....

    RIP Nelson Mandela

    by boatsie on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:28:56 PM PDT

  •  Commercial Media. (4+ / 0-)


    I might call this the Grantlandization of Nate Silver. For those Kossacks who enjoy college and pro sports (big Sox-Bruins-Celts fan here), is a well-known commodity and with it,, and its founder/editor, the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons.  

    Simmons was one of the pioneers of first-person subjective blogging, particularly in the field of sports, where, having failed as an investigative reporter, he invented the concept of online sports commentary from the perspective of the fan. is the culmination of that, featuring not only some good investigative reporting but a large proportion of first-person opinion.  I don't read it exhaustively but I've generally enjoyed what I've read.

    About a half-year or so ago, announced proudly that ESPN had hired Nate Silver, to refound under the ESPN aegis, with an expanded mission, including regular commentary on the world of sports.  But Simmons at Grantland isn't the first to move from online writer to editor-in-chief of what amounts to an online longer-than-your-ordinary-blog-post journal format.  Sports Illustrated, ever the follower these days, rushed to anoint its best-known personality, NFL writer Peter King, as the new jefe of, named after his hugely popular and years-long-running Monday Morning Quarterback column. I've read that ESPN also hired my personal favorite columnist, Jason Whitlock, to head up what I read described as "the black Grantland". Whitlock is black, of course, and years ago humorously dubbed himself America's arbiter of race in sports.  I find his commentary intelligent, thought-provoking and frequently quite funny.  But I've yet to see boo about The Black Grantland at ESPN.

    And that gets at what I think is going on with Nate...being a talented writer, thinker and and analyst does not imply any innate ability as a manager or as a selector of talent.  ESPN is a highly corporate entity, of course, with plenty of sponsor-sensitive revenue streams.  Is Nate so naive and incompetent in the world of science that he was personally duped into thinking Pielke is a good choice for the field of environmental science?  Or was the hire of a global warming denialist forced on him by corporate?  I'm sure we'll never know.  But I do get the feeling that what was a very good solo, or nearly solo, operation for years, might now turn out to be an incoherent and sloppy mess.

  •  boy is this surprising (3+ / 0-)

    the world is turning upside down and next i look for the sun to set in the east.

  •  Ugh what a back-stab by Silver. (Inexcusable)^n. (3+ / 0-)

    Republished to CCSOS.

  •  Very disappointing to hear of this story.... (3+ / 0-)

    I've been a Silver fan before, but of all topics to hire a fraud as an "expert", climate change?!

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 01:51:49 PM PDT

  •  As much as I disagree with Nate Silver... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew, llywrch, slinkerwink

    For pushing this anti-climate change piece and its writer as someone to trust; since clearly in my mind it is a hit peace against climate science.

    I will not be poo pooing Nate's 60% chance that the Senate will be claimed by the GOP. I mean seriously, things are looking grim on our side of the aisle, and people out there are furious and disenchanted with the way things have progressed this year in both the Congress and Senate.  I remember writing a diary before the 2010 elections with a poll with 'do you think its too late?'  as an option for us to keep the House.  Surprisingly a lot of optimism before the election (13%). The number for "It's too late" was not 16% as it stands now at the time.

    My point?

    Don't shoot the messenger if it looks bad for the Democrats.  We need to get out there and change the message.  At this point though it already looks like Democrats are deciding to not fight, and that is what will put us in danger these mid-term elections.  Sure we have our vocal 'peanut gallery' here chirping away, but we how many of us actually are going to do our part to change the new 'theme of failure' that is being beaten by the media?

    We are in danger... and we know what the cost will be if the Senate is taken by the Republican party and the House is retained by the loons.  

  •  Someone is paying for this (0+ / 0-)

    My money is on the Kochs.

  •  I can't wait (3+ / 0-)

    Because I always turn to ESPN when I want political news.

  •  qwatz (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shenderson, cocinero, Laurence Lewis

    the story behind that often-used picture:

  •  I Noticed That Silver's Site Had More Republicans (2+ / 0-)

    commenting than democrats.  I think that republicans knew before democrats that Nate Silver leaned right, not left.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:01:29 PM PDT

  •  Wow. Mann really sounds like a self-idolizing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    That's a shame, too, because he is a very knowledgeable and influential self-idolizing prick who is very right about one thing:

    Scientists need to emphasize what we know over what we do not know.

    However, it pays to understand the nature of the problem with regard to actually getting something done -- something a recent statement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science did quite nicely.

    Global warming may be a science question, but the response is not merely a matter of risk assessment, but a special kind of  argument called Pascal's Wager.

    Blaise Pascal's original model concerned belief in God, and was a very early example of decision theory:

    1. If I believe in God and there is no God:
      a.  I'll spend time doing something that's pointless,
      b.  I'll spend money that I don't need to, but
      c.  I'll aquire some social standing and friends in the process
      d. When I die, I die -- incapable of any embarrassment over having been wrong in my lifetime

    2.  If I don't believe in God and there is a God:

      a. I will have a little more money and time,
      b. I  will lose some social status and some friends,
      c. I will spend eternity in Hell.

    At issue is not merely whether you're right or wrong, but the consequences of being right or wrong.

    I think many people perform the same kind of analysis with regard to global warming, and they don't all come to the same conclusion.  Given the general contempt that our leaders have for us, it's easy to understand a consequence-derived skepticism for the science.  If you don't trust the powers that be  and expect to be a loser in any intitiative, you're more likely to disbelieve the science as well.  As much as people like to shout "denier", it's much easier to deny the science than  to say "Oh sure, I know we're doomed but I don't think we should do anything about it."

    Clear and succinct discussions of the science are absolutely desirable -- imperative, even. But a major focus on "you will not be screwed" -- an honest one, not just bullshit -- would go a long way to elminating "deniers".

    It's coincidence, but for people who like a non-asshole discussion of scientific consensus and the way science should work, we are fortunate to have two nice recent lay-person articles in two scientific publications for the layman:

    The Case against Copernicus, in the January, 2014 Scientific American
    We are all Mutants, an interview with Masatoshi Nei, in the March, 2014 Discover magazine.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:17:22 PM PDT

  •  If Nate went over to the dark side, we at least (4+ / 0-)

    have Sam Wang from Princeton Consortium for good election predictions. He was about as good as Nate, and he does not have an agenda.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:23:37 PM PDT

  •  Consensus is often (always) wrong long term. (0+ / 0-)

    Just keep that in mind. People have been extremely certain in large numbers of a great many things that turned out not to be so.

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:41:09 PM PDT

    •  if you have something to share (6+ / 0-)

      about the actual science, please do so. and please provide evidence of scientific consensus "often (always)" being wrong. gravity? evolution?

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:43:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

        Interestingly enough the theory of gravity is modified significantly by relativity.

        Evolution was formulated by a man that didn't even know about genetics.

        Ptloemic cosmology was the scientific consensus before Copernicus.

        Dr. Semmelweis was considered crazy because he suggested that doctors performing baby deliveries should wash their instruments that they were also using on cadavers to save women from dying during childbirth.

        You should check out philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. He discusses paradigm shifts and how science itself has resisted new theories and change. He also demonstrates how often scientific consensus has proven incorrect.

        The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

        by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:57:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually (5+ / 0-)

          nothing about relativity in any way changed the consensus about gravity. and genetics not then being a developed science has nothing to do with darwin's discovery, which, you know, remains the consensus. if you have anything more recent than the mid-nineteenth century, which about when modern scientific methods began to be understood, please share.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:11:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You moved the goal post for one. (0+ / 0-)

            And yes, genetics was a huge deal that evolution from Darwin has had to deal with. Evolution today is largely not close to what Darwin discussed. Mostly because while he pondered about sexual selection, we know now how key sexual selection, over natural selection really is. Part of this is due to things like genetics.

            And yes, gravity has been changed. When it was first developed gravity was thought to work across the universe and function the same way. Relativity changed that dramatically. The idea of an ordered universe is largely discredited. Gravity, in fact, works on earth but is largely not a great view of the universe.

            Finally you moved the goalpost. That something is the most recent consensus does not make it any more likely that it is true. As I said, long term, all scientific consensus is shattered. Newton gave way to Einstein and we are not sure what is next with string theory and quantum physics. We aren't sure what is the next wave of biology either, by the way.

            The funny thing is that when you are stuck in the consensus you cannot break out of it so long as you can't conceive that you are wrong. From Khun

            Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend most all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Normal science, often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments. As a puzzle-solving activity, normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.

            The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

            by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:49:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wow (3+ / 0-)

              you read a book and think you understand science. you don't. science had changed dramatically in the past century, and even in the half century since kuhn. and actually, evolution is still very much in line with darwin, with genetics confirming it. don't confuse darwin with how he is misunderstood since the advent of social darwinism. you also don't understand gravity. what works in the the subatomic realm has in no way altered what is understood in the larger realm.

              no, all scientific consensus is not eventually shattered. most has held since the advent of modern scientific methods. you don't understand science, and you have literally nothing to add about climate science.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:00:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Science changes because people challenge consensus (0+ / 0-)

                We are only where we are because of scientists willing to challenge the consensus of their time. Unless your argument is that we have reached the end of knowledge, there is nothing wrong with challenging every consensus and we certainly can't assume because there is consensus that there is truth in it.

                The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

                by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:10:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  actually (4+ / 0-)

                  science evolves because scientists research. they're not looking to "challenge consensus," they're looking to answer unanswered questions. a scientist looking to "challenge consensus" wouldn't last long. you have literally no understanding of how science works.

                  obviously, science continues, because there continue to be worlds of unknowns, and new nuances and new dimensions, and one answer often leads to new questions. that doesn't mean that consensus is challenged. the heliocentric solar system. the germ theory of disease. the double helix. relativity. quantum mechanics. you have literally nothing to add on the subject of climate science.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:18:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

                    Science is all about disproving the status quo. The most prized thing to do in science is to disprove someone else. Sir Karl Popper discussed this in detail. If you can falsify another scientist's hypothesis you have done the ultimate service.

                    Science is about finding weaknesses in what we think we know. Constantly challenging the assumptions we make is what makes science the best method of obtaining knowledge. Without skepticism of what we think we know it becomes a circle jerk where everyone keeps verifying what they think they already know.

                    There is nothing one can't verify if they seek to do so. That's why science is demarcated and distinguished by its requirement that things be falsifiable. That is the heart of the scientific method. If you develop a theory that cannot be tested against the evidence you have a theory that cannot be falsified and that is psuedoscience.

                    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

                    by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:49:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you know nothing about science (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Glen The Plumber

                      scientists don't give a shit about the status quo, they want to deepen and broaden understanding. discovery of the higgs boson didn't overturn the status quo, it confirmed it.

                      i hope you never get ill, because whatever the doctors tell you will be based on the scientific consensus, which no doubt you'll ignore. we should stop vaccinating children, because the consensus will be overturned and jenny mccarthy will be proved right.

                      your arguments could not be more ridiculous. i reiterate: you know nothing about science, and less about climate science.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:02:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Science (4+ / 0-)

                  changes because people investigate discover and demonstrate things. Challenging consensus with a new theory backed with data and research is fie challenging consensus because Conoco pays your bills and you  pic and cherry data to attack the consensus but do not provide alternative explanation is hackery not science.

                  •  Everyone is getting funded by someone. (0+ / 0-)

                    And that is one of the great traps. If you are in a field where you are an expert in the current consensus it can be catastrophic if someone challenges your research and your funding.

                    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

                    by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:50:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What funding?? (3+ / 0-)

                      Most funding for scientific research comes either from grants (limited), work in Unis. or other similar institutions.
                      Now how is a climatologist going to loose his funding for going against the consensus if he/she has data to back his ideas?

                      How is it catastrophic that someone challenges your research? If many fields of science from medicine to physics people with contradictory theories have work for institutions, sometimes the same one, and have not lost their funding. The idea that scientist are hiding things or confabulating to keep up discredited ideas because they will loose their funding is by large a creation of the right wing think tanks that fund deniers.

              •  Out of curiosity (0+ / 0-)

                What has changed in the last 50 years that invalidates Kuhn?

                To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

                by sneakers563 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You ran head into the goalpost (3+ / 0-)

              Your writing has become unintelligible:

              Gravity, in fact, works on earth but is largely not a great view of the universe.
              WTF is this supposed to mean?

              Moreover, don't expect 2+2 to equal 1 tomorrow just because science may sometimes advance by paradigm shifts. The basic science of the greenhouse effect has been known for over 100 years. Massive amounts of evidence from many different fields of science have confirmed the basic theory. Research and debate continues on many of the details of climate science, not the basic physics. The earth would be an icy lifeless rock without the warming caused by greenhouse gases.

              “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

              by FishOutofWater on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:40:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What does all that have to do with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          scientific consensus in an era of peer reviewed papers?
          Also how often was scientific consensus right, because if we are talking about % of right vs wrong....

    •  Uh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I would love to see any data on that ludicrous assertion.

  •  Roger Pielke has another intellectual problem. (5+ / 0-)

    He refuses to accept that human beings can measure the total heat in earth's water and atmosphere. Usually the water is limited to oceans and the biggest ice sheets. Atmosphere is limited to the troposphere.

    Pielke talks as a true believer that such measurements are impossible. He provides no evidence.

    He's like fundie believers claiming there's a Garden of Eden. Somewhere.

    Well of course this is doable. Deep ocean waters take special gear, but getting a point-in-time measurement of the whole earth is carried out regularly. You don't have to do the deep water temperatures all that often.

    That's why God gave us NASA and NOAA among others.

    But maybe Nate thinks that he needs protection. From crazies. Keep a climate denier on staff -- that's hold the Far Right wack-jobs at bay.

    When he gets Hillary Clinton beating Rand Paul by 24 percent on November 1st before the 2016 election, having Pielke on board might deter arson or a bombing. Worth a try.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul-Koch Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:07:31 PM PDT

  •  Only time will tell.... (0+ / 0-)

    If Pielke influences Silver predictions and he becomes a right-winger with right-wing predictions but the final results say the opposite, then his reputation will fall in the toilet and his predictions will be no better than the zillion of other analysts and shills out there.

  •  advertising (0+ / 0-)

    I kinda felt like that controversial post was more of an advertising thing - draw a lot of initial attention and so on for a relaunched site. I mean you can't pay for this much analysis over the climate post!

    I like his methodology and I'll keep an eye on future posts; I hope this isn't the new way his site will be. If it does look like he's wandered away from stats then I'll reconsider my interest in his analysis.

  •  Why on earth would he do this? (3+ / 0-)

    What utter crap. Thanks for the diary, Laurence Lewis. It's a good thing to shine light on. Disgusting.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:12:56 PM PDT

  •  Nate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    is so over!! Once he started feeding in to the MSM I discounted him. Please don't rely on his "stuff" any more.

  •  I know plenty of people like Nate. (0+ / 0-)

    He gladly takes the chance at being wrong to have a shot at being THE ONLY ONE who's right. He likes to think he is the smartest guy around and loves to bestow his grand knowledge on those who don't have access to his system of enlightenment. In other words, Nate is kind of a douchebag.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:43:15 AM PDT

  •  Competence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mr. Lewis objects that Pielke is merely a political scientist, with the implication that he is unqualified to understand or interpret climate data. Undoubtedly, Mr. Lewis judges based on his own excellent credentials.
    Here's Pielke's bio from his blog:

    I am currently a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. At CU, I am also a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and was director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research from 2001-2007. Before coming to CU in 2001, I spent 8 years as a staff scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in their Environmental and Societal Impacts Group (which no longer exists). I have a B.A. in mathematics, an M.A. in public policy and a Ph.D. in political science, all from the University of Colorado. In 2007 I was on sabbatical at the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization (now called the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society) at Oxford University.  
    Seems to me like any argument with Pielke needs to be about his interpretation, not cheap shots over his qualifications.
    •  That's correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hmi, MGross

      The condescension for anyone who doesn't believe in exactly what Mr. Lewis believes and Mr. Lewis' blatant attempt to discredit Pielke Jr. because Pielke Jr. doesn't have what Mr. Lewis believes to be appropriate or sufficient accreditation undermines his message to the point where it's meaningless.

      How would climate activists react if George W. Bush's science adviser smeared a professor?  Apparently, the professor would have to hew to the consensus opinion or suffer additional smears from that community.  Pielke Jr. agrees with the vast majority of the scientific findings of climate scientists.  His work falls outside the primary focus of those scientists, and for that he is castigated.  

      Mr. Lewis writes repeatedly there is no politics in science, as if science were pure and politics is sullied (or more to the point anything political suffers from lower status in Mr. Lewis' mind).  Should science be the exclusive informer of the policy response to global warming?  What is the rationale behind such a claim?  If we were to follow the same logic presented by this post, wouldn't we conclude that science should keep to itself and leave public policy to policy experts?  Activist hubris is growing but is not informing the debate.

    •  please cherry-pick one item (0+ / 0-)

      and ignore everything else i wrote. it's very pielke-esque.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:59:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

        In return will you post your credentials to evaluate this work?

        •  i know this is hard (0+ / 0-)

          but i cite actual climate scientists. if you care about the actual climate science, and what the most credentialed people in the world have to say. which i'm guessing you don't.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:28:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Back to square one (0+ / 0-)

            in which you attack Pielke's credentials as "not an actual climate scientist." If you want a credentialed climatologist, I could offer you this guy:

            I have formal training in all these subjects; indeed, even certification of them—a PhD from Cornell in Mathematical Statistics (forecast verification), a Masters of Atmospheric Physics (climate model uses and skill), and even a Bachelors in Meteorology (I served a year as a forecaster in the NWS). Add to this a stint as member of the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee, a several-year term as Assistant Editor of Monthly Weather Review, several “peer-reviewed” articles in the Journal of Climate (these are the leading journals), and many other similar things.
            And he is your worst nightmare, with opinions 180° from Michael Mann's.

            So, I know this is hard, but will you please post your own credentials, so we can tell how it is that you have the expertise to moderate between other credentialed scientists. Thanks.

            •  this must be vert difficult for you (0+ / 0-)

              which is why you play pielke cherry-picking games. i have provided a wealth of actual examples of him screwing data. i have provided a wealth of examples of actual climate scientists who ridicule pielke. i am not the one screwing data. i am not the one denying the overwhelming scientific consensus. pielke is. and quoting some statistician who is not a climate scientist but does seem to be defending the koch brothers is revealing you as a borderline troll.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 07:27:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Must be very hard for you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                a) admit that you were foolish to attack Pielke on the issue of his credentials, and
                b) to state your own. You do have credentials, don't you? Why would you be reluctant to share?

                As for consensus science, I'm afraid I've been around too long for that to make for a trump card, as "science" has a nasty way of shifting its consensus. I remember all-too-well my father's pile of International Geophysical Year (1958) articles (he was a geologist) predicting global winter. Not to mention the consensus on breastfeeding, ulcers, margarine, sodium ingestion levels, Ehrlich and ZPG, imminent global famine... None of that is an argument against science, but it is cautionary and reason for modesty.

                But the truly dumbest thing you want to do now is to attack me for calling you on your own inadequacy. I made no statement whatsoever denying any scientific fact or that is remotely trollish—I just pointed out a couple of scientists' credentials. Possibly you should find some other way of coping for your own shortcomings.

                Some advice (though I seriously doubt you are capable of listening to any voice not your own): you ought to have done one of two things at the beginning:
                1) ignored my comment entirely
                2) said, "You're right—I shouldn't have attacked Pielke's credentials. But he's still wrong on the merits."

                But the latter would be admitting that you'd erred, and that, as any reader of yours knows, is not something you'd be likely to do under nearly any circumstances.

                •  i'll use very small words (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  so that you might be able to understand them.

                  the point is that pielke is not a climate scientist. his denying climate science is not based on science. he doesn't understand statistics and he skews data and his views are ridiculed by actual climate scientists. he is not an expert and he doesn't cite experts and his opinions are defied by the overwhelming consensus of actual experts. my credentials are irrelevant, but to a troll who is trying to change the subject. i cite the climate scientists. i cite the experts.

                  as for this:

                  As for consensus science, I'm afraid I've been around too long for that to make for a trump card, as "science" has a nasty way of shifting its consensus.
                  it is not possible to make a more fatuous "argument." congratulations. i hope you never get sick, because your doctors no doubt will base their recommendations on the medical consensus, and the consensus can't be trusted. i hope you never have children, because you no doubt would side with jenny mccarthy and not have them vaccinated, because the medical consensus says you should, but the consensus can't be trusted.

                  my error was to think you were capable of honest and coherent argument.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 09:02:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In your case (0+ / 0-)

                    I was disabused of similar error quite some time ago.

                    As for Pielke, in fact he is a climate scientist, in any reasonable meaning of the term, and he doesn't deny climate science, but you are apparently pretty ignorant on that score. His real defect is that he does not agree with you—but I am beginning to wonder if that may not be a virtue.

                    •  any reasonable meaning (0+ / 0-)

                      other than that he does no research in climate science, has no degree in climate science, misunderstands and/or misrepresents climate science, misunderstands and/or misrepresents statistics, and is ridiculed by actual climate scientists. his defect is extensively documented here and elsewhere. but do keep ignoring the facts. i'm sure he would be proud of you.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 09:49:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It must be your expertise in climate science (0+ / 0-)

                        that allows you to pronounce what is and is not climate science, let alone your expertise in statistics, and your expertise in choosing which other other experts you will defer to. I'm only surprised that Colorado hasn't yet recruited you to replace Pielke.
                        Once again, your own credentials for judging are...?

                        •  whoosh (0+ / 0-)

                          i cite the overwhelming scientific consensus. which you ignore. keep trolling.

                          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                          by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 10:16:24 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  To be fair... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hmi, VClib, WeatherDem

                            ...Al Gore, who has probably had a more profound impact than any other public figure on this issue, is also not a climate scientist, and in fact if you want to speak strictly to credentials, is much less qualified to speak on climate change authoritatively than Mr. Pielke.  And he actually IS a politician (as opposed to Pielke's Phd. in Political Science). In fact the last I checked the only advanced degree Gore holds is a Bachelor's Degree (and not in a science, which he admits he didn't do well in).

                            Yet I don't think there are many people here who would question Gore's credentials to speak authoritively on climate change.

                            Now don't mistake me, my point is not to dismiss what Gore says, or buttress Mr. Pielke's skepticism. I'm merely pointing out that if you're going to attack someone's work, and belittle it, based at least partly on their credentials, it works both ways.  And since the changes in policies required by world leaders to address climate change are largely going to be made by non-scientists, who are going to apply their own reasoning abilities and scepticism to the issue, I'm not certain that this smug dismissal of a contrary opinion because they don't meet your own standards for the proper expertise is the right way to go.

                            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                            by Pi Li on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 10:32:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and al gore has what (0+ / 0-)

                            to do with this? but please do focus on the one line about pielke not being a climate scientist, rather than, you know, the extensive proof of his butchering data and being excoriated by climate scientists. it's almost as if this is deliberate.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 10:35:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rock hard head (0+ / 0-)

                            Nothing gets in.

                            You opined that Pielke is not a climate scientist. Apparently the people who employ and have employed him think otherwise. So, it becomes your problem to back up your words and explain the exalted position from which you get to pronounce who is and is not a climate scientist.

                            You do have some demonstrable expertise, don't you?

                            Or is asking a question like that trolling? Your own private version of lèse-majesté?

                          •  yes (0+ / 0-)
                            Rock hard head

                            Nothing gets in.

                            don't hurt yourself banging your head on your mirror.

                            his employers have nothing to do with it- his ph.d. is poli sci, and he has done zero climate research. i am not hired as a climate expert, he is. i do not butcher data, he does. i do not make a fool of myself contradicting the leading experts in the field, he does. i do not cherry-pick a single sentence of a long post and ignore the wealth of facts listed in the post, you do. that you would defend pielke using his own methods is quite revealing.

                            are you capable of addressing the scientific consensus? are you capable of addressing the many listed instances of pielke butchering data? are you capable of making one intelligent comment?

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:37:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  For excellent reasons, (0+ / 0-)

                            "i am not hired as a climate expert, he is. i do not butcher data, he does. i do not make a fool of myself contradicting the leading experts in the field, he does"

                            Your modesty is entirely deserved.

                          •  i asked three very simple questions (0+ / 0-)
                            are you capable of addressing the scientific consensus? are you capable of addressing the many listed instances of pielke butchering data? are you capable of making one intelligent comment?
                            0 for 3. crawl back under your rock.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:21:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I asked questions, too (0+ / 0-)

                            1) Are you capable of addressing the scientific consensus? Namely, what are your credentials?

                            2) Are you capable of evaluating this complex argument on statistical inferences? What are your credentials?

                            3) Are you capable of a direct answer?
                            [I leave aside your sneer about intelligent comment—your own capability in this regard is starkly evident].

                            Once again: I made no substantive claim. I said you took a cheap pot shot on flimsy grounds. So you did, and so you continue to do. It is, so to speak, your M.O. And on that note, I bid you adieu.

                          •  if you had intelligence and integrity (0+ / 0-)

                            you would address the scientific consensus rather than focusing on me. the scientific consensus is not about me.

                            if you had intelligence and integrity you would address pielke's statistical flaws elucidated in the post. pielke's statistical flaws are not about me.

                            if you had intelligence and integrity you would address substance rather than cherry-picking one tiny and substantively minor sentence.

                            I made no substantice claim.
                            we agree.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:25:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And if you had intelligence and integrity... (0+ / 0-)

                            Ah, enough with counterfactuals.

  •  Ezra Klein & Now Nate Silver Appear To Be..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    using the same funky employment agency for their new hires.

    Both have suffered big "whoops" moments lately.  Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.  Come on boys, you can & must do better than this.

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