Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'And if you order today, we'll send you this free climate science...'

Donna Laframboise from No Frakking Consensus, on a marketing article in a peer reviewed climate science journal by warmist scientist Amy Luers:

Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow Up to Be This Kind of Scientist
Amy Luers calls herself “a scientist.” An online bio tells us she

holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and an M.A. in international policy studies, both from Stanford University, and a M.S. and B.S. inenvironmental resources engineering from Humboldt State University... 
Luers is... the author of an essay published this week in the peer-reviewed academic journal, Climatic Change. You can read the full text of that essay here (a backup is here). It provides some depressing insights into how professional climate activists think. 
For starters, although these people are desperate to connect with the public, they aren’t interested in actually talking to the public. It never occurs to them that ordinary Moms and Dads might reject their activist views – or their activist goals. 
Ordinary people don’t have minds, priorities, and opinions of their own. In the view of people such as Luers, they’re merely raw material. The mission is to figure out the secret formula by which they can be manipulated to support the right policies.
Luers says she wants to “strengthen climate engagement.” She therefore interviewed over 40 climate advocates, more than a dozen representatives from the foundation community, and a dozen academics…before arriving at the less-than-earth-shattering conclusion that “social scientists and advocates must work together to build a culture of learning.”...

Luers’ essay declares that her side of the climate debate needs to “take control of the conversation.” She talks about: 
creating “political support” 
“the larger political landscape” 
“longer-term political needs” 
the need to build “political will” 
building “a political and public base of support” 
She says that “political research techniques and analyses have grown in sophistication, enabling analysts to learn a good deal about what works and what does not in political campaigns.” 
She makes statements such as: “We need to start picking our battles, designing our campaigns, and assessing our losses and wins…” She’s keen on “engaging the public on climate primarily by selling it as a personally relevant issue.” 
In other words, her paper has absolutely nothing to do with science. It’s about political strategizing. The word “political” appears in it no less than 22 times. 
In 2013, this is what passes for peer-reviewed academic research. These are the sorts of essays that scientifically trained people now spend their time writing.

I've seen some of this even in my own field of work, which is hydrocephalus and cerebral blood flow research. Scientists become involved in politics and trying to "educate" the public on the perceived value of their work, to drum up funding, increase prestige, etc.

Add the ideological swill of green fanaticism, and this marketing of global warming by "scientists" becomes toxic, polluting both politics and science.

Honest scientists don't publish papers talking about how to manipulate the public, and honest journals and scientific disciplines don't tolerate it.


  1. I read Framboise's book "The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For the World's Foremost Climate Expert." It's about the IPCC and the many myths that surround it.

    For example, the IPCC does not conduct scientific experiments of its own. It surveys the germane literature. Not all literature, of course, only the kind that supports their preconceived notion. A lot of people think that they take only peer-reviewed articles into account, but as Framboise points out, even that isn't true. Some papers they cite are peer-reviewed, others are not, others are subjected to a pseudo-peer review process that would not fly in any other scientific discipline. They even accept pamphlets from the World Wildlife Federation as scientific literature.

    You don't have to be an expert on climate change or anything else for that matter to be part of the IPCC. The chairman is in fact not an expert. He's a railroad engineer. Many of the people reviewing the literature are graduate students, not recognized experts in their field or any other.

    Some of the people chosen to head up different sections are selected not primarily by their credentials but because the UN likes geographical diversity on the panel. That presents a problem, as expertise is not evenly distributed around the world. The best minds in climate science tend to come from universities in Europe and North America. The UN, however, likes to keep member states happy, so they feel obligated to include scientists (and perhaps some non-scientists) who represent other parts of the globe--Latin America, for example.

    When the whole process is complete, a panel of nonexperts, appointed to represent the interests of their member states, meets to write the summary for policy makers, which is the only part most people ever read. It should really be called the summary for headline writers, because that's what it is. As we saw two months ago, many member states did not want to discuss the lack of warming in the last fifteen years lest anyone get "the wrong idea," which is to say the right idea.

    But hey, I'm sure everything they do is legit. I used to think that the IPCC was a little shady but then liberals shouted at me and accused me of hating science, so I've been cowed. I wouldn't want them to burn my house down, as Steve Zwick suggested his readers do to climate change "deniers" in the pages of Forbes magazine.


    1. I may have to read Ms. Framboise's book. I find it interesting that this comment has been up since 6:25 this morning and no one has even tried to refute it.

      Sounds like the IPCC is pretty disreputable as organizations go. How can anyone take them seriously?


    2. Trish,

      The IPCC is a political organization, which issues compromise reports not even based on consensus (meaning majority agreement) but on the absence of vetoes from member states, such as Saudi Arabia.

      Having the IPCC is a plus, but it does take a conservative outlook, not making projections (such as sea level increases due to the melting of Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets) if the science isn't there.

  2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyNovember 27, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    And adding insult to injury, I'll bet Luer's "research" was paid for with taxpayer money. The same taxpayers she's tryim g to "re-educate".

  3. Bait-and-switch alert:

    Laframboise: Amy Luers calls herself “a scientist.”

    She doesn't. The link goes to Luers' paper. Nowhere in that paper you will find Luers calling herself "a scientist." That she is not a scientist is quite clear from her bio.

    Laframboise tries to make the connection that climate science boils down to climate activism. She resorts a lie to do that. Surprise, surprise.


    1. From Luers's bio:

      Amy Luers has worked for over two decades at the intersection of environment and economic development. She joined the Skoll Global Threats Fund as Director of Climate Change from Google, where she was the Senior Environmental Program Manager.

      A scientist she is not. Your shenanigans are quite transparent, guys.


    2. Hoo:

      [Nowhere in that paper you will find Luers calling herself "a scientist."]

      Amy Luers:

      "As a scientist who has led climate advocacy campaigns and now directs a climate funding program, I seek to integrate..."


    3. And who is Donna Laframboise? Well, she is "a Canadian feminist journalist, writer, and photographer" with a degree in women's studies. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but that could explain why she can't put two and two together.


    4. She is manager. Not a climate scientist.


    5. Maybe she is a manager, not a climate scientist. But she clearly claims in her bio to be a scientist. So if anyone is lying it's Amy Luers.

      Read the bio again, Hoo. She clearly refers to herself as a scientist.


    6. Sorry, not her bio but her essay on Rethinking Climate Advocacy.


    7. TRISH, what do you make of Egnor's accusing the journal of being dishonest? It isn't a journal devoted exclusively to climate science; it covers policy as well. Do you think Egnor might be a little bit off?


    8. What I think is that it hardly sounds devoted to climate science at all.


  4. Egnor: Honest scientists don't publish papers talking about how to manipulate the public, and honest journals and scientific disciplines don't tolerate it.

    Another bait and switch. This time our host tries to make an impression that a science journal has published a political paper.

    He is wrong. Climate Change is "an interdisciplinary, international journal devoted to the description, causes and implications of climatic change." It isn't a pure science journal. It deals with science and policy.


    1. Hoo, you just got blown out of the water and didn't even bother to acknowledge it. You just moved on to your next irrelevant point. I guess love means never having to say you're sorry.

  5. And if it turns out that 20-40 years from its abundantly clear that you were dead wrong, what are you little fossil fuel industry puppets going to do? Say “sorry”?


    1. He'll be dead.


    2. @KW:

      I'm still waiting for you science apocalyptics to apologize for eugenics, overpopulation hysteria, pesticide hysteria, global cooling and heterosexual aids in the West.

      Perhaps in the future I'll have to apologize, just as people like me (devout Catholics and Protestants) might have had to apologize for their opposition to eugenics if eugenic apocalypticism turned out to be right.

      You need to apologize now.

    3. You'll be smiling in your grave, having not learned that the God thing was the biggest lie perpetrated on a couple of billion people.


    4. Hoo,

      The 'God thing' is not a lie. It is the best reasonable explanation for the reality that faces us.
      The lie is the one whispered to people since the dawn of human memory: 'You will be like gods', deciding what is good and what is evil.
      The lie is perpetuated today by the very same disciples of hubris that it always has been, including and increasing number of arrogant cultists in lab coats. It is a lie loved by people so entrenched in their material lives that they cannot face anything beyond. By dupes and the truly evil alike.

      Further, it is not a 'couple of billion people' who believe in God, transcendence, and/or the immaterial world. It is the VAST majority of all people alive and all those who have ever lived.
      That does not make the 'God thing' true, however.
      Reality is what makes it true. The cosmos makes it true.

      Let me break it down for you, in a very simple and reasonable fashion that also happens to be irrefutable.
      All things that come to exist (ie have a beginning) have a cause (efficient - not simply material). The Cosmos exists. Therefore the Cosmos has a (efficient) cause.
      This ancient and NEVER ONCE (sanely) refuted argument is the reason most people believe in something rather than nothing. This observation is a major (if not THE keystone) cornerstone of the metaphysical foundations that allow for reasonable inquiry. Put more simply: This is the reason any argument, inquiry, or philosophical question -EVER - has had any meaning what-so-ever.
      Without meaning and cause (efficient) there is no purpose to anything anyone has ever done.
      That includes science, BTW.
      Dispute those facts? There is only one way to do so, and it is a self refuting mess of circular logic. To dispute efficient causes you must be a material nihilist. You must assert there is no real objects, people, or natural events. That's the only way outl. To assert that only basic, fundamental particles that are past eternal and always will exist truly exist, and the reality were experience is illusory.
      Simply put: You must dispute your own existence and are a victim of a branch of that insane philosophy known as nihilism.
      You either exist and have a both a cause and may generate purpose (beyond the material), or you don't because you don't and cannot.
      It is a web of inescapable logic. The only way out is to discredit your own experiences, reality, and hence the very argument itself.

      The 'God thing' is a natural inference from those facts. The most reasonable and natural explanation. He is posited the 'first cause'. The external, efficient cause of what we call reality, the universe, the cosmos or what have you.
      Then you can add revelatory and experiential relations with the creator.

      Now when you add those rational and logical arguments to the history of revelations and religious traditions that have predicted the above LONG before CBR, the big bang, quantum physics, or even the nature of time-space (still largely a mystery), etc etc. were even considered.... and the 'God thing' becomes a little more tangible.
      Soon, and with intelligent reflection, it is not the 'couple of billion' (again, actually the massive majority of all humanity, ever) that seem to be the dupes. Instead it starts to look like it is the monistic materialists who come of as dupes,metaphysically blind, evil, or simply full of shit.
      I would not put you in those last categories, Hoo... and the first two are completely curable.
      I know that all to well from my own personal experience.

    5. Cool story bro.

      This ancient and NEVER ONCE (sanely) refuted argument is the reason most people believe in something rather than nothing.


    6. Troy,

      Cool response, son. Exactly what I would expect from you. Put the penny in and watch it laugh.

  6. So you think that a peer reviewed paper in a reasonable journal isn't worth much? Actually, that's true for much of which is published (also including books, music, motion pictures, television shows, etc).

    I work on the assumption that 10% of journal articles are first-rate, the remainder serving as filler.

    The paper deals with how AGW is communicated to the general population. It's similar to how the health hazards of cigarette smoking is communicated to the general public. You can only go so far with epidemiology, pathology and internal medicine. Eventually, the public switches off from the detail and denies everything, particularly if there's a well funded organisation attempting to prove the opposite.

    AGW isn't anything radical. The climate has changed, often greatly, in the past, due to variations in solar output, level of greenhouse gases, changes in Earth's albedo and in the long term changes in Earth's orbit and axial tilt (Milankovich cycles) and distribution of the continents.

    Humans burning enormous amounts of fossil fuels isn't doing anything that hasn't happened in the past (albeit for 'natural' reasons, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 MYA or the end of Permian mass extinction 250 MYA).

    Climate change, if it's fast enough (and the PETM was a global warming of 7 degrees Celsius over 25,000 years) results in mass extinctions. We're in the process of releasing a similar amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to that of previous mass extinctions.

    And you don't want to live through a mass extinction, because your species might survive (humans are pretty resourceful), but you might not.

    Agreed. Replacing the energy we currently obtain from fossil fuels (and the amount of energy needs to increase enormously owing to the increasing global population and the need to extend energy supplies to the billions who currently don't have much) will be difficult.

    But hoping that steadily increasing reserves of fossil fuels will be discovered that will be recoverable cheaply and quickly enough to fuel the increasing global demands for energy is foolish.

    And that's even before considering whether AGW is going to have dire effects. We might finish up with a situation where we have to adapt to climate change without the required energy to do so. For example, it might be possible to adapt to famine in one part of the world by shipping grain from other areas (such as the new crop lands of Northern Canada?). But if there's no oil to fuel the cargo ships? Or it's very expensive?

  7. I've seen some of this even in my own field of work, which is hydrocephalus and cerebral blood flow research. Scientists become involved in politics and trying to "educate" the public on the perceived value of their work, to drum up funding, increase prestige, etc.

    Why do you only mention funding and prestige as motives for scientists to get involved in politics? I think that says more about you than about the scientists. Has it occurred to you that those scientists might actually care about the future of humankind?

    1. This came up once in a medical school debate I had with a human embryonic stem cell researcher. He said that the use of hesc's for research was essential for helping humanity. I pointed out that taking his research grants and using them to buy water purification filters for third world villages would save far more lives immediately than hesc research would save even hypothetically. 3 million babies die of diarrhea from dirty water each year in Africa alone.

      Actually, science per se has had much less benefit to humanity in terms of lifespan than we generally think. Proper sanitation, separation of waste water from drinking water, and relatively inexpensive vaccines and pesticides have been largely responsible for extending life.

      People who build sewage systems in Africa save a hell of a lot more lives than all of the neurosurgeons in the world.

      If scientists were mainly concerned with helping humanity, they would give their grant money to public health projects in third world countries.

    2. Michael,

      Broadly speaking, virtually everyone is doing science, whenever they make an observation, formulate an hypothesis to explain the observation and then set out to test (to disprove) the hypothesis by making further observations.

      And this includes people without formal science qualifications, such as Edward Jenner who noticed that cow maids were relatively insusceptible to smallpox and wondered whether it was exposure to cowpox that was the explanation.

      Science led to sanitation, provision of safe drinking water, insecticides and vaccines. It's an ongoing business, because we'll never know everything that there's to know (an exception to my previous statement that statements with 'never' are almost always not true).

      The 3 million African children saved yearly by the prevention of deaths due to diarrheal diseases makes science even more necessary. The increasing African population means that there will be more encroachment on African jungles, risking a new pandemic similar to HIV, but more lethal. So surveillance is vitally important.

      And only science can do this.

    3. If scientists were mainly concerned with helping humanity, they would give their grant money to public health projects in third world countries.

      You seem to think grant money is wired to a scientist's bank account and she can do with it as she sees fit. If so, I have some news for you. There would also be a slightly larger colony of retired scientists on the Cayman islands than is currently the case.

      Happy thanksgiving to you US scroungers while us Europeans toil away!