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the_ignored
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2558 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2009 :  09:53:23  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He talks about it here.

Whether you like what he says or not, I don't know.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- a group of thousands of scientists in 194 countries around the world, and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize -- has issued several comprehensive reports in which they indicate that they have become convinced that "global warming" is and will be seriously destructive to life as we know it, and that Man is the chief cause of it. They say that there is a consensus of scientists who believe we are headed for disaster if we do not stop burning fossil fuels, but a growing number of prominent scientists disagree. Meanwhile, some 32,000 scientists, 9,000 of them PhDs, have signed The Petition Project statement proclaiming that Man is not necessarily the chief cause of warming, that the phenomenon may not exist at all, and that, in any case, warming would not be disastrous.


I know that PZ Myers doesn't care for it.

Why?
The other source of his skepticism is one that Randi should have been more skeptical about: the Petition Project. This is a project by the denialists to gather enough signatures to show a strong pattern of dissent in the scientific community (Sound familiar? The Discovery Institute has done exactly the same thing with their "Dissent from Darwin" list). They've got over 30,000 signatures so far! However, as with the Discovery Institute's list, only a tiny proportion of the signatories are actually qualified, and their procedure for gathering signatures is incredibly sloppy and prone to accumulate fake names.


Edit: I like how this commentator takes things into perspective.


>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.

Edited by - the_ignored on 12/16/2009 10:59:55

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2009 :  10:55:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Randi was on a denialist rant a few years ago, but he seemed to have gotten sufficient opposition and strong man-made global warming arguments to have corrected that. It's sad to see he's sliding in the same denialist direction once again.

I hope Randi's real friends among scientist will once again present him the known facts, and help reveal to him the Petition Project for the public relations and political fraud it is.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
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Dave W.
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Posted - 12/16/2009 :  11:58:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jeff Wagg is goofy on this issue, also. He presents it as a "big debate" (which it's not, amongst climatologists), suggests that what he knows about AGW comes from the "environmental movement" on the one side and "political pundits" on the other (and absurdly says that he thinks "the truth lies in the middle"), and then hypocritically admonishes people to argue in the comments with data in hand.

I know that the point of Wagg's piece is to point out that it's important to know what "the other side" thinks, but it was disappointing to see him harp on "the science" and "the data," while basically announcing that he doesn't know either, that what he does know comes from "the airwaves."

I think Randi's in the same boat. He doesn't know the science (he even admits as much), but he apparently feels confident enough to offer opinions, although with many qualifiers. What is it about these guys that they can't seem to be able to say "I don't know enough to have an opinion," and leave it at that until they've actually looked at the research? That would certainly solve Wagg's "trust" issues with both the left- and right-wing activists.

Good grief. Why the hell should Wagg even be concerned about trusting either side, when the data and research are available for all to see, including him? Seems like an abdication of critical thinking, to me.

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astropin
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USA
970 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2009 :  14:23:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seems like an abdication of critical thinking, to me.


Bingo.

People look to these people for opinion....and unfortunately they provide them even when they shouldn't. We've all probably been guilty of this at some level.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2009 :  14:28:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.
Seems like an abdication of critical thinking, to me.
Yes, Randi failed abysmally in his responsibility to the facts. Look at this statement:
I strongly suspect that The Petition Project may be valid. I base this on my admittedly rudimentary knowledge of the facts about planet Earth.
Why would Randi have to "suspect" anything about The Petition Project when he could have researched it in about 5 minutes? Randi isn't just expressing doubt, he's trying to defend it through willful ignorance. Shameful.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

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dv82matt
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760 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2009 :  15:21:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Frankly the global warming camp are overly defensive and becoming so reactionary that it is impossible to debate the issue. Yes the debate may be substantially over among the experts but this is a political issue that everyone is "supposed" to have an opinion on even if they don't yet know enough about it to have an informed opinion. Those advocating for action on climate change should focus more on attempting to convince the electorate with substantive arguments rather than becoming hyperbolic, fudging data and demonizing those who express a contrary opinion. Granted there are deniers out there who are actively misleading the public and they need to be countered but let's not tar all dissenters with the same brush.

That said the case for global warming is convincing. Where I think it falls down in the mind of the public is, why is global warming that big a deal. Sure global warming is happening and caused by humans but why is that a problem? A warmer planet might even seem like a pleasant prospect to some.
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Dave W.
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Posted - 12/16/2009 :  20:19:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dv82matt

Yes the debate may be substantially over among the experts but this is a political issue that everyone is "supposed" to have an opinion on even if they don't yet know enough about it to have an informed opinion.
The debate should be about what to do about the warming. The problem is those who are actively trying to stifle that debate by denying that the warming is even occurring, or that there's absolutely nothing which can be done about it.
Those advocating for action on climate change should focus more on attempting to convince the electorate with substantive arguments rather than becoming hyperbolic, fudging data and demonizing those who express a contrary opinion.
There's a huge difference between "a contrary opinion" and outright lies intended to convince conservative policymakers that doing nothing is in the best interest of their voters. The people who are demonized are not the everyday Joe who thinks that there's nothing which can be done, they are instead the people with a public microphone who tell Joe that AGW isn't a problem.
Granted there are deniers out there who are actively misleading the public and they need to be countered but let's not tar all dissenters with the same brush.
I don't think anyone is tarring Randi with that brush. The reaction to what he's said is one of supreme disappointment. Randi doesn't even know enough to dissent, which is the cause of that disappointment.

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dv82matt
SFN Regular

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Posted - 12/16/2009 :  22:35:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

The debate should be about what to do about the warming. The problem is those who are actively trying to stifle that debate by denying that the warming is even occurring, or that there's absolutely nothing which can be done about it.
I don't see that the debate has been stifled by the denialists alone. The advocates have done their bit of stifling as well. There has been scant frank and honest discussion from all sides. That's the nature of politics. Once an issue becomes political the quality of the arguments decline.

There's a huge difference between "a contrary opinion" and outright lies intended to convince conservative policymakers that doing nothing is in the best interest of their voters. The people who are demonized are not the everyday Joe who thinks that there's nothing which can be done, they are instead the people with a public microphone who tell Joe that AGW isn't a problem.
Is AGW a problem? I mean sure it is happening but is it actually a problem? Why is it a problem? What sorts of problems might we expect to see if we do nothing? Is it plausible that we could avoid climate change completely if we act aggresively?

I don't see answers to substantial questions like these being spoonfed to the public often enough. Instead it's just the same old soundbites of more storms and droughts and rising sealevels without addressing the actual impact of those things or considering the mitigating factors. So yeah if people are starved for information they might wind up getting their information from the deniers.

I don't think anyone is tarring Randi with that brush. The reaction to what he's said is one of supreme disappointment.
But disappointment isn't a productive reaction. If your kid fails a class you might be dissapointed with your kid. If the whole class fails you might suspect that the problem doesn't lie with your kid.

The arguments that support the need to take action to deal with AGW are either not getting through effectively or are flawed somehow. That's a bigger problem than Randi not reciting the party line.

Randi doesn't even know enough to dissent, which is the cause of that disappointment.
That's actually a good thing. It likely means his dissent is "weak" and he may be brought round if he hears a convincing argument.

Conversely most people who support taking action on AGW don't know enough to support it either. That is what makes many of them susceptible to the denialist's arguments.
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Dave W.
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Posted - 12/17/2009 :  00:09:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dv82matt

I don't see that the debate has been stifled by the denialists alone. The advocates have done their bit of stifling as well.
There's also a difference between advocating for mitigation strategies for AGW and doomsaying. Don't tar all the advocates with the same brush, either.
There has been scant frank and honest discussion from all sides.
Actually, there's quite a lot of it, it just doesn't reach the major news outlets because it's boring. Covering the doomsayers and denialists generates much more ad income, which is my problem with where Jeff Wagg is apparently getting his impressions of the AGW "debate."
That's the nature of politics. Once an issue becomes political the quality of the arguments decline.
It's unfortunate, then, that all issues which address global concerns and limited resources must be political.
Is AGW a problem? I mean sure it is happening but is it actually a problem? Why is it a problem? What sorts of problems might we expect to see if we do nothing? Is it plausible that we could avoid climate change completely if we act aggresively?

I don't see answers to substantial questions like these being spoonfed to the public often enough. Instead it's just the same old soundbites of more storms and droughts and rising sealevels without addressing the actual impact of those things or considering the mitigating factors.
And as I'm sure you know, that's because the radicals have access to bigger microphones.
So yeah if people are starved for information they might wind up getting their information from the deniers.
But even the deniers talk about the IPCC reports, in which those questions are addressed, even in layman's terms. And the IPCC reports are available for anyone to read. The problems arise because some people won't pick up the spoon to feed themselves, and other believe the deniers' crappola about the IPCC reports being worthless or even fraudulent.
I don't think anyone is tarring Randi with that brush. The reaction to what he's said is one of supreme disappointment.
But disappointment isn't a productive reaction.
It is if the target of your disappointment doesn't want to disappoint you. Rumor has it that Randi will be re-addressing this issue very soon because of the reaction his statements have created.
If your kid fails a class you might be dissapointed with your kid. If the whole class fails you might suspect that the problem doesn't lie with your kid.
But if your kid is teaching the class which failed, you might suspect your kid. Randi knows he's a leader, and right or wrong, at least a few people look to him for help in forming their own conclusions about a variety of public issues. Given what I've read about his reaction to his readers' reactions, it's obvious that he doesn't want to teach people the wrong stuff.
The arguments that support the need to take action to deal with AGW are either not getting through effectively or are flawed somehow. That's a bigger problem than Randi not reciting the party line.
The disappointment isn't because Randi failed to recite the party line, it's because he had clearly failed to think critically about this issue, even though that's what he champions. He didn't offer a dissenting argument based on logic and reason, he offered a bunch of excuses for failing to make an argument either way and (worst of all) a deeply flawed argumentum ad populum in lieu of any actual data.
Randi doesn't even know enough to dissent, which is the cause of that disappointment.
That's actually a good thing. It likely means his dissent is "weak" and he may be brought round if he hears a convincing argument.
Again, the issue isn't his dissent. It's that he chose to opine about something he's admittedly ignorant about, based on "evidence" that he didn't bother to vet correctly. He acted in a fashion which is contradictory to his own goals.
Conversely most people who support taking action on AGW don't know enough to support it either. That is what makes many of them susceptible to the denialist's arguments.
James Randi isn't "most people." Al Gore isn't "most people," either, but Gore didn't create an educational foundation dedicated to promoting critical thought.

As a realist, I'm well aware that "most people" have neither the time nor inclination to read the original research that supports the idea that we must act now to counter AGW or suffer greater hardships in the future. But that's exactly what makes it important for people like Randi, who have microphones to which some subset of "most people" listen, to get things right the first time they choose to speak on a subject. To actually present an argument, instead of a lot of "I don't know, but..." nonsense. I'm pretty sure it would have been a lot easier for Randi to simply not write about AGW than it was for him to write the long, screwed-up piece he did. And now because of that effort, he's probably going to go through a lot more effort to clear the air.

But because he chose to speak from ignorance, he's undoubtedly added to the armament of the political denialists, no matter what he says about AGW in the future. As The Ignored noted in chat tonight, if Randi later comes out in favor of action, the vocal political denialists (given their demonstrated lack of concern for facts) will frame that as Randi being forced to get back in line by the rabid environmentalists. It's a lose/lose situation for AGW politics, one that could have been avoided quite easily.

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dv82matt
SFN Regular

760 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2009 :  02:30:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

There's also a difference between advocating for mitigation strategies for AGW and doomsaying. Don't tar all the advocates with the same brush, either.
So which advocates in particular do you think I should single out then? Personally I'm reluctant to single anyone in particular out since most that are in the public eye have done at least a little doomsaying.

Actually, there's quite a lot of it, it just doesn't reach the major news outlets because it's boring. Covering the doomsayers and denialists generates much more ad income, which is my problem with where Jeff Wagg is apparently getting his impressions of the AGW "debate."
An Inconvenient Truth was a good start. A lot of people watched that. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't too boring. Why can't there be more of that sort of easily digestible stuff produced?

And as I'm sure you know, that's because the radicals have access to bigger microphones.
Maybe they just don't know how to communicate their message effectively. There's big microphones out there that are not Fox News.

But even the deniers talk about the IPCC reports, in which those questions are addressed, even in layman's terms. And the IPCC reports are available for anyone to read. The problems arise because some people won't pick up the spoon to feed themselves, and other believe the deniers' crappola about the IPCC reports being worthless or even fraudulent.
Sound like some people would prefer to bemoan human nature rather than adjust their strategy to compensate.

It is if the target of your disappointment doesn't want to disappoint you. Rumor has it that Randi will be re-addressing this issue very soon because of the reaction his statements have created.
No, it's still counter-productive because it comes across as if he is recanting to the inquisition rather than honestly evaluating the evidence. You acknowledge this problem further down.

If your kid fails a class you might be dissapointed with your kid. If the whole class fails you might suspect that the problem doesn't lie with your kid.
But if your kid is teaching the class which failed, you might suspect your kid.
Which neatly misses the point.

Randi knows he's a leader, and right or wrong, at least a few people look to him for help in forming their own conclusions about a variety of public issues. Given what I've read about his reaction to his readers' reactions, it's obvious that he doesn't want to teach people the wrong stuff.
That's all well and good naturally.


The disappointment isn't because Randi failed to recite the party line, it's because he had clearly failed to think critically about this issue, even though that's what he champions. He didn't offer a dissenting argument based on logic and reason, he offered a bunch of excuses for failing to make an argument either way and (worst of all) a deeply flawed argumentum ad populum in lieu of any actual data.
He did make some mistakes sure. How upset or disappointed would people be if he failed to think critically while reciting the party line? Not very, I'd guess, which puts the lie to that high-minded reason.

Again, the issue isn't his dissent. It's that he chose to opine about something he's admittedly ignorant about, based on "evidence" that he didn't bother to vet correctly. He acted in a fashion which is contradictory to his own goals.
The issue is dissent. Maybe not for you I can't read your mind but you're kidding yourself if you think it's not the main issue for most people. Yes I know. Let's bemoan human nature now.

James Randi isn't "most people." Al Gore isn't "most people," either, but Gore didn't create an educational foundation dedicated to promoting critical thought.
So Randi should be an exemplar of critical thought. Well he's really more of a debunker than an accomplished rationalist, so maybe he let his debunking instincts run a little loose.

As a realist, I'm well aware that "most people" have neither the time nor inclination to read the original research that supports the idea that we must act now to counter AGW or suffer greater hardships in the future. But that's exactly what makes it important for people like Randi, who have microphones to which some subset of "most people" listen, to get things right the first time they choose to speak on a subject. To actually present an argument, instead of a lot of "I don't know, but..." nonsense. I'm pretty sure it would have been a lot easier for Randi to simply not write about AGW than it was for him to write the long, screwed-up piece he did. And now because of that effort, he's probably going to go through a lot more effort to clear the air.
But drama intrigues our monkey brains. Randi writing a screwed up piece attracts eyeballs. Not to suggest that it's an ideal situation but you suggested above that one of the main problems the AGWers have is that they are boring.

But because he chose to speak from ignorance, he's undoubtedly added to the armament of the political denialists, no matter what he says about AGW in the future. As The Ignored noted in chat tonight, if Randi later comes out in favor of action, the vocal political denialists (given their demonstrated lack of concern for facts) will frame that as Randi being forced to get back in line by the rabid environmentalists. It's a lose/lose situation for AGW politics, one that could have been avoided quite easily.
It's only lose/lose if the glass is half empty. The real danger is in squandering the opportunity. Make global warming a compelling story (without fudging the data) and people will pay attention.
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Dave W.
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USA
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Posted - 12/17/2009 :  07:41:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dv82matt

So which advocates in particular do you think I should single out then? Personally I'm reluctant to single anyone in particular out since most that are in the public eye have done at least a little doomsaying.
I suppose it depends on what is meant by "doomsaying." The more conservative estimates of the economic and social costs of unmitigated AGW aren't doomsaying, but anyone screaming that AGW means we're all gonna die certainly is.
An Inconvenient Truth was a good start. A lot of people watched that. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't too boring. Why can't there be more of that sort of easily digestible stuff produced?
Perhaps you should take that up with the groups who have money to produce such things. I certainly can't tell you why they're not doing it.
Maybe they just don't know how to communicate their message effectively. There's big microphones out there that are not Fox News.
That's why I said "radicals" and not "right-wing denialists." The environmentalists with big microphones seem (to me) to largely be doomsayers, which is the cause of Jeff Wagg's issues with "the airwaves."
Sound like some people would prefer to bemoan human nature rather than adjust their strategy to compensate.
Yeah, one cannot do both.
No, it's still counter-productive because it comes across as if he is recanting to the inquisition rather than honestly evaluating the evidence. You acknowledge this problem further down.
That's only counter-productive in an atmosphere where the possibility that thousands of climate scientists are conspiring to falsify conclusions is taken seriously. We're not quite there, yet.
Which neatly misses the point.
No, it fixes the analogy. Randi's not a student, he's a teacher.
He did make some mistakes sure. How upset or disappointed would people be if he failed to think critically while reciting the party line? Not very, I'd guess, which puts the lie to that high-minded reason.
The evidence, in the form of posts from James Hrynyshyn, Greg Laden, PZ Myers and Orac suggests otherwise. They all seem more concerned with the lack of critical thought on Randi's part than the content of the conclusion Randi reached.
The issue is dissent. Maybe not for you I can't read your mind but you're kidding yourself if you think it's not the main issue for most people.
I don't know where you're getting your data.
So Randi should be an exemplar of critical thought. Well he's really more of a debunker than an accomplished rationalist, so maybe he let his debunking instincts run a little loose.
Actually, he's a debunker because he's an accomplished rationalist.
But drama intrigues our monkey brains. Randi writing a screwed up piece attracts eyeballs. Not to suggest that it's an ideal situation but you suggested above that one of the main problems the AGWers have is that they are boring.
No, I said that the actual policy debates are boring. The doomsaying of the radical AGW proponents isn't boring.
It's only lose/lose if the glass is half empty. The real danger is in squandering the opportunity. Make global warming a compelling story (without fudging the data) and people will pay attention.
In the light of what the deniers are going to do with this, I have trouble seeing how there's much of an upside. Look at what creationists do with biologists who "change their minds" (even when they don't). Admitting mistakes and correcting oneself is one of the most compelling aspects of science and skepticism, one of the core strengths, but denialists (of any stripe) portray it as a massive flaw. How can any strategy be effective against that kind of treatment?

But, who's fudging what data?

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2009 :  08:02:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dv82matt
Those advocating for action on climate change should focus more on attempting to convince the electorate with substantive arguments rather than becoming hyperbolic, fudging data and demonizing those who express a contrary opinion.
Do you have concrete examples where this is done, so I can read about it and take a stand against it? (Taking stand against fudging data, that is)

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Dave W.
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USA
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Posted - 12/17/2009 :  10:38:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by dv82matt

No, it's still counter-productive because it comes across as if he is recanting to the inquisition rather than honestly evaluating the evidence. You acknowledge this problem further down.
That's only counter-productive in an atmosphere where the possibility that thousands of climate scientists are conspiring to falsify conclusions is taken seriously. We're not quite there, yet.
Let me clarify the above.

There are plenty of people who are of the opinion that denialists should simply be ignored, because they're so far out to lunch that their opinions make not a bit of difference to the scientific consensus. Some of these people will have written off Randi already as a crank himself, but most (I think) will be waiting to see what Randi has to say once he's educated himself on the subject, because the ideal of carefully following a reasonable process from observation to conclusion is more important than what that conclusion is. For these folks, the problem wasn't Randi's disagreement, but his tossing the skepticism rulebook out the window. If he fixes that problem, regardless of his conclusion, it'll be a win.

But once again, a boring one for most of the public. This sort of thing doesn't make for a compelling narrative unless you're already deeply passionate about science advocacy itself, in which case (again) what Randi thinks is less important than how he got there.

(In fact, if James Randi comes back and presents a solid case against AGW, a lot of us here will be much happier than if he simply regurgitates the "party line." After all, if the doomsayers are correct, then in 50 years my kid will be living in a much more hellish world (if he survives the intervening turmoil and strife). I'd much prefer that people not be responsible for any such thing and that what we're seeing are simply natural cycles which won't get all that bad. But, from what I know, there's little reason to doubt that the more conservative estimates are very likely to occur if we do nothing. And I certainly can't pick my personal preferences over the science, in terms of what policy I advocate.)

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
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Posted - 12/17/2009 :  11:35:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Randi’s follow up.

I Am Not "Denying" Anything

It looks like I was right in chat last night. Phil Plait has set him straight on a couple of things. On the other hand, I think
Randi should admit that he was not careful enough, being a critical thinker and all, even though he says he cut down a much longer piece for the sake of fitting into the Swift format, and much of the clarity was lost with regard to some of his statements, and be done with it.

And he shouldn’t defend bogus statements on the grounds that they promote dialog.

Edited to add:

And then there is also this. The default for what skeptics should support is what the consensus of scientists in the field they are expert in tell us. It's as simple as that. Randi, in his response, continues to rationalize his way out of a position that is generally accepted by those of us who, like Randi, identify with the scientific school of skepticism. (That's another thing we talked about in chat last night.)




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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

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Posted - 12/17/2009 :  12:44:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let me remind everyone what Randi actually said:
Meanwhile, some 32,000 scientists, 9,000 of them PhDs, have signed The Petition Project statement proclaiming that Man is not necessarily the chief cause of warming, that the phenomenon may not exist at all, and that, in any case, warming would not be disastrous.
To summarize, Global Warming probably isn't happening, but if it is it isn't caused by people. Also, it's irrelevant because the consequences of GW are negligible. Randi said that he "strongly suspected" this sentiment to be "valid." That's an endorsement of the denialist position, however qualified it may have been.

Yet today he expresses shock and dismay that anyone could think him a denialist. Sensibly, he retracts his support of the Petition Project, yet offers no explanation for why he was duped by such a transparent ruse in the first place, nor offers any apology for failing in his responsibility to think critically. He offers no acceptance of accountability. Oh, wait. Here it is:
I received a storm (no pun intended) of comments, many of which showed a lack of careful reading that led to unfair presumptions and interpretations.
So this dust-up is all the readers' fault, not Randi's. Color me unimpressed.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 12/17/2009 12:46:05
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

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Posted - 12/17/2009 :  13:08:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I too, am less than excited by Randi's "denial." I have said it before; climate change is happening and the only question is to what extent our activities are responsible. We are, no doubt about it, at least partially responsible, but no one has come up with a firm number as yet; at least not one that I have seen. Until then, I withhold judgement -- call me a denialist if you must.

On the other hand, even if we have little or nothing to do with it (unlikely), what harm is there in cleaning up our act? That would certainly make a sweaty future a little more comfortable.

And on the gripping hand, I don't think that the current climate talks are going to amount to squat. In the typical fashion of our species, we will lock the barn after the horse has been eaten by the bear.

Sapience sucks!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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