#4 SGU speaking about Climategate report
: leads me into thinking about "True Believer" psychological behaviour

- Skeptical about everything except Global Warming
- The Skeptics Guide to the Universe usually sets a high standard in critical thinking and skepticsm so I was shocked to hear them talking in episode 228 in the tone of Greenpeace activists as they discussed letters they had received in response to the previous episode, so I went back to episode 227 where there is an item on Climategate. My God it was terrible they broke all their own rules on logical argument. It sounds like the kneejerk reaction of a Greenpeace fundraiser made angry and frustrated by watching Fox News and needing to vigorously defend the IPCC position.

Fallacy 1 . Loaded Terms - Steve introduced the article using loaded terms "someone hacked into", "the stolen emails" actually it could well be an inside job so in that case it's a leak or whistleblower so the emails are really been proven to be hacked or stolen fallacy 2 . an emotional tone

Fallacy 2 . Name Calling : Rebecca said "can we call them deniers, not skeptics"

Fallacy 3 . Straw Man : They are making hysterical claims "they say this is the final nail", "it's really nothing", "only if you interpret it in a sinster way" He picks a weak example and says "that's basically what they are all like" immediately contradicted by Rebecca saying "instances of calling scientists to be boycotted from publication", "it's normal to normalise the curves", big bucket of whitewashTotally unobjective defensive stance

Fallacy 4. False Dichotomy - by continually using the term "denialists" they created the impression that theere are only 2 types of opinion 1. The truth and 2. "The Denialists" ... Steve starts to backtrack on this later "minority opinions are important"

- More Analaysis

Fallacy 5. "oh it's a conspiracy" unsupported by any evidence - Says Climategate is part of an organised campaign similar to the Tobacco Industry denialism campaign sewing fear and confusion to stop policy. (the tobacco industry was a real conspiracy and was prosecuted for it. ("oh it's a conspiracy" is usually a sign of a weak argument. Very rarely there are real conspiracies, but it shouldn't be allowed in an argument unless concrete evidence is given)
- BTW David King in the Radio 3 interview also spoke of a tobacco-industry like conspiracy, but gave no evidence

- It's obvious Steve cares so he was not appropriate voice to read this item as he could not be objective .

- credibility about Climatecan't see the wood for the trees ... panel are too chummy they don't challenge each otheryou would benefit from broadening the panel somehow so that you are looking at the world from a wider perspectiveI have been concerned for some time

- Name Calling - Can't there be some protocol about how we label groups so not to prejudice arguments i.e. call them what they call themselves as long as it's not too long or hijacking an official title
- The use of the word denier is an example of creating a false dichotomy i.e. that there are 2 groups Those that believe every word that IPCCsays and are sure catastrophe is coming and the "Climate Change deniers". Actually I deny that catastrophe is certain and like many people believe that Climate Changes like it has always changed. Climate Change deniers are not denying that climate changes , cos history tell us climate is not a static thing.

- There is a certain amount of American type overconfidence in the way the SGU people speak ... One said "Wow this solar cell uses less silicon , and silicon is expensive..."...actually silicon is sand and is one of the earth's most abundant materials

- my letter to SGU

SGU talk like "True Believers on Climategate"
- Again SGU talks about Global Warming in the same way pseudoscience talks about its pet project.
- SGU does a good job of debunking Homeopathy, anti-vaccine, chiropractic, 911 Conspiracy theorists etc. When these people get into a debate one can analise their arguments point by point, but inevitably it takes 80 pages to properly debunk them. But when these pseudoscience people speak there is a distinct pattern of psychological behaviour.
- "True Believers", People who want to believe something and are deceiving themselves have a clear pattern of behaviour

- In episode Tam8 They were having a rational discussion and then Steve starts speaking "yep, a third report has come out about the Climategate emails, and it's a third report completely exonerating the CRU scientists."... I'm a bit out of the loop so I know nothing about these reports, but what I do recognise straight away is the warning signs, that Steve's is speaking in the same manner as pseudoscience like "True Believers" do :

1. Emotional Attachment : There's a pleading emotional tone
2. Over simplification to get to certainty : Every opportunity is taken to rush to a quick judgement. Taking a headline to make something black and white and not talk of complexities or shades off grey.
3. Exasperation : taking a side and saying " those others just don't get it"
4. Personalising and Demonising - any questioning of the evidence is taken as a personal insult and the questioners portrayed as demons
5. Deflection: move the argument to attack your opponent. In this case saying "well it's all the fault of all those people sending in those FOI requests. "
6. Cronyism : True Believers surround themselves with fellow believers and exclude non-believers. Once in that kind of group there is peer pressure to conform. See how in this case the panel play follow the leader.
7. Noise : Off the main points and quickly on to an enormous number of side issues and attacking people, scoffing etc.
- This is a convenient ruse for "believers" as they can pick side topics which are easier to defend than their flimsey main beliefs. Sometimes they are so certain about the core they feel there is no need to debate it. But this CRU investigation is different as there must be new evidence. I was waiting for Steve to present this .. To say something like .."well it looked like Phil Jones had sent an email saying 'destroy' your data, but it turns out the KGB wrote it"
- but no he did not clearly present any refutations of last years main points. And this severely damages his own credibility and arguments. Because he didn't explain then I can't believe his claim that the report completely exonerated CRU. Instead he quickly moved onto noise and attacking the other side.

- A rational person would have laid out the evidence in a clear and impartial manner point by point. Just imagine if a report had come out into a scandal in homeopathy or chiropractors etc "An investigation has come out about last years scandal
- about Big Claim X it said ... So....
- about Big Claim Y it said ... So....
- about Big Claim Z it said ... So....
- So overall the report exonerated the Homeopathy researchers of any wrong doing"

- it's immediately suspicions that Steve didn't pick up last years big claims one by one, but instead rushed to give a judgment. "picture somone sticking their fingers in their ears, saying I can't hear you"

Checking into the 3 Climategate Investigations.
: Investigations expected to be a whitewashes turn out to be whitewashes.. no surprise

- So after Steve's "True Believer" type behaviour I went to check some stuff

- Life is too short to do a full check of the 3 reports...
What did you really expect ? Was anybody expecting that investigations commissioned by the CRU organisations themselves would be very damming against the CRU ?
... one clear point if the Penn State or CRU investigations had cast doubt on their own working practices then future funding would be likely to be severely cut. With the investigators own salaries dependent on this funding and fact they sit in the canteen with the accused researchers it's not such a surprise the investigation was not condemning.
Now The UK government investigation is independent of these organizations, but it's conclusions may well have politically affected. Politicians wouldn't be happy if it weakened the foundations of environmental and energy campaigns that they are locked into.

- Sidestepping says guilty, otherwise they would have dealt with the issues headon.
- So far it seems that rather than refute the key accusations the 3 reports sidestepped investigating them. The fact that the reports didn't prove the accusations to be false doesn't prove that the accusations are true, but it does add a lot of weight to the argument that CRU often behaved improperly.

- The easiest place to get the story is to listen to the Guardian debate....a lot more helpful than Steve Novella's "believers" style mention in the SGU live TAM8 podcast ,
but note a couple of important edits : that Steve McIntyre's excellent speech is apparently edited out of the video (it's in the audio) and Douglas J. Keenan opening remarks were also edited out of both audio and video since he made direct accusation of fraud against Phil Jones (keeping one of Keenan's reports out of a peer reviewed journal was mentioned in an email by Jones). So he posted the opening remarks here

- The overloaded with FOI requests red herring - Steve Mcintyre explains
1. There were 60
2. Some were duplicates, cos earlier requests were ignored he got his mates to request the same thing to show that the info was generally wanted and he was no lone crank.
3. Doesn't it take a lot of time to deal with these FOIRs ? No Phil Jones suggested loads of the requests would be satisfied if he put up 1 webpage.
4. Since the scientists work for the UK taxpayer then it's part of their job to comply.

This guy wrote an aricle last year saying the skeptic movement is being "true believers"

- Rod Lidell : said "A powerful editorial in New Scientist about Muir Russell's report into those emails leaked from East Anglia's Climate Research Unit. It does not quite call Russell's publication a whitewash, but comes fairly close."
Also .. An article by Fred Pearce (The skeptic enviromental writer)

Oct 2011 Everytime I come across some mention of Climate its' someone doing 2+2=6 and that's bollocks

- Even Simon Singh is at it : a great thinker, but then in the Spectator Climate debate he made his whole "an argument from authority". What garbage it's the science not the people

a Stew Green Opinion

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