Peter Gleick violated a principle rule of the global-warming debate: Climate scientists must be better than their opponents.[…]
Taking the high road is not easy or fun. But Gleick and the rest of us who favor decarbonizing the world economy have to be, and should want to be, the adults in the debate. Gleick’s confession and apology Monday are more than climate scientists ever got from deniers for the overblown “Climategate” e-mail scandal. But it would have been far better if he hadn’t needed to provide either.
Why? They won’t get credit for being “better” even if they are. Politifact will rate the deniers’ claims as mostly true, Tom Friedman and Fred Hiatt will tell us the truth is in the middle, that Extremist Scientists are as bad as flat-earthers, etc. etc.
What’s the point of civiling while American burns? What does it accomplish?
It keeps those damn hippies in their place?
It’s so we can all go to the cocktail party, duh!
Another thread? How many tabs am I supposed to keep open here, anyway?
every time i fear i am being decidedly uncivil with a winger, i read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/06/right-stupidity-spreads-enabled-polite-left
another juicer posted it previously but i can’t remember whom.
Climate scientists only have to do good, accurate work. If they have extra time to bulldoze their opponents into the ground, so much the better.
Civility = using the term deniers.
I suggest a new principle rule: win the fucking debate.
Why? What the has that ever got you?
I still don’t get how this is anything close to a scandal.
What’s the point of civiling while American burns? What does it accomplish?
You don’t want David Brooks to get all the civility awards, do you? And that’s what’s important in the Village — giving civility awards to David Brooks.
BTW, y’all are having some trouble with current posts disappearing and old posts — like from Feb. 19th — getting pinned to the front page…
Americans tend to over-focus on what they may or may not win, that they ignore what they may or may not lose.
The scientific community has something that keeps at least half of voters on their side – trust. So here’s the question you should be asking:
“Will bending the rules win over more people by revealing something new, or will it lose more people who value the rules?”
I’d wager you lose more than you’ll ever gain. The GOP does the usual political split – with a political and a militant wing. The political wing focuses on maintaining trust and the other wing focuses on digging dirt, discrediting the opposition, and so on. James O’Keefe is sort of the poster child for that gone wrong by putting a face to it. Roger Stone is another example.
The Dems don’t really have this. The militant wing of the left digs dirt and discredits Dems, not Republicans, just showing how bad Dems are at it. So, yeah, break the rules and lie and steal, but don’t send in the guys whose trade is based in trust, find some other guys.
Hey! What happened to John’s “Why Run?” post? It was there. I still have it open on a tab. But now it’s gone.
As for totebagger level politeness, the wingnuts keep moving the window of reasonableness to the right. If there isn’t pushback on the same level, the window stays right. So there was some “incivility” on the let. Big fucking deal. A little more of that would be very welcome.
Hell’s bells, all he did was pick the lock on the wingnut gun cabinet, owned by wingnuts who claimed to be unarmed victims of George Soros and Big Climate.
Now that we know they’re armed and with what, the only question is what do we do with the knowledge. Admittedly, it’s hilarious watching Heartland try to slam the cabinet door closed and yell, “What cabinet?”
Making sure that you continue to receive a paycheck while America burns. Living in gated communities ain’t cheap, you know.
Yeah, well I don’t give a flying fuck about civility. And calling stupid assholes like you “deniers” is the most civil thing I can imagine. I prefer “brain dead idiots who should be eating the poo they so enjoy flinging” as the most civil thing to say to you and your compadres.
If you fight with one hand behind your back, carrying your tote bag, you cannot win.
no, civility is holding back from calling you a moronic fuckbag, that is literally a fucking bag of fuck.
No. The situation is this, those that preach civility and integrity are the ones who fail to conform these ‘principles’ while attempting to hamstring their opponents with them. So I think it’s a fools game to let yourself engage in any sort of political issue by using rules set by others when they have no intention of following them.
And when I say ‘political’ it is a political issue. The science is in. The science is right. The science, if anything, is far more conservative than it should be because, ironically, scientists are kind of conservative in these areas. They tend to pull-back and understate far more than they go balls-to-the-wall and overstate.
There is no debate. One side speaks in factual reason and the other in cultural emotion. Might as well try and have a debate in two different languages, which we are. If we want to win the debate, we better come up with a way to explain this stuff to people that don’t value science over culture.
I still don’t understand what the Gleick apologized for.
Well DougJarvus Green-Ellis better watch out. As a mathematician, there are plenty of skeletons in his junk sciency mathy closet.
I read that Isaac Newton (practitioner of the junk science alchemy) rigged the panel that decided whether he or Leibniz invented The Calculus.
Pretty unethical behavior that calls calculus into question. And what rickety ‘math’ does climate (pseudo) ‘science’ relay upon?
We need to start the research over with reliable Biblical math, what we used before the subject was taken over by Satan.
Home schooling strikes again.
the problem is, the explanation eventually devolves into ‘we must curtail our extravagant lifestyles’. which doesn’t work with the crowd that values culture over science. americans are inherently resistant to cutting back.
@nellcote: Committing journalism.
@pragmatism: The only solution is to clone Charlie Brooker.
Gleick did a journalist’s job, which virtually nobody else is doing. Apologize? Next we’ll demand that Daniel Ellsberg apologize for the Pentagon papers.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
I have generally considered being an adult to mean that I know there are exceptions to rules when the rule causes more harm than good. I sometimes have to cross white lines to avoid getting into a wreck, I violate most of my programming rules every once in a while, and sometimes I choose to spend money when I could have saved it.
Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity
The left gets to self-congratulatorily masturbate over how refined and better they are than the right, while the right is building pyramids of leftist skulls and bulldozing the planet to make room for mills in which all the black children will be employed.
The scientific community has trust about science, because the evidence and the results are on their side, not because because they follow “the rules” in all areas of life. That has fuck-all to do with deceiving the deceivers to bring their deception to light.
This isn’t science, this is politics and propaganda. Scientists staying out of that to make sure that no one can question their impartiality (hint: have you noticed how successful they’ve been at no one questioning their impartiality? Me neither.) is part of what has left us struggling against these assholes who will burn it all down for short-term monetary and political gain.
If we were winning this fight, you might have a point, but we haven’t been winning it in this country for quite a few years now. Exposing the bastards is far more important than some fragile trust supposedly based on scientists never breaking the rules about anything.
Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity
@Martin: It’s called “force”.
You’re three-quarters of the way there, and then you lose it at the last sentence. A persistent failing among “reasonable” liberals (which I fall prey to too often myself) is that if the evidence is on our side, we just have to explain it better, and we’ll bring them around.
But as you’ve said, there are two different languages and a hell of a lot of disinformation. We do need to convince people, but just explaining it sufficiently ain’t gonna do the job.
@chopper: I disagree that it needs to devolve to that though. Californians haven’t kept their per-capita electricity usage down through curtailing. We merely swapped out 100W light bulbs for 13W fluorescents – at no extra cost, and no reduction in illumination. We just didn’t invent some liberal plot to destroy our freedoms as the rationale, and we celebrated the lower power bills.
The CO2 issue is at the very least a ‘moon race’ artificial economic dream to chase. If we embrace it, our lifestyle won’t change, we’ll cut our dependence on foreign oil and all manner of other things, and we’ll spur innovation and job creation along the way likely leading to an export rather than import energy economy. Even if the science is shit, the goals are noble and beneficial, and if the science isn’t shit, then we look like fucking geniuses.
This is just shoot the messenger bullshit.
If you can’t defeat the facts then defeat the person sharing them.
What Gleick did is journalism.
First of all, the issue of climate change is a global problem. You cannot just put the blame or the burden on Americans.
Secondly, there is still a kick ass recession going on. When some activists (not scientists) talk about “curtailing extravagant lifestyles,” people hear “lower your standard of living even more than is happening because of the bad economy.” If you think you can win the argument with this, no matter how noble your objectives, you are seriously fooling yourself.
Third, there is the hint of Western arrogance in all the “oh noes, the Chinese and the Indians are using more and more energy.” This comes across as “fuck these people if they want to live lives like we do,” especially with no clear promise of access to energy alternatives.
It’s not enough for the science to be right. The policy decisions have to be right, and persuasive as well.
I don’t flipping get this. He used a pseudonym to get them to tell him stuff they prefer not to talk about openly. Sure, he would have done better to enlist a co-conspirator. But the outrage about his lying about his identity just amazes me.
It’s like the (mostly long forgotten) story about Ken Silverstein going undercover to reveal skullduggery on behalf of the brutal kleptocrats of Equatorial Guinea. Somehow this became a scandal – not the EQ bastards or their enablers, but Silverstein lying to get a story that he reported accurately.
Meanwhile, that asshole O’Keefe not only lies about who he is to get his stories but – crucially – lies about what he’s encountered in his reporting. And he’s considered more acceptable. All because the voices of sanity are afflicted with this terrible disease of pearl-clutching.
@Morbo: holy crap the wingers would get the vapors on their fainting couch while clutching their pearls if journalists of charlie’s ilk existed over here.
we need the actual morbo. he’d tell it like it is.
I like Tom Friedman bashing as much as the next guy, but I think in this instance, he can’t really be faulted. He’s been pushing for aggressive action on climate change for a long time (and criticizing republican lies/stalling as well)
Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity
Fox News has some civility for this story right here:
“Climate scientist admits stealing docs from conservative think tank”
This is how people speak when they’re at war. What has the left done that is comparable?
Oh yeah, that’s right, shit all over President Obama.
A university gets hacked and its email stolen, revealing 1) scientists doing proper good science and 2) scientists calling assholes for what they are and MASSIVE SCANDAL CLIMATEGATE ZOMG11!!1!11!!!
An exasperated scientist gets a bunch of conservative dumbfucks to send him their private documents revealing the extent of their corruption and MASSIVE SCANDAL THE SCIENTIST LIED!!21!1!!111
When in 40 years time half the world is a desert and the survivors start hanging those who prevented action in time, can we please make sure journalists are first in the line?
The assholes and ringers get to keep looting.
Simple as that.
That should be principal. Jesus, has the Post fired its copy editors?
It has obviously been far too long since we had a blogger ethics panel.
i’m not putting the blame on americans. how you got that from my post i have no idea.
i’m saying that convincing people here of the severity of the crisis naturally means convincing them that they’ll have to curtail their energy use. the burden of addressing climate change doesn’t fall on americans, but as an american i kinda have to convince them first.
no offense, but you’re a bit of a cornucopian here. a large scale project to deal with CO2 has to be palatable enough to make replacing oil a possibility and there’s nothing that fits that paradigm. and better light bulbs doesn’t really make too big a fix.
no, the point is that china and india are growing a lot. and they’re using more and more oil to do so. it isn’t a ‘fuck those people for wanting a western lifestyle’, and you’re a moron if you think so, and just projecting all sorts of stupid shit to try to win a losing argument. to me it’s an ‘oh jesus, we’re going to have an oil shock over all this’. which is fucking true.
If, by being sneaky, you can show your opponents are bare-assed liars, you should be sneaky. But – once you’ve decided to be sneaky, you should also feel honor bound to admit if you can’t find anything, and to present what you find without cheating.
Near as I can tell, that’s what happened.
I don’t know, “americans are inherently resistant to cutting back” might suggest that other nations and people are more understanding and compliant.
Or coming up with alternatives. Or any of a bunch of other options.
What argument am I losing? You say that murikins gotta cut back on their extravagant lifestyle. I don’t see masses of people doing that, apart from cutbacks caused by economic problems.
China and India are growing and using more oil. I don’t see you changing anyone’s habits. And what do you expect them to do? If nothing, then I guess you are going to have to convince Americans not only to cut back for their own good, but also to cut back so that China and India can consume more. Or, it’s that China’s and India’s growth will just accelerate the day when all the oil disappears.
You might be right. We’re going to have an oil shock. Care to predict the date when this will happen?
Compare it to the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union were willing to spend trillions of dollars on containing each other, and appreciable segments of both populations were so enthusiastic about the exercise that they’ve been trying to resurrect it ever since 1991.
Our uncontrolled global climate experiment has a distinctly nonzero probability of producing consequences (like global famine) that will make the Soviet threat pale.
Global average temperature (“GAT”) changes barely 6 degrees C between the coldest part of an ice age and the warmest part of the following interglacial. We have already raised GAT ~1 degree C over normal interglacial temps, and are on target for at least 2 degrees and probably well over 3.
That is a climate earth probably has not seen in millions of years.
And that is a climate that “civilized” humans have never seen.
Though we don’t know the exact point at which global famine occurs — is it at +10 degrees C, or only +3? — do we really want to spin that cylinder? How lucky do us punks feel?
I’d say that’s good motivation. Now it needs a good sales job. While we still have time to sell ideas instead of a few grains of dessicated wheat.
i’m an american. i don’t really know what it would be like convincing a canadian. so i don’t assume it either way.
no, you don’t. i don’t think they’re going to change here, at least not to much of a degree.
i am right. supply is shit now. we’re in the ‘wobbly plateau’. conventional crude production hasn’t really gone up at all since 2005. as to the next oil shock, i’d wager within the year. anything else?
“Uh, God? What’s a cubit?”
— Bill Cosby as Moses, for you youngsters
sorry, ‘within a year’. lousy no-editing.
Well, FYWP with the biggest rustiest pitchfork in asiangrrlMN’s shed.
NOAH, not Moses.
Why did FYWP not let me in to make that correction? Does FYWP want to tell the entire world how stupid I am
NOAH. Not Moses. NOAH, okay?
Between Mayan Calendar Apocalypse and oil shock (whatever this means) sometime within a year, we’re going to be busy.
the thing is, hoping that some technology can step in with sufficient backing (the ‘apollo program of green energy’) is pretty far fetched. maybe if we’d started earlier, like a lot earlier.
think about it. within about 2 years or so, give or take, we’ll cross 400ppm atmospheric CO2. we’re already starting to see feedback mechanisms kick in, such as changing albedo from melting polar ice and increased methane production in melting permafrost and the east siberian shelf. within 5 years or so, give or take, we’re likely to see our first summer with a north polar ice cap that’s thinned to essentially zero volume. at least going by the rate it’s been dropping, it could actually be sooner than that.
not only do we need to stop our net CO2 emissions which means coming up with a carbon-neutral alternative to pretty much every single net carbon-emitting form of energy on the planet (which is a really big fucking order), we also need to come up with a carbon-neutral (and not land intensive) method for scrubbing at least 50 parts per million of the entire atmosphere away and sequestering it, and that’s not getting into other GHGes that are rising.
that’s just to get back to where we should have been long ago with regard to atmospheric CO2. the ‘pulse’ that’s already entered the oceans and caused the aforementioned feedbacks is already in place, i dunno what the hell we’d do about that.
i hate to sound like a downer but that’s a tall fucking order.
funny thing, you could always look up the term ‘oil shock’. it’s basically a google.
zhwoopah, zhwoopah, zhwoopah. DING.
how long can you tread water? bwa hah hah hah
It’s just so weird. If somebody made a movie with Julia Roberts in the role of Peter Teick everybody in the audience—including the wingers!—would be cheering her on, and booing at the vile capitalists when they busted her on a technicality. And if they made the O’Keefe movie it’d be a gross comedy all about how he was doing it to impress women and get laid, but couldn’t get rid of his virginity until he smoked weed and realized that black people are cool. And yet these narratives that are so clear to people in the movie theater are totally mystifying to them in the news!
This is why biologists stopped having public debates with creationists. they tone troll and cry about civility when they can lie and scream and use all manner of dishonesty. They’re the good, squarejawed Merkins, we’re the oppressive Commietraitors, forever.
Anna in PDX
I am also confused as to what rules were broken. I thought a journalist is supposed to expose stuff like that. So he subscribed to Heartland materials in another name? That is not even unethical. He is free to pay them for their propaganda and then share it widely. Why in the hell is he apologizing? This muddies the waters and gives right wing idiots ammunition. I really truly do not see one bit of unethical behavior in what he did. And I am one of those people who waits for walk signs when no one is looking.
When the f*ck did “civility” mean turning a blind eye to the egregious wrongs perpetrated by the right. The right is insane and getting insaner by the minute, and somehow it’s wrong for anyone not of the right to say things are a bit off?
Instead of “civility”, just say the not-of-the-right isn’t obliging the right to rig the game of public discourse anymore. It’s the whole “a rape victim should just lay back and enjoy it” crap the right is using on the abortion/ contraception/ women having any rights at all gambit they are currently playing.
No. Wrong is wrong and people have the right to point out how crazy Republican political groups are, no matter how much it hurts any Beltway pundit feelings.
Gleick is behind the Pacific Institute, an organization devoted to the study of water issues. When discussing water, especially in the American West, there are plenty of conservatives who won’t doubt their lying eyes that changes in climate are affecting their water future. Water is one of the things that political orthodoxy runs afoul of. Gleick know BS when he sees it, and he saw it in the Heartland documents he was forwarded.
The question is what an oil shock means to you.
The Feb 17 Financial Times notes that
The Eurozone did not collapse. Not yet. Doesn’t mean that the oil price rise was not a problem.
@Anna in PDX:
this is why liberals always lose. every time we throw a punch we fall to our knees and beg forgiveness and the other guy goes back to beating us like a rented mule.
an oil shock does not mean a wholesale collapse of the economy. a large enough oil shock can cause large scale recession as has happened before. an oil shock is a supply shock. it’s a well-known concept. a spike in prices due to constrained supply. in the case of oil it has negative effects all the way up economies due to its nature as the basic commodity of the world economy.
if you want some good reading on the effects of oil shocks in history, the oil drum has had some good historical analyses.
“journalist uncovers vast conspiracy, apologizes to conspirators”
we need to change the debate, shift it from fighting on the denialists’ ground to fighting on our home turf. the debate: ‘is climate change real’ is over. it was settled over ten years ago. and even the rightest of the right wingers agreed; climate change is for reals. then somebody, i don’t know who, maybe the heritage foundation, brought it back up. just to waste our frickin time, so that they could keep making a buck. so.
they want to keep denying it? let em. who cares? going over and over and over it again isn’t ‘changing’ anybody’s mind. the debate from now on should be; ‘what needs to be done about climate change?’. they don’t want to play? fine, let em sit at the kiddies table. pat em on the head, ‘you got it sport’. and then turn to talk to the adults. talk past these fricking idiots because all they are doing is getting in our way, and getting in the way of accomplishing anything. they can go have imaginary playtime on their own time, because the time to get real has past.
Binky P. Behr
@jl: and you know they used Arabic numerals in their calculations instead of the more holy and sacred Roman Numerals. I’ve told them mcmxxvi times to use Roman Numerals but they never listen.
What fucking rule is there that says that he can’t pretend to be someone else in e-mail, so that they will send him shit that they send to any tom-dick-or-harry that agrees with their bullshit fantasy? I don’t get where he did anything wrong, nor why he is apologizing for it. What horseshit, that he did anything wrong.
He gave them an intelligence test, and they failed it spectacularly.
I think what is contained in the documents obtained by Gleick is far more worth spending ink writing about than how he obtained them.