• Nobel Laureate, Global Warming and the AEI

    Before I get to the meat of this, let me note the following: the Mann just can’t stop it with a certain poetic approach to the facts.  Looking at the Mann’s court filing, I find the following:

    Responsible media reviews, including the Columbia Journalism Review, have described the defendants’ attacks against Dr. Mann as “deplorable, if not unlawful.” Responsible scientific publications, including Discover Magazine, have described these attacks as “slimy,” “disgusting,” and “defamatory.” […]  Similarly, the scientific publication Discover Magazine described the attacks as “slimy,” “disgusting,” and “defamatory.”

    Please home in on the sections I’ve bolded.  Now type in “Scientific publication” into google and see what pops up.  Right.

    Scientific publication is, almost exclusively, taken to mean peer reviewed technical publication.  Take a look at the following.  By no stretch of the imagination does Discover Magazine fit the description.  Yes, yes, Wikipedia mentions, as an aside ‘blogs and science forums’, but that is emphatically  not what scientific publication means for just about everyone in this business.

    This is basic.  I remember being told, in so many words during my first year at University that, popular science magazines, newspapers, blogs, or your Aunt Mabel do not count as scientific publication.  Only peer reviewed literature counts.

    Discover Magazine is a responsible scientific publication the way that Michael Mann is a Nobel Laureate.

    Now to the subject of this post, it has to do with the Obama administration’s Secretary for Energy.  I’m not the biggest fan of Obama, but Chu is a first rate choice.  This is what the technocratic Obama does really well (something the War Nerd notes).

    Chu has won a real Nobel Prize (Physics, 1997) and has come up with practical ways of approaching the problem of global warming.  He’s a strong supporter of nuclear power, just about the only practical carbon free energy source we have today, and champions the idea of painting roofs white to increase albedo and reflect more heat back into space.  These are concrete, practical steps, which is why Chu’s gotten a  good write up from the American Enterprise Institute, the same AEI that’s also being sued by Mann.

    This is how you actually make some headway on this issue.  You propose a workable solution that doesn’t rely on tyranny or mass immiseration and you treat people’s concerns with respect and not #kochdenialmachine.

    The fake Nobel should take some lessons from the real Nobel.




    Category: APGWScienceSkepticism

    Article by: The Prussian

    • im-skeptical

      “This is how you actually make some headway on this issue. You propose a workable solution that doesn’t rely on tyranny or mass immiseration and you treat people’s concerns with respect and not #kochdenialmachine.”

      Funny you should mention that. The Koch brothers are a key funding source for AEI, which is a neo-conservative think tank, whose members are closely aligned with the G W Bush administration.

      “Some AEI scholars are considered to be some of the leading architects of the second Bush administration’s public policy.[8] More than twenty AEI scholars and fellows served either in a Bush administration policy post or on one of the government’s many panels and commissions. Among the prominent former government officials now affiliated with AEI are former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, now an AEI senior fellow; former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities Lynne Cheney, a longtime AEI senior fellow; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now an AEI senior fellow; former member of the Dutch parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an AEI visiting fellow; and former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, now an AEI visiting scholar. Other prominent individuals affiliated with AEI include Kevin Hassett, Frederick W. Kagan, Leon Kass, Charles Murray, Michael Novak, Norman J. Ornstein, Richard Perle, Radosław Sikorski, Christina Hoff Sommers, Peter J. Wallison, and Mark J. Perry.

      Its board is chaired by Tully Friedman. Current notable trustees include Arthur C. Brooks, Gordon Binder, former managing director and CEO of Amgen; former vice president Dick Cheney; Daniel D’Aniello, cofounder of The Carlyle Group; John V. Faraci, chairman and CEO of International Paper; Harlan Crow, chairman and CEO of Crow Holdings, the Trammell Crow family’s investment company; Christopher Galvin, former CEO and chairman of Motorola; Raymond Gilmartin, retired chairman and CEO of Merck & Co.; Harvey Golub, retired chairman and CEO of the American Express Company; Bruce Kovner, chairman of Caxton Alternative Associates (and a former chairman of AEI); and Edward B. Rust Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm (and also a former AEI chairman).” – Wikipedia

      AEI has a goal of casting doubt on established climate science:

      • ThePrussian

        As I’ve told you before: argue like this and you will lose.

        • im-skeptical

          You make the point that Chu’s ideas are good because the AEI likes them.

          • ThePrussian

            That is exactly backwards. I make the point that the AEI likes them because Chu’s ideas are good. I make the point that because Chu’s ideas are good he is able to convince people of a different political temperament of them.

            This is elementary.

            • im-skeptical

              I don’t think I got it backwards at all. The fact that AEI likes Chu is no reason for anyone to believe that his ideas are good. AEI favors some horrible policies. I don’t trust them and I don’t believe what they say.

            • ThePrussian

              Well, if you were capable to know that your ideas were backwards, you’d be unlikely to hold them. Let’s just say it’s obvious to the rest of us.

            • im-skeptical

              If you didn’t intend to convince your readers that AEI’s endorsement of Chu is a reason to like him for Secretary of Energy, then why did you even mention it? What exactly was the point of putting them in the title of the post?

            • Kathy Moyd

              AEI likes them because they are good for the fossil fuel industry. If painting roofs and nuclear power are the only mitigations, fossil fuel will be around for a long time.

            • ThePrussian

              The reason I mentioned it, as any fool can see, is that I am arguing that you can get through this interminable political deadlock by being honest and arguing for sensible, practical solutions, and not just yelling.

              But, look. You can argue that Mann’s hockey stick supported by the scientific record, even though I’ve shown that isn’t so. Fine. You can argue that seven investigations exonerate him when their own publications say they don’t. Whatever. But when you start arguing to me that my own words don’t mean what they mean, that you know my writing better than me… then you have to just accept that you are terrible at arguing and should get a grip.

            • im-skeptical

              You have clearly made an appeal to authority. I’ll let the philosophers take you to task for that. I’m taking you to task for the authority you chose to appeal to.

            • MikeNov

              Your inability to grasp basic logic is astounding.

            • im-skeptical

              That’s OK, MkeNov. The Prussian has accused me of committing the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy, when in fact I was not arguing on the correctness of the science deniers’ position or Mann’s chart, and I explicitly told him that repeatedly. I was commenting on why the science deniers hold the position they do. It’s called motivated reasoning, and it’s a real thing. But the Prussian doesn’t seem to grasp the distinction. So he keeps telling me I can’t win an argument that way, without even understanding what I’ve been trying to tell him.

              Now in this post, he commits a logical fallacy of his own: appeal to authority. Please don’t try to tell me that’s not what he’s doing. He speaks of “sensible, practical solutions”, and the only evidence he offers in support of that assertion is the fact that AEI likes them. His claim that it’s the other way around is sheer bullshit. The only sensible way to read this post is to understand that Chu’s ideas must be good because AEI supports them. And that’s an appeal to authority – a logical fallacy.

            • ThePrussian

              “Now in this post, he commits a logical fallacy of his own: appeal to authority. Please don’t try to tell me that’s not what he’s doing.”

              Except not, as I have explained below. Though I should correct myself – apparently not quite ‘every’ fool can see why I posted that.

            • im-skeptical

              Your argument formulated as a syllogism:

              1. A Nobel Prize winner who who supports practical ways of approaching the problem of global warming is a good choice for Secretary of Energy.
              2. Chu has won the Nobel Prize in physics.
              3. Chu has come up with practical ways of approaching the problem of global warming.
              4. Therefore, Chu is a good choice for the position of Secretary of Energy.

              In support of statement 3, you offer this:
              3a. He supports nuclear energy development
              3b. He supports painting rooftops with reflective paint.
              3c. The AEI regards these as concrete, practical steps.
              3d. Therefore, Chu has come up with practical ways of approaching the problem of global warming.

              Now you say that this isn’t the argument you are making. If that’s true, then what argument are you making? Perhaps you can formulate it as a syllogism so that is is perfectly clear. Or are you simply trying to spin the truth after your fallacy was pointed out?

            • MikeNov

              That’s not the only sensible way to see it, no. It’s like if a skeptic group posted some ideas, and said ‘Even Michael Mann agrees.’

            • im-skeptical

              You’re grasping at straws here.

              1. The Prussian’s right-wing leanings are patently obvious. I think he respects AEI, and that’s why he included them in his argument.

              2. Even if your alternate understanding is correct, it doesn’t change my formulation of the argument. At most, it puts a qualifying clause on statement 3c.

              3. Either way, the sub-argument is not logically valid.

              4. The evidence I have seen strongly suggests that you don’t have the ability “to grasp basic logic”.

    • Jim

      Nuclear energy is a clean, reliable, safe, and cost effective energy source. It’s use was curtailed and then frozen back in the 60s by similar emotionally-driven arguments that now surround the man-made global warming controversy. Chu understands the benefits of nuclear energy, and currently has a political climate that will allow it’s further use and expansion now that the media, administration, and the “greens” are focused on the next boogey-man of CO2. I’m personally in favor of converting to nuclear wherever possible (even in my own backyard).
      It should not matter who funds or promotes ideas. Everyone is entitled to speak their piece in a free society, and likewise should critically evaluate the ideas of others. There is so much misleading information and spin out there, that one must view everything skeptically and go back to first principles when evaluating.

      • im-skeptical

        Tell that to the people of Japan.

        • Brad Keyes

          Tell that to the people of Japan.

          What, now, when the radiation-spattered corpses of Mothra and Godzilla’s victims are still warm in the ground? How insensitive.

        • Jim

          The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has no confirmed casualties from radiation exposure. None of the workers at the plant died from acute radiation poisoning. The disaster was caused by an unprecedented earthquake (9.0) followed by a Tsunami, that was responsible for over 15000 deaths.

          The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), released a report on the Fukushima accident April 2nd, 2014. It stated that the scientists have found no evidence yet to support the idea that the nuclear meltdown in Japan in 2011 will lead to an increase in cancer rates or birth defects.
          You should compare the nuclear safety record to that of coal, hydro, wind, etc. and you will see that it is better.

          • im-skeptical

            The disaster happened because the electricity to the water pumps went out. That’s all it took. That could happen anywhere, for any number of reasons, including sabotage or hostile actions. I don’t dispute the record on the number of deaths. But if something does happen, it has the potential to be catastrophic. We’ve seen it before. And don’t try to tell me that Fukushima was harmless because they haven’t attributed increased cancer to it (yet).

    • Brad Keyes

      If Discover is such a low-credibility rag, why is it that all concerned climate scientists seem to obey the instructions Stephen Schneider communicated in a 1988 interview in the august pages of that very publication, hmm? My emphasis:

      On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound
      to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the
      whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all
      doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are
      not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d
      like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates
      into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate
      change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture
      the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media
      coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified,
      dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might
      This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot
      be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right
      balance is between being effective and being honest.
      I hope that means
      being both.”

      You may not find this kind of thing credible, my confused compatriot, but thousands of the world’s most leading, scared scientists do.

      The consensus has spoken, my Prussian paisán.

      As usual, a welcoming invitation—with complete amnesty—is open for you to head on South to Bavaria and get yo head right.

      • Brad Keyes

        Oops, I royally mistyped that link, tut mir leid:


    • Richard Gadsden

      Michael Mann, unlike me, is not a Nobel Laureate at all.

      [Nobel Peace Prize, 2012, one of 300 million or so winners]

      • Brad Keyes

        I hope you didn’t spend your 0.33 cents in one place

    • Chic Bowdrie

      I agree that we shouldn’t put too much stock in Discover mag, despite Brad Keyes finding a 1988 interview there that he likes. No longer can we even trust peer-review as a reliable criterion for scientific truth. Certain climate scientists intimidate and manipulate to exclude research inconsistent with their views.

      The second point I want to make concerns your opinion of Chu as Secretary for Energy. I agree with the benefits of nuclear power, but NOT because global warming is a problem to be solved. Nuclear power will add to the free market of energy supply, add competition to alternative sources, and keep energy costs down. All good. Limiting energy sources to solve a non-problem is all bad.

      Has Secretary Chu forgotten Mr. Miner’s first important lesson in physics again? A fundamental pillar of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is the radiative transfer model that predicts a 2 deg C rise in temperature for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. Has this theoretical result ever been demonstrated scientifically? I would appreciate anyone who knows where this experimental data was published to let me know.

    • WFC

      As a Nobel Laureate (2012, same as Richard Gadstone) can I point out that, unlike the good Doctor Mann* (or is it Prof Mann?) we did not have to share our prize with Al Gore.

      (* how pleased he must be no longer to be Mr Mann.)

    • MikeNov

      Chu is in favor of having gas prices reach the level of Europe, while telling the President that within a few years 60 mpg is achievable. His ideas are really not workable. And throw in that one of his first acts as Secretary of Energy was to end the Yucca Mountain project, making nuclear power unworkable in the US.