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Another Climate-Change Retraction 479

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the science-says-you're-doomed dept.
jamie writes "It seems every time someone twists global-warming science into 'good news,' a retraction is soon to follow, and so it must be for Slashdot. Yesterday, the conservative Wall Street Journal published yet another apologetic claiming 'the overall effect of climate change will be positive,' by someone who (of course) is not a climate scientist. Today, Climate Progress debunks the piece, noting 'Ridley and the WSJ cite the University of Illinois paper to supposedly prove that warming this century will be under 2C — when the author has already explained to them that his research shows the exact opposite!' We went through this same process last year, with the same author and the same paper, so it's pretty embarrassing that he 'makes a nearly identical blunder' all over again."
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Another Climate-Change Retraction

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  • by s.petry (762400) on Monday September 16, 2013 @05:46PM (#44867691)

    Anything to keep you from looking at the root cause of the problem. Pollution, waste, dumping, strip farming/mining, and so on and so on are never discussed. Problems that we see like the great pacific garbage dump are ignored, as are ocean dead zones and polluted water.

    I don't believe 99% of what is paid to be published, because, well hell look who is paying for the media spin? The same people pushing more and more pollution in most cases.

    • I don't believe 99% of what is paid to be published, because, well hell look who is paying for the media spin?

      In this case, if you read both articles, it's hard to figure out which one isn't getting paid to publish. It's one crappy non-scientific angry opinionator against another.

      Why are we getting articles here from politicians and bloggers? If we're going to get opinions, can't we at least get them from real [wsj.com] scientists? [huffingtonpost.com] We used to get stories on Slashdot when new studies were conducted. We don't need one every time some random person publishes their opinion (that's what the comments are for).

      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday September 16, 2013 @09:16PM (#44869175)

        "If we're going to get opinions, can't we at least get them from real scientists?"

        Partly because when people post things here from some of those real scientists, they are insulted, harassed, and stuck with the label "denialist".

        Just recently someone insulted me, called me a "known denialist", and referenced a comment of mine here on Slashdot (with a link to a peer-reviewed paper) from 5 years ago. Mind you, this was in reply to a comment of mine that was not even about AGW.

        Assholes like that don't bother me very overmuch, but I have no doubt that the tactic drives a lot of people away.

        • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @03:05AM (#44870783) Journal

          Partly because when people post things here from some of those real scientists, they are insulted, harassed, and stuck with the label "denialist".

          That's because well over 90% of the people who hold that viewpoint on slashdot are flat-out denialists.

          We get people:
          * Insisting there is some conspiracy or that scientists are in it for the money.
          * Bringing up the same tired, well covered talking points ("scientists are so stupid they've forgotten about solar output").
          * Attacking news and opinion articles and using this to "debunk" the actual science.
          * Latching on to the shrieking shrill enviro-nuts and using that to "debunk" the science.
          * Pretending that economic consequences of action say anything about the science,attacking proposed action and using that to "debunk" the science.
          * Cherry picking the actions of one or two scientists and using this to "debunk" all the other scientists.
          * Confusing scientists with everyone else arguing about it and using that to "debunk" the science.

          That makes the majority.

          You also get a few people:
          * Massively cherry picking the data.
          * Claiming that it's so complicated anyway that we can't know anything and therefore it is not warming or its not our fault or whatever.
          * Ignoring the climate models actual predictions.

          I invite you to find someone here who doesn't do all those things.

          • I invite you to find someone here who doesn't do all those things.

            Me. I ask for a necessary and falsifiable hypothesis statement of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, and despite hundreds of thousands of comments from true believers, not a single one has managed to quote or cite any such thing.

            Please, if you're able to, explain what observations of CO2 and temperature, past, present or future, that would cause you to reconsider your current beliefs, and why the lack of those observations must lead

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday September 16, 2013 @07:22PM (#44868441) Homepage Journal

      The root cause are not those. The root cause is that there is profit to be made, and that profit justifies things like replacing cleaner transportation alternatives [wikipedia.org] with polluting ones.

      There is just no profit in building an economy over renovable energies. The pipe that make everything run must be controlled, specially if is done by a few (and if new players come in the government is always willing to help them [theguardian.com]). And if that non-renovable but tight controllable energy is polluting, too bad, but they will do anything in their hand to avoid that the dependence on them weakens.

  • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Monday September 16, 2013 @05:49PM (#44867723)
    Just because x can lead to benefit y does not imply x is over all beneficial. Yes, there are a few benefits to climate change. That does not take away from the fact there are a whole legion of those-things-that-are-the-opposite-of-benefits. Seems like this needs to be explained anybody does research indicating the former - not that I'm blaming or finding the said scientists at fault for it. Same goes for other disciplines too.
  • Consider the WSJ position on an issue and do the opposite. You will then more likely be closer to the truth and if money is involved it will be more profitable. It has for me.
  • by unclepedro (312196) on Monday September 16, 2013 @05:49PM (#44867731) Homepage

    "Whoops! I meant to make the same argument with a *different* paper!"

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Monday September 16, 2013 @06:00PM (#44867823)
    • The only thing missing from that article is that scientists start the cycle by making their title and abstract sound as enticing as possible to try to get more impact.
  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday September 16, 2013 @06:01PM (#44867833) Journal

    Black lie is what I call it. These scum knew what they were doing. They've been told, repeatedly, that they are wrong and why they are wrong, and they just dismiss and ignore everything and say those lies again anyway. They were printing propaganda. Throwing raw meat to the conservatives. That's all the WSJ's opinion section has been since Murdoch bought it.

    It's like the black knight skit in Quest for the Holy Grail. "It's only a flesh wound" and "The earth has had worse." Won't quit fighting even after his legs have been cut out from under him.

  • What I'd love to see is reporting on climate change that presented facts without the hyperbole. I'm reasonably certain that I'm far from the only person that's fed up with having hyperbole rammed down my throat and would really rather just have the actual "science" reported.

    /rant off.

    • If you want clarity in climate science then try browsing the articles on realclimate [realclimate.org]. Of course you could just read the IPCC reports, they are easy to find on the net too.
      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        If you want clarity in climate science then try browsing the articles on realclimate [realclimate.org]. Of course you could just read the IPCC reports, they are easy to find on the net too.

        Thing is, I can't tell if you're a) trying to be funny, b) being sarcastic, or c) trolling.

        My people meter must be out of whack today...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      http://realclimate.org/ [realclimate.org]

      There is a wealth of real science out there. People just read tabloids like the WSJ and assume they are going to get solid science news out of it. That's like watching Fox News and complaining that there is no journalism alive in America.

  • it's pretty embarrassing that he 'makes a nearly identical blunder' all over again.

    What's embarrassing is that you continue your association with an author who has shown himself to be of poor credibility.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Monday September 16, 2013 @06:08PM (#44867895)

    Forbes WSJ FoxNews and of course all of wright wing talk/hate radio, and others , consistently misrepresent the facts of climate science, what climate scientists are saying and how climate modeling is done.

    Either they're, for reasons unknown, persistent and unlucky victims of poor reporting, poor analysis and mistaken inference or there is a persistent and deliberate determination on their parts to knowingly and with malice of forethought lie about climate science to the American , British Australian and European public.

    If it turns out it's the latter, we can ask some interesting questions., Since persuading people that climate change is not as the scientists represent it -a ticking time bomb we are running out of time to defuse and one whose consequences include the mass death of humans, is lying about climate science not the equivalent to shouting (no) fire in a crowded (and burning) theater?

    If it is, then are they not already criminals and are they not already responsible for those deaths? I think this is called "manslaughter" and when the number of people you caused to die numbers into the millions, I think that's elevated to "crimes against humanity".

    Of course the US will never go there, but what about other nations? Hasn't the US demonstrated that people who threaten Americans are subject to executive action irrespective of where they are or whether the host nation is inclined to turn them over?

    Could China or Japan or Germany or Russia or any other country just legally and unilaterally decide that say, David and Charles Koch represent too much of a threat to human civilization to permit them to go on living? Would they be within their legal right to quietly see to it that the perps are silently and quietly and discretely brought to final justice?

    And what about the money these organization make from their climate denialism? Isn't that money, even if it's been dispersed to their heirs and partners actually. ill-gotten gains and subject to something like international civil forfeiture? The money to cover the catastrophically high cost of attempting to turn back climate change at the last possible moment has to be extracted from someone.

    Obviously this is all beyond the pale for the current times, but time change and when they change, attitudes change, often suddenly and dramatically. What was just an amusing thought experiment one day becomes harsh reality another.

    Laws exist to make society livable. They are defined according and in reaction to the environment. If that environment changes dramatically, then we can expect that near future generations of people will look back see the times we are living in now quite differently than we do, just the way we look back on slavery as an abomination or the post WWII generation of Germans were completely appalled at what their parents had done.

    • by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday September 16, 2013 @06:47PM (#44868173) Journal
      The same sort of lies were spread about smoking and cancer, the same (for hire) lobby groups were writing and distributing the anti-science propaganda. They dragged the tobacco CEO's into congress for a grilling. At the end of the day they were fined $500M, but still not enough to put them out of business and certainly no jail time for what was nothing short of fraud. The coal industry is an economic superpower compared to tobacco, they have been successfully fighting emission controls for over a century. They will not retire gracefully.
      • Merchants of doubt (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It is, in fact, many of the same people who helped obscure the underlying science in both cases. Nicely documented by historians Naomi Oreskes and Naomi Oresekes in Merchants of Doubt [merchantsofdoubt.org].

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But here's the thing. A lot of the smoking and cancer studies WERE lies also. Particularly some of the studies on second hand (or third hand) smoke. I'm not arguing that smoking is good for you or anything, but if you dig a little you will find that the current crusade to ban smoking outdoors or pretty much anywhere because claims that even a little exposure is going to kill you are patently false.

        OBTW, if a pack of cigarettes cost $6, and $5 of that is tax, who exactly is in the tobacco business?

        And such I

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drfred79 (2936643)
      The IPCC report that will be coming out by the U.N. is going to state that mass deaths were previously overcalculated. On the other hand, reducing our economic output to reduce carbon emissions will cause measurable levels of starvation and death due to cold weather and will affect the poor people the most. (Poor people pay a larger portion of their income for electricity than rich people. Incentivizing reduced electricity use and vis-a-vis carbon emissions through price controls hurts poor people.)

      So
    • by khallow (566160) on Monday September 16, 2013 @10:02PM (#44869507)

      If it turns out it's the latter, we can ask some interesting questions., Since persuading people that climate change is not as the scientists represent it -a ticking time bomb we are running out of time to defuse and one whose consequences include the mass death of humans, is lying about climate science not the equivalent to shouting (no) fire in a crowded (and burning) theater?

      The answer is an obvious "no". We are tired of loud-mouthed, would be thugs and bullies, such as yourself, trying to shape disagreement on the presence and severity of AGW as some some sort of "crime against humanity" - to use your own words.

      The "shouting fire" example is fundamentally broken because there is no fire. There is a potential problem, yes, but the urgency just isn't there.

      Could China or Japan or Germany or Russia or any other country just legally and unilaterally decide that say, David and Charles Koch represent too much of a threat to human civilization to permit them to go on living?

      Well, some of those countries aren't based on law. So what is legal changes from moment to moment. And the countries of law such as Japan and Germany could not arbitrarily kill unpopular people because that would be illegal.

      Laws exist to make society livable. They are defined according and in reaction to the environment. If that environment changes dramatically, then we can expect that near future generations of people will look back see the times we are living in now quite differently than we do, just the way we look back on slavery as an abomination or the post WWII generation of Germans were completely appalled at what their parents had done.

      Well then, let us all work to prevent your dystopia from becoming a reality. Your role could be real easy or real hard - I really don't know. All I ask of you is to try to become a better person and put aside this pointless hate.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Monday September 16, 2013 @06:26PM (#44868033) Homepage

    Well it all depends on what you consider positive and negative. Warming overall, I imagine,would probably increase life density, and the complexity of a global warning weather system is probably likely to inspire species to improve over time, after the short term mass death.

    It will be horrible for human civilization, but that is good for the environment as well.

    • This is no different to declaring the charge on an electron to be negative.

      J.J Thompson only declared the electron negative because he wanted the pointy end of his Duracell to be positive.

  • Lying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Monday September 16, 2013 @06:55PM (#44868229) Journal

    The bottom line is that lying works when you are dealing with low-information people.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Monday September 16, 2013 @07:38PM (#44868561)
    Twice means is purposeful.
  • Just another case of right wing media and politicians consistently denying climate change.
    I guess US big oil must be the force (read: money) behind them.

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