Alarmist, really?

I haven’t really had a chance to post anything today and there isn’t anything in particular that I feel like writing about. I thought I would post what is quite an amazing item from RT, Russia’s 24 hour english news channel. Others have already posted it (Wibble and uknowispeaksense) but I think it’s worth posting again. I wish more of our media outlets would present the science in this way. I also learned something that I didn’t know (not hard I hear you say). Not only is the Arctic sea ice disappearing faster than was expected, the sea-level is also rising faster than expected. Don’t know what else is needed to convince people that global warming is real and that there are serious risks associated with doing nothing to mitigate against the impact of climate change, but more media items like the one below would certainly help.

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49 Responses to Alarmist, really?

  1. Paul Matthews says:

    Have you considered a career in comedy?

    I love the idea that more exaggerated misleading scaremongering articles on climate change in the media would help convince people. Wott planet have you been on for the last ten years?

  2. I didn’t say it would convince people. I said it would better represent our scientific understanding. They are two different things. Have you considered a career in actually thinking about something before commenting?

  3. Paul Matthews says:

    Maybe you should read the last sentence of what you wrote in your post.

  4. Okay, fair enough. I did say that. My mistake. Maybe you may have a point that more of this wouldn’t actually help to convince, but I ‘m not so sure. Of course, if there was more of this, another sector of the media would leap into action to counter it, so who knows what would happen.

    I must say that I’m impressed that you used the word “Wott” in your previous comment. I must be growing on you 🙂

  5. Paul Matthews says:

    Thanks. The point is, there is already tons of stuff like this in the media. Almost every day there is a new hyped-up scare in the Guardian, and it could be that it has the opposite effect, “catastrophe fatigue”, putting people off. Some sceptical scientists say that this type of thing (eg Al Gore’s film) is one of the factors that made them sceptical about climate science in the first place.

  6. Obviously I don’t know the answer to this, but I don’t find what’s presented in the media particularly alarmist. I’m obviously on one side of the debate though, so it’s not surprising that I’d say that. What I liked about the video here was that it presented (fairly in my opinion) the science as we currently understand it. It was “alarmist” in the sense that things (sea level, Arctic sea ice) are changing faster than expected. It wasn’t alarmist in the sense that it said anything with regards to how many people would die if we did nothing.

    So, the science that global warming is happening is strong and the immediate implications of this are rising sea levels, reduced Arctic sea ice and higher temperatures. If we (society) could acknowledge at least this, then maybe we could start openly discussing the implications and what we should do. If we can’t actually acknowledge the basics, then we’re really going nowhere (IMO). So when I say I’d like more of this, I don’t mean alarmist scaremongering, I really just mean presenting the evidence properly and openly. What we decide to do given that evidence is a different issue.

  7. A well-made video. It is a pity that it is sometimes overstating the case.

    “In an few years we will have our first ice free Arctic summer.”

    I am no expert here, but that sounds overly pessimistic to me. Although almost anything may be possible as we do not seem to understand the Arctic sea ice very well.

    “When going up against a fell funded, ruthlessly powerful special interest like the fossil fuel industry. Scientists know that if they rock the boot too much, or just appear to. They might be targeted and discredited.”

    I would personally expect that also without fearing attacks, scientists would be conservative and would have a tendency to err on the side of least drama. You want to make a solid case. To do so you have to investigate all the causes that could make your statement untrue or would make the effect smaller. Investigating the terms that could make the effect larger can be done in future research.

    Furthermore, I would expect that those scientists that are attacked by WUWT and Co. did not expect that that would happen. In my social circle I am the only one who knows that something like WUWT exists and I would not have thought it possible before I saw it. As such, the attacks likely did not influence the decisions of scientists.

    On Mann’s proxy reconstruction: “This is measured.”

    I would not call such a temperature reconstruction “a measurement.” There is a reason we prefer to use real thermometers.

    One consequence of “erring on the side of least drama” is that as you have more data, understand the system better, investigate the terms that would make the effect larger and gain more confidence in the predictions, you will get closer to the mean. This leads to a string of messages saying: the effects are larger than previously expected. If you do not understand this, you may draw the opposite conclusion from this imbalance, namely that scientists are exaggerating things.

    If scientists would not be so “over-careful”, would get the mean right the first time, you would have just as many studies that would claim that effects are weaker as studies claiming stronger effects.

  8. You’re right that it’s better for the scientist to be careful otherwise you will probably regress to the mean from both side. What you say about aspects of the video are also fair. It is tricky to make claims about special interests because although many will think these claims are probably true (or warranted) without evidence it’s tricky to make them. As far as sea ice goes, again you may be right but it seems unlikely that it’s going to be anything close to what was expected. It might take a decade or so, rather than a few years, but it seems unlikely that its going to take until 2100. I probably excused that one on the basis that it may not end up being quite correct, but it’s not going to be all that wrong either (i.e., it’s appears that it is going to be much faster than expected, which is what he was trying to say).

  9. Yes, it is one of the advantages of not being a scientist, that you can speak more freely and consequently often more understandably. To a general audience, the details I pointed out are anyway not important, they do not change the big picture or even the message of the video.

  10. pendantry says:

    @Paul Matthews:
    “Some sceptical scientists say that this type of thing (eg Al Gore’s film) is one of the factors that made them sceptical about climate science in the first place.”

    Non sequitur. Scientists deal with facts; they’re not ‘put off by catastrophe fatique’. The people to whom you refer may be sceptical, but they’re not scientists.

  11. chris says:

    Victor the presenter was referring specifically to the “recent extreme uptick in global temperature” in his statement “this is measured”.

    However I agree with you that this video is deficient. My reaction to watching it is to feel that this presenter is trying to make “political” points. It feeds directly into the “us vs them” false dichotomy that I think is damaging to sensible consideration of the scientific basis for current understanding of anthropogenic global warming/climate change. I don’t think random TV presenters should be presenting this sort of information – there’s no evidence that he really knows what he’s talking about. It doesn’t sound very different in style to the multitude of “news”-presentations/videos by those that support pseudo-scientific interpretations of climate and climate science – it’s far too evangelical – pretty off-putting altogether to me (and I largely agree with his points.)

    It’s interesting ‘though how presentation styles that service the pseudo-skeptical interpretation of science sound so dismal when used to present the more standard scientific description of evidence.

  12. Chris, that’s an interesting comment. I liked the video, but that’s just my opinion. Maybe in a similar theme, I’ve often wondered why the “left-wing” and “right-wing” (poor terminology, but forgive me that) often differ in style. The “right-wing” media can be quite direct, blunt and even insulting (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc), while the “left-wing” tends to rely more on humour and satire (Jon Stewart, for example; although maybe “left wing” isn’t quite right for Jon Stewart, but hopefully you know what I mean). So, maybe, there’s a similar issue here. Those presenting the mainstream science will get more traction if they follow a different style to that of those who present pseudo-skeptical views (George Monbiot versus James Delingpole). I’d never really thought of this and, indeed, you may well have a point.

  13. chris says:

    Yes, it is interesting Wotts ( ‘though we have to bear in mind the differences between the US and UK styles of presentation when we talk about “right wing” and “left wing”), and there’s no question that there is a major issue here:

    Broadly speaking we’re interested in what the evidence shows. We certainly are if we’re scientists (apart from anything else because it causes something akin to revulsion to feel that pseudo-skeptical ideas in support of creepy agendas have traction), but also if we’re the public or policymakers, hopefully. I find myself drawn into the statement that because most “right wing” (we’re talking “US right wing” here although one would include Mr Delingpole perhaps as a Brit wannabe!) presentations on issues scientific are largely bogus (on evolution, climate science and such like) then the presenters are forced into a rather evangelical style that combines smearing the supposed opposition (the science) while attempting to sneak pseudo-scientific explanations past an unwitting (or adoring) audience. [apols for the clunky sentence construction].

    It’s very easy to mock this in the Jon Stewart style. He’s very effective although he (like the hard core right wing commentators) are playing to their particular audiences, and it may be unlikely that either will convince the average Joe Public.

    Where those that are interested in portraying faithful representation of science have an enormous advantage is that the science and its evidence are on their side. It doesn’t need to be presented in an evangelical style. It should be presented with enthusiasm, dignity and clarity. One certainly shouldn’t refer to “shills”!

  14. You’re quite right that I was mixing US and UK styles and they aren’t the same. Indeed, those interested in portraying a faithful representation of science do have an advantage in that the evidence is one their side, but there is still a non-trivial presentation issue. How do you faithfully portray the science while still capturing people’s interest? When I started writing this I was going to say that it’s tricky to get the balance right, but some do manage to do so and the media should really just aspire to that. It’s not so much what you say (the evidence exists and we don’t need to do anything to make it seem more interesting than it already is) it’s how you present it.

  15. chris says:

    “How do you faithfully portray the science while still capturing people’s interest?”

    Good question. If all scientists had the presentation skills of Richard Alley that would be great. Even somewhat dryer presentations of the sort that Andrew Dessler gives are compelling because they portray (IMO) a sense of expertise and clarity.

    Simple honest narratives can be very effective. Perhaps the most compelling scientific presentations I’ve ever watched are the episodes of “Earth Story” (a geological history of the Earth and its interrelations with life) presented by Aubrey Manning for the BBC/Open University. They are so good! (and deliciously you can watch them on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyooQThcT9I ).

  16. Rachel says:

    I didn’t really like the video either even though I largely agreed with what he said. I’m not sure why. There was something fake about his delivery. His mannerisms and voice in places didn’t feel genuine.

    It’s an interesting topic though, the idea that scientists have been under-stating the risk and I think this is probably true. I hope the scientists, if they do understate risks, are mindful of the Italian scientists who were charged with manslaughter for failing to adequately communicate the risk of an earthquake to L’Aquila, Italy in 2009.

  17. Interesting, I quite liked it but – as I’ve said – that’s just my opinion. I actually quite liked his voice, but I think that’s because it reminds me of someone else – but I can’t think who that is.

    The Italian scientist issue is interesting because I think you’re right, they were prosecuted for not communicating the risk properly, not because they didn’t actually predict it (which is what people initially thought). The subtlety though (I think) is that they were being paid as government advisers so it was seen that had not carried out that role properly (i.e., it wasn’t simply that as scientists they hadn’t communicate well). I have wondered, however, what will be said in the future if (when?) the impact of global warming is much more obvious. Will people start to blame scientists for not communicating more effectively or will they recognise how hard that was given the opposition. A combination I suspect.

  18. toby52 says:

    Sceptical scientists say this sort of thing ….
    That is so Father Ted. We all turn up our nose at “this sort of thing” when it does not suit own own message.
    Overall, good, but he does over-egg the cake the bit. There is a scenario that takes the globe to over 5C by 2010 but I am not sure if it is the “business as usual” model.
    The fact is that there are scientists who think the IPCC is not emphasising the risks enough. The real debate is between those who think so, and the others who think the IPCC is a bit too alarmist.

  19. andrew adams says:

    Yeah, so if scientists want people to properly appreciate the risks associated with climate change they should deliberately play down those risks.

    Just like scientists should acknowledge uncertainties and provide the necessary caveats… except when they do so they are accused of using weasel words.

    Yet another case of heads you win, tails the climate scientists lose.

  20. I’m afraid I’m with Victor, Chris and Rachel. No concern trolling intended, but this video sets the bar far too low. I’m particularly with Victor re the scientists response to attacks. They are conservative by nature, and I’m sure that’s what the Brysse paper says (haven’t bothered to check right know). It has nothing to do with any attack whatsoever.
    Since when is the IPCC projecting the CO2 rise? They assume specific scenarios. We might follow the worst case scenario (we do, in fact even worse), but that has nothing to do with an underestimation on the part of the scientists! For example, in Jim Hansens famous 1981 paper, three scenarios for rise in GHG concentrations were presented. Turned out we ended up between best and medium-case scenario due to the collapse of the former soviet/socialist countries.

    Since it fits here, let me add another comment: While I don’t have issues with the presentation of the Arctic ice, I wouldn’t be surprised if things remain unchanged for the next 5 or 10 years up there. Conditions are certainly really bad (80% less ice volume), but if the NAO regime were to shift considerably, things might just keep cold (see this summer for example) for a decade or so (no dipole pattern, slow transport and melt through Frame street, etc.). Inevitably, Arctic sea ice decline would stop. That’s gonna be a tough sell (even to “normal” lay people). However, it is entirely in line with that what we actually expect to happen up there. So far, each paper I get to read keeps insisting that part of the recent Arctic sea ice decline could well be due to natural variability. So we should be warned if ice isn’t going to decline further for the next couple of years as most of us expect (including myself).

  21. Tom Curtis says:

    I’ll add my voice to those that dislike the video. The reasons are, first that the presenter cherry picks examples in which the IPCC has underestimated risk (based on current measurements). There are other examples where they have over estimated the risk as well. Second, he is loose with facts. The Arctic, for example, is unlikely to be sea-ice free in summer in a few years (although it is likely to be ice free in summer in a few decades, long before the predictions of the IPCC). The last time the Arctic was sea-ice free in summer (or essentially so) was the Holocene Climactic Optimum (8,000 years ago). Prior to that, it was essentially sea ice free during the Eemian, 130-114 thousand years ago. Both are long after the evolution of modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens), which occurred about 200 thousand years ago. Further, the original MBH 98 and 99 “hockey sticks” are no longer accepted as accurate by any body in the paleoclimatology community, including Michael Mann. The problem is not that they overstate the Medieval Warm Period (they do not), but that they understate the Little Ice Age.

    I’m quite happy with the manner of presentation, but such presentations do not help if they are not accurate.

  22. dana1981 says:

    I must have missed the ‘exaggerated misleading scaremongering’. This video just reported on Byrsse et al. (2012).
    http://skepticalscience.com/climate-scientists-esld.html

    But when you’re in denial, any negative predictions are ‘scaremongering’.

  23. Tom Curtis says:

    That should be “… is not that they understate the Medieval Warm Period …”

  24. It seems like I may be in the minority here in liking the video. I will say, though, that I agree with everyone who is saying that the media should be careful in how they present the evidence. I maybe excused a bit much of what was said in the video as being “close enough”.

    I will say, however, that all these people here suggesting that they don’t like the video does seem to at least illustrate one of the points being made in the video. It seems that accusing people who accept AGW of being alarmist is often (always?) unfounded 🙂

  25. Rob Painting says:

    The Arctic, for example, is unlikely to be sea-ice free in summer in a few years (although it is likely to be ice free in summer in a few decades, long before the predictions of the IPCC)

    I think it is going to be ice-free much sooner than that. The current state of the wind-driven ocean circulation is forcing strong upwelling in the polar gyres, i.e. anomalous volumes of cold water are being drawn to the surface, and in turn are lowering surface temperatures. Poleward transport of heat – when the ocean circulation is strong, is via the ocean. This is not the most efficient way to move tropical heat poleward because the only sizeable pathway to the Arctic Ocean is through the Atlantic.

    However, when the ocean circulation is weak, Ekman suction (upwelling) in the polar gyres is weak too. The climate system compensates for the dawdling oceanic meridional transport through a spin up of the atmospheric circulation. This atmospheric heat transport is much more efficient, as it is not constrained by basin pathways. The wind-driven ocean circulation reached a peak in 2004-2005 and has been fitfully winding down since then.

    The Arctic sea ice is really just a giant slushy now – very little multi-year (thick) ice remains. When the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) switches to a positive phase, and the ocean circulation moves into a sluggish mode, the Arctic ice is probably going to experience much more intense warming than it is now. I suspect it will disappear very quickly.

  26. plg says:

    I find the video useful reasonable contrast to the lack of reporting mostly everywhere else.

    However, my criticism is that while presenting the risks of climate change, it is also saying the “scientists are wrong”, thereby reinforcing the idea that the science is in doubt. This is particularly damaging since it comes form someone who affirms climate change.

    This is a common misunderstanding of how science works: the IPCC do not do “predictions”, they do a number of “projections” based on clearly stated assumptions. For example, they do not say “The temperature will rise 2 degrees”, they say “Under the following conditions, the temperature is expected (projected) to rise 2 degrees”. IPCC can rightly be criticized for having too conservative assumptions, but otherwise there is nothing wrong with the report.

    An example: The last IPCC report clearly stated the the contributions to sea level rise from glaciers were excluded since the data at that time was not sufficiently well understood, so what they said was “if we disregard contributions from glaciers, and under the following greenhouse scenarios, the sea level is *projected* to rise XX cm”. This is not wrong, it does not cast the model in doubt, but we know the *assumptions* are conservative.

    I think it is important to establish trust in that the scientist actually know pretty well what they are doing, and they state conclusions and projections in a carefully worded language. Sadly, by the time scientific findings are reported in the media, all that careful wording is stripped away or simplified to the point that creates a lot of misunderstanding.

    For the reasons above I do have slight dislike of the video as it continues to undermine the trust in the science. Having said this, I still think the video is kind of OK, as a contrast to everything else.

    Watch it again, with new eyes…

  27. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rob! I tend to agree, although I remain to be convinced of the existence of an IPO. I’d rather prefer to speak of PDV or IPV. Re ocean circulation: So far my thinking has been that the strong (Arctic) ocean circulation in the decade prior to 2005 led to persistent multi-year-ice (MYI) export/transport through Fram Strait, causing a considerable decline in MYI which otherwise wouldn’t have occurred. Such reduced, the enhanced atmospheric heat transport had a walk-over the remaining ice. Also, such reduced, it is hard to imagine that the remaining ice could hold out forever … but if the ocean circulation keeps being stronger without ice export through Fram Strait … who knows what happens?

  28. You make a valid point. The more comments I get the more I’m re-thinking what I think of the video. I clearly liked it when I first saw it, but there are issues with the presentation and the style that may not make it the optimal manner in which to present this information. Indeed watch it again, with new eyes…

  29. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Hartmann’s video is tediously wrong (I honestly thought you were trolling when you first posted it, Wotts) but Hartmann himself is totally fascinating. If the 1960s hadn’t existed, we’d have had to have invented them just so we could have Thom Hartmann. The quick version:

    After Haight-Ashbury and all the usual stuff, Hartmann had a life-changing encounter with a Swiss midget (Kurt Stanslowski AKA Kurt Stanley AKA Master Stanley, 1897-1972) in a darkened room in a Detroit suburb. The midget’s golden aura told Hartmann that he should join a cult founded by the Egyptian seven-ring fakir and yogi Hamid Bey (Naldino Bombacci, Italian vaudeville artist, 1897-1976). When Stanslowski and Bombacci died a few years later, Hartmann was bereft of gurus for a while and drifted into advertising – but then one of his clients said, ‘Why don’t you sell your business and follow me?’. And within a month Hartmann had done exactly that …

    I’ll leave the rest to your own googling. It really is a fascinating story – but not one that can be summarised in a blog comment without attracting the attention of lawyers.

    A few keywords, though: Pimpfe, Mueller, Asme, Eugenik

    TTFN!

  30. plg says:

    To put it in different words: the deniers (I use this word intentionally here) have been attacking IPCC, trying to discredit it as being too alarmist with exaggerated risks.

    Now we have somebody who accepts the facts saying it is too conservative.

    Message to “Average Joe Public”: The IPCC is obviously untrustworthy and useless since both “sides” criticize it, so the science is “not settled” and there is “no consensus”.

    The fact is that the IPCC reports have been largely accurate based on the assumptions stated. However, the report will always be conservative precisely because it is continuously under attack, so it will only contain verified and “settled” science, never the leading edge.

    This also means that the IPCC report will always represent a kind of optimistic best case scenario, sadly the real situation will always be worse than the report.

    We certainly do not need to undermine IPCC or climate science in general.

  31. Tediously wrong? As others have pointed out he may have exaggerated how soon the Arctic will be ice free (but then again, maybe not). His explanation of sea-level rise seems right.

    The story that you can’t expand on without attracting lawyers seems to appear on Thom Hartmann’s own blog.

  32. Vinny Burgoo says:

    OK, I’ll feed you a nice safe snippet to whet your appetite. Hartmann got his homoeopathic medicine PhD from a notorious degree mill and woo factory in Balcombe, Sussex. (Yes, that Balcombe.)

    Mueller is where the real interest lies, though. Hartmann says that he wasn’t a Nazi during the war, and I have found no evidence that he was. After the war? Hmmm. It’s probably safe to say that he was an old-style ‘blood and soil’ German Romantic with an extra dash of authoritarianism.

    And vegetarianism. And opposition to chemical fertilizers and figurative art. And sympathy for the Palestinians. All in all, he probably wouldn’t have been noticeably out of place at the recent protest camps near his alma mater. (Unless he started banging on about the evils of drugs, indiscipline and the unemployed.)

    Bonus keyword: archangel

  33. Chris, yes that is also a possible interpretation.

  34. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Correction: Near his disciple’s alma mater, of course.

  35. BBD says:

    Vinny Burgoo

    Let me start by saying that I’ve always enjoyed your commentary elsewhere.

    My minor nit-pick here is that however loopy TH may be (and thank you for the backgrounder on someone I confess I had never heard of), it doesn’t bother the Moloch of Physics.

    So in the context of subtexts (sorry!) it’s irrelevant.

  36. Tom Curtis says:

    I thought Vinny Burgoo’s attempt at character assassination as a substitute for rational critique not worthy of a response. As it is hard to detect irony on the internet, however, and I do not know whether BBD is serious in his comment, I will draw attention to the following paragraphs from the wikpedia entry on Gottfried Muller:

    “From 1951–1954, he worked for Siemens selling vacuum cleaners. He moved his family to Stuttgart, but he was not satisfied with his regular life and the relative prosperity it gave him. Often, pictures of his imprisonment and escape, the death cell, and his rescue came to mind. After being imprisoned he vowed to be a vegetarian and non-smoker. Moreover, he had promised God: ‘If I get out of here, I want to serve You and help the poor’.”

    He became more distanced from the idea of making money. The reconciliation between Christians and Jews meant a lot to him. He contacted Abram Poljak, a Messianic Jew, and during these years, he organized a number of lectures with Poljak in Germany, Switzerland, England, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. At this time, he gave everything he possessed to two old and disabled Jewish women who were in need. His marriage had begun to suffer from his continued social commitment, and he and his wife separated, eventually divorcing in the 1960s.

    Vinny Burgoo may enjoy painting a person committed to reconciliation between Jew and Christian as a type of crypto-nazi; but that only shows what a tawdry little man he is. He demonstrates he is of the same ilk as those who would call opponents of the former apartheid regime communists because of that opposition, and nazis because of their concurrent support of an independent Palestinian state in Palestine.

  37. BBD says:

    As it is hard to detect irony on the internet

    Sorry about that Tom.

    The bit about the irrelevance to the Moloch of Physics was meant to be a dead giveaway, but as you say, this is a stunted and difficult medium.

  38. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Gosh! Wikipedia. Tom, that’s a cut-and-paste from Salem’s own website. Things were a bit more complicated than that.

    But look, I’m not saying that Mueller never did any good – and, to be very clear, I do not think that Hartmann is a Nazi or anything even moderately close to that. I think he’s enormously gullible: a holy fool and, perhaps, a useful idiot. He first fell for an Italian posing as an Egyptian fakir; then, after a few years in the wilderness without a leader, he fell equally quickly for another dodgy mystic, Gottfried Mueller.

    As I said before, Mueller can’t be safely summarized in a brief blog comment, and I don’t think anybody wants me to write a book-length comment. (I certainly don’t.) But here’s a starter:

    http://www.zeit.de/1979/17/gottfried-muellers-kleine-pimpfe/komplettansicht

    On the other side, there’s this, written by his son:

    http://biophile.co.za/activism/salem-gottfried-muller%E2%80%99s-active-brotherly-love

    There’s lots more out there. Make up your own mind, Tom. (And don’t forget to clean your teeth.)

  39. Vinny, can you please explain the relevance of this. You seem to be suggesting that something Thom Hartmann may have done sometime in the 1970s should be used to judge him today. Seriously? He was probably about 20 at the time. If we judged everyone by what they did when they were in their 20s, there would be almost noone left and all of those left would be far too boring to actually take seriously anyway.

  40. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, Hartmann has been a big supporter of the Salem doodad for the last 35 years. Today’s Salem seems to be solidly philanthropic but it wasn’t always so and it most likely wasn’t when Hartmann first climbed aboard.

    As for relevance: none re global warming or that blog that I read about twice a year and you are apparently obsessed with. My obsession is the wackier reaches of environmentalism, and Bruderschaft Salem, Mueller and Hartmann are right out there. (Does anyone know how Mueller reacted when his 1982 End Times prediction failed?)

  41. Tom Curtis says:

    Vinny Burgoo, I really don’t care whether Muller’s philanthropy is the result of deep philosophical thought, or mysticism. What I care about is that it is obviously philanthropy, and obviously not anti-semitic. Despite this, you attempted to paint it as being anti-semitic, first by describing it as “blood and soil” German Romanticism, and emphasizing his commitment to a free Palestine. Unless you are denying the factual claims made on wikipedia, ie, that Muller donated all his possessions to two crippled Jewish women, and that he has been active in seeking reconciliation between Christians and Jew, you have clearly cherry picked your information to create an adverse impression of Muller. That is, you have indulged yourself with unscrupulous character assassination.

    Given that that is what you have done, I would far rather associate with Muller than with you.

  42. BBD says:

    Vinny Burgoo

    And it still doesn’t bother the Moloch of Physics.

    So in the context of subtexts, it’s still irrelevant.

  43. BBD says:

    Wotts

    As I suspect you already know 🙂 the conflation of “environmentalism” with physical climatology is a standard ploy. Misdirection and argument from false equivalence.

  44. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Tom, look up Messianic Judaism. Wikipedia is always a good place to start.

    BBD, I’m not conflating environmentalism with physical climatology. That I can’t be arsed to fisk Hartmann’s ignorant home-made graphs says nothing about my acceptance of the science that he misrepresents. Don’t be so effing tribal.

  45. Vinny, he’s not mis-representing the science.

  46. BBD says:

    I’m not being tribal, Vinny. I’m being correct.

  47. Tom Curtis says:

    Vinny, I know what Messianic Judaism is. The difference between a “Messianic Jew” and an Orthodox Jew mattered not one whit to the Nazis. So even if Muller’s attempted reconciliation is only with “Messianic Jews” (of which you have shown no evidence), that is irrelevant to the fact that you have painted him as an anti-semite (and worse) when plainly he is not.

  48. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Tom, calm down. Where did I say that Mueller was anti-Semitic?

  49. Tom Curtis says:

    Wotts, he does misrepresent one piece of the science, ie, the duration since the last ice free arctic summer (which occurred about 8000 years ago). On the other hand, the graphs are accurately drawn (so far as I can tell by eye). Vinny does not “fisk” the video because most points made in it are correct.

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