We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Gleick reprised and reinstated

It did not fit easily into my previous post but another example of a person afflicted by “… a desire to maintain the delusion that the world would heed your message if only it were allowed to hear it” is Peter Gleick, who despite having his own blog at Forbes Magazine and turning down star billing to debate his opponents at the Heartland Institute face to face persisted in his belief that they were managing to “prevent this debate”.

Incidentally, the Undebated One has been reinstated at the Pacific Institute, I see from a report in the Guardian. You will
…continue Gleick reprised and reinstated

Why AGW advocates should hope that Peter Gleick did fake that memo.

I may be obsessed with this but the world is not. If I knew how to do one of those word cloud things for UK headlines over the past week or so, I think it would look like this:

Syria Ryan Giggs Euro Horsegate Olympic tube strike PC Rathband climate scientist controversy Leveson

Although in truth the font for “climate scientist controversy” would be too small to see. Partisans on both sides make the distinction I referred to earlier between lies about the way world is and lies as a ruse of war, so to us it matters whether
…continue Why AGW advocates should hope that Peter Gleick did fake that memo.

The Gleick Earworm

1. The soundtrack to this post is “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” by the Electric Light Orchestra. The format will be a vomiting out of points as I think of them, numbered to bring some sort of order to the chaos. I expect to add more after publishing this post. (Update 28 Feb: some new points added.)

2. The title to this post was very nearly The Lying Will Continue Until Trust Improves, being a riff on this catch phrase, but since I do not think most of the people involved are consciously lying – though Gleick is
…continue The Gleick Earworm

They don’t make ’em like that any more

“NYC Under Water from Climate Change By June 2015!”

As a bonus, the first talking head on the 2008 video clip is Peter Gleick, a liar.

On the other hand, you can be a liar without being wrong and wrong without being a liar. Prediction is tricky. I am still three-quarters half willing to be convinced that significant, although not catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming is happening. But supporters of this hypothesis have to explain why we should believe them this time when they were so confidently wrong last time.

Bubbles, lies, and buttered toast

What happens if each of those experts feels entitled, even obligated, to lie just a little, to shade his conclusions to strengthen the support they provide for what he believes is the right conclusion? Each of them then interprets the work of all the others as providing more support for that conclusion than it really does. The result might be that they end up biasing their results in support of the wrong conclusion—which each of them believes is right on the basis of the lies of all the others.

That is one of the reasons I am not greatly impressed
…continue Bubbles, lies, and buttered toast

Similarities between the Dreyfus Affair and the Climate Wars

I’ve been reading about both recently. For those unfamiliar with it, the Dreyfus Affair of the 1890s involved the wrongful conviction of a French officer for treason.

So, the similarities:

In the Dreyfus case, the authorities faked the evidence. In the Climate Wars the authorities sought to “hide the decline”.

In the Dreyfus case, an officer who raised doubts was removed and posted to the desert. In the Climate Wars, anyone raising doubts will find himself in the academic equivalent.

In the Dreyfus case, the authorities were aided by a tide of anti-semitism. In the Climate Wars the authorities are
…continue Similarities between the Dreyfus Affair and the Climate Wars

About those Heartland Institute billboards

The Heartland Institute has aroused much controversy with its recent anti-global-warming billboards, such as this one:

Here is their announcement concerning these billboards, and the fact that they have now taken them down.

Many climate skeptics are most unhappy. Ross McKitrick, for instance, is “absolutely dismayed”:

I am absolutely dismayed. This kind of fallacious, juvenile and inflammatory rhetoric does nothing to enhance your reputation, hands your opponents a huge stick to beat you with, and sullies the reputation of the speakers you had recruited. Any public sympathy you had built up as a result of the Gleick fiasco will be
…continue About those Heartland Institute billboards

The beatings will continue until morale improves

Along with variations such as “The lying will continue until trust improves”, this jokey phrase is, alas, a completely accurate description of what many of our most lauded and influential thinkers believe is the best way for them and their class to motivate those less lauded and influential.

Guy Lodge is associate director at the Institute for Public Policy Research and a Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He writes:

Bad weather in parts of the country will no doubt have played a role in keeping some voters at home, but clearly this doesn’t account for the worrying
…continue The beatings will continue until morale improves

The dismantling of CAGW continues

Spring is in the air, and there is a spring in the step of the climate skeptic blogs these days, the two big ones on my radar being Bishop Hill and Watts Up With That. Peter Gleick‘s trickery, already written about here by Natalie Solent, combined with the willingness of so many on his team to try to promote him as some kind of hero rather than condemn him as the failed fraudster that he is (see also this posting about Michael Mann), means that although climate skepticism hasn’t won, it continues to win. Slowly but surely, C(atastrophic) A(thropogenic) G(lobal)
…continue The dismantling of CAGW continues

An exercise for the reader

This sounds like fun: An online and open excercise in stylometry/textometry: Crowdsourcing the Gleick “Climate Strategy Memo” authorship

If enough people participate, it might become a story in itself.

UPDATE: I would like to add a few more thoughts.

– First, as I said in the comments, battle has been joined. Joe Bast, the president of the Heartland Institute, has openly accused Peter Gleick of forgery in this video interview for the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. There is no going back for either of them. Gleick must now sue Bast for libel if he is to maintain what’s left
…continue An exercise for the reader

Samizdata quote of the day

After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.

– Megan McArdle

Schrödinger’s memo

Do you ever find the structure of a situation in the news fascinating in its own right, as you would the plot of a novel, almost irrespective of how it pans out in the real world?

Some documents were tricked or leaked out of an anti global warming thinktank, the Heartland Institute. Most of these documents have been admitted to be genuine, and while opinions differ as to how shocking they are, they were certainly not stuff that the Heartland Institute had wished to share with the world. So far the tables are turned on the the Climategate affair.
…continue Schrödinger’s memo