If you’re new to the site, don’t forget to check out the Classic Posts page.
Our continuing walk through Summa Contra Gentiles is postponed until next week. Feel free to pass this around, but only in its entirety and with a link back to the original.
All my efforts to educate reporters were in vain. It turns out they’d rather remain wallowing in their muck than learn about the subjects on which they write. The worst examples are Justin Gillis and associate at the far left New York Times.
So I failed. I was a fool to try. I let myself forget that I was dealing with a class of people where the gap between actual and perceived ability is not only wide, but is a gaping chasm. To expect mainstream science reporters to understand science is like asking an environmentalist to be reasonable. I should have remembered most journalists suffer from reporteritis, the degrading ailment whereby because reporters cover important people and events they come believe they are important, too. Sadly, there is no known cure.
Here’s the story. Lord Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates, and I wrote a paper called “Why models hot” which offers an explanation on why climate models are so awful. Which they are: awful. We received no money for the work, nor was any offered. We did the work entirely on our own time. Unlike journalists who have to conform to their employers’ ideological and political convictions and scientists who accept government grants in hopes of receiving more in the future, we were beholden to no one.
Listen: there has to be some reason for the repeated dismal embarrassing failure of climate models to conform to reality. We might be wrong about why they stink, but then again we might be right. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we are? No more having to fret and whine and worry about the sky falling! Something to celebrate, no?
No. Not if your existence depends on selling doom and scaring the wits out of the gullible. The cult-like Greenpeace and other True Believers understood that our paper cast serious doubt on the silly hypothesis that man-made global warming will soon kill us all—unless government expands by leaps and bounds. They freaked.
Greenpeace and like-minded zealots knew that there was no answer to “Why models run hot” except to admit climate models were a failure (but see this attempt at an answer by a real scientist). So they did what came naturally to the morally decrepit: they tried to change the subject. And the best way to do that, they thought, was to discredit the authors of the paper. That this kind of unethical ignoble oafish behavior has no place in science is nothing. Rank degeneracy comes naturally to activists and their puppy journalistic followers.
Now Lord Monckton has no regular position, and neither do I (not that I don’t want one). So True Believers had no traction with us (though I was hacked). Legates and Soon have jobs. The coward Greg Laden touted a petition to have Soon fired. The troubled David Appell tried FOIA-ing Legate’s employers, but it turned out that because none of us received any money for our work, there was nothing to see, and Legates’s employers turned him down.
But Soon’s employers were more generous and shared with Greenpeace Soon’s correspondence. But poor Greenpeace came away disappointed. We claimed we got no money—no nothing—from nobody. We claimed it because it was true. I tried telling reporters this until my fingers were sore (here and here), but none of them ever seemed to hear it. It’s as if they didn’t want to.
Well, Soon, like most other scientists in research positions, has at times accepted grants from sources other than our most beneficent Government. Greenpeace, for instance, often hands these kinds of things out (ask reporters why any scientist receiving Greenpeace money doesn’t forever after admit a conflict of interest). Since Greenpeace couldn’t discover what wasn’t there, they sent their ill-gotten goods to some folks in the press with no honor hoping merely by making an accusation they could cause a stink. A sort of variant of the “Hey Gillis, are you still sleeping with goats?” trick.
Any honest man would have thrown the emails back in Greenpeace’s face, as it were. But we’re dealing with mainstream reporters, not men. Somehow they convinced themselves that they were involved in a higher calling, that to cast wrongful aspersions on an innocent man was okay as long as it was for a good cause. Besides, they were only doing their job. There were “allegations”. They were just following orders.
Soon is an honest man and my friend. Not only has he done nothing wrong, he has done everything right. Like what, for instance?
Like co-authoring the paper “Why models run hot.” Were you aware, dear reader, that climate models have been promising gold but have been delivering low-grade manure for decades? Repeated extended horrifying terrible shockingly awful predictions have been passed off as sound immaculate don’t-you-dare-doubt-it SCIENCE for years and years and years and even more years despite their awful stench. How did this happen?
One theory is that the human race is insane. Another is that politicians, reporters, activists, and scientists anxious to improve their circumstance glommed on to what they saw as a good thing merely to enhance their own personal status, riches, and power. This is why actual performance doesn’t matter. This is why actual science is meaningless. This is a left-wing propaganda sheet sent a walking sausage to disparage a good man.
Nobody wants to see the end of the gravy train. Reality cannot be borne, not where there are offices to be secured, awards to be won, grants to be had. Those in power will do anything to hold off the inevitable.
Friends, don’t buy into their nonsense. Refuse to discuss their preposterous “allegations”—such a serious word! If you do, you grant victory to these malevolent beasts. Their intent was to distract and to have you talk about anything except the truth that climate models cannot be trusted. Don’t fall for it!
Let’s only talk about real science. Not one word about “conflicts of interest” except to ask journalists how they dare report on subjects in which they are so manifestly ignorant.
Use this anemic yet opprobrious goon squad attack to good purpose. Every time some citizen says, “Didn’t that scientist fill out a form incorrectly?” remind them that it didn’t matter if that scientist was as dishonest and reprehensible as Al Gore himself, what counts is whether his charge that climate models have been over-promising more insistently than a used car salesman who has fallen behind in his gambling debts is true or not. And it’s true.
Remind everybody that true theories make good forecasts and that false theories make bad ones. And since climate models make bad forecasts, they must be based on false theories.
Update On Twitter I put the question to Gillis whether he had received money from Greenpeace or other like entity. I followed up here and by email (below), but Gillis never answered, though he bravely blocked me on Twitter.
Gillis’s refusal to answer may raise suspicions in some minds.
Here is my email to Gillis:
I’m following up on this story. Have you ever received consideration of any kind (money, food, tickets, anything) from Greenpeace or any like organization concerned primarily with the environment? Same question but about contacts with progressive or “left wing” groups? Have you ever met with any individuals with ties to any environmental organization? Were all of these meetings in conjunction with your job, or were any on personal time?
I’ve tried reaching you by email and Twitter but have yet received no response.
My deadline is 8 am Sunday. I’d appreciate an answer by then.
Update Turns out that several progressive sheets all released the nonsense about Soon at the same time. Isn’t that a curious coincidence. Almost like these “news” organizations were more interested in advocacy than in reporting.
Update Say, maybe I was wrong and those who deny real science are more articulate and thoughtful than I at first supposed. Consider this email (which I edited only with asterisks):
From: Nick Meixler
Subject: your awful
Date: Feb 22, 2015 2:51 PM
You are exactly what is wrong in science today. No wonder you deny climate change after being subsidized by the Koch brothers. Go f**k yourself a**hole. You are a shame to scientists everywhere and an idiot too. Who would have thought there would be an idiot astrophysicist, but you have proven it.
Go f**k yourself,
Nick, “your awful”.
Update I was on Breitbart radio Sunday night. Here’s a summary.