I’m going to have to start charging you guys for reading this blog. For I am now a named person and known associate of top minds. Like Freeman Dyson.
The great Dyson and I have been named together as “contrarians” in the Nature article “Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians” by Alexander Michael Petersen, Emmanuel M. Vincent & Anthony LeRoy Westerling.
Petersen is a member of UC’s Management of Complex Systems Department, and Vincent and Westerling are part of UC’s—I kid you not—Center for Climate Communication. Which sounds like a thunk tank.
A thunk tank is not a think tank. A think tank is where people go to think. A thunk tank is where sketchy thoughts are imported and given makeovers and botox injections. A thunk tank is also known as a public relations firm, a place where officially approved ideas are massaged, oiled, and sugar-coated for citizen consumption. A thunk tank is the natural home of flacks and apparatchiks, a place where Communications and Journalism “degree” holders go to congratulate each other on their perspicacity.
Here’s the opening of the abstract, a lovely example of how to do thunking well: “We juxtapose 386 prominent contrarians with 386 expert scientists by tracking their digital footprints…”
Prominent contrarians against expert scientists.
That’s some good thunking! The battle is over in the first sentence. The well has been poisoned, and no one need read more.
Who are these charlatan contrarians to lecture their betters, the expert scientists! Expert scientists by definition are the experts, and being scientists are therefore right, or at least the only people worth listening to. Contrarians are nobodies, non-experts out to sow dissension and doubt, probably for filthy lucre.
The abstract also intimates these non-expert contrarians “contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation”.
Doubtless Petersen, Vincent and Westerling are well paid. They should be. This is class A propaganda.
The contrarian scientists, like myself, say “Here’s why we think we’re right”, and the thunk tankers say “Contrarians aren’t expert scientists”. Who could argue with that?
This paper is cheese food science, the kind Nature increasingly specializes in. Just like cheese food isn’t real food, which tastes good going down but which starts to come back up in a mean way twenty minutes later, this paper has a sciency name but which nauseates minds.
It doesn’t say a damned thing about whether anything any contrarian said was right or wrong, or even whether any expert scientist ever gets anything right or wrong. It only says, over and again, with slick graphics and thunk-tank prose, that contrarians aren’t to be respected solely because they aren’t in the The Club. It’s an article designed to make its cheese food authors, and their cheesy readers, feel well about themselves.
I learned of the paper from Judy Curry: The latest travesty in ‘consensus enforcement’.
She found UC’s press release. If the paper is cheese food, the press release is that yellow stuff on the clearance shelf of the dollar store long past its sell-by date.
“It’s time to stop giving these people visibility, which can be easily spun into false authority,” Professor Alex Petersen said. “By tracking the digital traces of specific individuals in vast troves of publicly available media data, we developed methods to hold people and media outlets accountable for their roles in the climate-change-denialism movement, which has given rise to climate change misinformation at scale.”
It’s well to note Petersen himself according to his own bio doesn’t know diddly squat about the subject he’s lecturing us on. He therefore has a false authority, and it’s thus time for respectable people for giving him visibility. Cheeseball.
Here is the official list of Contrarians. On which is Yours Truly (even though I’ve done nothing in the field for two-some years). With a score of “61, 0.04918032786885246,110”. I have no idea what these numbers are, but they’re numbers, which is what makes them scientific. Cheese food.
All I know is my grocery-store brie is matched with Freeman Dyson’s Parmigiano-Reggiano. Whatever else I don’t have going for me, I’ll always be able to say, “At least I made the list.”
There is also a tally of the expert scientists. The guys who are awarded and feted, courted and caressed, and welcomed by every elite organization seeking payouts. Whether they’re right about their predictions of global cooling—who cares! They’re experts!
I, on the other hand, have only suffered for the work I’ve done in global slight-warming. I’ve given about five (as in less than six) speeches over the course of my entire life for which I’ve received honorariums that kept me well stocked, for a brief time, in factory-discard cigars. And that’s it. Overall, the work I’ve done has only cost me money.
Meanwhile, the experts grow fat sucking at the teat of big government, a tremendous conflict of interest they never acknowledge. Cheeseballs.
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