UPDATE: apologies to those who tried to comment from 1 am to 5 am EST Wednesday. My hosting service was doing maintenance and comments were locked out. All is well now.
UPDATE 2:The site was also down nearly all Thursday. If you’re reading this, you can see it’s back up.
You won’t have heard of it, but there is a website called “The Wonk Room“. (Stick around until after the quote for today’s Lesson in Logic.)
Sounds like a fun place, eh? Who doesn’t like a room full of wonks?
Anyway, it turns out that they have added my name to 51 others to form a pack of jokers! Climate jokers, apparently. No, not the kind of guys who might say to a cirrostratus cloud, “Look who just blew into town”, but those who would make light of “The consensus.”
They grouped my name under the heading “Weathermen”, which is close enough.
Here is my comment (I sometimes worry these kinds of comments won’t make it past the censored list):
Hi guys. William Briggs (“Weatherman”) here.
You oddly list us weather guys as having “expert” as opposed to expert (without square quotes) opinions. I gather this means you think your comments are expert and not “expert” on climatology.
It’ll be fun to see if you’ll have the honesty to publish this comment.
Just for fun, here are my credentials: PhD from Cornell in Mathematical Statistics, MS from Cornell in Atmospheric Science, BS from Central Mich in Meteorology. Associate Editor Monthly Weather Review; multiple publications in Journal of Climate and other such places; Member on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee. Etc. Interested readers can go to my web page for more.
Money received from anybody—government, grants, non-profit, industry, etc.—for journal articles or comments in climatology/meteorology: $0.
Industry contacts: 0.
Number of email blasts sent by me on any subject: 0.
Thanks for the interest everybody!
Actually, now that I remember, I did receive gratis travel to give an invited lecture in Spain at the Royal Science Academy last year. I also got some free grub at the Heartland Climate Conference last year. This puts my total dollars received far, far short of one month’s rent payment. But, dammit. Now I have to recant. (I added this comment to their site, too.)
For an interesting exercise in logic, if consensus means agreement by all and some climate scientists do not agree with The consensus, is it still a consensus?
If you answered no, you wouldn’t enjoy yourself in the Wonk Room. Because on their compilation they list “The Scientists: Ph.D.s…[who] are ready to denounce the scientific consensus.” “Scientists…denounce scientific consensus.” But if “Scientists” do not agree then there cannot be a “scientific” consensus, right?
Unless you redefine scientist as one who agrees with The consensus. That move, regardless of what you think of it, does make the argument about consensus valid. All “scientists”, by definition, agree on The consensus, which is therefore a consensus. Do you see what I mean?
This means that those who disagree must not be scientists. Which puts the Wonkers in a dilemma, for they cannot list these folks as “scientists”, which they do.
Those guys must lose a lot of sleep over thinking about these things. Because it gets worse.
Why? Well, none of these Wonkers is himself a scientist. So how can they know who is a scientist and who is not? After all, they do not possess the academic training to be able to tell.
Only thing they can do is to ask a scientist, “Are you a scientist?” If the man says, “Yes”, then the Wonker must also ask, “Do you fervently believe in The consensus.” If the interviewee says “No”, then the Wonker must conclude that the interviewee is deluded or confused.
It’s worse still, because how did these Wonkers know that there was The consensus in the first place? Because somebody told them. And they must have believed what they were told wholeheartedly. And they must have been told by some first person who said, “I am a scientist and here is The consensus. Anybody who does not fervently believe in The consensus is not a scientist.”
This must be the case because, again, the Wonkers have no way to judge on their own the scientific content of The consensus. They must accept, by faith, what the original scientist told them. Arguments against The consensus are not allowed because these would be made by non-scientists, because scientists, by definition, are those who accept The consensus, and who therefore would not—and could not—argue against it.
Whew. What a lot of work, much of tedious and boring, to show that some people have, quite simply, lost their minds.