Thursday, 1 April 2010

Out of Breath after a Swift Hack?

Announcing the final nail in the coffin of AGW is a common skeptic argument. There are many variants. Some skeptics will tell you outright the "theory is dead". Some just sadly inform you that "it's over". Others helpfully suggest you can just "give up" (stop making it so hard on yourself!). Amusingly some even think they can pull a fast one on you by saying something like "what shall we focus on now that the co2 theory is dead?".

It's as if they believe it possible to talk a theory to death.

This goes back before climategate even though climategate did see an increased usage in this (and all) skeptic arguments. This kind of behavior of announcing the end of a scientific theory is not an unprecedented tactic of anti-science groups.

I am going to do something similar and predict the imminent demise of climategate. It's over dudes. Like some natural cycle it just reversed. Move on. What will you focus on now that climategate didn't work?

Depressing. Seems some of them really believed climategate would be the "final nail in the coffin of AGW"

What was climategate? (like how I slipped in some past tense there?) It was more than just hacked CRU emails and data, it was mostly in fact skeptic interpretations, imaginations and topics from their past blog posts. The skeptics made sure to take every thread from the hacked emails and data they could find, but they also redoubled their efforts at smearing scientists, science institutions, surface temperature records, etc. They gave it their all - threw it all into the mix. Tried to create one massive "climategate" reason to dismiss all the science. Annoucing the end of the "co2 theory" as they sometimes put it, was a heavily invested goal.

Except we knew that wouldn't work because it was a facade. A facade that would have misled many of the public. But a facade nonetheless. It was layer upon layer of desperately bad arguments. Grasping at straws. There were good criticisms to make concerning the CRU emails and data, but they weren't nails in the coffin of manmade global warming - so not enough for the skeptics. They wanted something mega, so they span it up like crazy. They sprinted.

Now the skeptics cannot keep up that momentum, and worse the damage they have left behind is catching up with them. It must have been very exciting to have the spectre of "pending investigations" to spin, but it's not so exciting anymore when those investigations start to reach their climax..

The skeptics will be quick to complain that the investigations didn't look at the right emails, or the right data or the right arguments. The problem though is that skeptics created a cloud of rubbish arguments. If they had a point, they should have reduced the noise and just made a few clear arguments.

It was fun while it lasted. Now climategate is running out of steam. They've had their sugar rush and now they are descending into the dumps. Depressing.

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