Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. - Joseph Addison
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body – Joseph Addison






17 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. andrei says:

  2. andrei says:

    Who will understand?

    Who will translate?

    Will the message be understood?

  3. Name Withheld says:

    “Those with snouts buried deepest in the climate trough are the engines whose faux science, gingered stats and withdrawn papers drive the alarmist publicity machine, but their mischief would be impotent without the support of the ill-read and ardently gullible”

    Read all about it

    Spoiler alert….
    Contains reference to surgery and surgeons.
    But surprisingly not brain surgeons.

  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, do some proper research rather than repeating rubbish. The oil trough is much much bigger than the climate one, note how many oil companies that are amongst the most profitable in the world:

    Despite their profitability the IMF estimates oil companies receive $5.3 trillion in subsidies a year (around $10 million a minute every day).

    Then look who is funding climate denial by $550 million a year:

    I would love to see evidence of this climate trough 😉

  5. andrei says:

    Another day where “Word of the Day” appears to have gone West

    How about this?

    Clodpole – •(pejorative) a stupid person; blockhead

  6. Mr E says:


    “I would love to see evidence of this climate trough ;-)”

    “The oil trough is much much bigger than the climate one”

  7. TraceyS says:

    “The worst waste of time is to discuss with the fanatic who does not care about the truth or reality, only the victory of his fanaticism.”

  8. TraceyS says:

    Dave, last time I looked a trough was still a trough regardless of the size.

    Arguing over the relative size of troughs does seem a little childish.

  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oil companies are spending 100s of millions to cast doubt on the science while knowing full well that it is sound, just to delay the shift from fossil fuel and damaging their profits. The same approach was used by tobacco companies and many of the same scientists and institutions are spreading propaganda for them.

    The size of “the trough” is very important Tracy as it dictates the reach and effectiveness of any campaign. I do notice that yet again I have evidence from the likes of the IMF (hardly a radical institution) and yet the claims that climate scientists are “troughers” (a common derogatory slater term) are repeated without evidence.

    I see again that personal attacks are the main response, apparently I am childish, a blockhead and a fanatic for promoting the majority view 😉

    Debate the facts not the person. Where is your evidence?

  10. TraceyS says:

    If climate science is unequivocal then why is further funding and campaigning necessary? If the science is settled, as you promote, then surely all the research that needs to be done has been done, and published, and publicised.

    Truth is, science is never settled as was seen with this recent news:

    “The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics…”

    Such “blows” are always on the cards.

  11. TraceyS says:

    “The size of “the trough” is very important…”

    …as that dictates how long you may drink from it, Dave.

    The energies shift to increasing the size of the trough and away from the original purpose of searching for the truth.

    This way participants may drink for longer, and can run more campaigns, because they know that finding the truth may take a while and everyone wishes to live well in the meantime.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey there is consensus on the causes and effects of AGW but as with gravity and all other scientific discoveries there is always more to learn. Obviously we would want to continue to track what is happening globally, especially the rate of change. Climate models are only as accurate as the data that informs them and the greater the data, the greater the accuracy. I would never say that the science is settled, we have some joint understandings and agreement but the research and clarification continues.

    Your trough analogy is flawed because generally speaking it is good science that gets the funding. It is likely that proving the human involvement in climate change wasn’t a popular discovery and wouldn’t have attract too much initial investment. The fact it is getting government funding just demonstrates the level of acceptance that it is worth doing. Also realise that lots of science disciplines feed into climate science and many are not necessarily done just for that purpose. Our monitoring of weather patterns, temperatures, glacial melt, sea acidity and so on is all done for other purposes too.

  13. TraceyS says:

    “…generally speaking it is good science that gets the funding.”

    So there is “good science” which “generally” gets funding? Then by implication there must be another type which generally does not get funding.

    Would you care to define either good or bad science?

    (Note: More than just your personal opinion is required for satisfactorily credible definition.)

  14. TraceyS says:

    “I would never say that the science is settled…”

    Indeed you HAVE!

    I and others here have questioned the science and you’ve shot back accusing us of denial.

    If you honestly agreed that the science wasn’t settled then you would welcome the curiosity, commitment, and challenge of the Citizen Scientist.

    You don’t.

  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey you implied that the process of scientists chasing funding corrupted the science.

    “The energies shift to increasing the size of the trough and away from the original purpose of searching for the truth.”

    If you didn’t mean this you will have to explain what you did mean. I then suggested that good science, or science focussed on truth is more likely to get funding anyway. Science that has peer reviewed support, is well researched and relevant is more likely to get support. Have you evidence otherwise?

    Do find a quote where I say the science is fully settled. There is consensus around climate change that has a degree of certainty, it could never be completely settled but the majority of the research supports one conclusion. I don’t think any science can be considered 100% certain but once it hits the 80-90% then we should take notice. I would never say that a weather prediction of rain is certain as it may not come exactly as predicted and the extent of it may not be quite as predicted either, but most weather forecasts are broadly correct and we would be stupid to ignore a flood or tornado warning.

    Are you saying that because there is not 100% consensus around climate science and only 90%+ that we should not take action?

    What are you saying?

  16. TraceyS says:

    “What are you saying?”

    What I said. My words are as plain as day!

    You said “good science, or science focussed on truth”. So you consider good science is science focused on the truth.

    What’s bad science then – science focused on something other than the truth? Can you give an example?

    To me, good science is science which follows a sound scientific process, whether I agree with the results or not and regardless of whether it appeals to my biases.

    To you, good science is science which fits your world-view; your truth, not the truth.

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    “To you, good science is science which fits your world-view; your truth, not the truth.”

    Not at all, where on earth have I said that, Tracey? That has been my own concern of others here who mainly rely on the opinion of one or two sources that support their distrust of climate science. I am not a scientist myself, so I rely on where the consensus at the time lies rather than throwing my energies into supporting outliers. I do not have the knowledge to assess the relevance of science that is contradictory to where the consensus lies and generally trust science communities to do this for me.

    There is a heap of science research out there and would imagine the the majority follows good process, however I am aware that people interpret findings and data produced differently from those behind it and this can lead to misinformation and misunderstandings.

    Do you think that on the whole climate science is ‘good’ science? Do you believe that we should act strongly to deal with the causes of climate change 9because of the consensus) to ensure the following generations can live comfortably on this planet? If not, why not?

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