Saturday, 25 February 2012

An answer to Jo Moreau

Rechauffement Climatique Jo Moreau scepticismeAs the comment doesn’t seem to get through on his blog, i’ll post it here.
A few remarks on the last post on the blog of Jo Moreau (mind you, the original post of Jo is in French, a fact Newt Gingrich disagrees with.
if you don't mind, i'm going to answer in English, as it's easier for me. It's a bit late, so i'm gonna stick to some loose remarks.
I'm a little surprised the way you characterize my blog, but you're entitled to have your own opinion.
Yes in blogposts i have mentioned several times the amount of money several people received. To which you add "très imprécises ou exprimées au conditionnel", a fact i disagree with: i often have mentioned exact amounts of money, and have always provided a source for that. You do not 'accuse' people of receiving funding without having a source (and i have criticized people who do make such accusations).
The amount of money people receive matters, yet sometimes does not matter at the same time. As said on Lucia’s and Twitter, i think the Heartlandgate-affair is uninteresting, from the point of view a think thank paying people isn’t any new info, is it ? Yes, there are a few people in the climate debate i consider to be dishonest (and no, i will not give names, because i cannot ‘proof’ it) but that list of people is short, very short (10, maybe 20 people, not more).
All other sceptics, even the ones receiving money, i suppose to be honest, yet (of course) i consider them to be biased and wrong, an opinion that is based on science, not money.
As i have explained many times, i think the corporate money is given to people spreading a message favourable for companies, without automatically implying corruption, rather being a form of symbiosis. Nevertheless, i think it doesn’t harm to mention who received which amount of money, because the money can create a depencia-bias, as happened with the Dutch Edmund Burke Foundation, which spent more time in lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry than focussing on its initial goal: studying liberalism.
But the funding-problem gets fishy when someone denies receiving certain funding, while documents proof black on white the person DID receive funding.  In that case personally I do get suspicious. Fred Singer did make statements about his funding which seem to be in conflict with reality
I take notice of your use of the phrase “climate orthodoxy”, though i will not hide i don’t like the use of such sloganesque meaningless phrases, being nothing more than an expression of emotion, rather than thought.  I think such language is nothing but a tool to dehumanize a person and his/her position, and to avoid having to deal with facts, instead of emotion. Moreover, i’m pretty sure you will fail to translate the word to the concrete position i’m taking in the climate debate. It seems to be a strawman-argumentation.
Your remark a consensus is a political statement, not a scientific one isn’t entirely true. It takes some philosophy of science, but the fact  there’s no such thing as a positive proof, the acceptance of a scientific theory depends –always!- on a consensus.