Monday, December 21, 2009

The Green Grok: A Skeptics’ Compromise Climate 'Solution'

A reader has contacted us with a comment not allowed through moderation on a blog new to AIC, The Green Grok.  

In this case, AIC finds no reason to believe TGG moderated the reader's comment for purposes of censorship, as it exceeded their explicitly stated 275 word limit.  While 275 words seems to us a to be a fairly low cap for discussing these complex issues meaningfully, we assume TGG has its own reasons for instituting it, and AIC isn't taking issue with the blog instituting or enforcing it.

At the same time, the reader's comment was respectful and on-topic, in response to another person's response to a previous comment by the reader, and certainly not lacking in succinctness.  AIC is happy to provide a space for it.  Perhaps the person the rejected comment was directed at will be able to read the response here.

The article in question:

December 15th, 2009
Climate skeptic Ross McKitrick has proposed a new scheme to address climate change. Reasonable or a (McKi)trick?

At Copenhagen things are going hot and cold, with negotiators from Africa and other developing nations walking out in protest (and walking back in hours later) while the United States and China exchange barbs on who is holding up progress toward an agreement.
Read the rest of the story at the source...

The Green Grok's Comment Policy


  1. My failed-moderation comment was a response to the claim that "The science [of AGW] is pretty much settled." Part 1 (248 words) --

    AMac at Dec 18, 2009 11:49 AM

    Prior to two months ago, I would have agreed with your description [Comment #9] in its entirety. I hadn't looked into AGW, though with a (somewhat antique) undergrad degree in Earth Sciences, I had some background context.

    Today, I would agree with much of what you wrote. The evidence that the planet has warmed considerably over the past century is pretty compelling, CO2 levels have risen substantially, and the physics behind greenhouse-gas theory is well-established.

    There is certainly a mainstream consensus as far as the opinions of scientists on the general extent of warming, its context in light of Holocene climate history, its causation via CO2-mediated forcing, and--looking forward--the strong predictive power of computer models to forecast future climate changes.

    To my dismay, as regards AGW, I have come to believe that "the opinions of scientists" does not map to "scientific opinion." Much less to "the science is pretty much settled."

    "Scientific opinion" refers to falsifiable conclusions that have been arrived at via proper application of the scientific method, as described by Popper and other philosophers of science.

    I won't offer a conclusion as to AGW -- although my layperson's *opinion* is that it is probably a correct general explanation for most of the last 100 years' rise in temperature. I can, however, assert that parts of "climate science" as practiced by members of the climatology community do not achieve the minimum standards of practice that are generally accepted in most or all other areas of physical science.

    --- continues ---

  2. My failed-moderation continuation (content is 205 words) --

    AMac at Dec 18, 2009 11:49 AM

    --- continued (Part 2 of 2) ---

    My assertion is not "AGW is phony;" it's much more limited:

    "Reconstruction of the climate of the past 2,000 years is important to putting recent temperature rises into context. One of the most prominent papers on this subject (Mann et al, PNAS, 2008) was poorly performed, and contains crippling flaws discernable by the educated lay person. Yet its authors have denied its most glaring errors, and failed to correct the paper or retract it. Some prominent scientists in relevant fields have come out in support of the paper's methods (e.g. Gavin Schmidt, William Connolley), while other scientists have stayed silent (e.g. Mia Tiljander). That Mann et al (2008) passed editorial and peer review at a high-impact journal strongly suggests that these quality-control procedures did not perform their functions. The ongoing acceptance of this status quo by the scientific community strongly suggests that informal scientific QC procedures are also failing. If such failures are commonplace, then the consensus conclusions regarding climate and AGW cannot be taken to be properly 'scientific' in form."

    Supporters of the notion that "the science is pretty much settled" should be able to refute the strong claims I have made, thus falsifying my hypothesis.

    For specifics, Google "Tiljander Mann" (without the quotes).

  3. Here's a comment that is only 37 words. Maybe it will pass.

    AMac at Dec 21, 2009 5:43 PM

    My 12/18/09 contribution to this thread failed moderation, possibly because the two parts' combined length of 453 words exceeded GreenGrok's 275-word limit. They can be read at the 12/21/09 post of the blog "An Inconvenient Comment".

  4. "The GreenGrok" published the two-part comment supra, 83 hours after submission. That was 5 hours after being posted at AIComment.

    At that rate and with their length restriction, they are certain to host many haiku climate threads, containing a wide range of scientific perspectives. I wish them joy.

  5. Another contribution to "The GreenGrok" thread. It was submitted to the moderation queue by AMac on Dec 22, 2009 at 9:27 AM.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    The above 2-part comment was submitted on Dec. 18, 2009 at 11:49 AM, not at Dec. 21, 2009 at 10:45 PM, as timestamped.

    Such heavy-handed moderation of on-topic and thoughtful dissenting remarks renders these Comments useless, as a venue for genuine dialog.

    Bug or feature?

    As far as the "Science" part of "Environmental Science", I recommend that GreenGrok evaluate its policies in light of Chapter 23 of Karl Popper's 1945 book ""The Open Society and its Enemies, Volume II -- The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel. Marx, and the Aftermath." The text is online. The relevant six paragraphs begin, "Two aspects of the method of the natural sciences are of importance in this connection."

    Cross-posted to "An Inconvenient Comment."

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