Tidying Up

With lots of new readers from different directons, I thought it was time to make this blog more accessible. I’ll add an annotated contents page when I can. 

In the meantime, I’ve sorted out the Categories and added some. “Weirdos”, “Phantom Bodies” (and of course “Apocalypse Close” for the initiates) are probably the most fun. “France Italy & the Rest” is for everything foreign. “Sociology of Climate Change” is what I intended to be the principle subject here, and I note that the oldest articles are probably the best.

For example, in


I said of one of the umpteen green corpse-counting reports which constitute the main corpus of global warming literature:

“The Danes’ brief dummy’s guide to climate change is peppered with footnotes referring to the IPCC report which, being based on science, is full of doubts and uncertainty. But the key references, the ones which allow of no doubt and which justify the references to collapse and devastation, are the ones from Doran, Oreskes and co., a bunch of incompetent mendacious third-rate social scientists who can’t count higher than 77, can’t read the titles of articles in Nature without moving their lips, and can’t produce a peer-reviewed paper which doesn’t sound like a cat food commercial.”

I don’t think the analysis of the social scientific reaction to the global warming phenomenon has advanced since then. 

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5 Responses to Tidying Up

  1. Lewis Deane says:

    Noted. About the Lew affiar, I think what might be very interesting, from a sciological point of view, and also a philosophical, which mean the same thing as regards you and I, can tend to obscure what is perhaps most essential: This was and is pure ad hominem, which is as old as time. However, it was the Marxists, not necessarilly Marx, though he seemed to give the cue, who perfected this, in our modern times. Sorry, if the spelling is bad , I’m writing this on an old nokia.

  2. Geoff,
    “I don’t think the analysis of the social scientific reaction to the global warming phenomenon has advanced since then”.
    I’m going to disagree with you slightly here. Yes there is a crowd of activists masquerading as serious academics whose ‘research’ is based on their own opinions, anecdotes and false analogies, and you have given some of the key names (though Riley Dunlap deserves a mention).
    But there is also what I think of as a ‘new wave’ of sociologists who are starting to study the subject with objectivity and adopting a more scientific evidence-based approach.

    For example, the Grundmann and Scott paper mentioned on the France thread finds (reading between the lines slightly) that the claim that sceptics get disproportionate media coverage is not true. There’s also Warren Pearce (I may have a slight bias here!) and Amelia Sharman, whose “Mapping the climate sceptical blogosphere” is reasonably systematic and accurate, once you get past her kow-towing to the usual suspects in the introduction.

  3. Paul Matthews
    Sorry, I meant my analysis hasn’t advanced since then.
    You cite Amelia Sharman’s paper, “Mapping the climate sceptical blogosphere” saying that it is “reasonably systematic and accurate,”. Sorry, but she starts off with:
    “Evidence supporting the reality of climate change and its anthropogenic cause is overwhelming in the peer-reviewed literature (J. Cook et al. 2013; Doran and Zimmerman 2009)”.
    Yeah. 76 out of 30,000 cats who prefer Whiskas = 97%. Apparently that’s good enough for peer-reviewed science. Sorry, but if you cited that in a catfood survey you’d be drummed out of the Market Research Society. So don’t do it, Amelia. Nor John Cook, naughty boy.

    I’ve just reread Grundmann & Scott.
    There’s a lot one might say about this paper, but just to cite the Conclusion: “Coming back to the initial questions, Are climate scientists losing the PR war?”
    So which climate scientists would that be? The 97%, or the 3%? And what PR war? Ths is the first mention of a war in the paper, which up till then is concerned with a comparative analysis of coverage of climate questions in four countries.
    Who’s at war? I think we ought to know.

  4. Yes, sorry, I realise I mis-parsed what you wrote. With the Sharman paper, and academic papers generally, it’s best to wizz past the introduction and get to the content. The purpose of the intro is to cite and flatter the people who are likely to review the paper. If she had started with “Cook et al is a pile of crap and so is Doran and Zimmerman” or words to that effect, the paper would have had no chance of being published.

  5. RoyFOMR says:

    Perhaps asking the good Bishop to point his link to your home page rather than a sub page may fall into the ‘tidying up’

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