Sunday, August 16, 2009

Roger Pielke Jr.: Honest Broker Or Home Town Ref (For The Other Side)?

If you've ever wondered why the vast majority of Climate Scientists distrust Roger Pielke Jr. in his self-proclaimed role as "Voice of Moderation' or "Honest Broker" for the climate change debate, look here. Attempting to find media bias in the reception of Michael Mann's new paper re. historical hurricane numbers vs. Landea's paper on (roughly) the same topic, he runs a google search and finds 1,264 citations for Mann vs. 1 for Landsea, and insinuates that the press is biased towards AGO alarmist results.

Of course, Michael Mann is also the name of a well-known film director (fittingly enough, he directed Heat back in 1995), and when you strain those references from the Google search, you get about 11 vs 5, a result that is probably due to one paper being published in Nature and the other in The Journal of Climate.


Anonymous said...

But there is really only one Michael "The Schtick" Mann.

Nobody can torture numbers like he can.

Steve Scolnik said...

It's worse than just the other Michael Mann. As noted in the comments at Deltoid, even eliminating him brings up all kinds of irrelevant news stories on current tropical storms. They don't call them Googling Monkeys for no reason.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

BCL.. curiously, Pielke acknowledged his "sloppiness" on August 13, 2009, and corrected the deficiency to 27 to 3. Some, uh, 4days before your post.

Curiously, however, Pielke's blog, even if you don't agree with his basic opinions, does examine global warming on a much more detailed basis than most blogs, with ongoing arguement back and forth in a way that at least stimulates intelligent debate.

I'm not sure if there is any direct relevance regarding the tendancy of the media to report pro-warming studies over the contrary, however, I think it does warrent at least a thought to wonder if people like Al Gore, who mislead in hopes of getting our attention are, actually, in the long run hurting their cause.

On a more recent blog, Pielke points to the comment of Nobel Prize Winning Economist who supported President Carter back as far as 1980 in seeking to find support for addressing global warming issues..

"It's a tough sell. And probably you have to find ways to exaggerate the threat."

This is Al Gore, this is David Suzuki, this is the problem.. the public, in general, is self-interested. And if you tell them they need to tighten their belts in a serious way, they had best be convinced there is a reason for it.

So - knowing this, and being desperate, advocates of climate change may exaggerate the risk potential. Problem is, the more their alarmist rhetoric is shown to be just that, the less likely we are to adopt change that is warrented.

It's the chicken-little theory. And the more I read about some of Schelling's thoughts, the more I think that a moderate approach is more likely to gain public support and less likely to result in wholesale refusal of the public to even consider climate change as perhaps not a catastophic risk, but a risk nonetheless.