Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Argue the science, not the man

So said Anthony Watts the other day.  The discussion was about the theologian scientist Roy Spencer who is a mate, so you cannot expect the same courtesy to apply to Dana Nuccitelli of SkepticalScience.com who is one of Willard's sworn enemies.  If this is starting to sound like a Marvel comic, read on.  Just think of Dana as one of The Avengers, along with his pal John Cook, and a cast of other superheroes.  Loki Watts has joined forces with the frost giants (you need to have seen the earlier film Thaw to understand what happens next).

Funny cartoon by Tosh, supply your own caption
So who is Iron Dana, genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist?  No, just a person who works for a company that occasionally gets some money from the oil industry and sometimes from a whole heap of other things.

But the hypocrisy!  I don't care what Dana does for a living.  I don't care who pays his salary.  What matters is that he is trying to find out the truth, unlike Roy Spencer.  It is all right by me if a scientist believes in God and tries to work out how God makes the Universe works.  It is not all right by me if the scientist starts telling me that God has already told them how it works. 
Some of this might not be true

So having established one rules for his mates and another rule for his enemies, Loki Watts lets the troglodytes glimpse some daylight.

Greg says:
The two mugshots they’ve chosen for Guardianenvironment make them look like a stand-up comedy doulbe act. Probably not far from the truth.
Nice keyboard skills there Greg.  And such a deep and meaningful comment about the science.

Nick in Vancouver says:
Hmmm – Benzene – CO2?, Benzene – CO2? does any body know an environmental scientist who can tell me which one is poisionous, i think we’re gonna regulate CO2, but what do I know I’m not an expert.
Here's some info from Buzzle.com:

Mild poisoning symptoms are:
Muscle twitching
Reduced neural activity
Flushed skin
High blood pressure
As the severity of hypercapnia increases, the following symptoms may be experienced:
Elevated rate of cardiac output
Irregular heartbeat
Chest pain
Stomach pain
Memory problems
Changes in vision
Eventually death
Hmm.  Carbon dioxide is poisonous, it's just a matter of how much.  Nice to know those good old skeptics don't check their information first.  Haven't they seen Apollo 13.

Mike Wilson says:
Dana is obviously schizophrenic. His Dr. Jekyll personality (Dana has no phd even though he thinks he is qualified to slander those that do), works in oil and gas. His self inflicted guilt concerning his sins working in O&G, brings out the delusional Mr. Hyde who works for SkS.
Dana, see your Doctor. He can prescribe Lithium for what ails you!
REPLY: I think that is way off base. I don’t see that at all, and you are wrong to suggest it. I nearly snipped this. I simply see Dana and others in his peer group as having a simple case of “noble cause corruption”. They feel they are doing a noble service to mankind, and that end justifies any means. That’s not a mental illness, but a self rationalized attitude. – Anthony

Well, at least Anthony comments on this though why he didn't just snip it, I don't know.  Keen to do that on the Spencer thread but not here.

Russ R. says:
For an individual who knows so little about so much (as he has repeatedly demonstrated by his blogging and tweeting), Mr. Nuccitelli has no hesitation in broadcasting his ignorance while being extraordinarily disrespectful to people who have far greater expertise than him (e.g. Richard Tol, Roy Spencer, etc.)
There’s a word for individuals who carry with them a highly inflated but wholly undeserved sense of self worth.
File under H for hypocrite.

JD Ohio says:
So Dana makes his living getting paid by deniers.
He used the D word.  How come he gets away with it?

beng says:
Another mug that screams for a Hawaiian-punch.
Hey, how about a Hawaiian-punch?
Read the science again, just in case you didn't understand it.  Poommph indeed.
Jimbo says:
It’s just like Pachauri who some years back established a residual oil extraction technology company called Glorioil (name now changed) to help big oil companies extract those last remaining remnants of oil. As for Dana he is a hypocrite. I hope someone on WUWT with a Guardian commenting account point this fact out to him on his next watermelon posting.
Thanks, Jimbo.  Why don't you get off your hypocritical buttocks and register for your own, just like I did (I have one at the Daily Telegraph too). 
Jimbo says:
Joseph Bastardi says:
July 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm
who cares who pays him? I really don’t. If he is truthful and accurate, that is all we should care about, trusting the art, not the artist. So the pursuit of the truth as far as what is going on is what we should be after……….
It’s really not about who pays him but the HYPOCRISY. Dana regularly lets out ad homs about fossil fuel shills. Why should we tolerate this? This is not about polite discussion anymore, it is guerrilla warfare. I say that sometimes you have to fight fire with fire (and evidence).
Busy man, Jimbo.  You almost missed the most important word but just got it in at the end.  Evidence.  This discussion is based on an innuendo by Andrew Neill and running with it in the absence of real evidence of what Dana actually does at work.  Wouldn't it be better to argue that he is being hypocritical when you know what he actually does?  I'd have thought so.  If he were to spend all day coming up with cunning schemes to, for instance, deny that fossil fuels cause climate change, then goes home at night and blogs the opposite, that would be hypocrisy.  But if, for example, his job is to provide environmental clean up schemes dealing with the crap that fossil fuels dump on the planet, then going home and saying that fossil fuels are bad, now that isn't hypocrisy. 

Let's remember that Neill has his own advisors, as illustrated by this battered photograph.  For those deniers who haven't seen it before, where have you been?
Baseball cap tip to Lord Gnome, 3rd viscount of Pressdram

Edited to remove company name lest I join the ranks of the hypocrites.


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