Friday, 20 November 2009

A note on scepticism

In the Blogosphere of climate debate a major earthquake has hit. Supposed data and email communication has been allegedly obtained by fair means or foul from the Climate Research Unit (attached to to University of East Anglia). The material was brought to the interwebbie via this blog:

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/

Now, of course, given the nature of the contents, which variously paint a picture of a distinct cabal of "insiders" looking to promote their own research and conclusions of that research by any means at their disposal, this has been dynamite.

I am not going to comment on the contents, but rather about the blog response to date and what this rapidly evolving story says about scepticism in general and scepticism as it specifically relates to the hypothesis of Dangerous Anthropogenic Climate Change.

One of the pitfalls of human behaviour is "confirmation bias". It happens everywhere, especially in financial markets. It is the natural human tendency to put more weight on new information that supports your own views or prior conclusions.

This is one of my personal criticisms of the many proponents of the DCC hypothesis. Even some nominally well credentialled academics in the field appear to do it, hence creating an environment where these proponents and the resulting media and lobby organisations exaggerate their case.

This new information (the validity of which we can not yet establish and may never will), offers the potential for confirmation bias to reveal itself in those who have to date been sceptical of the main claims of the DCC lobby (including the IPCC). The email communications in particular appear to confirm what most sceptics have suspected and appeared to be indirectly implied by the belligerent behaviour of many notable academics in the field and the incestuous relationships between key academics, and government and policy organisations (including the UN's IPCC).

As someone who (possibly mistakenly) prides himself on being a genuine sceptic in the best sense, I have to try and recognise in myself that same instinctive reaction that "this proves exactly what I thought" and restrain it. Instead, the issues are; what more do I need to know before I can properly assimilate this new "information" into my thinking?

The first and primary requirement is the provenance and accuracy of any of this information I would use. If there is an email communication that clearly shows some form of academic bias, collusion or worse fraud, I need to be convinced first and foremost that it is genuine before I consider what it might mean.

I believe everyone else should do the same or further damage the case of true scepticism even more than I believe proponents of the DCC hypothesis have already done to date.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://earth.affiliateseeking.biz/]After the 1650s the supply of white indentured servants began to dry up due to increased wages in England and less incentive to migrate to the colonies.
New Zealand cuisine is largely based upon local ingredients and seasonal variations.
Large numbers of unskilled workers were hired to perform repeated tasks, which made if very difficult for these workers to ever leave and pursue any non farming employment.
For its first two-and-a-half years, the economy of Plymouth Plantation took the form of a communal system.
Blaming Sparrow for his ruin, Norrington attempts to shoot him, igniting a brawl, but Elizabeth knocks him out.
The colonists included priests, farmers, and soldiers.
Black mother's strength and dedication and is found throughout slave narratives.
Salamanca Point, on the east side of Galiano Island, is named for Secundino Salamanca, one of Galiano's officers.
Blood was found in his cabin and on the side of the ship where he allegedly fell overboard and drowned.
The Atlantic hosts the world's richest fishing resources, especially in the waters covering the shelves.
[/url]
[url=http://earth.affiliateseeking.biz/best-caribbean-travel-deals.html]best caribbean travel deals[/url]
[url=http://earth.affiliateseeking.biz/best-month-to-take-a-cruise.html]best month to take a cruise[/url]
[url=http://earth.affiliateseeking.biz/cheapest-last-minute-cruise-deals.html]cheapest last minute cruise deals[/url]
[url=http://earth.affiliateseeking.biz/14-night-caribbean-cruise.html]14 night caribbean cruise[/url]
[url=http://earth.affiliateseeking.biz/all-inclusive-caribbean-cruise-packages.html]all inclusive caribbean cruise packages[/url]

Anonymous said...

top [url=http://www.001casino.com/]free casino games [/url]check the latest [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com/]online casino[/url] free no store bonus at the leading [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]baywatch casino
[/url].

Anonymous said...

A swollen throat buy lumigan uk Take time to get it right and you will look your best
Secondly, essential oils that your body needs so much are also available in fish and lastly, unlike with red meat, you don't have to mind about its being fatty of not generic cymbalta It’s easy to control your mood if you use trusted medicine and sleep well at night!
Many teas are also fortified with antioxidants which help fight the signs of aging Viagra for women Moreover, since the blood goes all around the body, some of these chemicals will go there as well
These have been known to deliver immediate visible improvements iressa Monounsaturated fats help lower your total cholesterol, lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and do not lower your HDL (good cholesterol)
The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be Price for Gokshura Dieting alone will not gain you a flat stomach, you have to work for it

Anonymous said...

One must remember that there are no tips for losing weight that matter unless eating and exercise patterns are not changed lumigan uk Contact them to find out who services their equipment
If a person is near noisy machinery and has to raise his or her voice to be heard by someone who is less than two feet away, hearing protection should be worn buy cymbalta cost You don’t have to be afraid of the coming autumn! Depression will never come back
FYI, a normal blood pressure reading, according to many medical institutions, should be below 120/80 viagra for women Sometimes, when the hair follicles have completely died, it is very hard for new hair to regrow again
It is possible to burn the fat fast without big investment in terms of time and money purchase iressa If you have kids, you try to invent new ways to have fun with them and keep them busy
These compounds are especially useful in relieving tension in muscles SALE Neem online uk This is the reason why many people suffer from the condition and are unaware of it

Anonymous said...

Moncler Outlet a large number of The Su Hongye in Chongqing something, can not return in,[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler outlet[/url] wrote that all the daughter decide, so long as she said [url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler outlet[/url] the research. the foreign flavor of the new individuals are very against [url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler coats[/url] the old pick auspicious day for marriage, advocates pick ocean life. that the most unfavorable marriage Gregorian calendar in May, the Gregorian calendar in June is best marriage, but they are already engaged in June, the so extended to early September wedding. It is stated too much attention to date,Monday 23 is a good day for marriage, especially on Wednesday; 4,561 days like a bad day, the result is that they pick on Wednesday smiles: must have been that guy to come out of Yuen Long Cao tricks. Mei smiles: short, you hate the European students, pattern names up. Chosen to get married that Moncler Outlet Wednesday, the weather is like summer, hot interest. The way I wanted, Jiao days Fortunately, today I didn't do groom. The church was air-conditioned, Ts wearing a black wool dress, too busy sweating, I think he white collar with a ring, to get another yellow sweat soaked and soft. I afraid the whole of his plump body In Khan, how a candle right into a pool of oil. Miss Su can also be tight ugly. fall into line at the wedding, the bride and groom smiling face, no expression of Ku Buchu, all unlike the dry wedding, but instead no, not on the scaffold, is a, is, like Moncler Boots a public host to pickpockets signs with punishing those hardened criminals hard. I happen to believe that I own wedding ceremony, under those a large number of Kui Kui also like to be inevitable cracked pickpockets. That made me realize the kind of joyful, smiling faces of happy wedding pictures were never taken to. find! Great find! I am thinking about would be to see how you prefer her within 24 hours. avoided her not to see, just say a few words with Miss Tang - chien hop heavy heart that, like truck unloading the parcel the following smash gravitropic only strange Xinmei will not hear - was a bridesmaid your day, saw me and Moncler Scarf asked me to not fight, said the ceremony complete line, we sprinkle colored paper Fou new body, when, and only I won't have hands, afraid that I go ahead and take chance to throw hand grenades, nitrate sulfuric acid spill. She inquired about later on plans, I told her to visit Sanlv University. I think she may not want to hear your company name, and so i didn't mention a word you.

more information you can go to http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com

[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler official website[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler coats[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler online shop[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler online[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler branson[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler shop online[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler gamme bleu[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]moncler store[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]monclers[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]shop moncler[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]outlet moncler[/url]
[url=http://www.giubbotti-moncleroutlet.com/]doudoune moncler[/url]

Anonymous said...

mention,approximately 9:00 aboard the evening of December 20th apt the Hubei Provincial People Hospital Associate Professor Wang Songshan, specializing amid plastic surgery, it is timely the arrangement was admitted to the hospital. ugg boots uk and Soviet Union began researching created diamonds around 1940 or so. http://www.manyghdhair.com />. ugg sale But it wasn't all fun accents - as you know, someone had to go home. north face uk The Valley still has an edge in investment dollars and talent and has a culture built around entrepreneurship that has flourished for decades, thanks to companies like Apple, Google, eBay, Facebook and others..

Anonymous said...

Wishing rituals are personal performances; blowing, throwing, speaking, drinking, singing, holding, to name a few. north face jackets on sale Overall, I wasn impressed with the variety of the selections of food to choose from. http://www.wellnorthface.com The choice in color and leather makes the silver cuff bracelets customizable fashion jewelry. north face Watching the stars on the red carpet at the Emmys, there were loads of amazing dresses, quite a few run-of-the-mill dresses and very few dresses or incidents to call your local fashion police to report. ugg boots Any shoe store will be able to do it and most will use the Brannock Device.

Anonymous said...

Of course the signature gowns were the highlight of the collection, proving that Zac young age doesn betray his intimate knowledge of couture techniques in dress formation. cheap ghd But the graphic design is not the only one matter Paul is concentrated on. ghd flat iron The gold dress underneath was a dress that goes through a black slick and comes out black, and when it does, it almost looks like old skin. north face I especially interested in plant-based dyes.. http://www.wellnorthface.com Miami International Mall was home to the Go Red event which offered a unique spring fashion show with vibrant designs from Express and Francesca's Collections among other designers.

Anonymous said...

Your body does have an enormous capacity to heal itself, so rest and time can be the best solutions buying Viagra uk You were to be found munching on grass and greens Headaches and slight stomach problems are usual, often due to caffeine withdrawal cialis uk You can keep problems like diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments etc at bay if you make sure to exercise regularly

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.magicaudiotools.com/convert-flac-to-mp3]flac to mp3[/url]