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Which skeptic do you find the most and least tolerable? - Page 3

post #61 of 197
Thread Starter 

RealClimate had a good entry the other day on how dealing with deniers is like Groundhog Day (the movie).  They come up with some lame argument, we disprove it, then a few days later they just keep repeating the same argument as if it had never been disproven.

 

Eric c reminds me of that.  He's still making the tropical troposphere hot spot argument even though I've explained to him several times (including via email) that it's not an anthropogenic signal, and even wrote Myth #14 on the subject.  Not only is he still arguing it's an anthropogenic signal, but now he's arguing it's the "first sign" of anthropogenic warming.  So not only has he not learned anything, now he's making up even more false claims on the subject.

 

I don't know who's more frustrating now - guys like eric who pretend to have an open mind and try to make scientific arguments, but in reality aren't the least bit interested in learning anything, guys like jim who think they know it all because they took a few geology classes, or the people who constantly cite political websites as their only sources for climate science information.  To me I think guys like eric are the least tolerable, because they pretend to be open minded, so you waste a bunch of time trying to explain the science to them, and in the end it's like talking to a brick wall. 

 

So I guess eric has gone from my most to least tolerable denier, and gcnp was right.

 

Quote:

 There is no such thing as a climate skeptic who is trying to learn and understand.  They all just say that to appear objective and provide what is a very transparent cover for the fact that their minds are made up.  People who are actually trying to learn and understand don't make a big deal about it, they just go out and read things. 

 

Bingo.


Edited by dana1981 - 6/10/2009 at 07:18 pm GMT
post #62 of 197

The old expression is that you 'learn by doing.' But what is someone like Eric c learning? 

 

I love the Groundhog Day analogy.  But I'm not worried so much about the Eric's of the world as I am by the slew of stories on Al Gore's site today and what that entails.  A lot of bad news about inaction and missteps, very discouraging.

post #63 of 197

Al Gore has a site? Guess I should have expected he would but my policy is to never think of him.

 

I am sure he personally spends a lot of time on it!

 

A lot of people are trying to to do something positive - I prefer their style.

post #64 of 197
Thread Starter 

Guys like eric clearly aren't learning anything.  I'm not worried about them either - I don't particularly care if a subset of the population wants to live in their own little denial fantasyworld - it's just annoying to constantly see the Groundhog Day arguments like eric's.  You think you've nipped it in the bud, then it pops up again.

post #65 of 197

I believe you are right Dana - do what you can do with the community that wants to do a similar thing.

 

It serves no use to play 'whack a mole' with someone who is enjoying the game. They win simply by consuming your time.

 

The quote you posted is 100% correct.  

post #66 of 197

"Jim's answers basically consist of "global warming is a scam, and I'm a geologist so I know!"

 

I guess I've seen enough of his posts now to concur regarding "least tolerable" although with one caveat:  Jim Z's the least tolerable of the non-trolls.  There's of course at least one individual with several identities.  Others ask the trollish rhetorical questions regularly.  Jim Z seems to avoid all that.  One can reasonably assume he has one identity given how uniquely inane his posts are.  Open challenge:  find me an "answer" of his that doesn't make some silly political statement.

post #67 of 197
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucket22 View Post

Open challenge:  find me an "answer" of his that doesn't make some silly political statement.



 

Hah good luck with that.  Almost every one of his answers makes some comment about "leftists".  Yesterday he answered one of my questions saying we're all out to take his money and "freedoms".  That cracked me up

post #68 of 197

I think civics classes, along with lengthy discussions on logical fallacies, should be of greater focus in schools.  I can't count the number of people who have said that fuel efficiency standards infringe on their freedoms. 

post #69 of 197
Thread Starter 

Hah that's a good point, a lot of people don't seem to understand what our 'freedoms' really are, and confuse privileges with rights.  Many seem to think it's an inalienable right to have as many kids as we want, emit as much CO2 as we want, and just generally do whatever we want whenever we want to.

 

Yet I don't think they object to clean air and clean water laws, which restrict our 'freedom' to pollute.  But they don't seem to be able to connect the dots that restricting CO2 emissions is exactly the same thing.

 

And the whole "you just want to take my money" argument is such a joke.  Like I benefit if jim has to pay higher gas prices.  Yes, that extra cost for jim goes straight into my bank account.  The lack of logical thinking just boggles my mind sometimes.  Some of these guys actually believe that we want to put a price on carbon just to take their money.  Like we wouldn't be paying that same extra cost too.  How this guy managed to get a geology degree is beyond me.

post #70 of 197

captaint - Good point - I am often frustrated with people who want to get more power out of a source than science allows.

 

A 10 mph wind has x amount of available power in it - nothing you (as a normal person) can do will get more. Inventors are encouraged to try but they better have thought of something different. Betz' law explains clearly the limits for wind until someone can come up with something to 'get around' that bit of science. 

 

The earth's surface receives so many watts per m2 - simply putting solar cells on the top of a car (which will not be facing the optimum direction most of the time) will not somehow capture more watts. Putting them on top of a stadium which certainly did not have the correct orientation except for a few panels - really green!

 

I read about someone wanting to use a turbine to capture the wind moving past a car. Where they thought the wind was coming from I can not imagine.

 

Critical thinking (not negative but critical) needs to be part of life unless you are either wealthy or foolish. 

 

Let the cost of fuel go up to where it infringes on their pocket book - then they will pay attention - maybe!

post #71 of 197

I'm curious. Why is it that Starbuck is such a good troll? I mean normally I just ignore people who say the kinds of things he does, but whenever he says something it affects me just enough that I feel compelled to argue back at him. And from bucket's latest question, it seems I'm not alone in this.

 

Why is he so good at getting a reaction?

post #72 of 197
Thread Starter 

Actually I usually don't have any problem ignoring Starbuck.  But in the question you link, his comments were just so incredibly ridiculous, it was too hard to resist pointing it out.  I mean geez, citing a sci fi and Swiftboat producer as an expert on climate science?  You can't let that slide without pointing out the stupidity.

post #73 of 197
Quote:

 Al Gore has a site? Guess I should have expected he would but my policy is to never think of him

I'd like to follow up on what Russ said here: have the skeptics been so effective with their attacks on Gore that you feel you need to distance yourself from him, even among a 'safe' crowd like this site provides?  With something like climate change, you need many styles in the arsenal to be effective.  Gore's website is chock full of information and a great source of information and articles that I would otherwise miss.  LInks to articles that normally wouldn't come up in a search unless you dig.  I can't say I follow Gore's activities personally, but his site is invaluable in keeping current on climate change.  For that alone, he is worth thinking about.

 

As far as the Starbucks of the world, I'm not spending much time on the site anymore, there's just not much substance there to deal with, and rare is the comment that draws me out.  I look for questions where no good reply has been provided, and try to provide one, though it's no guarantee I'll get the points the way some people pick answers.

post #74 of 197

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

I'm curious. Why is it that Starbuck is such a good troll? I mean normally I just ignore people who say the kinds of things he does, but whenever he says something it affects me just enough that I feel compelled to argue back at him. And from bucket's latest question, it seems I'm not alone in this.

 

Why is he so good at getting a reaction?

I admit I didn't know he was such a ridiculous troll.  I really only took notice of him when he answered a question about levels of confidence in science.  His answer is now gone.  He made a comment about arguing with the authors of a study and getting them to alter their findings.  Starbuck claimed a report had indicated there was an 80% chance of Lake Meade going dry by 2021, so he emailed the scientists and after a lengthy debate the authors lowered their estimate to 50%.  I inquired and David Pearce, a scientist involved in the study, was nice enough to email me back.  He basically confirmed Starbuck's claims as bogus.

Now I continually feel the need to bring it up when I see Starbuck in the hopes that he will try to dfefend his position.  So far he hasn't.  Wonder why!

I'll probably start ignoring him soon, like I do Peter J, SWC, Jim Z, Didier (or whatever he calls himself this week), Poke_the_Bear, James E and a few others.  They're good for a laugh, but not much else.  Really Eric C seems to be the only contrarian to at least try to be scientific in his arguments, but the way he isn't willing to discard incorrect notions puts him in with the rest. 

I think we'll all end up going the way of GCNP and just stop going there altogether.  The contrarians can have their fun patting each other on the back and getting their kicks by insulting unsuspecting people who venture in and ask silly questions.

 

post #75 of 197
Thread Starter 

I tend not to cite anything related to Gore when talking about climate change.  But when I see a reference to him talking about climate change policy, I'll go read it, because I think that's where he personally has a useful perspective and experience to add to the discussion.

post #76 of 197

@AmyLOC & Dana - Sorry but Gore turned me off when he lost an election that was (to me) impossible to lose and then complained. Clinton handed him the perfect package and he spilled the contents - should have been no contest let alone close.

 

Most senators (ex-senators) take credit for what others do or say - suppose he is no worse than some in that catagory but I still don't care for it.

 

Politicians know that centerists get little attention so they tend to use the soapbox and scream extreme positions to get attention - again I don't care for that type of activity.

 

I spend a lot of time on the net reading and looking up background information. I guess I prefer to do the collecting myself rather than let a particular site do it.

 

In this group I am aware that I am in the minority but I am afraid that Al and his Nobel prize just turn me off. To each his/her own. He is far from the only one I will not listen to - both parties have a good number of senators, congressmen, governors, spokesmen who I reaaly do not care for.

 

As well, both parties have people who I admire.

 

Best Regards,

Russ 

post #77 of 197

Amazing that self-glossed skeptics are rarely skeptical of other skeptics' claims!

 

Reminds me of a group of creation scientists who categorized the remains of human ancestors.  Several skulls were presented and labeled by these scientists.  Some of the scientists categorized a few skulls as human and the rest as apes.  Other creation scientists came to completely different conclusions, declaring some of the human skulls as apes and vice-versa.  The only thing they could all agree on was the skulls were NOT from an ape-to-human transitional species!

 

post #78 of 197
I'm new to YA but one person is already getting under my skin: Peter J.  No matter what, he always seems to be the first to answer a question and it's always some half-assed sarcastic remark meant to ridicule others into becoming skeptics.  It's downright offensive to all parties involved!  You think the guy would have something better to do with his life than to intimidate others on the internet.

As for the Al Gore thing, I'm on board with not liking the guy.  My AP environmental science teacher showed us the video as soon as it came out on DVD (so four years ago?).  I was still new to environmental issues at the time, but I knew then already that his numbers were cherry picked from the higher estimates, his motivations seemed way too political to do good, and that his alarmist attitude was not going to do much help.  And now here we are years later with this man as the supposed figurehead for our cause; not the IPCC, NASA/NOAA, etc, but this borderline hyocritical politician standing on a soapbox.

But, my biggest problem with this is that it makes global warming seem as though it were the only environmental problem -- it disregarded NOx, SOx, Hg, U emissions, as well as any of hundreds of other highly important issues.
post #79 of 197
I've only seen scraps of Inconvenient Truth, mostly just the very beginning. If I recall the opening line went something to the effect of "I used to be the next president of the United States." It seemed obvious that with that he immediately turned off about 40% of the country. The people who liked Gore were receptive to the movie, the people who did not like him probably found the movie annoying, and naturally became suspicious of its message. Especially if they were, like you, forced to watch it.

I would not really consider him the figurehead anymore though. The conservative media still can't go three sentences on AGW without mentioning him, but most people have realized that he is just a politician who has absolutely nothing to do with the science.

Anyway, welcome to huddler! By the way the forum just had a major change of scenery and is still not working quite right (for some reason the link directly to the climate change section doesn't work.) Hopefully it'll get fixed soon.
post #80 of 197
I'm still not completely sure what to make of "Starbuck", but he is very amusing at times.  I like this gem he just posted:
"As I said before, as a former EPA scientist, the EPA is a political arm of whomever is in power. I have inside information that indeed the EPA is being pressured by their new radical leftist leader to implement and support AGW."
Sometimes he is unbearable, other times he seems almost dangerous in his fanaticism.  I guess in the end he is just laughable.  I wonder how old he is?
post #81 of 197
Thread Starter 
Starbuck is nuts.  So far he's claimed to be Harry Kloor, an environmental researcher, seems to consider himself an economics expert, and now a former EPA scientist.  He also seems completely obsessed with me, which is a bit creepy.  Almost every one of his answers is an ad hominem attack on me.

The EPA certainly is influenced by who's in power, as we saw from their unwillingness to regulate CO2 while Bush was president, even after the (conservative) Supreme Court ordered them to do so.  Now Obama has appointed people to the Environmental Protection Agency who are actually protecting the environment.  Imagine that.

In Starbuck's other answers he constantly disparages renewable energy, fuel efficient vehicles, and really anything pertaining to environmentalism.  And he expects us to believe that he's an environmental researcher who's worked for the EPA?  Hah!

He definitely makes the list of least tolerable deniers.  I'd say he's making a move up toward the top of the list, too.
post #82 of 197
Don't forget he actually makes fun of people for riding bikes.  I think that puts him right around 11 years old, right?
post #83 of 197
captaint - why be so generous for the bozo - maybe a not very bright 9 year old!

The interesting about the net - anyone can be anything - until they start to touch the keyboard at least - then their secret can easily come out. 
post #84 of 197
I've said this before, but the great thing about the internet is that it gives people who wouldn't normally be able to publicly express their thoughts a place to do so.  The bad thing about the internet is that it gives people who shouldn't normally be able to publicly express their thoughts a place to do so. 
post #85 of 197

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcnp58 View Post

I've said this before, but the great thing about the internet is that it gives people who wouldn't normally be able to publicly express their thoughts a place to do so.  The bad thing about the internet is that it gives people who shouldn't normally be able to publicly express their thoughts a place to do so. 

 

Myself included (though I must admit I have never claimed to be something I'm not)!
I think I'm making some progress, though.  I find myself getting sucked in less and less (today notwithstanding).  People like Starbuck, BB, eric c, etc are a drain.  I really do come in trying to give people a chance, but they blow it almost immediately.  The second they assume I MUST be a brainwashed leftist who only accepts AGW because of Al Gore and polar bears, they have no leg to stand on.
Oh, well.  Someday soon I will stop opening their questions altogether.  I consider my next evolutionary step.
post #86 of 197
Thread Starter 
Haha I hear ya.  I try to avoid their most trollish questions altogether.  But when they make some ridiculously false statement, I feel it's worth a few seconds of my time to put the correct information on the record.  You never know who's reading these Q/As after all.
post #87 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981 View Post
But when they make some ridiculously false statement, I feel it's worth a few seconds of my time to put the correct information on the record.

What irks me about Starbuck is whenever you try to clarify something he accuses you of "changing the argument." He would do well on right wing talk radio I think. He certainly has the passionate ignorance for it.

Regarding his age, he did post today that he was in college in the 70's. But the fact that he then goes on to say that he remembers his professors teaching global cooling makes me a tad suspicious. I'd peg him at 18-22.
post #88 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

Regarding his age, he did post today that he was in college in the 70's. But the fact that he then goes on to say that he remembers his professors teaching global cooling makes me a tad suspicious. I'd peg him at 18-22.
 


You have to take any claims Starbuck makes about himself with a grain of salt.  Aside from claiming to be Harry Kloor, an environmental researcher, an EPA scientist, he's also said

Quote:
 

After having claimed to be an environmental researcher and EPA scientist, he also said
Quote:
 Alarmists act like they're gods and believe me you do not know what you are talking about and are just what are called "tree huggers" All throughout history of environmental debates, alarmists or environmental freaks have been wrong.

About college he said
Quote:

I'd be willing to be based on this last statement and his body of 'work', he's never been to college.  But I think he's probably a pretty old guy.  Just not a mature one.

Edited by dana1981 - 6/26/2009 at 09:44 pm GMT
post #89 of 197
I vote we start a thread just for the claims he has made.

So far we have: 

--Dual PhD's in chemistry and physics (obviously a copy of this man who he made reference to just a day or so after he claimed to have the same background)
--Professional forester
--EPA scientist
--Toxicologist
--Commodity Trader
--Truck Driver
--LEED certified (green building expert)


...wait! I think I know who he is!
post #90 of 197
Thread Starter 
Haha nice, Dawei.  We've got a new one to add to the list.
Quote:
I am working with the Chinese to develop a system of recycling used polypropylene plastics

There is already a method of recycling polypropylene plastics, by the way.  I really don't think China would need Starbuck's help to implement such a system, assuming they already haven't done so.

His explanation for his many claims almost seemed plausible.  Except he said " I do have the degrees", referring to Harry Kloor's apparent 8 degrees (2 PhD, 2 MS, 4 BS).  Right there that one 5-word sentence (lie) destroys all credibility.  If he's willing to take credit for 8 college degrees he didn't earn, I have to take everything he says with a grain of salt.  That goes beyond Jello's one imaginary PhD, he's got 2 of them plus 6 other imaginary degrees!
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