Pro Tip: Even If Someone Has Faked A Damaging Memo About Your Organization, Don't Threaten To Sue Anyone Who 'Comments' On It

from the this-first-amendment-thing... dept

You may have heard that the Heartland Institute had some internal documents leaked recently, and noted the irony of the situation. If you don't know, Heartland is well-known in certain circles for its efforts to disprove that smoking causes any harm, as well as its efforts to deny climate change. The "think tank" also has done some telco policy issues, more or less supporting anything that involves not regulating telcos. The irony bit comes from the fact that a couple of years back, when there were some leaks of emails between scientists involved in climate change research, Heartland was one of the leading cheerleaders to push for misreading what was said in those emails to condemn climate change science.

Heartland is insisting that at least one document -- the one that's received the most attention and supposedly outlines the organization's dastardly plans -- is faked. Some observers have made compelling arguments that the document in question is, in fact, faked (and that's from someone who disagrees with Heartland Institute on the key issue of climate change).

I'm not going to comment on the leak or what's in the documents (either real or fake) because that's really not the kind of thing I care about that much. But, I will comment about one key thing Heartland said in its press release about the whole situation... where it effectively threatens to take legal action against anyone who comments on what's in the documents:
The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
Now, I don't care what you think of Heartland, climate change or anything along those lines. Whether you think it's a wonderful organization or an evil organization... one thing I would hope we could agree on is that threatening people for "commenting" on documents with legal action, even if the documents later turn out to be fake, is not a good idea. I can certainly understand the temptation to try to get people not to comment, but the threat is pretty clearly bogus. The documents -- and the leak of the documents -- even if faked or altered, are still a public interest issue, and it's hard to see how there's any law broken in commenting about what's in the documents. There may be legal issues for whoever leaked the documents, but those who are commenting on them? Sorry, that's just silly.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    Wow ... I find human stupidity to be endless.

    Do they still maintain that smoking is not bad for ones health? Based upon their track record, why would anyone believe anything they have to say - about anything?

    It is sad that many believe brainwashing our young is a good idea, when will these people get a clue?

     

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      Poptech (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:56pm

      Did you even look?

      They make no such claim and instead argue against the exaggerations made by anti-smoking groups,

      http://heartland.org/policy-documents/welcome-heartlands-smokers-lounge

       

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        abc gum, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:47am

        Re: Did you even look?

        FromTheLink:
        "Defending smokers is a thankless task in today’s politically correct environment, and Bast doesn’t deny that smoking is an unhealthy habit. But today’s taxes and bans go far beyond a reasonable public policy response to a public health problem. Bast asks for a reasoned debate that respects the rights of smokers and the owners of bars and restaurants."
        -------------------------------------------
        Ok, they admit smoking is unhealthy. They then go on to defend it and more importantly the businesses which make money off of it.

        Why (thanklessly - lol) defend an unhealthy habit which incurs large costs for the rest of society who do not (intensionally) inhale smoke? Further down in the site they claim that the tobacco taxes pay for this cost but offer no numerical analysis to prove it.

        Taxes too high ... what about the tobacco subsidies - of course those are not addressed.

        Business can ban smoking on their premises if they so desire, you have no say in that. Local government has the authority to put in place measures for the benefit of society, you vote - right?

        Oh - look, they sell a book!
        --------------------------------------
        "The public health community's campaign to demonize smokers and all forms of tobacco is based on junk science"

        Really? That's funny. Any examples? Didn't think so.
        ---------------------------------------
        "Litigation against the tobacco industry is an example of lawsuit abuse"

        WTF is lawsuit abuse, is that a legal term? BTW, did the tobacco industry put chemicals in cigarettes to intentionally make them more addictive? Just asking.
        -----------------------------------------
        "Smoking bans hurt small businesses and violate private property rights."

        Do private property rights allow patrons to engage in any/all sort(s) of detrimental activity?

        Further down in the linked site, there are additional rationalizations on several topics which attempt to sway opinion but fall short of their goal. Of particular interest is the part about "Junk Science". Rather than state specific examples of bad science, they ramble through some statistics in a feeble attempt to prove the other guys statistics are wrong. AFAIK, statistics is math, so maybe they should call it junk math. I'm sure there are many would agree upon that distinction. As far as addressing any junk science by the "anti-smoking crowd" , I see none.

        Your arrogance further down in this thread is noted as are additional links, but I doubt any additional investigation of provided links would remove your general lack of credibility.

         

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          Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Did you even look?

          It appears that various links on that page are broken, I have contacted them to correct this as those links would address you complaints.

          "Business can ban smoking on their premises if they so desire, you have no say in that. Local government has the authority to put in place measures for the benefit of society, you vote - right?"

          I would never think of having any say in what moral practices a private property owner chooses to allow on their property. Local government should not have the right to tell a private property owner what moral practices they can allow on their property. "For the benefit of society" is an emotional platitude spoken by those who wish to control the moral behavior of others even when it does not harm anyone else.

          So long as it is voluntary for you to choose to go to or work at a private business than it is your choice to take the risks incurred if smoking is permitted there.

          Smoking and Property Rights (Ninos P. Malek, Ph.D. Economics)
          Smoking and Property Rights (William L. Anderson, Ph.D. Professor of Economics)
          Where There's Smoke, You Don't Have to Be (Ninos P. Malek, Ph.D. Economics)

           

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            abc gum, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

            ""For the benefit of society" is an emotional platitude spoken by those who wish to control the moral behavior of others even when it does not harm anyone else."

            If your statement were to include qualifications and limitations then I might agree. Stating that (all) laws are put in place for the sole purpose of controlling moral behavior is quite a stretch. There are many laws addressing issues which have nothing to do with morals.

            Your "does not harm anyone else" is debatable and yet you state it as if it were fact.

             

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              Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

              I made no claims about "all" laws but specifically those relating to control over moral behavior which does not harm others.

              In relation to smoking, so long as you can choose to patron or work at a private business then it is your choice and responsibility to assume any risks from being in a smoking environment.

               

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                abc gum, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

                "I made no claims about "all" "

                You didn't need to


                "so long as you can choose to patron or work at a private business then it is your choice and responsibility to assume any risks from being in a smoking environment."

                What a crock.

                 

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:23pm

          Re: Re: Did you even look?

          There still are no accepted studies showing a correlation between second hand smoke and health issues. Further, things are routinely blamed on smoking a causal link beyond 'they were a smoker,' or 'they lived with a smoker.' That is just laziness.

           

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            abc gum, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

            "There still are no accepted studies showing a correlation between second hand smoke and health issues"

            Really?
            http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/healtheffects.html

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Passive_smoking
            references at bottom are of interest

            many many more ....

             

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              Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

              There are studies showing otherwise,

              http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7398/1057.short

              "The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, [...] The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed."

               

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                abc gum, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

                "weaker than generally believed"

                does not equal

                "no accepted studies showing a correlation"


                You are being lame

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 4:36pm

                  Regardless

                  There are studies showing that the negative health effects from SHS are weaker than generally believed.

                   

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            Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Did you even look?

            Most of Europe begs to differ with you. We've seen big benefits from cutting out second-hand smoke in public places and the workplace.

            Employers have an overriding moral obligation to the health and welfare of their staff and customers, not just to the tobacco barons. And any business that relies on their customers poisoning themselves (let alone others) cannot be considered either moral or a good business.

             

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      TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:57am

      Re:

      Yes, they still maintain that smoking does not cause cancer. It's the long-standing official position of their propaganda chief, Fred Singer.

      Singer also happens to be the one in charge of the anti-science campaign by Heartland. He not only denies that climate change is happening, he denies that it's possible for humans to change the climate.

      It's not possible to get any more anti-science than that.

       

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:34am

        Lies

        That is a lie. Quote and cite evidence or retract your libelous claim.

         

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          abc gum, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:52am

          Re: Lies

          To what, exactly, do you refer?

          Hint: The post to which you replied contains several sentences, should we guess?

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

            These are all lies...

            1. "they still maintain that smoking does not cause cancer."

            2. "It's the long-standing official position of their propaganda chief, Fred Singer."

            3. "Singer also happens to be the one in charge of the anti-science campaign by Heartland."

            4. "He not only denies that climate change is happening, he denies that it's possible for humans to change the climate."

            Prove me wrong, quote and cite evidence to the contrary.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:46pm

              Re: These are all lies...

              Quote:
              In the area of climate change, the leaked documents revealed that the group funds vocal climate skeptics, including Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change founder Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), physicist Fred Singer ($5,000 plus expenses per month), and New Zealand geologist Robert Carter ($1,667 per month). They've also pledged $90,000 to skeptical meteorologist Anthony Watts, who blogs at WattsUpWithThat.com.

              http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-climate-deniers-heartla nd-institute-documents-leaked-20120216,0,3932985.story

              All those studies negating climate change are paid for, one can almost say they are fabrications made to order.

              Did the guy from Heartland Institute not said.
              "No victim of cancer, heart disease, etc. can “prove” his or her cancer or heart disease was caused by exposure to secondhand smoke."
              http://climatecrocks.com/2012/02/15/how-is-joe-bast-like-joe-camel-looks-like-were-going-to -find-out/

              That looks to me like a guy saying that smoking doesn't cause cancer.

               

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                mg, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 5:13am

                Re: Re: These are all lies...

                Ugh... Apparently you don't realize that all studies are paid for by somebody. Scientists don't spend months researching stuff for free. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in man-made climate change or not.

                Please inform yourself before making stupid arguments.

                 

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                  abc gum, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: These are all lies...

                  "Scientists don't spend months researching stuff for free. "

                  Really? Not one - ever?

                  Some scientific research is funded by the public and therefore should be accountable to the public (sadly, this is not always the case).

                  Other research is funded by private business and the results are, within the law, their business.

                  Then there is the politically motivated activity which pretends to be scientific research. These "studies" are typically funded by those with an agenda.

                  Can you not see a difference?

                   

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                    Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: These are all lies...

                    The scientific research in this case is reviewing and compiling a scientific report based on peer-reviewed science. The scientists in question were already doing this before being funded by anyone. Obtaining funding just allows them to concentrate on their work.

                     

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                      abc gum, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: These are all lies...

                      Way to miss the point

                       

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                        Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:10pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: These are all lies...

                        You don't have a point. You have emotional beliefs and conspiracy theories. The scientists in question are not politically motivated and their scientific positions on climate change have not changed.

                         

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                Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

                Re: Re: These are all lies...

                He said "second-hand" smoke. Can you even read what you quote?

                 

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          TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:52am

          Re: Lies

          Yeah, right. Libelous. You're a funny little troll, aren't you?

          I'm curious, do you have *any* interests you represent who are capable of defending themselves? Or do you need to "rescue" all of them?

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

            Re: Re: Lies

            This is not complicated,

            Please quote and cite evidence or retract your libelous claims.

             

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              G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Lies

              Libelous claim?

              When you learn about the law and defamation actions and all the elements that have to be fulfilled and defences that need to be refuted before a claim of libel can be even considered, then come back and spout your idiotic statements.

              In the meantime please refrain from typing this nonsense or someone might be tempted to obtain a declaratory judgement on yourself and SLAP you silly

               

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                Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

                Feel Free in the mean time...

                Quote or cite evidence to support his libelous claims.

                 

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                  G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

                  Re: Feel Free in the mean time...

                  Lets take a hypothetical situation of this eventuating into a legal claim. You being the plaintiff (and I'll explain why later that you actually have no standing in this matter to be even part of any suit) are the one who has the onus to present evidence to support your claim of libel.Being the respondent in this hypothetical (or is it) legal claim he has no obligation to prove that it was not libel at this point in time.

                  Once you present the evidence, and if it is accepted, then he has the opportunity to cross examine you on the 'evidence' and then bring up any defences if that evidence is show to be relevant & reliable (for simplicity sake)

                  Constantly quoting legal terms, and then stating they are from the dictionary, but still pursuing the threatening nature of those terms in a legal definition is not going to get you anywhere.

                  Now to the matter of you stating they are libelous (defamatory) is even in itself irrelevant since you have no ability to make this claim on behalf of a third party that you claim you have absolutely no relationship with. ie: you have no legal standing. For you to continue making these statements on their behalf could be construed as interference on their behalf and they might not take too kindly to it. Think about that before you next type please

                   

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                    Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:28pm

                    Lets learn to use a dictionary

                    "libel" is a standard English language word that can be used as a legal term, I did not use it as such nor made any "threats" in relation to it. You do not get to redefine the words I use. Legal Fail.

                    In the mean time, please quote or cite evidence to support his libelous claims.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:47pm

                      Re: Lets learn to use a dictionary

                      Libel is also a legal art word with a very specific meaning in law.

                       

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                      G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:02pm

                      Re: Lets learn to use a dictionary

                      Actually libel is a standard word that is ONLY used for the legal tort of defamation.

                      It has been in use ONLY in this context since the 14th century and comes from the middle English libellus meaning "written deceleration"

                      You might even like to read about a guy in 1700's in New York who was the famous case of libel in the USA called John Peter Zenger.

                      Next time when you talk about definitions especially legal ones, you might stop to think a minute, and not forget to start again. Especially when TechDirt has a lot of commentators (and even our own loved and cherished TD trolls) who actually do Practice or hold Law Degrees or know a lot more about legal procedure than you ever will want to know. This place is mainly about Intellectual property laws and other legal disputes having to do with the Internet.

                       

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                        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:49pm

                        Re: Re: Lets learn to use a dictionary

                        Incorrect, it has separate definitions that do not include the legal use;

                        http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/libel

                        Libel NOUN:
                        1 a. false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.

                        1 b.The act of presenting such material to the public.

                        This is separate from the legal definition,

                        2 The written claims presented by a plaintiff in an action at admiralty law or to an ecclesiastical court.

                        Next time learn that their exists dictionaries not made for the legal profession.

                         

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                          G Thompson (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 12:13am

                          Re: Re: Re: Lets learn to use a dictionary

                          Oh but if I used libel for the legal profession I would use 'tort of defamation' since libel is no longer used in my jurisdiction.

                          Though I notice you don't go further on that dictionary in the etymology of the word which I did from off the top of my head (prior knowledge), or the Synonyms of the word. Click on the thesaurus link (even though it's yahoo reference.. Seems like its from Websters so its not too bad) and what. What is this??? Only two synonyms variants in noun and transative verbs. and Wait.. they are BOTH referring to the LAW???

                          Oh Noes.. your own reference has failed you. Quick do some more research.
                          Maybe oxford dictionary? Nope.. same thing
                          Maybe Urban Dictionary. Nope seems they just keep all saying the same definitions over and over and over again.

                          oops.. you can tell when I am being bored by the sarcasm in my comments. Sadly It is 7:10 on Sunday evening in Sydney and my Life outside of the interwebs is calling.

                          Have a great Sunday and have a look around techdirt from what I have seen of your bio's on your own blawg you might actually enjoy some of the technical, philosophical, ethical, and downright weirdness we actually normally talk about on here.

                          Cheers!

                           

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          Togashi (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Lies

          When first I read this, I thought it a joke, making fun of Heartland's ridiculous claims from the article.

          Then I read the rest of Poptech's comments and realized it's probably serious...

           

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          Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:17am

          Re: Lies

          Fred Singer is a liar and anti-science. Simple. And you're lying calling this a lie.

          If there is no evidence, how come the tobacco companies had to indemnify themselves against further lawsuits?

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:17am

            Ad Hominem

            All you have is ad hominem and no evidence.

             

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              Niall (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:46am

              Re: Ad Hominem

              So you claim, as futilely as you fail to convince anyone on here of anything than your own shallow shrillness.

              I'm just pointing out the foolishness of your 'libel' claims, and as for evidence, there is so much that I really cannot be bothered to do more than point to the 178 references in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondhand_smoke. Suffice it to say, there is abundant evidence that is obvious to anyone with the slightest lack of payoff from the industry - and plenty of people who would only be too happy not to have to spend money on reducing the effects of tobacco.

              Oh, you meant evidence that Fred Singer lies? I let his site say everything for me...

               

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    Mother Nature, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    efforts to deny climate change

    Ha ha ha silly humans.

    Pro tip:
    Any moron that has watched a How The Earth Was Made marathon knows the earth goes through heating and cooling cycles.

    Any moron that thinks we could stop this cycle is just plain nuts.

     

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      Travicane, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

      Re: efforts to deny climate change

      Your trolling is pretty lame (everybody is a moron or nuts but you and yours) but I will give you a response.

      Cyclic systems can be dramatically effected by seemingly small changes (new forces in play) to the underlying drivers for the cycles.

      For climate change, have a look at the following Wikipedia article that discusses this in terms of feedback theory. It has a gazillion (Troll numbering - actually 59) citations.

      Please come back after you have read them all.

      Thanks
      Just another moron!

      (If that is what questioning, reading more than one source, and actually coming to thoughtful conclusions means to you.

       

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        Mother Nature, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

        Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

        Just another moron,
        "Cyclic systems can be dramatically effected by seemingly small changes (new forces in play) to the underlying drivers for the cycles."
        This dramatic effect to you is just a small tick of time for me. Maybe 10, 100, 10,000 years is long for you, but to me its a nanosecond. Your silly notions of stopping or slowing this process is pissing in the wind. We are in a warming cycle. No amount of carbon taxes will stop it.

        Psst, you know what? Even if you do buy into CO2 causing the expedited warming, myself and every 7 year old has the answer...... Oh, I guess you would like to know. See there is this little biological process called photosynthesis that converts CO2 to oxygen. If we were really serious about trying to slow the global warming process you would see green initiatives to have plants and trees everywhere you possibly could.
        But you already knew this Mr. reading more than one source, and actually coming to thoughtful conclusions.

        "(everybody is a moron or nuts but you and yours)" Whew you got that from my comment? coo coo, coo coo.

        "have a look at the following Wikipedia article"
        Um ok.... where's the beef?

        "Your trolling is pretty lame (everybody is a moron or nuts but you and yours) but I will give you a response."
        Thanks for the snack.

         

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        Rich Kulawiec, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:26am

        Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

        There will always be idiots who do not grasp science, like the troll here. Their pathetically inadequate minds are simply not up to the challenge, or more bluntly, they're just stupid.

        There is little point in arguing with these creatures: they don't want to be educated, and in most cases, they cannot be educated. They will simply bumble through their miserable lives in a state of confusion and ignorance.

        But unfortunately, we do find them prattling on about how AGW is wrong, evolution is wrong, and the earth is flat. I think it's best to use them as examples or object lessons: this is what happens when inferior primates get keyboards.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

          Evolution yes. Earth flat no. AGW don't know yet. Scientific validation of theory is imperative, in the same breath it must also be unbiased. I'm just sayin'.

           

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          Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

          Grasping Science

          1. I support evolution theory.
          2. I believe the earth to be an oblate spheroid.
          3. I believe "AGW" and it's "implications" to be unsettled science that is grossly exaggerated.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:51pm

            Re: Grasping Science

            AGW is no unsettled even the people who has reservations are disputing the anthropomorphic side(caused by humans) not that the climate is changing, that part everybody agrees that it is happening.

             

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              Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:20am

              Re: Re: Grasping Science

              AGW deniers also have no answers about how we would cope with massive changes in climate in either direction, whether or not it is human-caused. They just like to stick their heads in the sand and sing "la-la-la".

               

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              Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:42pm

              Re: Re: Grasping Science

              No one has ever argued that climate change does not happen. Everyone agreeing that the climate is changing is confirmation that all scientists agree in climate change not AGW.

              Of course AGW is unsettled as many disagreements relating to the science still exist.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Grasping Science

                "Everyone agreeing that the climate is changing"

                Use of the word everyone is a bit presumptuous

                 

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                  Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Grasping Science

                  My point is, agreement that the "climate changes" is not automatic agreement of "ACC/AGW".

                  "Climate Change" and "ACC/AGW" are two different things.

                   

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        TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:33am

        Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

        IMO you're wasting your time presenting information/science/data/logic. It will all be dismissed for frivolous or idiotic reasons, all of which involve an implied global conspiracy involving climate scientists from 8 different countries, scientists of all fields from 100 different countries, all 33 national science academies around the world, non-profits, NGOs, capitalist, communist, socialist governments and the professors and students at every reputable university on the planet.

        Here's how to stop the bullshit in its tracks with minimal wasted effort: just ask one, simple, reasonably, innocuous little question and then insist that it be answered before attempting further conversation.

        Here's an example of the question: In your own personal opinion, what specific evidence would have to be presented to convince you that the scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is correct?

        A true skeptic or someone who is merely ignorant can answer that one, even if it's just "I don't know"

        An anti-science zealot/politician simply cannot answer the question without exposing themselves. It's a razor sharp double-edged sword to them.

        I would also suggest noting the religious fervor with with the posters deny science and rational thought. You won't see scientists polluting discussions of stories about family planning or corporate corruption with "Yeah all those stupid people who don't believe in climate science".

        The topic can be making an omelette and the religious zealots will burst into the discussion shouting "Well this CO2 trend plotted in big purple crayon clearly shows that an ancient alien race laid hidden message written in carbon and those nasty bug eyed climate scientists are trying to prevent us from reading those messages by claiming the carbon came from humans" :\

        If you feel a need to respond to them, I'd suggest a short, simple question similar to the one I've posted above, then insist on an answer. They will neuter their own arguments and save you the effort of citing sources for science they were going to dismiss anyway.

         

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          Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

          "what specific evidence would have to be presented to convince you that the scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is correct?"

          This is a joke right?

          Define the scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and cite your source. If I then can provide a source that defines it differently your question is invalidated.

           

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            TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

            Exactly as expected - running from the question, immediately attempt to change the subject.

            Skeptics can be convinced by evidence. Only religious zealots cannot be swayed by any form of evidence.

             

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              Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

              Definition Request

              Your question cannot be answered without first defining your terms. The "scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)" does not have a single universal definition.

              I am agnostic so religion does not play into my decisions.

               

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                TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

                Re: Definition Request

                No, there is no ambiguity in the question. You have stated with certainty what you believe to be false, I simply asked you for your personal opinion on what evidence it would take to convince you that it is true. *You* established the boundaries by stating what is false/fake/impossible, so answer it within your framework.

                Religious zealotry absolutely plays into your claims. Deism is not a requirement for something to be religious, and only a religious belief can be sustained with unwavering certainty even when and where it clearly contradicts the available evidence.

                Scientists speak of degrees of certainty. They admit that there are some things that are not well understood about the global climate. They have no problem assigning high, medium or low confidence in any or all of the science and the evidence. They can be convinced to change their positions by evidence.

                It's only religious zealots that open with absolute certainty and then dogmatically cling to that certainty no matter how much evidence is presented, how well substantiated or how well thought out that arguments to the contrary are.

                 

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                  Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

                  Define the theory

                  If there is no ambiguity as you falsely claim then source and define the theory.

                  Because I believe the possibility exists for man to have "an" effect on the climate. The question is, how much? Having a 0.01% effect could be considered "AGW theory" just like having a 99.9% effect could be. So you need to define your terms.

                  You are the one speaking in absolutes.

                   

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                    TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:20pm

                    Re: Define the theory

                    Would you care for some syrup with all that waffling?

                    You said:

                    "3. I believe "AGW" and it's "implications" to be unsettled science that is grossly exaggerated."

                    *YOU* define what "gross exaggeration" of science is, since you made the claim you must know what the criteria is. Then tell me what evidence you personally would need to see to convince you that it's not "grossly exaggerated".

                    You're the one making the claims, you provide the specific parameters. If I define a framework then after I box you in you'll simply claim that I rigged the definition and "tricked you".

                    The longer you draw out the thread with waffling and equivocation the less credibility you'll have (and shills don't have much credibility to spare as I'm sure you know)

                    I already know how the thread will end (a bit boring really) I'm just making sure people see for themselves how baseless/flimsy/unsupported/irrational claims of fraud and exaggerations in the science are.

                    If I told people that you wouldn't be able to answer a simple question about your own personal opinion they'd have good reason to doubt me. However, if I demonstrate it using actual members of the anti-science crowd, well, they tend to consider their own eyes a pretty reliable source.

                     

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                      Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

                      Boxed In Already

                      You have already been boxed in as you cannot respond to my request.

                      Let me know when you can define, "the scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)". Your failure to do so is telling.

                      You have stated your conspiracy theories multiple times already, repeating them does not make them any more true.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:48pm

                        Re: Boxed In Already

                        Wow. YOU started the discussion, and offered nothing, and you want someone else to give you citations before you? You have to support your argument first. That you refuse, and want your detractors to do so for you is... rather self-evident that you have nothing beyond 'because that is how I feel about it.'

                         

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                          Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:46pm

                          Re: Re: Boxed In Already

                          I did not start his discussion, I am replying to it. He stated a challenge using a phrase that cannot be universally defined. To answer the question the following needs to be defined,

                          "the scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)"

                          My argument is that the above phrase does not have a universal definition and thus his challenge is invalidated. You can certainly prove me wrong and provide the universal definition.

                          I am not emotional about science as many here are.

                           

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:03pm

                        Re: Boxed In Already

                        You want people to quantify the anthropogenic global warming?
                        I thought that was what scientists all around the world are trying to do right now is it not?

                        More there are very good indications that humans do indeed affect their environment.

                        And still the one thing everybody agrees on is that whatever the cause of the change, the climate is changing.

                         

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                          Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

                          Re: Re: Boxed In Already

                          No I want him to define a phrase he used. My request was very specific.

                          As I said before having a 0.1% or 99.9% effect can both be defined as AGW.

                          I have no idea why people believe stating that the "climate is changing" is some kind of argument? The climate always changes, so?

                           

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                        dcee (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 6:08am

                        Re: Boxed In Already

                        Let's repeat:

                        Would you care for some syrup with all that waffling?

                        You said:

                        "3. I believe "AGW" and it's "implications" to be unsettled science that is grossly exaggerated."

                        *YOU* define what "gross exaggeration" of science is, since you made the claim you must know what the criteria is. Then tell me what evidence you personally would need to see to convince you that it's not "grossly exaggerated".

                        You're the one making the claims, you provide the specific parameters. If I define a framework then after I box you in you'll simply claim that I rigged the definition and "tricked you".

                        The longer you draw out the thread with waffling and equivocation the less credibility you'll have (and shills don't have much credibility to spare as I'm sure you know)

                        I already know how the thread will end (a bit boring really) I'm just making sure people see for themselves how baseless/flimsy/unsupported/irrational claims of fraud and exaggerations in the science are.

                        If I told people that you wouldn't be able to answer a simple question about your own personal opinion they'd have good reason to doubt me. However, if I demonstrate it using actual members of the anti-science crowd, well, they tend to consider their own eyes a pretty reliable source.

                         

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                          Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

                          Re: Re: Boxed In Already

                          Repeating his avoidance of my request does not change the fact that he cannot provide the universal definition of,

                          "scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)"

                          If you wish me to continue then he either needs to provide it or concede he cannot.

                           

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                    Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:24am

                    Re: Define the theory

                    So you deny basic 19th Century science, such as "CO2 causes warming"?

                    So if CO2 levels rise, would you accept no situations in which this would have an effect on the climate?

                    If mankind is releasing additional CO2 into the biosphere, can you see no circumstances at all where thatt would have an effect on climate?

                    Are you really so selectively anti-science that you cannot at least question some of these basic ideas?

                    By the way, the global conspiracy to pretend that the Earth isn't really flat is all made up of AGWers.

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

            The scientific theory is simple, if you ever brewed yeast you know what happens when all resources are depleted and gone, they change their own environment to make it toxic and die.

            Just like millions of years ago plankton made oxygen and you can breath now, we as a people are having an effect on our own environment.

            Like the kid that noticed that rain occurs more frequently on weekends and subsequent confirmations of that initial statement can only point to an anthropomorphic cause.

            http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/19980706131634data_trunc_sys.shtml

            You can't just brush aside the impact we have in our environment and say it is not a factor. 7 billion people are changing their own environment without even trying hard, the shear number of people and their aggregate net power is not something that can be ignored and yet you try hard.

             

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      abc gum, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:19pm

      Re: efforts to deny climate change

      What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?

      http://www.yourfunnystuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Global-Warming-Debate.jpg

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:04am

        Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

        i fall on both sides of the debate when warming is concerned, sorry a lot of the information from BOTH sides is junk.

        If its a hoax and we create a better place? really that reasoning is so far outside of the discussion it should be punted.

        I am more than happy to debate both sides, like all debates a compromise can be found somewhere in the middle, because guess what, you cant just stop generating electricity, nor can you just cut off food sources based on one side... which is one of my problems with the econuts, instead of working with the other side and making small changes (the example above speaks to small changes having huge effects) then evaluate, discuss, and make another set of changes.

        You cant turn off peoples jobs, electricity, and everything else (that's how revolts happen and how drastic pushes the other way happen).

        Are there products, practices, and material that have negative effects on the Globe and or people, Yes. And once found having a discussion to change/cease use is more than appropriate. But the Econuts never want to talk about it, or have open studies about it (in my experience).

        The same is true of the hardcore other side (i call them the strip miners).

        Really we need to put both sides together, create the study, and have them study it, OPENLY so that neither side has an advantage... why because both sides like to use "their" data to bludgeon down anything and everything in what is view of an perfect balance... one persons Perfection is anther's hell, and that is the one truly immoral and evil thing a human can do, inflict a hell on some one for no reason than it goes with their personal view of heaven.

        you see it with the Copyright Debate, you see it with the TSA debates, you see it with the Environmental debate, and yet in any of those one side or both will not take the time to step down and talk about it... Both sides like the power they get and feel from the bludgeon... true its a sad state of affairs,



        Are

         

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      hmm (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:26am

      Re: efforts to deny climate change

      pro pro tip: watching ONE tv show and believing it has 100% of the facts isn't just plain nuts, its hazelnuts with chocolate sprinkles....

       

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      mg, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:16am

      Re: efforts to deny climate change

      You are absolutely correct sir. I'm tired of the religion of climate change lying and manipulating the truth in order to push a politcal agenda that changes my way of life because they don't like it.

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ

       

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        Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:31am

        Re: Re: efforts to deny climate change

        That's true, I hate having my environment poisoned and strip mined, my seas fouled with oil, and my food full of pesticides because they don't like bothering to keep things safe or shaving anything off their bottom dollar. I hate the religion that drives automatic climate-change denialism without an open mind to the possibilities, often coming from the same people who oppose birth control, healthcare reform, tolerance & equality, and who like nothing more than arming anyone in sight and preferably invading anyone out of sight.

         

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    Atkray (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

    Facepalm.


    So much fail.

     

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    fb39ca4, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    So they are saying I could be sued for posting this comment?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:13pm

    It doesn't say much to their credit if they've never heard of the Streisand Effect.

     

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      hmm (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:29am

      Re:

      Betcha I could throw $5000 at Heartland and make them give a press announcement about how the Streisand Effect isn't man-made and is entirely caused by natural cycles of publicity within the Earths core......

       

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:02pm

        Please Do Try

        So you can embarrass yourself when you learn they do no operate this way.

         

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          Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:37am

          Re: Please Do Try

          Oh, they need $6000 to spout nonsense then?

          I'm suprised there isn't a chapter against vaccination on that site, or a screed denying that HIV causes AIDS. They seem to buy into just about any other stuff that goes against the corporate overlords...

          Oh, and I was amused by this quote from the site:
          "Cigarettes are already the most heavily taxed commodity in the U.S. The federal excise tax is $0.39 a pack and the national average state excise tax is about $0.60 per pack, for a total of $0.99 per pack. In addition, the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) increased the price of a pack of cigarettes by about $0.40 a pack. In a growing number of cities, a pack-a-day smoker pays more in cigarette taxes than he or she pays in state income taxes."

          In Europe, cigarette taxes are much much higher - and yet most contries have some sort of smoking ban. In the UK, a typical pack of 20 costs over £6 - so well over $8 or $9 - and 80% of that is tax. So stopping people smoking 'hurts' the government a lot - but funnily enough, they still push stopping smoking as a greater individual and social good.

          As for the income tax argument, that is so fake as it has long been known that more people on lower incomes smoke, so obviously pay more tax on cigarattes than the small or non-existent amount they pay on income. So what if they do? Why not rail at the 'immorality' of sales taxes while you're at it?

           

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    Amazing Sammy, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:16pm

    Oh, wait a minute...

    Doesn't your blog post qualify as a "comment?" And now I'm commenting on your comment about Heartland. Oh man, we really did it now Tech Dirt. I hope you have at least a little money from all those pirated mp3's under your mattress somewhere. Oh damn, slander, I did it again. I'm so sorry. I just can't help myself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:33pm

    Just curious what these "comments" were and "who" made them. Perhaps all is on the up and up, but as I have seen so many times first impressions can be quite deceiving.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

    Is commenting on the comments made by commentators unlawful commenting as well.

    Could we be sued (Oh please.. I need a new vehicle) for even the merest thought of commenting on the comments in question and more to the point I need links and fair use citations to make up my own mind about these egregious comments and whether I myself shall comment on whether the comments are themselves worthy to be otherwise commented upon.

    Actually having written all that confusing drivel above, I have suffered mightily of IIED and under Heartlands masterful legal logic I have a strong case against them. Either that or getting them on Tortious Interference ;)

     

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    Poptech (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:55pm

    Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

    If you are going to comment on an organization's position on issues please get your facts straight.

    1. The Heartland Institute does not try to "disprove that smoking causes any harm". They instead debunk exaggerated claims by anti-smoking groups made about smoking, http://heartland.org/policy-documents/welcome-heartlands-smokers-lounge

    2. The Heartland Institute does not "deny climate change". They instead use peer-reviewed science to argue against ACC/AGW (man-made global warming) Alarmist claims, http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2009/2009report.html

    3. The Heartland Institute most certainly argues for free market solutions against anything that would reduce your access to cheap and reliable telecommunications, this means fighting against all government telecom regulations. It is quite disturbing to see so-called tech reporters oblivious to the dangers of government intervention into telecommunications, http://heartland.org/issues/telecom

     

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      G Thompson (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:55pm

      Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

      I ahve a sneaking suspicion, stop me if I am incorrect, that you have some sort of association, either financial or agency related (maybe both?) with 'The Heartland Institute" and if this is correct should be stating this as a disclaimer of conflicting interest somehwere in your posts.

      I cold be wrong but 3 posts (as of this comment) only on your "Poptech" profile and all are specifically for this post in regards to this issue leads one based on the facts at hand to reasonably suspect that you are a shrill.

      Or are my "facts not straight about your position"?

       

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        G Thompson (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:02pm

        Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

        On further investigation...

        http://www.populartechnology.net/

        Google search is fun

        It seems you are ubiquitous when it comes to defending Heartland Institute, and other tinfoil hat theorists

        Please go away.. We have enough trolls of our own without having climate and 9/11 ones too.

         

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          Poptech (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:37pm

          Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

          G Thompson, it is pretty pathetic you attempt to bring up conspiracy theories about me when you cannot refute a single fact I stated.

          I have no financial association with the Heartland Institute period.

          How does it feel to be as bad about researching as Mike?

          http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/06/debunking-911-conspiracy-theories.html

          Sorry to crush your conspiracy theories with the facts.

           

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            G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:41am

            Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

            The article in question (the one here on Techdirt) is NOT about the facts that Heartland makes or doesn't make at its core. It is about an organisation who claims it has a lawful ability to quash comments by some legal method about a paper that may or may not be faked.

            That in my legal opinion is very much bordering on tortious interference and also could pertain to restraint of trade (if the commentators have a income removed from making comments. ie: news reporters) and prior restraint of others who might reasonably want to make similar comments and criticisms. It could also be seen by a court as an Abuse of Process if someone deigns to take it to court for declaratory judgement.

            Whether this organisation is correct in its critical reports towards policies or theories is irrelevant to what the core point that this post on Techdirt was trying to Achieve.

            Personally I had never heard of the Heartland Institute nor your own website. Whether I personally agree or disagree with them or your own views are again irrelevant in this context.

            What you are trying to do is focus on one irrelevancy without commenting on the Topic at hand in which Techdirt and myself opine that Heartland is not only ethically wrong in threatening commentators but also legally wrongful as well.

            My point towards yourself was that it looked very suspicious that you come straight in and attack the minutia of the post without debating by agreeing or disagreeing with the actual whole point of the post.

            That is a form of trolling and seeing as you have no financial association with the organisation is even more intriguing. Though you haven't stated if you have any other type of relationship (ie: member).

            As for my researching ability, I apologise if you got the impression I was stating you are a conspiracy believer of 9/11 though when it comes to the Heartland Institute the ubiquitousness of your posts (and attacks on others) around the wide internet speaks for itself, or are you not the the same pseudonym of PopTech that is used elsewhere on climate debate pages.

            Oh and If you take the time to read the first paragraph of the post you will notice that Mike has stated "in certain circles" this in no way is stating that he believes it or disbelieves the allegations these 'circles" have mentioned, and it's really up to the individual reader to make their own mind up.

             

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              Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

              It the article was not about the false statements Mike made about the Heartland Institute then he should not have included them.

              The outrage expressed here is patently absurd as their concern is with libel relating to the fake document and not simply discussions on the leaked documents.

              I have no relationship whatsoever with the Heartland Institute. It is really pathetic that you accuse me of trolling for making factual corrections to false statements made by the author here. So you would prefer the author and anyone reading this remained ignorant on the factual statements I corrected?

              I am the same Poptech found in Climate Change debates online. My reasons for commenting is if you wish to argue against the organization then do so based on what they actually state and not misinformation as posted by Mike.

              Claiming "in certain circles" does not excuse the use of those factually untrue statements. When I noticed comments repeating those false statements it compelled me to post.

               

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                G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

                I really don't feel like debating anymore with your dissonance.

                Though I would point out that a reasonable person would find after analysing your posts over the wide forums on the Heartland Insitute and your vehemence opposing any and all criticism of them, that yes you do have a relationship with the organisation in question, they might not know about your intense infatuation with them but that relationship in all your actions so far is shown to be absolute.

                I really do not care one way or the other if you believe in climate change, tobacco conflation, aliens shot Kennedy one way or the other, as I stated before all that is irrelevant to the issue of the original post.

                The real issue is whether the organisation has a ethical or legal ability to spout of threats and claims of conspiracies against it. In that my opinion is no they do not and they need to be brought up on that fact whether via public forums, or legal forums the choice is up to them really.

                Though I would seriously advise you not to go down the same route as them and continue to spout off threats of action for so called libelious claims against the posters here.

                have a nice weekend, get out, enjoy the climate and take some deep breaths. Life's too short to get stressed over the same over and over and expect a different result.

                 

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                  Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

                  I understand you do not like debating factual statements, this is not my problem.

                  There is no infatuation with them, only an infatuation with correcting misinformation I am knowledgeable on.

                  I am confused, who does not believe in climate change? And for the record I believe a communist (Oswald) shot Kennedy. I have never believed in delusional conspiracy theories about JFK.

                  The issue you are referring to is about libel in relation to a fake document. Not yours and others misinterpretation of the language the Heartland Institute used in their statement.

                  I will continue to use the word "libel" in the context I intended which is a dictionary definition. You seem like a smart guy so I am surprised at you lack of objectivity in regards to blatantly factually incorrect statements made by others here that they cannot defend.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

                    How much are they paying you to troll the site?

                     

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

                How much are they paying you to troll the site?

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:30am

            Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

            What facts?
            That you support and extreme nut job organization that is whole purpose is to say that smoking is good(I am a smoker) and climate change is not real?

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

            Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

            How much are they paying you to troll the site?

             

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      hmm (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:32am

      Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

      And runs sub-groups saying scientology is awesome, all psychiatrists are wrong and everyone should stop taking prescribed medicines and instead use scientology methods to cleanse themselves of ghosts......

      anything at all for cold hard cash.....

       

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      TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:45am

      Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

      Must you shill so blatantly in public?

      "1. The Heartland Institute does not try to "disprove that smoking causes any harm"."

      Straw man argument. No one has claimed they/you try to disprove the link between smoking and cancer. They/you simply do exactly what Fred Singer has trained you to do, you simply use every public forum you can find to try and instill doubt in the science and the evidence.

      2. "The Heartland Institute does not "deny climate change".

      Straw man argument again, just as disingenuous and deceitful as if Fred Singer himself presented it (which he effectively has). Of course Heartland doesn't dirty their hands in denying science directly. They simply distribute millions of dollars to sensationalist anti-science shills to do the denying for them.

      Nice work on the dishonesty there, you could be a professional. Oh, wait...

       

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

        TheOldFart, please go look up the definition of Strawman argument as I did not such thing. What I quoted was stated exactly by Mike and thus cannot be a "Strawman argument". The false claim was made by Mike, try READING his article,

        "Heartland is well-known in certain circles for its efforts to disprove that smoking causes any harm, as well as its efforts to deny climate change." - Mike Masnick

        Dr. Singer and the Heartland Institute use inconvenient scientific and statistical evidence to debunk exaggerated claims made by anti-smoking groups and AGW Alarmists.

        Dr. Singer has not trained me to do anything. This site is so full of conspiracy theorists it is embarrassing.

         

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          TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

          Why do you want to place blame for your own words on other people? You posted the apologetics for the Heartland Institute. Mike did not write those straw man arguments, you did. Own up to your own writing.

          Tell me something. The future of the global climate is potentially at stake. Many human lives and trillions of dollars are on the line regardless of which position people take on the subject.

          My question is this: why doesn't Fred Singer present his "scientific and statistical evidence" in peer reviewed scientific journals like legitimate scientists do?

          Singer, Soon, Spencer, Heartland et al claim to have evidence that AGW theory is incorrect yet they withhold that information from the scientific community. They intentionally sit on their data and theories while lives and money are wasted.

          Fred Singer and the Heartland Institute are dishonest cowards who not only choose to deny science, deny evidence and deny rational thought, they also actively prevent anyone from examining the evidence they claim to possess - even though thousands of lives and entire economies are at stake.

          They deserve front row seats in the Hague, and hopefully we'll see them there soon.

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

            Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

            You are absolutely clueless about what a strawman argument actually is. If the person I am arguing against explicitly makes certain statements and I argue against them that is NOT a strawman argument. Mike explicitly said,

            "Heartland is well-known in certain circles for its efforts to disprove that smoking causes any harm, as well as its efforts to deny climate change." - Mike Masnick

            Are you denying Mike made the statement above?

            Based on years of scientific research I do not believe the future of the global climate is at stake.

            Dr. Singer is a credentialed scientists and has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature,

            S. Fred Singer, BEE, Ohio State University (1943); A.M. Physics, Princeton University (1944); Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University (1948); Research Physicist, Upper Atmosphere Rocket Program, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University (1946-1950); Scientific Liaison Officer, U.S. Office of Naval Research (1950-1953); Director, Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and Professor of Physics, University of Maryland (1953-1962); White House Commendation for Early Design of Space Satellites (1954); Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cal Tech (1961-1962); First Director, National Weather Satellite Center (1962-1964); First Dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences, University of Miami (1964-1967); Deputy Assistant Secretary (Water Quality and Research), U.S. Department of the Interior (1967-1970); Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-1971); Federal Executive Fellow, The Brookings Institution (1971); Professor of Environmental Science, University of Virginia (1971-1994); U.S. National Academy of Sciences Exchange Scholar, Soviet Academy of Sciences Institute for Physics of the Earth (1972); Member, Governor of Virginia Task Force on Transportation (1975); First Sid Richardson Professor, Lyndon Baines Johnson School for Public Affairs, University of Texas (1978); Vice Chairman and Member, National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmospheres (1981-1986); Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation (1982-1983); Member, U.S. Department of State Science Advisory Board (Oceans, Environment, Science) (1982-1987); Member, Acid Rain Panel, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1982-1987); Member, NASA Space Applications Advisory Committee (1983-1985); Member, U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Waste Panel (1984); Visiting Eminent Scholar, George Mason University (1984-1987); Chief Scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation (1987-1989); Member, White House Panel on U.S.-Brazil Science and Technology Exchange (1987); Distinguished Research Professor, Institute for Space Science and Technology (1989-1994); Guest Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institute (1991); Guest Scholar, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institute (1991); Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University (1992-1993); Distinguished Research Professor, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University (1994-2000); Commendation for Research on Particle Clouds, NASA (1997); Research Fellow, Independent Institute (1997); Director and President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project (1989-Present); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2001)

            Human Contribution to Climate Change Remains Questionable
            (Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, Volume 80, Issue 16, pp. 183-183, April 1999)
            - S. Fred Singer

            Statistical analysis does not support a human influence on climate
            (Energy & Environment, Volume 13, Number 3, pp. 329-331, July 2002)
            - S. Fred Singer

            Disparity of tropospheric and surface temperature trends: New evidence
            (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Issue 13, July 2004)
            - David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer, Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels

            Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation
            (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Issue 13, July 2004)
            - David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

            A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions
            (International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, pp. 1693-1701, December 2007)
            - David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

            Holocene temperature records show millennial-scale periodicity
            (Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Volume 47, Number 10, pp. 1327-1336, October 2010)
            - Craig Loehle, S. F. Singer

            Lack of Consistency Between Modeled and Observed Temperature Trends
            (Energy & Environment, Volume 22, Number 4, pp. 375-406, June 2011)
            - S. Fred Singer

            Singer, Soon and Spencer have all extensively published their positions in the scientific literature,

            http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

            You appear to have no knowledge of any relevant facts to this debate.

             

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              TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

              Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

              I think what you mean to say is that I refuse to be side tracked and that I'm too knowledgeable on the fraud that is Fred Singer and the whole anti-science movement that Heartland helps to sponsor.

              Definition of straw man, from the first google hit: A sham argument set up to be defeated.

              Your words: "The Heartland Institute does not try to "disprove that smoking causes any harm"".

              No one claimed that Heartland tries to disprove anything. You set up that straw man. Everyone knows that Heartland doesn't try to prove or disprove anything, all they do is pay people to introduce doubt into any/every discussion of science that might impact the profit margins of the corporations they represent.

              Your words:

              "The Heartland Institute does not "deny climate change""

              Again, a convenient straw many to viciously attack and knock down, and one that like your first claim relies entirely on the specific wording. Of course Heartland doesn't deny climate change. They simply pay people to deny climate change for them.

              Again, you attempt to side step my question by injecting an appeal to authority. I did not ask if S (for Spineless) Fred Singer published any crap papers recently. I asked you why Singer does not write letters to scientific journals with specific challenges or objections to the papers being published.

              He claims the science is wrong or faked yet he makes no attempts to correct any of it.

              Oh, and by the way, next time you list Spineless Fred Singer's papers, you might want to try only listing the ones he published in reputable, peer reviewed scientific journals.

              From that small list you might want to remove cites of papers that contained glaring errors that were pointed out during review.

              And of those you might want to exclude any published in Energy and Environment because publishing something in a journal that actually published Miskolczi *and* has an editor who admitted she publishes crap science because she wants to "keep the controversy alive" is just too easy to shoot down.

              Oh yeah, and you might want to exclude any statements made by Spineless Fred that were proven to be completely manufactured (e.g. his 2005 debacle where he made very specific and completely false claims that the vast majority of glaciers were growing worldwide)

              Come to think of it, you might want to also leave out any papers where he has admitted to hoodwinking people into including their name on papers he was the sole author of (does the name Revelle ring a bell? I thought so)

              It just occurred to me, you might want to leave out that pesky little paper with Freddie's name on it - you know the one, International Journal of Climatology, 2007, Douglass et al. You wouldn't want to cite a paper containing such a fundamentally flawed/misapplied analysis, would you?

              Come to think of it, you probably want to just not cite any of Spineless Fred's publications because to be honest, he does seem to suffer from a great deal of suck. He always seems to be doing it wrong and then stupidly publishes a paper to advertise the idiotic things that he does.

              When you try an appeal to authority with me, you're going to end up with a big snoot full of fail every single time. You cite Soon, I'll cite his idiotic "confusion" over shellfish. Cite Spencer and I'll cite his extremist religious views and his signing of the Cornwall Alliance manifesto. Cite Cristy or Braswell and I'll cite the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner over the egregious errors in their Remote Sensing paper.

              I know the anti-science playbook and the players. By heart. You might want to try a different diversionary tactic.

               

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                Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

                Re: Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

                You have yet to make a factual statement about Dr. Singer or the Heartland Institute. There is no such "anti-science" movement let alone one sponsored by the Heartland Institute.

                "No one claimed that Heartland tries to disprove anything."

                Mike made this argument by making this statement,

                "Heartland is well-known in certain circles for its efforts to disprove that smoking causes any harm, as well as its efforts to deny climate change." - Mike Masnick

                Are you delusional or in denial of what he stated? Arguing against the factually incorrect statements Mike made is not a strawman argument.

                "Everyone knows that Heartland doesn't try to prove or disprove anything, all they do is pay people to introduce doubt into any/every discussion of science that might impact the profit margins of the corporations they represent. [...] They simply pay people to deny climate change for them. "

                These are libelous lies.

                "I asked you why Singer does not write letters to scientific journals with specific challenges or objections to the papers being published."

                Now you are lying about what you just stated?

                "My question is this: why doesn't Fred Singer present his "scientific and statistical evidence" in peer reviewed scientific journals like legitimate scientists do?" - TheOldFart

                All published papers passed peer-review and had any legitimate errors that were brought up during the review corrected before publication. That is how the peer-review process works. Any later published criticisms have been rebutted.

                All of the journals I cited are reputable peer-reviewed journals, including Energy and Environment which is cited by the IPCC multiple times,

                - Thompson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index (ISI) lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
                - EBSCO lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal (PDF)
                - The IPCC cites Energy & Environment multiple times
                - "All Multi-Sciences primary journals are fully refereed" - Multi-Science Publishing
                - "Regular issues include submitted and invited papers that are rigorously peer reviewed" - E&E Mission Statement
                - "E&E, by the way, is peer reviewed" - Tom Wigley, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                - "I have published a few papers in E&E. All were peer-reviewed as usual. I have reviewed a few more for the journal." - Richard Tol, Ph.D. Professor of the Economics of Climate Change, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands

                The editor has made no such claim of publishing "crap science".

                The Revelle opinion paper was not peer-reviewed which is why I did not include it. The truth about the Revelle controversy can be read about here,

                http://media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/0817939326_283.pdf

                Why would I leave a paper [Douglas et al. 2007] out where the criticisms against it have been refuted?

                http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0905/0905.0445.pdf

                Your rambling ad hominems against the honorable Dr. Singer are pathetic.

                So I'll cite peer-reviewed papers and you will attempt to argue a logical fallacy using ad hominem? Pathetic.

                You clearly do not know any of this by heart as it was not Christy and Braswell but Spencer and Braswell.

                Lets look at some of the credentials of the reputable scientists you are trying to smear,

                John R. Christy, B.A. Mathematics, California State University (1973); M.S. Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois (1984); Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois (1987); NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1991); American Meteorological Society's Special Award (1996); Member, Committee on Earth Studies, Space Studies Board (1998-2001); Alabama State Climatologist (2000-Present); Fellow, American Meteorological Society (2002); Panel Member, Official Statement on Climate Change, American Geophysical Union (2003); Member, Committee on Environmental Satellite Data Utilization, Space Studies Board (2003-2004); Member, Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the last 2,000 years, National Research Council (2006); Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1991-Present); Director of the Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville (2000-Present); Contributor, IPCC (1992, 1994, 1996, 2007); Lead Author, IPCC (2001)

                Roy W. Spencer, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Michigan (1978), M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin (1980), Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin (1982), Research Scientist, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin (1982-1984), Senior Scientist for Climate Studies, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA (1984-2001), MSFC Center Director's Commendation (1989), NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1991), U.S. Team Leader, Multichannel Imaging Microwave Radiometer (MIMR) Team, NASA (1992-Present), Team Leader, AMSR-E Science Team, NASA (1994-Present), American Meteorological Society's Special Award (1996), Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville (2001-Present)

                People can certainly make up their own minds.

                 

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                  TheOldFart (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

                  I like how you wave your magic wand and claim "all have been rebutted". I think you've truncated your search a little early there. You also failed to mention the magnitude (pun intended) of the blunders found. I would too if I were citing it. You also very carefully avoid mentioning anything about changes to the results after the errors were corrected. Wise choice.

                  Still, the fact that you're citing it is very amusing. Why? You got so wound up in trying to defend your handlers that you recited a long list "science" papers and, in your own words "reputable scientific journals" that have published Singer and all the usual idiots. You even point out that the IPCC has acknowledged some of their papers.

                  That clearly puts the lie to your claim that the reputable scientific journals are conspiring to prevent publishing papers with contrarian views in it.

                  Thanks much, I couldn't have pulled that one off without you.

                  The only way I could put a finer point on it would be to ask something innocuous like "Name a specific paper that you feel was unfairly rejected by reputable scientific journals." Your non-response to a simple request like that would speak another volume.

                  Your claim was obviously false at the outset. It would require a worldwide conspiracy to arbitrarily prevent a specific viewpoint from being published somewhere. Global conspiracy theories are generally considered less than scientific.

                  I don't have to smear the idiots, anyone can google the names you've mentioned and see their idiocy in living color. In fact you've provided them with the all the info needed so they can, if they're interested in reading about pathological freaks like Singer and the Heartland gang.

                  You cite the initial publications of those papers, the google results tell folks the rest of the story. (**spoiler alert** - Siggy comes off looking dumb, dishonest, disingenuous and downright dimwitted)

                  You a funny guy, calling a whack job like Spencer a scientist. That is like calling my cat a brain surgeon. Spencer (and McKitrick) signed the Cornwall Alliance statement. They both believe that all of quantum theory and all of relativity is completely wrong and that the earth is actually only 6,000 years old. They also believe that their gods simply won't let anything bad happen no matter how badly we pollute the atmosphere:

                  http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-wa rming/

                  ====
                  WHAT WE BELIEVE

                  We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory...

                  ....

                  WHAT WE DENY

                  We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry

                  ...

                  Anyone ever tell you that you work for a bunch of serious losers.

                  Heartland execs and Singer (and Infoe) all belong in the Hague on trial for crimes against humanity.

                  p.s. If people can make up their own minds (as you assert in your closing sentence) then why would they need a shill like you jumping into every discussion even tangentially related to climate change with all your lies about data being faked/hidden and dissenting "scientists" being suppressed?

                   

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                    Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:23pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

                    You are confusing errors found during the peer-review process with a paper that may have had "corrections" made to it after it was published as an addendum or erratum. These did not change the conclusions of those papers. This demonstrates you do not understand the peer-review process.

                    I not "handlers", your obsession with conspiracy theories is getting really old.

                    "That clearly puts the lie to your claim that the reputable scientific journals are conspiring to prevent publishing papers with contrarian views in it."

                    Strawman argument as I made no such claim here.

                    Your vicious ad hominem attacks on reputable scientists are all the evidence anyone needs that you do not have an argument.

                    "Spencer (and McKitrick) ...They both believe that all of quantum theory and all of relativity is completely wrong and that the earth is actually only 6,000 years old."

                    This is an absolute lie.

                    People can make up their own minds when they are given the truth and not the lies you peddle. What I have stated is fully supported and your lies are blatantly unsupportable.

                     

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                      TheOldFart (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:52am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

                      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Roy_Spencer

                      Opposition to evolution and embrace of "intelligent design"

                      Spencer has been an active in advocating Intelligent Design over evolution, and argued in 2005 that its teaching should be mandatory in schools[18]. Working with the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, Spencer has been part of an effort to advocate environmental policy that is based on a "Biblical view" rather than science. As a defender of "Intelligent Design" creationism, Spencer has asserted that the scientific theory of evolution is really just a kind of religion.[19]

                      View: creation has a better scientific basis

                      In the book The Evolution Crisis[20] Spencer is quoted as saying:

                      "I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world..." [21]

                      ...

                      Spencer's arguments in The Great Global Warming Blunder were critiqued extensively in a three-part series by Utah geochemist Barry Bickmore[22],[23],[24].

                      "In the book, Spencer says:

                      I find it difficult to believe that I am the first researcher to figure out what I describe in this book. Either I am smarter than the rest of the world’s climate scientists–which seems unlikely–or there are other scientists who also have evidence that global warming could be mostly natural, but have been hiding it. That is a serious charge, I know, but it is a conclusion that is difficult for me to avoid. (p. xxvii)

                      "But as Arthur Smith pointed out, after addressing the problems with Spencer's model[25], "... The first thing a true scientist should think of in a situation like this doesn't seem to have even occurred to Spencer. "What if I'm wrong?"
                      He was."

                      ...

                      July 2011 Spencer & Braswell paper in Remote Sensing (not a climate journal)

                      In July 2011 a paper coauthored by Spencer was published in Remote Sensing, "[which is] a fine [peer-reviewed] journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science"[26]. AP science writer Seth Borenstein reported,

                      "[Spencer's] research looked at cause and effect of clouds and warming. Contrary to the analysis of a majority of studies, his found that for the past decade, variations in clouds seemed more a cause of warming than an effect. More than anything, he said, his study found that mainstream research and models don't match the 10 years of data he examined. Spencer's study concludes the question of clouds' role in heating "remains an unsolved problem."

                      ...
                      By Heartland, Fox: paper demolishes climate consensus

                      The paper was interpreted by Fox News and the Heartland Institute as casting doubt on climate predictions.[28],[29].

                      By climate scientists - fatally flawed study

                      "Errors identified by climate scientists "...range from the trivial (using the wrong units for the radiative flux anomaly), to the serious (treating clouds as the cause of climate change, rather than resulting from day-to-day weather; comparing a 10 year observational period with a 100 year model period and not allowing for the spread in model outputs)."[30]

                      "Within three days of the publication of Spencer & Braswell 2011, two climate scientists (Kevin Trenberth & John Fasullo) repeated the analysis and showed that the IPCC models are in agreement with the observations[26], thus refuting Spencer & Braswell’s claims. An independent analysis by Andrew Dessler also confirms the Trenberth & Fasullo result."[30]
                      ...

                      Pattern of publication&publicity matches previous such attempts

                      Michael Ashley noted that this paper was following the same trajectory as previous papers touted as demolishing global warming, that haven't stood up over time:[30]

                      1. The article is published in a non-mainstream journal, following inadequate peer-review.
                      2. Press releases from the authors exaggerate/distort the contents of the article to inflate its significance and increase the attention given to it.
                      3. News of the article spreads like wild-fire around the blogosphere.
                      4. Some media outlets take the press release and exaggerate it further still, so that the information that finally reaches the public has almost no relation to the original article.
                      5. Within days, experts in the field show that the original article is fatally flawed; but by now the damage is done.
                      6. For years into the future, the article is quoted by deniers of human-induced climate change as evidence that the science is uncertain.

                       

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                        Poptech (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:27am

                        The Truth about SourceWatch

                        http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/10/truth-about-sourcewatch.html

                        "SourceWatch is a propaganda site funded by an extreme left-wing, anti-capitalist and anti-corporate organization, the Center for Media and Democracy. Just like the untrustworthy Wikipedia the content can be written and edited by ordinary web users. Users who all conveniently share an extreme left-wing bias. SourceWatch is frequently cited by those seeking to smear individuals and organizations who do not share their extreme left-wing bias since they cannot find any legitimate criticisms from respected news sources."

                        You cannot even find reputable news sources.

                         

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                Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:43am

                Re: Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

                I had to give this one a 'funny' as well as an 'insightful' just because of the sheer intellectual-but-researched venom in it :)

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:00pm

              Re: Clueless about what a Strawman Argument is

              Are you denying that certain circles make exactly that claim, as Mike states? Mike isn't saying he believes the statement, he is saying that certain circles make that claim. This is why your argument fails on the face of your inability to comprehend the basic structure and meaning of the sentence. THIS is what Heartland does! It is misdirection, purposeful misreading, and intellectually dishonest.

               

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                Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

                Not at all

                Anyone with any journalistic integrity would not repeat unsubstantiated claims. The fact that he chose to repeat factually untrue statements demonstrates he has no interest in intellectual honesty.

                "Certain Circles" could say Mike is a thief. No reputable journalist would repeat this without fact checking it first.

                My "argument" is that the, "certain circles" claims are factually incorrect and no one has been able to show otherwise. My problem with Mike is that he posted them at all. It can easily be inferred that Mike believes these false claims.

                 

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                  abc gum, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 4:57am

                  Re: Not at all

                  "Anyone with any journalistic integrity would not repeat unsubstantiated claims."

                  This just in:
                  Claims made in public are reported by journalists (gasp) In The News!!!

                  In related news:
                  The unwashed masses ask if it is possible for a comment to be unsubstantiated and factually untrue at the same time, film at eleven.

                   

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                    Poptech (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:26am

                    Prove it

                    Please cite and quote the journalist from a reputable news source who made those same claims about the Heartland Institute as alleged "certain circles".

                     

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Mike please get your facts straight about the Heartland's positions

          How much are they paying you to troll the site?

           

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:44pm

      Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

      You mean all of the issues he didn't actually comment on, but instead focused on them making threats to sue anyone who commented on anything.
      Because using your money to buy silence using threats of lawsuits is really not the best way to handle things.

      Mike went out of his way to avoid the whole set of issues of them being tinfoil hat wearing freaks or not, but instead focused on them behaving in a way that shows them to be thin skinned whiners. To attempt to use your money to use legal methods to stop people from having a discussion is hugely over reaching.
      The fact your entire time here has been spent trying to spin their issues into something that we just don't understand, while ignoring what the actual article says, shows that your keyword monitoring the web and rushing to defend this "think tank" against any possible attack on their statements on policies, rather than intelligently reading the posted article and avoiding making them look even more stupid by blathering on subjects not under discussion.

      Paul Christoforo - is this you?

       

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:58pm

        Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

        He clearly made false statements on those issues, which I have corrected.

        The Heartland Institute has a legal write to sue for libel. They are only concerned with those journalists who made libelous statements about them in relation to the forged document. Not anyone who "commented" on it - which is absolutely absurd. Mike and yourself are misreading what they stated.

        I actually found this post using Google News and when I read it, found many factually incorrect statements that I corrected by creating an account and posting about them. You guys accuse a first time commentator of believing in falsely conspiracy theories while fabricating conspiracy theories about them posting - hillarious!

        All you have is make ad hominem attacks since you cannot refute a single fact I stated and supported with sources.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:16am

          Re: Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

          Good luck to them as the bar for libel for them (public figure) is going to be very high.

          a) they will have to demonstrate actual harm, not made-up harm, hurt feelings, anger, or frustration.
          b) they will have to demonstrate that the comments were made willfully knowing they were false and that they would harm Heartland.

          Unfortunately, not removing them after the fact is irrelevant as there is no "notice-and-takedown process" for libel.

          And no one is refuting your "facts" because no one cares--that is not the issue at hand here (which you keep ignoring).

           

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          Mark Murphy (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:17am

          Re: Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

          He clearly made false statements on those issues, which I have corrected.

          No, you have not. At best, you have demonstrated that there are people who disagree with those "in certain circles" who hold certain opinions about Heartland.

          The Heartland Institute has a legal write to sue for libel.

          At best, they might have a legal "right" to sue for libel.

          They are only concerned with those journalists who made libelous statements about them in relation to the forged document.

          And your proof that libel is their "only" concern is... what, exactly?

          Not anyone who "commented" on it - which is absolutely absurd.

          There is no nuance in their assertion that "individuals who have commented so far on these documents" have performed "actions [which] constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages". You are welcome to imagine such nuance, if you wish.

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:57am

            Re: Re: Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

            The facts don't change despite your denial of them. I have provided sourced evidence to support my arguments and you have failed to provide a single piece of evidence to support the "in certain circles" ones. I challenge anyone to provide such evidence.

            You can believe whatever you want, I am just giving you the correct interpretation of their words. I will email them to see if they will comment here to clarify this.

             

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          Eileen (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:34am

          Re: Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

          You saw it on google news... after searching for Heartland References? Ain't exactly front-page news, kid. No one here believes that you aren't a shill for this company, and there ain't shit you can do about it. Whine away.

          Do you every lie awake at night wondering why you sold your soul? Probably not. Go away.

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:02am

            Re: Re: Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

            After reading about the story on another site I searched Google News for more stories on it. Techdirt's came up as one of the most recent ones at that time. I never claimed it was front page news. I really don't understand the conspiracy theories.

            I sleep very soundly as I do not hold emotional positions on scientific issues.

             

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:25am

          Re: Re: The Climategate Emails were not misread

          "The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions. "

          Please point to the word journalist in their statement.
          I'd wait, but I'm aging.

          Your now attempting to claim to know their actual plans, so that would mean you might be libeling them by claiming to state their intentions and interests, unless of course your working for them. Otherwise your well outside of your actual experience and are not an authorized spokesweasal for them.

          They want all statements removed from blogs, some of which would be peoples opinions and amazingly we are still allowed free speech - even on documents that might be proven to be faked after the fact.

          Again not helping yourself in the "I'm a shill running to defend my client" appearance monitoring the web for comments about them.

          You must be new here to think I was on the attack, I'm much more harsh than what you have seen. What I have seen is you adding several links to a well known web page to give us "proof" about something not related to the actual discussion. Given Googles newer algorithm and the other spam bots who troll the site your most likely also trying to benefit yourself or clients by improving the rating of those sites by scoring linkage.

          You seem to have a complete obsession with disproving that some people in some circles think that this "Think Tank" might not be on the up and up. Mike provided general background, if we cared we would do our own research. Mike made a point of saying we aren't here to debate the "science" but more so the legal threat that is poorly worded and puts them in a bad light.
          So far your only offered proof we got that wrong was we missed the word journalist hidden in invisible ink, while you had so much to try and make us all think they are lovely people we should implicitly trust.

          The "facts" you stated are well outside the actual bounds of the framed discussion, but your jumping up and down screaming look at this look at this. Your trying to derail the discussion for some reason, and then played the poor me first time commenter card.

          That you you still haven't covered my question...
          Are you Paul Christoforo with a better spell check program?

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:29pm

            Free to Comment

            Regardless of the current wording in their rebuttal, it would not change their position. My inferences are based on their public policy positions in relation to free speech. Anyone who has properly researched the institute would know this. I can assure you they are only concerned with libel in relation to the fake document and not simply any discussion on the documents. You do not have to be affiliated with them to know this truth.

            My comments here were in direct response to exact words stated by the author. You nor any commentator here is an arbitrator on what the "discussion" is or who can comment and why.

            Google Page Rank does not weigh blog comment links high if at all. So your conspiracy theories here are meaningless.

            You are correct that I have an obsession with correcting misinformation about subjects I am knowledgeable in.

            Mike irresponsibly stated misinformation and failed to source it. I corrected the misinformation. It is telling that no one has attempted to quote and source a rebuttal to any of my factual corrections.

            I have no idea who Paul Christoforo is.

             

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    hmm (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:22am

    money

    Heartland will literally say ANYTHING if you pay them.

    If you want an organization that says cutting children's heads off with rusty gardening shears is good for them and improves their school grades, just throw a few thousand dollars their way.......

    They've done the smoking thing, stood up for scientology and a host of other freaks and it's entirely pointless arguing with them. All they want is publicity, whether thats for standing up for civil rights or saying how everyone with different colored skin should be burned alive.

     

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    Zambiki, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    Liars for money

    Heartland Institute = liars for money.

    Given that their donors wanted to remain hidden in the shadows, it seems likely they will not want to give any more money to this toxic 'think tank'.

     

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    Pixelation, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:45am

    Trust

    "The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents"

    If they deny it should we believe them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:58am

    There is no Streisand effect in play here because there is nothing shocking in the documents apart from the fact that the only really damaging document is quite clearly faked (and badly).

    This thing will turn out like the exploding schoolkids fiasco http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26gc2jXW3K4 so I would say heeding Heartlands warning is probably not such an awful idea. The whole thing with the "ClimateGate" scandal was that the fudge factors in the very real data was actually there and clearly created the desired outcome from random data.

    A faked data release will not help anyone but Heartland, because it clearly supports their narrative that the other team are making up the facts.

     

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      Eileen (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      Who's making up facts now? The Stolen Emails actually did not reveal any such thing.

      Here's a good write-up:
      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/11/22/climategate-2-more-ado-about-no thing-again/

      Only idiots who don't have the brain-power to do academic science think there is anything removely scandalous about the content of those emails.

      The "really damaging document" might be a fake, or might not. I'm interested to see the proof one way or the other.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:25am

        Re: Re:

        So you link an article that basically says "nuh-uh"?

        At the very least, this "valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75" (Google it if you don't know what it refers too), means that the whole affair requires somewhat more than a "nuh-uh" to clear up.

        The scanned incriminating document in the Heartland release, on the other hand, is quite unambiguously a fake.

         

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          Eileen (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I have no idea what that refers to and if you want to present evidence, "google it" is not such.

          Also, I don't consider your authority as a paid shill as a good one that the document is fake. Sources please.

           

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          TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Folks, here's another example of how to send the anti-science types running in terror from a simple, innocuous question. Watch and learn.

          To the AC: Please cite just one title of a published, peer-reviewed paper, or the name and version of a scientific data source that was altered, fudged, faked, or in any way affected by "climategate".


          To the rational folks: What them scatter like quail. The anti-science crowd can't name any peer reviewed papers or data sets that were affected because there were none. Not one of the anti-science crowd has ever even attempted to get a scientific paper retracted due to fraud/faked data/intentional manipulation of data or smearing of boogers on the pages. They haven't because it has never happened.

           

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:10am

        Yes they did

        The CRU emails show scientists,
        - Obstructing release of damaging data and information;
        - Manipulating data to reach preconceived conclusions;
        - Colluding to pressure journal editors who published work questioning the climate science “consensus”; and
        - Assuming activist roles to influence the political process


        http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/c_exposed.pdf

        http://w ww.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/300ubchn.asp?nopager=1
        http://www.weeklys tandard.com/articles/denial?nopager=1
        http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/clim ategate-part-ii_610926.html?nopager=1

         

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          TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:32am

          Re: Yes they did

          Why do you cite gossip rags and political blogs as "proof" of something?

          The proof is this: name just ONE paper that has been retracted or modified as a result of the CRU e-mails. Don't run from the question and say "lots of them", borrow a spine from someone who has one and cite a specific paper published in a peer reviewed journal.

          If you have evidence that papers were faked then why haven't you or any of the other anti-science trolls/shills presented that evidence to the publishers of that paper?

          No science had to be amended or retracted as a result of any information contained in the CRU e-mails. That's an easily verifiable fact.

          How easy? Well, if you anti-science shills had any evidence, it'd be on the front page, not hidden behind lots of hand-waving anti-science zealots.

          BTW are you by any chance one of the signers of the Cornwall Alliance document? Many readers here might not be familiar with that document even though Roy Spencer and some of the other "skeptics" cited by Infoe, Morano, Singer, Heartland etc. have signed it.

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

            Re: Re: Yes they did

            I have not cited a gossip rag or a political blog. The first is used as a source link that reproduces a government document. The other three are from a reputable publication.

            Who claimed a paper was retracted or modified due to the CRU emails? Do you even understand what the debate is about?

            I have never signed the Cornwall Alliance document. Yes some highly credentialed skeptics happen to be religious, this is hardly surprising news. That is irrelevant to their scientific arguments which do not include religious positions.

             

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              TheOldFart (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Yes they did

              So you don't consider a fluff piece from none other than Infoe - which BTW is not a "government document", it's an opinion piece compiled by Marc Morono (sp intentional)

              You have a great sense of humour, I'll give you that. Calling a neocon propaganda rag like the Weekly Standard a "reputable publication" is like calling Mad Magazine a scientific journal. Sure it's funny, but a reputable source of science or fact? That's a good one.

              Your words:

              "The CRU emails show scientists,
              ...
              - Manipulating data to reach preconceived conclusions;
              - Colluding to pressure journal editors who published work questioning the climate science “consensus”;"

              My words: You cannot name even ONE paper that uses inappropriately conditioned data. You cannot cite a paper that was withdrawn, retracted, or corrected as a result of anything in the CRU e-mails. You cannot cite even one specific instance of a journal rejecting science based on its conclusions.

              In short, you're spreading rumours, gossip and lies, all unsubstantiated crap.

              If there was any specific case, the sensationalist media would be all over it and the scientists associated with it would be infamous. Which, BTW, is why you won't ever cite a specific paper or journal because a) it will immediately be checked out by reputable journalists and scientists and b) because you'll get your ass sued off for making specific claims of fraud without any evidence to back it up.

              If a paper published in a decent journal is shown to have used deliberately manipulated data (and *especially* if it was done due to information revealed in the CRU e-mails) it *will* be retracted or withdrawn, if not by the author(s) then by the editors of the journal.

              Even your "obstructing the data" claim is just plain old gossip. I mean, you can name the data set, what was in it and where it came from, right? I can. They told idiot boy to go get his own license for that data because the license they had didn't allow them to redistribute the data. So it wasn't even possible for CRU to prevent anyone from accessing the data since it was provided by a Russian outfit and available to anyone who wanted to pay the license fee.

              Speaking of that "obstructed" data, what has the anti-science movement done with the data since then? Did they show that something was faked? If that data is still worth crying over all these years later then it must have been very critical information right? So why have the anti-science types done nothing with it?

              That's a rhetorical question. They won't ever do anything with it because if they did it would just be a repeat of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature results. They'll simply confirm the science and then sit around looking stupid for whining about it and denying it for so long.

               

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                Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes they did

                You really need to do better research the document was not compiled by Morano (as he stopped working for Sen. Inhofe in 2009) but by minority staff members of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. It is thus a government created document.

                The Weekly Standard is a reputable political magazine. I choose those articles as they succinctly summarize the key issues are were written by a reputable author Stephen Hayward.

                I can name many papers that use inappropriately conditioned data, such as MBH 98/99, Steig et al. 2009 ect... But in relation to Climategate it was a part of a WMO report written by Phil Jones,

                http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html

                Here you have actually made a "strawman argument" as these claims were not made by me, "You cannot cite a paper that was withdrawn, retracted, or corrected as a result of anything in the CRU e-mails. You cannot cite even one specific instance of a journal rejecting science based on its conclusions.'

                Everything I have stated has been cited and fully supported by the evidence I provided. The emails speak for themselves,

                "But the current diagram with the tree ring only data [i.e. the Briffa reconstruction] somewhat contradicts the multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly." - Chris Folland, Lead Author, IPCC (1990, 1992, 1996, 2001)

                "everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this [the Briffa reconstruction] was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series." - Michael Mann, Lead Author, IPCC (2001)

                "So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. [Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being "warmer" than the Jones et al and Mann et al series?? We would need to put in a few words in this regard] Otherwise, the skeptics have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!" - Michael Mann, Lead Author, IPCC (2001)

                "I've just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline." - Phil Jones, Director, Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

                "Anyway, I'll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that's trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent cold-ish years." - Mick Kelly, Visiting Fellow, Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

                "I'm getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don't any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!" - Phil Jones, Director, Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

                "The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone." - Phil Jones, Director, Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

                "I've managed to persuade UEA to ignore all further FOIA requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit." - Phil Jones, Director, Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

                "I've been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process." - Phil Jones, Director, Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

                "I have refused to send McIntyre the "derived" model data he requests, ...I will continue to refuse such data requests in the future. Nor will I provide McIntyre with computer programs, email correspondence, etc." - Ben Santer, Lead Author, IPCC (1995)

                "...If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available - raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations - I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals." - Ben Santer, Lead Author, IPCC (1995)

                I know of no such "anti-science" movement so I cannot answer such silly questions.

                 

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                  TheOldFart (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes they did

                  You're a very poor liar. Has anyone ever told you that?

                  Extreme neoconservative sensationalist media outlets are not "reputable publications", nor are they scientific journals nor do they publish science.

                  Political opinion pieces written by extremist politicians (and the idiot politician wannabes who work for them) are not science nor are they an accepted form of evidence for anyone with a functioning brain. Oh yeah, don't forget to mention why Morono left. Here's a hint and a nice example of the Heartland Inc/Morono/Singer tactics: http://motherjones.com/environment/2012/01/mit-climate-scientists-wife-threatened-frenzy-hate

                  Wik ipedia is at least as trustworthy at the National Enquirer quality pubs you cite, so I'll take the lazy way out. Wiki seems to say you're a very poor liar when it comes to MBH99:

                  "Others later found the issues raised by McIntyre and McKitrick were minor and did not affect the main conclusions of MBH.[52] Technical issues were discussed in RealClimate on 18 February in a blog entry by Gavin Schmidt and Caspar Amman,[83] and in a BBC News interview Schmidt said that by using a different convention but not altering subsequent steps in the analysis accordingly, McIntyre and McKitrick had removed significant data which would have given the same result as the MBH papers"

                  That analysis has been upheld since BTW. Consult google for another installment in "The Saga of Fail: Anti-science Held To Normal Standards Of Evidence"

                  Follow the wiki page to the National Research Council Report: "The report agreed that there were statistical shortcomings in the MBH analysis, but concluded that they were small in effect."

                  So, no faking, just some minor deficiencies that didn't affect the conclusions. No surprise there, the anti-science crowd loves to lie and distort - except when Spencer or Soon or one of the other idiots publishes a complete train wreck of a paper (what is Soon's score now? I count 4 people resigning in the wake of just one of his papers being published)

                  Let's try the next one. Oops, looks like the lie is even more lame on this one. No data was faked or inappropriately modified. You obviously can't even read the abstract of the O'Donnell paper even though it's available for free online:

                  "...Though the general reconstruction concept has merit, it is susceptible to spurious results for both temperature trends and patterns. The deficiencies include the following: (i) improper calibration of satellite data; (ii) improper determination of spatial structure during infilling; and (iii) suboptimal determination of regularization parameters, particularly with respect to satellite principal component retention. This study proposes two methods to resolve these issues."

                  http://www.scar.org/treaty/atcmxxxiv/ATCM34_ip052_e.pdf

                  "Antarctic Peninsula warming is well documented, but the magnitude and extent of recent temperature changes across West Antarctica are under review. Steig et al. (2009) estimated that most of West Antarctica warmed over the last 50 years at a rate of > 0.1° C per decade, with greatest warming in winter and spring, and that the average temperature for the continent increased since 1957. O’Donnell et al. (2011) question some aspects of those results, suggesting that average increases for the continent, East Antarctica, and West Antarctica were half or less than those found in the earlier study, though still significant. O’Donnell et al. (2011) did find that West Antarctica warmed from the Peninsula to Marie Byrd Land."

                  So you're a liar when you claim data was faked. Let's see how you fare on the WMO report. Doh! Looks like you're caught in another lie! 3 for 3, not bad for an amateur!

                  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm
                  http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=653
                  And a nice point-by-point dissection of your lie here:

                  http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2010/10/29/who-said-what-answering-ross-mckitrick%E2%80%99s-%E 2%80%9Cresponse-to-misinformation-from-deutsche-bank%E2%80%9D-part-ii/

                  You cite a lot of e-mail correspondence, but you seem to be missing any cites of the EIGHT investigations that found _no_ problems with any of the science produced.

                  Basically your e-mail quotes have nothing whatsoever to do with science and simply amount to a lot of whining about someone being mean to idiots who annoy them repeatedly.

                  From the wiki page:

                  "Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.[14] The Muir Russell report stated, however, "We do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA."[15][16] The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged at the end of the investigations.[17]"

                  Plonk!

                  (No hard feelings troll, but I've got bigger fish to fry at the moment - see ya!)

                   

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    I have read every memo leaked or otherwise, looked at the temperature data of every single system used to compile these reports, I have looked at the grants paid to universities, the money given by private industry to counter these claims. I have looked at the solar data and I have looked at the articles published on AGW. I have come to two conclusions

    1) people want to believe whatever their favorite politicians tell them based on their political party.

    2) Global warming is a cyclical phenom going back to the beginning of time without a shred of proof connected to human activity which is why ever single prediction they have made is false. In fact, the largest cycles ever recorded pre-dated human activity and are still mysteries.

    There is a ton of money to be made by having people believe it by a small majority of folks who happen to be pushing the theories.

    I have 6 degrees including chemical engineering with an emphasis on plasma reactions. If you do not understand the connection of temperature to plasma then you need to start at the beginning like I did.

     

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      abc gum, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:50am

      Re:

      Cool -
      Pollute to your hearts content.
      Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
      Let someone else worry about that shit.

       

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

        CO2 is not pollution

        1. CO2 is not pollution
        http://www.populartechnology.net/2008/11/carbon-dioxide-co2-is-not-pollution.html

        2. You are the only one who has to worry about your decision to smoke.

         

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          identicon
          abc gum, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

          Re: CO2 is not pollution

          "CO2 is not pollution"

          Did I say it was?

          Come to think of it, I recall several people quoted as saying that CO2 is harmless. - lol, the jokes write themselves.

          Michele Bachmann
          Joe Barton
          John Shimkus

           

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          Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 5:03am

          Re: CO2 is not pollution

          1) Even oxygen is pollution in the wrong form and location (ground-level ozone). So saying CO2 'isn't pollution' is a bit simplistic. Feel free to go into a high-CO2 atmostphere setting and breathe away...

          2) Unless you happen to smoke in the presence of others, and require society to pay for the damage you do to yourself.

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 9:30am

            Re: Re: CO2 is not pollution

            1. Using that logic water is also pollution. Saying CO2 is not pollution is not simplistic because the comparison to what people consider to be pollution (smog ect...) happens frequently, especially in climate debates.

            2. If you are smoking on private property then the other people have a choice not to be there. I agree that governments should not pay for healthcare.

             

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    Bengie, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Leaky

    First rule of leaked documents, don't talk about leaked documents.

     

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    Walks-In-Storms, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Intellect, statistics - and lack thereof

    Accepted and un-controversial studies tell us that 98 percent of the human species is below genius level, and that the vast majority of people will fail - in the U.S., miserably - any intelligence test. This thread (thanks for the book research material, by the way) is an example consistent with the existing statistics. May I suggest, therefore, a trip to a website (certainly, few here would consider the library or a book) concerned with logic.

    For instance, what does "cycle" without further comment mean? The planet's climate just "cycles" - no causes?

    And so on. It's also been observed that the most insidious effect of ignorance is that, like insanity, it often disables itself where self-awareness is concerned (too ignorant to know its ignorant). As Russell (Bertrand - look it up) noted, whatever is told to a stupid person by a brighter one must be reduced by the stupid person to the level of his own understanding.

    This thread, again - huh?

     

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    Harlan Bock, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:28am

    What's really sad is the desperation with which the climate alarmists are latching onto this story in an effort to discredit those with a more balanced view of climate science. Alarmists are completely missing the point of this incident. They are simply ignoring the fact that one of their own needed to commit fraud to try to discredit a climate realist organization! Alarmists had NOTHING on Heartland, so they had to LIE!

    And, just like the evidence that global warming isn't occurring, alarmists ignore the Heartland lie, too.

     

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      abc gum, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      I can tell by your choice of labels that you are impartial and unbiased. - Alarmists vs Realists, film at eleven.

      When one overlooks the cause for warming and only addresses the trend and ramifications thereof, does that turn a realist into an alarmist?

      Or, do you deny the warming trend also?

       

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    Harlan Bock, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    What's really sad is the desperation with which the climate alarmists are latching onto this story in an effort to discredit those with a more balanced view of climate science. Alarmists are completely missing the point of this incident. They are simply ignoring the fact that one of their own needed to commit fraud to try to discredit a climate realist organization! Alarmists had NOTHING on Heartland, so they had to LIE!

    And, just like the evidence that global warming isn't occurring, alarmists ignore the Heartland lie, too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    This one sure was a cluster fuck. Strayed away from the issue early on. Heartland are idiots, yes. They really need a reality check on certain things and should not sue people for merely commenting on leaked info that may or may not be faked. That being said, skepticism in science is a good thing, while outright subterfuge is not.

     

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    Phil, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:29pm

    World class thread

    This is a great thread you guys have going here. You dug up the best shill/troll I've seen in a while. Kudos.

     

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      G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:47pm

      Re: World class thread

      The phrase "fresh meat" came to mind after reading this mornings efforts.

      And I'm trying to ask myself if it was all my fault since I knew it was troll/shrill/insane(??) and fed it.

      Oh well Its Sunday here, stinking hot outside (for a change) and been mowing the lawns, doing gardens, ie:all jobs My wife makes me do .. And I missed all of the fun *pouts and sits in a corner*

       

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        Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:06pm

        Question

        Do you consider being factually correct a "troll", a "shill" or being "insane"?

        If anything the debate level here is sub-par and consists of conspiracy theorists and ad hominem logical fallacies. I expected more.

         

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          G Thompson (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

          Re: Question

          Whether you are factually correct or totally false has nothing to do with myself and others considering you a troll.

          A troll is an individual who Posts controversial and inflammatory statements that are completely Off-Topic to the post in question and then falsely claims later that they were asking a legitimate question.

          Insanity is the constant denial of this expecting a different response each and every time.

          A shrill... well the blinkered diatribe sort of tells it all.

          As for the sub par debate and the "Cliques Of Normals Secretly Performing Insidious Rituals Aimed at Controlling You"... well it must be a Techdirt CONSPIRACY!

           

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:34pm

            Re: Re: Question

            1. Were the factual statements I made directly quoted from the article I posted on?

            2. Please provide the objective criteria for determining what is "controversial" or "inflamatory".

            3. Quote where I claimed to be "asking questions".

             

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            Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:36pm

            Conspiracy Theories

            My "conspiracy theorist" comment was in relation the absurd and delusional charges made against me, such as being paid to by Heartland ect...

             

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    Poptech (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:34pm

    Intellectual Honesty?

    So only those who agree with factually untrue statements is not a shill/troll here?

    BTW why has Mike made no corrections to his factually untrue statements that no one has been able to defend?

     

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    V (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:42pm

    Climate Change

    Since everyone else is throwing out completely uneducated theories.... I will to:

    1) There is NO empirical evidence that the earth is NOT cooling OR warming by itself. The fact that geological evidence proves without a doubt that the earth goes through temperature changes in waves makes it perfectly plausible that the earth is simply going through another phase.

    2) Nearly every prediction made by climate scientists has been false. The polar bears were dying because of climate change... no, they are actually increasing. The polar icecaps are melting and the artic is geting warmer... no, actually... it's been steadily getting cooler since the 1940's. The Himalayas will loose 500 billion tons of ice in 10 years (predicted 10 years ago)... actually... it hasn't lost ANY.

    3) Science can prove just about anything you want. With the right slant on the right study, it's like the Bible... you can read into it what you are looking to get out of it. Want proof? Look at the TONS of studies sponsered by industries that prove exactly what they want. One that comes to mind is the 3 glasses of milk a day help you loose weight. The study was sponsored by the national dairy association. Many times, people interpret the data to prove their point, instead of stepping back and asking "what does this data mean?" They fit the data with the theory, instead of fitting the theory to the data.

    The fact is, pollution, war, overcrowding, destruction of topsoil, drug resistant viruses and religious fanatics are all a MUCH larger threat than global warming. We will all be dead LONG before the climate changes makes any difference to us whatsoever.

    Seriously... how long after Iran gets nuclear weapons will it be before they use them... and we retaliate... and then it escalates.

    Talk about global warming? Nah... talk about global cooling after a nuclear winter.

    There are many VERY REAL threats out there... spending resources on psuedo-science is just insane.

     

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      TheOldFart (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:13am

      Re: Climate Change

      Your "theory" seems to have a few flaws that make it a complete non-starter.

      a) A scientific theory is backed by evidence. Random conjecture with no evidence to support it is not scientific.

      b) I've never actually attended a college but even I know that basic logic says that you cannot prove a negative, thus your demand for proof of a negative is about as unscientific as it's possible to get.

      c) Calling it science when you casting doubt on it and then calling it pseudo-science in the very same post is... uh... rather obvious.

      d) No, science cannot "prove just about anything you want". Science cannot prove *anything* at all. All science can tell us is what is the most likely explanation of the natural world.

      In the words of one of the greatest: Feynman on Scientific Method
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

      e) Do you fly on airplanes, drive a car, use a microwave oven, radio or TV? Do you allow your body to be subjected to X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs? To steal a line from Dawkins, if you do then you're a complete hypocrite. Those are all based on scientific theories and all of them were designed based on models. Models of turbulence, models of atomic structure, models of electromagnetic fields, they work. So do climate models. If you trust the models and the scientific process to get it right when your ass is suspended 30,000 feet above the ground then you're a complete hypocrite if you don't trust the scientific process to get it right on the ground.

      Don't trust the scientists, trust the scientific process. It works, we have hundreds of years worth of absolute proof that it works. The models of gravity worked well enough to get us to the moon and back, the models of climate are reasonably accurate and they are rapidly improving in quality.

      The science is always going to be closer to the truth than any other source, especially when compared to random blather from sensationalist media websites and uneducated, self-promoting book authors who know as much about science as I know about knitting.

       

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    Pete Braven (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 4:38am

    Bottom Line

    HEARTLAND (Heart - Land) = oxymoron. Can anyone with half a braincell actually functioning, listen to Heartland's opinions and believe anything this bunch of financially driven muppets come out with?
    The idea that they could actually take on all those who think they suck, proves conclusively that they have absolutely no grasp on reality in the first place!
    (My sincere apologies to the Muppets for the abuse of their name.)

     

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    Mekhong Kurt (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 1:29am

    Threatening commenters

    Well said, Mike. I constantly encourage people with views that differ and even oppose my own to speak up, loud and clear, as is the right of all of us. and by "all of us" yes, my specific reference is the American one, since I'm an American, but it is also global -- as I strongly believe speaking up is a downright genetic human right, period. Screw the dictators and their lackeys.

     

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    Poptech (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Heartland Institute Issues a Revised Statement

    The Heartland Institute Sends Legal Notices to Publishers of Faked and Stolen Documents
    FEBRUARY 19 — The Heartland Institute has sent legal notices to numerous Web sites, blogs, and publications asking them to take down the stolen and forged documents and what it views as malicious and false commentary based on them.

    "We realize this will be portrayed by some as a heavy-handed threat to free speech. But the First Amendment doesn’t protect Internet fraud, and there is no right to defamatory speech.

    For 28 years, The Heartland Institute has engaged in fierce debates over a wide range of public policies – school reform, health care, telecommunications policy, corporate subsidies, and government waste and fraud, as well as environmental policy. We frequently and happily engage in vigorous, robust debate with those who disagree with our views.

    We have resorted in the past to legal means only in a very few cases involving outright fraud and defamation. The current situation clearly fits that description, and our legal counsel has advised that the first step in defending ourselves should be to ask the blogs to take down the stolen and forged documents."

    Joseph L. Bast
    President
    The Heartland Institute

    Mike should issue an update as his initial concern has been addressed. He should also retract his false and unsupported statements about the Heartland Institute.

     

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    abc gum, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    "But the First Amendment doesn’t protect Internet fraud, and there is no right to defamatory speech."

    404 error - Fraud not found
    The fraud cannot be found

    The fraud you were looking for may have been
    a hallucination, been hit by a big truck or
    will show up next Tuesday.

    Please try the following:
    - If you typed fraud in the address bar, make sure
    it is spelled correctly.
    - Open the help page and look for self help
    - Click the back button

    http 404 - fraud not found error
    Internet Information Services

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Not sure if this was already posted

    A copy of and discussion of the threatening take-down e-mail one blogger received from Heartland:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/02/i_just_got_an_email_from_the_h.php

    Appare ntly Heartland folks have equal levels of competence and ethics.

    I'll leave us to PT to tell us whether that's a libelous statement or not :)

    (every time I see a post from PT I think of the Robin Williams/Shelley Duvall movie "Popeye" where Mr. Oyl is always muttering "You owe me an apology". It's very similar, except of course the fact that "Popeye" was a comedy)

     

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    Shine (profile), Mar 17th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

    How would one know if the document was just faked?

     

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