Tuesday, November 03, 2009

R Pielke Jr's Open Invitation

Roger Pielke Jr is running an open invitation on 10 questions, and I'm going to respond to one of them:
  • 9. In their political enthusiasm, some leading scientists have behaved badly
I have been attending climate conferences for years now -- a couple each year, as many as I can on my tiny freelance earnings, and hardly all of them -- and have attended talks by scientists locally. I've questioned them in person and on the phone and via email. And I have never once seen any canonical scientist "behave badly." On the contrary, everyone I've talked to or communicated with -- including many of the big names -- have all behaved professionally and politely and responsibly, without fail. Without fail.

On the other hand, I estimate that about half the time I contact "skeptics," they come back as brash and truculent and bordering on impolite, sometimes even before you ask them a question. Many seem, frankly, to already have a chip of their shoulder, or ticked off at something I wrote earlier (usually this, or this), or angry for some reason I can't really tell (though I have my suspicions). I too often have to just stop communicating with them out of frustration, and even then some of them hound me with emails for days and weeks until I put my foot down. I have never, ever reached that point with a scientist who, if you want to apply labels, would be labeled as accepting the AGW hypothesis.

I don't see any "scientists" behaving badly.


Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Dear David- Many thanks for taking this up.

Do you have any response to the other statements?

Also, I hope that you'll appreciate that my conclusions about the behavior of some climate scientists "behaving badly" (imprecise I know, but I do have specifics) are based on more than 15 years of experience in this community, and in particular seeing my own work misrepresented and worse. I'd be happy to discuss.

It is good to hear that your experience has been different.

All best.

Dano said...

RP Jr is cratering in influence among the people who have a brain. Best to ignore him.

Sorry, Roger, but your site is a haven for dim-bulb denialists, low-wattage pseudoskeptics, and the like. And your selective challenging of precepts shows your weak hand. Your ego is in the way. Anyone with any experience can counter your influence in policy. You chose the wrong path.

As for folk like David and others who can steer societal discussion, best to ignore Roger than feed his ego.



Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Dano, your are welcome to engage these claims as well at my site. Don't make it look like all you can do is call me names from afar;-)

Dano said...

Roger, as you know I used to visit there to see how you dissembled and avoided my questions.

Then you changed your comment policy to make it harder to comment there, and I don't miss your dissembling, self-referential handwaving, and slippery mendacity one bit. Your comments section is full of denialists and pseudoskeptics looking for validation in your tripe, making your site questionable.



Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

So name-calling it is. Your choice. The opportunity will remain open to you.

Meantime, let me offer you some sage advice: if you don't wish to discuss substance, then "best to ignore Roger than feed his ego."


crf said...

You should make a wiki, Roger Pielke, and catalogue all the instances of scientists behaving badly.

People can then comment in the discussion section, and improve the wiki.

That way, people don't have to just accept your word that scientists are behaving badly.

Dano said...

Roger is right that paying attention to him and his red herrings feeds his widdle ego. Roger is wrong that pointing the fact of his dissembling is name-calling.



Anonymous said...

Roger - How do you think anyone you invited will take you seriously when you keep playing these immature games? For example, WC said

"I regard myself as largely in agreement with you on policy and disaster issues"

Not content with that, you added to his comment:
"when you've taken the time to learn what my views actually are"

to which WC replied, obviously disagreeing with your addition to his comment:

"> "I regard myself as largely in agreement with you on policy and disaster issues," when you've taken the time to learn what my views actually are.

No, I'd have to disagree with that, since it implies me changing my mind. I pointed you at something from June; I could have found earlier stuff if I'd tried."

To which you played one of your petty little games:

"You are now disagreeing with what you've written."

Could you not tell that he disagreed with your addition to his comment? Or were you intentially trying to make him look foolish? Either way, it's stuff like that that reflects very poorly on you. It's not the first time you've done something like that - you do it again and again (and have done it to me).

People see you try to change what they are saying and then turn around and attack that. They tend to learn from your past actions that things like this supposed reaching out for for open and honest discussion as nothing more than another one of your lame attempts to try and sandbag them.

You get treated the way you do because you have a history of your actions being contrary to your words. Most would simply call that dishonest.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Anonymous, you are right, I paraphrased William's comment which was:

"I regard myself as largely in agreement with you on policy and disaster issues (e.g. http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/06/death_and_disaster.php), when I've bothered to pay attention."

I said "when you've taken the time to learn what my views actually are" and he said "when I've bothered to pay attention". Is that a big deal? I obviously didn't think so. But apologies to you and WC if I've misrepresented his comment. It is there for all to see.

You too are welcome to weigh in on the issues I raise. But do know that effective communication requires some assumption of good faith between parties.

Anonymous said...

Roger -

By itself, it would be minor, but as I said you do this kind of thing over and over again. In a way you just did it again by ignoring my pointing out that this is repeated behavior and tried to downplay it as minor.

It wasn't very difficult to understand WC's response to your "paraphasing". He said it implied that you caused him to change his mind:

It's difficult to see how you could have misinterpreted his response (esp. after he responded to all 10 of your items), but hey, you are human after all, maybe you didn't read it carefully enough or something. The kicker though is that it apparently never entered your mind that he was disagreeing with your characterization of what he said.

Now add to that your response that he was disagreeing with himself. That's something that could easily be taken as belittlement - not a good thing if you really are trying to reach out for an honest discussion.

As I said, this type of thing is a pretty regular habit of yours, and seems to occur mostly, if not only, with people you have had some sort of run in with.

If I were WC, I'd be shaking my head and thinking why bother. As for your invitation for me to participate, that is my response - why bother?

If you are serious about trying to reach out and have a meaningful discussion then you should take a hard look at how you actually engage others. You said "effective communication requires some assumption of good faith between parties" to which I'll add that it also takes giving the impression that you yourself hold some measure good faith. The latter, IMO, is lacking.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...


Thanks for the feedback.

I have apologized for the mischaracterization of William's comment, and offered you a chance to respond to the substantive issues as well. If you'd rather not bother, fine also.

I'll be happy to start a new conversation on my site.

EliRabett said...

What eda said.

Some long time ago, Eli asked why Roger didn't appear to have much of an opinion on what Fred Singer was up to. Roger replied Fred Who? which was curious because the guy had just given a lecture in Roger's course. Some folk, not Eli, might think this deceptive