And Then There’s a Physic

1. a medicine that purges; cathartic; laxative.
2. any medicine; a drug or medicament.
3. Archaic. the medical art or profession.
4. Obsolete, natural science.
Well, after whining about Richard Tol’s takedown of Cook et al, And Then There’s Physics is now whining about Bishop Hill. Go figure.
ATTP used to just be focused on whining about Watt’s Up With That. I suppose it’s good news that he’s broadened his horizons.
But when he calls Montford (Bishop Hill’s real name) a ‘pseudo-skeptic’ for saying he thinks warming will come in at the low end of the IPCC range’ ATTP is acting as a pseudo critic.
Much in the same way Michael Tobis used to whine about any coverage of non-Konsensus approved material in the media, ATTP just can’t seem to bear the idea that someone can disagree with him. Or that someone  can be right and he can be wrong.
With the abandonment by its host of Deltoid and the retirement of Planet 3, I guess an ecological niche opened up for something like And Then There’s Physics. It is a safe place for Konsensus Kommenters to insult opponents and commiserate over the ever-worsening state of the planet due to the planet not following their muddy-eyed dreams of disaster. Plus they can continue posting YouTube videos of Bart Simpson and Monty Python, showing that relevance is not really important to true believers.
However, the climate blogosphere is not improved by the addition. Some years ago, when open debate was still possible at places like Bart Verheggen’s blog or Collide-a-Scape, the debate was actually vigorous and while nobody changed sides, many learned important things.
In 2015, there does not seem to be such a venue. Here at The Lukewarmer’s Way, traffic is too light to even propose it as such a place. Although many people arrive here from Konsensus blogs, they don’t comment. Macintyre has been ‘classified’ as a skeptic blog and few opponents show up. The same is gradually happening over at Judith Curry’s blog.
I don’t see much debate happening at all. What is see is…
We’re not better off because of it.

8 responses to “And Then There’s a Physic

  1. I tried to have a discussion with aTTP at Bishop Hill about his term “skeptic” (in inverted commas), or fake sceptic. He gave a vague, subjective definition, and was unwilling to give any examples. I concluded: “Skeptic” (in the aTTP sense) is no more than denier — a semantically empty word used to label opinions which one wishes to discount, and thereby rationalize the action.

  2. Hiya Harold. What’s wrong with ‘my opponents?’ Or ‘Those I disagree with?’ Why is the immediate go-to label whatever today’s equivalent is of ‘scum sucking devil dogs from the nether reaches of hell?’

  3. Pingback: Calling out bad science (UK jewel in the crown edition) | The View From Here

  4. ATTP is playing dress up super hero and can only see the world divided between good guys and evil villains. If you think about the implications of the name “ATTP”, the wannabe climate scientist beneath the mask is implying that his catastrophic claptrap is based on basic science. Sort of like skeptics are from an alternative evil universe where physics does not matter and he is saving the world from the anti-physics.
    In other words ATTP is a childish fool making it up as he goes.

  5. Hi Tom,
    I’m not sure. It seems to be the fashion — and it’s not limited to the context of climate change, but it does seem to be magnified there — to demonize those with differing opinions, rather than attempt discourse.

    I dislike attributing motivations to individuals: it’s difficult enough to assess one’s own, and impossible to assess others’. If forced to guess, I’d say it’s a kind of laziness — it’s a lot easier to just say that X is a liberal/conservative/communist/reactionary/corporate shill/etc. and ignore what X says, than to take on the points which X makes. To be sure, we all use the technique of filtering; otherwise we’d be a slave to every ad and wild story in the tabloids. Applying it to political discussions seems to be a relatively recent development — perhaps due to talk radio? Not sure about science, but I see this sort of polarization not only in climate science but with respect to string theory.

    Hunter, I agree with you that aTTP’s nom de clavier is representative of a theme I’ve seen often elsewhere: model predictions are reliable because the models “are based on physics”, with the implication that they have the accuracy of, say, eclipse forecasting. While the models (no doubt) follow the basic equations of physics, there are such huge areas of parameterization that it’s a travesty to consider them as having anything like the reliability of (say) orbital mechanics. So to say in essence, “GCM predictions are correct because … physics!” is a vast overstatement of the case.

    Most (all?) science/engineering folks are aware that complex models have lots of pitfalls, because they’ve fallen afoul of them in personal experience. I think the general public’s experience is more likely limited to contexts like weather or economic forecasts, which fortunately stands them in good stead to be dubious of the accuracy of decadal or century-long climatic predictions.

    • Harold,
      Thanks. You summed up my point irt physics vs. complex models quite well.
      Those who conflate basic physics with climate models and then assert that the models must be accurate are as naive as someone who would state that a computer program must be working since it is written with the laws of mathematics and computing, even if its output is dubious.

  6. There’s a simple example to the “models use physics” which is conveniently hidden behind the global anomaly and that’s the modelled “average global temperature”.

    Consider that if the baseline *average* temperature of the earth in models is off by a degree or more, what is that likely to do to hydrodynamics and circulation when fractions of a degree of supposed warming are suppose to cause all kinds of mischief? There’s also broken physics.

  7. Somewhat off-topic, but related by tone…I must confess that “Tourism Management” is not a journal which I typically check for climate change articles. And yet…

    Last year, it contained an article by Shani and Arad, “Climate change and tourism: Time for environmental skepticism”. From its abstract: “In light of the current scientific literature, advocating and implementing radical environmental policies are likely to be ineffective, ill-timed and harmful to the tourism industry.”

    This month, the journal published a rejoinder from Hall et al., “No time for smokescreen skepticism” and a reply from Shani and Arad, “There is always time for rational skepticism.”

    The latter two articles are behind a paywall, so I can only view the abstracts. Concerning tone: the Hall et al. abstract ends with “Debate on tourism-related adaptation and mitigation measures is to be encouraged and welcomed. Climate change denial is not.”

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