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Great April Fools joke by RealClimate

I typically share a funny or two on April Fools day however some on the ‘net prefer to write spoof articles. I can appreciate the humor of that approach but I sometimes wonder if we can learn more about the author by looking at the spoof article.

Take a moment to jump over and read the article at RealClimate, otherwise my comments may not make sense. Then come back and read the rest of this note.

Should we take all of these comments as being the exact opposite of what they are saying? To some degree the authors surely intended this but hopefully not completely. They have combined a variety of opinions together in a cascading list and make it sound like everyone that was at the Heartland Institute’s gathering had all of these opinions and easily and quickly moved from one opinion to the other depending on the conversation. I doubt very much if this is true. Many people have commented on this site and have emailed me directly to discuss that they may think one of these is true but not another.

It is also interesting when reading their latest post that they have some disdain for other opinions. There seems to be an “us versus them” feeling (or at least a “believers versus non-believers”) attitude that has come to be pervasive. Why else would they call one article a scientist and one an advocate with the derision being towards the advocate? Especially when many of their posts are closer to advocate than true science.

This is not healthy. Discussion has value. Derision of others is simply not the avenue that should be taken when discussing an issue of this importance. The folks over at RealClimate are incredibly smart and everyone that reads my site regularly should also be reading theirs. Granted, they tend to talk at a level of scientific detail that I try not to get into here but the concepts on most of their articles are understandable for most. Hopefully they will start engaging more in their scientific discussion and less of their political discussion.

Or, maybe I am reading too much into their April Fools Day joke.


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One Response to “Great April Fools joke by RealClimate”

  1. If I really wanted to be a killjoy, I’d point out that they unfairly redicule sceptics by putting together every opposing viewpoint and pretending that all of them are held to be true by all skeptics,* who are obviously stupid because they can’t see the internal inconsistency of their claims. Also, as an attorney, I can’t help but notice that the Real Climate guys have the burden of proof exactly backwards.

    I don’t generally read them for the simple reason that they are untrustworthy. As you point out, they have picked a team. They have tied their careers and reputations to the reality of AGW, and they will be ruined if it turns out to be wrong. They don’t just think AGW is right, they want and need it to be right. They may be well schooled in the sciences, but they are no more scientists than the Powerline guys.

    *as opposed to people who think only one or a few are true, people who think there is not one all-encompassing answer, and people who think that any of them might be true and would like to continue investigating to find out which ones are.