Canadian Business Wag Has No Business Talking Science

Sat, 2008-03-08 09:05Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

Canadian Business Wag Has No Business Talking Science

“An issue as important as global warming should not descend into a shouting match between the faithful and the heretical.”

That was the subhead in the print version of Jack Mintz’s March 17 column in Canadian Business and, up to that point, he was making pretty good sense. But then Mintz took to shouting about the heretical Dr. David Suzuki, a man who continues to infuriate certain segments of Canadian society and, especially, Canadian media by honouring science over the theology of unlimited Alberta oil exploitation.

Jack Mintz is the Palmer Chair of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, an institution that is used to being embarrassed by some of its academic freedom riders. Mintz launched his tirade in reasonable-sounding tones, quietly bemoaning a Suzuki quote that we have already addressed in this earlier post .

Then Mintz says this, “Not being an expert in modelling climate change, I cannot pass judgment on the quality of the research involved.” Again, so far so good. But in the very next sentence, Mintz leaps directly into ill-informed judgment, saying “But it is clear there is some room for scientific disagreement ….”

Clear to whom?

After a long aside about the imperfections of Keynesian economic theory, Mintz comes back to the climate change question by dragging up the old hockey stick. Loyal DeSmog readers will know all about Dr. Michael Mann’s 1999 climate reconstruction graph – a graph that, Mintz says, “inspired a profound belief that temperature trend lines were shaped like a hockey stick – flat for a long time, then a sharp increase in recent years due to carbon emissions.” In a counterpunch widely celebrated in denier circles, two Canadians – an economist and a mining promoter – argued, in Mintz’s words, that “Mann’s data and statistical methodology were flawed, disproving one of the most important arguments at the time in favour of carbon-induced global warming.” (My emphasis.)

This is either intentionally untrue or flagrantly ill-informed. The narrow debate about Michael Mann’s statistical method did nothing to discredit the climate reconstructions on which he based his work. Neither has anyone done anything to question the validity of all the other climate reconstruction results illustrated at left (and explained here). For that matter, if you follow the black line (the actual temperature since reliable record-keeping began), you begin to see a curve that looks more like a rocket trip than a hockey stick.

Mintz concludes his logical meanderings by once again trying to sound reasonable. “… it should be left to the scientists to sort out what ideas hold up through empirical verification,” he says. “This is the essence of good science, and we should make sure we don’t undermine its important process.”

Seeing how clumsily an ill-informed economist like Mintz blunders around this issue, we could hardly disagree.

Previous Comments

”`… it should be left to the scientists to sort out what ideas hold up through empirical verification’ ”

Sure, but I prefer to trust that role to scientists who don’t have an impressive, proven track record of being stupid.

Nothing new here, moving on.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/2f63xd

“Some say”

A standard FOX News rhetorical tactic for interjecting their own opinions. http://www.greyfalcon.net/outfoxed

“Canadian Business Wag Has No Business Talking Science”

Yes, let’s leave talking science to PR shills, instead.

www.DeSmogBlog.com by James Hoggan

$$$ Funded by John Lefebvre (Former President of Netseller Group)

So who is James Hoggan? He’s a public relations man, based in Vancouver. His firm, James Hoggan and Associates, is positioned as a feel-good local operation with clients in all the “right” public and private sectors. He also sits on the board of the David Suzuki Foundation.

One of his side efforts is a blog operated out of Hoggan and Associates. Funded by retired Internet bubble king John Lefebvre, the blog has one full-time and three or four part-time staff. They spend their time tracking down and maliciously attacking all who have doubts about climate change and painting them as corporate pawns.

There has been no mention on the blog, nor on The Fifth Estate, of James Hoggan’s client list. They include or have included the National Hydrogen Association, Fuel Cells Canada, hydrogen producer QuestAir, Naikun Wind Energy and Ballard Fuel Cells. Mr. Hoggan, in other words, benefits from regulatory policy based on climate change science.

But it is as a climate commentator that Mr. Hoggan gets carried away. On The Denial Machine, Mr. Hoggan is allowed to go on at some length about how climate skeptics are not true scientists, are not qualified, or have no expertise.

That takes some gall. Here’s a totally unqualified small-town PR guy making disparaging comments about scientists he says are unqualified while he lectures the rest of us on the science. “If you look in the scientific literature, there is no debate,” he tells Mr. McKeown. It doesn’t seem to bother Mr. McKeown that Mr. Hoggan has no expertise. It is also a little rich to have a member of the Suzuki Foundation board pronounce other scientists unfit and unqualified for climate assessments, while geneticist David Suzuki roams the world issuing barrages of climate change warnings at every opportunity.

Yes indeed leave the science to the Scientists…

John Lefebvre is “unqualified” to say that Richard S. Courtney doesn’t have a PhD in anything?

And, stop obsessing over David Suzuki and Al Gore.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/2f63xd

IS Wilbert also in the business of public relations? If not, then Wilbert lacks credibility in his judgment of the effectiveness of DeSmogBlog. He does seem to be able to cut and paste.

Don’t mean to be insulting, but are you for real?
This is a PR site…we know.
Why don’t you click “ABOUT US” on the right side just below the bear.

The narrow debate about Michael Mann’s statistical method did nothing to discredit the climate reconstructions on which he based his work.

The debate was not narrow, but central to the validity of MBH. Whether the reconstructions Mann based his work on are credible is a moot point; Mann’s work is what has been questioned.

Neither has anyone done anything to question the validity of all the other climate reconstruction results …

Using a wider variety of temp reconstructions from the peer reviewed literature produces a much different reconstruction of past temperatures. Only showing temp reconstructions that agree with each other is a form of “cherry picking” and should be avoided.

“Using a wider variety of temp reconstructions from the peer reviewed literature produces a much different reconstruction of past temperatures.”

For instance…?

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/2f63xd

I’ve finally worked out what Paul S/G’s occupation is. He writes the funnies for the weekend newspapers. His comments are so far from reality that they should be considered as “funnies”.

Paul said (and implied much more, I don’t need to be a mind reader to get the nasty insults that you are flinging):

“Mann’s work is what has been questioned”.

Care to provide some responsible back up to that remark and please don’t refer me to CA? Check out the NRC report etc. for actual factual information on the MBH reconstructions.

He also said:

“Using a wider variety of temp reconstructions from the peer reviewed literature produces a much different reconstruction of past temperatures”.

Just which “peer reviewed” papers are you referring to? I hope it is not Craig Loehle’s paper in E&E. It is a joke, see here for details:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/3ynpdm

You are such a stupid person, no wonder you remain anonymous, you would have no friends if they knew what an ignorant person you are.

Ian Forrester

Oh no, are you going to cherry pick the NAS and North reports Ian? Mann’s work came under serious criticism. That’s why you rarely see his reconstruction anymore.

You see it in the latest IPCC report. Why do you keep lying, Paul?

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter6.pdf

See p. 466 (or p. 34 of 66 on the .pdf) for the discussion which validates the “Hockey Stick.”

I said you rarely see the Stick anymore, and that’s true. Can’t find it on Suzuki’s website. Even in the IPCC report, the Stick has been pushed back to a far less prominet role.

That’s a lie, too. It’s found in most reports of past temperatures, at least those done by reputable scientists. Also, it’s found in most university climate science curricula. Quit lying, Paul.

Whenever the Stick is mentioned, it is always as a source of controversy nowadays. Can’t find it on Suzuki’s website, can’t find it on the Greepeace website and it has greatly diminished status in the IPCC report. Once the unis get their new textbooks, the Stick will likely get a lot less mention there also.

“Can’t find it on Suzuki’s website, can’t find it on the Greepeace website”

Yeah, remind me what’s the article format of these peer-reviewed scientific publications?

Seriously, you guys should just stop obsessing over Gore and Suzuki.

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Paul S/G, quoting reports which are full of well researched information as opposed to the things which you read is like comparing a ripe cherry with a rotten tomato.

You are so clueless and stupid you wouldn’t know the difference.

Ian Forrester

Ian, are you a knob in real life or only on the web? I’m curious.

I hate lying, ignorant and offensive people like you.

Start being honest and people will give you some respect. Are you as stupid in real life?

And stop the foul mouthed language.

Ian Forrester

The word “knob” is not considered “foul” Ian. Quit getting your underwear in a knot.

I don’t believe for one second that you don’t know exactly what you were saying. You are a foul mouthed liar. You are just pathetic

Ian Forrester

“Then you didn’t grow up in the UK

Nor, apparently, did Ian Forrester.

rob, is Naomi Oreskes fat? Tell us!

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

rob, is Frank B feeble minded or merely sophomoric?
Sometimes is really hard to tell.

ZOG, I’m not a doctor, but his symptoms seem to scream fetal alcohol syndrome.

Quick, rob, just call me fat.

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

[x]
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