Sunday, March 15, 2015

Guest Submission: Making A Scam Work

A Guest submission for Dialogues on Global Warming
RE: Making a scam work;

Considering the clever subterfuge being employed by man-made climate change deniers we need to consider the supposed legitimacy of those who deny man's culpability. And since we are apparently having more and more, intense, and extreme weather around the world, it is particularly interesting that Global Warming deniers have been ramping up their game in an effort to deny any significant dangers caused by the vast release of Co2 into our worldwide environment.

One article about a “peer-reviewed” study that was published in the 2-14-13 issue of Forbes claimed that a peer reviewed, (survey) determined that a majority of scientists remain skeptical about the proposition that global warming posses a huge threat to mankind, and, also that, valid research about this threat, fails to affirm a need for urgency regarding climate change. But interestingly, the study was done by the APEGA, or the Association of Professional Engineering and Geoscientists ofAlberta, and wouldn't you know—the professionals in that survey were heavily representative of Geologists, which are the least likely scientists to affirm the dangers of man's role in climate change. 

In scientific terms, a survey is really nothing more than a glorified poll lacking real controls and objective methodology. Furthermore a genuine Study, found that 97 percent of actively publishing earth scientists agreed that human activities are changing global temperatures. But apparently, since the study cited in Forbes was authored by Lianne M. Lefsrud at the University of Canada, and, Renate E. Meyer, a professor of economics from The University of economicsin Austria, who also studied at The Copenhagen Businesses School in Denmark, the Forbes study was heavily representative of Geologists working in the oil industry categorized as “economic geologists,” who study geology primarily to examine its role in commercial applications—you guessed it—this last group tends to be the most skeptical of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. So how objective is a survey that's conclusion highlights scientists who already doubt man's role in global warming? And how strange that scientists working for the advancement of oil interests in Canada, might be biased—Ya think?

The long study citing their opinions is also full of largely unintelligible ten dollar words, that are confusing to even the most intelligent among us. And the APEGA sponsored study itself, admitted that its methodology represented “a convenience, (non-probability) sample, of self-selected respondents, similar to the general APEGA membership.” Furthermore although the survey was sent to 40,000 members of the APEGA, only 1077 completed surveys were received—just 2.69% of the total!
Here is one paragraph from page nine of that lengthy (30 plus page) “study,” which illustrates the convoluted language and terminology used:

Data analysis
“From our research question, we developed theoretically informed coding categories based upon a review of the identity, framing, professional competency, and legitimation literatures to heuristically circumscribe the discursive construction of expertise. As we engaged with the data, these coding categories were further refined and applied using NVivo 8.0 in an iterative manner.”

Wikipedia's Online dictionary defines some of these words including;

1. Heuristically: A heuristic method such as one using a mathematical algorithm that solves a problem more quickly, but is not as certain to arrive at an optimal solution. 2.Discursive: (A) to digress from the main point; rambling. (B) A philosophy using reason and argument rather than intuition. 3.Iterative: Of a procedure that involves repetition of steps to achieve the desired outcome. In computing this may involve a mechanism such as a loop.

So, aside from the fact that conventional climate scientists, as well as all other kinds of scientists have (always) relied on reason and logic more than intuition, and that the words “legitimation,” and, “literatures,” are not really used very commonly—If we included the definitions of all of these questionable terms, including those of the more common words, “circumscribe,” and, “theoretically,” we might end up with a paragraph which reads something like this:

“From our research question, we develop coding based on categorical guesses, reviewing identity, framing, professional competency, (I.E. the ability of professionals to determine results based on accuracy and legitimate knowledge) and (literatures?) which legitimizes such research and then uses mathematical methods to arrive at a quick solution that is not certain to be the best answer. Our methodology which circles around in a rambling digression from the main point in order to establish the self proclaimed expertise used in our survey, is based on facts, not intuition. And, as we engaged with the data, these coding categories were further refined and applied using NVivo 8.0. in a procedure including repetitive steps to achieve the desired outcome by using a computing loop.”

If you ask me this is nothing but a pseudo-intellectual application of jargon to justify studies which are rife with vagueness and which lack real credibility due to institutional bias!

The fact remains that without giving undue credit to (fox guarding the hen house surveys), that commonly advance the special interests of big oil and other Co2 producing companies, 97% of actively publishing climate scientists remain convinced about man's primary role in global warming.

And, getting back to that article about this study in Forbes, posted by “James Taylor,” (a contributor), is it any wonder that Forbes includes a disclaimer written in extremely fine print, stating that: “Opinions expressed by Forbes contributors are their own?”

Peter W. Johnson
Superior, WI

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