“Solar Activity – Past, Present, Future” (2012-11-11). Holy carp! An objective, factual science abstract on Anthony Watts’ blog! Has hell frozen over? Dr. Leif Svalgaard, a real solar scientist, has posted a discussion of how solar activity is measured and what the historical patterns have been.
Dr. Svalgaard has been a tireless respondent to a cacophony of denialist solar ignorance at Watts Up With That. Maybe they’ll finally take this onboard: nothing in the pattern of sunspots, solar radiation. solar wind, or cosmic rays has any correlation to the dramatic climate changes the Earth has experienced in modern times.
My bet though is that the cranks will simply take the data he has referenced and start a new round of fevered cherry-picking.
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I always enjoy and learn a lot from Dr. Svalgaard’s comments on Anthony’s blog. He is direct, intelligible, and does a great job of replying to the “it’s the sun stupid” crowd by simply pointing out the fact that they are using the wrong data. Typically, his comments are very well received by other readers of Watt’s blog. This is evidenced by the magnitude of thankful replies in the comments to this particular post.
Potentially, the obvious respectful dialog between Leif and the Watt’s crowd, who you typically characterize as being simple and closed minded, could be used as an example of how to approach disagreement. Open, respectful, and tactful discussion of the evidence without unnecessary puffing seems like it might work well. Who knows?
[And yet the “respectful” commenters continue to misrepresent the solar facts as much as they can get away with. The door has long since been bolted on “open, respectful, and tactful” at Anthony’s blog. – That’s the only reason I started this blog. – Ben]
Charlie Z, it’s not working at all. Leif Svalgaard can say whatever he wants, and the commenters may think him for his insights, but a few days later and they’ll chant “it’s the sun” again. One ear in…”oh thank you so much, Dr. Svalgaard!”…and it’s already out again.
For me the respect appears to be mostly caused by the feeling of acknowledgment the Wattsians get because an actual real-life scientist engages with them. “See! We matter and should be listened to!”
Yeah, that must be it. The plurality of Wattsians behave exactly the same way, collectively making nice to Leaf while secretly ignoring what he says and systematically plotting their next “it’s the sun, stupid” group hug.
No, it’s not possible that there are actually individuals who post comments on Watts blog, and it is ridiculous to think that it is possible that Leaf’s comments can be well received and influential to some while being ignored by others. No, Watt’s crew is a collective -The Borg – totally incapable of independent thought. If one ignores what Leaf says, then clearly “they’ll” all ignore Leaf. There is no potential that Leaf may have made some think DESPITE others ignoring him.
Heck, skeptics in general are like one giant mass of identical cancer cells, growing together, plotting together – remaining impossibly connected. The only way to deal with them is to cut them out in a mass by attempting to marginalize any skeptical thought as the mark of group idiocy.
Actually engaging in reasoned discussion, as Leaf does so well, can’t possibly be a good idea. Better to form a blog dedicated to countering disinformation by the use of sarcasm and contemptuous generalized name calling.
Seriously, imagine thinking that the way to counter a blog based around disinformation and sarcastic contemptuous name calling is to form another blog based on opposing sarcastic contemptuous generalized name calling. Shrug. Might as well just call it the “stop poking me” blog. :)
The truth is that there are reasonable people on all sides of this discussion. More than you may admit to existing. Marginalizing all skeptics because of the comments of a few is just as silly as doubting all the science of climate change based on doubts about some of it.
I think Leaf knows something you don’t, that there are some very reasonable people the read Anthony’s blog, and that you can talk to them directly simply be ignoring the fringe extreme. It is only when you assume the fringe to be the masses that you go astray.
Anyway, tried this blog out for a bit, made a couple of comments, got called a few names. It was all good. As with all things internet, I am sure we would have gotten along better in person.
Best of Luck.