Re: [asa] Ottawa Citizen: The Skeptics Are Vindicated

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Nov 25 2009 - 11:28:15 EST

By way of clarification, may I just add to the below...

In speaking of people failing to engage with the content of the CRU
e-mails I am not intending reference to anybody on the ASA list.

I appreciate that in light of the suggestion that citing the e-mails
would be inappropriate, such a discussion is problematic here.

My references are ONLY to those commentators - in the media and on the
internet - who are waxing lyrical about the damning nature of the CRU
e-mails without actually evidencing any familiarity with the contents of

I hope that serves to mitigate any offence my below might inadvertently

> Hi all,
> What I'm finding quite interesting is the way in which discussion of
> the CRU e-mails has so many resemblances to arguments over the "real"
> meaning of Scripture - given that there's little question that the
> "textual tradition" is reliable (i.e. the e-mails themselves are
> genuine), we now see exegete after exegete clamouring to offer their
> commentary on the most damning verses.
> Curiously, however, a piece like the Ottowa Citizen article doesn't
> actually engage with "the text" - nor, may I say, have many of the
> other critics of the CRU who are insisting the e-mails are so damning.
> So here's another parallel with Biblical studies: we have a great deal
> of discussion about what "the text" does, or doesn't mean, but in a
> total absence of any engagement with "the text" itself.
> It's early days yet, but it's already almost a "confessional
> orthodoxy" that the e-mails are to be read as revealing monstrous
> dishonesty on the part of the entire climate science community - so
> much so that John Walley can state, of the back of a piece that
> doesn't even engage with the contents of the e-mails, that "defenders
> look like buffoon ideologues". Indeed, there's no evidence that the
> journalist has himself read the e-mails. Nor that he is himself doing
> anything other than reporting on the perceptions of people who
> themselves show no evidence of having read the e-mails.
> Chinese whispers are all good fun, folks - but not a credible basis
> upon which to make strong claims about the integrity of those who
> suggest the whisper might have gotten out of hand.
> So I find myself in agreement with Schwarzwald that the e-mails
> shouldn't be swept under the carpet - but that said, does it strike
> anybody else as curious that those making the most noise about the
> importance of the contents are actually not doing much in the way of
> engagement with same? This, frankly, is why Andrew Bolt of the
> Herald-Sun is a very good journalist - he (or, more likely, some
> faceless H-S researcher!) went to the trouble of actually citing the
> material. But most of the other comment I've seen - including the
> Ottawa Citizen piece - has been long on rhetoric, and short on actual
> analysis.
> So, like Schwarzwald, I think certain parties are indeed going to have
> their credibility undermined by this debacle - only I wouldn't think
> that it's only the advocates of GW who will be made to look as though
> they are motivated by something other than purely scientific concerns.
> Blessings,
> Murray

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Received on Wed Nov 25 11:28:52 2009

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