by Eli Rabett, Rabett Run, March 29, 2014
Roger Pielke Jr's turn on the pole has not been pleasant, either for Roger, or Nate Silver and bunnies can go here there and everywhere to read about it. Some of the reads are funny, some are.... . well they just are. but Eli and Ethon (who is looking remarkably fat and sleek recently) would like to point to an interesting thing that Nate Silver wrote over at 538:
Roger’s article also contained an implicit policy recommendation in its closing paragraph. Whether or not the recommendation was justified by Roger’s thesis and evidence, we generally prefer to avoid these kind of recommendations, and instead allow readers to draw any policy conclusions for themselves.(em added ER)That last paragraph reads:
When you next hear someone tell you that worthy and useful efforts to mitigate climate change will lead to fewer natural disasters, remember these numbers and instead focus on what we can control. There is some good news to be found in the ever-mounting toll of disaster losses. As countries become richer, they are better able to deal with disasters — meaning more people are protected and fewer lose their lives. Increased property losses, it turns out, are a price worth paying.You don't have to be a bunny to see that Nate is right. So where does this put Roger, in Roger's taxonomy of the pure scientist, the science arbiter, the honest broker, the issue advocate and the stealth issue advocate, which he describes as follows:
"stealth issue advocacy" occurs when scientists claim to be focusing on science but are really seeking to advance a political agenda. When such claims are made, the authority of science is used to hide a political agenda, under an assumption that science commands that which politics does not. However, when stealth issue advocacy takes place, it threatens the legitimacy of scientific advice, as people will see it simply as politics, and lose sight of the value that science does offer policy making.And he does not consider "Stealth Issue Advocacy" a good thing. Nonono. And he is not shy about saying whom he considers such, c'mon down Mike Mann, and you Gavin Schmidt, and the Real Climate Crew, and Roger is not right complimentary about this.
Roger and friends have long tried to pose as the "honest brokers," but as Eli has long pointed out, this is empty rhetoric no matter how many books it sells. What it really is is an attempt to control the Overton Window. But, of course, what Roger and the rest of the Impact Denialists (Roger, Tol, Lomborg, etc.) have been doing all along is preparing the fall back position for when the fact that the climate is changing because of what people are doing becomes clear to the public and governments.
Nate may not be the innocent waif he plays of TV.