Hoax-Watch: Some Random Guy

Sometimes I don't always get deniers dropped into my lap, so I end up googling them. The denier I ended up with today isn't especially well known or anything - our new friend arclein just happens to be the third result from a google search for 'global warming ipcc is wrong'. We have interesting methods, here at 450by2050, and apparently we're about as discriminating as a cluster bomb.

The post google brought me to was this, where our friend arclein quotes an article about Christopher Monckton ("The Viscount of Monckton to you, plebes!") and his analysis that showed the IPCC was off in their calculations - which causes arclein to say that he knew it all along, the IPCC is a corrupt bunch of... chaps. This, of course, conveniently forgets the fact that Monckton was utterly wrong for the sole reason that he was, in fact, not a scientist or mathematician, but rather a rich person who thought he was very smart.

But that wasn't very current, was it? Happened in 2008 - ancient history by now. So I found some more recent posts, and in pretty short order, an interesting pattern started to appear; our friend arclein knows about everything.

For example:

Arclein knows that polar bears will be just fine despite any temperature shifts

Arclein knows that the world is cooling because duh it's been snowing a lot

Arclein knows that the world will cool for the next 30 years

Arclein knows how to test super-batteries that probably don't exist

Arclein knows how to solve the economic crisis

Let's be honest for a second. Arclein don't know these things. The Monckton example alone (never mind the polar bears and global cooling and blaaaahhh) demonstrates that the fact that he "always found the IPCC position seriously suspect" is completely wrong. It's worse than wrong - it's arrogance. As is asserting that polar bears will be okay because no one eats seals and they've been spotted in warmer areas of Canada - therefore, what are the stupid things whining about, jesus, they're just animal con artists.

What arclein really does is try and apply mathematical reasoning to everything in the world. His train of thought seems to consist of "there is evidence of something, therefore it is true, therefore ". And because he's quite trained in mathematical reasoning, he is apparently a master of the Real World - because reality is based on logic, right? Right guys? Guys?

Yes, we've having a cold winter. Yes, a scientist said that it could be a lot of factors aligning to make a cold stretch. Or, he could have just been saying maybe - and he could also still be only one scientist.

Yes, the polar bear has lived in the Hudson Bay area. Yes, seal populations may not be ready to crash. But could it be - could it be possible? - that biological systems are sometimes more complicated than simple if-then statements?

Honestly though, he could be right about the economic stuff. I kind of doubt it, based on context, but I'm hardly an expert - but nothing about arclein suggests that he is, either.

Here's the bottom line - this isn't simple. No one is saying it is - except arclein (and journalists - but that's another post). His work on biochar may be really great, I honestly don't know - but I do know that he's fallible, wrong, and far too ready to jump to conclusions.

How can I be so sure? I'm not actually a climatologist, am I - I'm just a dude. And it's true - I really am. But I indulge myself in common sense, from time to time, and that tells me that a guy proven wrong several times and using those conclusions to make more statements is probably just plain wrong. And honestly, I'm pretty ready to believe that! Also, he's v. arrogant, therefore, v. annoying. Oh man, starting to get a hang of this logic thing!

(To be fair, I don't know that arclein is a male - that's just an assumption based on the kind of people who tended to get advanced math degrees 40 years ago. And people who tend to get advanced math degrees.)

This criticizing-some-person's-blog thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I'll nip at the heels of the CEI again the next time the hoax-watch clock strikes 12.


  1. So here's a question, what are you doing to help the global warming issue? Riding a bike does not count.

  2. Oh jesus, you cannot be serious.

    I just don't understand how you can be so passionate about ameliorating the global warming issue when you do nothing to be active yourself. Telling the truth is good and all, but frankly, there are a lot of people out there telling the truth who don't do anything about it. And isn't it a big deal to you that the American population isn't taking action? So why aren't you doing anything yourself?

  3. Because I do. Have I dropped everything in my life and devoted every waking moment to fighting the good fight? No. Should I? You could make the case, yeah - but I think you'd have trouble finding living examples.

    Do I try in my own ways? Why yes. I do things in my life that this blog doesn't cover.

    Have I done anything exciting and meaningful in particular? Probably not. It's all part of an effort, though - which includes more than sitting on a couch blogging about the ruination of society.

    If we want to get into more specifics, though, we should just get coffee or something instead of arguing about it on the internet.