Behavior is telling

“However, I do think this episode—and the reaction of the skeptic community during Climategate—are quite illustrative of the two camps’ approaches to the actual science. Back when the Climategate emails were first spreading around the Internet, I distinctly remember many people in the comments at blogs such as ClimateAudit warning their peers by saying things like, “Guys, remember, we’re skeptics. This is too good to be true. Let’s not jump up and down on this, because it might be a trap to make us look gullible.”

“In contrast, the major players on the other side—when Heartland was “caught” saying things that were far more absurd than what the Climategate emails revealed—jumped with glee.”

Robert Murphy describes why Diminished Climate Alarmism: Lessons from L’Affair Heartland is a result of ‘suspicious’ behavior that even a non-expert climatologist can see.

“The Heartland affair has shown not merely that some climate alarmists (namely Gleick) will stoop to outright deception, and most of his peers will close ranks to defend him in a sort of Green Wall of Silence. Perhaps more disturbing, it reveals that these people really have no idea how their opponents on the climate issue actually view the world. So when they dismiss skeptics as having no legitimate arguments, it should make outsiders take pause.”

A complicating factor here is that people often believe what they are told rather than what they see. Those who are trying to rationalize and defend points of view or beliefs that will not stand scrutiny will often describe the ‘other guy’ or do what they can to divert attention from their own behavior. It does not take much to observe the actual situation but that ‘not much’ does take some effort.

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