Retort to Sciblogs obituary on Chris de Freitas

What’s to be done about the climate change poison being published at SciBlogs? The only course open to me is to offer as best I can an alternative view of what Peter Griffin and the rest put out. I left these comments at SciBlogs over an hour and a half before presenting them here and I fear they won’t see the light of day, as I noticed several comments this morning from colleagues remain unpublished—only one from Bryan Leyland got through (he’s a member of the RS). Chris de Freitas was generous with his expertise with me over many years and I came to admire his calm strength. May his influence in death continue as real to us and as strong as it was in life. – RT

Peter Griffin, your obituary to Chris de Freitas pays some compliments in acknowledging Chris’s career as a climate scientist but then it abandons generosity to engage in what can only be called character assassination.

You claim that “evidence mounted” in favour of man-made climate change but offer a straw man as an alternative to believing the hype. When you say that sceptics “stick to the position that it was overblown or a scam” you blatantly ignore the many very reasonable doubts that arise on consideration of various aspects of the IPCC case for man-made warming.

Those doubts include the lack of significant warming for the last 20 years or so, the absence of positive climate feedback in earth’s entire history, and the absence of a mechanism whereby our airborne emissions might significantly heat the oceans. There are others, but any of these three, undispelled, casts severe doubt on the case for dangerous warming.

Whatever you mean by the so-called “new evidence” of anthropogenic climate change, it has done nothing to eliminate these doubts and others.

When you say Chris became increasingly “offside” with his fellow scientists you clearly blame him simply for disagreeing, which is a Neanderthal response. You make disagreement sound offensive, yet the only offensive element was their fascist response to disagreement, as though free speech was a thing of the past.

You repeat a talking point of the Salinger-led campaign against Chris de Freitas as though it still stands, but it’s well refuted. How could Chris be criticised for accepting a paper that wasn’t found until later to be flawed? Even if justified, how did that deserve his removal as editor? Every journal in existence has done that at some point. Countless papers have shown that climate changes in the 20th century were insignificant. The witch-hunt against him was unjustified.

You reckon that simply holding to what the evidence was telling him means Chris became “even more entrenched” in his views. That is nonsensical. He wasn’t more or less anything, he was just maintaining his position — and why not, since the evidence didn’t change?

It’s ironic that you quote Chris’ 2009 comment that CO2-induced warming is smaller than natural variability, since it was around that date that people were starting to notice, notwithstanding continued high emissions, that there had been almost no warming for ten years or more. Natural variation must have been overwhelming the man-made sort — a position now widely verified by scores of papers and accepted by the IPCC .

You can scarcely criticise Chris for being amongst the first to notice it.

The rest of the obituary descends into a swamp of unwarranted denigration, quoting even the crank Renowden and piling on the usual warmist talking points without regard to evidence.

Your final ungrammatical sentence calls Bob Carter and Chris together “deluded deniers who let idealogy overpower the evidence.” That poisonous passage illuminates your agenda as much as it sneers at your objectivity.

Btw, you use “anthropocentric” incorrectly to refer to man-made warming: it means “regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence.” The term others use for our climate influence is “anthropogenic”, which means “originating in human activity.”

You’re very welcome.

8 Thoughts on “Retort to Sciblogs obituary on Chris de Freitas

  1. Maggy Wassilieff on July 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm said:

    I was repulsed, but perhaps not surprised to read Griffin’s self-serving piece. I wouldn’t call it an obituary – it is a slimy attack on a scientist and his work.
    Whatever does Griffin mean by writing ” He apparently had over 200 publications…”? Is this to cast doubt in the reader’s mind that perhaps these publications don’t exist or are much fewer in number?

    What is Griffin’s role at the Science Media Centre? Is it to serve as some gate-keeper on NZ Science?
    In his piece on Chris de Freitas, Griffin tells us that he “regularly found myself butting heads with him in my capacity as founder of the Science Media Centre. ”

    I think the Royal Society of NZ needs to take a damn close look at just who and what the Science Media Centre represents.

  2. Maggy Wassilieff on July 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm said:
  3. Alexander K on July 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm said:

    I fully concur with Mark Steyn’s eulogy of Chris De Freitas and also fully agree with Maggy W.
    Griffin’s piece is nothing more than shabby inuendo and not acceptable as a proper and fit eulogy.

  4. Mike Jowsey on July 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm said:

    And seconded Alexander. Thanks for the link Maggy. And commiserations RT on the passing of your friend. Be of good heart – the truth will out.

  5. Richard Treadgold on July 15, 2017 at 4:33 pm said:

    Thanks, Mike — and thanks to you all. Neither losing a friend nor fighting the good climate fight is easy, but both are considerably eased in this good company.

  6. Kleinefeldmaus on July 21, 2017 at 10:41 am said:

    My tribute to Chris. A truly valiant man.
    Chris slays the false dragon

  7. Richard Treadgold on July 21, 2017 at 10:59 am said:

    Very colourful, Little Field Mouse, thank you. Very creative.

  8. Kleinefeldmaus on July 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm said:

    You say in you article above
    Your final ungrammatical sentence calls Bob Carter and Chris together “deluded deniers who let idealogy overpower the evidence.” That poisonous passage illuminates your agenda as much as it sneers at your objectivity
    In mentioning Bob Carter you reminded me of the lovely tribute that Christopher Monckton paid him at the time of his death. He wrote this beautiful bell peal that was subsequently transcribed from the original (Monckton’s) piano version to this bell version by the folk at (I think from memory) St. Andrews university.
    I subsequently animated this music and put it on the WUWT blog. I have added it here.

    https://youtu.be/GDH-5PDDjYo?t=6

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