the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on April 23, 2009

Lawyer.jpg Lawyer image by Pic_99

From Miriam Webster

Main Entry:

1ad·vo·cate Listen to the pronunciation of 1advocate
ˈad-və-kət, -ˌkāt

Function: noun Etymology: Middle English advocat, from Anglo-French, from Latin advocatus, from past participle of advocare to summon, from ad- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice – more at voice

Date: 14th century

1: one that pleads the cause of another ; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court

2: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal

3: one that supports or promotes the interests of another


It’s an ever stranger world, where the most outrageous claims by people are accepted as fact while simple common sense is treated as heresy. News reports regularly mix up the killers with the victims, DHS targets conservative veterans without mention of gangs or extremist muslims in the US. The examples are endless.

Media advocates have polluted every aspect of reasoned discussion on political topics. The political views are sold from a very early age, starting with children in school celebrating earth day through college where liberal professors treat art and feeling as equals to science.

Since we who discuss Anthropogenic Global Warming with even a skeptical view are labled Deniers and Contrarians by ‘scientists’ who support AGW even in the face of evidence to the contrary, we are in need of a new lable. After all what do you say when you’re called a denier yet you’re actually a questioner. “Denier!”…. “Am not!” “Contrarian!” … “nuh uh!”

The very premise of the common accusation by scientists and bloggers is to place the questioner on the bottom of the slope.

Another commonality in today’s news and politics is to say the opposite of reality straight faced and with confidence. Accellerated global warming in recent years is leading to massive droughts, heat waves, more powerful hurricanes and melting ice caps.

We know the data doesn’t even consider supporting these conclusions, yet they are regularly made and exaggerated by scientists intentionally leaving out key words which would correct the meaning. For instance we know hurricanes are not increasing in intensity, they’re not!. We also know the earth is in a cooling spell for the last decade, yet scientists are continually selling increased, accelerated warming.

Advocates are everywhere,where skeptics often fail is using the correct terms. Advocates needs to be described as what they are.

1. When someone claims the science of global warming is settled (implying all discussion must assume this fact) – They are an advocate.

2. When accelerated global warming is claimed. – They are an advocate

3. When a scientist refers to tree ring temperature reconstructions to claim we are warmer than any time in recent years. – They are an advocate.

4. When ice caps are going to melt and sea levels are going to rise 5 meters in 100 years – Guess what – Advocate.

5. When faulty and highly politicized solutions are given to solve problems that haven’t been demonstrated – Advocate.

6. When over-complex math is used to distort temperature trends resulting in exaggerated warming. – Advocate.

7. When temperatures measured by thermometers are corrected with loose math to a degree nearly as high as the alleged signal and those corrections are not verified. — Advocate

I’ll stop here to leave a few for the rest of you.

If you’ll note, all of the above leave plenty of room for some warming caused by man’s activities, none of it is denial or contrarian but it does point out the current false tone of the discussion. There is a great deal of good science on the topic supporting AGW as well, however the bad stuff is what is far too often rising to the top. Driven by politics, media and peer pressure. It’s high time skeptics started using the correct terminology to describe certain AGW scientists/clerics who have falsely taken the high ground.

So then the happy argument and refrain becomes — “Denier!” … “Advocate!”  It’s a lot better I think.

14 Responses to “Advocate”

  1. David Pruett said

    Any scientist that exaggerates the consequences of their studies is practicing Advocacy Science. It should be a term that is recognized. Hansen, who has admitted on his own website that he exaggerated his claims, is the dictionary definition of a practitioner of Advocacy Science.

  2. Bob H said

    Don’t forget the corruption of terms like “positive feedback” or warnings by the likes of Mr. Hansen that we only have four years to save the planet. The more shrill an advocate becomes, the more their advocacy is exposed.

  3. Hal said

    Advocate is too nice a term.

    I still like ALARMISTS. Maybe make that EXAGGERATING ALARMISTS.

    SCAREMONGERING EXAGGERATING ALARMISTS. Hmmmm. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

    AHHHH. AIRVENT. nice


  4. Hal said

    Hey, lets celebrate EARTHDAY

    I like the comments there.


  5. JAE said

    What is really ironic is that (I would wager) the majority of real scientists side with the “contrarians,” which means that the real “contrarians” are the advocates, themselves!

    The one thing that seems to hold all these “advocates” together is a leftist, anti-capitalist view of society. They are generally lost for a meaning in life, so they substitute Gaia and “humanity” as the central “being.” I used to be of that persuasion (essentially a hippie), until one day one of my graduate students came into my office and gave me a copy of the book, “The Doomsday Syndrome,” by Maddox (who just died). That was in about 1974. Somehow, that book got me to reflect more on facts and less on emotions/preduices (and I’m a scientist!). It said about the same thing that Bjorn Lomborg says (in much more detail) in The Skeptical Environmentalist.

  6. TCO said

    Finish some analysis, grasshopper.

  7. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Advocacy is something that in most cases is rather easy to detect and with AGW it has advocates on both sides. Most of the advocacy, I think derives, from the political persuasion of the advocate. From my libertarian persuasions I am very much suspicious of AGW mitigation and therefore need lots more assurances of the detrimental effects from GW and its exact causes than say one would with a political persuasion that sees benefits from much more government intervention in the case of GW and in general.

    On the other hand, knowing that advocacy enters into even the science, I do not think that by labeling someone an advocate that that piece of evidence/knowledge can be used against the scientific findings and theories of that advocate. They must be judged independently on their scientific merits, and, as often is the case in our discussions, validity of statistical methods used.

    To me the most obvious sign of advocacy in the case of AGW, and of the least thoughtful kind, is that of attempting to show that all the effects of GW will be and are detrimental to the well being of man. Nothing is said about detrimental effects of cooling and it almost comes out as we have reached the optimum climate right now or perhaps a few decades ago –which to me is more evidence of an under active imagination and particularly with regards to mans ability to adapt.

    • Layman Lurker said

      Kenneth to add to your thoughts: I think that it is possible to distinguish political advocacy from political motivation. One may be politically motivated to find answers to certain questions which fit with political beliefs. For example, a scandal which involves a governing party may be exposed by the opposition party or those who have opposing political beliefs. The party in power does not try to discover a scandal because they have no political motive to do so. This type of pluralistic and political diversity is part of a healthy society. To the extent that AGW has become politicized, skeptics have an important role to play in this sense.

  8. Jeff Id said


    You’ve captured my own thoughts quite succinctly.

    How do you separate advocacy from science. From experience, it is difficult for any individual and requires diligence and commitment to the direction the numbers take you,something far too difficult to come by. I really learned this very….let’s say concisely. at an early age.

    Once a good scientist begins statistical analysis, emotion and certainty must be left behind. The alternative is, he/she will find exactly what is expected.

    Take comfort though, the very cold god of physics is there with the really big red pen to make sure we all get it right in the end.

  9. Chris Fay said

    The epithet Climate Taliban comes to mind for the alarmist.

  10. The Climate Taliban…..I think that says it all. Game, Set, Match.

  11. TCO said

    Oh yeah, the match is over. What A JOKE. That’s the problem with all this blogging. You got half wits encouraging no wits.

  12. jae said

    And then you have the nitwits making simplistic, meaningless, snide comments.

  13. TCO said

    Now we have the little solar nincompoop showing up. You all should be ashamed of him. Disown. Shun. He is a solar weirdo. No proof needed. Just worships it like a Hottentot. Makes all of skepticism look like a bunch of Cold Fusion nutters.

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