American Meteorological Society Pres. – Our Children’s Biggest Challenge, and Climate Zombies

June 13, 2013

One of the comments I had on my most recent Yale Video was, “after Bob Schieffer’s opening, I wanted to hear more from that gentleman he was talking to on the other side of the split screen”.

That gentleman is the new president of the American Meteorological Society, Marshall Shepherd.

So it’s serendipitous that Shepherd now has  a TED talk on line, posted here.  Not a whole lot that’s new, but given the visibility and credibility of his post, his pro-active, higher profile stance can only be helpful.

I included clips from an NPR interview with Shepherd following the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

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36 Responses to “American Meteorological Society Pres. – Our Children’s Biggest Challenge, and Climate Zombies”

  1. omnologos Says:

    proactive to do what? the guy recently made a fool of himself on Twitter, blocking people instead of answering any question. he’s Heartland’s best hope.


  2. […] One of the comments I had on my most recent Yale Video was, "after Bob Schieffer's opening, I wanted to hear more from that gentleman he was talking to on the other side of the split screen". That …  […]

    • omnologos Says:

      thank you Charles. The funny thing is that Shepherd went for the “block” button immediately after being told by Capital Climate to “communication, communication, communication”

      The exchange:

      MS: (343359730598678529): #Weather, #climate, atmospheric sciences colleagues in next 1-10 years, what do u c as greatest challenge facing our collective community

      Cap Clim: (343362232807223296): @DrShepherd2013 Top 3 challenges: communication, communication, communication

      Commenters may also note that eg our host and SkS don’t block anybody on Twitter (apart, I presume, the occasional, truly obnoxious characters). Indiscriminate blocking is a strategy chosen instead by Mann et al (eg Shepherd, Plait) justified only on their belief on the existence of a major conspiracy theory of evil skeptics etc etc.

      • Reggie, sponsored by Brawndo Says:

        @omnologos
        Watt’s is a lying hypocrite and has blocked Tweeters who have the temerity
        to post facts from the reality based universe. Willard blocks them because
        he hates to be proven wrong in front of his adoring fans from his science fiction blog.

        Here, check out this example of Willard blocking just such a person because she pointed out that he was wrong when he accused Bill McKibben of blocking him on Twitter. You may be familiar with a few of the individuals who posted on that thread.

        http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/06/wuwt-policy-violation-by-clueless.html

        And please don’t call yourself a skeptic, you and Watts are low information climate contrarians. I am however pleased to see that Doctor Mann has been invited to speak to a group of GENUINE skeptics at TAM2013

        http://www.amazingmeeting.com/


      • You’re welcome Maurizio. “The left” should learn to be more sensitive. Dr. Mann could have simply twitted the link to SkS, skipping the surly advice. He could adapt to his evil genius role within the right’s climate science psychodrama.

        Perhaps, Mann spent time wrangling Bishop Hill’s very strong opinions before. Bishop is not a shy man.

        http://bishophill.squarespace.com/


        • Maybe he’s been the victim of censorship by Bishop Hill. I know I have.

          • omnologos Says:

            If Mann and Shepherd were right in their approach there’d be no point in this blog or SkS or much else – everybody would just preach to their respective converted. How can that bring about any change of any sort, let alone what might be needed for climate resilience?

    • Reggie, sponsored by Brawndo Says:

      I agree with blocking individuals who are not there for honest debate.

      • omnologos Says:

        Reggie – if you weren’t a hypocrite yourself, you would have blocked your own account. Or perhaps you’ve tried that already.

        • Reggie, sponsored by Brawndo Says:

          Why am I a hypocrite?

          • omnologos Says:

            Because you’re not here for honest debate, rather to spit out whatever bile is affecting you.

          • Reggie, sponsored by Brawndo Says:

            @omnologos made this whole thread all about him, once again illustrating why it is a bad idea to feed trolls. Not one of his comments have been on topic, he turned a thread about the president of the American Meteorological Society, Marshall Shepherd, into a thread about blocking on twitter.


          • Maurizio is no ordinary troll, Reggie. That would be Burton. Omnologos is a high level philosopher who’d be better off if he operated at a lower cruising altitude.

            “From a purely logical point of view, AGW (and especially, catastrophic AGW) can almost certainly be disproved using the argument ad providentiam.” (Nothing like a little Latin to make one feel under-educated.)

            I instinctively like the guy – as I did the dear, brilliant, philosophical, jobless, couch-surfing friends of my youth.

            http://omnologos.com/about-omnology/


          • Yes, dead languages are always useful. Good old Monckton is quite fond of that approach too. He too is intelligent but invariably wrong.

          • omnologos Says:

            That page is a litmus (ahr ahr) test…a few people get it, the others are barely worth discussing with. But I am no Shepherd, so literally nobody’s blocked, apart from seller-spammers.


          • Your point about distraction is spot on Reggie. Decoys are enticing.

          • omnologos Says:

            Charles – first you ask me questions, then when I answer them you “agree” with debate-challenged Reggie that I would be here to distract people and to make them talk about me. That’s worse than absurd. Unless you’re a different Charles Zeller of course.


          • Omnologos, When I asked your opinion of the *science*, you referred to the 1970’s news media soap opera about an imminent ice age. Your references to climate science are so tangential and indirect that they more closely resemble gossip – and are sometimes elevated to some clever form of incomprehensible philosophy.

            Read the comments. You did take over the thread – arguing about trivial social improprieties, never even getting to the post’s content – starting with Shepard and Mann blocking a well known troll.

            Reggie’s slap across my virtual face woke me up to how seductive it is to take the path of least resistance – an opinionated person with a weak philosophical background arguing with an adverse opinion with a weak scientific background is too challenging. We’re both too entrenched to change, so it’s a waste of time.

          • omnologos Says:

            No Charles you have intervened in this thread to ask me questions, going down to ask my opinion on the ‘science’, to which I replied as concisely as possible. That’s wholly different from me “taking over this thread”: if I had not answered you’d be talking now about how bad I am at replying to people ;)

            As for the topic, it has always been “how good Marshall Shepherd is as Climate Communicator”. It seems clear to me that he is only good at talking at those already convinced people like Mann are right. I have been arguing since the very first comment that this is not really a useful contribution, as it adds nothing at all to the “debate” (and surely won’t help implement any change).

            All these comments later, that argument of mine remains unchallenged. Shepherd serves no useful purpose, unless some of you guys need heartwarming and a virtual, science-free cuddle.

  3. omnologos Says:

    tellingly I’ve collected twelve negative points but zero attempts at an exchange of POVs. Presumably anybody engaging in a discussion would betray Mann’s Wisdom :)


    • I, like others, interpreted your opening comment as your proper twitter etiquette POV. Are we mistaken? Did you really want to discuss the science?

      • omnologos Says:

        Not the science and not even proper twitter etiquette (the former, Shepherd himself doesn’t want to discuss; the latter, a nice point but everybody should be free to do whatever they like with their accounts). Peter in his post has shown interest and admiration for Shepherd, and I can understand both – however, I think everybody would agree there are many, many “preachers to the converted” already, and the addition of a new one will move the discussion forward of exactly zero point zero inches.

        Add to that Shepherd’s quasi-robotic reaction to Mann’s request to use the block button…well, if I want to hear Mann’s thoughts, I will get them from Mann and not from Marshall “Remote Controlled” Shepherd…

        What I would like to know from my 11+ detractors (plus you of course if you’d like to add to this), is what they make of Mann’s (Shepherd’s) opinion. I have already illustrated how I find it worse than useless, counterproductive to the n-th power, destructive of all kinds of blogs, etc etc.

        I assume it’s not just Capital Climate to be interested in communicating climate science and policy, rather than surrounding oneself with…Carbon (ahr ahr!) Copies as Mann has been doing for some time: because communication has to include communicating to and with those that may think differently, for whatever reason and however different they think. Otherwise one has to impractically wait for unanimity before doing anything.

        The “Skeptical Evil Conspiracy” meme should have run its course by now, I hope, at least for those inclined to think.


        • I agree with Dr. Mann’s “opinion” of science, but not necessarily his opinion of twitter. Online debates are not so much about changing the debate partner’s mind, as they are to intrigue objective observers.

          Each choir has devoted an enormous energy to either understanding the science or, IMO, in not understanding the science. Without some profoundly universally obvious slap-in-the face scientific revelation, the “wait and see” choir will not budge quickly enough to do anything about the problem.

          Given that you frequently critique the scientists and science communicators rather than the science, what is your opinion of the science?

          • omnologos Says:

            Charles – apologies for not replying earlier. I am not sure if you want to know my opinion about the whole science of climate change, or about the science of Michael Mann (given Shepherd’s behavior, I would not ascribe any climate change science to him).

            On the former (the whole science of climate change) there is an exchange I had on the 1970s Ice Age thread with thomcan. Let me know if you prefer it summarized here.

            Wrt Mann I have zero confidence in anything he is saying, because he is at war and in war Truth is the first casualty. His continuous use of the red-line graph with this fantastic straight quasi-vertical red line bringing us to unbelievable warmth in the space of a few years, can only convince me further he’s stuck in his own world.

            And before anybody says a word, I have complained on Twitter with HI regarding their incredible Chinese debacle.


          • I found your opinions about the 1970’s Ice Age. Let’s just agree to disagree about how to approach reality.


  4. So Twitter is the venue for scientific outreach and meaningful discussion, is it omnologos?

    And the fact that both Mann and Shepard block denier trolls is a topic of deep import for you, (and us!), and other fans of Wattsupwiththat. Good to know!

    I am so happy to see that instead of mere cavil and posturing, you are providing a valuable and insightful exposé here. So good that you are not just jumping at any opportunity to besmirch the reputation and character of science professionals who actually do important work, instead of, you know, biting ankles on the internet!

    Because if you did, some might think you were just a gigantic asshole.

    • omnologos Says:

      Roger -am amazed at your ability to combine nonsense, puerility and non-sequitur in such a small comment.

      Twitter will also be amazed with many of its users to hear it’s a channel where “communicators” ought block people expressing differing opinions.

      I’ll leave you to your passion for bodily orifices.


      • No doubt twitter will be amazed that members are using the very feature it provides to block trolls – it’s never been used before. Thanks for another valuable insight.


  5. […] 2013/06/13: PSinclair: American Meteorological Society Pres. – Our Children’s Biggest Ch… […]

  6. omnologos Says:

    Reggie – you wouldn’t understand what the topic is if it fell in front of your eyes. Thanks for confirming the fact that you write comments to waste people’s time.


  7. @Omnologos, Dr. Shepherd’s talk was about Climate Zombie Theories. Ironically, your answer to my question is a 40 year old science story about global cooling. The scientists who rationally thought that smog or a nuclear war might trigger global cooling changed their minds and moved on. Otherwise they would have been victims of inportunitate improbatorum opiniones.


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