Over at Scottish”Sceptic” there’s an attempt at a report of what not-Prof Salby said at a lecture recently. The talk sounds to have been not too dissimilar to the Hamburg one I commented on and if you read the comments a variety of people make a variety of the obvious points as to why its all a pile of dingoes kidneys. Not terribly surprisingly it all bounces off, because if SS were the kind of person to listen to reason, he wouldn’t have written the post in the first place. And really, although you can play around with fancy ideas, if you can’t answer “so where did all the human-emitted CO2 go?” its all a waste of time.
I rather started blipping through the comments, there are more than 50 now, and like some slow-motion train wreck there are no end of people happily offering advice to the driver, but he’s not listening. The trouble, in this argument, is that there are just so many reasons for the bleedin’ obvious. SS does have the advantage of being polite – well, mostly – and apparently reasonable; but the reason is a veneer of words.
After a while, I realised he was still calling Salby a Prof, even though he knows full well Salby isn’t one. Its all a bit embarrassing for them, but still: isn’t Dr good enough? Its a real title that you earn and get to keep; Prof comes with the job, and when you lose the job you lose the title. I pointed this out and got the bizarre response:
I’ve checked and anyone can make anyone a professor,. so we’ve decided to make him and honorary professor of the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum.
Is this an attempt at humour? Its not funny. It just comes across as a total disconnect from reality. JBL complains too, and gets told:
What actually matters is whether someone warrants a title. I am more than happy that Prof Salby warrants the title so I will use the title. If you don’t agree then I can’t force you to do so.
So that’s it then. In “sceptic”-world, anyone can award anyone else any title they like, purely based on their own opinion. This would be mindbogglingly stupid, if it was what SS believed.
But actually, he doesn’t believe a word of it. The answer is worse: he’s been caught out in an error, and can’t bear to correct himself, no matter how blatant the error may be. Given that, what’s the point of attempting a scientific argument with him?