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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Greg Laden: Please bend over while I kick your freakin ass

What does this video have to do with global warming, nuclear energy, or Greg Laden? I'll get to that later and my apologies up front for that title. I adapted it from an old 2007 blog article by Laden titled:

"James Watson:Please bend over while I kick your freakin [80-year-old] ass" [words in brackets are my own and ah, were added for clarity].

...which, admittedly, I found while doing a Google search on the text string: greg laden pompous a**. I was doing that search because Laden had been calling his readers names again in the comment field of his blog at

As I mentioned in a previous article, Laden often turns his spot at ScienceBlogs over to a third party (29 times and counting) to dump their collection of lay press news articles about the damaged Fukushima power station. Following is a very recent quote from chemical engineer and (liquid) energy expert, Robert Rapier about the lay press (unrelated to nuclear energy):

Many politicians lie, pander, and promote misinformation to get elected. I have come to the conclusion that many media outlets do the same to sell papers. The casualty in both cases is a citizenry whose views on energy are perpetually distorted, and that leads to a perpetually dysfunctional energy policy.

In general, you can't rely on the lay press for accurate information about anything more complex than sports scores (just ask Arianna Huffington) but apparently Laden hasn't quite figured that out yet.

You also can't rely on the anti-nuclear activists to tell the truth (just ask environmental journalist, George Monbiot):

The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all

The double standards of green anti-nuclear opponents

While doing that Google search I also stumbled upon an article by Laden plugging Jim Hansen's book Storms of My Grandchildren. I also read it and learned that Hansen is a huge proponent of using nuclear energy to fight global warming. Here is what Laden said about the book:

James Hansen is probably the world's best known climate scientist, partly because of his own work and his testimony before Congress, and partly because he has become a target of Global Warming denialists who seem to revel in every opportunity to accuse him of fraud, deceit, or incompetence.


This is "An Inconvenient Truth" on steroids. The book is well written, well presented, captivating, and depressing. The perfect Christmas gift for your favorite climate geek, or even your favorite denialist!

So ...go figure. The roads to hell are many and well-paved.

Oh, and about the video. After watching it, what would you say the odds are that the majority of American citizens will ever be convinced that global warming is anything more than just another liberal "belief?"

Reducing GHG emissions will only be accomplished as a side effect of eliminating the combustion of organic materials, be they ancient fossil versions or the modern biofuel version. They will not be reduced by convincing the majority of Americans that global warming is real (or by calling proponents of nuclear energy names and cobbling up excuses for banning them from commenting on your blog).

Here are the three comments leading up to the expulsion of that reader:

HP, sorry, your very informative comment was held in moderation until just now.

Looking at your comment and my post, though, I think you failed to answer Andrew's question. I'd love to know what I got wrong so I can fix it. Or are you just going to continue to be a self congratulating undocumented (as in, we really have no idea who you are) obnoxious shit, as usual?

Posted by: Greg Laden Author Profile Page | June 23, 2011 10:21 PM

Self congratulating obnoxious shit ...says the pot to the kettle. Note that Laden is one of the few (if not the only) person at ScienceBlogs to name his blog after himself.

Comment fields are a new phenomenon. It always amuses me to watch male hominids say (from behind the safety of their firewalls) things they would never say to another male hominid sitting within arm's reach on an adjacent bar stool, who might reach over, put you in a head lock and buff a shine on top of your head with their sweater sleeve. Any student of human nature knows what will happen when one upright walking male hominid disses another. The retaliation instinct kicks in:

Greg -

Why does it matter to you who I am? Are you a sucker for Argument From Authority? My comments are scientifically sound, though that may be obnoxious shit for you. Too fucking bad. Defend your arguments against my arguments, not who I am.

I fully answered Andrew's question, but I will provide an analogy for the Landenites.

Suppose I put you in a room with 100 malaria-Laden mosquitos for an hour. Your Exposure is 100 mosquito-hours.

But if only three mosquitos bite you, then your Dose is 3 mosquito-hours.

Exposure is different than dose.

I don't expect too many people reading this blog to understand the difference. Hopefully there is one or two.

Posted by: healthphysicist | June 23, 2011 10:33 PM

Laden closes the trap and gives another critic the boot:

HP: Again, you are being obnoxious. You are abusing the privilege of anonymity by acting in a way no one would (usually, normally) act if we knew your name, but for no good. You're not using your anonymity for an good purpose here. I am not a sucker for argument from authority, but you have made the argument from authority, and have not seen fit to back up what your qualifications are.

I may be wrong about what Andrew was asking, but I think he was asking you not to blather on about exposure and dose, but to point out where in this post it was wrong. Which you have not done.

I don't expect too many people reading this blog to understand the difference. Hopefully there is one or two.

Oh. You just insulted my readers.


How noble, protecting his readers in this fashion.

I was once accused by a commenter of not being a PZ Meyers. I was honored that anyone would even compare me to Meyers, who I have tremendous respect for. I often read his blog Pharyngula (note that he did not name his blog after himself). The comments are the best part. Because he is so well-informed, smart and witty, he attracts an army of really well-informed, smart, witty people there. Just last week one of his minions touched my forehead with her noodly appendage at a the Fremont Solstice parade.

Meyers can afford to be cocky. Landen, not so much, particularly when he strays outside of his field of expertise.

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