No dogma

by Judith Curry

My posts on positive feedback loops (here and here) have engendered some interesting discussions, particularly at Collide-a-scape and Die Klimazweibel.  While many are pondering the points I raise, most of the “insiders” don’t like the idea of “IPCC dogma.”

What did I mean by dogma? As per the Wikipedia, “Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religionideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputeddoubted, or diverged from, by the practioner or believers. . . The term “dogmatic” is often used disparagingly to refer to any belief that is held stubbornly.”   The issue of dogma is tied to how dissent is dealt with.

(new text)  Dogma refers to “belief”, it does not refer to the source of the belief.  The Christian Bible is not dogma, but it can provide the source material for dogma.  In same way, the IPCC Reports are not dogma, but can provide the source material for dogma.   Dogma is in the eye of the beholder: both the person that holds the belief and is intolerant of dissent, and in the eyes of the dissenter, who perceives dogmatic intolerance.  This is not something that you objectively prove.

Well, I don’t like the idea of “IPCC dogma” either, especially since I have been labeled a heretic. There is no question in my mind that IPCC dogma has existed in the past (think 2007, after the IPCC AR4 was released, and the “consensus”  was all the rage and dissent was expected to be ignored.) That the idea of IPCC dogma is still alive and well was illustrated to me by an email exchange that my colleague Peter Webster had this past week with one of the lead authors of the IPCC TAR and AR4.  Unbelievable.

Well, lets try this.  In 2010, lets assume that there are very very few climate scientists left that regard the IPCC as dogma.  What might this look like?

  • no petitions signed by members of the IPCC or national academy members
  • Nature and Science not writing op-eds that decry “deniers”
  • no climate scientists writing op-eds that decry the “deniers”
  • no climate scientists talking about “consensus” as an argument against disagreement (argumentum ad populam, h/t Nullius in Verba)
  • IPCC scientists debating skeptics about the science
  • climate scientists stop talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this
  • no more professional society statements supporting the IPCC
  • other ideas?

Let’s wipe out dogma from climate science.  I look forward to the “insiders” who don’t like my use of the word dogma convincing me that this no longer exists!

 

Why is this so hard for “insiders” to see?

The word “dogma” isn’t a pretty one,  its about as ugly as the word “denier.”   Dogma is about how you treat disagreement and dissent.   A reminder from Charles Sanders Peirce on the ways of settling disagreement:

  1. the method of tenacity (sticking with one’s initial belief) and trying to ignore contrary information.
  2. the method of authority, which overcomes disagreements but sometimes brutally.
  3. the method of congruity or “what is agreeable to reason,” which depends on taste and fashion in paradigms.
  4. the scientific method whereby inquiry regards itself as fallible and continually tests, criticizes, corrects, and improves itself.

The IPCC’s  defenders engage in all four.  Engaging particularly in the first two is not to the credit of the IPCC’s defenders. With regards to #4, input from outsiders is commonly ignored or trivialized.

I am getting inundated with requests from reporters who are doing a report on Climategate, one year later.  They want to know about my interactions with skeptics, like I was the first person to walk on the moon or something.  Why is a scientist interacting with skeptics news?  It is because that the public and reporters perceive such a great intolerance for disagreement and dissent by the IPCC’s defenders (e.g. dogma).

Why is there the need to label anyone who disagrees with any aspect of the IPCC as a skeptic or a denier?  Even people like Steve Mosher (who I pick as an archetypal lukewarmer) who doesn’t question the basics of the science at all, but doesn’t think there is much evidence for high CO2 sensitivity and that the catastrophe is overblown.  This is not an irrational position at all.  What is the point of labeling such people as skeptics or deniers?  Yes there are people that make arguments that are demonstrably incorrect; these arguments should be refuted.  But people who think that climate change is mostly explained by natural variability, again this is not an irrational position that deserves the label of denier.  There is enough uncertainty in our understanding to accommodate this explanation as at least plausible.

Why is it so necessary to so vehemently defend the consensus against people that disagree with it, some of whom don’t disagree with it all that much?  It is presumably because of the political relevance of this issue, and the perceived importance of consensus for implementing the UNFCCC policies.   Well, that strategy didn’t work in terms of a justification and even prescription for policy, and it shouldn’t have worked; energy and climate policy has much more complex issues to deal with than consensus science (issues of politics and values).    If the UNFCCC policies were removed from the table, would there be any reason to label as deniers people who disagree with a scientific consensus on a complex and uncertain topic?  Of course there wouldn’t.  Science eventually sorts all these things out, although this can be slowed down if institutional impediments are in the way.

So if the “insiders” want to convince me that there is no dogma, they need to at the very least stop trying to marginalize skeptics and preferably actually engage with them in debate.

In the comments, John N-G makes the following points:

So dispute is dealt with differently if someone is dissenting from dogma than if someone being willfully ignorant of facts or jf someone is intentionally trying to deceive? I think the responses themselves are indistinguishable without some insight into the nature of the dispute.

One person might say they are being treated as dissenters from dogma, while another might say they are being treated as though they are being willfully ignorant. Indeed, that’s happening in the present case.

Getting back to climategate, the email authors (and many others)wthought they were dealing with people who were willfully ignorant or intentionally trying to deceive. Your perception (and that of many others) is that they were responding to dissent from dogma. This is the heart of the issue.Res ipsa loquitur (to use my wife’s favorite Latin expression), it’s not easy to tell the difference.

Disagreement is part of what moves science forward. Why did the email authors find it important to deal with people that are willfully ignorant and trying to deceive? Why not ignore them? Trying to deceive whom about what? Sowing doubt about the IPCC findings? Well that should be part and parcel of science. Scientists dealing with willfully ignorant people or people that are trying to deceive because of concerns that this ignorance or deception is motivated by what, exactly?

How is Steve McIntyre willfully ignorant or trying to deceive? He was asking questions about statistical analysis methods and accountability. How is Pat Michaels willfully ignorant or trying to deceive? Pat accepts the basics of AGW theory, but does not see evidence of a high CO2 sensitivity and doesn’t buy the argument that warming is “bad.” He also supports the libertarian view of polictics (that is politics, not science; and its not like the UNFCCC isn’t politics). This is not an irrational position. Why was it so NECESSARY to try to neutralize such people? Why shouldn’t there be a spectrum of viewpoints on all this (especially in terms of what constitutes “bad”)? Disagreement and doubt was viewed as an impediment to what? Their scientific reputations? Policy?

Well, protecting dogma seems to be a plausible explanation.


531 responses to “No dogma

  1. Where is George Carlin when you need him…

  2. climate scientists stop talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies

    While I do understand where you come from in regards to this specific item, I also believe that scientists are people, and as people, as citizens, why wouldn’t they form an opinion about policy proposals that have to do with their body of work, and why couldn’t they share it, in a No-Dogma environment?

    Why can’t scientists be “concerned”? (Some even founded an organization called “Concerned Scientists”, from which I think Michael Mann is a member, and Phil Plait is too). Perhaps it’s not the most unbiased thing that a scientist can do with his/her time, but at least they are being upfront about their beliefs, prejudices and visions. The pretension to be objective and unbiased seems to me to have more the false veneer of “high priesthood” than just admitting your own humanity and subjectivity.

    • Point taken, i was just going to clarify this when i spotted your post. I added a qualifer “because the science demands it.” It is of course fine for scientists to be concerned about climate change and energy policy. The problem comes when the science of the IPCC is so entertwined with UNFCCC policies, that the scientists state that the policy logically follows from the science. The scientists are defending the UNFCCC and IPCC as part and parcel of the same thing, and a climate scientist that is concerned about climate change but not supporting the UNFCCC policies (like myself) gets lumped into various categories like skeptic, etc (see the doubt post).

    • actually the .union of concerned scientists. is somewhat misleading in their name and mission.

      • The way I’ve seen it is that often climate scientists and their defenders scoff when an outsider comes in and critiques the consesus and roundly dismisses them as “not a climate scientist” and therefore not qualified to offer an opinion. Well, this just in: Climate scientists aren’t economists or politicians and shouldn’t try and flaunt their credentials to sway a debate they aren’t qualified to be an authority on.

        Anyone should be free to be an “Activist/Scientist” but in my eyes your credibility is just as tainted as a scientist with suspicious funding. I’m sorry but when I see James Hansen protesting along side Daryl Hannah and Leonardo DiCaprio I start to think there are different incentives at play than just “the search for scientific truth”.

  3. Judith, there seems very little to link your dot points with any notions of dogma. Part of the problem,at least, is that you are conflating the IPCC’s reports with the the notion of the IPCC as a thing.

    More confusion will now ensue in comments.

    • The IPCC is not a thing?
      Whats is it then? Just some arbitrary aggregate, with no unifying structure, purpose, funding or coherence?

    • You can only miss this Dr. Curry’s points if one is working at doing so very hard.

    • The connection between Curry’s points and the concept of dogma seem clear to me. Everywhere one looks one sees AGW proponents invoking terms like consensus, denial, settled science, vast majority of scientists, 97% of scientists, and many others like this, all by way of claiming that there is no scientific debate. Given that there is no consensus (or we would not be here), this is clearly dogma at work.

      The settled science argument has an odd logic, given that the debate is everywhere to be seen, which seems to falsify the claim. Proponents must argue that all this debate is due to a combination of ignorance, irrationality and evil. Moreover, they must abstain from debating the science, because to debate shows that the science is debatable, which immediately loses their argument. Dogma doesn’t get any better than this. Dogma it is.

  4. A scientific consensus is not the same as dogma. By pretending that it is, you are sowing confusion.

    • She’s not pretending that it is. She’s citing the very real misuse of the concept of consensus uber alles as a symptom of dogma. Sheesh!

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Tom

        I’ve seen you say “sheesh” a few times in posts here. I empathise!

        There really should be a stronger term for the mind-numbing use of rhetorical tricks and semantic nuances that passes for informed argument here and on other threads… some from obviously intelligent, but deeply in-denial (and determined) defenders of the faith. In the face of a common-sense reading of the emails (the best direct evidence we have of dogmatic intolerance) the sheer bloody-minded, goalpost-moving denialism of some people of apparently scientific background on is enough to make one question one’s whole belief in scientific objectivity in the 21st century.

        The attempted, gradual erosion of original meaning (in Judith’s posts) to me, relies on techniques more akin to the misdirection of professional conjurers, and to the well-informed psychological wearing-down by repetition strategies more common in advertising, but dressed up as scientific or philosophical discourse. In short, many on these blogs (just like the scientists in the emails) see it as a propaganda war, and not a true debate. The presumed hope is to lose the primary points in a fog of noise, that makes the whole thread either incomprehensible or just too damn boring and nit-picky for a lay reader to bother with.

        It is frustrating, but keep your sense of humour handy!

      • The meme of “consensus” is great for the skeptics as its counter memes trumps it in spades. Personally I object to the meme of consensus because it is the most horrible trope those of us who believe in global warming could use.

    • A scientific consensus is not the same as dogma.

      Would motives such as duped, recruited, co-opted, misinformed, mislead, encouraged, emboldened, or buttered up, be a more satisfying explanation of your adamant insistence that unanimity be afforded to a very complex and poorly described process?

    • Jeez Tim, sowing confusion? C’mon, we the people are not that ignorant. And you wonder why you can’t get traction with us anymore?

      • Who is this “us” you’ve appropriated?

        And Tim is quite right.

        Judith quotes the Wikipedia definition of dogma, which has several parts, then has nothing to say as to which part she might be referring. Then’s it’s striaght on to the ‘ IPCC dogma’ linking it explicitly to “consensus” (“think 2007…. and the “consensus”….).

        There is no other way to interpret what she has actually written than scientific consensus=dogma.

        If she meant something else, she should have written something else, your post-hoc re-interpretations not withstanding.

      • Judith> …established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practioner or believers. . . The term “dogmatic” is often used disparagingly to refer to any belief that is held stubbornly.” The issue of dogma is tied to how dissent is dealt with

        Michael> There is no other way to interpret what [Judith] has actually written than scientific consensus=dogma.

        So a scientific consensus is
        – not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from ?
        – a belief that is held stubbornly ?
        – offhand towards dissent ?

        Hardly.

      • No.

        In the context of the IPCC reports, concensus is just what most can agree on as being the best approximation of reality.

      • Given your unwarranted faith in the “consensus”, is it too much to ask that you learn how to spell it?

      • No,

        In the context of the IPCC reports consensus is just what most IPCC engaged scientists can agree on.

        This is a small subset of scientists who excluded alternative interpretations of the data before they announced their consensus.

        This doesn’t carry much weight with the public, because they have seen groupthink, mutual re-affirmation, and cliquish behaviour prior to the collapse of policy underpinnings many times before.

      • The us who are sick and tired of being treated like we have no reasoning capabilities. Sowing confusion? Like I can’t think for myself? Or is it that Tim would prefer that I do not think for myself and just accept what i am told? Yeah, that has worked well in the past hasn’t it?

        You guys just don’t get it. And I mean both sides. People are tired of this constant bickering, and tall tales, and childish name calling, and being told not only what to think, but how ti think. We are tuning you guys out. Just like a TV sitcom, you have passed your prime and our attention is moving to more meaningful things.

        That is who the US is!

    • A scientific consensus is not the same as dogma

      It does when the “consensus” (an oxymoron in science to begin with) goes against new contradictory evidence. Soon as plate tectonic was confirmed, all those who still held on to immovable continents (the original consensus) became dogma. Those that still hold on to the Linnean system of classificiation, inspite of its gross problems, and rejecting the Phylocode are being dogmatic.

      There comes a point when the “consensus” finally starts to shift away from the dogma and that gets left standing on its own. Unfortunately in science, as in other aspects of society, old theories dogmatically held don’t die until the last believer in it does.

  5. Paragraph 1: Oddly inaccurate summary of events. I find your distinction between “many” who are “pondering” your posts but “insiders” disliking the dogma references odd considering it alienated many who are considered to be critical of the IPCC.

    Paragraph 2: Definition of “dogma” from wikipedia (!)

    Paragraph 3: Restatement of your position that the IPCC output is “dogma”

    Paragraph 4: List of criteria that would apparently demonstrate there was “no dogma”

    Paragraph 5: Invitation to people to “convince” you there is no dogma.

    This is to my eye a content free post. The criteria you gave aren’t even measurable and even if they were they wouldn’t support your argument because for whatever reason you’ve decided to make the enormous claim that the IPCC output is “dogma” which requires enormous evidence.

    I also note that despite your invitation for “insiders” to prove you wrong (although it would be nice if you first made an attempt at proving yourself correct) you had to be dragged more or less kicking and screaming to an actual “insider”‘s attempt to engage you in the form of the comment by Eric Steig on your first post. Once there you summarily dismissed it as merely an opinion.

    I’m not a scientist, a climate scientist or any type of expert on anything climate related. I’m simply a guy reading your posts and trying to understand them. As mentioned in comments on your other posts I often have a lot of trouble understanding what you’re saying because you speak vaguely and broadly. You advance arguments with enormous implications and fail entirely to support them or even explain them.

    Many of the usernames I see congratulating you for being brave or making a fine analysis are familiar to me from other blogs where they’ve stated their beliefs more explicitly. I hope topics such as the iron sun ,vitamin drips and the benefits of buying gold in bulk are of interest to you because that’s where this is all headed.

    • Well it seems like we are on different wavelengths. I can’t find anything of content in your post to respond to.

      • “Well it seems like we are on different wavelengths. “

        Well I think this much is obvious and I could easily believe I simply lack the necessary knowledge to interpret what you’re saying.

        However I’m not the only person who appears to have a lot of trouble understanding you and this includes fellow climate scientists.

        Given that your stated goal is communication it seems odd that you simply shrug off people who point out they’re unable to understand you. There are many with whom who I disagree but I understand what it is I disagree with because they communicate their ideas clearly.

        With your arguments I’m only able to disagree that you’ve supported them and explained them. I don’t know what they are exactly and based on my knowledge of the people claiming to agree with you I don’t think they know either but they sure like the tune you’re humming.

      • Well, I spend a huge amount of my time on this blog trying to communicate with people, when I could be doing other things. I am trying to have a dialogue and develop understanding. I’m presenting some new ideas, that some are uncomfortable with. I think the climate community needs to reflect on the broader issues raised by the events of the past year, rather than to simply hope that this issue will gradually fade away and everything will go back to the way it was.

      • “I’m presenting some new ideas, that some are uncomfortable with. “

        I don’t think I’m the first to point this out but you characterize any attempt to get you to explain what it is you’re saying as hostile and then use that as support your position was actually correct.

        That tendency is on display in Paragraph 1 of this post. “I said something the insiders didn’t like”

        Being being “uncomfortable” is not a measure of success or correctness. I consider myself very much a skeptic and someone who is generally moderate. I characterize “success” when I enter into a polarized discussion as making people comfortable and finding the points upon which we all agree so we can build a foundation and determine the root cause and implications of our differences.

        Your approach is directly opposite, you appear to want to invite something you can label as criticism so you can prove you’re not with those people. You can (and have) use the argument you get “criticized by both sides” as some sort of proof you’re in the middle and that’s before we even get into whether “the middle” is a desirable and supportable position.

        ” I am trying to have a dialogue and develop understanding.”

        Well let me say this, you’re doing a really bad job. Outside of anything I may think you’ve publicly aliened people who should be your natural allies. Your response to this is that it apparently doesn’t matter because the blogosphere is only representative of a small proportion of the science community. I have no idea how you’re measuring success or if you are. When you see comments like “Great analysis!” remember this post:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/picking-out-the-uhi-in-global-temperature-records-so-easy-a-6th-grader-can-do-it/

        “Very well done.
        Perhaps the climate community could learn a thing or three.”

        “As a layperson I have been wading through all of the explanations, theories, graphs and charts published by so many brilliant scientists, and now, thanks to one sixth grader, I can finally understand it! I realize it is very simplistic, but it sure makes more sense now. Thanks, Peter!”

        “Somebody give that boy a Nobel prize.”

        “Absolutely astounding!”

        And so on and so forth.

      • Well, if you haven’t come across it before, read my rebuilding trust essay. It got alot of play, but little discussion by climate scientists. The climate community doesn’t seem to realize the position that it is now in. And my latest essay seems to have provoked some reflection.

        In terms of “keeping score,” I am prepared to score a point if someone looks at the issue in a new way, challenges themselves with new information, and thinks more broadly about an issue. I am not trying to set myself up as a truth machine or an arbiter of any kind. I am deeply concerned about the integrity of climate science, and I am trying to do something about it.

      • sharper00’s comments are worthy of contemplation, Judith, as there are signs and signals in them which I believe, understood, would strengthen your message.

      • Sharperoo,

        You raise some interesting points, but, out of curiosity, do you only hold opinions for which you have such proof at hand that you could, at a moment’s notice enter a court of law and prevail?

        Think about it. George Washington was the first president. Prove it! That sort of thing.

        Judith Curry is an insider in the climate science/racket field. While impressionistic, her judgements on the field, especially when they entail such professional cost, ring with authority to me and, I suspect, others. And her views have the common-sense logic that money and power influence opinions.

        But your point remains well taken. We do need better proof of the state of the climate science/racket. We need special prosecutors, statements taken under oath, and subpoena powers for all matters bearing on the conduct of the climate science/racket field. And, as warranted, we then need some criminal prosecutions or much-publicized exonerations. But guess who’s against all that (besides Judith Curry, that is). You guessed it! The guys most complaining about the lack of proof. Curious state of affairs. Inexplicable really.

      • As to your first to paragraphs, as a history major, I am kind of well qualified to laugh at you.
        First, if I made a post that I knew was going to be contentious, I would have proof ready, because I had time to prepare. Furthermore, the contentiousness should be the content, not the lack of content.
        Secondly, George Washington as first president is really easy to show, with more certianty than most things in history. We have letters to and from him to other historical figures. We have documents in historical records, like the Library of Congress. We have wikipedia and dollar bils and quarters even.
        Finally, and most importantly, I can and will link you to this if you need to shown/proven. And I didn’t even have preparation in advance.

      • History Major,

        You’re quite the jolly fellow, History Major. Between chuckles, you might you might respond to the note I left you further down the page. I see this is going to be fun.

      • History Major:

        You really ought to know the first president of the United States was Samuel Huntington, not George Washington.

        Huntington was first President of the Congress under the Articles of Confederation; Washington was the first president under the present consitiution, which established a seperate executive branch of government.

      • David L. Hagen

        Below Dr Michael Cejnar says

        Oh, and ‘History Major’ – you made 33 tedious and repetative posts on this topic alone – please have some mercy on other readers.

        I strongly endorse his critique and support his plea!

        Please focus on major thoughtful critique/positive contributions. Your “noise” is becoming very tedious and distracts from the serious issues Curry is raising. Please stop wasting our time with your sophmoric comments.

      • Mike,

        “do you only hold opinions for which you have such proof at hand that you could, at a moment’s notice enter a court of law and prevail?”

        Certainly however they’re opinions I’d characterize as unimportant to me. The range of my opinion far exceeds the range of my knowledge and expertise but if I was having a conversation with someone whom I knew had strong views on a topic I wouldn’t bring up my own uninformed opinion. I know exactly the reaction that would ensue – an attempt to dissuade me from what I just said and then confusion and anger when I don’t even listen yet want that person to accept the validity of my opinion regardless.

        “Think about it. George Washington was the first president. Prove it! That sort of thing.”

        Well to use presidents as an example let’s suppose someone wanted to “reach out” to the community of people who believe president Obama was born in Kenya. Then suppose the manner in which they did it was to write extensively about poor practice at hospitals when recording births, perhaps gave some example of doctors who did bad things or were mean and claimed they wanted to “fix the problem”. At no point are the given points linked to how they actually change any of the known facts concerning Obama’s birth and anyone requesting they do so is teated as “hostility from the establishment”.

        “While impressionistic, her judgements on the field, especially when they entail such professional cost, ring with authority to me and, I suspect, others. And her views have the common-sense logic that money and power influence opinions.”

        Accepting people’s arguments based on their authority is not a mode of thought I’m accustomed to. If someone wants to convince me something is true they need to show how it’s true, Dr Curry’s response to any challenge of that nature is she’s not trying to convince anyone of anything which sort of brings into question the point of saying it in the first place.

        “But your point remains well taken. We do need better proof of the state of the climate science/racket. We need special prosecutors, statements taken under oath, and subpoena powers for all matters bearing on the conduct of the climate science/racket field. And, as warranted, we then need some criminal prosecutions or much-publicized exonerations. “

        No we don’t need any of those things. The mechanisms you are talking about are reserved in our society for the investigation of crimes. They’re considered so dangerous to our overall freedom they’re administered with enormous care and oversight.

        They are not tools for “I want to know what’s happening there” they are tools for “I know something bad has happened there and we need to find out the exact extant of it”. Accusations that something bad happened are insufficient.

        What you’re actually talking about is the widespread harassment and intimidation of the climate science community because they produced answers you don’t like. You want to use the force of law to peer into every aspect of their lives to see if you can find some dirt rather than deal with their work.

        Who knows you might get lucky! Perhaps among the climate science community there are some cross dressers, others who donate to political parties you don’t like, perhaps some have mildly racist views. Once all of this is brought to the fore you can stop worrying about a planet that is clearly warming and just assume it’ll all be ok.

      • Honestly Sharperoo, what a preposterous reply.

        I do want an effective inquiry into the whole work effort of the “Climate Hawks.” No better way than testimony under oath and subject to penalties for perjury and full and open availability of all documentation bearing on the work of scientists who have taken public monies for their product. Not to get “dirt” on “them,” but to get the truth out of what “they” have done. But the prospect of really opening this matter up gives you the willies, doesn’t it? Wonder why?

        Your ascribing other motives to me are both without foundation and untrue and evidence your contemptible low-character.

        If you want to impose on my valuable time, Sharperoo, I require of you intellectual integrity and good faith in our discussion. Otherwise, I don’t waste my time on a half-baked flake, like you’ve shown yourself to be, so far. Got it?

        MODERATION NOTE: Mike cool it, you have violated blog rules with your last paragraph. No personal attacks.

      • Mike,

        “Your ascribing other motives to me are both without foundation and untrue and evidence your contemptible low-character.”

        If the characterisation is wrong then absolutely I apologise, I make no claim towards any special mind reading ability.

        However when people salivate at the prospect of congressional hearings and bringing scientists under oath to answer questions they’re putting themselves into a position of using the law to target individuals they dislike. This is not a position I’m every going to look particularly kindly upon.

        You may say you only want to know what’s going on and you may believe that but then people rarely openly claim to be abusing the law as they do so.

        If you (and by “you” I mean sceptics in general) are so sure scientists are doing bad work that they need to be hauled before a congressional investigation then it should also be possible to show which part of their work is wrong. Not only incorrect but so incorrect it suggests knowingly arriving at the wrong answer to further other goals. This is not something the skeptical community have come even close to doing.

        Investigations such as the one pursued by Cuccinelli have been condemned by many in the skeptical community for very good reason.

      • Salivate?! Sharperoo, I don’t “salivate.” I may drool on my bib a bit, but I don’t “salivate.”

      • David L. Hagen

        Congratulations Judith
        After a mere two months, Alexa shows Climate Etc. (aka JudithCurry.com) (Alexa US rank 52,453) has a traffic rating of ~0.001%. Climate Etc. is already approaching the traffic of RealClimate.org traffic ~ 0.002% (US rank 50,172).

      • Interesting, i don’t follow this stuff and am not interested in blog muscle wars, but I’m glad that Climate Etc. has engaged a large number of people.

      • Prof. Curry,

        I find you are very easy to understand and highly stimulating. You have a keen knack of tracing through things which interest me a great deal.

        Perhaps I talk nonsense, belabor the obvious or spray out streams of non sequiturs.

        I know the worth and prescience of what I post here. Undoubtedly I lack the patience to do a better job of communicating a message.

        Yes I am frustrated but I have also have more important priories regarding this knowledge.

        It has not been a one way street. I have learned useful things throughout the interaction.

        I may be back because this place is a stimulating distraction for me. If there is anything unusual about me it is that I am bound to recognizing and respecting both the arts and science points of view. (No, I am not a genius. Rather A+S are slightly altered perspectives of a common focus. That equivalence of art + science constrains me to respect both. It prevents me making a one way excursion into either.

        You also have this desire /need to embrace both art&science I.E. the autistic +non-autistic universe. The failure heretofore to unite the solitude prevents the development of improving our skills and understanding of subjective experience. It is the most important and greatest turkey of a challenge facing the intellect.

        I aim to fix this problem before I die, no matter how badly, no mater how crudely. I understand the problem well enough. That resolution will go a long way to dispelling the misnomers that swirl around the AGW debate.

        My task is a perpetual problem. Being deserted by my PhD supervisor to work alone in isolation makes life impossible.

        Let’s say that my dumb obvious poorly expressed thoughts come from a vain self-preoccupied bore.

        Enjoy working with the problem of inflation. Many Nobel laureates in Economics have tried and failed completely. maybe you will get further.

        Provided you the best I had. Some of it was insightful and important. Guess I talk nonsense.

        I am unimportant. I must move on to other things and the next problem failure.

    • This is to my eye a content free post. The criteria you gave aren’t even measurable and even if they were they wouldn’t support your argument because for whatever reason you’ve decided to make the enormous claim that the IPCC output is “dogma” which requires enormous evidence.

      I, and other skeptics here, have no problem understading what Judith is refering to.

      It isn’t the IPCC per se that is dogmatic (in principle that is, as a scientific organization) nor the finding in their reports (the science parts anyway, the political aspects of the policy parts are dogmatic because politics by its nature is dogmatic).

      What is refered to here, in the science sense, are those defending the premises outlined in the reports. Those who refuse to look at contradictory evidence. Those who demonize anyone who challenges the premises. Those who go out of their way to backball any skeptical scientists. Editors who refuse to publish challenging evidence to the premises of AGW. Etc, etc.

      Dogma is practiced by people, not organizations.

  6. No more dogma because the deniers have been resoundingly dismissed as charlatans, buffoons and hired mercenaries.

    No more dogma because after all the excessive bravado concerning infidels, ‘climate change’ science is giving pause to doubt itself.

    No more dogma because everyone is too busy writing grant proposals to make good and cash in before the party ends.

  7. Judith,

    I worried too about the apparent equation of ‘dogma’ and ‘consensus’. I see where you are going: that because ‘x,000′ scientists have reached a consensus, one is not allowed to disagree, and those with whom you are arguing do not have to answer any points you make. I have certainly encountered that. To behave so is to display a dogmatic attitude, but the consensus itself is not either a necessary reason for dogma or something that leads naturally towards dogma.

    To provide examples outside climate science, it would be a consensus among academic economists that ‘market capitalism’ is by and large the most effective political economy available to humanity, and among academic political scientists that ‘representative democracy’ is by and large the most effective form of political organisation available. And you will see people saying these things dogmatically. But one can argue and write against both propositions, and people do so all the time.

    I guess I would call it ‘AGW dogma’. Anyway, you might ponder over terms here.

    • Point taken, I’ve amended the point to say “no climate scientists talking about “consensus” as an argument for AGW or in an argument defending AGW”. The problem is when climate scientists use the “consensus” as an argument for AGW. “Consensus” has been used to argue that there is no point in debating these topics.

  8. David L. Hagen

    Advocating “cap and trade” is dogma built on the underlying dogma of “mitigating” “climate change”, the “politically correct” relabeling and implication of “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”.
    There substantial uncertainty about the magnitude of “global warming”, and what portion of it is “anthropogenic” versus natural causes.

    To handle this large uncertainty, Ross McKitrick proposed his T3 Tax.

    Recently I came up with a policy proposal that reconciles my skepticism with the policy activism of the alarmists: calibrate a carbon tax to the average temperature of the region of the atmosphere predicted by climatologists to be most sensitive to CO2. I call it the ‘T3’ tax, and I think the proposal should make everyone happy, except the most extreme alarmists and the Trojan horse-types who see the global warming issue as a vehicle for imposing a set of anti-growth policies that they would want even if global warming fizzles as a pretext.

    See: McKitrick, Ross R. (2007) Calling the Carbon Bluff Environment & Energy 19(5) 707-711.

    Why not tie carbon taxes to actual levels of warming? Both skeptics and alarmists should expect their wishes to be answered

    However, any “tax” causes bigger government. Better to have stewards of of our earth develop renewable fuels that are directly cost effective with fossil fuels and which do not compete for agricultural land.

    • Who are these stewards then?
      And what indications are there that such renewable fuels might be possible?

    • Several people, including Jim Hansen, have suggested that carbon taxes not be used as a source of government revenue, but instead be refunded equally to every citizen (tax and dividend). If the size of a carbon tax is going tied to future climate change, it won’t be a reliable source of revenue in any case.

      McKitrick’s proposal is flawed because current climate change isn’t currently causing any significant damage. Current climate change is using up our margin for tolerable climate change. An ideal carbon tax could be tied to the rate at which we are approaching disastrous change. At the current rate of warming, how many years before T4 increases 4 degC which would be about 2 degC at the surface. If we have 200 years of safety margin, no tax; 150 years, low tax; 100 years, high tax; 50 years, punitive tax. The same thing could be done for sea level rise, which can now be measured accurately. All businesses would know what kind of tax rate future climate change would bring and could invest sensibly.

      • As usual, lots of hidden zingers and circular assumptions in a warmist argument. That 4°C increase would be disastrous is gainsaid by all historical records. Warm periods have been eras of prosperity and expansion. Cooling causes contration and mega-deaths.

        If the the “magic thermostat” actually existed, we’d
        a) be well advised to crank it up a few degrees (with the bonus benefit of further improvements in agricultural yield over the 20%+ already attributed to AGHGs)
        b) get ready to really hit it hard when the current interglacial starts to wane, which can happen with punitive speed and is probably overdue.

      • The same thing could be done for sea level rise, which can now be measured accurately.

        Accurately??!! Jason: 3.2 +/- 1.4mm/year , yep real accurate.

  9. History Major

    I’m a history major and frankly this is somewhat sad. I hear sometimes of a divide in the sciences between hard and soft science. Being blunt, this post is ethereal, not even soft.
    No real arguments, but more importantly, NO DATA, NO SOURCES, NO CITATIONS!
    For the sake of those of in the so called soft sciences (if one is even willing to call it a science…) please use context for things. This is best exemplified by this quote, “That the idea of IPCC dogma is still alive and well was illustrated to me by an email exchange that my colleague Peter Webster had this past week with one of the lead authors of the IPCC TAR and AR4. Unbelievable.” Where is the email exchange? Where is even a summary or gist of what was contained with in it.” Joseph McCarthy also once claimed to have had a list.. So seriously, Show what it is you are talking about, don’t just claim to have it.

    Have you ever seen How I Met Your Mother? A good tv show, but the point of it is that they have a bit about “Where is the poop?”. As in, where is the bad thing which has been done. Where is the evidence, the proof of the wrongdoing, the poop.
    My question for you is, Where is the poop?
    You don’t substantiate any of the bulletpoints, proving neither for or against in any case.
    You don’t substantiate the supposed email.
    You don’t substantiate even how the bullet points or even would be causing or proving the existence of dogma.
    Please, do not get mad at a dog for pooping in the kitchen if you fail to show or prove the existence of poop, let alone the mere smell of it. Succintly, “Where is the poop?”.

    • Well, the fact that it might not be appropriate for a whole bunch of reasons to reproduce the email exchange with Peter Webster doesn’t mean it didn’t occur and doesn’t mean it didn’t provide me with evidence of someone defending the dogma in absurd ways. This related to the the temperature bump ca. 1940, and whether it really existed and what its explanation might be. The IPCC has spoken, and the discussion was whether Webster should present his ideas at this person’s institution, sort of whether the supplicant’s petition was going to be granted a hearing by the king. The poop is all over the place, but I’m not going to spread it around, that’s not what i do. This is a blog, not a journal. I’m talking about a concern that I have, that is shared by others. I’m talking about what we might do about it.

      • History Major

        I’m sorry, Pics or it did not happen.
        I have it on very good authority, lets say an email, that I am exceedingly well endowed. What might the community do about this?
        Make unsubstantiated bulletpoints. (Well, that clearly doesn’t work too well)
        I could claim some sort of respect to the writer of the email not to divulge the proof of my exceedingly well endowment, but from what I’ve heard (in an unpublishable email), the IRS tends to look at people or institutions who receives these sorts of endowments. But, unfortunately, my sourse is not under any duress not am I any sort of journalist. I chose to use this unadmissible email source, no one else chose it, so responsibility is on the choser.
        Now, I might ask why use this email source if you cannot prove it?
        Either, you have no other sources to use and this is the only proof of such endowment. Or, you chose to out of lethargy, not considering other options. I do hope there is some greater level of proof than the equivlancy of I said so. Or rather my friend said so but I’m not going to show that to you either.
        The only really absurd thing is the idea of proving the exceedingly well endowment by an unsharable email that amounts to the only proof, where quite simply there are far better ways of making and proving oncs argument.

      • Well, I’m not too concerned about whether you are convinced or not. I am not looking to prove anything. I am looking to have a dialogue about an issue that concerns me, and a number of other people.

      • History Major

        That you are not looking to prove anything is rather self evident from your method of posting, dataless, supportless, citationless, linkless. However, you cannot seriously expect people to take you seriously without holding up an argument. And diologue as much as you want with you issue concerning you and a number of other people, But then you cannot rightfully be surprised that people do not take you seriously, or do not considered your “arguments” the way people should properly consider aguments.
        If you are making arguments, then do so. If not, then why not just use email with your other people, as clearly then it would have to get scrutinized by others.
        You cannot simultanously expect to be taken seriously while claiming to simultanously not be making an argument while claiming to be making an argument. That is how circular the situation we are in is

      • HM, you don’t seem to get it. Judith is not setting out to prove a thesis. She is setting out her opinion, and asking those who share her opinion to suggest solutions.

        If you don’t agree with her in the first place, you haven’t got a dog in the fight. Go and find something more productive to do with your time and stop wasting ours.

      • My apologies, I did not realize this was some sort of private club, dissenters unwelcome and need not apply… their efforts into writing honest critiques of positions.
        As a person on this planet, I do too have a dog in this fight. This fight is against the perpetuation of ignorance and sloppiness, on all sides. No one likes ignorance and sloppiness anywhere, assuming they dislike chaos.
        Back to point, if you don’t want public people to interact with your statements, don’t make them public. Umm duh, its called email. However, to make public communication you should expect the public to respond to your communication.
        OR even end your post with something like this :”If you disagree, don’t bother telling me, I don’t want to hear it, NANANANA.” However, Judith did not end her post like that nor did she make her statement via private email. It was made on a public blog. So no, shut up I shall not out of respect to Judith, truth, and the world that young I shall be living in for hopefully many more decades.

      • I’m sorry, HM, but I do not see what you are quibbling about. Those of us in the skeptics camp have seen the dogma first hand, be it those directly involved in the science, or us who are trying to defend science from the luniatic frindge who want nothing more than to bring down Western democracy.

        The dogma is everywhere in the AGW faith. You are arguing a tangent to the issue of this post. Is there or is there not a dogmatic element in the AGW community? Yes clearly there is. How do we go about fixing that? Short of firing all those scientists and starting fresh it will be a difficult uphill battle.

        You ask for the poop, I ask where’s the beaf in your argument?

      • Whoa.

        Back the pony up there.

        1. Judith is not setting out to prove a thesis.

        Reread the first page of this blog, in the Welcome. A scientist calls something an experiment, there’s a thesis.

        If you mean that Dr. Curry in this particular opinion post is not holding herself to the standards of rigor of a peer-reviewed paper, and that History Major’s replies go overboard in language, construction, and intensity compared to what is simply a private opinion publicly expressed, you do have a point, but then History Major’s comments are hardly alone in that, on either side.

        We’re in a very early stage of the experiment. It’s a social experiment, and apparently Dr. Curry’s first attempt in an underexplored area. There’s bound to be conflict during the storming and norming phases and these would be a good thing.

        They may even help further Judith’s thesis.

        2. She is .. asking those who share her opinion to suggest solutions.

        And Dr. Curry has also in the past recognized the value of dissent in forwarding solutions too; it would hardly be of value to dismiss opposing viewpoints if the goal is to suggest optimal solutions to a problem concerning opposing viewpoints.

        HM’s position may be off JC’s compass. Two datapoints are better than one.

        3. If you don’t agree with her in the first place..

        Then that would be entirely expected of a Confusionist, and perhaps shutting down people who disagree with Dr. Curry on anything may be more wide a net than intended.

        No one, likely, knows the entire mind of our host; it’s probable our host has not yet entirely made up her own mind on all matters. As a scientist, it would be likely she never will. That’s a strength of science.

        So there will always be disagreement with her views.

        In many ways, HM’s opinion is closer to JC’s than to yours. Of course, I have only this thread as evidence to support that thesis.

      • I don’t know, sorry if im hyperbolic, but one of my most consistent methods of arguing against people is to use their own format and own style to show them what their statements look like. Its pretentious attempts at satirical parody, but its also rather fair. If someone claims something and does not and refuses to back it up with real data, how is that really different in form than someone claiming large endowment? Its equally petty and devoid of information.
        I’m overly critical because that is one the who does not advocate a positive position does, I take the negative. I did not start any claims that I have refused to offer support for. If I haven’t supported anything appropriately, I’ll offer support. I fell this is necessary in Climate science, more so than anywhere else really, because it is so easy to get by without citing anything and yet also so easy to simply link someone to the data. Its not that tough to show the poop. Poop is immidietely obvious and smells really bad.
        Yet claiming something exists and not supporting it or answering your critics fits the descriptions of those who aggrandize their endowments. If I’m wrong point where and I’ll cite or concede and rephrase. Rather simple way of adding understanding to the parties involved.

      • HM.

        It’s very simple those of us who have read the mails of climategate have seen mails that could fit Judith’s vague description. Mails where one scientist tries to cajole another to stick with the “party line”, or to change his wording so that skeptics won’t have a field day with the internal argument. It’s that phenomena, perhaps, that Judith is trying to name. You see it throughout the climategate mails, where some seem to care more about how their disagreements are perceived than they do about the freedom to express themselves as they wish. She doesn’t need to prove that such a mail exists, we’ve already seen mails just like it. It’s just one more in the stack. I’m not shocked that Peter would receive such a mail. It’s absolutely ordinary for climate science.

        People have an issue with the metaphor of dogma. Suggest another word. “party line?” I dunno. I do know that “consensus” is horrible.

        “dogma” of course is highly charged, so suggest another word. Suggest a word that captures the behavior you see in the mails where the over arching concern appears to be how the public will view a valid disagreement between scientists, a word that captures the careful attention they pay to the crafting of the message, a word that captures the attitudes displayed towards those who stray from the message. Walks like a duck, quacks like one. hmm groupthink? na, that’s offensive as well.

      • “Suggest a word that captures the behavior you see in the mails”

        Disingenuity.

        dis·in·gen·u·ous (dsn-jny-s)
        adj.
        1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating:

      • > If you don’t agree with her in the first place, you haven’t got a dog in the fight. Go and find something more productive to do with your time and stop wasting ours.

        While I share your concern, as History Major might be undoing what Sharper is trying to convey, only our very own self decides how we waste our time.

        If there is no place for disagreement, it would be interesting to know which fight we’re supposed to have a dog in. I am unsure how this can good for the integrity of the discussion that is trying to take off in this blog.

        The other time was “our blog”. Now it’s “our time”. Who’s us?

    • “No real arguments, but more importantly, NO DATA, NO SOURCES, NO CITATIONS!”

      Yea, and NO BEER either!

    • “Where is the poop” ?

      # petitions signed by members of the IPCC or national academy members
      # Nature and Science writing op-eds that decry “deniers”
      # climate scientists writing op-eds that decry the “deniers”
      # climate scientists talking about “consensus” as an argument for AGW or in an argument defending AGW
      # No IPCC scientists debating skeptics about the science
      # climate scientists talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this
      # professional society statements supporting the IPCC

      • Punkta, sorry but Judith is just lost on this issue…I will respond point by point for the whatever’s sake

        # petitions signed by members of the IPCC or national academy members

        — There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. There can be good reason for a host of scientists to write statements of agreement or clarification. The geological society of London recently gave a statement on climate change here Look at this statement and show me the “dogma.” A clear need exists to make issues available to the non-specialist and provide a framework for where the scientific community positions itself on the issue and why.

        …….

        # Nature and Science writing op-eds that decry “deniers”
        # climate scientists writing op-eds that decry the “deniers”

        – These points are vague and need example. No Nature or Science article exists that forbids dissent, and unquestioning acceptance of the status quo. I’m sure such articles exist which make the point that a need exists to stop entertaining irrational pseudo-scientific argumentation, or to move focus away from attacking individual scientists and the multitude of threats they face to their daily lives, which I just don’t disagree with. This isn’t dogma, this is a problem that exists right now.

        # climate scientists talking about “consensus” as an argument for AGW or in an argument defending AGW

        — No one uses this as an argument in itself except in the phantom arguments that people create. It is pointed out only on the basis of how strong the evidence is that it has reached a level of near unanimous scientific agreement (just as a consensus exists that gravity exists). Scientific papers and reports do not argue from authority.

        Now science is a specialized field and requires a good deal of knowledge and training to talk authoriatively on a subject. Our everyday experience tells us to go to doctors for medical advice, brain surgeons and not heart surgeons for brain surgery, dentists to get our teeth cleaned, etc. You don’t go to a historian in roman medicine and ask him about World War 1 or an astrophysicist to talk about how birds reproduce. Credentials do matter. Climate is no different, and so scientific agreement is significant. It doesn’t cause the reality of AGW, it formed from it, and this is an important distinction.

        # No IPCC scientists debating skeptics about the science

        — What good is this? In what fields do people have sit-down panels in front of an audience to settle something? In fact this does happen but only as an event to attend, science doesn’t debate by people scoring points and people taking votes. Science is not a democracy. Science advanced by debate, discussion, and new ideas being presented and tested in the peer-reviewed literature, and climate is no exception.

        # climate scientists talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this

        — Scientists are individuals and have rights to have opinions on policy. The physical science does not mandate we do this, but climate scientists can serve as informants from which policy makers can act. This is kind of the point of science to policy communication. Some do, some don’t talk about it. I don’t talk about policy much but if someone like Hansen does that has no inherent implications for the quality of the science he does or the existence of a “dogma.” There’s a clear separation between the physics of climate change and what to do about it (hence two different working groups for these different topics within the IPCC). Connecting the two is a logical fail.

        # professional society statements supporting the IPCC

        — Really? So if members of the National Academies, some of the most distinguished scientists in the world, read the IPCC and find broad agreement in what it says they are not allowed to say that in public without it being dogma? This might be the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while.

      • Nature or Science article exists that forbids dissent, and unquestioning acceptance of the status quo. I’m sure such articles exist which make the point that a need exists to stop entertaining irrational pseudo-scientific argumentation

        That was unfair of you so here is an “irrational pseudo-scientific argument” to chew on.

        What happens is some unknown type microorganism shows up voraciously scavenging CO2 from air before settling to the ground?

        It’s hard to predict such eventuality and it’s arrival would almost be like magic.

        The back-story being that this redevelopment of an earlier physiological strategy which has recently gained renewed feasibility because of heightened CO2 levels.

        There are so many ways that such things might occur and assuming(?) that the earth has had higher CO2 levels in the past the large number pseudoscience implausibles can accumulate to imply multiple plausible eventualities.

      • It is pointed out only on the basis of how strong the evidence is that it has reached a level of near unanimous scientific agreement (just as a consensus exists that gravity exists).

        Oh, bad example. This is an example of confusing events with mechanisms. The event of gravity is indeed observed, no “consensus” required. The mechanism of gravity, how it works, well that is a different matter altogether. There is no consensus on the mechanisms of how gravity works because there are a number of competing theories, none of which is shown to be the “consensus” on how it works.

        Gravity is often used by the AGW faithful to bolster their position. “There is climate change!” with the connotation that it is human caused. Changing climate is an event. Human emissions of CO2 as the cause is the mechanism. The former is a given, no “consensus” needed, the later, that’s where the dogma lies when it is claimed to be the “consensus” that it’s human caused as the mechanism.

    • Are you really a history major?

    • @History Major
      “I’m a history major and frankly this is somewhat sad”.

      Sad indeed and somewhat irrelevant.
      Still, it’s never too late for a career in climate science.

  10. Judith–

    I really have no idea how the academically-oriented within the blogosphere or elsewhere has managed to uphold patience with you. You continue your broad character attacks on the IPCC and its members and insist on relentless straw man attacks. It’s not any “dogma” that has tarnished your credibility on the subject, it is purely your doing.

    The facts are that to the climate science community, the reality of anthropogenic climate change is unequivocal. This is rooted in fundamental physics, and evidence from geologic/observational evidence has allowed the hypothesis to be borne out with high confidence. The IPCC reports provide the best summary of the issues, as it allows expert-level summary and assessment of thousands of referred articles that are scattered across various journals. Of course, there is a lot of work by people with no connection to the IPCC or place in politics.

    In the meantime, there has been a very well-funded and powerful movement to attack the science of climate change. As such, it has been necessary for scientists to turn part of their attention toward combating logical fallacies and technical misrepresentations; it has also been of great interest to many to communicate the issues to the lay public, where questions generally arise which have their basis in skeptical argumentation and it is wise to address them. There have been many efforts to collect “skeptical petitions” or even pose as a scientific journal (Oregon Petition) in order to mislead, and so statements have to be made by professional organizations to clarify these matters. This is no more dogmatic than the “evolutionary dogma” of telling creationists why the fossil record doesn’t reflect a 6,000 year old Earth, or the dogma of telling deniers of a HIV-AIDs connection that they are wrong.

    You say you need convincing that a “dogma” does not exist yet all you have thrived on to convince yourself it does exist is vague and broad attacks with a (with all due respect to your CV) a rather poor understanding of basic aspects of the science (such as the relevance of early 20th century attribution to modern day warming).

    In short, you are making things up, while ducking and dodging requests for a detailed interrogation of the things you are making up.

    Chris

    • Chris, My concerns are frankly broader than whether or not I am well-liked by others in the academically oriented climate blogosphere. None of these climate bloggers have been reflecting on the climategate issues, other than to blame it all on the deniers and be quietly grateful that it seems to be dying down. in case you haven’t noticed, the academically oriented people in the blogosphere have been sliming me in stupid ways, rather than engaging in a productive dialogue or even argument. The favorite ones seem to the be Italian flag and verification and validation. I will be posting on the Italian flag later this weekend. Can you take a look at this text I wrote on verification and validation and tell me what is wrong with it (see below)? And with this kind of idiocy, exactly why am I supposed to care about what the academically oriented climate blogosphere has to say about me? My technical arguments aren’t engaged, I am slimed in ridiculous ways on other blogs (Michael Tobis is busily doubling his blog hits by doing this). So I am having a hard time figuring out why I should care about this.

      From the post on confidence in climate models
      :
      Verification and validation

      In high-consequence decision making including regulatory compliance, credibility in numerical simulations models is established by undergoing a validation and verification (V&V) process. Formal V&V procedures have been articulated by several government agencies and engineering professional societies. A lucid description of model V&V is given in this presentation by Charles Macall.

      The goal of model verification is to make the model useful in the sense that the model addresses the right problem and provides accurate information about the system being modeled. Verification addresses issues such as implementation of the model in the computer, selection of input parameters, and logical structure of the model. Verification activities include code checking, flow diagrams of model logic, code documentation, and checking of each component.

      Validation is concerned with whether the model is an accurate representation of the real system. Both model assumptions and model output undergo validation. Validation is usually achieved through model calibration that is an iterative process of comparing the model to the actual system. Model validation depends on the purpose of the model and its intended use. Pathways to validation include model evaluation of case studies against observations, comparing multiple models, utilization of maximally diverse model ensembles, and assessment of subject matter experts. Challenges to model verification occur if controlled experiments cannot be performed on the system (e.g. there is one historic time series) or the model is not deterministic; each of these conditions imply that the model cannot be falsified.

      Oreskes et al. (1994) claim that model V&V is impossible and logically precluded for open-ended systems such as natural systems. Oreskes (1998) argues for model evaluation (not validation), whereby model quality can be evaluated on the basis of the underlying scientific principles, quantity and quality of input parameters, the ability of a model to reproduce independent empirical data. Much of the debate between validation/verification versus evaluation seems to me to be semantic (and Oreskes does not use the V&V terms in the practical sense employed by engineers).

      Steve Easterbrook has a superb post on what a V&V process might look like for climate models, and includes reference to an excellent paper by Pope and Davies. Easterbrook states “Verification and Validation for [Earth System Models] is hard because running the models is an expensive proposition (a fully coupled simulation run can take weeks to complete), and because there is rarely a “correct” result – expert judgment is needed to assess the model outputs.” But he rises to the challenge and makes some very interesting and valuable suggestions (I won’t attempt to summarize them here, read Easterbrook’s post, in fact read it twice).

      • History Major

        I’d be happy to read Easterbrook’s post, twice even, if you would be so kind as to link me. Otherwise I’d have no Idea what you are talking about. Same with the Italian flag thing. And sorry for the accidentaly bolding, I only intended to bold a single letter.

      • History Major,

        I share your relentless thirst for an objective, fact-based airing of the whole climate science/racket business. Fortunately, we now have an in-coming congress that is likely sympathetic to exactly such an inquiry. And I am sure you share with me, as well, the earnest hope that we will soon see special prosecutors; testimonies under oath; agressive cross-examination; and subpoenas for the e-mails, data, and methodologies of the climate science/racket elite, that will clear-up your (and my) concerns. You do agree, right?

      • Are we speaking of the same Congress? The American Congress elected by the American people?
        As a history major, please enlighten me on ANY example in history of Congress conducting itself in an “objective, fact-based” inquiry into, well, anything. Call me a cynical america, but why on earth would a discussion dominated by sound bites and the incentives towards reelection produce a better result than academnics besides the legal power to subpeona. The legal power to subpeona would not be needed if the world simply shared the important emails… Yeah, feel free to dig deep on this one. If you source and cite and prove everything, there will be nothing for Congress to discover.

      • History Major,

        I see the laughter in your heart has died. Sorry, didn’t mean to spoil your little giggle. O. K. I’ll meet you half-way. Let’s move the inquiry to federal court (and such state courts as have jurisdiction). Now do you agree?

      • Oh no, the laughter has not died, it has merely universalized and turned into that sort of sadness one gets from perspectives that last more than minutes or months. History people tend to be a dreadful lot, you basically study the collective suffering and stupidity (relatively for both) of the human race. One of those is Congress, as “democracy is the worst possible system except all the others”.
        I’ve taken constitutional law. State laws are ineffective in this regard, because their decisions only apply to that state (generally ok…). Because of this we have federal courts to decide issues so that each state does not need to go over things again and again 50 some times. However, Supreme court does not have the power to issue advisory opinions (I’ll cite if need be, but its much more of a the thing does not exist so I’d kinda have to cite all of reality).
        Now, Common law countries other than USA could, using their highest courts, issue advisory opinions. However, given U.S. hegemony in most academic research, International investigations would be relatively inefficent, Though again, actually doable.
        What about international jurisdiction? Well, advisory opinions of this kind do not involve “crimes against humanity” (complete aside, how is ignorance and the fate of the planet not within the jurisdiction of humanity? wtf world leaders, I want a pleasent world when I’m older, you take it away from me and I could sue you, if you weren’t dead by the decades I’ve aged in).
        If not a court that does not claim jurisdiction, why not some international advisory group on climate change. THAT I beleive is called the IPCC. Well, yes, this is how things are…
        Summarizing (please please tell me if I missed anything!!)
        Congress: Politicized and bad incentives (why drive to the truth when you get airplay for babbling).
        State courts: Going to do this 50 times are we?
        Federal and Supreme courts: They do not issue advisory opinions (there has to be a case and legal decisions at hand (“does not make policy” furthermore). Non-USA could but have not possibly because of possible inefficiencies.
        International courts: Don’t claim jurisdiction (why I just don’t know)
        International advisory group: What we have right now, Status Quo.
        My apologies to any and all who did not want a discourse into law. My other major is political science, its a habir that seemed relevant.

      • Oh my goodness, History Major! So many sweeping claims and denigrations of our nation’s most important governmental institutions! But no citations, History Major. No proof! Just claims–you know what I mean?

        O. K. I get. This is one of your little jokes. Right? A satirical demonstration of what Judith Curry’s climate science opinions would look like if transferred in spirit to your field of expertise.

        Dumb joke, History Major. No one’s laughing.

      • Funny for me history is glorious and joyful. That an organism which arose from the mush could achieve what it has is almost a miracle. What an odd pessimistic view you have of things.

      • History Major,

        Sorry, History Major, forgot the add:

        With reference to Congress, you described their method as one “…dominated by sound bites and incentives towards reelection…”

        Now, History Major, we all know there’s a good deal of accuracy in your characterization of Congress. How? Because we’ve “seen enough” of Congress in action to get the idea. Likewise, we can be sure that someone like Judith Curry, who’s an insider in the climate science field, has also “seen enough” to reach a persuasive conclusion or two about the field. Call it personal knowledge.

        On the other hand, History Major, I didn’t see a lot of citations and other proofs backing up your sweeping characterization of Congress. Rather delicious moment for me, History Major. I laugh! Hearty Har! Har!

      • True, I do default to her methods, but for different reasons. As to sound bites, I cite all of political discourse on major television networks that does not involve a comedey central employee. In particular, Christine O’Donnel talking to Bill O”Reily (SP) (“lab mice with fully functioning human brains” (if only)).
        As to incentives towards reelection, I cite people wanting to maintain their jobs and the millions of dollars sought for reelection by the politicians involved.
        You ask for proof or data and I will supply. Want more keep asking (within reason please).

      • History Major,

        Yes I do want more proof. How much? All the proof it takes to conclusively demonstrate your contention. Proof in a court of law standard. Should be amusing.

      • Are you saying I’ve completely failed to show any level of proff between anything? If not, could you clarify where in particular you don’t understand or don’t think I provide enough explanation of policy or law or constitutional issues or political incentives? Because I’m writing some of the longest comments on here, which I feel the need to apologize.
        Otherwise, I kind of have to assume you are disagreeing with me writ large, which is annoying and dumb and tiring and exhausting. And seriously, if you want actual links to particular things in any of the above, I will provide. Lets say starting with the top 5 places you think I should provide links to explain things further, to cite things further.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steve Easterbrook at Serendipity posted:
        Verification and Validation of Earth System Models

        Speaking of AGW “dogma”, Easterbrook lists abstracts for the upcoming AGU conference.
        Jim Hanson will speak on “Need for Adaptation and Mitigation” (Invited)”

        We show that the matter is urgent and a moral issue that pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn, against the defenseless, and against nature.

        (I see the powerful Hanson diverting attention from the existentially urgent need to focus resources on alternative fuels with devastating consequences to the US and other oil importing countries within a few years.)
        Alan Robock (Rutgers) speaks on “Geoengineering and adaptation”

        However, it is clear that mitigation should be the main response of society, quickly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

        The four other speakers will speak on “adaptation”.

      • HM, link to the Easterbrook post http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=1917

      • Thank you, thank you for the link. What again though was the relevance to anything? It seemed a bit unconnected. I don’t mean to be hostile at all, legit just losing track of things. Please clarify for a humanities person

      • Also, a fun read, computer modeling does seem to get rather complex with the more variables involved, but so does everything. Thank you again

      • HM, I think the point that Judith was making was that some in the academically inclined blogosphere were sliming her for her views on V & V (she posted an extract upthread). She asked Chris Colose if he could identify what was wrong with what she wrote. The reference to Easterbrook’s post was part of the extract Judith posted.

        Complicated enough?!

      • Yes, that is what happened, but what point was trying to be made. I read and hold the events in my head, but I’m failing to see the connection. The so what? Why that post? that is what I’m hoping you could clarify. I’m new here, so the more in stuff is lost on me, completely. thats all I hope..
        Are her views in disagreement with Easterbrook? Or in agreement? I don’t know her views, again, I’m new here.

      • Alex Heyworth

        My understanding is that she largely agrees with Easterbrook.

      • PhD in History

        Dear History Major!

        Your lack of critical thinking doesn’t flatter my profession. Myself a historian I have no problem to follow Dr. Curry’s intentions or arguments. In fact the issues she addresses are exactly what we as historians are supposed to be experts on analyzing.

        As times go by we have seen that the AGW-lingo has changed. The ‘talk’ of consensus has for instance almost vanished. This can be interpreted in at least two ways. One that the ‘truth’ (Co2-hypo) has been forced to adapt to meet challanges by evil forces (Curry, deniers etc). Two that the claim of consensus was not up to par with reality, that science was affected/ruled by something else than science per se.

        Being a historian the former interpretation seems to be the most likely. Over the course of time what’s high fashion (truth) in science has changed considerably, especially with regard to topics that concern ‘the wellbeing of society’. The field of sociology of knowledge also back this up. Knowledge (Science) isn’t detached from society itself, and Climate science is very contaminated with politics and ideology. In other words fertile grounds for a kidnap situation, where science can be abducted from its correct environment – the laboratory.

        Based on this, I believe that the greatest discoveries (with respect to the CO2-hypo/AGW) to come will be found by scholars in the sociology of religions.

        I suggest you volunteer as empirical matter. Wouldn’t that be something? ;-)

      • David L. Hagen

        Phd History
        Thanks for affirming Curry’s clarity on major issues.

        Re: “One that the ‘truth’ (Co2-hypo) has been forced to adapt to meet challanges by evil forces (Curry, deniers etc). Two that the claim of consensus was not up to par with reality, that science was affected/ruled by something else than science per se.”
        Both are in evidence.
        The “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” dogma / hype could not withstand reality / scientific facts. See “Climate change reconsidered” for some of the evidence ignored by the IPCC. Note especially the 60 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) cycle ignored by IPCC. Consequently the dogma had to be recast, with a slight of hand, as “climate change” but used as implying “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”.

        Re: “what’s high fashion (truth) in science has changed considerably”
        Strongly recommend separating “scientific laws” based on “objective reproducible measurements”, from “fashion” and 1984 style “truth”.
        Climate science’s foundational problem is in ignoring evidence, including climate persistence, ocean/atmospheric oscillations, solar variations, galactic cosmic rays, magnetic fields, planetary variations and nonlinear chaotic factors.

        On top of that you have the extreme environmental agenda imposed and driven by alarmism with End of World type projections.

        Another driver is the UN seeking global “taxation” powers and thus “cap & trade” (“carbon tax”) powers over every indivudal to “save the world”.

        (Finally, is your “truth” “founded” on naturalistic materialism or do you allow for transcendent truth – cf the “laws of nature and of nature’s God”?)

        Please separate out these issues in your evaluations.

        If “climate change” alarmists were serious about catastrophies, then the focus would be on preparing for a solar coronal mass ejection (CME) which would destroy most electrical/electronic systems in its path, wiping out modern civilization in that hemisphere. It would also focus on the next massive asteroid impact which will really cause major impact to coastal regions >>> the Indonesian tsunami. Both CME and asteroid impact are just a matter of “when” not “if”.

      • PhD in History

        “Strongly recommend separating “scientific laws” based on “objective reproducible measurements”, from “fashion” and 1984 style “truth”.”

        I totally agree, but in reality is AGW contains both, with emphasis on the latter.

      • Dr. Curry,

        This turned out to be a very interesting debate, although kind of ugly. You can get the test of what realists who don’t believe in the dogma used to experience until climategate.

        I don’t know if you want my advice, but I’ll suggest it anyway: try to include as many links as possible to facts you mention in your posts, I’m sure you have them, so it will help avoiding reactions like you just got.

        There is a problem with scientists talking about policy, while every citizen is entitled to freedom of speech and opinion, there is a difference if you say something about the field you are considered to be an expert, and lay people saying something pm that topic, however talking about policy, you should not have any advantage against a person from the street.

        My suggestion is that Scientist should stop advocating policy and rather concentrate on the science, so they can give the best objective scientific assessment to the policy makers.

      • JC “And with this kind of idiocy, exactly why am I supposed to care about what the academically oriented climate blogosphere has to say about me?”

        Judith, does James also Annan fall into that group? Because you just did included him by making yet another sweeping generalization of malfeasance by your colleagues. Even the mild mannered Bart Verheggen and Tobis seem to be rapidly losing his patience with your antics, now that is saying something.

        Do not confuse constructive critique with ‘sliming’ or ‘attacks’. Ironically, some might justifiably accuse you of ‘sliming’ your colleagues on this very blog. You have had papers reviewed, so you should know by now that scientists can be blunt and critical (which makes the group think conspiracy theory all the more laughable) , and you are very unlikely to get a paper published by countering valid critique with claims of “idiocy” or “sliming” on the part of the reviewer. As you know, the appropriate response is, as difficult as it may be, to accept the critique with grace and try and learn from it. Especially if you said something that would justifiably raise the ire of the reviewer. At least, that is what I try and do, and that way each and every paper I have had published has been better because of the reviewers’ (sometimes harsh) critique.

        Please don’t try and paint yourself as the victim here, and lest you forget, you elected to enter the public realm on this matter and at the same time make some pretty serious (yet unsubstantiated) accusations for all to read. People have every right to take issue with the inane and offensive things you have said on blogs, your innuendo, your unsubstantiated claims, and your uncritical and unskeptical acceptance of all sundry of accusations put forth by so-called ‘skeptics’ against climate scientists. Your parroting of Montford being but one of the more striking examples.

        If you wish to build bridges you have to honestly engage both sides and demonstrate that you have honest and good intentions. You can’t claim to be building bridges while repeatedly slamming one side by making unfounded accusations and slandering them, while at the same time uncritically accepting everything the other side says. If a mediator did that in a meeting to resolve conflicts between two parties a fist fight would break out. Or are you trying to start a fight? Sometimes it really does seems like it. I can’t see why you would want to do that if your goal is to defend and advance the science that you claim to hold so dear.

        Perhaps you need to take a break for a while, and write this all coherently, and supported with facts in a book. But unlike, Mosher, Fuller and Montford, be sure to openly engage and critique both sides. It could be that you are just not cut out for this “bridge-building”, and that would be OK and nothing to be ashamed of, because it is a monumental task.

        My two cents worth. Good night.

      • “Perhaps you need to take a break for a while, and write this all coherently, and supported with facts in a book. But unlike, Mosher, Fuller and Montford, be sure to openly engage and critique both sides. It could be that you are just not cut out for this “bridge-building”, and that would be OK and nothing to be ashamed of, because it is a monumental task.”

        Well, Maple. You need to acquaint yourself with the facts.

        Let’s start with engaging the climate scientist side. In 2007 after clamoring for GISS code to be released, NASA relented. I went on Climate audit and told people it was time to bury the hatchet, and go thank Gavin publicly on RC. Those posts of simple thank you were never allowed through moderation. Today, I exchange mails with a number of climate scientists. I give them code. I help their graduate students. I work on their open source projects. When Tamino writes a good post I visit his site and thank him for his work. When gavin recently posted on Open code I thanked him and Dr. Steig for their efforts. Before Judith became a peacemaker and skeptics were attacking her, I defended her. On WUWT I have posted articles critical of the work of McKittrick, EM Smith and the SPPI. You know what, EM is a friend of mine. You know what, em never sent me a mail suggesting that my criticism of him was giving “the other side” ammunition. I wrote a piece on Big government explaining that skeptics were wrong to accuse Jones of fraud. They attacked me. Over the course of the last 3 years I have attacked Steven Goddard, Willis Eschenbach ( a friend) and I have even criticized my friend Anthony Watts. In none of these cases did these men send me a mail to ask me to “stick with the cause.” I have defended GISS and attacked GISS. Attacked stupid people who think the “harry.readme” means something and defended david Holland whose rights were violated. I have attacked Doug keenan for going after Wang for academic fraud and defended the memory of John Daley against those who thought his death was “cheerful news.” And yes on one occasion where you criticized McIntyre for his reading of the mails, I agreed that he got it wrong. In the past I have slimed Dr. Curry and defended Dr. Curry. I think Monckton is an idiot. I think people who dont believe that C02 warms the planet are ignorant. And I tell them that in their own backyard. On Wegman, I gave you tools the right advice: Dont make your focus the bradley material because of the potential for backlash, focus on the Social networks Analysis which was a far better case to press. I think the Virginia AG going after Mann was an abuse of power and said so. Just yesterday when someone asked me what I though of some recent claims by CEI, I wrote to them and explained all the mistakes my friend who works there had made. Again, he did not write to me and ask why I was critical of him.

        If you would like to openly engage with me I have no issue whatsoever.
        Although it is hard to openly engage with a cipher. Nevertheless, there are probably a wide range of things and people we would agree upon and other cases where we would have to agree to disagree.

      • Wow…thank you, Steve, I was moved by this. Seriously, no irony.

      • Steve,

        I was speaking to Judith. This is her blog, not yours. She is making these accusations and insinuations, she needs to defend them. I directed my thoughts and questions at Judith Curry, not you. Now unless you are her keeper. Please let her respond.

        ” In none of these cases did these men send me a mail to ask me to “stick with the cause.”
        Well, I’ll have to take your word for it, won’t I? Because we do not have access to your email, or Anthony’s…..

        Anyhow, we are actually in violent agreement on many of your points, so I do not wish to argue with you and get side tracked.

      • uhh. . . where is the question here? Of the people criticizing me in the blogosphere, Annan has the greatest credibility.

      • I have no objection whatsoever to the more or less elementary introduction to V & V in and of itself. It would be the furthest thing form my mind to derail any attention to anything Steve Easterbrook writes on the subject of climate modeling. I second the recommendation.

        What this has to do with the Italian Flag escapes me. I showed an elementary error in which two interpretations of the same quantities was evident in one of the various examples used. Then I showed how no explanation of the three quantities was coherent with oridnary understanding of probabilities. I have seen no cogent repsonse to this form yourself or anyone else who understands statistics. There is a problematic response from “Nullius in Verba” which you expressed some interest in. We await more details.

        I am very interested in the broader issues you raise and am reading iwth interest.

        However, it falls to me, now, to try to understand your quantitative propositions and identify whether they are coherent.

        I raised a very simple concern and discussed an elementary error.

        Even a reasonably cogent “oh silly me” on your part might help substantially. It would certainly cause me to reconsider my criticisms of you as a quantitative thinker. If you do not understand the elementary criticism that I raised, as seems to be the case so far, then that makes your effort to position yourself as an expert on scientific uncertainty highly problematic.

        I see similar problems with your responses to many other queries. But mine (and a few others’) is of a different sort.

        The discussions on the present thread are about the history and sociology of climate science, from the point of view of a practitioner. Our criticism and that of others is of a different sort. I feel that with your presentation of your three-valued uncertainty logic with interest you have called into question the assertion that you are an effective scientist at all. I managed to demonstrate this at a sufficiently elementary level sufficiently convincingly that a substantial number of people now share my concern.

        Your present effort to tie this into V&V, another topic very dear to my heart as it happens, is, as Shrek says to the donkey, the opposite of helping.

      • It’s too late to be posting. Please strike “with interest” from the above and forgive a couple of other minor infelicities. (At least I don’t think “alot” is a word, anyway.) Sorry.

      • Michael please stop “sliming” Curry (please read with sarcasm). According to her, that is what you are doing on your blog. I quote:

        “I am slimed in ridiculous ways on other blogs (Michael Tobis is busily doubling his blog hits by doing this).”

        To me it looks like your comments are valid critique of her flawed flag analogy– but then again, I tend to not so bogey men around every corner as some here tend to do.

      • Alot is an animal

      • Michael, i am working on the italian flag right now, you are clearly confused by it. I find your “concern” over whether I am “an effective scientist at all” to be very interesting.

        For the reference of other readers, check out this post by Michael Tobis.

        http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/judith-curry-born-beyond-shark.html

        Some rather peculiar logic is displayed here. Start with the conclusion you want: Curry is an idiot. Try to identify something that actually appears to support your conclusion, preferably something new that people won’t understand (e.g. the Italian flag). Make your argument using a few fancy words and numbers and equations, and lace it heavily with snark, attacks and other distractions, so nobody can actually understand your argument. Then, for good measure, attack people who support Curry with the merchants of doubt slime (e.g. Brandon Shollenberger). Then when you get criticized for making these attacks, conclude that big oil and the right wing think tanks are attacking the IPCC’s detection and attribution arguments. My research into logics and reasoning hasn’t advanced sufficiently to be able to characterize such reasoning, but perhaps it can be described as “postmodern subjective Bayesian beserkism.”

        More on the Italian flag later this weekend.

      • The description of my thought process and writing process cannot be anything but guesswork. Now, I was inside my head, so I can attest that it didn’t go like that. I suppose I can’t stop speculation, though, so let’s focus on substance rather than speculation.

        For instance there’s this:

        “Then when you get criticized for making these attacks, conclude that big oil and the right wing think tanks are attacking the IPCC’s detection and attribution arguments.” simply doesn’t have anything to do with me at all. I never use the expression “big oil” and have always insisted that people take a more nuanced view of the petroleum industry. (You can ask Anna Haynes about that; I got very angry at her on Dot Earth quiet some time ago for seeming to attribute such an argument to me.) So, no, this is wrong.

        More to the point, I am calling attention to elementary errors and took some care to reduce it to almost pure arithmetic (with a tiny dollop of understanding of probability). To be met with a derisive “Make your argument using a few fancy words and numbers and equations” (as in the comment to which this is a reply) reinforces the question of whether the conversation is about science at all.

        I don’t insist you make a case that even is convincing, but if you can’t make a case that is coherent, what you are doing is not science.

        I never said “Curry is an idiot”; indeed I said the contrary.

        I said it is hard to imagine these mistakes from someone with the competencies of a scientist. It is more than a little awkward to say this, but given the prominent position you are occupying it needs to be said.

        My tone can be criticized. Fair enough. My only defense is that I thought I needed to squawk loudly enough to be heard. Perhaps this was tasteless, perhaps it was out of bounds. Perhaps I am a such a nasty unpleasant person that I make even Steve McIntyre appear the soul of delicacy and restraint. But as others have said, even stipulating that, my quantitative critique is not refuted.

        The dismissive “make your argument using a few fancy words and numbers and equations” hardly serves to increase confidence.

        Judith Curry is not in any way “an idiot” in my opinion.

        However, most people are non-idiots. Only a relative few are talented scientists. It’s obviously a much higher standard than “not idiot”, and therein I found myself stuck in the awkward position of being so unconvinced about you, Dr. Curry, that I felt it necessary to say so. I wish it were otherwise.

        I am accused of argument ad hominem, but it seems to me the argument ad hominem is directed far more at me. Your character is not an issue for me, nor your basic intelligence. I’d appreciate a return of the favor.

        I am simply raising the question as to whether your contributions to the conversation about uncertainty are sufficiently informed to rise above the level of counterproductive half-baked amateur speculations, of the sorts that typically appear in the comments of climate blogs.

        Clearly you are making a claim to the attention of the public on these matters. I don’t think you have demonstrated the expertise to justify this attention. If and when you do, you will find me retreating post haste. The only path to repair is through cogency with regard to the rather modest mathematics. Failing that, somebody has to call attention to the lack of substance and I guess at this point it has to be me.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Michael,

        I don’t know what it is you want from this conversation. As you say, we cannot read your mind, any more than you can read ours, or tell what our motivations are. But if it seems that the aim is to win, rather than to make progress in understanding, then it doesn’t matter how competent or otherwise people are – everybody loses.

        This conversation started with the IPCC’s approach to determining and expressing uncertainty. It has been criticised by the IAC, who say: “In the Committee’s view, assigning probabilities to imprecise statements is not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty. If the confidence scale is used in this way, conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of “very high confidence” will have little substantive value.” and “For example, authors reported high confidence in statements for which there is little evidence, such as [...]. Moreover, the guidance was often applied to statements that are so vague they cannot be falsified. In these cases the impression was often left, quite incorrectly, that a substantive finding was being presented.”

        Moreover, climate scientists have themselves been criticised in the past, and this criticism is repeated in the inquiries, that they have not sought out expertise from statistical specialists where this was appropriate. Trying to mix the development of newly invented statistical methods with the first exploration of some extremely difficult datasets, by people with little experience of pure statistics, has led to many of climate science’s current difficulties. I think some of that criticism has been over harsh – scientists have to specialise in their own areas to make progress, and statistics is often not as well-taught as it ought to be. I don’t think a lack of knowledge here is a sign of incompetence. But having had it pointed out, the specialists have to take note.

        Unlike most critics of the IPCC, who will do no more than to point and laugh at the errors and lack of thought behind all these confident statements of confidence, Judith has taken it upon herself to try to do something about it. I believe her aim was not to present a fully formed solution, telling the IPCC from upon high how to do it, but to get people discussing the problem, so that people who did know the statistical technicalities could step in and fill in the gaps, clarify the explanations, correct the misunderstandings. The aim was to start the conversation.

        It is good, therefore, that you’re involved. But it’s no use using technical terminology that people outside the field don’t understand, and it’s even less use mixing it with a heavy dose of snark and condescension, as if any scientist ought to already know all this stuff, and amateurs should leave all the heavy thinking to the experts.

        It particularly doesn’t go down well in the context of new insight into the IPCC’s approach to uncertainty, and the lack of any past criticism from ‘insiders’ of its own statistical shortcomings.

        You say “My tone can be criticized. Fair enough. My only defense is that I thought I needed to squawk loudly enough to be heard.” OK, we’re listening. Tell us how it ought to be done, in terms simple and transparent enough for everyone to understand and see that it is being done right, and then make sure the IPCC does it that way in future, or gets held to account.
        Or alternatively, if you think the IAC’s criticism is unfair, tell us how they actually did calculate that 90% confidence (or likelihood, or whatever it was). Because there are many people who would like to know.

        The debate is badly polarised, and it takes a lot of effort not to misconstrue continued disagreement as bad faith. I have less optimism than Judith that it can be resolved at this stage of the game, but I respect the attempt.

      • We learn all we need to about your thought processes from reading your posts. The fact that you and your pathetic retinue are unable to distinguish between science and opinion casts doubt on the value of your contributions to either.

      • If we’re not to cherry-pick for the sake of victimization, one must also consider what Michael Tobis said here:

        http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/willard-on-curry.html

      • i saw that, couldn’t make any sense of it, which is the main problem I have with mt’s site

      • David L. Hagen

        Willard/Curry
        Agree. One credible MT comment is that Judith:

        seems to believe that the IPCC is bullying away minoritarian standpoints

        The rest of MT’s post seems to be post normal and irrational, to put it politely.

      • Thank you for your valuable input.

      • this is Swiftian drivel

      • David L. Hagen

        Michael Tobis
        I find Curry’s “Italian flag” models to be a very helpful mode of trying to convey to the lay public the major “uncertainty” issues involved. Most of the systemic “Type B” uncertainties in climate change have not been dealt with – eg ignoring the PDO etc, Hurst-Kolgomorov persistence, low level driving of coupled oscillators by solar/cosmic/planetary influences. etc.
        On top of that are the systemic Type B errors of gatekeeping in peer review, alarmist driven funding etc.

      • MT.

        I like the rules you set for Judith.

        “ven a reasonably cogent “oh silly me” on your part might help substantially. It would certainly cause me to reconsider my criticisms of you as a quantitative thinker. If you do not understand the elementary criticism that I raised, as seems to be the case so far, then that makes your effort to position yourself as an expert on scientific uncertainty highly problematic.”

        So, if I am to understand you. If Judith or anyone makes an elementary error and they refuse to admit it, then you have an issue taking them seriously. Granted Judith’s error ( I agree with you and James ) was of no immediate scientific consequence. That’s no excuse for failing to correct the error. In fact, it’s all the more reason to correct it. If you agree on these rules for judging thinkers ( failure to correct and acknowledge errors even if and especially when they have no real consequence), then we can have a fruitful discussion. But if you want to apply one set of rules to Judith and another set of rules to others, then we have a pissing match.

      • I didn’t make an error, mt has misinterpreted/misunderstood. I have been trying to find time for a week to sort this out. I have started an IF post, i have been promising and promising this to PDA. I am in the middle of insane blog traffic on this other issue, including preparing No dogma: Part II. there is just too too too much for me to deal with everything in a timely way.

      • And part of the problem is that I couldn’t figure out what the heck mt was talking about in the midst of all that garbage. If you find a mistake and want a quick reply, make a cogent case over here and send me an email. Sliming me with that ridiculous incomprehensible post is not the way to get to the bottom of this in a simple manner.

      • Hang on. I thought I saw Steve Easterbrook’s post here earlier saying that you were mistaken in saying that he was proposing what a V&V orices “might look like”. His response to you was that he was reporting an what he had actually seen being successfully implemented.

        No “might look like” about it.

      • “might look like”? I saw Steve Easterbrook’s response to you on here a few days ago. He said that is _not_ what he was saying. He was reporting on what he had seen being successfully implemented.

        No “might look like” about it.

      • Apologies all.

      • For all the unpleasant things Michael Tobis says about you he does raise some important points regarding your Italian flag analysis. Namely that it’s difficult to formally understand what you mean by those posts given the muddled and inconsistent definitions of the different parts of the flag e.g. at some points the colors represent evidence at others belief. I haven’t seen you address these criticisms, but perhaps you did in comments somewhere.

      • I’m working on an Italian flag post now. Got sidetracked by the Purdue event and the follow on.

      • Given that one of the signal failures of climate science has been the monomaniacal attempt to convict CO2, instead of studying rival hypotheses synoptically, I’m particularly interested to see how the Italian flag copes with a range of hypotheses, some, but not all mutually exclusive.

      • Judith,

        You must excuse Chris since he has now been accepted at the realclimate church so he must the latest delegated preacher to try to save the world.

        Anyhow to maintain is status he must show signs that he endorses the dogma without question.

    • > I really have no idea how the academically-oriented within the blogosphere or elsewhere has managed to uphold patience with you.

      Because it would be foolish to do otherwise?

    • Chris,

      First, from where I sit in Australia, it is extraordinarily hard to see any evidence of ‘a very well-funded and powerful movement to attack the science of climate change’. By and large, our MSM support AGW, as do all governments at all levels, as do many organisations and companies that ask you to do this or that , or buy this or that, so that we might reduce our carbon footprint… The voice of the sceptics is simply tiny, and mostly ignored. I know that one or two who write sceptically are employed by organisations that oppose AGW for economic or ideological reasons, but the rest of us are simply retired scientists, academics or reasonably well-educated people who simply worry about what we see as heavy pressure to conform to a view that in their opinion is not well argued, and whose consequences are potentially both expensive and useless.

      Second, you say that ‘ to the climate science community, the reality of anthropogenic climate change is unequivocal. This is rooted in fundamental physics, and evidence from geologic/observational evidence has allowed the hypothesis to be borne out with high confidence’. It’s hard to know what you mean by ‘the climate science community’, because I know scientists in it who would not agree with your statement, or who would think that what you have written is exaggerated. But in any case, isn’t that the kernel of the problem? For those who question the orthodoxy, AGW is not (yet) unequivocal, and its signal is not (yet) discernible, and its consequences are not (yet) known to be dangerous, and so on. You are putting what you say forward, at least so it seems to me, as a ‘silencer’ — and that is dogmatic behaviour, the very thing that Judith says puts climate science at a real and growing disadvantage. Worse, it seems likely to endanger general respect for the natural sciences as a whole.

      There needs to be a general recognition of the uncertainty in all of this, in measurements, measuring instruments, models, arguments and the rest — and Judith has discussed these uncertainties in the last month. If you haven’t read them, I at least found them enlightening, as I did the discussion that followed.

    • The facts are that to the climate science community, the reality of anthropogenic climate change is unequivocal

      The problem here is the unquestioned acceptance the said science is an examplar of balance and integrity. That there is no underlying vested interest in operation here driving the apparent consensus. That there is no such thing as the funding effect in science.

    • The facts are that to the climate science community, the reality of anthropogenic climate change is unequivocal. This is rooted in fundamental physics, and evidence from geologic/observational evidence has allowed the hypothesis to be borne out with high confidence.

      Here we go again. Chris, what physical evidence is there that the changes in the climate or weather are directly linked to our CO2 and not just normal variation?

      You are just providing the very thing that Judith is refering to, this dogmatic stance that AGW has all the evidence in its favour. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is EXACTLY what we skeptics challenge!

  11. Pride before a fall;
    Karma ran over dogma.
    Clap for more encore.
    =========

  12. I think it’s beyond question that some regard the IPCC reports as dogma; I’ve experienced it firsthand.

    One thing I don’t understand is why it follows that no organization, if it judges the IPCC reports to be largely, mostly, or entirely accurate, shouldn’t make that judgment public. Surely it is useful for the public to know whether a particular scientific judgment of potential policy relevance is shared by a small number of authors or by the broader scientific community.

    I also don’t understand why it follows that a journal or scientist criticizing “deniers” is necessarily bad. It is beyond legitimate scientific dispute that a substantial so-called greenhouse effect exists, that carbon dioxide is an important contributor to that effect, and that an increase in carbon dioxide concentrations should lead to an increase in global temperatures. How would you like to characterize the validity of that statement? Fact? Consensus? Dogma? We can argue about the location of the dividing line between legitimate scientific dispute and denial, but surely that line exists.

    • John, the issue with dogma is how dissent is dealt with.

      • So dispute is dealt with differently if someone is dissenting from dogma than if someone being willfully ignorant of facts or jf someone is intentionally trying to deceive? I think the responses themselves are indistinguishable without some insight into the nature of the dispute.

        One person might say they are being treated as dissenters from dogma, while another might say they are being treated as though they are being willfully ignorant. Indeed, that’s happening in the present case.

        Getting back to climategate, the email authors (and many others)wthought they were dealing with people who were willfully ignorant or intentionally trying to deceive. Your perception (and that of many others) is that they were responding to dissent from dogma. This is the heart of the issue. Res ipsa loquitur (to use my wife’s favorite Latin expression), it’s not easy to tell the difference.

      • John N-G has most of the issue handled in a very concise comment there.

        On the other hand, I’ll highlight the world within the margin: it’s probably unavoidable to gather large groups from arount the world, have meetings, create massive reports without at the same building an organization that starts rolling on its own weight and using its power and having people attached to it, getting benefits.

        Does that mean that the original work with good intentions is still wrong? No!

        The world just is imperfect and we have just to deal with it.

        IPCC could very well have the minimum amount of hassle and corruption and dogma that a project like this could.

        If politics starts when two people meet so I guess science has politics, but that is unavoidable. Not all science needs to be thrown in the trash.

      • Disagreement is part of what moves science forward. Why did the email authors find it important to deal with people that are willfully ignorant and trying to deceive? Why not ignore them? Trying to deceive whom about what? Sowing doubt about the IPCC findings? Well that should be part and parcel of science. Scientists dealing with willfully ignorant people or people that are trying to deceive because of concerns that this ignorance or deception is motivated by what, exactly?

        How is Steve McIntyre willfully ignorant or trying to deceive? He was asking questions about statistical analysis methods and accountability. How is Pat Michaels willfully ignorant or trying to deceive? Pat accepts the basics of AGW theory, but does not see evidence of a high CO2 sensitivity and doesn’t buy the argument that warming is “bad.” He also supports the libertarian view of polictics (that is politics, not science). This is not an irrational position. Why was it so NECESSARY to try to neutralize such people? Why shouldn’t there be a spectrum of viewpoints on all this (especially in terms of what constitutes “bad”)? Disagreement and doubt was viewed as an impediment to what? Their scientific reputations? Policy?

      • McIntyre and Michaels were perceived as being willfully ignorant or trying to deceive. Perception, not reality, guided the response.

        Obviously, it’s not necessary to neutralize someone who’s providing helpful perspective. The neutralizers in this case thought something else was happening. The impediment, in the climategate case, was thought to be to scientific progress and the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge on a subject with potentially high stakes for the planet.

      • John N-G,

        McIntyre and Michaels have both deceived, and more than once. You know that, and the public record (CA) is very clear on that. For example, McIntyre claimed to not have certain dendro data, when in fact he did, not to mention that all the time he was accusing Briffa of hiding his data, when the data was not even Briffa’s to share in the first place.

        That is but one example. And I think it safe to assume that Curry will give that a free pass.

        The case of Michaels misrepresenting Hansen’s data is clear cut– not perception required. Michaels did what it took to frame Hansen’s projections is an unfavorable light by altering/doctoring graphs and omitting certain traces. He misled congress in doing so. You might be OK with that, I am not.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/A-detailed-look-at-Hansens-1988-projections.html

        Curry gives that a free pass too, and accuses anyone of bringing that up of waging a “holy war” against skeptics.

        Good grief has the world gone made?

      • “So dispute is dealt with differently if someone is dissenting from dogma than if someone being willfully ignorant of facts or jf someone is intentionally trying to deceive? I think the responses themselves are indistinguishable without some insight into the nature of the dispute.”

        John, the Scientific Method was developed precisely to render this sort of question nugatory. Providing a hypothesis survives in accordance with the method, it simply doesn’t matter, scientifically, whether the person who had it is good to his mum, or eats live kittens for breakfast. Same goes for a disconfirmation of someone else’s hypothesis. It’s the flouting of this principle, of which you seem to approve, that got the Team into trouble.

        In any case, if the Team had done as they should have, and posted their work online, Jones would never have been troubled by the question, spurious as it is. CERN, among many research organisations, seems to manage this just fine. Of course the cheer-review squad will object that “some of the data is confidential” but a reading of the emails, Montford, et al, reveals that this is a problem that mysteriously only rears its head when the request comes from someone perceived to be hostile.

      • Hmm. According to MapleLeaf I approve of McIntyre’s actions, and according to TomFP I approve of the Team’s actions.

        What was I saying again? “Perception, not reality, guided the response.” Thanks for proving my point that a situation can be interpreted in different ways depending on one’s own views and perspectives. In general, this is especially true if you’re in the middle of it.

      • Oh my. “How is Pat Michaels willfully ignorant or trying to deceive?”

        Softball question. I used to keep a file called WorldClimateReport Lies in which I documented the misleading selective quotations, blatant distortions and misrepresentations of the scientific literature that characterized that website (of which Pat Michaels is the Chief Editor). This was easy to do, by comparing, side-by-side, what WorldClimateReport said with what was actually in the featured papers. I gave it up out of boredom, and the fact that nobody seemed to be paying attention to WCR anyway. (Also, I will admit, WCR seemed to be getting better at the spin as it became subtler and less fun to document.)

    • I also don’t understand why it follows that a journal or scientist criticizing “deniers” is necessarily bad.

      Because use of that that term pretty much identifies the speaker as a dogmatist. As in days of yore they no doubt criticised those who “denied” this or that holy scripture.
      It is most often used to deceitfully mischaracterise sceptics (those who question X) as deniers (those who maintain NOT X).

      It is beyond legitimate scientific dispute that a substantial so-called greenhouse effect exists… How would you like to characterize the validity of that statement? Fact? Consensus? Dogma?

      Taking “substantial” to mean “dangerous” or “catastrophic”?
      – then dogma (masquerading as consensus).

      At the bottom we have only some basic physics, and not much on clouds and feedbacks. On top of that are imposed models that they randomly tweak in an attempt to match observations.

      • Punkta, sorry but Judith is just lost on this issue…I will respond point by point for the whatever’s sake

        # petitions signed by members of the IPCC or national academy members

        – There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. There can be good reason for a host of scientists to write statements of agreement or clarification. The geological society of London recently gave a statement on climate change here Look at this statement and show me the “dogma.” A clear need exists to make issues available to the non-specialist and provide a framework for where the scientific community positions itself on the issue and why.

        …….

        # Nature and Science writing op-eds that decry “deniers”
        # climate scientists writing op-eds that decry the “deniers”

        – These points are vague and need example. No Nature or Science article exists that forbids dissent, and unquestioning acceptance of the status quo. I’m sure such articles exist which make the point that a need exists to stop entertaining irrational pseudo-scientific argumentation, or to move focus away from attacking individual scientists and the multitude of threats they face to their daily lives, which I just don’t disagree with. This isn’t dogma, this is a problem that exists right now.

        # climate scientists talking about “consensus” as an argument for AGW or in an argument defending AGW

        – No one uses this as an argument in itself except in the phantom arguments that people create. It is pointed out only on the basis of how strong the evidence is that it has reached a level of near unanimous scientific agreement (just as a consensus exists that gravity exists). Scientific papers and reports do not argue from authority.

        Now science is a specialized field and requires a good deal of knowledge and training to talk authoriatively on a subject. Our everyday experience tells us to go to doctors for medical advice, brain surgeons and not heart surgeons for brain surgery, dentists to get our teeth cleaned, etc. You don’t go to a historian in roman medicine and ask him about World War 1 or an astrophysicist to talk about how birds reproduce. Credentials do matter. Climate is no different, and so scientific agreement is significant. It doesn’t cause the reality of AGW, it formed from it, and this is an important distinction.

        # No IPCC scientists debating skeptics about the science

        – What good is this? In what fields do people have sit-down panels in front of an audience to settle something? In fact this does happen but only as an event to attend, science doesn’t debate by people scoring points and people taking votes. Science is not a democracy. Science advanced by debate, discussion, and new ideas being presented and tested in the peer-reviewed literature, and climate is no exception.

        # climate scientists talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this

        – Scientists are individuals and have rights to have opinions on policy. The physical science does not mandate we do this, but climate scientists can serve as informants from which policy makers can act. This is kind of the point of science to policy communication. Some do, some don’t talk about it. I don’t talk about policy much but if someone like Hansen does that has no inherent implications for the quality of the science he does or the existence of a “dogma.” There’s a clear separation between the physics of climate change and what to do about it (hence two different working groups for these different topics within the IPCC). Connecting the two is a logical fail.

        # professional society statements supporting the IPCC

        – Really? So if members of the National Academies, some of the most distinguished scientists in the world, read the IPCC and find broad agreement in what it says they are not allowed to say that in public without it being dogma? This might be the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while.

      • Chris,

        I could go through your point-by-point rebuttal and propose a counter to each. But this would just be cocktail party stuff. It is your last comment that I take real issue with — ‘professional society statements supporting the IPCC’.

        I understand that one such society is now polling its membership to find out what the members actually think. To the best of my knowledge, in the case of ALL the others the statement has been made by the executive of the body. I know, and you presumably also know, that in some of these bodies there has been protest both about the nature of the statement and the failure of the executive to consult the membership properly.

        In the case of the earlier Royal Society statement, in my judgment the statement was as much political (in support of the UK Government’s mitigation policies) as it was scientific. It was also offensively patronising. There has been a change government in the UK, and the Royal has now watered down its earlier statement. Of course, it could just be a coincidence.

      • Symptoms of dogma
        JC: # petitions signed by members of the IPCC or national academy members
        CC: There can be good reason for a host of scientists to write statements of agreement or clarification.

        Science should be an attempt at objectivity, honesty, open mindedness and discovering the truth. A petition is not a statement, and crosses the line into advocacy. Calls for action – implicit in petitions – imply closed/made-up minds, aka dogma. The scientist qua scientist should avoid this, even if as a general citizen he need not.

        JC: # Nature and Science writing op-eds that decry “deniers”

        # climate scientists writing op-eds that decry the “deniers”.
        CC: These points are vague and need example.

        Vague? Is it or is it not the case that this has happened?

        JC: # climate scientists talking about “consensus” as an argument for AGW or in an argument defending AGW
        CC: No one uses this as an argument in itself except in the phantom arguments that people create.

        So you maintain it’s a strawman then ? – no scientist uses the “consensus” in argument ?
        Where then did this “consensus” meme originate?

        JC: # No IPCC scientists debating skeptics about the science
        CC: What good is this?

        It’s a sine qua non of open-mindedness, ie lack of dogma. Trying to simply ignore the other party is a classic symptom of dogma.

        # climate scientists talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this
        CC: The physical science does not mandate we do this…There’s a clear separation between the physics of climate change and what to do about it … Connecting the two is a logical fail.

        Ok here you in fact agree with Judith. Your example of Hansen making exactly that ” logical fail” is her evidence.

        JC: # professional society statements supporting the IPCC
        CC: So if …distinguished scientists…read the IPCC and find broad agreement in what it says they are not allowed to say that in public without it being dogma?

        You avoid the point here, which is about professional society statements. Unless every single society member agrees with it, this is but a sleight of hand to suggest “consensus” where none exists. The honest/undogmatic approach would be for the scientists in question to make their own statement, not hijack the society’s name.

  13. PolyisTCOandbanned

    I think a considered “soft” opinion from an obeservor is worthwhile, espeically one like Judy that has some significant experience. I would feel better if those debating Judy or criticixing her for not detailing everything were more honestly curious about understanding the flavor and detail of your impressions, rather than just being nitanoid, typical Internet middlebrow debators that want to tie you up in data requests. For instance, I think the reactions from EZ and VS were more truth-seeking/disclosing and less highschool debatey (and those were statements in opposition to Judy).

    • PolyisTCOandbanned 10:19pm +1

      Judy, perhaps it would help if you would slow down. You’re all over the map, responding to scores of people on dozens of issues, and it shows.

      What points do you wish to make, and who do you want to address them to?

      I think your readership can be divided into three broad groups —

      1. People committed to rebutting part or all of the Pro-AGW Consensus, who will support what you say so long as you appear to be more Anti than Pro.

      2. People committed to strengthening public acceptance of the Consensus narrative, who will seek to challenge your assertions. Some will attempt to discredit you, as an effective shortcut.

      3. A potpourri of individuals. Undecideds, academics working through the rough spots of the Consensus for themselves, those who value bridge-building for its benefits to science or for policymaking, people who seek to understand The Other, peacemakers, and so on.

      So — what are you trying to say to Group 1? To Group 2? You should be aware that there don’t seem to be many denizens of Group 3. Judging from the reactions of names that I recognize, you are not making much headway with very many of the Threes.

      There is an immediacy to blogging that seems to translate to urgency. I think it is illusory, most of the time.

      Consider stepping back, prioritizing. In the scientific tradition: who are offering the best, most-effective counters to your posts? Jonathan Gilligan, Bart Verheggen, Chris Colose, Eric Steig, perhaps? Others? Engage them. Disregard the generalissimos and colonels of Group 2 and (likely, soon enough again) Group 1.

      My two cents.

      • IMHO, few in any of your three groups are making effective counter arguments. AFAICT, her effort needs to be directed equally to all three groups.

        Could it be that the reason she seems to be “all over the map” is because she is addressing an issue that concerns the entire map? An issue that involves a direction more that a place?

        And what could such an issue be? Something that involves the scientific method, decorum, and sophistry perhaps?

    • TCO,

      It is possible that myself and/or others are being too nitanoid (giggle)… I’ve felt a similar concern myself…

      On the other hand… I’m not sure how broadbrush, unsupported impressions add value… how would one compare contrary impressions… how does JC’s “experience” add value… she’s one climate scientist among many… she has stated that much of her concerns stem from reading the climategate emails, Climate Audit, and Montford’s book… well… I’ve read probably 90+% of the ‘controversial’ climategate emails and many others… and followed CA for years… is JC any more of an expert here?… how is something constructive going to result from vague and/or unsupported assertion?

  14. No dogma? That is akin to saying that researchers aren’t heavily invested in departmental or academic politics.

    .. If you say so. …

    • Though that is not sufficient reason to single out climate science. Departmental and academic politics apply just as much to history for example, yet there isn’t equivalent talk about dogma or dissent. If department politics ruins Climate science, why does it not ruin all of science, given that science is generally done by academics in departments?

      • Add big bucks and powerful interests and a lack of effective oversight to science office politics and, indeed, it will corrupt science every time in every field. Power (to include the power entailed in money) corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. A lesson of history, History Major. A matter of common sense, as well. Only a credentialed academic could think otherwise.

      • Dude, seriously? All of science is worthless because of money and some incentives to cause things to go badly? What about all the incentives to prove something to correct? To prove something to actually be in connection with the real world? Incentives beyond academia into business even?
        The truth will out, thats the greater lesson of history. Cover truth with heaps of worthless junk and we get it out again. Its called archaeology.

      • Dude?! Ya’ callin’ me a “dude?” Again, my turn to laugh, History Major. I’ve always found the term “dude” kinda preppy and adenoidal. The kind of bold, swaggering talk you’d get from the Dart Champion at some fern bar. I prefer “Bite me!” or, if thoroughly provoked “Yo mama!” More manly, you know.

        History Major, your favored argument form is one of putting words in others’ mouths and non sequiturs? As a fellow polsci major, all I can say is that I couldn’t have gotten away with such a “trick” (a climate science term, you know) in my day. Have standards really fallen so low? I blame Dr. Spock, really. A force-fed diet of unearned praise from the earliest childhood has a devastating impact on the intellect.

        Still waiting for the beef, History Major.

      • What is this beef you are waiting for? I must have missed the post, please direct me. I’m in Wisconsin, beef to me is dead cow. Untilly clarified as to who or what or with whom this beef is, the most recent beef I’ve had was dinner. So dinner is in my stomach. What other beef is there? (post or link please)
        Dude used as such implies disbelief that someone would stoop to something such as that. Something such as ignoring basically everything I’ve been saying, doing something so rediculous one can only say either Dude, no. Or Dude, seriously, really, you did that?
        Its the disbelief I intended to communicate, not the “manliness” of Yo Mama or bite me. Neither communicate the desired effect. Secondlt, the praise I have gotten in life is not unearned. Unfornately proving this would bring personal details Id rather leave undisclosed. Something I should be allowed to do because I didn’t bring up my personal qualifications except in regards to education and field, hopefully clarifying what knowledge and interests I bring.
        Furthermore, you have yet to point to any specific discrepancies in anything I have said. Please do so, it would be the most educational thing for me you could do. And if you so beleive my education is failing me, it would be most kind of you to school me as it were. So critique it properly, where are my arguments lacking citations that should be there? What specific points? Link or line, please, otherwise I cannot actually clarify anything
        Again, what is this beef you speak of?

      • History Major,

        You’re playing dumb on me–and, I gotta tell ya, you don’t have a natural talent for it.

        Please refer to my post of November 6, 2010 at 12:17 a. m.

        You’ve convinced me of one thing, History Major, namely, that you’re a “dude” kind of guy. Yeah, don’t even try “Bite Me” or “Yo Momma”–you couldn’t pull it off, I agree.

      • mike

        He might actually not be playing dumb.

        “Where’s the beef,” is an extremely dated reference to a marketing campaign where a little old lady (which would be the role you take on in this) confronting a young cashier (History Major’s role) over a perceived lack of substance on the bun of her hamburger.

        The irony of siding with Marketing to argue against the merits of History on matters of substance aside, it’s likely that the whole of the “Where’s the beef,” epoch (1984-1985) passed away before History Major was born and was forgotten by all except decrepit fans of Wham!

        Maybe if you used a more updated reference?

        I believe the current one is, “Where’s the link?”

      • History Major

        Umm thank you. I barely half remember something like that once in my early early childhood. I had to google fern bar, that also seems to have last been used in the 8Os. Where is the link would atleast be useful if you said what you wanted linked to. And for the record, I was born after the Soviet Union collapsed. And who remember’s wendy’s commercials from the 8Os. What were you doing back then? Contemplating how weird you decade was? Grr seriously, this is frustrating. Not everyone on the internet watched that much tv in the 8Os, its a terrible reference, and not even directed at anything that I said specifically. And I’m sorry you are so concerned as to whether old women in 8Os had enough beef between their buns.

      • “What were you doing back then [the 8Os]? Kind of you to ask, History Major. Actually, I was fighting Communists during that decade. Miss the good old days.

      • Bart R,

        I never thought of that! Thanks for the analysis, I’m sure you’re right.

        History Major,

        As a history major, History Major, you might be interested in the influence of a hamburger commercial on a presidential campaign–see the Wiki article on “Gary Hart.” Otherwise, I owe you an apology. Should have considered your age. At Bart R’s suggestion please substitute “Where’s the link” where I’ve employed references to “beef”–“Where’s the link” to be understood, of course, as show me the data and proofs, you promised to show me, for the various unsubstantiated claims you have bouncing around this blog site.

      • History Major

        What claims of mine are you claiming are unsubstantiated? You have not done that or I have missed it. Possibly missed it like all of the rest of your antiquated (wikipedia page about your use of the word bromides, which I personally feel is best left as primarily a chemistry term) references.
        You claimed I have no arguments to get out of saying what I have no data for. I’d like to point out that it is quite possible to have data without an argument, happens quite frequently when data has not been used or analysised yet; so you cannot prove I have no data with a claim of me not having arguments.
        I’ve attempted to show connections between gravity and earth through historical perceptions to show how greater understandings of the real world generally improve with greater passage of time as a lesson of history.
        I’ve explained how IPCC is a generally preferrable form of examination, analysis and compendium of information given other possible forms of institutional organization.
        In neither case did you point at any specific shortcoming in either instance that I am directly now declaring to be arguments.
        Again, I might have missed a post somewhere, but I doubt it at this point. Please deal with specifics of what I say as I am kind enough to do you.

      • Sorry, History Major, I neglected to address one of you’re best zingers: you said, “So critique it [your comments at the head of this thread] properly, where are my arguments lacking citations that should be there ? What specific points? Link or line, please, otherwise I cannot actually clarify anything.”

        -I’d love to link and line your arguments, History Major, but, unfortunately, I can’t find any. That’s right, History Major, ya didn’t provide any arguments! Also, no data; no citations; and no proof– just a “dudely” assertion that “The truth will out, thats [sic] the greater lesson of history” amidst a flutter of highly-excited rhetorical questions.

        -Furthermore, intellectual ethics place the burden of proof on the one offering the proposition. You’ve declared that “The truth will out, etc.” and the burden is on you to provide the data, proof, citations, and cogent arguments to make the case for your proposition–not mine to make for you. You don’t know that? That didn’t teach you that at that praise-prone college of yours? And, of course, I am only applying to you the standard you have chosen to judge others by.

        Gotta be honest, you haven’t earned my praise yet and I’m still waiting for the beef, History Major.

      • History Major

        One, I have by now. Two, its your assertion I have not made any arguments. Three, I knew that about obligation of proof being on the positive, I USED IT IN AN EARLIER POST AGAINST SOMEONE! Four, I am certianly not waiting on your praise, I’m waiting on you to engage in a meaningful and hopefully educational way. Besides of course teaching me about outdated references to quasi pretension. Poshlost is a better word for that anyway. Fifth, why do you think my uni is easy in its praise? Have you much involvement in current unis? Or is your perception of praise in your time different from praise no?
        Finally, I have had about 3 or 4 professors worth giving out praise. So no, I don’t care at all about praise and would be quite happy to drop it you started that phrase

      • Now you’re being perverse, History Major. Show some intellectual honesty. Provide the data and proof for your claims as you promised your would. And if you have provided such data and claims–please link and line them for me (sound familiar?).

      • While I got ya on the line, History Major, and you’re being so generous with your vast erudition, could you please also provide the data, proof, and appropriate citations for your latest revelation: “The truth will out, thats [sic] the greater lesson of history.” And please show both that “The truth will out” is a lesson of history and that it is the “greater” lesson of history.

        You know if anyone else had offered up comment like yours, I’d say they’re chock-ful of platitudes and not much else. But you’re special, History Major. You’ve got the data, proof, and citations to back up those old bromides. Right? Share the wealth will you?

        And I’m still waiting for the beef, History Major.

      • History Major

        WTF IS THIS BEEF?! IDWTF you are talking about!
        Do you mean meat to flesh out the skeleton or something? Or some meme I haven’t kept up?
        And thank you for being specific, makes it much cleaner.
        “The truth will out, thats [sic] the greater lesson of history.” And please show both that “The truth will out” is a lesson of history and that it is the “greater” lesson of history.” In reverse order for my easiness. Greater in this case meant more appropriate to the issues at hand, trumping powers corrupting abilities because power does not determine whether gravity exists in the form it does or whether earth is wrong. These will be the two connected historical issues to prove that truth does will out in history and that you can learn/prove it with history.
        Earth is round because of gravity as a sphere is the shape that matter consistently forms without other influences given enough time and mass (Citation: Stars and Black Holes, astronomy 101 and looking through a telescope.)
        This however has not always been accepted by people in history, as they had power and vested interests that incentized them to ignore this (certian pagan religious officials, but not in mediterranian (greeks for sure knew)).
        Round earth has been human knowledge since atleast that egyptian guy used in geometry courses to prove that if you know angle of sun and a well you can prove circumfrence and apparently the guy did so rather accurately. My texas instrument did a better job though…
        Yet neither of these is full truth as accepted by modern science. Earth is not a sphere as it bulges around the equator (wikipedia/i think even google earth). And quantum effects with gravity muck up basically everything (hawkings audio book).
        The course of knowledge of earth and gravity has improved from non-existence through partially correct understanding like newtonian physics through to current understandings involving quantum physics. It might some day involve string theory or some other possible theory. Technology itself is a great example of the truth of the world increasing with time, albeit facing some hurdles. Helicarnasus (i think it was him, its late here), but an ancient mediterranean guy developed a steam engine of sorts. Took coal to make a truly useful inventional, even though the possibilities of a functionally useful steam engine were always out there.
        This itself need more citation or may we move on to something else?

      • History Major

        A small point. Just because you cannot get away with tricks does not even remotely prove universities using different standards over time. How many students have come and gone, you and I but an extremely small sample size? Im guessing less than 1 in a million?

      • That was heavy man. Really blew my mind. Don Juan, could pass me another peyote button? I said please!

        History Major, If you were a child of the 60’s you’d really appreciate my humor. Sorry, your visionary comment with its vast sweep of the horizon of history triggered a regression. (Note to myself: Gotta stay contemporary or the kids won’t think I’m cool).

        It appears you’re getting some lessons in history, History Major. Nothing wrong with that.

      • History Major

        Where are these appearances of lessons of history? History as a whole is not that dependent on cultural references. It just isn’t. Maybe in some sort of butterfly wing flapping large amounts of time thingy, but once your generation is finally dead and gone, I doubt many people will speak of bromides the way you do, say “where is the beef”, or even adenoidal in anything less than a medical book. What you are practicing will probably go the way of most other small irrelevent culturual niches, it will disappear, possibly gone forever. Your cultural references should, with any luck, face the fate of the languages of the Native Americans, dieing into obscuraty. Don’t fight it, go with it. Adopt to the new world. Its changing, and social conservatism loses eventually in every instance I know of in history (CITATION: Roman Censors, Victorian ERA, 30s flappers, your fledgling 60s drug fueled perceptions, Chinese foot binding, Socrates Plato Aristotle Augustine of Hippo). Unfortunately female genital mutilation, sharia law, and Marxism have yet to die out in the world. They should though. As should other harmful progress retarding ideologies and perspectives.

      • History Major,

        You say, “It just isn’t.” Very cogent argument. Loved the citations and the data, too.

        History Major, you have to understand the “boomer” mentality. All that matters is us. History will forever remember, revere, and envy us. And by the way, we intend to pull the temple down on everyone else when we make our temporal exit. Don’t fight it, go with it.

      • History Major

        This would be funny if it weren’t true.
        First, do you have something where you can only remember a particular sentence and respond to just that? Because I didn’t argue it isn’t just so, I followed that up with an entire paragraph and a whole punch of references. So seriously, are you blind in addition to be half senile or do you just like ignoring what people say for kicks and giggles?

        what part of CITATION (and a list of things proving things) do you not get? Do you not see the connections between the parts? Is your inability somehow related to temporal degradation of responsibility? That would explain things, except i must be personal, because I know plenty of old people who understand things quite well. Its personal now primarily because it has to be

      • History Major,

        Ran out of “indents”, but this one is in reply to your comment of November 6, 2010 at 2:18 a. m.

        You ask, “…are you blind in addition to be [sic] half senile or do you just like ignoring what people say for kicks and giggles?”

        The sad truth is this, History Major: I’m blind (more figuratively than actually, but my eyesight definitely isn’t what it once was), senile (fully), and I like ignoring what people say for kicks and giggles. But I do seem to remember that you promised me data and proof for your ever multiplying claims that sprout throughout this blog. So “Where’s the link?” (I’m sounding pretty hip and cool now, huh?)

        Incidentally, one of my other pleasures is to razz brash young pups. Maybe it’s because I was once a cocksure young feller, myself. In that regard, I seem to recollect that I got smacked down a couple of times, by the old f@rts (they were easy to under-estimate, but they had the darndest bag of tricks–you never knew what they’d pull next). But the old guys seemed to like my spunk and I survived my rite of passage and even got more than a few helping hands along the way. But then, I was a fast learner and the old guys liked that too.

      • If department politics ruins Climate science, why does it not ruin all of science, given that science is generally done by academics in departments?

        The situation to be concerned about, is where the interests of the funder of some science, are promoted by the science so funded. The state funds almost all climate science, and the ramifications of the resultant ‘consensus’ are that the state needs to expand. A bit like tobacco-funded research telling us smoking is healthy. We need to be alert to the vested interest problem.

      • If department politics ruins Climate science, why does it not ruin all of science,

        Behind closed doors, out of sight, out of mind and taken for granted.

        Seems that many academics were surprised by the ruckus that ‘Climategate’ created. Such behavior is part of normal life, be it business, social, politics, sports or public service,

        It would seem that the public expects academics to exist in an unreality purged of social interaction.

        It would seem that academics are horrified at being accused of behaving with political and dogmatic manner.

        Science *might* be objective.
        Research however is very very personal.

        Few activities are more competitive at a personal level. It can get very political and cliquish. Grantsmanship and livelihoods depend on it.

      • Best thing said, research is very personal and very enveloping.

  15. Eppure si scalda, Judy.

  16. Judith,

    I’m not going to dwell on climategate except to say that I never thought a whole lot of it. My personal interests are largely within the physical science of climate change. Climategate revealed no hidden issues within this realm that has not already been known,. The hostility of scientists toward certain groups geared toward undermining them and their work rather than advancing the science (within their own private communication that had been illegally invaded) is only surprising to those who think people don’t have emotions or attitudes. It’s a dying issue like most flashy talking points because atmospheric radiative transfer doesn’t give two hoots about how Mike Mann and SteveM feel about each other, and neither do most people with better things to do than watch people score points.

    John Nielsen-Gammon is quite right that none of your arguments proceed in a logical fashion. The Royal Society, or APS, or some other group has every right to make a statement on the reality of climate change and nothing out of this is indicative of a dogma or suppression. The Oregon Petition has every right to exist as well (though without the right to dress up as PNAS paper); this alone is not a crime, but we also have every right to challenge the scientific merits of its content. To be clear, I see no evidence for the type of “dogma” that you assert, and no one is under any burden to prove it doesn’t exist. You’ve just made it up.

    As for your V&V discussion, I don’t see the relevance of it in this talk, but in the context of physical science of climate change we have overwhelming evidence of model usefulness and verification (water vapor feedback, simulating the Pinatubo eruption effects, ocean heat content changes, stratospheric cooling, arctic amplification, etc) . We also have evidence for model deficiency- e.g., underestimating the rate of arctic sea ice loss, and for other variables/statistics it is unclear how they are doing. That expert interpretation plays a role in making conclusions (for instance, the computer model has no idea how good the data is) is how science works. What point are you trying to make out of this?

    • Chris and John, the whole issue of “deniers” isn’t an issue in science unless there is dogma. There is no reason to talk about the ideas of cranks or that they even exist. Apart from the out and out cranks, there is a whole spectrum of individual interpretations of what is going on with the very complex climate system. There is nothing wrong in science with disagreement; in fact disagreement is often what fuels scientific progress. To categorize as deniers people who are making arguments that diverge from the consensus view of the IPCC, well that reflects dogma . To say that deniers are funded by oil companies trying to derail energy policy again is only an issue that arises if there is scientific dogma that is tied to policy. If people disagree about science, it doesn’t matter. What is the problem with a range of scientific perspectives on a complex and highly uncertain subject? Challenging the scientific merits of someone else’s arguments is what science is all about. Categorizing everyone that disagrees with you on a complex and highly uncertain subject as a denier is something that is only an issue if there is dogma. This whole denier meme is so entrenched that the climate community insiders don’t see it for what it is.

      • Exactly so.

      • I’m strongly considering an MPP, a Masters in Public Policy. I must disagree with your assertion: “To say that deniers are funded by oil companies trying to derail energy policy again is only an issue that arises if there is scientific dogma that is tied to policy. If people disagree about science, it doesn’t matter. ”
        What people think does in fact matter in this country because the vote and they donate money to groups that influence policy, policy that then comes back to effect us. While there may be value to knowledge for knowledges sake, to the vast majority of people in the world policy will most likely have a greater effect on their lives. False disagreement is likely to retard the progress of policy.
        Throughout history policy and science have both been improving, but only generally. There are set backs. One of those setbacks is people needlessly creating fear and doubt where the science is solid (Galileo’s experiances). While the analogy is not perfect, SCIENCE MATTERS!
        To policy for instance, where doubt and uncertianty inhibit people from implementing policy that could divert a negative outcome. The whole point of telling policy makers the science is so that they can make better decisions. If however, a faction (in this case oil companies), tells everyone that there is all this uncertianty that does not exist, then policy makers face greater, unnessecary and false hurdles in making the appropriate policy.
        Fake doubt is bad just like fake certianty. It was fake certianty in things like yellow uranium and WMDs that created Iraq war supportability in policy makers. Fake doubt can impact policy which impacts everyday people by preventing policy makers from the policy they should. Fake doubt and fake disagreement matter regardless of dogma.
        Fake = Bad when it comes to forming the basis for policy.
        I plan to be here in 50 years. Energy policy TODAY matters for forty years from now just as Carter’s energy policy not being enacted forty years ago matters TODAY. Its called history.

      • NEW YORK, July 5, 2008 U.S. Secretly Takes Yellowcake From Iraq

        “(AP) The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program – a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

        The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” – the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment – was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions”

        What was your point again? Oh, that people can be mistaken about what they believe to be true. Now I understand.

      • From

        http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/05/world/main4235028.shtml?source=related_story

        “Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.”

      • Fake doubt is bad just like fake certainty.

        Quite so. And fake certainty is the Dogma under discussion.

      • all this uncertianty that does not exist, then policy makers face greater, unnessecary and false hurdles in making the appropriate policy.

        Are you trying to claim there is no uncertainty in climate science? For if you are then that statement is an excellent example of a dogmatic one.

      • “Categorizing everyone that disagrees with you on a complex and highly uncertain subject as a denier is something that is only an issue if there is dogma.”

        You need to retract that ludicrous statement and sweeping generalization, or at the very least qualify it and be very specific about who you are talking about. Who allegedly did that? All climate scientists? ‘The Team’? I strongly suspect you are referring to the appearance of the term ‘denier’ in the ‘astonishing’ (really? Schneider made a very good case and went to great lengths to explain the paper, guess you were not paying attention) Anderegg et al. paper in the key words section, and in a sentence in the opening paragraph where they say: “This group, often termed climate change skeptics, contrarians or deniers…..”. They are stating what nomenclature is used out there, although I might be convinced to agree that they could/should have been more specific about what constitutes a “denier’. Anyways, like creationists, ‘deniers’ of AGW/ACC are very real and probably more numerous than you would think (for example, go and do a survey of Republican Senators or Tea Part representatives or even some of the people at GMU about AGW/ACC). Also, people who deny the existence of “AGW/ACC” even frequently post on your blog, so how do you fail to recognize that (unfortunate) reality eludes me?

        Let me give you some examples where so-called dissenting voices have been handled by climate scientists in the scientific literature. For example:

        Trenberth disagreed with Lindzen and Choi, so did Murphy. They both wrote papers addressing the scientific flaws in the L&C paper– they did not simply dismiss them as ‘deniers’.
        Halpern et al. rightly had serious issues with G&T, they wrote a paper refuting G&T– they did not call them deniers. Although in strictly terms G&T do deny the greenhouse effect and existence of AGW/ACC, so that makes them ‘deniers’ of AGW/ACC.
        Foster et al. had issues with McLean et al., they too wrote a paper exposing the problems in the McLean paper–again, no mention of ‘deniers’.

        All very civilized without any name calling. And the peer review continued after publication, as it should. Also please note that, unlike you, I am giving examples and am not making vague, generalized and sweeping generalizations to be used by people with agendas.

        What is really scary is that you know how science works, or should do after all these years, yet you still insist on misrepresenting your very own science and the scientific process.

        And lastly, please, who exactly are these “climate community insiders” who you are so obsessed with? Names please. And what qualifies one to be an “insider”– interesting that you chose a word which has pejorative and nefarious connotations for many. But maybe that was your point….it certainly would be consistent with much of the innuendo put forth by you here and elsewhere.

        Bart Verheggen assure me that you are sincere, and I respect Bart. So remind me again how you are trying to build bridges with this approach of yours? Because since you elected to make you foray into the arena, you seem to have been doing your utmost to set the bridges on fire.

      • “You need to retract that statement…” (because it goes against the dogma)

        “Schneider made a very good case…” Schneider made an embarrassment out of his final co-authorship of a horribly done and horribly wrong paper. It was pathetic and has been shown to be so.

        When someone says ‘denier’ they show their identity as a dogman

      • I like the “dogman”

      • Fits with an earlier comment typo referring to you as “Judy Curr”. ;>)

      • I think the correct word MAY be “dogmat” – which is perhaps even nicer….

      • Who allegedly did that?

        How about David Suzuki’s diatribe about politicians who do not heed the AGW mantra?

        “What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act,”

        http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=290513#ixzz14WTE8R38

        Tell me that isn’t dogmatic from a “scientist”.

      • Cherry picking much Jr.

        Yup, that was pretty daft, and Suzuki is entitled to his opinion, no matter how badly misguided it was in this case. Only problem is that he is not a climate scientist, nor did he participate in the IPCC process. You are barking up the wrong tree.

        Curry is specifically accusing the IPCC of being dogmatic.

      • “You need to retract that ludicrous statement and sweeping generalization, or at the very least qualify it and be very specific about who you are talking about. Who allegedly did that? All climate scientists? ‘The Team’?”

        Lets see what Michael Mann, lead Author for IPCC, member of the Team, author of many paleoclimate articles, says:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/07/AR2010100705484.html

        “The focus would be on e-mails stolen from scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain last fall that climate-change deniers have falsely claimed demonstrate wrongdoing by scientists, including me. ”

        Yes, you can respond that you expected example as well. The point is you know who Dr Curry is talking about, just as we all do.

      • You too are barking up the wrong tree. Is he because he used the word “denier”? Beck is a denier of AGW. So is Limbaugh. So is Inhofe. And I’m pretty sure that Cuccinelli is too. And these self-proclaimed deniers of AGW are amongst the people who have attacked Mann et al.

        Do you deny that there are many, many people out there who deny that AGW/ACC is real? And moreover, do you deny that they have made attacks on scientists?

        Good grief, you have obviously not even read the content of this blog have you?

      • You asked who Judith Curry was referring to (and gave a list to choose from) when she indicated it is a sign of a dogma when all opposed to the dogma are called deniers. Again, I give you an explicit example in answer.

        Then you proceed onto some other silliness about Beck Limbaugh etc.

        Quit asking questions if you do not want the answers.

      • Read what you posted carefully, and reflect on the context. Those comments were made in connection with (fallacious) accusations of wrong doing by Mann et al., nothing to do with the IPCC. Mann was referring to those elements who attacked him, you and I both know who those people are and what their stance is on AGW. Got it?

        Also, dismissing the despicable actions of Beck et al. as “silliness” just demonstrates the vacuity of your argument, not to mention your prejudice.

      • Ummm, vacuous now is it?

        So help me out on understanding the context (from the same WaPo editorial linked above) Mann continued:

        “The truth is that they don’t expect to uncover anything. Instead, they want to continue a 20-year assault on climate research, questioning basic science and promoting doubt where there is none. ”

        So to my really small and simple mind, compared to your great big one, the use of the term “deniers” appears to be linked, by Michael Mann, to people who question the basic science. What is exactly is the basic science he refers to? Paleoclimatology alone (he then defends himself), or radiative physics, or thermodynamics or… (he then is speaking on behalf of who)?

        So back to context (from the same WaPo editorial):

        “As a scientist, I shouldn’t have a stake in the upcoming midterm elections, but unfortunately, it seems that I — and indeed all my fellow climate scientists — do. ”

        It appears he claims to be speaking for all climate scientists.

        Did I get that context correct?

      • Nope. And moving the goal posts does not help your case.

        “So to my really small and simple mind, compared to your great big one, the use of the term “deniers” appears to be linked, by Michael Mann, to people who question the basic science. ”

        Uh huh….interesting game that you playing here Kan. That is your interpretation, that is not necessarily the reality– something from which you seem to be detached.

        It seems that you, like the Tea Baggers, are fans of the anti-science meme. While that that is your right, scientists also have the right to just cast their votes.

        I think I’m done playing games with mendacious ideologues for today….but let see what other revelations Judith’s blog has offered up first ;)

      • Oh and Kan, last time I checked the USA covered about 25 of the surface of the planet. There are many, many more qualified and eminent climate scientists outside the USA. Mann was clearly speaking to hi colleagues in the USA, which is not, contrary to popular belief in some parts of the USA, the centre of the universe.

        So no, he was not speaking for all climate scientists.

      • I moved the goalpost?

        The goalpost were set when you demanded a retraction from Dr. Curry for the statement. You wanted to know who made such statements. I provided one. Someone who is a member of the IPCC, a member of the “Team”, and by his own words claimed to speak for “all” climate scientists, not just those in the United States (or he would have stated that).

        I am not playing a game. I am answering questions you have asked.

      • Oh and Kan, it would really help if Curry stopped engaging in innuendo and making vague insinuations, and actually come out and say exactly who she means and when they allegedly made the offending accusations.

        Curry is making serious accusations, she needs to back them up with facts, specifics and substance. Failure to do so means she is engaging in dog-whistle politics and folks like you are only too happy to fill in the gaps with your own spin on things.

      • Kan,

        I asked Judith questions, and asked her to clarify. Not you.
        I am not really interested in what you have to say, this is not your blog.

        She is an adult and should be able to defend herself.

      • “…… deniers isn’t an issue in science unless there is dogma.”

        Now that’s just plain nonsense. Do you mean to tell me that medical associations and public health authorities and all of the rest of us shouldn’t get up in arms and shout from the rooftops against the anti-vaccination people or those HIV is nothing to do with AIDS people?

        It’s not about dogma, it’s about science. *And* it’s about defending science from crackpottery and wingnuttery as well as from people wanting to make money from promoting ignorance.

      • It’s not about dogma, it’s about science. *And* it’s about defending science from crackpottery and wingnuttery as well as from people wanting to make money from promoting ignorance.

        This is just the dogma that what emerges from scientists is necessarily science. Scientists and those who pay them have no other agenda, peer-review and the science process isn’t corrupted, etc. All the issues that those who want to forget about Climategate want everyone to forget.

      • If people disagree about science, it doesn’t matter. What is the problem with a range of scientific perspectives on a complex and highly uncertain subject?

        The issue of deniers is a virtually infinite range of ideas that have nothing to do with science. They deny the most basic facts, such as the greenhouse effect. There is nothing to be gained by checking knowledge that has been well researched for over a century now. But that is exactly what they do. And you will never convince them otherwise.

      • David L. Hagen

        Are you an “anti-denier”? – ignorant of or denying that there is any against “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”.

      • They deny the most basic facts, such as the greenhouse effect. There is nothing to be gained by checking knowledge that has been well researched for over a century now.

        Snide, are you not reading any of us? We do not deny the climate changes. We do not deny there is a greenhouse effect. What we deny is the fear mongering apocalyptic future scenarios as claimed. We are highly skeptical of the DEGREE of warming from CO2. And we see nothing in the climate or weather today that is beyond normal variation.

        Now do you get it?

        So quit with the straw arguments.

      • The point is not about cranks why deny science. Cranks are cranks.

        The point is about well funded organizations such as the George Marshall Institute, the Heartland folks and many more. The point is about Pat Michaels, who in CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY distorted (actually lied) about what James Hansen said was the most likely course of global temperatures. The point is that Michaels has found a home at the Cato Institute. The point is that Michaels is funded quite handsomely by electrical utilities to keep on doing this sort of stuff.

        You CANNOT call this “alleged”. It is transcribed in the Congressional Record as was Hansen’s original testimony and published papers. See here forquotes from the testimony of both and more links. Dr. Curry, you may disagree about many things, but calling this behavior “alleged” is defining deviancy way down and pretty much why many have simply given up on you.

        And, oh yes, climate scientists should not sign petitions. Sorry, that is so weak, dudette.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Conspiracy theories, Eli?
        Oh, how disappointing!

    • Chris, I can only repeat the point I made above to History Major. If you don’t buy Judith’s opinion that IPCC reports have been treated as dogma, you don’t have a dog in the fight. Judith is asking those who share her opinion what they think can be done about it. You’re not invited.

      • Where is your invitation? You RSVPed did you? Did you add the fact that you yourself were not going to be (as of yet) adding anything meaninful? If so, what a very curious invitiation. Funny thing none of the partys I go to tell people not to disagree with them because they do not have dogs. (Most of my friends are dog people btw)

    • Chris, I take that back. I notice that Judith asks at the end of her post, “I look forward to the “insiders” who don’t like my use of the word dogma convincing me that this no longer exists!”

      So you are invited if you want to respond to this challenge.

      • I look forward to you realizing that this is a public forum and the nature of positive and negative. Inviting some people to a public forum does not not invite other people. If it did so it would be private. In public, all are invited unless they cannot or ought not intend (pedos to elementary schools for example). In private, you are not invited unless you are invited. Basic definitions of public and private. So either show that this discussion is somehow intended or meant to be private or admit that this is public and public rules thus apply.
        Also, don’t you have parties of your own to claim that people are not invited to? Or is your day job also that of a bouncer?

      • HM, my point is simply that the host of this blog has suggested in this post that climate science, and the IPCC reports in particular, have been treated as dogma in some quarters. Her invitation is (for those who don’t agree) to convince her that these things aren’t treated as dogma, or (for those of us who agree) suggest what to do about it.

        Anything that doesn’t respond to either of these challenges is off-topic, a distraction and either belongs on another thread or has no place on this blog at all. Obviously I neither control this blog nor control the blog rules. But I am entitled to express my frustration at red herrings.

      • Why are you entitled to express your frustration at red herrings but I’m not? Is it only because I perceive the original post to be a red herring of sort?

      • There seems to be something fishy about your reply.

        I posted the link to Easterbrook’s V and V post above, if you’re really interested.

      • I did read it, I am interested, and thank you (again).

      • You’re welcome. Glad you read it.

      • History Major,

        I “invite” you to responsively reply to my above comment of November 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm.

        Where’s the “beef,” History Major. I anxiously await the “beef,” History Major.

      • One, I did. Two, why the court of law standard, this is the internet (for policy making? Lobbyists certianly don’t hold themselves to that standard (I’ve read state law on this one, was considering it as a line of employment)). Three:
        Where is the beef? Where is the beef you ask?
        My friend, this is sparta. The beef is in the fridge. I could link you to fb pics if you like. Pics, it happened. There is no poop, there is proof.

      • History Major,

        I know you’re a rather sensitive individual given to nervous laughter so I want to break this gently:

        -You “invited” my request for further information as follows “You ask for proof or data and I supply. Want more keep asking…”

        -So I took you up on your offer. And in reply, what do I get? A foot-stamping, petulant “One, I did.” But no you didn’t, History Major. You didn’t. Instead, History Major, you changed the subject. You didn’t “supply” the “proof or data” I asked for at your urging (again, you said “You ask for proof or data and I supply.” And when I “asked,” History Major, you didn’t “supply.” ).

        -I know I’m dealing with some challenging concepts here, History Major, but put on your thinking-cap and, with a little effort, I think you’ll see my point.

        -I see that my request for proof and data to a courtroom standard has given you the willies. Not surprised. O. K. just give it your best shot, to the standard you think you can handle.

        – Sharpening the knives now.

      • OK, no. Just no. With almost every point I had something in parathenses ( ) or in a follow up post. What I invited you to do was point, POINT me to where what I said was unclear, unsubstantiated, or lacking sufficient proof. You have yet (my apologizes if i haven’t refreshed the page or lost something in the mix) pointed to or quoted anything of mine. Please don’t just wave your hands, point. Specificly. Bullet lists cleanest and easiest

  17. Judith, calm down.

  18. Don Aitken,

    The notion that those who challenge the science, the IPCC, etc are being suppressed is simply hogwash. However the notion of disagreement in the scientific context is much different than the notion in the blog context.

    On one hand, on the internet you are free to say anything you’d like. You are free to say evolution violates thermodynamics, the greenhouse effect is not real, the moon is made of blue cheese, etc. Academics are under no obligation to entertain these types of arguments, and some do as hobby. It is understandably frustrating to be trained for years in a particular subject-matter only for “joe” to come by on”HowIfeeltoday.com” to simply assert it’s all wrong, and for 100 people reading to weight this equally to a scientific report written by dozens of authors who have specialty in their field. It might offend people’s democratic sensibility, but the fact is all arguments and all opinions are not equal.

    But science progresses. This generally involves rather technical issues (for instance the TAR got the general residence time of a CO2 perturbation in the atmosphere wrong, David Archer has tried hard to push the notion that there are multiple timescales based on various removal processes, including a tail of thousands of years). If the science was not open to new ideas then articles would stop coming in, and frankly there wouldn’t be much point for a AR5. The very broad details (CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it has been rising) are only considered as “consensus” positions in the same way the existence of gravity is a “consensus” position, based on overwhelming explanatory and predictive ability. However the AR4 WG1 is a ~1000 page document with countless claims and topics of research that need to be advanced. If people actually read the IPCC document rather than summing it up as a warmist, consensus, dogmatic document than it might allow for more constructive dialogue on what is well known, what is not well known, what really matters, and what are mere details for experts.

    Finally, documentation of dissent which has been properly received and considered is easy to find. Lindzen’s 2001 IRIS hypothesis, for example, purported to show a particular negative feedback between SST’s and high level clouds in the tropics. The key note is he advanced this hypothesis properly– documented an idea in the literature. This was not suppressed, and people don’t get flack for merely turning out to be wrong under a reasonable hypothesis. The IRIS paper generated considerable attention, probably well over 10 referred articles, with data specialists looking at in better detail with better data. That is how science works. This is much different than many of the op-ed things Lindzen says which cannot be supported in the refereed literature, and which professionals have every right to lose tolerance.

    • Chris,

      I don’t use terms like ‘simply hogwash’. What I said in my earlier post is, I hope, factually correct. Our major national radio system, for example, rarely provides an airing for any sceptic (I have been an exception), and argues that the weight of scientific authority against scepticism is so great that it would be simply wrong to give sceptics any more time. We are routinely called ‘deniers’, as though we deny that there is climate, or that climate changes. The ABC shifted to ‘CC’ from ‘global warming’ (as did the MSM generally) when it had become clear that temperature had for the moment stabilised though CO2 still rose. ‘ABC FM Radio National is advertising that its evening (5-6 p.m. AEST) talkback show tonight will be addressing the issue “Why climate deniers should not be given broadcast airtime”.’ That was a few nights ago.

      I’m not making this up!

      I have given a public address on ‘A cool look at global warming’ (before Nigel Lawson used the antithesis as the title of his book), spoken on radio twice, and given an agnostic speech to a big meeting in which my opposing speaker was a lead IPCC author. The net outcome: ‘[I had] pissed [my] reputation up against a wall’. But no-one answered the straightforward questions I posed in those encounters. They are the obvious ones, about confidence in measurements, the signal, the effect of clouds, whether or not warming is unprecedented, and whether or not it was likely, in general, to be bad or good for humanity. The lead author said that I had raised some interesting questions, but answered none of them, and went on and on about the great danger and the need to act now. He dismissed any criticism, and he is still doing it. There are more known scientists-advocates on the IPCC side in Australia than there known sceptics able to respond, and the latter are rarely given an opportunity anyway.

      I agree that all arguments are not equal. But as I see it, the sceptics are asking questions, and not getting good answers. For example, the standard orthodox answer to ‘If natural variability explains the warming in the first half of the 20th century, why doesn’t it do so for the second half?’ is ‘Our models cannot explain that warming without recourse to anthropogenic forcing!’. To me that is almost a ludicrous answer, but what happens then is that we get into discussions about modelling, and these lead nowhere. But the initial question has not been answered — and it is a fair question, at least to my eyes.

      I have read WG1, and I return to it from time to time, and among other things it tells me that the levels of scientific understand on some key variables is not high, indeed low. But when the issue comes to the confidence of the IPCC, there is an extraordinary level of confidence in the power of anthropogenic forcing. I raise such contradictions, but no one answers them.

      All this may seem hogwash to you, but I find it real, and disturbing, and anti-science as I understand it.

      • Don Aitkin

        Very close to my view and experience in Aus, as is your earlier post on the Executives of various peak bodies of scientific communities (eg. the GSA) making public pronouncements without polling their members

        One of the amusing elements to this website for those west of the International Date Line (and in NO way attributed to Judith C) is that being 18 hours ahead of the US east coast time, we read new posts only after the Yankee Doodles have added 401+ comments, about 1/3rd of which are standard troll attempts to hijack the thread … amusing because one gets to read the developing incoherencies in all their vanity

        As you have clearly noticed, your clear and concise posts are never addressed, much the same as the questions you raised in your public speech. The answer to your frustration here is to understand that the “crime” you committed was to raise these various doubts in public – to do so very much threatens the value of consensus for propagandising the public. By all means raise these questions, but not publically. This is Judith C’s real “crime” as well

    • The notion that those who challenge the science, the IPCC, etc are being suppressed is simply hogwash.

      So the career and funding propects of a climatologist are not in any way related to his position on scepticism vs alarmism?

  19. I Know how sill people can be but I know how quick it is to provoke them. It is easy to confuse your own ego for reality.

  20. Judith,

    I think many people might argue that the term “denier” is appropriate for the out and out cranks. Have you seen the Global Warming Swindle? Have you looked at the Pregon Petition? Have you read G&T saying the greenhouse effect isn’t real. This is not scientific disagreement. It’s rubbishy, and it deserves to be treated as rubbish. Yet people have still taken the time to respond to it as though it were serious (see our article in IJMPB on G&T that I co-authored with Halpern this year)

    Finally, I (or the IPCC, or Gavin, Michael Tobis, Eli, etc) cannot speak for everyone on the blogs who play the name-calling game. There are people who believe evolution on the internet who go nuts on creationists as soon as they start talking, so for the sake of not speaking for every extreme example, let’s stick to how the serious academic community has acted with regards to skeptical voices regarding a specific scientific issues. You will need to be better than giving accusations ague and asserting a universal dogma in order to convince me that legitimate scientific arguments, that are properly advanced in the scientific literature, are being suppressed

    • Chris, yes there is some out and out %^^& out there. But it does not need to be dignified with any attention at al. On the other hand, G&T was published, so it should be refuted if it is rubbish. So why is it necessary to lump all these people together and call them deniers? It’s not an issue simply of suppression of worthwhile papers, it’s the questions that don’t even get asked because the rewards are far better for embellishing the IPCC narrative.

      • JC: “On the other hand, G&T was published, so it should be refuted if it is rubbish. ”

        “If it is rubbish”? It was and is “rubbish”, are you willing to stand up and make a call? G&T flat out deny the existence of the so-called Greenhouse effect. Good grief, even Spencer had the guts and scientific integrity to dismiss G&T. How would you describe the likes of G&T them, or their paper?

        What paper have been suppressed? M&M2004 made it into AR4 even though it was not a ‘worthwhile’ paper? Lindzen and Choi was published, so was Douglass et al., so was Soon and Baliunas, so were numerous others. Could you please cite examples (you used the plural) of “worthwhile papers” which have been suppressed.

        Another observation from one of your peers. Several of your peers have now tried to engage you now and you have dismissed each one of them– you are clearly not open to engaging your peers in an honest and meaningful way. Instead, you insist instead on providing more fodder for the skeptics. Your latest post being the most recent example.

        And rhetoric from you, such as the alleged “embellishing in the IPCC narrative”, betray your true misguided opinions on this matter. And exactly what do you mean by that?

        What are you so angry about Judith? And why do you insist on making serious (yet unsubstantiated) accusations against certain people?

        If you have an issue with Santer or Mann, or whoever, please have it out with them in person like a rational adult would. This public display of aggression towards your peers is highly unprofessional, uncalled for and counter productive.

      • “Could you please cite examples (you used the plural) of “worthwhile papers” which have been suppressed. ”

        How does one cite an unpublished paper?

      • Strawman. “Skeptics” publish widely…and you know that. Stop deceiving and stop playing games.

      • And rhetoric from you, such as the alleged “embellishing in the IPCC narrative”, betray your true misguided opinions on this matter. And exactly what do you mean by that?

        The IPCC is a political institution, part of the UN, whose interests lie in advancing the cause of politics, world government in particular . It selects science fit for this purpose. That ‘s what the “IPCC narrative” is.

        What are you so angry about Judith? …

        The abovementioned corruption of science by political patronage?

        This public display of aggression towards your peers is highly unprofessional, uncalled for and counter productive.

        Yes, it’s very unprofessional to open challenge the dogma’s adherents. Keep it private to make sure your efforts are futile.

      • Good God, could someone actually let Dr. Curry respond or are you all her lap dogs?

        It seems that she has lost her ability to type….but I’ll wait, I know that she, like all of us, is busy.

      • “So why is it necessary to lump all these people together and call them deniers?”

        The relevant concept is called “stereotyping”. The best example is probably the use of the “denier” concept againt Steve McIntyre.

      • Thank you for reminding us the concept of stereotyping.

        Other good examples: “dogma”, “cadre of scientists”, “bureaucracy”.

      • Even better, go read the “refutation” that the International Journal of Modern Physics” allowed G&T to publish. Chris and Eli would appreciate your comments on that. You can get it here

  21. While many are pondering the points I raise, most of the “insiders” don’t like the idea of “IPCC dogma.”

    And from where I’m sitting, the points you raise are valid and well-articulated. Perhaps it would behoove these “insiders” to be more careful in their choice of language if they are uncomfortable with the concept of “IPCC dogma”.

    Words do have meaning. Words such as “tenets”, for example, which was used no less than 4 times in the recent PNAS sponsored “Expert credibility in climate change” paper:

    “striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC),”

    “97–98%of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,”

    “indicating that ≈97% of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of ACC”

    “We defined CE researchers as those who signed statements broadly agreeing with or directly endorsing the primary tenets of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report”

    If the IPCC can be said to have tenets (a word that is typically associated with religion, rather than science), then “IPCC dogma” seems quite apt, at least to my ears.

    As an aside, it seems to me that in recent months “overwhelming consensus” (on the part of the tenet holders) has become passé – and is being replaced by less weighty expressions such as “striking agreement” or Michael Mann’s new, improved “broad agreement”.

    OTOH, climate and/or biodiversity “crisis” is a tenet that seems to be filling the alarmists’ hyperbole gap these days.

  22. Dr C
    I will extend what I posted at Klimazwiebel.

    What I saw, in your previous post – the positive feedback post, was what I would call ‘structural criticism’ of the IPCC, and not of individuals. Unfortunately doing one, is difficult without involving the other.

    You could take the various actors and replace them with other players – it makes no difference. There are forces at play within the IPCC framework, which would animate these entities along broadly similar lines.

    Secondly, criticism of the IPCC is not the same as criticism of climate science. A consensus blogger such as Bart Verheggen, but he is not alone in this, would always refuse to see this point, attributing and equating any criticisms directed at the IPCC monolith as though they were directed at the very discipline of climate science, and thereby avoiding addressing the concerns raised.

    This strategy has been carried out, over and over again. In all the while – not once have I, or any other observer I am sure can attest to this, seen any systemic criticism directed at the IPCC, from within. The first baby steps in this direction were the IAC’s.

    Thirdly, you will be seen to have broken an unwritten code of professional silence – never take on your own, especially in front of outsiders; never wash dirty linen in public. Most of the incredulity and bewilderment you must encounter seems to fall in the category – “how can a senior scientist not understand the ‘look out for one another’ rule, which must be second-nature by now. Unfortunately again, such professional tribalism also shelters bad apples in any field, who continue to flourish under the protection of such unwritten codes, embarrassing all concerned till eternity. As Lubos Motl points out, such entities if any, deserve punishment for the sake of the whole field. The medical profession tackled this issue, in part, by instituting licensing.

    Thirdly, it must be obvious to you by now that you are attacked simultaneously for ‘not saying anything new’ and urged, perhaps even abusively to, ‘provide specific details for your contentions’. This is only because criticism similar to yours has come previously from several quarters considered to be outside of climate science. With you now, it is coming from inside and suddenly, it seems to be penetrating a few brains.

    Again, quoting Mary Douglas about institutions:

    “Institutions systematically direct individual memory and channel our perceptions into forms compatible with the relations they authorize. They fix processes that are essentially dynamic, they hide their influence, and they rouse our emotions to a standardized pitch on standardized issues. Add to tall this that they endow themselves with rightness and send their mutual corroboration cascading through all the levels of our information system….Any problems we try to think about are automatically transformed into their own organizational problems. The solutions the proffer only come from the limited range of their experience…Institutions have the pathetic megalomania of the computer whose vision of the world is its own program.”

    • Yes, and virtually all climate science is done by the institution of government, which also happens to be an institution that towers over all others. The ‘consensus’ is but the single view of this single institution.

    • Dear Shub, your comment is right on the money. Judith’s insights about the sociology are new mostly because they arrive from new, namely internal corners of the climate science which (almost) hasn’t been the case in the past.

      And it hasn’t been the case because the community – much like other communities – hides inconvenient things about one’s colleagues and the whole network, too. This method hides bad apples as well but it wouldn’t be too bad if the hiding of the bad apples didn’t become the primary result of the group mentality. This is unfortunately the case of the climate science. So the bad apples are not only being hidden but they’re really promoted to the main movers and “authorities” of the whole field.

      The climate science community and the IPCC are not the same thing – even though they incredibly tightly overlap when it comes to the list of members. However, the algorithms determining “whose voice really matters” are very different in the climate science – if viewed as a conventional scientific discipline – and in the IPCC. In the IPCC, the weight of a voice is given predominantly by political and ideological criteria.

      That doesn’t mean that this problem doesn’t exist in the “climate science community” as such, but it’s still true that the climate science community, if liberated from its institutionalized semi-political arrangements, remains more meritocratic than these policy and political institutions linked to the climate.

  23. OK, my two cents worth (FWIW). I think we would all be better off if the IPCC was abolished. The scientists could get on with the science, go to conferences, argue over climate sensitivity or the impact of CO2 on the oceans or whatever. The politicians could get on with the process of gradually working towards whatever lowest common denominator position they can get everyone to agree with, in the Kyoto or a new post-Kyoto framework. Scientists who want to be activists could be part of organizations which lobby national governments. Governments already have scientific advisors of their own who can profess an opinion about the latest scientific position.

    My contention is that this would remove one of the main flashpoints which has generated more heat than light. A small number of scientists would no longer have power to influence the flavor of an agenda-defining document. That power (much diffused) would be redistributed among the thousands of climate scientists. Some would still be more influential than others, as with any other science field. But the power would be much less tightly held.

    • I heartily second that motion. Let’s get the government out of climate science. Funding is OK to a point, as long as it is distributed without regard to the point of view of the researcher. But it is horrible to have a governmental body running the overview of climate science. That job belongs only to scientists. I don’t see any rational argument possible from scientists to keep this arrangement. And I agree with some of the other posters, maybe if the insiders would somehow get some humility and self-criticism, it wouldn’t be necessary for others to take on the job. All I see in them is hubris.

  24. //”It’s not an issue simply of suppression of worthwhile papers, it’s the questions that don’t even get asked because the rewards are far better for embellishing the IPCC narrative.”//

    Judith this is ludicrous and simply indefensible.

    Scientists are super-competitive. Everyone wants to be the next Einstein. If someone showed that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas or that climate sensitivity is 0.5 deg per 2xCO2 then the first person to get to it (and withstand scrutiny) would be in textbooks. There’s certainly enough people out there who don’t want AGW to be right. There’s thousands of scientists out there, and many groups working independently of each other, so there should be no reason why an obvious counter-argument would not be advanced; your attitude is nothing short of a conspiracy theory, and it makes no sense.

    What is more reasonable is that the physics works. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and for a given increase in opacity the outgoing radiation to space will decrease at a given temperature (which has been observed in studies of radiant spectra). The physics relevant is what astrophysicists use to describe the atmospheres of stars, to gather information about Venus, or to explain the evolution of planetary climate. Scientists getting annoyed at people throwing out arguments which any reasonable undergraduate can poke holes in not evidence for a dismissive orthodoxy– it’s how life works. Your argument is that everyone has an unconditional responsibility to be nice.

    Perhaps the reason why most skeptical discussions highlight 12 year old papers that are irrelevant to the attribution of modern global warming, or stolen emails, is that they don’t actually have a scientific case to make?

    Finally, it would be nice to create definitions of “what the IPCC says.” This is vague and meaningless since the IPCC AR4 WG1 alone is a ~1000 page document on a multitude of topics. As a scientist Judith you should know that disagreement amongst scientists is generally on rather technical matters which policy makers or regular folks are not interested in. These details are being refined and studied all the time, which as I keep saying, is why papers are even being published or why climate scientists have jobs at all. Not everything boils down to a huge paradigm shift. If the goal was to maintain the status quo of the AR4, there would be no use for the advancement or discussion that is so obviously occurring.

    Now if you mean the very broad details like “temperatures are rising” which are highlights of the summary for policymakers, then you’re more than welcome to challenge those as well, but good luck. Honestly no one is stopping you and people would love to see improvements and modifications to existing issues (e.g., the Thompson paper on mid-century bucket measurements and biases in SST measurements). That everyone is being suppressed to agree with what already is in the AR4 is just a delusion and reflects ignorance of post-AR4 work and the direction of the climate community.

    • “Finally, it would be nice to create definitions of “what the IPCC says.” This is vague and meaningless since the IPCC AR4 WG1 alone is a ~1000 page document on a multitude of topics.”

      Then why have a summary document? Would it not be vague and meaningless as well?

      “As a scientist Judith you should know that disagreement amongst scientists is generally on rather technical matters which policy makers or regular folks are not interested in.”

      Chris, you will find it amazing how interested regular folks become when you are asking for their money.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Chirs Colese, you say, “Perhaps the reason why most skeptical discussions highlight 12 year old papers that are irrelevant to the attribution of modern global warming, or stolen emails, is that they don’t actually have a scientific case to make?”

      Or perhaps it is that the mistakes of the 12 year old paper are still being repeated. Perhaps it is that every IPCC report since that “old paper” has promoted the mistakes of that paper. Perhaps it is that people like you dismiss the criticisms of that paper as irrelevant while refusing to correct the mistakes, or even just to learn from them.

      It is all well and nice to act like there is no problem, but doing so by ignoring all the problems raised is what causes distrust.

    • Scientists are super-competitive. Everyone wants to be the next Einstein. If someone showed that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas or that climate sensitivity is 0.5 deg per 2xCO2 then the first person to get to it (and withstand scrutiny) would be in textbooks…..conspiracy theory.

      And while one in a million will get it right, the other 999999 will still need to pay their bills and support their families. So they need to play safe. They know it’s best to butter up whoever is buttering their bread. No conspiracy needed.

      What is more reasonable is that the physics works

      Only the basics. Not eg feedbacks.

    • Nullius in Verba

      Chris,

      At the risk of sidetracking the conversation away from the IPCC, could you tell me what you think of a comment by the reviewer of a “denier’s” paper saying “It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically”?

      You say “so there should be no reason why an obvious counter-argument would not be advanced”. This is a case where such an argument was apparently advanced, and the reviewer was confidentially trying to get unpublished data via a back-channel from a competing author to try to refute it, because “If published as is, this paper could really do some damage.” The reviewer could find no mathematical or logical problems with the paper, and the results were also demonstrated in a practical sense via Monte Carlo experimentation, so it would appear that the reviewer’s only reason for pursuing the matter in this way was that it contradicted the dogma. Absent any valid reasons for rejecting the argument, the request for back-channel data was apparently in an effort to show that the use of incorrect methods “didn’t matter” when applied to a particular result which needed to be defended.

      Without getting into the specifics of this particular paper, or the science for or against, what would you think of any scientist complaining that it would be hard to dismiss a critical argument because it appeared to be correct? In what sense does publication of a correct counter-argument do “damage” to science?

      This is just my interpretation, of course, and I don’t know all the context. I’ve looked with interest through the inquiry reports (and other analyses claiming that there is nothing to worry about) to try to see where they give the wider context to explain away these items, but I can’t seem to find it. It seems to me that this is the sort of thing Judith is referring to as “dogma”. Does that clarify?

    • Where is the evidence that the warming will be 3 – (6-9) C per century?

    • CO2 is not the only driver of climate and temperature changes, it’s a small influence at best. There is much more going on that we simply do not know or understand, and that includes the energy balance of the planet. That’s why AGW does not follow the second law, because you don’t know where all the energy is going. We are seeing more and more evidence of major uncertainties, theory killing uncertainties, being published (such as clouds).

      Your dogma shows clearly. First and foremost it shows because you claim that any increase in average temperature is bad. There is no wavering on that. In your mind there is no chance at all that an increase in average temperature is good? There is no chance that we are returning to a normal state emerging from an abnormal one?

      The increase in average temperature is a calculation, not a measurement. The raw data, from three separate places on the planet so far: Canada, Ireland and Australia, shows that summer TMax is dropping since 1900. AGW predicts there would be more heat waves killing millions. Yet the number of days above 30C in Canada is 1/3 of what they were in the 1900s. At the same time, TMin is getting less cold. Also, the growing season is increasing (the number of days between the last spring frost and the first fall frost) These together are what is driving the average up.

      These changes, normal part of cycles, has nothing to do with CO2 emissions unless you provide empirical evidence (not computer models) to show otherwise. In other words, the default position in climate science should be everything happening has a natural causation unless shown otherwise.

      Yet the climate community has it backwards. All changes we see (be it a Russian heat wave, Pakistan’s floods, etc) are all caused from our CO2 emissions. That’s what is dogma in climate science
      .

  25. Stephen Pruett

    “The facts are that to the climate science community, the reality of anthropogenic climate change is unequivocal.” = DOGMA

    Evidence for climate change is reasonably good, but since no one seems to be able or willing to make public all data adjustments and the reasoning behind them, I don’t think the case is unequivocal. The anthropogenic basis for warming is unequivocally equivocal, IMO. Why has there been no significant warming during the last 10-12 years? The fact that this cannot be explained (as so elegantly expressed by Trenberth) illustrates that there are unknown factors or known factors that have not been properly weighted in climate models. This alone is sufficient to give me the impression that nothing about the role of human activity in warming can be determined unequivocally at present. That conclusion was further supported by a comment from Phil Jones in a post-climategate interview. When asked why he was so sure that warming was caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide, he said in essence that he believed this because no one could think of anything else that could do it. I know that there are a finite number of potential causes for warming, but to simply declare it is true because there aren’t any other obvious explanations seems really strange. The underlying assumption is that we have identified ALL factors that could contribute to warming. Most scientists would express their conclusions with appropriate acknowledgement of uncertainty if faced with such a situation. Many climate scientists do this in their individual peer reviewed publications. However, the IPCC reports do not leave room for any significant amount of uncertainty.

  26. The Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules.

    Dogma: Belief of one who controls the funds.

    The flow of public funds determined AGW dogma.

    It is no coincidence that the NAS President is a climatologist.

    Oliver K. Manuel

  27. Stephen,

    I’d say the evidence for gravity is unequivocal as well, or the existence of cells, electrons, evolution., plate tectonics, and even spiders…it isn’t dogma, it’s an accumulation of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. You can challenge it with properly thought out and published arguments if you stumble upon an alternative theory and people aren’t going to suppress you, but if you use arguments like “I went home and didn’t see a spider on my floor, didn’t see any cells and electrons floating around, didn’t feel my ground moving, and didn’t see my dog morphing into a cat, therefore none of the above exists” then you’re going to get laughed at. That is the equivalent of many arguments against anthropogenic climate change right now, in fact most of them. The “real” arguments are published in the literature and get attention. They haven’t worked yet.

    This isn’t dogma…people are just not satisfied with the answer that we do know some things, we do have sufficient evidence of a signal even in the face of uncertainty, and people still can’t accept that natural variability happens and can contaminate a signal on short timescales. Ironically, it’s the ones who accuse scientists of ignoring natural factors that do so themselves. If you don’t like the answers you get, sorry, but it’s how the world works (and btw, I agree Phil Jones gave a poor answer to the extent you gave me the full context…I haven’t read a transcript myself, process by elimination is not how D&A works).

    • Chris,

      FWIW, thanks for coming here and sharing your thoughts and trying to engage Judith, and some of the readership here. I for one appreciate it. It does seem though, that for now, Judith is unreachable, at least by voices of reason, or those perceived by her to be “climate community insiders”.

      • Yep, that’s the kicker – in regards to discussion about the IPCC, Judith is quite dogmatic.

      • ML – voices of reason? Who may that be?

      • Chris Colose, James Annan, Bart Verheggen, even Kloor and others. I would also add Tobis and Steig, regardless of what Curry may think/believe.

      • Spencer? Lombourg? Pielke (either take your pick)? DeNihilist?

      • Spencer gets close. He is locked to low sensitivity and has to tap dance a lot to defend it, relying on a careful selection of the evidence but he knows the background science and recognizes that if he is wrong on sensitivity there will be serious damage.

        Lomborg and Pielke are policy wonks (almost wrote won’ts) who make elementary errors on the science to defend their policy goals. Of the two Lomborg is probably the worser but the smoother.

    • I’d say the evidence for gravity is unequivocal as well, or the existence of cells, electrons, evolution., plate tectonics, and even spiders…it isn’t dogma, it’s an accumulation of evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

      The difference being that, while research on electrons and spiders etc are also politically funded, they don’t have the political ramifications that DAGW does. So on those grounds alone we can thus be pretty confident about electrons and spiders. But not on DAGW. You’d be mad to just ignore vested interest.

      • And the other difference, which is extremely important and surprisingly often overlooked, is that according to the IPCC, AGW is “very likely”. The implication of this comparison is that gravity, cells, electrons evolution and spiders are no more than “very likely”. This is nonsense, of course. Scientifically literate people who haven’t been caught by the dogma understand this and become climate skeptics.

      • Unless the spiders can be shown to be “threatened by climate change”, in which case the researcher:

        a/ becomes – poof! – a climate “scientist”,
        b/ gets the grant.

    • I’d say the evidence for gravity is unequivocal as well, or the existence of cells, electrons, evolution., plate tectonics, and even spiders…it isn’t dogma, it’s an accumulation of evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

      You are still confusing events with mechanisms.

  28. I may be young and naive, but even I can clearly see Dr. Curry’s main points about all of this.

    Here’s the bit the critic’s don’t get. It is quite simple

    The difference between “scientific consensus” and “dogma” is in the way dissent and skepticism is handled by the practitioners.

    Example-

    Generally, the medical profession works on “scientific consensus” but tolerates productive dissent and skepticism as one of the ways to advance the body of medical knowledge.

    The IPCC member scientists tolerate none of it and tend to attack the skeptics personally. That is the essence of “dogma”. If you read Dr. Curry’s blogs closely, you can see it happening here.

    • The tobacco industry really missed a big one there. They could have painted the scientific consensus that smoking is bad for your health as “dogma”. And anyone supporting or defending the science which supports that as catering to the alleged “dogma”.

      “The IPCC member scientists tolerate none of it and tend to attack the skeptics personally”

      Care to back that up with some actual facts? How exactly has the IPCC attacked people?

      In contrast, and in reality, climate scientists have repeatedly been attacked (and here the word “attack” is actually warranted in some cases) and even harassed/threatened/intimidated by Monckton, Inhofe, Watts, McIntyre, Morano, McKitrick– and that is by no means a comprehensive list. It blows my mind how people conveniently forget that reality. And as I shown elsewhere on this blog, dissenting papers, trying to challenge the theory of AGW are published each year in mainstream journals and elsewhere.

      There is plenty of debate in climate science orkneygal– you have obviously not attended an AGU meeting, or an AMS meeting, and have not been reading the scientific literature.

      I attended a professional meeting last year in Canada and dissenting voices (e.g., Tom Harris) were allowed to attend and speak freely, without interruptions or ridicule.

      I’m sorry, but you “don’t get it”– you need to be more skeptical of what you read on internet blogs.

      • “How exactly has the IPCC attacked people? ”

        Are you kidding?

        From

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7062667/Pachauri-the-real-story-behind-the-Glaciergate-scandal.html

        “Dr Pachauri has personally been drawn into a major row with the Indian government, previously among his leading supporters, after he described as “voodoo science” an official report by the country’s leading glaciologist, Dr Vijay Raina, which dismissed Dr Hasnain’s claims as baseless. ”

        Or do you simply mean attack as in hand to hand combat?

      • Yup, just as I thought. I knew that you would go for Pachauri. Calling junk science ‘voodoo’ science was not a smart on his part, he fell for the bait.

        Anyhow, that is not an “attack” per se. Calling for public flogging of climate scientists is. Telling that you cannot tell the difference.

        Oh and you cite that ever so reputable source of information, the Telegraph. Now they would never spin the truth now would they?

      • You asked for an example, you got one. Questioning the source is only valuable if they were the only ones saying it.

        Since you have acknowledged the statement as factual, that leaves us to conclude 1) you trust the telegraph, or 2) it was widely reported.

      • Dr Pachauri’s “voodoo science” commant about Dr Vijay Raina when IPCC was clearly wrong about Himalayan glacier melt by 2035 is the short, snappy “sound bite” example.

        For a more thorough analysis of the matter please read “The Hockey Stick Illusion”.

        Then you might want to read through some of the material that analysed the Climategate emails.

        Your claim that I have not read the scientific literature is laughable and shows your willingness to jump to false conclusions based upon your prejudice. That is a common trait amongst AGW true believers, I have found.

        I am a science student and reading the science is something I do everyday.

        I await you apology for mis-characterising me.

      • Read the emails Orkney, at least enough to determine that your ilk have a lovely propensity to quote stuff out of context. And yes, they said some daft things when under pressure and antagonized, good God they are human beings after all. And those thoughts (not actions) were expressed in private, not on a blog or in the press or on TV– quite different from Limbaugh’s, Beck’s, Inhofe’s and Morano’s incitations to violence in public forums. Quite a bit different from death threats and eviscerated rats on porches, no? Quite a bit different, pity that you are unable to tell the difference.

        You folks are all about “openness’, “transparency” and “accountability”– so how about we have a look at see Dr. Curry’s in emails, or those of the Pielkes, McIntyre, Lindzen, or Watts etc? Now those would be juicy. But notice that so-called ‘warmists’ have not hacked into any one’s email account or server to do so.

        Anyhow, why the double standard Orkneygal?
        But let us not get side tracked eh…..

        Yes, but are you reading the climate literature? I sense that your prejudice and bias is preventing you from seeing the truth…..

        Whatever, we have to agree to disagree, so let us leave it at that.

      • Actually, John Christy told me at one point that someone did an FOIA on his emails (presumably requests have been made of others). Seems like there wasn’t anything useful to them, or we would have heard about it.

      • MapleLeaf-

        As a Kiwi, much of your post makes no sense, since I am not familiar with Limbaugh, etc., and frankly don’t care who they are or why you have judged them the way you seem to.

        In any case, I have read through the emails. Some matters, such as the attempts to pervert the peer review process by certain IPCC’ers are quite clear to anyone.

        Also, there is no public information to prove that the CRU emails were hacked. They could have been released by a honest, insider whistleblower. We don’t know.

        And I would like to thank Dr Curry for here comments about FOI and Dr. Christy.

        So much for that “double standard” theory, Eh? Maple Leaf.

      • You have it all backwards. The peer review process at the journal Climate Research was actually subverted and perverted by de Freitas and his gang. He and his colleagues were simultaneously reviewing each others papers to appear in the same journal– go and ask John Mashey if you do not believe me. Please do some research before parroting contrarian misinformation and memes.

        The emails were taken illegally. The people who did it went to great lengths to cover up their tracks. They then tried to hack into the RC server and upload the files there. Some whistle-blower…

      • i agree it had to be a hacker, too sophisticated for your average whistle blower

      • We’ve been waiting a year for this mysterious “context” to be supplied, by those who are both best placed to provide it, or in the case of the various show-trials (like an old-style show-trial, except that it’s INNOCENCE of the defendant that is predetermined), demand it – but to date – zip.

      • As an example of the dogma.
        Typically anybody off message is called a deniar and moderated away on certain blogs.

        When I tried to reply to you at Climate Progress, I was deleted..
        I was actually defending the BBC, Richard Black and Roger Harrabin, who I criticse a lot at the BBC for being ‘alarmist’. Climate Progress commenters were describing that the BBC blog were a hot bed of sceptics and that the BBC should not allow this. I was defending the fair BBC house rules, that allowed me to criticise the BBC. Even Roger Black has been modded once or twice, for going outside of house rules.

        My defence of the BBC moderation and Richard Black(who I criticise for being warmist) was not allowed to appear in an article whose topic was attacking the BBC about it’s AGW messages, that is dogma.

        Richard Black sent me an email of thanks and that he appreciated my input.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/09/something_new_and_not_altogeth.html

      • I was referingto Maple leaf, as I tried to respond to a comment of his at Climate Progress

      • B arry Woods-

        I have suffered the affects of the IPCC insiders dogma over at Real Climate, and have given up trying to post there.

        Deleted postings. Edited questions. Ignored honest inquiries. Comments subject to ridicule that you can’t respond to.

        That is what is “Real” about RC.

        There are other blogs that I cannot even log onto.

      • had the same experience, some posts allowed.. the usual suspect pile on to me…

        my posts in reply, not allowed… the usual commentors think they have chased someone off, with their wit and ‘evidence’, not realising.. ( I was allways much politer than the regulars as well)

      • I agree entirely. Komment Macht Frei at the Grauniad – the media wing of The Green Movement – has clearly learnt from the ‘climate scientists’ in the blogosphere that tolerating dissent only leads to tears before bedtime and has become increasingly dogmatic about what notions can be published. Anything or body with remotely sceptical views is excommunicated pronto.

        Great tactic in the short term – ensures a nice quiet life. Everybody seemingly singing from the same hymn book. Saluting the same flag when its run up the pole. And keeping the luvverly lolly rolling in.

        But as a long term strategy it sucks. It didn’t work for the Roman Catholic Church in medieval times, it didn’t work in China and it didn’t work in the Warsaw Pact countries. The Berlin Wall eventually fell.

        And the dogmatists should view this as an awful warning from the not too distant past. The moment when the scales fell from Ceausescu’s eyes..and he realised that the game was up

      • My first comment at RealClimate I thought was actually good advice.

        ie I pointed out, if RealClimate want to be seen as all about the science and not political and ONLY show links to pro AGW consensus websites.

        I suggested links to Climate Audit, Lucia’s Blackboard and Pielke Junior, to show goodwill, the moderator reponse raised a few eyebrows,.

        [Eric] – Real Climate
        Being not-listed could mean that a) we haven’t heard of the site, b) that it is uninteresting or unimportant, or c) that we consider it dishonest or disingenuous with respect to the science. Pielke Jr, Blackboard, and ClimateAudit all fall squarely into the latter category.–eric]

        (discused at The Air Vent – Roger Pielke Junior commented about discussing this with Eric,in the comments section)

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/extreme-climate/

        My follow up comment was deleted, that perhaps it is a bad idea for RealClimate scientists to be part of the Guardian Environment Network, if you want to be seen as non-political or avoid antagonising politicians, as The Guardian has a Deniars HALL of Shame which includes Senator Inholfe, and Bjorn Lomberg.

        As I imagined, that antagonising US senators, is usually not a good idea for USA based scientists. (Real Climate would not print it, but you would think that perhaps it is in their interests to take the idea on board)

        The Guardian has some interesting links to ‘alarmism’/vested interests.

        Duncan Clark – Guardian – 10:10 Campaign Strategy director

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/duncanclark

        Duncan used to say in that Guardian profile, he was the Strategy Director at 10:10, I wonder why he changed his profile. ?!

        ‘No Pressure’

        http://www.1010global.org/global/about/inside-1010-global

        The link to that page on the people section of the 10:10 website has been removed. (look under people, 10:10 – missing now)

        Ed Gillspie – Guardian – Co Founder Futerra – Green media PR, advices UN, UK Greenpeace on marketing climate change.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/ed-gillespie

        (See Rules of the Game, Sell the Sizzle, Greenwash, Biodiversity, New Words That Sell)

        http://www.futerra.co.uk/revolution/leading_thinking

        Ed Gillspie -Guardian – director Sandbag – campaigning for carbon emmissions trading in Europe

        http://www.sandbag.org.uk/whoweare/

        And George Monbiot – Guardian – environmental journalist
        George is Hon President of the Campaign Against Climate Change

        http://www.campaigncc.org/hallofshame

        Also his own Deniar Hall of Shame in the GUARDIAN (an MSM paper what were they thinking)

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/mar/06/climate-change-deniers-top-10

        (includes Senator Inholfe.

        And of course Comment is Free, is just laughed at for all the deltions and pre-moderation.

        Even Andrew Montford, in a response article in the Guardian, to Bob Ward Guardian article attacking ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’, was not allowedto comment on his own article..

        Bob Ward was allowed to comment within 2 minutes of the article appering, to much amusement

        http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/9/10/can-one-trust-the-guardian.html

        The Guardain is a gatekepper for IPCC Realclimate dogma in my opinion.

        Would this comment have been allowed at the ‘dogma’ blogs and websites? All factual and verifiable.

      • Yes, it is this “arbiter of truth vs misinformation” thing that I have a problem with. Just another symptom of dogma.

      • The tobacco industry really missed a big one there. They could have painted the scientific consensus that smoking is bad for your health as “dogma”. And anyone supporting or defending the science which supports that as catering to the alleged “dogma”.

        No, they didn’t miss a trick, since the state has no vested interest in having the health impacts of smoking revealed. Unlike with having DAGW believed. Indeed it would harm their tax receipts.

        Instead they funded their own vested-interest dogma, that smoking is a-ok healthwise. Just like the state funds DAGW.

        Now you might want to argue that to the extent the state runs and funds health care, it does have vested interest in curbing smoking. But this would only make sense if smoking really did harm health, not if if didn’t (it would then just decrease taxes). But with DAGW, the state stands to gain whether or not DAGW is true – all that matters for the state to expand and benefit, is that DAGW is generally believed. Hence the politically-funded drumbeat for the last 20 years.

      • The net of taxes vs. health care for people who smoke is that the costs of health care are way higher.

      • Latimer Alder

        What is it with all these references to tobacco?

        I’m in my mid-fifties and started my flirtation with fags when I was about fifteen…about forty years ago. Even then – in the early 70s, we knew that ciggies were bad for you. One of my Mum’s best friends had died of cancer attributed to smoking.

        So I fail to see the relevance of whatever may or may not have happened 40+ years ago to the discussion of climate today.

        FWIW, I gave up tobacco over twenty years ago. I do not deny that the climate changes and I am not funded by Big Oil – or, sadly, anyone else to express my opinion on these matters. I do believe that evolution is a jolly good way of explaining past events – but completely useless as a predictive tool more than to say ‘evolution will occur’.

        So you can leave out the most common ad hom reasons in any reply. Oops – I do have an MSc in Atmospheric Chemistry.

      • Many of those leading the charge against taking climate change seriously were also deeply involved in preventing action being taken against tobacco. That includes individuals and organizations.

        Some names: Fred Singer, Fred Seitz, Cato Institute, Tech Central Station, etc. just to get you started

      • Alex Heyworth

        So what? Newton was into alchemy. Does this make his laws of motion rubbish?

      • I gather Newton also “hid his data” and pinched, or tried to pinch, other people’s ideas. He was in many was a deeply flawed human being, working at a time when the Scientific Method was in its infancy (so to some extent he must be forgiven for flouting it). But as the Method evolved (and it seems to me it evolved rather quickly in his time) his science survived its application in all respects but scale. Newton’s personal flaws, which by the lights of much of the discussion here would have condemned his ideas, were rendered nugatory by the Scientific Method. They were presented in testable, falsifiable form, and provided a demonstrably more satisfactory explanation of the available observations than their rivals. CAGW theory does none of these.

      • Oh look Eli dropped a little Argumentum ad Hominem (circumstantial) gift on the trail.

        A very persuasive form of argument indeed, but a fallacy none the less.

    • Productive dissent? Fine. But watch the medical profession when someone starts promoting cabbage soup as a cancer cure or homeopathic “vaccinations” – the outrage is palpable. In fact it’s a lot stronger than the generally polite ‘ignore’ or delete button from climate scientists – can’t always say the same for non-scientists – I’ve never used the word noncompoop or anything similar but I fully understand those who do.

      • Vaccination is an interesting example of a similar process. Like climate change, vaccination is painted as black and white even when it isn’t. Anyone who has doubts about any vaccine is automatically attacked. As if all vaccines were guaranteed to be safe in all conceivable circumstances. As if decisions to use vaccines were always made be infallible people of infinite wisdom. As if there were no possibility that the interests of the pharmaceutical industry could influence the decisions. As if it were easy to determine the long-term effects of injecting an entire population. As if toxic additives including mercury were magically rendered innocuous when mixed with a virus.

        It’s understandable that those who believe that a vaccine saves lives would use strong-arm tactics in defending it. But suppressing dissent is more dangerous in the long run. And it goes against the principle of informed constent.

      • Vaccine denial FTW!

        A convergence has occurred. The fact is that vaccines work, but different people have different responses and there are occasional side effects. The immune system is a complex beast and we don’t know exactly hove every component works, but I’m sure that the two people I know who had polio wish the polio vaccine had come sooner.

        Vaccine denial does lead to increased disease – look at recent measles epidemics. AIDS/HIV denial kills – look at South Africa.

        But the fact that scientific discussions are nuanced and that there are disagreements does not mean that there are no truths that are known.

      • Had we not eliminated that niche dweller, the smallpox virus, we might now be mobilizing global resources to fight the smallpox epidemic in Darfur, rather than not mobilizing global resources to fight the genocide happening there instead.

        Which would be better for the human spirit?
        ======================

      • Deech56, I agree with everything you say except perhaps that attributing specific exaggerated vaccine scares to a monolithic monster called “vaccine denial” may not be valid.

        What I’m pointing out is simply that there is suppression of dissent even when it’s reasonable.

      • And, I might add, informed consent is practically non-existent where vaccines are concerned.

      • Not true. I sign a form and read a page about the vaccine every time I get my flu shot. Scares about the mercury and autism link (or any other vaccines-autism link) in vaccines are unreasonable, especially after all of the effort that went into performing studies to examine the safety of vaccines containing thimerosal (talk about taking these concerns seriously). Failure to accept the science in the face of overwhelming evidence has a name.

        If you read Orac’s blog (Respectful Insolence) you will note that he does not play nice with those who pitch woo and are anti-vax’ers. The reason is that these anti-science attitudes harm people.

        Something to think about as people act in so many ways to delay any actions to reduce CO2 emissions and who attack the scientists who have the gall to raise an alarm about our future climate.

      • Regarding informed consent, you say you read a page and sign a form. It seems I need to state the blindingly obvious–that it depends on exactly what is on that page.

        In my opinion, there is no informed consent unless and until the person receiving the vaccine gets some real information about the relative individual risk of taking vs not taking the vaccine. I’ve never taken a flu shot, but let’s consider the measles vaccine. I have never seen any attempt to quantify the relative individual risk in this case. So let me try a back-of-the-envelope calculation. Officially, there is a one in a million risk of dying from the vaccine. Assuming that the risk of contracting measles is 1/1000 and that the mortality rate is 0.1%, the risks from the disease is also one in a million.

        Of course, the uncertainties are huge and my calculation may be way off. The point is that parents don’t get any information like this. Instead the are just told that the vaccine is less dangerous than the disease, a misleading comparison of apples vs oranges.

        Your comment about “all of the effort that went into performing studies to examine the safety of vaccines containing thimerosal” is interesting, considering that the amount of effort proves nothing. What’s relevant is the results of these studies, their quality and whether their statistical power is sufficient to rule out relatively rare harmful effects. I don’t know what research you are referring to. But I do know that Maths Berlin, who practically invented mercury toxicology, strongly warned against using the mercury-containing version of the swine flu vaccine for children and pregnant women.

    • Here’s the bit the critic’s don’t get. It is quite simple

      The difference between “scientific consensus” and “dogma” is in the way dissent and skepticism is handled by the practitioners.

      Bingo! The key word being the post-modernist mantle of “scientific” – which is somewhat of an oxymoron when used as a descriptor of “consensus”.

      But speaking of consensus, oxymorons and dogmatists … in one of the earlier threads here, a dogmatist spoke of a “consensus mainstream” while pleading for (in effect) a ban on the use of the word “Climategate” – a word which, according to the dogmatist, was not only “emotionally hostile”, “contentious and obfuscatory” but also simultaneously “filled with innuendo and practically devoid of meaning”.

      Amazing, eh?!

      For the benefit of the voluble (albeit vacuous) neo-HistoryMajor who, it would appear, has not yet discovered that Google could be his/her friend, here’s a link

      • History Major

        I’m sorry, most pages on here have 200+ comments. This is my first day. Seriously, I have been googling about half of things. The other half doesn’t seem worth wasting my time on. Also, is it really that bad to suggest that you use links, its the internet. Thats one of the internet’s biggest advantages.
        Also, the gate ending is not analogous at all, primarily I’d say in scale. Watergate went up the the President. There is not POTUS involvement in Climategate. Furthermore, the whole gate ending as big coverup and conspiracy isn’t there. That, and please be more creative in naming things if I have to be more creative in my google searching to tell what is being refered to be things. Jargon sucks, atleast for non-specialists

      • “This is my first day”.

        Ah … well, maybe that’s your problem. Back in the prehistoric days of usenet, any newsgroup worth its salt had an FAQ in which newbies were advised to silently lurk in order to get the lay of the land, so to speak, prior to engaging their keyboards.

        As a participant in one such high traffic newsgroup, this was advice that I found quite wise. Too bad that such advice has not penetrated the blogosphere, don’t you think?

      • Ooops … just noticed your very unoriginal (almost echolalic):

        “There is not POTUS involvement in Climategate. Furthermore, the whole gate ending as big coverup and conspiracy isn’t there.”

        Hmmm … looks like you didn’t follow the link.

        Had you chosen to do so – and read the content without eyes wide shut, you would have found:

        “Watergate, as the collection of scandals came to be known, was the biggest American political scandal of the 20th century.

        “Watergate, n., a hotel-apartment-office complex along the Potomac River in Washington, DC. In 1972, the Democratic National Committee had its offices in the complex and on 17 June of that year burglars working for the White House broke into the offices to plant listening devices. Watergate became the name of the associated scandal. Subsequent Washington scandals were commonly dubbed with the -gate suffix, such as Koreagate, Irangate, and Monicagate.

        And yes, there’s a source for that. But my mouse is getting tired of doing your homework for yours.

      • Oh, I do wish that WordPress would offer a “preview” … corrections to the above:
        link

        and [last para should read]:

        And yes, there’s a source for that. But my mouse is getting tired of doing the homework for yours.

      • a ban on the use of the word “Climategate”

        Yes, the attempt to bury and ignore and whitewash the Climategate evidence of a deep sabotaging of the science process – and the widespread lack of criticism from other climate scientists – is proof enough of Dogma.

  29. Alex Heyworth

    PS I believe you also expressed puzzlement at the Italian Flag references. I believe this framework was first raised on this thread http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/15/doubt/. If you put italian flag in the search box (top right) you will come up with other threads that used this terminology.

  30. Alex Heyworth

    Damn! that was supposed to be a reply to a question by History Major. HM, take note.

    • History Major

      I am taking note, again, many thanks. Apologies in advance if I have trouble following it, first day at this is really rather frustrating. There is no way from the term Italian flag that one would geuss someone meant the distinctions between what one does, can and cannot know. Complete non sequitor. Thank you again for clarifying tha jargon.
      I actually find the percentages thing to be a quite useful method of clarifying things. No time to read any of the comments though, but hey, percentages are distinct, well defined, and clear. Should be helpful in clarifying. Good distinction form what I see, though completely focused on the metadiscussion. Thank you again

  31. judith,

    it’s disingenuous of youmto complain about michael tobin increasing blog hits while simultaneously celebrating your increase in hit counts.

    I just come hereto watch the trainwreck of your ego trying to justify what you’vr already decided. From your language its obvious who your friends are, and you’re not building amy bridges.

    For someone who emphasizes communication so heavily, your writing is slanted, confusing, full of logical fallacies, and generally unsupported. very unprofessional.

  32. Roddy Campbell

    Well, I’ve been reading all these blogs, here and at c-a-s and the others, and it’s more of the same really. Isn’t it wonderful how nothing has changed. It’s all as it was in those happy carefree days of 2009 and before, BC (yes, Before Cli****ga**) as we call it now, when the MSM would happily ‘highlight the most alarmist aspects and downplay any mention of uncertainty’ (Zorita), when no doubts were allowed, or should I say expressed, about the holy trilogy of WG1, 2, and 3 – how certain it was that the well-accepted theory of ghg effect, and the impacts thereof, would lead to a Copenhagen/Kyoto utopia of global cooperation, and that the IPCC was cool (whoops, ‘the request for more research about the social dynamics of the IPCC, of positive feedbacks as described by Judith, is meaningful for me’ (von Storch).)

    So we’re left with the same situation. ANYONE who says that either WG1, 2, or 3 isn’t holy writ, or that the Copenhagen-style efforts towards mitigation have failed (and will likely continue to fail), or that there are more pressing human welfare issues in bag-for-buck terms GETS THE TREATMENT.

    It’s a bit sad, a bit pathetic, to watch the forensic geeks in attack mode, parsing away, moving the ball beautifully, demanding citations, the hand-wringing European elegant ball-players like Bart, the water-carriers, the hard men of midfield, not lacking in skill themselves but still able (indeed, preferring?) to floor an opponent, like Gavin, and having no realisation that in terms of effect, of policy, fewer and fewer people are watching or listening as they clog their way to blog victory like the Dutch reaching the World Cup Final. (I think it was Bart who awarded points mid-blog for who was winning, real point-scoring ad hom nonsense.)

    But that can’t be right, because their position is based on truth, and science, and truth is true, and will out, SO there must be something nefarious here – the fossil fuelled Koched-up denial machine – a Dr Seuss creation if ever there was.

    Where Judith Curry is so right is that it’s all changed. The MSM now, for whatever reason, right or wrong, are seeking to subtract, not add, AGW to their stories. Ditto the politicians. If you want truth you need to be heard. If you want effective mitigation policy you need to be more than heard.

    It’s changed. I don;t know if you can watch this where you are, but it’s good, sensible, intelligent. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/what-the-green-movement-got-wrong/4od

    And by the way – lose those environmentalists, you real believers in CAGW. No-one believes them on anything. They told us a million people would die from Chernobil, they attack GM foods, they are, so very often, stone-agers. They don’t help your cause.

    I don’t agree with everything JC has said. I think the way she has said some of it is a bit crazy. I have no idea whether I’m right or wrong about those views.

    What I can see is that the assault on her, and what she has said, is pretty ott. Stand back, peeps, take a look from 10,000 feet.

    • Alex Heyworth

      Ha ha, Roddy. Nice one. Summing up, the pudding was overegged, the public got bored, media editors realized their reporters had sold them a pup, and the earnest scientists were left holding a baby nobody wanted.

      • Roddy Campbell

        Well I mean more the attack dogs are really really trying to sideline Judith.

        MapleLeaf: ‘It does seem though, that for now, Judith is unreachable, at least by voices of reason…’

        Nurse, my sides.

  33. It is quite disappointing to see what this blog has become. Dr. Curry, I very much enjoyed the discussions on your first several postings. Yet recently, the replies appear to me to be more of an attack. And clearly by a lot of AGW supporters, as I recognize the names from other blogs.

    Is it perhaps because they think Dr. Curry was ‘attacking’ them with some of the statements made, or just the usage /semantic of the words. I don’t think that was the case; however, because of what has gone on in the past year relative to the climate sicence issues, those in the field who support the AGW position I can understand their interpretation of what was said.

    Or I might think it is an effort to silence discussion over the AGW topic (in honesty, I don’t, but one sure could take that position from the nature of the posts . . )

    What will it take to get past this right now? I don’t know. But how the scientists and the public view which theory is right, or how beliefs might have changed, how the issue is being framed in the media – it isn’t the issue at this moment. To me, the issue IS and WILL BE two-fold: the temperature record, and the accuracy of the models in predicting the increases temps with increasing CO2. You may think that is too naive, but I don’t ( I am not a climate scientist, just a mechanical/aero engineer who is interested in this topic).

    On the temperature records, there is a lot of discussion about the nature of the temperature recording stations, and adjustment of data. So get the ‘experts’ ON BOTH SIDES OF THE THEORY together, evaluate old data, why adjustments are made (siting issues, time of day, UHI, etc.), and report the results. Openly, and with no spin.

    On the models, how do they compare to the real world? Is there confidence that ALL parameters are covered? Can both sides review the code, evaluate the inputs, the assumptions made ( . . . like clouds issues, water vapor effects . . . ), and so one. Work together to resolve differences. Now maybe this one is too hard because of opinions/beliefs as to what the model should be. But why not try?

    And as the last thing, maybe in a couple of years, if indeed solar activity is one of the biggest drivers (which does makes sense to me) and because of the ‘lull’ we appear to be heading into, these other things won’t matter that much because of the cooling we just might see . . .

    • Martin C, I share your sentiments.

      Chris Colose wrote:

      What paper have been suppressed? M&M2004 made it into AR4 even though it was not a ‘worthwhile’ paper? Lindzen and Choi was published, so was Douglass et al., so was Soon and Baliunas, so were numerous others.

      Mere mention of these papers is enough to make partakers of the ‘consensus’ froth at the mouth in AWG blogs. As best as I can tell, the sheer fervour of the reaction is the metric whereby we distinguish between ‘dogma’ and ‘consensus.’

      Those who would cite those papers in such venues are told they are spouting ‘hogwash’ or ‘crap.’ Often, they get abused for their trouble.

      Jones’ emails suggest the climate science community boycott papers which publish authors whose views he finds unacceptable. He talks of ensuring a paper doesn’t make it into wider currency ‘even if we have to redefine peer review’ or words to that effect.

      I find this sort of language quite sinister.

      I note the analogy by Adelady above regarding medical/public health campaigns and the like. Paradoxically, the medical profession in my experience responds to ‘outliers’ including homeopaths and those who choose to use their services with far greater courtesy than is extended to those who would question the consensus in AWG. Doctors (also a very high achieving and competitive bunch) have been strongly inculcated with respect for patient autonomy and the need for informed consent.

      Moreover, doctors are exposed to market forces and legal scrutiny – if you’re rude to your patients, they desert your practice. Moreover, if you’re negligent, they sue you. If you behave very badly (and some doctors do), you get deregistered.

      Consequently, doctors are much politer than climate scientists.

      It’s all about accountability in the end.

  34. History Major-
    I am a Year 2 Science “Major”. In year 1 we are required to read-
    “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
    Have you read it?
    If not, you might find it interesting.

    • Latimer Alder

      ‘How does that fit into your narrative of “high priests” “trampling dissenters”?’

      Have you ever tried posting an even mildly dissenting post at Real Climate and seen the vituperation that you get in return? Do it anonymously, and then see if you feel the same way. They are not cuddly pussycats trying to persuade people from any viewpoint that they are right.

      • Latimer Alder-

        I’m not sure if you comment was directed at me or if it is a stray post, but Yes I have tried to post at RC and was disappointed with the results. My experience has been the same as many others. No criticism or honest questioning seems to be allowed there.

      • “No criticism or honest questioning seems to be allowed there.”

        Your opinion. Go back and read again. And going by your posts here it is no wonder you have had issues being taken seriously on a science web site…sorry for being blunt.

        Have you tried posting at SkepticalScience?

        Anyhow, FWIW, I encourage you to try again. RC allows more noise through now than it used to do.

      • I have been blocked out of SkepticalScience. I can read the site, but not post.

        It all started when I started posting links to peer-reviewed literature that was contrary to the site owner’s dogma. First they were allowed, then they disappeared and finally I was blocked from logging in.

        I think the last straw for him was over the missing Tropical Tropospheric Hot Spot. It was right after I pointed out that he was misreading one of the IPCC graphs that I became persona non grata.

        As far as RC is concerned, I refuse to try and post, though I do find some of the discussion interesting and read the threads.

        I was subject to flaming, humiliating posts in a discussion about Arctic Sea Ice extent during the past in one thread. None of my several attempts to clarify the situation with logical and polite responses to the flamers was allowed through by the moderators.

        So, RC has burnt all bridges as far as I am concerned. They can find others to humiliate. I refuse to be one ever again.

  35. Dr. Curry
    Politics of science appear to be the ‘ugly sister’ to its more noble sibling. As in any politics, so in the politics of science there is no absolute right or wrong just opinions, ideology, dogma, etc; the right or wrong are prerogatives of science not of its politics. Even an honest attempt to reconcile two may disappoint. Good luck.

  36. I find it very revealing that the best evidence of suppression and subversion of peer review constantly trotted out is this comment from Phil Jones. What this comment shows, in its worst interpretation, is a desire of one person (or a few if you want to assume more of the worse and include the mail’s recipients) to suppress this paper. Somehow this proves that “climate insiders” are “trampling dissent”.

    One big problem is that there is no consideration of motivation. Does he want to do this because it is threatening his “religious dogma” or because he believes it to be very shoddy work?

    But where this data point really fails to support Judith’s narrative and that of the “me too” posters is that this paper was in fact not kept out, of either peer reviewed journals or the IPCC reports.

    How is that not a clear contradiction to the argument people constantly use it to support?

    Juddith, how does that fit into your narrative of “high priests” “trampling dissenters”?

  37. Ever since I heard of CAGW, my instinct told me it was scientific nonsense. Over many years of practicing science, I have learned to trust my instinct. Since then, I have become even more convinced that there is no science to support CAGW; it is all dogma. My ponderings relate to how this dogma of CAGW will be exposed for what it is; scientific garbage.

    It seems to me that there are three ways by which this could happen.

    1. Observed data will show that global temperatures are cooling over a prolonged period of time.

    2. Proponents of CAGW will be in some form of court under oath, where cross examination can be applied. The names of Issa and Sessenberger come to mind, or the EPA being brought before the bar of justice.

    3. The prominent scientific societies – e.g. The Royal Society and the American Physical Society- stating that there is no science to support the dogma of CAGW.

    I wonder which one will be forst.

    • One of the most compelling things about Phil Jones and his performance in this spectacle is that he allows the shame of his guilt over the overegged certainty to show on his face and he reveals it in his words, too, but subtly.

      It’s too bad he can’t bring himself to speak plainly to some of the acolytes, the die-hard true believers. It would be nice to have some sense that the money being spent on understanding climate is politically blind. It would be nice to believe that the money was being spent pursuing uncertainty rather than in re-inforcing an imaginary certainty.

      Dogma is comforting, but illusory. It’s also cold comfort when the gales of scientific uncertainty howl unanswered outside.
      ===========================

    • Jim – the problem is that these things tend not to come crashing down, but just fade away like Alice’s cheshire cat, leaving nothing but an indelible grin, in the form of pointless and wealth-inhibiting legislation festering on statute books the world over, where it will be obeyed in the Anglosphere and northern Europe, and elsewhere ignored. This is why it is so important to bring this lunacy to the sort of conclusion you describe. Pillorying the Hockey Team and their silent conspirators, and dancing on the grave of CAGW aren’t just an enjoyable and healthy blood sport, they are necessary measures to get these guys to say uncle. Making CAGW go away is the easy part – we are seeing it daily on this blog, happening more or less of its own accord. Face it, mate, whatever we like to think of our modest contributions, the sheer forensic naivete on display here from Judith’s yapping terriers does their case more damage than we can hope to.

      Undoing the damage CAGW has already done, and removing its dead hand from our economic future, are the real challenges.

    • Jim Cripwell: “Over many years of practicing science, I have learned to trust my instinct.”

      Interesting. I learned to not trust my instinct. Ever been wrong, Jim?

      • I too have learned to trust my instinct, although I prefer to call it intuition. It has sometimes been wrong, more often right, so I trust it, but never to the exclusion of doubt. When a proposition offers me no way to extinguish that doubt, then I doubt it all the more. I imagine Jim Cripwell may have had a similar experience.

        It’s my experience that many CAGW alarmists don’t merely doubt their instincts, they have a positive appetite for the counter-intuitive (a hallmark of the priestly classes down the ages). Their science seems often to resemble the perpetuation of Erik von Daniken by other means. Post-normal science has a lot to answer for here. Its paradigm that the more alarming a prediction is, the flimsier the evidence required for it to survive, appeals directly to this geeky craving for the counterintuitive, and was a siren call for mediocre scientists doubtful of their prospects in the world of traditional scientific rigour.

        Overdue memo to warmists – Startrek was made up, OK?

  38. Please clarify your bullet 4 — no more consensus talk.
    How does one evaluate the truth-value of evidence?
    Is not reproducibility a cornerstone of science?
    Doesn’t repeatedly reproduced evidence constitute consensus?

    • Suggested revision:
      > no climate scientist talking about ‘consensus’ as an argument for suppressing further discussion and enquiry.

    • Nullius in Verba

      What is meant by the term here is the combination of argument from authority and argument ad populam, in which the arguer does not give the argument and evidence that has convinced the scientific community, but instead uses an an argument the claim simply that all scientists say so. It then becomes a simple question of whether you”trust the experts”, not a question of what is the evidence and is it valid. It is most often used by people who don’t know or understand what the evidence for CAGW is themselves, but have chosen to put their trust in the judgement of perceived scientific authorities.

      Repeatedly reproduced evidence isn’t what is meant by consensus. There was a scientific consensus that the world consisted of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. There was a scientific consensus that light consisted of waves in a luminiferous aether. There was a scientific consensus that black holes were “absurd” and couldn’t exist. There was a scientific consensus that pellagra was caused by germs, and that stomach ulcers were caused by stress.

      Today’s climate scientists are just doing what Eddington did to Chandrasekhar. It’s not new, it’s not especially unusual, it’s just human nature. Feynman once said that Science was the belief in the ignorance of experts, but it’s a lesson that we are still struggling to learn, it seems.

  39. “I look forward to the “insiders” who don’t like my use of the word dogma convincing me that this no longer exists!”

    Well I’m convinced. It sure does still exist.
    PS: Seems the old tactic of killing the messenger is still a popular sport too.

  40. And re: evidence of IPCC dogma, let us also not forget

    Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll try and find something wrong with it

    from IPCC leading light Phil Jones.
    And uncriticised by virtually all the IPCC rank and file.

    • And re: evidence of IPCC dogma, let us also not forget

      Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll try and find something wrong with it

      from IPCC leading light Phil Jones.
      And uncriticised by virtually all the IPCC rank and file.

      Funny thing is that most scientists would feel the same thing for the same reason.

      They would be horrified at the prospect that someone else might discover irregularities in their own (published) work. It’s a very human reaction.

  41. Judith,

    Congratulations, you are over 1000 comments (total with this plus last two related posts) and increasing with this topic. You hit it right on!

    If you are hunting lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) then you know you are close when they start stalking you. You are close to the nerve center of the dogma centered priesthood due to their response; which is exactly your main point. The response to dogma dissent is what typifies dogma, therefore the comments. Wow. You were spot on as evidenced by this comment stream!!

    Please consider a different approach to the problems of ‘consesnsus / settled’ climate science.

    AN ALTERNATE TERMINOLOGY – use economic terms instead of religious terms:

    dogma => instead use Monopolistic Policy enforced by government (IPCC/UN, NRC/US Gov’t, etc)

    priesthood => instead use bureaucracy of IPCC and US gov’t, etc

    cadre of scientists => instead use lobby groups seeking funding

    I am sure others can detail and expand this better than I. : )

    The advantage to use economic terminology instead of religious is that there are classical theories in economics that are logically developed in the science of economics (example: Von Mises among others). So we get more scientific bang for our critical posts, so to speak.

    Finally, keep your energy up. Supports are willing to pitch in . . . I am sure.

    John

  42. Judith,

    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!!! :-)

    Dogma…backwards… I AM GOD!

    Which is what most scientists try to covey.
    Man created unbreakable LAWS for science which are pretty lame when investigated closely. But are backed by the “peer-review” process.

    I could put the current theories and my science to a person on the street and my science investigation would win everytime. I took the time to investigate the past and present in science which gives a pretty close outlook to the future.

  43. Of course there has been IPCC dogma. Dogma came from unlimited control of research grant funds by the private, self-perpetuating National Academy of Sciences.

    Just as NAS/NASA dogma about the Sun’s origin, composition and source of energy blocked useful information from the 1969 fall of the Allende primitive meteorite and the lunar samples that were returned from from the Apollo Mission that year.

    Here’s the root of the climate scandal:

    Data from the Allende showed that a single supernova gave birth to the Solar System.

    Data from Apollo lunar samples showed that the Sun formed on the supernova core.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  44. I’ve posted some new text on the main post, thanks to all for your comments.

  45. Oh, lastest research…
    There is a 1.25 billion year gap from the first Ice Age until the current cycle of Ice Ages. So, a major event occured such as a massive meteor strike. Evaporation did not emerge due to the water density of chemical until the current cycle of Ice Ages.


  46. What did I mean by dogma? As per the Wikipedia, “Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practioner or believers. . . The term “dogmatic” is often used disparagingly to refer to any belief that is held stubbornly.” The issue of dogma is tied to how dissent is dealt with.

    Well, I don’t like the idea of “IPCC dogma” either, especially since I have been labeled a heretic. There is no question in my mind that IPCC dogma has existed in the past (think 2007, after the IPCC AR4 was released, and the “consensus” was all the rage and dissent was expected to be ignored.) That the idea of IPCC dogma is still alive and well was illustrated to me by an email exchange that my colleague Peter Webster had this past week with one of the lead authors of the IPCC TAR and AR4. Unbelievable.

    Is the idea that gravity causes objects to fall to the earth ‘dogma’? You will be ridiculed if you say it won’t, and if you say it is really invisible fairies causing objects to fall. There is much debate among scientists who take AGW seriously. The range of climate sensitivity in particular. The ‘consensus’ is that there is a greenhouse effect, that doubling CO2 will warm the earth is hardly surprising, since it is happening already. There are ‘deniers’ out there who still believe that the greenhouse effect is a scientific fraud, but you won’t find any heartland conferences raising this as an important message to send out to people. When Pat Michaels did say as much, he was jeered, and the issue quickly forgotten. Who’s practising ‘dogma’?

    • The ‘consensus’ is that there is a greenhouse effect, that doubling CO2 will warm the earth is hardly surprising, since it is happening already.

      Really? How do you explain that Tmax in the summers is decreasing since 1900?

  47. Yes, we should hear more from Oliver Manuel. The world needs more ignorant theories to help science advance. The crazy theories, the faster it advances.

    You don’t believe me? Just read his home page.

  48. To quote Tom Fuller–“Sheesh”

    Overall, as we can see, the faithful do not respond well to heresy or apostasy, as defined by themselves and their high priests.

    People object to their position being compared to a religion. Well, they should stop acting religious. If it waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

    A good friend of mine once got me into a discussion about religion, but only after carefully getting my assurance that I would not be offended. A couple of days later, I attempted to bring up the subject of Global Warming, but he shut it down–displaying the same kind of reluctance he was afraid I would have about discussing his views of religion.

    Judith–welcome to the dark side.

    • Ed, there is one enooormous difference between adherents of a religion and non-climate scientists like me who see the science as compelling.

      We really, deeply want to be wrong about this.

      If some Einstein comes up with a newer, better explanation of theory and observations that tells us the projections can be revised to show that the climate is not going to heat in the way it looks to be doing, we will be eternally grateful. Especially when we see Greenland and the Arctic freezing up like the good old days and record cold temperatures outnumbering record heat temperatures around the world. The evidence to back up the new explanation will be in and we’ll give thanks that our descendants will have the chance to live in the more benign world we’ve enjoyed.

      The sooner the better.

      • adelady. I am a skeptic and can say that I believe the extra CO2 generated by man will cause the global temperature to rise. However, I am not convinced that the feedbacks will make that rise 2-6C or whatever is in vogue now. You apparently take this second stance that the feedbacks will cause the 2-6C rise. On what evidence do you base this conclusion??

      • I’m not a scientist, Jim. I go by the published papers and the observations. (I might add that I’ve been horrified by the speed of the decline of Arctic ice – a clear indication to me that the uncertainties are likely to be on the high side.)

        If you can cite me a couple of good references that line up theory and observations to date with a clear exposition supporting a sensitivity of less than 3 with a nice tight clarity that there’s no long term sensitivity attached to that to take it higher after further decades or centuries, go for it. Some comforting reassurances on ocean acidification and the rate of sea level rise would go down a treat – all the evidence I’ve seen on these ugly items is pretty discouraging so far.

        I will read them and I will check out any cited supporting papers and any citations of the papers themselves. The more the better.

      • The onus is on you to support your contention. Well, it would be if you were making that contention, but since you aren’t this is a useless discussion.

      • Don’t be discouraged. Head up! Stop and smell the roses! Life’s a beach! Nothing to worry about until the Chinese and Indians think it’s bad. They’re the World’s thermometer. (Well, they do make most of them. Right?)

      • adelady – ocean acidification (H/T the Bishop)

        http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/acid-oceans-and-acid-rain

      • As I recall, the extra nitrates in the acid rain actually helped trees.

      • When all that acid rain stuff was going on I visited Sudbury, who have the big nickel smelters. That was back in the 70’s. The place, the entire city of Sudbury was like a moonscape. Nothing lived, not a tree anywhere.

        They then erected a much taller smoke stack to send the emissions higher, before they started to scrub those emissions, which sent the acid rain afar. Plants started to grow again.

      • adelady, I accept your word that you really want the orthodoxy to be wrong, but in my experience, that makes you a minority of one.

        For instance, the global average temperature (as reported by NOAA, Hadley/CRU and NASA/GISS ground-based measurements, as well as RSS and UA-H satellite based measurements) has failed to increase in the 21st century the way the General Circulation Models have said they should despite the fact that CO2 has been rising unabated. That indicates, at minimum, the models are way pesimistic, and the atmosphere is nowhere near as sensitive to CO2 primary and secondary effects as the models assume. And therefore, there will be no catastrophic temp increase in the next century. That’s GOOD news, right?

        Now, post that on even the supposedly science-based pro-AGW websites, and watch the fireworks. They will react like you killed the Pope.

        All except Gavin Schmidt’s RealClimate. There, they will just moderate your comment out, and nobody will ever see it. Like Mulder, they want to believe, and they allow no heresy to touch their servers.

      • No Ed, I’m not a minority of one. I’m just more up-front about talking the disjunction between my head and my heart.

        My head says the science is right. My heart is breaking. On one side I see hunger and misery for people in places I’ve never been and some of those I have. On the other I live in hope, arising from two sources . That many people will do what’s necessary to limit and to bring to an end the foolish squandering of the resources that rightfully should be handed on in good order to our descendants – one of those resources being a climate congenial to agriculture and an ocean that can support fish more palatable than jellyfish. The other more or less futile hope is that science will tell us that the horror story in the Arctic and Greenland is not a harbinger of worse to come.

        As for your remark about the temperature records, afaik we’ve just had the hottest 12month period ever and 2010 is lining up for a medal position in the hottest calendar year ever stakes.

      • Adelady,

        You are more confident about the validity and reliability of temperature records than I am, but you’ve doubtless l read what I’ve posted about them, so I won’t waste your time repeating that.

        But surely you would recognise that if we are still coming out of the LIA, then it is as likely as not that each new year is likely to be hotter than many of those past. That says nothing about the cause, since AGW and LIA-emergence are both consistent with hotter temperatures.

        It wasn’t clear to me whether or not you were talking about ‘global’ or ‘Adelaide’ in your remark about ‘the hottest 12month period ever’ (by which I assume you mean since we had any sort of instrument record — say 100 years or so). If the latter, my own city seems to have had the coolest and wettest year since the 1990s, and that looks set to continue for the next several weeks. If the former, ignore the last para.

        FWIW, I too am opposed to squandering finite resources, and the increasing cost of electricity in our country will lead to more ‘energy efficiency’ with or without a carbon tax.

      • Adelady:
        …we’ve just had the hottest 12month period ever and 2010 is lining up for a medal position in the hottest calendar year ever stakes.

        Yes, that’s what the climate alarmists are reduced to; talking about one year’s weather. Weather is not climate!

        After the sharp upturn of the global temperature in the last half of the 20th century, the temperature is leveled–something the climate models didn’t predict. That increase was apparently driven mainly by the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which the models do not model. That has now switched, and the small decrease in the global temperature between about 2002 and 2008 seems to reflect that.

        Both 1997 and 2009 were strong El Nino years, and the transient temperature spikes of 1998 and 2010 reflect that. We are now on the back side of the 2010 transient.

        The earth is on a long-term temperature plateau, if not starting a decline, so any transient bumps will be among the hottest periods on record (a very short record). But if you’re going to worry about every bump and squiggle, you’ll never get any sleep!

        Worry instead about the hundreds of millions of real people who will be grievously harmed by the politicians’ preferred “solution” of making energy more expensive. More than a billion of the people of the earth have no routine access to power, and adding to the expense will delay that access to them, their children and grandchildren. As a result, many or most will die sooner than necessary.

        How much additional suffering and death are you willing to accept, given that you won’t actually be touched? You and I live in rich countries, and we can pay higher energy bills. They can’t. We’ve got ours; let’s give them a chance to get theirs. We must not pretend that climate mitigation efforts will cause no harm or death. They will.

        The plain fact is that the earth has stubbornly refused to obey the climate models, and that’s good news. Let not your heart be troubled.

      • adelady:

        You’re probably not following this thread any longer, but I will add a final thought, anyway.

        In one comment, I suggested posting on a pro-AGW website something about how the global temperature hasn’t followed the models–as an exercise in experiencing the wrath that the faithful bestow on apostates and heretics.

        In your reply, you argued against my example, and my reply got back into data and analysis, and cost vs. benefits–areas where I’m more comfortable. I completely missed the fact that your answer actually supported my position.

        There is potential bad news: The models suggest there will be catastrophic warming in the next century.
        There is potential good news: The real world has not followed the models over the past decade.

        Your immediate reaction was to argue against the good news, using the last remaining tidbit of data that can remotely be construed as supporting the bad news (only if properly taken out of context).

        It seems you don’t want the orthodoxy to be wrong as much as you think you do.

        Best regards

      • Two things.

        1) the planet isn’t heating up. Summers are cooler now than they were in the 1900s, and winters are less cold. See this for the evidence of that: http://cdnsurfacetemps.blogspot.com/2010/02/southern-ontario.html

        2), why are you wishing for more cold than hot days? How do you know that is supposed to be the “normal” state of the planet? Isn’t it more likely that the planet’s normal state is warmer, with short mild winters or no winters at all? We are returning to that normal state from the LIA.

        If you want to see what a “warmer” climate looks like, look to the MWP, the RWP and interglacial periods, and even the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum when most of the planet was tropical up to the Arctic Circle, there was no winter, and life flourished (Oh, and CO2 was 5 times today).

        There is nothing unpresidented happening today. That’s the bottom line.

  49. Coby, the most charitable interpretation of Jones’ ill-considered remark at least on your parsing of his comments would be that he (and others) considered the integrity of the peer review system at a particular journal to be deeply flawed. Let’s look at the rest of the evidence:

    Michael Mann said:

    ‘I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.’

    In relation to this episode, I note:

    “In any other field (a bad paper) would just be ignored,” says Gavin Schmidt at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. “The problem is in the climate field has become extremely politicized, and every time some nonsense paper gets into a proper journal, it gets blown out of all proportion.”

    The problem with this argument lies in Gavin’s subsequent reference to this as ‘a proper journal.’

    If the work in question was shoddy but somehow slipped through the peer review process, then one would expect its readership who would comprise reputable climate scientists to respond with robust rebuttals perhaps even to the point of getting its authors to come up with clarification or corrections (as in fact Mann at one point did do in response to McIntyre).

    But in fact, the emails suggest a proprietorial attitude towards the journals. For example, Mann writes elsewhere in response to another paper he did not like:

    “It’s one thing to lose Climate Research. We can’t afford to lose GRL.”

    Tom Wigley says in relationship to another editor:

    “If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.”

    So it’s not just one off the cuff remark in an email by Jones. Moreover, in relation to ‘Climate Research,’ the threat is not merely to avoid publishing in the journal but indeed to avoid citing articles from the journal, ie, effectively punishing authors of what might be presumably ‘good’ work who had the bad luck to have picked the ‘wrong’ journal for their work.

    This is effectively a secondary boycott:

    A secondary boycott is an attempt by labor to convince others to stop doing business with a particular firm because that firm does business with another firm that is the subject of a strike and/or a primary boycott. This type of action is illegal in many countries. In the U.S. it is banned by the interpretation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, by the Taft-Hartley Act, which amends the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, also known as the Wagner Act.

  50. So if the “insiders” want to convince me that there is no dogma, they need to at the very least stop trying to marginalize skeptics and preferably actually engage with them in debate.

    You can’t marginalize people like Monckton, Manuel and Gerlich and Tseuchner enough. There have to be limits, or you will only have to deal with the never ending stream of people who happen to believe anything and everything. The idea behind the success of science to date, which has been one of the most remarkable achievements of the modern age, is that it has been able to focus research and the methodically acquire and store knowledge. What you are advocating will end all that. Do we really need to spend millions on researching the ‘iron sun’, when it is the consensus that his idea is just wrong.

    • snide. Let’s take a look at “cold fusion.” Fleischmann and Pons announced their “discovery” of cold fusion. The physics community took a quick look, denounced it, then for the most part just ignored them. Why do the “insiders” feel the need to even engage skeptics at all?

      A second question is do you, and if so how can you defend, the secrecy of code, data, meta-date, rejected data, etc?

  51. Judith,

    I find the below cited paper by Lindzen addresses many of the points being made by you. He does so in terms of inter-related cultural, organizational, and political factors, instead of analogies to religion. I think you have a similar position to what Lindzen says in the paper. Namely, related to climate science, he says , ” . . . [edit] . . . the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research.” That speaks toward your view of dogma in climate science.

    Lindzen’s paper is:
    “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?1
    Richard S. Lindzen
    Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    November 29, 2008″

    John

    • NOTE: I found the above Lindzen paper through a link in a current post at WUWT “Diminishing returns on climate models” by Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. [ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/06/diminishing-returns-on-climate-models/ ]

      John

      • The Lindzen paper I mentioned above references Miller, D.W. (2007) ‘The Government Grant System Inhibitor of Truth and Innovation?’ J. of Information Ethics, 16, 59-69.

        About ‘Miller (2007)’ we see Lindzen saying, “Miller (2007) specifically addresses how the system especially favors dogmatism and conformity.’ My interpretation of the system Lindzen is referring to is the US gov’t activities in the scientific process and funding of climate science and also by implication in science in general. I think this idea also applies to the IPCC as a gov’t process which is a corollary to the US gov’t.

        Dogma it seems is a word not solely used by Judith wrt climate science.

        John

  52. Latimer Alder

    ‘Is the idea that gravity causes objects to fall to the earth ‘dogma’? You will be ridiculed if you say it won’t, and if you say it is really invisible fairies causing objects to fall.’

    The existence of something that we call ‘gravity’, and that suitably massive and slow moving objects obey Newton’s Laws of Gravity has been reliably demonstrated countless times..both in millions of scientific experiments and in people’s day to day experience. We also know that it isn’t the whole story where the suitable conditions do not apply ..in these circumstances you need also to consider the superset of gravity that takes into account relativistic effects. And these can be demonstrated astronomically. You can use these theories to make predictions about what an experiment should observe. And so far at least, these have proved to be excellent predictors of the way the universe is seen to behave.

    So how does this relate to climatology? Sure there are some theories. And the people who constructed the theories are rightly proud of them and wish to demonstrate their correctness. This is only to be expected. But IMO a decent theory should be one that can be tested experimentally, and its authors should propose experiments that actually can be tested.

    Einstein predicted exactly what relativity should show when Eddington went to South America to observe a solar eclipse. He put his theory on the line bigtime. If Eddington had shown a different result, relativity theory would have been dead in the water. As it happens, Einstein’s predictions were confirmed and relativity lived to fight another day. It was a powerful demonstration of the link between theory and experiment.

    So where are the experiments in climatology? Where are the predictions that can be experimentally tested? Who has put their cojones on the line and said ..’in 5 years time if my theory is right, you should measure values abc under conditions xyz’. Nowhere. Not one. Zip. Nada.

    There are plenty of ‘with hindsight’ predictions that say ‘we observed values jkl, and these are consistent with our climate theories’. But never the other way about. This is about as much use as a racing tipster sending you his forecast just fifteen seconds after the race has ended..and miraculously managing to get the first three horses in the correct order every time. Forgive me if I don’t roll over in wonderment at his abilities.

    When climatology does come up with some definite experimental verification, then I will start to take it more seriously. AFAIK nobody in the field has ever put their balls on the block to even propose such things. Until they do the stubborn insistence of the correctness of the theory can only be described as ‘dogmatic’.

    And yes, I did once have a dog in this game. Very briefly I was a theoretician in my field – atmospheric chemistry. I worked on some great well-constructed and very appealing theories.

    It was just that the pesky universe didn’t behave the way the theories told it to. The experiments showed otherwise. We ditched the theories. Sad for me, but that’s supposed to be the way that science works.

  53. Alex Heyworth

    Interesting addition to the post, Judith. You ask “Why is it so necessary to so vehemently defend the consensus against people that disagree with it, some of whom don’t disagree with it all that much? It is presumably because of the political relevance of this issue, and the perceived importance of consensus for implementing the UNFCCC policies.”

    I think this is a little deeper than your average political issue. Quite a few climate scientists have a large emotional investment in their concern about climate change. It is a bit like a mother/child relationship. As a consequence of the emotional investment, they are hypersensitive to anything they perceive as an attack on their “baby”. Further, this sensitivity is greater towards criticism from outside “the tribe”. Criticism from inside the tribe is tolerated, much as a mother will tolerate a child’s uncle having a bit of rough house fun with a kid, but would be appalled if a non-family member tried the same.

    The same phenomenon is observable among environmental scientists in other areas. It is the same sort of loss of perspective (although less extreme in degree) as that which leads animal rights activists to commit crimes against researchers.

  54. I look forward to the “insiders” no longer characterizing Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT, and others as holocaust deniers.

  55. From reading at Collide-a-scape, it looks like you didn’t just hit a nerve, but hit bone. The “other side,” for lack of a better term, seems to protest too loudly.

  56. It occurs to me that truth can be treated as dogma. That something is treated as dogma doesn’t invalidate it, but certainly warrants some consideration as to why the dogma mode has been adopted. Adoption of dogma mode makes me think the thing cannot stand on its own legs.

    I must say, Chris Colose, that you might stop including “well-funded”among your arguments. I seriously doubt that anyone here is even adequately funded.

  57. Hmm, a long comment got snipped after the first paragraph (AMac, Nov 6 @ 9:45am). I will try to repost.

    Chris Colose Nov. 6 @ 12:25am, in response to Steven Pruett

    You’ve penned articulate, well-organized essays from a scientifically-literate perspective, so it may seem unfair to be subjected to the following criticism, on a thread where most conversations aren’t going well, for much more basic reasons. But perhaps this will help you make a little more sense out of a perspective that you seem to find puzzlingly unscientific, and frustrating.

    “Dogma” has definitions. One is neutral (“something held as an established opinion; especially: a definite authoritative tenet”) and the other is pejorative (“a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds”). Given the emotions surrounding the AGW Consensus, this was a poor choice of words (by Judy). We should be clear which definition we’re using. For this discussion, I am considering only the first one.

    In rebutting Steven Pruett, you argue by analogy, comparing the AGW Consensus to theories and paradigms that are as well-estabished as any in science: gravity, and the existence of evolution, plate tectonics, electrons, cells, and spiders. Each member of this collection is inapt, each for a different reason. (Rather than go through the list, I will offer to explain differences in a follow-up comment.)

    If the AGW Consensus was in the first tier of established scientific paradigms, the following would be true.

    1. Models of the earth would be sufficiently advanced to explain historical changes in the climate, in quantitative terms, within narrow bounds. All major feedbacks would be identified, with their signs and magnitudes established.

    2. The historical effects of increasing GHGs would be quantitatively established, within narrow bounds. This would provide validation of the complex maths of a complex theory that describes a complex reality.

    3. The future effects of increasing GHGs would be quantitatively predicted, within narrow bounds.

    We could discuss what “narrow bounds” means in these contexts, but I think it’s unlikely that the ranges that are currently discussed would qualify, in most scientifically-literate people’s opinions.

    These are very high standards — but the standards for an “established scientific paradigm” — dogma in the positive sense — should be set very high. That is, after all, the point under discussion.

    As a lay person (or “citizen-scientist”), my understanding is as follows:

    1. The Consensus has made great progress, and is “halfway there.” There are broad understandings of important phenomena. Foremost for this discussion, they include the solutions to radiative trasfer equations that predict the direct effect of [CO2], methane, and other GHGs. They also include models for things like: entry into and exit from Ice Ages, the effect of the Earth’s orbit on climate, the earth’s climate history on scales of thousands to millions of years, ocean-atmosphere couplings (e.g. heat transfer, CO2 sinks), decadal phenomena such as ENSO and the PDO.

    2. The historical record of the effects of increasing GHGs is unclear, as illustrated by the contrasting temperature and GHG histories of the first and second halves of the 20th Century. The ending of the Little Ice Age may or may not have added to the background of the first half.

    3. The future effects of increasing GHGs can only be predicted within broad ranges, at the present.

    There is a fourth characteristic that should be considered, as well.

    4. Scientists in the field should take Richard Feynman’s advice to heart, and be “brutally honest” in seeking out errors in their colleagues’ work, and in their own. They should search for experiments that would subject their theories to disproof, and discuss and debate such findings, modifying their hypothesis as the results dictate.

    From the point of view of the AGW Consensus, the most important applications of Feynman’s dicta would be in GCM design and testing, and in making sense of the historical instrumental record.

    I don’t know enough to hold a qualified opinion on GCMs, but there seem to be causes for concern.

    Analyses of the instrumental record seem to be acceptable on the whole, although with a few exceptions. The most prominent one is the Keenan-Jones controversy over Chinese temperature data.

    The many and varied shortcomings of the field of paleoclimate proxy-based climate reconstruction are very worrisome, in my opinion. Not so much for the importance of this sub-specialty to overall knowledge of climate, but rather, for what these controversies say about the state of climate science. To the extent that the conclusions of work in this area squares with the expectations of the AGW Consensus, climate scientists seem content to “leave well enough alone.” Politics, policy implications, and personality conflicts seem to be in the driver’s seat.

    This is contrary to Feynman’s philosophy.

    • Roddy Campbell

      Good polite accurate stuff, I’ve been wanting to reply to Chris C, but you have done a far better job of it.

  58. PhD in History

    In my first comment I forgot something vital: Dr. Curry is ten times a Mann. Her willingness to debate in this manner is the only MO that can save climate science from itself. The trenches of IPCC/HadCRU/etc need such an enema to flood away the Gores and the Taminos (Papagenos?) lurking there.

  59. Professor Curry,

    “Insiders” don’t like the concept of “IPCC dogma” because it speaks to a flaw that corrupts the entire federal science program, as does “NASA dogma”, “DOE dogma”, “EPA dogma”, “NAS dogma”, “RS dogma”, “MNRS dogma”, “PNAS dogma”, “Nature dogma” , etc.

    Western science and Western forms of government now face a self-inflicted crisis: Loss of public confidence caused by unbridled greed and selfishness and by the abuse of federal science as a tool of propaganda.

    “Insiders” are afraid that public outrage over the climate scandal may force politicians to eliminate the concentration of power, without accountability, that produced the current scandal:

    a.) The US National Academy of Sciences and the UK Royal Society, and
    b.) Anonymous reviews of research proposals and papers.

    Since former President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw this danger coming almost 50 years ago [Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation, January 17, 1961], it is incredible that anyone is seriously offended today when you call a dogma, “a dogma.”

    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    “. . . public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    That is exactly what the climate scandal exposed. But climatologists didn’t create the problem. They copied from the template that kept federal funds flowing freely for decades in the other sciences.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  60. Dr Curry, I’m not going to read the thousands of comments that your three posts seemed to have provoked (much of them, from my superficial perusal, a boring rehash of old news ). I just want to say contrary to a previous post of mine, I admire your honesty and fighting talk here. And I think, essentially, your correct. That is to say, to a general public, of which I’m a member, dogma has seemed the order of the day. But who is the spokes people that the general public sees? Bob Ward, a thoroughly unpleasent fellow. Further, the partial view, that the leaked emails gives shows a similar, what did you call it, ‘circling of the wagons’ and wish to dogmatically exclude. I also think that your new Damascene insight has stung you and, especially, the reaction there from. I would only say that there is a saying for that: ” If you stare into the abyss the abyss looks back into you”.

  61. Dr Michael Cejnar

    Thanks Dr Curry. Your definition of dogma and your simple observation of the dogmatic nature of CAGW is quite clear to me. The torrent of repetitive, nitpicking and dogmatic attacks is presumably only intended to mess with your mind.

    Proof of dogma?: When IPCC’s Pachauri dismissed out of hand Dr Vijay Raina’s ‘denial’ of Himalayan glacier melt by 2035 and called his work “voodoo science” – that’s dogma in my book.

    Why is the term “deniers” dogmatic?: In this context, ‘denial’ is implied to be denial of an established fact – like of holocaust, gravity, benefits of vaccination.
    Now, taking even the most wildly optimistic statement of certainty of AGW – the “very likely (>90% probability) stated by IPCC in AR4, this hardy makes AGW a ‘fact’ such as gravity, and thus subject to the pejorative denialist label (Catastrophic AGW and effectiveness of mitigations would have certainty far far below this 90%). Hell, in medicine, we’re not even allowed to accept a hypothesis until we reach 95% certainty (granted that if it concerns destruction of the planet, we would accept a lower threshold for action). Therefore elevating skeptics of AGW to the level of denialist, makes AGW a dogma.

    Oh, and ‘History Major’ – you made 33 tedious and repetative posts on this topic alone – please have some mercy on other readers.

  62. curryja — I’m presenting some new ideas, that some are uncomfortable with.

    New to whom?

    What little debate that actually happens is both informed and framed by the (justified) science community’s response to evolution deniers. One shortcuts zany crackpots with the general reply that it’s already settled. The problem inherent to this approach is twofold — first, evolution is “settled” in that it’s supported by amazingly strong cross-discipline evidence with no realistic dissent of note. Second, accepting or not accepting evolution doesn’t result in the sincere promise of the confiscation of trillion$ of tax dollars.

    Scientists do not owe Aunt Minnie an explanation re evolution. There are plenty of sources including every accredited educational outlet and a half million web sites where Aunt Minnie is capable of getting reasonable enough information. This doesn’t apply to climate science. The information is closely held. It’s guarded from “outsiders” to the point that that FOIA suits have to be filed just for qualified reviewers (e.g. McIntyre) to get relevant data or source code. Those skeptical of the methods of Drs Mann or Hansen are simply dismissed as if they were evolution crackpots. CEI just filed a suit against Dr. Hansen of NASA.

    This of course does little more than fan any small flame into a conflagration. Deniers RIGHTFULLY accuse the scientific community of fraud because denying skeptical (or any!) inquiry certainly walks, talks, and smells like fraud. Why is this rightful? Because in the case of Dr Hansen of NASA, this is funded by taxpayers. As taxpayers, this is MY data, it’s YOUR data; it belongs to the people who paid for it. The very thought that the people who paid for something need to file a suit to see the data that is being used to create policy is mind boggling. What reaction do we expect people to have? Of course they will cry “fraud.”

    Thus my question: new to whom?

  63. Examples of Blind Federal Dogmas

    These experimental observations, contrary to federal dogmas, have been successfully ignored by NAS, RS, NASA, DOE and other government research agencies:

    a.) Analysis of the Allende meteorite showed that the Solar System formed directly from material that retained the chemical and isotopic signature of supernova debris: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

    b.) Analysis of lunar samples revealed mass fractionation in the Sun that enriches lightweight elements (h and He) and lightweight isotopes of each element at the solar surface: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

    c.) Analysis of xenon in Jupiter’s He-rich atmosphere revealed excess Xe-136, as had been predicted in a paper that also violated federal dogma.

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1998Data.htm

    d.) Analysis of nuclear rest mass data revealed neutron repulsion as the energy source that heats planet Earth, powers the Sun and the cosmos.

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/2000Data.htm

    Dogma? No, blind dogma!

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    http://myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09

  64. >>How is Pat Michaels willfully ignorant or trying to deceive?

    Well, off the top of my head, there’s his 1998 testimony to Congress where he only presented Hansen’s Scenario A and neglected to show Congress Hansen’s Scenario B or C.

    I don’t see how Michaels could have been ignorant of Scenario’s B & C since they were right there in the same paper that Michaels got Scenerio A from. That doesn’t leave many other choices to pick from…

    • Ok, so something that Pat Michaels said is alleged to be incorrect. Rebut it (and this one has been rebutted thoroughly). Do not use this as an excuse to fight a holy war against Michaels, or worse yet, all skeptics.

      • Dr. Curry, it’s not a matter of “alleged” rather it is a matter of fact that Michaels only presented Scenario A to Congress and made no mention whatsoever that scenarios B & C even existed:

        http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-pm072998.html

        You asked “How is Pat Michaels willfully ignorant or trying to deceive?” – I already wrote that I didn’t think his omission of scenarios B & C could have been a matter of ignorance. So what would you attribute his omissions to?

      • I’m not sure why he couldn’t have been confused. It seems that the individual that wrote this paper was : “Of loaded dice and heated arguments : Putting the Hansen–Michaels global
        warming debate in context” social epistemology, 2000, vol. 14, nos. 2}3 TIMOTHY M. O’DONNELL

        “Scenario ‘A’ projected the most dramatic temperature rise
        (approximately 0± 04 ° C between 1987 and 1997). It was based upon a ‘ business as usual ’ forecast in which carbon dioxide emissions continued to rise rapidly. Scenario ‘B’ assumed reduced growth in the accumulation of emissions and, scenario ‘C’ assumed ‘ draconian emission cuts ’. Scenarios B and C both indicated signi. cantly smaller temperature increases than did scenario A.”

        I believe business as usual would describe the time period in question. If this person could be confused then certainly others could as well. In this situation if the confusion was similar it would make perfect sense to only show scenario A.

      • I believe business as usual would describe the time period in question.

        And so would the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Scenarios B & C included the cooling effect of a major volcanic eruption but Scenario A did not.

        But not only did Michaels make no mention of Scenarios B & C, he also never mentioned that Hansen’s paper included the cooling effect of a major volcanic eruption (in Scenarios B & C) nor did he make any mention that one in fact occurred – Mt. Pinatubo (and neither does O”Donnell, at least the part you quoted).

        So we have yet another omission by Michaels.

        FWIW – Hansen’s paper can be found here:

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

      • This is what Hansen’s 1988 paper says ” Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinately….”

        This is what he said about scenario A later:
        “Scenario A was described as “on the high side of reality”, because it assumed rapid exponential growth of greenhouse gases”

        This is what the NOAA said in 2008:
        “Carbon Dioxide, Methane Rise Sharply in 2007
        April 23, 2008

        The rate of increase in carbon dioxide concentrations accelerated over recent decades along with fossil fuel emissions. Since 2000, annual increases of two ppm or more have been common, compared with 1.5 ppm per year in the 1980s and less than one ppm per year during the 1960s”

        To me this sounds as if the NOAA is making a case that the growth rates have remained typical. So the argument is now if the volcano which erupted in 1991 and by which studies show would have less then a 0.1C influence 6 years later should have caused the inclusion of scenarios B and C. I would regard this argument as weak and certainly not strong enough to declare someone a liar. Perhaps you can point out the error in my thought process.

      • This is what he [Hansen] said about scenario A later:
        “Scenario A was described as “on the high side of reality”, because it assumed rapid exponential growth of greenhouse gases”

        Um… let’s look at the complete Hansen quote:

        Scenario A was described as “on the high side of reality”, because it assumed rapid exponential growth of greenhouse gases and it assumed that there would be no large volcanoes (which inject small particles into the stratosphere and cool the Earth) during the next half century.

        http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2005/Crichton_20050927.pdf

        Interesting – just like Michaels, your quote omits (snipped out actually) mentioning that scenario A didn’t include a major volcanic eruption when one in fact occurred (why is that do you suppose?).

        That and the fact that Michaels didn’t tell Congress that the one scenario was considered “on the high side of reality” doesn’t make for a particularly good defense of Michaels (rather damning actually).

      • “Interesting – just like Michaels, your quote omits (snipped out actually) mentioning that scenario A didn’t include a major volcanic eruption when one in fact occurred (why is that do you suppose?).”

        Perhaps because I split that into a seperate argument? The high side of reality comment does not match the paper he presented, or does it? What does high side of reality mean in scientific terms? Does it mean the growth rate remains as it was in previous decades? When did he first say it? You are not improving your argument.

      • Oh, here we go I have found the high side of reality in his paper. “Scenario A, since it is exponential, must eventually be on the high side of reality in view of finite resource constraints and environmental concerns….”

        So we have run out of fossil fuels and I didn’t notice? Or we have cut back due to envirnmental concerns and it just isn’t being reported? We reached eventually very early in the process did we not? Better see if you can find something else. The high side of reality isn’t going to be a winning argument.

      • “That and the fact that Michaels didn’t tell Congress that the one scenario was considered “on the high side of reality” doesn’t make for a particularly good defense of Michaels (rather damning actually).”

        You seem to be a very judgemental person. And we can continue to judge Michaels if you so desire, but I think it is time to expand our inquiry. If someone attacked Michaels using the high side of reality argument and they should have known that they were omitting very important aspects regarding the context of that phrase, how would you judge them?

      • Judith,

        What the heck are you taking about with phrases like “holy war”? BTW has convincingly made his/her case…you have just resorted to inflammatory rhetoric in response. He was not “alleged” to have been incorrect, it is on the public record that he misrepresented Hansen’s work.

        Why is it so hard for you to criticize the likes of Michaels, McIntyre, Spencer? Why do you pretty much exclusively give them a free pass. This is not what a mediator does.

        If you continue on this path you are are only deluding and deceiving yourself, not to mention others. Now I call that highly irresponsible of someone of your stature.

        This website is rapidly becoming a demonstration of dogma, especially when the host starts making reference to “holy wars” when it is brought o her attention that skeptics have misrepresented the science.

      • What the heck are people like Jim Hansen doing using phrases like “Death trains” and “Deniers”?

        Why is it so hard for you to criticise the likes of Jones, Santer and Mann? It seems like you are giving these people a free pass.

        If you continue on this path you are are only deluding and deceiving yourself, not to mention others. Now I call that highly irresponsible.

      • Strawman Tallbloke. So let me counter with one or two of my own, you know for the sake of balance. What the heck is McIntyre talking referring to “James Hansen and his disciples have a more jihadist approach”? Or why is Monckton talking about “Hitler youth”?

        Jones said some stupid things, I am on the record stating that. And I did not try and defend some of the things he said. Happy?

      • Actually Jones said some very revealing things, not stupid things. You might think it was stupid to say them, because they run counter to the IPCC dogma, but that is a different issue.

      • that skeptics have misrepresented the science.

        I have never misrepresented the science. I can’t say that about the AGW faithful. The Goricle comes to mind.

      • Strawman. And “Goricle”? Grow up. Juvenile quips make a poor substitute for for an actual argument.

      • Are you saying Al Gore doesn’t misrepresent science? How many errors were in his film? Who needs to “grow up” are the climate scientists who know Gore is wrong and say nothing.

  65. Judith

    Environmentalism is a political movement and a quasi religion. Its adherents are self-important emotionalists who care little for mankind. IPCC dogma flows from its relationship with environmentalists. IPCC will never have any credibility so long as it is a slave to environmentalists.

    Regards Gary

  66. From the Original Post:
    “But [there are] people who think that climate change is mostly explained by natural variability, again this is not an irrational position that deserves the label of denier. There is enough uncertainty in our understanding to accommodate this explanation as at least plausible.

    It is my contention (and that of many others) that in fact this is the default null hypothesis and until proponents of the anthropogenic global warming hyothesis come up with some better evidence to back up their claims of imminent dangerous warming driven by co2 and a water vapour feedback to its increasing levels, the null hypothesis is the best one we have.

    One of the things that annoys me, and shows the dogmatic nature of the IPCC scientists creed, is that they grudgingly admit that the interegnum in the warming is due to the negative phases of cyclic natural climate factors, but will never discuss in open debate how much of the previous warming might have been due to the positive phases of those same natural factors. Presumably this is because the logical consequence is that their sensitivity figure is too high.

    Ignoring awkward questions and the logical consequences of the answers, but instead repeating your standard dogma is a politicians trick. It is not acceptable from scientists.

    • Tallbloke – spot on, but can I suggest the removal of the word “default”? The null hypothesis is the null hypothesis, and can’t safely be qualified. To do so veers towards the perverse notion of consensus, IMO, and suggests that the null hypothesis may be the movable feast that climate “scientists” seem to think it is, rather than the constant companion of the researcher that it ought to be. I wouldn’t raise the point if I had not seen so much evidence that the null hypothesis is widely misconstrued in this way.

  67. Alexander Harvey

    If we have a dogma, perhaps we need to clearly identify its components, and answer some questions.

    Where can I find this dogma?
    Who decided upon it?
    To whom does it apply?
    How is it applied?
    What are its consequences?
    What are the parallels with other dogmas?

    To begin, do the reports of the IPCC codify the dogma? Are they pure dogma or a mixture of dogma and doctrine? The latter being of the lower category consisting of percieved wisdom still open to debate. Are the reports to be considered as revealed truth? Are the authors prophets, and their collected writings to be considered “books”. Are the subsidary writings by students of the books such as journalists and bloggers to be considered to be commentaries? Precisely which parts of the writings are dogma?

    Is the dogma decided upon by a specified process? Is the IPPC a council of believers of a broader spectrum, instructed to make decisions on what is dogma and what is mere perceived truth? Having done so, do the reports, or parts of the reports attain the full weight of dogma which tollerates no dissenting voices or variance in belief or practice among its believers.

    Who are the believers to whom the dogma applies, is it a certain grouping or is it a universal belief to whom all must be subject? Can we identify the dominion of this dogma?

    How is this dogma applied? Can we observe it being applied? Where are the courts and who are the adjudicators and the witness to an auto de fé?

    What are the consequences of this dogma, are people deprived of the right to be a believer and share the benefits of such belief if they hold to the basic tenets but fail to believe in one of its mysteries?

    If this is dogma then are there recognisable parallels to more accessable dogmata, somewhat in the way I have outlined?

    If this is a dogma of the type I have outlined then it is a fact that is not without identifiable subjects, processes, and consequences . We should be
    able to identify these and describe them.

    If it is such a dogma then it would seem to lead to some challenging notions that I am not sure can be justified, and might be characterised as bizarre. This would not I think be incompatable with it being dogma.

    There is more I hope to a dogma than a tendency towards obstinency in a group professing similar ideas.

    Is there a dogma? And if so can we describe its tenets, constituency, processes and consequences?

    Alex

  68. David L. Hagen

    Brazilian Geraldo Luís Lino addresses the AGW dogma in:Climate Change: The Keywords (Part 1 of 3)

    Taken almost as a dogma, the AGW has been forcefully imposed by means of a barrage of scare stories and indoctrination that begins in the elementary school textbooks and is volleyed relentlessly upon us by the media and many scientific institutions (including some pseudo-scientific ones), while gullible or opportunistic politicians devise all possible means of inserting climate-motivated items into their power-seeking schemes. . . .
    During the interglacials there were higher temperatures without any kind of “runaway” disturbance. . . .
    Physicians all over the world elected fresh water and sanitation infrastructure as the greatest medical advance of the last 150 years – a “privilege” still unavailable for over 40% of the world’s population. . . .
    Almost one billion people all over the world suffer from chronic hunger, a scenario that will surely worsen due to the current speculation-driven price rise affecting some basic staples. . . .
    coal, oil and natural gas will continue to be sources of development and progress for a long time yet – and it is unacceptable that its growing use be hindered by an imaginary threat.

    cross posted to WUWT

    • Alexander Harvey

      David,

      I am sorry but I cannot see that he does.

      He argues from a point of assumption that it is almost a dogma to a certain but limited extent.

      He describes a doctrine and its enscapsulation in the production of school textbooks and then proceeds to rebut by giving the doctrine of his own school of thought.

      I am looking to see if climate dogmata do indeed exist and whether the use of the word is appropriate, and hence permitting analysis to determine its structure. Things such as the existence of rules of membership and hence barriers to admission.

      Personally I think that barriers to admission may exist. This will be tested in the form of whether adherents to schools rejecting core aspects can and will gain admittance to institutional science and other groupings. There is a little anecdotal evidence that they shall not. I have looked at applications for positions that require along with a CV, a requirement for short essay pieces on AGW thoery, and on its environmental and political consequences. If that be common then we may have a dogma at play and it is not without it consequences.

      The rights and wrongs of the doctrinal positions is not relevent to my questioning, but whether rights to practice and study are impeded would be indicative of a dogma.

      Alex

  69. Chris Colose | November 6, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    wrote
    quote
    I’d say the evidence for gravity is unequivocal as well, or the existence of cells, electrons, evolution., plate tectonics, and even spiders…it isn’t dogma, it’s an accumulation of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. You can challenge it with properly thought out and published arguments if you stumble upon an alternative theory and people aren’t going to suppress you, but if you use arguments like “I went home and didn’t see a spider on my floor, didn’t see any cells and electrons floating around, didn’t feel my ground moving, and didn’t see my dog morphing into a cat, therefore none of the above exists” then you’re going to get laughed at. That is the equivalent of many arguments against anthropogenic climate change right now, in fact most of them. The “real” arguments are published in the literature and get attention. They haven’t worked yet.
    unquote

    You think that AGW is as real as a spider? Fair enough. How big is the spider, how big is AGW? You can point to them if you like — but remember to allow for the uncertainties as outlined in the IPCC report. Perhaps you could refresh my memory — 3.7w/m^2 for AGW with a cloud and aerosol uncertainty of about the same? So you point to one thing, a concrete object, and to another, a fuzzy blob of uncertainty and expect me to assume equivalence. No thanks.

    Your analogy, in other words, is wrong. Put the spider in a box, then point to the box. That’s a better analogy. How big is the box? How big the spider?

    However, I am willing to be convinced of the mechanism you propose, CO2 greenhouse effect with a positive feedback of equal size to the initial forcing. I accept that the data has established warming. Presumably, as a poster at Real Climate, you are a scientist. What data about the warming process would change your mind about the mechanism?

    Let us say that the Folland and Parker correction to SSTs is found to be faulty* and hence the aerosol fudge — ‘explanation’ if you prefer — which keeps the models on track is faulty. Would that fact convince you that AGW theory is wrong? Have you demanded/requested/suggested that aerosols be studied to see if they behave as required to make the fudge factor work? Have you been convinced by the sudden change-over used in that paper between buckets and intake sensors? If not, then what allowance have you made for the additional uncertainty, and if so, whatever are you thinking of?

    There was a big fuss a couple of years ago about tropospheric warming which was going to appear and thus prove the greenhouse effect. Has it appeared as predicted? If it does not appear as predicted, will you then accept that CO2 greenhouse effect with its concomitant feedbacks is not a major warming mechanism?

    Lucia’s The Blackboard is tracking temperature to see if it matches model predictions. If the match is poor, at what stage will you reassess AGW theory?

    There are indications that albedo changes by as much as 1% a year, with a few years’ change in the same direction dwarfing anything proposed for the greenhouse effect. How many years’ data would you require before you accepted that albedo change is a more important driver than CO2?

    CLOUD and the cosmic ray aerosol hypothesis…

    Water vapour feedback adjusted for the fact that stratocumulus cloud cover will increase in a more humid atmosphere, all things being equal…

    Etc etc.

    Essentially I’m asking if you are doing science. Make a unique prediction, not a projection, and stick by it, and at the same time convince yourself that if it doesn’t work then your theory is wrong. Then we’ll talk again. Until then, well, there must be some real science going on out there.

    If you cannot make predictions and accept that your theory is wrong if the predictions fail, you are asserting a dogma, not doing science.

    There you are, got there in the end.

    JF
    *There is, somewhere, an FAO document which graphs wind speed over the four big ocean basins, using the speed to study fish productivity. There is an excursion of up to 7 m/s in the period matched by the uncorrected temperature blip during WWII with, IIRC, a neat decreasing sequence from North Atlantic to South Pacific. If I had a couple of grad students I’d set them to finding it, as it nicely refutes the Folland and Parker ‘correction’. And explains a few other things. It’s a scan, not a searchable document, otherwise I’d have tracked it down by now.

    • That same FAO document has some interesting correlations between zonal ACI (wind) and changes in Earth’s length of day (LOD). I found that when LOD data is added to integrated sunspot numbers departing from the long term average, a curve can be produced which matches the sea surface temperature record from 1850 significantly better than the co2 curve does. It doesn’t capture the 1940’s hump though.

      • Re the FAO document which, by showing wind velocity disturbance matching the WWII blip, casts some doubt on the Folland and Parker bucket correction for SSTs:

        I bow to your Google-fu. I’ve been looking for it for the last year having lost the reference. Gissa clue….

        JF
        And your correlation doesn’t work on the blip because that’s anthropogenic, the Kriegesmarine Effect.

      • Julian: here you go:
        ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y2787e/y2787e00.pdf

        The links in the left column open the chapter studies in new pdf’s

      • Yes! May the Bluebird of Happiness never poop on your birthday cake.

        JF
        Ta.

    • Julian Flood–

      I can think of a lot of “what ifs” to falsify a lot of hypotheses too. Find a poodle fossil in Cambrian rock strata, and if it holds up, you have a good case against evolution. The attacks on AGW based on the lack of absolute knowledge of everything, the hopes of some new argument to come around, or the usage of “models” is not convincing

      All of the things you mention (aerosols, temperature record) have been and continue to be investigated in great detail. I don’t need to demand that aerosols be studied. The demand for absolute perfection is only a standard skeptics hold to climate science and it makes no sense. We have a very large problem of a number of climate skeptics being entirely ignorant to the current literature on various issues and the direction of research, and still making statements of absolute confidence about how there isn’t enough evidence, and yet I am supposed to believe I am the dogmatic one. Skeptics have been told countless times by working scientists that the “tropospheric hot spot” for example, to the extent it does or does not exist, has nothing to do with greenhouse causation..and yet people still continue to repeat it as if the 2078th time of repeating it will suddenly matter. It’s really tiring, and being exhausted by the nonsense is not a sign of dogma.

      • Skeptics have been told countless times by working scientists that the current temperatures are unprecedented in the last thousand years, proven by statistical analysis of tree ring data, and continue to repeat it as if the 2078th time of repeating it will suddenly make it true. It’s really tiring, and being exhausted by the nonsense is the sign of dogma.

      • CC > I don’t need to demand that aerosols be studied.

        So the aerosol adjustment has been published with numbers? My point is that the models will be falsified if the Folland and Parker correction is wrong. Are you convinced it is right? You can’t have a correct model with wrong aerosol figures which, if F&P are wrong, can’t be correct because aerosols are used as caulking to make the numbers fit.

        The bucket correction seems dubious to me. I’ve not seen the VOCALS results yet. The UEA emails touch on the WWII blip and ways of massaging the numbers to make them fit the theory. Dogma.

        For the theory to be maintained, F&P must be right, the models must be right and the aerosol forcing must be right. On F&P rides the whole edifice.

        CC >Skeptics have been told countless times by working scientists that the “tropospheric hot spot” for example, to the extent it does or does not exist, has nothing to do with greenhouse causation

        Yes, the refutation which, IIRC, used unrealistic values of other types of warming to prove that it was not unique to models using the greenhouse effect to warm the atmosphere. If someone gives you an acceptable proof that greenhouse gases produce some unique signature in the warming profile, and that profile does not exist, will you accept that the theory is wrong? If not, dogma.

        I repeat another question: if the warming does not match the prediction, will you accept the theory is wrong? (And, in light of the Indonesian volcano, let’s hope no-one seizes on the dust to cover up any mismatch.)

        When climate science accepts the data and doesn’t try to explain it away (or, worse, hide it by graphical sleight of hand and presentational jiggery-pokery), I’ll be happier with calling it a science in truth.

        We are, of course, talking past each other, and we’ve both heard all the arguments before. Good luck with your research, may you find the truth whatever it turns out to be.

        JF

      • But Julian, a simple model-obs matchup in the temperature field is not how formal attribution is done, and I agree that the aerosol forcing uncertainty makes such simple comparisons problematic (see Knutti’s work on this for example). Have you actually seen the uncertainty range in the AR4’s RF distribution in Chapter 2? You’re not saying anything new here.

        Saying broad things like “models are wrong!” doesn’t actually mean anything, even if it’s a good sound byte to a non-specialist. We already know that models aren’t perfect, and depending on the variable/statistic of interest, may be very robust or rather poor. The uncertainties and caveats are well documented where applicable. The models are certainly wrong when it comes to simulating the rate of arctic sea ice loss, or the full dynamics of ice sheet mass balance changes. To actually assess what this means in terms of improvement possibilities, future research, and relevance requires a bit ore thinking than the safe fall-back answer that “models are wrong!” and so everything in the field must be garbage.

        Finally, you can’t just make up aspects of “the theory” (whatever this is, I am really getting the hint people here are being intentionally vague as possible because they know if they directed their criticisms they would be that much easier to invalidate). You actually have to learn “the theory” and go from there. You have to learn what bits of information are relevant to “the theory” and to what extent a deficiency in model physics impacts the broader picture. I have not seen a single skeptic capable of rationally putting these pieces together.

      • quote
        Saying broad things like “models are wrong!” doesn’t actually mean anything, even if it’s a good sound byte to a non-specialist. We already know that models aren’t perfect, and depending on the variable/statistic of interest, may be very robust or rather poor.
        unquote

        The theory is, surely, that anthropogenic CO2 leads to an unequivocal rise in global temperatures. If it isn’t then we are worrying about nothing.

        The theory then makes predictions — if it is a scientific theory at least. Are you saying that the predictions made by the AGW theory are (as yet) unfalsifiable (but just you wait and see)? And that one particular model is good at land temps and another does the … I was going to write ‘clouds’ there but none of the models does the clouds. Aerosols? Hmmm, maybe not. Another does the ocean currents? So, overall, we know what’s going on because we can describe the results by breaking the problem down so far that the different parts don’t interact? Surely I’ve misunderstood.

        Here we go, two theories of AGW. How can you tell which is correct? Industrial civilisation releases CO2 which leads through the greenhouse effect and water vapour feedback to a sensitivity of 2 to 4 degrees. Or, agricultural and industrial civilisation alters (silica feeding diatoms, oil smoothing etc etc) the ocean’s biochemistry and (aerosol modification) reduces cloud cover and hence albedo. Two mechanisms which must, surely, lead to different patterns of warming, with one heating the atmosphere and the other heating the surface.

        Do we know enough from the models to know which is correct? Or are we still waiting for the signal to emerge unequivocaly from the background noise?

        JF

  70. I can only say what my impression is. For certain people (the false ‘we’ in Michael Tobis posts) to cry ‘alarm’ when there was no alarm, for instance, the flooding in Pakistan and the recent heat-wave in Russia, puts us off. ‘We’ only want the truth told straight. Then ‘we’ might be able to make an informed set of decisions. ‘You’ cannot dictate that to us. You have failed every time you’ve tried. What Dr Curry has illustrated, with all her posts, is the mis-informed confusion between the science and politics. So, therefore, let us have a ‘narrative’ based on real science, real ‘possibilities’, real concrete existence, and not this Michael Tobis nonsense that we must ‘adapt or die’. Infantile, obstructionist and precious nonsense!

    • Since Lewis’s comment above predates all my postings on this thread I am not sure what Lewis refers to.

      Usually, if I am not specific what I mean by “we” I mean “we humans”, we as collectively the arbiters of the fate of the world. But I’m not sure what context he objects to.

      I don’t recognize ‘adapt or die’ as something I’ve said anytime recently, though there are lots of contexts where I wouldn’t object to the phrase. Perhaps Lewis has me confused with somebody else.

      The summer jet stream pattern and how it affected Asia appear to be unprecedented and arguably are impossible in the baseline holocene climate. The final word hasn’t been written, but it may well turn out to be the first severe event where you actually can say it was a result of climate change, without the usual caveats.

      • Sorry, Michael, I did mistake you for something else – ie, a way of thinking. It’s nice that you’re all rational now ( you weren’t the other night, which disappointed me ). And, of course, there are lot contexts in which you wouldn’t object to the phrase ‘adapt or die’.
        Can I put it straight, Michael – your general approach to this debate and debates in general has always been obstructionist and lacking focus because of a certain rage you have.
        I don’t say you don’t have good things to contribute. But be civil, be nice and remember who you are talking to.

  71. Judith,

    Your bulletpoints of how a non-dogmatic IPCC would look like shows that you have a very different idea of “dogma” than I (and I assume many others) have.

    Your view rests on the case that there is no politically charged environment about the climate debate, and as if there isn’t politically motivated opposition to the science, as a proxy for really opposing emissions reduction policies.

    You keep ignoring the relevance of a consensus amongst experts, reached via the scientific methods. I went over this a few times before, and have not gotten a response that shows me where I am wrong in my assessment.

    Your description of “dogma” is so broad that even is I’d call a flat earther a crackpot you’d claim that I am being dogmatic.

    You confuse intolerance for crackpot theories and politically motivated attacks on the science with “intolerance for disagreement and dissent”. I agree with you that not all criticms should be put on the same pile though. That would be something where the community could indeed use some introspection.

    • “Your description of “dogma” is so broad that even is I’d call a flat earther a crackpot you’d claim that I am being dogmatic.”

      I’m sad to day, but I honestly think that might have been intentional on Curry’s part– she has certainly made no attempts to revise that incredibly broad and all-encompassing definition. And it is certainly how her fans here are choosing to interpret Curry’s definition, and she is certainly not correcting them for doing so either. So that leaves one very few choices when trying to giver her the benefit of the doubt.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Mapleleaf:

        It is a point that concerns me.

        Is this dogma as metaphor? Is this dogma as in behaviour likely to be rooted in dogma?

        Dogma must have some bounds and I think one relates to how membership, adherence and punishment are established and proceeded upon. It is about the governance.

        I really do not see how the list of alternative behaviours would imply either the prior existence of or the abandonment of dogma.

        Is not a Dogma more readily identified from its rules of inclusion and exclusion to a grouping. That in turn might or might not affect its doctrinal output.

        Appeasement of its detractors, amelioration of tone, and refraining from rudeness may dispel the appearance of dogmatism but does not imply the absence of dogma. Surely there is more to dogma than commonality of purpose, concerted action, and shared beliefs.

        Alex

    • Roddy Campbell

      Bart – stop with the ‘politically motivated attacks on science’ already. And on your thread in reply to my comment you called acid rain damage deniers crackpots, so there is a definitional difference here for sure.Your last two sentences are key, as I think it would be part of Judy’s case that the community are really pretty terrible at that – to the point of being dogmatic, perhaps? Would you perhaps agree that they are highly intolerant of criticism?

      • Roddy,

        Latelely the scientific communicy has not been doing a great job at introspection or at distinguishing bteween varying levels of criticism indeed. I think that is due to being a little too defensive as a reaction to the amount of nonsense and politically motivated attacks that do happen, no matter how much you dislike being reminded of it. It’s not due to the community being dogmatic (at least not in the way I understand the term).

      • Roddy Campbell

        Well, Mann agrees with you.

        MANN: Unfortunately, there are powerful special interests in the fossil fuel industry for whom the prospect of climate change policy—a price on carbon emissions—would be extremely costly. They have invested millions of dollars in well-honed disinformation campaigns to convince the public and policy makers that human-caused climate change is either a hoax, or not nearly the threat that the scientific community has established it to be. In many respects, it comes straight from the same playbook used by the tobacco industry to cast doubt on the health threat of tobacco smoking. Indeed, many of the same players are involved.

        The criminal theft, release, and misrepresentation of private emails from the University of East Anglia immediately prior to the Copenhagen Climate Summit last December was part of a carefully orchestrated smear campaign against the climate science community timed to thwart any binding international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Climate-change denial outfits collaborated closely with conservative media outlets to manufacture a fake scandal that would distract the public and policy makers at this crucial juncture. Historians will look back at this as a low point of intellectual dishonesty in the corporate-funded, climate-change denial campaign.

      • With all due respect, you don’t seem to appreciate the magnitude of your problem. It may look “a little too defensive” from inside the tribe. From the outside, it looks dogma, arrogance and abuse of power.

    • “You keep ignoring the relevance of a consensus amongst experts, reached via the scientific methods.” = dogma.

      Consensus means nothing in science. Evidence is all that counts. I don’t give a damn how many scientists believe this or that theory, this or that hyposthesis. As one of my biology professors told us at UofT 35 years ago, in science all that counts is the evidence, not the person nor how many letters are behind their name. I most certainly have a very hard time with people, regardless who they are, who claim they know and have a policial or monitary motive behind them. Right now climate scientists are in that group. You have lost my trust, going to be very difficult to win it back. Don’t for a minute think I’m the only one who thinks that way.

      • “Consensus” might be more relevant if all those who are part of it had studied the evidence independently. They haven’t, of course.

  72. This has nothing to do with keeping politics out of science. All of these points (except perhaps the “debate with skeptics” one, as if there were no such debate now!) are about keeping science out of politics. This certainly would be the healthiest thing for science qua science.

    But we are in the pay of the larger society, I would think, for reasons other than our own entertainment.

    If there are issues which the larger society is not properly accounting for by any reasonable estimation of what the society actually wants, it is surely the larger extra-scientific but ethical responsibility of the scientific community to make those issues socially salient. If organized opposition to that communication arises, it becomes an ethical responsibility to overcome that opposition.

    Here scientists find ourselves far beyond our expertise or intellectual interests. This is part of the reason that it goes badly. (Also, the prospect we are selling, really large risks in the fairly distant future, is not a very attractive one.)

    Does the science “demand” large up-front costs in exchange for avoiding large, far-off risks? No, of course not. That’s a category error. But it’s a perfectly ordinary short cut in speech. What is meant is that “in the light of the ethical frameworks held by most people in most cultures, the scientific evidence implies an ethical responsibility.” A mouthful. “The science demands” is close enough for most purposes.

    Dr. Curry claims to be in the scientific mainstream of the climatological sciences, but seems quite unconcerned by the scientific evidence that only near-term action can blunt very large risks in the future. In this, I would say she is an outlier. The rest of us perceive that until the nature and extent of the risk is understood by the political process, and decisions taken by that process not only contingent and reversible, but in fact should (ethically) be reversed.

    To say that scientists participating in professional associations should actually avoid taking extraordinary action to communicate implies a social structure wherein those actions are carried out by some other agency. In fact, IPCC was designed to be that agency. If IPCC is constrained from providing that function (by being maximally impotent and defenseless) somebody else has to step up. In fact, we see that IPCC is inadequate, so various scientists as individuals and organizations have been stepping up. But Curry wants that to stop as well.

    It seems as if keeping science out of policy is designed above all to create an ignorant policy. It might produce a more comfortable environment for science. Would this work in practice? I don’t know as the genie can go back in the bottle. But it would essentially guarantee bad policy and ever-increasing risk, not only on the climate front but on several others as well.

    What scientists should or shouldn’t do is not an interesting or useful question by itself. This is not about science. It’s about society. The question is, if we scientists shouldn’t communicate the risks, who should?

    • Roddy Campbell

      Tobis – ‘What is meant is that “in the light of the ethical frameworks held by most people in most cultures, the scientific evidence implies an ethical responsibility.” A mouthful. “The science demands” is close enough for most purposes.’

      When I want an ethics lecture, I don’t go to a climate scientist. I particularly don’t go to one who brooks no ethical debate.

      ‘The question is, if we scientists shouldn’t communicate the risks, who should?’

      Communicate away. Just don’t talk to me about global societal ethics please, or the gdp cost of alternative energy. It’s not your field. Get back in your box. You illustrate precisely what is wrong when you say ‘The news is sooooo bad that normal rules don’t apply, it is my ‘ethical responsibility to overcome that opposition’ to what I know to be the truth.

    • Roddy Campbell

      You HAVE communicated the risks. It’s called IPCC FAR. It went to all governments. They had a meeting about it, in Copenhagen, in full possession of the facts, and decided to do nothing.

      That makes you sad, sure.

    • Bart Verheggen ended his post of Nov 6, 2010 @ 3:22pm by noting,

      I agree with you [Curry] that not all criticms should be put on the same pile though. That would be something where the community could indeed use some introspection.

      That is one of the most notable and promising statements to come out of the Pro-AGW Consensus science/advocacy community, in the course of these discussions.

      Perhaps if that community could demonstrate the flexibility in attitude and… er… dogma… to follow up on Bart’s observation, that would help create a way forward.

      Until such time, my reading of many of the A-List bloggers/scientists/advocates is that their interpretations of the science are often tailored to their politics and policy preferences.

      This is unfortunate.

      They may be correct in their analyses and expert opinions — I don’t know. But this process is not consistent with science qua Feynman. It does not engender trust.

    • The question is, if we scientists shouldn’t communicate the risks, who should?

      And there in lay some of the dogma. Why just “risks”? There is no communication at all about benefits of a “warmer”climate nor of the benefits of higher CO2 levels. All we got from the climate scientists were pie in the sky apocalyptic doomsday scenarios. 20ft rise in sea level, Greenland falling into the sea. The planet would be uninhabitable in 100 years, etc, etc. All of it without one shred of evidence.

      There was nothing at all about a warmer climate being better. And that’s why climate science was being dogmatic.

      The other reason why climate scientists were dogmatic was there was no correction or clarification or challenge to people like Gore who lied through their teeth. As long as the “message” was to your liking it didn’t matter how outlandish some claims were. That is a betrayal of science.

      • David L. Hagen

        Agreed. There are numerous benefits for warming climate, especially CO2 increasing the ability to grow food to feed billions more people, along with fewer deaths compared to colder conditions.

      • Scientists should communicate their best understanding of the threat (hazard and impacts(good and bad)) with probabilities or possibilities or a range of scenarios. Explore the uncertainties. And communicate them in a way that the A students can understand (economists, military intelligence, resource managers, etc); don’t dumb them down for the D students thinking that you will convince them to “act.” Work with decision makers to explore scenarios, options, and tipping points in social systems that might be triggered by some sort of event. This is what the climate scientists should be doing.

      • And communicate them in a way that the A students can understand (economists, military intelligence, resource managers, etc); don’t dumb them down for the D students thinking that you will convince them to “act.” Work with decision makers to explore scenarios, options, and tipping points in social systems that might be triggered by some sort of event. This is what the climate scientists should be doing.

        Well said. I don’t know that this is sufficient but it has been sadly lacking. If there were institutional support for this sort of thing I would be doing it.

      • I will be hammering on this in parts II and III of decision making under uncertainty, if i ever get to that (I am despairing at this point). BTW, i am trying to work on IF. if would be IMMENSELY helpful if you could summarize the key concerns that you and JA have, i will include your words in my post. the only thing i got out of it (i spent only a brief time looking) was the conflation thing, and that is my whole point, that the IPCC is ambiguous on this issue.

        I am planning on a serious post of the IF for the following reasons (in order of importance):
        1) i want to understand it better, ponder its applications for climate science more, and get input from people like Terry Oldman and Nullius in Verba
        2) i am pondering mentioning this in my invited Climatic Change paper
        3) i want to sort out the issue you and JA have raised

        note, i don’t keep score by whether i am right or wrong, its irrelevant to me, I just want to keep learning and stimulate others to do the same. I realize that in the gotcha world of the blogosphere, whether I made a mistake or not is a big deal. but its not to me. so your cooperation and collaboration in sorting through the IF issue would be most appreciated.

      • I appreciate the spirit of this comment but I can’t really offer a list of key concerns, because the subject to which I am responding appears so ill-defined to me.

        In the example I focused on, you definitely conflated two meanings of the numbers. I used this to demonstrate the level of confusion I perceived on this subject. Your claim that “the conflation thing was the whole point” rings more than a little hollow to me.

        Often in the tricolor you talk about “per cent of the evidence” weighing in on a particular hypothesis. The evidence is divided into three categories and weighed somehow. I don’t have any idea what a unit of evidence might be, how it might be weighted, or how it might get classified, in particular, as white. This idea of what an “evident” might be, or how many units of evidence are associated with a particular observation, is crucial if the taxonomy is intended to weigh evidence.

        I am not playing gotcha games, nor am I tremendously attached to being right either. I appreciate the spirit of your reply. But it’s a matter of sense or nonsense.

        Someone testifying before congress and AGU on a given topic really ought to be able to make rigorous substantive sense on that topic. Ideally, such sense would begin with some starightforward examples. We need examples where the contribution to the three classes of flag-zone could be specified in an unambiguous way. That’s the first step. The second step is to address cascading uncertainties to show how this metric helps in reasoning. The third is to explain how or why and under what circumstances this is better than an ordinary, everyday Bayesian chaining of pdfs.

        Beyond that advice, I can’t actually help you refine your ideas unless I have some impression of what those ideas mean, which I don’t. I would like to believe they mean something useful, but I still have no idea what that might be.

  73. Judith, you wrote:

    “Chris, yes there is some out and out %^^& out there. But it does not need to be dignified with any attention at al. ”

    That depends on the traction that the out %^^& out is getting in society. If creationism is taught at schools, than I’m very happy that some evolutionary biologists take it onto them to tell people how it “is”. If Monckton gets invited to testify before congress, I’m happy that some in the scientific community make an effort to rebut his nonsense. For you apparently that is a sign of dogma? Of course not!

    And actually, it’s more than happy; as mt said, it’s an ethical responsibility to rebut such nonsense in those instances where it is gaining enough traction to put society on a track where kids or politicians are being fed lies that could potentially backfire in serious ways.

    • It is not productive to equate “The Pro-AGW Consensus” or “The sense of the IPCC AR4″ (or whatever you want to call it) with evolutionary theory (cf. creationism), or a round Earth (cf. flat-earthers), or the existence of cells, electrons, plate tectonics, or spiders.

      A little reflection should inform you as to why. If a detailed explanation is required, I would be willing to supply it, but I hope that is unnecessary.

    • Roddy Campbell

      Yes, let’s ban parents indoctrinating their children with religion, as Dawkins suggests, when they are too young to object. After all that’s ‘kids ……. being fed lies that could potentially backfire in serious ways.’

      And we have an ‘ethical responsibility to rebut such nonsense’, do we?

      Why is it that climate scientists are so sure of their ethical position? Amazing. You might almost call it a degree of certainty that gets close to …… dogma?

      And Bart, what does someone do if they feel that IPCC FAR was fed to politicians, and was in fact not really good enough to base spending trillions on? Do they have an ethical duty? Apparently not, because they’re wrong?

      Cut the certainty, please. It leads to the believe that a) if you keep repeating it, people will eventually believe, and b) since it’s so obvious, if people don’t believe already there must be a denial machine, and c) anyone who criticises must have an agenda, there can be no other explanation.

      At least see that this is what you look like from the outside.

    • Bart,

      Dogma is obviously a metaphor. Like all metaphors it gets somethings correct and misses other elements. From my reading of the mails the thing I found most disturbing was not the discussions of rebutting skeptics, not the discussions about ignoring skeptics. What bothered me most were the discussions about “closing ranks”. And also the discussions that seemed to care more about how skeptics would have a “field day” with certain items than they did about the truth. It’s more of the desire to to speak with one voice, to be silent about trivial matters ( like some of mann’s mistakes) that I find troublesome and leaning toward a thing one could roughly call a “dogma” Mostly it was incidents with Mann directing communications or trying to direct communications. Who can be talked to, who can be trusted, what can be said, how it can be said.. The thoughts about keeping files on editors.

      None of these behaviors is criminal. None of them “change the science” but if you were on the wrong end of mann’s wrath there appears to have been a price to pay. Ed Cook (please see his mails) decided that he would just rather not be involved in the whole war since he took it from both sides. It’s the silence of the lambs that is most troubling. I don’t think the science has suffered yet. I know that certain people do feel a pressure to conform, to watch their words, to stop even civil exchanges of information. That’s not the best path going forward

      • Alexander Harvey

        Steve:

        I have queried elsewhere as to whether this is dogma as metaphor.

        However I think it is important to seperate out such issues as whether the IPCC reports and commentaries on it are based on an interested reading of the science and the reports in turn, and whether there is a dogma at play.

        If the authors fail in being disinterested that is one problem and there may be remedies.

        If admittance to the process is dictated according to a test by dogma, that is a different beast.

        I suspect that both may be true, at least in part.

        I think that the emails may exhibit signs of both in certain of the groupings, but I am not the expert you are.

        If the acceptance of work, the furtherance of careers, and opportunity to publish be determined by dogma, we have institutionalised bias.

        I think that the suspicion of the IPCC reports being an interested reading of the evidence exists and may be justified in part.

        That many of the commentaries on the reports are interested readings is probably beyond doubt.

        I do not find dogma as metaphor at all helpful as it permits arguments on the existence of dogma based on tone and presentation and worst of all disagreement on facts, where matters such as group structure, inclusion and exclusion are more appropriate.

        Alex

      • Alexander, the dogma is not the IPCC reports themselves. Dogma is in the eye of the beholder: the person with the belief that is intolerant of dissent, and the dissenter. As i view it, the whole thing is about being open to disagreement and dissent, versus trying to actively hide and sabotage the dissenters (ignoring them is of course ok). The CRU emails seem to me to provide evidence of intolerance to disagreement and dissent (from McIntyre, Michaels, etc.)

      • Alexander, the dogma is not the IPCC reports themselves. Dogma is in the eye of the beholder: the person with the belief that is intolerant of dissent, and the dissenter[*].

        [*] ☆☆☆☆☆ Ad hominem dismissal. Beauty!

        (Hypothetical: The IPCC isn’t being dogmatic, they don’t care. Moreover, “that there is disagreement is unimportant. In due course it will be fixed.)

      • Alexander Harvey

        Judith,

        I think we may be missing each other. Dogma is in the structure, it must include a process of inclusion or exclusion from a group or in a system of thought, or a venture.

        A document can be dogma if used as a test of admittance. It usage embraces that meaning, it is its codification. It is any set of core beliefs that can be used to discriminate in that way.

        I cannot see that dogma is in the eye of the beholder. It is tangible. It is systematic. It can be written done as a system of core beliefs and has consequences. It is not a generalised intolerance and it is not an attitude towards people who do not claim to share core beliefs. It is those core beliefs that must be held by people to belong to a grouping.

        For instance, if acceptance of basic tenets of the IPPC report is a hurdle to participation then the document and the process of exclusion are dogma and adjudged consequences in turn.

        The emails refering to McInttre and Michaels may indicate that dogma exists where they show that these people will be excluded from the right to participate based on a failure to accept the basic tenets of that dogma. There are other sources of intollerance that are not based on dogma. Feeling that someone is unqualified to give an opinion is a choice we all make from time to time. Determining that, irrespective of the qualifications of a group member, their opinion is invalid or simply to be suppressed, or that the person should be excluded or punished, due to their failure to adhere to a belief system, is a decision based on dogma.

        It is a test of faith with consequences for a group member.

        Alex

      • Take the Christian Bible. The document itself has many interpretations which are put to many different uses. The document itself is not dogma. Some people are dogmatic about the bible (i.e. interpret from it literal creationism) and brook no dissent and be intolerant of people that do not interpret the bible in the way that they do. That doesn’t mean the bible itself is dogma, because plenty of scientists are christians that are not creationists. Does this make sense?

      • Alexander Harvey

        In the case of the church the dogma is very much written down.

        Every now and again councils are called and they make decisions on the critical components of faith.

        The decisions are disseminated (as in the Nicene Creed, a fairly short and simple set beliefs that must be held).

        The bible is open to interpretation in many places and is not required belief in its entirity, the creed is not optional it is dogma.

        It is decided upon by a councils of the holy, it is written down and disseminated, you can pick it and read it.

        I really do not know if you understand there is a difference between things that one must believe (dogma) and more general beliefs. Heresy is the corruption of dogma (essential beliefs).

        As it happens you don’t get far down the Nicene Creed before you would be faced with a choice between belief in creationism and being caught in an outright lie. All over the world this creed is spoken and people confirm their belief in divine creation of heaven and earth and all that is seen and unseen.

        Religious dogma is not something something open to intepretation as to what it is. That is the essence of dogma. That certain parts of faith are not a personal choice.

        Alex

      • Alexander Harvey

        Judith,

        I think we part company over this. I would say that your definition is dogma as metaphor.

        I presume you think of it as akin to certain practices such literal adherence to the bible, practices you think of as dogmatic.

        I speak of religious dogma as reveled truth, statements of fact. In particular those statements that are totally infallible either because of their divine origin or by later declaration.

        There are lesser degrees of truth that fall below the level of being dogma. Catholic religious truths have I beleive 5 or more defined levels of certainty from De Fide Definita down to any non heretical opinion. Which interestingly forms a scheme for expressing uncertainty.

        I did not directly bring up the religious aspect but it has been and it might be helpful to show how AR4 could be seen as ecclesiastical dogma, dogma by decision of council.

        It is a document containing both things held to be true, it is decided upon at a meeting of those ordained to make decisions on matters of truth. It is published and disseminated. All that remains for it to be a book of dogma is to go through it and indicate which truths are held to be dogma, doctines essential to the faith. Certain truths that must be held to be infallibly identified as true.

        So in a religious sense AR4 is not intended as dogma but it can easily be raised to dogma, all that is required is for a group to hold that certain truths therein contained are undeniable. I think that for some it is dogma.

        Personally I think that climate dogma does exist in the strong sense that I mean. That one might find it very difficult to adhere to all the dogmata except one little bit and not be condemned as heretic by true believers.

        It would in fullness lead to some unpalatable parallels.

        IPCC = Ecclesiastical Council
        ARs = Documents of belief and dogma
        Publishing Scientists = Prophets and false prophets
        Climate Science = Church
        AGW adherents = Laity
        AGW sceptics = Heathens
        Climate Scientist’s Doubts = Crisis of Faith
        Climate Scientist who holds a dogma to be false = Heretic

        Perhaps this makes our divergence more clear, perhaps not.

        Alex

      • I think we have to be careful here, Judith. It’s my understanding that many mainstream Christians do not object to the term dogma when applied to beliefs they share with other Christians, which are inseparable from and indispensable to membership of their faith, but which are avowedly matters of faith and not science. They may require belief in their dogma as a condition of membership of their church, and in that sense be “intolerant of dissent”, but as we know many dissenting Christians can and do simply transfer their membership to churches whose dogma they find more congenial. This is not to deny that religious dogma cannot take a far more virulent form, just to point out that intolerance is not its hallmark. Presumably you belong to professional associations which require minimum academic achievements of their membership, but few people would describe them as “intolerant” of those who lack them. The defining characteristic of dogma is that is rooted in faith, not science, whether its believers acknowledge it, as many religious adherents do, or don’t, as is the case with the IPCC authors you rightly criticise.

      • Tom, check out the new thread, i’m now using the word “dogmatist” which is a more appropriate word.

      • Actually I thought dogma was fine, I just didn’t want to see confusion between its literal and its metaphorical use. I’ll read the new thread and see how “dogmatic” gets along, but I suspect that changing the descriptor may have little effect on the torrent of protest you receive on behalf of the dogmats. I caution against playing “chase-the-politically-acceptable-word” at the behest of a crew of trolls who aren’t fit to lick your boots (metaphorically speaking). Stick to your guns, Curry!

      • Judith,

        You have ignored many examples provided by myself and others where reasonable dissent and disagreement is provided and acknowledged/addressed by the community, as well as John N-G’s point that many people are now perceived as being uninterested in progressing the science vs. ruining careers and creating confusion. Regardless of reality, that is how McIntyre, and to an even greater extent Pat Michaels, are perceived by many. Depending on what person you’re talking about, many people have deserved this perception. You can’t just make things up and twist the science time after time in front ofl ay audiences and expect everyone to forget about it when on the 10th try you might have something reasonable to say. Even still, such a person can find a way to get their ideas presented; that Lindzen is still receiving the attention he is serves as proof of the tolerance of the community toward dissenting ideas.

        But to what extent are scientists responsible to entertain unreasonable ideas? Are people not allowed to criticize Monckton for lying in public? To what extent are scientists forced to read blogs and address every internet poster who thinks they woke up and is now an expert on atmospheric physics? The only responsibility scientists have is to respond to legitimate challenges in the peer-reviewed literature and to progress the current paradigm as new research comes in. This continues to be done, and so this “dogma” nonsense that has evolved has absolutely no basis and should be retracted,

      • Sorry Chris, I don’t find your arguments compelling at all. We seem to be on different wavelengths. Scientists are perfectly free to ignore nonsense, what is the problem?

      • Judith: Very well, we agree on that point, yet you are still incapable of distinguishing what such “nonsense” consists of. That you think Pat Michaels has only challenged climate sensitivity estimates shows that you’re not really paying attention to his public actions.

        You’ve made an argument on this post that there are “IPCC insiders” and that a “dogma” exists to remove dissenting ideas. This has now reached a level of hundreds of comments by people now clinging to this idea (on this site alone), yet you have not supported this bold claim with anything of substance. Your list of what a dogma would consist of is fraught with logical fallacies. In fact, the burden of proof is on you to come up with more than vague, generalized smears at the scientific communiity, not me to convince people otherwise.

        Several people have attempted to interrogate this bold assertion by you, and yet we are told we’re just supposed to accept the smear at face value and proceed with “what to do about it.” If you’re running low on time, I’d prefer if you waited to respond with something of subtance than a two-sentence summary. But you have set yourself up in this position by making rather bold claims about your colleagues around the world, and you’re a phD scientis, not a random blogger. You can’t just make this stuff up and then use a guerilla warfare hit and run tactic when challenged.

      • Chris, I’m sorry, I’m just not seeing anything to respond to in what you have written. If what i said was utter nonsense, why is anyone here talking about it, I have 440 comments in 24 hours. A random accusation by you that my list of what a dogma would look like is fraught with logical fallacies leaves absolutely nothing to respond to. Deconstruct my argument that you object to with premises and conclusions, then identify specific fallacies, then we might have something to talk about.

      • One of the advantages of spending time in the blogosphere where you don’t just moderate comments out of existence that are inconvenient is that you understand that nobody is going to respond to a vehement accusation against somebody without some sort of an argument or evidence. i’ve put something forth to talk about that 440 people want to talk about, with almost 10,000 hits today. If you want me or somebody else to respond to you or talk about what you are saying, you need to give us something specific to respond to.

      • Judith,

        Let’s step back here because you’re right about being on a different wavelength with me, and apparently with the reality of climate science. You are making very bold criticisms about your colleagues and an entire scientific discipline, as well as one of the most distinguished reports summarizing climate change (or at least anyone defending it, but not the report itself, whatever this is getting at).

        Read my reply to Punksta where I discuss point-by-point your # list in the main post. John N-G has pointed out issues with some of your post as well, particularly with respect to people signing petitions indicating a sign of ‘dogma.’ This isn’t just disagreement, it makes no sense, and 400+ people talking about will not suddenly make you right. You then proceed to assert that none of the insiders into this dogma can recognize any of this.

        Your main point is that dissent is being silenced, and thus the “dogma” exists. Why don’t you actually give an example of properly advanced scientific argument that has been treated as such. Instead of hand waving, please cite the effort to advance the skeptical position of anthropogenic climate change in the refereed literature that has been systematically ignored and met with hostility. Or just admit you’re making this all up as you go along.

        chris

      • Chris,

        “Or just admit you’re making this all up as you go along.”

        That, or something more nefarious is afoot…..

        Either way do not expect an straight or unequivocal answer from Curry. She has avoided doing that until now and I doubt that will change.

        She knows (or has been coached) that it is much easier to make (vague) insinuations that are still obvious enough to fire up the vivid imaginations of the rabid ant-science crowd.

        Then again, she may surprise us with some actual substance one of these days.

      • Chris, are you asking for a list of all the skeptical issues that the IPCC has ignored or downplayed? I could probably come up with 50. How about the fact that emerging from the little ice age is an alternative explanation for the supposed warming of the 20th century? Where is this discussed in the AR4 SPM? Or in AR4? Or in the funded literature, vis a vis carbon forcing? (Please note that I have 49 more.)

      • Just to chime in:

        That people discuss something on a blog does not mean that the original claim isn’t nonsense. People all around the world believe in nonsense, now and again. So that people discuss something does not on its own mean that there is substance to the original claim.

      • …But to what extent are scientists responsible to entertain unreasonable ideas? ….

        And how many times are scientists going to dismiss unanticipated outcomes as resulting from misconstrued problems?

        Here, have some more information regarding carbon. Overall there would seem precious little surplus with which to make GG. Conversely an unanticipated pathways of extraction could wreak havoc with the trace amounts available in the atmosphere.

        I’m glad the science is settled.

  74. I know that Judith has issues with people positing mails. In this case I think I can show a particular climate scientist acting how most people expect scientists to act. Let me say that these expectations some have are part of the problem. personally I wasn’t shocked by some of the “behavior” I saw in the mails. Time in Academia, time working with NASA, knowledge of some of the personal lives of scientific icons, kept them well off the pedestal for me. They are just human. A fact that should slow our criticism and our defense. Anyway, here is Wigley on signing petitions:

    “From: Tom Wigley
    To: jan.goudriaan@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, grassl_h@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, Klaus Hasselmann , Jill Jaeger , rector@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, oriordan@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, uctpa84@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, john@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, mparry@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, pier.vellinga@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto.
    Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:52:09 -0700 (MST)
    Reply-to: Tom Wigley
    Cc: Mike Hulme , t.mitchell@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

    Dear Eleven,

    I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get
    others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of
    this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the
    IPCC “view” when you say that “the latest IPCC assessment makes a
    convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions.” In contrast
    to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3
    review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting
    arguments in support of both “immediate control” and the spectrum of more
    cost-effective options. It is not IPCC’s role to make “convincing cases”
    for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers
    would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the
    emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your
    statement.

    This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
    dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is
    apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed,
    balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not
    be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In
    issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their
    personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others
    when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their
    scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.

    Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal
    views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible. No
    scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever
    endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully
    themselves. You are asking people to prostitute themselves by doing just
    this! I fear that some will endorse your letter, in the mistaken belief
    that you are making a balanced and knowledgeable assessment of the science
    — when, in fact, you are presenting a flawed view that neither accords
    with IPCC nor with the bulk of the scientific and economic literature on
    the subject.

    Let me remind you of the science. The issue you address is one of the
    timing of emissions reductions below BAU. Note that this is not the same
    as the timing of action — and note that your letter categorically
    addresses the former rather than the latter issue. Emissions reduction
    timing is epitomized by the differences between the Sxxx and WRExxx
    pathways towards CO2 concentration stabilization. It has been clearly
    demonstrated in the literature that the mitigation costs of following an
    Sxxx pathway are up to five times the cost of following an equivalent
    WRExxx pathway. It has also been shown that there is likely to be an
    equal or greater cost differential for non-Annex I countries, and that the
    economic burden in Annex I countries would fall disproportionately on
    poorer people.

    Furthermore, since there has been no credible analysis of the benefits
    (averted impacts) side of the equation, it is impossible to assess fully
    the benefits differential between the Sxxx and WRExxx stabilization
    profiles. Indeed, uncertainties in predicting the regional details of
    future climate change that would arise from following these pathways, and
    the even greater uncertainties that attend any assessment of the impacts
    of such climate changes, preclude any credible assessment of the relative
    benefits. As shown in the WRE paper (Nature v. 379, pp. 240-243), the
    differentials at the global-mean level are so small, at most a few tenths
    of a degree Celsius and a few cm in sea level rise and declining to
    minuscule amounts as the pathways approach the SAME target, that it is
    unlikely that an analysis of future climate data could even distinguish
    between the pathways. Certainly, given the much larger noise at the
    regional level, and noting that even the absolute changes in many
    variables at the regional level remain within the noise out to 2030 or
    later, the two pathways would certainly be indistinguishable at the
    regional level until well into the 21st century.

    The crux of this issue is developing policies for controlling greenhouse
    gas emissions where the reductions relative to BAU are neither too much,
    too soon (which could cause serious economic hardship to those who are
    most vulnerable, poor people and poor countries) nor too little, too late
    (which could lead to future impacts that would be bad for future
    generations of the same groups). Our ability to quantify the economic
    consequences of “too much, too soon” is far better than our ability to
    quantify the impacts that might arise from “too little, too late” — to
    the extent that we cannot even define what this means! You appear to be
    putting too much weight on the highly uncertain impacts side of the
    equation. Worse than this, you have not even explained what the issues
    are. In my judgment, you are behaving in an irresponsible way that does
    you little credit. Furthermore, you have compounded your sin by actually
    putting a lie into the mouths of innocents (“after carefully examining the
    question of timing of emissions reductions, we find the arguments against
    postponement to be more compelling”). People who endorse your letter will
    NOT have “carefully examined” the issue.

    When scientists color the science with their own PERSONAL views or make
    categorical statements without presenting the evidence for such
    statements, they have a clear responsibility to state that that is what
    they are doing. You have failed to do so. Indeed, what you are doing is,
    in my view, a form of dishonesty more subtle but no less egregious than
    the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics, Michaels, Singer et al. I
    find this extremely disturbing.

    Tom Wigley

    • Steve, you are absolved from posting this one, very relevant :)

      • Yes it is relevant, and I agree with most of what Tom Wigley said.

        Such a pity we do not have Singer’s or Michael’s emails.

        Anyhow, given your recent passionate defense of Michaels Judith….do you disagree with Wigley when he says “no less egregious than the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics, Michaels, Singer et al”?

        If yes, why?

      • Steven Mosher

        Singer and Michaels are not even players in this debate.
        They are a joke, a sideline. Nevertheless, no matter how many times I say that , Pat and Fred never write me notes telling me to get in line with the program. When I criticize Anthony’s views, both in posts and in comments, he never writes to me and says “warmists will have a field day.” Chris Horner doesn’t send me notes. Judith never sends me notes coordinating what we should say. Breitbart didnt send me notes asking me to get in line. Neither does EM smith, who lets me post critical comments of him on his blog. The issue is this. the intolerance for even the slightest deviation from the party line.

        The Russel panel found that Jones mail requesting the deleting of mails had nothing to do FIOA requests.

        is this right or wrong?

      • Steven,

        ” When I criticize Anthony’s views, both in posts and in comments, he never writes to me and says “warmists will have a field day.””

        I would need to see your inbox too confirm that. Please stop making unsubstantiated claims.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thanks.

        Commeters like maple who do not take the time to read what Tom and I wrote about Climategate often miss the behavior we held up as exemplars.

        I will list some we have talked about and others.

        1. Rind. for his comments to briffa about not overselling the certainty
        in Ch06 .
        2. Wigley, for this note above and his comments on the Jones 1990 paper.

        3. Amman for his concern about the lack of transparency

        4. Briffa, for his long battle against over egging the pudding.

        Others however, harassed by skeptics and the press and bullied by Mann to conform, adopted lines of defense that are indefensible and lines of attack that are unseemly.

      • Like Steve, I found in the emails many good statements of sterling scientific principles – Wigley’s is possibly the best, but there are others. They are a sad counterpoint to the unfolding tale of the subordination of those principles to dogma.

    • Roddy Campbell

      It’s a real beauty.

      • That’s the email I mentioned to MT earlier

        I’m going to this meeting next week:
        Climate Science Explaine – Reading Univeristy

        http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/publiclectureseries/2010ClimateChange.pdf

        With someone who received the signatury email from Mike Hulme. I’ll ask if they signed it,and most importantly perhaps, if they are aware of Tom’ s response.

      • David L. Hagen

        I heartily endorse Wigley’s response.
        Professor Nigel Arnell promises to:

        focus[] on what we know and, importantly, what we don’t know.

        I’m especially interested in his discourse on what he/IPCC does not know! i.e., the Type B Uncertainties.

      • There are bigger uncertainties such as the sort suggested by one of my earlier bits of unsubstantiated pseudobabble garbage.

        What’s more worse than “Type 2″ errors. Try Info-gap decision theory

        P.S. The IPCC isn’t interested in what they don’t know. They care about what they can demonstrate. They are the one’s in control of asking the questions steering the path of the evolving investigation.

        It’s not about “follow the money”. It about following after opportunity as to construct a perceptually compelling argument.

        The IPCC have all the advantage. They will win. It’s a game of perceptual ‘b.s.’. Best of all the vast collective of science backs their efforts lending credence to their AGW treasure hunt.

        The IPCC doesn’t give a fig about errors. They are interested in proving AGW. Supportive evidence alone, will suffice.

        It is the responsibility of the ‘defendant’ to persuasively demonstrate otherwise.

        “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?” Just answer the question please.

      • Raving, actually reading the IPCC report might be a good pre-req to talking so confidently about it. You haven’t gotten a single point right in your rant.

      • Does that mean that the IPCC acts as judge and represents both sides? That is stupid because it unnecessarily muddies the situation. More to the point, it discounts the product. Having the IPCC make the *best case* in favor of AGW is sufficient. Let science and reality consider and criticize the appropriateness of such.

        If the IPCC fails to construct a compelling SINGLE SIDED argument, that’s their tough luck. Taking on all roles embraces more responsibility than is required. It indicates a lack of confidence in being able to trust a counter analysis produced elsewhere. It indicates a lack of confidence in a “peer review” of the IPCC report.

        Then again when the UNFCCC, the IPCC’s parent body states…

        “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity …

        Isn’t that bordering on “Misanthropic Climate Interference”

        Doesn’t surprise me that the IPCC feels the need to control all perspectives. Maybe that is Maurie Strong’s style as well? Given that he’s an unabashed globalist who has considered the important of controlling what people think and know.

        On the positive side I don’t have problems with NGOs contributing to the IPCCs assessment. Sure they might be amateur or or overenthusiastic. Any perspective carries with it, a strong personal bias. ‘Scientist’ or ‘amateur’ had better not make any difference. Science is a very personal pursuit that struggles to make the most convincing description imaginable. Like it or hate, that means that research is exceedingly subjective.

        Don’t imagine that humans keeps science honest. It is the thoughtless, blind, unaware fabric of nature that is too dead and stupid to know better. Nature isn’t rational. It is stone blind, deaf and dumb. It cannot be convinced.

      • …You haven’t gotten a single point right in your rant….

        Yes, I think I agree with you. /bows/ Thank you
        ————————
        Today’s exciting discovery is the realization that we inhabit different universes.

        Your universe is the ‘rational universe’
        My universe is the ‘perceptual universe’

        It’s not that one of those universes is better than the other. Rather they are different, they are alternate processes, they coincide and they co-exist.

        Perception is a strange thing. Mostly it seems to be a reflected opposite as to how it appears to be.

        The perceptual universe seems to be largely unknown, unrecognized and unexplored. Visual and sensory illusions are just part of it.

        Perception is a timely process. It takes place over intervals of experience.

        Virtual overviews are illusionary. They provide the illusion of an overarching span but are in flux and accessible to open ended exploration. The damn details keep changing!

        In the perceptual universe
        irrational = local + limited

      • There is a slight problem with Wigley’s response: the timing. His E-mail is dated Nov. 25/97; but the “deadline” for endorsement (as written in the E-mail to which he was responding) was Nov. 19/97.

        Perhaps Wigley missed the following in the E-mail to which he was responding:

        After endorsements from many hundreds of other European climate-related scientists are collected (and we hope that you agree to be one of these), the Statement will be brought to the attention of key decision-makers (e.g. EU Kyoto negotiaters and Environment Ministers) and other opinion-makers in Europe (e.g. editorial boards of newspapers) during the week beginning 24th November. The UK and other European WWF offices have agreed to assist in this activity,[...] [emphasis added -hro]

        He may not have written too little, but it seems to me that he was definitely too late to make a difference.

        OTOH, if there was a deadline for appending one’s signature to a more recent document for submission [post -posted deadline] to Muir Russell’s exercise in creative writing, this was a deadline that Wigley succeeded in meeting.

        http://hro001.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/the-unbearable-arrogance-of-activist-advocates-aka-climate-scientists/

    • The other E-mail that I found particularly interesting – vis-a-vis “consensus” – is the one to which Wigley was responding.

      The evidence suggests that “consensus” was built by the circulation of good old-fashioned virtual chain letters – and a minimum amount of time for any independent verification – in which it was indicated that it was too late to make any “changes” to the text, but the senders hoped that the recipients would agree to endorse.

      The Fog of Uncertainty and the Precautionary Principle

  75. I posted some new text on the main post:

    Dogma refers to belief, it does not refer to the source of the belief. The Christian Bible is not dogma, but it can provide the source material for dogma. In same way, the IPCC Reports are not dogma, but can provide the source material for dogma. Dogma is in the eye of the beholder: both the person that holds the belief and is intolerant of dissent, and in the eyes of the dissenter, who perceives dogmatic intolerance. This is not something that you objectively prove.

    • 1) Dogma refers to belief, it does not refer to the source of the belief.

      2) and is intolerant of dissent

      Interesting ….

      (1) is suggestive that dogma is constant and assumed. It is extracted from foreground awareness and deposited in universal timeless context.

      (2) Suggests that the preferably assumed and previously withdrawn ‘contextual dogmatic content’ has been overtly re-injected into the focal awareness

      Meaning ? (????)

      • Dogmatism 101:

        Example of ‘Dogmatism’ in the opening post of the next thread …

        Yes, everyone agrees that we need a new energy policy and that clean green energy is desirable. Further, people recognize that there is an increasing need to reduce vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events.

        No, I disagree with some of your assertions. I am not prepared to swallow it, assume it and forget about it being parked in the back ground.

        The words “everyone agrees” elevates the proposition to a universal while also implying that adherence to acceptance has been acknowledged.

        Joke:
        Dogmatic approach to life: “If you cannot eat it, or hump it, piss on it and walk away.”

  76. First I would like to thank Judith for an inspiring series of posts that through commenters quickly got to the crux of the issue of dogma in climate science. Keep on going.

    Where is the source of dogma in so-called ‘consensus / settled’ climate?

    The US government, through the NSF (and its other agencies), are politically controlled government agencies. They fund virtually all US science research. They are not the source of the dogma since they are controlled totally by political means.

    The IPCC is a bureaucracy of political representatives of all the countries on earth who then control the appointments, polices and priorities of scientists that they task with the various assessment reports. Political correctness is enforced by them upon the selected climate scientists. Ideologies drive the political process. Politics is not the source of ideologies, just the implementer of them.

    Simply put, the political sphere is in total control of all aspects of the climate science management; create its priorities and select its areas of study. But which ideologies influence the governments in the realm of climate science?

    The political agenda in the area of climate science is heavily informed by ideological environmentalists who are the source of the urgent catastrophic view of the AGW theory. They are the source of the non-scientific dogma seeping forth into politics and subsequently into both the US government funding apparatus and the IPCC; finally influencing all aspects of the ‘consensus / settled’ climate science of the last 20+ yrs.

    The US government and the IPCC are the carriers of the dogma into ‘consensus climate science’, but not its source. The ‘consensus /settled’ scientists are paid servants of the political dogma transmitters. The dogmatic sources are the ideological environmentalists.

    Scientists traditionally in past centuries were the heroes of independent integrity in objective thought. We need to return there.

    Note: Of course I left the most important question out of the above. That question is, “Where does the ideological environmentalist dogma come from?” That, my friends, takes us into my favorite area, philosophy. : )

    John

  77. I think I saw on a blog somewhere, an explanation of why RealClimate would not put Climate Etc, as a link on the RealClimate website..
    What was it?

    After all under ‘Other Opinions’ they have links to Deltoid, Rabett Run, Only In It for The Gold (MT) and DeSmog blog!!! what possible reasons could there be for not linking to Climate Etc.

    This is a clear indication of the dogma, an unwillingness to ‘give an inch’ not even as a gesture of goodwill. I cannot understand how they do not realise how petty and how this makes them look and shows that RC is just a PR machine of a small group of (vocal) scientists, not reflecting Climate Science as a whole.

    Maybe they need a new reason (from my earlier comment above)

    d) climate heretic

    At RealClimate I suggested links to Climate Audit, Lucia’s Blackboard and Pielke Junior, to show goodwill, the moderator response raised a few eyebrows,.

    [Eric] – Real Climate
    Being not-listed could mean that a) we haven’t heard of the site, b) that it is uninteresting or unimportant, or c) that we consider it dishonest or disingenuous with respect to the science. Pielke Jr, Blackboard, and ClimateAudit all fall squarely into the latter category.–eric]

    (discused at The Air Vent – Roger Pielke Junior commented about discussing this with Eric,in the comments section)

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/extreme-climate/

    For intelligent people, I do not know how they cannot comprehend, that just this small thing alone (and eric’s earlier response) , shows to most observers, in my mind, that the accusations of groupthink and dogmna are very probably true.

    RC already have an ‘Other Opinions’ section, but they could even have a special section – sceptics, deniars, heretics and flat earthers. With a health warming that RC takes no responsibility for your state of mind, should you click on any of these links and READ what is said. ;)

  78. Judith wrote [in her vision of the IPCC without "dogma"]:

    climate scientists stop talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this

    and [in her discussion of the vehement defense of the "consensus"]:

    the perceived importance of consensus for implementing the UNFCCC policies. [...] If the UNFCCC policies were removed from the table, [...]

    Actually, it is far more than a “perception”. The links between the IPCC and the UNFCCC are “hard-coded”, so to speak! Consider the following (all emphases are mine -hro):

    From AR5 WGI’s “progress report” (presumably presented, reviewed and discussed at the IPCC’s Busan meeting):

    “IPCC Cross-Working Group Meeting on Article 2 of the UNFCCC was held in Liege, Belgium on 24 August 2010. Results of the AR5 informing on issues raised by Article 2 (e.g., levels of stabilization, dangerous interference, etc.) are of key relevance to policymakers. In order to address this important issue in the preparation of the AR5, [...]“

    Here’s the text of Article 2 (1992):

    Article 2

    OBJECTIVE

    The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

    And while we’re on the topic of the UNFCCC, it’s worth bearing in mind their definition of “climate change” (from Article 1):

    “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

    Interestingly, I could find no definition of “dangerous”. YMMV, but the phrasing above strongly suggests to me that the UNFCCC starts from a presumption that “human activity” is the primary driver, i.e. the “guilty” party, and further that there is little interest in any exploration of the role of “natural climate variability” – or of weighing the respective roles of human vs nature.

    IOW, the UNFCC gave the IPCC its “marching orders” in 1992, and the scientists of the IPCC have been quite happy to oblige, i.e. to keep their eyes wide shut to the influences of “natural climate variability”.

    This is not “science” (at least not in my pre-post-modernist understanding of the word); it is nothing less than a subversion of science, dedicated to the enforcement of politically motivated dogma.

  79. Sorry, let me try that again …
    Judith wrote [in her vision of the IPCC without "dogma"]:

    climate scientists stop talking about cap and trade and UNFCCC policies because the science demands that we do this

    and [in her discussion of the vehement defense of the "consensus"]:

    the perceived importance of consensus for implementing the UNFCCC policies. [...] If the UNFCCC policies were removed from the table, [...]

    Actually, it is far more than a “perception”. The links between the IPCC and the UNFCCC are “hard-coded”, so to speak! Consider the following (all emphases are mine -hro):

    From AR5 WGI’s “progress report” (presumably presented, reviewed and discussed at the IPCC’s Busan meeting):

    “IPCC Cross-Working Group Meeting on Article 2 of the UNFCCC was held in Liege, Belgium on 24 August 2010. Results of the AR5 informing on issues raised by Article 2 (e.g., levels of stabilization, dangerous interference, etc.) are of key relevance to policymakers. In order to address this important issue in the preparation of the AR5, [...]“

    Here’s the text of Article 2 (1992):

    Article 2

    OBJECTIVE

    The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

    And while we’re on the topic of the UNFCCC, it’s worth bearing in mind their definition of “climate change” (from Article 1):

    “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

    Interestingly, I could find no definition of “dangerous”. YMMV, but the phrasing above strongly suggests to me that the UNFCCC starts from a presumption that “human activity” is the primary driver, i.e. the “guilty” party, and further that there is little interest in any exploration of the role of “natural climate variability” – or of weighing the respective roles of human vs nature.

    IOW, the UNFCC gave the IPCC its “marching orders” in 1992, and the scientists of the IPCC have been quite happy to oblige, i.e. to keep their eyes wide shut to the influences of “natural climate variability”.

    This is not “science” (at least not in my pre-post-modernist understanding of the word); it is nothing less than a subversion of science, dedicated to the enforcement of politically motivated dogma.

  80. A colleague was recently appointed a lead author for the IPCC. At the first meeting, everybody introduced themselves and why they were there. My colleague said that he could not care less whether carbon dioxide emissions were going up or down. He only cares about understanding electricity systems. His confession to being a dispassionate academic was met with shocked disbelief.

    • interesting story

    • Richard,

      I can see why some were allegedly shocked, and so should tax payers. One would hope that all profs are passionate and engaged in their work, otherwise they are not being productive, mentoring students or publishing, at least not to the best of their capabilities.

      That is not good value for money. Surely people want their tax dollars being put to good use?

      You seem to be OK with that?

      • @MapleLeaf
        Professors are hired to be teachers, researchers, and managers. The job description does not include activist. My colleague is truly passionate in his quest for knowledge and in bringing that knowledge to others. Minimizing carbon dioxide emissions from power generation is an intellectual challenge, but so is maximizing emissions.

      • China
        Passenger Vehicle Sales Sept 2010 1,070,533 vehicles
        Year over year increase +23%

        Commercial Vehicle Sales Sept 2010 427,176 vehicles
        Year over year increase + 8%

        Congratulations go out to the IPCC, MapleLeaf and all the other professional ‘Climate Change’ scientists.

        Way to go guys. Excellent work.

  81. Proponents of man made global warming and cargo cult science (DOGMA)?

    Cargo cult science
    Richard Feynman

    http://bit.ly/CHGmZ

    “But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea
    for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.”

    ….

    “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.”

    Here are some evidence of proponents of AGW doing Feyneman’s cargo cult science:

    1) “Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back”
    Michael Mann

    http://bit.ly/9d06xq

    Michael, instead of taking Feyneman’s lesson of giving “details that could throw doubt on your interpretation” why did you prefer “contain” the putative “MWP”?

    2) “Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.”
    Michael Mann

    http://bit.ly/5HExUf

    Michael, instead of taking Feyneman’s lesson of giving “details that could throw doubt on your interpretation” why do you screen other people’s interpretation?

    3) “Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip.”
    Tom Wigley

    http://bit.ly/8SPNry

    Tom, where is Feynman’s “utter honesty” in the above statement of yours?

    4) “They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative approach to the risks than they are hearing from CSIRO. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible. They regard an increased likelihood of even 50% of drought or extreme weather as a significant risk. Drought is also a particularly importnat issue for Australia, as are tropical storms. “
    Adam Markham

    http://bit.ly/dDkk0C

    Adam, where is Feynman’s “utter honesty” in the above statement of yours?

    Judge it yourself. Have you passed Feynman’s test for a scientist?

    • G.P. Burdell, Jr

      Girma-

      I have been watching this posting of yours with great interest and waiting for any response.

      On this chatty, high volume blog, it has been more than 10 hours since your post.

      Yet, none of the acolytes of the modern Church of CAGW has sallied forth in response to your commentary.

      All the usual tactics of dismissiveness, ad homineum attacks, argument by authority, appeal to the consensus, etc. have failed them in the face of you clear and compelling analysis.

      Nice job. Keep it up. Don’t stop.

      Best wishes-

      GPB

  82. What I objected to, and still do, is people like Tobis and that idiot Connelley, saying ‘we’, meaning the collective ‘we’ of climate science, when they are no such thing. This is what is objectionable about ‘consensus’. Claiming agreement does not mean agreement exists. Can’t any of you see how (self)destructive this nonsense is? Perhaps you can’t but Dr Curry and I see it.

  83. And, to be clear, yes, I say, Lewis Deane, of Morecambe, UK, that Willliam Connelly is an idiot. And Michael Tobis, too. Because both of them want to destroy our ‘forwardness’ and replace it with some kind of doubt which is designed to paralyse. Idiots!

  84. Larry Chickola

    I see that someone has quoted Richard Feynman’s famous Cargo Cult address previously in this discussion. I have been a longtime fan of the writings and teachings of Richard Feynman. One of his most fascinating talents (to me) was the ability to step back from the work of science, to see the big picture and ask the big questions. By that I mean thinking about questions like, “What is the role of science in the world? Or in politics and political decisions? What is the roll of the scientist himself? What is good and what is bad science?” I found an address he gave in 1955, titled “The value of Science”.

    The last two paragraphs of the address could have been written specifically about the way Global Warming Science has been abused. His warning is clear, and the advice is sound. I commend Dr. Curry for offering the same advice.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Richard Feynman wrote:
    Our responsibility as scientists

    We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. There are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the men of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant; if we suppress all discussions, all criticism, saying, “This is it, boys, man is saved!” and thus doom man for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.

    It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  85. Dr. Curry:
    The choice of the word dogma carries emotional baggage. Despite your proposed definitions, it has significant connotations for the reader. In everyday discourse we mean one thing by dogma that implies that the writer’s authority is the basis of belief in a tenet. Alternatively, the word connotes religious belief for which no proof can be given but only the authority of the religious leaders can establish a dogma. It is also can mean there is a body of information or data that a group of scholars have adopted as truth, not by consensus but by application. The religious connotation does not provide for dispute while the scholarly definition implies a current status of knowledge of a premise.
    Because this issue pertains to the effects of greenhouse gases on the climate, it seems that a scholars definition would be better that a religious one. However, in today’s blogspace on climate we have scientists acting as if they are religious leaders who hold anyone who expresses doubt as a heretic and someone who is to be despised. History is rife with examples of religious intolerance to the extent that individuals were murdered in the name of a religion for failing to keep the dogma. Today only their character is assassinated. Science including climatology is not based on belief in a set of doctrines but on a body of information and data that supports a premise. Scientists argue whether the data and information supports the premise or not. Unfortunately, much of what is written these days on blogs on climate is too much like religious defenders of an unproven doctrine than a discussion to figure what work needs to be performed to reduce the uncertainties in the knowledge of the mechanisms that affect climate. I am sure you and others can provide the reasons.
    I applaud your efforts to lay down a gauntlet between two angry climate camps. Those who feel that the question of greenhouse gas effects on climate is already adequately understood have an obligation as scientists to demonstrate that the other potential causes are unfeasible based on what we know of science, are too small to account for the changes, or are impossible to be operating as we understand the climate mechanisms. This has yet to be done. Those who think more information need to listen and reasonably and civilly debate their points about climate
    Today we find that the politics of greenhouse gas effects on climate is emotionally charged and polarized by the people operating and writing for science blogs, for magazines and newspapers, on talk radio, in legislative circles at all levels of government including international bodies, letters to the editors, and other institutional groups. Most of the comments come from people with their own “ax to grind” and with little or no scientific knowledge acquired by studying the scientific literature about global climate changes including those caused by greenhouse gases. Frankly, hearing and reading their trite unoriginal points about why the other camp is totally wrong is growing tiresome and not worth the effort.
    I read through most of the “contributions” made to this topic. Except in a few cases where the writers tried to carryout a discussion about whether there are dogmas per se in climate science, most of the comments were attempts at being dogmatic about their perspective of truth (1st definition above). It is like listening to a debate and neither side is listening what the other is trying to communicate and then finding fault because it wasn’t explained carefully enough to them. As blog chief you clearly exceed the patience of Job!
    Science is not a court of law where both sides present arguments in the interpretation of a law to judge, the popular press. Science is cooperation between scientists to arrive at agreements about what is known, what is not known about the premise what needs to be done to gain better understanding. You are a scientist of the first order!

  86. Dr. Curry,

    I’m sure that you agree (correct me if you don’t) that the science behind the theory of anthropogenic induced climate change is a long one, and very well established (I can hear the cries of indignance from those in denial about AGW/ACC already), and borne out by multiple, independent data sets and consilience. Now, that integrated knowledge does not constitute a dogma, nor does defending the science against an onslaught of distortion , misinformation and personal attacks. At least it is not a “dogma” to reasonable, rational and informed (on the actual climate science) people.

    Why have you elected to frame (and fabricate) the “debate” in such a (ludicrous) way so as to make it impossible for someone to defend any aspect of the theory of AGW/ACC or climate science in general without being accused of defending an alleged “dogma”? You need to choose your words and narrative much, much more carefully if you expect people to believe that you are being sincere.

    Now your incoherence and ambiguity places you in an interesting/awkward position, because now you can never defend the climate science or your peers in the climate field who (like you) know AGW/ACC is a concern without being accused of defending the alleged “dogma”– at least by many readers here. I will be watching for interest to see whether anyone accuses you of that should you decide to defend the climate science or IPCC at some point.

    Moreover, it seems that in your model, Singer, Michaels et al. can distort and misrepresent the data and science at will and also malign scientists, and do whatever it takes to defend their very real “dogma”/ideology without so much as a word of critique from you or your fan base?

    And when the science is repeatedly attacked by some of your friends (e.g., Michaels), and even people on your own blog, you are deathly silent– heck, you even give them a pat on the back. Worse yet, when the scientists have the audacity (sarc) to stand up to the repeated attacks and to defend the integrity of the science, they are accused by you (a scientist) of defending the alleged IPCC “dogma”.

    This startling asymmetry (and hypocrisy on your part) flies in the face of your claims of honest intentions and sincerity.

    Sure critique the IPCC and let us improve and advance the science, your peers are all for that (really), but you are not going to achieve anything this way. While we are counting how many angels can dance on a pinhead, nit pick, bicker, muse about hypotheticals and indulge your and your cohorts’ sophistry– GHG emissions continue to escalate. Or is that exactly what you want?

    It is lost on you that your efforts are largely redundant, especially after the recommendations put forth by the AIC review and others. You know that, so why keep fabricating debate, fabricating controversy and sicking misguided and misinformed people on your peers?

    Now this would all be bad enough, but then you have the gall to claim to be a mediator and to have the betterment of science at heart. How are these inane and clearly mendacious tactics meant to facilitate “building bridges” or constructive dialogue?

    These are anything but felicitous actions on your part.

    PS: There are some questions above, I would appreciate some direct and unambiguous answers not from your fan base, not Mosher– you please. You framed the argument. You have made the assertions. You engaged in innuendo, insinuations and dog-whistling…now you need to answer to it.

    • Please tone down “Maple Leaf”, you sound like a political commissar engratiating himself towards his superior or is it seasonal frustration because cold weather is still coming in winter? Hard to tell, frankly, but Dr. Curry doesn’t deserve these ultimatums of yours nor do we.

      • No ultimatum for Curry or you (did you miss my salutation to Curry?). She can reply whenever she gets chance.

        Yes winter is upon us, and a La Nina too…..so it could be especially cold and snowy. So much for AGW eh, must be a “hoax”? ;)

        Anyways, I’m here to ask Dr. Curry to clarify her statements and position, she can refuse to do that if she wishes, that is her prerogative, but doing so would not help her case.

        Bye.

    • Worse yet, when the scientists have the audacity (sarc) to stand up to the repeated attacks and to defend the integrity of the science, they are accused by you (a scientist) of defending the alleged IPCC “dogma”.

      This startling asymmetry (and hypocrisy on your part) flies in the face of your claims of honest intentions and sincerity.

      Sure critique the IPCC and let us improve and advance the science, your peers are all for that (really), but you are not going to achieve anything this way. While we are counting how many angels can dance on a pinhead, nit pick, bicker, muse about hypotheticals and indulge your and your cohorts’ sophistry– GHG emissions continue to escalate. …

      P.S. … Don’t forget to mention that GHG emissions are rising at an exponentially accelerating rate because of the catalyzation of industrial infrastructure in the developing world.

      Multinational concerns understandably wish to make larger profits by providing less costly appliances in aid of mitigating GHG production.

      Understandably the IPCC being immersed in U.N. consensus culture and protocols of hospitality has no alternative but to lend credence to the inviolate right of all humanity to transfer technology, industrialize, emit and consume. Understandably birth control and family planning are a strictly personal, private and religious affair.

      Understandably the West is to blame for this industrial crisis and must bear the brunt of all costs for resolution and restitution.

      Probably you will be laughing your ass off with a comfortable pension after having selflessly devoted your life and sabbaticals to science. having had to suffer countless explorations of exotic, inaccessible, hostile wildernesses. (triple sarc) (QUADRUPLE SNORT)

      Enjoy the pork barrel trough while lasts swine.

    • MapleLeaf, these are “why are you beating your wife” type questions. These are pointless questions. You are welcome to make your accusations here, but they are unsupported and not very interesting to me, at least.

  87. Stephen Pruett

    Chris,
    If you read my whole comment you should have noticed that I gave some reasons for not accepting AGW in a dogmatic way. If you want to refute them, please do. However, your comments were more along the lines of “back off man I’m a scientist”. Well, so am I, and I think a dialog might be more productive for climate science and ultimately for science as a whole than antagonistic assertions.

    • Stephen, I’d be more than happy to focus on scientific dialogue, but I don’t play games of “this guy sent that guy an email, etc, etc” or taking quotations well out of context as a basis for argumentation. I don’t really care about that stuff, and I find people who over-emphasize these events rather than the actual science never tend to actually be interested in any form of advancing understanding, only playing ‘gotcha’ games. Furthermore, repeating things like “the IPCC reports don’t leave much room for uncertainty” only shows you haven’t actually read the IPCC report.

      I’m sorry but I can only spend so much time doing blog protocol, so I can’t keep responding to people who aren’t interested in the science or asking legitimate questions. My willingness to engage with Judith comes only because her qualifications are such that she should understand the science and form logically coherent arguments, and evaluate bad ones. To be honest though, this blog is only turning into a haven for conspiracy theorists and people who are convinced that all the ‘real’ science is being suppressed, and all the ‘fake’ science is computer model garbage that is being pushed on us by the dogma. Judith is doing nothing to point such people in the right direction. If you have a point though please make it.

      • Chris Colose (@ 2:12am) —

        Your comments indicate that you (like many others) have fallen into “Someone is wrong on the Internet!”

        Your tone and your rhetoric (e.g. “spiders”) suggest that you haven’t found any arguments or observations at Climate etc. to give you pause. Nothing you’ve read has led you to think, there are some worthwhile insights in what some folks on the other side have to say.”

        The comments that are most worth reading are those penned by people who have abandoned that posture. Irrexpective of their stance on the AGW Consensus.

      • AMac, thanks for raising this issue. RC and its ilk have promoted the idea of a certain group of Ph.D. scientists as keeper and arbiters of factoids about climate change. Well there are only a few hard and fast factoids; most of what is discussed are topics associated with a great deal of uncertainty. My blog is about the process of science, which is about trying out arguments, getting feedback, making mistakes, getting feedback, refining your arguments, repeat. All with the goal of thinking, learning, understanding. Whether or not we create new factoids here is not an issue I care much about. The role of “mistakes” in this process is, well, part of the process. In the gotcha world of the internet, any “mistake” (actual, alledged, or spun) by an opponent is dissected with glee (Michael Tobis blog is a case in point.)

  88. Dr. Curry:

    You’ve stirred up the hornet’s nest. The intensity of the reactions serve as a measure of the necessity of having done so.

    The smug, confident way that some lay people have latched on to “Global Warming” as a given, as a sure thing, based on “scientific consensus” has been most alarming to skeptics.

    I find it interesting that lay people are expected to accept said well-publicized consensus without question. That’s no problem at all! It’s quite all right if the know-nothings give their unquestioning support to the official position.

    Ah! But when some of those same know-nothings want something more than scientific consensus — namely, objective proof beyond a shadow of a doubt — the name calling and marginalization begin in earnest.

    And, if you happen to be part of the church hierarchy AND a skeptic (doubter), you’re in for special treatment — as you and others know all too well.

    Best of luck to you in your efforts to help expose (and ultimately cure) the ‘authoritarian’ aspects of the Church of Climatology. Appeals to authority have no place in science, and on this matter, some scientists have been a bit too snuggly-wuggly with politicians and regulators, and it’s putting a bit of tarnish on the profession’s image.

    And remember — many are watching/reading. Only a few of us bother to leave a comment.

  89. Stephen,

    What is you discipline?

  90. Alexander Harvey

    Judith,

    You wrote:

    “The word “dogma” isn’t a pretty one, its about as ugly as the word “denier.” Dogma is about how you treat disagreement and dissent.”

    Now why do I disagree with this in its entirity. Because I broadly concur with:

    “”The word “dogmatism” isn’t a pretty one, its about as ugly as the word “denial.” Dogmatism is about how you treat disagreement and dissent.”

    Dogma is truth
    Dogmatism is a behavioural trait.

    I think you mean “No Dogmatism”.

    I will read it again and see if that makes sense of it.

    Alex

    Alex

    • Alexander Harvey

      No still doesn’t make sense, I think that your usage is inconsistent, sometimes you use dogma for dogmatism and sometimes not.

      There is nothing essentially bad or shameful about dogma. A truth whether held to be undeniable or self-evident is dogma. Problems come when it leads to an injustice.

      Alex

      Alex

      • The term was and is used literally within the Christian Church without pejorative connotations, but without any claim that its truth rests on scientific principles. It exists outside religion, as in “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”, but rarely in such uncontroversial terms, and not usually recognised as dogma. As with the Christian dogma, we can have no scientific objection to a belief that makes no claim to scientific foundation, and in the case of the US Constitution expressly disavows it. Its metaphorical use applies to dogma masquerading as science, and is an assertion that a belief system that is perfectly unobjectionable in a religion is rarely unobjectionable outside it, and in any case has no place in scientific enquiry.

    • I’m grappling with the words. Here is what wikipedia says:

      “Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practioner or believers.”

      “As a fundamental element of religion, the term “dogma” is assigned to those theological tenets which are considered to be well demonstrated, such that their proposed disputation or revision effectively means that a person no longer accepts the given religion as his or her own, or has entered into a period of personal doubt.”

      Now this is interesting, also from the Wikipedia:

      he term “dogmatic” is often used disparagingly to refer to any belief that is held stubbornly. It is sometimes applied to political beliefs. [3] In debates among Marxists the terms “dogma” and “dogmatic” are often used with a negative connotation.
      “A notable use of the term can be found in the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. In his autobiography, What Mad Pursuit, Francis Crick wrote about his choice of the word dogma and some of the problems it caused him:
      I called this idea the central dogma, for two reasons, I suspect. I had already used the obvious word hypothesis in the sequence hypothesis, and in addition I wanted to suggest that this new assumption was more central and more powerful. … As it turned out, the use of the word dogma caused almost more trouble than it was worth…. Many years later Jacques Monod pointed out to me that I did not appear to understand the correct use of the word dogma, which is a belief that cannot be doubted. I did apprehend this in a vague sort of way but since I thought that all religious beliefs were without foundation, I used the word the way I myself thought about it, not as most of the world does, and simply applied it to a grand hypothesis that, however plausible, had little direct experimental support.”
      (note: the word “tenets” was used in the infamous PNAS article whose authors included Steve Schneider.)

    • I spotted this definition of dogmatism from the random house dictionary:

      Dogmatism is defined as “unfounded positiveness in matters of opinion,” and the “arrogant assertion of opinions as truths”. A dogmatist is “a person who asserts his or her opinions in an arrogant manner”.

      I agree, dogmatism is a better word. Will undertake some revisions

  91. I lost my temper, of course, Dr Curry, and I apologize to Michael Tobis (but not – why not?- to Connelly?) but anyone can see what annoys me and, for those poor souls that can’t articulate for themselves, it is this:

    I hate the fact that whenever a possible egress (possible because real) is proposed some people keep jumping up and saying ‘No, mummy, that isn’t the way I wanted it’

    I hate the fact that when someone tries to ‘reach across the ile’ their maligned and disrespected.

    I hate the fact that someone like Mcyntire, whose only quest was to find out whether something was true, is painted into a corner and now MyCarthised into, allegedly, the mythical Marshall Institute (the Marshal plan was our deliverance!)

    I hate the fact that no one seems to realise that this is about people lives. But, strangely enough, we have no control ‘over them’. I hate the fact, too, that people do not realize this.

    A lot of hate. And I apologise if my passion whealstroms caught any particular persons. Sorry.

  92. So if the “insiders” want to convince me that there is no dogma, they need to at the very least stop trying to marginalize skeptics and preferably actually engage with them in debate.

    You want to go back to the 90’s?

  93. Pat Michaels works for works for an “Institute” funded by the oil industry. He admitted that 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry. The remainder probbly come from the coal barons. He does not do fieldwork or publish scientific papers. Yet he is treated here like Galileo.

    Good Night.

  94. A reader emailed me this very interesting link, a scholarly essay on dogma

    http://www.the-rathouse.com/bartdogmatic.html

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