An opening mind. Part II

by Judith Curry

Mark Lynas has a new post up entitled “Questions the IPCC must now urgently answer.”  It is even more powerful than his previous post.  I may not be able to predict the climate, but I think I can predict certain outcomes in the climate debate.

Lynas’ previous post has sparked a blogospheric furor.  Some responses to the criticisms and challenges to the IPCC are in his latest post.  Some excerpts:

How is the Exxon scenario different from what has just happened with the IPCC’s renewables report? And why – when confronted with this egregious conflict of interest and abuse of scientific independence – has the response of the world’s green campaigners been to circle the wagons and cry foul against the whistle-blowers themselves? That this was spotted at all is a tribute to the eagle eyes of Steve McIntyre. Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him. Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’. Indeed, McIntyre and I have formed an unlikely double-act, posing a series of questions – together with the New York Times’s Andy Revkin – to the IPCC report’s lead author Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, to which he has yet to respond.

No your eyes don’t deceive you.  Lynas has upped Curry’s heresy with “then I too am a denier.”

 But what I don’t want are recycled campaign reports masquerading as ‘proper’ scienceleading the assessed scenarios – and the media – because their originator has managed to lever himself into a pole position on the team of lead authors. That stinks. And it stinks doubly because the Greenpeace report was originally co-authored by the European Renewable Energy Council – an industry lobby group whose prospects depend on state subsidies which can be expected to be further increased once its views are given the ‘official’ stamp of approval from the IPCC. 

There are some very clear lessons here for the IPCC:

- Campaigners – or industry employees – should not be lead authors on IPCC reports, on any of the working groups
- Whilst ‘grey literature’ may be valuable to assess, it should not be assessed by those who have written it
- This rule applies more broadly: no authors should be tasked with ‘independently’ assessing their own work, across all the IPCC working groups
- Press releases and Summaries for Policymakers should not be released until the full report they are based on is also released
- A clear conflict of interest policy should be agreed by the IPCC and implemented immediately, applying to current as well as future authors

Here, repeated, are the questions I have posed to the IPCC’s Edenhofer:

1: what was the process for writing the press release, and who decided whether it faithfully represented the main conclusions of the SPM/main report?
2: why was the SPM released more than a month before the full report?
3: was Sven Teske in any way involved in the decision to highlight Teske et al, 2010 as one of the four ‘illustrative scenarios’ explored in greater depth as per Section 10.3.1?
4: what is the IPCC conflict of interest policy with regard to lead authors reviewing their own work, and having affiliations to non-academic institutions, whether campaign groups or companies?

Steve McIntyre has additionally, in the same email exchange, requested full access to the transcripts of the comments made during the reviews to which the IPCC reports are all subjected. As far as I understand, these are supposed to be in the public domain. 

JC comments:  What we have here is Mark Lynas behaving like an investigative journalist,  with a watchdog and accountability role,  the 5th estate and all that.  The climate establishment has been berating the journalists for their failure to effectively communicate climate change and its risks.  That is not the job of the journos, but of the climate scientists themselves.  Journalists for the most part have dropped the ball on the climate change issue, and the watchdog/accountability role has been ceded to the blogospheric auditors, notably Steve McIntyre.  There are very few mainstream journalists behaving in a true investigative way on the climate change issue.  The pointman just posted an interesting essay on this.

As I predicted in my previous post, the criticism being leveled at Lynas by the greens is sending him in the other direction.  I described this phenomenon in my essay heresy and the creation of monsters:

Monster creation

There are some parallels between the “McIntyre monster” and the “Curry monster.” The monster status derives from our challenges to the IPCC science and the issue of uncertainty.  While the McIntyre monster is far more prominent in the public debate, the Curry monster seems far more irksome to community insiders.  The CRU emails provide ample evidence of the McIntyre monster, and in the wake of the CRU emails I saw a discussion at RealClimate about the unbridled power of Steve McIntyre.  Evidence of the Curry monster is provided by this statement in Lemonick’s article: “What scientists worry is that such exposure means Curry has the power to do damage to a consensus on climate change that has been building for the past 20 years.”  This sense of McIntyre and myself as having “power” seems absurd to me (and probably to Steve), but it seems real to some people.

Well, who created these “monsters?”  Big oil and the right-wing ideologues?  Wrong.  It was the media, climate activists, and the RealClimate wing of the blogosphere (note, the relative importance of each is different for  McIntyre versus myself).   I wonder if the climate activists will ever learn, or if they will follow the pied piper of the merchants of doubt meme into oblivion.

In reconsidering “monster creation,” a key element in this is the reaction of the warm-green side of the debate to even relatively moderate criticisms of the IPCC.  You are ignored by the IPCC and vilified by its defenders, which makes you realize that there was even more there to criticize than you originally thought.

504 responses to “An opening mind. Part II

  1. Stout Lynas, on a peak in Darien.
    =========

  2. The silence from the scientific institutions is deafening.

    • pesadia. Your simple sentence speaks volumes. There has been no statement from the Royal Society, The American Physical Society, The World Meteorological Organization, etc. etc. These are the organizations who should be guarding the scientific integrity of the debate over CAGW. Yet they are absent.

      Why are they absent? Very simple. They have nailed their colors to the mast in unbridled support of CAGW, and left themselves no way of climbing down, except with the most inglorious of mea culpas.

      How are the mighty fallen!!!!!!

    • At 9:51 AM on 17 June, pesadia writes:

      The silence from the scientific institutions is deafening.

      Look up the expression “rice bowl” as it has long been used in the U.S. military.

    • “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
      – Upton Sinclair

    • John Whitman

      pesadia,

      They (scientific institutions) are bodies with much gravitas (according to their own PR) . . . . they take time to spin up to speed on this lastest IPCC incident . . . but when they have spun up we will get their spin. Based on their past spin on IPCC incidents it is unlikely they will take the position like Mark Lynas has.

      Kudos to Lynas.

      John

  3. Completely agree that Lynas is showing some mettle. This interaction in the comments though is thought-provoking:

    J Bowers: It’s important to distinguish IPCC Working Group 1 (the physical science) from the other two working groups, and keep an eye on the ball.

    With regards to the physical science (AR4 WG1) there have been no mistakes found. Whatever one may believe about adaptation and mitigation, the science itself still stands.

    Mark Lynas: Agreed.

    No mistakes. That must be a first in a thousand page document. And doesn’t the hockey stick appear, albeit not so prominent in AR4? But as Steve McIntyre has pointed out many times, the main issue is what WG1 leaves out: a decent discussion of feedbacks, especially cloud feedbacks. 300 pages on that, 60 on the rest he suggested would do fine in one meeting in London in July 2010. That this area receives derisory coverage remains a disgrace.

    • Lynas may not be familiar with the work of Roger Pielke Sr who has condemned bias in WGI. Perhaps someone should forward him these links:
      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/documentation-of-bias-in-the-2007-ipcc-wg1-report-part-i/
      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/documentation-of-bias-in-the-2007-ipcc-wg1-report-part-ii/

      Lynas has already admitted siding with Mann on the Hockey Stick issue without looking closely at the facts. Perhaps someone should forward Lynas this link also: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_L.pdf

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I might agree in a technical sense. Errors have been found in it, but I suppose you could argue none of them were mistakes.

    • Theo Goodwin

      The really important point is that the IPCC has contributed no physical science. The only physical hypotheses used by the IPCC were created by Arrhenius in the 19th Century. To show that manmade CO2 is connected to temperature change on Earth, it is necessary to create physical hypotheses which explain the connection and which are shown to be reasonably well-confirmed. These “connections” are usually called forcings and the main topic in the forcings arena at this time is the behavior of clouds. The pro-AGW side has no physical hypotheses which can be used to explain and predict the behavior of clouds in an environment of increasing manmade CO2. If anyone doubts my claim, it is very easy to prove. Just ask the pro-AGW crowd to produce the necessary physcial hypotheses. They will talk around the matter endlessly because they have not one. Everything that the pro-AGW crowd has done is based on computer models and such models can never substitute for physical hypotheses. At this time, there is no scientific evidence that manmade CO2 causes global warming.

    • Theo:

      You are wrong. Arrhenius’ work is old and has been supplanted. Those of us who have to design things that work know about Hottel. He showed the relationship between the amount of electromagnetic energy absorbed by intervening CO2 and the concentration of the CO2 (and water too). His work was done in the 1940′s at MIT to facilitate the design of combustion processes. Later, Leckner improved on the understanding of the relationships. Today, we can predict with great certainty the amount of radiant energy that will be absorbed by intervening gases between a hot surface and a cooler surrounding (i.e. the greenhouse effect). What we also know is that for CO2, there is a maximum. Reviewing Leckner’s work we see that this occurs at about 500 bar.cm. In the atmosphere, this is about 800 ppm, with the increase from 200 to 400 being about equal to the increase from 400 to 800. For all intents and purposes, there is no significant increase in radiant energy absorption beyond about 200 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, from surface to space.

      Don’t take my word for it. Take a course in heat transfer.

      Cheers

      JE

  4. Neither McIntyre nor Judith Curry have ever “denied” that increased GHG warm the atmosphere. Nor have most skeptics (to be distinguished from those who doubt or deny that emission of GHG influence the climate, including many lay people and some scientists). The whole debate is about much more specific and nuanced issues.
    Some of the issues are scientific: role of clouds, estimates of CO2-climate sensitivity, reconstruction of past temperatures, unprecedentedness of recent warming, quality of instrumental data, degree of uncertainty in model projections, and suchlike. In fact, the debates are often over much more specialized and arcane subjects such as the use of bristlecone trees in paleo reconstructions, difficult questions about principal component analysis, or whether the Tiljander series is to be used at all in such reconstructions. Other issues touched upon by McIntyre and Curry are institutional (transparency at the IPCC, conflicts of interest, behavior of climate scientists connected with the peer-review process in regard to favorable or opposing views, etc.). McIntyre is especially careful to avoid any discussion or statement about the truth of claims about climate change, or about climate policy. His points are almost invariably procedural and methodological. Political or ideological issues (such as those posed by libertarians about possible new taxes or government intervention) have hardly ever been addressed by either of the above mentioned (Curry and MM).

    • Rob Starkey

      Hector

      IMO you really are not getting it right when you write “The whole debate is about much more specific and nuanced issues.”

      The debate is imo about whether there is evidence that human released CO2 is creating a dire problem for humanity. Then the issue is whether that warrants taking drastic action today and whether the actions taken by some nations would be able to avoid this reportedly dire situation.

      Some of us acknowledge that increased a CO2 will warm the planet somewhat, but we also do not believe that we know enough yet to determine by what amount. Perhaps more importantly, we do not really know that a warmer planet would not be better for humanity overall, over the long term.

    • @Rob
      I have replied to this further down
      Kiwi June 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

  5. My first thought on reading “more powerful” was – ‘oh no, I hope this doesn’t mean more inaccurate and trenchant’

    But it is.

    There’s two ways of reacting to the kind of error strewn tirade Lynas produced on his first go – 1. take it on the chin and reflect, or 2. react to the criticism by circling the wagons and going out all guns blazing.

    Unfortunately, he’s chosen the 2nd option.

    Pity really, the first article could have been quite interesting if he’d gone with an analytical ,rather than pyrotechnic, approach to the story.

    • That kind of response (similar to my heresy and creation of monsters response to the Sci Am article) is not surprising. The critics were not focused on minor errors of facts or interpretation, but on his straying from green dogma and paying attention to the mcintyre monster.

    • The McIntyre Monster. Indeed so. Never has a fable been so frightening … or the reality so reassuring.

    • What impresses me about McIntyre is his ability to foresee the future. I don’t know how he does it. Is it a God-given talent or did he develop it himself?

    • I think he was disagreeing that Greenpeace can see the future. Why do you think Greenpeace can see 39 years out?

    • Or, for that matter, 39 days, or minutes, out.

    • What now, 1902 passes 1921? Oh dear.

    • When the core of the argument (the facts) is wrong, how can its conclusions be sustained?

      It’s akin to saying about a research paper – yeah, the data doesn’t supoort the results……. but I really like those results.

    • That you see the core of the argument as wrong, doesn’t make it so. All it means is that you don’t understand the “core of the argument.” McIntyre is no less honest than any on your side of the dance floor. that he’s joined by, not one, but TWO, of those who would normally disagree with him (and me) is evidence enough that there’s a rat in the woodpile. Do you think BOTH sides of the dance floor are irretrievably stupid and/or dishonest?

  6. Thanks Judith. I’m sort of hoping to be able to make these criticisms without becoming a full-blown ‘monster’ ideally! My use of the word ‘denier’ was of course rhetorical – this doesn’t change my position on global warming science in general, as of course we are discussing mitigation. I’ve now of course accepted the challenge to read the Hockey Stick Illusion, and a copy is waiting for me at my academic department in Oxford.

    I think part of the problem for Greenpeace is that they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle. So it won’t have actually occurred to them that having Teske embedded in the IPCC and reviewing his own work could actually backfire and cause damage. Same with all the greens attacking me now – they just ‘know’ they are saving the planet, so anyone who makes a criticism is worthy of very harsh responses.

    For me this illustrates how essentially tribal we all are. I guess the role of both journalists and scientists is to try not to self-identify too closely with any tribe, and to strive for objective truth insofar as such a thing is ever possible. I’ve still got a lot of ‘backdoor’ lines of communication open to many colleagues throughout the green movement, so will try to keep some sense of perspective about both sides.

    • Same with all the greens attacking me now – they just ‘know’ they are saving the planet, so anyone who makes a criticism is worthy of very harsh responses.

      That’s a key insight Mark. Pick up that copy of THSI from Jonathan Jones soon! And very best wishes in your journey from here.

    • Mr Lynas,
      This issue is a tempest. I’d rather you stay on your course of advocating for nuclear power as the fastest way to mitigate. That’s really the war you are fighting now. This isn’t about people who want to mitigate and people who don’t. It’s finding politically feasible ways of doing so. I hope you don’t get too wrapped up in the Hockey Stick nonsense to distract you from the important advocacy you do on behalf of drawing down CO2 levels to safe levels.

    • With safe levels being…..?

    • 350, a number, as far as I know, Mark supports.

    • PPM i presume.

      How was that established (may be easier to point me to a link than explain yourself fella).

    • edward getty

      Your link leads to:

      Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?

      James Hansen et al.

      Better than Pachauri’s steamy novel or another Paul Erhlich doomsday tome I suppose. Maybe.

    • Even if the risible CO2 forcing driver meme is accepted, the crisis looming with decades or more of global cooling trumps all. We’ll need all the warming and bolstering of agriculture we can get. As the flora have eaten themselves into near starvation levels, I hereby propose a new mitigation proposal:
      “2,100 ppm by 2100 or Bust!”

      It’s time and past time for we fauna to pick up our game.
      Frak all the gas we can find, exploit or just release the hydrates deposits, fire up all the cement factories we have and can build, etc. It’s going to take an all-out effort!
      >:)

    • Good advice! Achieving that 350 CO2 target should keep Mark and his descendants busy for at least 500 years.

    • Mark, my overall views on global warming (other than more aggressively playing the role of uncertainty detective) haven’t changed that much either over the years. I still retain strong contact with my mainstream colleagues. But my criticism of the IPCC has been strong. Hence my public vilification.

      The word “denier” is increasingly used to not in the sense of rejecting the WG I physical basis of climate change, but in questioning whether the impacts are as dangerous as WG II has led people to believe, and questioning whether the UNFCCC emissions stabilization targets are a feasible or otherwise good policy option. Denier gets used for anyone that questions the IPCC.

      What has been lacking on the green/warm side of the debate is any kind of realistic perspective about the other side; they are invariably dismissed as rightwing troglodytes. I applaud your opening of your mind to what is going on with the more skeptical side of this debate.

    • You know, it still bothers me greatly that ‘Denier’ has become such an accepted term. Sad really.

    • edward getty

      It would help if blogs banned that word which could be done based on the simple fact that it is technically false.

      In a dictionary that term refers to the denial of a ‘known fact’ and all that so called ‘deniers’ dispute is a hypothesis.

      Disputing hypotheses is what real science is about.

      I think everyone knows what the deliberate use of the word ‘denier’ is really about. The irony is that the AGW promoters are now the ones increasingly in denial as more inconvenient evidence emerges.

    • In a dictionary that term refers to the denial of a ‘known fact’ and all that so called ‘deniers’ dispute is a hypothesis.

      That’s not quite true: AGW is a theory, not a hypothesis. Perhaps you’re in denial about that?

      “Denial” also refers to a psychological category of defense mechanism in which the subject irrationally suppresses their own understand of facts they find too painful to accept. I think that captures the phenomenon quite well.

      It works even better now that we have the category of “lukewarmers,” which includes a number of people who are not irrational enough to deserve to be called “deniers.”

    • “understanding” not “understand”

    • edward getty

      Robert. OK. Theory.

      You wrote:

      ““Denial” also refers to a psychological category of defense mechanism in which the subject irrationally suppresses their own understand[ing] of facts they find too painful to accept.”

      Most skeptics I know, and most I read here, are not irrational. Just the opposite

      On the other hand, your ‘defense mechanism’ definition more accurately describes the AGW promoters who are certainly in a state of denial at the moment… which I suppose makes them ‘deniers’ – though I would not use that word.

      The term ‘denier’ was deliberately selected for the connotations associated with ‘holocaust deniers.’

    • Most skeptics I know, and most I read here, are not irrational. Just the opposite

      Can irrational people be considered good judges of whether or not they are thinking irrationally?

      On the other hand, your ‘defense mechanism’ definition more accurately describes the AGW promoters . . .

      Do evolution promoters, relativity promoters, or germ theory promoters show similar tendencies? Or is it only the theory of AGW you feel has or needs “promoters”?

      The term ‘denier’ was deliberately selected for the connotations associated with ‘holocaust deniers.’

      So some deniers have claimed, in crying victim. I guess I’m “skeptical” of that.

    • edward getty

      Robert (June 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm)

      “Can irrational people be considered good judges of whether or not they are thinking irrationally?”

      Sweet. I wouldn’t know. Perhaps you do?

      “Do evolution promoters, relativity promoters, or germ theory promoters show similar tendencies? Or is it only the theory of AGW you feel has or needs “promoters”?”

      Since I have not seen any efforts to promote the first three beyond the strength of their evidence but have seen a massive and relentless media and propaganda campaign to promote AGW – which largely consists of fearmongering, covering up for the lack of evidence, or grossly exaggerating the certainty of what supporting evidence there is -the rational answer to your question is yes.

      Only AGW has and needed that kind of promotion and now these failed salesmen and missionaries are in a state of denial. They are lashing out because they have nothing else. Some are so desperate and deluded that they want to believe that anyone who doesn’t buy their defective wares and wolf crying is irrational.

    • Responding to edward getty (“In a dictionary that term [denier] refers to the denial of a ‘known fact’ and all that so called ‘deniers’ dispute is a hypothesis“), at 6:04 PM on 17 June we find Robert writing:

      That’s not quite true: AGW is a theory, not a hypothesis. Perhaps you’re in denial about that?

      Nah, not even a hypothesis. To quote frequent Climate Etc. commentor, Dr. Jeff Glassman in another venue:

      Just as intelligent design is a threshold question between nonscience and conjectures, anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a threshold question between conjectures and hypotheses. AGW is a centuries-old conjecture elevated to an established belief by a little clique of quacks who proclaim themselves the Consensus on Climate, guardians of the vault of exclusive knowledge. Does this sound familiar? Is the Consensus patterned after the Council of Trent? As a matter of science, as opposed to a matter of belief, the AGW conjecture is gathering more contradictory evidence than supporting.

      As for Robert‘s grope at “a psychological category of defense mechanism,” can there by a better instantiation of “Liberal” fascist denigration of the motives of those who resist their authoritarian machinations?

      Let’s see; Mussolini’s blackshirts used to administer whopping doses of castor oil to those who spoke against il Duce, and the Polizei of Grossdeutschland arranged for “resettlement” in salubrious camps where “Arbeit Macht Frei, while the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti secured psychiatric hospitalization for folks who insanely objected to the “Workers’ Paradise” of the USSR.

      Ain’t it nice? Robert wants to “medicalize” all protest among his victims into silence. How very, very “Liberal” fascist.

    • Responding to edward getty . . .

      Oh, here’s Rich again. I wonder if he can get through a whole post without the forcing telling him to include some ranting against “liberal fascists.”

      To quote frequent Climate Etc. commentor, Dr. Jeff Glassman . . .

      He’s doing well so far, not really saying anything, but avoiding his catchphrase.

      “Liberal” fascist denigration . . . ; Mussolini’s blackshirts. . . il Duce

      Aw, darn, he lost it at the end! Back to the paranoid rantings about right-wing totalitarians that are somehow akin to modern-day scientists.

      Better luck next time.

    • “without the forcing” should be “without the voices forcing”

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Strange. “Fascism” was invented by the left. Wike “Corporate State”.

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Strange. “Fascism” was invented by the left. Wiki “Corporate State”.

    • And at 7:16 PM on 17 June, we’ve got “Liberal” fascist Robert, enemy of human rights and Commissar-wannabe, trying desperately to reduce the use of the accurate diagnostic term for his kind of grasping, vicious little left-wing authoritarian – “Liberal” fascist – by calling it a “catchphrase.”

      Poor, squirming little socialist. It’s really getting to him, isn’t it?

    • Rob Starkey

      Robert

      You bring up an interesting point when you write-

      “Denial” also refers to a psychological category of defense mechanism in which the subject irrationally suppresses their own understand of facts they find too painful to accept.”

      Would you agree that the defination describles the behavior of those that support CO2 mitigation stratagies as a means of “controling Global Warming”.

    • ” Robert? Irrational”

      Denier is an ad hom and it reflaect the bankrupt state of alarmists.

      It’s linked to the slightest code of Holocaust Denier = Anti-semite = Nazi in the sort of left-wing lexicon.

      In short, what you have to say is rubbish.

    • AGW can be called a theory. CAGW is certainly no more than a hypothesis.

    • Better hope that Dr. Jeff Glassman isn’t reading on this thread. He’s written explicitly about the definitions of conjecture, hypothesis, theory and law in the context of the sciences, and of AGW had stated: “Just as intelligent design is a threshold question between nonscience and conjectures, anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a threshold question between conjectures and hypotheses. AGW is a centuries-old conjecture elevated to an established belief by a little clique of quacks who proclaim themselves the Consensus on Climate, guardians of the vault of exclusive knowledge.

    • Long term, LM, it will pay off – in all senses of the term.

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Intentional. “Denier” is to be expected. See Reputational Cascades, page 727-728 et seq, “impose reputational costs on those who opposed them”, in:
      Timur Kuran and Cass Sunstein, ‘Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation’, Social Science Research Network, 2007 http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/364.pdf [accessed 27 August 2008].

    • At 10:19 AM on 17 June, Labmunkey had written:

      You know, it still bothers me greatly that ‘Denier’ has become such an accepted term. Sad really.

      I would prefer, instead, to be labeled as “damning” rather than “denying,” as in “Damn their lying ‘Cargo Cult Science’ pretense of validity!

      I don’t deny anything. They’re incompetent credentialed charlatans and crooks, and what they’re peddling is the most spectacular concerted fraud in recorded history. They’re the ones denying factual reality.

    • Judy,

      re: absence of realistic perspective by warmists about the other side

      There may disagreement about the extent to which politics dominates the climate debate, but I don’t think anyone can claim that politics is not a very large part of it. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, M.D. once wrote that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans think Democrats are wrong and Democrats think Republicans are evil. I think you will agree that those of whom Krauthammer wrote and those you write about are many of the same people. We shouldn’t be surprised that their methods are the same.

      It is so much easier to dismiss all who disagree as evil and unworthy. Not scientific, but easy.

    • I just love me some irony.

      Have you not read post after post after post, at this very site, which describes in great detail the evil character and malicious intent of the libz and myriad fraudulent scientists that are behind the CAGW cabal/hoax?

    • Joshua, I’ve read enough of what you have written to know how much credibility you should be accorded. You are entitled to your opinions. It must be hard for you to see Hockey team members accurately characterized in a manner consistent with their behavior as revealed in the e-mails.

    • Actually, stan, I find the characterization of “tribalism” emanating from the “believer/convinced” side of the debate to have a fair degree of credibility. And at any rate, I take it as a matter of faith, as a matter of human character, that people on both sides of the debate act tribally and form conclusions that are influenced by their starting assumptions, political predispositions, and life experiences.

      In truth, it does disturb me when I see people that are generally more sympatico with me politically acting tribally – but that doesn’t mean that I “deny” that such tribalism exists.

      So think about that, attach an irony filter to your computer monitor, and re-read your previous comment.

    • Josh,

      I’m happy with my filters. I’d suggest you’d benefit greatly from a “reality” setting for your computer.

    • Judith

      The term ‘global’ warming is surely a complete misnomer when nearly one third of the world is cooling, as one of your very famous colleagues admits.How about ‘localised’ warming-with much of that being in urban areas.

      tonyb

    • “I think part of the problem for Greenpeace is that they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle”

      This is the central problem with crusading environmental organisations; the means, at any cost, have came to justify the ends.

      http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/the-big-green-killing-machine-what-is-vad/

      Pointman

    • Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer is still well-worth reading, 60 years on. Human nature doesn’t change…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer

      Happy reading–
      Pete Tillman

    • Mr. Lynas,
      I did not know you were here. In a comment above, I posted some links you may find interesting.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      My main objection to your first piece is that you uncritically gave credence to McIntyre w/o looking at the substance of his claims. What Steve points out is something that is common to most literature reviews: they are done by experts who are generally active in the field and so will almost inevitably cite their own work. WG3, as has been pointed out quite often, and as is acknowledged in IPCC policies and procedures, faces an even harder problem here than the other two groups because so much of the work is being done by commercial and NGO interests. In the case under review, the author group appears to be quite diverse. It includes, in addition to the “left” end of the spectrum, academics and someone (Wright) who works for the FF industry.

      To address a point made in your second post, in a sense all of the scenarios, even the IEA-WEC2009-Baseline, as extended by Teske and DLA, predicts a bright future for RE, The baseline scenario results in near doubling of RE capacity by 2050 even w/o any specific government actions and only “moderate” increases in the costs of FF. The alternate universe scenario you present seems a little odd given that FF is clearly on the way out just because of resource limitations so an objective assessment of the future of FF would have to, necessarily predict a future of increasing costs and decreasing availability. So in your scenario I would have to suspect some hanky-panky. But I don’t like the shoot the messenger style of argumentation It is far more effective to look for problems in the report itself and the work upon which it is based, but this is something which Steve has not done. Indeed McIntyre has refused to make clear his objections to the contents of the report and backpedaling from “terminate WG3″ to “withdraw the press release and issue a new one” in just a day.

      As for your comments on Greenpeace. I tend to agree here; many of their stunts in the past have tended to be counterproductive, but this scenario is not a stunt.

    • The baseline RE is mostly wood and dung for cooking.

    • Brown Rat

      The core of the issue though is the close relationship of the IPCC with a highly politial NGO like Greenpeace. Elsewhere, I think it was Robert who said that supranational organisations like the IPCC confer benefits to the GW problem (as he put it). If for a moment we accept that the IPCC should speak for all, is it not crucial that it does so objectively and without bias? The warmists are the first to cry ‘Big Oil’ when contrary arguments are put forward in various literature. What is the difference between Greenpeace and ‘Big Oil’ aside from their motivation? They are both biased.

    • Rattus,

      * The issue is not so much that a paid Greenpeace activist so prominently elevated and promoted his own Greenpeace promotional document in a survey of the literature (although I think that is bad), the fundamental issue is disclosure. When the conflict is so absolute, at a minimum the level of disclosure must be extreme (in this case, right in the first few sentences of the press release and paper). While that wouldn’t fully address the issue of conflict in my mind, it would have at least provided some minimal grounds on which to claim propriety.

      * McIntyre doesn’t need to refute or even comment on anything in the report. His objection is about process and is completely valid regardless of what the paper says.

      * A fossil fuel industry employee being involved is completely meaningless. Many (if not most) fossil fuel companies have recast themselves as energy companies and are actively pursuing working the system from the inside to profit from renewables through credits and subsidies. Also, it has been quite well documented that there are varying levels of input in IPCC documents. McIntyre himself was previously a contributor to the IPCC and his legitimate concerns, properly registered, were still rejected and buried by the lead authors. Lead authors have such enormous power under current IPCC practice that they can completely overrule and ignore anyone else.

      * To gain respectability the IPCC needs to put someone who is a known lukewarmer (like Judith) or even a skeptic (like McIntyre) in the role of lead author. Anything else is meaningless under current practice. However, the IPCC will never, ever, (ever ever) do this, which shows just how much unchecked power the lead authors have. Interestingly, I’m quite confident that both Judith and Steve would actually give alarmists a full, complete and fair representation in a final document that accurately represents multiple viewpoints (which is what the IPCC was supposed to be doing in the first place).

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Mark,

      1) Teske was clearly identified in the Annex of contributors as employed by Greenpeace. I would prefer if affiliations were put up front in the reports, but that is a minor point. Teske got onto the LA team because he was nominated by the German government and was accepted by the IPCC as being acceptable. He was not involved in the preparation of the press release.

      2) If Steve has a problem, he really should point out why this scenario should not have been one of the highlighted scenarios. I have my objections, on record at CA, but so for Steve has not made his objections clear. It is an aggressive scenario, but it is only a scenario, a possible path forward in the future.

      3) I have pointed this out repeatedly.

      3.5) McIntyre was a reviewer for AR4. He was not a “contributor”, which to my mind is a greater role than that of say some fool like, oh say, Vincent Gray. Given Steve’s behavior in the review process, it is unlikely that he will be a reviewer in the next go round.

      4) They have. See Christy, John. Steve does not have the range of expertise and knowledge to be considered as an LA. You need to to a lot more than throw bombs to be considered as a CLA, LA or CA to these reports. Judith might be someone who could be nominated, but so far she has not. Not by Bush I, Clinton, Bush II or Obama.

    • “it is unlikely that he will be a reviewer in the next go round.”

      Those who defy the church must be ex-communicated.

    • Why is being “nominated by the German government” justification for being an LA? I thought the IPCC was supposed to be a scientific organisation not a political quango?

    • Do you know what’s easy? Pretending there’s no legitimate criticism of your position, no room for rational disagreement and deciding that all those people saying you’re wrong is simply further proof that you’re right.

      Do you know what’s hard? Looking at why people disagree with you. Picking through the spectrum of opinion and using what’s there to critically analyse your own position.

      Yes you can go down the road of simply setting your opinion in stone and permitting no modification of it, it would hardly be unique in this debate. You will find many who will welcome you so long as your opinion in something they like.

      Be careful though. When you pick your associates based on a particular position rather than the processes used to reach opinions you’re stuck there forevermore. When you decide you’ll no longer accept anything or anyone that disagrees with you the people who will accept you will demand the same. Quid pro quo.

      You’ve clearly read McIntyre’s piece and it made you angry. What you saw there appeared to show your basic principles were violated. You need to take some time to investigate what was claimed. You should consider the possibility that the people that disagree with you share the same principles but don’t agree they were violated and the possibility that the people who agree with you do not share the same principles, they see them as a convenient vehicle to reach outcomes they desire.

    • Lynas: “they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle. ”

      And you know where that has gotten us?

      China now burns over 3x the coal the USA burns. And is on route to doubling that amount every 7 years.

      India now burns half the coal the USA does, and will match the USA in about 7 years.

      Germany will need to burn more coal to make up for closed nuclear power plats

      And on and on.

      Greenpeace and all the environmentally “goody two shoes” have actually made the planet dirtier by driving manufacturing to China.

      No good deed goes unpunished.

      You and your former “friends” have made things worse. The air is filthier, more carbon soot is in the air and on the ground and a lot more CO2 is being produced than if the manufacturing had been left alone to flourish in cleaner energy countries.

    • For me this illustrates how essentially tribal we all are.

      I suggest that you read Dr. Curry a bit more extensively, Mark. She has explained that there is a “vast asymmetry” in the tribalism.

    • Joshua –
      She has explained that there is a “vast asymmetry” in the tribalism.

      And there is, Josh. If, for example, McIntyre came out as a Believer, do you think the overreaction would be at the same level as Lynas is receiving. I’ve watched the “tribalism” for a long time – and I’ve watched your side of the dance floor “eat their own” more times than I can count. Departure from the dogma is heresy and deserves the stake.

    • Jim, as far as I know, McIntyre IS a believer, in the sense of believing CO2 emissions pose a significant risk – it’s just that he also “believes” in the scientific method. Or have I misunderstood him?

    • No, TomFP, I don’t believe you have misunderstood him. I have thought exactly the same for some time now. He is on record as stating that policy makers should go with the scientific advice they are given. It’s just the meticulous nature of the man that he wants things done correctly.

    • Could be, Tom – or he could be a lukewarmer. I’ve never tried to classify him. And if he wants everyone to know he’ll tell us. But if he’s either, then it’s just confirmation of the “eat their own” behavior.

    • Steve was one of the people who expressed an unwillingness to have a session on alternative hypotheses for climate change at the Lisbon conference. He also tends to push those trying to discuss them on Climate Audit away.

      I think this is primarily because he wishes to keep the blog focussed on the output of the IPCC and the journal papers which are cited in support of its position. This is about clarity and preventing a free for all, not taking sides.

      He has in the past however also critiqued papers which rebut IPCC cited papers, so he demonstrates his balance there.

    • “I’m sort of hoping to be able to make these criticisms without becoming a full-blown ‘monster’ ideally! ”
      Nice sentiments, but unlikely to be possible. You will get plenty of flack, but relatively little of it will come from the sceptic side, the majority will be from AGW proponents.

      A warning, now that you have noticed this one (some would argue, small) problem, you will then start to notice other similar things. Most, of themselves, not hugely significant. But, as time goes on, the sheer volume will begin to take the appearance of an alarming trend, and you will be left wondering how you never noticed all this earlier.

      “I think part of the problem for Greenpeace is that they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle.”

      Was not that ever the ideological position of those found to have committed the worst crimes in human history?
      In fact, can you ever trust someone who is willing to do wrong for a supposedly right principle? Could you actually trust them not to fudge figures if they thought the fudged result was better for the planet?

      But good on you for wanting to see integrity and honesty. I wish you all the best on your journey.

    • Mark – by your reference to tribalism you implicitly accept the sociological aspect of the climate debate. As a journalist, this aspect is surely as interesting, and certainly as important, as the science itself. You now find yourself in the invidious position of the heretic, branded by people whose views you still share a fellow-traveller of folk whose views you have long disdained. It’s good to see that you are going to read THSI, and I hope to see your remarks on it. But if you have time, I urge you to read Kesten Green’s structured analysis of (I paraphrase) Big Scary Predictions That Have Yet To Come True http://kestencgreen.com/green%26armstrong-agw-analogies.pdf

      He studies unfulfilled scares like Eugenics, Y2K, DDT and a delightfully quaint mid 19th century alarm that the world was running out of shipping timbers. All were perverse extensions of “settled” science. All turn out, on examination, to rest on unfalsifiable argument. All were attended by strident appeals to the Precautionary Principle. More importantly for any journalist with ambitions to influence public policy, Green systematically charts the results of legislative efforts to forfend the calamity. It’s not encouraging. The result tends to be that worthless and costly legislation festers on the statute books, because although nobody believes the scare any longer, so many did during its currency that it can’t be openly disavowed. This, I’m afraid, is why so many of us want to see Jones et al pilloried – it’s not mere schadenfreude, or for that matter, tribalism, but also the sense that if the rod is spared the child will be spoiled, to the great disadvantage of the societies we live in..

    • Theo Goodwin

      Mark Lynas writes:
      “For me this illustrates how essentially tribal we all are.” Excuse me, but make that “how essentially tribal we younguns all are.” It was not like this in the old days (post war 1945-1973) when open criticism of any other scientist, including your dissertation adviser, was expected and encouraged. In my humble opinion, this tribalism comes from Political Correctness and its ultimate cause is the main tool of Marxist politics, namely, force each person into his or her own little group of self-interest and force all groups to compete with one another for all the goodies that are held in the common pot under supervision of the government or its minions. Let me be very blunt about this tactic in academia. If you are going to create academic departments of Feminist Studies, and feminist professors are encouraged to write articles and books which claim that science shows that the root of all evil is “maleness,” then you are not going to be able to permit lively criticism. Wouldn’t you agree? Thus, everyone has the administration as a patron. Substitute CAGW for feminist studies and that is where we are on a bigger stage that includes the highest levels of the administration – or have we forgotten Czar Van Jones?

    • Mark,

      I’d just like to add my voice to those calling for you to read the HSI as soon as practicable. It seems that this episode has given you a higher regard for Steve McIntyre, and at least this example of his “auditing” work. Montford’s HSI is perhaps the best treatment of what is a far more important example of McIntyre’s (and a few others) work. Be warned however, that after reading it you will have great difficulty maintaining any respect for those who continue to assert the robustness of hockeystick and its descendants, which might be uncomfortable for someone with your background. Still, you appear to have started on the journey of revelation. Good luck.

    • “I think part of the problem for Greenpeace is that they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle.” This is the hallmark of International Socialists and many other extreme leftists that I have met over the last 50 years. Unsurprisingly, many Green activists have a hard-left background; and their policy prescriptions re AGW would take us down the big-government central-direction route favoured by the left. The “revealed wisdom” embraced by such people makes them impervious to evidence and argument.

    • Mark says:

      “My use of the word ‘denier’ was of course rhetorical – this doesn’t change my position on global warming science in general, as of course we are discussing mitigation.”

      Then he says:

      “For me this illustrates how essentially tribal we all are. I guess the role of both journalists and scientists is to try not to self-identify too closely with any tribe, and to strive for objective truth insofar as such a thing is ever possible.”

      Mark,

      Can you imagine your position on global warming science in general being tribal too? It’s sure possible and IMO very likely.

    • Lynas:
      I think part of the problem for Greenpeace is that they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle.

      Machiavelli:
      The ends justify the means … He who wishes to deceive will never fail to find willing dupes.

  7. At some point, you have to realize that the “thin blue line” mentality is counter-productive. To paraphrase the Royal Society: For public confidence, trust is more important than maintaining orthodoxy. An Auto de fe is not a reaction from a position of strengh.

  8. Rattus Norvegicus

    WRIGHT, Raymond M.
    Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ)

    One of the LA’s on Ch. 10 whose work is cited. So, in the extant case, I would have to say no, I have no objections.

    • PJC is heavily committed to renewables … by law.

      http://www.pcj.com/dnn/RenewableEnergyPotential/tabid/171/Default.aspx

      “Wigton Windfarm was the brainchild of Dr Raymond Wright, then group managing director of Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica…”

      “Wigton was an immediate success technically, but a disaster financially…”

      Raymond Wright is now a former Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and consultant.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      So Bruce, you were referring to this:

      http://mobile.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110313/focus/focus4.php

      In which some of the blame is placed at the tariff rates locked into legislation before Wigton even existed? The source for your quotes is not exactly a ringing endorsement of your views since Wigton was denied a fair market rate for the electricity produced there.

      BTW, I read Wright’s op-ed here:

      http://bizjournalonline.com/?p=1741

      He seems to be of the “it’s gonna happen (rising FF prices) so we better be ready” school of thought. Hardly a ringing endorsement of RE but rather someone who clearly sees a role for RE in the future, both near and midterm. Not exactly in line with the Teske scenario, which was quite aggressive.

      Of course most FF companies have the same view. RE is inevitable and they want to make money off of it, just like they want to make money off of the remaining reserves of FF.

    • So they build a miniscule wind plant using a borrowed 6 million that cost them between 300,000 and 720,000 a year interest alone.

      225kw = 1.9million kwH if it is running 100% all the time.

      At 5 cents per kwH = 100,000 dollars.

      Even if a miracle occurred it was huge money loser to being with.

      At a realistic 10% it was only going to get 10,000 for the electricity. Per year.

      I call that a financial disaster.

    • randomengineer

      Of course most FF companies have the same view. RE is inevitable and they want to make money off of it, just like they want to make money off of the remaining reserves of FF.

      When you start with an incorrect premise getting a reasonable conclusion is more difficult than it ought to be.

      “remaining reserves” is about 20,000 years at present and increased consumption (not all hydrocarbons are oil), so this “inevitable” bit is a long way off in the future.

      RE is investigated by energy companies due to POLITICAL BELIEFS, not science, not some blinkered, hyper-narrow view of what hydrocarbons are useful given the S curve of hydrocarbon tech. Energy companies are compelled to investigate that which lets them stay in business. In this case (RE) said investigation is based on politics and ignorance (which informs political beliefs.)

    • Latimer Alder

      Any energy company Chief Executive who did not sit up and pay attention when governments started offering to hose them down with money for doing something pointless with Renewable Energy, would soon find themselves an ex-Chief Executive. The shareholders would crucify them.

      Companies exist to make money. Renewable Energy subsidy farming is a great way of doing so at the moment. But when the plates stop spinning and the magic subsidy fairy stops waving her magic wand, the wise Chief Exec has other strings to their bow

      Despite stereotypes to the contrary, businessmen are not stupid. They can see and think strategically and tactically as well as at the transaction level. That’s why good companies survive a long time..even as the world changes around them. One trick ponies that don’t adapt disappear quickly.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      I don’t know where you live randomengineer, but here in the US I get sick of the greenwashing commercials which I seem to see every 20 minutes or so from companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP touting their research into RE.

      And nobody thinks that 20,000 years is the remaining supply of coal, much less oil.

    • The US uses about 1000 million tonnes of coal a year.

      Alaska alone is estimated to have up to 5 trillion tonnes of coal.

      And the rest of the US 4 trillion tonnes.

      Admittedly that is only 9,000 years worth. And of course consumption might rise. But more coal will be found.

      http://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-077/dds77text.html#heading128045928

    • China has 2 trillion tonnes of coal in just one region. But they use almost 4 billion tonnes a year.

      Just 500 years in one region.

      http://www.fastcompany.com/1736409/are-coal-reserves-about-to-turn-china-into-the-new-middle-east

      Canada may have 7 trillion tonnes
      Russia 6 trillion

      http://eipa.alberta.ca/media/43006/alberta_2_trillion_tonnes_coal.pdf

      I suspec the numbers will only grow if the coal is wanted.

    • 3 trillion tonnes off coast of Norway

      http://www.energybulletin.net/node/11901

      I wouldn’t bet against 20,000 years at current consumption/

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      The common estimate is 250 years and this article say perhaps much less:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-coal.1.6248650.html

      Note that this estimate is for the US only.

      Remember you have to be able to get at it and you have to be able to extract it at a price which will make it competitive with alternate sources of energy.

    • Remember you have to be able to get at it and you have to be able to extract it at a price which will make it competitive with alternate sources of energy.

      Given the present cost of “alternate sources of energy” I don’t think “cost” will be the death of coal for quite some time. But shale gas might be.

    • And if shale gas ever runs out there will be 20,000 years worth of coal. Or maybe only 10,000.

      This interglacial will end long before we run out of coal.

    • Bruced –
      The only problem with coal is that it’s damn hard to make rocket fuel out of it. :-)

    • I really don’t pay attention to old studies that say:

      “By 2030, the rate of coal consumption could be 70 percent higher – or 50 percent lower than it is now, the study found.”

  9. Rattus Norvegicus

    I guess that it should also be pointed out that most FF companies have efforts directed at developing renewables, so even they see a future role here, they ain’t dumb and they know that the cash cow is going to stop giving milk at some point in the future.

    • Just the opposite. Feed in tariffs are like bribes. If the idiots in governments in charge want to give away stupid amounts of bribe money to FF companies to build bird killing wind turbines they’ll take it.

      If they get fined for killing a few birds in a tarsands pond and then get that money back and more for killing way more birds with a wind farm, why wouldn’t they?

    • Latimer Alder

      Any self-respecting Chief Executive would have a very hard time explaining to his shareholders why he wasn’t actively helping any government to channel spare cash in his direction. That is what Chief Execs are employed to do.

      There is absolutely no point in bemoaning the fact that they are there to make a profit. That is what companies are there for. You might as well chastise a dog for not being a giraffe or a panda.

  10. In an interesting cross over with the taming the monster thread re integrity, i spotted this comment on Lynas blog from Policy Lass
    http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/new-ipcc-error-renewables-report-conclusion-was-dictated-by-greenpeace/#comment-1950:

    “This is a war and as we all know, the first casualty is truth. This means that well-intentioned supporters of AGW who point out errors, perceived or real, serious or of no consequence, find their words used as ammunition to attack them and AGW in a cynical effort to affect public policy by raising unfounded doubt about the science. If you decide to speak out, you have to remember that no matter what your motives or intentions, your words will be spun to suit the needs of your opponent. Unfortunately, when you are involved in a war, you have to think strategically. Those who are naive about this become tools for their enemy’s advantage.”

    • “If you decide to speak out, you have to remember that no matter what your motives or intentions, your words will be spun to suit the needs of your opponent.”

      This is sadly very true and applies to both sides. Especially prevalent in the blogosphere but not exclusively so.

    • Mark has deleted it, along with my reply…

      ie Am I the Enemy! ?
      what to do with your enemies!!

      Mark has been called a Chernobyl Death Denier

      I would be called a ‘climate change denier’

      what next…what happens to the enemies, ‘casualities of war.. this type of thinking forces people into extremes for and against, whereas the issue of sensitivity and feedback of clouds is unknown, without which the predictions of GCM’ is really meaningless..

      what happens to the enemies, or does the end justify the means justify anybehaviour.

      the whole we are saving the planet environmentalist thinking,therefore every body must be an evil fossil fuel funded tobacco sponsored denier is just crazy..

    • Actually it’s back now, Mark must have been doing some pruning (he did say a few dodgy ones) and took the comments with it, until restored

    • On her blog, Policy Lass quotes Feynman four times, so good on her. Sad, though, that she never understood what Feynman had to say. :(

  11. “Curry Monster”
    I can visualise several categories here!
    Vindaloo through to Korma, depending upon the degree of “Warmness”?
    People may like to populate these categories appropriately and should “Josh” ever take a peek here, it’d be the sauce (sic) of a good cartoon methinks.

  12. When they circle the wagons, you know they are trying to hide something. And in this case it is something obnoxious and associated with corruption.

  13. Michael, Robert and Brown Rat are all desperately trying to discredit Mark Lynas litle realizing that all they do is push opinion further away from their own position. Try and address the issues lads rather than adding pointless diversions. Nobody is fooled.

  14. Related to the Policy Lass comment referenced and Mark Lynas’ latest post, here is what I wrote this morning:
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/climate-critics-that-wont-muzzle-themselves/

    • and a week ago I thought the climate blogosphere was getting boring :)

    • This and the sun bit are a powerful one-two punch in the face of true CO2 believers.

      The science is settling. To the mat.
      ================

    • Latimer Alder

      ‘And then a miracle occurred’..to paraphrase another famous incident

      But this time the IPCC’s own arrogance got out of control. And shot themselves in the foot (and probably some other more tender and painful bits). I’d almost weep for them..if I wasn’t laughing so much.

    • We only do boring to lull ‘em into a false sense of consensus

    • Well, people in the know have been predicting a lot more storms. I think we can definitely blame global warming for the ones this week.

    • Mike Jowsey

      Steve McIntyre uncovers yet another amazing revelation here, to avoid too much boredom:

      This states about as clearly as possible why the policy recommended by IAC and adopted by the 33rd Plenary should apply immediately to AR5. But instead, Pachauri says that these limited and sensible policies will not apply to AR5 because application of these sensible policies would not be ‘fair’ to the conflicted authors.
      What isn’t ‘fair’ – either to the non-conflicted authors and, more importantly, to policy-makers and the public – is the refusal of Pachauri and other IPCC plenipotentiaries to forthwith implement the policy – not just on conflict of interest, but on bias.

    • This is a war and as we all know, the first casualty is truth.

      War, huh? Well, at least Policy Lass is doing her bit to restore civility to our political discourse.

    • Theo Goodwin

      I wonder how Policy Lass would reply if you told her that she sounds just like Joe Stalin? That would be equal parts confused and ruthless.

    • It struck me as more juvenile hyperbole than true ruthlessnes. Uncle Joe knew better than to discard an ally while they were still useful – that’s a hallmark of an amateur. Policy is generally made via compromise absent overwhelming support. If you lack that kind of support, then crying havoc and loosing the dogs of war is a losing proposition.

    • Would she know who Stalin was?

  15. I repeat my earlier assertion. The whole SRREN work was not appropriate to IPCC.

    It was totally impossible to do that impartially. As far as can judge the idea came from the German renewable energy community and that same community had most influence on the outcome. The outcome was very important for them, and it was what they hoped it to be.

    • an apparent case of the IPCC using its knowledge monopoly to stretch beyond its mandated reach, as per Richard Tol’s essay

    • PP,

      there are different forms of research with varying degrees of ‘robustness’.

      WGIII is not WGI for very good reasons.

      Just as in the medical feild, not every study can be an RCT. That doesn’t mean the studies that aren’t RCT aren’t useful – they are.

    • Yes. I have emphasized that the problem is precisely in the fact that it cannot be like WG1 and less in that it’s not as good as it could be.

      Even within WG3 all parts are not alike. Many are studied by scientists, who don’t have any more conflicts of interest than scientists in general, but renewable energy is perhaps the worst case of all. The subsidies and other support for renewable energy by the German government alone runs into billions annually. Subsidies of that size are getting more and more controversial, and much of this report is written to support the continuation of high level of governmental funding.

      Only a fraction of the authors is involved in the strong conflict of interest, but their influence on the outcome has evidently been very significant.

    • PP,

      Conflicts of interest and bias are everyhwere. They can’t be avoided. Especially in the kind of reports that WGIII has to produce.

      What matters is how they are dealt with. I don’t think it would be in keeping with science to shy away from this area becuase it’s too hard.

      There are some pretty simple approaches to help in this regard, such as making affiliations clear and including statements of conflict.

      Other possible solutions would be a standard quality assessment checklist or the use of duplicate search and assessment.

  16. If every enviro journalist would try just the once of writing something envirocontroversial, without waiting for circumstances to force one’s hand as in Lynas’ case, we would read a lot more proper journalism about the environment.

    Hopefully we’re at the same stage as war reporters in the Vietnam war when they discovered no matter how much one loved and supported one’s country, it was and still is stupid to close both eyes on one’s “allies” own lies and deceptions.

  17. Judith,
    Following your link, I went over and read that critique by the Pointman. He makes some legitimate points, as do critics on the left side of the climate debate, who often complain about “churnalism” by the media.

    But then Pointman, like most hyperbolic media critics of all ideological stripes, makes this absurd broad brush statement:

    “What does this all mean? Well actually it means independent journalism in the MSM is dead. What’s left is a thinly disguised PR mechanism for the establishment.”

    It is just this kind of ridiculous generalization that I have criticized Romm and others over, when they regularly complain about media failures on climate change.

    Mainstream journalists do an outstanding job every day, as anyone who daily scans the WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, and many other papers would know. Often, stories are lacking and require follow-up.

    But to dismiss the MSM as dead is pure BS, and is a trope repeated ad nauseum by partisans on the left and right.

    • If they’re doing such a sterling job, why did it take a retired statistician to dig out this story? Let’s face it, it didn’t need a lot of digging either …

      Pointman

    • None in fact.

      There’s no story – this is the bigest beat-up since I don’t know when – except the kerfuffle about there being a story.

      And it took precisely zero to ‘dig up ‘ – it was all there in the report, all one had to do was read.

      The real story for me is the credulousness displayed by those who failed to display even a tiny speck of scepticism on some fairly obviously false claims.

    • The MSM is essentially a left wing organization that coordinates its members (JournoList) to tell a left wing narrative by ignoring people and stories they don’t want their viewers/readers to hear, demonizing their enemies, and lying most of the time either directly or through omission.

      If you don’t notice it, its because you are on their side.

    • Pointman, you risk spoiling a good argument by overstating it, IMO. The MSM is certainly all but dead so far as any meaningful appraisal of climate science is concerned. It has been for decades. On issues where there is no discernible orthodoxy, and no profound public engagement, it probably still does OK. But it does seem to have all but lost the ability to challenge orthodoxy. It has become a creature of zeitgeist.

    • I read Pointman’s essay through the lens of the climate debate, and on that topic I think that there is plenty of evidence to support his thesis.

    • Keith
      If you recall you predicted that the original story would be revisited by reporters from the various media outlets who ran the press release story,to my knowledge as of today those reporters and outlets have not mentioned it.
      http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/15/a-controversy-renewed/#comment-65058
      Is this not an example of the less than outstanding reporting by the MSM?
      Reuters recently ran this story 2 days before the controversy erupted which mentions the validity of the 80% scenario. Perhaps someone should send them a press release so they know what is going on.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/13/us-climate-summit-ipcc-idUSTRE75C1SZ20110613

      I do acknowledge and commend Andy Revkin for his integrity on this issue.

    • Keith
      To be clear Andy’s article was in the Opinion section of the NY times the one by Mr. Kanter appeared in the Business/Energy as a hard news piece.

    • “Mainstream journalists do an outstanding job every day, as anyone who daily scans the WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, and many other papers would know.”

      The blogoshpere reads those papers. There is a terrible failure at the papers every day.

      But I’ll give you a chance to prove your statement.

      Which MSM newspaper did an in depth honest look at the climategate emails.

      Compare and contrast that imaginary series of articles against the front page stores about palin’s emails.

      … cricket …

    • Theo Goodwin

      Do you have any evidence for your claim? You cannot cite the newspapers that you are defending because that makes your argument circular. I have a lot of evidence from the huge numbers of students that I teach each semester. If you depend on the MSM for news about climate science or climate policy then you literally know nothing about either topic. Rarely do I find a student who knows that Ozone and CO2 are at the hearts of two very different debates.

  18. Whenever I read about building consensus I must admit I cringe. Confidence in a conclusion is built buy testing not diplomatic immunity. 35 years ago when I was in graduate school a paper came out between an experimental and a theoretical chemist that would come to be known as the “Woodward-Hoffman” rules. At the end of the paper there was a section titled, “Exceptions” and the first sentence was “There are none.” This was a gauntlet thrown down in front of the entire community daring them to find an error in the theory. It sparked a great deal of work and testing. What I see in climate science is construction of a tapestry where all the pieces fit neatly together and woe be to anyone who smudges the pretty picture. This may work if your writing a novel (a boring novel I might add) but real life is much more complex and interesting. If climate science was on a firm a footing as it is alleged, climate scientists would welcome every challenge and meet them head on. Unfortunately, it hasn’t started moving in that direction.

    • ferd berple

      Climate Science counts the number of times a stopped clock is correct as proof that AGW is correct. When the stopped clock shows the wrong time, it is due to aerosols or volcanoes, or heat trapped in the pipeline. Just keep watching the clock, it will soon show the right time once again, proof that AGW is correct.

  19. Curious Canuck

    Judith your comments draw my mind to what, perhaps, represents another facet of the same overall problem, jounalism and The Big Cutoff.

    I can’t help but feel that all of this relates to what ‘turned’ (led me to open my mind and look deeper) myself and most of the everyday people I know. A sense fo something seething with hatred, blind masses of vitriol spewed by those we expected to be professional.

    I’m not referring to scientists alone, it’s the whole public marketing endeavour that everyone seems so invested in.

    A new example in the Globe and Mail debate on exporting Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands oil to China. This is from the Con side and could be taken as an edorsement and attempt to normalize the very comparison that David Suzuki used to draw scorn upon himself when asked about the oil industry and the jobs of Canadians.

    “Two centuries ago, when Britain banned the slave trade, some slave-trading countries went looking for other markets. Others took a hard look at themselves.

    Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law at the University of British Columbia.

    Slavers, death trains, mass murderers, their ‘deniers’. Can the hardliners not see what they are doing to their public credibility with the public?

    It raises the possibility that even if they were correct in every technical way that a sane public would say, “These are not the people to save us, we’ll just have to do our best to endure.”

    • edward getty

      In that same article Myers also wrote this:

      “increasingly frequent extreme weather events, sea-level rise, ocean acidification and so forth. We’re already witnessing the early signs of climate change: from the floods in Quebec and Manitoba, to the wild fires in Alberta and Arizona, to the rash of unseasonably early tornados across the United States.”

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/munk-debates/exporting-bitumen-to-china-would-be-environmentally-and-fiscally-detrimental/article2059181/comments/

    • Curious Canuck

      Hey thanks for pointing that out, I only noticed I missed with the link on reread this evening.

      Yeah, a little fast and loose with the attirbutions to say the least but I think I expected that. But to use that to springboard into the slavery comparison, that just took the cake for me. Encouraging to see reader reaction to it all, thanks again

    • This was a good one from one of the commenters:

      “Wow they are placing blame for wild fires, flooding & tornadoes on the Alberta oil sands.

      Can we toss in my hemroids since the oil sands are causing everything else, why not my hemroids!”

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Hey, don’t forget the hockey riots in Vancouver :0

    • The longer you watch the waves at the beach, the more likely you are to encounter extremes of wave high. The longer you sit at an intersection, the more likely you are to observe a an extreme car crash.

      The longer you watch the weather, the more likely you are to observe an extreme event. To the naive statistician, it will appear that these extreme events are becoming more frequent, as you have never seen them before. However, they have existed all along, even before you started watching.

  20. Mr. Lynus accepts the science and the need for mitigation via a suite of strategies that includes a significant shift to renewables.

    Mr. Lynus is apparently upset that this IPCC special report includes a Greenpeace opinion; and that it does not include a consideration of nuclear as a renewable energy source or recommend global expansion of nuclear.

    Regarding the role of Mr. Teske, the report is 1500 pages long and there are hundreds of authors reviewed by representatives from 194 countries, with Mr. Teske (a renewables technology expert who works with scientists) being one of 11 lead authors in one chapter. Perhaps this speaks for itself in terms of real or perceived balance and appropriateness.

    On the potential for renewable nuclear, Mr. Lynus is free to believe, with others, that nuclear should be part of the renewables solutions e.g. Barry Brook of Adelaide is also open to this option. It’s been Mr. Lynus’ public position since 2008 (based on the well-known book by American author Tom Blees) so it’s not new. To be clear, Mr. Lynus is talking only about new generation reactors i.e., designed with closed-loop nuclear fuel cycles. However, the sort of fuel reprocessing reactors that Mr. Lynus would like to see supported and included in the report are not in commercial operation and are so expensive and take so long to build that, along with the known and significant security and safety threats, the global expansion of nuclear is understandably not being considered in the next set of IPCC recommendation/next assessment report. Most people consider this reasonable in terms of GLOBAL recommendations, at this time. It’s not a uniquely Greenpeace opinion by any stretch of rhetoric about new technologies.

    Mr Lynus’ reaction strongly suggests he feels overlooked and snubbed. Frankly, the report is not about what Mr. Lynus thinks.

    Mr. McIntyre insists that the statement that “Close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies” is a ‘distortion’ because it is ‘a statement about the top-end scenario’. In fact, there is no actual twisting of information. “Could be met” and “if” mean what they are supposed to mean. The press release says a lot more than the first sentence, including “the lowest of the four scenarios seeing renewable energy accounting for a share of 15 percent in 2050.” Mr. McIntyre seems to struggle with some kind of attention-span trouble. He is not the brightest penny in the piggybank. :-(

    As it is, the overall conclusion of the report is 30% by 2050 ( a fairly conservative number). This is less than what most renewables experts say is pragmatic and fairly easily attainable with relevant policies, from any political perspective. And anyone used to reading economics can tell you that if western countries bothered to make appropriate and reasonable reductions in consumption and increase their efficiency, much of the problem would be solvable tomorrow. That is not any kind of exaggeration, and that is what makes a lot of this quite sad.

    On a light side-note, it is amusing that those who would deny climate change but fancy themselves to be objective seem to consider Mr. Teske a problem but not e.g. past lead author pastor Christy, exposed as a fudger/liar. The IPCC has had its problems with lead authors.

    What’s funnier still, is that Republican press releases with no basis in any report i.e. completely made up figures that are a figment of the imagination, have appeared on this blog as statements of fact and hardly anyone notices.

    A good press release is what it is: it often begins with an attention-grabbing piece of information and goes from there. As it happens, this one is not a mis-statement and the full press release is representative of the range of information in the report and the very carefully considered conclusions you will find in it.

    Mr. Lynus seems crushed and confused about the continued disagreement on the nuclear issue, but he’ll be o.k.

    It is fascinating that he felt the need to see himself as understood by Mr. McIntyre, and stopped in here to be held inthe arms of mama Curry.

    • Martha, its about time you showed up, I was wondering where the heck you were in the midst of all this controversy :)

    • The Grand Marther Gorge:
      Mists rising biliously up.
      Automatic choke.
      ===========

    • Yes, and just as you were saying that the blogosphere had increased in interest :)

    • Well – as least here’s one substantive response to Martha’s points.

    • Latimer Alder

      Martha

      Mr Lynus spells his name ‘Lynas’. With an ‘a’, not a ‘u’.

      You got it wrong six times in remarks all about him and his views. It was not difficult to get it right. His blog is entitled ‘Mark Lynas’ Once is a mistake, twice a coincidence..but six?

      What else did you not bother to check?

    • Martha.

      “Mr. McIntyre insists that the statement that “Close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies” is a ‘distortion’ because it is ‘a statement about the top-end scenario’”

      No he does not.

      First by careful editing you have clipped the most important part of the quote:
      “lose to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report shows.”

      A NEW REPORT SHOWS.

      McIntyre, objects to THIS.

      “Based on my reading of the document so far (and it’s only been available a short time), this statement is untrue on its face. As far as I can tell, the report does NOT show that ‘close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies’. Yes, it lists a scenario from Greenpeace in which 77% of world energy is supplied by renewables, but the report itself did not conduct any independent assessment of the validity of the Greenpeace scenario and did not ‘show’ that the claim in the press release was true.”

      Your ability to engage in any meaningful debate is hampered by your utter lack of basic reading skills. Or perhaps you knew what you were doing when you cliped those words off the quote. Tool.

    • How would you know a claim about the future is untrue without knowing the future?

    • You logic would imply that all claims about the future are true.

      Most currnet renewables are firewood and dung. That won’t get the world to 80%.

    • Most current renewables are firewood and dung. That won’t get the world to 80%.

      And there is something disgusting about the excitable press reports based on the SRREN press release last month not mentioning this very salient fact. Most ‘renewables’ are locking the very poorest into their terrible plight – while we rejoice at the very mention of the word. Never has the gap between developed world media spin and the reality ‘on the ground’ been more stark.

    • Let’s see …

      If I said .. You can’t know the future with certainty, therefore all claims about the future are true … that would be a very silly thing to say. But that’s not what I said.

      How would you know a claim about the future is true or not without knowing the future?

      I am not gifted with the ability to foresee the future, but I think McIntyre is suggesting he has the gift, at least for renewable energy.

    • No, but engineers have a better handle on what’s “probable” vs “possible”. It is “possible” to reduce CO2 output by 2050, but NOT “probable” by using the methods specified in the release. IIRC, the report specifies NO nuclear construction, NO gas and shutdown of all coal usage by 2050 . A Green pipedream. .

      Note: ANYTHING is “possible”. But most “possibilities” have an inherent “probability” that is vanishingly small.

    • Yes, anything is possible, as the RE range of the four scenarios ( 15% to 77%) acknowledges.
      I think people are looking at the 77% as a forecast of what’s likely to happen, and I believe that’s a wrong interpretation of the IPCC Report.

    • I think people are looking at the 77% as a forecast of what’s likely to happen, and I believe that’s a wrong interpretation of the IPCC Report.

      You’re just beginning to get the idea. Keep going.

    • “Green pipedream.”

      You better have a chat to this guy at Stanford – he think 100% RE by 2030 is achievable.
      http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/sad1109Jaco5p.indd.pdf

      And he’s an engineer.

      Engineers think that Greenpeace are too conservative.

    • The article suggests we can build 3,800,000 5MW wind turbines and then says:

      “The most problematic materials may be rare-earth metals such as neodymium
      used in turbine gearboxes. Although the metals are not in short supply, the low-cost sources are concentrated in China,”

      Rare earth metals ARE in short supply.

      “The cost of loudspeakers is set to skyrocket due to a 1400 percent increase [since 2008] in rare earth metals that are used in Neodymium magnets which are often found in low profile loudspeakers.

      Chinese and Japanese companies who supply the magnets are raising their prices by 40 percent effective from July 1st. ”

      http://smarthouse.com.au/Real_Sound/Industry/T2F2W5D2

      (Probably everything else in the article is wrong too)

    • Engineers think that Greenpeace are too conservative

      Some engineers dont live in the real world – they live in academia.

      Some engineers are politically oriented and allow their politics to influence their engineering.

      And some engineers have written articles that have been discussed and deconstructed in other (professional) places.

      But thank you – I’d forgotten about this.

    • So you agree there is ZERO chance of Greenpeace’s prediction coming true unless they back it up with a realistic of current renewables and how far they have come in the last 30 years?

      How do you get to 80% if half of current renewables are dung and firewood and the vast majority of the rest are hydro?

      Where are the hydro sites undammed?

      How much firewood and dung do we have? Is firewood really renewable?

    • And now we have competition for that DUNG Bruce, if this takes off, then another source of renewable energy may be lost –

      http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/17/japanese-scientists-create-meat-from-poop/

    • You don’t need to know the future. All you need to know is something about engineering to know that claim is improbable in the extreme.
      Ask an engineer.

    • Engineers know with certainty the future of renewable engineer out to 2050? That’s AWSOME !

    • Just as any farmer will tell you that it’s extremely improbable that pigs will be able to fly by 2050

    • This ain’t about pigs flying. It’s about renewable energy, and the the proportion of energy demand renewable energy COULD account for by 2050 IF certain assumptions play out.

      But people who know the future with certainty don’t have to bother with wishy -washy conditional terms like “IF” and “Could.” They know what’s going to happen over the next 40 years, and that’s for sure.

    • It’s just not going to happen – period.
      The first serious oil crisis was 37 years ago, and we’re now no closer to finding a viable alternative than we were then. Only another 39 years to go.

    • ferd berple

      of course renewables COULD meet 80% of our energy needs in 2050. Get rid of the 5 billion people on the planet that use electricity. The remaining 2 billion people that use wood, charcoal and dung for fuel already meet 80% of their needs with renewables. The problem is the remaining 5 billion that do not, but that is solved easily enough with the right sort of programs.

    • Are you reading impaired? Seriously. Your comment is up there with the rank stupidity that I see on skeptic sites. Let me quote Mc.

      “Quite aside from the matter of a Greenpeace author assessing his own work, the above assertion – one that was widely covered in the world press – appears to be untrue based on my reading of the report itself to date. I am unable to see anything in the report that ‘shows’ that 80% of the world’s energy could be met by renewables ‘if backed by the right enabling public policies’. The Greenpeace scenario merely asserts this, but does not ‘show’ this result. Nor, to my knowledge, is this assertion ‘shown’ in any section of the report. If I am incorrect in my reading, I would appreciate a reference to the section where the report ‘shows’ that ‘close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies’

      McIntyre is not questioning the TRUTH of the claim.
      He is pointing out that nothing in the report SHOWS that 80 percent of the worlds energy needs could be met.

      Providing an argument is one thing. Then we can assess the argument as to its Truth or probable truth.
      Merely making a bald claim is another thing.

      The way to prove mcintyre wrong is to read the report and recapitulate how it SHOWS or provides some kind of argument about the 80% number and some kind of argument about the “enabling policies”

      That is where your best argument is.

    • Not sure if this was directed at me or not. In case it was, I would point out that you excerpted two completely different quotes from McIntyre on point (the second containing more explanation).

      So, the listed Greenpeace scenario contains no analysis?

      Otherwise, while there is certainly some validity to McIntyre’s distinction between “showing” and “asserting,” it does seem to me somewhat overly-reliant on semantics for basing a robust criticism if the report lists a Greenpiece analysis that does “show” the analysis behind the estimate.

    • Steven Mosher,

      I’m not sure what is meant by ” does not ‘show’ this result.” Does it mean the scenario doesn’t show how it gets to the 77% ?

    • Did you believe Harold Camping then? You and Martha are now in the same category.

    • Leaving aside your unfortunate propensity for personal attacks, Steven…

      And leaving aside the problem of not conducting independent assessments….

      What is the difference between the report “showing” the potential for 80% from renewables (contingent upon policies) and the report “listing a scenario from Greenpeace?” Are there other scenarios listed that provide contrasting conclusions and given greater weight?

    • Joshua –
      Leaving aside your unfortunate propensity for personal attacks, Steven…

      What personal attack? Stating the truth does not constitute an “attack”.

      the report “showing” the potential for 80% from renewables (contingent upon policies)

      The report did not “show the potential for 80% from renewables (contingent upon policies).

      It said – ‘close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies’.

      Do you understand the difference in those two statements? If not, get your high school English teacher to help you parse the difference.

      And then try to find the rationale for that statement in the report. When you find it, we’d all enjoy knowing specifically where you found it.

    • I note that you often correct Martha when she engages in personal attacks. I also want to thank you for defending me when Romm called me a denier. You’re policing of comments is just and consistent. Martha selectively quoted McIntyre. You see that, I see that. we all see that. When you can admit that openly and honestly, then there is a chance for dialogue on the REAL issue. Mcintyre has raised an issue. I dont know if he is right. BUT we ought to examine the issue HE raised and not derail the conversation by misquoting him. People who misquote, will be berated. Deal with it.

  21. Mark Lynas is not the only one with a second edition. Oliver Wright dug a little deeper, and found similar problems in another chapter:
    http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/06/17/climategate-part-2-a-worrying-conflict-of-interest/

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Actually, he didn’t dig a little deeper — a little birdie from an activist organization opposed to large scale hydropower tipped him off. Yet in looking at the scenario analysis in the SPM it appears that, while the most aggressive stabilization scenarios envision a larger role for hydropower (it doesn’t break it up according to type) the medians are all roughly in line with the baselines both for 2030 and 2050.

      This is an interesting criticism of the report coming from the other side of the spectrum from Steve’s criticism. In this case, however, a specific criticism is mounted (an increasing reliance on large-scale hydropower) which on cursory investigation are found to, pardon the pun, not hold water.

    • In the USA and Canada, most of the easy dam sites are already dammed.

      And environmentalists make sure the rest are damned.

    • Keeping the puns flowing I’d clearly be out of my depth with the environmental pros and cons of large-scale dams to generate electricty. But what struck me most about Oliver Wright’s salvo was that another green, and friend of Lynas, was turning his guns on the IPCC. Of course it’s important to deal with every detail but, taking the larger view, I think criticism of the IPCC by greens is long overdue. There’s been a taboo and that’s meant a vast amount has escaped the normal critical attention.

      This is an interesting criticism of the report coming from the other side of the spectrum from Steve’s criticism.

      That’s my main quibble RN. Steve’s neither green nor anti-green. He’s also not a right-winger, as anyone who knows him will tell you. But he does believes in honest science and policy making. That that has been enough for him to be demonised so much is as clear a signal that something went wrong a long time ago with the IPCC and its entourage as one could wish for.

  22. Before attempting to deal with Earthly climate idiosyncrasies caused by a holistic interplay of myriad natural phenomena beyond contemplation we should first understand our limitations. Before the modeling and mathematics begin let us all remember that fear of global warming is a phenomena of Western civilization. And accordingly we in the West have ample reason to question our collective sanity in the area of climate change.

    Western Europe, NZ and Australia preceded America down the dead end road of anti-capitalism by way of the AGW pseudoscience/CO2 fearmongering detour from sanity. Thanks primarily to the steadfastness of George Bush, America was the last industrialized country of the West to be dragged down economically by the secular, socialist AGW eco-whackpot juggernaut of AGW Big government science authoritarianism.

    And perhaps because it was last, America also was the last to have raised its collective IQ above the nihilism of the global warming alarmist herd of the Left. NZ is now openly antagonistic to the AGW hypothesis; and, there is no longer a consensus of opinion in Australia.

    The UK has had its nose rubbed in the fraud and collusion that marks the AGW Climate-Man Cult. Canada has begun to realize that growing wheat may no longer be possible there. The insane trading schemes of the Scandinavians were thoroughly routed in Corruptenhagen. And, all of the anti-America nations of dead and dying old Europe have learned to live through frigid cold winters for years now and have begun to accept the reality of global cooling for perhaps many more decades to come.

    What is morbidly interesting about secular, socialist AGW True Believers is that in the bareness of their nihilist ideology they are so destitute of the impulse to any uplifting activity that they would deprive all humanity of the fruits of Western civilization’s industrial man.

  23. WG I gets tarred by the same brush as WG II & WG III. The participants and the procedures of WG I are adherent to the same “theme” and governed by the same guiding principles as 2&3. When the peer review process is compromised an observer doesn’t know whom to trust, whom to read, where to go for information. Hence the birth of the uncertainty monster. The journey from uncertainty becomes much more chaotic, maybe not quite a random walk, nonetheless, slowing markedly the learning and understanding process. The basic science obtained in the wet laboratory that is transparent, reproducible, and can be built upon, now may be viewed as built upon shifting sands as old assumptions need to be revisited. Moving on to applicability and relevance, cautiously moving adhead becomes an oxymoron. One is forced to absorb so much more perspectives and information that the learninng process can be cluttering and ambiguous, and more time consuming. One is forced into skepticism and reliance upon one’s previous learning and experiences. At least this is how I find myself working through this muddle.

  24. Mr. Lynus accepts the science and the need for mitigation via a suite of strategies that includes a significant shift to renewables.

    Mr. Lynus is apparently upset that this IPCC special report includes a Greenpeace opinion; and that it does not include a consideration of nuclear as a renewable energy source or recommend global expansion of nuclear.

    Regarding the role of Mr. Teske, the report is 1500 pages long and there are hundreds of authors reviewed by representatives from 194 countries, with Mr. Teske (a renewables technology expert who works with scientists) being one of 11 lead authors in one chapter. Perhaps this speaks for itself in terms of real or perceived balance and appropriateness.

    On the potential for renewable nuclear, Mr. Lynus is free to believe, with others, that nuclear should be part of the renewables solutions e.g. Barry Brook of Adelaide is also open to this option. It’s been Mr. Lynus’ public position since 2008 (based on the well-known book by American author Tom Blees) so it’s not new. To be clear, Mr. Lynus is talking only about new generation reactors i.e., designed with closed-loop nuclear fuel cycles. However, the sort of fuel reprocessing reactors that Mr. Lynus would like to see supported and included in the report are not in commercial operation and are so expensive and take so long to build that, along with the known and significant security and safety threats, the global expansion of nuclear is understandably not being considered in the next set of IPCC recommendation/next assessment report. Most people consider this reasonable in terms of GLOBAL recommendations, at this time. It’s not a uniquely Greenpeace opinion by any stretch of rhetoric about new technologies.

    Mr Lynus’ reaction strongly suggests he feels overlooked and snubbed. Frankly, the report is not about what Mr. Lynus thinks.

    Mr. McIntyre insists that the statement that “Close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies” is a ‘distortion’ because it is ‘a statement about the top-end scenario’. In fact, there is no actual twisting of information. “Could be met” and “if” mean what they are supposed to mean. The press release says a lot more than the first sentence, including “the lowest of the four scenarios seeing renewable energy accounting for a share of 15 percent in 2050.” Mr. McIntyre seems to struggle with some kind of attention-span trouble. He never was the brightest penny in the piggybank. :-(

    As it is, the overall conclusion of the report is 30% by 2050 ( a fairly conservative number). This is less than what most renewables experts say is pragmatic and fairly easily attainable with relevant policies, from any political perspective. And anyone used to reading economics can tell you that if western countries bothered to make appropriate and reasonable reductions in consumption and increase their efficiency, much of the problem would be solvable tomorrow. That is not any kind of exaggeration, and that is what makes a lot of this quite sad.

    On a light side-note, it is amusing that those who would deny climate change but fancy themselves to be objective seem to consider Mr. Teske a problem but not e.g. past lead author pastor Christy, exposed as a fudger/liar. The IPCC has had its problems with lead authors.

    What’s funnier still, is that Republican press releases with no basis in any report i.e. completely made up figures that are a figment of the imagination, have appeared on this blog as statements of fact and hardly anyone notices.

    A good press release is what it is: it often begins with an attention-grabbing piece of information and goes from there. As it happens, this one is not a mis-statement and the full press release is representative of the range of information in the report and the very carefully considered conclusions you will find in it.

    Mr. Lynus seems crushed by the continued disagreement on the nuclear issue, and especially his personal conflict with Greenpeace. It is fascinating that he felt he was understood by Mr. McIntyre, and that Judith Curry has generously opened up her arms in solidarity, and that Mr. Lynus seems to want to be adopted.

    I couldn’t ask for a better soap opera narrative – except I was looking for climate news and meaningful analysis of the issues.

    • the amount of Renewables could be as little as 3% if firewood, dung and hydro are left out.

      How do you get to 80% even with the bad math below?

      “Six types of renewables accounted for 12.9 percent in 2008 of global energy supply: biomass (10.2 percent), hydro (2.3), wind (0.2), Solar (0.1), geothermal (0.1) and ocean (0.002), According To The Study .

      Once traditional use of firewood and animal dung for heating and cooking IS SET aside, The Clean Energy share drops to about seven percent.”

    • First – why should we feel compelled to leave out firewood and hydro, so I don’t quite get your point. Obviously, firewood adds a lot of particulate matter to the environment, so there might be reason to want to “leave [it] out,” but even still, citing states of what would happen if we left it out doesn’t address the veracity of the original estimate.

    • sorry – “….citing stats….”

    • Joshua –
      How do you fail to understand that a large part of humanity uses “firewood” for lack of any other energy source? IOW – because they’re freakin’g POOR. And now you’re approving of a report that says – It’s OK for you to be poor and just keep on suffering in the dirt and breathing wood smoke for the rest of your life like you always have while the rest of us live comfortably on our nice clean RE grid. REALLY???

      You also mention hydro – so you then need to tell us all WHERE are you gonna put that hydro? How many people are you gonna displace, how many dams to build, and why you think there ARE that many places to put those dams?

      And you fail to mention specifically what policies would be appropriate to accomplish all this.

    • At 2:38 PM on 17 June, Jim Owen admonishes Joshua, writing:

      How do you fail to understand that a large part of humanity uses “firewood” for lack of any other energy source? IOW – because they’re freakin’ POOR[?}

      Well, you shouldn’t forget the fact that the “freakin’ POOR” also employ dried herbivore dung as fuel for the fires they kindle to cook their food and light their pitiful hovels, many of which are constructed out of praiseworthily “recycled” materials scavenged from trash heaps, construction sites, and municipal landfills.

      When they’re not made from even more “close to nature” brushwood, mud, and moistened herbivore dung, of course..

      And you shouldn’t press Joshua so conscientiously on his fantasies about the glories of hydroelectric power. Expecting someone advocating the flaming idiocies of environmentalism to have the least idea of the realities of civil engineering is entirely unfair.

      These are not people who live in the real world, Jim, and calling them down from Cloud-Cuckoo Land is an example of the brutality for which us deniers are so constantly condemned.

    • Well, you shouldn’t forget the fact that the “freakin’ POOR” also employ dried herbivore dung as fuel for the fires they kindle to cook their food and light their pitiful hovels, many of which are constructed out of praiseworthily “recycled” materials scavenged from trash heaps, construction sites, and municipal landfills.

      Heh! You’ve been to Haiti and/or Africa, haven’t you.

      I’ll just have to live with the stigma of being a a “brutal denier”. I’ve always told the truth “as I see it”. Been that way all my life and see no reason to change now.

    • Firewood here is not the neatly stacked kind out behind your garage, but the poorest of the world carrying branches on their backs to cook their food. This is very destructive of the forest and dangerous to the health. If this is what the greens mean by “biomass energy” it will cause a new wave of deforestation and in coincident with extreme poverty. Imagine London smog if everyone cooked on wood stoves!

    • True – and having traveled where dung is regularly used for fuel (and where forests have been decimated by the need to use wood for fuel), I would guess that despite its apparently relatively benign impact environmentally, it is actually no picnic in terms of its affects on health or environmental impact.

      So, does that mean that the use of wood and dung should necessarily be excluded from estimates of how much energy could be supplied from renewables?

    • So, does that mean that the use of wood and dung should necessarily be excluded from estimates of how much energy could be supplied from renewables?

      The reason it was exclude (my take) is that they saw no way to provide the required energy from the other sources (i.e. – without using nuclear, coal and gas.)

      The answer to your question SHOULD be – yes. As part of the adaptation that should be undertaken, regardless of climate change, electricity, gas, or other viable energy sources should be made available to even the most remote villages on the planet. THAT would eliminate the need for wood/dung burning, improve health universally, enable universal education (YES – including women), cut death rates, improve housing, eliminate most deforestation and a whole range of other benefits. All of which is presently being attempted by China, India , Brazil, Malaysia and others – in spite of the Warm-green push to eliminate power development in the Third world.

    • I would remind you, Jim, that other non-renewable energy sources also have detrimental environmental and health effects. And those effects would be magnified if those other energy sources were to be disseminated more widely into other areas. There is no free lunch.

      Nonetheless, as a matter of definition, firewood and hydro (which was also part of what generated my original question), are renewables. Should a caveat be added about the relative environmental/health effects of various renewables be considered? Of course they should, and I despite claims otherwise, I generally see environmentalists/greens making such considerations.

      It’s like when people blame the use of ethanol on “greens,” to the exclusion of the capitalists (and their associated politicians lobbyists) who profit from its use, when most greens are fully aware of the detriments of reliance on ethanol.

      Such polemics do little good to anyone interested in finding real answers.

    • I would remind you, Jim, that other non-renewable energy sources also have detrimental environmental and health effects

      Yes, there is no free lunch. But none of the RE sources – nor all of them combined, will replace the present (and projected) FF energy usage. that requires more – and more than will be available in 2050 as well.

      Nonetheless, as a matter of definition, firewood and hydro (which was also part of what generated my original question), are renewables.

      Yes, they are. But the “firewood” part is an encouragement to deforestation and a life sentence for millions to a life of poverty,, ill health, no education, etc. Exactly what they’ve lived with for the last 1000 years. That’s NOT acceptable.. And the “hydro” is more limited than you might imagine. In point of fact, the present Administration is in process of “removing” many of the dams in the US. So it’s ironic that this report promotes building more.

      I generally see environmentalists/greens making such considerations.

      I rarely see that. I’ve found that the warm-green contingent has a tendency to act emotionally and fail to consider the consequences of the actions they advocate. And, having observed the political scene for a long, long time – I see no improvement in the breed with time. IOW, “most” of them don’t learn.

      It’s like when people blame the use of ethanol on “greens,” to the exclusion of the capitalists (and their associated politicians lobbyists) who profit from its use,

      That’s a two-headed monster driven by idealism and greed. Wonderful combination – NOT

      most greens are fully aware of the detriments of reliance on ethanol.

      No – SOME of them are. And more are learning. But we’re not there yet. It’s one of the things we should all agree on. Now to convince Congress – and the farmers.

    • At 3:34 PM on 17 June, Jim Owen observes:

      In point of fact, the present Administration is in process of “removing” many of the dams in the US. So it’s ironic that this report promotes building more.

      In great part, the dams which are being removed had been constructed not for power generation but for other purposes, chiefly to create artificial lakes serving commercial purposes as recreation sites or residential property value enhancements (“Own a lakefront second home in costly, expensive Belle Rêve Estates!”).

      Familiar with Pohl & Kornbluth’s novel Gladiator-At-Law (1955), Jim?

      Lots of these small, privately-constructed non-hydroelectric dams outlived the developers who planned them, and the legal mechanisms devised to keep them (and the lakes they cause) safely maintained no longer function. These dams have become the property of local governments by way of public domain, and we all know just how conscientiously, responsibly, and efficiently local governments are run.

      Har-de-har-har.

      Could these small dams be made to function as “renewable energy” contributors to our economy? Not in any way at all. There’s not enough flow-through in any of these low-lying puddlemakers to economically justify the construction and maintenance costs of retrofitting them with hydroelectric turbines. Better to take ‘em down and thereby abate the risks that they’ll collapse without proper maintenance.

    • Why should we leave out firewood and hydro?

      Firewood is not necessarily renewable. Neither is it realistic to suggest cars can be run on firewood. It is also filthy. We might as well use coal. It too is renewable, just on a longer timescale.

      As for Hydro … how many rivers with suitable sites are there left in the industrialized world … and why would enviornmentalists support them when they fight so effing hard to stop them now??

    • At 3:24 PM on 17 June, Bruce had asked:

      Why should we leave out firewood and hydro?

      Firewood is not necessarily renewable. Neither is it realistic to suggest cars can be run on firewood.

      Well, that bit about motor vehicles isn’t quite altogether true. During World War II especially, great numbers of vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines were converted to run on the gas produced by charcoal burning. Such conversion expedients were seen all over the Third Reich until some years after Adolf Hitler finally cleared his mind.

      Hm. Well, there goes Godwin’s Law.

      Charcoal is made from harvested wood, and firewood – contrary to your assertion – is most definitely “renewable.” It just takes years to get a cropped woodlot to “renew” itself. To continue:

      As for Hydro … how many rivers with suitable sites are there left in the industrialized world … and why would enviornmentalists support them when they fight so effing hard to stop them now??

      Altogether too true. Among the many noxious qualities reliably seen in the ‘viro infestation is their perpetual kneejerk NIMBY (“not in my backyard!”) and BANANA (“build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody!”) Luddite noisemaking.

    • Leaving aside Martha’s unfortunate tendency to get personal, I’d be curious to read a serious response to the points she raises.

    • Latimer Alder

      If she saw fit to post them at Mr Lynas’s blog, she could probably get a horse’s mouth statement.

    • Why don’t you respond to them? I might be interested in reading that. Far more than any interest in reading her.

    • John Kannarr

      I don’t know the history of the assertion that “past lead author pastor Christy [was] exposed as a fudger/liar.”.

      Could someone give me a trustworthy, neutral reference to such an exposure?

      {Excuse me if I don’t take Martha’s word for it.)

    • If only 3% of renewables are NOT dung, firewood and hydro, how do you get to 30% by 2039 without building a lot more thermal plants using coal and natrual gas to back up the unreliable wind turbines?

      China uses 3x the coal the USA uses. And will double its usage in the next 7 years. India uses half of what the USA uses and will match it in the next 7-8 years.

      Renewables will be less than 10% by 2050 … possibly even less than is used today.

  25. I think Mr Muddle was based upon Mr Pachauri. From Wikipedia and with a little of my own helpful narrative:

    Mr. Muddle is the twenty-third book in the Mr. Men series by Roger Hargreaves. Mr. Muddle gets the simplest things messed up. He lives in a large building on Turtle Bay. He was supposed to live in the country, but he, who built the house himself, built it wrong and in the wrong spot (because it never should have been built at all). One day he goes on a fishing expedition with a fisherman named Jones and does the wrong things and they don’t catch any fish. Jones technique is to ask Mr. Muddle to do the opposite of what Jones wants (telling Mr Muddle; “we need to hide your mental decline”), and Mr. Muddle will get it right. Jones gets everybody to do this (with lots of emails that no one ever admits to receiving), and Mr. Muddle goes home and cooks himself a muddled-up meal (because he always makes models of his dinner first before cooking it) to celebrate.

  26. Dr Curry
    You rightly point out the lack of curiousity and investigative journalism in the climate debate. Perhaps the media establishment like propping up emerging power structures and breaking them down when they are finally at the perch. Fortitiously, Keith Kloor has appeared here with comments. I would ask a difficult question (given that Kloor is such a gracious host):

    What of his own record, given that he has extensively comments on the climate debate, by the way of investivative efforts? How come they are so…non-existent? Even today, he characterizes Lynas’ comments as part of an ‘endless war’. In other words he ‘run-of -the-mill’ifies the nature of today’s opposition to climate activism. Why? This is in direct opposition to your insight that Climategate and associated actions formed the beginning of a ‘distinct clean break’ from prior thinking – the very opposite of what would happen during an ‘endless war’

    I’m good at playing both sides so I must be telling the truth

  27. To Mark Lynas. So many people have replied to you that I am afraid my comment may get lost. Let me mount my hobbyhorse and suggest that you take a very close look at the use of no-feedback climate sensitivity in the claim that CAGW is real.

  28. “The Grand Marther Gorge:
    Mists rising biliously up.”
    Kim

    Thank you, Kim. That’s beautiful. Blush.

  29. Another good comment over at collide-a-scape http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/climate-critics-that-wont-muzzle-themselves/comment-page-1/#comment-65349

    with this link to previous post by Pielke Jr entitled “Giant Fish, Big Fish and Minnows of the Liberal Blogosphere”
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/climate-critics-that-wont-muzzle-themselves/comment-page-1/#comment-65349

    very germane to this discussion

  30. Will J. Richardson

    “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. ”
    — Gilbert Chesterton

    • I’ve long said the internet is marvelous because people can disagree without coming to blows, or, worse yet, coming to agreement.
      ====================

  31. Judith,

    I recognize you are viewing journalism through a climate lens, but you linked to an essay that leaps illogically to a ridiculous conclusion. Here’s my take on that essay and the “lamestream media” meme that is lodged in way too many brains, even as it relates to coverage of climate change:
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/the-media-as-pinata/

    • Keith, my criticism of the MSM is not the same as that made by the climate establishment, who want better communication of the science and risks to the public. I am criticizing the MSM on the climate issue for lack of investigative reporting of the watchdog variety.

    • Judith – how do you categorize the “MSM?”

      And contingent on your explanation, I’ll ask another question. How do you feel about the lack of “MSM” investigative reporting on the deceptive memes heavily promoted by those on the “denier/skeptic” side of the debate?

    • Joshua –
      How do you feel about the lack of “MSM” investigative reporting on the deceptive memes heavily promoted by those on the “denier/skeptic” side of the debate?

      First – I’m not “chasing you” – you’re just SO convenient as I read through the comments here.

      But to answer your question – the MSM has no reason to investigate the “denier/skeptic” side of the dance floor. Not because there’s nothing to investigate, but because that side of the argument doesn’t even exist for them. The skeptics were determined long ago to be not worthy of notice – and therefore not worth investigation. And that policy was established by the scientific community ( i.e. – ignore them and they’ll go away)

      I don’t think that worked out for them.

    • Mike Edwards

      Well Joshua, here is an example of the MSM – that gold-plated organization, the BBC no less – and its approach to the “denier/skeptic” side of he debate:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13792479

      …an article nominally about the recent scientific findings relating to the decline in activity of the Sun actually spends most of its space on decrying the reaction of the AGW skeptics to the news, rather than discussing the background and possible consequences of the findings themselves.

      Now tell me that the MSM don’t deal with the “deceptive memes” promoted by “denier/skeptics”.

      What we commonly find in the MSM – on both sides of the climate debate – is plenty of mudslinging and firing on the “enemy” – and far too little investigation and enlightenment.

    • Keith,
      Perhaps you should spend more time on introspection before you start deconstructing what other people are observing?

  32. From Mark Lynas | June 17, 2011 at 10:03 am:

    “I think part of the problem for Greenpeace is that they (and their supporters) actually see everything they do as being good for the planet, ergo justifiable in principle.”

    Now who said the following?

    “The most unethical of all means is the non-use of any means.”

    “Moral rationalization is indispensable at all times of action whether to justify the selection or the use of ends or means.”

    “…you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.”

    “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

    “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.”

    While he wasn’t describing the climate debate per se (it hadn’t arisen at the time), he was setting forth a general strategic plan for progressive action across the policy spectrum. One that has been followed remarkably well in the climate debate.

    Oh, and as to the responses of the climate progressives to McIntyre, Curry and now Lynas, he wrote about that too:

    “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

    There is nothing new in the climate debate, as far as the tactics being used. But I must admit watching with some amusement as those who were swayed by Alynskyite tactics for years (without knowing what they were), have their eyes opened when they are on the receiving end of the same.

    The only people who do not see the policy debate regarding climate as a typical progressive movement, are those who do not know the history of progressivism in the U.S.

    • There is nothing new in the climate debate, as far as the tactics being used. But I must admit watching with some amusement as those who were swayed by Alynskyite tactics for years (without knowing what they were),…

      Indeed, Mark – could you write a bit about how if feels to have been so duped by “Alynskyite tactics?”

      You see, Mark – comments like Gary’s are quite representative of what you will find here. To the extent that you want to criticize the tactics of people who align with organizations like Greenpeace – do you not see their behavior as part of a bi-directional dynamic of tribalism?

    • Actually, that part of my comment was not directed to Mark Lynas. I haven’t read much of what he has written so I have no idea what his views are or have been in general. What brought this to mind was Keith Kloor’s commenting above.

      It reminded me of what I saw when I first started reading his comments, and those of Dr. Curry, on Collide-a-Scape some time ago. In the middle of discussions of random climate issues, including the hyperbolic (Alinskyite) attacks of Joe Romm and others against them, up would pop some backhanded jibe at conservatives in general, or at particular conservatives who had been subjected to the full Alinsky treatment. It got so common I began to think of it as liberal Tourettes.

      Dr. Curry as a host has dropped such references to her credit. Having experienced the tactic herself, she tries hard not to inadvertently engage in ridicule or personalization of disputes. So far as I have seen, she has even dropped the use of the Alinskyite term “denier” herself (albeit still allowing its continued use by progressives like Joshua). Some minds just open further than others.

      But the point remains, there is nothing new in the tactics of this debate.

    • In the middle of discussions of random climate issues, including the hyperbolic (Alinskyite) attacks of Joe Romm and others against them, up would pop some backhanded jibe at conservatives in general

      Alls I can say is thank god that there aren’t any gratuitous political attacks on “progressives” at blogs such as Climate etc.

      Today must be irony appreciation day here at Judith’s blog.

  33. Judith,

    A few points.
    1) In the downsizing of newspapers in the past decade, investigative reporting is one of the things that has been severely cut back. (Some web outlets have picked up the slack of late, such as Pro Publica.)
    2) Investigative reporting is expensive and time-consuming. The projects that usually get assigned fall into the realm of politics, wars, finance, medicine, institutional failures (such as a recent expose on state-run group homes for the developmentally disabled in the NY), etc.
    3) Science reporters have to cover many issues and topics and mostly don’t have the luxury of taking time out to work on enterprise stories. (Dan Vergano at USA Today is a recent exception, for his excellent articles on the Wegman controversy.)

    I’m not disagreeing that we could do with more “enterprise” reporting on the climate beat. And maybe blogs will help spur more of that. After all, it was a climate blogger that provided the gruel for Vergano. :)

    • Keith, I don’t disagree with what you say. My post is not MSM bashing per se (whereas Pointman’s is), but I am saying that the vast majority of the probity on the climate issue is in the blogosphere (which Pointman says also). And if the MSM journos don’t have time or money to do investigative journalism, then they should spend some time perusing the blogosphere. Lynas case is interesting in that a journo that has been categorized as warm/green actually paid attention to the investigation done by a skeptical/auditor blogger. The bigger issue is the lack of probity regarding the IPCC, which is a joint problem of the scientists, policy makers, and MSM. Where is the 5th estate when we need it.

    • but I am saying that the vast majority of the probity on the climate issue is in the blogosphere (which Pointman says also).

      And would that apply to both sides of the issue, Judith, or is the lack on probity by “the MSM” only applicable to the “climate establishment” (to use your term) side of the debate?

    • John Mashey and Deep Climate have been active on the other side of the debate

    • Are they part of your categorization of “the MSM,” or would you agree that there is little probity on both sides, and that there isn’t some vast asymmetry in the lack of probity?

    • Judith-Totally agree that msm Journos “should spend time perusing blogosphere.” And the Lynas case is interesting for the reasons you cite.

      Here again, though, let me say that beat journos only have so much time in the day and have to make decisions on how much time to spend talking on the phone or emailing sources, chasing down leads, reading the latest studies, etc, etc.

      (And Mark, while I’m sure he’s busy on his account, isn’t pressured to meet daily deadlines, so he also has a bit more time (and also the inclination, given his interest) in paying attention to the latest post on Climate Audit, and such.)

      Lastly, at many papers, a reporter just can’t can dash off on any story he or she’d like. Editors are also very much involved in the decision making process, on which stories to pursue.

      But yeah, I take your point that the IPCC is big enough potatoes for env beat reporters to dig into this stuff.

    • Phelim McAleer who has done sterling work says: journalists and opinion writers are ready to question ‘big oil’, ‘big government’ and ‘big pharma’. Today, environmentalism and climate activism is ‘big’. Where is the questioning?

    • William Bethard

      Prof. Curry, at first I thought you made a mistake, but I get it. Bloggers have supplanted the msn and are now the true 4th estate.
      Bill B

    • At 1:57 PM on 17 June, Keith Kloor apologizes for the failures of the mainstream media (MSM) to apply reasoning critical “filters for folly” in their perpetual “yup-yup” regurgitation of government ukases and public relations releases which coincide with their ex-Journalism school notions of political correctness, writing:

      In the downsizing of newspapers in the past decade, investigative reporting is one of the things that has been severely cut back. (Some web outlets have picked up the slack of late, such as Pro Publica.)

      Pro Publica, of course, is a notorious “Liberal” fascist propaganda organ. But what the heck….

      Investigative reporting is expensive and time-consuming. The projects that usually get assigned fall into the realm of politics, wars, finance, medicine, institutional failures (such as a recent expose on state-run group homes for the developmentally disabled in the NY), etc

      Such “scandal-to-the-jaybirds” stories are (and have always been) eyeball-grabbing grist for the mills of the popular press. Rightly or wrongly, they tend to fascinate those people who make most of their media choices in supermarket check-out lines, at convenience stores, and while flicking remote controls on cable TV hook-ups. It’s how reporters have peddled advertising for generations.

      What investigative reporters chiefly get assigned – when they’re not grabbing eyeballs for advertisers by swooping down into National Enquirer territory – are those stories which support the political bigotries of their editors and publishers, and those are invariably “Liberal” fascist in character. To continue from Keith Kloor:

      Science reporters have to cover many issues and topics and mostly don’t have the luxury of taking time out to work on enterprise stories….

      I’m not disagreeing that we could do with more “enterprise” reporting on the climate beat. And maybe blogs will help spur more of that….

      Given that most of the MSM are emphatically “Liberal” fascist in their politics and prejudices, it is unlikely in the extreme that their people would ever pay attention to online commentary and reporting which runs contrary to their received “truth.” Remember always that truism to the effect that “Liberal” fascists want their political opponents to just shut up! while those of us who defend individual human rights desire nothing more than that these enemies of public peace and the rule of law keep right on talking.

      We read their stuff. They try very hard to block out all knowledge of ours.

      Thus the MSM cannot be counted upon in its current state to report with reliable honesty on the contention that adverse climate change is (or could possibly be) anthropogenic.

      Keith Kloor, have you given any thought to the real reasons why the MSM is experiencing “downsizing? As Pointman has indicated, they are failing to satisfy the demands of the marketplace in which they’re supposed to be functioning.

      Their business model – as an uncritical vehicle for “Liberal” fascist propaganda and concerted fraud – is no longer viable. Heck, that happens to any enterprise in which the management is committed to bankruptcy by way of obstinate, stupid, denial of reality.

    • Rich Matarese:
      I think you hammered home your point about the “liberal fascist” media. :)

      I’m already feeling a little dirty just responding to you, but I’m curious how much your comment might be shared by others on this thread.

      Anyway, there’s not much you said that I can rationally respond to. Maybe if I took mind-altering drugs, I could wrap my mind around what you’re saying….

      But your concluding note, related to the downsizing point I made, deserves a serious reply. You write:
      “Their business model – as an uncritical vehicle for “Liberal” fascist propaganda and concerted fraud – is no longer viable. Heck, that happens to any enterprise in which the management is committed to bankruptcy by way of obstinate, stupid, denial of reality.”

      Hmm, I’m thinking the internet and Craigslist had just a little something to do with upending journalism’s business model.

    • We all, every single one of us, march in locked goose steps with Rich.

    • Keith, you have to admit that things are entertaining over here. Rich is pure vituperative eloquence.

    • Writers gifted with eloquence do not have to call their opponents “fascist” over and over.

      I like an eloquent troll as much as the next person, but those aspiring to that role should put forth the effort to be a little more creative (not that trying to re-brand a classic right-wing ideology as leftist lacks creativity, but create some kind of structure around your name-calling, and don’t repeat yourself.)

    • Writers gifted with eloquence do not have to call their opponents “fascist” over and over.

      No, but it sure does fill you with a warm and fuzzy feeling ;-)

    • At 5:56 PM on 17 June, Robert complains:

      Writers gifted with eloquence do not have to call their opponents “fascist” over and over.

      Tsk. Diagnostic accuracy. As well, one of the canonical principles of the medical profession is maintenance of focus on the pathology under address. Get certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) sometime, and you’ll understand how important this kind of consistent concentration on the threat situation is, and must always be.

      “Liberal” fascism is a deadly danger to each patient in particular and to the public as a whole, and thus it is the duty of the medical professional to keep it scrupulously identified and attended-to until it is destroyed.

      The fact that you, Robert, a consistent “Liberal” fascist, hate the continued emphasis on this descriptor of your malevolent intent upon the lives, the liberties, and the property of your inoffensive, innocent neighbors is wonderful proof that such repetition is worthwhile and beneficial.

      Moderation note: Rich your vituperance is allowed provided that it does not get personal

    • At 4:37 PM on 17 June, Keith Kloor writes:

      I think you hammered home your point about the “liberal fascist” media.

      I strive to be scrupulous in maintaining use of the term “Liberal” in quotes and with a capital “L” when referring to the “milk-and-water socialists” who make up the modern American political left. They also call themselves “progressives” (having made the word “Liberal” a pejorative), but I think that “progressive” is wonderfully appropriate for them.

      After all, in clinical oncology, “progressive” is how we describe a malignant tumor which continues to grow – and will almost certainly kill the patient – after efforts at surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have failed to destroy it.

      When in the 19th Century the word “liberal” came into usage as a term in political discourse, it described those who defended individual human rights against the encroachments of government power. The modern American “Liberal” is, instead, a fervent advocate of government-gone-juramentado, routinely and as a matter of announced policy violating the rights of the individual human being to life, to liberty, and to property. This is a complete inversion of the original meaning of the word, and thus the only honest way in which the term “Liberal” can be applied to these “velvet-glove” authoritarians is between quotation marks and with a capital “L.”

      As for “Liberal” fascism, there’s Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (2008) to account for the philosophical roots of fascism (which has always been a “leftist” phenomenon). Goldberg took the expression itself – “a liberal fascism” – from a 1932 speech by socialist political opinion leader H.G. Wells.

      As for your inability, Keith to “rationally respond to” the content of my post above, consider that the problem is not in the transmission but rather the reception. I mistrust my ability as an over-the-Internet diagnostician, but I have to doubt that you could be helped much by psychoactive medications. When the problem is the moral corruption of “Liberal” fascism, therapeutic measures aimed at the abatement of neuropsychiatric dysfunctions cannot be relied upon to secure relief. To return to your post:

      But your concluding note, related to the downsizing point I made, deserves a serious reply. You write:

      “Their business model – as an uncritical vehicle for ‘Liberal’ fascist propaganda and concerted fraud – is no longer viable. Heck, that happens to any enterprise in which the management is committed to bankruptcy by way of obstinate, stupid denial of reality.”

      Hmm, I’m thinking the internet and Craigslist had just a little something to do with upending journalism’s business model.

      Hardly. Classified advertisements (the key Craigslist function) had never been a principal revenue source for newspapers, and no moneymaker of any kind for broadcast media.

      It has been in the creation and promulgation of refined content that the mainstream media (MSM) has failed. This had from the beginning of newspaper publishing been the “value-added” feature of journalism, the ability of perceptive and conscientious newsmen to seek out and aggregate noteworthy information in ways that their customers – the readers and viewers – found reliable and therefore valuable.

      I tend to think of H.L. Mencken. Emphatically not Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and the crowd of inflamed sphincters responsible for Daily Kosor Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the religious whackjobs, traditionalist tight-tochuses, and warmongering rah-rah clowns ostensibly opposed thereunto.

      The fact that the uncritical regurgitation of leftist glorification (and hostility to individual rights) has been the failing upon which the American MSM has foundered is nothing more than a manifest of the particular type of moral rot at the root of the ex-Journalism School idiots who dominate the industry. Were they pushing right-wing authoritarianism (going “John Birch Society” instead of “National Environmental Resource Fund“), they’d be just as thoroughly doomed to extinction.

      The MSM has lost sight of the “value-added” proposition that brought their profession into existence, coasting along on their once-complete monopoly on the distribution of information to “gull, cully, and diddle” the public into conforming with the “Liberal” fascist agenda they have embraced. The Internet changed that. “Can’t stop the signal,” y’know.

      There, Keith. Don’t you feel so much cleaner now?

    • Nah, but I do feel like I’m going further into a rabbit hole.

    • Keith can tug either way on the rope of climate war when he feels like exerting himself. That’s his way of expressing his cognitive dissonance. As someone called him at lucia’s ‘Just another hateful lefty’.

      But look at all such ‘haters’ taking another look through the pretty pass at Darien.
      ============================

  34. I’m not sure Curry is alone in being a skeptical scientist. See “The IPCC report: what the lead authors really think” http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/opinion/35820

    The problem is that scientists in the main are not political activists and more inclined to just do their work. Clearly the IPCC has politicized the scientific underpinnings of IPCC work in a manner that is plain for all to see as the reports go up the political food chain to the politicians.

    Serious scientific questions have always been there. The mainstream media still has green glasses on and a green public has been happy to suck it all up.

    • This is a really really interesting article. The difference between what individuals have to say and what the consensus ends up with is very different, the consensus building effect was discussed on this previous thread Epistemology of Disagreement. It would also be nice if the scientists that had these concerns would speak out publicly.

    • Absolutely fascinating article. If that’s truly what the lead authors thought why have they not spoken out since?

    • The points they made about sea level rise were brought up immediately, though I cannot say it was by the lead authors. But those points were out in the public arena for discussion soon after the report became public.

    • The next best thing done by the establishment was the IAC review of the IPCC, which says in nice diplomatic words all that was done badly by IPCC processes. Nothing surprising in there really. Mainstream academic and professional organizations are unable to move at the speed of the blogosphere. Action requires consideration, meetings, discussions, motions for action, etc.
      http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/

  35. Dr. Curry wrote:

    The word “denier” is increasingly used to not in the sense of rejecting the WG I physical basis of climate change, but in questioning whether the impacts are as dangerous as WG II has led people to believe [...]“

    The pronouncements of WG II do not concern me as greatly as the recitation of these “dangerous” impacts along with ex cathedra prescriptions by the “scientists” associated with WG I (and/or those in the upper echelons of the IPCC hierarchy) – not to mention their monopoly on the content of WG I reports.

    From where I’m sitting, these “prescriptions” – e.g. Stocker’s recent “the planet might be better off if [gas prices] soared to ‘three to four’ times its current level” and Pachauri’s repeated exhortations that ‘we need a price on carbon’ (during the course of a keynote to “leaders of the future”) – strike me as being very irresponsible, and unscientific.

    Thus far, the responses (such as they are) of the IPCC to the recommendations of the IAC, do not give me (you should pardon the expression!) “a high level of confidence” that the “reforms” they will be implementing will be any more than window-dressing to obscure the fact that their modus operandi will, in effect, be “monopoly” business as usual.

    P.S. I do apologize if this is a duplicate; I had tried posting within the sub-thread but from where I’m sitting, my many attempts did not succeed.

  36. The debate about the Sun is over. Richard Black says so:

    “Four years ago, in the midst of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s last major assessment of global climate and shortly after Henrik Svensmark’s The Chilling Stars elaborated how the Earth’s modern climate could be determined by solar effects on cosmic rays, I looked into this question…

    The conclusions, in a nutshell, were these:

    The Sun is the major determinant of the Earth’s climate on long timescales
    Cosmic rays have been a mediator of this effect

    It is not the major issue on human timescales

    Any effect from modern changes in solar activity is likely to be dwarfed by greenhouse gas emissions and associated issues such as sulphate aerosols.

    That was four years ago; and since then, further research published in peer-reviewed journals has, if anything, weakened the solar case – whether involving cosmic rays or not.”

    So, according to Black’s in depth research of the Greenpeace literature and selected pal reviewed journals, backed by the full credibility of the always impeccably accurate BBC, nothing has changed.

  37. First of all, hats off to Mark Lynas regarding what he said in his post ( http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/questions-the-ipcc-must-now-urgently-answer/#comment-2107 ).

    As a hard boiled independent thinker (a.k.a. skeptic) I wanted to cheer.

    Second, thanks Judith for placing it all in an objective context. That makes a firm stepping stone on the path toward enlightened viewing of IPCC corruption.

    Steve Mc’s and Lynas’ call for more info on this current IPCC incident is the key to prying open up these kind of opaque IPCC processes as they count down to AR5. I encourage all to demand the info on the incident. We need open and transparent real time views of the ongoing IPCC process. Only that will give any hope of de-biasing the IPCC.

    John

  38. @Keith Kloor.

    “If they’re doing such a sterling job, why did it take a retired statistician to dig out this story? Let’s face it, it didn’t need a lot of digging either …”

    No reply, I wonder why?

    Perhaps I’m dealing with an MSM journo. Certainly the clarity and standard of the prose looks to be of that ilk but I’m sure he would have declared any conflict of interest over my criticism of journalism. After all, that’s what this whole discussion is about.

    Pointman

  39. ” “Mr. McIntyre insists that the statement that “Close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies” is a ‘distortion’ because it is ‘a statement about the top-end scenario’.” No he does not. First by careful editing you have clipped the most important part of the quote:
    “lose to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report shows.” A NEW REPORT SHOWS. McIntyre, objects to THIS.
    “Based on my reading of the document so far (and it’s only been available a short time), this statement is untrue on its face. As far as I can tell, the report does NOT show that ‘close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies’. Yes, it lists a scenario from Greenpeace in which 77% of world energy is supplied by renewables, but the report itself did not conduct any independent assessment of the validity of the Greenpeace scenario and did not ‘show’ that the claim in the press release was true.”
    Your ability to engage in any meaningful debate is hampered by your utter lack of basic reading skills. Or perhaps you knew what you were doing when you cliped those words off the quote. Tool” Steven Mosher

    Except, Steven, you have misunderstood.

    I didn’t ‘clip’ anything relevant to the point I was referring to – although I do assume everyone knows we are talking about the (new) special report.

    I read the special tot he Financial Post, not Climatefraudit. McIntyre’s comment in the Financial Post yesterday is what I am referring to, and it says:
    “The summary contained one worrying aspect. The actual report, it said, was based on 164 “scenarios” and the “up to 80%” scenario in the lead sentence of their press release was not representative of the scenarios, but the absolute top end. This is the sort of press release that is not permitted in mining promotions. It remains a mystery to me why blatant distortions are tolerated in academic press releases and in press releases by international institutions.”
    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/06/16/junk-science-week-the-ipccs-greenpeace-karaoke/

    I have reported completely accurately on THIS comment by Mr. McIntyre, and frankly, you look silly. ;-)

    “the report itself did not conduct any independent assessment of the validity of the Greenpeace scenario and did not ‘show’ that the claim in the press release was true.”

    The report is a literature review and analysis, in both science and technology. The ‘validity’ of the Greenpeace scenario is assessed by the technological literature, not the IPCC.

  40. “Mr Lynus spells his name ‘Lynas’. With an ‘a’, not a ‘u’. You got it wrong six times in remarks all about him and his views. It was not difficult to get it right. His blog is entitled ‘Mark Lynas’ Once is a mistake, twice a coincidence..but six? “ Latimer

    Dearest Latimer
    Yes, I know. It’s a bit of a play on words. It’s o.k. that you don’t get it and that it’s not funny. You know — Linus van Pelt? Combine it with Lynas? Lynus? The way we also sometimes say ‘Wattsupmybutt’ or ‘McIdiot’? Get it? Blanky? Judith? ;-)

    • I got it, I am very good with pop culture references to cartoons circa the 1960′s :)

    • Oh you Americans, thinking everyone is supposed to know your 60′s culture. Reminds me of Lucky Luke and Calamity Jane legende du Far-West – Martha Jane Canary.

    • Well I knew what they’re talking about – and I’m on your side of the pond

    • Latimer Alder

      What is Linus van Pelt?

    • Lucy’s brother

    • Latimer Alder

      Thanks

      Very helpful.

      Who is Lucy?

    • Charlie Brown’s girlfriend (I think)

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      I thought Lucy was Charlie Brown’s nemesis (at least as far as football is concerned) and Linus’s wanna be girlfriend.

    • I’m actually going purely by decades-old memory here, so I could be completely wrong.

    • Lucy was van pelt, if memory serves, so Linus was either her brother or he wasn’t van pelt – or my memory’s totalled

    • Incest? Linus and Lucy are siblings. Sally had the hots for Linus.

    • Latimer has to be the most unhip human being on the face of the earth.

    • To be fair, it wasn’t that big here in the UK – more of a cult thing here

    • @ JCH: “Latimer has to be the most unhip human being on the face of the earth.”

      They’ve got the behaviour programming for crusty obstinate old Brit bots down, but I don’t think the knowledge databases have things like comic book characters yet. Or maybe this is a more advanced iteration, where the bot actually stays in character by being totally oblivious to things like this.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Yep, right. Getting my characters mixed up.

    • Hip Latimer Alder

      Would it surprise you to know that I knew all along? I even read some barmy boook about Schultz as Dog/God a zillion years ago.

      But was just trying to point out that climate change is supposedly a global thing..not just a US cultural artefact. So you need to modify the cultural references for an international audience lest (perish the thought) you get mistaken for people who are ill-educated and insular.

      And who don’t play cricket.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Me too. Long time since I’ve read that strip.

    • edward getty

      I thought Lucy was a famous fossil.

    • That was a fuelish statement ;-)

      While we’re on that topic, do you know who Mrs Ples was?

    • I get it, Marthur. ;-)
      What, me worry?

    • Oh, for pity’s sake, people. You’re on the Internet. Look it up at “Wiki-bloody-pedia.”

      By the bye, a great many U.S. newspapers are reprinting Schulz’ Peanuts comic strips in their daily editions today.

      Bolshoyeh nekulturny, the lot of you.

    • Linus Pauling? Linus Torvalds? Linus Bikes? Pope Saint Linus?

    • Linux Ubuntu, actually ;-)

    • Hip Latimer Alder

      Linus, Heavenly Father, Linus
      O’er the world;s tempestuous (but maybe rising even more, or possibly even less than we thought) sea?

  41. Readers who may be curious about how this sort of thing gets written up (or not) at Wikipedia may find this of interest:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change#IPCC_WG3_and_Greenpeace_report

    Heh. To think I don’t get paid for this….

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

    “When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.”
    – David Hume.

  42. The fatal flaw of Leftist global warming alarmist reasoning and politics is that climate change is the norm not an exception—it can’t not change.

    Government scientists were caught “green handed” fostering the “global warming” scare.

    Big money exercises significant control over global warming science: Green is Big business from, Corruptenhagen to Cancun.

    The global warming alarmists who followed Al Gore—the pied piper of the climate porn merchants—have descended into their bottomless rabbit hole of self-defeating oblivion.

  43. As I have avoided this web-site for many months ,it time to pour some gasoline on the fire.How about an experiment that shows that the “greenhouse gas effect is fantacy-a fairy-tale,hogwash etc.

    The Experiment that Failed and can save the World trillions.
    By Berthold Klein P.E November 16, 2010 revised 6-15-2011
    The hypotheses of the “greenhouse gas effect” is the process where a combination of IR absorbing gases including Water/vapor/liquid/solid, CO2.CH4. NO2 and others are super insulation and cause the atmosphere to be 33 degrees warmer than would be explained by the “black body “temperature.
    How is this done? The hypothesis says that the IRag’s absorb the IR radiation then it is “back radiated to earth causing the earth to be warmer by the resonating of this heat energy.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg of the magic caused by the “greenhouse gas effect”
    as has been said the truth is in the detail therefore anyone that wants to get into more of the details,please join in. I will be adding more later.
    As others have not started to define “The greenhouse gas effect” lets start with what are the “features that should be testable!” Because water/liquid, vapor,solid (H2O /lvs) is different than gases IRag’s as CO2 ,Ch4,NO2 and others -this will deal first with the none H2O ,IRags.
    Critical features:
    1. The IRags absorb the IR radiation and thus prevents it from escaping into space reducing the rate of atmospheric cool- it causes the air to be warmer.
    2. The IRags will “back radiate” IR radiation to earth to cause increased heating of the surface.
    3. The IRags will heat up by the absorption of the IR radiation thus heating the air.
    4. The IRag’s have different levels of “back-forcing”. Having ask others how this is determined,( no answer yet) ,it is assumed that someone has reviewed the amount of IR that a particular molecule absorbs by a spectrophotometer analysis then comparing this to the absorption of CO2. (I have not seen any experimental data that the “back-forcing” relates to absorption).(an assumption based on The Bohr model however a time factor is needed)
    5. The higher the concentration of IRags the greater the amount of “back-radiation” the higher the “global atmospheric temperature will become.(were is the experimental data )
    6. The concentration of CO2 found in million year old Ice cores can be used as proof that the “ghg effect” exists. When there is no experimental data that proves that the “ghg effect”exists.
    7. Where does this lead?
    We all know that the “greenhouse” effect exist. Anyone that has gotten into a hot car on a sunny day.(summer or winter). Has walked into a store with south facing window , its temperature will be much higher than a car ,or window in the shade. This is caused by confined space heating- this was established in 1909 by R.W. Wood a professor of Physics and Optics at John Hopkins University from 1901 to 1955.

    What experiment could be performed to “prove” that the ”greenhouse gas effect exists.
    All the AGW point out it is impossible to simulate what actually happens in the atmosphere therefore they propose using computer models, the problem with “computer models” is that unless all the factors that effect the atmosphere are included into program. When this is tried there are no computers made that have sufficient capacity to handle all of the factors. Many of the factors are not even fully know yet. Then the big guess is what are the factors to include and which are really of minor importance and can be left out and still get usable results. To data no one has come up with the “right model”

    Using the list of “critical factor” lets see if there are some way of indicating if the concept may exist.
    To use the concentration of IRags in the atmosphere for testing does not work otherwise there would not be the controversy that exists today. In the field of engineering and research there is the use of “models” that are either similar in behavior or can be proportioned to a larger or smaller series of events that relate to an actual set of events.

    As the amount of heating that is supposed to be is on the order of fractions of a degree per year- we need a more dramatic experiment to show that the concept actually exists. If the experiment at a much higher concentration does not demonstrate the effect then the Concept does not exist. If the concept works at high concentration then it can be tried with lower and lower concentrations until a threshold of effects is reached.

    Some numbers are needed now: By definition 10,000 ppm is 1%, therefore 100 % equals 1million parts per million( 1×10+6) . The atmosphere is supposed to contain 400 ppm (round Number) therefore a concentration of 100% CO2 is 2500 time that of what is in the atmosphere. If the effect exists it should be much easier to measure and demonstrate.
    Now it is claimed that CH4 is from 23 to 70 time the effect of CO2,thus using the lowers figure by using a concentration of 100 % CH4 ,the effect should be 57500 time stronger that using CO2. It is claimed that NO2 is 100 time more powerful that CO2 thus it should cause 250,000 X the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere
    As CH4 is found to be about 2ppB ( 2 X 10 -9)in the atmosphere , a concentration of 100 % CH4 should give a results that is 5 X 10 + 10 times what exists in the atmosphere.
    . Now if CH4 is 23 times the effect of CO2 another longer chain hydrocarbon molecule will be even more powerful thus the proposed experiment shown below was done with 100 % butane.
    The experiment shown below substituted “natural gas” a mixture of 70% CH4 about 29% CO2 and the remainder is H2 and other trace gases. This is readily available for test purposed from any natural gas stove. Now 100 % CO2 is available for several sources, but one that is not too expensive is from any Paint ball supply store, another is from a supplier of Dry ice. Do not use Alka Seltzer as you have to put this in water to get the CO2 thus you have a mixture of CO2 and water and water vapor – you are not testing the effect of CO2 only. Discussion of H2O/lvs in the atmosphere will follow later.
    The natural gas mixture should have a combined effect of less that 100% CH4 by a weighted average of 70% CH4+ 29% CO2or 3.500000725X10+9 times the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. If this occurs the temperature increase must be measurable.

    How does the experiment contain the high concentration of the IRags for this test? Having reviewed several experiments that contained the IRags is glass containers then they measures the increase in temperature of the gas which had increased, they claimed this increase was do to the “ghg”effect, they are absolutely wrong. The cause of the temperature increase was do to the heating of the glass by its absorbing the IR and the glass heating. ( A Master’s thesis (peer reviewed) with this information is available on request). Another failure of these tests were their including a black cardboard inside the containers, thus additional heating of the IRag’s from conduction of heat from the black cardboard. (They created a Greenhouse effect-confined space heating)
    The proper way to contain the high concentration of IRags is in a thin walled material that will not absorb the IR and heat. The experiment used crystal clear Mylar balloons. They are available in various sizes, several 20 inch diameter(major diameter) were chosen. If you want you can use larger ones to contain larger numbers of IRag molecules.

    Now lets discuss the experiment.
    1. Fill the balloons with the various IRags ,and one with dry air as a control.
    2. Let the balloons reach ambient temperature. If you are going to use sunlight let it adjust outside in the shade.
    3. Use an IR thermometer to check the temperatures of each balloon, use a digital thermometer that reads to 0.1 degree to check air temperature in the shade. Record data.
    4. Take a large black mate board or a large black cloth or sheet and lay it on the ground in the sun. Use the IR thermometer to check the temperature as it raises in the sun. Record the data. When it appears to reach a maximum then go to step 5.
    5. Suspend the balloons over the black background (about 1 foot above) and measure the temperature of the balloons initially. Record the temperature.
    6. Measure the temperature of the black background in the “shadow” of each of the balloons also measure the temperature of the black background outside of the “shadows” of the balloons.

    Now lets repeat the Critical factors and note the result of my test to the critical factor.
    Critical features:
    1. The IRags absorb the IR radiation and thus prevents it from escaping into space reducing the rate of atmospheric cool- it causes the air to be warmer. The air between the balloons and the black background did not change temperature.
    2. The IRags will “back radiate” IR radiation to earth to cause increased heating of the surface. The black background did not change temperature either in the “shadow” or outside the shadow. The temperature of the black background heated to 20 t0 30 degrees above ambient before the balloons were placed over the black background. When this was done outside in bright sun light the black background heated to 130 to 140 degrees F. Similar temperature can be measured from black asphalt. When the experiment was done with the 500 watt power shop light (see below)inside the black background went from ambient of 70-72 degrees to 100 -110 degrees. Again when measuring the temperatures of the black background with the IR thermometer there was no measurable temperature difference anywhere along the surface.
    3. The IRags will heat up by the absorption of the IR radiation thus heating the air. The balloons did not warn any warmer than ambient. The IRags in the balloons will not warm because that would be a violation of the Bohr Model.
    4. The IRag’s have different levels of “back-forcing”. Having ask others how this is determined,( no answer yet) ,it is assumed that someone has reviewed the amount of IR that a particular molecule absorbs by a spectrophotometer analysis then comparing this to the absorption of CO2. (I have not seen any experimental data that the “back-forcing” relates to absorption).(an assumption based on The Bohr model however a time factor is needed) As there was no temperature difference under any of the balloons, there was no stronger “back-forcing” because the IRag absorbed more IR radiation.
    5. The higher the concentration of IRags the greater the amount of “back-radiation” the higher the “global atmospheric temperature will become.(were is the experimental data )
    6. The concentration of CO2 found in million year old Ice cores can be used as proof that the “ghg effect” exists. When there is no experimental data that proves that the “ghg effect”exists.
    Specifications of the IR thermometer: model: MTPRO laser-Micro Temp; temperature range: -41degree C/F to 1040 degrees F. IR range 5 to 16 nm. Angle of view D:S =11:1
    cost about $60.00. many other models available.
    I have thought about several refinements, but it would not change the bottom line that the “ghg effect” is a fairy-tale.

    I’m sure that the AGW’s will not believe this proves that the “greenhouse gas effect does not exists , therefore I challenge them to come up with an experiment that they claim “proves the existence of the “greenhouse gas effect”.

    As an alternate light source the experiment has been performed with an incandescent light. By using a 500 watt shop power light which because of the temperature of the filament approach the spectral characteristics of the Sun light ( should have more long wave IR because of a lower temperature) It was place one(1) meter away from the balloons to avoid conduction and convection heating of the balloons. As is stated above there was no difference in the final results.

    Now lets talk about water( H2O/lvs):
    Yes H2O/lvs has a major effect on weather conditions, where I’m at in Northern Ohio it just started to rain, if it gets any colder we will have snow or sleet. Of course tomorrow it may be sunny and clear. As is said in the Great Lakes region if you don’t like the weather wait 15 minutes and it will change. Now the “climate” has not changed for the last 300 years just ask the Indians.
    Any way lets look a H2O/lvs in the atmosphere : If its clear the humidity can be from near 0 % relative humidity to 100%. Now if it ‘s cloudy the “relative Humidity” can vary from 30 to 100% depending on temperatures, Now we know that the air temperature where the clouds are forming is at or below the “dew point”, now as the H2O vapor cools to form clouds there is a release of energy( Heat of condensation), if the general air temperature is low enough ( below freezing) more energy is released as ice or snow is formed. This energy has to be dissipated either as IR radiation or as lightening or probably high winds or tornado.
    This is only one phase of the complex weather conditions when H2O/lvs is being evaluated another is the solar heating of clouds both day and night. During the day the warming of the top of clouds is obvious but it is also relevant that in spite of significant solar absorption the “clouds “ have not absorbed enough radiation to convert the water or solids back to vapor; there is probably a rapid turbulent exchange of energy in both directions from evaporation/ sublimation to condensing, to freezing. This is why “climatologists” can not get the correct “sign” on the “forcing” it is a constantly changing set of conditions, non are wrong and non are correct.
    Now lets add the next variable- solar heating at night of the clouds. Having taken IR radiation measurements at night for the last year at many different times by solar time it is apparent that when the sun goes down below the visible horizon , the clouds are still receiving solar energy. This has been confirmed by both measurements and visible lighting (multiple colors ) of the clouds. The clouds and the atmosphere cool until about 2:00 am when there is measurable increases in cloud temperatures and air temperatures. This warming continues until daylight is visible. The degree of warming is related to the time of year and what is happening with the jet stream and arctic storms.
    There are other factors that are being monitored by real astrophysics researcher that are showing that Solar flares, and different type of radiation have an effect on cloud formation,this is only a beginning of learning about our atmosphere.
    There is no way in the world of Fairy-tales that CO2 can have an effect on weather or “climate”
    Mann-made global warming is a hoax,because the “greenhouse gas effect” is a fairy -tale.

  44. The reason this is so exciting is that we are finally taking hostages, finally making an awakening.

    In other news, it’s hockey sticks all the way down:

    http://oi55.tinypic.com/2ir23a9.jpg

  45. One of the report’s 11 chapters is an analysis of 164 previously published scenarios looking at the energy mix over the next four decades under various assumptions.

    One of those studies was funded by Greenpeace. One of the authors of the study works for Greenpeace.

    A professional mineral consultant feels that involving people who work for an environmental group in climate change research is a shocking scandal. I mean, how (asked the man who makes his money from resource extraction) could such a person have sufficient objectivity to be worth considering?

    As impressive as this 1/164th of a possible bias is, I wonder when we are going to see an IPCC “scandal” with a little more meat on its bones. Himalayan glacier typos! Reporting erroneous flood estimates for Denmark!

    How about some plagiarism? Or falsifying graphs? Or lying repeatedly in public presentations? You know, some “skeptic”-grade scandals.

    • Robert, Robert, Robert,

      The spin is the thing and has been for some time. That is what is lost on your side. Greenpeace involvement, or Exxon, or Peabody, or Hatachi Nuclear in an energy report on policy is not unusual, any of them being lead author would be and should be. And one of them being lead author and allowing the spin before the report is available is a pretty big deal. I am sure you would have issues with Peabody coal being the lead author and spinning clean coal.

      Plagiarism? How about intellectual property rights infringement? How about IPR infringement by representatives of a government? Menne et. al. could have been a very big deal.

      The glacier typo? That would have been just a typo had the IPCC representatives said it was a typo to start with. Instead, one of the IPCC group mentioned it was left in for motivational effect. Spin.

      Mann’s hockey stick? His methods virtually destroys any information paleo might contain. It does spin well.

      That minor Antarctic Warming nature cover, with its minor statistical errors did spin well.

      Tornados linked to global warming. Katrina caused by global warming. Russian fires caused by global warming. The tsunami bigger because of global warming. Spin.

      You eat it up Robert.

  46. Hi Judith Iand all present. I wonder if you consider this a fair comment and representation or misrepresentation of the issue from The Guardian?

    “The IPCC report, first published just over a month ago, has attracted criticism this week from climate change sceptics, who have complained that a scientist from Greenpeace was one of more than 120 authors of the study. They claim that this makes the study biased.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/17/european-energy-emissions-trading-row

    You do have to admire the professional deadpan PR approach at work

    Actually the whole article is worth a read, I would be interested in thoughts, whether the people,, wwf, greenpeace, pachauri, etc quoted have satisfactorily dealt with the greenpeace and vested commercial renewable interests issue in the IPCC

    • Barry Woods

      Of course, The Guardian as is their way…

      ….have disabled comments on this article, lest anybody, presumably Mark or otherwise make a comment….

    • That’s a shame. I’m sure the Guardian’s readers will suffer from the lack of repeated elucidations of how “liberal fascists” are destroying the world. ;)

    • Barry Woods

      Well I’m usually blocked at the Guardian, must be the occasional typo and bad grammar ;) can’t be any other reason…. Comment is Free

  47. The word “denier” is increasingly used to not in the sense of rejecting the WG I physical basis of climate change, but in questioning whether the impacts are as dangerous as WG II has led people to believe [...]“

    Doubtless, as with any rhetorical category, some people get mislabeled.

    But when people move seamlessly from arguing that the world is not warming, to arguing that humans could not possibly be causing it, to arguing that although it is happening and humans are causing it is no big deal, it is hard to escape the conclusion that their underlying pathology is expressing itself in a variety of ways without really changing their outlook(*).

    Not all people who question the WGII conclusions about costs and dangers are deniers, but some of them are. Denial at the end of the day is driven by a resolute opposition to collective political action to slow global warming, and the nature of the particular rationalization the person is using at the moment is not the only thing about their views that counts.

    *Watts, for example. If you read his early stuff, he actual went from the-Sun-is-causing-warming, to (when the Sun entered a deep minimum) warming-is-not-happening, and now lives somewhere between humans-aren’t-the-cause and won’t-be-harmful, with the latter predominating more and more as time goes on.

    • Robert: I am persuaded that the earth is warming and humanity contributes to that and that it may become a problem. However, after that we disagree, as informed people often do.

      Given your black-and-white demand that everyone go along with your program or be labeled a “denier”, my word for you is “inquisitor.”

    • You are not reading what was written. I wrote:

      “Not all people who question the WGII conclusions about costs and dangers are deniers”

      Which you interpreted as: “black-and-white demand that everyone go along with your program or be labeled a ‘denier.’”

      This seems to be a straightforward reading comprehension problem.

    • Robert,
      The next steps for Watts could be…

      Humans aren’t causing much of the warming.

      Humans are causing much of the warming, but the warming is a good thing.

      The warming is not good or bad.

      The warming may be a little bad, but so what ?

      The warming may be bad but we can adjust. People have adjusted to plagues, haven’t they.?

    • Holding in reserve the final counterargument:

      It’s happening, we’re causing it, it’s highly destructive, it’s going to get much worse, but it’s far too late to do anything! How did those incompetent scientists fail to warn us in time?

    • John Carpenter

      Conversely we may find the reciprocal from a consensus climate scientist:

      The sun is a constant and does not contribute to how the climate changes….

      Sun spot activity has only slightly affected our climate historically….

      The lack of sun spot activity and observed lack of warming and/or slight cooling may have more impact than originally thought….

      The return of Maunder Minimum conditions will probably cause global cooling….

      We’re heading for a new ice age!

      :)

    • Chief Hydro recently said the globe may be in cooling phase that may not be caused my a solar minimum.

      James Hansen says the so-called LIA may have been caused by a combination of the MM and volcanic activity.

      Lot’s of mays.

    • Stumping consistently for “Liberal” fascist “collective political action to slow global warming” (i.e., government thugs pointing guns at innocent human beings to punish them – via taxation – for the crime of using energy generated by the combustion of petrochemicals, and “regulating” them by declaring their very exhalations to be air pollution) at 6:17 PM on 17 June, we’ve got Robert griping:

      But when people move seamlessly from arguing that the world is not warming, to arguing that humans could not possibly be causing it, to arguing that although it is happening and humans are causing it is no big deal, it is hard to escape the conclusion that their underlying pathology is expressing itself in a variety of ways without really changing their outlook.

      Oh? When it is honestly understood that the clique of “climatology” charlatans who had gotten a lock on the archival global temperature datasets over the past thirty years have been corrupting (as in “adjusting” and “enhancing” and just plain “cooking”) the information to blank out information which runs contrary to the anthropogenic global warming conjecture, how are those without Robert‘s authoritarian political intentions to approach the subject other than to argue “that the world is not warming” to the extent and in the way that the lying “climatology” caliphate has been claiming?

      The AGW conjecture began more than thirty years ago as a helluva reach, with planetary astrophysicist James Hansen speculating (on the basis of his research into the greenhouse gas effects of atmospheric CO2 on Venus) that anthropogenic increases carbon dioxide (as noted by Keeling and other scientists beginning in the 1950s) could produce an adverse warming on Earth. I recall when the idea first came across my desk – courtesy of retired engineering professor Dr. Petr Beckmann, sometime between 1979 and 1981 – that it seemed bloody preposterous, particularly because at that time most of the noise in the popular press about the planet’s climate was concern that we were seeing “the harbinger of another ice age” (Time magazine, 24 June 1974).

      Frankly, the only way in why my own personal approach to the AGW fraud has been “seamlessly” conducted has been my refusal to accept violently aggressive government coercion without objectively and verifiedly supported proof both that the “cataclysm” is real and that the measures proposed by power-crazed “Liberal” fascist clowns like Robert are in any way capable of mitigating or avoiding the putative adversity.

      They sure as hell haven’t accomplished any of this, and after more than thirty years of groping, chiseling, doctoring the records, suppressing dissent, and lying themselves blue in their bloated socialist faces, they’re not likely to do so.

    • ““Liberal” fascist”

      Hey, Rich,

      Just so you know before you spend a lot of time on a particular screed, as soon as you use the phrase “liberal fascist” I move on to the next post.

      If you have thing to say you’d like me to read or respond to, you’re going to have to hold that particular delusion in check. Thanks!

    • Latimer Alder

      Just like everybody else does with the D-word?

    • At 4:43 AM on 16 June, Robert announces that he’s gonna stick his fingers in his ears and chant “Nurmee-Nurmee-Nurmee-I-can’t-hear you!” whenever I use the most accurate term of diagnosis for his vicious political pathology, writing:

      Just so you know before you spend a lot of time on a particular screed, as soon as you use the phrase “liberal fascist” I move on to the next post.

      Tsk. Putzi, just what the dickens gives you to think – whoops! “think” isn’t something Robert does, is it? Make it “assume” instead – that I’m addressing anything to you rather than using you the way an instructor in a clinical pathology class uses another sort of specimen to demonstrate another type of malignant disease?

      Would you prefer “progressive” instead? After all, it’s how we describe a cancer that continues to grow (and kill the patient) in spite of treatment.

    • As soon as I see “Robert” I move onto the next post that has to be saner … unless it too has the dreaded R word.

    • Just curious, Rich:

      I recall when the idea first came across my desk – courtesy of retired engineering professor Dr. Petr Beckmann, sometime between 1979 and 1981 – that it seemed bloody preposterous, particularly because at that time most of the noise in the popular press about the planet’s climate was concern that we were seeing “the harbinger of another ice age”

      Why were you focused on what you perceived to be the “noise” in the popular press when, by a wide margin, the majority of scientific expertise during that period pointed to warming and not an “ice age?”

    • Claiming to be “Just curious, at 10:44 AM on 19 June, Joshua asks that when Dr. Petr Beckmann first drew to my attention the current anthropogenic global warming bogosity (sometime between 1979 and 1981):

      Why were you focused on what you perceived to be the “noise” in the popular press when, by a wide margin, the majority of scientific expertise during that period pointed to warming and not an “ice age?”

      When did the World Wide Web come online, Joshua? 1991, wasn’t it?

      I’m a country GP. I was practicing medicine as such in the years between 1979 and 1981, far from university libraries in which one could readily access scientific publications. My professional journal reading then – as now – consisted largely of those which most primary care guys regularly read. No e-mail information “pushes,” no access to Web sites, and the popular press was – for the greatest part – all that came to general attention at that time.

      Jeez, how old are you, anyway, Joshua? I’m aware that “the past is a foreign land,” but is 1979 really that much of an alien territory to you?

      Dr. Beckmann was publishing Access to Energy, and a bit before the Three-Mile Island non-disaster (1979), I had read his The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear (1977) and opened correspondence with him. Nice guy. Hated communism in general, and the Soviets in particular.

      Real, postage-stamp-on-the-envelope mail, contents composed on a typewriter, with occasional dabs of Wite-Out and the use of those funny wheel-shaped rubber erasers with the brush on the handle. Remember when folks used to do that?

      No? Hm. Joshua, are you even shaving yet?

      Just curious, y’know.

  48. Greenpeace Founder Patrick Moore had the courage to stand up against eco-terrorism. Compare that to an EPA that applauds the Left’s jihad on energy for humanity.

  49. From enotes.com:

    …According to Patrick Moore, a founding member of the environmental organization Greenpeace, by some accounts, humanity “would have cleared 50 times the size of the Amazon already.” In actuality, Moore states, satellite data reviewed by the National Institute for Research in Amazonia reveals that 87.5 percent of the Amazonian rain forest remains standing. Furthermore, of the 12.5 percent that has been cleared, up to one-half is regrowing. Therefore, Moore insists, “The Amazon rainforest is more than 90 percent intact.”

    Others debate the threat that deforestation poses to biodiversity, global climate, and indigenous people. Philip Stott, a professor of biogeography, is an especially strong critic of the environmentalist perspective on these issues. He insists that predictions of species extinction are based on computer models that have “no scientific basis.” Stott also dismisses the claim that the forests are “carbon sinks.” Due to the natural decomposition process, he argues, rain forests actually produce more CO2 than they absorb. Stott concludes that the public’s concern over rain forests has been encouraged by various myths designed to persuade us that the rain forest is vital for maintaining the stability and balance of the Earth—for our very own survival on this planet. Are the forests not “the lungs of the Earth”? “The living sinks” that will help to buffer our human excesses of carbon dioxide emissions as we recklessly warm the atmosphere? The richest remaining “library” of genetic resources for us to store, read, and use? “The last refuge” of forest people living in harmony in an untainted Golden Age and Garden of Eden? . . . It is all nonsense.

  50. Over on the collide-a-scape thread, an astonishing comment from raypierre of realclimate, which i reproduce here
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/climate-critics-that-wont-muzzle-themselves/comment-page-1/#comment-65408

    raypierre Says:
    June 17th, 2011 at 6:56 pm
    Keith, your problem is that you have no judgment and you are just too gullible. Anytime anybody who looks like part of “the team” comes along and turns around and criticizes “the team,” you will fawn all over them without thinking about the actual factual basis or merits of their claims. Think Judy Curry, and now, Lynas. There may or may not be something fishy about the specifics of the renewable energy claims under discussion here (I think not, though it’s certain that the practice of doing press releases in advance of the full report is available is a bad thing and needs to stop, no questions there) but you aren’t even asking the hard questions before jumping in on Lynas’ side. Some of the defense of the IPCC may be knee-jerk, but a lot of it is in fact well-considered, from people who know the process and the checks and balances there — which can be improved, but are not by any means as bad as most people seem to think.

    Your other problem is that in your efforts to show what a big heart you have and be inclusive, you are blind to the real failings and chicanery of people like McIntyre and McKittrick. The actual scientific consequence of these guys, relative to the noise they make and their character assasination operation against honest, earnest climate scientists is tiny, and they’ve pretty much lost any right to be taken seriously. Note that the IPCC blunder on Himalayan glaciers — something that really did reveal problems (though not fatal ones) in IPCC procedures — was outed first by professional glaciologists, both within and outside the IPCC. i.e. REAL SCIENTISTS, not noisemakers.

    McIntyre, McKittrick, and Watts are the Andrew Breitbarts of climate. Occasionally they may out something that is technically true, but it is always of minor consequence compared to the noise, and always a distraction from the truly important questions facing society. That’s why, big as the IPCC tent may be, I hope there will never be a place in it for any of these clowns.

    • Smelling salts, smelling salts!!

    • No salts, just a bad smell

    • It is, in fact, the very display put on over the last few days that leads to such conclusions – overblown rhetoric, factual inaccuracy and couldn’t care less to boot.

      I wouldn’t let these people within a million miles of careful scientific analysis.

      They want to fulminate and exaggerate, fib and fudge, rail and rant…. fine, stick to a blog, that’s what they are for.

      But they want to be circus clowns and taken seriously. Can’t have it both ways.

    • Michael –
      It is, in fact, the very display put on over the last few days that leads to such conclusions – overblown rhetoric, factual inaccuracy and couldn’t care less to boot

      And those words are typical of that part of humanity that cannot take responsibility for their own actions. It’s characteristic of – are you ready? — the liberal-progressive outlook on life – always blame others, never take responsibility, never admit wrong-doing and, if caught red-handed, obfuscate.

      Is that, in fact, what you are? Appearances are sometimes deceiving, but……

    • Well, it’s typical of the arrogance that he’s displayed in other places on the Web. And it’s not atypical of some of the scientists I’ve known over the last 50+ years.

    • “The actual scientific consequence of these guys, relative to the noise they make and their character assasination (sic) operation against honest, earnest climate scientists is tiny, and they’ve pretty much lost any right to be taken seriously.”

      McIntyre, McKitrick, Watts, Breitbart, and one might add Curry, are inconsequential. That must be why cap and trade and carbon taxes failed miserably in the U.S., while the most progressive president this country has ever elected, a true believer in the CAGW cause, abandoned the IPCC agenda at Copenhagen.

      Climateprogress is where the real power is…oops….was….

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      “Climateprogress is where the real power is…oops….was….”

      I’m not sure about that. Romm’s overheated rhetoric can be fun to read and he occasionally has interesting policy points (ie, his incessant promotion of PHEV as and important technology) but he often goes off the rails.

    • Romm has no idea where or what the rails are, so he can hardly go off them.
      >:(

    • John Carpenter

      Why not just take the next logical step of delegitimizing and deflating the effects of M&M’s work and just say they are not even human and their work never actually happened at all.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Steve and Ross made an important point about the biasing effect of the centering method used for the PCA analysis of the North American tree ring network used in the 98 and 99 reports. Subsequently the biasing effect was shown to have minimal effect on the outcomes of the original work.

      Since then Ross has not produced any influential work and Steve has only been involved with O’Donnell, et. al. which pointed to an improved method for looking at the Antarctic temperature data analyzed in Steig, et. al.

      This last work seems to provide a more realistic presentation of the spatial trends of temperature change in Antarctica than Steig but did not seem to significantly alter the results. YMMV, but that is my take.

    • Rattus –
      This last work seems to provide a more realistic presentation of the spatial trends of temperature change in Antarctica than Steig but did not seem to significantly alter the results.

      You might want to read it again. It wasn’t earthshaking, but it rearranged the temp distribution considerably and showed that the temp “increases” (such as they were) were confined to the peninsula as opposed to Steig’s results.

    • Overall, we find that the Steig reconstruction overestimated the continental trends and underestimated the Peninsula – though our analysis found that the trend in West Antarctica was, indeed, statistically significant. I would hope that our paper is not seen as a repudiation of Steig’s results, but rather as an improvement. … Ryan O

      Jim, to what trend in West Antarctica is he referring?

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Thank you.

    • Have you read the paper?

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Yes, and all the reviews. WA is that area to the southeast of the peninsula which shows significant warming in both studies. Like I said, the O’Donnell paper seems to provide a more realistic picture of temperature trends in Antarctica than Steig. It does not overturn Steig which confined the headline conclusion to WA. See JCH’s comment above which quotes from, well, the lead author of O’Donnell, et. al.

    • Rattus –
      WA is that area to the southeast of the peninsula which shows significant warming in both studies.

      Significant is truly a relative term in this case, but yes – some warming in WA, most on the peninsula. And it showed the weakness of Steig’s method. As well as the dangers in challenging skeptics. From the JCH quote above –

      we find that the Steig reconstruction overestimated the continental trends and underestimated the Peninsula

      And we seem to be in agreement – what WERE we talking about anyway? :-)

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Significant means statistically significant…

    • Rattus, so it’s “statistically significant”, does that mean the level of significance is 10%?

    • Rattus –
      There’s statistically significant which means “it’s happening (we think)”.

      And then there’s Significant is truly a relative term as in real life –

      http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=-78.44999695,106.87000275

      h/t – DeNihilist

    • Statistically significant, interesting term. One of the studies for complainants of Three Mile Island, for a statistically significant increased cancer trend 0.034% +/- 0.013%.

      A drug to prevent bed wetting was advertised on TV as being 52% effect versus 49% with sugar pill, (I am not kidding, ILMAO)

      Oddly, a study of thyroid cancer in the counties surrounding TMI, “A 2008 study on thyroid cancer in the region found rates as expected in the county in which the reactor is located, and significantly higher than expected rates in two neighbouring counties beginning in 1990 and 1995 respectively.”

      You can use the linear no threshold model and find a lot of statistical significance if you work for the plaintiff. PCA can produce some interesting results. I guess it depends on how significant your statistics needs to be?

    • Yes Jim, I read the paper when it came out, and, I’ll go out on a limb here, I think Ryan O also read it.

      I hope ES goes down to Antarctica again this year and does additional research and writes a paper that inspires another group who never ever would have thought of doing an Antarctica paper to do one also.

    • I read the paper when it came out,

      A lot of us did.

      I’ll go out on a limb here, I think Ryan O also read it.

      Ya think?

      I hope ES goes down to Antarctica again this year and does additional research and writes a paper that inspires another group who never ever would have thought of doing an Antarctica paper to do one also

      Good thought. But how about the Arctic instead?

    • You just want him to be eaten by a starving polar bear or to fall through the paper-thin ice.

      But maybe we have solved how climate scientists can get statistician to work for free. Have the team write all climate papers, and angry statisticians and engineers will volunteer to fix them for free.

      Meanwhile, it will still be getting warmer, and to paraphrase O’Donnell, that’s interesting. I don’t know what he meant other than it was interesting to him. Was he surprised? That’s all I can figure out, but maybe some of the resident global cooling poets can fix my misunderstanding.

    • Localized warming,
      Smeared incorrectly elsewhere,
      Deliberately.
      ===========

    • Astonishing commentary? Actually pretty common from what I see — loads of accusation based on opinion ungrounded by evidence, emotional fantasizing, appeals to authority, and sanctimonious monster-creation. It’s somewhat telling that warmists who diverge from the tribal meme are engaged by the skeptics, yet skeptics who acknowledge and accept much of the research are forever vilified.

    • Anyone that plays an accordion is not to be trusted. Beards and long hair? fine. Accordions! No.

    • Dallas,
      Good for you! I’m glad to see you are a music lover!

    • Hey – I used to pay the accordion.

      I gave it up when I figured out how really badly I played. :-)

    • Jim,
      It may have taken you a while, but at least you figured it out. So you must not be as tone deaf as other accordion players! :)

    • How precisely does one tell that he is playing the bag pipes badly? They can be played well?

      (Just kidding, as an Irishman, American style, I welcome the pipes every St. Patty’s Day, as long as they are put away for the rest of the year.)

    • Gary –
      I actually like bagpipes – on occasion – if played well (it is possible). But I also understand why the Scots were such fierce warriors – they were trying to outrun the sound of their bagpipers and would kill anything/anybody that got in their way. :-)

    • Latimer Alder

      Lots and lots of people keep on pointing us to the supposed sound and reasoned defence of the IPCC. Example

      ‘Some of the defense of the IPCC may be knee-jerk, but a lot of it is in fact well-considered, from people who know the process and the checks and balances there — which can be improved, but are not by any means as bad as most people seem to think’…just before he rants on about The Bogeymen.

      But where is this well-considered defence. Is it here? Haven’t seen it. At Lynas’s blog? Nope. At CA? Notable by its absence.

      Please can somebody actually show me the well-considered defence of the IPCC. Otherwise I;m forced to conclude that there isn’t one.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Here you have a cookie cutter comment from someone who seems to be from a cookie cutter mold. Everything that Raypierre says is an ad hominem. He offers cheap shots rather than addressing the criticism of the IPCC’s reliance on Greenpeace advocates as senior authors. Then he caps it off with an appeal to tribal loyalty. Raypierre’s comment would make one or several excellent examples for a chapter on Fallacies in a Logic textbook. How can those who are adult professionals and have self-respect tolerate this kind of nonsense from one who claims to be one of their own?

  51. the professional glaciologists who outed Glaciergate – as in, the voodoo scientists.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Umm, not really, there was a comment on the Himalayan glacial extinction date in the WG II comments which got dropped on the floor.

    • Noooo!!!……. it was a conspiracy to usher in One World Government!

    • Actually, that conspiracy is older than you are.

    • Yeeessss!!!!

    • Yes – your problem being that it started and has been carried on for nearly a century (or more) by your side of the dance floor.

    • Given the assertion that there’s no more than a tiny handful of errors in the IPCC reports, it’s funny how that comment got ‘dropped on the floor’.
      Care to calculate the odds against that happening?
      And if comments are regularly’dropped on the floor’ then how many other errors are hidden in the documents?
      In any case, the real damage was done not by the error being ‘outed’, but by the IPCC’s (especially Pachaurai’s) reaction to the ‘outing’.

  52. Contrary to some thoughts post above there are many climate scientists becoming skeptics.

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-1276.html

    • And remember the vilification that Claude Allegre, the former Socialist Science Minister of France and highly cited scientist went through not long ago for being honest about climate science. (In that list)

  53. …can’t think of a better process. There is not a parallel on this planet, in any field of endeavour as you have in the IPCC.
    -Rajendra Pachauri on the IPCC

    There you have it, Dr C, IPCC = best process in the planet.

    • Yes, sytematic reviews are the best process for the aggregration of evidence.

      If you know of a better one, do tell.

    • Is that a quote from the Spanish Inquisition?

    • That would be a ‘no’ from you Teddy?

    • From personal experience, any good spacecraft engineering review. If you screw it up, you might need to find a new career. Which is something that climate scientists apparently don’t have to worry about.

  54. Nothing like a post on an opening mind to see how closed so many minds are.

  55. Is is just me or has anybody else noticed the REAL interest by folks that haven’t dropped by in awhile and have a slant towards the CAGW? It always interests me to see who comments and have noticed the more serious the threat, the more activity from those that think the climate does not change normally. It is extremely fun to watch them scurry :)

  56. Judith says:
    In reconsidering “monster creation,” a key element in this is the reaction of the warm-green side of the debate to even relatively moderate criticisms of the IPCC. You are ignored by the IPCC and vilified by its defenders, which makes you realize that there was even more there to criticize than you originally thought.

    As the Warmista continue to throw their more independently minded defenders off the Rainbow Warrior, the boat rides higher in the water. Maybe this partially offsets the sinking feeling caused by their arguments suffering hits below the waterline. This probably explains why the senior officers stood up on the bridge think they are still on an even keel, but as the waters rise in the bilges, the ratings and rats are getting wet and cold feet.

    As the weak Sun peers through the clouds of indetermination, the cold wind of natural climate change inexorably drives them towards the reef of empirical reality.

    • Those ‘warmistas’ huh?

      Incredible- criticising own of their own! Just for getting facts wrong!

      Thankfully there’s none of that kind of independent thinking going on here. Imagine if someone were to criticise Stev……oh no, I can’t even bring myself to say it.

      Stay true to the herd!

    • Latimer Alder

      You guys really really are obsessed with Steve McIntyre!!! How big is he in your imagination? Twenty feet tall? Fifty feet? A thousand feet?

      I’ve met him and he’s a fairly big guy. a bit over six feet I guess. Pretty diffident, very polite (he’s a Canadian) to a fault and slightly hesitant in speech. But not Goliath. Nor King Kong.

      And all he does is go around checking that when something is published that its right. The keystone of science..replication by others. He has a great track record of finding shoddy and superficial work and publicising it. And because of that consistent track record, people listen to him. What is so frightening about that?

      Any ‘scientist’ worth his salt will have nothing to fear from Mcintyre. And if hos very existence makes the scientist spend just that little bit of extra time checking hos work and publishing the data and programs and all that, then that is only a Good Thing. win win all round..better science, better decisions.

      Who could possibly want anything else?

    • I’ve met him and he’s a fairly big guy. a bit over six feet I guess. Pretty diffident, very polite (he’s a Canadian) to a fault and slightly hesitant in speech.

      Get him round a table with McKittrick and a smart and unbiased journalist and me, add beer, and there’s nothing hesitant about his speech. :)

      I really like Steve’s Canadian Extra Dry humour, and the subtle references he weaves into conversation. A pleasure to converse with.

    • Yes, he is wonderful.

    • Point to something he got wrong, point out why you think it’s wrong, and you may just find a lot of us agreeing with you.
      Until then, kindly stop casting aspersions

    • The whole thing was wrong – Teske was indentifed in the report, as was the report. McIntyre got it compeltely rong about Teske ‘assessing himself’.

      Wrong, wrong, wrong.

      I’ve been pointing it out the whole time, but the herd is very loyal.

      But, whatever the group think here, Mcintyre himself has backpedalled, if you hadn’t noticed.

    • How do you argue that Teske is not assessing himself? He’s obviously not the only person involved in the assessment, but the Greenpeace scenario ended up as very prominent in all this.

    • Oh, I dunno Judith…..maybe the expert reviewers, the co-ordinating lead author and the review editor who have the final say in what goes in.

      I guess the lead author can try and put in their pre-school drawings, but it has to get the nod from from the rest.

      So can a lead author just put in their own work and have it appear in the final report? – no.

    • Oh now I understand, the same people that selected a Greenpeace person to be a lead author in the first place. It will be interesting to see what the reviews have to say, and who the reviewers were.

    • Another mystery.

      Just like the affliations of the authors mystery and the study reference mystery – all listed in the report.

    • Theo Goodwin

      There is a bottom line to this, Michael. Actually, two bottom lines.

      A Greenpeace position was published as a headline by the IPCC. No justification for using the position has appeared. That is unacceptable. The IPCC has no mechanism in place to prevent such wrong doing. The IPCC must implement such a mechanism.

      A professional Greenpeace activist was a lead author on a chapter. That is unacceptable. The IPCC must implement a mechanism to prevent such wrong doing.

      You seem to take the position that so long as there is a mix of scientists and activists from various organizations that everything is just fine. That is a recipe for no transparency whatever.

    • Latimer Alder

      Does it never occur to you that just endlessly repeating

      ”wrong wrong wrong’ does little to persuade people that you are right.

      Tell us – in detail- why you think it is wrong and you might have a chance.

      PS ‘It’s wrong because McIntyre is the Bogeyman’ is unlikely to be very successful either. And saying ‘I’ve been pointing it out the whole time’ sounds just like a politician making it up as they go along ‘I have said made my position perfectly clear on many occasions’ = I just thought of it.

    • Your obsession has blinded you to what I’m driving at.

      Sure, McIntyre got it wrong. Big deal.

      But how many of the self-proclaimed ‘sceptics’ here checked the accuracy of the claims from either him or Lynas?

      Not a single one.

      Baaaaaaaa.

    • Michael, as far as I can see, you’re the only one here making a big deal of it – or anything else for that matter.

    • You mean how the self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ are anything but.

      Yeah, I can see how you’d rather look the other way on this.

    • Michael, what exactly are you driving at?
      You’re arguing that the IPCC were not procedurally wrong.
      In which case, they must have been factually wrong.
      You can’t have it both ways.
      Be careful that in trying to dig yourself out of one hole, you’re not digging another.

    • Michael cannot tell why McIntyre is wrong.
      First, because it is above Michael’s pay grade to think that much.
      Second because McIntyre is not wrong.
      Michael just has one role here, to be a troll. He is good in that role.

    • Michael | June 18, 2011 at 6:36 am | Reply
      Those ‘warmistas’ huh?

      No. The word is ‘Warmista’ and it is a collective noun which doesn’t take an ‘s’ to pluralize.

      Incredible- criticising own of their own! Just for getting facts wrong!

      The ability to wilfully miss the point is strong with this one.

    • Your point was….not that some people just deal with the merit of the argument?

      Inadvertently it was.

      Oops!

  57. Shub Niggurath | June 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    …can’t think of a better process. There is not a parallel on this planet, in any field of endeavour as you have in the IPCC.
    -Rajendra Pachauri on the IPCC

    No wonder Briffa and Teske think it’s OK to review their own work as lead authors, when they see the chief of the enterprise doing the same thing.

  58. But the press release which focuses on an outlier, not on the range of options, is also and more worryingly the sort of mistake you get in organisations that assume everyone wants to hear the party line. The world of renewable energy has a very strong party line, based on a belief in its moral superiority and ultimately inevitable triumph. In this world Greenpeace doesn’t look fantastical, shrill and occasionally criminal, as it does to many in business; it seems a “stakeholder” among others. And it is in this world that most of those who study and profit from renewables, not to mention a lot of those who set relevant policies, are likely to spend their days. Academic and scholarly work on renewables tends to get done by people who like them and for people who like them. Mr Teske was nominated to the panel by the German government, ever more deeply committed to a renewables-heavy policy; when the summary of the report was launched in Berlin two German cabinet ministers spoke approvingly. The real problem for the IPCC is not that Greenpeace infiltrated it; it is that when it comes to the world of renewables Greenpeace didn’t really need to.

    Babbage, The Economist
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/06/ipcc-and-greenpeace

  59. In Dr. Curry’s copying of Dr. Pierrehumbert’s comments, I find the following ” though it’s certain that the practice of doing press releases in advance of the full report is available is a bad thing and needs to stop, no questions there”

    What I am writing is hearsay, and I have no reference, but this is what I understand happened with the writing of the SPM and report for the AR4 of WG1 . The draft of the AR4 was available by Christmas 2006. Early in 2007, the IPCC staff produced a draft of the SPM. This was debated by politicians in late January 2007, and changes were made to the draft SPM, and the official version was published in late January 2007.

    This is the important part. The the IPCC staff then went over the draft scientific report, to ensure that there was nothing in this report that contradicted what the politicians had agreed. When differences were found, the scientific report was altered so that it agreed with what the politicians had agreed. This process took about 3 months. The AR4 to WG1 was then published in May 2007.

    As long as the IPCC remains a political, and not a scientific organization, there will always be a delay between the publishing of any SPM and the scientific document that supplies the support for the conclusions of that SPM.

    I am convinced that what I have written is correct. Truth can be stranger than fiction.

    As a postscript, I find it to be terrifying that Dr. Pierrehumbert actually believes that what he has written is true.

    • Jim you say

      “As long as the IPCC remains a political, and not a scientific organization..”

      I keep banging on about it but the whole debate takes place as if the IPCC was a scientific organisation. Wake up people of the world. THE IPCC IS A POLITICAL ORGANISATION. Every utterance from it is a political statement. To the extent that it makes reference to any science and that science is sound is simply a coincidence. The sooner the IPCC is disbanded the sooner science in general and climate science in particular will start to regain its integrity.

    • Latimer Alder

      The clue is in its name

      ‘Inter*governmental* Panel…….’ It is a panel of governments.

      If it were a purely scientific body it does would need the stuff about governments. It could be the ‘Inter*national* Panel……’

      The IPCC is and always has been a political institution. It is possible that there is some proper science lying around in its attic. But nobody has been up there to look in years.

    • Uncle Latimer

      nice to see you are still on the case

      seguimos luchando

    • Latimer Alder

      To my eternal shame

      ‘Dos cerveza por favore, Manuel’

      is about the limit of my Spanish.

      But I get the general drift of your kind remarks.

      Tshuess, ciao, a bientot, bis gleich, cheers

  60. randomengineer

    A really good and concise summary of this affair is here —

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/18/lynas_greenpeace_ipcc_money_go_round/page2.html

    The following quote illustrates the intermix of politics –

    “Ben Pile, in an investigative post called Ideological Money Laundering follows the moneytrail behind the EREC lobby group, and finds much has come from European taxpayers. We already know that the favoured renewables wouldn’t be being installed without huge public subsidies, but the taxpayer must also prop up the lobbyists … so they can lobby for more taxpayer subsidies for their businesses.

    The sums are substantial: the EU has earmarked €730m in one fund alone, to be spent over six years to “[reinforce] the EU’s efforts to meet its 2020 targets to ensure a secure and cost competitive supply of energy while fighting climate change.” In other words, that’s money to lobby itself to stick to a policy it has already decided.

    No wonder there are so many professional climate campaigners – it’s a lucrative source of income, and a far better career choice today than becoming (say) a steelworker”

  61. Judith, you write that “There are very few mainstream journalists behaving in a true investigative way on the climate change issue.” This is true, but there are some working for The Australian newspaper, in spite of an editorial line accepting AGW and supporting emissions cuts. Their ranks have just been joined by Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan, who entered the fray with two good articles over the last three days. Sheridan is, of course, better able to tackle the politicisation of the issue rather than the science.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/truth-is-that-garnaut-is-partisan/story-e6frgd0x-1226075912763

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/labors-euro-vision-provides-the-smoke-and-mirrors-for-a-carbon-tax/story-e6frgd0x-1226077328365

    • Agreed that much of the most interesting stuff is coming from australia recently. I also mention mention the ozzies in my latest post Week in Review.

    • Aussies, if you don’t mind. ;)

    • ian (not the ash)

      Oh god, Michael comes from my neck of the woods…;->

    • You have a wooden neck? ;-)

    • Here’s another interesting Australian piece, from Tom Quirk on the Online Opinion site. (This site has often had some good articles but suffers from repetition in both articles and comments from long-entrenched opponents on many matters, a not-uncommon blog trait.)

      Quirk’s analysis, debunking Garnaut’s, concludes:

      So when you look again at Figure 3 there is a break in the late 1990s in the CO2 time series. This coincides with the apparent break in global temperatures seen in Figure 1. There are also breaks at this same point in time series for humidity and methane. The break in methane comes about as more water vapour (humidity) in the atmosphere reduces the methane concentration. (The atmospheric methane measurement series only started in the 1980s.) This is a four way coincidence not a random noise event in the global temperature series. This coincident break point has the signature of the breaks seen at the time of the GPCS. It marks another ocean overturning in the Pacific Decadel Oscillation and perhaps the start of a cool phase?

      The presence of the break in a series of atmospheric measurements as a result of ocean influences creates a fundamental problem for modelling future temperatures. The long ocean cycles, such as the Pacific Decadel Oscillation, are not well understood but are not driven by increasing CO2. Mechanisms connected to changes in the speed of the earth’s rotation have been suggested but at present there is no way of forecasting these ocean changes. A further problem is that a change of the surface temperature of the oceans leads to a rebalancing of CO2 in the atmosphere thus further complicating the modelling.

      This analysis illustrates the complicated interaction of the oceans and atmosphere. The failure of Garnaut to undertake a proper statistical analysis of the behaviour of the atmosphere suggests selective use of evidence to sustain his conclusions.
      It also raises the question of the usefulness of computer models of the atmosphere for policy development if forecasts of future temperature trends and other important measures such as sea level changes are uncertain.

      http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12177&page=0

  62. randomengineer

    m.carey — This ain’t about pigs flying. It’s about renewable energy, and the the proportion of energy demand renewable energy COULD account for by 2050 IF certain assumptions play out.

    This is absolute nonsense, and no person not utterly in bed with enviro wishful thinking could even begin to seriously entertain it.

    Even the most cursory view of the power usage stats from EIA show that far more than 20% of the energy budget is portable, not fixed. Powering the third world will require that this number increases. Unless unobtanium is found in great quantity by 2020 and given a 30 year window to replace fossil fuels, there is no portable power tech that can address this given the current technology S curve.

    Frankly anyone who takes current RE tech seriously is an idiot. The only RE tech that can even *begin* to be useful is spaceborne solar.

    • Exactly. They’re always coming up with these platitudes without considering whether or not it’s actually do-able.

    • Why speculate on the future of RE technology over the next 40 years with silly scenarios when we have posters here who know the future with certainty?

    • No, I can’t tell what the future’s going to bring, but I can state with reasonable certainty what’s not going to happen.
      I’m not going to be a billionaire, Judith is not going to win gold in the Olympic 100 metres and you’re not going to set foot on Venus.
      Oh, and I’m reasonably certain that your silly scenarios are not going to come about either.

    • You mean like Romm and Hansen and Gore saying that we are experiencing a grave climate crisis?

  63. James Griffiths

    The discussion of the minutiae are interesting, if slightly frustrating, because this is a big picture issue, not a detail issue.

    In engineering, a discipline where it is often far easier to assess results than many scientific disciplines, ALL bad engineering can be traced back to some failure in procedure or lack of diligence in quality control.

    Of course, not all badly engineered things fail, but you know that if you want to try and find the bad eggs in the basket you can be absolutely sure they will be among those jobs that don’t have visible and accessible chain of documentation of traceability and accountability.

    Now, in Science, and especially the softer sciences, or absolutely anything which speculates about the future, this is doubly true because science done badly is bad science, even if it correct.

    In this instance, a report like this is worthless, because regardless what it says, I know exactly what an employed advocate will say before he needs to say it.

    It doesn’t matter if he’s right, I can’t believe it, because I can’t trust him to be objective.

    Of course, that is no reason to dismiss it, so I can check the details of the report. In it I find he has referenced a report he wrote, commissioned by an advocacy group. Well, this is the kind of thing you worry about finding in a report written by an advocate, but nonetheless, I can’t dismiss the chance that he may be correct, so I study the paper.

    In it I find there are a variety of scenarios. The highlighted scenario seems to be the one that would suit an advocate best, but who knows? That might be the optimum choice, so I have to investigate each scenario, and the supporting evidence for each, and decide if the scenarios are well supported, and correctly balanced.

    And hey, guess what? At the end of this I find out that actually, despite the bad procedure, his result is justifiable. Hooray! But hang, on, this was exactly what the report said, so it was rather a waste of time wasn’t it?

    No. The report was worthless. It had no credibility. I was forced to go back and do the investigation myself because it wasn’t done properly. In fact my time was very well spent, because, when people are sceptical of the report, I can stick my hand up and tell my story of examining and vindicating the report independently. Like with so many aspects of climate science, I am forced (reluctantly) to go back to the textbooks because the experts refuse to do what they need to to demonstrate their competence, accountability or trustworthiness.

    Science has to be functional, and to be functional it has to be trustworthy. Trust is what stops me from calling the authorities to check the engineering provenance before I cross every bridge I come across. Or, to put it another way, if there is a rumour that a bridge was badly built and there isn’t the documentation to prove it wasn’t, is it a bad bridge or a good bridge if nobody will cross it? Is correct science still good science if we can’t utilise it because we can’t trust it is correct until we redo the science in a more diligent fashion ourselves?

    Trust is a real and tangible commodity in science. Trust is the difference between being right, and having demonstrated that you are right. To earn that trust you need to do things right every bit as much as get things right.

  64. James Griffiths | June 18, 2011 at 9:07 am says:
    At the end of this I find out that actually, despite the bad procedure, his result is justifiable.

    James, good comment. I’m genuinely interested to know which renewable energy technologies and their mutual proportions of contribution you believe could account for 80% of energy production in 2050. – Thanks

    • James Griffiths

      I was speaking theoretically and rhetorically, Goodness me, I haven’t actually investigated it :D

      Personally, I find the whole idea of so called renewables supporting the majority of an undoubtedly increasing energy load into the future conceptually ridiculous. If the facts over rule my instincts, so be it, but my point is that this report, or reports similarly dubious, are unable (and I mean unable, not just fail to) to persuade me have a change of mind.

    • The report could be correct if the folks doing the study have figured out a way to build a battery as large as the earth to maintain a constant power flow when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine :)

    • Thanks James, I did wonder if you were using it as an example.
      Maybe one of the supporters of the RE scenario can help?

    • I think it means 80 pct of the *remaining* needs, after industry and the economy have been shut down by killing fossil fuels.

  65. The circular reasoning inherent in the Teske et al paper has to be understood.

    The paper poses the question: What has to be done to by 2050 to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic climate change” (as in, keep global gridded average rise below 2C)?

    Of course, the answer it get is: create a huge gaping hole in coal and petroleum consumption – to the tune of ~80%

    How is the big hole to be filled then, without releasing CO2? By ‘renewables’!

    This conclusion is then turned around and presented (shorn of its underlying context): ‘Renewables’ can produce ~80% of the world’s energy, if only helped along by the ‘right’ policies.

    Here is the abstract of the paper Teske et al 2010 (emphasis mine)

    The Energy [R]evolution 2010 scenario is an update of the Energy [R]evolution scenarios published in 2007 and 2008. It takes up recent trends in global energy demand and production and analyses to which extent this affects chances for achieving climate protection targets. The main target is to reduce global CO2 emissions to 3.7 Gt/a in 2050, thus limiting global average temperature increase to below 2°C and preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. A ten-region energy system model is used for simulating global energy supply strategies. A review of sector and region specific energy efficiency measures resulted in the specification of a global energy demand scenario incorporating strong energy efficiency measures. The corresponding supply scenario has been developed in an iterative process in close cooperation with stakeholders and regional counterparts from academia, NGOs and the renewable energy industry. The Energy [R]evolution scenario shows that renewable energy can provide more than 80% of the world’s energy needs by 2050. Developing countries can virtually stabilise their CO2 emissions by 2025 and reduce afterwards, whilst at the same time increasing energy consumption due to economic growth. OECD countries will be able to reduce their emissions by up to 90% by 2050. However, without a comprehensive energy efficiency implementation strategy across all sectors, the renewable energy development alone will not be enough to make these drastic emissions cuts.

    Teske et al 2010 is nothing but an extension of Krewitt et al 2009 and Krewitt et al 2007. Author Wolfram Krewitt passed away in 2009.

    Abstract: Krewitt et al 2009 (co-author: Teske S) (emphasis mine)

    The Energy [R]evolution 2008 scenario is an update of the Energy [R]evolution scenario published in 2007. It takes up recent trends in global socio-economic developments, and analyses to which extent they affect chances for achieving global climate protection targets. The main target is to reduce global CO2 emissions to 10 Gt per year in 2050, thus limiting global average temperature increase to 2 °C and preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. A review of sector and region specific energy efficiency measures resulted in the specification of a global energy demand scenario incorporating strong energy efficiency measures. The corresponding energy supply scenario has been developed in an iterative process in close cooperation with stakeholders and regional counterparts from academia, NGOs and the renewable energy industry. The Energy [R]evolution scenario shows that renewable energy can provide more than half of the world’s energy needs by 2050. Developing countries can virtually stabilise their CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time increasing energy consumption through economic growth. OECD countries will be able to reduce their emissions by up to 80%.

    Abstract: Krewitt et al 2007 (co-author: Teske S) (emphasis mine)

    A target-oriented scenario of future energy demand and supply is developed in a backcasting process. The main target is to reduce global CO2 emissions to around 10 Gt/a in 2050, thus limiting global average temperature increase to 2 °C and preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. A 10-region energy system model is used for simulating global energy supply strategies. A review of sector and region-specific energy efficiency measures resulted in the specification of a global energy demand scenario incorporating strong energy efficiency measures. The corresponding supply scenario has been developed in an iterative process in close cooperation with stakeholders and regional counterparts from academia, NGOs and the renewable energy industry. The 2 °C scenario shows that renewable energy could provide as much as half of the world’s energy needs by 2050. Developing countries can virtually stabilise their CO2 emissions, while at the same time increasing energy consumption through economic growth. OECD countries will be able to reduce their emissions by up to 80%.

  66. I posted a message over at collide-a-scape regarding raypierre’s message, I reproduce it here
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/06/17/climate-critics-that-wont-muzzle-themselves/comment-page-2/#comment-65488

    Keith, I’ve thought about raypierre’s comment over night. The issue seems to be this. Academics like raypierre seem totally disconnected from what the public wants and expects in a policy relevant debate. The academics are mostly concerned with the academic and public reputations of themselves and their colleagues. The public on the other hand is interested in accountability and independent analyses, which is what they have found in M&M and explains their enduring appeal to a large segment of people paying attention to this debate. Whether M&M have recently published papers in the most prestigious science journals is irrelevant to the public. The public wants policy relevant science to be held accountable. And until the IPCC figures this out, we are probably going to see more calls for accountability and not less.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Hear! Hear! Truer words were never spoken. Also, the post is concise, clear, and to the point.

      In considering this point, I hope that people will ask who is the IPCC supposed to serve and to whom should its documents be addressed. Given the charter of the IPCC, I understand that its work should be addressed to the citizenry and policy makers of each nation. For that reason, the standards of transparency that apply to IPCC products are the standards appropriate for the citizenry.

      However, if I am not mistaken, Ninety-nine percent or more of defenses offered for the IPCC when it commits yet another blunder such as this one appeal to standards that are internal to the IPCC. In plain terms, these defenses of the IPCC come across to the citizenry as yet another act of condescension toward them. In this particular case, the citizenry does not find acceptable the fact that the IPCC employs professional Greenpeace activists as chapter authors or that it highlights a Greenpeace position as a headline. To the degree that the IPCC continues to defend its practice in this case or mounts similar defenses in future cases, which are inevitable, it will face increasing resistance from the blogosphere and the citizenry.

    • Latimer Alder

      I join with Theo in acclaiming Judith’s post.

      Out here in reality land, many of us in senior professional roles are very used to rightly being held to account for high standards of personal and professional integrity. To being audited by external people who do not begin their work with favourable assumptions. To (ocasionally) having to stand up in court to justify our actions.

      And we see absolutely no reason at all by people who claim to be expert in their ‘climate science’ field shoudl nto be expecetd to adhere to similar high standards.

      But instead we see very lax baheviour..bordering on fraudulent in some cases. we see petty academic squabbles about whether Joe Soap properly acknwoledged Fred Bloggs or not given great prominecen. We see ‘processes to guarantee quality so watertight that they will sink in a light drizzle’. We see paranoid reluctance to explain their work to anyine at all…and reliance on pal review as a touchstone of correctntness .

      Frankly the whole profession of climatology stinks.

      Apart from Judith, there may be people of integrity and honesty somewhere buried in the heart of it. But they certainly don’t go out of their way to dissuade those who have not put such qualities at the centre of their endeavours.

      So yes, the public wants accountability from the ‘scientists’ we employ. But we aslo need honesty and integrity. With the latest IPCC debacle, they seem to be further away than ever.
      So y

    • James Griffiths

      Judith, I would add to that that if panels like the IPCC are not held to the very highest and most rigorous of standards then they are irrelevant. Total white elephants.

      If you asked me to build a bridge, I couldn’t, unless I took a few years out to study bridge building. If you asked me to check whether a bridge had been built correctly, no problem. I’d be able to follow the procedure manuals for the contractors and suppliers. I’d be able to ensure that the correct equations were used and no mathematical mistakes were made. I’d be able to check the work logs to ensure the proper codes were followed by properly accredited staff. Could I absolutely guarantee that bridge was the best bridge for the job? Probably not, but I could tell you that the bridge was designed and built to accepted standards.

      Climate science is not like that. There is no best practice. There are no procedure manuals or codes. The practitioners of climate science can’t even universally agree what statistical practices can be used with their data or even show how lab proven science translates into a complex situation.

      If bridge building science was in the state of climate science, we’d be wading the river at a ford still. It is inappropriate, and dangerous to use science in that state to build a product.

      Nevertheless, science is dynamic. You can’t get to understanding without climbing the stairs of ignorance. It is vital to know how far up the stairs you are before you start applying that knowledge though.

      Models are much maligned these days. Perhaps this analogy will help. If I spent a day with the guys who write and model GCMs, and appreciated exactly what they have accomplished, I would call them geniuses. However, far we have to go in modelling, what they have achieved so far is staggering.

      If they then tell me they can use that model to predict future climate to 95% accuracy 50 years from now, I would think they are morons.

      That’s what we want the IPCC to do. Determine how much of this incomplete science can be used, and what the limits of its uses are.

      If the IPCC can’t demonstrate they can perform this assessment to the standards that engineers need to apply before they release their products to the public, they have no use at all.

    • At 3:14 PM on 18 June, James Griffiths had written:

      …if panels like the IPCC are not held to the very highest and most rigorous of standards then they are irrelevant.

      There is no best practice [in climate science]. There are no procedure manuals or codes. The practitioners of climate science can’t even universally agree what statistical practices can be used with their data or even show how lab proven science translates into a complex situation.

      It is inappropriate, and dangerous to use science in that state to build a product.

      Models are much maligned these days. Perhaps this analogy will help. If I spent a day with the guys who write and model GCMs, and appreciated exactly what they have accomplished, I would call them geniuses. However, far we have to go in modelling, what they have achieved so far is staggering.

      If they then tell me they can use that model to predict future climate to 95% accuracy 50 years from now, I would think they are morons.

      That’s what we want the IPCC to do. Determine how much of this incomplete science can be used, and what the limits of its uses are.

      The point, James, is that the IPCC was created in 1988 not to adhere “…to the very highest and most rigorous of standards,” but rather to give transnational progressive (“tranzi”) politicians – both in and out of government office – the specious seeming of “scientific” validity for undertaking the aggressive violation of individual human rights to life, to liberty, and to property all over the world.

      All the decisions these politicians (together with their cronies in the realm of international finance and the credentialed charlatans who had come to control academic and governmental “climate science” in the western nations) ever wanted made – as “settled science” – about anthropogenic climate change were set by the time the IPCC was created.

      Think of the IPCC serving the anthropogenic global warming fraud in much the way Murder, Inc., served the Mafia in these United States. The IPCC is the “enforcement arm” of the international climate con, the blue-ribbon panel of puffed-up bureaucrats and entrenched academicians which was brought into existence not as a trustworthy agency setting and hewing to the “most rigorous of standards” but to the exact opposite purpose, as a vehicle for the promulgation of propaganda supporting the greatest single fraud in the history of science and the suppression of honestly and scrupulously skeptical examination of the preposterous bogosity that is the whole anthropogenic global warming conjecture.

      When you speak of what you “want the IPCC to do, James, you’re clearly expecting the impossible. Might as well ask the Ku Klux Klan to embrace the policies and objectives of the NAACP, B’nai B’rith, and Opus Dei.

      The only proper thing to do with the IPCC is abolish it, and formally deny the United Nations any future brief in the consideration of global climate change – natural or anthropogenic. The organization has, since 1988, proven itself to be so thoroughly and inescapably corrupt that only permanent “hands off!” attitude can be justified.

      The eager (indeed, the criminal) actions of the IPCC officers and those who have cohered with them to thieve away trillions of dollars and other currency units from real, live human beings all over the planet on the basis of these global climate computer models – “science” propounded by “morons” – is something that can no longer be ignored.

      The IPCC must die, and similar “intergovernmental” bodies devised to push “Cargo Cult Science” like the AGW conjecture can never again be permitted to come into existence.

    • “The academics are mostly concerned with the academic and public reputations of themselves and their colleagues”

      Imputing motives to others is a risky occupation, but I suspect there is truth to the notion that Raypierre and like-minded individuals are concerned with reputations. I also suspect that in Raypierre’s case, the motives run far deeper than that alone.

      In my view, Raymond Pierrehumbert is one of the most brilliant and knowledgeable geophysicists working in the field today. His own reputation is secure, nor is it intimately tied to any other set of individuals or to the IPCC. Why would he have indulged in an intemperate and indiscriminate lashing out of the kind he exhibited in the quoted passages, particularly since even an instant’s reflection should have convinced him that the results would likely be counterproductive?

      I am guessing that he is expressing an enormous anger at what he sees as attempts by groups with dishonorable motives to undermine the climate science edifice he has helped build over a career, and which he sees as a potentially critical bulwark for the protection of human welfare if permitted to endure without sabotage. Because his reaction was visceral, it was not only excessive but poorly targeted to include honorable individuals, but the underlying instinct to protect a valuable resource into which he has poured an immense emotional and intellectual investment was not without justification.

      I sympathize with his anger if not his means of expressing it. I have followed his work and that of other notables in climate science in the process of my own self-education in this realm, accomplished with little help from the IPCC reports or from any individuals at the heart of scandal accusations. I will be immodest enough to state on the basis of reasonably detailed scientific understanding that I believe the edifice Raypierre and others have constructed is fundamentally sound, and that its destruction would be a tragedy – not for him but for all of us. I think I understand his frustration that criticisms of individual people and conclusions, even when legitimate, have been used to imply that the entire structure is worthless when it is not, or to imply that the climate science is based on the IPCC reports when it is the reverse that is true.

      This thread and comment are not the place to elaborate on the reasons for my conclusions – except to say that they are not based on philosophy, ideology, or politics, but on my knowledge (and ignorance) of scientific evidence ranging from radiative transfer to paleoclimatology to Bayesian analysis of climate sensitivity to the virtues and flaws of climate models, and so on. Those who disagree can perhaps prove my conclusions misguided, but only, I believe, but showing that my scientific interpretations are misguided. I also hope some readers will note that I have addressed scientific details on many occasions elsewhere.

      I feel strongly that what is needed is a multi-pronged approach that strives to convince the Raypierres of the world that they must acknowledge legitimate criticisms (as Judith Curry informs us), but which also requires Dr. Curry and other knowledgeable individuals who are not seen as reflexive defenders of the status quo to vigorously defend the basic science. It is a defense that includes quite explicitly a recognition of the potential dangers of climate change unconstrained by combined mitigation and adaptation. As in any defense, it requires the defenders to repel destructive attacks, and to distinguish these from criticisms designed to make the science stronger rather than tear it down.

      If the above sounds fairly general, that is deliberate, because it is future oriented. I am less concerned with citing claims I’ve read in these threads that I thought deserved a more vigorous challenge, than in hoping that these challenges will become more frequent in the future. That any particular claim may be seen as legitimate by some of us and illegitimate by others is less important than that the process be seen as vigilant in all directions.

    • Latimer Alder

      Wow

      Lots of special pleading and emotional terms in there.

      And not a word of fact or evidence for any of your claims.

      If his science is any good, it’ll stand up to scrutiny – whatever the motives of the scrutineer. And the scientist will stand up and defend his work

      If it isn’t, he’ll do everything he can to avoid that scrutiny.

      I know which behaviour I see the Accordionist and Fred M adopting. It is the climatologists default position. And it shows deep intellectual weakness.

    • the underlying instinct to protect a valuable resource into which he has poured an immense emotional and intellectual investmen

      And that is the reason that science advances over the graves of the scientists who built it.

      One of the basic tenets of organizational behavior is that the founder of any organization eventually becomes it’s greatest stumbling block to growth. This is true of businesses, churches, social organizations, scientific organizations – whatever. I’ve experienced it in the organizations I belong to. I’ve experienced it in the workplace. And so it is with climate science.

      Raypierre has made his mark – he wants it to endure – he intends that nobody erase it. But unless he’s very, very lucky – that is a forlorn hope because science is not static.

    • “Raypierre has made his mark – he wants it to endure – he intends that nobody erase it. But unless he’s very, very lucky – that is a forlorn hope because science is not static.”

      Jim – I must have articulated my points poorly, because I agree with the tenor of your comments, but I was trying to address a different issue. I believe Raypierre’s contribution to climate science is certain to endure in the literature and historical record, while the science advances beyond him. But putting myself in his shoes (a risky venture), I believe his anger comes from the perception that the entire set of concepts underlying the modern science of climate change – concepts that he is convinced are unassailably valid in their overall structure if not in every detail – is being undermined to the detriment of a world that stands to lose by that process. Because he has invested his life’s work in helping to establish that body of knowledge, he is frustrated and angry, and he lashes out. His anger is not about his own stature but about the attack on the science itself.

      I don’t know whether I’m right, but I strongly suspect I’ve discerned at least some of his motivation. Am I right that the science is sound and should be defended against the relentless assaults it endures? Well, Jim, being human, I’m fallible, but I know a fair amount of the science for someone who is not a professional climatologist, and I believe the science is valid – very much so. In support of that conclusion I’ve addressed scientific specifics in many threads in this blog, and in great detail. If I’m wrong, the future will let us know.

      I notice that Dr. Curry, below this, has addressed my earlier comment. Although I appreciate her intentions, I regret that she has declined an obligation to defend the notion that anthropogenic climate change is potentially dangerous. The word “potentially” is not accidental, but deliberate and accurate. It implies that we have amply documented reasons to be concerned, but that the possibility of harm is surrounded by uncertainties that makes it hard to quantify the magnitude of harm or the probability that particular harms will ensue. Dr. Curry makes a legitimate case for addressing the uncertainty issues, but being uncertain in this instance should not mean that anthropogenic climate change will have no adverse consequences. That claim is untenable. Beyond that, the dangers may be great or less so, and that can be discussed elsewhere (and has been).

      Dr. Curry has used the term “bunker mentality. I think that’s an astute perception, because it describes the perspective of someone who believes he is under attack. In this case, the attack is real. Some of it is directed against legitimate targets involving the IPCC and certain individual members.. Some of it, though, exploits the legitimate reasons for criticism as a weapon to destroy the entire set of climate change concepts that the bunker residents are defending.

      Those residents should change their mode of response for moral and tactical reasons, but the science under attack needs to be defended, particularly by those outside the bunker with the skills and knowledge to shine some truth on false claims.

    • Fred, no question that AGW is potentially dangerous. “Dangerous” is not science, its values. Thinking that dangerous is “science” is part of what got the IPCC into this mess, the “dangerous” part is from the UNFCCC.

    • Theo Goodwin

      “Well, Jim, being human, I’m fallible, but I know a fair amount of the science for someone who is not a professional climatologist, and I believe the science is valid – very much so. In support of that conclusion I’ve addressed scientific specifics in many threads in this blog, and in great detail. If I’m wrong, the future will let us know.”

      Do you happen to know of some reasonably well-confirmed, rigorously formulated physical hypothesis that has been created by climate scientists, that is useful in explanation and prediction of some interesting climate phenomenon, and that goes beyond the physical hypotheses about CO2 that Arrhenius created in the 19th Century? Arrhenius did give some thought to forcings, but he created no physical hypotheses which can be used to explain or predict them.

      I ask because the existence of such hypotheses would have the immediate effect of making me a believer in the existence of a genuine physical science of climate change. After years of thorough searching, I have found nothing but computer models, more properly “Gaia Models,” or people mistreating their data by “hiding declines” and similar matters. To make matters worse, I have asked this question thousands of times and I have never received so much as an attempt at an answer from the pro-AGW crowd. What I usually get is abuse, the same stuff that Raypierre was delivering.

      I am a genuine agnostic about manmade global warming and about the danger of its effects, but no one in the pro-AGW camp seems capable of producing physical science. Computer models are not hypotheses of any sort but they darn sure are not physical hypotheses. Genuine physical hypotheses involve creative insight that organizes a vast field of data that stretches indefinitely into the future and these hypotheses are as fragile as a Mayfly. Find one confirmed mistake, one wrong prediction, in that vast field of data, and the hypothesis must be rejected or seriously modified. Creative insight is synthetic. Computer models are by their very nature purely analytic; that is, they are of immense importance for investigating the fruits of one’s assumptions but they cannot produce synthetic insight.

      There can be no science without physical hypotheses. At this time, there is no climate science beyond Arrhenius’ 19th Century work.

      You say that you believe that the science is valid. I do not ask even that much of you. I ask that you show that it is science. I can look at Svensmark’s work and see that it is science. He uses well-confirmed physical hypotheses and he follows scientific method with impeccable grace. The results of his work will be recorded in the annals of genuine science, though it might not be earth shattering science. Can you say the same for some climate scientist? Is there some climate scientist who has one or more well-confirmed physical hypotheses that can be used to explain and predict some important climate phenomenon?

    • Theo – You bring up an issue that is often raised, but which lacks a single-sentence answer.

      If you want climate physics in exquisite and exhaustive detail, you can turn to Raypierre (when he’s not launching diatribes) and buy his 2011 book, Principles of Planetary Climate. It includes theory, much observational data of a confirmatory nature, only a modest reference to models, and a great deal of mathematics in its 652 pages that you can ignore if you want the overall gist -a very brief sampling is represented in his Physics Today article. You can also look at the ARM measurements of infrared radiation cited by Dr. Curry in her earlier post on radiative transfer models, or visit the HITRAN database for spectroscopic measurements, or the HIRS or ISCCP sites for cloud data, the ARGO floats for upper ocean heat, CERES and ERBE top-of-the atmopsphere radiative flux measurements, as well as many other sources of data derived from observations rather than models.

      On the other hand, laboratory testing of hypotheses can only be adjunctive in a science that is not experimental in nature – we can’t do controlled experiments comparing Earth with another planet that is identical except that we have not added slightly more than one trillion tons of CO2 to its atmosphere. In that sense, it is more equivalent to evolutionary science, for example, where hypothesis testing can only go so far, and where conclusions must be drawn mainly by comparing uncontrolled observations with a theory that explains them when competing theories cannot do so completely, which makes predictions about future findings that generally turn out to be compatible to the theory when the findings emerge, and which must struggle with occasional observations that don’t yet fit neatly with the established version, suggesting that future refinements will be needed but not a radical overhaul.

      A closer analogy, though, to a non-experimental science is to meteorology, because climate is essentially a long-term averaging of weather. Meteorological predictions have advanced enormously over the past half century, based both on better technology but also on much better modeling. The result is predictions that are both more accurate and longer term than was possible in past decades. The analogy shouldn’t be overstated, because the requirements are different. Weather prediction is more dependent on initial conditions than climate prediction, because the chaotic elements affect short term changes more than long term trends, where there is a greater averaging effect (some will dispute this, but that is a subject for a different thread). There are many other differences, and also the common feature that both sciences exhibit broad margins of error, even though there are few individuals who would deny the value of weather forecasting for that reason.

      Of course, if we want a basic hypothesis as a testable proposition, the obvious one is that if CO2 concentrations continue to rise, then over the long term (multiple decades to a century), the climate will warm. It’s not a controlled experiment, and many other climate variables are known to be capable of causing intervening fluctuations, but it’s still a hypothesis, if you’re willing to wait years for a result. The fact that measurements show the expected absorption of atmospheric infrared radiation by CO2, and that the Schwarzchild radiative transfer equations can serve to translate this absorption into temperature effects are short term results that lend interim credence to that hypothesis. The temperature record of the past hundred years adds to the evidence but is only one small part of the total.

      Theo – I’m not as impressed by Svensmark as you seem to be. He strikes me as very non-objective in touting a claim that appears contradicted by the climate data of recent decades. His cosmic ray mechanism is plausible, and probably correct, but unlikely to exert the level of impact he touts. His experiments are no closer to real world climate experiments than any of the laboratory-based studies I’ve mentioned above.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Fred,

      I know that you are trying to be helpful. However, it seems to me that you too are quite willing to five hand-waving answers to questions about climate science. You write:

      “Of course, if we want a basic hypothesis as a testable proposition, the obvious one is that if CO2 concentrations continue to rise, then over the long term (multiple decades to a century), the climate will warm.”

      That is not a hypothesis. It is not rigorously formulated and, for that reason, does not enable prediction. A genuine prediction has a time script. Failure of occurrence at the specified time means that the hypothesis has been falsified. You cannot falsify “Climate will warm if CO2 concentrations continue to rise.”

      I asked for physical hypotheses that explain forcings, such as cloud formation. You referred me to a physics text. Can no one focus? Do you have some set of physical hypotheses that enable you to explain some forcing such as cloud behavior in an environment of increasing CO2 concentration? That hypothesis, or set of hypotheses, would describe natural regularities in the behavior of clouds. Do you have that? If not then you have no physical science of the forcing associated with cloud behavior.

    • Fred, I view my role as not to defend the basic science, but to continue to challenge the science and improve our understanding. The dangers of bad climate policies can be as bad as the unfettered impacts of projected climate change. Trying to develop better scenarios of future climate change (both natural and anthropogenically forced) including black swans and dragon kings is a big part of what I have been trying to do, and then using these scenarios to develop a broad range of policy options that can be incorporated into robust policy making.

      As for the IPCC, there has been a dangerous positive feedback loop between the UNFCCC, IPCC, and climate science (including national funding) that has resulted in an overly narrow framing of the climate science problem and its solutions. This feedback loop needs to be broken so we can do the things i described in the previous paragraph.

      And defending the basic science does not “includes quite explicitly a recognition of the potential dangers of climate change unconstrained by combined mitigation and adaptation.” The IPCC WG II report fails to establish climate change as “dangerous” and the UNFCCC has not clearly defined what dangerous means, I have written numerous previous threads on this (not to mention my testimony). And tying global energy policy to climate change is a red herring; there are much bigger things to worry about in the context of energy such as energy security and peak oil.

      As for raypierre et al., IMO there is too much bunker mentality and not enough thinking outside the the IPCC box and too little understanding of the policy process and broader policy issues for most climate scientists to be a credible voice on energy policy.

    • Yep, once examined it turns out that CO2 is the safest geo-engineering method to keep us warm and the safest fertilizer to keep us fed, and that putting a price on carbon is a lethally regressive tax.
      ================

    • Once again, Judith, you decry the “bunker mentality” but refuse to address that mentality in full context. You decry the “tribalism” from one side of the issue, but categorically fail (as far as I’ve been able to see) to apply a similar standard even here at your very own blog, where over-the-top accusations against climate scientists are a regular feature in the comments. You decry the “bunker mentality” among scientists who think that GW is probably A, but you categorically (as far as I’ve been able to see) fail to address the ubiquitous assaults on their character and on their scientific merit.

      It is unfortunate, because as long as you continue with that double-standard, you will continue to undermine the potential value of your efforts to balance the calibration of policies and accurate future climate scenarios. It really wouldn’t be that hard, Judith.

      Here would be a nice place for you to start. You ran a post about the Lynas dust-up. You clearly thought that the situation merited serious consideration. Given so, why don’t you respond to this comment I read at Tamino?

      CM | June 17, 2011 at 9:25 am | Reply

      Thoughts: More of McIntyre’s embarrassing flailing about to maintain his relevance as a merchant of doubt. His beef with the recent IPCC report on renewable energy (SRREN) is (1) that it has Greenpeace cooties, and (2) the IPCC allowed a lead author to evaluate his own work. This is based on the following facts: A lead author on one of the chapters, Sven Teske, is a Greenpeace employee (renewables campaigner for Greenpeace International). And the headline message in the press release for the report, that close to 80% of world energy could be generated by renewables in 2050 given enabling policies, stems from a Greenpeace-commissioned scenario, Energy [R]evolution, on which Teske was also lead author (McIntyre links to a 2008 glossy Greenpeace report, but the updated version referenced in the SRREN is at Teske et al., 2010 – open access).

      Greenpeacy is an advocacy group, not a scientific institution, but it commissions serious work by outside experts that may legitimately be cited by the IPCC. The Energy [R]evolution scenarios were commissioned from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Three of the co-authors are at DLR, a fourth is at the U. of Utrecht. The supply scenarios used a model called MESAP/PlaNet (helpful intro in English here). Demand scenarios were updated from an earlier study by Ecofys, a Dutch consultancy.

      As McI has provided no technical argument to the contrary, one should assume that Teske et al. (2010) meets the criteria for inclusion among the 164 scenarios from 16 different large-scale integrated models considered in the SRREN – and that, as the high-end scenario, it merits inclusion among the four scenarios singled out for further discussion. The report clearly shows the 80% claim as the high end, and the SPM puts it in perspective by noting that more than half of the scenarios show an RE contribution of “more than 27%” in 2050.

      The IPCC working group, for better or worse, is not limited to academics with no ties to declare. Other contributors to the SRREN include big oil (at least three Chevron employees) and big nukes (at least two EdF employees). No reason not to have Greenpeace there as well, on the strength of the above-mentioned work.

      There is no substance to McI’s claims that Teske was allowed to evaluate his own work, or the general insinuation that SRREN ch. 10 was somehow controlled by whale-huggers. Teske cannot reasonably be described as “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario” (McI, emph. added), given that he was only one of eleven lead authors on that chapter. He was not even a
      coordinating lead author. Chapter 10 was co-ordinated by Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute) and Roberto Schaeffer (U. of Rio de Janeiro), and also included lead authors from the U. of Botswana, U. of Leipzig, Joint Global Change Research Institute (USA), Volker Krey International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Central European University, and Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica. It also went through two rounds of expert review.

    • I am not personally passing judgment on the report, I haven’t even read it (and don’t intend to anytime soon). I applaud people (such as M&M) that are bringing probity to these reports and looking for conflicts of interest and I applaud people such as DeepClimate that audit the auditors. The IPCC has essentially no conflict of interest guidelines in force, and nothing to address bias, for which the IPCC was harshly criticized by the IAC.

    • I can appreciate the need for someone to audit the auditors, but I don’t think Deep Climate has ever made any type of valuable contribution. It seems to me he is there mainly to throw sand in people’s eyes so they can’t see the problems found by Steve McIntyre or others. Deep Climate’s attack on Wegman makes absolutely no difference. The supposed plagiarism was done by a grad student as part of a backgrounder. It did not affect the original contributions by Wegman in the least. All Deep Climate did was effectively out the plagiarism by Bradley.

      If you can think of any contribution made by Deep Climate, I would like to know what it was. Until I see a real contribution, I will continue to think of him as a diversion.

    • Well it took me awhile to understand what DC is up to, but i think auditing the skeptical auditors is a good description. If he doesn’t find much, that in itself increases the credibility of the people that he audits. I’m in favor of auditing on both sides.

    • How do you assess McIntyre’s one-sided focus in his auditing? Has he ever “audited” the work of “skeptical” scientists?

    • Yes he has. I seem to recall a thread that was a careful auditing of Craig Loehle’s paper (rather brutal really, and I was very impressed by Loehle in the way that he constructively interacted on this thread), and also I did a guest post on ClimateAudit that reviewed Lindzen and Choi’s first paper. Those are two examples.

    • I can agree that it is theoretically valuable to have people audit the auditors. I am only concerned with the misimpression you may be leaving people that DC has ever found anything of note. Steve McIntyre posts all of his code to make it easy for people to audit his work and hundreds of people do. He is a great example of transparency in science.

    • Fine – call for conflict of interest guidelines, – sounds like a good idea that can only result in greater confidence in its product.

      But at the same time, while you posted about Lynas’ post, you fail to address the errors he admitted to making (in comments in the thread but not in a separate post – which his errors deserve), and you applaud McIntryre’s role in this dust-up without addressing valid criticism of his attack on the IPCC?

      And again, you ducked the substantive points made in the comment I excerpted?

      You can’t just applaud the grenades being launched and then present yourself as a credible bridge-builder, Judith. You have to go deeper than that. It simply won’t work. All you will do is preach to your choir. You will only drive the wedge deeper. Your failure to apply the same standards to both sides undermines your credibility.

      On the one hand, it seems that you seek greater accountability on the part of the IPCC. But you clearly align yourself with those who are attacking its very existence (see McIntyre’s comments: “Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch.”). How can it be more accountable if it doesn’t exist.

      You see fit to sarcastically repost raypierre’s comment, but where have you done something similar with the myriad over-the-top comments you’ll find all over the blogosphere, at your very own blog no less, that obviously contribute to the “bunker mentality” you see in raypierre’s position?

      Are you seriously claiming that you expend a similar amount of energy in applauding the auditing of the auditors as you spend supporting the work of those who launch broad scale attack on any scientists who believe that significant amounts of GW are A?

      From my perspective, Judith, you’ve become so entangled in the jr. high school food fight over climate change that your actions do not reflect your stated intent.

    • Joshua –
      Losing it, huh?

      On the one hand, it seems that you seek greater accountability on the part of the IPCC. But you clearly align yourself with those who are attacking its very existence (see McIntyre’s comments: “Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch.”). How can it be more accountable if it doesn’t exist.

      1) Read McIntyre’s comment again. He didn’t say it should be eliminated but rather restructured. So your comment about Dr Curry is nonsense.

      2) The lack of IPCC accountability and transparency is the root of much of the skepticism.

      You see fit to sarcastically repost raypierre’s comment, but where have you done something similar with the myriad over-the-top comments you’ll find all over the blogosphere, at your very own blog no less, that obviously contribute to the “bunker mentality” you see in raypierre’s position?

      Are you seriously intending to defend raypierre’s attitude? Dr Curry gets more personal abuse than raypierre ever has. And in fact, as a skeptic, so have I – not to mention hunter, Latimer, manacker, Wojick and dozens of others here.

      contribute to the “bunker mentality” you see in raypierre’s position? ????

      That’s my friend, is an asinine comment. Raypierre is the only one who controls his attitude – not me, not Dr Curry, not any one person nor group of people, whether on the blogosphere or anyplace else. If he can’t control his temper, then it raises questions about “character” – but I’m not gonna go there. At least not now.

    • Jim Owen, take it easy on Joshua.

      Remember, he’s too young to shave yet.

    • I attempted to read Teske’s paper. It is a drug induced fantasy. Possibly worse.

      There is ZERO chance of 80% of the worlds energy needs coming from renewables.

      I am quite sure 50% of the worlds energy needs will be met by coal by 2050 looking at the rate of coal usage in China and India.

      Germany will be using more coal too thank to Greenpeace and others.

    • Tamino: “Teske cannot reasonably be described as “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario””

      Teske: “I am one of the lead authors of the energy scenarios chapter in the new IPCC report which came out last week…”

      http://www.euractiv.com/en/specialreport-solarpower/ipcc-author-solar-power-reach-grid-parity-eu-2017-interview-505060

      Economist: “One of the report’s 11 chapters is an analysis of 164 previously published scenarios looking at the energy mix over the next four decades under various assumptions. The scenario which had the highest penetration of renewables put the total at 77% by 2050. The research involved was done by the German space-research institute, which has long worked on energy analysis, too; its experts were commissioned to do the work by Greenpeace, and a Greenpeace staff member with an engineering background, Sven Teske, was the scenario’s lead author when it was published in a couple of different forms in peer-reviewed journals. It has also been published, in bigger, glossier format, by Greenpeace itself under the grating and uncharacteristically fence-sitting title Energy [R]evolution .”

      The stink of corruption …

    • “Sven Teske is an Engineer (Dipl-Ing) and the Director of Greenpeace International`s Renewable Energy Campaign.

      He has been responsible for the development of numerous renewable energy campaigns and was the founder of Greenpeace Energy – Germany`s only cooperative in the power sector. ”

      Greenpeace Energy is actually in the energy business.

      No conflict there … but it sure was nice of Merkel to put Greenpeaces competitors out of business.

    • Bruce – Oddly enough – you how that you know how to use the html tag for bold in your comment – yet you somehow left it out of the comment from tamino’s blog you excerpted. Here, allow me to help you out?

      Teske cannot reasonably be described as “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario” (McI, emph. added), given that he was only one of eleven lead authors on that chapter. He was not even acoordinating lead author.

      The point stands. And, for complete context…

      Chapter 10 was co-ordinated by Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute) and Roberto Schaeffer (U. of Rio de Janeiro), and also included lead authors from the U. of Botswana, U. of Leipzig, Joint Global Change Research Institute (USA), Volker Krey International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Central European University, and Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica. It also went through two rounds of expert review.

    • I am appalled at your dishonesty!

      “The research involved was done by the German space-research institute, which has long worked on energy analysis, too; its experts were commissioned to do the work by Greenpeace, and a Greenpeace staff member with an engineering background, .Sven Teske, was the scenarios lead author when it was published in a couple of different forms in peer-reviewed journals.”.

      Written by Greenpeace. Published by Greenpeace in several forms. Paid for by Greenpeace.

      Out and out corruption.

    • And tying global energy policy to climate change is a red herring;

      So much for uncertainty, eh?

    • “Fred, I view my role as not to defend the basic science, but to continue to challenge the science and improve our understanding.”

      Judy – I don’t think you’re obliged to offer a defense of the basic science when no-one is asking for one, but if someone or something is under attack, and you are standing nearby, don’t you think a choice is forced on you? Is not a failure to defend a form of acquiescence?

      This is where I and some others here who have high hopes for your efforts as a mediator are troubled. You have the attention of a large number of interested observers, and you have the knowledge and skills to refute unwarranted claims from all sides on a contentious issue. Under those circumstances, you will inevitably be scrutinized for signs of selective indignation. No matter what you do, partisans will claim bias, but readers without an entrenched mindset who come looking for answers will hope to see a sense of balance.

      Can’t you do this and still “continue to challenge the science and improve our understanding”?

      Wouldn’t the two reinforce each other?

      I’ve addressed other points in my reply to Jim Owen above your comment.

    • Fred, I am not going to become an auditor myself, digging into the details of thousands of potential topics and trying to figure out where “truth” lies. Rather, I am standing up for basic principles like integrity of science, open availability of data, transparency in methods, improved understanding plus acknowledgement and management of uncertainty. I am also speaking up in support and acknowledgement of the extended peer community in the blogosphere that is increasing the accountability on both sides of the debate.

      I don’t personally have time or inclination to refute unwarranted claims from all sides on a contentious issue. When an issue is contentious, it typically means that the uncertainties are large. That is the point I have been trying to make. So people aren’t going to get answers from me, other than for me to confirm well established physics. The debate is not however about well established physics.

    • The dangers of bad climate policies can be as bad as the unfettered impacts of projected climate change.

      How? What climate policy under serious consideration anywhere could honestly be considered as dangerous as >4C of global warming?

    • In a single second, Earth absorbs 1.22 × 10ee17 joules of energy from the Sun. Distributed uniformly over the mass of the planet, the absorbed energy would raise Earth’s temperature to nearly 800 000 K after a billion years, if Earth had no way of getting rid of it.
      - Ray Pierrehumbert

      http://climateclash.com/2011/01/15/g6-infrared-radiation-and-planetary-temperature/

    • Alexander Harvey

      Fred:

      “I am guessing that he is expressing an enormous anger at what he sees as attempts by groups with dishonorable motives to undermine the climate science edifice he has helped build over a career, and which he sees as a potentially critical bulwark for the protection of human welfare if permitted to endure without sabotage.”

      Did you mean undermine or discredit?

      I have seen little attempt to undermine, to destabilise the foundations of climate science, but much attempt to discredit it, to bring it into disrepute.

      Some of this seems to be by a process of slipping a premise. As in if point A in paper or report B is not justifiable, the underlying science can not be justified. The premise being that the underlying science is dependent on point A, dependent on an erroneous non-consequence.

      Another case is that of the rival theory. It goes something lilke: any rival theory that has not been disproved casts doubt on the underlying science. The premise being that the science is dependent on refutation of all rival theories, even those that have not been shown to be of consequence to the science. There seems to be another premise here as well. That science is somehow democratic and fair and relies on universal persuasion.

      Another is that the science has failed to consider certain aspects. The premise being that absence of evidence is evidence of absense. That we know what science has considered. That it relies for its justification on listing all its deliberations.

      I have witnessed much that has tended to bring the science into disrepute. I think I am on the record as stating that there will be a group of people who should be first against the wall should all this go pear shaped and significant harm result. But I have not witnessed any undermining of the science, by which I mean shaking its foundations.

      I am broadly a supporter of the scientific endeavours McIntyre and Watts, and I think that some of the bloggers have noble positions albeit ones I would disagree with. Where I do have a beef, one may be similar to Pierrehumbert’s but it is certainly similar to a statement by Jay Inslee when he opined to a science panel as to why there were no bodies on the tracks. Which amounts to questioning whether those that claim to care, show it.

      Inslee also seemed to pondered as to why those that care about the outcome of the political debate failed to make adequate use of their democratic right to have their grievances heard by their congressional members. That it takes more than the occassional polite letter signed by a group of concerned scientists to build a political case. Now I expect I would find Inslee’s politics not to my taste but I think he is correct here as a point of fact, that democracy is more than voting occassionally or blogging furiously.

      I do think that concerned scientists are being let down by the inactivists. It strikes me as odd that scientists have not received more support from those that can do the politics. It strikes me as odd that people such as Pierrehumbert should find that such intervention is necessary.

      By way of some examples, The Climate Project, all those trained activists, where are they? For sure they are beavering away with their slideshow presentations but is that it? I note that their blog doesn’t receive many comments, perhaps my small sample which revealed precisely no comments, was unrepresentative. Greenpeace.org also has a main blog which I think receives precisely no comments, for it seems to be closed. However Greenpeace UK does recieve comments, as is true for the Australian blog, and the US blog, but in general the response seems to be paltry. Given that their position and that of their supporters is that the issue at hand constitutes the greatest problem and perhaps an existential threat, how come the lack of vigour.

      The campaigning organsations have significant memberships. So, where are their battalions?

      Fred, your contributions are very worthwhile, I should not like you think otherwise based on my account. If there were a thousand like you perhaps Pierrehumbert and others could rest more easily.

      I have not witnessed any undermining of the foundations of the science, the foundations are deep and massive and rest on the bedrock of the physical sciences. I have not witnessed any argument that shows that its basic tenets lead to a contradiction, either logical or evidential. Things such as that greenhouse gasses tend to warm, reflective aerosols tend to cool, or that humanity has increased the atmospheric concentrations of both. People can and do believe otherwise, but they have singularly failed to challenge the science behind those statements, to show that they are false.

      There now exists a world where science’s essential need for internal consistency and evidential completeness seems little valued, where any theory can gain credence when at odds with either the rest of science or the rest of the evidence, where every theory and theoretician gets its equal moment of fame, where science is decidable by democratic methods, where all opinions are equal before science, and its haunt is the internet. A virtual world where nothing is true and all things are relative.

      I will close with personal observations. That I know I know little of that which I know is known; and that which I know best is Arithmetic. I know that it has many undecided conjectures, and some statements that are undecidable, and that some of the conjectures have defeated the best of minds. There are many profound unknowns in Arithmetic yet I doubt neither its utility nor its rigour. I cannot pretend that I understand Arithmetic in any meaningful way but that matters little for it depends not on my understanding. I do know that 1+1=2 but if challenged to prove it I could not. I would appeal to the authority of Whitehead and Russel. Apparently such an appeal would be considered invalid in this virtual world. Prior to their Principia Mathematica there was no such proof so how did we cope with such questions then? It would be trivial to say that they wrote 400 pages simply to prove that one simple equation but I know of no shorter proof. I am forced to wonder whether thinking as hard as Russel is to be recommended. I note that both Cantor and Gödel went mad.

      I observe that science is hard and a challenge to even the finest of minds. Some may have the gleaned the impression that it is in someway trivial. Much of what gets picked over on the internet is indeed trivial, I wonder if people think it all be like that. And perhaps a tendency to explain science by metaphor and analogy has deceived both the well intentioned teacher and pupil alike. I observe that much of the theoretical basis of science is only understood at considerable cost, and that climate science is no exception. I observe with some humour that book titles that commence “An Introduction to” have proven to be very challenging reading matter.

      My final observation is on the impossibility of clear communication. My fear is that like dogs, children and neural networks, where one may have no certainty of the correspondence between what has been taught and what has been learned, the same is true of adults. I despair that this be so. I have recently seen so much red meat thrown down on blogs that needs challenging but I have come to doubt the wisdom of doing so, I have come to wonder whether it is possible. I simply cannot fathom what it could be that others have learned that permits their ready appreciation of such matter whereas I cannot. Further I reflect that in order to mount such a challenge I should need days or weeks of both study and thought and even if I should set it all down it would likely go unread. I am amazed at the alacrity of thought with which the common readership must be blessed, that they perceive so readily that which I must consider at such length.

      Anyway Fred, that your constitution is stronger than mine I have no doubt. Even so I must have some concern for any that labour so long and maintain both their sanity and their generosity of spirit. I hope that people recognise at least one quality that marks you out, your decency.

      Alex

    • Alex – Thank you for your thoughtful comment. My reference to “undermining an edifice” and your less metaphorical “discrediting the science” convey the same thought, but your way of putting it makes the point in a clearer and more cogent fashion.

      I think that very few participants or readers of climate blog material can be persuaded to deviate from their preconceived notions by anything we write, but the occasional individuals who are open-minded as well as intelligent might be receptive to persuasive arguments. The challenge is to be both persuasive and truthful. People who are one or the other are far more numerous than the few who are both.

    • Latimer Alder

      Fred

      Sorry to say that the more I read of your posts, the less likely I am to be persuaded of the AGW case, not more. Your apparent complete lack of perspective is enough to turn me off.

      It seems to me that you are highly attuned to seeing deep meaning leading to thermageddon in every natural phenomenon. If two flies were crawling up a wall, if the left hand one were to win you;d see it as proof the the fiery hell would be here next week. But if the right hand one did so, hell would arrive tomorrow.

      So sorry Fred. no takers from me.

    • Alexander Harvey

      Fred, you are welcome,

      onwards and upwards!

      Strange coincidences do occur, that I should write above about inactivism and that WUWT should do a piece, which is now closed to comments, on the Kingsnorth trial, at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, England.

      For any that don’t know the “Kingsnorth Six” were acquitted by a jury on charges of criminal damage at Kingsnorth Power Station which was seeking to build a new coal powered plant, the question is why?

      Perhaps one may never know the jurors thoughts but it seems to have been a case with many factors, so far too complex, and to boring, to fit neatly into blog propaganda.

      Readers may notice that the case is refered to as a place name followed by the number of defendents. What they may not realise is that like the suffix -gate this is a code and indicates that not only are they innocent but that they are victims of the judicial system. A quick referencing via the internet should confirm that the case was known by this name at the time and reported thus in the local newspapers. I cannot say whether the jury would have been cognisant of this.

      Another coincidence is one of names, this story was brought up on Anthony’s blog and a map would disclose that close by the Court is a street of his ilk: “Wat Tyler Way” which celebrates a man of that town that had much doings by way of direct action when he led the Peasants’ Revolt more than 600 years earlier. Now that connection is perhaps more critical than mere coincidence.

      A question one might ask is who was actually on trial? It may have been the government not the defendents. The court must be but a drive of a dozen or so miles from the power station, and the trial took place soon after the crime, when the events may have been fresh in the minds of the local populace.

      By many accounts the policing of the protest that occured at the same time as the “break-in” at the plant was heavyhanded. Basically it seems the police, in riot gear, managed to get themselves caught, and videoed, beating with riot batons a short single file line of unarmed and unprotected citizenry, who were standing their ground with the arms raised above head level in that well known gesture of non-agression, in a field, doing no apparent harm. Not content with this, the police also managed to abuse the civil rights of everyday country folk for the crime of living anywhere within a radius of several miles of the power station. This included abusing the rights of minor’s who were illegally searched and had such dangerous weapons as crayons and a toy doll siezed. I think that this was later to be the subject of successful legal action against the constabulary.

      I think it might be fair to ask whether by the time of the trail that matter had become one of civil rights and also human rights, the right to protest and the right of assembly.

      What is remembered, it seems, is the role of a certain Dr James Hansen, a witness for the defence. How much or how little a role he played in the verdict would be hard to say. The verdict may have been perverse. That is the jury took it upon itself to decide to try a different and greater crime commited by the state on its populace. This case should not be seen in isolation, other earlier protests had resulted in the UK government finding itself as defendents at the European Court of Human Rights for numerous abuses of Human Rights, and subsequently found guilty.

      What strikes me as odd is how this is being played on an American blog, I might think that the freedom to assemble, freedom to protest, freedom from abuse of civil rights and human rights by government forces, would have been seen as broadly democratic issues. Apparently not.

      But then US public opinion on such matters struck me as odd during the protest era in the 1960s.

      Protest is a significant democratic method in the UK and has been for many centuries. It has used to have unjust laws amended and to challenge government directly. It is quite widely reported that the “Poll Tax Riots” not only forced a change in law but brought down PM Margaret Thatcher. So not all that very far short of revolution or coup d’etat.

      The choice of “Poll Tax” by the public and press to describe the new UK local residency taxes is not accidental for it too harps back to Wat Tyler as a poll tax is thought to have been a prime ingredient in fomenting the Peasants’ Revolt.

      I can have no idea why the UK embraces direct action as a democratic means if no longer the US. Would this have consitituted Inslee’s bodies on the tracks?

      For certain the UK Climate Change Act 2008 was passed into law in the months that followed the Kingsnorth “break-in”, so again things need to be seen in context.

      Reporting of the protest, the “break-in”, and trial are available on the internet. The criminal damages amounted to less than 1% of the cost of the police presence. A presence that not only managed to change the public mood from being broadly against the protest towards neutrality or a positive position but that manage to occupy itself with a bunch of mostly passive protesters in the countryside while a team of around 50 volunteers took command of the power plant and shut it down, the “six” entered the ~200 metre high chimney and disabled the power which operated the doors sealing themselves in. They hauled a large amount ~300Kg of kit up to the top using hoists which took many hours and abseiled down to paint their slogan. They shot their own video footage to outside broadcast standards (later made into a documentary short along with police helicopter footage, however did they get that?) ,and conducted telephone interviews and pieces to camera (very long lens) for the national news. All of this is available on the internet. On the one hand we have the UK Constabulary abusing people’s rights and getting caught doing it, and on the other a crack team of volunteers who mysteriously knew how to enter (did they need to break-in?) the power station, disable the conveyors shutting the plant down, enter the chimney, disable the power, have all ropes and pulleys necessary to haul their kit up, drinks food, overnight stuff, video equipment, etc.. Much of what went on is a mystery to me still, like how in an area locked down for many miles around did 50 volunteers manage to arrive, apparently in vans, undetected, whilst a bunch of protesters ran interference, which included an assault on the peninsular by dinghy, and getting themselves clubbed for their pains. Final Score Constabulary minus oodles : Greenpeace UK 6.

      All of this was of course highly illegal (on both sides) and by rights they should have gone to gaol but they didn’t. Now I will let others judge how much the jury were swayed by the evidence of Hansen and others, and how much was due to thier being bloody minded. In truth it was a very dodgy case to have brought before a jury. Interestingly the many more volunteers that actually disabled the plant were it seems never charged. Greenpeace UK, seemed to have been the better equiped, better trained, to have had better intelligence and planning, and better media skills. All in all an operation carried out with quasi-military precision and tidily packaged media presentation.

      One might rightly ponder the role that direct action has in the democratic process and whether it has an adjunct or an essential part to play. One thing is for certain the UK Climate Change Act 2008 was passed into law and the Kingsnorth Six were acquitted.

      I think that all plans to build a coal power plant were eventually shelved after further protests took place including a partial site occupation launched from “Rainbow Warrior”, and another intrusion resulting in a plant shutdown.

      The unanswered question is how come this was all possible. They seem to have been aware of the policing operation, and of the plant layout and operation in some detail. They seemed to be able to pass through the police cordon and the perimeter unimpeded. The likely culprits would seem to have been insiders in both the government and power company ranks. My knowledge of such matters is speculative but echoes speculation at the time. Whatever it is a distant relative of the speculation on WUWT that prompted me to comment here, as there was closed.

      Alex

    • Latimer Alder

      @Alex

      The Kingsnorth trial was concluded on 10 Sept 2008. It is hardly news news or topical. So much for your ‘strange coincidences’

      I didn’t bother to read the rest.

    • Latimer Alder

      I think the quick answer to some of your questions is that the science has not shown anything for people to get really worked up about.

      ‘Climate change’ is pretty much a non-problem, however much a few dedicated activists try to spin it. And however much power and influence they may have gained by gulling the public in the past.

      The hard part now is not erecting the false edifice, but of dismantling it,

      The IPCC seem to be helping greatly by detonating the grenades in their own headquarters. Long may they continue to be so inept.

  67. Rob
    IMHO, you and Hector each have part of the truth. I would suggest most, if not all, scientifically literate skeptics accept:
    1) There has been some warming (the amount and the time distribution thereof may be questioned).
    2) Mankind has had some influence thereon.
    3) 1) & 2) taken together are no reason for precipitate (if any!) action.
    4) The whole model (embedded in all GCMs) stands or falls on the water vapor/cloud nexus. We (they) know so little (cosmic rays, anyone?). Even the IPCC itself admits that we don’t even know the sign, let alone the magnitude, of all feedbacks.
    5) There are many other points of discussion (even contention), some scientific, others procedural or institutional. These do not affect the first four points.

  68. From the CarbonBrief:
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/06/the-ipcc-and-the-srren-report

    a good balanced assessment of the various criticisms and defenses of the IPCC SRREN report

    • Actually I would call that professional damage limitation and media managment by a group with significant vested interests, yet claim independance and neutraity.

      The Carbon Brief is a project of the Energy Strategy Centre, the communications group of the multi-million Euro funded European Climate Foundation …..(who provide funds to Greenpeace, wwf, , Globe, Potsdam, FOE, Sandbag and other ngo’s lobby groups, promoting and developing climate policies in the EU and have provided hundreds of grant to groups that suport their goals (90% reduction CO2 by 2050 in the EU)

      http://www.europeanclimate.org/index.php?option=com_grants&Itemid=34

      Note in the article, Mark Lynas is diminished to just a ‘blogger’, and whilst linking to everybody and everything else, they fail to link to Mark’s blog or either of his 2 articles… Even Jo Romm linked to Mark Lynas..

      Ross Mckitrick had a few words to say about The Carbon Brief, when they attempted to smear/link him and other sceptical scientists to Exxon. As did Lindzen, Goklany, Christy and Singer, etc

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/14/smear-job-by-the-carbon-brief/

      Mcktrick:”The theory that Exxon generates the academic research that contests climate alarmism is one of those tired cliches that appeals to stupid, lazy people who can’t be bothered reading the papers and understanding the arguments.”

      Goklany: “As its name reveals, Carbon Brief’s entire raison d’etre hinges on the notion that carbon dioxide is a harmful substance. Therefore it is hardly surprising that it would attack any individual or organization that would dare suggest that CO2 is not as harmful as it would have us believe.

      Readers can judge for themselves who has a greater financial stake in the man-made global warming issue: I, who has never taken a sous from Exxon-Mobil, or Carbon Brief whose very existence depends on perpetuating the notion CO2 is a harmful, if not downright dangerous, gas.

      What’s interesting about Carbon Brief’s “analysis” is that it is devoid of intellectual content.”

      I had my own thoughts on The Carbon Brief, who claim to be an independant resource for media and journalists..
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/18/the-carbon-brief-the-european-rapid-response-team/

      Do as Mark did in his 2nd article, substitue The Carbon Brief’s backers The European Climate Foundation and its goals and its funders, Hewlet Foundation, Oak Foundation, Mcall Mcbain foundation, for anything Exxon oil lobby related, and see how neutral the Carbon Brief would be..

      The writer is also anonymous ‘Tim’, some green mate of the former Greenpeace, editor Christian?, or just another environmentalist graduate. Who are anonymous Robin, Verity, Luke, Tim and Neil.

      Joe Romm, Mark Morano put their names to their work , why not these guys.. What journalist trusts anonymous sources…

      Robin appears to be former friends of the eart,. they claim neutrality, but see Goklany’s thoughts above.

    • Balanced? What a crock.

      “Yet it is not this report that is cited by the IPCC, but a later (2010) peer-reviewed paper in the journal Energy Efficiency, derived from the original Greenpeace report. ”

      And in that paper …

      “This means that in practice, all coal
      power plants built between 2005 and 2020 will be
      replaced by renewable energy sources from 2040
      onwards. To support the building of capacity in
      developing countries, significant new public financing,
      especially from industrialised countries, will be needed.”

      That isn’t a paper. It is a drug induced fantasy.

  69. Berényi Péter

    Robert (June 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm)

    “Can irrational people be considered good judges of whether or not they are thinking irrationally?”

    You misunderstand the very nature of public discourse completely. In cases like this there is always an audience to judge if your thinking was rational or not, quite irrespective of your own declarations concerning the same subject. The situation is far from being self referential and there is no paradox involved whatsoever.

    It’s a curious western custom you know, this free speech thing. It goes back to medieval European jousting, which bred disputation (public university debate) subsequently. Later on it developed into full fledged “free speech” (along with the modern concept of “scientific debate”), which can never be exercised in private, but inevitably belongs to the public domain. And there is a perfectly good reason for that, because with no audience to enforce the rather strict rules (like the imperative to be rational) it readily deteriorates into a simple quarrel.

    In the present case of climate science with its predominant (“consensus”) view of (c)AGW theory, this bystander crowd can never be a bunch of climate scientists. When a whole field of investigation comes into question, like homeopathy with its own practitioners, peer reviewed journals, conferences and schools, it is other scientists that be the judges, from neighboring fields. They are to decide if methods applied in that particular field conform to the general rules of science or not, if they are “rational” enough to be considered valid.

    It is the same with climate science. There are plenty of meteorologists, oceanographers, glaciologists, geologists, physicists, mathematicians, statisticians, computer professionals or engineers out there who are perfectly able to understand certain aspects of inferences generally applied in mainstream climate science and tell the difference between genuine vs. crackpot science. These are the good judges you are looking for, you should play your tune to their liking, not to the “general public” (much less to the “team”).

  70. Robert of Ottawa

    Doubt is not allowed. Green belief shall prevail!

    How the hell did the green religion become mainstream …. it happened while we were not looking.

    • I have been fighting this ideological movement since 1968, when I took one of the first hits. The UNFCCC treaty (father of Kyoto) dates from 1992. Kyoto from 1998. Where you been?

    • ian (not the ash)

      ‘Mainstream’, as a noun, is defined by the ‘Free Dictionary Online’ as

      The prevailing current of thought, influence, or activity

      I would argue that CAGW is definitely ‘mainstream’ in the climate science community’ however I see little evidence that the ‘green religion’, whatever extreme attributes you ascribe this descriptor, is the ‘mainstream’ ideology guiding society as a whole.

      As someone who is concerned about ecological and social challenges facing the planet, it has always felt uneasy that this almost singular focus on CAGW by many environmental and social justice groups. Money used in promoting actions to counter a ‘potential’ future risk could have been used to address the many empirical soco-economic and ecological challenges of today. If/when the consequences of AGW are proven relatively benign, it is my fear that the resulting zeitgeist will make it far more difficult for those who sincerely desire to be broad minded and responsible stewards, to garner support for legitimate concerns.

    • ian (not the ash) –
      We’re preaching from the same book , if not the same page.

  71. James Delingpole has an article in the Guardian on the Mark Lynas affair (h/t Barry Woods). http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100092809/greenpeace-and-the-ipcc-time-surely-for-a-climate-masada/

    I didnt realize that Lynas was the person that threw a pie at Lomborg and arranged for the Maldives underwater stunt. A very interesting defector from defending the climate “party line”

    • I didnt realize that Lynas was the person that threw a pie at Lomborg and arranged for the Maldives underwater stunt. A very interesting defector from defending the climate “party line”

      That’s just the sort of person I’d expect to suddenly go off. It may be that, like Lomborg himself, who suddenly came out in favor of carbon taxes, that Lynas is just a guy whose need for attention is such that he will say what it takes to get the spotlight back when no one has been paying any attention to him for a while.

    • ian (not the ash)

      Robert, as a former active member of the Australian Green Party and having been involved in NGO’s such as Oxfam, putting on ‘stunts’ was standard operating procedure. All such organisations do it as it’s almost the only way they are going to get any media interest. The more bizarre a stunt, the more chance of coverage.

    • ian (not the ash) -
      The more bizarre a stunt, the more chance of coverage.

      Not just down your way – it’s universal. Globalization has given them all access to the same playbook.

    • It’s not only media interest they are after, although that is a critical goal. It is also to provoke the target to do something that will be frowned upon by the public and politicians. They use this as blackmail at times. (I got this out of Rule for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.) He did do some good for the poor and minorities, but now the same tactics, but more polished, are being used to push socialism. Alinksy’s friend, John L. Lewis, helped organize labor unions at GM. I wonder if he would connect that action with the government takeover of GM. I suspect he would have applauded it.

    • The “good” Alinsky did, like all his acolytes since, was a means to an end. He taught community organizing as a means of gaining power, with the ultimate goal being the destruction of the capitalist system. Hamas does “good for the poor,” so do mafia dons, for similar reasons. That is not their goal though.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Three Comments. The first comment is that “rabid raypierre” would no doubt applaud Lynas for pieing Lomborg and staging the Maldives underwater stunt. Yet, I think we can all agree that both acts are morally reprehensible. (By the way, at the Maldives affair, a reporter had the presence of mind to ask the “Governor” how far house prices had declined as a result of impending flooding. Caught in a politician’s dilemma, the “Governor” said that they had not declined.)

      The second comment is that Judith Curry should be known as Saint Judith. Few who post here can imagine how great is the gift that she is giving to them.

      The third comment is that the very greatest flaw of the pro-AGW crowd is that they confuse matters involving scientific integrity with matters involving their practical goals. In plain terms, they rarely care to discuss scientific integrity because just about all of them, including leading “theoreticians” such as James Hansen, care greatly about preventing the harm that they believe will come from global warming but very little about the science that underlies the pro-AGW position. There is a categorical difference between the two topics, unless you are a Marxist and you believe that the ends justifies the means even in science. “Rabid Raypierre” is an excellent example of this problem. He is supposed to be a scientist yet talk about scientific integrity elicits from him a diatribe on good tribes and bad tribes. That sort of thing causes rational people to have questions about another’s sanity.

    • Thanks Theo!

      You said it well.

      The AGW story is disintegrating now, but world leader cannot – and probably should not – abandon it until they have some more scientifically sound “Common Enemy” that can continue to unite the world’s people.

      The AGW story worked, and had the added advantage of leveling the world’s economic playing field around the globe by pinching off the tail pipe of the Western world’s prolific economic engine.

      Suggestions?

    • At 10:29 PM on 19 June, Oliver K. Manuel had written:

      The AGW story is disintegrating now, but world leaders cannot – and probably should not – abandon it until they have some more scientifically sound “Common Enemy” that can continue to unite the world’s people.

      Well, hell. In the words of H.L. Mencken (1918):

      …the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

      Need we really say anything more?

  72. If I may be permitted to inject an actual substantive point about the plausibility of the Greenpeace scenario, I suggest that everyone catch up with the work of Severin Borenstein, economist and head of the California Energy Institute at UC Berkeley. He is a committed believer in the AGW theory and spends some of his time applying economic analysis to various mitigation policies and the costs of solar and wind power. These are of special interest here in the Golden State because we have mandates to produce ever-larger amounts of our electric power from “renewable” sources (not counting nuclear for some reason).

    Here is a paper where he tries to give solar energy extra credit for giving more power on hot days and looks at its cost versus conventional power and even wind. The results are dire:

    http://www.ucei.berkeley.edu/PDF/csemwp176.pdf

    The paper attracted some criticism, which Borenstein responded to here:

    http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/borenste/SolarResponse.pdf

    In 2010 he participated on a panel about how CA could hit its self-imposed renewable targets. He made the devastating point that even carbon prices/taxes of $30/ton to $50/ton would not suffice to make solar and wind cost competitive because the current market prices of fossil fuels include markups above marginal cost that would shrink in response to carbon prices/taxes:

    http://www.action2030.org/news/?p=2043

    I want to stress that Borenstein seems deeply committed to CO2 mitigation policy, so the ad homina can perhaps be kept to a minimum by all the wagon-circlers.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Yes, but he is only addressing solar PV, which is quite expensive, especially in small scale applications.

    • If you go to the last link, he points out that all wind and solar technologies are completely uncompetitive with fossil fuels unless the latter are taxed at more than $100/ton CO2, well beyond what even California greens are willing to propose. His bottom line is that long-term R&D on making non-fossil fuels cheaper, and waiting to switch over until the technology is available, is probably the only policy that can achieve a switchover.

    • Depends on which greens, I suppose.

      In Europe they pay much higher taxes on carbon emissions in the form of gasoline — up to $6-$8 a gallon. Right now that sort of a tax would be very unpopular in the United States, but that does not mean it will always be so.

      Also, it is simplistic (and wrong) to say wind and solar are “uncompetitive” at current prices and become “competitive” at x-level of carbon taxes. Like any other product or service, there is a demand for wind and solar energy in the current market conditions, and a higher demand if other sources of electrical energy become more expensive.

      “Long-term R&D on making non-fossil fuels cheaper . . .”

      If you make it more profitable to sell non-fossil fuels, than among many other benefits, you create a powerful incentive for companies to achieve greater profit by building better renewable technology. Free market theory would suggest that a carbon taxes would be better at encouraging innovation than direct intervention by the government to fund research.

    • In Europe they pay much higher taxes on carbon emissions in the form of gasoline — up to $6-$8 a gallon… Free market theory would suggest that a carbon taxes would be better at encouraging innovation than direct intervention by the government to fund research.

      Which would explain all the renewable energy innovations coming out of Europe right now.

    • Gene –
      You mean like closing down the German nuclear plants – and opening new coal plants?

      Or raising energy taxes to pay for new wind farms in the UK? Wonder how long this UK government will last.

    • Those would be the ones. :-)

    • Thought so :-)

    • The percentage of travel by car in Europe has continued to increase in the face of high gas taxes (and a variety of anti-auto, anti-sprawl policies), and the British public, for example, has pretty clearly expressed its unwillingness to pay even more than they do now. So it appears that the best-case scenario for fossil-fuel demand elasticity in Europe still leaves the public emitting more CO2 for personal transportation over time.

      With no taxes or subsidies, wind and solar electricity would be super-marginal–their cost curves would lie above the market price for electricity (excepting certain niche uses where the lack of grid connection is especially valuable, like cell towers and agricultural pumps). Borenstein’s point about implementation of carbon pricing is that current fossil fuel prices are well above their marginal production cost, which implies that taxes (or permit prices) would have to be high enough not only to make solar and wind competitive with today’s coal prices but with coal sold for much less (at just above its marginal cost). That implies very high carbon taxes.

      I didn’t have you pegged as a hard-core free-market type who doesn’t believe that positive externalities justify R&D subsidies, but if you are that’s cool. (Check out Terrence Kealey’s work for some rare intellectual ammunition.) Most mainstream economists, however, such as Borenstein, believe that basic R&D creates positive spillovers not captured by the inventor and so warrant subsidy. In this case, the social gains of saving the planet from the usual parade of climate horribles are purported to be much greater than the private gains to the inventors of cheap, clean power. Hence, subsidy.

    • Robert writes: “Also, it is simplistic (and wrong) to say wind and solar are ‘uncompetitive’ at current prices and become ‘competitive’ at x-level of carbon taxes. Like any other product or service, there is a demand for wind and solar energy in the current market conditions, and a higher demand if other sources of electrical energy become more expensive.

      Hoo, boy. As if Robert knows doo-dah about (or ever in his entire bleak and useless existence has ever wanted his victims to be allowed to participated in) any sort of free market capable of functioning as a venue for the voluntary and peaceable reconciliation of human beings’ needs and resources.

      Ifthere is a demand for wind and solar energy in the current market conditions,” then this will be reflected in prices which people are willing to pay to get electricity and other forms of energy from sources other than the combustion of petrochemicals.

      The problem for Robert and the rest of los warmistas is that when most average folks are offered lower prices for energy derived from petrochemicals combustion than from fitfully-twirling bat-manglers and cloud-shaded solar panels and suchlike idiot hokum (which is what happens in a market free from government tax-and-strangulate violent aggression), ceteris paribus these people – who have to economize because they’re not allowed to counterfeit currency the way government thugs do – will choose the least expensive options available to them.

      The only way that Robert‘s “non-fossil fuels” gain any kind of market preference is if the petrochemical fuels are loaded with so much adventitious monetary penalty by government goons that said fuels cannot reach their consumers at their intrinsic cost advantage.

      Think of a swimmer trying to “compete” while being forced to wear a set of lead pajamas.

      This warmista vision of Earth’s future makes all energy consumers (and we’re all energy consumers in one way and another) poorer. So Robert‘s purpose is to increase human poverty, leaving people to starve and freeze in the dark.

      Sheesh. Does anybody wonder why Robert has earned himself so much hatred in this forum?

    • Tis why I will be leaving this once great state to another local where I don’t have to worry about a lot of busy bodies sticking their nose where is doesn’t belong. I have lived here for 60 years and a little. I won’t miss it for a second :)

    • I’m sure the indifference is mutual.

    • wow, you really don’t get it. people leaving state because of cost of living is beneficial to the overall economy?

  73. As an aerospace engineer and someone with a master in economics that has been studying the issue of potential climate change for over 10 years now, I will acknowledge that my views on the subject have changed greatly over that period as I have learned more on the topic. FYI- 10 years ago I assumed that the positions communicated by the “climate establishment” were well founded and justified actions.

    Today, I find myself getting more ever frustrated with those people who continue to hold the position that increased atmospheric CO2 is definitely a “proven” pending calamity for humanity that warrants taking immediate massive actions to change our economy. Many who hold this view do so with a religious like fervor in spite of having many of their core scientific positions to be shown as deeply flawed. They simply ignore the flawed science and continue to have ‘faith” in their beliefs. They are willing to readily accept any study or paper that portrays a world with higher CO2 as one where humanity is deeply harmed. They will quickly spread this “half baked” science over the internet as a means of convincing others of the validity of their beliefs. We have witnessed examples of this behavior at this site many times by people who have strong technical backgrounds but continue to not see the weakness of the basis for their conclusions. Examples of this are attempts to use math incorrectly and write that AGW had caused hundreds of thousands of additional deaths due to flooding or that is worsened the earthquake damage in Japan. The CAGW faithful seems to believe that any reported potential harm is a certainty, while discounting the potential that their belief may be wrong or the potential benefits are wrong and should be ignored.

    There is much of the science that is understood, but there are other parts that are clearly not understood.

    Are humans increasing atmospheric CO2? Answer- yes- but we absolutely do not know what percentage of the total increase in CO2 is really due to humans. CO2 release and absorption vary over time completely independent of human activity. What we know is that humans are emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. We can estimate roughly how much we are emitting and find that total atmospheric CO2 is rising by something close to half of the increase.

    If nothing else changes will increased atmospheric CO2 lead to a warmer world? Yes- but we do not really yet understand by how much in spite of all the discussion/analysis.

    Many have concluded that a warmer planet is harmful to humanity. How were these conclusions reached? Either by one of two methods-GCM’s or papers published that have a hypothesis of a future condition.

    In the case of GCM’s I ask how can one rely upon a climate model to tell us that harm will come to specific regions when those same models can not accurately predict the future rainfall or temperature at a regional level?

    If I was to offer a $100K usd challenge to demonstrate the accuracy of a GCM do you think I’ll get any takers? I will pick 100 geographic locations and we will compare the actual temperature and rainfall at those locations vs. what the model predicted for 5 years into the future. If the model is 95% accurate the model will be validated and I will pay the $100K. Those wishing to accept the challenge must put up $20K at the start of the challenge to compete. I offer this to those who believe in the current climate models–do you think I’ll get any willing to accept the challenge? If not-why not— because those models used to predict the dire future are not yet mature enough to draw the stated conclusions.

    • Mr. Starkey, you are a denier and a heretic. How dare you address such an impertinent proposition to the “climatology” caliphate?

      Er, you think I can get in on a little of your action there? I want a chance to grab some of those bloated fraudsters’ illicitly-gained cash, too.

      “He who steals from a thief is not liable,” y’know.

    • Rob Starkey

      Rich-if you want to put up some money, we can increase the stakes. My guess is I will not get anyone offering to accept the challenge though.

  74. Not being a specialist, he ain’t got no money, just plenty of lack of boredom.

    • Rob Starkey

      JCH- I assure you I do have the money and will will post a secured bond for anyone (yourself included) who wishes to take the challenge. I again ask- if someone is willing to believe GCM’s enough to advocate implementing drastic actions why not accept the challenge to demonstrate the accuracy of that same GCM?

      Judith- do you object to me offering the challenge?

    • They will not, of course, gamble their own money on the validity of the AGW story.

      Thanks, for publicly calling their hand!

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

    • Oliver K. Manuel writes: “They [los warmistas] will not, of course, gamble their own money on the validity of the AGW story.

      Maybe they can get themselves some government grant funding for the purpose, as “research.”

  75. And the conclusion of this astroturf controversy . . .

    One final irony is worth pointing out: while one contributor to SRREN came from Greenpeace, three came from Chevron (though one from its geothermal research wing), one from Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, and one from a mining company.

    Lynas’ Exxon scenario turn out to be demonstrative of his ignorance: it fails far short of the truth: three contributors from Chevron! Four from oil companies!

    That’s one more hysterical hypocritical hissy-fit in the dustbin. Now “skeptics” are free to work on the real credibility problem; the one caused by “skeptics” making death threats to scientists, faking graphs, getting their papers yanked for plagiarism . . . can the “skeptic” movement ever reform itself, confronting the criminals and the liars and the fakes, in order to be taken seriously again someday?

  76. There are two claims, which Robert appears to believe as the alternatives:

    One claim is that we know that it’s not possible to reach a 80% target for renewable energy or CO2 reduction by 2050.

    One claim is that we know that it is possible to reach a 80% target for renewable energy or CO2 reduction by 2050.

    These claims are not alternatives and both are wrong. The right answer is negative to both, as we don’t know either way. The error in the SRREN press release – and in the common interpretation of the Teske et al. paper is that they imply the second claim to be true.

    It’s fully and deeply contrary to the present state of knowledge to claim that we know, how we can make the goal to be reached. Saying that it’s possible involves very much optimism on future technological development and on the societal processes. It’s not just question of political will. No political will can produce results that are beyond our capabilities, and the scenarios that lead to those goals are certainly unrealistic.

    The fact that those scenarios are certainly unrealistic doesn’t mean that the goal is proven as impossible. We know for sure only that all scenarios that have been presented are far too limited in scope for being realistic and for proving anything about the real world.

    Basing policies on wishful thinking and unrealistic scenarios is not the way to good results.

    • The error in the SRREN press release – and in the common interpretation of the Teske et al. paper is that they imply the second claim to be true.

      Where does the responsibility lie for “the common interpretation” for the second claim?

      If a peer-reviewed study concludes that depending on policies the 80% level could be reached, and if that report is referenced in an IPCC report where it is indicated that it was one study of potential achievements, and people tribalistically interpret that to mean that groups with vested interests are effectively writing IPCC reports to line their own pockets and drive a socialistic cabal to create a one world government, where does the responsibility lie?

      That is not to defend the failure to better protect against conflicts of interests, but policies need to be developed with a consideration for the full range of potential outcomes. Tribalistic conversion of molehills into mountains is no more likely to achieve good results than is wishful thinking or unrealistic scenarios.

    • What I’m saying in my above comment is that not a single scenario or model analysis on the energy future has been realistic enough to serve as a proof of possibility of a future significantly different from the present state of world. A possible future must be possible technologically, socially and economically. Every scenario that represents major changes is actually based on extremely simplified assumptions that are known to be wrong, but are used, because a more realistic analysis is too difficult. That means that no attempt of building realistic scenarios has ever been really done.

      Issues that are not considered properly include uncertainties and dynamics of technology development, land use issues, dynamics of national and world economies, realities of decision making in all non-dictatorial societies, where people behave as real people do, etc. The present difficulties of economists in making the world economy perform better than it does now are trivial compared to those supposed to be solvable in all scenarios. Many energy models used in building the scenarios include some economic models of national, regional or world economy. The models are often general equilibrium models, but the models are far too crude, and they are used very far outside their expected range of validity in every scenario very different from the present. In addition many very essential issues are not taken into account at all.

      Anything that says that only 20% of the future is similar to the present in a field as important as energy production goes really far outside the range, where quantitative modeling is possible at a realistic level.

      I agree fully that policies must be developed taking into account the uncertainties about the future, but we cannot build specific paths to every future. Rather we must proceed step by step in a way that keeps options open. Robustness of the choices is a very important issue. This means as an example that we cannot base the policies on the trust that the 80% scenario is achievable.

      One of the basic truths about the future is that it’ll be different of every guess that we make. There will be larger changes in some areas than we can imagine now, but the largest changes will not be, where they are most expected, but something totally different.

      The problem with including work like the SRREN in the IPCC activities is that the science of new energy solutions is not of IPCC interest, and not the real subject of SRREN. Instead the SRREN presents a non-scientific review of state of art of technologies, some futurological guesses, and assessments of policies that are themselves throughout political.

      The state of art of technologies is presented quite well, but IPCC is not the natural forum for presenting that, and the report is not the only one doing that. There are obvious conflicts of interest on every specific technology representation, but those are easy enough to understand, and thus not so severe.

      The problems get worse when policies are discussed, because that’s where the authors have COI at the level of billions. The report is expected to be one tool in influencing the policies, and most of the central authors are directly involved in the renewable energy community that’s totally dependent on these billions. They are directly making claims on policies that affect very strongly and directly their own interests.

      One doesn’t have to dig deep into these chapters to notice, how biased the presentation is. The report refers in some cases briefly also to some very critical studies, but then neglect them, when formulating the concluding sentences of the chapters, where the references are given. (I was a reviewer of the report, and commented on some such points. Changes were done, but not sufficiently to remove the bias on those particular points.)

    • I must disagree that it is a purely technical matter whether the 80% “renewable” target can be reached. If you take a Khmer Rouge approach, for instance, declare this the Year Zero, empty the cities, ban most uses of electricity, etc., you can probably shut down every fossil fuel power plant and internal combustion engine. Presto, target hit!

      This scenario, of course, is the nightmare version of the utopian Green Dream. The utopian version (see E.F. Schumacher or Kirkpatrick Sale) describes pleasant bucolic life and leaves out all the nasty poverty that results from abandoning high-density energy sources. The utopian version is not technically possible, because of the added side-constraint of making life tolerable. But there is no practical limit on the Year Zero scenario, because that one has no constraint on the level of suffering and degradation applied.

    • I agree on your point. My comments on social realism of the scenarios refers to this issue, but not only to this one.

  77. Latest breaking news on the Mark Lynas front. It seems that his new book the God Species has been withdrawn from sale by amazon.com. This is extremely bizarre, check it out

    http://www.marklynas.org/2011/07/the-god-species-withdrawn-from-amazon-censorship/

  78. I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

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