Understanding(?) the conflict

by Judith Curry

The events of the past week have provided some potential insights into the conflict over the climate debate among the climate establishment, McIntyre & McKitrick, skeptical scientists, the extended peer community of the climate blogosphere, and a public that is trying to to make sense of it all.

The reaction of the climate establishment to Mark Lynas favorably citing Steve McIntyre’s analysis has been telling, particularly this comment by Raymond Pierrehumbert that originally appeared at Collide-a-Scape:

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.

.
The entire thread of comments at Collide-a-Scape is well worth reading.  My response over at Collide-a-Scape:

Judith Curry Says:
June 18th, 2011 at 11:25 am

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.

Raypierre’s comment was featured in a thread over at WUWT, which has a few interesting comments out of the 163 comments so far.

Fred Moolten seeks conciliation in this response to my comment:

“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.

My response to Fred:

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.

Skeptoid

While this little conflict plays itself out in the climate blogosphere, Craig Good at Skeptoid has an extremely interesting and relevant post entitled “I, Global Warming Skeptic.”  Some excerpts:

I have many good reasons to be skeptical about AGW (anthropogenic global warming).

  • I’m old enough to remember “Global Cooling”, the population bomb, the hole in the ozone, and any number of other tidings of doom. The Chicken Littles have a track record indistinguishable from that ofHarold Camping.
  • The issue is massively politicized. The Left has seized on it as an opportunity to dismantle free markets and grow government. They have entangled it with their beliefs the way creationists entangle evolution with religion.
  • That amount of politicization brings corrupting quantities of money.
  • The IPCC was formed by the United Nations. The UN is a systemically-corrupt, left-wing political organization. Any organization that coddles dictators and thugs should not be trusted even if it claims the sky is blue.
  • Anybody who didn’t just fall off the turnip truck can see “cap and trade” and carbon credit markets for the bald-faced scams they are.
  • Climate science is very complicated, and there are any number of legitimate questions having to do with the accuracy of our models, the true effect of CO2 as a forcing agent, the reliability of temperature data, the effect of solar cycles, etc.
He was very much persuaded by presentation made by Dr. Peter Gleick, and followed his recommendation to explore skepticalscience.com.  So, yes, I am now persuaded that anthropogenic global warming is real. That’s because I’m a skeptic.
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Below is a summary list of items that can convince more skeptics:
  • Stop calling people “deniers”. 
  • Stop calling it “climate change”. 
  • Stop blaming every unusual weather event on global warming. 
  • Dump Al Gore. 
  • Enough with the “green”. 
  • Hug a nuke. 
  • Stick with the science. 
  • Scientists: Go Independent. 

David Wojick is skeptical of skepticalscience.com:

David Wojick | June 19, 2011 at 7:23 am Robert, regarding your 99% claim (which is amusing in its own right). SkepticalScience.com is a tour de force of pro-AGW argument. They present over 100 important skeptical arguments in such a way as to make skeptics look ignorant. The formula is simple. Present the skeptical argument in naive terms then answer it with a relatively sophisticated pro-AGW response, preferably citing a paper or two. They now even have three levels of response sophistication in some cases. As propaganda goes it is an impressive achievement.

The glaring fallacy is that there are skeptical counter arguments of equal, or even superior, scientific merit, for every argument listed. There is no hint on SS.com that these even exist. But the denizens here know these counter arguments well so your 99% claim is not merely false, it is silly. There is a wealth of skeptical scientific knowledge on this blog, none of which is found on SS.com.

The good thing about SS.com is that it makes clear just how complex the debate really is, Once you get passed their intentionally deceptive formula that is. Every one of the skeptical arguments they address is significant, once it is properly understood. Many are quite deep.

JC comments: this conflict is basically rooted in the development a blogospheric extended peer community, which is anticipated in the context of a scientific problem of high societal relevance (I won’t call it postnormal science).  The blogospheric auditors (mostly on the skeptical side, but DeepClimate audits the skeptical auditors) are bringing much needed probity to the science, its assessments, and the supporting institutions.  The climate establishment is elitist in that it doesn’t like its “authority” questioned by people that do not have equal academic standing.  Some really good advice comes from the skeptoid article:

Scientists: Go Independent. How much do you mistrust a report funded, even in part, by Exxon? Multiply that by ten and that’s how much we mistrust the UN. If you’re a climate scientist with a talent for speaking or writing, follow Dr. Gleick’s example and provide politics-free, all-science talks and articles. The IPCC consensus may be correct but, as a body, its credibility is tainted. It looks too much like political consensus. You’ll be much more effective without them.

Just because AGW is real doesn’t mean you are wrong politically. We both know that freedom works, and socialism and other forms of totalitarianism don’t. Recognizing a scientific reality is not the same thing as handing a political victory to theLeft. High taxes, giant government, and scams like cap and trade are extremely unlikely to actually help. What will? I don’t know. The whole point of a pro-market, pro-freedom agenda is that all of us are smarter than any of us. Thinking that government knows the answers requires kilotons of hubris and a near total ignorance of history.

609 responses to “Understanding(?) the conflict

  1. There’s two sides at least in every conflict but as far as I can remember only the warmists à la Realclimate have shown the “bunker mentality” (all-out war). So are you sure you’re not describing up there the first salvos of a Climate Conflict that is deflagrating within the scientific establishment?

    • Well, go over to climatedepot.com, we have all out “political” war on both sides of this. the bunker mentality re scientists seems to be confined to the IPCC bunker.

      • Judy,

        The conflict is, in my opinion, over the use of science as a tool of propaganda.

        Many left-wing supporters of environmentalism, like myself and most of ,y family and friends, were taken in by this clever propaganda.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • Here’s the thing Oliver, how many warmists at the elite levels really ever believed in the propaganda? Like Keynesian economics it’s a failed theory that achieves the political result desired. It’s hard for me to believe that many educated really buy the story line at all in their hearts. It’s about belief in state management and restricting individualism and private groups who are percieved as the social excess by the left and yes a large segment of the population (across many classes and backgrounds) are that bought in. Look at all the ranting about “big oil” which a populist point of hatred. Ironically the eco-restriction movement has only increased the power of large interests vs. decentralized ones. That really is how socialism works.

        Restricting industry and freedom is always a good starting point for policy. Redistribution of wealth, rationing and creating dependency are stock and trade of the left. Caeser passing out cheap grain from Eygpt to the mob for gratitude and support hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. Cap and trade will remind everyone who they owe for whatever consumption they are allowed.

      • Just to clarify – Are you saying that the only scientists that display tribal behavior are those who think that significant GW is probably A?

      • No, Joshua.

        As noted below, the faulty science of AGW is self-evident. That is why the skeptics are winning that part of the debate.

        But the need for a “Common Enemy” to unite the world remains.

        World leaders absolutely cannot back away from AGW unless we identify another “common enemy” – aliens, rogue asteroid heading this way, etc – that will unite the world and save mankind (and politicians too) from mutual destruction.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • Let me see if I got this right, Oliver.

        It isn’t that “the academics” are only concerned with their reputations – it’s that “the academics” are all in cahoots in a vast political conspiracy with political leaders?

        You know, just like as stated in the Skeptoid post that Judith thinks is so brilliant – it’s all about “The Left [seizing on] an opportunity to dismantle free markets and grow government. ”

        This is too funny.

      • Not al all, Joshua. My family, friends and myself are almost all left-wing liberal environmentalists.

        Let’s try to avoid labels and either/or thinking. We are all in this mess together.

        Left-wing/Right-wing, Conservative/Liberal, Bill Clinton/Ronald Regean,
        Dwight Eisenhower,/John Kennedy, George Bush/ Barack Obama, etc.

        They all wanted to live, just like you and me.

        They tried to govern a world that might self-destruct with nuclear weapons.

        Nuclear weapons that were 10 to 100 or even 1000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that vaporized Hiroshima in 1945.

        Weapons that tap into the very energy source in the core of the Sun itself.

        AGW has served a very useful purpose as the “Common Enemy” that world leaders used to try to save mankind (and themselves) from the threat of mutual destruction in a full scale nuclear exchange.

        The UN also served a very useful purpose in helping mankind avoid the threat of mutual destruction with nuclear weapons.

        That is why Kissinger persuaded Richard Nixon to travel to China in 1972.

        That is why Ronald Regean demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev (Russian: Михаил Горбачёв) “tear down this wall” that separated East and West Berlin in 1987.

        Do you see the similarity in political theatrics of Regean’s 1987 speech and Al Gore’s 2006 documentary on “An Inconvenient Truth”?

        Problems arose when Steve McIntyre audited the experimental evidence for AGW and encouraged others to do the same.

        The science of AGW is seriously flawed, but world leaders cannot – and should not – abandon AGW until they have identified another “Common Enemy” to unite the world.

        That is the reason for the current stalemate in a nurshell.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • edward getty

        “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.”

        - Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

      • Thanks Edward Getty,

        Members of the Club of Rome were apparently well-intended, but lacked the humility needed to lead a scientific or a global revolution if they said:

        “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.” – The First Global Revolution

        To end the current stalemate, we must all:

        a.) Get out of the “bunker mentality”
        b.) Avoid labels like winners/losers, etc.
        c.) Accept that something more powerful controls our destiny.

        Something that is more powerful than politicians, propaganda artists, scientists, and the Club of Rome all put together!

        What? The Reality that surrounds and sustains us,

        Sometimes called Cosmos, God, Sun, Universe, etc.,

        As revealed through cause and effect, coincidence, contemplation, destiny, experimentation, fate, fractals, meditation, observation, prayer, providence, etc.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • In saying this, the Club of ROme were not intending to be sinister, but to divert the attention of humanity from human enemies to problems that could be thought of as enemies, but were just as threatening, so as to give humanity a common purpose. There was no suggestion that these problems were imaginary or designed for ideological reasons – they were real issues that needed to be faced.

      • Stirling English

        Just wondered if humanity had asked to be ‘given a common purpose’. Or whether it was something the elite decided would be good for us proles?

        Central and Eastern Europe has a long history of such ideas…..

      • The “A” in AGW reflects self-hatred, man as the root of evil. A basic premise of the eco-left. Without the “A” you can’t justify taxes and regulations.

        It’s hard with world war being so impractical with the technology at hand to find those common enemies isn’t it? Perhaps this is why the great partisan decline between left and right in so many countries has become ever more bitter in my lifetime. There aren’t enough outlets for unity. Do you really think agw brought much unity to the world? More like a civil/social war as you look at it.

      • the word tribal was not mentioned in my post, so I wouldn’t seem to be saying anything at all resembling what you stated.

      • So you’re saying that a bunker mentality and tribal behavior are unrelated phenomena?

      • Some tribes are friendly, some not so much.

      • They can be related but are far from equivalent.

      • Bunker mentality does not refer to all out war, it refers to taking a defensive position. AGW occupies the field so of course they are taking a defensive position. They are in the bunker and the skeptics are trying to dislodge them. In this regard there is nothing unusual going on. What is unusual is (1) the ideological capture of a scientific field and (2) the resulting collision between the establishment and the Internet. History in the making.

      • The bunker mentality has these distinct features. I’ll highlight it with some simple examples from the mails.
        What we argued is that the team in the bunker had no clue about how
        to use the internet.

        1. The establishment of a core trusted group.
        The inner group must be one that you would trust to things they
        would not ordinarily do. So trusted, you can ask them to delete mails.

        2. Characterizing all external enemies as part of a grand conspiracy.
        McIntyre is an oil shill.

        3. Controlling external communications: what you listen to and what you say.
        RC as the mouthpiece. Dont let skeptics use it as a megaphone.

        4. Squelching internal dissent and turning on your own.
        Lets collect files on editors.

        No one can credibly deny the existence of it. Jones didnt.

      • If I can employ a tired cliche, Mosher,…

        RealClimate have lost it. No one defeated them. They have lost. On their own.

        In the climate debate, far too many things happen, far too frequently, … things that damage the facade of the consensus. RC’s mode of writing up some trolly crap and then sitting down and deleting comments, is too inflexible to deal with today’s rapid change.

        They had the fight in them, right at the beginning.

        Now they just sit there staring. The climate conversation has moved on. They did not come out of the post-Climategate beating very well.

        Ray Pierrehumbert’s outburst is just a symptom of this defeat. It is a cry of frustration. Imagine, the failure of morale, at the heart of the animal – with all the invisible threads running from RC to all of climate activism…what a catastrophe!

      • Peter Smith

        Shub,

        I think it is a matter of losing the initiative.
        They used to control the agenda, but now they are simply in reaction mode and they are not very good at it.
        It goes back to the settled science stance. To engage properly with the sceptics would be a tacit admission that the settled claim was wrong. But in failing to engage properly they end up looking nothing more than dogmatic.

        “Now they just sit there staring.”

        Without the initiative they become rather like opossums/rabbits caught in the headlights.

    • There is validity – but not transparency – on both sides.

      AGW is the “common enemy” used by world leaders as a propaganda tool to unite us so we won’t destroy the world and kill everyone – including the politicians – in a full scale nuclear exchange.

      World leaders will not – and should not – let go of the AGW ploy unless we identify another “common enemy” that they can endorse to save all mankind (and world leaders too) from mutual destruction.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

      • David L. Hagen

        Oliver
        “There is validity – but not transparency – on both sides.”

        Check out Steve McIntyre’s efforts to audit AGW. He explicitly states his case, describes his algorithms, and posts both data and algorithms for others to test, use and improve. I find that transparency to be exemplary.

        I particularly appreciate his Blog Rules:

        1. Refrain from personal abuse and swearing,
        2. Never attribute ulterior motives to another participant
        3. Be patient with people who know less science or maths than you do yourself.

      • This scares the bejabbers out of me. What you say comes right from the pages of 1984. The common enemy is not useful in preventing destruction; the common enemy is useful as a distraction from the daily miseries of people’s lives. It is a tool of control, not liberation, of Newspeak, not reasoned opinion.

      • Congratulations, Chip!

        Yes, right out of the pages of 1984.

        You made the discovery that energizes our vocal opposition.

        Manipulation of experimental data started about the time (1972) that Henry Kissinger took President Nixon to China to meet with Chairman Mao. See today’s Skeptical Swedish Scientists news story, “Sun, Sun, Sun” !

        http://skepticalswedishscientists.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/sun-sun-sun/

  2. The political defeat of AGW lies before us in plain view, in many countries at least. The scientific defeat will only come when funding stops, and that seems to be happening as well. (The downside of having basic research funded mostly by governments is that the governments get to decide what is important.) Time will tell.

  3. The AGW science is self-defeating, David.

    The political need for AGW – as a “Common Enemy” to unite the world and thus prevent worldwide destruction in a nuclear exchange – remains.

    World leaders know that they TOO will die in a full scale nuclear war.

    What do you suggest to replace AGW as a “Common Enemy”?

    • How about NGC — Natural Global Cooling?

      Comin’ your way, like a runaway train.

      • Placing my ear, indian-style, on the NGC track, I hear nothing.

      • Latimer Alder

        Native American. surely.

      • Thanks, Brian,

        NGC might work if we can all

        a.) Get out of the “bunker mentality”
        b.) Avoid labels like winners/losers, etc.
        c.) Accept that something is in control – other than politicians.

        I’ll vote for NGC, or damn near anything, to escape the current mad rush toward disaster for everyone.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

    • We need to replace one fiction for another or mankind will fail?

      It’s sad your observation will likely come true. There are many other demons the left will seek to central plan and manage. that science has been degraded for generations the price to pay in the case of agw. It will be hard repeat using the same tools (science and eco-fear) in the near future. Selling the New New Deal hasn’t been going well either.

      Asteroids would work but likley that would benefit hated and un-pc industries like defense contractors.

  4. Norm Kalmanovitch

    The two sides of the climate debate are the skeptics on one side and the non skeptics on the other.

    Skeptic (Sceptic) is derived from Ancient Greek σκεπτικός
    skeptikos, “thoughtful, inquiring”

    Under this definition the debate is between those who are “thoughtful inquirers” and those who are not.

    “Most institutions demand unqualified faith;
    but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue.”
    (Merton, Robert K. 1962. Social theory and social structures. Free Press, NY., p.547.)

    Sum Ergo Cogito — I Am Therefore I Think.
    René Descartes

    “All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet it is the most precious thing we have”.
    Albert Einstein

    “Blind commitment to a theory is not an intellectual virtue; it is an intellectual crime”
    (Lakatos, 1978).

    According to the last quote; the climate change debate is between scientists and criminals

  5. Dr. Curry,
    Interesting post. I had never heard of Skeptoid. I will have to check it out.

    As I commented on another thread, I am surprised you put any value on Deep Climate. While I would value a good auditor of the skeptical auditors, I don’t think Deep Climate fits the bill. If you can point to a single contribution he has made which helps clarify the science, I will be happy to change my mind. As far as I know, he is just a sand thrower – a distraction.

    One of the biggest contributions made by Steve McIntyre is the other science blogs he has inspired – WUWT, The Air Vent, Blackboard – the list goes on and on. And they have all made important contributions.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I have a rather large amount of contempt for DeepClimate. I’ve seen him say too many untrue things in order to criticize people he dislikes, and he’s reused to correct his comments when his errors are pointed out. Even worse, most of these errors come from his apparent inability to read simple sentences.

  6. As I commented on another thread, I am surprised you put any value on Deep Climate.

    A very instructive comment. Judith says that she applauds “auditing the auditors,” yet apparently you don’t think that Deep Climate fits that description,, and you’re surprised to find that she gives Deep Climate merit.

    As a follow of Judith’s blog – can you mention other examples where she has “applauded” the auditing of the auditors – since Deep Climate, in your opinion, would not be a valid example of such?

    • Joshua,
      I value the concept of auditing the auditors. Steve McIntyre makes it very easy to do. He always posts the data and code he used and he explains his methods. Scores (possibly hundreds) of people run his calculations to see what he has done. Many of these people who are learning how to check calculations have started their own blogs.

      Lots of people are auditing McIntyre and finding him correct. Deep Climate has not made any contribution to science.

      I think Dr. Curry wants all sides to be held accountable. That is a good thing. I agree with her. My only problem is Deep Climate has not done that. Maybe that is what DC is trying to do, but he has not made any contribution and it is misleading to leave the impression he has.

      • I’m a bit confused by your comment. If DC is trying to present a good faith audit (which you think is a possibility), should that not, in itself, be applauded? If his analysis is flawed, but not motivated by tribal objectives, that is not a reason to say that he “hasn’t made a contribution.” A mistaken analysis is in fact a contribution in the sense that in being mistaken, it eliminates one potential line of argumentation. As to whether there is universal agreement about the mistakes is another matter.

        I would suggest that you are falling into the same trap that some describe with respect to peer review. The fact of auditing the auditors is something that should be loudly applauded. Whether you find flaws in that analysis is another matter. I would like to see “skeptics/deniers” be more robust in their calls to “audit” the “skeptics/deniers.” That is one reason why I am constantly asking Judith to comment on the bad science one can find at places such as WUWT.

        If you think that DC is deliberately promoting flawed analysis, then it makes sense that it shouldn’t be applauded.

        BTW – Why do you suppose that McIntyre does not (at least to my knowledge) “audit” the papers of those scientists who fall into the “skeptic/denier” camp?

      • Peter Smith

        “If DC is trying to present a good faith audit (which you think is a possibility), should that not, in itself, be applauded? ”

        If he was, then yes. However, if it is not a good faith audit (and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is not- not the least being the heavy auditing of comments), then the answer is no.

        Not being a scientist myself (only a humble programmer), my first rule of thumb when assessing something is to look at the apparent end game of the research and the behaviour of its proponents.

        If it looks and smells like a scam, then that sets off my sceptical radar.

        If the proponents attempt to defend every issue and action to the death (however valid some of those criticisms may appear), then that makes me suspect that they are actually defending a house of cards edifice- fearing that the loss of a tiny part of the structure will ensure the collapse of the entire thing.

        Having looked at various blogs, the difference in behaviour between the likes of McIntyre and Dr.Curry, compared to that shown at DeepClimate, ReaClimate and the like, and then seen how certain posters (Martha & some others, and to a certain extent yourself) try to defend against every criticism, however minor the individual thing may be (take the Greenpeace/IPCCpress release for example, a stupid mistake, where the response should have been “oopse, sorry, won’t do it again- and it would have gone away).

        Those things, in themselves would have been enough for me to start smelling a rat and digging for further information.

      • Latimer Alder

        Why don’t you comment on the ‘bad science’ at WUWT yourself? Its a pretty open blog. I’m sure you’d be heard with due respect.

      • Why do you suppose that McIntyre does not (at least to my knowledge) “audit” the papers of those scientists who fall into the “skeptic/denier” camp?

        Why not go over to CA and ask him directly? I’m sure he doesn’t bite.

      • “TW – Why do you suppose that McIntyre does not (at least to my knowledge) “audit” the papers of those scientists who fall into the “skeptic/denier” camp?”

        1. He has stated his reason for concentrating primarily on ACCEPTED SCIENCE.
        a. it makes no sense to audit material that has not been through peer review, IF PEER REVIEW IS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT.

        2. He has only so much time and expertise in a limited area. Primarily reconstructions, he is published in that field and was a reviewer on AR4.

        3. Others, such as Tamino and the guys at RC do a GREAT JOB debunking
        skeptics. Economy of force

        4. He has audit papers that fall into the skeptic camp. do more reading.

        Why suppose what his reasons are when he has made them clear. Except to try to make some silly point about your confused notions of objectivity. He is an expert on reconstructions. The vast majority of those, nearly ALL are NOT SKEPTICAL PAPERS.

        So your idea is that he should step outside his area of expertise to lay the smack down on some bogus skeptical papers that others with more expertise have already handled?

        You want him auditing the kid with the lemonade stand instead of focusing on enron?

        whats the agenda there joshua?

        We’ve heard that tired complaint for years. Didnt make sense 6 years ago, doesnt make sense now.

      • Well – first, thanks for the information.

        Second, it is unfortunate that you hanging on so dearly to your propensity for antagonism.

        Third – You and I have been through a version of this before. I explained that I believe that an important component of a solidly written academic paper is a through examination of a “naysayer’s” perspective. I believe that a good academic analysis requires that you do the best job you can to objectively represent counter-arguments and provide a rebuttal to them. As I recall, you explained to me that you’ve taught college level rhetoric and that my notion of how to structure an academic paper was nonsense (I’m paraphrasing). Well, I am not entirely unfamiliar with the field of academic discourse, and I maintain my assertion. As such, I will continue with my response, but if you are still convinced that my perspective is nonsense, you may as well just quit reading right here.

        To extend the notion of explicating a “naysayer’s” perspective and effectively rebutting it, because in the end it will only strengthen the validity of your thesis, I would argue that an obvious naysayer perspective on McIntyre’s role within the climate debate would be that he is ideologically predisposed to unjustly invalidate the work of climate scientists who think that GW might be A. Now if such a perspective is so preposterous that it doesn’t even merit consideration, then I don’t think that McIntyre needs to address such a “naysayer.” But how am I, as someone who lacks the technical expertise to evaluate scientifically or statistically, McIntyre’s analsysis or that of those whom he “audits,” to know whether such a naysayer perspective is preposterous. I could just take his word for it, or your word for it, or Anthony Watts word for it – but I don’t know any of you and while I have no particular reason to doubt your integrity, nor do I have any particular reason to trust it. One way for me to gain purchase is if I see McIntyre make a concerted effort to establish a clear balance in his efforts.

        Quite honestly, while the explanations you provided in the post above help me to understand Mcintyre’s perspective, I don’t find them convincing. He has enough time to look into some “skeptical” papers, and there have been “skeptical” papers that have passed through peer review, and you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want to say that the work of “skeptics” should be accepted by “the climate establishment,” then you can’t say that their work shouldn’t be audited by McIntyre because it ISN’T ACCEPTED SCIENCE (thanks for the all-caps in your comment, btw – using all caps makes your point so much clearer). Willis’ gets so much praise for his work from the “skeptical/denier” community – and if you go there you will read that it is important to the “skeptics/deniers” that the work of “outsiders” such as Willis be taken seriously. Why doesn’t McIntyre take on one of his analyses at WUWT? Are you saying that such a key figure in the “skeptic/denier” side of the debate shouldn’t be taken seriously?

        Honestly – the explanation you provided actually makes me even more skeptical of Mcintyre’s apparent failure to review the work of “skeptics.”

        Should McIntyre expend a considerable amount of energy “auditing” the work of a skeptic just because I say it would help me to gain a purchase on the climate debate? Obviously not. But I am probably not completely alone in my perspective on this, and additionally, I would argue that him doing so would go a long way towards creating a domain of trust between the more moderate camps on the different sides of this debate. There are folks out there who are not ideologically fixed in their perspective on theories about AGW. There are leaners out there. Some people will never trust McIntyre – no doubt. But there are leaners who might if he made it clear that he isn’t ideologically fixed. If his goal is to try to gain wider support for a balanced perspective, for a middle-ground there is a clearer sense of the “truth” about climate change, then I don’t see why efforts on his part to encourage trust should be deemed of no value.

    • I think Deep Climate (Dave Clarke) comes no where near the transparency that an auditor needs. A much better example is Nick Stokes. Nick, as you know often takes issue with Mc.

      1. Nick uses his own name. He is accountable.
      2. Nick engages with Steve at steves site.
      3. Nick publishes code that actually runs.

      Dave Clarke (Deep Climate) doesnt allow posting of contrary comments on his site
      ( both Nick and Steve do). I havent seen him publish any code showing his results.

      So yes. auditors need auditors. They need to be open. transparent. and willing to engage.

      Nick Stokes is all of those. Dave Clarke? not so much.

      • They also need to be honest in their intentions. Take a look at the comments thread here:

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/sea-level-a-little-wet/

        Nick Stokes is like most modern lawyers in court. They are not there to see justice done. They are there to WIN or at least get the best result possible for their side!! The fact that you would try and foist “Nick the AGW Apologist” on us as an exemplar of an honest auditor shows how warped your outlook is.

      • kuhnkat,

        I take second chair to no one in my dislike of much that has become common in the legal profession. But accusing “lawyers in court” of of wanting to win, “or at least get the best result possible for their side” is damning based on a false premise.

        A lawyer is required by his ethical obligation to his client to do everything he can, within the bounds of ethical behavior, to win or get the best result for his “side.” A lawyer who failed to do so would justifiably be subject to both disciplinary action, and a suit for malpractice.

        “In court,” in a trial context, the attorney is an advocate in an intentionally adversarial system. The lawyer need not even agree with his client’s position, so long as it is based on an honest presentation of the facts and law. Justice is served when both sides are given the opportunity to state their case, with the decision made by an impartial judge or jury.

  7. I would like to point out that Ray Pierrehumbert is, with the comments above, making himself more and more irrelevant to the debate. If, after all of the contributions made by Steve McIntyre, he continues to denigrate him and act as if he has not published in the scientific literature – people will dismiss Pierrehumbert as a crank – someone out of touch with reality. I’m embarrassed for him.

    • I’m shocked that anyone would be so foolish about the PR implications. If, as someone said, he was involved in the creation of Real Climate, then he has a relationship with Fenton Communications — a PR firm.

      Not smart.

  8. People would rather live with a problem they cannot solve rather than accept a solution they cannot understand. -Woolsey and Swanson

  9. I notice a distinct lack of focus on facts and a very strong focus on how people’s statements and behaviours can be removed from their factual underpinnings and instead used to support a narrative framework.

    For example:

    “The reaction of the climate establishment to Mark Lynas favorably citing Steve McIntyre’s analysis has been telling”

    Firstly the “telling” comment is of course quite similar to McIntyre’s “But I didn’t say anything, I just said suggested something and other people said it” style.

    Secondly it ignores why people reacted to Lynas favorably citing the analysis i.e. they argued that it was incorrect and referenced the report itself to show how it was incorrect.

    I have seen nothing since to support any of the accusations made. All I’ve seen is more of the same from the usual suspects about how the IPCC is corrupt and what-not. As conflicts go this is extremely tedious.

    • Well said.

      Judith has really jumped the shark on this one.

      Lynas as admitted to errors in his reporting, there have been valid criticisms made of McIntyre’s analysis – but what stands out in importance to Judith is the reaction, of some, who Judith feels are subject to a bunker mentality.

      It’s interesting what Judith finds interesting.

      • Can someone direct me to the “Valid criticisms” made of McIntyre’s analysis?

        Are we meaning ‘valid’ as in “worthy enough to be said somewhere to be later investigated”? Or are we talking about criticisms that are “correct such that it eliminates the legs on which arguments stand”?

        Some would say that McIntyre’s original criticisms of Mann’s methodology were “valid”, and yet others call them ‘invalid’ unless they completely eviscerate all foundational arguments.

        Do I sense a shift in the accreditation of ‘validity’ depending on the criticism, or the accused?

      • I was using valid in a somewhat broad sense – to mean reasonable.

        I excerpted one such criticism in the “Week in Review” thread (a comment from the tamino blog by “CM.” I will again note that Judith has failed to address the substance of that criticism.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I just looked on that thread, and I didn’t see anything like that. Could you provide a link?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        As a follow-up, there are only three comments from you in that thread. None say anything like what you claim. Did you perhaps mean some other thread?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/18/week-in-review/#comment-77197
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/18/week-in-review/#comment-77458
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/18/week-in-review/#comment-77623

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        So I found the comment in question. It was, as I suspected, not on the page mentioned. I understand why Judith Curry hasn’t responded to it, but I am going to.

        CM claims McIntyre’s “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.” Both of these are points McIntyre raised (obviously with more mature language), and both are true. Of CM’s entire response, the only contrary point he raises is McIntyre was wrong to refer to Teske as “the lead author” when he was really only “a lead author.” He’s correct McIntyre used the wrong article in one sentence, but that is the sum of his contradiction of McIntyre. On the other hand, CM simply ignored a major point raised by McIntyre, perhaps phrased best in this quote:

        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.

        In short, CM’s comment contradicted only one thing McIntyre said (though he also provided context for other things), and it ignored a major point from McIntyre. He also flatly and untruly states, “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.” The claimed insinuation simply doesn’t exist, and McIntyre was correct about Teske’s role. McIntyre said:

        It is totally unacceptable that IPCC should have had a Greenpeace employee as a Lead Author of the critical Chapter 10, that the Greenpeace employee, as an IPCC Lead Author, should (like Michael Mann and Keith Briffa in comparable situations) have been responsible for assessing his own work

        Obviously, a lead author does have the responsibility of assessing the material in his chapter. At best, CM’s comment is misleading, and it certainly doesn’t show McIntyre to be in error. That is what Joshua considers “valid criticisms” of McIntyre.

      • Ok accepting for the sake of argument that all of the criticisms out there of Lynas and McIntyre’s analysis are correct, then so what? Does that mean that the IPCC has adequately addressed its conflict of interest problem? That the IPCC hasn’t used its status as a knowledge monopoly to write a report that many think goes beyond its charter onto a topic that is hopelessly mired in potential conflicts of interest? The public is interested in accountability on topics it cares about like policy and conflict of interest. Dismissing Lynas and McIntyres broader concern over minor points is not convincing to the public who wants accountability, is concerned by undue influence of both greenpeace and exxon mobil in a what is billed as a scientific assessment.

      • “That the IPCC hasn’t used its status as a knowledge monopoly to write a report that many think goes beyond its charter onto a topic that is hopelessly mired in potential conflicts of interest?”

        Well you managed to go one sentence without going off on a tangent into yet another series of unproven accusations. Oh well.

        In answer to your first sentence. The discussion on conflict of interest is one worth having just as the discussion on how the IPCC works and can be improved is always worth having.

        However, such discussion simply cannot happen in the environment you are personally responsible for creating. One where scientists and the IPCC are routinely accused of fraud and corruption and where you’ve apparently never heard a criticism of the IPCC you didn’t like, regardless of whether it’s true or not.

        In short the majority of posters on your blog and the “skeptic” community generally are as unconcerned about how the IPCC works as they are about the details of radiative physics. They want the understanding of “physics” reformed until the greenhouse effect becomes impossible and they want the IPCC “reformed” until it produces conclusions they already know are true.

        When people start showing an interest in facts and what conclusions may be drawn, rather than in conclusions and what can be twisted to support them I’ll start taking their “concern” over the IPCC seriously.

        You have a long way to go in that regard Dr Curry.

        “Dismissing Lynas and McIntyres broader concern over minor points”

        They are not minor points. They are points whose accuracy are critical to whether there’s a problem worth discussing. You have shown zero interest in their accuracy and instead want another opportunity to discuss how the IPCC is bad and corrupt.

      • The IAC on IPCC’s conflict of interest problem: http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/

        The IPCC should develop and adopt a rigorous conflict-of-interest policy that applies to all individuals directly involved in the preparation of IPCC reports, including senior IPCC leadership (IPCC Chair and Vice Chairs), authors with responsibilities for report content (i.e., Working Group Co-chairs, Coordinating Lead Authors, and Lead Authors), Review Editors, and technical staff directly involved in report preparation (e.g., staff of Technical Support Units and the IPCC Secretariat).

        In developing such a policy, the IPCC may want to consider features of the NRC policy. These include:
        • Distinguishing between strong points of view (i.e.,biases) that can be balanced and conflicts of interest that should be avoided unless determined to be unavoidable
        • Differentiating between current conflicts, where the candidate’s current interests could be directly and predictably affected by the outcome of the report, and potential conflicts of interest
        • Considering a range of relevant financial interests, such as employment and consulting relationships; ownership of stocks, bonds, and other investments; fiduciary responsibilities; patents and copyrights; commer- cial business ownership and investment interests; honoraria; and research funding
        • Judging the extent to which an author o rReview Editor would be reviewing his or her own work, or that of his or her immediate employer
        • Examining indications of a fixed position on a particular issue revealed through public statements (e.g., testimony, speeches, interviews), publi- cations (e.g., articles, books), or personal or professional activities
        • Maintaining up-to-date onfidential disclosure forms and participating in regular, confidential discussions of conflict of interest and balance for the major components of each report

        The IPCC has failed to implement any of this for AR5

      • The IPCC’s failure to adopt any conflict of interest policy is a MAJOR failing of the IPCC, there is no way around this particular issue.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Umm, Judith before you go leaping to conclusions, you might want ot look at this:

        https://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/guidancepaper/WG1_GuidanceNote_Conflict-of-Interest.pdf

        (There is analogous policy for WGII)

        And this:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session33/ipcc_p33_decisions_taken_conflict_of_interest.pdf

        To say the the IPCC has done nothing on COI is silly.

      • Rattus
        You are kind of out of it here.

        The COI policy has been ‘adopted’, but not implemented.

        And it does not apply to AR5.

        As good as nothing.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        The WGI and WGII policies do. Did you read the link I provided?

      • “This Guidance Note provides individuals, who hold offices (Co-Chairs, Vice-Chairs) and functions (Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs), Lead Authors (LAs), Review Editors (REs)) in WGI or are employed at the WGI Technical Support Unit (TSU) during the AR5 assessment cycle, with a set of recommendations to facilitate their work for IPCC, to ensure transparency and to avoid situations which could endanger the integrity of the work.

        As an overarching principle, in WGI the practice of self-declaration of CoI and self-policing is exercised.”

        “Recommendations” and “self policing.” But don’t worry, it also includes “suggestions” on what to do in the event conflicts of interest arise.

        How special.

      • Rattus
        I have looked at the issue enough.

        The CoI policy does not apply to this iteration of the IPCC’s report.

      • Rattus, so example 1 seems to be very close applicable section in your link. What happened in the discussion with the WGI Co-Chairs or was COI delcared?

        Example 1: Article 2 of the Principles Governing IPCC Work
        Situation: An LA is on the Board of an NGO which is an advocacy group.
        Conflict of Interest: The assessment must be “neutral with respect to policy”, and therefore an IPCC Author cannot respond…
        be, at the same time, in a leading position of an NGO working towards specific policies.
        First step: Declare CoI or, in case of doubt, discuss with the WGI Co-Chairs.
        Possible Action: Resign from the Board of this NGO.

      • Are we to think the lack of adoption was an oversight, like forgetting your keys on the desk at the end of the day??

        Skeptics are winning because the game has been exposed. It’s time for the serious insiders and those close to them to denounce the IPCC and warmist cartels for the obvious. There can be no compromise.

      • John Carpenter

        “In short the majority of posters on your blog and the “skeptic” community generally are as unconcerned about how the IPCC works as they are about the details of radiative physics. They want the understanding of “physics” reformed until the greenhouse effect becomes impossible and they want the IPCC “reformed” until it produces conclusions they already know are true.

        When people start showing an interest in facts and what conclusions may be drawn, rather than in conclusions and what can be twisted to support them I’ll start taking their “concern” over the IPCC seriously.”

        Sharperoo, If you read this blog more regularly, carefully and thoroughly, I think you would see more balance than you are giving crediting to. Regardless, one of the points Judith is trying to make is; the IPCC and many within the climate science community who have authoritative positions, positions policymakers respect and look to, continue to backhand legitimate questioners. Smackdown tactics to such questionings of authority turn off the public in masses… it makes them wary of the message.. right or wrong. This is the opposite effect those who use such tactics really want. Admitting to mistakes, inaccuracies, or questionable collaborative relationships up front, i.e. being a bit more humble… would win back public trust much faster than the current behavior displayed by someone like Raypierre. Displays of cockiness by those who should rise above it simply result in turning themselves off to the masses. Guess what? The masses will end up making the decisions in the long run, not some chosen few who think they have the best interests of everyone already figured out. Democratically elected policymakers have to appeal to the masses if they wish to remain in action. If the masses don’t feel as though the subject matter at hand is being debated fairly and openly by those who have authorship to the subject matter, the masses will not consider the subject matter as credible and the message will be lost.

        Perhaps this whole IPCC/Greenpeace/McIntyre/Lynas episode is a tempest in a teapot, but those who seem most defensive about it appear to be acting otherwise. If it’s so insignificant, why is there such a visceral reaction? I think it’s because these incidents keep coming up… it keeps touching the credibility nerve of those trying to deliver their important message. That’s a touchy nerve to keep testing… but one that has to be tested over and over again for the public at large to gain acceptance.

      • “Sharperoo, If you read this blog more regularly, carefully and thoroughly, I think you would see more balance than you are giving crediting to.”

        I would agree with that. I thought that Sarpheroo’s characterization was far too broad there, also. I do not think that a majority of commenters at this blog are “unconcerned … about how the IPCC works [or] about the details of radiative physics.”

        As to the rest of your post – I see “defensiveness” on both sides of IPCC/Greenpeace?McIntyre/Lynas episode. For example, I think that Judith’s facile dismissal of the criticisms of Lynas/McIntyre on this issue as being defensive, as is here implied categorization that all such criticisms merely reflect a “bunker mentality” as opposed to: (1) concerns about the veracity of their analysis or, (2) how their criticism might be reflective of a demonizing attitude (at least on McIntyre’s part).

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, You may have a point about whether Judith delivers topics for discussion 100% balanced… I say that is a very high bar to reach. Judith has explained her position elsewhere on this thread, but I don’t think you should expect anyone to be 100% balanced in their talking points. Everyone… you, me, Judith and all the other commenters here are biased to different degrees. I think it unfair you expect Judith to be held to an unrealistic standard of objectivity all the time. Maybe you will not agree with me on this, but as bloggers go… I find Judith to be one of the most balanced.

      • I agree that it is a high bar – one difficult to jump. Everyone has their magnifying glasses out to examine the subtle tells.

        That said, I feel that Judith has a determined resistance to overtly establishing her objectivity. From my psychologists arm chair, I think she likes to taunt those who she feels unfairly attacked her. Unfortunately, I think that tendency undermines her science.

        Saying that Judith is one of the more balanced bloggers is tantamount to calling her the shortest midget in the circus.

      • Actually Joshua, I would say that you are the shortest midget in this circus. But since I never know what you mean, it follows that I do not know what I am saying. Private languages are like that, especially yours. (And arm chair psychologists are the least of our needs.)

      • John, if everyone is biased then the word loses its meaning. Having strong beliefs is not the same as being biased.

      • John Carpenter

        David, ok.. point taken. Maybe better to say everyone has varying degrees of belief. The point I was trying to make was… no one is completely neutral in a debate, some will have stronger beliefs than others, as you point out.

      • Latimer Alder

        @Joshua

        Even if your obsession were to have a bit of truth in it (which I do not believe it does)
        So frigging what?

        You are perfectly at liberty, nay positively encouraged, to take your ‘custom’ elsewhere if you don’t like proceedings at this establishment. I’m sure that we would carry on bravely through our tears if you did.

        LA

      • I have a lot of respect for Peter Gleick. Over the last year he has been on a bit of a “denier” rampage, see this article that he did for Huffington Post
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/tornadoes-2011_b_855032.html

        Based upon his latest presentation, it seems that he is learning how to be more effective at getting the scientific message across, which has resulted in at least one “conversion.” I wish there was a copy or video of Gleick’s presentation.

      • John Carpenter

        Please post a link if one is found. I found the Huffington Post article to be ‘a bit much’ and the type of article that will turn the masses away from the conversation because it is too accusatory of we ‘humans’ role wrt recent weather events. The scare tactic does not win mass support IMO.

      • I emailed Gleick, got an autoresponse that he is on travel and away from email at least until june 24. i also checked youtube, didn’t spot anything

      • Weather events and Feynman license plates :
        You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight. I was coming here, on the way to the lecture, and I came in through the parking lot. And you won’t believe what happened. I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!

      • ” and I came in through the parking lot. And you won’t believe what happened. I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!”

        That’s an interesting question, Teddy, and I suspect Feynman didn’t answer it. One obvious answer is that the probability was 1.0 (100 percent), based on a completely deterministic universe in which everything destined to happen was determined at the beginning of time. A second, completely separate justification for the 1.0 answer is based on the concept that probability is not an inherent property of an event, but rather a function of one’s knowledge of the event – if you saw that license plate, then there was a 100% probability you would see it.

        At this point, someone will be saying, “No, no, that’s not the point. If you didn’t know what license plates you would see, what was the probability you would see ARW 357?” And of course, since probability is a function of one’s knowledge, the probability would then become one in a bunch of millions, but neither more nor less than for some other random license plate number.

        I’m more interested in the deterministic explanation, though. If you were omniscient and knew the exact state of everything at the beginning of the universe, and could calculate all subsequent trajectories, what would you calculate as the probability of ARW 357? The answer is certainly not 100%, but I would be interested in the QM perspective on this. At the level of the Schrodinger wavefunction equations, I understand QM to be deterministic, but we observers can’t make use of that determinism to make predictions with absolute certainty. Over the course of 13 billion years or thereabouts, to what extent would that indeterminism make a license plate prediction wildly uncertain as opposed to averaging out the uncertainties to narrow the range to a small number of possibilities and therefore a high probability for ARW 357 (again, assuming omniscience)? Do any QM experts have an opinion on this? Is it even something that can be estimated?

      • Yes, I originally thought of the quote reading the Gleick article and how he alarmed he was that a 1-in-a-100 year could happen within a few years apart or that he is using 1in500year floods to scare people. Hopefully, people understand statistic enough to realize such local event happen every year somewhere around the globe. Rare things stick out and lead to a sort of confirmation bias. Perhaps someone has an calculation of how many 1in500 or 1in100 flood there are supposed to be but what if is were that the number of lightning strikes were high or some other type of event, then that would be what Gleick was overly exited about. Rare events happen all the time. From a quick google, here is a mathematical explanation
        http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=479

        However, your addition to the question is also interesting. I seem to recall a similar idea and someone had calculated there wouldn’t be enough computing power in the universe for such a calculation but I can’t recall where I saw that, maybe it was Marvin Minsky. Perhaps your idea is more of a question computational complexity like the halting problem rather than QM(by which I assume you mean Quantum Mechanics). Marvin Minsky had an example that computers with a million small parts, each with 2 states, will have on the order of 21,000,000 possible states Machines – “This is a 1 followed by about three hundred thousand zeroes … Even if such a machine were to operate at the frequencies of cosmic rays, the aeons of galactic evolution would be as nothing compared to the time of a journey through such a cycle”.

      • John Carpenter

        Judith,

        Here is another one I read this morning along the same scare tactic vien.

        http://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/Climate-change-is-here-whether-we-admit-it-or-not-1429354.php

        I don’t know if you are familiar with David Horsey. From everything I have read from him, he is just a megaphone on the climate change issue. He is really a political cartoonist, often very sharp in his humor and a master at twisting reality around to suit his ideology.

      • “Smackdown tactics to such questionings of authority turn off the public in masses…”

        Sigh.

        And again the narrative rears its head. If you question the questioning of the IPCC you’re supporting “authority”. I must therefore uncritically accept all your claims about the IPCC in order to show I’m not simply defending their authority.

        “If it’s so insignificant, why is there such a visceral reaction?”

        Maybe people want to discuss climate, it’s effects and what to do about it in a fact based environment? Maybe yet another ridiculous series of unproven accusations which have yet again eclipsed the actual topic is a source of frustration?

        I’m always intrigued by the “touched a nerve” defence. As if an angry response to accusations must therefore prove their worth somehow.

      • John Carpenter

        Sharperoo, I’m not saying you have to ‘buy in’ to my analysis or my analogies, but you might consider them.

        “Maybe people want to discuss climate, it’s effects and what to do about it in a fact based environment?”

        You are right about this… but when the hive gets whacked, it sure is interesting to see how the bees respond… and in some cases it would be better for their cause if they did not respond at all.

        “Maybe yet another ridiculous series of unproven accusations which have yet again eclipsed the actual topic is a source of frustration?”

        Maybe… maybe not. Again, why should it even come up in the first place? When you are placed on a mantel or pedestal, you will be the target. Knowing that, you have to either roll with the punches or run a tighter ship less prone to attack. COI is a valid question to be talking about.

      • “Sharperoo, I’m not saying you have to ‘buy in’ to my analysis or my analogies, but you might consider them.”

        As I stated above, reform and improvement are always worth discussing.

        Also as above though progress in such discussions require a particular environment and I addressed my comments towards the environment that exists on blogs such as this.

        “You are right about this… but when the hive gets whacked, it sure is interesting to see how the bees respond… and in some cases it would be better for their cause if they did not respond at all.”

        This comment is not really consistent with someone that wants to make real progress. If you want to giggle while the world burns I guess that’s your prerogative.

        (please note: the above is based on a well known idiom before the “CAGW!!!” folks descend)

      • John Carpenter

        “This comment is not really consistent with someone that wants to make real progress. If you want to giggle while the world burns I guess that’s your prerogative”

        Sharperoo, I didn’t whack the hive… but watching how people respond to such an event says a lot about them and yes, in some cases it makes one laugh at their behavior. I am sure you have laughed at some ‘deniers’ silly response in conversations you have had. Same thing here and the result is the same too… it makes one question the ability of them to stay focused on the problem and not get caught up in rhetoric. This is the issue you seem to be keen on making isn’t it?

      • Peter Wilson

        “However, such discussion simply cannot happen in the environment you are personally responsible for creating. One where scientists and the IPCC are routinely accused of fraud and corruption and where you’ve apparently never heard a criticism of the IPCC you didn’t like, regardless of whether it’s true or not.”

        If the IPCC, and the scientists working at its bidding, wish not to be accused of fraud and corruption, they ought to start by speaking out against the fraud, corruption, bias and political agitation dressed as “The Science” which has become endemic in this field. Those who do not speak out against such corrupt practices, as Judith has done, are tarred with the brush of complicity in the eyes of the public. And so they should be.

        The “environment” of which you speak has existed long before Judith found her conscience, as amply evidenced in the climategate emails, and is the direct result of the kind of tribalism and messianic “save the world” fervour evidenced so clearly in many of the attacks on JC and other apostates. Not by skeptics, always by believers. To accuse Judith of creating the ill will that climate science has brought upon itself is rich indeed

      • Does that mean that the IPCC has adequately addressed its conflict of interest problem?

        Obviously, no. But the point is that when calls for addressing conflict of interest are intermixed with flawed or potentially polemical analysis, increasingly tribal behavior is what can be expected (and not coincidentally, such intermixing increases tribalism which in turn further justifies the intent of those who attack the IPCC and AGW as a political proxy).

        That is why it is important to give sufficient attention to addressing criticisms emanating from both sides of the fence. You seem to have become so caught up in the food fight (no doubt to some degree due to unprovoked attacks) that you have lost that perspective.

        As an observer, in order for me to assess the objectivity of your perspective, I need to see you actively engaging with analysis from both sides with a critical eye – not just at a scientific level but also at a more ideological and political level because you have willingly waded into the ideological and political swampland.

        Ok accepting for the sake of argument that all of the criticisms out there of Lynas and McIntyre’s analysis are correct, then so what?

        Seriously, Judith – reread that statement you just made. You are on record as applauding the analysis of Lynas and McIntyre – and now you say if there are errors in their analysis, so what?

      • No she didn’t accept there were errors. You said it yourself, she only accepted “for the sake of argument.” Stop trolling Joshua and address her substantive point.

      • “As an observer, in order for me to assess the objectivity of your perspective, I need to see you actively engaging with analysis from both sides with a critical eye – not just at a scientific level but also at a more ideological and political level because you have willingly waded into the ideological and political swampland”

        And so, to assess the objectivity of your perspective, that one must see Judith engage both sides, I need to see you question some of your own beliefs. Namely, that one must see a person engage both sides.

        The notion that you must see Judith engage both sides with a critical eye, to assess her objectivity isn’t at all obvious to me. For example, I can assess your lack of objectivity merely by watching you try to force Judith into your preferred approach.

        In the end, I’ll watch Judith engage a position. I’ll watch people defend that position. I’ll watch people AVOID defending the position and turning their sights on Judith rather than the argument at hand. I simply don’t need to watch Judith attack both sides. The arguments she makes exist independent of her or her objectivity. I either buy the argument or I buy the counterargument. What I don’t try to do, is to evaluate the arguer. That’s avoiding the argument.

    • Conflict of interest is a big deal. Funding agencies, NRC, etc. all have complex and comprehensive policies involving conflict of interest. For a recent example, see NOAA’s draft policy on scientific integrity
      http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110616_scientificintegrity.html

      So everybody else has to deal with the conflict of interest issue, but not the IPCC?

      The conflict of interest issue is at the heart of what McIntyre and Lynas are talking about. Trying to pretend this issue doesn’t exist because of some convoluted argument or minor error of fact by Lynas won’t make the issue go away.

      The IPCC needs to step up to the plate and deal with the COI issue (as well as bias) as recommended by the IAC

      • So now the important issue has changed.

        Earlier, it was the reaction to Lynas’ blog. Now it is the question of conflict of interest.

        raypierre’s comment that you object to for its bunker mentality acknowledges the importance of addressing conflict of interest questions.

        Lynas’ errors were not minor in nature. You really should read the comments at his blog that explicate substantive errors.

      • Yes, this is a new post so we are talking about something related but different. The bottom line is that McIntyre’s post struck a chord because of the conflict of interest issue, which Lynas picked up on.

      • Judith –

        As an observer, I am concerned about vested interests from both sides.

        I read your post about how Lynas’ work undermines the credibility of the IPCC, and I think, “Hmmm. That looks like a problematic conflict of interest. Let me look into this a bit more.” Then I go to Lynas’ blog and I see explanations of substantive errors that he made. Then I go to tamino and I see reasonable criticism of McIntyre’s attack (it really was an attack) on the IPCC. And I come back to your blog and I see you posting even more about reaction to Lynas’ work but

        nary a comment about the errors he made or the criticism of McIntyre’s analysis.

        Do you honestly not see what is problematic about that sequence of events?

        McIntyre struck, and will continue to strike, multiple chords. You have categorically determined that in fact there is only one chord, and that all questions about the reasonableness of McIntyre’s analysis are secondary to politically- or professionally-driven concerns about a threat to “the team.” That’s too broad, Judith. You catch a lot of folks in that net who are actually more concerned with finding a way through the morass of the climate debate.

        FWIW, I would suggest that in doing so, you do yourself a disservice.

      • My original post is not about how Lynas’ work undermines the credibility of the IPCC. It is about the dynamics of Lynas paying attention to McIntyre, Laframboise, and entertaining the idea of reading the Hockey Stick Illusion. That is why i used the title “An opening mind.” You are of course free to infer that such activities by Lynas undermines the credibility of the IPCC.

      • You misunderstand the point of a blog post. It is to raise an issue and stimulate discussion. The first word in such a discussion is not likely to be the last word.
        Raypierre has responded first and foremost to “the threat to the team.” The more broadly important issue that has been raised by this discussion is COI problems with the IPCC.

      • “The more broadly important issue that has been raised by this discussion is COI problems with the IPCC”

        The point indeed, and the one Joshua and Sharperoo refuse to address.

      • Jeff Norris

        Joshua
        You appear to be agree with one of Willis’s rules of blogging
        You must not post or comment on a statement of another unless you have thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the statement and the author to determine the complete validity of said statement and or author. Failure to do so is “giving those people a free ride, along with giving them your implicit approval”
        Her Response.
        “Willis, you misunderstand what I am up to. When I post something here, my primary intention is to open the topic up for discussion. I personally comment on things that I find interesting or controversial, or something for which I can contribute my personal knowledge or experience. I make no attempt to debunk or verify every statement that someone else makes in an article that I post. That would take too much time and frankly would be boring to the reader IMO”
        http://curryja.wordpress.com/
        Joshua you may have, but I failed to notice where you jumped in and agreed with Mr. Eschenbach that Judith has great power and therefore great responsibility on that Thread and must verify every statement. If I am in error please point it out.

      • Jeff. I think that the standard you quoted Willis as describing is a (honestly ridiculously) unreasonable standard.

        I do think, however, that Judith or anyone else should respond to reasonable related analysis that become available subsequent to a post that they have written. That is why I feel that Judith should respond to the criticism of Lynas’ work and McIntyre’s work on this issue.

        As for her linking to controversial or interesting or provocative posts – her link to the theories of Skeptoid about the conspiracy of “The Left” to control all of our lives fails to rise above the standard rant we can read tens of times every day in the comments section at her blog or at WUWT or any other number of sites. When she continuously links to such trivial analysis with a similar conspiratorial theme, I think it is only reasonable to question whether or not she agrees with those types of conspiracies. If so, she should just come out and state it. If not, then IMO, at some point it is incumbent upon her to explain her points of disagreement. Otherwise, when I see repeated links to such overtly politically-oriented analysis, without reflection on her part about its veracity, I am at a loss as to ascertain whether her analysis – the science of which I have no reason to consider suspect as I am not expert enough to make an evaluation – is likewise politically influenced. She does, less frequently, link to overtly political analysis from the other side of the fence related to the climate debate – but my impression is that when she does so, she generally includes a critical analysis from her perspective.

        I have stated this before, but I’ll do it again. I am not qualified to assess the science of much what I read on climate blogs. All I can do is attempt to evaluate logical consistency (when it isn’t contingent on technical details) or the objectivity of those who present the science. It is an inevitably impossible task (particularly given that I have to try to control for my own biases as well) – but Judith’s disregard for the importance of at least acknowledging the importance of balance let alone the importance of attempting to be balanced undermines, IMO, her approach to the science. I find that unfortunate, because while I think that she is only one player in a game that has established dynasties – I also think that she has the potential to represent a unique perspective. I find it disappointing when she acts in ways that fail to clarify how she’s offering anything unique from the existing tribal behaviors.

      • The interesting thing about the skeptoid post is that he started out believing the classical conspiracy of the left stuff, and ended up being convinced by skepticalscience.com. Do you really fail to see this and fail to understand a broader context for for someone’s statement? or does each sentence have to be a stand alone carve it in stone on Mt. Sinai kind of statement? Sticking with the religious analogy, skeptoid describes a “conversion” which means you have to describe what you were converted from.

      • Jeff Norris

        Joshua
        I was exaggerating Willis’s point but you seem to be agreeing with him that Judith must critically review the original statement. You then go to the next step and suggest she constantly review any subsequent statements related to the original post. As I told Willis that seems to be unreasonable and suggest that the good doctor should become the verifier of all things Climate.
        I don’t want to derail this thread but Joshua please take a look at FOI thread from May and tell me if your standards equally applies to that post and what she should have done differently. * Otherwise IMHO you are coming off as shooting the messenger or at the very least complaining only when your ox is gored.

        * To keep from derailing perhaps any you might show want to reply of the FOI thread?

      • I’ll check it out later, Jeff.

      • Point taken, Judith. I misread the post from Skeptoid. Apology issued.

      • Makes me wonder how many other posts and comments you misread. one was dead simple. But you have a hobby horse to ride so you could not take the time to read carefully.

      • Interesting response to a poster admitting fault and apologising. Using it as an opportunity to further berate them and claim it as even more proof that they’re an ideologue.

      • Jeff and others – Dr. Curry’s blog is just that – hers. It is kind of like the TV, if you don’t like what’s on it, go somewhere else. You don’t have to read it. Dr. Curry certainly does not have to run the blog to please you, me, or anyone else. It’s similar to what ‘private property’ used to imply.

      • Jeff Norris

        I agree completely with you Jim. I am merely trying to point out that both sides seem to be have the philosophy of ” If you are not with us you are against us” which I strongly disapprove of. I also believe that both sides have a serious problem of overlooking any mistakes their team makes and concentrate on only those made by the opposition.
        Silence is Consent.

      • “The conflict of interest issue is at the heart of what McIntyre and Lynas are talking about. “

        And the disagreement is over the degree to which McIntyre revealed conflict of interest (as opposed to simply repeating what’s stated openly in the report) and the effect of conflict of interest on the report (“the lead author” versus one of many with multiple supervisory levels above)

        Again you run from the facts and present people’s actions with the facts removed and your motives inserted. It’s certainly a fine and effective way to play “debate” if all you care about is generating controversy, noise and blog hits.

      • How much does the NRC pay a provisional committee member?

        How much does the IPCC pay lead authors? I’ve read that some of them donate a great deal of time, and go so far as to pay for some of their own travel expenses.

      • And what are the conflicts of interest involving those IPCC lead authors?
        Ever heard of the term “loss leader”?

      • andrew adams

        But how is discussion of the issue of CoI helped when people make specific charges which turn out to be unfounded? If the arguments about McIntyre and Lynas’s blog posts are a distraction from the main point then you should be criticising McIntye and Lynas for creating the distraction.

      • Stirling English

        Nice try at diversion,Andrew.

        But this time no cigar.

        The genie is out of the bottle and you can’t put it back.

    • Re “telling.” Frances Urquhart in the House of Cards mini series often stated in response to a difficult question: “You might think that, but I couldn’t possibly say it.” So you are all free to interpret what you want, but please don’t put words in my mouth.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Cards

    • Yup, the IPCC isn’t corrupt and that is why Pauchauri decided they didn’t need to implement the conflict of interest rules for AR5.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  10. The academics are mostly concerned with the academic and public reputations of themselves and their colleagues.

    Wow! It seems that you have really joined the ranks, Judith.

    So, “the academics” are not particularly concerned with the veracity of their work, with scientific integrity, or with the probabilities of climate change?

    • When academics speak out in the way that raypierre has done, I would have to say that they are overly concerned with reputations and maintaining elite power rather than veracity. Otherwise there is no reason to slime M&M.

      • Judith, you really should be more accountable. At best, you went from one statement from raypierre to a broad characterization of “the academics.” This, IMO, is precisely the problem with much of what I see in the “skeptic/denier” world. You take valid criticism and undermine it by over-generalizing. In the end, your language reflects the same kind of wild-eyed conspiratorial ranting about “The Left” that we can read in the Skeptoid post with which you are so enamored.

        If you think that people like raypierre, as a representative of what you more generally refer to as the “climate establishment,” are unconcerned with the veracity of their science, so be it. If you think that they are part of a massive socialist conspiracy – then state it. Don’t hide behind the posts of others where they promote such obviously politically-oriented analysis. State it and remain consistent.

        When you throw out a generalization like the one above, or when you excerpt a conspiratorial post like that from Skeptoid, backtracking later with qualifications or by stating that you applaud auditing of auditors, doesn’t really stand up.

        Why aren’t you more proactive? Why don’t you highlight the errors Lynas made? Why don’t you engage with the analysis of McIntyre’s analysis? Why don’t you call for McIntyre (or the like) to actively “audit” the science of “skeptics?” Why don’t you call out Willis when he launches into a personal attack on Muller on your very own blog? In short, Judith, why don’t you at least make a cursory attempt at applying the same standard to both sides?

      • “Why don’t you call for McIntyre (or the like) to actively “audit” the science of “skeptics?” ”

        For the most part, skeptics tend to back up what they say with public data and are more than willing to argue for days or weeks or months or years with anyone who wants to disagree with them.

        AGW believers NEED auditing. The AGW money machine is spending billions to push their crap onto an unsuspecting public … and they plant to effectively repeal the industrial revolution. They should be audited.

        Fanatics hate being audited.

        When will your kind denounce the Hockey Stick and all the corrupt science behind it?

      • What is “my kind,” Bruce? I’d be curious to find out.

      • Joshua, your kind are the extremists who never admit they were wrong.

      • ……. or ever address the question posed.

      • I was wrong once. But then I realized I was mistaken.

      • “Always assume that your assumption is invalid”
        -Robert F. Tatman

      • The non-denouncing of the Hockey Stick kind.

      • Bruce,

        “The non-denouncing of the Hockey Stick kind.”

        What an excellent category definition. It is so useful in defining a type of person with which it is not possible to have a rational conversation regarding AGW that it really needs an official acronym (NDHSK?). I’ve been mentally applying it for years now, without a term for it. More general “warmist”, “believer”, etc type tags don’t work, as they include positions which can still reasonably be argued. But NDHSK is a specific and indefensible pathology.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        My response is much simpler. It is outright silly to suggest “skeptic” work should receive the same focus by auditors as “consensus” work. Auditing work which has little or no real impact on things like the IPCC is far less important than auditing core elements of it. Balanced auditing only happens in situations with parity, and this isn’t one of them

      • Apparently you haven’t been reading this blog and others, Brandon. I read daily that the work of “skeptics” has had quite an effect: turning public sentiment against the fraudulent theory of CAGW, exposing the socialistic cabal of climate scientists through climategate, squashing the political viability of cap-and-trade, etc.

        Sorry that you find my suggestions “silly.” Curious that you would waste your time responding to “silly” suggestions, but…..

        From my perspective, if “sketics/deniers” don’t face auditing, then their work suffers
        from the same problems as unexamined work by “believers/convinced.” Any solid thesis is only strengthened when examined from a naysayer’s perspective, thoroughly, (assuming it passes scrutiny). Their work is “audited,” in a sense, from the other side, but that does nothing to bridge the existing divide.

        McIntyre’s failure (to my knowledge, anyway) to subject theories from both sides to equal scrutiny naturally suggests that his intent isn’t to weigh both sides evenly, but to advance an agenda. Of course, it doesn’t prove that such is the case – but if the goal is to reach a consensus between people from differing perspectives, good faith efforts to establish credibility go a long way. You might think that “believers/convinced” as so corrupted and uninterested in anything other than their socialistic goals that they are would react “tribally” to McIntyre no matter whether he applied scrutiny to theories from both sides, but I can’t agree. I think it is possible for people from both sides to take steps to help establish trust.

      • Joshua read the IPCC monopoly thread, this is a very asymmetric situation.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Joshua, I really have to wonder if you actually read my comments. I asked a direct question elsewhere on this thread here you seem to have said something which is clearly untrue, and you didn’t respond. You did respond to this comment of mine, but you did so by not addressing anything I said. It’s peculiar.

        I said “work which has little or no real impact on things like the IPCC.” You responded by saying the work has had “quite an effect.” You took my narrow statement, portrayed it as much broader than it was, and added, “Apparently you haven’t been reading this blog and others, Brandon.” Strawmanning me and then questioning what I’ve read is both peculiar and offensive.

        If anything is apparent about who has been reading what, it’s that you aren’t reading what I post. Before getting on your soapbox in a response, you should try making sure you are actually saying something relevant to what you’re responding to.

      • “McIntyre’s failure (to my knowledge, anyway) to subject theories from both sides to equal scrutiny naturally suggests that his intent isn’t to weigh both sides evenly, but to advance an agenda. ”

        This is stupid and shows that you dont have a command of the facts. Mcintyre has an expertise. He is recognized for that and was a reviewer of Ar4. He is competent to audit papers written in the field of paleo reconstructions. PERIOD. He is not competent nor is he interested in in “auditing’ “theories”. he audits PAPERS. he audits them to see if the data was provided and if the methods are correct. OF NECESSITY, since skeptical papers are not published, it’s stupid to suggest he should audit unpublished papers.

        He does not audit AGW theory. he does not audit Skeptical theory. he audits papers that get published in the field that he is competent in. Quite simply you moron there are FEW TO ZERO skeptical papers published in the field that he audits.

        However, when there has been a skeptical paper IN HIS FIELD OF INTEREST AND EXPERTISE, he has done exactly what you ask him to do. Dont you read his blog?

      • “Quite simply you moron there are FEW TO ZERO skeptical papers published in the field that he audits.”

        I find it curious that your vitriol is reserved for Joshua. I’ve found his comments thoughtful, well written and polite. What it is it about what he’s saying that’s making you so angry – it can’t be that he’s incorrect because anyone with such a low tolerance would be unable to stomach the blogosphere at all.

      • Latimer Alder

        I will be very happy to donate a sum equivalent to 50% of my annual climate-related fees to be spent on auditing every climate-related writings I have ever made.

        Wold any climatologist care to match that with 50% of their climate-related income?

      • My wording was not entirely precise, I meant to refer to academics that share Pierrehumbert’s perspective (and I have personally encountered many of them). My statement in no way refers to all academics.

      • Judith – I have to say that if it weren’t consistent with a pattern, I’d be more inclined to accept that explanation. This is not the first time that you have made such broad characterizations. As a particularly notable example, I’ll refer to your repeated broadly demonizing comments about the “climate establishment.”

        I am mostly inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt. I have no real evidence to do otherwise, and so my assumption is that you are emotionally engaged in this debate and for that reason are not always prudent. No doubt, expecting anyone to be uniformly diligent about preventing any misconstruing of real intent on a blog is an unreasonable standard. But that is precisely why I keep haranguing you about balance – because if you are clear to establish balance it becomes easier for me to accept overgeneralizations as being unrepresentative of your true intent.

        Now you have gone further to singularly characterize Pierrehumbert’s perspective (when, in fact, he acknowledged issues related to conflict of interest) under the heading of “bunker mentality,” and you have gone further to in an unspecified and only slightly more qualified manner refer to some unknown quantity of other academics. Such language is not particularly helpful. I would argue that it does far more to exacerbate hostilities and feed the animosity of the “deniers” on the “denier/skeptic” side of the spectrum, and will do little to help build bridges between those climate scientists are are not, in fact, overwhelmed by tribalistic influences and a consensus on climate science that fully acknowledges valid questions of uncertainty. Some of your actions seem to be antithetical, or at least unintentionally in contrast with, your stated goals.

        I’ll leave the assessment about whether that conflict is intentional or not to others. I will, however, continue to offer unsolicited advice about how you might approach resolving that conflict. What are blogs for if not offering unsolicited advice, eh?

      • Latimer Alder

        I think you must be one of ony two here (shareper00 is the other) who seem to think that the way to deal with a big ethical problem like a glaring Conflict of Interest is to do your best to shoot the messengers.

        The public does not share your obsessive interest with determining the exact weight of credit to be given to McIntyre or any subtle changes of position (real or imaginary) from Judith Curry.

        Instead they see that you use these smokescreens to avoid addressing the real issue. And they conclude either that you are incapable of dealing with it, or are deliberately running away from it. Neither do you any credit.

      • Thanks for explaining to me how “the public” thinks, Latimer. I’ll take it under advisement.

        When I stop laughing.

      • K Scott Denison

        Again a nice deflection Joshua, you really are very good at changing subjects.

        Please, as several have asked, address the issue of conflict of interest that is at the care of the post.

        You are really not fooling anyone but yourself with the diversionary tactics.

      • Scott, I have acknowledged the important of conflict of interest – from both sides of the fence – related to the IPCC, more than once, in more than one thread. In fact, so did raypierre in his comment.

        However, while it may ultimately be the most important issue re: the IPCC/Lynas/McIntyre/Greenpeace dust-up, it is far from being the only issue, and those other issues relate to the assessment to which it is an issue of conflict of interest.

        And there I thought that I had you fooled with my diversionary tactics.

        Damn. You guys are just such whippersnappers.

      • K Scott Denison

        So then if you agree there is a glaring conflict of interest at issue, why attack the messenger?

      • Joe Sixpack

        ‘Why attack the messenger’

        Because he has no defence for the IPCC. There is no defence. Thye have been caught. But Joshua lacks the wisdom or continence to keep quiet and save his powder for another engagement.

        Big dilemma for him:

        ‘Shall I stay quiet and let everyone think me a fool? Or open my mouth and prove it?’

        He consistently chooses the latter course.

      • Latimer Alder

        We;’d all be very interested to read those posts of yours about conflict of interest. And especially since they appear t be in two or more threads.

        Please provide links so that we can better understand and discuss your views on this important subject . Tx

      • Latimer Alder

        I note the tsunami of bloggers rushing to join you in your obsession.

      • Joshua,
        I have been called ‘fascist’, accused of wanting to destroy the Earth, been told I work for a conspiracy funded by big oil, been called a creationist.
        Yet you have the gall to demand that skeptics stop painting with a broad brush.
        How about believers stop writing total fabricated crap claiming that skeptics are mentally defective, or are cynically anti-environment, or hate our grandchildren, or any other of the endless lies your side pumps out to a supportive media?
        Before we audit M&M or deconstruct Lynas, why don’t we wait for the believer community to call for an end to talk of criminalizing skeptics, to honestly talk about climategate, to demand normal scientific ethical standards for climate science?
        What a lot of nerve you have to demand we dust our house when yours is full of rotten maggot eaten garbage.

      • hunter. You have never been to my house.

        Since visiting this blog, I have never made any of the types of statements you just attributed to my “type.”

        On the other hand, you and others at this blog have made numerous false assumptions about what I do or don’t say and what I do or don’t believe.

        Why don’t you start sticking to what I actually say and I will continue to stick to what you actually say.

        In the meantime, I would suggest that you also drop the “Mommy, mommy, they did it firrrrrrsssssttttt” line of argumentation. It is rather unseemly, and I’ve seen you engage on a more productive level.

      • Joshua,
        You managed to miss my point entirely.
        My point is that you are doing to our hostess exactly what you claim others are doing:
        Painting with a very broad brush.
        You mistake my laughter at you for anger.
        Sorry about that.
        No, I will continue to paint with as broad a brush as Hansen, Gore, Suzuki, Romm and their ilk do until they are sick of doing it.
        AGW is a massively wasteful and pernicious social movement that has enriched profiteers and opinion leaders at the expense of science and ethics and good works that could have been done, and anything to help rub this truth into the noses of the true believers is worthwhile.

      • Also, and hunter – I don’t think that you and I are going to get very far as long as you react angrily towards me because someone else called you a fascist. You’d get much farther taking it up with them.

        And I’m not “demanding” anything. I’m sharing my perspective on what would make Judith’s efforts more effective. Honestly, you or anyone else can feel absolutely free to disregard my perspective. I give you permission.

      • ONE statement by Ray???

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  11. The conflict is over, we have…

    Greenpeace in Our Time. :)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8584210/The-IPCC-declares-Greenpeace-in-our-time.html

    Or, maybe the war will continue. Chamberlain brought peace in his time in 1938, and WW II wasn’t over for a while.

  12. I Think ray should be more angry at the folks in WG2 &3, than he is at folks like M&M.

  13. It seems that everywhere someone shines the light, more UN/AGW threads are exposed. If this is old news, I am sorry to have wasted time but if the sources and quotes given are correct, what is ‘left’?

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_lucytrust04.htm

  14. “Understanding the conflict”. Reading the piece, I really don’t know where to begin; there are too many strands to it but a few thoughts do come to mind.

    The first one would be the simple statement that us skeptics are not going to go away. Since we’re unpaid and largely outside the climate establishment by virtue of a different profession or inside it but protectd by anonymity, that’s never going to happen. Never. You’d be surprised at how passionately so many of us believe in science. I know I do. I also know that the blogosphere has real influence in this area. Anyone who doubts that statement, will have to come up with a real explanation of why the political will has dropped out of the global warming movement since climategate.

    The second thought would be that the aforesaid climate establishment find any sort of honest interaction with us somehow beneath their dignity. Quite frankly, that suits us well. This blog is probably the only pro-GW one that most of us have not been banned from and speaking from personal experience, all you needed to do to get banned was dissent. Plaudits to Judith on that one. However, I’m not convinced that we must somehow reach a rapproachment; when something is scientific nonsense, it’s still just nonsense. The equation 1 = 2 is not something we can reach a middle ground on; it’s simply wrong.

    All that years of marginalisation, censorship and personal attacks on the skeptics have achieved is to breed some very hardy skeptics.

    Pointman

    • Do any of you see any commonality between the arguments leveled against those who criticize McIntyre for this IPCC COI, and with those who criticized Mann’s original “Hockey Stick” papers? Apparently some of these unwritten rules are:

      1) Any criticisms are not acceptable and not valid unless they successfully challenge the most base conclusions of the publication.

      2) For any such criticism to be permitted as ‘considerable’ that fails (1), it must be subject to at least 1 of the following requirements:
      2a) It must be made by someone who is known to be a continuous supporter of the author being criticised (and their works).
      2b) It must be well-layered in approving language that makes known to all the worthiness of the author or organization being criticised.
      2c) It must be accompanied by convincing statements that declare such marginality of the criticism such that if it was never addressed, it still wouldn’t be a problem.

      Any I close? Comments like “criticizing this small part has nothing to say about the main crux of his argument” have been used to deflect against Mann and McIntyre both. It seems like there is a lot of truth to such a response in BOTH cases, although McIntyre may not benefit because of Part 2.

      • Peter Wilson

        No I can’t see the equivalence at all. In the case of Mann and the Hockey Stick, not even the grovelling obsequiousness you describe could possibly render any criticism valid. The very fact that you are asking questions proves you to be oil funded, anti science and too stupid to be bothered with.

        Whereas Steve McIntyre makes no such demand at all, nor do any of his supporters that I am aware of. To simply point out that a limited criticism is in fact, limited , falls light years short of the childish straw man you create. McIntyre counters criticism when he considers it incorrect, as is his right, but he doesn’t ever question the right of commenters to criticize him, or suggest that he doesn’t have to answer his critics because they are not qualified to ask questions in his exalted presence.

        That’s someone else.

  15. This might be interesting. Take this political spectrum test and post your outcome along with a very short summary of you global warming beliefs.

    I am a skeptic. I believe CO2 is a Tyndall gas. I believe it is very likely that climate scientist do not know and understand all the major factors that affect climate and that implies the computer models are incomplete and therefore not reliable even as an indicator of response to forcings.

    I scored libertarian.

    http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=politicalbelief

    • I took the test, i scored centrist.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        I took the test, and my two tied high scores were “Left Liberal” and “Reactionary” … which is likely pretty accurate.

      • Some of the questions are VERY USA centric – but I had a go.

        predicted libertarian – result centrist

      • Steve McIntyre

        I came out
        1. Left Liberal
        2. Socialist

        Same as Rattus Norw.

      • Peter Wilson

        I scored Libertarian, ahead of Centrist.

        CO2 absorbs IR all right, but the models are no evidence at all of what happens next, and it doesn’t seem to have much effect so far.The harmful effects of CO2 are entirely speculative,whereas the beneficial effects for plant life are not

    • I scored centrist as well. It must be because I believe Gays have just as much right to suffer as heterosexuals.

      • Well, if one question makes one a centrist, I guess forcing gays to join us in our abject misery would be the one that did it.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Left liberal/Socialist which is what I predicted.

      • What is it about lefties and their need to glom onto some great global cause to justify their lives?

    • I am apparently a libertarian, reactionary, right conservative. Go figure.

    • Jim2 – we’re twins!!

    • centrist, when I thought I was more socialist. Is this a European scale?

    • I scored libertarian, but centrist score was almost as high.

      Like Jim2,

      I am a skeptic. I believe CO2 is a Tyndall gas. I believe it is very likely that climate scientist do not know and understand all the major factors that affect climate and that implies the computer models are incomplete and therefore not reliable even as an indicator of response to forcings.

      I also regret that climate science has become corrupted by the IPCC and a small group of highly influential “insiders” in climate science, but I am pleased to see that the IPCC has dug its own grave and is likely to become totally irrelevant even before AR5 is published (if it ever is).

      Max

    • Right conservative, very dubious of the test assumptions as well as AGW.

    • John Carpenter

      I scored centrist, as I predicted.

    • Centrist just ahead of libertarian…as I thought.

    • Significantly libertarian, well ahead of centrist, a bit of reactionary and a little bit of right conservative. Which is perhaps why I don’t give allegiance to any organised bodies and people have difficulty in pigeon-holing me.

    • John Q. Lurker

      I scored very high in Libertarian, almost that high in Centrist, about 1/3 of that in Reactionary, and a tiny amount Right Conservative. I had predicted Right Conservative. Maybe I don’t understand the spectrum of political opinions? :-)

    • Centrist was my highest. Authoritarian was my lowest.

      W. C. Fields “I’m free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.”

    • I scored:
      1. Libertarian
      2. Reactionary
      3. Right/Conservative
      4. Centrist

      None of the others got any points at all. I would have guessed Right/Conservative.

    • Libertarian – right conservative – reactionary

      But the questions were too simple-minded to be anywhere close to accurate.

      • Yes, the questions are often phrased in ways that force answers neither of which represents my view, and I do have an opinion. And of course they have a USA context and reference. I predicted I would be a left liberal, which would describe my position reasonably well In Oz. But I turned out to be Libertarian of a Centrist persuasion, which might well be how I would be in the USA, had I chosen to stay.

      • 60% Libertarian 40% centrist I believe pair bonding helps stop the spread of AIDS, and education should not “just be done” in schools, what you learn past the basics is what sustains you later in life. Those with gifts (IQ=160+) should be allowed to use them for the betterment of mankind. Science is the seeking of truth for its own sake, as well as the development of better tools to solve real problems.

    • Libertarian to my bootstraps.

      ‘Pollyanna is a fool; Cassandra was wise. As a self-proclaimed “rational optimist” who argues that the world has been getting better for most people and that the future is likely to be better still, I am up against a deep prejudice towards pessimism that dominates the intelligentsia. As John Stuart Mill put it, “not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage”.

      What is more, pessimism has become a hallmark of the Left, chiefly because it justifies activism. Once upon a time conservatives lamented the way the world had gone to the dogs since the golden age (and some still do), while socialists championed growth, technology and innovation to liberate the working class.

      Today, infected by Malthusian ecology, the Left relentlessly preaches millennial doom and technological risk: the climate is heading for catastrophe; resources are running out; population is growing too fast; farming cannot keep up; habitat is being destroyed; poverty, hunger, pollution, disease and greed are only going to get worse. A dramatic change in human stewardship of the planet is needed.’

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/left-activists-profits-of-doom/story-fn59niix-1226078101850

      The conflict is not about a narrative superficially in the dispassionate language of science – but is the climate war being fought out from the perspective of divergent values. DDT, acid rain, ozone depletion – all of the dire environmental emergencies in recent decades faded to insignificance but blighted social discourse while they polluted the zeitgeist. Just as global warming has passed the cusp of public acceptance with the planet stubbornly refusing to warm – at great cost to the status of science.

      Tired of dishonesty and the pejorative in public discourse? I know I am. The warmists are fools and charlatans who keep insisting on nonsense for overtly political – misguided – effect. They refuse to acknowledge underlying motivations. As if anything that people did lacked a political aspect – but necessarily dishonest because their agenda has merely marginal appeal.

      I am happy to pursue practical and pragmatic ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and these are emerging in the real world. What really annoys me is the waste of time and resources involved in dealing with the malign fantasies and nonsensical propositions of the green left.

      • Chief, you echo my sentiments. Kenneth Clark opened his Civilisation series by talking about how societies that were successful were also confident about their values, their achievements, their capacities and the possibilities ahead of them (not quite what he said, but it’ll do). I remember that confidence from the 1960s, but it has indeed been replaced by doom-mongering. There’s a good think-piece there, and I’ll have a go at it.

      • G’day Don,

        Us Aussie anarchists should unite.

        Cheers

    • Libertarian
      Reactionary
      Right Conservative

      I always get a kick out of the question whether the gubmint should enforce morality. Do you consider MURDER, RAPE, THEFT, BATTERY… amoral??

      • There’s a huge difference between immoral acts and amoral ones. Besides the obvious, the definition of immorality is highly subjective.

      • So Peter, what do you consider those activities when the gubmint legislates against them???

    • BlueIce2HotSea

      Libertarian/Centrist. Heavy on the Libertarian, light on the Centrist. Nothing else registered. Predicted Libertarian.

  16. It is unfortunate that Ray P. starts his comment with, “Keith, your problem is that you have no judgment and you are just too gullible.” Ray P’s comments to Keith are condescending as if Ray were were the final adjudicator of all matters of thought on the complex issues of the IPCC/climate change. He speaks to Keith as if he were some sort of child to be scolded and threatened with being disowned by father dearest, Ray P. This is evident in another post by Ray where he expresses his disappointment with Keith’s use of the term “climate capos” and Ray threatens to stop reading Keith’s blog.

    While every person may not know the scientific, political and economic intricacies of climate matters, most have been treated in this condescending manner from the spoiled brat in their youth who takes his ball and “goes home”, to the petty tyrants and megalomaniacs they incur throughout their adult lives. I don’t know Ray, but unfortunately he was unable to engage Keith in an adult to adult conversation and instead tried to make it an Adult/authoritarian to child exchange. In doing so he triggers peoples’ subconscious memory or their interactions with past petty tyrants and bullies and at that point nothing else Ray says, no matter how brilliant, matters because he has shut down the conversation.

    • Ray’ assumption that Lynas is an idiot, (no judgement and gullible) is one of those amusing things that will bite you in the butt. Intelligence is not proof of common sense.

      • Latimer Alder

        One might speculate that a prolonged voluntary association with the noise of the accordion was a demonstration of a lack of common sense.

    • K Scott Denison

      Agree WCK. Ray’s opening Pretty much positions himself as part of the “elites” who are here to save us from ourselves. Now if the “elites” could only find a group of people who were desperately seeking to be saved they’d be all set!

    • Yes, that was pretty nasty.

      I left two comments at that thread supporting KK but the blog kept chewing it up. I gave up.

      Can KK go and shout at Ray Pierrehumbert at Realclimate?

      On top of that, Kloor is attempting, in emollient fashion, to salvage the situation by saying that he still thinks AGW has ‘multiple lines of evidence’ (his standard refrain – you never hear from what these multiple things are) and making it out as though Ray was mentally ill or something when he wrote his comment, and therefore somehow need not be taken that seriously.

      I don’t know who Kloor is trying to assuage. Ray did not call just the Ms names. He put down Kloor, to begin with.

  17. Fred Moolten: “I am guessing that he is expressing an enormous anger at what he sees as attempts by groups with dishonorable motives…”

    I am SURE that he is impugning skeptics by claiming they have dishonorable motives because it is a lot easier to lie about valid criticism than it is to admit most of your colleagues built their reputations around big lies like the Hockey Stick.

  18. son of mulder

    This whole post is about circling the wagons. In any area that is politically or economically sensitive, the proponents of any view have to be squeaky clean in their execution of process. As scientific research is at the core it should be squeaky clean any way. The fact it isn’t and IPCC process demonstrates that along with climategate, hidden declines and the other farcical ineptitude that Mckintyre and co have discovered, the scientifically and mathematically educated Joe Public can draw only one conclusion. …. ie gross ineptitude and political obfuscation is not the root cause but deception is. Clever people are not that stupid!

  19. Skeptical Science dot com is a crock. I was censored and then deleted there, for making reasonable points about the uncertainty around the estimation of climate sensitivity.

    That was after I’d been told my mental state was suspect.

    The site is a bad joke in poor taste.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/cooking-the-books-snip-snip-go-the-censors-scissors/

  20. “Stop calling it “climate change”. That’s a weasel-worded political phrase that dances around the real issue. It looks stupid. Of course the climate is changing. It always has! If the problem isn’t human-caused warming, there isn’t a problem. So call it what it is: anthropogenic global warming.”

    That’s much better, but still not good enough. It’s not AGW either. It’s (A)CO2GW.

    Apart from looking stupid it’s wrong and Orwelian. It’s also crazy. So call it what it is: global warming caused by (anthropogenic) CO2.

    • MarkB,
      Good point.

    • Orwellian and stupid are incompatible descriptions. When Orwell described the manipulation of the language by those in power, there was nothing stupid about it. It is a very effective propaganda tool.

      Terms like “climate change” and “denier” are effective means of diverting the debate from the actual topic. Aside from confusing the issue for the average voter who does not follow the climate blogs, they also divert the attention of skeptics who spend time fighting about their usage.

      Climate change is an intentionally ambiguous term. It was assuredly well poll tested and focus grouped before it gained common usage.

  21. As is so common in life, this entire subject boils down to a very simple principle – one my mother impressed on me long ago: just tell the truth.

    When S. McIntyre originally asked for data and computer code to verify results, he was asking the scientists to tell the truth. The standard instruction is a Science 101 lab class – write up your methods so that another person could reproduce your results – are a requirement to tell the truth. The response to McIntyre’s requests, by paper authors, journal editors and institutional officers, has been almost universally to dissemble.

    To paraphrase Mark Twain: when you’re telling the truth, you don’t have to hide anything. In the climate change movement, there is obviously much to hide. Much of it is in the policy field, as opposed to the nuts and bolts of climate understanding, but the truth is that the policy aspects of the political climate change movement are far more important than the science of climate – which, after all, was a backwater of science until very recently.

    The serial mendacity of the pro-AWG campaigners (both inside and out of the professional science field) doen’t PROVE that AWG is a scam, but it is perfectly reasonable for a neutral observer to smell a rat and require more than insistent assertions and pious hand-wringing.

  22. We can distinguish between criticizing Mcintyre’s answers and criticizing his asking the questions and reveal the difference between science and politics.

    • very good point.

    • Tom,
      I’m not sure I understand your point. There are people who criticize his answers without any reason. All they offer is arm waving and bluster. In my thinking, these people are indistinguishable from people who criticize him for daring to ask the questions. People like Ray Pierrehumbert who pretend McIntyre has not made any important contributions to science are simply not in touch with reality.

  23. In the Opening Mind Part II thread, I spoke to some points that I should have addressed here, because I hadn’t yet read this post. Here, I’ll express a slightly different view.

    In thinking about these issues, I’ve concluded that Judith Curry has undertaken a difficult task she is performing with great skill. In steering a course that encourages rational (and irrational) discourse from all parties to a dispute, she has been forced to choose where to focus her energies and where to let the parties fight it out without her intervention.

    The inevitable result is that she will always be displeasing someone. At times, that “someone” has included me – particularly on occasions when I’ve regretted her failure to refute what I perceived to be egregiously false scientific claims, or on occasions when she seemed to see her life’s mission as a vendetta against the IPCC.
    Much more often, I think she has navigated skillfully toward her larger goal of keeping all parties engaged, appropriately judging it not to be her job to correct everyone’s mistakes. The future perils, however, are substantial. She has attracted to this blog a substantial majority of individuals who consider themselves skeptics, and in a few cases, self-styled “deniers”. This imbalance is necessary if these individuals are to be brought into the dialog. However, an imbalance always poses the danger that if one group of participants is too greatly outnumbered, they will become discouraged by the flood of rebuttal comments to any single point they make, and will simply leave. This phenomenon contributes to the tendency of many blogs to evolve into exercises in groupthink. (The exception to this tendency involves people who love to fight, but they are rarely the most valuable contributors to the information content of a blog).

    Beyond Dr. Curry’s own efforts, Climate Etc. has occasionally been visited by professionals in the climate science field, including Pielke Sr., Schmidt, Scafetta, Douglass, Trenberth (or was it Fasullo?), Lacis, and a few others – sometimes in a spirit of information sharing and sometimes for the purpose of combat. These have regrettably been exceptions, and so the burden of providing legitimate evidence has fallen on the non-professionals. Those knowledgeable enough to explain the evidence underlying what most climate scientists conclude about anthropogenic contributions to global warming and ocean acidification are relatively few. At times, they may consider leaving if not reinforced by Dr. Curry on those occasions when she agrees with them. On the other hand, too vigorous an effort will alienate the majority of her constituents here to the detriment of her overall efforts.

    Keeping one’s balance while walking a tightrope isn’t easy.

    • Fred, this is a useful assessment. The general situation would be improved if more climate researchers engaged actively in the blogosphere, either on their own blog or piping in on other people’s blog. My own experience was that piping in on other people’s blogs can be fraught with hazards, whereas your own blog requires a fair amount of effort. ALso, there are some academic climate scientists commenting here under pseudonyms (their names in any event are not widely known by the public).

      • “ALso, there are some academic climate scientists commenting here under pseudonyms (their names in any event are not widely known by the public).”

        Judith

        That is very interesting. Are you able to give us any more details without compromising their anonimity?

    • Theo Goodwin

      Very Well Said! After reading this forum, I want to say again that her name should be Saint Judith. I have a son who is sixteen years of age and a genius of misdirection, so I understand quite a bit about what Saint Judith goes through here. Don’t worry, Professor Curry, I will not reveal the existence of this blog to my son.

      • What is a “genius of misdirection” is it like a magician? I never heard of that before. Why do they need censorship?

      • Theo Goodwin

        It is a magician. Some people sixteen years of age have magical powers, temporarily. Their magic can harm others.

    • Fred,
      You seem to be a very rare person: rational but still committed to the idea we are facing a significant climate crisis caused by CO2.
      Please take some time to share your journey to the place where you are able to believe we are facing a global climate crisis caused by CO2.
      If I have misunderstood your position on this, please clarify it.

    • Fred Moolten

      You write about our host:

      I’ve regretted her failure to refute what I perceived to be egregiously false scientific claims, or on occasions when she seemed to see her life’s mission as a vendetta against the IPCC.

      I have not witnessed any evidence of “occasions when she seemed to see her life’s mission as a vendetta against the IPCC”. Instead, I have seen evidence that she has regretted that the IPCC process has become corrupt (as many of us have).

      As far as refuting what you personally “perceived to be egregiously false scientific claims”, I hardly think you can hold that against her. First of all, she might not share your personal opinion on what constitutes “egregiously false scientific claims” and, more importantly, that is not most likely not what she considers to be her primary role on this blog (in contrast to Romm and Schmidt on their blogs).

      Otherwise, what you wrote is OK by me.

      Max

    • John Carpenter

      Fred, you are a gentlemen in this debate.

  24. I can only imagine how horrible it must be today to work as a climate scientist and constantly and viciously being attacked by people who are not interested in science but only seem to be motivated by ideology and ressentments. I can understand very well that overreactions and a bunker mentality ensue after a while. It’s only human.

    • edward getty

      “I can only imagine how horrible it must be today to work as a climate scientist and constantly and viciously being attacked by people who are not interested in science but only seem to be motivated by ideology and ressentments.”

      You mean like Dr. Curry I presume. Yet still no overreaction and bunker mentality here. Remarkable.

      • Theo Goodwin

        I think I am not the only one who has noticed that Professor Curry has some healthy detachment from her statements. By contrast, if you run down the list of the famous pro-AGW folks you find only people who have no detachment from their statements and who present their science as seamless. Either point should make a wise person wary. I have not encountered a good scientist who is a true believer in his science or who uses his science in defense of a passionately held cause. As regards the seamlessness of science, I think that any genuine scientist who encounters claims of it will either break out in guffaws or leave the scene as quickly possible. Science has always been difficult and frustrating and it always will be. Real science is always a mess and should be presented with the greatest humility. (Yes, Einstein was an exception.) Unfortunately, today we have people who were once scientists but now are media stars, among other things. But today their business is presenting themselves. The anti-AGW crowd has its own true believers; however, the important people who have been discussed here recently are not among them.

    • While it is tempting to get angry when attacked, an adult knows that showing anger in a public debate destroys your own credibility. And remember too, that scientific debates have been acrimonious, personal, and even vindictive ever since Newton. You only side-step “attacks” when you do ho-hum work or study obscure topics.

    • Guest,
      Yeah right.
      What do you balance your diet of strawman with? Red herrings?

  25. son of mulder

    Fred Moolten | June 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I’m sorry Fred but the issue is that scientifically and mathematically literate folk, without a political axe to grind, simply want to read honest science. We can quickly recognise bullshit from either side and will say so when we see it. Straight answers to straight questions are not a lot to ask for -from both sides of the argument. When we detect obfuscation, dodgy practice, outright hypocrisy, alarmism, deception, spin, ad hominem attacks instead of straight justified rebuttal or acceptance of claims then the alarm bells ring and suspicion is reinforced which eventually leads to frustration with, distrust of and antipathy toward the particular individual or clique involved.

  26. edward getty

    Those bad, bad skeptics are so mean! Those poor, poor, “national building” consensus followers.

    “At its annual gathering in Canberra today, the Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies will tell politicians that the campaign being run against scientific evidence of man-made climate change ”is undermining the national building work of all scientists”.”

    http://www.westernadvocate.com.au/

  27. What was listed under Skeptoids points to convince more skeptics in the post was actually only the list aimed at what he called the Left. His list for the Right (which really strikes me as being more aimed at skeptics) is verbatim.
    - Look at the data
    - If it isn’t AGW, come up with a better theory
    - Don’t confuse consensus with consensus (meaning political versus scientific definitions)
    - Just because AGW is real, doesn’t mean your are wrong politically
    - Oh, and by the way, the United States Navy is counting on it (meaning they are acting as if AGW will happen as predicted, and they are serious about protecting the country)

    Again he recommends skepticalscience.com for these issues.

    • The fact that the Navy is preparing for it is a great bit of Appeal to Authority. Could it be that the Administration of the COMMANDER-in-Chief told them to prepare for it?

      • Don’t you think that they could have started under the previous administration? That would be very damning if they were prevented from contingency planning.

      • K Scott Denison

        Don’t you think they just MIGHT have more than one contingency plan they’re working with? I dont know, maybe one assuming some form of warming (anthro or not), one with some form of cooling, and one with no appreciable change?

        Or would someone like us to think that the ONLY plan they have is for warming?

        Seriously. A totally irrelevant argument.

      • OK, so if the Navy have a contingency plan, why not the power generation industry, national and local governments, the EPA, the auto industry? This is all that is being asked for.

      • K Scott Denison

        LOL, you thnk a “contingency plan” is all the AGW crowd is asking for? Hardly. The policies being advocated are quite a bit more serious (and misguided) than that.

      • You really don’t have a clue, do you

      • The first step is to know what you will need, and to figure out how to pay for it if it turns out to be needed (thinking power supply, water supply, food supply, transportation costs, and infrastructure here). The alternative is the no-change scenario, which could lead to local disasters, and plenty of blame to go around.
        Skeptoid’s illustration with the Navy shows these are issues to be taken seriously.

      • Jeff Norris

        Jim D
        So I can understand your point better can you please elaborate on exactly what the Military or the US Navy is proposing as a response to AGW? Furthermore would you consider their responses reasonable and supportable absent AGW?

      • I can only guess that they will be looking at a navigable Arctic Ocean with oil resources, and thinking if they want a naval base there (or a bigger one, if they already have one) like the Russians already have. That would be one example.

      • Well, they better be figurin’ out how to sink that pesky Canadian Navy.

      • Jeff Norris

        You’re referring to the Arctic Road Map. The Map does not ask for a base but instead suggests cooperation with Global Partners i.e. Canada which already has 2 up there including a deep port Naval base. You are correct that this is a response to the Russians who in 2002 claimed that the arctic was an extension of Siberia and therefore Russia. So absent of AGW should the Navy be interested in the Arctic even if merely to push back on the Russians?
        Still the Navy has been very aggressive on Bio Fuels, do you not agree that even without AGW coming up with a process that could potential supply your ships and planes with fuel anywhere regardless of fossil fuel reserves would be a benefit? My overall point is that the embrace of AGW is a mere pr marketing tool. By putting the Green stamp on their requests and in their “Mission” it is a way to gain support for their specific endeavors as well as overall support for their much needed existence as a whole.

      • Jeff Norris

        JCH don’t forget that Norway and Denmark have claims to portions also.

      • For example melting permafrost, and degrading coastlines, may impact the way they think about putting infrastructure there.

      • Jeff Norris

        Jim so absent AGW would you still support a greater US Navy footprint in the Arctic?

      • I don’t feel informed enough to make that call. All I am saying to those who decide these things is to pay attention to AGW scenarios, as they are.

    • SS.com is absolutely the wrong place to look, the worst possible place, to understand the scientific debate.

    • Theo Goodwin

      “- If it isn’t AGW, come up with a better theory.”

      This is the classic error in Scientific Method. The person who proposes a new hypothesis and the critic of that hypothesis are not in symmetric positions. To criticize a hypothesis, you do not have to offer another to replace it. Science is the critical enterprise par excellence. The good scientist who puts forth a new hypothesis does so for the purposes of (A) informing other scientists about his synthetic insight and (B) inviting criticism of his hypothesis. The proposing scientist will be the harshest critic of his own work and he will eagerly assist others as they criticize it. There are two ways that a new hypothesis can be successful. Through the work of many scientists, it can become reasonably well-confirmed and constitute an addition to scientific knowledge, though it is always subject to disconfirmation. The other way is that the hypothesis can be found to conflict with experience and then rejected or revised. In the latter case, the achievement is that this path is found to be one that is likely a dark alley.

      Maybe the idea that you have to present an alternative hypothesis as part of your criticism of a hypothesis comes from politics. If you are proposing that Medicare has become unworkable then you darn well must propose some other way to meet the needs that Medicare met. But science is not politics. And isn’t that a wonderful thing? Otherwise, whether you can appreciate Galileo’s contributions to science would depend on your politics.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Correction:
        “In the FORMER case, the achievement is that this path is found to be one that is likely a dark alley.” When the hypothesis is rejected you might have found a blind alley.

      • Well said Theo. Skepticism means skepticism.

      • The person who proposes a new hypothesis and the critic of that hypothesis are not in symmetric positions.

        True; but AGW is not a new hypothesis, but an established theory, with a massive body of evidence behind it.

        At this point, to displace it, you need an hypothesis which better accounts for the available facts, and makes testable predictions which come to fruition.

      • Latimer Alder

        Juts before we all embark on that journey., can you remind me of the way in which the current AGW hypothesis

        ‘accounts for the available facts, and makes testable predictions which come to fruition.’

        Because, so far, I must have missed it. Thanks.

      • Robert, Robert- You write about a massive body of evidence….LOL There is certainly evidence of the basic concept, but there is also certainly no agreement on the degree of warming or reliable evidence that a warmer world is worse for humanity over the long run, or that any mitigation plan would have an effect or be worth the cost.

    • What he meant by
      - If it isn’t AGW, come up with a better theory

      is find something else that fits and explains all the data as well as AGW.

      I just was posing the other half of what Skeptoid said, but I know skeptics don’t like coming up with complete theories having been burned by a few poor attempts.

      • K Scott Denison

        JimD, did you read Theo’s excellent reply? Here, I’ll summarize again:

        It is not expected in science that one who criticize a hypothesis propose an alternative. Simple not required nor expected.

      • Yes, you don’t win over any scientists that way, but that is clearly not the intent of this type of skepticism. It is more aimed at the public.

      • K Scott Denison

        Please, Jim D, provide us a list of scientists who insist that to criticize their work one must propose an alternate hypothesis.

        Thanks, by the way, for making the point that the AGW crowd aren’t behaving like scientists.

        I strongly suggest you llook up “The Scientific Method” and read the history of some great scientists. I assure you they did NOT require their critics to propose alternatives.

      • K Scott Denison

        ps. The obvious alternative Jim D is this: climate change is natural. I think that will do for a null hypothesis, don’t you?

      • To scientists, AGW is a collection of physics facts and datasets that hold together. If you say the temperature in the last decade hasn’t warmed, they are not going to say the physics of CO2 is therefore wrong, because for short-term changes so many other things could do it without violating basic physics, or affecting what CO2 could do in the long term.

      • K Scott Denison

        The point, Jim D, is that is incumbent on those proposing that AGW is real to provide proof. To date, they have been unable to do so in that all of the warming observed to date cannot be shown to be inconsistent with natural variation. That is, NATURAL VARIATION may have caused all of the climate changes observed to date. The case for CO2, let alone anthropogenic CO2, being the driver of climate change has simply not been made.

      • How would you prove a forecast about the future is true? Maybe wait another ten years to see if it panning out? Haven’t we waited for a couple of ten-year periods already, and wasn’t the 2000′s the warmest decade on record? Still, some are not convinced, so we should wait till the last few are, I guess.

      • Jim D

        You ask:

        Haven’t we waited for a couple of ten-year periods already, and wasn’t the 2000′s the warmest decade on record?

        The first decade of the 21st century was the decade in which the warming trend of the late 20th century stopped. Was this the start of a longer-term trend of slight cooling, as we have seen from 1940s to 1970s (when the latest warming cycle started)? Or was it just a 10-year cooling “blip” that will soon reverse itself?

        We should wait and see, Jim, because we really do not know the answer to that question, do we?

        Max

      • So, Max, you would give it another ten years? I think after another 0.15 C or more increase, as will probably happen, the skeptic numbers will dwindle considerably. The slight cooling in the later 2000′s decade has set a soft target for the 2010′s to beat handily.

      • “The point, Jim D, is that is incumbent on those proposing that AGW is real to provide proof.”

        Which they have. And now it is incumbent on those challenging that proof to present their new, alternate hypothesis, and achieve the high standard of evidence you describe.

    • Skeptoid is so wrong, he is even wrong about he thinks he is wrong about.

    • JimD,
      I thought you were trying to be serious, and then I read you list.
      Anyone who thinks that disproving a theory requires having a different theory is practicing religion or politics, at best; that sort of challenge has nothing to do with science.
      But thanks for playing. Come back some time and try again.

      • It is the second half of Skeptoid’s list that I posted for completeness. I have been here long enough to have predicted how that list would be received here, and I suspect Skeptoid has not been on the blog circuit much to dare to post this. I agree with those views, but I know they can enrage some here, so I don’t say them except through proxy.

      • “- If it isn’t AGW, come up with a better theory
        - Don’t confuse consensus with consensus (meaning political versus scientific definitions)”

        So when cold fusion was shown to be a scam, what better theory did the scientists who exposed if come up with? If they didn’t, does that mean cold fusion works?

        And what is the definition of a “scientific consensus?” (So we can distinguish it from a political one.)

      • If I recall, cold fusion was the theory that challenged standard physics, and didn’t stand up to scrutiny.

      • Cold fusion was indeed a theory, a claim made by “scientists.” It was rejected because it could not be verified or reproduced, not because it “challenged standard physics.” There have been lots of lame attempts at “shifting the burden of proof,” but this is one of the silliest.

      • Yes, it was two physicists against the consensus. Consensus won.

      • JimD,
        No, it was the lack of evidence that won.
        Many truly hoped cold fusion would pan out.
        But the evidence did not support the claims.
        People were willing to walk away from CF for lack of evidence.
        Many people seem unwilling to treat AGW the same way.
        That is the interesting problem.

      • The two chemists were open and honest about what they did and how they did it. This allowed attempts at replication of cold fusion. When climate scientists don’t release all code and data, replication is impossible. Even in the case of computer models where replication might not be possible by most, at least the code can be examined. This seems obvious to a lot of people, I’m not sure why it isn’t obvious to everyone, but obviously it isn’t.

      • randomengineer

        Very poor and uninformed choice.

        No, consensus didn’t win. Enough LENR experiments have been performed *and replicated* by “real”scientists to demonstrate that LENR is real enough. It is poorly understood (if at all) but there are unexplained phenomenae that aren’t the result of poor science. What Pons/Fleischmann did was also replicated, although it could not be replicated upon demand.

        It might help your case if you knew what you were talking about.

      • Hunter, why not take a break from arrogantly asserting what science is (a subject you clearly know very little about) and instead invest your energies in learning some science, maybe even practicing some?

      • Robert,
        Perhaps you should take your own advice.
        Assuming what I know or do not know only makes you look……foolish.
        You believers actually seem to think that auditors should have to show what an audit subject should look like rather than point out the problems.
        You seem to think that pointing out the unlikelihood of reaching 80% is an appeal to authority while blithely accepting dubious (at best ) claims regarding sea levels and weather patterns in 20, 40, and 100 years.
        What is interesting is how non-responsive belivers are when confronted strongly and how they rely on put downs of the intelligence of those they are unable to over power with their faith based claims.

      • Latimer Alder

        Ain’t that the Truth, Hunter!

        Just keep on asking them the tsimple but tough scientific questions.

        Where? When? Why? What? How many? How much? Who? and ‘Which experiment’?’

        Take no bullshit in reply.

        The results are very illuminating,

  28. In regard to Fred’s understanding of Raypierre’s anger:

    Likewise, I can understand the anger of some police officers when a “rat” brings corruption to light. However, that it is an understandable reaction, does not make it a correct one. The target of the anger should be the person who brought the organization into disrepute, not the person who brought the issue to light. Until that’s understood, the net change in credibility will be negative.

  29. What I find telling is the amount of criticism levelled at Steve M and Mark L, yet barely an eyebrow is raised at the assertion 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”

    • Most people think electricity comes from walls. They have no idea how ridiculous such claims really are.

    • I am hoping to line up a guest post to critique this.

      • Peter Smith

        Hi Dr. Curry,

        If you have not seen it already, this article from The Register is pretty interesting with regard to the efficiency and practicality of some existing renewable energy sources.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/07/wind_power_actually_25_per_cent/

      • Peter, thanks for the link

      • randomengineer

        Good link; I read it a while back. When info like this is reported it’s incredible to think that advocates can still publish their “up to 80%” rubbish. I mean really, is there no shame?

        I can’t tell when renewable energy advocates who post on this site make their claims whether this is the result of breathtaking ignorance (or stupidity) or they’re simply evil.

      • I think wind energy is a product of corporatism or something related to it. GE and Obama are like peas in a pod. GE makes wind turbines and is a consultant to Obama. How convenient. Meanwhile, the tax payer foots the bill for an energy source that with every passing day is shown to be extremely inferior to the promises made. And people complained about the free market! This is much worse.

  30. Raymond Pierrehumbert’s comment comes across as an emotional outburst from an angry man. It will not convince reasonable, rational people.

  31. Dr. Curry:

    You said: “The dangers of bad climate policies can be as bad as the unfettered impacts of projected climate change.”

    _____
    There is of course, one big difference. Unfettered impacts of climate change could, in their worst case scenario, bring about the end of humanity. Bad climate policies, while perhaps causing extreme economic disruption and even, in the worst case scenario, the possible suffering of millions of people, are not likely at all to bring about the end of humanity. We’ve got to be right about climate change…the causes and effects, and even more right about where our energies are best spent to mitigate and prepare. I think your efforts here to create a dialog and encourage broad thinking on these issues is one of the best things a trained scientist could do, and the discussions about preparing for climate change are among the most useful, but I think even comparing the potential worst effects of bad policy with the worst possible effects of climate change is misguided and not helpful. Bad policy can mean suffering, bad climates can mean extinctions..

    • Except we don’t believe the extinction part. It is precisely these end-of-days predictions that have defeated the greens. As McCauley put it so well, every political movement ultimately expires from an excess of its own principles.

      “Silent spring” writ large did not sell.

    • You missed out on the word, ‘projected’.
      The unqualified worst-case scenario is the one which simply ain’t going to happen.

    • R. Gates,
      Humans will not go extinct because of CO2.
      I really wish true believers would realize this and stop using it as a sales tool.

    • K Scott Denison

      R. Gates, why do you assume the worst case is extinction of humanity? Please describe the scenario where this occurs. What is the cause of death? Seriously, please explain.

      Because many of us simply don’t believe it can happen.

      • We humans have enjoyed a wonderful springtime of relatively nice weather during this interglacial. Even such extreme events such as the 8.2 kyr event (google 8.2 kyr event if you’re not familiar with this) were walks in the park compared to the big variation in weather that was the the normal over the last glacial period. The much talked about “LIttle Ice Age”, while inconvenient for mainly Europe, was pretty much a non-event in terms of the kind of variations our ancestors faced before the Holocene.

        But let me preface my statement about how climate change could cause extinction, with the statement that I AM NOT A BELIEVER IN ANTHROPOGENIC CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE CHANGE, at the current time. However, we know that such climate related events have happened in the past in earth’s history, with many “Great Dying” large extinction events, and it all of them were not caused by comet impacts.

        But how, in the worst case scenario, could humans bring about catastrophic climate change? It believe the key to such an unlikely, but still possible event, could be the oceans,and this would be two-pronged. Warming oceans, especially at deeper levels could melt the methane clathrates along continental margins, releasing the billions of tons of methane stored there, causing global temps to reach far greater levels than even the worst IPCC levels. Such a methane release could have been responsible for at least some of the great extinction events of the past as ecosystems collapse, especially in the oceans and species struggle to adapt to such a changed landscape. But even if the oceans don’t warm enough to melt the clathrates, they could melt enough to disrupt the ecosystem of the ocean, meaning the food chain, and this of course would affect
        humans. Combined with a disruption in the food chain, which would leave human vulnerable to disease, as there could be a host of new diseases themselves, which could create a double-whammy effect. Such climate-change-affects-food supply affects-human vulnerability to disease has happened before and will happen again, in our future, whether the change in climate is human caused or not.

        The lesson from looking beyond our pleasant little Holocene period is that climate change is the norm, not the exception over time, and extinction is the norm for most species, not the exception. Human caused or not, preparing for a changing climate, whether warmer or colder, or rapid fluctuations between the two, is probably the best use of resources. From hardening food supplies to preparing for potential mass migrations and the social and economic effects of that is a good use of resources.

        My point to Dr. Curry was that bad policies can create inconveniences and even suffering, but should not be compared to the worst of what climate change could mean.

      • Just a follow-up, some of you are aware of this and some not, but approximately 72,000 years ago, a large volcanic eruption occurred (Mt. Toba) which reduced human breeding pairs to as low as 1,000. (that’s dangerously close to extinction). It was the climate change from this large eruption that brought this about. So before you discount the idea that climate change could bring about the extinction of humans, consider what happened a mere 72,000 years ago, which was a blink of an eye from the overall history of life on earth. For more info, see:

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

      • Latimer Alder

        To be more specific. it was the sudden *cooling* following this event that is theorised to have caused the fall in numbers.

        You will find few here who would disagree that yet more colling of the Erth will have unhappy consequences. We know the history of the Ice Ages reasonably well,..and their effects on life and humanity.

        But since the ‘scare du jour’ is of a modest temperature *increase*, not decrease, I fear we can draw few conclusions from your example.

      • K Scott Denison

        Wow, your example is from “only” 72,000 years ago and is the result of a instantaneous event.

        I’m not sure, but the technology that humans had then with which to adapt to this sudden event was maybe just a bit less sophisticated than what we have today. Oh, and I don’t see CO2 as being as sudden an event as a volcanic eruption, so maybe there will be more time to adapt as well.

        Other than that, your scenario is completely improbable.

      • R. Gatges,
        One that is not particularly well documented, and
        Two, we are not paleolithic people with no technology and resources.
        And 65,000,000 ya a small asteroid created problems that led to massive extinctions as well. So?
        If you think that CO2 can do the same, please don’t bogart that joint.

      • Uhh, I don’t want to sound skeptical or anything, but 1,000 breeding pairs 72,000 years ago is one of those precise statistical claims that I find, shall we say, curious.

      • Latimer Alder

        Its easy

        There was Adam & Eve (1)

        and 999 others.

        Precise and simple.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Your scenario does not fall within the realm of measurable probability. It will appeal only to hysterics. Unfortunately, at this time in human history, we are blessed with a tsunami of hysterics. It is truly bad form to encourage them.

      • Tetlock showed us that “expert” predictions fare no better than a chimp throwing darts. I’d rather have a tsunami of chimps than the tsunami of hysterical climate “experts”. The chimps would do far less damage.

      • K Scott Denison

        Your scenario, I believe, isn’t within the realm of any reasonable probability. It may be good for scaring and intimidating some, but really won’t lead to any substantive discussion on policy. It will simply be dismissed as hyperbole and scaremongering.

      • I was asked to supply one way in which climate change could bring about the extinction of the human race. While currently the melting of clathrates is improbable, it is not impossible, and some current evidence actually exists that there has been a rise methane levels coming from the Arctic ocean floor, which could be related to increased temperatures and melting clathrates:

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/09/24/methane-bubbles-in-the-arctic-ocean-give-climate-scientists-the-willies/

        Again, an unlikely, but not impossible way that the climate change could become catastrophic. More importantly is to understand that climate change is the norm of existence on earth, and the happy climate times of the Holocene are the exception, rather than the rule.

      • K Scott Denison

        It is also a possibility that the earth will be struck by an asteroid, tipped of its axis, and sent spinning into the universe. Therefore I believe we should immediately tax everyone on the earth in order to build an asteroid defense system, a collection of millions of satellites each equipped with a laser that can destroy any asteroid heading our way.

        It is also possible that a 10.0 earthquake will strike Chicago. Therefore we should tear down the entire city and rebuild it to new seismic standards.

        It is also possible that…

      • Actually, governments are spending money already researching ways to deflect a large asteroid, and considering the probability of such an event, it’s a reasonable use of some resources. Eventually LA, San Francisco, or even Seattle will get hit by a very large earthquake, so glad to see some preparation for that eventuality.

        Sooner, (based on long geological records), rather than later, the pleasant Holocene climate will end. Human activity could delay or even hasten this, but it will happen. The climate will change, and could change abruptly and swing to extremes as it did during the Younger Dryas period, which was “just yesterday” in geological terms. It is not unwise to prepare for extreme changes in earth’s climate, as it could have an equal probability of happening as a large asteroid hitting…and taken together, the probability of one of them happening is of course higher, and since the results could be similar, it is not an unwise investment to be prepared for both.

      • Latimer Alder

        @R Gates

        ‘climate change is the norm of existence on earth’

        Amen to that, brother.

        You won;t find a ‘denier’ in the land who will disagree with you there. We all agree that climate changes.

        As somebody else this week (nearly) memorably said:

        ‘Then you are a Denier’

      • R. Gates,
        To assert humans have enjoyed a spring like pleasant time during our history flies in the the face of reality.
        One can only desperately hope that you are not the Gates involved with making a lot of high level policy decisions that cost a lot of money.

      • R. Gates,
        I missed you clarification, and I appreciate the difference you are offering in this discussion.
        We will muddle through just fine.
        And we will muddle through much better if we are not wasting literally tens of billions on CO2 hysteria, but rather on things that will actually help us.

    • Think about geoengineering gone wrong, there are endless possibilities whereby the cure is worse than the disease.

      • K Scott Denison

        Exactly, think Vonnegut’s “Ice-9″!

      • I agree 100% with this, and oppose geo-engineering efforts of any kind. We are messing with a system that exhibits spatio-temperal chaos…it is almost guaranteed to make things worse in fact.

        BTW, I did not lump geo-engineering into the category of “policies”. It is one thing to create a carbon tax, but quite another to spread sulfur crystals into the atmosphere etc. So, at least in my way of thinking, there are two distinct ways of approaching lessening anthropogenic climate impacts…one, passive, that is, try to reduce your carbon foot print by consuming less, (either voluntary or imposed by regulations) and the other very pro-active— namely geoengineering, which again, I oppose strongly.

      • It’s geo-engineering in all directions.

      • Or endless possibilities in which the cure is not a cure.

        If cap and trade is attempted without the necessary technology, the world will bankrupt itself with no effect on climate. Beyond that the spending on ineffective measures will crowd out investments in research that could lead to effective technologies

    • sort of like Harold Camping’s Rapture?

      Science Fiction is not science.

    • R. Gates

      There is of course, one big difference. Unfettered impacts of climate change could, in their worst case scenario, bring about the end of humanity. Bad climate policies, while perhaps causing extreme economic disruption and even, in the worst case scenario, the possible suffering of millions of people, are not likely at all to bring about the end of humanity.

      “end of humanity?” Get serious. I have seen no such projections even in the arguably exaggerated IPCC reports.

      As our host here counseled a US congressional committee last fall:

      The threat from global climate change does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century even in its most alarming incarnation.

      “extreme economic disruption and … possible suffering of millions of people?” Possible but unlikely. (Common sense will most likely prevail and such actions will not be approved by the voters of the democratic societies).

      To this topic our host advised the same congressional committee:

      It seems more important that robust policy responses be formulated rather than to respond urgently with policies that may fail to address the problem and whose unintended consequences have not been adequately explored.

      Face it. All doomsday predictions have one thing in common: they all fail. The “precautionary principle” is basically nothing more than an attempt to by-pass the rational decision process with a fear-based rush to action.

      Sorry, NO SALE.

      Max

      • It is unnatural for any species to have to consider their own extinction, and the thought of it will be resisted by the deepest parts of the brain. Yet the vast majority of species that have ever lived on earth have faced exactly that and climate change was the reason. Through spreading our seed out among the universe, or perhaps modifying our own planet through geoengineering perhaps we’ll escape that fate. But we’d better figure things out fairly soon (meaning in the next few hundred years), as we can be certain that our pleasant Holocene climate is bound to end one way or another.

      • Latimer Alder

        Please explain your opening assertion

        ‘It is unnatural for any species to have to consider their own extinction’

        and especially what you mean by ‘unnatural’.

        Unusual I can go with, unique seeme a pretty good possibility. But ‘unnatural’?

        As to your second assertion

        ‘Yet the vast majority of species that have ever lived on earth have faced exactly that and climate change was the reason’

        I think you need to come up with quite a lot of evidence to prove that your so-feared climate change was the sole reason for their extinction.

        Please guide me…in your own words, from your own understanding, of why you believe this to be so.

      • John Q. Lurker

        It is unnatural for any species to have to consider their own extinction, and the thought of it will be resisted by the deepest parts of the brain.

        Humans are the only species that can consider their own extinction, so if humans are “unnatural,” then maybe it’s unnatural, but that’s the only way it would be unnatural. Secondly, resistance to it by the “deepest parts” of the brain would have to be an evolutionary adaptation, but such an adaptation could not have occurred. There is such a thing as resistance to the idea of one’s own death, but even if it were valid to extrapolate from it, you’d be talking about a weak resistance. We have no great resistance to buying life insurance and cemetery plots, and we do not deny the possibility of death by various causes.

  32. I fail to understand what Judith is trying to do on this blog. I have spent some time trying to educate myself into the intricacies of this vexed climate change question, and have used the IPCC publications as an entry into the field and a way to get an overview of the science. It has been a useful document and great entry into a vast literature. Yet reading this blog, am I to come to the conclusion that that was the wrong thing to do as the whole IPCC structure is corrupt? Are all the scientists that were engaged in putting the IPCC report together frauds? Is everything that I have read merely part of a huge conspiracy, and I am wasting my time trying to get an understanding because the whole of this scientific field is a fraud? That often seems to be the thrust of Judith’s blog and the discussions here to a relative newcomer like me.
    I would just like to add that in the short time that I have read this blog, I have formed a great admiration for the reasoned, always well thought through and highly principled contributions of Fred Moolten.

    • Latimer Alder

      I clicked on the ‘About’ and found

      ‘Climate Etc. provides a forum for climate researchers, academics and technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists, and the interested public to engage in a discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface’

      Key points for an educated layman with a hard science background like me.

      1. It s a forum. A place to discuss and debate. Not a Press Office or a megaphone. Different views are sought and encouraged.

      2. ‘The science-policy interface’ has IPCC right at its heart. It would be unthinkable that the IPCC and its doings went unnoticed and undebated here.

      3. Having read the discussions, you must make your own decision about whether you think the whole of the field is fraudulent.

      But for me, there is strong and ever growing circumstantial evidence that there are a lot of dark and murky corners of process, ethics, integrity and accountability that need a strong light shone upon them. And this forum helps to do that.

      If you are expecting something else..a Party Line, Certainty or just a quiet life, I fear you will be disappointed

    • Gunter, there are actually a variety of skeptical views expressed here, some more extreme than others. I myself make a distinction between advocacy and corruption. The IPCC is a political advocacy group, an extension of UNEP. It does it’s job well, which is to present the strongest possible scientific case for AGW. If your view of the science is based on the IPCC reports then you have half of the picture. You can get the other half on this blog, but only in bits and pieces.

      Nor is there any conspiracy, rather there is a major ideological and political movement in progress, environmentalism. The scientists are deeply divided, which is normal for science at the frontier, but they are also deeply motivated by ideology. The scientific debate and the ideological debate are hopelessly entangled.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        “The IPCC is a political advocacy group, an extension of UNEP. It does it’s job well, which is to present the strongest possible scientific case for AGW.”

        And yet all too often the “strongest possible scientific case” somehow turns out to be a Greenpeace puff piece … thanks, David, I’ll pass. What the IPCC is putting out there is as far from science as a man can get. You were doing well when you said it is a “political advocacy group”, you should have quit while you were ahead.

        Next, you say there isn’t any conspiracy. If not, how do you explain Jones asking his un-indicted co-conspirators to delete the email showing that they were conspiring to evade the IPCC regulations?

        However, in general I’d say you are correct that the problem is not conspiracy. Instead, there is a lot of “noble cause corruption”, which is a very different thing, and (unfortunately) much more dangerous. Corruption you can fight. Self-deluding idiocy is much harder to stop.

        w.

  33. 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. . . . Whether M&M have recently published papers in the most prestigious science journals is irrelevant to the public.

    This is really where Dr. Curry’s philosophy seems to me to go off the rails — when she interjects into a discussion of how to do and critique science with and argumentum ad populum which assumes that public hostility to climate science is an objective measure of how well the science is being done, as opposed to being, as most dispassionate observers I think would conclude that it is, being largely driven by right-wing ideological feelings.

    This is not to say all “skepticism” is primarily motivated by those feelings; but when you invoke the will of public as evidence of flawed science, you cannot escape the fact that most of that criticism is demonstrably scientifically illiterate, mixed in with a lot of other hysterical right-wing talking points, and violently indifferent to empirical evidence.

    There are many examples of large sections of the public taking exception to scientific findings. Most Americans don’t believe in the theory of evolution; does this mean the world of biologists have failed? Does this mean that they should take the public’s skepticism as a sign that they have been too insular, and need to incorporate more Creationists into the study of evolutionary biology?

    One could ask the same question about sections of the public who feel vaccines are unsafe, or fluoride supplementation dangerous, or that man never landed on the moon.

    None of this is to say “outsiders,” or the lay public, can never be right and scientists wrong. However, the public is often wrong in their evaluations of science, they are frequently swayed by religious or political feelings, and hence to invoke “the public” as evidence that climate scientists are doing science wrong or need to value “skeptics” more highly is not a reasonable assumption. An argument needs to be made that the feelings (mostly among conservatives) of hostility to climate science are driven by flaws in the scientific process and could potentially be assuaged by incorporating unaccomplished, sloppy amateur scientists like M&M.

    • It is a mistake to assume that the desire for accountability is associated with weak scientific arguments or a particular political ideology. The issue is accountability. And the arrogance of assuming that the judgment of a self selected group of experts is sufficient to establish credibility was blown to smithereens by the emails.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Very Well Said!

      • K Scott Denison

        Well said.

      • It is a mistake to assume that the desire for accountability is associated with weak scientific arguments or a particular political ideology. .

        I agree; what I am saying is that it is a mistake to assume that the desire for accountability is the primary force behind the hostility of a significant portion of the public to the science of climate change and the prospect of taking action to slow it.

        In the “skeptical” demographic you have a couple of bowling teams’ worth of credible scientists who are highly critical of climate scientists and doubt global warming will be a serious problem in the near future — I think of yourself, Christy, Spencer, Tol and a few others. Meanwhile there are many millions of Americans who think the earth is not warming, or that humans are not causing the warming, or that the whole idea of global warming is a conspiracy by socialists to destroy America.

        When you talk about the image of climate change in the public’s mind, and the impact that has on policy, it is that latter group that is politically important (it is not your concerns about the IPCC’s Bayesian treatment of risk that caused the majority of Republican presidential candidates to declare that they do not believe in climate change. Would that it were!)

        I think you can make your case on its merits, but I think that it is a mistake to invoke the mass community of skeptics as evidence that your concerns are valid. The implicit promise you make, too, that if the climate science community were to reform along the lines that you outline, hostility to climate scientists and climate science would lessen, seems to me a highly dubious proposition. Would such reforms stop the death threats against climate scientists? Would they win over people who think global warming is disproved by a heavy snowstorm?

        Because of the hunger of “skeptics” for some shred of scientific credibility, you now find yourself, through no fault of your own, at the head of a mob. But you don’t control that mob; you don’t share the same diagnosis of the problem or the potential solutions; if you did not exist, they would invent you (failed experiments along those lines to date include Steve Goddard, Willis Eschenbach, and Christopher Monckton.)

        And the arrogance of assuming that the judgment of a self selected group of experts is sufficient to establish credibility was blown to smithereens by the emails.

        So it has often been asserted, but I’m afraid nothing I’ve seen in the emails leads me to doubt the credibility of climate science, and most of those trumpeting the stolen emails have a bit of a credibility problem themselves.

      • Interesting perspective; I wonder how many of the Denizens were previously (or currently) “disciples” of Goddard, Eschenbach and/or Monckton?

      • Nope, definitely not, and nope yet again. The effort spent on trying to reframe concerns about the integrity of the IPCC as anything but honest would be much better spent on a little introspection.

        And while the general public may be less than nuanced in their understanding of the issue, serving up softballs like the “stolen” emails, the Himalayas fracas, and these latest two debacles doesn’t help the case of those trying to claim “nothing to see here”.

      • Me! Me! (yes it is a joke!)

        Actually I had never met or exchanged any view with Monckton until a few weeks ago, but there is a strange strange lady on the ‘net that got convinced years ago that I was one of Lord M’s disciples.

        So when Monckton sat next to me at the presentation of “Cool It” by the GWPF, I introduced myself as one of his minions.

      • Goddard.. i believe i waged some pretty heated battles against him at WUWT
        Willis: we are friends but we disagree violently on some issues. we mostly agree
        on open science. so, not a disciple
        Monckton. Disagree entirely with him

        0 for 3

      • Never met or heard any of them, and am uninterested in who people are, only in what they say, and what supports their point of view. I enjoy good argument about theory and evidence, and there is not a lot that, even here. I also prefer politeness to vociferousness, since if I am sure about anything it is that it is dangerous to be too sure about anything. It is so easy to be wrong.

      • I was a skeptic long before ever hearing about any of them.

      • “Disciples” is your word, “failed” was mine.

        The attempts of Monckton et al to present themselves as experts in subjects they lack basic knowledge of could be simple arrogance, but the eager consumption of their work by those whom ironically label themselves”skeptics” is indicative of the hunger for some sort of scientific authority to try and lend credence to the skeptic ethos.

        Many of the “Denizens” exhibit the same pattern of aggressive ignorance and (in a further irony) appeals to their own authority (as engineers or physicians or simply self-taught “experts.”) So one could argue that they are effectively disciplines of people like Monckton, who pioneered this rhetorical strategy in the realm of climate change (and the denier memes, of course, are not original, but get recycled over and over), or alternatively could represent convergent evolution of the same sort of blowhard.

      • Robert –
        The attempts of Monckton et al to present themselves as experts in subjects they lack basic knowledge of could be simple arrogance

        No – the arrogance is on your part in assuming that you know the level of education/knowledge of Monckton – or anyone else.

        That ASSUMPTION is akin to assigning motives to those who disagree with you. Pure arrogance.

      • If I can indulge in a little diversion, Monckton is certainly no worse than the host of others trying to sell books, and he’s right about more things than many on the alarmist side. Which do I fear more? Hell, I’ll take my chances with climate change, but not with the totalitarians.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘what I am saying is that it is a mistake to assume that the desire for accountability is the primary force behind the hostility of a significant portion of the public to the science of climate change and the prospect of taking action to slow it’

        Whether that is or isn’t true may be of great interest to you, But it is of no relevance to the need for climatologists to be accountable and to show honesty and integrity.

        The rest of your remarks are really a rather pathetic and childish attempt to divert attention.

      • Whether that is or isn’t true may be of great interest to you, But it is of no relevance to the need for climatologists to be accountable and to show honesty and integrity.

        “Loudly for truth have liars pled.”

        Your pathetic attempts to distract attempt from your plagiarizing, graph faking, resume-packing “skeptical” clowns by pretending to detect a problem with the integrity of those your ilk targets with death threats is laughable.

        You don’t have any integrity, so I guess it’s not surprising you don’t know what the word means.

      • Your pathetic attempts to distract attempt from your plagiarizing, graph faking, resume-packing “skeptical” clowns by pretending to detect a problem with the integrity of those your ilk targets with death threats is laughable.

        What death threats, Robert?

        Proof??

        The death threats I’ve seen have been directed at skeptics.

        BTW – have you noticed that you’ve lost your “integrity”?

      • Jim, I suggest you read the news instead of listening to the voices.

      • You made the charge – back it up. I rarely listen to news – got out of the habit after spending a couple years in places you wouldn’t dare go.

      • Australia’s leading climate change scientists are being targeted by a vicious, unrelenting email campaign that has resulted in police investigations of death threats.
        The Australian National University has confirmed it moved several high-profile climate scientists, economists and policy researchers into more secure buildings, following explicit threats to their personal safety.

        Scientists at universities in NSW and Queensland have told of being moved to high security buildings, where their names do not appear on staff directory lists or on their office door.

        Not that it’s really a game-changer. A few lunatics doesn’t necessarily prove anything. But it does speak to the extreme level of personal animosity directed towards climate scientists from the “denialosphere.”

        From what I’ve seen, concerns about “scientific integrity” are not the primary driving force behind the animosity, but the primary drivers lie political and ideological context. I think that Robert does a nice job in describing how “conservative” or libertarian ideologies predispose a certain segment of the public to oppose the theories of climate scientists because of the political ramifications of those theories. Some of those in opposition work their way backwards into hatred for climate scientists, and some percentage of those work their way into violent fantasies.

        It’s not entirely unlike the right-wing militia groups that work their way back to fantasies about killing cops and/or Obama.

      • Thank you. That link should have been attached to the first mention of this subject. It would have saved time for all of us.

        The article is right in one respect – that the threats are politically based and have little to do with climate change as such.

        Now allow me to tell you that I DO NOT condone those threats.

        OTOH, I haven’t seen any great angst about the many threats against skeptics for the last 20 years. Instead, I’ve seen a lot of “they deserve it” type comments from your side of the floor. You seem to forget that “what goes around, comes around” – and then you squawk as if your side had never done anything like that. .

        One last thought – if these threats were made by people who were serious , they wouldn’t have been “threats”, but “acts”.

      • JIm – no one on “my side of the floor,” in any way, would ever say that a “skeptic/denier” deserves a death threat.

        Once again, you show that your beliefs about what I do and/or don’t believe are disconnected from reality.

        In fact, I would argue that your propensity to continuously mistakenly attribute beliefs to me (like as with hunter, gary, stan, and not a few other contributors to this blog) is an example of the politically driven animosity I spoke about in another comment. The only reason why you’d make such misattributions would be because of the ideological drivers that motivate your discussions with me.

      • And as I recommended to hunter, I would suggest that you drop the “Mommy, mommy, they did it first” line of argumentation.

        It is unseemly, and I’ve seen you do better.

      • Josh –
        no one on “my side of the floor,” in any way, would ever say that a “skeptic/denier” deserves a death threat.

        That my friend, is an utterly stupid remark.

        You’ve obviously not inhabited the places I’ve been. Do you NEVER go to the Daily Kos? Or some of the other leftist blogs?

        After the 2004 election there was a serious discussion as to whether it was “immoral” to shoot Republicans. After the German Green Party proposed draconian measures against anyone expressing “denialist” views there were long discussions about how those measures didn’t go far enough.

        You should pay attention to what your own people are saying, Josh.

      • The only belief I have attributed to the serial whiner Joshua is…progressivism. I attribute such beliefs to him because of comments like these, which appear immediately above:

        “From what I’ve seen, concerns about “scientific integrity” are not the primary driving force behind the animosity, but the primary drivers lie political and ideological context. I think that Robert does a nice job in describing how “conservative” or libertarian ideologies predispose a certain segment of the public to oppose the theories of climate scientists because of the political ramifications of those theories. Some of those in opposition work their way backwards into hatred for climate scientists, and some percentage of those work their way into violent fantasies.

        It’s not entirely unlike the right-wing militia groups that work their way back to fantasies about killing cops and/or Obama.”

        Josh spends lots of time railing against conservatives and libertarians, and defending poor progressives from vicious claims like mine that they are…well…progressives. So I kinda sorta put him on the progressive side of the political spectrum. I don’t doubt that Josh identifies hjmself as somewhere in the middle. Many progressives do. But he has been a full throated defender of all things CAGW and all things progressive on this blog.

        I’ll think of Joshua as a moderate or independent when I first see the smallest modicum of moderation or independence in any of his comments.

      • As to the allegations death threats against CAGW progressives, I am reminded of faked claims of racism and death threats that were so popular among progressives on US college campuses the last couple years, that proved to have been staged by the students themselves.

        http://www.fact.on.ca/news/news0006/ue000605.htm

        “For three weeks this spring, minority students at the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry were the targets of menacing E-mail and a bomb threat. Red noodles were left on the doorstep of a black student, with a note suggesting that they represented a dead black person’s brain. Surveillance tapes were set up. The FBI located the computer used in the E-mail threats. A black dental student, Tarsha Michelle Claiborne, was arrested and confessed.”

        http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/12/trinity-college-in-uproar-over-fake.html

        “The controversy took a new twist when the author of the racist remarks was revealed. It was Lynda Ikejimba, who immigrated to the United States from Nigeria when she was six. She is, as you might expect given her country of origin, black.”

        http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/news/000423.html

        “The false reports by women claiming to be the victims of hate crimes have brought racism to the forefront of discussion at SF State and moved some faculty and students to take a deeper look into how we all perpetuate racism.”

        One of the most prominent tactics of the left is the use of victimization as a tool of motivating their supporters. Whether the issue is race, CAGW, education, the goal is to paint their opponents as vicious, unintelligent, evil and thus unworthy of even debating.

        If in fact the serial death threats alleged in the Aussie article are proved genuine, whoever made those threats should be found, prosecuted and jailed. If, however, this is another example of leftists faking harassment to gain sympathy and positive press, those who orchestrated the campaign made false reports to the police, and should similarly be prosecuted and punished.

        I suppose it is possible that all of a sudden, small government conservatives in some corner of the world have adopted the thuggish tactics of the left, but I know where I put my money.

      • Rob Starkey

        Robert

        I believe you misunderstand much of the general population’s thoughts on the issue of potential climate change in the United States when you wrote-
        “Meanwhile there are many millions of Americans who think the earth is not warming, or that humans are not causing the warming, or that the whole idea of global warming is a conspiracy by socialists to destroy America.”

        IMO, much of the general population (the electorate if you will) became very skeptical when certain climate scientists, and later politicians; were advocating “cap and trade policies and carbon taxes. The more these types of policies were promoted the more it became clear that they would not really do much of anything to positively impact the perceived problem, but appeared to be part of a growing non value added government.
        I believe that what Americans want are policies that make sense— for Americans. Much of what has been advocated thus far does not make sense either scientifically or economically.

      • Rob, I would suggest you look at the surveys. Here’s a recent one: http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf

        I actually completely agree that some of this opposition is driven more by fear of potential measures to address it than any defect in the evidence or the argument, but unfortunately many people are reasoning backwards from their fear of things like international treaties, carbon taxes, emissions caps, or renewal energy (things that trigger a deep sense of tribal uneasy among conservatives) to attacking the science. In other words, not liking the potential solutions to the problem, some people are choosing to reject the idea that there is any problem (this is exactly what psychologists define as “denial.”)

        I would really like it if people who see themselves as conservative or libertarian would try and articulate what action they think we ought to take IF it were proved to their satisfaction that climate change were real, was happening, and would be very destructive to humans. I think if all “skeptics” were able to articulate that — after all, it’s just a thought experiment — the debate would ultimately move forward, as the ideological battle could focus on where the real conflict is (the solutions) and not get stuck because people feel that there is no way to acknowledge a problem exists that does not weaken them and their cause.

      • It is interesting that according to many of the “denizens,” “the public” doesn’t believe in theories of AGW because they don’t trust climate scientists, yet poll after poll that I’ve seen (thanks for the link, btw) show that a significant majority of the American public express trust in climate scientists.

      • Rob Starkey

        Robert

        Your comment –
        “Meanwhile there are many millions of Americans who think the earth is not warming, or that humans are not causing the warming, or that the whole idea of global warming is a conspiracy by socialists to destroy America.” Is probably factually correct but really not very relevant based upon the survey link you provided.

        The survey found that 72% of those surveyed believed that the world was warming to some degree. From a large population you will always find extreme views. Look at the number of people who believed the world would end on May 21st!

        The real point is that the American public by a very large margin believe that the planet is warming somewhat, but are not convinced that the warming is necessarily bad, or that the proposed measures (mitigation strategies) make sense. That seems reasonable actually.

        Regarding your reasonable question:
        “I would really like it if people who see themselves as conservative or libertarian would try and articulate what action they think we ought to take IF it were proved to their satisfaction that climate change were real, was happening, and would be very destructive to humans.”

        My response- I probably could be described by your labels to varying degrees so I will respond. The actions we should take would depend upon what was found regarding what you describe as “very destructive to humans”. If it was found that the atmosphere was becoming non breathable due to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 I would support all necessary steps to stop emissions. (that isn’t likely to be a determination). If it was found that some areas would be harmed and other areas would benefit then those harmed probably need to take steps to prepare for future conditions by adaption steps (building appropriate infrastructure.) It would also make sense to look to look at means to produce energy efficiently without emitting CO2. (nuclear power as an example)

      • It is a mistake to assume that the desire for accountability is associated with weak scientific arguments or a particular political ideology.

        You haven’t been reading your own blog very closely, Judith. Day after day, post after post, your “denizens” explain that accountability is associated with libertarian//conservative political ideology (and, of course, that a lack of accountability is associated with the progressive/socialist/statist/eco-nazi ideology of the climate change cabal.

        You will also read, regularly, that the judgement of a self selected group of experts is sufficient to establish credibility – although of course that self-selected group contains no one from that “climate establishment” you speak of.

      • Joshua –
        You haven’t been reading your own blog very closely, Judith. Day after day, post after post, your “denizens” explain that accountability is associated with libertarian//conservative political ideology (and, of course, that a lack of accountability is associated with the progressive/socialist/statist/eco-nazi ideology of the climate change cabal.

        I’m truly beginning to think that the progressive/socialist/statist/eco-nazi ideology of the climate change cabal. confers an inability to read.

        Accountability is associated with science – it’s built into the definitions of science. And what’s being demanded is that climate science follow the scientific method, which is base on accountability. Replicability IS one part, but not the only part, of accountability. Climate science fails that most basic test.

        You will also read, regularly, that the judgement of a self selected group of experts is sufficient to establish credibility – although of course that self-selected group contains no one from that “climate establishment” you speak of.

        And just where do you read that, Joshua? As I said – I’m truly beginning to think that the progressive/socialist/statist/eco-nazi ideology of the climate change cabal. confers an inability to read.

        You made the charge – now back it up with references.

      • And someday, I’ll learn to double check the html tags.

      • Well said.

    • Theo Goodwin

      “This is not to say all “skepticism” is primarily motivated by those feelings; but when you invoke the will of public as evidence of flawed science, you cannot escape the fact that most of that criticism is demonstrably scientifically illiterate, mixed in with a lot of other hysterical right-wing talking points, and violently indifferent to empirical evidence.”

      She has not done that. She has said that the IPCC has not addressed public standards of transparency and accountability. She has not suggested that public belief about particular scientific theories should count as evidence for scientists. She is writing about work processes within the IPCC that produce its output not about scientific beliefs held by persons in the IPCC.

      • “She has not suggested that public belief about particular scientific theories should count as evidence for scientists.”

        Read the quote I cited:

        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. . . . Whether M&M have recently published papers in the most prestigious science journals is irrelevant to the public.

        “What the public expects” in a “debate” is not how we should evaluate contributions to the scientific discourse, and are unreliable as a sign that there is something wrong with the way the science is being done — indeed, the correlation may be a negative one, as it is those climate scientists who have been repeatedly and overwhelmingly right in their work who are the primary target’s for the lion’s share of deniers’ hatred.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Stop changing the topic to fit your case. What is under discussion is the quotation that I cited, not the one you cited. The quotation i cited is this:

        “It is a mistake to assume that the desire for accountability is associated with weak scientific arguments or a particular political ideology. The issue is accountability. And the arrogance of assuming that the judgment of a self selected group of experts is sufficient to establish credibility was blown to smithereens by the emails.”

        If you want to address the topic of accountability, I will respond to you. Otherwise, you are navel gazing.

      • Theo Goodwin

        The name of the person who first understood and explained the fallacy of appeal to authority is lost to history. The event happened sometime around 600 BC somewhere near the Area now known as Greece. Everyone agrees that an argument based on “who has most recently published papers in the most prestigious science journals” commits the fallacy of appeal to authority. If the public rejects arguments based on publication rate then that shows that the public is not tempted by the fallacy. I hope you have the wisdom to join them.

      • Theo –
        THINK – troll.
        THINK – warmist BELIEVER troll.

        Have a better day.

      • I don’t know if you intended the irony in that remark. The person whose name is lost to history is presumably some kind of authority to whom you have just appealed.

    • Latimer Alder

      Judith didn’t say anything about the scientists being wrong and the public being right..which is the accusation you make. Go and read her words more carefully.

      In case you missed them, here are her exact words again

      “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”

      She merely points out that the public want the scientists to do their job right. Not that the public should do their job for them or think they can do it better than them., Just that they should do it with honesty integrity and personal accountability. Just like most other activities that like to think of themselves as professional.

      the rest of your interpretation must be about some different article since it doesn’t reflect what was actually written here. Unless, of course, you are trying to divert attention away from the central thrust of Judith;s remarks……….

      BTW the concept of ‘violent indifference’ is one I am struggling with. Is it like ;Fight for Peace’? Please explain.

      • “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.

        The fact is that only a tiny percentage of “the public” has ever heard of M&M.

        Oh, but I forgot, Latimer. You explained to me the other day that your opinion and that of “the public” always coincide.

        My bad.

    • K Scott Denison

      Robert, you really don’t think much of the public’s ability to use their BS detectors I guess.

      I would argue that what the public is pushing back on is a group of scientists who have aligned themselves with politicians such as Al Gore to promote an agenda with the basic tenet being “trust us, we know what’s best for you.”

      Meanwhile they watch as Mr Gore buys oceanfront property while at the same time preaching horror stories about sea level rise. This type of behavior trips the BS detectors.

      I note also that you call M&M “amateur scientists”? Why is that? In my view they are the professionals, the ones who follow the scientific method, while Mann, et al are the amateurs who want us all to “trust us”.

      And by the way, you don’t seem to check data as well. According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe in evolution. Sort of shoots down your assertion that most don’t.

      • K Scott Denison | June 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply

        Robert, you really don’t think much of the public’s ability to use their BS detectors I guess.

        ____
        Sometimes the public gets things completely wrong…so I guess their BS detectors malfunction, and if the public didn’t have the ability to get things completely wrong, there would be no use for propaganda, as the “BS detectors” would quickly sort things out. But propaganda is everywhere, as those behind it count on the failure of BS detectors…because it ultimately is not an appeal to reason, but an emotional response that is needed to change perceptions.

      • R. Gates

        Sure, the general public’s BS detector can be wrong from time to time.

        But, as Abraham Lincoln said:

        You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

        Max

      • In the world of politics and marketing, you just need to fool enough of the people enough of the time to stay in power and make great fortunes.

      • “you just need to fool enough of the people enough of the time to stay in power and make great fortunes.”
        Which is what the climatocracy has done very well.

      • Theo Goodwin

        “Sometimes the public gets things completely wrong…so I guess their BS detectors malfunction, and if the public didn’t have the ability to get things completely wrong, there would be no use for propaganda, as the “BS detectors” would quickly sort things out. But propaganda is everywhere, as those behind it count on the failure of BS detectors…because it ultimately is not an appeal to reason, but an emotional response that is needed to change perceptions.”

        You are right there with Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the rest. It is a firm belief of Marxism that human thought is caused by the various factors that make up the human condition – at that time. Marx explained that we (you know, the elite, the avant garde, Al Gore) have to learn the ideology of the proletariat so that we can lead them out of their alienation and to the communist paradise. That thought gives the activist permission to use any human as an experimental mouse for the good of the collective of all mice. Just think about that. How many of us would Stalin send to a mental institution or much worse? How many of us would activists lie to for our own good? That is propaganda.

        Once you get your bearings, intellectual and psychological, you will recognize that the only governmental scheme that does not treat the individual as an experimental mouse is the one that treats the individual as sovereign. The sovereign individual is not caused to have an ideology.

      • Robert, you really don’t think much of the public’s ability to use their BS detectors I guess.

        Explain it to me. Is the theory of evolution BS? Is the world actually six thousand years old? Do vaccines actually cause autism?

        http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-popularity.html

        And by the way, you don’t seem to check data as well. According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe in evolution. Sort of shoots down your assertion that most don’t.

        No, it really doesn’t. Get someone you trust to explain polling and basic statistics to you. Coming from me it’s just going to sound like snark.

      • LOL!!!

        No, it really doesn’t. Get someone you trust to explain polling and basic statistics to you. Coming from me it’s just going to sound like snark.

        And yet you trust the polls that support “your” biases.

      • Polls show that less than 40% of Americans believe in evolution.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx

      • Also, interesting, would be the cross-over between “conservatives” who don’t believe in evolution and those who are “deniers/skeptics.”

        PRINCETON, NJ — The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

        Of course, at a blog such as this you will find, I would guess a majority of, “deniers/skeptics” who do believe in evolution – but when people start bringing the opinions of “the public” (or should I say, Latimer’s opinions) into the debate, the crossover starts to have some relevance.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/27847/majority-republicans-doubt-theory-evolution.aspx

      • Joshua
        34% of Dems believe in strict creationism too, same % for Independents whoopee.
        Did you ever review the FOI post and thread? Did Dr.Curry fail to meet your standard wrt to Nurse or Ward?

      • Good point about the % of Dems – although the difference is of significance, and I would argue that it has some, limited, relevance to the climate change debate.

        I haven’t gone back to the FOI post and thread yet. Thanks for the reminder. I will get to it and get back to you at that thread as you suggested.

      • Joshua, so what is the significance of creationism to climate change?

        (this ought to be a doozy)

      • randomengineer

        This is standard skeptic putdown/accusation #44 and has been dealt with handily here on this forum among others.

      • Latimer Alder

        FWIW evolution is a generally accepted theory over here in UK. In my 50+ years, I can’t remember hearing or reading anyone who seriously challenges it. The only time it was ever mentioned was form my local mad greenie who, on hearing that I had doubts about the provenance of the Hockey Stick began to berate me loudly for being a creationist. Daft bugger.

        But there are fewer and fewer here who believe in AGW. Here’s the latest numbers I could find. Only 30% believe AGW is ‘definitely a reality’. Down from 44%.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/british-public-belief-climate-poll

        There may be some particular cultural reason why evolution and AGW get all tangled up in the US. But over here the creationist argument gains no traction at all.

        Perhaps we are mature enough to see that the two discussions are different. One (evolution) is about science and evidence. The other is mostly about faith and politics.

        Please remember that the ‘G’ in AGW is supposed to stand for ‘Global’. What plays well in Des Moines, Iowa may not have the same cachet in Birmingham, England.

      • Perhaps we are mature enough to see that the two discussions are different. One (evolution) is about science and evidence. The other is mostly about faith and politics.

        A discussion of faith, and certainly politics, is not irrelevant to the discussion of opinions on climate change, nor is it irrelevant to the discussion of science and the interpretation of evidence.

        I can’t speak with specificity to the situation on your side of The Pond (although I have had the unpleasant experience of having to explain to international graduate students in physics, chemistry, biology, etc., that significant numbers of Americans think that the theory of evolution is a conspiracy of godless liberals) but while it is certainly arguable just how much crossover there is between the propensity of “conservatives” to doubt both evolution and theories that GW might be A, I think there is clearly some crossover. It doesn’t need to be made into a bigger deal than it is (see Jeff’s point that some 34% of Dems believe in creationism), but when people want to sweep it under the rug, they only display their own bias.

      • Latimer Alder

        You lost me there.

        Who do you imagine is sweeping what under which rug?

        Not I. You can argue about evolution/creationism until you are blue in the face or toasted gently in the fires of thermageddon as far as I am concerned.

        But the discussion will only be seen with bemused incomprehension from this perspective.

      • Who do you imagine is sweeping what under which rug?

        Take a look at punksta’s comment below. Or randomegineer’s above.

        They’re both sweeping away furiously.

      • Also, Latimer – just the other day you were informing me about the nature of public opinion on the climate debate (which, amazingly enough, just happened to coincide with yours).

        And now you are telling me that you’re uninterested?

        OK – now I get where you got your understanding of “the public’s” opinion – from a dedicated disinterest in the topic.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        Your comprehension diffculties are getting more severe as time passes. Have you sought help?

        Uninterested in the evolution/creation debate. It is not an issue here. Not even among religious types.

        BTW Uninterested ‘ne’ disinterested.

      • Take a look at punksta’s comment below … sweeping away furiously

        The comment you object to, was a simply rendition of your own logic.

      • randomengineer

        Joshua — They’re both sweeping away furiously.

        Not hardly, genius. These isues were examined and discussed in excruciating detail right here on Dr Curry’s site not that long ago. Search function may not be your friend, but it’s still more useful than vapid assumption.

      • No – from your own (OK, Gallup) poll – only 25% DO NOT believe in evolution, 39% do and the rest apparently don’t care.

        Ya gotta learn to read the numbers, Josh. :-)

      • Crossovers….what percentage of people who believe in creationism also believe gravity? Probably quite a lot. So gravity must be bunk then.

      • Polls show that more Americans believe that Elvis was abducted by aliens than in AGW.

    • You may think it silly for those of us in the general public to want instruments to be installed and calibrated in accordance with basic scientific standards. You think we are silly for wanting scientists to be transparent with their data and methods. We’re silly enough to think that audit and replication still have a place in the scientific method. We’re silly for wanting climate databases to institute some small measure of quality control. We’re silly for wanting scientists who have proven that they butcher their stats to get a little help from statistics experts. And we’re silly for wanting people who screw up computer code to get some help from software pros. And we’re really, really silly about computer models meeting basic requirements like verification and validation.

      These may be right-wing talking points to you. But if you think we are going to incur trillions in costs without climate scientists taking care to meet our silly concerns, we might not be the only “silly” ones in the conversation.

      • Stan, you don’t speak for the public.

        There are 300 million Americans. If you can show me a small number, say, forty million, who can describe, without prompting, the problems in calibration you believe exist, and the specific protocols needed to avoid such problems, then perhaps your assertion that “the public” wants all these things will not seem so laughable.

      • randomengineer

        Read the denizens thread and the commentary in threads of that time period by our host Dr Curry. The public is influenced greatly by the skeptical engineers and scientists who discuss this stuff; e.g. Dr Jerry Pournelle has more IQ points than you can count to, is skeptical of the accuracy of the instrumental record, and has a sphere of influence that includes more movers and shakers than you think.

        The “lay public” is then influenced by these same movers and shakers.

        It might help things here if you were to actually read the past threads that explain how all of this works.

        When people here discuss the lay public generally they are referring to the public interested enough to discuss climate.

    • Very nice post, Robert – as is your subsequent one.

      Judith’s constant denial of the political connections to the “/denialism/skepticism” that festers so ubiquitously at this blog, and throughout the “denialosphere.” is astounding to me.

      Fred gives her the benefit of the doubt, and feels that she doesn’t openly call out that political component for what is, because she is committed to open debate, and if she were to identify it, it would effectively eliminate certain people from the debate.

      I’m still not completely convinced, but I’m more in your camp – because of the little tells like the one that you just identified, where she parrots, essentially verbatim, the myth that “the public” has turned against the socialist/progressive climate change cabal because of those nasty climategate emails (polls show that only a tiny % of the American public cares a wit about or knows anything in depth about those emails).

      From what I’ve seen, the true fabric of Judith’s ideology and motivation has been showing through more and more lately. It’s interesting to watch.

      • Ya know, Joshua, some time ago Dr Curry was being pressed to declare herself a “skeptic” and her motives were being questioned by some of the hardcore skeptics. And I answered them. And I’ll tell you some of what I told them.

        1) This is Dr Curry’s blog. She can do what she wants with it. And it’s not your prerogative to question, cajole, argue, whine or demand that she meet your expectations for it – at least not with any expectation that it will have any effect. ..

        2) If you don’t like what’s happening here, then you’re free to start your own blog where you can do what YOU want.

        3) Every time you show up here and bitch about how she’s not meeting your expectations, you reinforce the fact that you know nothing about science or scientists. Dr Curry IS acting as a scientist – which is far more than you have done – AND far more than raypierre exhibited in his meltdown. It’s also far more than many, if not most, of the climate “scientists” have done for the last 20 years or more.

        IOW – your constant barrage of whining about YOUR unmet expectations may be wonderful entertainment for some of us, but it also exhibits all the characteristics that the skeptics have learned to expect from the liberal/progressive left. If you’ve actually been paying attention, there should be no need for me to reiterate the long and never-ending list.

      • If you don’t like what’s happening here, then you’re free to start your own blog where you can do what YOU want.

        Jim – you seem to be mistaken. I quite enjoy reading Judith’s blog.

        Outside of the comments such as yours (most of which are a dime-a-dozen on climate debate blogs), I find much that is interesting to read here. Although I think that Judith would be better served in her bridge-building efforts by being more balanced in her approach, there are many commenters here who write very interesting comments, Judith does represent a fairly unique perspective, and many of Judith’s posts are interesting and have interesting links.

        There – I hope that clears up your confusion.

      • I’m not confused, Josh – but you seem to be confused about your role here. And about Dr Curry’s obligation to meet your expectations. Why do you think it’s your prerogative to determine that a different (your) approach would serve her purposes?

        That’s called “arrogance” – which is one of those characteristics.

      • Jim – in no way do I think that Judith is “obliged” to meet my expectations. It would be absurd for me to think that.

        I am here at her discretion. If she tires of me haranguing her, she can ban me whenever she wants. Unless/until she does so, I will feel free to offer to her my unsolicited suggestions. Feel free not to read them whenever you want.

      • Naaah – I’d rather point out the judgmentalism, error and inconsistenciy in them – when I have the time and inclination. :-)

      • Thank you. That link should have been attached to the first mention of this subject. It would have saved time for all of us.

        What would save even more time would be if you didn’t shoot your mouth off about things about which you are ignorant.

        Spanked again. Must be sore by now, eh?

        And I answered them.

        Jim, your endless whining and ad hominem attacks don’t help Dr Curry or any other “skeptic.” You just don’t write very effectively, or think about these thing very deeply, and both the endless personal attacks, the painful, sad attempts at snark, and your rare efforts at “analysis” are all equally embarrassing, and much, much more so because you have no sense of humility or proportion and seem uninterested in contributing any ideas of your own in the debate.

        I really suggest that for the benefit of your own “side” you tone down the rhetoric, lose the blind hatred, and treat people, including climate scientists and other people on this blog, with the respect with which you would like to be treated.

  34. I wonder in how many other fields such a polarised debate manifests?

    In post war Europe, a new paradigm emerged in music based on Arnold Schoenberg’s 12 tone system. It was seized upon by a quickly establishing new order that sought to reject any continuation of what they saw as an ‘old world order’. A similar sort of thing sprung up in all the arts but it became particularly entrenched in music. Pierre Boulez became a leader of the movement and declared that any composer indulging in tonal accessible music was in his words ‘useless’. It lead to all sorts of silliness including a movement that would go to new music concerts and shout abuse. Funnily enough, the same sort of political demarcations that the climate debate follows existed there as well.

    In our post modern era, the argument seems pointless as new concert music has diminished in relevance to the point of obscurity, propped up largely by academia. But just because as a new language it has proven not to stand the test of time in terms of popular consciousness does not mean that a lot was not learnt that is really valuable now. I wonder what lessons and inferences from experiences in other fields of human endeavour can be learnt and applied to the current circus?

    Climate science to me seems like a bunch of blind men trying to describe an elephant. One man feels a leg and declares he has determined it is a tree, another finds the trunk and insists that the first man is a pillock, it is obviously a snake, another finds the tail and….you get the idea.

    • Theo Goodwin

      “Climate science to me seems like a bunch of blind men trying to describe an elephant.”

      You are not wrong. The whole problem is that climate scientists discovered their Darwin in Arrhenius, overlooked the need for intermediate steps such as a Mendel, and quickly declared that they had discovered their Crick and Watson. Climate science is in its infancy. There is not so much as one surface temperature data set for the 20th Century whose margin of error does not exceed the claimed rise in temperature in the 20th Century. No climate scientist has a reasonably well-confirmed set of physical hypotheses which can do their job, namely, explain and predict the forcings such as cloud behavior that must exist for there to be dangerous warming that exceeds the inconsequential warming that follows from Arrhenius’ hypotheses. In fifty to a hundred years, we will have a climate science worth the name. Until the science develops, predictions of serious harm from global warming are entirely without justification.

    • Agnostic –
      I wonder in how many other fields such a polarised debate manifests?

      This is common in many fields of science – astronomy, biology, geology…..

      But AFAIK, it’s never had the potential that this “debate” carries for sheer malicious destructiveness to the human race. Note that the battle cry is/has been – “Save the planet” — NEVER “Save the humans”.

    • “I wonder in how many other fields such a polarised debate manifests?”

      The classic example is surely biology with the theory of evolution.

      In medicine, there is a highly polarized debate over the safety of vaccines.

      In geology, there is a highly vocal group that argues the world in 6,000 years old.

      Of course in those instances, as in the climate debate, the main dynamic is not scientist-vs-scientist but scientist-vs-passionate-nonscientist-believers, with a sprinkling of scientists real or fake among the latter, highly sought after as a source of credibility.

      Many of the same tactics are recycled. Lists of dissenting supposedly scientists, for example. The ritual invocation of uncertainty. The ludicrous misappropriation of a certain experimental scientist much hated by the church, for example: http://innatehealer.blog.com/2011/01/08/plight-of-a-modern-day-galileo-andrew-wakefield/.

      • Another similarity would be the association of the “establishment” scientists with a socialist/progressive/nazi-like/arrogant ideology that is in violation of the American values of freedom and capitalism.

      • randomengineer

        Comparison of climate debate with evolution “disbelievers” is std issue talking points in certain circles and is almost as reliable in online fora as Godwin’s Law. In fact I’m wondering if some wag hasn’t already named a law for this; if not…

        RandomEngineer’s Law: In any online discussion about climate, at least one self assured, dogmatic jackass will invariably try to compare widespread climate skepticism with religious based opposition to evolution and assume this is a new or otherwise useful comparison.

  35. It seems to me that as the months go on we get little events that cause us to restate where we all are, as Fred has done. For my part, what all this shows is that we still do not have debate, except in the blogosphere. The AGW crowd have the power, and have no wish to debate anything that gets in the way of their exercising that power. No public debate has occurred. None seems likely anywhere.

    So those who are sceptical, and care about the uses to which science are put, do their best to engage through the media. Here they run into trouble, because many of those controlling the MSM agree with the AGW crowd. In consequence, it is difficult to have anything sceptical published, and one is called a ‘denier’, as though AGW is revealed truth and catastrophe must await us.

    It is certainly the case that the public is bewildered by the AGW claims, because they don’t match recent experience, but fearful also, because they are repeatedly being told that sea levels really are going to rise by a metre and that coastal cities will be uninhabitable. But they do not like the proposed remedies, in part because there seems no obvious way in which the remedy will have the desired effect. So while a little over half of the Australian public seems to think that AGW is real, about two-thirds are opposed to the coming carbon tax.

    My current vexation is with the scientific academies, which have issued statements (created by their executives) that support the existence of potentially catastrophic AGW. In my view such bodies have no business in making what are essentially political statements, and I am grateful that my own is prevented from doing so by its own constitution.

    What to do? Keep engaging here and elsewhere, where one can. Wait to see what the weather actually does over the next few years. There are three possibilities, after all: it will get colder, warmer or stay the same. If it gets colder, the fuss about AGW will subside slowly.My current assessment is that this is a not unlikely outcome.

    But if it does occur, I’m prepared to bet that those who led us down the AGW path will swap sides and now lead us, with strident statements about doom, down the ‘new ice age’ path — and governments and the mainstream media will follow suit!

    Too many seem to love horror movies.

    • The AGW crowd have the power, and have no wish to debate anything that gets in the way of their exercising that power. No public debate has occurred. None seems likely anywhere.

      How could I forget the “debate is being suppressed” meme? It’s probably the most ubiquitous of all:

      Expelled is not an advocacy flick for Intelligent Design. Rather, Stein probes why a scientific elite is systematically betraying one of America’s founding principles: the freedom to create, explore, fail, overcome, inquire, debate.

      I.D. is simply the study of patterns in nature best explained by intelligence. It is not necessarily Christian or religious. Yet in its zeal for Darwin’s theory of evolution, the scientific community stifles serious consideration of Intelligent Design. I.D. is called propaganda, a racket, stupid, an excuse to introduce creationism into the classroom, and my favorite—boring. But what could be more intellectually engaging than to allow evidence, rather than the courts, to decide the merits of I.D., evolution, or any other theory of origins?

      No matter. In the scientific community today, power trumps freedom in the name of truth.

      http://www.dove.org/news.asp?ArticleID=145

      • Robert,

        What you have commented on is shorthand for remarks I have made in earlier posts. While it is no longer the case that science is debated in public (the days of the early Royal Society are long past), the translation of the claimed scientific consensus about AGW into broad public policy has passed, in all Western countries, with little or no publicly sanctioned debate of the basis of the science itself.

        I didn’t say that the debate had been ‘suppressed’, and I don’t think it has been. There seems to be, on the other hand, an implicit network of agreement between the politicians, most of them in most parties, the scientific establishments like the Royal and its equivalents in other Western countries, the civil services, and the mainstream media, that no great public good will come from any kind of official debate. So none has occurred.

        I think that this is a great pity. One of the roles of the academies and universities should be to stimulate public debate about scientific, economic and social issues. This has not happened in the case of AGW, and I should add that it has not happened in other areas of importance either. One could say the same about the failure of investigative journalism in this field too,the use of the same shots of polar bears, the same steam coming from power stations, and so on. It is unthinking.

        So it has been left to a few agnostics and sceptics to plug away at what they see as deficiencies in the argument and evidence for AGW, helped enormously by the Internet and by websites like this one.

        I recognise that you are a newcomer here, and finish by saying that all this has been much debated over the last year or so. I’m not sure what you mean by a ‘meme’, but what I have written is an attempt to set out more helpfully what I think has occurred. I will try my hand at another essay on this general topic for our hostess, in due course.

      • Forest beyond trees,
        Sacred in Grove Akademe.
        Cyber vaulted view.
        ===========

      • Ah yes, the scientific elite.

      • Only in their own estimation.

  36. Theo Goodwin

    “Are all the scientists that were engaged in putting the IPCC report together frauds? Is everything that I have read merely part of a huge conspiracy, and I am wasting my time trying to get an understanding because the whole of this scientific field is a fraud?”

    Some of the scientists who have worked for the IPCC have been excellent. Some have proved to be Green activists who contributed no science. There is no huge conspiracy of scientists. However, Pachauri is on record having defended activist pseudo-science as genuine science. Pachauri cannot seem to stop the activist pseudo-science from popping up as an IPCC headline. The most recent popping up and its aftermath is what is being discussed here. One of the topics is what set of rules the IPCC might adopt to prevent conflicts of interest and bias among its scientists. Pachauri opposes any quick implementation of such rules, though he will say that they have been implemented for some time. He is endlessly frustrating. Apparently, some powerful people find that charming.

    In my humble opinion, if you want to know about the present state of climate science read Roy Spencer’s “The Great Global Warming Blunder,” whose title is a bit extreme when the book is not and Monckton’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” There are websites associated with the authors.

  37. such discussion simply cannot happen in the environment you are personally responsible for creating

    Remember children, sharperoo is fighting a war therefore he won’t even allow himself to think anything bad about the IPCC.

    ps the other trouble of the war-from-within-a-bunker mentality is that they will consider nothing as being beneath them, and happily proceed to commit all sorts of vile deeds such as online bullying, amply justifying themselves with the thought that they are…SAVING THE PLANET!!!

  38. K Scott Denison said:

    “According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe in evolution.”

    _____
    If this is true, it is very sad. No wonder the Chinese filed more patents that us last year.

    • K Scott Denison

      LOL, so no admission that your comment was incorrect, rather you decide to make a snide implication that those who have faith make the US sad. IMO says a lot about your character, none of which is complimentary.

      • I have faith and I believe in evolution. What does that say about my character? Really, probably not wise to begin ad hominem attacks here.

      • K Scott Denison

        Well I’ll leave it the readers then to decide what it means when someone makes an incorrect assertion, is called on it, then instead of admitting the error uses the correct fact to denigrate an entire society.

      • K Scott Denison,

        You were the one who said a poll showed 54% of Americans believe in evolution.

        i replied to this by saying if the poll is accurate, that it was sad. and it probably goes hand in hand with the Chinese filling more patents than us last year. All this means that I would like to see what I consider to be a more scientifically educated population here in the U.S.

        If you think this denigrates part of the U.S. population than so be it. I made no statement about the other 46% of Americans, or assumptions as to what they may or may not believe. Your assumption that this 46% all believe the same thing is simply that, your assumption. And again, some people, like myself, can have have a certain faith, and also believe in evolution. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      • In China schools produce 10 engineers for every lawyer while in the USA we produce 1 engineer for every 10 lawyers. Asia graduates 5X as many engineers as the USA.

        http://www.socsd.k12.ny.us/curriculum/project%20_lead_the_way.pdf

        I think this is more likely why China filed for more patents last year. The USA suffers from too many law school grads, journalism grads, political science grads,history grads, sociology grads, psychology grads, and many other education degrees that are for the most part useless in the pursuit of creating patent worthy ideas.

      • WCKWCK –
        The USA suffers from too many law school grads, journalism grads, political science grads,history grads, sociology grads, psychology grads, and many other education degrees that are for the most part useless in the pursuit of creating patent worthy ideas.

        This trend started long ago – it’s not recent. My first Aerodynamics course started with over 250 students. The next semester there were 75 — 36 of us graduated.

        The progression was to start in Engineering as a freshman, then move to progressively easier curricula until on found a comfortable level of difficulty. AFAIK, that pattern hasn’t changed in 60 years.

        It’s a cultural thing with US students. It’s been a long time, but I noticed that the “foreign” students generally didn’t follow that pattern. Most of them had been vetted prior to “someone” (their government? Daddy?) paying their way to a US school whereas US students “vet” themselves by either failing the freshman level courses or deciding that they can’t hack the math/science and find something less mentally taxing to do with their lives. Engineering “sounds” cool – but it’s too much work for many.

      • John Carpenter

        “Engineering “sounds” cool – but it’s too much work for many.”

        Jim, I have three daughters. So far one shows some talents wrt to building things, following directions, etc.. but whenever I talk to her about how we need more engineers, she looks at me like I’m from Mars. “Dad, I am not going to be some geeky engineer”. Sigh… but she is only 13. Maybe it will sound more cool to her in a few more years.

      • edward getty

        Don’t forget way too many ‘environmental science’ grads, including a flood of them in the pseudoscience called Conservation Biology.

        This ‘extinction crisis’ industry has become another false hysteria machine to create jobs for this oversupply of ernest indoctrinated drones, and they work in synch with the oversupply of professional environmentalists. The latter promote the crises while the former provide the ‘evidence’ and they both agree that more research and funding (for both) are absolutely vital to ‘save the planet.’

        When people not masquerading as scientists or planet savers do this it is called extortion.

      • K Scott Denison

        Actually, Robert, it was you who claime first that most Americans don’t believe in evolution, and whe called on it, changed the subject. See:

        Robert | June 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply

        … Most Americans don’t believe in the theory of evolution; does this mean the world of biologists have failed?…

      • R Gates is not me; I am not him.

        I didn’t “change the subject” I just stopped replying to the comments, as the guidelines for this blog suggest, when I didn’t find any of the inquiries worthwhile. Someone who thinks a single Gallup poll showing 16% believe in natural selection while 38% believe in “God-guided” evolution is dispositive of the question of whether most Americans believe in natural selection has too many cognitive lacunae — in their understanding of statistics, how opinion polling works, and just general standards of evidence — to be worth engaging with.

        So I let it go. People should do more of that around here when further discussion is fruitless.

      • “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt” – R Feynman

        Polls are misleading. The questions are usually loaded so I am skeptical of that result.

    • Scott – what poll were you looking at?

      PRINCETON, NJ — On the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a new Gallup Poll shows that only 39% of Americans say they “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36% don’t have an opinion either way. These attitudes are strongly related to education and, to an even greater degree, religiosity.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx

      • Jeff Norris

        Joshua
        Our education system is going down hill for sure.
        “We’re too concentrated on having our children learn the answers,” he summarizes. “I would teach them how to ask questions—because that’s how you learn.”
        Historian David McCullough
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432304576369421525987128.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

      • Actually, Jeff, I think it’s much more complicated than that. Our educational system has a Herculean task. Our public schools do well when stacked up against schools from other countries when you take poverty rates into account: in schools with student poverty rates below 20%, we do as well as the highly touted countries. Blaming the problems on the schools themselves misses the real problems – most of which can be found to correlate with poverty. And unfortunately, blaming schools themselves become part of the problem – in countries with better overall results (not controlling for poverty), teachers are highly respected, paid on a par with other professionals, and education is highly valued socially.

        But that’s for another blog.

        In the mean time – I hope you caught my reply to you on the FOI thread.

  39. First, see Rattus’ point (above) that you are wrong that they are doing nothing. You would have to want to ignore this:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session32/ipcc_IACreview_decisions.pdf
    http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session33/ipcc_p33_decisions_taken_conflict_of_interest.pdf

    To be clear, Judith, the IAC review/evaluation/recommendations was at the request of the U.N. Secretary General and the Chair of the IPCC.

    Perfect? No. Moving forward as an international decision-making framework on climate action? Yes.

    Should the IPCC have had a conflict of interest policy prior to now? Interesting question that has been discussed everywhere else, long before this. It’s an inter-government panel, voluntary (unpaid), with governments and scientific organizations around the world selecting authors and reviewers. Scientific organizations have conflict of interest policies to guide professional ethics and action, even in a voluntary role. Governments are accountable to their people and to other governments. Of note, anti-authoritarians who like to maximize participation and see a large bureaucracy as an impediment to empowerment have argued against formal institutionalized structures and policies.

    Like all evolving and forward-looking organizations, the IPCC is empowering itself with good recommendations using its own resources– kind of the way NRC/NAS is now providing leadership for best practices in science including a new conflict of interest policy, and has acknowledged past industry ties that might have biased past. You proudly and positively reported on their newfound transparency in an earlier blog post. ;-)

    So why the negativity about IPCC regarding similar problems?

    One would think that an anti-authoritarian scientist such as yourself would have perhaps even preferred the individually accountable, bottom-up structure of the IPCC.

    Again, is it perfect? No. Is it demonstrating increasingly co-operative, self-conscious work? Yes, all things considered. That is Mr. Pierrehumbert’s main point.

    The IPCC needs to continue to become as transparent as possible and continue to raise social questions in coming discussions of policy-relevant options.

    • A thread on conflict of interest issues is forthcoming in a day or two

      • Rob Starkey

        Judith

        Do you think my “contest” outlined below is likely to get any takers?

      • Theo Goodwin

        Include bias, please. The IPCC treats bias and conflict of interest separately for no good reason. The important matter, though, is that the way they handle bias is to treat it as an internal matter that the public should not be concerned about. In my humble opinion, the public’s standards of transparency and accountability should apply to bias no less than to conflict of interest.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Can you restate this without using value laden claims?

    • “The Panel invited the Working Groups and the TFI, in taking forward their activities under the Fifth Assessment cycle, to take note of the Conflict of Interest Policy at Appendix 1 and ensure, as far as possible, that their actions are consistent with the Conflict of Interest Policy at Appendix 1.”

      An “invitation” to “take note,” and “as far as possible.” The AR5 honchos must be shaking in their Gucci loafers.

    • John Carpenter

      “Should the IPCC have had a conflict of interest policy prior to now? Interesting question that has been discussed everywhere else, long before this.”

      Martha, we are all behind the curve… yet again. It seems every time one of these little IPCC snafus arises, according to you…it was already ‘well known’ among those who are ‘in the know’. We all know you are ‘in the know’.

      Herein lies the problem in a nutshell.

      Everyone who is ‘in the know’ about these sorts of things seem to think that it is OK for these things to happen as long as no one from the ‘outside’ finds out and makes a big fuss before they get around to fixing it…. sometime in the not too distant future.

      Funny thing about science and public documents… some pesky people from the ‘outside’ actually check out the details… how all the i’s got dotted and all the t’s got crossed and who dotted and crossed them and what pen was used… etc.

      But fear not… the IPCC will be ‘empowering itself with good recommendations using its own resources’ to take care of the problem.

      Whew! You have restored my faith yet again b/c I really really thought Raypierre had a different point he was trying to make.

    • Martha,
      To call the IPCC forward loking and to ssert that they are using the best advice is simply a misrepresentation of reality.

    • ‘The IPCC needs to continue to become as transparent as possible and continue to raise social questions in coming discussions of policy-relevant options”

      except they are going backward in certain areas of transparency surrounding drafts.
      there is also the issue of FIOA. It’s non accountable. If you try to argue that accountablility happens at the government level, the problem is this. Some institutions, like CRU, consider work done for the IPCC to be outside of their duties. hence unaccountable. Been there done that, filed that FOIA.

  40. Rob Starkey

    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.
    The cAGW “believers” 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, or that AGW led to deaths in the Australian floods or the tornados in the US midwest. 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. 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.

    • Nobody who understands the limitations of climate models would take this bet.

      • Bob posted this on another thread and I could not relocate it.

        I do claim to understand climate models, but I do not think the bet makes sense. I would be interested to learn Steven Mosher’s take.

        They have RCMs. What they do with them I do not know. I assume they try to model regional climate, but on timescales of 5 years and specific locations?

      • Eek. DoNut claim to understand climate models!

      • That’s much more eclair.

      • The bet makes no sense. It has the appearance of making sense. The time scale is way to short. Remember, climate means long range statistics. There is no physical thing you can point to and say “there climate!” anyway, 5 years is way to short. to test a long range statistic. Its an oxymoronic test. Next, the spatial scale is off. And finally the 95% test is arbitrary.

      • Steve

        It might be fair to write that the “contest” should have some modification of the terms, but not that it does not make any sense.

        Let’s make it very simple.
        1. For a GCM to be useful doesn’t it have to be able to reasonably accurately predict future rainfall and temperatures for specific areas/regions? I think all would agree – YES

        2. What time scale in the future is meaningful if 5 years is to short? If a GCM is inaccurate after 5 years is it likely to have greater accuracy after a longer period? Please explain because if the margin of error for a model is to high it becomes a worthless tool.

        3. If the 95% accuracy measure is considered to difficult to meet then what level of accuracy do you think is reasonable to validate the model?

        If people wish to make policy decisions based upon the output of a climate model, shouldn’t those same models be reasonably accurate?

      • For a GCM to be useful doesn’t it have to be able to reasonably accurately predict future rainfall and temperatures for specific areas/regions? I think all would agree – YES

        No, I don’t think so. That would be very useful, no doubt, but as long as we are debating whether the world is warming, how much it is warming, and what the impact of different mitigation strategies might be, modelling the physics of climate through a GCM is an important tool (not the only important tool, not a substitute for collecting direct physical evidence.)

        Let me propose an example. Suppose you have two GCMs, an both predict a change in atmospheric circulation. One predicts Europe will become very dry and North Africa very wet, and the other that North Africa will become very dry and Europe very wet. You cannot tell which of these is more likely to be correct.

        I would argue the models still give you important information. You know precipitation may undergo a dramatic shift in the future. You can say that with greater confidence than what the shift is going to be. You may need to prepare for both.

        Science should always be striving for better and better understanding, but those that use science to inform action — which is most of us — often have to make decisions with imperfect knowledge and limited information. Limited insight is usually better than no insight.

      • Stirling English

        My take is that all you can with certainty is that one or other model is complete bollocks.

        The other one may or may not be complete bollocks. And you have no way of knowing which is which.

      • Robert- Using your example- if one model predicted that North Africa would be very wet and another predicted it would be very dry, and after several years we found that North Africa was very wet—-we could certainly throw out the other model from use in policy making. Now if we found that the model that was accurate for North Africa also predicted that western europe would be very dry, but it was actually very wet- then that model would also be demonstrated to be of no value for policy decisions.

        This really isn’t all that tough a concept and I do not think you can effectively argue againest my point

      • 2. What time scale in the future is meaningful if 5 years is to short? If a GCM is inaccurate after 5 years is it likely to have greater accuracy after a longer period?… – Bob Starkey

        Bob- there actually was a proposed bet somewhat along these lines. One group wrote a paper. Their model indicated there would be a warming interruption in the form of global cooling for a decade or two. The “team” did not agree and offered them a bet. If the bet had taken place, at 5 years there is no doubt the “team” would have won. It’s still possible the global cooling prediction could prevail at say 10 years, and the group’s model would have been reasonably predictive – if the interruption was caused by the factors the group used. If it was caused by some other factors, then their model would be crap, but their pockets still full of money. The only caveat was volcanos.

        If in 2009 a climate model predicts persistently severe drought in the Western United States by 2050, and it’s raining like crazy in 2014, so what?

      • JCH- a model that makes predictions for conditions in 2050 is using historical data and relationships between that data and extrapolating into the future. The farther the model goes into the future the higher the probability is that an unforeseen event will occur that was not included in the model (like an unexpected volcano for example) A model that is accurate is 2050 should generally be expected to have a higher percentage of accuracy in the nearer term.

      • Well, not knowing a thing about GCM, I disagree.

        There have been a lot discussion here lately about sea level rise. Several scientific papers have included predictions of more than one meter as an upper bound by 2100. You are doing a 5-year version of what is commonly seen here. Taking the current rate, and based on that disbelieving that it could ever get to more than one meter – without a miracle. In 5 years I predict this will be exactly the same situation. The current rate then will make more than one meter seem impossible. Even Richard Alley fell for this.

        I once asked a science blog where there is a host who is doing these SLR studies what the rise would be in a specific location by an intermediate date. (something like Galveston in 2020.) No answer. I think because the model does not produce that sort of result, and because it would probably be wildly inaccurate in 2020.

      • JCH– with all due respect your point is confused.

        The “contest” is about a climate model’s ability to accurately predict the future temperature and rainfall for specific regions/locations. The IPCC and others have repeatedly used the outputs from current GCMs that have predicted certain regions to be dryer, or wetter, or hotter than they currently are and claimed that this is evidence of a pending disaster for humanity if steps are not done to eliminate CO2 emissions today.

        Making these claims would be valid if the models had been demonstrated to be able to make reasonably accurate predictions. The models have been shown to do the opposite. Currently they have been demonstrated to provide unreliable results, yet many continue to claim a warmer world is bad for humanity based upon the outputs from these models.

        Sorry, but this issue seems so simple

      • randomengineer

        Rob Starkey — Making these claims would be valid if the models had been demonstrated to be able to make reasonably accurate predictions.

        Rob, I think it’s more helpful if you were to outline specifically which models are making which claims and the exclusivity of same. I don’t know of GCM’s being used to predict e.g. drought in the southeast USA where such predictions are in opposition to more standard (non GCM) technique.

        i.e. if the general pattern of an area oscillates from wet to dry and roughly follows PDO then a GCM “predicting” this is unremarkable. On the other hand what you appear to be asking for is the case where the GCM predicts something in opposition to the general pattern.

        So I’m a bit confused re what evidence you’re asking to see.

      • Rob Starkey

        Random- look at the earlier comments. I was offering a $100k usd challenge related to climate models.

      • Rob Starkey,

        $100k USD??? HA!!! By the time you MIGHT have to pay off that wager it would be worth about .01oz. of gold!!!!! Cheater!! 8>)

      • Rob Starkey –
        Seems to me that someone else offered $100k usd to anyone who could prove GW. No takers – for several years – and he finally withdrew the offer.

      • Rob: “I offer this to those who believe in the current climate models – do you think I’ll get any willing to accept the challenge?”

        JC: “Nobody who understands the limitations of climate models would take this bet.”

        I agree. There is no point in beating a dead horse.

        The AGW prediction was based on the political need for a “Common Enemy” that the whole world could rally around and thus avoid the threat of annihilation in a world-wide nuclear exchange.

        It worked, but there was never any valid scientific basis for the AGW claim.

        AGW (CO2-Induced Global Warming) had the added advantage of leveling the economic playing field around the globe by pinching off the tail pipe of the Western economic engine.

        Three years ago. before I grasped the “game plan”, I attended a meeting of the Space Science Board chaired by NAS President Dr. Ralph Cicerone at NAS Headquarters on 26 June 2008 and asked publicly and in writing (With references to peer-reviewed papers):

        Can the Space Science Board help NASA move away from the untruths that are wrecking our economy?

        • Earth is bathed in a steady flow of heat from Hydrogen-fusion in the Hydrogen-filled Sun.

        • Solar neutrinos from Hydrogen-fusion melt (oscillate) away before reaching detectors.

        • Earth’s climate is immune from cycles of solar activity (sunspots, flares, eruptions).

        • Therefore CO2 from our economic engines caused global warming.

        There were, of course, no replies. I had stumbled on the purpose of the AGW story and mistakenly assumed it was an overlooked consequence.

        Let’s stop beating this dead horse now and help world leaders find a scientifically valid “Common Enemy” that can unite the world even better than AGW.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • I agree. There is no point in beating a dead horse. – Oliver K. Manuel

        There is also no point in betting whether or not a horse can figure the combination and open a bank vault.

        Hey Oliie, when is the snoozing sun gonna wake up?

      • Heck, I don’t know.

        Neutron stars are violently energetic and unstable, energized by neutron repulsion [1] much like the very heavy nuclei that may simultaneously exhibit finite probabilities for decay by fission, alpha-emission, beta-decay, gamma-emission, etc.

        Fortunately we are shielded from the neutron star at the solar core by two giant insulators:

        a.) Earth’s atmosphere, and
        b.) The iron-rich mantle that surrounds the neutron star.

        We are also partially protected by the enormous heat capacity of oceans.

        If world leaders were willing to quit playing God, they might be able to unite the world to prepare for a scientifically valid, but unpredictable, burst of energy from the Sun.

        Finally, JCH, we should have been seriously studying the Sun and its cycles these past decades instead of pretending to investigate stellar objects too remote for detailed study. The Sun is the model for all the stars in the cosmos, and they got that one wrong!

        1. “Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011):

        http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

      • Well, will it wake up? People talk as though that is a given. Could it snooze for centuries?

      • In my opinion, the “snooze phase” of ordinary stars has received so little attention that nobody really knows the answer to your question.

        I suspect that the ratio of (light/heavy) elements changes in a regular manner over each solar cycle.

        But I don’t think NASA has even bothered to measure that, but at one time repeat measurements on the [O]/[Fe] ratio in the photosphere convinced an astrophysicist that the Sun was going to run out of oxygen in a few years!

        I also suspect that the ratio of UV/VIS light changes in a regular way over each solar cycle.

        However if you insist on knowing exactly when the Sun will awaken, almost any solar physicists at NASA will give you an answer.

        The only scientist I knew who might have been able to answer your question was the late Dr. Theodor Landscheidt.

        In 1983 he published a paper [1] that has shown more validity than all those solar papers coming from our space agency.

        [1] ”New Little Ice Age instead of Global Warming?”, Energy & Environment 114 (2003) 327-350.

      • Rob Starkey

        In truth it seemed an easy and dramatic way to demonstrate that the models being used to predict the future dire conditions for various parts of the world are still to inaccurate to be relied upon for the stated purpose.

        I wonder how far I would have to lower the accuracy requirements in order to get someone to be willing to take the bet. If you used no model and just historical averages you would have some reasonable accuracy

    • Decadal prediction is much more challenging. It comes down to signal versus noise with natural variability noise playing a bigger role in the short term, while predictable forcing takes over in the long term.

      • Stirling English

        Sounds to me like you are writing your excuses before you even start.

        ‘Dear Gullible Public and Other Suckers

        We can’t actually do what we tell you we can do because it’s just too hard. There are no results worth looking at to check with reality, so don’t even bother trying. If you do and they disagree, Mother Gaia will smite you down for lack of faith. So don’t.

        You’ll just have to believe our predictions anyway. We are very clever and trustworthy people and have character references from Mr Pachauri. And a paper by Greenpeace. Some of us even play the accordion!

        But thanks for all the lovely grants, careers, status and trips to Bali. And the gorgeous lolly. It;s been a great ride on the train, though we have a few gravy stains on our clothes.

        Bye for now…we;re all off to Lima for a jolly. And some IPCC stuff in our spare time

        The Climatologists.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Have the Gaia Models produced one reasonably well-confirmed physical hypothesis which can be used to explain and predict some interesting climate phenomenon? If so, where is it?

      The body of science consists of well-confirmed hypotheses and of nothing else. If you have none, you have no science.

    • The Present (Circulation) Is the Key to Understanding The Past (Wunsch)

      The past ocean circulation is surely no simpler than that of the present. That complexity is an intrinsic part of its nature.
      Recognition of the difficulties is the first step towards solving any problem, and ignoring those difficulties, great as they are, renders them unsolvable because unrecognized.
      It’s not easy to be optimistic about immediate prospects for truly quantitative estimates of the paleocean circulation. I is thus essential to separate plausible working hypotheses (paleofantasies) from demonstrated facts.
      The situation is probably analogous to geology, circa 1800. The climate state of the past is little more accessible to us than was the Earth’s core and mantle 200 years ago. Making public policy on the basis of what we know is analogous to earthquake prediction during that era. Risks were known, but no physics. Plate tectonics did not appear for 150 years. The climate of the past is not a problem that will be solved in a few decades and the community needs to exercise restraint in proclamations of what is known and understood
      Snip

      One uses GCMs for the modern world in two distinguishable ways:
      (1) Run them forward from some initial state in an “extrapolation” mode.
      (2) Use them to interpolate data over finite time intervals.

      All time-stepped models in extrapolation mode exhibit error growth. The only exceptions are kinematically and dynamicaly trivial (the stopped-clock analogy
      Snip

      It is urgent to come to some understanding of error growth in GCMs in extrapolation mode. Mere assertion that feedbacks or compensating errors occur is not science. Determining error growth is difficult, but hardly impossible.

      http://tinyurl.com/6ef4gw

    • Rob

      If one is discussing whether CO2 will lead to calamity, one presumably has to state how much CO2 (and other forcings). Is anybody suggesting that continuing with the current rate of emissions increase out to 2050 and beyond would not constitute a serious risk wrt climate? To make this case one would have to posit that a low sensitivity is (pretty) certain. But isn’t one of the themes here that there’s much uncertainty around sensitivity and the science isn’t settled.

      Currently, any decision maker is faced with scientists all, as far as I can tell, acting in good faith, positing different values for the most likely sensitivity. The IPCC/Gabi Hegerl/“the Team” go for 3C, Hansen for 5C, Lindzen for 1C and Mosher and the Lukewarmers for 2ºC. What’s a decision maker to do? Waiting 10 years before doing anything relating to mitigation when sensitivity might be a high as 5C doesn’t seem (to me at least) to be entirely rational? This strikes me as a knotty problem?

      • Stirling English

        What;s a decision maker to do?

        Umm…think about it…and then apply their best judgement?

        That’s what we pay decison makers to do. The clue is in their name.

        And in the case you describe he not only has to worry about the risks of doing nothing..which are highly subjective and have no empirical evidence…he also has to consider the certain enormous costs of doing what others propose.

        As you say it is a knotty problem.

      • K Scott Denison

        Rich, what you are missing is that many, like me, believe the Earth has additional feedback, or control, mechanisms if you will that will cause the impact of CO2 to be mitigated. So while the sensitivity to CO2 might be 1, 2, 3, etc., it is only so assuming nothing else changes. It is highly unlikely that nothing else will change, hence why many don’t believe in the doomsday scenarios.

      • KSD, as I understand it, climate sensitivity includes the effect of feedbacks. Thus, uncertainty over sensitivity is uncertainty wrt feedbacks. The knotty issue for the policy maker is how to proceed in the face of significantly divergent expert views wrt sensitivity.

      • K Scott Denison

        Yet nearly everyone agrees we don’t all of the feedbacks, for example for clouds. Much to learn before we can say with certainty what the sensitivity is.

      • Rob Starkey

        Richie

        You asked–’”Is anybody suggesting that continuing with the current rate of emissions increase out to 2050 and beyond would not constitute a serious risk wrt climate?”

        My response- Yes, many question of whether a world with higher CO2 levels is necessarily worse for humanity in the long term. I ask if you believe that a CO2 will create worse conditions overall, upon what do you base your fear? I suggest the answer is largely due to climate models that have not demonstrated much of any accuracy.

        Additional, I suggest that mitigation strategies will be ineffective and highly expensive in developed countries, and will not be followed (and therefore useless overall) in currently undeveloped countries

      • Rob

        If you’re asking me to comment of whether a higher concentration of GHG is on average a good or a bad thing, I’d want to know how much higher. 1 ppmv higher than pre-industrial levels by 2100 is very different to 1000ppmv higher.

        The annual growth in emissions this century is, I think, a little under 2%. If that growth rate continued out to 2050 (and beyond), the GHG concentration would be significantly higher. Given uncertainty around climate sensitivity, a high value can’t be ruled out. I guess my bottom line is that I’m risk averse and don’t want to take the chance of a high concentration + high(ish) sensitivity. Say global mean temperature was to rise by 3, 4 or even 5C by the end of the century. Maybe, on average 5C is better. But maybe it isn’t. Personally, I wouldn’t want to take that gamble.

  41. 242 comments on a Sunday afternoon. Bunch’a heathens.

    • Latimer Alder

      Church flooded because of seaside location and CAGW. Outdoor prayer meeting banned by Health & Safety because of elevated temeperature. And there can be no communion because wheat for he wafers has stopped growing anywhere (too hot). Priest drank all the remaining blessed wine to cool down.

      So it was either blogging or Tesco….. Not wishing to risk the wrath of Gaia, Tesco came second.

  42. FRED:

    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

    What did they construct?

    IPCC:
    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.

    What does the data say?

    Here is a graph that compares the above projections (GREEN for 0.2 deg C per decade & BLUE for 0.1 deg C per decade) of the IPCC with the actual warming rate of 0.03 deg C per decade (RED).
    http://bit.ly/hzs82o

    As another example, here is the accelerated warming interpretation of the data by the IPCC: http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

    Based on the following interpretation of the SAME data, there is no accelerated warming: http://bit.ly/lVkSkw

    Fred, when theory (AGW) and observation mismatch, the edifice they constructed is not fundamentally sound, but fundamentally flawed.

    All that compare theory with observation and their interpretations agree with Physicist Hal Lewis characterisation of AGW:


    It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.

    • Why successful and why pseudoscientific?

      Successful because they used fear.

      Pseudoscientific because they hide doubts.

      Here is the statement that encapsulates the technique:

      To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.SS

  43. Cecil Coupe

    Somehow, in this long series of threads this comment by Dr Curry was passed over:

    ‘The climate establishment is elitist in that it doesn’t like its “authority” questioned by people that do not have equal academic standing.’

    Nor do they like the internet blogosphere thing that is not peer reviewed or moderated or controlled and doesn’t perform science in the vernacular and direction they believe is proper ( Do you all speak Latin in your private emails?)

    Blogs and websites are like the invention of the printing press and the translation of the bible to other languages so the populace could interpret the Bible for themselves. Scientists didn’t see this internet dis-intermediation happening to their “science”. It happened! It’s not going to un-happen by wishful thinking or picking at M&M or Lynas or Curry for cheap rhetorical cherries.

    The IPCC is a political organization pretending to be scientific with terrible PR and spin doctoring. Why would any scientist, searching for truth, participate in AR5 ?

    • Stirling English

      I can easily a answer a modifed question:

      ‘Why would any scientist participate in AR5 ?’

      Status in his incestuous little academic world. Looks good on the CV.

      Holidays in glamorous resorts ‘on IPCC business’

      A degree of protection from nasty grubby little people wanting to check his work.

      Opportunity to convince himself that he is saving the world

      He gets to meet some pollies to help if he ever gets kicked out of academe.

      ….

      But the question is unanswerable if you add the phrase ‘searching for the truth’. The IPCC does not search for truth. It searches for political and financial advantage for those who participate there.

      Like the Freemasons, but with Thermometers not Trowels.

  44. Nice to see sharperoo passing himself as a champion of netiquette. Will this new fashion apply elsewhere? Is he going to repent from his previous cyberbullying exploits?a Inquiring minds are eagerly expecting to know (not!)

  45. The key passage from Raypierre is this:
    ” There may or may not be something fishy about the specifics of the renewable energy claims under discussion here (I think not…)”
    Climate science is complicated, and “best left to climate scientists…”
    Renewable energy, on the other hand, is much simpler, it’s a question of engineering and is unrelated to the AGW debate.
    Raypierre (no engineer) doesn’t address the question “is it true?” is the IPCC claim correct ?
    The only thing that matters to him is: are you with us or against us. Do you belong to our church or not.
    That’s typical of the climate debate.

  46. “Why would any scientist, searching for truth, participate in AR5 ?”
    Why indeed ?
    Any scientist, or any person who doesn’t denounce and criticize the IPCC for it’s excesses and untruth becomes tainted and untrustworthy. He turns from a scientist into a campaigner.

  47. James Griffiths

    Imagine I am a designer, and I design the world safest car child seat.

    Of course, I want to call it the worlds safest car seat in the literature, so I have two choices. One, I can subject it to a battery of tests that will conclusively prove it is the safest, or two, I can sell it without the sales pitch until it eventually survives enough accidents that the real life data backs up my claim, and then add the claim to my brochures.

    The climate scientist can’t/won’t demonstrate their theory through physical experimentation to any kind of conclusive level, and there is no conclusive historical data either, yet they still wish to promote their theory as if it were established.

    Back to the car seat. I can’t afford the testing, and I need to sell seats to get the accident data, but I know this seat is the most awesome seat ever built, so I go ahead and call it the safest seat ever, because I am convinced it is. One day, I get a call off a nice lady. “Hello, I like the look of your seat, i want my daughter to have the safest car seat in the world, but I notice you have no data on it. Can you tell me exactly how you manufacture it, and what materials you use so I can decide for myself whether it is the best seat in the world?”

    I think about this for a minute, then tell her ” Yes madam, I could, but unless you are an expert in building car seats, I might as well be talking Greek, you won’t understand what I am talking about. Worse, you might learn how I make such a great car seat and tell a rival. Worse still, you might think you see a flaw, which would be ridiculous unless you have spent 20 years building seats like I have, then I will have to waste time correcting you instead of going about my business of making car journeys safer for all the little treasures of the world, so no. On this occasion I cannot tell you. What I suggest you do, is build your own car seat then compare it with mine. I am sure you will then see the merits of my design. Goodbye.”

    If this sounds normal and acceptable to you, you probably already work with the IPCC, but in the real world, saying it is so doesn’t make it so. If proof isn’t conclusive, then exhaustive, open and comprehensive discourse is an absolute necessity.

    Unfortunately, the former, bad attitude has actually become institutionalized within much of climate science.

  48. “Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  49. I am coming late to this discussion, but I offer the following observations for what they are worth. I am offended when Raypierre writes: “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 assassination operation against honest, earnest climate scientists is tiny, and they’ve pretty much lost any right to be taken seriously. ”

    Statements such as this one quickly turn me off and I suspect I not alone in feeling this way. I consider myself a humble layman who is trying to make sense of the debate regarding temperature reconstructions that cover the past two thousand years. I read the back and forth that goes on between climateaudit and realclimate, as well as other blogs on both sides of the issues. Although I am not an expert in statistics and time-series analysis, I have a sufficient background in these areas to reasonably follow the debate.

    I can understand the argument that temperature reconstructions are not vital to the overall case made in the IPCC regarding AGW. However, with respect to the debate over temperature reconstructions, it seems to me that M&M make important substantive points regarding the weakness of many of the published temperature reconstructions. I do not come away with the impression that M&M have substantial failings or that they engage in chicanery.

    Without trying to be exhaustive, it is my humble opinion that M&M have convincingly established at the very least the following points:

    1) The original Mann temperature reconstructions that relied on short-centered PCA were fundamentally flawed and should not have been given the prominence they were given in the earlier IPCC reports;

    2) Stripped-bark bristle cone pines are not reliable temperature proxies and should not be used in temperature reconstructions;

    3) The contaminated portions of the Tiljander sediment proxies should not be used in temperature reconstructions;

    4) The Yamal series should not be used in temperature reconstructions at least to the extent that they include a very small number of data points;

    5) The IPCC has reports to policy makers have deliberately attempted to obscure the divergence problem by omitting data on graphs that should have been shown and more thoroughly discussed in the IPCC reports.

    6) To the extent that temperature reconstructions are relevant to policy decisions, scientists should be more transparent by making the data and computer codes that they rely upon more freely available.
    I am somewhat baffled that any of these points continue to be debated. IMHO if there has been any chicanery evidenced on these points, it is coming from the folks from the realclimate side of the debate. Moreover, IMHO the IPCC loses credibility to the extent that it fails to at least address these points.

    Finally, as someone who has followed the debate, I also think that scientists who do temperature reconstructions need to be more careful about the pitfalls of data mining and to this end should establish more objective standards about which proxies they will include and exclude from temperature reconstructions. As an example of such an objective standard that should not be controversial, I think that if a scientist cannot specify the sign of a proxy in advance, then the proxy shouldn’t be used. Without more clearly defined objective standards for which proxies to use, I am left with the impression that scientists who publish reconstructions are cherry picking proxies with the goal to reach predetermined conclusions.

  50. The Conflict of Interest issue of the IPCC is important.
    Still, more important is the truth.
    Is the statement: “almost 80% of our energy needs…” true or false ?
    If it were true, I could accept it even if it came from a greenpeace activist.

    The problem with the IPCC is not it’s lack of COI policies, it is that it makes false statements.

  51. What is at stake to understand this correctly?
    How about this:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8584210/The-IPCC-declares-Greenpeace-in-our-time.html
    And for a glimpse at the AGW vision, before and after:
    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/
    Check the third drawing down

  52. I do not know who wrote that statement (“80% of energy…”). I do not care if it was Mr Teske or somebody else.
    The IPCC said it.
    It is false. It is obviously, manifestly false. It is absurd. Ask any engineer.
    That’s what matters.

    • randomengineer

      Depends on what’s meant. If they are trying to suggest that Unobtanium will be discovered and idiotic windmills will work in no wind and solar will work by starlight, then you are correct — they’re idiots.

      On the other hand spaceborne solar can do this job, is scalable, and we know how to to do it RIGHT HERE AND NOW. All we have to do is loft the stuff and iron out the kinks (we call this the engineering part.)

      So in this sense you are wrong and they are in fact correct — assuming that they’re being realistic and assuming deployment of scalable tech like spaceborne solar and newer nuke designs(e.g. Thorium)

      • The only problem with space-based solar is that it is amazingly expensive to set up and operate.
        Nuclear can do just fine.
        Coal is just fine as well, but our believer friends get their panties in a wad over that.
        But then unless the solution involves huge direct operating subsidies for things that do not work, the AGW community seems united against it.

      • randomengineer

        SPS is expensive only in terms of access to space. If NASA were to (for once) do its job and figure out how to access orbit on the cheap, this immediately changes that equation. Lobby your congresscritter to reinstate the DC-X program.

  53. Jacob, you are claiming to know, with certainty, what the world will look like in forty years.

    You are claiming that the nature of this future is obvious, and the only proof needed is to appeal to authority (“Ask any engineer.”)

    You may be correct in your prediction, or you may be wrong, but one thing we can say: your behavior is that of a “believer” not someone who is in any true way a “skeptic.”

    • Robert,
      All Jacob has demonstrated is that he can do basic math.
      Extra points for effort to you for trying to pretend that pointing out that so-called alternative energy sources are woefully incapable of achieving 80% of world need, however.
      Would you apply the same standard on the out year predictions of the AGW promoters, by the way?

      • All Jacob has demonstrated is that he can do basic math.

        This is a great example of the appeal to pseudo-authority I described above.

        Hunter claims absolutely certain knowledge of the world forty years into the future, which he enjoys by the use of his magical mathematical talent. Despite writing at about an eighth-grade level, he represents himself as a scientific genius to whom absolute predictions about 2050 are a simple matter of “basic math.”

        Hunter doesn’t strike me as capable of basic math anyway, so color me unconvinced. But this is a perfect example of the “Big Lie,” denier-style: hunter just asserts what he wants to be true, pretends to have special expert knowledge, and rather than making any argument, simply sneers at the idea that anyone might not see what is obviously true.

      • Robert,
        You and Joshua can pretend that is an appeal to authority, but it leaves all of your AGW related demands in much worse condition.
        The plain fact is that the claim of 80%, except for as you admit pure conjecture, has no place in serious policy discussions.
        You can dodge this all you want, dissemble all you want and try (poorly) to reverse the argument all you want.
        All it shows is you are unable to address the specific criticism.
        But we all knew that a long, long time ago.

      • Robert,
        You are so wrong I think it will be fun to watch you keep on digging.

    • K Scott Denison

      Robert, extrapolating from technologies available today and today’s energy use, there is no way to get to 80%. So to get to 80% one must assume either breakthrough technologies (discoveries) and/or dramatic changes in energy usage. If one is making these types of assumptions, why stop at 80%? Might as well go all the way, as long as your are assuming a miracle occurs, might as well be a big one!

      • Scott, at the end of the day, the question is whether you can predict, with certainty (as claimed) how history will unfold over the next forty years.

        “Extrapolating from technologies available today” sounds really smart and everything (there’s a five-syllable word in there!), even though you don’t say how you’re going to carry out this magical analysis, but I’m sorry to say it does not give you the power to predict the future.

      • Robert –
        Do you own a dictionary? Or do you know how to find an on-line dictionary? Or do you know where your local library is located?

        We’ve apparently found another word that you don’t understand – extrapolate. Learn what it means – and then you might have a clue. C’mon, guy – we’re talking high school stuff for dummies here – the bright kids figured it out in grade school.

      • Robert – a word of advice. I used to think that when Jim goes into his “Nah, nah, you are dumber than a high school student” mode, if I responded to him reasonably he’d snap out of it. Experience has taught me otherwise.

        My suggestion is that you ignore him when he does this. He usually calms down after a while.

      • Yes, that’s good advice.

      • Robert,
        Yet AGW promoters project with great certainty over 20, 40, and 100 years all of the time.
        And you believers soak it up and echo it like little parrots.
        Is this discussion about future uncertainty *really* where you want to go?

    • randomengineer

      Jacob is looking at the technology S curve of current RE efforts, and if he’s assuming “extrapolation” as being fungible with “better windmills” etc then he’s right. The current S curve with that type of tech is one where we have decreasing return per unit of R&D. This requires no crystal ball.

    • Robert, anyone who knows anything about the nuts and bolts of power generation and energy efficiency will know full well that the 80% claim is Alice in Wonderland fantasy stuff.
      It really is up there with pigs growing wings.
      If you don’t want to end up looking really foolish, let this one go.

  54. Does Pierrehumbert criticise things like hiding the decline, hiding data and deleting emails to cover tracks, or is he just another noisemaker and clown striving for political correctness over all else ?

  55. I think it is important to understand that Ray seems to see the IPCC as a circus where only clowns, like Mann, himself, Jones, etc. should be allowed to act:
    “”… big as the IPCC tent may be, I hope there will never be a place in it for any of these clowns.”
    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/

  56. Fred Moolten’s comment is both very true and very important. He hits the nail on the head when hypothesizing about Raypierre’s drive (even if it’s still guessing at motives).

    The only part in Moolten’s comment that I disagree with is that scientists would be required to speak out on the dangers of unmitigated climate change. I sympathize with the statement, but at the same time I realize that to call something “dangerous” is a value judgement. Perhaps I’m being too anal here, as in “who in their right mind would claim that smoking three packs a day is not potentially dangerous?”, the word is still subjective and I respect any scientist’s decision to keep their public pronouncements restricted to the science.

    ***

    Judith Curry is hardly a credible voice on energy policy when she writes things such as “there are much bigger things [than climate change] to worry about in the context of energy such as energy security and peak oil.”

    If the biggest problem is not climate change, but rather energy security and peak oil, the solution is pretty simple: Full steam ahead with unconventional fossil fuels, coal-to-liquid conversion etc. Whatever energy source is cheapest. Peak oil is mainly an economic problem; all fossil fuels can can transformed into liquid or gas form. The worst we’d see is a period of rising oil prices until the alternatives reach maturity. If that’s the biggest energy problem there is I think we can all soundly go asleep now.

    The problem is not a shortage of fossil fuels; it’s rather that we have too much of them.

    • The worst we’d see is a period of rising oil prices until the alternatives reach maturity. If that’s the biggest energy problem there is I think we can all soundly go asleep now.

      Bart,

      This illustrates why a great many people have difficulties with those speaking out so passionately in favor of mitigation. With the statement “we can all soundly go asleep now” you seem to minimize the costs of “a period of rising oil prices”.

      I’d suggest you reflect that for a great many people, their income is a function of their life: X amount of money for y hours working. Want to increase x, increase y (if you can find the work). The costs of that “period” (which at present wouldn’t appear to be a short one) are real and immediate. To wave them away does not inspire faith that your analysis was thorough or objective.

      • Gene,

        You have no idea how alarmist you sound.

      • Bart,

        I’m disappointed that you would resort to such a dismissive retort. I tried to craft my comment in such a way as to convey my point without being confrontational or disrespectful. If I gave offense, it was unintentional. I don’t think you made the same effort nor did you respond to what was said.

    • Judith Curry is hardly a credible voice on energy policy when she writes things such as “there are much bigger things [than climate change] to worry about in the context of energy such as energy security and peak oil.”

      Truly a shocking statement, there, especially considering that to in making such a statement she undermines all her discussion about degrees of uncertainty.

      Now, all of a sudden, Judith is certain that climate change is (in a practical sense) irrelevant in the context of energy? Really?

      It’s enough to make one think that Judith is actually quite “certain” about the rate of climate change (and that it’s nothing to worry about), and that her focus on “uncertainty” is more or less a smokescreen for an agenda-driven desire to get back at the “climate establishment.”

      Say it ain’t so, Judith.

      • A shortage of energy certainly will kill millions of people. Can’t say the same with the same degree of certainty about global warming.

      • So you’re saying with absolute certainty that global warming (notice that Judith did not even use the qualification of anthropogenic) could not lead to catastrophic consequences?

        Ok. I’m not willing to go there, but you may be. The question is whether such a perspective is consistent with Judith’s many statements about uncertainty.

        I would further add that global warming and energy security are not mutually exclusive phenomena. Assuming uncertainty about rates of GW, it certainly could have a significant impact on energy security for millions. Likekwise, assuming uncertainty about the degree to which GW is anthropogenically influended, energy security, peak oil, etc., can potentially affect the rate of warming.

        Seems to me that the only way that Judith’s statement stands is if she feels that there is no uncertainty about AGW (let alone non-anthropogenic global warming).

      • Latimer Alder

        Do at least try to read the quote before trying to knock it down.

        How do you pretend that ‘you cannot say for certain that A will occur’ is the same as ‘absolute certainty that A will not occur’?

        Suggest that you spend some time on racetracks. There are lots of nice people there only too happy to give you lessons in practical probability theory. And no fees either. They’ll take all your money for nothing, bless them.

      • Ah – so apparently you and Jim disagree with Judith’s certainty that global warming is (relatively) insignificant in the context of energy.

        My bad.

      • Latimer Alder

        AFAIK I have not expressed an opinion on the matter. Nor do I feel the need to.

      • Jim,

        Which shortage of energy? Do you have any clue how much coal there is in the ground, and unconventional fossils, and how much solar energy is hitting the earth every minute?

      • Bart –
        So what? None of those energy sources are available in the sense that they are usable without conversion to, for example, electricity. Not to mention that coal and “unconventional fossils” take time, energy, money and manpower to recover in the first place.

        In any case, perhaps you’d like to explain why you’re considering fossil of any sort as viable given the alarmist campaign against fossil usage?

        Jim’s point still stands. The campaign against Third World development condemns millions to lives of poverty, disease and early death. And please don’t insult my intelligence by claiming there is no such campaign.

      • Jim,

        Read the context of this discussion. I argued that peak oil is not the huge problem that it’s made out to be (eg by Judith Curry), because there are massive amounts of fossils still left. I did not argue for exploitation of all those resources.

      • Bart –
        I agree on the lack of “a problem” wrt peak oil. But I don’t believe you or anyone else has answered wrt the “political” problem of convincing the IPCC, the alarmists and the enviros that it “should” be used. And if it’s not used, then there is no argument and Jim’s point is simply reality.

      • Hopefully, after the next election, it won’t be necessary to convince the IPCC, the alarmists and the enviros of anything. And if the U.S. gets free of the watermelons, the rest of the west will have to come back from the decarbonzation brink in order to compete. The economic fate of Europe thus may rest in the hands of a Rick Perry or (what would be much more delicious) a Sarah Palin.

    • Bart,
      You imply that cliamte change (a very Orwellian name) can be mitigated.
      Please demonstrate that this is a valid assertion.
      And do please show why energy security and peak oil are not far more important than ‘climate change’.
      By the way, it is clearly deceptive to keep using the term ‘climate change’ as if climate is something that does not change except for wicked humans.
      that is frankly distracting from whatever other points you are trying to make.
      Unless you can demonstrate that climate formerly did not change, perhaps you would be kind enough to use another term?

      • “And do please show why energy security and peak oil are not far more important than ‘climate change’.”

        Read my first comment: There are plenty of (unconventional and coal) fossils around and they can be transformed into liquid or gas.

      • Bart, you have misunderstood my statement. In the context of energy policy, there are other things in the policy discussion that are given far more weight than climate change. Climate change is a much broader issue than energy policy.

      • Judith,

        I have no beef with what you write in this comment. Indeed, other things are given more weight in the political discussion and indeed climate change is broader than energy issues. However, this sounds quite different from what you write to Fred (as reproduced in the head post):

        “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.”

        I interpret this as that it is your opinion that energy security and peak oil are bigger things to worry about in the context of energy than climate change is. Are you now saying that this was not *your opinion* but rather your estimate of the political weight of opinion? It wouldn’t be the first time that people are confused as to when you’re stating your own opinion vs when you’re paraphrasing other people’s opinions (without making clear that it’s not necessarily your own opinion).

        In any case, my beef is with this latter argument, that peak oil would be more of a problem than climate change, irrespective of who made the argument.

      • Bart, global energy policy is a very big complex issue; assuming climate and energy policy are equivalent has brought us to this current stand still. Pielke Jr makes this argument eloquently in the Climate Fix. There is a big space of potential solutions to the climate problem, and a big space of potential solutions to energy problems, and there is some overlap of these two spaces.

      • Judith,

        I agree with everything you write in this comment (incl that climate and energy policy are not equivalent; I’ve never claimed or implied them to be), but it’s not responsive to my question as to how you view the relative importance/”badness” of the issues of peak oil and global warming.

      • Bart, I don’t view the issue as either or as you state it. I view the broader issue of abundant affordable energy as more important than global warming. Ideally, meeting the challenge of abundant affordable energy (including the rapidly growing demand in the developing world) can be accomplished in a relatively clean way.

      • “the challenge of abundant affordable energy” can (technically) be met in a variety of ways, ranging from the dirty to the clean and from the cheap to the expensive.

        If the cheapest way is dirty (in terms of health, climate, environment), should we still go for the cheapest way, or pay a bit more for clean energy?

        How much more expensive clean energy is depends crucially on the extent to which energy efficiency and and energy conservation are taken up: They imply strong cost reductions but are traditionally met with strong resistance. This is to say that the costs are not fixed, but also depend on choices regarding e.g. efficiency and conservation, as well as on how one values up-front investment costs vs long term cost reductions (dependent on various lengths of pay-back time). Price externalities; lots of issues.

        But I would argue that if one does not chose the cheapest, but is willing to pay more for a better/cleaner product, than the supply of the product is apparently not the biggest issue, but rather the criteria related to the quality/cleanliness are most important. If the choice is to be consistent with one’s values, that is.

        I’m trying to disentangle people’s (incl my own) values here, because I think that could bring clarity to the debate.

      • Joe Lalonde

        Judith,

        Society has taken the route of harvesting energy by bulk in an unorganized fashion.
        Harvesting energy individually can be achieved when the science is understood as to how this works in circular motion that they are trying to harvest in. Current energy is in conflict with centrifugal force and is NOT when harvested in an inversion fashion. A test tube in a centrifuge can show this.

      • Bart, the rich treasure the earth. The poor dig in it and despoil it for the food to survive. So what to do? Make everybody rich, or get rid of the poor? Values, yes, indeed.
        ===========

      • Bart,
        We have many resources available, and people in the name of AGW fight the use of those resources daily.
        People, whether we have a more or less benign climate than today will need energy and lots of it.

  57. The IPCC said: 80% of energy needs supplied by renewabls at midcentury. Only adoption of “right government policies needed”.
    They didn’t say: “new technological breaktrough needed.”
    No amount of “right policies” i.e. money, will produce 80% renewable energy, using known technologies.
    IPCC’s statement is totally false.
    What’s needed is not prophecy, but an assesment of current technology. They relied on a dreamer greenpeace activist to do an engineering assesment.
    They are wrong. They are absurdly, absolutely wrong.

    • Would not the “right policies” include funding for the research needed to improve technologies?

    • The IPCC said: 80% of energy needs supplied by renewabls at midcentury. Only adoption of “right government policies needed”.

      Except they did not say that. When your first sentence is a lie, it does not inspire confidence about the rest of your argument.

  58. Those worried about global warming are convinced “something must be done”. Fine. But, blocking the use of available energy (oil, gas, coal) will result in energy rationing and starvation for the world.
    Have you considered the consequences of this ?
    Don’t delude yourself about renewables (sun and wind). They are incapable, with current technology, in acheiving a meaningful reduction in emissions, no matter what Mr Teske says in the IPCC report.

    • But, blocking the use of available energy (oil, gas, coal) will result in energy rationing and starvation for the world.

      So as an alarmist, what do you see as the evidence for your Chicken Little sky-is-falling assertions?

      • Latimer Alder

        You have a magic energy machine hidden in your garage? You can suddenly produce all the energy a growing population needs out of thin air?

        I’m in…great stuff. You are a saviour of humanity!

        But outsode fantasy land….exactly how would you achieve blocking oil, gas and coal without energy rationing? And since food is pretty much a global market it has to be moved around to avoid starvation. Moving things takes energy in a portable form…….

        Value your ideas.

  59. Research is fine.
    But no one can base policies on the hope for a breaktrough.
    You make policies based on what is known. If, and when, a breaktrough occurs, you update your policies.. We cannot, at present, rely on renewables for our energy supply.

    • Trying to understand here. Are you saying that it makes sense to fund research on the expectation of incremental progress as opposed to the expectation of a breakthrough?

    • But no one can base policies on the hope for a breaktrough.
      You make policies based on what is known.

      I’m glad you agree we have to cut CO2 emissions immediately. How do you suggest we go about it?

  60. Suppose AGW is real, and also catastrophic, and mitigation is possible by reducing emissions.
    Reducing emissions can be achieved only by banning fossil fuels, and causing a severe energy shortage, the consequences being poverty and starvation.
    It is this trade-off that you must address, and don’t try to hide behind fairy tales of renewables.

    • Reducing emissions can be achieved only by banning fossil fuels, and causing a severe energy shortage, the consequences being poverty and starvation.

      Why do you say that’s the only way? For example, we could levy a tax on carbon emissions, which would both make conservation more attractive and alternative sources of energy comparably cheaper.

      We could build a large number of nuclear power plants and electric vehicles.

      We could undertake extensive reforestation or other carbon-sequestering strategies. There are many other ways to reduce our addition of CO2 to the atmosphere.

      • …er, except they’re talking about renewables here. Nukes aren’t considered renewable.
        And replacing the world’s vehicle fleet with electrics would cost many tens of trillions at least – and that’s assuming there’s enough lithium in the world for all those batteries, and enough rare-earth minerals for the motors.

      • A tax on emissions will increase poverty, but won’t reduce emissions much – except insofar as poverty reduces emissions (it does).
        You can ban cars. It will reduce emissions by about 11%. Ban air conditioning – another 15% maybe. Ban airplanes – 6% ?
        Relying on magic doesn’t reduce emissions.
        You want to do reforestration – why not?. Kill off the people who use the land and forrests will grow on their own.
        “many other ways…” like which ?

      • A tax on carbon emissions will guarantee a long term change in government in the US. You wouldn’t enjoy that.

        Nuclear power plants are part of the solution to your assertions of need for CO2 reduction. Now – go convince the environmental organizations that have spent 40 years fighting to limit or destroy the nuclear option.

        Electric vehicles – are 10 to 20 years from practical application in a mass market. They are expensive, use materials that are in short supply, and lack the range and power to replace the present vehicles. The technology is advancing, but slowly. You’d be better off proposing natural gas driven vehicles. It’s an easier conversion process, but still far more expensive than would be immediately acceptable.

        Reforestation has limited utility. There are certainly places where that can be done, but for the most part, those places that are open to it are not suitable in terms of soil, water and temperature range. Reforestation has more problems than you imagine.

      • I am really tired of seeing this slick little tool used:

        ” For example, we could levy a tax on carbon emissions, which would both make conservation more attractive and alternative sources of energy comparably cheaper.”

        Comparably cheaper?? I liked Obama’s more honest statement. Something about we are going to make it so expensive that coal power plants will have to close. You are talking about raising the price of energy high enough to starve people and cause massive economic damage to every country on earth!! The only people who will profit are those providing the alternative energies and their gubmint collaborators.

        Thanks but no thanks. Having watched numerous plans of raising money with the best of intentions disappear under massive fraud, incompetence, and corruption, again, no thank you!!!

  61. I’m saying you can’t ban fossil fuels until you have an alternative.

  62. I meant: you can’t achieve a substantial reduction in fossil fuels until ayou have another viable source of energy.

  63. Above, Jacob makes the following statement: ”Reducing emissions can be achieved only by banning fossil fuels, and causing a severe energy shortage, the consequences being poverty and starvation.”

    I think that’s inaccurate, unless Jacob means an almost complete cessation of emissions rather than a reduction. However, because the consequences of unmitigated emissions are potentially serious, this is an area I would like to understand better. I hope those offering opinions will provide some documentation in the way of quantitative source materials.

    My assessment is less pessimistic, but I admit I have difficulty providing all the quantitative details. With that caveat, I would suggest the following:
    Immediate emissions reduction is feasible through a combination of increased energy efficiency and conservation. Conservation (adjusting your thermostat, using a low flow showerhead, etc) is probably less important than increased efficiency. The latter includes substantial energy savings in building design and retrofitting – even improved home insulation can make a large difference. Increased efficiency in the automotive sector through hybrids and other advances is also feasible – even the small step of making sure your tires are properly inflated can significantly improve gas mileage. At least some of these measures are also money-savers rather than a source of added cost.

    If all of the world’s coal-derived energy were replaced by energy from natural gas, we would realize an immediate 40% reduction in CO2 emissions per joule of energy produced – in theory. In practice, this is unrealistic due to economic and logistical obstacles as well as environmental concerns with gas drilling and the problem of fugitive methane emissions, but immediacy merely establishes the maximum achievable gain, and a more gradual progress in the same direction would clearly be valuable. It would ultimately be desirable to phase down even natural gas to low levels, but in the interim, its expanded use as a less carbon-intensive fossil fuel would be an important transitional step.

    Progress in recent years has significantly reduced the increase in CO2 due to deforestation, and a continuation of this trend can probably reduce emissions by at least another few percent over coming decades.

    There is currently an opportunity in some areas to expand the use of current wind, solar, and geothermal technology, along with judiciously chosen biomass/biofuel sources that don’t compete with food production. By themselves, this would only reduce emissions slightly, but it would be unreasonable not to expect improvements in technology over the coming decades, even without “breakthroughs”.

    The expansion of nuclear energy will also complement the expansion of renewable energy sources.

    All of these steps must be considered as a multidecadal process rather than a huge contemporary jump from our current patterns to the ultimately low level of fossil fuel consumption that would be optimal, but I see that as a reason to make a start rather than a reason for inaction. Partial progress toward an 80% reduction in emissions will presumably be preferable to no progress, and is consistent with what is now more or less universally accepted within climate science that adequate protection against future climate damage will require a combination of mitigation and adaptation rather than either alone (The mitigation/adaptation issue has been discussed extensively elsewhere, but one example of a CO2-mediated threat difficult to address by adaptation is ocean acidification, as discussed in the Barrier Islands thread).

    One of the imponderables in the transition is a cost/benefit analysis. In particular, at what cost level would expanded renewable energy technology be competitive with fossil fuels? To some extent, this depends on how the latter is calculated, and particularly whether it includes the environmental costs? If so, a higher energy price for renewables will be offset by a lower cost of environmental damage in the realms of public health, agriculture, extreme weather damage, etc. In addition, as fossil fuel reserves (particularly coal and oil) grow scarcer and the extraction costs higher, prices of renewable energy that are far from competitive today will become more competitive with these resources, and the external factors of environmental costs will become more salient. In one sense, limiting the profitability of high-cost fossil fuel extraction can significant mitigate future emissions beyond what they might have been otherwise.

    I realize that this commentary is not very quantitative, due to my relatively superficial understanding of the variables, but that is my reservation about many of the statements made here. It would be nice to see some of this analyzed in quantitative detail, and by individuals with the expertise to do that. As a very rough approximation, I would tentatively suggest that a combination of energy efficiency, natural gas replacement of coal and oil, and a major scaleup of solar power along the lines of Andasol would constitute a major step toward reducing CO2 emissions over the next four decades, but I would be interested in expert opinions on this subject.

    • The 40% reduction I mentioned above refers to the 40% reduction of CO2 from coal, not from coal plus oil, but significant reductions would also be achievable by substituting gas for oil.

    • Fred,
      You keep pushing the idea that ocean acidification is well established and a problem.
      Why?
      Additionally, I believe history shows that increases in efficiency of power use lead to more power being used.
      Additionally, even large companies making significant commitments to efficiency are facing limits:
      http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/04/25/walmarts-csr-report-shows-power-limits-efficiency
      You might also want to visit the idea of converting all coal plants to gas.
      the enviros have decided that frakking, which is fundamental to modern gas prooduction, is wicked.
      The one thing we do know is that windmills are vastly over rated as to their benefits. And (so far) their visual blight and bird killing reality has been ignored.
      http://saveourseashore.org/?p=1594

    • Fred,

      I would suggest the following:
      Immediate emissions reduction is feasible through a combination of increased energy efficiency and conservation…At least some of these measures are also money-savers rather than a source of added cost.

      Agreed.

      If all of the world’s coal-derived energy were replaced by energy from natural gas, we would realize an immediate 40% reduction in CO2 emissions per joule of energy produced – in theory. In practice, this is unrealistic due to economic and logistical obstacles as well as environmental concerns with gas drilling and the problem of fugitive methane emissions, but immediacy merely establishes the maximum achievable gain, and a more gradual progress in the same direction would clearly be valuable. It would ultimately be desirable to phase down even natural gas to low levels, but in the interim, its expanded use as a less carbon-intensive fossil fuel would be an important transitional step.

      I think making use of natural gas is another winner in multiple ways. There are some sticking points in how the transition should occur (carrot vs stick) and how to work out the process so that real environmental concerns are handled and the less real do not impede progress. This would also apply to nuclear, which I note you included as well.

      Progress in recent years has significantly reduced the increase in CO2 due to deforestation, and a continuation of this trend can probably reduce emissions by at least another few percent over coming decades.

      No arguments here, either.

      There is currently an opportunity in some areas to expand the use of current wind, solar, and geothermal technology, along with judiciously chosen biomass/biofuel sources that don’t compete with food production. By themselves, this would only reduce emissions slightly, but it would be unreasonable not to expect improvements in technology over the coming decades, even without “breakthroughs”.

      I’d have to break with you here regarding wind. The critical element, the wind itself, is beyond our ability to engineer. We just can’t make it more reliable and I see it as a money pit.

      All of these steps must be considered as a multidecadal process rather than a huge contemporary jump from our current patterns to the ultimately low level of fossil fuel consumption that would be optimal, but I see that as a reason to make a start rather than a reason for inaction. Partial progress toward an 80% reduction in emissions will presumably be preferable to no progress…

      I’d agree, but a spirit of compromise will be essential. Both extremes will need to meet in the middle and that middle ground will need to be defined by what the electorate is willing to agree to. They will define what’s “progress”.

      One of the imponderables in the transition is a cost/benefit analysis. In particular, at what cost level would expanded renewable energy technology be competitive with fossil fuels? To some extent, this depends on how the latter is calculated, and particularly whether it includes the environmental costs? If so, a higher energy price for renewables will be offset by a lower cost of environmental damage in the realms of public health, agriculture, extreme weather damage, etc.

      As noted above, the ultimate arbiter of the appropriate cost/benefit ratio will be those paying the bills. It’s my belief that handling this in a less coercive manner (no artificial inflation of prices via taxes or other schemes) holds more promise, but I realize I’m only one small part of the total stakeholders.

      • As noted above, the ultimate arbiter of the appropriate cost/benefit ratio will be those paying the bills.

        This is true for any matter of policy in a democracy (usual caveats about representative government and constitutionalism notwithstanding). It does not, however, tell us anything about what we should strive for, which in turn will inform what you, as a member of a democracy, should argue for and try and persuade your fellow citizens to undertake.

        People who feel that the majority is with them for the moment (in indifference if not in agreement) will often appeal to the will of the people, but the will of the people can and does shift in response to the arguments of individuals and factions. The reason we no longer have slavery in this country, for example, is because a motivated minority persuaded an indifferent majority to take actions that ultimately led to the institution’s dissolution. Only long after the fact did the emancipation become truly popular.

        This is not to say delaying action on climate change is akin to slavery, only that as a practical matter as well as a matter of principle, we ought to try and determine the right thing to do, and proceed from that to what is possible right now.

      • Robert,

        It does not, however, tell us anything about what we should strive for, which in turn will inform what you, as a member of a democracy, should argue for and try and persuade your fellow citizens to undertake.

        Each has to determine that for his or her self.

        People who feel that the majority is with them for the moment (in indifference if not in agreement) will often appeal to the will of the people, but the will of the people can and does shift in response to the arguments of individuals and factions.

        I’m certainly not claiming to represent the will of the people. As you note, it can shift for good or ill. I’m bound to respect it regardless of whether I agree or not and work within the system to change what I can.

        The reason we no longer have slavery in this country, for example, is because a motivated minority persuaded an indifferent majority to take actions that ultimately led to the institution’s dissolution. Only long after the fact did the emancipation become truly popular.

        I would characterize it as two polarized factions lobbing grenades and refusing to budge until one side took an action that threatened the integrity of the country and gave the majority no choice. Emancipation was, shamefully, an afterthought that was honored more in the abstract than the concrete. The death and destruction of the war as well as the legalized hatred and oppression that followed make it an excellent example of how not to deal with a contentious issue.

        This is not to say delaying action on climate change is akin to slavery,

        That would be irresponsible hyperbole. It would also be contrary to my position as I did not recommend “delaying action”.

        only that as a practical matter as well as a matter of principle, we ought to try and determine the right thing to do, and proceed from that to what is possible right now.

        As a practical matter, I believe that’s what I advocated.

      • Y’all are discussing this as if you can get India and China onboard. Without their buy in and SIGNIFICANT pain of stopping their industrialization they will simply blow you minor savings out their smokestacks. When you find a solution to this please let the IPCC, the UN, and our Politicians know. They are so eager to do SOMETHING to seem other than mindless crooked drones and justify their Fascist control over us.

      • kuhnkat –

        You might be interested in this –

        Muller on Why EPA/US can’t do anything about Climate Change

      • Thanks Jim. I hadn’t seen that one before but was aware of the intensity two-step.

      • andrew adams

        kuhnkat,

        I can’t say much about India off the top of my head but China is committed to reducing CO2 emissions relative to GDP, is making large investments in wind power and is instituting domestic carbon trading schemes. They are not going to stop their industrialisation but neither are they under the illusion that it can continue unabated without consequence.

      • So you’re effectively saying China is under the Hockey Stick or related illusion then – ie giving credence to IPCC-style bogus certainty.

      • aa, does China institute carbon trading for the revenue, or from the fear of CAGW. Their behaviour at Copenhagen suggests the former.
        ==============

      • Punksta, just what China’s game is is anybody’s guess. My impression from Copenhagen is that they were far more interested in shaking down the developed West over its Carbon Guilt, than in stopping CAGW with carbon encumbering. Their chagrin over the failure of the shakedown was marvelously covered by their outrage over some idiotic Western leader attempted Neo-Colonial maneuvers.

        I’ve asked whether Maurice Strong is in China informing them about energy and global governance or whether he is in China being informed of his rights.
        =============

      • Andrew, please view the video that Jim Owens posted to me. China and India both were onboard to reduce the INTENSITY of their energy use. This only slightly slows their increase in output of GHG’s. Again, please watch the video to calrify exactly what they agreed to do. The US, Britain, Australia, probably the rest of europe could all stop producing industrial based CO2 without halting the rise in GHG’s under this agreement.

        CO2 is NOT a problem anyway. Make more of it and Green the earth PLEASE!!!

      • kuhnkat -
        andrew adams’ error/misinterpretation is a common one. I’ve seen it pop up on several of the alarmist blogs. And they don’t care much for edification on the subject either.

      • You’ll note that everything I advocated above carried benefits completely independant of the issue of climate change. Those benefits would accrue regardless of what any other nation does.

  64. Fred, you’re proposing a gradual and sensible approach, but that’s not what the usual warmists demand. They talk about 2 deg Celsius (as if that has any meaning), about “goals”, 50% reduction until 2050, 80% until 2080. About 350 ppm. This is nonsense.
    Transferring from coal and oil to gas makes a lot of sense, when, and if, gas becomes available in sufficient quantities, and should, and will, be done.
    Doing all the feasible things you might reduce emissions somewhat, not under current levels but under what they would have been without trying to save, as energy needs grow rapidly with the development in poor countries. Say – 10% reduction, say maybe 20%.
    I think there is absolutely no way to achieve greater reductions without a completely new technology.
    The problem with sun and wind are not only their cost, the main problem is they’re intermittent. They cannot provide a significant part of our energy until there is power storage, and that requires a major technological breakthrough. And they consume enormous areas of land. A great amount of solar panels and windmills have already been installed, they didn’t even make a dent in emissions. They produce little energy.

    Most alarmists (eg. Dr Hansen) advocate imposing strict limits on fossil fuel use, until the reduction goals are achieved, regardless of availability of other energy sources. That’s scary.

  65. The post above was mine

  66. Like some other comments above, my center left political orientation as a conservationist and environmental educator (among other things), was enough for me to accept the global warming concern without studying the first three IPCC assessments and their critics. It wasn’t until I happened upon the iconic hockey stick that I began my studies. Yes, I had studied weather and climate over the years, since age 11 in 1951 when my favorite Christmas present was the department of Commerce daily weather maps, so I immediately smelled a rat when I saw the hockey stick. Motivated, I did my homework, studied the IPCC assessments and the IPCC critics and became the lukewarmer, which I remain. After a year of study I began to express my doubts to friends about aspects of the “consensus,” mainly concerning attribution and climate sensitivity. I was amazed at the reaction of most of my friends. About that time, three years ago, I added two sections to my daily Google News search- “global warming” and “climate change,” and I now understood the reaction of my liberal friends. Every day the liberal press- my liberal press, if you like, although I have always read and appreciated other points of view- every day I read that I am a “climate denier”- can you think of a more absurdly ignorant statement?; or a “global warming denier”- obtusely ignorant and incorrect. Almost every day, leading liberals compare me to the “birthers” or to holocaust deniers. Those who read the NYT and Washington Post and most of the liberal media have no context for understanding or believing any criticism of the IPCC or “consensus.” Even though I am compared to a holocaust denier- and so are you Judith Curry and the other climate scientists I admire- I have good friends who believe that only FOX and the conservative media, not their liberal media- stereotypes and demonizes, which I agree they often do. My liberal friends don’t seem to appreciate how utterly vile that stereotyping and demonizing is and how it prevents any rational discussion. I try to be tough minded and not be affected by being compared daily to groups that I think are ignorant- Birthers- and/or evil- holocaust deniers, but I have to admit that I am very upset, very upset, by being called ignorant and evil by left wingers who are themselves so uninformed that they don’t even know what attribution and climate sensitivity refers to. I am very upset that intelligent discussion of the science is precluded because those who read only the NYT, for instance (and I’ve compained to Andy Revkin about this), understand so little of the conflict that they can only fall back on the stereotypes and the demonizing they read in their liberal press. Now. it goes without saying that I am equally upset by the stereotyping and demonizing of liberals by the conservative press and by many conservatives on the climate blogs I frequent, which also makes rational discussion impossible. I think civility firstmost, and a real attempt to understand, rather than just ridicule one’s ideological opponents (if one has to be ideological), would go a long way to creating helpful climate discourse. I have seen that happening gradually over the months, with blogs like this one being part of the solution. Pogo would like this website!

    • Doug,
      That is a very interesting story. Thank you.
      Your challenge towards civility is one I believe I must learn to answer.

    • G’day Doug,

      Civility is one thing – but we are engaged in a culture war for the future of society. One side needs an imminent catastrophe to justify a root and branch transformation. The other side denies there is a problem at all – and we should continue with business as usual until it bites us on the bum.

      Neither side, in my not so humble opinion, have much claim to legitimacy. I call it the climate wars – and don’t expect anything interesting to emerge at all. The real world – however – will continue to evolve.

      I just wrote the entry below – in the Australian context. As always, the middle path is not so surprising path to enlightenment

      One hand is five.
      The other is five.
      So what do you get
      Adding five plus five?
      A butterfly.

      Cheers

      ‘It would be surprising if ‘the science’ were as simple as Ian Chubb (Climate debate hysterical: Chubb) suggests. Let’s take the central claim of the IPCC – that most of the warming in the last 50 years is as a result of greenhouse gas emissions by people. All of the warming in the past 50 years occurred in the period 1976/1977 and 1998. Half of it occurred in 1976/1977 and 1998 as a result of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. It is very simple observation – but the reasons are shown in 2007 and 2009 peer reviewed articles by atmospheric physicist Anastasios Tsonis and colleagues.

      Wong and colleagues in 2006 – Reexamination of the Observed Decadal Variability of the Earth Radiation Budget Using Altitude-Corrected ERBE/ERBS Nonscanner WFOV Data – corrected the ERBE satellite record and compared it to the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project – FD data. This data shows cloud as the major source of climate change since 1985. The data has been hard won in both cases – but I would struggle to completely ignore the statements by NASA on the most recent versions of the data. ‘The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW flux from the mid-1980′s until the end of the 1990′s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appear to caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover.’

      The other statement by the IPCC is that surface temperature would rise by 0.2 degrees centigrade per decade for the first decades of the 21st Century. There are a number of peer reviewed studies involving dozens of scientists who speak explicitly of the potential for at least another decade of no global warming. Keenleyside et al (2008), Tsonis and colleagues (2007 andmiddle 2009), Mochizuki and colleagues (2010) for example – although the Pacific Ocean conditions leading to this potential have been the subject of thousands of studies.

      This is not to argue that we should not take practical and pragmatic steps to reduce greenhouse emissions. The simple ways to proceed have decades of progress in the west – primarily carbon intensity and energy efficiency. To this will be added the restoration of carbon in our agricultural soils and, hopefully, far better management of biodiversity and landscapes. It is possible to do this efficiently through a process called conservation tendering. It is exactly the same process by which governments procure other goods and services – except applied to environmental services.

      The most productive path is to increase our aid budget to 0.7% of GDP as we have agreed to. The assistance with health and education, safe water and sanitation, food security, providing models of democracy and good corporate governance – all lead to progress in limiting population growth, reducing emissions of black carbon and tropospheric ozone and restoring and conserving ecosystems. Rapid and very significant progress can be made. Black carbon and tropospheric ozone together are 50% of the problem – as well as having health and environmental impacts – and can be removed from the atmosphere within days. The carbon tax – at a price that is not sufficient to cause energy substitution – is by stark contrast a complete waste of time and resources.

      The debate is not about science at all – but is a manifestation of divergent cultural values. I call it the climate wars. There is no possibility of rapprochement between the libertarian and the social democrat on this – we will just need to fight it out to the bitter end. We should have a double dissolution and put it to the vote.’

      • tempterrain

        CH,

        I’m afraid you are wrong when you say “One side needs an imminent catastrophe to justify a root and branch transformation”. If its imminent in our terms it will be certainly too late in Geological terms. Justify a “root and branch transformation”? We are talking about the introduction of carbon pricing, the purpose of which is to reduce CO2 emissions, which isn’t quite the same thing.

        Ever thought that we just think that maybe there is a real problem which needs to be solved?

        Look, if politicians want to increase taxation, they know perfectly well how to do that without embroiling themselves in disputes about climate change. They’ve been doing it for years. They are experts at it. They don’t need to to involve scientists at all!

        I’m afraid you are right though when you say “we’ll just need to fight it out to the bitter end”. I doubt we’ll ever get through to the Neanderthals who see a political conspiracy behind every climate related scientific publication.

      • Latimer Alder

        Of course you ‘think there is a problem’. I can think things too. For example, I think that it would be nice if Aldershot Town FC were to win the FA Cup this season.

        But thinking things doesn’t make them happen. And you guys have singularly failed to convince a lot of people (many with substantial and wide-ranging science, engineering and technical experience – see the denizens thread) that there really is a problem that needs anything done about it.

        We see poor quality science, vastly over extended conclusions, secrecy and suppression of dissent, badly bungled assessment processes, little quality control, rampant conflicts of interest and nasty hints of unacceptable ethical behaviour. The credibility of climatology is at an all-time low..and there n=may be even further to fall/

        And you expect us to buy a roadmap to the carbon-free future from such a bunch? Frankly I would be very suspicious about taking a used moped off their hands for nothing.

        Before anybody will even begin to take your PoV seriously again I guess you have about twenty years rework to do.

        Twenty years of quiet hard scientific heads down get on with it graft. with a new generation of people schooled in ethics, philosophy of science, data gathering and curation…and all the myriad pillars of the scientific processes that were sacrificed in the headlong rush to save the planet and hit the headlines.

        But until you do it, the chances of ‘we think there is a problem’ turning into anything practical is zip, zero, nada……..

      • Did you read past the first sentence? Oh – well. The difference is in pragmatic and practical approaches as opposed to a taxes set at levels that have no chance of achieving anything at all. Just yesterday I came across a statement by Ian Lowe recognising this. The price for moving from brown to black coal is about $40 a tonne CO2 – from brown coal to gas $70 a tonne. The carbon tax in New Zealand is $12.50. in Australia we are looking at $20 to $30. We are talking delusion rather than a practical solution.

        As for conspiracies – I am sure I said it is a culture war. It is a very real ideological divide and I am on the side of perpetual growth. You can take your snide dissimulation along with a flying leap.

        ‘Today, infected by Malthusian ecology, the Left relentlessly preaches millennial doom and technological risk: the climate is heading for catastrophe; resources are running out; population is growing too fast; farming cannot keep up; habitat is being destroyed; poverty, hunger, pollution, disease and greed are only going to get worse. A dramatic change in human stewardship of the planet is needed.’ -http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/left-activists-profits-of-doom/story-fn59niix-1226078101850

        As I say – let’s vote on it.

      • tempterrain

        “Culture wars” ? Yes of course there has always been a political divide . Look, I have to pay income, corporation, capital gains, Goods and Services taxes too. Then there is fuel duty, import duty, local taxes, death duties, airport taxes ………… I don’t like having to pay them any more than anyone else. It’s natural in any democratic society for these topics to be subject to political discussion.

        But why drag Science into it? You’re saying that everyone has to takes sides according to their politics and that just such a nonsense.

      • I am not the one drag science through the mire. It is quite clear that most recent warming involved ENSO and clouds. It is equally clear in peer reviewed literature that the planet isn’t warming for another decade or 3 if then. It is quite clear that science is used as a smokescreen.

        ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values. Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24569/

        I – and others at the London School of Economics – am saying that people have taken sides according to their values on both sides of the climate wars. Each I believe as nonsensical as the other.

        ‘Ian Lowe believes that Man is the dominant predator on the planet and is responsible for interfering in the whole web of life. The planet is under pressure and there are limits to economic growth. We in Australia and western nations in general will need to change how live our lives and behave differently for the planet to survive.’

        This is exactly the wrong approach. We need to increase energy and food supplies by 3%/year for the rest of the century. There are quite simple solutions – as I outline below – but they are not the pipe dreams of Malthusian ecology.

      • “It is equally clear in peer reviewed literature that the planet isn’t warming for another decade or 3 if then. ”

        Show me one peer reviewed paper which says that!

      • ‘Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural.’ Anastasios Tsonis.

        ‘Using this method, and by considering both internal natural climate variations and projected future anthropogenic forcing, we make the following forecast: over the next decade, the current Atlantic meridional overturning circulation will weaken to its long-term mean; moreover, North Atlantic SST and European and North American surface temperatures will cool slightly, whereas tropical Pacific SST will remain almost unchanged. Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.’

        ‘Keenlyside et al 2008- Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector – Nature 453, 84-88 8 May 2008

        ‘A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise.’

        Pacific decadal oscillation hindcasts relevant to near-term climate prediction
        Takashi Mochizukia et al 2010 – http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full

        We are in a cool phase after 1998 of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation which last for 20 to 40 years – this is not a prediction as such but a recognition that this is the current state of multidecadal Pacific variability.

        ‘What’s our perspective on how the climate will behave in the near future? The HadCRUT3 global mean temperature to the right shows the post-1980 warming, along with the “plateau” in global mean temperature post-1998. Also shown is a linear trend using temperatures over the period 1979-1997 (no cherry picking here; pick any trend that doesn’t include the period 1998-2008). We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. This overshoot is in the process of radiatively dissipating, and the climate will return to its earlier defined, greenhouse gas-forced warming signal. If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020. Of course, this contrasts sharply with other forecasts of the climate system; the purple line roughly indicates the model-based forecast of Smith et al. (2007) , suggesting with a warming of roughly 0.3 deg C over the 2005-2015 period.’ Kyle Swanson ‘Much ado about natural variation’ realclimate.com

        The 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 ENSO episodes are periods in which warming was significant. About half of recent warming occurred at these times and as a result of ENSO – which is a very simple observation.

        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’
        Swanson et al – 2009 – has the climate recently shifted – https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf

        But see also the -Tsonis et al 2007 – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts – http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/PDFs/papers/tsonis-grl_newtheoryforclimateshifts.pdf

        Quibbling will not do as a response. There are many thousands of studies on Pacific variability in particular. Cool IPO phases last 20 to 40 years – and cool the planet through clouds feedbacks especially. Note the comment on indeterminate length above – although the reference to roughly constant temperature seems a brave call to me. Even so – no warming for a couple of decades from obvious cloud radiative forcing is significant enough.

        ‘Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’ Zhu, P., Hack, J., Keilh, J and Zhu, P, Bretherton, C. 2007, Climate sensitivity of tropical and subtropical marine low cloud amount to ENSO and global warming due to doubled CO2 – JGR, VOL. 112, 2007

        Burgmann et al (2008) discuss this in terms of a Pacific Decadal Variation (PDV) – and describe the sea surface temperature signature as ‘characterized by a broad triangular pattern in the tropical Pacific surrounded by opposite anomalies in the midlatitudes of the central and western Pacific Basin.’ Their study uses a variety of data sources to examine decadal variability of surface winds, water vapour (WV), outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and clouds. They conclude that the ‘most recent climate shift, which occurred in the 1990s during a period of continuous satellite coverage, is characterized by a ‘La Niña’ SST pattern with significant signals in the central equatorial Pacific and also in the northeastern subtropics. There is a clear westward shift in convection on the equator, and an apparent strengthening of the Walker circulation. In the north-eastern subtropics, SST cooling coinciding with atmospheric drying appears to be induced by changes in atmospheric circulation. There is no indication in the wind speed that the changes in SST or WV are a result of changes in the surface heat flux. There is also an increase in OLR which is consistent with the drying. Finally, there is evidence for an increase in cloud fraction in the stratus regions for the 1990s transition as seen in earlier studies. Together, these results suggest that there are decadal-scale changes in the atmosphere involving circulation, water vapor, clouds and radiation that may play a role in PDV, and are worthy of further study. ‘Burgman, R. J., Clement, A. C., Mitas, C. M. , Chen, J. and Esslinger, K. (2008), Evidence for atmospheric variability over the Pacific on decadal timescales GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L01704, doi:10.1029/2007GL031830, 2008

        One potential cause of Pacific Ocean variability is shown by Lockwood et al (2010). ‘During the descent into the recent exceptionally low solar minimum, observations have revealed a larger change in solar UV emissions than seen at the same phase of previous solar cycles. This is particularly true at wavelengths responsible for stratospheric ozone production and heating. This implies that ‘top-down’ solar modulation could be a larger factor in long-term tropospheric change than previously believed, many climate models allowing only for the ‘bottom-up’ effect of the less-variable visible and infrared solar emissions. We present evidence for long-term drift in solar UV irradiance, which is not found in its commonly used proxies.’ Lockwood, M., Bell, C., Woollings, T., Harrison, R., Gray. L. and Haigh, J. (2010), Top-down solar modulation of climate: evidence for centennial-scale change, Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (July-September 2010) 034008 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034008

        Judith Lean (2008) commented that ‘ongoing studies are beginning to decipher the empirical Sun-climate connections as a combination of responses to direct solar heating of the surface and lower atmosphere, and indirect heating via solar UV irradiance impacts on the ozone layer and middle atmospheric, with subsequent communication to the surface and climate. The associated physical pathways appear to involve the modulation of existing dynamical and circulation atmosphere-ocean couplings, including the ENSO and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. Comparisons of the empirical results with model simulations suggest that models are deficient in accounting for these pathways.’ Lean, J., (2008) How Variable Is the Sun, and What Are the Links Between This Variability and Climate?, Search and Discovery Article #110055

        The surprising solar UV connection to ENSO – through warming and cooling of ozone in the middle atmosphere – suggests the potential for significant cooling as the Sun retreats from a thousand year high. The fundamental nature of the climate system – dynamical complexity – shows the potential for very serious declines in temperature from cloud, ice, thermohaline and vegetation feedbacks.

        Was the resent warming at all easily attributable to greenhouse gases? Wong and colleagues in 2006 – Reexamination of the Observed Decadal Variability of the Earth Radiation Budget Using Altitude-Corrected ERBE/ERBS Nonscanner WFOV Data – corrected the ERBE satellite record and compared it to the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data of radiative flux at TOA in the tropical zone. The sources agree and show cloud as the major source of climate change since 1985. The data has been hard won in both cases – but I would struggle to completely ignore the statements by NASA on the most recent versions. ‘The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW flux from the mid-1980′s until the end of the 1990′s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appear to caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover.’ http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

        Low level clouds forms over cool sea surfaces in a La Nina – and dissipate over warm in an El Nino. Verdon and Franks (2006) used ‘proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the PDO and ENSO. During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ Verdon, D. and Franks, S. (2006), Long-term behaviour of ENSO: Interactions with the PDO over the past 400 years inferred from paleoclimate records, Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2005GL025052.

        Climate science goes well beyond the simple expositions for public consumption usually seen. Why is the case simplified for public and political consumption – and a false certainty claimed? I have no idea. It creates a very real problem for carbon reduction because the longer and deeper the cooling – well it will be noticed.

      • Thanks Chief for your very informative post

    • Thank you, Doug, for your message.

      Almost all of my friends and family members were, and many still are on the liberal, environmentalist end of the political spectrum.

      It took many years of frustration with government research agencies before I finally realized that efforts to hide or distort quantitative information on Earth’s heat source – the Sun – were directly linked to efforts to promote the illusion that Earth’s climate is controlled by the insulator that surrounds us rather than our heat source – the Sun.

    • Mr. Doug Allen, May I suggest to you that you next examine the Building 7, collapse on 9/11/2001. Please come back with your thoughts & observations after informing yourself of that event. There is only one explanation that makes sense to me and it is shocking. You can count on it.

    • Mr. Doug Allen, May I suggest to you that you next examine the Building 7, collapse on 9/11. Please come back with your thoughts & observations, after informing yourself of that event. There is only one explanation that makes sense to me and it is shocking. You can count on it.

      • Tom, rather than believe in in Rosie O’Donnels’ and many others incompetent analysis of the disaster, how about a little more professional investigation?

        http://www.911myths.com/indexold.html

        http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Main_Page

        This is a start, but, cannot answer every nutcase accusation in the world. You really need to investigate all the claims in depth. The only thing shocking to me about Building 7 is how it has been used and how gullible so many misinformed people there are. They don’t believe that FDR manipulated the Japanese and KNEW the Pearl Harbor attack was coming but KNOW that Bush and the CIA or the Israelis did 9/11.

        One telling quote is from a gentleman used to support the conspiracy claim. He looked out a window and said there was no building next to where he was, yet, the conspiracists claim there was little damage to Building 7.

        Did any of these conspiracy geniuses ever consider that the intelligence agencies WERE doing their jobs and were expecting the airliners to be blown up in midair, probably over the ocean, ala Bojinka?? (Yahoo it and check for connections to OKC)

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Now you know how climate scientists (and by extension advocates for the science) feel. Welcome to the club.

      • Ratticus, I will never know how religious people feel KNOWINGLY trying to promote lies and corrupt honest science.

      • Tom,
        The shock is that you ‘truthers’ are able to actually type coherent sentences after doing whatever damage you did to yourself to become a ‘truther’.
        Did you do like the guy in “Pi” to get your brain to stop thinking too much?

  67. People here have vastly underrated the potential for mitigation by conserving and restoring ecosystems. ‘Deforestation of around 13 million hectares per year accounts for approximately 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the emissions from the entire global transport sector. As such, reducing emissions from forests, and making the most of their ability to absorb and store carbon, could make a significant contribution to global efforts to mitigate climate change.’ http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/initiatives/international-forest-carbon-initiative.aspx

    ‘The use of terrestrial carbon is an essential ingredient to help meet these emissions targets, because it is next to impossible for Australia and the world to achieve such targets without harnessing the full power of terrestrial carbon.Terrestrial carbon presents our generation with an opportunity to not only help stabilise the world’s climate system, but to also create an economic system that will improve the health of our farms
    and conserve the world’s biodiversity, at a scale that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago.’ http://www.wentworthgroup.org/uploads/Optimising_Terrestial_Carbon.pdf

    Black carbon and tropospheric ozone together are 50% of the problem – and a problem that can be scrubbed from the atmosphere within days. Population growth is a significant part of the problem. The way to approach this is with good health and education systems, safe water and sanitation and providing good models of democratic institutions and corporate governance,

    I have absolutely no problem with paying $20 a week for this – which is far more than my share of increasing aid to 0.7% of GDP as signed up to some years ago. Far preferable to paying $1000/year for a useless and pointless carbon tax.

    These are essential interim steps – but we need to increase energy and food supplies by 3%/year for the rest of the century. I am very much afraid that our conventional energy technologies simply won’t cut it. We need much cheaper energy than that.

    I think the world needs a $1 billion Global Energy Prize – to kick things along.

    • Chief,
      That is a proven mitigation effort that happens to have a likelihood of working.
      Funny that I was asking for more than a week about mitigation from Fred and other hardcore AGW defenders, and they could not even come up with what you just posted.
      Instead they are stuck on the AGW obsession with taxes, windmills and other non-starters.
      Thanks for reminding me of the clear win-win mitigation strategy that is feasible and achievable.

  68. J Storrs Hall

    Actually, 40 years is plenty of time to re-implement the global energy infrastructure. It’s the amount of time between the brothers Wright and jets. The major problem is that the folks who most profess to be worried about AGW are the same as those who oppose any technology that has a real chance of doing it. (Nuclear, space-based solar, or even natural gas as a bridge.).

    Here’s a hint: any technology that replaces fossil fuels for real and for more than fringe applications will be BIG and POWERFUL. And that’s the kind of thing greens instinctively dislike. So they are, ironically, clean energy’s biggest enemies.

  69. “any technology that replaces fossil fuels for real and for more than fringe applications will be BIG and POWERFULL” and will make the inventor rich.
    Everyone understands this, everyone is working on it.
    We don’t need the IPCC and greenpeace to prod us, or to “show the way” (they have no clue) or to force us, or to scare us with catastrophes, or preach about the children.
    BOM – business as usual means: we are all looking frantically for a cheap and viable replacement to fossil fuels, CAGW or not. There are no shortcuts.

  70. “So they [the greens] are, ironically, clean energy’s biggest enemies.”
    For example – they try to block a dam project in Chile, which could supply a lot of clean, renewable enrgy.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/world/americas/17chile.html?src=rechp

    • I am unaware of the particulars of this dam in Chile, but in general I don’t really understand the environmental objections to dams. Yes, you lose some land, but you also create a new environment that encourages a different kind of bio-diversity. It also produces clean energy and allows the water supply to be regulated for flood/drought control. What do they want – ban all lakes?

      • Oh, and if it’s on asthetic grounds, then dams are much less damaging than filling up the countryside with those damn windfarms.

      • The problem with dams is that they actually generate energy. This energy will be used in powering mines and ore smelters. The greens don’t want any f_king energy. They want “sustainable” developement, which, as they understand it – is no development at all (the only kind that is sustainable).
        They favor wind and solar precisely because it produces no energy.

  71. I think the crux of the problem is the use of politics to create a “new wave” religion out of climate science. Where would the world be without Al Gore??????

    Scientists need to rediscover the roots of their discipline.

    If nobody had bothered to quantify the “Tyndall gas effect” since Tyndall in the late 1800′s, there is something wrong with science.

    I still have seen no empirical laboratory data on the ability of <0.04% CO2 to trap heat. The IR atmospheric window suggests about 50% of IR could be absorbed by the atmosphere.

    I have been convinced of the validity of Stefann-Boltzmann and radiative thermal equilibrium, which means that without changing solar flux or albedo, nothing except the conversion of potential energy to heat on earth can make the earth warmer no matter what the composition of the atmosphere or earth.

    I still have not seen a credible physical theory of how supposed "greenhouse gases" can do anything apart from create convection currents to deliver heat to the outer atmosphere where it can be radiated to space.

    If there is no childish name calling and a suspension of pseudo-scientific dogma, we can all have a proper scientific debate, backed by proper physical research.

  72. You can probably guess how most scientific folks would answer this question:

    Young Earth creationists are to Darwinian Evolutionary Theory as Climate Skeptics/Deniers are to ……………………………………

    How would you answer it?

    • tempterrain,
      I think I would answer by pointing out that AGW true believers are to climate science what eugenics supporters were to evolution.
      The problem with your trite and failed little effort is that the demographics of AGW believers have more in common with UFO believers than do skeptics with fundies.
      But good luck with your floundering around.

    • false analogies?

    • Neither Young Earth creationists nor Darwinian Evolutionary Theory have anything to so with climate.

      And the fact that you would ask that question labels you as:
      1) ignorant wrt religion of any sort but especially Young Earth Creationism
      2) ignorant wrt Darwinian Evolutionary Theory
      3) a liberal/progressive with the usual attendant biases/prejudices and lack of courtesy and respect for others.
      4) an amateur in the climate debate.

    • Actually, even a denier like me has to admit that Climate Science, as lacking as it is, has a better foundation than evolutionary theory!!

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Actually – if anyone could explain to me the nature of time in the space/time continuum I might consider evolutionary theory to be more than a useful approximation. Albert tried.

        ‘Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’

    • David L. Hagen

      tempterrain
      Apparently you have never looked at the hard mathematics of the joint probability of two mutations in a sequence needed to “create” a gene for a new protein. SeeMichael Behe on
      The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
      Nor of the probability of the essential protein folding: Douglas Axe on
      Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds
      Neither have you looked at the harder task of the Origin of Life. See
      Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life.
      Your ad hominem “amusement” shows a lack of any credibility on matters scientific.

  73. false comparisons?

  74. Just to be clear of what is acceptable behavior in the AGW believer community, read this:
    “Andy Semple of the Menzies Institute claims it’s “refreshing” for someone with Murray’s standing to take on the global warming “scam” by expressing such views.

    Really? I’m prepared to keep an open mind and propose another stunt for climate sceptics – put your strong views to the test by exposing yourselves to high concentrations of either carbon dioxide or some other colourless, odourless gas – say, carbon monoxide.

    You wouldn’t see or smell anything. Nor would your anti-science nonsense be heard of again. How very refreshing.”
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/sideshow-around-carbon-tax-must-stop/story-fn56az2q-1226079531212

  75. In my view, understanding the conflict involves recognizing the intersection between science, economics and politics (power). Visualize a Venn diagram.

    In a previous post, we covered the timeline of the UN, the IPCC, the UNFCCC and the SBSTA.
    Curry, Judith A. 2011. Uncertainty and the IPCC AR5: Part II. Scientific. Climate Etc. February 13. http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/13/uncertainty-and-the-ar5-part-ii/#comment-42345

    Taken from:
    IPCC. 2004. IPCC Anniversary Brochure. December.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/10th-anniversary/anniversary-brochure.pdf

    and briefly time-lined here:
    Pooh @ http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/13/uncertainty-and-the-ar5-part-ii/#comment-42345
    curryja @ http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/13/uncertainty-and-the-ar5-part-ii/#comment-42377
    Pooh @ http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/13/uncertainty-and-the-ar5-part-ii/#comment-43857

    This is just the role of the U.N, its subsidiaries and allies in pursuit of power.

    “For instance, Mr. James Mill takes the principle that all men desire Power; his son, John Stuart Mill, assumes that all men desire Wealth mainly or solely.”
    http://domain1041943.sites.fasthosts.com/holyoake/c_co-operation%20(11).htm

    Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. – Lord Acton (1887)

    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty—power is ever stealing from the many to the few…. The hand entrusted with power becomes … the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity. — Wendell Phillips (1811–84)

    Said a member of the Elf Lore group, while pointing at the spokesperson for E.L.F., ‘you all are not Elves of any kind, but Orcs!’” (qtd in Birzer, Bradley J. 2002. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth. 1st ed. Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, Pg 127, no cite)

  76. So, given the above, let us re-direct our resources to understanding the science of climate, without preconceptions and predetermined conclusions.

  77. If I shop one. Keep reading for more info and to examine some screenshots from
    the game. Fischer’s contributions to chess were enormous.