On the role of trust in climate communication

by Judith Curry

Much has been written on the need for better communication of climate science and for rebuilding trust in the wake of Climategate. Such efforts are generally dismissed by climate skeptics as manipulative and further increase distrust.  But surely there must be better modes of communication between climate scientists and the lay public?

Jean Goodwin (featured in the previous post Manufacturing(?) consensus) has some interesting insights in this paper presented last January at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society.  I focus here on the abstract, which I find very informatively and concisely makes their argument.  There is also a link to a longer manuscript and the conference presentation.

Good reasons for trusting climate science communication

Jean Goodwin and M.F. Dahlstrom

Abstract. A recent analysis of poll results by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication confirmed the expected: the controversy surrounding the CRU emails has resulted not only in a drop in belief in anthropogenic global warming, but also in a significant decline in trust in climate scientists. One main task confronting scientist-communicators must therefore be to renew citizens’ trust. Research in psychology and communication suggests that there are two general cognitive systems through which people reach judgments, and thus two broad routes to persuasion on this or other topics.

The first or “peripheral” cognitive system is characterized by the use of heuristics or rules of thumb; it is the basis of what is ordinarily considered intuition. This method for reaching judgments has of course some likelihood of going wrong, but at the same time is frugal, not expending scarce cognitive resources like time and attention. The second cognitive system, sometimes called “central” processing, is characterized by a higher degree of elaboration in reasoning, and involves what is normally considered critical thinking. Although it is effortful and slow, this method for reaching judgments is also likely to correct some of the errors of the easier peripheral processing.

JC comment:  This is a very important distinction, one of those “light bulb moments” in my understanding of the climate communication conundrum.

Much of the current literature on science communication focuses on techniques that affect an audience’s peripheral processing. For example, Matthew Nisbet and his collaborators advise communicators to carefully “frame” their messages in order to invoke some desired associations and experiences. Randy Olson’s recent Don’t Be Such A Scientist can also be read as a useful and amusing compendium of methods for increasing trust by appealing to an audience’s peripheral cognitive processes, projecting cues such as likeability, physical attractiveness, and dynamic delivery.

Appeals to peripheral cognitive processes, however, are unlikely to be completely successful in increasing trust in climate scientists. Some cognitive heuristics such as confirmation or “my side” bias will tend to further entrench the positions of those who already distrust scientists’ messages. Further, in a controversy as heated as that over global climate change, appeals to peripheral processing may be ineffective because when detected and called out by opponents, the communication techniques may appear manipulative and even fallacious. Not only will such messages be unpersuasive, they will tend to further increase distrust in the communicators.

JC comment:  It is exactly this kind of communication (peripheral processing) that the skeptics distrust and scoff at, essentially saying that improving this kind of communication increases the effectiveness of the “con job.”

In this paper, we therefore aim to supplement previous discussions of appeals to peripheral processing with a discussion of how climate scientists can give their audiences good reasons for trust, thus appealing to their audiences’ central processing/critical thinking. What are good reasons for trust? This has been the subject of significant recent scholarship in philosophy, political theory, and argumentation theory. These fields use humanistic methods such as conceptual analysis and pragmatic reconstruction to build theories of the kinds of reasons for trust which are likely to survive even harsh critical scrutiny. While social scientific methods can show us what heuristics audiences in fact are using–an empirical question–philosophical methods can show us what reasons audiences ought to accept as good–a normative or value question.

JC comment:  Appealing to central processing/critical thinking is exactly what I have been aiming for in my discussions on improving the public communication of climate science.  Without a clear distinction between the peripheral processing (or social packaging) of the communication and actual critical thinking, I have been frustrated in getting my points across.  I find this articulation of  peripheral processing versus central processing/critical thinking to be very insightful.

In particular, we will apply the line of research one of us (Goodwin) has developed in the communication subfield of argumentation theory, which provides an explanation of how trust can be secured even under conditions of deep disagreement. To summarize, this approach proposes that communicators can earn trust by openly taking responsibility for the possibility of errors and unforeseen consequences. A simple instance of this practical logic is the used car dealer who can reasonably be suspected of peddling lemons, but who succeeds in persuading some customers to buy by offering an extended guarantee. This enforceable undertaking of extra responsibility creates for his audience a new reason to trust him. As another example, this analysis suggests that the viewing public does not trust their local weathercaster because of his record of consistently accurate predictions. Instead, the public has reason to trust the weathercaster because they have repeated opportunities to observe how he takes the consequences for his mistakes.

When applied to the communication of climate science, this analysis suggests the somewhat paradoxical conclusion (also proposed in the work of Brian Wynne) that climate scientists may be more trusted if they present themselves as less certain.

JC comment:   Yes!!!

Instead of stressing the inerrant consensus that backs their statements, it would be a more effective appeal to gain trust via central processing if they openly made themselves vulnerable to criticism for any mistakes they may make. In order to make themselves vulnerable and thus earn trust, scientist-communicators will need to pursue two interlinked communication strategies. First, scientist-communicators will need strategies for assuring the public that scientists will in fact be held responsible and bear significant consequences, if it turns out that what they are saying is wrong. Second, because global climate change is not directly perceptible by ordinary means, scientist-communicators will need to develop and convey indicators which make future climate change visible to non-scientists in the same way that a car’s soundness or the local weather is visible. In sum, to earn the public’s trust in their risk communication, scientists must accept a risk themselves–the risk of being shown to be wrong.

JC comment:  This argument explains why the hockeystick controversy just won’t go away: it is the loss of trust of scientists that won’t given an inch in terms of acknowledging a mistake, particularly one pointed out by an “outsider” or skeptic.

JC conclusion: I’ll close with reproducing a paragraph from my building trust essay in the wake of Climategate:

The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.  Efforts are made to “dumb down” the message and to frame the message to respond to issues that are salient to the audience.   People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda and lack of trust of the message and the messengers. At the same time, there is a large group of educated and evidence driven people (e.g. the libertarians, people that read the technical skeptic blogs, not to mention policy makers) who want to understand the risk and uncertainties associated with climate change, without being told what kinds of policies they should be supporting. More effective communication strategies can be devised by recognizing that there are two groups with different levels of base knowledge about the topic.  But building trust through public communication on this topic requires that uncertainty be acknowledged.  My own experience in making public presentations about climate change has found that discussing the uncertainties increases the public trust in what scientists are trying to convey and doesn’t detract from the receptivity to understanding climate change risks (they distrust alarmism). Trust can also be rebuilt by  discussing broad choices rather than focusing on specific policies.

My building trust essay was lambasted by skeptics (see especially Willis Eschenbach).  With the passage of time, and notably with the interpretation provided by Goodwin and Dahlstrom, does my building trust essay now make more sense to skeptics?

578 responses to “On the role of trust in climate communication

  1. In David Eagleman’s ‘Incognito,’ on page 65 “Another real-world manifesstation of implicit memory is known as the illusion-of-truth effect: you are more likely to believe that a statement is true if you have heard it before-whether or not it is actuallly true.”

    Perhaps climate activists are relying on this effect, as do politicians and propagandists, instead of understanding that no longer will people accept constantly repeated non-truths, such as the hockey stick.

    • We live in very strange times. New mysteries are starting to appear as faith drops in leaders of economic, governmental, scientific and social organizations.

      • New mysteries surfaced today when I started to update and add more data points to the 1945-2011 History of the Current Economic Collapse and Climategate Scandal.

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Economic%20Collapse.pdf

        I will be out of town and unable to complete the project today, but I can assure you all that

        a.) The “Evil Empire” did not end in 1990 – despite Ron Reagan’s speech

        b.) The roots of the Climategate scandal go back to at least the time of the 1972 visit of Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon to China to meet Chairman Mao.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo
        NGR 26-003-057

    • LazyTeenager

      I agree.

      Now who actually has been going on and on and on about the hockey stick?

      • Do you mean “Who has profited from the hockey stick and ignores critical reviews of it?”, or do you mean “Who keeps pointing out that it is a flawed, misleading and poorly constructed prop?”

  2. I can’t see the point of “gaining trust”. Well, I can from a personal point of view, but not from a scientific point of view. Science is supposed to be about gaining knowledge, not about “gaining trust”. When climate change science has a good level of knowledge, their predictions (not projections) will speak for themselves. And nobody will talk about trust gaining, just as with other mature sciences.

    • Jack Hughes

      Dead right.

      Physics doesn’t need to “rebuild trust”.
      Chemistry doesn’t need to “rebuild trust”.
      Mathematics doesn’t need to “rebuild trust”.

      What climate scientists really need to do is to shut up and only come back when they have discovered their first scientific law.

      Sounds harsh but they’ve had the microphone for a long time without anything to say.

    • LazyTeenager

      Because the science informs public policy.
      E.g.
      If you don’t trust a treatment for cancer offered by a doctor and you trust a treatment by a crank because she tells you what you want to hear then you may miss out on an opportunity for being cured.

      • So sorry, but it doesn’t work. For three reasons.

        1) Public policy related to health shouldn’t be based on “trust”, but on facts; and very well checked. Having the facts, you don’t need to worry about trust.

        2) The case is (1) is how things work, at least theoretically. The crank with an undocumented treatment for cancer will probably not be allowed to continue.

        3) I hope you are not letting the government to decide which one is the best treatment for your case. There are usually allowed practices (and medicines), but this has nothing to do with public policy.

      • K Scott Denison

        LazyTeenager

        You’ve clearly never heard of the revolution in medicine that is called “evidence-based medicine”. It states that treatment decisions be based on evidence of success, pulled from years of data, rather than on trust for any physician’s judgment.

        Amazingly it works to both improve the medical outcome for the patient, and reduce the cost of care.

        Trust is not needed where evidence is available.

  3. Dear Judith
    You keep mentioning trust in scientists people haven’t lost trust in scientists they just don’t consider the alarmist, sensational and deceitful outpourings of so called climate scientists to have any merit.
    The message and messengers are clearly understood to be corrupted.
    I think the article presented is just psychobabble.

    • Stacey
      See John K. Swayze on “Why global warmists hate climate skeptics” citing the NYT on Richard Lindzen

      one of the chief reasons why many people hate Lindzen is that he wins debates and makes compelling arguments against what is supposedly the prevailing wisdom. His sharp wit is evident: “[T]here are the numerous well-meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.” . . .
      Political and economic solutions coming from the Warmists will fail just as all theocracies fail: Those who claim to own the truth, and to be its sole arbiters, are also certain that all power naturally must be theirs. These opportunists claim freedom from accountability to others because of their special knowledge, wisdom and virtues, whether the popes of the Middle Ages or Warmists of today. Theocrats, legalists, socialists, communists and “progressives” easily fall into that trap, and invariably institute the Three C’s: Control, Coercion and Confiscation. . . .

      Trust cannot be regained without addressing these underlying worldviews, and the ill gotten “rewards” of warming alarmist propagandists.

  4. My comment above has the wrong email address. Sorry

  5. “Much has been written on the need for better communication of climate science and for rebuilding trust in the wake of Climategate.”

    I like to point out, when people talk about Climategate, that climate science sucked before, during and after. Which kind of makes me wonder if Climategate had any real significance impact on anyone paying attention.

    Andrew

    • Oh, yes it has! Climategate made a big difference to me.

      The question is, did it make any real difference in behavior to people who’s fortune is to be made in the climate sphere of influence?

      Considering the number of people who say there have been four investigations that found nothing seriously wrong, I can only conclude the corruption is far greater and deeper than my worst nightmares.

      I can read! I can think for myself. I know what is right and wrong, Black, white and grey. When people tell me black is white, they loose their credibility wth me FOREVER.

  6. A recent polls shows 75% of the American public trusts climate scientists as the best source of information about out changing climate.

    Yet, somewhat under 50% of the American public agree with the viewpoint of the majority of climate scientists – that GW is A with around a 90% probability.

    How can those numbers be reconciled? I would suggest that the discrepancy results not primarily from a loss of trust (most likely, most of that 25% that don’t accept climate scientists as the best source of information never trusted climate scientists to begin with): While a loss of trust might fairly explain the perspective of some skeptics (although well-represented at this website, more generally a relatively small sub-group of that 25%), more likely that discrepancy is due: (1) a lack of awareness of the perspective of most climate scientists coupled with a lack of obviously apparent climate change on a short-term time scale, (2) the efforts of “deniers” who have focused considerable energies on undermining the “consensus”: of climate scientists for the purpose of pursuing political and financial goals.

    • Just because people magazine is the “best source of information about celebrities” doesn’t mean everyone believe everything they say. We know much of it is made up crap designed to sell magazines.

      Same with Climate Scientists. You have to read the crap they are peddling to scoff and laugh at it.

    • Much of the posited success “deniers” had/have in reducing confidence in many climate scientists’ viewpoints is likely reaction to the efforts of “alarmists” who have focused considerable energies on undermining the “skepticism” of fellow climate scientists and other people skilled in particular aspects of the scientific process for the apparent purpose of pursuing political and financial goals.

      It seems to me that most serious skeptics are not pursuing political and financial goals but are reacting to the potential for political and financial disaster in overreaction to what is perceived as a tiny signal, big noise, perhaps overblown threat. Indeed, all the really big money is on the side of the “consensus.”

      Let’s face it, government is not capable of the nuance and restraint necessary in a more measured, non-armageddon approach to this issue. It is a real and widespread concern. One’s grasp of the situtation could be more congruent with reality if the cynical attitude in evidence above toward non-consensus folks was not one of the first things to pop into one’s head..

      • Much of the posited success “deniers” had/have in reducing confidence in many climate scientists’ viewpoints is likely reaction to the efforts of “alarmists” who have focused considerable energies on undermining the “skepticism” of fellow climate scientists and other people skilled in particular aspects of the scientific process for the apparent purpose of pursuing political and financial goals.

        Could be. But I’d say that some percentage of the 25% I mentioned above wouldn’t have had confidence in what climate scientists have to say regardless of “alarmism.” For example, religious fanatics who believe that it is hubris to think that man is capable of negatively affecting god’s creation. Or aforementioned politically and/or financially driven extremists.

        The point being, that if some 75% of Americans think that climate scientists are the best source for information about the climate, then they don’t view what climate scientists have to say about climate change as “alarmist.” In other words, the viewpoint that GW is likely A with a 90% probability is not “alarmist.”

        If you have any evidence that public opinion is, to a large degree, affected by “alarmism,” I’d like to see it. I know that many folks say that climategate, as an example, has significantly eroded the public’s faith in climate scientists, or has directly influence how much of the public views theories of AGW – but I haven’t as yet seen and actual evidence (just weak conclusions based on correlating % declines in the #’s of people who are deeply concerned about climate change – but with out evidence to support a causal relationship).

        It seems to me that most serious skeptics are not pursuing political and financial goals but are reacting to the potential for political and financial disaster in overreaction to what is perceived as a tiny signal, big noise, perhaps overblown threat.

        I agree. The problem there, however, is how to distinguish the “serious skeptics” from “deniers.” Two things don’t help in that regard: The first is that “believers” overgeneralize about skeptics and assume that all skeptics are deniers. The second is that often, “serious skeptics” fail to make a concerted effort to distinguish themselves from “deniers.” As a case in point, I would refer to Judith.

        Indeed, all the really big money is on the side of the “consensus.”

        Based on the evidence I’ve seen – I remain unconvinced about your assertion.

      • Joshua, the difference been a denier and a skeptic is simple.

        Morons call skeptics deniers.

      • I think your conclusion might be a bit strong – but I’m in agreement with the underlying logic there. I would prefer to say that it is inaccurate to call skeptics deniers – just as it is inaccurate to doubt that deniers exist.

        And because there are many around here that are very concerned with political correctness – I will note that in using the term “denier,” in no way am I analogizing people to holocaust deniers on the basis of their viewpoint on climate change.

        I’ll leave such tribalism to those who think they are justified in analogizing “alarmists” to Eugenicists, Stalinists, etc., etc., etc., – as we see so often on these here pages of Climate etc.

      • “I will note that in using the term “denier,” in no way am I analogizing people to holocaust deniers on the basis of their viewpoint on climate change.”

        Yes you are.

      • Yes you are.

        You’re entitled to take it that way if you choose. I take pains to distinguish between “skeptical un-convinced” and “deniers.” You’re perfectly entitled to self-identify with either group.

        Further, I have stated how I am using the word. If you insist on interpreting it otherwise, that’s your prerogative. I think the term is perfectly accurate to describe some who are driven by ideology, politics, financial motivations, etc. I’m talking about people who deny facts. I tend to doubt that you’re in that group – but if you want to go to the mat to defend people who fit such a description, and dismiss what I have to say on that basis, have at it.

        Or, to please you, since you’re so sensitive – let me know when you’re going to read one of my posts and I’ll add a follow-up post substituting the term “denier” to “someone who refuses to accept facts because they are tribalistically pursuing an ideological, political, or financial agenda. I wouldn’t want your delicately politically correct sensibilities to be crushed.

      • You are a fanatic with nothing to offer.

      • Thanks for reading, Bruce.

      • Joshua: “You’re entitled to take it that way if you choose. I take pains to distinguish between “skeptical un-convinced” and “deniers.” You’re perfectly entitled to self-identify with either group.”

        What you actually do is bracket the two terms together thus: “skeptical un-convinced (sic)/deniers”, thereby insinuating there is little or no difference between the two. So when you say you “take pains to distinguish between “skeptical un-convinced”(sic) and “deniers” what you really mean is you tap the slash key on your keyboard. And just what “facts” do these mythical “deniers” deny anyway? Never having met one myself, I’m at a loss as to how you seem to know so many that it makes you feel you have to mention them every time you mention sceptics.

      • LC,

        I think you are being too sensitive. On a blog frequented by all types, including “progressive convinced/communists,” one has to expect a certain type of rhetoric I am of course not implying anything about anyone in particular. Not all the progressive convinced are communists. Just like not all greens are fascists, so hopefully no one will take offense when we also start using the term “greens/fascists.”

      • Actually, LC:

        I view the “skeptical un-convinced (I use the dash to better show the contrast to those I call the “skeptical convinced”) as on one end of a spectrum with “deniers” on the other end of that spectrum (the full spectrum being those who are not convinced (or do not believe) theories of AGW).

        I don’t know how many people fit the description of “denier,” just as I don’t know how many would fit the description of “skeptical un-convinced.” It is exactly because I haven’t met the people that I’m talking about, and thus have no real insight into their motivations, that I use terms that reflect my uncertainty.”

        I am quite sure, however, that there are people who are motivated by ideology, politics, and/or money who partake in the climate debate. On both sides of the debate.

        What I find interesting, and reflective of tribalism, is that we read on these pages many, many times that people are absolutely convinced that there are people driven by ideology, politics, or money on the “pro-consensus” side of the debate – yet seem to be deeply, deeply “outraged” that I would assume those characteristics to at least some people on both sides of the debate.

        I see the climate debate as, often, a proxy war for larger ideological, political, and economic battles. I also see the climate debate as largely influence by tribal behaviors, behaviors that are inherent to humans. As far as I’m concerned, to assert a “vast asymmetry” to the tribalism on either side of the debate runs contrary to what we know about human nature.

      • No offense taken, Gary.

        Just as I take no personal offense when people accuse me of being an “alarmist,” or a “believer,” or a “warmist” – as we have seen many times on these pages.

        Such accusations show that people actually have no idea what I do or don’t believe. Just as I’d assume that someone calling you a “denier” has no idea what you actually believe. You will notice that I have never, ever, called anyone on these pages a “denier.”

        Not once.

        Despite having been told many times that I am a “believer,” “warmist,” “alarmist,” etc. etc.

        I do consider myself a “progressive” – although I acknowledge that the term in itself is very much open to interpretation – and thus is likely to create misconceptions about what I do or don’t believe.

        I also don’t take personal offense when people characterize greens or environmentalists as “eco-Nazis” or do things like analogize them to eugenicists.

        I don’t take personal offense. I do, however, see such characterizations and use of analogies as inaccurate, and reflective of tribalism. If someone wants to say that within the “skeptical un-convinced/believer” spectrum there are likely some people who are interested in pursuing an authoritarian state that imposes climate policies towards the goal of wealth re-distribution – I would entirely agree with them. And I would disagree with anyone who characterizes everyone who doesn’t agree with theories that GW is A with 100% probability is a “denier.” That doesn’t mean that I think that no “deniers” exist — and I don’t think that no “eco-Nazis” exist.

      • Well done, Bruce. “Denier” speaks more about the pitcher than the target.

      • Based on the evidence I’ve seen – I remain unconvinced about your assertion.

        How about this 300 million?

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/30/gore-to-unveil-300-millio_n_94155.html

        This does not count the tens of millions from Greenpeace, or money from the WWF, or The Pew Foundation etc. This doesn’t even touch the Government money that Dr. Curry is familiar with.

        These moneys are orders of magnitude more than you will find supporting the skeptics.

      • jeez – I’ll take a look at your link.

        In the meantime, take a look at this link:

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/440/game-changer

        Here’s why I found that program interesting. In part, it deals with how research into fracking is funded. You will see that drawing cause/effect links between funding and the conclusions of the research it supports is very complicated. I think that the picture it portrays is instructive in examining funding on climate change. If you listen to the show, let me know and we can explore this subject more deeply.

      • joshua

        The poll you referred to earlier

        http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf

        is just one of many conducted by organisations with an interest in promoting a point of view. Here are the ‘objective’ promoters;

        “This study was conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, and was funded by the Surdna
        Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.”

        Online surveys are self selecting so how representative it was of the wider American public is not specified but probably not very bearing in mind the overall intentions of such a poll. Come on Joshua you can do better than that :)

        tonyb

      • tonyb –
        The poll – http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf

        is written by the same people, presumably using the same input, at the same time as this one that was referenced by Robert –

        http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/6_Americas_May_2011_final.pdf

        Which brings up some questions because the first uses 1010 respondents while the second uses 981. The first is 19 pages while the second is 57 pages. Why the differences?

        Haven’t yet had time to dig into the other differences, if any, between the two – but it’s on the list.

      • Jim Owen

        The two reports look very similar and have the same funders. Here is one of them.

        http://www.surdna.org/what-we-fund/sustainable-environments.html

        Looks like Americans can look forward to being ‘educated.’ :)
        tonyb

      • Tonyb –
        God save us from the do-gooders and the educators. ;-)

      • tony -

        Like you, and JIm, and I, and Judith, and just about everyone who reads this site – the people putting out that poll have a perspective on climate change. If you read this article, you will see a clear perspective:

        http://www.npr.org/2011/06/21/137309964/climate-change-public-skeptical-scientists-sure

        Anthony Leiserowitz, who directs the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication, delved into this in a recent poll. He not only asked citizens what they thought of climate change, he also asked them to estimate how climate scientists feel about global warming.

        “Only 13 percent of Americans got the correct answer, which is that in fact about 97 percent of American scientists say that climate change is happening, and about a third of Americans just simply say they don’t know,” he said.

        I would say that the figure of 97% is somewhat disputable – and IMO not a fact as Leiserowitz says. His determination of fact suggests to me some bias in his perspective.

        But that said: I don’t think that you’ve shown anything that would reflect any particular bias in the data itself. The fact that the subjects of the poll might be self-selecting could skew the data in either direction, or IMO more likely not at all – but I certainly don’t see why it would bias the data towards the participants not knowing how climate scientists view climate change.

        In general, I don’t reject information simply on the basis of funding. That would go for Willie Soon’s research, as well at the information provided by this poll. And like with Willie Soon, I’m more impressed with arguments based on data and explicit analysis rather than broadside that attack people’s integrity. Should I assume that your perspective vis a vis climate change invalidates your analysis?

        If you have better data that conflicts with the data in this poll – by all means please provide me with a link.

        If you don’t have better data…well…. then I guess that would mean that this data is the best we have, and in fact, you can’t do better than that, wouldn’t it Tony?

      • Paul:
        Nicely said. But I suspect that this is but one source of resistance to the Cassandra messages of certain climate scientists and the IPCC pronouncements in general. I would also argue that any scientist/expert who cannot or will not show in detail how they arrived at a conclusion invites an immediate loss in trust and increasing skepticism. McIntyre had it right from the beginning – show me your data/code so that I can replicate your work if I so chose.

    • Joshua –
      Do you have a link to that poll?

      • http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf

        Some 76% report trusting or strongly trusting NOAA as a resource on climate change.

        Please notice:

        Q30. To the best of your knowledge, what proportion of climate scientists think that global warming is happening?

        81 to 100%…… 13%
        61 to 80% ……19%
        41 to 60% ……23%
        21 to 40% ……. 12%
        0 to 20% ……3%
        Don’t know enough to say …..31%

        I would say the data on responses to that question show that a large segment of the American public are simply not aware of how most climate scientists view climate change. Hence, the discrepancy between public opinion for many Americans on climate change as compared to their confidence in climate scientists who actually hold differing opinions than their own.

      • Also interesting is how many people “strongly distrust” Obama as a source for information – as compared to Congresscritters, or even “mainstream news media.”

        Might lead one to speculate about political ideology driving beliefs about climate change, might it not?

      • Another note: – I should correct what I said above. The results don’t actually say what % trust climate scientists as the best source. However, “scientists” and NOAA have the highest trust/lowest distrust ratings. And other government agencies are also rated highly.

      • You miss the most interesting question

        Trust in scientists:

        Strongly trust 21 26 22 28
        Somewhat trust 55 55 52 54
        Somewhat distrust 19 15 19 14
        Strongly distrust 5 4 7 4

        From nov 2008 to jan 2010. Strongly trust goes down from 28 to 22%
        Somewhat distrust jumps from 14 to 19
        strongly distrust jumps from 4 to 7.

        And the great unwashed who somewhat trust? ha, they were not reading, which is why they are most people.

        Also, the survey was interesting in that it did not offer an option for people to say that both man and natural forces drive the climate.
        Also, no questions about the benefits of climate change. weird.

      • “Also, the survey was interesting in that it did not offer an option for people to say that both man and natural forces drive the climate”

        Option E (ie. none of the above) is NEVER offered in simplistic marketing polls – if one responds to a question with “the answer that I have is not offered as a choice”, one is insultingly recorded as a “don’t know”. This is why I point blank refuse to take part in these polls. They are deliberately manipulative.

        I hope Judith C recognises this on her current Road to Damascus

      • From nov 2008 to jan 2010. Strongly trust goes down from 28 to 22%
        Somewhat distrust jumps from 14 to 19
        strongly distrust jumps from 4 to 7.”

        Strongly trust went from 28 to 21 to 26 to 22.

        Similar variations with the other data as well.

        I thought that your field of expertise was data trend analysis.

      • “I would say the data on responses to that question show that a large segment of the American public are simply not aware of how most climate scientists view climate change.”

        I have literally no idea how I would answer (or interpret the answers to) this question. I would say the data on responses indicate the appalling ambiguity of the question, posed as it was without temporal or other definitional qualification of “global warming”.

      • I agree that the data are lacking. I would not agree, however, that they don’t suggest some tentative conclusions. I think that the implications of the poll are worth debating.

    • Joshua: One way to reconcile the numbers is to note that some prominent climate scientists are skeptics. Your problem only arises because you are equating climate scientists with AGW proponents, which is incorrect. The poll question about information sources really has little to do with the issue of concern about climate change.

      • One way to reconcile the numbers is to note that some prominent climate scientists are skeptics. Your problem only arises because you are equating climate scientists with AGW proponents, which is incorrect. </blockquote?

        I have never questioned that, David. A very small minority of prominent climate scientists are "skeptically un-convinced." But the vast majority are "skeptically convinced."

        From the information I've seen, the poll indicates that the American public vastly underestimates the % of climate scientists, prominent or otherwise, who believe that climate change is being caused mostly by human activities. That in no way is mutually exclusive with acknowledging that some prominent climate scientists are "skeptically un-convinced."

        As I see it, the poll has very much to do with one of the issues Judith raises in her post – trust in climate scientists. If you refer to my original post in this thread, you will see why I am connecting the question of trust in climate scientists with the understanding of the American public about climate scientists' views on climate change.

      • ugh. Apologies if I bollixed up the thread.

    • Joshua,
      Your interpretation is a bit off. 75% trust of climate scientists as a source of information does not mean that people trust the opinions of those same scientists about global warming. After all, does being a specialist in measuring tree rings automatically give you authoritative insight into the state of Earth’s climate a century from now? Of course not. It just means you have experience at looking at cross sections of tree trunks and attended a few climate conferences. Less trust of conclusions versus data is quite reasonable.

    • Joshua, I think the question of trust ignores the more parsimonious explanation for inaction: the American public often fails to take concrete action to deal with long-term problems, for example:

      * The budget deficit
      * The unsustainable rise in health care costs
      * The long-term decline in primary and secondary education

      The same George Mason University surveys find that only six percent — six percent — of those polled think we should not cut our greenhouse gases emissions. Only ten percent of those polled are, like so many of those “skeptics” who post here, entirely dismissive of dangers of unchecked global warming. More people are alarmed than dismissive, and almost twice as many people are concerned (27%) as doubtful (15%).

      Human beings are not especially rational creature, and they can believe in a proposition without necessarily taking the actions that that position would seem to imply. Inertia and procrastination are better explanations for the lack of action on climate change than mistrust of scientists or belief in the dubious assertions of the “skeptics.”

      • simon abingdon

        “lack of action on climate change”. The very words make one despair.

      • Robert
        Inertia and procrastination are better explanations for the lack of action on climate change than mistrust of scientists or belief in the dubious assertions of the “skeptics.”

        Neither. The general public do not know the names of any “skeptics” nor have they heard or read anything about them. It would be hard to imagine “skeptic” assertions have had any effect on the public.

        Folks are not interested in “taking action” on AGW simply because they have heard the story line and reject it based upon merit. Warmer tropic regions have greater diversity of critters than colder arctic regions. 1 or 2 degrees rise in temperature over a century is not very impressive seeing as that difference is not uncommon between the front and back doors of their houses. A few inches rise in sea level in a century? Most parts of the world, tide and wave height variation over a single day are orders of magnitude greater than that.

        Scary AGW stories? How about comparing them to those about famine in Africa, Drug violence in the Americas, or Mid Eastern political upheaval? Why not let folks move a few more feet uphill, get cheap electric power, run air conditioning, and pump water from lakes? In the mean time, let’s fix the big problems first. That is the public view.

      • Neither. The general public do not know the names of any “skeptics” nor have they heard or read anything about them. It would be hard to imagine “skeptic” assertions have had any effect on the public.

        I’m sure that a rather brief round o’ Googling will show you many links that connect Fox News or other “conservative” mainstream media sources (Drudge, Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Bennett, Ingraham, Medved, Savage, Alex Jones, etc.) and prominent “skeptical un-convinced/deniers.” They don’t need to know the names of “skeptics” per se to have heard the arguments of “skeptical un-convinced/deniers.” The data in the poll show that many Americans are not aware of how most climate scientists view climate change. There is likely some reason for that incongruity, and I would suggest that the amount and type of information people receive about climate scientists’ beliefs would be the explanation.

        I think that you are correct that one of the reasons for an apparent disconnect between the % of Americans who have confidence in climate scientists and the % of Americans who agree with most climate scientists on AGW is the lack of immediate impact of climate change on the day to day lives of most Americans.

      • Alarmed = 12% of population – page 11 of the survey
        Alarmed used to be 18% – page 12

        Concerned dropped from 33 to 27

        Concerned+Alarmed dropped from 51% to 39%

      • Robert – do you have a link to the GMU poll? Goodwin states that the poll shows a link between climategate and a drop in trust of scientists. I have yet to see anything that actually shows a causal link rather than just a correlation.

      • I agree to some extent, Robert. If there were a clear link between the opinions of most Americans and energy policy, we would likely have different energy policies than we currently have. Inertia and procrastination are certainly factors.

        On the other hand, there are legitimate questions about how people balance the costs/benefits of policies directed toward CO2 emissions.

        Still – even such questions do not always reflect a logical linkage between public opinion and policy.

        For example, polls of people in my area (Philly) consistently show that people (on average) do not want to trade off specific service cuts in order to keep taxes low, yet polls also so that generic aversion to raising taxes prevent the the public will required to generate enough tax revenue to sufficiently fund the services people want.

        The assumption that people will act rationally is one of the factors that confuse many participants in the climate debate. How many times do we read on these pages about how a lack of confidence in those “fraud” scientists provides an explanation for a lack of policies directed at preventing climate change? Many “skeptical un-convinced/deniers” formulate that belief based on an assumption of rational behavior on the part of Americans. Yet, most Americans, by a wide margin, actually trust climate scientists.

  7. Judith, your attention to this issue is appreciated, but you’ve got a formidable task ahead of you.

    I agree with this from the paper wholeheartedly:
    “First, scientist-communicators will need strategies for assuring the public that scientists will in fact be held responsible and bear significant consequences, if it turns out that what they are saying is wrong.”

    But isn’t that already a basic part of good science communications? It seems strange that such an obvious point would even need to be made. Better late than never, I guess.

    “Randy Olson’s recent Don’t Be Such A Scientist can also be read as a useful and amusing compendium of methods for increasing trust by appealing to an audience’s peripheral cognitive processes, projecting cues such as likeability, physical attractiveness, and dynamic delivery.”

    So that’s why Anthony Watts has such success! He’s so much better-looking than Michael Mann!

    • So that’s why Anthony Watts has such success! He’s so much better-looking than Michael Mann!

      Watts is successful by the same measure and the same methods that Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter are successful. He is neither trusted nor reliable, but popular as as purveyor of fear-laced anti-intellectual nonsense that comforts his audience by flattering them and playing to their prejudices.

      Being a successful scientist like Dr Mann is a completely different ballgame. Which is more successful is really a matter of what you value in a person — accomplishment or fame.

      • Mann is a very successful snake oil salesman. Watts is at least honest.

        And you classify as one of the purveyors of fear-laced anti-intellectual nonsense that comforts your audience by flattering them and playing to their prejudices.

      • “but popular as as purveyor of fear-laced”

        IPCC: Spend 180 trillion dollars on windmills and you won’t die from the heat and sea level rise!

        We know who the fear purveyors are.

  8. James Griffiths

    I said this on a previous thread, but I will repeat it. I can cross a bridge without ascertaining the engineering providence of it because I trust it has been done, and done properly. The person who builds the bridge though, never gets to build a bridge on trust. Even if they have built 100 perfect bridges, their 101st will still have to have the same trail of accountability as the previous 100. I can trust the builder enough to cross his bridge because I know someone else didn’t.

    I cannot trust the work of climate scientists because I cannot have any confidence that they will have demonstrated the methodology behind their work to an acceptable standard without checking every detail myself, and there is no recognised independent body that can be trusted to do any kind of due diligence to engineering standards.

    Generally though, trust in Climate Science is a little different even from that kind of trust, in that we are asked to believe what a scientist believes their work demonstrates, even if it doesn’t explicitly demonstrate it. It is, of course, the problem manifested in the so called consensus, where in order to provide some kind of unified front, the only possible approach is to use the opinions of the experts rather than their work.

    This kind of trust in never achievable, because it is the kind of trust that is only required before some action is taken, which is the point where any sensible person will ask for trust to be put to one side while some justification is provided.

    Now that climate science has entered the realms where the product will be used in engineering and policy, trust will only be earned when it is a superfluous requirement.

    • You have nailed it! Trust must be earned….it does not automatically come with the title ‘climate scientist’. ClimateGate hugely undermined trust in ‘climate scientists’ such as Jones and Mann. The IAC Review of IPCC’s procedures confirmed the suspicions of many including myself that the job was NOT being done to engineering standards. So much the worse because governments are now using this prostituted version of science as a pretext to screw money out their citizens through environmentally ineffective and economically damaging policies. Even now we see IPCC trying to substitute ‘confidentiality’ for ‘transparency’ in addressing the IAC’s criticisms. The way they are heading makes it most unlikely that trust will be restored any time soon.

  9. I think the two-stage processing is a useful concept. I believe it also relates to the previous Mooney/Kahan discussion, in that I think too often the peripheral or first-impression or instinctive stage involves the left or right political leaning of the person receiving the initial information. For many, they can’t get past that to the central processing stage, because their view is too contaminated by their political bias.

    • John Carpenter

      Jim,

      I don’t agree with your assessment that political leanings influence peripheral or first-impression stage of receiving information wrt climate science. Do you think that the climate debate is split down political ideologies? Several posters here who are ‘skeptical’ also espouse to be liberal thinkers, while others are clearly conservative. Perhaps you mean that is a ‘general’ trend?

      • The Kahan study showed that a person’s egalitarian/individualist views, more than literacy/numeracy was a good predictor of a person’s stand on the AGW issue. To me, this means some people are forming their scientific opinions politically and not shifting from them, which I interpret as being stuck at the first processing stage in terms of this thread. Not all people are stuck at that stage, but I think some are based on the Kahan evidence.

      • John Carpenter

        Ok… but I think Kahan discussed higher literacy/numeracy tended to result in more skepticism while Mooney thought political leanings were a predictor.

        From Kahan: ” On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.”

        From Mooney: “If you are a conservative or Republican, then increased scientific literacy, increased mathematical ability, increased education, and increased self-professed knowledge about climate change are all associated with being more skeptical of the scientific consensus, and of the notion that global warming is a serious risk.”

        FWIW, I get your point better now.

      • Looking at the Kahan paper it looked like literacy/numeracy was much less varied than individualist/egalitarian, so I interpreted it from the graphs rather than the text, and I think Mooney overemphasized the literacy/numeracy aspect.

      • The study clearly said that cultural affiliation was much more strongly correlated with views on climate change than scientific literacy/numeracy (which were only very weakly correlated).

        Also, here’s a poll that is informative re: political affiliation and views on climate change:

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/126563/conservatives-doubts-global-warming-grow.aspx

        Notice also the findings of that poll are somewhat inconsistent with the (very minor) Kahan’s study w.r.t. correlation between knowledge about climate science and views on the reality of climate change.

      • I actually need to state that more strongly. Kahan’s study concluded that cultural affiliation was a much stronger predictor of views on climate change than scientific literacy/numeracy. The main conclusion of the study (in contrast to how it was spun in these pages and on other climate change battlegrounds) was that the more you know about an issue, the stronger you are to reach conclusions that are congruent with your social/cultural affiliation.

        It’s all about confirmation bias, baby.

      • sorry -

        “…the more likely you are to reach conclusions that are congruent….”

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua and Jim D,

        I concede the conclusion to the paper is as you describe.

      • Fair enough, John.

        So – back to the question of political ideology and view of climate change. Do you really not see a strong correlation? And do you really not suspect that their is a causal relationship – at least for some folks? Did you look at the study I linked?

        You seemed to suggest in your original post here that there is no influence of political leanings on views about climate change. Do you really hold to that opinion?

        If so – do you really think that having a “leftist” ideology is irrelevant to the views of many who accept the theory that GW is 90% likely A?

      • The correlation is that nearly all believers are lefties.
        Skeptics are all over the spectrum.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        I do believe there is correlation and the gallup poll you linked to supports that. I guess I was thinking of it more in terms of scientists/engineers, I am guessing there is less correlation there, but I don’t really know that. From what I read here, it is evident that many left politically leaning individuals are just as skeptical as right leaning ones. I was going on that experience and my reply to Jim D was not written well to express that, however I did ask if he meant the relation to be ‘general’ trend which is what you brought to our attention.

        I’ll try to phrase my comments more clearly in the future :)

      • When you use “skepticism” in this context to refer to climate deniers, it’s just confusing. Deniers are about as far from real skeptics as you can get.

        Scientists support the theory of AGW more than the general public, the group of all climate scientists supports it more than the public, and the subset of climate scientist who are recognized by their peers as the most accomplished and successful overwhelming support it. That suggests that increased knowledge is inversely correlated with climate denial.

        The findings of the Mooney study are interesting to me, and they suggest to me both that we tend to learn about things we are interested in, and that conservatives tend to exchange a dollar’s worth of humility for two cents of information — a classic case of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

      • Scientists support the theory of AGW more than the general public, the group of all climate scientists supports it more than the public, and the subset of climate scientist who are recognized by their peers as the most accomplished and successful overwhelming support it. That suggests that increased knowledge is inversely correlated with climate denial.

        Nice hypothesis. Evidence? Other than your personal prejudice.

        The findings of the Mooney study are interesting to me,

        Yup – you’re two of a kind. Both are “pretend scientists.”

      • John Carpenter

        I wasn’t refering to ‘deniers’ purposely as this term is not used in the Kahan paper. You may project the term ‘denier’ onto what Kahan was saying, but it is one reason why you are not to be taken seriously. Ironically, it is the consistent misuse of the word ‘denier’ I see you make that makes your communication skills toward the ones you most want to reach impossible. I don’t think you will ever learn that and may be one reason why you are confused.

        Your idea of climate scientists supporting AGW theory more than the public suggesting increased knowledge is inversely correlated with climate denial is bogus as well. That idea suggests only climate scientists are knowledgable in climate science. This is not a true statement and wholly misses the point of the Kahan study.

      • Robert,
        YOu sound exactly like the racists in the old South who knew a good ni**er when they saw one, and knew those uppity ni**ers demanding that things change were not good ones.
        Your massive blindspot would be pitiful if it were not so insultingly bigoted and ignorant on your part.
        Who gave you the right to decide who is a real skeptic and who is not worthy of being one?
        You are a miserable self-absorbed ignorant twit hiding behind your faith in a bunch of apocalyptic clap trap.

  10. Dr. Curry,

    Your prior essay on rebuilding confidence approached the issue from the perspective of someone who generally believes in the “truth” of what the IPCC is preaching.

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as ‘unscientific America’ by Chris Mooney.”

    Skeptics, like Willis Eschenbach in the response you linked to, do not accept this “truth.”

    “The lack of trust is not a problem of perception or communication. It is a problem of lack of substance. Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.”

    This distinction of thought processes between central processing and peripheral processing is nothing new , even if the phraseology may be. Appeals to emotions, prejudices, biases, have been the subject of propaganda campaigns forever, regardless of whether you call them “intuition” or “peripheral cognitive processes.”

    I have read nothing on this or any other blog that would change my belief that the IPCC, and many climate scientists, lost their credibility because of bad science, over inflated claims of certainty, dishonest presentation of results, and the hiding of data and code. The hockey stick was not poor communication, it was an intentional attempt to mislead. You yourself have referred to the hockey stick graph as “dishonest” (while being unwilling to apply the same appellation to the authors of that exercise in hiding the decline).

    In fact, the white wash “investigations,” the retention of Pachauri as head of the IPCC, the refusal to implement genuine conflict of interest rules, the continuing vilification of dissent, the ever increasing use of statistics to create the illusion of precision in data, all are serving to decrease the credibility/trust of the consensus climate community, in this skeptic’s opinion.

    • Gary,

      I couldn’t agree more with your general thrust. A worrying consequence of what you say that it would be almost impossible for anyone from any of the more highly visible alarmist camps to now convince sceptics of the dangers of global warming, even if they did start to back it up with better science, admit errors, engage with sceptics etc. They have basically proved themselves to be so dishonest / incompetent / compromised / whatever that it would be difficult to credit anything they do from this point on as other than a new and improved version of the con. I certainly feel that way (and this from someone who believes that our massive CO2 emissions will almost certainly increase temperatures by a significant amount).

      This is worrying because there is only a limited supply of people both willing and able to do the climate science necessary to get some substantive answers to what net effects our GHG emissions will have, and it seems the vast majority of them are either already tainted by vocally supporting bogus science and transparent advocacy of their preferred political positions using “science” as a justification, or being indirectly tainted by their tacit acceptance and silence on the disreputable conduct of their peers. On that latter score, there is no better exemplar than the Hockeystick (of which Judith Curry has been consistently strong in her criticism). When will the broader climate science community realize that its ability to undermine trust in their science will not just fade over time, if they just keep brazening it out long enough? I believe a starting point for rebuilding any trust is a proper shaming and suitable “demotion” within and by the climate science community of those directly involved, and of those who should (must) have known better, yet defended (and continue defending) it, long past the point where mere stupidity or incompetence is a credible defence.

      Warming caused by our GHG emissions may prove to be a serious problem which needs to be addressed. Lets hope we have have enough untainted researchers left to do the massive amount of work required, then deliver a credible warning, if it does indeed turn out to be warranted.

      • I also agree with GaryM. However, by the nature of that argumenta ny climate scientist can increase their credibility by making accurate concrete and measurable predictions. The loss of trust is also fed by Chicken Little type of predictions that do not prove out.

      • I totally agree. The used car salesman example was imprecise. A used car salesman who can sell you a second car after selling you a lemon the first time is a first class ‘communicator’ indeed.

      • Where is Arthur Daley?

      • If Bernie Madoff came up to me and said 2+2=4, I would not doubt the result because he is a fraud. Similarly, if any scientists, even Michael Mann and James Hansen, started publishing science that stood up to critical review, was honest, with the supporting data and code made available to those who can verify their results, I would not dismiss the results just because of where they originated. I suspect the same is true of the vast majority of skeptics.

        The lack of credibility of climate scientists is not the basis for my skepticism, the state of the science is.

      • “Bernie Madoff came up to me and said 2+2=4, I would not doubt the result because he is a fraud.”

        That is true of me as well, but only because I can simply and independently verify that it is a reasonable claim, and so didn’t have to rely on Bernie Madoff’s integrity in the first place. On the other hand, neither I, nor the vast majority of the population, are able or willing to independently verify that a statement along the lines of “the net feedbacks tend to positively reinforce the warming effects of CO2, rather than reduce them”. While it is possible for many of the more technically lterate to discount the more obviously bogus science, when it comes down to a serious debate over whether the net effect of additional H2O is warming via trapping more IR, or cooling via increased albedo, we are down to a very small group indeed who can make an informed judgement independantly. At that level, we rely on the judgements of the Roy Spencers and Judith Currys, or (if we are insane) the Hockey team associates of the world. It is in that realm that I believe so many of the current generation of climate scientists have been fatally compromised by their largely uncritical and contiued endorsment of the Hockey team.

        On the questions for which I need their expertise, I can’t trust them. On those questions where I can trust them, I don’t need them.

      • I think the correct question is not 2+2=4, but would you buy an investment from Bernie? I think not, no matter what.

      • I am in basic agreement with Gary and Jim. I’ve made the point that alarmist scientists have violated every principle of quality control. The problem that Judy and other scientists have in exploring this question of communication and trust is that they are too much the products of a science culture that is wholly inadequate for the job. If they could step back far enough, they would see that quality control is absent. There is nothing about the “science” as currently practiced which addresses this paramount concern.

        The only thing that alarmists have to sell which ever had any currency was the authority of supposed experts. People simply had to trust because the process was a quality disaster. And now the experts have been exposed far too many times as either incompetent, corrupt or both.

        The appeal to authority approach is now a certain loser. Yet they have no clue how to begin structuring the work and the process to insure quality. So they spin their wheels.

    • Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers.

      That’s the triple flashing red light. I can spot that in a 5000-word essay in under a minute. The rest of it is just supporting evidence. Scientists are not there to change the world, they’re there to find facts. Until they admit this simple modesty, they’re going to be resisted, and rightfully so.

      Let me repeat: SCIENTISTS ARE THERE TO FIND THE TRUTH, NOT TO CHANGE THE WORLD. Simple, no?

    • Bill Norton

      Great post GaryM.
      Judith’s blog is important, and I hope she’ll soon see that it is not possible to wipe out the scientific disagreements with the satement, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” It didn’t work for the warden, and it was a disaster for Cool Hand Luke.

    • Gary,
      You have articulated the multiple problems extremely accurately. Equally troublesome is the impression that there is no intention on the part of AGW proponent/advocate scientists (in general) to ‘clean up their act’.

  11. We are all playing poker for money, with a Mr. A.G.W. Green. While he was
    dealing the cards, an ace fell out of his sleeve onto the poker table.
    What’s next,… are you still playing poker with him? We know what the Prez says…
    ‘Don’t call my bluff.’

  12. What does all this “building trust” agenda amount to other than attempting to (re)establish credibility to be considered an “authority”, enabling subsequent “appeals from that authority.”

    It is in my view a fundamentally wrongheaded approach. There is no substitute for everyone taking responsibility personally, to do whatever is necessary to form and gain ownership of ones own opinions. (I agree that this is an ideal, and that we all take shortcuts )

    Lindzen makes this point in response to one of the questioners at the end of this video ; that one has to genuinely make the effort to learn enough about the science, to form ones own opinion

    http://tinyurl.com/3r9x5ef

    I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Confucius

    Briggs gives the flip side of the argument in the link below:

    The tiresome truth is that each claim Greenpeace or its sponsored scientists and organizations makes must be checked for its veracity. Each and every one, each and every time. None can be dismissed because we dislike the source of funding

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=4114

    The tiresome truth is that we have to check each of the claims, no matter the origins, no matter whether we agree or disagree with the politics etc of the party issuing claims.
    Science should be about replicable claims, not trust.

    As a point of interest, someone like Steve McIntyre has earned a lot of respect in my view, and justifiably. But that doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t test future claims he might make and I think SM would be the first to agree.

    Don’t trust, verify
    In God we trust, all others bring data !

    all the best
    brent

  13. I’ll think about trusting Climate Scientists where everyone of them (and all the others who have ever used the term diniers) fills out the following form:

    I, __________________ do here hereby swear and affirm that Mann’s Hockey Stick was biggest con job in the history of science. And every penny spent on climate science since then was effectively embezzled and I promise to pay back my share.

    Signed _____________
    Date _______________

    • We will be waiting a long while, I am afraid, but you make a good point.

    • If you want scientists to lie in order to gain your trust, your trust isn’t worth having.

      • They claim to be interested in science but they still defend the Hockey Stock … talk about denial!

      • People interested in science can defend something you don’t like. Even the critics of the hockey stick aren’t saying it’s the wrong shape, and a U or something else would be the right shape.

      • M. carey –
        Of course it ‘s the wrong shape.

        The blade of Mann’s hockey stick – is just PR chartsmanship with an exxagerated vertical scale.

        But the handle is pure unadulterated, gold plated crap. If the handle were right, the blade would be unremarkable and certainly not unprecedented.

  14. “First impressions are lasting”, or so they say.

    “Who you cheer for at a sports event usually has something to do with the contender or team you like.”

    “The difference between the Home Team and the Visitors, has something to do with proximity.”

    It also doesn’t help when policies discourage open communication, to wit -

    http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/%e2%80%9cno-you-mustnt-say-what-it-means%e2%80%9d/

  15. Leaving aside the matter of the hockey stick, (and perhaps Tony Watts’ charisma) I agree completely and enthusiastically with this article.

    Regarding the hockey stick, I haven’t looked into the matter sufficiently to judge on its merits, and I don’t find it especially important to do so. I think Judith and I have different trust networks on this matter. People I trust have looked into the various issues and found them without exception to be marginal and of minimal substantive impact.

    This is not unlike many of the other criticisms aimed with great animosity at climate science.

    It is one thing to suggest taking responsibility for erroneous analysis and for uncertainty (very different things which are often conflated, by the way, including in the use of “wrong” which you quote). It’s a different thing to suggest capitulating to all accusations, many of which are grossly excessive. It is unfair (and more intuitive than rational) to judge the discipline by its rate of capitulation, given that there are those financially or politically opposed to the findings of many of its participants, who are free to cast aspersions at will.

    • John Carpenter

      “Regarding the hockey stick, I haven’t looked into the matter sufficiently to judge on its merits, and I don’t find it especially important to do so. I think Judith and I have different trust networks on this matter. People I trust have looked into the various issues and found them without exception to be marginal and of minimal substantive impact.”

      I recommend you do.

    • Michael, you appear to be sincere, but it strains credulity that you have not seriously thought about the “hockey stick”. Have you not read the Hockey Stick Illusion (Montford)? I beg of you to do so. Read the book, follow the links, and I would be willing to bet your opinion about Mann will evolve.

  16. “Research in psychology and communication suggests that there are two general cognitive systems through which people reach judgments, and thus two broad routes to persuasion on this or other topics.”

    How about some REPEATABLE METHODS? No psychology or broad persuasion methods needed. Just the good old fashion Scientific Method.

    Seriously, what is wrong with following the Scientific Method?

    From what I have observed the issue is that it does not reach the conclusion that Climate Change is in any manner a threat nor Anthropogenic in nature save Land Use Changes.

    Everywhere in the universe an increase in Surface temps results in an increase in the Convection (aka COOLING) Rate, save Earth? Not likely.

    Several months ago I got into a debate with Fred and Pekka (sic?) about Convection being a more efficient means of energy transfer and they both gave me some BS about the adiabatic lapse rate making convection negligible or altogether moot.

    NOT TRUE. In fact after a bit of research I found that Cumulus Clouds, the most abundant in volume and occurrence, are a result of Convection and a Super Adiabatic Lapse rate. This super lapse rate Fred and Pekka said was required for convection to be more efficient than radiation. Well folks, if you look for Super Adiabatic Lapse rates you don’t have to look far or wait very long to observe one or thousands at any given moment.

    All the wind on the Planet, Convection. Thermals that birds and gliders ride, Convection. Trade winds that push several thousand ton sailing vessels, Convection. Rain, Convection. Hurricanes, tornados, & land sea breezes, all Convection.

    The troposphere weighs in at a hefty 4,000 Trillion tons. That requires a massive amount of energy to stir up to create the WEATHER that we experience everyday. The varied surface temps and rates of temperature change also create massive currents that serve to cool the surface even quicker.

    This debate, or more appropriately lack of debate, has gone on long enough. It is time to have it out in an open and public forum.

    This banter about uncertainty and trustworthy communication to the lay is ridiculous and only serves to perpetuate the lack of actual debate.

    Judith Curry, are you and/or your Graduate Students prepared to debate the merits of the so-called Radiative Greenhouse Effect and its ability to negate the effects of Convection in an open and public forum?

    • is this a joke?

    • For the record, I’m neither a graduate student nor secretary, but I’ll address your comment since none of them is likely to:

      “after a bit of research I found that Cumulus Clouds, the most abundant in volume and occurrence, are a result of Convection and a Super Adiabatic Lapse rate.”

      You need to do a LOT more research study of meteorology. Cumulus Clouds are the result of (in your terms) a “Super PSEUDO-Adiabatic” lapse rate. The lapse rate is almost always less than the adiabat. If you don’t understand the difference between the adiabat and the pseudo-adiabat, don’t expect anybody with qualifications to bother addressing your posts.

      • Okay, Super Pseudo-Adiabatic. Better? Point is that Cumulus Clouds cover nearly 40% of the Earth. Sure there are other types of clouds in the mix, but we have to consider the volume, not just visible surface area from the ground or space.

        Also, stable air, enviro-lapse rate less than moist adiabatic lapse rate, does not reflect an absence of convection, just a very small amount without reaching a very high altitude. This occurs more often in the morning after an entire evening of cooling. The air temperature and surface temperature are ‘almost always’ equal so air temp is more or less stratified to the point that convection is largely absent.

        You say atmospheric conditions are ‘almost always’ stable. Can you describe why/how? Surface temp and air temp have to be relatively equal over an extended time for this to occur.

        An enviro-lapse rate in between the Dry and Moist Adiabatic Lapse rates is said to be unstable and while not unstable enough to get the lift required to reach high into the troposphere, it reflects a greater rate of convection (aka Cooling). This begins after sunrise as the surface temp begins to rise.

        And of course we already discussed the Super, whether cloud forming or not. Most often occurs in the afternoon after surface temps have reached their maximum for the day.

        Point is that a few months ago I made the statement that Convection was the primary means of energy transfer from the Surface to the Tropopause and a couple AGW Advocates told me that Convection was not a common event, or at least no common enough to be the primary driver of surface temps. I asked when Convection does not exist and both made it sound like the enviro-lapse rate had to be greater than the dry lapse rate in order for Convection to be meaningful. That the air had to be very unstable.

        I could not argue against that thought at the time, even though it sounded quite fishy so I read a paper that one of the Advocates suggested and time got away from me. Until now.

        As it turns out this is not the case and Convection is present just about in any location where surface temps differ causing air to rise at different rates causing lateral currents. The fact that the Earth is Round (gets different amounts of Solar energy due to curvature), surface gets different amounts of solar energy due to clouds, and has an extremely varied land surface (different soils, vegetation, altitude, lakes/streams, etc) results in hundreds of thousands convection cells all actively cooling the surface. That’s trillions if you look close enough.

        What say you? Is Convection a common or uncommon occurrence?

        Let’s get that out of the way first before we compare the energy transfer via Radiation and Convection to the Tropopause.

      • It sounds like this paper may be of interest to you:

        http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/163/2011/acpd-11-163-2011-print.pdf

        “The tropospheric air flux inferred from the CALIOP
        10 observations, 5–20 times larger than the one derived by by radiative heating calculation,
        indicates that convective overshooting is a major contributor of troposphere-tostratosphere
        transport during the NH winter with many implications on the TTL top
        height, hydration, chemistry and thermal structure of the lower stratosphere”

      • Thanks Steven, it is.

        Oddly enough we often hear about how CO2 creates a ‘feedback’ that creates more moisture in the air, but those same folks ignore the relative massive amounts of energy latent heat of vaporization carries away from the surface. All the moisture in the Troposphere is recycled every 10 days. 13 Trillion tons.

        In any event, thanks for the paper and may the wind (aka convection :) always be at your back.

  17. An example of making themselves vulnerable was Michael Mann, who as a Ph. D. student was one of the, if not the, first to attempt a paleo temperature reconstruction of the last millennium using tree rings. He published it, and it made it into AR3, but then, as often happens with science, the pioneering work was superseded by better work, and by the time AR4 came around in 2007, it was not using his 1999 work any more. He has since been taking some heat for his pioneering work not standing up to further scrutiny, and that is because it was published and publicized, which is the risk they took because they believed it at the time. Maybe he was just one of those rash students who learn they are not always right the hard way, but the credit is his for pioneering the field, and others following learned from his mistakes as is the way science progresses.

    • Mann’s innovation was using principle component analysis, which did not work. Prior tree ring analyses showed natural variability, which PCA did not, the data being too noisy. His disgrace was in hiding the fact that these proxy data show no 20th century warming. Your version of history is wrong.

      • I thought the big problem was with not showing the MWP.

      • No, there were two big problems. First the straight handle did not show the LIA, due to the PCA & other data issues. Second, and far worse, the blade hid the decline. The latter is the scandal. The MWP is sort of there because the handle starts relatively high, although not high enough.

      • They were trying to make the case for the warmest decade of the millennium from it, so they were focused on the MWP, but it didn’t pan out due to the uncertainty. I didn’t notice the LIA was also missing as no one made a big deal about that.

      • They were trying to make the case for the warmest decade of the millennium from it…

        Do you see the problem in that sentence?

      • If it was true, they didn’t want to miss saying it. Certainly worth a look.

      • “Trying to make a case” is advocacy, not analysis.

      • IPCC 1990 Figure 7c

        Then they (Mann and the Hockey Team and other useful idiots) realized that the MWP represented a real danger to the fear mongers who wanted to use the term “unprecedented warming”. So, just like they did in the USSR … the MWP was “disappeared”.

      • The following link says Mann used proxies that didn’t diverge, so there was nothing to hide.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=653

      • Why would they lie about it?

      • Haven’t you learned better than to use skepticalscience as a source? Thought you were smarter than that.

      • II suspect you’re smart enough to not try proving skepticalscience is wrong.

    • Hmmmm, did we miss the Mann dialog where he talks about how he was wrong?
      Or are you really really really wishing really hard?

  18. Hank Zentgraf

    The lack of trust with Climate Science starts with the 1988 IPCC mission statement which biased research efforts toward a preconceived outcome. Money flowed from government agencies framed by the the same biases.Those agencies were quite clear that the effect of natural influences on the climate and man-made influences other than CO2 emissions were a low priority. Man- made CO2 emissions must be proven to be the main driver of recent warming. Money poured into 22 climate science models diverting resources from observational research. The skeptic research influence, a vital component in the search for truth, was minimized, demonized, and underfunded. The sloppy quality of the terrestrial temperature records were never seen as an issue to be dealt with. The IPCC leadership published faulty science and purposely made the summary for policy document available well before the underlying science was available for scientists (other than the insiders) to review. Until these basic policies and behaviors are changed, no communication strategy will be successful.

    • John Whitman

      Hank Zentgraf,

      I agree with your historical basis for lack of trust in IPCC supported AGWist climate science. Thank you.

      But, I have a question. What was the root cause of the whole setup of the scientists supporting IPCC biased framework?

      I am leaning toward the theory that it was simply a lack of integrity by key involved scientists who rigged the game by going along [while ignoring the most basic of professional scientific conduct] with some agenda driven political/environmental ideologies?

      John

      • Hank Zentgraf

        John, you ask a good question. I suppose that we will have to wait for one or two of the scientists involved in the 1980′s to have a change of heart and provide the story of the root cause of the IPCC biased framework. Who, what, when, where, how etc. Then I would like to know how NOAA, NCAR and other funding agencies behaved. Did they challenge this bias? How did they structure their funding policies?
        I lived in Boulder Colorado for forty years. I knew two NOAA Climate Scientists very well. Once at lunch with the friend with 25 years experience, I asked what his ” take” was on CAGW?. “Hank, we have all been told we are not to discuss this subject publicly. But I will say that the working scientists are not as convinced as those who are permitted to speak out publicly.” The second friend was a newly minted PHD in Atmospheric Science. I asked how he liked his postdoc assignment with NOAA. He said that he had his resume’ out to find a research position where he has more freedom to understand the science based on evidence he discovers rather than the limited AGW mission. Both conversations were about eight years ago.

      • Hank –
        I worked at NASA/GSFC for many years, mostly with atmospheric physicists on some of the early scientific satellites. They taught me scepticism, as well as the philosphy and reality of science. And none of them bought into either the Ice Age scare of the 70′s or the later GW scare in the 90′s. These were working level scientists – not management, not PR scientists (yes, there ARE “PR scientists). In 2003 I asked one of them what he thought about GW – and what he told me is not printable here. But he also said that he dared not express that view either publicly or professionally if he wanted to continue working in the field.

  19. The ambiguities here are atrocious. Goodwin refers to climate scientists as though the activists define the science. They claim to but they do not. Loss of trust and disbelief are two different things, but simple disbelief is not mentioned. Things might indeed be better if uncertainty were admitted, but how much? Too much and these unnamed climate scientists become skeptics. Goodwin is not proposing skepticism, so far as I can tell. This makes the vague distinctions meaningless.

  20. This is such bull hocky I can’t believe it is written in good faith:

    One main task confronting scientist-communicators must therefore be to renew citizens’ trust.

    . Let me rephrase it so it is meaningful.

    “One main task confronting scientist-communicators must therefore be to become trustworthy. Anything less is a recipe for failure.”

    And in some cases success at becoming trustworthy is no guarantee they will gain trust. That is a consequence of becoming untrustworthy in the first place. I would suggest too they publicly purge their ranks of the likes of Al Gore and James “Death Train” Hansen. That would go a long way toward demonstrating they’ve learned something.

    And if they ever publish a paper and don’t show their work and source data, back they go to the blacklist. Because “trust but verify” is another consequence of violating our trust.

  21. Observed global mean temperatures less than high emission scenario

    Observed global mean temperatures less than medium emission scenario

    Observed global mean temperatures less than low emission scenario

    There is more!

    This is crucial one.

    Observed global mean temperatures less than the scenario for CO2 emission held at 2000 level

    http://bit.ly/cIeBz0

    To say “global warming is accelerating” is dishonest.

  22. Dr. Curry:
    You write:
    “My building trust essay was lambasted by skeptics (see especially Willis Eschenbach). With the passage of time, and notably with the interpretation provided by Goodwin and Dahlstrom, does my building trust essay now make more sense to skeptics?”

    Your original essay makes perfect sense in a utopian world. In your original defense of your essay with Willis, you indicated it was important for Climate Science in general to take responsibility for mistakes. In the above paper your conclusions seems to indicate individual scientists should be willing to take responsibilities for their errors.

    “This argument explains why the hockeystick controversy just won’t go away: it is the loss of trust of scientists that won’t given an inch in terms of acknowledging a mistake, particularly one pointed out by an “outsider” or skeptic.”

    Here is the uphill battle you face that appears nearly impossible, personal responsibility. I find it difficult to believe Mann, for example, will be willing to submit to this type of responsibility. Not only was his original hockey stick a bit hokey (is it really common practice to graft an instrumental series onto a proxy series), but now additional papers are being written on the basis of it (http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/pnas_kemp-etal_2011_sea_level_rise.pdf). I have had a look at the individual proxy series used, they are extremely noisy (http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Holocene,Historicandrecentglobaltemperatures.pdf). I am not sure how averaging these together provides anything useful. I will go out on a limb and say there will be no apologies here from Mann.

    If in the beginning the process you outline was utilized, I may have fewer questions now. I would not have had to spend hundreds of hours tracking down individual papers and reading them to understand the “consensus”. I am an optimist but cannot even see how you may be able to put these changes into the process. The truth is, at this late stage of the game, it may not even matter. You are noble Dr. Curry, but the nobility may be too late to save this.

    Roy Weiler

  23. Judith,
    I have read and very much appreciated dozens of your previous blog threads. This is the first that tells me (respectfully) that you might consider a paradigm shift.
    The IPCC was founded specifically to find out if certain gases, mainly CO2 was causing a change in temperature which would then cause other changes. Following that if one could find any method to make claim, regardless of the certainty of CO2 induced change, more money and resources became available, careers were built, political maneuvering occurred, and a very skewed science was born with the majority of all money, resources, power and momentum going to a single hypothesis.
    If the correct scientific method had been followed, this questioned would have been put on the table. “What, if any, warming has there been and list all possibilities”. Equivalent resources should have been given to all possibilities (hypothesis) Because a specific political goal was desired, the science was faulty from the beginning.
    Worse, alternate hypothesis’ have been belittled and squelched.
    Therefore, Judith, I very much respect what you are doing, but when I read
    ‘The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the TRUTH as presented—WOW!
    Us simple minded high school teachers always tried to instill the idea of a hypothesis –which may lay lead to a testable working theorem- but a truth??!!
    Climategate was simply another catalyst for my thinking. I originally believed in AGW and tried to prove someone wrong. (with a bet) The more I studied (and I do have an extensive physics, chem, math background) the more I tried to find answers from those in the know, the more skeptical I became (and I do not losing money to a relative)
    I disagree with the mainstream because I find much more validity in other hypothesis’. It is as simple as that. For instance I currently agree much more with the paper by Spencer as opposed to Dressler.
    While on the subject, has anyone found a verifiable reason for the missing tropical warm upper atmosphere regions? In any other science a wrong prediction would eliminate the hypothesis.

  24. ” Appealing to central processing/critical thinking is exactly what I have been aiming for in my discussions on improving the public communication of climate science. ”
    How about the Scientific Method where you publish your results along with the data and computer codes and invite people to try to prove or disprove your results? Seems to work for every field of science except climate science.

    • Sam,

      You answered your own question. AGW is about PR. It is about persuasive communication. It is about convincing the lay that uncertainty always exists and is therefor not a lack of conclusive evidence, even without any.

      The Scientific Method actually works in Climate Science as well, it is simply not followed. If the AGW Advocates had any credible evidence, then the most ardent skeptic would be given the methods and data to repeat. But this is not the case. The PR game has allowed the AGW Advocates to make a claim and then put the burden of proof on the Skeptics to prove a negative.

      Let me ask you, would you like to see an open and public debate between AGW Advocates and Skeptics?

      One where each position brought with them and openly and publicly presented there methods and conclusions for ALL to examine? Both sides would be free to critically review each other’s work, including Q&A clarification of ambiguous methods or data.

  25. It might not be the only factor, but this thread describes what I too think is the #1 inhibitor to effective communication from science to lay people. Most of the climate scientists blindly , zealously, and with zero tolerance will not admit to anything that even hints of a chink in the armour. Even if that chink is known by both sides to be irrelevant, it will vociferously not be admitted to. It is this attitude that creates a religious aura around the science and moves it into dogma.

    The lay person with at least some knowledge might not be able to comprehend the details of climate science but he can easily perceive the shenanigans, gyrations, tap dancing, and doctrine. In something similar to a “he doth protests too much” moment, the communicator looks untrustworthy. If he is wrong in an area that I can readily perceive, why would he be taken at face value in another area?

    A small piece on the other side of the coin: the scientist fears that any teensy even irrelevant chink admitted to will receive a barrage of attacks from select skeptics in a loud “AHA! I told you so” moment. This fear is warranted somewhat but does not trump the hand.

  26. tempterrain

    Judith,

    You want trust from Climate deniers or skeptics?

    Simple. Just tell them what they want to hear. Tell them that 2x CO2 sensitivity is low. Maybe 0.5 deg at most. Tell them there is no need for any controls on CO2 emissions. Tell them that the late 20th century century warming was mainly natural. And finally tell them that sea-level rise is just not a problem at all.

    They’ll love you for it.

    • What sea level rise? The GIA adjustment?

    • Wow temp, have you read any of the above or the previous post?
      You are more effective at dismissing yourself from the argument then any denier could hope to achieve.

      In the future I, and I suspect many, will not waste their time on you. You learn nothing and talk from an authority that you do not have. Educate yourself and perhaps then you will have something to say that is worth commenting on.

      Roy Weiler

    • tt –
      Simple. Just tell them what they want to hear. Tell them that 2x CO2 sensitivity is low. Maybe 0.5 deg at most. Tell them there is no need for any controls on CO2 emissions. Tell them that the late 20th century century warming was mainly natural. And finally tell them that sea-level rise is just not a problem at all.

      For all the dumb and dumber that’s gone down on the last couple threads, this tops them all. Everything you say there is a lie – not because it is not or might not be true, but because it has yet to be determined by any acceptable methodology or supported by actual observational data.

      And that kind of lie would finish climate science off for good. Tell me – who do you think would accept or believe it without demonstrable, replicable evidence? Or believe any scientist who were to be caught in that web of lies?

      You have a problem, tt. A BIG problem. You keep trying to argue with sceptics without knowing who and what they are. Assuming that you know those things is dangerous – it leads you to make mistakes wrt what those sceptics are saying as well as errors of fact and judgment. You’ve ignored the fact that the sceptics you denigrate, dismiss and scoff at are at least as well educated, technically savvy and intelligent as you. Most of them are more so. Go read the Denizens thread here.

      No, you won’t find me there – maybe someday I’ll get around to that. But I’ll tell you this much – my education and experience wrt science history, philosophy and practice is way beyond anything you can match. So your failure to take me – or the other sceptics here – seriously is a fatally serious error on your part. You’ve obviously never read SunTzu, but you should. One of his basic tenets is to know your enemy. And you have completely failed to to that.

      Bad dog – no cookie.

      • tempterrain

        ” But I’ll tell you this much – my education and experience wrt science history, philosophy and practice is way beyond anything you can match”

        I’ve got a certificate for swimming ten lengths of the pool somewhere. Can you beat that? :-)

    • tt,
      You are projecting.

    • Hank Zentgraf

      I am old enough to remember when the challenges by skeptics were respected as an important contribution to the progress of science. The comments I just read make me wonder just how pervasive is the effort to demonize and quiet skeptic scientists who see the complexity of the climate system differently than those who are convinced man-made CO2 is the primary driver of recent climate?

  27. What I want: just tell the truth. I can figure out the rest. There is no need to ‘communicate’ – just lay out what is known.

    McIntyre asked for a ‘from basic physics to GCMs’ text. Apparently, no such thing exists. Given that the world industrial civilization is supposed to be turned upside down, I think it’s a small thing to ask. Needless to say, ‘auditing’ the literature, as a mining prospectus would be audited, would be too much to ask.

    • I’ve asked for something similar several times. Where is a cohesive and complete AGW Theory? One that makes a statement and has conclusive evidence to back it up. Where are the tests conducted by independents that back up related AGW claims?

      With billions of Dollars, Pounds, Yen, Francs, etc spent on AGW research, how is it that no AGW Theory actually exists. How is it that AGW’s most ardent Skeptics are not given any repeatable tests that allow us to verify or falsify the AGW’er’s claims?

      The world had to wait several years for Relativity to be verified, but Einstein at least gave a method to verify.

      JC, or other Advocate. What test can we reproduce that will verify your claims?

  28. Judith Curry

    The articles you cite are interesting. They present a well-reasoned and nuanced analysis of why the general public has lost trust not only in the AGW message, but also in the AGW messengers.

    But I would like to offer a more direct list of factors which have contributed directly to this lack of trust (some of which were also cited by the authors):

    - overconfidence
    - ignoring conflicting data
    - search for “proof” rather than “truth”
    - exaggerating impacts and consequences
    - invoking doomsday scenarios / alarmism
    - accepting questionable studies that support message without doing due diligence
    - not admitting and taking responsibility for mistakes
    - underplaying uncertainty / overstating certainty
    - myopic fixation on one theme only (AGW) to the exclusion of all others
    - skewed representation of data / model scenarios
    - appeals to authority
    - whitewashing attempts
    - political intervention by leader of scientific organizations
    - mixing politics with science

    There may be more that others might want to add, but that’s my “top of the head” list.

    Max

    • Judith
      Thanks for highlighting this “peripheral” vs “central” processing issue. Applying such “peripheral” analysis two decades ago, the greenhouse warming issue appeared reasonable, and I prepared a major 330 page report on solar energy systems to alleviate such greenhouse warming consequences.
      However the more I heard, and read of alarmists overselling and scaremongering, their seeking to shut down coal, the more it smelt of rotten fish. Climategate epitomizes this policy push over the scientific method. Now the “central” focused analysis has begun. As an engineer/scientist I have increasingly found the alarmist views to be weak in the science and lacking in reality compared to major global humanitarian needs.

      Having lost trust, there now needs to be major effort to rebuild it. Having ridden high on the gravy train, this will require exceptional effort to redress. It will require exemplary obvious support of the scientific method rather than advocating Greenpeace’s radical policies.

      Insisting on the most ineffective least cost effective method of mitigation via cap and trade (rather than adaptation) further emphasizes a total lack of real world practicality and power hungry foolishness. Just ask yourself why Al Gore and many major financial houses are falling over themselves seeking political support for cap and trade!

      This will need a major focus on the issues manacker raises will be needed.
      As Reagan said: “Trust but verify”.

      We are asked for our “trust” – having lost it, major effort will be needed to rebuild it.

      We now require clear strong obvious 3rd party “verifying” and “validating” with very clear open transparency and objective peer review (not “pal” review).

      Claiming > 90% certainty on anthropogenic global warming is scientifically ludicrous. The magnitude and speed of the catastrophies we are warned about increase this level of unreality and my disbelief – especially when compared to urgent real world issues of obtaining sufficient fuel to maintain society functioning over the next few years and decades. Rhetorical denigration of skeptical professional scientists further amplifies the chasm alarmists “climate scientists” have built between themselves and reality.

      A very clear objective evaluation of ALL the uncertainties will be critically important, especially in the little known areas of indirect solar forcing, cloud variability, natural ocean oscillations, a clear understanding of solar variability, and sorting out the cause/vs effect issues.

      Keep up your efforts to sort this out and establish clear ways forward towards TRUTH and the best good for the most, especially the poor – while doing no harm!

    • manacker,
      Here is a link to a site devoted to identifying bad science:

      http://midimagic.sgc-hosting.com/recogbad.htm

      I think you might like it.

  29. Dr. Curry,
    The problem with your closing para is that you presume the IPCC has been telling the truth in the first place.
    That is not a warranted presumption, assumption or conclusion.
    The, to refer to Chris Mooney an English major and proven hack as some sort of guide to communicate science does not move you in a direction that finds confidence.
    What needs to acknowledged is that telling the truth, behaving honesty, and not indulging in Orwellian efforts to contort and redefine the past is the basis for successful communication.
    From Mann to Briffa to Jones, to the CRU e-mails, to the glaciers, the Amazon drying out, the Trenberth silliness of redefining the null to the circling of wagons to defend, to embracing Gore, to cynical claims of weather extremes changing, to hype over OA or slr, the AGW comm unity has been feeding nothing but spin and they prove clearly they are not good at it.
    So the place to start with is for academics to stop being partisan spin coaches, like Goodman, to fire the like of Mooney, to push Hansen into retirement, and to make short, transparently honest statements.
    No more over heated hearing rooms to talk about warming. No more graphics of Manhattan drowning.
    You have made the start and do what your colleagues should do if they desire to be believed: Be believable. No more shaping, spinning. No more ridiculous ramblings about skeptics being genetically stoopid to understand the sublimeness of AGW. And the academics and opinion leaders should stop peddling apocalyptic clap trap.

  30. Trust in climate communication, 7/17/11

    The introduction to this thread is geared to oppose what the title of the thread might seem to promise. Casting the issue as climate science vs. the layman engenders distrust in climate science. It’s a matter of those who act as if they had something to hide vs. those who can’t judge.

    Laymen are at the mercy of scientists. The laymen who pretend to challenge scientific claims usually wind up looking foolish. Skepticalscience.com helps that along by maintaining a long, Gish gallop list comprising the silliest claims and the trivialized dismissals of the few claims that actually struck a nerve.

    If climate scientists want to reverse their flagging public trust, they should look elsewhere than charming laymen. What they need to do is present their work to the perpetual, public scrutiny of outside scientists. Climatology needs to emerge from the curtain of peer-reviewed journals and the blind called the consensus. The journals should seek out to publish and feature papers challenging the dogma. They should cultivate controversy, not bury it. They should scrap the failed anonymous peer-review system, reinstituting the old discussion section for papers in which authors publicly answered reviews.

    Climatology draws extensively from other fields where an abundance of exceptionally well qualified specialists, outspoken scientists not vested in the dogma, could be found. These fields should include system science, chemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, and perhaps other earth sciences.

    If climatology wants to be a grown-up science, it should foster skepticism instead of ducking it. Every time a climatologist or IPCC’s house organ, realclimate.org, points a gnarled finger at a skeptic, a denialist, a hack in the pay of Big Oil and coal, a Republican, or an unpublished ignoramus, climate science depreciates in the public eye. This tactic justly penetrates the thick fog of scientific illiteracy bred into the public over several generations by a complicit school system. The public is not stupid, just ill informed.

    It’s not going to happen. Instead climatology seems intent on continuing to defame all science until it has spent its, and everyone else’s, last coin.

  31. Building trust was never an issue in the Piltdown Man hoax because honor was wrongly assumed. We see with the Mann hoax the charlatans use trust just like me 9/11 terrorists– to take advantage of their enemies.

  32. A quickie, without having read the comments (acute back pain exacerbated by sitting here): Goodwin differentiates between intuition and critical thinking, perceiving (I think) the latter as superior. Critical thinking has underpinned my work as an economist. However, this approach depends predominantly on that small part of the mind where conscious reasoning takes place. By contrast, intuition depends on that much larger and deeper part of the mind, the so-called subconscious or unconscious, where a vast array of experience and data is stored, and where the emotional drivers of our responses reside. Most people make an intuitive assessment of people they meet within seconds, even at a glance, and these instant assessments – obviously crucial to how we get on in life – tend to be accurate (sorry, can’t cite sources other than me at this point). When it comes to matters in trust in matters which might significantly affect our well-being, such as CAGW and government policies relating to it, we do well to depend on our intuition, whatever critical thinking suggests. It appears to me that, intuitively, people are increasingly less trusting of proponents of CAGW and political responses to it. Anyone who wants to influence understanding on these issues must as a basis have great integrity and commitment to truth. Cf how many posters on CA are influenced not just by McIntyre’s data and arguments but by their perception that his integrity and commitment to truth far exceed that of those who decry him. This has influenced many who have gone to CA as CAGW-accepters to change their views, even though McIntyre’s aim appears to be to get at the truth rather than to change opinions.

  33. Faustino
    Well put. Re “intuition depends on that much larger and deeper part of the mind, the so-called subconscious or unconscious, where a vast array of experience and data is stored,”
    With world class experts such apparent rapid “intuition” is actually a culmination of vast experience in a given area acquired by decades of experience.
    For a clear explanation of such expert intuition, I strongly recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” Back Bay Books (2007) ISBN-13: 978-0316010665
    “Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant.”

    Steve McIntyre’s extensive expertise in evaluating numerous mining prospectus’ plus his statistical/math training, provided that “blink” when faced with the “hockey stick” and Mann’s inability to even locate his data for an award winning highly publicized article. That was magnified by “The Team” circling the wagons and refusing to acknowledge any errors.
    The rest is history!

  34. I believe the primary problem is that Toto has pulled back the curtain. The issue of trust is moot at this point. There was a time for building trust, and that time is over. What is being discussed is re-building trust, not something covered by the good doctors. ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ is more apropos, in my opinion.

  35. The Guardian hosted a panel discussion on July 14 of last year, the subject of which was Climategate. Steve McIntyre was among the panelists. The following is a quote from the transcript (courtesy of Andrew Montford’s Bishop Hill blog) :

    “If climate scientists are unoffended by the failure to disclose adverse data, unoffended by the `trick’ and not committed to the principles of full, true, plain disclosure, the public will react, as they have, by placing less reliance on the pronouncements from the entire field.”

    One year after his remarks, Mr. McIntyre’s description remains an accurate description of the state of climate science: very few members of that community are speaking out demanding full disclosure. There will be no trust until the discussion moves far beyond the argument from authority that remains the thrust of much of the conversation.

  36. I failed to make clear that Steve McIntyre was the person who I was quoting. My apologies.

  37. Scientists are the most trusted people on the subject of climate change; see this poll from George Mason University:http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/6_Americas_May_2011_final.pdf.

    Five times as many “strongly trust” what scientists says as “strongly trust” what they read in the mainstream media. Ten times as many people “strongly trust” scientists versus “strongly trust[ing]” their congressperson. The survey didn’t ask how many “strongly trust” English professors hawking climate skepticism to an audience of weather forecasters, but I think we could imagine they would win that particular match-up as well.

    No doubt, by lying, manipulating the media, and smearing scientists, deniers have succeeded convincing people to trust scientists less than they otherwise would. That’s part of the power of the McCarthyist strategy; smearing people works, even when the audience trusts you far less than those you are smearing. But they doesn’t mean scientists need to rebuild trust; they are still far more trusted than the anti-science deniers.

    Deniers may talk about climate scientists losing the public trust, but you rarely see climate scientists pretending to be mining consultants or marketing professors or TV weathermen in order to impress the public, whereas the reverse strategy is ubiquitous. Here is how you will know if scientists ever truly suffer the loss of public trust: when deniers like Lomborg and Monckton and McIntyre and Watts stop trying to pass themselves off as scientists, and pretend to be English professors like Jean Goodwin!

    • Robert –
      I’ll look at your link tomorrow, but your last two paragraphs are absohonkinhilarious. As ad homs they’re total failures.

      Only you could beat tempterrain and lolwot for the dumb and dumber grand prize.

    • The trust issue in Australia now is not about climate science or scientists but government. Prime Minister Julia Gillard got her job after persuading her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, who acclaimed CAGW as “the greatest moral issue of our time” to ditch his proposed emissions trading scheme, which precipitated a loss of public confidence in him. Pre-election, Gillard declared that if she were re-elected, there would be no ETR/carbon tax and a citizen’s forum would meet to seek consensus on the CAGW issue. With a hung parliament, she had to buy the votes of the Greens and independents to form government, and has largely gone along with the Greens’ agenda in order to maintain power. The biggest issue now in the CAGW area is Gillard’s lies and deception of the voting public, her party’s standing has fallen to 27% in opinion polls, her personal standing and support for anti-emissions action have plummeted. People no longer buy the package because they no longer believe the saleswoman.

    • Deniers may talk about climate scientists losing the public trust, but you rarely see climate scientists pretending to be mining consultants or marketing professors or TV weathermen in order to impress the public, whereas the reverse strategy is ubiquitous. Here is how you will know if scientists ever truly suffer the loss of public trust: when deniers like Lomborg and Monckton and McIntyre and Watts stop trying to pass themselves off as scientists, and pretend to be English professors like Jean Goodwin!

      A scientist is one who compares his model with observation and admits the model is wrong when the two disagree.

      If the scientist does not do that it is the responsibility of other professionals to do it.

      Here are comparisons of models with observation of climate “science”

      1) http://bit.ly/cIeBz0

      2) http://bit.ly/iyscaK

    • Robert,
      You lost, of course, at ‘deniers’.
      “lying”? “Smearing”.
      How about asking tough questions and quoting accurately from climategate e-mails.
      You true believers lose everytime you do this, but you do it again and again.

      • Hunter, people like Robert and several of the others we see here, don’t know any other way. They have neither the brainpower nor the wit to hold a civilised exchange of views. They choose to throw as much mud and as many ad-homs as possible in the absolute certain belief that any undecided persons reading will be so impressed by this display of the power and righteousness of their argument, that they will immediately fall to their knees, swear allegiance to the cause and become believers for all time. Hard though it may be to credit, people like Robert truly don’t see the damage they cause to their own side.

      • LC –
        Hard though it may be to credit, people like Robert truly don’t see the damage they cause to their own side.

        Shhh – don’t tell them. If they figure it out they may actually become effective. I doubt that, but it IS possible. And then, of course, we’d also lose a wonderful source of entertainment.

      • Jim – well let me see now. Let’s try to imagine a nice, friendly Robert, calmly and quietly trying to convince us of the error of our ways with logic, intelligence and gentle persuasion ………………………… nah….his head would explode. Our daily dose of entertainment will continue for the foreseeable future ;)

      • LC –
        Let’s try to imagine a nice, friendly Robert, calmly and quietly trying to convince us of the error of our ways with logic, intelligence and gentle persuasion ………………………… nah….

        Uh, sorry – my imagination is really good but that’s in a category labelled “vanishingly small probability” and my imagination doesn’t quite stretch that far.

        his head would explode.

        Reverse 10:10 ? Wonder if anyone knows about Fudu (Japanese apocrypha)

    • “While approximately 97% of publishing climate scientists agree that climate change is occurring and that it is caused primarily by human activities, this high level of scientific agreement is recognized by
      only 44 percent of the Alarmed, 18 percent of the Concerned, 12 percent of the Cautious, and 5 percent or fewer of the Disengaged, Doubtful and Dismissive.”

      Oh oh. Climate Scientists have only conned 44% of the Alarmed and way less than every other group.

      Why there’s your problem!

      Most people think Climate Scientists are full of it!

      • PS Thanks the laugh Robert!

      • And the Alarmed are only 12% of the population!

        Something like 5% of the population think Climate Scientists have it right???

        Wow. Doom for you!

      • Bruce,
        Are these figures from America? Of course it could be that this youtube clip has it right about Americans :-)

        Only joking!

    • “The question that the largest number of Americans would ask is how experts know that global warming is caused by human activities, rather than natural changes in the environment.”

      Good question. And never answered successfully. A lot of hand waving and appeal to authority just diminishes what little trust people have in climate “scientists”.

    • Robert
      We might consider your comment had some substance had you also listed polls showing a major reduction in trust of climate scientists. e.g .see the increase of “do not trust at all” from 5% to 14%., cited by Roger Pielke Jr. on 18 December 2009.

      Similar when TV weathercasters were polled, 23 Feb. 2011 :

      Overall, 20% said the “climategate” e-mails made them “somewhat” less certain about global warming happening, while about 12% said it made them “much” less certain.

      The poll you cite poorly / deceptively casts the questions using the “slight of hand” “climate change” or “global warming” rather than addressing the magnitude “anthropogenic global warming” in the 20th & 21st centuries.

      Your further ignore the substantial body of science ignored by the IPCC or published since AR4 – showing different evidence, from which scientists came to very different conclusions.

      Furthermore, you yourself appear to be applying the McCarthyist strategy in trying to tar scientists with the brush of “deniers”.

      Could you possibly rise from such a gutter ad hominem attacks, to addressing the scientific evidence for anthropogenic global warming, the prospects of catastrophic events, and the benefits / costs of mitigation vs adaptation?

      Your rhetorical denigration of “mining consultants or marketing professors or TV weathermen” does serious disservice to climate science. You are attacking the objective evidence and statistical analysis so well published by Steve McIntyre, <a href=
      Ross McKitrick and Anthony Watts. Their obvious expertise and rigorous analysis can readily be read and understood by any scientist or educated citizen. Your screed has no weight by comparison.

  38. I have a feeling that “rebuilding of trust” is a misplaced objective, much as “establising a concensus” is. Just as focusing on “establising a consensus” leads to a failed or unrealistic consensus, focusing on “rebuilding of trust” is likely to lead to less, rather than more trust.

    I agree with the earlier poster who opined that the better approach is to be trustworthy, then rebuilding of trust may follow.

    • Agree 100%. Trust is built by being honest.

    • I think you are right about your feelings of the inadequacy of the two statements. My guess is that, well, anyway, the two statements are subtile ways to imply snarky assessments of the mainstream scientists: the first supposes, as an evidence and a strating point, that the climate science communauty is not trustworthy ; the second is a vicious way to imply that there is an agenda in progress to manufacture a consensus.
      We are not discussing science, here; we are learning about rhetorics.

  39. When one walks into a carnival and asks the fortune teller about one’s future, the expectation is to receive a random assortment of platitudes, some of which might be relevant. Most of the lay public would not invest their savings on the fortune teller’s projections. When the lay public hear a scheme from reputable sources that there is danger around the corner, most people listen attentively. When they hear that that scheme will cost John Q. Public lots of money, costs not discussed in the beginning and any outcome is uncertain, JQP seem to all herald from the show me state. There is no communication gap at all. “You want to dip your hand into my pocket.” The message could not be clearer. I believe that the target audience for the uncertainty argument is not JQP, rather it was and now ever shall be the citizen scientist for whom this blog exists. Willis Eschenback asks for the data, the code, and the assumptions. He comes up with his own assessment when provided with such. There are many geologist, engineers, statisticians, chemists, physicists, social scientists who can also work through the data, code and come up with an analysis. There are academic types and private corporate types who have the skills for analysis. This is the audience that needs to be addressed FIRST. Climate change and it’s economic ramifications play to the JQP audience, the science and it’s degrees of uncertainty play to the citizen scientist audience. BOTH audiences are legitimate and should be addressed and treated respectfully. Saying JQP’s science literacy is lamentable does not address JQP’s concerns. Saying the citizen scientist is not a member of the club and hence is to be discounted is a grave error IMO. I know that you believe you have something to say as all of us on this blog harbor such beliefs, yet the key to information transfer is “know thy audience.” JQP wants to know how much it will cost him/her. The appeal to the citizen scientist is to what they already know and what they can learn. Why is any of this so difficult?

  40. Greg Cavanagh

    From a purely Layman’s perspective. We can be scared into believing the initial story fairly easily. But as soon as it hits my hip pocket and I want to substantiate the said claims; telling me the results of their investigation won’t cut it. “Give me the numbers” is what I went looking for when I started to dig into the science.

    The pro-warming side told how bad it would all get, but I couldn’t find any number crunching. But I found long number crunching essays on the sceptic side of the argument. Straight away I smelled a rat, and I haven’t found any reason to believe otherwise yet.

    Trust isn’t about the narrative, it’s about the evidence. Joe public isn’t that stupid (well some are, but even they wake up eventually).

  41. Jack Hughes

    Be honest at all times and trust will follow.

    Tell lies and exaggerations and trust is burned forever.

    • This is one message the deniers can deliver with great authority grounded in personal experience. Perhaps you could gather a collection of the liars, the plagiarists, the resume-padders and fake HIV-cure selling pseudoLords and do some sort of a “scared straight” presentation for climate scientists. “Don’t start down this road or you’ll end up like us!”

  42. Pooh, Dixie

    Regaining trust will be a long haul for the IPCC and the more radical CAGW advocates. Once trust is broken, it takes a track record of integrity to restore it.

    Now, whether you consider the following ancient text to be inspired or hard-won common sense, I suggest it is true.

    “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (or, trustworthy). – 1 Cor 4:2 NIV (1984)

    • simon abingdon

      I think that trust can never be regained where the same people are concerned. Get divorced and start looking again elsewhere.

    • Pooh, Dixie –
      egaining trust will be a long haul for the IPCC and the more radical CAGW advocates. Once trust is broken, it takes a track record of integrity to restore it.

      It’s not that easy. Consider – the broken trust came from actions that were driven by the character of the individual. If the character of that individual is such that mental or emotional sloppiness or perhaps dishonesty in some way is ingrained, then the behavior that originally destroys trust is not a one-off, but rather a long-standing habit. The habit may (probably isn’t) something the person is even aware of. Long ago I knew a man who had grown up in the projects and made his way by robbery, thuggery and assault. He never thought about that he was a thief until one night when an elderly lady confronted him with it while he was rifling her purse. He had never made the connection before. He changed his life that night – but that kind of “light bulb” moment is a rare occurrence.

      Breaking that habit of dishonesty is rarely that easy – and is seldom actually accomplished even when the person is confronted with what they’ve done and it’s consequences. Those who habitually lack integrity seldom have either the intestinal fortitude or the desire to change their ways. I think it’s not necessary to name names here.

  43. At another level, Judith, you have just illustrated a point I have been making for a long time.
    Goodwin’s paper is eloquent and to the point, but it is not new. Most social scientists would have been exposed to her line of reasoning at an early stage of their career. Your response highlights a serious gap in the education of natural scientists.
    Goodwin overlooks one issue: Expressions of self-doubt are often edited out by journalists.

    • Richard, I agree, the perspectives of social scientists and philosophers have not been adequately applied to the climate problem, and where they have been applied, climate scientists are ignorant of this. Goodwin’s paper is remarkable in that she presented it to the American Meteorological Society, which is an audience that definitely needs exposing to this line of reasoning.

      • That’s not quite the point.

        The geophysics curriculum assumes that graduates will work in an ivory tower.

        The curriculum in economics or business administration assumes that graduates will work in government or business. Students are being prepared for that from day one.

      • Dr Tol, are you then suggesting that climate science has failed (and continues to fail) to understand it’s target market and the way in which that market works in the real world? And that it’s failure to engender trust is a result of this lack of understanding?

  44. …there are the numerous well-meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.

    Richard Lindzen

    http://nyti.ms/plhrq7

  45. James Evans

    “This argument explains why the hockeystick controversy just won’t go away: it is the loss of trust of scientists that won’t given an inch in terms of acknowledging a mistake, particularly one pointed out by an ‘outsider’ or skeptic.”

    Quite. And I think the eerie silence from scientists after Climategate was an even better example.

    I can’t check out the veracity of every thing that every person tells me. But some things I can easily check. If I find that someone is being less than honest about the few things that are easy to check, then I am less inclined to believe them on the things that are harder to check.

    When a scientist says there wasn’t really anything in Climategate, that “the trick” is just a clever scientific method, that everything has been misunderstood and taken out of context – I can very easily check all that for myself. And if that turns out to be a bunch of fibs, why should I trust anything else they say?

    • Exactly. Similarly, everyone who took a junior high science class can immediately recognize the problems that flow from a refusal to share data with people who might find something wrong.

      In some ways, it is almost sad to watch some alarmist scientists wonder where the trust went.

  46. “methods for increasing trust by appealing to an audience’s peripheral cognitive processes, projecting cues such as likeability, physical attractiveness, and dynamic delivery.”

    So that’s where Naomi Oreskes went wrong. I did wonder.

    From Judith’s original ‘Rebuilding trust’ essay:
    “scientists need to do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints. This is an important responsibility that individual scientists and particularly the institutions need to take very seriously.”

    Not much sign of this yet. Those blogs which purport to include alternative views and examine other explanations for climate changes tend to be heavily biased and badly moderated – Yes John Cook, that’s you I’m referring to.

    Until climate scientists get their heads out of their GCM’s and broaden their understanding of historical climate change and the cyclicities nature provides us with abundant evidence of, there is little prospect for progress in climate science, or the rebuilding of trust towards policy aligned climate scientists.

  47. Lots of words, simple concept.

    Losing your credibility is analogous to losing your virginity.

    You can hope to get it back, but it ain’t very likely.

  48. David Bailey

    Judith,

    I am starting to suspect that climatology is almost a non-science – akin to Freud’s theories. It is perhaps far more about political manipulation than it is about science. Consider some of the components of climate science:

    1) A temperature record constructed using thermometers that can’t even properly resolve temperatures to the accuracy required to detect AGW. Furthermore, that data is massaged in various opaque ways to supposedly eliminate factors, such as UHI, that can be many times larger than the supposed signal! Wouldn’t a real science have flagged this problem at the start, and demanded better temperature recording methods?

    2) A requirement to deny that climate varied before CO2 concentrations started to increase! This was needed in order to interpret temperature shifts as being caused by CO2 – but did it ever make sense? Couldn’t historians have helped the scientists out if they had been given a chance? Maybe in that way climate science would have focused more on tropospheric warming, and less on ground temperature measurements.

    3) This in turn, lead to climate scientists becoming amateur botanists (tree rings) and amateur statisticians, working feverishly to avoid the obvious – that global temperatures vary for a variety of causes, partly driven by chaotic dynamics. Admit that, and most of climate science goes up in smoke.

    4) An absurd over-reliance on computer models, with their inherent danger of hiding bad assumptions in glossy visual output.

    5) An equally absurd desire to inflate the importance of their subject by warning of Armageddon. Without that, their funds and prestige would have been negligible.

    Where is the solid core of climatology? Am I being unfair to your subject, Judith?

  49. Barry Woods

    How to regain trust in the UK?

    When the president of the Royal Society asks why data has not been made available, and criticises those that ‘Hide the Decline’ rather than supporting them…

  50. ” If I find that someone is being less than honest about the few things that are easy to check, then I am less inclined to believe them on the things that are harder to check..”

    Quite.

    I live in a country where the Prime Minister is disregarding the mandate she sought, and the opinion polls. She is dissembling about what she promised before the election. And now the polls are running 60-40 against her – even though she has offered bribes to 70% of the population she is no longer being listened to.

    Same thing. Destroy trust and it is almost impossible to regain it.

  51. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    The biggest problem is that incomplete science and studies is touted as absolutely without any doubt, science.
    Much of this is by not looking deep enough and conclusions are generated from these incomplete studies.
    Time frames that are inconsequential in the history of this planet. Man’s life time is extremely small, yet many areas like religion, mathematics, quantum mechanics, astrology, statistics, etc. generate very little doubt that their areas are correct.
    No going back to see if mistakes were generated as now much is being taught to students who then generate their own mistakes based on past mistakes.

    Anyone who tries to show these errors are then ignored as it is not in the best interest of the individual or the traditionally taught student.
    What happened to looking for a better science or improving upon our knowledge base?

  52. Dr. Curry,
    These last two threads of yours hit at the heart of the social mania aspect of AGW. The juxtaposition of ‘manufacturing consensus” and “trust” makes some things clear.
    The issue is not if the consensus was manufactured. It was clear to skeptics for years this was the case. Now even AGW believers admit it but say it is still valid.
    This believer fallback position took years to make.
    The only question left, and this ties directly to the topic of this thread, trust, is if the consensus was authentic? Is there a credible consensus that the Earth is in danger of a climate crisis from CO2 and that mitigation can prevent it?
    For many skeptics the answer has been “no”.
    My observation is that the null hypothesis has been shifted by many to the point of triviality, and the evidence offered does not hold up well under critical review. Eventually we will see that the final fall back position will be along the lines of, it may have been wrongly manufactured, but the AGW goals are so wonderful they should still be implemented. And skeptics are still denialist scum.
    This speaks directly to the topic of this thread: Trust. People can be sincere and still wrong. Which is apparently a surprise to many of the believers out there. Sincere helps with trust, but it does not build trust on its own. Trust is central to any great issue. The way the AGW movement has approached trust assures failure of trust. Each blog, each spin master, each symposium on how to shape the message to an audience that few in the AGW respect, much less understand is going to fail.
    Asking how to earn trust is in itself an admission that one does understand what trust is about.

  53. “How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their lips move.”

    That sums up the communication problem. When scientists become political advocates the public looks at them like politicians. Politicians have tried every spin possible to get elected, so scientists will have a long row to hoe if they are looking for new spin for their scientific message that separates it from their political beliefs.

    For some reason, scientists/advocates believe they should be immune to the scrutiny and dirty tricks that politicians have to deal with daily. Then they should stick to science and quit trying to be political advocates.

    • Dallas,
      Perhaps, in the context of this discussion, a corollary would be that before a scientist can become a politician, they must first learn to lie well.
      Your point on the bizarre-o world view that lets academics avoid normal accountability is excellent.

      • That’s the conundrum, science seeks truth, in politics, truth is optional. A scientist can’t lie or skew the facts and still be a good scientist., but can be a powerful politician. Different standards apply. A scientist turned advocate needs to realize that.

        Very few truly trust politicians. So the politician’s past actions, voting record and associations are fair game. Most trust scientists to provide good science. Not necessarily perfect science, just good science. Once a scientist becomes a political advocate, the science needs to be near perfect because it is evaluated politically.

        The only way a scientist can maintain trust is to stick to science and stay away from politics, or declare his political advocacy and deal with the consequences.

  54. “For example, Matthew Nisbet and his collaborators advise communicators to carefully “frame” their messages in order to invoke some desired associations and experiences.”

    I’ve just had an exchange with Andrew Revkin concerning his recent statement in the NYT’s Review of Books that “the overwhelming majority of scientists agree we’re affecting the climate in a potentially calamitous way.”

    I guess I’m pretty naive, but I always tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. So his statement left me with an uncomfortable feeling of cognitive dissonance.

    Since I know Revkin’s a smart, well-informed guy, he has to realize he’s distorting the truth, if not outright lying. And yet how can he be doing such a thing as a fair-minded, ethical guy? Either my understanding of the current lack of consensus among scientists is wrong, or my opinion of Revkin as an honest guy is.

    So I asked him what the basis of his statement was, making the point that the only explanation I could think of was that he was using the weasel word “potentially” in a way that allowed him in his mind anyway, to cover himself ethically speaking. IN other words, that he was “framing his message.”

    Which turned out to be the case. He responded by saying that “the word potentially is important” and that even LInden didn’t object in a debate to the statement that “We should, it it were affordable, avoid dramatically increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.”

    What a weak defense. What thin gruel. How do you leap from that to “the overwhelming majority of scientists” agree we’re just about headed off a cliff, climatically speaking?

    How depressing. And Revkin’s one of the more reasonable ones…

    • Revkin has been an all-in advocate from day one. The difference between Revkin and some others is that he recognizes when damage is inevitable, and tries to back away from the worst of it. He’s still happy to talk about ‘denialists,’ although he puts the word in someone else’s mouth. He still belittles S. McIntyre, while citing him when it can’t be avoided. When Cap and Trade failed in the U.S. Congress, he started bringing in psychologists to ‘explain’ denialism.

      Revkin is part of the ‘team’ – he just considers himself a corrective for the more ‘enthusiastic’ of his brethren.

  55. There is much to agree upon in the post, but it doesn’t provide much help in solving the real most difficult issues.

    I do certainly agree that being explicit on the uncertainties builds trust with many audiences. Discussing controversial issues in the way that appears to do justice to all credible arguments gives a good impression, but such a presentation may fail as badly as any other in transmitting correct understanding. It can do it in many different ways, and it implies always that the person, who makes the presentation is somehow above others and capable of doing justice to everyone. This may be a false impression based more on a good presentation than valid content. The result may also be a failure in the way that the dominant and best justified view is not given the weight that it merits.

    A presentation that present different sides of the issue is perhaps closer to the truth than presentations based on alternative more limited approaches, but the final impression may still be even more misleading than that provided by presentations that are visibly one-sided, because the audience may have more difficulties on judging the value of the presentation. Perhaps this is not the rule but rather an exception, but this can certainly occur.

    There’s one clear alternative: Not to worry about the impression, but to follow a consistent and honest approach. If some people misinterpret the results, concrete errors of understanding can be pointed out, but any less specific bias in interpretation could be taken into account only as a hint for improving clarity in further presentations.

    The problem is that the climate science has been picked out as an important argument for decision making. It’s real and imagined results are used to push policies. Some scientists have joined this activity. As I have classified in another recent comment an essential fraction of the present knowledge on the Earth system is very complex. The evidence is fragmented and indirect, but most climate scientists believe that the evidence is still very significant. That type of knowledge and subjective views on that knowledge have uncertainties that cannot be described well. The existence of the uncertainties can be acknowledged but no good advice can be given on, how others could judge the level of knowledge.

    When all final advice is based in part on the knowledge with complex uncertainties, applying the ideas of the opening post becomes very difficult, if not impossible. The communicational problem may be irreducible and impossible to remove or even restrict by proper methodological choices.

  56. JC comment: This argument explains why the hockeystick controversy just won’t go away: it is the loss of trust of scientists that won’t given an inch in terms of acknowledging a mistake, particularly one pointed out by an “outsider” or skeptic.

    The thread, What we can agree on, as well as most of the others that I’ve read, steadfastly avoid all mention of wrongdoing by UEA and Penn State, even though there is overwhelming evidence of it. It is this cover-up mentality, or the reluctance to confront the obvious cheating, that creates severe distrust in skeptics. This reluctance to acknowledge the cheating is not easily explained, since even the slightest infraction or mistake on the skeptic side is immediately and aggressively punished.

  57. I think Dr. Curry could do a very interesting post on AGW and money and the apparent corellation between the two. How ’bout it Dr. Curry?

    Andrew

  58. An interesting paper but the flaw I think is way up front.

    “,,two general cognitive systems through which people reach judgments, and thus two broad routes to persuasion on this or other topics.”

    Not heavily into taxonomy myself but there are actually three, the two minor ones being discussed and what I’d have to call delegated judgement. It’s the system everyone uses most of the time.

    Your heating breaks down so you engage a plumber. You pick a plumber out based on your judgement of them as a person not their plumbing expertise, about which you know damn all anyway. Your car breaks down, same story. Got a mysterious ache or pain? Find a doctor. We make judgements of things based on trusting the advice given to us by a domain expert.

    When we find out our trust has been abused, we never trust them again and all the re-presentation in the world will never quite fix that. Ask anyone who’s caught their partner cheating on them.

    Pointman

  59. Paul Vaughan

    “JC comment: Appealing to central processing/critical thinking is exactly what I have been aiming for in my discussions on improving the public communication of climate science.”

    Perhaps one way to get there is to spend more time discussing climate and less time attempting to deflect interest in climate towards the psychology of persuasion.

    For example:
    Do you (a) acknowledge the seminal value of LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) and (b) recognize the simple implications?

    Responses to questions like this determine whether there’s a chance of trust.

    Sincerely.

    • Paul Vaughan, 7/18/11, 9:27 am, trust

      By LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) you could have been referring Response to comment: “Statistical issues about solar-climate relations by P. Yiou and 7 co-authors, Clim. Past Discuss., 6, 461-487, 2010” available on the Internet. More like you meant Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day, Geophysical Research Letters 37: 2010GL043185 which you discussed here:

      http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/aug/19aug2010a7.html

      This seems yet to be posted on line.

      The work of Le Mouel, et al., is just on the threshold of a more significant discovery: a simple, accurate transfer function exists between the best TSI model (Wang, et al. (2005)) and the best global average surface temperature (HadCRUT3). See SGW by clicking on my name. That transfer function also adapts IPCC’s method of representing temperature by Global Temperature Trends, extending the trends from point measures at the present to functions of time. The difference is similar to the distinction between correlation (τ = 0) and the correlation function (τ a variable).

      In your NIPCC report, you present three figures of correlation adapted from Le Mouel et al. (2010). These are subjective, being merely visual correlations, emphasized by a choice of ordinates intended to convince. IPCC uses visual correlation, even to the extent of doctoring ordinate scaling to produce false correlations.

      If I had been a reviewer of Le Mouel et al., and assuming those figures are representative, I would have rejected the paper, requesting that as a minimum the correlation be quantified, and be quantified with the correlation function. Use of the critically important correlation function seems not to have quite reached climate science. Lindzen and Choi (2011) did test ± 5 lags, which is a start. It is essential to establish causality.

      I also suggest that Le Mouel et al. and some of the other work they critiqued introduce unnecessary noise into their analyses by truncating, filling, and peak detecting.

      You are quite correct to suggest that solar forcing has important and simple implications. They are quite unfavorable to IPCC’s AGW model. They are even stronger in implication to the extent that the analyses can be based on IPCC approved data records and IPCC approved data methods.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Jeff,

        The correlation function is insufficient for nonstationary cycles. Complex methods are needed.

        I must categorically reject your assessment of LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) as it demonstrates a lack of appreciation for &/or understanding of the most elucidating empirical result on solar-terrestrial relations to date.

        I agree that the authors could have substantially improved on their analysis via minor but strategic adjustments to their methods; nonetheless, the beautiful finding is as clean as it is simple and it’s theirs. The criticisms I’ve seen from other academics reflect quantitative ignorance &/or preoccupation with editorial cosmetics. Given the seminal value of the finding, such objections are unacceptably frivolous.

        In order to become fruitful, discussion can move from cosmetics to implications.

        I welcome discussion of the paradigm-shifting observation with serious academics who understand the finding & the simple implications. I also welcome questions from those who may be struggling with complex wavelets &/or the generalizability of nonstationary beats with dominant modes of terrestrial variation (including modes with irregular periods); I will consider doing what I can to assist with numeracy as time permits in the weeks, months, & years ahead.

        Regards.

      • Paul Vaughan, 7/19/11, 1:37 am, trust

        The correlation function is insufficient for nonstationary cycles. Complex methods are needed.

        Sometimes, but why do you rule out the nonstationary cross-correlation function? See Bendat, J. S., and A. G. Piersol, Random Data, Analysis and Measurement Procedures, 1971, rev. 2010.

        And sometimes not. The task at hand is to estimate climate, from which it can be modeled and predicted. The properties of correlation and stationarity belong to models, not to the real world. There is nothing inherent in the real world that dictates nonlinear or nonstationary modeling. The first order of business has to be to assess what can be done with first order, linear, stationary models. Usually the most complex models lie at the microparameter level, while the sufficient model is linear and thermodynamic, comprising macroparameters.

        I must categorically reject your assessment of LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) as it demonstrates a lack of appreciation for &/or understanding of the most elucidating empirical result on solar-terrestrial relations to date.

        I gave you a recommendation for what I believe is a superior model, and you have no comment. Not only that, but you persisted nonetheless in your contrary claim that Le Mouel, et al. (2010) is unsurpassed. This is analogous to IPCC’s unprecedented claims. I will not stoop to a categorical rejection in return, but instead will rely on references and analysis.

        I agree that the authors could have substantially improved on their analysis via minor but strategic adjustments to their methods; nonetheless, the beautiful finding is as clean as it is simple and it’s theirs. The criticisms I’ve seen from other academics reflect quantitative ignorance &/or preoccupation with editorial cosmetics. Given the seminal value of the finding, such objections are unacceptably frivolous.

        A big scientific wow! This over the top trivializing of criticism and lauding of this paper sounds like it came from a publicist. You continue in this vein:

        I welcome discussion of the paradigm-shifting observation with serious academics who understand the finding & the simple implications. I also welcome questions from those who may be struggling with complex wavelets &/or the generalizability of nonstationary beats with dominant modes of terrestrial variation (including modes with irregular periods); I will consider doing what I can to assist with numeracy as time permits in the weeks, months, & years ahead. Bold added.

        Could this be more loaded with catchphrases to impress, and weasel words for escape? You only converse with serious academic, apparently only those who (a) hold sufficient professorial rank worthy of your valuable time, and (b) agree with you. Anything less is not welcome, so now I see why you didn’t check the paper I suggested. I would guess that you don’t hold with the old saw, those that can do, those that can’t teach.

        Do simple implications mean you would agree with your serious academics that the Le Mouel results are (a) obvious and (b) conclusive? Are paradigm-shifting, complex wavelets, nonstationary beats, and irregular periods just stuck in there?

        Well, I for one am impressed. In keeping with the spirit of this thread, I urge readers to put aside any questions, and to trust you.

        Your review says,

        Le Mouel et al. (2010a) say their paper “shows that the Sun can (directly or indirectly) influence tropospheric zonal mean-winds over decadal to multidecadal time scales.” And noting that “zonal mean-winds constitute an important element of global atmospheric circulation,” they go on to suggest that “if the solar cycle can influence zonal mean-winds, then it may affect other features of global climate as well, including oscillations such as the NAO and MJO, of which zonal winds are an ingredient [Wheeler and Hendon 2004].” Therefore, “the cause of this forcing,” as they describe it, “likely involves some combination of solar wind, galactic cosmic rays, ionosphere-Earth currents and cloud microphysics.”

        This highly conditioned description is IPCC-worthy, but hardly the stuff of simple implications . Unsure: directly or indirectly, some combination, suggest. Vague: other features, some combination. Less than causative: influence, important element, an ingredient, involves. Indefinite: multidecadal. Uncertain: may, likely. Definitive, conclusive, predictive: nothing.

        I refer readers again to your critique of Le Mouel, et al. (2011):

        http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/aug/19aug2010a7.html

        and especially to the three charts comprising Figure 1. Your caption reads,

        Figure 1. Correlation between the amplitude of the semiannual oscillation in length-of-day (blue curves with middle panel as detrended data while both top and bottom panels as original data) and various solar activity measures (sunspot numbers and proxy for galactic cosmic rays: red curves) from 1962-2009. A 4-year moving-average filter was used to smooth the data series. Adapted from Le Mouel et al. (2010).

        Note first that the right hand ordinates for Sunspot number and Cosmic rays (actually neutron count, a substitute which you call a proxy) are shifted and scaled so that the red curves lie right on top of the blue curves, matched in scale and offset. This is the manufacture of visual correlation, and without a proper correlation calculation, it is a trick called chartjunk. IPCC did the same thing twice here:

        IPCC was manufacturing faux fingerprints of humans on CO2 measurements.

        Returning to your rendition of Le Mouel, the most visible feature of the charts is the 11 year solar cycle. However, the charts run from 1962 to 2009, encompassing only four of these cycles. A venerable rule of thumb for analysis is to cover a minimum of 10 cycles. The reason for that length is to develop confidence in the reliability of both amplitude and phase between the signals. The unsophisticated human looking at the graphs will be captivated by well-overlaid curves. However, the investigator’s ordinate adjustments create a false amplitude coincidence, and the record isn’t long enough to test whether these parameters are synchronized. In another four to ten cycles, the records could be out of phase.

        The caption says that a 4-year moving average filter was used, leaving the reader to guess the filter parameters and reason for its use. Was it just to make the curves “look better”, a doubly subjective process? Filtering is worrisome because it introduces correlation where none exists. Next is concern whether the smoothing filter was realizable. IPCC uses unrealizable filters to estimate temperature. At each point, these time domain filters fold future data into the present. Such estimators confound measuring cause and effect relationships. The smoothed records contain future effects. Causality, a principle of science, requires no cause ever be in the future.

        The caption says that one of the panels presents detrended length-of-day data, with no explanation or discussion of the effects. Are they in the paper? Regardless, detrending is not limited to ordinary linear detrending as may be the case here. These records cry out for detrending of the four solar cycles. A competent treatment of these records might first detrend the 11-year solar cycle from each record to remove that visually and analytically distracting feature.

        Such detrended records could then be subjected to many tests and analyses. Probability distributions could be estimated, and tests run for stationarity. If a non-stationary effect appears, then the investigator has discovered another opportunity for modeling and rationalizing. Next pair-wise scatter diagrams should be prepared from the records, eliminating time as a parameter. These scatter diagrams can show that the data are uncorrelated, or reveal the pattern of underlying transfer functions, the ultimate predictor.

        These are not paradigm shifts, but merely good analysis techniques from systems science.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Jeff,

        I am NOT the author of that article. You are making no sense.

        The data only go back to 1962 — and yet you are demanding they be represented back to ~1900.

        It’s crystal clear that you have a LOT of work to do before you can properly interpret the primary observation of LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010).

        You don’t even know what dataset they used.

        Sincerely.

      • Paul Vaughan, 7/19/11, 12:17 am, trust

        My apologies for confusing two critiques, one yours and the other an anonymous article posted on the NIPCC blog. Your review, posted here,

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/23/confirmation-of-solar-forcing-of-the-semi-annual-variation-of-length-of-day/

        endorsed Le Mouel, et al. (2010) without reservations. Using different methods, I have confirmed the findings of [Le Mouel, et al. (2010)]. However your critique didn’t specify what their findings were, nor did you either cite from the subject paper or reproduce its graphics. Since Le Mouel, et al., is behind a paywall, I searched for and found the NIPCC critique to use as a proxy. It contained a discussion of the contents of Le Mouel, et al., reproducing their correlation graphs with unknown fidelity, and quoting extensively from it. That anonymous critique is at the link I wrongly attributed to you:

        http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/aug/19aug2010a7.html

        In one paragraph, which I cited above, the anonymous author said they go on to suggest that, bold mine, between quotations. I criticized that highlighted word, suggest, as showing the authors were unsure, wrongly attributing it to you. Every other troublesome word, shown highlighted above, is within a Le Mouel, et al. quotation. My discussion following with respect to the NIPCC article remains valid. It is properly cited to the article, but I admit is not your critique.

        Turning to your paper, you repeat Le Mouel, et al.’s fundamental error. Anthony Watt introduces your guest post as interesting because it shows correlation between cosmic rays (via neutron count), terrestrial angular momentum, and length of day. The correlation shown in your paper is subjective, visual correlation instead of mathematical, with ordinates adjusted to promote visual correlation. Moreover, you rely on a dominant principal component of less than 4 cycles within the records to promote subjective correlation. This is not a sufficient and acceptable technique. By the way, your first two charts would be improved with a legend connecting the three traces to the appropriate two ordinates.

        Any confusion about the data set is your creation. I referred to the Le Mouel, et al., data set twice, both times explicitly and correctly as 1962-2009, the first within a quotation from them, and the second without a quotation. You are confusing the length of the record required to analyze solar cycles with the length of the data available. You say I don’t even know what dataset they used when I quoted it correctly.

        Assuming the anonymous rendition of the figures attributed to Le Mouel et al. (2010) is correct, the authors allow the reader to infer correlation from four solar cycles. Not having the requisite data for a proper correlation analysis, the authors should have removed those four cycles as confounding, complex trends, and then proceeded along the lines I suggested. Their shabby and misleading procedure appears all too common in climatology, judging especially by IPCC Assessment Reports.

        I have not been able to analyze Le Mouel, et al. (2010) because it is behind a paywall. One could spend tens of thousands of dollars in the blind, ordering what turns out to be worthless authorities cited by IPCC, and similar peer-approved documents. The IPCC references should be freely available under the Freedom of Information Acts. They were prepared with public funds, and relied on by a UN agency to influence democratic governments. Besides, a well-written technical paper should rely on citations for the reader to verify claims and quotations, not to complete expositions.

        Previously you avoided supplying specifics by categorically rejecting my criticism. In your latest post you repeated that poor tactic, saying It’s crystal clear that you have a LOT of work to do … . You hurling empty charges, ducking issues, and not competently participating in a technical discussion.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Jeff,

        Over here [ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/10/solar-terrestrial-lunisolar-components-of-rate-of-change-of-length-of-day/ ] I gave the background some people might need to easily improve on LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010). Their core finding is solid, so we can put aside editorial cosmetics and look at implications:

        1. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/scl_northpacificsst.png
        2. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/scl_0-90n.png
        3. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/vaughn_lod_amo_sc.png
        [+SCL' = solar cycle deceleration;
        -SCL' = solar cycle acceleration]

        A similar graph (not yet posted on the net) shows the same temporal pattern for the whole Pacific sector from 90S to 90N.

        Regards.

      • Paul Vaughan, 7/20/11, 9:59 pm, trust

        PV: … LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010). Their core finding is solid, so we can put aside editorial cosmetics and look at implications: [three graphs]

        The statement that Their core finding is solid is out of place in a scientific dialog on four counts. (1). It is ambiguous, giving the appearance of the intent to mislead or clarify. That is, it seems to be saying that Le Mouel, et al.’s peripheral findings are squishy. (2) Le Mouel is a paper about the effects of the solid Earth on zonal winds. Your statement has what would seem to be a play on words, or an unintentional comical connection to the subject paper. (3) No instance comes to mind of any scientific finding in science worthy of the accolade of being solid, nor am I aware of any case where the Nobel Committee or some other group has given that honor to some monumental work. (4) Other than as a state of matter, or a colloquialism (e.g., “you owe me a solid”), the word solid conveys nothing. In short, the statement is out of place and over the top.

        Without parsing your opening shot, you seem to be saying we need go no deeper in Le Mouel. It is settled science. It is on a part with man causing global warming. Such assurances are a beacon for scientific error. Here’s what you chose as representing Le Mouel conclusions:

        “The solid Earth behaves as a natural spatial integrator and time filter, which makes it possible to study the evolution of the amplitude of the semi-annual variation in zonal winds over a fifty-year time span. We evidence strong modulation of the amplitude of this lod [length of day] spectral line by the Schwabe cycle (Figure 1a). This shows that the Sun can (directly or indirectly) influence tropospheric zonal mean-winds over decadal to multi-decadal time scales. Zonal mean-winds constitute an important element of global atmospheric circulation. If the solar cycle can influence zonal mean-winds, then it may affect other features of global climate as well [...]“

        What is conclusive about that? What is its connection to AGW?

        So, you discharge my critique as editorial cosmetics. You would not like me as your editor. Substituting complex and irreplaceable applications of mathematical correlation with subjective correlation, by not just graphs, but with doctored graphs, is unacceptable. In fact, IPCC has shown that man is the cause of global warming over the last 50 years by exactly that kind of chartjunk, and other scientific errors. It then repeated the following false conclusion throughout its work until it has become a political truism:

        Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warming influence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions. AR4, FAQ 2.1, p. 135.

        IPCC has taken ownership of AGW. No climate crisis would exist but for IPCC Assessment Reports. A search through the latest two of those reports, and the only viable ones, for reliance on zonal winds, length of day, and wavelet analyses, the topics of your research and the Le Mouel, et al., paper, yielded a dozen or so citations. They are entirely tangential even in the climate models. Your analysis seemed to indicate how these records might be better represented, but that would have had no effect. Better representations would not have cured the irrelevancy of those topics to IPCC’s unwarranted conclusion that anthropogenic warming has occurred.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Dear Jeff,

        We appear to have divergent interests. You make frequent reference to “IPCC” & “AGW”. These topics do not interest me.

        My interest is exploration of natural climate variability (not to confused with statistical inference based on culturally-misguided untenable assumptions).

        My role in the climate discussion is that of a volunteer.

        EOP are the arbiters of climate disputes since they are integrated globally.

        A very large set of misunderstandings has arisen during our exchange. I have neither time to address them nor need to convince you of anything.

        The purpose of my initial comment was to inform Dr. Curry of what it would take for her to earn my trust.

        I wish you peace & harmony.

        Best Regards,
        Paul.

  60. An example of how to continue destroying trust happened a few days ago regarding CERN. CLOUD scientists were advised to not interpret their science and explain how the results might be relevant regarding the global warming debate.

  61. Nullius in verba. A maxim the RS has forgotten. Also, I remember having my head smacked by my maths teacher because not only was my answer wrong but I had FAILED TO SHOW THE WORKINGS. No one who adopts a sceptical approach to this issue will be convinced by all the blustering assertions and invitations to accept or trust authority in this matter, especially when those assertions are only backed up by ad hominems and abuse (qv a variety of these miserable efforts on this page) – until it’s backed up by effective evidence. I’m not a scientist but I’m not a fool either.

  62. John Whitman

    Judith said, “””My building trust essay was lambasted by skeptics (see especially Willis Eschenbach). With the passage of time, and notably with the interpretation provided by Goodwin and Dahlstrom, does my building trust essay now make more sense to skeptics?”””

    - – - – - – - – -

    Judith,

    The passage of time and other posts since your ‘building trust’ essay show us that there has been and continues to be a growing lack of intellectual integrity of the key people invovled in to IPCC’s so-called consensus on AGWist science.

    The issue has not been communication nor trust nor epistemic sources . . . the root cause of the decline in support for all things IPCC endorsed in climate science is the simple lack of intellectual integrity of the people involved.

    You, as a scientist must realize we have to analyze the root cause as a starting point. The root cause is the lack of intellectual integrity of the key people involved.

    RECOMMENDATION: I suggest a post that is simply on what intellectual integrity is. That would flush out the only solution to the so-called lack of trust or failure of communication regarding the IPCC endorsed climate science.

    I enjoy your posts very much. Stimulating intellectually!

    John

  63. I guess I am not persuaded by Goodwin’s taxonomic approach to the underlying issues. As I noted in the earlier related thread on the Manufacturing of Consensus, IMHO the question is phrased incorrectly to begin with and relies too heavily upon difficult to define collectives and fuzzy points at issue. I, for one, do not distrust Judith Curry, a climate scientist, but I do not necessarily agree with all her statements. I do distrust Michael Mann, a climate scientist, though I agree with some of his statements.
    At this point, there is little that Michael Mann can do that would lead me to trust him. It is hard for me to see how MIchael Mann could frame any assertion that I would accept without personally examining the data to support the statement or checking with others that I do trust as to the validity of Michael Mann’s statement. Michael Mann could begin to rebuild my trust by (a) making it easier for me to check the validity of his assertion, i.e., make the data and code available and exclude questionable data, or (b) jointly making the very same statement with someone I do trust. Just imagine a proxy study published by Mann and McIntyre?!!!
    Having suffered immensely over the years from social science taxonomies that use labels to hide a lack of understanding of actual processes, I am much more comfortable and likely to be persuaded by this type of argument than yet another non-operational, process free taxonomy.

  64. “You can’t trust water. Even a straight stick turns crooked in it”

    WC Fields

  65. Professor Curry…

    From the paper you linked to:

    In order to make themselves vulnerable and thus earn trust, scientists will need to accomplish two interlinked goals. First, scientists will need to develop, convey and commit to standard metrics or indicators of climate change that are usable by non-scientists (Bowman et al. 2009). In contrast to the data sets and models that are in the almost exclusive possession of scientists, these indicators need to be apparent to laypersons in the same way that whether a used car is working is apparent. Second, having committed themselves to a set of indicators, scientists will need methods for assuring the public that they will in fact be held responsible and bear the consequences, if it turns out that their commitments are wrong. Something like simple embarrassment at having to publicly retract claims may be a sufficient penalty. In sum, to successfully communicate the risks of climate change, scientists must accept a risk themselves—the risk of being shown to be wrong in specific ways. By committing themselves to an ongoing relationship, and by granting the public the power to hold them accountable for errors, climate scientists give even doubtful and dismissive audiences good reasons to trust them.

    As I understand it, the current climate modeling systems are not capable of accurately predicting next year’s climate (average of weather over the year/seasons). My own reading of climate papers, up until a year or so ago, suggests that the effects of a change such as additional greenhouse gases are evaluated by running a model incorporating those changes over some number of model years (decades), and comparing the result with an assumed “static” model where no changes take place.

    But why should I believe those models when they can’t offer reliable predictions even one year in advance. Perhaps climate modelers should back off, and start running a number of different models year-on-year, communicating the predictions to the public in advance, and evaluating the results by hindsight. Granted, this is a long-term process, and it might take decades for the public (who’ll have to pay for mitigation/remediation in one way or another) to become convinced. But given the non-progress in convincing anybody to buy in to the current proposals, since 1997 at least which is when I first became aware of the issue, perhaps this would actually be the fastest way to get public trust.

    Of course, such a project may already be under weigh, although if it is I’d have thought you’d have mentioned it here. Or perhaps there’s some other reason this proposal isn’t feasible. I’d be interested in knowing.

    • Politicians and ‘crats are prone to make much of “accountability” and “taking responsibility”. Verbally.

      In practice, at most it amounts to occasionally picking out a sacrificial scapegoat. In respect to CS, I challenge anyone to come up with a single instance of any scientist or politicician accepting “accountability” for pro-AGW errors.

  66. Here is a building block of distrust:
    AGW Scientist – “I believe my conclusions regarding the reality of catastrophic global warming to be correct but I recognize I have not convinced the right people. A stumbling block remains that the raw data don’t support the conclusion but the adjusted data do. I conclude then that I have not convincingly adjusted the data and this has generated distrust. My assumptions that guide the adjustments require forming abstract relationships among disparate proxy data and observed data. It appears I am ‘making stuff up (MSU)’ in order to urge the model to match observations. Everyone but my peers expect me to present my methods but if I do that, even if I could do that, it would undermine my credibility. I am concerned my employer’s ability to attract grant dollars is jeopardized though they stridently defend my work. I need help resolving these issues.”

    Consultant – “Repackage the message until you have a believable story.”

  67. What we see coming together in this thread is very revealing of the truth. The Medium is the Message’: as the Left continues to cling to dogma and a failed secular, socialist ideology and employ the tactics of denial and attempting to dominate discourse as a means to achieve a political agenda—and to display their eager willingness to trample the liberties of others and pray to their Golden Calves for the triumph of superstition over reason that their actions exemplify—it is now very easy for all to see what the Left has been doing to the culture your years, long before the mass mania of global warming. Anyone who is willing to face the truth can now see what has led to the corruption of science and is leading to the fall of Western civilization.

    What we’re seeing is the global warming alarmists living in the past using tactics that they believed were working for them: using science as a mask to hide their motives. Now we see them throwing anything they can against the wall to see if it sticks, even if just for a while to give them time to move on to the next lie.

    What once was a win for them in their own eyes simply exposes them for the empty-headed nihilists that they really are. They’re not even good atheists as they so wish to think they are. But, that is to be expected—PART OF PUSHING A HOAX IS BECOMING THE HOAX.

    And that is what has happened to the Left. They have lived a lie and have become the lie. We see that on ever page of these discussions. AND THIS IS HOW A DIES.

    And, that is why global warming theory is now the preoccupation of scientists around the world—e.g., sociologists, psychologists and philosophers—all of those who are most interested in studying the effects of mass mania on society. The last chapter in the history global warming alarmist saga may well be written in another society, by another generation, and in another language.

    The Lefts’ anti-capitalism, anti-Judeo/Christian ideology of today may be Antidisestablishmentcapitalismglobalwarmanism Party of tomorrow. The past is obvious: it is the future is what we do not know and cannot foresee. But we can know one thing: real scientists do not pretend that they can predict what in fifty years will be the global climate of the world.

  68. Bad Andrew at http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/17/on-the-role-of-trust-in-climate-communication/#comment-87667 (above) suggests a post on “AGW and money and the apparent correlation between the two”.

    A good idea, but allow me to suggest consideration of government policy as well.
    - The climate is changing (always).
    - AGW will be catastrophic because of feedbacks (CAGW).
    - AGW is caused by atmospheric CO2.
    - CO2 is produced by fossil fuel combustion.
    - Combustion of fossil fuel is a human activity.
    - Human activity can be directed and controlled by government policy.
    – Government policy can lay and collect taxes.
    – Government policy can regulate supply and the cost of supply.
    – Government policy can allocate resources.
    - Fossil fuels are the source of ~70% of the energy supply of the United States (another ~20% is nuclear).

    Solution: Authority to politically control ~90% of the economy. What is not to like from a government viewpoint?

    The solution is always political control of fossil fuels, regardless of alternative contributors to global warming and CO2; for example:
    HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

    http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

    The following includes citations:
    Topic: The Politics of “AGW” (1,411 replies, 36,285 views)

    http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=globalwarming&action=display&thread=192

  69. We have a new adage: “Lies, damned lies, statistics, and Climate Science.”

  70. The distinction between 1. “peripheral” and 2. “central” cognitive systems is a useful one. Until about 3 years ago, my understanding of climate change was based on 1 and I thought that most of what we were told was true apart from some media exaggeration. When I started following the very time-consuming 2, I rapidly became a skeptic.

    Regarding the ‘building trust’ paragraph, I choked on the first sentence (“the truth as presented by the IPCC” ?!) but ignored it and read on. I think that JC and Goodwin still underestimate what is required, though I would not go as far as Willis or Bruce’s 7.34pm comment. Those climate scientists who have lost trust are not going to regain it simply by admitting some degree of uncertainty. To follow the analogy, would you ever go back to the used car dealer who previously sold you a lemon that broke down? The only solution for regaining trust in climate science is for a ‘new wave’ of climate scientist to emerge and break away from the tainted mainstream (as JC has done), by
    * Speaking out against the ‘hockey stick’, ‘hide the decline’ and other distortions of science.
    * Involving scientists from other disciplines, particularly statistics and physics.
    * Engaging with the skeptics.

  71. Obviously, scientists reading findings like those in Mazzarella** have been heading for the UN exits since 2007, with the crush at the exits after October 1, 2009, with the grand debunking of the `hockey stick’ and the Yamal tree-ring circus. And, the foi2009.pdf (CRUgate) disclosures probably will mark the official date that AGW died.

    As Philip Stott predicted, in his article on cognitive dissonance, what follows now is the usual insult commie dog crapulent b.s. but raised to a fever pitch before they all get dragged down by the stone of dead cold logic. But, even this final howling of the AGW Heaven’s Gate cult marks a point in time that does give rise to some hope.

    We actually should be amazed at how much faster a hoax gets debunked these days compared to days of yore. Measured by time of its dramatic rise and eventual plummet to earth, we’re looking at more like 10 years to defeat the global warming hoax instead of about 50 years for the Piltdown Man Hoax to be understood (even then, it took another 50 years to piece together who all was in on that hoax).

    Of course, there was more at stake with the global warming hoax–more than just the eroding credibility of science. Even so, it actually is amazing considering that all (not a majority but, all!) of the Leftist, liberal fascist, enviro-wackpot part of the country was allied and conspiring together in a conspicuous consensus of un-Americanism to bring capitalism down, along with a willing mainstream media and a broken governmental-funded education machine as the eager facilitators of the hoax with millions being spent for endless filing cabinets full of junk research. And, we now have a lot more evidence of the role of thankless, hostile and hypocritical Old Europe, and all of typical anti-America, tyrannical regimes, tin pot dictators, fascists and commie states comprising the UN, all united in a consensus against President Bush, the U.S., Jesus/ Jews/ capitalism/ business/ and free enterprise, in an attempt to crush personal liberty and freedom.

    In the beginning, only a relative few principled scientists had the courage to put truth reason before ideology and stand up to the knowing printing of deception by their peers and the IPCC. One such principled investigator, Dr. William Gray, said he hoped he’d live to see the global warming hoax debunked in his lifetime. It has been and he did.

    The idea that human CO2 — most particularly CO2 from the US — has caused global warming, and if not for the US the climate would somehow be so much more ideal than it currently is now, is an insane idea that could only gain traction in a dysfunctional global politic. The AGW catastrophists offer nothing except that it could be raining lollypops everyday if you would just believe in them. AGW is a dead idea that is as useless to the pinkos now as a hockey stick, twice broken, and serving no purpose but to point to the charlatans and snake-oil salesmen that played fast, loose and dirty with it when the ball was in their court.

    Are you going to tell me that you’ve still got a Democrat party that is going to continue associating with those who think human activity is evil? Personally, I still cannot believe it and, I won’t believe until it happens. But, stranger things have happened lately.

    After all of the gross lying and deceit and knowing who and what was behind it all, e.g., after Al Gore (winning a Nobel is practically the mark of the Devil now), and knowing that no one will ever truly be held accountable in any meaningful way, we all should see that fear of global warming has been a cruel joke on humanity that would condemn millions to misery, poverty and death, all in the name of science. The question we should all ask ourselves is simple: What will the next big lie be by the anti-energy, anti-America big government Leftist and liberal fascists and who will stand up against it?

    ———
    ** Adriano Mazzarella, Solar Forcing of Changes in Atmospheric Circulation, Earth’s Rotation and Climate, The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2008, 2, 181-184.

  72. I will never trust the Consensus Climate Scientists until they learn to become Skeptics of their own Consensus. Whatever errors that are in their Theory and Models, they will never recognize, unless they learn to question themselves. In the past decade, their Models have consistently predicted warmer, warmer and more warmer while it did not get warmer. They throw in more feedback and tweak the Models, after each year’s data comes in wrong. Instead of trying to prove to us that they are right anyway, they need to learn what they did wrong.

  73. This is a very good and very important post.

    It’s probably helpful to continue to distinguish, with Donald Brown (from one of your past posts) between science’s responsibility for its research role, and societal expectation that science ethically and responsibly communicate/warn about risks. Scientists can demonstrate responsibility for research through their competence and integrity, but the question is how they can or should demonstrate responsibility for communication of concerns or risks. We expect them to perform both roles, and it’s the second one that Goodwin is discussing.

    Goodwin, together with Brown, emphasizes the ethics of communication. When I read this paper earlier this year, I was interested not only in how ‘scientist-communicators’ can be ‘held responsible and bear significant consequences if it turns out that what they are saying is wrong’ but also how ‘contrarian’ scientist-communicators or science-communicators, especially those who might be shown to have had significant influence on the public understanding/misunderstanding, and industry and government, and the public, can be held responsible for ethical communication.

    Brown fills out Goodwin’s discussion by articulating why there is equal need to be held responsible if significant harm results from delay or inaction, the potential harms could have been seen to be serious to people or ecosystems, or the people harmed or put at continuing serious risk have least contributed to the problem and are least able to cope.

    • Martha,
      If Goodwin and Brown were doing anything more than coaching scientists in sales marketing techniques, you might have a point.

      • Hunter,
        Judith Curry anticipated this (your) objection in her first paragraph. You don’t disappoint. ;-)

        I don’t share your dark opinion of Goodwin, or Brown, but they don’t really matter. Sure, they bring clarity to the issues; but the expectations, issues and solutions they are discussing are discussed by many people, most of whom are not academics or marketers of any sort, and have never heard of Goodwin or Brown (or you, or Judith).

        I think I understand your point: there is no question that many communication strategies, from interpersonal interactions through PR by corporations to political ideology, are about managing others rather than about shared or personal-responsibility-taking. However, unless you think responsibility-taking, integrity/accountability, and empowering modes of communication are not possible or are not valuable, perhaps because of your personal beliefs about human beings or your beliefs about society, I think these are reasonable expectations.

        These are the expectations in many professions and public roles, and also in many personal relationships.

      • Martha,
        No, Dr. Curry did not antipate my point in her first paragraph, nor did she negate my point.
        Your second paragrpah is vague. Can you clarify it please?
        You have missed my point. the way to gain trustworthiness is to be trustowrthy, and to communicate that very explicitly in an unvarnished way.
        The Goodman/Brown/Mooney/Schneider perspective is the exact opposite of that.
        It is condescening, disrespectful, uninformative, rude and deceptive.
        What is called for is respectful, mannered, informative, polite and transparent.
        the AGW movement despite years of being asked for this cannot deliver.
        I believe the reason is because the facts do not support the premise that we are facing a CO2 caused climate crisis.
        This forces certain sacrifices to be made by those who really want this premise to be true. Like sacrifices of truth and integrity.
        And rationality.

      • andrew adams

        hunter,

        You have missed my point. the way to gain trustworthiness is to be trustowrthy, and to communicate that very explicitly in an unvarnished way.

        Well I actually agree. The problem is that when scientists honestly and openly communicate their concerns about the threat of AGW they are accused of being alarmist and told they need to tone down the message if they want the public to listen. So it seems they can’t win either way.

      • aa,
        But we know many of them are not being open or honest.
        And a strong opinion leader in science, Dr. Schneider. was specifically providing rationalizations for scientists to use in order to mislead in fact in order to sell the greater cause.
        And Mann, Jones, Briffa, etc…..

      • andrew adams

        hunter,

        I don’t see any value in rehashing old arguments where we are never going to agree – the point here is what scientists ought to be doing, not what has happened in the past. And whatever Jones, Man etc. have or haven’t done (and I have no idea what you think Briffa is guilty of) the fact is that when they and other prominent climate scientists say they consider AGW to be a real and that the consequences are likely to be serious if no action is taken they are expressing their honest professional opinion.

      • Hunter,
        Judith Curry said, “Much has been written on the need for better communication of climate science … Such efforts are generally dismissed by climate skeptics as manipulative and further increase distrust”

        You said to me, “If Goodwin and Brown were doing anything more than coaching scientists in sales marketing techniques, you might have a point.”

        And I responded, “Judith Curry anticipated this [your] objection in her first paragraph” (with the sentence “such efforts are generally dismissed by climate skeptics as manipulative”)

        You say ‘no’, she didn’t. Since you perceive Goodwin and Brown to be coaching people on sales marketing techniques and this is like saying that Goodwin and Brown are teaching scientists to be manipulative (selling/persuasion/manipulation) I’m still thinking ‘yes’, that Judith did more or less anticipate your objection. (Of course, anticipating an objection doesn’t mean it has been “negated”; it just means it has been foreseen and acknowledged.).

        Regarding what is vague… given our difficulties with interpersonal communication, I can’t even be sure which paragraph you would consider to be my second paragraph, never mind what part you consider vague. Sorry.

      • simon abingdon

        Martha, “However, unless you think responsibility-taking, integrity/accountability, and empowering modes of communication are not possible or are not valuable, perhaps because of your personal beliefs about human beings or your beliefs about society, I think these are reasonable expectations.”
        Simplifying, unless you (hunter) think X, Y and Z are not possible/valuable because of your beliefs, I think these (X, Y and Z presumably) are reasonably expectations. Now I may have understood you wrongly Martha, but why is your thinking that X, Y and Z are reasonable expectations contingent on hunter’s beliefs?

      • simon,
        While I practice at loaded leading questions, Martha is a pro.

      • Wow. In English, ‘you’ often means ‘one’: unless one thinks responsibility-taking, integrity/accountability, and empowering modes of communication are neither possible nor desirable, the goals of ethical communication discussed by e.g. Goodwin or Brown (goals based in values such as responsibility, competence, and democracy) are reasonable expectations for a risk communication protocol (I think).

      • simon abingdon

        No need for wow. In the same paragraph you say “I think I understand your point” (addressing hunter) then “However, unless you think …” (still addressing hunter). Martha, don’t wriggle. You expressed yourself badly. Be gracious enough to admit it.

      • Simon, I apologize. In all honestly, I didn’t think you were serious. Thank you for pointing out the trouble so clearly. Now that I understand you were serious, I appreciate your use of logical form. :-)

      • all communication is about the control of human behavior

      • How very controlling of you, Steven. It’s not exactly a surprise.

        On the contrary, communication and interaction takes place on many levels and for a variety of purposes relating to human capacity and needs. These purposes include the goals of shared understanding and shared interests, personal responsibility-taking and ensuring care to others, as well as domination and control (of people or resources).

        More enlightened deliberation can result from such awareness.

    • John Carpenter

      Martha,

      The problem I see is, what types of actions on either side of the issue would be taken to hold one or many accountable if they were wrong? Further, do we expect that there will be clear cut ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decisions now or in the future wrt climate change in which some entity or someone could be held accountable? I see a very slippery slope. Passion runs deep on both sides where the sentiment is ‘people do what they do because it is in the best interest of what they beleive’. It would be tough to ‘prove’ anyone purposely steered a climate policy (including the IPCC) one way or another since policy making on this scale is much larger than any one indiviual or group of indivduals and spans many global boundries. Regardless and unfortunately I am sure there are attorneys preparing litigation against energy producers right now anticipating AGW or ACC as the reason for some plaintiff’s plight. Is this the type of accountablity you would condone?

      • John, I’d be interested in more of your thoughts on this. We are mostly talking about ethics for communicating risk to the public. Scientists do not make policy but they frequently are in the role of communicating risks/warnings to the public on many issues other than climate change e.g. health issues, agricultural issues, water contamination, etc. The issue is discussed in many other science-related fields and the goal of accountability is judged by the public.

        The major responsibility of a lot of risk communication protocol is based in the need to alert the public to concerns but I think most people would say that this cannot be based on weak evidence or poor information, and should include acknowledgement of significant weaknesses in conclusions. In other words, it has to be well informed. I think the IPCC has generally done that, but could do better. Democratic as well as scientific principles are part of IPCC procedures, policies, etc., but the risk communication protocol has been underdeveloped.

        On the other hand, the media hype and misinformation by a number of individuals in public roles e.g. Ian Plimer, has often been outrageously ill- informed.

        I think we can evaluate the goals of accountability in ethical terms that are essentially demanded and ‘policed’ by the process of public discourse and judged according to how well it promotes participation in decision-making. We need information and access to informed resources in order to make judgements about what is in our interests and understand the interests of others.

        And the goal for communicators is to better evaluate the content of their messaging.

        Your further thoughts?

      • John Carpenter

        Martha,

        “I think we can evaluate the goals of accountability in ethical terms that are essentially demanded and ‘policed’ by the process of public discourse and judged according to how well it promotes participation in decision-making. We need information and access to informed resources in order to make judgements about what is in our interests and understand the interests of others.”

        I agree. However, there is a ‘trust’ factor that is assumed to be working properly for this process to work. We are having ‘trust’ problems and it’s percieved on both sides of the debate for different reasons. I don’t think re-hashing the details of why there is distrust will advance our conversation. It should be recognized that there is distrust and trust is the most important part of meaningful communication.

        How do we gain or, for some, re-gain the trust in the process of communicating climate science? Goodwin suggest one way is to make the scientists more accountable. You added that ‘contrarians’ should also be made accountable as well. I agree this is one way… but this method approaches communication from the direction of distrust. Accountability with ‘serious consequenses’ will not be an effective means IMO. It looks better on paper than in practice because it is based on fear. Fear of ‘serious consequences’ will not provide an open and transparent communication environment. The more information available to those opposed to your findings the more potential it could be used against you unwittlingly. It is one reason why I find no merit in pursuing legal actions against Micheal Mann or the Hockey Team in general over ‘climategate’ etc…

        The second option,

        “… because global climate change is not directly perceptible by ordinary means, scientist-communicators will need to develop and convey indicators which make future climate change visible to non-scientists in the same way that a car’s soundness or the local weather is visible. In sum, to earn the public’s trust in their risk communication, scientists must accept a risk themselves–the risk of being shown to be wrong.”

        along with what Judith adds;

        “This argument explains why the hockeystick controversy just won’t go away: it is the loss of trust of scientists that won’t given an inch in terms of acknowledging a mistake, particularly one pointed out by an “outsider” or skeptic.”,

        I agree with. I guess I view this as increased transparancy, acknowledging the uncertainties better, and personal humility. The first two can be achieved pretty easily. I don’t know how humility can be meted out, it is a personal trait you either have or you don’t derived from heredity and your personal life experiences.

        I don’t know if I have said anything meaningful to you, but it is some of my further thoughts as you asked.

    • Trust Martha to be Machiavellian

  74. The average “Joe” that is effected by policies stemming from or advocated by climate scientists must pay the bill. The scientists are mostly on a government pay and see less effect to the pay checks/business. Add to that when seen from a distance climate scientists and advocates don’t seem to really believe what they say, in that, they don’t change life styles, business, haibits, etc.
    Example is Sir Branson and big believer in AGW but he runs an airline. If he truly believed he would shut the airline down. Same for Ford jr. Shut down Ford motors.
    Anyone who truly believes the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere is harming the enviroment should immediately stop any practice that adds CO2, period. Judy you should shut down this blog, switch to electric heat/AC(no coal or gas), ride a bike everywhere, etc.
    But this is not about AGW it is about control of people. If I can control how much energy you can have and what the cost is then I can control you. It has always been about control.

  75. Dr.Curry, I apologize for the assertion which is implicit in my questions. I do not intend to insult, and genuinely don’t have any idea whether my concern is legitimate.

    Of the research you report or speak of here and elsewhere in public, have you always read the entire papers? Are you sufficiently up to speed on the science, physics, maths, statistical methodology to determine if the claimed results are supported by the work?

    It seems to me that climate study covers a pretty broad range of scientific expertise and that to really (REALLY) keep up could consume more time than reasonably available.

    The question then comes down to trust. Whom do you trust? How do you decide whom to trust?

    Quite frankly, I worry far more about how the people who are directly involved in this area communicate with each other, how they decide who among them is trustworthy and how they advance the art together (hopefully) than how they describe their work (usually the conclusions, and often just their recommended cure) to the rest of us.

    If I had confidence that you all are communicating among yourselves honestly and with recognition to the limits of your individual expertise and were careful not to broadcast the products of work you didn’t fully understand yourself, I’d feel a lot better not understanding these things myself.

    I am certain, that you read the same newspapers the rest of us do and like many of us, cringe whenever you see “Scientists have determined…….” and then can immediately sense an inadequately conducted study leading to a conclusion which is probably insupportable by the work itself.

    I might add, that whenever you write about scientists wanting to “inform” policy, my stomach hurts.

    I would be absolutely delighted to learn that you never take work in your area on “faith.” Maybe that isn’t realistic. you tell me.

    Thank you again for spending the time that managing this very useful site must take.

  76. Climate scientists can aid in the process of public education about their disciplines.

    Here is an example. A Seattle Times, hoping to advance AGW, parroted Tom Karl and NCDC data, wrote a misleading ” new normal for weather” article based upon increases of temperature at Sea-Tac Airport during the last decade. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015541919_climate08m.html This article made no mention of the influence on temperature from the newly constructed 3drunway.

    Cliff Mass, a professor of meteorology at U of WA, and an associate compared temperatures at Sea-Tac with other weather stations in the area before during and after the runway was built. His study showed that the influence of the runway was an increase of more than 1.5F during in the summer from 2002 to date.

    Dr Mass’ blog post on the issue, the news article, and blog post by Antohony Watts are at:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/17/see-temps-rise-at-sea-tac/

    BTW, Dr Mass acknowledges that he believes the greenhouse gas warming hypothesis.

    I submit that this is how ethical scientists should respond to patently obvious AGW hockum that is designed to mislead the general public.

  77. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, as always your postings are a joy, my thanks for the blog.

    Regarding the subject of the thread, Jean Goodwin correctly sees that people lost trust in climate scientists as a result of the Cilmategate revelations.

    She then seems to forget that the issue is broken trust, and discusses a very interesting but somewhat unrelated topic. This is, how do you build trust? She makes a fascinating distinction between peripheral and central trust, and draws good inferences and practical information from the distinction.

    And all of that trust building would be great, in fact it sounds very much like an instruction manual for anthropologists making the first contact with a society of primitive scientists and wishing to earn their trust.

    But that’s not the situation. The situation isn’t about how to build trust from the ground up, starting from zero. It’s not about building trust.

    It is how to repair badly ruptured and broken trust, which is a very different question. We’re not starting from neutral here. The public was lied to, cozened, cheated by some of the leading lights of the AGW movement. Adding insult to injury, after getting away with it for some years, they walked with no consequences when it was discovered.

    In a funny way, Judith, I’ve been absurdly naive in the whole climate issue. I first got in touch with Phil Jones because I couldn’t believe a serious, world-renowned scientist would refuse to share data with a colleague (not me, Warwick Hughes) for fear the colleague would (gasp) try to find fault with the work. Foolish me, huh?

    Then, when I got no response from Phil and filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for his data, I naively assumed that the University of East Anglia (UEA) would comply in a forthright and honest manner. Foolish again, I know. Instead, I got the endless runaround of excuses, each of which when punctured merely led to another. Later, their emails revealed that they’d been scheming behind the scenes to deny my (and others’) FOI requests..

    Then, when Climategate broke, I read the emails carefully and foolish me, I expected a storm of condemnation of the actions of the un-indicted co-conspirators from the decent, honest climate scientists that I knew were out their. With a couple of exception like you, Judith, the silence was deafening.

    But at least there would be a serious investigation, I foolishly thought. The UEA promised the investigation would be truly independent of UEA meddling, and then they went out and hired someone to run the independent investigation … who was an eighteen year employee of UEA. The investigation was a sham, they not only didn’t get the answers, they never even asked the questions.

    That’s where we’re starting from. Not from “how can we build on existing trust” in a theoretical sense, as the authors approach the question. But how can we repair fractured, smashed, and repeatedly destroyed trust … which is a very different question.

    And because we are starting from there, all of the very interesting ideas about peripheral and central don’t apply. We don’t trust the mainstream AGW scientists because a) their leading lights, their main men, were caught red-handed in actions which were anti-scientific, unethical, and perhaps illegal, and b) to a man they refused to take the slightest responsibility for their actions or admit they were wrong in any way, and c) they rigged the “investigations” so that they have suffered no adverse effects for their actions from their institutions or from the general society of their scientific peers.

    Now, when people have been lied to and cheated on that scale, and the investigations have been subverted, and the perpetrators are still invited to speak to scientific societies … in that situation Judith, is clarifying the difference between peripheral and central cognition of much value? I mean sure, in a theoretical sense it’s a good clean valuable distinction, I like it. And it provides a conceptual framework for why all of the framing and spin that the AGW folks are going for seems to have backfired, viz:

    Further, in a controversy as heated as that over global climate change, appeals to peripheral processing may be ineffective because when detected and called out by opponents, the communication techniques may appear manipulative and even fallacious. Not only will such messages be unpersuasive, they will tend to further increase distrust in the communicators.

    But in terms of solving the current impasse? While it is a valuable insight, I don’t see that distinction of peripheral and central as being … well … central to the current schism. The authors are all about how to build trust upwards starting from zero or some low level, when that’s not the question at all. What is needed is a manual for what to do when your side has totally blown people’s trust through your leaders’ unethical and perhaps illegal actions. That’s the issue that the AGW supporters need to deal with, the issue that the essay by Jean Goodwin doesn’t begin to address.

    Thank you for the link to my half of our earlier discussion.

    My best to you,

    w.

    PS – The situation is not helped by the unending stream of very poor science and outlandish claims that are getting through peer review. It seems that in climate science far too many reviewers are just phoning it in.

    Because you see, you rightly identify the issue as one of lack of trust … but given the continuing shower of junk masquerading as science, and given the fact that we’ve been lied to over and over … isn’t a complete lack of trust in the AGW side the rational, logical, and almost inescapable position right now? Maybe at some time in the future it would be logical to trust the AGW mainstream, but not at this time in the century. There’s no sign they’ve changed their ways. No sign they’ll do any different. No hint of remorse. Given the historical evidence, at this point I’d say anyone who trusts either the peripheral or central claims of the AGW side of the debate is a fool.

    • John Whitman

      Willis,

      This all goes back to the fundamental question, “Where is the self-correction mechanism of climate science community?”

      The answer to that question stretches across the goverment process for funding science, the structural faults of the IPCC, the lack professional standards for intellectual integrity and not the least just common respect for non-scientists.

      The academic article Judith posted her was stimuating . . . . but it missed the point that integrity isn’t complicated as it would appear the article makes it out to be . . . . except it did not address integrity.

      John

      John

      • Agreed — the fundamental question is why isn’t climate science self-correcting?

        And that means that the ultimate cause of a fatal loss of trust in climate science is not all the bad actors and bad actions (a small portions of which Willis outlined in the post to which you respond). Ultimately, the blame lies with all the rest of the community which cared so little for integrity and reputation that they remained silent or even joined in solidarity with all the bad actors.

        An honest discipline peopled with professionals of integrity would never have put the rubber stamp of approval to the bad actors. So climate science failed. Trust was forfeited. The end.

      • “the fundamental question is why isn’t climate science self-correcting?”

        The answer is, it is.

        As for a fatal loss of trust in climate science, it’s not justified. Akin to creationists claiming they’ve lost trust in biological sciences.

      • lolwot –
        You’re descending into the Third Circle of Fantasy. If you’re not careful, you’ll soon be joining Robert in the Fourth Circle. Were you abducted by aliens – again?

        If climate science were self-correcting, climategate would never have happened and this blog would never have been started.

      • It isn’t a matter of if it’s self correcting. It is self correcting.

        But when you have a large group of people desperately trying to blow any small mistake, or even just a perceived mistake, into a fully blown scandal, it’s impossible for that not to be self-fulfilling.

      • John Kannarr

        lolwot

        Please explain how withholding data is a small mistake, or a perceived mistake. Explain that this practice is in any way legitimate science.

      • Try to get Mann to stop using corrupt proxies.
        Try to get anyone in the community to correct the mistake.
        Piltdown man stayed in the science for 40 years.
        we’ll see how long it takes siltdown mann to remove the corrupt sediment proxies.

    • simon abingdon

      “hired someone to run the independent investigation … who was an eighteen year employee of UEA”. Seems it might have been someone else willis if you’re abreast of developments in the UK..

    • andrew adams

      Then, when I got no response from Phil and filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for his data, I naively assumed that the University of East Anglia (UEA) would comply in a forthright and honest manner. Foolish again, I know. Instead, I got the endless runaround of excuses, each of which when punctured merely led to another.

      While I’m not defending UEA’s handling of the FoI requests, which was clearly inadequate, this kind of response would not be atypical of many public bodies in the UK, UEA is hardly unique in the is respect. Did you appeal to the ICO?

    • Hank Zentgraf

      Willis,
      How different do you think Climate Science integrity would be if the initial UN IPCC mission statement in 1988 was written in a way to encourage a full understanding of the climate system including all internal and external forcing factors, natural and man-made rather than one which introduced a bias toward man-made CO2 emissions?

    • A lot of words, Willis, to say, “Fool me once … ”

      ;)

  78. Academia seriously let down America and made a mockery of our childish belief that universal state-funded education would help humanity rise above superstition and ignorance. AGW theory has amounted to nothing more than schoolteachers throwing grenades inside classroom windows with no concern as to the consequences on the individual and to society and the culture.

    The Medium is the Message: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    • The consensus is that rising CO2 causes warming. Those effects on that numberwatch page are mostly hypotheses about the impacts of that. Many competing hypotheses? That’s science.

      • The consensus is that rising CO2 causes warming.

        So why is it not happening?

        Those effects on that numberwatch page are mostly hypotheses about the impacts of that. Many competing hypotheses? That’s science.

        Unless those hypotheses challenge the consensus. Then, according to you. they’re “denial”. Horse puckey.

      • It is happening.

        None of those hypotheses are consensus that I see. They are mostly hypotheses of what will happen in a warmer world.

      • lolwot –
        It is happening.

        It hasn’t happened for the last 13 years. Except maybe in your fntasy world.

        None of those hypotheses are consensus that I see. They are mostly hypotheses of what will happen in a warmer world.

        IOW, they’re fantasies; predictions without reason or fact; fortune telliing. But YOU were the one who called them science

      • it has happened for the last 13 years. In the real world.

        All those hypotheses are based on nothing? I doubt it

      • All those hypotheses are based on nothing? I doubt it

        Still haven’t learned to read, eh. they’re fantasies; predictions without reason or fact; fortune telliing. But YOU were the one who called them science

      • I believe you’re missing the point by a country mile.
        How many of those do you think may be true?

      • You have no sense of the ridiculous, do you?
        Where is your condemnation of even the most ridiculous of those ‘hypotheses’?
        Where is the scientific community’s condemnation of them? The silence is deafening. Yet they’re quite ready to pounce on the slightest perceived error in what sceptics say.

      • pick one that’s ridiculous

      • All those hypotheses are based on nothing? I doubt it
        pick one that’s ridiculous

        It was called “Africagate” a year or so ago.
        BTW – 3 mouse clicks – 3 attacks. Hope you’ve got good virus protection.

        http://www.countercurrents.org/cc-grice140706.htm

        They will have to cope with more droughts, more extreme temperatures and sudden and intense rainfall causing greater food insecurity, loss of income, higher death rates and more diseases. Research by the department to assess the impact on Africa by 2050, taking account of poverty forecasts, suggests that southern Africa and the Sahel, the Great Lakes areas and the coastal zones of eastern and western Africa will be particularly at risk.

  79. The idea of building trust has some merit in say marital breakdown.
    A client employs an engineer to build a bridge.
    The bridge collapses it is determined that not only was the engineer criminally negligant she/he also took bribes from the contractor.
    There is no possibility of trust ever being restored.
    Of course most engineers are professsional and fortunately the above scenario is extremely rare.
    Also please will posters stop saying its a loss of trust in scientists, that is not the case. The trust has been lost in self named climate science due the activities of The Fiddlestick Team and their adoring entourage.

  80. Trust in climate communication…

    How would this statement from the director general of CERN increase trust (from WUWT)?

    “CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.
    “I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them,” reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?
    Because, Heuer says, “That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.””

    All kinds of speculations are now possible. It might be completely harmless and there might be an explainable context but if he himself acknowledges the existance of a “highly political arena of the climate change debate”, it is most definitely not a wise thing to say…

    And that all coming after the new research of “anthropogenic global pause” (the pause that oh so recently did not exist, like the knights who so recently used to say “ni”) of “anthropogenic global warming”.

    • forgot to mention also “the debate that oh so recently did not exist”…

    • simon abingdon

      Sven, I think Heuer glimpses a flinty path ahead and seeks to establish a scientific neutrality from the outset. Nothing wrong with that. The interpretations are for later. They will come.

      • Sure that might be but I think that it’s only logical (and fair) that the skeptics or agnostics will speculate that the results (that no one has actually seen yet) have to be supporting Svensmark and thus go against the”consensus”. And that he would not have said what he said had the results been supporting the “mainstream”. At least he should have seen the danger and if his intentions were what you suggest he should have been more clear in what he had in mind. Not very wise one way or another, I think.

      • Yea the skeptics will spin it somehow whatever happens.

      • And the skeptics are the only spinners, right?

      • Put it this way. I usually find the more measured and informed analyses elsewhere

      • Oh I see – you mean like at Realclimate, Tamino or Climate Progress?

      • It is obvious the believers are seeking to control the CERN results.
        I think that would be more significant to a reasonable person.

      • And one more thing. He seems to give at least some guide lines for interpretation (or damage control?) already as his statement that I quoted ended with “One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.” That, in itself, is of course true, but why these instructions then?

  81. There are some skeptics who would like the consequences of vulnerability to be punitive (like in the age of Galileo). I think it is unfair if a scientist publishes firmly stated views that are later proved wrong, that they should suffer a consequence beyond their reputation. I am sure Mann’s, Lindzen’s and Spencer’s mistakes of the past are weight enough for them to bear, and being genuine scientific mistakes they are just part of the evolving debate.
    In terms of the article it comes down to the meaning of “significant consequences” of being wrong. Obviously whatever it is, it should be applied to publishing scientists on both sides of the debate.

    • Everybody makes mistakes – it’s the consequences of those mistakes (or the mitigation thereof) which makes the difference.
      Many people – including myself, to a certain extent – can make literally deadly mistakes, which is why rigorous checks and balances are in place in most industries.
      Can you imagine, for example, a medical researcher trying to discourage others from rigorously checking and testing their work? Or even worse, trying to hide or play down their mistakes?
      If you’re not prepared to bear the consequences of being wrong then you should ensure that you’re right before publishing your work.

    • Did I overlooked some letter of errata where by M. Mann or P. Jones wrote a phrase with “I” and “mistake” in the same sentence. Got a link handy?

      A quick Google search… this does not fit the bill: The [Penn State] report even admits to ignoring a respected scientist when he told them their conclusions were wrong. http://www.zimbio.com/Michael+Mann/articles/y8bQHsQnTEv/Penn+State+Michael+Mann+whitewash

      • The linked piece says:

        “While Mann’s famous hockey stick curve was exposed as false by both the National Academy of Sciences report and the Wegman committee report (PDF), the Penn State committee consulted neither.”

        The statement itself is false. Neither Wegman or the National Academy of Sciences said Mann’s Hockey Stick was false.

      • M. carey –
        Both Wegman or the National Academy of Sciences said Mann’s Hockey Stick, even if right, was bad science and that his methods were wrong so the results were not to be trusted. They also failed to replicate his results even with his data and code on his computer. IOW – the hockey stick was not replicable and was therefore not science.

  82. Dear JC
    Its your blog and it is to your credit that you allow criticism.
    Remember a critic is just like a eunuch at a harem, they like what they see, they would like to be able to do it but they can’t. So what do they do well criticise those that can :-)
    Keep up the good work and have a good day/evening.
    Regards

  83. I am an engineer who worked at NASA for 44 years. I look at the temperature data that NOAA presents from Ice Core data from the Antarctic and from Greenland for the past ten thousand years. That temperature data has been stable in a narrow range, compared to the thousands and millions of years before this new unprecedented stable period. The current temperature increase and the current temperature are well inside the stable range of the past ten thousand years. NOAA and NASA and other Climate Scientists have no data that is out of that range. The only “evidence” they have to say the warming is unprecedented and unstable is the output of the “So Called, Consensus Climate Models.” For the past ten years, the Models have been wrong. Ten Thousand Years of Stable Data is a better predictor of the Future Temperature than the Extrapolations of the Climate Models that have been wrong, time and time again. This Stable Range does have extremes that people alive now have not experienced, but they are nothing like the unstable climate models predict. We do have Climate Change, but it is in the new stable range that was established by ocean level changes during the last major warming from the last major ice age. It is different this time but not different like they are telling us. This warm period is more stable in a good range than earth has ever had before. Look at the Temperature Data for Yourself.

    • Herman Alexander Pope, 7/18/11, 2:12 pm, trust

      Not all data are created equal. The part of the Vostok ice core record that includes temperature consists of 283 samples going back 414,085 years. In other words, the data are sampled every 1,463 years. The entire temperature 140-year history from thermometers is only a tenth as long as that period. The CO2 history from Mauna Loa is only 50 years long. On that basis alone, and considering the thermometer and MLO records as events, the chances that the Vostok record would have included an equivalent temperature event is about 10%, and the chances of sampling an event as long the CO2 instrument record is about 3.4%. You can view those as confidence levels that the modern temperature and CO2 records are unprecedented. That’s off the bottom of the scale of what science ever expects, which is maybe 80%, or more often 90%, 95%, or 99% confidence. That the modern records are unprecedented over the last half million years would be 50% by a coin toss.

      Another aspect of ice core data is that the process of closure of firn ice acts as a mechanical low pass filter. The firn is porous for somewhere between 30 and 1500 years, depending on subsequent snow fall. If the Vostok record is to be compared with either modern record, the modern record would have to be comparably low pass filtered. The result is that the Vostok record sharply attenuates any effect that could be considered transient over a millennium and a half. The Vostok record also is heavily lagged, but investigators have an algorithm that adjusts between ice age and gas age. See here

      http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JD006488.shtml

      for a discussion. A lot of uncertainty remains in the relation between these ages, but we usually just assume that the gas date is at least unbiased.

      As a result, even if an ice core sample hit the center of one of these events, it would be sharply attenuated, and maybe not even recognized in the noise.

      Thirdly, as far as the CO2 record is concerned, Vostok sits inside the Antarctic CO2 sink, while MLO sits in the plume of the massive outgassing from the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. MLO CO2 should register much higher than the rest of the globe, and especially greater than ice core data. IPCC appears to have calibrated the differences out of existence.

      IPCC does not consider these differences in the character of the data, but just glues ice core data onto modern instrument records to create a whole family of highly dubious hockey stick constructions. That is not the professional way to do data reduction, but it is suitably inflammatory for the lay public and to real scientists. Like neutrinos passing through iridium, IPCC’s scientific errors pass right through the crowd that judges AGW through trust, through subjective probabilities and the subjective version of Bayes hypothesis testing, through extreme weather events, and by the size and qualifications of an alleged AGW consensus.

      The Vostok record is immensely important. It shows that atmospheric CO2 is a proxy for surface temperature with a lag of about 1000 years. This effect is not in the GCMs.

      A second important aspect is that Vostok shows that the present warm state of 0ºC is approaching the peaks of the previous four warm states of about 3ºC ± 1ºC, all expressed as anomalies. Thus Earth has about 3ºC to go from natural causes, at least averaged over one or two millennia. That is the same amount IPCC GCMs predict a doubling of CO2 will cause, but which is not materializing. Unfortunately, modelers initialize those GCMs as of 1750, essentially t = 0 for ice core resolution, with all natural rates zeroed. This means that IPCC wrongly attributes the on-going natural rates to humans. But that does not upset what IPCC assumed in 1998 when it revised its 1988 charter from conducting a scientific investigation into assessing the gravity of AGW.

      A scientist would say from these considerations that the models are faulty, that they need to be revised to account for the Vostok record. That is true enough, but it is a tempest in a tea pot. The bigger problem is that the instrument records show that Earth’s temperature record is accurately predictable from the best solar intensity model with a simple transfer function with lots of degrees of freedom left over, and moreover that the atmosphere contains a somewhat mysterious amplifier of the Sun, an amplifier confirmed by two separate peer-reviewed studies, of all things! That mystery is solved when cloudiness, a parameter modeled with no fidelity in the GCMs, is taken into account. Clouds amplify the Sun and mitigate warming. These are the things that IPCC needed to have repaired before it ever alarmed the public with its AGW model. CO2 is left out in the cold with no measurable role in climate variability.

      • Vostok is not the globe

      • lolwot, 7/18/11, 4:57 pm, trust

        Vostok is not the globe.

        What’s your point? I’ve already discussed the regional bias in CO2, showing that neither Vostok nor MLO is global.

        The story is different with the Vostok temperature proxy, which is derived from the temperature sensitivity of isotopic ratios of oxygen and deuterium. Unlike CO2 concentration, these gases have no known localized sources to create a geographical bias in isotopic ratios, or anything else. Vostok would produce a temperature bias, but that should be well ameliorated by using temperature anomalies. Good justification exists to take Vostok temperature anomalies as global.

      • So you knew what I was talking about then. Temperature.

        “Good justification exists to take Vostok temperature anomalies as global.”

        I don’t think so. What a joke.

      • Careful, you are not listening again.

      • Instrument records are very short term in the history of the earth. Curve fitting short term temperature as a function of CO2 or as a function of solar intensity is no proof. Some data is based on measured parameters. Some data is extracted from that based on unproven theories. That data is then used in curve fits to prove the unproven theories. That result is then published as a consensus fact. For example, solar cycles are extracted from temperature data and then used to prove itself as a driver. Solar cycles are a driver, but they cannot explain the extreme stability of the earth temperature over the past ten thousand years.

      • Herman Alexander Pope, 7/19/11, 12:22 am, trust

        Instrument records are very short term in the history of the earth.

        As in comparing a decade of satellite data to 4.5E9 for the age of the Earth? That’s a defeatist approach to the inevitable problem of sampling.

        Curve fitting short term temperature as a function of CO2 or as a function of solar intensity is no proof.

        First, science doesn’t strive for proof, which is left to mathematics and logic. Science requires that models first fit all the data in their domain, and then that they make non-trivial predictions validated by future observations. Scientific models progress in quality from conjecture, to hypothesis, to theory, and to law.

        Second, the scientist needs to use as long a record as he can. If its short term , so be it. He cannot be discouraged because he has only one part in 450E8, or some other meaningless fraction.

        If a scientist wants to test whether a relationship exists between parameters, he searches for a mathematical function within ordered sets called mathematical relations. The mathematical function becomes the transfer function between independent and dependent variables. The mathematical relation is best visualized by the scatter diagram. The skill of the scientist now comes into play in removing confounding relationships (e.g., means, diurnal or seasonal effects), in estimating the statistics between the parameters with and without detrending (linear or higher order), in postulating mathematical relationships for testing, and in estimating how much the power in the dependent variable can be estimated from each candidate relationship. This is all done by correlation, which is disparaged by those not familiar with the science by calling it curve fitting. It’s akin to calling evolution only a theory.

        Some data is based on measured parameters. Some data is extracted from that based on unproven theories.

        First, theories are validated hypotheses. Both are scientific models. None are proven, even when they advance to laws.

        Second, the process of extracting what you call data from measured data is called estimating. It is advanced in the field of Estimation Theory. This field goes unrecognized for the most part on this blog. A thoughtful paper by Tony Brown was a thread here, one that generated almost 500 comments, though mostly tweets. In it, he concluded,

        The basic historic temperature data, land or surface, used in good faith by climate scientists, statisticians and analysts does not appear to meet basic quality control measures and are not fit for purpose-that of consistently determining temperatures to tenths of a degree. Historic Sea Surface Temperatures in particular are highly uncertain and should not be considered as any sort of reliable measure.

        What Tony was addressing was the error in collecting the raw data of SST(latitude, longitude, time). However, SST is not a one-dimensional variable, but is a 5-dimensional vector variable with depth in the surface layer. See http://ghrsst-pp.metoffice.com/pages/sst_definitions/ . Data form different sources may be combined along with models to create a best estimate for SST at any depth with less error than contained in the raw data. Common models used at this stage might remove outliers or contaminated data or provide calibration of raw data, each providing improved estimates. These data may be vertically integrated into gridded data for GCMs, into a measure of SST over the entire ocean for modeling humidity to estimate the greenhouse effect and cloudiness, and then integrated with terrestrial data according to a model sensitive to heat capacity to produce the Global Average Surface Temperature which defines global warming. Each stage of this integration process creates, or has the potential to create, new estimates of SST or its derivatives of successively less error. At the end of the line, the estimates of GAST have been demonstrably excellent.

        That data is then used in curve fits to prove the unproven theories. That result is then published as a consensus fact. For example, solar cycles are extracted from temperature data and then used to prove itself as a driver. Solar cycles are a driver, but they cannot explain the extreme stability of the earth temperature over the past ten thousand years.

        To the contrary, no proof is involved, at least to the extent that the investigators are following the principles of science. Consensus plays a role in scientific recognition, but none in the scientific method. Science generally uses the word fact formally to mean a datum, an observation measured and compared to a standard. Scientists use fact casually to communicate between peers, or publicly for puffery or to create immense confusion.

        Science is the objective branch of knowledge. It has zero tolerance for the subjective. Whether a model explains or describes is subjective, and outside of science. A better term is to say that models account for things, for parameter values, where that accounting promises an objectivity.

      • Albedo is not mentioned in this entire blog and not in most of the other blogs. When the oceans are warm, Arctic Ice Melts and Arctic Ocean Effect Snow increases Albedo. When the oceans are cold, Arctic Water Freezes and Arctic Ocean Effect Snow stops and Ice retreats and Albedo decreases. This is the Thermostat of the Earth! This has kept the temperature of the earth extremely stable for the past ten thousand years and will continue. This range is extreme by modern standards, but nothing like what the unstable climate models, based on CO2, extrapolate to.

      • Herman Alexander Pope, 7/19/11, 12:30 am, trust

        Albedo is not mentioned in this entire blog and not in most of the other blogs. When the oceans are warm, Arctic Ice Melts and Arctic Ocean Effect Snow increases Albedo. When the oceans are cold, Arctic Water Freezes and Arctic Ocean Effect Snow stops and Ice retreats and Albedo decreases. This is the Thermostat of the Earth! This has kept the temperature of the earth extremely stable for the past ten thousand years and will continue. This range is extreme by modern standards, but nothing like what the unstable climate models, based on CO2, extrapolate to.

        How about this?

        The major feedback in the climate system is cloud albedo in the warm state and surface albedo in the cold state. IPCC admits cloud feedback is the greatest source of uncertainty in its models, which have yet to represent dynamic feedback. Cloud feedback is fast and positive in response to solar radiation. It is the diurnal burn off effect, and surely the major cause of the measured Stott, et al. (2003) (ignored by IPCC on other grounds) and Tung, et al. (2008) solar amplification yet to be represented in the GCMs. Cloud feedback is slow and negative in response to surface temperature, the Clausius-Clapeyron effect, mitigating warming from any cause. The slow cloud albedo effect reduces the GCM correspondingly open loop climate sensitivity by a factor of 3 to 10. Jeff Glassman, 5/25/11, 10:00 am, thread: What we agree(?) on.

        Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) once a scientific conjecture, and now no longer meeting those minimum standards for a scientific model, was once called the Callendar Effect. Read Callendar, G. S. ,The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and Its Influence on Temperature, paying special attention to the review by George Simpson, the response by Callendar, and his observation in the main body:

        Thus a change of water vapour, sky radiation and temperature is corrected by a change of cloudiness and atmospheric circulation, the former increasing the reflection loss and thus reducing the effective sun heat.

        For an in-depth discussion, see my post of 7/3/11, 6:19 pm, thread: Unknown and uncertain sea surface temperatures.

      • You say: The modern records are unprecedented over the last half million years would be 50% by a coin toss.
        I would say that the modern records are unprecedented over the last half million years would be 0% by any reasonable consideration.
        You said the data is not there to prove otherwise.

      • Herman Alexander Pope, 7/19/11, 12:38 am, trust

        You say: The modern records are unprecedented over the last half million years would be 50% by a coin toss.

        I would say that the modern records are unprecedented over the last half million years would be 0% by any reasonable consideration.

        You said the data is not there to prove otherwise.

        What I actually said was,

        That the modern records are unprecedented over the last half million years would be 50% by a coin toss. Bold added.

        When you omitted That you emasculated the sentence. The original meaning was the following. If some investigator wanted to decide whether a proposition (e.g., TMRAUOTLHMY) is valid, he could do so with a coin and have 50% confidence in the result. That was to compare with the 10% confidence provided by the data.

        I’m unsure how to parse your version. Are you talking about a 0% confidence level? Is that still the probability that the proposition is true? Wouldn’t that mean that the confidence in the proposition being false is 100%?

        I did not even hint that the data provided a 0% confidence in the unprecedented proposition being valid. The conclusion you could draw is this: Whether either modern record of temperature or CO2 record is unprecedented is a coin toss, given the paleo record.

        As far as the proposition is concerned, a coin toss is better than the data. The problem is not particularly in the strengths or weaknesses in the data records, but in the deductive skills of the investigator in analyzing data. IPCC intended unprecedented claims to demonstrate anthropogenic causes in the modern record. This action is not only unwarranted on the facts, but violates a principle of science that correlation does not establish causation.

        From these considerations, you could deduce that the corresponding hockey stick representations are junk. And daring to venture into the legal, because those who prepared the hockey sticks would profit from the junk they manufactured, the charge may prove out that the hockey sticks are the product of fraud.

    • Excellent and to the point.

      One consolation is that no matter what the modelers and their employers or followers do or do not do, the behavior of the planet and the “temperature record” will not alter a jot. “… the radiative component of heat transfer of CO2, though relevant at the temperatures in combustion chambers, can be neglected at atmospheric temperatures. The influence of carbonic acid on the Earth’s climates is definitively unmeasurable[ly small].”

  84. JC said:
    “My own experience in making public presentations about climate change has found that discussing the uncertainties increases the public trust in what scientists are trying to convey and doesn’t detract from the receptivity to understanding climate change risks (they distrust alarmism). ”
    __________

    If the public thinks scientists claim to predict future climate change with certainty, the public has been misled, and it’s probably the fault of the media. I hope the public understands scientists are predicting what seems likely, based on the evidence available.

    I think people tend to mistrust anyone who tells them something they don’t want to believe. People who don’t want to believe man’s activities can cause climate change are not going to trust evidence to the contrary.

    • Except they are not “predicting what seems likely, based on the evidence available,” only what seems likely to them personally, which is not said. Whether it is likely or not likely is the heart of the controversy. In short, this likelihood is mere speculation, speculation presented as fact. This is what an increasing number of the public understands. (The public per se understands nothing as it is a population, not a person.)

      For example, if the IPCC and USGCRP reports used the term “we think” liberally and properly, and made clear who “we” are, we might not be here today.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      M. carey | July 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      If the public thinks scientists claim to predict future climate change with certainty, the public has been misled, and it’s probably the fault of the media.

      James Hansen

      Burning all fossil fuels, if the CO2 is released into the air, would destroy creation, the planet with its animal and plant life as it has existed for the past several thousand years, the time of civilization, the Holocene, the period of relative climate stability, warm enough to keep ice sheets off North America and Eurasia, but cool enough to maintain Antarctic and Greenland ice, and thus a stable sea level.

      • Willis,
        The typical believer response is to blame the skeptic for quoting the AGW promoter correctly, and to dismiss the quote in its entirety,a long with the pesky denialist scum who was rude enough to actually use the quote.
        .

      • Ah-ha! But you see, Willis, Hansen isn’t an actual scientist, just a NASA-funded PR shill. So what he says doesn’t really “count” as part of the troo AGW scientifical corpus. So there!
        ;)

  85. “People who don’t want to believe man’s activities can cause climate change are not going to trust evidence to the contrary.”

    They will if the evidence is conclusive enough. Climate Science has yet to produce any conclusive evidence of AGW.

    Andrew

    • But the evidence of AGW is never conclusive enough for people who don’t want to believe AGW.

      • That is the problem. If you say there is no authority anywhere, and everything must be done by argument and persuasion (a fine sentiment, to be sure) you have to answer the question of how you plan to deal with people who refuse to concede they have lost on the facts, who keep a dead debate alive by simply insisting on irrational positions, demanding answers but refusing to accept them. At some point, you can only deal with such people by deciding that their record denies them credibility — and once you deny some people credibility, who have implicitly granted other people authority.

      • once you deny some people credibility, who have implicitly granted other people authority.

        So you’re a typical progressive – wanting an authoritarian government that would arbitrarily shut up your opponents.

        And typically, you fail to realize that that same government would also have the power to shut you up arbitrarily.

        >

      • John Whitman

        Robert,

        I see that you have a very deeply embedded/intrinsic need for a lot of authority in your intellectual life. I hope that chronic dependency is working out OK for you.

        I opt for each individual’s judgment, based on the actual evidence by observations of reality (climate direct, nada GCMs) to determine who they trust for having accurate climate science results. Each individual doing his own rational evaluate of each scientist with his own self-interested motivated initiative. Do not need a consensus that has a false image of quasi-authority; just need to voice our support of those whose efforts are demonstrated in the actual climate observations. Authority per se is irrelevant in our context. I think it works well for me and a few others.

        Shall I anticipate your response? A response that people who do not accept the IPCC led AGWist climate science need to be; 1) sent into re-education or 2) called big oil payees or 3) stopped from publishing or 4) censored or 5) hounded professionally or 6) exposed as ignorant or 7) branded or 8) etc.

        John

      • M. carey,

        Perhaps you could share with us the evidence you scrutinized that was conclusive enough for you.

        Andrew

      • Andrew,

        No one here is getting paid to educate you. Get a basic climatology text from anytime in the last twenty years and start at page one.

      • Robert,

        You’d think that sharing conclusive evidence of the biggest threat ever to mankind would be fairly simple to do.

        It would prolly only be difficult if there weren’t any evidence to share.

        Oh wait…

        Andrew

      • Robert,
        Your position is a revealed position, not a rational one. It is already demonstrated by you very well that you are not well versed in the science. We are seeking to understand your faith.

      • I don’t “believe” in gravity. It just is. There is a reason for it and we have no known exceptions. AGW by CO2 on the other hand requires “belief” because the reasons are many and we can point ot numerous examples of it not happening or the opposite happening. No any science that requires “want to believe” is not science.

        Further, the do as I say not as I do attitude of the many proponents of AGW shows to me they don’t actually believe what they say.

  86. “The public was lied to, cozened, cheated by some of the leading lights of the AGW movement. Adding insult to injury, after getting away with it for some years, they walked with no consequences when it was discovered.”
    _______

    Yes, they were exonerated, much to the dismay of their foes, who threw a lot of mud and continue to wallow in it.

    • M. carey –
      The word is NOT “exonerated” – it’s “whitewashed”.

      • Again, the delusional people waving nooses at scientists and threatening to rape children don’t get to chose the word — they were exonerated, repeatedly, and you need to somehow rebuild your shredded credibility before your cries of “Whitewash!” pass the laugh test.

      • simon abingdon

        Robert, you’re thinking of the 10:10 video, surely.

      • Still on the conspiracy fantasies, eh?

        Again, the delusional people waving nooses at scientists and threatening to rape children don’t get to chose the word —

        You need to prove those charges – the last time you tried it you presented a lie. Unsupported accusations from one who accuses others of throwing mud. Try again.

        they were exonerated, repeatedly,

        One cannot be exonerated if the charges are waived, but never examined. No matter how many times it happens.

    • And while they throw mud on people their repeated accusations have repeatedly failed to tarnish, their leading lights compare scientists to Nazis, claim to have the cure for HIV, wave nooses at people, falsify graphs, get caught taking millions from oil lobbyists and get their papers yanked for plagiarism — and yet, they feel they are in a position to lecture scientists about regaining credibility.

      I will believe in that when they show me they can regain — or gain for the first time — some credibility of their own.

      • Robert at 3.23 said

        “…their leading lights compare scientists to Nazis, claim to have the cure for HIV, wave nooses at people, falsify graphs etc….”

        Robert, who on earth do you believe our leading lights to be?

        tonyb

      • tonyb, 7/18/11, 4:00 pm, trust

        Sometimes Dr. Curry seems to be drilling through the mantle of subjectivity looking for science. Sometimes the pipe reaches, but she always plugs the hole and moves on. The field is covered in boreholes and no pumps. The fun seems to be in filling the muck bucket. Then up comes Robert, or Little-Old-Lady Waste-Of-Time, and she seems to have scored an archaeological coup by hitting an ancient, bacterially active, septic tank.

      • From a guy who uses ‘denier’ regularly.
        Robert, you are the Captain of irony, the Admiral sinking your own navy.

  87. Still on the conspiracy fantasies, eh?

    I will believe in that when they show me they can regain — or gain for the first time — some credibility of their own.

    Luckily for you, you’ve never had any credibility so you don’t have to regain it.

  88. I am not sure the skeptics can ever regain trust with the scientists. They’ve misrepresented and distorted the science too many times. The GISTEMP 1934 vs 1998 issue a classic case.

    Then we had the false accusations that NOAA had deleted all the cold stations in GHCN to produce warming.

    Many more scientists at this point just aren’t going to trust the skeptics, in fact that’s what led Phil Jones et al to refuse to deal with them.

    • Here we go again, the big lie, oft told! It is not the skeptics versus the scientists. It is the skeptical scientists versus the pro-AGW scientists (versus the pro CAGW scientists), and the skeptical non-scientists versus the pro-AGW non-scientists, etc., plus lots of folks in between. AGW dos not own the science. I repeat, AGW does not own the science. Say again. That is just a lie, the kind of ridiculous claim that has now come clear. The trust in science has been damaged by this lie, not by skepticism.

    • lolwot,
      Your blaming the skeptics for what the consensus scientists did is an amazing bit of sophistry.
      Your decision that 1934 vs 1998 changes were unimportant is oxymoronic: It was significant enough that GISS et al though it needed to be done, was trumpeted in AGW community as *proof* of the impending doom of climate apocalypse, and turned out to be yet another trumped bit of number torture.
      Now you blame the skeptics for pointing this out.
      Too bad, tt.
      Your rationalization is worthy of a Jesuit, but it is not going to hold up.

      • This quote is from a paper by James Hansen published in 2001:

        The U.S. annual (January-December) mean temperature is slightly warmer in 1934 than in 1998 in the GISS analysis (Plate 6). This contrasts with the USHCN data, which has 1998 as the warmest year in the century. In both cases the difference between 1934 and 1998 mean temperatures is a few hundredths of a degree. The main reason that 1998 is relatively cooler in the GISS analysis is its larger adjustment for urban warming. In comparing temperatures of years separated by 60 or 70 years the uncertainties in various adjustments (urban warming, station history adjustments, etc.) lead to an uncertainty of at least 0.1°C. Thus it is not possible to declare a record U.S. temperature with confidence until a result is obtained that exceeds the temperature of 1934 by more than 0.1°C.

        In 2007 Steve McIntyre sent an email. I’ve never read, but it is said he pointed out an unusual jump at a certain period. The scientists at NASA looked at it found the cause of the unusual jump and corrected it. They correct errors they find, or that other people find. He was thanked.

        As a result 1934 became the hottest year in the lower-48 (USA) temp record.

        <strong)And the bottom line is, that 1998 is no longer — you can say NASA made a reporting error or did they make a reporting error? Did they do this on purpose? How long have they known that it was erroneous and haven't corrected it? But the bottom line of this is that 1998 is no longer the hottest year on record. … Well, when 1934 was the hottest year on record, and NASA may know about it and doesn't correct the data, and when a guy named James Hansen involved in all this, who is a political activist, then you have to figure there is a reason why they want 1998 continue to be reported as the warmest year on record. – Rush Limbaugh

        Again, James Hansen, at a time when 1998 was slightly in the lead:

        … Thus it is not possible to declare a record U.S. temperature with confidence until a result is obtained that exceeds the temperature of 1934 by more than 0.1°C. …

      • Exactly JCH, thanks for digging this stuff up because to be honest I wouldn’t have bothered to do so.

        Hunter: “It was significant enough that GISS et al though it needed to be done, was trumpeted in AGW community as *proof* of the impending doom of climate apocalypse”

        Hunter is a classic case of why scientists don’t trust the skeptics. Just look at what he’s come up with there and not a bit of it is true.

        The only question is whether Hunter really thinks he remembers “GISS et al” doing that and it being “trumpeted in AGW community”, or whether he just thinks he can get away with it because noone can remember that far back to call him out on it.

      • How many of you are using direct quotes from skepticalscience.com without attribution?
        Apparently a lot.
        Good parrots.

      • John Kannarr

        JCH

        The disturbing issue is that I still see it regularly reported in articles in our local newspaper, generally nationaly-syndicated articles, concerning climate change, and by letter writers who have bought the years of misinformation but somehow never hear the corrections, that it is a fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record, or even that various years in the decade since then were just as hot as that “hottest year” on record. It seems that this a happy fiction continuing to be promoted by environmentalists and other global warming alarmists, and that no one in the climate science community is making any effort to acknowledge the NASA correction to the record. It is as though they are very comfortable with the continuing erroneous understanding propagated by the media, as it supports their ultimate purpose of alarmism. Surprise!

      • you are ever so slightly confused.

  89. lolwot –
    The GISTEMP 1934 vs 1998 issue a classic case.

    IIRC, 1934 was shown to be warmer and Hansen was forced to change his data base. Of course, that wouldn’t stop him from further manipulating the data to “correct” that.

    Then we had the false accusations that NOAA had deleted all the cold stations in GHCN to produce warming.

    How many USHCN stations are presently north of the Arctic Circle? How
    many were there in 1990? Until you can answer those questions, you’re simply parroting what you’ve been told.

    • 1934 and 1998 were statistically indistinguishable both before and after the correction. It was not newsworthy, but skeptics jumped on it because they knew they could run with the “1934 now the warmest year”. Hoping the public would think this was referring to something important like global temperature. When really it was just US temperature and also as they were both statistically tied both before and after the correction. In fact they had swapped places more than once before.

      Why would there be USHCN stations north of the arctic circle? What part of the US is in the arctic circle? I see you are making up new accusations. This is why there is a loss of trust in climate science (among certain political groups) because you’ve all made up and spread thousands of little false rumors and effectively fooled each other.

      The false accusation was that scientists had purposely deleted the colder stations. Not only was the claim logically false – deleting cold stations doesn’t logically make a record warmer, but it was also entirely false as the reason for the station dropoff after 1990 was public and documented, yet ignored for the sake of pushing the false accusation.

      • lolwot –
        For the sake of argument let’s stipulate this as true –
        1934 and 1998 were statistically indistinguishable both before and after the correction.

        In which case, you’ve just admitted that 1934 was as warm as 1998 – in spite of the difference in CO2 levels. And you think that’s not significant?

        Why would there be USHCN stations north of the arctic circle? What part of the US is in the arctic circle?

        Alaska

        But to get back on topic – I should have typed GHCN rather than USHCN – and the question still applies. How many GHCN stations are above the Arctic Circle?

        I see you are making up new accusations.

        I see your paranoia is working overtime. I made no accusation. When I want to do that, there’ll be no question about it – in anyone’s mind.

        To address your paranoia – a question was asked, discussed and answered. THAT is what science is about. That “you” didn’t like the question is utterly inconsequential and meaningless. As someone said :

        I think E.M.Smith’s hypothesis of bias introduced by selective culling of thermometers is a good hypothesis, but data will confirm or deny the hypothesis. We advance either way.

        That you don’t understand that attitude is a measure of your lack of knowledge of science.

        The false accusation was that scientists had purposely deleted the colder stations.

        Horse puckey. E.M. Smith went out of his way to stress that he found no evidence of that kind 0f activity. Your accusation is wthout merit.

      • Here’s the relevant quote:

        “NOAA stands accused by the two researchers of strategically deleting cherry-picked, cooler-reporting weather observation stations from the temperature data it provides the world through its National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). D’Aleo explained to show host and Weather Channel founder John Coleman that while the Hadley Center in the U.K. has been the subject of recent scrutiny, “[w]e think NOAA is complicit, if not the real ground zero for the issue.”

        And their primary accomplices are the scientists at GISS, who put the altered data through an even more biased regimen of alterations, including intentionally replacing the dropped NOAA readings with those of stations located in much warmer locales.”

        Also see this video 5:20 onwards. EM Smith himself saying stuff which will be immortalized on the internet forever:

        BTW the Russia announcement he claims was by a russian political think-tank. More revealing see 6:00 when Coleman asks EM Smith whether he thinks the first decade of the 21st century is the warmest on record. We know it is. The surface measurements show it and the satellite. But look how EM Smith answers the question….

        That enough for you?

      • Thanks for the video! Very informative!

    • andrew adams

      In which case, you’ve just admitted that 1934 was as warm as 1998 – in spite of the difference in CO2 levels. And you think that’s not significant?

      Not when it applies to an area which covers about 2% of the earth’s surface.

      Mind you, it may be instructive to look at the effect that those record temperatures had on certain parts of the US.

      • tempterrain

        1934 was as warm as 1998? No. Aren’t we talking about Global ie the entire world?
        I know that you guys have “World Series” in Baseball when you really mean American series. But I’d just make the point that if you do go west from LA or east from NY you don’t fall off the edge of the Earth.

        For a graph of Global warming see, for example.:

  90. Judith,

    I have just read the entire exchange between yourself and Willis E. on your original ‘building trust essay’. It is an interesting exercise. I have just one comment to make: In the end, Willis E. demands that you condemn scientific misconduct (and the subsequent transparently whitewashed investigations of such) when you see it. In the end, you simply refuse, saying it is not your place to do so.

    My question is: If it is not the place of the other professionals in the field to call out bad scientific behavior (and ineffective/insincere investigations), then whose is it? If it is not your place demand that a fellow climate scientist happily freely archive and make available all data, methods, and code used to produce a result, whose is it? No one would ask you to be judge and jury about an alleged scientific misconduct case–but something like failure to publicly archive data and methods is obvious to all and is a direct insult to you and every other climate scientist–it is your duty to call it out.

    My father was a medical doctor and he fought for years against the ‘white wall of silence’ that prevented doctors from reporting the errors and dangerous misbehaviors of other doctors (such as operating under the influence, abuse of controlled substances, etc). He was right to do so.

    You would be right to do so in your own field.

    • I would ask Judith to condemn Willis E’s conduct with regard to his “Darwin Zero” nonsense that tricked a load of people into thinking the global temperature record had been manipulated to show warming.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sure, I’ll criticize my personal friend Willis for his analysis there. What do you think about hide the decline?.. or what do you think about Siltdown Mann? go ahead. defend the indefensible. build some trust

      • I tend to think skeptics have a good argument there, only out of perception that the scientists involved haven’t responded to sufficiently. I could just throw them under the bus as a sacrifice for some trust, but a) I am nobody, I am not seeking trust and noone is seeking trust from me, and c) I don’t understand the arguments. Which year is warmest and which is not and how they are affected by ENSO I can understand, all the PCA stuff behind tree reconstructions I cannot.

    • Kip, I have been very active in condemning scientific misconduct in a general sense, and also making public calls for transparency, availability of data, etc. In that exchange, WIllis was looking for me to condemn Mann, Jones et al. I don’t condemn individuals. I condemn types of bad behaviour. I do not set myself up as judge/jury for any specific issue/investigation since I almost certainly don’t have all the information, among other reasons.

      • But Judith, if you feel you can’t at least call out specific, obvious, flagrant cases of the behaviors that are hurting your entire field–intentional non-transparency, refusal to make data available, advocacy>science, etc– who do you think should do it? No one would ask you to ‘condemn individuals’, but I would ask why you feel you can’t condemn specific, flagrant, public violations of standards.

        If there were an official ‘Board of Scientific Conduct for Climate Scientists’, would you report these very public specific instances (which are themselves a major reason why climate science is getting kicked around in the press and blogsphere) to the Board? If so, lacking the existence of such a Board, what is it that makes you feel you can not at least make a personal or group public statement condemning specific instances by specific individuals? or a private, personal call to a specific scientist suggesting that he/she explain publicly why he is not in violation when for all that the world can see, s/he is?

        The ‘white wall of silence’ in medicine existed/exists on the same basis as your position–doctors were happy to publicly decry physicians who came to the operating room after three martinis or hyped half out of their skulls on amphetamines–but felt it was not their place to personally report individual doctors in individual cases to conduct boards (until the numbers of patients actually dying became too large to ignore). [ I will send you a personal anecdote on this separately by email.]

        I really don’t mean to give you a hard time about this, I am just trying to understand it. [My field is really religion/philosophy/ethics as relates to humanitarian service, so it only peripherally touches the 'climate wars' on these types of issues.]

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Judith, Kip asks a very valid question—if you are not willing to speak up against dishonest scientists, who will?

        The problem is that, just like you, no one else seems to have the time or the interest or the knowledge to say anything bad about another climate scientist. The list of excuses of why y’all can’t say one bad word about another scientist is endless.

        And at the end of the day, because none of you is willing to do anything but pussyfoot around doing, what was it you called it, oh “condemning scientific misconduct”, nothing happens. Judith, you condemning scientific misconduct is like a UN resolution to speak very strongly to some tin-pot dictator … neither one is effective in the slightest. Lonnie Thompson continues to be feted and garner funds. Why? Because no one seems willing to ask him to archive his work, and he doesn’t care about your lofty pronouncements about “scientific misconduct”. Since you are unwilling to mention his name, he likely thinks you are talking about someone else.

        And no, Judith, contrary to your oft-repeated claims, it doesn’t take special inside information to come to a decision about Lonnie. Either he archives his data or he doesn’t. He has been asked to many times. He still hasn’t archived the data. Where’s the problem with discussing that? What secret information is required for you to come to a conclusion about his actions?

        But nobody, Judith, not you and not one mainstream AGW scientist, will say one single word about it. To hear you talk about it you are passionate about scientific misconduct, but oh, no, you couldn’t bear to speak ill of a noble fellow scientist.

        And you wonder why climate scientists are not trusted? In part it is because NONE OF YOU WILL TAKE A STAND ON IMPORTANT ISSUES. You’re willing to let Lonnie Thompson squat down and take a dump in your scientific backyard and never say a word to him about it … and then you spend blog post after blog post discussing why the neighbors say climate science doesn’t pass the smell test.

        w.

      • So, you’re witness to a robbery. You condemn robbery! When the police ask you attend a lineup to finger the actual bad guys, you demur, stating, “I condemn the sin, not the sinner.”

        Ooookkkaaayyyy …..

  91. Let’s face it: given as much is now known the only thing former global waring alarmist can do now to salvagge their credibility in the science arena is to begin by renouncing Marxism.

    What we see, according to Habermas, is what ‘follows from the structure of speech itself,’ from which grows the global warming True Believers’ faith in the object of their argument such that, ‘expressions of subjectivity are liberated from social restraints.’ It is a process that, for example, liberates people from ethical requirements of telling the turth and enables them to speak of polar bears being killed by Americans driving SUVs.

    With the politics of global warming we see the birth of, ‘the autonomous logic,’ of the climate specialists – implying some expert competence – going about their business of peddling climate porn for the global warming alarmist industry to use to consolidate power over scarce resources and the factors of production.

    The only reason involved is that dealing with social matters of affiliation and consequence thinking among a self-reinforcing group of self-proclaimed experts and specialists. In the end, “communicative reason finds its criteria in the argumentative procedures for directly or indirectly redeeming claims to propositional truth, normative rightness, subjective authenticity and aesthetic harmony” (Habermas, 1987a: 314).

    http://ethicalpolitics.org/seminars/wrong-turn-1.htm

  92. Regarding truth or consequences.
    For example, some scientists have a new proxy for a global temperature record that they publish and it goes counter to existing ideas, but then others find that the calibration for this proxy was wrong, and after all it agrees with pre-existing ideas. Should they be prosecuted? Before you answer, I am referring to Spencer and Christy with the first version of their data that showed no global warming at all in the modern period.

  93. JC, I have made several attempts at posting something that must be getting filtered for no apparent reason. Could you dig one out of the filter bin? Thanks.

  94. Re: Truth or consequences.
    For example, some scientists have a new proxy for a global temperature record that they publish and it goes counter to existing ideas, but then others find that the calibration for this proxy was wrong, and after all it agrees with pre-existing ideas. Should they be prosecuted? Before you answer, I am referring to Spencer and Cristie with the first version of their data that showed no global warming at all in the modern period.

    • OK, that did it. Apparently I am not allowed by the filter to spell Cristie correctly.

    • And what did they do? They accepted the problem and corrected it. That’s how science should work. Now compare this to MM’s hockey stick saga (or the recent “smoothing” of Antarctic temperatures by Steig) and his reactions on criticism …

      • If Mann is still saying his 1998 results are good, he deserves what he gets. I am not keeping up with what he says as I am not really interested in tree rings. The IPCC have moved on, however.

  95. I think that one of the “communication problems” is that all the new research seems to always end up finding that everything is “even worse than expected”. Be it temperature rise, ocean acidification, death of coral reefs, temperature rise, melting of glaciers, the impact on famin and diseases, sea level rise, extinction of species or you name it. Every critically thinking (or at least sane) person should become skeptical seeing this as just by statistics or probability thats just not credible that everything is always only worse than expected. It’s just nonsense. Though I don’t think that it’s just a communication problem but rather a more deep running confirmation bias issue plaguing many corners of this particular field of science and maybe a confirmation of Freeman Dyson’s statement that “environmentalism is a modern day secular religion”.

  96. MarkB wrote: “Revkin is part of the ‘team’ – he just considers himself a corrective for the more ‘enthusiastic’ of his brethren.”

    Mark, I’ve come to believe this is right. I’ve been trying to figure Revkin out for a while now as he does seem a bit more reasonable than his fellows.. He spends an awful lot of time on his blog protesting to attacking skeptics, in an aggrieved kind of way, how fair-minded and open to skeptical arguments he is. I wanted to believe him.

    But this blatant falsehood of his about “overwhelming” consensus, when he damn well knows better, tells me all I need to know. That even the “best” of them is willing to engage in such a distortion to serve his world view is beyond disheartening.

    • I think he’s just trying to pretend to look like being balanced. Thus thinking to be able, as a journalist, to speak from a higher moral ground. But I don’t think it’s working because it’s not real. Not like Judy who is not balanced (what one should not be anyway as there is no balanced middle ground between right and wrong and one should not look for it) but honest. Integrity is the most important aspect of science and more broadly when looking for truth. And that’s why truth seeking people (though not fundamentalists of either sides) trust and like her.

  97. –>Freeman Dyson’s statement that “environmentalism is a modern day secular religion”.

    Not just Dyson. The Medium is the Message.

    Patrick Moore was the founder and past president of Greenpeace and he had the intellectual courage to stand up against eco-terrorism. Compare that to an EPA that applauds the Left’s jihad on energy for humanity.

    The ad hom global warming political machine or secular, socialist Education Industrial Complex or whatever other catastrophist, anti-capitalist movement the Left dreams up—anyone who will now stand up against their groupthink, superstition, prejudice and fear, is just as much a problem for humanity today as the German citizens were who sat by and accepted the groupthink of Nazi society.

    The Left cannot handle the truth; the Left is impelled to hide it and hide from it. It is true nevertheless: The Leftist Utopia has become pessimism of all humanity where there no longer is any care about the human condition.

    There will be a paper someday perhaps explaining how it came to be that the Left abandoned science and in their distrust of humanity sought to destroy it. Maybe it will be written in Chinese. Who knows?

    The Left has turned English into a liars language. The only advantage the Left now sees in science is to however it can be used to subvert individual freedom.

    Rather than the sharing in the optimism of individuals transcending mediocrity the Left is obsessed with glorifying weakness.

    Why does the Left hate humanity. As America prospered Leftists became more hysterical about imagined problems and less concerned about real problems. And now, the only thing that the Left is successful at accomplishing is preventing the productive from providing value to society.

    The Left is now dedicated to doing whatever it can to prevent the prosperity of capitalism in America even if means denying the prosperity humanity worldwide.

    Society’s indulgence of nutcase Leftist ideology by an army of Western secular, socialist neurotics is the chicken coming home to roost. This army of anti-Americanism has a produced a culture-wide mental fatigue that has sapped the physical strength of the society which in turn has given birth to an ethic that glorifies in producing nothing but inactivity.

    • simon abingdon

      Wagathon, I have followed your posts and thought them generally interesting, informative and reasonable. But this rant treads way beyond the boundary of acceptability in my view.

  98. Bruce Anderson

    Trust is earned.

    Question: have prominent and visible climate scientists done anything that is worthy of public trust?

    This isn’t a rhetorical question, it’s serious. What exactly have the prominent and visible climate “scientists” done to earn trust? Have they engaged in appropriate scientific or professional behavior? Have they been honest in their communications? Have they acknowledges past mistakes and corrected them? Have they substantially changed their behavior based on feedback they’ve received?

    Bruce

    • Our host?

    • Do EPA government science authoritarians control average global temperatures (or, is it the sun, stupid?)

      Unfortunately corruption, abuse, conflict of interest, bias and superstition in science are not new. There is no accountability either.

      The taxpayers are paying for science authoritarians to lie to them. The boffins of Japan compared climatology to the study of the ancient science of astrology.

      “[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an improvable hypothesis.” ~Kanya Kusano

      “We should be cautious, IPCC’s theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis.” ~Shunichi Akasofu

      “Before anyone noticed, this [AGW] hypothesis has been substituted for truth… The opinion that great disaster will really happen must be broken.” (Ibid.)

      “The fact is that the `null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system.” ~Dr. Roy Spencer

      Look what the science establishment did to Galileo, Socrates, Einstein and the Jews. It is easier for some IPCC-approved AGW government-funded scientists to go quietly insane rather than to admit they were wrong about global warming and worse, face up to the fact that they have been a party to the merciless pushing of an anti-humanist climate porn agenda on a level comparable to a Nazi hate crime — for money — like, digging the gold out the teeth of Jews while they’re still alive. My analogy certainly is more apt than the commie ad hom attack dogSS of the Left who suggest that Dr. Gray is a Holocaust denier because he deigned to challenge the superstition and ignorance of the cult of global warming alarmism.

      • Surely you realize that diatribes like this do not help the skeptic’s cause.

      • But, we are passed the point of an intelligent debate of the science of AGW theory on the merits. We’re now into the realm of man’s inhumanity to man.

      • Have passed or are past, FYI. And you’re not – meh, never mind.

      • Given that this is a debate forum you seem to have opted out. Someone who stands up in the middle of a debate and proclaims that there is no debate is pretty well out of place. You might want to find a useful venue.

    • Yes, Bruce, some have. For example, Judith Curry has been critical of certain poor behavior by AGW scientists and IPCC. Richard Muller has been critical of MBH98. Eduardo Zorita and Hans von Storch were also critical of MBH98, although they tried to steal McIntyre and McKitrick’s thunder. Zorita was also very outspoken in his criticism of Climategate. Roger Pielke Sr has also been very critical of IPCC bias. So, there have been a number of good scientist, even highly cited scientists who have been critical of the IPCC. But there should be more, much more.

  99. Matt Skaggs

    Yeesh, I’m so far down I am behind a Wagathon fascist manifesto. How can climate scientists increase trust by expressing uncertainty that they do not themselves perceive? That dog won’t hunt. The problem is framed incorrectly. AGW, the failure of the self-regulating climate, should be approached like any other failure analysis. AGW should be analyzed by an impartial group of scientists from different fields, and all statements about uncertainty should come from the impartial reviewers. Climate science is not particle physics; this could easily have been done had the IPCC really been created to do what it claimed to be doing.

    • Anyone with a brain has is rightly skeptical. “Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer.” (Santayana)

      Global warming since the ‘70s has been evanescent and all of it is completely explained by natural causes such as ENSO effects, solar activity and a constant systemic increase that can be expressed as a constant since the last ice age. There has been no significant global warming at all since 1998. And, there has been global cooling since 2002.

      Fears of runaway global warming is nothing more than a sick society suffering from Hot World Syndrome. It’s a mass mania. The Earth does not actually function like a greenhouse: that’s an analogy for dummies.

      And, there’s nothing new about the tactics of the Democrat party only this time, the Leftist-libs are taking science down too, along with California, and the country, and Greece, and driving the stake a little deeper everyday into the soul of dead and dying old Europe. AGW is a new age apocalyptic conversion religion comprised mostly of Westerners who have faith in their belief that there is no other absolute power but the One: the Monophysical Element, CO2.

      The mystical properties, however, of their all-powerful One cannot actually be observed in nature. CO2 does not act like the plastic sheeting or panes of glass that make up a greenhouse. That is no matter to them so long as you believe and have faith. For them, you must forget about science. And, you must trust in government to make decisions for you concerning down-to-earth matters like running a business and earning a living and overcoming the challenges in living in a physical world, not a make-believe one.

      • Are you drunk or running for office? We are trying to have a discussion here.

      • I believe science should stand or fall on the merits.

        “On secular, millenarian and larger time scales astronomical oscillations and solar changes drive climate variations. Shaviv’s theory [2003] can explain the large 145 Myr climate oscillations during the last 600 million years. Milankovic’s theory [1941] can explain the multi-millennial climate oscillations observed during the last 1000 kyr. Climate oscillations with periods of 2500, 1500, and 1000 years during the last 10,000 year (the Holocene) are correlated to equivalent solar cycles that caused the Minoan, Roman, Medieval and Modern warm periods [Bond et al., 2001; Kerr, 2001]. Finally, several other authors found that multisecular solar oscillations caused bisecular little ice ages (for example: the Sp¨orer, Maunder, Dalton minima) during the last 1000 years [for example: Eddy, 1976; Eichler et al., 2009; Scafetta and West, 2007; Scafetta, 2009, 2010].”

        ~Scarfetta N. Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications. JASTP 2010 Apr.

      • Good points, but you have to argue them, not denounce the debate. Note too that science is all in people’s heads.

      • You do not seem to be interested in joining the growing Science-Skeptic Society as an analog to the Secular-Socialist Machine. It’s science versus politics. And, it also is politics versus politics: Global warming alarmism represents the sacrifice of individualism on the altar of demands for the legitimization of a secular, socialist state bureaucracy.

        Much like computer programmers who may indulge in a fascination about expensive analog watches, secular, socialist academia has become the experts of a new type of `reason’ that `works’ only in a virtual world of their own making – a world in which the globe is represented digitally according to their preconceptions of reality (much like old nautical charts fancifully depicting oceans simply pouring over the edge of the earth into the abyss like a waterfall), and causing them to indulge in mystical thinking as an analog.

        In their meta-world of the government science authoritarians, however, the academics and political bureaucracy to which they are wedded are driven to indulge in their mystical thinking about global warming alarmist climate porn as an analog to the fanciful digital reality in which they live.

        And, as a result, we now see that global warming alarmists — all of whom are the creation of a secular, socialist Western civilization gone wild — are not any longer even good atheists. At this point in the global warming hoax, they have become citizens without a conscience and without a country.

        The abandonment of the scientific method by the global warming alarmists creates an entirely new problem for them now. They have become so disconnected with reality, and so disconnected from guiding principles — from the goals of individual liberty and free enterprise to Judeo/Christian ethics of honesty and personal responsibility — and, so paralyzed by self-defeating nihilism, that they are desperate to find a theology that will provide future meaning. And, to that end, they have dreamed up the illusion that their feeding off of the productive like government-funded gadflies provides a worthwhile service to society.

      • If you are accepting Scafetta without question you have to explain why, or how his statistical effect which has an amplitude of 0.1 degrees has any relevance to the climate debate.

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry, that author refuses to share data and code. no better than early Mann.

        next.

      • If AGW theory was truly informative of reality, all of humanity would be in deep zugzwang.

      • simon abingdon

        “Are you drunk or running for office?”. I don’t think he’s running for office.

  100. Billy Ruff'n

    There is a simple three step “process model” that has been used in business strategy development that may have a bearing on the discussion here re. the grand AGW debate, disagreements and trust among participants, etc.

    The process developed business strategies by seeking answers to questions in three areas of inquiry:

    1. The current reality — i.e. “what’s happening?” and “why?”
    2. The implications of the current reality — i.e the “so what” of what’s-happening-and-why to the organization in light of its goals, values, current competitive positioning and resource constraints?
    3. And finally, the strategy itself — what actions that should be taken, what resources should be allociated to the effort, what risks are implicit in the stragety and what results are anticipated?

    Among the fundamental rules that governed the process was the one that required each step to be done in sequence. Resolution (or at least identication and specification) of disagreements at one stage was required before proceeding to the next stage. The objective of this rule was to reduce the confusion that always resulted when one participant was involved in the discussion of something relevant to step one while another has jumped ahead and is focused on the actions to be defined in step three.

    One of the problems in the AGW debate is that these issues are being debated in parallel. Some people are working through step 1 — is the world warming?, and if so, why? Others are stalled at step 2 — is GW a minor problem or a catastrophy? Still others have jumped to the final stage and are screaming for actions they believe are obvious given the assumptions they’ve made in steps 1 and 2. In short, the AGW “debate” is between participants who are not on the same page.

    Another source of conflict is found in the assessment of implications in step 2 where there are very real differences in “goals and values” that participants bring to the assessment. Here is where the political orientation of participants enters the process. How one perceives the implications of the current reality depends very much on one’s “world view”.

    Building trust among the participants of the debate requires that they acknowledge that in any commercial, political, and perhaps even scientific debate, everyone possesses a piece of “the truth”. Trust comes from perceptions of how honestly, openly, and transparently participants are dealing with one another at all stages of the process. Trust is built when participants are willing to listen to the honest concerns of others and to help fellow participants work through the issues step by step. Most people can accept differences in others — differences in their understanding of the current reality, in their intrepretation of its implications and in the priorities that we must collectively set in terms of actions and resource allociations — as long as they believe that there is integrity in the process and honesty among participants.

    Personally, I have no idea what Professor Curry’s “position” is on the various issues that relate to the AGW debate. Her postion on the issues doesn’t matter. I read her blog, and I trust and value her opinion because she seems to promote process integrity and honest debate.

  101. Here are the two most important results that compare climate model projections with observations.

    1) http://bit.ly/cIeBz0

    2) http://bit.ly/iyscaK

    The above results shows observed global temperatures less than model projections for ALL CO2 emission scenarios!

    When are the IPCC, the scientific community, world governments, and environmentalists going to reassess their belief in anthropogenic global warming?

    • Syun-Ichi Akasofu helps us understand the hypocrisy we see—it is the IPCC’s barely disguised hatred of all humanity. All we have to do is ask ourselves one simple question: “Why has so little concrete effort been made to reduce the release of CO2, compared to such a great outcry and hysteria about global warming?”

      I think I can answer that question—If it looks like a hoax, and it smells like a hoax, and it is supported only by science authoritarians in the West and by pathetic, self-defeating Leftists who worship the likes of Al Gore and who pray at the altar of MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) and who would condemn the people in the developing countries to a future of misery, poverty and death—then, it’s a hoax.

      AGW theory has been falsified. All else is dogma. Facts are facts: “The mid-century (1940-1975) alarm of a coming Ice Age teaches a very important lesson to all of us, including climate researchers. It is not possible to forecast climate change (warming or cooling) in the year 2100 based on a few decades of data alone… Further, it is very confusing that some members of the media and some scientific experts blame ‘global warming’ for every ‘anomalous’ weather change, including big snowfalls, droughts, floods, ice storms, and hurricanes. This only confuses the issue.” ~Syun-Ichi Akasofu

      • simon abingdon

        Sleep well.

      • A dirty little secret that innocent minds might not appreciate is that global warming alarmists could care less about polar bears. Charlatans make a living by tugging at peoples’ feelings and fears and AGW astrologers are no exception.

      • simon abingdon

        Just go to sleep. Talk with you tomorrow.

      • All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible. (George Santayana)

    • Whoever gave you that first graph must be as crooked as a snake. He altered an IPCC graph and attributes the altered version to the IPCC. His alteration was adding what’s supposed to be recent HadCrut data, but it doesn’t look like it(see link). You should never trust that person again.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:12/plot/

      hadcrut3vgl/trend

      The second graph shows why Hansen has won awards for his climate modeling. I wish I could get stock market predictions that would turn out as accurate as his global temperature forecasts.

      • The above results shows observed global temperatures less than model projections for ALL CO2 emission scenarios!

      • Well, only a naive person would expect projections to be exactly right, but those projections beat denier’s “ain’t nothing gonna happen” scenario, and beat it bad.

  102. Steve McIntyre

    this is a very frustrating article. I wonder whether she has ever read a climate blog. She asks: “The first challenge will be to create opportunities for scientists to interact with doubtful and dismissive audiences on an ongoing basis.”

    One obvious place are the critical/skeptical blogs. However the “community” has not only chosen not to engage but to discourage engagement by those few who do show up. It’s worse since Climategate, A second failure to meet the challenge has been realclimate’s notorious censorship and sneering responses. They’ve created more skeptics than the skeptic blogs,

    She says: Given the history of debate on climate issues, personal animosity and abuse are other challenges climate scientists will likely face once they identify a suitable venue and offer to open an
    extended relationship”. My own experience is that the majority of commenters are polite to “visitors” and that any offending commenters can be quickly zambonied,

    She also totally ignored the role of climate scientists and their bulldogs in lowering the tone of the debate, both in their private discourse and in their public discourse,

    In my opinion, members of the climate community would do far more for their cause if they swore off trying to blame others for communication problems, looked in the mirror and tried to ensure that each person individually did what he could to ensure that his own work was fully transparent, fully archived and that he/she, as a start, were polite even when engaged with someone that they didn’t like.

    Institutions representing climate scientists should resolve to say things without ensuring that their statements are true. Untrue statements on things that can be checked e,g, FOI excuses, corrode their credibility, Institutions should provide requested data rather than litigating it through FOI. This too is corrosive. And members of the wider “community” should stop simply standing by when institutions like CRU refuse an FOI request,

    • Steve McIntyre

      However the “community” has not only chosen not to engage but to discourage engagement by those few who do show up.

      Here is what they advocate:

      Forget the climate change detractors

      Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but unimportant. The argument is not about if we should deal with climate change, but how we should deal with climate change.

      http://bit.ly/owP83h (pdf)

    • You should check Goodwin’s blog. I think she has favourably posted about your way of corresponding.

      • Too bad she does not point out the bad, and seems only interested in seeing those she agrees with succeed.

    • Bruce Cunningham

      “In my opinion, members of the climate community would do far more for their cause if they swore off trying to blame others for communication problems, looked in the mirror and tried to ensure that each person individually did what he could to ensure that his own work was fully transparent, fully archived and that he/she, as a start, were polite even when engaged with someone that they didn’t like.”

      Well stated Steve. However I fear that too many of them have said too much, done too much, and ignored too much for them to be able to humbly admit that they have things to correct in their behavior. It’s that thing called pride, don’t you know.

      As for Ms. Goodwin’s article, I have some of the same reservations as you do. If you take into consideration some of the things she has written in the not too distant past and compare them to this article, my take on it is this. She was a fairly staunch alarmist in the past. Like some others, she has finally realized that she has been had, and she is trying to back out of the situation as easily as possible.

      • Comfort can be taken in the dawning realizations, and fun made of the awkward ones.
        =======

    • Steve McIntyre

      The first sentence in the last paragraph should obviously be:
      “Institutions representing climate scientists should resolve not to say things without ensuring that their statements are true.”

  103. The only way to rebuild trust is to behave in a trustworthy fashion. Scientists who attempt to defend the indefensible (Hockey Stick, Hide the Decline, Climategate, etc etc), do not deserve trust.

    Eduardo Zorita and Hans von Storch may be believers in CAGW, but they are honest men who put science ahead of politics. I will listen to any scientist who is willing to criticize the injustices done to yamal or bristlecone pine or the upside-down tiljander series. If they are not willing to speak the truth on those issues, they do not get a hearing from me.

      • In your delusions.

      • The Hockey Stick is paddling denier butt.

      • I didn’t bring up the Hockey Stick, but I’m glad to see it’s still causing deniers discomfort.

      • I think of the Hockey Stick as a litmus test. If you still push it, you approve of hiding inconvenient data, you are dishonest enough to use proxies upside down, and you are will to use contaminated proxies even when the paper describing the proxies says certain periods are contaminated and you are dishonest enough to graft fake temperature graphs onto proxy graphs.

        All in all a perfect test for fanaticism.

      • I think you are badly misinformed about Mann’s Hockey Stick, and are making assertions you can’t support.

      • He said – “I think”. that doesn’t mean you get to second guess him. Nor does it give you reason to judge his knowledge of Mann’s hockey stick. You’d have been better to object to his conclusion – even though it’s correct.

      • “Mann et al 2008 (M08) used contaminated data, in their case, the Finnish sediment data of Tiljander et al, the modern portion of which had been contaminated by agriculture and bridgebuilding. In addition to using the modern contaminated portion of the data, M08 made a second error by using the Tiljander lightsum and XRD upside down to the interpretation of its originators. Their handling of Tiljander data has been sharply criticized on different occasions by two eminent Finnish paleolimnologists – Atte Korhola here and Matti Saarnisto here.

        In contrast to Grand et al, Mann et al have not issued a retraction or corrigendum or even admitted an error. Instead, in multiple venues (without explicitly admitting an error), they’ve asserted that, in any event, the error doesn’t affect their “central conclusions” [their PNAS reply, Feb 2009 here] or, more recently, “any” of their conclusions [Mann et realclimate, June 2011 here], as though that ended the matter.”

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/06/dirty-laundry-ii-contaminated-sediments/

      • The Hockey Stick is a perfect litmus test. Anyone who defends it is intellectually dishonest.

      • M carey –
        The Hockey Stick is paddling denier butt.

        You and Robert should get together and share psychiatric expenses and experiences wrt your “spanking” fixation.

        Actually, there may be some hope for this hockey stick. Depending on the techniques and proxies used. But it’s got two strikes to start – first that apparently nobody has heard any more about it for 2 years (not good). And second (and this is personal) I know the author of the SciAm article – and he’s apparently no brighter now than he was 15 years ago.

      • New support for Hockey Stick is

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI3016.1

        Also GMU’s investigation of Wegman for plagerism has renewed interest in the Hockey Stick.

      • Using upside down proxies and contaminated proxies and strip bark trees invalidates the hockey stick. Math won’t help corruption of science.

      • As Dr. Vincent Grey observed: … WHAT REALLY OUTS THE GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISTS AS DECEIVERS AND NOT SIMPLY UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENTS IS THE ABSOLUTE LOSS OF THE ‘OFFICIAL’ RAW DATA UPON WHICH THE AGW TRUE BELIEVERS’ FAKED SNAPSHOT OF THE WORLD RESTS. The original data has gone missing. The best examples of the missing data can be seen in the foi2009.pdf CRUgate disclosures and the information contained in the ‘Harry Read Me’ File. But, it doesn’t stop there. NASA dropped the number of ‘approved’ temperature stations altogether.

      • Ooops… I mistakenly sourced Dr. Vincent Grey when it apparently was something I was inspired to write. Sorry for any confusion that could cause.

        For anything you might be inspired to write, you may want to read what actually was said in, e.g., SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND THE “GREENHOUSE” THEORY, by Vincent Gray

      • That sounds like a lot of nitpicking. If you think McIntyre and Wegman have said the Hockey Stick is wrong and the history of global temperature looks like something very different than the Hockey Stick, quote them.

      • First, this thread is about trust – not the hockey stick. Second, if an almost 2 year old article referencing a study with as many problems as the original hockey stick paper is the best you can do to support your claim that the hockey stick is alive and well, you are probably better off not mentioning it and sticking with the topic that everyone else is discussing.

      • Re: The Hockey Stick.
        Live by the Procrustean Shaft
        And die by the Blade.
        ==========

      • Crude, Kim. Reeelly crude.
        But graphic!
        :)

      • –> “First, this thread is about trust – not the hockey stick…”

        When we say ‘trust’ we are talking about honesty, right?

        “. . . it is practically impossible to replicate or verify Dr. Mann’s work . . . Could it be that this particular work violates the principles of the scientific method . . .?”

        EXCERPT . . .

        “Now, after some independent analysis it seems that all scientists could possibly be misled on some of their issues. Both the National Academy of Sciences and Dr. Wegman’s committee analyzed the hockey stick report by Dr. Mann that has become the poster child for proof of global warming. The committees came to the conclusion that Dr. Mann’s hockey stick report failed verification tests and did not employ proper statistical methods.

        “Also, it appears that Dr. Mann is part of a social network . . . of climate scientists who almost always use the same data sets and review each other’s works. There is a contention that they would dismiss critics who had legitimate concerns, rarely used statistical experts for the data they used in their reports, and make it very difficult for reviewers to obtain background data and analysis.

        “These revelations point to the lack of independent peer review and how it is practically impossible to replicate or verify Dr. Mann’s work by those not affiliated with the network of scientists, so we are looking forward to hearing about that work today. Could it be that this particular work violates the principles of the scientific method and should be dismissed until it meets the basic qualifications?

        “Could that have been some of what happened to the Ice Age return theory of the 1960s?”

        (Excerpt from the prepared statement of Tammy Baldwin, Committee on Energy and Commerce, 109th Congress Hearings, Second Session, July 19 and July 27, 2006)

  104. Trust? I’m more of a verify type.

  105. “that climate scientists may be more trusted if they present themselves as less certain. ”
    When I first started researching climate science on the web I was directed to “Real Climate”, after about 15-20 min of reading I thought, these guys do not have a shadow of doubt about them, this is not science……… I’ve rarely been back.

  106. Dumb and dumber question temperature records. Hilarious!

  107. I wouldn’t trust an AGW climate scientist as far as i could spit a rat but I’m a member of the unscientific public so you don’t have to take me seriously apart from the knowledge that I share my views on a one to one word of mouth basis. I haven’t been communicated with properly, perhaps, or it might be that my precognitive whatever isn’t working but if I truly felt that the Earth was in the grip of runaway warming, I’d have every last detail of my background data available for the scrutiny of other scientists in any field.
    To truculently refuse to release any and all data, to me, means a robust probability that someone is telling lies.

    Do I sound stupid then? Uninformed? Riddle me this: why is it that the shapes of the hurricanes are the same? That’s right, hurricanes – big stormy things. Like Katrina okay? With me now? Hurricanes! Spiral shaped thingys. The spirals are the same. I can tell because if I take a satellite pic of a hurricane and reduce the transparency in photoshop, and superimpose it over any other hurricane, there is no shape clash. It’s as if one is viewing a real hurricane that has never existed. Why is this?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Cyclones they are called in my part of the world. They arise because of evaporation and Coriolis forces – a sufficient mass of water vapour evaporating from the surface of oceans and being spun up by the rotation of the Earth.

  108. Willis Eschenbach

    M. carey | July 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    If the public thinks scientists claim to predict future climate change with certainty, the public has been misled, and it’s probably the fault of the media.

    James Hansen

    Burning all fossil fuels, if the CO2 is released into the air, would destroy creation, the planet with its animal and plant life as it has existed for the past several thousand years, the time of civilization, the Holocene, the period of relative climate stability, warm enough to keep ice sheets off North America and Eurasia, but cool enough to maintain Antarctic and Greenland ice, and thus a stable sea level.

    w.

  109. A factor I don’t see taken into account by all you weather people is the Earth’s bubble. I’m led to believe, robustly, that there is an electromagnetic bubble surrounding the Earth. If it’s an electromagnetic bubble, what powers it? The Earth’s core? If so, what is the nature of the power transmission between the core and the bubble? How does the energy go from one t’other? FTEs? You know as well as I do that horseshoe shaped EM slinkies have been observed emanating from the Earth and returning to it. What if the hurricanes are the shapes caused by FTEs going to the bubble? Haven’t been so many of them recently. Could this possibly be because the Earth’s bubble has been powered to some extent by solar radiation thereby relieving the Earth of it’s energy supply responsibilities? If so, does this mean that energy otherwise fluxed out is being retained and heating the planet from within?

  110. M. carey

    Whoever gave you that first graph must be as crooked as a snake. He altered an IPCC graph and attributes the altered version to the IPCC. His alteration was adding what’s supposed to be recent HadCrut data, but it doesn’t look like it(see link). You should never trust that person again.

    I will plot the IPCC projections and observation using woodfortrees and show you that my link above is correct as shown below.

    http://bit.ly/mTEhW8

    Green line represents IPCC’s model projection of 0.2 deg C per decade and the red line is observed data.

    The above graph is IDENTICAL to the following IPCC graph

    http://bit.ly/cIeBz0

    If we cannot agree about the recorded past, what chance do we have in agreeing about the unknown future?

    • Correction

      http://bit.ly/ndoQev

      (The green line represents 0.2 deg C per decade warming)

      • The IPCC projection (green line) in your graph looks promising. It slopes up like the trend, which is better than going sideways or down.

        As you know, the second graph is not an IPCC graph. It’s a phony, so you shouldn’t be calling it an IPCC graph. Readers may think you don’t know any better, or worse, may think you are dishonest.

  111. Willis Eschenbach quotes Hansen without citing a source, and I haven’t been able to verify the quote.

    I did, however, find similar language by Hansen in an interview published in the Guardian.

    “Clearly, if we burn all fossil fuels, we will destroy the planet we know. ”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/15/james-hansen-power-plants-coal

    The “if” qualifies Hansen’s statement. He isn’t certain we will burn all fossil fuels.

    Regardless of damage from global warming, I think it likely burning all fossil fuels will destroy the planet we know, unless alternative energy sources are developed,

    • M. carey

      Hansen’s statement, which you quote:

      Clearly, if we burn all fossil fuels, we will destroy the planet we know.

      sounds a bit like unfounded fear mongering to me.

      The World Energy Council has issued a 2010 report on world energy resources.

      http://www.worldenergy.org/documents/ser_2010_report_1.pdf

      This report tells us that the “proven reserves” of fossil fuels today are:
      Coal: 861 Gt
      Oil: 1,239 billion bbl
      Natural gas: 186 trillion cubic meters

      The report also lists “possible inferred resources in place” (i.e. all the possible fossil fuels on our planet):
      Coal: 2,462 Gt
      Oil: 5,078 billion bbl
      Natural Gas: 486 trillion cubic meters

      Taking into account the relatively small portion of oil and natural gas that goes into non-combustion end uses (petrochemicals, plastics, fertilizers, etc.), these total “possible resources” would generate 10,536 Gt of CO2. At present consumption rates, this equals 385 years (coal), 185 years (oil), 152 years (gas).

      A bit less than 50% of the CO2 emitted by humans “remains” in the atmosphere and the rest is absorbed by the biosphere, oceans and soils.

      5,268 Gt CO2 in our atmosphere of 5,140,000 Gt equals 1025 ppm(mass) or 675 ppmv added CO2.

      Today’s atmospheric concentration is 390 ppmv, so this means we could some day in the future reach an absolute maximum CO2 concentration of 1065 ppmv.

      We saw 0.66°C warming from 1850 to today (HadCRUT3), with CO2 increasing from around 290 ppmv (Vostok) to 390 ppmv (Mauna Loa).

      IPCC AR4 WG1 tells us that 7% of the total forcing was due to natural forcing components (solar), and that all anthropogenic forcing components other than CO2 (aerosols, other GHGs, etc.) cancelled one another out.

      Using these assumptions and extending the observed relationship between CO2 and temperature logarithmically, this means the maximum ever GH warming we could expect from the CO2 in all the remaining fossil fuels on our planet would be around 2°C.

      Doesn’t sound to me that this would “destroy the planet we know”.

      But then Hansen never was too good with forecasts.

      Max

      • Max,

        I posted my reply previously, but in the wrong place.

        Only a silly person would expect forecast to turn out exactly right. As I have said before, I wish I had stock market forecast as accurate as Hansen’s temperature forecast. No wonder Hansen has been awarded prizes for his climate modeling.

        The IPCC best estimate range is rise of 1.8 to 4.0 degrees C by the end of the century, which of course is without burning up all of earth’s fossil fuels. Your estimate of a 2 degrees C rise as a result of burning all fossil fuels wouldn’t win any prizes.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/findings-of-the-ipcc-fourth-2.html

      • M. carey

        C’mon. Get serious.

        You just cited the IPCC AR4 model-derived estimates of temperature increase by year 2100 based on “storylines and scenarios” on CO2 increase.

        The top two “scenarios” are physically impossible, because they assume more CO2 than all the “possible inferred resources” could generate, acccording to a recent report by the World Energy Council..

        So you are left with three “storylines” of “very rapid economic growth” (A1T and A1B) and/or “continuously increasing population” (B2) and one (B1) of continued exponential increase of atmospheric CO2 at the current CAGR to around 580 ppmv by 2100.

        It should be pointed out that the UN projects population growth to slow down to a rate of 0.3 to 0.5% CAGR between now and 2100, while it grew at 1.7% CAGR between 1960 and 2000..

        The 2xCO2 climate sensitivity assumed by the IPCC models is more than twice the CO2/temperature impact that has actually been observed since 1850, so is also most likely exaggerated.

        So we have exaggerated forecast of CO2 increase multiplied by an exaggerated assumption on 2xCO2 climate impact, giving a grossly exaggerated forecast of somewhere between 1.8C to 2.8C warming by year 2100.

        Fuggidabaoudit, M. carey. It’s not real.

        Max

      • Your perfect knowledge of the future enables you to evaluate the accuracy of projections to the year 2100. That’s AWESOME ! Do you have any tips on stocks and horses?

      • M. carey

        You say

        Hansen has been awarded prizes for his climate modeling.

        When and by whom?

        His 1988 forecast was a disaster.

        His scenario A assumed CO2 to grow at a slightly slower rate than it actually did since then, yet it is off by a factor of 2:1.

        His other scenarios assumed reduced CO2 emissions (which, of course, has not happened).

        Face it, M.carey. It was a lousy forecast, because his models assumed a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, which was more than 2x too high.

        He sure wouldn’t win any prices for this forecast (other than the “booby prize”).

        Max

      • Are you kidding? A lousy forecast in 1988 would have been a prediction of no change in average global temperature, and an even lousier one would have been a prediction of a decline in temperature.

        I sure wish I could get some stock price forecasts as accurate as Hansen’s temperature forecast. You can Google “James Hansen award” and find what he’s won.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      M. carey | July 19, 2011 at 3:01 am

      Willis Eschenbach quotes Hansen without citing a source, and I haven’t been able to verify the quote.

      Egads. I didn’t bookmark it myself, because I knew I could google it. Which I just did. Hansen’s statement is here.

      Google es tu amigo …

      w.

  112. If the planetary core is heating, there’ll be plenty CO2 emanating from undersea and above sea volcanoes. There’ll be deep mine explosions, ocean expansion, ocean temperature increase, and acidification. There’ll be earthquakes caused by tectonic pressure and maybe extreme weather events as well.
    But why oh why, I hear you ask, is solar activity up in the first place? Well, does not the sun itself have an electromagnetic bubble? Would that not be subject to galactic energy filaments? If so, and if there was a weakness in the galactic filamentary field, would that not mean that the sun would become more active in order to support it’s bubble? So it fires up, thereby causing our bubble to be energized with the net result the planet warms. What were those Voyager 2 readings again? If the sun travels through a galactic energy field so vast that it takes thousands of years to pass through it, and if it is a powerful field, the sun might shut down a bit because it’s bubble is getting energy direct. This in turn would cause the Earth to enter a cooling period which could last a very long time.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Have fun, make mistakes, get messy – I commend your creativity.

      Do you think we might take ‘no regrets’ action on greenhouse gases just in case?

      • Chief

        “No regrets” action on GHGs?

        - Improve energy efficiency and reduce waste, wherever possible.
        - Eliminate real pollution of environment wherever possible (SO2, soot, heavy metals, etc.)
        - Switch some local domestic power and heating to solar where economically viable
        - Switch some automobiles from oil to natural gas, electrical or hybrid where economically viable

        That’s about it, Chief, unless you want a major switch to nuclear power (which makes economic sense, but might be a hard political sell post-Fukushima).

        These changes globally will have a theoretical impact of less than 0.1C on temperature by year 2100.

        Anything else (including direct or indirect carbon taxes) is no longer “no regrets”.

        Sorry ’bout that.

        Max

      • You mean like nuclear energy?
        Or cleaning up coal?
        The policy in Australia seems to be generating nothing but regrets.
        I think the biggest ‘no regret’ policy is likely to be the one Germany is choosing, apparently: Burn coal and ignore the AGW fanatics.

      • Chief Hydrologist.
        The UK will very rapidly experience severe regrets over its climate policy. See: Hugh Sharman on The coming UK energy meltdown

        The UK desperately needs a new energy strategy based on a realistic assessment of its assets, its needs and the options available to it. Unfortunately, its freedom for technical and financial manoevre is deeply restricted by its self-imposed Climate Change Act and its commitment to the EU’s 20-20-20 targets. . . .With its North Sea resources fast depleting just when the world’s upstream energy producers of oil, coal and gas are struggling to meet rising global demand, saddled with a public debt of £ 1 trillion, and a massive trade deficit, its leading role as an innovative, world-class centre of scientific and manufacturing know-how being ceded to Germany, Japan and now China, it is ill prepared to become a net energy importer. Yet energy import dependence is what the country is rapidly headed for. . . .
        The loss of 11 GW of reliable capacity during the next four years, along with 3.4 GW nuclear, almost 15 GW in all, risks precipitating a real capacity (keeping the lights on) crisis by the middle of this decade.
        . . . A huge U-turn lies ahead when it will have to plead with its EU partners for a derogation on the closure of the coal capacity and with EdF to keep the old nuclear fleet on the road, while developing a more realistic energy plan. This must almost certainly require the electrification of almost everything and the speeding up of nuclear capacity build, wherever possible innovating technically and reducing the costs by depending more on South Korea and China than our partners across the Channel in France.

        The US and other oil importers will soon follow suit.

  113. Another shameless assertion. Sling mud, and then wallow in it. What a comedy !

  114. Chief Hydrologist

    There was a golden age of science whose motto was – have fun, make mistakes, get messy. Many scientists today seem fixated on a vision of themselves as privileged bearers of truth – very much as a new priesthood. This is a travesty and usurpation of the authority of science. The true authority of science rests on an ability to inspire, to create grand conceptual edifices and to astonish with an ineffable beauty of mathematical form. Science demands humility and a lightness of touch. There is none of that here. There are only meagre minds spreading fear and peddling snake oil solutions to the wrong problems.

    Understanding is glacially slow – they find security in groupthink and only reluctantly and partially face real world anomalies. Each small challenge or conflicting data point is argued away on any convenient narrative – until the ground falls out from beneath them and the narrative is reluctantly updated. The camp followers sees themselves as the vanguard of progressive thought – history will prove them right – economic growth is impossible – economies will crumble – societies will fall. Science, they say, demands a human sacrifice. In a fragile economic world – a failure to see an eightfold increase in food and energy this century is an unthinkable sacrifice of human life and potential.

    We no more trust these people than we would trust a snake in the grass. We are immersed in a culture war that is rife with rhetoric appealing only to one side or the other. Fair enough – in a democracy we fight with words and at the ballot box and not bullets. It is simply a shame that science is the first casualty.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Chief,

      I would love to debate science with any scientists that has not already set their minds that current science is absolutely correct.
      Many steps in science were missed for a conclusion which over years have grown upon by new generations.
      Observed science misses many unobserved forces that has allowed the observed science to exist.

  115. Chief Hydrologist | July 19, 2011 at 3:03 am | Reply

    Cyclones they are called in my part of the world. They arise because of evaporation and Coriolis forces – a sufficient mass of water vapour evaporating from the surface of oceans and being spun up by the rotation of the Earth.

    Seems to me that the rotation of the Earth is not the same as the rotation of the hurricanes. Are you saying that a spinning sphere will cause spiral shaped emanations from the surface? I don’t get that. When I look at these cyclones, hurricanes, and low pressure systems which all appear to conform to the same logarithmic spiral shape, I see clearly defined spiral arms. Does that fit with coriolis forces?

    • Joe Lalonde

      Actually, no.

      It conforms with the largest circumference of the planet is the equator. This is where the strongest centrifugal force is located as well. Storms NEVER cross the equator.
      The atmosphere is NOT attached to this planet except by pressure which gives the physical energy of wind.
      The coriolis forces is an off shoot of centrifugal force with the shape of the smaller circumference of this planet going towards the poles. The smaller circumferences in mathematics means that the speed is different with circumference size.

  116. Of course, it’s only in the last twenty odd years that we have had access to satellite pictures of hurricanes so it isn’t surprising that no one has thought to compare the shapes of them . Also, only in the same time frame has there been invented the software and computers to power programes like Photoshop and line drawing programs like Adobe Illustrator. Now though, these programs allow me to cross reference the spiral shapes of hurricanes with other universal objects like planetary nebulae, galaxies and the like. Don’t knock it till you try it as the old saying goes because if there is a universality to logarithmic spiral shapes, the secrets of the cosmos may well unlock.

    • Joe Lalonde

      xionIII,

      Your getting close to understanding the mechanics of circular motion.
      Try playing with different speeds and many new avenues will unfold from compression to density changes. Solids, gases and liquids all generate very different effects from each other in motion.

    • xion III,
      Are you for real?

      • Joe Lalonde

        Hunter,

        Your communist tendencies are showing.

        Just because someone thinks differently, it does not make them to be idiots to your way of thinking.

    • Approval from Joe Lalonde!!

      The Kiss of Goofy. Many happy returns!

      • Joe Lalonde

        Brian,

        Certainly better than being a sheep that allows anything written to be absolute fact without checking the sources.

        I prefer to call it Joe’s World.
        And unfortunately YOUR in it!

  117. Let’s take the sun as an example, first of all it’s own sateliites, the planets, conform, with astounding accuracy, to the opening rate of the self same spiral as that aforementioned re the cyclones. This is easily demonstrated of course but once again, unheard of. But back to the sun. Now do you see that the surface is comprised of coils lying flat to the surface and the massive number of horseshoe shaped emanations are the shapes of energy passing from one pole to the other of each coil? Okay, see those two rings of lights in either or both hemispheres? How about considering them as pressure areas developing between the equatorial plane, the vertical polar axis and inward pressure from the shell? Whereas lie flat coils show horseshoe shapes from a side perspective, the sunspots don’t. So maybe, just maybe, we’re actually looking at energy carrying filaments going from the sun to the bubble. Sunspot activity increases because the sun isn’t getting energy from galactic filaments but when the solar bubble is fully energized, sunspot activity drops.

    This universally shaped spiral of the cyclones is evidenced planet-wide including places like Iceland so I don’t know if centrifugal forces are the answer. I’m not discounting anything, but I think there might be something else to it.

  118. Trust? Again? People evaluate the credibility of sources all the time, both consciously and unconsciously. The authors’ aim is to improve the credibility by changing communication tactics at the margin. Ignoring the more detailed problems with the IPCC process and report, even a beginner’s introduction to source evaluation would fail the IPCC report / major players. http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/english/allwrite3/seyler/ssite/seyler/se03/cars.mhtml There are obvious problems with credibility(quality control problems), Accuracy (light or no treatment of opposing views), and Reasonableness (slanted, not to mention the public statements of major players)..

    Judith Curry-

    it’s very frustrating to see this revisited for the nth time. Here’s the problem as I see it. Selling people on the truth is as difficult as selling people on a lie. Con men do this all the time, here’s how From Wikipedia): “Confidence tricks exploit typical human qualities such as greed, dishonesty, vanity, honesty, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility and naïveté. The common factor is that the victim (mark) relies on the good faith of the con artist.” It would be really comforting if the IPCC and major players at least appeared to be acting in good faith, but there is evidence they aren’t. Once the good faith is established, they should be able to pass the rest of a very basic source evaluation – they currently can’t. I don’t see the point of tweaking communication at the margin under the current circumstances, it just doesn’t address the real issues.

  119. Matt Skaggs | July 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm:

    How can climate scientists increase trust by expressing uncertainty that they do not themselves perceive? That dog won’t hunt. The problem is framed incorrectly. AGW, the failure of the self-regulating climate, should be approached like any other failure analysis. AGW should be analyzed by an impartial group of scientists from different fields, and all statements about uncertainty should come from the impartial reviewers. Climate science is not particle physics; this could easily have been done had the IPCC really been created to do what it claimed to be doing.

    Ron Cram | July 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm:

    The only way to rebuild trust is to behave in a trustworthy fashion. Scientists who attempt to defend the indefensible (Hockey Stick, Hide the Decline, Climategate, etc etc), do not deserve trust.

    Eduardo Zorita and Hans von Storch may be believers in CAGW, but they are honest men who put science ahead of politics. I will listen to any scientist who is willing to criticize the injustices done to yamal or bristlecone pine or the upside-down tiljander series. If they are not willing to speak the truth on those issues, they do not get a hearing from me.

    How people see the situation is largely determined on their views about the subject matter. If they believe, as Matt Skaggs appears to believe, that climate scientists do sincerely believe that the views of the main stream science are well justified and unbiased (or perhaps even too conservative) they see that being honest requires telling clearly, what they think and resisting requirements that the uncertainties should be presented as larger than they believe them to be.

    Ron Cram has obviously a different view on the present knowledge about climate change. He favors climate scientists, who emphasize the uncertainties more than most of their colleagues and sees those others as dismissive of facts or even dishonest.

    Accepting the view of Matt Skaggs, what should a scientist do in public appearance?

    One possibility is to maintain absolute honesty in the sense of telling things precisely as he believes them to be and accept the fact that part of the audience claims that he is not honest and that he is hiding uncertainties. The outcome may in some cases be that his whole presentation is dismissed as too one-sided.

    Another possibility is to write more like Eduardo Zorita and Hans von Storch even though that is not, what the scientist believes to represent most accurately the state of knowledge. That may turn out to be a more effective way of getting heard, but it may also be one step further from the understanding that the scientist believes to be true. When the uncertainties are accepted more by the scientists the skeptics may react not by having more trust to the scientists in general but by thinking that the uncertainties are even larger than they thought before.

    My own view is that the scientists should not yield to the pressure in the way that starts to deviate from what they believe to be true. They should not do that in either direction even, when they have the feeling that some deviation would work better in communication on the short term, because strict honesty is likely to be the best choice in the long term. The tactics of communication should be left to non-scientists.

    • Pekka,
      Your conclusion starts strong, but unless you offer some price to be assessed on those who do not tell the truth, you are not going very far.
      It is clear from climategate and the IPCC that many scientists are not telling the truth by choice.
      What do you suggest for that?

      • The essential point is that the scientist should tell, what she thinks to be true, not what you or somebody else thinks to be true. It’s also essential that she may err and that her best assessment is later found to be wrong. She must not be punished for that. She must neither be punished even though some others had the more correct view already, when she presented her view, as what we really need are independent assessments by many scientists.

        It’s a misjudgment of science (including climate science) that scientists would not be rewarded for being honest. There are errors in that as in every human endeavor, but science is not at all as corrupt as several frequent contributors to this site seem to believe – or even be fully certain of.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Pekka,

      The pressure comes when the science can be proven to be incorrect.
      The massive years of studying and believing in areas only to find that due to the forefathers, the science was incomplete. Hence, the conclusions were incorrect.
      Simple measurements, distances, time frames, motion inclusion, and much more show mechanical changes, generates differences of pressure, compressions, centrifugal force strength, gravity strength, and much more over a long time frame.
      Science still believes we have not lost a single drop of water vapor in all this time frame. Yet any object hitting the atmosphere MUST generate a splash type effect. Other planets have had water and are completely dry. Why does our scientists think this planet is an exception?
      We have theories on how rocks were moved by scratches and snowfall. This same theory could very easily be shown to be caused by a planet covered in water and ice picking up rocks to move them. Considering also that some ocean salt mines a pretty high up above sea level.
      The planets shape still is NOT taken into account nor is the magnetic field interaction of the sun. Since the suns magnetic effect is 1 million times more powerful than our planets. All the planet are in the same sequence with the sun excepts 3(2 closest to the sun and one furthest) Objects placed too close to the exact middle of magnets get very little effect from the field.

      Just some of my own observations…Observed and unobserved.

    • This is not a debate between scientists and skeptics, as there are scientists on both sides. The situation is far more complex than that. At the scientific level it is a confrontation with the entrenched establishment. But above all it is a policy debate in the face of unresolved science. There is very little dishonesty, but a great deal of advocacy.

      I am reminded of the frustration and consternation among the American founding fathers, at the rise of the two party system.

      • There certainly is advocacy and there is pressure on individual scientists from that. Some of that pressure is self-inflicted, when a scientists values advocacy higher than full honesty, and some of that pressure comes from other scientists, who don’t want their advocacy disturbed. It’s easy to see signs of such advocacy, but it’s far more difficult to judge, how much it has affected the outcome, i.e. the main stream view on the present understanding.

        Many skeptics see the bias as so dominating that they are right to essentially dismiss much of the scientific evidence, but I don’t believe that the effect is so strong at all. Still the problem exists and makes it more difficult for me as well to assess, what I should accept as reliable knowledge and what not. I have written in a recent message that I see a fundamental problem of IPCC in its contribution to this problem.

      • Advocacy plays a central role in science, not just in policy. Science is a battleground of competing and conflicting ideas. Consider the great debate between particle and wave theories of light, which lasted centuries. It was only resolved when the nature of matter was re-conceptualized. Climate may require that too.

      • I don’t agree that advocacy is the right word for the fight between scientific ideas like that between theories of light. The scientists knew that the issue will ultimately be resolved and there were little other interests than scientific prestige on the personal level. That didn’t mean that the scientists would not have strong feelings on such issues.

        There are also presently unresolved controversies on purely scientific issues like those related to some cosmological theories or the string theory. People fight both for the prestige and for the funding of research groups. They may also try to influence their own or their colleagues prospects in getting good academic positions, but all that is part of the highly competitive environment of science. They don’t expect that any other policies would be affected by the relative strengths of alternative views on string theory as on example.

        It’s an old joke that the most important result of any research project is the evidence obtained for the need of further research and more funding, but that’s so well known that others can take that into account in judging such conclusions.

      • Pekka, the skeptics “see the bias as so dominating” precisely because so many CAGW scientists have tried to defend the indefensible. If Gavin was able to say “Hey, McIntyre was right. MBH98 was a bad paper. I still believe in CAGW but won’t argue the correctness of the paper in the future” then I would have a bit more respect for Gavin. I respect Zorita and von Storch because they are willing to criticize the “home team” when the home team does bad work. It is intellectual dishonest to defend MBH98 or “hide the decline” or the upside down Tiljander series. I have called for a second comprehensive report on climate science to compete with AR5. It can include scientists from the entire spectrum of viewpoints as long as it does not include anyone who has attempted to defend the indefensible.

      • Ron,
        A few supporters of main stream views and in particular a few vocal supporters of views that go beyond the main stream view have certainly contributed to the skeptics positions. The extremely vocal and wide writing of all kinds of skeptics from scientists to outright liars has contributed much more as far as can judge.

        As a Finn who has also met some of the Finnish scientist who have done related studies and are critical of the reconstructions I have been interested in learning directly, what the issue about the Tiljander data set and it’s use in multiproxy reconstructions is. There is no question about the fact that the data has been used incorrectly more than once, but my conclusion is that the way you use that as a proof of misconduct in science is much further from the truth than disregarding the whole issue.

      • Pekka,
        You write “There is no question about the fact that the data has been used incorrectly more than once, but my conclusion is that the way you use that as a proof of misconduct in science is much further from the truth than disregarding the whole issue.”
        I don’t understand your point here. I am not saying that making a mistake and misusing the data is necessarily dishonest. I am saying that defending the mistake once it has been pointed out is necessarily dishonest. It is a litmus test. Anyone who continues to defense use of upside down Tiljander is intellectually dishonest and does not deserve to be heard or trusted. Do you have a problem with my point of view?

      • Who is or has been defending the use of data in an erroneous way? Mann was perhaps too dismissive of the early criticism, but that not the same thing.

        In the 1998 analysis the methodology didn’t allow proper use of that data at all. In a later paper it was indeed used explicitly up-side-down and the methodology made it possible, but that error was corrected as soon as it was pointed out.

        In neither case the data had much influence on the final results. Whether this is evidence in support of the significance of the results or against the significance, may be arguable.

      • Pekka,
        Upside down Tiljander was first used in Mann et al 2008. Mann being dismissive of the criticism and using Tiljander upside down again in a later paper is intellectually dishonest and precludes him from being taken seriously. Regarding others, all you have to do is Google “upside down Tiljander” or search ClimateAudit and you can see all of the people who have defended it. Some of the names are Gavin Schmidt and William Connelly. Kaufmann et al 2009 also used Tiljander upside down but Kaufmann issued a Corrigendum which admitted the mistake. Mann’s failure to do so should prevent him from being invited to parties where people respect and honor the truth.

      • When the Mann 2008 paper was published supplementary material was also published. In that supplementary material the problem of the Tiljander data was discussed and the analysis was repeated without that data and some other suspect data. The results were compared and the difference was insignificant. That all was done by Mann et al at the time of publishing the results.

        In statistical analysis one of the issues is always, when some data should be excluded from the analysis. There are valid reasons for avoiding the choice to exclude data, because excluding data in a way that cannot be applied objectively and uniformly to all data may lead to error. It was not possible to just reverse the sign of the data as the sign is not external input but determined by the method. Thus there are two possibilities: keep the data or exclude it. There are valid arguments for both. The paper did essentially the best choice of all. Made the analysis in both ways and found out that it didn’t matter.

        They couldn’t do any better and they were open on that. What is there to complain.

        The later Kaufmann et al paper used another method (which i find actually very questionable). In that method the sign is given externally, and there was an error in that.

      • Pekka,
        You are wrong. Mann added the figure to the SI after the criticism by McIntyre. The fact Tiljander is upside down does matter (how could it not?) McIntyre has shown it results in the loss of 800 years of validation. You are repeating failed arguments used by Mann, Gavin etc. You have now joined those who are defending the indefensible. In addition, arguing that “it doesn’t matter” is not valid science. Upside down data + false claims of no difference ≠ good science.

        Do a little reading. You might try http://climateaudit.org/2010/08/07/mann-and-his-bristlecones/

      • Ron,
        What I say, is that:
        - The comparison was published in connection to the publication. In that the problem was acknowledged. What happened before, is another matter.
        - I do think that data that has been declared contaminated by the authors should have been left out, but I explained, why this is not without problems as well. “Another McKitrick” could have attacked that choice as well. Thus there were only bad alternatives. It should be noticed that it’s almost certain that Tiljander would not have emphasized the contamination, if the result would have behaved logically even after the contaminating effect. This is the basis for the argument that the data should have been used anyway.
        - I wrote already above that this issue that the absence of significant differences in the Figure S8 of the supplementary material has also some indirect consequences for the value of the results. On the other hand the small difference in Figure S8 is direct evidence for the robustness of the final result. On the other hand the fact that even clearly contaminated data would have been kept without criticism (including very likely criticism by McKitrick) unless the original paper would have pointed out the effect, is disturbing.

        The paleoclimatic reconstructions are difficult. The data contains contamination in very many places. Most of that is not emphasized specifically, but it’s present is well known to be a major problem. The idea of the related science is to find out, what can be found out in spite of this major problem. The work of Mann and coauthors is part of that research and well justified from that scientific point of view. Having weaknesses in the statistical analysis is an expected factor in research of this type, although great effort must be taken to get rid of such errors. Such weaknesses are difficult to avoid, because well known standard methods are not powerful enough as they cannot take advantage from valid special knowledge on the problem being studied.

        The problems in the science itself are not unique or fundamentally different from other fields of science. It’s right that results are published, when they have reached some level of significance (not in formal sense of the world, but in accordance with the common language meaning of the expression). That’s the way the science progresses best.

        The questionable issue is in the usage of the results outside the science. Using the hockey stick graph as an important evidence for the severity of the threat of climate change is not justified, because the uncertainties are too large. Telling that the study found the earlier maximum temperature lower than the present is correct. Concluding that the evidence is strong is not correct, because the methods are complex and the apparent statistical uncertainties only a possibly small part of all uncertainties.

        The problem is even here not in exceptionally suspect science, the problem is in the wrong way of using the results in public.

      • Pekka,
        By claiming that Ross McKitrick would have criticized Mann for failing to include knowingly contaminated data you are libeling Ross. Seriously. Ross has NEVER argued for the inclusion of knowingly contaminated data and he never would.

        It is a hopelessly futile argument to claim someone, ANYONE, would have criticized Mann for failing to include bad data. But to make the argument and then try to pin a name to the action is beneath contempt.

        You never even addressed the fact that not including the bad data results in the loss of 800 years of validation. Those 800 years are the years under debate. Without those years, the paper does not say anything new and would not have been published.

        What is so hard about saying “Okay, it’s a bad paper. It shouldn’t be cited by the IPCC or used to support any scientific argument.” It would not be the end to AGW theory, but it would help to advance science. Science is supposed to be self-correcting, but when bad science is being defended with worthless and untrue arguments like those you are putting forward – well, it is science that suffers.

        I defy you or anyone else to name a paper written by Michael Mann in which the conclusions survive after a thorough audit by Steve McIntyre. AGW theory does not rise or fall without Mann, why be loyal to a bad scientist?

      • Ron,

        I have not made such claims that you read form my message.

        We have – again – discussed these issues too long, and I do not plan to continue.

      • Pekka,
        BTW, you did make the false claim you now say you did not make. Here’s the quote:
        “When the Mann 2008 paper was published supplementary material was also published. In that supplementary material the problem of the Tiljander data was discussed and the analysis was repeated without that data and some other suspect data. The results were compared and the difference was insignificant. That all was done by Mann et al at the time of publishing the results.”
        Note the words you wrote “at the time of publishing the results.” Simply not true, which you now admit. It is fine to admit Mann added material to the SI after criticism, but don’t try to claim you never made the statement to begin with.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, you continue your absurd defense of the hockey stick by use of vague and untrue comments. You falsely claim excluding data which is known to be corrupted would cause “another McKitrick” to complain. This is untrue and insulting. At no point has McKitrick (or McIntyre) ever complained about anything like that, and there is no basis to think they (or anyone like them) ever would. Moreover, the data is not simply known to be corrupted, but we know it is impossible to calibrate it to the modern temperature record as is required for Mann’s methodology. There is absolutely no logical reason to include the series.

        You make a bold and unfounded claim to defend Mann, and you even attach McKitrick’s name for no reason at all. That is obnoxious. Other obnoxious things you have said include:

        In a later paper it was indeed used explicitly up-side-down and the methodology made it possible, but that error was corrected as soon as it was pointed out.

        This comment is extremely misleading. You refer to “a later paper” without mentioning which paper you’re talking about. One would normally assume you mean Mann 2008 since that’s the paper the exchange is about. In this case, your claim is simply untrue. The error was denied when it was pointed out, and it is was never corrected.

        Now then, the authors of a different paper (not Mann) did promptly admit the error when they were informed of it. They then corrected it. In this sense, your comment is true. However, nobody was talking about that paper, and there is no way anyone could know you were referring to it. This means you are either defending Mann by making things up, or you are defending Mann by referring to other papers in a way which makes it sound like you are referring to the work by Mann which was being discussed. It’s deceptive either way/

        When the Mann 2008 paper was published supplementary material was also published. In that supplementary material the problem of the Tiljander data was discussed and the analysis was repeated without that data and some other suspect data. The results were compared and the difference was insignificant.

        This is highly misleading. The “results” you refer to are gotten by including tree ring data in the analysis. The central claim of Mann’s paper was he could get a hockey stick back to 700 AD without tree ring data. Doing an analysis which includes tree ring data does not support this central claim. In fact, it is completely irrelevant. The truth is when a meaningful analysis (removing Tiljander and tree ring series) was done at a later date, it showed Mann’s central claim was untrue.

        Pekka Pirilä, you have made untrue claims in your attempts to defend Mann’s hockey stick. You have also spread misinformation about, and misrepresentations of, Mann’s work in your attempts to defend Mann’s hockey stick. Regardless of whether the inaccuracy of your position comes from ignorance, confusion or something else, you have no credibility as long as you continue to defend your obviously inaccurate position.

  120. Michael Larkin

    Why don’t people trust climate scientists? Well, they’re not the only scientists with whom we have problems. And where we do have problems, it’s nearly always because of two factors: money and politics. Money involved in funding science, or arising in some way because of it and benefiting scientists and/or others with a vested interest. Politics can be within the scientific establishment itself, or at national/global level, or both.

    I’ve been researching recently and there are remarkable parallels with the climate science debate and a number of other debates (AIDS, Cosmology, cancer research, and so on). I’m not going to pin my colours to the mast and declare which side I am on in any of these debates, because that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is the way that what unites them all is money and politics.

    Check this out:

    http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/video/hbra2009.htm

    Yes, it’s from an “alternative” AIDs conference, but note the parallels whether or not you believe HIV does or does not cause AIDS. The guy speaking is considering lots of issues often mentioned in this forum.

    And this, about the FDA and big Pharma’s involvement in cancer research:

    Whether it’s right or wrong about given issues, I think science is in crisis, because of money and politics. I think that increasingly, Joe Public is becoming aware of this and it’s an issue that at some stage will finally be confronted, have to be confronted. It will be the grand daddy of scientific revolutions.

    • David Bailey

      Michael,

      Thanks for posting those too videos! I would encourage everyone here to listen to the first video (I have not yet tried the second one). This video makes a strong case that science has become corrupt – it is not limited to the AIDS issue – and is highly relevant to climate science.

      • Michael Larkin

        Thanks. You wouldn’t be the David Bailey who sometimes posts at the Skeptico blog, would you?

      • David Bailey

        Indeed I am, however, I keep those interests separated as far as possible – though that video is equally relevant to both subjects!

      • Michael Larkin

        I agree – it’s relevant in both areas.

      • Michael –
        Good videos. We sometimes tend to think that only in climate science is there this kind of war but that’s not necessarily true. Nearly all areas of science have some level of Sturm und Drang in process. I recently finished an introductory course re: The Origins of Life research – and the same kind of issues popped up there as we see here wrt climate science. Not as intense, certainly not with the same potential for socio-economic disaster and not with the same government/media/environmental complex support, but if you change the names and a few words, you have the same game.

        Thank you.

    • Many tips of the ICEBERG.

  121. Why Hasn’t The Earth Warmed In Nearly 15 Years?

    http://onforb.es/pysoLJ


    There is very little exchange of air between the northern and southern hemispheres, and basic climate science shows that most sulfates from China will rain out before they get across the thermal equator. In fact, there is a great deal of literature out there published by luminaries like the Department of Energy’s Ben Santer and NASA’s James Hansen claiming relative cooling of the northern hemisphere from sulfates, compared to the southern.

    So, if it is indeed sulfates cooling the warming, given that there is no net change in global temperature, then the northern hemisphere should be cooling since 1998 (the first year in Kaufmann’s paper) while the southern warms. Here are the sad facts:

    http://bit.ly/pMlGoy

    The opposite is occurring. Why this test was not performed eludes me. Perhaps that is because it provides yet another piece of evidence supporting the hypothesis that we have simply overstated the sensitivity of surface temperature to changes in carbon dioxide.

    • –> Why Hasn’t The Earth Warmed In Nearly 15 Years?

      Simple–Al Gore. Joy to the world, Al Gore has come, let Earth receiver her King.

      Al Gore and the Left has been so ‘eager to make hairshirts’ for the rest of us to wear as they continue to flaunt their business of ginning up global warming hypocrisy and blaming America and the Tea Party, businesses and capitalism, oil companies and even the country’s Judeo/Christian heritage for all of the inequities of the world. And, all of that fearmongering and hatred and ever bigger secular, socialist government — untethered from traditional American principles of respect for individual liberty, property and personal responsiblity — has really accomplished so much.

  122. Two days is a lifetime in blog-years, but this is a fascinating and enlightening discussion. I can’t resist chiming in, if only to suggest that trust is less something we should demand from others and more a trait we should develop in ourselves. I’ve developed these ideas more fully in a post on my own blog, at http://livingontherealworld.org.
    best wishes to all. Bill

    • Bill,

      Interesting post. I particularly liked your description of Climate Etc. as an e-Salon. The manners are rougher and the crowd more diverse than those of 19th century Paris, but it’s an apt description nonetheless.

    • William, I wasn’t aware of your blog. I tend to have a focus on public health infrastructure and international co-operation. I see that I will be wanting to read more of your discussions. Thanks for your link.

      • Martha –
        That’s the most polite communication I’ve seen from you in 6 months. If you continue in thatvein, we may begin to think you’re human. :-)

      • Bill’s blog is a real gem, I have referenced it fairly frequently here

      • Public health infrastructure? Sounds interesting. Wendy Marie Thomas at our AMS Policy Program does work at the intersection between public health infrastructure, weather, and climate. Can we learn more?

    • Hi Bill, nice post and thanks much for the kind words about Climate Etc

  123. Only a silly person would expect forecast to turn out exactly right. As I have said before, I wish I had stock market forecast as accurate as Hansen’s temperature forecast. No wonder Hansen has been awarded prizes for his climate modeling.

    The IPCC best estimate range is rise of 1.8 to 4.0 degrees C by the end of the century, which of course is without burning up all of earth’s fossil fuels. Your estimate of a 2 degrees C rise as a result of burning all fossil fuels wouldn’t win any prizes.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/findings-of-the-ipcc-fourth-2.html

    • They won’t get to 1.8C.

      We are now .35C lower than when the report came out.

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2007/to:2011

      • Bruce,

        Given your logic, if a team is down by a few points after the first few minutes of a game, they might as well leave the field and go home.

      • If that’s what you’re hoping for, you’ll be disappointed.

      • What I’m hoping for is people will be bright enough not to form conclusions about the accuracy of a 97-year forecast based on the first 4 years of observations.

      • What is happening is that people are not falling for forecasts over 100 years based on models of dubious quality which have not been backed by empirical evidence till date.

      • Are those people falling for no-change extrapolation forecast, even though it backcasts way wrong?

      • Normal people are not falling for any forecast. They knows that the world goes on and temperatures have been up and down. They also have sen too many ” sky is falling ” news from the climate science community with o basis and with no reality that they no longer care for such apocalypse forecasts.

        A bunch of gullible fools are the only ones that believe in this forecasting nonsense with the models.

      • If you are going to compare projections to outcomes wouldn’t it make more sense to use older projections?

        http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

      • Well, it would give you more to go on, but some people are impatient.

      • “This will result in a
        likely increase in global mean temperature of about
        1°C above the present value by 2025″

        How would you say this projection is working out?

      • In its 1990 report the IPCC projected a global temperature rise of 1°C above the present value by 2025. That projection, which had 1989 as the base year, is looking very good so far.

        Gisstemp reported its annual average global temperature anomaly rose from 0.19 C in 1989 to 0.63 C in 2010, an increase of 0.44 C. Extrapolating that gain to 2025 gives a rise of 1.2 C for the 1989-2025 period, slightly more than the projected rise of 1.0 C.

        (15/11 x 0.44) + 0.63 = 1.2

      • I think you may want to use 15/21 instead.

        Another comment in the report I found interesting:

        “The lifetimes of the pioposed CFC replacements
        range from 1 to 40 years the longci lived leplacements are
        still potentially effective as agents of climate change. One
        example of this, HCFC-22 (with a 15 year lifetime), has a
        similar effect (when released in the same amount) as CFC-
        11 on a 20 year time-scale; but less over a 500 year timescale”

        It really doesn’t sound like they expected the Montreal Protocol to make much difference right away, yet Hansen seems to believe it made a huge difference in his projections. Obviously both projections can’t be correct so who was mistaken?

      • The spelling in the report was fine, I’m not sure why it copied over that way.

      • Actually you should scratch your present equation and rethink it. It says from says a 1C increase from the present value not an increase to a 1C anomaly from the baseline.

      • Last but not least, I’m not sure where you got the value of 0.19C as the anomaly in 1989, did you perhaps use 1979 by mistake?

      • If the forecast is wrong after 4 years then the probability of the 97 year forecast being right is vanishingly small.

      • If that’s true, you should be able to show it by backcasting with observed data. I doubt you can.

      • You’re confused again, aren’t you.

      • I’m challenging you to defend your following statement:

        “If the forecast is wrong after 4 years then the probability of the 97 year forecast being right is vanishingly small.”

        You can attempt to defend your claim using 1880 – 2010 annual averages for global temperature. Assume some projections with growth rates like those we have discussed, using base years between 1880 and 1910, and see how accurate they are after 4 years and after 97 years.

      • M. carey –
        I said –
        If the forecast is wrong after 4 years then the probability of the 97 year forecast being right is vanishingly small.

        My wife understands that that’s obvious – are you telling me that you don’t? ;->

      • Are you saying the takeoff point for the projections was 2002? If so, would you identify the table by publication and page number?

      • What will happen is that people will increasingly roll their eyes when they hear of long range forecasts. Especially ones that wander in and out of the Twilight Zone.

  124. Is it really just a coincidence that beginning from mid-2003 – from the very first moment that we were able to properly measure temperature with the highest degree of accuracy ever, using Argo satellite data – that ocean temperatures have been falling?

  125. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,

    A thoughtful post. I completely agree that climate scientists need to both accept responsibility for the accuracy of their predictions and state clearly (and the more often the better) the exact level of confidence they have in their predictions. It is only those two things together that will hold climate scientists to the normal standards that most everyone has to live by. If a prediction was wrong, then for goodness sakes admit it was wrong, and accept the consequences. Faced with real consequences for screwing up (like getting de-funded… or fired), people tend to be a lot more circumspect about proclamations of certainty, and circumspection about predictions is something climate science desperately needs.

    The second issue is political advocacy…. it needs to go away ASAP. In the closing paragraph of their conclusions about a semi-empirical model of future sea level rise, Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009) write:

    To limit global sea-level rise to a maximum of 1 m in the long
    run (i.e., beyond 2100), as proposed recently as a policy goal (26),
    deep emissions reductions will be required. Likely they would
    have to be deeper than those needed to limit global warming to
    2 °C, the policy goal now supported by many countries. Our
    analysis further suggests that emissions reductions need to come
    early in this century to be effective.

    This is pure political advocacy, not science. It suggests the authors believe that the projections in the paper (1 to 2 meter sea level rise by 2100) are near 100% certain, and that the paper justifies specific and immediate public policy actions. Until and unless climate scientists and climate science journals put an end to this kind of advocacy in scientific papers, I believe the quest for ‘public trust’ will be futile.

    • –>”Until and unless climate scientists and climate science journals put an end to this kind of advocacy in scientific papers, I believe the quest for ‘public trust’ will be futile.”

      The ‘public trust’ has been lost because of scientific skepticism, not vice versa. To haver ever claiming that there was a consensus of opinion about global warming was the original sin of the fearmongers of academia. Ultimately, of course, Nature was always going to have the last word. It is also important to realize that Hot World Syndrome has never been anything more than a phenomenon of Western civilization and most especially, the wet dream of dead and dying Old Europe and the UN as a means to diminish America.

    • andrew adams

      Faced with real consequences for screwing up (like getting de-funded… or fired), people tend to be a lot more circumspect about proclamations of certainty, and circumspection about predictions is something climate science desperately needs.

      Scientists sometimes get things wrong, sometimes they make predictions (or projections) which turn out to be incorrect, even if they are based on solid evidence. That’s the nature of science, it happens in all disciplines – the notion that scientists should face de-funding or firing when such things happen is absurd, people simply won’t go into science, or they will produce results which are so tentative and full of caveats as to be of no use at all.

      This is pure political advocacy, not science.

      I don’t agree. They recognise that governments have a certain policy goal (restrict sea level rise to 1m) which they neither endorse or criticise, which is related to the subject of their paper, and they say from a scientific perspective what needs to be done to achieve that goal (reduce emissions).

      They do not advocate any particular policies which should be implemented in order to achieve such a reduction in emissions.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        It is the <combination of claimed near certainty and incorrect predictions which is to be frowned upon. Climate scientists can and do regularly make outlandish 'projections', which are only tenuously supported by data (like 2 meter sea level rises by 2100!) with absolutely no consequences, and use those projections to support their political positions. Worse, those same outlandish projections are used by other as ammunition in political arguments. If being held to account for the accuracy of your predictions/projections is something climate scientists think is unfair, I believe they will find the world outside of climate science a very unfair place indeed.

      • andrew adams

        Climate scientists can and do regularly make outlandish ‘projections’, which are only tenuously supported by data (like 2 meter sea level rises by 2100!)

        I’m not sure which specific projections you mean, but AIUI there is great uncertainty over future sea level rise because the behaviour of the ice sheets is very difficult to predict. I would be surprised if anyone was predicting 2 metres with great certainty but it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility.

        If being held to account for the accuracy of your predictions/projections is something climate scientists think is unfair, I believe they will find the world outside of climate science a very unfair place indeed.

        Scientists must have the right to get things wrong, otherwise they will just not do science. And they have to be able to explore the possibilities of different outcomes, even if they are unlikely. Is there any other field outside climate science where scientists are held accountable in the way you suggest?

      • andrew adams

        And how do you hold today’s scientists accountable for predictions whihc can’t be tested until 2100?

      • andrew adams, 7/20/11, 10:09 am, trust

        And how do you hold today’s scientists accountable for predictions which can’t be tested until 2100?

        Simple. You test IPCC’s prediction that the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is less than 1.5ºC with a very unlikely probability, i.e., <10%. In fact, that is IPCC's only testable prediction discovered so far.

        (Remember, what climate models predict is always observations, even if the modeler thinks his model is predicting events. Models are relations on past observations to future observations. In archaeology and astronomy, many events occurred in the distant past, only to be discovered contemporaneously.)

        Lindzen & Choi (2011) measured ECS at 0.7ºC. That needs to be confirmed with more estimating because the problem is statistical. However, the IPCC prediction could easily be sharpened by extrapolating its probability bands to increase confidence in and to quantify the conclusion that the AGW model is invalid.

      • andrew adams

        Jeff,

        Yes, if it were proved that the ECS were much less than the IPCC estimate that would indeed invalidate many long range projections. But this is hardly a simple thing to do. Lindzen and Choi have claimed a figure of 0.7C – I have not yet seen a detailed analysis of their new paper but I see no compelling reason to assume their estimate is more valid than the large number of studies based on numerous lines of enquiry which give a much higher figure, especially given that a) their last effort which gave a similarly low number was so badly mauled and b) it would mean throwing out a great deal of what we understand about past climate change, especially the ice ages.

  126. The sea level rise rate decreased by 40% from 3.79 to 2.26 mm/year.

    http://bit.ly/fMb7bw

    If the current trend continues, by year 2100, the see would rise by about 200 mm (2.26*90), 20cm, 0.2m, or 8 inches.

    If the previous trend returns, by year 2100, the see would rise by about 350mm (3.79×90), 35cm, 0.35 m, or 14 inches.

    How are these scaremongers getting their more than 1m values?

  127. Theo Goodwin

    Professor Curry quotes herself:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”

    I can see why Eschenbach was upset. Do you really mean to say that the IPCC has produced the truth? I find this inexplicable? Do you believe that all the glaciers will melt by 2035? That is one truth produced by the IPCC.

    • Heh, ease off. “the truth as presented” is irony; read it as “the IPCC’s version of the truth”. I personally understand it as “the IPCC’s crap”.

  128. I don’t condemn individuals. I condemn types of bad behaviour. I do not set myself up as judge/jury for any specific issue/investigation since I almost certainly don’t have all the information, among other reasons.

    This is the most disappointing comment in this thread. It is probably my years in Berkeley in the 1960s that disallow me to entertain falling short in this way. It is cowardly and encouraging to those who oppose your lack of spine.

    Get a carapace, Dr. Curry, and hunker down and make a difference from a position of strength. I did not expect to find you among those scientists that Steve M identified as unwilling to out from their ranks the science charlatans that we and you know exist. They are not in my world, but yours. In my world I’ve no such qualms.

    • A scientist in the field is not a bystander; he/she is a witness and potential intervener. To stand back and say “I hate the sin, not the sinner” is to sin by omission. Some might call it cowardice.

  129. As a journalist, who has devoted his life (I’m 59; I started work in journalism at 17) to the telling of truth and the avoidance of lying as as a personal and professional objective, I can tell you that simply striving to tell the truth is the surest way I know to build public trust. It is not a complicated formula; it requires only personal honesty. Apply that evaluation to the people whose voices you hear in the climate debate and you will learn plenty about how to and how not to handle the challenge.

    • Tom, are you interested in exposing and correcting journalistic misconduct?

    • Thanks, Tom.

      Unfortunately many leaders of governments, scientific and news organizations have not learned that simple truth.

      That is why we are now facing a dangerous impasse that threatens the very fabric of our world society – with many leaders of governments, scientific and news organizations hoping to “save face.”

      May we find a way for resolution and forgiveness!

  130. America is going to break the habit concerning the way they think about schoolteachers. The Big Government Education Industrial Complex is taking America down.

    We now see liberal fascism’s gods of cat-fighting having their day in the West during a brief hiatus after America freed all of what is now dead, dying and hypocritical old Europe from the gods of carnage. After years of sniping at the heels of America and two terms of clawing the country’s eyes out because Bush stood tall against the UN and Kyoto — and had the courage to support America with his whole heart — we now see the 19% of the country (which includes the Education Industrial Machine, the EPA and the rest of secular, socialist bureaucracy) — who hate capitalism and the American experience of man’s God-given right to individual liberty and personal responsibility, changing all the markers to direct everyone to the Castro-Chavez & Mao bridge to nowhere detour in a bus that is being driven by the smallest thinkers humanity has ever served up on a shingle. The Left is no longer clawing at the eyes of the head of state: now they’re simply knifing America in the back. Et tu, Lefte?

  131. Willis Eschenbach

    Pekka Pirilä | July 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

    When the Mann 2008 paper was published supplementary material was also published. In that supplementary material the problem of the Tiljander data was discussed and the analysis was repeated without that data and some other suspect data. The results were compared and the difference was insignificant. That all was done by Mann et al at the time of publishing the results.

    Gosh, Pekka, you could at least get the facts right …

    1. The reanalysis of the Mann 2008 paper without Tiljander and bristlecones was done later, not at the time of the publication as you breezily claim.

    2. While both you and the authors correctly claim that there is virtually no difference from leaving out the Tiljander proxy, that is only true if you include the bristlecones.

    3. When you take out both the bristlecones and Tiljander (and remember, Pekka, that THE USE OF EITHER BRISTLECONES OR TILJANDER WAS PREVIOUSLY RECOMMENDED AGAINST by other scientists in the field) the recent part of the Mann2008 proxy reconstruction was much cooler than the medieval part of the reconstruction.

    Gosh … you forgot to mention either the results, or that a number of other scientists had previously stated that bristlecones and Tiljander were toxic and shouldn’t be used, I guess. But now that you remember it, I’m sure you will clarify your claims.

    You are entitled to put your own interpretation on the facts, Pekka, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

    w.

    • My statement is based on the supporting information document referenced in the 2008 PNAS-paper. The comparison of results with and without the suspect data sets is Figure S8 of that document.

      It that’s not, what is being discussed, then I am mistaken on that.

      • Whichever way you dress a pig, it is a pig. Every paper of Mann with the hockey stick has been shown to be bad by every competent statistician. It’s only the AGW faithful who are intentionally blind and deliberately refusing to accept that fact, wilfully ignoring the evidence and condoning cheating. Pekka, if you want to have a shred of dignity or respect for your viewpoints, stop defending any edition or iteration of Mann’s hockey stick as they are all bad, flawed and works which deliberately continue to use flawed proxies and methods after they have been pointed out.

  132. Willis Eschenbach

    Pekka Pirilä | July 21, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Ron,

    I have not made such claims that you read form my message.

    We have – again – discussed these issues too long, and I do not plan to continue.

    Your first statement, as Ron has shown, is totally incorrect. You’ve claimed that Mann has coopered over the cracks in Mann 2008 at the time of publication. Unfortunately, a) he tried (but failed) to cooper over the cracks, his bad use of data made 600 years of his study useless, and b) he did it a year after the data was published. Which seems to have scared you right out the door.

    I do love how you Mann supporters are always about how we’ve discussed this enough, let’s move on.

    No, Pekka. WE may have discussed it enough, but as long as you hold the ridiculous view that Mann’s hockeystick is good science, and as long as you believe that somehow when Mann and his friends repeat bad science over and over (upside-down Tiljander, bristlecones, etc.) that makes it good science, YOU haven’t discussed it nearly enough.

    But go ahead, run on on out the door, Pekka. I’m used to your side in the debate doing that, it hardly bothers me any more to see cowardice replace science as a debating tactic …

    w.

    PS – The defense of the indefensible seems to be a sub-specialty within mainstream AGW science. As Nixon learned to his cost (but you guys don’t seem to have learned at all) the coverup is always worse than the crime. Note, for example, that the issue dogging Mann in the courts is mostly not his work, but the coverup of his actions subverting the IPCC.

    And the issue dogging him here is the coverup of the initial error. You are aware, Pekka (or perhaps you aren’t aware) that Mann never even acknowledged the mathematical error in his original hockeystick paper? It is that kind of stupidity that you are now emulating. The issue of the hockeystick (and of climategate, for that matter) would be dead and buried by now if Mann and the unindicted co-conspirators had admitted their mistakes and simply apologized for their bad actions.

    But no, by not admitting their mistakes, they, (and you as well, Pekka) are still having to run away from serious discussions using lame excuses like “we’ve discussed these issues too long”. What, you are the arbiter of the length of discussions now? You’re going to shut down discussion of this issue … by leaving?

    Shorten the discussion by leaving? Don’t you know that just makes the discussion of Mann’s malfeasance last longer?

    For your sake, Pekka, I hope you realize how foolish you look when you do that … but in my other ear, a small voice points out that such foolishness merely moves your side down in the debate, and I should be grateful for useful idiots who merely repeat the Mann’s claims ….

    On balance, however, I opt for the science and for the individual, and I hope that you do give up defending bad science. You seem like a smart guy, and I always hate to see them suckered like you’ve been.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Willis Eschenbach, you are wrong to criticize Pekka Pirilä as you do, as is Ron Cram. You are misunderstanding and/or misrepresenting what he said. This is what he said:

      When the Mann 2008 paper was published supplementary material was also published. In that supplementary material the problem of the Tiljander data was discussed and the analysis was repeated without that data and some other suspect data. The results were compared and the difference was insignificant.

      Pekka Pirilä is referring to Figure 8 from Mann 2008′s supplementary material. In this regard, he is correct. Figure 8 did exist in the original supplementary material, and it did, more or less, say what Pekka Pirilä claims. In the original supplementary material, Mann did an “analysis” in which he removed the Tiljander series, as well as three other inconsequential series. The results he got were, for all intents and purposes, the same as with the material included.

      Your confusion comes from the fact Figure 8 was updated after the paper was published. The update showed what happens if you remove the Tiljander series and tree ring data. This update is what is usually referred to due to the fact it shows Mann 08′s conclusions require either the Tiljander series or the tree ring data. However, the original Figure 8 did exist, and it did say what Pekka Pirilä claimed it said.

      Now then, Pekka Pirilä is still wrong. He claims the analysis in the original Figure 8 showed Mann 2008′s conclusions were robust to the removal of the Tiljander series. It did no such thing. Mann’s central conclusion was he could get a hockey stick without tree ring data back to 700 AD. An analysis without the Tiljander series, but with tree ring data, cannot demonstrate such.

      So yes, Pekka Pirilä was wrong. However, you misinterpreted him, and in doing so, you failed to address what he said. Even worse, you said things which were obviously untrue. Not only is this bad, it’s embarrassing as you said:

      Gosh, Pekka, you could at least get the facts right…

      Pekka Pirilä did a better job of getting the facts (he mentioned) straight than you did. He was wrong, but he was wrong because he was mislead by Mann. Mann’s original Figure 8 was basically meaningless, but it was used to “show” Tiljander didn’t matter. Pekka Pirilä was mislead by Mann, but you simply ignored the factual basis for what Pekka Pirilä said. It’s cheeky to belittle a person for wanting to leave a discussion when they get this sort of response (nevermind the tone you used).

      Perhaps this mutual misunderstanding could provide some basis for reconciliation. You could realize you responded in an inappropriate way and the tone you used was unwarranted, and Pekka Pirilä could realize he has been mislead and his defense of Mann’s work is wrong.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Brandon, as you point out, Pekka was wrong. As you say, he was wrong because he was misled by Mann.

        You are correct that I thought Pekka was discussing leaving out all of the bogus proxies, a study that was not done until a year after Mann 2008. My bad for not reading closely enough.

        Instead, he’s playing the usual recording, saying see, you can leave out one proxy, or a few, without making a difference.

        And it’s true. Because the method mines for hockeysticks, if you take out the bristlecones and leave in Tiljander, you get a hockeystick.

        And if you take out Tiljander and leave the bristlecones, you get a hockeystick.

        But when you take them both out, the MWP is warmer than the end of the proxy record.

        Pekka, you are defending the indefensible. Up until your ill-advised foray into the mysteries of the hockeystick-alikes, you were making some sense.

        Here, you’re just playing “Mini-Mike”, refusing to see that it started out garbage, and that the continued existence of the hockeystick shape is because of a few proxies that Mann et al. recycle again and again and again … for a simple reason—you can’t get a hockeystick without them.

        Take a look at a cluster dendrogram of the Mann2008 proxies here, if you are honest you’ll laugh at the idea of combining them to get a hockeystick.

        w.

      • I have stated explicitly in two comments of this thread that concluding that the results are robust cannot necessarily be done from Figure S8, although the immediate impression of that Figure goes certainly in that direction.

        I have also stated at various times in several threads that I have doubts about the reliability of the multiproxy analyses. (Here I made that most strongly on the resent paper of Kauffman et al.) I have also written repeatedly that one well known bias in most of the methods is to reduce historical variations.

        I wonder, why it’s so important for all of you that everyone joins the lynching party. That the point, where my attitude differs.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I have stated explicitly in two comments of this thread that concluding that the results are robust cannot necessarily be done from Figure S8, although the immediate impression of that Figure goes certainly in that direction.

        Pekka Pirilä, The Figure S8 does nothing of the sort. It shows what happens when you remove the Tiljander series but not the tree ring data. The primary conclusion of Mann 2008 says it can get a hockey stick back 1,300 years without tree ring data. An “analysis” which includes tree ring data does nothing to support that conclusion.

        As it happens, there is an updated Figure S8 which shows the “analysis” with both Tiljander and tree ring data removed. It completely invalidates the conclusions of Mann 2008. Mann’s own work shows his conclusions are unsupportable.

        Now then, I have never attempted to get you to join “the lynching party,” and I’m somewhat offended you would describe my efforts as such. All I have attempted is to get you to stop making things up. Mann’s conclusion is wrong. It is undeniable. There is no uncertainty or confusion left about this. Mann 08 is wrong. That’s it.

        As I explained here, you’ve said a number of things which are misleading and/or completely untrue. Trying to get you to correct that isn’t trying to get you to join a lynching party. It’s trying to get you to stop spreading misinformation.

      • I may have extended the accusation too much to you. Apologies for that.

        I entered the discussion specifically referring to the Tiljander data, not tree ring data, about which I have not made any statements. I don’t claim to be a specialist on paleoclimatic data or multiproxy analysis, but the role of Tiljander data is interesting, because I a Finn. I’m also interested in statistical methods, and I have read about them as well as made some own calculations that help me to understand some of the problems.

        That I did in most detail with the data of Kaufmann et al. because the small number of proxy series made it much easier to get a feeling on, what that data can really tell. To get such understanding, it may be useful to use a dataset small enough to allow checking the role of each individual series separately. Again I was looking only at the statistical analysis, not at any other information on the quality of the data. (In this dataset, the Tiljander data series are truncated and the contaminated later part is totally absent.) I made three alternative analyses based on alternative ways of scaling separately each dataset that has sufficient overlap with the instrumental data based on this overlapping period. Comparing the three alternatives to each other and to the results of the paper was instructive, although certainly not great science.

        This kind of exercises and various papers discussing the methods by both the authors and critics like McKitrick, Wegman, and McShane&Wyner have given some understanding on what has been done and how far we should trust the conclusions. Concerning this trust, my own feeling is that a major part of potential systematic errors and also some of the problematic issues of the statistical analysis have not been considered sufficiently even by the critics.

        In my own semi-informed judgment there is quite a lot of interesting science in these studies, but the error estimates are not at all reliable. Adding possible systematic errors would widen them even further from the results given directly by the statistical analysis. Most worrisome for the reliability is that some of the systematic biases affect all or almost all analyses in the same direction. Thus even the fact that the results have been confirmed in the repeated analyses has an unknown value as evidence.

        I could add further that the scientists doing empirical tree ring research in Finland are very skeptical on the conclusions. Their view is that the data from Northern Finland (Lapland) from areas were the tree line has been moving over centuries is contradictory with the Mann et al type conclusions. Their own presentations are a bit messy in style, which lessens their impact, but there is no question about their own views.

        The WorldDendro 2010 conference was organized in Northern Finland and the strength of the climate skepticism of some of the organizers caused some controversy in Finland. Several main stream climate scientists in Finland have for long expressed views that the paleoclimatic reconstructions are not a strong factor in the present understanding of climate. This may be due to the fact that the conflicting views on the evidence have been known to them for long.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, that would be fine if it was all you did. However, you go far beyond that. For example, in response to Ron Cram talking about people defending the misuse of Tiljander, you said:

        Who is or has been defending the use of data in an erroneous way? Mann was perhaps too dismissive of the early criticism, but that not the same thing.

        In the 1998 analysis the methodology didn’t allow proper use of that data at all. In a later paper it was indeed used explicitly up-side-down and the methodology made it possible, but that error was corrected as soon as it was pointed out.

        As I pointed out before, this is untrue. Presumably you are referring to Mann 2008 (I discussed the possibility you were referring to another paper in my initial response to this if it matters). When the issue of Tiljander being used upside down was first pointed out, Mann denied it. He has never admitted or corrected it.

        Following this, pretty much every “consensus” climate blogger who discussed the issue either denied it or said it didn’t matter. In reality, it does matter. It matters so much it completely invalidates Mann’s conclusions, though you won’t find many people in the “consensus” who will admit such. Gavin Schmidt blustered about for quite some time on the issue, then he eventually backed away (without ever retracting his bluster) from it after he was forced to admit Mann’s conclusions weren’t true without Tiljander.

        If you want to discuss Tiljander as a general subject, that’s fine. If you want to discuss general things about systematic inaccuracies or uncertainties in temperature reconstructions, that’s fine too. However, that’s not what you’ve done. You’ve said things like:

        I have stated explicitly in two comments of this thread that concluding that the results are robust cannot necessarily be done from Figure S8, although the immediate impression of that Figure goes certainly in that direction.

        And that’s what causes people to call you out. The figure you refer to in no way supports the conclusions of the paper. Despite this, you say it does. This means you are defending the paper with an untrue claim.

        You started the exchange on this topic by making an untrue claim which sought to minimize the Tiljander problem in Mann’s work. That is the problem. Mann’s work is wrong, and you defended it with untrue remarks. To anyone who has spent much time trying to get people to admit what’s wrong with Mann’s work, that is really obnoxious.

        There are lots of things which can be discussed about temperature reconstructions in general. However, Mann 2008′s conclusion is wrong regardless of them. This doesn’t change those general subjects, but it is something everyone should be able to agree on. It’s offensive that something so obviously true is denied by so many people.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        By the way, while it’s good to hear about the skepticism of results like Mann’s in Finland (scientists in Finland have always seemed to be some of the least accepting of his hockey stick), it does beg a question. Why is Mann’s work so widely accepted at this point? Why don’t we hear people from the “consensus” damning Mann for using data upside down? Mann 2008 is still widely touted as proof the hockey stick is right, but it’s conclusions depend entirely upon using series (which cannot be calibrated to the modern temperature record) upside down. As though that wasn’t bad enough, Mann used Tiljander upside down again, even after the problem was widely discussed, in Mann 2009. So not only is the problem not getting fixed, it’s getting ignored.

        Here’s an interesting thing. Kaufman 2009 used Tiljander upside down. When this was pointed out, the authors promptly acknowledged and corrected the mistake. This is what should happen, but didn’t happen with Mann’s work. However, Raymond Bradley was a co-author in both Kaufman 2009 and Mann 2008 (and even Mann 2009). This means he is a co-author in multiple papers which make the same mistake, and yet, only one of those papers has been corrected. How can scientists simply ignore things like this? Why does nobody condemn it? More importantly, after failing to condemn serious and obviously inappropriate behavior like this, how can they be surprised that people don’t trust them?

        Ultimately, one of the biggest ways to gain some trust with skeptics is to openly, and without reservation, say Mann 2008 is wrong. You don’t have to condemn anyone or try to explain why the mistakes in it happened. All that needs to be done is to say, “Skeptics have raised a number of concerns about Mann’s 2008 paper, and upon reviewing them, I agree the conclusions of Mann 2008 are not supported by the methodology used. In other words, it is wrong.”

        If the “consensus” adopted this position, it would be trusted more and science would be improved. Instead, almost nobody on the “consensus” side is even willing to say those words.

      • I don’t say anything on the other possible errors in Mann 2008, because I don’t know personally anything on them. I do not condemn the errors based on the criticism presented by others – they have already done their part. As I explained, I have looked at some issues related to paleoclimatology, but not at all everything. I have also stated that I don’t value the evidence of paleoclimatic reconstructions very highly, which means that my interest has obvious limits.

        If I have generalized in some sentences too much, that’s sloppy writing. I’m not immune to such errors, and least, when I try to answer promptly to comments that I dislike for some reason (valid or not, but true for me at that moment in any case.)

      • You defended Mann 2008 with untrue statements. When pointed out by Brandon and Ron you are weaselling your way by saying you personally don’t know anything about the errors and refuse to condemn the errors based on others’ criticism. But you were quick enough to counter their criticism with untrue statements, defending Mann 2008. So please don’t dish out BS.

        Pekka, we were not born yesterday and are not fools. What do you take us for? You are unethical and dishonest in your statements regarding Mann’s work in this thread.

      • I don’t know Mann and I don’t know particularly much about him. What I have read here and in many other places tells to me more about those, who write about Mann than about Mann.

        What I have learned of people, who write about Mann, isn’t pretty.

      • My comments are not either comments about Mann, but they have been reactions to the way his name and his work has been attacked.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, despite having responded to me several times, you have still not addressed the obvious issues I have pointed out in your comments. I have even gone so far as to focus solely on several indisputable examples of you saying either untrue or highly misleading things.

        If you admit comments like that are wrong when they are pointed out, people will respond to you far more favorably. Instead, we are stuck with you having never addressed, much less retracted, comments which are unjustifiable. If the comments are due to sloppy writing, so be it. When people point out the errors, acknowledge them, retract them and move on.

        The fact you have adamantly refused to address problems like this, on multiple occasions, speaks to your character. You say, “What I have learned of people, who write about Mann, isn’t pretty.” My response to you is simple. I am one of the people who write about Mann. I condemn Mann’s work because it is wrong. I condemn Mann’s behavior because it has been unethical. I condemn Mann because he has been dishonest. The justification for each of these is undeniable.

        I also admit my mistakes. If someone points out I have made a factually untrue claim, I correct or retract it. Perhaps I am not “pretty,” but try looking in the mirror before saying things about me.

      • Pekka, your two posts after my comments still show that you are dishonest and untrustworthy. You defended a lie, stated a lie and refuse to retract knowingly. You are waffling with weaselly statements, defending a lie. You have no credibility, based on your posts in this thread.

  133. “Trust me, baby” was a smooth line in many films about marriage swindlers, con artists, etc. The viewer knew that this was a bad plan, but “baby” often fell for the line.

    The problem here is simple. A number of climate scientists have acted as AGW activists, rather than objective scientists. And, to make matters worse, they have been caught red-handed.

    “Trust me, baby” never sounded like a smart move to anyone who is a rational skeptic, but now that all public trust has been lost, it rings even hollower.

    Judith’s “building trust” essay is to the point. It should be read over again by anyone who is either directly or peripherally involved in the ongoing climate science debate.

    Earning back lost trust is NOT a matter of slicker communication or more effective PR..

    It is a matter of first ADMITTING MISTAKES. As long as the climate “insiders” circle the wagons and attempt to cover up or whitewash the problem, it will only get bigger.

    And it looks like precisely that is what is happening today, to the detriment of honest climate scientists, who are thrown into the same barrel as the rotten ones that were exposed.

    Max

  134. Trust is built on actions, not slick spinning articles written by people who think Schneider was on to something.
    The first action to demonstrate trust worthiness would be for a climate scientist to reject Schneider’s rationalization to mislead people.
    The next would be to dedicate one’s self to simply transparently telling the truth.
    The third would be to stop tolerating those who do not tell the truth, even if they are fellow believers.

  135. Why is it, that “Climate Scientists” think that they need “to communicate better” with us, the great unwashed public.
    The very dim members of the public, really don’t care. They’re more interested in the weekend’s football results or which footballer is currently playing away and where they’re getting drunk and who they’ll brawl with or screw on Saturday night.
    Of those who are interested, the ones who are convinced that AGW is a big threat, get the message.
    Those of us who are interested, but unconvinced, also understand fully well.
    We can detect spin when we see & hear it. We know politicians lie. The Aussies voted in Julia “I won’t tax carbon” Gillard, they won’t be fooled by her again.
    How about a novel way.
    Open discussion, Mann et al open up their results for scrutinee, OK, let’s accept that some of the data & methods is commercially valuable to them & their institutions. So, let the IPCC compensate them for this loss of earnings.
    We’ve followed the denials issued by Mann et al, that they’ve used inverted proxy data, followed by admissions that they have used it inverted, but “it doesn’t matter”.
    We’ve seen the way that they hate having their papers criticised and that their fellow climatologists fail to criticise these methods.
    We’ve seen how they’ve conspired to keep papers that run counter to their own beliefs, out of the favoured journals.
    We’ve seen the way that other scientists who publish in the general arena of climatology, go out of their way to avoid criticising the methods, conclusions and indeed the morals of the high profile climatologists.
    We know that the whole area has been simply leapt upon by politicians as a wonderful way to raise money.
    These politicians don’t want full disclosure, how can they now admit that their carbon taxes aren’t based upon 100% solid facts, that there is indeed a huge area of doubt about future temperatures, sea levels, how many Polar Bears there are, etc, etc & still keep the tax revenues coming in and, more importantly, keep themselves on the political gravy train at the next elections?
    So, they’ll funnel money towards those who produce work to support their taxation policies & keep them striding across the world stage, meeting their fellow politicians & hangers on at nice, warm venues (I’ll bet there won’t be another meeting in the wrong climate zone, cf Copenhagen!)

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