Who’s anti-science?

by Judith Curry

A blogospheric debate has erupted this weekend over who is more anti-science: the political right, or the left.

Alex Berezow starts it off in a post at USA Today entitled “GOP might be anti-science, but so are Democrats.”  Some excerpts:

Is Perry anti-science? And, more generally, is the Republican Party anti-science?  Yes. But so are the Democrats.

Each campaign season, the same three hot-button science issues are tossed around like political footballs: evolution, global warming and embryonic stem cells. On these three issues, criticism of Republicans is fair.

So Democrats might have a point if those three issues were all there was to science. Unfortunately for Democrats, their progressive political allies often hold blatantly anti-science beliefs themselves. And in some cases, progressives actively undermine technological progress.  

Federal health data suggest that anti-vaccine sentiment is more common in progressive areas. 

Progressives are also often against genetically modified food, despite its known benefits and widespread support among agricultural scientists and molecular biologists. 

We can also thank progressives for blocking the construction of nuclear power plants, even though nuclear power is supported by 70% of the scientific community. Ironically, they oppose this technology despite the fact it would help reduce carbon emissions and limit the impact of global warming.

In short, for every anti-science Republican that exists, there is at least one anti-science Democrat. Neither party has a monopoly on scientific illiteracy. Indeed, ignorance has reached epidemic proportions inside the Beltway.

Chris Mooney objects, with his post on “Classic False Equivalence on Political Science Abuse.”  An excerpt:

When this kind of thing gets pointed out, there is one response you can count on: Someone tries to show that liberals do the same thing. This typically involves finding a few relatively fringe things that some progressives cling to that might be labeled anti-scientific. But usually, the allegedly anti-science position is not mainstream or has relatively little political influence. Sometimes, the argument is even weaker still, because science-related policy disagreements are confused with cases of science rejection, ignoring a very basic distinction that is central to any discussion in this area.

In the comments, Ken Green responds:

Right, so let’s continue on your dismiss-a-thon of leftist anti-science, shall we? DDT and cancer, BPA and phthalates as carcinogens and endocrine disruptors; claims that organic food are safer because they have less pesticides/contaminants; claims that eating local foods are better for the environment than foods from elsewhere; claims that re-usable cloth bags are better for the environment than plastic or paper bags; false claims of species endangerment; pseudo-scientific claims about species loss treated as gospel; claims that climate models have predictive power; claims that individual weather events represent climate change…I think you missed a few.

Oh, wait, I forgot a few: frogs dying from climate change, alligator penis malformations from endocrine disruptors, bees dying from climate change (or is it cell-phones this week?), butterflies dying from BT crops…And, let’s not forget Alar, or cancer from video displays, or cell phones, or anything vaguely reminiscent of modernity.

Oops! Oh yes, then there’s the giant plastic ocean graveyard that was never seen again, and, let’s not forget the now-famous drowning polar bears.

From Mike Hanson at Purdue University:

I would add to your impressive list the additional following examples: ALAR and apple juice, hydraulic fracturing risks, hexavalent chromium contamination in Hinkley California, amaranth, saccharin (although all of these might be better classified as the misuse of toxicology, a particular pet peeve of mine) and my favorite, nuclear winter. Mooney brushes this off by alleging that while there may be misuse of science by liberals, the perpetrators are not influential and it has no wide scale impact. Oh contraire. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, to name just one, had a mandate that the Environmental Protection Agency develop an endocrine disruption screening program for pesticides. This was based on years of activism from the like of quacks like Theo Coburn and was bolstered by a Tulane study, later retracted after no one could duplicate its results, that appeared just in time to impact the bill. Anther example is Carter, with strong endorsement from the “scientific community”, ending US nuclear waste reprocessing. 

And Mooney is dead wrong on low dose radiation hazards. The National Academy of Science states that “no dose of radiation is safe” but they have no data to back this statement up, only a hypothesis they cannot test. The linear threshold model is a liberal (no pun intended) application of the precautionary principal as you cannot conduct an epidemiological study of radiation exposure at low levels of exposure and get any meaningful data. This being the case, the linear threshold model for radiation exposure is not science, it’s a philosophical argument.

Manipulation of “science” is VERY mainstream among liberals. You can hardly pick up a lefty magazine or newspaper and not see it. The left “science deniers” are similar in pathology to Christian millenarianists who await the Apocalypse. They pinpoint a date for wholesale destruction, and they’re always wrong. But unlike Christian fundamentalists, liberals have the advantageous distinction of never needing to say sorry. In fact, the worst of them, people like John Holdren and Paul Erlich go onto serve in very high places in the scientific community.

Keith Kloor picks up the discussion at Collide-a-Scape with a post entitled “Who you calling anti-science?”  Kloor states:

What Green fails to address is that an anti-evolution pose and climate change rejectionism have become closely associated with the GOP, because of the influence of religious conservatives and the Tea Party. There are no similarly high profile anti-science stances associated with Democrat leaders or policymakers. For example, President Obama, as Mooney pointed out, is pro-nuclear. Here’s another: The Obama administration has made regulatory decisions on GMO foods that have upset the lefty, anti-GMO types at Grist and Mother Jones. And so on.

So when looked at this way, there is no equivalence in anti-science attitudes between establishment Republicans and Democrats–as reflected in the kinds of science-related issues that are now fixtures in the political landscape. It’s pretty clear which party is getting the anti-science reputation and why.

JC comments:  With the exception of evolution, each of these issues that one side or the other is accused of being anti-science has sociopolitical implications. Science is being used as a proxy for what should be a debate over values and policy.   Many of the issues under debate are about complex organisms or environmental systems, where the science is uncertain or ambiguous when applied to policy problems.

Using science for political purposes is on par with ignoring science in policy decisions, so both sides are guilty of abusing science.  It is probably pointless to argue which side is more guilty.  The real problem is when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science.

487 responses to “Who’s anti-science?

  1. Kloor barks at the elephant turd in the living room, thinking he’s banished the beastie, not knowing it’s into the kitchen now, and hungry.
    =========

    • Senate Majority Leader Durbin admits that Solyndra is a big deal.

      Durbin: “if there was rank stupidity and a terrible thing, let the chips fall where they may.”

      Cameron(host): “and it might hurt Democrats in next year’s election.”

      Durbin: “Well, of course”.

      H/t the World’s Largest Store & Tom Nelson, who doesn’t get enough credit.
      ================

      • The biggest deal is the drop in public confidence in the world leaders and leaders of the scientific community who refused to acknowledge obvious wrong in the manipulation of climate data (Climategate).

        The sad state of affairs today is reflected in comments on the story in PhysOrg.com about 911 events: “Were the Twin Towers felled by chemical blasts?”

        http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-theory-collapse-twin-towers.html

        We are in desperate need of statesmanship to resolve the current dangerous stand-off and restore:

        a.) Citizen control of government, and
        b.) Integrity to government science.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • Harold H Doiron

        Dr. Manuel,

        You “nailed it”. As scientists here, we should all rally behind your observations and recommendations. I am afraid that the dialogue of science has seriously deteriorated, especially within the US government, since our nation’s amazing accomplishments of the Apollo Program in the 1960′s where we both had significant contributions. I have learned much from reading your scientific papers referenced previously in your posts at Climate, Etc. Thank you for your dedication in attempting to get your points across to many participants here who just aren’t listening to their elders. When the current generation of scientists actually accomplish something with lasting impact that they can be proud of, they will understand.

      • Thanks, Harold.

        Your kind comments are appreciated.

        Facing the prospect of being 75 years old in a few weeks, I have no interest in winning the 1975-2011 debate on the interior of the Sun. Reality cannot be avoided. “What is” will be recognized.

        But I am troubled by the lack of statesmanship needed to resolve the dangerous stand-off and restore:

        a.) Citizen control of government, and
        b.) Integrity to government science.

        Social disaster may be averted if these are our top priority!

        Again, thanks for your kindness.

        Oliver

      • Michael Larkin

        Oliver:

        ‘The sad state of affairs today is reflected in comments on the story in PhysOrg.com about 911 events: “Were the Twin Towers felled by chemical blasts?”’

        I’m unclear what you are implying. Is it that molten aluminium mixing with water couldn’t have been the cause, or the opposite, or something else?

      • The “sad state of affairs” is members of the public who think our government had more to do with the 911 event than Iraq did!

        What was a small, but definite problem in space sciences in 1975 expanded into evidence of a world-wide propaganda machine remarkably like that described in George Orwell’s book, “1984.”

        http://www.online-literature. com/orwell/1984/

        I saw this development over my own career [1], but had no idea what was happening until Noble Prizes were given for compromised “science” and world leaders joined with leaders of the scientific community to “whitewash” the affair.

        My main concern now is the absence of statesmanship to resolve the currently dangerous stand-off.

        1. Video summary disturbing events (1961-2011)
        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/ 10640850/Summary_of_Career.pdf

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

    • Who’s anti-science? Both political parties have been for about four decades, since agreeing to save the world from the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation by adopting two falsehoods as scientific truths:

      a.) Anthropogenic climate change, and the
      b.) Bilderberg model of the Sun as a stable H-fusion reactor

      The rest of the sad tale:

      1. “Summary of research career (1961-2011)”
      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Summary_of_Career.pdf

      2. “Deep roots of the Climategate scandal” (2011)
      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

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

  2. The only “anti-science” idea here is the notion that some are “anti-science”. To make the argument, you have to paint the issue in black and white, and it hardly ever is. Not scientifically, and even less so politically. Vaccination is one of my favorites. Arguing for or against vaccines in general is about equally stupid in my opinion, given the vast differences between vaccines in terms of the diseases they target, their side effects and their efficacy. It’s not “anti-science” though, just superficial.

    • Dagfinn

      Nice use of paradox.

      In the converse, it isn’t anti-science for some to not be anti-science.

      Once upon a time, for example, Forbes magazine wasn’t anti-science. Indeed, its editors and readers valued rationalism, logic, evidence, balance and competent analysis.

      Looking at it now, one could scarcely recognize the anti-science rag Forbes has become.

      • 1) It stopped warming in 1998
        2) It is anti-science to point that out
        3) It is anti-science to mention that there was more sunshine in the 1990s
        4) It is anti-science to mention clouds, aerosols etc etc unless they are used to explain why the warming stopped in 1998.
        5) In fact, if you do not worship at the god of CO2 you are anti-science

        My conclusion … lefty AGW supporters are not anti-science. They are con men and women.

      • Bruce

        1) It isn’t inconsistent with AGW for warming to stop, sometimes for decades.
        2) It is pseudoscience to apply invalid reasoning dressed up as science.
        3) It is anti-science to substitute pseudoscience for science.
        4) You can’t do this without being aware of and intending to seek to use anti-science.
        5) “In fact,” preceded and followed by spin and subterfuge is a hallmark of a con.

        My conclusion, were I affirming the consequent, Bruce is a lefty AGW supporter.

      • You’re getting pitiful, too, Bart R. You coulda been a contenduh.
        =================

      • Ahh. The anti-science magic AGW statement: “It is still AGW even if it isn’t warming, and it is still AGW if it is cooling.

        “Just because you can’t see god, doesn’t mean god doesn’t exist.”

        Faith based science. I am not anti-religion and and if you need the AGW religion to get through the day, I think its fine. But don’t call it science.

      • Bart R -
        1) It isn’t inconsistent with AGW for warming to stop, sometimes for decades.

        Of course it is. Anthropogenic influence a la CO2, methane, land use, etc only cease in the face of major events like the Black Plague or Genghis Khan’s slaughter of the Arabs or the massive Amerind dieoff in the 15th C. Since AGW, by convention, only started in 1950, there has been no such event. Therefore, the lack of warming in the recent decade in conjunction with the continued increase in both CO2 and human population is definitely inconsistent with AGW.

        2) It is pseudoscience to apply invalid reasoning dressed up as science.

        You need to learn what pseudoscience is, Bart. It would be on the order of claiming your brand of faith healing is grounded in quantum mechanics. Pseudoscience is one of the several varieties of voodoo science. Your statement is not a description of pseudoscience. I’ll recommend a book by Robert Park titled “Voodoo Science” – you need it to get your terminology correct.

        3) It is anti-science to substitute pseudoscience for science.

        That’s true.

        4) You can’t do this without being aware of and intending to seek to use anti-science.

        Hmmm – that doesn’t make sense. Most, but not all, forms of voodoo science – including pseudoscience – are done without conscious knowledge of wrong-doing. That’s the nature of the beast. So your statement is inconsistent with your assumption of pseudoscience. Read the book.

        5) “In fact,” preceded and followed by spin and subterfuge is a
        hallmark of a con.

        No. No competent con man would ever use those words for any reason. You also need an education wrt the varieties and operation of con games. But I have neither the time nor inclination to educate you.

        My conclusion, were I affirming the consequent, Bruce is a lefty AGW supporter.

        Don’t bet more than a donut on that. :-)

      • Bart R,
        The best con-artists make their victims believe they truly believe, but always follow the money.
        There is hope for you, but you are afraid to follow that hope.
        Good luck and thanks for the fish.

      • Bruce

        While it’s nice to hear from a lefty AGW supporter who isn’t anti-religion, it’s not like anyone’s asking your permission.

      • Jim Owen

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-116113

        1) You’ve confused yourself with kim. Remember, kim’s the one who makes no sense.
        2) I feel no need to learn, at the moment. Perhaps your crystal ball is on the fritz.
        3) See? We’re in complete agreement.
        4) I read a book once. Seemed pretty pointless.
        5) Was I giving the impression I believed Bruce competent? You seem to be doing a pretty competent job at the moment, on the other hand.

        I’ll see your donut and raise you a goose egg. ;)

  3. “The real problem is when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science.”

    A cynic could also say that this gets in the way of scientists doing politics. Climate science is somewhat unusual in how science and advocacy for particular policy positions are intertwined. The IPCC is an interesting example of policy advocacy and science being intertwined, although the official stance is the the IPCC is supposed to be only about the science.

    • Yet it was officially set up to only be about the anthropogenic impact on climate. They’ve even badly missed the boat on that, too, see Pielke Pere. They were intoxicated, nay, anesthetized, with CO2.
      =============

      • The IPCC is ambiguous by design, a joint venture of the political UNEP and the scientific WMO. In the same way climate science is funded to solve the AGW policy issue. In this framework there is no way for science to become pure. The anti-science rhetoric is simply the normal voice of hyperbolic political rhetoric. Until the policy issue dies it is here to stay.

    • It seems to me the argument about global warming and the offshot about anti-science is the equivalent of quoting the Bible for your own purpose. Just as you can pretty much prove anything from scripture, so too can people on both sides of the aisle find support for their positions.

  4. When did it become anti-science to be skeptical of a claim for which evidence, data, and methods are hidden from review and which results are not even reproducible by the source of the claim? When did it become anti-science to be skeptical when such claims are coupled with solutions for the problems presented in the unsupported claims? When did it become anti-science to be skeptical of these claims when predictions based on such claims have consistently failed to materialize in the observed record?

    Who has stolen the meaning of “anti-science” and what have they done with the body?

    • Mooney and other are conflating two things.

      There are “anti science” philosophies. You see them on the left and you see them on the right. These are thought systems which claim some other form of knowledge is superior to science.

      There is nothing anti science about being wrong about global warming science. there is nothing anti science about being wrong about vaccines

    • The science is settled, cooling is not inconsistent with the science of Global Warming, errors and mistakes do not mean it is wrong. Tricks are acceptable. To disagree means you are anti-science and you will be a “denier”.

  5. I strongly disagree with “The real problem is when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science.”

    That is a minor problem for the world, though it is a real enough problem for scientists.

    However, it is of very little consequence compared to the problem of bad decisions being made based on a confused understanding of the state of knowledge and its practical implications. That problem is much more important.

    It is unlikely that climate science will make enough progress to substantially change the risk picture on the time scale on which important decisions must be made. If we are all unemployed tomorrow, it will be a great loss for us, and for the distant future of our civilization if there is one. But the question of whether that civilization survives and thrives depends very much on effective processing of scientific information in decision-making, which apparently is failing.

    • “A confused understanding of the state of knowledge”. Tell me again, Michael, about the great uncertainty in the net effect of Anthro CO2 on the globe and its societies.
      ============

      • Certainty is a straw man.

        Known well enough for policy purposes: residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere (multiple time constants, but it takes a good century to even take a bite out of it) and sensitivity (a bit over a half degree per W/m^2 TOA forcing, give or take a factor of two). Ocean acidification (massive disruption of ocean life in addition to current stresses kick in about 2050).

        Initial signs of things turning out worse than we expected: severe weather events associated with climate transient response, Arctic melting. Ecosystems response.

        There you go. The whole business in 100 words or so. Certainty? Not great but there is only modest prospect of improvement on policy time scales. Risk? Enormous.

        Demanding precision in advance of mitigation is profoundly illogical. It is those who advocate taking no response who need to provide a precise prediction.

    • The question Michael, is who is confused about the state of the knowledge, you or me? That be the problem.

  6. “The linear threshold model is a liberal (no pun intended) application of the precautionary principal as you cannot conduct an epidemiological study of radiation exposure at low levels of exposure and get any meaningful data. This being the case, the linear threshold model for radiation exposure is not science, it’s a philosophical argument.” The linear NO threshold model is one of my pet peeves, Guess that makes me a merchant of doubt.

  7. Neither tribe has foresworn the politicization of science as a weapon of war. Which tribe is being exposed for attempted use of the atomic bomb, which fizzled on impact?
    =====================

  8. You will notice that the progressives listed here oppose things that should be classified as technology rather than science (vaccines, nuclear power, GM food), i.e. man-made things that, while depending on science, the science behind them is agreed on. They are not challenging the scientists, but the specific uses of technology. As such, this is a false equivalence. Please point to something where progressives are on the opposite side to actual scientists on a scientific issue.

    • Good point. How about, they are selective in the scientific methods used to support their anti-technology position?

      • A lot of these technology arguments come down to statistics. Are cell phones harmful? Will a nuclear plant or its waste be a danger in some way? The statistical results for these questions are either controversial or difficult to evaluate. If cell phones are found to be harmful, I suspect most people won’t argue except the cell phone companies.

      • Risk issues re technologies are scientific not technological. Look at the risk analysis literature. Moreover, in the cases listed on both sides there are scientists on both sides. Nobody is being anti-scientific. This discussion illustrates the blog law that stupid articles produce stupid discussions.

      • This is why we need to frame the question more precisely, as I mentioned earlier. Is there an example of progressives arguing against a scientific consensus in the same sense that (some) conservatives argue against evolution and global warming? By scientific consensus, I mean scientific principles of the first order that appear as unquestioned facts in text books.

      • Don’t need weathermen
        To tell that the wind has changed.
        Climate consensus.
        ==========

    • This is a valid argument up to a point, but in the end everything does, or should, come down to scientific considerations.

      If a particular technological innovation is rejected on safety grounds ie the relative risks involved, it must be by scientific assessment. If the argument is that vaccines, nuclear power, genetic modification, or whatever, are unsafe, it only makes sense scientifically if the statistics are presented to justify it. And, if those who are making the argument formed their opinion on the basis of those statistics.

      Does that happen? I don’t think that generally it does; anymore than those who argue against AGW form their opinion on the basis of the scientific evidence on that issue.

      • Well, I rather prefer “evidence” that is auditable and verifiable rather than hidden and altered by some twit on a corrupt mission.

      • To the extent that it comes down to statistics, not science, there will always be two sides to an argument, even in the scientific community if both sides have scientific justification. It is not wrong for progressives to take sides (usually the precautionary one) in unproven cases.

      • Statistics?

        I think Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick and others have proven there is one true sure thing in climate science:

        Climate Scientists are grossly incompetent at statistics and they tell big lies using their fake statistics.

        One hilariously sad example is treemometers that magically work for 800 years and stop working in 1960!

      • treemometers (TM moshpit)

        dont u forget it

      • Sooner than this?

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/19/treemometers-or-rain-gauges/

        (Not trying to be a jerk, but that is the first reference found by google)

      • tool. There are probably some before that. go get some lessons in searching. Google is for lazy minds. Read every CA post. Read every comment. or ask kim,

        http://climateaudit.org/2007/10/12/a-little-secret/#comment-110597

      • I did ask. They said you were a bitter luke warmer (in a cooling world) hanging onto a claim for a definition of a word …

      • you obviously have been around long enough or read carefully enough to understand all the back stories and fun in this.

      • lucia and I have gone round and round because I call myself a ‘lukewarming cooler’, terminology which she finds nonsensical. I can’t make her understand the distinction between ‘lukewarmer’ as a concession to CO2′s radiative effects and ‘cooler’ as a centennial scale temperature prediction. It’s mysterious, because she is fantastic at distinctions.
        ==========

      • Moshe knows we both independently invented ‘Piltdown Mann’ and I know there is precedence for both of us at climateaudit.org, but I can’t find it anymore.
        =========

      • These words are powerful because any one of millions, nay, tens of millions could have invented them. I suspect Steve saw men with picks and shovels when first he tumbled into the ‘censored’ hole. I suspect the first dendro who correlated temperature with tree ring width thought of ‘treemometer’.
        ===============

      • There is a lot of noise in the debates. Statistics though seems to be the root cause of most of the issues. One group nearly blindly accepts the methods and the other is stubbornly skeptical. From a scientific perspective, stubbornly skeptical should be preferred over blindly accepting.

      • Statistics though seems to be the root cause of most of the issues.

        Several aspects to statistics and how statistical methods get used. From my POV the ones that appear frequently are those dealing with separating the data from the noise, those that try to distinguish between measurement error and natural fluctuations, those that deal with uncertainty, those that try to quantify disorder, and those that can quantify preference of one model over another.

        I prefer to cast the problem domain into terms whereby most of the statistical decision-making can be minimized. This sounds hard, but is not impossible. The key is to bring in physics first-principles wherever you can. Often the statistics are just a proxy or placeholder for not understanding what is happening, for example using a heuristic. When the placeholder is replaced, what happens is that the first-principles start to explain not only the observed effects, but everything else as well. As Feynman said:

        When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

        Here is a good example of a climate science analysis where I minimized the statistics by grounding just about everything in terms of first-principles physics and quality data:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/fat-tail-impulse-response-of-co2.html
        So for this set, fossil fuel consumption is quality data and the atmospheric CO2 is quality data. The statistics of an arbitrary heuristic fit are replaced with a straightforward physics model derivation, and what pops out is knowledge that we can build on.
        This is what we need to be able to do for the harder climate science problems, and I am not sure if the statistical problems will keep on getting in the way.

      • Vaccines, nuclear power, and to lesser extent fossil fuels, are less scientific arguments than moral arguments. How much risk is okay to expose communities to for a given benefit. Stem cells, too, are often recognized as potentially beneficial, but is it moral. These questions will never be answered by science, sam harris notwithstanding.

    • K Scott Denison

      The linear, no threshold model is a clear example of progressives being on the wrong side of science.

    • That’s what’s so diabolical about AGW. It’s an attempt to use science to bludgeon technology. You have to hand it to the Malthusians, they have chutzpah.

    • It’s all about confirmation bias – in either direction.

      Do you remember all the libertarian hand-wringing about the radiation from airport scanners? Wast from nuclear power plants? No worries. Airport scanner? RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!

    • Some stuff lefties regard as scientific but are religious or beliefs:
      Marxism
      Atheism
      Origin of Earth’s single cell life [evolution doesn't address how life started].
      Or multi-cellular life.
      The idea that it’s chance- no more scientific than God caused it- it’s not scientific and demonstratively false.
      That science can hold the “answers”. The idea that science can say anything valid in regard to god- or basically anything related to what regarded by most people as what important in life: Why we are here, where is it going, what “happens after death, love, honor, beauty, art, self esteem, motivation, etc. Human existence in other words.
      Feminism: such as girls and boys are the same- girls can like trucks as much as boys do. There is no different between 2 men or 2 women being parents compared to man and women being parents.
      Relativism: As in there is not such thing as good or evil.
      Crime: Criminals are result of environment. Criminals can treated so they
      are socially adjusted.
      Education. They think they have a clue of how this is done correctly.

      Post-Normal Science: Generally, lefties are people who never wanted to study science [and didn't]- but since Truth can be made rather than to discovered- science is not worth the time- is it? So this is what is said: Science is boring, and needs some kind of entertainment injected into it to make it more digestible.
      For liberals science is laundry list of facts or conclusive results of science [or the authorized doctrine of scientific], instead of a process of knowing, a process of discovery.

      • Another beautiful post at Climate Etc.

        girls can like trucks as much as boys do.

        Yes indeed – a true understanding of “science” informs us that girls can’t like trucks as much as boys.

        Too funny.

      • Some comments tell nothing about the subject but a lot about the commenter.

        That cannot, however, be generalized to any larger group.

      • You can’t generalize from an individual’s comment to a larger group where you don’t have evidence of the other members’ comments.

        I wouldn’t generalize to all “skeptics” from a comment like gbaike’s above.

        But when you have a fairly large percentage of similar comments like that at a blog like Climate Etc., I think that it is fair to speculate that there is a significant # of skeptics that are overtly tribal in their approach to the climate debate. This is particularly true given what we know about how humans approach reasoning on controversial issues that overlap with questions of social/cultural identity.

        The same would apply to the group on the other side of the debate also.

      • The left once understood populism. No more. Now they’ve all gone to school.
        ======

      • But when you have a fairly large percentage of similar comments like that at a blog like Climate Etc.

        How representative groups can we find from the contributors of this blog, or even from contributors to all climate blogs? How representative are the skeptic contributors and how representative are any other subsets of contributors.

        I have commented previously that one of the groups, which is very strongly overrepresented on the net, are certain type of libertarians, who have similar simplistic answers to every question including climate, but the same applies certainly to some specific groups near other extremes, although their absolute numbers seem to be quite a lot smaller.

      • Heh, Pekka, show me the curve.
        ========

      • How representative groups can we find from the contributors of this blog, or even from contributors to all climate blogs?

        I don’t know, Pekka – and I don’t think that anyone knows. That’s why I object to categorical characterizations made by Judith, and by others, who generalize about the larger groups based on limited data. The evidence is, simply, lacking.

        I’m not generalizing about the relative sizes of the groups – only that we know for a fact that broad and categorical disassociations of “skepticism” from political extremism and tribalism seem counterfactual. I would argue that a broad and categorical disassociation between ideology and tribalism on the other side of the debate is similarly based in wishful thinking far more than on evidence.

      • Heh, Joshua, show me the curve.
        =========

      • “Some comments tell nothing about the subject but a lot about the commenter.

        That cannot, however, be generalized to any larger group.”

        Most people have been indoctrinated that groups- movements are responsible for betterment. Whereas these movements are merely the results or expression of betterment due to other factors.

        Technology is the result of science. The progress of technology has been the prime mover of “social improvement”.
        Another “science” of the left is we would be “better” without technology.
        This idea is anti-science.
        The idea that we are “at the end of science” is another scientific idea with zero basis of truth.
        As for what group I belong to. I like to think I am a space cadet:
        Space cadets have a certain advantage, they are more familiar to idea that science is not done. That technology is a means to undreamt dreams and a future as unimaginable as the 21 century was to the 19th century.

    • Jim D – When life begins.

  9. Judith,

    This posting goes right to the heart of the problem. Or almost.

    You’re perfectly right in saying there is no point in arguing who is the more culpable, the left or the right. However, it is quite obvious that a rejection of science is, at times, part of the human psyche. It’s normal. If any emerging science clashes with long held political, or religious, values, then it does tend to be the political values which trump scientific considerations. The political left and the political right are the same as each other on this, except of course, the issues themselves are different.

    That’s why its just futile arguing science with anyone who is motivated to reject it on political grounds. You’re never going to build any bridges between the factions on the AGW argument any more than you could build bridges between Evolutionists and Creationists.

    • Except skepticism is the emerging science, slowly overthrowing but surely, the 40 year old AGW paradigm. Resistance is futile.

    • That will be done when the aliens return to check up on their genetic experiments, they left running on their own. The goal was to see how the adaption of the induced life forms would change and sort them was it more due to climatic shifts or just sexually random genetic selection? Paper will be published as soon as they get data back to Alpha Centauri.

    • I think it is possible to build bridges between the “skeptical un-convinced” and the “skeptical convinced,” if not between “deniers” and “warmists” By definition, “deniers” and “warmists” are driven by political and other ideological influences, and as such, really have no interest in the science. Any science that they can see as compatible with the ideology is “good science,” and any other science is “bad science.”

      The problem is that as long as Judith refuses to effectively distinguish between “skeptical un-convinced” and “deniers,” and “warmists” and “skeptical convinced,” she will never be in a position to build bridges. All she will ever do is further fan the flames of exstremism on both sides. That’s why the path she seems to have chosen is so odd – since it only works against her stated goals.

      • Once again, Josh – your terminology is so convoluted that you’re not worth reading.

      • Since you’ve commented on my terminology a number of times now, clearly you know what it means even though you repeatedly try to deny that you do.

        As usual, quite amusing – and thanks again for reading.

      • No Josh – I didn’t read that. Nor have I read anything else that you ‘ve written using that terminology- at least not past the first paragraph – or sentence. Nor, I suspect do a lot of others read that kind of nonsense.

        If you can’t or won’t use language that’s common to the debate, then your message isn’t worth reading.

        Don’t worry, I’ll be gone again – soon. I do have better things to do with my life than argue with those who don’t understand common courtesy.

      • Nor have I read anything else that you ‘ve written using that terminology

        “skeptical un-convinced/denier,” and “skeptical convinced/believer.”

        And that’s why, so frequently you’ve felt is necessary to tell me that you think the terminology is meaningless – because you’ve never read the explanation for how I use the terms.

        Oh, you didn’t read that, did you?

        Too funny.

      • Oh, and BTW Jim, apparently you’ve forgotten, but here’s a series of posts we exchanged about my use of the term 0 including one where I gave you quite a detailed explanation. You even quoted my use of the terms.

        So much for not having read anything else I wrote using the terms, eh?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/28/mooney-on-kahan-on-skeptics/#comment-81017

      • Joshua –
        Oh, and BTW Jim, apparently you’ve forgotten, but here’s a series of posts we exchanged about my use of the term 0 including one where I gave you quite a detailed explanation. You even quoted my use of the terms.

        Yup – that was then. And IIRC, I’ve not read anything else since then where you’ve used those terms – at least not after the point where you used them. That’s one of the things about science – if every scientist used their own terminology we’d still be trying to figure out what Aristotle was talking about. As I said, Josh, it’s common courtesy to use the language that’s common to the debate. It’s also a requirement if one’s writing is to be clear and effective.

        BTW – it’s another ASSUMPTION on your part that you have the right or the power to change the terminology of the debate. And that’s arrogance as well as disrespect for you audience.

      • Yup – that was then. And IIRC, I’ve not read anything else since then where you’ve used those terms

        The hilarity continues.

        “skeptical un-convinced/denier” and “skeptical convinced/believer.”

        Keep pedaling backwards, Jim. First you complain about my use of the terms, and so I explain them to you so you’ll know what I mean when I use them.

        Then you complain again because the terms are too “convoluted,” so I explain that since I know that you know what they mean, that’s all that really matters.

        Then you claim that you have never read anything else /strong> (other than my post in this thread) that I’ve written when I used the terms – and when I point out that isn’t true – you pedal even further backwards when I showed your statement wasn’t accurate by stating “that was then.”

        This gets funnier by the post – and unlike your repeated creation of strawmen and mischaracterizations of what I’ve said, this pedaling of hasn’t yet gotten dull – it continues to be amusing.

        Can you continue to back-pedal?

        have the right or the power to change the terminology of the debate.

        Uh. Oh. Looks like you’re up to the mischaracterizations and strawmen again, Jim.

        I haven’t “assumed” that I “have the right or the power to change the terminology of the debate.”

        I have only “assumed” that I have the right and the power to use whatever terms I choose to use.

        I “assume” that those who understand the terms can respond if they so choose.

        I “assume” that those who don’t understand the terms can ask and I’ll explain what I mean.

        I “assume” that those who don’t want to respond can choose to do so whether they understand the terms or not.

        And I “assume” that those who claim to not understand can read my explanations, and respond to my posts when I use those terms, and then later claim that the terms are too convoluted for them and falsely state that they don’t read my posts when I use those terms.

        I “assume” that any of those things can happen.

      • oops.

        And I “assume” that you can read my post even though I forgot to run bold off.

      • I have only “assumed” that I have the right and the power to use whatever terms I choose to use.

        Thereby exhibiting a high level of arrogance and disrespect for others in the debate.

      • Lol!

        Using the terms I choose to use, in comments on a blog, when people know exactly what I mean, is the height of “arrogance.” I am being discourteous by using the terms I choose to use because I think they are more accurate that then terms commonly used?

        Oh, and Jim – I used the terms “skeptical un-convinced/denier” and “skeptical convinced/believer” at the top of that post – and yet you read past that anyway and responded to what I wrote below it.

        Once again, Josh – your terminology is so convoluted that you’re not worth reading.

        And yet, you just keep reading, don’t you? And you claim that you don’t read my posts when they include those terms, yet you keep doing so?

        Because, you know, you have better things to do?

      • Thanks for linked to that conversation, Josh you left a question unanswered

        “Did ODonnell advance the science? or do you disagree with Steig?
        Huh? simple question Josh, who is correct Mooney or Steig?”

      • Sorry – that should be steven…

        And to link in the proper nest….

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115468

      • Joshua,

        Start here and read Mooney

        http://www.desmogblog.com/little-knowledge-why-biggest-problem-climate-skeptics-may-be-their-confidence.

        Here is the key paragraph from Mooney we were arguing about when you decided to hijack the thread and try to make it about Willis:

        “In my experience, climate skeptics are nothing if not confident in their ability to challenge the science of climate change—and even to competently recalculate (and scientifically and mathematically refute) various published results. It’s funny how this high-level intellectual firepower is always used in service of debunking—rather than affirming or improving—mainstream science. But the fact is, if you go to blogs like WattsUpWithThat or Climate Audit, you certainly don’t find scientific and mathematical illiterates doubting climate change. Rather, you find scientific and mathematical sophisticates itching to blow holes in each new study”

        Mooney’s claim: They do not affirm or improve mainstream science.
        Your claim: Mcintyre does not advance mainstream science

        Willis points out that blowing holes in accepted science does advance science
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/28/mooney-on-kahan-on-skeptics/#comment-80936

        You respond with a personal attack on willis rather than addressing his point.

        I sharpen the point and ask you the following question:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/28/mooney-on-kahan-on-skeptics/#comment-80985

        You cant answer. You cant answer because like Mooney you dont know the facts, wont learn the facts, and wont read the basic documents.

        Fact: O’Donnel, Mcintyre, Condon et all advanced the science. How do I know? The author ( Steig) they criticized, said so. He called their work an improvement of what he had done. He reviewed it.

        So, Mooney argues that skeptics at CA are basically competent in math but destructive in their purpose. They tear down they do no build up. You start the thread with retarded arguments about Mcintyre.
        Willis makes a case for the benefit of critcisms.. and you, you go personal. you dont address the issue. you go personal.

        I try to to bring you back to the issue. Did Odonnel improve the science as Steig said, or is Mooney ( the english major) right.

        You probably dont even get how a question about Odonnel is also a question about his co author Mcintyre ( hint look up thread and see that we were arguing about Mcintyre )

        So.. who is anti science? Joshua and Mooney who disagree with the scientist Steig. It was Steig after all who said that Odonnell (McIntyre, Condon) was an improvement. It is Joshua and Mooney who are anti science.

      • Stephen -

        “Did ODonnell advance the science? or do you disagree with Steig?

        I don’t know that the question is in reference to. Can you provide a link?

      • Mooney didn’t concede that O’Donnell advanced the science. Steig, bitterly, did. Nature blushed.
        ===============

      • Gotta link?

      • You linked to the very discussion. See above.
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115594

        The last time we discussed Mooney and you refused to stay on topic.
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/28/mooney-on-kahan-on-skeptics/#comment-80985

        You and Mooney argue that CA (Mcintyre) are competent but they are only negative and dont advance the the science.

        I ask you about Odonnell ( trick question, because I know that you dont know that Mcintyre is a co author )

        That question is this: Did Odonnell advance the science or is mooney right? You should know that the scientist they criticized said they advanced the science. So, who am I gunna believe? Steig who says they advanced the science ( Odonnell, Mcintyre, Condon) Or you and Mooney who argue that the skeptics at CA dont advance the science.

        You’re best bet is to say: ” I was wrong about Mcintyre. He has published work in mainstream science that advances our understanding.”

        or change the topic. it will be obvious.

      • Heh, Nature blushed Jan. 2008. For the rest, moshe would say read the blogs. Better, get your search lackeys on it, STAT.
        =============

      • Heh, don’t tell me moshe’s not predictable.
        =========

      • JimOwen

        Joshua makes a valid comment and there’s really nothing convoluted about the terminology involved.

        Joshua,

        Nevertheless, I wouldn’t agree with your groupings. To start with, the “skeptically unconvinced” category must be very tiny. To qualify for this status anyone would both have had to start off with a completely open mind and have the necessary ability to reach an informed opinion solely on the basis of the available scientific evidence. Who would qualify on this blog?

        And why should there even be a category of “skeptically convinced” ? If I read that scientists are largely of the certain opinion on a particular matter, even if I don’t fully understand everything, why should I even think there is anything to be skeptical about? I accept what I read about DNA, genes, chromosomes etc but, to be honest, I know stuff all about it!

        So, the categories should be your “skeptically unconvinced”, and outside this tiny group we have the scientific rejectionists and scientific assenters.

      • To qualify for this status anyone would both have had to start off with a completely open mind and have the necessary ability to reach an informed opinion solely on the basis of the available scientific evidence.

        I don’t think that they would have to have a “completely” open mind to fall into that category. IMO – the notion of a “completely” open mind is not consistent with what we know about human nature, and certainly about how people reason about controversial topics with social identity overlay like the debate about climate change.

        I reserve “denier” for those who completely disregard the science and who are overtly driven by political or other ideology. A “believer” would fall into the same category. Even people who are overtly influenced by ideology may not reject or accept the science out of hand purely because of how it does or doesn’t match their political orientation. I don’t know the actual numbers, but IMO – the numbers there are vastly overstated on both sides.

        Who would qualify on this blog?

        As for who on this blog would fit into which category – I am reluctant to characterize people that I don’t know personally because just by reading blog comments I think it is hard to read someone’s true motivations and intent. I certainly think there are some strongly politically identified “skeptics” on this blog that are open to reasoned debate (John Carpenter, BillC, Gene, a few others). So just based on how they conduct themselves on this blog I am certainly inclined to think that the “denier” label does not apply to them. As for others such as Jim Owen, or hunter, or cwon – who are habitually are prone to creatomg straw men and unfounded characterizations of those they disagree with politically – I am not inclined to call them “deniers” with any certainty, but it is clear to me that they often display the facile reasoning that would be endemic to a “denier.”

        And why should there even be a category of “skeptically convinced” ?

        Because to just call someone “convinced” would suggest that the nature of scientific analysis doesn’t imply skepticism. It’s like those who rail against the “AGW religion” without acknowledging that even the IPCC says that it is 90% likely that more than 50% of GW is A – a statement that implies skepticism about AGW.

      • Joshua, this isn’t… Tony B. Liar.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8787074/Tony-Blairs-six-secret-visits-to-Col-Gaddafi.html

        ‘O’ let’s not forget his ‘brother’ Bubba Bill. Another, Green Machine…

      • Joshua –
        As for others such as Jim Owen, or hunter, or cwon – who are habitually are prone to creatomg straw men and unfounded characterizations of those they disagree with politically – I am not inclined to call them “deniers” with any certainty, but it is clear to me that they often display the facile reasoning that would be endemic to a “denier.”

        Interesting. Apparently your version of a strawman is any question that you cannot answer or any comment for which you have no reply or anything which disagrees or debunks or even opposes your view.

        I’ll ask again – are you EVER going to learn that when some of us ask questions or offer counter-arguments, we actually mean what we say? So far you’ve failed to learn that.

        And again – are you EVER going to learn that your own words and the way you use those words reveal more about you than you seem willing to believe? From your words and attitude, one would think you’ve never participated in formal debate. For example, do you believe that making up your own words to express concepts that are already defined by words that are common to the debate subject woujld be acceptable in a formal debate setting?

        There’s more, but it’s not worth my time right now.

      • TT –
        So… typical of your tribe you also want to change terminology to suit your own biases?

  10. Michael Tobis — ” the question of whether that civilization survives and thrives depends very much on effective processing of scientific information in decision-making, which apparently is failing.”

    There is absolutely zero, nada, nothing about SCIENCE which provides any support to this comment. Your faith is noteworthy. But confusing your faith with science, is “anti-science”.

  11. The biggest anti-science movements were very progressive and dressed up in science.

  12. I concur that both sides (left and right) are trying to take knowledge about a process/product further then the state of the scientific method would support. The “Stages of Knowledge”, by Bohn, Roger table, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/1994-fall/3615/measuring-and-managing-technological-knowledge/ comes to mind.

  13. I guess that this also pertains to the question of ‘junk science’. The left says the right is anti-science, the right says the left uses junk science.
    Mind you, politics is supposed to be there to discuss the thing that matter, and despite our dismay in how it’s going about it, it is getting it’s teeth into these issues now.

  14. It is probably pointless to argue which side is more guilty.

    No doubt – however, it is important to call people out when they claim that there is some “vast asymmetry.”

    • Atomic bomb vs blog commentary. No asymmetry, no, none at all.
      ============

    • There are several major asymmetries, but maybe not vast. My favorite is the AGW dominated $2 billion/year USGCRP. Is this not vast? If the skeptics have such a program it must be hidden in the CIA.

  15. Equating “evolution, global warming and embryonic stem cells.” as having similar basis for “Republican” dissent is a great example of intellectual shortcuts that undermines discussion. Not to mention, there is not exactly unanimous agreement of these issues amongst even the handful of Republican primary prez contenders. Oh damn..there goes the binary model.
    It is also curious to me how infrequently media address the issue of researcher incentives to pursue lab/career sustaining grants and proceed to incrementally support but require additional study of warming/change/modeling. There are a few scientists that acknowledge this in a more public way. I have only heard it at a gathering of advanced botany majors discussing pragmatically how the best way to keep grants coming in is to tie your research somehow to warming/change. So yes..progressives are excited to “follow the money” of dissenters, when not simply labeling them deniers. But somehow the research sphere exists outside financial incentives.//the money trail goes cold or ends with “consensus”.

    • David L. Hagen

      Avoiding bias in scientific forecasting
      Self interest and large “profits” or “grants” strongly distort how scientific results are reported. Consequently, medical researchers and the US FDA have imposed stringent double blind clinical testing requirements with severe penalties for abuse.
      However, in climate policy we have orders of magnitude greater financial flows – but NO requirements for objectivity.
      Green and Andersen expose some of the detailed failures that have so seriously biased the IPCC’s models and most government funding.
      Global Warming: Experts’ Opinions versus Scientific Forecasts Kesten C. Green & J. Scott Armstrong 2008 National Center for Policy Analysis

      Of more than 1,060 respondents, only 35 percent agreed with the statement, “Climate models can accurately predict future climates,” whereas 47 percent disagreed. . . .
      Out of the 140 forecasting principles, 127 principles are relevant to the procedures used to arrive at the climate projections in the IPCC report.
      l Of these 127, the methods described in the report violated 60 principles.
      l An additional 12 forecasting principles appear to be violated, and there is insufficient information in the report to assess the use of 38.
      As a result of these violations of forecasting principles, the forecasts in the IPCC report are invalid. . . .
      The Data Are Unreliable. . . .
      The Forecasting Models Are Unreliable. . . .
      The Forecasters Themselves Are Unreliable.
      . . .
      The evidence shows that those forecasting long-term climate change have limited or no apparent knowledge of evidence-based forecasting methods; therefore, similar conclusions apply to the second two elements of the forecasting problem. Public policy makers owe it to the people who would be affected by their policies to base them on scientific forecasts. Advocates of policy changes have a similar obligation.

      What will it take to drag climate science back to objective unbiased validated scientific forecasting?

  16. I don’t care how anti-science the political fringes are. It is much more worrying that the political middle of both parties in the USA are anti-science and technology, e.g. nuclear power, fracking, genetically modified foods, etc. We are also anti-business and economically illiterate in many cases. When and how will we finally come back to more logically based thought? What ‘significant emotional event’ will finally make us turn this corner?

  17. Harold H Doiron

    The govenor of Texas has been branded as “anti-science” by his political opponents and the mainstream media because he stated he believed that the “concensus theory” claiming significant man-caused global warming was not “settled science”. How many participants at Climate, Etc. believe this theory is “settled science”? If you do, I question the rigor of your scientific training, because this theory has not withstood the normal tests that scientists have traditionally required to accept a theory as “settled science”.
    The govenor of Texas was trained as a C-130 pilot in the USAF. You aren’t certified to be a pilot-in-command of multi-engine airplanes under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) unless you can pass standardized tests in weather, aerodynamics, airplane flight dynamics, flight rules, navigation, etc., etc., AND demonstrate proficiency in actually safely flying the airplane under difficult emergency scenarios. The man is not stupid and those who try to paint him that way are trying to mislead others. Similar political and media hacks made the same claims about George W. Bush, who was able to successfully fly F-102 jet fighters on IFR night interception missions. This “anti-science” talk is silliness that doesn’t deserve serious debate on these pages. If you think your intellect is superior to these very successful governors of Texas, then let us see if you can achieve what they have accomplished in their careers.

  18. Should be obvious…anti-science is whoever tries to frame science in the political discourse. But then, everybody does it, so…

    Anyway, I can see the trouble with the Left is their living in terror that capitalism and liberal democracy are the way forward indeed, rather than socialism. So whatever results from capitalism and liberal democracy is automatically labeled as “bad”, including most of the material progresses of the past decades.

    Therefore rather than saying the average Left Person is more or less anti-science than the average Right Person, I am inclined to think that the former is more trapped than the latter in a frame of mind that will forever push away from science. Unless socialism comes back and then perhaps the roles will reverse.

  19. Confucius say “he who wave red herring smell fishy”.

  20. I’ve always found the “pollution” of the left-right labelling-divide – that seems to infect far too many “debates” these days – is a proven recipe for counter-productive discussion, i.e. logic, facts and rationality (not to mention respect) seem to fly out the window. But that aside …

    Using science for political purposes is on par with ignoring science in policy decisions, so both sides are guilty of abusing science. It is probably pointless to argue which side is more guilty. The real problem is when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science.

    Another element that “gets in the way of scientists doing science”, IMHO, is that of highly influential NGOs, whose “contributions” sometimes verge on pure unadulterated science-fiction, as I discovered yesterday! Details at:

    ET please call WWF

  21. “For example, President Obama, as Mooney pointed out, is pro-nuclear.”

    Yes, just like he is for increased drilling for oil, against gay marriage, in favor of closing GITMO within months of his inauguration, against rendition, against using the military to depose dictators, in favor of toning down the political rhetoric, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

    That is why he has forced the cessation of drilling and exploration of domestic oil, refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, kept GITMO open, continued rendition (and vastly increased the use of predator drones to kill terrorists – and whatever civilians happen to be nearby), used the American military (belatedly and ineffectively for months vastly increasing the civilian death toll). and railed against his political opponents non-stop since the date of his election. and oh yeah, not a single step toward actually beginning approval or construction of a single new nuclear power plant has been taken during his administration.

    Science is to progressives no different from military, economic or social policy. It is a means to an end. The left has been blatantly and openly using science to pursue its political agenda ever since Silent Spring was published, and the assault on DDT succeeded and gave birth to a cash stream from the government (by way of progressive politicians) to progressive NGOs that has since turned into a flood. The more honest progressives were quite frank about what they were doing, until recently.

    • I left one out. Obama is also in favor of the U.S. government “living within its means.” Which is why he keeps proposing budgets that will increase U.S. debt from 10 trillion dollars now to almost 18 trillion dollars by 2012.

      But hey, we got Solyndra going for us….

    • GaryM: You saved me from writing a similar comment. Thanks!

    • continued rendition (and vastly increased the use of predator drones to kill terrorists – and whatever civilians happen to be nearby)

      A statement like this deserves a link. Otherwise people might be skeptical.

  22. In short, for every anti-science Republican that exists, there is at least one anti-science Democrat. Neither party has a monopoly on scientific illiteracy. Indeed, ignorance has reached epidemic proportions inside the Beltway.

    Completely misses the point. The political class never was strong in science, or even math. They always were incompetent. What is different about the political class these days is their hubris. They imagine themselves scientific, and fighting the crusade for science. This is pure, 100% hubris. In the past, we had more modest and competent leaders like Eisenhower, who didn’t pretend to be experts at all things technical, but knew how to manage science and technology. Now we have people with too much self esteem and too little ability.And it’s not just WRT science and technology, but also economics.

    Some modesty would help immensely. Competence would be a good thing too, but you need the modesty first.

    And if this is creating a problem for scientists trying to do science, they opened up that can of worms when some of them decided to get in bed with political activists several decades ago. Now the worms are all over everyone. Blame the people who tore down the wall between politics and science, not the other political tribe.

  23. The truly anti-science people here are all climate scientists – those that sabotage the science process by hiding declines, hiding data, deleting emails, etc.

    • Agree. If I may quote Jesus,

      “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

      Jesus was pro-science, it seems.

    • A better way to frame this debate might be :
      Who is anti-corrupt-science ?
      Broad answer : the Republicans.
      The Democrats are mostly pro-.

  24. JC: “Science is being used as a proxy for what should be a debate over values and policy”

    Yes agreed. BUT its not just politicians that do this, scientists do as well, particularly in the fields of health and environmentalism, to support what I presume is their own ideology.

    An example of this in the UK at the moment is the BMA’s position over alcohol pricing and public health, where they blatantly only use the gross “costs” of alcohol (ignoring any net cost-benefit estimate), and conveniently forget such factors as the price-elasticity-of-demand on the effects of minimum pricing policies.

  25. Kloor:

    What Green fails to address is that an anti-evolution pose and climate change rejectionism have become closely associated with the GOP, because of the influence of religious conservatives and the Tea Party.

    Evidence?

    • P.E. … you quite rightly ask for “evidence”. However, I have noticed that when it comes to providing “evidence” in support of their claims, some people will respond by substantiating their assertions; others tend to either ignore the request or (quite often) appeal to their own authority – IOW, they use the Because! I! Said! So! mode of substantiation.

      It is left as an exercise to the reader to determine how Kloor’s responses to requests for evidence might best be characterized.

      • What’s strange (and completely unscientific) about that statement is the way Kloor conflates evolution with AGW and then conflates religious SOCONs with the Tea Party. There’s probably some truth to the SOCONs resisting evolution, and some truth to the Tea Party resisting AGW. But running those thing together makes about as much sense as saying that the environmentalist/femininsts are for junk climate/gender science. Regardless of which side of the issue you’re on, that’s just plain sloppy rhetoric.

      • The Tea Party is mostly economic conservatives, and for Keith to think it’s just about the money is to blind himself.

        The Democrats, and not just them, have made a huge mistake wallowing in the political-financial-scientific train wreck that is the hysteria about warming. Should Republicans just let them wallow in privacy and not youtube the event?
        ================

      • Is it, or is it not about money? Depends on who you talk to. That’s another nuance that Kloor misses.

        But there’s about money in the “I don’t trust these guys’ policy ideas” sense, and then there’s about money in the “you’re all on Big Oil’s payroll” sense. Those are rather different things. More nuance.

        Maybe this thread should be about which side is anti-nuance.

    • Kloor
      There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. See my post documenting polls that show the Tea Party is the most knowledgeable on global warming issues. e.g. see
      e.g. See: Politics & Global Warming, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and the Tea Party George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication, Sept. 2011.

      Note that the “Tea Party” is the most informed about “global warming” and “climategate”. e.g.

      . .. Tea Party members are much more likely to say that they are “very well informed” about global warming than the other groups. Likewise, they are also much more likely to say they “do not need any more information” about global warming to make up their mind. . .
      Tea Party members are far more likely to have heard about the “climategate” email controversy (45%) than Republicans (20%), Independents (27%), or Democrats (16%). . . ..

      etc.

      • I am the most informed person about the tea party and I can tell you the tea party are definitely clueless about climate.

      • At a minimum, the Tea Party probably knows that warming stopped in 1998 even when people like you claim it continued.

        They probably know if a tree is lousy proxy for temperature suddenly in 1960, it is most likely a crappy one for 1860 or 1760 or 1660.

      • Most of the tea party, according to the same poll also “know” that humans didn’t evolve from ape-like ancestors.

      • But we know that my statement is true, and your’s is false.

      • ” 81% of Democrats and 70% of independents believe the Earth is getting warmer, compared with 49% of Republicans and 41% of people who identify with the tea party.”

        That makes those 81% of Democrats idiots.

        Global Warming conmen have unfortunately fooled most people, but the least number of Tea Party supporters were fooled.

        Good for them.

      • ironic Bruce, because facts are

        global warming didn’t stop in 1998. It’s continued past 1998.

        Feel free to advance the claim to 2002 though.

      • lolwot –
        Most of the tea party, according to the same poll also “know” that humans didn’t evolve from ape-like ancestors.

        And they’re right, lolwot. Humans evolved from a different branch of the tree than apes. Try learning something about evolution, babe.

      • which branch then?

        Oh and you can’t pick an animal branch because the full poll question that 52% of the tea party respondents strong disagreed with was: “Q233. Human beings, as we know them today, evolved from earlier species of animals.”

        So by a different branch on the tree did you mean literally we evolved from some type of tree? (otherwise I think you will find chimpanzees are indeed apes and they are our closest living ancestors)

      • It stopped in 1998. People who pay attention know that. Even Phil Jones admitted it.

        Pay attention lolwot.

        Only the naive think warming continued past 1998.

      • @lolwot:

        Most of the tea party, according to the same poll also “know” that humans didn’t evolve from ape-like ancestors.

        (otherwise I think you will find chimpanzees are indeed apes and they are our closest living ancestors)

        The notion that humans are evolved from chimpanzees is nonsense, not supported by any scientist working in evolution. All of them know, as you (and most science textbooks, AFAIK) evidently don’t, that chimpanzees have been evolving from the common ancestor as long as humans. Or did you mean that humans evolved from a knuckle-walking tree-swinging ape with arms longer than its legs? That ridiculous theory was falsified years ago (well, 2 years), see the references at the bottom of my post.

        But evolution, including the ideas above, is still taught as “fact” by most science textbooks (AFAIK), rather than theory which is what it is, just as creationists keep saying. So now that the old theory has finally been falsified, “Watta we do now, Chief?”

        Ref’s:

        Lovejoy, C.O. (2009) Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus. Science 326, 74 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175834

        Lovejoy, C.O., Latimer, B., Suwa, G., Asfaw, B., White, T.D. (2009a) Combining Prehension and Propulsion: The Foot of Ardipithecus ramidus Science 326, 72 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175832

        Lovejoy, C.O., Simpson, S.W., White, T.D., Asfaw, B., Suwa, G. (2009b) Careful Climbing in the Miocene: The Forelimbs of Ardipithecus ramidus and Humans Are Primitive Science 326, 70 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175827

        Lovejoy, C.O., Suwa, G., Simpson, S.W., Matternes, J.H., White, T.D. (2009c) The Great Divides: Ardipithecus ramidus Reveals the Postcrania of Our Last Common Ancestors with African Apes Science 326, 73 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175833

        Lovejoy, C.O., Suwa, G., Spurlock, L., Asfaw, B., White, T.D. (2009d) The Pelvis and Femur of Ardipithecus ramidus: The Emergence of Upright Walking Science 326, 71 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175831

        Suwa, G., Asfaw, B., Kono, R.T., Kubo, D, Lovejoy, C.O., White, T.D. (2009a) The Ardipithecus ramidus Skull and Its Implications for Hominid Origins Science 326, 68 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175825

        Suwa, G., Kono, R.T., Simpson, S.W., Asfaw, B., Lovejoy,, C.O. White, T.D. (2009b) Paleobiological Implications of the Ardipithecus ramidus Dentition Science 326, 69 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175824

        White, T.D., Ambrose, S.H., Suwa, G., Su, D.F., DeGusta, D., Bernor, R.L., Boisserie, J., Brunet, M, Delson, E., Frost, S., Garcia, N., Giaourtsakis, I.X., Haile-Selassie, Y., Howell, F.C., Lehmann, T., Likius, A., Pehlevan, C., Saegusa, H., Semprebon, G., Teaford, M., Vrba, E. (2009a) Macrovertebrate Paleontology and the Pliocene Habitat of Ardipithecus ramidus Science 326, 67 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.1175822

        White, T.D., Asfaw, B., Beyene, Y., Haile-Selassie, Y., Lovejoy, C.O., Suwa, G., WoldeGabriel, G. (2009b) Ardipithecus ramidus and the Paleobiology of Early Hominids Science 326, 64 (2009); DOI: 10.1126/science.117580

        All of these can be read at the Science website with free registration:

        http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/misc/webfeat/ardipithecus/

      • “The notion that humans are evolved from chimpanzees is nonsense”

        I didn’t say they did. I said they evolved from an ape-like ancestor. We aren’t directly descended from chimpanzees but share a common apelike ancestor with them. And that’s a fact.

      • lolwot –
        I didn’t say they did. I said they evolved from an ape-like ancestor. We aren’t directly descended from chimpanzees but share a common apelike ancestor with them. And that’s a fact.

        Actually, that’s NOT a fact – it’s still a question. And a better description would be: We’re descended from a common ancestor The word “ape-like” is both inaccurate and unscientific. In fact, ALL life is ultimately descended from a common ancestor, the origin of which may have been on Mars. That, of course, is one of a number of viable hypotheses. Note that your version of evolutiionary “fact” is based on unproven hypotheses. Which, in turn, makes your evolution “fact” unscientific from the start.

        Read the references provided by AK; try learning something real about evolution; and learn about Origins of Life science. Then maybe you’ll have something useful to say on the subject. At present you’re just an ignorant parrot and no better than those you try to smear with your unscientific science. .

      • Jim
        Evolution is a theory that has considerable evidence to support it, but is not perfectly understood.

        Perhaps more importantly, it is a theory which all people can accept or reject without impacting the lives of others. It really doesn’t matter if you believe or not.

        The problem with some people’s theory of climate change is that it is far less supported by the science than is evolution (using the comparison for discussions sake), but acceptance or rejection of the theory can have vast a impact on a large percentage of the population’s lives on a day to day basis.

      • Ape-like ancestor is not scientific? Maybe if you are a creationist it isn’t.

        It’s a scientific fact that our species descended from an ape-like ancestor. Yes a fact, jim, one of those things you so obviously loathe.

      • I’m particularly amused that the fact that the development of such phenomena as cilia, providing mobility, and the clotting cascade, providing preservation of the internal milieu, follow evolutionary principles is taken on faith, despite the specific mechanisms for such development not being elucidated.
        ================

      • There’s plenty of evidence that these things did evolve. Working out exactly how they did does not refute that they did. Anymore than not understanding how galaxies form refutes any laws of physics.

      • Heh, the ironies mount. Who’s gonna fund the new wing at my museum?
        ==============

      • Rob Starkey –
        Evolution is a theory that has considerable evidence to support it, but is not perfectly understood.

        I know what evolutionary theory is, Rob. I’ve taken enough university courses specifically related to the subject to have a Masters in the subject. And I’m presently taking another one.

        Nor have I said that evolution is either wrong or fraudulent science. What I HAVE said is the lolwot’s version of evolution is wrong – and based on uncertain science – and that he’s a parrot for those whose science is either oversimplified or out-of-date – and that his continued attempts to smear/denigrate others using non-scientific knowledge vividly illustrates the depths of his own ignorance on the subject. Keep in mind that I’ve warned him repeatedly about bloviating on subjects that he knows nothing about.

        Perhaps more importantly, it is a theory which all people can accept or reject without impacting the lives of others. It really doesn’t matter if you believe or not.

        Exactly. And my point is that those who try to use it as a club to beat up on those who don’t believe is at least as anti-scientific as the beliefs of those who deny evolution. Pot and kettle!

        The problem with some people’s theory of climate change is that it is far less supported by the science than is evolution (using the comparison for discussions sake), but acceptance or rejection of the theory can have vast a impact on a large percentage of the population’s lives on a day to day basis.

        Yup. Disbelief in evolution may not be smart but it hurts nobody. Nor does it indicate either lesser intelligence or defective thought process. OTOH, mindless belief in CC is not only anti-scientific, but destructive to the science itself. And, as you point out, destructive to the society that spawned the science. And lolwot’s belief in both evolution and CC is apparently mindless and unquestioning.

      • I am beginning to think maybe Jim is really a closet creationist/ intelligent design believer. Because that would at least explain his strong emotional hang up about me pointing out the fact that our species evolved from ape like ancestors. Why would he be trying so hard to claim that was uncertain or wrong? It isn’t.

        This topic started because over 50% of the tea party responders to the poll said they strongly disagreed that humans evolved from earlier species of animal. Which shows at least 50% of the poll responders don’t know what they are talking about.

      • This topic started because over 50% of the tea party responders to the poll said they strongly disagreed that humans evolved from earlier species of animal. Which shows at least 50% of the poll responders don’t know what they are talking about.

        No it just means they lack your (and my) faith in that speculation.
        Hence your claim that they don’t know what they are talking about, conclusively proves that you don’t know what you are talking about.

      • It’s not faith. It’s fact. We evolved from ape-like ancestors. It amazes me how many climate skeptics (who yes I know none of you are creationists, i was joking) are willing to water down science so much that everything becomes a matter of faith.

      • lolwot –
        It’s not faith. It’s fact. We evolved from ape-like ancestors.

        Your faith is touching (and yes, it IS faith on your part). That’s evidenced by your unwillingness to even investigate the basis for the statement. But the statement is still stupid. What part of “both ape and human are descended from a critter that classifies as neither human nor ape” do you fail to understand?

        It amazes me how many climate skeptics (who yes I know none of you are creationists, i was joking) are willing to water down science so much that everything becomes a matter of faith.

        Like you’re doing wrt the present subject? In this case you BELIEVE something that objectively, scientifically is insupportable and yet you insist on the truth of your BELIEF. And THAT, my friend, is faith – er, FAITH. Not science.

        BTW, have you learned yet what the acronym TEA means? :-)

      • I didn’t say they did. I said they evolved from an ape-like ancestor. We aren’t directly descended from chimpanzees but share a common apelike ancestor with them. And that’s a fact.

        Actually, you said “they are our closest living ancestors“. And just in case that was a mis-key and you meant “closest living relatives”, I went on to address what I suspected your actual point was.

        It’s fact. We evolved from ape-like ancestors. It amazes me how many climate skeptics (who yes I know none of you are creationists, i was joking) are willing to water down science so much that everything becomes a matter of faith.

        I’m not talking about faith, I’m talking about semantics. Except for humans, every ape on the planet is adapted for brachiating, with arms longer than their legs. Our putative closest relatives, pan and gorilla (it’s still disputed), are also well adapted for walking on their knuckles. When you say “ape”, that’s what most people think you mean: knuckle-walking, tree-swinging apes with arms longer than their legs. I’d guess that more than 90% of global warming activists think that’s what humans are descended from.

        Well, the evidence that they’re not is stronger than the evidence for “Anthropogenic Global Warming”. It actually has been for quite a while (IMO), but until the discovery and investigation of Ardipithecus ramidus paleontologists were in denial and continued (most of them) to insist that a chimpanzee-like ape was the common ancestor.

        This topic started because over 50% of the tea party responders to the poll said they strongly disagreed that humans evolved from earlier species of animal. Which shows at least 50% of the poll responders don’t know what they are talking about.

        And then you demonstrated that neither do you. Not only that, your refusal to bother reading actual peer-reviewed refs, forcing other people to spend time interpreting them for you, is just as bad as some of the denialists around here. I suspect one of the reasons creationists can get away with denying science is that too often science is being presented as a religion. Which it’s not.

      • Cool beans, Art. Now, if I could just have a word with you about ‘denialist’.
        ==========

      • It amazes me how many climate skeptics … are willing to water down science so much that everything becomes a matter of faith.

        By which you really mrean : it amazes you how reluctant skeptics are to elevate faith in half-chewed, secrecy- and fraud-ridden vested interest and blatant political advocacy to the level of science.

      • @kim..

        Cool beans, Art. Now, if I could just have a word with you about ‘denialist’.

        It’s the standard word used for people who manipulate the science to “prove” the absence of something they don’t like for ideological reasons. For instance, quoting a paper like Lindzen(2008) which is junk science of the worst stripe. (I use the paper as an example because I had occasion to actually read it, not because anybody here has used it, AFAIK. Although somebody quoted LIndzen(1995) which is just as bad. I don’t remember who.)

        Among other tricks which I’ll ascribe to denialists is quoting valid science or news reports out of context to “prove” a point not valid in context, making vague accusations regarding some scientific endeavor without backup links, linking to slanted news reports rather than peer-reviewed papers, and anything else that presents a false argument that somebody has to waste time refuting.

        Contrast that with skeptics, which means people who come at a subject with doubts. Also with “alarmists” which seems to be the common term for people who do all the bad things I mentioned in support of AGW “emergency action”, usually along Marxist or similar lines. Terms like “denialist” and “alarmist” seem vaguely appropriate since they convey my disapproval.

        As for the political agenda, it doesn’t necessarily mean conspiracy, although IMO there is one, probably much smaller and less effective than the Glenn Becks of this world think. Of course, the word “conspiracy” itself means “with (shared or the same) spirit”, and doesn’t necessarily include secret meetings, transfers of cash, or illegal activity.

        It makes sense that people with left-leaning world views would look for solutions to “problems” like AGW in the standard toolbox of the political left: Massive government intervention and bureaucracy, scapegoating of “companies” or big business, mobs and mass demonstrations, and the like. Also, small-scale “what you can do about…” type activities that actually do more to make supporters feel good than solve the problem. I would class solar panels on your roof and windmills in your back yard with this, since AFAIK they don’t really accomplish any carbon reduction overall. (They do make a few crooks rich, though.)

        OTOH, in the late ’80′s and early ’90′s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Marxists and fellow travelers were left “orphaned”, and many of them ended up in the environmental movement. How to tell the difference between somebody who cares about AGW and looks to leftist solutions, and somebody who cares about Marxist revolution and looks to AGW as a stalking horse? I dunno.

      • Ooh, excellent AK. I agree there’s been little conspiracy though some have surely ‘breathed together’. It’s been an Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd. It will not be easy to distinguish the madness from the manipulation.
        =================

      • Yes ‘conspiracy’ is just a desparate attempt to construct a strawman.
        Emerging/discovered mutual vested interest between fund-dispensing politics and fund-consuming ‘science’ is more like it.
        (Others will I’m sure describe this state of affairs far more elegantly).

      • One thing kind of sad is that the most obvious and documented bit of breathing together is in the ClimateGate files. The Hockey Team, because of the exposure, is going to be sacrificed to the Gods, not quite innocent victims, while the perniciously malignant forces will escape blame. The volcano will have quit erupting.
        ================

      • Emerging/discovered mutual vested interest between fund-dispensing politics and fund-consuming ‘science’ is more like it.

        Actually, it’s a plot by Intel to sell more computer hardware.

      • lolwot
        No evidence. No value.

      • I presented the evidence that I am the most informed person on the blog about the tea party.

        Also it turns out I already know everything I need to know about the tea party.

      • lolwot –
        I presented the evidence that I am the most informed person on the blog about the tea party.

        Also it turns out I already know everything I need to know about the tea party.

        Good for you. Not much light down there in that deep well of ignorance, is there?

        Since you know so much – what is the meaning of the acronym TEA?

      • There’s an easier way to assess my knowledge of the tea party. Just ask me to assess my own knowledge as follows.

        Q54. Personally, how well informed do you feel you are about the tea party?

        Lolwot’s answer: Very well informed.

        There you have it, evidence that I am very well informed about the tea party.

      • lolwot –
        So…. you’re well informed, but you don’t know what you’re well informed about! Wonderful. :-)

      • David – that’s a classic post. You read this:

        . .. Tea Party members are much more likely to say that they are “very well informed” about global warming than the other groups. Likewise, they are also much more likely to say they “do not need any more information” about global warming to make up their mind. . .

        and from it you conclude that Tea Party members are “more informed?” Because they say that they are so well-informed that they don’t need more information to make up their minds?

        Has it ever occurred to you that in contrast to their opinion being more well-informed, the data might show that they are more willing to formulate conclusions w/o feeling it is necessary to take a deep look at the information and/or able to recognize gaps in their information?

        You determine that they are “more informed” because they say that they’re more informed? No validated data? No quantification of what being “more informed” means?

        This is what you call “documenting” that they are more informed?

        Really?

      • Joshua –
        Has it ever occurred to you that in contrast to their opinion being more well-informed, the data might show that they are more willing to formulate conclusions w/o feeling it is necessary to take a deep look at the information and/or able to recognize gaps in their information?

        And what evidence do you have that their opinion is NOT well-informed?

        You not only accuse others of operating without evidence, but you also jump to conclusions based on ASSUMPTIONS for which you have no evidence.

        Tell me, Josh, just how do you know what Tea Party members know – or don’t know? Or how much evidence they need to make up their minds about CC?

      • Jim -

        And what evidence do you have that their opinion is NOT well-informed? ….but you also jump to conclusions based on ASSUMPTIONS

        Another post, another straw man, eh?

        Read my post again. I didn’t make any assumptions.

        I questioned David’s claim that the polls “documented” that Tea Party members were more informed, and asked him to address other hypothetical explanations for the poll’s data.

        If you’re going to read my posts and respond so frequently, Jim, the least you could do is read them more carefully.

      • Jim –

        Look up the word “might,” and get back to me. K?

      • Read my post again. I didn’t make any assumptions.

        Uh, Josh – read your own post. Of course you made assumptions.
        You automatically assumed that David was wrong.
        You automatically assumed that those who said they had enough information to make up their minds were doing so out of ignorance.

        You said –
        You determine that they are “more informed” because they say that they’re more informed?

        And thereby you automatically assumed that those who say that they’re more informed, need to be interrogated in detail wrt their level of knowledge in order to satisfy you that they really do know enough. Uh, tell me Josh – do YOU know as much as those people do? How would you know?

        ASSUMPTIONS, Josh. Unwarranted, unfounded, assumptions.

      • You automatically assumed that David was wrong.

        He was wrong. He said that the poll in question documented that Tea Parties are more informed. In fact, what the poll documented is that Tea Partiers described themselves as more informed, and that they were more likely to say that they don’t need more information to make up their minds.

        That is not “documenting” that they are more informed. There was no quantification.

        I, specifically, did not assume that he was wrong about whether Tea Partiers are more informed. I said that contrary to his statement, the poll data “might” indicate another phenomenon than the one he said it documented.

        And thereby you automatically assumed that those who say that they’re more informed, need to be interrogated in detail wrt their level of knowledge in order to satisfy you that they really do know enough.

        This is hilarious, Jim. Yes – just because someone says that the are more informed, that fact has not been “documented.” Yes, in order to “document” that fact, you would need some verifiable data. If you want to call that “interrogating” them, go for it. I would call it verifying their claims with some data – but you can use whatever term you’d like.

        How would you know?

        Once again, Jim, I never said that I “knew.” I questioned David’s statement that the poll “documented” that Tea Partiers are more informed – based on the data that shows that they claimed that the are more informed, to the point where they don’t need any more information to decide.

        Once again, Jim – you should read my posts more closely. One might get the impression that you’re deliberately trying to misstate what I have and haven’t said.

        At any rate, Jim, we’ve gone around with this a couple of times now. If you insist in creating strawmen and if you insist that your mischaracterizations are correct, I won’t bother to respond any more. Knock yourself out.

      • Here Jim, here’s someone doing something that you claimed that I did. If it really concerns you, take it up with him.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115330

        I honestly don’t know why you’re so obsessed about making claims that I said things that I never said – but it is getting a bit dull.

      • Most of the tea party people in the poll *strong disagree* that humans evolved from an earlier animal species

        I only wish the poll had also asked whether they considered themselves “very well informed” about the theory of evolution.

      • Joshua –
        He was wrong. He said that the poll in question documented that Tea Parties are more informed. In fact, what the poll documented is that Tea Partiers described themselves as more informed, and that they were more likely to say that they don’t need more information to make up their minds

        If the criteria you demand were applied to ALL polls, then none of them would be worth reading because NONE of the poll respondents would be considered trustworthy.

        In any case, you ASSUME that that respondents are either ignorant or lying. If you weren’t assuming that, there would be no point to your assertions.

        You also ASSUME that they aren’t bright enough to know how much information they need to make up their minds – that it would require an independent evaluation to determine whether their answers were true. Who made you God, Josh.?

        Just because the poll doesn’t support your belief doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

        You also ignored the rest of David’s quote. Try his answer –

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115374

        That is not “documenting” that they are more informed. There was no quantification.

        Nor is there that kind of quantification in ANY poll that any reasonale person would answer. You’re nitpicking. It’s not becoming.

        Oh yeah – “strawmen” – that’s your thing – not mine. You’re willing to ask questions of others – how come you can’t answer straight questioins when they’re asked of you?

        At any rate, Jim, we’ve gone around with this a couple of times now.

        And at one point back there I wrote (and then deleted) –
        “Yeah, I know you don’t understand all this – but others here do”

        Sometimes I don’t like being right.

        Bye, Josh.

      • I only wish the poll had also asked whether they considered themselves “very well informed” about the theory of evolution.

        But by David’s logic – if the poll also revealed that Tea Partiers are more aware that their is a “theory” called intelligent design (which David called a “major scientific theory,” btw) – that would mean that they are more informed about “cosmology issues.”

        And no doubt – if a group knows more the Flying Spaghetti Monster, they would be more informed about “issues” related to theories of the creation of the universe.

        That means that assuming that Pastafarians know about the Flying Spaghetti Monsters than Tea Partiers, and assuming that both groups know that some people think that God created the universe, if we had a poll that documented those differences we could “document” that Pastafarians are more informed about cosmology than Tea Partiers.

      • Joshua I just noticed that poll is actually evidence that global warming is caused by human activity.

        If you scroll down a little way you can see the evidence:

        62% of democrats polled think global warming is caused mostly by human activity.

        Considering that we have to trust them*, this therefore constitutes evidence that global warming is caused mostly by human activity.

        *We can’t entertain the idea that the poll respondents are untrustworthy or what’s the point of polls?

      • lolwot –

        Well – lookie here – atheists are more informed about the formation of the universe than religious people – because they are more informed about “religious issues.”

        Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

        Oh, and just like how polls “document” that Tea Partiers are “more informed about global warming issues” than non Tea Partiers, we can also see that polls “document” that non-religious people are less ignorant, generally, than highly religious people:

        While people with a high level of religious commitment do better than average on the religion questions, people with low levels of religious commitment do better than average on the general knowledge questions.

        http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

      • The Tea Heaver is more likely to understand what the implications of the CERN study for climate are, despite what the researchers have been forbidden to speculate upon.

        Not from what I’ve seen, kim. Anecdotally – I visit some purely political blogs, and on those blogs people aligned with the Tea Party posted breathlessly about how the CERN study disproved AGW. The non-Tea Party affiliated posters explained to them what the authors of the CERN cloud study actually had to say about the relevance of their findings w.r.t. climate change.

        My assumption is that only a small % of both Tea Partiers and non-Tea Partiers are particularly well-informed about global warming issues, and that on both sides, people over-estimate their levels of expertise.

        It is my assumption that Tea Partiers and non-Tea Partiers are more than likely equally well-(or not well-) informed about global warming. I certainly have not seen any “documentation” one way or another. Certainly, David’s claim in that regard are ill-founded. If you have some actual scientific evidence, I’d love to see it. But your claims do not constitute “documentation” as, of course, neither do mine – which is why I make no such claims as David did or as you did – I only state my anecdotal experience as anecdotal experience. Notice above that I did not state either way about Tea Partiers’ relative level of knowledge about the CERN cloud study – only that from what I saw, Tea Party affiliated bloggers displayed a lack of knowledge about what the authors of the study had to say about their findings.

      • Joshua

        Science is based on evidence.

        The Gallup poll provides objective evidence e.g.,

        Tea Party members are far more likely to have heard about the “climategate” email controversy (45%) than Republicans (20%), Independents (27%), or Democrats (16%).

        That is not self delusional “opinion”.

        You provide no evidence at all, just speculation.
        Try some scientific informed debate for a change.

      • David – being more likely to have heard about climategate does not necessarily document that they are “more informed on
        global warming issues.”

        Does it document whether they are more likely to know about the physics related to CO2 emissions? Does it document whether they are more likely to know about what the CERN cloud study authors say about the implications of their study to climate change?

        I am not speculating. I am saying that your statement that the poll you cited “documents” that Tea Partiers are more informed about global warming issues is extremely unscientific.

      • You are a scream, Joshua. You could try to figure out why you are so cutely right and so delusionally wrong at the same time.

        OK, big assignment; I’ll help. Tea Heavers are aware that their money is being wasted. That makes them assiduous about gaining accurate knowledge of who, where and how it is being wasted. No need to be scientific about it, be social and economic.

        Sure, the climate knowledge of those Tea Heavers was not scientifically investigated. They daren’t.
        =============

      • Your framing is transparent. On those two items the average Tea Heaver is a lot more likely to be on the side of the Angels than the average warmista alarmist. The Tea Heaver is more likely to understand that the Physics of CO2 is not translating well from the static laboratory to the dynamic atmosphere. The Tea Heaver is more likely to understand what the implications of the CERN study for climate are, despite what the researchers have been forbidden to speculate upon.
        =================

      • Most of the Tea Heavers are aware that the theory of evolution is fraudulent science too.

      • “The Tea Heaver is more likely to understand what the implications of the CERN study for climate are, despite what the researchers have been forbidden to speculate upon.”

        Nah I think we can do better than that.

        The Tea Heaver is more likely to believe that Svensmark recently published a paper proving that recent warming has been caused by GCRs creating warming toasty clouds in the sky. Cuz they saw it on Fox News.

        I think that’s really going to be quite close to the level of their scientific level of understanding of the subject.

      • lolwot –
        Most of the Tea Heavers are aware that the theory of evolution is fraudulent science too.

        Well, by your own statements, what YOU believe about evolution is certainly based on fraudulent science. :-)

      • Heh, for a snark specialist you really aren’t very good. I can tell you right now, I don’t know a single Tea Heaver who believes that.
        ============

      • kim – I responded to your 12:24 post in the wrong nest. You’ll find it above:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115429

        Must be time for bed.

  26. I find it incredibly anti-scientific to “find heat” without observation or measurements. I find it anti-scientific to believe there’s such a thing as a treeometer. I find it anti-scientific to use photo-shopped pictures to mislead people by supposedly scientific organizations. (bogus polar bear and bogus flooded house) There are a myriad of examples of the anti-scientific behavior employed by the alarmist camp of climate science.

    By opposing such actions and rejecting notions derived from such actions make me decidedly skeptical and pro-science by being the antithesis of these anti-science charlatans.

    • Using a photo-shopped picture of a flooded house next to some text about flooding is no more “anti-scientific” than having a photoshopped illustration of a dinosaur next to some text about dinosaurs.

      But yeah I did spot the skeptic blogs went mad at it and it’s cases like that which demonstrate skeptic blog’s opinions of what is and isn’t science are absolutely worthless. Common sense failure if you will.

      • lol, I’m not sure what “it” you’re referring to. But it doesn’t matter which “it” you’re referring to. If you think any of the issues I listed pass for valid science, then I would say there is indeed a “common sense” failure.

      • I was pointing out that at least one of the issues you listed as unscientific is definitely not unscientific. So that’s one for one.

      • I think misleading readers with a graphic would fall under the “unscientific” umbrella. True, the picture itself wouldn’t be, but the application in that manner would be. It played upon fears and hyperbole and misinforms, instead of utilizing facts and observations.

        oh fer one.

      • This is exactly how all the skeptic blogs at the time exposed their motives to be nothing more than smear dressed up in disingenuous concern for scientific integrity.

        Because if your problem was that a flooded house photo was alarming, then what difference would it make whether that photo was of a real flooded house (they do exist you know) or a CGI one? Answer: None.

        The only reason to draw on the fact it was a photoshopped image is for a cheap fake smear angle of “they faked the photo with photoshop!”.

      • Noble cause corruption. You don’t base science on lies and deception, and you certainly don’t prove anything with lies and deception other than your own immorality. And if one practices to deceive over something like that we can be sure they’ve no compunction about deceiving in other matters. The simple fact is the leftist science isn’t credible. To put it bluntly, they practice deception. Its all good, because real science, you know, that stuff about facts, observations and measurements, will out them in the end…… well, is outing them.

        But, lol, you go with the idea deception is solid scientific practice. It’ll be a hoot.

      • What conceivable deception was achieved by using a CGI image of a flooded house? What false idea is the reader left with?

        The image was not presented as evidence of anything, it was an illustration – A flooded house illustration next to a section about flooding. Unless you are claiming that houses don’t flood (and I doubt you are), I don’t see on what basis you have to call it deception.

        So no the actual situation here is that you are being deceptive. You are deceiving people into thinking the document was doctored to mislead people. Just as your skeptic brethren deceived people on their blogs at the time. It’s your narrative, your behavior.

        You leap at the chance to throw around the “photoshopped” image meme because you know it has a chance of working. Deep down you must realize you are talking absolute BS.

      • Ah, yes; fake but accurate. If it’s good enough for lolwot, it’s good enough for me.
        =========

      • K Scott Denison

        Huh, who would’ve thought there were pictures of dinosaurs to Photoshop in the first place? Great analogy.

  27. HSBC, Goldman?…
    WHO gets the credit?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/world/africa/in-scramble-for-land-oxfam-says-ugandans-were-pushed-out.html?_r=3&scp=3&sq=uganda&st=cse

    Forward Science! The brite men & women with the ‘bigger’ heart take their prize.,,

    • Well, that’s leftist science for ya! Those ultra-smart, caring souls.
      See, they needed the land to grow trees so companies could buy carbon off-sets to save the world from climate change, because climate change, among many other things could cause climate refugees. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we. So, we caused refugees because we didn’t want them to be refugees.

      How many have to lose their freedom, wealth, property, and lives for us to see what the climate hysteria is about? They can call it science if they want, I call it totalitarian misanthropic socialism.

  28. I think we have neglected to assign eugenics to one or the other side. There’s a controversial science. Or, “science”, if you will.

  29. I notice that the cited leftist anti-sciences like opposition to GM foods, nuclear, cell phones, the possibility of various carcinogens, anti-vaccines, etc are rejections of the safety of technologies, despite reassurances from scientists.

    Whereas the cited anti-science of opposition to climate change is a rejection of the danger of a technology, despite the warnings of scientists.

    • so who’s lying?

    • Blind acceptance versus stubborn skepticism. How do you think the Penn and Teller Dihydrogen monoxide prank would have done with any other political group?

      • It’s an older study, 2005, but the average of math, physics, chemistry, and engineering university faculty lean like 3 to 1 as being self-described liberal. Engineers are like 2.5 to 1 liberal.
        http://www.cwu.edu/~manwellerm/academic%20bias.pdf

        A multivariate analysis finds that, even after taking into account the effects of professional accomplishment, along with many other individual characteristics, conservatives and Republicans teach at lower quality schools than do liberals and Democrats. This suggests that complaints of ideologically-based discrimination in academic advancement deserve serious consideration and further study. The analysis finds similar effects based on
        gender and religiosity, i.e., women and practicing Christians teach at lower quality schools than their professional accomplishments would predict.

        The study was funded by a right-leaning group according to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8427-2005Mar28.html

        The issue is that liberals come from all rungs of society, from the poor to the elite. Try the H2O prank on the science faculty and then try it on the population at large.

    • Finding heat where you can’t measure it is a technology? I can’t wait to get my hands on the IEEE specs for that one!

      Opposition to the ideas of climate change is pro-science.

  30. Please, also read up on these folks & where they come from… plot that.

  31. Judith
    You assert: “With the exception of evolution, each of these issues . . . has sociopolitical implications.”
    It seems to me that the presuppositions demanded by evolution have by far the greatest sociopolitical implications.

    The obvious equivocation on evolution is that its supporters usually implicitly demand that science must have the metaphysical presupposition of materialism rather than the presupposition of an agnostic objective testing if stochastic or intelligent agent best explains the evidence. See UD posts on naturalism or materialism e.g. This mentality then shows itself in effective facism. This present “anti-science” mud-slinging is an example of: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the politics of change.  By Jonah Goldberg
    Much more far reaching is that countries committed to such materialism (atheism) killed more than 100 million of their own citizens during the 20th century. See Black book of communism: crisis, terror, and repression Stephane Courtois Harvard Univ Press, 1997.
    i.e. those who advocate materialistic evolution correspondingly throw out the moral base of Western civilization.

  32. Willis Eschenbach

    The problem is not anti-science politicians and voters. The problem is anti-science scientists, and secondarily, the rest of the mainstream climate scientists like our esteemed hostess who seem happy as Fido to roll over, shut up, not name names or make waves, and put up with the anti-scientific actions without a hint of murmur or demur.

    At that point, being “anti-climate science” becomes a very reasonable, logical, and scientifically defensible choice …

    My default position these days is that there is a good chance that any given climate science paper will be advocacy disguised as science. Am I “anti-science”?

    No, I’m a realist. I love and revere the scientific process, and participate in it as honestly and as transparently and joyously as I can.

    I’m just anti the kind of pap that passes for peer reviewed climate science these days.

    w.

    • You oversimplify. Yes there are scientists not acting like scientists. But that’s all part of a much larger cast of characters that includes politicians, activists, interested commercial parties, interested political operatives, technical people like yourself who ordinarily wouldn’t otherwise give a rats toosh, but whose olfactory sensors is ringing of the hook from the amino acids emitted by some bad fakery that wouldn’t get past the junior accountant ant any private company. No, this is the mother of all comic opera, except it isn’t funny.

      And at the kernel of it all is scientists who could have avoided all the brouhaha by dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s and choosing not to publish risible garbage like MBH, but they went for it, anyway. Whether they’re doing it out of some sense of duty to the planet and/or some Jesus complex, or out of external pressure, we’ll probably never know. All that’s clear at this point is that it’s a train wreck, and all too many people are standing next to the wreckage insisting that the train is on the track, going 70.

      All of which really is only tangentially related to the point of this thread, which is how “anti-science” has become a political shtick, primarily for the Democrats, but the Republicans are now learning how to play the game. It takes a lot of chutzpah to claim science, but it’s not without precedent; the Soviets were notorious for claiming science as their own (while not having any use for environmentalists). This is an important question, irrespective of the bad behavior of some scientists. If one side gets away with claiming science (while at the same time serially abusing the scientific method), we’re back to the time before Galileo. Science that’s a captive of an ideology isn’t science; it’s dogma in drag.

      This is bigger than AGW.

  33. The USA piece was total nonsense. If he knew anything about the groups concerned about vaccine safety he would understand that many, if not most, are from the political right. A prime example is Dr. Russel Blaylock, who is an evangelical and can be found on newsmax. Dr Sherri Tenpenny is another example.

    I would also say that trying to limit your pesticide load with food choices is hardly anti-science. Again, there many politically right leaning people who have become vegans and eat organic when possible.

  34. Left versus right is irrelevant when it eventually boils down to explaining human nature. Science is usually about finding the underlying truth, but most people are resistant to that.

    George Monbiot, the Guardian journalist, walks down this path all the time. My favorite quote of his is “Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.”

    This is in the tradition of Edward Abbey who said: “”The sneakiest form of literary subtlety, in a corrupt society, is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads.”. People still can’t figure out if Abbey was on the left or the right or neither.

    • OK, let me perform an experiment on human nature, as a follow-up to my own comment. I realize that the statistics of ClimateEtc is not large, but I want to get a reaction.

      How easily can we explain 99% of CO2 increase? Let’s not go some crackpot route and just apply standard statistical physics applied on a large scale.

      1. Grab the historical fossil-fuel carbon emissions from the last 260 years from http://cdiac.ornl.gov
      2. Take the the master equation kernel solution for excess CO2 diffusing to deep sequestered stores. This is an impulse response function that goes like 1/sqrt(t).
      3. Apply a convolution to the data from #1 and the impulse response of #2, scale carbon to atmospheric CO2, and apply a background level of 290 ppm. This gives the following curve:
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ODk2yJLccKk/Tn11kqFUocI/AAAAAAAAAgw/UGWZM6OBq3I/s1600/co2_and_t_ver_20th_century.gif

      This arguably fits the CO2 rise better than anything I have ever come across, it explains the “missing carbon”, and is simple enough to be criminal. The slightly longer form which I put together yesterday is at http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/sensitivity-of-global-temperature-to.html

      Is this new science? Or is it just a rephrasing of what we already know?
      Now read George Montbiot’s quote again.

      • Bright sunshine increased over the 20th century as well. Do you think more sunshine can effect temperature? What other climate factors changed over the 20th century? Do you plan to ignore them all?

        When Climate Scientists claim the MWP was regional and current warming was unprecedented using trees a proxies, but covers up the fact the trees suddenly became appalling proxies for temperature in 1960, do you finally realize it is a con game? If not, why are you so naive? Or dishonest?

      • If not, why are you so naive? Or dishonest?

        For people that are paying attention to my quoting George Monbiot, you can see a good example of an accusation hurled my way. Bruce does not know me and he has no knowledge that I am naive or dishonest. Maybe I did bait him, but really all I did was pull together empirical data (fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2) that was recorded by someone else, and then applied my physics and systems engineering knowledge to show how that explains the behavior.
        That is exactly what Monbiot is saying: “Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.”
        This is just part of human nature, and I am but an observer. Cheers.

      • Only the dishonest or naive think only one variable in climate has changed.

        Now I know which category you put yourself in.

      • Sad, isn’t it, B. If thine eyeballs offend thee, rip them out.
        ============

      • Only the dishonest or naive think only one variable in climate has changed.

        So I take it your problem is that applying the equivalent of Ohm’s law for calculating atmospheric carbon dioxide increase:
        [CO_2] = F_{ff}(t) \otimes R_{co}(t)
        causes a disconnect in your preconceived notions?

        Now I know which category you put yourself in.

        I believe my category is the one where I have to now be proven wrong. That’s how these equation thing’s work out. Someone offers up a heuristic or, even better, a first-principles derivation (like I did) and now someone else has to prove why it doesn’t work. That’s what makes science fun, instead of being about politics.

      • Obsession with claiming one variable in a complex system causes warming when cooling took place seems much more like derangement than science.

      • Obsession with claiming one variable in a complex system causes warming when cooling took place seems much more like derangement than science.

        You don’t even read what I wrote. I was just demonstrating how we can account for all carbon for fossil fuel emissions for the last 260 years, by allowing the atmospheric carbon to diffuse to deeper sequestering stores. You can’t find me using the words temperature, warming, or cooling in this comment thread.
        You really should read this post http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/fat-tail-impulse-response-of-co2.html and look at the results solely in the context of fossil fuel emissions and CO2.

        I think that anti-science types (i.e. majority of the population) get their reputation because they deny everything and can’t really admit to any kind of progress in understanding, for its own sake. This is what I as getting at with the George Monbiot quote, human nature is resistant to change and the simplest bit of intellectual curiosity is met with horror.

        Science in the larger sense is about building up blocks of knowledge and then using those to making further inferences. After a while you have something.

      • “human nature is resistant to change and the simplest bit of intellectual curiosity is met with horror.”

        Yup. Once you hitch your wagon to man made global warming caused by CO2 you quit considering other reasons why climate might change and even when climate cools you keep insisting that AGW is just sleeping …

        All cults are alike. They don’t question authority. If they do they are ostracized or forced into public repentance like the editor of Remote Sensing.

        You should find yourself a deprogrammer.

      • You should find yourself a deprogrammer.

        All I do is make sense of the data. You have your fossil fuel emissions data, F(t), from the last 260 years, placed in a nice format by Oak Ridge National Labs. Then you have a first-principles derivation of the CO2 adjustment time, formulated into a convenient expression by yours truly
        R(t) = \frac{1} {1+1.5 \sqrt{t}}
        Then a few lines of Ruby code to do the convolution in the following expression.
        [CO_2] = F(t) \otimes R(t)
        Finally, do the carbon to CO2 units conversion, and out pops the entire atmospheric CO2 concentration rise over lo these many years.
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/fat-tail-impulse-response-of-co2.html

        It’s not deprogramming, its actually a bit of scientific programming that a high-schooler can do. It would actually be cool to teach this in the context of the carbon cycle.

      • Web — Ohm Law to climate? First Principles whoa bub slow down before you hurt yourself.

      • Web — Ohm Law to climate? First Principles whoa bub slow down before you hurt yourself.

        Those reading this that know what a convolution does, please raise your hands. Sheez, this is stuff you learn in first year engineering school.

      • WebHubTelescope
        See my followup to your pose
        For more on temperature phase angle, see by response to Pekka: Changes in the Phase of the Annual Cycle of Surface Temperature A.R. Stine et al.

      • Thanks, I replied in that thread.
        For the article, look at Figure 2a, which is kind of neat. Any time you have a dispersive delay then you have a phase shift. I wrote something along these lines a few days ago. For example, the CO2 measured at the Mauna Loa station takes some time to disperse over from the original source points. This implies that a smearing function would describe that dispersion, and we can model that as a convolution. The simplest convolution is an exponential with an exponential, as we just need to get the shape right. But what the convolution does is eliminate the strong early impulse response, and thus create a lagged response. As you can see from the Alpha plot below, the way we get the strong impulse back is to take the derivative. This kind of behavior, that of a spatio-temporal delay modeled as a convolution usually leads to a 90 degree phase shift in the observable.
        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BlQSr-A4FgM/TnvjJeSUEII/AAAAAAAAAgo/csV3lWEhX8A/s1600/co2-conv-der.gif

  35. Ken Green said (in part)

    “false claims of species endangerment; pseudo-scientific claims about species loss treated as gospel”

    Since 99.9% of all animal species is now amongst the extinct (http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/overview.html) I am inclined to believe that artificial delay of the extinction process by many governments is yet another example of the waste of public money leading to significant numbers of career paths for the burgeoning bureaucracies in the world.

  36. aaaack, Sorry about that failure to properly close tag in msg:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115342.

    Dr. Curry, if you’re reading, pls correct for me. Thanks.

  37. I’d be more inclined to agree with Keith Kloor if the “pro-nuclear” mainstream Democrats actually managed to promote the building of nuclear power plants. As others have pointed out above, supportive words and inaction or even contrary actions don’t really help much.

  38. “JC comments: With the exception of evolution, each of these issues that one side or the other is accused of being anti-science has sociopolitical implications. ”

    I take it that they didn’t cover the whole 1917-1991 period in you history classes. The Eugenic movement, which motivated the genocidal impulses of the Nazi’s and Marie Stopes, was the “NATURE” half and Soviet ‘new manism’ along with Lysenkoism was the “NURTURE” half.
    Human evolution, and political philosophies based on it were the great killers

    • Margaret Sanger liked Eugenics too. Planned Parenthood.

      “Sanger’s eugenic policies included an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the profoundly retarded”

      “Sanger claimed that birth control advocates and eugenics advocates shared a common goal of “assisting the race toward the elimination of the ‘unfit’””

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

  39. Since anti-science in politics is in play I’ve a question.

    How long till Congress passes a bill requiring neutrinos to obey the speed of light law of Dr. Einstein?

    1. 1 year
    2. 2 years
    3. 5 years
    4. 10 years
    5. already did, but didn’t announce it
    6. they announce they didn’t approve that law either

    • 7. Let Mussolini worry about making the neutrinos run on time in Italy.

    • Stephen Singer

      Re: neutrino regulation
      Congress may balk at passing a bill, but the Obama administration will order EPA to enforce it by executive mandate, hiring 20,000 new bureaucrats to ensure it gets enforced.

      We WILL be saved from speeding neutrinos.

      Max

  40. Although I think being “anti-science” is mostly product of tribalism more a phenomenon that is specific to one tribe more than another – there is a special irony in an outlook that attributes anti-science views on vaccines to leftist ideology when a leading candidate to be the nominee of the Republican Party for president goes on national TV and makes opposition to a vaccine that will save lives a major plank of her platform, falsely claims that the vaccine is “dangerous,” and overtly states that one of the reasons for her opposition that a women told her that the vaccine caused mental retardation in her daughter.

    Seriously – that kind of irony really is special.

    • I thought Bachmann is no longer a leading candidate because she appears quite loony on the subject. She came in dead last in the Florida Straw Poll.

      I also thought Perry was for vaccines.

      Untried minor legislators like Obama and Bachmann probably shouldn’t be in positions like President until they’ve actually run a business or a state.

    • By “a leading candidate”, you mean one that is a distant fourth garnering less than 8% of the Republicans polled? And no, that’s not a major plank for Bachmann. That 8% could give a rats a$$ about her position on vaccines. And, no one else cares either. It is her position on taxes and reducing government that causes the 8% to support her and causes the much of the left to hyperventilate. Of course, this presents a dilemma on how the characterize Perry. But, I’m sure they’ll rationalize something.

      Its stuff like this that always leaves me wondering if people like Josh truly believe the stuff they’re peddling or simply watch too much MSNBC and believe what they’re peddling.

    • This is very funny.

      Sorry, she’s what, the sixth? most likely person to become the Republican Party candidate for president – after winning the Iowa straw poll?

      And a Repuiblican Party candidate who once was at the head of the polls, and who won a major straw poll, states publicly on TV that the vaccine is dangerous – and that one of the reasons she’s against the poll is because a woman told her that it caused retardation in her daughter – but my comment can be dismissed because I referred to her as a “leading” candidate?

      I apologize for my error. She isn’t a “leading” candidate. She is now sixth? in the polls. After winning the Iowa straw poll. And after stating on TV, as a Republican Party candidate, that a vaccine that will save many lives is “dangerous,” and that one of the reasons she feels that way is because a woman told her that the vaccine caused mental retardation in her daughter.

      • That’s ok, the dem’s have it all over her. The president thought he could slow the rise of the oceans. ………… He didn’t factor in the GIA……oops. I forget, what party nominated him?

      • One thing pro-science people like me remember is that the anti-vaccine movement was started by a peer-reviewed paper in the The Lancent that blamed autism on the MMR vaccine.

        The supposedly pro-science Lancet published a paper with fabricated data.

        To try and blame Republicans for the anti-vaccine movement is profoundly dishonest.

        Many of us know that much of the underlying data proving the hockey stick is also a fabrication.

      • “When in February 1998 13 doctors, led by former gut surgeon Andrew Wakefield, from London’s Royal Free hospital, published research, in the Lancet medical journal, linking MMR with autism, it triggered a slump in immunization levels and led to outbreaks of infectious disease. But the key finding was a sham:”

        http://briandeer.com/mmr-lancet.htm

        It only took the Lancet 12 years to retract.

        I won’t hold my breath waiting for Nature to retract all of the bogus global warming papers by Mann et al.

      • Are they going to retract all the others too?
        http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Proxy-Reconstruction-Comparison-Uncertainty6.png

        If there were no legend would you even know which one was Mann’s?

      • lol, you used cli-sci’s version of phrenology to make a case for science?…….lol nice one! How many does Steve Mac have to slap down before they realize it just isn’t real science? They match the thermometer record! Except when they don’t.

      • Why single out Mann then? If they are all wrong. But no Loehle’s reconstruction has even been forwarded by skeptics as proving the MWP exists.

        Seems the methods are only as good as whether they confirm ones bias…

      • We would know the one that didn’t show the MWP was the corrupted Science one created by Mann et al.

        In fact Mann 08 cps shows a cold MWP. How corrupt can you get?

        You do realize that Loehle Max shows the MWP warmer than NCDC Land/Ocean … don’t you?

      • Your pattern is to cherrypick the data that suits you. For example you completely ignore Mann EIV and instead focus on Mann CPS.

        You draw attention to where Mann CPS is an outlier compared to other records around 800AD and call it “corrupt”.

        But when Loehle is an outlier in the other direction around 800AD you go out your way to cherrypick it to make an argument:

        “You do realize that Loehle Max shows the MWP warmer than NCDC Land/Ocean … don’t you?”

        Only by about 0.2C around 800AD, which given the other records don’t show it (including Ljungqvist) hardly justifies skeptics claiming the MWP was much warmer than today. In fact given the uncertainty we could already be warmer than the MWP.

      • Mann EIV has its own dishonest problems.

        http://climateaudit.org/2008/11/28/mann-and-perfect-reconstructions/

        You do like the conmen don’t you?

      • Use of upside down Tijlander also ruins a proxy …

        http://climateaudit.org/2010/08/01/the-no-dendro-illusion/

      • im not qualified in statistics to understand the ins and outs of the methods. All I can do is look at those different results – Loehle, Ljunqvist, Mann and others and note that to single out of Mann’s results make no sense. Mann’s results are simply not different enough from the other results to warrant it.

      • Mann is singled out because of diligent auditing thats shows dishonesty over and over again. The hockey stick and erasing the MWP are cornerstones of the IPCC CO2 cult. They have attempted to do both by dishonest methods. Therefore the theory of unprecedented warming fails.

      • The Piltdown Mann’s iconic reconstruction erased the MWP. Other reconstructions resembling his either use strip bark bristlecone series or the upside down Tiljander. Even Gavin Schmidt has given up on Michael’s reconstruction prior to AD 1500.

        Apparently you haven’t gotten the memo.
        ==================

      • Joshua: Then there was the great scam in which Dan Rather on 60 Minutes presented an obviously forged document relating to George Bush’s service in Texas Air National Guard (TANG).

        In the face of voluminous expert technical refutations, liberals and leftists defended that forged document to the bitter, bitter end. Many like Rather and 60 Minutes producer Marcia Mapes, still refuse to acknowledge the fraud.

        It’s not quite so high a point of anti-science as the vaccination issue, but expert after expert testified against the fraudulent TANG document, and so many of my good liberal/leftist friends would not listen or debate it honestly. I still call it anti-science and anti-critical thinking.

      • She did not a) claim to be against the vaccine b) because a woman told her. If you want to conclude that — your perogative. But you do not have a right to your own facts.

    • Joshua: You can also find a lot of New Age leftists firmly ensconced in the anti-vaccine position such as Oprah, Jim Carrey, and Jenny McCarthy [ http://www.slate.com/id/2217798/ ].

      Bruce: Good catch on the Lancet. Absolutely true.

      The Lancet also disgraced itself with a bogus article on greatly inflated Iraqi casualty rates that it rushed into print without review in October 2004 in order to kneecap Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

      Not even anti-war sites could validate the Lancet’s results. I’d call that anti-science as well.

      • Huxley -

        Sure, there are people of all stripes who reject the science behind vaccinations – but my point was that characterizing rejection of vaccines as a phenomenon of the left flies in the face of a fact of Republican political leaders who obviously feel that it is politically expedient to make a rejection of the science behind vaccinations as an explicit plank in her campaign platform.

        That doesn’t make rejection of anti-vaccination science any more right than it does left. Partisans of all stripes will either reject or accept science to the extent that it servers their ideological agendas. It’s all about confirmation bias.

      • The Lancet is like Nature. Left wing.

        Left Wing “Science” created the anti-vaccine movement int he same way Left Wing “Science” create the global warming scam.

    • Of course vaccines are dangerous. They have side effects, sometimes fatal. This is not controversial. They also save lives. And this is also not controversial, except among a few extremists. So flat statements that they are “dangerous” or “safe” or “save lives” are all political rhetoric. If you want to have a science-based discussion, you need to compare the risk of the vaccine versus the risk of the disease for a specific vaccine. And I would say most of the risks are unknown in most cases.

      • Dagfinn

        There are good statistics on the benefits of smallpox vaccination – probably a textbook example of a deadly disease being essentially eradicated by vaccination.

        Max

      • Exactly. I said it was uncontroversial that vaccines save lives. On the other hand, mass vaccination against smallpox was continued for some time after the disease was eradicated. So it’s possible, even likely, that those who were vaccinated during that time would have been exposed to less risk by not being vaccinated. Debatable? Yes, and it illustrates my point about unknown risk. There was no way to know the likelihood that the disease would return.

      • Had we not eliminated smallpox the world might now be mobilizing resources to combat a smallpox epidemic in Darfur instead of not mobilizing resources to stop a genocide in Darfur. Which would be better for the soul of humanity?
        ==============

      • Bachmann says that HPV vaccines are “dangerous” and spoke about a woman who told her that vaccination caused mental retardation in her child, and your response is to talk about potential over-vaccination for smallpox?

        Of course there are risks, and possibly “unknown” risks (although the risks associated with current day vaccinations are extensively studied) – but that doesn’t excuse the exploitation of those risks for political expediency.

        I have a question for you – I recently heard a show about smallpox vaccination of immigrants in New York – where health officials and armed law enforcement would forcibly vaccinate people in ghettos that had no idea what was going on. Pretty offensive in a lot of ways, right? But would it have been better for government law enforcement and health officials to have allowed people to spread a deadly infectious disease? Tough questions, IMO.

        At any rate, parents have the right to reject HPV vaccination – and as such they have the right to be irresponsible about the care of their children – but IMO, the point about vaccinations is that we have an obligation not only to assume some risk in order to protect ourselves and our families, but also to assume some risk so as to protect our larger community. Pretending that avoiding the risks of vaccines doesn’t have implications to our larger community is unjustifiable – IMO>

      • “Had we not eliminated smallpox the world might now be mobilizing resources to combat a smallpox epidemic in Darfur instead of not mobilizing resources to stop a genocide in Darfur. Which would be better for the soul of humanity?” Indeed.

      • J, what prominent woman kept little black girls in Chicago from participating in HPV trials?
        ============

      • Congrats, D; I’ve said that a number of times on blogs without ever eliciting a response. You’re the first.
        ==========

      • We are burning children in Uganda for their parents’ land for the madness and greed of the likes of the WWF. No need for that if we’d stuck with our bio-niche buddy last seen acting wildly in Britain.
        =============

      • kim -

        Issues related to racial discrepancies in who are the subjects for various kinds of clinical trials are very complicated and very interesting, IMO. I find the debate about whether and to what extent blacks have an obligation to participate in clinical trials to be similarly complicated. That said, and while it is certainly understandable that Tuskegee has a lasting legacy in the black community, AFAIK, the trials you are referencing were at stage III – and thus the dangers were relatively limited and the overall sample population was probably very diverse. So, without knowing the precise details of how girls were recruited for the study, I would guess that Obama’s actions in that case as ill-informed and counterproductive. If she were to exploit fears in the black community about the risks of HPV vaccination for political expediency, I would consider it to be unacceptable.

        Do you know any details about that situation outside of what you’ve read in the rightwing blogosphere?

      • Well, well.

        Look at what I found:

        I do believe we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg about Rezko and Obama’s Muslim sympathies and associates. There are a lot of dots to connect there, and you know with dot to dot you don’t need to connect them all to have a revelatory picture.
        ==================================

        Posted by: kim | June 19, 2008 at 09:08 AM

        kim ranting about Obama’s “Muslim sympathies and associates.”

        Too funny.

      • Tell the truth now, kim.

        Are you a birther?

        Positively hilarious.

      • Kim, “Congrats, D; I’ve said that a number of times on blogs without ever eliciting a response. You’re the first.” I am not as eloquent as you, I just say Utopia can get ugly.

      • So, worth pursuit. A useful discussion.
        ===========

      • Just doin’ the job journolisters won’t allow themselves to do, Joshua. Allegiance would be a useful discussion and so would spirituality. We might have one.
        By the way, I’m glad the stuff’s preserved. Thanks.
        =============

      • The branch is flopping out of its nest. I also found your discussion about vaccines to be a useful one worth pursuing. Do you have to be shown ‘unacceptable’ or can you find it by yourself?
        ==============

      • Barry Soetero, as a child, was listed as a Muslim. When did that change and to what?

        NB, I don’t expect a useful discussion on this with you. Nonetheless a discussion would be useful. Don’t you think candidates should discuss allegiance and spirituality?
        =========

      • Dagfinn -

        I assume that this comment was directed towards me?

        Yes, vaccines present risks even as they save lives. To characterize vaccines as dangerous when in balance they will save far more lives then they will endanger is extremely irresponsible. What is sad is that politicians believe that such irresponsibility is both politically expedient as well as acceptable.

      • Joshua

        IMO the real argument on vaccines is whether or not the state should be using public institutions (schools) to strongly encourage the process, or whether the state should leave the decisions and consequences to the individual and the parent.

        In regards to the issue of climate change:

        There is one group that is saying that massive and immediate actions MUST be taken to reduce CO2 emissions or that the future or humanity will be a disaster

        There are a wide range of opinions that disagree with that conclusion

        How is that as a simple, accurate summary

      • Joshua: It was more of a general comment that I posted as a reply to you since it seemed appropriate at that point. In repsonse to this, I’ll reiterate that it’s not very meaningful to discuss vaccines in general. It’s not quite “anti-science”, but it’s also not very scientific, given the differences. In some cases, it may be clear that vaccines “save far more lives than they will endanger”. In other cases not. Do the math in each case, hardly anyone ever does.

      • I could also ask whether you know the specific risks and benefits of the HPV vaccine. I don’t. And you’ve made me no wiser by moralizing and making claims about vaccines in general.

    • Joshua said “…a vaccine that will save lives a major plank of her platform.”
      The death rate for cervical cancer is roughly 3 per 100,000 in the Southeastern US. Of 35,000 doses of Gardasil(R) and Cervarix (R) there 18727 reports of adverse side effects (523/100K), 1502 (43/100K) serious and 68 deaths (2/100K). It is safe, but is it worth the risk?

      Compare the risk of a doubling of background radiation, excessive use of silica containing cleansers, passive cigarette smoke, Super sized value meals, biscuits….

  41. Certainly “scientific arrogance” is assumed on each topic regardless of how I or anyone might fall on any particular issue mentioned. It takes no effort at all to recall the last 25 years (or forever) where this attitude can take decisions like building the backup generators in the BASEMENTS of nuclear reactors in a country most closely associated with the word TSUNAMI and building in a high earthquake zone on a coastline. This has nothing to do with overall support or lack off regarding nuclear technology. Countless premature medical devices and poor drug rollouts, feathered nests in so many cousin fields that often take on the “we are Manhattan Project Level EXPERTS” in economics, phychology or almost and administrative mediation role. So people aren’t just reacting to the general science consensus on many topics they are relating to presumption and self-justification that is so clear in many fields and of course AGW is a shining example of this excess.

    What really merits exploration is how over more than a century the progressive movements up to today have adopted many pet “expert” and academic consensus fields to quickly make those who oppose the posture fall into the “ignorant, stupid, backwards and now ANTI-SCIENCE” label. It’s married to the elite left culture for sure but it’s also a flattering line on the stump talking to usually more poorly educated members of their base to reassure and encourage them by claiming a greater degree of intellectual association. “Voting for us makes you a smarter person” and to a degree it’s been a successful tactic. It certainly has authority in “media” which is another cousin of “expert opinion” and surprise surprise, they largely vote the same way; for more government management under expert authority.

    So “anti-science” is a bogus concept most of the time it might be used to score a cheap political point against a general right, left, center discussion. The growing question that so many in the active science community have become deeply partisan themselves and invoke their inherited social authority by supporting such labels is worth exploring. The article is a distraction of meaningful discussion and basically supports the appeal to authority that is more commonly found in left-wing circles regarding science opinion and more generally the default position that the best ideas are found on campus rather than industry or individuals. Science as another form of collectivist authority, when it suits them of course.

    Not to beat it into the ground but it’s a loss of democracy and free individualism that is represented in the talking points. You must now be “qualified” to cast your dissent and even then you can go to youtube and watch student heckle Dr. Lindzen when he speaks on campus (why isn’t agw base being “anti-science” at that moment). Many of the arguments made from inside the consensus players take on this level of arrogance in their own positions and the formula for “anti-science” labeling is well set. So it’s a social/political trend among many classes and educational groups. The article is as much a symptom of the problem regardless of specific examples or details contained that have some merit. Are we going to have to subject every area of science to the same litmus tests that are clear in science associations regarding AGW? Science in general is in sad decline regardless of its current social/funding position if it is going to rely on thin talking points and manipulations of labels.

  42. In their latest display of progressive compassion for the poor, combined with their refusal to politicize science, the Obama administration has decided to allow an EPA/FDA ban on low cost asthma inhalants to go into effect.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44627081/ns/today-today_health/t/otc-inhalers-be-phased-out-protect-ozone-layer/#

    So coal plants can continue belching CO2 and particulates into the air, and billions of tons of fossil fuels can continue to be burned unabated, because the danger to the climate is not sufficient to justify endangering the re-election hopes of Barack Obama. But little Johnny’s inhaler has to go.

    Quick, someone get Michael Mann to do a statistical analysis of how many polar bears will be saved by eliminating the miniscule amounts of CFCs that might otherwise escape from Johnny’s inflamed lungs.

    I wonder how much GlaxoSmithKline has contributed to the Obama campaign lately?

  43. We all make existential choices – what Sartre called a ‘leap in the dark’. Do we believe that humanity is fundamentally irredeemable and that the only route to ‘salvation’ is through the ‘church’ or the ‘state’, or do we believe that the individual is a force for good and that personal freedom exercised through democracy and markets is the way we progress? This fundamental dichotomy between what I would argue is a pessimistic and the alternative, optimistic view of humanity pervades our choices about what we are willing to believe.

    Another, and similar existential choice divides those who believe in ‘rationalism’ as opposed to ‘empiricism’. There has been no satisfactory resolution of this divide that separated Plato from Aristotle or Descartes from Bacon. Rationalism emerged in continental Europe as the preferred philosophy of the left wholeheartedly adopted by those who also took a fundamentally pessimistic view of humanity. Empiricism in its turn informed what has become the Anglo/US view of the world – it was the philosophy of the founding fathers and underpins the essentially optimistic view of the world we associate with modern democracy and capitalism.

    In the scientific arena there is no better example of these divides than in climate science. Those who take the AGW high road do have a pessimistic view of the influence of humanity on the world and the solutions that are proposed involve international control and the restriction of human freedom in pursuit of a low CO2 world. Many scientists who have come to dominate this science are now fundamentally wedded to the notion that the route to knowledge is through the rational construction of mathematical models of reality. For them, reality is mathematical and the model trumps observation. Opposed to them is the view of the world that we do not learn except through observation and that in a contest between observation and model, observation wins.

    Seen this way the ‘science’ ‘anti-science’ labels are nonsense. There is no similarity between those who argue for intelligent design and those who argue that the ‘consensus’ on climate science is wrong. With the former it is a contest between those who.believe that there is a divine order to the world and those who do not. With the latter it is a contest between those who take a pessimistic view of humanity supported by their version of scientific rationalism and those who have made the alternative choices. The more I think about this the more convinced I am that there is no resolution of the climate science debate. In the end the only thing that will resolve it – like the existential clash between communism and capitalism in the 20th Century – is time.

    • To all readers who claim religion,most specifically the Christian or “religious right” are anti-science:

      A simple challenge: Please read the following description of the world’s creation.

      Then tell me where it came from: an obscure word-of-mouth tradition starting some 5000-odd years ago by itinerant shepherds who didn’t even have a “zero” to count upon, much less decimal points to keep track of time; or the latest 20th century particle physics textbooks, archeology, geology and oceanographic references, biology and taxology theories, and astronomical discoveries.

      ————

      Everything was created. Suddenly and with great violence, but with uncalculable forces in the darkness. From this energy, light condensed a short while later. Then matter was created as the light energy further cooled. A period of time passed.

      The earth and solar system was formed from the galactic dust and interstellar plasmas, gathering together and cooling into the individual spheres (the planets and their atmospheres) and the sun we see rotating around our sky today. Another period of time passed.

      Down here on the earth itself, one continent was formed surrounded by one single massive sea, later breaking up and re-connecting by continental drift into the continents and seven seas everybody is familiar with today. Once dry, cool (non-volcanic) land appeared, the first plants began growing, changing the original inhospitable and deadly atmosphere of toxic and light-absorbing gasses into the clear and viable combination of oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor and carbon dioxide we need (the balance of gasses that all life needs on earth!) to survive today. These first plants kept growing for another while longer.

      Well, the atmosphere was finally clear enough for visible light to be transmitted through the previously dark atmosphere, and suddenly the available energy on the surface grew large enough to support more life, higher forms of life above simple plants.

      So animal life grew – first in the warm tropic seas as fish and amphibians, then on land with dinosaurs (who evolved into birds) and then modern large mammals. Domesticated animals and Man finally straggled onto the scene, very late behind everything else.

      —–

      Now … to repeat my question: What is “anti-science” about religion, if religion could “discover” and correct use the principles of twentieth century nuclear physics, paleontology, biology, evolution sequences, geophysics, and continental drift before they invented writing?

      • Now, now…don’t be a buzzkill and try to point out that people are fighting over who gets the credit for the same sequence of events.

  44. Bob Ryan,

    You write “There is no similarity between those who argue for intelligent design and those who argue that the ‘consensus’ on climate science is wrong. ”

    Think about this a bit more. If a person is genuinely of the opinion that the Earth was created by a God, and this God created Mankind to have dominion over the Earth, wouldn’t this have an effect on how they viewed everything, including the AGW issue?

    Mightn’t they also argue that this God wouldn’t have created all these fossil fuels if they weren’t safe for us to use as we please?

    I did find a video of quite a well known American (who else?) guy making this exact argument on youtube but, frustratingly, I’ve forgotten his name and can’t find it.

    • Tempt, what often confuses people is the many variants and interpretations there are when discussing monotheist religions. For instance, while I know people who would agree with the sentiments you described on the video, I would point out that the clause you quoted “God created Mankind to have dominion over the Earth..” implies to many Christians that we have to power to muck it up. Further, there are many Christians that marry the two concepts of ID and evolution to be ID through evolution. My point is, it is impossible to paint all of us Christians with the same brush. If you break it down to certain denominations, one could make some general assumptions, but even then there would be large disagreements within the denomination. On the flip side, I know just about as many agnostics that are skeptical as I do Christians. Now please note, I’ve only offered information on one monotheist religion. But, I’m sure they would have contentious disagreements about these issues also.

      Some examples to consider. Dr. Hayhoe, John Cook, Dr. Spencer, Georges Lemaître . Well, I could go on, but you should get the point by now. Everybody loves boxes and they love to put people in boxes. It just doesn’t work very well when discussing Christians.

      James

      • Yes you’re right it is possible for Christians to interpret the “Dominion over the Earth” concept as John Cook of skepticalscience does. So, its not a question of “painting ….with the same brush” as you put it, but rather just pointing that that the issues of AGW and Evolution/Creationism/Intelliget Design are quite as separate as Rob Ryan was claiming.

        There is a strong correlation of belief on the two subjects – particularly amongst the “religious right” in the USA.

    • tempterrain

      I will concede to you that there may be SOME individuals who reject the premise of potentially disastrous human-induced global warming for RELIGIOUS reasons – or for POLITICAL reasons

      But you must concede to me that there are also OTHER individuals who reject the premise of potentially disastrous human-induced global warming for SCIENTIFIC reasons.

      Right?

      Max

    • I’m not sure that there is a “similarity” in how such people think any more than in the sense that all people are influenced by motivated reasoning and confirmation bias.

      However, as we have seen on this thread – there is some degree of cross–over between those who argue climate change “skepticism” and those who argue that Intelligent Design is a “major scientific theory,” and/or that Intelligent Design is, in fact, more “scientific” than the “theory” of evolution.

      How much crossover? That’s hard to say. Obviously, there are many “skeptics” about climate change who do not accept intelligent design as a scientific theory let alone as a “theory” that is more scientific than evolution. But that doesn’t negate the fact that some degree of crossover does exist.

    • Please. While I do not ascribe to any religion I know enough
      christianity to understand that the concept of “stewardship”
      is important to many of them.

      here is a bet: google stewardship global warming.

    • Note to self, never give the keys to tt

  45. “*Using science for political purposes*” … (is “_the pot calling the kettle black_”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_calling_the_kettle_black )… “*when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science*”

    And scientists don’t play politics with science which gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science?

    Yeah sure they don’t just as ‘deniers’ aren’t born under cabbage leaves.

  46. Too darn important. Re-posting formatted correctly …

    Using science for political purposes” … (is the pot calling the kettle black )… “when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science

    And scientists don’t play politics with science which gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science?

    Yeah sure they don’t just as ‘deniers’ aren’t born under cabbage leaves.

  47. Who’s anti-science?

    IPCC is anti-science for reporting accelerated warming when the global mean temperature is decelerating as shown by the following data.

    http://bit.ly/f42LBO

    • Data shows global cooling of 0.1 deg C per decade as shown below:

      http://bit.ly/qjGqtq

      • Cherry picking. This is anti-science if you take an arbitrary time interval that conveniently starts at a peak and happens to decrease. Besides that, did you do a correlation coefficient with respect to your linear trend or an autocorrelation analysis on the data series itself? Good example of anti-science masquerading as an attack against improper science. Psychologists call this framing and projection.

      • WebHubTelescope

        If I say the trend for the last eight years other than a cooling by 0.1 deg C per decade, I would not be telling the truth.

        http://bit.ly/qjGqtq

        At least you admit that it is not IPCC’s 0.2 deg C per decadee warming!

        Don’t you?

      • WebHubTelescope

        If I say the trend for the last eight years other than a cooling by 0.1 deg C per decade, I would not be telling the truth.

        http://bit.ly/qjGqtq

        At least you admit that it is not IPCC’s 0.2 deg C per decadee warming!

        Don’t you?

        I am sorry, I can’t get beyond the fact that you cherry-picked the data. One of the first rules of data analysis is to use all available data. This not only tests whatever complete hypothesis you may have (in this case, prior history), but it also reduces epistemic uncertainty due to lack of good counting statistics. You also can’t indiscriminately get rid of outliers, as these may indicate fat-tail behaviors. You basically broke every rule in the book.

      • And yet, it cools.
        ==========

  48. The real point is not whether politicians are anti-science, but whether scientists are properly apolitical.

    If scientists are impartial, then it really doesn’t matter what the politicians say, because we can always turn to the science.

    But when “scientists” allow their view to affect their work, when their work becomes political, how do we know which politicians are telling the truth: left, right or “scientist”?

    • To answer your question: the ones who go with the best scientific advice available. You can’t dismiss scientific findings as political just because you don’t like them!

      • tempterrain

        To answer your question: the ones who go with the best scientific advice available.

        Who defines “best”?

        Max

      • One person? How about Sir Paul Nurse – President of the UK’s Royal Society?

        He’s got quite a bit to say about anti-science in this link.

    • You can’t elevate political findings to science just because you like them!

      The underlying problem is we have no real climate science – only a science community that is utterly politicised and corrupt in consequence of its political funding.

  49. @Judith,

    Climate scientists starting to do science would be a good first step…

  50. Tom Choularton

    I suppose it is understandable that these comments have a strong emphasis in US politics. The issues in discussion here do not divide on a right / left axis in the UK. The current conservative lead government claims to be the ‘greenest government ‘
    On the subject of climate change there is no significant scientific challenge to the consensus and hence a sensible government has no option but to accept it in setting policy

    • On the subject of climate change there is no significant scientific challenge to the consensus

      Other than
      - it stems from a palpably corrupt and and politicised process
      - there is close to no physical science to support it

      and hence a sensible government has no option but to accept it in setting policy

      And hence a sensible government has no option but to completely ignore it. If anc when climate science cleans up its act, the situation can be reassesed.

    • Do you want to Richard Bett on that one? We could do a Jonathon Jones, too.
      ===========

  51. Tempterrain: to develop my earlier comments and as a result of yours in reply to Scottish Skeptic here is my view of the matter for what it’s worth.

    It appears to me that climate science has attracted a particular scientific mindset to its fold and has as a result attracted a particular kind of consensus. It has become a research programme largely driven by the rationalist agenda. In the modelling which dominates their approach, climate scientists are attempting to create an abstract reality. ‘Climate’ is an abstraction and the mathematical constructs they use to model climate are also abstractions. They believe that ultimately the mathematics of modelling will lead them to the definition of an idealised reality of the planet and its climate system. For a brilliant and hopefully not contentious description of this philosophical approach do take a look at Roger Penrose’s (2005). The Road to Reality: A Complete guide to the Laws of the Universe. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-099-44068-7. This same philosophical approach was also that which drove Hegel and Marx and underpinned mainstream Catholic theology. To the rationalist mindset, humanity can never match the ideal and it is no surprise that a certain type of scientist, politician and activist has coalesced around this particular science and the deeply pessimistic world view that goes with it.

    What has happened more recently is that traditional empirical scientists have begun to question the consensus. They probably took the view originally that Climate Science was empirical science as they knew it and they went along with it. But the furore that erupted following Climategate in particular has led to very vigorous questioning by scientists and laypeople alike. For the traditional scientist reality is used to refute models, not models used to refute reality. As empirical scientists have begun to dig into the matter they increasingly do not like what they see. More and more are forming the view that there is insufficient empirical evidence to formulate adequate generalisations about the climate and are ‘dismissing the science’ because it is not what they believe science should be.

    I would also note another point: Rationalists, whether they be scientists, politicians or indeed philosophers are, by and large, extremely intolerant of anyone or anything that does not agree with their world view. Rationalists have a history of trying to capture the political and as they see it moral high ground. This is well exemplified by the contempt that many climate scientists have for their opponents. A contempt that would have done the Soviet commissariat or the Spanish inquisition proud.

  52. Observed Current Global Cooling

    95% of the last 8 years monthly global mean temperatures lie between two parallel lines that are 0.26 deg C apart and have a cooling trend of 0.1 deg C per decade, as shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    • This means that in 2012, the monthly GMTs are projected to lie between 0.25 and 0.5 deg C with 95% confidence.

      • Girma

        Your chart shows that a pretty safe bet would be for 2012 annual GMT to be 0.375°C ± 0.125°C

        As of today the average monthly 2011 temperature (HadCRUT3) was well within that range at 0.356°C

        If this average temperature were to continue through 2012, we would have a slight cooling trend since January 1998 = 180 months or 15 years of no warming despite CO2 levels rising to record levels and IPCC projections of 0.2°C per decade warming.

        We were once told that 15 years of global cooling would falsify the premise that human CO2 is the principal driver of our climate (the goalpost got moved to “17 years” recently), but the current extended lack of warming has become a “travesty” for those trying to frighten us with specters of disastrous future warming.

        Max

      • Thanks Max.

        AGW is now moving along due to its inertia, not due to the data.

      • A large part of that negative trend is the solar cycle and ENSO. So the only way the trend is going to keep going down is if the solar cycle keeps falling (which it isn’t, it’s now rising) and ENSO keeps falling (which it hasn’t got much more room to do http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/)

      • We were once told that 15 years of global cooling would falsify the premise that human CO2 is the principal driver of our climate

        Team man Gavin replied on RealClimate a number of years ago that he would begin to question his faith in the consensus if there were ever 15 years of no warming.
        I wonder if he’s kept to this, or has chosen instead to keep to his faith ?

  53. Stereotyping is foolish.

    When it is done as political propaganda it can become dangerous.

    As Judith concluded:

    The real problem is when all this gets in the way of scientists doing science, which has been the case for climate science.

    Indeed.

    Max

  54. By the way, Judy, I’ve directly asked Chris Mooney, given Ryan Maue’s graph of Accumulated Cyclone Energy, when he is going to write ‘Calm World’. Crickets.

    I’d also like to know, given this AGW mess, when he’s going to write ‘The Democrat War on Science’. What a hack. Phil Plait and Pharyngula are worse. They are supposed to act like scientists, what with the costumes and all.
    ===================

  55. Max – stereotyping may be foolish but trying to understand how science and politics has been driven by ideas and beliefs that have polarised Western thought for three thousand years is surely not. The problem with Judith’s comment is that if you accept the force of the dichotomy between Rationalism and Empiricism in science there are two types of science in play here with quite different perceptions about the status of theories and the role of evidence. In other subjects this issue has been hammered out but for that to happen it needs people to acknowledge the issue and debate it.

    • Bob -

      In the modelling which dominates their approach, climate scientists are attempting to create an abstract reality. ‘Climate’ is an abstraction and the mathematical constructs they use to model climate are also abstractions.

      Would you similarly characterize scientists who work in the field of AI, whereby they have used computer modeling to abstract a reality of human thought processes and thus, I can now pick up my cell phone and speak to it and have it tell me how to get from my current location to Podunk, Iowa?

      What about medical researchers who use computer modeling to simulate bio-chemical reactions in the human body, or scientists who use computer modeling to build airplanes or spacecraft?

      If not – what is the difference between those scientists and the climate scientists that you generalize about?

      If so – then is there some other distinction that you would draw between climate scientists and those other scientists?

      • Please, Joshua, V&V. Gotta get with it.

        You can phone in it from those old linguistic tapes and fool a lot of people, but please, don’t be pitiful.
        ============

      • Deep in my pity fest I thought hey, climate’s even more complicated than the human intelligence. What is it with the models exploring AI that could be applied to climate? Could gamers help? Thanks, Joshua.
        ============

      • We have to give them credit for the most successful scary story in history of science with human emission of CO2 causes global warming.

        http://bit.ly/pMHO76

      • Joshua says:
        “What about medical researchers who use computer modeling to simulate bio-chemical reactions in the human body, or scientists who use computer modeling to build airplanes or spacecraft?”

        Silly analogies. Models based on well understood science work. Medical and aeronautical sciences have actually gotten a lot of things right. We know this through experimental results, as well as common experience. The so-called climate science is not playing in the same league, period. But I think you knew that.

      • Did he or didn’t he know that? Always the question, question: naive or disingenuous.

        I swear, with him I go back and forth, but he’s not unconscious and he is ingenious, and oh, so resourceful, heh.
        ==============

      • Robert in Calgary

        Disingenuous.

        It comes down to his personal ethics.

      • Kim,

        Well, let us not be hastily judgmental. Please give Joshua a chance to reconsider and withdraw his silly analogies that equate the unimpressive efforts of the so-called climate scientists to model climate, with the successes of the medical and aeronautical sciences modelers.

      • Heh, see his response below at 11:51. Quintessential Joshua.
        =============

      • Don

        Those models are evaluated againest real world measureable results and either validated or their outputs are nolonger considered. In the case of climate models, the results are being used to support changes although the models have NOT been validated or accurately been show to predict the future

      • Models based on well understood science work.

        There are plenty of errors that occur all the time when you compare bio-medical modeling and the realities of physiology. For example, while medical imaging is of great value, it certainly isn’t capable yet of doing much we would like it to be able to do. The fact that further refinements will prove valuable does not lessen the limitations of what we already know.

        AI and language processing or modeling of cognitive processing is similar. I remember a time some 25 or more years ago when scientists felt that computer modeling of cognitive processes was at such a refined state that they’d be able to develop computers that could communicate through native-like speech on only a matter of a few years. The reality, however, is that they found that they had significantly underestimated the complicated nature of cognition, and the enormous information processing capacity of the human brain.

        But regardless, the point I was making is that Bob was speaking to a foundational attribute of scientists who use computer modeling to simulate complex natural phenomena.

        So are you saying that that attribute only exists in a way proportional to the complexity of the phenomenon that the scientists are trying to model? Is it a binary situation – where those attributes apply for some other reason to climate scientists but not other scientists who seek to understand complex natural phenomena through simulation via computer modeling?

      • Joshua–

        Here is a very basic question- In your opinion is it a proper use of “science” to implement basic ecomonic change as a result of the current demonstrated outputs of GCM’s?

      • In your opinion is it a proper use of “science” to implement basic ecomonic change as a result of the current demonstrated outputs of GCM’s?

        Rob -

        I think that the outputs of GCM’s warrant consideration of basic societal changes in how we approach formulating and implementing energy policies, particularly when they overlap with other realities such as the environmental and health damage caused by fossil fuels and the likelihood that the acquisition of fossil fuels will prove increasingly costly economically as well as politically.

        I think that the evaluation of what policies should or should not be implemented should be made through careful cost/benefit analyses – and not through ideological rhetoric that is fueled by conspiratorial rationale. I think that little progress will be made towards careful cost/benefit analyses as long as people, on both sides, are willing to subordinate serious analyses for the purpose of advancing political agendas.

      • Joshua,

        What I am saying is that your analogies are silly. We all know that sciences, other than the so-called climate science, have produced models that were found to be faulty. The difference is that those models, rather than serving as stooges in an ensemble, get discarded. Clear now?

      • Pitiful. I warned you, Joshua. This is basic stuff. If you don’t understand it, don’t fluff around it. It’s just too obvious.
        ================

      • Joshua

        Based on you last post we may be largely in agreement. The key is in the specifics of what is proposed for implementation, and if what is proposed for implementation makes economic sense—great—go for it.

        I continue to read the positions of people like Hansen, Mann, and Tobis that seem to not makes sense based upon the same principles

      • Joshua – a good question and worth answering. Within the Rationalist tradition (which goes back to Socrates and Plato) the only route to knowledge is through human reason. Plato had his world of ‘ideal forms’ – these are the ultimate reality for the rationalist and we recognise the nature of things by comparing them with those ideal forms. Empiricists take an entirely opposite view, knowledge is gained through our experience of the world and, in modern science any theory, hypothesis or, indeed model that does not conform to the reality we observe is rejected.

        So the argument is not about the existence of models but the status given to them. For the empiricist, a theory or a model is a way of mathematically describing what we observe. For the rationalist, what we observe is an imperfect reflection of the model. For Roger Penrose and those who think like him the world and the universe is mathematics and it is this view that appears to dominate discourse in climate science. At the moment the modelers are defining what is real, divergence of observation from what is real is a problem with the observation. With the other examples you mention, and I do not know enough about AI to comment upon that, divergence of model and observation is a problem for the model and that is what empirical science is all about.

      • Bob -

        For the rationalist, what we observe is an imperfect reflection of the model.

        I think that is a caricature that does not apply as uniformly as you assert. While it might be true in some extreme cases, I doubt that there are any more than a tiny number of climate scientists who would fit that description at all, let alone that your description applies uniformly to all climate scientists (or almost all?) as you have done.

        For example, while climate models show anthropogenic warming, the IPCC has stated that something more than 50% of GW is 90% likely to be A. This implies an inherent recognition that climate models are inherently imperfect in that they cannot predict with complete accuracy what will happen in nature.

        Thanks for answering my question about AI theorists and other scientists who rely on computer modeling to simulate natural phenomena. I would suggest to you that they apply the use of computer models in much the same way as climate scientists – and that with them as with climate scientists, your analysis is useful as a cautionary tale but not as a description of existing methodology for very many practicing scientists if any at all.

      • Thank you too Joshua and in many respects I think we share an understanding of this issue. I would not presuem to categorize all Climate Scientists into an exclusive set. Nor indeed is intolerance uniquely attributable to the Rationalist by any means and yes my comments are a caricature. But caricature is where the artist extracts from the subject some aspect of the reality which highlights a truth about the individual. As I read the discourse between Climate Scientists and their critics I perceive a modality of thinking, on both sides, which has ancient roots and it is by understanding this both sides can avoid talking past one another and seek out a common understanding.

        It’s not often I get the opportunity to engage in philosophical discussion so many thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • Bob -

        But caricature is where the artist extracts from the subject some aspect of the reality which highlights a truth about the individual.

        True. And to repeat, I find your philosophical exploration useful. Unfortunately, however, IMO too many participants in this debate are look at caricatures and are fully convinced they’re seeing photo-realism. The caricatures can be very artful in how they capture aspects of reality – but the art gets lost when the portraits are viewed through a prism of animosity and tribalism.

      • Joshua. Glad you picked two of three areas that I have actually worked on. For voice reco first thing is we dont model human thought. google HMM or hidden markov model. But for both voice /speech reco and for aircraft design ( ya, done that too ) the difference is the process of developing and testing models. Models have to go through IV&V, they have to work as specified. For example, in the 80s we tried to incorporate voice reco into the cockpit, however, the system could not achieve the required accuracy. It worked fine in the simulator, but in real life under G stress the pilots voice would change enough that we had to abandon the project. A spec was set for us by others for us to achieve. We tried and failed. We didnt get to move the goal posts. With aircraft modelling and simulation you have the same process. The models dont need to be perfect in fact they cannot be perfect. But we all know going in what areas the models are good at ( validated) and what regimes they are not valid in.

  56. I think science has allowed itself to become debased over a long period of time. I gave up on a post doc (mid 70′s) and took a job in industry, partly (not entirely) because when presented with clear evidence of major flaws in the equipment, the head of our group didn’t contest the evidence, but simply said he wanted to leave things alone until after various students had finished their PhD work (by which time, he would presumably have had more students to replace them). He didn’t seem to even consider that the science mattered in any fundamental sense!

    Gradually over the years, I think standards have slipped and slipped.

    Part of the reason the MMR scare took off, is the fact that people don’t trust scientists to be telling the truth – it took years to quell those fears because nobody with any sense thinks science is completely trustworthy.

    The use of phrases like “anti-science” just make me cringe! The phrase hardly has any meaning as such. In practice it means a dislike of science coupled with ruthless big business, and a deep suspicion of the supposed certainty in subjects like “climate science”.

  57. Anti-science is as anti-science does.

    And climate is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

  58. I asked in several posts for anyone who fears what is happening due to increased CO2 to please help me understand their position by listing what it is they fear and what the scientific basis of those fears is. Not one of the usual posters here has been willing to explain their position.

    It is not anti science to review the conclusions of the models that have been used to reach conclusions. Upon review we have determined that there is not a single climate model that has been independently validated by the means generally used by all other software models. No climate model has shown the ability to accurately predict precipitation at local or regional level even months into the future. Why is it considered “science” when someone is using the output of these models to claim they KNOW what future rainfall will be like in specific regions?

    There have been fears raised of rising sea levels will flood coastal cities. We now have accurate measures showing that this is not happening, so again; what is the science supporting the fear.

    Overall, the real issues critical to potential climate change are, IMHO; a mixture of science, economics, and the reality of international politics. IMO, the conclusions written that predict negative consequences in the IPCC’s AR4 are largely unsupportable unless you wish to accept the use of climate models of faith alone.

    If the changes humans are causing are long term and expensive to effect, individual nations acting in their self interest will be unlikely to implement changes that negatively affect their economies.

  59. Norm Kalmanovitch

    Science (from Wikipedia)
    (from Latin: scientia meaning “knowledge”)
    is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world
    An older and closely related meaning still in use today is that of Aristotle, for whom scientific knowledge was a body of reliable knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained
    Implicit in the word “knowledge” is the word “truth” and this is a word not generally associated with polititians of any stripe so science should not be associated with politicians either so debating which side of the political spectrum is anti science makes no sense.
    The scientific truth is that there has been no global warming since 2002.
    The scienbtific truth is that since 2002 CO2 emissions have increased from 26.301Gt (2002) to 33.158Gt (2010)
    People who currently claim human caused global warming are not telling the truth because there is no current global warming.
    People who question the validity of human casused global warming are well justified in doing so because there has been no global warming concurrent with the increase in global CO2 emissions for the past nine years, and political leanings are in no way relevant to questioning global warming orthodoxy.

    • Norm Kalmanovitch


      The scientific truth is that there has been no global warming since 2002.

      EVIDENCE=>http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    • Norm Kalmanovitch


      The scientific truth is that there has been no global warming since 2002.

      Please replace your “no global warming” with “global cooling”

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        The 2010 el Nino resulted in a temperature spike that has the UAH MSU dataset limited to no global warming so for the moment I use state the global temperature change as no global warming on any of the five global temperature datasets and state it as cooling based on HadCRUT3 RSS MSU and NCDC since GISS has also been fashioned in a way to eliminate the cooling

      • Science is also about getting the supporting evidence correct. Do we all agree that the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentrations is primarily due to fossil fuel emissions and that there is no “missing carbon”?
        That is a simple question devoid of politics.
        I will continue to ask this question because the fundamental analysis and comparison to empirical data is very straightforward.

      • “Science is also about getting the supporting evidence correct. Do we all agree that the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentrations is primarily due to fossil fuel emissions and that there is no “missing carbon”?”

        Science is not about having people agreeing. If anything it’s about people disagreeing. Debate is vital aspect of science.

        “That is a simple question devoid of politics.”

        It’s all about politics. Getting people to agree is the art of politics.
        Though it’s rarely achieved- what is mostly achieved in politic is an agreement not to disagree.

        “I will continue to ask this question because the fundamental analysis and comparison to empirical data is very straightforward.”

        I will agree that we are in a long period of warming. That within the last 150 years we have been in a shorter period of warming.
        I will agree that CO2 could causing some warming, but that human CO2 emission has not caused warming during most of the last 150 years.
        I would agree it’s reasonable that a doubling of present CO2 levels could result in 1 C increase in average global temperature. And if it did cause such an increase the increase should be in nighttime and winter temperature. And that such an increase in temperature poses no threat to humans or other life on this planet. That a decrease of 1 C would be more problematically in terms of humans, and life [that total amount life sustainable {ice isn't an environment in which any life flourishes- and plants are lacking or not over abundant in terms of CO2 at the moment- nor would they have more than they could use if CO2 globally doubled}].

      • Unfortunately, you don’t make any progress in science if all everyone does is disagree. Consider the famous statement of “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
        And then you have the fake quote attributed to Murray Gell-Mann: “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I am surrounded by dwarves”.

        The political strategy of drumming up uncertainty and conflict where there is none is likely real, cooked up by the consultant Frank Luntz during one of his focus group sessions, as documented by Naomi Oreskes in her book “Merchants of Doubt”.
        The strategy is to deny everything and to cast uncertainty.

        So the really incredible part of this is where Girma says:

        The scientific truth is that there has been no global warming since 2002.
        EVIDENCE=>http://bit.ly/pMHO76

        Don’t you see the blatant hypocricy in this statement, showing absolute certitude in a number that anyone can check has a correlation coefficient of about 0.1 ?

        Contrast that to the claim I put forward which has real science behind it, not just some freakish misuse of statistics.

      • Do we all agree that the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentrations is primarily due to fossil fuel emissions and that there is no “missing carbon”?
        ————————-
        The only thing we should agree on is how much we don’t know.
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/

      • That Salby report is easy to refute. I do think that carbon cycles quickly into and out of local stores, so the atmospheric residence time is short and the carbon isotope identifier argument is misleading.

        However, what is not short is the random walk into long-term sequestering storage. This is described by a diffusional process and the tails on this are fat with a 1/sqrt(t) fall-off. This works well as an impulse response to the FF forcing function. The missing carbon is accounted for as it is in diffusional transit.

    • Norm

      The scienbtific truth is that since 2002 CO2 emissions have increased from 26.301Gt (2002) to 33.158Gt (2010)

      It is much, much more than that.

      CO2 Emission in Gt = 15.8 Exp[0.016(Year-1970)]
      http://bit.ly/mBXivS

      For 2002 => 26.4
      For 2003 => 26.4 + 26.8 = 53.2
      For 2004 => 53.2 + 27.2 = 80.4
      For 2005 => 80.4 + 27.7 = 108.1
      For 2006 => 108.1 + 28.1 = 136.2
      For 2007 => 136.2 + 28.6 = 164.8
      For 2008 => 164.8 + 29.0 = 193.8
      For 2009 => 193.8 + 29.5 = 223.3
      For 2010=> 223.3 + 30 = 253.3

      Norm, please modify your sentence to the following:

      The scientific truth is that since 2002 CO2 emissions have increased by about 250 Gt since 2002

      What is the effect of this 250 Gt human emission of CO2 into the atmosphere?

      It cooled the globe!

      • I think the globe would have cooled a lot more since 2002 if CO2 hadn’t risen.

      • We don’t know, do we.
        ===============

      • By the way, lolwot, what do you think would have cooled it? Baby steps, here.
        =============

      • I think we have some strong clues

        Even if we cherry pick the record with the most cooling since 2002, hadcrut, we only see 0.08C cooling since 2002.

        The very start of the period 2002-present contained a string of El Ninos whereas the end has contained two moderate/strong la ninas. So ENSO has had a cooling bias on hadcrut since 2002.

        How much of a cooling bias? Enough to mean that without ENSO HadCRUT would be showing warming since 2002, not cooling.

        Additionally 2002 was a solar maximum and since then solar output has dropped into a very low and long solar minimum we are only just coming out of. So the Sun has had a cooling bias on hadcrut since 2002.

        How much of a cooling bias? Enough that without the solar and ENSO impact HadCRUT would definitely be showing warming.

        Which is in line with what would be expected from that rising CO2…

      • Heh, so ENSO and the sun are in the models?
        ======================

      • The models don’t contain all the short term variation that exists in climate. That’s why it’s no sense to expect the models and climate to match on short timescales.

      • lolwot, you have to take your CO2 glasses of if you want to see it. ENSO is part of climate change – it’s not noise and it’s not climate neutral. You say ENSO had a cooling bias since 2002? Of course, but it’s not bias. It’s climate change. How was ENSO in 1980/90s? It was predominantly positive.
        http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/teleconnections/eln-f-pg.gif
        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

      • The faith is strong in that one, Monseigneur.

      • The ENSO trend over the 20th century is zero. The globe warmed 0.8C over the 20th century, which had nothing to do with ENSO. ENSO is just going to cause bumps and dips in the longterm warming trend.

        People are mistaking a dip since 2002 for being an end to that warming trend rather than realizing it to be a dip.

      • The AGW started significantly in ~1950s/60s, according to IPCC, which is plausible if anthropogenic CO2 increased atmospheric CO2 and atmospheric CO2 causes global warming. What is the ENSO trend 1960 – 2000?
        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

        It’s certainly POSITIVE!

      • Even if it’s positive it’ll contribute at most about 0.1C

      • So, when ENSO trend is negative, it easily overwhelms the CO2 forcing, even if the CO2 forcing is the strongest ever (according to consensus). But when the CO2 forcing was much weaker, the positive ENSO trend contributed at most about 0.1 °C. Cognitive dissonance?

      • I just calculated it for hadcrut, ENSO has about 0.1C warming impact on hadcrut since 1950-present. However 1980-present ENSO has had a 0.1C cooling effect. The period 2002-present has about a 0.14C cooling effect.

        If we assume hadcrut should have warmed 0.2C since 2002 due to AGW but ENSO had a 0.14C cooling effect, that reduces the actual expected HadCRUT warming since 2002 to just 0.06C warming.

        Factoring in about 0.12C cooling from the solar cycle since 2002 leaves an expected 0.06C cooling since 2002 in HadCRUT, which is inline with what the record does in fact show.

      • Edim | September 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |

        So, when ENSO trend is negative, it easily overwhelms the CO2 forcing,..

        The ENSO trend easily overwhelms a small fraction of the CO2 forcing. That’s fairly obvious.

        However, the ENSO trend fails to explain 95% or more of the temperature variance of the past half century, while CO2 forcing can.

        ENSO running hot is a shot of tequila chasing two dozen pints of beer.

        ENSO running cold is a plate of nachos intended to soak up the alcohol.

        ENSO and driving remains a bad idea.

      • Bart R and lolwot,

        Like I said with the CO2 glasses on, one can only see CO2 (the knob). I think that CO2 just sits in the back of the bus driven by temperature and can’t influence temperature in any significant way. I don’t know what more I can say, except – time will tell.

      • The next el nino should reveal all, so probably by 2013

      • Edim & lolwot

        I really doubt time or positive ENSO will tell.

        The flawed logic that would accept, for instance, that the next El Nino coinciding with record global temperatures as proof of AGW would be the same logic that rejects AGW regardless of outcome.

        Analyses of surface temperature statistics alone will only marginally increase in confidence decade by decade, and — barring unknowable developments — will take the better part of a century to reach generally accepted levels of confidence.

        That right now, AGW looks by far the likeliest hypothesis, ought not color our logic overmuch.

      • Bart,

        IMO, if the cooling continues and intensify (which I expect), atmospheric CO2 growth will decrease and at some point start decreasing, if the cooling is long and strong enough. That should reject CO2GW?

      • Edim

        “IMO, if the cooling continues and intensify (which I expect), atmospheric CO2 growth will decrease and at some point start decreasing, if the cooling is long and strong enough. That should reject CO2GW?”

        You have an interesting hypothesis, and with sufficient evidence (and an explicit statement of a mechanism) you may be in possession of a hypothesis that might adequately explain observations.

        However, a) existence of one workable hypothesis does not in itself logically invalidate a competing hypothesis; b) you have a long way to go before you adequately explain observations; c) can you establish a test where one of the hypotheses will better explain outcomes that have not yet happened?

        Because if you can hit (c) you may be doing something useful.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        The IPCC CO2 forcing parameter whould have predicted 5.35ln(390/373) = 0.238 watts/m^2 x 0.75 = 0.1788°C so we can be thankful that our miserable winter last year was 0.1788°C warmer than it was .. very comforting!

      • Not an unreassonable belief, except for the use of the term “a lot”.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        Unless I have lost my grasp of the English language if CO2 emissions from fossil fuels as listed in the BP Statistical Review of Energy are 19023.9mt in 1978 and 19637.7mt in 1979 it is considered an increase in CO2 emissions and when the number drops to 19322.4mt in 1980 it is called a decrease in emissions and when it drops again to 19073.2mt in 1981 it is still called a decrease in CO2 emissions and when it drops to 18900.7mt in 1982 it is once again called a decrease in CO2 emissions but when it increases to 19072mt in 1983 it is called an increase even though this is less than the 1979 value of 19637.7mt,
        When emissions increase to 19861.0mt in 1984 setting a new high level for emissions this is also called an increase.
        According to your logic the entire period from 1978 to 1984 represents nothing but increases in CO2 emissions including the three year to year decreases from 1979 to 1982.
        And by the way CO2 did not cool the world it was a combination of increased albedo from cloud cover and changes in solar output that are responsible for the current cooling trend

  60. For an expose on Big Brother’s world-wide grip on science today, read Professor Ian Pilmer’s new book, “How to get expelled from school:”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/09/how-to-get-expelled-from-school-ian-plimers-new-book/

    One of few politicians who understands the serious danger facing our formerly-free society today, Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic wrote the Foreword.

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

    For a video summary as “Big Brother” took control (1961-2011)
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Summary_of_Career.pdf

  61. Actually, I’m not too worried about the so called “anti-science” types, the Luddites. What I find more disturbing and dangerous is the rabid pro-science types that claim to have an answer for everything. Remember MBTE, the blue state California gasoline additive that was to be the solution for pollution while increasing the fuel’s efficiency? Remember those progressive early twentieth century eugenics programs? Did you know those American syphilis studies on control groups of dying blacks were led by politically progressive New Deal scientists? Yet to hear it from the Left, those deaths from syphilis were all caused by right wing southern crackers.

    • Not a war on science, a war on ethics.
      ==================

    • As somebody upthread pointed out, the progressives are more anti-technology than anti-science, but be that as it may, that directly impacts the climate issue as well, seeing as how the end game is policy, which must necessarily be a combination of denying certain technology to the world, and/or pushing some sort of new technology. The downside to denying the world fossil fuel technology is obvious, but the downside to pushing the new technology isn’t, because we haven’t met the devil we don’t know yet. But Solyndra is a precautionary tale, for those inclined to take the precautionary principle seriously.

  62. This topic is way too big and too ill-defined for discussion here. It is a topic appropriate for a semester long seminar in the philosophy of science. So, I apologize for making a comment on it at all. I do not intend to offend those who have commented. However, I must say that this discussion of the misadventures of Left and Right as regards science has overlooked the elephant in the room.

    As far as I know, Al Gore is the only VP and near President who has made a career of using science to promote alarmism. His docudrama, An Inconvenient Truth, was blarney when he made it and remains blarney today. I really do not believe that anyone other than Al Gore will object to this point. Al Gore’s movie puts him right up there in the same category as Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb.

    In addition to his movie, ex-VP Al Gore has been the number one proponent of the position that science is “consensus science” and that, in all matters scientific, such as the definition of science, the consensus of scientists rules. In all my long years, never have I encountered a more anti-intellectual account of science. According to this definition of science, whatever scientific establishment or establishments happen to exist at a given time, they are beyond criticism from the outside and from the inside.

    The Left, the Democratic Party, and whatever formal bodies of science that happen to exist at this time bear responsibility for Al Gore. The Left and the Democratic Party because they have supported him. Scientific establishments because they have refrained from criticizing him.

    There is no one comparable to Al Gore on the Right. Yes, Perry says that climate alarmism is nonsense; however, Perry is not conducting a high profile media blitz to promote such ideas and will never do so. My point is that the Left acts without shame and without restraint in using science to promote alarmism. What is remarkable is that no one on the Left has become a high profile critic of such wrong doing. If you are a self respecting scientist, you will not allow yourself to be associated with Al Gore’s work.

  63. No reply by currja
    Perhaps the silence is more revealing than the debate.

    ‘Nuff said and hail to Judith for being courageous enough to ask awkward questions.

  64. A relevant AP article by Charles Hanley sums up the current mainstream view nicely. “An American allergy to global warming: why?”

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/09/25/science-us-climate-the-disconnect_8699270.html

    • A fine example of unconscious parody. We’ll be screening that one at the museum.
      =========

    • From that article ..

      In the paper, Columbia University geoscientist Wally Broecker calculated how much carbon dioxide would accumulate in the atmosphere in the coming 35 years, and how temperatures consequently would rise. His numbers have proven almost dead-on correct.

      Thus 25 years or research and societal upheaval has accomplished nothing. That says something too.

      • Erratum:

        35 years of research and societal upheaval has accomplished nothing. That says something too.

        (I’m not going to be a fool as to suggest how that subtle message ought to read. It is significant)

    • That is a very forceful statement of the alleged mainstream view. I wonder why, with only the alleged lunatic fringe denying the impending catastrophe, that the mainstream has failed to accomplish any significant remediation? It appears that we are doomed.

      • The guilt isn’t taking. Increase the dose. Rev it up to 18 knots. Put on those marching shoes. Press on. That’s not the Big Muddy up ahead, it’s a crik.
        ========

      • Maybe because win, lose, or draw on the climate science, cap-n-tax wouldn’t do diddle squat? If you’re gong to propose a “solution”, it needs to be a solution, not a downpayment. Oddly, Hansen and the 350ers are at least somewhat more realistic about policy than the carbon traders.

    • Jim D says:

      “There is nothing in there that should be controversial. I have not seen specifics of disagreement, so maybe it is just the publicizing of these facts that you disapprove of.”

      Let’s stipulate/pretend for a moment that your overwhelming AP documented mainstream consensus is armed to-the-teeth with the scientific facts, and occupies the intellectual and moral high ground. How does it make you wonderful people feel knowing that you have allowed a few dumb American flat-earth Republican Creationist deniers, to prevent you from implementing your brilliant schemes to save our children from climate catastrophe? Impotent? Feckless? Ashamed?

      • I particularly liked ‘ferocity in defense of false beliefs often builds as evidence against the false belief builds’ Irony? Oh, my, yes.

        ‘angry parts’ was good too.
        =============

      • There is a right-wing media bubble (as characterized by Bill Maher this Friday) that is impenetrable and also serves as an echo chamber in the US. It is amazingly effective, but they do need to listen to the regular media like AP sometimes just to hear what the rest of the world do. Sorry to expose you to this outside world, and you will obviously go back to your bubble now, where things are more comfortable and convenient.

      • It was once said that Murdoch found a niche market for Fox, half of America.
        =========

      • They are good entertainment value, but they dropped their chief comedian, Glenn Beck, unfortunately, so I don’t watch them so much now.

      • JimD –
        There’s also a left-wing bubble. It consists of about 99% of the main-stream media and a significant part of the blogosphere. The AP is defiinitely included in that leftist bubble. For background on the AP you should chase down some of their stories from Iraq – and how they got those stories.

      • Also the left-wing bubble includes 99% of the science journals and scientific and engineering societies, and major tech industries with climate statements. Quite successful, I would say. I know mainstream is a dirty word in some circles, but this level of agreement would be its definition.

    • Jim D –
      I read that article earlier today. Or rather, I read PART of that article earlier today. I got tired of reading the constant string of errors and utter nonsense it contains and wandered off to do something useful with my life.

  65. Pro-Science Greenies kill children

    “But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.</B?"

    "Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death</B when his home was set ablaze by security officers."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/world/africa/in-scramble-for-land-oxfam-says-ugandans-were-pushed-out.html?_r=3&scp=3&sq=uganda&st=cse

    • I’m speechless.

    • Stirling English

      I hoe that the AGW Alarmist Tendency are well satisfied with the virtue of their days work. And that their actions will supposedly save a sea level rise of 0.000000000000000000000000000000001mm in 100 years time.

      I cannot begin to express my contempt, disgust and loathing for these intellectual thugs and evil shysters in a family run blog.

      After ‘No Pressure’ will we now see ‘Kill the Kids to Save the Planet’?

      Bastards bastards bastards……

    • You conveniently missed this line:

      “Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.”

      Ignoring one group (right-leaning investors) and pointing out failings of another (left-leaning enviros) is just wearing blinkers. In order to justify either dogma, either free market magic “invisible hands” or single issue eco-fanaticism, we usually have the usual suspects coming up with the usual excuses that the end justifies the means or it’s all for the greater good.

      A plague on both your houses……

      • Actually, the url you discuss takes one to a report mentioning New Forests, the company growing trees that help kill people in Uganda.

        “The New Forests Company Ltd is a Ugandan registered
        company that is 97 percent owned by a UK company
        called NFC Uganda UK limited and the balance by two
        individuals and the East African Development Bank.
        Some 72% of the shares in the NFC Uganda UK Ltd are
        owned by a Holding Company called NFC Holdings
        Limited. The company is actively developing a portifolio
        of African forestry companies and has already other
        plantation operations in Tanzania and Mozambique with
        prospects for a further project in Rwanda.”

  66. I’m still more of the opinion that it is pessimism versus optimism. That the right are more optimistic about private enterprise and more pessimistic about government solutions, and vice versa for the left, frankly explains every partisan opinion on any science matter.

  67. “lolwot | September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

    The ENSO trend over the 20th century is zero”

    I am very interested in this subject. Do you have a reference for this claim? I would be very interested to see on what basis anyone can make such a claim.

  68. Yikes – another pointless stream of unconvincing prattle at BickerFest, etc. Thank you, Dr. Curry, for using the indented layout as it helps skip past the moronic to the absurd. But what to do about the tit-for-tat exchanges that drone on? No cookie, or timeouts, or maybe take it to Twitter?

    Somebody is wrong on the Internet – can’t sleep now… must reply…

  69. We don’t have such a debate here in France but indeed we should.
    Even if not formally in charge, “Green” ideology is now largely dominating the political left wing, since collapsing of communism (a large part of “green” leaders are actually coming from declining Communist or Trotskyist parties).

    As corollary to this “green” influence, the left wing is more and more promoting anti-progress / anti-science / anti-capitalist ideas : against nuclear power, against Genetically Modified Cells, against nanotechnologies, against any new technology coming from the US…

    The next presidential campaign has just started, and there is a tough competition, in the left wing, surfing on Fukushima disaster, whether to know who will propose the quickest plan to “escape” from nuclear energy (in France 80% of electrical energy is produced by nuclear plants)… All pathetic and unrealistic proposals indeed!

    The main problem is that, either on the right or on the left wing, most leaders have a very poor knowledge and understanding of scientific & technical issues.

  70. The AGW issue is not something that I ever particularly wanted to hear about. If I was an evil government employee wanting to dream up new taxes and reasons for taxing people more, I’m sure I could come up with many ways of doing it without involving climate scientists. They are just too unreliable. You never know what they are going to say next!

    I agree that its bad news but I’d also argue that the best course is to accept the scientific findings and get on with doing with whatever is necessary.

    So, it strikes me that the opposition to AGW is perhaps not so much anti-science as a psychological unwillingness to accept this kind of bad news. (I’m unsuccessfully trying to resist the temptation to point out this is called ‘denialism’! )

    But maybe those who do reject the science on the issue would like to dispute my argument by giving some examples of when they have accepted bad news from the scientific community?

    • Chicken Little thought the same thing

      • Chicken Little thought the same thing

        And since Chicken Little was wrong about the sky, why then, those scientists who have made a career studying the thermodynamics and radiation physics of the sky must be wrong about it too. That is your argument, right?

        But this then raises the interesting question of how ordinary mortals are to judge who is right about the sky. If Chicken Little cannot be trusted, who can?

      • But this then raises the interesting question of how ordinary mortals are to judge who is right about the sky
        One examines the behaviour of the immortals. If they they hide data, delete emails, etc, one dismises their opinions.

    • If I was an evil government employee wanting to dream up new taxes and reasons for taxing people more, I’m sure I could come up with many ways of doing it without involving climate scientists.
      You would try anything that seems to have a chance of working. Climate science is an uniquely useful addition in this respect, given that governemnt funds close to 100% of it, and can thus decide the kinds of results it will support. And, until Climategate, had all the aura of the the word ‘science’ about it.

      I agree that its bad news but I’d also argue that the best course is to accept the scientific findings and get on with doing with whatever is necessary.
      And simply ignore that the ‘science’ is patently driven by vested interest, and riddlied with malpracie in support of the that vested interest. So when the tobacco companies told us smoking was safe, you’d have advised us to just get on with in and swallow that ‘science’ too?

      So, it strikes me that the opposition to AGW is perhaps not so much anti-science.
      It’s opposition to fraudulent science (hiding data, hiding declines, deleting emails, refusing to expel those responsible). Which is pro-science. It’s the those who support fraudulent science – the climate science establishment, broadly – who are anti-science.

      And example of accepting bad news? – how about smoking ?

      • “How about smoking?” Yes, and how many years was effective preventative action on that was delayed by the likes of the Heartland Institute? The same Heartland Institute which now campaigns on climate change.

        The smoking example also shows up the flaw in your accusations regarding Governments’ financial motivations. The ‘sensible’ thing would have been for them to encourage smoking. That way they would maximise their revenue from taxes on tobacco products and ensuring those who became smokers would die earlier. Thereby saving expensive social security payments on thousands of retirees.

      • “How about smoking?” Yes, and how many years was effective preventative action on that was delayed by the likes of the Heartland Institute? The same Heartland Institute which now campaigns on climate change.”
        Wiki:
        “In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with Philip Morris to question the link between secondhand smoke and health risks.”

        Second hand smoke, not smoking.
        “Currently, the health risks of secondhand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus. These risks have been a major motivation for smoking bans in workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and night clubs, as well as some open public spaces.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_smoking

        So don’t go to France- it will kill you.
        Meanwhile, California wants to ban smoking of drivers on roads.

      • Judith –

        Do you read posts like these? Do you see how many of your “denizens” dismiss the overwhelming nature of the evidence on the health impact of second-hand smoke?

        Does that give you any pause in your analysis that there is some “vast asymmetry” in the influence of political and ideological tribalism on the climate change debate?

      • Joshua, if you want to talk about health go to health blog. Unless second hand smoke is affecting the climate I would be surprised if Judith will comment. If you can’t figure that out then you are incapable of how bias play a role in science.

      • Is the ‘evidence’ of the impact of second-hand smoke funded by the same research-grants-for-pals outfit that keeps CAGW ‘science’ going?

      • Kermit –

        Judith dismisses political or other ideological agendas associated with climate change “skepticism” as being unimportant by virtue of what she describes as a vast “asymmetry” in comparison to the political and/or other ideological agendas on the part of the “climate establishment.”

        She has written on that topic numerous times. Therefore, when we see dismissal, by climate change “skeptics” of the overwhelming evidence that second-hand smoke has significant health impacts – including by extension the costs to our society from associated health outcomes – I believe that it is relevant to make sure she reads comments like the one above. Likewise, I think it may be useful to point out to her the many times people on her blog question whether the climate is warming – in direct contrast to her statement to the effect that “no on in the room” questions whether the data show a warming trend.

        Being an eternal optimist I want to make sure that Judith comprehensively evaluates any data that might lead her to qualify the “certainty” of her broad categorizations that seem to be in contrast with what is easily accessible on her very own blog.

      • You keep ignoring the question : is the the “overwhelming evidence that second-hand smoke has significant health impacts”, overwhelmingly funded by the same crooked funding establishment that overwhelmingly funds CAGW conclusions?
        If so, it would seem unsafe to sccept this “evidence”.

      • Joshua, “Do you read posts like these? Do you see how many of your “denizens” dismiss the overwhelming nature of the evidence on the health impact of second-hand smoke?” I don’t think we dismiss the risk, just weigh our risk differently. Many current smokers started in the 50s to 70s when the risk of smoking related death was small. Yes, the risk was smaller, because medical science and societal conditions had not advance to the point they are now. As average life expectancy goes up, the risk of all types of cancers, heart disease and stroke will increase. They are decade five and six onset ailments. Currently, the estimate lung cancer death rate related to passive smoking using linear no threshold models is 1 per 100,000 in the US. Mitigation, after knowing the risk and smoking responsibly, will reduce that risk.
        Cervical cancer death rate in the US is approximately 2.5 per 100,000. The vaccine has a mortality risk of 0.2 per 100,000 and mitigation by having sex responsibly and wrapping that rascal will reduce the cancer risk with slightly lower risk of side effects. Personal choice after awareness of risk sounds reasonable to some people.

      • Joshua –
        Judith dismisses political or other ideological agendas associated with climate change “skepticism” as being unimportant by virtue of what she describes as a vast “asymmetry” in comparison to the political and/or other ideological agendas on the part of the “climate establishment.”

        You keep denying that “vast assymetry” but there are others on your side of the dance floor who see it. Why are you blind to it?

        Go here – and keep reading –

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/24/whos-anti-science/#comment-115754

      • Dallas -

        Good post, as usual.

        Personal choice after awareness of risk sounds reasonable to some people.

        That sounds reasonable to me also – up to a point. At some level, government may have to assume responsibility for decisions by those who reject risks to society on the basis of their own personal risk assessment.

        I think that the example of forced vaccinations of immigrants for smallpox by public health officials accompanied by armed law enforcement is the type of example that brings out an interesting debate with no simple solution.

        HPV vaccinations at some point also raise questions about risks to the larger society being contingent on individual choices about how to deal with individual risk. As it stands, there is an “opt out” alternative. That seems reasonable to me – but I really would have to study the epidemiological details to be absolutely certain one way or the other. I am confident enough, however, to say that is clear to me that demagoguery on the issue for political purposes via facile statements about the dangers of the HPV vaccine are not excusable.

        As for second-hand smoke: We know that there is empirical evidence regarding the physiological effects of second-hand smoke which is higher in certain toxins than even first-hand smoke. Discussion of the epidemiological evidence and projections of those data in to potential health outcomes and their associated costs to society cannot possibly be well served by limiting the discussion to cancer morbidity.

      • Joshua,
        Lung cancer morbidity seems to have a more reliable direct link to ETS. Respiratory has a few factors that I don’t think were well considered, mold for example. Heart disease is another that is a bit confounding, smokers in general live less healthy lifestyles which is likely somewhat common to the family. All in all, I have no doubt that certain levels of ETS exposure have significant health impacts. Having worked on environmental HVAC systems, I know quite a few ways to isolate smoking and non-smoking areas, there are ways to mitigate without infringing on the rights of others.

        Smallpox vaccinations and polio vaccinations are perfect examples of the greater good that was plain to see at the time. Small pox killed roughly 300 million in the 20th century. The vaccination had an average morbidity rate of 2 percent or so starting in the 19th century. If we were to start vaccinations today, it would be a much more difficult decision.

        One of the interesting things with freedom of choice is it creates more interesting future scenarios. A perfect Utopian non-smoking, no drugs, low fat, no alcohol, organic, vegetarian, no contact sport, no extreme sport, idiot free world would be boring as hell. I would prefer poor life choices over euthanasia any day :)

      • “Currently, the estimate lung cancer death rate related to passive smoking using linear no threshold models is 1 per 100,000 in the US. Mitigation, after knowing the risk and smoking responsibly, will reduce that risk.”
        2.4 million die so 1 in 100,000 is 24. more than 1000 people per year are killed from lightening.
        Whether it’s 24, 3000, or 50000, I don’t believe the numbers.
        Indoor air pollution is often lumped together with passive smoke. If no one smokes in building, you still have indoor air pollution. Though I wouldn’t argue that if you have smoking in a building it would be a major element of indoor air pollution. But you could do a lot to reduce indoor air pollution. And if you required such measure to allowed smoking in the building, the result could or should be a net result of reducing indoor air pollution.
        But we have dingbats who dislike smoking and want to prevent people from smoking rather than be concerned about anyone’s health.

      • Currently, the health risks of secondhand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus
        A consensus bought and paid for by who?

      • “Currently, the health risks of secondhand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus
        A consensus bought and paid for by who?”

        Number of deaths: 2,423,712 [US]
        Life expectancy: 77.9 years
        http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
        “[lung Cancer] is mostly found in older people. The average age of a person receiving a lung cancer diagnosis is 71 years.

        United States for 2009 include an estimated 116,900 men and 103,350 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer and an estimated 88,900 men and 70,490 women will die from lung cancer.”

        “Cigarette smoking is the cause of most lung cancers, but there are other factors, too. Exposure to asbestos, radon, environmental factors, or secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer. Sometimes, a person develops lung cancer and doctors do not know why. There are often internal factors (inherited or from our genes) as well as external or environmental factors (from outside of our bodies) involved in the development of any type of cancer.”
        http://www.lungcancer.org/reading/about.php
        You are going to die from some disease and you probably live to about 80 year old if you don’t smoke. I would guess that if you have breathe second hand smoke you also will live to 80 years old.
        “There have been many different studies which have identified that smoking reduces life expectancy. One particular 50 year study revealed that smoking cuts life expectancy by 10 years. Smoking-related deaths are more likely to be by cancer, and around 88% of deaths from lung cancer are from smoking. At least 50% of smokers will eventually be killed by their habit.”
        http://www.fixaging.com/life-expectancy-if-you-smoke-cigarettes/

        How many are suppose to die from second hand smoke in US- I’ve seen numbers of 3000 to 50,000 [yes round numbers]. Do I believe these numbers- not a chance. Does second hand smoke irritate people- yes it does. Not a good idea to smoke around sick people. Not a good idea to smoke around people who find it annoying. And people who have quit smoking are generally more likely to be annoyed.
        Anyways slightly less than 1/2 of 2.4 million per year are going to die from heart attack or cancer- and the rest from some other disease.
        If the Left drive this economy over the cliff, everyone will die sooner from lower standards of living, and being poor is leading cause earlier death- worldwide.

      • I don’t get it–why all this obsession with second-hand smoking? I mean, the clear and present danger facing mankind at the moment is second-hand methane. Don’t you people realize that the average vegetarian greenshirt produces, on an annual basis, more methane than the top ten feed-lots in the Western Hemisphere combined? And we’re not talking nicey-nicey ungulate methane. No! We’re talking lefty-herbivore, stink-bomb methane–vegan todt-fahrts! (pardon my Deutsch).

        And, people, just check out the CDC’s most recent study of the health effects of second-hand methane (teaser: Trenberth said it should never have been published), entitled: “Faculty Lounges in Our Elite Universities–the New Killing Jar?”

      • I don’t get it–why all this obsession with second-hand smoking? I mean, the clear and present danger facing mankind at the moment is second-hand methane.

        On this blog the clear and present danger is with second-hand posts, aka comments.

      • The smoking example also shows up the flaw in your accusations regarding Governments’ financial motivations. The ‘sensible’ thing would have been for them to encourage smoking.
        They’d never have got away with it. It would have backfired far worse than CAGW – which is far more complex and thus more suitable for pulling wool over eyes.

        It’s not the knee-jerk conspiracy strawman you are so keen on. It’s more a question of mutual interest betwen politics and its lackey scientists seeking funds.

      • Granted you don’t believe in AGW, Punksta. But how are your beliefs relevant to those of us that don’t share them? Do you expect us to take them on faith merely because you do?

        Why should we base our beliefs on yours merely because you keep repeating that anyone who disagrees with you is committing fraud? Accusing everyone who disagrees with you of fraud is a trick that goes back millennia. Yes it works well when preaching to your choir, but only because they don’t have much else to base your beliefs on.

      • Vaughan,
        In fact I am agnostic on CAGW. So it’s not a question of alarmists disagreeing with mw therefore I accuse them of fraud. Rather, from Climaegate etc I observe that fraud has been central to the consensus position. Which may, nevertheless, eventually turn out to be a good guess.

    • There are no good/bad news in science. You want science to be something else than science.

      • No good/bad news in science? I’d say it is good news that there are no asteroids which are on a collision course with Earth in the foreseeable future. If one were to be found that wouldn’t be so good.

      • If there was an asteroid on a collision course, we would surely need to come up with some specs fast so that we can do a V&V on any model that would result in any action.

      • Oops, wrong thread.

      • That’s not science. Science would be only that there are no asteroids which are on a collision course with Earth in the foreseeable future. Not good, not bad. Just what is. Or what is observed. And calculated/estimated and so on. Good news is not part of science. It’s outside of science.

  71. Its the ” the climate science establishment, broadly – who are anti-science.”

    Well how can they be? How else can science be defined other than by the scientific establishment? You can’t have it decided on a show of hands.

    It could be, just possibly, that they do turn out to be wrong. In which case it will be science of the late 20th century and early 21st century which turns out to be wrong.

    • Its the the climate science establishment, broadly – who are anti-science.
      ->Well how can they be? How else can science be defined other than by the scientific establishment?

      Scientists are those who adhere to scientific principles. Including honesty, openness, sharing data, and a host of others treated with the utmost contempt by the climate science establishment.

      • “host of others treated with the utmost contempt by the climate science establishment.”

        After a month or so on this blog its not hard to see why that might be!

      • I see – so you’re no longer surpised that the climate science establishment treats the basic principles of science with contempt.

    • @Peter Martin

      ‘You can’t have it decided on a show of hands’.

      I agree entirely. Science should by experiment and observation. As you point out there is no place for a ‘consensus’ or show of hands in this process.

      So glad to see that you have come round to the sensible sceptical position we have so long been advocating.

      Welcome to Scepticism!

      • I agree entirely. Science should by experiment and observation. As you point out there is no place for a ‘consensus’ or show of hands in this process.

        Quite right, Latimer. AGW scepticism and scientific consensus are mutually incompatible. Were AGW scepticism to submit to the consensus opinion of climate scientists it would be tossed in the gutter as a bankrupt theory.

        Like the theories of aluminium as the cause of Alzheimer’s, vaccines as the cause of autism, and a host of other sceptisms, AGW scepticism must stand on its own recognizance and not expect any support from the scientific consensus.

        So glad to see you pointing out the most essential of all prerequisites for AGW scepticism. Much better than trying to recruit new sceptics under false pretenses.

      • “Quite right, Latimer. AGW scepticism and scientific consensus are mutually incompatible. Were AGW scepticism to submit to the consensus opinion of climate scientists it would be tossed in the gutter as a bankrupt theory.”
        AGW scepticism isn’t a theory or hypothesis.
        You might refer to a theory to do with climate as AGW skepticism,
        but skepticism doesn’t require a theory. People are not require to accept the best theory or any theory, it’s adequate to believe there isn’t a good enough theory to explain climate. It’s possible to accept AGW as most true and be skeptical of many elements.
        AGW is a general idea that CO2 emission and other human is having a significant and dangerous affect upon global temperature.
        Another theory is regarding AGW is human activity is having a dangerous affect on global climate- human activity could cause large rises in sea level on a relativity short time period resulting coastal areas to become flooded and low lying islands to be consumed by the oceans in human times scales- say less than 50 years [not inches over periods of centuries which is the "natural rate" due to being in a interglacial period rather an Ice Age]. And/or that human affect are causing more or more intense severe weather. And/or severe droughts or increased rainfall. Or causing animal extinction due changing climate [such the polar bear]. And generally AWG is blamed for just about anything, if give any credit to media accounts.
        In other words there is whole host of things one could skeptical regarding what is claimed broadly regarding AWG.
        The general theme of AWG is human effect upon Earth can only do things which do harm. A possibility that CO2 emission could doing more good than harm- could regarded as skeptical or heretical. To suggest there could other solutions other than inhibiting Human CO2 emission by various means [taxation, etc] means one isn’t a team player. Nor is the fact of advocates and wading in corruption and unsavory activity suppose to be pointed out.

      • Quite right, there is much to be skeptical of, and I am skeptical of much in climate science myself.

        However the extraordinarily tight correlation between records of fossil fuel consumption and accumulation of atmospheric CO2 since 1958 can only be chalked up to coincidence by fans of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” for whom no correlation however perfect need establish any sort of causal connection. If I complain that they pushed my favorite vase off the table, they can say with a straight face that the correlation between their hand movement and the vase’s movement was purely coincidental.

        Moreover we know that radiation passed through CO2 heats it up, and we understand this mechanism at a very detailed quantitative level thanks to the HITRAN tables. Hence skepticism that the increasing CO2 over the past 40 years has nothing to do with increasing temperature is simply hiding one’s head in the sand.

        I agree that there is room for skepticism about many aspects of climate science, but not about the above.

      • …we know that radiation passed through CO2 heats it up… Hence skepticism that the increasing CO2 over the past 40 years has nothing to do with increasing temperature is simply hiding one’s head in the sand.

        Ignoring the poorly understood feedback effect of clouds is a far worse burying of one’s head in the sand.

  72. No one brought up the Italian scientists on trial for not warning about that earthquake. Is that anti science – putting science on trial? Was it under hyped? Look at the hurricane last month that was over hyped. It will be interesting to see how it turns out, and how it gets eventually politicized and distorted. I suspect they will be found innocent but perhaps it will shed light on a scientists responsibility for what have been traditionally “acts of god” in the eyes of the law. Do we want to live in a world were everything is over hyped and everyone is just following CYA? Perhaps the Climate Law Blog will have something to say too.

  73. AK,

    You say ” knuckle-walking, tree-swinging apes with arms longer than their legs. I’d guess that more than 90% of global warming activists think that’s what humans are descended from.”

    Yes, and, perhaps with the climate change denier variety of human, the descent may still have quite a way to go :-)

    • TT –
      I think it more likely that the warmist variety is descended from the cros-breeding of human with Neandertal.

      I’ve almost always found skeptics to be more civil, intelligent and better informed/educated than those who are only capable of being parrots. IOW, I’ve found them to be a better class of people.

      • I’ve almost always found skeptics to be more civil, intelligent and better informed/educated than those who are only capable of being parrots. IOW, I’ve found them to be a better class of people.

        Oh come on now, you’re just parroting those who came up with this stupid argument. You’re even less civil, intelligent, and informed/educated than than its originators.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Surely you’ve noticed by now the pattern of identifying, copying, subverting, obfuscating and owning carried out like a marketing campaign to muddy and control the dialectic.

        Today it’s courtesy, yesterday “anti-science”, before yesterday it was validation and verification — which used to be an actual phrase with no political overtones — before that was statistical analysis, and back to the terms AGW and even the catchphrase, “the science is settled.”

        If you want to win, rather than understand, scramble rather than advance, slow rather than clarify, you use these simple Orwellian tricks of doublespeak.

        Parroting can be the means some use to begin to learn; in the case of others, it is just the hallmark of duplicity and manipulation.

        Hoping I don’t sound cynical of the intentions of those courteous, genteel and earnest participant in the quest for scientific truthiness who self-identify as skeptics, I offer this supposition as a possible explanation, sincerely seeking alternative explanations.

      • Vaughn –
        Oh come on now, you’re just parroting those who came up with this stupid argument. You’re even less civil, intelligent, and informed/educated than than its originators.

        I don’t “parrot ” anyone. Just doesn’t work for me. Nor do I have an idea (or care) who came up with this stupid argument. So it would be difficult to “parrot” them. :-)

        I can, of course, be less than civil – and have been so on occasion. Usually deliberately so. But I’ve never announced publicly that I wouldn’t engage in conversation with those who might disagree with me – as several of the local trolls have done. Nor do I habitually call people names that hey object to – I AM more courteous than that. Nor do I tell lies about people – I find that the truth is much more effective. Nor…. well, you get the idea.

        But for “intelligent and and informed/educated”? Do you really think some of the warmist denizens here would actually fit that description? A few, yes – but the more vocal contingent? Hmmm ……….

        See Vaughn – I can even, on occasion, be (relatively) civil. Sorta. Almost. :-)

  74. WebHubTelescope


    I am sorry, I can’t get beyond the fact that you cherry-picked the data. One of the first rules of data analysis is to use all available data. This not only tests whatever complete hypothesis you may have (in this case, prior history), but it also reduces epistemic uncertainty due to lack of good counting statistics. You also can’t indiscriminately get rid of outliers, as these may indicate fat-tail behaviors. You basically broke every rule in the book.

    You stop to calculate climate trends after a shift in climate.
    http://bit.ly/emAwAu

    From the above data, here are the approximate years for shift in climate: [1880s, 1910s, 1940s, 1970s, 2000s]

    You calculate climate trends between successive climate shifts.

    Here is the start of the cooling trend since the shift in the 2000s:
    http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    Based on previous patterns, this cooling trend will continue until the 2030s.

    Here is the pattern from 1880s to 2000s: http://bit.ly/ocY95R

  75. A quote by JFK-

    If we address “sophisticated and technical questions” with “ideological preconceptions”, we will land “in the bog of sterile acrimony”. “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived, and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forbears. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” -President John F. Kennedy 1962, Yale Commencement Address

    It’s a pity the Myth Busters team can’t design an experiment or two looking into CO2′s role in the climate.

    • “It’s a pity the Myth Busters team can’t design an experiment or two looking into CO2′s role in the climate.”

      How hot can you make a greenhouse. What would better gas to put it it [not methane cause it's explosive- though that could be feature instead of a bug for Mythbusters :)].
      If you have a 10′ cube greenhouse does it get warmer if it’s larger- 100′ cube greenhouse

    • Myth Busters is just a TV show and they wouldn’t dare come out against the IPCC

  76. There are right wing politicians in Europe who believe in global warming and are prepared to do something about it.

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joe_conason/2009/09/25/global_warming_conservatives

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100050542/for-monday-16-why-shouldnt-conservatives-believe-in-man-made-climate-change/

    So it doesn’t have to be a left / right thing.

    Although the right in Europe, some of them, aren’t completely immune from rejecting the science on political grounds.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100050792/why-conservatives-shouldnt-believe-in-man-made-climate-change/

    • There are right wing politicians in Europe who believe in global warming and are prepared to do something about it.

      If you have not noticed, the globe is cooling: http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    • An America conservative isn’t the same as European conservative.
      European conservative can favor the monarchy- that is their history.
      If you favor monarchy you favor State control. What else could conservative in Europe support [a return of the American Military ??:) it's funny but in sense they do generally favor American military use and system America helped established].
      America Left generally favors State power- they are in a sense monarchist. They want more power to the State.
      An American conservative believes in the US Constitution and doesn’t want it changed. American conservatives will argue about the Constitution and State rights. Liberals don’t discuss this- that is for the supreme justices to alter with the constitution as “living document” something to be change as times change- and so let’s change it now.
      The American left is similar to European left- the Left refers the French revolution-it overturning the establishment, it’s transforming society to one where Equality [a European value of french revolution- which btw has never been achieved except in spoken words] is major Value.
      An American conservative can seen as more radical compared to other conservative in the world- because an American conservative want get rid laws and get back to smaller government and less govt in general- not Statists. American Conservative sees too much power in the federal government, and want to change that. And basically definition of conservative is keep the existing order.

    • And there are many socialist European skeptics like the highly cited Claude Allegre who was also the Minister of Science in France.

  77. JC: “Science is being used as a proxy for what should be a debate over values and policy. ”
    Is this not inherent to Post Normal Science? By design?

  78. Who’s anti-science? Well that’s discussed thoroughly above.

    How about a new question:

    Who’s anti-democracy?

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/28/new-audio-nc-governor-struck-serious-tone-on-suspending-congressional-elections/

    Gotta love those populist progressives who care so much for the common man.

    • GaryM,

      Interestingly its the political right who are increasingly saying things like “The United States is a republic, not a democracy.”

      http://thisnation.com/question/011.html
      http://www.scwteaparty.com/ConstRepublic.html

      • Interestingly, the U.S. is in fact a republic, or to be more accurate a democratic republic. (A real one, not the fake kind so often ruled by “progressive” autocrats.)

        Is calling the U.S. a republic on a par with calling for the cessation of elections for you? Or was your comment just an instance of reflexive moral equivalence?

      • GaryM and tempterrain

        The USA was designed as a “democratic republic”, a federation of united states, with democratically elected representative governments on the local, state and federal level.

        The “People’s Republic of China” is a centrally controlled republic, but there is no real democracy there, and the “people” have nothing to say., similar to the old “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”.

        The old “German Democratic Republic” (communist East Germany) was neither democratic nor a republic.

        Switzerland is a confederation of cantons (like the USA) with democratically elected representative governmenst on the local, cantonal and federal level; the major difference to the USA is that the federal government still plays a secondary role to the cantons and communities, that there are many political parties (instead of essentially only two) and that voters have retained the right to direct democratic referendum on key federal, cantonal and communal issues not usually available to US voters.

        Max

      • Yes, Switzerland – because of its devolved power structure – is by far the most democratic country in the world.
        Most of Europe, with power drifting centrally to the EU, is thus inherently becoming steadily less and less democratic.

  79. American Thinker has an extensive article on this topic, well worth a read
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/science_lies_and_videotape.html