Disinformation and pseudo critical thinking

by Judith Curry

Barry Woods highlights a twitter exchange about my hosting a guest post, where I am accused of purveying disinformation:

@ Richard Tol: Its wrong, but with @JudithCurry lending her authority it becomes disinformation

with Keith Kloor forwarding the following Tweet:

@KeithKloor:  @Richard Tol says to @JudithCurry: “I think you have done a disservice by lending your credibility to these two papers.”

My blog posts automatically generate a tweet, but I don’t personally follow Twitter.

Lets talk about ‘disinformation,’  and how we have come to the point where my providing a forum for the discussion of two papers just published in the peer reviewed literature generates the accusation that I am a purveyor of disinformation.

Disinformation

From the Wikipedia: 

Disinformation  is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately.  It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.

Unlike traditional propaganda techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. 

Disinformation is most frequently used in the context of espionage or military intelligence.  Googling for ‘disinformation science’ yields hits  for health issues and, you guessed it, climate change.  In all of science, it seems that controversial, policy relevant scientific issues can be associated with ‘disinformation,’  whereas the term doesn’t have any particular relevance to ‘normal’ science.

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

Check out Michael Sweeney’s essay Twenty Five Ways to Suppress the Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

Here is a quiz for you.  How many of these disinformation tactics are used by:

  • JC (moi)
  • Public spokespersons for the IPCC
  • Joe Romm
  • Marc Morano

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.  Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor,  etc.  If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen,  and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant.  
3. Create rumor mongers.  Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. 
4. Use a straw man. 
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule.  
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. 
7. Question motives
8. Invoke authority. 
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. 
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. 
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions.  Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’ 
12. Enigmas have no solution.  paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.  
16. Vanish evidence and witnesses.  If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. 
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents.  
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. 
20. False evidence. 
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other  empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. 
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. 
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. 
25. Vanish. 

To those of you who think I am purveying disinformation, please clarify which of these I am guilty of.  And then explain why declaring papers published in the peer reviewed literature to be ‘disinformation’ isn’t guilty of #1, 2, 5, 7, 8.

Pseudo critical thinking

I think what is going on here is pseudo critical thinking, which is described in this essay  “Pseudo Critical Thinking in the Educational Establishment.”  Its a rather long essay, that focuses on the State of California educational assessment process.  But many of the broader issues discussed in the essay are of relevance to the public discussion surrounding the climate debate. Some excerpts:

Unfortunately, there is not simply good and bad thinking in the world, both easily recognized as such. There is also bad thinking that appears to be good and therefore wrongfully, sometimes disastrously, used as the basis of very important decisions. Very often this “bad thinking” is defended and “rationalized” in a highly sophisticated fashion. However flawed, it successfully counterfeits good thinking, and otherwise intelligent people are taken in. Such thinking is found in every dimension of human life and in every dimension it does harm; in every dimension it works against human well-being. 



Sometimes when people think poorly, they do so out of simple ignorance. They are making mistakes, they don’t know they are making mistakes, but they would willingly correct their mistakes if they were pointed out to them. Often mistakes in thinking are quite humble. 

Such thinking may be quite uncritical, but is not pseudo critical thinking. Pseudo critical thinking is a form of intellectual arrogance masked in self-delusion or deception, in which thinking which is deeply flawed is not only presented as a model of excellence of thought, but is also, at the same time, sophisticated enough to take many people in. 

Many pseudo critical thinking approaches present all judgments as falling into two exclusive and exhaustive categories: fact and opinion. Actually, the kind of judgment most important to educated people and the kind we most want to foster falls into a third, very important, and now almost totally ignored category, that of reasoned judgment. A judge in a court of law is expected to engage in reasoned judgment; that is, the judge is expected not only to render a judgment, but also to base that judgment on sound, relevant evidence and valid legal reasoning. A judge is not expected to base his judgments on his subjective preferences, on his personal opinions, as such. You might put it this way, judgment based on sound reasoning goes beyond, and is never to be equated with, fact alone or mere opinion alone.

“Skilled” thinking can easily be used to obfuscate rather than to clarify, to maintain a prejudice rather than to break it down, to aid in the defense of a narrow interest rather than to take into account the public good. 

It is extremely important to see that intelligence and intellect can be used for ends other than those of gaining “truth” or “insight” or “knowledge.” One can learn to be cunning rather than clever, smooth rather than clear, convincing rather than rationally persuasive, articulate rather than accurate. One can become judgmental rather than gain in judgment. One can confuse confidence with knowledge at the same time that one mistakes arrogance for self-confidence. In each of these cases a counterfeit of a highly desirable trait is developed in place of that trait.

There are many people who have learned to be skilled in merely appearing to be rational and knowledgeable when, in fact, they are not. Some of these have learned to be smooth, articulate, confident, cunning, and arrogant. They lack rational judgment, but this does not dissuade them from issuing dogmatic judgments and directives. They impress and learn to control others, quite selfishly.

Critical thinking

Now that we know what pseudo critical thinking is, lets take a look at this essay by Linda Elder Becoming a Critic of Your Own Thinking (h/t Joshua).   Some excerpts:

When you have worked [intellectual standards] into your thinking, and have practiced using them to the extent that they have become internalized in your thought, you routinely ask questions like these:

  • Focusing on relevance: How is what you are saying relevant to this issue? How is this information relevent to the question at issue?
  • Focusing on accuracy: How do we know this information is accurate? How can we check to see if it is accurate?
  • Focusing on depth: Is this a complex issue? What makes it a complex issue? How can we make sure we thoroughly address these complexities?
  • Focusing on significance: What are the big issues we face? Are we staying focused on these important issues or are we getting diverted onto less significant ones?
  • Focusing on fairness: Are we considering all relevant viewpoints in dealing with this issue? Are we looking at this issue in the most fair and reasonable way, or are we priviledging one or more position?

It is important to recognize that people already do evaluate their thinking. But they often fail to use intellectual standards to do so. 

There are two ways in which people tend to evaluate thought – one is by using standards which are either egocentric or sociocentric in nature. So instead of using intellectual standards to determine what to accept or reject, they often use standards like these: “It’s true if I believe it.” “It’s true if I want to believe it.” “It’s true if it is in my selfish or vested interest to believe it.” “It’s true if we believe it.” “It’s true if we want to believe it.” For example, when figuring out whether to accept an argument someone is putting forth, people will often ask themselves whether the argument agrees with what they already believe. If so, they tend to affirm it; if not, they tend to negate it. This of course usually happens at the unconscious level of thought.

There are two motives of the “egocentric mind.” One is selfishness, to get what it wants when it wants it. The other is to maintain its own viewpoint. These motives lead to such dysfunctional (but common) ways of thinking such as intellectual arrogance, narrowmindedness, and hypocrisy. 

When people acquiese to their egocentric tendencies, they can’t see any problems in their thinking because they quite simply aren’t looking for any. For an example, consider the manager who, though perhaps highly intelligent, always has to be “right.” He may make good decisions most of the time. But when he is wrong, and someone tries to offer a better way of looking at an issue, he is completely closedminded. He doesn’t want to consider another possibility. It is “his way or the highway.” This phenomenon is quite common in business and personal life at all levels. And it is just one manifestation of egocentricity

Every person is a combination of egocentric thought, sociocentric thought, and their opposite, rational or reasonable thought. These three different ways of thinking play themselves out in many ways in human life. When we take command of our minds, we are on the lookout for egocentric and sociocentric thought in ourselves and others. We consistently work to develop as rational, reasonable persons, concerned as much with the views of others as with our own. We actively look for selfishness, hypocrisy, prejudice, and narrowmindedness in our thought and are committed to diminishing the power of these forces in our lives. We want to be more intellectually autonomous, intellectually empathetic and fair-minded

If you want to understand critical thinking, you might begin with this basic conception – critical thinking entails an abiding interest in the problematics in thinking. It means thinking about your thinking to improve your thinking.

JC comments:

With regards to my hosting the guest post by Ludecke.  Apart from the papers’ merits or lack thereof, here are some reasons for discussing these papers on Climate Etc.:

  • Nature has weighed in on the controversy surrounding pre-publication release of the BEST papers: Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review.   Is it to be inferred that results that do no confirm climate change are not welcome, even if published in peer review journals?
  • The Ludecke post criticizes the BEST papers (on which I am a coauthor), referring to recently published papers.   If these papers have valid criticisms,  lets air them.  If they don’t make valid criticisms or otherwise interesting points, then we can ignore them in future.
  • The IPCC too often has dismissed papers out of hand that don’t agree with the view points of the IPCC authors (Ross McKitrick and others have provided examples of this). It has been argued that skeptical papers don’t receive any serious attention by the IPCC. Lets air the published skeptical papers and see if there is anything that we should be paying attention to.
Tol’s tweets refer to “lending my authority” and “lending my credibility.”  I am not sure exactly what kind of authority I have, other than as a scientist with x years of experience and n publications.  I hope that I have credibility.  To the extent that I do have credibility and  any authority beyond that associated with my x years and n publications, perhaps it is because I am prepared to air and consider skeptical arguments and don’t try to hide them or dismiss them without at least a hearing.  One might even characterize such behavior on my part as attempting to be fair, asking people to check the accuracy, and attempting to promote critical thinking in myself and people who visit here.


759 responses to “Disinformation and pseudo critical thinking

  1. I think the idea that you are to be regarded as some sort of a “guarantor” of the results of some papers just because you talk about them on your blog is completely nuts. But you cannot control the crazy stuff that gets sent your way.

    The principle ought to be to put it all out there — the good, the bad and the ugly. Let them all have at it on Milton’s field and truth will emerge if we maintain our integrity.

    • A lot of it does seem to be fodder for debunking. Some posters fawn over it, defend it, and then get the rug pulled out from under them. Perhaps that’s what the host wants.

  2. Judy,

    A beaut post, with a lot of great material that I will need to read several times. How guilty am I of jumping too quickly to conclusions? It’s so easy to point out the flaws in others’ arguments …

    • The crucial emphasis is that it is a constant struggle, requiring repeated reference to standards of intellectual honesty, to achieve “reasoned judgment”. Distrust of one’s own confirmation biases etc. is of the essence.

      JC: Typo note– “that results that do no confirm” – do not confirm.

  3. If I may make prediction, it would be that a fair few people are not going to like this post. I can feel it in the wind.

    The only observation I would make about the two papers and disinformation, is that I actually think it matters how familiar you were with the papers before you posted them. I think much of the criticism stems from the belief that you would only have posted them here had you studied them at some length and THEREFORE in some way approve of them. I just think that’s the psychological background to the antagonism.

    I don’t know how much water that holds, but if you’ve given them some serious thought, it might be disingenuous to say you are ONLY putting them out here to bring them into the light – you already have your own judgement. And if you don’t already have a personal view of their validity I’m less convinced of the motive to post them. I think a clearer and more definite description of your position might have headed off some of the heat.

    But then again, maybe not. A few people seem to have their knives out before they even leave home.

    • Prior to receiving an email from Ludecke a few days ago, I had never heard of him. I have heard of EIKE, but am not terribly familiar. I skimmed the papers, did not study them carefully. I posted them because they were relevant to the BEST discussion, and the authors offered to do a guest post. There you have it.

      • I think that information may have helped – a little.
        But I guess the furies would still have appeared.

      • Those were the furious. The ‘Furies’ are Judy, lucia, Joanne, Donna and any number of other distaff disturbed.
        ==========

      • Kim – I think you should think up a name for not-so-jolly-Holly. She doesn’t qualify as a fury but nonetheless she is mighty peeved downthread..

        Anyway [UPDATE]…….. I earlier made a confident prediction about the return of the furious and, amazingly, I was wrong!!
        It seems as though they have run out of bile and sidled back home to Closed Mind. Well, at least I have the refreshing experience of having completely misjudged the future. Wonderful!! :)

      • Can we just get this straight please?
        Someone who you have never heard of provides you with a paper that you don’t read properly, but you publish it anyway?
        Why?
        Could it be because you are playing politics and its is because the papers were critical of something that you are known to have problems with?
        Can I offer an alternative way of operating?
        Check the credibility and accuracy of things before you publish them – you know, just like scientists are supposed to do.

  4. A shorter credo for public life of disservice to information:

    “Act surprised; express concern; deny, deny, deny; make counteraccusations; demand an apology.”

    • Oh, and my answer for the quiz:

      1. JC, 0 for 25, unless one is extremely broad in one’s definitions, then possibly as high as 5 of 25; not sure if #10 or #12 is the most likely candidate for something JC’s done.
      2. Pass.
      3. I can’t recall that person.
      4. Who?

      As for me? I’ve done as many of the 25 as I could manage.

  5. Dr Curry
    I’m sure you will have seen my earlier comment on the previous thread. I’m afraid that you are experiencing the penalty exacted by the ‘believers’ for any apparent dissent (in which they include entertaining, giving credence to or even giving space to contrarian thoughts). Oh, thought crime is alive and well in the weltanschauung of ‘believers’. Now, if the papers had been supportive of the ‘believers’ belief …
    One despairs …

  6. Basic logic is as common in our culture as sunrise and sunset.

    Academia has no preferred mode or authority in basic logic.

    If climate science, although complicated, exhibits authoritarian statements then normal citizens with basic logic will necessarily not trust it.

    John

    • Same for quality control. And conflicts of interest.

      Good ole John Q Public is pretty familiar with all these concepts. And applies them in jury trials after hearing expert witness testimony — every day.

  7. For one thing, now we know Richard Tol finds you authoritative…

    • Omno,

      : )

      John

    • That’s it! Tol finds Dr. Curry authoritative and believes that all find her authoritative. He believes that her authority rubs off on everything that she posts here, For Tol, the real problem is the power off Dr. Curry’s authority and its power over all who might read her blog.

      Given Tol’s reasoning about Curry’s authority, it follows that Curry cannot run a blog that is dedicated to critical thinking because her very presence undermines critical thinking through the power of her authority. Tol has created a dilemma for Curry: either she admits that she cannot run a blog dedicated to critical thinking, because of her huge authority, or else she refrains from posting articles when associating her authority with those articles might cause Tol’s mind to explode as he ponders the conflict between Curry’s authority and Tol’s right opinion.

      Apparently, we have learned nothing about critical thinking, Curry’s blog, or Curry but we have learned some fundamental truths about Tol.

      • randomengineer

        He believes that her authority rubs off on everything that she posts here, For Tol, the real problem is the power off Dr. Curry’s authority and its power over all who might read her blog.

        Tol seems to be arguing that a poorly done paper does little more than arm the skeptics, all of whom are ignoramuses by definition (else they wouldn’t be skeptics in the first place) and are unable to read. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that 2 people can observe the same data and come to different valid conclusions. His is a variant of skeptics = idiots argument.

    • @Maurizio
      I indeed think that Judith Curry is an authority. I also think that others think the same.

      • We think she is an “authority” because she examines and provides a platform for a variety of opinion and tries not to allow personal preconceptions to bias her selection of views to air.
        She is an “authority” because she will examine a wide range of views even if they are wrong.
        To my mind, Dr Currys last two posts have only strengthened her credibility.

      • With all due respect for the presumptive spokesperson for all agnostics, Dr. Curry did not “examine” the two papers that prompted this supposed discussion. I wish she would do so and comment, since – in spite of the professed intent to provide a forum to debate the quality of the papers – the thread was seemingly hijacked by noobs incessantly venting in response to the disparagement of Neven and Tol. It seemed that Curry’s most ardent defenders were the most effective detractors from the stated goal of the post.

        But then, maybe the previous post was just a lead-in to this one, with Tol and others as co-conspirators.

      • Tol, the only authority in science is the evidence.

      • And the evidence is only as credible as the experimental design, equipment, and technique used allows.

      • Now this is a breath of fresh air.

      • If she acts as an authority on this blog then it is a very strange kind of authority that she embodies. She chooses to post items that conflict with one another. So, she would be an authority that undermines her authority.

        What you want is for her to censor any items that are critical of CAGW. You want to be an authority on her blog.

  8. Example of critical thinking:

    What if global warming were to continue for 100 years? But, what if as throughout the 10,000 years of the Holocene, the global warming had nothing to do with
    humans–still a disaster?

    Even if you assumed that humans were heating the globe by releasing CO2, as Walter Stark noted, humanity would run out of fossil fuels `well before any drastic effects on climate are possible.’ Nevertheless, we need to keep in mind that global warming has been much better for humanity than global cooling.

    To put global warming into historical perspective, the Minoan, Roman, and medieval warm periods have one thing in common. The current global temperatures are 5°F cooler than these previous warm periods.

    Even given the most alarmist predictions based on a `doubling of atmospheric CO2,’ as Walter Starck observed, `The net result…is most likely to be positive.”

    • Correct. Oh, but according to the AGW faithful, only the last 30 years counts for anything.

    • Two basic errors here. The trend for the last 8000 years has been a very slow cooling (since the Holocene Climate Optimum), not a warming; and the warm periods in historical times have been nothing like 5 degrees F warmer than today; not even close.

      Proxy based temperature reconstructions (which is what we have to use) in the warm periods you mention indicate that those warm periods were not as warm as the current global temperature. Globally the temperatures 8000 years ago may have been similar or even a bit higher on average than now; though certainly not by 5 degrees F. (About 2.8 C)

      • Everything you have stated is a matter of faith, not of fact. We have no idea what the ‘current global temperature’, based on a network of thermometers. The idea that we know what the ‘global temperature’ 200 years ago, or 2,000 years ago is nonsense. You bring no credit to yourself or to science by such declarations.

      • You’re speaking to Wag, Chris or both?

      • “the warm periods in historical times have been nothing like 5 degrees F warmer than today; not even close.”

        Hong, B., Liu, C.-Q., Lin, Q.-H., Yasuyuki, S., Leng, X.-T., Wang, Y., Zhu, Y.-X. and Hong, Y.-T. 2009. Temperature evolution from the δ18O record of Hani peat, Northeast China, in the last 14000 years. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 52: 952-964.

        Hall, B.L., Koffman, T. and Denton, G.H. 2010. Reduced ice extent on the western Antarctic Peninsula at 700-970 cal. yr B.P. Geology 38: 635-638.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/study-on-paleo-rainfall-records-clearly-shows-existence-of-mwp-and-lia-in-southern-hemisphere/

        Are some examples. There are far more that shows the MWP and the RWP just as warm or warmer than today.

      • Richard, the authors of the study cited at WUWT don’t say in their abstract that the MWP or RWP were just as warm as today.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/05/02/1003719108.abstract

      • Richard, those papers do not suggest that the warm periods are just as warm or warmer than today. They indicate rather a warm period with reference to before and after.

        Be that as it may, they certainly don’t back up the 5 degrees F above present which Wagathon suggested.

        My reading of the evidence is that the warm periods were warm periods, but probably not globally as warm as current decades. There’s room for the possibility that those warm periods may have been up as high as current temperatures; but not for a claim that they were 5 degrees F above present. THAT is what I was objecting to.

      • There is likely no way to pin the MWP at 5F above today. It comes down to what is meant by “warmer”, Summers the same as today, but winters shorter and milder than today with a much longer growing season. But not “hotter” in the summer.

        MWP warmer and world wide:
        Eden, D.N and Page, M.J. 1998. Palaeoclimatic implications of a storm erosion record from late Holocene lake sediments, North Island, New Zealand. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 139: 37-58.

        Williams, P.W., King, D.N.T., Zhao, J.-X. and Collerson, K.D. 2004. Speleothem master chronologies: combined Holocene 18O and 13C records from the North Island of New Zealand and their palaeoenvironmental interpretation. The Holocene 14: 194-208.

        Huffman, T.N. 1996. Archaeological evidence for climatic change during the last 2000 years in southern Africa. Quaternary International 33: 55-60.

      • If you think there was no warming, please peruse the map of peer-reviewed positive findings on the Medieval Warming Period at http://www.co2science.org/data/timemap/mwpmap.html. The science may be settled, but if so, what are we to do with those hundreds of peer-reviewed papers?

        The only place there was a slow cooling was in Mann’s Hockey Stick and in papers derived from that. Don’t forget that the first IPCC report showed the MWP as a really big hump. Mann managed to disappear that hump, and the IPCC pretends that hump never existed. And don’t forget the Little Ice Age, which Mann also magically went “Poof!” with. (It is also strangely convenient that BEST stopped his backward look at land temperatures at the end of the LIA. Trying to avoid a conflict? If so, it didn’t work; he kind of looks like a deer in the headlights lately.)

        As to proxies, tree rings are also used by biologists as proxies for rainfall. See http://www.scribd.com/doc/51676257/Buried-Cypress-Forest-in-South-Carolina.

        Did you know that? How can that be? The same tree ring width can’t be a proxy for both temperature and rainfall, can it? Well, it could, if every such proxy data collection broke out the rainfall as being X% of the forcing and temperature as (100-X%). Well, that is, IF you also ignore other such things as micro-site conditions (drainage, competing flora, etc.). Yes, some portion of the tree ring is due to temperature, but how much? Any proxy that claims that only temperature is being measured in the tree ring widths or densities is just plain wrong. If true, then the biologists who claim it is a measure of rainfall – what do you say to them?

        Now, if we take away tree rings, how strong are the Mann and Briffa data compilations? And how wide do the uncertainty bands become then? They are over a degree C wide now, if we go back 500 years. Do we just keep on pretending that the thin black line represents real reality, a precisely measured exactitude? We all know those uncertainty bands DO mean something, don’t we? Yes: uncertainty.

        Oh, and let’s not ignore the fact that recent tree ring data “diverges from the thermometer data”. And if they can’t make the data match since 1960 (a basic tenet of science, to match a suggested proxy to actual measurements during the time when both can be measured!), then why should we think it is a reliable proxy for earlier eras’ temperatures?

      • I think you should be speaking to Wagathon, not to me. He is the one who proposed, without qualification, a definite value of 5 degrees F above current for Minoan and Roman warm periods. I was the one who noted that we have to use proxies, and what we have for those suggests that warm periods at those times were probably not as warm as the present; but that the Holocene Climate Optimum may have been something of the same order of warmth. My statements were the ones which took a more sober assessment of uncertainty.

        Also note that the Holocene Climate Optimum was roughly 8000 years ago; which means that the general trend since then up until the recent strong warming upturn has been a slight cooling.

        The problem with tree rings is not a general problem, but rather a known issue with high northern latitudes post 1960. Prior to that the tree ring proxies do match the instrument record record well. After 1960 or so they diverge. The question of whether the same problem has occurred also in the past when we cannot cross check with an instrument record has been tested, and indications are that the divergence in Northern latitudes is a new phenomenon. That’s open to question, of course; but it is certainly something being investigated and tested.

        However; if the proxies are unreliable, then this further undermines the definite figures provided from Wagathon. I’m inclined to think the proxies are better than nothing, and to think that the work cross checking various records and investigating the divergence problem is good empirical science and stands as good evidence, albeit not perfect. In any case, in so far as we can tell anything about temperatures in the past, evidence so far suggests Wagathon’s numbers are wrong.

        It’s obviously true that there’s a lot of uncertainty about temperatures inferred prior to availability of direct measurements. The evidence is not enough to be sure that temperatures today are globally more than those of Minoan or Roman times. It is definitely not enough to say temperatures today are higher than 8000 years ago. But it is enough to be very confident that global temperatures in Minoan or Roman times were not 5 degrees F above present.

        Fair enough?

      • A fair and civilized response. Thanks. Sorry to be delayed in replying . I was responding on another issue entirely, elsewhere.

        Though it is mainly anecdotal and qualitative instead of quantitative, I come back all the time to Greenland and the Norse farmers there, as well as the vineyards in England. I just really have a tough time with Greenland now still being the ice capital of the NH. How do we reconcile those farms? It sure as heck wasn’t done with the climate like its present climate.

        And while we are being civilized, I’ve never been too accepting that a 1°or 2°C rise can be harmful. Hourly temps change more than that as a matter of course. And few people I know could ever tell the difference between, say 20.2°C and 21.6°C. A non-sensable change does not seem to be capable of being responsible for the LIA or the MWP.

        I accept it, but not without grinding my teeth and a corner of my brain screaming, “Noooooo! Something ain’t right here!”

        My gut tells me someone is doing something wrong, but I have no data to argue with. I just think that in some decade to come a better method will come along and blow all this out of the water. You may think a 5°F figure is too high, and it may be. But if it somehow turned out that big back in Roman times or the MWP, I wouldn’t be shocked. It doesn’t seem likely, I admit. But cows in Greenland… I don’t see how 2°C allows them to survive, especially with 1,000-year-old technology to keep them warm. I don’t even think they could survive a summer there, now.

      • Steve;
        One dimension of temp change is distance, real estate. If the “cultivatable land” divider moves a few dozen miles, that might be enough in a borderline environment like Greenland. Also, the average not only conceals larger swings away from the tropics, but regional differences. Quite possibly Greenland experiences both factors.

      • SteveGinIL-

        Just a thought. During the height of the Eemian, which was no more than a couple of degrees warmer than today globally, England was 4 degrees warmer and Greenland five. So a few degrees might have made scratching out a living possible. Also, remember that they all starved to death – one by one. And I guess it didn’t get that dramatically colder all of a sudden. Life was pretty marginal, and as soon as their supply ships stopped coming, they couldn’t adapt (or wouldn’t) and were doomed. The local Inuit carried on without a prob’.

      • Thanks for the reply SteveGinIL. I’m replying to myself here because of limits on nesting, and because I think we’ve just about finished this subtopic.

        Just acknowledging that Greenland did have a balmier climate when it was settled by vikings, and that this was partly the warmer times in the MWP, on top of localized further warmth for that part of Greenland itself. The viking settlements even so were always struggling in harsh conditions.

        Your comments on CO2 really belong in the skydragon threads. Yes, the amount is small, but the actual forcing influence results because it is opaque to infrared, so small quantities matter enormously. This is basic physics, and not in serious dispute. The skydragon threads are an attempt to help explain this aspect of the physics.

        The questions of sensitivity to forcing are more open to dispute and to uncertainty. Ironically, if the MWP had large temperature increases — more than we have today — then this would show climate is MORE sensitive than the most common estimates at present. But that is another topic; and we’re a bit too far nested to take it up in replies here.

      • SteveGinIL, all the fuss started over Figure 1(b) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report. The hockey- stick like shape in Figure 1 (b) does show a MWP, followed by about 600 years of cooling. So if the proxy used in the reconstruct isn’t reliable, it may be either understating or overstating the MWP.

        I haven’t seen convincing evidence the MWP was warmer than today, and I don’t understand why deniers/skeptics hope it was warmer. If the globe can get warmer than today without AGW, think of what it can do with AGW.

      • It depends on what you call AGW. For my money, CO2 is totally inadequate.

        I love it when I ask people how high a percentage of the atmosphere CO2 is. I get guesses of up to 7%, and almost none under 1/2%. When I tell them it is less than 1/25th of 1%, some don’t believe me. 1/25th of 1% isn’t enough to pee on.

        Comparisons with Venus and its 96% CO2 atmosphere cannot be discussed seriously. That is 96×25=2400 times as much, on a planet with about our same gravity.

        But if you talk about land use, I wouldn’t argue that at all – but I have seen nothing to indicate it is anything to be alarmed about. 2°C seems to be about what we might see in the next hundred years, given that we have had a lull in warming. Humans and the planet are plenty adaptable for that. 2°C is almost not even detectable by our human senses. If we didn’t have thermometers, would we even notice? Not much.

      • We don’t “hope” it was warmer, we observe that it was, and that this necessarily refutes the hysterical CAGW over-statements of modern “unprecedented” warming. And further indicates that humanity does just fine, thankyewverrahmuch, in warmer climates.

        Bring ‘em on!

      • Steve;
        You’re way off on Venus. Don’t forget that the atmosphere is about 100X as dense as ours, too, so the correct factor is more like 240,000! And it “back-radiates” much more efficiently at the high temps there, so it effectively forms a radiative short-circuit all round the planet. Hence, the night-side temps are only about 1K different from the day, despite the very slow rotation.
        Heh.

      • Steve, I’m not sure I could detect 2 degrees C of warming in a span of 1 hour, much less over a century.
        But comparing a 2 C rise in average global temperature to far greater temperature changes I experience every day is silly.

        Also silly is the notion relatively small things are insignificant. If small meant of no consequence, viruses would be harmless. Nor would nuclear weapons be anything to worry about since they occupy comparatively little space.

      • randomengineer

        I haven’t seen convincing evidence the MWP was warmer than today, and I don’t understand why deniers/skeptics hope it was warmer.

        All the proxies added together can’t explain how the vikings settled and prospered in greenland. There are viking farms buried in the ice that are only now (via the magic of current warming trends) starting to appear. A proxy that can’t account for this sort of historical evidence is simply wrong.

        One can claim to the effect that “oh, this was regional only and caused by the shifting of the such-and-such current” or “the sun was experiencing a peak of the gizmotron cycle” (any such explanation will do) but this doesn’t seem to explain the work of the Idso brothers at co2science who have been collecting lots of peer review evidence that the MWP was in fact global and not regional.

        The combination of facile explanations pulled out of (a hat) with reliance on proxy data that is clearly being cherrypicked and/or interpreted selectively so as to ever so conveniently suggest that viking farms in greenland were either imaginary or serendipitously lucky is little more than the very evidence of cherrypicking and/or selective interpretation, not evidence to the contrary.

        The evidence is viking farms, and until models and proxies can explain this to a reliable and believable degree, Wagathon is perfectly within his right to posit a 5 degree difference with today and have just as valid an opinion as the tools at realclimate.

      • Randomengineer, as you can see in the linked photos, people live in Greenland today. Why would the globe have to be warmer than now for the Vikings to have lived there?

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=ppwl&cp=6&gs_id=t&xhr=t&q=greenland&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1221&bih=709&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

      • Actually the proxies do indicate that the southern tip of Greenland was particularly warm during that time but that the warmth was regional rather than global. There is no basis for the 5 degrees claim though.

      • Ode to a Hockey Stick

        Montford’s ‘Illusion’
        describes a profusion
        Of malfeasance rife
        in academic life
        Those bristle-cone pines
        Are stretching the lines
        Across eons of time
        In California at least
        Where trees can feast
        On good old CO2
        And yet we know too
        That the graph’s askew
        Oranges and apples mixed
        The problem can’t be fixed
        A handle ever so flat
        What’s up with that?
        Our Medieval history
        Is somewhat a mystery
        A warming to abolish
        with academic polish
        An ice age so little
        must we now whittle
        So it’s quite invisible
        how markedly risible!
        The past revised
        We’re not surprised
        tree rings divergent
        need censoring urgent
        so the decline ‘s hidden
        thus the message given
        Mann-made warming
        now there’s a warning
        the blade’s uplifted
        through data sifted,
        by PCA short centering
        All ready for entering
        A journal so lenient
        extremely convenient
        they say is Natural
        But is it factual?
        the puck is ready
        the ice is steady
        who’s the umpire?
        why it’s McIntyre
        With McKitrick in tow
        That’s ruined the show!
        “What’s the correlation?
        Please no conflation!”
        With slight hesitation
        And some equivocation
        but no mitigation
        Came the admission
        With no precision
        “quite low it transpires
        But the graph it inspires
        And who on earth cared
        Whatever the R squared
        (near zero I fear
        Isn’t that queer?)
        My new statistic
        Not quite realistic
        Is a comfort indeed
        To meet my need
        Al Gore adored it
        millions applaud it,
        Wouldn’t you?
        An icon it’s true!”
        A dreadful reality bites
        When the method invites
        Those damaging insights
        from critics revealing
        secrets unappealing
        investigations outstanding
        or Inquiries understanding?
        that whitewash dispensed
        so reputations are fenced,
        thus the academy forgives
        cherry-picked tenure lives
        with such heroes to venerate,
        more grants to generate
        from tree rings inveterate.

      • “Ode to a Hockey Stick”
        LoL…..Well done !! this one gets saved

      • Corporate Message

        SteveGinIL,

        I’m reminded of ( was it not R.Bradley?) the climategate email saying that tree rings were “proxies for climate”.

  9. My concern was that ‘disinformation’ and Judith Curry was being tweeted to various twitter followers, which include very many scientists, journalists, and journalists.. Rather unfair all publically, this was all pointed out, opportunity to back down from a very loaded word. – ‘disinformation’

    Adissentient Bishop Hill
    @RichardTol Not sure that’s fair. I wonder who peer reviewed it? @JudithCurry

    Realclim8gate Barry Woods
    @ ‘ disinformation’ is a very loaded word !!! @RichardTol @Adissentient @JudithCurry

    RichardTol Richard Tol
    @ @Realclim8gate @Adissentient @JudithCurry indeed it is, and I mean every letter of it

    This wasn’t great either by Richard Klien (beyond professional dis- courtesy), all publically, tweeted to professional scientist, media and political followers?,

    Richard Klein
    .@judithcurry has lost the plot, lending credibility to politically motivated stats amateurs. Even @richardtol agrees. http://bit.ly/tajmD0

    (Even Richard Tol, is a bit of a ‘backhanded compliment?)

    and notice ‘political motivated’ !!

    The wider concern is why the hell not discuss a ‘peer reviewed paper’ that opposes BEST, particulalry when BEST papaers are not even peer reviewed yet, and have been subject to some criticism, by various statisticians, etc.. BEST gets the WSJ, Guardian, Independant BBC headlines, saying scepticism is over, and is not peer reviewed, yet a peer an actual peer reviewed paper, posted on a scientists blog, is somehow beneath the pale.

    Seriously, maybe things are ‘worse than we though’ in climate science.. I really would not like to be a young scientist in any climate related field, what sort of ‘subtle’ pressure is their to conform

    Of course, nothing of the above says anything about any of the science in any of the papers, but surely shows that there are problems witheven discussing things..

    • Since 1994 Dr Klein has contributed as lead author to six reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of which three as coordinating lead author.

    • I’ve said this before Barry; It’s indicative of the state of ‘play’ in this debate. There are those on the cAGW side that feel that they must attack, vehemently, anything that even looks like it may contradict their position.

      The fact that some ‘scientists’ are doing this, only makes matters worse.

  10. Judith Curry

    Whether or not the two reports will stand up under scrutiny is a matter of conjecture at this point.

    Your having allowed the authors to post them here makes sense, especially since we have just had the preliminary release of the BEST study, covering essentially the same topic.

    It opened a lively discussion, which I suppose is what you intended.

    But charges that you were guilty of spreading “disinformation” by allowing this guest post are so absurd I would not take them seriously.

    It is also ludicrous to suggest that you “lent your authority” to the two studies.

    It appears that some people reacted emotionally, thereby losing their ability to think logically and rationally.

    These are the people that unfortunately made fools of themselves – not you.

    Max

  11. Reason and logic abound:
    1. I inspected 100 apples and they were all red, therefore all apples are red.
    2. John’s older brother went to college. John is being raised in the same environment, so John will go to college too.
    3. All men are mortal. John is a man, so John is mortal.
    Who makes the rules?

    • “. All men are mortal. John is a man, so John is mortal”
      Just like LotR’s really

      Witch-king of Angmar,
      “No living man may hinder me,”

      Éowyn then removed her helmet and declared:

      “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

      She then kills him.

  12. This is how one responds to cyberbullying by peers.

    Very very well.

    Regards to everyone.

    • Huh, that’s actually a very interesting point. Could you regard their behaviour as openly hostile and bullying towards JC?

      Could have legs that.

  13. @Manacker
    ‘ … made fools of themselves – not [Dr Curry].’
    Says it all.

  14. If these are the best skeptic papers out there currently, I encourage putting them up for discussion. We saw a good summary of the weaknesses, and not much support of any substance in the discussion. These papers have sunk into obscure journals now, which is a sign of the demise of the skeptical viewpoint, but if it is their best shot, let’s see what it is. Thanks for pointing it out, as most of us would not have seen it otherwise. It might have been better if the authors had promised to reply in the thread as part of the deal, but there is no sign of them.

    • Why assume “these are the best skeptic papers out there”? No one has made that claim. Why make stuff up? I know this is climate science, but still …

      • If you know a better new skeptic paper than this, point it out to JC, and she should post that too. I think this is about the standard you will get, unfortunately, but maybe we can hope for a better effort in the future.

      • Jim D,

        Your comment might mean something, but I suspect you wouldn’t be able to explain the difference between a good and bad climate science paper in any significant way.

        Andrew

      • The real question is, how did BEST manage to get so much publicity for such an atrociously bad effort?

      • Why should I be under any obligation to fix your disinformation? I’m not the one that made the unsupported assertion. That was you. You want to rank papers — have at it.

      • You will notice my statement began with “If…” It was not an assertion but a guess. Anyway, I do encourage getting the best papers to discuss even if this isn’t one.

      • You’re making the assumption that Judith’s goal is to make the skeptical case. You need to think again about what the goal of this site is, because it seems that you’ve badly missed the point.

      • Does S&B 2011 count as new?

      • Wasn’t that discussed here already?

    • Nice example of #4. Use a straw man.

    • Who could possibly believe anything published in an obscure journal?

      • Who could possibly believe anything published in an obscure journal?

        Gibbs was running a precursor of an email subscription list. He was a well-known Yale professor.

        Among these were some course notes by Gibbs, presumably hand-written. A few additional sheets were glued to one of these volumes, listing the names of all the notable scientists of Gibbs’ time: from Poincare, Hilbert, Boltzmann and Mach, to individuals who are now all but forgotten. Altogether, more than two hundred names and addresses were alphabetized in a beautiful, faded handwriting. Those sheets were a copy of Gibbs’ mailing list. Leafing through in amazement, I realized at last how Gibbs had succeeded in getting himself to be known in a short time. I also learned an instant lesson: the importance of keeping a mailing list.

        That’s the rest of the story.

      • The Wright brothers. Beekeepers monthly.

    • Maybe they are waiting for a substantive criticism. Do you want to go first?

  15. Judith,

    Distractions explains why.
    I have commented five times in a row and had never been snipped.
    Your making me nervous… :-)

    • Joe –
      From the pedant in the corner,

      You need one of these ””””””””””””””””””””
      And one of these eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
      :)

  16. I think Richard Tol is acting exactly like an apratchik in the USSR regarding someone who dared to discuss something the Party had a strong stand against.
    His comment was not only inappropriate, his argument from authority about his credibility and expertise utterly backfired.

  17. What would be nice is to have examples of each of the 25 from places like RC and other AGW blogs. So many of those just popped right out. Seen many of them during my years debating creationists.

    The credibility issue is clearly on the AGW side, not this blog.

    • Richard,

      I am the most ignored person on the planet.
      Even though I am the only person to map this planets velocity and have the mathematics to map every planet in our solar system, including the sun.

      http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/lalonde-joe/world-calculations.pdf

      http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/lalonde-joe/world-calculations-2.pdf

      • Not ignored, I saw those. Interesting.

        I’ve done this http://cdnsurfacetemps.wordpress.com. Still waiting for the AGW faithful to explain how CO2 makes our summers cooler.

      • So your issue is that you see cooler summers, yet everything else points to warming. This is for Canada in particular, yet I didn’t see a map showing the spatial distribution of stations, nor any kind of kriging analysis.
        If the stations show some geographical east-west alignment, could a latitudinal change in the jet stream modify the data in an opposite direction?

      • It’s not just Canada, I have downloaded some other locations around the world, they show no increase in summer temps.

        I have looked at single stations in Canada, as well as combining several stations, and they all show the same thing. Summers cooler. Heat wave days falling, and the vast majority of record breaking days occuring before 1950. Record breakers today are not a high as those in the 1930s;

        See http://cdnsurfacetemps.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/more-heat-waves-expected/ for an example.

        Now I understand that this is not what AGW predicts, and hence you have to look for any excuse that I’ve done this wrong. So why don’t you download the data and see for yourself. BTW, some AGW faithful have done just that, and found the same thing as me.

      • So why don’t you download the data and see for yourself. BTW, some AGW faithful have done just that, and found the same thing as me.

        I try to analyze data that passes tests for statistical breadth and depth. So it should be dispersed spatially and temporally, with enough dynamic range that one can feel somewhat comfortable that it the data is not corrupted by anomalies.

        I don’t think your data passes this test and why I would rather look at the more comprehensive BEST analysis.

        In other words, you are essentially straddling the boundary of cherry-picking territory, i.e Canada by itself, and I won’t go there.

      • Richard,

        I am not doubting your numbers or conclusions in temperatures. No doubt you model is correct if the planet stays on course.
        What I follow is totally different due to extensive researching in other areas.
        Salt changes for the last 4 decades.

        http://www-pord.ucsd.edu/~ltalley/sio219/curryetal_nature2003.pdf

        Precipitation patterns will give a better understanding of warming or cooling especially since the parameters in the oceans have changed.

      • Interesting study. One major problem with it. The inference that such changes are because of global warming. I have no doubt that this is correct for the time frame of only 40 years. The paper would have revelence to climate change if it went back some 2000 years, or even better 10,000 years or more. The major fallicy here is that this change is uique in all of history. No, it’s only a 40 year observation. I would suspect that changes in salitity of the oceans fluctuates in this manner all the time. But we cannot know because we have no measurements from back then. Hence to blame this change on human caused warming, or even non-human caused warming is a leap of faith, not science.

      • Richard,

        Your right warming caused our current problem but it was not CO2.
        It was the change of heated gases that stretched the atmosphere.
        New growth up mountains takes pressure to exert against the atmosphere and push up the colder gases.

        There was no vast evaporation to change the oceans salt so, pressure is the logical answer.

      • I’ve seen these too. I must admit Joe, you’ve got me iterested in this aspect.

      • Thanks Lab,

        Very hard to explain what is in your head. Harder to figure out how to map the planet accurately. Mathematically by different angles? Or by measurement. I chose the more time consuming measuring for accuracy.
        But this gives a template for every rotating planet as they all have the same shape, so the angles would be extremely close.

  18. Well, there is this…

    Too much on my plate to bother dealing with nasty snark from the climate dittoheads.

    …which appears to fit the bill of #2 and #5, possibly #9.

  19. I’m so glad you’re a GT professor – go Jackets!

  20. Alex Heyworth

    What is truly bizarre is that Judy is being vilified for posting an article based on papers critical of the BEST papers, for which she is a co-author.

    Mind you, I suppose there would be an outcry from the warmistas if Gavin Schmidt published an article on RealClimate by Steve McIntyre which criticised a paper of which he (Gavin) was co-author :)

    • The papers are not critical of the BEST papers. They do not mention them.

    • If Schmidt did publish such a paper, he would at least have the guts to give his own opinion of it.

      If Judith Curry does not mean to endorse a guest post on her own blog, she should print an upfront disclaimer stating that she has not actually read or understood the paper and is not capable of making an informed judgment of the guest post’s arguments and conclusions.

      • Now now Holly Wolly, there’s no need to be rude.
        At least no ruder than usual.

        Judith has given a very good explanation upthread – perhaps you would do her the courtesy of studying it?

        It’s not a question of guts – I think Judith trusts most of us here to make up our own minds like grown-ups should.

        Unlike some places, we don’t have to be told what we should believe :)

      • No, her explanation was inadequate. Grown-ups would not attack every commenter who criticizes the guest post. Why don’t you “sceptics” actually criticize the guest post yourselves, instead of smarming about how wonderful this blog is? Why don’t you address the criticisms that have been made? Could it be that you don’t know enough about them?

      • The hilarious thing Holly is that you are burying yourself in heaps of self-reference. You come here solely to be abusive, mostly towards your host, and while complaining about nobody criticising the posts, quite clearly have absolutely no idea even what they are about. Funnily enough, all the other sneering believers have come here for the same reason. If you want to talk about the posts feel free – if not, go away!!

      • Holly,

        How would you know what a grown-up would do?

      • Deck the Holly’s with sticks of folly,
        Tra la la la la, la la la la.
        ==========

      • So effectively you are saying Judith should be judge jury and executioner of the papers that she posts.
        That would leave the rest of us to debate Judith and her viewpoint.
        That’s not what this blog is about, or haven’t you noticed that through your filtered glasses yet?

        Judge Judith….mmmmm has a ring to it.

      • randomengineer

        If Schmidt did publish such a paper, he would at least have the guts to give his own opinion of it.

        Your impressions of Dr Curry’s intestinal fortitude reveal far more about you than anything about the good Doctor.

        Clearly Dr Curry is posting a paper known to disagree with BEST and is willing to leave opinions to the denizens. Perhaps in your view Dr Curry has little better to do than nitpick every possible paper or ought to be running a blog wherein she critiques papers and allows us all to fawn over the criticisms which are engraved on stone tablets.

        Somehow I get the impression that Dr Curry is a grownup and considers her readers similarly. I also get the impression that she has a life (or used to!) and can’t spend 24 hrs a day telling us what to think. She leaves that to us.

        Deal.

    • What’s really bizarre is that Judy is promoting a paper claiming to refute BEST, where she is a co-author and neither she nor the author of the competing paper are willing to discuss the contents by themselves.

  21. With regard to disinformation, what about this?

    “Fred Moolten | November 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Reply

    Judy – My comment was not a “disagreement” but an explanation of why their conclusions were wrong. Regarding methods, any method that leads to a violation of the first law of thermodynamics can be assumed to be invalid. This is true even if they report mathematical treatments that are consistent with erroneous conclusions – their methods can at best be said to do that, but are equally consistent with conclusions contradicting theirs that don’t violate physical laws”

    Fred believes that an ‘average’ flux box model, based on a non-rotating Earth, that does not have an elliptical orbit around a star, and is based on treating a complex non-equilibrium thermodynamic system as an equilibrium state is ‘true’. All things that cannot be explained by such a model are wrong.

    This sort of thing is endemic.

    Thursday I wanted to do a positive control. I work on braincells, human ones. I typically grow cells in glucose medium, Thursday I used normal glucose media and a fructose gradient, but total fructose and glucose were the same. The positive control was glucose free and 12 mM fructose medium.
    EVERYONE in the field KNOWS this type of human cell cannot survive in fructose, they must have glucose or pyruvate.

    I was of course expecting them to be dead on Monday; my positive control.

    Not only were they alive, but they actually proliferated. Not as much as in glucose, but none the less, they grew.
    This is not a joke, in my field everyone believes, like I did until noon today, that these human cells die without glucose and the only things they can survive on are glucose and pyruvate.

    Faith in the scientific process is valid, faith in a particular results or thesis is not.

    • Nice work Doc, can you mail them to Holly?

      • Now. We have new media on order. Will repeat with completely different media. Test glucose-free media to make sure it is glucose-free.
        Us second pass cells. Seed 7 96 well plates and rune glucose/fructose on same plate, measure cell numbers Day=0 to Day=6 and calculate doubling time.
        Assay glycogen, assay lactate, assay PFK.

      • Right, grow as many brain cells as you can, but how will Holly be able to transplant them? Suppository?

      • That’s cold Dennis.

        And I bet not practical, as she already has her head there.

      • There’s a paper in that if you can replicate. I presume you used fresh plates? I have known people to just wash them and re use (if only performing a passage).

      • Wow, I dunno if I would ever feel comfortable just reusing plates like that, passage or no. Plenty of toxins could build up or other contaminants. Maybe it works fine, but.. urg, a little outside my comfort zone at the moment!

      • Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, i instinctively balked at the idea too. But many microbiologists DO do it. Depends on the final cell line use of course, say virus growth0 then it actually wouldn’t matter, but i’ve known people use it in other situations as well.

        I tend to use fresh each time- keeps my local rep in sales at least!

      • Dennis,

        I know I shouldn’t buy ROTFLMAO

    • simon abingdon

      “Fred believes that an ‘average’ flux box model, based on a non-rotating Earth, that does not have an elliptical orbit around a star, and is based on treating a complex non-equilibrium thermodynamic system as an equilibrium state is ‘true’.”
      Presumably it would make no difference if the earth’s rotation period were 2.4 hours or 240 hours.

      • simon abingdon

        “Presumably it would make no difference if the earth’s rotation period were 2.4 hours or 240 hours”.
        I’m disappointed that this provoked no response.
        Perhaps I should have said:
        Presumably(?) it would make no difference if the earth’s rotation period were 2.4 hours or 240 hours(!).
        It is to this layman extraordinary that the GCMs are apparently modelled on the assumption that the earth can be treated as a stationary flat disc.
        Sorry that this is OT; it was in support of DocMartyn’s comment upthread.

      • The GCMs most definitely are not “modelled on the assumption that the earth can be treated as a stationary flat disk”.

        Simpler models do. To the extent that the GCMs agree with these simpler models, we may infer that 1) both are correct 2) both are wrong.

    • Imo Fred believes that additional human released CO2 is very harmful to humanity and tends to magnify the significance of information (or creates analysis) that supports the position. It may not be intentional, but he does it. As an example he previously posted how –millions were harmed or killed by global warming due to flooding made worse due to sea level rise caused by global warming. He was shown that how he came to the conclusion was completely incorrect.

      Imo- Fred is not unique in his behavior and actually more open minded than many who are convienced in cAGW. Fairly examine the types of claims reported by “scientists” who have “studied” a potentially warmer planet.

      Is there reliable evidence to believe that human released CO2 has caused: “animals to shrink”, “fish needing to swim faster”, “millions dying due to more severe storms?”, “lower crop yields and probable starvation”? Articles have been published claiming all of these are or will be the result of a warmer world.

      Is there actually evidence to support these conclusions as being probable—NO—but that does not stop supposedly reasonable “scientists” from publishing articles to that effect.

      • Edim

        You have posted a perfect example of what I described. Imo, both Nature and Scientific American have become so biased on the issue as to be laughable. Unfortunately, it is only laughable to someone who has a reasonable understanding of the key issues and what percentage of those publications have that level of knowledge? Continual publication of propaganda will influence public opinion

      • Wow, Thirty-two fading American thalers for a credentialed moron to tell me climate change causes hard times. I wonder if he’ll get around to telling me that changing cold makes times even harder than changing warm.
        ===========

      • Heating up tensions

        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n7/full/nclimate1236.html

        Another possible causal connection is increasing cost of energy which hits the poorest countries first. Arguable that the Arab spring foment was actually an energy fall.

        The possibility is that AGW works as a disinformation smokescreen to the more fundamental oil depletion and fossil fuel scarcity concerns.

        In some sense, that puts me in the neutral middle of the debate that takes place here, and I tend to look at climate science dispassionately. To me it really doesn’t matter which way it goes because I think energy availability will override the skeptical arguments and allow the scientists to treat the topic of climate change as pure research. In other words, we have to understand the fundamentals of earth sciences to take advantage of renewable energy ideas. That describes my critical thought process.

      • Web

        The issue of energy availability and criticality is certainly real. However, I don’t think it has a good link to the issue of AGW.

        Countries that fear long term fossil fuel depletion take steps today to but fuel from others and save their internal resources for “later”. Botom line, energy production needs to be cost efficient, but it is not decided on that method fully today. If it was, nuclear power plants would be getting built at a much higher rate

      • I have no idea what you just said. The mitigation steps from fossil fuel depletion and from AGW are pretty much the same — reduce the dependence on FF.

      • he previously posted how –millions were harmed or killed by global warming due to flooding

        Rob – You have repeatedly misrepresented statements I’ve made in order to contradict them. I take that as evidence that if accurately described, my statements would be seen as accurate, or at least reasonable. This is just the latest example. I hope you’ll go back and find what you falsely remember as the statement you attributed to me, quote accurately what I actually said, and then let others judge its merits.

      • I wish to acknowledge that Fred is correct I did misquote him when I wrote “he previously posted how –millions were harmed or killed by global warming due to flooding”
        He actually did a calculation to demonstrate that only a few thousand people were killed. My error in remembering the statement incorrectly.

        Imo it is still an excellent example of those believing that atmospheric CO2 to be a pending disaster for humanity to supporting crack pot ideas that link harms to humanity to higher CO2 levels.
        Fred Moolten | June 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm
        “I am simply presuming that if we add tens to hundreds of billions of tons of extra water to the top of that surge, we will cause death and damage that is more than negligible. When I applied this to Typhoon Nargis of a couple of years ago, I estimated an extra human death toll of probably a few thousand from that one event alone out of about 180,000 estimated total deaths,”

        Looking for the relevant quote I came across these similar types of comments that demonstrate the behavior.
        Fred Moolten | June 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm
        “All other things being equal, one can calculate that even a few millimeters of higher sea level will translate into tens or hundreds of billions of tons of extra storm surge water over the extent of land likely to be inundated by storm surges over the course of a decade or more, with a consequent increase in potential human, animal, and property losses.”
        Fred Moolten | June 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm
        “Ocean acidification due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations is a major cause of coral reef damage, and adds to the damage from other forces, human and “natural”.”

      • Rob,

        Quoting Fred’s comments as if they are self evidently wrong isn’t good enough. You need to demonstrate why they are wrong.

      • Andrew

        That was done in the in the prior thread.

      • Another pertinent item at Huffpost just yesterday.
        “Climate Change’s Health Costs Projected To Be Enormous” about the article in Health Affairs called
        “Six Climate Change–Related Events In The United States Accounted For About $14 Billion In Lost Lives And Health Costs”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/health-costs-of-climate-c_n_1080473.html

      • Jim
        I tried to read the actual study but only got to the abstract, but based on that the study seems DEEPLY flawed.

        I hope someone else does not get motivated to write an equally stupid paper to state that as a result of a warmer planet humidity and annual rainfall will rise worldwide, and as a result worldwide farm output will increase and as a result all the no longer starving people will raise overall productivity to such an extent that all the budgetary issues on the planet will be permanently resolved. Everyone in the warmer world will be able to retire at 55 with unlimited health benefits and a guaranteed income for life.

      • Rob,

        You are able to make that judgement based on merely reading the abstract?

      • Jim D,
        But of course all of the effort is to be made to squelch skeptical critiques.
        The bs from AGW promoters largely goes unquestioned.
        Look at how Tol, years after publication, says he does not trust Mann’s hockeystick.

      • When the AGW opposers point to a paper saying unmitigated global warming will save lives and money, I will read that too. But so far this kind of thing is all that is published.

    • Beautiful post.

      About the biology: Yes, this is very much worth pursuing. Especially with “high fructose corn syrup” being so prevalent in our diets, and the harsh effects a high fructose load can have on other tissues. There are pathways to deal with it, and if brain cells, since they rely so heavily on sugars, have some modifications to allow better use of fructose… That would simply be amazing.

      All the best to you!

      • Ged, that’s why I did it. I am now thinking at all the primary cell studies used rodent derived brain cells, not (fruitivoristic) primate.
        This is rather nice in terms of the astrocyte/neurone glucose/lactate ying/yang.
        Human B-cells also do quite well on Fructose.

      • Good work and hope that other scientists can replicate the results in their labs.

  22. Holly Stick:

    If Judith Curry does not mean to endorse a guest post on her own blog, she should print an upfront disclaimer stating that she has not actually read or understood the paper and is not capable of making an informed judgment of the guest post’s arguments and conclusions.

    Is she supposed to do all of that because you’re not bright enough to figure out what it means to post a paper for discussion as well as being a rude bore?

    Thought so.

    • Yes, I love it when people who don’t have their own blog lecture those of us who do on how to run it! To poorly phrase a Gluck, Gold and Weiner song:

      ♫ It’s my blog
      I’ll post what I want to
      Post what I want to
      Post what I want to
      You can post what you want if you blog too…. ♫

      • Well, it’s obvious that you lot lack the ability to critically judge such a paper, but will immediately attack and smear all of the commenters who do make substantial criticisms of it.

      • Amazingly (or not) you’re completely wrong again. If you read the feeble criticisms (at all) you would find that they were about the choice of guest posters. And the criticisms were from the kind of people who hate free speech and open dialogue. You know – totalitarian types who cannot bear genuinely open minds. Read the papers yourself – they are not infectious! They won’t turn you into a ‘sceptic’ or even an intelligent person!! Fear not, your dogmatism is safe with us!!!

      • Here’s a scientific criticism – Are you able to respond to that intelligently?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/07/two-new-papers-vs-best/#comment-134752

        And what about Tol’s comments about the time series, succinctly expressed here and in longer comments elsewhere? Did you understand them? Can you paraphrase them so someone like hunter could understand them?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/07/two-new-papers-vs-best/#comment-134480

      • You do not have a genuinely open mind. I reference our recent ‘discussion’ of climate sensitivity elsewhere.

        And you need to do some reading.

      • John Carpenter

        Holly Stick, It’s obvious you lack the ability to critically judge the papers either. You dismiss the papers but have offered no reason why. Your just as guilty as the rest of the ‘lot’ you accuse. So… using a technical argument, why are the papers weak? Why should we dismiss them? I think this was more the idea Judith was looking for. As pointed out by others here, we can make up our own minds based on the papers contents and arguments made for or against their merits by commenters. We’re not looking for Judith to tell us what to think, though her thoughts are insightful. Believe it or not, this is how science is done. If the guest posters don’t turn up to defend their work…. that tells us all a little more.

        WHT, Fred Moolten and even Richard Tol (after being called out on it) have offered reasons to suspect the conclusions of the papers. I have yet to read a comment that whole heartedly supports the authors conclusions from a technical POV…. so why are you so concerned?

      • And did you notice how WHT, Fred Moolton and Richard Tol were attacked here for expressing criticisms of the papers?

        I don’t come here to argue the science or the stats because that is not where my expertise lies. I occasionally drop in here and and get drawn into commenting in order to call people here on how they argue and how they repeatedly fail to examine their own prejudices and how they react with their emotions, not their brains.

      • Holly Stick, apparently you did not notice that WHT, Fred and Richard were engaged with counter argument, when they advanced arguments against the papers.

        “they react with their emotions, not their brains.”

        Pot, meet kettle.

      • John Carpenter

        Holly Stick, I went back and reviewed many of WHT and Fred’s as well as Bart V’s criticisms and found many of the commenters were just countering their arguments. I don’t see those as ‘attacks’. Yes, some commenters got OT, but you have to fly over those posts in order to follow the technical arguments. As for Tol, he kinda deserved some of the criticism that came his way for what he tweeted.

        I’m glad your honest about not arguing the science, It’s smart to stay away from areas your not an expert in and is the same reason I stay away from the technical discussions, though I read them.

        I still disagree Judith has endorsed the papers or is required to offer a disclaimer about them by simply offering them up for discussion. The debate about what the climate is doing and how much humans are influencing it will be won over time by those who are not afraid to consider all the possibilities. The most rational people will be able to discern good scientific arguments from bad. They will also be the same people the general public will put the most trust in because of it. I am perplexed by those who would endorse a censorship tactic instead of letting the science and debate play itself out. The general public does not like the idea that information has been sanitized for their ‘benefit’. It reeks of manipulation and distrust ensues. Tol and Neven are suggesting by their comments that is the way the discussions should be handled… by not letting there be a discussion… to censor the papers…. to strike them down for non-technical reasons. That kind of argument deserves to be ‘attacked’ and is why ‘climate science’ is having a communication problem. IMO, Judith understands this.

      • Holly,

        I think most have already concluded that “science and stats” are not where your expertise lie.

        The more difficult task is trying to figure out what area(s), if any, you do have expertise in.

  23. Dr. Curry, Bravo!!!!!

    You demonstrate tremendous courage to host the debate in the face of certain rebuke.

  24. Stephen Singer

    My answer to the quiz is

    JC – none
    IPCC, JR, MM – most of 2 – 20 and will get to any unused ones eventually

    I find your blog the most refreshing. You post your own blog subjects, and guest blogs and let your blog denizens kick them around the block a few times to see how sturdy they are. Most times this exercise elicits valid criticisms and alternate viewpoints that inform follow on blog posts.

    Those climate science blogs that don’t follow your practice of allowing all view points relevant to the subject matter to see the light of day should get a clue.

    So, please keep this blog a shining example of the true practice of scientific dialog.

    • I applaud your insight Stephen. Judith’s blog creates a unique environment where all sorts of Roberts, Joshuas and Hollys are allowed in unsupervised, and they can even be home in time for tea. They don’t always play nicely and sometimes break each others toys, but still, we must make allowances and be tolerant! :)

  25. A very topical post, Judith. Thanks.

    To the ones you’ve linked, I would suggest the following, too:
    Scientific Heresy, by Matt Ridley and The Authoritarians, by Psychology Professor Emeritus Robert Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba. Both are .pdf files.

    Much of the former is about confirmation bias, a way we tend to have double-standards for ideas which agree or disagree with our existing thinking.

    Much of the former is about, not the authoritarian leaders, but about authoritarian followers, who use confirmation bias to a very great extent, and how they do what Linda Elder says,

    …For example, when figuring out whether to accept an argument someone is putting forth, people will often ask themselves whether the argument agrees with what they already believe. If so, they tend to affirm it; if not, they tend to negate it. This of course usually happens at the unconscious level of thought.

    Authoritarianism is a subject Professor Altemeyer studied at length, even developing a system with which he can identify and measure the authoritarian traits in people.

    This is also a subject near and dear to my own heart. I have “thought about thinking” at length, and also about how we do so little of that, even when we think we are. I was heartened that Ms Elder discussed closed-mindedness, as I’ve put much thought into that over the last few decades. Almost all of us who have any egos at all think that we, ourselves, are open-minded. I would say that most who don’t are the humble ones who are aware of their own shortcomings and who don’t believe they are “smart enough” to have an opinion. But So, for those who have opinions, the question is between open-mindedness and closed-mindedness – and none of us admits to being anything but fair and open-minded. If that were only the case!

    All of this ties in together – your three papers/essays, and the two I linked to here.The term “pseudo-critical thinking” is new to me, but not the qualities or techniques described. Any climate skeptic has seen at least 15 of those techniques listed. It ties in with the authoritarian mindset quite well.

    Also, there is probably much that Noam Chomsky could bring to this discussion, I think – the way language and communication is used in the world, especially as regards the use of power.

    And let us not overlook that the argument about global warming is an argument over power. Them’s got it want to keep it, for sure. And them’s not got it – the skeptics – what do they want? After being a Liberal on the mostly Conservative side of the aisle, I would have to say I read barrage after barrage about, basically, “Don’t Tread On Me.” If there is even ONE in the skeptical community who wants power, I sure haven’t seen it in about ten years. It even gets pretty hyper at times, many seeming to think the Liberals want to use the government for some heinous 1984 people-control. I don’t get their worrying about it, but they certainly all mean it. In short, the skeptics do NOT want power, and are, in fact (as far as I can tell), mostly fearful of those who they think do.

    [I hope my links came out right.]

    • Just a brief observation about “open-mindedness”:

      It’s not possible to be continuously open-minded; that would require rethinking, de novo, every issue every time it was raised. So we all have “filters” that select topics and sources that we’re prepared to consider. These are of varying strictness; some allow almost nothing through except confirmatory material.

      So the most valuable and productive standards to look for and use are those which guide our necessarily selective open-mindedness. A sharp eye for appeals to authority and other logical fallacies (= manipulations) is a good start.

      • Do you think that logical fallacies are the pitfalls to avoid? Perhaps in a theoretical, purely rational world…
        I see a much stronger influence from imagination and mental pictures created by emotion. On the issue of climate, my suspicion is that most people who have a conviction that something ‘bad’ is definitely going to happen, didn’t arrive at that conviction by using reason, which is one of the reasons why it is not possible to reason them out of it.

        A quick look at the history of people’s convictions about the (usually doom-filled) future is that in retrospect, those convictions were based on nothing but wild imaginings. Never though are we more certain than when we think of a worrying future. We worry and then we picture the future – and once set it is rare for that worrying and frozen image to melt.

        There are some who have suggested that the end of the cold war left a perfect opportunity for an epidemic of mass worry to coalesce around the old favourites – storms and floods and droughts. Has nobody noticed that in places like China, with no post cold-war dearth, the whole worry-meme can’t gain a single foothold? There is simply no traction for the idea. I think many Educated Asians think it is just like a strange virus spreading through the west.

        All they can do is shrug and say “Enjoy the interglacial”

      • This is interesting. I’m about to do a paper-reading tour in Singapore and China, and I’m going to keep this in mind, and try to steer casual conversations in the right direction. :)

      • Take care not to start an epidemic! :)

      • The virus is nemesis to hybris prosperus.
        =============

      • The logical fallacies show up as symptoms of unreasonable judgment; the roots and motivations for those, as you say, are emotion-packed images, generally.
        However, enforcing logical validity is a good tool for constraining and balancing the emotive motivations for bias.

    • “It even gets pretty hyper at times, many seeming to think the Liberals want to use the government for some heinous 1984 people-control.”

      What does two centuries of government expansion and reductions in individual rights lead youd you to conclude? Of course the eco-left is based in statist authority. Appealing to radical leftist (Noam Chomsky) was the first clue you that you’ve missed reality about the UN and the IPCC operative agenda. Yes, 1984 and Orwell. Focus on it, that’s what it’s about all over the place.

  26. Oops! The 4th paragraph should start, “Much of the latter…”

  27. Judith,
    Some comments.

    1) Twitter is considered (among other things) a form of “micro-blogging.” So me spotlighting comments there is no different than what I have done periodically at Collide-a-scape.

    2) This related tweet by Richard Tol caught my eye:
    “Skepticism is healthy, disinformation is not” judithcurry.com/2011/11/07/two…

    So I confirmed with Tol (via twitter) that he was referring to your post on the two papers. That piqued my interest, since Tol strikes me as a straight shooter (whether you agree or disagree with him). I then followed the comment thread and saw a lot of perplexed comments (with follow-up comments from Tol).

    3) One common refrain among some of your critics is that you are wont to spotlight/recommend highly flawed papers on your blog. Today’s post seemed to be very much part of that pattern.

    So all this, combined with Richard Tol’s reputation, suggested to me that a spotlight of his comment to you was worth a tweet.

    And there you have it.

    • Many open minded people know that the IPCC is a front for the World Wildlife Fund’s billion dollar business. The IPCC produces nothing but disinformation. And dupes like you and Tol parrot IPCC propaganda.

    • So, by spotlighting Tol’s comment, are you lending your authority to it?

    • “1) Twitter is considered (among other things) a form of “micro-blogging.” So me spotlighting comments there is no different than what I have done periodically at Collide-a-scape.”

      Yes, and rape is consensual sex in the age of Twitter. Why can’t the authorities understand that?

      “3) One common refrain among some of your critics is that you are wont to spotlight/recommend highly flawed papers on your blog. Today’s post seemed to be very much part of that pattern.”

      You cannot reference the shouts of a mob as reason to believe what is being shouted.

      The shouts of the mob against “today’s post” certainly are part of the mob’s pattern. You must actually reference the contents of the post to offer some reason for believing that the post is what the mob says it is.

  28. Willis Eschenbach

    When people start attacking you, you can be sure that you are making a difference in the path of the discussion. I congratulate you on this, Judith, it is a measure of your honesty and your dedication to transparent science.

    w.

  29. Willis,
    I presume that includes yourself, when you attacked Judith last week for hosting a guest post by an evangelical Christian?

  30. Many people do not understand Dr. Curry’s purposes in creating and managing this blog. I do not understand all of them and I am quite happy to have them revealed in Dr. Curry’s good time. I do understand some of her purposes and some that she considered but rejected.

    Among the purposes that Dr. Curry rejected is the purpose of serving as an advocate for a particular point of view. Dr. Curry scrupulously avoids being an advocate for the IPCC and CAGW. She scrupulously avoids being an advocate for scepticism about climate science. She is quite willing to tell either side about its errors, usually of excess, and does so often on this blog. Dr. Curry has always made it clear that she does not serve as the arbiter of truth about climate science.

    Dr. Curry’s main purposes in creating this blog include creating an exchange for ideas about climate science and ideas about communication among climate scientists and other interested parties including the general public. In addition, this blog serves as a laboratory in which Dr. Curry can observe various communication processes taking place. She has posted many articles whose theses she does not endorse but whose subject matter challenge us to think more clearly and more completely about a particular topic.

    Dr. Curry has always pursued a lively commitment to critical thinking. She is a pioneer in showing how science communication can be vastly improved through an online community dedicated to rational discourse about a topic such as climate science. In pursuing this goal, she occasionally posts articles not because their content is necessarily true but because they nudge the discussion toward a clearer and more complete understanding of a topic. Some of the articles that she posts are offered more as class exercises than as steps forward in science.

    Anyone who claims that Dr. Curry engages in disinformation has failed to understand Dr. Curry’s purposes in this blog. They have substituted their own purposes for hers. No doubt many people wish that Dr. Curry would be an advocate for the IPCC and CAGW. She will not. Many wish that Dr. Curry would use this blog to create a definitive statement of the truths of CAGW. She will not. Dr. Curry is a student of communications about climate science who upholds high standards of rationality and critical thinking as she leads her online community through a valuable education about today’s debates on climate science. Her example is inspiring. Unfortunately for the rest of us, her combination of talents seems to be unique.

    • Nice one, Theo, seems to be a fair summation.

      • I agree – thoughtful and perceptive.

        Is it not odd though, how much criticism the ‘open-minded/reach your own conclusions chaps’ approach generates? It is almost as if the critics are saying ‘if you let them do that, they’ll end up with wrong thoughts!’ and ‘without guidance they’ll be seduced by the dark side!’

        I suggest Judith puts a warning at the top of the blog saying –

        “Dangerous and possibly seditious material contained herein – only over 18’s and those with mental fortitude allowed – no sheep”

      • Well said. Also “You may draw your own conclusions but you will be challenged to defend them.”

      • Anteros writes:

        “It is almost as if the critics are saying ‘if you let them do that, they’ll end up with wrong thoughts!’ and ‘without guidance they’ll be seduced by the dark side!’”

        This reply might be off topic but seems to me to be important. It is a basic tenet of Marxism and all offspring of Marxism that thought is caused. Marxists are busily detecting the False Consciousness of the Proletariat so that they can better lead them to the truth of (cause them to hold) Marxist Ideology, the ideology that is to be crowned. The idea that thought is caused has become viral in the universities over the last 50 years. This virus came to the hard sciences through Thomas Kuhn’s “Structures of Scientific Revolution” and lives in all Post Modern Philosophy of Science. According to Galilean philosophy of science, best explained by Carl G. Hempel and Israel Scheffler, scientific hypotheses are free creations of the human mind as is their rational evaluation. According to this view, Newton stood on the shoulders of giants but his creations were not caused by those giants.

        Please note that when I write of something “going viral,” I am using popular internet slang to mean “becoming popular.”

      • Theo – I think both of us are slightly at a tangent to what is important.
        I said “if you let them do that, they’ll end up with wrong thoughts!”

        I think that’s poorly put. I don’t think ‘wrong thoughts’ even makes sense – I was intending (or do now..) to refer to beliefs. I don’t think the thing we call ‘thinking’ is what is important. Particularly in a debate where what one group of people are bringing to the discussion is ‘alarm’. Such states and all the degrees of ‘catastrophism’ nearby are surely carried by beliefs, which we don’t generate by reasoning, we produce with pictures, visions, and imaginations. We think we reason into them but we don’t (which is why we can’t be reasoned out of them)

        The most thoughtful, reasonable person I encounter on this blog is probably Fred Moolten. But in his denizen bio he descibes beautifully his reasoning processes only up to one exact and defining point – which is where he tells of his ‘view’ of the future. Suddenly, as if using a new language he describes the future as ‘dangerous’. This is not a belief achievable by reason because it is an emotional state. I look at PRECISELY the same evidence as Fred and I view the future as ‘interesting’. It cannot be that this discrepancy occurs through a process of reasoning, it can only be because of the different kind of imagining we are prone to.

        This may now be slightly removed from your talk of ’caused thoughts’ but it is very pertinent to this kind of debate [except it's almost never a debate, merely two incompatible belief systems, and the frisson of tension between them..] Interestingly to me, there is a fair amount of asymmetry here – there are ‘convinced believers’ called by their opponents ‘alarmists’, and there are the ‘convinced unbelievers’ called by their opponents ‘deniers’. These things are not at all mirror images of each other. Also, very few people exist for any length of time outside of one belief system, because we tend to at least have a FEELING about the future. Saying ‘I don’t know’ doesn’t represent an expectation – which I think we tend to generate one way or another. I’m all for reasoning, but I see precious little of its application in our beliefs about the unknowable future. It is not an area where thinking seems to hold much sway – although we convince ourselves otherwise.

        I tried to talk of this asymmetry and our beliefs at keith Kloors blog. I suggested to OPatrick that it was easier for me to put myself in his ‘alarmed’ position because it is a feeling easily come by – I can just borrow it from some other place and put it in the spot marked ‘future climate’. And I thought it would be much more difficult for him to entertain my belief – without adding the feeling that it could only occur
        with the addition of something like denial. He sort of confirmed my contention by saying he could imagine not being alarmed – until he looked at the evidence and his alarm would return!

        It’s an intractable problem.

      • Brilliant essay! Enjoyed it immensely. I cannot disagree with a word you said. If we lived near one another I would greatly enjoy discussing these matters with you.

        If you want the classic (and all time best) account of these matters, read David Hume’s “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.”(18th century) For the postmodern perversion of them read William James’ address “The Will to Believe.”(1896)

      • This is interesting. I think Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy is excellent on this and traces the eclipse of reason by “feeling” to Rousseau and his latter day descendents. Anyway, the chapter on romanticism is Russell at his best. Russell was born into an era where scientific and material progress was taken for granted and the idea that man was “despoiling the planet” was totally foreign. We need a return to this hard headed rationalism.

      • Theo, Russell has a great debunking of James that you would find humorous if it weren’t so serious.

      • Little doubt the race will survive, cope, and thrive. It’ll be lots easier to do in a warmer world than a colder one.
        ==============

      • “It is not the consciousness of man that determines his existence – rather, it is his social existence that determines his consciousness.” – Marx.

        Post-normal science anyone (or everyone, if it’s to work)?

      • I agree. To put it into context, problems in communication are often caused by misunderstanding the purpose of the communication. In the climate change issue, perhaps it’s just come to the point where many assume that any blog post is intended to persuade readers to accept a particular, fixed point of view.

      • Yes, the Tol’s in our midst insist that all must toe the CAGW line. Surely, we do not need to explain that such a position flies in the face of critical thought and of rationality.

      • Tol is saying no such thing. The objection to the Ludecke paper is not that it does not toe the CAGW line, it is that is a bad paper, and an obviously bad one at that. Is it wrong to object to bad (not flawed, bad) papers being published and publicised?

      • In other words, this is about maintaining normal behavior in abnormal circumstances. Not bending to the rules of a dysfunctional social system.

      • I also agree. It seems to me those most critical of Juidth and her blog (from both ‘sides’ of the debate) completely miss the point and are part of the reason why the science has become so cloud by politics.

        This was an excellent post Theo.

      • Thanks. I agree with your comment. I believe Dr. Curry is creating a model of education for the future. I believe that she could create a blog on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and lead her online community through the firestorm that surrounds the topic. Now that is critical thinking that is living and breathing. Imagine what a boon to education at all levels such a model provides. (I do not mean to assert that Dr. Curry consciously embraced the task of creating such a model. The model could be a by-product, so to speak.)

      • Good point Theo. Unfortunately, the notion of scientific debate is not taught until grad school. Before that science is taught as a pile of facts, generated by a perfect method. Maybe that will change..

    • Thank you Theo, very well said.

      • Thank You, Saint Judith, for all the wonderful things you do, especially this blog. And to all rational people of good will, especially serious educators, there is hope for the future.

  31. Contrast those “rules of disinformation” with the Golden Rule:

    “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 NIV

    “Do to others what you would want to them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12a NIV

    My mom’s proverb:

    When you point a finger at someone
    There are four fingers pointing back at you.


  32. 15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.

    Isn’t that a part of thinking? Wouldn’t the alternative be to mindlessly accept what you already believe, or just heard?

    Keith Kloor: 3) One common refrain among some of your critics is that you are wont to spotlight/recommend highly flawed papers on your blog.

    Are not all papers in climate science “highly flawed”? Certainly most of those peer-reviewed papers cited by the IPCC have serious flaws. In the pros and cons at RealClimate and here, AGW supporters are oblivious to flaws in the literature that purports to support AGW. On the Ludecke thread, Prof Tol objects that 100 years is too short, but James Hansen and other catastrophists converted from global cooling (and resource constraints) to global warming on the bases of a mere 9 year apparent reversal of the previous 30 years of non-warming. We now have experienced 13 years of non-warming, more than the warming period that started the panic in the first place, and now all of a sudden 17 years is a proposed minimum (based, I might add, on an analysis that is less thorough than Ludecke’s papers.)

    The Padilla et al paper that Dr. Curry put up was not “highly flawed”; it was merely imperfect, and very well done.

    “Pseudo critical thinking” strikes me as aligned with “agnotology” — a rhetorical device to direct at people with whom you disagree, when you are very sure of yourself.

    • MattStat | November 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm | said:

      “15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.

      Isn’t that a part of thinking?”

      I do that all the time. In papers. If that’s disinformation, include me out. Frankly, calling something “disinformation” is just a sophisticated version of “nya nya nya.”

    • James Hansen and other catastrophists converted from global cooling (and resource constraints) to global warming…

      That’s going to need a citation. On a brief google search I would suggest whoever told you that is dis/misinforming you.

      We now have experienced 13 years of non-warming, more than the warming period that started the panic in the first place

      The ‘panic’ was in place before any warming was detected – it was an application of numerous physical theories and observations: Accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere, radiative properties of GHGs, lifetime of GHGs in the atmosphere. The 1979 Charney Report states: ‘These concerns have prompted a number of investigations of the implications of increasing carbon dioxide. Their consensus has been that increasing carbon dioxide will lead to a warmer earth with a different distribution of climatic regimes.’

      Indeed the 1990 FAR stated that observed warming was still within the bounds of natural variability yet still accurately predicted the warming between 1990 and today. This is one thing many skeptics don’t seem to grasp – climate scientists haven’t just reacted to observed temperature changes over the past 30 years, the temperature changes over the past 30 years were predicted by climate scientists.

      “Pseudo critical thinking” strikes me as aligned with “agnotology” — a rhetorical device to direct at people with whom you disagree, when you are very sure of yourself.

      You realise it’s Dr. Curry who is accusing others of psuedo critical thinking?

      • Yea, but the main thrust of MattStat’s post is correct. Richard Toll points to a recent statistical analysis of paleoclimate proxies that shows that there is no significant information contained in them. That puts Mann et al and even the IPCC AR3 in real question. If Mann is bad science, perhaps it was a mistake to publish it? I think its OK to publish it, but you must admit that at least one genre of the climate literature is probably deeply flawed. It would seem to me to call into question another genre, the climate sensitivity based on paleoclimate is the source of the authority of climate alarm. This is after the tacit admission that models are unreliable. That’s a 3rd genre that seems to be questionable. Need I go further?

      • As far as I’m aware paleoclimate studies of climate sensitivity haven’t generally looked at temperature changes over the past thousand years or so years because they have been relatively small, so Mann’s work isn’t really relevant in this respect.

        James Annan has a post up on a new paleoclimate study looking at changes from the Last Glacial Maximum, which may interest you.

      • Er.. that should read ‘over the past thousand or so years’. Also, it’s the temperature changes which were relatively small rather than the years. I presume the years were roughly the same size.

  33. There are no perfect papers. Every paper has to make tacit or explicit auxiliary assumptions to get its explanatory or inferential payoff. That’s life in the world of reasoned judgment. Mostly, we should ask authors to make their most important assumptions explicit rather than tacit. But y’all knew that already…right?

  34. “Here is a quiz for you. How many of these disinformation tactics are used by:

    JC (moi)
    Public spokespersons for the IPCC
    Joe Romm
    Marc Morano”
    _____________
    I’m not going to do a count, but offhand I would say Marc Morano takes the prize.

  35. Judith,

    So we can now accept what Wikipedia about disinformation say can we?

    OK Fair enough. So, lets us go along with the idea ” It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of an untruth. “.

    Many, if not most, verdicts are obtained in court due to the presentation of disinformation by skilful lawyers. They see their task as being able to persuade a jury in a certain direction. They may quibble about the use of terms like “false statements” but we all know the way they operate. What they themselves believe is just incidental. It may help them in their task to convince themselves they are correct but it certainly isn’t essential. A sort of luxury maybe.

    So, we have to ask if those who are sponsored by such groups as the Heartland Institute, The Institute of Public Affairs, The Competitive Enterprises Institute, Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, and in this case EIKE and also many other groups too numerous to mention, are what we in Australia would call ‘Fair Dinkum’. Or, are they chosen, not to get at the truth, but to argue, in lawyer-like fashion, a particular line of disinformation?

    The answer has to be the latter. At least, it has to be until we see clear evidence that any of these groups are prepared to sponsor, and support, scientific projects which may produce results which they may not themselves like, as happened with BEST. Does anyone know of cases where this has happened?

    • Motives are like certain body parts. Everybody’s got one, and none of them smell good. That’s why we have canonical rules of inference, and logic, and other means of evaluating arguments independent of the smell of their source. Yes we are all Marxists now in the sense that we suspect that where you stand depends on where you sit. But that shows the emptiness of such a mode of argument: Everyone sits somewhere.

    • NW,

      “Motives are like certain body parts. Everybody’s got one, and none of them smell good. ”

      I think you should just make it clear you are speaking for yourself in this one.

      My motive, and I’m sure this goes for everyone of a rational mind too, is purely one of wanting to know the correct science on the AGW issue and wanting to establish the best course of action to prevent the possibility of uncontrolled build up of GH gases causing serious long term problems.

      That smells pretty good to me.

      My own political views were formed long before I’d ever heard that CO2 emissions were likely to be a problem. If I wanted to argue that the rich should pay more tax I’d argue for higher income taxes, wealth taxes or whatever. I don’t need carbon taxes to make sense of any political views I may have. The CO2 problem is genuinely bad news for all of us, and it’s just a question of facing up to it.

      • Let me be crystal clear, then. I wasn’t suggesting anything about your motives. I’ve spent my entire adult life in universities. Motivated cognition is rampant in universities. That is, I have only met a small handful of academics in any fields, including the sciences, whose research agendas do not reflect deep convictions and beliefs. So what? The important thing is that we share standards of evidence and argument. The idea that everything boils down to subjective interests is (as the philosopher Larry Laudan once put it), aside from American political campaigns, the deepest manifestation of anti-intellectualism in this culture. If you really believe that all scientists who work for universities have no motives or passions or beliefs that shape what they choose to study, the way they ask questions, and the conclusions they tend to reach, then you and I cannot agree on much of anything. So the Heartland Institute has motives? Did you know that NSF promotes all kinds of special research areas…will throw money at you if you research a particular subject? So will the Ford Foundation. So will Shell, and you’d be surprised at some of the crackpot stuff Shell will through money at in the name of “interdisciplinary research,” a current shibboleth of corporate pseudo-high-mindedness.

        So what? All cognition, including academic cognition, is motivated. BFD. Stop calling people and institution names and deal with their frickin’ argument.

      • NW,

        Well let me be crystal clear. I think you should have something to say about my motives. Plenty of others have. I’m supposed to be part of a hoax who wish to use the AGW issue to usher in world government!

        Yes, as you say all scientists have careers to think about. They all have concerns about the funding for their particular department. But this goes for all scientists, medicos and engineers, too. If you are going to reject the work of climate scientists on the grounds of ulterior motivation, why believe any scientist about anything at all?

        Judith recently made the point that if EIKE couldn’t be trusted then neither could the WWF. I can understand why large corporate interests might not want to hear the truth about AGW, but why are the WWF equally untrustworthy.

        What would be their motivation? If they want to save the Polar Bear and the world’s flora and fauna generally, isn’t the truth (or as close as is possible to get) exactly what they do need?

      • Man you really don’t read carefully. I am arguing for dispensing with consideration of motivations. Because everyone’s got ‘em. Because you can cast aspersions on every argument by (in essence) ignoring the argument and engaging in pointless motive-bashing.

        Also, I’m not even primarily interested in the financial motivations of scientists, any more than I’m interested in yours, or those of the funders of the Heartland Institute or Ford or Shell or NSF. You seem to think that your motives are uniquely pure. Notice, I did not say pure, but rather “uniquely pure.” Because you earlier listed off concern about your children (or something like that) as your motive. Well, you might grant your opponent similarly good motives:

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

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

      • NW,
        Yes, yes, of course I know that you are arguing that motives should be dispensed with. Creationists say the same thing too. They aren’t objecting to Darwinian evolutionary theory purely because they are hung up on the Book of Genesis, or what it says in the Koran etc. No, they have genuine scientific concerns about the theory. As if!

        You can’t dispense with any motivations. I’d accept that the pro-science side has motivations too, but I’m making the point that there is no more motivation on the part of climate scientists to fudge their results than there is with any other branch of science.

        In any case, people like James Hansen aren’t calling for more research into the climate -he’s calling for more action on the climate. That won’t benefit GISS in the slightest.

      • “In any case, people like James Hansen aren’t calling for more research into the climate -he’s calling for more action on the climate. That won’t benefit GISS in the slightest.”
        i agree it doesn’t benefit GISS in the slightest. Problem is
        he is paid to do things which benefit GISS- that’s why he given tax dollars.
        The public should want Hansen to do things that result in
        benefiting GISS. And seems all he does with his position are things that benefit him and his hobbies.

      • gbaike,

        I may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick here. There was I thinking that James Hansen was being criticised for ‘Empire Building’. Using the climate issue to get more funds in for climate research organisations like GISS. But you’re saying that isn’t the case?

        I’ve also never quite understood why the Bush administration, (the Obama admin don’t seem to be much different), would have funded people like him to make this superb case for a price on carbon (taxes or Cap and Trade) but then, when they’ve got it, they can’t quite bring themselves to use it and introduce the taxes or the C&T scheme.

        Any explanations, anyone?

      • First, I think gbaikie is saying that Hansen spends more time on pushing an agenda loosely based on what Hansen interperetes the GISS data as saying (and making himself a lot of money from it) rather than spending that time and effort into making sure the data that GISS produces is the best and informative (ie making the data itself more valuable and GISS in return rather than his own self).

        The second part is easy, it is about money and control. As a hypothetical politician, I am told by my constituents to do something about problem A. How much I do something about problem A will make some people happy and some mad. I want to get re-elected so I want more people happy than mad. I ask a government organization to study the problem. Depending on how the results come back and the opinion of the majority of my voters, I either use it as a reason to do something (trumpeting the study as the reason, valid or invalid) or I ignore it with some sort of excuse (valid or invalid).

        Asking for the study (or funding a group that studies the subject) says nothing about what will be done politically with the research that is produced.

      • tt –
        One man’s vinegar is another man’s wine.

        You say “the CO2 problem is genuinely bad news for all of us, and it’s just a question of facing up to it”

        That’s probably the most fundamentalist and dogmatic expression of certain belief as I’ve heard in years. You know what is bad news for you, and you know what is bad news for everyone else. And more than that, you know everything we have to do – all of us – which is “just face up to it”

        Can you actually hear yourself? do you know the name for the particular brand of pathological cognition which creates that autistic rigidity? You need a large board with the words “The end is nigh” emblazoned on it.

        Most people here are reasonably comfortable deciding for themselves what is bad news for them.

        As far as I know, the only possible (but rare ) cure for such an attitude is to think “This, today, now, here, is the future. The future which millions of people were certain would be a catastrophe. Certain, just as I am now. Certain with the same apparent justification. And they were wrong – as always they were and will be. This future that worried others became this benign present.

        One thing we can be absolutely certain of is that every single day since man learned to speak someone has said “the future is going to be bad” It is the expression of an inner condition and is COMPLETELY unrelated to reality. You don’t have to think like that.

      • Dig it. In every year t for the past 20 or 30 years, at least one book has been published with a title like: “The Coming Depression of (year t+1) And How To Protect Your Family From It.” So, the guy who happened to publish such a book in year t=2007 is a genius?

      • “One man’s vinegar is another man’s wine.” ??

        Look, people might like vinegar on their chips or in a salad, but they don’t drink the stuff! With the possible exception of a few potato farmers in Greenland, a problem on the climate is a problem for all. Regardless of political opinion.

      • Yes – I didn’t have a clue when I made up that thing about the vinegar.

        I possibly agree with your reasoning but not with your premiss. IF there was a problem with the climate it MIGHT affect us all. ? Actually I think that’s probably bunk too. Floods and droughts tend to be region-specific.

        The weirdest thing is that our positions are asymmetrical. It is easy enough for me to imagine having a worry about the climate – doesn’t take much effort at all because fearful imaginings come easily. But I don’t believe a believer (in catastrophe) can imagine a peaceful and relaxed outlook such as I possess without assuming it involves some kind of denial. Correct? Isn’t it the case that you are fairly, how shall we say, SURE that bad things are coming our way if we don’t cease and desist from burning all this stored sunlight we have found? You’d be an unusual believer if you didn’t… So to imagine thinking like me, you have to add that there must be something WRONG with my perception because I cannot SEE any danger.

        I often think this is a bridge that cannot be crossed however we wish to have a civil discussion. And MY rationalisation for your belief is, as I say, that it is based on imaginings of things that will never be [Quick - look around and see if the imagined catastrophe from Paul Ehrlich's day is at hand. Is it? Or was it all deluded hokum?] And although it is offensive to some, there are uncanny resemblances to religious certainties in most conceptions of future disasters. Especially in the dismissal of any uncertainty – it’s not just possibly a problem, it’s definitely a problem!

      • Anteros,

        You might like to take a look at this.

        http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8719.html

        In The Long Thaw, David Archer, one of the world’s leading climatologists, predicts that if we continue to emit carbon dioxide we may eventually cancel the next ice age and raise the oceans by 50 meters. The great ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland may take more than a century to melt, and the overall change in sea level will be one hundred times what is forecast for 2100.

        So 2100 isn’t the only issue. IMO. We’ll all be just as dead in 2200 as in 2100. So , I’m not sure why we all focus on the end of the century as if there is nothing going to happen afterwards.

      • Can you summarize the data David Archer used to reach this conclusion? Can we track some sort of incremental data to determine if the observed actual conditions match Archer’s predictions over time. Just making wildly speculative predictions of the future without supporting rationale is not worth much?

      • tt –

        I have read ‘The Long Thaw’, and despite being very disparaging about it down(up?)thread, took it very seriously. Until I finished it, that is, when I burst out laughing It seems to me to be the product of an imagination that has lost all grasp of reality. The reason it barely deserves discussing is because it piles layer upon layer of unjustified assumption to create a something which unfortunately has the credibility of a fantasy.

        Two things are worth mentioning, though. Firstly the ‘warming’ meme and it’s conflation with catastrophe led Mr D Archer into misunderstanding the most obvious, the most basic and the most glaring fact in front of the whole of humanity. He says, with no hint of irony, that if we had a choice, we would choose a colder rather than a warmer planet. I have never come across a better example of the concept of ‘insanity’

        Secondly, if human beings ever did one single, fortuitous but phenomenally wonderful thing, it would be to somehow avoid the oncoming ice-age. Nothing could top that achievement – and yet young, deluded David doesn’t even recognise this as ‘a very good thing’.

        I would say that the only other books that exceed the ‘Long thaw’ for comic effect are ‘Storms of my Grandchildren’ and the cream of the crop (for its title alone) ‘DIRE PREDICTIONS’, which will be treasured as the most hilarious tome written in the 21st century.

        tt- I do apologise for my levity today. I don’t mean anything by my sarcasm – sometimes my thinking just comes out that way.

      • TT,

        Here is the part I don’t get.

        “The CO2 problem is genuinely bad news for all of us …”

        Exactly how is it bad news? Forget all the yapping about peer-reviewed papers and hide the decline or who is more politically motivated, the IPCC or the sceptical bloggers. I have yet to see any reasonable proof that we are worse off now than a hundred years ago or that in another hundred years it will be worse. In all of the reading I’ve done, almost every prediction of “bad news” has been the result of someone running a model and then stating this is what will happen. Take for example the paper out of UNC about marine life having to travel to new areas to survive. If I understand it correctly, they ran a model to predict water temperatures and then calculated the distance marine life would have to travel to reach whatever region of the oceans was now the teperature of what they were used to and from that little exercise came up with a number of how fast they would have to be able to move to survive.

        Or how about the paper out of Florida State discussing the difficulties with relocating large groups of peoples. If you read the PR it would be hard not to get the impression that this study was critical in helping us deal with the millions (50 million according to the UN) of climate change refugees. Only there is a slight problem. No one knows where those 50 million people are.

        What about the editor of a British medical journal stating that the threat from climate change is more severe than that possed by communicable and non-communicable diseases? Really? There are millions dying from the latter two causes. How many people have died from climate change? For that matter, what parts of the planet is experiencing outbreaks of tropical disease where none occurred previously? Worse flooding? According to a recent study by the USGS, not in the US at any rate.

        What has placed me on the sceptical side of the debate is less the science and more the alarmist tone of disaster that apparently awaits us. Disasters that are almost entirely based on conjecture.

      • timg56 –

        I entirely agree with your anaysis, and admire your effort. Unfortunately I am fairly sure you are attempting to use reason to help someone out of a position which they didn’t use reason to get into. Sadly futile. Have you ever met someone who said ‘I used to have a belief that something bad was going to happen, but used reason and the worry disappeared’ ? No? Me neither.

        Your effort is indeed a good one because you point out correctly that NONE of the predicted disasters have occurred, begun to occur or have even hinted that they might be hiding somewhere on the horizon. However, for those people who despite only living once, are constitutionally determined to worry about things that are(n’t) going to happen until long after they are dead, it doesn’t matter. Think of the cell-phone advert – “the future’s dark, the future’s scary” It is not facts or evidence that ,makes the future scary, it is the darkness!!

        David Archer’s terrible, turgid and appallingly reasoned bore-fest is a good example of getting one’s worries sufficiently far into the darkness to make them immune to critical thinking. They exist merely in the imagination. Sea level rise is the only possible thing that might inconvenience a few communities. However, all we need to do is compare the average sea level rise for the last 15,000 years (>3 inches per decade) and compare it to current rates (1 inch per decade) to be prompted to ask the question –
        “When is this supposed catastrophic sea level rise going to occur?” to which we always hear the answer (since the 80’s with J Hansen) – sometime very very soon!!

        I suggest they go away and come back when sea level is rising at half the average level for the last 15,000 years and to not bother us in the meantime.

        But they remain alarmed and ‘alarming’!!

      • Yeah Anteros,

        I know. Maybe I’m just optimistic enough to believe that if I keep asking for someone to provide evidence of any of the “bad things”, maybe somebody will.

        I thought about mentioning to TT that David Archer book he pointed to seems to be little different than what any SF writer does. He takes some plausible information and extends it out into the future to tell a story. Will mankind have colonies on the moon, Mars and further out into the solar system? Maybe. I once thought I might live long enough to see it. Is mankind going to have to deal with sea levels 50 ft higher than today? Maybe. I don’t expect to see it even if I live 100 or even 200 more years. Were I to last that long I’d put my money on the colonies before betting on the sea level rise scenerio.

        Oh well.

    • I don’t think you understand the justice system if you say this:

      “Many, if not most, verdicts are obtained in court due to the presentation of disinformation by skilful lawyers. They see their task as being able to persuade a jury in a certain direction. They may quibble about the use of terms like “false statements” but we all know the way they operate.”

      Disinformation is a purposeful form of lying. Lying in court carries a very heavy price. Lawyers cannot use disinformation without running the risk of contempt of court. Disinformation is not dealt kindly with in the legal system. You are right that some lawyers may try, but the system is specifically set up to combat disinformation, aka perjury.

      Lawyers may attempt to bias towards one side of evidence or another, but they cannot give direct falsehoods, which is what disinformation is. Misinformation crops up over the course of a trial, as new evidence is submitted; and so the record updates continuously. That’s just like science: with each advance we outdate old information, which in consequence becomes misinformation. But this is not disinformation which is, again, willful lying.

      Again, biasing a discussion towards a certain interpretation, conclusion, is what lawyers, and scientists, do. And it is not disinformation–emphasis is not disinformation. Highlighting certain arguments, evidence, is not disinformation.

      I see no lying anywhere in those two papers. I see no lying in BEST. I see no lying in any of the temperature records, or all the different ways they can be interpreted and modified with statistics. The discussion and advancement in science is when we debate on which method is the most valid, and which interpretation the most real.

      None of that is disinformation, none of it is false information. Read the actual definition of it again if you are having such difficulty understanding what “disinformation” means, and thus what its implications are when used as an accusation. Oh, and if you don’t like Wikipedia’s definition, how about dictionary.com?

      “disinformation (ˌdɪsɪnfəˈmeɪʃən) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
      —n
      false information intended to deceive or mislead”

  36. I am unable to see any disinformation tactics employed by Judith Curry, nor have seen any mentioned in comments.
    So, since comments is still around 100 or so, perhaps could provide
    examples of disinformation tactics employed by others, say Heartland Institute [as tempterrain seems to think] or ABC News or New York Times- or where ever
    I could probably provide some examples if spend some time looking.
    But it seems others tend to suggest grand disinformation campaigns and one could guess they could a specific example of what they are talking about.

    • I am unable to see any disinformation tactics employed by Judith Curry

      You might have better luck if you open your eyes!

    • You ask “where does she willfully lie to us with false data?”

      I’ve no problem with anything Judith has written scientifically, however it doesn’t match up with the tone of the discussion she sets on this blog. Mainly I don’t believe Judith’s elevated levels of uncertainty is correct – although its hard to know what she is really saying as everything comes out as a question. When I was at uni, the Professors did their best to answer our questions. Judith just raises new ones.

      I also don’t believe Judith’s account of her dealings with the Daily Mail. I’m sure she knew exactly what she was doing when speaking to David Rose, and exactly what sort of story they would run. She’s a smart cookie not a naive country girl.

      The bottom line as far as she is concerned is that everything should be deniable. She’s desperate to be able to drive both sides of the road on the climate issue. That’s difficult to do and at the same time maintain an acceptable level of honesty.

      • TT, You are so full of it!! Stop the bull and reading Judy’s mind. Mind reading is not only immoral, its stupid. You need to look at people’s actions, not their motives or their “thoughts.” That’s Fascist stuff.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Is mind reading really immoral? I mean, if you had the ability to read someone’s mind, would you be morally obliged not to? What if you couldn’t “turn off” the ability?

        Silliness aside, while “mind reading” (I do actually know what you mean) is certainly stupid, I don’t see how it is immoral. I don’t think rationality is a requisite for morality.

      • David Young,

        I’ll take that as a compliment. “Means, motive, and opportunity”. Ever heard of that phrase? Its not normally considered particularly fascist, per se. They are three important factors to be considered in any “action”, and shouldn’t just be ignored.

      • None of that is “disinformation” just your “disagreeable” opinion. That is all. Just in your own head.

        Dr. Curry did not tell us what to believe, which is “disinformation” if based on a purposeful lie. She simply presented something for us to -discuss-. And yes, she asks more questions, why? To make us think and answer them. Socrates would approve thoroughly.

        You and Tol really have some irrational philosophies.

      • Ged, “Dr. Curry did not tell us what to believe, which is “disinformation” …”

        That’s not the way it works Ged. Take a closer look at how advertisers operate next time you’re watching TV. We aren’t told to go out a buy a particular car, or chocolate bar, or whatever, because they are good value for money, or they taste good, or the car is reliable etc

        That sort of approach ended 30 years ago. Old style ads just seem quite crude to modern eyes. Its all a lot more subtle than that now. All done by gentle suggestion.

        Watch and learn

  37. Based on Bishop Hill’s noting the irony that you are being attacked for posting a critique of a paper you coauthored, I am wondering what your contribution is to the paper?

  38. JC

    Lets talk about ‘disinformation,’ and how we have come to the point where my providing a forum for the discussion of two papers just published in the peer reviewed literature generates the accusation that I am a purveyor of disinformation.

    JC, please keep on doing what you believe in. Take the attacks like water on a ducks back.

  39. Judith,

    1. You do not post everything here. You make a selection. You therefore cannot claim that you are innocent. You made a conscious choice to publish that guest post.
    2. If you know anything about statistics, you would have recognized that these papers are methodologically flawed. Using “detrended” fluctuation analysis to study “trends” was a dead giveaway that something is not quite right with these papers.
    3. If you don’t know anything about statistics, you should not have published the guest post. The flip side of your academic freedom is your academic duty to keep your mouth shut about things you don’t know about.
    4. This blog is widely read. You plucked two papers out of obscurity and put them in the limelight.
    5. You have build up a reputation of someone who is willing to speak and listen to anyone. That is great. Climate research is complicated and uncertain and climate policy is polarized so we need people in the middle who talk to both sides.
    6. At the same time, you should not be in the middle for the sake of being in the middle.
    7. There is a substantial body of climate research that is credible — even if it reaches opposite conclusions — but there are also papers (left, right, and center) that are just flawed.
    8. If flawed papers reach a certain prominence, they should be debunked. Prominent but flawed research does damage as it misinforms people about climate change. Publicly criticizing such research hardens the existing polarization.
    9. If flawed papers linger in obscurity, they should be ignored. The papers are wrong but do no damage. Lifting a flawed paper out of obscurity only to debunk it, is no good to anybody.
    10. So, by giving air time to two papers that you should have known are flawed, you deliberately spread inaccurate information.

    Richard

    • 2. If you know anything about statistics, you would have recognized that these papers are methodologically flawed. Using “detrended” fluctuation analysis to study “trends” was a dead giveaway that something is not quite right with these papers.

      Not a good argument ( Your argument lasted 0.56 seconds.) as DFA and MFDFA(Fractals) are widely used in nonlinear geophysics.If you have a problem with its use i suggest you write to Grimshaw at NPG.

      Search Results 1 – 10 of about 36 for detrended fluctuation analysis. Search took 0.56 seconds.

      http://www.nonlinear-processes-in-geophysics.net/home.html

      Seems like Bob May was correct.

      • Quite correct. DFA is used to estimate the properties of self-similar processes without contamination from trends in the original time series. The statistics from this are used against the original series to test for trends. The methodology is not unusual, although I have not verified it is correctly applied in this paper yet.

        While DFA might not be my first choice for such an analysis, it is not an unreasonable choice and Dr Tol’s criticisms make no sense to me at this time.

        From what I can gather, Dr Tol is arguing that the temperature series should not be treated as Hurst because the autocorrelation structure shows it is not Hurst. Unfortunately diagnosing this using the autocorrelation structure is fraught with problems; I outlined these problems to Dr Tol (using published papers) in the previous thread but he seems unwilling (or unable?) to answer the points.

        On this basis, Dr Tol might be ticking more of the “disinformation” boxes than Dr Curry is at the moment (although, to be fair, I have considerable respect for both of them and do not think either of them meet the definition)

      • @Spence
        The question is “what caused the trend?” DFA does not address that question.

      • But it doesn’t have to, that comes later Richard. I think you’ve got this all backwards.

      • Richard Saumarez

        What causes the trend?
        1) A basic statistical process arising from a consideration of time delay in the system.
        2)A basic physical process that depends on heat transfer at varyiang rates.

      • Thanks for the response. Having tried to read up more carefully, I would agree that the attribution stuff in the paper doesn’t look too clever.

        But the paper has more than one aspect to it, and the first part of the paper is pretty much just an application of Lennartz and Bunde’s method which was published in GRL (see here) to parts of the BEST data. Whilst the application of this method to a new dataset is not exactly ground breaking, the methodology is not unreasonable. I think a more nuanced criticism of the paper is appropriate here, so as not to appear to throw Lennartz and Bunde’s work under a bus while criticising the paper at hand. The paleo proxy and attribution stuff is strange; the use of DFA to assess the characteristics of natural variability not so much. (Although they really do need to account for the bias in their estimators)

      • Thank you, Spence, that is so clear I can pretend to understand it.
        ========

      • Richard Saumarez

        I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with a Nobel Laureate about an aspect of my research. He made the comment that when one is stuck one should go back to basics.

        In the LL and LU papers, I am sure that there are statistical problems. The question that these papers raise are basic, which depend on the physical “memory” of the system and does this produce trends?

        This is a basic issue and it doesn’t really matter if you assume a Hurst process, a distribution of lag times, or any other statistic, because lag always produces trends in data, irrespective of whether you call it filtering, smoothing, a filtered random walk random walk, an ARMA process or whatever.

        On top of this basic idea is the idea is layer that tries to evaluate the actual statistics and any implied cooling has produced a large amount of heat(!). As this isn’t really my field, I don’t think intuitively in it but can follow the arguments.

        The questions therefore seem to me:
        a) Do trends trends occur in systems that have “memory”, “delay”, “lags”, “phase constraints” etc? Yes they Do,
        b) Can we estimate the parameters of the system from data? Some yes, all of them almost certainly not. Is the theory correct, does it represent a physical process?
        c) Given modelling with the estimated parameters can we believe the claims made by the authors?

        There seems to be a heirarchy of critical thought in this. I believe 1. I am less certain about 2. I am highly sceptical of 3 but I do believe that part of the temperature signal variability can be be represented by a process with memory. Therefore I think these papers are flawed but the basic idea idea is credible and interesting.
        From my own field, I have learnt to be very critical of the assumptions underlying mathematical and statistical models because they can build castles in the air that do not correspond to physical reality.

      • Richard,

        I was reading Rob Niewoehner’s “Critical Thinking in the Engineering Enterprise” http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Niewoehner_2008.pdf -thanks to JC’s reference above and his earlier work “A Critical Thinking Model for Engineering” https://www.e-education.psu.edu/drupal6/files/Niewoehner.pdf above and your comments about what questions to ask hit home for me.

        Thanks for clarifying the discussion for me.

        The two paper in question went though the gold standard of peer review, so what is happening now is some additional peer review. What has always been a pet peeve of mine (more of an engineering and system performance point of view) is that the peer review process doesn’t come into play until AFTER the experiments are done. In the corporate world more time is spent on defining the scope, methods, etc.of what the experiments are trying to answer so that you don’t have to go back to the experimental data and try to answer the questions using different analysis techniques…………… etc.

      • The one advantage you have in your field is that if you’re wrong, the machine puts out random junk instead of pretty pictures. Climate stats has yet to get to the fluoroscope stage of accurate output, let alone MRI.

    • So even Richard is unable to point to any disinformation.
      And is left only with talking about inaccurate information- which apparently isn’t deem worthy of showing why he thinks it’s inaccurate.

      Of course I am not saying it wrong that he doesn’t have the time to deal in a substantive way with something he considers should linger in obscurity.

      Is anything regarding disinformation in which make a court case like charges on the commonplace:
      “You do not post everything here. You make a selection.”
      Why is this important? Did Curry refuse something you wanted her to post.
      Obviously can’t post everything. And obviously one selects something.
      Are there crimes to select anything, that one could be guilty or innocence of?

    • Richard S.J.Tol –

      There is something that strikes me as amiss with this idea that there is dangfer in people inadvertently reading flawed papers. I think that it misrepresents what Judith’s blog is about, it misjudges Judith’s motivations and to the average citizen here is a little patronising.

      I wonder what harm I am going to come to by reading the two guest posts Dr Curry invited us to read. Might I be led astray? indoctrinated with seditious notions?

      Many of the criticisms directed at Dr Curry’s selection of posts completely fail to realise that the audience here is adult. It is already interested in climate. It didn’t come here to learn from the providers of consensus ‘authorised’ material as at Realclimate. My guess is that anybody capable of, and interested enough to read the two papers posted today is more than capable of discerning whether they have flaws or not.

      I wonder if you think the readers of Climate etc are like gullible sheep. Do you take a deep breath before you read such posts yourself in case the sheer abundance of flawed reasoning rubs off on you? This isn’t all about PR and the oxygen of publicity for competing ideologies (some of course to be decried and marginalised).

      It is, after all, a personal blog – it doesn’t claim to represent anything other than Judith Curry herself, and she frequently makes clear that ‘endorsing’ anything is not what she is about. Apart from maybe some critical thinking.

      Please don’t worry about us here Richard – I think we are being given a very varied and interesting selection of posts, and our ability to distinguish between the good and the bad grows by the day.

      • @Anteros
        I would agree with you if climate blogs were exclusively read by well-intentioned, well-informed, and intelligent people.

      • Wow. That’s one hell of a sweeping statement there Richard. Your credibility is waning mate.

      • That’s in the eye of the beholder. For me, his credibility is growing. The sugar is missing perhaps from the way he’s expressing himself, but he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade if he sees one.

      • I’ve been very harsh on Tol in the past, but I’m pleasantly surprised with his reaction to these antics. I’ll keep that in mind next time I disagree with him.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Labmunkey, your comment doesn’t make much sense. All Richard S.J. Tol’s comment says is there are people who read climate blogs who are not well-intentioned, well-informed and intelligent. That’s obviously true.

        I disagree with Tol’s position immensely, but that’s no reason to take non-insulting comments as insulting.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        By the way Bart Verheggen, a word of caution about his credibility. In the last topic, Richard S.J. Tol stated we cannot say the rise in temperature is due (primarily) to anthropogenic influence. Instead, he states natural variability is a plausible alternative, but one we cannot (currently) test.

        Maybe you ought to explain to him your Harry Potter hypothesis.

      • Well…Richard obviously reads blogs, illustrating his own point? lol

        Andrew

      • Seriously wow!

        So what are these intentions!

        Are they assumptions of’evil intent’, but of course I have no idea what Richard is thinking, all though he seems to have an opinion of blog readers..

        Even if what he says about blogs is correct and he probably is of many. So What?

        Why the need to use ‘disinformation’ or Kleins politically motivated, of the authors..

        Why, not say wrong, or flawed or some such other term.

        Climate science’s big problem is being intertwined with politics and policies.

      • Richard Tol,
        Your sense of authority and entitlement is indistinguishable from reactionary arrogance.

      • Splendid as he is, Richard Tol has the IPCC disease, that information should be managed.

        Leaving aside whether information should be managed just because it can be managed, the question is: Who should manage information?
        ===============

      • “I would agree with you if climate blogs were exclusively read by well-intentioned, well-informed, and intelligent people.”

        Now you are calling for an “elect?” You get to decide who is well-intentioned, well-informed, and intelligent? Would that be the Avante Garde of the Party?

        You believe that rational debate is dangerous and must be controlled. Would you care to explain your theory of rational debate?

        Apparently, you believe that Dr. Curry uses her blog for rabble rousing. Do you believe that she posted the articles that you want censored for the purpose of misleading the rabble? Do you understand how far you have gone in your claims and how radical they have become?

      • Richard Tol –

        I am not at all sure how relevant ‘well-intentioned’ is to the topic – those who are not well-intentioned are unlikely to be aided by having flawed papers posted on a blog. They presumably will have actively discovered all such papers in pursuance of their agendas.

        I confess that I am not very well-informed and sadly of below average intelligence. Do you wish for all the information that comes my way to be vetted, screened and scrutinised, lest I am led to entertain false beliefs? Do you wish for me to be spoon-fed ‘authorised’ messages? If I were to take on board something like that dished up by the Skydragon folk, the greater the chance of me being set right by the vast majority of people I meet – and my critical faculties will gain in the process. I profoundly disagree that there is anything noble in ‘filling people up’ with stuff we believe to be true. The benefit we can be to other people is to help them think more critically, and independently, not to decide what it is that they should think in the first place.

        My contention is simply that Judith is not teaching here – I do not believe (though I may be wrong) that is her intention. I don’t think I need to be patronised by having a filtered diet of orthodox science, or even to have my diet ‘quality-controlled’ – the greater the variety in all respects the better.

        I think it comes down to a question of trust.

        Perhaps most importantly, there are numerous other popular blogs that do much of what you seem to recommend – Realclimate, and Skeptical science come to mind. Climate etc as it is today is a wonderful addition to the mix – precisely because is neither prescriptive nor pedagogical.

      • Anteros

        Many of the criticisms directed at Dr Curry’s selection of posts completely fail to realise that the audience here is adult

        Well, at least most of the audience (including you)…

        Max

      • Max – please keep this quiet, but I am only 14. I come here to practise being grown-up :)

    • Richard S.J. Tol

      So, by giving air time to two papers that you should have known are flawed, you deliberately spread inaccurate information.

      The one who is “inaccurate” is YOU!

      You are confusing “information” with science. You don’t hide or give “air time” to science. Science lives or dies depending wheatear it agrees with observation or not. Science does not need gate keepers who abuse someone for discussing a PUBLISHED paper. Shame on those who do that!

      Richard, science does not need gate keepers! Get that!

    • There is one other aspect to this.

      It’s clear that many of the ‘denizens’ don’t have the wherewithall to critically appraise technical papers.

      It’s just as clear that a similiar number are ‘not-IPCC’ dittoheads.

      So when Judith highlights such papers, they just assume that they are getting the Curry tick of approval.

      • Michael

        It’s clear that many of the ‘denizens’ don’t have the wherewithall to critically appraise technical papers.

        Would you put yourself into that category, Michael?

        Think about it a bit before rushing to an answer and remember what Einstein said about arrogance and ignorance.

        Max

      • Oh, definitely.

        That’s why I place a lot of onus on credentials and credibility.

        You really need to know whose opinion is worth a damn.

      • Well, you having said that Michael. I would like to ask you a question about God. Are you one of the people who ‘believe in God’ or do you ‘believe God? What a difference a word makes. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask you this question.

      • Michael, You may always ask Joshua, if you need help…

      • Tom –

        If you’re going to take cheap shots – maybe you could at least put them in comments directly in response to mine?

      • I meant the other Joshua, Jesus. Sorry about any confusion. The shot, was not cheap.

      • Tom,

        I sure this makes sense….to someone.

      • Words mean things Michael,
        When you give a message like this: “You really need to know whose opinion is worth a damn.” You are wrong to say it. You make light, of a very serious subject. Read the Bible, it tells the reader what to expect and the meaning of ‘a damn’. Our opinions, do not count for much.

      • Oh Lordy!

      • Michael

        Isn’t it far better to understand the basis of an experts opinion and then determine if it makes reasonable sense?

    • Richard, I don’t know who you are or what your background is, but may I say I am interested by what appears to be your argument for censorship – or self-censorship – of published material relevant to understanding climate. Who are you anyway?

      • I argue for self-censorship. It is what separates adults from children.

      • You mean like attacking people via twitter?

      • Clever physicists never grow up But then they do stand on the shoulders of giants,whereas under the setting sun of mathematical physics, small pygmies seem to cast long shadows eg .

        At first sight, arguments for and against of the relativistic mass
        notion look like a notorious intra-Lilliputian quarrel between Big-
        Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and Little-
        Endians. However, at closer inspection we discover that the relativis-
        tic mass notion hinders understanding of the spirit of modern physics
        to a much greater extent than it seems.

        http://arxiv.org/pdf/1103.6281v1

      • Even the work of the “giants” needs to be fairly evaluated and rejected where it does not makes sense based upon observations. As an example think of Einstein’s cosmological constant.

      • ‘lose’, not ‘loose’, though the latter is becoming more common, perhaps because doubling the ‘o’ conveys greater loss.

        et:

        Sisyphus.
        =====

      • “It is what separates adults from children.”

        Ad Hominem. But maybe you knew that.

        “I argue for self-censorship.”

        No, you argue for censorship. All of your posts have condemned Dr. Curry for posting something that you want censored. That is not self-censorship. Given your depth of confusion about your own views, you really need to step back and try to figure out just what your views are.

      • Paul Matthews

        Coldish, you can find more about Richard Tol by clicking on his name! He is an economist with a particular interest in climate. He will be a coordinating lead author of the next IPCC report, AR5, working group II. In the past he has been critical of the IPCC, particularly WGIII, accusing it of alarmism and bias.

      • Paul Matthews

        Oops, link messed up, try here or google “Summary of Richard Tol’s look at IPCC AR4 WGIII”

      • “He will be a coordinating lead author of the next IPCC report, AR5, working group II.”

        Well, what he has posted here proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is incapable of rational argument. He is incapable of explicating his own views. I doubt that he has a consistent set of views on the topic that he introduced here.

        If the IPCC allows him to be an author then they are accepting authors that are Loose Cannons on Deck. Maybe there is a chance for Richard Muller after all. I will email Muller and let him know.

      • Theo Goodwin,

        I sense you have created a bridge too far wrt Richard Tol. Let me explain why.

        I would suggest that the IPCC has a negative redeeming value to mankind.

        But just because Richard Tol, who will be an AR5 author, is struggling to rationalize ad hoc his initial bad judgment with the ‘disinformation faux pas’ and his attempt at remote gatekeeping here at Judith’s does not mean he might not be a positive influence on the IPCC. He has more often than not had my respect and he appears to be several orders of magnitude more independent than, for instance, the Skeptical Science and RC denizens.

        John

      • Thanks, John. I have learned to respect your views. Maybe Tol just had a bad day or two.

      • Coldish,

        Click on his name.

    • 4. This blog is widely read. You plucked two papers out of obscurity and put them in the limelight.

      Properly so. They belong in the limelight. Your critiques are informative but hardly dispositive. The papers will be copied and improved upon. No one has yet (to my knowledge) developed a better assessment (test of statistical significance) of whether the late 20th century warming shows anything unusual that might be attributable to CO2.

      If there were any “pseudo-critical thinking”, I would nominate this post of yours as a candidate.

      • And I would second the nomination!

        If I didn’t know better, considering the appalling tone of the post in question (and the events which preceded it), I’d be inclined towards the conclusion that the author may have a “blind-spot” (for want of a better word) that precludes his being able to back-down and apologize for his initial “broadcast” blunder. But to “compensate” for this blind-spot the author appears to have chosen to build a diversionary mountain out of a (statistical!) molehill.

    • @Richard S.J. Tol
      Prof Tol, why, pray, are you so angry? After all ……..

    • Richard, your argument is deeply flawed, but I will not accuse you of spreading “disinformation’ about me amongst the twitterati.

      You give yourself away with this statement “Prominent but flawed research does damage as it misinforms people about climate change. Publicly criticizing such research hardens the existing polarization.” Yours isn’t a statement about science, but about playing politics with science, and reinforces the gatekeeping mentality in climate science that was embarassingly revealed by the CRU emails. Of course there are flawed papers that get published. Few papers are published that don’t have any flaws and stand the test of time as an authoritative and unimproved upon statement about scientific truth. I am seeing palpable frustration about not being able to control what gets published and what gets discussed. Attacking me is an interesting (but probably futile) vent for your frustration.

      Most people don’t come to climate etc. to reinforce their prejudices (there are far too many echo chambers where this is much more satisfyingly accomplished). The come here to learn something by considering the various arguments.

      The most interesting thing about this exchange is that I have seen little actual debunking of the Ludecke papers, mostly complaints about their EIKE affiliation. Go check what you have done these last two days against the list of 25 in the main post. You effectively hijacked the thread with the disinformation accusation, which resulted in little serious analysis of the papers.

      As for me, I explore all the time things I know little about, that is why I like being a scientist.

      • “Most people don’t come to climate etc. to reinforce their prejudices” – JC.

        This isn’t born out by the comments, which are routinely dominated by the ‘not-IPCC’ dittoheads.

        And you are the one who “gives yourself away”.

        Richard gives the primary reason why this is disinformation – the stats analysis in the papers is pure bunkum. Richard then lists the further problems of your credulous acceptance of them.

        Your reply to Richard says absolutely nothing about the identified flaws in the science – it’s clear you’d rather talk about anything else (ie CRU emails ).

      • Tol:Prominent but flawed research does damage as it misinforms people about climate change.

        Curry:Yours isn’t a statement about science, but about playing politics with science, and reinforces the gatekeeping mentality in climate science

        If I assume that Richard distinguishes between upper (politicized) and lower (scientific) case climate change (including natural variability), than his statement is solely about climate science.

      • Gatekeeping is a bad thing when it is used to block papers for ideological reasons. Gatekeeping is a good thing when it comes to separating methodologically flawed from methodologically sound papers.
        I did not remark on the conclusions of the papers. I did not remark on the motivations of the authors.
        I did remark that the papers incorrectly apply inappropriate statistical methods to uninformative data.
        It is unfortunate that these papers were published. It is unfortunate that you chose to draw attention to them.
        Open-minded curiosity should be tempered by critical judgement, and yours lapsed in this case.
        Of course I was “playing politics with science”. Don’t pretend you are not.

      • inappropriate statistical methods by YOU definition. I’ve seen at least two people on this thread directly refute your claim on this.

        Perhaps you could explain in a detailed post why you think the statistical methods are inappropriate.

      • What is the betting that Richard Tol will disappear at this time and not answer the question. That is what usually happens when the proponents of CAGW are asked questions that they dont want to answer.

      • I’d be happy to do that. My critique is scattered all over the other thread.

      • Excellent. I’m sure (speaking on her behalf with zero authority) JC would be happy to oblige.

      • Richard, you made pronouncements about the papers, not arguments. These are your unsubstantiated judgments. Don’t expect others to accept your unsubstantiated judgments. A ‘lapse’ in my critical judgment, if it has been a lapse, is not the same as purveying disinformation.

        With regards to playing politics with science. I do not play policy-related politics with the science, in any way that I can understand or discern. There is science politics within the climate community, in terms of who gets heard, funded, etc. Any politics that I am playing is the politics of science, trying to influence the climate science field to stop its gatekeeping practices.

      • Any politics that I am playing is the politics of science, trying to influence the climate science field to stop its gatekeeping practices.

        By publishing EIKE disinformation without any commentary? Bravo, smart thinking.

        A ‘lapse’ in my critical judgment, if it has been a lapse, is not the same as purveying disinformation.

        It cannot be a lapse, because you were told in advance that this paper was most probably flawed because it was written by politically motivated think tank members.

        But I await with anticipation your analysis of these papers that were written to be used as disinformation propaganda.

      • Judith,
        I’d be happy to set out my critique on these papers in a guest blog.
        As to playing politics with science, you are naive. Climate policy is driven by climate research. Any climate researcher who gets into the public eye has an impact on the politics of climate; and any researcher who actively seeks the public eye is playing politics. That is fine with me.

      • Richard, you have an open invitation for a guest post here

      • Richard, you describe the land of postnormal science, where a scientist’s statement about scientific uncertainty is perceived as a political statement. That does not mean from the scientist’s perspective that they can’t carry on and select research topics based on their own scientific curiousity, and follow it where it leads. Yes scientists as individual people can have preconceived notions, biases, etc. But all of this eventually comes out in the wash if scientists and others with sufficiently diverse perspectives are allowed to hash things out.

      • Firstly Richard, nice one for offering to do a geust post I hope Dr Curry takes you up on it.

        I must strongly disagree with your latter statement though. The minute a scientist moves from science to policy, their objectivity is compromised. I think the fact that you can’t see this (unless i’ve misinterpreted) is worrying.

      • Richard, you have an open invitation for a guest post at Climate Etc.

      • Neven complains that EIKE is a politically motivated free market think thank. But ignores that that the IPCC is a politically motivated totalitarian think tank (the UN’s purpose being world governance), many thousand of times bigger than EIKE.

      • “Punksta | November 10, 2011 at 8:03 am |
        Neven complains that EIKE is a politically motivated free market think thank. But ignores that that the IPCC is a politically motivated totalitarian think tank (the UN’s purpose being world governance), many thousand of times bigger than EIKE.”

        Exactly.

      • “But all of this eventually comes out in the wash if scientists and others with sufficiently diverse perspectives are allowed to hash things out.”

        “Any politics that I am playing is the politics of science, trying to influence the climate science field to stop its gatekeeping practices.”

        The second comment first; If you can’t identify what political culture is associated to the IPCC/Academic and Science Consensus touting AGW/UN or government expansionists of which you are generally sympathetic you lose credit.

        The first point; What about the AGW consensus make you think they are diverse? Pools of government funded, academic debt driven, would-be global regulators and “experts”? It looks like a Grateful Dead with many of the same cultures all in one place.

      • After you critique a paper like the Ludecke papers, and after you critique the Santer et al 2011 paper (at least a 17 year record is needed to test a climate change hypothesis), you should rank them in overall quality. It isn’t sufficient to point to shortcomings in articles, it is necessary to provide some overall sense of which is more (or less) informative. On the whole, the Ludecke papers did the better job.

        Four more notes.

        1. Am I the only person to have noticed following Santer et al 2011 that the majority of the AGW proponents came to strongly back AGW after only 9 years? If nothing else, Santer et al 2011 shows that Hansen’s 1988 Congressional testimony was poorly supported by the evidence.

        2. I can’t remember the names of the social psychologists who most studied this, but another cognitive limitation is the tendency to make a decision based on limited information and then subsequently discount all disconfirming evidence and reasoning. There are great case studies (such as the American generals and admirals at Pearl Harbor who “reasoned” that the warning of an impending attack on American Pacific forces couldn’t apply to them.) You can see this among the AGW proponents since their big conversion from “cooling” to “warming” ca Hansen’s 1988 Congressional testimony. Since that time they have become impervious to critiques of the knowledge base, provisions of alternative theories, alerts to cavities in their theoretical knowledge, limitations in their computer programming and documentation.

        3. calling this “disinformation” and “pseudo critical thinking” is a big distraction. Correctly inferring other people’s motives is hard, it’s another aspect of “common sense” that is nearly always wrong. Better are the non-pejorative terms “bounded rationality” and “limited information” from economics.

        4. There have been critics of EIKE (or of Dr. Curry for not caring.) Does anybody here think that federally funded or philanthropist-funded researchers are unbiased in general? University scientists in the U.S. are overwhelmingly Democratic in registration and voting, statist in ideology, disparaging of successful business, anti-American in foreign policy and have other biases besides. There is no reason to think that EIKE-funded researchers are intrinsically less honest.

      • Fascinating post:

        1. Am I the only person to have noticed following Santer et al 2011 that the majority of the AGW proponents came to strongly back AGW after only 9 years?

        How long did it take “skeptics” to claim absolute invalidation of AGW?

        You can see this among the AGW proponents … they have become impervious to critiques of the knowledge base, provisions of alternative theories, alerts to cavities in their theoretical knowledge, limitations in their computer programming and documentation.

        You will note that the psychological theories about cognitive limitations are not founded on the basis of perspective on climate change.

      • They bet on CO2,
        They bet on the Beast.
        If they’d bet on ol’ Solball,
        They’d be Free Men today.
        =========

      • Dear Richard,
        Had the principle of yours been applied to the already published papers of the so called “main-stream” climate science, most of the papers would have been rejected, for they are flawed and disseminated bad climate science. And this is the real problem that we have in the climate issue. When you have twenty or more climate models that fail simultaneously, then there must be something grossly wrong with the science. Competing ideas must be tolerated and the gates for others must be opened widely.

      • I did remark that the papers incorrectly apply inappropriate statistical methods to uninformative data.

        Sez you. I wrote that you directed attention to particular limitations, and I proposed that future analysis, guided by this paper and by your comments, could address those limitations. Warts and all, it is the best work of this kind to date, better on the whole than Santer et al 2011 who also used a monte carlo method.

        A precedent for this is the Mann et al temperature reconstructions, which on the whole were more poorly carried out (yet were pioneering work with large data sets), but have generated plenty of subsequent work resulting most recently in a good 110 pp presentation and discussion on the Annals of Applied Statistics (McShane and Wyner). As shown in the discussion by Schmidt et al and the rejoinder by McShane and Wyner (and subsequent posts by Steve McIntyre in response to posts by Mann on the RealClimate blog), the results depend critically on which temperature records are included in the modeling. More and more data sets are being created and included in analogous analyses.

        I expect that Ludecke (and Ludecke et al), along with Santer et al 2011 will, like the Mann et al work, stimulate an important line of followup work.

      • Richard, Should Mann’s work on paleo have been published? You say there is little value in the proxies.

      • David, if I had been a referee on Mann’s work, I would have tried to stop it. Basic error upon basic error. McIntyre is fighting that fight.

      • Most people don’t come to climate etc. to reinforce their prejudices

        How do you quantify that statement, Judith. I would argue that in fact, many people who come to Climate Etc. come for that reason – at least to a considerable extent.

        Please re-read the article you linked about critical thinking.

      • One datapoint Joshua. I come to climate etc. to learn. Here particularly more than any other climate blog because of the variety of nuanced perspectives on both sides of the debate, even among some of the less nuanced sort.

        Funny thing my confidence in some of the more basic tenets of AGW science is strengthened by reading some of the more skeptical attacks on it and trying to dissect them. From the point of view of most “convinced” readers I suspect I would still be called a skeptic.

      • One datapoint Joshua. I come to climate etc. to learn.

        I have found the character of your posts to be a notable exception in that regard – and consistent with my view on skepticism.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/07/disinformation-and-pseudo-critical-thinking/#comment-135094

      • Josh,

        I come to see how you are going to show off your extreme intellect each new day.

      • Right on the money, Dr. Curry. Also, you write:

        “Go check what you have done these last two days against the list of 25 in the main post. You effectively hijacked the thread with the disinformation accusation, which resulted in little serious analysis of the papers.”

        Yes, Tol has hijacked the thread. He did so by creating a Huge Red Herring in his claim that Dr. Curry’s authority is being misused. He is obsessed with that claim and his obsession has ruined this thread.

    • Richard,
      Does #3 apply to Michael Mann ?
      You do know that the premise underlying #5 of science taking sides is false ?
      #7 The flawedness of papers is both a matter of opinion and a matter of degree. You are actually arguing for stronger gatekeeping than we have today – it seems to me this would hamper progress in science.
      #8 I don’t get this one at all. If something is prominent and wrong, I agree it should be debunked, there are ways this done from publishing a Comment through to full scale Retraction. However, that can’t happen without public criticism, so I guess you are saying, if something is wrong and prominent, it should be allowed to stand. Do you really think M&M should have kept quiet about the Hockey stick ? Would that have served science better than publishing their criticisms ?
      #9 Obscurity is of course a matter of degree and subjective, but isn’t it surely the case that papers sometimes conflict with current consensus and thereby either provide new science and deserve prominence, or are wrong and deserving debunking and obscurity. How else will the issue be settled other than by debate ?
      #10 Glad to see you have rowed back from the accusation of disinformation.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Richard S.J. Tol, two things. First, your point 10 has you backtracking from your previous position. Previously, you said Judith Curry was spreading disinformation. However, for something to be disinformation, it must be known to be inaccurate, and you now say Curry “should have known.” This means you are no longer claiming she did know it was inaccurate. Given this, you have backed away from your accusation of dishonesty, but you have not retracted it. This is unacceptable.

      Second, the criticism you offer of the papers, and consequently Curry, is completely bogus. You say:

      2. If you know anything about statistics, you would have recognized that these papers are methodologically flawed. Using “detrended” fluctuation analysis to study “trends” was a dead giveaway that something is not quite right with these papers.

      This is the only criticism of the paper you offer to justify telling Curry she shouldn’t have hosted this guest post, and it is nonsensical. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using detrended fluctuation analysis when studying a dateset to look for trends. In fact, that’s exactly what the method was designed for. Detrended fluctuation analysis gives results similar to the Hurst coefficient, and nobody would claim that is a ridiculous thing to analyze for a time series. It has nothing to do with analyzing trends of detrended data. It’s all about studying how much self-affinity there is in the signal.

      You’ve simply made up a bogus issue based upon the name of a methodology having a word in it. You say “If [Curry knew] anything about statistics,” she’d have caught your bogus issue. I say, if you knew anything the methodology you criticized, you wouldn’t have said such a stupid thing about it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh, I didn’t see others had pointed out this same issue before. I noticed the issue myself, without having read their comments, but I do apologize for not giving them credit in my remark.

        However, this just makes matters worse. This is what Richard S.J. Tol said in response to being told why there was nothing wrong with using detrended fluctuation analysis:

        @Spence
        The question is “what caused the trend?” DFA does not address that question.

        Compare this to what he said initially:

        2. If you know anything about statistics, you would have recognized that these papers are methodologically flawed. Using “detrended” fluctuation analysis to study “trends” was a dead giveaway that something is not quite right with these papers.

        You’ll note, he has completely changed his position. In his initial remark, he emphasized “detrended” and “trends.” This creates the impression the authors looked for trends in detrended data, which is complete nonsense. There is no way anyone would take his remark as simply saying detrended fluctuation analysis fails to answer the trend, yet he now acts as though that was what he meant. Put bluntly, Tol made an incredibly stupid remark which relied upon completely misrepresenting what detrended fluctuation analysis is. He did this while claiming the problems of the papers were obvious.

        Not only that, but his latest position is a misrepresentation as well. There is no reason to expect detrended fluctuation analysis to address the question of “what caused the trend.” The authors make this clear, but then they go on to suggest a possibility of what may have caused the trend. Of course, Tol doesn’t mention that. I assume this is because doing so would make it clear using detrended fluctuation analysis wasn’t wrong, and that would invalidate the entire ten point response to Judith Curry.

        Tol is far more guilty of spreading misinformation than Curry is, and at this point, it may be disinformation. If it isn’t disinformation, Tol just doesn’t understand what he is criticizing.

    • Paul Matthews

      2…Using “detrended” fluctuation analysis to study “trends” was a dead giveaway that something is not quite right with these papers.
      But I don’t think this is what they are doing. They are using DFA to try to determine how correlated the data is.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        That you think his comment is inaccurate is hardly surprising. Richard S.J. Tol’s second point is completely bogus.

    • Tol writes:

      “5. You have build up a reputation of someone who is willing to speak and listen to anyone. That is great. Climate research is complicated and uncertain and climate policy is polarized so we need people in the middle who talk to both sides.
      6. At the same time, you should not be in the middle for the sake of being in the middle.”

      Whoa, Sir, whoa! You should have stopped before embarrassing yourself in public.

      You suggest that Dr. Curry is “in the middle” for the sake of being in the middle. Dr. Curry is not playing a grammar school game and she is not trying to facilitate conversation for the sake of conversation. She is leading an internet community as it engages in critical thinking on the debates on climate science and in rational evaluation of those debates. As a teacher, she will post some articles that are flawed. That is part and parcel of leading a community in critical thinking.

      You need to figure out what you mean by “being in the middle.” My guess is that you believe that there is a right side, a wrong side, and those who are “in the middle.”

    • Dr Tol,

      In reading many of the climate blogs, I see your name, read your comments and conclude, whether I agree or not (or more frequently whether I even understand), that you are a respected source of information.

      Which is why I would like to point out that it appears you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Your comments directed to the inadequate methodologies of the papers serve a purpose. Your argument with Dr Curry does not, at least as far as I can determine. You claim she is deliberately spreading false information. Dr Curry has given us her reasoning. To continue with your claim, which is an opinion and not some statement of fact, does what exactly?

      • I’ve meet people who think there has to be something to the dragon slayers for one reason: Judy Curry has them on her blog.

        Whether she intended it or not, she has loaned them credibility, whether deserved or not.

        Most people do not have time to read through the comments, and as evidenced today, even those who do can remember things incorrectly.

        Which is where R.S.J. Tol’s adult function maybe should be in play.

      • JCH,

        Here is where the adult thing comes into play.

        I hadn’t heard of the dragon slayers until I saw a note from Anthony Watts to Dr Curry about an article from John O’Sullivan. Caused me to search for the term. After just a little bit of research I was able to reach the conclusion that O’Sullivan should be considered a crediable source. See, not too hard. That the dragon slayers had been discussed on Dr Curry’s blog didn’t detract from my ability to reason critically.

        While I know that not every reader will reason exactly like me, I also do not assume that they are any less capabale at reasoning than I am.

        Ask yourself this question – “Did the fact these two papers appeared on Climate Etc cause you to accept them on face value or change your views based on their conclusions? If they did, then you and Dr Tol may have a point. If not, then you are guilty of assuming only you are smart enough to recognize and judge the quality of the papers and the rest of use are clueless idiots or diehard anti-science zealots.

      • Minor correction – Should have said O’Sullivan should NOT be considered …

      • No, but I read the comments on this blog. I actually save many of them as it is hard to find them later.

        I read several other climate blogs, including comments. I’ve also learned to use google scholar, and I try to read as many pertinent papers as I can find.

        But most people at my IQ level ain’t doin’ that. And people like me, at some level, have to trust smarter people. Short cuts happen there: what is on a blog carries a sort of tacit endorsement. That is just the nature of people of average intelligence.

      • JCH,

        In reply to your last – yes, I can’t argue with that. Some people will see those papers and the only take away will be that they prove the BEST research to be wrong. But that can’t be helped. I’ve learned you can’t make something idiot proof as the idiots have shown time and again they are capable of foiling our best attempts at doing so.

        One of my favorite lessons from the Navy was that perfect is the enemy of good enough. In a perfect world every reader of Dr Curry’s blog would well educated, well reasoned, informed to the best degree possible and respectful and courtious to others. That ain’t the case. And under the conditions that actually exist, the posting of these two papers for discussion is no grevious sin. I have a hard time thinking it amounts to even a minor faux paugh.

  40. Goodness! What a pleasant and quiet thread!

    I read this post earlier today and (considering the lack of courtesy and critical thinking on the part of some in the thread that preceded this one), I would not have been surprised to find that a virtual (defensive) firestorm had erupted here (although it may still be raging over there … I haven’t checked!)

    Methinks this post may have given those who may have most needed it considerable food for thought. Perhaps it has even opened some minds :-)

    Thank you, Dr. Curry,

    P.S. It occurs to me that the content of this post would be very handy to point to when we see future indiscriminate and inappropriate usage of the “dis-” word (and/or when even the best of us fall off the critical thinking wagon!)

    Perhaps you would consider elevating this post to the status of a “page” – alongside “Denizens” – when it hits the bottom of the “Recent Posts” roll, so that it will always be a reminder within easy reach.

    • Oh, dear … looks like I may have spoken to soon :-(

      Maybe we also need a post that offers some pointers on how to put forward a very strongly held point of view in a respectful manner.

    • I had a very similar experience to you – I started this thread with a prediction that all would not be well, and when I returned it was all sweetness and light! Maybe the angry trolls had an important engagement somewhere?

      Quite nice though, to see so many people expressing their appreciation for being treated like adults and not only spoon-fed ‘orthodox’ and approved material. I think it’s been a very good day for free speech.

      • Maybe the angry trolls had an important engagement somewhere?

        Could be! I happen to live on the “best” coast of Canada – where (particularly in the winter) we do get lots of dull, grey, rainy days. But when the sun comes out and you can see the snow on the mountains in the distance (where it belongs!), there’s nothing quite like it! I feel the same way when reading those (all too rare) threads when the angry trolls take a leave of absence ;-)

        And I quite agree, it has been a very good day for free speech – and freedom to engage in critical thinking ;-)

      • You must be my neighbor to the north. And as I look out the window, I see it is one of those days.

  41. Judith,

    You ask ” Lets talk about ‘disinformation,’ and how we have come to the point where my providing a forum for the discussion of two papers just published in the peer reviewed literature generates the accusation that I am a purveyor of disinformation.”

    How about if someone were to ‘provide a forum’, for two papers which claimed AIDs was caused by a vitamin deficiency rather than a virus? There are people who would happily believe such things. They might even claim they were peer reviewed and scientific, albeit published in a couple of dodgy journals.

    That someone wouldn’t have to say they agreed with the papers. Just that they make an “interesting topic for discussion”. They may even put a (?) in the middle of the blog title.

    What then? Would it be fair to raise the question of “disinformation”?

    • Tempt Terrain: thank you for your concern, but whatever the field some of us may prefer to listen to different opinions and judge for ourselves. For me, it’s part of the job of being a scientist.

    • tt

      You ask Judith a loaded question on an irrelevant topic in the hopes of getting a “gotcha” answer.

      (See #4, #7, #13 ,#17 above.)

      Don’t make a fool of yourself, too.

      Try logic instead.

      Max

    • “How about if someone were to ‘provide a forum’, for two papers which claimed AIDs was caused by a vitamin deficiency rather than a virus? There are people who would happily believe such things. They might even claim they were peer reviewed and scientific, albeit published in a couple of dodgy journals.”

      And what would be wrong with that? We would be able to shoot it down and show to everyone that AIDS is caused by HIV, and that vitamin deficiencies or overload may play a role only in the onset and severity (vitamin D is an important regulator of T cell function). Everyone would learn, and everyone would see that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and not vitamins.

      Evidence would be laid out, and learning would be done. Hiding it away, hiding the discussion, leaves people open to the possibility as they have never heard the counter evidence. So when it comes up, they might be persuaded. By actually debating these things, the truth is made known to all.

      I suppose you would never have liked the Ancient Greek methods of debate and discourse; as they would intentionally take false information and debate it against the latest theories. And they are simply the ones who founded western culture, mathematics, and most of our underlying science, and scientific philosophies.

      I think you need to rethink your philosophies, as their flaws are glaring and dangerous in my view.

      • Ged,

        You ask “what would be wrong with that?” If it was you, or I, then probably nothing because no-one would take any notice of us. However, Judith Curry and others in her profession are in a similar position to Peter Duesberg who has enough scientific legitimacy in his field to promote the concept of AIDS/HIV denialism. We’re not talking about some esoteric concept with either topic. It is important to think through the implications of what are being said. Lives are at stake.

        AIDS denialism has had a significant political impact, especially in South Africa under the presidency of Thabo Mbeki. Scientists and physicians have raised alarm at the human cost of AIDS denialism, which discourages HIV-positive people from using proven treatments. Public health researchers have attributed 330,000 to 340,000 AIDS deaths, along with 171,000 other HIV infections and 35,000 infant HIV infections, to the South African government’s former embrace of AIDS denialism, largely influenced by the discredited theories of Peter Duesberg.

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

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

        I’m not saying that Judith Curry shouldn’t publish her own work if she is sure she is correct. However, it should go through the proper channels, with peer review etc, but so far I haven’t seen anything from her in the official journals which goes even half way to to justifying her rejectionist tone on this blog.

      • There is nothing wrong if Dr. Curry presented such things for us to discuss, as it would bring more awareness of the issue, and allow an open forum where incorrect information could be shot down. Why are you so afraid of discussion?

        Also, malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies kill far more than AIDS. And if someone thought AIDS was due to vitamins, this would only happen to a rational person if they were -not presented- with the full evidence (say if someone with your ideas stopped any rational debate for the debunking of bad science as you are advocating). In short, your whole “we must not discuss opposite information” is the very reason those people died. As an open discourse in the South African government could have disproven it and forced action. And eventually it did.

        Yes, tempterrain, your philosophies are just as dangerous as I stated. Preventing the flow, mixing, and battle of ideas helps to create niches where bad information, and disinformation, can thrive, and lead to people’s death.

      • Ged,
        ” As an open discourse in the South African government could have disproven it and forced action. And eventually it did.”

        You like that word ‘eventually’ don’t you? Its a pity it couldn’t have been a lot longer, eh?

        You’re not particularly interested in making any progress in the climate question, are you? The longer it takes, the more you can help cause one delay after another, the better you like it.

  42. I think the lack of critical thinking is an issue for Judith highighted both by those 2 papers and now by the choice of this particular website on disinformation.

    I’d put ‘Proparanoid’ on the same level as EILKE – of highly dubious quality.

    • Michael

      I see it a bit differently than you do.

      Judith has allowed a guest blogger to post two papers, which had apparently been peer-reviewed. These papers agree in most points with the conclusions of the preliminary not-yet peer reviewed BEST report, which was just released, but disagree on some other points and bring in a couple of new deliberations not covered by BEST.

      As far as I can tell, she has not commented on the validity of either study (although she participated in BEST and would logically have no serious objections to most of what is stated in it).

      I saw no howls of outrage when she posted BEST – why the big flap now?

      Trashing EILKE is a bit beside the point – it is really Judith you are trying (unsuccessfully) to trash.

      Get over it.

      Max

      • Maybe Judith could have used her ‘disinformation’ index prior to putting up those papers. She might have found that EILKE got a rather high ‘disinformation’ score and then applied some critical thinking.

        Failure to think critically about this kind of stuff just reinforces someone’s earlier take on Climate Etc- that it’s not an orginator of disinformation, just a conduit.

  43. Anyone else thinks that this:

    “21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. ”

    Is strangely analagous to the CRU/Mann investigations?

    • Labmunkey

      It’s also known as a “whitewash”.

      Never really works, because the paint peels off pretty fast.

      Max

  44. ‘I hope that I have credibility’ – You have alot more than most cliamte scientist because you attack(Question?) the science not the person.

    And I promise you you have a heap more credibility than The Team and there acolytes.

  45. The thing that seems to have been missed is that spreading disinformation can be the right thing to do. Anyone who has seen even a litle of the recent Dr. Conrad Murray trial will have seen some very intelligent, well educated, well paid, and above all,very honorable people spreading disinformation in a court room. This is the role of the advocate. However, the analyst, the physicist, should never spread disinformation. As was discussed in the early 1970’s during the ABM debate by the Operational Research Society of America, the problem is when an advocate PRETENDS she/he is being an analyst.

    This is what has happened from the very beginning of CAGW. The one thing one can guarantee is NOT disinformation is hard, measured, independently replicated, preferably experimental, data. What one is supposed to do in physics is to produce a hypothesis, and then go out an get the measured data to support this hypothesis. This is precisely what the proponents of CAGW did NOT do. They became advocates by pretending that the output of non-validated models was the equivalent of measured data, and produced the highly dubious physics that claims one can go from a change in the radiative balance of the atmosphere to a change of surface temperature, by only looking at what happens to the radiation term.

    Physics has been inverted by the proponents of CAGW. It is no longer up to them to provide the observed data to prove CAGW is correct; it is up to us skeptics to provide the measured data to show that CAGW is incorrect. Luckily, as I have observed before, Girma has shown that we skeptics can prove that CAGW is just plain wrong, and all the disinformation in the world, produced by the like of the IPCC, is not going to change this.

    • Thanks Jim

      One graph says it all:

      http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

      Has the global mean temperature pattern changed since record begun 160 year ago?

      It has not!

      • Two points, Girma. First, it ought to be the task of the proponents of CAGW to show that a CO2 signal exists in the temperature/time graph. They have NEVER even attempted to do this.

        Second, probably even more important. You have been posting your data for months on this blog, and NO-ONE has ever challenged it. The proponents of CAGW have absolutely no measured data whatsoever to support their hypothesis (hoax).

      • Jim

        We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact
        that we can not account for what is happening in the
        climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite
        hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty

        Do we need to say more????

      • Second, probably even more important. You have been posting your data for months on this blog, and NO-ONE has ever challenged it.

        Since this is a post on disinformation, let me point out that many of us have been challenging Girma’s charts. He does one of two things, either he (1) cherry-picks data or (2) he creates deceptive graphics. This chart falls into the latter category, where you see that he places a large offset in the data to compress the temperature change and perhaps fool the unwary. The graphics expert Tufte has lots of advice about how to watch out for disinformation via charts. This is a huge problem and one that we have to be forever diligent about confronting.

        The fact that Girma also uses one of the most famous disinformation tactics of all, that of unceasing repetition is very disconcerting. Why that is not on the list of 25, I am not sure, as it is a very common strategy in the political news and commentary business. This has been known since FDR’s days when he said: “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

        The problem is endless repetition. Girma repeats himself over and over again with the same charts. They are filled with deceptive tricks and cherry-picked data. Oh by the way, did I tell you that Girma posts the same chart many times? And that he uses deception in plotting the curves? Or that he cherry-picks? I think you get the picture.

      • Girma repeats himself over and over again with the same charts. They are filled with deceptive tricks and cherry-picked data.

        It is true, I repeat myself. So do you with your sides’ wrong claim of AGW. I will only stop when you stop your wrong claims.

        I reject the deceptive tricks and cheery-picked data comment.

        Here is my one and only one chart for all to see.

        http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

        It shows all the temperature record since record begun 160 years ago. So there is no cherry picking.

        It shows ALL the global mean temperature oscillations are bounded by two lines that are 0.5 deg C apart, and these oscillations are due to ocean cycles.

        The two boundary lines and the global mean temperature trend line have a slope of 0.06 deg C per decade.

        Here is the real chart that is filled with deceptive tricks:

        http://bit.ly/hDTohi

        Do you notice how the 1880s peak is ignored by the smoothed curve?

        Here is the disclosure in the climategate emails.


        The verification period, the biggest “miss” was an apparently very warm year in the late 19th century that we did not get right at all. This makes criticisms of the “antis” difficult to respond to (they have not yet risen to this level of sophistication, but they are “on the scent”).

      • Jim (and WHT) –

        I think it is fair to say that Girma’s posts and graphs are challenged about as often as they appear. Why do you find them so threatening? They affect precisely nothing – they are Girma’s perspective and belief.

        Please – be a little more tolerant of the views of others. They are certainly not contagious.

      • I think it is fair to say that Girma’s posts and graphs are challenged about as often as they appear.

        Don’t come after me, Anteros, it’s your little buddy Cripwell that was saying this about Girma “You have been posting your data for months on this blog, and NO-ONE has ever challenged it. “. That is what I was responding to. So I am afraid you are presenting more disinformation.

        Why do you find them so threatening?

        This is a perfectly fallacious argument as well, either an argument by question or argument by rhetorical question.
        and then you throw in another one which you can look up. It’s a nice parlor game, spot the disinformation and fallacious arguments.

      • WHT,
        I don’t know why the grumpiness – I agree with you that Girma is challenged all the time, and I think quite rightly for the very reasons that you mention, And Jim Cripwell is so obviously wrong, it barely needs pointing out.

        I suppose we disagree because maybe you take Girma a bit more seriously than I do, hence maybe you heard me being sarcastic.

        You know Oliver Manuel has put up the same post 1732 times? – it gets quite easy to skip over it after a while.

        My question about the ‘threateningness’ of Girma’s posts is I think pertinent. Girma takes them seriously – do you or I have to?

      • Girma | November 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

        Here Girma defends his graph. I still maintain no-one has challenged his graph. Let us have a detailed criticism of what Girma has written. A point by point analysis of why what he has done is wrong. I have never seen anyone do this. All the previous challenges to Girma have been hand-waving nothingness.

    • Jim,

      You’re obviously getting on in years but its not too late to start using your brains rather than your ‘guts’ to analyse climate science.

      And brains aren’t the same thing as instinct. I know you’ve told us you made up your mind on instinct (see your denizens entry) but I’m sure you know that isn’t the way to do it.

  46. Pseudo critical thinking is a form of intellectual arrogance masked in self-delusion or deception, in which thinking which is deeply flawed is not only presented as a model of excellence of thought, but is also, at the same time, sophisticated enough to take many people in.

    JC, you have support from Tolstoy:

    know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

    Example of the above pseudo critical thinking:

    Global warming from 1970-2000 is anthropogenic.

    Actually, it is because of the warming phase of the ocean cycles.

    http://bit.ly/nfQr92

  47. EternalOptimist

    There is a well known saying ‘If you are not for us, you are against us’

    The furies have coined a new one

    ‘If you are not against them, you are against us’

  48. The post reminded me of a story told by Robert Cailliau at a computer programming conference in Edinburgh some years back. Somehow, it seems to have a bearing on the relation between disinformation, reasoned judgement and skepticism. (paraphrased, so apologies to Mr. Cailliau)

    “A physicist, a mathematician, and a computer programmer were traveling by train through Scotland. It was their first time to visit the country. From the window, they could see lots of sheep grazing on the surrounding hillsides. At first all the sheep were white, but eventually they saw a single black sheep.

    Physicist: Ah, I see there are black sheep in Scotland too.
    Mathematician: That’s typical of the generalizations of physicists. All we can say is that there is at least one black sheep in Scotland.
    Programmer: Is that the woolly thinking they teach in math class these days? All I can say is that there is at least one sheep in Scotland that is black on the side we can see.”

  49. About: “lending my authority” and “lending my credibility.”
    I’m more troubled by your co-authorship of the Best papers, some of which you declared “not ready for prime time”, than by your posting of the Ludecke papers.

  50. What about the rest of that definition from Wikipedia :

    A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole (a limited hangout).

    Sounds about right for these papers you are disseminating, which is another way to be involved with disinformation. Disinformation can’t be effective if it is not disseminated, can it ?

    More from Wikipedia :

    Another technique of concealing facts, or censorship, is also used if the group can affect such control. When channels of information cannot be completely closed, they can be rendered useless by filling them with disinformation, effectively lowering their signal-to-noise ratio and discrediting the opposition by association with many easily disproved false claims.

    Sound familiar ? Look around you.

    By the way, do you have any examples of these “[p]ublic spokespersons for the IPCC”, so that their statements can be compared to the disinformation tactics you have posted ? Why did you think them important to highlight, in among the bloggers ?

  51. Focusing on relevance: How is what you are saying relevant to this issue? How is this information relevent to the question at issue?

    The issue is policy. What policy is needed to deal with and prepare for the worst case scenarios of AGW?

    How is regurgitating yet another fake skeptic meme by a politically motivated geriatric think tank with ties to CFACT helping this policy debate?

    How many times do we have to keep going back to arguments that boil down to ‘CO2 has practically no effect whatsoever’? Or ‘there is no warming, it’s cooling’? These are all things delaying the policy debate.

    If that is what you want, by all means keep talking to the Daily Mail/GWPF and post guest blogs from EIKE without any commentary.

    Focusing on accuracy: How do we know this information is accurate? How can we check to see if it is accurate?

    You obviously didn’t. You just threw it out there, even though you were told in advance about EIKE’s reputation (by me) and the flaws that immediately jumped out in the Lüdecke papers (by Fred Moolten).

    There is a very high probability that this information isn’t accurate, as are 99 out of 100 EIKE statements on climate science. Some points have already been raised that could easily be judged by a scientist of your stature. When will you acknowledge this, for everyone to see (especially your dragonslayer acolytes)?

    Focusing on depth: Is this a complex issue? What makes it a complex issue? How can we make sure we thoroughly address these complexities?

    Not by posting work from ‘politically motivated stats amateurs’. It serves no purpose whatsoever, unless the purpose is spreading FUD. Things are complex enough as it is, without fake skeptics pulling back the debate 10-15 years, and you cheering them on in your faux-naive way.

    Focusing on significance: What are the big issues we face? Are we staying focused on these important issues or are we getting diverted onto less significant ones?

    We are getting diverted. The big issue is: will AGW be a little bit bad or very bad.

    Forcing everyone to prolong the debate on issues that simply aren’t significant anymore (whether there is any warming and whether it is at all caused by CO2) is a delaying tactic. But you say you want to discuss policy?

    Focusing on fairness: Are we considering all relevant viewpoints in dealing with this issue? Are we looking at this issue in the most fair and reasonable way, or are we priviledging one or more position?

    EIKE’s viewpoint is irrelevant. You could’ve known this before you provoked this controversy, because you were warned in advance. Should we keep considering the viewpoints of the Greenhouse Dragon Slayers? How long? How long do you keep considering the viewpoint of politically motivated fake skeptics, who deliberately distort, lie, disinform to kill the policy debate (because they simply don’t want any policy)?

    I will keep waiting for you to do the right thing. In the meantime: defend your princess, dragonslayers!

    • Neven

      Here are the two global mean surface temperature data from NASA and the Hadley Centre since record begun 160 years ago.

      http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

      This data shows there has not been any change in the global mean temperature pattern for the last 160 years.

      This pattern shows a long-term global warming of 0.06 deg C per decade and an oscillation of 0.5 deg C per every 30 years. This oscillation is due to ocean cycles as described in the following paper.

      http://bit.ly/nfQr92

      There is no evidence for the effect of human emission of CO2 on global mean temperature.

      There is no evidence of AGW!

    • You’ve made my case re pseudo critical thinking. CAGW ideologues crying “disinformation’ are on an equal footing with those on the other side (e.g. EIKE) crying “fraud.” And in the meantime, science and critical thinking are victimized.

      • Did you seriously just write “CAGW ideologues”?

      • Bart Verheggen

        You apparently question Judith’s use of “ideologue” in combination with “CAGW” (the postulation that human-induced global warming will lead to catastrophic effects).

        ideo-logue, n.
        1. an impractical theorist
        2. an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology
        Synonym: crusader, fanatic, zealot, militant partisan, true believer

        It is highly probable that a topic as politically charged as the current scientific and policy debate surrounding AGW could attract or generate “ideologues” on both sides of the debate.

        And it has done so.

        If you claim otherwise, you are obviously in denial, Bart.

        Max

      • Bart, in reference to “CAGW ideologue” check a mirror.

      • You don’t think they exist?

      • “CAGW ideologues” ?
        Firstly, what is CAGW ?
        Secondly, who are the “ideologues” who pervay this CAGW ?

      • J. Smith

        Further to my explanation to Bart Verheggen.

        “CAGW” refers to the premise that anthropogenic greenhouse warming has been the principal cause of the observed late 20th century warming and that it will lead to catastrophic effects for humanity and our environment unless global human CO2 emissions are curtailed drastically.

        One of the “ideologues” who purvey this CAGW premise is Dr. James E. Hansen (of “tipping point” and “coal death train” fame).

        Hope this answers your questions.

        Max

      • Dr Curry, if you think I’m a CAGW ideologue, I would again kindly urge you to remove the links to the Arctic Sea Ice blog and graphs page from your blogroll. We don’t want to be associated with each other.

        It is now evident to me that you do not believe that AGW could have serious consequences, in other words: there is no worst case scenario. This is fine by me, but please do not place yourself in the middle and actively promote the spreading of disinformation from the BAU ideologues, such as EIKE. There is a reason the dragonslayers love you.

      • Neven takes his toys and goes home pouting…

      • Not yet, dragonslayer. But eventually I will, don’t worry. Then you will get to play again with your EIKE loving buddies. Patting each other on the back, admiring each other’s intelligence, but above all that of your patron saint, Dr Curry, who basks in your adulation.

      • Aw, c’mon, Neven, don’t get so emotional. It makes you look like a crybaby.

        Max

      • Neven,

        Yes she’s called St Judith on this blog. The patron saint (or should that be matron saint?) Of uncertainty and doubt maybe? There’s already a patron saint of of ‘people in doubt’ so that may already be taken!

        The Catholic church has a whole list of them here

        http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/patron01.htm

        So there may be other possibilities. There’s no patron saint for heretics. Judith may even like to volunteer for that one.

      • I don’t mind being a crybaby if that’s what I am. I will not hide it, I want to be transparent. I don’t care how I’m being perceived. I’d rather be foolish than calculating and devious.

        I’m not pushing any ideology regarding CAGW. I’m just afraid of the C, the worst case scenario. I want to be safe, rather than wait and be sorry.

        Besides, we don’t just have AGW on our plates. There are big problems, with agriculture, energy, financial systems, resource wars.

        How to tackle these things? I have my own, simplistic, silly ideas about that, but I don’t know if they are the best possible solutions (I cannot foretell unintended consequences). What’s important to me is that the debate on how to tackle these things gets underway, and that everyone joins it, instead of delaying it to keep BAU. BAU is not an option.

        Spreading EIKE disinformation is not helpful in any way. Especially not if it’s done in the way Dr Curry (who was warned in advance, no playing dumb this time) has done. Very simple. There’s no way of getting around this conclusion, once these papers are shown to be totally flawed and biased. And they will (in fact, have been already).

      • “CAGW” isn’t even the worst case scenario. Frankly at this point it’s the most likely scenario. Though I suppose what’s deemed “catastrophic” is somewhat subjective. Personally I have a hard time seeing 4°C above pre-industrial by 2100 (business-as-usual) as being anything less than “catastrophic.”

      • “Dr Curry, if you think I’m a CAGW ideologue, I would again kindly urge you to remove the links to the Arctic Sea Ice blog and graphs page from your blogroll. We don’t want to be associated with each other.”

        Did you claim Dr Curry was spreading disinformation.
        I think that is the general topic of this post.
        And is what Curry is saying directly above:
        “CAGW ideologues crying “disinformation’ are on an equal footing with those on the other side.”
        I don’t know if you did or not.
        I am just trying to make sense of your question.
        Different question are there people who could be labelled
        as people who believe that in CAGW. And are some of these people
        involved with crying “disinformation’.
        Or are there people are not believers in CAGW and crying “disinformation’. This could suggest that if you cry disinformation it unfairly associates with CAGW ideologues. And it the latter which
        someone accusing Curry of disinformation finds objectable.
        Or is the word ideologue a word which is objectionable.
        1: an impractical idealist : theorist
        2: an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.

        Maybe it’s the “impractical” or “blindly” Or both which insulting aspect.
        I think if a person thinks CO2 could cause dangerous amounts changes AND believes one solution is to use more nuclear power. Then such a belief is not as impractical and/or blind as compared to thinking wind mills and/or solar panels can provide a significant solution.

      • Neven,

        On your wanting to be safe rather than sorry. That is all well and good and I wish you all the best. But what I am not in favor of is being forced to do something I don’t believe in because you think there is some possibility something bad might happen.

        If you can’t openly convince someone like me that the risk is probable enough to worry about, well, maybe you should start stocking your survival shelter. If the future you believe in happens, you can always say you told us so.

      • So it is critical thinking to keep engaging with EIKE/dragonslayers, no matter how many times their work is proven wrong and their motivations are proven to be political/financial? Really?

        You must have 72 hours in a day and be the most critical thinker in the world. Or at least think she is. Well Dr Curry, sorry to burst your bubble, but you keep proving that you aren’t as half as smart as you think you are or your dragonslayer admirers droolingly say you are. You are confused, can’t seem to get a coherent message out, and thus confuse others. We already have the EIKEs and CFACTs and Moranos and Watts’ to confuse people. No help needed, thank you very much.

        But you’ve managed to carve out a niche, and it must be a wonderful raison d’être to fill the autumn of your life. You are important! The Daily Mail surprises you multiple times with phone calls! I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes though, from an ethical perspective. Because all you are doing, is delaying the debate we need to have. And there’s a good chance this will have consequences for billions of people.

        When can we expect your verdict on the EIKE papers and their modus operandi? Oh, of course, this CAGW ideologue is now preventing you from telling things like they are. It wouldn’t be fair to the EIKE ideologues. How’s that for upholding science and critical thinking?! :-D

        Funny and sad…

      • I am not the least bit interested in the EIKE modus operandi. Attacking EIKE and then myself as spreading disinformation has hijacked the discussion from discussing the Ludecke papers, clarifying their flaws, and seeing if anything can be learned from this. Your strategy (and more surprisingly, Tol’s) are classic disinformation strategies.

      • Nothing will be learned from this that hasn’t been known for quite a while now. If you didn’t know this in advance (despite well-meant warnings), you are either not very smart, or dishonest.

        But I await your analysis of the ‘peer-reviewed’ EIKE papers with anticipation. Do not let yourself be distracted by disinforming CAGW ideologues and call a spade a spade. And then tell your dragonslayers who will never change their mind, what wonderful things we all have learned from the EIKE paper.

      • I am uninterested in the motives of EIKE, in the same way I am uninterested in the motives of WWF. All that bickering between advocacy groups pretty much cancels itself out and is the turf for lobbyists, not scientists.

      • The guilt trips are getting old, Neven. A warmer world is better than a colder one and the world is getting colder. There is a conversation we desperately need to have and you and your fellow true believers in CAGW are hysterically attempting to not have it.
        ========

      • I am uninterested in the motives of EIKE, in the same way I am uninterested in the motives of WWF.

        So when can we expect you to post some research paper written by people who work for WWF, but without any intro or commentary (and thus no reference to WWF)?

        My guess is never.

      • When someone from the WWF emails me with a paper that is relevant to things we have been talking about here and offers to do a guest post, I will happily offer them a guest post slot. By all means, try to drum up someone from WWF who would be interested in posting here.

      • Hmmmm.

        So someone from EIKE emailed the papers through to you?

        That’s another thing about producing disinformation – it’s more effective if you can get someone else to spread it for you, especially if they have greater credibility.

      • Ludecke emailed his papers to me.

      • Hmmmm.

        Well, Michael, I guess that EIKE bunch (whoever they are) really screwed-up this time–I mean passing along their dis-information to a blog where a smart guy like you can publicly tear their big-lies apart, make ‘em look silly, and expose their nefarious intrigues.

        Go for it, guy. Otherwise, your musings on EIKE’s purported dis-information ploy looks like nothing more than the professional jealousy of one agit-prop hack for a more adroit competitor.

      • Notice how the true beleiver ahs to connect the dragon slayers with any group he disagrees with, and then pretend that justifies his calling people who are not dragon slayers, dragon slayers.
        It is the same immature fallacious thought process that lets AGW believers pretend skeptics of their catastrophism are the same as holocaust deniers.

      • “the true beleiver”
        “the same immature fallacious thought process”

        #18, #5, #2, #7, and #4

        It’s interesting how your compulsion to disinform makes you fall into these behaviors even when you have to page past a clinical description of your failed rhetoric to do so.

      • Dikran Marsupial

        “CAGW ideologues”

        18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents.

      • Oh, I’d say your lot are masters of that one.
        Right from the outset, it seems that the believers have been far more interested in attacking, discrediting and marginalising sceptics than discussing the science – in fact, the former case often seems to be their only motive.

      • “the believers”

        Another #18 for you. And take a #5 as well. Also #2, #7, and #4 for the straw man of pro-science folks “attacking, discrediting and marginalising [the poor, abused] sceptics.”

      • Who asked you????

      • Richard Saumarez

        I agree with you. There are interesting ideas in the LL and LU papers, but also there is a lot of reasonable doubt about the whole Hurst representatation of the process, which should be discussed critically.

        Mainly we had outpourings of rage from people without the slightest thought, critical or otherwise, because these papers criticize their cherished beliefs. I am also disturbed by the certainty with which Tol has dismissed both the papers and comments. I agree that at first sight this appears to be critical thought, but having read his responses I am less certain. It appears to stem from a belief that more political than critical.

      • The main thing that caught my eye in these papers was their disagreement with BEST on the 19th century temps. BEST is actually more at odds with the hockey stick view, than is Ludecke. No one has even mentioned this as far as i can tell.

      • Wait’ll someone suggests that temperature is no better a measure of what is happening than tree rings are of temperature.
        ============

      • “No one has even mentioned this as far as i can tell.”

        Hold on there. Before mentioning it, you really should check with everyone else on the internet to see if they’re OK with that. It might be one of those subjects that’s best not mentioned, in case it unhinges your mentally fragile denizens.

      • Can you name some of these “CAGW” ideologues, and what CAGW is supposed to mean?

      • I would describe a cAGW ideologue as a person who believes that continued release of CO2 by humans will lead to future climate conditions that are far worse for humanity overall, over the long term than today.

        James Hansen meets the description imo

      • The problem with this is that it leaves no description for those who are way beyond thinking that conditions will be ‘far worse’ for humanity. I mean the people who start with apocalypse, add some Armageddon and then say ‘it’s worse than we thought’.

        What do we call them?……………… Roberts? :)

      • So that’s about 97% of her fellow climate scientists she’s writing off?
        Or does she only refer to the ones that use the word “disinformation?”

      • What makes you think that a high percentage of scientists today believe that not stopping CO2 at some particular level would be a disaster for humanity. A high percentage think it will lead to a somewhat warmer world—there is considerable doubt regarding it being a pending problem that justifies much action

      • As always the key point is avoided Dr. Curry. What are CAGW ideologues and what political forces are they related to?

        Getting it half right isn’t adequate. #17, 22 and 25 are just around the bend I suspect.

        False equivalence and avoiding the core political function of AGW are standards in your posture. That’s disinformation as well.

      • Another thing as well; time to stop thinking about how much “science” has suffered compared to humanity and the terrible consequences and waste of refuting AGW fraud and the politics behind it. Pretending those forces are offsets is disinformation at its worst.

    • “How many times do we have to keep going back to arguments that boil down to ‘CO2 has practically no effect whatsoever’? Or ‘there is no warming, it’s cooling’? These are all things delaying the policy debate.”

      Until you show some appreciation of critical thinking and rational evaluation of scientific debate. You are holding back the rest of us.

    • Neven
      You ask an interesting question, but then unfortunately diminish the focus on your question by your attacks on the site host.

      Your relevant point is: “The issue is policy. What policy is needed to deal with and prepare for the worst case scenarios of AGW?”

      My analysis is that the response will be dependent upon how individual nations conclude what the potential harm will be to their citizens and where those nations put the importance of addressing these issues in their governmental priorities.
      As an example, many countries in SW Asia have so much corruption in their economic systems that it is near to impossible to get infrastructure built to protect their citizens. It has been estimated that over 90% of investment get funneled to corruption. The fact that those nations have high death rates during flooding is not due to a warming planet. It is due to their failure over hundreds of years to build proper infrastructure.

      Neven has postulated that: “The big issue is: will AGW be a little bit bad or very bad.”
      I am not sure of that conclusion as I have not read reliable information to reach such a conclusion. The question imo is if human released CO2 results in a net harm to the individual nation considering the situation and if so to what degree. The analysis would need to consider the degree that a nation would be “harmed” by not emitting CO2 and what the benefits to that nation would be to limit CO2 emissions.

      The answers to these issues seem virtually impossible to determine today. We probably can probably estimate many of the economic impacts from moving away from CO2 emissions. What we do not know is what the impact will be (both positively and negatively) to different areas of the world of higher CO2 levels and/or higher temperatures. In order to make these assessments we would need to be able to predict reasonably accurately how a warmer world will impact temperatures and annual rainfall as a minimum. The models we have today are NOT able to make these predictions accurately.

      Neven writes: “Forcing everyone to prolong the debate on issues that simply aren’t significant anymore (whether there is any warming and whether it is at all caused by CO2) is a delaying tactic.”

      Neven (imo) seems to belong to the school of thought that advocates “ready, fire, aim.” When advocating immediate action.

      • “the economic impacts from moving away from CO2 emissions”

        There is no practical, engineering, way of “moving away from CO2 emissions”
        All schemes adopted so far, like biofuels, windmills, photovoltaic cells, are totally and absolutely useless as CO2 reduction schemes.
        The measures already implemented by most governments are just crazy, an a gigantic scale.
        That is without engaging in the CAGW debate. Even is CAGW is real, these schemes are crazy.

      • Jacob

        We could move away from CO2 but at a great cost, and the case needs to be presented clearly as to why such an expense makes sense to the individual nations potentially incurring that expense.

        The cost is not simply financial, but potentially in many areas. If we had evidence that humans could not breath in an atmosphere with 600 ppm of CO2 we would all be reacting differently.

    • Neven: We are getting diverted. The big issue is: will AGW be a little bit bad or very bad.

      Forcing everyone to prolong the debate on issues that simply aren’t significant anymore (whether there is any warming and whether it is at all caused by CO2) is a delaying tactic. But you say you want to discuss policy?

      You missed one of the most important issues: Will restrictions on fossil fuel use have any effect on climate change? If the proposed policies are futile, then enacting them will be self-destructive to human health and civilization.

      • “The big issue is: will AGW be a little bit bad or very bad.”

        No, the big issue is: Does AGW even exist?

        Andrew

      • Andrew,

        Even if we stake them “AGW exists”, they still have a losing argument. This more than anything is what has me questioning the motives of people who call me names and tell me I’m a clueless Luddite. I can give them “the planet is warming” and also “it’s caused by human activities” amd throw in “CO2 is far and away the biggest culprit”. And they still do not have an argument for all of the measures they want to see enacted. When you are willing to give the other side of a debate (you know, the one that doesn’t exist) all of their initial points and they have nothing convincing you on the most points – the policy decisions – then they are either incompetent or wrong.

      • Careful Matt that is dangerously close to common sense and there is no room for that to raise its ugly head!!

  52. “CAGW Idealogues” – Tick No. 5 on the list.

  53. Number 25 on the list is ‘vanish’. Judith is often conspicuous by her absence when it comes to detailed discussion so I’d tick that box too.

    Michael Sweeney also makes the statement “It is the job of a disinfo artist to interfere with these evaluations… to at least make people think the links are weak or broken when, in truth, they are not.”

    And how would they do that? Weaken the links? Exaggerating the levels of uncertainty, perhaps? Suggesting that the picture is all too unclear and that action needs to wait until some indefinite time in future when everyone will be in a position to make better decisions. Making decisions is a bit like buying a computer, according to this type of reasoning. You’ll always be able to do better if you just wait for another year. Therefore, neither should ever be done now. It’s always best to wait.

    • tt

      This has become a “food fight”, not (what you call) a “detailed discussion”.

      I cannot blame our host for “vanishing” from the scene while the children are either tossing food at her or pouting that they’ll take their toys and go home.

      Grow up, tt.

      Max.

  54. Professor Tol writes: “I argue for self-censorship. It is what separates adults from children.”

    Projection is a defense mechanism which induces a person to attribute to others qualities or motives that person subconsciously recognizes in himself.

    • My daughter is almost 4 years old. She says whatever comes into her mind. It is charming and funny. I hope she will not do that anymore when she is 14.

      • Richard Tol,
        Yet here you are making an argument based on “because I say so”.

      • Precisely. Methodology in this paper is bad. WHy? Because I am a professor and an editor. I am an authority. Reviewers on this paper were obviously a bunch of ignorant dunces.

      • Indeed. One wonders if – when his daughter reaches the age of 14 – her father will be determining for her what books she should (and should not) be permitted to read. And publicly and rudely berating her if she should happen to disagree with him.

        Not to mention attributing to her negative characteristics and motives (for which he has no evidence) which could best be described as figments conjured up by an imagination.tainted by the certainty that even when he’s wrong, he’s right.

        Based on his posts and “broadcasts” over the last few days, one might be forgiven for being inclined to think that his motto may well be “self-censorship for thee, but not for me”.

      • Dr Tol,

        I still “suffer” from that habit and I’m well past 14. It isn’t that big of a handicap and surprisingly people still find it charming and funny more often than not.

  55. Neven, I’d love to see your evidence that continued warming won’t continue to be great for the human race. And your continued references to the dragon slayers is additionally deranged. I can assure you the slayers do not love JC. I might be the most open-minded associate of that group and the best I can dredge up is a grudging respect for her productivity, stubbornness and courage. The slayers know for certain she’s dead wrong about atmospheric thermodynamics and enjoy her assaults like anyone would enjoy a slap of the face.

    • Ah the warming is a good thing for the human race argument. Have we had that one recently?

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives.htm

      • That post, temp, is your idea of evidence? To me, evidence is composed of things we can measure like population, infant mortality, agricultural productivity per acre and average lifespan. Evidence is not clueless speculation by self-hating progressive activists.

      • What if those who you dismiss so off-handedly don’t actually hate themselves? And do have more than a few clues to suggest the costs of serious AGW are likely to very much outweigh any benefits?

      • tt and KC

        Since 1970 global population has increased by a factor of 1.9.

        Over the same period the crop yields for major grains (rice, wheat, corn) have increased by a factor of 2.4.

        Death from starvation has decreased by a factor of 2 (despite the increased total population).

        Global deaths from extreme weather events have decreased dramatically over the 20th century, both in absolute numbers and in percentages.

        At the same time:

        CO2 level increased by 20% (from 324 to 390 ppmv).

        Globally averaged temperature increased by 0.5°C.

        Go figure.

        Max

      • When I see the evidence, I will weigh the cost and benefit. I do not want to trade today’s climate for the climate of 1850 or the climate of 12,000BC. I would consider a trade of today’s climate for the climate called “Holocene Climatic Optimum”. I don’t automatically think the human effect on our environment is bad. We make parks. I like parks. We make toilets. I like sewage treatment. We make dams and bridges and cars. I like dams and bridges and cars.

      • But is this sustainable? What if the “green revolution” depends on an infinite supply of fossil fuels?

        If the bubble bursts – what then? If we don’t get a grip on the future and plan ahead, the resulting crash of population due to widespread famine won’t be pretty. And it won’t be peaceful either.

      • I’m not telling you how to live, tempy. I’m telling you that you have no right to tell me how to live. If you don’t like fossil fuels, then don’t consume them. Personally, I think the 34KW of power I can get from a gallon of petrol is a great deal. Thank you, Exxon. When a better deal comes along (and I will help it come along as much as I can), then I’ll switch. If you want to live in a commune run off solar panels and wear trousers woven from hemp, then have at it. Just don’t ask for my tax dollars to support that lifestyle. You can’t have them.

      • Ken, you seem to be mistaking power for energy. Energy content of a fuel is defined, power can be anything, depending on time.

      • Sorry, 34KW/hr per gallon…give or take.

      • tempterrain

        Your “crystal ball” on future catastrophe does not impress me.

        According to WEC estimates, there is only enough fossil fuel on Earth to reach around 1,065 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere,

        Based on the temperature and CO2 increase of the past 150 years, this means we would have a maximum ever warming of 2.2C.

        No big deal.

        I think we will have switched to other energy sources long before this happens.

        Don’t you?

        Max

      • Ken, sorry – I have to correct it again.

        34 kWh per gallon…give or take. It’s not per hour, it’s times hour.

      • Sorry. My only excuse is it’s early here and my brain is not fully engaged.

      • I’m telling you that you have no right to tell me how to live.

        When it changes the composition of my atmosphere, of course I do.

        You don’t have the personal freedom to add CO2 to my atmosphere any more than I have a right to add cyanide to yours.

        Personal freedom does not extend to actions that compromise the freedom of others, such as by damaging their health or property.

      • Robert

        That statement (that people don’t have the right to emit CO2) is absurd. Do you expect people to stop breathing? You have somehow determined that there is some rate of emissions that all humans should meet in “Robert’s World”. How did you reach the number and what is it?

      • Ken,

        I would say that in the future everyone will be allowed a free quota of CO2 for personal use. So you don’t need to have to worry about stopping breathing.

        PS Although its possible climate change deniers will be exempt from this! Or perhaps have to attend an annual re-education camp to maintain your qualification!

      • Sorry last post meant for Robert Starkey.

      • Max,

        Your 2.2 degC warming for over 1000ppmv CO2 is just a made up number. Its just wishful thinking.

        Judith estimates that the likely range (66%) of warming is 1-6degC for a doubling of pre-industrial levels to just 560 ppmv.

        So, she seems to be saying there is a 1 in 6 chance of catastrophic warming of 6 degC, or higher, at much lower levels than you are assuming.

        PS I should say that Judith did challenge my arithmetic on the 1/6. However, it looks OK to me. She just went quiet when I tried to discuss it with her. It’s probably one of those things she wishes she hadn’t said but did.

      • I hate pollution, but CO2 is not pollution any more than oxygen and water are pollution. Show me evidence that CO2 is harmful. And, let me remind you that computer models are not evidence. Hockey sticks are not evidence. Nonsensical theories like TOA modulation of outgoing LWR are not evidence. Opinions are not evidence. Story lines are not evidence. Hand waving is not evidence. Replicable tests done under controlled conditions in a lab? That’s evidence. Good luck.

      • That statement (that people don’t have the right to emit CO2) is absurd.

        Your opinion of how I chose to exercise my rights is irrelevant.

        Altering my atmosphere without my consent is a violation of my personal liberty, period. If you want to argue personal freedom is absurd, go right ahead and make that argument.

        It is of course more practical to come to an agreement collectively about the amount of CO2 we are going to add to the atmosphere, and who will be allowed to do so, and under what conditions. That compromises individual freedom, but it may be necessary.

        But from a pure libertarian standpoint forcing me to breath your CO2 is assault. It violates my liberty. I have the right to defend myself from it.

        That’s the reality of the “don’t tell me how to live” argument. That’s where it leads, logically. You have no right to force your CO2 on others; that is violence, and we have the right to protect ourselves.

      • Robert,

        You say, “you have no right to force your CO2 on others; that is violence, and we have a right to protect ourselves.”

        If you would be so kind Robert could you please clarify your above remark. In particular, is your remark intended to merely illustrate the “absurdity” of the libertarian view when applied from your point-of-view? Or do you regard productions of CO2, unapproved by you, to be acts of “violence” for which you have the right to protect yourself and in a form appropriate to a “violent” attack?

        Indeed, let me put the question more pointedly. Do you believe that you have a personal, “self-defense” right to use force that is likely to cause others bodily injury or even death, if such force is the only effective means by which to deter unwanted CO2?

      • In particular, is your remark intended to merely illustrate the “absurdity” of the libertarian view when applied from your point-of-view? Or do you regard productions of CO2, unapproved by you, to be acts of “violence” for which you have the right to protect yourself and in a form appropriate to a “violent” attack?

        Absurd is such a harsh word. Fair, but harsh.

        I more see it as demonstrating the contradictions within the argument put forth. Someone put forth the suggestion that society does not have a right to “tell them how to live” by regulating their CO2 emissions. This is an argument from the right to personal freedom. However, it fails the classic fist-nose test for a “personal freedom” — it’s exercise violates the freedom of others. In the rhetoric of (many) libertarians, to violate the freedom of others is coercion, and coercion is a form of violence. For the state to regulate an act is also coercive and hence a type of violence. It is necessary within the moral universe of libertarianism to demonstrate a legitimate reason for violence (such as self-defense) in order to justify regulation by the state.

      • Robert,

        I appreciate your reply, as far as it goes. But I’m still not sure I understand your point-of-view in terms of CO2 and violence. The last para of my Nov 9, 2:22 pm comment (with the opening sentence, “Indeed, let me put the question more pointedly.”), contains a question for you. Again, if you would be so kind, Robert, could I respectfully ask for your response to that question?

      • mike, I can put your question back to you. If someone had a CO2 “bomb” that would instantly double the world’s CO2, what would you do to stop them using it? It is an interesting hypothetical to think about, even if far-fetched. It brings up the point of whether the slow speed of doubling is a reason that makes it more acceptable.

      • Jim D,

        Well, Jim D, to answer your question, I would not inflict bodily injury or death on your hypothetical mad-bomber. Nor would I inflict bodily injury or death on millions or even billions of my fellow human beings as a means of avoiding a more slow-motion doubling of CO2.

        Now your turn, JIm D. How about you? Would you injure or kill your hypothetical mad bomber? Would you injure or kill millions/billions of your fellow human beings in order to stop a doubling of CO2?

        And while you are at it Jim D, could you please google: “republicanzombiedefense.com”, bring-up the youtube video clip, watch it, and then offer your appreciation for its sentiments. Of further interetst, WUWT’s November 4, 2011 post “Climate Skeptic Combusts” collects some other videos in a similar vein: “Combustible”, 10:10’s “No Pressure” (an old favorite), “How to Strangle a Climate Skeptic”, and “The Air Conditioned Suit”.

        You greenshirts aren’t telegraphing your punch, are you?

      • mike, you can imagine what would be necessary as the consequences would be lost lives and trillions of dollars to the rest of us (higher taxes probably). Another hypothetical. If you were the bomber and knew you had to pay for the financial consequences, would you drop it? Or, instead of you, you know everyone else has to pay for the consequences, does that make a difference in the answer?

      • JIm D,

        You seem to be full of questions but no answers. Let me keep this simple, JIm D: Would you injure or kill millions/billions of your fellow human beings if required to prevent a doubling of CO2?

        I answered the question you put to me, Jim D, so I think I’m within my rights to ask you for an answer to my question.

        You know, Jim D, you are full of hypotheticals. But, please, allow me to descend into the real world for a moment. The IPCC is about to hold another one of its annual, carbon-piggy blow-outs in Durban. That conference could be easily video-conferenced at a considerable savings to the taxpayer that would also avoid an obscene carbon insult to Gaia. Will you join me, Jim D, in condemning the IPCC and insist it cancel its planned conference in Duban in favor of a video-conference instead? Still time, you know.

        And, oh by the way, what did you think of the video “republicanzombiedefense”?

      • mike, I don’t understand where you get the idea that the IPCC plans to harm people in its next meeting. This seems to be a paranoid view, but maybe I am just not understanding what you are talking about.

      • mike, OK, I’ll try an answer. If mitigation harms people I don’t support it, but if it saves people I support it. Easy question.

      • Jim D,

        Finally, a straight answer from you.

        Otherwise, Jim D, you wonder what “harm” I might see in the upcoming IPCC conference. Well, if held in Durban, the IPCC conference will burn-up a whole wad of taxpayer dollars. But, I appreciate, Jim D, that certain greenshirt parasites, with their snouts deeply sunk into their taxpayer funded trough, see no “harm” in this. However, consider, Jim D, that the IPCC conference will also produce obscene quantities of CO2 as a by-product of the attendees’ transportation to the event, accommodations, and after-hours, parasites-gone-wild, party-time, carbon-piggy, blow-out bashes.

        So since you’ve proven yourself something of a dullard, Jim D, I’m gonna take this real slow. The IPCC conference in Durban will increase–repeat ,increase–the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. And, remember, Jim D, you are the one who thinks that’s a “harmful” bad thing? Are we recovering our memory a bit now, Jim D? So, listen
        carefully, Jim D, holding the IPCC conference in Durban will “harm” us, according to your own CO2 “paranoia”, by increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Get it?

        And all that “harmful” CO2 increase could be avoided if the IPCC were to video-conference their little confab. Of course, video-conferencing would also save a whole bundle of taxpayer dollars–but that’s just one of my “paranoid” hang-ups. Nothing you might want to worry about, Jim D.

        Incidentally, how’d you like the “republicanzombiedefense.com” video? You know, Jim D, I can’t decide if 10:10’s “No Pressure” or this latest addition to the greenshirt, snuff-film canon is the more important. Any thoughts there, Jim D?

        P. S. Have you seen Robert lately? I left a question up-thread for him that he hasn’t answered. I mean, you usually can’t shut that relentless chatter-box up. So I’m getting a little worried–hope Robert’s all right.

      • John Carpenter

        mike,

        Robert is hiding…. you know, afraid the evil deniers are going to get him.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Ken Coffman, if you click on the Intermediate link, you can find a page with a discussion of what scientific papers actually say. Rather than empty hand-waving, you can see things like:

        Loss of 2/3 of the world’s polar bear population within 50 years

        Dear god! Will the polar bears just die already? I’ve been hearing about how global warming is killing the polar bears for as long as I can remember. How are there any left?

      • Strange how a top-level post on disinformation tactics devolves into arguments that use these same disinformation tactics.

        Everyone should read through the list of fallacious arguments at least once in their lifetime: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html
        This advice can help in your workplace and career as well.

        BTW, my read on the polar bear situation boils down to one number: 25,000.

      • Ken Coffman,

        Are you one of these skydragons who don’t ‘believe in’ the the natural GHE?
        If you are then good luck with your science.

        If not you’ll know that CO2 plays a large part in the GHE keeping the Earth some 33 deg C warmer than it would otherwise be. Increase the level of CO2 from 280 ppmv to 560ppmv and the consensus figure for the likely amount of warming is 3 deg C. Judith Curry puts it possibly as high as 6 degC.

      • I believe whatever small effect a cold, rarefied gas might have on the Earth’s surface temperature is immeasurable and I take the religiophilosophic stance that things that can’t be measured don’t exist. This helps me steer clear of believing in things like tarot card reading, astrology, bending spoons with mind-energy and human-controlled radiation modulators implemented in thin air.

      • So you are a skydragon? That would explain it.

        I’d just say that the greenhouse effect was discovered by French mathematician Joseph Fourier in 1824, first reliably experimented on by Irish physicist John Tyndall in 1858, and first reported quantitatively by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896.[5]

        You might want to start reading here;

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

      • I don’t want to be arrogant, but I understand the Warmist arguments better than you, Tempy. I understand the arguments, but I don’t buy them, not at all. For all of my reading of John Tyndall, who I idolize, by the way, I haven’t seen anything I disagree with. If you can show me where he says emission, passive absorption and re-emission can add energy to the source, I’d love to see it. Arrhenius was a bit befuddled.
        I’m always amazed by what you folks think the CO2 molecule can do. You assign it such magical properties, I don’t know why you don’t worship it like some sort of pagan God. It’s resonant at specific wavelengths. So what? It can’t absorb infinite or huge amounts of energy and 390PPM does not have the thermal mass to influence the temperature of our oceans. Not even close. The only thing CO2 can do is delay OLR for a few milliseconds. From that, you see danger? Well, cling to it, Tempy. You want to believe it? Don’t let me stand in the way.

      • Ken Coffman,

        If you were as smart as you think you are you wouldn’t come out with nonsense like:
        “The only thing CO2 can do is delay OLR for a few milliseconds…….. ”

        For anyone not conversant with these acronyms: OLR is actually the outward longwave radiation , not to be confused with long wave in the radio frequency sense, it is actually in the infra red (IR). The atmosphere is semi opaque to IR.

        What you say would be correct if GHG molecules “knew” that the IR photons which they intercept, are destined for outer space and could make sure they were re-radiated in that direction. However, they don’t. They are just as likely to send then back down to the ground. This is known as back radiation.

        Imagine that the Earth was more like Venus and the atmosphere was totally IR opaque to say a height of 10,000 metres. Further suppose that an observer somewhere distant from the Earth was measuring the temperature of the Earth using its IR emissions. He’d still measure 255 degK (-18 degC) exactly as he would now. However he’d be measuring the surface some 10000 metres high. The Earth surface would be warmer by some 60 deg or +42 deg C. Due to a lapse rate of 6 deg C/1000 metres which is noticeable to us all when we climb to a high altitude.

        Further imagine that the atmosphere’s IR opacity could be gradually reduced. Essentially by removing GH gases. The effective surface would be reduced in height as IR can now penetrate more easily. When it was at 6000 metres high the situation would be similar to what it is now.The Earth’s surface would be 36 degK higher in temperature at +18 deg C

        Remove CO2 and all other GH gases completely and the radiation surface falls to becomes the Earth’s surface. Its temperature will be, again, 255deg K or -18 deg C. So pretty cold without any greenhouse effect at all.

      • “While CO2 is essential for plant growth, all agriculture depends also on steady water supplies, and climate change is likely to disrupt those supplies through floods and droughts.”
        Increased CO2 will and has in past significantly increase plant growth.
        CO2 also increases drought resistance in plants- plant needs to evaporate less water if elevated CO2.

        Climate in the past has changed and will change. There is no recent evidence of more climate change as compared to in the past.
        The theory of CO2 causing significant warming requires more water vapor. More water vapor would result generally in more rain.
        If there more rain but not enough rain in some area- irrigation is currently widely used and expanded use of irrigation can be developed in the future.

      • “It is possible to help increase the growth of some plants with extra CO2, under controlled conditions, inside of greenhouses. It is based on this that ‘skeptics’ make their claims. However, such claims are simplistic. They fail to take into account that once you increase one substance that plants need, you automatically increase their requirements for other substances. It also fails to take into account that a warmer earth will have an increase in deserts and other arid lands which would reduce the are available for crops. ”
        There has been fairly amount research in this area, which these guys appear clueless about.

      • There has been fairly amount research in this area, which these guys appear clueless about.

        Typical disinformation strategy on your part. You hit and run by stating something without any references and then projecting onto your foe.

        This problem is that this premise is not common knowledge and not intuitive, as plant growth is dependent on multiple factors. As was stated and from any biology text you can find that plants rely on water, minerals, etc in addition to CO2.

      • “as plant growth is dependent on multiple factors”

        Then why do climate scientists think tree rings make good temperature proxies?

        Andrew

      • Then why do climate scientists think tree rings make good temperature proxies?

        Perhaps a valid point.
        But then again that cautions against the fallacious reasoning of “the exception proves the rule”. In other words, the fact that a single line of experimentation and analysis may prove faulty does not mean that the entirety of the hypothesis fails.

        BTW, you also used the disinformation tactic of “changing the subject”. (i.e Digression, Red Herring, Misdirection, False Emphasis).

        This is so much fun to have a post called “disinformation”. Again people should read up on the List of Fallacious Arguments:

        http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.htm

      • tt,
        Show us the studies showing
        1- mitigation can work
        2- cooling is good
        3- that you know the difference bvetween ceesy propaganda and reality.
        TIA,

      • simon abingdon

        “ceesy”?

      • simon abingdon

        Hunter, you rush into print without even a cursory examination of what you’ve written. “bvetween”?
        Where’s the fire?

      • ceesy = cheesy
        my dyslexia is honestly earned.
        ;^)

      • Alex Heyworth

        Dyslexia lures, KO.

  56. This whole post can be categorized under:

    2. Become incredulous and indignant.

    How dare anyone accuse objective critical thinker Dr Curry of spreading disinformation?

    And how about this one:

    9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion.

    ‘Oh, I’m so naive. I didn’t know about the Daily Mail, or David Rose or GWPF. I’ve been following the climate debate for just a week now. Rose surprised me on the phone (twice) and then I said those things. I didn’t know he would twist it into GWPF supporting disinformation. Not that I really mind though.’

    11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the ‘high road’ and ‘confess’ with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, ‘just isn’t so.’

    Will this be the next post? ‘Of course, EIKE is wrong and politically motivated. But look how the CAGW ideologues jumped on it, which just proves my point, right? In the emantime let’s talk and talk and talk and talk. Oh lookee here, someone from some think tank I vaguely remember, says the warming – which is insignificant and has paused – is caused by a 250 year fluctuation. Discuss, my dear dragonslayers, discuss!’

    12. Enigmas have no solution. paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

    ‘It’s all so complex! Let’s discuss for a couple more decades. Yes, my little dragonslayers, you love me when I say that, don’t you?’

    Do you want this CAGW ideologue to continue?

    What a ridiculous post. But many hits, many comments, loads of attention.

    • Neven

      In your blog, I saw the following graph for the monthly arctic sea ice extent.

      http://bit.ly/t8tqRZ

      Is it possible that it is “disinformation” to plot the data for the period from 1978 to 2000 when the globe is at its warming phase due to ocean cycles?

      How would the graph look like for the period from 1910 to 1940?

    • Neven

      Some people don’t have to play dumb…

      Think about it.

      Max

    • I’m not the dragonslayer here. You are.

      • Neven,

        I can see my Nov 8, 9:37 post, below, was out of line. I suspect your “dragonslayer” comment is actually the stray remainder of an exchange that has since been partially deleted by the moderator.

        Regardless, my comment was “ill-considered” to my embarrassment. I owe you an apology, Neven, and you have it. I apologize for my last half-baked comment.

      • I have been deleting a number of posts that are out of line, i may not have caught all of them.

      • Dr. Curry,
        What is out of line is a troll who seems disturbed claiing everyone with who he disagrees is a ‘draonslayer’, no matter how baseless the accusation and accuses you of personal corruption because you choose differently than he would like you to choose.

      • Dikran Marsupial

        24. Silence critics.

        ;o)

      • Dikran Marsupial

        BTW, that was a joke, hence the ;o)

      • Every time you do that, the threading comes apart. Maybe there’s a better way?

      • I’ve put up a few myself I’d like to get back, Mike. Probably most of us have at one time or another…

      • I don’t know what the hell I’m doing wrong here. I’ve been trying my damnedest but I’ve never even had a single sentence snipped. What do you have to do to get a comment sent to the ‘special place’?

      • You’re way too polite and generally on topic. You need to change your ways ;)

      • Sorry, that was for Anteros

      • Judith! My reply button is not working!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Davies, it’s because of a “bug” in the blog software. Whenever a comment gets deleted, the response tree functionality gets broken for any comments that were attached to it. All of those comments, and all responses to them, fall to the bottom of the page.

      • Brandon, Judith, A possible workaround to this problem would be to not physically delete a comment, but to replace it with a, “This comment has been deleted” comment.
        Would this work, do you think?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        It would, but editing comments takes more time and effort than simply deleting them. I’d like it if Judith Curry did it, I don’t know if the extra trouble would be worth it for her.

      • Perhaps a tool (script?) exists which could do that as easily as doing a delete? I’m not terribly au fait with WordPress, but someone else here might know

      • I’ve been advised that there are potential legal problems with modifying a comment in any way, with keep or delete being the two best options. The problem is when an inappropriate comment receives replies. So the option is to delete the entire train, or break the reply thread.

        So if there are replies that are stand alone worth keeping, i will try the “This comment has been deleted.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I can’t imagine there would be any legal problems as long it is clear you’ve removed the post’s content. I imagine the reason modifying the contents of a comment could create a legal problem is it creates a false impression, However, that won’t happen if you do what you say. That said, it may be better to change the line to:

        “JC: This comment has been deleted.”

      • I hear that hasn’t stopped John Cook.

      • Dr. Curry,
        I think you might want to check in with Chris Mooney.
        If I recall, he was friendly towards you at the AGU meeting where he got hired as their special spokesman.
        It would be nice to know if Chris thinks his new book is a good representation of what the AGU thinks and if he is speaking for them:

        http://www.desmogblog.com/republican-brain-science-why-they-don-t-believe-science-or-many-other-inconvenient-truths

        Also, it would be nice to know if Chris Mooney is going to write a follow-up to this book discussing ways to deal with the problem he is convinced he has identified.

      • I spotted this at Pielke Jr’s site, oh my.

      • Judith –

        Have you spotted that missing paragraph?

        Accident in cut-and-paste, or deliberate omission? I assume the former but don’t quite get why you haven’t answered the question.

      • I think she is referring to the New Eugenics. Chris Money has discovered that republicans must have diseased minds since they can’t understand normal liberal thinking.

      • Dallas –

        Obviously, you’re being sarcastic, but I think that is a fundamentally inaccurate characterization of Mooney’s post (which I’m largely in disagreement with, BTW). And the “New Eugenics” label is ridiculously inflammatory and counterproductive.

        Take a look at Pielke Jr.’s post (and comments) on the off chance you care to read my thoughts as to why; similar mischaracterizations of Mooney’s argument were posted there as well.

        Should we generalize something about people who make such mischaracterizations?

      • Joshua:

        Should we generalize something about people who make such mischaracterizations?

        Only if you don’t mischaracterise people who make generalisations. But you’re definitely not allowed to mischaracterise people who make mischaracterisations, or to generalise about those who make generalisations.

        Understood? ;-)

      • ..or to generalise about those who make generalisations.

        Understood – but that would be off-topic.

        My question was about people who make the type of mischaracterization that Dallas just made – and that were made over at Pielke Jr.’s cyber-crib.

        It’s a specific form of mischaracterization, I’m not discussing a general generalization about those who make generalizations.

      • Yes, I was being sarcastic, not making a generalization, not my style. You for example are intelligent but misguided :) as is obvious because of your purchase of a historic home without buying a proper pellet feed stove. Your concepts of fuel efficiency are misguided which appears to be effecting you understanding of atmospheric thermodynamics :) That doesn’t make you a bad person :)

      • Just so long as we understand each other.

        That said, I think comparing Mooney to people who advocated forced sterilization of minorities might, just a tad, be over-the-top.

      • Many things which appear abhorrent to us now may have been perfectly acceptable to most people 100 years ago. It’s only when WWII came along and exposed the full horror of eugenics taken to its logical conclusion, that people turned against it.
        Notwithstanding, it’s not the method but the thinking behind it which is at question here.

      • This was in reply to Joshua above.

      • All the comments seem to be congregating down the bottom again – very confusing.

      • I saw an interesting TV show on that covered-

        Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment

        Foxes bred for tamability in a 40-year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay between behavioral genetics and development.”

        https://johnwade.ca/attachments/article/359/russianfoxfarmstudy.pdf

        What it means for us humans…………………….

      • Joshua,
        That is not all eugenics supporters pushed for.
        You are either uninformed on the topic (apparently so from your lack of knoweldge) or hoping to (as you so like to do) hijack the conversation and try to frame the discussion so you can atempt to control it.
        Too bad.
        Mooney is the face of an important scientific body.
        The question is do they endorse Mooney’s position or do they make a clear stand against anti-science bigotry?

      • Joshua,
        dallas is obviouisly correctly describing Mooney’s disgusting book. From your over wrought defense of Mooney by condemning those who point out his faux science book is a nasty little rebirth of eugenics it is clear you get the point but just don’t like it.

      • Oh.

        You’re talking about Geert Hofstede’s theory.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstede's_cultural_dimensions_theory

        Yes, it’s a real and well-known topic in sociology.

    • Neven,

      Good point about playing dumb and the Daily Mail. I must admit I was taken in at first when Judith claimed to have been misquoted.
      Does it all ring true? I’m sure many Americans are quite unaware of what the Daily Mail are like but its hard to believe Judith is one of them. She must have known what they’d do.

  57. CAGW ideologues can’t swallow the idea that they’ve have been anti-science and in denial all these time. They have been practicing cargo cult science.

    “Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in Cargo Cult Science.”

    Temporary fame and excitement is over.

  58. Anyone got link to this EIKE.
    Apparently some are excited about it and not sure I read it already.
    Thanks

    • I googled it. Lots stuff in german. I still not sure what posted here about it.
      But I have seen some fairly wacky stuff come from European quarter.

      But I can sympathize with the Germans getting rather upset- they spent huge amount money on solar power and Germany is about the worst place on earth to put solar panels. Crazy and ill informed public policy.

      • Not to mention deciding to shut down all of their nuclear plants.

        But not to worry. Germany is rich. At least that’s what the Greeks believe.

  59. “Disinformation” need not be “false” information. It can simply be a logical fallacy. For example the core of AGW is based on such disinformation;

    CO2 is a GHG, more CO2 warms the earth.

    Some or all this might be true but since there is no statement of “quantity” it’s close to science and/or policy worthless. Perfect disinformation.

    As for Dr. Curry, by avoiding political linkage and motivations of participants it leads to plenty of disinformation. Examples? 8,9,13,17 are pretty common. Why exactly are most of the participants in AGW advocacy linked by a common political culture that Dr. Curry refuses to link or self-identify? 17 is the most common thread.

  60. The real disinformation is that exposed by climategate, seen in Gore’s movie, behind the Australian carbon tax, the reasoning used to justify pursuit of mitigation over adaptation and the entire apocalyptic ethos of the AGW movement.

  61. “15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions.” is the essence of science.

  62. Very interesting that of the 25 tactics listed, the ones that I find the most common on the comments section here are not listed:

    1. Cherry-picked evidence
    2. Projection
    3. Framing

    The latter two are powerful political strategies that are too subtle for most people to notice, but turn out to be very effective. When discovered, they always reveal some level of hypocrisy, which not surprisingly most people can’t stand. That is why we always needs to point these cases out.

    • Web

      Quite right- those are the typical tactics employed by those who support the IPCC’s conclusions

      • Web

        Quite right- those are the typical tactics employed by those who support the IPCC’s conclusions

        Thanks Rob, you just provided a great example of projection and framing.
        You projected the tactics that you have employed onto someone else, and simultaneously framed this as an Us vs. Them battle.

        I know that this can get horribly recursive in terms of accusations, but if you want to continue, it’s your turn.

      • Hall of Mirrors.
        Fun House.

        Gad, that’s eleven syllables short. Oh well, it’s in the archives.
        ==========

      • How could the seventeen minus eleven have been sweeter?
        It still taste good.

    • WHT,

      You need to consider the source of this part of the post. It’s a bit whacky, so the quality ain’t great.

    • WHT,
      You are so dense and derivative.
      AGW promoters have accused skeptics of being the same as holocaust deniers and you somehow think we are the ones projecting?
      The WWF and other NGO’s directly control- as documented- the IPCC process but skeptics are part of a grand ‘fossil fuel industry’ conspiracy?
      You are consistently wrong.

      • WHT,
        You are so dense and derivative.
        AGW promoters have accused skeptics of being the same as holocaust deniers and you somehow think we are the ones projecting?
        The WWF and other NGO’s directly control- as documented- the IPCC process but skeptics are part of a grand ‘fossil fuel industry’ conspiracy?
        You are consistently wrong.

        I know the political machinations as well as the technical arguments.

        The only argument that will never make the list of 25 is the one concerning “the preponderance of scientific evidence”. This has never been and will never become a fallacious argument, because if you have enough bits of logic and interlocking evidence in place, you don’t have to worry about occupying the rhetorical “hunter” space.

        So if people want to join me in good technical discussion where we can continue to amass a preponderance of evidence, I am over in the “Two new papers” thread.

      • WHT,
        #25 is not applicable here because the AGW movement has led beleivers to screw up the science, and then depend on academics like you to distract from that inconvenient problem.

  63. Regarding “13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.”

    The strength of the Alice stories often lies in the fact that Carroll was a logician, as am I. I have no vague idea what the hell this #13 claim means, but would love to hear more about it. Induction is all about reasoning backwards, from data to hypothesis, so that can’t be it. Fact-less deduction is a mystery, but surely not common in the climate debate, where the facts are the central issue. Can we have an example?

  64. I haven’t read the comment thread yet, but I;m not quite sure why the “skeptics” at Climate Etc. seem so excited about the “pseudo-critical” article. I agree with the general thesis – that our traditional educational paradigm, particularly as employed in our educational institutions, has many anti-intellectual elements – but Dewey wrote about much of this 100 90 years ago and Freire wrote of it 50 years ago. There is nothing new about noting the inadequacy of standardized testing as a measure of intellectual attributes and development.

    And then, ironically, we see evidence of thinking” displayed in the article itself is not terribly critical. For example:

    “Many pseudo critical thinking approaches present all judgments as falling into two exclusive and exhaustive categories: fact and opinion.”

    Huh? What a terribly unqualified and unsubstantiated statement – and it is a fundamental thread of his thesis! Who doesn’t recognize that distinguishing between fact and opinion isn’t complicated and nuanced?

    Or this:

    There are many people who have learned to be skilled in merely appearing to be rational and knowledgeable when, in fact, they are not. Some of these have learned to be smooth, articulate, confident, cunning, and arrogant. They lack rational judgment, but this does not dissuade them from issuing dogmatic judgments and directives.”

    “Many people?” “Some of these….?”

    And the article fails to address how the problems it discusses could be solved: Saying that current systems of schooling fail to teach students critical thinking is not the same thing as developing a curriculum or paradigm that “teaches” critical thinking. Certainly, there are aspects of the prevailing paradigm that aren’t conducive to intellectual development – such as rewarding convergent thinking and punishing divergent thinking – but the transferability of critical thinking skills, and the benefits of some kind of generic instruction in critical thinking are often vastly oversimplified. Finding problems with the existing system is one thing, finding a better paradigm – particularly within the larger context of a society that wants to educate tens of millions of children – is another.

  65. Michael Larkin

    “You obviously didn’t. You just threw it out there, even though you were told in advance about EIKE’s reputation (by me) and the flaws that immediately jumped out in the Lüdecke papers (by Fred Moolten).”

    Do you get that, Judith? You were TOLD by Neven and Fred, and therefore you should have jumped to it and obeyed. Whatever were you thinking, posting a paper for open discussion in the face of such authority? How dare you?

    I’m like you – I don’t know anything about EIKE. For all I know, they could be the devil’s spawn, but whoever could write the above is not only behaving monumentally egotistically, but completely incapable of critical thinking. The two are not unconnected, of course. The one follows the other as night follows day.

    Egotism locks one in a world of pseudo-certainty that cannot bear to be challenged. Anyone less certain MUST be evil, MUST have ill intent. But here’s the thing, and I don’t need to know anything about science to make the observation: real certainty isn’t accompanied by egotism or its handmaiden, anger. I know this because I’ve been there and behaved as badly myself.

    Sometimes, it’s only been years later that I could look back and acknowledge my own bigotry and fear. Fear, at a deep subconscious level, that my worldview might be wrong, that I might have to acknowledge my own ignorance, and even worse, experience the pangs of regret and recognition of my own arrogance.

    It doesn’t even matter whether, on doing the looking back, one discovers one was correct. The point is, that at the time, one didn’t KNOW one was correct, and hence the anger and hubris were unwarranted. If one was correct, it was only fortuitous.

    I shouldn’t worry. The anger is a sure-fire sign that the utterer of words such as the above does not know he is correct, does not know how to be dispassionate and objective, is incapable of critical thinking in his current state. There’s no point engaging with a person in this state.

    FWIW, IMO you have simply posted a paper for discussion. It may or may not be published by the devil himself. It may or may not have merit. You may or may not have some opinion about that merit. I don’t care what your motives are. You have here a forum where something can be openly discussed and people like me can make up their own minds and disregard the authoritarian rantings of those currently behaving in a deranged fashion.

    • IMO – the failure here is not that Judith put the article up for discussion, but that she failed to note (or even investigate perhaps?) the roots of the organization.

      Here’s an irony – Judith mentions Morano as a source of disinformation – yet the president of EIKE had this to say about Morano’s participation at the Heartland Institute Conference.

      Special emphasis has to be placed on the contributions by Marc Morano (ClimateDepot.org and CFACT) and Anthony Watts (Wattsupwiththat.com), who run 2 of the most important skeptic websites globally.

      • ‘The failure is Judy’s’. Why do I suspect the failure is yours?
        ==========

      • Josh,

        Perhaps she left it to her readers to reach their own conclusions. Personally, I wouldn’t call Dr Curry’s reliance on people to not to blindly accept whatever gets posted here a failure on her part.

        If amything, I’d be more concerned with someone who thinks the rest of us are dumbasses and need someone to lead us by the nose.

        I will ask you the same question as I asked JCH (who graciously replied back) – did you read the post and then come to the conclusions that since Judith Curry posted it it must be accurate and subsequently agreed with the conclusions of the authors and determined that the BEST research must be flawed? If that happened, then maybe you have a point. If it didn’t, then you must believe that only someone with your superior intelligence is capable of making a fair evaluation and the rest of us are doomed to wallow in our ignorance.

        BTW – if you think this is a problem, how about going over to Real Climate and pointing out to Prof. Pierrehumbert (sp?) that starting a post that discusses the Keystone pipeline project by saying you agree with Bill McKibben on the subject is pretty major mistake. (Of course he didn’t think so.)

      • timg –

        ..did you read the post and then come to the conclusions that since Judith Curry posted it it must be accurate and subsequently agreed with the conclusions of the authors and determined that the BEST research must be flawed?

        No. Of course not. And I doubt that anyone did.

        My assumption is that whenever the vast majority of Climate Etc. readers read one of Judith’s post, they will use that post in one way or another to confirm their a priori biases.

        I never signed on to Tol’s argument about Judith’s post lending credibility to the articles she linked. It’s Judith’s blog. She should link to whatever she wants to link to.

        However, I do think that it is significant to observe what she does and does not link to, and what links she editorializes on or doesn’t editorialize on, and what kinds of editorial comments she makes, respective to each of her links. Sometimes, such observations can reveal potential tribalism on her part.

        For example, when she linked and discussed Dyson, she argued that is unfamiliarity with the specifics of arcane aspects of climate science were not relevant to the validity of his perspective, yet on a subsequent post very shortly thereafter, she linked a lack of experience and/or body of writing on the part of certain climate scientists to a particular aspect of climate science with an editorial comment that their lack of background diminished the validity of their work.

        As for the article in question – I accept Judith’s statement that she didn’t know the background of the organization that produced the articles she linked. I do think, however, that it is interesting that she linked such an article without investigating that background. I find it notable that she cited Morano as a promoter of disinformation, but failed to find out that the EIKE is on record as lauding Morano. I find it doubtful that she would link to a similar “pro-consensus” article without a more thorough investigation of the background. It could happen, no doubt, but I think it is unlikely. And if she did investigate a “pro-consensus” article that she found interesting, and found that it was connected to an activist organization (say the WWF?), she would deem such a relationship to be essentially irrelevant.

      • er…

        “And if she did investigate a “pro-consensus” article that she found interesting, and found that it was connected to an activist organization (say the WWF?), I THINK IT IS UNLIKELY THAT she would deem such a relationship to be essentially irrelevant.

      • Josh,

        I can understand wanting to keep track of what any particular blogger posts in order to determine if there are biases you need to be aware of when evaluating the information. In this case I don’t see that any clear bias has been established by the Ludueke (sp) post.

        Everyone has biases. On some blogs – Real Climate coming to mind – it is obvious simply by looking at what gets posted. Ever seen something that disagrees with their positions over there? I know I prefer going to a site that will post all sorts of articles and topics for discussion to one that only sells the company line. And I certainly prefer one where the moderator doesn’t snip or talk down to commentors like I’ve seen on some sites.

        Don’t you think pointing out biases might be a more worthwhile effort at a site like Real Climate than here?

      • timg –

        I think the “worth” of my posts is limited no matter where I post. Choosing between their comparative worth on various sites would be essentially looking for distinctions with no meaningful difference.

        I find it more interesting to post here.

        I don’t think that any clear biases are evidenced by the Ludueke post.

        By way of explanation – I first came to this blog because my interest in Judith’s perspective was piqued when I heard her on the radio talking about tribalism among climate scientists.

        After coming here, I found what I consider to be an inconsistency in her approach to that issue – and then got interested in examining the biases I feel exist more generally among the perspective of many “skeptics.” So my point of focus is in examining that issue. I’m particularly interested in understanding more about how other people reason as a way of examining my own reasoning processes – and of course, as a way to explore political issues.

        It’s kind of random, actually. I’ve had similar long-standing debates with “leftists” on other blogs. This site happens to particularly rich for debating those issues – in part because of what I consider to be positive attributes about Judith’s posting policies, the subject of her posts, etc.

    • John Carpenter

      Michael, your post is well put and one I think rational thinking people can relate to. The trait of looking at your own behaviour/beliefs critically, reflecting, analyzing and eventually changing your behaviours/beliefs for, presumably, ‘the better’ is called maturity. Over time the reflection process iterates and when you see how often you can be wrong, acknowledge it and make the necessary adjustments…. it evolves into wisdom. As you know, wise people may choose to share thier wisdom, but they do not force it on anyone for they know it is a quality learned through experience, not taught from a book or aquired by being told.

      • Michael Larkin

        I completely agree, John Carpenter. I don’t know how old Neven is, but I’m over sixty, and whilst I don’t think of myself as wise, I do think I’m wiser than I was twenty or thirty years ago. Wisdom begins to come when you realise you know a lot less than you thought. I’ve read that for most people, the realisation begins to dawn at around age 40 and is linked with the perception of one’s own mortality, which until that age is often ignored or suppressed.

      • Michael Larkin,

        “I don’t know how old Neven is, but I’m over sixty, and whilst I don’t think of myself as wise, I do think I’m wiser than I was twenty or thirty years ago.”

        Yes its odd how most climate science rejectionists are retirees, or close to that age. I guess you think the Earth will be OK for the next 20 or 30 years so AGW will be someone else’s problem after that.

        Most scientists and mathematicians do their best work in their 20’s and 30’s. Its all downhill from then on. It must be they lose too many brain cells after that.

        Of course, it’s quite possible that you only think you know better than you did. Would it even be possible to think you knew better then than you do now? But you might want to consider the possibility, that if you still had your full compliment of cells, you’d be on our side!

  66. Judith –

    I find it fascinating that you posted the paragraph that preceded this one I’m excerpting below, and the paragraph that followed (with no ellipses, I might add), but the paragraph in between was missing?

    I certainly hope that through some odd artifact of cutting and posting, the fact that the middle was accidentally left out?

    Another formidable barrier to critical thinking is sociocentric thought, an ingrained tendency akin to egocentric thought. Put simply, where egocentric thought is based on the assumption that my ideas are always best, sociocentric thought is based on the assumption that our ideas are always best. Understanding the roots of sociocentricity should be fairly intuitive. Human beings are social animals; we run in packs. Therefore we tend to see the world from the point of view of “our groups.” This might be “our family,” “our peer group,” “our colleagues,” “our company,” “our country,” or indeed any group we belong to. Unfortunately we don’t tend to see “our group’s way” as one of many possible ways of thinking. We are not intrinsically open to considering that our group’s view might be wrong. Instead we take for granted that our way is best.

    I find it very ironic that you left this paragraph out (while re-posting the previous and following paragraphs) – as when I read that paragraph I thought, specifically, of much of what I read at Climate Etc.

    This is the part of her argument that I thought should sound familiar to you, Judith. And without an explicit effort on your part to control for sociocentric thought – as the article makes obvious – your critical thinking, as is the critical thinking of anyone, is undermined.

    • So Dr. Curry, why did you cut out this paragraph?

      • My guess was that it was accidental.

        Ironic, but accidental.

        Judith questions the magnitude of sociocentric thinking among “skeptics” – a position that I think, ironically, reflects a lack of critical thinking.

        But It would be nice to hear a confirmation, however.

      • Here we go again Joshua –

        You strongly imply that ALL “sceptics” lack critical thinking. Have you spoken to them all?

      • Last time you had a valid point, Anteros. Not this time, however.

        My argument is that sociocentric thinking exists among “skeptics,” and that Judith (in an example of a failure to think critically) fails to acknowledge the magnitude accurately – not that “all skeptics” lack critical thinking. There was no implication of that in my comment. And I don’t think that Judith “lacks critical thinking” as a defining characteristic.

        Now, given that you misread an implication in there, I am more than happy to clarify: I don’t think that “all skeptics” can have their arguments fairly characterized as sociocentric, nor do I think that all “skeptics” lack critical thinking I merely think that such attributes are equally likely to exist among “skeptics” as among “realists.” I have stated as such many, many times.

      • Joshua –

        You are right – point taken.

      • Acknowledged that the point was taken.

    • And of course, Joshua, you and the AGW believers, being enlightened and all, are above any sort of error in this regard or any other for that matter.

    • Joshua,

      This omission was just an oversight on Judith’s part? Ok let’s give her the benefit of the doubt, if you like, but if I had to express an opinion it would be that it was left out as it didn’t quite fit the point she was trying to make.

      Of course, some fake sceptics would say that those of us who argue for the consensus theory on AGW run in packs too. The argument goes that the Australia and UK Labor parties , US Democratic party etc are populated by hard core Stalinists who actually like paying taxes. The carbon tax is our most recent invention to bring down Capitalism. Well if anyone does believe that, I’m sure there is nothing I can say to change their opinion.

      However, we still need to answer the question of why there does tend to be a left/right split on this. I’m not sure I fully understand the reasons, but I’d say that a large part, at least in the US, would, ironically, be due to the efforts of Al Gore. It would have been better if he had been a more right wing politician. The right have made the mistake of assuming, or making a logical fallacy, that he must be wrong just because he’s not the kind of guy they would ever vote for.

    • Judith –

      Is it true that the paragraph was left out by accident?

      If so, ironic – don’t you think, that you excerpted and article that I pointed you to yet left out the single paragraph that I thought was most relevant?

  67. Also – reposting for emphasis:

    Also re-posting from the article above for emphasis:

    When we take command of our minds, we are on the lookout for egocentric and sociocentric thought in ourselves and others. We consistently work to develop as rational, reasonable persons, concerned as much with the views of others as with our own. We actively look for selfishness, hypocrisy, prejudice, and narrowmindedness in our thought and are committed to diminishing the power of these forces in our lives. We want to be more intellectually autonomous, intellectually empathetic and fair-minded

    If you want to understand critical thinking, you might begin with this basic conception – critical thinking entails an abiding interest in the problematics in thinking. It means thinking about your thinking to improve your thinking.

    The paragraphs above describe true skepticism. That is the skeptical tradition that I was raised in. Certainly, like everyone else, I have difficulty in controlling for my own egocentric and sociocentric thought – but the failure to even attempt to do so by many “skeptics” involved in the climate debate is why I have a problem with many of those who call themselves “climate skeptics.”

  68. Dr. Curry you must realize by now that climate warming alarmists are as Matt Ridley pointed out suffering from confirmation bias and are in fact pseudo scientists (aka by Feynman as cargo cult scientists). Any deviation by you from their mantra results in screams for your neck,suggestions for sceptic tattoos on your forehead etc.

  69. I have been thinking: “How do I change my mind about things?” Are there any sequential steps I take to make a “reasoned judgement?” Well there are. The first step is to listen. To listen, I really need to be emotionally ready to listen as well as turning off the “… yes, but…” filter. So what is it that allows me to turn off the first phase filter? Emotional health, at least for me. I have to trust the source of information, whether listening, reading, writing, I have to trust that this new information is not out to harm me. I will be OK. The climate change message violates that rule for me: I am bad and evil and what I have done and continue to do and will do in the future is … fill in the blanks. Negative messaging, guilt, do not allow me to be emotionally ready to listen, I am already defending myself straight off the bat and I still don’t have a clue as to what this whole thing is about. The next step for me is fitting what I have just heard into what I already know; kind of finding the right section in the library to file this article. Sometimes this takes a while as the library sections are not clearly marked and I need to ask the librarian (others) for help. This step is emotionally neutral for me. The third step is to mull the new information over, carrying on a conversation in my head, sleep on it, take my daily walk thinking about it, coming to a loose confederation of disparate ideas of the pros and cons. The next step is to see if I can communicate what the scrambled eggs thoughts are to someone else, usually to someone who is totally disinterested in these ideas as I get feedback such as “… that’s nice gut did you ever consider…?” This is the smell test. Either I didn’t communicate what I had on my mind or my scrambled eggs were just that, scrambled. The next step is to write it down, whatever “it” is. When I read it back, does it make sense to me? Finally, I have my reasoned judgement for that moment, only to go through the whole process again as I listen to more information, supportive or detracting. In a nutshell, I have to be emotionally ready to listen. In terms of this thread, I find the ad hominem attacks quite off putting, not persuasive, and likely to invoke a strong discounting of what someone has to say. My loss I guess, just that I listen to both my inner and outer self to make a reasoned judgement.

  70. I think the Tweets with their length limitation are a disinformation tool. At least a blog comment has enough space available for a reasoned argument when you call somebody a fool. Tweets are more like a hand grenade lobbed into the gathering that is intended to get everything into an uproar. File them under rule #6. Frankly, I’d reject all tweets as valid comments if I ran a blog.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      There is no reason to label them as a disinformation tool. Their short length limits what you can put in them, but as long as you are mindful of the restrictions, they can be useful. Nobody expects a detailed argument in 140 characters, but you can still do a lot with that little space.

      One of the most obvious good uses would be to state what your claim is while providing a link to where you discuss the justification for the claim. For example, “I believe X is wrong about Y, as I explain at….”

      • After reading a few in this blog that labeled Dr. Curry as one who spreads disinformation, I’d say I do have reason for calling them disinformation tools. The tweets didn’t have room to back up their position and can be retweeted with ease, spreading the accusation without sufficient justification. And using them as markers to longer documentation seems rather clumsy. Perhaps they have positive value in limited cases, but they sure look like an easy tool for embedding a negative meme.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        There is no doubt they can be used to spread disinformation, but that’s true of anything. When the internet was shut down in (parts of?) a Middle Eastern country to hamper communication during protests, lots of information was spread through Twitter. Not only did this get information out to people who wouldn’t have access to it, such as people in the United States, it also allowed for far more internal communication.

        Twitter is like word of mouth. Yes, it can be used to spread gossip and other untrue things. However, it is also a very effective tool for spreading good information.

  71. Joshua writes: And then, ironically, we see evidence of thinking” displayed in the article itself is not terribly critical. For example:

    “Many pseudo critical thinking approaches present all judgments as falling into two exclusive and exhaustive categories: fact and opinion.”

    Huh? What a terribly unqualified and unsubstantiated statement – and it is a fundamental thread of his thesis! Who doesn’t recognize that distinguishing between fact and opinion isn’t complicated and nuanced?

    I don’t see a thing wrong with the quoted text. True, just about everybody with an IQ over 95 understands that distinguishing fact from opinion is highly complicated, but practically speaking how does that in any way imply that some people some of the time, including of course those who understand the complexity of the issue, don’t mistakenly (and sometimes deliberately) confuse the two?

    What am I missing?

    • pokerguy –

      I don’t see a thing wrong with the quoted text.

      I don’t think that “many” people, of any description, “present all judgments as falling into two exclusive and exhaustive categories: fact and opinion.” As you say, most people do not view those categories as either exhaustive or exclusive.

      And further – that comment was made in support of a (iMO, incoherently argued) wide-reaching thesis about the failings of some (IMO, in coherently defined) educational establishment, or educational paradigm.

  72. The key to all this is to ask why an accusation of disinformation has been made and why should it matter? In most scientific disciplines, contrarian papers might attract some mild interest and be refuted but it is rare for the authors to be subjected to ad hom attacks never mind those who might post such a paper on a blog. It comes down to politics again, I’m afraid. Those arguing for censorship in the interests of good scientific communication to the hoi polloi are being dishonest and merely betray their own bias. At least Neven does not try to hide it.

  73. I don’t see the point of this argument or the logic behind what started it.

    We all know that a post at Climate Ect. does not indicate an endorsement by Judith.

    We all know anything that disputes the current hypotheses regarding the magnitude of AGW will be widely distributed via the internet.

    We all know skeptics aren’t influenced by appeal to authority or they would no longer be skeptics.

    What was the argument against her bringing up these papers for discussion again?

    • steven,

      Well reasoned. Thank you.

      I think the basic charge against Judith, by some commenters who are against her posting the two papers by ‘Lüdecke et al’, is that she is not upholding the behind-the-scenes gatekeeping that is often done by those ideologically committed to alarming AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels.

      John

  74. Another example of critical thinking:

    If continued global warming is to be considered a disaster shall prospects of continued global cooling be considered a disaster too?

    Nikola Scafetta believes that, “The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030-2040.” Scafetta’s forecast is based on an examination of ‘physical mechanisms.’ What if in our lifetime we experience a climate ‘phenomenon’ resulting from ‘coupled oscillators’ like ENSO effects and solar activity that collectively synchronize to produce decades of global cooling? It has happened before.

    Qing-Bin Lu believes that, “a long-term global cooling starting around 2002.” Lu expects the cooling trend will, “continue for next five to seven decades.”

    The history of humanity shows that the species will adapt and global cooling. Cooling need not necessarily be considered a disaster for everyone. Even so there will of course be many challenges.

    In the event of continued cooling we may see that Canadian wheat production will end. And, there always is the possibility of a great disaster. Walter Starck noted that if only humans really were able to heat the globe, “and it helps to prevent another ice age, this would be the most fortunate thing that has happened to our species since we barely escaped extinction from an especially cold period during the last ice age some 75,000 years ago.”

  75. Joshua writes :
    “I don’t think that “many” people, of any description, “present all judgments as falling into two exclusive and exhaustive categories: fact and opinion.” As you say, most people do not view those categories as either exhaustive or exclusive.

    And further – that comment was made in support of a (iMO, incoherently argued) wide-reaching thesis about the failings of some (IMO, in coherently defined) educational establishment, or educational paradigm.”

    Joshua, I honestly don’t understand what you’re trying to say. The statement: “Many pseudo critical thinking approaches present all judgments…” is a description of faulty reasoning.. it’s not a description of what most people do most of the time. It’s an example of one type of pseudo critical thinking. Are you arguing that such thinking does not exist? I just don’t get your gripe, which was sufficiently strong to elicit a “huh?”

    Your second paragraph looks to be a near word salad..

  76. On thermodynamics and kinetics:

    Animals, which move, have limbs and muscles.
    The earth does not have limbs and muscles; therefore it does not move.
    – Scipio Chiaramonti
    Professor of philosophy and mathematics at University of Pisa, 1633

    On models:

    The deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914.
    Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
    “Studies in the Scripture”, 1910 edition

    The deliverance of the saints must take place some time after 1914.
    Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
    “Studies in the Scripture”, 1923 edition

  77. Neven and Tol are dutch.
    The raised finger is a well known sign in Holland.

  78. Maybe we need to reframe the question.

    Let’s suppose that Judith linked, with little or no comment, an approving story about Andrea Rossi’s cold fusion machine. For whatever reason. I’d be in the front row criticizing the piece as junk science, and I’d expect a consensus to gel here that it’s junk, maybe even fraud, but I wouldn’t expect calls for censorship. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I think there’s very odd about the “disinformation” charge.

    Let’s imagine that some paper about solar power made the claim that efficiency would double every three years for the next 20 years. This would result in over 100% efficiency. Let’s suppose that Judith links that article without comment. Would the same critics be making charges of “disinformation”?

    • You mean like Krugman’s latest little meltdown where he implies just that for solar and actually claims Solyandra was a victim of too much progress?

  79. Dr Curry,

    You are fast becoming one of my favorite bloggers.

  80. What seemed to be an interesting scientific, well statistical debate started at 02.21 today by maxsimovich but then petered out. I would be really interested in this continuing. Richard Tol’s view is that these papers use inappropriate statistics, maxsimovich & uncles_UK disagree. Who is right?

  81. New pseudo-thinking math!

    7 x 8 = 1 – 6

    where:
    1 => Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
    6 => Hit and Run
    7 => Question motives
    8 => Invoke authority

    This could be creative.

    John

  82. Climate science had become a snake pit because of it’s politicization, there’s no room for a real neutral position as Dr.Judith is trying to take on Planet Climate. I’m not sure if Dr Judith realized this when she broke the iron ring, but I admire her persistance and truly hope it will not affect her personal life too much.

    As for Prof.Tol, being Dutch there’s no beating around the bush and he usually takes no prisoners, whether it’s alarmist or sceptic. Still I was a bit amazed about the harshness of his words.

  83. P.E. writes: “I’d be in the front row criticizing the piece as junk science, and I’d expect a consensus to gel here that it’s junk, maybe even fraud, but I wouldn’t expect calls for censorship.”

    Exactly. Tol’s response is so overwrought it’s downright creepy. When I first saw the word “disinformation” I was stunned. He had a chance to take it back when the harshness of the word was pointed out via twitter, but he chose to double down by insisting that he meant “every letter.”

    These guys are running scared. There’s no other explanation.

  84. Michael Larkin

    RiHo08,

    Well put. I witnessed a self-reflective mind in action in your post. One cannot properly come to a rational judgement about something external until one has sorted out what is going on internally and tried as hard as one can not to let that interfere unduly. Sometimes we are better at this than others – it can depend on one’s mood and how incoming information interacts with fleeting or longer-term concerns.

  85. Stephen Wilde

    The first person to accuse another of disinformation is politically, religiously and/or emotionally motivated.

  86. The main conclusion of the LU paper is given in its abstract:

    As a result, the probabilities that the observed temperature series are natural have values roughly between 40% and 90%, depending on the stations characteristics and the periods considered. ‘Natural’ means that we do not have within a de ned con dence interval a de nitely positive anthropogenic contribution and, therefore, only a marginal anthropogenic contribution can not be excluded.

    It should be immediately obvious that this conclusion is formulated in such a way that substantiating it with any analysis is impossible. Data may be such that “natural” explanations cannot be excluded, but it’s totally obvious that nothing even approaching their claim could be substantiated.

    The fact that their most central conclusion is so obviously unsubstantiable should by itself tell that at lest this paper is nonsense.

    I don’t think that the papers are now considered more credible, no damage of that type has occurred. It’s, however, totally useless to use blog space in discussing so obviously worthless papers. There’s an infinity of erroneous claims, and there are very many erroneous and insignificant papers that do not deserve any discussion, even refutation.

    • The problem is that the authors of the paper never discussed what the isolated trend values were. This is #16 on the disinformation list in so far as they vanished this bit of evidence. My suggestion, do the DFA for the last 100 years of temperature and keep track of what the detrended a value is. That will show the warming trend that they may have conveniently hid with a sleight-of-hand (tricks #13, 15,20, 22,23).

      So I agree that the numbers are unsubstantiated but I am still intrigued by the use of the DFA as a technique to complement autocorrelation. For example can a variation of DFA be used to perform something akin to cross-correlation or covariance? Or would that make it just a detrended covariance tool? For example, run a pair of data sets through it, have it reveal the common underlying trends and then get an idea of how much the “natural” variations agree and you get the common “forced response” trends as well.

  87. Schrodinger's Cat

    It seems to me, as an outsider, that climate science is in its infancy. The data is limited and of poor quality. The concept of constructing a grid and arriving at a meaningful global temperature seems to be medieval.

    There must be thousands of garbage papers that model every aspect of climate and its consequences. Huge quantities of public money are thrown into this bottomless pit.

    There are no doubt some honest and conscientious scientists who seek the truth., but there seems to be many others determined to protect their own version of the truth.

    It is very clear that our global climate is not understood. The models are wrong. The major drivers are not known. This is a tremendous opportunity for scientists to observe and measure the workings of the real world.

    Instead, we have polarisation, closed minds, blocking of publication, rubbishing of new ideas and too much importance given to models that cannot predict reality. This is not science and those who give climate science a bad name are not scientists.

    This site should be praised for providing a forum where ideas can be discussed. If people in the field cannot open their eyes to new thoughts, the future of the science is bleak.

    • Perhaps it is your understanding of climate science which is in its infancy?

      Certainly, if you think the major drivers of climate are unknown, you haven’t spent much time with a climate science textbook. So why, as someone ignorance of the basics of the science, do you feel qualified to pass judgement on something you know virtually nothing about?

      • Bobby,

        Don’t confuse your beliefs with ‘basics of the science.’ I’m pretty sure you haven’t done any of the science.

        Andrew

      • Andy baby —

        Don’t confuse your willful ignorance with the reality of the science.

        And making up stories (stories you’re “pretty sure” of, what a laugh!) without evidence is how you got into your present fix.

        You gotta learn to cope with reality, Andy. Your faith-based denial is getting you nowhere.

      • Bobbsie,

        OK, now I’m metaphysically certain you haven’t done any of the science.

        Andrew

    • Schrodinger’s Cat –

      Professor Richard Lindzen has said something very similar – that climate science is primitive and immature. To be slightly contrarian in the Lindzen spirit – I would disagree. I think in two or three generations climate science might become primitive and immature. Presently it is embryonic and therefore we cannot be entirely sure what it will become. Who knows, perhaps it will find a niche as a social science or an art.

      I think what stands out the most is not the plethora of hypotheses (criminally under-determined by the evidence) but the virtual dearth of testable, falsifiable predictions. At the moment it is used by those with a need to be worried as an alternative to astrology.

  88. Judith,

    It might be worth putting up a brief paragraph in the header of your pages explaining what this blog is about. (If that is possible using this blogware.) It might help to diffuse some of the confusion that has been apparent over the last couple of days.

    I say that, because this blog is quite unusual. Generally, in the blogs I read, blogs only advertise ideas that the blog owner agrees with (or that the blog owner wishes to lampoon). Here, you do things rather differently. You post stuff that you think is relevent, and might engage the little grey cells.

    It took me a while to understand that. When I first started visiting this blog I objected to some posts that I thought were nonsense. It was when you described the place as being a “Salon” that the light bulb went on for me.

    Perhaps Mr Tol and others would be less inclined to think that you were giving authority to ideas that you choose to discuss, if you made it more obvious that that is not your intention.

    • Point taken, I will ponder

      • Judith

        A strapline ‘The meeting place for enquiring minds.’
        Please send my copywritiong fee to the usual address.

        tonyb

      • The Last Resort.
        ===========

      • My two cents on that: there may be some value in going above and beyond and clarifying this, but the assumption that this is the anti-Realclimate is just that; an assumption. I never made that assumption, and I think most people here never did. It takes some defective thinking to make that assumption.

    • Excellent post, James. Like you, it took me a while to pick up on what Dr. Curry is doing on this blog. She demands of blog participants that they understand rational debate about science or, at least, that they can tolerate rational debate about science. Many people find that demand very painful because they cannot resist the urge to declare the truth now and forever. What can be done about those people? (First of all, they should be warned that there is no career for them in science. As a consolation prize, they could apply for a job with the IPCC.) Maybe Dr. Curry could offer a course in critical thinking and rational debate for new participants.

    • Perhaps Mr Tol and others would be less inclined to think that you were giving authority to ideas that you choose to discuss, if you made it more obvious that that is not your intention.

      When you publish something, you have a certain responsibility for what you publish. It’s not the same responsibility as the person who wrote the thing, but it isn’t nil either. Would you agree?

      When you call something “interesting” or “fascinating” as a scientist with a public profile and a wide readership, that would also seem to me to create a responsibility. If you praise a work in this way and don’t say anything about major factual mistakes, there does seem to me to be an element of endorsement there.

      • You and others have missed the Huge Neon Sign that Dr.Curry flashes constantly. It reads: I am not acting as an authority here and I do not endorse what appears here except under my signature. But I can cut you some slack, Robert, because I too missed that sign for a while. This is a dazzling site.

  89. “Richard, you describe the land of postnormal science, where a scientist’s statement about scientific uncertainty is perceived as a political statement. That does not mean from the scientist’s perspective that they can’t carry on and select research topics based on their own scientific curiousity, and follow it where it leads. Yes scientists as individual people can have preconceived notions, biases, etc. But all of this eventually comes out in the wash if scientists and others with sufficiently diverse perspectives are allowed to hash things out.”

    Yep, this is the best post of the day, though you have to read a lot of posts to learn that. Dr. Curry defends rational debate about science against those who understand only control of scientists’ output.

    If Tol is not one of the postnormal philosophers of science, I wish he would explain how he is not. I do not believe that the man can articulate a consistent view of scientific method that stops short of controlling scientists’ output.

    If he is not in favor of censorship, I wish he would explain how he is not. I do not believe that the man can articulate a consistent view of rational debate that stops short of censoring some peer reviewed articles.

  90. Dr. Curry writes:

    “The main thing that caught my eye in these papers was their disagreement with BEST on the 19th century temps. BEST is actually more at odds with the hockey stick view, than is Ludecke. No one has even mentioned this as far as i can tell.”

    I really wanted to discuss this topic. Too bad it was shouted down by self-appointed censors. I hope that those who did the shouting are not sufficiently energized by their “victory” that they continue their activities on this blog. That would be a disaster for rational discourse about science on the internet.

    Those who did the shouting should have behaved in a principled way. They should have clarified their arguments before posting rather than posting rants in a near random fashion. Near random posts of rants is the clearest sign that someone does not trust the content of their own posts. In addition, it is powerful evidence that they do not understand the content of their posts.

  91. Re James Evans’ suggestion about some sort of header by which Judith could provide for lack of a better term at the moment, a kind of mission statement: I think that’s an excellent idea.

    Dr. C., Your blog has rightly become one of the most respected….and inevitably given your generally skeptical approach (broadly speaking)….most controversial (in the best sense of the word), something along those lines is probably called for. For what it’s worth, I vote “aye.”

    Not that this is a democracy :-)

    • “Your blog has rightly become one of the most respected . . .”

      By whom? Do you have any evidence for that?

      • All you have to do is look at the post counts. I’d say nearly 500 comments in less than 24 hours is a pretty good indication of popularity, something that’s not particularly unusual on a blog that typically garners hundreds of responses for every post Dr. C. puts up.

        If you want to argue popularity does not imply respect, go right ahead. Of course you’d be wrong, but that’s your prerogative. Even the most vociferous critics are granting at the very least that Climate etc. is a major player in the blogosphere…otherwise why would they be getting so upset?

      • All you have to do is look at the post counts.

        Interesting logic. So you want to argue that, as you claim popularity implies respect. What an extraordinary claim. Where’s your extraordinary evidence (whining that if I disagreed “you’d be wrong” is not evidence, sorry.)

        So prove your claim: what is popular is respected.

        :)

      • The News of the World used to be the most popular newspaper in the UK.

      • Even worse, the BBC is quite popular in some quarters.

      • Indeed, and respected as well (although maybe less than in the past) so the two can go hand in hand sometimes.

      • Robert,

        Try not to be an ass. If you spend any time reading here it pretty quickly becomes apparent that Climate Etc is well regarded. Maybe we should ask why you are here reading it? Slumming?

      • Robert,

        Try not to be an ass.

        Or what, I’ll end up like you? Are you offering yourself, a childish name-calling buffoon, as where I might end up if I don’t mend my ways? Scary indeed.

        Unfortunately for you, name-calling is not an argument. Repeating the assertion (“Climate Etc is well regarded”) is not an argument. Arguing that anything I spend time reading must be highly respected is flattering, but an implausible argument.

        Try again. ;)

      • To borrow a phrase from my son – “Whatever dude.”

        Seriously – what is the point in arguing whether Dr Curry’s blog is well respected or not? And if you do not consider it as respected, why bother coming to it?

  92. Such thinking may be quite uncritical, but is not pseudo critical thinking. Pseudo critical thinking is a form of intellectual arrogance masked in self-delusion or deception, in which thinking which is deeply flawed is not only presented as a model of excellence of thought, but is also, at the same time, sophisticated enough to take many people in.

    Definitely agree that pseudo critical thinking is a better description of Dr. Curry’s blogging as compared to disinformation. “Thinking which is deeply flawed . . . presented as a model of excellence of thought” captures it very well.

    I enjoyed the list of 25 attributes of disinformation — it should be a useful shorthand for describing motifs of “skeptic” argument where those features recur over and over again.

    • Robert

      I would appreciate it if you, (or anyone else) would actually lay out what you believe is the current best case to demonstrate that human caused warming will be a problem for humanity worthy of taking significant actions about now.

      1. Are you sure of the rate of warming?
      2. Are you sure how much of #1 is due to humans
      3. What is your evidence to show how individual areas of the planet will either suffer a “net harm” or “net improvement” improvement for humans as a result of warming identified in #1?
      4. What information do you have to show that any proposed action plan you suggest is the appropriate plan to be taken for taxpayers? (to make this easier for you, you can pick the taxpayers of any country you wish)
      If you cannot or will not do the above shouldn’t you consider modifying your position? I think you will have significant difficulties with #2, #3, and #4.

      • That’s a bit harsh Rob – it sounds to me dangerously like asking for ‘evidence’. You’ll make the poor boy cry..

      • Anteros

        I really am trying to learn from the exchange. I simply do not get the case as it seems to have fundamental flaws. Hey, I would change my opinion completely if we had either local, regional, or global models that could accurately forecast temperature, and rainfall as a function of CO2 levels.

        One of my fundamental questions is “why do you expect citizens in “country X” to pay more for for things or do without things unless you can reasonably demonstrate that it makes sense for them in the long term?

      • Rob –

        I think very many people have been asking that kind of question for a long time.
        I’m also yet to hear a coherent answer.

      • Rob Starkey –

        I can actually have a stab at a ‘neutral’ answer to your questions. I think also that the effort is worthwhile.

        1) Not exactly, no. But exactness isn’t necessary – as time goes on (satellites, better coverage etc) we can be more certain. It’s not something many sensible people are going to argue the toss about. Nearly 3/4 of a degree C for the C20?

        2) Again, not exactly. But from my point of view (perhaps surprisingly) I don’t have any issue with the IPPC’s estimate of >90% probability of .50% of late C20 warming. Could even be conservative

        3) Not a shred of convincing evidence for anything. Having said that, three things I would say can be advanced a) a warmer world, on balance will be a slightly wetter world. b) a warming world will see sea levels rise more than they would in a world at a fairly constant temperature. c) the distribution of precipitation is very likely to change. But ‘net harm’ or ‘net improvement for particular regions? No info at all.

        4) I can’t see any possible justification for this – except a very general appeal to everyone. For that, though, you’d have to go back to your question 3)

        [To be really fair, I think you could broaden question 2. While you might never be able to pick a particular climatic change which you can identify for a particular region, you'd have some grounds for appealing to 'all nations' if you believed that the overall change in a warmer world was negative. This I think is the crux of the CAGW case - for most it is an article of faith that overall, bad things will happpen]

        This I think tells me that maybe your questions aren’t the best way to tease out the reasoning of believers. Also, most consensus people don’t concern themselves mush with local (I mean national) taxes and climate changes. They almost all the time think ‘global’ and for emphasis say ‘it’s gonna be worse for poor people’

        That makes a good case for one of the most important ‘no regrets’ policies to be getting poor people to be not-poor.

      • I would appreciate it if you, (or anyone else) would actually lay out what you believe is the current best case to demonstrate that human caused warming will be a problem for humanity worthy of taking significant actions about now.

        I’d be happy to address that, but I’d like you to clarify a few points for me so I can understand where you’re coming from:

        1. Do you feel that making the world warmer than it has been in the last several millions of years has been proven to be safe?

        2. What is the argument that that is true?

        3. Do you feel you can prove that BAU will not make the world warmer than it has been in the last several million years?

        4. What evidence do you have that slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions will have any major negative impacts on society? Exactly how much will it cost, how will it affect each specific industry in each country around the world?

        I want to understand why you propose we engage in what seems to be a very dangerous experiment, but I gather you think that this is safe. I’d like to understand why you think so, and what your evidence is.

      • Er, what you mean Robert is the opposite of what you say.
        You’re not at all ‘happy to address that’ [you haven't]
        What you have done is ask a set of completely unrelated questions.

        If you say you’re happy to do it – go ahead and do it.

        It’s not complicated, even for you ;)

      • Er, what you mean Robert is the opposite of what you say.

        That’s an interesting assertion — the claim you can read minds. Do you have any evidence for it?

        It’s endlessly amusing, the way deniers simply make up things they wish were true.

        I take you don’t have the answers to these very simple questions either? That’s why you’re making the ridiculous assertion that they are unrelated? Why do you think that?

      • Robert

        I “believe” you are avoiding answering the questions that are important to demonstrate that the actions recommended by the IPCC make sense, but I could be wrong. I will answer you questions to see if I am mistaken as to where it will lead.

        1. Do you feel that making the world warmer than it has been in the last several millions of years has been proven to be safe?

        My response- I don’t think any world can be proven to be safe. A potentially warmer world is no exception.

        I believe the question in theory is, or at least should be: Assuming a baseline of BAU, what actions are being considered to improve the environmental conditions, and are the net results or benefits worth the proposed costs. It seems a simple question, but I agree there are multiple perspectives in addressing the issue.

        2. What is the argument that that is true?

        My response- This question is overcome by response #1

        3. Do you feel you can prove that BAU will not make the world warmer than it has been in the last several million years?

        My response- To reasonably answer your question and not play games, assuming a BAU approach I can’t prove the world will not get warmer than it has been recently. I also have no reliable data to suggest that that warmer world would be worse for humans over the long term. I don’t doubt that additional CO2 warms the planet somewhat. It is really a question of how much in the real world and what the temperature impact has on rainfall at different locations.

        4. What evidence do you have that slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions will have any major negative impacts on society? Exactly how much will it cost, how will it affect each specific industry in each country around the world?

        My response: In order to answer your question it would be necessary for you to define what you propose to be done beyond a BAU approach. Some actions I have read about being proposed are could be harmful on multiple levels, but it is inefficient to speculate. Please define what you propose so I am not guessing.

        “I want to understand why you propose we engage in what seems to be a very dangerous experiment, but I gather you think that this is safe. I’d like to understand why you think so, and what your evidence is”

        My response: I propose that any actions taken be shown to make sense for those paying for the proposed actions. If BAU is the baseline the party proposing a change from the baseline needs to define what they wish to do, what will be the cost, and what will be the result of their plan if approved.

      • Robert,

        I’ll take a shot at answering your questions.

        1. Do you feel that making the world warmer than it has been in the last several millions of years has been proven to be safe?

        – Aside from not exactly knowing what the world’s temperatures have been for the last several million years, (though I am pretty sure we had an ice age or two during that span) I’d like to ask “Safe from what?” I can say that I believe the world today isn’t any more unsafe than before. I can go further and say that the living conditions
        in general for people today are far better than they were a 100, a 1000 or 10,000 years ago.

        2. What is the argument that that is true?

        – How about levels of infant mortality, life span, communicable diseases, loss of life from natural events, average caloric intake, just for a start. How about the fact the world now has a few billion more people living in it than before. Were the situation so unsafe, logically one would think populations would be crashing.

        3. Do you feel you can prove that BAU will not make the world warmer than it has been in the last several million years?

        – Going to have to skip this one as I don’t know what BAU stands for.

        4. What evidence do you have that slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions will have any major negative impacts on society? Exactly how much will it cost, how will it affect each specific industry in each country around the world?

        – Well, unless you have some grant money available for me to conduct such a research project, I’m going to have to suggest you try looking for this information yourself. I’m sure you can find it if you look. But here are a few examples:
        – food riots due to the rising cost of basic staple crops. (Caused by increasing levels of these crops being diverted to biofuel production.)
        – African villagers being driven off their land and in some cases killed in order that profiteers can cash in on carbon trading credits.
        – rising electric bills as utilities move away from least cost planning to mandated renewables portfolios.

        And that’s not even the tip of the ice burg. Who do you think pays for the cost of replacing the 50% of US generation capacity currently filled by coal? Not the utility companies. For that matter, do you think that all those free light bulbs utility companies (including ours) are handing out are really free? Guess again. If yyour utility is handing them out it is because they have reached a deal with the state regulators that allows them to keep revenues at existing levels in return for conservation projects.

        So, how did I do?

        Care now to tell us what all of the “bad” things which are going to happen in a warmer world?

      • I can say that I believe the world today isn’t any more unsafe than before. I can go further and say that the living conditions
        in general for people today are far better than they were a 100, a 1000 or 10,000 years ago.

        I appreciate you making the effort, but here you are not answering my question, and instead answered two unrelated questions. Your responses to #1 and #2 don’t address the questions.

        #3 — you passed. BAU stands for “business as usual” — proceeding with no significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or otherwise mitigate AGW.

        #4 — You don’t have an answer and you admit that. That’s admirable. Then you try a shift the question back to me, which is not so admirable. Then you try and answer the question after admitting you don’t have the answer, which is just confusing.

        Based on your rapid-fire anecdotes without any links or sources, I think your first impulse was the correct one: you don’t have an answer for this question.

        So the final tally, and again, I appreciate that you are engaging the substance, but the final tally, unfortunately, is:

        Questions asked by me: 4
        Questions you answered: 0
        Questions you evaded, ducked, or skipped: 4

        Feel free to have a go at #3 now that the acronym is explained.

    • Robert, I happen to like pseudo-critcal thinking. It’s like rationalization. I can go without sex for a while, but I need my rationalizations like some folks need pseudo-critical thinking. Like 330Wm-2 for DWLR just may be pseudo-critical thinking. That would mean that since the Earth is about 33 degrees warmer than it would be without that 330 Wm-2 of DWLR, that it takes about 10Wm-2 per degree. I find that comforting.

      Is that a rationalization or pseudo-critical thinking?.

      • “Robert, I happen to like pseudo-critcal thinking.”

        It shows.

        “Is that a rationalization or pseudo-critical thinking?”

        Just garden-variety stupidity. More pseudointellectual, in the way you’re throwing around words and concepts you don’t understand, than pseudocritical.

    • Robert,
      Thank you so much for what I am certain was unintended irony on your part.

  93. Robert,

    All you have to do is look at the post counts. I’d say nearly 500 comments in less than 24 hours is a pretty good indication of popularity, something that’s not particularly unusual on a blog that typically garners hundreds of responses for every post Dr. C. puts up.

    If you want to argue popularity does not imply respect, go right ahead. Of course you’d be wrong, but that’s your prerogative. Even the most vociferous critics are granting at the very least that Climate etc. is a major player in the blogosphere…otherwise why would they be getting so upset?

    • If you want to argue popularity does not imply respect, go right ahead.

      Why would I do your work for you?

      Your argument: popularity equals respect.

      Now we wait for the extraordinary evidence for your extraordinary claim. Where is it?

  94. Star Trek Voyager quotes that can be adapted to blog host Judith Curry:

    Captain Janeway: “It’s like being pecked to death by ducks.”

    &

    Captain Janeway: “We’re Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job.”

    John

  95. Those shabby attacks by Tol & Kloor just confirms the inability of many AGW proponents (I should even say believers) to engage any constructive debate, and provide any sensible arguments.

    Indeed Tol & Kloor just replicate (and thus demonstrate) the shameful and unethical behavior of some of the IPCC leaders (Mann, Jones & co), trying to silence skeptical voices. This also proves the critics addressed to the IPCC process (cf. Climategate) and leaders to be totally justified.

    This finally confirms that Judy’s fight in favor of a real open scientific debate is a worthy cause, and that her blog @ climate etc… is utmost needed!

  96. I think I have read at least most of every post in Climate etc. since September last year, and this one has given me the greatest disappointment. I started enthusiastically, feeling that I had been given some really useful thoughts about how to deal sensibly with difficult stuff. But before long, the thread was simply hi-jacked, and to wade through all that, and then the rapier-thrustings of antagonists, and then the smart undergraduate remarks of a few who seem to have nothing else to do but parade their sharpness, has been a great expenditure of my time — alas, mostly wasted. I don’t know what to suggest to our hostess, but agree with the notion of a statement by her explaining what this site is about.

    I come here to learn and to ask questions — and occasionally to disagree, where I think I can do so without great error. So, let me suggest that the whole business of BAU — ‘business as usual’ — needs a bit of teazing out. ‘Business’ is entrepreneurial, and moves quickly. It is risky, and great corporations can die — if not overnight, then within a few years. If you don’t think so, go and consult which were the top 20 corporations in 1980, and consider them today. My hunch is that business as usual, as I understand it, anyway, will respond to good information and market signals, and thereby provide a better outcome for us all in the energy area than the policies advanced by people guided by an addiction to a threat that they cannot measure or specify, but which they seem to believe passionately.

    • My hunch is that business as usual, as I understand it, anyway, will respond to good information and market signals, and thereby provide a better outcome for us all in the energy area than the policies advanced by people guided by an addiction to a threat that they cannot measure or specify, but which they seem to believe passionately.

      I’ve tried to get deniers to quantify the vague sense of anxiety and threat they feel at the thought of reducing emissions, but as you say, for all their passion, they can’t seem to measure or specify the threat. :)

      We can use “good information and market signals” to deal with AGW, by instituting a carbon tax. Without a tax on the negative externalities of greenhouse gas emissions, market signals do not function to optimize decisions. I suggest you look at something on “the tragedy of the commons” to clarify this.

      • In “Robert’s World” do you have a list of what level of tax you would impose in each nation in order for your strategy to achieve whatever goal you are supposedly trying to accomplish?

        What is the goal of the tax?

      • Robert,

        I am familiar with Garret Hardin’s thoughts on “The Tragedy of the Commons” (published in Science in 1968). Can you recommend a few newer references?

      • Robert, if you could take part in these discussions without patronising others, that would be a great improvement.

        A carbon tax is not a true market signal. A high price for gasoline, brought about by the failure of supply to match demand, is one. When that happened in the 1970s there was a quick market response: people moved to smaller and more efficient cars, and manufacturers switched at once to produce them. If such a high price were to occur again, we would in the first instance move quickly to gas-powered motor vehicles, which are already in use in many countries. We have dealt with the negative externalities of real pollution, both in the air and in water, and the skies, rivers and lakes are the better for it — at least in my country and in the UK and the USA. The jury is still out, IMO, on whether ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ as such will be a real problem for humanity. And I would do nothing there until the science was clearer.

        So why would we introduce a tax to achieve such an outcome. Aha! Because there is a threat, and some people are addicted to it, and democratic governments are alert to perceptions of threat. The carbon tax certainly provides a signal, but the preferred alternatives offered by many governments are solar and wind power. Each of these has great problems. Having pushed hard (and quite successfully) for more investment in solar energy research in the 1980s I see solar energy as having a clear future. But in my view that will come when the market prefers it for the right reason: it is simply better for your pocket. For baseline grid power that is a long way off. We have a lot of coal still.

        I don’t buy the threat — not yet, at least. And after five years of considerable reading, asking questions and trying to sort it all out, I am no more persuaded than I was at the beginning — less, in fact. Plainly you do accept it, and I won’t try to persuade you otherwise.

        And I guess I could go back to my lectures of the 1970s and see what I thought then of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ stuff, which I discussed in the context of game theory. I don’t think it is of much relevance here.

    • I’ve tried to get deniers to quantify the vague sense of anxiety and threat they feel at the thought of reducing emissions, but as you say, for all their passion, they can’t seem to measure or specify the threat. :)

      Yes, besides Robert, perhaps there indeed are still a few six-year-old alarmists around who haven’t worked out that
      – massively higher energy costs must necessarily make everyone poorer
      – we still have absolutelty no idea whether CO2 as dangerous as political advocacy groups like the IPCC are saying
      – and that hence we could rush into beggaring ourselves for nothing

      We can use “good information and market signals” to deal with AGW, by instituting a carbon tax.

      More schoolboy tripe. With close to zero idea of how serious AGW actually is – with largely only the word of the IPCC politicos given currency – there is equally close to zero idea of what level to set the tax at.

  97. Tol is merely trying to plug the leak in the pal-reviewing system that failed to gatekeep out a paper that didn’t fairthfully regurgitate IPCC dogma.

  98. I’m sorry, somehow this comment ended up a few comments above, whereas I wanted it to be at the bottom. I hope it’s okay if I paste it here again.

    mike, I apologize too for writing from the heart and trying to be as honest as possible. I’m not saying I know everything (on the contrary), or I know what’s right. All I’m saying is that there is a good chance that AGW is a risk, and we should act accordingly. How? I’m not sure. The point is that this gets debated, and not whether there is a potential risk or not. We have passed that station a few years back.

    —-

    Dr Curry, so now, two days later, it is clear that what was said from the outset was true.

    1) EIKE is a politically motivated think tank that repeatedly spreads disinformation to prevent any debate on policy (because they don’t want policy). You yourself said Marc Morano uses disinformation tactics. Marc Morano is paid (heavily) by CFACT, and CFACT in turn has very strong ties with EIKE.

    2) Most if not all of their scientific ‘work’ is tainted by this bias. Richard Tol has used some of his precious time as a scientist and a father to write a guest post that completely debunks the papers you posted without any commentary or explanation where they came from. As Richard Tol concludes: “In sum, these two papers are badly done. We do not learn anything.”

    Like I said, we do not learn anything that wasn’t already known. Policy comes in when some issue or other is perceived as a potential threat. EIKE’s disinforming Cold War-geezers will keep shouting there is no threat from AGW whatsoever, until they die. They will never change their minds. Just like the dragonslayers that derail your comment threads.

    Supporting their endeavours by giving EIKE a platform (‘to learn’ when there is nothing to learn) only slows down the policy debate, by going back to the same old debunked myths that have stalled constructive debate for 20 years now. Is this what you want? Do you also believe AGW is a non-threat and that therefore there needs not be any policy, and that therefore it is legitimized to employ disinformation tactics to delay any debate on policy?

    Because, frankly, I cannot conceive of any other reason for you to have done this. Except perhaps that you like to engender controversy to get more attention, hits, comments.

    I’m sorry to be so blunt, but your actions do not match what you say you want to achieve.

    In short:
    1) Do you still think it was useful to throw this disinformation out there, without prior analysis or explanation (like you did with the Greenhouse Dragon disinformation)? Because it looks as though you wasted everybody’s time. Except EIKE’s time, of course.

    2) And would you do it again, like this, when someone from EIKE approaches you with something that is 99% sure to be disinformation? Would you do it exactly the same way?

    • Neven,

      I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for an answer from Judith. Not that you don’t deserve one, you have raised some valid points, but even though she has declared a wish to ‘engage with the public’, build bridges etc on Climate etc, she doesn’t seem particularly interested to actually do that.

    • @Tempterrein Judith … has declared a wish to ‘engage with the public’, build bridges etc on Climate etc, she doesn’t seem particularly interested to actually do that.

      Rough translation : doesn’t toe the unthinking alarmist / poltical correctness line that old Temp does.

    • In hindsight, I think posting the Ludecke papers was a good idea. If I had a do-over, I would write a JC comment at the end of the post (similar to what I did with Tol’s post) explaining how the post came about, why I am posting it, claiming that the views of the guest poster are not views of the host, etc.

      In the very early days of this blog, I committed to giving skeptical papers a fair hearing.

      I don’t intend to give an individual skeptics’ papers additional posts if they do not engage in the comment threads and / or do not make their data and methods publicly available.

      • In hindsight, I think posting the Ludecke papers was a good idea.

        Why? Because now everyone knows that EIKE isn’t a credible or trustworthy source? Most sensible people already knew this, and your admirers don’t want to know it.

        Why was this a good idea? What purpose did it serve, except EIKE’s purpose of spreading disinformation?

      • Give it a rest fer chrissake.

      • Neven,

        From a certain POV anything that casts doubt on the consensus line is “a good idea”. It slows up the political process. It creates the impression that scientists are more divided than they really are. The guy in the street wouldn’t be aware that dodgy journals like ‘Energy and Environment’ , wouldn’t be given shelf space in most uni libraries. (Maybe Judith can let me know if its accepted at Georgia tech or if she has ever used it, or would ever consider using it, for her own publications?

        Anyone who objects to this tactic is painted as a fascist. Someone who doesn’t believe in free speech.

        You’d probably worked all this out for yourself. But, in case you or anyone else hadn’t, this is what it’s all about.

      • Since when has public opinion stopped governments from instigating all manner of policies, “for the greater good”, including going to war – if not starting said wars. History tells them that, in most cases, the majority of the electorate can be swayed before the next elections.
        They may pay lip service to the democratic process, but they go ahead and do it anyway.
        And what does it matter what Joe Soap knows, or doesn’t, about some dodgy journal – he probably doesn’t care.

      • Besides which, have you perhaps considered that this whole “slowing up the political process” thing may simply be an excuse dreamed up by governments and other organisations who don’t really want to take action?

      • Yes, governments everywhere are scrambling for ways to avoid funding and finding apparently iron-clad arguments for more taxes and power for themselves.

      • I’ve made my opinion clear: Republishing garbage is pointless.
        I would suggest that you invite commentaries on any paper that you want to spotlight.

      • Not pointless. See my reply to Neven above.

      • I would suggest that you invite commentaries on any paper that you want to spotlight.

        What else do you think putting a paper on a blog is, Richard ?

      • Richard, if I had sent you an email saying I was planning a post on the Ludecke papers, would have accepted by invitation to provide commentary? I suspect that you would not for the reasons that you gave for why I shouldn’t have done the post.

      • If the choice was between a guest post with commentary and one without, I probably would have written a commentary.
        I’d be happy to do that in the future (1) if requests are not too frequent and (2) if the mix is balanced.
        Some people here think that I do not like the conclusions of Ludeke and worked backwards from that. Stefan Rahmstorff’s statistics are almost as bad.

      • Excellent, I will take you up on this. Thank you.

    • Neven,
      WWF, Greenpeace, Progress America, etc. etc. etc. are all politically motivated.
      Your pretending this is a problem with EIKE is jsut because you don’t like their politics.
      Too effin’ bad.

      • WWF, Greenpeace, Progress America, etc. etc. etc. are all politically motivated. [Neven is] pretending this is a problem with EIKE [only]

        It’s far worse than that. Virtually the entire climatology establishment is politically motivated, as a consequence of being politically funded. Hence their dogged insistence on ‘proving’ CAGW no matter what – that is how the public sector feeds itself.

        Neven keeps his head in the sand on this.

      • Punksta, Hunter,
        There’s no end to this pointless ad hominem motive-bashing. Fighting it is like playing internet wack-a-mole. I’m not saying that it will go away if you ignore it, but at least you won’t waste your breath on it. I am as guilty of getting sucked in as you. Let us all resist responding to commentary that doesn’t actually address arguments.

      • Why are these groups politically motivated on the climate question?

        My criticism of some of them, particularly the WWF, would be that they aren’t particularly interested in social justice as far as humanity is concerned. However, I think we should all be able to agree that these groups actually want to do what they say they want to do. They do put the welfare of Pandas, Polar Bears, Gorillas etc first, second and third on their agenda and are just not interested in world politics beyond any effect it may have on their immediate concern.

        So, that agreed, doesn’t it follow that they’d want to know the truth, or as is close as is possible to get, on the way GH gas emissions may affect the world’s flora and fauna? If CO2 emissions are as benign as some claim then surely they’d want to know that. They have plenty to do fighting habitat loss, pollution, poaching etc They don’t need another battle to fight on GHG emissions.

  99. @Neven All I’m saying is that there is a good chance that AGW is a risk, and we should act accordingly … The point is that this gets debated, and not whether there is a potential risk or not. We have passed that station a few years back.

    No, we have NOT passed that station, the science is NOT setted. You merely repeat disinformation put out by the IPCC and various other politically motivated groups.

    Bear in mind that close to 100% of money in climate science comes from politics, so it stands to reason its ‘conclusions’ will advance the totalitarian political cause – ie even more taxes and regulations are needed.

    • Punksta, some parts of the science are firmly settled for now (radiative properties of CO2, increased concentration of CO2 in atmosphere, warming of oceans and atmosphere since 1900).

      Do you mean to suggest there is a 0% chance that global warming could pose serious problems?

      • It seems that incompetent and corrupt government could lead to a global economic collapse similar to the Great Depression.
        A long period little or negative growth [a decade or two] would result reducing global CO2 emission much more than has occurred due to the Kyoto Protocol.
        It’s possible this treaty could later be blamed for it.. Though I suppose some could argue instead that it somehow delayed and lessened this inevitable global slowdown.
        It also quite possible that the economic prosperity of last several decades will continue, and that CO2 emission will increase [mainly in India and China].
        My question is would a long global recession or depression have less serious problems as compared to continuation of global economic growth?

      • Neven,

        Probably not 0% chance. But what percent? And how serious of a problem (or problems)?

        Those are key questions that need better answers to than we currently have received before we go off campaigning to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.

      • @Nevven Do you mean to suggest there is a 0% chance that global warming could pose serious problems?

        As mentioned, No.

        You make no mention though that there is of course a 100% chance that a coerced (ie political) switch to more expensive energy will necessarily
        * make everyone poorer (except those like Gore on the green gravy train)
        * bring about a more totalitarian society, possibly to the extent of world governance

        Do you welcome these outcomes? Just not care? … ?

    • Neven, the radiative properties CO2 are not a matter of contention, but nor are they anwhere near established as a temperature control knob as IPCC dogma has it. There are still huge issues like feedbacks to resolve. At the moment there is little further established beyond a CO2-temperature correlation from the 70s to the 90s. Which collapsed in 00s.

      Do you mean to suggest there is a 0% chance that global warming could pose serious problems?

      No. It certainly merits attention. And the debate you seem so keen on stamping out in favour of action.

      • Well, of course. Once you acknowledge the fact that risk cannot be 0, you automatically (should) get a debate on what action to take. So debate it. Dr Curry says this needs to be debated.

        At the same time she publishes disinformation from the politically motivated EIKE that implies the risk is 0. Simply because they don’t want any policy whatsoever (their slogan is: “Nicht das Klima ist bedroht, sondern unsere Freiheit! Umweltschutz: Ja! Klimaschutz: Nein”; translation: “Climate isn’t threatened, our freedom is. Environmental protection (=policy): yes. Climate protection (=policy): no”).

        There’s a bit of a contradiction there, which I hope she’ll explain. As I’ve written: it has been proven yet again that EIKE is not a credible or trustworthy source. What will her conclusions be?

        I might be a CAGW ideologue (if that label makes you happy), but I think I’m right on this one.

      • Neven,
        The AGW true beleiver conflates a non-zero chance of bad problems with a mandate to do anything they think might make a difference, no matter the proven bad effects and lack of success their thinking has been demonstrated to have.
        You have already humiliated yourself pretending that everyone who disagrees with you is a sky dragon. Now you still delude yourself that your alleged concern for your children’s future is
        1- correct in its focus
        2- that it trumps the concern skeptics have for their children, and
        3- gives you the right to take things from me now to allegedly protect us from your vision of the future.
        Keep trying to think this through. you may be able to get past whatever it is that shutting down your reasoning ability.

      • The IPCC and the (politically-funded) climate estabishment are vastly more politically motivated – indeed utterly corrupt, as Climategate, the coverups of it and the deafeniing silence following it conclusively show – than EIKE. And have funding many orders of magnitude larger.

        Yet that you let pass uncommented on. Yes, blinkered ideologue seems right. Kudos for honesty.

      • Neven, the radiative properties CO2 are not a matter of contention, but nor are they anwhere near established as a temperature control knob as IPCC dogma has it.

        It’s settled among rational people. It’s unsettled in the sense that evolution is unsettled in biology. There will always be ignorant fanatics who are at war with reality.

      • Appeal to Evolution, Bob.

        Fallacied again, Bob.

        Andrew

      • You live in a reality all your own Robert, a partisan one driven by hatred and dishonesty.

        Flail away, 90% of the board accepts you for a troll as a rough estimate. Why don’t we take a poll? Who else will stand up and ask Robert to pack and leave?

      • Who else will stand up and ask Robert to pack and leave?

        Not I. That’s like asking a critically sick man to pack up and leave the hospital.

      • How come you aren’t asking me to leave too? You must reckon Robert is doing better than me! I’m offended :-)

      • cwon14,
        count me in on that.
        at least Joshua can actually try to interact in a civil way.
        Robert acts like someone who knows the gig is up and is balming those pointed out that the gig was bogus.

      • … the radiative properties CO2 are not a matter of contention, but nor are they anwhere near established as a temperature control knob as IPCC dogma has it.

        Robert: It’s settled among rational people.

        No, only among militant ignoramuses. Not even the IPCC bigots claim it.

      • Robert

        It’s settled among rational people.

        A twist on “the science is settled”.

        Congratulations!

        Max

  100. Latimer Alder

    Well, that’s all been a lot of fun……..

    The self-appointed ‘Great and the Good’ of the AGW orthodoxy have been doing a lot of shrieking and screaming, wailing and rending their raiment and a goodly dose of public berating.

    And the source of all this consensus Angst? The ultimate cause is a couple of peer-reviewed papers published in the scientific literature. The proximate cause is that Judith saw fit to draw our attention to them as being ‘interesting’. Somehow this minor event caused a storm of disapproval.

    Maybe its just me, but when I see such a near-hysterical Establishment over-reaction to an otherwise unremarkable event, I conclude that a deep-seated nerve has been touched.

    Not quite sure what it is….the effrontery of a possible apostate to have not consulted The Team before blogging? Or the content of the paper itself is unapproved by the elite? Despite meeting their own asserted standards of being peer-reviewed and published in a scientific journal.

    Or maybe it’s just the idea that out in the blogosphere there exists a place that they do not have ultimate content-control over. And that is increasingly popular.

    It’ll be even more fun to see how this plays out. But this first serious attempt to traduce Judith’s e-salon (lovely phrase) seems to have backfired wildly.

    • Yes its all just “a lot fun” isn’t it? The question we are discussing is the most important environmental question ever.

      Yet, you can have a bit of a giggle and, at the same time, help slow down any effective climate action. How good is that?

  101. I “believe” you are avoiding . . .

    Not so. You need to answer some basic questions about your position, which seems to rely on a number of extraordinary claims.

    My response- I don’t think any world can be proven to be safe. A potentially warmer world is no exception.

    My response- To reasonably answer your question and not play games, assuming a BAU approach I can’t prove the world will not get warmer than it has been recently.

    So you admit you can’t prove that making the world warmer than it has been in the last several million years is safe. I think that’s wise of you. So what is your argument that we should undertake this experiment?

    If BAU is the baseline the party proposing a change from the baseline needs to define what they wish to do, what will be the cost, and what will be the result of their plan if approved.

    That’s the crux of our disagreement. The climate of the last 8,000 years is the baseline, and those proposing that we radically alter that climate to something never before seen by human beings need to show that it is safe. That includes a cost calculation of BAU as well as the likely results in terms of lives lost.

    I completely agree with this: “I propose that any actions taken be shown to make sense for those paying for the proposed actions.” But I see it as applying, first and foremost, to people releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We all have to pay for that, and future generations have to pay for it as well, and so if you want to do that, you need to make the case that the value added is worth it.

    I feel like you’re trying to have a serious discussion, so let me be completely honest and tell you why I have been giving you a bit of a hard time: the questions you ask have been addressed repeatedly in the peer-reviewed literature. The expected rate of warming, the impacts, the attribution to anthropogenic causes, and finally the cost and efficacy of many different strategies of mitigation and/or adaptation. All of this information is readily available; you can find it summarized (with references) in the IPCC reports, at Skeptical Science, and in many other places.

    It has been my experience that despite this vast body of information, some people chose, as a rhetorical tactic, to raise these questions again and again as if they have never been addressed by scientists. This tactic is actually described by Jo Nova in one of her “skeptic” guidebooks, but I won’t bore you with it. This tactic can serve a number of purposes:

    “12. Enigmas have no solution. paint the entire affair as too complex to solve.”

    “14. Demand complete solutions.”

    “16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.” (Specifically, this tactic “vanishes” the large body of peer-reviewed literature addressing each of the questions. There is also an element of: “19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs.”)

    Most importantly, since there are always uncertainties, repeatedly asking these questions cultivates the impression that uncertainties are the responsibility of those that want to slow down the unprecedented warming, rather than being a problem for those that want to continue it at full speed.

    You took the time to answer my questions, though, so I think you are interested in a dialogue. These are my answers:

    1. Are you sure of the rate of warming?

    We now have a lot of data from many different sources about the warming up to the present, from boreholes to surface stations to satellites. So yes up to the present, future trends have more uncertainty, but we can say with high confidence that warming will continue.

    2. Are you sure how much of #1 is due to humans

    Yes. All the alternative explanations have failed; the anthropogenic explanation has made testable predictions and been very accurate.

    3. What is your evidence to show how individual areas of the planet will either suffer a “net harm” or “net improvement” improvement for humans as a result of warming identified in #1?

    I’d refer you to the peer-reviewed literature on the subject, which is vast. But you can also use your common sense to answer the question: humans have socially adapted to the conditions of the last 8,000 years. We depend on the biosphere to be able to feed ourselves, and that has evolved over many millions of years. When we radically disrupt a system like that, changes are not equally likely to be beneficial or harmful. They are much more likely to be harmful. Again, this is common sense. If you are walking through a chemical plant and swipe a glass from a random vat of bubbling goo, what are the chances you will get a healthful infusion of vitamins and minerals? A lot less than 50%, wouldn’t you say?

    4. What information do you have to show that any proposed action plan you suggest is the appropriate plan to be taken for taxpayers? (to make this easier for you, you can pick the taxpayers of any country you wish)

    First we should agree that there’s a problem, then we can debate the merits of a given solution. Let’s not confuse the two discussions. But to answer your question: there are significant health costs and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels, as well as the dangers of climate change. A carbon tax can be justified purely on that basis. Several countries, including India, have implemented such a tax (India’s tax is only on coal). Other countries will also benefit from a carbon tax.

    What do you see as the downside of a carbon tax? What harm has been shown to result from a carbon tax? When lamenting uncertainties, do not forget that the costs of transitioning to a low-emissions economy are very uncertain, but unlike climatic uncertainties, we can easily experiment with different plans and see how they work in practice, altering them as needed.

    Hope this is helpful.

    • Hey Robert,

      RE: the questions you ask have been addressed repeatedly in the peer-reviewed literature. The expected rate of warming, the impacts, the attribution to anthropogenic causes, and finally the cost and efficacy of many different strategies of mitigation and/or adaptation. All of this information is readily available; you can find it summarized (with references) in the IPCC reports

      – on that rate of warming thing, maybe you should look again. The IPCC assessment may not be accurate. Looking like climate sensitivity to CO2 is significantly less than previously stated.

      Annan, J.D., and J.C. Hargreaves, 2009. On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity. Climate Change, 104, 423-436, doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9715-y, http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frsgc/research/d5/jdannan/probrevised.pdf

      Michaels, P.J., P.C. Knappenberger, O.W. Frauenfeld, and R.E. Davis, 2002. Revised 21st century temperature projections. Climate Research, 23, 1-9.

      Schmittner, A., et al., 2011. Climate sensitivity estimated from temperature reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum, Science, in press*, http://www.princeton.edu/~nurban/pubs/lgm-cs-uvic.pdf

      And those impact reports from IPCC – you wouldn’t by chance be referring to the reports written by grad students (spread of tropical diseases) or by WWF folks? And as far as being peer – reviewed, you must mean the 60 – 70 % which actually were and not the 30 – some % which were not.

      And RE this:

      humans have socially adapted to the conditions of the last 8,000 years. We depend on the biosphere to be able to feed ourselves, and that has evolved over many millions of years. When we radically disrupt a system like that, changes are not equally likely to be beneficial or harmful. They are much more likely to be harmful.

      Exactly what are you talking about? Human beings have been altering their environment almost from day one. We dam rivers, drain fields, terrance hillsides, drill tunnels, build dikes, reclaim land from the sea. Convert forests and deserts to cropland, plant forests or allow land to return to a “natural” state. And all of that is pretty piddling to what natural systems do. Just because the redwoods are hundreds of years old doesn’t make them the “natural” (in the sense of preferred) state. Much of what is Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, (all the way down to Texas I believe) was an inland sea. Don’t know about you, but I’d wager it is considerably more habitable today than it was then.

      I could go on, but I think you lost me at the “glass of goo” from a chemical plant. Though that analogy is probably a good indication of how you much look down on the rest of us.

      • timg56 –

        I agree with a lot of what you say. I often picture the last 7-800,000 years and think of the changing environment. The rise and fall of temperature by 8 degrees. The rise and fall of sea levels of 4 or 500 feet. As far the fossil record speaks, life on earth sailed through all that, thriving and abiding – teeming in every nook and cranny in every way imaginable. One example – the coral that is prevalent on earth today has been around for about 200 million years, so my guess is that ‘coral’ as an example of life is going to completely and utterly ignore mankind’s trivial efforts. But no, that doesn’t also mean I think run-off and fishing etc aren’t worth taking seriously – I just don’t get the catastrophe meme…

        So there I am thinking that as a general phenomenon, life will ignore or adapt to the changing environment (if it notices) and then I hear how disastrous climate change will be for humanity. I then think that human beings are more adaptable, apart perhaps than bacteria and viruses, than anything else going. I do see a problem, and it is the problem of people continuing to be poor!

        i could go on, but I think you know what I’m on about….

      • Anteros,

        Yes. You could go. But , yes we all do know what you are “on about”, so there is no real need.

        You’re making the point that AGW isn’t an existential threat to either human life or most other life. The polar bear probably won’t make it, and there will be a few butterflies which go extinct , but hey there have always been extinctions, right?

        Would I be right in thinking you were a Brit? “On about” sounds Pommie to me! If so, maybe you could let me know how much your government spends on its armed forces, and how much it’s just spent, or is intending to spend, on refurbishing its nuclear submarines. About a hundred times on what it spends on AGW mitigation ?

        Why bother? Even if the Russians or Chinese invade the old country, and as you say yourself, “life will ignore or adapt to the changing environment (if it notices at all)” !

      • tt –

        you are absolutely correct! Well, correct enough in the sense that I accept (usually) being a ‘Brit’ and ‘pommie’ does no harm. For extra information I an Englishman! [not quite the same, as you prob' know]

        I’m not convinced about the politics thing, though. I actually take very little interest in national politics – not my cup of tea, except in an academic sense. So, there is no parallel with what politicians do – they are not my concern.

        So. There is something amiss with either your reasoning, or your characterisation of mine. I have to admit to you that my beliefs are – from your point of view – probably ‘worse than you thought’. It is not merely that I don’t recognise an existential threat from a more mild climate, I see it the same way I do the extra mildness we have ‘not noticed’ over the last 70 or so years. Not noticeable, mostly benign if we had, and on balance, beneficial. Most important out of those is the ‘not noticeable’

        I think some of this you must agree with me about. I take it that you accept that nothing as yet has occurred that you could possibly describe as untoward, but I recognise your very firm belief that a continuance of this gentle trend will at some point quite soon wreak disastrous havoc, or at least something very very unpleasant for humanity. It is here that we have different beliefs – very much so. And as I have argued here many times I really think that difference has little to do with ‘the evidence’. We have the same ‘evidence’, we merely see it in fundamentally different ways. And of course we have to explain to our selves why the other person doesn’t ‘see’ our truth. One sees the other as denying the obvious [willfully, or out of some fear or defect], and the second sees the first and suffering from the same unjustified imaginings that have plagued humanity since he first contemplate ‘tomorrow’. The divide is enormous and not crossed with reasoning, or calculation or intellect. Scientific evidence just bolsters our beliefs.

        There are other parts to my scepticism, but I think that they are less important. If there was strong evidence (that I believed) that suggested sea levels would rise by one metre by 2100 I, would suggest that spending 3 or 4 hundred billion dollars every year might make a few centimetres worth of difference and it would be the most pointless thing humanity has done.

        There are some very good reasons for people to be experimenting with, investigating, funding, perhaps even subsidising [!] solar panels, windmills and biofuels. But I don’t think a milder climate is one of them!

        My perspective is the big picture – bigger than how many raindrops we can count, or what thermometers say. How do we view ourselves as beings? Do we accept the voices calling for us to be guilt-ridden, shameful and sure of our sinfulness? Do we say, like some environmentalists that we are a cancer spreading across the face of the earth? Do we think of all our ‘impacts’ as necessarily bad?

        I don’t, and my thinking leads me to some areas of iconoclasm – I don’t believe ‘sustainability’ is such a wonderful concept. It gets added on to every other idea people seem to have as if it were something a priori wonderful like ‘righteousness’ used to be. I think sometimes it is a pernicious idea.

        So too biodiversity, at which point I accept you might think I have lost my reason. Think of this though – I can characterise my green and pleasant land as an environmental paradise – as it is now. It is certainly so when compared to the dank, monotonous unvarying oak forest it was before my ancestors walked here from Europe. It is just better in every way imaginable. I don’t know exactly if there are more or less species in England than there were 40,000 years ago – I do know that what we have now is better AND that there are an enormous number of species. Therefore, if there are less than there were, how is it that biodiversity is a good thing? It isn’t – it is not important (in those) differences. Some people like polar bears, sure. I think I would have quite liked giant Sloths and Woolly Mammoths, but things change. 3,4,5,,6,7,8 million species? I’m OK with whatever there are. Again, in England we have a settled and protected landscape, and I can predict the number of extinctions for this year – none!

        I don’t know why I’ve been rambling….

        We have profoundly different beliefs (certainly about the future of earth’s climate) and it does fascinate me that we do so from essentially the same information. My firmest belief is that our pictures of the future are not in anyway constructed with reason (though we persuade ourselves that they are) which is why they are not amenable to being changing by further reason (new evidence).

      • This is in response to Anteros in response to tempterrain (tt):

        You express in a pleasant and reasonable way the position that I have come to myself. I have doubts about the validity and reliability of the measured temperature data both on land and in the sea, but if I accept that there has been a warming of 0.7 per cent over the last fifty years or so, then it has been accompanied by an increase in population, an increase in food supplies and an increase in well-being for the larger number of people in most societies, always accepting that ‘well-being’ is a slippery concept.

        I agree that the data, the scientific arguments and the debate are not in a state that would allow me to come down firmly on one side or the other. It seems to me that ‘climate science’ is both cross-disciplinary and in an early state. The discussion on the recent threads suggest strongly that we just don’t know about so much. I too am fascinated with the passion that goes along with the arguments, when it is plain to me that we are in debate that cannot yet be solved.

        As Walter Starck has said somewhere, it seems that many people ‘are addicted to the threat’, and don’t want to let go of it. I’m not one of them. My optimistic position is that humanity tends to solve problems, and if AGW is really a problem (I’m not sure, having read hundreds of thousands of words on it now) my guess is that we will solve it too. In the meantime it might be sensible to devote our energies and whatever money is left after the coming financial debacle to thinking about how better to adapt to the cycles of flood, drought, fire and storm that we, in Australia at least, have experienced over the lat century or so.

      • – on that rate of warming thing, maybe you should look again. The IPCC assessment may not be accurate. Looking like climate sensitivity to CO2 is significantly less than previously stated.

        So one the one side, we have the peer reviewed literature and all the evidence, and on the other, we have your assertion.

        Sorry, your hand-waving doesn’t rise to the level of an argument.

  102. Judith can of course defend these two particular papers if she likes. I’m sure I could find worse. I’d just ask where Judith would draw the line. Are there any contrarian ‘papers’ or books which are so bad that even she would reject them?

    If I had to suggest the worst of the worst, it would have to be Ian Plimer’s book “Heaven and Earth”. Its so full of factual errors that it must be a severe embarrassment to many.

    I’m sure people like David Young and Ged would like to ‘discuss’ that and all the trashy scientific works which can be found. Ged expressed approval for the publication of the works of Peter Duesberg on AIDs , even though they happened to be taken too seriously in South Africa and cost the lives of some 250,000 people. Of course, as he says, it all eventually gets corrected in the course of debate, but it all takes a long time.

    The longer the better eh?

  103. ie, while lacking anything approaching convincing physics regarding feedbacks (they don’t even know the sign, let alone the magnitude), the IPCC still thinks it ‘highly likely’. IOW, it’s 99% dogma and politics, 1% science.

  104. “tempterrain | November 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |

    Jim,

    You’re obviously getting on in years but its not too late to start using your brains rather than your ‘guts’ to analyse climate science.”

    tempterraine, you brought it up; let me run with it. Maybe you can give me the reference I am looking for. When I first really understood the alleged physics behind CAGW, I was struck by the fact that the only thing considered was the radiation term; conduction, convection and latent heat are not considered in translating the change in the radiative properties of the atmosphere into a change in surface temperature; i.e. no-feedback climate sensitivity. This seems to be an assumption, or something I am not sure what, and Andy Lacis stated it specifically. That one can estimate the effect of adding CO2 to the atmopshere by ONLY considering radiation effects.
    .
    My instinct tells me this is just plain wrong. Can I prove this? Of course I cannot. But it strikes me that somewhere in the literature someone must have proved that one can do all these estimations by ONLY considering radiation. Can you give me the reference to where this is proved? Note, I only want the reference; I dont want your ideas.

    • Jim,

      You are incorrect to claim that convection, conduction and latent heat are “not considered” in climate models.

      For instance, convection is inextricably linked to the adiabatic lapse rate which itself defines the extent of the troposphere. That is certainly included.

      You may claim they aren’t properly considered, in which case you need to dust off your old Physics skills and explain how the models need to be changed. But, before you make any claims at all, it helps to understand the current theory before you can expect to come up with anything better.

      Otherwise, all you can do is start banging on that the error bars aren’t big enough. But, someone else is already doing that and probably doesn’t need any extra help !

      • tempterraine, you write “You are incorrect to claim that convection, conduction and latent heat are “not considered” in climate models.”

        I never said that. Please read what I tried carefully to say. I said that only radiation is considered in estimating no-feedback climate sensitivity, and how a change in radiative properties is transformed in to a change of surface temperature. Where is the reference that proves that you can estimate no-feedback climate sensitivity by ONLY considering radiation?

      • Jim,

        You probably should be on this thread with your latest question.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/16/feedback-in-climate/

      • tempterraine. I read and took part in that thread. It does not give the answer as to why it is valid to ONLY consider radiation effects when going from a change of radiative forcing to a change in surface temperature. That is the reference I am looking for. Or put it another way, if you claim it does provide such an answer, where specifically in the thread is the answer provided?

      • tempterraine.Thinking this over, it would be much simpler if you would just agree with me that there is no reference that proves that one only needs to consider radiation effects, in estimating how one goes from change of radiative forcing to change in surface temperature.

      • Jim,

        Probably you need to correspond with Chris Colose for the details, but as I understand it doubling of CO2 will produce a forcing of 3.7W/m^2 According to the SB relationship an increase of temperature of 1 degK with cause the Earth to radiate an extra 3.2W/m^2

        So this works at 1.2 deg K warming for the no-feedback case.

        I don’t feel particularly wasting my time with you unless you are going to have a serious crack at understanding it yourself. All you want to do is to pick as many holes in all this as you can and then end up smugly saying “but they just don’t know”!

      • tt, At the TOA, at 255K, a radiative forcing of ~3.8W/m2 corresponds to 1K. But a 1K difference at the surface, at 288K will, by SB, cause the earth to radiate ~5.7W/m2 more. On top of that, a 1K increase would also mean increased evaporation and convection losses. So it’s doubtful that the surface can increase by as much as 1C with that forcing.

      • Peter137,
        I seem to remember that Prof Lindzen testified to the House of Lords that the no-feedback forcing was about 1 deg K. This figure seems to be well accepted and the uncertainty is related to the effect of the feedbacks. In any case this discussion belongs on another thread.

      • tt, on which thread do you want to continue this discussion?
        BTW, it’s 1K, not 1 deg K.

    • “My instinct tells me this is just plain wrong. Can I prove this? Of course I cannot. But it strikes me that somewhere in the literature someone must have proved that one can do all these estimations by ONLY considering radiation. Can you give me the reference to where this is proved?”
      I would like to see such a reference.
      But it may be too obvious.
      It’s indisputable that all energy ultimately is radiated from earth.
      I also wonder how accurately such radiation is measured.
      In general terms, seeing the planck curve which indicates earth’s “black body” being 254.3 K [-18.85 C] I suppose has been measured a number of times. And therefore I suppose some large amount radiation leaving earth is occurring at this temperature [and the altitude in which air temperature is around -18 to -19 C. Which if one assumes average air temperature of 20 C at surface, and lapse rate of: “3.56 °F or 1.98 K(°C)/1,000 Ft) from sea level to 11 km (36,090 ft” [wiki] would be around +19,000 ft elevation].
      I assume it would be a significant amount of energy [not sure how much exactly] but it can’t be all the energy. And other problem where is measuring it from- it seems LEO wouldn’t be high enough- or it could be hard to measure accurately from LEO.

  105. “I have heard of EIKE, but am not terribly familiar”

    Then I guess you also missed the part where EIKE is a transparently free market think tank.

    And I guess you missed the part where EIKE is quite well known to bloggers who prefer that people learn to evaluate their sources of information e.g.

    http://jules-klimaat.blogspot.com/2011/01/on-eikes-31-prominent-scientists.html

    Etc.

  106. > Who else will stand up and ask Robert to pack and leave?

    Yet another Goat Buster. Here’s Vaughan Pratt’s take on Goat Busters:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/12555250618

  107. Bill C-

    You say this:

    However, blog science is certainly possible and occurs on climate blogs, particularly on skeptic blogs, as (generally skeptical) and knowledgeable folks come up with hypotheses and test them in the blogosphere.

    Why do you say “particularly on skeptical blogs.” I see discussion of science on Skeptical Science, Nick Stokes’ blog, Tamino’s blog, and Real Climate etc., as I see at the Blackboard, Climate audit, etc. I see a much higher PBPP factor (political bloviation per post) here and at WUWT.

    • Joshua
      RealClimate et al are the masters at presenting poltically skewed science as actual science. At sites like this, that dishonesty is exposed. That’s why see more comments on politics here. They (and you, it seems) would prefer their deviousness to remain a secret.

      • Punksta –

        We all are influenced by our biases. None of the blogs are free from an (generally identifying) overt orientation in the debate. None of them.

        What I find curious (and incurious, perhaps anti-skeptical, on the part of those who hold the view) is that some people seem to think that motivated reasoning and confirmation bias are exclusively, or even predominantly, influential only for the people who fall on the other side of the debate from themselves.

        RealClimate discusses science, as people do here. At both sites, there are people who are overtly influenced by orientation, people who are “deviously” influenced by starting orientation, and people who work hard to control for biases that might influence their analysis of the science.

    • I am referring to what I called “blog science” not discussion of science on blogs. That rules out RealClimate as what you have are “real” scientists discussing their work and the work of other “real” scientists. And probably SkS?

      Perhaps Nick Stokes and Tamino do “blog science” on their blogs. I don’t read them much and maybe I should. Nick posts on CA and shows evidence of his own work, but I don’t know how it relates to his professional work?

      You’re probably right about the PBPP factor here (and at WUWT, but I wouldn’t know). However WRT WUWT think about the SurfaceStations project? But here at least, you have PBPP * #posts in play. How many comments do Nick and Tamino get.

      The other thing is that when blog science gets on a roll, it winds up in journals which doesn’t negate that it started on the blogs.

      How about this example at the Blackboard?

      http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/comparing-land-temperature-reconstructions-revisited/

      However I note Nick is on there and referencing stuff on his blog.

      I’m not really trying to win an argument just supporting my point with a few examples.

      • BillC –

        I am referring to what I called “blog science” not discussion of science on blogs. That rules out RealClimate as what you have are “real” scientists discussing their work and the work of other “real” scientists. And probably SkS?

        Thanks. The distinction you make in your clarification adds up for me. – although my understanding is that SKS contributors are mostly people who aren’t professionals in the field. I’ll also note that you are more making a distinction based on who puts up the posts rather than who contributes to the discussions. I would imagine that on all these sites there are “non-professionals” (fake scientists?) who participate via comments.

      • I guess my biggest distinction would be between the RealClimate format “climate science from climate scientists” and amateur scientists. “Blog science” would be amateur science that is put forth on a blog. Or, a much more rare case of a professional scientist doing work just to post it on a blog.

        Regardless the LLE/Tol discussion doesn’t amount to blog science because the original study was an academic paper. Nobody put forward a hypothesis and tested it or played with it via the blog.

      • Which could be the commenters, but more likely the poster I guess. WebHubTelescope gets some points…

  108. Maybe the word we need – not misinfomation, and not disinformation (if that requires that the info provided be false) – is psyops.

  109. It looks like the US will be in safe hands no matter who wins the next presidential election. Its good to know that there’s no chance of a Sarah Palin type person being out of their depth in the job, and that all the leading candidates have full command of their subject!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15669242

    • It looks like the US will be in safe hands no matter who wins the next presidential election.

      So the a-hole Obama is out? I hadn’t heard.

  110. I wrote a little summary here: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/to-publish-bs-or-not-thats-the-question-judith-curry-vs-richard-tol/

    I agree with Tol that publicizinv BS is not helpful and indeed detrimental to the public understanding of science. To equate “being concerned about public understanding of science” with “playing politics through science” is not helpful. I think scientists ought to be concerned with the public understanding of science, and it is only natural that misunderstanding (both intended and unintended) runs more rampant re politically relevant science than re politically irrelevant science such as the mating behavior of fruitflies. It is not a coincidence that EIKE or Heartland don’t concern themselves with the latter subject.

    • To equate “being concerned about public understanding of science” with “playing politics through science” is not helpful. </i.

      That's only what the people are playing politics say. They want you fool you into believing that their partian playing with politics through science, is actual science. Out-and-out political activist groups such as the IPCC being the obvious case in point.

    • Bart, the problem I have with those “being concerned about the public understanding of science” is that there is all sorts of science that those particular people don’t really care whether the public understands or not. It is only the politically relevant science that is of concern for “public understanding.” And those concerned people mistakenly think that if only the public had better understanding of climate science, they would support UNFCCC policies, mitigation strategies etc. The knowledge deficit model for inaction on climate change has been demonstrated by numerous people not to work. So I still think that those that are concerned about “disinformation” are mostly concerned, in the end, about politics. Otherwise “flawed papers” would be used, rather than “disinformation.” Disinformation has political connotations, as the word is normally used (see the wikipedia quote).

      My concern is the integrity of climate science, and that requires that skeptical view points be discussed (and not treated in the way that was reflected by the CRU emails). If Heartland and EIKE win the political battle over climate change, it won’t be because of “disinformation” about the science. Rather it will most likely be that the UNFCCC policies are unworkable politically and economically, and fail because there are more immediate and more important political priorities.

      • Judith,
        I don’t know why you’re dragging the UNFCCC into this discussion (unless it’s for the purpose of playing politics with science? ;-) I’m merely talking and thinking about the public understanding of science. With the working assumption that the scientific process works reasonably well, I think that a wide gap between public and scientific understanding is a problem. The problem being that large segments of the public have a skewed understanding of the science.
        I am baffled that the uncritical highlighting of a badly flawed paper could be considered coming up for the integrity of science. I feel that Tol, me and numerous others who are criticizing the step you took here are defending the integrity of science.

      • “I am baffled that the uncritical highlighting of a badly flawed paper could be considered coming up for the integrity of science.”

        If Mann was releasing his hockey stick today, rather a decade ago, would it be wrong for Judith to post it?

      • Bart would not define it as flawed!! so it would be ok

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart Verheggen, I’ve noticed a trend in regards to these papers. The people who keep saying the papers are “badly flawed” keep saying thing about the papers which are untrue. In your case, your blog post criticizes the papers because you (understandably) didn’t understand what their conclusions meant. The papers use a non-standard definition (for natural), and if you don’t read the papers, it’s easy to miss.

        However, it greatly weakens your position when you claim a paper is highly flawed when you aren’t aware of a definition they stated in the abstract of the paper. If you would dismiss a paper while making a critical mistake anyone can see is false by just reading the abstract of the paper, why should anyone listen to you about what should and should not be discussed?

        To me, it sounds like you’re saying, “I know they’re wrong even though I don’t know what they’re saying. Why? Because I don’t like how their results sound.”

      • I don’t know why you’re dragging the UNFCCC into this discussion ….

        Probably because you seem to need constant reminding that mainstream climate science is still firmly associated with the bias and charlatanry exposed in Climategate, for which it has yet to admit culpability.

        The problem being that large segments of the public have a skewed understanding of the science.

        Yes, in some quarters it is still wrongly seen as being objective rather than politically motivated and financed.

      • A point I agree with: “The knowledge deficit model for inaction on climate change has been demonstrated by numerous people not to work.”

        I might state it not quite so strongly, as, like most things in social science, the evidence is not as good as we might like. I would also add the caveat that it depends what sort of knowledge you are talking about; direct experience will be better than purely theoretical instruction, etc.

        The real problem is the inherent contradiction in the statement above and this:

        If Heartland and EIKE win the political battle over climate change, it won’t be because of “disinformation” about the science. Rather it will most likely be that the UNFCCC policies are unworkable politically and economically, and fail because there are more immediate and more important political priorities.

        You dismiss rationality as a force for action on climate, and then you claim that inaction, it if occurs, will likely be attributable to a rational determination that the policies proposed are unworkable, or because a rational ordering of priorities puts other things first.

        That doesn’t make sense. If knowledge doesn’t drive action, then neither does it drive inaction; if people are most strongly motivated by other forces than knowledge and the rational application of that knowledge, then it is not likely that failure to act on climate change will be the result of the rational application of knowledge.

      • Robert, If I get your drift, you are saying that all we need to do to fix the world, is give larger loans to grad students? Well, it does work in sport.

      • Judith –

        If Heartland and EIKE win the political battle over climate change, it won’t be because of “disinformation” about the science. Rather it will most likely be that the UNFCCC policies are unworkable politically and economically, and fail because there are more immediate and more important political priorities.

        First – the two factors you describe there are obviously not mutually exclusive. Why would you describe them as working in isolation from one another? Part of what makes climate change policies unworkable politically (and it might even be argued economically) is the disinformation promoted by the “denier” side of the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” spectrum.

        Second –

        Otherwise “flawed papers” would be used, rather than “disinformation.”

        Judith, you feel that you can just pick and choose among the work of various “skeptics” and then characterize the input of all “skeptics” in a way that fits neatly with your agenda. There is “disinformation” that is being put out there. Was Tol’s characterization of the LLE paper as “disinformation” inaccurate? I’d say that is a judgement call, not something that is really provable by the evidence I’ve seen – and your admitted ignorance about EIKE means that you were locked into a viewpoint on the issue before you even knew the full context. Once again, you yourself characterized Morano as promoting “disinformation,” and EIKE is on record as promoting Morano.

        Once again, Judith – you speak in far too general and unqualified/unquantified terms. When that happens, I would suggest that you consider to what extent “sociocentric” thinking is interfering with your critical thinking process.

      • Joshua,
        Not to put too fine a point on it, but you are acting like a real jerk..
        Your pseudo-intellectual attempts to sit in judgement on Dr. Curry are not really very different from watching some poor lost soul having a heated conversation with someone no one else can see.

      • hunter –

        Your pseudo-intellectual attempts to sit in judgement on Dr. Curry are not really very different from watching some poor lost soul having a heated conversation with someone no one else can see.

        You’ve already made that point, and I offered to introduce you to my imaginary friend.

      • Joshua:

        ‘Part of what makes climate change policies unworkable politically (and it might even be argued economically) is the disinformation promoted by the “denier” side of the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” spectrum.”

        Evidence:

        1. Define the “denier” side of the spectrum
        2. Identify the dis information and proof why you think it is dis information
        3. Evidence for how this makes “polices” ( which policies) unworkable.

        Sometimes, you realize, that democrats oppose things just because republicans support them. The “reasons” come after the objection.
        The “dis information” isnt always the cause, sometimes it may be the result. That’s why it would be pointless for you to point out what a politician said. He may say ” I oppose this policy because there is no global warming according to Fred Singer”, but in reality he opposes it because senator X chaps his hide.
        Again, you think you can discern motivation from what people say.

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