Disinformation vs fraud in the climate debate

by Judith Curry

Lets conduct a thought experiment.  Consider the differing reactions to the two Ludecke papers if the exact same papers had been written by:

a)  Ludecke et al.
b)  Michael Mann
c)  Isaac Held
d)  A graduate student

With Ludecke et al. as authors, the “convinced” made charges of purveying disinformation.  The authors themselves were not so accused, but rather I was.  The accusation of purveying disinformation seem generally to be associated not with the original authors, but with journalists, bloggers, or advocacy groups discussing or otherwise promoting the papers.  Has anyone come across skeptics accusing a “warm” paper, or those publicizing such a paper, as promoting disinformation?

Now consider Michael Mann, favorite whipping boy of the skeptics, as author of these papers.   I suspect that the research would be characterized as fraudulent.  Fraud seems to be a favorite word of skeptics/deniers for denigrating a paper or author that they don’t like or is found to be deficient.  Has anyone come across people from the warm side characterizing a  paper with as fraud?

Now consider Isaac Held as author.  I suspect that people from both sides would be probing the paper for nuggets of insight, which are expected from a Held paper.

And finally, if the author was a graduate student, and I had featured the paper here, I suspect that people from both sides would be making constructive suggestions and providing helpful hints.

Dare I suggest that Richard Tol reacted much more sharply to these papers than people in the U.S. because of his knowledge of EIKE (German group of skeptics)?

JC anecdotal example

To illustrate this issue, I will relate a personal experience in evaluating papers. During the heyday of the hurricane wars (2005/2006),  my emotions were engaged in the debate because of the wild accusations that were being flung at us (Emanuel, Webster, Holland, Curry):  we were doing this for the money, publicity, etc.

Following publication of the Emanuel and Webster papers, there was a huge flurry of papers related to the hurricane and global warming issue.  I was asked by journalists to comment on most of these, and I was asked to review some of these.  My first reaction to seeing a new paper was to assess which “side” the paper was on.  I tended to be quite critical of most of these papers:  I was inclined to be critical of people that had been critical of my work, and I didn’t want to see shoddy work that was seemingly supportive  of our work get torn to pieces and so reflect poorly on our arguments.

This went on for several months before I understood that I was having an emotional reaction to these papers, and that this was getting in the way of an honest evaluation of the papers.  Once I recognized this, it was pretty easy to get my objectivity back.   In response to queries from journalists, I became critical of papers that seemingly supported our arguments if I felt the paper was weak.  Journalists, expecting something different me, stopped quoting me in their articles, but continued to ask for my opinion.

During the review process of my paper Mixing Politics and Science in Testing the Hypothesis that Greenhouse Warming is Causing a Global Increase in Hurricane Intensity,  the second round of reviews was extremely hostile (far more hostile than the first round) owing to a very controversial WSJ article that included an egregious misquote.  The reviewers perception of the paper changed completely after the WSJ article (while the content of the paper changed only in response to addressing the reviewers’ comments).

Disinformation vs fraud

Basically, I am hypothesizing that the reaction to a paper is very much colored by the authors.  Objective reactions are much more difficult if the authors are associated with advocacy groups or some sort of prior controversy.

I am further hypothesizing that the reaction  is not symmetrical among people on both extremes of the debate.  On the skeptical side, the accusations are focused on the author, whereas on the convinced side, the accusations are focused on people that enable/promote the paper (e.g. journal editors, bloggers, journalists, advocacy groups).

A possible explanation of this asymmetry is provided by the essay Talking Past Each Other, where skeptics are more focused on the science, and the “convinced” are more focused on the solutions.  So the skeptical criticism is more focused on the science and the individual author,  where as the convinced criticism kicks in if it looks like the paper will influence public opinion (presumably on policy).

Your thoughts?

825 responses to “Disinformation vs fraud in the climate debate

  1. “Considering the source” is almost inevitable, but easily overdone. In an imaginary universe, purely objective authors and reviewers exist. Not in this one. Consider that purely objective authors and reviewers would have zero or low “autocorrelation” between one article/response and the next.

    Doesn’t happen.

  2. I think the issue has not so much been with who wrote the papers, but with you deciding to highlight them on your blog.

    I know for myself that the latter is much more interesting. You are going to remain the public figure and focus of interest well after these papers have faded from public and professional view.

    I know you have explained your own motives and objectives, but I confess I still personally have a “what on Earth is going on inside her head” puzzle. I’m not planning to write about that myself or made grand critical pronouncements. I read your blog from time to time and have participated a couple of times also (quite a bit in the last few days). I’m not meaning this as a criticism either. You’re perfectly in order using the blog as you choose and it certainly gets a heck of a lot of traffic.

    But since you raise the point with this post, I’d just like to comment that the real puzzle isn’t the authors of those papers. The real interest here is Dr Judith Curry.

    Cheers and best wishes — Chris

    • Well done, Chris. I think you just added weight to the hypothesis she presents in her post!!

    • Lol. Quite so! (Except I’m not making accusations; but I do take your point.)

    • “I know you have explained your own motives and objectives, but I confess I still personally have a “what on Earth is going on inside her head” puzzle.”

      Could you please try to articulate your position a bit? Let me ask you to focus on three terms that can be used to describe Dr. Curry’s activities on this blog. The three terms are ‘posting’, ‘analysis’, and ‘judgement’. After Dr. Curry Posts an article, she invites Analysis of the article, offers some Analysis of her own, invites Judgments of the article, and offers some Judgments of her own.

      When you write about Dr. Curry’s activities on her blog, it seems that you address the matter of Posting but never address the matters of Analysis or Judgment. For that reason, all of your comments about Dr. Curry’s activities strike me as radically incomplete. Your comments make me wonder if you understand the concepts of Analysis and Judgment. I will illustrate my point.

      Over the last few days you criticized Dr. Curry for posting work by some scientists. However, she not only posted but she offered some Analysis and some Judgments of those works. You said nothing about her Analysis or Judgments. In addition, she invited the world to Analyze and Judge the works. But you have nothing to say about that commentary. If your thoughts are not radically incomplete, it seems to me that you have something of a thesis. You believe that the act of Posting is important but the acts of Analysis and Judgment are not. Could you please explain why?

      Dr. Curry often posts articles and then provides Analysis and Judgments that are severely but fairly critical of the articles. In one of my favorite cases, she posted articles by Spencer and Dessler. Her Analysis of the articles was somewhat critical but her Judgement was devastating. She explained that the articles did not advance the topic that they addressed.

      When I read Dr. Curry’s blog, I am interested in what she Posted but far more interested in her Analyses and Judgments. You, on the other hand, seem to believe that her act of Posting overrides anything that might be found in her acts of Analysis or Judgment. Could you please explain why? Do you dismiss her Analyses and Judgments entirely? One of my guesses is that you did not grow up in the Enlightenment Tradition. According to that tradition, the very best mechanism for discovering falsehood is publicity. In my view, Dr. Curry places articles on the chopping block and offers no mercy to article or author. For example, she has Posted articles that advocate some thesis of Post Modern Science and, in my opinion, those Posts have done much to hasten the demise of Post Modern Science. I simply cannot understand how you can see things differently, unless you do dismiss her Analyses and Judgments out of hand. I simply cannot understand how you can see her acts of Posting Post Modern Science as in some way advocating Post Modern Science.

      The posts that you have commented on are not a good example of what usually happens on Dr. Curry’s site. They are not because Richard Tol would not be denied until he had hijacked the thread. Because of Tol, you will not find much in the way of Analysis or Judgment from Dr. Curry on those posts.

      Let me leave you with my main question. When criticizing Dr. Curry, why do you focus solely on her act of Posting but say nothing about her acts of Analyzing and Judging?

    • “When criticizing Dr. Curry, why do you focus solely on her act of Posting but say nothing about her acts of Analyzing and Judging?”

      Because she doesn’t do the latter

    • Not in this case. The thread was hijacked. Also, consider that another discussion that would have taken place was foreclosed by the hijacking. I really do not like Richard Tol forcing his will upon me and I doubt that Dr. Curry enjoys it. If this sort of thread jacking continues Climate, Etc. will disappear. Ever considered that?

    • “If this sort of thread jacking continues Climate, Etc. will disappear. Ever considered that?”

      I’m sure the world will continue to turn

    • From http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/11/09/is-judith-curry-peddling-disinformation/comment-page-3/#comment-87016

      “Roger Pielke Jr. Says:
      November 11th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
      -120-Jonathan Gilligan says it best:

      “People will read these blogs or not as they choose, and when a blog repeatedly calls attention to crap, its credibility and its audience will adjust to reflect this. Climate Etc. is not The Wall Street Journal, so the greater danger in Curry’s gushing over crap is to Curry’s reputation, not to the public understanding of science.”

      Amen.”

    • I can’t recall Dr Curry gushing over anything that has been posted here beyond the odd “wow”. This is a bit of an exaggeration.

    • Theo – this is the standard situation hee: threadjacking by those with extremist agendas.

      I’m outta here

    • Louise,

      You live in your fantasy world. Dr. Curry has never gushed over an article.

    • Louise quotes:

      “Climate Etc. is not The Wall Street Journal, so the greater danger in Curry’s gushing over crap is to Curry’s reputation, not to the public understanding of science.”

      When you recycle a slur, you should be willing to defend it. Would you please make a rational case to the effect that Dr. Curry gushes over articles. Otherwise, do the honorable thing and apologize for recycling slurs.

    • The thread was hijacked.

      I think that’s insupportable. Anyone who wanted to could follow the main technical interchanges and skip unrelated tangents.

    • Theo, I was trying to be careful NOT to express my puzzlement as criticism. I did not intend it as criticism.

      If all Dr Curry did was pick out interesting but comparatively minor papers and give them a bit more prominence in a salon where there can be an exchange of perspectives, that would be much easier for me to figure out. These discussions, as people have noted, have turned out to be quite interesting.

      Since you raise the question, I must admit that I haven’t been particularly impressed with her analysis and judging, to be frank. It doesn’t seem to be her main or strong point. In this thread, for example, she’s allowed a couple of guest posts and left nearly all the analysis to others. A legitimate choice.

      Another example might be the whole “hide the decline” posts. The lack of real analysis there was stark, especially when she addressed questions on the basis for her claim without ever giving what was requested — the actual scientific basis for them. That claim and lack of any supporting analysis was all rather surreal.

      I was most impressed when she gave a guest post spot to Chris Colose. Nice counter example to the perspective that she’s just highlighting skeptic perspectives.

      When the blog first came online I was initially impressed with the stated objective of “building bridges”, but felt that the actual posts she did were much more tearing down any hope of mutual respect. I said so at the time. Since then, she’s explicitly abandoned that as an aim, as I understand it.

      My main point is (and this is, as someone amusingly points out, a confirmation of one of her points in the post!) that the authors of the recent papers are not nearly as much a focus of interest as she is herself.

    • “Since you raise the question, I must admit that I haven’t been particularly impressed with her analysis and judging, to be frank. It doesn’t seem to be her main or strong point. In this thread, for example, she’s allowed a couple of guest posts and left nearly all the analysis to others. A legitimate choice.”

      This post was hijacked and brutally so. Your example is a tad old. How about the one I referenced, the Spencer Dessler debate. Her introductory remarks alone were the best summary of what was at stake in the debate and what was achieved. Care to comment?

    • I did not read that one, so I cannot comment on it, sorry. I am not a regular reader here.

    • “I am not a regular reader here.”

      Pity you didn’t preface your initial remarks with this admission. We could then all have ignored your views as being based on ignorance.

    • Alex, I said: “I read your blog from time to time and have participated a couple of times also (quite a bit in the last few days).” That is, I am an irregular rather than a regular reader. I have her blog in my reader feeds, but it’s not one of those where I read every article.

    • Please do not be disingenuous with me, Dr. You write:

      “I know you have explained your own motives and objectives, but I confess I still personally have a “what on Earth is going on inside her head” puzzle.”

      That translates as:

      I do not deign to address your motives and objectives because you are behaving like an idiot.

      Would you care to address her motives and objective or are you just going to play games?

    • I’m not playing games, and I am being quite honest in saying that I was intending a friendly comment here on what is of interest to me. I have already said that I find her motives to be a puzzle. But it’s no big deal, really. I don’t mean that she is obliged to explain herself further. You’re reading way way too much into my comment, really. The “translation” is totally off the mark.

    • You write:

      “…but I confess I still personally have a “what on Earth is going on inside her head” puzzle.”

      I will make this easy for you. What part of that quotation is friendly?

      Having made such a comment, the only friendly thing that you could write is “Would you please explain to me what is going on inside your head?” That would at least indicate that you have an interest in her point of view. Your quoted comment dismisses her views but avoids doing so substantively. If you want to criticize her views, Dr. up and make substantial claims.

      You really need to look up the word ‘disingenuous’.

    • Hi, Theo. You should read it in context … that will show you “what part … is friendly.” Such as the end where Chris said, “Cheers and best wishes.”

      I agree that you are misinterpreting. There is nothing wrong with expressing friendly puzzlement, I think. On the other hand, it is very, very easy to misinterpret blog posts, and so it’s easy to see how you might have done so. There are no visual or auditory cues to assist interpretation on the ‘net, unfortunately, and it is easy to color such readings with preconceived notions. In the absence of other cues, bias finds it very easy to slip right in. I’ve caught myself doing it any number of times.

      Try reading Chris’ posts as collegial comments from a friend; I think you’ll see it makes a world of difference in how they then sound.

    • Shrug. I don’t see that as unfriendly, and the rest of my comment went to some pains to say this was not intended as criticism. I was not making any substantial claims, or dismissing her views. I am not being disingenuous. You are making that accusation based on reading a whole pile of things into my comment that are just not there.

    • “Shrug. I don’t see that as unfriendly, and the rest of my comment went to some pains to say this was not intended as criticism.”

      As I have learned over the last few days, if you see it that way then you cannot see it another way.

      I do offer you a helpful mantra. It goes: “The fact that I believe it is not a reason for believing it.”

    • Postscript. Theo, you may also have mixed up who’s posting what. Easy to do in an enormous thread. For instance, you said of me that: “Over the last few days you criticized Dr. Curry for posting work by some scientists.”

      I think you have mixed up me with someone else. She’s welcome to post work by whoever she likes. There a huge scope for choice there; her choices speak to her judgement and to what she wants for the blog. The variety of guest posters here is considerable.

    • You have quickly exposed the scope of your ignorance by criticizing Judith’s “Hide the decline series” and I will not stand by and let you insult one of the finest scientists I have ever witnessed. Save your drivel for a different blog, or spend your time reading the thousands of posts she hosted during that series.

      I wish the collection could be published. As a teacher I found it to be a stunning collection of the best (and worst) thinking mankind is capable of. I continue to refer to it regularly, especially when I an overwhelmed by the daily evidence I see of widespread epidemic delusional thinking.

  3. A couple of threads ago I was musing how I go about changing my mind about issues. The very first step for me was to be emotionally ready to listen. To be emotionally ready, I had to believe/feel that I would end up being OK if I listened and considered the changes to issues that were being proposed. To listen I also had to turn off my “…. yes, but…” filter. Once I felt emotionally safe and the “yes, but” filter was off, I could listen and listen and listen. From there I just do what I usually do: related to what I already know; try on the idea for a while and then discount the new information; communicate the incorporated information to a dispassionate audience; write it down, mull it over, and go on from there. It all starts however with being able to listen, which presupposes that I am ready to listen.
    As far as who tells me something that I should consider and maybe change my behavior/attitude, on a face to face basis, I guess I assess non-verbal cues as to the status of the talker and my own emotional well-being. When the source is audio only, I listen to how it is being presented and the emotional overtones. When I read something, I usually can safely bypass the emotional safety test and go on to mulling and trying on the ideas presented. I am reliant upon many others to feed into the issue though, so I keep trying on and then discarding new ideas multiple times as others say their piece. As for authorities speaking to me, well, I haven’t been convinced by authoritative information very much in my life, science is no different. I do the same process of getting ready to listen and then listening whether to an infant, or the rantings of a demented person. I just listen differently to each, trying as I might to adapt to each situation. Does any of the above make sense?

    • RiHo08 -

      What you say makes a great deal of sense. My suspicion, though, is that most people involved in science – however tangentially – don’t take their emotional dispositions very seriously. They may well be not well connected to emotional processes, or even be unaware how much they influence things like genuine listening, confirmation bias and the giving of credence to perceived authority.

      Your central point – that to be able to change your mind you need to be emotionally ready to listen, and to believe you’ll be OK with the new world-view – is particularly insightful. I would go so far as to say that the almost complete lack of people changing their minds about climate is because of the degree of imagination involved – we have all become emotionally identified with our vision, our beliefs and all the trappings – tribal and otherwise – that go with it. To give up such a belief and to replace it with something else requires a letting go of a big part of ourselves. We can be relaxed about the details, as long as we keep a grasp of the central vision.

      I simply don’t believe that we as human beings are moved by pieces of evidence – otherwise we would change our minds every other day. We see ‘evidence’ and ‘facts’ through the prism of our world view. The same evidence looks completely different from two separate perspectives, and it is our emotional commitments that keep us where we are. Changing a view doesn’t need reasoning – it needs courage!

    • RiH008.

      You make an interesting point. I’m a sceptic in the sense that:

      I believe it’s warming,
      I believe it’s possible that increases in CO2 are responsible for part of the warming
      I don’t believe the earth is sensitive to positive feedback in the absence of proof
      I believe that there is no real evidence of any of the catastrophes forecast by the IPCC coming to fruition.

      In order to persuade me I’m wrong the alarmist side of the argument:

      Call me a denier
      Tell me the science is settled
      Tell me the IPCC report is the Holy Grail of scientific reporting (Read Donna Laframboise’s book)
      Tell me that if we don’t start to reduce our emissions now we are doomed
      Have successfully, in the UK at least, deliberately censored all discussion on the topic of global warming that has an element of challenge to the consensus.
      Tell me I’m attacking science
      Insist that I live a green lifestyle of their choice.

      Add to that the quite clear scientific malpractices at the UEA and the following whitewashes and I ask you.

      How persuasive is that in changing my, very moderate, scepticism.

    • I should add that I’ve been a fan of Judy since she used to come onto climateaudit and defend the consensus views. I believe she was always treated with respect and invited Steve McIntyre to speak to her class at Georgia Tech, for which she was admonished by the NAS (I believe that to be the case, but maybe I’ll be corrected). McIntyre is the epitome of moderation and manners.

      You should read the post by Richard Betts of the Met Office on the Bishop Hill blog, it is an examplar of how we should be discussing the AGW issue. Other posters have been trying to get him to shut up because he’s saying the deniers might have a point with the uncertainties in climate science.

      And that appears to me to be the main difference, you can argue all you like for global warming on a sceptic blog ( although the proponents seem to stick to insulting the blog’s owners) but any evidence that even hints that the official line is even slightly wrong brings demands for silence.

    • Do not even extreme statements like “IPCC dogma is more unequivocal than truth itself” convince you? ;)

    • Of course they do! In fact I almost there as a warmist/alarmist I just have niggling doubts about the models forecasting all the disasters, just little ones you understand as described by the increasingly oddly behaved Dr. Trenberth in his nature blog in June 2007:

      “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

      Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. There is neither an El Niño sequence nor any Pacific Decadal Oscillation that replicates the recent past; yet these are critical modes of variability that affect Pacific rim countries and beyond. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, that may depend on the thermohaline circulation and thus ocean currents in the Atlantic, is not set up to match today’s state, but it is a critical component of the Atlantic hurricanes and it undoubtedly affects forecasts for the next decade from Brazil to Europe. Moreover, the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors. I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized.”

      Just a little more work needed then.

    • In order to persuade me I’m wrong the alarmist side of the argument:

      Call me a denier
      Tell me the science is settled
      Tell me the IPCC report is the Holy Grail of scientific reporting (Read Donna Laframboise’s book)
      Tell me that if we don’t start to reduce our emissions now we are doomed
      Have successfully, in the UK at least, deliberately censored all discussion on the topic of global warming that has an element of challenge to the consensus.
      Tell me I’m attacking science
      Insist that I live a green lifestyle of their choice.

      Wow, I would likewise be totally unconvinced.

      Has anyone tried this on you..?

      Go read the science. Read a whole bunch of papers on each topic/sub-topic, to find out what the general view is on them. See where the weight of opinion is falling. Figure out what is well understood, and what is less well understood.

      If you do this fulsomely with a handful of topics, you can then visit the better-known climate blogs to see who is accurately reporting the preponderance of scientific opinion, and thereby learn which sources to cede (provisional) credibility to.

      Thereafter, when someone on a blog brandishes an opinion, a study or whatever, you can weigh that against the rest of expert investigation in the field that you’ve familiarised yourself with.

      If you do any less than the above, you’ll never know enough to form a worthwhile opinion.

      Avoid political thinking and language if you want to understand the science objectively. Eschew words like alarmist, warmist, denier, inactivist. Ignore conspiracy theories. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do, how to be, or what the truth is. Think for yourself. Research with no agenda but to find out what is agreed on as ‘true’, or most valid.

      Is the above obvious to anyone else? I so rarely see such an approach articulated.

      Once you are dispassionate about the politics and curious about the science, it will be easier to tell who is selling something and who is trying to help you see better.

    • “Go read the science. Read a whole bunch of papers on each topic/sub-topic, to find out what the general view is on them. See where the weight of opinion is falling. Figure out what is well understood, and what is less well understood.”

      A better approach could be providing a name of a paper
      or reference which you thought was useful to read.
      An internet link could also be of value.

    • 1) Don’t trust me. I may have an agenda. I may not know how to tell a good paper from a a poor one.

      2) Ditto for internet links.

      I might link to a paper that ‘summarises’ the state of understanding on a given topic, referring to a brace of papers on the subject. But how would the reader trust that the authors of such a paper have fairly represented the field?

      Self-reliance, google scholar, maybe a few trips to the library, and some diligent reading is the very best way to find out where the weight of scientific understanding lies. No middle-men to direct your thinking.

      Here’s a link

      http://scholar.google.com

      But let me try an experiment re your comment:

      There is a great resource for long lists of papers under various sub-topics to do with climate change. Here it is;

      http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/index/

      What do you think?

    • “But let me try an experiment re your comment:

      There is a great resource for long lists of papers under various sub-topics to do with climate change. Here it is;

      http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/index/

      What do you think?”

      I bookmarked it.
      In a brief amount of time I haven’t found anything as yet which I would call a resource.
      Unless it’s resource for particular type humor. E.g.
      http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1001/1001.4988v1.pdf
      Which to be precise, is a farce.
      Also this is a resource for students to spot disinformation.

      I find it’s format enjoyable.
      And yes, the abstract is a summary of this “paper”.

      A bit from abstract ” Our purpose is to try to understand the story which the climatologists are telling us through their rather complicated general circulation models”
      And this from the body:
      “We assume that the atmosphere equalises the temperature so that the absolute temperature in degrees Kelvin is roughly uniform over the globe.”

    • Wow, that’s an abysmal ‘paper’. Hilariously bad. That entry is definitely a mistake.

      “In a brief amount of time I haven’t found anything as yet which I would call a resource.”

      I don’t think you’d find anything particularly useful under the general heading. Have you tried the sub-topics?

      For instance, under ‘modern temperatures’ you get a bucket load of papers on millennial temperature reconstructions. I think reading them all is a great antidote to the usual hanging of hats on a particular study. Or you can read up on solar influences on recent climate and a host of other familiar notions that get bandied about. But if I pointed you to just one study, as you recommended, you’d only get a slice of the story. It’s like cherry-picking. I could link you to a Loehle or a Moberg paper. Each can be trotted out to prop up a particular argument, but that’s no way to get a reasonably balanced grip on the scientific understanding of millennial temperature reconstructions. This, I think, is one of the biggest problems in the ‘debate’. People line up the studies that say what they want.

      The experiment failed because that atrocious paper was what got your attention. No nuances to discuss there. At the (very) least it emphasises the point of being your own arbiter.

    • BTW, I alerted the blog owner to the paper and he promptly removed it.

  4. Judith,

    I was talking past and over heads to everyone who did not understand what I was trying to convey.
    Since generating that velocity mapping of our planet…
    I have not been snipped once here…hmmmm :-)
    Others are actually in conversation and not thinking,,,,”goofball”…

    But it really begs the question of “WHAT DID I DO?”
    In respect to current theories…

  5. ” Journalists, expecting something different [from] me, stopped quoting me in their articles, but continued to ask for my opinion.”

    That’s the saddest thing in your post. It speaks volumes about the bulk of journalism. If there is a really big problem here, I think this is it. If people cannot hear the equivocal voice from equivocal scientists, they are led to believe that all scientific opinion falls into binary [opposed] categories. That promotes the view that everything boils down to subjective interests of speakers. Otherwise, how could professional opinion be so polarized?

  6. I think your contention that the difference is one side focusing on politics and the other side focusing on science is correct.

    • I could not disagree more. There are people (A) who put politics ahead of scientific rigor found on all sides. There people (B) that put scientific rigor ahead of political goals, and these B’s are found on all sides.

      The trouble, I think, is that the A’s get the limelight. The B’s are boring — justified and exhibiting exemplary ethics, but they deliver past deadline. B’s are old news.

      It is a two-edged sword. If the A’s want the limelight and the fame that goes with it, then when some of the B’s find work of an “A” to be a bit shoddy, the “A”s have no right to complain about polarized opinions following their future work.

      Each and every paper does not and cannot stand on its own merits. The reputation of the Authors is carried with the paper. (If this be not so, Why for instance do we refer to papers by “author year, et. al?) Once an author reputation develops a tarnish, the patina will be transfered to each new work. Life is too short for it to be any other way.

    • Agree very much. There is a huge variety of focus. The preference to focus on politics, or technical science, or ethics, or policy, is found across the board. There are some rough generalizations one might make about people on the various sides, but I don’t think this is one of them.

      True that the reputations of authors is carried with papers, and is often the basis for an initial stab at whether it is worth looking further.

      The other point which is crucial is the reputation of the journals in which papers are published. I think in this specific case, it was the reputation of journals rather than the affiliations of authors which was relevant.

      Speculating on what the reaction would have been had the paper been published by a different author, or in a different journal, has a potential problem; in that if authors and papers really do get reputations that give a good guide to quality, then it is fair enough to say that such and such a paper is highly unlike anything so and so an author would produce; or that it would be most improbable to get that paper into so and so a journal.

    • On the reputations of journals. I think the internet with its instant feedback and peer+ reviewing will soon make mincemeat of Journals that engage in Pal Review. So long as the Peer Reviewers are unaccountable for what trash gets published and what gems get delayed and smothered, I do not see the Journals’ collective reputation improving.

    • It’s going to fun to see how that works out. There are a number of ways the whole review process has been improved using the internet.

      However, I don’t think there is any such thing as “journals’ collective reputation”, except perhaps with the reputation with a small minority who are not involved with journals or publishing, and distrust the whole science community generally. Journals vary enormously in reputation, and with good reason. (Occasionally with bad reason also, I acknowledge!)

  7. “Now consider Michael Mann, favorite whipping boy of the skeptics, as author of these papers. I suspect that the research would be characterized as fraudulent.”

    Only after it was ripped to shreds on Climate Audit.

    The Hockey Stick was a fraud. Even hinting it was not is pathetic.

    • Although I’ve been convinced that the Mann Hockey Stick is a statistical illusion, I kinda think “fraud” is not the right word. There’s a big literature in the behavioral sciences about escalation of commitment. I think the series of papers by the Hockey Stick co-authors smells like escalation of commitment, rather than deliberate falsehood. Sometimes scientists get emotionally attached to conclusions and try to protect them, sometimes investing more and more in an enterprise that looks increasingly dubious. I suspect this is the story of the Mann et al. papers, rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive. I do think they were in over their heads (from the very beginning) with sharp statistical knives they really didn’t understand.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      NW, I’ve been a consistent critic of how the entire hockey stick saga has been handled (going far beyond just criticizing Michael Mann), and I agree with you. The original hockey stick was wrong, but I believe the authors thought otherwise at the time. Later, when they published more papers, I believe they genuinely thought they were making their case. This sort of behavior involves deceiving oneself, but it isn’t intended to deceive people.

      However, while I don’t think the papers were fraudulent, I do think there is a strong case for saying Mann made fraudulent claims. The most obvious of these is that, in testimony, he claimed to have never calculated the R2 statistic for his original reconstruction. This was completely false, and he had to know so. A similar situation arises with him claiming Steve McIntyre got “bad” results because he had asked for an Excel spreadsheet of the data used, and the file sent contained the wrong data. In both cases, even the most basic of fact checking shows Mann’s claim was false. To me, things like that can safely be called “fraudulent.”

    • Agreed, and you demonstrate some bravery saying so, considering the litigious turn of Mann’s defenses.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Eh, given my current financial situation, it doesn’t take much bravery. I don’t have enough to lose that a lawsuit could possibly be worthwhile. It’s also worth pointing out such a lawsuit would necessarily get me (some) attention on a national level. I don’t actually find that appealing, but some would consider that a good thing. In that view, I have little to lose and more to gain.

      Besides which, Michael Mann wouldn’t have a case against me. He’d have to be able to prove my claims were false, and that would be basically impossible. He’d also have to prove my claims caused some sort of damage, and given I’m just some nobody posting in the comments section of a blog, I suspect that is impossible too.

      About the only “bravery” involved here is I sign my real name to my comments, meaning anyone who researches me (my name is not common) can see what I’ve said. I can’t imagine I’d be affected by other posters doing so, but I do realize people who meet me elsewhere might come across comments of mine on blogs. I’m not sure how that would really affect anything in my life though.

      Anyway, while I appreciate the compliment, I don’t think I deserve it.

    • Brandon, I’m not sure you are the most accurate reporter when it comes to Michael Mann, so I am skeptical of your accusation that he knowingly made false claims. Will you provide verifiable evidence?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      That depends. I obviously cannot prove what Michael Mann did or did not know at any given point, so in that sense, I cannot prove the accusation. I would, however, be happy to provide evidence he made claims we should reasonably believe he knew to be false.

      Now then, this isn’t really the appropriate spot for such a discussion, so I’m going to try to keep this as brief as I can. Michael Mann calculated the R2 verification scores for the original hockey stick. Not only does the code I linked to show this, Figure 3 of MBH98 reports the R2 verification scores for the 1820 step of the reconstruction. There is no argument that these scores were calculated.

      The issue of R2 verification was a major battleground issue, and the fact the scores had been calculated was denied. While testifying in front of an NAS panel, Michael Mann said he did not calculate the R2 verification scores. In this case, I do not happen to have documentable proof on-hand (this happened five years ago), and I’m not sure a transcript would actually be available. However, Steve McIntyre has repeatedly referred to this instance, and Michael Mann has never denied it (neither has anyone at RealClimate).

      This is only one example, and I accept it is not absolute proof, but it certainly qualifies as strong evidence in support of my claim.

    • Brandon, thanks for the reply. As you said, you can’t prove the accusation. Maybe Mann did what you suspect, maybe he didn’t. Maybe McIntyre interpreted Mann’s comments correctly, maybe he didn’t.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      That’s true M. carey, but I have no obligation to prove any accusation. If I were, I could never accuse anybody of anything. Indeed, it would be completely impossible to accuse anybody of anything involving dishonesty simply because we cannot prove what people think. Indeed, we cannot even prove that people think. Heck, we cannot even prove that we think. Technically, we cannot even prove that we exist! If literal proof is required for accusations, then no accusations can be made.

      Fortunately the most any legal system (I know of, at least) requires is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and that’s the standard people generally apply to any accusations they hear (and have no bias on). I’d wager in any fair test of that standard, I could prove my accusations against Mann in my sleep. Give me twenty mock trials of Mann (with the charge of dishonesty), and I’d win at least 19.

      But by all means, talk about how I cannot prove Mann lied. Tell people what I say is just an unproven accusation. By doing this rather than disputing anything I say, all you do is create the impression you have no answer. If one side discusses evidence, and another side just repeats, “That’s not proof,” everybody knows which will win.

    • Brandon, I asked if you had verifiable evidence to support your accusations. I didn’t ask you to prove your accusations, which of course is more difficult than just providing evidence. You volunteered that you can’t prove your accusations.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      M. carey, I’m not sure I see any point in your response here. You’ve simply stated the obvious without adding any content. Yes, I was the one who brought up the impossibility of proof.

      That doesn’t address the fact you are the one who focused on this impossibility. It doesn’t address the fact you choose not to discuss the evidence you requested. It doesn’t address the fact you made remarks constituting defense against the accusations I made without offering any reasoned support for your position. That doesn’t address the fact I was critical of you for the bias displayed in your comment.

      So as I said, don’t know what the point your comment was. I don’t even know what it is supposed to be addressing.

    • You can find a CA post from shortly after the NAS panel took testimony here.
      http://climateaudit.org/2006/03/16/mann-at-the-nas-panel/

      ——————
      Excerpt from Steve’s post:
      Christy did ask Mann: “Did you calculate R2?” ‘? Mann’s answer was: “We didn’t calculate it. That would be silly and incorrect reasoning”‘?.
      ——————
      The previous day Steve had shown a Mann generated graphic demonstrating Mann had calculated R2.

      Mann has never disputed the accuracy of Steve’s account.

    • Oops!
      Didn’t realize Brandon had already included the link I posted.

      I will note that Steve put the query by Christy and Mann’s response in quotes. Sure looks to me like Mann lied.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Bob Koss, the nesting makes it easy to miss things like that, especially since when you get to this level, your comment box can appear above comments, but when you hit submit, you wind up below them.

      In any event, that is certainly strong evidence that Mann lied. There are only two ways to say he didn’t. The first is a way I assume nobody will seriously suggest, namely that Mann simply didn’t realize what he had done. The second way is to say Steve McIntyre’s depiction is faulty. This could happen because he is lying (I doubt anyone will suggest this), or it could happen by some sort of error on his part.

      However, that would have to be a major error. It seems almost impossible to believe anyone could make it. Beyond that, even if it was an error, McIntyre posted that comment shortly after the event (and has referred to it many times since), and it is known authors from RealClimate read his blog. Claiming he made an error would require us believe Michael Mann and his associates have seen him make the claim in error, but for some reason, chose to never dispute it.

      So yeah, Mann lied.

    • Brandon, my point was directed at your following comment.

      “But by all means, talk about how I cannot prove Mann lied. Tell people what I say is just an unproven accusation.”

      You are the one who has been talking about how you cannot prove Michael Mann lied. All I did was agree with you.

      In a previous post I asked if you had verifiable evidence to support your accusation that he lied. You gave a link to a piece in Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit , where I found speculation about Mann, not verifiable evidence.

      I am puzzled by McIntyre’s obsession with Mann. His latest attack, which parallels Mann with an accused pedophile, prompted one poster to declare Climate Audit has jumped the shark. Maybe so.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      M. carey, at this point, I think reasonable discussion between us here is impossible. I’ve described something as “strong evidence.” You’ve described it as “speculation.” Such a large gap in interpretation of what should be a simple issue indicates to me trying to discuss more complicated issues would be fruitless. As such, I’ll take my leave.

    • Brandon, yes, we are different. You are willing to accept what McIntyre said as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I am not.

    • M. carey
      Recommend you examine the evidence for “hiding the decline” where the paleo temperature data showing a modern temperature decline was explicitly deleted from the published graphs. See details under Hockey Stick Studies at Climate Audit. For posts, see ClimateAudit posts on “hide the decline graph”

      Similarly, regarding Hansen’s Y2K August 2007 controversy see: NASA: “Hide this after Jim checks it”

      These appear to me to show systemic efforts to “hide the decline”, use a “trick” etc. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. These explicit actions appear to be the opposite of objective scientific integrity – to the detriment of “We the People” who are paying them.

    • David, if someone says “hide,” it doesn’t mean they are up to no good.

      I wouldn’t have done the chart the way Jones did, but he didn’t hide a temperature decline that actually occurred, and scientists were already aware of the divergence, so it is silly to think he was attempting to hide what was already know.

    • M. carey, I guess the dog ate the homework excuse always works on you. Pathetic.

    • M. carey
      Re: “he didn’t hide a temperature decline that actually occurred”
      He hid the data showing the major modern “divergence” between the declining evidence and the rising instrumental temperatures.
      That data invalidated his method. In science that is even worse.

      Do that in the financial markets and you land in jail.

    • NW: your interpretation makes good sense to me. I too think use of the term ‘fraud’ is inappropriate in this context, partly as I think it tends to further polarise and exacerbate ill-feeling. The impression I get from what I have read of and about Mann’s papers (and I am no statistician) is of inexperience and overconfidence. These are features associated with immaturity, and can be regarded normal characteristics of a research student, who can easily outgrow them as s/he matures and learns more. What went wrong with Mann may stem from his premature promotion to be an international arbiter of scientific truth as an IPCC lead author. From then on, as NW suggests, ‘escalation of commitment’ may have taken over, not just with Mann himself but also with his co-workers and with a large part of what Richard Betts might call the ‘climate change science’ community.

    • I agree that in most instances, ‘fraud’ is inappropriate. What I think is more apt are personal prejudices of the authors impeding their objectivity – just as Judith mentioned in her review process. Those authors, who are predisposed to warming, will see warming in every graph, and those who see natural cycles, will see them everywhere, and so forth. I have witnessed this in several papers where the authors have “proved” their own theory, even though the results could be applied to several other factors, or even chance.
      The other issue raised above is also valid. That being that notoriety begets subjectivism. Once a person has entered the limelight, there are expected to continue their commitment to their pronouncements, and are extolled for their expertise. Objectivity becomes difficult in these situations, and they can become blinded by their own ambitions.
      The only ‘fraud’ that exists occurs on those websites which proclaim their own version of the science as ‘truth,’ and the other version as ‘lies.’ In the past, scientists welcomed challenges to their theories in an effort to further understanding in the field. These types of challenges were seen as an attempt to validate the science, and not on attack of the individual scientist. Oftentimes, flaws were discovered in the science, the scientists would learn by others work, and be able to further his own research in the process. Better to discover errors in your research early, rather to continue proclaiming success, only to reach a higher level of failure. Today, too many scientists are attempting to defend their work on principle, and see any challenge as a personal attack. Of course scientists are human, and all too often, good theories have been ridiculed by the establishment as being
      absurd. Some are, some are not, but true science needs to trudge forward in spite of all obstacles.

    • I recommend you read Andrew Montford’s Hockeystick Illusion you’ll find that they used a statistical technique called short centering which weighted principal components with up ticks in the 20th century 390 times those that didn’t. The technique they used was not in the statistical literature.

    • From what I can gather they were having to be creative with troublesome data. They were at the cutting edge of the field – doing multiproxy reconstructions – and had to find new ways to deal with a range of difficulties. It would be surprising if there weren’t flaws in the methodology.

      But whether MGH were honest, fooled themselves or conspired to fool everyone else….

      I think the whole fixation on MBH98 and 99 is bizarre considering a host of reconstructions that followed, from different groups with different methods, data combos,and even completely independent data, came up with roughly the same conclusions. 12 years on, this obsession with two papers from the late 90s is like a kind of mass psychosis. Science has progressed, people. Deal with what it is, not with what it was.

    • The thing is that the climategate emails have several emails from CRU where they state that the medieval warm period was probably as warm as the present day and that they didn’t really believe Mann’s work. At some point they agreed to back it but were still unhappy at overegging the pudding.

      However while Mann was largely fooled by his lack of knowledge about his data mining algorithm and remains too proud to admit it, Briffa seemed to be quite careful to avoid including the Yamal data that would have invalidated his own hockey stick. They clearly needed the hockey stick and were collectively involved – it wasn’t just Mann – his paper should have failed review or been debunked soon after if there hadn’t been a dishonest cabal of silence about its shortcomings.

      I’m sure it brought in lots of funding for both CRU and Manns employers so money was actually made from it, which might put it into the fraud category. It needs to be tested in court. If someone wealthy would back Tim Ball then it might be.

      I’d like the fossil fuel companies to grow some balls and actually do what they are accused of doing, Despite the disinformation, we do have an unfair fight here with oodles of cash available for pro agw and nothing for skeptics. Unless this actually goes to court, the scientists can lie as much as they want because there is no mechanism to stop them.

    • Accusations of fraud without evidence are no better than lies.

    • How about slanderous accusations without evidence?

    • That too.

    • How many times have your read and re-read a paragraph you have written, only to come back to it a week later and find that it doesn’t say what you though it said?

      Arguing whether someone intentionally produced a misleading paper is the wrong way to look at the problem. Human beings in large part are driven by their sub-conscious, with the conscious mind serving as more of a traffic cop than the driver of the car.

      We get the results we expect to get in our work, because our sub-conscious directs the work towards the finding that it wants to see, consistent with strongly held internal beliefs, and our conscious mind is completely unaware of this when it happens.

      The mistake in our analysis is to assume that conscious motivation is what is driving the result.

    • The mistake in our analysis is to assume that conscious motivation is what is driving the result.

      I agree with that statement and the rest of your post.

      And that mistake is exacerbated when we fail to acknowledge that we are all influenced by subconscious motivations. It is further exacerbated when we remain closed to examining our own influences. To do so represents a failure of critical thinking.

    • Ferd’s subconscious made him comment about other people’s subconscious.

      Joshua’s subconscious made him agree with Ferd’s comment.

      My subconscious made me make fun of Joshua’s comment on Ferd’s comment.

      Let’s see if Joshua’s subconscious makes him respond to my comment on his comment about Ferd’s comment.

      Well isn’t this train of thought enlightening.

      (And Joshua, you’re welcome… in advance…for my reading your comment.)

    • @Ferd. it doesn’t say what you though it said The fatal flaw in your argument is what is the response of the author to valid criticism of what was said or written. If said author takes the critique under advisement, admits the uncertainty, weakness, or even the impropriety of the original thought, then the author is to be admired. But if said author responds with even stronger criticisms, greater sophistry, obfustication, even lawsuits, then said author forfeits the benefit of doubt by onlookers.

      Case in point: IPCC Conflict of Interest Policy. (2011.06.18) [“Yep, there is a problem. But we won’t do anything about it. So there. “]

      So when considering “Fraud” in scientific endeavors, consider “Means, Motive, and Opportunity”. Especially consider who stands to benefit or be harmed by an argument or delay.

      Ferd, the mistake in your analysis is to assume that conscious motivations CANNOT drive the undesirable result.

    • Sorry, Thought I closed the Italic

  8. Repeatedly publishing temperature reconstructions that bent up hockey sticks on statistical lathes working on split bark bristlecone pine trees or upside down Tiljander sediments or both is disinformation or fraud or both.

    Consider Michael Mann. Consider the cost. Both of them.
    =======================

    • “Dr Deming reveals that in 1995 a leading scientist emailed him saying “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. A few years later, Michael Mann and the IPCC did just that by publishing the now throughly discredited hockey stick graph.”

    • No copy of the email, and the author remains unnamed. How do we know it wasn’t invented, or misquoted?

      The MWP still exists. Mann has devoted papers to discussing it (and the LIA). The ‘hump’ can be seen in even his latest reconstructions. Same with many other reconstructions. There’s not a whole lot of daylight between Mann’s millennial temp reconstructions and the majority of others. Molehill/mountain.

  9. So, there is no consensus of opinion anymore?

  10. Shouldn’t this be in the context of the journal chosen? There are not many names that are going to drive a reaction. I’ve noticed some dismissive comments here about Nature being pro-CAGW. Those who think that are not going care about the mostly anonymous scientists who publish there. It doesn’t have to be a Gavin Schmidt to get it written off; it just has to be in Nature. Ditto for the other side.

    • Not just Nature.

      For some “skeptics,” any study that concludes evidence of AGW, that is published in any journal, is categorically dismissed – and considered disinformation by association with the “climate establishment.”

    • Not just “skeptics”.

  11. Judith,

    I am happy to be called a sceptic, I may be a luke-warmer, but I am probably
    closest to Steve McKintyre’s agnostic.

    Your characterisations ring true to me. However:

    Ludecke et al. and EIKE I had never heard of before this serries of posts. So I
    would see them no differently that a Graduate Student or Isaac Held ( who I
    also han not heard of despite following climate science for about 6 years mostly
    Climate Audit,and recently you and WUWT ). I looked him up on WikiPedia so I now
    know who he is). My initial impression was that the paper was trechnical and
    plausable but that I needed to reserve judgement untill I had seen comments. I
    am not a climate scientist or statistician.

    Michael Mann wrote it – I would assume poor maths, poor auusmtions and
    confirmation biasis. I don’t think that fraud is even close to true. I suspect
    that ego and arrogance are ther cause of the problem.

    Isaac Held wrote it. I’d now be very interested ( having read his WikiPedia
    Entry ) but I would still like to see an auditors opinion.

    What I have most learnt from these posts and the comments is that to progress
    I now have to learn statistics. at6 the end of the day the only opinion that
    counts is my own and I need the skills to form it.

    So I think you have pushed this ‘luker’ to become more active.

    Regards

    /ikh

  12. Judith,

    “My first reaction to seeing a new paper was to assess which “side” the paper was on. I tended to be quite critical of most of these papers: I was inclined to be critical of people that had been critical of my work, and I didn’t want to see shoddy work that was seemingly supportive of our work get torn to pieces and so reflect poorly on our arguments.”

    That is how the Team has done it deliberately for years. And they ain’t gonna quit.

  13. WOW. The last paragraph of Dr. Curry’s post was the most concise summation the the two side positions and motives I have ever seen. I would suggest that after reading that paragraph a clash of scientific method versus dogma might also be applied

  14. Judith,

    I really think I opened “Pandora’s Box”.
    You think the skeptics are out now….

  15. “Now consider Michael Mann, favorite whipping boy of the skeptics, as author of these papers. I suspect that the research would be characterized as fraudulent. Fraud seems to be a favorite word of skeptics/deniers for denigrating a paper or author that they don’t like or is found to be deficient.”

    Steve McIntyre over at Climate Audit has a new whipping boy in former Penn State University President Graham Spanier, who the University recently fired over failure to properly investigate child molestation accusations against former coach Jerry Sandusky, and who Steve has in the past suspected of failing to assure a proper investigation of Michael Mann for research misconduct, despite Mann’s exoneration by an Inquiry Committee.

    • You mean the Blind Eye Whitewash Committee. Seems to be standard practice over there.

    • Another baseless allegation. Well, not baseless. The base is your dislike of the results.

    • The base is the nature of the investigation and the fact that we know those boys at the state Penn take care of their own earners, even when child rape is involved. Catch up with the news, collaborator-apologist.

    • Another conspiracy theory. The basis is a conspiracy would please you, so it must be true.

    • I wonder who has raised some of you people. I didn’t say anything about a conspiracy, you lying clown. It doesn’t require a conspiracy to protect one’s own from scrutiny. It is just standard operating procedure in some organizations.

    • Blind eye, white wash pretty much fits when 3 out of 4 allegations are dropped without review.

    • M Carey proves Judith’s point about the ‘convinced’ fosussing on those who promulgate information.

  16. I haven’t really been following the philosophical back and forths between here, collid-o-scope, and other places about this.

    Of course it is natural to have expectations of a particular argument’s quality based on an authors reputation, but that expectation doesn’t extend very far when scientists have a chance to poke holes in other people’s methodology (which they absolutely love!!!). I went to a talk by Kerry Emanuel a few days ago, someone who commands enormous respect amongst the graduate students and atmospheric scientists in the audience, but that didn’t stop a number of them from criticizing segments of Emanuel’s presentation. That is what happens at science talks and in the peer-reviewed literature. The difference between that setting and the blog setting, however, is that in the scientific environment everyone has a very solid grasp of the basics (and even many of the technical details), and so we can intelligently dispute details. In the blog atmosphere, it is often rare that you can get so many people to even agree on undergraduate-level physics stuff. This is why, to be blunt, people who work exclusively within the blogosphere virtually never matter (sorry).

    Of course, that reputation is different depending on the group you ask (if you ask the majority of bloggers about Mike Mann, then ask the majority of the climate science community, I suspect you will get radically different critiques of his work). The same can also be said of people like Anthony Watts or Pat Michaels, people who have zero relevancy in the academic community (and whom support arguments that are almost always wrong or misleading) and yet somehow manage to stir up a lot of attention on the internet.

    Part of the expectation naturally evolves from the publication and contribution record from the speaker/writer. Isaac Held has made more contributions to climate science than almost anyone can hope to achieve, and (aside from some of the contributors at RC) has a publication record unparalleled on the climate blogosphere. His blog is also only dedicated to scientific topics, generally geared toward a graduate student or higher level audience, and thus receives an extremely small readership when compared to user-friendly “talking points” or summary articles. Of course, the flipside is that if Issac Held wrote the Ludecke article, he would attract an enormous amount of negative attention, and likely would have a large number of peers scratching their heads. Of course, the attention would dissipate quickly, as people have to move on with their life and focus on different developments– to the scientist, that is preaprin their next research article, writing a proposal, etc, and to the bloggers that is forming an opinion on the most up-to-date “topic of interest.” If a random person wrote the article, it would get cited on some blogs, and disappear in a week, with far less attention. Really, this is what will happen with the Ludecke article.

    The arguments geared toward Judith Curry are no different than many of the ones geared toward her on a multitude of occasions. It boils down to many people thinking she has a different responsibility (based on her credentials) than she thinks she does. Her aim is to create an open forum for discussion, regardless of the quality of work that becomes the focus of that discussion. Others feel she has a responsibility to call out nonsense based on her position as an authority. I can understand that argument, but of course this is her blog, and she is free to do with it as she will…just as everyone is free to make up their mind about why she is doing it.

    • Chriscolose said: “Of course, that reputation is different depending on the group you ask (if you ask the majority of bloggers about Mike Mann, then ask the majority of the climate science community, I suspect you will get radically different critiques of his work).

      Many bloggers don’t follow the science. I wonder how many have read the Hockey Stick related articles in the Annals of Applied Statistics.

      http://www.imstat.org/aoas/supplements/issue_5_1.html

    • I thought that particular series got quite a flurry of attention in the blogs. The original paper there by McShane and Wyner did for sure. I have not read all the associated comments that came with the AAS issue, but my impression has been that McShane and Wyner did not hold up nearly as well as Mann Hughes and Bradley under expert examination.

      There’s no sensible basis for “fraud” with either McShane and Wyner, or with Mann Hughes and Bradley; nor was either one free of problems. Neither one marks the finished word. But there have been more useful and more technically well founded criticisms than those of McShane and Wyner, which have been taken on board and lead to continued improvement in the work. McShane and Wyner’s rather sweeping criticisms were themselves too subject to criticism in return to really add all that much.

      The science bloggers, as I use the term, DO tend to follow and read the science.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I have not read all the associated comments that came with the AAS issue, but my impression has been that McShane and Wyner did not hold up nearly as well as Mann Hughes and Bradley under expert examination.

      I imagine nobody wants a discussion of the hockey stick issue here, but I have to say, your impression is horribly wrong.

      Of course, there are probably those who would say it is right. So this isn’t just a matter of he says, she says, I’ll make this offer. If anyone wants to have a discussion of the merits of MBH, I’ll be happy to participate in any appropriate location. It is my position its conclusions are unsupportable, and I am willing to defend that position.

    • Brandon, my impression remains as above, and is a comment about how well the two papers hold up respectively under expert review. Not under my review, or yours, or in blogs generally. My exchange with you would be more of the non-expert exchanging views; of which there is no lack.

      Thanks anyway. I’m not out to convince you. But of the 13 comments in AAS, how many were saying that the methods of McShane and Wyner didn’t work as claimed?

      Of course, if all the experts are compromised then this is not relevant.

      Another relevant source for expert review of the work would be the NAS report of 2006.

    • Write a paper explaining why you think the MBH conclusions are unsupportable. The Annals of Applied Statistics or another recognized journal might publish your paper. If not, Dr. Curry might run it here.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Chris Ho-Stuart, it’s fine if you don’t agree with me, and you have no obligation to try to convince me. I just want to make sure you understand you’re disagreeing with me (and many others) about a subject on which I am willing to have an in-depth discussion with anyone. I am not simply saying your impression is wrong. I am saying I can demonstrate such. If you understand that, and still stick with your impression, so be it.

      However, I take issue with the distinction you draw at “expert review.” You cite as an example of expert review the NAS report of 2006. I invite you to look at this page. Describing the remarks of Gerry North, the chair of the panel you referred to, Steve McIntyre says:

      At minute 55 or so, he describes panel operating procedure by saying that they “didn’t do any research”, that they just “took a look at papers”, that they got 12 “people around the table” and “just kind of winged it.” He said that’s what you do in these sort of expert panels.

      You can check the audio for yourself if you don’t believe it. You call this “expert review,” or as you said in your previous comment, “expert examination.” To me, it should be considered neither, no matter what expertise the participants may have had. I am willing to go so far as to discuss technical details about statistical methodologies and code. Your “expert review” is willing to wing it.

      Your standards are your standards, but I want to make something clear. Regardless of my qualifications or lack thereof, I would provide more insightful commentary than anything the NAS panel provided.

      Aside from that, I want to point something out. You mentioned the issue of how well the papers held up to expert examination. You now ask how many comments on the McShane and Wyner paper said the methods used “didn’t work as claimed.” Your question does not address what you initially brought up. Holding up to examination does not simply depends upon how many people disagree. It depends upon what the consequences of those disagreements are. It doesn’t matter how many comments disagreed with McShane and Wyner. What matters is how the paper “held up” to those disagreements.

      You can try to use some sort of “popularity” as a proxy for correctness if you want (though I highly recommend against it), but make sure you don’t mistake one for the other.

    • Brandon, I have followed some of these discussions; but my own area of focus is physics rather than statistics. The best measure of how a paper stands up to expert review is seen years down the track in the chain of subsequent research. “Popularity” with working experts is a pretty good proxy; for not a simplistic binary like “correctness” but rather for the net value of the contribution to ongoing progress.

      As I said, the work was not perfect, and some criticisms did indeed lead to further extensions of the work in subsequent years. There’s a quite a number of other groups also working on these kinds of reconstructions, getting a range of results, with some broadly similar features and some significant points of difference.

      I expect the work to keep improving with time, and deficiencies in early work to be gradually resolved. I don’t think the sweeping condemnations and cries of incompetence, fraud or misconduct are sensible.

      If you really think McShane and Wyner is going to stand up to the test of time better than Mann Bradley and Hughes, then you may be right, but my guess is that your confidence in your own depth of understanding is … misplaced.

      I acknowledge I don’t rely on my own understanding of statistics on this.

      There’s a lot more people willing to discuss a topic than those who do so competently. I see your declarations for yourself, I acknowledge your willingness to discuss. I acknowledge I’m not an expert in statistics at all. My stats are somewhere about the level of an undergraduate grunt. The rather over the top protestations by you (and McIntyre, and others) however, doesn’t match particularly well with what I see going on in associated and subsequent work.

      McIntyre’s objections to the NAS report are typically silly. Of course it wasn’t research. It was a review of research, by appropriate experts. There was never any real need for the NAS report, if it were not for all the inflated nonsense about this leaking into a science-challenged congress.

      In the meantime, as a genuine friendly suggestion for someone with an interest in this area and a level of confidence, there’s a fun project available for professions and amateur enthusiasts. It is the Paleoclimate Reconstruction Challenge. Described as follows:

      The last two millennia Paleoclimate Reconstruction (PR) Challenge is designed to engage the scientific PR community in examining its methods in a common framework for the purpose of evaluating their relative strengths and weaknesses. [...]

      We hope that other scientists, students, and citizens interested in learning more about paleoclimate reconstructions will also examine the Challenge’s experimental data and contributed reconstructions, as a means to better understand some of the strengths and weaknesses of paleoclimate reconstruction data sets and methods.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Since we’re in agreement on where the issues of communication stand, I’ll just offer you a few brief thoughts.

      As I said, the work was not perfect, and some criticisms did indeed lead to further extensions of the work in subsequent years. There’s a quite a number of other groups also working on these kinds of reconstructions, getting a range of results, with some broadly similar features and some significant points of difference.

      This is a somewhat depressing comment as many of the papers following Mann’s original hockey stick repeat problems found in his work. This is one of the many reasons popularity is a bad proxy. In a sense, the work is autocorrelated. Mann’s bad work help ensure (primarily due to being over-hyped with it’s prominent inclusion in the IPCC TAR) more bad work would get published, and you now use this to suggest his work wasn’t that bad… Still, your standards are your standards, even if I think they’re bad ones.

      my guess is that your confidence in your own depth of understanding is … misplaced.

      I’d love to hear your guess, or anyone else’s, as to what you think I think my “depth of understanding” is. I’m pretty sure I’ve never stated what I think it is. I’d also be curious just what you’d guess my actual “depth of understanding is.” These things don’t matter, but I find it interesting to see how people perceive me. I especially find it interesting you feel comfortable guessing at the subject based upon no actual knowledge of me.

      The rather over the top protestations by you (and McIntyre, and others) however, doesn’t match particularly well with what I see going on in associated and subsequent work.

      I find it peculiar you have no way to actually judge the merits of my “protestations,” yet you feel comfortable saying they are “over the top.” I don’t know how that would…

      You know what? Screw it. Believe whatever you want.

    • For what it is worth, “unsupportable” is over the top. Cheers — Chris

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      That is complete bunk.

    • Chris if MBH 1998 was so good, why did they change it for 2008? Magically a MWP and little ice age appeared.

      So to quote you “The best measure of how a paper stands up to expert review is seen years down the track in the chain of subsequent research.”

      Obvioulsly, it hasn’t stood up too well. Try and compare that to some of the physics stuff. I wonder how that e=mc2 is working out? Probably a little better.

    • Hum, my answer to that is already given above. The original paper wasn’t perfect. The work has continued and developed, and has benefited from a number of sensible criticisms.

    • I have not read all the associated comments that came with the AAS issue, but my impression has been that McShane and Wyner did not hold up nearly as well as Mann Hughes and Bradley under expert examination.

      You should read them all carefully, as well as the rejoinder and the supporting online material. Based on those posts of yours that I have read, you will find the effort worthwhile.

    • It’s on my to do list. But alas, my library subscription to that journal does not go up to 2011.

    • “The difference between [the seminar] and the blog setting, however, is that in [the seminar] everyone has a very solid grasp of the basics…In the blog atmosphere, it is often rare that you can get so many people to even agree on undergraduate-level physics stuff.”

      In my own experence of empirical seminars, people have varying grasp of the theory involved, and generally less grasp of the statistical methods deployed in analysis. If you are lucky there’s some grump over in the corner that realizes most of the statistical work is flawed, but virtually everyone in the room considers him (or her) a great nuisance and killjoy.

    • Chris Colose: “This is why, to be blunt, people who work exclusively within the blogosphere virtually never matter (sorry).” Well, it’s good to know that Chris thinks we can stop taking John Cook and his Skeptical Science blog seriously.

    • Skeptical Science, isn’t that run by a cartoonist?

    • If that is the same person who also has a degree and post-graduate in Physics, then I suppose you are sort of right. But do you have any links to any recent cartoons ?

    • Just because he has a post-graduate in physics doesn’t stop his website from being a worthless piece of confirmation bias.

    • “The arguments geared toward Judith Curry are no different than many of the ones geared toward her on a multitude of occasions. It boils down to many people thinking she has a different responsibility (based on her credentials) than she thinks she does. Her aim is to create an open forum for discussion, regardless of the quality of work that becomes the focus of that discussion. Others feel she has a responsibility to call out nonsense based on her position as an authority. I can understand that argument, but of course this is her blog, and she is free to do with it as she will…just as everyone is free to make up their mind about why she is doing it.”

      Very well said. Those who criticize her practices, such as her choices of articles to post, have a duty to address her goals for her blog. If they wish to change those goals then they must offer reasons for the changes. Her critics over the last two days have failed to address her goals yet continue to offer criticisms that are wholly inarticulate. At some point, they should learn that the fact that one Judges Dr. Curry to be mistaken does not count as a reason for believing that Dr. Curry is mistaken.

  17. I can’t think how anyone could have an absolutely unbiassed, objective reaction to a criticism of something he or she wrote. When we write something that purports to improve humanity’s knowledge of something we think is important (and here the context is the scholarly domain) we have invested our knowledge and our acumen in the article/paper. An attack on that piece of work is all too easily seen as an attack on ourself. One has to sit back, recognise that one is not perfect and can make errors, or miss obvious points — and that any paper can be improved. I’m much better at this now than I was when I was a young researcher trying to make my way in the big world of scholarship.

    In time I found that if I tried not to react at once, but just listen, and wait for 48 hours, that was a good start. Criticisms seemed to fall into one (or sometimes more) of three groups.

    (1) ‘Root and branch’. The critic wishes I had done something else entirely, or starts from a philosophic position that is quite different to my own. For example, as a data-monger and counter-of-things I am what used to be called a logical positivist. So if I find that, for example, only 35 per cent of Australians see themselves as ‘working class’, an estimate based on a good sample and on well-constructed questioning, a quasi-Marxist critic might say that the numbers and methodology are irrelevant, because people suffer from’ false consciousness’ — they are working class whether or not they think so. There is not much you can do to counter such an objection. You and the critic are living in different intellectual worlds.

    (2) ‘Yes, but’. Here the critic doesn’t disagree with your main finding or suggestion, but shows how his/her work enhances it, if only you had taken account of that in the first place. As the critic feels you should have. Sometimes the critics are completely right, and sometimes they are half right: you didn’t go down that path, but if you had, you would have used the work in question. Sometimes they are just wrong.

    (3) ‘Nitpicking’. Here the critic doesn’t deal with the central point at all, but notes that you missed Bloggs’s seminal paper in your footnote 1, or that the numbers in one column in Table 14.2 don’t add to 100 but only to 99, or that you have an error in one reference. You can take these in your stride.

    (If there are in fact devastating errors they will be pointed out, and they will mean that you should not have published the paper in the first place.)

    Two days later you will see that there’s nothing much you can do, WRT the paper, to deal with critics in group one, while those in groups two and three can be useful. Humility is a great asset here but, to repeat, it seems to increase in quantity as we age. I can remember my anger at criticisms when I was young…

    And we come to see that people who are philosophically in another camp will never like what we do, and vice versa. Nonetheless, it is not sensible to ignore them, because they will have insights from their perspective that you will miss from yours.

    It follows, at least to me, that I care little about where people come from, or whom they write for, or what journal they publish in. The question is: are they saying something that I should take notice of? And to answer that question I need to read the paper.

    In the climate debate I have slowly begun to fashion my own position about what is likely to be right — not in the sense of its being 95 per likely that something is more than half made of green cheese, but of what is likely to be the case when the hyperbole has been stripped out.

    And there is a lot of hyperbole about, on both sides.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Don Aitkin, about the only time I think people can agree on a lack of bias is in cases where there is no emotional attachment to what was said. For example, somebody saying, “That boiling water is hot” can’t really be accused of being biased about the statement. In the same way, being told you spelled a word wrong doesn’t generally provoke a biased reaction because most people don’t care about their spelling (save for functional purposes).

  18. Sometimes, I wonder if a lot of this isn’t related to what I regard as a general decline in honesty as a fundamental value. This is not new, but does seem more pervasive to me. Science was at one time done by wealthy people. Now its done by working stiffs who perhaps secretly want to be rich. Putting money in the background can work wonders

    • I’m glad the more money you have, the more honest you are. My wealth has grown as I have aged, and now I am more honest than I have ever been in my life. I look forward to getting even more honest.

    • In the 1960′s Kaufmann wrote “Critique of Religion and Philosophy” and noted that “critique has becpme a word of honor” after thr vogue of theology in the 1950′s. In climate science, critique is NOT a word of honor and that’s the problem in a single phrase

    • And what a superb book that is! If you can still find a copy, buy and read it. For entertainment, it even has some charming conversations with the Devil, who professes a love for theologians.

    • David -

      Do you have any form of verified or quantified evidence to show a “decline in honesty?” Or is this a purely anecdotal observation of your related to your own personal experience?

    • Well, yes and no. I seem to recall that the number of retracted papers has been growing. We have had credit bubbles before but this is the first one where mathematical models played a significant role. At least in the 19th century politicians didn’t say much of anything during the campaigns. Nowadays dishonesty is common in politics. In the 50′s theology was an area where dishonesty was not challenged much. In the last 20 years, science has become an area where dishonesty is not challenged much. Climate science has provoked a resurgence of an atmosphere where “critique has once again become a word of honor.” And that’s the positive in all this. Some bloggers are taking on the scientific theology of the day very effectively. What would Walter Kaufman write about today? It’s interesting to speculate.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Climatology is unlikely to make any scientist rich. If that is what you want, biosciences/medicine is much more attractive propopsition. Grant money doesn’t go to the PI, it mostly gets spent on hiring RAs and running the lab. It is helpful for getting promotions, but at the end of the day you are on the same salary scales as everybody else and once you are at the top, you are at the top; they don’t go as far as they do for e.g. actuaries either. Getting a PhD is a bad move if wealth is what you are after.

    • randomengineer

      Nobody but nobody writes of wealth and assumes that scientists live directly on million$ of grant cash. Most often the comment is noting merely that the power/prestige gained by controlling these sums translates at some point to more direct personal gain. Whether this gain takes the form of an eventual cushy directorship somewhere or big $$$ on the lecture circuit isn’t the point, which is that career advancement and grant funding control have the same arc. Surely one would think that this can’t possibly be misinterpreted?

    • Did you get to that trenberth quote. You asked for the quote. I gave it to you with page number.

  19. “With Ludecke et al. as authors, the “convinced” made charges of purveying disinformation.”

    Yes, and I’m pretty sure a certain “expert on quality control” is regretting that charge more by the hour :-)

  20. To be among the “convinced” you have to believe that a relatively small subset of Western academics have the courage to stand up to all of humanity and save it from itself and save the world from capitalism. We would all be in serious trouble now if our putative saviours were more like Castro, Chavez, Lenin, Stalin Al Gore and Jim Jones instead of school teachers in our dropout factories?

    • If you aren’t a laissez-faire capitalist, you are a communist?

      Well, I don’t know about that. I have been a successful capitalist without embracing laissez-faire. I guess I was more interested in money than ideology.

    • Breaking News: President commemorates victory over the evil empire today by breaking a bong over the bow of a WWII-era destroyer and renaming it USS Karl Marx…

  21. Willis Eschenbach

    Do I consider the author? Sure, but only for the smell test. The smell test proves nothing. It just points out where to search for something rotten.

    The part that is missing in your analysis, Judith, is that some of these folks have lied to us in the past. Not made mistakes. Not been wrong about their results. They lied to us, and they stand convicted of that by their own words.

    As a result, you can be damn sure that we apply different standards to their further work … and very reasonably so. We would be fools to do what you suggest, to treat their reported results the same as we treat the work of honest people.

    That’s just simple self-defence, Judith. Nothing to do with science. Self-defense.

    So I fear that as often happens, you are busy solving the wrong problem … you haven’t even touched on the “should we treat the work of known liars just like we treat say Judith’s work” question at all.

    w.

    • You have never told a lie, Willis? Not even a little fib or two?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Sure, M., who has not told a white lie, or even a gray one?

      But I certainly never subverted the IPCC process and then destroyed evidence and lied about doing it to try to cover it up, no …

      I’m not sure what your point is. If I were to have subverted the IPCC and then lied about it as they did, you would be right to mistrust me. I have not done so. They have.

      So when I read a paper by Judith, I assume that she has not messed with the data or misrepresented what she has done or concealed adverse facts. When I read a paper by Michael Mann I make the opposite assumption. Historically, I’ve generally been right in both cases, near as I can tell …

      w.

    • Willis, I have read enough of your work at WUWT to believe you are biased. So, I would be skeptical of your ability to be objective.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      If you had any evidence that my science was biased, you certainly have not provided it.

      If you have any evidence that my other claims are biased, you have not provided it.

      Perhaps you think unsupported claims are of interest.

      In any case, I am skeptical of anyone’s ability to be objective. I don’t know anyone who can pull that off. All of us tend to favor what we believe, how could we not?

      w.

    • Willis, I didn’t have to go far. This following is from you at WUWT:

      “In the run-up to the next-to-last big meeting of the UNFCCC (United Nations Frequent Climate Change Carnival)”

      Your idea of humor shows your bias. Of course I suspect you did it because corny plays well at WUWT.

    • Carnival is a appropriate word for a group of 10,000 people who get flown first class to exotic locations like Rio for weeks of fun and eating and drinking in first class hotels.

    • M. carey, just make sure you apply that all the way around, like James Hansen wanting fossil fuel company CEO’s put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature.

      There are many more climate scientists that you may think are objective who have said similar things as Willis against the other side. So if you are skeptical of one person based on what they write, then you should be equally skeptical of all of those on either side when they use similar language.

      If you think people like Hansen are objective but Willis is not, then the bias you are seeing is coming from the person in your mirror.

    • Willis –

      When you said that Quakers mostly sit around and quake, was that a lie, or just inaccurate, presumably based in ignorance?

      When you then went on to justify that comment by wrongly characterizing the evangelical aspect of Quakerism, was that a lie, or just inaccurate, again presumably based in ignorance?

      At what point to inaccurate statements based in willful ignorance cross over into lies?

    • randomengineer

      Willis used what is called artistic license to make his writing more fun to read. You’re a nit picker who misses this purposefully in an attempt to make an absurdly trivial point. Big picture much?

    • Big picture is that Willis posted an overly-emotional rant, full of nonsense, overgeneralizations, and then backed it up with more inaccuracies.

      I think that’s pretty “big picture” wrt Willis’ input. When someone is so sloppy in one area that they let their biases overwhelm their reasoning, and that same person is as partisan as Willis is wrt climate science, it suggest that his writings on climate science should be taken with a grain of salt.

      Of course, since you’re a “skeptic,” you do that anyway.

    • randomengineer

      The big picture is that Herr Eschenbach used a humourous throwaway line and you’ve wasted a terabyte trying (and failing) to make a mountain out of it. In “a few good men” there’s a nifty throwaway line from Cruise regarding the practicality of absolute trvth to the effect of the punchline being “… and going blind with the paperwork.” As you get older you’ll learn to pick fights you can win.

    • Well Jones defended some of his comments as humor or exageration. so beware of the defenses you employ

    • randomengineer

      There’s a difference between the obviously and deliberately absurd and the claims of Jones. The same difference exists between drawing a rifle and walking into a classroom with one. Comparison here is practising the same zero tolerance that gets a bored 10 year old expelled from school after having drawn a picture of a rifle.

      Surely the English language can’t be that difficult?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Joshua | November 11, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply

      Willis –

      When you said that Quakers mostly sit around and quake, was that a lie, or just inaccurate, presumably based in ignorance?

      Fallacy of the excluded middle, Joshua. It will bite you every time. Look it up on Google if you’re unfamiliar with the concept.

      It was, as someone noted, none of the above—it was a “throwaway line” which was intended as humor. Look “humor” up on Google if you’re unfamiliar with the concept.

      And while you missed the humor entirely, others didn’t … likely a lesson in there for you, Joshua, if you want to stop being mistaken for a bulldog someone accidentally let off his leash.

      But your rant about me is a remarkably good example of the kind of prejudice pointed out by our good hostess in this thread.

      w.

    • And while you missed the humor entirely,

      Actually, Willis – I found your original nonsense description of Quakers, in addition to your lame attempt at justifying that description (in lieu of simply admitting your original error), both to be quite amusing.

      Along with RE’s explanation of “poetic license” and your explanation that a thread were you managed to offend a wide diversity of folks was just “humor.”

      Please don’t underestimate how much I’m laughing at your posts, Willis.

    • Ah, someone has heard of EIKE after all. :-)

    • Then we have the “one-note Johnny”.

  22. “A possible explanation of this asymmetry is provided by the essay Talking Past Each Other, where skeptics are more focused on the science, and the “convinced” are more focused on the solutions. ”
    Except it’s completely wrong.
    The skeptics on more focused on science- because what else is there to focus on?
    And the “convinced” are not focused on solutions. The “convinced” are not even convinced. The only consensus amongst the “the convinced” is CO2 causing warming and warming could be dangerous. They can’t quantify how dangerous and agree upon this. Really only agreement is it’s unknown [scary].
    But back to the part about the “convinced” focused on solution. There is no solution that they provide. They want governments to limit CO2 emission, but this is impossible. India or China can’t do limit their emission to 1970 emissions. If all countries did limit their emissions to 1970, it the result would insignificant in terms of affecting future emissions and future temperatures. So this is NO solution.
    A solution would be to dramatically increase nuclear reactor to provide electrical energy. This is obvious. And they don’t advocate this solution.
    One can only assume they are not serious in terms of solutions.

    There are other solutions possible. But solar and wind are not solutions.
    This again is obvious.
    But there are other solutions other then these bird killing and inefficient and unreliable means of generating electrical.
    They aren’t talking about solutions, they aren’t even pretending to be talking about solutions.

    • gbaikie -

      I spotted a cracker in your comment – the most succinct, all-encompassing, and explanatory summation of the about 7/8ths of the consensus devotees. And also why it is impossible to reason them out of their position [because they didn't reason themselves into it..]
      I think it should appear at the top of every page of every alarmist document -

      UNKNOWN [SCARY]

    • Not “unknown”, “uncertain” (but still scary).

      Of course if we did claim that the consquences were certain then you would soon complain.

    • Funnily enough I do think it is the ‘certainty’ that emanates from a lot of people who are worried about global warming that strikes sceptics as so bizarre. I understand it because that is the nature of worry – it is a definite picture of the future. Uncertainty doesn’t come into it.

      One of my favourite expressions is from Holly Stick -

      ‘You guys don’t know how BAD it’s gonna be!!’

      Holly is completely, utterly certain – just like a religious believer. This genuinely explains why she thinks we are wilfully stupid, ignorant deniers. How is it that we cannot SEE the coming doom?

      As is the way with everything, it is hard for sceptics not to generalise – the Hollys of the world appear to be everywhere. If you have a quiet uncertainty that encompasses a real concern you simply appear nearly invisible to most of us. And of course the reverse is true – a lot of consensus folk tend only to see right wing bigots arguing that AGW is ‘hoax’ even though that is about one in a thousand of those who are sceptical. Hence we all get called ‘fake sceptics’ and deniers.

      I think this is only one of the reasons that there is often too big a divide between views for meaningful discussion to occur. Add to that some tribalism, distrust, confirmation bias and closed minds, and it is a wonder communication occurs at all.

      Consensus devotees may have some uncertainty about exactly what is going to happen, but my assessment is that the vast majority of them are certain it is going to be BAD.

    • Well said.

  23. “Dare I suggest that Richard Tol reacted much more sharply to these papers than people in the U.S. because of his knowledge of EIKE (German group of skeptics)?” Yes you dare. As the people of EIKE could attest if they were active in English, I have no problem with them and have helped them on a few occasions. The discussion on climate change in Germany is between the green and the deep green. EIKE provides a useful counterweight.
    I’m following the discussion on BEST because I’m wondering whether this is the right time to update Tol and de Vos (1997).
    I was taken aback by the quality of the LLE paper. Recall that I argue that they just don’t do what they say they do. They also do it incorrectly but that is besides the point.
    LLE try to argue that 2+2=5. There are many who would like to believe that that is true. It is not. We now have over 5 posts and 2000 comments on whether 2+2 is 3, 4 or 5 — and that’s just at Climate Etc.
    People do, can and should disagree about climate change, its causes, its impact, and the implications for policy.
    We should not, however, fight over mathematics and statistics. That science is settled (excepting its axioms and frontier, but that’s irrelevant here).

    • Isn’t 2+2=5 usually close enough for climate science?

    • Richard Tol –

      I think that sounds like an incredibly succinct summation of what you have been saying over the last few days.
      My first reaction to it was – how differently this would have all played out had you initially said the above rather than an off-the-cuff comment on twitter…

      But then we would not have had your guest post, the follow-up post and this thread – which I am finding extremely absorbing. So maybe it has all been a blessing?

      Feel free to take the credit :)

    • If Tol has simply posted his criticisms of the article, all would have been well. In fact, Tol would have been better received. However, he opened early with gratuitous and mistaken criticisms of Dr. Curry which he refuses to discuss.

      Well, actually, they are gratuitous unless Tol wants to enter a partnership with Dr. Curry as her censor. In that case, Tol suspect motives are clear.

    • Richard, do you really still maintain the position that the LLE paper was flawed and worthless? It appears to me that while you may have valid criticisms of it, it was hardly the case that it was as bad as you say. At worst, it may have lacked the clarity needed to ensure that someone like yourself was interpreting it correctly.
      From my perspective as an interested outsider, I followed the arguments and counter-argments closely, and whether or not you think conclusions drawn from the paper are ‘safe’ it was definitely a worthwhile exercise doing the kind of analysis they did.
      In my view it does your credibility harm to insist otherwise. ( not that much harm, but still….)

    • Indeed. The papers add nothing.

    • It doesn’t need to add anything. It just states the obvious, time series analysis is severely limited. You assume that their paper cannot prove anything, but at the same time assume that previous studies “prove” they cannot be correct. There’s a whole lot of assumin’ goin’ on :)

    • Richard, do you think you could perform an analysis which shows the bounds of what changes one could expect in the presence/absence of man-made atmospheric CO2?
      We have reasonable estimates of what atmospheric CO2 levels were historically, we have estimates of what the ‘climate sensitivity’ is (shudder).
      Would it be possible to show, statistically, one way or the other if CO2 has made temperature peek its head of the normal fluctuation trench?

    • In that it adds nothing you wish to see.

      Your analysis that using 1200 monthly data points in place of 100 yearly averages add no information is incorrect. Times series analysis using averaged data is at the heart of why climate science has been statistically mislead over climate natural variability.

      Mainstream climate science averages the data to remove daily and annual cycles, then computes the trends using this averaged data. This is a huge mistake in procedure, because this averaging process hides the variability in the underlying data set.

      This averaging gives the mistaken belief that climate doesn’t vary much naturally, which has mislead climate science into believing that CO2 is driving climate change. They can’t explain it any other way, because they haven’t considered that time series analysis of globally averaged temperatures is at the heart of the statistical problems.

      By all means, do your time series analysis on the temperature data, but do the analysis before you average the data.

      For example, if I was planning to look at 100 years of data with 1200 monthly data points, I would compare jan to jan, feb to feb, etc. That would give me 12 trend lines, that would give me much more information about variability over 100 years, than if I was to average those 1200 monthly figures into 100 annual figures, then computer the trend.

    • For example, if we compute 12 trend lines as outlined, then center them on their means, this will give a measure of likely a trend of averages is to match the averaged trend. If all the trend lines are in close agreement this points to low variability, while if the 12 trends lines are all over the place, this points to high variability.

      For example, if we looked only at the 12 end points at either end of the 100 years, if they were widely spaced this would tell us something as compared to if they were closely spaced. The same for each of the years in between.

      We could for example, draw a trend lines between the low point at the start of the series and the high point at the ends of the series, and argue that this was within the trend of natural variability, though others might argue against this. We could repeat this with the high and low points. This would give us a range for natural variability that would not be apparent looking only at the 100 averaged data points. For example, this type of treatment might explain why current temperatures have leveled off as compared to the 20 years previous.

      Thus, by using 1200 data points instead of 100 averaged data points, we have gained more information about the natural variability of the 100 year trend.

    • Fred: You strike me as the sort of person who can do the math. So, please just work out what you just wrote and see whether you still believe it to be true. (Hint: correlation.)

    • when you find the data they purport to use let me know

    • Don’t confuse Ferd with Fred. Ferd is Frank Farkel’s trusted friend and neighbor.

    • Flawed and worthless are two different things. It’s possible for a paper to be wrong in its conclusions due to flaws, and still present a novel approach that can be perfected into something valuable. I’m sure the first attempt at a lot of valuable approaches are bungled.

    • Alexej Buergin

      Now that McIntyre has shown us where Schmidt went wrong, I was hoping he would have some time to clear up the matter of Lüdecke/Tol. Instead he is occupied with another Penn State/state pen incident. Pity.

    • It is a pity. He has Mann on the brain, and can’t seem to move on.

    • And you know this how? And McIntyre’s blog’s content should be determined by you?

    • Alexej Buergin

      Bowden and Paterno are gone (who would have thought they would both turn out to be losers at the end after all they achieved), but Mann is still there, and his achievements are?

    • Yes it is a shame that SM doesn’t broaden his enquiries a bit more. Should we petition Dr Curry to pester him into looking to the LLE vs Tol? It seems very much his territory. It would be fascinating to have his take on it. He is one of the few commentators I could trust to be as objective as possible.

    • Why? This row has already been hoed. The surface mid-troposphere relationship he is looking into might actually move things forward.

    • Richard S. J. Tol: LLE try to argue that 2+2=5.

      That is absurd.

    • It has been proposed that something in the world, called a, and something in the world called b, add up to something in the world called c.

      The estimate of a is 2.375 +/2 1.25

      The estimate of b is 1.825 +/ 1.25

      The estimate of c is 4.625 +/- 1.75

      It can not be determined whether, to 2 significant figures, the proposal is true.

      The only solid criticism you have made against the papers is that the confidence limits for the Hurst exponent can’t be computed from a single time series. Your posts seem confused on the nature of null hypothesis testing.

    • oops, that is supposed to be +/-, not +/2 or +/ .

  24. @Judith C

    >So the skeptical criticism is more focused on the science and the individual author, where as the convinced criticism kicks in if it looks like the paper will influence public opinion (presumably on policy).<

    Yes, of course.

    The convinced become particularly rancid if the publishing medium for some "anti" paper has a large circulation or high audience rating. They are then most concerned to slaughter its' credibility before it becomes widespread – because of the likely knock-on effect to any activist policy

    But notice that attacks of the ad hominen persuasion are NOT limited to one side – both indulge in it freely. I find the political intrusions here absolutely despicable. Since intellectual integrity plays no part in the political process, I'm with John Cleese

    I'm pleased you have now admitted this. I always thought you knew it but were just too coy

  25. This might be a naive idea, but why should authors submit their names until the paper has been accepted? If what matters is the science, why does it matter who submitted it?

    On another point, Chris Ho Stuart says:

    “I think the issue has not so much been with who wrote the papers, but with you deciding to highlight them on your blog.”

    To which I will cross-post something I said to a related point at KK’s blog that said:

    “The Brandon Shollenberger discussion is an example of what is wrong with Curry’s blog. I believe that Curry has the expertise to judge the quality and correctness of his position, but she hasn’t done so.”

    My reply was:

    That’s not what Judith does. She does something much more subtle and, it has to be said, educational, though not all seem to be able to grasp it.

    She’s a facilitator. She’s not didactic (all the best adult educators are like that – education being my professional specialty). Her purpose is not to impart knowledge from a lofty point, but to act as an enabler for open discussion and the development and exercise of critical thinking. She allows anyone with a view to put it out there, and does so without fear or favour. They will stand or fall by the force of their own arguments.

    Her views, and I’m sure she has them, are neither here nor there. Genuinely sceptical people do not accept arguments from authority, so what point in her attempting to influence them?

    A good adjective for Judith is “humble”. Very few have the moral integrity or intellectual courage not to try to influence through applying their own authority. In the blogosphere, she’s so far above most in wisdom that many can’t perceive what she is doing without getting a crick in the neck.

    • Michael Larkin –

      I was making some very similar points at Keith Kloor’s – albeit with more vitriol :)

      What some of the critics fail to realise is that Climate etc is not prescriptive or pedagogical – if it is educational it is in only the best way possible. I think a lot of the criticism is either ignorant or elitist, suggesting that the authors, of course, would never be led astray, but that everyone else needs to have their information vetted and filtered and authorised, Worst of all, they suggest that Dr Curry has an OBLIGATION to do this. Of course this is insulting TO ME, because it implies that I need to have somebody take responsibility for my reading. When I point this out, the reply is “Oh I don’t mean you, just gullible people who are vulnerable to disinformation”

      If I may say so in English, that is bollocks. You can’t just hand wave in the direction of ‘some people’ implying something like ‘the great unwashed’. It is I who am uninformed, unintelligent and looking to learn, so if you have a problem with the way Climate etc works, you have to say it will cause a problem FOR ME, or perhaps even FOR YOURSELF. If not, it would be helpful if you kept you patronising condescension where it isn’t going to embarrass you.

      [Er, I don't mean you, Michael. I mean the authoritarian pedlars of the orthodox]

    • Michael Larkin

      Anteros – You add cogent points with which I very much agree.

    • randomengineer

      This might be a naive idea, but why should authors submit their names until the paper has been accepted? If what matters is the science, why does it matter who submitted it?

      (Author) Michael Crichton suggested the same thing many times as a way to kill what Dr Curry calls “tribalism.”

    • I can see the merits in not submitting authors names until a paper is accepted for most science fields, but climate science?

      A demonstration:

      Anon1: The effects of a warmer world on the mating habits of the yellow bellied numbat.
      Abstract: A warming world will have dire consequences on the biodiversity of……..

      ACCEPTED.

      Anon2: Climate sensitivity over estimated by a factor of 5
      Abstract: Here we present real world observations……

      REJECTED.

  26. Following on from my own post above, “genuine scepticism” equates to genuine open-mindedness, and there are, for sure, some pseudo-sceptics who, every bit as much as the convinced, are really motivated by the desire to have their own world-view promulgated.

    For the sake of complete symmetry, I also have to allow the possiblity that some of the convinced may also be open-minded.

  27. yes Mr. Larkin, critical thinking is becoming like the Walkman, passe.
    Your explanation of this blog is exactly right!

  28. Interesting post Dr Curry.

    Firstly, by ‘Graduate student’ I assume you mean someone whose views are not known to us? If not, we might think of someone like a young Chris Colose who has a website which states on its home page –

    ‘Climate sensitivity is enough to be worried. It will take effort and money, to solve the problem but the benefits outweigh the risks’

    I have nothing against this declaration – though I profoundly disagree with it. I think it is clear, honest and admirable. But those two sentences are enough – for good or ill – to completely skew my expectations, because I now know that the person has a world view utterly different to my own, and they will see and understand and interpret every single ‘fact’ they come across in a different way.

    I’m aware that some people don’t like analogies to religion, but to me they are appropriate here, because this is so much more about ‘belief’ than it is about ‘scientific evidence’. John Christy and James Hansen have THE SAME information and believe very different things.

    I do accept that not everyone has one of the polarised views that I characterise here and that If I knew nothing about the graduate student it would be much much easier to take the paper completely on its merits.

    I’m glad you mentioned the assymetry in this Dr curry – and I think you assess it pretty well, although I think many consensus devotees will baulk at the image of ‘skeptics’ being concerned about the science…

    I have had some interactions with Joshua about asymmetry and one thing that has become apparent is that our ideas about asymmetry are themselves asymmetrical – which would be interesting to explore in another post but is probably OT here.

    it is fascinating to read other readers views on this topic.

    • randomengineer

      …because I now know that the person has a world view utterly different to my own, and they will see and understand and interpret every single ‘fact’ they come across in a different way.

      It’s horrifying, actually. This person has now completely shut down even lines of inquiry that aren’t laser focused on “doing something about” that which he takes as Received Wisdom. It would bother me less if said Wisdom was truthful enough to be non-contentious, but something as obviously weak as that… hoo boy.

      Do you think such a young scientist could do what Svensmark did? No, because questioning Received Wisdom (CAGW is gawds Trvth dontcha know) isn’t viable and the line of research inquiry will be focused at the end of doing something about this awful problem rather than the science of determining whether or not there is a real problem and if there is, defining it.

    • Worse yet, the field is attracting people not because they’re interested in science, but because they want to “change the world”. The evidence of this is in the thread a few weeks ago on personality types. Climate science is in danger of going to way of journalism.

    • It is odd that we even use the word ‘science’..

      I’d stick my neck out and say that what Chris Colose (and James Hansen) are doing isn’t science at all – at least in the way that it is commonly understood, and in the way that Dikran talks about it on these pages. Take climate sensitivity – everybody who knows the area knows all the assumptions that have to be made, and they also know the effects of these assumptions. So it is incredibly disingenuous for someone like Hansen with a fundamentalist and dogmatic view to say they have ‘found’ that climate sensitivity is x, y, or z. He didn’t find it – he CHOSE it.

      Just imagine if a member of the hockey team ‘found’ an estimate of CS that was less than 2C/2xCO2 – they’d be excommunicated! You’d never see them at RC ever again. Similarly, Roy Spencer couldn’t possibly ‘calculate’ a high or even moderate CS because ‘calculating’ doesn’t come into it. It sounds cynical but isn’t meant to be. Pretty much, we see the world the way we want to see it, which is why people very rarely change their views.

    • randomengineer

      So it is incredibly disingenuous for someone like Hansen with a fundamentalist and dogmatic view to say they have ‘found’ that climate sensitivity is x, y, or z. He didn’t find it – he CHOSE it.

      I see this as correct.

      Climate science and biblical archaeology are twins. Biblical archaeologists start with the concept that the bible is literally true, no two ways about it, and then hit the desert with kit in hand and set out to prove it.

      Re climate sensitivity… Hansen is contending that Noah’s Ark will be found at 12,000 ft. on Mt Ararat in Turkey. Those who have slight disagreement argue for 9,000 ft settling due to the scientific study of 40 days and nights of deluge volume and factoring in the landscape of the day. (Blog denizen Oliver Manuel says no, it’s closer to the Iron Mountain…) This is what that discussion sounds like to my ears.

      Meanwhile skeptics are saying “Ark? What Ark? Now hold on just one cotton pickin’ minute…”

    • Anteros,

      I usually find your posts intersting but I don’t understand this one. While it is possible to “posulate” sensitivity, it is most often calculated, whether via GCM or some other source (paleo data, simple models). Can you elaborate further?

      Bill

    • I agree I was very unclear in my reasons for contending that most estimates of climate sensitivity are ‘chosen’. On reflection the hyperbole doesn’t help (as if it ever does..)
      What I would say now, perhaps more reasonably, is that there is a large element of choice in how one goes about estimating climate sensitivity. There are obviously some different approaches, but they all fundamentally involve making assumptions – lots of them. Everything from choosing the weighting of various components of forcing, to assumptions about the variability of many unknown parameters – even how to measure and understand the variables themselves, what proxies to choose, whose proxy record to trust…….

      One of the ways in which this can be made clear is the sheer range of estimates – extremists like Singer and Lindzen at one end and the likes of Kiehl at the other. Estimates more than an order of magnitude apart! Pretty much everyone who has announced an estimate of climate sensitivity has found one that fitted in with their prior prejudices – remarkable don’t you think?

      I think even the ‘consensus’ of somewhere between 2 degrees and 4 and a half degrees indicates that something other than (or in addition to) ‘calculation’ is occurring.

      I don’t believe the WHOLE thing is arbitrary and a function solely of things like tribal bias and social pressure. Just that much more than most of us believe – and more than the scientist themselves believe – they make choices and assumptions the effect of which they know very well (or know subconsciously). I think the influence of world view in such an area can be very pronounced.

      I’ll repeat the example I gave above of Chris Colose. Right at the beginning of his academic career, at a time where he should have the most open mind of anyone, he makes a public statement of belief on his website.

      “climate sensitivity is enough to be worried. It will take effort, and money, to solve the problem, but the benefits outweigh the risks”

      Now, if Chris decided to have a personal estimate of climate sensitivity, he would know extremely well the results of each of the assumptions he would have to make. My contention is that certain assumptions (and therefore certain estimates) would involve shattering a whole world view and, by and large, that is one of the last things human beings ever do.
      We convince ourselves that we can be objective. My view is that most of us – including scientists – underestimate how much our biases influence what we see.

      Perhaps the most extreme example of this is Michael Mann’s book ‘Dire predictions’. Having read that, it is inconceivable to me that he could publish ANYTHING that could remotely suggest that ‘things are better than we thought’. It is now an essential part of his understanding of facts, evidence and reasoning – it would take something akin to a religious conversion for him to SEE something that meant global warming was un-threatening, and one of the key aspects of that is climate sensitivity.

      Can you imagine James Hansen saying “I’ve had another quick look at climate sensitivity, and my calculation is now the same as Pat Michaels, which means……..er……..that…..there’s no problem?……..Er did I say that? Oh dear, I probably miscalculated because I was pretty sure civilisation was doomed. Let me look at it again”

      I think we know more about people than we do about climate, so its almost true that we can ‘calculate’ what someone’s estimate of climate sensitivity will be better than someone can ‘calculate’ climate sensitivity itself.

      And I’ve probably oversold the idea once again (bad habit) but I think you’ll see the influence I’m referring to.

      P.S. If scientists are ‘calculating’ climate sensitivity, how come they end up with such a variety of numbers? That always seem to fit their pre-stated views of AGW?

    • Anteojos,

      (Sorry, Anteros, couldn’t resist- then I went and looked up what the name means, I didn’t know).

      Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful and clarifying reply. It’s what I would have expected, which confirms my suspicion that you haven’t suddenly turned “hardcore”. I agree with your general sentiments regarding our predispositions.

      I do hope that not all future climate scientists go into it based on a personal belief in the necessary policy consequences of CAGW.

      Me, I got into environmental stuff out of a desire to work for environmental good. It’s actually the disproportionate emphasis that AGW currently gets in the treatment of environmental issues that got me reading skeptical stuff. Just to see what the counterarguments were. I really hope Hansen’s wrong…

  29. “Has anyone come across people from the warm side characterizing a paper with as fraud?”

    Yes, in email 1107899057 Michael Mann wrote to journalist Andy Revkin

    “Hi Andy,
    The McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud. I think you’ll find this reinforced by just about any legitimate scientist in our field you discuss this with.”

  30. Dikran Marsupial

    I think it is unhelpful to talk of papers as being fraudulent or to personalise the science and fixate on motives. As I said on the earlier thread this sort of thing is exactly why science on blogs is doomed to failure. An ad-hominem (which is what accusations of fraud or personalisation of the science is) is a rhetorical device, what really matters is whether the paper is correct or not. In this post, IMHO Prof. Curry has done “blog science” no favours at all.

    • Dikran –

      With respect, I think you may have misunderstood what this post is about. It certainly is not about talking about papers as being fraudulent, far from it. It is a reflective, thoughtful post about the way many of us DO think about papers depending on our perceptions of the the authors of them.

      You sound like an idealist with regard to objectivity. Does that mean if you have previous experience of an authors work that you found partisan, biased, selective etc it wouldn’t affect your reading of a subsequent paper? At all?
      Are you sure?

      This what people here are asking themselves – quite self-critically.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      It would be better to ask people to question why they use rhetorical devices at all (e.g. winding up opponents by calling them names). Use of any rhetorical device is an indication of bias or prejudice. We all have weaknesses and biases, however we are all rational and can override them, but we have to actively choose to do so.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      I’m not an idealist; I am a scientist, that is how scientists generally think (although you wouldn’t get that impression from reading climate blogs, as on blogs you only see those scientists that are willing to mix it a bit in a rhetorical debating forum). Most scientists are genuinely only interested in getting to the truth, and most handle agressive rhetorical debate rather badly becuase it is so alien to them.

      If a reviewer has any concern that they would be unable to give an unbiased review, then the correct thing to do is to decline the invitation to review the paper. It isn’t a big deal.

    • I take your point. And perhaps objectivity is much more prevalent among working scientists than the partisan blogosphere suggests. But do you not recognise Judith’s description of how emotion can creep into a perspective – often without us realising?

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Not the “without us realising” bit. If I was aware that I was angry about something I would also be aware of the potential bias. Certainly on climate change I would be only too happy for the mainstream position to be wrong, I like my car as much as the next man, so if anything my bias should be in the other direction.

      I DO understand Prof. Curry’s anger though. Most scientists, as I said, are seekers of truth, and rhetoric is fairly alien to us and we are quite easily outraged by transparent rhetorical attacks that a journalist would consider the norm. That is one of the reasons why I am participating in blogs less and less as time goes on, there is too little scientific discussion and too much rhetoric.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      An accusation of fraud is not (inherently) an ad hominem. Are you sure you know what that phrase means?

    • Corporate Message

      DM, can you explain how an accusation of fraudulent work, is an ad hom ? Fraud in the paper would seem to be an accusation regarding action ( what was done ), not about what the author “is”..

    • Dikran Marsupial

      To say the paper is incorrect is not an ad-hominem. To claim it is a fraud is an accusation of deliberate dishonesty against the author and hence an ad-hom. Personally I am a big fan of Hanlons razor, which basically says “always take the least critical view of someones actions that are consistent with the evidence”.

      Fraud is a criminal matter, not a scientific matter. If you want to discuss the science, stick to whether it is correct or not, leave motives, accusations of dishonesty or other such personalisations of the argument out of it entirely.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Er, I responded to the wrong fork. Sorry. As I said here:

      An accusation of fraud is not (inherently) an ad hominem. Are you sure you know what that phrase means?

    • Dikran, I think commonly used language has lost most of its subtle elegance. Fraud is tossed around with abandon along with many more powerful words that used to be used judiciously. One persons “Fraud” is another’s intellectual naivete.

      Science with policy implications needs a bit thicker skin.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      dallas, this is an interesting comment given the fact Dikran Marsupial is misusing “ad hominem” in basically the same manner as you say “fraud” is misused.

    • I am more than just a pretty face Brandon :)

      Here’s my newest Quote of the Week, “Non-ergodic systems aren’t really chaotic, they are just misunderstood.” :)

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Dikran Marsupial | November 11, 2011 at 5:46 am

      To say the paper is incorrect is not an ad-hominem. To claim it is a fraud is an accusation of deliberate dishonesty against the author and hence an ad-hom.

      Dikran, you totally misunderstand the term “ad hominem”.

      It is a debating device, where rather than debate the issues, you attack the man.

      However, this is different than calling a fraud a fraud. Every statement about a paper’s author is not necessarily an ad hominem attack.

      Because if someone is in fact a fraud, it is not an ad hominem to say they are a fraud … unless you are doing it to distract and divert the discussion from the actual issue.

      But sometimes, the fraud IS the actual issue … not because it makes you disbelieve what they have written or because it means they are automatically wrong, but because it puts them under a much greater burden for their work.

      This was my point above. The fact that a man lied to us before does not mean that he is lying to us now.

      However, it does mean that if we do not consider that he lied to us before, we are acting very foolishly.

      This is the issue with e.g. Michael Mann. He has lied to us, we know that, his own words have convicted him. But that doesn’t make his science wrong, to claim that would be an ad hominem argument.

      But by god, it sure encourages me to check and verify every word that issues from his lying lips … and that’s not an ad hominem. As I said above …

      … that’s just self-preservation.

      w.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Sorry, an accusation of fraud is an accusation against the author of the paper of dishonesty. That is an attack on the man, not on the argument, and hence is an ad-hominem. If fraud is the issue, it is a criminal issue, not a scientific one. I have to say that pretty much every accusation of fraud I have seen in the climate blogs has been unsupported, regardless of which direction they went in.

      The fact that whenever there is an attempt to discuss science on blogs it ends up in a discussion of every thing but the science, just accusations of fraud, ad-homs about “teams” or politicallty motivated IPCC or big oil funded skeptics, blah blah blah. It is why “blog science” is doomed to fail; the vast majority of participants don’t actually want to discuss the science as far as I can see. It is just the thin end of the wedge.

      For example, I have frequently tried to discuss the issue of statistical (in)significance of the “pause in warming”, and I have yet to see anybody even attempt to perform the calculations to support their claims, but plenty of rhetoric.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Dikran Marsupial, earlier I said to you:

      An accusation of fraud is not (inherently) an ad hominem. Are you sure you know what that phrase means?

      I never got a response, but you seem to have answered my question quite clearly with your response to Willis Eschenbach here by saying:

      Sorry, an accusation of fraud is an accusation against the author of the paper of dishonesty. That is an attack on the man, not on the argument, and hence is an ad-hominem.

      Apparently, you don’t know what an ad hominem is. You can “attack a person” as much as you want without it being ad hominem. I could call Michael Mann a lying fat man whose father smells of elderberries, and it isn’t ad hominem. It’s an insult. The two do not mean the same thing. Please stop acting as though they do.

      The very thing you’re doing with your talk of “ad hominem” is what you accuse people of doing with talk of “fraud.”

    • A lot of people are confused about the fallacy of ad hominem. They believe that any criticism of a person is an ad hominem. Not true at all. An ad hominem occurs when a respondent changes the topic from the argument to the person who gave the argument. The fallacy occurs because an irrelevancy has been introduced.

      If one is arguing that someone is a fraud then there is no fallacy in that and the argument might be perfectly successful. Some people do commit fraudulent acts.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Theo Goodwin, unfortunately, your depiction of ad hominem is wrong as well. Changing the topic as you describe is not ad hominem. Introducing irrelevancy is not ad hominem. Neither of these is a fallacy. They may not be the “right” thing to do, but they are both logically sound.

      Ad hominem is a fallacy where an argument against the person is claimed as an argument against their position. The reason it is a fallacy is because there is no logical connection between the argument and what the argument is claimed to be. Arguing against a person is not arguing against the person’s position, so claiming it is is fallacious.

      Accusing someone of fraud is not ad hominem. Calling someone stupid is not ad hominem. It is only ad hominem if you tack on something like, “Therefore you’re wrong.” It is an insult to say, “You’re a moron.” It is ad hominem to say, “You’re a moron, so you’re argument is wrong.”

    • Sorry, you are wrong. Taught it all my life. Why do you think an ad hominem is a fallacy of relevance? The fallacy is in the fact that the new argument, against the person, changes the topic and, thereby, fails to address the original argument. The technique is very successful because it can introduce some real rabble rousers. Someone can present an argument on abortion and you can get them run out of town for being Catholic.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      My apologies Theo Goodwin, you are indeed correct. I forgot there are distinctions within in ad hominem. What I was thinking of is actually abusive ad hominem, not ad hominem in general. Sorry for the carelessness.

      With that said, it’s worth pointing out your description is somewhat inaccurate as well. You refer to ad hominem changing the topic to the person who gave the argument. However, you do not mention that the change of topic must involve a negative portrayal of the person. Ad hominem relies upon creating a negatively biased perspective of the target (through the Halo effect), so changing the topic to positive things about the person does not qualify. For example, bringing up the fact your opponent is really beautiful may qualify as a red herring and non-sequitur, but it is not ad hominem.

      In any event, I do apologize. If I had taken more time in making my comment, that wouldn’t have happened as I’d have looked up the definition again to be sure. I been posting quite a bit more on this site than I normally do, and I suspect that’s partially to blame. Even so, that is no excuse.

    • Brandon,

      I always enjoy your posts. You are one good logician.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I’m flattered!

  31. Am I alone in thinking that the science will sort itself in 5,10, 15 years or so?
    As more data is collected more observations made, and possibly dire predictions fail to occur, and everyone takes a step back?

    My concerns are with the here and now, and climate policies that make no sense to me whether AGW is a minor or major effect? or even just lost in the noise of natural variability.

    • Barry Woods -

      I sometimes think like this but am pulled up when I realise there are still Malthusians wandering around 150 years after his ideas were totally refuted. What one person thinks of as a refutation, another thinks of as a temporary postponement of doom. Paul Ehrlich hasn’t been right about anything in all his long life – has he noticed?

      And in another way, the amount of worry and fear [of the future] in the world probably doesn’t change very much, bearing in mind a certain amount of natural variability. After AGW, you can be absolutely sure that it’ll be something else. The fears don’t have a great deal of correlation to reality – they are always utterly convincing to the believers, and dissenters are always demonised. I would call it ‘the way of the world’. Don’t let ‘em get you down!

    • Anteros

      Paul Ehrlich hasn’t been right about anything in all his long life – has he noticed?

      Let me suggest one exception: he has been “right” in knowing how to write a doomsday best-seller (The Population Bomb, written in 1968). This books still sells, although all of its dire predictions have turned out to be completely false. Malthusian doomsayers today simply add 40 years onto Ehrlich’s forecasts.

      Some people seem to find solace in doomsday predictions: coming ice age, nuclear winter, population bomb, global warming….

      The only thing these predictions all have in common is that they never really happen.

      Max

    • Hale Bopp…

    • Actually, a better analogy would be Y2K, because serious trouble was at least possible, if not plausible. Plus, there were a lot of control systems and generator companies that saw a substantial uptick in sales in 1999. It’s pretty much impossible for there not to be economic winners from any kind of scare.

    • Manaker,

      Good point. Every time I start to think Al Gore is an idiot, I remember how much money he’s made the last several years.

    • Joachim Seifert

      Barry,

      dont loose confidence in the truth….. it will all come out one day,
      and it will not take 10-15 years, it just needs one person to stumble upon truth….. the idea that it needs a lot of models and simulations is
      just a lie of all model simulants involved in order to continue their
      mean game…. it just needs one with an extra sharp pencil… and not
      dumb feeding of convoluted input into “models”….
      JS

    • What dire predictions are slated to happen in 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years?

    • …5,10, 15 years or so

    • How about 50 million climate refugees?

      When they didn’t show up in 2010, the UN just adjusted the date to 2020.

    • Barry

      I will accept AGW if in the next decade the global mean temperature lies in the red region in the following graph.

      http://bit.ly/oI8dws

    • The existing practice of climate science shies away from empirical research and relies on computer models and naive paleo-reconstructions. Climate science has produced no reasonably well-confirmed physical hypotheses which go beyond Arrhenius’ work and which can be used to explain and predict climate changes. As a result, climate science really cannot say what objects and events it addresses. If it continues as it is practiced today, it will produce nothing beyond what we have today.

  32. I would rather top the question of “disinformation ” and “fraud” by adding “warmer villains”. Especially here in Germany, were as Mr. Tol put it: The choice is between green and ultra green, many “warmer villains” are around who specialize in bugging, annoying, blocking, trolling, even threatening the skeptics, which are just being sceptical in their own right…… My daugther mentioned in school: My papa is sceptical and she got screemed down….Skeptics in this country must be retired or they will be X-ed by the warmer villains….
    ….. all worse than disinformation or fraud……
    JS

    • Ex-Vice President Gore calls for the same thing in this country. He wants to make “climate denialism” as socially unacceptable as racism. I think he sees himself as the MLKJr of his movement.

    • I got a new mobile phone few weeks ago and among the pre-installed games, there’s one called Climate Mission. It starts like this:

      - So, you think you know all there is to climate change, eh?
      - It’s time to introduce some creative ways to fight it!
      - Get ready for…

      And so on. Is this disinformation? Propaganda?

    • Joachim Seifert

      Edim, this is propaganda “for FIGHTING climate change, Eh..”
      “Eh” stands for, in English :”Isnt it?” As if it were possible to fight
      against the climate…… pure AGW-hype…….

  33. Judith,

    Ignorance is not fraud when you follow practiced procedures or come up with a new calculation or concept. When those procedures are incorrect, what others is out there that are correct?
    Years of traditional teachings and theories that never change even though they are incorrect to the technology available is still being installed in our education. Not allowed to question the teacher as he is only as good as what is in a book.
    So, where do you go when the teacher does not have the answer, yet you must follow protocol or fail?

    I tried twice with the peer-review system and will not subject myself again to a system that is prejudice.
    Now begs the question of who is the expert to review velocity?

    • Joachim Seifert

      Joe, your question is difficult to answer.
      But there is an answer: 1. There is a thruth + 2. Time will tell…..
      When you are ahead of your time and you are in a hostile environment which does not advance science (as during inquisition and Galileo) you have to be firm in your knowing, even if they make you state that the Sun goes around Earth (as is the case with AGW), that you are on the right track of scientific knowledge and only time will tell: It takes only 6 more years that the CO2-foot-or-finger
      print of CO2 (one or the other, as with the Yeti) will be lost, according to warm side Trenberth……, and then we will be rid of the warm side brothers in science……
      Please wait 6 years and you will know….
      JS

    • Joachim,

      I doubt 6 years will make a difference with politicians.
      If they had a crystal ball, you would still be lied to.
      There is “for the good of the people and for the good of the country”, peoples lives will always be sacrificed for the good of the country even down to the last person.
      http://www-pord.ucsd.edu/~ltalley/sio219/curryetal_nature2003.pdf

      These salt changes have been happening for the last 4 decades, yet no one talks about them. Hush…hush…

    • I tried twice with the peer-review system and will not subject myself again to a system that is prejudice.

      Quote of the day.

  34. Disinformation=> The cooling from 1940 to 1970 is due to aerosols; the warming from 1970 to 2000 is due to greenhouse gas emissions; and the slight cooling in the first decade of the 2000s is due to aerosols.

    Fraud=> “Hide the Decline”, “Delete”, “at our own peril” etc

    • I think fraud is saying “hide the decline” rather than “hide the decline that never occurred.”

      The “slight cooling in the first decade of the 2000s” could be due to your imagination.

  35. On the skeptical side, the accusations are focused on the author, whereas on the convinced side, the accusations are focused on people that enable/promote the paper (e.g. journal editors, bloggers, journalists, advocacy groups).

    I think this is a misreading of the motives behind criticism like Tol’s. The way I see it, people on the pro-science side are constantly trying to find someone on the antiscience side with whom they can reason — there is a strong desire (if I am typical) to identify “skeptics” who have something resembling integrity, who are not utterly ignorant of the science, and are not simply right-wing fanatic conspiracy theorists engaged in aggressive sophistry (the vast majority).

    You serve that function for many of the “convinced.” Pielke, Tol himself, Lucia circa 2009 would be other examples. It’s easy to raise such people on too high a pedestal, in the (usually vain) hope that there is someone on the “skeptic” side with whom one can find some common ground, if only in that they exercise basic honesty.

    There are obviously many occasions when stinging criticism is leveled at deniers creating the shoddy “science.” But many deniers have so effectively lowered expectations among the science literate that it is hard to get motivated when Willis or Steve Goddard or Watts vomits up their usual bag of infantile dishonest nonsense. That is a “dog bites man” story. When somebody with some tiny shred of credibility remaining takes it upon themselves to promote such stuff, that gets more attention because of the bitter disappointment associated with dashed hopes for rational dialogue.

    • Joachim Seifert

      Robert,
      who is on your “pro-science side”?
      Are those who muddle in simulations, today called models, the previous simulants, today called modelers? Pro-science are the ones whose results are called by the IPPC ar4 : “likely to very likely”?
      This is official, these AGW-simulants cannot even make to the next higher step of “extremely likely”….
      The CO2-fingerprint runs out in 2016 (Trenberth: 17 years are needed), in 6 more years you will see you are on the wrong steamer….
      Jump ship now to be ahead of your time….. or (all the same to me), stay on AGW and go down with it as staying on the Titanic, I will play
      you a happy go down tune…..
      JS

    • Robert,
      who is on your “pro-science side”?

      That would be the people who are pro-science. The people who spout unscientific nonsense (“The CO2-fingerprint runs out in 2016″) and vilify science and scientists based on their own lack of knowledge about science and the scientific method (“muddle in simulations, today called models”) are the anti-science folks. Glad we clarified that.

    • Joachim Seifert

      Robert,
      “glad we clarified that” – exactly my opinion. You will see, in 6 more
      years, no further temp increase -temps will stay flat – and then AGW will be back to the wall and you will be on the wrong side…..
      If I remember this Email 6 years later, allow me to remind you and we will see who will finally cave in with sorry……

    • Robert

      The kettle calls the pot black!


      1) I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue. …We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

      2) Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also. Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent cold-ish years.

      3) The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of data and it isn’t statistically significant.

      4) I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate.

      5) Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!

      6) 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”).

      7) I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.

      8) The fact is that in doing so the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results. The softened condition that the models themself have to be published does not even apply because the Japanese model for example is very different from the published one which gave results
      not even close to the actual outlier version (in the old dataset the CCC model was the outlier). Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes.

      9) I would not give them *anything*. I would not respond or even acknowledge receipt of their emails. There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!

      Who is the real “pro-science” side?

    • Robert,

      Why Lucia circa 2009? Why not just, Lucia?

      Bill

    • Robert,

      Like you, I too value “rational dialogue”, “basic honesty”, and “reason” in discussions and in pursuit of those noble ends I sought a clarification from you of your “pro-science” views. Unfortunately, I have yet to receive your reply–an oversight, no doubt.

      Let me try again. Within the thread of the “Disinformation and Pseudo Critical Thinking” post you stated:

      “You have no right to force CO2 on others; that’s violence and we have a right to protect ourselves.”

      In response to your “pro-science” comment, above, I asked:

      “Do you [Robert] believe 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?”

      And, once again, I ask you to please answer the above question so that I can better appreciate your superior, “pro-science” understanding of this matter

      Incidentally, Robert, if you haven’t viewed the important new “pro-science” video “republicanzombiededefnse.com” (it’s on youtube) then do yourself a favor and pull up that instant film-classic. Lots of “pro-science” and “self-defense” in that little masterpiece of film-making, I can tell yah. Your kind of video, I suspect.

    • “Do you [Robert] believe 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?”

      Robert has right, but war isn’t very effective. His right doesn’t mean he won’t be put in jail or shot dead.
      Non violence war [protests] are better than violent wars [generally].
      The problem with non violent war is they tend to become violent.
      Police should use force against violent mobs- that is their job. Police of course should not use force against a peaceful protest.
      It needs strong and focused leadership on the part of members protesting not to have a group of people become a mob.
      As OWS demonstrates without such leadership you left with a bunch of idiots who rape, destroy, and lack any meaningful message or purpose.

    • gbaike,

      You say, “Robert has the right, but war isn’t very effective. His right doesn’t mean he won’t be put in jail or shot dead.”

      Let me understand you gbaike, your assert a “right” to injure and kill other human beings who produce unwanted CO2–indeed, you apparently regard that “right” to include the right to make “war” on producers of unwanted CO2. And your only qualification is that such measures aren’t “very effective.”

      But let’s get a little hypothetical, gbaike, if you don’t mind. What if it became “effective” to kill millions or even billions of your fellow human beings as the only practicable means to prevent an unwanted CO2 increase? What if you could undertake your greenshirt mass-cull without risk of being “put in jail or shot dead?” if I understand you, gbaike, you would then have no objection to exercising your “right” to “Kill ‘em all!” (Neven’s felicitous phrase). Do I understand you correctly, gbaike?

      And please be assured I’m not one of those anti-science types that would defame my pro-science betters by suggesting that deep within their watermelon world lurks a nasty, genocidal, “eugenics” streak. I don’t even want to go there.

    • “Let me understand you gbaike, your assert a “right” to injure and kill other human beings who produce unwanted CO2–indeed, you apparently regard that “right” to include the right to make “war” on producers of unwanted CO2. And your only qualification is that such measures aren’t “very effective.” ”
      They aren’t effective. Neither protests or war as general rule aren’t very effective.
      Humans have right to war.
      Obviously we would like a world where very few wished to exercise this right and on a very rare basis.
      One shouldn’t confuse a right as something one always need to “use” or “compelled” to use.
      Good wars generally stop other people from doing something stupid.
      They are unable [apparently] to make people do what they should do- and hence generally what I mean by not being effective.

      And obviously peaceful protests are generally a better form of war.
      Though I am not normally a fan of most protests.
      I think they mostly overrated on most occasions.

      But they have right to protest and even go to war against “human beings who produce unwanted CO2″
      Hard for me to imagine them as being good people or even vaguely rational people if they want others dead because they are making CO2.

      Any protest has chance of causing harm- and in some sense, protests are always causing some form of harm.
      And if police are out to lunch and if two different groups are protesting against each other, one has situation which could quickly get beyond merely peaceful.
      Or without an opposing group one still obviously has some threat of a protest moving beyond peaceful.
      The possibility of causing harming or causing deaths isn’t a hugely significant matter in terms of whether has a protest or not. There are more important issues.
      If there aren’t more important issues regarding particular protest, then it should be pretty simple, don’t do the protest.

      Doing a protest because it might be “fun” is immoral.

      “But let’s get a little hypothetical, gbaike, if you don’t mind. What if it became “effective” to kill millions or even billions of your fellow human beings as the only practicable means to prevent an unwanted CO2 increase? What if you could undertake your greenshirt mass-cull without risk of being “put in jail or shot dead?” if I understand you, gbaike, you would then have no objection to exercising your “right” to “Kill ‘em all!” (Neven’s felicitous phrase). Do I understand you correctly, gbaike? ”

      No.

      I want mass murderers dead. And I wouldn’t be overly distressed if Gore drove his car over cliff.
      If greenshirts are trying to kill me or others- I will take up guns against them.

      Or say we have millions of greenshirts protesting fairly peaceful and basically being retarded. I don’t want them killed nor institutionalized. I don’t like them, but I don’t want to murder any person simply because I see them as horrible creatures. How easy or difficult it may or may not be isn’t the issue.

      I see those who want to reduce human populations has dangerous. They dangerous because they are stupid, arrogant and twisted creatures. And dangerous, as in genocide might be natural- but I am not a big fan of all things natural.

      I think current human population are too low; not dangerously high.
      I would prefer to live in a human population exceeding 1 trillion.
      Near term not possible, obviously. But if human populations doubles in a decade or so, I think that would better then current tread,
      I don’t believe/think humans are animals [perhaps needing to be culled or have their populations managed]. But that doesn’t mean a I am a fan of government programs that overly reward people who breed children- managing human populations whether reducing or causing them to increase isn’t a function belonging to government or other authorities.

    • gbaike,

      Thank you, sincerely, for the thoughtful and comprehensive character of your reply. Indeed, I can see I misunderstood your original comment–I am sorry for that error on my part. For what it’s worth, gbaike, I consider myself on your side and you’ve opened my mind to a larger view of humanity that I had ever previously considered. For that, I again thank you so very much.

    • John Carpenter

      MIke, you have the perfect argument to silence Robert. I hope you bring this up every time he appears. I guess it’s too hard for him to swallow crow.

  36. There are two ‘DocMartyn’ metrics I use as a reviewer to aid me.
    1) Incestuous references. If more than a third of the citations in the paper are incestuous, i.e. are papers where one or more of the authors are the same, then one needs a fine toothed comb. Sometimes large amounts of self-citation are reasonable when you are dealing with a pioneering giant, but in a run of the mill paper, you should cite yourselves less than 30%.
    2) The methodology chain. If the paper states that ‘dysmogrfication of signal processing was performed as in [6]“, then reference [6] should be a methodology paper that fully describes ‘dysmogrfication’. A review of ‘dysmogrfication’ is not enough, a self-citation where the referenced paper cites yet another paper in its methods section rings alarm bells. The longest methodology chain I have followed is 6, where a grant cited a paper to support a methodology, this paper cited another paper, this paper cited another paper and so on. The actual technique was finally cited in the fifth paper in the chain. The ‘real’ methodology paper was full of caveats, describing how many different effectors cause cause artifacts. As it was, one of the artifacts that could result in a false positive was present in the grant submission.
    If, from reading the methods section you do not know how to repeat the experiments presented in the paper, you must believe that the authors do not want you to be able to do so.
    If they do not describe how they analyzed the data in a manner you can perform, then you must assume they do not want you to be able to do so.
    This is especially important when ratios are used.

    • Frequently, especially in the case of some statistical method, I see researchers simply grabbing whatever method other researchers in their immediate topical area use. This is how we get these long citation chains back to an actual paper about the method itself. It also accounts for increasingly inappropriate use of the method through the chain. My referee work involves a good bit of guiding authors away from some popular method and toward something else.

  37. Judith –

    Has anyone come across skeptics accusing a “warm” paper, or those publicizing such a paper, as promoting disinformation?

    Is this a joke? Are you kidding? You haven’t seen “skeptics” accusing the entire “climate establishment” of promoting disinformation?

    Daily?

    At your very site?

    Multiple times?

    In every thread?

    It was a joke, right?

    • No, they don’t generally use the word disinformation. They talk about hoax and fraud.

    • Judith – they talk about hoax and fraud as a part of a vast effort to spread disinformation.

    • Joshua, It is 11-11-11 day!:)

    • too cryptic, Tom.

    • now you know how I feel about AGW science, Joshua

    • Go over to WUWT.

      On a daily basis you will find articles assumed to be fraudulent (meaning purveying disinformation) because of association with the “climate establishment.” They are dismissed out of hand on the basis of who wrote the papers. It even goes so far as if a paper agrees with the “consensus” view on warming, the author is associated with the “climate establishment” even when the readers have not a clue about anything related to the background of the author. The author is lumped into a category merely on the basis of the thesis of their paper.

    • Josh,

      Would you be willing to admit that the mistrust of the Big Climate Team has increased substantially since CLIMATEGATE! The unwashed masses have reasons to believe they are being conned.

    • Don –

      Would you be willing to admit that the mistrust of the Big Climate Team has increased substantially since CLIMATEGATE!

      I need you to be more specific.

      Distrust among whom?

      Distrust among those who already distrusted any claims that humans were changing the climate or distrust among those who already dismissed the work of the “climate establishment” because of ideological orientation? Well, yes – but they were simply trolling for reasons to confirm their biases.

      Distrust among a relatively very small # of people who either accepted the theory of AGW or were agnostic on the topic? Probably. But in the full context, I don’t consider that to be a “substantial” change.

      Distrust among the vast majority of Americans? Possibly – but the evidence that I’ve seen doesn’t support such a contention, do I tend to doubt it. What I know for sure is that I keep asking those who make definitive claims in that regard for substantiating data, and they, so far, have not been able to do so.

      What I find particularly interesting is that people who are concerned about quantifying uncertainty make such claims without validating evidence.

      Do you find that interesting, Don?

    • Josh,

      How about i answer your question about the change in people’s opinion?

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/126560/americans-global-warming-concerns-continue-drop.aspx

      Now you could argue that the increase in people who think the concerns are exagerated is not exactly equivalent to “distrust”, but it’s a weak argument. The end result is the same, the public believing what they are being told about global warming, less and less.

    • Well, that’s OK then.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      “No, they don’t generally use the word disinformation. They talk about hoax and fraud.”

      ah well, that’s alright then! ;o)

      Seriously, blogs would be better off if they just discussed the science on its merits and avoided these terms completely, at least if they have any aspiration of “blog science”. I don’t see any useful distinction between any of those terms, they all imply deliberate dishonesty (or at least disingenuousness).

    • As they stand, your remarks are ambiguous and not helpful. You need to focus on something specific. When analyzing the science of a paper, do people who comment on this site claim that they find disinformation in the science? I think not. In any case, the important point is that Dr. Curry certainly discourages that sort of thing.

      When discussing matters other than the science in an article, such as policy matters, people often make accusations of misconduct. Dr. Curry certainly discourages that sort of thing. Such things are just part and parcel of our political life.

  38. Re graduate students

    “I suspect that people from both sides would be making constructive suggestions and providing helpful hints”

    Then Judith, I have to suspect you don’t remember your own blog from one post to the next. In both instances in which I have offered graduate student research to consider, your support base didn’t take it seriously; and Steven Mosher described has described it as ‘dragging a student’ into the debate. Iin both examples, students offered highly skilled but as it happens, opposing analysis to yours. Gosh, does that make any difference to your denizens? Seriously. Denizens were completely uninterested.

    “Dare I suggest that Richard Tol reacted much more sharply to these papers than people in the U.S. because of his knowledge of EIKE (German group of skeptics)?”

    Sure suggest it. It’s relevant. However, contrary to your presentation, it is not about “accusations [that] are focused on people that enable/promote the paper”. It is about the aspect of analysis that examines context (social, political, and occasionally personal since sometimes that too offers a searing contribution to understanding) that is always important to any pragmatic, objective evaluation of information – within and without science. You often fail to recognize a relevant context unless you are discussing it yourself, in which case it is too often attached to self-serving arguments. Sorry to be so blunt.

    To be clear, the issues raised are about the quality of the science on the EIKE site, and promoted by EIKE as current and comprehensive scientific understanding. You evaluate some papers by looking at the context in which they are produced. You have done that many times in other scenarios e.g. IPCC, activists, and I have done that when looking at the Bush era science produced by e.g. NAS, in order to understand the parochialism and conservatism of past Right wing efforts to ignore science, climate change and action to address climate change. You have done lengthy posts on the sociology of science, but you toss social and political context out the window as it suits you.

    The result is that you lead a boisterous blog that often encourages hostility to analysis. And that is very bad, for anyone who wishes to be seen as engaged, objective and credible, whether you are a scientist, a political activist, both, or neither.

    You need to be able to consider all of it, not just what suits you, Judith. Your own personal use of ideology to mask your obedience to conservative ideology and resistance to social change is obvious to most people, yet remains essentially unseen by you. I think you think you are objective, because you see yourself as invested in anti-authoritarianism. However, you have failed to lay bare the sort of counter-analysis that would unmask the ideology and self-interests of many who pose as ‘rational skeptics’.

    Tol, on the other hand, does not fail to do this. While I disagree with him on other points and I think he engages in other forms of denial/delay/stalling on needed action, he at least has a grasp of social analysis.

    • Note that I’m a social scientist.
      As to stalling, I have campaigned (successfully) for the introduction of a carbon tax in Ireland. I have also campaigned (unsuccessfully) for an EU ETS that is less susceptible to fraud (the financial kind).

    • I am sure the Irish public appreciate your successful efforts to screw them.

    • Joachim Seifert

      Dear Richard,
      to disinformation, fraud and especially in defense of Luedecke, et al, their latest paper: They might twist and bend statistics so as to fit their message…… but look well : (1) This is not as bad as the hockey stick of Mann – compare the stick and the hugh grey field of uncertainty…..talk about flattening out the facts until only a straight stick line remains……. + (2) more important: LL does not claim to uncover the sources of climate change, they remain anonymus somewhere in the nature….. whereas AGW-papers claim
      ( AR4 “Likely/very likely”) the CO2 as climate driver – which is nothing else than assumption by the AGW and then presented as
      scientific truth……. ??
      Which side is worse? The AGW-heyday will be finished in 6 years, the CO2-footprint runs out in 2017…..(Trenberth) You side with the wrong type of people…..
      JS

    • Richard

      What was the goal of the carbon tax you advocated?

      What were the specifics of the tax legislation that passed?

    • The tax is on all fuels not covered by the EU ETS, and the tax is roughly equal to the EU ETS permit price.

    • Richard

      Again I ask–What was the goal of implementing the tax you wanted? Was the goal to:
      a. Positively impact the climate by reducing CO2 emissions?
      b. Raise additional revenue for the government? Ireland’s governemt certainly needs the revenue
      c. Send a message that Ireland is trying to be green (sorry-no pun intended)
      d. other

    • Richard

      LOL. You obviously understand the point of the question.

      Many believers of cAGW point to a carbon tax like it is a solution to their preceived problem when in fact it is not. I would estimate that such a tax will actually do very little to lower consumption in Ireland. So the Irish are in effect paying a tax that will cost them billions and would potentially result in atmospheric CO2 20 years from now from being at 422 ppm vs. 423 ppm. LOL Hey they do need revenue

    • Seriously,you only get to introduce a new tax if it satisfies a sufficient number of constituencies and does not upset too many other constituencies.

    • Richard said..

      Seriously,you only get to introduce a new tax if it satisfies a sufficient number of constituencies and does not upset too many other constituencies.

      I’m guessing you haven’t followed the Australian Carbon (dioxide) Tax situation.
      The government only managed to introduce the tax because they promised not to before the election, snuck into government by the skin of their teeth then hit us with it.
      They would not have snuck into government if they had of told the truth about a Carbon Tax before the election. In that there is no doubt.

      So a 2nd way to introduce a new tax is to lie about it leading up to an election.

      I sure would like to know who the ‘not upset constituents’ are in Australia.

    • I would estimate that such a tax will actually do very little to lower consumption in Ireland.

      Oh, good, you’ve estimated.

      This must be why you are constantly asking for other people’s estimates, so as to disagree with them without making your case explicitly.

      Now that you’ve come out of the closet, I hope you don’t mind sharing your calculations with us.

      It might also help if you share any credentials you have as an economist, any peer-reviewed literature you relied upon in your estimate, and whether you will be submitting your findings.

    • Robert

      BTW- Tol completely agreed with my estimate in another post. Actually he wrote that the tax had no impact on the climate. So again, what I wrote was accurate.

    • It is about the aspect of analysis that examines context (social, political, and occasionally personal since sometimes that too offers a searing contribution to understanding) sometimes that too offers a searing contribution to understanding) that is always important to any pragmatic, objective evaluation of information – within and without science

      Judith’s interest in context is highly selective.

  39. Judith –

    I am further hypothesizing that the reaction is not symmetrical among people on both extremes of the debate. On the skeptical side, the accusations are focused on the author, whereas on the convinced side, the accusations are focused on people that enable/promote the paper (e.g. journal editors, bloggers, journalists, advocacy groups).

    A possible explanation of this asymmetry is provided by the essay Talking Past Each Other, where skeptics are more focused on the science, and the “convinced” are more focused on the solutions. So the skeptical criticism is more focused on the science and the individual author, where as the convinced criticism kicks in if it looks like the paper will influence public opinion (presumably on policy)..

    Every single day on this blog you read accusations of “fraud” wrt the climate debate made against the “mainstream media,” the IPCC, scientific organizations, some 1/2 of the American public (you know, “the left”).

    When criticism is made against an author for a particular paper, the criticisms are often made on the basis of the author’s supposed association with a massive cabal of frauds.

    The asymmetry that you see is a product of your biases.

  40. The real problem here is that people are far too quick onthe draw when it comes to accusations of fraud, disinformation, and so forth. Cliamte papers and their authors trade in statistical concepts and physical laws that few of us understand completely. I certainly do not claim to be competetn to analyze whether obscure statistical techniques have been used correctly or not. That is why the exchange between Tol and Ludecke is interesting. I suspect that the majority of commenters on this Blog are in a simialr position, and yet that does not stop some of them indulging in accusations and ad-hominem attacks.

    All in all, I think tha twe need to moderate the language used on the blog. I for one intend to assume that errors in statistical reasoning are honest mistakes ont he part of authors, and not attempts to disseminate disinformation. Assumign that all authors are honest brokers for their ideas unless proven otherwise woudl go a long way towards creating a more informed cliamte of debate, alhtouth I suspect it would be less than satidfying to those who seem to have their noses permenantly out of joint about some aspect of climate science.

  41. Judith -

    A possible explanation of this asymmetry is provided by the essay Talking Past Each Other, where skeptics are more focused on the science, and the “convinced” are more focused on the solutions. So the skeptical criticism is more focused on the science and the individual author, where as the convinced criticism kicks in if it looks like the paper will influence public opinion (presumably on policy).,

    I mean really, this is outstanding.

    WUWT has on a regular basis entire threads devoted to personally ridiculing Mann, or Gore, or Trenberth. That’s focusing on the science? You, yourself, post caricature cartoons of climate scientists. That’s focusing on the science?

    And “skeptical” criticism isn’t directed at the policy implications?affect on public opinion of the science? Do you not read comment after comment at this site that focus public opinion and policy implications?

    Take the reactions to BEST as just one example. “Skeptic” after “skeptic” wrote posts at this very site that criticized BEST, specifically, because of the influence they felt it would have on public opinion.

    • “WUWT has on a regular basis entire threads devoted to personally ridiculing Mann, or Gore, or Trenberth”

      And that is different that ridiculing, Bush, Perry, Palin, Spencer how? There is science, politics and this odd blend. Why would what is acceptable in one not be acceptable in the other?.

    • Dallas -

      I’m not the one who’s saying that there’s a difference. Judith is.

      I don’t think that tribalism is “acceptable” on either side of the debate.

    • I don’t think incompetence in government is acceptable, but I have to deal with it. Membership in the IPCC does not come with a certificate of infallibility. Nor does being elected. Welcome to the 21st century.

    • Membership in the IPCC does not come with a certificate of infallibility.

      I have no idea why you feel the need to direct that statement to me.

    • Let me clarify what I mean by “acceptable.” I really mean justifiable – in a critical thinking sort of way. In reality, I have no choice but to “accept” tribalism, or non-critical thinking that is influence by “socio-centrism.”

      It exists. I do “accept” that it exists. In fact, I prefer Judith’s brand of tribalism and “socio-centrism” to, say, hunter’s, or Robert’s.

    • And since Judith still hasn’t answered my question about why she left off the following paragraph in her excerpt on critical thinking (while excerpting the preceding and following paragraphs), I will re-post it here.

      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.

    • Joshua,

      The infallibility thing is that noting that a portion of a theory may be incorrect is not often taken well in a scientific debate. There will be friction. Once that scientific theory becomes involved in politics, the verbiage can change considerably.

      You and I can debate our views online or over a cocktail then play a round of golf or install a pellet stove as buddies. If my life’s work happens to have a minor flaw, things could get a bit tense.

      This thread and many others are about minor flaws in the life’s work of others.

    • I should amend that post.

      When I say “I’m not the one…” I should simply say “I’m not…”

      Judith certainly isn’t the only one who claims that there’s some vast asymmetry, and it doesn’t only come from skeptics.

      There are people all over the various sides of this debate who are claiming vast asymmetry.

      I find that amusingly ironic. And quite revealing.

    • That’s why I follow this stuff, it is hilarious :)

    • This is shaping up as another all Joshua thread. I will stop reading now.

    • I will stop reading now.

      And will you fail to live up to that vow, as you have many times in the past?

      PWAHO.

    • Joshua Your 9.33

      Judith is a very experienced editor. She may have decided that including the piece you highlight was either superflous or exceeded the space she wanted to devote to that subject.

      As I know from writing articles you simply can’t include EVERYTHING you might want to, or ought to, or you end up recreating a novel the size of War and Peace. You should not see conspiracies around every corner-there is usually a much more prosaic reason for why things happen.

      all the best
      tonyb

    • tony – your 12:44

      My assumption was that it was an oversight.

      If it was a deliberate omission – my assumption is that she didn’t think that paragraph to be of relative importance. My point is that would be very ironic (coincidental?) – as: (1) he excerpted the article with a hat tip to me – and that was the single paragraph that I found most relevant to Climate Etc., and, (2) I first came to Climate Etc. because of Judith’s discussion of socio-centric influence on the climate debate, and that is the running issue I have had with Judith since that fateful day of my arrival, yet she found it to be less relevant than the preceding and following paragraphs?

      She found a paragraph that discussed how understanding that we all run in packs is a key ingredient in critical thinking to be relatively unimportant?

      You gotta admit, that is either an amazing coincidence or highly ironic. Don’t you?

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Indeed, triabalism is expected in a political debate, but it has no place in a scientific debate, we should all be in one tribe, the tribe that is interested in finding the truth wherever it may lie.

    • Kumbayah.

      Reality has its ironies. A good sense of humor is always beneficial :)

    • LOL and a good spell checker would be nice as well.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Yawn. Again another post reinforcing my point about “blog science” being a non-starter. Too few willing to discuss the science itself, too many just looking to score points and wind people up, sorry seen it all before, it is no longer original, witty or funny.

    • Actually, I would love to discuss the science. I find that time series analysis is inadequate in that respect as performed on global averages that tend to mask complex relationship between regional impacts. That a fluid dynamic approach that considers the various thermal boundaries with their inherently differing time constants is much likely to produce accurate results.

      The varying time constants involved produce pseudo-chaotic fluctuations which require detailed analysis resolve.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/11/learning-equation-kimoto-modified.html

      The above is a tool I am working on to help simplify the approach for such a complex system. Yes, it is far from complete.

    • Joshua,
      Stop lying.
      You are nothing if not a little tribal troll for AGW.

    • Indeed, I tolerate extremist skeptics because they offset the extremist greens. Or as LBJ said, he may be an SOB, but he is my SOB. Politics is a contact sport and the climate debate is fundamentally political. The political system is the democratic decision system and we are trying to make policy decisions here. Would that the world were otherwise but it is not.

    • I think if you speak to Dikran (above) he will profoundly disagree with you. He firmly believes science is about finding out the truth. That is a little bit quaint for me, and not what the history of science is telling me, but nevertheless, is the climate debate ‘fundamentally political?’

      I don’t think it is political for me (at all) even though it is rarely about the science either.

    • Let me put it this way. Of the almost 140,000 comments to date on this blog there would be approximately none if this were just an academic scientific issue. Now add in all the other climate blogs, plus the news reports and comments thereon, op-eds, books, meetings, legislative proposals, government programs, etc, since 1980-something. Show me a scientific issue with no policy implications that gets 0.001% of this action. The delta is the political forcing, as it were. This is what I mean by fundamentally political. It is why we are here. Decisions must be made.

      More personally, I have devoted a significant fraction of my life since 1992 to this issue, yet I have no actual interest in climate science whatsoever. My scientific interests lie elsewhere, in human cognition. But I have been forced to waste my life because a political movement that I fear and despise has chosen its interpretation of climate science as its road to power. Is that clear enough?

      I am not saying that scientific reasoning does not apply to the scientific arguments. On the contrary, I am fighting to get scientific reasoning applied. It is an uphill struggle.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      The history of science isn’t necessarily a good indication of how it should be done. The best thing we can do with history is learn from it, normally how to do better in future and not repeat old mistakes.

    • It is strange that we are both here for reasons primarily not to do with the science, but our concerns barely overlap. I have some interest in cognition but I don’t see that as the relevant perspective here. I tend to be interpreting a world of emotion, belief, imagination, self-image, social groupings, us-and-them, and something primal about the unknown – the dark and unknowable future. To me it is not about the science, but it’s not much about the poiltics.

      I have some conlict with sceptics who rightly decry those who fear a 2 degree temperature rise, but themselves say that a 1 % diversion of GDP will cause a definite economic catastrophe. It seems odd, and then I start to recognise the same fears and imaginings in the extreme sceptics as I do in the extreme believers.

      I’m not the biggest fan of inefficient windmills etc but I hardly see the end of the world as a result of wasting some money on them. At the very worst, our children are only going to be twice as well off as our parents, and I suspect they’ll cope.

      I suppose this may be a national divide – here in Europe I don’t see quite the polarisation that you have in America, even though we appear to your eyes as very left-wing and green. I’m not sure about that, but I wonder what it is that you ‘fear and despise’ – is it totalitarians? taxers? freedom-takers? As someone blissfully ignoring political dichotomies, it is hard to know.

    • Anteros: The difference between us is apparently that you are an amused observer while I am a dedicated activist. And to answer your question as to what I fear and despise, it is indeed totalitarianism. Enjoy the show.

    • A “1% diversion” borders on disinformation. The direct expenditures are not the issue. The crippling of the energy lifelines of both developed and developing nations is. And the impact will/would be far more than “1%”.

      How else is the 30-95% reduction in population so heartwarmingly advocated by the lovers of Gaia to be achieved?

    • Brian H -

      I see where you’re coming from, and I understand some extremists are recommending the things you describe. I too hear them much more loudly than their numbers suggest is appropriate. Especially the ones saying that ” there is a cancer spreading across the face of the earth and its name is MAN”

      However, if we start taking them seriously, are we not the same as the alarmists who are terrified of a 1 degree rise in temperature and think that it spells the end of civilisation?

      I agree that what the fruit cakes are calling for is lunacy, but I don’t see evidence that it is being taken seriously – at least not in Europe. Perhaps I was trivialising with my 1% because UK policies are already starting to be expensive. But in the great scheme of things it is no great concern – our government’s absolute priority is getting re-elected, and first and foremost that means keeping the lights on and the cars filled up.

      I suppose I see Kyoto as a truly pointless folly, but I don’t fear economic meltdown or totalitarian governments any more than I do a milder climate. I do have a capacity to be concerned about the enviro-extremists, but I suppose I have faith that there is a naturally limiting process that keeps their numbers small. And in Europe, we can watch our neighbours and see more clearly than they can, the consequences of policies that don’t stack up.

  42. Joshua,

    YOur supercilious, “gotcha” style is really quite tiresome. DOn’t you suppose Dr. C’s characterizations are meant to be broad generalizations, and that she’d readily concede there are plenty of exceptions?

    • pokerguy -

      DOn’t you suppose Dr. C’s characterizations are meant to be broad generalizations, and that she’d readily concede there are plenty of exceptions?

      That could very well be. In which case she should amend her language to be more accurate.

      I frequently ask Judith to quantify her language, or to quantify her “certainty” on various issues. She usually doesn’t respond.

      If she makes broad generalizations and then doesn’t respond to requests for clarification, then how should I interpret her meaning?

    • Joshua

      Our host here does not claim to be an oracle.

      I’m sure that she has opinions and beliefs, like all of us. But she appears to be much more open to new ideas than many of us here, especially when it comes to the debate on the science behind the climate change postulations.

      There may be those here who would wish for her to quantify her position more specifically.

      Some of these may have the ulterior motive to nitpick at the details of her statements to try to find weak spots. Others may simply be curious for information from someone who has more knowledge than they, themselves, do.

      But IMO it is wiser for someone like our host to use her knowledge as a catalyst to help others engage in the discussion without entering the debate herself.

      Do you understand?

      Max

      PS Besides, ladies do not revel all their secrets.

    • But she appears to be much more open to new ideas than many of us here, especially when it comes to the debate on the science behind the climate change postulations.

      I find it difficult to judge how open some people are relative to others – but I would generally agree with that assessment of Judith.

      I don’t see why that should mean that I shouldn’t find it interesting to explore the flaws in her analysis.

      Some of these may have the ulterior motive to nitpick at the details of her statements to try to find weak spots.

      I assume that was directed at me? If so, I’m not exactly certain what ulterior motivations have have assigned to me. I think that my motivations are pretty clear, and I’ve stated them numerous times. If you’re interesting in hearing what I have to say about that, you can ask. If you think that what I say is irrelevant to your ability to assess my motivations, then that’s your prerogative.

      But IMO it is wiser for someone like our host to use her knowledge as a catalyst to help others engage in the discussion without entering the debate herself.

      I don’t agree that Judith doesn’t enter the debate herself. She enters the debate explicitly at times, and implicitly either by the sheer act of running a post, or by selectively responding to the over-the-top rhetoric of Martha while not likewise responding to the over-the-top rhetoric of Wagathon. IMO, these are simply realities, and it is either naive or disingenuous to deny those realities.

      PS Besides, ladies do not revel all their secrets.

      I don’t differentiate my responses to Judith on the basis of her gender. I tend to doubt that she’d want that anyway.

    • Joshua

      Thanks for your response.

      By picking out a part of my paragraph and ignoring the rest, you apparently came to the conclusion that I was accusing you of asking JC for more details so you could “nitpick”. The part you missed was:

      Others may simply be curious for information from someone who has more knowledge than they, themselves, do.

      I presume that is the case for you, right?

      Max

    • Yes, that is the case. From Judith and others who know more than I do.

      Sorry for misinterpreting your meaning. I picked the paragraph apart, in all honesty, because I was trying to clarify your meaning – and yes, I was making some degree of assumption there, incorrectly.

    • Joshua, you keep saying this about me. I assume you are referring to the powerful ancient sense of rhetoric i.e., the study of how to use language well, for the purpose of justice, politics or calling nobility to account. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Seriously, I know and discuss the science, and my focus is on social issues related to climate change, such as food security, poverty, maternal health, and children’s rights. I wonder which of these activities, represented in my comments as I see fit, you find ‘over the top’. Maybe I could, in support of what I see as problematic, suggest that you not continue to mistake your own excessive politeness (correctness) and akrasia, with using language well.

      Here’s a rhetorical question for you, in the ancient spirit of using language well to make a point of justice: do you think millions of women living in poverty give a shit what you think they should think about climate change? Such ‘over the top rhetoric’ in my brief internet interactions has the value of stating my priorities very clearly to deniers.

      Science has provided some insight into emissions, temperature and impacts. I have yet to see a comprehensive analysis on this blog of why that should not be one of the actions for responsibility-taking and justice, and will continue to discuss i.e., without your stamp of approval.

      Glad we had this chat.

    • Joshua, you keep saying this about me. I assume you are referring to the powerful ancient sense of rhetoric i.e., the study of how to use language well, for the purpose of justice, politics or calling nobility to account. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Seriously, I know and discuss the science, and my focus is on social issues related to climate change, such as food security, poverty, maternal health, and children’s rights. I wonder which of these activities, represented in my comments as I see fit, you find ‘over the top’. Given what I see as problematic, maybe I can suggest that you not continue to mistake your own excessive politeness (correctness) and akrasia with using language well.

      Here’s a rhetorical question for you, in the ancient sense of using language well to make a point of justice: do you think millions of women living in poverty give a **** (the spam filter didn’t seem to like a previous version) what you think they should think about climate change? Such ‘over the top rhetoric’ in my brief internet interactions has the value of stating my priorities very clearly, to deniers.

      Science has provided some insight into emissions, temperature and impacts. I have yet to see a comprehensive analysis on this blog of why that should not be one of the actions for responsibility-taking and justice, and will continue to discuss this i.e., without your stamp of approval.

      Glad we chatted.

      Martha

    • Martha, We all know you to be very regular, as well as active with your movements. Stay in touch with yourself and don’t try to do two things at once. We all know what happenend last time. It’s a dunna.

  43. AGW was always based on a political wish to regulatate and control, the science was retrofitted to meet the wish. When you deal with a collective group of like minded people it’s hard to accept this.

    You seem to leave out the fact that warmist control the machines of power and skeptics are the one under a brutal social assault. The paradox shows up in the many fantasies about “big oil” etc. Or take a look at OWS nonsense, why aren’t they protesting against the Fed or Fannie Mae over financial failures or excess??

    The narrative is always more important than facts in real life in any community, including the general science Hoi Polli. Climate science is proof of that.

  44. Disinformation versus fraud

    dis·in·for·ma·tion
    n.
    1. Deliberately misleading information announced publicly or leaked by a government or especially by an intelligence agency in order to influence public opinion or the government in another nation.
    2. Dissemination of such misleading information.

    fraud
    n.
    1. A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
    2. A piece of trickery; a trick.

    In view of the multi-billion dollar ramifications of the “climate change business”, the emotional aspects and the heavy involvement of the media, politicians plus lobby groups, there is probably quite a bit of both out there.

    Both are “deliberate”

    Both involve “misleading information” or “deception”

    “Disinformation” is practiced “in order to influence public opinion”

    “Fraud” is practiced “in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain”

    Looks to me like there is not much difference between the two, whether or not they are done by a “consensus believer” or a “consensus skeptic”.

    I think you have to separate them from honest “screw-ups” or simply “misinformation”

    mis·in·for·ma·tion
    n.
    information that is incorrect

    There is also a lot if this out there but only a part of it is ”deliberate deception in order to secure unfair gain or influence public opinion”.

    Question: The temperature prediction made in 1988 by James E. Hansen turned out to be wrong, i.e. it was a clear example of ”misinformation”. But was it also “fraud” or “disinformation” or was it just an honest “screwup” on the part of Hansen?

    Max

  45. What’s easier?
    Killing the message or the messenger?

    The last I checked…in Revolution’s for Dummy’s…taking control of the Radio station is Objective #1.

    Of course in ‘Advanced Counter Revolutionary Warfare’ losing control of the radio station just means building a ‘bigger better radio’ station.

    I.E. Killing the messenger doesn’t kill the message, it merely provides a short term’ tactical advantage.

    One of the more entertaining facets of the ‘Climate Debate’ is that people who claim to be able to predict 50 years into the future seem to expend enormous effort and political capital on short term gains.

    • Killing the messenger and killing the message are ubiquitous on both sides of the debate.

    • Joshua

      Killing the messenger and killing the message are ubiquitous on both sides of the debate.

      Absolutely.

      This is often the case when the “message” conveyed by the “messenger” is perceived to be “disinformation” or “fraud”, regardless of which side of the debate has made it.

      Max

    • Soon to be a Maxim?

  46. Well Dr Curry, if you want an example of a “warmer” making accusations of fraud, here you go: Ethan Siegel accuses you of fraud here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/11/exposing_a_climate_science_fra.php

    Apparently, you are being accused of fraud because of a graph you didn’t make, and on an accusation of cherry picking which is substantiated by quote mining and misrepresenting you. Or, putting it another, he cherry picks quotes to in an attempt to show you cherry picking, removes all nuance from them and puts his own spin in place, and then shouts fraud.

    Although this fits in to your hypothesis of “warmers” preferring to attack the messenger (and being willing to distort the message to achieve that goal).

  47. I have no problem with the use of the word fraud but do not like it to be used lightly. What matters is not the source but the transparency. In the case of Mann, he could have saved himself a lot of trouble by releasing the data and code and by showing his work well enough that people could follow. Had he done that people would have pointed out his errors, criticized him for his cherry picking, the use of inappropriate proxies and statistical methods and that would have been that. Instead he hid everything as much as he could and asked others in the ‘community’ to do the same. It was these later actions that turned what was error into fraud.

  48. My tipping point from CAGW believer to CAGW skeptic was the minimization of the MWP by certain individuals and groups connected with the IPCC. Therefore I will view any individual or group connected to the “hockey stick style graphs” as mistaken. I use the term mistaken in kindness, I can think of much harsher terms, which most likely apply.

    I will be always be skeptical of any paper or hypothesis by anyone or any group which does not take documented historical climate changes into consideration. By historical the minimum would be the last 12,000 years or so, I have yet to see any Co2 related theories which do so. Until we can explain the historical climate changes attempting to predict the future is ridiculous.

    • Mainstream climate science is well aware that temperatures 8000 years ago were higher than they are now, for a period of thousands of years, while CO2 levels were lower.

      This points to higher temperatures being within the range of natural variability and it also points to a lack of catastrophic effects resulting from higher temperatures.

      This is points to a massive scientific fraud on the part of mainstream climate science in supporting and promoting the notion of CAGW. The main driver of CAGW is grant money, not CO2.

  49. Spence_UK

    The Ethan Siegel article you cite is a good example of “disinformation”.

    The author is apparently in denial that there has been a 10-year pause in global (land and sea) warming since early 2001.

    He uses the BEST (land only) record to make his argument, cherry-picks out a 12-month period of record warmth from the GISS record to underscore his point and berates our host for having stated (the pretty obvious fact) that a 10-year pause would be hard to observe in a graph plotting 10-year moving averages.

    Then he accuses our host of “fraud” for not having removed two questionable data points from the BEST record.

    Duh!

    I’d be more afraid running into this cat in a dark alley than fighting his flawed rhetoric.

    Max

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Is there statistically significant evidence that there has been a pause in the rate of warming rather than a continued warming that has been temporarily masked by noise? I don’t think it is fair to say that someone is in denial for not agreeing something exists in the absence of statistically significant evidence.

      That doesn’t excuse accusations of fraud of course.

    • Did Dr Curry ever claim the downturn was statistically significant, or anything other than noise?

      I think her actual point was that Dr Muller claimed it would be the end of the debate; Dr Curry noted that sceptics would still pounce on the last ten years, and that the debate was no different to where it was before.

      I could be wrong though, I don’t speak for Dr Curry.

      Agree that accusations of fraud are baseless and typical of the hyperbole that exists in the climate debate. Just to dredge up a cliche, in that respect Ethan is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

    • Judith said the Muller was “hiding the decline,” and she stood behind that statement.

      There is an element of accusation of fraud there. Her statement was taken out of context, and she later disavowed accusation of fraud, but she remained (IMO) ambiguous in her statements.

      Rose used the hide the decline phrase, and I agreed that such an analysis is misleading and would hide a decline (in this case, in a rate of increase of surface temperature).

      There are different degrees of contributing to the problems and contributing to the solutions.

    • There is an element of accusation of fraud there.

      That word, “fraud”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Same goes for Ethan.

    • Spence –

      That word, “fraud”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      I’m saying that Judith’s statement was ambiguous.

      From an earlier thread – I posted this to Judith (Judith previously clarified that when she said “hide the decline” she meant “hide the slowdown.”) :

      As far as I know, “hide” is usually, (if not always) used as a transitive verb. Transitive verbs require an action by someone or some thing.

      Could you clarify here a bit? Are you suggesting an action on someone’s part to “hide the slowdown?”

      This was her answer:

      Joshua, this whole issue was particularly in the context of discussion of a graph that used a 10 yr running mean.

      I think that was still ambiguous. I asked for further clarification, but got none from her. I got other answers, for example from mosher, saying that a graph itself can hide a decline without such an intent on the part of the person who creates the graph. That seems inadequate to me, but still, Judith herself never clarified what appeared to me as an ambiguity.

      And there is solid evidence for the ambiguity of her statement. A newspaper ran a headline saying that Judith’s statement was that of an expert who said that global warming is “over.”

      Now, of course, a headline can express an incorrect interpretation of someone’s statement – but I think that clearing up potential ambiguity is always the best way to go wrt questions of fraud.

    • Mosher’s right. You should listen to him.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      “Did Dr Curry ever claim the downturn was statistically significant, or anything other than noise?”

      No, but that is very much the problem, she should have, especially since she has explicitly stated some hypotheses, the norm in science is to test your hypotheses before publishishing them. I don’t think it is a good idea to float a hypothesis without having done the groundwork and mention the relevant caveats. All it does is reduce the signal to noise ratio of the discussion.

      Note I am not saying that there hasn’t been a pause, there just isn’t good scientific evidence that there has.

    • the norm in science is to test your hypotheses before publishishing them.

      An interview with a journalist is hardly publishing a scientific finding, now, is it? Whilst in hindsight the interview might have been handled a little differently, you are hardly going to stop an interview and say, “hang on a tick. I’ll just run some numbers and give a significance score”.

      The need to genuflect at the altar of global warming with every statement is also a tedious and unnecessary demand.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Even if you are communicating science to journalists you need to get the science right and not make claims that are not backed up with by the data. In fact that is more important when discussing science with journalists as (i) they are unlikely to know that the lack of statistical significance is an issue and (ii) are more likely to misinterpret the significance of an issue if the caveats are not mentioned.

      Sadly your second paragraph makes my previous point about blog-science being a non-starter. Suggesting that scientists should back up their claims and give caveats where the data are at best equivocal is not “genuflecting at the alter of global warming”. It is just scientific method, whereas hypebolic statements about genuflection are pure rhetoric.

    • The problem is that the discussion was not about hard line aspects about the science but about data presentation and whether the debate was “over” or not. These aren’t questions to which statistical significance tests can be applied.

      While I agree that ideally scientific comments should be appropriately nuanced and caveated, there are times when that isn’t realistically possible, and that should not prevent a scientist on having an opinion, especially when the topic (is the debate over?) is hardly one to which a scientific analysis can easily be turned.

      The genuflection at the altar of global warming comment is an aside really, a reference to the many media articles that feel the need to add the redundant comment “but this doesn’t disprove global warming…”. Those articles probably also don’t disprove the existence of god, but they don’t feel the need to add that for some reason.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      “The problem is that the discussion was not about hard line aspects about the science but about data presentation and whether the debate was “over” or not. These aren’t questions to which statistical significance tests can be applied.”

      If you are talking about trends in data, which is the case in this particular example, then statistical significance is central to correct scientific presentation of the data. This is a question where a test of statistical significance can easily be applied, but has not been as far as I can tell by anybody that is making claims about a pause in warming. Claims about trends that are based solely on the data should not be made unless there is statistically significant evidence to support the claim.

    • Yes, but by my reading (which I’ve already outlined, and which I accept might be wrong about), I do not think Dr Curry was making strong claims about the trends.

      Her point as I read it was saying that the sceptics would make a fuss about them, and I think she was correct in that observation. You are imagining that she is adopting the sceptics arguments, rather than merely pointing out they exist.

      In a debate over whether a debate exists or not, I do not think it is essential to add a comment over who is right in that debate.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      If Prof. Curry was merey pointing out that skeptic would be making this claim, then as a scientist she should also mention the caveats against that argument, as otherwise it is merely decreasing the signal to noise ratio in the discussion.

      This isn’t about who is right, it is about providing sound scientific evidence for the claims that are being made. There isn’t statistically significant evidence that there has been a pause. There isn’t statistically significant evidence that there has been warming since 2002 either. That is because there is too little data to be able to draw a conclusion either way. However, as there has been little change in the forcings, the evidence from the physics (rather than solely the observations) leans towards it being an artifact of the noise.

      Scientific discussion of this issue is a good thing, but it is hampered by those arguing that there has been a pause in warming being unwilling to discuss the statistical significance of their claims.

    • If Dr Curry was making the claim in isolation, then I might be tempted to agree with you. But she wasn’t: she was offering an opinion that rebutted a specific claim made by Dr Muller. In that context, I think there is no burden on her to add an opinion on the quality of the debate which is a side issue on the main topic, whether the debate was over or not.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      If Prof. Curry was rebutting somebody elses claim then the onus is on her to show that her rebuttal is sound and based on good scientific evidence.

    • No, I disagree, because she was not explicitly making the claim.

      I can recognise that there is a debate between anti-vaccination and vaccination people without having to give an opinion on the debate itself; although if I was the one raising the topic, I would most likely note that I disagree with the anti-vaccination crowd.

      But if someone said to me “this new data will end the anti-vaccination debate” I would have no trouble explaining that the anti-vaxxers will not accept the data without the need to add my position on the debate. In that context, the added point is redundant to the issue at hand.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Sorry, a rebuttal means you are making a claim, namely that the original claim is incorrect. In this case there is no statistically significant evidence that Prof. Muller’s claim is incorrect, hence the “rebuttal” was not on a sound footing.

    • So if someone was to claim the anti-vaccination debate was over because of some new data, I would be wrong to point out this was a naive view of how the anti-vaccination crowd approach debates?

      The presence of a debate can be discussed without getting dragged into the rabbit hole of the debate itself. The need to dive off into every rabbit hole does have the ring of religious fervour to it.

    • Most scientists acknowledge that temperatures have not risen in the past (9, 11, 13) years. Various names have been given this interim (pause, lack of warming, warming hiatus, flattening) by names including Curry, Hansen, Trenberth, and Latif. Several explanations have also been proposed, such as aerosols from China, deep ocean mixing, ENSO or AMO changes, solar minimum, etc. These hypotheses are being floated without statistically significant evidence. Whether warming resumes in a year, two, five, ten or twenty has also been debated. This length of the “pause” will determine its significance in climate science. Currently, this recent “pause” has been longer in duration than the brief episodes during the 1980-2000 warming, but shorter than the 1945-1975 decline.
      Some people are confusing the statement “not significantyl significant” with the more correct term, “not significantly different from zero.”

    • Joachim Seifert

      Dan,
      the pause is a temp.Plateau, which cannot be seen if you, as the AGW does, prolong the trend 1750-2000 into the future. Prolonging a hindsight trend into the future will lead to wrong forecasts. What is needed (already on the market) is to have the proven physical mechanism, from which the forecast can be derived……
      All AGW-forecasts, now waiting for the delayed jump in temps (suggestion for new post: WHEN WILL THE DELAYED TEMP-JUMP SET IN?) due to the ferocious action of CO2 are doomed…..

      We are, since 2001, on a temp plateau, from which, after 2043, it can only go downward……..all brohaha from the warming brothers is
      stuff for the paper bin…..

    • So if someone was to claim the anti-vaccination debate was over because of some new data, I would be wrong to point out this was a naive view of how the anti-vaccination crowd approach debates?

      Without clarifying the scientific argument for why that view was naive or characteristic of how the anti-vaccination crowd approach debates?

      I would say not necessarily wrong, but insufficiently scientific in approach.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      DanH there is no statistically significant evidence that there has been a change in the rate of warming (at least none has been brought forward). The fact that the trend is not significantly positifve does not mean there is evidence that it has cooled. Statistical hypothesis tests are not symmetrical. I am asking for evidence that there has been a change in the warming rate.

    • Dikran,
      If you take the slope of the GISS monthly temperature data, the slope (60-month linear regression analysis) was increasing until 7/97 when it peaked at 0.4C/decade. The slope has been decreasing ever since, and currently stands at 0.01C / decade. The last time the slope has decreased for a similar period was 5/36 – 4/46, which was the start of the mid-century cooling.
      At this point, we cannot say if this decrease will continue or reverse course and head higher. However, it has caught the attention of many prominent climate scientists.

    • Dikran Marsupoial

      Is there statistically significant evidence that there has been a pause in the rate of warming rather than a continued warming that has been temporarily masked by noise?

      This is the kind of logic that gets people into trouble.

      - the observations show that since 2001 there has been a halt to the global warming trend that has been seen since 1976 (the HadCRUT3 record shows cooling of 0.06C per decade).

      - GH theory tells us that it should have warmed by 0.2C per decade

      So it is clear that there has NOT been a “continued warming”.

      To postulate that there has been “continued warming that has been temporarily masked by noise” is purely speculative.

      The “noise” is either a) an unknown forcing, which has not yet been identified but is strong enough to overwhelm the GH forcing from added CO2 (as you apparently assume) or b) evidence that the assumed GH forcing from CO2 was grossly exaggerated and that something else beside human GHGs is driving our climate.

      Max

      Max

    • Dikran

      Sorry for typo on your name.

      Max

    • Dikran Marsupial

      No this is not correct. If you construct a synthetic time series with a fixed trend of 0.2 deg C perd decade, and noise statistically similar to the observed (detrended) temperature data, you will occasionally get such periods of little or no warming, even though the underlying trend continues unchanged, by construction.

      “To postulate that there has been “continued warming that has been temporarily masked by noise” is purely speculative.”

      It is the appropriate null hypothesis for anyone wishing to assert there has been a reduction in the rate of warming. The test is straightforward to perform for anyone with a solid grasp of time series analysis.

      If you want to show that there has been a change, you need to demonstrate that the observations are not consistent with there having been no change. Likewise if you want to assert there has been warming, you need to show that the data are inconsistent (in the sense of low likelihood) with there being no warming. That is how statistical hypothesis testing works.

  50. Dr. Curry,
    Good points, but I think this is in effect a total war of ideas.
    In a social mania the promoters of the mania’s obsession (AGW in this case) go after anyone and every organization that stands in criticism of the social goals.
    Skeptics point out that confirmation bias/noble cause corruption/profiteering all combine to make the believers see what they want to see no matter how trivial or unreliable the evidence.Since major maedia as well as academe are convinced believers in large part (which has happened in other social manias) almost any AGW supporting report gets great press and any critique is met with the sort of reaction we saw, for instance, your quesitoning some of the orthodoxy or the German papers Tol had such shallow reaction to.
    Like any orthodoxy, the beleivers are particularly harsh on people they perceive as trusted insiders (you) daring to question the orthodoxy. Think of Luther, a good Catholic intellectual, daring to post his theses, as a guideline as to how entrenched opinion leaders react to one of their own.
    Look at how Feynman is denigrated in many circles for daring to critique AGW as another example.
    For an over the top offensive effort to control the AGw discussion, just think Chris Mooney’s and its neo-eugenics approach in his vile claim to be able to identify conservatism as an illness. There is a very good chance that the AGU is so “all in” on the AGW social movement that he will not pay any price for his implication that the AGU is joining him in ironically using pseudo-science of the cheapest order to justify Mooney’s political extremism.

  51. Judith raises points that I suspect will get a great deal of comments from those who visit the site, but probably is not that key to the topic overall.

    She asked: “Has anyone come across skeptics accusing a “warm” paper, or those publicizing such a paper, as promoting disinformation?”

    My perception: I have frequently commented that papers hypothesizing about the supposedly dire conditions that will result from a warmer world seem to be completely unsupportable based on a fair and reasonable analysis of the data available. Claims from animals getting smaller, ocean acidification, future starvation, more intense future storms, catastrophic sea level rise, etc. etc., you name it an you can find some silly paper attributing a future undesirable potential condition to higher levels of atmospheric CO2 and a warmer planet. What I find interesting this that there are not more papers written purporting to explain how a warmer world will be “Eden like”. (I am not writing that this would be true, but there is certainly as much actual evidence to support the conclusion that a warmer world is better for humans as there is to support it is worse.

    She writes: “I am hypothesizing that the reaction to a paper is very much colored by the authors.”

    My perception: I guess I agree to a limited degree. Perhaps as an outsider, when I read these papers I generally do not know the authors and simply evaluate the papers based on how their conclusions seems supportable based on the evidence presented. It is true however that when I have read multiple papers written by someone who believe AGW will “certainly lead to this of that dire consequence” I tend to be highly skeptical of the writers conclusion in future papers before I make a through analysis.

    Judith writes: “On the skeptical side, the accusations are focused on the author, whereas on the convinced side, the accusations are focused on people that enable/promote the paper (e.g. journal editors, bloggers, journalists, advocacy groups).

    My perception: this one seems to be a natural byproduct of the strategy being used by those who initiated and are defending the concept of cAGW. The strategy was to get a large percentage of “scientists” to publically state that they agree with the conclusions, and then to “brand” anyone who questions their conclusions as an “unscientific denier”, who is unworthy of being listened to any further. This strategy would naturally lead to trying to aggressively discredit and “scientist” who publically tries to unravel their core strategy as quickly as possible.

    Judith writes: “skeptics are more focused on the science, and the “convinced” are more focused on the solutions.”

    My perception- I tend to disagree with Judith here. I believe that skeptics fall into many “camps”, but that they all ultimately disagree with the conclusion that the mitigation actions recommended by the IPCC make sense. “Skeptics” can believe that the IPCC’s case breaks down for a wide variety of reasons, but in truth almost any of these reasons being valid makes the IPCC case invalid. The “convinced” are doggedly trying to hold the line and state that the IPCC’s conclusions are correct because so many “scientists” said so. If you disagree you are branded to have a “Rick Perry like intelligence”. I would say that even a broken clock is right twice per day and Perry happened to have been told to say the right thing on this issue.

    • Rob,
      Good summation.
      The AGW community implicity understands this, and so we see many believers defending every detail ofthe IPCC, no matter how discredited or tenuous the claim.
      It is similar, in a way, to theological fundamentalists who are strongly convinced that their interpretation of Bible or Koran is the actual true one, and any one who dares to disagree with any part is there by rejecting the entire edifice of belief they proclaim. Notice how fundamentalist literalists tend to also be obsessed with a grand apocalypse sweeping away the old, proving the rightness of their beliefs and bringing about a new world that their enlightenment has forseen.

    • Rob Starkey:

      “My perception: this one seems to be a natural byproduct of the strategy being used by those who initiated and are defending the concept of cAGW. The strategy was to get a large percentage of “scientists” to publically state that they agree with the conclusions, and then to “brand” anyone who questions their conclusions as an “unscientific denier”, who is unworthy of being listened to any further. This strategy would naturally lead to trying to aggressively discredit any “scientist” who publically tries to unravel their core strategy as quickly as possible.”

      Absolutely spot on. You see it all the time here and in other similar forums.

    • randomengineer

      Claims from animals getting smaller, ocean acidification, future starvation, more intense future storms, catastrophic sea level rise, etc. etc., you name it an you can find some silly paper attributing a future undesirable potential condition to higher levels of atmospheric CO2 and a warmer planet.

      Yes, the numberwatch.co.uk site enumerates this rather well.

      I think this also speaks to the concept of asymmetry that Joshua and his fellow travelers seem to struggle with. Thousands of newspaper articles and snippets from armchair science mags and sites claim CO2 and climate change is responsible for everything ranging from neanderthal dentition to malaria outbreak migration; there’s a virtual avalanche of chicken little screeching.

      On the skeptic side there’s… nothing. To be symmetrical skeptics would have to write a thousand papers a day, each of which having to specifically focus on and prove that AGW isn’t a factor. The game is rigged.

      It was only last week that I read an article showing that neanderthal physiology was probably more a result of their preferred terrain rather than climate changes, and even then after the paper writers made their case, they still seemed to feel a need to throw in the now obligatory “but a changing climate probably had an effect too so we can’t discount AGW.” The obligation to toe the line despite proving that climate change was a non-factor is evidence of asymmetry.

      To me the sheer volume of obligatory AGW references alone in articles having nothing to do with AGW itself is amazing, and I find it mind boggling that anyone could question the notion of asymmetry.

    • My perception: I have frequently commented that papers hypothesizing about the supposedly dire conditions that will result from a warmer world seem to be completely unsupportable based on a fair and reasonable analysis of the data available.

      Which specific papers do you take issue with, and why?

      Have you submitted any comments regarding these flawed papers?

  52. manacker | November 11, 2011 at 9:36 am | Reply

    fraud
    2. A piece of trickery; a trick.

    From: Phil Jones
    Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      “trick” in the sense of a clever mathematical device is perfectly standard scientific terminology in many fields, for example

      http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.20.327

    • “trick” to hide inconvenient findings? That’s pseudo-science and fraud. Tricks are no problem, hiding the decline is the fraud.

    • How is hiding a temperature decline that never occurred a fraud?

    • Huh?

      Hiding inconvenient findings in science is pseudo-science and scientific fraud. You brought up a temperature.

    • The ‘inconvenient finding” in this case is the divergence, something that was already know by scientists. How can you hide something that’s already known.

    • Ask Mr. Jones why he wanted to hide it then. Who was he hiding it from? From public? Scientists who didn’t know about the decline? Is that disinformation? Fraud? You decide.

    • Jones may have thought it was misleading.

    • The difference here is that in mathematics, “tricks” exist because the allow you to arrive at an answer without changing the answer. They are better referred to as short-cuts.

      A trick that changes the answer is not an acceptable mathematical trick.

    • A mathematical trick is very similar to a catalyst in chemistry. It speeds things up without actually being included in the result. Mike’s Nature trick didn’t speed up the result, it changed the result. Thus, it wasn’t a “trick” in the scientifically accepted sense.

      Mike’s Nature trick is more in the sense of a Magician’s trick, in that it misdirected the attention of the audience away from one part of the data towards another part, so that the audience would not be aware of what was actually happening.

    • “Mike’s Nature trick is more in the sense of a Magician’s trick, in that it misdirected the attention of the audience away from one part of the data towards another part, so that the audience would not be aware of what was actually happening.”

      That’s disinformation isn’t it?

    • “Mike’s Nature trick is more in the sense of a Magician’s trick, in that it misdirected the attention of the audience away from one part of the data towards another part, so that the audience would not be aware of what was actually happening.”

      Yes, this statement is misinformation. It implies a decline in temperature was “actually happening.” It wasn’t.

    • No, I said disinformation :)

    • I think that fits the definition of “disinformation” pretty squarely. And nobody spinning this has ever been able to explain what utilitarian purpose it serves (aside from disinformation).

    • There’s still so much denial about the leaked emails, it’s amazing. So much stuff in there – trickery, funded by big oil, pseudo-scientific attitude, suppression of science, dogmatism… The whistleblower (whoever it is) deserves the Nobel prize for science.

    • Yes, Edim, I agree with you completely.

    • Edim,
      Yet look how the same journalists who breathlessly report on stolen transcripts, illegally leaked sealed court records, matters of natinoal security, find it abhorent and unethical to even quote in context from cliamtegate e-mails.

    • You never know…it’s that time of year again….we might get some more!

    • Edim,

      I enjoyed your discussion above on “hide the decline.” I would like to set out the case clearly.

      In “hiding the decline,” Jones and friends were hiding the fact that the last forty years (forty years, for goodness sake) of tree ring data did not show an increase in temperature but a decline. Let’s be clear on this. Our main line of evidence is tree ring data but for the last forty years the tree rings have been getting smaller. Two conclusions must be drawn: 1) our data does not support the claim of an increase in temperature and 2) because the decline has been ongoing for forty years it calls into question all tree ring data for this kind of tree.

      Rather than report the last forty years of evidence, Jones and friends hid the decline by replacing (replacing) on their graphs the last forty years of tree ring data with thermometer readings. In their published materials, they provided no explanation of what they had done. I will not judge these actions. I will leave that up to you. Anyone care to argue that it is good science and that it is just plain old honest?

      Yes, there are all kinds of excuses. Briffa published some papers on the matter around the time. However, if you read the papers, Briffa offered no scientific explanation of the decline. He did not know why it happened. Anyone want to award Briffa a medal for great scientific instincts? I hear that he has a paper in press addressing the matter but I do not recall the specifics. Now fancy that. Only ten years late does he address the actual empirical work necessary to explain what caused those tree rings to shrink. That pretty much sums up the whole sordid story of the so-called science of paleoclimatology.

    • Actually Theo it is worse than that.
      The tree ring proxies are calibrated to measured temperature. The correlation between ring widths/density and temperature provides two pieces of data; the relationship between rings and temperature and also the confidence interval. The larger the confidence interval, then the bigger the range of estimated temperature of the past is. By ignoring the ‘divergence’ part of the relationship the ‘Team’ were able to reduce the uncertainty of historical temperature.
      Imagine if drug companies had given a drug to people and found a huge improvement in heart/lung function for 9 months, but found a divergence between 10-15 months when everyone died.
      They could plot outcome on a graph that covered 15 months and 9 months. If they did the former, no one would take the drug. If they did the latter, they would be in prison.
      What did the ‘Team’ do?

    • Excellent post. Thanks.

  53. http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/20/mike%E2%80%99s-nature-trick/

    Back in December 2004 John Finn asked about “the divergence” in Myth vs. Fact Regarding the “Hockey Stick” -thread of RealClimate.org.

    Whatever the reason for the divergence, it would seem to suggest that the practice of grafting the thermometer record onto a proxy temperature record – as I believe was done in the case of the ‘hockey stick’ – is dubious to say the least.

    mike’s response speaks for itself.

    No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstrution. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.

    • Do you have a link to the thread at RealClimate.org so we can see the full context of Mann’s statement rather than rely on what McIntyre pulled out?

    • Corporate Message

      I guess he assumed his readers have at least a passing familiarity with the subject and so would be aware of what Mann said.

      Not so, it seems, M.carey

    • You could try looking for it yourself.

      Unless of course your purpose here is to try to cast aspersion on eithe ferd or McIntyre (who I don’t see mentioned at all in ferd’s comment).

    • [Response: No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, "grafted the thermometer record onto" any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum. Most proxy reconstructions end somewhere around 1980, for the reasons discussed above. Often, as in the comparisons we show on this site, the instrumental record (which extends to present) is shown along with the reconstructions, and clearly distinguished from them (e.g. highlighted in red as here). Most studies seek to "validate" a reconstruction by showing that it independently reproduces instrumental estimates (e.g. early temperature data available during the 18th and 19th century) that were not used to 'calibrate' the proxy data. When this is done, it is indeed possible to quantitatively compare the instrumental record of the past few decades with earlier estimates from the proxy reconstruction, within the context of the estimated uncertainties in the reconstructed values (again see the comparisons here, with the instrumental record clearly distinguished in red, the proxy reconstructions indicated by e.g. blue or green, and the uncertainties indicated by shading). -mike]

  54. Judith Re: “Has anyone come across people from the warm side characterizing a  paper with as fraud?”
    They specifically accuse Fred Singer. e.g.
    Fred Singer: Let’s Lie About Global Warming

    Global Warming Denier: Fraud or ‘Realist’?
    (Unnamed)

    fellow scientists call him a fraud, a charlatan and a showman, but Fred Singer calls himself “a realist.”

  55. At the risk of generalizing, when you understand the argument, but you find it flawed, you call it ‘disinformation’; when you can’t find a flaw in the argument, but also can’t reconcile the conclusion with your emotional attachments, one way to achieve reconciliation is to call it ‘fraud’.

    So, if you read Dr. Mann’s original article, he explains how he constructed the graph. Explaining what you are doing is a curious way to hide or deceive anyone about something; it is only because the conclusions can not be reconciled with someone’s emotional attachments that they choose to interpret Dr. Jone’s use of the word ‘trick’ to mean that Dr. Mann did something nefarious.

    You also have to consider the audience; Dr. Mann was not writing to the layperson; he was writing to his peers, who were/are familiar with the subject. Does anyone seriously believe that other climate researchers were mislead by what Dr. Mann did?

    You can take issue with the technical merits of grafting time series records together, but a claim of fraud is spurious. Fraud involves intentional deceit; where is the deceit if you have explained your methods and sources of data?

    Why is anyone still talking about this?

    • Chris G,
      Mann deceived with his explanation, either deliberately or not.

    • I see. And if you believe that it was a deception, then you think that the recent warming is not a substantial increase over the history of the last thousand years or so. So, I’m curious, how to you reconcile the measured difference between incoming and outgoing energy, the shifting of the seasons, the shifting of Hadley cells, the recent opening of the NW and NE passages, the recent migration of species through this passage, etc., with your concept that there has been no unusual warming in recent decades?

      If you believe that there has been unusual warming, and Dr. Mann’s results indicate unusual warming, where is the deceit?

    • Chris G,
      You are correct: the recent warming is trivial, inconsequential and not causing humans or anyone else problems worth anything like the money and attention the AGW movement is demanding to pursue delusions like ‘mitigation’.

    • Doesn’t the word deceive imply intention?
      Non-intentional deceit is an oxymoron, and most who claim that Dr. Mann did something wrong think it was on purpose. In any case, ‘fraud’ does not apply if it was not intentional.

      Nice try at shifting the goal posts.

    • Joachim Seifert

      Fraud and Mann: He said that MWP aand LIA is regional confined to the Northern Hemisphere – so he stated that this as fact
      whereas, see in latest NIPCC study on the MWP and LIA in the Southern Hemisphere”
      reference Bertler, N.AA.N., Mayewski, P.A. Carter, L: “Cold conditions in Antarktika during the Little Ice age – implications for abrupt climate change mechanisms” in Earth and Planetary Sciences 308 , 41-51
      stating “the MWP and the LIA have been true global….” – i.e. also simultaneously in the South….

      This is how fraud and disinformation comes out after all, clearly to be seen by everyone…….

    • You are not addressing the question of the time series ‘trick’, and raising a new topic on to the difference between his assertions and other’s assertions. Does that mean that you are giving up on the belief that the ‘trick’ was an intentional deception?

    • Joachim Seifert

      Chris,
      I quoted a study, with abstract and comment published today on the NIPCC website. The study is hard-core Deuderium analysis, showing
      simultaneous MWP-LIA-Present Epoch warming/cooling on both hemispheres, which MANN denies…thus lying (forget “assertions”.) as if MANN did not know that it also warms and cools on the other half of the globe ….. ..

    • Chris G,
      He misled people into thinking we are dealing with a unique crisis regarding the climate.
      History and the current situation shows we are not.
      whether he decieved himself sincerely or sought deceeive others deliberately, people have allowed tens of billions to be spent based in no small part on his hockey stick.
      His behavior as revealed in cliamtegate and in his sad avoidance of mormal reviews of his work since climategate strongly implies a deliberate effort on his part, but we will eventually know one way or the other.

    • You haven’t addressed the the observations that I pointed out. It appears you reconcile them by pretending they don’t exist.

    • Chris G,
      You pointed out nothign other than your opinion.
      You fool yourself into confusing them with facts.

    • You are correct; it is my opinion. My opinion is based on information that can readily be verified with a simple search, for instance “hadley cell expansion”.

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=hadley+cell+expansion

      What is your opinion based on?

  56. Wait a minute Judith,

    Weren’t there two particular issues that raised doubts about Mann? First was the CENSORED directory which was found on his ftp site and contained adverse data that he did not report in MBH’98; Second was his claim that he had never computed the r^2 in validation and therefore was innocently unaware of the very poor fit–yet again, files and datestamps of this files from ftp site again suggested that he had in fact done this?

    I don’t endorse these claims first hand, but weren’t these the claims that led to suggestions of impropriety? You’re suggesting double standards here. That isn’t accurate. The fact patterns are different.

  57. “Mike’s Nature trick is more in the sense of a Magician’s trick”

    Of course that’s a flawed analogy inasmuch as we expect a magician to be tricking us.

  58. Judith,

    I think you are correct in observing that both “sides” use a different framing (and hence different words) to describe papers perceived to be bad: Disinformation vs fraudulent.

    That said, Richard Tol doesn’t strike me as someone to argue based on authorship or activism or lack thereof. His reaction to this affair makes him look quite non-tribal (and if anything, people in the skeptical camp in general seem to appreciate his opinions more than people in the activist camp). So your judgment about his reaction is off the mark I’d say.

    I’d never heard of Ludecke. But a pepr that concludes that the warming is all due to natural and unforced variability has quite some ‘splaining to do. It would mean that the climate system is highly unstable (and climate sensitivity to be huge; runaway warming/cooling). It strikes me as unphysical, which sets off my BS detector.

    Similar as when a student arrives at an answer tha is unphysical. I tried to teach them to always do a sanity check on their answers. If the answer you got is that you need 10^4 kg of chemical to prepare a solution, chances are the correct answer is 10^-4, for example.

    Btw, I would be in favor of double blind review, ie that the names of the authors are hidden from the reviewers. Thia has all kinds of practical problems, eg in many (or even most) cases it’s clear which group wrote the paper, but it would prevent a bias in the review from seeing the authors’ names. I’m thinking more of a bias that relates to seniority/juniority than anything else, but still.

    • It would mean that the climate system is highly unstable

      The Hurst phenomenon does not imply instability. It is a stationary stochastic model which has a defined population mean and standard deviation which in turn constrain the system.

      I don’t agree with the Ludecke papers attribution, but Hurst dynamics don’t really meet any definition of the word “unstable” that I can think of.

  59. “I’d never heard of Ludecke. But a pepr that concludes that the warming is all due to natural and unforced variability has quite some ‘splaining to do. It would mean that the climate system is highly unstable (and climate sensitivity to be huge; runaway warming/cooling). It strikes me as unphysical, which sets off my BS detector.”

    Again, the well-known AGW blind spot. The alleged AGW started significantly in ~1950. Sceptics need to ‘splain that climate warmed (and cooled) due to natural and unforced variability before AGW? Climate changed before AGW and it will change after AGW. Nothing unusual is happening.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      I would have thought there is plenty of evidence that climate had plenty of FORCED variability prior to 1950. Attributing climate changes over multi-decadal timespans to UNforced variability would need rather more explaining. If you read the IPCC WG1 report, you will find they say that you need both natural and anthropogenic forcings to explain the observed climate, which seems pretty reasonable to me.

    • We don’t KNOW the overall net forcing at any point! We’re not even close.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      You are missing the point, attributing centennial scale climate change to unforced variability isn’t well supported by physics. If we don’t know the forcings that would make it even more difficult to attribute change to unforced variability, not less, as it would make any attribution uncertain.

      The point is that the most plausible explanation for climate variability prior to 1950 is the changes in the forcings prior to 1950.

    • If we don’t know all the forcings, then we also don’t know which variations are forced and which are not. We can not separate forced and unforced.

      Climate changes at all time scales. That’s the only certainty. So much room for science.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Edim, our knowledge of the forcings being uncertain does not mean we have no knowledge. The most plausible explaination based on the information we have and our knowledge of atmospheric physics is that changes in climate are principally due to changes in forcings. Science proceeds via reduction to the most plausible explanations, not certain knowledge for the simple reason that certain knowledge regarding causal relationships in the observable universe is fundamentally impossible (see Hume etc.).

  60. Willis Eschenbach

    Dikran Marsupial | November 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    You are missing the point, attributing centennial scale climate change to unforced variability isn’t well supported by physics.

    This is like an “anti ad-hominem”, the idea that we understand enough about both the physics of climate and the mechanism of climate to make such a claim.

    Dikran, we don’t know why the climate varies the way it has, that’s the whole point. We don’t know why it was warmer in Roman and Medieval times, and cooler in between.

    So to claim that something about the climate “isn’t supported by the physics” is getting way ahead of the game. What you may be trying to say is:

    We don’t understand the physics behind either decadal or centennial scale climate change.

    Unlike yours, that statement at least has the advantage of being true.

    Cf, the current 15-year hiatus in the warming. We don’t know why that happened, Dikran. The issue is not that that the fifteen-year plateau warming “isn’t well supported by physics”.

    It is that we do not have a clue why it happened, so whether it is supported by physics is even in question—we don’t even know what physics might apply.

    w.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      Is there statistically significant evidence that there has been a plateau in warming, rather than it just being an artifact of the noise?

    • Of course not. Is it statistically significant that science would predict a warming trend during a warming trend? Or that economists would predict market growth during a growing market? You can always find sound fundamentals to reinforce an obvious prediction.

      Now, are anomalies in those fundamentals of any significance? The Antarctic is stable which is an anomaly. Stratospheric moisture is an anomaly. OHC is an anomaly. Cloud feedback is appearing to be an anomaly. Solar UV is an anomaly. How many anomalies can a theory not predict before it is justified to question the theory?

    • Dikran Marsupial

      The models DO predict that short term variability will result in occasional periods of little or no warming, see the paper by Easterling and Wehner. They can’t predict WHEN they will happen as you can’t predict noise, but the models had predicted that they happen occasionally; however I suspect nobody thought it was an interesting enough prediction to be worth mentioning (as it says nothing about forced climate change).

    • Yes, they can’t predict when they will happen, and they can’t explain them when they do happen. All they can do is wring their hands over the warming hiatus. The climate science has some growing up to do.

    • I don’t recall mentioning the hiatus. The Antarctic is not a hiatus, UV, Clouds or OHC. The hiatus would be in the estimate 10% natural unforced variability, which I did not mention. Oh, I did find that interesting. So which topic is it that you really wish to discuss?

    • Looking at the recent temperature hiatus and saying that because there have been other pauses in temperatures these pauses are similar does not account for the trace gas radiative transfer model whereby escalations in global CO2 are suppose to be coupled to temperature rises. If global CO2 levels are unprecedented, at least over the last 8000 years, and global warming is unprecedented, doesn’t the juxtaposition of the two: CO2 and global mean temperature with the current temperature hiatus say something is likely to be wrong? Either CO2 is not unprecedented, or temperatures are not unprecedented, or maybe the connectivity of CO2 and temperature are really not that tight, or if tight, not that important to a non-quilibrium, non-linear, oscillatory climate system. There are too many unknowns and uncertainties to extract a signal in the data. You just can’t say that this hiatus is like a previous hiatus because it is claimed that at this time temperatures and CO2 levels are unprecedented, unless they aren’t.

    • The key sentence:

      “these pauses are similar does not account for the trace gas radiative transfer model whereby escalations in global CO2 are suppose to be coupled to temperature rises.”

      You are putting way to much faith in these models. Dikran danced around this on another thread.

    • WRT,

      “…attributing centennial scale climate change to unforced variability…”
      “…the idea that we understand enough about both the physics of climate and the mechanism of climate to make such a claim.”

      We have observed ENSO cycles, solar cycles, and others; we have no observations of any physical mechanism cycles operating on centennial timescales, at least none that have changed much in the last century. (Well, actually, the carbon cycle has changed a lot in the past century.) And, we have thousands of years of evidence that the climate is not inherently unstable.

      We do have a pretty good grasp on the law of conservation of matter and energy. Without a physical mechanism to attribute the changes to, you are suggesting that there is something wrong with our understanding of this law.

    • Joachim Seifert

      To Chris:
      as you say: ….concerning climate——-.” Without a physical mechanism to attribute the changes to, you are suggesting that there is something wrong with our understanding…….”

      The mechanism is already out, on small scale published distribution, see more details in my response to Willis…….
      dont dispair, all truth will come out one day.wait and see next year….
      JS

    • Joachim Seifert

      Willis,
      to your opinion:
      ———” current 15-year hiatus in the warming. We don’t know why that happened, The issue is not that that the fifteen-year plateau warming “isn’t well supported by physics”.
      It is that we do not have a clue why it happened, so whether it is supported by physics is even in question—we don’t even know what physics might apply.”
      — it is all resolved, but you dont know……..see the German booklet at Amazon.de: ISBN 978-3-86805-604-4
      All explained transparently: The physics (astronomical Libration
      forcing), the forcing mechanism and the forcing quantities….
      It just needs to be translated…..sorry it takes a while……

      The physics behind it is the pendulum swinging movement of the Earth around its orbital path……
      The IPCC suppressed this at the major LA – meeting 2006 before
      issuing IPCC-AR4 in 2007, and “assumed with great happiness” (CLA, wg1, chapter 2) and confined the Earth’s orbit to be STATIC on a millenium scale………
      …… therefore all this guesswork and wasted efforts to explain and predict climate…there is one major RF-driver MISSING, therefore,
      your clue is also missing and nothing adds up….no wonder…
      JS

    • Joachim Seifert

      Might one suggest what may be called an alternative hypothesis, or a clarifying question?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/from:1975/to:2005/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1945/to:1975/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1915/to:1945/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1885/to:1915/trend/plot/esrl-amo/mean:23/mean:31/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1917/to:1940/trend/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1940/to:1963/trend/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1963/to:1986/trend/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1986/trend/plot/jisao-pdo/to:1917/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/esrl-co2/mean:5/mean:7/normalise

      AMO 60-year oscillating trend consistent since 1885; PDO 46-year approx. (more amplitude-variant, thus less well defined) trend since 1917.

      Result: simply adding the two trends produces a 90-year span simulating 60-year period rising wave clearly seen in the global temperature (with some manipulation of dataset, this apparition can be manufactured to extend the apparent period, but I can only get 90 years) from 1910.

      Problem: this 90-year trompe l’oiel span ought have turned downward at 70 years if only the PDO and AMO were determining the global temperature. Something around 1980 caused the last ghost-arm of the oscillation to persist 20 more years on the uprise.

      I believe AGW is the most viable culprit for the rise since 1980 at least (and probably contributed earlier, at lower levels, too).

      What makes the AMO and PDO work the way they do may be related through some teleconnection to the libration hypothesis, though I don’t see how.

      Do you?

    • So, let’s see…

      Willis, do you or do you not agree with Joachim’s hypothesis about a change in orbital characteristics being the driving force behind the warming in recent decades?

      Do you agree that it is warming?

      If so, would you care to respond to Hunter’s assertion that it is not?

      It’s all about getting the science right, no?

    • Willis,
      “we don’t even know what physics might apply.”

      Well that is not correct, we can narrow down the list of candidates.

      1. Look at the list of all positive forcings. your answer might lie there
      2. Look at negative forcinsgs, you answer may lie there
      3. internal forcings– the great unknow.

      So we do know what physics might apply, NAMELy all the physics we know and all the physics ( natural unforced variability)

      What we dont have is a closed form solution.

  61. “…our knowledge of the forcings being uncertain does not mean we have no knowledge.”

    Dikran, I gladly agree with this. We have considerable amount of knowledge. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to make any conclusions about the net forcing on such a complex physical system. There must be a swarm of black swans behind the boundaries of our knowledge.

    It seems to me that the AGW convinced see a change in global climate behaviour after AGW started (~1950). I don’t see that. All I see is climate business as usual. I see nothing unprecedented in climate change.

  62. Whoever first in this debate accused opponents of evil motives, corrupt intentions, crimes against humanity, disinformation or whatever (agnotology and pseudo-skeptical thinking and too many others to list) poisoned the discussion for all of us. It is natural, maybe, but it is a huge distraction from the scientific arguments, and not much contribution to the policy arguments. It is a reminder that, except for their narrow expertise (and sometimes even that exception is not realized), scientists are victims of the same limitations of rationality and goodness as the rest of us.

  63. Prejudices affect everyone. On papers related to climate change the prejudices are often related to the purpose of writing the paper. When a paper is written by someone with little history in the field of science considered, but known views on the climate issue, I cannot avoid thinking that the paper is written to support those views rather than to make a genuine scientific contribution. My prejudices have developed from reading papers that fit that description very well.

    I’m not entirely happy with many papers from main stream scientists either. Many of them have published papers that are not presentations of their main scientific work but written to a wider audience. Journals like Science have published such papers although they don’t fulfill the same criteria required from regular scientific papers from the same authors as well as other scientists. Surprisingly many otherwise fully normal papers have also included some sentences that connect the work to the climate change issue in questionable way. Perhaps that helps in getting them published although the right editorial policy in my view would be to remove those sentences.

    Very many papers are based on statistical analysis of little scientific value. That occurs on both sides of the debate, and I consider the Lüdecke et al papers to belong to this class. Statistics offers so many methods that are sophisticated enough to appear scientific, but the multitude of the choices means also that most of the possible analyses are of no scientific value. What’s worse many statistical analyses produce spurious results that are tedious to study and prove to be as worthless or misleading as they are. It’s exceptional that the approach is justified well although every use of a sophisticated statistical method should be supplemented by considerations that tell, what are all the assumptions that have gone to the analysis and how reliable the results are, when all the caveats are taken into account. It should be the responsibility of the author to justify all essential points, not of the reader to find out, where the author hasn’t done his task.

    • Pekka, I would respectfully disagree with your analysis on a fundamental level.
      A paper should be thought of as an attempt to try to answer a question. Sometimes that actual question is simple and sometimes it is very complex.
      In the two papers we are discussing the authors have asked a good question and attempted to answer it.
      It matters not that they have not answered the question to the satisfaction of all. Just by probing they have made people think about how one would define ‘unprecedented’.
      That, in itself, is a reason for publication and debate.

    • Pekka

      Can you (or anyone else) point out (provide a link to) a single paper that has described the great net harms that humanity will incur as a result of AGW, that is believed to be an unbiased and valid scientific analysis? If the GCM upon which the conclusions are drawn have insufficient fidelity to justify the conclusion written, the analysis is worth what?

    • Can you (or anyone else) point out (provide a link to) a single paper that has described the great net harms that humanity will incur as a result of AGW, that is believed to be an unbiased and valid scientific analysis?

      Believed by whom?

      There are many, many papers that estimate the harmful impacts expected as a result of global warming.

      I’m sure you can find them on your own.

      When you do you are welcome to raise any points about them you think are important.

      But being accepted by “skeptics” as valid and unbiased is not necessary for science to go on. In fact, it’d say being a paper praised by “skeptics” as valid and unbiased is strongly associated with the quality of being a streaming pile of crap.

  64. Dare I suggest that Richard Tol reacted much more sharply to these papers than people in the U.S. because of his knowledge of EIKE (German group of skeptics)?

    I don’t care. Some of his criticisms were germane, and any graduate seminar would have made the same criticisms. He seemed to miss the point of generating a null distribution for null hypothesis testing, which to me was more important than any emotional revulsion he may have felt to the sponsors.

  65. Dikran Marsupial wrote the following: Edim, our knowledge of the forcings being uncertain does not mean we have no knowledge. The most plausible explaination based on the information we have and our knowledge of atmospheric physics is that changes in climate are principally due to changes in forcings.

    That’s not unreasonable. Fred Moolton has written messages with the same import.

    However, it is possible to know a great deal about a subject, and not know a precise enough answer to some specific questions: did CO2 cause some of the observed rise in temperature in the last quarter of the 20th century? Our knowledge is not sufficient to answer that question, in my opinion. Will reducing CO2 prevent future warming? We do not know the answer to that question, in my opinion. I have tried to draw attention to some of the well-documented limitations in the knowledge.

    Are there some psychological, moral, or pecuniary reasons for Dikran and me to disagree? Probably, but what we really need, in my opinion, is a debate focused entirely on the evidence relevant to CO2, not these repeated tangents into hypothetical hidden psychological mechanisms and so forth. On the whole, psychology is less well understood than the climate. Psychologists have published detailed results of exquisite studies of visual perception (analogous to the laboratory studies of the CO2 absorption and emission spectra), but no one knows how people make up their minds on complex issues (analogous to the poor knowledge of cloud effects on global heat flows.) Hypotheses about psychological processes in the climate change debates are mostly uninformative distractions.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      I am not a climatologist or a phycist, but our knowledge of radiative physics means that CO2 radiative forcing should be expected to have caused warming of the last quarter of the 20th century, there is little evidence that the change can be explained by changes in other forcings, or by unforced variability. So the best explanation is that CO2 radiative forcing did cause some of the warming of that period. That doesn’t mean that we know for sure that it did, but then again certain knowledge of causal ralationships in the real world is unavailable.

      If there are “some psychological, moral, or pecuniary reasons for Dikran and me to disagree?” (for which I see no evidence), they have no relevance to the science, which is indeed what we should be focussing on (not just CO2). See I can agree sometimes! ;o)

    • Actually, I question our interpretation of the radiative physics of CO2.

      If you use TOA emissivity of ~0.61 and assume that with a power series you can calculate the surface impact, you get one number. If you use the average surface emissivity, you get a completely different number. That indicates to me that local emissivity variance is not well considered.

      Oh, I am not a climatologist or atmospheric physicist either, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once :)

    • That doesn’t mean that we know for sure that it did, but then again certain knowledge of causal ralationships in the real world is unavailable.

      That is what I wrote.

    • On the psychology of the arguments, I would like to see a debate between those skeptical of AGW who believe it is getting markedly warmer, and those skeptical of AGW who believe it is not.

      While we are at it, we can set up a debate between those that think CO2 is saturated and those that think it is such a trace gas an increase in it can have no effect.

      Let’s let them hash it out and then come to the table to argue with those who think that human CO2 emissions are causing warming.

      I doubt this will happen.

      Why? Because these disparate groups exist right here in the people who read and respond at this blog, and they never engage each other in lengthy debates.

      Why? Because the conclusions of both of these groups is non-threatening to the other.

      What should that tell you about whether the nature of the larger debate is based on science or based on emotion? If it is based on disagreements about the science, why do people from these groups never engage each other?

    • Chris G –

      I think you’re absolutely right. Science, and reason have very little to do with it. Otherwise, people would be changing their views with each piece of new evidence. Seen much of that lately?

    • The Warmistas don’t like to debate. Let’s look back at the Intelligence Squared debate for an explanation.
      http://intelligencesquaredus.org/wp-content/uploads/GlobalWarming-edited-version-031407.pdf

  66. On fraud versus disseminating disinformation…

    “…Gavin Schmidt explains that they aren’t ‘saints’ nor ‘Mother Teresa’, a point on which he and Climategate critics can undoubtedly find common ground, as though this were a reason for not providing data to critics:

    “’We’re not climate scientists because we’re saints, we’re not Mother Teresa. People who launch off – we’re know you’re a fraud, but give me all your data, all your time and all of this. You know what – people are not going to be well disposed. Given all the things that they could be doing with their time, they’re not going to spend time with these people.’

    “Here, as so often, Schmidt, although purporting to be a ‘scientist’ is disseminating disinformation. My suggestion throughout has been for scientists and journals to archive data and metadata at the time of publication. This removes the temptation to give preferential treatment to friends. Archiving code will, in many cases, avoid the need for someone asking a question about the methodology. Scientists have spent far more time thinking up reasons not to archive data than to archive it in the first place.

    “In addition, scientists have wasted both their own time and time of critics by giving untrue answers in refusing data.”

    ~Steve McIntyre (Swedish Documentary on Climategate, Nov 9, 2010)

  67. Would the following be an example of:

    A. Fraud
    B. Disinformation
    C. Misinformation
    D. Incompetence

    “Authors veteran meteorologists Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts analyzed temperature records from all around the world for a major SPPI paper, Surface Temperature Records – Policy-driven Deception? The startling conclusion that we cannot tell whether there was any significant “global warming” at all in the 20th century is based on numerous astonishing examples of manipulation and exaggeration of the true level and rate of “global warming”.

    “That is to say, leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century.”

    • “Would the following be an example of:”
      E. News.
      As in reporting facts.

      It seems to me that there has been about a degree of warming since the end of the Little Ice Age. It’s possible it’s been 2 degrees and it’s possible
      there has been little or no warming.
      I think the strongest evidence of warming is the general glacier retreat. I also have a confidence in satellite measurement, which has should some warming. Also conditions described during the LIA indicate much colder conditions as compared to today.

      I also noticed you failed to provide a link to source of quote- that is my opinion is incompetence or disinformation.
      I believe what could be quoted in referring to US temperatures, as these land temperature station have been what mostly been being looked at.
      It’s possible that US temperatures have been flat or declining in the US in 20th century, this could true and at same time there could be global warming during 20th Century.
      I don’t think the land or ocean surface temperature as been reliable enough
      to be measuring tenth of degrees of increase or decrease in temperature.
      I do believe it’s possible to use inaccurate readings [such as proxy] and as a proxy type temperature reading I think of the land temperature as fairly accurate. Meaning a random selection of land temperature reading [even if inaccurate] can indicate warming or cooling trends- but one must realize that there are significant error bars in the data.
      So if you are trying to get data, and result is .3 F warming if your error bars are +/- 1 degree there fair amount of uncertainty. If the person in charge of data set is cherry picking and making unreasoned/unexplained adjustments, your confident in the data gets much worse.

    • “I also noticed you failed to provide a link to source of quote- that is my opinion is incompetence or disinformation.”

      gbaikie, I posted the link at 2:08 PM, almost an hour before your post. I don’t know how you missed it.

    • You forgot:

      E. All of the above

    • How would you characterise the following:

      At 06:25 28/09/2009, Tom Wigley wrote:

      Phil,
      Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly
      explain the 1940s warming blip.
      If you look at the attached plot you will see that the
      land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know).
      So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC,
      then this would be significant for the global mean — but
      we’d still have to explain the land blip.
      I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an
      ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of
      ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common
      forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of
      these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are
      1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity
      plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things
      consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.
      Removing ENSO does not affect this.
      It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip,
      but we are still left with “why the blip”.
      Let me go further. If you look at NH vs SH and the aerosol
      effect (qualitatively or with MAGICC) then with a reduced
      ocean blip we get continuous warming in the SH, and a cooling
      in the NH — just as one would expect with mainly NH aerosols.
      The other interesting thing is (as Foukal et al. note — from
      MAGICC) that the 1910-40 warming cannot be solar. The Sun can
      get at most 10% of this with Wang et al solar, less with Foukal
      solar. So this may well be NADW, as Sarah and I noted in 1987
      (and also Schlesinger later). A reduced SST blip in the 1940s
      makes the 1910-40 warming larger than the SH (which it
      currently is not) — but not really enough.
      So … why was the SH so cold around 1910? Another SST problem?
      (SH/NH data also attached.)
      This stuff is in a report I am writing for EPRI, so I’d
      appreciate any comments you (and Ben) might have.
      Tom.

      source: 1254147614.txt (google it)

    • None of the above?

    • “gbaikie, I posted the link at 2:08 PM, almost an hour before your post. I don’t know how you missed it.”
      This is said in your link:
      “The paper is also a natural progression of the ongoing work of the authors, who have focused on actual data instead of models and theories. Anthony Watts put together a volunteer team to do the due diligence the government said it could not afford on the stations and found the vast majority (90%) to be sited poorly by the governments own standards. He has documented issues with the equipment and shelters and he and his Watts Up With That1
      bloggers have documented many station issues created by post—processing of raw data.”
      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/policy_driven_deception.html

      I have not read all this linked paper, but I believe it’s not the source of your quote. It’s possible it uses your same quote, and actually gives the source of the quote [unlike you did].
      I may or may not read it later. Perhaps you could give give some reason why it has merit- other than it may actually give the actual source to your quote.

    • gbaikie, the link goes directly to the paragraphs I quoted (see paragraphs below the image of the globe).

    • Ah.
      Ok.
      Yes what they saying at
      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/policy_driven_deception.html
      Is kinda disinformation.
      Or typical news.
      It’s headline type stuff meant to attract attention
      to body of their story. Putting a link to the source would distract
      from their purpose.
      Somehow I thought you were quoting Watts.
      Did you read the article?
      If so what did you think of it?

  68. Michael Crichton on the age of disinformation in which we now live:

    “I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

    • …”The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. ”

      And one would think if we had a moderately competent educational system
      this would taught prior to high school or at least in high school.
      I was taught this in high school and in Collage- but this doesn’t seem to be commonly understood. In collage in my case it was in pol science course, it wasn’t very detailed. One assignment was to look at any news story and find 1/2 dozen or more of this type of disinformation in a page or two. It was very easy assignment. Any news which has little disinformation is unusual.

  69. Speaking of Desinformation & Fraud, a Wolverine impersonating an astrophysicist has this to say:

    > Yes, you can see a flattening, if you do the scientifically unethical thing, take an insignificant portion of the data, and present it as significant. You also need to make the huge statistical errors of keeping the bad data points that you know are bad, and to cherry-pick your starting year and month to be April 1998 (or just a couple of months before), which happened to be the hottest month recorded (at the time), worldwide, since the invention of the thermometer. (And even if you do that, you still see warming, just by a slightly smaller amount.)

    > But, if you’re the scientist who knows better than to claim there’s a flattening (or worse, a decline that’s being hidden), and you do it anyway, that’s not an honest mistake.

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/11/exposing_a_climate_science_fra.php

  70. What exactly did the whistleblower at the heart of Climategate reveal?

     A tiny clique of politicized scientists, paid by unscientific politicians with whom they were financially and politically linked, were responsible for gathering and reporting data on temperatures from the palaeoclimate to today’s climate. The “Team”, as they called themselves, were bending and distorting scientific data to fit a nakedly political story-line profitable to themselves and congenial to the governments that, these days, pay the bills for 99% of all scientific research.

     Climate Research Unit at East Anglia had profited to the tune of at least $20 million in “research” grants from the Team’s activities.

     The Team had tampered with the complex, bureaucratic processes of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, so as to exclude inconvenient scientific results from its four Assessment Reports, and to influence the panel’s conclusions for political rather than scientific reasons.

     The Team had conspired in an attempt to redefine what is and is not peer-reviewed science for the sake of excluding results that did not fit what they and the politicians with whom they were closely linked wanted the UN’s climate panel to report.

     They had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.

     They had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures in the paleoclimate.

     They had expressed dismay at the fact that, contrary to all of their predictions, global temperatures had not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years, and had been falling for nine years. They had admitted that their inability to explain it was “a travesty”. This internal doubt was in contrast to their public statements that the present decade is the warmest ever, and that “global warming” science is settled.

     They had interfered with the process of peer-review itself by leaning on journals to get their friends rather than independent scientists to review their papers.

     They had successfully leaned on friendly journal editors to reject papers reporting results inconsistent with their political viewpoint.

     They had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase and corrupt science for political purposes.

     They had mounted a venomous public campaign of disinformation and denigration of their scientific opponents via a website that they had expensively created.

     Contrary to all the rules of open, verifiable science, the Team had committed the criminal offense of conspiracy to conceal and then to destroy computer codes and data that had been legitimately requested by an external researcher who had very good reason to doubt that their “research” was either honest or competent.

    ~SPPI, December 7, 2009

  71. For our Marsupial Friends:

    If you are looking at the Earth from say Jupiter, you could figure out that the Earth had an emissivity of 0.61, or only 61% of the energy it should be emitting from the surface is seen coming out of the top of the atmosphere. The surface at 288 degrees K is emitting 390Wm-2, 61% of that is 238Wm-2. That is the whole deal,
    the surface is emitting 390 Watts per meter square of energy, but only 238 Wm-2 is getting out from the surface. The rest is scattered or reflected short wave energy, not infrared.

    So from Jupiter you see something change then the surface is 1 degree K warmer, but 238 Wm-2 is still coming out. Well, you think that since the surface is now warmer it has to be emitting 5.67e-8*(289)^4 Wm-2 or 395.5Wm-2 to be one degree warmer, so it should be emitting more than 238Wm-2 at the top of the atmosphere. It is not though it is emitting 238Wm-2, so you can say that the emissivity changed to 238/395.5 or 0.602 instead of 0.61. Problem solved so you go have lunch at the alien pub and plan to mess with Mercury in the morning.

    Now, if you happen to be on Mars, you might see the same thing on Earth and say, hum, it looks like 3.7Wm-2 of forcing has been added to that planet’s atmosphere. It used to have a surface temperature of 288K with 390Wm-2 and an emissivity of 0.61 so it only emitted 238 at the top of the atmosphere. Here’s is what must be happening on the surface. 3.7Wm-2 worth of resistance was added, that is going to cause 5.5 more Wm-2 to be emitted by the surface which will cause the 3.7Wm-2 to restrict more energy which will cause the surface to emit more energy.

    Martians are complicated as Venusians know. So you use a power series with the 0.61 emissivity 3.7/(1-.61)=9.5 Wm-2 more should be emitted from the surface totaling 399.5Wm-2 which means the surface temperature is now 289.7 degrees K or it increased by 1.7 degrees due to the 3.7Wm-2 added resistance that got stuck in the atmosphere some where. Now the complex Martians can catch dinner and a movie while planning on studying Mercury the next morning.

    Earthings are that complicated or bright. They dumped a bunch of junk in the air an realized it was getting a little warmer. They hire a bunch of Venusians to measure the average temperature and find that it is 0.8 degrees warmer than it used to be. Not being sure if that is a good thing or not they hire a guy with a balloon to measure the temperature as high in the air as he can go.

    The Balloon guy has done this before when the silly Earthing thought that it was getting cold, you he did his job and gave the Earthlings the average temperature at 4000 meters. He also gave them a copy of the numbers he had before at 4000 meters.

    The old temperature at 4000 meters was 249 degrees K and the new temperature is 250.2 degrees K. The Earthlings stiff the balloon guy because he never got a better balloon and should have gone higher than 4000 meters.

    Short on cash, the Earthlings decide to make do with what they have and figured that if it warms by 0.8 on the surface it has warmed by 1.2 at 4000 meters. Scratching their heads they wander back to the Venusians to ask what the heck is going on.

    The Venusian explain that the junk that had been dumped in the air restricted heat flow from the surface like a blanket keeps heat from flowing from your body while you sleep. Just like a blanket, that not only restricts flow out but would restrict flow in. Since the flow from the surface is now 394.4 Wm-2 and the flow at 4000 meters is now 222.2 Wm-2, both increased. The surface by 4.4Wm-2 and 4000 meters by 4.24 Wm-2 which means the resistance now is 4.24/4.4 or 0.963.

    The Earthlings ask how can that be? It is all because of that water vapor you have which is why we came here. It is good for the complexion.

    Isn’t it more complicated that that? the Earthlings ask. Well, it can be if you hire a Martian, the Venusians respond. Maybe this is better, the temperature difference was 288-249 or 39 degrees with a Flux difference of 390-218 or 172. You can divide those, 39/172 = 0.226 for the old R value. Now it is (289-250.2)/(394.4-222.2)=38.8/172.2 which is your new R value of 0.225, it doesn’t take much change to warm things up a bit.

    The Earthlings walk away shaking theirs heads. They know they need to hire a Martian.

    Since the Earthlings had bankrupted their entire balloon force, which couldn’t make it to Mars anyway, they manage to get a Martian on the radio and explain the situation. The Martian mentioned that Venusians are known to lie and that the surface temperature had to be warmer than that because there was 3.7 Wm-2 restriction in the atmosphere somewhere that their most brilliant mathematicians had determine using complex series analysis which requires the temperature to be at least 289.7 degrees K and likely higher with water vapor.

    The Earthlings, just a bit perturbed, confronted the Venusians with the news that they can’t measure temperature worth a dare, it had to be warmer because the Martians said so.

    Did they give you the water vapor bit? The Venusians asked bathing in their new sauna.

    Yes they did! Growled one of the Earthlings.

    Laughing, the Venusian tell the Earthing that water vapor would warm the surface more if the restriction was below the clouds or if the clouds were not as abundant. You see, the restriction is just that junk you all have been dumping in the air and it restricts more above the clouds than below the clouds. Since it is above, it warms the tops of the clouds which causes the surface warming to be less that Martians would expect.

  72. What if the paper were written by Antonio Lasaga?

  73. Willis Eschenbach

    Joachim Seifert | November 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply

    Willis,
    to your opinion:
    ———” current 15-year hiatus in the warming. We don’t know why that happened, The issue is not that that the fifteen-year plateau warming “isn’t well supported by physics”.
    It is that we do not have a clue why it happened, so whether it is supported by physics is even in question—we don’t even know what physics might apply.”
    — it is all resolved, but you dont know……..see the German booklet at Amazon.de: ISBN 978-3-86805-604-4
    All explained transparently: The physics (astronomical Libration
    forcing), the forcing mechanism and the forcing quantities….
    It just needs to be translated…..sorry it takes a while……

    The physics behind it is the pendulum swinging movement of the Earth around its orbital path……
    The IPCC suppressed this at the major LA – meeting 2006 before
    issuing IPCC-AR4 in 2007, and “assumed with great happiness” (CLA, wg1, chapter 2) and confined the Earth’s orbit to be STATIC on a millenium scale………
    …… therefore all this guesswork and wasted efforts to explain and predict climate…there is one major RF-driver MISSING, therefore,
    your clue is also missing and nothing adds up….no wonder…
    JS

    Dang, Joachim, you sound like Dr. Bronner expounding the virtues of his soap:

    “Replace half-true Socialist-fluoride poison & tax-slavery with full-truth, work-speech-press & profitsharing Socialaction! All-One! So, help build 4 billion Hannibal wind-power plants, charging 96 billion battery-banks, powering every car-factory-farm-home-monorail & pump, watering Babylon-roof-gardens & 800 billion Israel-Milorganite fruit trees, guarded by Swiss 6000 year Universal Military Training … ” etc. etc.

    In any case, while I’m glad to hear that “it is all resolved” … unfortunately, I don’t believe a word of it.

    Finally, you say that my “clue is also missing and nothing adds up”. I would suggest that you get professional help for that, because regarding my clue, well, I fear I don’t have one about your statements, I am, as the saying goes, clueless about your claims.

    So my clue is indeed missing.

    w.

  74. Willis Eschenbach

    For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Bronner and his soap, a label from one of his bottles is reproduced here (PDF).

    Enjoy …

    w.

  75. When we’ve all gotten this non-science ranting out of our system in this thread, can we go back to science ranting?

    Maybe climate-related?

    Or is there no point, as the science is settled or something?

  76. Wagathon…your indictment of the Team was compelling and convincing. More importantly, it was the absolute truth.

    • Wegman on the lack of independent peer review is very compelling and his discussion concerning the public positions taken by a small close social network of paleoclimate reconstructionists comprising at least 43 authors whose climate prognostications cannot be supported by their analysis helps to further elucicate the problem, as follows:

      EXCERPT . . .

      “We found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of this relatively narrow field of paleoclimate studies are closely connected. Dr. Mann has an unusually large reach in terms of influence and in particular Drs. Jones, Bradley, Hughes, Briffa, Rutherford and Osborn.

      “Because of these close connections, independent studies may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. Although we have no direct data on the functioning of peer review within the paleoclimate community, but with 35 years of experience with peer review in both journals as well as evaluation of research proposals, peer review may not have been as independent as would generally be desirable.

      “Figure 8 is a graphic that depicts a number of papers in the paleoclimate reconstruction area together with some of the proxies used. We note that many of the proxies are shared. Using the same data also suggests a lack of independence.

      “The MBH98/99 work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that the MBH99 assessment that the decade of the 1990s was the likely the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was likely the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by their analysis.”

      (Excerpt from the prepared statement of Dr. Edward J. Wegman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, 109th Congress Hearings, Second Session, July 19 and July 27, 2006

    • You’re not seriously citing Wegman?

      You need to read a little more widely…

    • Translation: you know more about statistics than professor, Edward Wegman and if I read more widely I would be aware of that. Good to know..

  77. One thing that must be remembered about this issue, that appears to not exist in any other science, is that the climate scientists have conducted themselves very unprofessionally. The entire IPCC was set up to influence government policy from the beginning (Maurice Strong). Soon as anyone started to question the conclusions of the IPCC, the nasty ad hominen attacks started in the AGW camp. Those who disliked modern society, who thought we are gluttons of energy, unwilling to “share” with the rest of the world, jumped on the bandwaggon. For years those people we looking for something they could paste on humanity as the “planet wrecker”. AGW gave them what they were looking for. Suzuki is the epitome of this.

    So if there is blame as to why the debate degenerated I would land it directly in the AGW camp. Questions about the conclusions were taken as personal attacks against the scientist. “We know better than anyone else, the IPCC says we do, who the hell are you to question us.” Was, and still is, the attitude.

    We just want to see the evidence. We have every right to question the mechanism proposed. We have every right to demand proper science be maintained, and expose anti-science attempts by the AGW scientists to change the rules (the null hypothesis).

    Yet, we are the ones attacked, personally, equated with Holocaust deniers, suggested we all be put in jail (Suzuki), suggested we have low IQ, and so on. Hell, now the AGW side are claiming we invented the “science is settled”. Unbelievable.

    • Sorry dude, the Berkeley study has ended the debate. Funded by the Koch brothers and still it confirmed the warming is very real and far too quick for comfort.

      All the evidence is now public; the data, the methods, the results. You want to see it? Look on their website!

      Any stock trader looking at global temp charts would say that market is flying. Buy, buy, buy. Just because it isn’t a ruler-drawn line, or it occasionally takes a step back before climbing again, or that some bozos exist on all sides of an argument doesn’t change the fact: the trend is up.

      As for Ms Curry, not chopping off those known-to-be-skewed data points is just not acceptable. See for yourself – and this guy has no axe to grind: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/11/exposing_a_climate_science_fra.php

  78. JC started out as a fine option.
    Quickly overtaken by climate thuggocracy.
    I’m an engineer and, as such, a skeptic
    I seeno reason to continue coming here to see the nutcracker suite

    • Don’t leave. We can beat the thuggocray with evidence and logic, which they lack, hence their reliance on thuggary. I suspect because Judith is stiring the pot too much she is being targeted in hopes of hijacking the blog to shut her down.

    • Louise

      Imo, that is Pielke’s opinion and he has every right to express it. I may not always agree that all of Judith’s posts are the most relevant to the key issues either—so what?

      I know of no other site where I am able to interact quickly with a large number of people who are knowledgeable on the topic and exchange information. As someone educated and experienced in both engineering and economics it has been a great site to increase my knowledge of the key issues related to climate change. Is it perfect? No, but my perfect would not be someone else’s either.

    • I think Louise is arguing from (skeptical) authority, hoping that skeptics will bow to the experts (in this case skeptic and luke-warmer). Most skeptics (at least who post here) are real skeptics and don’t fall for that falacy.

      I see that those who are “CO2-convinced” still don’t understand why skeptics are skeptical and unconvinced.

    • Fallacy! Sorry.

    • Edim – not at all – I was genuinely interested in what people thought of Roger Pielke Jrs view.

      “I see that those who are “CO2-convinced” still don’t understand why skeptics are skeptical and unconvinced.” Do you mean folk like Bruce and Wagathon?

    • Louise

      “People will read these blogs or not as they choose, and when a blog repeatedly calls attention to crap, its credibility and its audience will adjust to reflect this. Climate Etc. is not The Wall Street Journal, so the greater danger in Curry’s gushing over crap is to Curry’s reputation, not to the public understanding of science.”

      Amen.”

      I disagree with Mr. Pielke Jr. If it’s “crap”, why the worry? Will it pollute our minds? Curry’s reputation is not in danger even if there is CO2-GW. She is a scientist and acting like one. If it’s not dogma then let it be.

    • Pielke Jr Also wrote this: Tol’s response to Curry critiquing the paper justifies her post — that is how we learn. If Tol doesn’t like the fact that experts cannot control the airwaves then he is always going to find democratic systems uncomfortable.

  79. M. Carry writes: “Wagathon, SPPI should apologize for feeding you a line of BS.”

    It would be a lot more valuable if you’d take on those charges one by one and show us why it’s “b.s.”

    • yeah, every body loves a game of wackamole

    • OK, let’s start with the first BS statement.

      “ A tiny clique of politicized scientists, paid by unscientific politicians with whom they were financially and politically linked, were responsible for gathering and reporting data on temperatures from the palaeoclimate to today’s climate. The “Team”, as they called themselves, were bending and distorting scientific data to fit a nakedly political story-line profitable to themselves and congenial to the governments that, these days, pay the bills for 99% of all scientific research.”

      Those scientist never bent or distorted anything. The only thing crooked here is the author of this allegation.

    • But how can that be? MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick graph’) is a proven fraud.

    • Proven to be be a fraud to those who want it to be a fraud, because they themselves are frauds and want some company.

    • The lesson of the McShane and Wyner chalkboard squeak heard ’round the world is not that M&W debunked yet again the MBH98/99/08 `hockey stick’ hoax-graph. Scrutinizing the uninspiring statistics of Mann and his sycophants’ silly-science has become a fun pastime for geeks. The math is not debatable: The more interesting finding was that there is absolutely no ‘signal’ in Mann’s proxy data. The ‘consensus’ is shot and the Medium has become the Message: all who claim there is a consensus of opinion pointing to humans as the cause of global are simply outing themselves as science pariahs.

  80. There is no question that MBH98/99/08 (the ‘hockey stick’ graph) is scientific fraud and not just because lack of ‘backcasting’ ability is demonstrated–that was already proven before McShane and Wyner showed that the data upon which the GCMs are founded contains absolutely no global warming ‘signal’ whatsoever.

    Finally, even Phil Jones was forced to admit that that there has never been any statistically relevant global warming since 1995. Even Kevin Trenberth acknowledged that the Earth has been in a cooling trend for a decade and that he considered it to be a ‘travesty’ that global warming alarmists are so incompetent as to be either unable explain the lack of global warming or unable to find out where in the hey it’s been hiding.

  81. Wag,

    All sadly true. And let us not forget Muller’s devastating critique of Mann’s graph.

    • pokerguy, it looks like you have already forgot that’s not Mann’s graph.

    • Is that really the best you can do? How about something that goes to the graph itself?

    • Well, it’s not Mann’s graph, so why are you calling it Mann’s graph? Is asking you to be accurate too much too ask?

    • M. carey | November 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      “…it looks like you have already forgot that’s not Mann’s graph.”

      Acutally, in the video, Dr. Muller is discussing Mann’s graph – and in addition, Jones’ and Briffas’. That way we are treated to the ‘scientific consensus’ – a trifecta of hide-the-decline. Steve McIntyre covers this in more detail in numerous posts, but here is a good one.

    • The chart in the video is Jones’ chart which was used on the cover of a report. I agree with much of Muller’s criticism of this chart. Jones should have shown the decline in the temperature proxy in recent years, even though instrumental records show a rise in temperature. I don’t know why he felt it necessary to not show proxy and instrumental temperatures diverging, when the divergence was already well known to climate scientists. However, in fairness to Jones I should point out that there was a description of the chart in the report, including references, and I don’t believe Muller mentioned that in his video presentation. If he did, I missed it.

    • The report is WMO STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF THE GLOBAL CLIMATE IN 1999. It is what Jones is referring to when he makes this comment:

      I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. – Phil Jones

      But be fair to Jones. ‘Mike’ (Mann) had already truncated the proxy data post-1980 in the graph used by Jones (Fig.3a MBH99)

    • Returning to the original putative topic. Dr. Muller is discussing Mann’s graph.

    • What a luxury it is to be a climate scientist. Since you have certainty about the final answer, you can pick and choose your datasets to prove your case. Engineers and scientists in other fields don’t enjoy this luxury.

  82. Louise,
    Hypothetically, what would it take for you to question your beliefs? I get the sense that if the team itself….fMann, Trenberth, Jones…. the whole rogues gallery…. held a press conference tomorrow to declare they’d made a mistake, you’d still be a believer.

    • You may call me a ‘believer’

      I categorise myself as somebody who recognises that additional CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of man’s activities (fossil fuel burning and land use change) will have an effect on the balance of radiation coming into and leaving our atmosphere.

      I have a word in mind for people who deny this physics.

      I do not have a confirmed view as to exactly what the impact of the CO2 will have (feedbacks etc being uncertain) but I know that it must have an effect – that’s physics.

      If Mann, Trenberth and Jones denied this physics then I’d check will the other thousands of scientists looking at this issue before I came to any conclusion.

    • Louise –

      This is extremely reasonable and the position of every reasonable sceptic I know. My suggestion is that if you SEE a large number of sceptics denying what you say, it is in truth a very small number who happen to be right in front of you. It is deceptive!

      I try to remind myself of the opposite of this (not enough, I admit) – the number of people who are screaming that the world will end by Monday afternoon is quite small. It just seems to me that they are very loud.

      And interestingly, when anyone puts their position at it’s most reasonable, they find that the people they are talking to suddenly become less extreme in return.

    • Anteros, I think you’ll find that Wagathon, pokerguy and Bruce (and possibly hunter, Don Monford, Edim, Jack McLaughlin, Theo Goodwin, and numerous others from this thread alone) are quite vocal in their opposition to my views.

      What makes you think they’re in the minority of skeptics? They seem to be the overwhelming voice of the ‘denizens’ on this blog.

    • What came first skeptics’ opposition to your views or your skepticism of statistics professor, Edward Wegman’s views about the lack of independent peer review as practiced by a circle-jerk of dendro-sycophants.

    • Louise –
      You slightly misunderstood what I said.
      I suggested that you would not find many sceptics disagreeing with you when you say ‘CO2 will have an effect on the atmosphere, but I do not have a confirmed view on what that will be’
      You clearly said something reasonable and most people here would agree [OK maybe not Wagathon :) ]

      But indeed people are vocal in their opposition to your views – your other views which are much more contentious! And indeed it seems you give as good as you get.

      My point was that if we all retreat to the most extreme form of what we believe there is no hope of even having a conversation – if that is what we want.

      I accept that you’re in a minority here. But it could be much worse – WUWT in one direction and Tamino a thousand miles in the other. Do people call you a climate change liar every other sentence? Because the equivalent of that happens at malignant fundamentalist sites like Tamino’s. Here there are a surprisingly wide range of views. I hope that’s why you come here.

    • You must first ignore physics to become a ‘believer.’ That is what ‘belief’ is all about–i.e., opinions about those things that cannot be proven, which is why some have likened climatology to the science of ancient astrology.

    • “If Mann, Trenberth and Jones denied this physics then I’d check will the other thousands of scientists looking at this issue before I came to any conclusion.”

      Louise, sorry for being quite vocal. You don’t have to deny any physics to be unconvinced that CO2 will have an effect. Or warming effect. Or cooling, not to be dismissed yet, but unlikely. It will be physics (for example CO2 radiative effect misestimated, convection and evaporation miscalculated, carbon cycle, unknown forcings/oscillations/variations …) or nature’s phenomena that will agree or disagree with your theory. Science demands scepticism and observation.

    • @Louise

      Your quote:

      >I do not have a confirmed view as to exactly what the impact of the CO2 will have (feedbacks etc being uncertain) …<

      Until you do, stop proselytising and keep learning – far more constructive

    • Louise: I categorise myself as somebody who recognises that additional CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of man’s activities (fossil fuel burning and land use change) will have an effect on the balance of radiation coming into and leaving our atmosphere.

      I have a word in mind for people who deny this physics.

      That physics is incomplete. Most of the energy transfer from the lower troposphere to the upper troposphere is by convection and advection. Most of the radiant energy from the earth’s surface is already absorbed. What exactly will happen to the processes involved when CO2 concentration increases is mostly the subject of untested conjectures.

    • Mattstat,

      It still amazes me why that is so difficult for so many to understand.

    • I think you’re venturing into psychology. When people know the physics (or at least what the physicists say), and it’s rigorous physics, that gets confused with “nothing else matters”. It’s like the difference between the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The truth is never enough, and the lawyers realized that a long time ago.

    • P.E. A lot of this seems to be psychology. Earth is a complex system. I mention that changes in conduction and convection are not well considered in a radiant based model and all I get is deer in the headlight looks. There are at least 5 major thermal boundary layers that have to be considered and only one is predominately radiant. Arrhenius’ first paper has ln(Cf/Co) based on an average 255K radiant layer. That is pretty limited. Probably why his unpublished results on are know as 1.6 (2.1) with water vapor. With a more realistic 249K, basicialy the base of average condensation (bottom of the clouds), there is a 20% drop surface impact and no indication of significant water vapor feedback under normal conditions.

      It is a Thermodynamic/Fluid mechanics problem with astrophysicists in command. backed up by social scientists..

    • Dallas,

      Velocity is NOT considered at all.
      Since velocity is very different all over this planet, why is it not considered in laboratory testing?
      Because it was never considered.

    • It is not just velocity, it is relative velocity mainly at night and low solar angles. Weird really, it would seem to be obvious. This is a large part of what Roy Spencer has been arguing with Dessler about. I may have to dig out Navier-Stokes, but the 3.7Wm-2 seems to apply only in the northern extent of the northern hemisphere. Cloud cover is the dominate variable in the tropics and temperature under -20C changes the relationship in the southern extent.

    • Oh, Joe, It has been tested many times, in greenhouses. The latent shift in the Planetary Boundary Layer with surface drag creates a somewhat less turbulent layer under low solar conditions. Mariners call it the doldrums.

    • Louise,
      Answer this please:
      Do you think we are facing a climate crisis caused by CO2?

  83. Some of the WUWT crowd are kissing a Greenland Hockey Stick . I thought they hated Hockey Sticks and didn’t trust temperature reconstructions,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/10/new-study-shows-temperature-in-greenland-significantly-warmer-than-present-several-times-in-the-last-4000-years/#more-50927

  84. It seems to me that the consensus side is viewing this paper as some sort of denial of the basic physics of GHGs, when in reality it is only asking if we have deceived ourselves on attribution by not considering the effects of autocorrelation and random walks. The paper appears to be attacked by such as Richard Tol because it casts such doubt on the attributions, not because there is any fault in the logic or methods of the paper – every post I have read here on this and previous threads on this paper that attempt to “debunk” it seems not to grasp the fact that the paper emphatically does NOT suggest that the entire magnitude of the trend actually did arise by chance, but rather that there is a not insignificant chance that it might have. If we stipulate that, eg, GHGs must contribute some warming to the trend, then it seems fairly obvious to this layman that any attribution of how much contribution they have made needs to consider what this paper has to say when calculating confidence intervals on such attributions.

    • Neil, I really don’t see how a Social Scientist could “debunk” the physics. Very little of any of these debates have much to do with physics, metaphysics possibly.

    • Indeed – although I think it’s fair to say that a this particular Social Scientist has a better grasp of english comprehension than the likes of those who would suggest the paper is primarily about physics.

    • The Colonization of Greenland by the Vikings (not discovery of course because it was already inhabited by Inuits)–made possible by the climate–is simply the reverse side of the coin of Napolean losing his army to the Russian winter–e.g.,

      “Napoleon Bonaparte was another one of history’s well known generals who faced the extreme cold of the Little Ice Age. During Napoleon’s retreat from Russia, only 30,000 of the 600,000 troops survived on the way back to France in the Winter of 1812. (A19) … The extreme cold of the Dalton Minimum was worsened by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, which cooled the temperatures even further because its debris went into the atmosphere, blocking the suns rays. The following year is known as the year without a summer and caused a large migration of people from New England to the west. (C4)”

    • If we stipulate that, eg, GHGs must contribute some warming to the trend, then it seems fairly obvious to this layman that any attribution of how much contribution they have made needs to consider what this paper has to say when calculating confidence intervals on such attributions.

      Nicely worded.

  85. As can be seen by my handle, I’m a beancounter, not a climate pro.

    Nevertheless, I’ve been following the global warming/climate change circus now for over 5 years trying to understand the views of professionals in the field, relating their views to my personal and admittedly non-scientific instincts.

    It’s well past time for the climate science community to grow up … really.

    Judith Curry has set forth her reasons for her blog very nicely, doing so in clear terms that people versed in the English language should be able to understand. Yet there are those who choose to make an issue of it.

    And at the outset of this particular thread, she made clear what her pedagogical purposes were in the thread … that is, to show how it is that people often react and respond to scientific ideas on a markedly personal level, with little substantive regard to the ideas themselves. Yet there are those who choose to make an issue of it.

    And so we now have some 450+ postings to this thread during the past 24 hours, many if which are mindless wanderings that unwittingly reveal the wisdom in Ms. Curry’s effort on the one hand, but sadly also reveal the smallness of far too many minds.

    Good grief!

    • You may not be getting some of the interpersonal drama (which I think it the source of much of the entropy), but yeah.

    • In a way your correct.
      What is happening is that I’m right and your wrong attitude prevails.
      Rather than looking at the mistake and trying to correct them or looking at any new material that may give a better understanding of this planet.
      I call it the “bitchfest mentality”.
      This is the mentality that is going to be the death of climate science as all current theories are considered correct and NEVER should be questioned or challenged.

  86. –> “… how it is that people often react and respond to scientific ideas on a markedly personal level, with little substantive regard to the ideas themselves.”

    “environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion” –Dr. Freeman Dyson

  87. Mann’s Hockey Stick clearly shows the Little Ice Age, as temperatures gradually descended after the MWP. But global warming deniers refuse to believe it. The mere mention of the Hockey Stick makes them foam at the mouth.

    • randomengineer

      Not the 1999 version that kick-started the skeptical “movement.” That one was flat as a pancake until the modern era.

    • Sure it does. What do you think the LIA descended from if not the MWP? Mann in 1999 just didn’t have the MWP as as warm as his critics wanted. It’s a big issue with them, but they haven’t thought it through.

    • We were discussing fraud vs. disinformation and now you introduce the dilusional monomania of AGW True Believers.

    • randomengineer

      Funny we’re on this one. If it weren’t enough that the original stick flew in the face of recorded history thus kick starting the skeptics, the “Team” handling of FOIA as they did with M&M put the skeptics into a higher gear. And by the time of climategate where it became clear that Mann cherrypicked data to get the shape rather than use ALL data as was suspected, the skeptics were at full throttle.

      It’s clear to nonscientist skeptics that science is supposed to be open and reproducible, and it’s taken as a given that one includes ALL data.

      Bringing up revised sticks with more pronounced MWP hump doesn’t address the point that the original stick was viewed by many as the poster icon of any discussion concerning integrity of science (e.g. fraud and disinformation.)

  88. JC

    As the topic is on disinformation and fraud, are we going to observe here at Climate Etc the second anniversary of the event that gave science the following memorable phrases?


    …not any more an assessment of published science but production of results

    It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip

    contain the putative MWP

    hide the decline

    etc

    The Event:
    Friday, November 20, 2009
    Hackers [may be an employee] have broken into the data base of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit – one of the world’s leading alarmist centres – and put the files they stole [may be released] on the Internet, on the grounds that the science is too important to be kept under wraps.

  89. Maybe this has already been posted, but Dr. Curry is being quoted again.

    http://news.investors.com/Article/591485/201111111828/Dont-Stop-Doubting.htm

    • Couldn’t help noticing the reasoning at the end of that article:

      “Rising temperatures mean only one thing — rising temperatures.”

      One could add to that,

      “Being laid off means only one thing — being laid off.”

      “A foreclosed house means only one thing — a foreclosed house.”

    • Occasionally accurate messages do get communicated if you look deeply and already understand

    • Or “already believe.” I do believe the raw data is good enough to tell one way or the other what’s actually going on. I also believe what’s in reputable physics textbooks. I don’t believe anything else.

  90. “where skeptics are more focused on the science, and the “convinced” are more focused on the solutions.”

    I don’t agree with this. As a “convinced” I am more interested in the science than the solutions, and the skeptics appear to be mostly motivated by not liking perceived solutions that they think will be enacted. Adaptation, and maybe some mitigation, happen naturally as the warming prediction becomes accepted, so that is where the focus should be.

    • “I don’t agree with this. As a “convinced” I am more interested in the science than the solutions, and the skeptics appear to be mostly motivated by not liking perceived solutions that they think will be enacted. Adaptation, and maybe some mitigation, happen naturally as the warming prediction becomes accepted, so that is where the focus should be.”

      Seems fairly reasonable.
      It seems one adaptation would be building more dams.
      Not sure much need for it in US, but perhaps being more forward looking in this area could be a good idea.
      Obviously something should done with New Orleans- it’s sinking regardless of any sea level rise.
      I guess in regards to climate the idea of being able to predict in the shorter term months to years is the best direction in general.

    • Jim D

      I think if you really look around you with open eyes (and an open mind), you’ll find that there are just as many individuals among “skeptics” who are “interested in the science” as there are among the “convinced” (as you call them).

      Generally, skeptics accept that it has warmed in fits and spurts over the past century and that CO2 levels have increased, with this at least in large part resulting from human CO2 emissions.

      Most also accept the validity of the GH theory and that CO2 is a GH gas.

      But most skeptics do not accept that the “science” supports the premise a) that most of the past warming was caused by human GHG emissions or b) that AGW represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment.

      It is the many real uncertainties related to the “science” that form the key to the debate.

      IOW, the “science is NOT settled”.

      Max

    • randomengineer

      You’re conflating, I think, two separate things. Despite my self-ID as lukewarmer I’m probably typical of those that many would call a skeptic. I’m not skeptical of the science (at least the basics thereof) but I’m extremely dubious of “solutions” as proposed by the “alarmist” contingent (not necessarily the scientists themselves.) To effect a global solution for a global problem requires tacit buy-in from the Chinese and Indians, without which any solution is little more than a self-inflicted penalty.

      This is exacerbated by discussion by “alarmists” re green energy where their desired solution involves government intervention and control on a massive scale for future tech that doesn’t exist, e.g. wind farms without a storage mechanism. The physics for massive power storage don’t yet exist and good intent alone won’t create it.

      It’s mind boggling when you examine “green” solutions promulgated by the alarmist crowd. Untold wealth awaits the inventor of green cars that can get 600 mile range on a cup of water; does anyone really truly think that free market incentive lacks or that oil companies are running a cabal suppressing 100 mpg carbueretors? To buy into most “green” arguments you have to be wearing a rather elaborate tinfoil hat.

      Meanwhile I’m well aware that humanity is running an ill advised open ended ended experiment with spewing CO2 and I’m very supportive of continued investigation leading to a full understanding of the consequences. I don’t see that we’re at that stage yet. As with most of what you might refer to as skeptics, I’d like to see some realistic numbers (we’re talking sensitivity here which implies a deep understanding of forcings) which then lets us all craft a plan — if necessary — that can work. Action before this is premature.

    • Jim D

      While I’m becoming increasingly more convinced, I see this not as in conflict with nor really balanced against in any way my increasing level of skepticism.

      I certainly focused on solutions long before I was on balance convinced to at least 95% confidence on multiple lines of inquiry:
      1.) global warming is happening on the multidecadal scale (which, after BEST and Arctic Sea Ice, exceedingly difficult to retain an unconvinced stance), or
      2.a) the fundamental link of GHGs to increasing energy levels in air (an inevitable outcome of the same Physics as makes eyes blue or green in the absence of melanin and proven in absorbtivity experiments), and
      2.b) that half of such energy would be expressed as warming due the Thermomechanical Principle (so amply and reliably known as to be the basis of the transportation industries and an implicit assumption of every physical science operating above the subatomic scale), or
      3.) globally the connection of industrial emissions and land use changes to rising CO2 (analogy to compound interest rates, land use maps, etc.), or
      4.) globally the likelihood of feedbacks in condensing GHGs, cloud and ice and botanical albedo, current changes and the like amplifying at least some anthropogenic activities in the climate (Law of Large Numbers, Occam’s Razor), and
      5.) the unreliability of climatic homeostasis due negative feedbacks given we are at a substantially higher mixed noncondensing GHG concentration than we have on record for 20 million years so cannot rely on the feedbacks that may have operated more recently (geophysics, Chaos Theory), and
      6.) the long lifespan of non-condensing GHG’s in the Carbon Cycle (with thanks to WHT for his calculations).

      Skepticism doesn’t mean rejecting everything. It means validating and verifying everything to some degree and for some reason.

      I’m increasingly skeptical of everything said about climate science, climate politics, climate economics and climate ethics on all sides and from all quarters, both as so much of it is out of step with my own internal reasoning — and who isn’t skeptical of people who disagree with oneself? — and especially where it does agree with my own logic (which I have ample experience with being proven wrong) as well as because of so much patent motivated release of information and the more insidious motivated release of ignorance.

      There is clearly a thread of “burning good, books bad” attitude pervading the thinking of many otherwise well-intentioned participants in the discourse.

      It chills me, given what this attitude has done in the past, where it has led people to go and what they’ve done in its thrall..

      And yet, it’s a terrible aspect of the dialogue to pay attention to, as it inevitably derails discussion from reason and logic, evidence and solutions to name-calling and religious feud, monkey trials and who’s-antiscientificism, which gets us nowhere.

      So I see no point to debating people on their attitudes, which cannot be shifted or changed by information or reasoning in any event.

      The rising level of CO2 itself was enough to focus my attention on solutions and enough to motivate skepticism on the clear evidence of repeated assurance that it couldn’t continue, or was natural or unconnected to human activity, or that it couldn’t be harmful, or that it would be beneficial all coming from motivated or ignorant or reckless respondents.

      As a sometime student of Economics, I know the usual Economic arguments — on both sides — are extremely poor, though the alarmed screeching that taking action to solve growing CO2 levels will destroy the Economy are the most troubling, and most ridiculous. Shame on those alarmists who try to foist such nonsense on anyone, or fall for it themselves.

      Except, at least those who believe it themselves are merely panicked idiots, not cynically manipulative agenda-pushers, so they don’t fail on ethics quite so badly.

      Most Economic solutions to elevated CO2 levels involve better, not worse, immediate economic news: decreased government subsidies to established industries is not economy-ruining, but the very basis of Capitalism and the reason we distrust Trusts; decreasing distortions in the democracy of individual decision makers in the Market makes the economy more efficient for all; deliverying Carbon Cycle revenues to Carbon Cycle stakeholders per capita is simply a fundamental Economic right of every citizen that governments are failing their duty to enforce — it’s done for cell phone bandwidth and for land use and ought happen for non-condensing GHG emission.

    • Bart R,
      Setting aside your simplistic reasoning to find yourself becoming a believer, please show us the ‘cures’ for CO2 that involve short term benefits, or did I understand that part of your post?
      It will also be interesting to understand your definition of ‘subsidy’.

  91. steve fitzpatrick

    Judith,

    An insightful post. Yes, people do pre-load their perceptions based on prior knowledge about the authors. A suggestion: reviews should always be “double-blind” – reviewers don’t know who the authors are and the authors don’t know who the reviewers are.

  92. I understand there’s a cult phenomenon at the moment called ‘Twihard’ or the like. It involves fans of two monsters, grouped into ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’.

    It may be more productive if people used these labels, for instance, ‘Team Disinformation’ and ‘Team Fraud’.

    ;)

    I learn amply from every bit of research that comes out and is reviewed by knowledgeable critics.. or even some regular blog contributors. It often helps if the critic is in the intersection of that pair of sets.

    Still, I have some sympathy for R. Tol’s perspective; I don’t visit WUWT, based on early bad experiences of the quality of the site. I understand it’s greatly improved, but my aversion remains.

    Likewise, I don’t have much time for Idso’s sites, even though like WUWT, they frequently link to quite decent research.

    So I can see the perspective of someone who wishes they didn’t have to deal with unpleasant avenues to discourse, and yet..

    I had a friend in University who once told me he lamented the course he was in because both he and the professor thought most of his classmates just didn’t belong in University, and these inferior classmates were wasting the time of the serious academics.

    I disagree. Warm bodies in seats pay lecturers’ salaries; alumni pay for universities, no matter how mediocre they were as scholars.

    Research costs money, and needs wider public discourse or it withers and fades.

    Every skeptic, denier, disinformer, fraud, warmist, alarmist, librationist, sun worshipper, chaotician, agenda pusher and pathological crank stimulates debate and research marginally.

    I mean, I disagree with about 17 in 20 of the statements Dr. Curry makes, and yet I continue to support Climate Etc., even after turning my back on Watts and Idsos whose sites I only disagree with 75% of.

    Why?

    Curry invites debate, not motivated release of information.

    • Bart R

      I like your personal view of things.

      As a “skeptic” of the premise that AGW represents a serious threat to mankind, I nevertheless share many of your views.

      For example, I have given up visiting RealClimate, for pretty much the same reasons you cite for having stopped visiting WUWT (plus the additional RC habit of simply censoring out views that do not agree with those of Gavin Schmidt).

      I may also not agree with all of the statements our host makes (her “hit rate” is quite a bit higher with me than it apparently is with you, however).

      But, like you, I appreciate her approach of bringing up interesting topics in order to invite debate rather simply providing a one-sided data dump.

      So you see that people on both sides of the scientific debate agree on some things.

      Max

  93. Bart R -

    Very interesting and thoughtful. Implicitly tolerant too in these particularly tribal waters :)

    Just one thing – I agree that Judith invites debate. And I too come here for that reason among many. However, apart from some comments on the IPPC, Climategate and how issues could be better framed, I don’t hear Dr C issuing anything like statements. I wouldn’t even find it easy to pin down her ‘view’ which is refreshing [it's why I do my basic learning about climate science at Science of Doom - same reason]. And you agree that she doesn’t indulge in motivated release of information…..

    I just wonder how it is that you find yourself disagreeing with 17 out of 20 of her statements. Where do you find them all in the first place? Am I missing out on some declarative pronouncements somewhere?

    • I appreciate this blog and its host Dr Curry and have learned a lot but regrettably have little to contribute of a scientific nature, indeed being long retired, I even find difficulty with my own scientific work at this remove.
      Unlike Bart R, the main reason I’m a regular visitor WUWT and similar sites is that they give rise to a degree of optimism about the future and are amusing. Why is it that that the doomsayers, hair shirt and sandals brigade are so miserable all the time? I find that in casual conversation one can’t even use the slightest trace of humour or irony without being immediately admonished for daring to be so frivolous. Why is that?

    • Saving Humanity for Future Generations and Exterminating the Deniers is a serious business. Especially when people don’t take your doom-laden predictions of The Imminent Thermocalypse seriously any more. What career options are there for a 40-something failed prophet and unwilling figure of fun?

      So it’s no wonder they look pretty miserable.

    • Anteros

      “I just wonder how it is that you find yourself disagreeing with 17 out of 20 of her statements. Where do you find them all in the first place? Am I missing out on some declarative pronouncements somewhere?”

      Dr. Curry’s blog is, well, a source of Dr. Curry’s statements. It’s somewhat more reliable than, for example, newspaper reports of Dr. Curry’s stance, and somewhat less than Dr. Curry’s published papers (one presumes) given the greater time given thoughtful reflection in the editorial process.

      I respectfully disagree, clearly, with Dr. Curry’s love of WUWT, as I’ve laid out, which encompasses a great many statements.

      When I began reading here, I took issue with Dr. Curry’s position about activism and science — I believe the two enhance each other to a large extent while Dr. Curry exhibits greater caution and an opposite attitude.

      I disagree (or quibble) with Curry and Muller (and apparently everyone else in the world) with the usage of ‘pause’, when ‘delay’ is more apt.

      I respectfully disagree with Curry about the applicability of BEST to global temperatures; Dr. Curry says entirely inapplicable, I say at least applicable in relation of land surface to sea surface, and likely much more, if used correctly and acknowledging limits and parameters.

      Each of Dr. Curry’s papers she kindly presented pre-publication on Climate Etc. for commentary, I disagree with some key elements of conclusions as I do not agree there is logical support for the effects from the causes presented, while I acknowledge Dr. Curry’s expertise in her field and her well-merited credentials and qualifications as a scientist.

      I disagree with Dr. Curry’s habit of cherishing grudges and feuds with people who have disparaged her remarks or the positions she’s taken in the past, as I so value Dr. Curry’s contributions, and would be inconvenienced greatly and lament should I — a perpetually disagreeable person — become object of such grudge.

      I certainly disagree with details of Dr. Curry’s views on Uncertainty in decision making, in particular finding that Dr. Curry tends to take the opposite stance to what I would expect on symmetry arguments and on some readings of the Precautionary Principle, though I am grateful for Dr. Curry’s interest in bringing such too often ignored discussion more to attention.

      I have no real interest in drawing up a complete spreadsheet of Curry vs. Bart R opinions (and if it were a contest, I have small doubt I’d lose), but I believe the above gives some sense of where we do not have a meeting of the minds, and yet I still prefer Curry — whom I have so many disagreements with — than many bloggers whom I am in substantive agreement with on many more points.

    • Bart R -

      Thank you for such a fulsome reply. You have indeed answered my question and also given me pause to think about my own relationship with Dr Curry’s (or Climate etc’s) postings.

      Your honesty if refreshing.

      I think my lack of disagreement – while sometimes being quite surprised by Dr C’s woolliness and inconsistency is that I rarely hear vehemence. It is such a contrast to hearing Michael Mann saying in an interview “the science has spoken”. Then I’m like a rabid dog.
      With Dr Curry it FEELS like a vast outpouring of stuff to think about without a strong personal attachment to any of it. Perhaps I am lax in looking for a ‘view’ or series of statements – I don’t FEEL I’m in the presence of a rigid world-view so am completely relaxed about the material which is on offer.

      I certainly respect the idea of your disagreeing with Dr Curry and it not being an impediment to your participation here.

    • P.S. Perhaps I spoke too soon given the following post about Peer review being f***ed up. Sounds a bit vehement to me :)

    • Heh.

      Everyone loathes peer review. It’s the worst possible way of achieving quality in scientific publication, except for dispensing with peer review entirely, which would be unthinkable.

      Comparatively, Dr. Curry’s views of peer review would be mild relative to most.

  94. 523 comments so far, (524 after this one) most of which have been the pots calling the kettles black and vice versa … thereby proving Dr Curry’s thesis.

    • At least we sceptics have the evidence of climategate for the unscientific methods of those that represent the scientific establishment, which demonstrates AGW is not a settled science:

      What we sceptics say is what the AGW side themselves say in private:


      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

    • You don’t have a clue what he meant.

    • JCH

      It’s pretty clear what KT meant, JCH.

      - it stopped warming
      - we can’t figure out why
      - this makes any ideas we might have had on changing our climate futile
      - it’s a travesty

      Do you see some other “hidden meaning”? If so, what?

      Max

    • The meaning isn’t hidden at all. He’s completely explicit about it. You don’t have to agree with him, but the meaning is.

      - we don’t know all the energy flows in the Earth climate system
      - we don’t have the necessary measurement systems in place to monitor them
      - this is a major handicap in developing our understanding of Earth’s climate
      - given the importance of the matter, its a travesty that we’ve not got the programs for doing those measurements

      But for some reason, rather than dealing with what Trenberth says for himself, people have to project onto him views that are diametrically the opposite of his actual position.

      His “travesty” comment was in an email in which he is telling people about a paper that sets out this travesty in more detail. The paper is: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy (in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2009, 1: pp 19–27).

      Why would you make something else up instead of actually reading what the man says himself?

    • Max – he meant we have a planet where we cannot measure things. Like OHC.

      Since he wrote that email, ARGO is fully in place, and that part of the equation is better informed. Those who follow Pielke’s blog watched him make back-of-envelope calculations that sliced away at Trenberth’s travesty.

    • Chris –

      Thanks for that link.

      It’s really amazing how the introduction alone exposes myths behind so many “skeptical” arguments relating what the “climate establishment” does and doesn’t say about uncertainty.

    • No, the “meaning isn’t hidden” at all:

      “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

      - it isn’t warming at the moment
      - we can’t account for this
      - this is a travesty

      John Cook over at ScepticalScience managed to put together a whole article analyzing and rationalizing this simple statement. But IMO trying to put some other hidden meaning into these straightforward words is like reaching for straws.

      Max

    • mannacker -

      But IMO trying to put some other hidden meaning into these straightforward words is like reaching for straws.

      Did you read the introduction to the article that Chris linked?

    • This is fascinating. Somebody drops a slightly cryptic comment. An argument breaks out over what the comment means. If this doesn’t, in itself, prove the point…

    • Max – you are determined to distort this.

      In simplifying the issue, they, Trenberth to Schmidt, always said this: the missing heat either went into oceans or out into space. Schmidt, while saying the oceans were a logical place to look, essentially said there was no missing heat: went out into space. Trenberth agreed it may have gone out into space, but seemed confident it would be found in the oceans.

      Our planet is inhabited by this amazingly resourceful species: us. We can travel in space. We build astonishing things. Our technology is fantastic. When there was a divergence, we could not walk over to a sensor and find the answer.

      That failing is the travesty. ARGO improved the situation, but, as A. Lacis explained, our gizmos in orbit are currently insufficient to answer questions that we should have answered decades ago. It’s also a travesty we cannot cure juvenile arthritis. Get it? Of course not. Oh well.

    • Max – you are determined to distort this.

      I wouldn’t put it quite that way. “Tort” means wrong, or false. Max is not distorting KT’s statement when he represents it as “it stopped warming,” which would be tantamount to accusing him of lying.

      Rather Max is merely being disingenuous about taking KT’s statement out of context and rephrasing it to sound as though KT must surely have meant global warming had stopped.

      KT is indeed saying “it stopped warming,” as Max rightly says. But this was merely the lead-in to KT’s advertisement for the article he was readying for publication, which makes clear that the “it” in Max’s rendering of KT’s statement is most certainly not “global climate.”

      I would not call Max a liar on this account. I would merely call his very carefully worded out-of-context rephrasing of KT’s statement disingenuous. “Calculated to mislead” would be a longer but essentially equivalent wording.

      Somehow the opprobrium of society seems to fall more lightly on the disingenuous than the dishonest. Was this what you were counting on, Max?

    • Vaughan Pratt and JCH

      Max – you are determined to distort this. [Trenberth's reaction to the recent "lack of warming"]

      No distortion necessary. As you both seem to have been a bit confused, let me set you straight.

      Observed fact: Since January 2001 the HadCRUT3 globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly has shown a slight cooling trend.

      This trend (-0.06°C/decade) is only around one-third of the warming trend seen over the 1990s (+0.18°C/decade), so the “average” temperature of the 2000s is obviously higher than the “average” of the 1990s. (Duh!)

      IPCC had forecast a warming of +0.2°C/decade for the first decades of the new century, but this warming did not occur despite the fact that CO2 concentrations reached new record levels.

      MetOffice attributed the “lack of warming” to natural variability.

      In a leaked e-mail Kevin Trenberth alluded that it is a “travesty” that this lack of warming is unexplained.

      In an interview by Richard Harris entitled, “The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat”, Trenberth suggests reasons for this “lack of warming” (a.k.a. “slight cooling”):
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

      Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren’t quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

      The articles continues:

      But if the aquatic robots are actually telling the right story, that raises a new question: Where is the extra heat all going?
      Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it’s probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.
      That can’t be directly measured at the moment, however.
      “Unfortunately, we don’t have adequate tracking of clouds to determine exactly what role they’ve been playing during this period,” Trenberth says.

      All makes sense to me. Clouds acting as a “natural thermostat” reflecting incoming solar energy “back out into space”.

      Roy Spencer would be proud of Trenberth!

      (Looks like you guys just didn’t get the word.)

      Max

    • Climate Etc lets people of different views release anger, and doesn’t take sides. Some blogs take sides and suppress anger from wrong sides.

    • Impartiality is a great thing, and I do agree Dr Curry does a better job than most of presenting a spectrum of views.

      Nevertheless, once you know or have been warned that something is untrue, passing it on to others without sharing that is not ethically defensible.

      Now if you investigate a charge, and find it to be baseless, that is a different scenario. There is no evidence that happened here. If the source of a charge lacks credibility to such an extent that you believe in good faith that the charge does not warrant investigation or comment, that is also reasonable. Again, there is no reason to think Dr Curry regards Dr Tol in that way.

      What we are left with is someone passing something on whilst omitting key information: lying by omission. Not good.

      Now suppose one were to argue that the value of not taking sides — impartiality — was in direct conflict with, and took precedent over, the value of honestly conveying Dr. Curry’s knowledge of the poor quality of this scientific work. You could argue that. However, in order to argue that, you have to take as a premise that discriminating against bad math and shoddy reasoning disproportionally harms one side — the “skeptic” side.

      You must argue, in essence, that without crappy arguments the “skeptic” side has no case. That valuing rational and well-considered arguments harms skeptics disproportionally because little of their work meets that standard. Only then can you argue that impartiality requires presenting bad arguments without pointing out that there are bad — but most people would regard that assumption as evidence of a lack of impartiality.

      So defending the lack of integrity in presenting work known to be bad ends up being a paradox — if you think impartiality requires being silent in the face of bad reasoning, than you have attributed bad reasoning to one side more than the other (otherwise there would be no net effect) and are not impartial.

    • Robert

      You wrote: “What we are left with is someone passing something on whilst omitting key information: lying by omission. Not good.”

      You perfectly describe the analysis of future harms to the planet based on the output of the current GCMs

    • If “lying by omission” isn’t good, what’s hiding the decline?

    • Robert

      You write:

      You [the supporter of the "consensus"] must argue, in essence, that without crappy arguments the “skeptic” side has no case.

      To use your wording and a Willis paraphrase:

      You [the rational skeptic of the "consensus"] must argue, in essence, that without crappy computer simulations the “consensus” side has no case.

      Both statements appear to be correct.

      “Consensus” supporters will seek to show that any skeptical arguments are “crappy”, while “skeptics” will try to show that the computer simulations do not reflect reality.

      However, in actual fact, we must recognize that rational skepticism is basic to the scientific method.

      And at the heart of rational skepticism lies the insistence on empirical data before a premise is recognized as a corroborated hypothesis, let alone as accepted scientific truth.

      It appears to me that this is exactly where the ongoing debate on CAGW is stuck at the present time.

      Do you see this any differently?

      Max

    • “You write:”

      No, I didn’t write that. Lying by the second word, huh? Impressive.

    • Climate Etc lets people of different views release anger, and doesn’t take sides. Some blogs take sides and suppress anger from wrong sides.

      And some blogs serve to let their moderator release anger, for example Open Mind. Its moderator Grant Foster, blogging under the pseudonym Tamino, had released some of his anger against me weeks before I’d ever heard of him or his blog. Boosted my self-esteem no end, before then I had been assuming my unassailable arguments against global warming were completely unknown to the devout-believer crowd.

      When I visited his blog a month later to inquire as to What was Up With That, WUWT, he released a whole lot more anger in no uncertain terms. Very impressive display.

      Supposedly anger follows denial, but Open Mind is not a denial blog. Is there a psychoanalyst in the house? I’d love to know What’s Up With Tamino, WUWT.

      (The alert reader will have noticed I still have some anger of my own to release in that connection, several months worth I imagine. Not to worry, my stress-to-anger ratio is very low, approaching that of Joan of Arc prior to the point they actually tied her to the stake.)

    • I never knew you incurred the wrath of Tamino. I may have to look into that. You have lost all my disrespect :)

  95. Web, P.E. and Joe,

    I made this a blog post to keep track of it,

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/11/greenhouses-and-greenhouse-effect.html

    I brought up how conduction was not properly considered in the Global warming debate. This is something I have mentioned for quite a while, with quite a bit chuckles in response. It is really a very simple concept though.

    To maximize the performance of a greenhouse, you want to maximize retention of radiant energy, maximize surface energy influx and minimize thermal loss to the environment. In other words, you want to let in and retain the most heat while allowing in the most sunlight for plant growth.

    In climate, two dimensional reasoning seems to dominate. Thermals or convection due to surface warming is well considered. In weather conditions were surface winds are held constant, the climate two dimensional view of the Greenhouse Effect holds true. That is not one of the things that remains constant thought. Surface winds change quite regularly. With more heat retain at the surface, these winds easily transport more heat from the surface. There is nothing linear about surface heat transfer in three dimensions.

    If CO2 caused a linear shift in the thermal reservoirs that corresponded with the increase in retained energy due to CO2 increase, the theory of Greenhouse Forcing would be on solid ground. The Tropopause with its near constant thermal sink and the Antarctic region, also with a near constant thermal sink, require the atmospheric greenhouse theory to be reconsidered. An increase in surface temperature with little change in the historic thermal sink capacities means more rapid loss of stored energy with changes in surface wind velocities. The Earth can
    have larger temperature drops than normal because it has more energy it can release more efficiently. That in a nutshell is what is not properly considered about the conductive flux impact on climate.

    • Isn’t wind convection? Why conductive flux?

    • Wind turbulates the surface thermal boundary improving the thermal transfer. A basic heat exchanger design consideration. That is why your car radiator fins are corrugated.

      Co2, also has a higher thermal transfer coefficient than N2 or O2 that peaks at -20C. While that would only increase thermal conductivity by 0.1 to 0.15%, that is not insignificant with respect to the radiant impact of CO2 at temperatures below -50 C. Not really that complex.

    • No, that’s not why fins are corrugated. They’re corrugated because that’s the cheapest way to make something that does the job. Surface roughness (measured in microns) sometimes helps heat transfer, but not at those Reynolds numbers.

    • P.E. The more molecules that contact the surface of the thermal layer, the more energy can be transferred. That’s conduction between a fluid to solid or fluid/fluid boundary. Turbulators, are used extensively to increase heat exchange efficiency. Oh, Corrugation is more a cost effective way than a cheap way especially when space is at a premium.

      For all intents and purposes there is no conduction in the atmosphere. Yes, it is small, convection moves the majority of the heat. But if there were no initial conductive transfer there would be no convection. You can take a radiant point of view, but in solids and liquids phonons are considered instead of photons.

    • Turbulence does improve convective heat transfer, but radiator fins are corrugated mainly because it increases surface area for heat transfer by convection. I define convection as heat transfer by mass transfer.

    • “Mass transfer” means something else (google “diffusion”). Convection is heat transport through bulk fluid motion (i.e. moving “parcels” of fluid).

      In a radiator, you have both convection and conduction going on; you have convection inside with the liquid, you have a completely separate convection system with the air on the outside, and then you have conduction in the metal. For all practical intents and purposes, there’s no conduction in the atmosphere. Convection >>> conduction, at least in the troposphere.

    • I left something out. You also have film phenomena at the interface, which is a thin layer where convection meets conduction. That’s sort of another phenomenon unto itself.

    • Thermal efficiency is maximizing the heat transfer while minimizing the required mass transfer. Reducing the impact of the laminar flow region between thermal surfaces is the trick.

      Think of a black and tan, Guiness and Ale pint. Poured correctly, the density of the two refreshments maintains the separation of the two fluids. Pour it too quickly, it still tastes great, just doesn’t have the effect. The colder the two are, the easier it is to maintain the separation. Eventually, the two will completely mix if you are silly enough to not enjoy. Turbulent mixing increases the rate of diffusion of the molecules and the energy they may contain.

      In a double pane insulated window, typically, Argon or Xenon is used as the gas to reduce convection because of their respective viscosity. That doesn’t mean no heat is transferred, just less. If the space between the panes is too much, even they will convect.

      It really is an interesting situation, which would be very easy to overlook if CO2 forcing were more significant in the Antarctic. That doesn’t seem to be the case though, the Antarctic is a bit skeptical about Global warming theory.

    • This is why the very best windows are filled with CO2 which has excellent heat-trapping ability. Or is it heat blocking? Absorption? Back radiation? Whatever the mechanism, it’s an amazing gas and according to Keihl-Trenberth’s energy balance diagram, you don’t even need the sun if you have green house gases in your windows.

    • And I’m telling you, the reality is that at the kinds of Reynolds numbers you have in a radiator, it doesn’t matter. If they really wanted to make a more efficient liquid-air exchanger, and money were no object, it would look very different, with real corrugated fins.

      http://media.photobucket.com/image/heat%20exchanger%20fins/ottoz24/1230%20N/PA270026.jpg

      Actually, the A/C condenser is a better example of fins than the radiator (which actually doesn’t “radiate”, but that’s another story), because the condensing heat transfer on the inside is so efficient, the outside is more of a bottleneck than with the “radiator”. A/C condensers (and evaporators inside the car) have serious finnage.

    • The best windows are filled with argon, because being monatomic, it has a low thermal conductivity.

    • The best windows are filled with Krypton which is dense (thick, viscous) and lowers loss due to convection between the panes. I’m kidding about the CO2, of course.

    • P.E.
      Monoatomic is a factor as is viscosity. An A/C condenser would be also be a good example. Still, reduction of the laminar flow region, film you call it is needed to improve heat transfer.

      http://i53.tinypic.com/wjt82o.jpg

      That photo is kinda interesting. It seems to not completely agree with you.

    • Dallas, seriously. If you don’t understand the difference between the Reynolds number through a heat exchanger and the Reynolds number in the open atmosphere, you need to quit while you’re behind. Suffice to say that this film phenomena doesn’t come in to play in the climate system.

    • P.E. “Dallas, seriously. If you don’t understand the difference between the Reynolds number through a heat exchanger and the Reynolds number in the open atmosphere, you need to quit while you’re behind. Suffice to say that this film phenomena doesn’t come in to play in the climate system.”

      Have done quite a bit of testing on fluid flows, I don’t really consider the “Film Phenomenon” I did have to consider laminar flow regions in all air flow traverses and through heating and cooling coil, that was part of the job. It was not a particular concern in water side measurements.

      That should be an easy Google if you like.

      The thermal conductivity of air at -50K is 0.0204W/m.K, http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d_156.html
      A small number, but definitely not zero. A surface at -50K radiates energy at ~142 Wm-2.

      A surface at 293K, (20C) radiates at ~ 418Wm-2 and air at that temperature has a thermal conductivity of 0.0257W/m.K

      Think about the ratios, 0.0204/0.257=79% of possible conductive transfer versus 142/418=34% of the radiant transfer. At what point would you consider that relationship to not be negligible?

      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d_156.html

    • For all practical intents and purposes, there’s no conduction in the atmosphere.

      There is a skin effect within less than a millimeter of the surface where convection is inoperative and conduction dominates. Were you to reduce the thermal conductance of air, this skin effect would noticeably reduce the flow of heat between the solid (whether fin, ground, or whatever) and the air.

    • Oops, just noticed P.E. immediately following comment pointing this out. Maybe one should read these comments in reverse chronological order.

  96. “I am further hypothesizing that the reaction is not symmetrical among people on both extremes of the debate. On the skeptical side, the accusations are focused on the author, whereas on the convinced side, the accusations are focused on people that enable/promote the paper (e.g. journal editors, bloggers, journalists, advocacy groups).”

    The asymetry is not a product of the skeptic/convinced divide. It is a product of the progressive/conservative split, of which climate policy is merely one aspect.

    The left understands much better than the right that communication is power. That is why in most modern leftist revolutions, the first things seized are the radio and television stations. It is why since the time of Stalin, the general secretary of a communist party in power is the most powerful man in the country,more than the president. It is why progressives flock to media and education. It is also why the left pushes issues like the Orwellian named “fairness doctrine.”

    He who controls the flow of communication, controls the debate; and with enough such control, the country.

    Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, these are not vilified by the left because of their own opinions. None of them are even originators, let alone leaders, of conservative political thought. No, they are reviled and ostracized because they are conduits for dissenting views not favored by our progressive elite. The left does not attack Hayek and Friedman, the Heritage Foundation, Cato or the Pope Center directly. They do not want to risk an actual debate. So they attack those who make such conservative thought accessible to the voting public.

    It doesn’t matter how brilliantly Hayek deconstructs progressive’s arguments in favor of centralized control of the economy, if no one ever reads him. But let Beck do a single show on him, and the sale of ten thousand plus copies of The Road to Serfdom shoots it to number one on Amazon the same week.

    That is the power of communication. That is a systemic threat to the left. And that is why the left attacks “journal editors, bloggers, journalists, [and] advocacy groups,” much more than the sources those people make available to the public.

    • Gary M, Hayek and Friedman aren’t difficult to debate, nor are the views expressed by the Heritage Foundation, Cato, and the Pope Center.

      Hayek can argue all he wants against centralized control of the economy and watch as China’s state-directed economy takes more and more control of global markets.

    • My favorite recent description of China goes something like this:

      Take a country with a population the same size as the United States, with the same vast disparity between rich and poor, and add 1 billion peasants living on less than one thousand dollars a year, and that’s how you get China.

      But I bet they’ll sell you one of their ghost cities cheap.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005231/Chinas-ghost-towns-New-satellite-pictures-massive-skyscraper-cities-STILL-completely-empty.html

      Thank you for making my point.

    • Gary, the point is laissez-faire capitalism is no match for large state-directed capitalism in the global market place. The state, especially in China’s case, has greater resources and power than individual international corporations. China’s state-directed capitalism makes it in some ways like one huge corporation.

    • The only reason China has any economy at all is that it has moved, to a degree, toward a free market economy. It is the capitalism, not the government control, that accounts for its growth.

      And by the way, 8-10 percent growth in an economy where hundreds of millions live on a couple hundred dollars a year is not anything to brag about.

      China’s state directed capitalism will go the same route as the Russian government directed capitalism experiment. Remember perstroika? How well has that worked out for the Russian?

      The last such massive experiment in state controlled capitalism was tried in Germany, Italy and Japan in the 1930s and 40s. It was called fascism then, but it was the same economic theory.

    • GaryM, what’s dead is the laissez-faire (government hands-off) brand of capitalism so dear to libertarians and conservatives. It kicked the bucket over 100 years ago.
      Your attempts to revive it have been futile. Why waste your time promoting an economic philosophy that few people want?

    • Tell that to the Soviets.

    • Hayek was a very bright gentlemen, right about some things, wrong about others.

      His relevance to the discussion around global warming is as a supporter of taxes on pollution to reflect their negative externalities. If you were to demonstrate to Hayek that carbon emissions inflicted a cost on others, he would support a carbon tax to correct that situation (see the quote at http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2011/09/tragedy-of-commons-illustrated.html).

      As with many important thinkers, Hayek is invoked more often than he is understood. Like Marx, he was not nearly as dogmatic as those that took him up as a rallying cry.

    • Robert,

      Stick to Marx, you just don’t get Hayek. When Hayek wrote of externalities, he was not using it in the Orwellian way progressives do today. He was writing about a direct impact, from an identifiable polluter, on an identifiable party who is damaged. Nuisance law is the type of alternative to the market that is consistent with his arguments. He certainly would not have supported any mechanism that provided for government control of the energy economy, including a carbon tax designed to destroy that industry..

    • GaryM, can you explain how a carbon tax in place of general sales tax would destroy industry?

    • M, carey,

      The carbon tax proposed by the consensus is for the express purpose of decarbonizing the energy industry. Which is a euphemism for destroying the oil, coal and natural gas industries. But then you knew that, didn’t you?

    • GaryM, carbon tax in place of a sales tax would encourage Americans to spend less on fossil fuels and more on other goods and services, but it would not mean they would just stop using fossil fuels. Fossil fuel industries wouldn’t be as profitable, but they wouldn’t be destroyed, and other industries would have greater profits.

      Consider the benefits of replacing sales tax with carbon tax:

      1. Less CO2 and dirty pollution
      2. Conservation of fossil fuels for the future
      3. No increase in total tax

    • M. carey,

      You need to send a memo to the rest of the consensus, because they aren’t as sanguine on the size or impact of the varied and sundry carbon taxes they have proposed.

      Did you miss the decarbonization seminar? You may need to update your envirolist email info.

    • Stick to Marx, you just don’t get Hayek.

      Au contraire, mon frère, I understand him better than the fanatics trying to twist him into an idol.

      To paraphrase from a similar case: In the end you may find that while you have worshiped him and cast out devils in his name, Hayek will say, “I never knew him.”

    • And for his next trick, Robert will explain how Ronald Reagan would support cap and trade….

    • GaryM, writes several points–some right, some wrong:

      1. “carbon tax in place of a sales tax would encourage Americans to spend less on fossil fuels and more on other goods and services“,

      My analysis– No tax will encourage spending on other goods and services as consumers will have less to spend as a result of the tax

      2. “but it would not mean they would just stop using fossil fuels. Fossil fuel industries wouldn’t be as profitable, but they wouldn’t be destroyed, and other industries would have greater profits.”

      My analysis- The 1st part is correct, but the profitability of fossil fuel companies would not be impacted as they would pass along any tax to the consumer. Other industries would not necessarily profit any more.

      3. Consider the benefits of replacing sales tax with carbon tax:
      1. Less CO2 and dirty pollution
      2. Conservation of fossil fuels for the future
      3. No increase in total tax

      My analysis: The tax would not necessarily lower CO2 enough to be noticeable. It would not necessarily lower consumption, and under the stated plan it would not increase total revenue.

    • And for his next trick, Robert will explain how Ronald Reagan would support cap and trade….

      If I had been telling you what to write, I couldn’t have come up with a comment that better expresses how your right-wing ideology has blinded you to Hayek’s actual work by transforming him into a icon of rightist lunacy.

      Comparing him to a second-rate actor and third-rate president — perfect. You don’t know Hayek from a hole in the ground, but you’re too busy praying five times a day in the direction of Reagan’s tomb to realize it.

    • Robert,

      Thanks for reverting to form, that was what I was expecting. You go play with the other foaming at the mouth progressives now.

      As for Hayek and Reagan – Hayek was a brilliant man who wrote some influential books and articles, some right and some wrong. His most beneficial impact has been giving conservatives new ways to think about, and defend, the free market against what were then new attacks from progressivism.

      Reagan was an intelligent man, not brilliant, but was more responsible than any other individual for speeding and ensuring the end of the Soviet Union and the cold war. Don’t take my word for it, ask Lech Walesa.

      “When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty.”
      http://www.tommyduggan.com/VP070204lech.html

      It does not surprise me at all that a progressive like yourself values academic prowess over real world accomplishments. But if I were a Pole (or a Czech, Hungarian…), I know who I would think more historically important.

      You may now begin again your Rumplestiltskin dance of rage at the second mention of Ronald Reagan in one day.

    • The goal of the carbon tax is to specifically accomplish what?

      Robert- How do you determine whether your proposed tax is worthwhile or not?

      As an example, if a tax raised $1B in additional revenue, added to the cost of the government by $200M and was not able to lower CO2 emissions enough to be able to have a measurable impact on the climate, is it a worthwhile tax plan?

    • Rob, a worthwhile plan would be replacing sales tax with carbon tax 1 to 1. It’s tax revenue neutral. The result is less CO2 and other pollutants.

    • So you don’t believe it is important to know the reletive impact of the effectiveness of the proposed tax in actually lowering CO2 emissions before implementing the tax?

    • The goal of the carbon tax is to specifically accomplish what?

      To capture the negative externality of the emissions, preventing a tragedy of the commons.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigovian_tax
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

      Robert- How do you determine whether your proposed tax is worthwhile or not?

      As an example, if a tax raised $1B in additional revenue, added to the cost of the government by $200M and was not able to lower CO2 emissions enough to be able to have a measurable impact on the climate, is it a worthwhile tax plan?

      If a Pigovian tax correctly emulates the negative externality associated with an activity, then it will improve the market’s functioning regardless of how much emissions are reduced.

      If the negative externality associated with a ton of carbon is $25, and you institute a carbon tax reflecting that, and emissions fall only by a small amount, that would indicate that the economic value of those emissions is such that burning them is worth it — they fall into a “Lomborg zone” where the economic value of the activity is greater than the environmental harm.

      A carbon tax is not just a way to cut emissions — you can do that with a simple prohibition — it is a way to separate valuable and necessary fossil fuel use from harmful and wasteful fossil fuel use, by making sure the cost of the act (emitting carbon) falls on the one making the decision to act and reaping the benefits of that act (the emitter).

    • Rob, for the sake of argument, forget about CO2 if you like, and consider the other benefits of replacing sales tax with carbon tax.

      1. Reduce air and water pollution
      2. Reduce fossil fuel depletion rates

    • As I have repeatedly written I am not opposed to a carbon tax. I simply think people should clearly understand the gaol of the tax and the effectiveness of the specific plan proposed.

      Robert proposes things based upon his unsubstantiated fears of a world with more CO2 and on unsound economics.

    • As I have repeatedly written I am not opposed to a carbon tax. I simply think people should clearly understand the gaol of the tax and the effectiveness of the specific plan proposed.

      Since we’re talking about disinformation and fraud, I would note that asking a question and then claiming that you knew the answer all along, and just wanted to see if others knew it, seems to be a moral grey at area, at best.

      Robert proposes things based upon his unsubstantiated fears of a world with more CO2 and on unsound economics.

      If that was what you were trying to say, why not just say that? Is it because if you said that you might be asked to provide some evidence for that claim?

      So where are we now? Your rhetorical questions have backfired on you a little bit, and you are left laming insisting you aren’t opposed to a carbon tax.

      You were attempting to show that I didn’t understand the issues, but now you are reduced to explaining that, contrary to appearances, you understand the issues.

      I would suggest to you that playing gotcha with rhetorical questions is not working out for you, and it’d be better for you to just state your own position and support it with some evidence. Then we could have a rational discussion.

    • Robert

      I am stating that you write long winded arguments that frequently are disjointed and illogical.

      Regarding a carbon tax by prior question was clear and simple, but you failed to respond with a coherent answer.

      “As an example, if a tax raised $1B in additional revenue, added to the cost of the government by $200M and was not able to lower CO2 emissions enough to be able to have a measurable impact on the climate, is it a worthwhile tax plan?”

      Prior to implementing a carbon tax people should know what amount the tax has as a goal to reduce consumption and thereby emissions.

    • I am stating that you write long winded arguments that frequently are disjointed and illogical.

      And yet, the only rebuttal you can come up with is “But I support a carbon tax too! I always have!”

      You’d think if my arguments were all that disjointed and illogical, you would be doing better at countering them. Oh well. So what’s your evidence for this claim? Where are your examples?

      Regarding a carbon tax by prior question was clear and simple, but you failed to respond with a coherent answer.

      You’ll have to excuse me, I thought you had some basic understanding of economics. Your incoherent fallacy-ridden question (“Is it a worthwhile tax plan?” But you don’t define “worthwhile.” Does the plan have a “measurable impact”? You don’t define “measurable impact,” nor over what area the tax would be applied or for how long, nor if you meant a measurable impact on carbon emissions or a measurable impact (from that single intervention, alone, a fallacious premise) on global temperature trends. How long you would measure for is not specified, etc.) — was nevertheless answered completely and fully at a level any bright high-school student could grasp.

      Sorry that excludes you, but your ignorance is really not my problem. Maybe you should learn a little Econ 101 before you try and argue tax policy.

    • I don’t know – I think Gary makes an excellent point. You never hear “the right” attacking the media, right?

      I mean it never happens.

      Too funny.

    • The right does not try to shut liberal media down. We do not say no one should listen to NBCABCCBSCNNMSNBC or read the NewYorkTimesWashinbgtonPostLATimesTimeNewsweek. Nor do we vilify and ostracize those who do. In fact, conservatives make a point of reading and viewing those with whom we disagree.

      Here is the difference. I have never seen a conservative on this site criticize Dr. Curry for posting any article for discussion. But I have seen progressives here vilify her for merely posting skeptical articles (with which she expressly disagreed), and other progressives do the same for her merely posting consensus supportive articles (with which she expressly she disagreed).

      It doesn’t get much more asymetrical than that.

      When conservatives criticize the MSM for its biased reporting, it is because of the bias, not the reporting. When progressives criticize the limited conservative media outlets, it is their very existence which is challenged.

    • Gary –

      The right does not try to shut liberal media down.

      First off, you’re walking backwards now. It is a sign of awareness, so I applaud that, but it is what it is. The “right wing” has essentially whined non-stop for decades about “the media,” even as they have for decades has plenty of representation in “the media.”

      Secondly, your observations about asymmetry in the degree to which “the left” and “the right” want to “shut down” the media are obviously a reflection of your extremist orientation. I read blogs all the time where “the right wing” says that “the media” should not be read because of it’s supposed bias and lack of worthiness.

      Here is the difference. I have never seen a conservative on this site criticize Dr. Curry for posting any article for discussion.

      First – that’s not even true. When she has posted stuff from “consensus” supporters, she has been criticized for doing so. She has also been criticized for not being dismissive enough of “consensus” viewpoint – which was the substance, in reverse, of the criticism of her for the recent post.

      Second – you have to consider that part of the reason for the asymmetry in the criticism of her on the basis of posting clearly partisan analysis is because there is a clear asymmetry in the types of posts she puts up with respect to partisan orientation. She puts up far more posts that are “anti-consensus” in orientation.

      When progressives criticize the limited conservative media outlets, it is their very existence which is challenged.

      Lol! That is outstanding, Gary. When “conservatives” rail endlessly about the “left-wing media” it isn’t their existence that is being criticized, only their bias, but when “liberals” rail against Limbaugh it isn’t his bias that’s being criticized, it’s his very right to express his views.

      <strong Judith – do you not see what is going on here? This is precisely the kind of reasoning that allows you to see some asymmetry wrt climate science.

      It was referred to as “sociocentric” thinking in that article you posted on critical thinking. You did read that portion, right, even though you failed to post the paragraph on that topic while posting the preceding and subsequent paragraphs?

    • “When she has posted stuff from “consensus” supporters, she has been criticized for doing so. She has also been criticized for not being dismissive enough of “consensus” viewpoint ”

      Indeed – see http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/10/disinformation-vs-fraud-in-the-climate-debate/#comment-137212 below

    • Joshua,

      As usual, you are trying to change the topic and argue semantics.

      When you get around to citing what you consider to be an actual example of a conservative criticizing Dr. Curry for merely posting an article, I’ll respond.

      Same with conservative criticism of progressive media. Show me the conservative equivalent of a fairness doctrine, or arguments that Fox should be taken off the air, and we’ll talk.

      http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364×2355963

      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/08/as-boycott-continues-glenn-becks-audience-swells.html

      http://www.radio-info.com/news/california-politician-launches-a-rush-limbaugh-boycott

    • Louise,

      That comment is irrelevant to this discussion. In that comment Scottish Sceptic is criticizing Dr. Curry for her own statements, not for merely giving a venue for the articles of others.

    • Perhaps you can’t find the type of comment you’re looking for because Dr Curry hasn’t posted an article from the consensus side of the debate? If she did, no doubt conservatives here would respond.

    • Louise,

      You could ask Willis Eschenbach about that, but you might want to do it from a distance.

    • Louise,

      And I seem to recall a post on articles from Trenberth, a guest post by Andy Lacis, a couple of posts on BEST…all in the very recent past. Haven’t you been paying attention?

      And as far as I can recall, nary a condemnation by any conservative for the act of posting those. But I eagerly await the numerous examples disproving my point that you and Joshua will soon post.

    • Don’t forget Ken Wilson’s “progressive” essay

    • Funny that you should mention Willis, Gary. He isn’t a “conservative,” but he often rails at Judith for posting stuff that he doesn’t agree with. Maybe that’s proof of your thesis after all? LOL!

      Here’s Judith’s comment from the Lacis thread:

      Joshua, I will be weeding out the content free attacks (I’ve already deleted a bunch of comments). Hopefully we can get a good discussion going.

      To her credit – she was consistent in her comments on the Lacis and Chlose threads with her position on the recent thread. And personally, I think she’s absolutely right that it’s wrong to object to posting analysis for scrutiny. My perspective was simply that she was negligent in not doing a better job of researching the derivation of the article she posted. I find it implausible that she wouldn’t have done so with a “consensus” article, or that if she new the derivation, she would be so dismissive if it were from, say, the WWF, as she was with this article from EIKE.

      Anyway,m

      cwon – a regular (very conservative) here at Climate Etc., frequently criticizes Judith for what he thinks is duplicitous catering to a “leftist” agenda by virtue of her contributions on this blog.

      Here’s what David W. felt necessary to say:

      David Young | October 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply

      May I interject a comment. We need to be kind to the author of this guest post and not spoil the dialogue. Judith is correct to let him post it, his point of view is one shared by a lot of good scientists.

      Please, please, don’t start with the “we shouldn’t give hiim a forum.” It’s not the right approach.

      From omnologos:

      omnologos | October 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply

      Richard Drake – it’s not a matter of slack – unless one is truly desperate to attract Lacis or any team member to this blog.

      and

      omnologos | October 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply

      Oh the irony of it! There was this XIX Century Italian politician who famously compared women voting to cows being given suffrage. So let’s hear what kind of woman would have wasted time discussing whatever TECHNICAL detail of his policies?

      and

      omnologos | October 12, 2011 at 4:14 am | Reply

      The question is if JC has now woken up to the manipulation she’s been casually inflicted by somebody fancying himself in a war against evil deniers, and therefore not at all interested in avoiding the collateral damage of poisoning this blog.

      Here’s what I find funny, Gary. Mooney puts up a blog post outlining what he feels to be categorical differences between “conservatives” and “liberals” in terms of how they approach science, or the social implications of scientific analysis, and “conservatives” are up in arms. “EUGENICS!!!!11!111!111″ they say – falsely analogizing Mooney to people who wanted to forcibly sterilize minorities.

      But then “conservatives” such as yourself post paranoid screeds about the vast differences in how “conservatives” and “liberals” approach science, or the social implications of scientific analysis, and nary a peep of protest is heard in return from other “conservatives,” except for the rare few like David W.

      I disagree with Mooney’s thesis, and I disagree with your thesis. Human psychology tells us that the reasoning process of all humans is inherently biased. That includes you, Gary. If you can provide me with actual validated and comprehensively collected (and controlled) data to support your theories about asymmetries, I’d love to read it. Perhaps I’m wrong. But at least Mooney reports on attempts to do just that. Your analysis is so obviously susceptible to sociocentric of egocentric biases – for which you make zero attempts to control, it brings into serious question how well you understand the processes of critical thinking. I’m not suggesting that you are any less capable of critical thinking than I. Only that you seem very unaware of the processes that differentiate critical thinking from un-critical thinking.

    • Not one of those comments is responsive to the issue. Nor do you provide a link to view them in context.

      And nothing I have written today has anything whatsoever to do with the difference between critical thinking and un-critical thinking. Dr. Curry’s comment in her post, and mine here, have been about tactics, not analysis. Do try to stay on point.

    • Gary -

      Those quotes were “responsive to the issue.” The one from David W. was indicative that he felt a need to justify (to “skeptics,” some portion no doubt are “conservatives’) Judith posting an article from the enemy camp.

      The comments from omnologos were directly criticizing Judith for being “manipulated” into posting Lacis’ article – and act of “desperation.”

      And nothing I have written today has anything whatsoever to do with the difference between critical thinking and un-critical thinking.

      Actually, Gary, IMO, everything that you’ve written today is extremely relevant to the discussion of critical and un-critical thinking. Re-read the excerpts Judith posted the other day – including the one she left out that I added in the thread – and get back to me.

      We’ll talk.

    • And Gary – did you consider Judith’s comment in this mini-thread of ours?

    • Sorry – that should be David Y.

    • You could ask Willis Eschenbach about that, but you might want to do it from a distance.

      And upwind.

    • Upwind and with spittle protection.

    • I see I was cited by Joshua. This has an up side and a down side. To clarify, there is little that can be deduced from playground taunts such as “your side is worse than my side.” I thought Andy Lacis’ post was interesting because of its scientific content. He also did some “denier” bashing that was annoying. But, you must see beyond that. What I discovered was that Andy was fundamentally honest about science and he did give some enlightening answers about for example modeling internal variability and other things that confirmed my suspicions about the GCM models. His post was educational.

      The problem comes when you get people who are not honest. For example, Schmidt’s comments on the original “hide the decline” thread here were pretty disingenuous and just confirmed my belief that Mann et. al. need to be aggressively challenged based on their track record. So, one does learn from these things too.

      I think Judith has the best climate blog out there and one of the reasons is the variety of guest posts she has. I did find the Tol vs. Ludecke controversy educational because I am largely ignorant of statistics. You know, true intellectual discourse is not always neat and tidy. There are the typical “overflowings of liberty” and other distractions. But if the tone is kept reasonable high, the value from having real debate between different sides can be immense.

      I need not repeat that there is a very serious problem with sites like RealClimate where there is little real debate. Papers and scientists who disagree with the received dogma are called names, their work is said to not be worth publishing, intimidating editors is justified, etc. I was particularly impressed by a post there in which Spencer was called a serial lier, I think by Pierrehumbert, someone who I hope to never have the priviledge of meeting. Skeptical Science is no better even though it provides entertainment value. The real problem at RealClimate is the arrogance of the elite who are very conscious of their superiority and attempt to cover up or minimize failings or inconsistencies, for example the reduction of climate sensitivity from 4.2K in Hansen 1988 to 2.6K in the latest GISS model. They could improve their credibility if they tried to detail the reasons for the change and whether it has any implications for future modeling efforts.

      One thing to bear in mind here is the burden of proof issue that does I think impose a higher standard on the high priests of climate science. They are asking for truly radical measures that have very severe economic impacts particularly on those who have the least. As such, the burden of proof should be theirs. They also deserve a higher level of scrutiny for hypocracy as they seem to think nothing of flying all over the world to fight for the cause. Sceptics who are wrong or looney pose no such danger.

    • Hayek can argue all he wants against centralized control of the economy and watch as China’s state-directed economy takes more and more control of global markets.

      We are way off topic, but if you are going to write stuff like that, get it straight. The Chinese economy began its explosive growth when the Chinese Communist Party decided to dramatically reduce central control over investment and production. They accepted much of the advice of Hayek, Friedman, the Heritage Foundation and Cato.

      They did this while concurrently the EU and US effected more central control.

    • Good point, as long as you ignore the consequences.

      I for one am not that worried about China coming to dominate the world’s economy. They have to many ticking time bombs waiting to explode to be a cause for serious worry.

    • Gary says:

      Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, these are not vilified by the left because of their own opinions. None of them are even originators, let alone leaders, of conservative political thought.

      Reality says:

      Poll: Rush Limbaugh Is Most Influential Conservative
      By a wide margin, Americans consider Rush Limbaugh the nation’s most influential conservative voice.
      By Staff, Associated Press
      November 30, 2009

      New York (AP) – By a wide margin, Americans consider Rush Limbaugh the nation’s most influential conservative voice.

      http://www.cnsnews.com/node/57754

      Judith, this is the type of confirmation bias that leads to broad and unsubstantiated determinations of vast asymmetries.

    • Joshua

      Do you personally rely on an article summerizing the results of a poll without having actually reviewing the polling data/questions?

      Your answer (or mine) may reveal a a great deal about what we accept as truth

    • Rob -

      There were limited choices given in the poll. Further, I can’t find a break down by ideology in the polling.

      Polls are far from perfect, but they are useful for establishing broad outlines on some issues.

      Do you doubt that the results are broadly accurate? Do you doubt that Limbaugh is not a highly influential “conservative?”

      How about Beck? Have you seen the polls on Tea Partiers’ opinions on Beck? Do you doubt that Drudge is influential for “conservatives?” Do you doubt that O’Reilly is influential on conservatives?

      How about Fox News. Have you seen the data on the % of “conservatives” who hold inaccurate beliefs (I’m talking about unarguably inaccurate beliefs – say, wrt Iraq’s role in 9/11) and the viewing data on Fox News watchers’ opinions?

      Once again – just to be clear. I am not arguing in favor of any sweeping generalizations about “conservatives.” What I’m arguing against are such sweeping generalizations that are being made by others – just as I argue against sweeping generalizations that are made about “skeptics.”

    • I tend do not draw any conclusions from articles referencing polling unless I actually read the polling data. Being reasonably skilled at polling and statisitics, I realize it is critical to actually understand the specifics of who was asked what specific question before drawing conclusions about someone’s summary of the results.

      Regarding Fox news overall- I find them frequently biased, but I also find that true of MSNBC and CNN.

  97. Judith, as regards Mann, I am sick and tired of academics trying to excuse him. If you tell the world you are dealing with the greatest problem facing mankind, then you yourself have elevated your status so that we should expect the best science possible. Instead we got the worst possible science.

    You still do not understand that this wasn’t just some academic exercise – you think it is a minor blunder – It wasn’t!!

    People in Scotland will be dying this winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes. Mann is directly responsible for those deaths – and don’t try to pretend he is not – he knew what he was doing and those deaths are a direct result of his “work”.

    I was at a wind conference yesterday. People’s lives have been ruined because of windmills, they are suffering ill health, forced to move away, loosing the value of their homes. There is no compensation, there is no way to fight them … BECAUSE MANN PERSUADED THE INTELLIGENTSIA THAT IT HAD TO ACT … IRRESPECTIVE OF ANYONE’S RIGHTS.

    There has been nothing like it since Nazism. No law, no justice, no fairness.

    Everyone be taxed on their electricity bills and by higher prices because Mann falsely persuaded governments that the evidence was compelling. He lied in that repsect — he has cost every household in Scotland hundred of pounds – soon thousands.

    It is almost as if Mann walked into my house every Christmas and instead of leaving presents, he takes the TV, not once, not twice, but each and every year.

    AND THERE IS NO LAW TO STOP HIM. IT IS LIKE THE MAFIA RULE – NO LAW, NO JUSTICE ALL BECAUSE MANN FALSELY PERSUADED PEOPLE THEY HAD TO ACT WHEN.

    He & Trenberth have distorted science degrading it in the process, he has undermined trust in science and generally brought the whole of academia into disrepute.

    Yet still you try to have the audacity to compare what he has done to those sceptics who have tried to expose him and bring common sense to science and energy policy — he was getting paid, he himself said it was the most important problem …. those who you falsely compare to him were working mostly at our own expense — at the cost of jobs and family life.

    He got paid, we did not. He benefited, we just get the cost.

    I simply cannot accept your attempt to protect him. It is inexcusable – he has cost the world billions, and he himself told the world how important his work was. There is no excuse for his behaviour. He is a con man who has stolen money away from me personally …. and then you try to defend him.

    • Scottish, I have seen some crazy comments at Climate Etc, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen any that would match yours.

    • M.carey, do you live in the UK?

    • No, but I know people in the UK and have visited several times.

    • Then you should realise that the UK Goverment has been for some years now doing exactly what you propose, using a Carbon Tax.
      The only ones to suffer are the people and especially the old & poor.
      Did you see the massive increase in profits of UK energy companies last quarter, if so just what dream world are you living in when you say that the people won’t suffer and we will all be winners.
      Last year alone 25,000 UK residents died of Cold related illnessses.
      That is probably why Scottish Sceptic is so angry with Mann and the rest of the team.
      I know I am.

    • LOL–You mean they implemented a carbon tax without actually doing an analysis to determine if the tax would achieve the goals they had in mind before implementing the tax. Gee, what a suprise that people are concerned that it didn’t seem effective.

      They are not alone, the people of Australia and California also did really dumb things economically on the issue

    • Rob, our previous Government and a large part of the current one completely bought in to the CAGW scam along with most of the EU Leaders.
      Some of the tax is directly related to the EU policies of “going Green”, most of the UK media and especially the BBC have been pushing CAGW for years.

    • Rob, if you stop and think about it, there are some strong parallels between economics and climate science in that the true believers are complexity deniers. The denial of the Laffer curve is analogous to the denial of complexity in climate science. The Laffer deniers are using a simple zero-sum model of economics that says that if the government adds a tax, it won’t affect the way people do things, and the revenue will simply be what they calculate it to be.

      By analogy, the crowd who insist that the greenhouse effect is the only thing that matters are denying knock-on effects. Actually it’s worse – they’re claiming positive feedback, which is like insisting that raising taxes will increase productivity, and make everybody richer.

    • AC

      I am familar with the politics and the economics, which is why I find the situation amusing in a sick sort of way.

    • I find it somewhat ironic that the only UK deaths that are directly attributable to global warming are from Hypothermia.

      I suppose the Americans here would describe the deaths as “Collateral” though!!

    • A.C., I am proposing a revenue neutral carbon tax( i.e., each dollar of carbon tax is offset by a one dollar reduction in sales tax. If the UK has the revenue neutral carbon tax I am proposing, what are its residents doing with the money they save in sales tax?

    • Could somebody please post a reference to the existence of the UK’s carbon tax that is supposedly killing people? Plenty of people make this comment yet I’ve never seen it supported by fact.

      Also, fewer people died of cold in 2009 (the last year for which there were figures published, 2010 due soon) than the previous year even though the winter was harsher. I assume fuel costs were higher in 2009 than 2008 (nothing ever gets cheaper) so I guess that increasing the cost of fuel doesn’t automatically increase the number of deaths due to cold.

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/health-news/2010/11/24/deaths-due-to-cold-weather-fell-last-winter-115875-22736019/
      “The number of deaths linked to cold weather fell by nearly a third last winter, despite the UK experiencing one of the biggest freezes for decades.”

      [Note for non-UK readers - the Daily Mirror is a right wing newspaper and so is unlikely to be 'spinning' this story]

    • Scottish is wrong to blame Mann alone

      It is well known that researchers tend to find the results they sub-consciously want to find. Thus researchers use double-blind techniques to eliminate bias and studies are not accepted until they can be independently repeated and confirmed.

      However, in the case of Mann, double blind techniques were not used, nor were his findings independently repeated before being accepted. This is clearly a failing of climate science to apply the most basic of safeguards.

      It isn’t Mann’s finding that should be criticized. Rather the methodology of Climate Science in accepting Mann’s findings without proper scrutiny.

      In this regard I believe Judith is at fault, because she was part of the group at the time that accepted Mann’s findings without applying standard scientific safeguards.

      Quite simply, Mann’s results were believed by Climate Science because they told people what they wanted to hear.

      The number 1 failing of climate science is their reliance on Peer Review. Peer Review tells you nothing about how likely the findings are to be true. Only after results are independently confirmed can they be relied upon.

    • Mann is a tool of liberal fascism and anyone with a conscience understands.

    • You and Oliver should get together for lunch. If you seriously believe what you write, perhaps he would share his meds

    • Judith, as regards Mann, I am sick and tired of academics trying to excuse him.

      To make it stop, all you have to do is show he did something wrong.

      Deniers have never been able to. That’s always been the snag in the vilify-Mann crusade. He was right about the hockey stick, the various desperate and hysterical allegations of misconduct by frustrated deniers have all been calmly and repeatedly refuted in multiple independent investigations and Mann is now suing some of the slanderers.

      In short, the problem with trying to make Mann a pariah is that he’s smarter than you, more successful than you, and unlike his repeatedly embarrassed detractors, has been proven right over and over whilst your embarrassing lies have repeatedly fallen flat.

      The score at this point in the game:

      Michael Mann: [many]
      Deniers: 0

  98. Replacing sales tax with carbon tax would result in winners and losers.

    1. Losers: fossil fuel industries
    2. Winners: everyone else

    Fossil fuel industries would be less profitable, but the public would benefit from cleaner air and cleaner water. Future generations would benefit from slower depletion of fossil fuel reserves and the curb on man-made global warming. The net result would be good.

    • Every dollar taken from the private section has a cost and don’t forget that a core competency of government is to turn a tax dollar into ten cents worth of benefit to the public. Only parasites think the blood they suck is free.

    • Ken, replacing sales tax with carbon tax is revenue neutral.

    • Only parasites think the blood they suck is free.

      Sounds like a good argument for a carbon tax on bloodsucking fossil fuel companies. Otherwise not relevant.

      Every dollar taken from the private section has a cost and don’t forget that a core competency of government is to turn a tax dollar into ten cents worth of benefit to the public.

      If libertarians have never been able to sell the public on this ahistorical and fanatical hatred of democracy, why should it have any bearing on the climate discussion?

      Your faith-based beliefs are not appropriate as premises. Successful economies around the world run the gauntlet from large, relatively regulation-intensive governments like Sweden and Denmark to smaller, less regulated systems like America or Australia.

  99. M cary

    How would the fossil fuel companies be loosers? They would pass along the tax to consumers. That is they ONLY means to lower consumption, which I believe is your goal.

    • There’s the whole issue in a nutshell, because there are only three possibilities:

      1) There are no feasible alternatives. In this case, a tax is merely revenue, because people still need to heat their homes and get around, and demand will be inelastic. If they point is to get more revenue, it works. If the point is to influence energy consumption, the effects will be marginal.

      2) Alternatives are just beyond out fingertips. In this case, a tax will have an effect on energy usage.

      3) Alternatives are already feasible. In this case, a tax is pointless.

      The assumption is that #2 is true. It’s wishful thinking, not based on anything real. History has shown that until we see some more technological breakthroughs, we’re in situation #1. This means that OPEC doesn’t care about taxes, and in fact they benefit from all the agitation against, for example, Canadian tar sands oil precisely because demand is inelastic. If I were the King of Arabia, I’d be making quiet donations to Greenpeace and the rest of the gang.

    • Rob, if fossil fuel companies can raise prices as much as they like anytime they like, why are they settling just for what they make now?

    • M.carey, how old are you?
      You show such niavete that I wonder if you ever read Newspapers or watch TV news programs.
      I suggest you ask your friends in the UK about the recent Price rises & excessive profits made by the “power providers”.

    • A,C., I proposed a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Based on your comments I am beginning to suspect you don’t understand the meaning of “revenue neutral.

      Specifically, my proposal was to reduce sales tax by the amount of the carbon tax on a 1:1 basis. If that’s what the UK has, what are the elderly and poor doing with the money they save on sales tax, presuming some eat, drink, wear clothing, and spend money on other things besides fuel?

    • That is the Whole point, the UK did not introduce “a revenue-neutral carbon tax”. There is no “savings” to be made. The real world is not going to end up with revenue-neutral carbon taxes, even when they say they will. Australia are about to find that out for themselves, although they haven’t got the EU overlords controlling what they can & can’t do.

    • “That is the Whole point, the UK did not introduce “a revenue-neutral carbon tax”.”

      Actually, the point is that the UK did not introduce ANY form of carbon tax on domestic energy supplies.

      You continue to mislead people if you claim otherwise.

    • “Actually, the point is that the UK did not introduce ANY form of carbon tax on domestic energy supplies.”
      Not in Name, just in action.
      The tax is to pay for & produce Wind Turbines and Solar Energy to reduce the UK’s Carbon Footprint” as per the EU directive plust the UK goverment’s own target. Plus pay the Subsidies that tehy need to make them competitive.
      What do you call that?

    • What do you call a Tax increase on Petrol over & above inflation to reduce our Carbon Footprint?
      What do you call the Flying Tax to reduce our Carbon Footprint, that is without the new EU one that has the rest of the World up is arms about?

    • Oh, I get it now, the pensioners are dying of cold ‘cos they can’t afford to fly to warmer climes due to the tax on aviation fuel.

    • Louise your interpretation of carbon carbon tax does not make them any less dead!!

    • M

      A fun and interesting question that I’ll try to provide a brief answer.

      They don’t raise their prices more today for basic issues related to supply and demand. If an individual oil company (or country with oil) tries to raise their prices there is enough supply in the market that buyers simply don’t buy from the more expensive source.

      OPEC overall does not raise their prices more because doing slows the economies of consuming nations to such a degree that their economies slow and overall demand for their product goes down for an extended period.

    • For the same basic issues related to supply and demand, raising a price to offset a decline in demand due to higher price(the carbon tax) might not be the wisest move. Aside motivating consumers to use even less of your fuel and find substitutes, you might trigger a public outcry and demands for government to spank you.

      OPEC members should be concerned about depleting their oil reserves as well as making money now.

    • Oil companies raise their prices all the time. If enough companies do so, the price stays up. If enough don’t, either the price falls or the company that raised its prices loses market share and profits. Supply and demand is a major factor, but far from the only one.

      That is why a simplistic claim that a carbon tax of X amount will reduce consumption by Y amount is so naive. Marginal increases in the price of fuel have short term effects on demand. Large increases in price have a longer term effect, but in a wealthy economy, there are other adjustments that eventually result in demand resuming its inevitable increase.

      For example, Europe has long had taxes on gasoline triple or more of US taxes. The average retail price of a gallon of gas in the US right now is around $3.50. The average retail price in Europe is about $7,55 per gallon. And their progressives are still arguing for additional carbon taxes and actually implemented a form of cap and trade.

      So pie in the sky, revenue neutral carbon taxes calculated to harmlessly decrease oil, coal and gas consumption and save the poor polar bears are misinformation.

      Oh, and OPEC does not raise its prices in part to maintain demand. But just as important is the need for certain members of the cartel to be able to continue to count on the US 1) keeping some of them in power, and 2) ensuring the free flow of oil in world commerce.

    • First sentence last paragraph should read “Oh, and OPEC does [] raise its prices….”

    • What you just said made no sense.

      Think it through.

      1. Carbon tax
      2. Companies raise prices to compensate for the carbon tax, keeping their revenue per unit sold the same
      3. Sales fall (consumption is reduced)

      Q: What is the effect on the revenue of the fossil fuel company?

      Seriously, this “Companies will just pass the cost onto consumers” is an incredibly economically illiterate thing to say. Instead of slogans, think about what would actually happen.

    • The term elasticity of demand comes to mind with I why I ask, and you never answer; how much do you expect comsumption to be reduced as a result of your proposed tax. Please Robert, try to think

    • The term elasticity of demand comes to mind . . .

      Try thinking rationally instead of free associating.

      You have already said consumption will be reduced.

      Less consumption means less sales. Less sales means less revenue for the seller. C’mon, you are better than this.

      you never answer; how much do you expect comsumption to be reduced as a result of your proposed tax.

      Again, your ignorance is not my problem. You have been fully and completely answered. I’ve dumbed it down as far as I’m able. Maybe we should try another tack; how much do you expect a carbon tax to reduce emissions?

    • Robert

      I will try to one last time to try to get you to focus on the impact of your proposed fossil fuel tax. Try to understand I am not writing it is necessarily a bad idea, just that it well could be a bad idea in some markets.

      In some markets raising prices will have a negligible impact on lowering consumption. This is because consumers have already taken steps to lower their consumption to the maximum amount they can. They will only be able to lower their consumption further when new technologies get introduced into the market that allow them to use a lower cost alternative to the fossil fuel. That will take time. The impact of the type of tax you purpose will be very different in different markets.

      In determining the relative effectiveness of a proposed tax, it makes sense to try to calculate (predict) what you believe will be the impact of the tax in changing the behavior you wish to be changed. In the case of a carbon or fossil fuel tax this is pretty straight forward.

      If we implement a tax of “A” we expect a decrease in consumption of “B” percent which we believe will result in “C” change to CO2 emissions which will result in a “D” impact on the environment.

      To implement a “carbon tax” with the goal of reducing the consumption of fossil fuel without having any data on how much the tax will lower the consumption of fossil fuel is really dumb. Typically, one would expect to see a curve that predicts the varying effectiveness of the tax in reducing consumption each year after implementation.

      In only seems reasonable in the world of fear of AGW to “solutions” are pushed so hard with so poor of an understanding of the problem or whether the purposed solution will accomplish the goal.

    • To implement a “carbon tax” with the goal of reducing the consumption of fossil fuel without having any data on how much the tax will lower the consumption of fossil fuel is really dumb.

      How is it dumb? That doesn’t follow.

      Now, I appreciate your concession that we cannot burn any fossil fuels without knowing exactly how it will affect the environment and hence the economy and human welfare. I’m sure you realize that that follows logically and inevitably from your assertion above.

      But what you have not done is made any case that we need this information. Economists can of course estimate the effect of a given price change on demand, but in what way is such information useful? That is what you need to explain.

      A free market is different from a command-and-control economy. It’s not necessary to predict the future when you are relying on market incentives rather than central planning. I’m sure you’re not a fan of central planning, but you may want to look at the assumptions you’re making and their parentage.

      In some markets raising prices will have a negligible impact on lowering consumption. This is because consumers have already taken steps to lower their consumption to the maximum amount they can.

      Can you give me an example of a long-term increase in price that had no effect on demand? This is an extraordinary claim, and you have yet to provide extraordinary evidence for it, or any evidence at all.

      They will only be able to lower their consumption further when new technologies get introduced into the market that allow them to use a lower cost alternative to the fossil fuel. That will take time.

      Several things wrong here. “It will take time” is not the same thing as “negligible impact.” In fact, they contradict each other; you are claiming there will be no impact and further down claiming there will be an impact over time (Kind of illogical and disjointed, you might say. ;)

      There is also a serious mistake of fact in asserting fossil fuel consumption will only change with new technology. That is contrary to economist’s analyses, country-to-country comparisons, and common sense. Reducing fossil fuel consumption can be a simply as putting on a sweater and turning the thermostat down, carpooling, getting new windows, taking a shorter shower. So how is it inelastic demand? Please provide some evidence for your assertion that only technological breakthroughs can reduce fossil fuel use.

      Another major error in that paragraph is in treating price signals and technological breakthroughs as if they were separate and independent factors. Obviously not. Researching, manufacturing, marketing, and not least, purchasing new technology requires money. Money from investors, money from businesses. That money will only be forthcoming if investors and businesses foresee profits. Profits will be determined by the intensity and breath of demand for the product. Therefore: The amount of private-sector money available for development and implementation of technologies that reduce fossil fuel consumption will be directly proportional to consumers’ willingness to pay for them, which will be directly proportional to the cost of burning those fossil fuels.

      Higher prices for fossil fuel burning = more incentives to research, develop, and market new technology that reduces consumption.

    • Robert

      If a “carbon tax” is implemented: if demand is relatively inelastic because people have already reduced consumption you should: (as an example) predict that in year (1) after the tax was imposed that consumption would fall zero (or a very small amount), but at some point in the future consumption would fall by “X” amount because you have assumed that some other technology would become available that would have people switching from their fossil fuel to this new alternate technology.

      This is your base prediction of the impact of the tax in accomplishing your stated goal. This base prediction will allow people to understand what should be accomplished by the imposition of the proposed tax and to be able to make informed decisions as to whether the tax is cost effective “as proposed”. It also allows for a determination of whether the tax actually accomplished what it was proposed to accomplish.

      It appears that in “Robert’s World”, people are supposed to accept what Robert says without any reasonable justification.

      What is your tax expected to accomplish?

      What supposed harms do you expect from global warming and what is the basis of you concerns. Is it a GCM? What else could it be since nothing else has predicted the future conditions?

    • If a “carbon tax” is implemented: if demand is relatively inelastic because people have already reduced consumption you should: (as an example) predict that in year (1) after the tax was imposed that consumption would fall zero (or a very small amount), but at some point in the future consumption would fall by “X” amount because you have assumed that some other technology would become available that would have people switching from their fossil fuel to this new alternate technology.

      That’s far too simplistic a model of economic behavior. There is no such thing as “people [having] already reduced consumption.” It’s not a binary state — conserving or not. People can conserve more or less intensely.

      at some point in the future consumption would fall by “X” amount because you have assumed that some other technology would become available . . .

      This is also incorrect. One need not posit “some other technology” for emissions to fall over time. Existing technologies for producing low carbon energy become relatively cheaper when you institute a carbon tax. A whole spectrum of energy-saving technologies from weatherization to hybrid cars to mass transit becomes more attractive.

      And again, you write as if we work at some central planning committing charged with predicting the economic future. That’s totally unnecessary.

      I don’t need to predict the future. I’m not proposing we radically alter the world’s climate to a state never seen since humans came down from the trees. If you want to argue that that is safe, you need to have a clear and definitive account of the future. To institute a Pigovian tax, you need nothing of the kind. You simply need to demonstrate the existence of a negative externality, which has been amply demonstrated in the case of fossil fuels.

      What supposed harms do you expect from global warming and what is the basis of you concerns.

      Again, it’s up to you to prove the radical alteration of the earth’s climate, proposed by you, is safe. I don’t need to show it to be unsafe, with a GCM or otherwise. The burden of proof falls on you.

    • “Sales Fall”, how do you reduce the consumption of Electricity and Heating Gas when you have been doing so for the last 5 years or more. The old & poor only have a certain amount of cash, so something has to give, the choice is food or heating/lighting.

    • “Sales Fall”, how do you reduce the consumption of Electricity and Heating Gas

      Let’s start at the beginning. Are you familiar with the law of demand?

    • “1. Carbon tax
      2. Companies raise prices to compensate for the carbon tax, keeping their revenue per unit sold the same
      3. Sales fall (consumption is reduced)

      Q: What is the effect on the revenue of the fossil fuel company?

      Seriously, this “Companies will just pass the cost onto consumers” is an incredibly economically illiterate thing to say. Instead of slogans, think about what would actually happen.”

      Does rising the price on anything lower demand.
      Obviously.
      Consumers are sensitive to price otherwise sellers would raise their price.
      In free market one shouldn’t lower the price if the result doesn’t
      increase sales. And seller are always trying to get more buyers
      and having those buyers paid highest price that a market will allow.
      All fossil fuels are cheap. One would double the price and it would still
      be cheap.
      But everything you need in a free market is cheap- that defines wealth.
      Increasing the cost of everything will lower wealth of a society.
      Of course the companies will pass the cost onto consumer. But you will also more evenly tax everyone because everyone uses things associated with “carbon”.
      It’s similar to taxing air or water, or food.
      If one drove a electric car getting electricity from hydro or nuclear plant and use the same electricity to heat and cook in your home, you would still indirectly be paying for this tax. But compared to a truck driver, you pay none directly.
      It would be a regressive tax. I wouldn’t significantly affect “fossil fuel companies” it’s biggest impact would those of low income.
      Like any consumption tax it also taxes those not paying tax on income- criminals, retired people, people visiting the country, etc.
      The best thing about it is it would tax imported “fossil fuel”- it forces Saudi oil or Canadian and Mexican oil to cost more. It is essential a tariff and tariff tax which is allowed under WTO.

      To think this just taxes fossil fuel companies- particularly domestic producers of fossil fuel is foolish. It does lower consumption by small
      percentage, but think it would make say solar energy or wind energy cheaper is wishful thinking. With all the tax revenues could have more
      govt money to throw at these things, but what needed is for their costs to lower in which a subsidy only provides the illusion this happening by robbing Peter to pay Paul.
      So if you want more people to pay taxes, if you want to lower economic growth, if want poor to become poorer, if you want to discourage the private sector from generating wealth, and give more power to the government- a carbon tax is one way of doing this.

    • Actually Robert that is how it tends to work.

      Have you heard about those “free” light bulbs electric utilities are handing out? well, they do so because state regulators allow them to charge rates that offset any loss of revenue from lower sales due to conservation.

      I was in SC for a wedding and noted the price of a gallon of gas was ~ 75 cents lower than in Washington. The difference? The amount of tax levied.

      What exactly is it that has you believing a business will not pass on an external cost (particularly if that cost is applicable to all of its competitors)?

  100. S.S. writes: “There has been nothing like it since Nazism. No law, no justice, no fairness.”

    While I’m in sympathy with your skeptical position, this is absurd on its face.

  101. Saying something is absurd does not make it so. While Pol Pot may have been worse for folks in Cambodia, Mann may well turn out to be the worst thing for folks living in Scotland since Hitler.

    • ferd, you are almost as shameless as McIntyre, who seems to be trying to link Mann to pedophilia.

    • It has been shown time and time again that the Left gives wings to those who prey on the superstition and ignorance of others and leads to misery, poverty and death.

    • Prejudice and over generalizations of positions is silly regardless of who does it.

    • You do the skeptical case no good with statements like this. You’re comparing a man responsible for a world war along with an attempted genocide thrown in for good measure, with Michael Mann. Also Pol Pot and his killing fields.

      Fred. Take a deep breath. Does this honestly seem reasonable to you?

    • Let’s make this simpler. Godwin violation. 5 comment penalty.

      And it’s Ferd, not Fred.

    • pokerguy, Ferd may be a little over the top, but can I ask you 2 questions please?
      Roughly how many people around the world do you think have died due to the lack of clean water, food, medicine and power since the big push for “green” and “CO2 reduction”?
      How many more do you think will die in the near future?

    • A.C. Osborn – can I ask you a question please?

      Why were there 30% fewer deaths in Englamd and Wales due to cold in 2009 than 2008 even though the winter was harsher and the fuel price was (probably) higher?

    • Fuel prices were not that much higher about 5%, not 25%, plus there was the affect of more people getting the “Winter Fuel Allowance” I was one of them , which the government has cut a bit this year. Let’s see how people fare this Winter shall we?

      Are you trying to suggest that more die of heat than cold?

    • “Are you trying to suggest that more die of heat than cold?”

      No, I am questionning the frequently claimed statement that the UK has a carbon tax and that it is directly causing more deaths due to cold each year than previous years.

    • Louise Your links says fewer cases of flu kept deaths down!!

      8% of Electricity cost is towards renewable’s and about 12% of Gas which is an indirect carbon tax!!

      British Gas has raised its price twice this year 7% and 18%

    • No, I am questionning the frequently claimed statement…

      Ahah! A skeptic!

    • What do you call taxes (not one tax) to reduce our Carbon Footprint?

    • A.C. Osborn – please explain how an increase in the tax on aviation fuel is leading to tens of thousands of deaths each year due to the cold?

    • JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION, what do you call it?
      Don’t just pick one of 3 items, that won’t wash.

    • Shouting doesn’t help.

      You and others here claim that UK winter deaths are increasing due to carbon tax on domestic fuel.

      You’re wrong.

      UK winter deaths are going down.

      The UK does not have a carbon tax on domestic fuel.

      There may well be other taxes that are designed to help to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint but you have failed to show that these contribute to winter deaths (especially as these are going down as these taxes increase).

    • Classic case of Cherry Picking comparing 2009 with 2008, when 2008 was higher than normal, try looking at 2010.
      You are quite blaise about 36000 deaths in 2008/9. Age concern certainly do not agree with you.

      So a tax by any other name is OK, just don’t call it a “Carbon tax”.

    • I will certainly look at 2010 deaths when they are published but as they haven’t yet, failing to include them cannot be considered cherry picking.

      You have still failed to show any link between winter deaths in the UK and carbon taxes – especially as these are not levied on domestic fuel supplies, contrary to opinions frequently posted here..

    • You say “carbon taxes – especially as these are not levied on domestic fuel supplies”.
      You are obviously not aware that the power suppliers have been asked to show that exact levy on their bills then?

    • I can’t show direct correlation between Power/gas Bills and deaths just like you can’t show correlation between CO2 and temperature for the last 13 years.
      But you are still pushing AGW instead of natural GW.

  102. Robert | November 12, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    Nevertheless, once you know or have been warned that something is untrue, passing it on to others without sharing that is not ethically defensible.

    In that case, every peer reviewed scientific study should come with a huge warning label, in red on the front page.

    “THE RESULTS CONTAINED WITHIN HAVE NOT BEEN INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRMED AND ARE LIKELY TO BE SHOWN TO BE FALSE, INCOMPLETE OR OTHERWISE IN ERROR IN THE FUTURE”

    • Joachim Seifert

      Good comment………JS

    • Pretty nonsensical comment, but I don’t expect intelligent remarks on science from science illiterates like ferd.

    • Joachim Seifert

      Robert, you science guru,
      lets assume, global temps will stay flat for all our lifetime….
      Question: In which year are you willing to renounce AGW?
      A straight year please, no beating around the bush….JS.

    • Joachim Seifert, you science guru,
      lets assume, global temps continue to rise for all of our lifetime…
      Question: In what year are you willing to accept AGW?
      A straight year please, no beating around the bush…

    • Joachim Seifert

      No problem, Louise,
      Answer: “Ater the fifths year of increase, to verify it is not a short term phenomenon like Enso etc.
      What is the year for you? Robert is still under water…..as all AGWler do when being asked directly…

    • Louise

      You question fails to identify how much warming is happening, and that is pretty critical is it not?

      Personally I will accept that AGW is harmful to humanity when someone can demonstrate that we have models that can accurately predict future temperatures and rainfall at different areas around the world as a function of CO2.

      Can you identify ANY potential harms to humanity that you think will come about that do not rely upon the models? You do realize that these models can not actually accurately predict future rainfall or temperature accurately don’t you?

      What makes you believe a warmer world is bad?

    • Joachim Seifert

      Rob,
      the AGWarmlers are obstinate and entrenched, wont give you a date when they will renounce …………you will see that none will give you a number of a year…..OK, there might exist one who is not, it is a rule with slight exceptions, it is not a law…Just observe….

    • Louise always answers with another question, never a definitive answer.
      Ask her how many degrees warming it needs before it will become dangerous to Human Life, considering how adaptable we are to temperatures.
      I bet you won’t get a direct answer, but of course she and most other warmists expect you to give a direct answer.

    • Ferd, now let’s not start comparing climate science to cigarette smoking. :P

    • Why not? They both can cause death!!

    • In that case, every peer reviewed scientific study should come with a huge warning label, in red on the front page.

      “THE RESULTS CONTAINED WITHIN HAVE NOT BEEN INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRMED AND ARE LIKELY TO BE SHOWN TO BE FALSE, INCOMPLETE OR OTHERWISE IN ERROR IN THE FUTURE”

      Scientists already know this, which is the basis for the insistence upon replication and testing, which require full disclosure, in detail, of all methods, including the downloading and assembly of data sets (which supports the disclosure if data as they were used in addition to links to the original source, and the disclosure of computer code. Anything short of complete and accurate disclosure generates errors and misunderstandings. More and more journals require such disclosure as a condition of publication. For the first time in their career, Mann et al a year ago in Science openly posted everything that they had in support of their paper in the “Supporting Online Material”, and any member of AAAS could download the total. I hope that this standard spreads and is enforced by the journals.

      I have lost the reference so I can’t give credit, and maybe the idea had multiple authors. Someone proposed that the published paper be considered “advertising” for the real work — it stimulates interest to investigate the real product, which is all the work and output summarized by the published paper.

  103. Robert | November 12, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    Nevertheless, once you know or have been warned that something is untrue, passing it on to others without sharing that is not ethically defensible.

    Al Gore and Climate Science knew that CO2 lagged temperature, thus the ice cores were not evidence that CO2 caused warming. Yet Al Gore showed his movie, mainstream Climate Science did not speak up, and Gore and the IPCC won the Nobel.

    This goes right to the unethical corruption, misinformation and fraud at the heart of climate science.

    • Why two comments quoting the same sentence five minutes apart? Are you trying to run out the clock on your five-comment Godwin’s penalty?

      Your second comment is no more intelligent than the first. We get it; you don’t understand climate science, it confuses and frightens you. You don’t understand the ice core record. You hate Michael Mann for refuting denialism with the hockey stick, and you hate Al Gore just because.

      You communicate nothing else of note. Waste of electrons.

  104. “Quite simply, Mann’s results were believed by Climate Science because they told people what they wanted to hear.”

    Were ? Don’t climate scientists still believe average global temperature now likely is as warm or warmer than it was in the MWP?

    • The more Mann’s work is vindicated by other studies and continued warming, the more hysterically deniers will repeat the same old discredited nonsense about him. It’s like a slanderous sandcastle they must laboriously rebuild as the crushing waves of reality sweep it away over and over.

    • Robert -

      You are correct so far as that it is unnecessary to repeat nonsense about Mann. It is more than sufficient to honestly embrace all truthful facts. Then reality is not crushing, but rather a welcome clarification.

      Agreed?

    • Robert

      The more Mann’s work is vindicated by other studies and continued warming, the more hysterically deniers will repeat the same old discredited nonsense about him

      “vindicated”? Huh?

      “continued warming”? Whazzat?

      Come down to Planet Earth, Robert.

      Max

    • M.
      Most scientists believe that temperatures today are similar to those in the MWP within the measurement uncertainties. The idea that temperatures are significantly warmer today than during the MWP or any other period in the past two millenia is only touted by a few. Mann’s proxy work is highly contentuous, and largely discounted within the scientific community.

    • Joachim Seifert

      the stick is still not thrown unto the garbage heap by the IPCC…..
      still functions as official….a warmer MWP and a colder LIA than the MANN sticks allow is heresy…..

    • M. carey

      Don’t climate scientists still believe average global temperature now likely is as warm or warmer than it was in the MWP?

      Some do. (IPCC apparently does: “the warmth of the previous half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”.)

      Some don’t. (Like, for example the authors of the many studies from all over the world, using different paleoclimate methodologies, all of which showed that the MWP was global and somewhat warmer than today.)

      Max

  105. Basically, I am hypothesizing that the reaction to a paper is very much colored by the authors. Objective reactions are much more difficult if the authors are associated with advocacy groups or some sort of prior controversy.

    The distinction between subjective and objective, no?
    ‘Nuff said.

  106. M. Carey…shame on you…all McIntyre was saying was both the Mann-Climatgate and the Sandusky scandals were ” swept under the rug ” by Spanier and his minions.

    • Jack, if McIntyre is alleging the committee that cleared Mann was made up of dishonest people because Spanier didn’t handle the complaints against Sandusky properly, he is acting shamefully.

  107. Curry could end this right here and now by saying that:

    a) Looking over any given 10 years (as opposed to keeping a 10-year running average) is statistically insignificant, and

    b) At least two data points should be removed for completely vanilla statistical reasons.

    Her failure to explicitly do so – all her non-denial denials to the contrary – means that she should at best be treated as non-serious until she concedes these two elementary and unambiguous points.

    As should anyone else.

    • That is Dr Curry to you.
      Have you posted on the wrong Thread?

    • ScentOfViolets

      Do you dispute the fact that taking a ten-year snapshot is statistically insignificant? Yes or No?

      Do you dispute the fact that at least two of those data points in that particular snapshot should be removed for completely vanilla statistical reasons? Yes or no?

    • What does that have to do with this thread?

    • ScentOfViolets

      A “ten-year snapshot” is three times as “statistically insignificant” as a “thirty-year snapshot” (1976-2005, cited by IPCC as a “widely acknowledged climate shift” and the basis for most of the current AGW hysteria).

      Since the “ten-year snapshot” only covers less than one-third of the total surface (land only), it is even more “statistically insignificant”.

      More “statistically significant” than either is the observed 160+ year trend of slight warming (0.7C) plus the multi-decadal warming/cooling cycles with a total cycle time of around 60 years and an amplitude of +/- 0.2C.

      Max

    • ScentOfViolets

      Since you won’t admit either of those two quite simple, quite obvious points are correct, there’s no point in talking to you.

      Amazing how sticking to specifics and forcing people to respond to them sorts out the chaff like this know-nothing.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I just want to point out b) is completely absurd. There is no “completely vanilla statistical reasons” to remove any data points from the series. That the data points are based upon (very) limited data does not mean they should be removed. You can argue for down-weighting data points, as is often done for points with large uncertainty intervals, but completely removing them should not be done.

      Yes, simply removing them can be useful for simple calculations where you do it for the convenience of not having to use a different approach, but the reason there is convenience, not some “completely vanilla statistical reason.” Heck, even if there were “completely vanilla statistical reasons” to remove the data points, this wouldn’t mean it should be done rather than adopting some other approach.

      Put simply, this comment is a gross misrepresentation of statistics. That’s something to consider when reading the conclusions of the comment.

    • ScentOfViolets

      So you don’t believe that at least two data points should be removed for very plain, very obvious reasons that have nothing to do with ideology.

      Marking you as – at best – parroting some talking point what you’ve heard somewhere else (what the hell do you think giving something a weight of zero means, anyway?)

      Btw, guess what I teach for a living ;-) It was also one of my duties, many moons ago, to go over reams and reams of dark-and-light green computer paper and tick off the box plots that had excessively long legs for removal from the data set. But I digress – you have no idea what a box plot is, or what IQR means, or indeed, any of a number of basic statistical concepts.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      There are two possibilities. The first possibility is an obnoxious poster demanding our host “concede” points or else not be taken seriously has developed the power of telepathy and thus can read my mind to tell what statistical knowledge I have. In order to indicate how superior this poster is, he (or she) references supposed historical elements nobody could possibly know or verify (nor care about), flaunts knowledge of my statistical ignorance and “graciously” assume I am simply “parroting” what I’ve heard elsewhere, all without ever having contributed anything of substance to this blog.

      The second possibility is telepathy doesn’t exist, and thus this poster is just making things up in order to attack my character for some asinine reason. This would suggest the previous comments I have made about statistical issues on this blog may have had some basis in actual knowledge, though there is no certainty. It would also suggest the other poster in question is intentionally avoiding making any meaningful contribution despite making demands about the conversation.

      I’m not sure which I believe, but I’m pulling for the former. I want to live in a world where telepathy exists.

    • SOV’s “I actually teach statistics for a living…”

      Sorry, Brandon, but I gotta say that all that telepathy stuff you wish for is just the stuff of fantasy fiction. On the other hand, channeling the dead is for real and one of my specialties. For example, I have a certain Mr. G. B. Shaw on the line right now who’d like to get a word in here edge-wise. Go George!

      “Those who can do; those who can’t teach.”

      That George–he’s a real character!

    • ScentOfViolets

      My my my – looks like Judith is selectively deleting comments from her blog. So much for that “encouraging discussion outside the formal bounds.” ;-)

      Speaking of actual expertise and what this shows about someone who says that you “never delete outliers” – which I already did in the post Judith deleted, but what the hey – here’s a novel thought: You can actually look this stuff up:

      A trimmed mean is calculated by discarding a certain percentage of the lowest and
      the highest scores and then computing the mean of the remaining scores. The trimmed mean has the
      advantage of being relatively resistant to outliers. When outliers are present in the data, trimmed means are
      robust estimators of the population mean that are relatively insensitive to the outlying values. After viewing the
      box plot, a potential outlier might be identified. If the upper and lower 5% of the data are removed, then it
      creates a 10% trimmed mean. An example of trimmed means is the recent change in the Olympic scoring
      system for ice skating, in which the highest and lowest scores are eliminated, and the mean of the remaining
      scores is used to assess skaters’ scores. If a trimmed mean is presented, the untrimmed mean should be
      presented for comparison.

      But that’s the beauty of being someone who actually knows what he’s talking about – I can point out that anyone can go to google and type in, say, “throwing away outliers” and see that yes, contrary to what this know-nothing Brandon says, outliers are in fact thrown out all the time.

      But in any event I’m outta here – when Judith is so dishonest as to remove posts that effectively rebut what she’s trying to do here, there’s no point in staying.

      You’re a disgrace, Curry.

    • Violets, your comments have been violating blog rules. If you have something to say, say it without using offensive language. For regulars who provide valuable input, i tend to be slightly tolerant of some “noise.” I am much less tolerant of a newcomer here who is all noise and is violating blog rules.

    • SOV,

      Since most folks reading your last post did not get to read your deleted post while I did, let me call out the cutesey little game you’re playing in your last.

      Your deleted post did nothing more than boast of your authority, “I actually teach statistics…” followed by a tart little dismissal of Brandon’s comment as “bull.” A trivial, unpleasant comment, in other words. And that’s why it was deleted, I’m sure.

      So SOV, just curious, is this the very first time you’ve tried playing the victim?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Aww, why’d you have to rain on my parade mike?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      By the way, I saw ScentofViolet’s comment to, and it is very much as mike described. In fact, I still have it in my RSS feed, so I could provide it for anyone who wanted it.

      More importantly, even though he has (supposedly) left, I want to point out his latest comment is absurd. He provided a quote to rebut my claim that you “never delete outliers.” Of course, despite him using quotation marks, I never actually said that. My point was there was no reason to delete those two data points from that particular series. His example was of a method where one deletes a percent of the data from both the upper and lower limits. Note, it is both the upper and lower limits, and it is done for a percent of the data, not just hand-picked points.

      Oh well. If he holds to his word, none of what I just said will matter.

    • ScentOfViolets

      Oh brother, I’ve come back to see the end results of this sad sorry saga. And what do I find:

      Violets, your comments have been violating blog rules. If you have something to say, say it without using offensive language. For regulars who provide valuable input, i tend to be slightly tolerant of some “noise.”

      So . . . anyone here can say something you deem “offensive”, but you cut the slack if they’re a regular. Even if said regulars have been highly offensive over and over again. Uh huh. But you’re just throwing up distracting chaff:

      I am much less tolerant of a newcomer here who is all noise and is violating blog rules.

      Really? Such as when I pointed out that all you have to do to resolve this unpleasant contretemps is to simply state unequivocally that yes, ten years is too short a time when discussing statistical significance in this case? Or that the last two data points are outliers that should be thrown out for very standard, non-ideological reasons? Heck, if you want, you can also unequivocally say that the ten years being discussed does have statistical significance and that those last two data points should not be thrown out. Go ahead, post something quotable.

      And while we’re on the subject of statistics, why don’t you straight up tell Brandon that his “you never throw away outliers is nonsense? You being the nonpartisan gal you say you are.

      Go ahead – say it. We both know it’s true, and embarrassing one of your defenders shouldn’t count for anything when it comes to upholding the truth, right ;-)

      You could also tell your spear carriers to stop with the nastiness, have some sort of consistent blog policy that’s not so one-sided as it appears to be from a number of other complaints I’ve seen in that regard and reported on other blogs. But I’m not counting on it.

      And with that, unless you straighten up and fly right, I really am outta here.

    • Violets, you seem to have something to contribute, but this level of nastiness just isn’t acceptable here.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      SOV, I must speak out strongly in favor of our good hostess. You seem to think that she should be some kind of ‘science cop’ or ‘statistics policewoman’. Nothing could be further from the truth. She provides the restaurant and sets the table with interesting things. It’s not her job to settle food-fights between the customers.

      In addition, she is free to delete anything she wishes. As someone who writes and moderates my own threads, this is a pretty subjective task. I let things go by that I shouldn’t, and I snip things sometimes that I might better let go.

      A part of it is what Judith said, I also tend to cut people slack if they are making valuable contributions to the discussion. Also, and I suspect like Judith, I am generally loath to snip anything out of the discussion.

      But at the end of the day, she has to make the call, and she said you were out of line. Put on your big-boy boots, man up, nod your head, and continue the discussion if you wish.

      But saying to Judith that

      … does that really work where you come from?

      Because around here, that will only lead to jeers and catcalls and invitations to fly on away, SOV, don’t let the door hit you in the tail-feathers on the way out … and at the same time, I doubt greatly if Judith will be moved to change either her posture or her manner of flight by your threat of auto-defenstration …

      w.

    • SOV, Speaking of truth… This is just my two bits, using your comment that deals with ‘ice skating’ and scoring their performance. The same system is used to ‘judge’ sports diving. Both these events are being ‘Judged’ by individuals who each see something different though they are all sitting together. There is a vast difference between a measurement with a device and a ‘judges’ best call. Are you able to see the difference?

    • On the other hand Dr Curry,

      SOV does a nice job of discrediting his self. Helps the rest of us know who to pay attention to and who to ignore.

    • Is warming necessarily bad? What is the evidence to support THAT conclusion?

  108. A.C. writes: “pokerguy, Ferd may be a little over the top, but can I ask you 2 questions please?
    Roughly how many people around the world do you think have died due to the lack of clean water, food, medicine and power since the big push for “green” and “CO2 reduction”?
    How many more do you think will die in the near future?

    A.C. Classic “post hoc ergo propter hoc” logical fallacy. That is to say, “After this, therefore because of this.”

    Moreover, it too (like the hitler comparison) is absurd on its face. How many are you supposing have starved…of those who have starved….as a result of green policies? All? Half? A tenth? And what is your evidence?

    • Well it is acknowledged that there is a Food shortage in many under privileged areas of the world, it is also acknowledged that the drive for biofuels has reduced the available food stock.
      Every dollar spent on Wind & Solar Subsidies, Climate research, meetings etc is a dollar not available for more pressing current issues, like droughts, food shortages & lack of medicine & medical facilities.
      If you want to believe that that has had and will have no impact on the poor of the world that is your right.

      Not that I necessarily believe that the needy would get the help if it wasn’t wasted anyway. I am sure our leaders can find something else to spend it on.

  109. Judith Curry -

    The CAGW scism might be better characterized as skeptics vs. dogmatists (lukewarmers vs. believers and deniers).

    Believers deny reasonable doubts to CAGW while deniers believe CAGW is unreasonable. :) Lukewarmers assent to both the reasonableness of warming and to the reasonableness of doubts to extreme warming.

    • oops. Believers deny that doubts to CAGW are reasonable.

    • blueice2hotsea

      A good analysis on skeptics (lukewarmers) versus dogmatists (believers or deniers).

      As we see on this thread, the “skeptics” get attacked by “dogmatists” from both sides. Some of these attacks are directed at the argument, but others at the person.

      I’d say that there is another differentiation (at the risk of oversimplifying).

      True skeptics appeal to “reason” (hence they are known as “rational” skeptics, in the scientific sense – see Wiki).

      If they are truly rational skeptics, they should be open to any new empirical evidence.

      Dogmatists of either side often appeal to other arguments, such as the “authority” (of scripture or venerable organizations).

      If they are true dogmatists, they are generally only interested in evidence, which “proves” their case and defends the dogma.

      Max

  110. Climate scientists saying in private what we sceptics say in public:

    I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate.

  111. Climate scientists saying in private what we sceptics say in public.

    Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.

  112. Climate scientists saying in private what we sceptics say in public.

    Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!

  113. Climate scientists saying in private what we sceptics say in public.

    I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue. …We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

    • After reading the above, I am perplexed why most still accept AGW as established science ready for policy.

    • It could be argued that at least one of those comments above could have been taken out of context.

      However, this one from Phil Jones:

      Tim, Chris,
      I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting till about 2020. I’d rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office press release with Doug’s paper that said something like – half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on record, 1998!
      Still a way to go before 2014.

      appears to indicate that he’d sooner see the planet burned up than to be shown to be wrong.

    • Thanks Peter

      I never saw that one.

      Thank you.

    • Peter

      In those emails, I thought I read Phil in effect taking about changing people’s perception of global mean temperature history (MWP & LIA). Do you remember that quote? It will be great if I could get the exact quote.

    • ‘Fraid not. If I had the exact quote then I could search for it ;-)

  114. P.E., Web anyone else,

    I know this thread has gone to typical dogs, but in case you wanted to SEE, the relationship I am talking about,
    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/11/radiantion-versus-conductivity.html

    You have to be careful what you call negligible in thermodynamics. :)

  115. What Judith has kindly done is to allow a debate on equal footing. She removed the authority based monologue from the arsenal of the ‘convinced’.

    A major strategy of the ‘convinced*’ (previously called the establishment or consensus or settled science supporters) was to avoid debate and maintain the mantle of certainty.

    That strategy was actually their major weakness because it did not allow them to adjust their position with the support of their skeptic critics thus they profoundly isolated themselves from the broader scientific community.

    In the debate here I was educated when I found the scientific logic of major IPCC centric commenters to have weaknesses derived from their external goals.

    Judith, your e-salon is pretty.

    John

    • What Judith has kindly done is to allow a debate on equal footing.

      To say that promoting sloppy, incompetent work is necessary to conduct a debate “on equal footing” is to concede, implicitly, that the “skeptic” position is based upon, and completely dependent upon, sloppy, incompetent work. An interesting admission.

      Discriminating against incompetence, dishonesty, or stupidity is not a bad thing. Useful dialogue requires not only that we not say what we know to be false, but also that we not pass on the claims of other that we know to be false without also sharing what we know.

    • Robert,

      You categorically calling people who are not ‘convinced’ by those names is not an argument.

      The Necessary Condition is open and transparent, including all pro and con views, all the time and everywhere.

      If someone, either pro-AGW or skeptical, is incompetent, dishonest or stupid then it is easy to see and can be discounted easily. No problema, as long as the Necessary Condition is met.

      I think that is why the IPCC is failing, because it inherently cannot meet the Necessary Condition.

      John

  116. New Barry Bickmore video

    • Louise, have you ever considered that some people are skeptical because there is a need for skepticism? Global warming theory is not complete. It cannot be predictive until it is complete enough explain observations. There are too many surprises because there are too many errors.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/11/completely-missed-in-climate-models.html

    • Big news! When did GW attain the status of a theory? It has to have proposed valid falsification “null” hypotheses and defeated them to gain that status. I must have missed what they were, and when it happened. Can you give a quick synopsis, with links?

      Failing that, it remains a preposterous speculation.

  117. Judith, just in support of your general stance and as a more general pointer in how I suggest we should approach these questions, I point you to the discussion on Keith Kloor’s which, for a while, got rather interesting, between me, Michael T, Baat and others:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/11/09/is-judith-curry-peddling-disinformation/comment-page-6/#comment-88056

    Anyway, I sought of left early and only came back latterly, hence:

    Bart, Michael, and Richard,

    It seems I left the room just when the conversation, for a while at least, was getting interesting, a steer I flatter myself I might have had some hand in turning with #164 and #166. So apologise. I think that steer resolved around the question how is science, and, therefore, how are scientists and, thus, expertise more generally, situated in an open society? If you look at #164, you can gather the beginnings of my particular answer. Particularly that 1) an open society is not about process, of which voting and ‘popularity contests’, as one of you would have it, are two, but about essence and that essence is, a more or less open negotiation between powers, as opposed to a closed and dictated enforcement and, 2), an open society is not in contradistinction to hierarchy but is perfectly at one with it. And that this not merely a matter of a ‘division of labour’ but also involves a ranking of respect. To say otherwise is to ignore actual democracies and aspire to none democracies. Worse, to confuse form with content.

    So, to put that in simpler terms, I more or less agree with you but only up to a point. One does defer to well earned ‘expertise’ (and despite what some have said, there are well attested and more less trust-able mechanisms to determine who in such cases one should respect) and one should. But in such a ‘deference’ there is a hierarchy of respect and not a respect for ‘numbers’ and hence consensus. That is the nature of academia but also of society more generally. Such real ‘authority’ is particular, to some extant mysterious and the opposite of abstract, of which a bare counting of hands would be. It is ironic that those who would talk of consensus at the same time are the first to say the tedious cliche that ‘science is not democratic’. They are obtuse on the latter as they on the former.

    In this specific case, Richards anxieties are partly involved with that of his feelings about EIKE, a grouping of which, outside of Germany, we know little – ie this may be something of which we see merely the surface. But in your case, Michael, however much you protest otherwise, your anxieties about an amorphous mass being ‘misinformed’ is purely political and, may I say it, a blind man’s shadow boxing. Bart, is a little more subtle and one is grateful for it.

    (Yes, one does not elect a plumber and, if one particular plumber shows incompetence, one does not condemn plumbing. See #164)

    My own personal opinion is based on my own so far reasonably attested belief in the general sagacity of the common man or woman. That one can trust them to see ‘experts’ disagree, that one can expose them to information, whether dis or not, that one can let out truly inconvenient and contradictory findings, and they can and will come to a reasonable choice and understanding. It is all about trust – not just of the experts but, working both ways, of society in general. Hence, the open society. And that takes courage.

    Lewis deane Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 7:01 pm
    And, just to add, I think, with that last paragraph, it would be hard to say I am not with the true ‘consensus’, ie orthodoxy of what being a democratic citizen is. Trust and the courage of trust. Something which is not an ‘ought’ but rather an ‘is’ and without which our open society dies in guffaws of cynicism and stupidity.

    I always contradict myself, Judith, but that is because, hopefully, I’m thinking!

  118. With {No Hands SEO} {I have been|

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