Science communication

by Judith Curry

So, what is the difference between science journalism and science communication?

David Whitehouse elaborates further in the comments on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker:

Thanks to the Internet the range of science communication is wider than ever, and closer to the science and the public. But journalism is not science communication . . .

The journalism, news gathering, scoops required, zeal has not in general survived into the Internet age, and far from leaving it in the 20th century, I feel we need it now. Such qualities are seen as essential for other areas of journalism, and I believe they should be part of science journalism.

My comment about a bowl of cherries was about journalism. Why would I ask a scientist about the craft of journalism? Sure they may have their own opinions about journalism, but they are not journalists, even if a few are arrogant enough to think that journalism is easier than science.

Once one knows the science, no serious science reporter would ever make a decision to be either a supporter or a reporter of science. Either side is incompatible with journalism.

Perhaps the disconnect in perceptions on communication vs journalism comes from the classical conflict between journalism of the Lippmann style versus Dewey style.  From the Wikipedia:

Lippmann understood that journalism’s role at the time was to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policy making elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the public for their consumption. His reasoning behind this was that the public was not in a position to deconstruct the growing and complex flurry of information present in modern society, and so an intermediary was needed to filter news for the masses.

Dewey, on the other hand, believed the public was not only capable of understanding the issues created or responded to by the elite, it was in the public forum that decisions should be made after discussion and debate. When issues were thoroughly vetted, then the best ideas would bubble to the surface. Dewey believed journalists should do more than simply pass on information. He believed they should weigh the consequences of the policies being enacted. Over time, his idea has been implemented in various degrees, and is more commonly known as “community journalism“.

This concept of community journalism is at the centre of new developments in journalism. In this new paradigm, journalists are able to engage citizens and the experts/elites in the proposition and generation of content. It’s important to note that while there is an assumption of equality, Dewey still celebrates expertise. Dewey believes the shared knowledge of many is far superior to a single individual’s knowledge. Experts and scholars are welcome in Dewey’s framework, but there is not the hierarchical structure present in Lippman’s understanding of journalism and society. According to Dewey, conversation, debate, and dialogue lie at the heart of a democracy.

Americans, for example, may criticize some of the excesses committed by journalists, but they tend to expect journalists to serve as watchdogs on government, businesses and actors, enabling people to make informed decisions on the issues of the time.

It seems to me that there is a role for both types, but I personally prefer the the more participatory Dewey version.
The borders between science communication and science journalism are becoming increasingly blurred.   My personal interest in all this is the role of scientists.  20 years ago, scientists published papers in obscure journals and most didn’t bother with communication to the public; in fact those that did (e.g. Carl Sagan) were frowned upon within the scientific community.  Nowadays, scientists receiving funding from most government agencies in the U.S. (notably NSF) are expected to have a public outreach component to their research.

The perspective of scientific institutions on science communications can be seen at:

Fall AGU Annual Meeting

At the Fall AGU Annual Meeting (this week in San Francisco), there were a number of presentations and sessions focused on the theme of communicating science.  These presentations provide insights into how climate science communication is viewed by scientists, science writers, communications professionals, and journalists.  Note:  ppt presentations are not yet available online for these; I present the abstracts and some comments.

Michael Mann: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines. Abstract:  A central figure in the controversy over human-caused climate change has been The Hockey Stick, a simple, easy-to-understand graph my colleagues and I constructed to depict changes in Earth’s temperature back to 1000 AD. The graph was featured in the high-profile Summary for Policy Makers of the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and it quickly became an icon in the debate over human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change. I will tell the story behind the Hockey Stick, using it as a vehicle for exploring broader issues regarding the role of skepticism in science, the uneasy relationship between science and politics, and the dangers that arise when special economic interests and those who do their bidding attempt to skew the discourse over policy-relevant areas of science. In short, I attempt to use the Hockey Stick to cut through the fog of disinformation that has been generated by the campaign to deny the reality of climate change. It is my intent, in so doing, to reveal the very real threat to our future that lies behind it.

JC comment:  This talk mostly seems to describe Mann’s forthcoming book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.  Mann clearly views science communication as a battle against the evil deniers.  The main tactic he illustrated was to smear his opponents by bringing up unrelated activities of his opponents in an attempt to discredit them (e.g. bringing up Cuccinelli’s objection to the bared breast on the state seal of Virginia).

Richard Sommerville and Susan Hasool:  Enhancing the communication of climate change science. Abstract:  Climate scientists have an important role to play in the critical task of informing the public, media and policymakers. Scientists can help in publicizing and illuminating climate science. However, this task requires combining climate science expertise with advanced communication skills. For example, it is entirely possible to convey scientific information accurately without using jargon or technical concepts unfamiliar to non-scientists. However, making this translation into everyday language is a job that few scientists have been trained to do. In this talk, we give examples from our recent experience working with scientists to enhance their ability to communicate well. Our work includes providing training, technical assistance, and communications tools to climate scientists and universities, government agencies, and research centers. Our experience ranges from preparing Congressional testimony to writing major climate science reports to appearing on television. We have also aided journalists in gathering reliable scientific information and identifying trustworthy experts. Additionally, we are involved in developing resources freely available online at climatecommunication.org. These include a feature on the links between climate change and extreme weather, a climate science primer, and graphics and video explaining key developments in climate change science.

JC comment:  This talk is based upon an article recently published in Physics Today.

Chris Mooney:  Science Communication Training: Lessons Learned.  Abstract:  For a year, the speaker has been working with the National Science Foundation to train hundreds of scientists across America to communicate. Here, a year and twelve trainings in, he’ll give a personal take on what this fairly dramatic experiment has revealed.

JC comment.  The abstract isn’t very informative; see his blog for topics that Chris commonly discusses..  Topics covered include framing, how to make good ppt presentations, and issues raised in his book  The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Don’t Believe in Science.  Chris introduced an interesting term: Smart Idiots.  These are people that develop strong and outspoken opinions and can even make reasonable sounding arguments based upon reading popular books and blogs.  Chris seemed to be applying this term only to the unconvinced; if used, this term should apply also on the convinced side.

Matthew Hirschland: Getting Our Story Straight: Taking the scientific process out of science communication. Abstract: Conveying the implications and applications of our science is becoming more, not less difficult. With media and policy debates around scientific issues fraught with gridlock, misinformation and confusion, we must recognize that the scientific process itself often contributes more noise than clarity. For science to occupy more of a privileged and influential place in the public and policy discourse, this must change. From the perspective of a communications professional, this presentation offers solutions.

Efforts to remedy this have disproportionately focused on training scientists to be “better” communicators. While this is necessary, it is far from sufficient in building the type of public trust and authority that really moves the credibility needle and our impact. By itself, a train the scientist approach actually complicates the issue by unleashing hoards of trained “science communicators”, trumpeting disconnected, qualified, and sometimes contradictory messages. The result, from the public’s perspective, is a focus on the sausage making elements of science, rather than the sausages – or the real consensus messages resulting from our work.

What is required is much better coordination in terms of framing and amplifying clear messages and findings around areas where real consensus exists, and a similar focus on deemphasizing those that occupy the opinion tails. Other sectors including government, corporates and medical sciences understand and practice this to better effect in building public consensus.

The correctives to this are threefold:

-Recognize that the scientific process, while excellent for doing science, is an awful way to communicate clearly. Publicly airing out the debates that are part and parcel of a healthy scientific discourse is a sure recipe for confusion. 
-Create and bolster better coordination mechanisms for consensus message building and delivery. Professional associations can and must play a more central convening and shaping role when it comes to key message shaping, timing and delivery. 
-Better leverage the tools, lessons and expertise of the communications profession. Often, communication is thought of as something everyone either can or should do. Other institutions regularly engage highly skilled experts to help build and shape messages for intended results. Better leveraging this group and their body of knowledge will pay great dividends.

All of these correctives are predicated on agreement that as a community we a) have a problem, b) can be disciplined and committed to promoting consensus views (as are those that seek to call into question our work), and c) are willing to examine our own incentive structures that push elements of scientific debate into the open that are better left behind closed doors.

As long as scientists continue delivering multiple, and often competing messages, we should not be incredulous that non-scientists continue to doubt even those consensus views that have been hard won and remain squarely built on fact.

JC comment:  Hirschfield is the new director of communications at NCAR/UCAR.

Naomi Oreskes:  Two Challenges to Communicating Climate ScienceClimate scientists have been frustrated by the persistence of public opinion at odds with established scientific evidence about anthropogenic climate change. Traditionally, scientists have attributed the gap between scientific knowledge and public perception to scientific illiteracy, which could be remedied by a better and more abundant supply of well-communicated scientific information. Social scientific research, however, illustrates that this “deficit model” is insufficient to explain the current state of affairs: many individuals who reject the conclusions of climate scientists are highly educated, and some evidence suggests that, among certain demographics, more educated people are more likely than less educated ones to reject climate science. This talk explores two possible sources of resistance to, or outright rejection of, scientific conclusions about climate change: 1) the effects of long-standing organized efforts to challenge climate science and the credibility of climate scientists; 2) conservative Protestant religious beliefs concerning how factual claims about the earth are determined and how their significance is judged.

JC comment:  much of the material seemed to be drawn from Oreskes book Merchants of Doubt.

Eli Kintisch:  Experiments in Creative Climate Journalism.  Creative experiments in climate journalism are my aim during a one year fellowship at a university. The goal is to engage the audience’s senses, mind, and hopefully, imagination in work about Earth’s climate. The work is done in collaboration with students, artists, scientists, musicians and actors, all marshalled to explain how the warming planet works through engaging and innovative means. This session will feature video examples of using design or music to visualize climate data. 

A video using improvisational actors drinking Red Bull to bring the concept of climate sensitivity to life will be shown.
A glossy card designed to spoof an airline safety instruction card will be displayed; its design explains geoengineering techniques and their risks. 

In doing this work I have benefitted from a fellowship at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, which has provided the precious gift of time and creative atmosphere. I am on leave from Science magazine. I will report on what has and hadn’t worked in fostering new means of communicating science in an academic setting. 

The session will also explore the shifting role of the journalist in this new space. The challenges take me beyond simply using words as a medium between science and the public. I find myself as a convener or producer in engendering partnerships between scientists and great communicators like actors, sculptors or filmmakers.

Jeff Kiehl:  Creating Affective Solutions to Communicating Climate Science.  Abstract: Communicating climate change science to various sectors of society can be challenging. The science is complex and audiences may resist hearing about projected changes to their lived world that feel threatening. Yet, it is imperative that scientists improve their ways of communicating climate issues so that the public is more informed on this issue. In this presentation, I discuss a few of the more important psychological and social barriers to communicating climate science to the public. I show how these barriers are a natural result of defenses against a perceived change to the listener’s world. I then provide a framework for scientists to use that enables them to develop new narratives around climate science concepts. This approach employs metaphors that more effectively connect the listener to the message. These metaphors rest on the important role of affect and image in communication. Finally, I provide insight on my experiences in using this technique and how it can more effectively (and affectively) connect the public to climate science issues.
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/aboutus/staff/kiehl/kiehl.html

JC comment:  to me, this was the most interesting (and unexpected) talk.  Jeff Kiehl  has a degree in psychology (which I didn’t know about).  He also discussed material that we covered on a previous thread Climate Scientists are Different(?) From the General Public.

My AGU presentation:  Engaging the Public on Climate Change

I also presented a talk in this session, my abstract was discussed on this previous thread.  The slides are posted [agu curry talk].  The narrative for my talk is provided below:

In his talk yesterday Michael Mann summed up the frustrations of communicating climate change in three words:  WHY NO ACTION? Opinion polls show that many people are unconcerned by climate change.  And there has been a failure of the public to act on the risks perceived by the climate scientists.

So what is the solution to the climate communication problem?    At this Conference and in this session, we are hearing a number of ideas re improving communication:

  • Better messengers?
  • Clearer message?
  • More exciting presentations?
  • Better educated populace?
  • Squashing skepticism?

These ideas for improving communication are consistent with the linear model of communication,  whereby science plus communication and translation of the science, should lead to action.   The current buzzword for this is “actionable science.”  The communication part of the linear model generally includ simplified message, appeal to consensus, effective presentation, and translation for relevance. The focus of the linear model is on the message and messenger, as a disseminator of information.

In spite of substantial efforts in communication, many people remain unconvinced.

There is another model of communication, which is the circular model of communication.  Unlike the linear model that focuses on the messenger, the circular model views the receiver as an equal partner in the communication and focuses on the process of engagement (which includes dialogue and feedback)

When a messenger actually makes the effort to understand why an individual is unconvinced, this inevitably leads to both deepening and broadening the discussion to address complexity and uncertainties.  The end result can be raising the level of the public dialogue.

To engage effectively with the public on the issue of climate change, we need to recognize that the public salience of climate science is intimately connected with perceived risks and the costs of potential solutions, which are filtered through an individual’s world view and politics.

The goal of engagement is not just to inform, but to enable, motivate and educate the public regarding the technical, political, and social dimensions of climate change.

In the context of a circular process, experts and decision-makers seek input and learn from the public about preferences, needs, insights, and ideas                                         relative to scientific topics, climate change impacts, vulnerabilities,  solutions, and policy options.

There is a growing community of people that is demanding such engagement, not only on the policy issues but the scientific issues as well. The idea of the extended peer community has been around since the 1990’s, from the work of Funtowicz and Ravetz. When stakes are high and uncertainties are large, there is a public demand to participate and assess the quality of the data and research. There is a segment of the unconvinced public that consists of technically educated people who want to think for themselves. They are not prepared to cede judgment on this issue to the consensus authority.Further there is a growing number of scientists and other academics from an increasingly broad range of disciplines want to bring their expertise to climate research

The size of the extended peer community associated with climate change has grown substantially in the wake of climategate, which made many lose trust in the judgement of the IPCC experts.

New information technology and the open knowledge movement is enabling extended peer communities. These new technologies facilitate the rapid diffusion of information and sharing of expertise.  This newfound power has challenged the politics of expertise.  Climategate illustrated the importance of the blogosphere as an empowerment of the extended peer community.

My communication efforts have targeted the technically educated scientifically literate non experts, many of whom are unconvinced by the IPCC’s arguments. The people that I have been engaging with include engineers, statisticians, physicists, chemists, medical doctors, lawyers, and economists.

Why am I targeting this group?  In terms of absolute numbers, there are a small fraction of a percent of the population. However, this group includes many opinion leaders. Failure to pay attention to this group (particular engineers interested in data quality and statistical analysis) arguably led to Climategate Further, these experts from diverse fields  have much to contribute to the research, communication and the public debate.

The forum for my engagement with this group is my blog Climate Etc. at judithcurry.com.  My blog is a forum for engagement of technically educated people.  My role is lead with topics for discussion, many of which are suggested by participants. Sometimes I make my personal opinion known and sometimes I do not.  I most definitely do not try to tell people what to think.  My blog is unmoderated, where the discussion is for the most part unconstrained.  I’ve tried to establish a fair place for an open debate.

The end result has been thousands of interested bloggers, laypeople and scientists interacting, arguing, disagreeing, and learning.   I often feature papers that are skeptical of aspects of the consensus science.  In addition to responding the concern that skeptical papers are discriminated against by the mainstream community, I find that very interesting discussions can be provoked by considering a skeptical paper.

About a month ago, I received an email from scientist wanted to do a guest post on two papers that he recently had published on the topic of surface temperature data.  I agreed to host his post, since his papers were relevant to the discussion we had been having on the analysis of the Berkeley surface temperature data.  This particular scientist was a prominent member of the German skeptic group EIKE.

One of the first comments on this thread was from an IPCC lead author who thought that these papers were deeply flawed, and thought I was irresponsible and peddling disinformation by hosting this post.

This controversy was picked up by a number of different blogs, and there was a particularly good discussion on this at collide-a-scape.  The argument on this topic was a classic clash between the linear and circular models of communication:  scientists as gatekeepers of information to be disseminated to the public, versus scientists as a facilitator of a free wheeling  dialogue.

A well known climate scientist and blogger wrote this statement on collide-a-scape:

Judith decided a while back that the judgment of the community on what was interesting and what was not, was not itself to be trusted.

My judgment on what is interesting to the broader community has been formed by actually listening to them and trying to address issues of their concern.  The community that I am interacting with on my blog is interested in these issues:

  •      Natural climate variability and nonlinear dynamics
  •      Climate model verification and validation
  •      Data quality
  •      Statistical analysis, uncertainty, logic of arguments
  •      Scientific method and responsible conduct of research
  •      IPCC
  •      Skeptical arguments

This is a different list of issues than the climate establishment has decided are interesting.  3 years ago, I wasn’t focusing my attention on any of these issues.  Over the past 2 years, I have focused extensively on these issues on my blog, and increasingly in my published academic research.

This is the difference between linear and circular communication.

So where do I see all this going? I think that social media, particularly the blogosphere, has enormous unrealized potential to:

  • facilitate understanding of complex issues
  • provide transparency
  •  identify the best contributions
  • increase the signal and filter out the noise
  • drive public policy innovation
  • reduce polarization

Climate scientists are increasingly experimenting with the climate blogosphere, in a variety of different ways.  It is something that I have found to be enormously rewarding and educational on a personal level.  I will leave the impact of my efforts to be judged by others.

In closing, I will state that I hope to see many more climate scientists developing their voices and communicating publicly in the blogosphere. To quote Chris Mooney:  you have nothing to lose but your irrelevance.

AGU Communication Prize:  Gavin Schmidt

A new award from the AGU recognizes excellence in climate communication.  Gavin Schmidt is the inaugural winner of the award.

“AGU created this award to raise the visibility of climate change as a critical issue facing the world today, to demonstrate our support for scientists who commit themselves to the effective communication of climate change science, and to encourage more scientists to engage with the public and policy makers on how climate research can contribute to the sustainability of our planet,” said AGU president Michael McPhaden. “That’s why we are so pleased to recognize Gavin for his dedicated leadership and outstanding scientific achievements. We hope that his work will serve as an inspiration for others.”

Schmidt said, “Talking to the public and the media is often neglected in assessing people’s contributions, and yet, as taxpayer-funded scientists we have a collective responsibility to share the expertise we have with the broader public. I’m very happy that the efforts I’ve made-in collaboration with many colleagues-have been recognized by this new award. I hope that this can serve as an encouragement for more scientists to dip their toe into the public discussions.”

The prize, which comes with a $25,000 cash award, is sponsored by Nature’s Own, a Boulder, Colo.-based company specializing in the sale of minerals, fossils, and decorative stone specimens.

“This award will help increase communication of our scientific understanding of climate change and its consequences, and I congratulate Gavin for all that he has accomplished and what it means for the scientific community,” said Nature’s Own president and founder Roy Young, an AGU member. “Gavin has worked tirelessly to bring the work of scientists in understanding our changing world to both the public debate as well as to the broader scientific community.”

RealClimate has stated that Gavin will be writing a forthcoming essay at RC on climate communication.

JC comments:

My view of climate communication is starkly different from the other presenters. Using the Dewey vs Lipmann models of journalism to describe differences in approach to climate communication, I would say that Gavin’s approach is in the Lipmann style, whereas my own is in the Dewey style.

Science blogging is not journalism in the traditional sense, but it exists on the continuum between  science communication and science journalism.

Keith Kloor is taking on the issue of science journalism in this thread at collide-a-scape, which is worth visiting.



793 responses to “Science communication

  1. Anyone know of any polls specifically targeting engineers, doctors etc. on climate change?

      • OT but might be of interest:
        Recent article by statistician Grant Foster TAMINO</b)
        Global temperature evolution 1979–2010

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022/pdf/1748-9326_6_4_044022.pdf

        is absolute nonsense!

      • Silent, patient, and firm, as through frosted glasses.
        ==================

      • The authors make the classic error of the “Kelvin Fallacy”. They assume there are no unknown factors affecting temperatures.

      • vukcevic: is absolute nonsense!

        Don’t be absurd. All they did was show that the differences between the 5 temperature data series can be resolved via their differential sensitivity to a few other concomitantly varying measures. They also tried to test whether the rate of change of jointly estimated temperature was constant, and showed that, within error bounds on the estimates of rate of change, it is constant.

      • It’s not about what the paper says, it’s about the circular logic deniers, like other conspiracy theorists, use to rationalize their position. It goes like this:

        1. We’re right!
        2. This person/news outlook/blog said we are wrong — that is an outrage!
        3. Those that say outrageous things cannot be trusted! Therefore:
        4. Every trustworthy source confirms we are right!

        Also related is the circular paranoia/persecution logic, which goes:

        1. We’re right!
        2. A vast majority of qualified experts says we’re wrong — therefore the elitist are persecuting us!
        3. If the elites are persecuting us, it must be because they are afraid of us. Because we’re right!

        If you ignore the parsimonious explanation — they’re wrong, and their ideas don’t get traction because they are dumb — it’s easy to follow their logic. It helps if you have experience working with the mentally ill, who often exhibit similar reasoning brought on by thought disorders.

      • Suffice to say that no one, but no one has accurately quantified solar input. In this well known 300 year long set of data, if you remove the solar input, as the statistician pretend climate scientist Grant Foster (often masquerading as ‘Tamino’) suggests, there wouldn’t be much left.

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-T.htm

        He got highly agitated during our exchange on the RealClimate. One thing for certain he should learn is not only the natural variability but the basic norms of civilised communication, which sadly he appears to be incapable of.

      • This, on the other hand, is nonsense.

      • Grant Foster (or do you prefer Tamino ) isn’t as clever as he assumes, he frequently visited my web pages from ISP 72.65.97.164

      • Everyone deserves some light hearted comedy in their lives.

      • Hi Louise
        It’s nice to meet you. Life is far too short to take too seriously. All I do is for fun of it. I couldn’t find you on denizens, so I hope your life is full of light hearted fun too.

      • Foster banned Svalgard for having the propensity to suggest,that his pretty pictures (and correlations) were incorrect,as they were unphysical ie an abscence of mechanism for solar changes in the last 300 years.

        The implications are clear either Fosters pretty pictures are correct,and solar theory is incorrect, or the inverse assumption holds.That incorrect argumenets say by either Foster or say sceptical science can become entrenched in “folk lore” is problematic.

      • vukcevic: Suffice to say that no one, but no one has accurately quantified solar input.

        That does not support your claim that the paper is nonsense. It supports weaker claims such as: there might be a better way to reconcile the temperature discrepancies when (if) better insolation measures are created.

      • MattStat (are you mathematical statistician too?)
        Not his advocate? Mr. Foster (Tamino) couldn’t come on Dr. Curry’s blog and respond?, hope to meet him one day.

      • vuk, localised warming, or cooling; refered as GLOBAL; is ”the mother of all lies” you are part of it. Not having temperature data for 9999999999999999,1 places on the planet; but with confidence stating that you have GLOBAL temperature record / data – is harming billions of people, directly or indirectly. Your inflated ego, will backfire on you; every time you state ”GLOBAL temperature” you are teling a shameless / destructive lie.

      • vukcevic: MattStat (are you mathematical statistician too?)
        Not his advocate?

        That’s non-responsive. Your criticism was over the top, and I said so.

      • Stefan
        I whish I knew what that was about. No one around here takes seriously what I write, so I am surprised that you do. But in any case here is what I wrote recently:
        The endless discussions on so called ‘global temperature’ trends may be pointless until it is clearly understood what drives the Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations.
        I hope that is of some help to you.

      • vukcevic – Tamino has really got under your skin hasn’t he?

        You attack him at WUWT

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/10/the-true-failure-of-durban/#comment-826397

        You attack him on RC

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/12/unforced-variations-dec-2011/comment-page-4/#comment-221826

        You attack him on other threads on CE

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/08/david-whitehouse-on-science-journalism/#comment-148921

        All in the last 24 hours (and these are just the web sites that I happened to be reading) – you’re in danger of looking like a stalker. How many other sites did you target?

      • These results are hardly nonsense, in fact they are quite interesting. However, given that all 5 series oscillate in lockstep it is relatively simple to find a few adjustments that make them coincide. These particular adjustments are loaded with physical speculation, so what we have here is an hypothesis, neither more nor less. It ought to be relatively easy to find an alternative set of speculative adjustments that make all 5 series go flat. What fun! A genre of research is born.

      • The first thing to do with this T-R hypothesis is to take the formulas that generate the adjustments from the physical data and calculate adjustments for the surface statistics going back 100 years. Interesting to see if we get a lot of new early 20th Century warming.

      • Hi David
        I know that Foster’s comments on the solar input not only they are inadequate but wrong. If you take a good look at the graph linked below comment to Louise (that distressed so muchGrant Foster so called Tamino ) it is most solar, If you take the solar output there is only a flat line left. The fascinating part of it is that temperature spectrum at the Hale cycle is ass strong as the one at the sunspot cycle, this would indicate that temperature responds to magnetic just as much as the TSI (linked to sunspots). Tis would indicate that understanding of the solar –Earth link is not fully understood.
        My conclusion is that Grant Foster (=Tamino) is wrong on the solar input!Mr. Foster consider this as an invitation to disprove my conclusion.

      • Typing into the blog’s input form directly from my pc, appears not to be good idea, so I apologise for number of ‘typo’ errors.

      • vukcevic –

        You seem to think it is rather important to point out that Tamino’s real name is Grant Foster.

        Is there a particular reason that you consider that so important?

      • Vuk, it is a shame you chose to stick your first post in at the third level because it makes replying impossible. In any case, I consider you solar theory just as speculative as AGW, so neither disproves the other. My read on the science is that we do not know why climate changes.

      • Yes indeed, when someone who calls himself Tamino hurls unforgivable insults, and not brave enough to put his real name, I think it is important that his schizophrenic attitude is exposed.
        Mr. Grand Foster can’t pretend that on one hand he is respectable scientist, who wishes to have a global influence on one of the burning and must important global questions of the day, and on the other under masquerade as Tamino hurtling publicly most repulsive profanity at someone who has chosen to disagree as:

        http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=10128#comment-221491

        comment #34.
        He might be hero to many, my conclusion is they are badly misguided.

      • vukcevic –

        Does it make someone “brave” if they hurl insults in blog posts that have their full name attached?

        And do you really think that issuing an insult in a blog post or comment is “unforgivable?” If so, a lot of our beloved denizens who hold Christian beliefs are in for a rude surprise.

      • Hi again David
        I agree with you, everything is speculative until proven right, so when someone discovers another ‘oddity’ it is job of the science to pursue it, not ignore it or worse to deny its existence. Here I see my role as someone bringing some of those odd things to the attention of scientific community, which unfortunately is more preoccupied with politics and internal acrimony than what the science should be doing.

      • Joshua,

        I’m sure if someone on this blog was arguing with you under two different names and you knew about it, you’d remain completely silent about it.

        That’s because you’re so fair-minded and “non-hilarious”.

      • vukcevic, I don’t want to rain on your parade, but the relationships you are noting are quite likely real indications of mechanisms interacting to produce change in climate. The trick is defining the actual mechanisms and the sensitivity of climate their interaction.

        Self organized criticality in climate is fairly well documented by Selvam, http://cdsweb.cern.ch/search?ln=en&p=Selvam%2C+A+M&jrec=1&f=author, Nearly everything you have mentioned, including the geomagnetic response to Hale cycles has indications that at certain times, under certain conditions, they have impacts climate. But how has anthropogenic impact changed the interactions?

        I recommend you start with the strongest relationships and define the physical mechanism that drives that relationship and the magnitude. Solar variation is small, but the impact can be twice its apparent value under conditions where it is, to some degree, synchronized with another mechanism. Solar minimums would have more cooling impact than solar maximums would have warming impact, if average temperatures are closer to maximum value. The reverse would be true as well.

        The most obvious combination of mechanisms would be increased water vapor and clouds changing the ratio of atmospheric to surface solar absorption during a prolonged solar minimum.

        I don’t mess with time series since everyone and his brother is an expert, but there are apparent threshold values that have to be considered to explain the points were correlations fall apart. Figure out a few of those and your graphs will attract more attention.

      • Joshua
        If Mr. Grant Foster would like to appear he would be welcome, but it have no intention to waste my time on comments from his advocates.
        Here I conclude for now, off to lecture by Dr. Brian Cox at the South Bank.

      • I think I’ve never heard so loud
        The quiet message in a cloud.

        Fish and phytoplankton feel
        Diminuation of the sun’s appeal.
        ============

      • What I can’t understand is what analyses such as this, on a mere three decades of data — in fact the last 31 years or so of data on record, all within what many continue to refer to as among the decades of “highest temperature ever’ ” — really means relative to such things as differentiating between “natural”and “man-made” climate variations, the ACTUAL role of all range of solar influences (i.e., beyond just TSI), the implications of the oceanic oscillations (PDO, IOD, ENSO, etc), and the effect of cloud formation/dissipation mechanics, and precipitation.

        As I understand them, Wojick’s comments identify that the adjustment process leaves the authors open to criticism on why these adjustments, and why in this manner (as opposed to some other). Why indeed? What scientific basis is there for the adjustments, or it is yet another manipulation of data to meet a [modeled] notion of what is right and what is not?

      • “What I can’t understand . . .”

        What efforts have you made to understand it?

        That science can be hard to understand is not news. That’s why people spend the better part of a decade in higher education before they are considered qualified scientists, and then typically only within a narrow range of specialization.

        On the face of it, I see no significance to your confusion. Enlighten me?

      • Louise | December 11, 2011 at 6:55 am |
        ……..
        Good. His science may or may not be questionable, take your choice, but I will take liberty to oppose it. His qualities as civilised human being have been exposed by himself as inadequate, and that is not for me to pursue in public.
        So I say, if Grant Foster masquerading as Tamino, has found something to disturb him so deeply about this graph

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-T.htm

        something that endangered his reputation as scientist, so devastating to revert to his lowest instincts, then why not appear on any of those blogs and tell us all what he thinks is wrong or questionable, lie or fraud (all tolerated), but I would suggest to upgrade his previous vocabulary.
        BTW my email is on the graph, so if you are really that curios , word surprisingly got through, not only automatic word exclusion but heavy moderating applied there, which I assume it was not done considering he is well known character. The RC had a busy time erasing number of posts (see page 4 on unforced variations and missing numbers, of which only one is mine, promising that I look forward of meeting him sometime, so he can offer an apology.

      • Vuk, maybe Tamino doesn’t want his other name flashed in public. The long aggressive misleading propaganda( you are active part of it) has created nutters in both camps > probably he doesn’t want his children, or his grandma exposed to the nutters you are creating. Does your partner ”tallblocke” has same name on his driving licence? If Tamino accused you wrongly; tell us what. If he pointed to your lies; why do you want his family’s blood? Tito, Chauseskiu model of ”world order” suits you, but you and IPCC haven’t brainwashed every person in the west, and never will

        I pointed to few of your lies, you made your partner tallblocke instantly to wipe off few very important comments I made on his blog + to falsify / argue about a comment; on which he is wrong anyway + is stating inside my comment: ”we are all for localized warming, instead of global”

        Instead of acknowledging that: ”my comments that he wiped off, and what he got on my website changed his beliefs. He can falsify on his blog to do your revenge; but you and him cannot falsify all the comments made on other blogs. Even on his website / your charts gives the impression that the planet has a hi-fever / temp goes up and down as a yo-yo. I pointed your mistakes, because records stay on the net… lies will start to look as lies soon > join us. Instead, you are doing what Tito was doing I.e. believe in bull, or penalties follow. That is ”internet bullying”

        I have all the proofs, everything can be proven now; no need 100y trick, I will win. But, you should apologise to Tamino. If you point to your child when is wrong, is not because you hate your child. Ipointed to you also that: your misleadings are part of the conspiracy that is and will heart billion people. Otherwise, if you continue with penalizing people that point your mistakes on every sneaky way, you don’t need tallbloke’s / IPCC’s help; you heed a shrink. When I criticized you, I had the best intention; you as manipulator, don’t have capacity to understand… because of constant fear that your lies will be exposed… if somebody does; revenge / GULAG. This is another olive branch. I believe that I will win, because there are still lots of honest people. Gentleman, when proven wrong, says; sorry / thanks. Not what you said: you are putting cheese on your mousetrap. The truth will win, vuk; I have all the proofs. Think about that

    • Or polling climate scientists as to when we should treat ear infections?

      Or interviewing art historians on the integration of rail transport with urban design?

  2. Too late

    Your bias shone through loud and clear in (the omission of allegiance of the writers quoted in) your previous post.

    • Louise, if you are talking to me, I am not particularly interested in terms of trying to infer anyone’s allegiance. I am interested in the arguments that people make.

      • so you would report an IPCC author’s view without stating their allegiance? Your track record says not.

        You present two views discussng science reporting as if these are independant guys coincidentally coming up with similar points yet you fail to mention that they are both members of a particularly partisan group.

        Your slip is showing…

      • I would suggest any “author(s)” of papers that refer to discredited Mann paper(s) that use a hockey stick are partisan to the point of being pathological liars.

      • Judith,

        You may say this about some aspects of climate science but would you just ignore someone’s ‘dragonslayer’ allegiance? I doubt it.

        There are all kinds of wacko groups out there as you’ll know only too well. Its just not sensible to ignore allegiances. Many of their arguments look superficially plausible but its a nightmare for anyone to try to engage in a rational discussion about them.

        Just like arguing with climate science deniers!

      • The problem is most of what people believe is wrong and incomplete.
        So pointing to the fact that I have one wrong belief or associate with people who have wrong beliefs as the basis for further communication is no different than saying I shouldnt talk to anyone

      • Judith –

        I am not particularly interested in terms of trying to infer anyone’s allegiance.

        You’ve said this before – yet it seems contradictory to all that you’ve said regarding the tribalism among climate scientists.

        Isn’t what you meant to say that you’re not particularly interested in terms of trying to infer anyone’s allegiance as long as they identify as a “skeptic?”

      • Go re-read my original essay on tribalism. It is the gatekeeping part that is the big problem.

      • The allegation of gatekeeping implies you have determined that certain people have an allegiance to something and are excluding outsiders.

        So you are evaluating allegiances among scientists, but not “skeptics,” although you argue that they are part of the “extended peer review community.”

        If they are to play the important part in the scientific discourse you say, shouldn’t you critically evaluate their allegiances and it effects on their behavior?

      • Robert:…evaluating allegiances among scientists, but not “skeptics,”

        Gatekeeping – Please don’t feed the trolls

        Pauli exclusion principle – “Not even wrong”

        Question: How can …not even wrong be a cogent argument?

        Answer: By showing that being correct is irrelevant.

      • Robert the issue is power.
        power to direct science
        power to publish
        power to not publish

        When the argument was made that we should ONLY consider peer reviwed science, the issue of power and access became central.

      • Robert the issue is power.

        Of course it is — for you.

        You want it. You advertise that in everything you do. And you don’t intend to let a little thing like the observed reality of the physical world get in your way.

        But when you judge scientists and other people by the standards of your own impoverished outlook, that’s where you lose your way. Because for decent people, it’s not about power; it’s about what’s right.

      • steven mosher on December 9, 2011 at 10:12 PM had written:

        When the argument was made that we should ONLY consider peer reviwed science, the issue of power and access became central.

        Mr. mosher, I suggest that it was only when the editorial process (including peer review) in the few most influential scientific journals of the very young discipline of climatology came wholly under the controlling influence of “Mike’s Hockey Team” – the C.R.U. correspondents whose long collusions were confirmed in the first tranche of Climategate documents made public two years ago – that “peer reviewed science” became the tool with which politicians and other con artists began to bludgeon those of us who received the preposterous proposition of the anthropogenic global climate change contention with the critical skepticism it has always warranted.

        Look back and I think you’ll find that it was when this warmista “lock” on the journals had been secured that we started being told that “we should ONLY consider peer reviewed science.”

        These fraudsters wouldn’t have risked it otherwise.

      • Robert you miss the point again

        You think the issue is about identifying people’s allegiance. It’s not.
        The issue is about power. On one hand we should be concerned about the power of groups ( say oil interests ) to prevent us from taking the
        necessary action. We need also be concerned about the power groups exert to control science. It’s pretty simple, Mann and others feared that certain corporate interests were exerting their power, so Mann and others responded with the only weapon they had: power over science. That
        required Mann and others to see all critics as enemies governed by
        Oil interests. That was a mistake.

      • Raving,

        Gatekeeping – Please don’t feed the trolls

        You don’t want to argue because, deep down, you know that mainstream science is a much more reliable guide that the opinion of people like Snr Inhofe or the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley!

      • Deep down, tt, people like Steve McIntyre and Roger Pielke, Sr. are more credible than people like Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth.
        ====================

      • Judith,

        Furthermore, you need to look at how those allegiances operate. One obvious question I would ask of all groups who argue for increased transparency and scrutiny of climate scientists, including the GWPF who fund David Whitehouse, is why they refuse to reveal the identity of their donors?

      • Because the GWPF is a UK charity. Does WWF, greenpeace, Friends of the Earth reveal their donors? They take money from energy pressure groups, the GWPF does not.

      • You said they didn’t need to say where their money came from, and then you claimed you knew where there money came from.

        Might want to get your story straight before you take that line of patter prime time.

      • tt,
        Where is the Greenpeace, WWF, FoE, etc. getting their bucks?
        Stop the double standard bs.

      • Every environmental group has their own policy when it comes to getting money. Groups such as TNC and Sierra Club will accept corporate donations but the National Resources Defense Council refuses all corporate support and is individual member supported.

        You will have to do some digging, but each one of those groups that you mention will probably say what their policy is on their home page.

  3. Fascinating post.

    My first observation is that the majority of those giving talks about science communication at the AGU are doing so from a very polarised position – Chris Mooney, Michael Mann, and Jeff Kiehl for instance. Obviously it wasn’t a journalist’s conference, but I’d be intrigued to have a comparison with Andy Revkin and Keith Kloor’s perspective concerning the same issues.

    I’m interested too in your mentioning that Kiehl has a psychology degree. I’ve often wondered if his claim here –

    http://www2.ucar.edu/news/3628/earth-s-hot-past-could-be-prologue-future-climate

    – that reaching 900ppm Co2 by the end of the century will eventually result in a temperature rise of 16 degrees Celsius, was a psychological test – to see how many people took the idea seriously and parroted his guesses without questioning them.

    The odd thing is that he makes James Hansen look like a sane human being which on its own is a remarkable achievement.

    P.S. Apologies for getting distracted from the interesting science communication issues. Loonies have that effect on me..

  4. With so many contending communication modalities vying for prominence, it would be worth knowing if anyone is looking for a way to assess these quantitatively for impact and accuracy. Otherwise, what we’ll be left with is everyone’s personal impression of what works and what doesn’t.

    It won’t be easy, because of indirect effects, but it probably should be attempted.

    • The internet by its very nature creates a Dewey like atmosphere, whereas broadcast news is definitely Lippmann. Comparing the perception of news and knowledge of the breadth in issues between areas of high internet use to areas of low internet use may be useful in teasing apart the different impacts of journalism modalities. One would have to correct for other socioeconomically, age, and educational factors that may impact more than just internet usage.

    • The scientometrics community is indeed looking at these issues, including me. Not a lot of progress so far, because things are changing so fast.

  5. I regard science communication as simply all the ways science gets communicated. Science journalism is then just one of many ways. Science magazine offers an interesting example. The back section is a peer reviewed journal. Before that come “perspectives” which explain some of the journal articles in less technical terms, but still pretty technical. Before that comes several news sections, with longer and shorter science news pieces. Only these are journalism. There are also commentaries, policy pieces, and even job ads.

    All of these various items are part of science communication, as are the conversations in hallways, emails, blogs, plus books, movies, labels on products, lectures in classes, etc. Science communication is a vast diffusion process, involving most living people in one way or another. Science journalism is a tiny, but important, fragment of this vast flow.

    • Let’s understand a deliberately denied essential here, and it’s the simple fact that in it’s true form (i.e., not as a public relations “mouthpiece” for government, as we see in the British and Australian broadcasting corporations) journalism is a commercial enterprise seeking to make its profits by “grabbing eyeballs” (and ears) for businesses trying to get their advertising messages in front of potential customers.

      Apart from the overwhelming leftie-luser government worshiping “Liberal” fascist bias of the Journalista bastids swarming over the not-yet-cooled corpse of the old, deceitful, morally and intellectually and financially bankrupt “mainstream” excuse for news media, their key characteristic is their lunging lust for stories that fit their “if it bleeds, it leads.” priorities.

      In the “We’re All Gonna Die!” hysteria of Algore’s ManBearPig, they got themselves a twofer, something that fits the Menckenian need of their beloved politicians and bureaucrats for that “endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” “to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety)” and something that’ll grab those eyeballs for their advertisers.

      The Journalista bastiches are no more interested in the valid “communication” of honest scientific investigation than are los warmistas of Dr. Mann’s hideous “Hockey Team” and the rest of the academically credentialed fraudsters exposed in the Climategate revelations.

      • Rich Matarese | December 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply

        You knocked that one outta da park!

      • I.m inclined to agree that journalism standards don’t exist. Kim would probably say that its all about advertising and that’s generally far from the truth.

      • Peter Davies on December 10, 2011 at 8:07 AM writes:

        I’m inclined to agree that journalism standards don’t exist. Kim would probably say that its all about advertising and that’s generally far from the truth.

        To the extent that there’s a body of law encompassing the offenses of libel and the violation of copyright (not to mention those usages widely and almost uniformly applied with regard to plagiarism and outright fabrication), the commercial enterprise of journalism in these United States most certainly does have “standards,” adherence to which is expected. See any of the number of purely journalistic style guides long in publication.

        As for how “far from the truth” is the degree to which private-sector journalism is “all about advertising,” Mr. Davies is invited to look into the ways in which a commercial periodical or television show’s audience share and (in scholarly publications) impact factor affect the rates at which advertisers can be charged for placement of their messaging therein.

        There’s a whole service industry involved in the measurement of these operational considerations, and the companies involved in those assessments do not perform these functions for free.

        As long as journalists are involved in a profit-making service enterprise where the level and other qualities of “eyeball-grabbing” are what the customers seek – and pay for – then, yeah, it most definitely is “all about advertising,” and only transiently and insignificantly (in the sense of journalists continuing to draw their paychecks) can it ever be any other way.

      • What’s ‘advertising’?
        ==============

      • kim on December 10, 2011 at 9:48 AM asks of me:

        What’s ‘advertising’?

        Presuming that kim is not totally unfamiliar with English (or even the American language), and appreciating the fact that in order to read and post here kim must have access to the Internet, permit me to provide this link to the Wiki-bloody-pedia.page on “advertising.”

        It’s not the most reliable source of information on the Web, but it remains a fair and accessible starting point. Knock yourself out, kim.

      • Ah, a variety of ‘Hidden Persuasion’! Appreciate the curbside, mein furor.
        ======================

      • Kim asked what’s ‘advertising’? Rich answered the question by referring to Wikipedia. I suspect the type of answer she expected would be about selling something, an image, a product, lifestyle or even just a point of view.

        In the context of the media, written or spoken, advertising revenue is its life blood; so its very important to get the prospects (mugs?) engaged so they will get the.

      • ….message :)

      • Rich Matareses

        Good summary.

        Max

      • (not you Materese, David W)

      • Well, that’s a comfort. The approval of Anteros is to be regarded as inadvertently stepping into the residue of any other kind of uncurbed mutt.

      • Rich, please don’t hang your harangues on my posts, unless you want to respond to what I have said.

      • After having posted at 3:04 PM his opinion that “I regard science communication as simply all the ways science gets communicated. Science journalism is then just one of many ways. …we read from David Wojick at 5:50 PM the following:

        Rich, please don’t hang your harangues on my posts, unless you want to respond to what I have said.

        …about my response at 4:03 PM to the effect that:

        journalism is a commercial enterprise seeking to make its profits by “grabbing eyeballs” (and ears) for businesses trying to get their advertising messages in front of potential customers.
        …and not, in fact, “just one of many ways” in which communications are undertaken.

        If Mr. Wojick considers that a “harangue,” Mr. Wojick has to offer some kind of reasoned argument for his denial of the validity of my statement or its lack of pertinence to his post of 3:04 PM.

        Otherwise, Mr. Wojick, don’t hang your whining on my posts.

      • I can settle this little tiff. It was a pertinent harangue.

      • Rich, if you ever have anything to say in direct response to something I have said, then I will be happy to discuss it with you. Until then….

      • Don, how was it pertinent? I was describing everything beyond journalism, the entire system as one of diffusion. In no case was I talking about motivation. Rich has no concept of what others are saying. He is in love with his polemics. He sees a word and hangs a speech on it.

      • David Wojick on December 9, 2011 at 8:31 PM carps about how in his post of 3:04 PM he’d been supposedly:

        …describing everything beyond journalism, the entire system as one of diffusion. In no case was I talking about motivation.

        …when in fact acknowledgement and appreciation of the “motivation” of those who utter reportage on any subject is only be evaded by those determined to receive the content thereof – or push those contents on others – without due diligence regarding confirmation bias.

        Acknowledgement of the damaging effects of such confirmation bias is one of the reasons why scholarly periodicals and academic conferences in the medical profession now require and publish authors’ and presenters’ disclosures of financial relationships with pharmaceuticals manufacturers and other commercial interests.

        Bias is unavoidable. The best that can be done by the reader when confronting such predispositions is to keep mindful of their character and the distortions they produce.

        Does Mr. Wojick find it distasteful that the predominant bias of the leftie-luser Journalista bastids is overwhelmingly “Liberal” fascist in its statist government-glorifying pumping up of the AGW fraud in particular and other Menckenian “hobgoblins” generally?

        Aw, too bad. It is as it is, and evading acknowledgement isn’t going to make these practices any less duplicitous and damaging to real human beings all around Mr. Wojick.

      • OK David. I guess my eyes were playing tricks on me. I thought you mentioned journalism a couple of times in there. But I suppose if you did mention it, you meant that as a cryptic signal that nobody was supposed to talk about it. Are we straight now?

      • David Wojick,

        When you really don’t like a post, ignore it.

        If instead you decide to punch the tar baby, be prepared for a long, dissatisfying and dirty sequel.

        I thought that you made a good choice with Science magazine as an example (AAAS calls it a magazine.) Not unlike it, Climate Etc has a range of intensities, sometimes putting up peer-reviewed papers for our consideration, sometimes opinion pieces like today. Also, Science has a print and electronic version. For most peer-reviewed papers, full text is only available to members of AAAS.

        For a good example of “science communication”, consider Isaac Held’s blog: http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/. His posts are slightly less technical presentations of the major results of peer-reviewed papers.

        Lastly, the audience for science communication is diverse, and most members of the audience seek out the kind of communication that they want. (I think tv is mostly dedicated to people who don’t want much information on anything.) Blog readers, for example, like real-time debates about scientific knowledge in the social setting. The diversity of the audience guarantees that there can’t be “right” way to communicate science.

  6. We’d be better off giving ‘communications’ it’s old name: pubic relations. The job of the P.R. person is to get across the client’s message to the intended audience. In the world of climate change, Andy Revkin in a professional public relations consultant par excellence. He states explicitly that he wants to communicate the science – that is, deliver the existing message. Revkin only includes journalistic ‘balance’ as a tactic. That is, when he sees that someone on the team has gone too far, and is causing the greater effort to get blowback. Then, he has the temerity to pat himself on the head and claim that he warns both sides about extreme statements.

    It is certainly a scientist’s job to communicate their work to the public when necessary.. When it comes to climate change, that is not the issue. A person is supposed to advocate for their own work – that is understood. It’s the media that is the issue.

    • Indeed, these folks are not talking about scientific communication in the broad sense in which I study it. They are talking about ideological persuasion.

    • Pubic relations, is probably the oldest name for communications. And the oldest name for journalism, is prostitution.

  7. The problem with communicating science is that it’s always a work-in-progress. Do cellphones cause brain cancer? This study says yes. This study says no. This study says yes. This study says no. This study says yes. This study says no. This study says yes. This study says no. This study says yes. This study says no.

    Where are we now? Does it, or doesn’t it? And what will the answer be next month?

    Any wonder the public is jaded?

    • Actually P.E. no studies have indicated a causal link between brain cancer incidence and cell phones. Correlation yes, but causality no.
      Indeed, there was a lovely paper last year by Inskip,Hoover and Devesa, which is a text book analysis of how statistics and science should be used.

      http://neuro-oncology.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/11/1147.full

      I quote the abstract;-

      Among those aged 20–29 years, there was a statistically significant increasing trend between 1992 and 2006 among females but not among males.

      So far, so panic, but

      The recent trend in 20–29-year-old women was driven by a rising incidence of frontal lobe cancers. No increases were apparent for temporal or parietal lobe cancers, or cancers of the cerebellum, which involve the parts of the brain that would be more highly exposed to radiofrequency radiation from cellular phones. Frontal lobe cancer rates also rose among 20–29-year-old males, but the increase began earlier than among females and before cell phone use was highly prevalent. Overall, these incidence data do not provide support to the view that cellular phone use causes brain cancer.

      So we have a rise in a small type of cancers, in women, that follows a similar rise in men a little earlier.
      Such noise is common in all datasets. There is a strong lesson here. Correlation IS NOT causality. Test the hypothesis!

      • Correlation is all the evidence that exists for the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer too. The ‘you can’t prove what caused it’ argument was the basis of arguments used for many years by tobacco companies.

        Incidentally there isn’t much, if any, evidence, for a link between mobile phone use and brain diseases. No statistically meaningful correlation at all. More people would have died trying to cross the road to use a public phone in the days before they existed. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t mean that we assume unlimited exposure to RF radiation is safe. It’s always worth designing the phone’s antenna so that the radiation is directed away from the head which is where us engineering types come in useful.

  8. Thanks, Professor Curry, for this very timely discussion on science communication.

    My friends are planning to communicate a scientific message of Hope to a world in great despair this Holiday Season as we celebrate Earth’s seasonal climate changes when the calender pages of life turn from 2011 to 2012.

    I happened to see two paragraphs near the beginning of the video script and the first two references:

    “The force that sustains life, powers the Sun and causes changes in Earth’s climate has been revealed over recorded history to prophets of all religions and scientists guided by observation, contemplation, and meditation on Reality, rather than by politically-correct consensus models of Reality.”

    “We live today because the force that sustains life as a part of our dynamic cosmos is benevolent, powerful and beyond the control of world leaders and their army of publically funded scientists.”

    1. A. Einstein, “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Korper” [On the Electro-dynamics of Moving Bodies”], Annalen der Physik 17, 891 (1905)

    2. A. Einstein, “Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energie-gehalt abhängig?” [“Is the Inertia of a Body dependent on its Energy-Content?”], Annalen der Physik 18, 639 (1905)

    Comments or suggestions would be appreciated. They plan to make the available free to all by Christmas or the new Year!

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

  9. Whaddya mean ‘where the discussion is for the most part unconstrained’? I constrain myself constantly.
    ==================

  10. If not an ecumenical council among los warmistas (that’s going on in Durban), certainly a convocation of the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide.

    No role for dissidents or other heretics – us skeptics and “deniers” – except to be condemned in absentia for later burning at the stake before the faithful.

    So, Dr. Curry, if all we are to you is a crowd of critics to be evaded, dismissed, denied, derided, and silenced, why the hell should we treat you with more respect than we hold for the rest of you pseudoscientific masters of “cork-screwing, back-stabbing, and dirty dealing”?

  11. C-a-S: [“Science in the daily media is too often reported in the same deferential way as political journalists used to report politics in the 1950s.” Because of this back slapping closeness, many journalists lack detachment and by implication judgment about the stories they cover.]

    Richard Black, Roger Harrabin, and Jonathan Amos are three very good examples of a LONG list that meet this statement.
    .
    Jonathan Amos Dec 9. 2011
    [“A photojournalist snaps an image of cannibalism among polar bears – a situation that may be becoming more common as sea ice dwindles. “]
    .
    Have to get the polar bears back into the news even with well known and historic behavior.
    .
    Richard Black can not get his stories stright along with other factual problems. One that stands out:
    Nov 2, 2011: [ The original “hide the decline” claim is one of the most easily de-bunked in the entire pantheon of easily-debunkable “sceptic” claims.Phil Jones wrote the email in 1999, immediately following what still ranks as one of the hottest years on record, and well before the idea of a “slowdown” or “hiatus” or even “decline” in warming gained currency.So it can’t have had anything to do with hiding a global temperature decline.]
    .
    Nov 3, 2011 [number of comments have quite rightly pointed out that the “hide the decline” email was also critiqued at the time of “ClimateGate” in its proper context – ie, reconciling a tree-ring dataset with an instrumental dataset.]

  12. Louise

    If you study the GWPF website (which would mean that you would know what you are talking about) you would see that its a POLICY organisation. I don’t think one can be a policy sceptic! Unless you regard the Stern report as gospel, which many don’t.

    It does link to climate science articles on other websites, and it has the excellent section written by Dr Whitehouse discussing climate science. It’s not a hotbed of scepticism, most of the articles are analysis of peer reviewed literature, and makes some valid, high level points, akin to the discussions climate scientists have in the peer reviewed literature and amongst themselves. Dr Whitehouse is properly scientifically sceptical, and his articles always make me think.

    To my mind this is what good science journalism should be. Seems to me it makes Dr Whitehouse well qualified and experienced to talk about science communication in the context of climate science.

  13. Journalism should accurately report the facts with appropriate context. So should science communication. That’s what Gavin Schmidt does. As soon as you make it about “schools” of journalism you are elevating your ideological purpose above the central task of honest reporting. Highlighting work you knew to be fatally flawed, without sharing what you knew, is an example of the kind of unethical behavior you can fall into when you substitute your desire to influence the public for a commitment to basic truth-telling.

    • Ridiculous. Context is always a matter of interpretation. Gavin is an ideologue, a junior Hansen, his mentor.

      As for Dr. Curry, presenting stuff you do not agree with, for purposes of discussion, is the opposite of unethical. It is ennobling. Gavin never, ever does this. He is no communicator, he is a propagandist, one of the best.

      • Nope, subtle though he is, his rhetoric is unpersuasive. It works the opposite as he intends. That’s very poooooor propaganda.
        =================

      • Gavin is an ideologue

        Pot and kettle, David. You’ve boasted of hundreds of articles denouncing “the great green menace.” Your hatred of environmentalism obviously determines your perspective on the science, a science you are not trained in and have never work at or contributed to.

        Gavin and Hansen, on the other hand, are most elite scientists, with dozens of peer-reviewed publications between them, whose work is cited by hundreds of other papers.

        They were scientists long before they made any contribute, as citizens, to the public debate. That you would accuse them of being ideologues because they have rebutted your ideologically motivated attacks is hypocritical, and more than that, unconvincing. Defending their science does not make them ideologues simply because professed ideologues set themselves against the facts of the physical world.

      • Robert, I would refer you to Schmidt’s contributions to the earlier thread on this blog on “hide the decline.” It was very dishonest and very propagandistic. It even included an attempt to smear Judith Curry by bringing up an old controversy about hurricanes. Schmidt is not as bad as some in the community, but in his role as communicator, he is pretty dishonest and certainly not frank and open. As a scientist, I think he is pretty good. Certainly compared to Mann and Ramsdorft, he is good.

      • David Young on December 11, 2011 at 12:21 AM had written:

        …I would refer you to Schmidt’s contributions to the earlier thread on this blog on “hide the decline.” It was very dishonest and very propagandistic.

        Had “Mike’s Nature trick” not involved the deliberately and maliciously deceptive slurring of tree-ring temperature proxy indicators with thermometric instrumental measurements in order to “hide the decline” (which appeared in the later tree-ring assessments), I myself wouldn’t consider Dr. Mann and his co-authors in much the same way I regard Andrew Wakefield.

        Had they said something like: “From 18XX through 19YY, there is good correlation between the tree ring proxies and the instrumental temperature measurements, but subsequent to 19YY there is a deviation of statistical significance n which gives rise to the conjecture that factors other than temperature may have had some impact upon growth in the specimens studied….”

        In other words, if the authors had indicated an acceptance of the facts they had observed and discussed the anomalous late findings honestly instead of obliterating them with a “trick” in order to sell their “message”….

        Well, given such I’d be inclined to accept the contention that these lying bastids were, in fact, scientists, and not simply peculating poseurs working an elaborate “long con” in efforts to perpetrate a complex concerted fraud the likes of which had never been attempted in all of recorded history.

        As it is, however….

    • Robert: Journalism should accurately report the facts with appropriate context. So should science communication. That’s what Gavin Schmidt does.

      Debate rages about what elements of the total context are relevant.

      On the whole, Gavin Schmidt and the others at Real Climate do a good job. However, they are exceedingly superficial in addressing some problems that many find “appropriate context”, such as the ClimateGate revelations and the history of exaggerated doomsday warnings by climate scientists and cohorts. Also, Real Climate suppresses comments and questions that are difficult for them to answer.

      • Debate rages about what elements of the total context are relevant.

        Of course.

        On the whole, Gavin Schmidt and the others at Real Climate do a good job.

        I agree.

        However, they are exceedingly superficial in addressing some problems that many find “appropriate context”, such as the ClimateGate revelations

        What Climategate revelations? No one has ever produced for me one single example of a “revelation” emerging from the stolen emails. The fact that the thief didn’t release all the emails, but released some and concealed others to manipulate the public, was something of a revelation, but I suspect that’s not what you mean.

        and the history of exaggerated doomsday warnings by climate scientists and cohorts.

        More from the cohorts than from the climate scientists, I suspect. In any event, you are absolutely free to establish your own blog about such predictions, and if it makes a splash I’m sure RC, or skeptical science, or a pro-science minnow like myself will take up the subject. What is your quick one paragraph case that this topic is important?

        Also, Real Climate suppresses comments and questions that are difficult for them to answer.

        You’d have to show me some evidence of that. As far as I can see, RC very appropriately and consistently rejects the kind of stupid, abusive, repetitive and infantile trolling comments that make sites with a lighter moderation policy, like Dot Earth or Climate Etc itself, so painful to read sometimes. On some level you know that. People complain all the time about how these threads degenerate into shouting matches. They simply don’t allow that over there. Is that objectively the best way to run a blog? No, it’s a choice. It has pros and cons. But I see no evidence they are afraid of a given question. Usually they answer the question pretty thoroughly, and what goes in the bore hole is all the repetitive reiterations of the question, complaints about the site and its moderation policy, etc.

      • Robert,
        Yours is the funniest post of the day. It is, ironically, an incredibly good example of, (dare I say it?), denial.

      • Robert: What is your quick one paragraph case that this topic is important?

        It may be one of the reasons for the disconnect between some climate scientists and the public.

        As far as I can see, RC very appropriately and consistently rejects the kind of stupid, … . But I see no evidence they are afraid of a given question.

        that’s how their censorship policy works and why they do it.

      • It may be one of the reasons for the disconnect between some climate scientists and the public.

        I doubt that very much. Do you have any evidence to suggest that is the case?

        that’s how their censorship policy works and why they do it.

        Again, publishing what you want to publish and only that on your own blog is called freedom of expression, not “censorship.”

        Lightly moderated forums like these one are plagued by deniers that try to make up in quantity what their comments lack in quality.

        If removing repetitive spamming comments like that is censorship, then a grocery store refusing to stock rotten meat is a restriction of trade.

      • Robert, Perhaps you are not that familiar with Real Climate I think. It’s very heavily moderated and every post that contradicts the team doctrine is responded to. The final word must always be theirs. They also do moderate out comments that they don’t like. The main problem is just as MattStat said, they refuse to address issues with the integrity of the science honestly.

      • Robert, Lightly moderated blogs like this one are good forums where people can express ideas without constantly being censored. That is the difference between the Lippman and Dewey communication philosophies. My personal experience is that the Real Climate model is not scientifically productive. Science advances by skepticism and argument, not by quashing ideas you consider politically unacceptable.

  14. Willis Eschenbach

    Naomi Oreskes neatly encapsulates the problem:

    Climate scientists have been frustrated by the persistence of public opinion at odds with established scientific evidence about anthropogenic climate change. Traditionally, scientists have attributed the gap between scientific knowledge and public perception to scientific illiteracy, which could be remedied by a better and more abundant supply of well-communicated scientific information.

    Public opinion is not “at odds with established scientific evidence”. It is at odds with the IPCC version, the Gavin-sanctioned version of model data that the IPCC and the modelers mistake for evidence.

    There is no science communication problem at all in the US. The majority of the public sees the stage productions of the climate alarmists for what they are—pseudo-science and doomsday fantasies.

    Like I said, the public sees it very well. They’ve gotten the message that a host of the most important leading lights among the AGW supporters are liars and cheats … so I’d say the communication is getting across very well.

    I find this continued insistence that what we have is a problem with bad communication to be hilarious.

    We have a problem with bad science. Non-transparent science. Shabby science. Even in a few instances fraudulent science.

    Give it up, Judith, it’s never going to fly. WE GOT THE MESSAGE loud and clear, there was no communication problem at all. We got the message … we just don’t believe a word of it.

    And repeating it in a louder and clearer manner will not ever make us believe it.

    All that does is convince us that YOU didn’t get the message, the message that we want honest, transparent science in the old fashioned manner.

    w.

    • Willis is right. No amount of science communication will persuade ideologues, like him, to accept basic science.

      So part of science communication is identifying those, like Willis, who are scientifically ignorant by choice, and will not allow unwelcome facts past their firewall of denial.

      Trying to educate those people in the science is a waste of time and energy better spent addressing the broader public.

      • Ideologue? I think that’s you, Robert.

      • Robert, you throw around the word ignorant rather easily. I don’t agree with Willis on every minute detail of GW, but ignorant is far from where he is. If you have not read any of his stuff perhaps it is you who are ignorant.

      • Robert, you throw around the word ignorant rather easily.

        Unfortunately there is rather a lot of it around.

        I don’t agree with Willis on every minute detail of GW, but ignorant is far from where he is.

        Why do you say that? Willis is essentially a con artist. Like Monckton, he knows how to write “sciency” words in a way that seems impressive to people who are as ignorant as he is. But he is stone ignorant; make no mistake. Not just climate science but basic scientific concepts like statistical significance or the null hypothesis are completely beyond him.

        Take a look at this science journalist/blogger from the Economist who examined one of Willis’ jargon-ridden pseudoscience essays:http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/12/trust_scientists

        Money quote:

        So, after hours of research, I can dismiss Mr Eschenbach. But what am I supposed to do the next time I wake up and someone whose name I don’t know has produced another plausible-seeming account of bias in the climate-change science? Am I supposed to invest another couple of hours in it? Do I have to waste the time of the readers of this blog with yet another long post on the subject? Why? Why do these people keep bugging us like this? Does the spirit of scientific scepticism really require that I remain forever open-minded to denialist humbug until it’s shown to be wrong? At what point am I allowed to simply say, look, I’ve seen these kind of claims before, they always turn out to be wrong, and it’s not worth my time to look into it?

        Well, here’s my solution to this problem: this is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further “smoking gun” claims begins with: show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you’re a crank and this is not a story.

      • Robert | December 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        “One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. ”

        Steve McIntyre and others have actually done what this guy believes to be impossible. This leads me to doubt the mental efficacy of “science journalist/blogger from the Economist.”

      • You illustrate a major cognitive problem with climate deniers and deniers/conspiracy theorists of all strips: If a source doesn’t accept your kookie beliefs, then they are not trustworthy (and can’t tell you your kookie belief are unfounded).

        It’s a classic example of a non-falsible belief system. Fascinating as pathology, but otherwise irrelevant.

      • It’s a classic example of a non-falsible belief system. Fascinating as pathology, but otherwise irrelevant.

        Wow, not only is he in “self-tracking” mode again, today, he’s in “self-analysis” mode as well.

      • Robert,
        Claiming Willis does not accept basic science is like saying you are a reasonable person: Both are disproven by even cursory reviews of the evidence.
        One again, you demonstrate that you are the main idiot tracked by your own site.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Robert, while there are people out there who fit that discription, I’m not one of them. I definitely accept, and have repeatedly and publicly argued for, all of the basic science.

        Where I part company with the IPCC is their claim that surface temperature is a linear function of forcing. For a host of reasons, that’s not just basic science, that’s far too simplistic science to represent a complex flow system such as the climate.

        However, that’s not the subject of the thread. I note that you do not dispute any of my statements. Instead, you claim I am “ignorant by choice” … it doesn’t matter if I’m ignorant or not. The only relevant question is, are my statements true?

        And that question, you have not touched at all.

        Regards,

        w.

      • I agree with your statement, inasmuch as you acknowledged that you refuse to accept the facts that conflict with your ideology.

        As to your claim that there is a problem with “bad science,” obviously, as a scientifically ignorant crank, your opinion on this does not, by itself, carry a lot of weight.

        Since you don’t offer any evidence to support that extraordinary assertion, with have only your own personal credibility to go on. Which is nil.

      • “I agree with your statement, inasmuch as you acknowledged that you refuse to accept the facts that conflict with your ideology.”

        You are suggesting you know what Willis ideology is.
        I don’t. Could describe what his ideology is and also explain what your ideology.
        I think a frank discussion of ideology wuld a more direct way to address
        your apparent disagreement

      • steven mosher

        Santer and Schneider disagree with you. Watch Santers presentation and the importance he places on being willing to engage people like Willis.

        You did not get the message.

      • You did not get the message.

        You’re confusing people like me, who think for themselves, with people like you, who take their marching orders from a ideologically-driven movement.

        Thinking for yourself is one of the many pleasures you can expect to experience if you ever decide to give up fake “skepticism” for the real thing. ;)

      • Robert,
        The main confusion is that you call what you do ‘thinking’.

      • hunter – why don’t you give us all a treat and make a post with content for a change?

      • Robert: Willis is right. No amount of science communication will persuade ideologues, like him, to accept basic science.

        Willis is a keen critic of claims only loosely based, if at all, on scientific evidence. You should read his comments carefully.

        from Oreskes: Traditionally, scientists have attributed the gap between scientific knowledge and public perception to scientific illiteracy, which could be remedied by a better and more abundant supply of well-communicated scientific information.

        Scientists are guilty of decades of exaggerated claims that have not come true, or that have been shown to be not based on evidence. Scientists seem to be oblivious to the fact that their exaggerated claims have created the problem of which they complain.

      • Matt –

        Scientists seem to be oblivious to the fact that their exaggerated claims have created the problem of which they complain.

        Evidence? I assume that you’re referring, at least in part, to reaction to claims about the impacts of climate change that haven’t occurred?

        If so, where is your evidence that public opinion about climate change isn’t more explained by short-term weather trends than the lack of accuracy in the predictions of “scientists?”

        Given that large %’s of the public have a mistaken impression about what scientists, on the whole, say about climate change, it seems a bit of a stretch to say that “exaggerated” claims of climate scientists have created a problem. If they don’t know what climate scientists say, how can they think that what they say is “exaggerated?”

        I think that more likely, the distortions of what scientists have and haven’t said – as we see often in mainstream rightwing media – help explain why contrary to the scientific evidence, a majority of Republicans, and an even stronger majority of “conservative” Republicans think that the Earth isn’t warming. But even there, I’d say that political ideology and short-term weather phenomena are the most salient influences.

        Once again, polls show that the public on the whole trust scientists as the best source on climate change, – even entities such as NOAA – despite that some “skeptics” rant about liars, constantly, in the “skeptical” blogosphere.

      • Robert, You are useful as a foil but I don’t really take you very seriously. Willis and everyone else who is informed should be taken seriously by those who seek to communicate science. If you just look at how its going for the climate alarm movement, you can see that current strategy is not working. If Schmidt was as good a communicator as the AGU seems to think, he would attempt to restore credibility by condemning some of the obvious excesses. As a brilliant senior scientist said to me, if you are too shrill and ideological, people start to think that your scientific case is weak.

    • Willis –

      Public opinion is not “at odds with established scientific evidence”.

      The majority of Republicans, and even a stronger majority of “conservative” Republicans, think that the earth isn’t warming. The majority of “skeptics” are Republicans – in particular “conservative” Republicans.

      The point being, there are many “skeptics” whose opinions are at odds with established scientific evidence. The problem isn’t so much the views of the public that are at odds with the scientific evidence, but the views of “skeptics” that are at odds with the scientific evidence.

      The majority of the public sees the stage productions of the climate alarmists for what they are—pseudo-science and doomsday fantasies.

      You persist in making statements such as this. Do you have any evidence to support your claims? If not, why do you suppose that you continue to make statements about opinions of the “majority of the public” for which you have no evidence?

      • I should be more specific:

        The problem isn’t so much the views of the public that are at odds with the scientific evidence, but the views of some “skeptics” (those that think that the earth isn’t warming that are unarguably at odds with the scientific evidence.

    • Willis –

      Give it up, Judith, it’s never going to fly. WE GOT THE MESSAGE loud and clear, there was no communication problem at all. We got the message … we just don’t believe a word of it.

      This is simply not true. Public awareness about the #’s of experts on climate who hold various views is not well-informed.

      Now no matter whether you think that Oreskes’ numbers (97″%?) are correct – look at these numbers:

      Even if someone doesn’t agree with the views of the majority of climate scientists WRT climate change, and even if someone thinks that this poll is an imperfect measure, it clearly shows that there is a “communication problem” in that large %’s of the American public don’t have any idea what are the opinions of the majority of climate scientists.

    • Gavin Schmeedt, as portrayed by my favorite actor, the late great Strother Martin:

      Luke is the denier (Willis) portrayed by my second favorite actor.

      Robert is the goon with the rife, portrayed by some hack that nobody ever heard of.

    • Public opinion is not “at odds with established scientific evidence”. It is at odds with the IPCC version, the Gavin-sanctioned version of model data that the IPCC and the modelers mistake for evidence.

      There is no science communication problem at all in the US. The majority of the public sees the stage productions of the climate alarmists for what they are—pseudo-science and doomsday fantasies.

      I couldn’t agree more. I’m tired of reading papers and finding what appear to be huge flaws in them that are simply swept under the rug. You can email to scientists and no matter how politely you word it, it gets chucked to the side. Your own experience trying to get data from Jones for instance.

      I have found several new errors recently in print which anyone with a doctorate should have picked up in review. People say I should publish, yet I have a copy of the ZOD of chapter 4 AR5, Steig et al. is referenced – Comiso is a lead author and no mention of ODonnell’s correction to Steig’s trend-smearing work. — I’m going to put the quotes up later, you won’t beleive the claims!

      The literate and interested public has a fine idea of what climate science is as well as the uncertainties. I’m not fooled by any of it but if peer-review doesn’t correct the problem either, then where does that leave the state of climate science??

      —-
      Still no answers on BEST CI either. I’m curious as to the thoughts on that because it looks like a complete redo to me.

  15. Was it a journalist who found out the hockey stick was nonsense – no.

    Did journalists report Climategate well – no.

    Did a journalist spot that the Times Atlas map of Greenland ice was wrong – no.

    Was it a journalist who spotted the date flaw in Himalayan glaciers – no.

    Perhaps Dr Whitehouse is right – science journalists aren’t doing their job.

    • The problem with journalists is that their scepticism is only driven by advertising and since the real money is firmly in the hands of the pro-AGW group, the science is not getting a fair hearing.

  16. If you want me to listen, you have to have something to say. If you want to communicate a message there are scads of ways in which to do it. If you want me to listen to that message, be prepared to listen to me when I have a question. Climate scientists want to communicate “Alarmism”? I’m not interested; so long, goodbye, adieu. Climate scientists want to tell me how nature works? Fine, I’m listening, I’m even interested; I’ve been wondering how nature works all my life. Tell me how nature works when I observe something vastly different? Be prepared: I’ve got a question for you climate scientist. Tell me to take it on good authority. Then, I know you are lying, or fibbing, or stretching the truth a bit; actually, you are not believable. So, communication is a two way process: when one is speaking, the other is listening; and when the other is speaking, the first one is listening. For me to accept what you have to say, I have to TRUST you are telling me the truth. When Climate Scientists quit telling the truth either by commission or omission, then: no trust, no cookie dear, go to your room.

    • Climate scientists want to communicate “Alarmism”? I’m not interested; so long, goodbye, adieu. . . .When Climate Scientists quit telling the truth either by commission or omission, then: no trust, no cookie dear, go to your room.

      You write in a style that suggests climate scientists should be upset if you ignore them. Why? You’re ignorant of science, and if scientists don’t meet your demands you vow . . . to remain ignorant. How does this punish scientists? It would seem to me that you are only punishing yourself.

      You say you don’t trust climate scientists, which is unfortunate for you, but it only matters to me if I trust your judgement. Have you given me any reason to trust your judgement?

      No cookie for you, sorry.

      • Robert, you seem to be the best advocate for skepticism. You show time and time again how dogmatic one has to be, to believe in CO2GW.

        You should trust your own judgement!

      • steven mosher

        Actually Santer criticisize the very kind of stuff that Robert engages in.
        Robert is no longer on the team and lost the message.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Robert | December 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply

        Climate scientists want to communicate “Alarmism”? I’m not interested; so long, goodbye, adieu. . . .When Climate Scientists quit telling the truth either by commission or omission, then: no trust, no cookie dear, go to your room.

        You write in a style that suggests climate scientists should be upset if you ignore them.

        You misunderstand. As the head post amply demonstrates, many climate scientists are already upset that RiHo08 and a host of other interested laymen are ignoring them. RiHo08 is responding to their upset, not claiming that he is the cause of their upset.

        w.

      • As the head post amply demonstrates, many climate scientists are already upset that RiHo08 and a host of other interested laymen are ignoring them.

        Nonsense. Climate scientists are trying to communicate with the public — 80% of whom have never even heard of the fake scandal “climategate” — not the tiny minority of hardcore ideological deniers.

        RiHo08’s decision to ignore science and remain ignorant is harmful only to himself. He should not assume because many kind people seek to educate him and other like him that their charity enables him to threaten them with his noncooperation.

        Ignorance is not a superpower.

      • Like red pepper to kryptonite.
        ==================

  17. I find it astonishing that Michael Mann continues to defend the roundly discredited “hockey stick” graph which epitomizes climate misinformation.

    • It’s astonishing and to be expected at the same time. The most “convinced” will stick to their message until the end.

    • I find it astonishing that Michael Mann continues to defend the roundly discredited “hockey stick” graph . . .

      It’s very simple: it hasn’t been discredited, it’s been repeatedly confirmed.

      Climate deniers, who led the failed crusade against the hockey stick, are also of course forced to deny that the crusade utterly failed.

      No one with any credibility believes the deniers when they pretend they weren’t humiliated in a failed attack on the hockey stick. Consequently Mann, addressing scientists and the broader reality-based community, has no reason to avoid the subject.

      Hope this helps!

      • Robert –

        One of the really sweet things about the ‘extra-context’ emails is that they even show that other devotees to the ’cause’ believed that the ‘insuffereable’ Michael Mann was wrong to defend the ‘indefensible’ hockey stick. It was, and remains, nothing but an embarrassment – even to believers less dogmatically fundamentalist than you.

      • “Consequently Mann, addressing scientists and the broader reality-based community, has no reason to avoid the subject”

        I am a scientist and also an atheist and would place myself in the ‘reality-based community’.
        Mann’s data sets are cherry picked, his analysis is sloppy, poorly described and his statistical analysis is perverted.
        Any one who believes that Mann’s original ‘Hockeystick’, and the confidence intervals in anyway describe the last thousand years ‘global temperature’ is delusional. Manns data sets were calibrated to a specific part of the temperature record. I challenge anyone to show that any of his data sets, over the calibration period, show a better fit in this time span than they do elsewhere in the record. Typically, you get better fits to the calibration period in times past.

      • It was scarcely a “failed attack,” NAS, McShane and Wyner, McIntyre and McKitrick, and have proven that the statistical analysis is shoddy, at best, and the data cherry-picked, including grafting the temperatures on to the paleo-proxy graph starting in 1980, as Steve McIntyre discovered

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/12/01/hide-the-decline-plus/

        http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/14/mcshane-and-wyner-discussion-2/

        Plus there is a brand-new study that contradicts the hockey-stick graph

        http://joannenova.com.au/2011/12/chinese-2485-year-tree-ring-study-shows-shows-sun-controls-climate-temps-will-cool-til-2068/

        You can also read this and other e-mails from members of the “Team”

        From: Tim Barnett [[2]mailto:XXXXXXXXXXX@ucsd.edu]
        Sent: 11 October 2004 16:42
        To: Gabi Hegerl; Klaus Hasselmann

        Cc: Prof.Dr. Hans von Storch; Myles Allen; francis; Reiner Schnur; Phil Jones; Tom Crowley; Nathan Gillett; David Karoly; Jesse Kenyon; christopher.d.miller@noaa.gov; Pennell, William T; Tett, Simon; Ben Santer; Karl Taylor; Stott, Peter; Bamzai, Anjuli

        Subject: Re: spring meeting

        not to be a trouble maker but……if we are going to really get into the paleo stuff, maybe someone(s) ought to have another look at Mann’s paper. His statistics were suspect as i remember. for instance, i seem to remember he used, say, 4 EOFs as predictors. But he prescreened them and threw one away because it was not useful. then made a model with the remaining three, ignoring the fact he had originally considered 4 predictors. He never added an artifical skill measure to account for this but based significance on 3 predictors. Might not make any difference. My memory is probably faulty on these issues, but to be completely even handed we ought to be sure we agree with his procedures. best, tim

        Sorry Robert, it has been discredited and your denying this fact won’t change that reality.

  18. What you say and what I hear maybe (probably are) two different things.

    Climate scientist/politician: A carbon tax, such as on gasoline, will help reduce the amount of atmospheric CO2 thereby reducing the threat of global warming.

    Citizen hears: Give me the money you worked so hard for so I can spent it correctly.

    Climate scientist/polititian: The planet is warming by 2 degrees and we could all perish.

    Citizen hears: LIving in Fiji is better than living in the Yukon and that is more than 2 degrees warmer. So that can’t be true.

    Climate scientist/polititian: In the future you won’t be able to drive your SUV or keep your home as warm as you want to save the planet.

    Citizen hears: You want to take my freedom.

    • Do you really think the average citizen is that stupid?

      I think you’re unfairly generalizing from the stupidity of the American right.

      • Willis is ignorant and I think people are stupid. You do use big words Robert.

        Robert since you think I think the average citizen is stupid where do you think I believe you fall out in the IQ department?

      • So, ‘the stupidity of the American right’ Robert. Let’s think what perspective could conjure up such a simplistic, mindless piece of garbage? Hm, Why don’t we start with ‘stupid’ and ‘idiotic’, before moving on to ‘partisan’ and ‘biased’ and wrapping it up with ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘dogmatic’.

        Well, how are we doing Robert? Do we have you in a nutshell or have we missed out some salient characteristics like ‘ideologue’ and ‘misanthrope’?

        You are clearly not having a good day, self-tracker.

      • So, ‘the stupidity of the American right’ Robert.

        Yep. And since you don’t offer any counterargument, I’d say you know it all too well.

        And no, sputtering insults isn’t a counterargument, sorry.

        Enjoy your fantasy.

      • Robert – Fail.

        I’d say exactly the same thing to some anti-Robert, a moron on the right who talked about the “stupidity if the American left”

        Right/Left makes no difference to me. You single yourself out for the obvious reasons that have nothing to do with the flavour of your particular perversion -your added misanthropy and blind fundamentalism.
        You are a special kind of denier – a ‘reality denier’.

      • Robert – Fail.

        Sputtering denials is not a counterargument either.

        Sorry if I made you face an unpleasant truth.

      • Robert –

        Just to think down at your level for a moment – quite a stoop, but the only way you’ll understand – it is only possible to have a counterargument to, well, an argument.

        You didn’t make one.

        You made a stupid, partisan, dogmatic ideological statement. Which I might add, is par for your fundamentalist course.

        You got what you deserved, misnthrope.

      • Kim, Kim! An offering!

      • Heh, Anteros got to the tasty bits first.
        ==========

  19. Science communication to me is like Popular Science and Nature. Lots of neat things bound to happen in our future. Ground breaking research published to enlighten the public to the future wonders.

    Or JAMA, where coffee is bad/good/bad/maybe not so bad. New surgical methods to treat ulcers. Scientific information you can sink your teeth into to prepare for your future.

    It is nice knowing what the future holds about 1% of the time. We all owe thanks to the science communicators that so effectively shape ours.

    WOW! Seems like science and journalism are a lot alike. Can’t believe everything you read :)

    • Or JAMA, where coffee is bad/good/bad/maybe not so bad. New surgical methods to treat ulcers. Scientific information you can sink your teeth into to prepare for your future.

      JAMA is really a trade journal. It presumes a certain shared educational background among its readers. Translating those findings correctly in a clear way when they are (as often) relevant to the lay public is where the science journalist (should) come in.

      • Now I am confused, I must have sat too close to the television in my early years. So you should believe all the science communicated by which group of science communicators? It must be easier not having to think for yourself once you find the right communicators.

  20. To make matter a bit more complex, from the same Wiki article:
    But Lippmann turned against what he called the “collectivism” of the Progressive movement he encouraged with its de-emphasis on the foundations of American politics and government and ultimately wrote a work, “The Public Philosophy” (1955), which came very close to a return to the principles of the American founders.

  21. Mann’s got a book coming? I’ll say one thing for the guy, he’s got stones. PLus he seems to be counting on no insiders blowing the whistle on him. History’s shown that’s a very good bet.

    • He is using the precautionary principle.

      Knowing he will soon be facing justice and a long long long legal bill, he’s trying to stash as much money as he can while he still can.

      He hasn’t got “stones”, he’s got a good lawyer advising him lol

  22. Dr. Curry thanks for the topical reviews of the AGU meeting.
    Given Mooney’s non-science background, it seems wonderfully ironic that he chose the topic he did. Is he still formally associated with the AGU? If Mooney is still formally associated with the American Geophysical Union, is this an indication that they are interested in pushing more eugenics in the future?

  23. Judith, the fact that the AGU Communication Prize was given to Gavin rather than you demonstrates how disconnected the selectors are from the real world to which they allegedly seek to communicate.

  24. Tangentially related to this topic:

    “Experts aren’t always impartial or very expert.”

    http://danmillerinpanama.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/experts-arent-always-impartial-or-very-expert/

  25. Nice post, Judith.

    Although, of course, I would ask for some more specificity:

    The size of the extended peer community associated with climate change has grown substantially in the wake of climategate, which made many lose trust in the judgement of the IPCC experts.

    This statement is insufficiently quantified, IMO. What does “many” mean? Evidence suggests that a relatively small percentage of Americans had their view on climate science changed to any significant degree by climategate – and of those, the vast majority had ideological, social, or cultural predisposition to not have confidence in the IPCC experts to begin with.

    One of these days, Judith, maybe you’ll get around to quantifying this phenomenon that you repeatedly say is significant, with apparent “certainty.” I’ll continue to wait and ask.

    But it was good to read this:

    To engage effectively with the public on the issue of climate change, we need to recognize that the public salience of climate science is intimately connected with perceived risks and the costs of potential solutions, which are filtered through an individual’s world view and politics.

    Although I’m not sure that it fully reflects the degree to which world view and politics drive perceptions of risk and costs of potential solutions – as opposed to only being a filter.

  26. Science communication?
    Mann, FOI, IPPC, AGWs, deniers, hockey stick, all are the time waisters. I found no hockey stick, or global warming in here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-T.htm

    flat as a pancake. Tamino and someone called Daniel Bailey on RC’s ‘unforced variations’ departed with the their tails down. Sorry for the interruption.

    • Or more to the point, what science to communicate? Just like the cellphone-cancer link, both sides can throw papers around until they’re pink and purple. What they can’t do is get closure. Under those circumstances, which science gets communicated?

      Climate science has degenerated into a joke about a priest a rabbi and a mullah walking into a bar.

  27. steven mosher

    +1 for Dewey.

  28. An interesting report on a related topic:

    http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/12/09/santorum-parents-not-obama-know-what-is-best-for-their-childs-education/

    Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”

    Now I don’t know what the full quotation is, but from the article we could possibly interpret Santorum’s statement in a number of ways. One way would be that politics should not be informed by science. Another way to interpret his statement is that scientists should not hold political views or allow politics to affect their scientific views. I wonder how he’d propose enacting such a belief w/o eliminating all scientists? Of course, he may just also believe that all scientists should share his political views; in which case I wonder what he’s suggest doing with those scientists that don’t share his viewpoint.

    • randomengineer

      A common theme in GOP circles is that the federal government has no business in education standards, that these are state and community matters. Santorum is speaking to this theme. It is not an argument about the quality or believability of science. It is about whether or not the government at the federal level has the constitutional right to force the teaching of things that the state or community finds offensive, incorrect, or otherwise not useful,etc.

      The argument he’s making flew over your head. Imagine my surprise.

      • Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” </blockquote?

        r.e:

        It is about whether or not the government at the federal level has the constitutional right to force the teaching of things that the state or community finds offensive, incorrect, or otherwise not useful,etc.

        So when Santorum says “science should get out of politics,” what he really means is government shouldn’t mandate that students learn about evolution in public schools, because some people find evolution to be offensive. But, of course, he thinks that public schools should have to teach creationism:

        Got it.

        Thanks for your explanation of what he really means. Do you channel anyone else, or just Santorum?

      • randomengineer

        What part of …and he is opposed to teaching that provides… is confusing you such that you don’t get he’s talking about education.

      • Why’d you leave off the rest?

        He’s opposed to teaching that provides a politically correct perspective, by which he means a perspective other than his own. He thinks that public schools should have to teach creationism. He thinks that “the science should get out of politics” — by which he means the science (consistent with the views of the vast majority if scientists) that is in opposition to his own religious beliefs should not be interrelated with politics. In other words, science and politics should be separated – except not all science, only that science that doesn’t align with his political beliefs.

        Please, keep explaining. The more you bring it down to my level, the more fascinating it gets. Thank you for your efforts.

      • sorry – “….except that science that doesn’t align with his religious beliefs.”

      • randomengineer

        He thinks that public schools should have to teach creationism.

        Weird I didn’t see that. Many on the right think that schools ought to be allowed to teach this if they like. Community standard, not federal.

        Do you have a point you want to make or do you simply enjoy making fun of those who aren’t in your political circle?

      • He thinks that public schools should have to teach creationism.

        Let’s for the sake of argument assume that that’s true. How is that different from showing AIT in the schools?

      • randomengineer

        AIT in schools

        Nice example. Joshua = pwned.

      • I found a translation by Elinorianne as to how people view Santorum’s thinking process:

        “So I guess he would rather we go back to when we attributed disease to the imbalance of humors? Why bother using all that fancy math to figure out our budgets if science is the enemy of the people? Why question anything at all? Does he send all his correspondence by carrier pigeon or by horse? I wonder if his “smart” phone scares him from time to time?

        We wonder why we cannot move past fossil fuels and dead technologies and why Republicans do not see the worth in funding such things like Nasa and studying phenomena like earthquakes and volcanoes. Maybe we should just pray more that the world does not run out of oil and fresh water and fertile soil? Our faith in God will make sure that the ocean doesn’t rise because of the melting icecaps.”

        Whether or not this is valid criticism, it presents the preconceptions of many people on Santorum and thus explains his low popularity as a candidate.

      • Let’s for the sake of argument assume that that’s true. How is that different from showing AIT in the schools?

        Well, well – “Mommy, mommy, they did it first.”

        Now where have I seen that before?

        And btw – it absolutely is true. He tried to pass an amendment to have ID taught in public schools.

      • randomengineer on December 9, 2011 at 6:33 PM writes:

        A common theme in GOP circles is that the federal government has no business in education standards, that these are state and community matters. Santorum is speaking to this theme. It is not an argument about the quality or believability of science. It is about whether or not the government at the federal level has the constitutional right to force the teaching of things that the state or community finds offensive, incorrect, or otherwise not useful,etc.

        A common theme in conscientiously conservative (as opposed to Republican) circles is that government at every level has no business in educational standards or in the provision of such services.

        Think about the distinction between government – the coercive sector of our civil society – and the private, voluntary sector which government is supposed to serve.

        Government is the agency to which we citizens (the source of sovereign power at every level in our republic) delegate the exercise of our inalienable right to use deadly force in retaliation against malefactors who violate our rights to life, to liberty, and to property.

        As I keep pointing out, government is in the “breaking things and killing people” business, and everything that government agents do is predicated upon their functional monopoly on the retaliatory implementation of lethal violence in the arguably good cause of deterring aggressors.

        Just what the hell are these armed goons doing with regard to “education standards” or running schools at any level in any way?

        Should we wonder, really, that they do such an incredibly crappy, wasteful, contentiously disputed job in “education” when it’s not a role which they have either the mental or the moral capacity to assume in the first place?

  29. “an intermediary was needed to filter news for the masses”

    Just a moment please. Climate Science isn’t “news”. “News” is what happens. It doen’t need a filter unless you want to present something other than what actually happened.

    Andrew

    • randomengineer

      You’re thinking Orwell here and you shouldn’t.

      News fact: NASA announces launch of a new sat with data rate of 1PB/mS on 734 million simultaneous channels.

      Joe Public: WTF?

      Reporter: it means your Dick Tracy watchphone is now ready.

      Context. Job of science reporter.

      • Science and technology are two different things. There’s enough junk technology reporting out there (solar panels too cheap to meter, cars that get 287 mpg, etc.), but science isn’t futuristic gee whiz, it’s supposed to be the facts about the universe.

      • randomengineer

        Science and technology are the same thing to 99% of the public and are also reported by the same people, so I think I got it mostly right.

      • That’s a big problem right there. I cringe every time I read in the press that “scientists invented…”, which happens daily. This isn’t a pedantic point; it matters because scientists are the new wizards to too many people. They deal in quasi-magic, and too many people take anything that any scientist is quoted as saying as holy words of a wizard. They invented the internet, didn’t they?

      • P.E., you mean like the Scientist that invented the new battery technology that didn’t work, but with A123, started making Li+ batteries for vehicles and expanded its US operations to get $105million in stimulus money? Since they had 317 US employees in 2009 and about 1500 Chinese employees, that is not a bad split for the US guys.

        I am nearly done with my Piezoelectric quantum well DWLR panel design, which could theoretically work if Trenberth’s numbers are right. Where do I apply for some stimulus?

      • I am nearly done with my Piezoelectric quantum well DWLR panel design,

        Dallas is our resident Professor Irwin Corey, putting a few terms together that seem plausible if you have no familiarity with the terms.

      • Web said, “Dallas is our resident Professor Irwin Corey, putting a few terms together that seem plausible if you have no familiarity with the terms.”

        Hey, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance…

        http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v93/i1/p626_s1?isAuthorized=no

        :)

      • Web, it’s called “humor”. Google it if you’ve never heard of it..

      • Ah, the turboencabulator.

        So much more credible than Solyndra or MF Global or any of the rest of the recipients gifted by our Kenyan Keynesian with all those billions of “stimulus” dollars prestidigitated out of thin air and debt that will crush the life out our grandchildren by “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke.

      • Dallas is being serious with that reference he just posted. Unfortunately he doesn’t realize that I spent almost 7 years working with gallium arsenide quantum well structures for my degree. In the day I knew some of the people at SERI, which is now known as the National Renewable Energy Lab. I haven’t worked on the experimental lab stuff for a while now, but know enough to know when we are getting snowed. He implies that infrared radiation can get converted to electricity with a quantum well. Sorry no cigar, as I really doubt the efficiency is there at the low energies of downwelling long wavelength radiation (DWLR) (3 to 100 um), and at best a QW could be used as an infrared detector. If you look at the longest infrared wavelength, the energy doesn’t rise above the room temperature thermal noise.

        I suppose I made a mistake by comparing him to Irwin Corey because with the link he provides, he is dead serious about his ideas. A science journalist has to either have good instinct as to what is bunk or have enough knowledge as to which experts to consult with.

        Go to a semiconductor researcher with an idea concerning Dallas’s “Piezoelectric quantum well DWLR panel design” and see how he responds.

        Web, it’s called “humor”. Google it if you’ve never heard of it..

        I think it is you that has been snowed. You really can’t tell who is pranking, who is dead serious but deluded, or who really has some good ideas. BTW, Where is Pekka these days? He sniffs this stuff out quite adeptly.

      • It would be nice to think that ClimateGate II happened to Pekka. He’s quite adept at sniffing stuff like that out.
        ==============

      • randomengineer,

        You are making an invalid assumption that Joe Public won’t understand a complete explanation. Of course they will. A complete explanation or description is not a “filter.” A filter *leaves things out*.

        The dumbing down of news stories is a problem, not a solution.

        Andrew

      • randomengineer

        You are making an invalid assumption that Joe Public won’t understand a complete explanation.

        I may not be a left wing partisan hack like some here are and therefore seem to be batting for your team, but IMHO Joe Public in general is about 1 ladder rung above feces throwing imbecile. Joe in general has neither the time nor the inclination to understand the complexity of operating a microwave correctly, much less interpret complex information.

        Although YOU may be an exception by being here remember that fully half of us are below average, and average human IQ ain’t that bright.

      • randomengineer,

        It’s the job of the smart people to help instruct the not. It’s good to improve people’s understanding, not mock them for not having it. Unless you have some kind of insecurity or elitist mentality (I’m not implying that you personally do, I mean people in general) you shouldn’t mind helping this instruction process to take place and goes for anyone who writes for public consumption. It’s what science is actually for. To improve everyone’s knowledge.

        Andrew

      • randomengineer

        It’s the job of the smart people to help instruct the not.

        That’s true, and precisely why everything that affects Joe in an increasingly technological society needs to be framed accordingly, and frustratingly so for Joe’s mental superiors.

        This is the beauty of the internet; news is presented in “executive summary” format (e.g. your watch phone is now ready) and then in longer form for those who have the requisite skill to understand.

        I’m not trivialising Joe so much as your contention that everybody gets it. No. Everybody does NOT get it. The executive summary format exists for a reason.

      • “needs to be framed accordingly”

        I disagree that it needs to be “framed.” It needs to be “explained.”

        Andrew

      • randomengineer

        “explained”

        Po-Tay-To … Po-Tah-To

      • I like “potatoe”. ;)

        Andrew

  30. I’m not sure where the abstract came from but the Amazon description of Mann’s book is pure bile:

    The Hockey Stick became a central icon in the “climate wars,” and well-funded science deniers immediately attacked the chart and the scientists responsible for it.

    The reviews (of a book that hasn’t been published yet!) are somewhere between hilarious and scary:

    Very few people have sounded more important alarms about our climate future, and very few people have paid a higher price for doing so. Michael Mann is a hero, and this book is a remarkable account of the science and politics of the defining issue of our time.

    (Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet )

    The brilliant and courageous climatologist Michael Mann knows what it’s like to be viciously attacked by the well-funded deniers of scientific evidence and how critical it is to respond. In this gripping, personal, front-lines account of climate politics, Mann tells the “hockey stick” story, exposing the forces behind the denialist rhetoric, refuting the charges of disinformation campaigns, and eloquently conveying the importance of both doing great science and communicating its societal implications to a wider public.

    (Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment and Humanity on a Tightrope )

    Although not initially of his own choosing, Michael Mann has been the most important, resilient, and outspoken warrior in the climate battle–responding to threats and persecution with courage and resolve every step of the way. Anyone who cares about the climate issue must read his fascinating–and enraging–story.

    (Chris Mooney, author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future )

    In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, Michael Mann presents his conviction that climate change is real and potentially deadly, and defends his now famous “Hockey Stick Graph.” A truly readable book on a topic that will remain evergreen.

    (James Lovelock, author of A New Look at Life on Earth and The Revenge of Gaia )

    A must read to appreciate the endless disinformation campaign by climate change deniers at the highest levels of government and corporate America…and the chilling, but serious implications of the crusade to discredit distinguished scientists like Michael Mann.

    (Sherwood Boehlert, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1983-2007, former chairman of the House Science Committee )

    As one of the nation’s leading climate researchers, no one has felt the brunt of the attacks from politicians and the fossil fuel industry more than Michael Mann. This is his personal account from the center of the maelstrom, documenting the lies and distortions about his work and his heroic efforts to stand up for scientific truth.

    (Henry Waxman, Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee )

    If you don’t believe our climate is changing, read this book. Dr. Mann will change your mind. For us, it’s a war of words. Preserve the Earth, and pass the ammunition.

    (Bill Nye the Science Guy )

    Drama queens, anyone?

    • randomengineer

      Well funded deniers failed miserably, didn’t they, because it wasn’t until M&M came along on their own dime to actually say anything.

      Christ. Not only the “well funded deniers” lie (cue Snidely Whiplash laughter) but rewriting of actual recent history. Seems pathological because I’m convinced that some of the resident partisans believe this to be utterly factual.

      • Absolutely they do. And they’ll be along shortly wagging fingers at your venal blasphemy.

      • Well funded deniers failed miserably, didn’t they, because it wasn’t until M&M came along on their own dime to actually say anything.

        Both the well-funded deniers and the crusader deniers have failed miserably.

        Personally, I have more respect for someone like Willie Soon, who lies to collect a paycheck, than someone like Roy Spenser, who lies to try and impose himself as an “unelected legislator.”

        As for which category M&M belongs in, have they ever disclosed their financials? Serious question.

      • randomengineer

        As for which category M&M belongs in, have they ever disclosed their financials? Serious question.

        Never occured to me. Mcintyre has a web site. Ask, he probably gets that a lot.

      • How have we failed miserably? CAGW based policies are dropping like flies. We are winning the war of words.

      • If Bobby’s side was “winning” he/she wouldn’t be here.

        Andrew

      • I don’t think skeptics are winning as much as the believers are losing. What was that latest quip from Gavin? “2 degree or 4 degrees it really doesn’t change things much.” Or words to that effect. Then Eli in desperation throws in the “At +20C all die” which was so informative.

        Quality communication of the science. They should get an award :)

      • How have we failed miserably?

        You have failed miserably in attacking the hockey stick.

        CAGW based policies are dropping like flies.

        So many inaccuracies:

        1. Since “CAGW” is a denier strawman, there is no such thing as “CAGW based policies.”

        2. Efforts to fight global warming are multiplying around the world; the delusion that they are “dropping like flies” is another expression of your denial of reality.

        3. That it is a struggle to accelerate the fight against global warming has little to do with your failed propaganda campaign — 80% of American have never heard of your fake scandal “Climategate.” It has a lot more to do with the normal difficulty in getting voters to address long-term problems, whether it’s budget deficits, health care costs, or climate change.

        You’ve failed to produce any credible science, failed to persuade the scientific community, and destroyed your credibility with the public by lying, plagiarizing, and threatening scientists with rape and death.

        I guess the upside for you as a denier is that you can be in denial about that, too.

      • John Carpenter

        Robert, what is your evidence that climategate is fake? All the players involved readily admit the emails are not fake in any way. Why do you deny such an obvious truth?

      • Do you really not understand the concept of “fake scandal”?

        You think that means “fake emails”?

        Is that really the level of reading comprehension you are at?

      • John Carpenter

        Robert, you don’t apparently understand the words you use. ‘Watergate’ was a scandal. As such, when a new scandalous event comes up it often has the suffix of ‘gate’ attached to it to denote it is a scandal. The mere fact that you use and understand the term ‘climategate’ is an admission to yourself that there is a scandal involved with the content of the emails. So again I will ask, why do you deny there is a scandal when you readily use a term connoting such? There is no fakery to the scandalous behavior of the ‘team’ rigging the message.

      • I’m sure everyone gives a damn what you believe Robert. You seem to believe skeptics can’t read. Not only can skeptics read, but so can the average citizen. I’m thinking they are thinking you just toss insults, but no real meat.

      • I’m sure everyone gives a damn what you believe Robert.

        He wrote in reply to my comment . . . self-knowledge fail.

        You seem to believe skeptics can’t read.

        I wouldn’t generalize like that. ;)

      • when you share your code it really doesnt matter who paid you. Thats because the code is the tool. the tool is the power. If you find something wrong with his code let me know. Its when we dont have access to the tools used to produce the answer that the funding matters. You also need to understand the funding effect. look it up.

    • P.E. on December 9, 2011 at 6:57 PM writes about

      The reviews (of a book that hasn’t been published yet!) are somewhere between hilarious and scary:

      Well in advance of the date on which release of a title to the market is planned, publishers routinely send out advance copies (prominently marked as such) to prospective reviewers in search of friendly blurbs.

      Amazon.com – being like MSM journalists engaged in a commercial enterprise seeking to make a profit – draws upon these blurbs, aggregated by the publishers’ marketing drones, to tickle up interest among thee customers.

      When some of these advance review copies fall into the hands of unfriendly readers inclined to receive Dr. Mann’s whines, lies, and evasions with due appreciation of their reeking feculence, that doesn’t get much play from either the publishers or the folks running Amazon.com.

      While you’re on Amazon.com, check out their page for Michael A. Belisles’ Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture (2000) and compare the pre-publication blurbs against the overwhelming majority of the readers’ reviews accruing after it was examined by a public skeptical of the author’s career-ending foray into prevaricating “gun control” (better to say “victim disarmament”) advocacy.

      So let it be with Dr. Mann and his forthcoming spew.

    • The Peter Principle can produce really pernicious situations. Mann’s case will be a dramatic demonstration of the consequences of empowering pettifogging egotists, for ages to come.

  31. Since we’re talking about Mann’s book, let’s throw this one in, too:

    ZOMG!!!

    • OOPS. That wasn’t supposed to embed like that.

    • Dr. Turtledove (he’s a scholar with his PhD. in Byzantine history) has a hellacious output in science fiction and fantasy as well as purely mundane stuff, having a bit of a knack for producing material accessible to non-SF readers.

      It’s a pity that you had to draw attention to his recent (December 2011) Supervolcano Eruption, which is being shelled mercilessly by SF-literate readers who value the speculative aspects of the genre and scorn the “character” crap beloved of mundanes.

  32. The thrust of so many of the “how to communicate” treatises and theories seems to be to take as a given that there is A scientific position to pass on. Very little space is left for dealing with the cases where there is actual ongoing disagreement between ‘sperts about the consensus. Even less attention is paid to the possible (indeed, historically frequent) instances where the consensus is incorrect, and in need of the very challenges which it is effectively blocking ‘by other means’.

    The full-bore Dewey approach must allow for such possibilities, and facilitate exploration of alternative views, not be morphed into a kind of forced crowd-sourced groupthink. Science is, after all, belief in the ignorance of experts. It follows that attacking that belief is anti-science. Hi, Chris, Mike, Kevin!

    • Taleb says: “… the entire knowledge-seeking enterprise is based on taking conventional wisdom and accepted scientific beliefs and shattering them into pieces with new counter-intuitive evidence …” All scientific pronouncements should come with a warning that future developments might invalidate them. Or, to put it in simple language, “Of course, ‘the science’ is never settled.”

      • “Taleb says:”

        In Taleb you have another egocentric and arrogant character who happens to write popular math and science books with some practical benefit. You read his stuff and you can’t believe all the grandiose opinions he makes on other people’s work, but he gets it close enough to get the insight you need.

        On the arrogance scale, Taleb is off the chart compared to climate scientists, but he does the communication part quite well. It’s hard to put his books down.
        I am really curious what he would think about energy topics, since he has done so much on economics.

  33. Patrick Moffitt

    A crisis allows the newspaper to get the attention to sell the advertising, with stories written by the NGO’s that are rewarded with donations, promoting the bureaucracy that pays the researchers that blesses the science that justifies the alarm, allowing the politicians to demand protection money from the lobbyists who represent the rent seekers forcing the Public to buy products that they neither want nor can afford, while enriching the lawyers who will argue it all out in court.

    Journalistic philosophy- please! From the 25 of us out here not making money off selling crises- Stop it!

  34. I am an atmospheric scientist finishing up the week at AGU and went to several of the science communication talks outlined above. I have to say that although strongly convinced of the human contribution to climate change (apparently that puts me into one of the divided “camps”) I came away from the discussions feeling more than a bit of distaste. While convinced of the importance of communicating scientific results to the public in general, I was offended at the idea of being fed “talking points”. I had the feeling that we were being asked to manipulate the public to embrace a “story”. While I in no way personally feel this story (AGW) is a fabrication, I was offended at the implication of the need to sell the story. I see this as a collision of goals between the practice of science and of communicating science. Maybe the problem lies with the difference in communicating science versus the need to correct myths that are circulated. In any case, I consider myself a typical scientist and fear that until the science communicators and the scientists themselves can find a common ground, things aren’t going to change.

    • Jen – Do you engage in any form of communication with the public on climate change? If so, how do you go about it, who is your audience, and how successful do you perceive your efforts to be?

    • Jen,

      The talking points issue is the problem. It is obvious and not what science is about. Atmospheric physics is extremely complex, much too complex for the level of “certainty” implied in the talking points.

      Do good science and don’t worry about the numbskulls that think they can blow smoke up arses. There are plenty of interesting anomalies to pursue for a new camp, normal, to build on.

    • That’s a mouthful. I was wondering when someone was going to stake out that position. The simple truth is that the science is captive to conflicting visions over policy, and until we talk about policy as a separate issue, it’s going to stay this way. This is the truth that few dare to speak: that nobody really cares about climate science; the climate scientists are caught between armies fighting over policy. The only way to set science free is to decouple it from the policy argument. Until then, you’re simply useful to the policy fight.

    • Jen (“an atmospheric scientist finishing up the week at AGU”) on December 9, 2011 at 8:30 PM had written:

      …I came away from the discussions feeling more than a bit of distaste. While convinced of the importance of communicating scientific results to the public in general, I was offended at the idea of being fed “talking points”. I had the feeling that we were being asked to manipulate the public to embrace a “story”. While I in no way personally feel this story (AGW) is a fabrication, I was offended at the implication of the need to sell the story. I see this as a collision of goals between the practice of science and of communicating science.

      But “being fed ‘talking points’…to embrace a ‘story'” is precisely what the audience members at those presentations were undergoing. That was the purpose of this seminar, start to finish, front to back, all turn to page 53 in your hymnbooks and let us sing together.

      Matters of personal faith that “this story (AGW)” is not a “fabrication” aside, the sense that what went down at AGU was more of a revival meeting – or a mission briefing undertaken among the lesser clergy and lay ministry by the high priests of the warmist’s Pro propaganda fide – ought to cue Jen and other attendees into at least a reasonable suspicion that what was being shoveled out from the podium was stuff not sufficiently composted to serve properly as the fertilizer with which seeds of public understanding in the sciences can be encouraged to sprout.

      Toxic waste, in fact.

    • John Carpenter

      Jen, what you appear to have is a conscience. That is a good thing. Listen to your conscience, it is telling you something important. Science is not a story that needs to be ‘sold’ to the public. The public just want science communicators to be honest about all the relevant information, not just the parts that makes the story neat, clean and tidy.

    • Jen –

      You seem very “concerned” about how scientists are being told to communicate about climate change?

      • John Carpenter

        Yeah, me too. Doesn’t this strike you as a bit odd Joshua? Do you think there is a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way to communicate about CC? What is the ‘right’ way and what is the ‘wrong’ way?

      • Actually, John, one of the things that I think that Judith does get right is her general take on how to communicate about climate change. IMO – communicating as openly as possible about uncertainties is the best approach. Now I might differ with her assessment about how the “climate science community” has approached communicating about uncertainties, and I disagree with her assessment about the impact of phenomena like climategate, but I will agree that tribalism among climate scientists is counterproductive to good communication.

        As for the way forward, I think the path is complicated. There are definitely people out there who deliberately distort what climate scientists say, and who use the climate debate as a political proxy. That is why I feel that large %’s of the American public do not have an accurate impression about the pervasive scientific opinion on AGW (regardless of how one assesses the veracity of the majority opinion, it is nonetheless the majority opinion). I still think that the single best approach is to openly communicate about uncertainties, even if those uncertainties will be exploited by those who have an ideological agenda – but I’m not sure of what is the best way to counter the exploitative politicization of the science (and that would be relevant to both tribes).

      • Joshua, I’m not sure what the quotes around concerned indicate… It bothered me, yes. I do acknowledge the need for accurate information to get out to the public. However, I find it distasteful to combine talking points with scientific findings. I’m not sure what the answer is…

      • Fair enough, Jen. I was speculating that you might be a “concern troll,” but it seems that you most likely aren’t.

        Yes, I can understand why you’d find the concept of “talking points’ to be distasteful. On the other hand, what is the best approach if you think that AGW represents a potential threat to the planet and you know that there are people out there who will exploit the science to serve an ideological agenda?

        Like you, I’m not sure what the answer is – although as I said before one important and overriding principle should be to communicate openly about uncertainties.

      • “concerned” is a worm on a hook. Josh is fishing for your “motives”. If you don’t toe the party line you are a suspect. Atmospheric scientists are not allowed to stray from the reservation. Josh fears that another Judith has gotten loose.

      • That’s funny josh. Hey, are agnostic/Jews able to eat bacon in good conscience? My wife is a Cohen, but she is an atheist and thus entitled to eat bacon. But I am not sure about agnostics.

      • Don –

        My favorite vegetarian dish is greens with bacon. I don’t consider eating bacon to be an “entitlement,” but one of the pleasures in life (particularly when I’m camping in the wilderness).

        There is a long tradition of secular Jews, of which I am a proud descendant, although not all of my close ancestors were secular. Wikipedia says that almost 1/2 of Jews define themselves as secular. Unfortunately, we have to deal with religious bigotry from other Jews, who like you, harbor the bigoted belief that if a Jew isn’t religious, they aren’t a Jew.

      • Joshua, I think bacon is the cause of secularism. It may unite of divide the world in the future.

        http://www.meatpoultry.com/News/News%20Home/Special%20Reports/2011/10/Bacons%20on%20fire.aspx

        Since transfats were taken off the table, pork fat is the new dietetic devil. When they come for your bacon will you join the “cause”?

      • When they come for your bacon will you join the “cause”?

        I’ll give them my bacon when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

      • Is it the parasites, the viruses, or the competition for the biological niche?
        ============================

      • It’s probably the anaphylaxis for sea food.
        =========

  35. Dr. Curry;
    I think there is another level of this topic.
    A personal anecdote;
    I was once parroting some piece of ‘best medical knowledge’ to my physician-father.
    He corrected me to say that it was merely the ‘latest medical belief’, and that his experience has shown that fads in ‘the latest medical treatment’ usually include oversimplification of cause-and-effect, and particularly overstatement of the benefits of any particular solution. end anecdote…
    I have come to appreciate that intelligent people develop intrinsic scepticism toward claims of ‘unprecedented’ scientific content.

    IMHO, the ‘well’ of ‘climate science’ has been tainted by significant history of overstatements and ‘fortuitous errors’ (which, upon discovery, are usually shown to amplify the desired message.)

    For a former accolyte in the great relegion/science of AGW, you have taken a bold step. (I am curious if your funding has been impacted from it.)

    But I haven’t yet seen any ‘mainstream’ climate specialist publicly expose the errors of his peers, yet alone have the error-promoters acknowledge the obvious.
    The insistence on ‘consistent communication’ and ‘messaging’ all just sounds like propaganda, not science.

    For example, all of California governments are now going through a Sea Level Rise threat evaluation. Millions of $ we don’t have are being spent on useless studies. And the baseline document? Rahmstorf et al, 2009,
    the most extreme predictions of all. (!)
    Mandated by executive order of the Governor.
    I spoke at my local ‘public comment’ meeting and was treated as if I was a dangerous lunatic for questioning the wisdom of using that paper. I even had some quotes from IPCC meeting where they expressed doubt, albeit in veiled professional jargon.
    In terms of fairy tales, the most obvious ‘communication’ problem you have can be gleaned from childhood classics such as;
    ‘The Shepherd Boy Who Cried Wolf ‘, and ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ .
    More subtly, at the time, I didn’t understand the tagline of ‘The Traveler with Cold Hands and Hot Soup’ .
    Even as a child I knew that Tbreath could be both higher than Tcold_hands and lower than Thot_soup . I thought it was a silly story and objected when it was read to me.
    I didn’t really comprehend this ‘fairy tale’ until I grew up and experienced it;
    “If you can blow both hot and cold with the same breath, you are the devil! Get out of my house!”
    e.g., Briffa’s recon is good when it is steeply increasing , but bad when it declines.
    etc.
    So, perhaps this is a more gentle-yet-effective version of Willis Eschenbach message.
    One other aspect of your ‘Science Communication’ salient; the problem is that you all are more or less trying to implement fiscal policy decisions across a wide spectrum of human endeavor.
    IMHO, the scientific foundational underpinnings are conspicuously insufficient to support the proposed social edifice. Everywhere you look, the predictions are failing, but did you all ‘communicate’ that publicly at AGU?
    (or only in colleagial whispers?)
    RR

    • 1. Sea level is rising
      2. There are regions of California that will be severely impacted by even small rises (not just flooding, but storm surge, salt water invasion into aquifers and more)
      3. Planning is called for

      • Supporting documentation?

        (Rather than taking your sterling word for it)

        Andrew

      • I think Eli is working directly on these issues in the SF bay. I think he covers this over at planet3. he is correct, planning is called for. Unlike some people he is actually involved at a local level and should be commended for his efforts. I may not like the personality he plays on the internet, but he does put his beliefs into local action. Try to see the whole man and not just the cartoon he plays on the net

      • steven mosher,

        I was asking for documentation about specific claims made on this site.(this is science, you know). I’m not interested in a irrelevant non-response from you.

        Andrew

      • My guess is the little cartoon rodent had something to do with foisting AB32 on the locals. I hope that long-eared rascal is around for the tar and feathers party, when the rolling blackouts start.

      • Compared to a general purpose energy blog like The Oil Drum, this site has a very narrow POV. So excuse me if I elaborate on some basic info that Eli is trying to convey.

        The salt water intrusion problem is well known: Saltwater is more dense than fresh water, so as it is drawn up from an aquifer, salt water will intrude into the lower reaches of the aquifer. Orange and LA counties continually pump fresh water into certain aquifers to prevent salt water intrusion. It seems kind of self-defeating but they have to do it or the entire aquifer will turn to salt water.

        Study this chart from the USGS

        and this review material

        http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs030-02/

      • Andrew since you cant think, what is the point of giving you a cite.
        I gave you a clue where to look in the hopes that you would leave and get lost

      • Steven Mosher,

        I get that you’d like to be part of my conversations, but Eli’s typical Warmer claim and poof is so yesterday. Kinda like you.

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher,

        I get that you’d like to be part of my conversations, but Eli’s typical Warmer claim and poof is so yesterday. Kinda like you.

        Andrew

        Jeez, you were just complaining about the lack of fresh ideas and there you go biting one guy willing to wade into the data. The ideas can only come out of data and models, or experiment and theory if you will. Those are the mainstay pillars of science, and that has been well communicated.

      • Without a doubt Eli, Salt water intrusion is a major issue in a lot of places. In most of those areas it is not sea level rise but aquifer over use and water shed abuse that are the primary causes. The “Global Warming” umbrella detracts from isolating and resolving problems in a rational manner.

        So what are you planning in your water district? Pulling cars off the road or restoring wetlands?

      • Eli,
        “sea level is rising” is a meaningless claim.
        That renders the rest of your post worthless.

      • At our local ‘planning’ meeting, no one was interested in that Colorado sea level data that shows less than 4mm/year and decelerating.
        They were just sure I was wrong.
        No one cared that recent reports in the Journal of Coastal Research were largely skewering Rahmstorf’s ‘semi-empirical methods’ .
        They used ‘appeal to authority’, and claimed that all the top scientists (” at Scripps”) agree with Rahmstorf’s projections of 31 to 69 inches of MSL increase by 2100. (in a region where we have 9-10 foot tidal range…)

        Clearly the issue of ‘salt water intrusion’ is driven much more by excess ground water extraction, as has happened in the LA GW basin and down by Monterey where they redirected the river and pumped with abandon.

        Here is a microcosm of the issue. My problem, is being dismissed here as if I was saying there was no delta MSL, or that planning is not wise.
        Wrongo. I’m saying it is wrong to pick an outlier on the high side as the baseline, and have everyone run around ‘planning’ for it, when we have much bigger problems right now in CA, and lots of papers that say Rahm2009 is absurd. Papers that use traditional methods such as plotting MSL vs time, instead of fitting acceleration to noisy data.
        Rahmstorf 07 and 09 are given a vigorous audit at

        http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/critique-of-global-sea-level-linked-to-global-temperature-by-vermeer-and-rahmstor/

        RR

      • A day or so ago somebody mentioned this “skewering” of the semi-emperical model. I just checked JCR website and they have nothing new there. Can you provide a link?

      • JCH
        Are you anything to do with Mr. Grant Foster (so called Tamino) since the link you provided up the thread now leads to nowhere, but you and I know what it was about, good to remember, perhaps read up on customs and attitudes of tribes of Montenegro might be advisable.
        I have read number of your comments on this blog, they espouse Tamino stile.

      • No I am not ‘part’ of Tamino. I read his blog, along with lots of others. I’m not ‘part’ of any of them.

      • JCH
        Why would you then refer to now nonexistent link to the post on RC which identified Tamino as Grant Foster as a nonsense, when it is the fact that neither ‘Tamino’as himself or as Grant Foster, or the RC who well know who ‘Tamino’ is, have publicly disputed the fact. I have read number of your posts and they are in style of the Tamino’s, only short of the most vulgar profanity to which ‘Tamino’ resorted.

  36. I am unimpressed with Keith Kloor’s comments about David Whitehouse’s piece. Kloor didn’t seem to be able to be consistent with his views, and I think that when Whitehouse put up a polite, and devastatingly effective, repost Kloor became nasty and because Whitehouse mentioned climate science reporting, in passing, Kloor got high and mighty about a lack of transparency because Dr Whitehouse didn’t say he writes for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    As if Dr Whitehouse’s credentials weren’t enough, considerably more extensive that Kloor’s I think. I don’t think the GWPF has anything to do with it and it’s typical of those wishing to duck an argument to pick on such things. It’s bad taste journalism, Mr Kloor. Hectoring and a little bullying. I think Kloor’s shameful allegation that Dr Whitehouse, one of the Uk’s leading science journalists is ‘masquerading’ is ridiculous, and tells you all you need to know about Kloor’s journalism.

  37. OK, I will sum this one up. Communicating with climate scientists can best be accomplished through the use of FOI statutes, if they haven’t had the foresight to “lose” or delete the desired information.

    • Don Monfort on December 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM writes:

      Communicating with climate scientists can best be accomplished through the use of FOI statutes, if they haven’t had the foresight to “lose” or delete the desired information.

      Ah, Don Alfonso’s observation that “You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.”

      Well, that’s an aphorism that’s certainly stood the test of time, hasn’t it?

  38. I don’t formally, other than the occasional invitation to talk to my children’s classrooms. I am concerned that the right message get out. But the idea of an organized campaign seemed wrong. Well intentioned ,no doubt, but somehow wrong.

    • Whoa sorry… This was in response to Fred’s question way up above and I got sidetracked in the midst of posting and this ended up in an unrelated place in the thread. I will say that after talking with so many scientists this week, I can say that the vast majoriy are truely interested in real answers and not politics. It’s a shame that the perception of climate scientists has been clouded by the behavior of a very few.

  39. Are the denier-type skeptics also interested in communicating science?Their absence in this AGU session is notable. And JC doesn’t quite count as one having only extended the IPCC range (2-4.5 C per doubling), emphasizing uncertainty, rather than denying its possibility. In fact, what I call deniers (for want of a better word) have ranges that don’t even overlap the IPCC one, and have a lot of certainty in their own ranges, but seem to be no-shows when it comes to the actual ideas of communicating science. I have an idea of why that is, but will leave it at that.

  40. I don’t want to distress the host, but I really think you and the regulars should read this article about Jonathan Haidt lament about how his discipline, social psychology has suffered from excessive gate-keeping and intellectual incest, rendering the vast bulk of its output irrelevent and possibly completely wrong.
    Jonathan Haidt a liberal atheist believes his field has fostered an environment where the religious and/or right of center, are excluded.

    I quote,
    “I submit to you that the under-representation of conservatives in social psychology, by a factor of several hundred, is evidence that we are a tribal moral community that actively discourages conservatives from entering. … We should take our own rhetoric about the benefits of diversity seriously and apply it to ourselves. … Just imagine if we had a true diversity of perspectives in social psychology. Imagine if conservative students felt free enough to challenge our dominant ideas, and bold enough to pull us out of our deepest ideological ruts. That is my vision for our bright post-partisan future”

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2011/03/two_bombshells_for_social_psyc.html

    • Thanks for this link, well worth reading

    • There is likely another reason there are so few (if any) conservatives in a field like “social psychology.” What makes one a “conservative” is adherence to a set of principles. Conservatives hold that the free market economic system that evolved in the west is a far superior economic system to central planning by some elite. Similarly, conservatives adhere to the Judeo-Christian ethic that also evolved in western society, rejecting the modern moral revisionism of progressives and liberaltarians alike.

      Conservatives are aware of the danger of unintended consequences from elitist meddling in both spheres of human behavior, economic and social. Social psychology smacks of too much of both. Sociology and psychology, either one taken alone, or when combined together, seek to produce “studies” that invariably conform to the expectations of the researcher. They are not so much true scientific investigatory disciplines, as adjuncts to a progressive social agenda.

      There is not much real science to any of them yet. As much as climate science is in its infancy, the extent of human knowledge in the area of climate is light years ahead of these pseudo sciences. It probably doesn’t take much effort to keep conservatives out of these departments in the academies, I can’t imagine many conservatives even applying.

  41. Willis Eschenbach

    Joshua | December 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply

    Willis –

    Public opinion is not “at odds with established scientific evidence”.

    The majority of Republicans, and even a stronger majority of “conservative” Republicans, think that the earth isn’t warming.

    Joshua, that claim is meaningless without a time frame. Warming since when? 2000? 1930? 1650? 200 BC?

    In any case, what is your citation for that claim, and what time period are you discussing?

    The majority of the public sees the stage productions of the climate alarmists for what they are—pseudo-science and doomsday fantasies.

    You persist in making statements such as this. Do you have any evidence to support your claims? If not, why do you suppose that you continue to make statements about opinions of the “majority of the public” for which you have no evidence?

    Sure I have evidence, Joshua. You’ve read enough of my work to know that I rarely lack evidence. The headline from the poll reads:

    69% Say It’s Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research

    Hardly a resounding vote of confidence in the field of climate science …

    People are not stupid, Joshua. The best and brightest of the AGW scientists, the leading lights of alarmism, the trendsetters, stand convicted by their own words of lying to the public at large. As a result, under the hoary rubric of “fool me once, your fault, fool me twice …”, people don’t trust them any more.

    And they are right not to trust them. The situation has been exacerbated by the continued insistence by the perpetrators that they did nothing wrong. That doesn’t restore communication and trust. That makes folks trust climate scientists even less.

    Meanwhile, well-intentioned honest scientists like our hostess are going around wondering why the message of impending Thermageddon is falling on deaf ears …

    w.

    • Willis, Joshua thinks that people behave in ways he disagrees with because their are evil 1%er, conservatives, deniers or they are good people suffering from a ‘false conciseness'; the solution is always the same; firing squad/concentration camp for the former and re-eduction for the latter.

      • Doc –

        Willis, Joshua thinks that people behave in ways he disagrees with because their are evil 1%er, conservatives, deniers or they are good people suffering from a ‘false conciseness’; the solution is always the same; firing squad/concentration camp for the former and re-eduction for the latter.

        A complete straw man. Top to bottom. And sideways as well.

        Nothing that I have ever said supports your characterization of what I’ve said, and certainly not what I believe.

        Top to bottom. And sideways.

      • Your feelings are hurt, joshy. But the reality is, that is the way you are perceived by a lot of the customers here. Of course, you can rationalize that in your little mind by categorizing us as evil 1%, conservative…..

      • Donny, weak-minded folks like you are always going to hate people like Joshua, because they make you feel small.

        Guess what: you are small.

        And your pathetic efforts to personalize the issues with ad hom and straw men just underlines that fact. ;)

      • Self-reference Robert.

        Self-reference

      • You little smarmy RC drones are just tedious. Nobody likes you. Joshy and Bart R are going to start their own blog. Why don’t you create a few more aliases and help them populate their fantasyland with a gaggle of like minded zealots. You could keep out the deniers, or just allow them to post once and then ridicule them for a week. Call the establishment, RC Junior.

      • John Carpenter

        Don, don’t confuse Joshua with Robert. Robert would fit your description better than Joshua. Joshua typically gets stuck on the fact most people (or Judith) exhibit some sort of bias and he gets miffed by it. I can’t recall him ever calling anyone ‘evil’… that is a Robert trait.

        Joshua, I have tried to break away from my own bias by sticking up for you on this occasion where I think Don got you wrong. Happy now :)

      • John,

        I don’t like josh-ua. On more than one occasion he has inquired about a poster’s religious beliefs-Creationism-in attempts to discredit their opinions on the climate science dogma. I happen to be an atheist, but I hate bigotry of any kind.

      • John –

        Joshua, I have tried to break away from my own bias by sticking up for you on this occasion where I think Don got you wrong. Happy now

        lol!

        I have said in the past that I distinguish your posts, like those of BillC, or Gene, and a number of other “skeptical” denizens, in that you consistently control (or at least attempt to control) for motivated reasoning.

      • Don –

        I don’t like josh-ua. On more than one occasion he has inquired about a poster’s religious beliefs-Creationism-in attempts to discredit their opinions on the climate science dogma. I happen to be an atheist, but I hate bigotry of any kind.

        That isn’t true, Don – even though you have repeatedly made that claim.

        I very much respect a great deal of religious people. I have family and other loved-ones who are deeply religious. I think that creationism is a perfectly logical concept if you have faith that the bible is the word of god. I have only said that Intelligent Design is not a “scientific theory” based on “scientific evidence,” and that if someone thinks that it is, it says that they define scientific evidence and scientific theory in a way that is different than the vast majority of scientists, and the way that I define those terms. It doesn’t “discredit” their opinions on the climate science dogma – it categorizes their beliefs about what comprises science and scientific data.

        Now take that paragraph and print it on a sticky-post and tack it to your computer screen, and the next time you want to do your PWAHO routine, re-read it.

      • You are a fraud josh. What I have repeatedly said is absolutely true. Read your own posts. You can’t help yourself. Protestations about friends and family who are religious, don’t redeem YOU. You just posted this:

        “And btw – it absolutely is true. He tried to pass an amendment to have ID taught in public schools.”

        What is your problem?

      • John Carpenter

        Don, I do like Joshua… I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, but I don’t find him disingenuous, just a little flawed in his ideas. I have had mostly reasonable exchanges with him.

      • OK John, but I don’t know how he can be a hypocrite and a bigot, without being disingenuous. I do admire your your ability to see the good, in one so flawed.

      • And Don –

        One final post for the night before I close up shop. You seem to think that I care whether you “like” me or not.

        FWIW, I don’t.

        It bothers me not in the least that you or hunter or cwon or Gary or Bruce or punksta or Doc or Rich, etc. don’t “like” me. In fact, I find your obsessive need to chase me around threads to post that you don’t “like” me rather amusing. I don’t post at Climate Etc. to make “friends” or to have people “like” me. I post to express my ideas and to exchange views with others.

        In fact, in all honesty, I think it’s pretty pathetic that you think that I do care whether or not you, an anonymous commenter at a blog, “like” me. What does that say about you, Don?

      • Same with me Joshua. I get what insight I can from the general commentary, steal what I can :), and shrug off or beat back all the nastiness. IOW, being liked is not all that important.

      • Don –

        What is your problem?

        My problem is that Santorum wants to govern from the basis of his religious beliefs.

        ID is not a scientific theory and it isn’t based on scientific evidence. As a religious belief, it has it’s place in the classroom when religious beliefs are being discussed. That is not the context in which Santorum wants it to be part of the public school curriculum.

        Now Don, a while back I asked you why you asked me which testament my name was from (when I would guess you new perfectly well which testament it was from), and if there was any particular reason that you called me self-loathing. Those both seemed to be indications that you felt my being Jewish was of some significance. You never answered my questions. Care to do so now?

      • You are not Jewish. You are an atheist like me. The difference is that I don’t have to feel intellectually superior to those who choose to be religious.

        And I did answer your question. I did it to make you feel uncomfortable. To teach you a lesson about bigotry. Got to you to. You are still smarting. Now move along, junior.

      • randomengineer

        My problem is that Santorum wants to govern from the basis of his religious beliefs.

        Is that true? Or does he pander to what he reckons to be his “base?” I think you would have to inspect the voting record to get an accurate picture. Lots in the left wing were infuriated with Bush The Recent due to perceptions of him being a religious nutbar. But the record looks like he threw the far right a bone here and there to keep them shut up and otherwise didn’t try to interfere in the secular nature of government as a rule.

        So let’s say he’s super religious. So? Don’t vote for him, and encourage your likeminded friends to do the same. But frankly I’m wondering WTF your reasoning is for why this stuff needs to be discussed HERE. There seems to be little relevance.

      • Don –

        You are not Jewish. You are an atheist like me.

        Wrong on both counts. I am Jewish. I get to make that determination, not you. It really is astounding that you think that you can make that determination for me.

        And I’m not an atheist – I’m agnostic.

        Have a good night, Don.

      • R.E.

        Is that true? Or does he pander to what he reckons to be his “base?”

        Fair point. One never knows with a politician if they have any authentic beliefs. I generally tend to think that rightwing politicians’ religious stances are, indeed, for political expediency.

        That said, whether it’s out of authentic belief or political expediency, he’s a strong advocate for infusing government with religious doctrine.

        I’m wondering WTF your reasoning is for why this stuff needs to be discussed HERE. There seems to be little relevance.

        The issue came up because I posted some of his remarks on the connection between science and politics – completely relevant to the general topic of science communication and discussions that take place on many threads at Climate Etc. If you don’t think it is relevant, then the question would be why do you keep discussing the subject? I think it is relevant, so it’s entirely logical that I would be discussing it. What’s your reason?

      • OMG! Agnostic! A gutless atheist. You are amusing josh.

      • Don –

        OMG! Agnostic! A gutless atheist.

        I don’t believe that I have sufficient knowledge to determine conclusively one way or the other whether or not a god, or gods, in one form or another, exist. I haven’t seen any convincing evidence in my lifetime to show that deity(s) do exist, and I find it hard to believe that there is some controlling force in the universe that would deliberately cause millions of children to die of starvation each year – but I’m willing to entertain the theoretical possibility that some form of a deity might exist in ways that I can’t comprehend.

        I am skeptical either way.

        If that makes me “gutless,” so be it. I prefer to think that it means that I have the “guts” to tolerate ambiguity as opposed to feeling a need to form definitive conclusions when there aren’t enough supporting data to support those conclusions.

      • Will this help?

        agnostic

        1870, “one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known.” Coined by T.H. Huxley (1825-1895) from Gk. agnostos “unknown, unknowable,” from a- “not” + gnostos “(to be) known” (see gnostic). Sometimes said
        EXPANDto be a reference to Paul’s mention of the altar to “the Unknown God,” but according to Huxley it was coined with ref. to the early Church movement known as Gnosticism (see Gnostic).
        “I … invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of ‘agnostic,’ … antithetic to the ‘Gnostic’ of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant.” [T.H. Huxley, “Science and Christian Tradition,” 1889]

        We all need to remember that it is God, that gives us our faith.
        I hope this helps you.

      • Tom –

        We all need to remember that it is God, that gives us our faith.

        The way that I see it, it is your faith that gives you your God.

        I don’t mean that to demean faith. Faith is powerful, and we all have our “faiths.”

      • Joshua, if you buy land with known gold deposits. You will still need to work the land to extract the riches that are in the ground. How many man-years have you spent in the textbooks? How many man-years studying the inspired word of God? His plan is to sort out those who desire to know him, from those who don’t. He will deliver to you on His promises. The signs & wonders stuff went out two days ago (two thousand years). When He again reveals himself, to all mankind next time, He will be The Lion. God is a truthful producer, he delivers to his disciples too. This will be the end of the age of: I’m not an atheist – I’m agnostic. Signs & Wonders will abound and all flesh shall see.

        Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

        All aboard!

      • “We all need to remember that it is God, that gives us our faith.”

        Ask. Seek. Knock. Come and see. There is not a greater scientific exploration.

        Andrew

      • But the record looks like he threw the far right a bone here and there to keep them shut up and otherwise didn’t try to interfere in the secular nature of government as a rule.

        Meanwhile the current president talks about “my Muslim faith”, claims to be a Christian because he attended Rev. Wright’s Church of Raceotology, and lights up the entire Chanukah menorah all at once 12 days early, and is going to restore science to its proper place.

        And in his spare time, make the seas stop rising.

      • P.E. on December 10, 2011 at 12:07 PM observed of our Mombasa Messiah:

        Meanwhile the current president talks about “my Muslim faith”, claims to be a Christian because he attended Rev. Wright’s Church of Raceotology, and lights up the entire Chanukah menorah all at once 12 days early, and is going to restore science to its proper place.

        And in his spare time, make the seas stop rising.

        Ah, yes. The Kenyan Canute.

        Or (considering that he never naturalized as a U.S. citizen after having been adopted under the name of “Barry Soebarkah” in his life as a “good Muslim schoolboy” to become a citizen of the Republic of Indonesia) would it be better to characterize him as the Indonesian Iago?

      • wow! kim!

        Looks like P.E. is connecting dots just like you. Astounding.

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

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

        You fellas crack me up.

      • Is it illegal to be a Muslim in America?

      • Louise on December 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM asks:

        Is it illegal to be a Muslim in America?

        As long as our “Liberal” fascisti and pseudochristian right-wing religious whackjobs are successfully opposed in their conjoint efforts to stamp “Null and Void” upon the Bill of Rights, no.

        On t’other hand, is it illegal to establish a Hindu temple, or a synagogue, or a Christian church in Saudi Arabia and much of the rest of Dar al-Islam?

        Is it illegal to be a dhimmi in polities under Islamic governance without submitting to decidedly second- (or third-) class citizenship and paying a punitive tax for the crime of not professing the Muslim faith?

        We’re the secular humanist good guys. They’re “the religion of Peace.”

      • Obama’s Muslim sympathies and associates

        That’s Curry’s “extended peer community” for you. Just pushing back the frontiers of knowledge all over the place. ;)

      • Please, Joshua, the link to the whole thread, which isn’t much about Obama, rather about his spouse unethically and politically interfering in a vaccine trial, preventing little black girls in Chicago from participating.

        However, a conversation about our politicians’ allegiances and spiritualities seems called for and not out of place, except, perhaps, here.
        ===========================

      • Are you denying that he said “my Muslim faith”? Think hard before answering; it’s all over the internet.

        And focus. Nowhere in my comment is there an allegation that he’s a Muslim, just a quotation to make a completely different point about pandering to religion. Focus.

      • Roberta,

        Don’t forget that Muslims are Theists. That’s supposed to mean they are erroneously motivated, Right?

        Andrew

      • Robert –

        That’s Curry’s “extended peer community” for you. Just pushing back the frontiers of knowledge all over the place. ;)

        All you need to do is “connect the dots.”

        They’re out there, trust me. All you need to do is look hard enough and you’ll find them wherever you want.

        Just keep staring.

        Of course, Judith only connects dots on one side of the debate. But it is her blog, so she can connect dots wherever she wants.

      • kim –

        Please, Joshua, the link to the whole thread,

        Sorry. I thought that since you “don’t read my posts” I could get away with it (lol! You’re like putty in my hands, kiim).

        Here you go, big guy.

        http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/06/michell-obama-.html

        Your dot-connecting paranoia in all its glory

      • Thanks, Pygmal. Now maybe would could add attitudes toward science among our politicians in addition to their allegiances and spiritualities.
        ==================

      • P.E,

        it’s all over the internet.

        I gotta admit, that was a classic.

        It’s “all over the Internet,” so therefore it is true and the meaning if obvious.

        He said: “You’re absolutely right that McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith, and you’re absolutely right….my Christian faith…”

        What’s your point, P.E. – that because it’s “all over the Internet” his statement was an admission that he considers himself to be Muslim?

        Judith – are you reading this? Is this your extended peer community? Those who think that Obama has “Muslim sympathies,” and those who imply that Obama’s misstatement implies that he’s actually a Muslim.

        You know, because it’s “all over the Internet.”

        Oh my freakin’ sides.

      • Trying to keep Josh on topic is like trying to wrestle a squid. He’s just smart enough to blow ink, but not smart enough to stay away from the calamari fishermen.

      • “It’s “all over the Internet,”

        So are you, Joshua. It least it seems that way.

        Andrew

      • That’s actually a rather humorous slip of the tongue. My favorite of all time was Carter’s addressing of Vice President Humphrey as “Hubert Horatio Hornblower” during a tribute to HHH at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. It’s all rather endearing, and enduring in the history books.

    • The situation has been exacerbated by the continued insistence by the perpetrators that they did nothing wrong.

      Worse than that, Mann and crew insist that there’s a industrial-religious conspiracy against him and his merry band of scientific jihadis.

    • Willis –

      You and I have discussed that poll before. Interesting that you forgot.

      You have no comparative context: how do the numbers stack up against plumbers, or climate change “skeptics” such as yourself, or priests, or politicians, or doctors?

      You misleadingly use the 69% figure instead of breaking it down to the more relevant categorization of “very likely” and “somewhat likely” as the questions were framed in the poll. What does it mean that someone thinks it is “somewhat likely” that climate scientists (how many climate scientists? All of them? A tiny percentage of them? Doesn’t the poll say “some?” What does “some” mean?) might sometimes falsify data to support their theories? Does it mean that the public thinks that climate scientists have motivated reasoning just like everyone else? Does it mean that the public thinks that the conclusions of climate scientist can’t be trusted or just that sometimes, some of them falsify data in ways that don’t seriously undermine their conclusions? Did you bother to figure any of that out before you spouted off about what the public does and doesn’t believe?

      Well, the data show that the public thinks that scientists (not specifically climate scientists) are the best source for information on climate change. Yes, Willis, even better than “skeptics” such as yourself.

      The best and brightest of the AGW scientists, the leading lights of alarmism, the trendsetters, stand convicted by their own words of lying to the public at large. As a result, under the hoary rubric of “fool me once, your fault, fool me twice …”, people don’t trust them any more.

      Once again, Willis – apparently this comes as a shock to you but just because you have a particular opinion doesn’t mean that a majority of Americans have the same opinion. Again, Willis, show your data. Show some scientific, verifiable data that quantify the assertion that you, repeatedly, make.

      You’ve read enough of my work to know that I rarely lack evidence.

      Actually, Willis, I’ve read enough of what you write to know that when you wander into your land of ranting, you often lack evidence. One example I particularly liked was when you spouted off, incorrectly, about evangelism among Quakers, but this nonsense you repeat over and over about what the public believe or don’t believe is particularly noticeable because you keep repeating it without any verification..

      I don’t think that people are stupid, Willis (although it’s interesting that you mistakenly think you need to tell me that) – and that’s why I think that the majority of the public doesn’t agree with your tribal perspective on the climate debate. My guess is that most Americans would look at your ranting about Muller, for example, and say “Wow, that guy’s got an anger management problem, doesn’t he?”

      In any case, what is your citation for that claim,

      Here you go, Willis. Knock yourself out.

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/69556.html

      The data support a conclusion that the majority of “skeptics” (do you question whether most “skeptics” are likely Republicans let alone “conservative Republicans) don’t know the facts about climate change as you define them, Willis

      “Overall, 43 percent of self-identified Republicans believe that the earth’s climate is warming.

      Only 31 percent of conservative Republicans believe “solid evidence” exists that the world is warming.

      That doesn’t mean that they’re stupid. When you put those numbers together with the numbers about who the public most trusts for information on climate change, the logical conclusion is that many of the public – Republicans in particular – don’t know how most climate scientists view the science. That is graph from the poll I linked to above. Did you bother to read it, Willis?

      And, of course, the poll also shows that Anthony Watts ‘ statement that “skeptics” don’t doubt that the Earth is warming is worth about as much as your assessment of public opinion. Maybe you should ask him about the “time frame” he was referencing? Too funny.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks for answering my question, Joshua. You cite an article which in turn cites a Pew poll. Unfortunately, rather than look at the poll itself, and at the exact questions asked, and in particular at the error margins for the poll, you cited what some talking head said about the poll.

        This is generally a mistake.

        What the Pew poll actually asked was whether there is “solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades.”

        Unfortunately, this is a very vague question, with no clear answer. We all know that there is no statistically significant warming over the last fifteen years. So is there “solid evidence” that the earth is warming over the last few decades? Definitely not for the last decade and a half there isn’t.

        But what I don’t get is what you are arguing. I said people don’t trust climate scientists. I provided poll data that backs that up.

        You come back to say that about half the Republicans don’t believe the earth warmed over the last few decades. You don’t mention (but your cited poll says) that in addition about a quarter of the Democrats don’t believe the earth warmed over the last few decades. Finally, also unmentioned by you, about a third of the independents don’t believe the world warmed over that period.

        How does this disprove my claim that people don’t trust climate scientists? It seems like it supports my claim.

        w.

        PS—You also can’t trust the Pew folk when they write about their own polls. For example, here’s some numbers. These happen to be the results of successive polls of the percentage of Republicans saying that there is solid evidence for warming in the last few decades:

        Year, Percentage
        2007, 59%
        2008, 49%
        2009, 35%
        2010, 38%
        2011, 43%

        Now, the 95% confidence interval on this part of the poll is ± 5.5%. This means that statistically, there is no difference between 2010 and 2011, since the confidence intervals overlap. The same is true for the change from 2009 to 2011, and from 2008 to 2011. The differences are not statistically significant, because the confidence intervals overlap.

        Now, there’s lots of ways to describe the changes over those years. You could say, for example, that the numbers dropped significantly from 2007 to 2009. You can say that the numbers have not changed significantly since 2008.

        What you can’t say is that there is any significant change in the poll results since 2008.

        Unfortunately, the same is true for the results for everyone lumped together, and for the liberal/moderate Republicans, and for the independents. None of the recent (post 2008) changes are significant there either.

        Despite that, the Pew folks headline this as

        Since 2009, there have been sharp increases in the percentages of independents and moderate and liberal Republicans who say there is solid evidence of global warming.

        Not true. There have indeed been increases in both of those percentages, but they are not statistically significant. In other words, they could be just polling error, so we can place no confidence in them. It is quite deceptive of the Pew folks not to mention that.

        Joshua, you need to develop a bit of skepticism about your polls. If the confidence intervals overlap, the changes mean nothing. Dig under what the talking heads say, take a hard look at the numbers and the error sizes, and draw your own conclusions.

      • When it comes to the demographics of belief in something as complex as climate science, how people answer a few yes-no questions is pretty worthless. There are, for example, a great variety of forms of skepticism, which such questions do not address.

        Faced with the question about …“solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades.” I would answer NO because the uncertainties preclude solid evidence, whatever that may mean. How many people answered no to “solid evidence” as opposed to no to “getting warmer” we do not know.

        Then too, many people have heard that global warming has stopped. How many no’s reflect this knowledge? How many reflect the widespread belief that the warming books are run by activists?

        The point is that a lot of these no’s may be correct.

      • David –

        You do know that the same poll asked separate questions about the earth warming and AGW, and that the %’s differed, right?

        Look at this graph.

        We can see that belief about who to trust for information about climate change correlates with political ideology – as does belief about the science itself. We have other data that tell us that cultural and ideological framework correlated with belief about climate science correlates significantly more closely even than knowledge about the science.

        And David – look at this graph:

        http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/q74.jpg?w=500&h=325

        The group of people who answered that there isn’t solid evidence of warming correlates with the group of people who are most likely to think that they don’t need more information to determine if climate change is occurring.

        Of course the data from the polls is all over the place and not particularly instructive at a fine level of detail – but it is clear on a general level that despite what Willis claims, belief about climate change isn’t shaped by the conviction among a significant % of the public that climate scientists are “liars,” but by motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, sociocentric identity, etc.

      • Joshua, once again you are confusing people’s reasons with their psychology. Willis and I are talking about peoples’s reasons. You are talking about their psychology. People do not reason the way they do because of their ideology, they have the ideology they do because of how they reason. Ideology is an effect, not a cause, of reasoning. That is, people who reason a certain way are said to have a certain ideology. Ideology is a category of behavior, not a cause of behavior.

        Even worse, you jump back and forth between the two explanatory realms (logic and psychology), suggesting for example that ideology is more important than knowledge, as though these were competing causes. My point is that there are good reasons for answering the question about warming with a NO. We have very little information on the actual demographics of these reasons. But whatever it is the ideologies in question are irrelevant to that empirical issue.

      • randomengineer

        For the Tamino graph data to be true the general population polls shown by Willis reflect a lot of really bad luck on the part of the pollsters; they seem to be randomly calling naught but tea partiers. In the vein of dire straits “two men claim to be jesus, one of them must be wrong” line both sets of numbers can’t be correct.

        Moreover, the Tamino graphs purport to prove the favourite trope among the alarmist crowd, that people who don’t buy the team line are pig-ignorant imbeciles and almost certainly right wingers, but then again that’s the assumed redundancy.

        That means for Tamino to be relevant the Willis data is multiple years of crap luck. What are the odds of that? So if you took a poll of what do we think of which numbers better reflect public opinion, I’d have to go with the Willis provided data. The poll poll.

      • David –

        People do not reason the way they do because of their ideology, they have the ideology they do because of how they reason. Ideology is an effect, not a cause, of reasoning.

        I believe that this is a falsely dichotomous relationship that you are constructing (largely because of your ideological leanings). It works both ways, but to a large degree, how someone reasons within the context of a specific and contentious debate that overlaps with fundamental aspects of ideology and social identity is often very much influenced by ideology. For example, my reasoning about climate change is influenced by my foundational experiences growing up in a left-leaning culture of origin that highly valued skeptical analysis.

        That is, people who reason a certain way are said to have a certain ideology.

        Wow! When Mooney said something like this, he was likened to eugenicists.

        At least he tries to break down his analysis by providing data on brain physiology – what do you have to do on, David?

        And I’m curious. Since you think that ideology is the effect of reasoning, what do you conclude from the fact that Tea Partiers, disproportionately, think that they have enough evidence to conclude that the earth isn’t warming? What does that tell you about their reasoning process?

        Would you draw similar conclusions about their reasoning based on their ideological perspective on evolution?

        How about whether or not Iraq was responsible for the 9/11 attacks or whether or not Iraq presented an eminent threat because it possessed WMD?

      • “think that they have enough evidence to conclude that the earth isn’t warming?”

        Joshua,

        You are confused. The relevant question is: Have Warmers presented enough evidence that Global Warming is true? Any other regurgitation that comes out of a Warmer is meaningless unless this question has been answered. So far the answer is no, BTW.

        Andrew

      • Joshua

        My opinion is my opinion, just as yours is yours.

        You state that you grew up in a society that valued skeptical thinking, yet you apparently accept without any skepticism that “the science is settled” on the IPCC premise that AGW has been the primary cause for most of the warming since 1950 and that it therefore represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment.

        I also grew up in a society that valued skeptical thinking, and I am, therefore skeptical that “the science is settled”.on this premise.

        Get it?

        Max

      • Max –

        My opinion is my opinion, just as yours is yours.

        Well, at least on that we agree.

        yet you apparently accept without any skepticism that “the science is settled” on the IPCC premise that AGW has been the primary cause for most of the warming since 1950 and that it therefore represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment.

        That isn’t true, max. That is your belief about what I think even though I have provided ample evident that it is not what I believe. This disconnect between what I say I believe and what you think I believe is, IMO, evidence of motivated reasoning on your part.

        I also grew up in a society that valued skeptical thinking, and I am, therefore skeptical that “the science is settled”.on this premise.

        Get it?

        Yes, I do: I am also skeptical that the “science is settled.”

        I think that it is unfortunate that your critical thinking is so undermined by your motivated reasoning that you don’t seem to be able to understand that.

        You seem to be a smart guy who understands a lot of technical information that is way beyond my intellectual capability. It’s a shame that someone with that intellectual power has his reasoning so undermined by such simple flaws in his approach.

      • IOW, when it comes to religion, you’re a skeptic. Congratulations. You’ve taken the first step.

      • P. E. –

        I’m a skeptic when it comes to global warming also.

        What I’m not is a “skeptic.”

      • You say ‘eminent’, I say ‘imminent’, let’s call the spellchecker STAT.
        ==============

      • Spellchecker Serial Number 42 reports it is ‘immanent’, given the threatening context.
        =========================

      • Wow, kim!

        I never took you for a grammar/spelling nanny.

        Once again, evidence that I do draw conclusions without sufficient data. I now see that I was wrong.

        And, as always kim, thanks for reading (why do you claim that you don’t read my posts, kim?)

      • Spellchecker #42 wears diamonds, but the boss was talking about the meaning, not the spelling. Whattyou come up with? 21?
        ==================

      • Joshua, I think your admission that you are a bacon eater may have something to do with the increased responses.

        http://www.royalbaconsociety.com/page/34/

        Democrats wonder why Obama is soft on climate change, it is the bacon, Josh.

      • The science is settled to explain the +33 degrees C discrepancy based on a combination of GHG and albedo factors. Even if the earth absorbed all incident solar radiation we would still need to account for about 10 degrees C.

        It is settled, because there is no competing theory to explain the +33 degree C discrepancy, unless some enterprising science journalist spends some effort in digging something up. He or she has to dig into http://arxiv.org and scour Google Scholar to see if there is any kind of competing theory.

        Once the journalist finds it, then we can have at it. However, until that theory shows up, scientists will continue to build on the work of others, which is ultimately based on conventional physics.

      • Web, you realize, do you not, that only a few cranks are disputing the greenhouse effect, and that 33 C number is silent about feedback, which is the real controversy. You knew that, didn’t you?

      • Willis –

        When you back pedal furiously, you expand your error rate:

        How does this disprove my claim that people don’t trust climate scientists? It seems like it supports my claim.

        What it disputes is this claim:

        Public opinion is not “at odds with established scientific evidence”.

        We can see from the poll that there is significant public opinion that is at odds with established scientific evidence, and that this is particularly true for Republicans, and even more true for “conservative” Republicans. Now my speculation is that since “skeptics” are disproportionately Republican, and my impression is that “conservative” Republicans are particularly likely to be “skeptical” about climate change, “skeptics” disproportionately hold an opinion WRT climate change that is at odds with established science.

        Whether the rate of change in the poll results is statistically significant or not is also not germane to the question of whether your statement about public not being at odds with established science. I wasn’t focusing on the rate of change, but the existence of significant public opinion – particularly among “skeptics” that is at odds with established science. That was true in 2007 and it is true in 2011 independently of whether the # who hold those opinions has changed over time.

        It is ironic that you think you should school me on the validity of polls given that you messed up so bad with interpreting the poll about trust in climate scientists. Once again:

        You misleadingly use the 69% figure instead of breaking it down to the more relevant categorization of “very likely” and “somewhat likely” as the questions were framed in the poll. What does it mean that someone thinks it is “somewhat likely” that climate scientists (how many climate scientists? All of them? A tiny percentage of them? Doesn’t the poll say “some?” What does “some” mean?) might sometimes falsify data to support their theories? Does it mean that the public thinks that climate scientists have motivated reasoning just like everyone else? Does it mean that the public thinks that the conclusions of climate scientist can’t be trusted or just that sometimes, some of them falsify data in ways that don’t seriously undermine their conclusions? Did you bother to figure any of that out before you spouted off about what the public does and doesn’t believe?

        Maybe you should look at the following link again. It shows a graph of data that indicate that the public thinks that scientists (not specifically climate scientists) are the best source for information on climate change. They include NOAA and the EPA among those that they trust the most What is the perspective of NOAA and the EPA, as entities, about climate change?

        You see, Willis, just because most Americans think that some climate scientists might at some point falsify some data to support some theory, it doesn’t mean that you can conclude that those same Americans share your opinions about climate scientists.

        That’s called confirmation bias, Willis. Look it up.

      • Joshua,

        There is a lot of interesting information in Tamino’s graphs,

        The black ;lines are very trusting, the blue lines not so trusting. Is blind trust a virtue?

        Notice how the 41% to 60% converge?

      • Cap’n

        Blind trust is not a virtue in my book – but you have assigned the attribute of “blind” without evidence.

        Trust in the predominant opinion among people with a high degree of expertise has some logic to it. Although I wouldn’t have blind trust in a team of doctors advising a particular medical procedure, I wouldn’t reject their advice on the basis of not having blind trust in their advice.

        I’d say that the opposite of blind trust might be paranoia, or assessing the science based on motivated reasoning or confirmation bias. I wouldn’t recommend either of them either.

        I’m quite sure that if you asked a different question (let’s say trust in a climate scientists who believes in Intelligent Design, or trust in the opinion of Inhofe or Sarah Palin about climate change), you could get a reasonably similar data pattern showing the opposition proportions of trust and distrust correlated with the participant categorizations.

        I’m not attributing motivated reasoning or confirmation bias to one side as opposed to the other. Everything that we know about how humans reason, and where critical thinking breaks down, shows that the influences as evidenced in opinion about climate change is similar to how reasoning is influenced in other controversial areas as well that overlap onto ideological and political debates.

      • Joshua, you sure have a way with words;

        ‘… just because most Americans think that some climate scientists might at some point falsify some data to support some theory…’

        Who could doubt you?
        That’s right.
        -confirmed-

      • One wonders what motivates Joshua to reason against evidence.
        ======================

      • Joshua, It may just be spurious, there is enough circumstantial evidence though to apply for a research grant :)

      • Joshua, you claim that “We can see from the poll that there is significant public opinion that is at odds with established scientific evidence,”

        I do not see that at all. Are you claiming that the only correct answer to the “hard evidence of warming” question is YES, on all reasonable interpretations of that question? I disagree, for reasons I have already explained.

      • David –

        I do not see that at all. Are you claiming that the only correct answer to the “hard evidence of warming” question is YES, on all reasonable interpretations of that question? I disagree, for reasons I have already explained.

        You are an outlier here.

        I have seen many “skeptics” saying that they, like most “skeptics,” don’t doubt that there is solid evidence that the Earth is warming. Now I believe that there is a problem with those statements, as many “skeptics” also attack all of the forms of evidence that show a warming trend – so there seems to be some consistency – but I see that inconsistency as an artifact of their motivated reasoning and compulsive need to advance a political agenda, not true skepticism about whether the Earth is warming.

        You are among the few “skeptics” I’ve seen that espouses beliefs that are consistent on this issue. I have noted that with you before, as you might recall. You have answered my questions about your belief about the Earth is warming in a consistent manner.

        That said – I think that yes, the belief that there aren’t hard data to show that the Earth is warming is “at odds” with the scientific evidence. Is it possible that the evidence collected isn’t sufficient to prove warming beyond any shadow of doubt? I would say yes – but the evidence as it exists shows warming.

        Is there a possibility that some of the poll respondents might have teased out a distinction as you have done so as to answer that there isn’t “hard evidence” to show warming and yet to not be “at odds” with the scientific evidence? I suppose so – but I think that it is highly implausible to be true for any significant % of the respondents.

        I don’t look to the poll data for a precise quantification of opinion, but I do see enough evidence there to conclude that in fact, most Republicans, and in particular “conservative” Republicans, hold opinions on this issue that are “at odds” with the data.

        I should note that I don’t think that means that Republicans are more likely than anyone else to hold opinions on scientific matters that are at odds with the scientific data. I think that is a possibility, but not likely to be the case. I belief that beliefs on this issue, like beliefs in many similar controversial and politicized issues, is significantly influenced by sociocentric thinking, motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, etc.

      • You are compulsive josh. Up all night? According to my wife, the Cohen, I owe you an apology (she doesn’t know you like I do). She says that wishy-washy non-practicing agnostic-Jews like yourself, and the more courageous atheist-Jews like herself, are still considered to be Jews by Rabbinical tradition and are welcome to return to the faith at any time. The Hebrew word for those who have strayed from the flock is Meshumadim. So your agnosticism is not inconsistent with being Jewish. I was wrong on that point. But your agnosticism co-existing with your prejudice that the religious are unscientific boobs indicates a great confusion in your mind. It would be very interesting to know the scientific basis for your agnosticism.

      • kim

        You ask :

        One wonders what motivates Joshua to reason against evidence.

        He’s already told us:

        my reasoning about climate change is influenced by my foundational experiences growing up in a left-leaning culture of origin

        Max

      • Don –

        According to my wife, the Cohen, I owe you an apology

        Your wife is entitled to her opinions, but as far as I’m concerned, you owe me no apology. If you make comments that reveal your ignorance, it doesn’t offend me in the least.

        As for my Jewish identity – I don’t look to rabbinical tradition a determination. I am Jewish by virtue of my cultural heritage and legacy.

        The scientific basis for my agnosticism is that I haven’t seen conclusive scientific evidence to prove the existence of a God and I haven’t seen scientific evidence that disproves the existence of a God.

      • OMG , josh! And John said that you aren’t disingenuous:

        “The scientific basis for my agnosticism is that I haven’t seen conclusive scientific evidence to prove the existence of a God and I haven’t seen scientific evidence that disproves the existence of a God.”

        You also haven’t seen conclusive scientific evidence that there is not a moon somewhere in the universe that is made of green cheese, but you are not agnostic on that. You have heard of quantum mechanics, haven’t you? How do you square that with agnosticism? There is nothing scientific about agnosticism. There is no scientific basis for being agnostic. You claim to be agnostic for purely social and cultural reasons. You don’t have the guts to admit to being an atheist.

      • Joshua and Willis

        As you both know about opinion polls: “ask the right question and you’ll get the right answer”.

        – Has it warmed?

        Most respondents would say “yes” (and would mean “it has warmed globally over the past several decades).

        If you asked

        – Has it warmed over the past decade?

        Many respondents might still say “yes”, but those who have followed this subject a bit recently would say “no”.

        – Have humans been responsible for the past warming?

        Would probably get a “yes” answer from many, simply because that is the “PC” message one hears incessantly from the mainstream media as well as PR campaigns by lobby groups. Again, those who have looked into this topic a bit more closely, would have doubts that “the science is settled” on this question and would answer “no” or “don’t know”.

        – Does human-induced global warming represent a serious threat to humanity and our environment?

        Might get a “yes” answer for a few who believe that “the science is settled”, but would get a “no” or “don’t know” from most respondents who have followed the ongoing debate and have concluded that “the science is NOT settled”.

        Max

      • Max –

        Would probably get a “yes” answer from many, simply because that is the “PC” message one hears incessantly from the mainstream media as well as PR campaigns by lobby groups

        In this statement we see evidence of two aspects of your bias.

        The first is your definition of “mainstream media.” Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Drudge, World Net Daily, the Washing Times, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reily, Alex Jones, Michael Medved, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Bill Bennett, NewsMax, Michael Savage, etc., are all “mainstream media,” and they like other media outlets cover the statements of all of the Republican Party candidates for president as well as powerful political figures such as Inhofe Someone who listens to those media outlets and politicians for information related to climate change are likely to think that the EArth isn’t warming and that AGW is a “hoax.”

        The second is your assumption that the majority opinion among scientific experts is merely a “PC message.” I don’t doubt that the opinions of some scientific experts is influenced by political ideology – but to characterize the predominant opinion as merely an function of PCism, IMO, can only be sustained by an agenda-driven near paranoia. I value true skepticism and think it is appropriate in the climate debate, but the fact remains that the predominant position among experts on climate change is at odds with your own assessment. That, in and of itself, doesn’t make them right and you wrong, but it does logically affect how the debate plays out in the public domain, and not simply as a product of PCism.

      • And Max –

        Where is the validated evidence that you use to base your conclusions about what most respondents would or wouldn’t say? And further, how does your validated evidence break down by what Republicans, and “conservative” Republicans (both groups combined comprising a significant % of “skeptics”) would say about whether the Earth is warming.

        How does that data compare to the validated data in the Pew poll that shows that a majority of Republicans and a strong majority of “conservative” Republicans think that there isn’t hard evidence that the Earth is warming?

        Can you link the crosstabs to your data?

      • randomengineer

        The first is your definition of “mainstream media.” Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Drudge, World Net Daily

        MSM = ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN on tv
        newsweek, time, etc for news mags
        pick any newspaper, which will be of leftist tilt

        and so on

        i.e. the “old school” news outlets

        You are listing commentators etc and I’m not sure why. I have heard of Ann Coulter for example but it’s not like she comes on ABC news every evening after the weather report.

      • Josh, your characterization of mainstream media should be looked at carefully. All the Fox News stuff is not mainstream. They have a daily audience of about 1.78 million people.

      • “Main stream media” has nothing to do with audience size. The term has been used by conservatives for decades to refer to the progressive group think cadre of TheNewYorkTimesWashiungtonPostTimeNewsweekCNNNBCCBSABCMSNBC et al.

        MSNBC is part of the mainstream media because it toes the progressive line as well as any outlet out there. Fox is not, even though it has higher viewership than any other cable news channel. Nor is Rush Limbaugh despite his reaching a reported 14-20 million listeners daily.

        If you go by the numbers, Limbaugh is the most “mainstream” commentator out there, certainly more than any of the network news shows.
        ABC 7,647,000
        NBC 8,672,000
        CBS 6,042,000

        http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/11/08/abc-world-news-with-diane-sawyer-cuts-total-viewer-and-demo-gaps-with-nbc-nightly-news-year-to-year/109917/

        But Limbaugh and the rest are not part of the “Main Stream Media” when the phrase is used as a term of art by conservatives. We all know what we mean, and progressives can try to redefine it to muddle the conversation all they like. It’s not going to help them in 2012. Which is the only debate that really matters.

      • Gary, it’s simpler than that. The MSM is that group who read the NYT, and lead with those stories.

      • P.E.

        That was the way it used to be. 24 hour cable news changed all that. Most news is “reported” before the next edition of the Times is even available. The New York Times isn’t even as influential among progressives as it used to be. It’s become just one of a symphony of publicists for progressive orthodoxy.

      • Tom Fuller –

        “Mainstream” in this context is a cultural construct. It is a term often used by subcultures to advance notions of victimization or to strengthen a sense of group identity”

        “Ooooh, look at that big bad ‘mainstream.’ They are the root of all our problems. Our nobility and courage in standing up as a minority to the tyranny of the majority is a site to behold. Thank God that crusaders like us ill persist in the face of such persecution.”

        The notion that “mainstream” is being used by “skeptics” to “objectively” describe media portrayal of the climate debate is, IMO, laughable. Just as certain “conservative” groups define “mainstream” in self-serving ways, so do certain groups of leftists.

        There are many people in this country whose window onto issues such as the climate debate are circumscribed by subsets of mass media. Overall viewership or #’s of listeners are useful – but if a subculture of Republicans, or “conservative” Republicans predominantly gets their news about climate change from mass media outlets such as Fox News, Michael Savage or Drudge, then effectively, Fox News, Michael Savage, and Drudge are the “mainstream” outlets for that group. If you have a group of “conservative” Republicans who listen to Limbaugh daily and have never in their life picked up a copy of the New York Times, are you going to say that the label of “mainstream” for that group should be applied to the NYT and not Limbaugh?

        This is part of the reason why we can see such clear delineations in the views of the public on climate change that correlated with political identity – because media consumption on the issue of climate change follows a similar pattern of correspondence. Does it play a moderator role or mediator role? I don’t know, but the relationship exists.

      • Don’t have him on my regular reading list, but in Googling “mainstream media”, came across this from Noam Chomsky written in 1997. This was before the explosion of “alternative” cable and internet news options.

        http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199710–.htm

        He was not a fan of the the “elite” media at the time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his tune has changed considering what’s happened since (i.e. the rise of the “conservative media”.)

        An interesting comment from his piece:

        So, look at those three things and see what they say, and look at the leading figures who have written about this. They all say (I’m partly quoting), the general population is “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders.” We have to keep them out of the public arena because they are too stupid and if they get involved they will just make trouble. Their job is to be “spectators,” not “participants.”

        And to think, Joe Romm hadn’t even started his blog back then..

      • What I find particularly amusing is that for some “conservatives,” the New York Times is simultaneously part of the lunatic liberal fringe and the flagship of the “mainstream” media.

        I absolutely love you guys.

      • Joshua –

        Just to jump in on your point about groups and their delineation of what constitutes the ‘mainstream’ [which, incidently, I think is quite pertinent] – I think this varies considerably country to country. In the States you may have most groups catered for, and therefore most perspectives of the mainstream also catered for.

        Spare a thought for the hundred+ countries that have varying degrees of ‘State’ media. Also in the UK, although we have a large range of newspapers, we only have one BBC. The ‘national’ broadcaster for most educated people in Britain is still the one place we expect balance and impartiality and moderation. Perhaps many of us need to get a bit cynical or become ‘dis-illusioned’ but many cultural habits die hard. I grew up reading the Guardian and it took me an embarrassingly long time to realise it didn’t simply write down ‘the truth’…

        Since you mentioned Limbaugh, I’ll relate my last trip to the States. I hired a car to drive from San Francisco to Oregon (via LA) and listened to American radio for the first time. I stumbled across Limbaugh in full flow (I’d never heard of him) and thought it hilarious. At least an hour passed before it really sank in that he wasn’t a caricature or a parody, that he was, amazingly, for real. I was disappointed because it was the funniest thing I heard in my whole time in your country. It was also very slightly scary. It was about the time of “Impeach Obama – and he’s a damn Muslim.” I think some Koran-burning was going on too.

        Er, a lot of what else I saw was much more edifying…..

      • Joshua

        What I find particularly amusing is that for some “conservatives,” the New York Times is simultaneously part of the lunatic liberal fringe and the flagship of the “mainstream” media.

        I searched this entire thread for the word “fringe” and your’s is the only occurrence.

        The problem is that the NYT is the flagship of the liberal looney mainstream. I’ll even go along with Chomsky on this one. They represent the “elite” media. The fringe is just something for them to shoot for, and they may get there yet.

      • Anteros –

        I once, maybe about 9 or 10 years ago, had someone from Spain (an electrical engineer professor/friend of my brother who is an EE professor) as a house guest. He spoke of how earlier in his trip to the States he has stumbled across Bill O’Reilly and was just fascinated by the phenomenon. A well-educated and traveled man who had much international experience from a scientific field. I’ve worked with students and executives from Japan express similar fascination with the vitriolic rightwing mainstream media. They have described how they see a trend of their media starting to follow a similar format, and they tend to think that it is good that open debate is becoming more widespread. I kind of agree – except that the angry talking heads format often comes at the expense of reasoned and well-informed dialog.

        It is, indeed, easy to loose sight of the different relationship between the public and the press in different countries. Thanks for your comment. I think that to some extent, it helps me understand the different angles from which we were approaching our discussion about the BBC, and the importance of the question of whether it is “impartial” or not.

        As for Limbaugh – I also think he is quite funny, although I do find his shtick of deliberately offending minorities to be exploitative, and sad.

        BTW – I hope that you took Route 1 – I took most of that trip last summer (as far as Eureka) and although it wasn’t the first time I’ve been there, I was nonetheless amazed anew a the beauty of that coastline.

      • Joshua –

        Yes indeed to (much of) route one, and indeed the coastline and Eureka. Most staggering impression? Trees – incredible, otherworldly trees. I happened to wake up one morning [in the car – slumming it] right next to Giants Avenue (?) – spent an amazing hour or two at first light wandering up and down.

      • Web, you realize, do you not, that only a few cranks are disputing the greenhouse effect, and that 33 C number is silent about feedback, which is the real controversy. You knew that, didn’t you?

        That is feedback. Maybe not the feedback that you imagine. The CO2 creates the equivalent of a notch filter in the infrared absorption band, and then the statistical mechanics of the emission spectra fills up the Planck response to make up for the missing energy levels, thus raising the temperature. That is a statistical mechanical version of feedback, as the energy redistributes within a constrained volume.

        Everything beyond this first-order steady-state solution is a perturbation, so that as the atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, broadening of the spectral lines will increase the absorption logarithmically. That is essentially how further anthropogenic global warming manifests itself.

        Most of the commenters on this blog don’t understand this phenomenon, which is why Fred, Pekka, Vaughan, and the occasional climate scientists have to tirelessly repeat the explanation.

        This is science communication, but unfortunately since quantum and statistical mechanics are not prone to intuitive explanation, not everyone will buy into it. This is actually strange because the operation of the computer you are using is 100% dependent on the well-understood behaviors of quantum mechanics and statistical physics, yet I don’t see anyone complaining endlessly about some missing “feedback” and suggesting that the computers can’t physically work according to these laws.

        The problem must be that we don’t have the equivalent of an “earth-in-a-can” commercial product. Yet we actually do. From the operation of CO2 lasers, to the thermodynamics of smelting furnaces where the understanding of CO2 radiative feedback is vital, we are using this understanding every day.

      • Anteros –

        Yeah, those redwoods almost make me believe in a God.

        Did a great hike at Prairie Creek Redwoods park from the redwood forest out to the ocean. Spectacular. The people ahead of us saw a mountain lion, but unfortunately we missed it.

        The smoked salmon up there also is almost enough to give me faith in a supernatural being.

  42. If not trust – what skeptic begins with trust, really? – then at least a level of glasnost must precede scientific communication.

    It may have been inadvertent, however this Dr. Whitehouse episode has left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    I come to Climate Etc. for, if not impartiality, at least somewhat fairer ground for dialogue than elsewhere.

    I don’t feel that, given the seeming mouthpiece for GWPF that Climate Etc. appears to be turning into.

    I’ll be taking a break from reading for a while, and will consider lurking and commenting again at some future time if the sense of having to turn over rocks before investing the time it takes to get to the end of the first paragraph, to find out who’s really pulling the strings on the latest thread.

    Best wishes of the season, and hoping Climate Etc. finds its center again soon.

    • I guess based on this post, I am a mouthpiece also for Revkin?

      • Dr Curry –

        One of the upshots of all the discussions over at CaS was that a sign that journalists in climate science were getting it at least partially right, was that they were getting abuse from both sides.

        Perhaps the same applies to bridge-builders.

        Take it as a badge of honour :)

      • By the way, thank you for this informative report from AGU, on a session we would otherwise never hear about. It is interesting to me that to some folks you are ‘sleeping with the devil’ for your activities here, and then found to be not all that far from ‘the team’ by others.
        Thanks for raising the topic.
        RR

      • mouthpiece for Revkin?

        Hardly.

        I’d say a “mouthpiece” for the premise that “the science is not settled” would be more appropriate (and I don’t believe this is Revkin’s take on the issue, based on what I have read by him).

        Just my observation.

        Max

      • Don’t let the swinging ClimateGate batter you repeatedly as you essay an exit.
        ===========

    • I’ll miss your comments, Bart.

    • The same NewSpeak that lets Joe Romm take the word ‘dispute’ and renders it as ‘refute’ can now be used to take ‘display’ and render it as ‘endorse.’

      It’s a bit sad.

      • I, for one, am rapidly losing count of all the redefinitions of which we need to be cognizant in order to “understand” what the “science communicators” are trying to tell us!

      • They are trying to tell us we are guilty, and we are asking for what.
        ===================

  43. The difference between science journalism and science communication is the same as the difference between teaching and preaching.

  44. When a journalist of any stripe is reporting a thing that journalist should not keep from me those bits of information that led the journalist to keep those bits of information from me. And then the journalist should share with me those bits of information they deemed I needn’t know. I may agree – or I may not. But I’d like the decision to be mine. The result is there is no need for the journalist at all except to perhaps grow the size of the audience and to move the message this side of the peer reviewed paywalls.

  45. Dr. Curry – your word count vs Joshua’s word count on this blog causes me to think Joshua has pwned your blog. His content GINI number vs yours approaches unity.

  46. Science communication and science journalism, I don’t really see any significant difference between the two of them, except perhaps the level of expertise of the communicator. Both involve the communication of information regarding science to an audience. There is no greater problem with a journalist who has an opinion than with a scientist who does as well. The issue is the honesty of the communication. That is where both fields have gone far off the beaten track.

    Mainstream journalism long ago left the “who, what, when, where” model of reporting. Most journalists, and almost all “mainstream” journalists, now want to have an “impact.” Communication of information is no longer the goal. Persuasion is. Every reporter wants to be the next Woodward or Bernstein, either bringing down a politician, or even bettert, bringing down an industry. This is what leads to leaving out important facts, skewing data, hiding declines. No one is satisfied with just providing information to the public to let them make their own decisions any more.

    The reason “climate science” is so controversial now is that the lead scientists, Hansen, Schmidt, Trenberth, Mann et al., have, just like modern “journalists,” decided that persuasion should be the main goal of their efforts, not merely communication.

    But this model has (fortunately) not served them well. The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and other mainstream polemicists are losing readership are a rate that brings their continued viability into question. and the excesses of the climate activists were at least in part responsible for the conservative political backlash in the U.S. in 2010.

    If you want to talk about tipping points, 2012 is about as big a political tipping point as I have seen in my lifetime. So I for one hope the hard core climate activists (both communicators and journalists) continue unabated on their merry way. I say give Michael Mann, James Hansen, and Joe Romm free prime time TV shows, with Al Gore as their host. The great thing about a free market in a democratic society is that it is, over time, self correcting of such poor quality. The funding for both climate communication (government support of the CAGW activists) and climate journalism (revenue to the mainstream media) is poised to take ever bigger hits if the next election continues the trend seen in 2010.

  47. The communication of climate science has failed becuase it has been replete with dishonesty in the form of spin, exaggeration and outright lies.

    Perhaps the greatest lie is the association of the other side with vested interests whereas all of the evidence points to the enormous vested interests on the side of the alarmists.

    To address the communications shortcomings they are looking at slick tricks such as:

    * Better messengers
    * Clearer message
    * More exciting presentations
    * Better educated populace
    * Squashing skepticism

    How about an altrnative approach:

    * Honesty
    * Encourage debate
    * Transparency
    * Openness
    * Present a non-threatening envirinment for alternative views

  48. @JC (e.g. [Mann] bringing up Cuccinelli’s objection to the bared breast on the state seal of Virginia).

    I picked up on that bit of uncalled-for character assassination too. I was waiting for a second one but didn’t hear it, did you?

    My impression after reading the 243 (so far) comments on your post is that, on the question of whether global warming is a serious problem, most of the commentators believe the relevant science is settled one way or the other. In particular the majority of those critical of Mann’s hockey stick appear to believe that it has been scientifically settled that it does not exist and that Mann’s claim to the contrary therefore fully justifies Cuccinelli’s unrelenting persecution of him.

    Score one for whoever first claimed the science is settled.

    • Bingo! We have a winner! If flawed science is all they got, they got nothin’.

      Then every thing that doesn’t fit the theory requires a new excuses like, it is in the model uncertainty or so it may only be 2 degrees not 4 or 6. Natural variability may be 2 or 3 times more than we thought. “Look at that! Stratospheric water vapor cools more than we thought! WOW!”

      The science and some of the scientists need some maturation.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      The science is definitely NOT “settled”.

      This is the key point, which most of the skeptics on this site would endorse, based on the posts I have read..

      It is the “believers in the dogma” (as reported by IPCC) who appear to believe that “the science is settled”, i.e. “AGW has been the cause of most of the warming since 1950 and represents a serious potential threat to humanity and to the environment if left unabated”.

      Most skeptics would say that this is NOT settled, as IPCC would have us believe.

      Sorry, Vaughan – no cookie.

      Max.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      You relate skepticism of the validity of Mann’d comprehensively discredited “hockey stick” with believing “the science is settled”?

      This is a fundamentally illogical conclusion.

      Mann’s hockey stick was intended to “settle the science” that there was NO global MWP, which was slightly warmer than today (and was thus eagerly embraced by IPCC without doing much prior “due diligence” checking).

      But Mann’s hockey stick has NOT settled the science, since it was subsequently discredited by M+M, as confirnmed by the Wegman panel and validated by the NAS panel before a US congressional committee under oath.

      IOW, the “science is definitely NOT settled” on the MWP and hence on the IPCC claim that “the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”.

      Max.

    • Most skeptics would say that this is NOT settled

      I take it that by “this” both you and kim are referring to the truth of the hypothesis that increasing CO2 presents a serious problem. I would agree that for you this has not been settled.

      What I was referring to however was whether the question had been settled one way or the other. My impression judging from the comments posted here and elsewhere on the web is that most skeptics regard the question as having been settled in the negative.

      This includes you and kim, since neither of you seem to be at all open to the possibility that the question might eventually be settled in favor of the hypothesis, instead advancing only evidence against.

      • Wrong, again, overcooked ego. I’m referring quite specifically to the Piltdown Mann’s deliberate or ignorant statistical errors.

        What are your errors? As an ingenue, or disingenuously? And how should I take your answer?

        Always the same problem, the same problem.
        ============

      • What are your errors?

        Assuming we’re talking about scientific errors of some import, and not just misplacing a decimal point, then plenty.

        And you?

      • Vaughan

        You wrote about-“the truth of the hypothesis that increasing CO2 presents a serious problem.”

        Imo that is a very interesting question, but it requires greater specifics to bound the discussion. What is a serious problem and who‘s serious problem is it? Is warming seriously happening, yes. Does that mean it is necessarily bad for everyone or most? No.

        Should actions be taken to prepare for future conditions? Certainly yes. Imo much of the “argument” is really over what actions need to be taken by whom, to prepare for the future.

        That next level of question is where the real debate is, and where the case (imo) for many suggested actions fail the test of reasonableness.

      • No argument there, and I wasn’t putting you in Max and kim’s camp, since you don’t make arguments supporting the negative side the way they do. Moreover I don’t make arguments supporting the seriousness of the warming, only its magnitude, as for example in my presentation at AGU on Thursday. My training and abilities only allow me to make quantitative estimates of past and future climate, I’m not a biologist and any assessment by me of the impact of climate change on the biosphere would be uninformed guesswork.

      • When they left, the phytoplankton said ‘Thanks for all the CO2′.
        ==================

      • Vaughan Pratt

        To make sure you understand what I mean by “this” (rather than your re-wording), let me repeat it:

        It is the notion that the science is settled on the premise that:

        “AGW has been the cause of most of the warming since 1950 and represents a serious potential threat to humanity and to the environment if left unabated”.

        I say that there is NO possibility that the science is settled on this premise.

        What say you?

        Max

      • That would depend on who you take to be the arbiters of “the science.” Would you be willing to limit it to those who more or less regularly attend meetings of professional scientific bodies such as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union (21,000 attendees at last week’s meeting), or would you want to include those like yourself whose own assessments of the relevant data are at odds with what the attendees at those meetings believe about AGW?

      • Dr. Pratt,
        Absolutely not.
        The conflicts of interest are well demonstrated and far from being resolved.
        Start forcing real transparency and conflict of interest disclosure, and start outing those playing games and then get back to us.

      • Which group, Vaughn, has had the best ‘science communications’ money can buy blared at them, and which hasn’t?

        Given Michael Mann’s recently demonstrated climate communications skills, displayed after sabbatical for climate science communications research, I’ll have to place my money on the group not certified.
        =======================

      • It would be nice if Vaughn could learn to argue to the thermometer rather than to authority.
        =============

      • It would be nice if Vaughn could learn to argue to the thermometer rather than to authority.

        Kim, I’m getting the impression that The Matrix was written for you. You are Neo, acronym for The One. “Authority” is 50,000 Agent Smiths, the many, created (Isaiah 54:16) to impose the ideology of Machine City on the public, as its method of concentrating wealth and power in the core of the Matrix.

        Never mind that each Agent Smith has spent tens of thousands of hours, over a billion hours all told, measuring the planet’s most relevant parameters, interpreting them, and debating the strong and weak points of those interpretations with other Agent Smiths in scientific conferences, workshops, literature both refereed and unrefereed, email correspondence, coffee room chats, and collaborations. Never mind that this arms them not with Desert Eagles, the science of KABOOM, but with an in-depth understanding of geophysics, the science of the Earth. A powerful weapon to be sure, but you have a yet more powerful one: a voice that can protest these authority figures as they go about their business of stripping innocent citizens of their wealth and their say in these matters.

        If you see it differently you haven’t done a terribly good job so far of communicating that difference.

      • If you look at the thermometer long enough, you can see anything you like. Perceive wisely, my friend.
        ===========

      • Not much chance of that Kim, as Vaughan just neatly demonstrated.
        I wonder if Vaughan ever pauses to consider those superceded theories of the past, much loved by the science institution chiefs of their day, dutifully reified and deified by their supplicants and neophytes, which turned out later to be…

        Wrong.

      • The conflicts of interest are well demonstrated and far from being resolved.

        Sorry, not following. How is having one’s research confirmed by independent studies a “conflict of interest?” This is the only criterion I’ve been using to judge him by.

        As far as conflicts of interest go, Mann has been put through the wringer by investigators every one of whom has a demonstrable conflict of interest. Those supporting him do, and equally obviously those attacking him do. Name any investigation of Mann that has not had some conflict of interest. If such exists, what was its conclusion?

        In pretty much every field of any consequence, conflicts of interest go with the territory. In academia the researcher most qualified to referee your paper may be your strongest competitor, an obvious conflict of interest. How do you propose to eliminate it other than by doing away with refereeing and publishing everything including crackpot theories? One job of an editor is to apply the appropriate discount to harsh criticism of a paper by an author’s competitor serving as referee. This is not the same thing as discounting the referee’s report altogether, but rather using it in combination with other referee reports as a basis for the editor’s final decision.

        There is a large body of people who believe Mann’s only crime was to publish research antithetical to the views of climate skeptics. Since these include a number of powerful figures in both politics and industry, this is a serious crime indeed, which in Russia would get you a cell near Khodorkovsky’s. The US offers better legal protections. Am I mistaken, or is my understanding correct that you and I sit on opposite sides of the fence dividing these two groups?

  49. Judith,

    Scientists arguments pertain strictly to temperature data and ignores all other areas that create climate.
    Many times a references of other scientists in the same field is thrown in to bolster the argument BUT that still did NOT answer a persons question. These questions fall outside of the temperature data field and are ignored as insignificant. They are significant to the person asking the question.
    Now the push is for uncertainty due to NOT understanding the planet as the focus was strictly on temperature data.

    I have been a thorn in the side of politicians and others showing that climate is far more complex than just following temperature data in such a minor time frame of this planets history.
    Looking for a pattern in a system that is totally unique in every second of every day is not considered. Velocity differences are not considered nor is angles of solar radiation penetrations and MANY other areas.

    Yet scientists attitudes are “listen to me, I am the expert and you are not” is usually the answer many people receive rather than taking the question seriously.

  50. Paul Raeburn’s critique of David Whitehouse’s essay is weak IMO.

    He criticizes Whitehouse for limiting his coverage to climate science reporting. But this is precisely the field where the problems of poor science journalism cited by Whitehouse are the most evident today.

    And this is undoubtedly due to the highly politicized nature of the ongoing scientific debate on climate.

    Raeburn then opines:

    I think Environmental Science reporting has been blighted by an obsession with climate sceptics, and has failed to reflect the true nature of scientific scepticism, and of the progress of climate science.

    This is double-talk. There has been no ”obsession with skeptics” in reporting about climate science.

    Instead there has been an ”obsession to protect the dogma against questioning by sceptics”, and it is this obsession, which has ”blighted” climate science journalism and ”failed to reflect the true nature of scientific skepticism”.

    Protecting the dogma against skeptics and objectively reporting on the science are mutually exclusive.

    And this is the key point made by Whitehouse, which Raeburn has missed.

    Max

    • Max,

      What debate?
      Climate scientists NEVER debate.
      The science is settled and temperature are the only thing on this planet and nothing else for a minor period of time.

      • Joe’s World

        By “the ongoing scientific debate” I do not mean those so-called “mainstream climate scientists” who have decided “the science is settled” and thus have closed their minds to further debate.

        I would include many of the other “climate scientists”, such as Spencer, Lindzen, Christy, Loehle, Douglass, etc., etc., who have dared to question the IPCC dogma that “the science is settled”, as well as the many bloggers that have joined in the debate here and elsewhere.

        Max

    • randomengineer

      I think Environmental Science reporting has been blighted by an obsession with climate sceptics,

      Raeburn doesn’t quite get it. Environmental Science reporting has been blighted due to the fact that it’s Environmental Science, which many people regard as voodoo statistical manipulation and lies. Where else does one hear that mankind is obliterating 50,000 species an hour type of codswollop? We don’t. That’s Environmental Science in a nutshell.

      If you were to look at Kiehl’s lament above re lack of republicans etc in his science branch, I’m pretty sure that you would find Environmental Science to be significantly more tilted. Environmental Science is so loaded with activist BS that it’s now its own oxymoron.

  51. I’m not sure I understand the difference between science journalism and science communication, but I think I am beginning to see. As a UK citizen I think the BBC’s environment coverage, like the guardian and (abroad) especially the NYT is def communication.

    Only Whitehouse is doing any real environment journalism over here. I recently read his devastating takedown of the global temperature forecasts by the met office. Nobody else did it. Everyone else just regurgitated the press releases from the met office. ONLY Whitehouse actually looked at the figures and the forecasts for this year, and previous years, and saw they didn’t tally.

    THAT is the difference between science communication and journalism.

    Having also perused some of the links off this blog I think that one can become an ‘adjunct professor’ of science writing having written remarkably little and certainly nothing of note.

  52. In Australia in the 1970’s, a period of political turmoil , we had a well respected journalist, Alan Reid, whose political leanings were never apparent and who uncovered a financial scandal by the government of the time. In his biography he stated a maxim to his peers which I paraphrase as: ‘Never become too fond of the animals in the zoo.’ It later came out that Alan Reid was a long time voter of the party he put out of office. Alan Reid was a professional news reporter.

  53. Max is right,
    Raeburn, Kloor whatever, miss the point that Whitehouse’s piece was an op ed with limited space, and they criticise him for not going into more detail.
    I think that behind some of this unimpressive criticism is actually jealousy, that they didn’t think of these things first.
    They don’t come out of this very well, just carping catch-ups.

    • Not jealousy but fear.
      Fear they may be incorrect in strictly following temperatures and nothing more.

    • randomengineer

      Max is right, Raeburn, Kloor whatever, miss the point that Whitehouse’s piece was an op ed with limited space, and they criticise him for not going into more detail.

      When you have a 10,000 word limit you tend to omit a detail here and there. It’s tough to be critical of the writer who is doing his/her best to shoehorn everything possible into a small space.

  54. Let’s boil this “science communication” problem down to essentials. Communication is transmission of information (fact, opinion, speculation, etc.) from source to recipient. Regardless of its initial quality, information only flows if the channel is open. If the channel is impeded, only some of the information flows through. Interestingly, with a partially blocked channel, not only does the quality of information suffer, but the information getting through may become so garbled that it become like disinformation.

    So what’s blocked the channel for “science communication?” Integrity. Or rather, the lack of it — as revealed in the leaked emails, the excessive censoring of comments on award-winning science communication websites, the behavior of the IPCC in multiple ways, tribalistic behavior, vilification of critics, the marketing of science and its use as a tool for political purposes. When recipients of information detect failure of integrity, the credibility of the information producer suffers, making the information suspect in turn.

    People have a hard time judging if facts are true. They have a harder time judging if a collection of facts actually proves an idea to be true. But through lots of personal experience they’re pretty good at detecting when they’re being deceived. And once a “deceiver” label is attached, it’s very hard to remove. Scientists start from a position of credibility so their loss of trustworthiness is a great fall. Science communication is failing because of what is being done to science by scientists and others who claim to represent it.

    • Choosing what you put on your website is not “censorship.” Misuse of that term both devalues real censorship, and denies the freedom of expression of people to print what they want to on their own sites.

      Climate deniers, whose general lack of integrity as exhibited by their plagiarism, faked data, inflated CVs, threats of rape and murder against scientists and their families, like to allege a problem with scientists’ integrity. Unfortunately they have neither the hard evidence nor the personal credibility to make such a charge believable.

      Gary is right that “once a “deceiver” label is attached, it’s very hard to remove.” Gary, since you and your fellow deniers have by your actions tattooed that label on your foreheads, where do you go from here? How do you intend to rebuild the credibility that was destroyed by your lies, slander, and threats?

      • Robert – it’s your credibility that is non-existent. You seem to believe that if you say it, it is true. In fact, if you say it, it is false.

      • “In fact, if you say it, it is false.”

        It’s nice to have you on record admitting you simply deny facts if you don’t like the person presenting them.

        Of course, admissions like that are the kind of thing that destroyed your credibility with scientists and with the public at large.

        It’s sad but not surprising to see you double down on the same failed strategy of denial.

      • Robert – I see only insults and speculation from you. Point to any fact you have presented.

      • John Carpenter

        Robert specializes in vague generalities to support his arguments. He can not name a single ‘climate denier’ that fits his description:

        “Climate deniers, whose general lack of integrity as exhibited by their plagiarism, faked data, inflated CVs, threats of rape and murder against scientists and their families”

        Let’s wait and see…

      • John C. – I wonder if someone pays Robert to do this? I’m well aware that people do such things on their own, but you never know – is Soros paying Robert – directly or indirectly?

      • John Carpenter

        Jim, no one is paying Robert… he is the real deal. This is the only place he can get attention, his blog is a ghost town. If he were to dialogue here in a civil manner, he probably would not get as many replies to his comments. Robert craves attention because he is missing something else in his life… friends.

    • A lot of the urge for many skeptics is an attempt to limit the virus to climate science, and not let the pathology spread to the rest of science. That would be, perhaps is, the worst outcome from this little morality tale. Alas, it’s the Red Death, and we dance blithely on.
      ===================

  55. randomengineer

    Science communication is failing because of what is being done to science by scientists and others who claim to represent it.

    Indeed. My guess is that this failing more predominant in the 40+ crowd than the under 40’s. And no, not because we older folks aren’t learning, but because we have been inundated for decades with science related “communication” that is outright crap.

    Coffee? Bad. No. Good. No. Bad. Maybe good. Eggs? Flipflopping that makes coffee seem tame. Lipid theory. Alar on apples. DDT. Acid rain. CFC’s. Cooling in the 70’s. Nuclear winter. Name it. We’ve heard it. Whether science or technology it matters little, it’s related enough to fall under the basic umbrella of science. And it’s all been wrong.

    Today’s scare? Climate. Been there heard that if you’re older. We are skeptical because *every* idiot scare from the environmental crowd has been proven to be overblown statistical manipulation that doesn’t seem to do much other than ruin industry and chase jobs away. From my perspective the enviro lobby is batting 0.000. Others may be a little kinder than this claiming that sometimes they are right. So what. It’s a crap batting average nonetheless.

    The notion that skepticism is solely related to political leaning is simply misleading. Track skepticism by age. Better correlation.

    What **all** “science” communication needs to do is stop with the attempts to scare the crap out of everybody. If I had a dime for every chicken little thing I have heard or read, why…

    Ever notice that the space science reporting is cool and enjoyable and fun? How about tech reporting re IBM inventions and the like? Some of this stuff is wrong, but… no scaremongering. This basically says to me that the scare sciences (e.g. “environmental stuidies”) and scare science reporting are ideology run amok becase these attract only those with certain ideologies to start with.

    Young Joshua is correct to some degree with his fascination with ideologies, but what he doesn’t quite get is that he has things completely upside down. The problem isn’t that the reaction/blowback comes from the older and more politically right-leaning. It’s that the attempt to scare and/or manipulate and/or use “science” to enforce policy is being done in the first place by the ideologically motivated.

    • Look upon all those previous little injections of scientific disinformation as vaccines which have prepared us for this most systemic disease yet, RE. Will this one make us resistant enough for the next one?

      Hope so.
      =====

  56. Mann clearly views science communication as a battle against the evil deniers. The main tactic he illustrated was to smear his opponents by bringing up unrelated activities of his opponents in an attempt to discredit them (e.g. bringing up Cuccinelli’s objection to the bared breast on the state seal of Virginia).

    Besides the obvious hostility towards Mann, a few things jump out:

    1. Dr. Curry’s inability or unwillingness to recognize the role of right-wing ideology in fueling climate denial seems to be causing her to fail to see the relationships. Cuccinelli’s attack on the seal of Virginia, for example, is quite clearly related to his overall anti-science outlook.

    2. Something “unrelated” is not exactly a “smear” even when it is not useful context (as it is, I would argue, in the case of Cuccinelli). A “smear” usually means something that is both defamatory and false. Dr. Curry may not like the character of the people she has chosen to advocate for, but that does not make evidence of that character defamatory. And she does not say Mann said anything untrue. So I think we must chalk up the allegation of “smears” to Dr. Curry’s frustration with the ample evidence of bias, ignorance, crookedness, and dishonesty among pseudoskeptics.

    3. Mann obviously did not say that he “views science communication as a battle against the evil deniers.” I would imagine, though, that he has come to recognize that the people threatening children with rape and climate scientists with murder are not an “extended peer community” — they are highly motivated and utterly ruthless ideological warriors. Obviously pro-science folks should not stoop to their level, but neither should we fail to provide, in our response, the full context of their dishonesty, threats, ignorance, failed predictions, and general fanaticism. Because integrity is important. The total lack of integrity among those screaming for a lynching of scientists is not “unrelated” to their critique — it’s absolutely related, and part of what the public should know.

    • Robert can safely act out. The walls are padded.
      ====================

      • kim,
        Check out Robert’s site which his name links to, and enjoy some of the richest unintentional ironic projection available on the internet.

      • I know Robert pretty well. Strangers find us doppelgangers.
        ==================

      • And there was me just thinking you were twins.

      • Freud’s passe of course, but he was really onto something with projection. *We’re* denying? *We’re* not listening? *We’re* bought and paid for?

        It’s really hysterical.

      • pokerguy,
        Exactly.
        It is amazing Robert can type with his ears stuck so firmly in his ears and his head stuck so firmly in his…….assumptions.

    • Cuccinelli’s attack on the seal of Virginia, for example, is quite clearly related to his overall anti-science outlook.

      This “attack” concerned a lapel pin he’d handed out, mainly to his staff, that replaced the official Virginia seal with its more “family-friendly” 1860 (confederate-era) counterpart. Naturally the press made as a big a deal of that as they did of Obama not wearing any lapel pin (it must have been a slow week news-wise). Both succumbed to media pressure, Cuccinelli by reverting to the official seal and Obama by accepting the idea of wearing a lapel pin.

      One might infer that Cuccinelli is a prude, but it is much more of a stretch to infer that he’s therefore anti-science, just as it would be to infer that Obama is anti-US. To no one’s great surprise it is always the other side that draws these unwarranted inferences.

      Instead of insinuating that Cuccinelli was a prude, Mann could have made a much more compelling and relevant argument, based on Cuccinelli’s relentless pursuit of him, that Cuccinelli is a stalker, and a particularly well-armed one at that. With the resources available to him in his capacities as a US senator (prior to this year) and as currently the Attorney General of Virginia, he’s not at all the sort that Mann could simply take out a restraining order against.

      Many scientists are unable to see the logic in Cuccinelli’s charges of misuse by Mann of public money, particularly those who’ve read and understood the subsequent dozen or so independent investigations claiming to bear out Mann’s conclusions. Cuccinelli’s attack on Mann sends a chilling message to all scientists in that camp who are contemplating publishing research that contradicts the beliefs of powerful non-scientists.

      The message sent to Virginia art gallery curators by Cuccinelli’s “attack” on the seal of Virginia is nothing by comparison. Bringing it up served only to trivialize Mann’s very nontrivial predicament.

      • Vaughan Pratt: Many scientists are unable to see the logic in Cuccinelli’s charges of misuse by Mann of public money, particularly those who’ve read and understood the subsequent dozen or so independent investigations claiming to bear out Mann’s conclusions. Cuccinelli’s attack on Mann sends a chilling message to all scientists in that camp who are contemplating publishing research that contradicts the beliefs of powerful non-scientists.

        The wording suggests, without actually saying so, that you disagree with the “scientists in that camp”. Do you?

      • Let’s see what Vaughan Pratt says, but I read him as saying the scientists in that camp have pretty valid reasons to be chilled.

      • The wording suggests, without actually saying so, that you disagree with the “scientists in that camp”. Do you?

        Not at all. But to express it otherwise would be to deny the existence of the camp Max referred to in the following.

        I would include many of the other “climate scientists”, such as Spencer, Lindzen, Christy, Loehle, Douglass, etc., etc., who have dared to question the IPCC dogma that “the science is settled”, as well as the many bloggers that have joined in the debate here and elsewhere

        I also wrote “many scientists” in preference to “most scientists,” again to err on the side of caution.

        I suspect that the difference between the two camps is the number of career scientists in each. The AGU has 50,000 members, almost all of whose career scientists I would expect to be in the former camp. For the latter, Max is able to rattle off the names of a significant fraction of its career scientists, I suspect between 1% and 10%.

        However it seemed to me that my point could be made just as well if not better by making it independent of my suspicions, whence “many” rather than “most.”

        I also wrote “claiming to bear out” in preference to “bearing out,” much as reporters write “alleged murderer” in a newspaper account even when there were dozens of witnesses all with the same account. In this case it was because I haven’t fact-checked the dozen duplications of Mann’s results myself and I don’t like repeating stuff I read as fact until I’ve convinced myself of it one way or another.

      • Vaughan Pratt: I also wrote “claiming to bear out” in preference to “bearing out,” much as reporters write “alleged murderer” in a newspaper account even when there were dozens of witnesses all with the same account. In this case it was because I haven’t fact-checked the dozen duplications of Mann’s results myself and I don’t like repeating stuff I read as fact until I’ve convinced myself of it one way or another.

        I don’t think that there have been “dozens of duplications of Mann’s results”; the special issue of Annals of Applied Science containing the McShane and Wyner article and comments shows fairly clearly that the “results” depend on which proxies are used (for this, you also need to consult Steve McIntyre — who I should note has also made mistakes, so be careful). The most important result of the original “hockeystick” was the absence of the MWP — that has surely been discredited. The only doubt is how well synchronized the various warm periods around the world were at that time, as they show up in most proxy reconstructions.

        I think there is enough evidence in the public domain now to justify an investigation of the sort that Cuccinelli is carrying out. With academic societies closing ranks (as would a municipal fire department under investigation) nothing but a prosecutorial approach can possibly disclose the truth. If Cuccinelli turns up nothing, then there’s nothing there in the UVA; if he turns up something, the PA Attorney General should investigate Penn State — or perhaps the Secret Service or the Office of Scientific Integrity.

      • Oops. That was Annals of Applied Statistics

      • Dr. Pratt,
        More importantly, Mann is simply dodging the issue of why his publicly funded work related communications are entitled to special treatment and privacy.
        Mann is blatantly asserting rights and privileges that would get anyone else in a non-academic situation laughed out of court.
        That your community is not taking him to task for this is a huge tell that academics are arrogant and operating in an unreal world.

      • More importantly, Mann is simply dodging the issue of why his publicly funded work related communications are entitled to special treatment and privacy.

        This is an excellent point, hunter. Assuming you’re right about his dodging it, this would be working against him just as much as is his picking on trivial and irrelevant details about Cuccinelli such as the confederacy-era Virginia seal lapel pin brouhaha. In his situation Mann badly needs the sort of agent that Hollywood stars routinely employ to do the sort of public-relations work the star is clearly not cut out for.

        If the immense resources of a leading academic institution like Stanford University are not sufficient to protect it from a single employee (Paul Biddle) exploiting the whistle-blower act (whose denouement six years later is described here), then what possible chance does an individual academic like Mann have against the powers of the Attorney General of Virgina? Relative to Stanford’s then-president Donald Kennedy, Mann is as naive and thin-skinned as Kennedy was to John Dingell, the pit-bull US senator who made the decision to take Biddle’s complaint seriously and who made Kennedy look stupid on TV.

        When a public official like Cuccinelli having no scientific qualifications of his own takes objection to certain research results and exploits his position to suppress them, I would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment. The only relief Russia ever saw from this sort of thing was during Boris Yeltsin’s tenure, who hated communism and encouraged a free press, intolerable novelties for the average Russian. His successor Vladimir Putin very gradually realigned Russia with the KGB perspective, which endeared him to the Russian public at that time while rejecting western-style capitalism, for which former Yukos chairman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, jailed in 2005 on charges viewed in the west as trumped up, was merely the most visible victim among a great many jailed CEOs.

        To the extent permitted by the vast differences between US and Russian practices, Cuccinelli’s attack on Mann is indistinguishable from Putin’s attack on Khodorkovsky. That Khodorkovsky has been in jail since 2005 while Mann remains a free man says something about the difference between the respective justice systems of the US and Russia.

        So, to answer your question, hunter, I would say that academics are more vulnerable to abuses of this kind today than Charles Darwin was in his day. The question then becomes, which is worse: to allow a scientist to misuse a few hundred thousand dollars of the public’s money, or to suppress science because the results are unwelcome?

        If the science were at the level of determining whether fingernails should be cut straight or curved, I’d say jail the scientist for spending so much taxpayer money on such a ridiculous project. Or better yet, tar and feather him, since jailing would only serve to triple the amount the taxpayer was already out.

        But if it bears on whether not doing this sort of research could cost the sort of numbers descibed here, then the appropriateness of the expenditure of a million dollars or less should be totally irrelevant. If the NYPD receives a bomb threat at JFK, they don’t ask about the cost of acting on the threat, they act, and fast. More often than not it’s a prank call, but if you were the police commissioner would you take that statistic as an economic reason to ignore bomb threats?

        In situations of the latter more serious kind, I would argue strongly for new legislation aimed at giving scientists a completely free hand to work out these things without the likes of Cuccinelli throwing their weight around for no evident purpose other than to suppress academic research. The argument that $100K of the taxpayer’s money has been wasted in the course of deciding whether a potentially multitrillion dollar decision should be made is obviously ridiculous.

        I can understand why those who dismiss the relevance of academics would object to legislation of this kind aimed at protecting academics from unwarranted interference. What I can’t understand is why those in favor of the free pursuit of knowledge would object to it, especially knowledge with potentially enormous protective value to life on earth.

        To deny there is any threat when the vast majority of experts in the field in question see one is, from the academic point of view, the height of irresponsibility. I leave it to the anti-academics to state their priorities in such situations.

      • Vaughan Pratt on December 11, 2011 at 6:04 AM had posted:

        When a public official like Cuccinelli having no scientific qualifications of his own takes objection to certain research results and exploits his position to suppress them, I would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.

        …going on to write:

        …I would say that academics are more vulnerable to abuses of this kind today than Charles Darwin was in his day. The question then becomes, which is worse: to allow a scientist to misuse a few hundred thousand dollars of the public’s money, or to suppress science because the results are unwelcome?

        Not to aver that partisan politicians in posts of government power are beyond acting to violate the First Amendment (and every other clause of the Bill of Rights), for Mr. Pratt to offer the wholly unsupported contention that Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been breaching First Amendment protections in his investigation of what appear – prima facie – to be peculations perpetrated by Dr. Mann in the submission of his applications for government funding of Dr. Mann’s “research” is evidence either of duplicity or insanity on the part of Mr. Pratt.

        The question of Mr. Pratt‘s status as either a bloody liar or a certifiable nutcase aside, the real issue in the ongoing investigations undertaken by Mr. Cuccinelli (and being overtly and obviously stonewalled by Dr. Mann and the University of Virginia) is not whether it is better for the taxpayers to suffer the “misuse [of] a few hundred thousand dollars of the public’s money” but whether such diversion of public funds under the knowing and therefore intentional misstatement of facts – which arguably fits the definition of embezzlement – is a criminal action which should be pursued by officers of the civil government whose reason for being on the payroll in the first place is to investigate and prosecute such offenses.

        I would invite Mr. Pratt to explain with something resembling a convincing argument just how the hell such an investigation comes anywhere near the violation of an individual human being’s unalienable rights as protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (and by Section 12 of the current Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia).

        Let us one and all anticipate that Mr. Pratt ain’t gonna respond to this post.

      • Perhaps “Mr. Pratt ain’t gonna respond to this post” because Mr. Matarese does not hesitate to state that he’s either duplicitous or insane, “a bloody liar or a “certifiable nutcase”.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese should consider that if it can be shown that Cuccinelli has no scientific qualifications of his own and that he is exploiting his position to suppress scientific views he opposes, as Vaughan Pratt supposed in his reasoning, that we have something like an argument that is somewhat near what is been purported to be shown: a violation of the First Amendment.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese‘s expression of incredulity is nowhere as portentous as Mr. Matarese is portraying.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese should refrain to condemn anyone to the horns of his imaginary dilemmas.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese might consider that even if Vaughan Pratt was jesting, he does have a point.

      • willard on December 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM takes up the cudgels in defense of the defenestrated Mr. Pratt (who didn’t respond to my post of December 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM, as I’d predicted) with willard’s conjecture:

        …that if it can be shown that Cuccinelli has no scientific qualifications of his own and that he is exploiting his position to suppress scientific views he opposes, as Vaughan Pratt supposed in his reasoning, that we have something like an argument that is somewhat near what is been purported to be shown: a violation of the First Amendment.

        This fixation upon Mr. Cuccinelli’s “scientific qualifications” (which willard shares with Mr. Pratt) is, of course, purest idiocy.

        And I’m calling it “idiocy” in the precise sense of the word. All interested are invited to look up the Greek root thereof – idiotes – which means literally a “private person (as opposed to one taking part in public affairs),” one who has elected willfully to remain ignorant on public matters such as civil governance generally and the role of a state’s Attorney General in particular.

        Y’see, willard, while it is true that Mr, Cuccinelli is arguably lacking in “scientific qualifications” to discuss the various dodgy ethical practices, failed error-checking, and overall professional incompetence of Dr. Mann, Mr. Cuccinelli is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Attorney General. As such he not only has the lawful power to investigate Dr. Mann’s activities both as an employee of the Commonwealth and as a person submitting applications for funding of his “research” to both the government of the Commonwealth and the federal government of these United States, but Mr. Cuccinelli has the strict duty of his office to do all this.

        Also to seek indictment of Dr. Mann and to undertake Dr. Mann’s prosecution, conviction, and punishment.

        Is this getting through to you, willard? Mr. Cuccinelli is not inquiring into Dr. Mann’s e-mail and other records as a scientist, but as a prosecuting attorney.

        As such, Mr. Cuccinelli is not doing anything to violate Dr. Mann’s rights under either Article I of the U.S. Bill of Rights or Section 12 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Cuccinelli is simply doing the job for which the people of Virginia pay him.

        I did offer this observation above, willard. Are you obtuse, or has it not been made sufficiently clear to you? Or is it merely that you’re – as the Hellenes might put it – an “idiotes”?

        Heck, you might as well be claiming that a police officer stopping Dr. Mann’s erratically-maneuvering car on the highway is violating Dr. Mann’s freedom of speech by taking such steps as are required of that policeman – by law – to determine Dr. Mann’s blood alcohol level.

        Therefore “…if Vaughan Pratt…does have a point” (per willard), and Mr. Pratt declines to explain just what the hell that putative “point” might be, perhaps willard will undertake an attempt to shoulder that burden on Mr. Pratt’s behalf.

        At present, williard, you haven’t done so.

      • Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes he defenestrates Vaughan Pratt when he calls him “a bloody liar or a certifiable nutcase.”

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes he defends Mr. Cuccinelli’s scientific qualifications by calling Vaughan Pratt’s question a “fixation” and a “purest idiocy.”

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes in the power of etymological arguments.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes in the power of begging the “lawful powers” questioned by Vaughan Pratt.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes appealing to “superior orders” (in this case, the superior being Joe Public) can dodge Vaughan Pratt’s point.

        * * *

        I believe Vaughan Pratt’s point has been succintly described by Andrew E. Taslitz:

        > [T]he prosecutor’s statements shall not aggravate the unavoidable risks posed to trial fairness.

        http://www.hastingslawjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Taslitz_62-HLJ-1285.pdf

        Considering Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements, questioning his scientific qualifications is not without merit.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese forgets that Mr. Cuccinelli’s behavior can be judged by other means than “he’s just doing his job”:

        > [P]rosecuting a particular case may feel bound to do so even if later evidence suggests that the opposite course of action is wise. The prosecutor may lack a clear-headed ability to evaluate a case rationally because of the phenomenon of “nonrational escalation of commitment.” Once people commit to a course of action, most are reluctant to change their minds. But that reluctance is dramatically magnified when they have made their commitments public. [Ibid.]

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes his many proofs by insults, illuminated by his own obviousness, suffice to fulfill his role of blogland goat buster.

      • Evading yet again any responsibility to support the argument that the actions of Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli has acted to violate the protections of Dr. Mann’s freedom of speech (as defined either by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Section 12 of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s current constitution), willard on December 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM writes:

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes he defenestrates Vaughan Pratt when he calls him “a bloody liar or a certifiable nutcase.”

        I’d say rather that Mr. Pratt has himself leaped out the window to achieve his defenestrated status, but what the hell…. willard fumbles on:

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes he defends Mr. Cuccinelli’s scientific qualifications by calling Vaughan Pratt’s question a “fixation” and a “purest idiocy.”

        Nope. Remember, folks, that the matter of Mr. Cuccinelli’s “scientific qualifications” is not relevant to Mr. Cuccinelli’s efforts – however ham-handed – to discharge his duties as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s chief prosecuting attorney. Doesn’t willard get this yet? Or is clarity of thought (and intellectual honest) beyond willard’s capacities? Let’s go on with those incapacities of willard’‘s:

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes in the power of etymological arguments.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes in the power of begging the “lawful powers” questioned by Vaughan Pratt.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes appealing to “superior orders” (in this case, the superior being Joe Public) can dodge Vaughan Pratt’s point.

        Speculations on my beliefs (how the heck are my beliefs pertinent here?) aside, what are the duties and responsibilities and authority – in law – under which Mr. Cuccinelli as an officer of civil government functioning in the matter at hand?

        Well, there’s a great big “Blank Out” from willard on that.

        What we have of willard’s (and Mr. Pratt’s) expressed concern for Dr. Mann’s rights to freedom of speech having been violated by Mr. Cuccinelli’s actions is….

        Well, it’s….

        Oh, hell. It’s friggin’ well nothing whatsoever, is it? No argument at all, and no sign of there ever having been an argument made which couples Mr. Cuccinelli’s actions thus far (or into the foreseeable future) as breaching the protections of the First Amendment or the pertinent section of the Commonwealth’s own constitution. Instead, we’ve now got willard fixating upon a quote derived from:

        Andrew E. Taslitz:

        [T]he prosecutor’s statements shall not aggravate the unavoidable risks posed to trial fairness.”

        …and thereafter nothing whatsoever on how that’s pertinent to any constraint upon Dr. Mann’s freedom of expression having been undertaken by Mr. Cuccinelli.

        Just where the hell is willard coming from in this regard, and where the hell (other than up into a place the discussion of which Dr. Curry regards as offensively déclassé) is he going with it?

        One wonders if even willard knows. But let’s go on. Sez willard:

        Considering Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements, questioning his scientific qualifications is not without merit.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese forgets that Mr. Cuccinelli’s behavior can be judged by other means than “he’s just doing his job”:

        [It appears that willard might be quoting from Andrew E. Taslitz again here, if that’s what his “Ibid” signifies.]

        “[P]rosecuting a particular case may feel bound to do so even if later evidence suggests that the opposite course of action is wise. The prosecutor may lack a clear-headed ability to evaluate a case rationally because of the phenomenon of “nonrational escalation of commitment.” Once people commit to a course of action, most are reluctant to change their minds. But that reluctance is dramatically magnified when they have made their commitments public. [Ibid.]

        Again, of course, one is moved to wonder just what the hell this has to do with supporting a contention that Mr. Cuccinelli has in any way acted to violate Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of speech.

        We will continue wondering, of course, ’cause willard is going to nowhere whatsoever in this regard, and it seems beyond doubt that willard never will.

        And just what the hell is there in “Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements” which allegedly makes discussing – much less “questioning” – Mr. Cuccinelli’s “scientific qualifications…not without merit,” anyway?

        Yet another big “Blank Out” from both willard and Mr. Pratt before him. Back to willard:

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese believes his many proofs by insults, illuminated by his own obviousness, suffice to fulfill his role of blogland goat buster.

        Nah. I add my happy and obviously accurate character assessment of critters like willard and Mr. Pratt as a form of lagniappe, mere value enhancements which make for me (and obviously other participants in this forum) an improvement upon the return of their investments of time and effort.

        If willard sees himself as a “goat” to be “busted,” who am I to deprive him of his hircine self-image?

      • Ah, but what if, indeed (regardless of his scientific qualifications or lack of same), the honorable Mr. Kenneth Thomas ‘Ken’ Cuccinelli II, Esq. is ‘exploiting his position to suppress scientific views he opposes?’ One poses this as a mere hypothetical, of course, having no more insight into the mind of my paesano Mr. Cuccinelli does my other paesano Mr. Matarese.

        Mr. Cuccinelli presented no evidence for why he was invoking the 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act with respect to Professor Mann. Indeed, Albermarle Circuit Court Judge The Honorable Paul Peatross ruled that “the nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute.” So one is only left to wonder what his motivation might be. Mr. Matarese seems to feel he knows with certainty that it is because of “the various dodgy ethical practices, failed error-checking, and overall professional incompetence of Dr. Mann.” But these were not the reasons stated in Mr. Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demand. So I am left to wonder.

        Mr. Cuccinelli is suing the EPA. Mr. Cuccinelli has publicly stated his misgivings about the mainstream understanding of anthropogenic climate change. If – and I hasten to restate that this in the absence of telepathic communion with the mind of Mr. Cuccinelli this is purely a hypothetical – a Virginia official were using the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act as a vehicle to suppress scientific views he or she opposes, should this be of concern?

      • Misidentifying himself as “un paisano mio,” (either by way of il Mezzogiorno or in these United States), Paul Acciavatti on December 14, 2011 at 1:36 PM sticks his paddle into these already-roiled waters to write a relevancy:

        Ah, but what if, indeed (regardless of his scientific qualifications or lack of same), the honorable Mr. Kenneth Thomas ‘Ken’ Cuccinelli II, Esq. is ‘exploiting his position to suppress scientific views he opposes?’ One poses this as a mere hypothetical, of course, having no more insight into the mind of my paesano Mr. Cuccinelli does my other paesano Mr. Matarese.

        I suspect that Mr. Acciavatti is neither an Italophone nor has he much familiarity with the orthography of “la parola bella,” but what the hell. Mr. Acciavatti goes on to discuss a more pertinent factor in the current investigation of Dr. Mann’s actions while he’d been employed by the University of Virginia:

        Mr. Cuccinelli presented no evidence for why he was invoking the 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act with respect to Professor Mann. Indeed, Albermarle Circuit Court Judge The Honorable Paul Peatross ruled that “the nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute.”

        The extent to which Mr. Cuccinelli has – since Judge Peatross’ ruling was handed down – amended his pursuit of discovery in his investigation of Dr. Mann’s conduct is, of course, blanked out. Mr. Acciavatti continues:

        So one is only left to wonder what his motivation might be. Mr. Matarese seems to feel he knows with certainty that it is because of “the various dodgy ethical practices, failed error-checking, and overall professional incompetence of Dr. Mann.” But these were not the reasons stated in Mr. Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demand. So I am left to wonder.

        Mr. Acciavatti’s speculation on what I feel (or know) about Mr. Cuccinelli’s motivation for undertaking and pursuing his case against Dr. Mann under the prevailing statutes is, of course, senseless. What bearing on the issue at hand might conceivably be my personal reasons for cheering Mr. Cuccinelli on in his effort to throw Dr. Mann in some state penitentiary and hammer him for monetary damages under the laws Mr.Cuccinelli has sworn to uphold?

        What I’d entered this exchange to discuss is whether or not Mr. Cuccinelli, in so acting, has violated Dr. Mann’s freedom of expression as protected by the First Amendment and by Section 12 of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s current state constitution.

        Is such an allegation against Mr. Cuccinelli supportable or not?

        Nothing but a persistent “Blank Out” is gotten from Dr. Mann’s advocates in this forum.

        Back to Mr. Acciavatti’s post, which now transitions into a rant against the current Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General:

        Mr. Cuccinelli is suing the EPA. Mr. Cuccinelli has publicly stated his misgivings about the mainstream understanding of anthropogenic climate change. If – and I hasten to restate that this in the absence of telepathic communion with the mind of Mr. Cuccinelli this is purely a hypothetical – a Virginia official were using the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act as a vehicle to suppress scientific views he or she opposes, should this be of concern?

        Certainly a legitimate concern among the citizens of Virginia, whether they favor the fraudulent “junk science” perpetrated by Dr. Mann during his tenure at the University of Virginia (which was funded by the taxpaying private citizens of the Commonwealth) or desire that Dr. Mann be brought to book and punished for his arguable violations of their rights in the course of Dr. Mann’s actions as a malfeasant “Malevolent Jobholder.”

        Not being myself a Republican, I really don’t give the least little trace of a goddam for Mr. Cuccinelli. The only question I’ve asked here is whether or not – in the pursuit of his job as boss prosecuting attorney in the Commonwealth of Virginia – Mr. Cuccinelli has violated the protections in law devised to preserve the individual human right to freedom of expression.

        Not Dr. Mann’s “right” to batten upon the taxpayers of the Commonwealth in perpetrating transgressions of professional ethics and misrepresenting the facts of reality so as to give to the AGW fraud that seeming of reliability calculated to have “gulled, cullied, and diddled” the people of the Commonwealth and these other United States of America, for Dr. Mann has never had such a “right,” and never can.

      • Dr. Pratt,
        Mann’s work has been reasonably and credibly pointed out to be flawed and a result of deliberately misleading people.
        Climategate e-mails show Mann advising people to destroy public documents to cover this and other things up.
        In the real world if a publicly employed official is doing this regarding state funded business, that is sufficient reason to review the work.
        Mann could, of course, end this quickly by actually showing the docs in question.
        But he seems to enjoy dragging this out.
        As to the claim that investigating his work for evidence to suport his actual advice to destroy documents and his cherry picking somehow violates his civil rights, I would suggest that reflects a lack of understanding about freedom of speech in the person making that odd claim.

      • “Mann’s work has been reasonably and credibly . . .”

        The attacks on Mann are neither reasonable nor credible, and have failed spectacularly at every test. Hating Mann is just a sort of religious observance for climate deniers, without any basis in fact whatsoever.

      • Mr. Matarese did not bother to look up Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements regarding AGW:

        > And just what the hell is there in “Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements” which allegedly makes discussing – much less “questioning” – Mr. Cuccinelli’s “scientific qualifications…not without merit,” anyway?”

        For his own edification, we might point to an article where we read:

        > At the same time [that he prosecutes Mann], Mr. Cuccinelli is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its ruling that carbon dioxide and other global warming gases pose a threat to human health and welfare, describing the science behind the agency’s decision as “unreliable, unverifiable and doctored.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/science/earth/23virginia.html

        Mr. Matarese might wish to explain to us how Mr. Cuccinelli can justify suing the EPA without any scientific qualifications.

        * * *

        Mr. Matarese does not seem to recognize that Mr. Cuccinelli is trying to moving a political football with Mann’s prosecution.

        Sherwood Boehlert (R) called it “a manufactured distraction”:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_of_Virginia's_climate_science_investigation

        Steve McIntyre, the Auditor himself, stated:

        > It is unfortunate that the inquiries at Penn State and UEA have not been even minimally diligent, but complaints on that account rest with the universities or their supervising institutions and the substitution of inappropriate investigations by zealots like Cuccinelli are not an alternative.

        http://climateaudit.org/2010/05/02/cuccinelli-v-mann/

        Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists stated:

        > Such grandstanding is “an attack against the important role science plays in society,” says . “No matter how many lawsuits Cuccinelli files, it won’t stop the seas from rising.”

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/lists/whos-to-blame-12-politicians-and-execs-blocking-progress-on-global-warming-20110119/ken-cuccinelliattorney-general-virginia-19691231

        Rachel Levinson, senior counsel with the American Association of University Professors, stated that Cuccinelli’s request had “echoes of McCarthyism”:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050304139.html

        Mr. Matarese might ponder on the relationship between McCarthysm and the First Amendment.

        Mr. Matarese did not show why would I have any responsibility to support Vaughan’s surmise.

        Yet, Mr. Matarese does not seem to see why his badgerings are being ignored by Vaughan.

        * * *

        Mr. Matarese reiterates his appeal to “superior orders”, e.g. by reference to Mr. Cuccinelli’s “duties as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s chief prosecuting attorney”, the same moot argument that was made famous during the Nuremberg trials, an argument to be contrasted with the Taslitz article, in which the ethics rules for prosecutors were discussed more coherently.

        Mr. Matarese might wonder why Mr. Cuccinelli is not investigating the responsibility of Massey Energy in the death of 25 miners in West Virginia last year:

        http://notlarrysabato.typepad.com/doh/2010/04/better-use-of-the-coochs-time.html

        Mr. Matarese might contrast Mr. Cuccinelli’s attitude regarding Mann with the U.S. Navy Veterans Association scandal. Here is how Noah Wall, his political director, responds to the demands that he give away the tainted donation:

        > Unless we found out the donation was made illegally, I really don’t see what we’re talking about[.]

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/17/AR2010051703986.html

        Mr. Matarese may satisfy himself with duty calls and job descriptions, while others may not.

        * * *

        Mr. Matarese did not burden to look up a dictionary to see that to defenestrate is the act of throwing an adversary out of the window in a forcible or peremptory manner, breaking the window along the way.

      • Persistently evading focus on his own (and Vaughan Pratt’s) claim that Commonwealth of Attorney Ken Cuccinelli has acted to violate the right of Dr. Michael E. Mann to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the pertinent section in the Commonwealth’ own constitution, the obstinately obtuse willard posts on December 14, 2011 at 11:53 PM that I

        …did not bother to look up Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements regarding AGW

        …and in that “stopped clock” fashion, willard is right. He even quotes my observation to the effect that nothing in “Mr. Cuccinelli’s statements”</blockquote on the preposterous bogosity of the AGW fraud has been shown to have anything to do with anything he might allegedly have done to breach Dr. Mann's freedom of speech.

        Not that willard has yet made any effort to demonstrate how Mr. Cuccinelli had attempted or accomplished this. There simply continues to be willard’s perseverative fixation upon Mr. Cuccinelli’s “scientific qualifications” without any shred of reasoned argument supporting the fantastical link in willard’s fevered mind between that lack of “scientific qualifications” and an arguable criminal malfeasance on the part of Attorney General Cuccinelli in some unspecified violation of Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of speech.

        We’re getting a pattern to willard obtuse obstinacy, aren’t we?

        willard goes on to quote an article in The New York Komsomolskaya Pravda from last February reading:

        At the same time [that he prosecutes Mann], Mr. Cuccinelli is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its ruling that carbon dioxide and other global warming gases pose a threat to human health and welfare, describing the science behind the agency’s decision as “unreliable, unverifiable and doctored.”

        Now, just what the hell has this to do with Mr. Pratt’s (and willard’s) claim that Mr. Cuccinelli has violated Dr. Mann’s freedom of speech? Blank Out. willard goes on:

        Mr. Matarese might wish to explain to us how Mr. Cuccinelli can justify suing the EPA without any scientific qualifications.

        Why, no, Dr. Matarese not only might not, but Dr. Materese observes that Mr. Cuccinelli’s justifications for bringing suit against our Mombasa Messiah’s nakedly unconstitutional EPA requires of him no “scientific qualifications” whatsoever. What’s more, Dr. Matarese further opines that the lawsuit brought by Mr. Cuccinelli is a service of great value to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and should be joined by the attorneys general of all the other states in our Union, for the preservation of lawful government and the protection of individual rights throughout the nation.

        In one of those classic “stopped clock” moments, willard observes

        …that Mr. Cuccinelli is trying to moving a political football with Mann’s prosecution.

        Gee, ya think? Ken Cuccinelli is a partisan politician with the stated goal of standing for election as Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I’d think it safe to say that every damned thing he does in office is undertaken with an eye toward Mr. Cuccinelli’s political advancement. He’s not only got to do his job as boss prosecuting attorney, but he has to do it with an eye toward pleasing the electorate, and obviously nailing Dr. Mann fits in with that objective.

        Hey, I’m not a voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and it certainly pleases me. Were I to become resident in the Old Dominion in time for me to register and vote in whatever gubernatorial election in which Mr. Cuccinelli runs, if Dr. Mann were to be sitting in a state penitentiary by then, it would certainly induce me to help enable Mr. Cuccinelli to call himself Governor Cuccinelli. Speed the plough.

        Quoting indirectly from an article in The Washington Post by way of Wiki-bloody-pedia (by the bye, willard, the citation link there is busted, and WashingtonPost.com does not appear to retain the original July 1, 2010, article reporting on the Penn State whitewash) that

        Sherwood Boehlert (R) called it “a manufactured distraction”

        That’s former Republican congressman Sherwood Boehlert of the environmental advocacy coalition Project on Climate Science (for which I can find on Web address or Wikipedia entry, and ain’t that kinda strange?), proving yet again Mencken’s observation that “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”

        Further quotations from various figures of equal lack of pertinence are elided, though we might pay attention to the noise of a lawyer with obvious interest in preserving credentialed academicians who make their livings and advance their professional status on the basis of funding exacted from the taxpaying private citizens by way of grant applications consisting in great part of half-truths and outright lies:

        Rachel Levinson, senior counsel with the American Association of University Professors, stated that Cuccinelli’s request had “echoes of McCarthyism”

        This, of course, is the standard yelping – almost a ritual litany – among the ranks of those whose appeals for public money really couldn’t stand up well under the detailed scrutiny of a diligent prosecuting attorney.

        Then we get to willard grumbling that:

        Mr. Matarese did not show why would I have any responsibility to support Vaughan’s surmise.

        Tsk. willard not only leaps to the defense of Mr. Pratt’s post of December 11, 2011 at 6:04 AM but undertakes to endorse Mr. Pratt‘s assertion that

        When a public official like Cuccinelli having no scientific qualifications of his own takes objection to certain research results and exploits his position to suppress them, I would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.

        Now – as I’d predicted – Mr. Pratt has scurried away from offering further explanation of his grounds for having made that statement, leaving the field to willard, for whom this is also an article of religious faith.

        Religious faith, of course, because willard still keeps on refusing to make any sort of lucidly reasoned defense thereof.

        What keeps on grabbing at willard’s gorge is not only my focus on willard’s failure to demonstrate any violation of Dr. Mann’s freedom of speech by Mr. Cuccinelli but also my observation that it is among Mr. Cuccinelli’s “duties as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s chief prosecuting attorney” to pursue the indictment, prosecution, and conviction of people who have practiced theft of value by peculation. willard wants to claim that this is

        the same moot argument that was made famous during the Nuremberg trials, an argument to be contrasted with the Taslitz article, in which the ethics rules for prosecutors were discussed more coherently.

        willard then goes on to rant about how

        …Mr. Cuccinelli is not investigating the responsibility of Massey Energy in the death of 25 miners in West Virginia last year.

        Which is, of course, also not relevant to either Mr. Cuccinelli’s “scientific qualifications” or the allegations of Mr. Cuccinelli’s violation of Dr. Mann’s freedom of expression made by willard and Mr. Pratt.

        Mr. Cuccinelli is a Republican. Haven’t we all sufficient reason to maintain low expectations of Republicans? When they do something – almost always for reasons of their own pecuniary or political gain, doubtless – that redounds to the benefit of the public in matters such as the pursuit and punishment of criminals like Dr. Mann, we can find reason enough to praise and support them while all the while looking about for better men to take up their jobs.

        The quality of Mr. Cuccinelli’s conduct in public office is like that of the proverbial dancing bear.

        It’s not how well the bear dances that’s so remarkable, but that it dances at all.

        And on defenestration (“the act of throwing an adversary out of the window in a forcible or peremptory manner, breaking the window along the way,” though I don’t recall remark on whether there was any glassbreaking involved in either of the the defenestrations of Prague), my observation that Mr. Pratt seemed to have dived out a window in his effort to avoid response to my earlier post does seem to have stung willard rather nastily, hasn’t it?

      • Whups. Ken Cuccinelli is a partisan politician with the stated goal of standing for election as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

        I lived most of my life rather closer to Penn’s Woods than to the Old Dominion, and it’s rather a habit for me to follow the term “Commonwealth” with the words “of Pennsylvania.”

      • Mr. Matarese states:

        > Persistently evading focus on his own (and Vaughan Pratt’s) claim that Commonwealth of Attorney Ken Cuccinelli has acted to violate the right […]

        I don’t recall having claimed that, nor that I “endorsed” it, as Mr. Matarese said elsewhere. So a quote would be nice. But I do recall having said that I could understand Vaughan Pratt’s point. Understanding someone’s point does not amount to endorse it, nor does it amount to claim it oneself.

        * * *

        Here is what Vaughan said:

        > When a public official like Cuccinelli having no scientific qualifications of his own takes objection to certain research results and exploits his position to suppress them, I would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.

        Here is how Mr. Matarese interpreted it:

        > Mr. Pratt to offer the wholly unsupported contention that Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been breaching First Amendment protections in his investigation of what appear – prima facie – to be peculations perpetrated by Dr. Mann in the submission of his applications for government funding of Dr. Mann’s “research” is evidence either of duplicity or insanity on the part of Mr. Pratt.

        This interpretation alone should suffice to show that Mr. Matarese is just another goat buster.

        And yet Mr. Matarese gloats that Vaughan does not respond to his badgerings.

        * * *

        Mr. Cuccinelli has no scientific qualifications. Mr. Cuccinelli did commit public statements regarding the scientific evidence. Mr. Cuccinelli did justify suing the EPA by his scientific opinions. Mr. Cuccinelli did take objection of certain research results.

        Mr. Matarese admits all of the above, and even states that Mr. Cuccinelli is exploiting his position:

        > I’d think it safe to say that every damned thing he does in office is undertaken with an eye toward Mr. Cuccinelli’s political advancement. He’s not only got to do his job as boss prosecuting attorney, but he has to do it with an eye toward pleasing the electorate, and obviously nailing Dr. Mann fits in with that objective.

        Mr. Matarese is using the “not only doing his job” refrain, a refrain which was his first response to Vaughan Pratt:

        > [T]he real issue in the ongoing investigations undertaken by Mr. Cuccinelli [is whether] such [alleged] diversion of public funds under the knowing and therefore intentional misstatement of facts – which arguably fits the definition of embezzlement – is a criminal action which should be pursued by officers of the civil government whose reason for being on the payroll in the first place is to investigate and prosecute such offenses.

        So for Mr. Matarese, Mr. Cuccinelli must prosecute Mann to do his job, a job which in his opinion provides a “great value to the citizens”, an opinion for which no evidence has yet to be provided. And when Mr. Matarese invokes “the preservation of lawful government and the protection of individual rights throughout the nation”, he again appeals to higher orders.

        We note that Mr. Matarese elided “various figures of equal lack of pertinence”, of which we can count Steve McIntyre, the Auditor himself. If Steve’s opinion on that matter lacks relevance, we have to question Mr. Matarese’s understanding of the concept of relevance. Mr. Matarese should opine: was the Auditor “yelping” too?

        * * *

        Mr. Matarese has yet to opine on the possibility that Mr. Cuccinelli might be using his position to suppress dissenting from his own scientific position, a position he has no qualifications to hold, a position he promotes by way of his prosecutions of Mann and the EPA. Vaughan considers this possibility, and then draws an inference. Perhaps Mr. Matarese can’t see the connection between Mr. Cuccinelli’s behavior and the First Amendment. Perhaps Mr. Matarese simply disagrees that Mr. Cuccinelli is in reality using his position to suppress dissent. In any case, Mr. Matarese does not seem to make the distinction.

        We can help Mr. Matarese understand Vaughan’s point, but we can’t understand it for him.

      • The fixated and fanatical willard – still failing consistently to explain how Mr. Cuccinelli’s ex officio investigation into the peculations of Dr. Michael E. Mann during that quack’s tenure on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s payroll touches upon any violation of Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of speech (as protected by Section 12 of the Commonwealth’s current constitution and Article I of the federal Bill of Rights) yammers yet again on December 15, 2011 (Happy Bill of Rights Day!) at 10:20 AM, trying to duck out on his defense of Vaughan Pratt’s initial voicing of this fantastical unsupported assertion by writing:

        I don’t recall having claimed that, nor that I “endorsed” it, as Mr. Matarese said elsewhere. So a quote would be nice. But I do recall having said that I could understand Vaughan Pratt’s point. Understanding someone’s point does not amount to endorse it, nor does it amount to claim it oneself.

        So have to quote everything that willard’s posted on this thread? Nah. For the interested reader, just hold your gorge and vide supra. Everything willard has posted in response to my comments has consisted of nothing but rants about Mr. Cuccinelli’s hatred for the AGW fraud and Mr. Cuccinelli’s lack of “scientific qualifications” to evaluate personally the details of this gaudy scam and issue an opinion worthy of publication in Geophysical Research Letters.

        This is, let me repeat, absolute and perfect bullpuckey on the part of both willard and Vaughan Pratt. It’s kinda like expecting a beat cop to be “scientifically qualified” to perpetrate the pigeon drop before he’s allowed to arrest a con man who’s committed that crime and haul the crook off to the station for booking.

        A prosecuting attorney does not need to have the training and experience of a financial auditor or a Certified Public Accountant to pursue a case against a bankster brought to the attorney’s notice in the reasonable suspicion that the suspect has engaged in an elaborate theft of value by deception. That attorney need not understand every detail of how the scheme was operated. He can engage the services of expert advisors for that purpose. He simply needs to know that there is reason to pursue investigation, including the discovery of communications undertaken by the primary subject of his attention to determine whether there are other parties involved in actions of criminal intent and whether or not additional charges of wire fraud need to be pursued.

        Heck, Mr. Cuccinelli doesn’t even need to know how e-mail transmittals are archived and can be retrieved. He has geeks to advise him on that.

        None of this investigative process necessarily (or even conceivably) involves transgressions against the rights of any of the persons of interest to freedom of expression.

        Indeed, while they are not permitted to destroy evidence or to evade supoenae or warrants uttered in the process of investigation, they have the right to remain silent.

        Dr. Mann really ought to have been told that by whoever is serving him in the role of legal counsel.

        Oh, well. It’s obvious that Jerry Sandusky isn’t the only guy affiliated with Penn State University who has diarrhea of the mouth to his detriment.

        willard’s fixation on calling me “a goat buster” (anybody care to explain what that term is supposed to mean? When I think of willard, the only animal metaphor that comes to mind is the hind end of a horse) continues, also unsupported. When I observed that:

        …for Mr. Pratt to offer the wholly unsupported contention that Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been breaching First Amendment protections in his investigation of what appear – prima facie – to be peculations perpetrated by Dr. Mann in the submission of his applications for government funding of Dr. Mann’s “research” is evidence either of duplicity or insanity on the part of Mr. Pratt.

        willard’s only response was (entirely):

        This interpretation alone should suffice to show that Mr. Matarese is just another goat buster.

        Whoopee! “Q.” not one friggin’ little bit “E.D.,” willard

        Mr. Pratt and willard are accusing Mr. Cuccinelli of real crimes – beginning with the violation of Dr. Mann’s constitutional rights, a contention that nobody lawfully empowered to police the conduct of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Attorney General has alleged.

        And yet willard wants me to treat tenderly with “Hockey Stick” Mann’s “[alleged] diversion of public funds under the knowing and therefore intentional misstatement of facts.”

        The “[alleged]” having been willard’s interpolation, decidedly not mine. I think the pompous lying rat fink is guilty as hell, and the same I would rise to explain.

        Endlessly and – arguably – psychotically fixating upon the wonderful completely irrelevant (even though correctly percieved) lack of “scientific qualifications” on the part of Mr. Cuccinelli (does willard think that a prosecuting attorney must have “scientific qualifications” in forensic pathology to investigate a case of homicide?), we get willard’s continuing sackful-of-hammers yammer:

        Mr. Cuccinelli has no scientific qualifications. Mr. Cuccinelli did commit public statements regarding the scientific evidence. Mr. Cuccinelli did justify suing the EPA by his scientific opinions. Mr. Cuccinelli did take objection of certain research results.

        References, willard? A quotation of Mr. Cuccinelli’s “public statements regarding the scientific evidence,” perhaps? A link to a reliable (non-warmista site) so that those “statements” might be evaluated in context? Some argument that consideration of Mr. Cuccinelli’s personal opinions as expressed in those “public statements” are pertinent to the case at hand?

        Mr. Cuccinelli might well have to remove himself from direct involvement in the case against Dr. Mann, though I doubt it. That does not mean that the case is without merit, or that Dr. Mann’s rights (to freedom of speech or any other protected rights) have been violated in any way.

        As has been said before of lay opinion regarding the alarmists’ AGW fraud, one does not have to be a hen to know when an egg is rotten.

        Mr. Cuccinelli had realized that Dr. Mann’s “science” is bogus. Considering that Mr. Cuccinelli is not only a lawyer but a Republican, that’s pretty damned “high functional,” I should think.

        Continuing along his sackful-of-hammers “Damn, I didn’t know that’s what reality is!” line of burbling, willard takes my lucid observation of how politics works…

        (“I’d think it safe to say that every damned thing he does in office is undertaken with an eye toward Mr. Cuccinelli’s political advancement. He’s not only got to do his job as boss prosecuting attorney, but he has to do it with an eye toward pleasing the electorate, and obviously nailing Dr. Mann fits in with that objective.”

        …and that

        [T]he real issue in the ongoing investigations undertaken by Mr. Cuccinelli (and being overtly and obviously stonewalled by Dr. Mann and the University of Virginia) is not whether it is better for the taxpayers to suffer the “misuse [of] a few hundred thousand dollars of the public’s money” but whether such diversion of public funds under the knowing and therefore intentional misstatement of facts – which arguably fits the definition of embezzlement – is a criminal action which should be pursued by officers of the civil government whose reason for being on the payroll in the first place is to investigate and prosecute such offenses.

        …to which willard’s response to this “water is wet” statement of pikestaff-plain facts is:

        So for Mr. Matarese, Mr. Cuccinelli must prosecute Mann to do his job, a job which in [Dr. Matarese’s] opinion provides a “great value to the citizens”, an opinion for which no evidence has yet to be provided. And when Mr. Matarese invokes “the preservation of lawful government and the protection of individual rights throughout the nation”, he again appeals to higher orders.

        Hm. and if the protection of individual human rights (including the rights of the taxpayers to be secured in their property rights against embezzlement and wire fraud and the “Mike’s Hockey Team” conspiracy) isn’t the Ur-purpose of civil government in a republic such as ours, willard, just what the hell is it?

        Again, Mr. Cuccinelli is a partisan politician. A Republican politician, which makes him almost quite as bad as a member of the National Socialist Democrat American Party (NSDAP) or the Taliban. What I find remarkable about Mr. Cuccinelli having decided to pursue his investigation of Dr. Mann’s transgressions with the intention to chuck Dr. Mann into prison for a lot of the rest of Dr. Mann’s life (again, speed the plough!) is not the degree of skill with which he’s undertaking this laudable endeavor but that Mr. Cuccinelli – a Republican, remember – is doing it at all.

        willard goes on to whine that I’d summarily declined to rebut his quotations of “various figures of equal lack of pertinence,” among whom:

        …we can count Steve McIntyre, the Auditor himself. If Steve’s opinion on that matter lacks relevance, we have to question Mr. Matarese’s understanding of the concept of relevance. Mr. Matarese should opine: was the Auditor “yelping” too?

        Nope. willard was. Mr. McIntyre wasn’t speaking about how the Commonwealth’s investigation of Dr. Mann’s transgressions could in any way have violated Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of expression, and that made “the Auditor'”s quoted remark irrelevant.

        willard’s got this problem with perceptions of relevance, y’see. Also with inappropriate (also known as “pompous”) capitalization.

        willard goes on to complain that I have

        …yet to opine on the possibility that Mr. Cuccinelli might be using his position to suppress dissenting from his own scientific position, a position he has no qualifications to hold, a position he promotes by way of his prosecutions of Mann and the EPA. Vaughan considers this possibility, and then draws an inference. Perhaps Mr. Matarese can’t see the connection between Mr. Cuccinelli’s behavior and the First Amendment. Perhaps Mr. Matarese simply disagrees that Mr. Cuccinelli is in reality using his position to suppress dissent. In any case, Mr. Matarese does not seem to make the distinction.

        Yammer, yammer, yammer. Tsk. Understand, willard, that my personal opinion of Mr. Cuccinelli’s intentions is also irrelevant. I’m focused on his actions as an officer of civil government, not whatever reasons he might hold – in petto or publicly blurted – for undertaking them.

        For all I know, Mr. Cuccinelli has a hatred for “cooked” statistical analysis, or a sharp dislike for balding men with facial hair, or had bought real estate a few miles inland from the Virginia shore which – per the “We’re All Gonna Drown!” alarmists of Dr. Mann’s “Hockey Team” – was supposed to have become beachfront property a year or two ago.

        Who gives a damn? Yeah, willard, I know you do, but you’re desperately clinging to irrelevancies because you can’t bear the thought of your high-sticking Dr. Mann spending many years asking prison guards for permission to shower.

        By all means, keep groping, willard. You’re not getting anywhere, but what the hell.

        Reasoned argument really isn’t your purpose in life, is it?

      • Mr. Matarese fails both on facts and logic.

        * * *

        First, Mr. Matarese fumbles on his quantifiers:

        > So have to quote everything that willard’s posted on this thread?

        Nah, just one quote would suffice. Really, just one. Mr. Matarese should go for it.

        Let the readers identify our Mr’s paralogism.

        * * *

        Second, Mr. Matarese conflates many questions:

        > A prosecuting attorney does not need to have the training and experience of a financial auditor or a Certified Public Accountant to pursue a case against a bankster brought to the attorney’s notice in the reasonable suspicion that the suspect has engaged in an elaborate theft of value by deception.

        A prosecuting attorney has ethical guidelines that could help him frame his public declarations.

        A prosecuting attorney that has no clue on climate science should not feed journalists with climate talk.

        A prosecuting attorney that has no clue on climate science should not sue on scientific ground.

        A prosecuting attorney that is using his clueless scientific opinions to prosecute scientists and scientific institutions might very well be using his power to suppress dissent.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese does not understand that suing Cuccinelli for abusing his power to stiffle the opinions of scientists might be a costly business.

        At least one scientists is afraid of the precedent Mr. Cuccinelli is setting, John Christy:

        > Do all of us who work as university employees (not federal employees) become subject to being investigated by anyone with a grudge? I think the expectation of privacy in this realm should carry the day.

        http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/ken-cuccinelli-v-climate-skeptics/

        If Dr. Christy thought he was misquoted by a warmista news outlet, we should expect him to have set the record straight by now. Perhaps Mr. Matarese should send an email to Dr. Christy to settle this matter.

        At least one defender of liberty frowns upon Mr. Cuccineli’s crusade:

        > With a freedom fighter like this, who needs tyrants?

        http://www.varight.com/news/over-the-top-criticism-of-ag-cuccinelli-check-this-out-from-blue-virginia/

        * * *

        Third, Mr. Matarese fails to grasp the basics of L’Affaire Cuccinelli:

        > He simply needs to know that there is reason to pursue investigation […].

        In fact, Mr. Cuccinelli’s first try was ruled out as having no objective basis for legal action:

        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010-08-30%20Opinion%20Granting%20UVA%20Petition.pdf

        Considering Mr. Cuccinelli’s prejudices against the overwhelming scientific evidence, that he might not be able to back down from his investigation was to be expected, as is often the case according to Tilfitz.

        Even if we assume that Mr. Cuccinelli had the right to investigate, it does not follow that what he does during that investigation is right. We already know that Mr. Cuccinelli has no scientific expertise. We already know that Mr. Cuccinelli has political interests to follow through.

        That Mr. Cuccinelli could conceil his fishing expedition under fiscal pretenses is quite irrelevant to the fact that it might very well be a fishing expedition purported to stiffle dissent.

        At least one person believes that it was a fishing expedition:

        > What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/05/ill-trade-you-cuccinelli-for-splattergate-with-a-player-to-be-named-later/

        * * *

        Fourth, Mr. Matarese fumbles both on logic and on basic history:

        > None of this investigative process necessarily (or even conceivably) involves transgressions against the rights of any of the persons of interest to freedom of expression.

        Vaughan Pratt never argued from logical necessity. He simply issued a conditional.

        Claiming that an investigative process cannot conceivably involve transgressions against the rights etc. is simply refuted by mundane facts about contemporary history. To that effect, Vaughan Pratt already mentioned this parallel:

        > To the extent permitted by the vast differences between US and Russian practices, Cuccinelli’s attack on Mann is indistinguishable from Putin’s attack on Khodorkovsky.

        * * *

        Fifth, Mr. Matarese challenges me to support my calling him a goat buster.

        Here is one quote:

        > When I got a look into the e-mail communications which Dr. Mann mistakenly assumed would never get into the hands of the people he’d been so successfully defrauding and suppressing, I confess that it got my Sicilian up, and I began recalling remote locations in the Pine Barrens – well within driving distance of Centre County, Pennsylvania – where a little work with some shovels and a sack of quicklime could serve a genuine public benefit.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/14275878869

        Here is a second one:

        > I think the pompous lying rat fink is guilty as hell […]

        These quotes support the belief that Mr. Matarese is scapegoating.

        * * *

        Sixth, Mr. Matarese claims that Vaughan Pratt’s sentence amounts to an “wholly unsupported contention”. Readers could read back that sentence to understand that Vaughan Pratt’s conditional was a bit more nuanced than that.

        * * *

        Seventh, Mr. Matarese asks if I believe a prosecuting attorney must have “scientific qualifications” in forensic pathology to investigate a case of homicide.

        A prosecuting attorney usually refrains from judgements based on forensic pathology when speaking as a prosecuting attorney.

        More to the point, Cuccinelli is not using judicial evidence, but scientific evidence, evidence we know he has not the expertise to understand. Which might explain why he basically looks like a gleeful puppet to must, with the exception of goat busters like Mr. Matarese.

        Even more to the point, Cuccinelli is using evidence that are rejected by many, including Ross McKitrick:

        > [P]eople are far too quick to yell fraud at the other side. I think such language is both selfish and counterproductive. I have yet to see any credible basis for his inquiry.”

        http://reason.org/news/show/a-grandstanding-attorney-general

        * * *

        Eight, Mr. Matarese challenges me to find other public statements regarding the scientific evidence by Mr. Cuccinelli. Perhaps Mr. Matarese should consult the EPA petition itself, where he claims that land data is unreleliable, an opinion that has been recently refuted by Richard Muller.

        * * *

        Ninth, Mr. Matarese fails to appreciate that appealing to duty or purpose is a very weak argument:

        > Hm. and if the protection of individual human rights […] isn’t the Ur-purpose of civil government in a republic such as ours, willard, just what the hell is it?

        Any kind of behavior can be justified for the sake of protecting individual human rights, including torture and killing.

        However nobly justified Mr. Cuccinelli’s prosecution is, it still can be a fishing expedition for the sake of stiffling scientific dissent.

        Perhaps Mr. Matarese tries to succeed in using an argument that failed at Nuremberg.

        * * *

        Tenth, Mr. Matarese has yet to say if simply disagrees that Mr. Cuccinelli is in reality using his position to suppress dissent or if he can’t see the connection between Mr. Cuccinelli’s behavior and the First Amendment, or both. His opinion regarding this matter is quite relevant, contrary to what he just claimed, since by clarifying this matter will we know the nature of his disagreement with Vaughan Pratt.

        After all these badgerings, Mr. Matarese has not clarified to which part of the statement Mr. Matarese from Vaughan Pratt he’s taking objection.

        * * *

        As long as Mr. Matarese responds to facts and logic with innocuous badgerings and creative goatbusting, we’d be happy to oblige him.

      • Sputtering on (and on) with less and less coherence, willard on December 15, 2011 at 9:24 PM continues to fail to support Mr. Pratt’s contention (and willard’s by concatenation and obsessive-compulsive yelping) that in the course of his continuing investigation of Dr. Michael E. Mann’s conduct as an employee of the University of Virginia and therefore the Commonwealth of Virgina with specific reference to violation of the 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act has in some way violated Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of expression, as is protected against government transgression under Section 12 of the Commonwealth constitution and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

        Got that, folks? willard “fails both on facts and logic.”

        Doesn’t matter how cement-headedly Mr. Cuccinelli comports himself when feeding “journalists with climate talk” (remember, Ken Cuccinelli is a Republican, a lawyer, and a career politician, all of which give us good reason to have of him very low expectations). The question – as always – is whether or not Mr. Cuccinelli has acted ex officio to infringe upon the exercise of Dr. Mann’s inalienable right to freedom of speech.

        Has Mr. Cuccinelli done so, and if so, how has he done so?

        All these blithering irrelevancies spewed by willard and precisely no direct address of that question.

        And it’s an important question. As I’ve observed, it’s accusing Mr. Cuccinelli of a crime. A real crime. An actionable offense that – if true – should get Mr. Cuccinelli the sharp attention of Eric Holder’s “Fast and Furious” federal Department of Justice.

        But perhaps Mr. Holder is himself concentrating on avoiding indictments for his own criminal malfeasances in public office, and is too busy to go galloping off to Richmond to follow up on Mr. Pratt’s and willard’s unsubstantiated accusations against Mr. Cuccinelli.

        Therefore dismissing the preponderance of willard’s most recent spew for the sake of both parsimony and focus upon that which is actually relevant to Mr. Pratt’s and willard’s arguably libelous statements about Mr. Cuccinelli’s conduct (anybody seen that magic word “alleged” – or any similar qualifier – anywhere in willard’s yammering or Mr. Pratt’s earlier noise?), I skip over…oh, a buncha willard’s crap to remark upon yet another New York Komsomolskaya Pravda quote in which John Christy expresses his disquiet. Per willard:

        At least one scientists is afraid of the precedent Mr. Cuccinelli is setting, John Christy:
        Do all of us who work as university employees (not federal employees) become subject to being investigated by anyone with a grudge? I think the expectation of privacy in this realm should carry the day.

        Well, what John Christy thinks about “the expectation of privacy” in what is, after all, work which he – and other scientists – have done for hire, either as employees of government-funded academic institutions, or on taxpayer-funded grants for which they’d submitted applications signed in attestation that the contents of those applications were truthful expressions of fact, is also not relevant to the question of First Amendment protections of individual freedom of speech.

        Doesn’t matter to me that Dr. Christy had characterized himself in 2003 as “a strong critic of scientists who make catastrophic predictions of huge increases in global temperatures and tremendous rises in sea levels” (see here). If Dr. Cristy thinks that taxpayer funding comes without strings attached, he needs to get disabused of that illusion, double-quick.

        I’ve written and run internal review on such applications and similar appeals for funding, and I’ve always been aware of the fact that anybody who signs off on them (or, indeed, has anything to do with composing and vetting them) has a share of the “drop-dead” responsibility for any knowing misrepresentations of fact contained therein. Such misrepresentations can be – commonly are – considered actionale, both in civil suits and in criminal prosecutions.

        Do it on a government funding application, and there are all sorts of damages multipliers and retroactive interest charges applied. Better to thrust your hand into a blender, turn it to “Frappé,” and hit the button.

        Not having entangled myself in such stuff for most of the past decade, I’d have to look up precisely what new horrors have been added more recently, but I’ll leave that as an exercise to the student.

        I don’t recall getting much on this in that Medical Jurisprudence course back in First Year, but when I had the title “Medical Director” attached to my office door, I sure as hell began reading all the fine print and making sure I understood what I was letting myself in for. Cross your T’s, dot your I’s, and make goddam certain you’re telling the truth.

        Inasmuch as you like Dr. Christy so much, willard, would you do him the favor of passing along that advice to him? Somebody really ought to have done so by now, wouldn’tcha think?

        That Mr. Cuccinelli’s “…Mr. Cuccinelli’s first try was ruled out as having no objective basis for legal action” is also – let us observe – irrelevant to the allegation that Mr. Cuccinelli had violated Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment.

        Has willard any appreciation of the Kabuki theater proceduralism of modern American jurisprudence? It is never surprising when a purely procedural (as opposed to substantive) misstep obliges remediation. Seldom do such hitches in the git-along do anything but impose delays and costs, but they’re such commonplaces in the practice of the law that insofar as I’m aware only in the most spectacular instances are they even considered to be cause for malpractice suits or disciplinary actions against the attorneys responsible.

        Needless to say, Mr. Cuccinelli and his staff overcame the problems with their “first try,” and have been proceeding against Dr. Mann and the recalcitrants at the University of Virginia much more successfully since. Much to willard’s sputtering rage. Continues willard:

        Even if we assume that Mr. Cuccinelli had the right to investigate, it does not follow that what he does during that investigation is right. We already know that Mr. Cuccinelli has no scientific expertise. We already know that Mr. Cuccinelli has political interests to follow through.

        Yep. You betcha. No doubt. As I’ve said, he’s a Republican, a career politician, and a lawyer. Sure, he’s not a National Socialist like our Kenyan Keynesian, but I’m not gonna get misty-eyed over Cuccinelli as something more admirable than a flea-ridden junkyard dog.

        But as long as he’s sinking his teeth in Dr. Michael E. Mann, the guy who tried to make the Medieval Warm climate optimum “go away” in order to peddle his multi-trillion-dollar-damages-inflicting lie as guidance for government policy all over the world, I’m willing to look fondly on Mr. Cuccinelli and yell “Sic ‘im!”

        A Republican goon tearing away at a “Liberal” fascist fraudster. What’s not to like?

        But willard isn’t satisfied with this wonderful “Kilkenny cats” situation in which vermin claw at vermin, maundering:

        That Mr. Cuccinelli could conceal his fishing expedition under fiscal pretenses is quite irrelevant to the fact that it might very well be a fishing expedition purported to stiffle dissent.

        At least one person [Thomas W. Fuller, a “climate action skeptic” and co-author of Climategate: The Crutape Letters (2010), quoted by willard from a 5 October 2010 guest post on Watts Up With That?] believes that it was a fishing expedition:

        What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

        Among the many responses to that guest post of Mr. Fuller’s was this one, in which we read:

        How the heck do we know that Michael Mann did not consciously include unreliable/biased proxies and utilize statistical techniques to produce temperature series for private or political gain while working under government contract?

        Tom, my stance on climategate has not changed. It is my belief that if similar documents were released to the public regarding the BP Gulf of Mexico accident, Genetically modified crops, structural plans on a major building or bridge, comprehensive investigations would be launched without question and would not be limited to the set of documents provided by the whistle-blower.

        A dramatic blood trail down the sidewalk leading up the stairs of a building & stench emanating from the entranceway after a widely reported disturbance does not necessarily indicate that there is a corpse on the premises or even that a crime has occurred. We can be willfully blind or we can investigate. It seems choices have been made on this issue by both yourself and Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli.

        Another commenter in that forum remarked:

        The situation may have a chilling effect on folks who might otherwise stray from the straight and narrow in accounting for grant fund expenditures… or those that might try to misrepresent just what they’ve done with that public grant money.

        There is no civil right to hide public information from the folks who are legally authorized to see

        Yet another commenter had written:

        There’s no attempt to criminalise scientific error. Cuccinelli has clarified this point several times. The question is, did Mann make an error, realise it, and then knowing that it was untrue use it to apply for more funds from the state?

        And there’s a whole helluva lot more. Thanks, willard. I missed that post on WUWT, else I would’ve also kicked in on the critique of Mr. Fuller’s position.

        More of willard’s irrelevant yammering aside, he perseverates on “goatbusting,” triumphantly quoting my earlier admission of what my natural response to a first reading of the FOIA2009.zip contents had been back in November 2009:

        When I got a look into the e-mail communications which Dr. Mann mistakenly assumed would never get into the hands of the people he’d been so successfully defrauding and suppressing, I confess that it got my Sicilian up, and I began recalling remote locations in the Pine Barrens – well within driving distance of Centre County, Pennsylvania – where a little work with some shovels and a sack of quicklime could serve a genuine public benefit.

        I take pardonable pride in the fact that the waters of the Cohansey Aquifer were not made to cope with such products of decay. And, incidentally, Dr. Mann is still in a position to suffer the attentions not only of the criminal justice system but also the Plaintiff’s Bar and the administrative courts of law at various levels which levy “civil money penalties” against people who have made misrepresentations in the getting and the expenditure of public funds.

        And, yeah, with regard to Dr. Mann, I do most sincerely hold the opinion that the pompous lying rat fink is guilty as hell.

        In that I am joined by increasing numbers of Americans, including many citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who applaud Mr. Cuccinelli’s efforts to track Dr. Mann down and get him punished for his transgressions.

        And to willard, “bless his heart,”

        These quotes support the belief that Mr. Matarese is scapegoating.

        Tsk. That’s what “goatbusting” is supposed to be? Gawd, what a goat-rope willard’s every post is turning out to be.

        willard, pursuing and punishing a perpetrator of criminal peculation – like Bernie Madoff and Jon Corzine – is no more “scapegoating” than is shooting a home invader while he’s attempting to rape your children. I don’t want Dr. Mann “made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place” (look up the definition of “scapegoat,” whydon’tcha?). I want Dr. Mann hammered in the course of tracking down and convicting and securing compensatory and punitive damages from all of los warmistas complicit in the AGW fraud.

        I don’t hold that if six thugs have broken into my home to rape and murder my children, I should content myself with picking one of them as a “scapegoat” and shooting him alone so that he can be “made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in…place” of the other five.

        I want all six of them neutralized, physically incapacitated or as prisoners. I’m not “goatbusting” (if, indeed “scapegoat” is whence that idiot term derives). I’m speaking to the adviseability of nailing Dr. Mann and all the rest of ‘em.

        And willard goes on to demonstrate that my “claims that Vaughan Pratt’s sentence amounts to an ‘wholly unsupported contention’ [that Mr. Cuccinelli has violated Dr. Mann’s freedom of speech] have yet again not been addressed. All willard offers at this point in his screed is:

        Readers could read back that sentence to understand that Vaughan Pratt’s conditional was a bit more nuanced than that.

        …after which we have from willard (and Mr. Pratt) simply…nothing.

        willard avers that:

        …Cuccinelli is not using judicial evidence, but scientific evidence, evidence we know he has not the expertise to understand.

        Any supporting citations for this assertion? Of course not! We’re dealing with willard here. Instead, he offer’s Ross McKitrick’s opinion that

        [P]eople are far too quick to yell fraud at the other side. I think such language is both selfish and counterproductive. I have yet to see any credible basis for his inquiry.

        Not what Mr. Cuccinelli is actually doing, but rather a third-party observer uninvolved in the case itself thinks Mr. Cuccinelli is doing, and that without any specification extracted by A. Barton Hinkle in recounting Mr. McKitrick’s opinions.

        Mr. McKitrick (who is an economist) is certainly as entitled to his opinions as I am, but even as my opinions are not relevant to the matter at hand – whether or not Mr. Cuccinelli has acted to violate the right of Dr. Mann to freedom of speech – neither are those of Mr. McKitrick.

        Indeed, that’s not the subject of Mr. McKitrick’s comments, so we really don’t know what the hell Mr. McKitrick thinks of Dr. Mann’s First Amendment rights in light of Mr. Cuccinelli’s actions, do we?

        Yet again, willard is fixated on irrelevancies. He quotes “authorities” he thinks I must respect, but he quotes them without pertinence.

        Proving this yet again, willard makes noises about “the EPA petition itself” – also magnificently not relevant to the issue of Mr. Cuccinelli’s violation of Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of expression – and therefore to be dismissed more in pity than contempt.

        Again and again and again, Mr. Cuccinelli is scientifically inept. This is a surprise? Nonetheless, he holds the office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We need only observe that putting people in demanding positions of authority by way of popularity contests commonly results in bloody incompetence at the highest levels.

        This notwithstanding, critters like Ken Cuccinelli are what we’re gonna get. Should the functions of criminal justice be abandoned simply because we’ve got scheming idiots using posts like state’s Attorney General as a stepping-stone to higher realms of dysfunction?

        Though “appealing to duty or purpose is a very weak argument,” what’s the alternative?

        If all I have with which to perform a desperately needed tracheostomy on willard is a dull paring knife, should I simply let willard asphyxiate?

        I’m not discussing whether or not I should get him to sign an organ donor card before he succumbs, though that might well provide him his final – albeit postmortem – finest hour.

      • Mr. Matarese fails to provide a quote which would substantiate what he accuses me of saying.

        One single quote.

        If he can’t, Mr. Matarese should retract his accusation.

        Mr. Matarese’s retraction will be an admission that he has been misreading me.

        * * *

        We do not need to wait for this retraction to show that Mr. Matarese has misread Vaughan Pratt. While might not be able to understand that single sentence Vaughan Pratt said for Mr. Matarese, but we might try to read it for him. Here is the sentence to which Mr. Matarese takes ojection:

        > When a public official like Cuccinelli having no scientific qualifications of his own takes objection to certain research results and exploits his position to suppress them, I would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.

        The subject of the first clause is “a public official that has no scientific qualifications of his own”. This is a general case. Vaughan idenfies Cuccinelli as a particular case of a public official without any scientic qualifications of his own. Mr. Matarese agrees that Cuccinelli is scientifically benighted.

        The action of this subject is “takes objection to certain research results and exploits his position to suppress them”. The word “when” that precedes this clause introduces a logical relationship with the next one: the first clause is an antecendant, the second one is a consequent.

        Let’s see this second clause, which describes what happens when the antecedent obtains: “I would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.”

        The subject of that clause deonotes Vaughan Pratt. The action is “would consider this a prima facie violation of the First Amendment”. The word “this” refers to the hypothesized case whereby a public official takes objection to certain scientific results to which he is oblivious and exploits his position to censor these.

        Vaughan Pratt never says this is the actual case. He simply offers a commonsensical condition: IF an ignoraminus like Cuccinelli abuses his position of public servant to rebut and furthermore muzzle certain research results, THEN Vaughan Pratt would consider this as a prima facie violation of the First amendement.

        In response, Mr. Matarese has called Vaughan either a liar or a fool and misrepresents Vaughan’s hypothesis:

        > Mr. Pratt’s contention [sic.] that in the course of his continuing investigation of Dr. Michael E. Mann’s conduct as an employee of the University of Virginia and therefore the Commonwealth of Virgina with specific reference to violation of the 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act has in some way violated Dr. Mann’s right to freedom of expression, as is protected against government transgression under Section 12 of the Commonwealth constitution and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

        Readers will notice that there was no such “contention”, in the sense that Vaughan never plainly asserted the antecedent. Vaughan simply expresses a conditional which antecedent is being misrepresented by Mr. Matarese as a “contention”.

        * * *

        We can see where we stand so far by asking some questions:

        Is it the case that Cuccinelli does not know anything of climate science? Mr. Matarese believes it is the case. We also have evidence for that hypothesis: Cuccinelli’s own public statements.

        Is it the case that Cuccinelli is taking objection to scientific research results in his function of public servant? Mr. Matarese doubted this was the case, or perhaps he simply asked for evidence for the fun of it. Whatever Mr. Matarese might fancy, we have shown sufficient evidence for that hypothesis: Cuccinelli’s own public statements.

        Is it the case that Cuccinelli is exploiting his public function to suppress scientific research? As Paul Acciavetti underlined above, this is tough to know for sure. Besides, one would have to invest resources in building a case, even more resouces that it would take to make sure Mr. Rich Matarese pays dues diligence for his hainous harangues. So, naturally:

        > One poses this as a mere hypothetical […]

        Readers will notice that Mr. Matarese commented on Paul Acciavetti’s knowledge of Italian instead of commenting on his remarks.

        Readers will also notice that Mr. Matarese has yet to back his claim according to which I claimed that Commonwealth of Attorney Ken Cuccinelli has acted to violate any right.

        Just one quote would suffice.

        * * *

        We noted that even Dr. Christy found Cuccinelli’s behavior disquieting. Commenting on Dr. Christy’s testimony, Mr. Matarese returns to the only argument he condescended to put forward until now, one which did not have much success during Nuremberg’s trials:

        > [W]hat John Christy thinks about “the expectation of privacy” in what is, after all, work which he – and other scientists – have done for hire, either as employees of government-funded academic institutions, or on taxpayer-funded grants for which they’d submitted applications signed in attestation that the contents of those applications were truthful expressions of fact, is also not relevant to the question of First Amendment protections of individual freedom of speech.

        Mr. Matarese yet again misrepresents the matter at hand, which is about the “suppression of scientific researches”, a matter which is related to academic freedom. Perhaps Mr. Matarese forgets that academic freedom derives from the First Amendment. There is no need to care about Mr. Matarese’s knowledge base: what matters is that turning the word “irrelevant” into a mantra does not make our comments so.

        * * *

        Speaking of relevance, Mr. Matarese has yet to clarify his stance on the only issue he deems relevant.

        Either he rejects to possibility that a public servant can abuse his power to silence researchers and impose his scientific illiteracy, or he refuses the inference and believes that censoring scientists does not lead to an infringement of the First Amendment.

        Until now, Mr. Materase has been misrepresenting Vaughan Pratt’s statement by interpreting its precondition as a “contention” and by assuming it pertains to legality, whence it’s far from clear that every violations of the First Amendment lead to an illegal act. We will return to this latter point later, if need be.

        Mr. Matarese’s lack of clarity on the only matter that interests him, coupled with his inept understanding of Vaughan’s implicative statement, might be enough to show that Mr. Matarese’s pontificating pronouncement on what he deems relevant amounts to mere monotone mantras.

        * * *

        We will close by recalling the only challenge we issued to Mr. Matarese: to offer one quote.

        Just one.

        Nah, Mr. Matarese instead rejoices in scapegoating:

        > I want Dr. Mann hammered in the course of tracking down and convicting and securing compensatory and punitive damages from all of los warmistas complicit in the AGW fraud.

        Pending a fair trial (a concept which puts some responsibility upon prosecutors’ public statements, according to Taslitz), Dr. Mann has not been proven guilty of “AGW fraud” yet.

        Is Mr. Cuccinelli suing Dr. Mann for “AGW fraud”, anyway?

      • More math problems: ‘subsequent dozen or so independent investigations claiming to bear out Mann’s conclusions’. Maybe it’s not the math, but the misperception of ‘independent’. Who knows with Vaughn Pratt? How can his numbers stand on a foundation like he lays.
        ================

      • Kim, Max, and hunter, can you any of you envisage a scenario in which evidence had come to light that persuaded you of Mann’s innocence of the charges made against him? If so what sort of evidence would that be? If not why not?

      • If what he’s done were under duress.
        ============

      • Kim, you should have realised:

        The trees made him do it.

      • Personally, I think he’s pissed off the Ents.
        ================

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        What about me? I don’t think Mann guilty of anything other than going Emeritus a bit early :) He appears to believe he is a true statistical wizard since he can find what he is looking for :)

      • If what he’s done were under duress.

        That’s not the meaning of “innocent” I had in mind. Let me clarify my question. Can you envisage a scenario in which evidence had come to light that persuaded you that Mann did not do what he has been charged with?

      • Vaughan says:
        “Can you envisage a scenario in which evidence had come to light that persuaded you that Mann did not do what he has been charged with?”

        But of course. I can see the headline now:

        Top statistician consulted by Mann re-emerges from rainforest after wandering lost for 13 years

        Reg Emerson, 54, of ‘Los Pinos’ nr Foxtail Co said:
        “Of course Mann didn’t make up biased statistical techniques out of whole cloth and turn data series upside down to produce desired results”

        “it was me” He added.

      • RM;
        bad choice. Quicklime is a deceiver. Shrivels but preserves.

      • Cuccinelli is a secondary issue in all this. Vaughan, have you viewed Mann’s TED video? In it he uses the smear tactic a lot. Basically, he can pick out the opponents of his who are the most extreme and use them to try to discredit all his opponents. Its an old propaganda tactic. Taken as a whole, Mann’s response to his critics has been arrogant and unresponsive. Having the spotlight on your activities is no more pleasant for Mann than for John Corzine. But, a more humble response admitting the possibility of error and acknowledging genuine scientific debate is much more likely to innoculate you from the more extreme measures. The climategate emails show that in this whole affair, people like McIntyre suffered much more indignity than Mann and his collaborators who were openly discussing how to manipulate the process to obtain the result they wanted.

        I know exactly what is going on here as Judith pointed out. It was one of her reasons for supporting the IPCC line before seeing the light. It is basically, the dogma that “science is under attack by stupid people, therefore we must defend science at all costs.” Many see this debate as similar to the evolution/creationism debate. That is a mistake. Muller also refers to this idea. The problem is that using this “template” when the science is at the very least highly controversial leads to the loss of credibility of science generally. In other words, the “defending science” idea is self defeating. If Mann was acknowledging that there was evidence on both sides of the hockey stick controversy and actually honestly stated some of the issues, he would not be having these problems. It’s his stonewalling, arrogance, and seeming belief that he is above the law that is the real problem here.

      • David –

        The problem is that using this “template” when the science is at the very least highly controversial leads to the loss of credibility of science generally. In other words, the “defending science” idea is self defeating.

        The problem there is that you seem to be unaware of the subjectivity of your distinction. There are many who say that the science behind evolution is highly controversial. In fact, we will see that position argued in these very threads.

        Among the variables I use to consider such claims are the proportionality of experts who claim that the subject is “controversial,” their degree of expertise, and the degree to which they seem to be arguing on the basis of motivated reasoning (i.e., the presence of evidence of ideological biases).

        While I think that there is a difference in matter of degree to some extent, it isn’t a huge difference and there is a notably greater similarity of kind.

      • Vaughan, have you viewed Mann’s TED video?

        Even better: I saw him give the exact same talk in person at AGU last Tuesday, as Judith, who was sitting next to me, can vouch for.

        Based on his talk, the only part of your complaint I can understand is that he should stick to science and not use rhetoric to play politics the way politicians do when attacking each other in public debates. Your complaint goes much further than that, however, and I was unable to find anything in the talk to support it.

        But then I have no particular axe to grind either way about Mann. I imagine if I hated him the way some people obviously do I could have read all sorts of horrible things about him into his talk.

        Meanwhile let me ask you a question. David, have you read my theory of goat busters? Does it make sense to you, or does it strike you as an absurd theory?

        To fit the current situation to the goat busting scenario, instantiate the problem referred to in the third paragraph of the theory as the following. Powerful interests somewhere, perhaps in academia but more likely the government, are trying to foist a bogus scientific theory, AGW, on an unsuspecting public. This attempt is more serious than people had previously realized because it will cost trillions and destroy the economy. The cause of this very serious problem is a strong clique of academics who’ve agreed to play along with the intended beneficiaries of this attempt and have conspired to develop this bogus theory. Their ring-leaders are Santer, Jones, and Mann. To solve this problem, jail the ring-leaders. (Or if this were 1693, hang them.)

        Feel free to adjust the details of the above alignment of the climate debate with the theory. But don’t tell me you’re not aligned with the goat busters because to a simple-minded outsider like me it looks very much as though you are.

      • Vaughan, sometimes goats are just goats. They may become scapegoats or they may be a Judas goat. Hard to tell with goats.

      • Vaughan, I think your ghost busters polemic is doing the same thing as Mann. You lump together a lot of people who you don’t like and try to show how they are all guilty. One could equally well say that the climate science community is also ghost busting in their response to Judith Curry and Steve McIntyre. Gerenally, I’m disappointed you would refer to something so crude and unspecific.

        My concerns with Mann center on his science and his response in the emails to critics. I do not believe he should be in jail. I’m just disappointed that the community still seems to be ghost busting in his defense. This is what happened with a friend of mine who is a PhD in physics, a manager, and is pretty influential. His initial reaction to Muller was to deny it and cite the NAS panel report. After seeing some of the papers on this like McShane and Wyner, he has come around. He is quite liberal and is of the “we must defend science against superstition” persuasion. In this case, it served him poorly.

        A more balanced approach (which I advocate) is for the scientists to show more balance about the science of the last 2000 years of climate. That would be the wise approach and would help convince me anyway. Since you don’t know me, you should not try the guilt by association trick on me.

        The main thing I’m concerned about is the politization of climate science. By going down to the level of his most non-credible and political critics, Mann does a grave disservice to science and to his cause, at least for people like me and my circle of friends. My attitude is no different than Muller’s, but perhaps in your prejudiced polemical world Muller is also to be associated with Joe McCarthy.

      • Vaughan, I just reread your goat busters polemic and it is disgusting. It’s just a manifestation of prejudice. For example, one could equally well point to the fascination of progressives with eugenics. The common thread between Nazi doctrine and progressives in the West was this common thread. Oh yea, I forgot about social Darwinism. It does show how the influence of science can be pretty dark.

      • I just reread your goat busters polemic and it is disgusting. It’s just a manifestation of prejudice.

        David, why are you entitled to protest prejudice and not me? In that article I was protesting the prejudice of the goat busters against the goats. If in your eyes I’m the prejudiced one for accusing them of prejudice, then to be fair you should allow me to consider you as prejudiced as those you’re defending against the charge of prejudice.

        If that’s not what you’re saying, then please be clearer than just a vague accusation of “manifestation of prejudice.”

        The other possibility is that we’re using incompatible definitions of terms and/or rules of inference. I’ve lately been leaning towards the theory that this is the fundamental reason why certain dimensions are more easily polarized than others, for example the liberal-conservative dimension, since the inevitable result is people simply talking past each other and getting nowhere. In that case the only viable solution I can think of at the moment is for the debaters to take time out to agree on a common terminology and logic, without which debate is pointless.

      • Vaughan, I don’t think you really read my post. You certainly didn’t understand it. You can protest prejudice all you want and so can I. My point is merely that you should not smear me and others who have legitimate concerns about Mann and the goat busting behaviour of the climate team by associating us with the Salem witch trials and McCarthism. It is a smear based on prejudice and I hope you recognize this. This tactic is quite old. Bertrand Russell exemplifies it in his sophomoric book “Why I Am Not a Christian.” He basically smears all Christians by pointing to the worst in the record of Christianity. It was in fact exactly the modus operandi of Joe McCarthy and bigots throughout human history. I had expected better from you since you seem generally reasonable.

      • Just to be clear. My concerns about Mann are the same as Muller’s. It disturbs me that climate science has become so politicized that most climate scientists seem to regard him as a hero. It’s just another part of the problem with this field. I do care about FOIA and openness in science. Mann apparently holds these ideals in much lower esteem. Steve McIntyre is altogether more balanced and reasonable and I’ve never seen him smear people in the same way. That McIntyre was treated as he was is a shame and a travestry that history is already starting to recognize.

      • A more balanced approach (which I advocate) is for the scientists to show more balance about the science of the last 2000 years of climate.

        I couldn’t agree more, this has always been my position. Not Mann but those attacking him are in my mind the ones most guilty of not showing this balance.

        My attitude is no different than Muller’s, but perhaps in your prejudiced polemical world Muller is also to be associated with Joe McCarthy.

        I’ve corresponded occasionally with Muller, always cordially, and have never had the slightest complaint about his physics (he’s a Berkeley physicist for goodness sake). I have no idea what your influential physics Ph.D. manager friend found objectionable in it. If anything Muller would be justified in complaining about my understanding of lapse rate at the time we last corresponded, which at the time I had not yet fully grasped (the physics is subtle).

        The only complaint against Muller that I’ve seen that has any basis in fact is that he did not wait for the reviews of his four BEST papers before notifying the press. Although I go to the opposite extreme in my own communications with the press, typically waiting for them to come to me in preference to prematurely forcing the issue (Intel’s Pentium division bug, world’s smallest web server, Thumbcode), it’s not the sort of thing I would criticize people for since there is no such thing as bad publicity.

      • I had expected better from you since you seem generally reasonable.

        David, I appreciate the latter half of that. And you will always find me open to criticism of my point of view. I choose my words and logic with the utmost care, and ask only that those drawing my attention to my errors do so with that in mind. Sloppy criticism of reasoning I put a lot of thought into carries no weight with me.

      • OK, Vaughan, you are showing a lot more nuance in your most recent post. I disagree about Mann and his critics, at least the serious ones. Politicians are not serious critics in my view. The point you never responded to however is that it is a smear to associate people you disagree with with McCarthyism or even Naziism. It’s like saying that some scientists commit fraud, therefore Mann committed fraud. It’s an unethical way of arguing and beneath you. So, then, I take it you think Mann is more credible that McIntyre. Read McShane and Wyner and their response to Mann et al’s response. It shows a clear asymmetry of rigor.

      • Steve McIntyre is altogether more balanced and reasonable and I’ve never seen him smear people in the same way.

        In general I try to be both polite and logical, but in situations forcing a choice you may rely on me to choose logic. How about you?

        It seems to me that the most fundamental division in human engagement is along the spectrum from those trusting only the polite to those trusting only the logical. Since logic is harder to evaluate than politeness, it should not be surprising that politeness carries the day outside academia. Inside, logic is at a premium. This difference is perhaps the single most important basis for anti-intellectualism, whether that of Mao’s Great Leap Forwards or Senator Inhofe’s repudiation of AGW.

        Willis Eschenbach is at least as polite as McIntyre. His logic is about equal to that of McIntyre’s, which I don’t intend as a compliment to either.

        My favorite real-world example of someone choosing logic over politeness in making a personal life-or-death decision is Tookie Williams, of whom California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said “Is Williams’s redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise? Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption.”

        Williams felt, rightly in the minds of many, that he was innocent of this particular murder charge, even though he agreed that he was guilty of murders he had not been charged with. He could have politely expressed contrition for the murders he was charged with, but instead made the logical decision to stick to his denial. The incompatibility between his logic and that of Schwarzenegger doomed Williams to execution.

        Williams justified this outcome in his own mind on the ground that his execution was deserved even if not for that particular murder. For Williams, logic, and therefore justice, had been served. Not the logic and justice of the law or the governor however but that of common sense.

        Is Mann’s treatment of his critics less polite than theirs of him? While I seriously doubt it, I don’t really care either way since all that matters to me is whether the accusations against him hold any water. I have no interest in defending Mann against charges of smear tactics, whether or not these have been used in equal or greater force against him. If that’s your main objection to Mann then this is not something we can usefully argue about.

      • The point you never responded to however is that it is a smear to associate people you disagree with with McCarthyism or even Naziism.

        David, absent any working definition of “smear” that distinguishes it from “legitimate criticism,” what is there to respond to?

        One side of this debate feels the criticism of Mann is legitimate, the other that it is a smear. Where do we go from here?

      • Read McShane and Wyner and their response to Mann et al’s response. It shows a clear asymmetry of rigor.

        MW is the perfect example illustrating “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Geophysics has no responsibility to fit itself to the demands of statistics, it is entirely the other way round.

        The AGW problem was forecast on the basis not of observed temperature trends but of the potential impact of CO2 thereon. Regarding the latter we have lots of data today that John Tyndall, Svante Arrhenius, Guy Callendar, and other researchers of their respective eras could have had a field day with.

        In particular we have the CDIAC records of CO2 emissions since 1750 resulting from burning fossil fuel, flaring excess petrochemicals in oil fields and refineries, cement production, and land use. We also have the carefully measured atmospheric CO2 levels at Mauna Loa since 1958. And we have the formula 280 + 2^t ppmv for the level of CO2 at time t after the year 1795 in units of 31.5 years, equivalently 280 + 1.022^(y − 1795), due to David Hofmann late of NCAR Boulder.

        Assuming CDIAC’s figure of 40% for the proportion of all emissions retained today in the atmosphere, these two datasets and Hofmann’s formula are all in extraordinarily good agreement, to within a percent or so.

        Ok, so what about temperature? Well, unlike modern CO2, which on an annual basis rises steadily, modern temperature fluctuates considerably.

        One natural measure of this fluctuation is variance, since the variance of statistically independent influences on temperature is additive, meaning that variance commutes with summation: “the variance of the sum is the sum of the variances.”

        Would it surprise you to learn that, between 1850 and now, 80% of the variance of monthly-averaged global land-sea temperature can be attributed to human emissions?

        Even more impressively, the remaining 20% of variance due to presumed natural causes has contributed exactly nothing to the one degree rise in temperature since 1850.

        Figures of this kind cannot be obtained based solely on the temperature records. Without the information we have to hand about CO2 emissions since 1850 and atmospheric CO2 since 1958, statisticians are bound to come up with meaningless predictions based on past temperature alone.

        Which is exactly what MW have done. This is as useless as betting on the stock market based on price movements alone while ignoring company fundamentals.

      • That’s a very good narrative associated with your AGU presentation, which I took a look at earlier.

        What I find significant is that your model fit should form THE baseline for comparison against any skeptical arguments. I say this because it includes the variances of all the natural variations that the skeptics have been using as arguments against AGW.

        For clarification, when you talk about variances, are you taking this against an exponential temperature growth model or against a stable steady-state temperature?

        Cool stuff, er, I mean, warm stuff.

      • I also want to add that I think a significant contributor to the intellectual divide between the largely political sides has to to with acceptance of shades of gray. Even though this is a mostly anecdotal and experiential view on my part, you can almost guess which side is more accepting of shades of gray.

        Where this really comes to a head is when the mathematics of uncertainty is used to justify a black&white outcome. That explains to me why Climate Etc is a good blog for top-level posts, while the commentary is so entertaining.

      • WebHubTelescope on December 12, 2011 at 6:40 AM

        I also want to add that I think a significant contributor to the intellectual divide between the largely political sides has to to with acceptance of shades of gray. Even though this is a mostly anecdotal and experiential view on my part, you can almost guess which side is more accepting of shades of gray.

        Hm. I can guess which side of the great Boot On Your Neck Party political establishment you consider “more accepting.”

        For those of us interested in the protection of individual human rights, the difference turns on how an issue is likely to offer one faction or the other some better prospect of power, perfidy, and pillage.

        All too frequently, its bipartisan.”

        In which case the private citizen had best hope for Vaseline, hadn’t he?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Let’s go through your post in more detail (December 12, 2011, 5:02 am).

        Would it surprise you to learn that, between 1850 and now, 80% of the variance of monthly-averaged global land-sea temperature can be attributed to human emissions?

        Nothing would “surprise me” in this business. “Attribution” is a wishy-washy endeavor, since the unknown factors very likely outweigh the known ones by several orders of magnitude and the traceability is poor. We just aren’t as “smart” as we think we are, Vaughan.

        Even more impressively, the remaining 20% of variance due to presumed natural causes has contributed exactly nothing to the one degree rise in temperature since 1850.

        The linear decadal rate of temperature increase was a bit more than 0.04C per decade, or around 0.7°C since 1850. No point “rounding this up” by 43% to 1°C, Vaughan. It’s best to stick with the data as they are.

        Figures of this kind cannot be obtained based solely on the temperature records. Without the information we have to hand about CO2 emissions since 1850 and atmospheric CO2 since 1958, statisticians are bound to come up with meaningless predictions based on past temperature alone.

        Yes. But what do they tell us?

        – Based on ice core data, we think we know that CO2 concentration was around 290 ppmv in 1850.

        – Based on Mauna Loa measurements we know that today’s CO2 level is 390 ppmv.

        – You have cited a figure of 20% for natural factors, while IPCC tells us that natural forcing factors represented only 7% of the past total and that all other anthropogenic factors other than CO2 cancelled one another out.

        If we accept your estimate of past natural forcing (several solar studies put the solar forcing at ~50% of the total), we have 0.8*0.7 = 0.56°C temperature increase from CO2, based on an increase from 290 to 390 ppmv.

        Just these data alone tell us that a doubling of CO2 to 780 ppmv should cause a warming of:

        dT(390-780ppmv) = dT(290-390ppmv) * ln(780/390) / ln(390/290) = 1.3°C

        Since 780 ppmv lies at the upper range of the crystal ball SRES computer estimates of IPCC for various “storylines and scenarios” for the year 2100 and the IPCC assumptions on natural forcing are likely to be underestimated, this tells us that the maximum warming we should expect by 2100 from added CO2 is 1.3°C.

        No big deal, Vaughan, or as the bard wrote: “Much Ado about Nothing”.

        Max

      • Vaughan,

        I am not clear on the last part of this:

        > [T]he only viable solution I can think of at the moment is for the debaters to take time out to agree on a common terminology and logic, without which debate is pointless.

        You seem to presume that a debate void of reasoned argumentation is pointless. I’d rather be inclined to think that a debate that acts as a proxy for a political gamesmanship is very useful. In fact, when we consider the alternative to these proxy debates, e.g. the open promotion of libertarian claptraps, one must infer that these debates are the opposite of being pointless: they are necessary for an whole line of ideological business to subsist.

        If the object is to frame minds, the rationality of the discussion is secondary. All is needed is to hammer, and hammer, and hammer again scientific proxies. Examples can be provided on request, but reading this very thread should suffice.

      • Right again, Willard. I guess by “pointless” I meant not having a logical point. I certainly can see where pointless debate can be entertaining, witness John Cleese in Fawlty Towers or in the classic Monty Python’s Flying Circus Argument Clinic sketch. And I can see where repetition of a point can establish its truth in receptive minds, though that sort of point sounds more like dogma than a logical point. Is there a better word for “point made by repetition” than dogma?

      • Vaughan, I think several issues are being conflated here. I still don’t think you read my posts in any detail. Perhaps I didn’t communicate clearly enough.

        1. The issue of the hockey stick. Mann in my opinion is wrong about the science of paleoclimate. Many proxies show an MCO warmer than today. The only way to show otherwise is to use Mike’s Nature trick which I note is still used on SkepticalScience and still defended by Schmidt on this blog. (It is interesting that his defense was not that the graph was “correct” but that it was a “summary graph” and thus I guess could be misleading. He further accussed Judith of similarly abusing summary graphs on the hurricane controversy. This is so typical: you attack the messenger and say “everyone does it”.) Tree ring proxies are particularly problematic. McShane and Wyner in my opinion get the best of the statistical argument. Tol agrees. Your argument against statistics is stupid. Mann-o-matic reconstructions rely very heavily on questionable statistics. I prefer to believe the professional statisticians. Muller went even further and I agree with his belief that the credibility of the hockey team is seriously undermined by the whole affair. In the climategate emails there are a couple that indicate that members of the team had serious reservations about this. One even says he was able to duplicate McIntyre’s results. It’s pretty clear I think that Mann was engaging in bad science and McIntyre was largely right. The fact that he was deliberately kept out of the literature was shameful and shows the problem with climate science.

        2. Global warming is real. How much of it is due to human forcings is a matter of uncertainty. I will read your presentation this weekend. It seems to me that some of the obvious factors are largely unknown, such as cloud feedbacks, aerosol forcings, and the influence of solar variations of all kinds (not just total solar irradiance). I think one can say that the system is so complex, its very difficult to predict these things with accuracy.

        3. The GCM’s are the basis of forecasts of doom in the 21st century. Here I have a lot of expertise and know the models will only accidently give reasonable answers unless you make some totally unsupportable assumptions about the attractors of the climate system. Judith shows one example of the NCAR model for AR5 where historical climate is simulated and warming up to 2010 is overestimated by 50%. I know there are all kinds of excuses why this happens but given the nature of chaotic systems, its a miracle they are as close as they are. If you haven’t viewed Paul Williams video at the Isaac Newton Institute, you need to. It shows that the models almost certainly have very large levels of numerical dissipation and therefore large errors. As I say, the only possible justification is to say something like “the models always seem to be stable and to get answers that are somewhat close, therefore the attractor must be very strong and of small dimension.” This of course is not backed up by any theory or any real error estimates such as are being developed in numerical fluid dynamics. In short, they are using the best methods of the 1960’s. And then there are the subgrid models, including turbulence modeling. All this is based on the nebulous doctrine of Reynolds’ averaging which is not rigorous and has been shown recently to be very bad in some common situations despite its widespread use. I would argue that in this area, there is a huge ground to make up to get things up to simulation standards of the 1990’s, let alone the current day.

        4. On the issue of smearing people. A smear is to associate people who you know little about with people who you dislike from the past in an effort to discredit them. I think your suggestions regarding the goat busters dogma you have made about me fits this description. In any case, your polemic on this is rather childish and of course very selective in its examples of persecution, which takes many forms, including the many attacks (some very personal) against people such as Spencer, Curry, and Lindzen. Certainly efforts to get editors fired fit right into the McCarthy mold. But you perhaps think this was justified. Fortunately, in the case revealed in the emails, the editor was exonerated. In any case, we need to clearly separate science from political polemics not further conflate the two. And this leads me to Mann’s video.

        5. What I don’t like about Mann’s video is the total lack of balance and the attempt to associate skepticism with the most extreme and unscientific politicians. Of course, no serious scientific issues are addressed nor any credible alternatives presented. It turned me off and seemed to me to be unpersuasive.

      • Give it up; VP is fundamentally unsound, with the numbers to back it up.
        =======

      • There was an Old Kim of Judy’s,
        So blind that he couldn’t his foot see;
        When they said, ‘That’s your toe,’
        He replied, ‘Is it so?’
        That doubtful Old Kim of Judy’s.

        Inspiration: http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/BoN/bon050.html

      • The curious climateer
        Into weather took a long peer.
        What row should he hoe?
        What line must he toe?
        AR5 will be read by the seer.
        =============

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Speaking of smearing campaign, you have to appreciate the only remark by David Young against your argument against statistical pedantry:

        > Your argument against statistics is stupid.

        You are clearly associated with stupid people with that remark. This clearly is a smear campaign against your wit. If you really were stupid, I bet this would not bode well for the reputation.

        Auditors interested in smears might pay due diligence to all the offensive remarks made by David Young against you, Bertrand Russell, and many climate scientists. So much to do, so little time. All the time I need for now is to point at this opinion expressed by Richard Muller against Douglas Keenan’s statistical pedantry:

        > What he is saying is that statistical methods are unable to be used to show that there is global warming or cooling or anything else. That is a very strong conclusion, and it reflects, in my mind, his exaggerated pedantry for statistical methods. He can and will criticize every paper published in the past and the future on the same grounds. We might as well give up in our attempts to evaluate global warming until we find a “model” that Keenan will approve — but he offers no help in doing that.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/11763136868

        Bear in mind that this was a comment was not meant for public consumption. This was an email that Douglas Keenan decided to publish.
        We still do not know if Douglas Keenan asked for permission to publish it.

        So I believe the argument you are putting forward against statistical pedantry might be a little more serious than what David Young’s dismissiveness shows.

        Oh, and speaking of goat busters, I believe it provides a fair caracterization of frequent discursive practices in blogland:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/12555250618

      • willard –

        Auditors interested in smears might pay due diligence to all the offensive remarks made by David Young against you, Bertrand Russell, and many climate scientists.

        I should note that David also likes to use similar language to describe Fred.

        Interestingly, if I’m not mistaken, at least some of David’s focus in the climate debate was motivated by what he perceived to be discourteous treatment he received at Real Climate.

      • Willard, I’m still searching for the content of Vaughan’s response on McShane and Wyner.

        “MW is the perfect example illustrating “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Geophysics has no responsibility to fit itself to the demands of statistics, it is entirely the other way round.”

        He then goes on to talk about how temperature alone cannot be used to determine attribution. However, I think this misses the main point of MW, which is mostly about paleoclimate reconstructions and Mann’s questionable techniques. Mann’s reconstructions depend heavily on principle component analysis, a sophisticated statistical analysis. So neither your nor Vaughan’s attacks on statistics (which are too vague to really respond to) are silly. Statistics plays a very heavy role in most climate because the data is so noisy.

        That why I called his ARGUMENT stupid. So far as I can see, his response is simply irrelevant to my criticism of Mann. You will note I did NOT call him stupid. You should pay more attention to what is actually said.

        I actually think Vaughan may think I’m a “denier” rather than a skeptic and he seems to think that I somehow want to punish Mann. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I want is for Mann to be more honest and admit some of his past errors. Legal action cannot force him to do so. But a rising tide of scientific opposition can.

        My opinion of Russell is actually pretty high. I just view his attitude about religion as immature. Certainly his History of Western Philosophy is generally first rate.

        Joshua, I am not always courteous. What bothered me at RC was the condescending attitutude there and the lack of balance. It’s a site dedicated to a totally one sided presentation. Climate etc is much more balanced.

      • David Young,

        I believe that Vaughan’s argument (correct me, Vaughan) is this one:

        > Geophysics has no responsibility to fit itself to the demands of statistics, it is entirely the other way round.

        Since your response does not evidence that you properly identified Vaughan’s argument, I’m not sure which argument you believe stupid.

        I do not believe the argument I just underlined is a stupid argument. In fact, this argument is not unlike the one by Richard Muller against (Douglas Keenan’s) statistical pedantry:

        > What he is saying is that statistical methods are unable to be used to show that there is global warming or cooling or anything else. That is a very strong conclusion, and it reflects, in my mind, his exaggerated pedantry for statistical methods. He can and will criticize every paper published in the past and the future on the same grounds. We might as well give up in our attempts to evaluate global warming until we find a “model” that Keenan will approve — but he offers no help in doing that.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/11763136868

        Douglas Keenan has yet to tell us if he asked for permission before publishing Muller’s email.

        * * *

        If you are interested by reviews of McShane & Wyner, I would suggest Zorita’s:

        > In summary, admittedly climate scientist have produced in the past bad papers for not consulting professional statisticians. The McShane and Wyner paper is an example of the reverse situation. What we need is an open and honest collaboration between both groups.

        http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/08/mcshane-and-wyner-on-climate.html

        Interestingly, Zorita might agree with Vaughan’s argument.

        So I believe you should reconsider Vaughan’s argument.

        * * *

        I duly acknowledge the fine line you use to distinguish smearing from not smearing. Calling someone names is smearing. Calling someone’s argument names is not.

        So I guess you’re alright if people claimed that your argument shows denial, right?

      • When I got a look into the e-mail communications which Dr. Mann mistakenly assumed would never get into the hands of the people he’d been so successfully defrauding and suppressing, I confess that it got my Sicilian up, and I began recalling remote locations in the Pine Barrens – well within driving distance of Centre County, Pennsylvania – where a little work with some shovels and a sack of quicklime could serve a genuine public benefit.

        Housekeeping point — threats of violence don’t belong in this discussion. I expect this comment will be deleted soon, as it violates both board rules and common decency. This is a little flag to call Dr. Curry’s attention to the threat, and if she would like to delete it along with the original comment, that would be fine with me (I discuss it further on my own blog: http://bit.ly/v4fOum.)

      • Robert on December 15, 2011 at 1:08 PM took exception to my response to the e-mail communications in Climategate 1.0 (which Dr. Mann mistakenly assumed would never get into the hands of the people he’d been so successfully defrauding and suppressing), which I’d confessed to having “got my Sicilian up,” causing me to begin recalling remote locations in the Pine Barrens – well within driving distance of Centre County, Pennsylvania – where a little work with some shovels and a sack of quicklime could serve a genuine public benefit.

        Pitiful warmista putz that he is, Robert took this for “threats of violence” and advised here that he’d be commenting upon it in his blog.

        Which I suppose he had to do, as nobody reads his friggin’ yammering anyplace else online.

        I have since, of course, been informed that quicklime is inadvisable, and I’m thankful that my hereditary inclinations to seek in 2009 a direct and robust expression of my appreciation for los warmistas’ careers of criminal malfeasance did not find expression.

        Besides, I rather like the Pine Barrens, and the thought of a high-sticking hoaxer spending any time there polluting the quiet fastnesses is pretty sickening.

        Better Dr. Mann should get the attention of the Plaintiff’s Bar, as it appears Christopher Monckton is seeking to effect.

        Unleash the tort lawyers!

      • McShane and Wyner in my opinion get the best of the statistical argument. Tol agrees. Your argument against statistics is stupid. Mann-o-matic reconstructions rely very heavily on questionable statistics. I prefer to believe the professional statisticians.

        My apologies for not responding more promptly, we had house guests for a few days and then it was end-of-term and then a couple of backlogged deadlines to meet, just getting back to this blog now.

        David, you raise an interesting point about whether the statisticians always have the final word on the natural sciences, or anything else for that matter such as the stock market or horse races. You seem very dismissive of those who have had more success in the natural sciences, the stock market, or horse races, than in their ability to get papers published in statistics journals. I would love to understand why. Has the Nobel prize in physics ever been awarded to someone for their statistical insights into physics? And if not, would you consider this unfair to the statistics profession?

        An analogous non-science situation would be an English major with a Ph.D. in communications plus fifteen years experience in a PR firm passing judgement on a tricky M&A deal. The board of the company being acquired (picture some 5-year-old start-up) may have so little M&A experience that the PR employee may seem to be making the most compelling arguments. Yet the board of the acquiring company (picture an Oracle or a Google) may be in exactly the opposite situation, viewing the PR guy’s judgment as nothing more than high-flown but empty rhetoric demonstrating only his complete ignorance of how M&A’s work in practice.

        If you yourself have some technical grasp of paleoclimate, at least sufficient to follow a lecture on the subject, then you’re in a good position to judge whether M&W’s very professional-sounding statistical arguments have any practical bearing on paleoclimate as a natural science, as distinct from artificial sciences like mathematics, logic, and statistics.

        But if not, then you’re in much the same position as the board of the acquired company, greatly impressed by what sounds like deep wisdom, but in no position to judge whether the rubber has even met the road, let alone gained any traction on it.

        Being a leading expert in statistics does not automatically make one a leading expert in paleoclimate, any more than being a leading expert in public relations makes one a leading expert in M&A’s.

        These various skill sets don’t transfer overnight, to reach career quality takes around 10,000 hours on average.

      • To David: the italics should have stopped after “artificial,” sorry about that. Judith, what’s the main obstacle at this point to upgrading Climate Etc. to previewable WordPress? Financial or administrative?

        To Rich Materese: Everything you said is exactly how I picture Cuccinelli arguing the same points. Otherwise why would he be stalking Mann so intently? All I can say in response is that you and Cuccinelli seem to be on the exact same wavelength. Unless you have some point to make that is different in any way from what appears to be Cuccinelli’s position, I have no quarrel with you now that I didn’t previously have with Cuccinelli.

        If I may comment on your style, in a courtroom setting the best lawyers, whether prosecution or defense, are respectful first, rabid second, and dignified third. You’re a third of the way to being an effective spokesperson for Cuccinelli.

      • The issue with wordpress.com is that you trade stability for functionality. To get previews etc, I would need to either host the site myself or use another host that has less stability. Given my limited IT skills and the time I can spend on the blog (already way too much), I have opted for wordpress.com that makes it easiest for me to manage the blog, and I never have to worry about loss of service or instabilities.

      • Vaughan, I understand what you are saying and must say it seems to me to be an artificial distinction. Mathematics is a RIGOROUS science in which things are actually proven. As a professional mathematician and fluid dynamicist, I see no distinction between “natural” science and what you mistakenly call “artificial” science. I must say you are mistaken about science in general.

        I took a history of science course from Duane Roller who had amassed the best history of science collection in the world at least in the 1970’s and he ridiculed the “inductive” version of science. You will recall that Sir Frances Bacon was its strong advocate and also died from a cold contracted while out in a snowstorm stuffing a chicken with snow to determine if freezing preserved, Roller pointed out that when Galileo said that he could prove that all objects fell at the same rate, he meant that he could prove it from mathematical or philosophical principles. But you may disagree with this.

        There is something else that I think is indisputable and that is that the real advances in science come from mathematical explanations of physical phenomena. This is why Newton got the credit for gravitational theory and not Hook. Newton did this deliberately to make sure Hook got no credit and the result was the Principia. Without mathematics, “natural” science is just a collection of unrelated facts and is of very little predictive value. I think most sophisticated scientists realize this fact.

        As to paleoclimate, you never said that you had read the 20 or so climategate emails in which many establishment climate scientists expressed exactly the same reservations about Mann as those raised by McIntyre. Principle component analysis biases the results toward hockey sticks. I think it was Bradley who said that he had tried some random datasets with Mannomatic statistics and always got hockey sticks. Strange that McIntyre was actually right.

        And this is why Vaughan I don’t trust Mann. He seems to me to have been clearly wrong, even according to his peers (at least off the record) but has been shielded from criticism by manipulations of the literature, also documented in the emails.

        As a mathematician, I’ve tried to help scientists in many fields of endeavor and if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that “I know mathematics is true, but my field is different,” I would be a rich man. I don’t have time to go through the litany. In any case, I’m not sure you would take the time to do the research to see that I was right. I will just mention one issue, the continuous adjoint method in optimal design as a case of a flawed method advocated by leaders in the field and a Fellow of the Royal Society that is demonstrably false. Fortunately, after a 20 year detour, people now pretty uniformly realize that mathematics is actually right. If I had time, I could take you through the literature.

      • As a professional mathematician and fluid dynamicist, I see no distinction between “natural” science and what you mistakenly call “artificial” science. I must say you are mistaken about science in general.

        Surely you’re joking, Mr Young. How could mathematics possibly determine the mass of an electron? You have to get out in the field and measure it.

        I am not disputing the utility of mathematics. In another corner of the universe electrons might have a different mass, but mathematics would be no less useful in dealing with it. And there would be no inconsistency between the mathematics of these two different universes, they would handle the different masses using the same basic principles of mathematics.

        The idea that artificial sciences like mathematics and theoretical computer science (numerical analysis, algorithm design, etc.) can give us complete insight into the natural sciences has no basis in any fact that I’m aware of. Granted they can give us partial insight, just as an interest-bearing bank account can supplement one’s income, but it is wishful thinking to believe that nothing else is needed.

      • Vaughan, You and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I think the history of science is clear. That’s why the revolutionaries in science all developed sophisticated mathematical theories to explain nature. Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, etc. Some things have to be measured and I don’t want to denigrate that. I’m just saying that in climate science the data is so noisy and the effects are so small, that statistics becomes much more important than in other fields. I must admit, you keep on repeating things and don’t elucidate them or really argue for them in detail and that’s why I’m not going to continue this discussion at least not here unless we can get beyond the superficial.

        In medicine the standard is to involve a professional statistician from the beginning for any studies. Why not do that in climate science too? That way, you won’t be embarassed later.

        I would just say that the emails do show that many establishment climate scientists had the same concerns about Mann’s work as McIntyre and McShane andn Wyner. Why do you think that was the case?

      • WordPress’s inability/reluctance to indent further was becoming a bit of a drag, so I replied further down.

    • Robert, It is a smear to bring up irrelevant and trivial issues about an opponent. I note in Mann’s TED video, there are a lot more of these. They really do detract from Mann’s case, which is weak anyway, and just put him squarely in the propagandist camp. But Mann has always lived near the limits of prudent science.

  57. Somebody’s government funded job must be on extended vacation… ’cause this thread is getting spammed by an asymetry troll again.

    Judith, are your reading this…Judith…please Judith…are you reading this Judith…please…???? Mommy mommy …they begged for attention first….

    And now we return to our regularly scheduled adult conversation.

  58. The term ‘consensus’ continues to be bandied about as if people understand it or have been presented with a reasonable explication of it.

    The first step to understanding ‘consensus’ as it applies in science is to realize that it must be shorn of any sense of authority. Scientific method precludes the operation of authority in science and, for that reason, no set of hypotheses can be selected as the unchallengeable statements that must be affirmed by all scientists. The same applies to the general public because they are no less capable of applying scientific method than are scientists. All appeals to the authority of science have always been bunk and always will be.

    There can be a behavioral definition of ‘consensus’ that applies in science. All of us use that behavioral definition quite well. For example, anyone who has been curious enough to follow CERN’s search for the Higgs Boson will surely agree that all scientists involved in that work, and maybe all scientists who understand it, accept roughly the same physical theories about particle accelerators and about the importance of the Higgs Boson. (Here, one can properly use a Kuhnian thesis, namely, that the scientists agree on the puzzles to be solved and on a best approach to those solutions. However, notice that we are talking about behavior not belief.) If some brilliant scientist explains that the great experiment has proved false some fundamental hypothesis then the behavior of all the scientists will change. Notice that the only authority operating here is the authority of scientific method.

  59. I found a link in a recent story about Consensus. I have not read it all yet.

    http://hatch.senate.gov/public/_files/UNClimateScientistsSpeakOut.pdf

  60. Dr Judith
    Don’t you think we have done ‘communication’ to death? I think we’ve had too much ‘Etc’ recently and not enough ‘Climate’ Please can we go back to the science. I’m bored with the ideologues (on both sides). They just repeat themselves. They just repeat themselves :)

    • This is the communication thread. If you’re finding it boring hop over to one of the science threads. You won’t get all science all the time there, but more of it than on these non-science threads.

  61. P.E. said, “Web, you realize, do you not, that only a few cranks are disputing the greenhouse effect, and that 33 C number is silent about feedback, which is the real controversy. You knew that, didn’t you?”

    He may be thinking of me. I don’t dispute the 33C, just what frame of reference should be used to determine change from that 33C.

    If the tropopause is used, the reference is small variations in altitude and pressure. If 255K lower troposphere level is used, the math falls apart in the Antarctic and some of the Arctic. With the surface as a reference, the approximate ratio of surface to atmospheric albedo for the no GHG Earth model needs to be considered. With the TOA as a reference you get a very small change in emissivity that provides little information for potential change in surface temperatures.

    That is the reason I push the multilayer model to reduce the number of assumptions required, since you are looking for convergence of all the frames of reference. Pretty simple really. Too simple I guess.

    • Monitoring the discussion of very weak alternate theories, they all have a common theme of ignoring the role of wavelengths in the energy spectrum of the radiation (both incoming and outgoing). You will invariably be able to prove that AGW is not happening unless you treat the spectrum as the first-order perturbation effect.

      All the FUD is basic misdirection away from the essential photonics aspects of the steady state interaction between two isolated systems. The two can only change energy via electromagnetic radiation and since the general public have never studied EM field theory or Bose-Einstein statistics or anything close to that, we lack the ability to force-feed an intuitive understanding of the greenhouse gas effect.

      Don’t blame the scientists, and you really can’t blame the science journalists either.

      • As the Captain says, the greenhouse effect is not the issue. The major skeptical arguments lie elsewhere. In fact the great fallacy that many warmers succumb to is that the greenhouse effect somehow proves CAGW. That CO2 is a GHG is merely the starting point for the debate.

      • I don’t think I have ever addressed catastrophic global warming, yet I get attacked for simply clearing up misconceptions on topics such as adjustment. time of CO2, the origin of CO2 as anthropogenic in origin, the sensitivity of climate parameters, basic energy balance, and don’t get me started on fossil fuel usage modeling.

        Most commenters don’t care about advancing the yardstick on both science and communicating scientific understanding. As Vaughan just said, many commenters think the science is settled, but settled in the opposite way, seemingly based on their inability, or obstinate refusal, to reason.

      • Web, Yep, Bucky is easier to type than spherical truncated icosahedraron, if that is the correct spelling :)

        The basic model would track the average energy of the truncated surface layers. The points bordering each surface would indicate the the direction and rate of change for each surface. It is the simplest model configuration I can think of that would allow best use of the data available.

        Using the radius from the center of the inner core, the altitude of each surface would be included in the base reference of the surfaces. It should kick slab model ass!

      • Web, the only thing I am blaming on scientists and just some scientists, is not properly considering uncertainty. The whole thing started with two estimates, 2 and 4, both can’t be right. 2 seems to be winning and I wonder why. I am curious.

        Since one group has to be wrong, something the wrong group is using is wrong. What is it? Non linearity. Smell the pooh Web.

      • Uncertainty in both the rate of warming, and more importantly about whether that warming is harmful and who it is harmful to, and finally that what some “scientists” concluded should be done to respond to their perceived problem

      • Rob just hit the other big one. The IPCC has three working groups. The first one produces the temperature rise. The second one is the one that produces all the ZOMG. The third one produces the dumb ideas.

        Talking about the greenhouse effect, or even about climate sensitivity is a redirect from the fact that the WG2 “science” is the real weak link. There’s no indication of ZOMG. It’s all photoshopped polar bears.

      • Rob, that is the big deal for sure. Callender predicted 2.0 warming with a ceiling of 2.0, no mo’ nada that’s all folks! What I am getting is close to the same thing for CO2. But CO2 is just part of the puzzle, Black carbon and low altitude aerosols are a big deal too which China needs to find out pretty soon. That is more regional than global, but it ain’t good.

        That puts big time emphasis on land use, where it should have been all along. This CO2 scare has stopped plenty of land conservation and water shed restoration projects that were already funded. If the “team” thinks 2 instead of 4 is no big deal, they need therapy.

      • What is it? Non linearity. Smell the pooh Web.

        This is a red herring, as from square one we haven’t dealt with a linear system. Stefan-Boltzmann is not linear, logarithmic sensitivity is not linear, and lots of other things are not linear.

        And for the things that are linear, such as the impulse response of CO2 due to carbon emissions, the non-linearity suggested by some will make the response worse.

        As far as uncertainty is concerned, you first have to distinguish between aleatory and epistemic uncertainty. The aleatory uncertainty is revealed in the randomness of physical processes that we can’t control. This could be something like the distribution in diffusional sequestering rates that causes the fat-tails in the adjustment time impulse response.

        I think the epistemic uncertainty is what you are thinking of, and that will of course improve over time, as we continue to get more data.

        The basic problem is that many people don’t understand physics.

      • Web, Non linear as in pseudo chaotic. A simple power function can be linearized for a small range of change. Forgive me for being technically incorrect, but if I can plot it on log or semi-log paper to me it can be linearized. When it reverses sign in a relatively small range that is a touch of a problem.

        The biggest problem with this whole thing is the changes in emissivity are not easily measurable. 3.7 Wm-2 imposed by reduction in emissivity would result in a TOA emissivity change from 0.609 to 0.602, on average that you can try and pick out of the noise. Polar variations in local emissivity of 20plus Wm-2 are common and not measurable. Most of the emissivity change that would impact the surface is just above the point of effective saturation, meaning that the average effective radiant layer, that varies with temperature and water vapor concentration.

        There is no way in hell I would have thought that a 0.2% change in the conductivity of the atmosphere would have mattered until I started in on the numbers. Try it some time. It is an interesting crossword puzzle for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

      • He won’t do it; he’s too sure he understands the physics.
        ========

      • “He won’t do it; he’s too sure he understands the physics.
        ========”

        That’s so true. I have looked at Dallas’s blog off and on, and the most he does is chicken scratching with a few numbers computed like he was doing a tax computation. One post where he tried a heuristic bit of algebra but it left me, and either Fred or Pekka mystified. He is sure he understands the physics, but I am afraid it is from the wrong direction.

        I suggest Dallas look at another atmosphere such as Venus, note the CO2 concentration levels there and compare that to the Earth. Then draw a line between the two atmospheres, noting that this line does not have to be linear but it must be continuous. The two atmospheres differ quite a bit in their height but it might allow Dallas to get more grounded on what he is trying to accomplish.

        He is the only skeptic that is actually trying, and although his direction is not very apparent, perhaps with the right kind of steering he can reach some sort of epiphany.

      • Meh, Trenberth’s cartoon has stick figures; perhaps Dallas gets a little muscle on ‘em.
        ================

      • Dallas has been doing blog science and I encourage him to continue, notwithstanding that a blog is not really an appropriate venue for serious scientific research.

        A problem with the blogosphere is its transient nature and that any advances that are made in one topic are usually lost in favour of the next flavour of the month topic that is posted.

        An attempt is currently being made to set up a board for the Dragon Slayer threads and future debate on this topic but at this stage it is yet to take off.

      • Peter Davies said,
        “Dallas has been doing blog science and I encourage him to continue, notwithstanding that a blog is not really an appropriate venue for serious scientific research.”

        More like a puzzle than science really. I think Dr. Kimoto read a couple of my comments at Lucia’s so it is probably a waste of time for me to go much further with his equation. I am curious with what Kielh and Trenberth will do with the missing 20Wm-2. Are they going to show 353Wm-2 of DWLR or start thinking?

        The model is more fun, but even that was started by Hermann Harde, http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/12/bucky-ball-or-spherical-truncated.html

        Lots of paths to follow, so I will stick to my chicken scratching until some opportunity presents itself. Then it may be worth the time to get into serious science. Though, if you have a grad student that speaks redneck and partied themselves on to your s$$$ list, the model could be a good way to do penance :)

      • Web said, “I suggest Dallas look at another atmosphere such as Venus, note the CO2 concentration levels there and compare that to the Earth. Then draw a line between the two atmospheres, noting that this line does not have to be linear but it must be continuous. ”

        I have Web, Solar TSI accounts for approximately 480K of the surface temperature. The remainder appears to be to core energy. At 90 plus atmospheres, CO2 appears to create isoconductive conditions near the surface. With that much pressure and temperature volcanoes tend to ooze instead of pop. The isoconductivity creates the isothermal atmosphere in spite of the much slow diurnal period.

        The Earth’s atmosphere is not isoconductive nor isothermal. As such, thermodynamic boundaries can converge. That is where the serious discontinuities in flux can occur. That can play hell on the “in the pipeline” energy. In one of your post you found that natural variation would not exceed 0.2C with a 95% confidence interval. 1999 there was 0.26C change. 95% is not very confident when applied to a non-ergodic system. :)

      • “Dallas has been doing blog science and I encourage him to continue, notwithstanding that a blog is not really an appropriate venue for serious scientific research.”

        Well, a blog is better than comments to a blog! At least you can organize a blog and edit the blog.

        “A problem with the blogosphere is its transient nature and that any advances that are made in one topic are usually lost in favour of the next flavour of the month topic that is posted.”

        Also false. I used a blog over the course of several years to keep track of analysis that I worked day to day. When I thought I finally went full circle on the analysis, I carefully stitched together and edited the blog posts into a PDF document.

        You are very narrow-minded in your viewpoint and people will use communication technology in ways that you apparently can’t imagine.

        “An attempt is currently being made to set up a board for the Dragon Slayer threads and future debate on this topic but at this stage it is yet to take off.”

        I joined this board temporarily but exited for obvious reasons. It looks like the board closed shop after the latest revelations.

      • So the buckyball model is just a way of subdividing the earth’s surface into a set of planar interlocking areas. This has nothing to do with a the chemistry and physics of buckminsterfullerene (the bucky ball), and everything to do with geometrical meshing. We used to call these things geodesic domes, and not bucky balls.

      • WHT suggests that I am very narrowminded in my viewpoint on the the subject of blogs. I accept this criticism but explain that my views on “blog science” was not based on the original concept of an individual maintaining a web log of his work and sources etc.

        The generally accepted definition of a blog being an open forum (such as Climate Etc) for visitors to discuss various topics (often superficially due to time constraints and/or lack of detailed analyses) was the concept to which I was commenting.

        I believe that situations where a number of individuals are contributing, a wiki was in my mind a more appropriate venue for the development of scientific or other themes. Access to a wiki is usually more controlled and hence less likely that any theme being worked on would be diverted.

      • Carl Sagan made his start studying Venus and he of course was considered an excellent science communicator..

        Venus has a very deep atmosphere, and given the amount of CO2 it has it should be at least 400K. The Venus atmospheric concentration is 18 doublings that of earth. The fact that it is much hotter is also a runaway effect. At temperature more vapor starts to outgas from the planet and this will continue over time:

        http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/venus-workshop-submission/files/noack_lena-31.pdf

        So the 400 K is a greenhouse effect gas and the rest is catastrophic thermal runaway.(whatever catastrophe means on Venus)

        Venus is a piece of the puzzle, providing data points in the current theory..

  62. Dr. Curry,

    Thanks for this post and for your report on your presentation about science communication. The “circular” (we have to think of a better name) model that you offer is clearly superior to the linear model that you criticize. Using your blog as an example of your model is the very best thing you could have done. Your blog is the future of well grounded science communication and all of us are forever grateful for your leadership.

    I recommend that you keep your eyes open for an opportunity to do a post on science propaganda, on propaganda in communication’s clothing. Developing our critical tools will help us better understand good science communication.

  63. It seems to me that most of the valuable content of Climate Etc. can be obtained by reading the primary post and the first two levels of comments. I find little is lost by ignoring the third and fourth levels of comments, and it saves a lot of time!

    • This is frequently true, because the debate drifts into personal and political bickering. But sometimes important topics emerge. I wish I had the time and money to study the dynamics.

    • The second level of comments are probably more important, because they mainly consist of Fred, Vaughan, Pekka, and Bart clearing up the misconceptions of the first-level commenters, many of whom don’t seem to understand physics. :)

      • Web,

        If you really understand the physics, how ’bout a climate prediction for us we can judge you by?

        Andrew

      • If you give someone a prediction, they are happy for a day, but if you give them physics, they can make their own predictions for life.

      • The two topics are not really connected.

        I am reasonably good at physics and am pretty experienced in the process of developing computer models, but I would be clueless about developing a GCM.

        That said, it is also true I can reasonable question why those developing and using GCMs seem to have not followed basic engineering principles in the development and use of their models.

      • I see a couple of proxy cop outs and hear crickets from Web.

        Andrew

      • Web,

        If you really understand the physics, how ’bout a climate prediction for us we can judge you by?

        Andrew

        Science marches along by increments. One model prediction I have made concerns the adjustment time of CO2 in the atmosphere. I have a fat-tail impulse response in a concise closed form that we can evaluate over time. I am guessing that I won’t have to ask you what you have accomplished in the field. In any case, thanks for your interest in my research. It is kind of fun working on this independently.

      • Starkey said:

        I am reasonably good at physics and am pretty experienced in the process of developing computer models, but I would be clueless about developing a GCM.

        Quite the cop-out. You apparently don’t understand how science at this level advances. You don’t have to solve the whole ball of wax in one fell swoop. Find some niche that you want to investigate and see where it takes you. Far-fetched though it may seem, other scientists don’t cover everything and you can always find some novel way of looking at some data or interesting behavior with your own analysis.

      • Jim D,
        You imply that those who know a certain level of physics are able to make good climate predictions. That is fascinating. Please show us where, in a well documented, date-stamped location, these predictions are saved for review by mere mortals.

      • No, hunter, I said they could make their own predictions because they would have a basis for it. Any prediction also depends on how much fossil CO2 is still to be emitted which depends on policies, so there is a non-scientific component that has to be guessed. This discussion forum would be much better if everyone knew the physics, but it is more of a physics teaching environment than a discussion the way it pans out.

      • WHT,

        I note you left Robert off your list.

        Good move.

      • Robert is fine for what he does. He is one of only a few commenters giving the hordes of skeptics grief.

        I did forget to include Steve Mosher and Nick Stokes to the list, who both have tremendous insight in data analysis.

      • And a couple of big blindspots, eh Mosh? :)

    • “I am guessing that I won’t have to ask you what you have accomplished in the field.”

      Looks like we’ve accomplished the same thing then, Web. Nothing.

      Andrew

      • “Looks like we’ve accomplished the same thing then, Web. Nothing.”

        These are heady times in the internet age, to be able to do some independent research, and then make the knowledge you have gained easily accessible to just about anyone.
        The greatest skill the ordinary person needs to possess is the ability to separate the credible from the nonsensical.
        Time will judge, and I benefit from having something in the cart that I can continue to build on.

  64. I have a thought to make this dead topic more interesting… Chime in if you think “Robert”, “Joshua”, “Louise”, “WebHubTelescope”, “M. Carey” or “tempterrain” represent Science Communication in some way.

    Andrew

    • Whereas Bad Andrew, Bruce, hunter, Don Monfort, kim, Rich Matarese, cwon1 et al are perfectly lucid and coherent in their communication of why AGW is all a fascist, commie plot?

      • “Louise”,

        I take that as a “chime in”. ;)

        Andrew

      • Sure, go ahead, misrepresent it just like you do the science, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

      • Louise, you misrepresent; not ‘fascist, commie’, rather ‘tranzi, socialist’. And ‘plot’? Seems more like an Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd’ than a ‘plot’.

        Three blind mice ran up the clock, as the farmer’s wife dismally chimed in.
        ============

      • Louise on December 10, 2011 at 3:57 PM writes:

        Whereas Bad Andrew, Bruce, hunter, Don Monfort, kim, Rich Matarese, cwon1 et al are perfectly lucid and coherent in their communication of why AGW is all a fascist, commie plot?

        Not presuming to speak for the others, I employ the term “Liberal” fascism for reasons of taxonomic precision, and preserve appreciation at all times of the strong correlation between advocacy of the AGW fraud as a vehicle of deceit and pillage on the part of our “Liberal” fascisti and allied confidence artists and thieving bastids.
        What are called “Liberals” in modern America (or is it “progressives” again this week?) are in actuality diametrically opposed in political philosophy to the genuine liberals of the19th Century, who spoke and acted to preserve the rights of the individual human being against infringement by the officers and other agents of government.

        Thus the conscientious application of quotation marks and the capital “L.”

        The best brief characterization of the modern “Liberal” fascist might be “milk-and-water socialist” (for fascisti have always been socialists, though – per Mussolini – of a “corporatist” stripe) though I consider it by far too mild an appellation for such vicious, economy-crushing, society-shattering, humanity-destroying critters.

      • “Liberal” fascism for reasons of taxonomic precision

        Hear I thought it was to distinguish it from your own, conventional, right-wing fascism.

        Obviously if you were just to denounce “fascism” you’d be faced with the question of why a fascist is using his own ideology as a term of abuse.

        Your imaginary category of “Liberal fascism” allows you to clearly distinguish your reactionary fascism from liberalism, which you like to accuse of sharing the fascist character of your own beliefs.

      • Robert (the festering “Liberal” fascist git) on December 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM whines:

        Obviously if you were just to denounce “fascism” you’d be faced with the question of why a fascist is using his own ideology as a term of abuse.

        Your imaginary category of “Liberal fascism” allows you to clearly distinguish your reactionary fascism from liberalism, which you like to accuse of sharing the fascist character of your own beliefs.

        …thereby proving the taxonomic validity (and crotch-kicking value) of Goldberg’s conceptual approach in Liberal Fascism while masturbating frenetically and unproductively to the extent that Robert can get his fingertips upon his teensy little pud in the sputtering futility of a statist dolt who pretends that a balls-to-the-wall libertarian vigilant in the protection of individual human rights is in any wise conceived by anyone reading in this forum to be considered “fascist” in any way at all.

        Robert, I’m sure that I speak for most reading here when I say that we’ve all scraped less noxious stuff than you from our shoes.

      • Richie (the original fascist git.)

        Your sputtering insults and whining really go nowhere.

        There’s still no such thing as a “liberal fascism.”

        Your fascism-fascism is still a discredited fringe ideology.

        None of your excuses, rationalizations, or childish insults alter any of those facts.

        :)

      • Robert on December 10, 2011 at 6:35 PM responds to my expatiation upon Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism and the premises on which he based his book and subsequent online expansions thereupon with squeals of incoherent rage including the wonderfully unsupported categorical assertion that:

        There’s still no such thing as a “liberal fascism.”

        …and, no doubt, there is a Santa Claus, FDR didn’t deliberately hang the Pacific Fleet out to get Taranto’d in 1941, and that the “we destroyed all our paper archives years ago!” long-form birth certificate just magically appeared in a Hawaii state government post binder earlier this year, allegedly “proving” that our Fraudulence-in-Chief had been born someplace other than in his home town of Mombasa.

        Jeez, you’d think that someone who doesn’t have to be closely toileted would at least be able to pull up some kind of critique of Goldberg’s premise in Liberal Fascism after having been friggin’ given the Wiki-bloody-pedia link repeatedly, wouldn’tcha?

        Well, what gives you to think that Robert was ever successfully potty-trained?

      • Richie,

        I just don’t think your excuses for your fascist faith are getting traction here.

        Your effort to distract critics with your imaginary straw man, the oxymoronic “liberal fascism,” just doesn’t hold water.

        Too much damage has been done by your ilk for you to rehabilitate your ordinary fascism with the red herring of a supposed liberal equivalent.

        Not all the sputtering insults you can muster, not all the whiny excuses in the world will change that.

      • Voicing yet another unsupported (heck, unsupportable) categorical assertion yanked from way up there in the vicinity of his splenic flexure, Robert on December 10, 2011 at 7:17 PM yammers:Too much damage has been done by your ilk for you to rehabilitate your ordinary fascism with the red herring of a supposed liberal equivalent.
        By “your ilk,” let’s bear in mind, this gibbering mamzer is addressing a social and economic (free-market) libertarian whose only objections to the Bill of Rights are that it doesn’t include an explicit enforcement clause and there’s an unnecessary dependent clause in Article II thereof.

        And what “supposed”? If our magnificently cancerous Robert isn’t a perseverating, festering, obvious example on public display as a demonstration of what “Liberal” fascism has always been – particularly as it pertains to the gaudy AGW fraud – then I confess an inability to imagine a better specimen in this forum.

        Unless, of course, we got Algore in here hisself.

        Hm. Has anybody reading here ever seen Robert post while Algore is ManBearPig-ing live on TV?

      • Again, Richie, your contortions to defend your right-wing fascism get you nowhere.

        The world paid a terrible price for tolerating your fascist belief system, but those days are over.

        Your message of hatred is seventy years past its sell-by date.

      • Robert (who, on due reflection, couldn’t be Algore, ’cause Algore is a smart lying, thieving, “Liberal” fascist) on December 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM continues pustulating:

        The world paid a terrible price for tolerating your fascist belief system, but those days are over.

        Considering that “those days” of libertarian eutopia (and, yeah, the “eu” is deliberate) have not yet been achieved, there’s yet another cloacal out-yanking from the smelly darkness of whatever serves Robert in lieu of a mind. But it’s interesting that this “Liberal” fascist goes on to puke up:

        Your message of hatred is seventy years past its sell-by date.

        Hm. And “seventy years” takes us back to 1941, during which “Liberal” fascist caudillo supremo Franklin Delano Roosevelt (he who would next year take hundreds of thousands of native-born U.S. citizens of Japanese descent concentration-camping) had entered upon his fourth term in the presidency and was sending forth units of the Atlantic Fleet to wage overt acts of war against German submarines while at the same time doing everything in his considerable wholly unconstitutional power to refuse the peace overtures extended by the government of Japan and provoke the Empire thereof into a desperate and inevitably disastrous attack upon U.S. bases in the Pacific Ocean area.

        Anybody else wondering why Robert picked “seventy years” in his “Liberal” fascist babble?

        When there’s reliably inferred mens rea such as Robert’s on display, the least little Freudian – or is it “Mussolinian”? – slip is not to be ignored.

      • Roberta has an odd habit of declaring victory every time in the imaginary battles he/she fights, to make them more realistic.

        Andrew

      • It’s been a long week; I need a little R&R.
        ==================

      • Louise,
        As has been pointed out before, you do dense really well.
        AGW is not a fascist, commie plot. It is merely rather a sad example of social mania and what is euphemistically called “Charlie Foxtrot”.
        You rely on the false choice of either your either being “right” or there being a grand plot. Stupidity explains not only most of your posts, but most problems of the world.
        Certainly you do not think the best and brightest, who have managed to wreck the world economies by way of their idiocratic policies and reliance on PhD economists, financial experts, management experts and legal minds are not incapable of also screwing up something like climate?

      • Louise,

        If you read some of the documents coming out of Durban, you can see where this concern comes from. That doesn’t make the concern entirely valid, but some people who believe in AGW do make noises and proposals that should be troubling to anyone who values even a modicum of individual freedom and soveriegnty

      • steven,

        Can you give examples of such proposals?

  65. “Matthew Hirschland: Getting Our Story Straight: Taking the scientific process out of science communication. Abstract: …For science to occupy more of a privileged and influential place in the public and policy discourse, this must change.”

    Why should science occupy a privileged or influential place? Science has to earn its credibility through hard work in accordance with scientific method. That hard work must produce reasonably well confirmed physical hypotheses which can be use to explain and predict the phenomena in question. The Hockey Stick is the best example of recent work that claimed to be science, failed to meet the requirements of scientific method, yet was promoted shamelessly. Good science communication about the Hockey Stick would have revealed all these failings. Science will be respected when it applies the rigorous self-criticism demanded by scientific method, something that the general public understands.

    “…The result, from the public’s perspective, is a focus on the sausage making elements of science, rather than the sausages – or the real consensus messages resulting from our work.”

    Science has no sausages and is all sausage making. People who attempt to present the public with the “theory” that is at present believed by a consensus misunderstand the scientific process altogether. Science is the application of scientific method and the latter is inherently a critical undertaking.

    “What is required is much better coordination in terms of framing and amplifying clear messages and findings around areas where real consensus exists, and a similar focus on deemphasizing those that occupy the opinion tails.”

    There is no such thing in science as an authoritative consensus in belief. There are times when there is a consensus of behavior because a large number of scientists are addressing the same puzzles and are agreed on the likely puzzle solutions. But they are not agreed on a set of statements that is the truth in that area. The CERN people searching for a Higgs Boson make a good example. Probably a minority of them believe what existing physical theory holds about the Higgs Boson yet all of them know that the work of solving the puzzles according to the preferred techniques must be carried out if science is to advance. (Note that this definition of ‘consensus’ is behavioral.) However, each and every one of them will recognize a falsification of their fundamental hypotheses if they happen upon it. (Consensus is lost at the drop of a hat.) Scientific method is the only authority here. Science is sausage once again. To suggest that consensus is an authority simply reveals misunderstanding of scientific practice.

    “Other sectors including government, corporates and medical sciences understand and practice this to better effect in building public consensus.”

    To compare medicine to science is to reveal considerable ignorance. Science pursues truth. Medicine pursues relief of suffering. Medicine uses the results of science but its goals are not scientific. When a surgeon cut a hole in a patient’s leg and threaded a wire containing a balloon into the patient’s heart so that he could inflate the balloon, he was justified as a physician because all known methods of relieving this suffering had failed. He was not practicing science. Science would follow later.

    “-Recognize that the scientific process, while excellent for doing science, is an awful way to communicate clearly. Publicly airing out the debates that are part and parcel of a healthy scientific discourse is a sure recipe for confusion.”

    Suppressing the debates that are part and parcel of a healthy scientific discourse is a sure recipe for dishonesty and fraudulent reporting of science.

    “-Create and bolster better coordination mechanisms for consensus message building and delivery. Professional associations can and must play a more central convening and shaping role when it comes to key message shaping, timing and delivery.”

    Message building and message shaping are nothing more nor less than lying that rests upon the condescending assumption that the public cannot understand scientific method.

    “…Other institutions regularly engage highly skilled experts to help build and shape messages for intended results. Better leveraging this group and their body of knowledge will pay great dividends.”

    Hire Al Gore to deliver your message about your science and you too can buy beach front property while arguing that catastrophically rising sea levels are imminent.

    • Hirschland, in the USSR, would have been recognized as an apparatchik hack.
      He is a symptom, but also a vector of contagion.

    • The Hockey Stick is the best example of recent work that claimed to be science, failed to meet the requirements of scientific method, yet was promoted shamelessly.

      What was that? You don’t speak too clearly since you lost your front teeth to Mann’s hockey stick.

      Every time you repeat that lie, you dig a bigger hole for yourself; if you entertain any hopes of winning back some credibility, I suggest you man up and accept that your crusade against the reality of the hockey stick has failed miserably. It’s time to move to your fall back position “We always knew that the hockey stick was correct, it’s just that (insert new rationalization for climate inaction). That has always been the real issue.”

      • Robert

        I am getting the distinct impression that you have become delusional when you defend Mann’s hockey stick and with it the IPCC claim that

        the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years

        which was based on it.

        The hockey stick was comprehensively discredited by McIntyre and McKitrick, as was confirmed before a US congressional committee by the Wegman panel under oath and subsequently reconfirmed by the NAS panel (North and Bloomfield), again under oath.

        It’s all in the record, Robert.

        All you have to do is check out the record, rather than sticking your head in the sand.

        Max

      • The hockey stick was comprehensively discredited by McIntyre and McKitrick, as was confirmed before a US congressional committee by the Wegman panel under oath and subsequently reconfirmed by the NAS panel (North and Bloomfield), again under oath.

        What an extraordinary series of claims. None of them appear to relate to the actual reality, but go ahead — wow me. Show me the extraordinary evidence.

        You might want to drop the reference to the plagiarized, discredited mess that is the Wegman report. That humiliating denier failure is beyond saving with any spin.

      • Hey self-tracker.

        I know I’m asking you to play way out of position by suggesting you pause from your hyper ad hom, but this is was sworn to under oath to the US Congress:

        CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you
        dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
        DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their
        criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.
        CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that you can have the right conclusion and that it not be–
        DR. NORTH. It happens all the time in science.
        CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, and not be substantiated by what you purport to be the facts but have we established–we know that Dr. Wegman has said that Dr. Mann’s methodology is incorrect. Do you agree with that? I mean, it doesn’t mean Dr. Mann’s conclusions are wrong, but we can stipulate now that we have–and if you want to ask your statistician expert from North Carolina that Dr. Mann’s methodology cannot be documented and cannot be verified by independent review.
        DR. NORTH. Do you mind if he speaks?
        CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, if he would like to come to the microphone.
        MR. BLOOMFIELD. Thank you. Yes, Peter Bloomfield. Our
        committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

        http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_house_hearings&docid=f:31362.wais

      • So the plagiarized, discredited Wegman is all you have?

        And somebody by the name of North that thought “some of the choices they made were inappropriate” in their methodology?

        Besides one discredited denier, and one person who didn’t agree with the choices in methodology, do you have anything that stood up to peer review, anything that refuted the hockey stick?

        “I don’t like the methodology” neither proves that anything is wrong with the methodology, nor does it prove, or even allege, that the hockey stick result is wrong.

        If that’s all you’ve got, obviously you lose. Got anything substantive?

      • Self-Tracker,

        Somebody named North:

        http://atmo.tamu.edu/profile/GNorth

        Somebody named Bloomfield

        http://www.stat.ncsu.edu/people/bloomfield/

        Somebody named Wegman

        http://statistics.gmu.edu/people_pages/wegman.html

        Peer reviewed papers questioning the hockey stick

        see here

        http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2007/05/the_decay_of_the_hockey_stick.html

        http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/mcintyre-grl-2005.pdf

        http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/mcintyre-ee-2005.pdf

        http://www.e-publications.org/ims/submission/index.php/AOAS/user/submissionFile/6695?confirm=63ebfddf

        So we have world renowned experts testifying under oath and peer reviewed papers on one side, and on the other side, we have a self-styled “idiot tracker”. I’ll give you credit for one creative thing…using “idiot” as an adjective.

      • John,

        So you still have nothing, then?

        No refutation of the hockey stick?

        No peer-reviewed science?

        One discredited plagiarist, and a few scientists who agree with the result but disagree with some of the methods?

        I guess that’s game, then. You lose.

      • And you say that’s all I’ve got?

        I see your problem now “idiot tracker”. You think it’s a game.

        And I guess you’re taking your ball and going home.

      • Johnnie, you got nothing, and you lose.

        Now the only question is: are you going to take it like a man, or cry and whine and make more excuses?

        You took your best shot — a plagiarist, a politician, and a few papers that do nothing to refute the hockey stick. It was pitifully inadequate.

        Now you’re just chasing your own tail.

      • Jolliffe ol’ Sinterklaas.
        ================

      • You know, self-tracker,

        You haven’t used one fact or cited one source in this whole discussion.

        But then, who needs facts when all you think you have to do is say “I won!”

      • Poor little Johnnie,

        The burden of proof is on you. Until you meet that burden with some real evidence, any citations of me would just distract from the real issue: you have no answer to the hockey stick.

        Time to admit it, and move on.

      • But self-tracker, I gave you four citations, three of them peer reviewed papers and one that links to peer reviewed papers.

        I know when you’re into self-proclaiming victory, you tend to get a little soft and lazy, but really now.

      • Poor little Johnnie,

        You threw up some links to papers that ranged from totally irrelevant to the hockey stick to totally discredited (M&M). That doesn’t meet your burden. Show me the evidence — real evidence, not plagiarists, politicians, and mineral-consultant poodles.

        Really, you’re deeper in the hole than when you started, and you know it, because you’ve tried to cover your total failure to produce evidence by larding up your screeds with more and more insults (as funny as it is that somebody ducking their obligations to produce proof would project their own soft, lazy, butterball qualities elsewhere, you do your credibility no favors.)

        You have yet to produce anything of substance. But by all means, keep digging. Deniers’ fixation with the hockey stick, and your complete failure to lay a glove on it, are a helpful reminder to the public of how hapless your gaggle of not-very-lovable losers is.

        Keep up the good work. ;)

      • Ahh Self Tracker.

        I get the rules now. You declare your own victory and you declare your own idea of “peer review”.

        You asked for peer reviewed. I gave you peer reviewed, but in order to declare “victory”, which for some odd reason seems so very important to you, you have to…well…re-define the meaning of peer review.

      • What did Briffa discover when he discovered that the tree ring width proxies had diverged from recorded temperatures for the preceding 40 years at least? Do you have a clue?

      • Almost as effective as proclaiming “I win! I win! I win!” or “You guys are hilarious”.

        Of course, I’m sure those are methods of “communication” that you fawningly approve of.

      • Whoops, that one was meant for Louise’s “troll” comment.

      • DON’T FEED THIS TROLL.

      • His posts contain more content that many of those that post here. He posts ideas, facts and figures, rebuttals supporetd by links, etc. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly. His posts are no more offensive towards those he responds to than those of Rich Matarese.

        It’s a coward’s way out to label those that they disagree with as Trolls. Anyone who posts here who recognises the facts behind the science of Anthopogenic Climate Change (i.e it’s happening) is regularly labelled a Troll – what a way to ‘communicate’ – the topic of this post.

    • Theo Goodwin on December 10, 2011 at 4:56 PM, in response to Matthew Hirschland having written: “…The result, from the public’s perspective, is a focus on the sausage making elements of science, rather than the sausages – or the real consensus messages resulting from our work.” …responds:

      Science has no sausages and is all sausage making. People who attempt to present the public with the “theory” that is at present believed by a consensus misunderstand the scientific process altogether. Science is the application of scientific method and the latter is inherently a critical undertaking.

      Damn. Mr. Goodwin, if they grave nothing else on your tombstone, “Science has no sausages and is all sausage making” belongs. I’ve read no more succinct an expression of what the sciences really are – as opposed to what both the lay public assume them to be, and our various AGW fraudsters have been trying to peddle these disciplines as.

      Mr. Goodwin goes on a bit further to provide another insight:

      To compare medicine to science is to reveal considerable ignorance. Science pursues truth. Medicine pursues relief of suffering. Medicine uses the results of science but its goals are not scientific. When a surgeon cut a hole in a patient’s leg and threaded a wire containing a balloon into the patient’s heart so that he could inflate the balloon, he was justified as a physician because all known methods of relieving this suffering had failed. He was not practicing science. Science would follow later.

      Mr. Goodwin, are you a physician yourself? An experienced physician? I’ve seen guys ten or twelve years into the practice of the profession who hadn’t yet gotten that insight into what the sawbones racket actually is.

      Those of us in the turn-your-head-and-cough business know what the sciences are; none of us can even get into med school without such knowledge. We understand scientific method, and we use the fruits thereof every miserable day, but we are not (almost all of us in clinical practice) scientists ourselves, and to pretend otherwise is to put our patients at risk and fixes us in the gunsights of the Plaintiff’s Bar.

      Keep the stress on the “sausage making” and not on the sausage, and we’ll yet impose honesty and methodological rigor on the whipsawed and politically perverted field of climatology.

      • Very well said, Matarese. Pardon me for not talking about my identity at this time. I am very familiar with medical practice.

  66. “JC comment: Hirschfield is the new director of communications at NCAR/UCAR.”

    I am deeply saddened by this information though not surprised. After reading his abstract, it is quite clear that he is ready and eager to promote various claims of consensus for NCAR. He is willing to do this even though there is no such thing in science as an authoritative consensus of belief. This man’s words indicate that NCAR has dedicated to promoting what is now a universally recognized scam, namely, CAGW.

    • Theo,
      AGW does not exist in a vacuum. The institutional deterioration that allowed it to fester is systemic, not specific.

      • Maybe you are right. But climate science was grabbed and hijacked by a bunch of people for two reasons: 1) it is just being born and is highly pliable and 2) it enables a liberal guilt trip of fantastic proportions as everyone with wealth is blamed for poisoning the world with CO2.

        So, there is something special about climate science.

      • Canada just withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. According to UPI:

        ‘The cost of meeting Canada’s obligations under Kyoto would be $13.6 billion, Kent said.

        “That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family — that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent liberal government,” the Conservative minister said.’

    • That is very unfortunate

    • Theo, I am curious what you mean by universally recognized? Many people believe in CAGW, not the majority in the USA but a large minority.

      • Who stands for CAGW today except the scammers? The people at the NASA website known as Real Climate (which is operated on my tax dollar, by the way), The Team, Julia Gilliard, David Cameron? Isn’t that about it?

      • Theo,
        Don’t forget that wonderful highly trained English major, Chris Mooney.

      • Gee, my estimate is more like 30% of the literate population of the world. BTW, RC is not a NASA site. But every US science agency has extensive CAGW web content and funds lots of CAGW research. CAGW is US policy after all.

      • There seems to be some controversy about that. While RC isn’t a NASA site, there are serious allegations that it’s been supported by NASA staff on NASA time.

      • Now that Durban has finished, it seems that I was right when I wrote that the only people still pushing the CAGW scam are:

        “The people at the NASA website known as Real Climate (which is operated on my tax dollar, by the way), The Team, Julia Gilliard, David Cameron? Isn’t that about it?”

        After Durban, Gilliard and Cameron are most likely on suicide watch. Gilliard has caused Australia to embrace draconian taxes a full eight years earlier than the rest of the world, with the exception of that little pre-communist state known as the EU.

  67. The little Occupy Climate Etc. activistas have been particularly active and agitated lately. They look tired. Of course, we know that they are here on a mission for the CAGW Ecumenical Council; to chastise and de-legitimize a certain wayward climate scientist and her heretical denizens. Their incessant obfuscation and self-aggrandizing filibustering are on occasion amusing, but entirely inconsequential. The show in Durban is what’s important to this mob. And it’s impending failure may be the reason why they are so hysterical. Of course, they are also very indignant and upset over the recent revelation of more juicy STOLEN emails.

    Anyway, back to the farce in Durban. Where are all the impotent (not sic) pols, who showed up for previous Save the World from CO2 junkets? Most are in Europe, pre-occupied with trying to save the Euro. They are just as feckless at managing their national finances, as they have been at controlling CO2 emissions. The CAGW faithful can expect to wait at least a decade, before the crisis in Europe will allow the statist clowns to get back to thinking about hobbling their economies with new hair-brained CO2 abatement schemes. And congrats to the Brits for not getting sucked any deeper into the mess. Here is a very good explanation on what to expect from the plan the Euro bozos have cobbled together, with the German boot on their necks:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/liamhalligan/8948108/Eurozone-leaders-deluded-if-they-think-this-sticking-plaster-treaty-can-solve-the-debt-crisis.html

    The only major point he does not discuss is that Greece and some of the other deadbeats will never recover, as long as they are tied to the Euro. The main reason that Germany wanted the Euro was so that the member countries could not engage in competitive devaluations. Good for German exports, but bad for the less industrious slackers. But they were incredibly stupid not to combine fiscal union with monetary union, from the start. That cat is out of the bag, and the damage has been done.

    The Greeks, et al will take all they can get from the Northerners and then default. Back to the dirty drachma. They have seen how Argentina did it, when they decoupled from the dollar and defaulted.

    Get your own finances in order. This will blow up sooner rather than later.

    • If you are an American, we have nothing to be proud of economically right now. We spend almost more than we take it in revenue, and the two parties play politics instead of dealing with the issue. Politicans like to make promises that ultimately can not be afforded.

      • I am an American and I never said I was proud of our national finances. Still, we aren’t tied to the Greeks, Italians, et al. And we are not going to have to learn how to sing Deutchland Uber Alles, anytime soon. We have not let our welfare state sink too far for recovery and reform, yet . And somewhere around half of our electorate know what the problem is. We will see what happens next year. In the meantime, I make the necessary moves with my business and investments. It’s going to get ugly.

      • Don

        I did not mean to accuse you, but suggest the US is less than 5 years from disaster economically if significant changes are not implemented.

    • I meant to write we spend almost 40% more than we take in in revenue

  68. One of the major things being communicated by the press regarding Durban is the push for funds from the US for less developed, (more corrupt) countries. That is something I see VERY little justification to support.

  69. Matthew Hirschland (not Hirschfeld) is author of the article on communication, which Dr. Curry cited. He is the new communications director for NCAR.

    https://www2.ucar.edu/staffnotes/update/new-director-take-helm-communications

    He pleads for better ”framing and amplifying clear messages”, with a concluding remark:

    As long as scientists continue delivering multiple, and often competing messages, we should not be incredulous that non-scientists continue to doubt even those consensus views that have been hard won and remain squarely built on fact.

    His CV tells us:

    He has been a communications professional for more than a decade, specializing in public relations, business strategy, sustainability, brand marketing, and stakeholder relations.

    Hirschland’s background is with McKinsey, where he was responsible for media relations. One previous job was with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) an organization that (among other things):

    helps companies address the different aspects of climate change in an integrated way, while also advancing climate solutions for their whole spectrum of stakeholders. Our climate change expertise spans across all industries—from consumer products to clean tech

    Hirschland sounds like an experienced PR wordsmith type who believes “consensus views” on climate science should be framed and communicated clearly and “multiple, competing messages” should not be communicated.

    Sounds to me like NCAR (a taxpayer funded organization) is opting for slicker PR in its communications of the “consensus” opinion to its sponsors – the U.S. taxpayer – , rather than providing them impartial, objective science covering all scientific opinions.

    I suppose as long as the taxpaying public does not feel bamboozled by this arrangement, that’s OK.

    But we’ll have to wait and see.

    Max

    • Can people not recognize a professional hype artist when they read one? There are tens of thousands of people in the US today who make the big bucks by writing material that has no cognitive content (does not mean what it appears to say) for the purpose of promoting a product. There are hundreds of thousands of them who make little bucks doing the same. Hirschland’s words and resume scream “hype artist.”

      The fact that scientific organizations are hiring such people should be a red flag to all responsible government officials, officials of scientific bodies, and all citizens. When scientific organizations hire such people they announce that they are no longer practicing as scientific organizations. The next thing we see will be pictures of Michael Mann dressed as the Marlboro Man.

  70. I would have more faith in climate science communication if climate scientists had been honest from the start about what was actually happening with the temperature over the last decade (i.e., no significant increase in temperatures since 1998). They knew in 2005 that the temperatures weren’t rising as expected, e.g., the Phil Jones Climategate email in which he states that the climate wasn’t warming but his colleagues would come down on him if he stated this publicly. Why not state publicly what is actually going on? Instead of admitting the lack of warming, they prevaricated and outright lied. And so we have, e.g., Rajendra Pachauri telling an Australian audience in 2008 that the warming was “accelerating.” The Met Office has said the same, often, until forced to admit in 2011 that there had been a “plateau” in warming, and that the oceans haven’t warmed since 2003. Yet, from 2003 to the present, the Met Office has claimed the oceans were warming.

    Scientists are supposed to be honest. Honesty is the main criterion of science. However, alarmist climate scientists have not been honest with the public, and they are now paying the price in loss of credibility. Personally, as a journalist who spent two years researching climate science for my book False Alarm: Global Warming Facts Versus Fears, I no longer believe a word they say.

    • The biggest concern about the last decade was that it was the warmest on record, by not a small margin, and it sustained it comfortably throughout.

      • And yet humanity did just fine. Storms were not worse, corrupt nations still continue to not care for their citizens, and huge number of people benefited from energy produced from fossil fuels.

      • Feel free to extrapolate that into the future. Will things get even finer? This is the question.

      • Jim D, fell free to extrapolate that to the future, will things get even worser? That is the question.

      • Jim

        The real question is what individual nations will do in response to the situation as it develops over time.

        When I read reports out of Durban that some in the UN are trying to get contributions to a “climate fund” that ties the amount of contributions to defense spending, I think it becomes such an obvious grab for money to be rejected by the general population in the US.

        With all due respect to everyone here, let’s be realistic on the topic. The vast majority of any potential harms that could be caused by a warming world can be adapted to by construction of infrastructure and proper planning. It is also undeniable that the emission of fossil fuels has been a net benefit to human society thus far.

        Some countries do not invest in the infrastructure to protect their citizens over the long term, while other countries do build the things necessary to support their societies on a long term basis. It is highly debatable whether there is ANY debt from more developed countries to those less developed because the former emitted CO2, and there is an additional question of the economic condition of the developed countries today.

        To be very harsh- if anyone thinks that the EU or the US will be giving significant funds to other countries to fund their “clean energy development“, you are as much of a nitwit as our friend Robert. The math economically speaking is simply not there.

      • Rob, this drifted away from the question, which was about warming and whether it is and will happen. Given that it will, then the questions you raise can be addressed, but a lot of people haven’t even accepted the first part yet. I wish we could get to the second part, which is the planning phase, but globally we are not there yet, as Durban is proving, and I believe, as a realist, that the planning won’t start until climate effects or unsustainability start becoming apparent at a national scale. A few forward thinking countries are creating a way to pay for this via a carbon tax, but most will just take it out of regular government revenue to the cost of other programs.

      • Jim D,
        0.0x degrees in a decade, in a system with XX.x degrees swings daily and >XX.x degrees dynamics on longer time scales is by definition a ‘small margin’, and since you can offer no evidence that holds to historical or factual review from this allegedly large margin, I would suggest you check your assumptions.
        And as to your assumptions, since a large number of the climate scientists seem to think statistically significant warming has not happened these past >10 years,perhaps you can take a moment and check your assumptions while you are at it as well.

      • You might think there is nothing unusual going on here, but most people suspect something has been happening this last few decades. Science communication is best done through pictures.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1900/to/mean:120

      • Jim D,
        Lying by way of playing with X & Y axis scales is obviously good enough to please you.
        You just proved my point, which you would realize if you were not so busy playing true believer: Very little has happened.

      • hunter, you know woodfortrees is raw data, and you can see exactly how it is plotted from the table. Yes that is a Celsius temperature axis, and it is BEST land data with a 10-year moving average up to the most recent time for which this is possible. Does that line look like it is going to stop going up any time soon?

      • Jim D,
        Your graph offers no more evidence of a climate crisis than a graph claiming to show a market crash because of a 50 point swing in the DOW that starts out at 12,130. A 50 point move to 12,130 from its close Friday of 12,184 on the equivalent of what you offer is a huge swing.
        In reality is less than 1%. In a system that frequently moves several % points per day.
        In fact, pictures can at least sell lies as well as they can demonstrate science. The AGW community seems to depend on this.

      • Jim D

        Let me correct you.

        The biggest concern about the last decade was NOT that it was the warmest on record, but that it showed a net slight cooling despite CO2 levels that reached record heights.

        IOW, can human CO2 save us from a colder, more brutal climate or not?

        Max

      • Typical rationalizing response, which goes as I don’t believe the scientific analysis is correct, but it doesn’t matter anyway since the outcome is a positive one — if it is correct

      • manacker, it is an illusion that you see cooling due to the anomalous warmth at the beginning of the decade possibly from the solar max or a remnant effect of the 1998 super El Nino. It has corrected to a more consistent long-term rate since then.

      • Jim D

        manacker, it is an illusion that you see cooling due to the anomalous…

        See Taleb’s Black Swan: “my prediction was right except for…”

        A cooling trend is a cooling trend (we saw a slight one in the 2000s)

        A warming trend is a warming trend (we saw one in the 1990s and 1980s).

        Just the observed facts without any rationalizations, Jim.

        Whether the current cooling trend will continue, like the one from ~1945 to ~1975, is anyone’s guess.

        Max

      • declaring / informing that ”was warmer year / decade” and being warmer is light years apart. Overall temp never changes; cold / heat change locations. Nobody knows the correct temperature, to save his life. They only inform with those lies, because they have large number of bull**t addicts in the sceptic’s camp. Warmings are localised, not GLOBAL. IPCC’s job became; to feed the sceptic’s mushrooms with top quality organic manure.

        Only by asking them: what was the temperature 234km SW of Easer Island on 4 July that year at 12 o’clock, on 43m altitude??… you can prove them and yourself WRONG. Try it

  71. “Michael Mann: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines. Abstract: …In short, I attempt to use the Hockey Stick to cut through the fog of disinformation that has been generated by the campaign to deny the reality of climate change. It is my intent, in so doing, to reveal the very real threat to our future that lies behind it.”

    Yet to this day Mann continues stonewalling McIntyre’s requests for his data and methods. Sharing of raw data and of methods is part and parcel of scientific method. Without it, reproducibility of results is not possible. The spirit of science is to invite criticisms of one’s work from others and to provide them full assistance in that criticism. Mann has never shown any comprehension of this principle at all.

    Whatever principles of science communication or science journalism one might adopt, they cannot include “Stonewalling requests for raw data or for methods is permissible.”

    Mann’s Hockey Stick depends on proxy evidence from tree ring data that floats free above the facts. No empirical work was done to determine the sensitivity of the trees to temperature, moisture, mineral content of soil, or you name it. Briffa’s work showed that the last forty years of data, data collected by Briffa, diverged from earlier data and from air temperature. That 40 year period is rock solid evidence to question the value of the proxies. Mann and The Team hid the evidence of divergence. To this day, they do not know why the tree rings did not behave as expected. In his articles on the matter in the late Nineties and early Ones, Briffa said that he had no idea why the decline occurred. Is there anyone in his right mind who would call that science?

    • This is the thing that is particularly telling to me anyway, viz., the continued attempt by Mann to defend the hockey stick and to smear his opponents. It seems to me that if climate science wanted to clean up its act, the easiest way to “communicate” that to the educated public would be to openly express their doubts about this and to contradict Mann in public on this, where the science is so obviously suspect. I don’t see how any reasonably informed scientifically inclined person can still believe the science associated with this. It does seem to be a pattern of Mann that does deserve at least some censure from the community.

    • Not even a grunt, but a courier. Lack of South African thunder should tell him that it’s ‘All Quiet on the Climate Front’.
      ================

    • Theo
      Some deeper questions:
      Since the tree rings are known to not act as proxies for periods of 40 years, why should they be considered as proxies at all for other periods?
      If the rings do happen to correlate to what is believed to be a record of temperatures, then perhaps the record they are supposed to correlate to is as inaccurate as the tree rings over the past 40 years?
      Since the ranges of temperature changes being measured is quite small, there is every reason to seriously doubt that the paleo-climate proxies offer anything more than a hint of a general direction, as well as to doubt if the compiled record offers anything more than a general guide to what the specific areas sourced for the temperature data may have been experiencing. The attribution of precision in the range typically claimed by the AGW community to what they assert as evidence does not inspire confidence in either their assertion or their evidence.

  72. Here is an interesting example of scientific communication, http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/4356-3/

    It seems the zero draft for AR5 wants to include the Stieg et. al. 2009 results as an example of how polar amplification is producing greater than average warming in the Antarctic :) The authors are not sure if they should mention O’Donnell et. al.

  73. Id explains that the Steig article is mistaken and, much worse, that it was pal reviewed. The evidence is in the Climategate 2 emails. Everyone who trusts Steig or the IPCC or Nature or Real Climate must read Id’s little essay.

    Thanks much, Captain Dallas.

  74. Stephen Singer

    Science communication pretty much doesn’t matter any more as the Durban Accord is reported passed. It’s on msnbc.com and abcnews.com.

  75. For science communication, let us consider that Schneider was teaching scientists how to rationalize lying, Gore made tens of millions and a shiny prize off of his mockumentary, and many people seem to believe that “The Day After Tomorrow” is a movie about how climate really works.
    Also let us not forget the Scientific American promo of ‘nuclear winter’ back in the day,which was based on aerosol cooling.
    Of course don’t forget kooks like Mooney, with his new shiny version of eugenics to ‘splain why he is not able to sell his version of science better.
    And also, for science communication, don’t forget the IPCC. It is still held up as either the ‘gold standard’, the ‘climate bible’, or, after yet another contrived non-scientific claim is found in it, ‘basically right on the science’. As is well documented in multiple books, the IPCC is just another corrupt UN group, like oil for food.

  76. Reading the tweets from Durban today, I can certainly see where some better communications are needed. I was simply astounded at the number of people who believe:

    1. The rate of sea level rise is accelerating. It isn’t. The trend since 2005 has greatly flattened.

    2. The number of people who believe that surface temperatures are warming at an increasing rate. They aren’t. Temperatures have been flat now for about 13 years.

    There has been no “global warming” for some period of time now and indications are we might now begin to see some cooling for a decade or three. Sea level rise will track that temperature change. We are currently on track for no sea level rise at all for 2011 and a drop since 2009.

    People in the AGW activist camp are either A: not getting accurate information about what is actually happening on this planet. B Getting the information but choosing to deny it. C: Attempting to rationalize why the observations are not matching observations by concocting ever more complicated speculative scenarios to attempt to explain why it isn’t warming.

    That we are in the realm of natural variability and that the temperature rise from about 1910 to 2000 was fairly steady with 30 year hiatus from 1945 to 1975 as we recovered from the LIA simply seems to escape them and the reason why is that it conflicts with their political goals.

    AGW has become a stalking horse for a global socialist agenda and I believe more people are now seeing that for what it is.

  77. “Attempting to rationalize why the observations are not matching observations ”

    Meant “Attempting to rationalize why the observations are not matching model projections”

  78. At the Fall AGU Annual Meeting (this week in San Francisco), there were a number of presentations and sessions focused on the theme of communicating science. These presentations provide insights into how climate science communication is viewed by scientists, science writers, communications professionals, and journalists.

    A certain J.Q. Public appears to be missing from this list. They could have learned a few things from bloggers too ;)

    Last week I received email from a journalist from a well known national newspaper in the UK. He was wanting to know why my blog had been selected by ‘foia’ fo the placement of a comment providing a link to the FOIA2011 zip file rather than a higher traffic UK sceptical blog, and wanting help to profile and identify ‘the hacker’.

    Amongst other things in my reply I indulged in a bit of a rant about science communication and journalism; saying:

    “Science communicators have a duty to the public to diligently,
    independently and honestly assess the outputs of science, rather than
    simply republish press releases put out by institutional faculties
    which have a vested interest in overselling the results of the research
    undertaken by their academic employees. Public trust in the
    institutions of science as providers of the body of knowledge drawn on
    by the people we elect to decide how to spend our taxes is at stake.

    Investigative journalists also have a duty to follow the trail of
    interdependent public and private bodies and NGO’s which make use of
    public money, especially when large sums of it are never seen again and
    no accounting is forthcoming.

    In my opinion that is the bigger story waiting out there, rather than
    the discovery of the identity of the person who chose to pull the dirty
    laundry out of the closet.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/opinion-foia-and-where-its-at-with-the-global-warming-issue/

    I was pleased to see Judy saying almost the same thing about press releases here some days later.

    The journalist thanked me for my views, and utterly failed to respond to them…

    • randomengineer

      A certain J.Q. Public appears to be missing from this list.

      Apparently they had a self-congratulating workshop (circle jerk) for the delivery (communicators) and utterly ignored the recipients (communicatees.) The enlightened don’t need no steenkin’ proles representing the public.

      If the communicatee is no longer listening, does fine tuning the delivery that doesn’t work (let’s shout LOUDER in the empty forest!) really make much of a difference?

      The entire enterprise is nonsense. Here in the US they could have had a 20 yr old “mass communications major” write a half-assed paper for free as part of a class and missed the target with a lot less money and effort.

      And it’s John Q who pays for it!!!

      Yes, just to rub salt it’s we taxpayers ultimately funding this crap. Mann et al work for taxpayer funded universties and attend these circle jerk sessions via our money. I’d probably never care or comment about the idiocy of what transpires at these meetings, but it rubs me the wrong way that I have to pay for this crap.

  79. Off topic: The Durban conference has agreed to agree. Specifically everyone will agree in 4 years on what is to be done in 8. This is hailed as progress and indeed it is better than nothing if your goal is to keep talking.

    • “It is far worse than this. The Africans have been convinced that they are doomed unless drastic action is taken.” It’s also a nice get out of “African” jail card for a few African leaders who can now, compliments of the green communication machine, happily tell their misfortunate food producers that the problems they are experiencing has nothing to do with terrible agricultural practices and incompetent (governmental) management of previously productive farmlands (Zimbabwe), but from the tried and tested fallback excuse that ultimately all woes stem from and are caused by past colonial “occupation” even to the extent that today, these “injustices” are continuing via proxy al a “climate Change”. Naturally the guilty parties are urged to confess, but better yet, to show their deep remorse, part with $$billions (local currencies not accepted)

      • KPO,
        I think a better summary of African fear would be something like, “African parasites and thieves working on government and NGO’s are worried they may miss out on a rich new stream of money to feed their kleptocracies if the West does not soon sign off on a worldwide carbon tax.”

      • I don’t share your disdain for African governments, generally speaking. However, money for adaptation to bad weather may be the closest thing to a no-regrets policy that the West can come up with, so the money may indeed flow.

      • David Wojick on December 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM had written in response to hunter‘s spot-on comment (“African parasites and thieves working on government and NGO’s are worried they may miss out on a rich new stream of money to feed their kleptocracies if the West does not soon sign off on a worldwide carbon tax”) :

        I don’t share your disdain for African governments, generally speaking.

        To which I’m moved to ask just where the hell on the African continent is there a government that doesn’t warrant such disdain?

        Generally or specifically?

      • David,
        A policy to proved assistance to local governments to protect their people and infrastructure from floods, storms, etc. would be great- if it was not in fact likely to end up in Swiss accounts. Before Africa can emerge from its miasma a rule of law has to be established. South Africa did it and to the extent they have, it has helped: The security of private property, the enforceability of lawful contracts, the respect of persons as individuals under the law. Without those first, any money, whether adaptive or not, is just kleptocrat fodder.
        As an aside, as nice as the climate farming handbook Dr. Curry mentioned was, would it not be more practical for regional African equivalents of “The Farmer’s Almanac” to be mentored into existence and widespread use? Farmers do not deal with climate scale issues. They deal with weather and crops and how to survive and thrive as farmers. The concept worked pretty well here.
        The combination of farmers/ranchers being able to securely make money on their own land, and to develop a practical knowledge base to advance that cause and make it accessible would probably be a very good thing. Hiding the effort behind, or worse, hijacking the idea into a ‘climate issue’ only adulterates the effort and probably dooms it.

  80. Speaking of so-called climate science “communication,” I just ran across a $2 million US NSF project to disseminate CAGW educational materials. It is called CAMEL (as in Camel’s nose?). Actually “CAMEL” is an acronym for Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, E-Learning.
    See http://www.camelclimatechange.org/articles/view/170167/

    Here is the NSF description:

    http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0950396

    Note that NSF says this: ” CAMEL looks to the needs of the future workforce and citizenry in general as discourse on climate change has shifted from whether such change is occurring to the challenges of dealing with the ongoing impacts.”

    Ironically, the NSF just de-funded its long term National Science Digital Library project, which was disseminating real science. See http://nsdl.org/. Apparently CAGW scaremongering is more important.

    The government is the problem.

  81. Please show me ANY significant sign of warming in this RSS UAH data

    So it seems 70%of the globes surface has had no significant change from 0 C since 1979 please explain to me why you have obtained tertiary degrees or even jobs with the UN and keep on pushing this AGW drivel (ive got 4 higher degrees BTW)

  82. David Wojick has written

    The Africans have been convinced that they are doomed unless drastic action is taken. The activists are targeting the poor in their campaign of fear

    But how did this work out at COP17?

    Well, we now have the closing statement from the COP17 talks at Durban, by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201112110050.html

    This statement has been carefully framed so that one would think that things went very well.

    But anyone who followed the events there at all is aware that this was not the case.

    Despite the minister’s positive spin, there was no binding agreement on the source of financing for the “Green Climate Fund”, the fear-based “incentive payment” (bribe?) from the developed countries that was supposed to coerce underdeveloped nations from building up a fossil-fuel based energy infrastructure to improve the standard of living and quality of life of their populations.

    The proposal to use “more comprehensive carbon financing” (carbon credits) as a source of financing seems to remain wishful thinking.

    Ban Ki Moon also included the imposition of carbon taxes as a potential source of financing

    http://www.ips.org/TV/cop17/carbon-pricing-to-save-green-climate-fund/

    “There is a pool of possible financing options, such as carbon taxes, transport taxes, and so forth. It will be up to each country to decide which regulations it wants to adopt and implement nationally”

    But this remains largely a pipe dream, as well.

    The fact that there is no financing in sight for the fund may only be bad news for corrupt dictators of underdeveloped nations who hide misappropriated public funds in their private off-shore bank accounts and for those offering such accounts as well as for those hoping to cash in from trading carbon credits (like Al Gore).

    Whether this lack of a decision will accelerate the steps needed to end the abject poverty of the populations of the underdeveloped nations is questionable – but at least it will not institutionalize a delay in implementing these steps.

    So the big boondoggle that was supposed to come out of COP17 failed.

    But hey, we have an agreement from nations representing a shrinking 17% of the global CO2 emissions to “hold global warming to 2°C” by cutting their already insignificant emissions.

    We are saved!

    Max

    • The African panic may be what kept the talks from collapsing so in that sense it worked very well. As for the adaptation fund the design was approved, also progress of a sort. The green machine is still moving forward. It may pick up speed when the economy improves.

      • If the economy doesn’t improve, AR5 may be exhibit A in the tribunal. History has been known to repeat itself. I predict that if AR5 is not the absolute best representation of the true state of the science, things will get very interesting.

  83. Another thought:
    Science journalists seem to not really be any different in general than sports journalists: They generally become partisans or fans who are used by the teams or sports they report to push the news the team or sport wants pushed: cheer leaders.
    It is just human nature. Look, in climategate1, how Revkin was spoken of as a trained dog to be punished if he got the message wrong.
    Do you think Mooney, a writer, would have radicalized into the parody of a journalist he is if he had not been egged on by those with whom he spends so much time?

  84. randomengineer

    If anyone wants to view good science communication in an op-ed format, head over to watts up with that website and read the durban article by Dennis Wingo. Actual thought is presented by someone who knows the subject matter and can make it readable.

    • You seriously think that this “The fear of the negative consequences of the emission of CO2 is being used as a tool to bludgeon the developed world into economic and political suicide” is an example of good science communication?

      Where’s the science?

      • Now that is a question skeptics have been asking for years.

        Where is the science that justifies decarbonizing the world economy?

      • In the pocket of those who commissioned its production.
        With our tax money.

      • Anteros –

        Just curious. What do you think about Louise’s excerpt WRT the vast asymmetry in doomsaying on the different sides of the debate?

        Any thoughts?

      • On the current evidence of the 287bn Euro poured into propping up a failed carbon ‘market’, the billions more poured into underperforming alternative energy infrastructure, and the impending collapse of the Euro, I would say Dennis Wingo’s scientifically accurate observation is just that, rather then ‘doomsaying’.

        It has been estimated that if the 287bn Euro had been spent directly on refreshing the gas and coal power generation fleet, European emissions could have been cut by 30%.

      • T.B.

        Just because you agree with the analysis doesn’t change that it’s doomsaying. It is fear-mongering about economic and political suicide. Unless I misunderstood him, Anteros was saying that “realists” are by personality or just predisposition more likely to say “doom.” I am pointing out that a “skeptic” has said “doom” on a high-profile “skeptical” website, no doubt to the applause of a coupla hundred “skeptics” in the comments. And it’s far from an unusual event.

        As to the content – although I reject the doomsaying, I do think that the questions at hand are worthy of considered discussion. Given that more than likely, at some point in the future (if not already) a lack of availability of non-renewable resources will have a negative economic and political impact, it certainly does make sense to weight the costs and benefits of investing in the development of renewables.

        Unfortunately, doomsayers on both sides, serving ideological agendas, retard the progress of analysis.

      • Given the proven inability of windpower and solar to provide reliable grid continuity, the requirement to renew existing infrastructure as it reaches end of life, and the newly exploited shale gas reserves extending the peak oil horizon, there is time enough to develop truly viable alternatives to fossil fuel.

        Rushing to litter the countryside with costly, intrusive and inefficent systems on the say so of misinformed policy makers is bad news for all taxpayers who don’t seem to have half so much trouble identifying an overhyped theory for what it is as their spurious leaders and their coterie of advisers do.

      • randomengineer

        You seriously think that this “The fear of the negative consequences of the emission of CO2 is being used as a tool to bludgeon the developed world into economic and political suicide” is an example of good science communication?

        That part is something called “opinion.” The rest of the article spells out the underpinnings of possible / potential technology avenues that can be taken in a positive manner. The use of ‘bludgeoning’ is appropriate here to underscore the writer’s perspective that durban etc is backward looking. Given that the article discusses technological progress and policy etc in a positive way, it was apparent that the writer felt that man could easily bypass CO2 problems by bypassing durban agreements which would limit technological progress on what he reckoned were the fronts with the most promise.

        Me, I’m a pretty dim bulb, and even I got his drift. That means he’s damned effective at communicating. Was this not the topic?

    • Joshua,
      Pointing out that a policy is failing badly is not doom saying.
      Looking at a ~1.0 degree change in temps over 150 plus years and extrapolating a climate catastrophe of worldwide proportions from that data is.

  85. It’s painfully apparent that people like Dr. Curry and other Insider Climate Scientists aren’t interested in actually improving climate science. I can think of a few things they could be working on (but arent) to improve climate science, right off the top of my head. I wonder why we keep having to rehash old topics, instead of discussing proactive ideas?

    Andrew

    • It’s painfully apparent that people like Dr. Curry and other Insider Climate Scientists aren’t interested in actually improving climate science.

      Yes, that is completely apparent. In fact, B.A., I think we should extend that a bit. I think that it is more accurate to say that it is completely obvious that no one who disagrees with you on any aspect of the climate debate has any interest in improving climate science.

      Whatsoever.

      In fact, it’s so obvious, I’m not sure why you felt it necessary to point it out.

      You fellas are hilarious.

      • Joshua,

        Can you name for me the people who you think are interested in improving climate science? Are they all partisan Warmers like you?

        Andrew

      • Can you name for me the people who you think are interested in improving climate science

        Not at all, B.A. There is no evidence that could disprove your analysis.

        That’s why I was agreeing with you when you posted that clearly, you can judge the intent of thousands of people and determine that they are uniformly frauds.

      • Thanks for your time, Joshua. You completely fulfilled my expectations of you.

        AndrewAndrew

      • I wonder why we keep having to rehash old topics, instead of discussing proactive ideas?

        Andrew

        Point me to your blog or website or papers where I can evaluate your proactive ideas. Until then, you don’t even realize what you are asking for. You don’t realize that you have to contribute ideas on your own, and that you just can’t wish them to rain down in a free-form commentary blog.

        Take your case for example. You may have had some ideas dispersed among the comments over the last several months. But do you keep track of where these comments are as Http links? Or do you think you can keep this all in your head like everything revolves around your own self-edification?

        As anyone with experience in this field will tell you, organization is a big part of the battle. Don’t even worry that no one reads your blog, they all started as diaries, or as a pretentious euphemism consider them as an engineering notebook.

        Consider this a proactive idea.

    • BA.
      They cannot even admit that hide the decline isnt best practices.
      Go figure. They rightly criticize Pat Michaels for his horrible
      chart tricks, but look the other way when those same failings
      occur in their most precious document.

    • Bad Andrew,
      That is a pretty broad brush.
      It seems clear to me that Dr. Curry truly is interested in getting good knowledge and ethical practices back to a place where that would be considered “normal”.

      • That is a pretty broad brush.

        Geez, ya’ think, hunter?

        Yeah, I guess you’re right. Maybe saying that Judith and all other climate scientists are uninterested in improving climate science might be just a tiny bit of an over-generalization.

        Just a tad. Perhaps a smidgen?

      • Joshua,
        Was it a coincidence that when I was buying some paint supplies, a guy with “Joshua” on his name tag kept pushing the 6″ and 8″ brushes?

  86. Contest anyone? We just passed the 149,000 comment mark, so the countdown to 150,000 can begin. It should only take a few days. We can have a contest, a no-money pool, to see who picks the closest time. I will take noon Tuesday EST.

    If folks want some other time standard they will have to translate EST to it for me. Newfoundland time is not allowed.

    • I don’t have a better guess, but based on the law of averages I’d be willing to wager (with appropriate odds) that the post that hits the target will be written by me.

      • About every third post is one of your beauties, so you got a good chance there. You are nauseating, josh.

      • Joshua, you have written about 10% of the comments on this thread, about 60, but you do far fewer on technical topics so the odds are maybe 20 to 1.

        Must be nice to have that kind of time. My time here is stolen from my duties, hence my brevity.

      • David –

        It’s a hard pace to keep up, but I feel I owe it to my fans, like Don Montford and steven mosher, so I make the sacrifice.

        I want better odds than that. If someone wants to offer 50 to 1 we can work something out.

      • Joshua doesn’t have a high level of self understanding, so cut him some slack. We can lead him to the mirror, but we cannot make him look or understand. For example, I once asked him to list his biases and made a list of my own. He apparently missed that or saw it and could not bring himself to do the work. Nevertheless, I haven’t given up on him. The same way there are certain skeptics that I don’t give up on.

      • Which, sadly, is why I rarely bother with Climate Etc any more.

        I can find plenty better things to do with my time than to read Joshua’s infantile clever-clever ‘logic’ and tedious accusations.

      • Which, sadly, is why I rarely bother with Climate Etc any more..

        And to think that I have ever disparaged whether my posting at Climate Etc. had ever achieved anything worthwhile.

      • @joshua

        Such a clear declaration of your destructive motives in being so frequently here does you no credit…but it comes as no great surprise.

      • Latimer,

        I wrote months ago that Joshua’s constant spamming of threads with irrelevant diversions into semantics and faux “issues” like asymetry was an intentional attempt to make the blog so boring that other commenters will despair of participating,

        He and a few other commenters here see themselves as good troopers of the progressive cause. They can’t argue the science, don’t understand the economics and see no way to legitimately derail the blog or change Dr. Curry’s perspective. They have zero influence in the climate debate, as do I. But unlike me, they have delusions of grandeur of themselves as climate warriors striking at what many consensus activists see as a major thorn in their side. Climate Etc.

        Joshua is the most prolific spammer, because he succeeds in diverting so many more commenters into meaningless debates on issues irrelevant to the thread. So long as others respond to his mundane, contentless diversions, he will continue to spend much of his vast amount of free time tilting at his own personal windmill…this blog.

        Don’t quit frequenting the blog, just skip over his vast array of comments. The only time I read a comment of his is when I read a response from a commenter like you, in a thread in which he has posted comments. Then I am kind of stuck looking at whatever empty comment he has left. On extremely rare occasions, he will even post a substantive comment on a comment I have left. (I think it has happened twice in the last three months or so.) Otherwise., let him tap away at his keyboard to his hearts desire.

        Putting up with the Joshua’s vacuousness and Rich Matarese’s bilious diatribes are the costs of reading and commenting on an un-moderated blog that is otherwise quite interesting and engaging.

        Ignore the boor.

        It makes the blog so much more interesting.

      • Gary,
        at least Rich Matarese’s bilious diatribes are linguistically rich, prosaically dynamic and usually amusing.

      • Latimer
        I agree that he has made it increasingly boring which is why, after 18 months lurking here, I too am spending more and more time elsewhere. Shame really, it started so well. The only thing that could rescue it are more scientifically based threads. The political stuff has become very boring with the same old circular arguments coming up every time.

      • Tallbloke,

        Can’t say as I agree. He’s like a liberaltarian Cornell West. If you take the time to read what is actually written (which I don’t much any more), rather than just getting carried away on the wave of verbosity, you see there is not really any there there.

        Wannabe bullies don’t impress me. A paper tiger is a paper tiger, whether on the playground or on a blog.

      • The only thing that could rescue it are more scientifically based threads. The political stuff has become very boring with the same old circular arguments coming up every time.

        The irony being that among the repetitive arguments are both this complaint — that pointless political bickering is driving out serious discussion of the science — as well as bitter, angry denouncements of Real Climate for moderating their site to maintain the high quality of technical discussion without the circular political arguments.

      • I think that either Joshua doesnt see his monomania or that he deliberately engages in a destroying the conversation. Either way, it’s something that is correctable, if he is willing to do the work.

  87. Joshua says:
    I’d be willing to wager (with appropriate odds) that the post that hits the target will be written by me.

    If it is It’d be about the only thing about any of your posts which did manage to hit the target.

  88. Joshy is a compulsive attention seeking putz. Even though most of the attention he gets is ridicule and scorn, he can’t help himself. He is convinced of the righteousness of the alleged climate science consensus, but he is an agnostic on the existence of a God, because there ain’t convincing scientific evidence, one way or t’other. On the one side, classical physics and quantum mechanics are not enough to convince the little disingenuous quibbler to go full atheist. On the other, the weightlessness of scientific evidence for the existence of a God doesn’t give him a clue. But the doomsday climate science dogma is bulletproof and ironclad., and must be defended in it’s entirety by little pseudo-crusaders like joshy and his sidekick bobbie. Pathetic.

    PS: The little putz is also firmly agnostic on the existence of the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and Bigfoot.

    • Agnosticism is a form of fear. You see the Atheist could be wrong, because they make a positive statement about the non existence of something. The theist also can be wrong. But the Agnostic thinks that by saying “i dont know” they somehow avoid the possibility of being in error. It’s ‘making a mistake” or “being wrong” that the Agnostic fears. And they never really question whether they can actually know what they believe. Joshua believes in a god. He just doesnt know that he believes in one.

      • Steven, I think it’s simpler than that. Josh is a crypto-atheist. We attended a bar mitzvah ceremony and party yesterday, and I thought about how difficult it would for little needy josh to be a full-blown atheist, among his religious family and friends. He is a faux-agnostic for the purposes of social accommodation.

        It would be interesting to see josh explain his need to see convincing scientific evidence on the God question, but he is very happy with assumptions, when it comes to key parts of the doomsday climate science. But alas I guess we will never be entertained with that spectacle, as josh has claimed that he is going to haunt some other place from here on. God, I hope he is serious.

      • God, I hope he is serious.

        Nah. Wasn’t serious for one second. I love you guyz too much to ever leave.

        And why are you hoping to god if you’re so sure he/she/it doesn’t exist?

      • I doubt that anybody took you seriously. They never do. And I say things like “God damn m&#@ &*#@%^$#!” all the time, but it don’t mean I believe in God. Don’t you know what jest is, jester?

        You remind me of a kid in grade school. Scrawny little obnoxious wimp, who sucked at sports and everything else. It seemed that he decided the only way he could get attention was to antagonize the big boys and get punched in the mouth. I later found out that poor little Bruce was suffering from the paraphilia called masochism. Pathetic.

      • I’m agnostic not because I am fearful of making a mistake, I’m agnostic because, as much as I question, I simply don’t know. Pointless for me to try and force myself to believe either one way or the other. It’s not a matter of cowardice or apathy – a passionate agnosticism is perhaps the most challenging of quests.

      • Ian on December 11, 2011 at 11:04 PM had written:

        I’m agnostic not because I am fearful of making a mistake, I’m agnostic because, as much as I question, I simply don’t know. Pointless for me to try and force myself to believe either one way or the other. It’s not a matter of cowardice or apathy – a passionate agnosticism is perhaps the most challenging of quests.

        On the subject of faith in the supernatural (belief in a deity, “whatever you perceive him to be: hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin”) I keep returning to the arguments of forthright atheists like George H. Smith as voiced in his Atheism: The Case Against God (1979) in which we find what he called “Smith’s Wager” as a play against Pascal’s Wager.

        Per Mr. Smith, “…the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity.”

        Randroid philosopher Leonard Peikoff goes far in his condemnation of religious agnosticism, writing:

        The agnostic miscalculates. He thinks he is avoiding any position that will antagonize anybody. In fact, he is taking a position which is much more irrational than that of a man who takes a definite but mistaken stand on a given issue, because the agnostic treats arbitrary claims as meriting cognitive consideration and epistemological respect. He treats the arbitrary as on a par with the rational and evidentially supported. So he is the ultimate epistemological egalitarian: he equates the groundless and the proved. As such, he is an epistemological destroyer. The agnostic thinks that he is not taking any stand at all and therefore that he is safe, secure, invulnerable to attack. The fact is that his view is one of the falsest — and most cowardly — stands there can be.

        If you indeed “simply don’t know” about whether or not there is some sort of ineffable entity fulfilling the role of a “god,” why claim to teeter in some condition of indecision?

        Either you know or you don’t. Either you accept a proposition about which you have no proof – nor can you ever have proof – or you back away from the religious fanatics making “Nice doggie!” noises and wondering just how dangerous this particular batch of witch-burning and heretic-stoning voodoo zombies are going to be.

        For further on the nature of religious whackjobs, review any and all of the warmista idiocies posted on this Web page.

      • Who believes nothing, is nothing, but I believe we’ve gone over this and made much and nothing of it.
        =============

      • I have always envied the atheists their faith.

    • Agnosticism is not, necessarily, an expression of fear. Although like all who claim the middle position: “moderates,” “independents,” and of course “lukewarmers,” there can be an element of that.

      I was an agnostic for about 25 years. I had been raised Roman Catholic, went to a Catholic university, and found a theology curriculum taught almost exclusively by atheists.

      Studying many other faiths, including atheism, I found that I doubted whether any one had it right. I became an agnostic because I simply did not know any more whether I believed a god existed, let alone a personalized Judeo-Christian God.

      Sometimes “I don’t know” means I don’t know.

  89. “Putting up with the Joshua’s vacuousness….”

    While I agree with your basic assessment re Joshua’s modus operandi, I don’t see the conspiracy you do. In my opinion, it’s simply a matter of ego. Joshua, to use a somewhat dated term, is basically a gas bag.

    • pokerguy,

      I think there’s been enough amature psycho analysis of Josh for a day, but I will give my last take on the matter. You can’t have a conspiracy of one, which is why I did not suggest one (not sure where you got that form my comment). There is no conspiracy, just a shared mind set. It is in the nature of progressives that they are progressives first, and everything else second. They don’t need to conspire to follow the same template as their fellow true believers.

      I do disagree that the derailing of so many threads with such an overwhelming volume of comments and diversions is just a happy coincidence. When someone achieves the same result over and over and over, it is a fair bet that the result is intended.

      • Conspiracy can be translated (origin) as a shared mind set, or more accurately a shared spirit.

      • It doesn’t mean that. It literally means “to breathe together”. It’s not a conspiracy without explicit coordination. What was going on in the Climategate emails was conspiracy. “Everyone delete these emails” was conspiracy.

      • Edim December 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM posts sophistry:

        Conspiracy can be translated (origin) as a shared mind set, or more accurately a shared spirit.

        In criminal law, conspiracy is not only “a shared spirit” but a sharing of intention to commit a violation of either specific articles of civil and criminal law – such as the Freedom of Information statutes prevailing – or the rights of individual persons known or unknown.

        The collusions of the C.R.U. correspondents – as exposed in the two available tranches of the Climategate extracts – to destroy materials sought under lawful FOIA demands cannot be defined as anything other than criminal conspiracy.

        Unlike violations of the FOI statute in the United Kingdom – which has an unbelievably brief eighteen-month statute of limitations – the statute of limitations on the criminal act of conspiracy has not run, and those individuals participant in these collusions who were resident in the U.K. at the time indeed warrant investigation purposed to indict, prosecute, and convict them.

        Anything less than this course of action constitutes dereliction of duty on the part of H.M. government’s officers, and that in itself entails the offenses of misfeasance and arguable malfeasance in public office.

      • Oh, I agree very much that there was/is conscious, explicit coordination among climate “scientists” and that is conspiracy in the modern meaning of the word. I just found it interesting that you said “shared mind set” and conspiracy is in a way a shared spirit (or mind set). The latin “spiritus” means breath, but also spirit, soul, courage…

  90. Wow!

    In light of these recent deeply insightful comments from tallbloke, mosher, Bob, Latimer, and Don, I feel that I must finally face reality.

    I thank you all for finally helping me to see the light. My comments here at Climate Etc. have been preventing you all from your important work of repeating ad nauseam blog posts agreeing with each other about conspiracy theories, about AGW Cabals, and about leftists trying to destroy capitalism. Think of how relatively impoverished the world is now from my interference in your important work.

    And all I was trying to do was convince some extremist rightwingers to “like’ me, to want to be my friends. But alas, I realize now how short of the mark my activity at Climate Etc. has fallen- and with such a disastrous side-effect.

    I can only thank you for your patience that you’ve put up with me this long, and read my many posts and commented in response, even though you found them so boring and useless. It must have been sooooooo hard for you. Finally, I see from this incessant whining that you’ve been doing that even you all have your breaking point.

    I’m so embarrassed.

    I feel so ashamed.

    I’m afraid that there is nothing left for me to do put to quit commenting at Climate Etc. I will still read regularly so I can catch your pearls of wisdom, and perhaps some day I will somehow make myself worthy of posting here again.

    I bid you all adieu.

    May the road always rise to meet you.

    • Bye then Joshua.

      I’m sure that genuine repentance and a very lengthy period of verbal continence will be good for your soul.

      And a wonderful seasonal gift for the rest of us.

    • That’s a shame.

      • Actually, John –

        I’ve re-thought my decision, and decided that instead of leaving Climate Etc., I should redouble my efforts to earn the respect of the fine denizens who make this place their blogosphere home.

        So cheer up. You can look forward to even more posts from me in the future.

      • Josh,
        RE: you redoubling your efforts
        2 X 0 = 0
        lol.

      • Joshua,

        Welcome back bacon eater :) Since Louise didn’t want to play, let’s see if you want to play, CONSPIRACY THEORY!!

        Stieg et. al 2009, was a peer reviewed, Nature magazine published paper on Antarctic warming that created data where there was none. The original confidence intervals in the paper published in Nature, got the cover BTW, were quite large. Hu McCullock(?) noted that the confidence intervals were underestimated. It was a coin toss. Maybe it was warming maybe not. A corrigenda was published for the paper to “highlight” the error in the peer reviewed, prestigious publication of the ground breaking results that the antarctic was warming 0.1C per decade, or maybe not.

        O’Donnell et al 2010, reviewed the “novel” statistical methods to “create” the missing data which “proved” the Antarctic was warming as postulated by the Arrhenius global warming equation due to polar amplification. In other words, the polar amplification was fictitious, as in not warming of any statistical significance. That happens to agree with the NASA data that says, the Antarctic is not warming or at least they can’t measure it if it is.

        So now, with AR5 in the works, http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/4356-3/ It is not that long, give it a peek.

        Now Joshua, is this science or someone blowing smoke up your arse?

        That may be why some of the guys you are trying so hard to be friends with :) are coming across as conspiracy theorists.

        How open minded are we Josh? Let the bacon fat be with you.

      • That’s a real shame.

      • Hu McCulloch.
        =========

      • Cap’n.

        I’ve read before your take on the issue you describe. As someone that can’t understand all the technical questions in full detail, your account seems plausible.

        Now I don’t know for sure, but it seems that you make the same mistake that some of our other beloved “denizens” absolutely seem to never be able to get past.

        I accept that tribalism exists on the “realist” side of the debate. In fact, given what we know about how people reason in the fact of uncertainty – particularly on controversial issues that overlap with fundamental political and other ideological identities, I would expect as a pre-condition to see tribalism among “realists.”

        However, that doesn’t mean that I think plausible the “skeptical” ranting about conspiracies I often read, nor does it mean that I should ignore the overt motivated reasoning that I often see from some “skeptics.”

        Maybe if I ate less bacon I would stop laughing at the illogic of some “skeptics.” But neither is likely to happen any time soon.

      • Conspiracies abound among the taxpayer funded “realists