Climate Classroom

by Judith Curry

Some news from the climate education front this week.

The good

Andy Revkin of dotearth has been writing some very interesting posts related to climate education.

From his article Climate 101: Online and Free:

As part of the trend in higher education toward moving more course offerings onto the Web, the University of Chicago has launched Open Climate 101, an online version of a popular course led by David Archer that explores for non-science majors the body of research pointing to a rising human influence on the climate system.

It’s built around Archer’s climate text, “Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast” (sample chapter). 

David Archer also has a post on this over at RealClimate.  I haven’t read the book “Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast”.  A sample chapter is available “Greenhouse Gases“, which looks quite good.  A quick look at one of the video lectures also looks quite good.  The level of presentation is more sophisticated than “Climate 101″ implies (University of Chicago freshman are very intelligent).  Of particular interest to denizens of the technical climate blogosphere, Archer has an online model server, so you can run the following models simply via a GUI interface

  • Modtran- Infrared Radiation in the Atmosphere
  • NCAR Radiation Code Visible + Infrared Radiation
  • GEOCARB Geolocgical Carbon Cycle
  • Methane in the Atmosphere
  • Orbital Forcing of Earth’s Climate
  • ISAM Climate Impacts Model
  • Hubbert’s Peak Oil Supply Calculator
  • Kaya Identity Growth of the Human Footprint
  • CCM3 Browse a Climate Model

From his post entitled Climate in Classrooms:

With all of this in mind, I’m going to try to do a series of pieces on educational experiments aimed at exploring climate science and climate choices (hopefully not mashing these two very different subjects up) in ways that foster understanding and engagement.

Soon I’ll write here on an innovative class at Pace University in which faculty member Claudia Mausner staged a fascinating debate among student teams adopting the climate stances of the three main sectors of American society discerned through the Climate Change and the American Mind project at Yale University: “alarmed or concerned,” “cautious or disengaged,” “doubtful or dismissive.”

From his post Building a “Knowosphere,” One Cable and One Campus at a Time:

Now here’s my broader take on what I’ve begun calling the “knowosphere” — a word intentionally echoing the more allegorical “noosphere,” the “planet of the mind” of Vladimir Vernadsky and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Whatever term you use, it’s clear that the world is quickly being knitted by new ways to share observations and shape ideas that are bound to have profound impacts on the quality of the human journey. 

In his column on Sunday, Tom Friedman explored this terrain through the work of Blair Levin, an Aspen Institute fellow who is leading the Gig.U project. This initiative is aiming to build dozens of university-centered networks for innovation and education around the United States, with the goal of fostering what Levin calls “high-performance knowledge exchange and generation.”

But I’m more energized by what’s already happening with fiber optic, and other links (particularly mobile phones) in parts of the world where cheap access to the Internet remains a dream.

The bad

From the AAAS:  Education Advocates Enter the Climate Tempest

Is climate change education the new evolution, threatened in U.S. school districts and state education standards by well-organized interest groups? A growing number of education advocates believe so, and yesterday, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) in Oakland, California, which fights the teaching of creationism, announced that it’s going to take on climate change denial as well.

But after hearing an increasing number of anecdotes about K-12 teachers being challenged about how they taught climate science to their students, she says she began to see “parallels” between the two debates –namely, an ideological drive from pressure groups to “teach the controversy” where no scientific controversy exists. To get expertise in this area, NCSE hired climate and environmental education expert Mark McCaffrey as its new climate coordinator and appointed Pacific Institute hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick to its board of directors.

Excerpts from the Washington Post article entitled Scientists want climate change in young minds:

Climate change subscribers say the fight against global warming will require younger soldiers.

On Monday, the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group that denounces intelligent design and supports an evolution-only curriculum in the classroom, will expand its mission. The organization of scientists, anthropologists and others is turning its attention to climate change, and it will mount an aggressive effort to teach the nation’s schoolchildren that climate change is real and is being driven by human activity.

Ms. Scott maintains that the NCSE won’t advocate for teachers to push liberal policy solutions to climate change, but others fear that students will be targets of political indoctrination.

“If you say it’s man-made, you must be implying some solutions. [Climate change] is taught to promote a particular political point of view, and that’s the problem,” said Kathleen Porter-Magee, senior director of the High Quality Standards Program at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based conservative education think tank.

Ms. Porter-Magee said such efforts essentially amount to “the politicization of curriculum.”

Even if schools don’t explicitly call for cap-and-trade or similar measures, she said, students could bombarded with strong subliminal messages to take action against climate change.

Textbooks and other materials geared toward the youngest students already are peddled to school leaders.

The University of California at Berkeley operates the website globalwarmingkids.net, a subsection of its climatechangeeducation.org initiative. On the website, instructors can order “Global Warming for Young Minds,” a handbook aimed at 6- to 10-year-olds. It also offers “Let’s Stop Climate Change” DVDs, in which a hippopotamus named Simon encourages children to take action against global warming.

With no legal defense, the NCSE and other groups instead will launch a public relations effort. If it is successful, climate change skeptics could become a small minority and might be derided for their beliefs.

From KQED News in California Climate Science in Schools:  the Next “Evolution”:

Scott says parents often argue that schools should teach both sides of a controversial scientific issue. But she doesn’t consider the fundamental conclusions of climate science to be controversial. “The idea that scientific topics that are well grounded in basic science, like evolution or climate change, should be balanced, or that all views should be taught, is not one that is very scientifically or pedagogically supportable,” said Scott. She readily agrees that many of the details of climate science are debated between scientists, such as differing approaches to modeling climate change. However, she maintains that “the science community is pretty uniform in its acceptance of the fact that the planet is getting warmer.” Nevertheless, Scott said skepticism toward climate science has gained traction with the general public, so legislators and some school boards are starting to demand that science curricula provide room for doubt.

 So [the Center] provides support to teachers who ask for it. “Teachers in general are conflict-averse; they just want to do their jobs,” explained Scott. Unfortunately that means that it is often easier for a teacher to avoid the issue completely than to stand up for the climate science.

California is not immune. The Center in Oakland has documented at least two cases of climate change flare-ups in California classrooms. When an Advanced Placement environmental science class was introduced in Los Alamitos, a small city in Orange County, the school board ruled that global warming should be taught as a “controversial subject,” meaning that the teacher should present both sides of the controversy to students. And, in Portola Valley, a stone’s throw from Stanford University, a parent demanded a debate between a climate scientist and a climate denier after learning that the teacher had shown Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth in class.

JC comments:

Kudos to David Archer for the development of a very successful climate course at the University of Chicago, and for making the course available online.  Quality educational materials on climate science that are broadly accessible are very much in need.

Kudos to Andy Revkin for exploring new ideas for university and broader public education on climate change.  Exploring the applications afforded connectivity enabled by the internet and cell phones is something that is very timely and very much needed.  I especially appreciated this one:

Soon I’ll write here on an innovative class at Pace University in which faculty member Claudia Mausner staged a fascinating debate among student teams adopting the climate stances of the three main sectors of American society discerned through the Climate Change and the American Mind project at Yale University: “alarmed or concerned,” “cautious or disengaged,” “doubtful or dismissive.”

Why am I giving a “raspberry” to the NCSE initiative?  This seems like propaganda, pure and simple.  Keep it out of the K-12 classrooms.

With regards to K-12 education, there is no particular reason to teach ‘climate change’ in the K-12 curriculum.  Climate change is a topic that is more suitable high school ‘science and society’ courses.  In such courses, teaching the controversy would seem to be of paramount importance.  Critical thinking and understanding the complex societal factors that are influenced by science and influence science itself would be of value in such a course, although intelligent and appropriate handling of such a course at the high school level is a challenge.

442 responses to “Climate Classroom

  1. To get expertise in this area, NCSE [...] and appointed Pacific Institute hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick to its board of directors.

    CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

    What do we here know of this person?

    • AK,
      We know that Peter makes a lot of money pushing AGW and that he falsely claims things about books and people and is not man enough to admit it when caught out in his falsehoods.

  2. For education in the internet classroom, I will be visiting Tom Fuller’s new blog, 3000 Quads.

    http://3000quads.com/

  3. “…it’s clear that the world is quickly being knitted by new ways to share observations and shape ideas that are bound to have profound impacts on the quality of the human journey.”

    Precisely. And all of our scientific, educational and political institutions have been suborned by an incompetent climate consensus. All of these “fresh initiatives” are doggedly, haughtily, doubling down on basic scientific incompetence.

  4. I confess a certain prejudice with David Archer – I found his book about how our fossil fuel use is definitely changing the climate of planet earth for the next 100,000 years slightly hubristic.
    Perhaps his course really is very good…

    Slightly O/T – on the previous thread there was a discussion of Richard Betts’ [unsurprisingly obvious] comment that climate sensitivity may well fall outside the IPCC’s range of 2-4.5 degrees C per 2XCo2. We didn’t have an opportunity to ask him the interesting question – did he have a feeling of the likelihood of sensitivity being either higher or lower than the IPCC estimate.

    Dr Curry – if asked the same question, how would you respond? Do you think [if it lies outside the IPCC's '66%' range] it is more likely to be less than 2 degrees, or more than 4.5? How would you characterise the uncertainties?

    • Somebody somewhere needs to comment on the recent paywalled article “Improved constraints on 21st-century warming derived
      using 160 years of temperature observations” by Gillette et al in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). Paging Fred or Pekka. I haven’t got enough experience with all the prior work that is prerequisite to understanding the jargon, as it’s a very compact article, but the gist is they “constrain” “transient climate sensitivity” to 1.3-1.8 C. It was discussed on WUWT by Pat Michaels but that mostly focused on consquences of the result, not the methods used to achieve it.

      • Bill – Gillett et al utilize simulations from the CanESM2 Earth System model to estimate the extent to which the model reproduces observed trends, and conclude that it overestimates warming when the comparison is made with the 1851-2010 interval, whereas the concordance is greater when the comparison is made with the 1900-1999 interval (although with substantial variability – see, e.g., their Figure 3a). Part of the difference appears explainable by the fairly small (0.6 C) warming their method cites as the observed result from 1851-2010, reflecting the influence of starting point on the magnitude of a trend – if one starts at 1900, the warming is greater. The authors emphasize the sensitivity of the results to starting point.

        In general, the data reaffirm conclusions that have been cited in many earlier reports – warming since the mid twentieth century reflects the strong dominance of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, although this result adds only one additional source, the CanESM2 model, and does not explicitly address unforced variability (in previous threads, I’ve referred to sources showing that the latter would not have been a major warming contributor post-1950, but since this component of the paper is tangential to its main conclusions, I won’t repeat that evidence here).

        One of the main points of interest is the conclusion that the transient climate response is estimated to occupy the range of 1.3 to 1.8 C, which is somewhat lower than some but not all earlier estimates. Since this is again derived from a single model, the estimate must be interpreted cautiously. Nevertheless, it can be put in the context of other recent estimates – in particular those of Gregory and Forster (2008) and Padilla et al (2011) – see the recent transient climate sensitivity thread for discussion of these papers. They, like Gillett et al, estimate a lower TCR bound of about 1.3 C but a higher upper bound (2.3 for GF08 and 2.6 for Padilla et al). Without judging the relative weight of these different estimates, we can ask how the 1.3 – 1.8 C estimate of Gillett et al might translate into an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) estimate (typically cited as 2 to 4.5 C). For this, the TCR must be adjusted for the TCR/ECS ratio. Data on this are given by Isaac Held in Transient vs Equilibrium Climate Responses, which cites an average ratio of 0.56. This figure would translate the Gillett estimates into an ECS range of 2.3 to 3.2 C, which is within the canonical range, albeit with an upper bound only slightly above 3 C. The upper bound for GF08 and Padilla et al would be 4.1 and 4.6 C respectively, but of course all of these conversions depend on the precise value used for the TCR/ECS ratio.

      • thanks Fred. mainly i was unsure of the relationship between the TCR and ECS. I reviewed that thread just now and I remember it but didn’t read it in huge detail previously.

        the low bounds of the new study are interesting. i somewhat agree with what I think Michaels said about wondering how many more of these we are going to see. (i hope more, as it will take a lot of the C out of AGW).

        I think they used Crutem. Someone should now do a similar study and include BEST going back to 1810. Wonder what they’d find?

        Or wait, maybe it is just a conservative plot led by the Harper goverment to justify rejecting Kyoto.

        That last one is for Joshua.

      • crutem I mean hadcrut

      • Fred Moolten

        I would agree with you that a CO2 temperature response of around 1.5°C makes sense based on the actual observations over the past 160 years (using IPCC assumptions on natural forcing at 7% of the total and the IPCC estimate that all other anthropogenic forcings other than CO2 have cancelled one another out).

        However, the postulated TCR/ESC ratio of 0.56 is largely based on Hansen et al. 2005, the now-famous “hidden in the pipeline” paper (which you and I have discussed before).

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/308/5727/1431.full.pdf

        In this paper the authors showed that the observed actual CO2 temperature response since the temperature record started was only around half of the amount theoretically predicted by the climate models.

        Instead of adjusting the model assumptions to agree with the actual observations, the authors use “circular logic” to arrive at the 56% figure, arguing that the missing energy is hidden in the “pipeline”

        We infer from the consistency of observed and modeled planetary energy gains that the forcing still driving climate change, i.e., the forcing not yet responded to, averaged ~0.75 W/m2 in the past decade and was ~0.85 ± 0.15 W/m2 in 2003 (Fig. 1C). This imbalance is consistent with the total forcing of ~1.8 W/m2 relative to that in 1880 and climate sensitivity of ~2/3°C per W/m2. The observed 1880 to 2003 global warming is 0.6° to 0.7°C, which is the full response to nearly 1 W/m2 of forcing. Of the 1.8 W/m2 forcing, 0.85 W/m2 remains, i.e., additional global warming of 0.85 x 0.67 ~ 0.6°C is “in the pipeline” and will occur in the future even if atmospheric composition and other climate forcings remain fixed at today’s values.

        Improved ocean temperature measurements in the past decade, along with highprecision satellite altimetry measurements of the ocean surface, permit an indirect but precise quantification of Earth’s energy imbalance. We compare observed ocean heat storage with simulations of global climate change driven by estimated climate forcings, thus obtaining a check on the climate model’s ability to simulate the planetary energy imbalance.

        Problem is, that since 2003, when more comprehensive and reliable ARGO measurements replaced the old expendable XBT devices (which introduced a warming bias, according to Josh Willis, co-author of the Hansen et al. “pipeline” paper) the upper ocean has been cooling instead of warming (referred to by Willis as a “speed bump”).

        So we have a hypothetical TCR/ECS ratio, derived theoretically by circular logic, with the postulated “hidden energy” missing completely from the planet.

        All sounds pretty weak to me, Fred. I’d say one should follow Occam’s razor and start with a TCR/ECS ratio of 1 (especially over such a long period as the total past record) until there is empirical evidence based on physical observations to show that it is less than 1.

        This would mean that the ECS of 2xCO2 is around 1.5°C if IPCC’s estimate of only 7% past natural forcing is correct.

        If the conclusions of several independent solar studies (which I cited earlier) are correct that roughly 50% of the warming (instead of only 7%) can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years) the 2xCO2 temperature response would only be around 0.8°C.

        Max

      • Max- Your comment makes so many false statements that I have a hard time taking it seriously.. Readers interested in the topic can review the sources I’ve inked to to see what I mean and to have a basis for understanding how the conclusions from all these estimates were arrived at. If they have questions about the data in any of the sources, I’ll try to address them.

      • Fred Moolten: Your comment makes so many false statements that I have a hard time taking it seriously.. Readers interested in the topic can review the sources I’ve inked to to see what I mean

        Really. You should itemize at least one so-called “false statement” when you make such a claim, state succinctly what you think is true on that point, and quote or cite the exact page where the “false statement” is contradicted.

        You have written of my comments like that when I have known from reading the texts (and quoting them) that you were wrong.

      • Matt – Having refuted some of those points often in the past, I’m not inclined to do it again and again online instead of by email, but the notion of a TCR/ECS ratio of 1 is such an absurdity that one should be embarrassed to suggest it. There are numerous other examples.

      • You also stated, You have written of my comments like that when I have known from reading the texts (and quoting them) that you were wrong..

        I don’t think that’s true of any exchanges you and I have had, but if you know of important examples, I will be happy to learn of mistakes I made.

      • I didn’t originally read Max’s comment because it wasn’t a response to what I originally wrote, but seeing this extended discussion I have read it and I am inclined to add. Fred, I do think it would be worthwhile to enumerate (if not refute) the statements you believe are false. I for one disagree with the Occam’s Razor comment. I will go back through the TCR thread and see if I can pull anything out of it that addresses Max’s comments, one way or the other, if only for my own edification.

      • Fred Moolten

        Sorry, but as Matt points out, simply arm-waving and referring to hypothetical past posts, which were also simply based on arm-waving, won’t win you many converts among readers here.

        Observations over a 160-year period have shown that the 2xCO2 temperature response is between 0.8 and 1.5 degC, depending on how one assesses the impact of the sun.

        If one accepts the IPCC estimate (which it concedes is based on it’s “low level of scientific understanding” of solar forcing, one arrives at the higher figure.

        If, on the other hand, one accepts the estimates of several solar scientists (whose LOSU of solar forcing is arguably not :as “low” as that of IPCC) one arrives at the lower figure.

        This contrasts with IPCC (and Hansen) estimates with a mean value of 3.2 deg C (or 2 to 4 times higher than the actually observed value)

        To speculate that there is still a major portion of the warming of the past 160 years “hidden in the pipeline” (as Hansen et al. would have us believe) strains credibility severely, no matter how hard you wave your arms.

        You have been unable to bring any empirical evidence based on real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation to substantiate this notion, so I have to assume that you have no such empirical evidence.

        It’s just that simple.

        Evidence, Fred – not verbiage (and certainly not model simulations, as these provide no evidence whatsoever).

        Max

      • Skimming both the previous Climate Etc thread and the Isaac Held post, it’s clear that the “pipeline” is the deep oceans. This is not a surprise. It does seem that we don’t have good enough models to really say how much of the heat has gone to the nether regions, and thus how much will return or how fast. It seems safe to assume “some”. Witness recent? disagreement b/w Hansen and Trenberth about deep oceans vs. aerosol reflectance. Captain Dallas has mumbled something about the inability to model large regions of laminar flow…

      • Bill – I already commented on part of it (the absurdity of a TCR/ECS ratio of 1), but I’m not inclined to repeat extensive points I and others have made many times before. His paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 are more wrong than right, and much of the rest is wrong too, or at least conveys a false impression, along with a scattering of correct statements . Is this ignorance on the part of Max Manacker or dishonesty – or both? Readers can make their own judgments.

        If this is truly a subject of great interest to you, please email me for further details – see my comment on email discussion. I have never refrained from explaining my perspective when the topic is one that hasn’t been dealt with before, but I’m disinclined to be lured into revisiting past arguments that have already been refuted. Anyone familiar with my understanding of climate change and Max Manacker’s understanding will understand why I don’t feel a need now to re-engage with him, as I might with others who are more knowledgeable in the subject than he is.. I’ll let him accuse me of arm waving and leave it at that.

        ,

      • heh models OR data

      • Bill – the “pipeline” is not the deep oceans, except in the sense that any future heat that hasn’t yet arrived at this planet will in part be distributed into the deep oceans. The “pipeline” refers to this future warming (if CO2 concentrations aren’t reduced) and not to heat anywhere in the system at present – in the oceans or elsewhere..

        I don’t know how interested you are in this subject, but if you have a deep interest, my email invitation stands.

      • Bill, there are two ways of measuring what heat there is in the pipeline. You can measure the energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere or you can measure the amount of energy being added to the oceans. Where the deep ocean warming comes in is that the measurements of ocean warming are not indicative of a large energy imbalance, ie warming in the pipeline. The answer proposed by some is that energy has gone to the deep oceans. That’s all there really is to it, a fairly simple concept.

      • Fred Moolten: Having refuted some of those points often in the past, I’m not inclined to do it again and again

        I’d be content for you to write nothing in such a case. To assert there are falsehoods without itemizing any of them undermines your rhetorical effectiveness. For what it’s worth. We can’t tell which statements you deem truthful and which you deem to be false.

      • Fred – I’d use the email invitation if I was having a detailed discussion with you such as a disagreement, just between the two of us. Here, my goal is to discuss this in public as a technical issue of common interest.

        I agree with Steven’s statement about the pipeline. Sure, TOA imbalance gives us an indication that there will be future warming. TOA imbalance over any real timeframe means heat (energy) is accumulating in the system (and reverse if the imbalance is in the other direction. That’s not to say that an imbalance at the current time implies continued imbalance in the future except inasumuch as we have the physical models to explain it. If this year the surface/atmosphere system warms enough to close the gap, it is closed. Not that that will happen. For imbalance to remain implies a “sink” for the heat that is a long time equilibrating with the radiant surface. Thus the deep ocean explanation. If the TOA imbalance is out of step with the ocean heat sink, then somewhere a measurement must be off.

      • Bill – Although some of your explanation is not quite clear, I think you probably understand the “pipeline” concept well. It’s important to realize it refers exclusively to future warming and not to heat currently in the system. I don’t fundamentally disagree with Steven’s description except to say that we that there’s no practical way to measure energy being added to the ocean. We can only measure (approximately) energy that has been added over a specified interval, with an accuracy correlated with the length of the interval (measurements over less than a decade are only less accurate than more extended ones). For these reasons, a current TOA flux imbalance may not correlate well with past ocean heat uptake measurements that reflect interannual variations in a variety of short-lived factors unrelated to long term forcing. Examples are variations due to ENSO, volcanism, aerosols, and the solar cycle. TOA imbalances can’t really be measured accurately, either, but what is done instead is to use serial measurements to determine how they are changing.

        The current “pipeline” estimate of future warming for a constant CO2 concentration is probably about 0.6 C. It would decline to near zero if anthropogenic CO2 emissions ceased with no change in other climate drivers.

      • I calculated that the oceans can hold 1200 times as much heat as the atmosphere. Not all of the ocean is usable as a heat sink, but for the heat capacity properties it has, it can definitely store a tremendous amount of latent heat, that as Fred said, will take time to measure accurately. The time necessary to integrate the uptake measurements is something we have to be patient with, but everyone would like the answers now.
        From the Thermodynamics comment thread, I am working on a diffusive transient analysis that I will post pretty soon.

      • Web-I would be interested in seeing your analysis of why the ocean can hold 1200 times more heat than the atmosphere. In your estimate did you account for heat losses?

    • Anteros – if I get time this afternoon I’ll get through another lecture or 2 and let you know how it’s going.

  5. P.S. Is the observation about the intelligence of the University of Chicago freshmen just an alma mater perspective? :)

  6. I signed up for the David Archer online class. Anyone else? I skipped the first lecture on “heat light and energy” and aced the quiz, and was about to do the same for #2 “blackbody radiation and quantum mechanics” but I looked at the quiz and it had actual numbers on it, so I figured I’d better watch the lecture first.

  7. ceteris non paribus

    Judith Curry wrote:

    Why am I giving a “raspberry” to the NCSE initiative? This seems like propaganda, pure and simple. Keep it out of the K-12 classrooms.
    With regards to K-12 education, there is no particular reason to teach ‘climate change’ in the K-12 curriculum. Climate change is a topic that is more suitable high school ‘science and society’ courses. In such courses, teaching the controversy would seem to be of paramount importance.

    “Teach the controversy?” Seriously, Dr. Curry?

    Do you think we should tell children that the Earth could be just 6,000 years old too?

    The science of climate change belongs in science classes.
    There is no scientific controversy.

    That is the NCSE’s (Ms. Scott’s) point.
    Odd that, as a scientist, you seem to have missed it.

    The climate change “controversy” is entirely socio-political – and that aspect of the ‘debate’ belongs in “science and society” courses.

    Teach the kids the scientific facts, then they can decide what those facts might or might not imply for society at large.

    • cnp –

      Do you think we should tell children that the Earth could be just 6,000 years old too?

      Teaching the controversy ≠ “tell[ing] children that the Earth could be just 6,000 years old…”

      Teaching the controversy would be exploring the controversy over evolution, it’s political, philosophical, and ideological antecedents, and how the political, philosophical, and ideological aspects of the controversy overlap with the science.

      As such, it is an excellent educational context, as is the climate debate.

      • Joshua, said, “Do you think we should tell children that the Earth could be just 6,000 years old too?” Of course I do. Kids should learn about all sorts of belief systems, ethnic traits, myths, follies and religions. Then maybe they can think for themselves instead of signing petitions to ban dihydrogen monixide like sheep. 8)

        You are still banned from smilies :)

      • Never mind, you typed, cnp, not cp’n :(

      • cap’n –

        What is the penalty for wrongly assessing penalties?

      • Of course I do. Kids should learn about all sorts of belief systems,

        Of course. They should be told about all the possible numbers that 1+1 could add up to, such as 1, 3, 4, 5, etc. They should also be told about the attempt to legislate pi = 3 in Indiana. And so on.

        Of course this will all confuse the heck out of them, as well as leaving little time for them to learn real science. By your “scientific” method of teaching the US will fail to compete with the rest of the world and go down the tubes scientifically.

        I continue to be amazed about the amount of rubbish spouted on this blog. All very creative from an artistic perspective, maybe a political one too, but with little bearing on actual science. The US may end up emerging as an artistically and politically talented country that is utterly clueless when it comes to science, or for that matter where the Strait of Hormuz is.

      • Vaughan Pratt said, “Of course. They should be told about all the possible numbers that 1+1 could add up to, such as 1, 3, 4, 5, etc. They should also be told about the attempt to legislate pi = 3 in Indiana. And so on.”

        A little math centric today? I also think music, phys ed and humanities should be taught in school. Right wrong or indifferent from your views, cultures have differences. Religion is a part of our culture.

        Rome started with many deities, made a political decision to switch to Christianity, modified Christianity to meet the needs of the masses. The Catholic church became the power of Rome that survived.

        The United States was first colonized by puritanical Christians that opposed politicization of their religion, mainly the persecution part.

        Let’s see politicization of beliefs, that rings a bell? Yep, I still think there is more to education than reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. :)

      • Vaughn –

        They should be told about all the possible numbers that 1+1 could add up to, such as 1, 3, 4, 5, etc.

        This seems to suggest a pretty rigid approach to pedagogy. Students should be taught the principles of addition, and explore whether or not 1+1 = 1, 3, 4, or 5. Simply telling them that 1+1= 2 and that any other sum is wrong suggests an approach to math education that has resulted in large %’s of students concluding from their math education that they “can’t do math” – because they were simply taught abstracted algorithms and judged on a simple determination as to whether their work was “right” or “wrong.” Of course, they shouldn’t be taught that 1+1 = 1,3,4,5 etc. is “right,” but they should be allowed to explore the boundaries of the mathematics involved. And the same approach should be applied to climate science.

    • Teaching critical thinking is at least as important as teaching “facts”, which are subject to change as new evidence accumulates.

      • That’s not how it works at RC…

      • ceteris non paribus

        Joshua, Dr. Curry,

        My point is this:
        You don’t teach anyone critical thinking by teaching about a controversy that does not exist.

        Yes – there are all manner of debates over mitigation, adaptation, taxation. But these are consequential to the science, not a part of it.

        The NCSE is saying that science classrooms are about giving students access to the best available scientific knowledge and methodologies.

        There is no serious scientific debate over the greenhouse effect, the current energy imbalance of the Earth, the historical temperature record, or the radiative properties of black-bodies. We would do a dis-service to students to suggest otherwise.

        The facts that blogs are full of heated dis-agreements, and that some or other “-gate” has unsurprisingly revealed that scientists are human, are really quite immaterial.

        This issue is largely about parents wanting to have their children sheltered from ideas that they don’t like. But that is not what schools are for.

        Teach the students the scientific facts – so that they are able to think critically about all the “science in society” issues.

      • certris

        Do you claim to “know” what the rate of warming will be and what impact that warming will have on the future climate, (rainfall) around the world?

      • ceteris non paribus

        Rob:
        We could go merrily ’round in circles about the stuff that we don’t know.
        The point is that there is much that we do know.

        There is a great deal about cell-biochemistry that we do not know.
        Should we therefore avoid covering a century’s worth of cell biology in school classrooms?

      • Roger Caiazza

        ceteris non paribus “There is no serious scientific debate over the greenhouse effect, the current energy imbalance of the Earth, the historical temperature record, or the radiative properties of black-bodies.”

        I will give you no serious scientific debate over the greenhouse effect or the radiative properties of black-bodies and throw in the climate is warming. However, to say there is no debate over the energy balance or historical temperature record is a stretch. Was there a medieval warming period is a serious question with immense policy ramifications.

        Teaching students science is settled would be a disservice.

      • certis
        I agree with Roger’s point. There are many things that are known. Unfortunately, there seems to be a tendency to try to state that more is known than really is at this point in time. Teaching a topic incorrectly seems to border on propaganda to advocate a policy conclusion.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Roger:

        Teaching students science is settled would be a disservice.

        No decent science teacher would.

        Rob:

        Teaching a topic incorrectly seems to border on propaganda to advocate a policy conclusion.

        You seem to assume that “teaching a topic incorrectly” would automatically privilege some vaguely defined systemic motives. Why?
        Teachers are your friends and neighbors. Why wouldn’t they be just as likely to incorrectly advocate for policies that you happen to agree with?
        (Please don’t tell me that all teachers are “liberals” or some other stereotypical label with semantic baggage that is peculiar to US politics.)

      • Certis

        No, I would not make a generalization about teachers or their motives. I would state on controversial topics it is necessary to ensure that what we teach if factual and not attempting to advocate a position that is unproven. Teaching the topic is great as long as it is factually correct.

        On a side note I asked at real climate if the course would state what the rate of warming would be in the real world as a result of more CO2 and if it stated what the impact will be around the world. Real Climate takes a long time to moderate comments

      • this is all about the level of “teaching climate change”

        i don';t even know what all you learn in grade school science in the US these days, being long out of it and my kids not in it yet.

        it strikes me that evolution is much more fundamental to biology than climate change is to….well, anything but climate science. That is, evolution at SOME level – whether or not it is sufficient to explain the origin of life or human beings – I do think that there is enough controversy to that not to teach it as “settled science”.

        I think maybe what Judith had in mind is – courses or modules centered on AGW are probably not a good idea for K-8. I’m going with K-8, not K-12 since that includes high school. In the context of general earth science, climatology could be a chapter or a module, but there’s a lot more to cover. We get what, Earth Science about 2 times, say 4th grade and again in 7th? In covering climatology, the GHE is certainly important, and the AGW hypothesis certainly merits mention, albeit without scare tactics. I don’t think there’s much controversy at this level, but uncertainty abounds…

      • “Please don’t tell me that all teachers are “liberals” or some other stereotypical label with semantic baggage that is peculiar to US politics.”

        Oh perish the thought.

        I can see why a European would reject the idea, since there are no conservatives in Europe any more (except among those who have actually lived in the progressive paradise that used to be called Eastern Europe). But in the US, where there are still actually those who defend the principles and traditions of Western culture, both economic and political, the overwhelming predominance of progressives in academia is not even open for debate.

        The left in the US has spent much of the last decade trying to find different justifications for their self selection and exclusion of conservatives. Not surprisingly, they usually determine that they are overwhelmingly liberal as a profession because…well…liberals are just more awesome.

        http://nasblog.org/2011/03/23/why-are-most-college-professors-liberal-new-studies-investigate/

      • ceteris non paribus

        “a controversy that does nor exist”

        “There is no scientific controversy”

        Huh?

        On which planet are you living?

      • You don’t teach anyone critical thinking by teaching about a controversy that does not exist.

        Granted, but if you’re implying the climate debate does not exist then you’re living in a vacuum.

        Despite what anyone on either side of the debate will tell you, there are excellent reasons why there should be controversy. For example if CO2 is the cause of the temperature rising, why are there huge fluctuations in the temperature that have no counterpart in the very steady rise in CO2? Only a religious bigot would turn a blind eye to that question.

      • Roger Caiazza

        ceteris non paribus
        There is a meaningful omission in my statement “Teaching students science is settled would be a disservice.” What I meant to say that “Teaching students that science is settled would be a disservice” where “that” science refers to the science of the historical temperature record.

        The reason it is important is the belief that the current observed warming is unprecedented is a fundamental reason to enact aggressive policies to mitigate climate effects. After all isn’t that why there is a push to teach climate change? Excuse my questioning motives but I do think the ultimate message for those who advocate teaching climate change is more to promote a particular policy rather than provide an example of critical thinking of a controversial issue.

      • curryja: Teaching critical thinking is at least as important as teaching “facts”, which are subject to change as new evidence accumulates.

        Some stuff has to be taught and learned by rote, and practiced to mastery before any critical thinking can be attempted. My high school and college chemistry teachers taught that phlogiston and caloric theories were quite sophisticated, but we studied what replaced them and never attempted any critical appraisal of their merits compared to what we were being taught; we were taught to titrate without learning any very deep understanding of pH. The point at issue is where to decide in the climate science debate what should be taught and learned by rote (the absorption spectra of atmospheric gases? the laws of thermodynamics? the sphericity of the earth and its motion about the sun?) and what should be subjected to evaluation in light of evidence. Most students have to learn by rote what the value of pi to use, and very few will learn from first principles why 3.14159 is a better approximation than 22/7 or 3, or why the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the radius is even constant in the first place. Examples of this necessary balance of rote and understanding can be multiplied indefinitely. Many people will learn that there are more irrational numbers than rational numbers without understanding how to prove it.

    • The effort of AGW fanatics to confuse their AGW apocalypse with evolutionary science only damages science. Perhaps it reflects an inner confusion of the AGW faithful as to what science is?

    • “The science of climate change belongs in science classes.”

      Except when it’s used to make policy. Then it belongs us and we can trash it, if we like.

      Andrew

      • ceteris non paribus


        Except when it’s used to make policy.

        Agreed.
        That’s why teaching the science should be distinct from “teaching the controversy”. Science isn’t policy, notwithstanding your wish to “trash it”.

      • But you’re not teaching the science are you? You’re teaching children that humans are basically evil, and unless we follow a course of action prescribed by the environmental movements we will all be doomed. It’s religion pure and simple and you want to get at young minds (what was it the Jesuits used to say,”give me the child until he’s seven and I’ll give him to you for life.”) and convert them to your religion.

        Using creationism as the parallel with climate scepticism is just plain stupid. We can easily prove the age of the earth is greater than 6 thousand years. That’s a slam dunk.

        Proving you can foretell the future behaviour of a coupled non-linear chaotic system is a trifle more complex, and is not a slam dunk.

        Bottom line you want to indoctrinate the children with your point of view and for that to be successful you need a complete black out on any views to the contrary.

      • “Science isn’t policy”

        Tell that to all the Warmers out there. You don’t have to convince me.

        Andrew

    • Cereris
      Making a comparison between teaching a religious perspective in schools (intelligent design) and climate change is more appropriate is you compare the views of Hansen et all to those who believe in “intelligent design”. It requires “faith” to believe in the outputs of the current GCMs more than science or engineering.

      A climate science class should be honest about what is known and what is not yet known.
      1. We know that more CO2 will result in warming if all other factors remain unchanged- (unfortunately in the real system they don’t)
      2. We are unsure what the actual warming rate will be as a result of #1
      3. We do not know what the impact will be on any specific nation or region of the world as a result of any warming that does occur as a result of #1

      • Rob Starkey
        Re: “a religious perspective in schools (intelligent design)”
        Your comments would be more credible if you got your facts straight. Study
        the facts, presuppositions and differences between evolution, creation science, and intelligent design rather than stating political propaganda of NCSE.
        Neo-Darwinian evolution is usually taught assuming the metaphysical presupposition (religious belief) ofmaterialism. e.g. see: Carl Sagan:

        The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.

        (Young earth) Creation science:

        The interpretation of scientific knowledge in accord with belief in the Bible, esp. the creation of matter, life, and humankind in six days.

        (Old earth creation science does presume six days.)

        Intelligent Design

        The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

        To understand the differences and to distinguish facts from beliefs, requires training in “critical thinking”, especially when examining the often hidden presuppositions, and frequent circular reasoning. The same issues are essential in understanding the issues involved with “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” that by equivocation is renamed “climate change” to be politically correct.

      • David

        Sorry, but I have no faith in you religious perspective and do not believe it belongs in public schools.

      • randomengineer

        Sorry, but I have no faith in you religious perspective and do not believe it belongs in public schools.

        Me either. But. The constitution is and has been pretty clear that where it concerns education; and as Jerry Pournelle puts it, if the residents of Resume Speed KS come to a vote and decide to teach creationism in their school district, the concept of freedom says that this is their right. As much as I abhor the thought of my kids being taught creationism, I agree with Pournelle on this. Freedom can be very messy. If you can’t teach your offspring as you think they need to be taught, you’re not really free at all.

        The NCSE needs to be stopped in its tracks, because despite being right to campaign against creation teaching, it is wrong to do so via state imposition. The climate stuff is just more of the same.

      • Rob Starkey
        1) Relevance: Re: “Sorry, but I have no faith in you religious perspective”
        What relevance does your faith have, or your faith in my beliefs, such that you use that as a basis for excluding critical thinking on metaphysical foundations of the three major perspectives I laid out in my post?
        2) Logic: By what logic do you impose your choice of origins and metaphysical presuppositions and exclude all others?
        3) Authority Re: “and do not believe it belongs in public schools.”
        By what authority do you impose your religious beliefs and metaphysical presuppositions on me and others, and exclude any information on and prevent students from learning how to critically explore the metaphysical foundations and critically evaluate them? By what authority do you impose your beliefs that on children who do not share you beliefs?
        3) Rule of Law Are you not thereby imposing a “government of men” and thereby destroying the Rule of Law?

        To preserve a democratic republic “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, it is critically important to teach critical thinking, not rote memorization of doctrine. To become responsible citizens, it is important for students to understand ALL aspects of the climate change debate AND of origins. It is vital that students be taught to differentiate what is the data, what the hypotheses and theories, what are the metaphysical presuppositions, what activist/alarmist/political motivations may be involved, and to be able to weigh and evaluate these, and make up their own minds, with full freedom of conscience and speech!

        See my other post for references on the rule of law.

    • Equating the beliefs of CAGW skeptics with biblical pronouncements of a 6,000 year old earth is over top and ridiculous, for none of the skeptics believe that the earth has not been warming since the termination of the Little Ice Age; it is just that they dispute the large AGW attribution claimed by some.

      Bear in mind that Freeman Dyson is on the side of the CAGW skeptics. Now there is a man who can understand science.

      • Now there is a man who can understand science.

        This argument disproves quantum mechanics, since Einstein is without question “a man who can understand science” yet who rejected quantum mechanics.

        Are you for or against Einstein’s position on quantum mechanics?

      • Vaughan Pratt, you missed the point, as it seems to me that you are inferring that Dyson does not accept the laws of thermodynamics or any of the other laws that govern climate science.

      • Chad Jessup: Now there is a man who can understand science.

        Richard Feynman said “Nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

        John von Neumann said “Nobody understands mathematics, they just get used to it.”

        Everybody understands that doing practical work requires doing some tasks without understanding why they work. A problem arises when people confuse familiarity and success with understanding. Nobody understands how gravity works, only that once you know that it works other things can be explained in terms of it; but then it is a mystery how the moon has exactly the right speed not to fly away or to crash to earh like an apple: somehow something made it that way before we came along to observe.

    • cnp –

      I think it is inherently subjective to determine what is or isn’t “serious controversy”

      There is controversy, and so I think it should be taught that way, along with a best effort to quantify the degree of controversy. As Judith says, that is what empowering students to be critical in their analysis is all about.

      Look at this statement from Roger:

      I will give you no serious scientific debate over the greenhouse effect or the radiative properties of black-bodies and throw in the climate is warming. However, to say there is no debate over the energy balance or historical temperature record is a stretch. Was there a medieval warming period is a serious question with immense policy ramifications.

      This is also a subjective evaluation about what is “serious” or not – and it isn’t accompanied by an assessment of how the attribute of “serious” is defined. I see arguments about the GHG at this site and other “skeptical” websites quite often. Now this is a problem amount “skeptics” writ large. Many assign an attribute to the debate without a “serious” attempt to quantify the debate also. But I also see that as problematic in what you have written as well.

      Neither approach is sufficient, IMO.

      The controversy should be taught, with best attempts to quantify the controversy, along with analysis of how the attribute of “serious” can or can’t be assigned.

      Anything less is insufficient, IMO, w/r/t helping students to develop critical thinking skills.

    • And cnp –

      That’s why teaching the science should be distinct from “teaching the controversy”..

      I disagree with that also. I think that distinguishing the “science” from the “controversy” is a false dichotomy. Science does not exist in a vacuum. It never has. It is intrinsically linked to philosophy, art, music, religion, culture, religion, politics, mathematics, etc. They are all linked together – and while I think that all those domains deserve a focus unto themselves at some level, looking at them as completely distinct entities is, IMO, antithetical to a comprehensive pedagogy – which should be, on the whole, interdisciplinary in nature, and which should link exploration in those different domains by an overriding prioritization of critical thinking and self-awareness as a learner (meta-cognition).

    • You have a interesting appreciation of what science is. Climate Science is a pseudo of other scientific disciplines. It is a pseudoscience not a discipline.

      It is a impure conjunction of physics, astrophysics and biology. We don’t refer to those disciplines as Physics science, Astrophysics science or biology science as they are pure sciences.

      Climate science on the other hand is MADE UP from the plagiarism, of only parts, of other pure sciences.

      Any wonder professionals from pure science are up in arms against this lot of charlatans dressed in white coats.

      • I can only dream, and lament, that is wasn’t called the science of Atmosphere, as the fear of climate change would likely not exist.

        Couldn’t imagine being in fear of a atmosphere that created life, how could my fellows?

    • ceteris non parabis

      You ask our host:

      Do you think we should tell children that the Earth could be just 6,000 years old too?

      Let me ask you a parallel question:

      Do you think we should tell children that the Earth as we know it is in danger of being destroyed due to tipping points leading to deleterious changes in our planet’s climate resulting from our continuing to burn fossil fuels?

      Both presumptions are fairy tales – one based on strict interpretation of 4,000 year old writings of a small middle-eastern desert tribe, while the other is based on model-based fantasies of a small group of ideological computer jockeys.

      NEITHER of these fantasies should be taught as fact in our schools.

      Max

  8. I commented David Archers message to the supposedly very smart UoC students on

    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-fool-class-with-greenhouse.html

    Did the very smart students absorb Archer’s “back radiation”?

    • Claes, You need to do some introspection and figure out exactly what you are trying to do with your own teaching skills. I looked at that huge textbook on Applied Mathematics that you put together and could not make heads or tails out of it. It is a cartoon mix of pretentiousness and inscrutability. There is absolutely no connection between the illustrations in the book to any applied mathematics that I am aware of. Fancy math but it has no continuity and no explanations or connection applied to natural behavior. Isn’t that what applied math is all about? Seriously I can’t figure out the point of writing such a book.

      And that Sky Dragons book that you are involved in is complete nonsense.

      To me this is interesting from the POV of trying to understand the motivation for creating an upside-down universe where one believes that they can set everyone straight with alternate theories of everything. It is bizarre yet I know it happens, as everyone that has gone through college has experienced that one professor that everyone knew was whack, but who kept on teaching weird stuff because they had tenure and no one could stop them.

      I watched a little bit of Archer’s presentation and at least I can see someone that is trying to apply some intuition to problem solving.

      I can see Archer actually teaching students, whereas I have no idea how that would work with you. If you want to explain your motivation, I would be interested.

      • wht,

        You have very slightly redeemed your little nasty self, with this one:

        “It is a cartoon mix of pretentiousness and inscrutability.”

        I am going to file that, for my own future use. Don’t expect to be cited.

  9. In the UK and New Zealand schools are already packed with enviro propaganda – including global climate stuff.

    The disastrous 10:10 video is not far removed from an average classroom

  10. Why would anyone deny climate change? We just deny the confidence of the prognosticators of climate change is justified :)

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/01/that-dang-cartoon-again.html

    Someone referenced the K&T budget like it was something other than a cartoon. That bugs me.

    • Someone referenced the K&T budget like it was something other than a cartoon. That bugs me.

      Yeah, but some cartoons tell it like it is. Do you have a better cartoon for the Earth’s energy budget? If not then that bugs me.

      • Actually, Dr. Pratt, NASA had one that better illustrated the Energy Budget. They showed the absorption of OLR by the atmosphere which indicates that the atmospheric window to space varies with could cover. Since the impact of clouds is a bit up in the air :) especially mixed-phase clouds, I think that would be a reasonably large error in the K&T cartoon. Once you break down the huge OLR and DWLR arrows on the K&T you would find that approximately 20Wm-2 is just buried in the noise. Since water vapor increases with average temperature. OLR interacts with water in its various states, K&T leaving the atmospheric window flux from surface to TOA at 40Wm-2 is a bit odd.

        Also the latest K&T decreases “thermals” while increasing surface temperature. The greater than expect rate of convection measured would lead me to believe that thermals are more likely to have increased than decreased. Since you authored a Sky Dragon post on the conductive issues at the surface, I must assume you have had a change of heart.

        The 0.9Wm-2 imbalance noted on the cartoon with no indication of the margin of error is also a cute touch.

        Should it be anything other than a cartoon?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        You ask the wrong question:

        Do you have a better cartoon for the Earth’s energy budget [than the one by K+T]? If not then that bugs me.

        It’s NOT up to those who are skeptical of the K+T oversimplification of our planet’s climate to come up with “a better cartoon”.

        It’s up to the promoters of this cartoon to provide empirical data, based on real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation to support the cartoon.

        And that has not yet been done (and that “bugs me”).

        Max.

      • Max,
        The cartoon has been justified carefully in papers of K, T and Fasullo. The papers tell also about the uncertainties and choices made to make the cartoon complete. One of these comments is that the net flux is not based on empirical data, but put in by another type of argumentation.

        To me the cartoon is relly informative and not even controversial, when these explanatory comments are taken into account. The cartoon is not at all evidence for AGW, it’s an overall description of the main components of the energy balance.

  11. Archer’s Oil Supply Calculator simulation has been around for awhile.
    We had a discussion about it at another site if you want to understand the limitations of the approximations it uses:

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7241#comment-759901

  12. Schools should steer well clear of controversial subjects except in philosophy or debates.

    Example: “how angels fly” would be a bad example for fluid dynamics – or “lets dissect an aborted foetus” would be a bad topic for biology.

    You can teach a lot of science without any mention of “climate” or even “weather” – I had a great science education in the pre-post-normal days.

    Sheesh we didn’t even have an environment during my primary education – it was only discovered when I was 12.

    • ceteris non paribus


      Schools should steer well clear of controversial subjects except in philosophy or debates.

      Yes – We don’t want the children to think about anything except the stuff that requires no thinking.

      Just imagine – They might actually seriously consider the irrelevance of people’s skin pigmentation, or the importance of the fact that their mothers can vote in elections.

      • John Carpenter

        sooo…. you think it better to separate the science of climate from any of the ‘controversy’ surrounding it?

      • CNB,

        You say, “…actually seriously consider the irrelevance of people’s skin pigment..”

        Not likely we’ll see that dangerous line of inquiry in our schools any time soon, will we CNB? I mean, as long, that is, as the lefties depend for their electoral success on color-conscious identity politics and carefully-cultivated, race-based voting blocks. I mean, what do you think, CNB, the Attorney General of the United States means when he uses the phrase “my people”?

        In my own sad case, a life-time of considering the irrelevance people’s skin pigment (and gender and age) has left me, at the end, a despicable old, white, man with an inability to “get it” (i. e., a “conservative”).

        So put it all together, lefty ageism, sexism, and racism and the left’s sophisticated rejection of bourgeois notions of human decency in favor of the “cause” and you get that horror of the lefty demonology–“old, white, conservative men”– BOO! You know, the stock villain of greenshirt street theater throughout the blogosphere (especially in those centers of vat-bot zit-crud infestation, like Deltoid–but sometimes even here at “Climate-etc.”).

        I mean, be honest, CNB, if any teacher were to refuse to “celebrate” one or another race–and let us add gender, age and ethnicity and ethnic cultures–declaring skin pigment et al. to be “irrelevant”, the “nut-case” would be fired post-haste–and it would be the lefties doing the firing. Right, CNB? Except, of course, any teacher that “celebrated” old, white, men, and their “conservative culture” would also be fired–only even more summarily. Probably even charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors. Right, again, CNB?

        But, CNB, I know I could have it all wrong, but aren’t you kinda BS’ing us folks–I mean just a little–with your “irrelevance of people’s skin pigment” humbug pieties?

      • CNB,

        Although not in a conventional positioning, let me offer a further thought on one of your comments.

        You say, “There is no serious scientific debate over…the historical temperature record…We would do a serious dis-service to students to do otherwise.” (yr Jan 20, 1:40 pm)

        CNB, you’re a teacher–a science teacher–I gather from your comments on this thread. And, as a teacher, I think we’d both agree, you have a duty, if an ethical person (of the old-fashioned bourgeois morality stripe, that is), to teach children in your care science within the context of critical thinking. And, in that regard, ethical science instruction cannot properly take the form of indoctrination of the kids, at the point of a knowledge-spike in the back of the head, with science factoids and pseudo-factoids selected to advance the latest lefty, brave-new-world hustle (incidentally, in my youth, it was the “conservatives” who were doing the indoctrinating–no more palatable than the left, I might add). Again, I’m sure we agree, right CNB?

        Now, you’ve declared rather boldly, CNB, that there is no “serious scientific controversy” with regard to the historical temperature record (see above quote). Subsequently, Roger Caiazza immediately challenged your contention that the historical temperature record known and that knowledge is blessedly free of any serious scientific controversy (his January 20, 1:57 pm). To my disappointment you did not respond to Roger.

        Please allow me pose Roger’s challenge myself. But let me do so in the guise of student in your class:

        “Mr./Ms. CNB, I don’t get it! How can people know what the temperature was in the whole world tens and hundreds and millions of years ago to tenths of a degree? I mean, for some of that time, there weren’t even thermometers. And even today, there aren’t measuring devices in much of the world. Indeed, there weren’t even people around a while ago to take the temperature. So again, Mr./Ms. CNB, how can we be sure of the historical global temperature record, to within TENTHS OF A DEGREE AND WITH NO SERIOUS SCIENTIFIC CONTROVERSY IN THE MATTER? ”

        So what’s your answer to this imaginary student of yours, as a science teacher, CNB?

      • Sorry for the screw-up. Please replace “CNB” with “CNP” in both of my previous comments.

      • ethical science instruction cannot properly take the form of indoctrination of the kids

        So is it unethical to teach the multiplication table? Shouldn’t we be teaching them how to construct the table for themselves, instead of indoctrinating them with the entries in it?

        Just asking. Although I could construct the table from first principles I happen to know it by heart so the question is irrelevant for me.

      • Vaughan,

        In reference to your last:

        As a long-time admirer of your cultivated crabbiness and misanthropic wit, I am delighted to discover this latest addition to your schtick–playing dumb! Though I think your latest “trick” (used in the scientific sense of the term, of course) needs a little work if it’s to meet the famous high standards you’ve established for the rest of your act.

        As you know Vaughan, there is a distinction between analytic and synthetic knowledge. Math facts are “analytic knowledge” and are therefore absolutely “true” and kids can therefore be ethically “indoctrinated” with their “truth.” Of course, appropriate warning should be given students that care is required when mapping analytical “truths” onto the real world–my distant recall of some youthful instruction in such matters is a bit in tatters, but it seems that the example of raindrops survives. In particular, one rain-drop plus one rain-drop does not equal two rain-drops. Rather, our two rain drops coalesce upon summation into one large rain-drop, albeit with a volume of H20 equal to the sum of the volume of the other two–or something like that. I suspect all this sounds familiar to you, Vaughan. Right, Vaughan?

        In contrast, synthetic knowledge, to include climate science, is not an absolute “truth”, but rather a rationally-empirical based, provisional estimate of the “truth” that, per the method of science, is at all times “corrigible”. That is, subject to change as the current estimate fails to find a continued rationally-empirical justification–again, or something like that.

        Incidentally, Vaughan, the quote you “wrenched” from the context of my earlier comment was clearly in reference to “ethical science instruction”, not the analytic knowledge entailed in math facts.

        Vaughan, you’ve posted your impressive biographical information for the public (although as a disaffected “Golden Bear” I’m not quite so impressed with your Stanford association as another might be–incidentally, does Stanford still have the reputation as a school for rich kids who can’t get into Berkeley?). So I know you were already well-versed in the stuff I threw your way, topside in this comment. So my guess: you’re playing a little “smarty-pants” game for your self-amusement–you know, giving the rube “denier” (moi) the “business” and all. Generically, the same sort of pleasure, CNP, takes in suggesting, oh-so-subtly, that the “deniers” are not interested in what’s best for the kids and that us “deniers” are like, you know, racists when it comes to judging people by their “skin pigment.”

        In other words good-fun for good-comrades and your contribution also a timely distraction on behalf CNP, whose breezy, self-assured debut on this blog was beginning to tank just a little. But I could be wrong.

        P. S. Hey! Vaughan! I just saw I just saw on your CV that you spent some time in Australia. So now I’m thinking–maybe Vaughan’s additionally motivated to screw with me (or, at least, give it his best shot) as a response to those vulgar, immature, childish name-calling, snide remarks I’ve directed at the vat-freaks over at Deltoid on occasion. At least, I’m hoping that’s it.

      • You know Vaughn, your last comment just keeps eating at me and getting me all steamed up and all. So let me just get it out before I loose all self-control and say something really unfortunate.

        You know, Vaughan, or should I say,–you know, Dr. Big-Shot Stanford Professor, Vaughn Pratt–that snooty institution that employs you may have had the better football team (though your “Indian” mascot was such a freakin’ insensitive, stereotype of Native Americans, it made me want to barf) and the more obnoxious smarty-pants, but on the other side of the bay, we had the better riots (and a PC mascot)! And don’t you forget it, Vaughan, the next time you want to play the curmudgeon and patronize me! O. K.?

      • Shorter Mike:
        Math is not the same thing as physics.

        Big whoop.

        You will eventually learn that long elliptical, self-absorbed introspection does not work in comments. I still struggle with this urge to over-analyze.

      • Web,

        Gee, Web, thank you so very, very much for the constructive, generous offer of your own pompous-ass, horse’s-butt personal example as a model for everything I don’t want to be. And I intend to profit from your compelling negative example, Web.

        So, how’s this last, Web–less self-absorbed? less eliptical? less introspective? At least, I’m pretty confident I avoided the over-analysis defect you were so sharp to spot in my earlier comments. Hey, Web, I’m tryin’!

        But, regardless, thank for your committed study of my stylistic deficiencies, Web. You’re a pal.

      • mike –

        CNB, you’re a teacher–a science teacher–I gather from your comments on this thread. And, as a teacher, I think we’d both agree, you have a duty, if an ethical person (of the old-fashioned bourgeois morality stripe, that is), to teach children in your care science within the context of critical thinking. And, in that regard, ethical science instruction cannot properly take the form of indoctrination of the kids, at the point of a knowledge-spike in the back of the head, with science factoids and pseudo-factoids selected to advance the latest lefty, brave-new-world hustle (incidentally, in my youth, it was the “conservatives” who were doing the indoctrinating–no more palatable than the left, I might add). Again, I’m sure we agree, right CNB?

        I agree with that. But I do feel compelled to point out that as someone who has been in the field of education, at the multiple levels (elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and “elite” colleges and universities), it has been my experience that the “knowledge spike to the back o’ the head” approach to education is decidedly more often embraced by “conservative” than “the left.” “The left” tends to advocate for a more “progressive,” less top-down, didactic, “cannon,” “traditional,” “3 r’s” form of pedagogy.

        As for “indoctrinating” my imagination that the scale is pretty much balanced in the middle, although I would suspect that religious universities such as Liberty University have the heaviest thumb on the scale.

      • “The left” tends to advocate for a more “progressive,” less top-down, didactic, “cannon,” “traditional,” “3 r’s” form of pedagogy.

        With the emphasis on a “progressive” ideology, to the exclusion of everything else.

        You are devoid of self-awareness, joshy.

      • Mike, Like I said, I struggle with this over-analysis myself. The fact is that anyone that goes to the trouble of commenting on these blogs is probably looking for some feedback, otherwise why do it? If there is a recipe for commenting that minimizes excess wind-baggery, I would like to know the secret.

      • WebHub,

        Fair comment, Web, and my contributions to this blog certainly are both fair-game for and can profit from critical feed-back–assuming the “big-boys” on this blog (yourself included WebHub) think it even worth their while to spend time with a tag-along like myself.

        On the other hand, WebHub, beginning a comment with a “shorter mike” and a “Big Whoop” doesn’t, perhaps, lay the best possible foundation for receptivity to a follow-on critique, however valuable the good-advice might be.

        And I might also confess to a certain incorrigibility so that you don’t waste too much of your time on me– I’m a bit of an old-dog and new tricks are hard for me to learn. Nevertheless, thank you for your feedback, WebHub.

      • Joshua: “The left” tends to advocate for a more “progressive,” less top-down, didactic, “cannon,” “traditional,” “3 r’s” form of pedagogy.

        That’s what they want you to believe. In practice they just teach different stuff by rote; and, on the whole, somewhat less of the kind of knowledge that is useful, like how electric motors work, and the literal text of the US Constitution.

      • Matt –

        That’s what they want you to believe. In practice they just teach different stuff by rote;

        Although my many years in the trenches affords me no illusions about how difficult it is to overturn the predominant “top-down” educational methodology, or the pervasiveness of that paradigm among educators of all stripes, your take on the overall balance does not jibe with mine. Take that for what it’s worth. There is, in a sense, a downside of that balance to the degree that it perpetuates misconceptions about the importance of rigor and “accountability” within various educational environs, but again, in my experience, that phenomenon is far more commonly found in spurious assessments from the right than it is found in the day-to-day work of educators.

      • Joshua: your take on the overall balance does not jibe with mine.

        I have to admit that I am not exactly certain of the balance, and I have seen much variety.

      • ceteris non paribus

        You are wrong again.

        Sure, we want our children to think – FOR THEMSELVES.

        Give them the tools to be able to do so.

        Don’t just spoon-feed them this socio-political drivel and call it “science”.

        Max

    • Josh,

      I can appreciate you are a good teacher, Josh, just from your commentary on this blog. And there are many such teachers that are good teachers, although not enough, both conservative and lefty, as I know from my own student years.

      And my own “cut” on the deal, having had to usefully employ young men and women for many years, who were usually right out of high school, is that those with inadequate skills in the 3 R’s were greatly limited in their future potential. So I would say the 3 R’s are foundational and have priority, although they are, obviously, not the end-all and be-all of education. And an effective education includes some subjects where the knowledge-spike is predominant (memorizing the math facts, for example, or the bones of the body or the capitals of states or historical time-lines) as a foundation for more creative and abstract study later. Other subjects are more weighted to the touchy-feely from the git-go. But never a strict either/or, rather, always an admixture of the touchy-feely and the knowledge spike in proper proportion. In other words, the teachers to whom I owe the most employed both in every subject. And in having to supplement my own kids’ public school education, I’d say the biggest defect in their instruction was a lack of memorization assignments and a development of that skill–though, heaven knows, they got their fill and then some of the touchy-feely–most prominently from those teachers who obviously didn’t know their subject (usually very lefty, I have to say).

      So I don’t buy the idea that lefty pedagogues teach creativity and thinking while right-wing teachers are masters of the spike. Bad teachers stick to one or the other (or they just goof-off); good teachers employ both the spike and the airy-fairy stuff–applied in just the right measure to good effect.

      My best shot, Josh, from one who is not in the classroom with the kids everyday.

      Let’s see now: long? elliptical? self-absorbed? introspective? over-analytical? Uh oh! I think I’m in trouble with Web, again.

      • mike –

        I don’t think that there’s anything in that comment that I disagree with. Understand, that that just as your take comes from your context of working with American students who lack foundational skills, much of my viewpoint here comes from working with of all sorts, including international graduate students who are unbelievably skilled in memorization (the ability of Korean students as a rule in memorization is astounding, I have taught in Korea) – and thus do well in testing environments that rely on memorization skills, but who lack the ability to flexibly apply knowledge to contexts that require divergent thinking and creative application of those fundamental concepts.

        The key, as you say, is the ability to work with students’ individual skills to maximize their strengths and further develop their areas of weakness. A particular hobby-horse of mine (I have many) is what I perceive to be a misconception of how to teach math; where a view that it relies on an memorization of abstracted algorithms is probably the more predominant and counterproductive methodology – even among “progressive” teachers, although it is certainly possible to go overboard in the opposite direction that leads to a mistaken approach that all math requires is a feel-good touchy-feely endeavor to raise a student’s self-esteem.

        So while I agree with your overall point, I would disagree with the way that you break down the viability of differing approaches (and the importance of a comprehensive and flexible approach) by subject domain.

        I will also say that in a general sense, the bigger problem with the dominant pedagogical paradigm is a misconception that students-as-empty-vessels is a viable underlying principle – as opposed to the misconception that students don’t need to develop mastery of the various foundational principles of various subject areas. Neither misconception advances student learning – but it is an important matter to correctly identify the prevalence of those misconceptions if corrective energies are going to be applied with maximum benefit.

      • Josh,

        You’re the pro and I’m sure you’re getting results. So I’ll defer to your analysis. Except to add, that the over-emphasis, as I judged the matter, on “creativity” that I saw among contemporary teachers often appeared to derive from an evasion of accountability. If Billy “discovers” that 2+2=5 then–voila and Eureka!–Billy is being creative! Success story!

        Tolstoy observed something along the lines that all happy families have the same story–but unhappy families each have their own unique tale. I think that general idea applies to teachers–I mean, I suspect you’ve found, Josh, more professionally in common with good conservative teachers than bad lefty ones?

        O. K. I’m getting WebHub’s disapproving glare, so I’ll stop right now.

        Enjoyed the chit-chat with a “pro”, Josh

      • mike –

        I agree that a question of holding students “accountable” is a big problem, but I will point out that in some ways it straddles the dichotomy that we’re discussing.

        For example, let me give you a stereotyped (simplified) scenario:

        I have worked with a lot of students in high schools who are considered “good students” – because they are very good at doing what they’ve been told to do (and thus rewarded with good grades) – but who had a great deal of difficulty when in approaching a complex problem I told them that I wasn’t going to give them the way to solve the problem, but that I would help guide them in their exploration as to how to derive the answer on their own. They protested that I was being unfair because they had a history of experience in school at being very “accountable” at essentially non-creative tasks, but were not typically being held “accountable” for proving a kind of mastery of learning that superseded the typical level of expectation placed upon them. The underlying problem is that “accountability” often means effectively producing results that match a fairly non-intellectual requirement, as opposed to demonstrating the skill set needed to produce results that required divergent thinking.

        There’s no doubt that given our different starting points, we’d be inclined to see the predominant problem falling out along different lines. But I will say that from working in the trenches, the misconception that I’ve seen predominate is one that views education as a top-down, overly-didactic endeavor to follow instructions. Such a misconception goes to the very roots of our educational institutions, which were functionally created to train students to function well within very hierarchical and bureaucratic institutions.

        That said, there’s an element of truth to this point:

        I suspect you’ve found, Josh, more professionally in common with good conservative teachers than bad lefty ones?

        Holding students accountable for their learning process is absolutely a fundamental part of effective instruction. In that sense, yes, good “conservative” teachers have more in common with my approach than bad “lefty” teachers. But among my teaching experiences has been working with special needs students, many of whom were extremely bright and creative, and who had the guts kicked out of them by a system that sought to hold them “accountable” in a very limited sense, and by a system that essentially was more effective at perpetuating a status quo than working with students individually to maximize their growth as learners.

        I’ll step off the soap box for now. Just as you’re concerned about WHT – I am also concerned about causing an aneurism among my legion fans here at Climate Etc.

  13. There are no good lessons to learn from California’s dropout factories. The challenge for Americans is not to wait until problems are as as bad as in California or Greece or Cairo. Hopefully it is not too late for Wisconsin, for example, to deal with its problem. All of the states have more than enough without having to worry about bailing out the nattering nabobs of nihilism in the blue cities. The real lesson is that states will have to solve their own problems: dead and dying Old Europe–and California–are all examples of individual liberty being sacrificed on the alter of utopianism.

    • Wagathon –

      dead and dying Old Europe”

      Really? That bad?

      So, the fact that we’re all four times as prosperous as our grandparents is what? A prelude to the final collapse?

      • You have failed to make lots of extra babies; therefore, the end.

      • It’s not for want of trying ;)

      • “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
        ― Ronald Reagan

      • ceteris non paribus

        Wagathon, can I play too?


        I have flown twice over Mount St. Helens. I’m not a scientist and I don’t know the figures, but I have a suspicion that one little mountain out there, in these last several months, has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind.

        –Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time magazine, October 20, 1980. (According to scientists, Mount St. Helens emitted about 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day at its peak activity, compared with 81,000 tons per day produced by cars.)


        Growing and decaying vegetation in this land are responsible for 93 percent of the oxides of nitrogen.

        –Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1980. (According to Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund, industrial sources are responsible for at least 65 percent and possibly as much as 90 percent of the oxides of nitrogen in the U.S.)


        You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.

        –Ronald Reagan, quoted in Observer, March 29 1981

      • Hm…Ronald….

        Isn’t he the guy that invented those things you eat instead of food, or was that some other numbnut?

        BTW, when we identify people who might impinge on our freedom, we ship them off to another continent and let them all shoot each other :)

      • cnp said, “–Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time magazine, October 20, 1980. (According to scientists, Mount St. Helens emitted about 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day at its peak activity, compared with 81,000 tons per day produced by cars.)”

        Interesting. Who came up with the 81,000 tons per day? The US burned about 140 billion gallons of gas in 2004. Prior to 2000, the Sulfur limit was 80 PPM in the US. Sulfur picks up the extra Os with combustion, but 81,000 tons per day sounds a little high.

      • ceteris non paribus


        Interesting. Who came up with the 81,000 tons per day?

        Good question.
        But even if that estimate were direct from Mickey Mouse, it would not make me any more likely to take Ronald Reagan’s estimate seriously.

      • CNP and C’p’n (hmmm)

        Suggest http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/trends/, the first link is a spreadsheet of emissions estimates for all the usual suspects (not GHGs) from 1970-2011 by source category (cars, power plants, fires, etc.)

        In 1980 it looks like there were about 71,000 tons per day of SO2 emitted, total by human activities. I guess fires don’t release much SO2 and volcanoes were not counted. Only 1 of those tons per day came from on-highway vehicles (including diesel trucks, there was until recently a lot more sulfur in diesel than gas), 1 additional ton from off-road vehicles of all sorts including Capn’s boat – catch many fish in 1980?) – the vast majority came from coal fired power plants.

        So the 81000 tons is probably from some time in the 70s, and probably relates to all anthropogenic sources.

      • correction 1 thousand tons not 1 ton (onroad and offroad)

      • so Ron was wrong, it was 1 year not 10 years (if ORV’s are “things of that type”). Only in the mind of a deranged greenshirt liberal would we count coal fired power plants as “cars and things of that type”.

      • captain Dallas,
        Somebody must have said 81000 KG/Day. with some CAGW filtering and amplification … voila! 81000 tons

      • All things being equal, the recent Eyjafjallajökull eruptions in the land of fire and ice put more pollution into the atmosphere than all of the automobiles ever driven on the face of the Earth.

      • randomengineer

        So then, looks like Reagan was more correct than incorrect. That’s usually par for the course.

      • “BTW, when we identify people who might impinge on our freedom, we ship them off to another continent and let them all shoot each other :)”

        And then you have to beg for them to save you, when the Krauts start kicking your butts up between you ears.

      • Cap’n, you’re right – the numbers are screwy.

        World gasoline consumption in 1986 was 15.4 million bbl/day (in 2007 it was 21.8 million bbl/day).

        http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?product=gasoline&graph=consumption

        Average sulfur content of gasoline in those days was 50 to 300 ppm, say 175 ppm on average

        http://www.meca.org/galleries/default-file/sulfur.pdf

        Equals 323 metric tons sulfur per day or ~650 mt SO2 per day or 237,000 mt SO2 per year

        Mount St. Helens emitted around 500,000 mt SO2 over period 1980-1988 with a maximum annual emission of 222,000 mt in 1980

        http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/methods/gas/msh1980-88.php

        So the world’s gasoline consumption emitted about as much SO2 as MSH in its maximum year and around four times as much over the 9 years 1980-1988.

        The Gipper got it right that there was a whole bunch of SO2 emitted, but his advisors at the time gave him some screwy numbers (today there are a helluva lot more of them and they call them “czars”, but isn’t that what they do these days, as well?)

        Max

    • Wagathon: There are no good lessons to learn from California’s dropout factories.

      On that, I disagree. A likely lesson is: If you tax and regulate factories enough they drop out. You don’t have to actually like or believe “Atlas Shrugged” to see this happening in many places, California being just one of them (or “many” of them.)

  14. “propaganda pure and simple”

    Seriously?

    There is no need to present spin in the Washington post and cut-and-past comments from e.g. Porter-Magee, as the actual activities and program of NCSE.

    K12 (kindergarten to grade 12 publicly supported curriculum) teachers already teach climate science. Science (including climate science) is taught from kindergarten through elementary and high school and has been for quite awhile, although Judith seems completely unaware. Of course, there’s more puzzles and games in the younger grades. ;-)

    NCSE is developing and offering a tool kit for teachers. Funny, but most are preferring science took kits to the pseudo-science crap and junk that they receive from Heartland.

    Not only NCSE, but NOAA provides climate science support for the public school science curriculum.

    Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Next thing you know, NCSE will be supporting evolution in the classroom. Oh wait: they already do. ;-)

    • Martha

      Again- if you are honest, you have to admit that science does not know what the rate of any warming, or its net impacts on the lives of people.

    • @Martha,

      Just because you agree with the propaganda does not mean that it’s OK to fill schools with propaganda.

    • Seriously, AGW is pseudo-science.

      Yes, the propaganda is already there. So is the resistance but there is another irony. In affluent communities where there are engineers and other educated professionals climate junk science will be greatly reduced. It’s the poor urban schools with uninvolved/undereducated parents for many reasons that are going to take the bulk of the lies and disinformation. The Zombie base may increase a bit but expect a huge social backlash.

      Children = Climate propaganda hostages?

      We’ll see where that gets you Martha.

      • cwon14: Seriously, AGW is pseudo-science.

        That is not true.

      • Matt,

        You are not leaning far enough to the right. You have to increase the lean, until you fall over and hurt your head. Then you will get it. But cwon, has potential. Judith is not through with him yet.

    • Martha,
      Stop bs’ing yourself. You are certainly not convincing anyone who is actually paying attention.
      AGW extremists hope to suppress climate skepticism by falsely equating itto disbelief in evolution.
      You know this, but you aprove of phony arguments and fiibbing, to judge by your post quality, so you are going to bore all of us with yet another demonstration of your intellectual emptiness.

    • Martha –

      What I find interesting is Judith’s selective concern about “propaganda.”

      Apparently, she is either unaware or unconcerned about the reason that NCSE has developed this initiative: Evidence that science teachers are shying away from teaching about climate change, either because they are concerned about criticism due to the controversial nature of the subject, or because of direct pressure to stop teaching about climate change.

      • There you go again, josh. The ying, to cwon’s yang. Judith does not take you outlying socially inept boys seriously. She really doesn’t.

      • Andrew Russell

        Joshua,

        Do you think these science teachers should or should not teach the Scientific Method and how that applies to “climate scientists”?

        What do you think they should teach about Phil Jones’ response to a request for his data, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

        Do you think they should teach about Upside Down Tijlander? How about teaching how to create hockey sticks from red noise using short-centered principle components methods?

      • Andrew –

        This question:

        What do you think they should teach about Phil Jones’ response to a request for his data, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

        Is antithetical to my philosophy of teaching.

        I wouldn’t teach “about” his response to that request. I would give them information about the response and the full context of the response, and ask them to analyze it from various critical perspectives.

        Do you think they should teach about Upside Down Tijlander? How about teaching how to create hockey sticks from red noise using short-centered principle components methods?

        Likewise – teachers should first guide students in learning the principles of statistical analysis, and then provide information about the full context of the debate – including expert analysis of the relevant statistical approaches from a variety of perspectives – and then have the students critically examine the general principles an applied context.

        Anything less would be insufficient.

      • Joshua: I would give them information about the response

        That’s teaching.

    • Latimer Alder

      Why are people in the US so hung up about evolution?

      It is a non-issue in Europe and it hasn’t has the faintest connection with any discussions about climate.

      Leave it out..it is just plain stupid to bang on about it. If you haven’t the intellectual ability to make the distinction, I have absolutely no faith in your opinions about anything important.

    • Re:The Bad- “the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group that denounces intelligent design and supports an evolution-only curriculum in the classroom, will expand its mission.”

      The NCSE’s demands indoctrination in its chosen beliefs. It diametrically opposes teaching students how to think critically. It prevents teachers from teaching students all the facts, and how to differentiate fact from hypothesis from theory from law and the uncertainties involved. It seeks to prevent examination of its own metaphysical presuppositions or comparing those to other theories and beliefs.

      The Rule of Law ensures freedom of conscience and of speech, both in climate and origins debates.

      For equal footing in the Union, all States in the USA mutually required that they abide by the principles of USC The Declaration of Independence-1776:
      48 USC CHAPTER 3 – HAWAII Sec. 3.

      [Constitution.] The constitution of the State of Hawaii shall always be republican in form and shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

      USC The Declaration of Independence-1776 holds:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, . . . appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,

      These unalienable rights are preserved in the Constitution of the USA Amendment I

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

      The NCSE is demanding that its religion be established in preference to all others, and that children not be exposed to the facts, beliefs, or presuppositions of any others.

      Will we uphold the Rule of Law?
      Or will we allow ourselves succumb to political correctness and be ruled by an oligarchy?

  15. Peak Oil Models
    The global warming debate rests on the rapid usage of fossil fuels to generate CO2 (and the subliminal “evil satanic mills” meme.) It is good to see that Archer provides at least a simple Hubberts Peak model.

    For the production data by country and region and political grouping see
    Energy Export Databrowser

    For an intermediate model try: Sokath

    For a full blown phd thesis model see:
    Steve Mohr’s Thesis:
    Projection of World Fossil Fuel Production with Supply and Demand Interactions. He provides beta model for download.

    Beyond crude oil, see heavy oil, bitumen (aka oil sands), coal and shale oil.

  16. There trying to get “1984” off the High School reading list in my community. It obviously hits too close to home and direction the country is taking under consensus leadership. It’s scary that most of the parties above are allowed near children or students at all.

    With the failure of immediate mitigation power grabs more longer term energy is going into the Soviet style “education” system by warmist. The green garbage turns up around the second grade and then progresses from there.

    It’s shocking and appauling what Dr. Curry could label as “good” in the article. It looks very much like science pornography to me and the ultimate purpose has little to do with “climate”. It’s just another expansion of indoctrination efforts for the core purpose of the AGW movement; expand state support and collective interests at the expense of freedom and individual rights.

    At the grass roots level it’s hard to forge resistance to educated propagandists who use the stealth of “science” and education in curriculum to maintain and bully parents and students alike. Regardless this will all have to be fought and is just a growing part of the culture war that exists on many levels.

    • Latimer Alder

      1984 should be compulsory reading for all high school pupils. With the proviso that it was written as a dreadful warning, not as an instruction manual.

      Be very very very suspicious of any authority figure who wishes to suppress this excellent – and deeply worrying – work.

  17. “A sample chapter is available “Greenhouse Gases“, which looks quite good.”- Dr. Curry

    Chapter four; “The Earth’s temperature rises in proportion to the number of co2 doublings”

    There is absolutetly no linear or quantitative evidence for this claim. It is a narrative conjecture, with a political motive behind it.

    This program should be banned from all government funded schools as a start.

    • Maybe he means a sliding scale random proportion. Isn’t that how they do it in public schools these days? Anyway, at least you have a specific criticism. It’s the “Judith ain’t our side” whine that ain’t interesting.

      • Don, what we have here is….failure to communicate;

        I couldn’t care less that Dr. Curry is on any “side”. The issue is that she doesn’t address a minimal question or basic observation critical to honest public debate.

        What political culture is this man and peers around him below a member of Don?? How hard is this to sink in?

        It’s enough for you that Dr. Curry would list him as an “advocate” of no particular kind? What level of disinformation does that represent to you? Any at all? You’re being a stooge.

      • Your rhetorical flourishes are misdirected, again. I posted that video here first. Get your own. Try something from Support Your Local Gunfighter. If you want more of my favorite actor, Strother Martin, go to Hannie Caulder. Good video of Raquel Welch in next to nothing there too. You really need to calm down. There is nothing worse than a humorless right-wing fanatic. Except josh. But he says he has a “girlfriend” now. Just last week he was telling us he was confused about his sexuality.

      • cwon,

        I misspoke. It’s Support You Local Sheriff that has the good stuff in it. The town is a facsimile of this board. I am the Sheriff and josh is the low down varmint, Joe Danby. Mosher is Jake, the town character/deputy. Fred is the Preacher. You can have first dibs on the role of town drunk, if you are interested. The rest of the parts the other people divvy up amongst themselves. Anyway, one of the most interesting parts starts at about 32:00:

  18. ceteris non paribus


    There is absolutetly no linear or quantitative evidence for this claim. It is a narrative conjecture, with a political motive behind it.
    This program should be banned from all government funded schools as a start.

    A fine bowl-full of of scientific ignorance lovingly combined with a dash of brown-shirt authoritarianism.

    And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

    • cnp,
      obert will show up any monet now to give you a ticket for violating Godwin’s law. ;^)
      Your assertion that limiting propganda from schools is somehow authoritarian is an interesting way to twist the situation around. Do you practice mental gymnastics, or are you a natural?

    • CNP,

      The shirts are green today, try to keep up with the times.

  19. Judith

    Do you believe that you know the impact of a doubling of CO2 has on temperatures sufficiently that it should be taught to children? What do you believe the impact is of a doubling? If you are a high error margin, do you think it should still be taught?

    • Do you believe that you know the impact of a doubling of CO2 has on temperatures sufficiently that it should be taught to children?

      Hey Ringo, Archer’s interactive software actually allows you to change the doubling factor. I put in 0.1 and entered a huge impulse of CO2 and the temperature barely moved, which is what the theory says.

      So I suggest that you instruct your children, should they ever take the course, that they enter small values. That way they can learn some science and not get scared of outcomes.

      BTW, It is very interesting to see how the atmospheric CO2 concentration impulse response changes to scaled forced impulses of CO2. For the default and small forcings the response has the same scaled shape. However when the forcing is scaled by more than 10, then you can start seeing how the positive feedback starts elongating the CO2 response. The temperature starts rising enough that much more CO2 outgasses from the ocean and that contributes to the atmospheric levels.

      As far as the CO2 module is concerned, the number of views is comprehensive enough that you can actually develop some intuition by playing around with the software. So kudos to Archer for developing this server software, or more likely his students for doing the coding.

      • Web (or should I write blowhard) since you insist on calling me ringo. Thanks for providing a better description of the material.

        As a simple question- do you believe it is good to teach there is a relationship between temperature and CO2 concentrations? I am not stating there is no such relationship, but since we are fairly unsure what it really is, and given that the debate was initiated by those who stated they knew what it is, wouldn’t it be better to teach that there is a possible or probable relationship, but that the science is not settled as to the amount or the fact that it is linear?

      • Rob,

        I can’t speak for WHT but I see no reason that pupils should not be taught about the radiative properties of CO2, the well established existence of the GHE and thus the connection between temperature and CO2 levels. And also given a fair assessment of our current level of understanding of the likely level of climate sensitivity.

      • Latimer Alder

        @WHT

        Wrong again…..

        Since Rob has failed to point it out, let me remind you that Ringo Starr’s given name is Richard Starkey..which does not shorten itself to Rob.

        Assuming of course that you are referring to a member of a popular young person’s beat music combo of the 1960s.

        Lennon was once asked if he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world. He replied that Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.

        Which was somewhat harsh. But al least he got the name right.

      • Latimer Alder: Lennon was once asked if he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world. He replied that Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.

        Considering the drop-off in the quality of the drumming after the Beatles broke up, I concluded long ago that Lennon was wrong on this.

  20. I recently finished a project cataloging the technical concepts taught in K-12 science Ed in the USA, plus estimating the average grade for each concept. Climate change and climate modeling are both on the list, and taught typically in high school. They probably just get a few hours each, if that, because there are a lot of other concepts to learn.

    However, the College Board recently proposed a national standard that includes teaching a lot more climate stuff, and that in middle school.

    Surveys indicate a lot of interest and significant skepticism, so the battle is heating up.

    • as a lukewarmer with rather different views on most things David, I agree that introducing a lot more climate stuff in middle school should be met with skepticism

  21. The AAAS is quoted as follows:

    “To get expertise in this area, NCSE hired climate and environmental education expert Mark McCaffrey as its new climate coordinator and appointed Pacific Institute hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick to its board of directors.”

    If the information about Gleick does not tell you all you need to know about the NCSE’s initiative in this area then you have not been following the debates on climate change.

  22. Climate science pornography should be banned in public schools, you know it when you see it.

    The sudden thought of many of the consensus near children is upsetting.

  23. Over at Real Climate I had asked about the course and was referred to a paper

    “Climate change in the tropics: The end of the world as we know it?” The paper describes “a broad scientific consensus in support of anthropogenic global warming”

    I replied back: But there is no broad scientific consensus about the rate of any warming (unless you include such a wide margin of error to make the estimate meaningless) and there is no scientific consensus regarding what will happen to any specific region as a result of warming. Virtually all of the papers published on the impacts of potential warming are unsupportable due to their being based on GCM outputs that have huge margins of error.

    Think they will post the comment or not?

  24. It seems to be the ultimate ego trip to corner a piece of the science curriculum to make students recite one side’s beliefs as though they are facts, similar to the way meerkats lift their hind legs to mark territory. One thing that unites both extremes of the political spectrum is their fear of people who are capable of thinking for themselves.

    • This is all part of the “kitchen sink” or “one last round” end of the unfortunate age of Obama. Maybe even the end of the Keynesian credit excess started in the 1930’s. The minions of followers in educations and debt driven educations systems can see the end coming for all the reasons they will never admit. They’re trying to lay some orders out in the system whereever they can hoping some will survive the cut back phase which is going to be massive.

      The government bubble is about to end. So is the climate pseudo-science bubble and all the parasites associated, it’s all related.

      “Since the 1960s, however, our culture has been under attack, our history rewritten as one of unmitigated oppression and the values our Founders and subsequent generations held dear reviled. Humanities courses in liberal arts colleges have replaced the canon of Western civilization with course offerings in gay scholarship, feminism, race studies and the like — all aimed to show our benighted past and to condition us to a more tolerant future.”

      Climate science should certainly be included in this summary of social, educational and moral decline.

      Read more:

      http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_college_racket_0DphQDDiqoTted3qZzNn0K

  25. Like the Jesuits, the global warming crowd believes that if they get control of the child, they will own the man.

    The comparison of climate science to evolutionary biology is laughable. Darwin’s natural selection was rejected for many decades – by scientists – until the revolution in genetics understanding made sense of it. The global warming apocalypse developed over about ten years, and it predicts things that will happen in the future, not explain things that happened in the past.

  26. The Catholic School education model embodied the mantra: “…give me a child for their first 8 years and I have them for life.” Ignoring such time warren policy is at one’s peril. Children are the future of all policy. After all, stopping society in its tracks is for the good of our children and grandchildren, isn’t it? To indoctrinate students takes a crafted approach mindful that one shoe does not fit all. 5 to 7 year olds have different developmental tasks, hence learn differently than 8 to 13 year olds, and 14 to 18 year olds are yet again different. As for college students, when one offers choices about shutting down the old coal fired power plant and converting to natural gas, the initial enthusiasm dissipates when they learn that such a switch will cost the students an additional $1000 per semester (real case, specifics revealed only upon duress). The model of indoctrination of students ala the Soviet style, is predicated upon the idea that students don’t have another source of information other than what one provides in school. If we have learned anything since the social networking era, kids learn really fast what parents don’t want them to know. The culture of children trumps the culture of adults, high priests, experts, and scare mongering gurus. Only middle-aged adults would be bamboozled by a spiritual guru into crawling into a hot hut, with a fire, in the blazing sun, in the summer time in Arizona; sweating out all one’s perditions.
    The unintended consequence of educating children about all the disasters their parents have foisted upon them, is that they will learn the language, the concepts and be able to match it with what they observe and then listen to the outlaw contrarian’s seditious tale, and enjoy a white Christmas.

  27. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_college_racket_0DphQDDiqoTted3qZzNn0K

    “Since the 1960s, however, our culture has been under attack, our history rewritten as one of unmitigated oppression and the values our Founders and subsequent generations held dear reviled. Humanities courses in liberal arts colleges have replaced the canon of Western civilization with course offerings in gay scholarship, feminism, race studies and the like — all aimed to show our benighted past and to condition us to a more tolerant future. ”

    Climate science is certainly another symptom of social decline and could have been added. It’s a bubble that is coming to an end.

  28. There is a very interesting summary of model outputs over at the Blackboard by lucia

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/year-end-trend-comparison-individual-model-runs-2001-2008/

    This is information that should be taught in schools as a part of any climate science course

  29. I’m not at all convinced that science of climate change should be part of school curriculum, but I find the following argument of Porter-Magee really bad

    “If you say it’s man-made, you must be implying some solutions. [Climate change] is taught to promote a particular political point of view, and that’s the problem,”

    She is not referring to uncertainty in the content but saying that the issue should not be taught, because the facts lead unavoidably to conclusions that she doesn’t like. That’s a terrible argument.

    • What is needed is to teach foundational principles of science and how to apply them with critical thinking. e.g., Isaac Newton’s four Rules (1726 edition)

      Rule 1: We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

      Rule 2: Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

      Rule 3: The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

      Rule 4: In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, not withstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.

      See See Philosophy of Physics p 69,79)

  30. David Archer’s online course Climate 101 is a great idea, and it’s mostly well-done; it has been improved over its previous versions, and Archer responds well to well-formulated complaints. I sent the link to some friends of mine. Because I have Raymond T. Pierrehumbert’s book “Principles of Planetary Climate”, I plan only to skim Climate 101 to see what’s there that Pierrehumbert maybe hasn’t addressed enough.

    It is, however, only a 1 quarter course, and it needs follow-on courses, tentatively titled Climate 102 and Climate 103, that will address details that are simplified or glossed over in Climate 101. Nobody bases public policy on Psych 101, Chemistry 101, Physics 101, Biology 101, first semester Calculus, or Computer Programming 101, or Introduction to Statistics. Climate 101 is an introductory course only. Climate 102 and Climate 103 can address the details that are not now known, or inaccurately modeled; failures of the models to make accurate predictions; difficulties in estimating important parameters for the models and the criterion measures against which the models are to be tested; limits on the usefulness of steady-state approximations in dynamical systems; numerical instabilities in computational models (dynamic and statistical); and so on.

    It would be a disaster if a bunch of smart U of C students were to believe that they knew enough to have an informed opinion on climate science after just a 1 quarter course — and if that simple-mindedness were to be repeated at hundreds of universities and colleges nationwide.

    • Matt –

      It would be a disaster if a bunch of smart U of C students were to believe that they knew enough to have an informed opinion on climate science after just a 1 quarter course — and if that simple-mindedness were to be repeated at hundreds of universities and colleges nationwide.

      What about Tea Partiers, who disproportionately think that they know enough to have an informed opinion on climate science (relative to other segments of the American public) – the vast majority of whom, no doubt, would be less well informed than students would be after taking that course?

      Disaster?

      • You forgot to mention Christians/Creationism, josh. Or are you just lumping them in with Tea Partiers now?

      • Joshua: What about Tea Partiers,

        It would be a disaster if the UofC presented a course called Political Science 101 that presented only the beliefs of the Tea Party as though they were the only respectable politics. At minimum Political Science 101 has to include the Constitution of the US (the history leading up to it, the history of its ratification, including the Federalist Papers), the constitutional crises (e.g. slavery) and the history of ammendments (e.g. 13th, 14th, 17th, 16th), and the history of many momentous Supreme Court decisions: the arguments and the decisions, and the many popular movements that force legal and constitutional changes at local, state and federal levels.

        Among students achieving high grades in such a course, there would be a lot more Tea Partiers than Obama supporters, I would expect.

        Closer to the topic of this thread, it would be nice to have such a course on line for the benefit of GED students and applicants for citizenship. Then we could have a lively discussion of what to add or remove, e.g. the truly awful idea of government proposed by Plato in The Republic, and emulated by Pres. Woodrow Wilson and the modern French and Californian bureaucracies — to which our Constitutional System and the Tea Partiers are so strongly opposed.

        (this is too briefly written for credibility, but we are after all on a climate blog, so I kept it brief.)

        The Tea Partiers are certainly more to be respected than the Occupy groups, who got on the whole more indulgent press coverage, while engaging in less prosocial behavior.

      • Joshua: Disaster?

        What did you think of my claim for the necessity of Climate Science 102 and Climate Science 103? I infer from your non responsiveness and your other posts that you think Archer’s course is sufficient and emulable as is.

  31. Pekka –

    She is not referring to uncertainty in the content but saying that the issue should not be taught, because the facts lead unavoidably to conclusions that she doesn’t like. That’s a terrible argument.

    This is the problem that the NCSE is primarily focusing on, and that ceteris non paribus is concerned about in the comments above.

    In point of fact, this initiative by NCSE is (ostensibly) in reaction to anecdotal evidence that science teachers are shying away from teaching climate science – either because of direct pressure not to do so, or because they are concerned that it is too controversial and that they will be subjected to criticism for teaching the subject.

    I would question, to some degree, the rhetoric of their approach; it seems to me to be somewhat tone deaf w/r/t the reactions of “skeptics” as we see on this thread.

    Here is an interview with a spokesperson speaking about this initiative:

    [audio src="http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/sciencefriday/scifri20120120-hr1.mp3" /]

    That segment is followed by a segment on mindfulness mediation – something about beloved “skeptics” might want to listen to after listening to the interview: it might keep their heads from exploding.

  32. Judith –

    I offer this quote from cwon for you to consider in your evaluate of NCSE’s effort:

    Seriously, AGW is pseudo-science.

    This is not an uncommon meme. Science teachers are affected by the ubiquity of this meme – to the effect that they seem to be shying away from the teaching of climate science.

    I understand your concerns about bias that might influence how NCSE is approaching this issue – but where is your concern about the issue that they are addressing? Would you be similarly unconcerned about pressure on science teachers to stop teaching about evolution?

    Your concern seems oddly selective here.

    • Joshua, in a lot of ways it is pseudo-science. If you prefer, you could call it “novel” science. Meaning the quality of the data in some cases has a margin of error 10 times the anomaly attempted to be predicted. Trenberth’s estimated warming imbalance of 0.9Wm-2 was attempted to be measure with instruments having an average accuracy of +/- 7Wm-2 and errors of nearly 80Wm-2 in some locations.

      Steig’s “novel” method to determine Antarctic temperature trends resulted in a false indication of significant warming when acceptable methods indicate there “may” be some warming but not much.

      Estimates of the magnitude of the warming started at 1.5 to 4.5, have changed to 2 to 4.5 and current estimates indicate less than 3 unless there is “in the pipeline” warming which may increase that to 4 degrees.

      2 degrees of warming is estimated to be somewhat bad, 3 degrees of warming probably bad and more than 3 pretty much has to be bad, but we can’t tell how bad.

      Clouds might make it worse or might make it better. Rain may not fall where is is supposed to fall. Snow may disappear in some areas or get worse.

      The Tea Party may know all they need to know about the science. “We don’t have a clue and it sounds like the scientists don’t either.” :)

      We can all agree with confidence, that methane is at least 20 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but it should take 100 times more than is being release now to cause about the same change as all the CO2 we have released which has cause about half of what we thought it would. :)

      The course should be called dealing with uncertainty. Kinda like when they taught us to crawl under our desks if the loud horn sounded.

      • Cap’n –

        I await your post detailing what penalty you deserve for a false assessment of a penalty.

        Meaning the quality of the data in some cases has a margin of error 10 times the anomaly attempted to be predicted.

        Now – here you assign an attribute to a wide field based on a (well, at least your) characterization of a margin of error for “some” data. So, that’s problem #1.

        2 degrees of warming is estimated to be somewhat bad, 3 degrees of warming probably bad and more than 3 pretty much has to be bad, but we can’t tell how bad.

        More of the same. AGW science is more than just estimates of sensitivity.

        The Tea Party may know all they need to know about the science. “We don’t have a clue and it sounds like the scientists don’t either.”

        Nice spinning of their opinion, but inaccurate:

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

        Over 50% responded that they don’t need any more information to make up their mind. Interestingly, the plurality of that group thinks that only 21-40% of climate scientists think that global warming is happening. Interesting that not only do they think they don’t need any more information, they also haven’t a clue as to what climate scientists believe (which again, disproves your theory that they think that climate scientists don’t know).

        I think that titling the course “Dealing With Uncertainty” is absolutely an excellent title. It’s all about dealing with uncertainty. Unfortunately, based on this post (a bit of an outlier for you), you wouldn’t get a passing grade.

      • joshy,

        OMG! Look at this poll, josh. I wonder if your hero tamino has seen it:

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/69_say_it_s_likely_scientists_have_falsified_global_warming_research

        Must all be Tea Partiers and Christian/Creationsists, augmented by some Flat Earthers and Holocaust Deniers. Still, it’s hard to see how that gets up to 69%, without some Independents, Blue Collar Democrats, and a few stray semi-rational squishy lefties thrown in.

        I don’t think that Capt was alleging that he had taken a poll, josh. Another strawman. You need to go to rehab.

      • Joshua, The some cases, included two examples, no penalty. There was also a discussion previously on the “all data is wrong” issue. How wrong is why I only said, some cases.

        The 2,3 and 4 degrees of bad, some prosaic license should be allowed, yellow card.

        The Tea Party, they interpret climate change as CO2 related. That is the policy being pushed. That BTW, is not uncommon, many people I know only relate to the global warming or climate change due to CO2, not the climate disruption or the greenhouse effect. How questions are worded are know to impact poll results, no penalty. What was the margin of error on that poll again :)

      • cap’n –

        Joshua, The some cases, included two examples, no penalty.

        You characterized the entire field on the basis of margin of error for some data. Now you get an extra penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

        The Tea Party, they interpret climate change as CO2 related.

        There are a variety of polls that undermine that explanation. Some polls differentiate between global warming more generally and anthropogenically-caused global warming. Even in those polls, large %’s say that the Earth isn’t warming. But that’s beside the point anyway. Your point of entry here was related to the question of how well-informed they are, and whether they need more information in order to reach a conclusion. They consider themselves very well-informed:

        Even though they don’t even know how most climate scientists assess the data. And the point, again, was that Matt said that students taking that course and thinking they were well-enough informed would be a “disaster.” So, given that Tea Partiers outnumber those students by a few orders of magnitude, and with less knowledge of the subject consider themselves to be well-enough informed to form a conclusion, what does that mean to our society? Should I head out to my bunker tonight, or can I wait until tomorrow?

        How questions are worded are know to impact poll results.

        Of course. No doubt. But do you really think that the majority of Tea Partiers are well-informed about the climate debate, or that they’re well-enough informed about the science to base a conclusion, or that they know how most climate scientists view the science, or that a large % don’t think that the Earth is warming?

        Get serious, my man.

        And the first penalty you should be assessed was for your saying that I made a comment above that I didn’t say. Now we need to add a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, and delay of the game for not telling me what your first penalty should have been. You’re losing yardage faster than the Indianapolis Colts vs. Tom Brady and the Patriots.

      • Joshua, now you are splitting hairs, Informed enough to make a decision is not the same as well informed or well educated. They are informed enough to vote no. That is the problem with Jim Hansen’s predictions not coming to past. That causes people to doubt your competence.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/01/that-dang-cartoon-again.html

        If you want more cases of the data doesn’t justify the confidence, I can find more. Since Dr. Curry started this blog because of concerns over uncertainty. that really should not be required. I think I can find an evolution of the global mean temperature though, HADCRU4 means about every decade there is a new target drawn on the barn. Now how can you make a sporting wager when you have to predict rule changes?

        You didn’t mention the methane paragraph :)

    • Josuah: I offer this quote from cwon for you to consider in your evaluate of NCSE’s effort:

      I would recommend to Dr. Curry that she never waste time responding to cwon.

      The science supporting AGW has omissions and inaccuracies. It also has proponents who do not believe that the omissions and inaccuracies exist, and other proponents who do not believe that the omissions and inaccuracies matter. In those respects, it is like all other sciences. It is enough that Dr. Curry give us posts to discuss and a place to discuss them. If she had to respond to every bad expression she’d never get out of here.

  33. …body of research pointing to a rising human influence on the climate system.

    That is just a claim.

    The observed global mean temperature (GMT) data shows a different story.

    http://bit.ly/zISeEo

    It shows, there has been no change in the increase in GMT with increase in human emission of CO2.

    The change in GMT in the 60-year period from 1940 to 2000 is nearly identical to that from 1880 to 1940.

    This shows that human emission of CO2 for 60 years has no additional effect on the GMT.

    Man made global warming is not supported by the data.

    • Theories that contradict observation must not be taught in the classroom, so AGW.

      • I mean not in science class room.

      • Grima, we are all in for a education in Psychology.

        “I think that titling the course “Dealing With Uncertainty” is absolutely an excellent title”.

        Yes, dissonance an a mass scale. Be really interesting to witness the knowledge we all we obtain form this episode, of the certainty of man to err.

      • Girma

        I agree with you that “Climate 101 according to IPCC” should not be taught in any science classroom.

        However, it could possibly be referenced in a psychology class covering mass delusion, as a case study of how truly bad, agenda-driven science almost bamboozled the entire world into committing economic hara-kiri before it was exposed.

        To your temperature charts, I think these could be overlaid with the atmospheric CO2 trend as a model for a logic class, where the IPCC logic below is discussed:

        a – Our models cannot explain the early 20th century warming
        b – We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20th century warming was caused by human CO2 emissions
        c – How do we know this?
        d – Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

        Max

    • Max

      Is the IPCC’s argument natural global warming from 1880 to 1940 is okay, but an equal amount of man made (this may not be true) warming from 1940 to 2000 not okay?

      http://bit.ly/zISeEo

    • The change in GMT in the 60-year period from 1940 to 2000 is nearly identical to that from 1880 to 1940.

      A frog in a slowly warming pot of water could use your argument as follows. “Look,” he says, “ten minutes ago the pot warmed 2 degrees in two minutes. During the last two minutes it still only warmed 2 degrees in two minutes. The change just now is exactly what it was ten minutes ago. No need to hop out, there’s nothing to worry about.”

      • Where is IPCC’s acclerated warming?????

      • Girma, Have you seen

        http://www.c3headlines.com/2012/01/new-noaa-data-debunks-establishment-science-msm-claim-of-dangerous-accelerating-warming.html

        Also, I wonder how many others are fololwing, with interest, on a daily basis

        http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+002

        It will be interesting to see how the Jan 2012 global temperature anomaly turns out. Jan 2011 was 0.0 C, and if the current trend contiunes until the end of the month, the anomaly could be negative.

        Which is precisley what you are saying. There is absolutely no evidence that CO2 causes global warming. Assuming cliamte sensitivity is positive, the recent observed data shows that it is indistinguishable from 0.

      • Cripwell,
        Kids need to understand how Lying with Charts works.
        There are books and courses on this subject.

        The CO2 Headlines graph is an excellent example case, almost on a par with the stuff Girma puts out in the quality of the DECEPTION. Note how they show the CO2 change as an absolute, but places the deltas as yearly changes so the temperature changes appear very small. Yes there is a fluctuating component there, but the average is still above zero, and an astute observer can pick up that 1 degree C rise per 100 years.

        Kids don’t know all the tricks and that is why it is a good idea to teach them about the statistics of natural variability. By understanding how data gets plotted, they can get a feel for what it all means.

        Here is another good instructional approach for kids, the idea of an analogy. Understanding randomness is not the easiest subject in the world. The dog’s-will version of climate variability is this explanation
        It’s only a minute long.

        The skeptics favorite counter-argument at the moment is explaining everything via this “natural variation”. That is the dog on a leash, while the climate is the dog’s owner, where only he knows where he is going.

        Another analogy is tidal and ocean wave height. The peaks and valleys are somewhat unpredictable but the only thing that has persistence is the average sea-level. The concept of seasons also fits in as a somewhat unpredictable change placed on a persistent cycle. Once a student understands the fact that climate is driven completely by energy balance arguments controlled by green-house gases and albedo changes, they have a start at engaging in a deeper discussion. Then they can start asking the “how much” types of questions.

      • I agree with WHT. That c3headlines plot would be funny if people weren’t taking it seriously. You notice that the trend is positive when averaged over ten years, but because of the scale a hundredth of a degree per year doesn’t show up very well. A decadal trend which is near 0.15 degrees per decade lately would show a real relation to CO2 growth, but they did want to hide this and did a good job of it.

  34. I have tried four times to post a comment on the educational issues mentioned, but none has gone through. I’m not sure why, but maybe the latest of these can be rescued.

    • Fred,

      I think that Judith has installed a droning filter. She didn’t tell you?

    • Latimer Alder

      Perhaps there is a limit on the length of the preface to any contribution (detailing your extensive reading and diligence) of about 3000 words before getting to the main point – if there is one.

      Or perhaps it only lets through sentences under 150 words.

    • Fred, Anonymous is active, some nodes in the network are effected.

      • I’ll be flattered if Anonymous has seen fit to target my contribution. It’s more than 150 words, but it takes only 90 seconds to go through even for a slow reader. If that exceeds the attention span of some of the above individuals, I apologize for the inconvenience.

      • Don’t worry about us, Fred. We take advantage of your soporific sermons to get our beauty sleep.

  35. I’m sure all the ‘skeptics’ will be clamouring to take the Climate 101 class.

    Obviously they would have doubts about how good their understanding of climate is.

  36. Final attempt at this comment for a while, with hope that it too won’t disappear into limbo like the earlier tries.

    I hadn’t intended to comment in this thread, but since I’ve been drawn in by responding to Bill C’s question on Gillett et al, I thought I would weigh in on climate change as a subject for high school science teaching. My daughter is a high school science teacher and I’ve given talks on climate change to a variety of audiences, including high school science teachers who responded with probing questions and great interest, so I have some personal familiarity with this question.

    Modern high school students (in good schools) learn differential equations and study concepts that include quantum mechanics, molecular biology, evolutionary theory, neurophysiology, enzyme kinetics, computer programming – and climate change – and so it puzzles me that there would be a recommendation to eliminate the last of these, while keeping all the others. Clearly, not every student is exposed to all of these topics, and few or none are addressed at an advanced level of sophistication – but they all are available to students with an interest in science. To me, then, the issue is not whether climate change should continue to be a high school subject, but how it should be approached to ensure adequate coverage while avoiding the propagandizing that Dr. Curry worries about.

    Without arriving at specific recommendations, I believe it’s possible to learn from experience with other subjects that have evoked controversy. Two examples come to mind. One is scientific – evolution in the context of societal debates on the subject driven by creationism/intelligent design proponents. The second is literary – whether what is often considered the greatest American novel, Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, should be taught in light of the controversial charge that its description of the runaway slave Jim contains racially offensive material. Some high school jurisdictions have appeared eager to dodge the controversies, but others have found ways to proceed with the teaching in a manner that may not please everyone, but satisfies most objective observers and avoids the most incendiary aspects of each subject. In other words, it can be done.

    Obviously, in the case of climate change, the most critical concern is the avoidance of policy prescriptions. On the other hand, there are those who will object to any material that most individuals would consider objective on the grounds that the material implies policy. Walking this tightrope requires a dedication to objectivity to the extent anyone can achieve it, along with a willingness to acknowledge uncertainties and conflicting points of view. It should not require complete abstention.

    I don’t believe, however, that it requires that schools “teach the controversy” – a concept borrowed from the creationists. Many areas of science are strewn with controversial areas (including evolutionary theories), but the phrase “teach the controversy” to me betokens an ideological agenda that misrepresents the nature of controversy. In particular, in climate change, as far as I can see, there are controversies but not “the controversy“. The latter implies that certain general principles that are almost universally accepted by the knowledgeable scientific community are in doubt – in particular, the concept that human anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have significant climate impact that must be evaluated for its potential consequences. In my view, that implication is falsified by abundant evidence and should be resisted by any teaching program, which must instead focus on individual controversies such as those involving the magnitude of climate sensitivity or the utility of climate models as sources of useful information.

    Modern high school science education is quite sophisticated compared with the education I received long ago. I think it would be negligent – a step backwards – to deprive students of the chance to consider an area of enormous scientific interest in the world today. I have already seen some science curriculum exercises designed for high school students. Many are quite good, others less so. Many involve interactive discussions as well as laboratory experiments to supplement didactic lecturing – they are designed to stimulate thinking rather than pure memorization. Many avoid any type of propagandizing, if that term implies deliberate attempts to create false impressions. Most can be improved, but that means making them better rather than making them go away. To deprive students of this element of education would, I believe, be a serious disservice to the students.

    • That took me exactly 176 secs to read that tome and 1 second to say.

      “The latter implies that certain general principles that are almost universally accepted by the knowledgeable scientific community are in doubt – in particular, the concept that human anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have significant climate impact that must be evaluated for its potential consequences”.

      Subjective argument on the invalid premise of an appeal to authority. I do not want children to be taught incorrect paths of reasoning. It has left you without the ability to criticize.

      • markus/Fred –

        I was struck by the same sentence –

        “The latter implies that certain general principles that are almost universally accepted by the knowledgeable scientific community are in doubt – in particular, the concept that human anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have significant climate impact that must be evaluated for its potential consequences”.

        I’ve added emphasis to show where I think Fred is claiming something unsupportable. Those three things put together basically misrepresent the reality of the science, and its community.

        Fred – you often make great play of the cautious nature of the scientific enterprise. What you have done here is claim something that is not true. There is no evidence for what you say. You have reached a personal conclusion (which is not “almost universally accepted”) and then simply made up a statement that the “knowledgeable” community agree with you.

        I think it would serve you well to accept that advocacy creeps into the pronouncements of all of us. Also, and perhaps more importantly, an argument from authority, weak as it is, only has weight if the authority agrees with the argument.

      • Anteros – thank you for specifying where you disagree with the principles I described. That will allow intelligent readers to make a judgment on those principles. I will be happy to see that happen.

      • Latimer Alder

        @markus

        Thanks for reading that for me. You have saved me nearly four minutes of tedium. I have to rad Fred’s stuff slowly because of the density of the prose and the complexity of the sentences structure.

        And all it actually said was

        ‘ I like that the kiddies get taught ‘orthodox’ climate change’.

        Only he just went the long way round to get there.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        markus, of all the people on this site, I have probably had the most vehement disagreements with Fred Moolten. Keep that in mind when I say you grossly misrepresented him. You, Anteros and Latimer Alder all criticized Moolten based on something he didn’t say. You highlight the quote:

        The latter implies that certain general principles that are almost universally accepted by the knowledgeable scientific community are in doubt – in particular, the concept that human anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have significant climate impact that must be evaluated for its potential consequences.

        You use this quote as the basis for claiming Moolten uses faulty reasoning and an appeal to authority. This is untrue. Immediately after that quote, Moolten says:

        In my view, that implication is falsified by abundant evidence and should be resisted by any teaching program

        He explicitly states he believe the implication he discussed is untrue. Indeed, the reason he brought up that implication is to stress that it shouldn’t be made. You have criticized him for advancing the very position he condemns.

        markus, Anteros and Latimer Alder, he explicitly criticized something, and you have criticized him for supporting it. You three have misrepresented Fred Moolten in the most breathtaking way imaginable.

      • Brandon –

        I’ll stick by my interpretation for the moment, and urge you to re-read Fred’s whole paragraph. If I have misunderstood it, I will certainly apologise to Fred, particularly because of the vehemence of my comment.

        Although Fred’s prose is dense, I believe it is quite clear.

        He says there is no controversy. He says that to imply that there is, is to say there is doubt about something that is almost universally agreed upon (etc). This position (that there is doubt) is falsified by the evidence and should not be taught.

        In other words the science is clear (settled?) about the big overview [Co2, impact, importance, necessity (must...) of study] and it is wrong to give the impression that this is not almost universally accepted.

        Instead, what should be taught is that there are many minor controversies.

        I think both that the above is what Fred is clearly saying, and that he is wrong.

      • Latimer Alder

        My criticism of Fred’s contribution stands. It is four minutes worth of tedious long-winded, complicated prose. As is just about everything else he writes. Perhaps he believes that when he has nothing much to say he will baffle us all with bullshit.

        Never one for the short snappy phrase where a paragraph or three of reminiscences will numb us into a torpor. Especially when such paras seem to be designed only to reinforce Fred’s high self-regard as some 21st Century polymath.

        So if he meant something different from what I – and others – read, blame it on his prose style. If he can’t be bothered to learn how to write persuasive direct prose, I see no reason to waste my time trying to decipher his verbose and turgid clues.

        Fred: ‘The Cat Sat on the Mat’.

        Not:

        ‘During my long and detailed survey of the extensive literature pertaining to the habits of domesticated animals – some of which may be termed ‘pets’, I encountered the existence (known also of course to me from my especially well-attuned childhood curiosity about all things natural and human and my extremely acute memory) of such a quadruped that was termed a ‘cat’. I referred to my huge memory bank of cultural history and quotations to recall within an instant that Dick Whittington once was possessed of such a beast and that Dr Seuss opined that one had been found in a hat ..or possibly not.

        Upon examination that day of my huge personal study/library equipped with all the latest gadgets to assist me in my ground-breaking and cutting edge research, I discovered an example of the cat kind sitting below my desk It was recumbent on the woven floor covering that I had specially commissioned during my recent visit to Turkey where I researched the effect of Anthropogenic climate change upon the native population. my monograph on this subject will soon be published in Nature, so the contents are , of course, embargoed. Suffice to say that I concluded that people who live in warmer climes tend to have darker skin pigmentation than those form cooler areas. This will, I fear, be stunning news to many , and my quiet repose as the world’s major scholar of everything, writer on most and enlightener of the masses will no doubt be interrupted by hordes of paparazzi, celebrity interview and that tedious flight all the way to Scandinavia (carbon offset for the airmiles of course) to accept – with my usual brevity and incisiveness – the Nobel Prize.

        I later discovered that the cat was called Tiddles.

        Once again my knowledge of literature came to hand. ‘Tiddles as a name for a feline quadruped was first used by Queen Osiris of Egypt…long before that country was despoiled by Anthropogenic Climate Change and the malign influence of Ocean Neutralisation…………

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Anteros, I’ve read the paragraph multiple times, and I’m confident about what I said. However, I do understand the interpretation you advance. We could simplify the relevant sentence to:

        the latter implies certain principles are in doubt

        If we do, it definitely supports your interpretation. However, there’s a simple alternative. When one refers to “the controversy,” especially in the phrase, “teach the controversy,” it almost always refers to a bogus “controversy” generated by bad science (often said to be dishonest).

        Given that, the sentence you quote would simply mean Fred Moolten is saying there is no single, large, fake controversy when it comes to global warming. In other words, he’s saying it’s not a situation where one side is completely wrong and basing everything upon obviously invalid work while the other side is doing science as normal. Instead, it’s a complicated situation where many different positions are held on many different issues.

        I find that far more likely than the interpretation you advance. The interpretation you advance requires Fred Moolten be doing a number of ridiculous things. First, he must be intentionally comparing people who disagree with him to Creationists (capitalization is important here). Second, he must be saying there is no doubt “anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have significant climate impact” even though “significant” is a vague word. Third, he must be saying there is no question that impact “must be evaluated for its potential consequences” even though “must” requires a morale judgment.

        I have a negative view of Moolten, but I don’t think he is willing to smear people via guilt by association. I don’t think he’s incoherent enough to use “significant” without understanding what it means. I don’t think he’s self-centered enough to think his morale beliefs are such that they can be stated as absolute truths.

        I obviously cannot prove my interpretation is correct (and perhaps I was overly strident in my earlier comment), but as long as their is a valid, alternative interpretation, I will not assume Fred Moolten is being a complete and total nincompoop.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        To be fair Anteros, Fred Moolten’s response does make your interpretation slightly more plausible (he didn’t dispute it though he could easily have). I chalk that up to him wanting to “let readers decide for themselves.”

        Again, I just don’t believe he is irrational or idiotic enough to have said what you think he said.

      • One should not read only the sentence after the one quoted first but also those before it. Doing that it seems clear that Fred opposes taking up a simplistic form of controversy, where the alternatives are essentially yes, there is AGW and it presents a serious risk and no, there’s no AGW to justify any attention at all. He is explicitly writing that there are controversies at more detailed level and those should be discussed.

        I think that very many people from both sides agree up to that point, but are disagree strongly on, how that observation should be formulated in practice.

        To me this seems to be a very difficult issue. While I’m fully confident in the validity of the understanding of basic phenomena related to climate change, I’m also certain that many teachers would present the issue in a way that I don’t accept even when their presentation includes that information that I consider solid.

      • Brandon –

        My interpretation (which still seems self-evident) I feel comfortable with because in many ways it is actually not that contentious. Fred is merely saying that most experts agree about the basics – that greenhouse gases have an impact and that this deserves some research. He does say that – and says that it is wrong to cast doubt on this consensus. There is no controversy about it.

        But Fred takes this uncontroversial position [that the basics are agreed by the experts] and then exaggerates it to the point where it becomes false.

        In my quote of Fred’s paragraph I highlighted three things that caused me to (profoundly) disagree – in two combinations. The first was that there is agreement about there being significant impacts from anthro’ greenhouse emissions – there isn’t. Many think that the impacts are less than significant. Secondly, that there is a consensus that we must evaluate the potential consequences [which as we see, means evaluating potential negative consequences, which in turn means imagining consequences that have no justifiable reality - once set up with this frame of reference, an organisation like the IPCC will find what it wants to find]

        On the back of those two misrepresentations is carried a whole misplaced menagerie of ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’. There is a subtle, but definite agenda (based on a belief about the future) that I think needs to be questioned – vigorously.

        Fred states publicly that he believes there is a danger – a danger from greenhouse gas emissions. This belief is what underlies his ‘interpretation’ of there being no controversy, because that is what he believes. He has foisted this belief on the world at large, which is what people do when they say ‘the science is settled’. Fred wants the ‘unsettled’ bits shipped out to the margins so that the central thesis [emissions significant/consequences bad] becomes yet more established. And he wants to start this process with 12 year olds.

        I worry when any set of beliefs are treated as beyond questioning, and particularly in a primitive and immature subject like climate science.

        Apologies for such a long reply..

      • Many areas of science are strewn with controversial areas (including evolutionary theories), but the phrase “teach the controversy” to me betokens an ideological agenda that misrepresents the nature of controversy.

        Thanks for the critique. Rereading the text it seems indisputable to me that Fred has himself intentionally attempted to misrepresent the nature of the controversy, or he simply doesn’t believe there is one.

        Some inference can be drawn about his predilection to bias. Why did he bracket (including evolutionary theories), he seems content to insist there is some controversy in evolution but not in Climasology (made up word).

        But I agree, The “controversy” should be taught in Ethics not science.

        From what I can deduce from the current discipline of public discourse over the matter, there will be no option but for the episode of AGW to be included in psychology papers.

      • Anteros –

        Don’t know if you’ll find this so far downstream from your comment – but I agree completely with your reading of Fred’s statement (I think Brandon’s reading is unfounded, and his insistence that his mistaken reading is correct is fairly typical).

        I also agree that Fred is wrong. I don’t agree that there is no “the controversy.” Clearly, there are some highly educated scientists (experts in directly related fields) who disagree with the basic principles that Fred says are not controversial. They are a very small minority, but they exist. Students studying about the subject should know about their existence, and also about the extent of their existence relative to the number of scientists who agree with the “consensus” opinion.

        But even more than that, there is certainly a “the controversy” in the sense that there is relatively large number of people who don’t understand how small that minority of scientists who disagree with the consensus really is. Many members of the public think the number is much larger than it actually is. Part of teaching “the controversy” is giving students the full context of the dispute that surrounds the science – and that, IMO, is important and should necessarily be a part of teaching about climate change.

      • Joshua –

        You put it well. And I agree too with your third paragraph – there is indeed a large misconception in the public’s mind about the (small) number of scientists who disagree with the consensus. I think that’s important.

        I also feel that sometimes the opposite misconception is held by those who are keen supporters of the consensus – that ‘97%’ of scientists agree with it. The misconception is that what they agree with is the same as what the advocate/supporter believes they agree with. For instance as Robert has it that “climate scientists tell us that 2 degrees will lead to disaster” whereas according to Richard Betts

        “Most climate scientists do not subscribe to the 2 degrees “Dangerous Climate Change” meme (I know I don’t)

        Sure Robert is not representative, but I believe there is a discrepancy around what it is that most people think climate scientists believe [particularly concerning 'disastrousness' which actually, I don't think they have any more expertise about than you or I]

        Fair to say though, the first misconception (particularly in the States) is probably much more widespread.

        FWIW, the one word of Fred’s that slightly got under my skin was ‘must’ – we ‘must’ evaluate impacts or whatever. Too draconian and prescriptive for me. I feel like rebelling!

    • Thoughtful and worthwhile……as ever Fred.

    • Fred,

      It is dishonest to imply that there is some equivalence between the Creationism controversy and the debate (yes there is still one) over doomsday climate change, or whatever you all are calling it today. But it doesn’t stop you people from playing that fiddle at every opportunity. So you don’t talk policy with the kids. Do you just tell them the world is going to burn up, if they don’t change their parents profligate ways, and leave it at that? That’s what they told my first grade son, a couple of years ago. Got me to thinking, and changing schools. Found one less expensive, too.

      • . “Do you just tell them the world is going to burn up, if they don’t change their parents profligate ways, and leave it at that? That’s what they told my first grade son”

        Don – If that happened, you had a right to be incensed. I can’t see teaching climate science, even if it’s done correctly, to first graders, and I can’t see teaching it in a biased manner to anyone. On the other hand, I also suspect that some parents have misunderstood what students were actually told – I’m not suggesting that was the case with your son, but I’m sure it happens.

        Students, teachers, and parents all have responsibilities, but I just don’t think that means ignoring an important scientific topic that can be discussed at a level appropriate for the students who are being taught.

      • Very liberal of you, Fred. But you have completely avoided explaining why you people keep trying to equate the religious folks faith in Creationism with other folks skepticism of the CAGW doomsday dogma. Why do you do that, Fred? Do you understand the question?

      • That reminds me of the Woody Allen movie where a depressed young Alvy has just learned at school that the universe is expanding and will eventually break apart.
        Mother: “He won’t do his homework!”
        Alvy: ” What’s the point?”

        Finding this funny, I guess that makes me mean.

      • No. No WHT, it doesn’t make you mean. It makes you ignorant of the effect the propitiating of AGW is having on children.

      • Fred,
        “If it happened”………
        It is happening everyday. 10:10 was backed by governments, and was aimed straight at our children.
        Just because the video failed do not think the goal has changed.

    • Modern high school students (in good schools) learn differential equations and study concepts that include quantum mechanics, molecular biology, evolutionary theory, neurophysiology, enzyme kinetics, computer programming – and climate change – and so it puzzles me that there would be a recommendation to eliminate the last of these, while keeping all the others. Clearly, not every student is exposed to all of these topics, and few or none are addressed at an advanced level of sophistication –

      The fundamental problem is not the introduction of a new course,but the abscence of basic skill in mathematics.,to understand the constraints implied,(of which we might include a number og graduates),The substantive gap in mathematics between east europeans (and asia now) and the US and western europe has been identified as a systemic problem.

      A good analysis is by Toon 2010.

      There is no exact counterpart of the Russian Standards in USA. The simplest reason is that in USA there is no Ministry of Education. Instead there is the triumvirate consisting of the federal Department
      of Education or DoE for short, the National Science Foundation or NSF for short and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics or NCTM for short. Roughly speaking, the business of DoE is administration, the business of NSF is finance and NCTM defines to a large extent, what is going on in the classrooms. Also all states and even smaller units have their local educational officials. It is they who usually decides, which textbooks wii be adopted by local schools in every year. Of course, NCTM is not government and formally speaking its recommendations are not obligatory, but the system of financing used by NSF and approved by DoE is such that friends of NCTM are financed
      much better than its enemies.

      http://www.de.ufpe.br/~toom/travel/Port2010/PORTUGAL.pdf

    • Fred,
      The point is not stop teaching about the climate. The point is to not indoctrinate children into falsely linking climate catastrophe skepticism to creationism. If evolution was taught in high school, the way it is sadly taught in many colleges- that evolution means there is no God- it would have passed from teaching to indoctrination as well.
      As to your assertion that modern high school education in general is better than it was in the past, you have made a claim that is not supported by the data.

    • Fred –

      I can’t agree with you here:

      I don’t believe, however, that it requires that schools “teach the controversy” – a concept borrowed from the creationists. Many areas of science are strewn with controversial areas (including evolutionary theories), but the phrase “teach the controversy” to me betokens an ideological agenda that misrepresents the nature of controversy.

      I understand that “teach the controversy” has a particular meaning in common usage, but the controversy can mean the full context including as many aspects of the debate as practical along with quantification of the controversy over the different elements. There may be far less areas of significant divergence in the climate debate than some “skeptics” like to claim – but the fact is that students will hear the claims, and thus it is that much more important to put as many as the relatively small-but-widely-heard “controversies”in their full context.

      This statement, also, I’m in disagreement with:

      In my view, that implication is falsified by abundant evidence and should be resisted by any teaching program,

      This seems to be in contradiction to the teaching pedagogy that you speak to elsewhere in your comment (i.e., what you are describing here seems overly didactic in approach). The point isn’t for teachers to teach in a didactic manner, “This if false,” or “This is true,” but to guide students in exploring the science, to help them understand the full context, and then to apply the concepts they’ve learned, including critical analysis – to the context. So doing, they will apply their knowledge to determine was is “falsified by abundant evidence.”

    • Fred Moolten: Modern high school students (in good schools) learn differential equations and study concepts that include quantum mechanics, molecular biology, evolutionary theory, neurophysiology, enzyme kinetics, computer programming – and climate change – and so it puzzles me that there would be a recommendation to eliminate the last of these, while keeping all the others.

      One of the criticisms of modern American science pedagogy is that it attempts to teach too many subjects too superficially. I would recommend that Darwinian Evolution and Quantum Mechanics be removed completely, and other subjects taught in greater depth: in the former case, more about genetics and the murderous disregard of her offspring with which Mother Nature determines that most of them shall never reach adulthood; in the latter case, more time in physics class making electrical gadgets from common electrical supplies and more quantitative studies of gyroscopes to deepen understanding of conservation of angular momentum. Nobody should try to learn quantum mechanics without first building things that work from scratch, thinks like electric motors and model aircraft — or perhaps learning how to repair automobile engines.

      Otherwise you get a form of “science literature appreciation”, with much discussion of ideas and next to no understanding of how anything works.

      • MattStat – I didn’t mean to imply that every student is exposed to every one of those subjects, nor that each of them is a course in itself, and I agree with you that superficial coverage (e.g., for students not interested in science) is probably wasteful. On the other hand, if we’re not going to teach Darwinian evolution, we might as well not teach biology, and if we’re not going to introduce QM concepts, we might as well not teach physics.

        In many schools, honors courses pursue some of these concepts in more detail, and perhaps spend less time building gadgets. Is this a proper balance? I don’t know, but I think there should be room for both.

      • Having lectured several cources of Quantum Mechanics I have difficulties in figuring out, how one could teach very much of it in any high school curriculum. Students should certainly learn that there’s such a theory and something on, how it differs from classical mechanics, but trying to proceed much further is questionable.

        Evolution is very much easier to understand. As the problems related to the fundamentalist opposition are rather foreign to me, I don’t see problems in including a fair amount on matter related to evolution in the curriculum.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Fred Moolten, you say:

        On the other hand, if we’re not going to teach Darwinian evolution, we might as well not teach biology,

        Could you explain this? I haven’t the slightest idea why you’d think teaching Darwinian evolution is so important teaching biology without it would be pointless.

      • We covered some very basic QM concepts in my high school. A good demonstration of QM can at least introduce the idea that Newtonian and Relativistic physics is not all there is. For many students, that will be enough. For students with greater interest and capacity it can be an invitation. The slit beam experiment, for instance, demonstrates the dual nature of photons rather well.
        For an accountant-to-be, this may well be enough. For an engineer or scientist-to-be, this could serve as an appetizer.

      • Pekka – I agree with you on the extent to which QM should be introduced in general, although more details might be appropriate in some honors physics courses. Brandon- If you want to email me, I can expand on the necessity of including Darwinian evolution for any meaningful understanding of biology at the high school level by finding some additional sources for your to review. Here, I’ll only point out that essentially all structure/function relationships in biology, and all relationships between different organisms and species can only be understood in the context of evolution, and that the implications of genetic changes can only be understood if we know how they will affect the future of a species. In addition, of course, if we want to know how we, or other biological entities, came to be what we are, we must understand evolution.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Fred Moolten, you manged to explain my confusion without actually answering my question. Every person in this fork has been referring to Darwinian evolution, including you. However, in your latest comment, you said:

        I can expand on the necessity of including Darwinian evolution for any meaningful understanding of biology at the high school level by finding some additional sources for your to review. Here, I’ll only point out that essentially all structure/function relationships in biology, and all relationships between different organisms and species can only be understood in the context of evolution

        You used “Darwinian evolution” and “evolution” interchangeably. This indicates to me you haven’t been distinguishing between the two in your comments, and that explains my confusion. I’m well aware of the significance of evolution for biology, but it is not necessary to accept or teach Darwinian evolution.

        Then again, it’s not clear what people are meaning when they say “Darwinian evolution” (the phrase gets used in a number of different ways) so I guess confusion like mine is bound to happen.

      • Fred Moolten: On the other hand, if we’re not going to teach Darwinian evolution, we might as well not teach biology, and if we’re not going to introduce QM concepts, we might as well not teach physics.

        Let me start with a quote from Bertrand Russell: If you can not know something without knowing everything, then you can not know anything.

        THE hard choice in education is where to draw the line. To teach Darwinian Evolution without teaching a lot about genetic variation and natural selection (i.e. what Darwin and I called the murderous disregard of Mother Nature for her creations) is to create students who are suckers for the allure of Intelligent Design. So, I advocate more genetics and competition (“nature red in tooth and claw”), and postpone the Darwinian Evolution until all that random variation and natural selection sink in (perhaps in an honors course with a long elaboration on genetics and ecology preceding the evolution.)

        Similarly, momentum and angular momentum, electricity and magnetism before QM — QM before M is a disaster. People who can talk about QM but who can’t wind an electromagnet or analyse an electric circuit are pseudo-intellectuals.

        We have people writing about the thermodynamics of the climate system who do not even know the difference between a closed system and an open system. We do not need more of that. Better they learn to titrate accurately and skip QM.

      • Brandon Schollenberger: You used “Darwinian evolution” and “evolution” interchangeably. This indicates to me you haven’t been distinguishing between the two in your comments, and that explains my confusion. I’m well aware of the significance of evolution for biology, but it is not necessary to accept or teach Darwinian evolution.

        I mean “Darwinian Evolution”, evolution by random variation and natural selection.

      • MattStatt and others – I notice that this exchange started when I referred to “evolutionary theory” and MattStat responded by suggesting we not teach “Darwinian evolution”. After that, “evolutionary theory” and “Darwinian evolution” appeared to be conflated. Since I’m not completely clear whether “Darwinian Evolution” has an unambiguous meaning, I should refrain from using that term. I should have stayed with just “evolutionary theory”, which I continue to think should be taught as a fundamental concept in biology.

      • I just saw your latest comment, MattStat. I do think we must continue to teach evolutionary concepts based on random variation and natural selection. The “random variation” concept involves a multitude of genetic phenomena, some of which are complex, but as a basic concept, it is an indispensable element of our understanding and shouldn’t be neglected. It’s not all there is to evolutionary theory, but it’s a critical part of it. The term “random” is itself somewhat ambiguous, but I’m referring here to phenomena that are not directed toward an evolutionary goal but instead occur as genetic accidents, even though they may be more common under some circumstances than others. I certainly hope that isn’t considered controversial, because it shouldn’t be.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        MattStat, I disagree with your comment:

        Similarly, momentum and angular momentum, electricity and magnetism before QM — QM before M is a disaster. People who can talk about QM but who can’t wind an electromagnet or analyse an electric circuit are pseudo-intellectuals.

        I can’t analyze an electric circuit. I never took the time to learn how. On the other hand, I have no trouble speaking intelligently about quantum mechanics. This doesn’t make me a pseudo-intellectual. It makes me someone who knows what he wants to know in the field. Since one doesn’t need to know how to analyze a circuit board to understand quantum mechanics, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

        P.S. I’m glad we are all on the same page about evolution. Sorry if I created unnecessary confusion (even if only within myself).

      • Pekka Pirila: Evolution is very much easier to understand.

        So it is. However, most students have great difficulty accepting either random variation or natural selection. I think this applies as well to most biology teachers, and most doctors. As a statistics teacher, I think very few people accept random variation: hence, in teaching high school science, I would add more genetics, with hundreds of examples of unexplainable genetic variation, and then crop breeding and acquired resistance to antibiotics. I would remove Darwinian evolution because it requires those things as precursors, and they take a long time to sink into most people’s awareness.

      • Brandon Schollenberger: I can’t analyze an electric circuit.

        Can you wind an electromagnet? My main point was not to focus on particular mechanics, but to stress that mechanics has to be mastered before quantum mechanics can be understood. I would claim that you can not understand electron orbits if you do not understand the angular momentum of a top, and know how to measure it. Surely you do not try to teach wave-particle duality without teaching the mechanics, including experiments and mathematics, of waves and particles?

        THE important choice in curriculum design is what to leave out.

    • Fred, I am fascinated to learn that you are giving talks on AGW to high school teachers. How does that work? Are you part of a group? How do you set up a presentation? Do you work with the schools, or outside?

      • David – I’ve been the one to take the initiative in arranging to talk on climate change. My audiences have been the general public, college students (and faculty), and high school science teachers. I’ve talked to the high school teachers on one occasion to date, but hope to do more. My very first climate change talk, which was to a general public audience, went poorly. Only a handful showed up. It became clear that they were expecting a pep talk on climate change activism, while I wanted to discuss the science, and I think they were disappointed. My college talks have gone well and resulted in repeat invitations.

        I don’t represent any group. I have had help from one group in the form of some PowerPoint slides and a booklet on climate change in the Northeast, but nothing more. I don’t represent them and in fact disagree with them on some issues.

        After discussing the science, I mention the existence of policy options (including doing nothing), but I don’t advocate any particular choice. I expect that the science I discuss will imply that certain options are preferable, but as long as my scientific descriptions are accurate, I believe that is appropriate.

        Regarding some of the above discussion, I don’t “teach the controversy”, for reasons I’ve explained above, but neither do I “teach” that any particular principle is non-controversial, or “settled science”. I simply describe the scientific principles and evidence, acknowledging uncertainties along the way, and let that speak for itself as to what is reasonably well settled and what isn’t.

        I’ve already mentioned above what basic principles about anthropogenic climate change I consider to be non-controversial within science, and so the evidence I describe makes that point implicitly. There are some here, you included, who probably disagree even on that basic level, but this is a subject that I know well and so I will continue to identify areas I see as well established and others that are more uncertain, with the understanding that I can’t hope for everyone to agree with me, but that I’m making accurate statements..

      • I realize I didn’t completely answer all your questions. Basically, in the case of the schools, I’ve contacted them, and those that have been interested invited me to speak. I don’t charge for my talks.

      • Fred,

        “But you have completely avoided explaining why you people keep trying to equate the religious folks faith in Creationism with other folks skepticism of the CAGW doomsday dogma. Why do you do that, Fred? Do you understand the question?”

        Do you answer questions when you give your talks, Fred? Do you play that Creationism = climate skepticism fiddle, when you give your talks, Fred?

      • Fred Moolten: I simply describe the scientific principles and evidence, acknowledging uncertainties along the way, and let that speak for itself as to what is reasonably well settled and what isn’t.

        I will be curious to learn what uncertainties you acknowledge. Your postings here don’t generally acknowledge any in particular.

    • 1st Imo I would think it would be a BAD idea to have Fred Molton teaching high school students the topic of climate change unless he was forced to follow a strict teaching guide. Fred has a very clear bias on the topic towards it being “proven” to be harmful to humanity and needs to be mitigated starting as soon as possible.

      There is no valid science to support that conclusion.

      Comparisons to teaching other topics is really silly and bound to be inaccurate.

      You can not avoid leading students to conclusions about government policy if you teach the topic and include Fred’s overwhelming bias regarding what is “known today based on science”. Fred shows his bias in the statement:

      “ the concept that human anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have significant climate impact that must be evaluated for its potential consequences.”

      Fred- your bias is shown by writing the undefined word “significant” that would necessarily lead students to the conclusion you have reached.

      • Rob – If you are ever in the neighborhood when I talk next, I hope you’ll attend and ask challenging questions. Regarding my statement about non-controversial aspects of climate change, I suppose you can argue about the meaning of “significant”, but I think the statement stands on its own merits, and I’m not inclined to change it. My talks make clear what I mean in a quantitative sense. I certainly don’t think that anyone who attends my talks with some background knowledge and an open mind would end up finding me biased. On the other hand, the Internet is a jungle where it’s impossible to appear unbiased to everyone on a topic that has social and political implications, even when some aspects are considered well settled by those who work in the field. It’s one of the reasons why I find it more gratifying sometimes to talk to audiences who are very intelligent but don’t come to the subject with entrenched preconceptions.

      • Fred

        Let’s see if you will answer a simple question(s) here.

        Do you believe there is a “scientific consensus” on the rate of warming due to a doubling of CO2? What is the rate and with what margin of error?

        Do you believe there is a scientific consensus regarding what will happen to human life as a result of the 1st point/answer? What is that consensus?

      • Rob – The two questions you asked are ones that i describe as characterized by uncertainty, although not unlimited uncertainty. Again, you’re invited to attend one of my talks, but i don’t want to divert this thread into a discussion of climate sensitivity ranges or effects on human health and prosperity. Those topics have not only been discussed many times already, but are much too broad for an exchange of a few comments here.

      • Fred

        I am not suprised that you duck such a simple question and that you are untruthful in your reply. The questions are simple yes or no, and the only honest answer to both is no, there is no “scientific consensus” (unless you answer the 1st question with such a large margin of error to make the answer meaningless)

      • you are untruthful

        Rob Starkey – You are an ass. Is that truthful enough for you?

      • Fred

        It simply demonstrates that when you are pinned down and asked to answer very specific questions that are totally relevant to the topic, you work to be as obtuse as possible and then get angry and throw out profanities when the fact is highlighted.

        Isn’t being intentionally obtuse being untruthful???

      • No profanities, Rob. It was just a matter of fair play – if you tell lies about me, I’ll tell the truth about you.

        If you want more detailed answers to your questions, you can find I’ve provided them more than half a dozen times in past threads. If you can’t find them, email me, but I don’t have the time to retrieve all the past links and evidence I’ve provided just because you want to argue and are prepared never to stop..

      • Fred

        Another typical response from you Fred. When you do not want to provide honest straightforward answers you claim you answered it elsewhere and do not wish to repeat yourself.

        Do you believe there is a “scientific consensus” on the rate of warming due to a doubling of CO2? What is the rate and with what margin of error?

        Do you believe there is a scientific consensus regarding what will happen to human life as a result of the 1st point/answer? What is that consensus?

        Keep being obtuse and avoiding the simple questions if you think that is effective.

      • Rob,
        Fred has been repeating his call for mitigation for months here and has yet to show one example of mitigation that works.
        The hope of ideologues on a nearly universal basis is always that they can change minds by repeating their version of truth.
        History shows that the Fred’s of the world win for awhile, but the bs detectors of people eventually kick in and they reject the bs. Let him try and indoctrinate the kids all he wants. Kid’s ability to sniff out indoctrination and to snicker behind the backs of the serious and officious preachy authorities is quite strong. And AGW is nothing without its bs preachiness.
        Don’t worry. the kids will be alright.

      • Rob – the topic of this post involved climate teaching, and not climate sensitivity or human impacts – topics I and others have often addressed in detail. The recent exchanges involved my own climate change talks, in which I focus on data and don’t recite my personal conclusions. To appreciate that, you’ll have to attend one of my talks – you don’t get a free preview here..

        I already told you how my talks deal with the points you raised, but if you want more details on my personal understanding of the extent of consensus on climate sensitivity ranges and the range of possible human impacts, you can either review the enormity of past discussions on this topic or you can email me. I think you are trying to bait me with the accusation I’m dodging the issue, but I decline to get tangled into interminable arguments, so you’ll have to put up with what I’ve already said or else take the email route. I’m fairly sure most readers here are aware I’ve addressed all the topics fully in the past.

        On a different point relevant to a response to David Wojick, I had mentioned I use PowerPoint slides in my presentations. I forgot to mention that two of those were slides I stole from Dr. Curry (she had given us all permission). They were the frog slide and the dinosaur slide, and they add a refreshing touch to the presentation.

      • Fred
        The topic of the thread is Climate Classroom. I wrote that there is nothing wrong with following a clearly defined curriculum that points out what is known vs. what is unknown in a factually correct manner. I wrote that I think you would be a bad person to teach the subject as you have demonstrated to have a bias on the topic.

        The questions I posted are keys to teaching anyone about the topic of AGW. I cannot understand how an honest person works so hard to avoid a direct honest answer.
        1. Do you believe there is a “scientific consensus” on the rate of warming due to a doubling of CO2? What is the rate and with what margin of error?
        2. Do you believe there is a scientific consensus regarding what will happen to human life as a result of the 1st point/answer? What is that consensus?
        Fred- if someone is teaching this topic of climate change these are key questions and quite possibly the most important questions. To have you write that I am free to attend your lecture is an obvious nonsense response- and you know that. To write obvious nonsense response is a form of intellectual dishonesty. To teach students a topic with a strong bias is teaching propaganda.

        Fred, please take a step back and consider why you would fail to post what you have taught. Is it possible that you have been spreading propaganda? Is it possible that you are concerned that others at this site would believe you are spreading propaganda if they read what you were teaching? Why do you put forth a greater effort to avoid answering directly that it would take to answer?

      • Rob – email me if you actually want to do something other than start an interminable argument. You know why. If you don’t, others do.

      • I have sent Fred my e-mail address. It will be interesting to see if he sends me answers to my simple questions or what he is teaching to students on the subject.

        Fred–I stick by what I have written about you as being a fair evaluation.

      • Rob,
        The main lesson from Fred is that if you ask for answers to questions he does not approve of he will leave or obfuscate.
        The mitigation question is one he at first simply repeated a non-answer to, and now ignores completely.
        He is clearly educated and has accomplished a lot in medical school Why he is stuck on a small menu of responses on cliamte change and is at the same time so evangelical about it is a fascinating question.

    • Sheesh. I agree with Anteros, Markus, Joshua in their reading of what Fred said (what Fred said!) and think that Brandon must be misinterpreting it, though I am not such a master of the English language to understand the exact reason for and extent of Brandon’s misinterpretation.

      I disagree with Fred as follows: I disapprove of the use of the words “significant” and “must”. I disagree with Joshua that the important highlight of “the” controversy is drilling down to see how few climate scientists are actually sky dragon slayers. “The” controversy is precisely the summation of all the perspectives and various levels of disagreement among scientists. It’s akin to David Wojick’s issue tree.

      I would be content with a box in the 7th grade textbook explaining that many climate scientists support an AGW theory in which human GHG emissions will ultimately, if not already, have a significant warming effect on the climate, which could have many consequences, with a few examples, including possible positives.

      • Your box could not say that because the concepts of climate and climate change are not usually taught until high school. The GHG effect is not necessarily taught at all, at least it is not specified in the state standards my team has examined. But it is probably included in climate change.
        See my blog article here:

        http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2011/11/10/education-regulation-new-challenges-and-new-opportunities/

        However, the concepts of weather, weather forecasting, heat wave, drought and flood are all taught in elementary school, so you might do something in terms of nontechnical global warming. The most you could do is say that it is controversial, but the concept of scientific controversy is not normally taught in K-12 at all. Science is taught as facts. Controversies are usually only mentioned in the context of resistance to new ideas, Galileo’s persecution for example. This makes teaching skepticism very difficult.

      • billc –

        I agree with when you agree with Markus, Latimer, Joshua….. and me.
        I think it is to your great credit and I surmise that you are a splendid fellow! :)

    • Joshua

      I’d like your clear unambiguous opinions on some straightforward simple questions.

      1. Do you believe there is a “scientific consensus” on what the rate of any warming due to additional CO2 will be?

      2. Do you believe there is a “scientific consensus” on what will happen to the weather around the world as a result of any warming?

  37. A good classroom subject for 12-year olds:

    sociopolitical implications of anthropocentricity as a postulated monocultural agent for triggering abrupt climate change trauma (with special emphasis on what your parents need to do NOW to avoid the end of the world before you have a chance to grow up).

  38. Student to teacher:

    … the high for tomorrow will be 61°F

    … the average high is 68°F

    … the record high was 81°F in 1976

    … is that global cooling and are we doomed!

    Teacher to student:

    … no, no, no, that’s not global cooling that’s weather but you still should worry about it

  39. How come it is only models that predict a warming. Since C02 has been going up, why hasn’t the temperature for the last 15 years or so been going up? Oh and where is the proof that the increase in C02 will cause warming, outside of fabricated models? How come the earth did not cook when C02 was many times higher in the past? So just what is the optimum C02 levels and will that give us a garden of Eden? So if we reach an optimum level will that affect grants and how will we know we are at an optimum level? How come it seems everyone who pushes increase in C02 has a financial stake in the debate? Just curious. Oh where did those 50 million climate refuges go?

    • nc writes “. Oh where did those 50 million climate refuges go?”

      (Tongue in cheek). The 50 million climate refugees did not go anywhere. The genius who made this statement just got the sign wrong. It wasn’t that 50 million people left low lying areas near the sea, which were supposed to get flooded. 50 million more people have moved there, because it is a lovely place to live!

      By the way, I loved the rest of your questions.

  40. incandecentbulb

    “The paper opens by saying: ‘Climate warming is a global threat to biodiversity,’ [then] they normalized the results and standardized them and area-adjusted them and de-normalized them again. That is the kind of mystical alchemy that transmutes plain old fallible computer model results into infallible golden Science.” ~Willis Eschenbach

    Then, Eshenbach turned over the rock and found this floater in the study: “We do not reflect uncertainty for our estimates or attempt statistical tests because all of our input data include some degree of model-based interpolation. Here we seek only to describe broad regional patterns; more detailed modeling will be required to reflect inherent uncertainty in specific smaller-scale predictions.”

    We will have to pay a lot more taxes if all 28 authors of this study are to be tenured.

  41. Norm Kalmanovitch

    When I studied atmospheric physics back in the late 1960’s CO2 emissions were rising rapidly and the climate scientists were wworried about the possibility that the global cooling that had started around 1942 would continue leading the world to a repeat of the little Ice Age from which we were just starting to recover. We did not have the term “greenhouse gases” because we knew that most of the greenhouse effect occurred as a result of cloud cover and to a lesser extent from water vapour and to some small extent from whar was termed atmospheric gases which included CO2 and ozone with no mention of methane because the concentration was so small and it only had an effect on a very low energy portion of the Earth’s radiative spectrum already dominated by the effect from water vapour.
    In 2002 the world once again returned to a cooling trend with rapidly increasing CO2 emissions and another threat of a return to the conditions of the Little Ice Age; only this time we have evidence that our current solar cycle 24 is mimicking the Danton Minimum that brought on an extension of the Little Ice Age in the Early 1800’s giving credence to the liklihood that we are heading for a similar period of severe global cooling.
    Satellites launched in late 1978 show that OLR has increased as the world warmed from 1975 to 1998 demonstrating that this warming resulted from increased energy from the sun reaching the Earth surface (and possibly increased geothermal heat transfer) and completely disproving any possibility that this warming was due to any augmentation of the greenhouse effect from CO2 methane or even clouds or water vapour.
    Remarkably GCM models which are completely incapable of either demonstrating the effect from CO2 or projecting global temperature without a special CO2 forcing parameter or climate sensitivity factor were suddenly fitted with both and continue to project global warming from increased CO2 emissions as the Earth continues to cool.
    These models are based on an energy flux balance but two versions of this energy balance prepared in 1997 and 2008 show two different values for OLR of 235W/m^2 in 1997 and 238.5W/m^2 in 2008. If OLR actually increased between 1997 and 2008 it would demonstrate that it is changes in incoming energy and not an enhanced greenhouse effect that is at play controlling global temperatures.
    If you click on the sample chapter from Archer “Greenhouse Gases“, which is quite excellent in the portrayal of the effect from CO2 the MODTRAN models show a conmcentration of 1000ppmv CO2 produces a net response of “The model reports that I out decreases from 249W/m2 without CO2 to 223W/m2 with CO2.”
    So our current education being fueled by the latest technology tells us that 1000ppmv decreases OLR but models are based on energy balance diagrams that show OLR increased between two versions and these models are used to promote the concept that the Earth is warming from increased CO2 as the Earth continues to cool!
    Frankly the science education back in the 1960’s was an awful lot better because we were taught to think and more importantly were were taught to use common sense and to question anything that did not meet this criteria.

    • When I studied atmospheric physics back in the late 1960′s

      This is complete BS. Where did you study this? The rest of your comment shows that either your instructors were clueless or you didn’t retain anything. Did you ever even pass a course in atmospheric physics?

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        I didn’t have instructors we had real professors who would flunk anyone making claims that the Earth was warming from increased CO2 emissions when the world is cooling as CO2 emissions reach unprecidented levels.
        The ludicrous “carbon solution” of the time to stop global cooling was to spread soot over the polar ice caps to absorb more heat from the sun and stop the global cooling. The only problem with this is that the polar ice caps are there because the sun has very little influence at the poles compared to the equator and more than half the time at the poles is spent either in darkness or at such low sun angles that there is net thermal radiation from the surface as opposed to absorption from the sun. Dark surfaces radiate more energy than white surfaces so the net effect of spreadindg soot would result in a negligible amount of further cooling which was opposite to the claimed stated effect.
        I know this because our theoretical Geophysics course professor had us calculate this net effect (with slide rules) so we could independently arrive at this conclusion by doing the calculations by hand and not simply relying on what we are told as is the case today.
        Apparently you have never done any basic calculations and blindly accept what you are being told which is why you apear to be as clueless as those who provided you with the false information on which you base your beliefs.
        This post is about scientific education and it is clear from your comments that proper science protocol and ethics are missing from your education

      • I wonder, why you were not told that snow is essentially black for thermal radiation and therefore radiates as much as it is as after adding some carbon or anything else.

        This is just one reference that Google gives:

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/l0702616u1k8856q/

        This paper is from 1985, but the fact must have been known already in 1960’s.

  42. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’ Einstein on imaginary time.

    The problem with evolution is that it is encumbered with a secular humanist agenda. ‘Evolution doesn’t need God’ in the words Richard Dorkins. They claim the imprimatur of science in a straw man argument about creationism or intelligent design. Neither of the latter is falsifiable in any sense and therefore is not science at all but some other realm of human endeavour that may indeed be equally or more worthwhile when measured in joy and love. The true battle is not of science with ignorance but of the sterile, humanist agenda with the reality of the human condition. It is a battle the humanists can’t win because most of the world is acutely aware on an intuitive level of the oneness of the universe, the sanctity of life and the immanence of God. Teach evolution by all means – but there is a wider reality even in hard science let alone in philosophy and metaphysics – Horatio.

    I think ‘climate science’ is similarly blighted by a liberal progressive outlook. They claim that conservative white males are most likely to be climate sceptics. Like that’s a bad thing? We move from simple physics of gases to a platform that claims to be democratic and capitalist but that inexorably leads to failure in their own terms and disaster in human terms. We have seen the writing on the wall and the added people who can no longer afford food. It is what – unintended consequences? That term seems to have parallels with collateral damage – another hateful consequence. People like Joshua feign reasonableness – and pretend to injured innocence when I say that I have seen the enemy. Martha has intellectual pretensions but succeeds only in being fatuous – she at least has seen the enemy and is willing to identify us publicly. By name if necessary to cower her intended victims. Fred claims scientific objectivism and uses silly words like consilience to paper over chasms in understanding of the Earth system. Webby has a single idea that he pursues with terrifying intensity. It all converges to a single liberal agenda – more taxes, more intervention by the cognitively privileged liberal, less economic growth, etc. By all means teach the simple physics – but the catastrophist climate philosophy of the typical liberal has no place in the classroom. Much less the anti-capitalist and profoundly anti-democratic agenda of the typical pissant liberal.

    Apropos of nothing much except rubbing it in – I have just had such a great day. This morning I saw a wild dolphin do a flip and this afternoon we got another half million dollar job from Bechtel – yippie ki-yay. Don’t worry about gas and coal – we got lots to share.

    • “Why didn’t I get a mention?

      It is a battle the humanists can’t win because most of the world is acutely aware on an intuitive level of the oneness of the universe,”

      Hydro. This is from observations of a 19th century master physicist.

      “The results observed are in accordance with those furnished by the theory; no phenomenon is more completely explained. The mean annual temperature of of any point whatever in the vertical line, that is, the mean value of all those which might be observed in the course of a year, at this point, is independent of the depth. It is the same for all points of the vertical, and consequently that which would be observed immediately below the surface; it is the fixed temperature which exists at great depths”.

      The theory of Co2 demands energy retains, irrespective of the observed phenomenon of matter in perpetual state.
      The theory of Co2 demands that matter has a different energy equation when in a different entropic state.

      I’d like to see them get that past the average high school student.

    • “They claim that conservative white males are most likely to be climate sceptics. Like that’s a bad thing?”

      Older CWM, particularly

      And no, it’s a just an observation, but an important one, but it point to a rejection of the science, which has less to do with science than it does with a certain worldview.

      • I don’t have to make the observation.

        It points to the skepticism of the science, which has more to do with science than the greenshirt view worldwide.

      • Michael,

        Just as the opinions of doom-butt, green-shirt, ain’t-got-a-life, can’t-get-a-date, zit-popper, eco-parasite, booger-vore, taxpayer-tit-sucking, Deltoid-vat-people-tolerant, lefty hustlers have less to do with science than they do a certain, like big-time, goobered-up world-view. And a rejection of science, to boot, when it interferes with the latest Lysenkoist eco-scare on behalf of the “cause”!

        Just an observation, Michael. Yeah, buddy!

      • Michael,

        How many old geezer scientifically illiterate conservative white males blinded by ideology are in the voting population? I will guess for you: 14% of the electorate. And some of them must not be as stupid as you think they are, because they buy into the CAGW dogma. Let’s call that 2%. OK, so how do you explain this poll of voters:

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/69_say_it_s_likely_scientists_have_falsified_global_warming_research

        More than two thirds of the adult voting public-old young black white brown Democrat Republican Independent-do not trust climate scientists. That there is in used car salesman territory, Michael. How have climate scientists managed to build themselves such a bad rep?

    • Chief Hydrologist –

      Some fascinating thoughts.

      I agree entirely about the catastrophist mentality, and have something of a passion for unearthing it in the common psyche, if not down in its evolutionary and biological roots.
      Armaggedonology – a noble study because it promises to remove that which prevents the experiencing of existential joy and awe. Apocalypsters have a layer that once peeled away can reveal a human being’s natural confidence in today – and tomorrow.

      Something I’m yet to see is the essential link between the dooming and a statist liberal agenda. I see a correlation and some obvious overlaps in emotional disposition, but the connection for me remains tenuous. Perhaps because my perspective has always been essentially non (or ‘a’) political.

      Otherwise, I concur with your sentiments.

      And FWIW I’m having a particularly splendid time because I finally got around to something this morning that I have been procrastinating about for forever and a day.
      Which somehow reinforces my happy wonderment that there is something, rather than nothing.

      • Yes, the catastrophist mentality is apparent-

        …. a carbon tax will destroy the economy
        ……greenshirts and environmentalists want to destroy modern civilisation and make us live in caves.
        …..it’s all part of a socialist plot to take over the world

        etc etc.

      • Michael,
        Who is dominating the public square claiming that the world is facing a human caused climate catastrophe? Who dominates the public square claiming that big corporations and super rich are seeking to suppress that bad news?

      • Actually what they are saying is that we face the potential of such.

        And, more importantly, that we can act to avoid it.

        Others respond to this positive outlook with their doom and gloom message of catastrophic consequences.

      • randomengineer

        Michael — …..it’s all part of a socialist plot to take over the world

        It’s interesting that the advocates of “doing something” are creating what they claim as the thing that needs to be addressed.

        There is no demand for action on the part of the man in the street for the “good guys” to swoop in with the answers to their pain. Rather, those who portray themselves as “good guys” are telling the man in the street that there’s an imminent danger. They flood the media with claims bolstered by images of polar bears. When the man in street questions the claim he is fed a raft of statistical inferences and vague correlations, none of which really prove much of anything. If the man in the street questions further he is denounced as a denier, too dumb to get it or too “politically corrupted” to receive the Trvth.

        I see no difference between this and denouncing the man in the street as an apostate, a heretic, an unbeliever circa 1433. You have a self appointed priesthood claiming to know the way to salvation. The common man simply wanted to be left alone to support his family. In 1433 those learned men could point to their bible and prove that the common man needed salvation and could/would prove it. Today the learned are writing their bible and their acolytes regurgitate the sacred writings as the gospel itself. And the effect is the same. The common man wants as usual merely to be left alone, but there are those who reckon the common man requires their guidance — whether he needs it or not.

        The above paragraphs are the prelude to the obvious question: if the self-appointed learned class was NOT telling the common man that doom was imminent, would the common man be complaining that his lot in life was bad and oh please can you please save me?

        It’s rhetorical — OF COURSE NOT.

        For you to support wholesale societal change based on your claim of certain and imminent doom (or in your case regurgitating the claim of others higher up your priesthood list) and then *make light* of those noticing it is simply disgusting.

        In truth the alarmist crowd has invented the alarm and invented the solution. The common man didn’t raise the alarm and wants nothing to do with the solution.

        When you are doing what the people do no want, why, OF COURSE, by definition, it’s a g*ddamn plot. Are you dense?

      • Michael,
        No, you would be wrong again.
        AGW promoters rely on claims that it is already too late to avoid the problems of AGW. AGW promoters claim each hurricane and tornado is *proof* of the reality of AGW predictions.
        AGW promoters regularly get caught falsely claiming that typical weather patterns are evidence of new and dangerous ‘cliamte change’.
        Try again.

      • R.E –

        What you said.

        Especially the bit about the priesthood. I was going to say that not much has changed since 1433 but at least we’re not being burnt at the stake. Are we?

        What’s that smell?

    • honkies? I would say more like milquetoasts, crackers versus milquetoasts :)

    • Shaft used my favorite: wise caucasian.

    • Chief,
      Well stated.
      Sounds like you are in a nice bit of paradise.

    • Webby has a single idea that he pursues with terrifying intensity

      Let’s see, what would that single idea be?
      1. Modeling the CO2 adjustment time
      2 . Simplifying climate science arguments
      3. Finding dependence or cross-correlation of temperature and CO2
      4. Modeling random walk characteristics of temperature, specifically using the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process
      5. Applying multiscale statistics to time-series data, as well as other DSP techniques.
      6. Modeling thermal response of heat impulses
      7. Keeping track of skeptical climate change theories and anti-theories
      8. Characterizing disorder as a natural mechanism, ny applying dispersive mechanisms.
      9. Modeling fossil fuel production and arguing with those that don’t think it important.
      10. Using maximum entropy estimators to fill in the uncertainty gaps when it comes model parameters and their prior distributions.
      11. Applying non-equilibrium concepts such as the master equation to model diffusion.
      12. Modeling natural characteristics such as waves, wind, terrain topography, etc to provide contextual analysis.
      13. Uncertainty propagation.
      14. Analyzing paleoclimate data.
      15. Harnessing energy from entropic renewable processes.

      Having a hobby that involves natural sciences with a mathematical bent evidently equates to single-mindedness. Thanks for pointing this out as it gave me a chance for introspection, like one of those self-performance evaluations that I just completed for my regular job.

      I know lots of people that have terrifying intensity when it comes to sports trivia but it doesn’t seem to get other people’s panties in a wad, Chief.

      • Yeah, you really should branch out a little more :)

      • Cap’n is in a deeper quandary because he has to make room for both his fishing and science hobbies.

      • Web said, “Cap’n is in a deeper quandary because he has to make room for both his fishing and science hobbies.”

        That’s why I keep trying to Tom Sawyer you into doing the grunt work :)

      • That’s why I keep trying to Tom Sawyer you into doing the grunt work

        I don’t need to see the white picket fence get painted for me to get excited about working out the details. No worries about that.

        Yet, that is a common psychological teaching strategy and I see it being used to encourage collaborative work and crowd-sourcing in many presentations. Coincidentally, I wrote a section referencing this approach in the last final report I had a hand in writing.

      • WHT

        Read through your 15 points.

        Great stuff.

        But what is missing is the word “measuring” (as in real-time data).

        You might wish to add this to your list.

        Max

      • WHT

        Webby has a single idea that he pursues with terrifying intensity

        Let’s see, what would that single idea be?

        From past posts, it appears to me that it is a “fossil fuel fixation”, i.e. the double-barreled existential threat that

        a) we are running out of fossil fuels any day now

        b) we are loading up the atmosphere with gobs of CO2 from fossil fuels which will eventually fry us all (unless we stop using fossil fuels very soon)

        Have I got it about right?

        Max

      • From past posts, it appears to me that it is a “fossil fuel fixation”

        What proportion of my comments involve this subject? Of course some of them, like modeling the excess CO2 increase rely on fossil fuel consumption data.

      • WebHubTelescope: Let’s see, what would that single idea be?

        The list that follows is very nice. I had no idea that you considered any of those to be significant.

    • Bechtel? Very nice company, pay promptly and not as anal as most. A lot of long days, “making things happen” on time though.

    • Good analysis, Chief.

      Sitting in the snow in Switzerland, I envy your “dolphin flip”.

      Max

    • Chief Hydrologist: They claim the imprimatur of science in a straw man argument about creationism or intelligent design. Neither of the latter is falsifiable in any sense … .

      I don’t know that they satisfy any particular criterion of falsifiability, but the more people learn about the random variations in all the measurable characteristics of populations, and the more they learn about the exceedingly low survival rates among the offspring of each cohort of progenitors, the less they believe in creation and intelligent design. It is really difficult for most people to accept that mayflies are intelligently designed once they learn that more than 99% of the adults get eaten and have no offspring. The study of many such examples in great detail generally persuades all but the most devoutly religious that neither special creation nor intelligent design is in accord with the way nature works.

  43. Uh, that they’re mostly crackers.

  44. Crackers? yea, I understand, they are just about to blow up.

  45. an interesting post, to which I would add a few comments.
    as a retired australian teacher, I believe I can say with accuracy that primary school students do not have sufficient skills to tell the difference between propaganda and science. lambs to the slaughter in my book.
    secondly, the ‘science’ behind the global warming doomsday scenarios is being refuted on a near daily basis. as I understand it, none of the IPCC predictions to date have been accurate.
    thirdly, if I lived in the USA, I would be more concerned about preparing my habitation for extreme weather and geological events (earthquakes, volcanism, tornadoes, blizzards.and suchlike).
    nice to see only a few personal attacks/insults on this post.

    • “as I understand it, none of the IPCC predictions to date have been accurate.”

      Great little qualifier, can mean anything from, ‘I’ve never bothered to check but I’ll say it anyway’, to ‘I read that on a blog somewhere and that’s good enough for me’.

      • Michael,
        And how do you understand it?
        It is interesting how believers focus one sentence in a skeptic’s post, ignore the main point, claim offense at the one part and sulk off.
        Does your silence on the main point- that children are too easily confused between propaganda and science- mean that you agree?

      • William is the one making grand claims. Just wondering on what basis.

      • Michael –

        Why not start at the beginning?

        IPCC FAR prediction of 0.3 C warming per decade in BAU scenario.

        100% too high.

        Inaccurate much?

      • Anteros – on what page of FAR can I find the prediction for 2012?

      • JCH – ?

        What’s the relevance of 2012?

        The prediction was “per decade”. Leading to 2 degrees above pre-industrial by 2025.

        If you think it is ‘early days’, perhaps you are right, but I think William’s comment about IPCC predictions is appropriate. How wrong do they have to be before we hear “Oops!”?

      • Haven’t read it in a long time, but I believe the prediction was by 2100 there would be an average of X per decade over the 21st Century.

      • And in any case FAR has been superceded by subsequent reports.

      • andrew adams

        To William Martin’s statement:

        none of the IPCC predictions to date have been accurate.

        You do a bit of rationalization and then add:

        And in any case FAR has been superceded by subsequent reports.

        Yeah.

        And they have been just as far off.

        The TAR (2001) projected warming of 0.15°C to 0.3°C per decade (mean 0.225°C per decade), while the AR4 (2007) predicted 0.2°C per decade.

        Actual record (HadCRUT3) showed a slight net COOLING of 0.04°C per decade since January 2001 (past 11 years).

        Oops!

        (William Martin is obviously right, whether you happen to like it or not.)

        Max

      • So what, Max? And if what people have been saying here is true, kiss your HadCrutch3 goodbye.

      • Max –

        I fear it is (very much) worse than you thought.

        AR4 predicts 0.2C per decade, but only for the next decade or two. The rise through to 2100 will be 3 degrees so later in the century it must warm by nearer 0.4C per decade.

        The average of the 5 scenario best estimate means (except not possible B1) is, remarkably, exactly 3 degrees – the same as FAR. So aa’s comment that the predictions have been superceded is actually false – they have just been repeated! With the canny proviso that unlike FAR which predicted warming immediately, AR4 predicts the same warming “a couple of decades into the future”. Funny that.

        This is an area that deserves the maximum possible suspicion..

      • JCH is the only one with a clue of all the preceeding comments.

        There is no IPCC ‘prediction’ of global temperatures for this decade.

        The BAU projection (one of many) is for the century 2100. You can express that as an per decade quantity, but as the graphs clearly demonstrate a non-linear response, anyone stating that because 2011 is not 0.2 c warmer than 2001, the IPCC ‘prediction’ is wrong, is either being wilfully dishonest, or is just plain confused.

        Take your pick.

      • Michael –

        You have a habit of saying stuff without actually knowing what you are talking about!
        JCH was the person who asked what the prediction was for 2012 – who said anything about that? !

        The IPCC FAR prediction for BAU is 0.3C per decade. Seeing as that is a ballpark 100% too high, I’d say their prediction is wrong.

        You can try to deny that, but you’d have to take your own pick of your two options. Wrong is wrong. Right? :)

        You might have noticed I made these facts clear up thread – did you not read them? I was responding to your question! :)

      • Anteros,

        Maybe you didn’t read the part in the IPCC where they explicitly say that you cannot use these end of century projections as predictions.

        William certainly didn’t.

        At any rate, the ‘skeptics’ can’t get the basic facts right as the average expressed per decade, is 0.15-0.30.

      • The only way to conclude the prediction is 100% wrong would be to know the prediction for the current period. I used 2012 as for some reason it rings a bell as having something to do with the present.

        There is no prediction for 2012. There is no prediction for the last decade. There is a prediction, X, for the 21st Century, and they express it as an average for each decade in the 21st Century: X/10.

        As for when it will be even slightly reasonable to discuss the prediction being wrong, I think an actual “pause” in warming would do, but not a make-believe “pause”.

      • Michael –

        I have to admire your chutzpah in the face of incontrovertible rebuttal. The facts are plainly in contradiction to your statements, but you plough on regardless!

        Maybe you didn’t read the part in the IPCC where they explicitly say that you cannot use these end of century projections as predictions.

        Maybe you didn’t read the IPCC FAR at all!!

        I have it here. It clearly makes a [wrong] prediction about BAU temperature rises (0.3C per decade) and also suggests [by doing some adding up of degrees and decades] that by 2025 temperatures [by rising 0.3C per decade] will be 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. How is that looking? Was that a good prediction?

        I think William was absolutely right to say this was an inaccurate prediction because it was!

      • Anteros,

        the reports went out of their way to explain that these were not predictions, so people like you wouldn’t claim they were.

        To no avail it seems.

      • JCH –
        I did say that “if you think it is ‘early days’ perhaps you are right”..

        But, I think a prediction that after 22 years is still twice too high is quite spectacularly out of range. Do you seriously feel it is necessary to wait another 13 years before saying the prediction was an error – like, er, inaccurate? Which was Williams contention? And which I think was eminently reasonable?

        I think ‘superceding’ the FAR predictions would have been sensible – we learn through our mistakes….. but AR4 comes out with the same crazy numbers!!

      • Anteros,

        AR4 gives a 0.14-0.38 range.

        So you must think the “prediction” is correct.

        Finally got something right!

      • Michael –
        !!!!!!!
        You are still doing it!! You’ve been proven rather completely wrong and fearlessly, shamelessly, you keep on digging!! Wow!

        Here we go.

        The IPCC report I have in front of me which I have specifically referenced at least half a dozen times says this [in very large bold letters. BTW – prominently, in the headlines, on the first page, for world leaders and all who have an interest.

        Based on current model results, we predict:

        And guess what? There follows the IPCC PREDICTION!!!!!

        With shovel in hand, how would you now like to proceed? !! :)

      • Even FAR gave a 1990- range of 0.16-0.35 / decade.

        Your “100% too high” claim is just hopelessly wrong.

        Go on, admit it. Even 22 years ago, the IPCC got it right.

    • So now the IPCC is not making any predictions that can be tested?

      • Never have made a “prediction”, which all blathering ‘skeptics’ would know if they ever bothered to read that which they proport to find in error.

        Here’s the TAR making it plain and simple,

        “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states” – IPCC 2001.

      • Michael –

        To your “Never have made a prediction” Please see the refutation above!
        Thanks :)

      • Certainly. It’s a century. We’re ~12 years into it. In terms of this whatever, enhanced GHG warming, what would wrong look like? How about a precipitous and sustained fall in GMT? Ain’t got one.

        It seems to have passed that test.

      • Ant,

        based on your own insistence on predictions, in true ‘skeptic style’ you’ll never admit that the IPCC FAR range of 0.16-0.35 has turned out to be a quite accurate ‘prediction’.

      • JCH –
        That’s a bit disappointing. You’re now talking about something entirely different. “Enhanced GHG warming”. Why would you mention that since we both agree with it?

        The ‘test’ which the FAR prediction needs to pass is the one with numbers in – the 2 degrees by 2025, predicted.

        I think a fair, reasonable and obvious assessment is that it was an inaccurate prediction.

        The real world, 22 years later, quite apart from being half the IPCC’s prediction is well outside the given range of uncertainty [0.2 - 0.5C per decade]

        I’m not sure why anyone would persist in defending such a prediction?

      • Ant.,

        You’ve got the numbers wrong.

        IPCC FAR ‘prediction’ from 1990- 0.16-0.35

        Observed temp rise is at the bottom end of the range, but ‘prediction’ correct.

      • Michael –

        Digging is one thing, being disingenuous is another.

        You been shown to be categorically wrong, what, a dozen times on this thread alone? And the fact that you haven’t conceded that once is a bit tedious. It makes me suspect you have no honest interest in a discussion.

        The FAR made a bold prediction which was a single number. It was 0.3. The 95% range of uncertainty was 0.2 – 0.5 C.
        In case you’re reading something else. go to the front of the summary 1.0.3 It’s the take home message, the summary, what the IPCC told the world.

        You claim the IPCC never made predictions. You need to admit that they did, and that they were inaccurate. That’s all there is to it Michael, or I’m done with your persistent dishonesty.

        When you get it wrong you need to acknowledge the fact or there is no point communicating at all

      • Anteros,

        Disingenuine?

        No, you go further.

        The number you quote is the likely increase (and not even the BUA post-1990 figure), and that was given within a range – you know, recognising the uncertainty in such measures.

        Anyone who deliberately ignores the stated range of the projection, in favour of the pretending that only one figure was given, is simply being blatantly dishonest.

        Sadly, this is typical of the ‘skeptics’ .

      • Anteros,

        I’ve looked into this in some detail and you’re making a few errors:

        1) 0.3ºC/Decade is the projected average rate of warming over the 21st Century. It is not necessarily the rate projected for 1990-present.

        2) Where the SPM talks about a ‘likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025′, which you’ve interpreted (correctly I think) as 2ºC above pre-industrial, the word ‘about’ is important. The SPM somewhat clarifies later on, byt alking about ‘our best estimate of global mean warming [from pre-industrial] of 1.8°C by 2030′. That’s 5 years later and 0.2ºC lighter.

        3) The statements discussed in 1 and 2 are explicitly results from the ‘Business-as-Usual’ scenario. Here’s a flavour of what the BaU scenario proposed would be the situation at present compared to what’s happened:

        Component | BaU | Observed
        CO2 400ppm 390ppm
        CH4 2250ppb 1800ppb
        CFC11 400ppt 260ppt

        Hopefully you get the picture that it overshot in pretty much every category.

        Determining which of the FAR scenarios is most appropriate for comparison isn’t easy due to factors such as an altered RF formulation for CO2 and a present lower general forcing estimate attributed to stratospheric H2O, but it’s clear BaU isn’t the one.

        I’ve determined that Scenarios C & D are probably the most appropriate, though B isn’t too far away. These suggest a best estimate for warming of about 0.15ºC/Decade between 1990-present, B is closer to 0.2ºC/Decade.

      • Paul S

        Thanks for your response.

        This feels uncannily like the dispute over Hansen’s 1988 Congressional testimony. As with that, I think the most important part of it [taking account of the audience in both cases] is BAU. Hansen uses it as a description of scenario A which to the policy maker audience is saying clearly and loudly “If we carry on with no change of policy his will be the result. How his prediction came to be wrong [wrong emissions forecast/trace gases etc] is irrelevant.

        The IPCC in 1990 was even more explicit. The 0.3 degrees per decade [and the 2 degrees over pre-industrial by 2025 - which is actually specified] are contingent on one primary assumption. This assumption is the heart of what they mean by BAU. They say that they predict these temperature rises

        if few or no steps are taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions

        They also say they expect some other things – particular emissions levels, methane, deforestation etc. But it makes no sense to me to say that because some of these other predictions were off, it means the major prediction is somehow excused – it isn’t. These other things are the basis of the temperature prediction and one of the waysin which the prediction about temperature could be wrong. The other main one, of course, being climate sensitivity.

        However, climate sensitivity wasn’t (and isn’t) the primary thing on trial – that falls to the temperature prediction (however arrived at). And so far, with BAU in full swing, the predictions are looking about twice too high -and definitely even outside the range of uncertainty.

      • Anteros,

        You continue to simply ignore the fact that the FAR gave a range of values, not just a single figure as you’ve been pretending.

      • Anteros,

        To some extent I agree that all IPCC’s projections, including greenhouse gas concentrations, should be assessed for accuracy.

        However, you seem to be claiming there haven’t been policy efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, which is not correct. One such effort is even clearly referenced in the stipulations for the scenarios: the Montreal Protocol. By itself the fact that the Montreal Protocol became widely implemented and effectively enforced is enough to declare that BaU didn’t happen – the way CFCs have been tackled accounts for about a third of the difference between BaU and how things transpired.

        Aside from that most countries signed up to Kyoto and have made efforts, albeit not wildly successful in some cases, to reduce GHG emissions.

        Also, the collapse of one of the world’s two superpowers was an event which doesn’t fit the description of ‘Business as Usual’ and not something which the IPCC should be expected to predict. The Soviet Union accounted for about a quarter of global carbon emissions in the late 80s, and undoubtedly a large proportion of methane emissions.

        BaU was one scenario amongst four and it demonstrably didn’t happen, by reference to history, observed GHG concentrations and the statements used by the IPCC to characterise each scenario. Given that the IPCC’s explicit criteria for a BaU scenario were not met it makes no sense to compare its projections with observations with any expectation that they should match.

  46. Judith,

    Again NO PLANETARY ROTATION OR TILTING required.
    Observed science must include unobserved science!

  47. Chief,

    Are you saying that science is corrupted by how it was created?
    Creating science is far simpler than following the path of many areas that it encumbers.
    Technology changes and satellites came in AFTER the theoretical LAWS were generated and NEVER to be examined for errors.

  48. Remember the AGU sponsored survey, too. Perhaps you recall some discussion of it at a WUWT tutorial:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/21/new-agu-endorsed-climate-survey-for-educators-a-bit-odd/

    Let’s take a closer look, in the spirit of the post, and what we might learn when we do that. Among Anthony’s worries are ‘leading’ questions. He says: “There’s also a question about which nation per capita emits the most GHG’s and the one that is actually in the lead (Qatar) is oddly not listed but instead wants you to answer USA I think”

    :-(
    What is more actual, is the need for someone to explain things to Anthony a little more often, but honest to God, who has the time? There’s a question about which of a listed small group of countries emits the largest total amount of CO2 and a question about which emits the most CO2 per person. You are expected to know that the listed countries are big economies and key trading partners for the U.S. over the next decade, to understand that these are two different ways of looking at the data, and to recognize the relevance of the listed countries for the global market and climate change negotiations in general from an American perspective.

    What is also more actual, is that the survey questions are fairly well constructed for anyone who actually understands these things, and the main problem is with what is always a problem for voluntary i.e. self-selected, studies – something called ‘survey bias’, which tends to result in over-representation by those with a strong interest or view on a topic.

    Don’t do any social science, Anthony, you’ll be an even bigger disaster than you are on climate science! Yikes.

    Now the poll results are in and it turns out that most participating teachers do not deny the scientific evidence of climate change. A sprinkle do, and the biggest sprinkle are males, from southern states.

    If ClimateEtc is to be believed, our response to this should be a) this is beside the point or in the category of coincidence b) this is because of this group’s superior science knowledge and/or superior intelligence and/or superior concern for country and/or superior economic knowledge and/or superior technical knowledge and/or superior moral character and/or (my personal favourite) superior post-positivist, post-modern, post-structuralist, anti-Marxist insight or c) I don’t know, but I hope they feel cared for and heard, here.

    NCSE might be on it. ;-)

    • Martha,

      Glad to see you commenting more often, now-a-days. And your greater willingness, lately, or so it seems, to inject some good-fun snark into your comments is a welcome treat. Thanks.

      • +1
        The surfacing of a tiny bit of humour goes a long way to making some of the content less unpalatable.

        Being an Englishman and therefore an English speaker, I confess to being baffled by the expression “what is more actual“. Is it a surrealist phrase? Dadaist?

      • anteros

        As an Englishman, you have difficulties with the expression “more actual”.

        Having lived in Asia, I became used to the common expression there, “more better” (pronounced “moah bettah”), which was simply a higher level of “bettah”.

        Maybe “more actual” in that sense is simply a “higher level of actual”, i.e. “less imaginary”, “less false” or “containing fewer unsubstantiated assumptions or bald-faced lies”.

        Semantics.

        Max

      • Max –

        You’re right – semantics. I didn’t spend longer on it for that reason. But in fact, I like the expression ‘more actual’. It has a lovely, superficially (to me) odd feel to it.

        Had I not been responding to Martha, I might have said ‘Cool phrase!’

        And in my little Asian-flavoured neck of South London, I hear ‘more better’ fairly frequently..

    • Martha,
      Please tell us more about tutorials from WUWT.

    • Martha

      You forget to mention whether those few teachers who “deny the scientific evidence of climate change” and are “males from southern states” are “white”, “black” or “from other ethnicities”.

      I’m sure that this statistic is important.

      Max

      • Yes, great that you are telling yourself this is relevant.

        Social science studies and many other polls tell us that almost overwhelmingly, American climate change deniers tend to be Republicans from southern states/Rocky Mountain/Plains states, evangelical, white, financially o.k., and male (Gallup, Pew Research, McCright, etc).

        Whether or not this one survey gathered that demographic information, the information that is already gathered might support a reasonable inference. Make it or not. :-)

        The main point is that it is wise to recognize when a polarization is CULTURAL, and not a matter of what the science says.

        Sadly, in the U.S. this is so striking that it makes the science (almost) beside the point.

  49. ‘William is the one making grand claims. Just wondering on what basis’.
    Michael, I have been following the carbon dixide emissions issue for one year now, and as mentioned, have yet to find an IPCC or affiliated prediction that has been accurate.
    For example, Al Gore’s film, ‘An inconvenient truth’ was found by a British court of law to contain in excess of 12 misleading or incorrect claims.
    Thanks for asking – I’ll just dig out the answer to your question.
    In the meantime, the provided link details current findings re the global warming claims – in a Senate hearing from Canada.

    • William

      Thanks a lot for posting the video.

      An excellent video.

      Unfortunately, two hours of my Sunday morning is gone.

    • William,

      You’ve made quite a leap there from IPCC scenarios, to a film by Al Gore.

      Is it the formwer or the latter you were talking about?

      • It was not much of a leap for the Nobel Prize committee,since they saw the Gore and the IPCC linked enough to share their prize for the important work they had done on climate.

  50. Michael, failed IPCC predictions 1990 to 2011. This blog is the leading science blog in the world.
    .http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/09/comparing-ipcc-1990-predictions-with-2011-data/

  51. Michael, and others willing to discover both sides of the global warming debate, the following link seems a reasonable introduction. And, being reasonable people, we listen to both sides of an arguement before making our minds up don’t we ?

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/new-here-the-ten-second-guide-to-the-world-of-skeptics/

    • The problem with the 10 second guide is the endemic problem with skeptics. That is, they don’t address the basic understanding gap, in that some physical principle needs to explain the 33 degree C global temperature heating, and hence independent of any anthropogenic concerns. This leads directly into GHG theory, and which has no competing alternate theory within a mile of being correct.

      This helps explain why there are so many crackpot theories that try to fill the void. I suppose you want the kids taught these theories, to keep it all “fair and balanced”, eh?

      • GHG theory is not the primary issue with skeptics. I think this has been pointed out to you repeatedly Web. The understanding gap seems to be that you cannot grasp this point. On the other hand you once listed many of the non-GHG-theory skeptical arguments, calling each stupid, but challenging none. My guess is that you simply reject the scientific debate altogether, as many do.

      • David –

        GHG theory is not the primary issue with skeptics.

        Just curious as to whether you happened to read WUWT recently?.

      • Skeptics, deniers, I hate broad brush terms. I lobbied for albedoist, but the best I could get was rejectionist. There is a fairly large number of skeptics that are lukewarmers which may be the majority.

        Calendar and Manabe I think would be lukewarmers and they are/where pretty solid scientists. So the “Lukes” should get better press.

        Albedoists, which are a little rarer, tend to think land use change is as much or of greater impact than CO2. This gets a bit sticky, because Northern higher latitude nations tend to be pretty happy with their land use changes. I may be wrong there. Maybe we need another name the skeptic tribe post :)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby – you seem on a very dark obsessive compulsive journey. Everything seems to be interpreted narrowly through a distorting field of a few simple ideas. We have had this conversation before and I literally despair (a tiny bit) at my inability to communicate to you the necessity of building complex conceptual models of complex and dynamic systems before attempting to model elements sans context with simple mathematical forms. Yet here I am again. As Fred has said – I am compelled to correct your eggregious errors lest other be mislead. In modelling realistic physics – verisimilitude is the key. In black box modelling with simple formula – calibration with real world data is an essential requirement and even then it is likely to be misleading.

        Let’s start with the simple energy dynamic you mentioned elsewhere. It is all about energy as you say and the Earth system energy dynamic can be defined completely at the top of the atmosphere. Ein = Eout + dS/dt – where Ein and Eout are the average energies in and out in a period and dS/dt is the change in energy stored in the system over a period mostly as heat in the oceans and atmosphere but a little as enthalpy.

        There is actual data on this although it has been much corrected and revised over the years – and the absolute values of energy in and energy out remain very inaccurate. The deltas are an order of magnitude more accurate and say something about the energy dynamic. From the mid 80’s to the end of the century – there was no trend in energy in. In the same period – in both ISCCP and ERBS data – energy out in the LW increased and energy out in the SW decreased. It is the result of cloud cover change – if the data is accepted at all – and this seems in good part related to changes in sea surface temperature in both the north east and central Pacific.

        The energy dynamic is constrained by insolation and, as you almost say, greenhouse gases and albedo. Insolation is reasonably constant in the historic (rather than geological) context. Although the solar UV (which changes rather more) impact on polar systems and thereby on global weather should be factored in. Greenhouse gases are of course dominated by water vapour and realistic changes in concentration limit energy effects to several Watts per metre squared. Albedo changes from 25% for the blue-green planet to 50% for snowball earth – a factor of some 85 Watts/m2.

        Within these energy limits the complex and dynamic Earth system – of which Pacific Ocean surface temperature is a small part – changes abruptly as a result of the operation of deterministic chaos in the dynmically complex climate system. Dynamically complex? Think of the most complex thing you can think of and then multiply by some other humungusly complex thing. Abrupt and non-linear change in the Earth climate system is the norm rather than idiotic doggy analogies.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • CH, it is good to focus on Ei and Eout. This is what I prefer to do too.The solar forcing change for the Little Ice Age was estimated to be about 0.5 W/m2. The added GHGs give about 5 W/m2 by the end of this century. You can’t argue that it was very difficult to detect the LIA in the climate record, and the GHG effect will be an order of magnitude greater. The energy balance concept is a simple enough one that can be taught in the classroom.

      • JimD

        You can’t argue that it was very difficult to detect the LIA in the climate record, and the GHG effect will be an order of magnitude greater.

        Huh?

        You were not HERE during the LIA, so obviously you will have difficulty “detecting” it.

        But historians know that it was very REAL.

        So do glaciologists.

        As to your prediction that “the GHG effect will be an order of magnitude greater”, this is pure speculation.

        You have no earthly notion whether or not it will be greater than the LIA or whether it will be totally insignificant in comparison.

        You are (pardon the expression) just blowing hot air.

        Max

      • WHT

        33 degree natural GHE.

        90% caused by H20? Or only 65%?
        20% caused by CO2? Or only 7%?

        Who knows?

        [Clue: You don't.]

        Max

      • manacker, even the skeptics have agreed that the recovery from the LIA is noticeable. For reasons I gave GHGs are supercharging this effect with an order-of-magnitude bigger forcing. It is hard to argue for the former while dismissing the latter bigger effect, but somehow skeptics contort to do that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You assume that albedo was constant. This quite evidently was not the case. Snow and ice cover change and the dynamic for that might involve any number of factors including tectonic uplift and continental drift. Cloud changes obviously – although this is assumed by some to be a solely a temperature feedback. There are multiple factors in cloud formation and I feel it is not something to be defined by a single, simple idea. At any rate – the biggest single factor in yearly to decadal cloud change – and therefore global energy dynamics – is Pacific Ocean surface temperature. SST in the Pacific vary continuously – as we know because it impacts global hydrology – over periods of years to millenia.

        Indeed – there are several peer reviewed studies by respectable scientists that suggest a cooling influence for the next decade or 3 from the Pacific Ocean especially. To me this seems fairly obvious – but beyond that climate is not predictable as it is deterministically chaotic. A 10 degree fall in temperature within a decade is possible and this might – seemingly paradoxically – be the result of initial warming.

        You need to stop thinking in terms of simple cause and effect – forces and fulcrums – and instead in terms of complex systems. Sheesh – and they call us good ole boys science deniers?

      • CH, you hold out hope that random fluctuations will counter a trend when they haven’t in the past century. At some point you will give up that hope as the trend is only intensifying while the random fluctuations are not.

      • Jim D

        You tell the Chief:

        the trend is only intensifying while the random fluctuations are not.

        The observed “trend” over the past 11 years has been one of slight cooling despite CO2 levels reaching all-time highs and IPCC projections of 0.2C warming per decade.

        So what is the “trend” here and what is the “random fluctuation”?

        I do not see any “intensifying” – do you?

        Max

      • The last decade was 0.15 degrees warmer than the previous. I don’t call that cooling. The next decade will exceed the last one by at least the same amount.

      • Jim D

        So it looks like we agree that the LIA was real and was significant (if the “recovery” from it was significant).

        Similarly the MWP was also real and significant, based on extensive historical evidence (as well as scores of independent studies using different paleo-climate techniques from all over the world)..

        Glaciologists tell us that the alpine glaciers reached their maximum extent in 10,000 years around 1850, before the present decline started.

        Historical records tell us of human migrations and settlements over alpine passes, which were later snowed in and abandoned.

        There are historical records of alpine gold and silver mines being covered up by advancing ice and snow and abandoned. In one case the remnants of such a mine were even discovered under a receding glacier, as reported by the late climate science pioneer, Dr. Reid Bryson.

        Carbon-dated remains of trees and other vegetation under receding glaciers tell us the glaciers were smaller in the past than today. In fact, they tell us that over the past several thousand years they have averaged slightly smaller than today.

        Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants.

        So there is plenty of real evidence of past warmer and colder periods before there was any real industrialization or significant human CO2.

        This should be taught in classrooms (to get back to the topic here), rather than concentrating myopically only on theories of human-induced climate change (as IPCC does).

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist | January 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

        Good post.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise. ‘ http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Jim – you are devoted to an idea to the extent of excluding confounding information. They call this cognitive dissonance.

        We may start warming again in a decade or so – although I suggest that this is by no means certain.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh yes – these are not ‘random’ events but quasi stable regimes – standing waves in the Earth’s climate. They are deterministic as in deterministically chaotic – there is cause and effect. Nothing just happens randomly in the Earth climate system. Randomness – or stochasticity – is merely a statistical approach to things you haven’t understood yet.

        You are just another misguided liberal with a little understanding – and you know what they say. A little understanding is a dangerous thing.

      • Jim D

        You have apparently fallen into the logic trap when you write:

        The last decade was 0.15 degrees warmer than the previous. I don’t call that cooling.

        Use your logic, Jim.

        It warmed by 0.19C per decade over the 1990s.

        It cooled by -0.04C over the 2000s.

        So OBVIOUSLY the average temperature of the 2000s was “warmer” than that of the 1990s. (Just draw a picture on WoodforTrees and you’ll see why.)

        What counts is NOT the average decadal temperature, but the decadal TREND (and that has been one of cooling since 2001.

        Then you add:

        The next decade will exceed the last one by at least the same amount.

        Do you have some sort of a crystal ball, Jim?

        I would submit that you have no earthly notion what the average temperature of the 2010s decade will be (nor do I).

        I just think, since it COOLED over the 2000s, you will have a real problem reaching an average temperature over the 2010s that is 0.15C warmer than the average of the 2000s.

        But, what-the-hell, neither you nor I have any real idea.

        Let’s listen to the Chief on this one.

        He knows more about this than you or I do.

        Max

      • The Chief said, “Nothing just happens randomly in the Earth climate system. Randomness – or stochasticity – is merely a statistical approach to things you haven’t understood yet. ”

        Welcome back Chief!

      • Answering various things above. I don’t believe in the significance of global temperatures that are not averaged over at least a decade. The warming has been about 0.15 degrees per decade for the last three decades, so it is a small jump to say the next one will follow suit. Within decades there are pauses associated with solar minima that seem to fool people who don’t average them out. This happened in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, but only the last one has received attention.
        Random versus stochastic, you can choose the words, but the ocean is too chaotic to have a regular cycle, and is far from predictable even a year or two ahead. It can only redistribute its heat content being a slave to climate forcing.

      • Jim D

        Sorry for continuing to hammer you, but you just wrote (to my amazement):

        I don’t believe in the significance of global temperatures that are not averaged over at least a decade

        Your strange “belief system” is interesting..

        You brought up the 1990s/2000s comparison as a rationalization to “pooh-pooh” the observed cooling trend over the 11-year period since January 2001.

        Whether or not the next decade (the 2010s) will also show a slight cooling trend is unknown to you and me.

        You make a flat-out guess that warming will resume at a high enough rate to make the 2020s 0.15C warmer than the 2000s (on average).

        IPCC has made similar “flat out guesses” (or model-based estimates, if you prefer) that the first decade of the 21st century would warm at 0.2C per decade (or 0.225C per decade, depending on which IPCC forecast one chooses).

        It actually COOLED at 0.04C per decade, though.

        So IPCC was off by 0.24 to 0.265C per decade!

        So, if you are basing your “flat out guess” on what IPCC projects, you may be in serious trouble (as they obviously were this past decade).

        Max

      • My advice is just wait till a few years after the next solar maximum before drawing any solid conclusions about the trend. You may be sadly surprised if past decades are anything to go by. Skeptics only believe in natural variability when it goes in the warming direction.

      • Within decades there are pauses associated with solar minima that seem to fool people who don’t average them out. This happened in the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s, but only the last one has received attention.

        It is well known that the frequency of El nino decreases from solar maxima and the extremal or point wise T excursions at minima.That these point wise excursions tend to “move the market” it is difficult to remove the signal and residual memory.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2sh/from:1980/to/mean:12/plot/pmod/from:1980/from/mean:12/normalise

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Jimmy – you don’t really try to understand why do you? Simply make it up as you go along? Ignore the quotes and references?

        You are part of the problem – unshakably convinced and no room for complexity or uncertainty. When the history is written it will be that of groupthink claiming the authority of science on the basis of a horribly selective bibliography. ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.’

        We are at or near solar max -http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png – and you are bound to be disappointed as things are only getting cooler.

        I compare people like you to space ship cultists. They integrate or ignore contradictory information until the incongruities become too great and then commit mass suicide. My only advice to you is to stay away from the kool-aid you little space cadet you.

      • CH, OK, thanks for your thoughts. I don’t know whether you are in the denier or skeptic camp. I define a denier as someone who thinks AGW is not even possibly true (0%). But even if you have a slight inkling that AGW could become significant there is hope for you as the warming becomes more apparent. You might move to the pool of “it is warming, but that isn’t so bad” where some skeptics are dipping their toes already having seen the writing on the wall.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Very funny. I define global warming as a linear response – according to the climate sensitivity – to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The concept is utter nonsense – linear thinking in a non-linear world. Climate is a single deterministically chaotic system most of the recent warming – between 1976 and 1998 had other causes. One cause was ENSO ‘dragon-kings’ in 1976/77 and 1998/01 – where dragon-kings are defined as extreme events that are often associated with chaotic bifurcations.

        The other obvious cause was overwhelmingly cloud change associated with cool or warm regimes in the Pacific. Cool to 1976, warm to 1998 and cool since. While one would assume that there is some greenhouse signature in the satellite records – ISCCP-FD, ERBS or indeed CERES – it is far from compelling. Oceans influence cloud even if only by changing the surface temperature – although I am very unconvinced of the latter. Cloud formation seems a more complex and dynamic process.

        The current cool phase in the Pacific seems likely to last another decade or 3 – they are stable enough to predicate decadal rainfall on. Beyond that we have small changes in conditions that cascade through the system as abrupt and non-linear shifts to a new climate regime. Toss a coin – heads warmer and tails cooler. There are many factors – including solar activity declining from a 1000 year high. And again I would include solar UV in this.

        There is no rapprochement possible Jimmy – we hold radically divergent paradigm. You should try to understand and accept that – along with the reality that my view has considerable support in the scientific literature. You should accept also that I am the future and you are the past.

        I think they sould teach the 3 great ideas in 20th centruy physics – relativity, quantum mechanics and chaos theory. They are such fun.

      • Jim D –

        The last decade was 0.15 degrees warmer than the previous. I don’t call that cooling. The next decade will exceed the last one by at least the same amount.

        If you mean decades starting with the year ‘one’, I’ll be happy to disagree with you. I think 2011-2020 will be less than 0.15C warmer than 2001-2010.

        I’m even happy to wager some quatloos on the result…

      • Anteros, 0.15 C is too close to the over-under break, and I don’t bet unless the odds are more certain, like greater than 0.1 C. A lot of skeptics may take that bet, even if you would not.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        50 quatloos on cooler than 2001-2009.

      • Jim D –

        I think you’re right. It puts my ‘scepticism’ in context – I’m sceptical of the ‘bad things happening’ more than the warming.

        It is, though, a good exercise in finding out what we genuinely believe/expect. What is the under/over point for me? I’m not sure. I might just about be tempted to take a wager around 0.1 for the next decade, but only just and only on a cold day ;)

      • CH, very generous offer. 50 quatloos on just a positive change between the 2001-2010 and 2011-2020 decades. What would be your temperature record of choice?

      • Jim D

        I advise you to go with the low hanging fruit that is represented by CH’s offer – if he is indeed serious. If not, even his suggestion has shamed me into offering 50 quatloos [as much as I wager in a year at Lucia's..] that 2011-2020 will be less than 0.1 C warmer than 2001-2010.

        I don’t think the choice of data set is critical but would plump for the Wti average.

        I hope you and CH are not in league, tricking me into a rash wager….

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I make it better than even money my way. Greenhouse gases are so paltry. The big movers – especially on decadal scales – are elsewhere – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an9090_SWup_toa.gif – now if only I am right about decadal Pacific paterns. Oh wait…

      • CH the cloud dimming function of the surface solar radiation observations is a significant constraint.One can clearly observe both the interhemispheric divide in T Profiles eg

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:2000/to/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:2000/to/mean:12

        Hatzianastassiou et al 2011 find that the SSR trend is delta -3.84 W
        m-2 or -0.64 W m-2/yr for the SH they find

        The Southern Hemisphere has undergone significant dimming due to a larger increase in cloud cover than in NH, which has dominated the slight dimming from increased aerosols. The indicated SSR dimming of the Southern Hemisphere at the beginning of this century demonstrates that much remains to be learned about the responsible
        physical processes and climatic role of cloud and aerosol feedbacks.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asl.361/abstract

        Not a small problem for the faustians ,should have read the small print in the contract ie the devil is indeed in the detail.

      • Jim wrote:
        “CH, you hold out hope that random fluctuations will counter a trend when they haven’t in the past century. At some point you will give up that hope as the trend is only intensifying while the random fluctuations are not.”

        But they have. Just look at the mid 1900’s, global temperatures fell for three decades after a warming trend similar to 1970-2000’s. Coincidentally, these happened simultaneously with warming and cooling phases of the PDO and AMO. PLUS, both events are unexplained by the climate models, for example see here:

        Both graphs end in 2003 since GISS doesn’t provide model data beyond dat (thus the most recent discrepancy is not shown).

        There are also studies which attribute ~half of the recent warming due to internal multidecadal variability, for example DelSole et al:

        http://hsu.as.ntu.edu.tw/pdf/18.pdf

        I also highly suggest you look at this synthesis of AMO (mostly from the peer-reviewed literature) done by an ocean modeler Odd Helge Otterå:

        http://www.bccr.no/acdc/filer/242.i3yGAl.pdf

        So there you go.

      • Chief :

        “Nothing just happens randomly in the Earth climate system. Randomness – or stochasticity – is merely a statistical approach to things you haven’t understood yet. ”

        One of the unsung achievements in physics, in comparison to the imagination-capturing aspects of relativity and quantum mechanics, is statistical mechanics. This will scale at many levels — originally intended to bridge the gap between the microscopic theory and macroscopic measurements, such as with the Planck response, scientists have provided statistical explanations to large coarse-grained behaviors as well (wind, ocean wave mechanics, etc). It’s not that we don’t understand the chaotic underpinnings, more like that we don’t always need to, due the near-universal utility of the Boltzmann partition function (see the discussion on the Thermodynamics Climate Etc thread).

        Many scientists consider pawning off difficulties to “Chaos” as a common crutch. This is not my original thought, as it is discussed at depth in Science of Chaos or Chaos in Science” by Bricmont. The issue with chaos theories is that they still have to obey some fundamental ideas of energy balance and conservation laws. Since stochastic approaches deal with probabilities, one rarely experiences problems with the fundamental bookkeeping. The basic idea with probability, that it has to integrate to unity probability, making it a slick tool for basic reasoning. That is why I like to use it so much for my own basic understanding of climate science (and all sorts of other things), but unfortunately leads to heated disagreements to the chaos fans and non-linear purists, such as David Young and Chief Hydrologist. They are representative of the opposite side of the debate.

        You notice this when Chief states the importance of chaos theory:

        “You should try to understand and accept that – along with the reality that my view has considerable support in the scientific literature. You should accept also that I am the future and you are the past.

        I think they sould teach the 3 great ideas in 20th centruy physics – relativity, quantum mechanics and chaos theory. They are such fun.”

        There are only 4 fundamental forces in the universe, gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. For energy balance of the earth, all that matters is the electromagnetic force, as that is the predominant way that the earth exchanges energy with the rest of the universe.

        The 33 degree C temperature differential thus needs to be completely explained by a photonic mechanism.

        The suggestion is that clouds could change the climate. Unfortunately this points it in the incorrect direction of explaining the 33C difference. Water vapor, when not condensed into droplets, acts as a strong GHG and likely does cause a significant fraction of the 33C rise. But when the water vapor starts condensing into droplets and thus forming clouds, the EM radiation begins to partially reflect the incoming radiation, and thus the sun providing even less heat to the earth. So obviously there is a push-pull effect to raising water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere.

        Chief is daring us with his statement that “I am the future and you are the past.”. He evidently thinks that clouds are the feedback that will not be understood unless we drop down to chaos considerations. In other words, that any type of careful statistical considerations of the warming impact of increasing water vapor concentrations with the cooling impact of cloud albedo, will not be explainable unless a full dynamical model is attempted and done correctly.

        The divide is between whether one believes as Chief does, that the vague “chaos theory”, which is really short-hand for doing a complete dynamical calculation of everything, no exceptions, is the answer. Or is the answer one of energy balance and statistical considerations? I lean toward the latter, along with the great majority of climate scientists, as Andrew Lacis described a while ago here and in his comments. The full dynamics, as Lacis explained is useful for understanding natural variability, and for practical applications such as weather prediction. But it is not the bottom-line, as chaotic natural variability always has to obey the energy balance constraints. And the only practical way to do that is by considering a statistical view.

      • Well I missed a delimiter on that HTML formatting. I won’t redo it, but reproduced it with a back link to here.

      • Chief Hydrologist: Nothing just happens randomly in the Earth climate system. Randomness – or stochasticity – is merely a statistical approach to things you haven’t understood yet.

        Empirically, random variation is always present. The presence of random variation is the most thoroughly repeated (confirmed, replicated, etc) result in all of research. As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, all of tomorrow’s research will confirm the presence of random variation. The idea that randomness is merely a statistical approach to things that you haven’t understood yet is unfortunately not a testable hypothesis: it would require you to do every experiment twice, once under ordinary conditions, once with perfect knowledge, and you would have to observe, in every case, that the randomness only occurred without perfect knowledge. As you affirmed above, it is not a good idea to base an epistemology on an untestable hypothesis.

        What you wrote, called the “Doctrine of Necessity” is widely believed, and certainly plausible. Humans have a lot of experience with increased knowledge leading to quantitatively reduced random variation, and we expect to achieve more in the future. Nevertheless, the Doctrine of Necessity is an untestable hypothesis.

    • William,

      There are two sides in a football match, but not in science.

      In science, there are numerous arguments, some are supported by the evidence, some aren’t.

  52. I am sorry to have missed this discussion of climate education and AGW propaganda, as I am doing research on the topic. But then it seems to have wandered away from the topic anyway. In any case here are a few items of possible interest, from my research.

    A Google search on “climate change education” and “global warming education” reveals an extensive array of heavily biased K-12 educational materials, from dozens of sources. A lot of it is provided by the U.S. Federal Government, including EPA, NASA, NOAA, DOE and NSF.

    See http://free.ed.gov/subjects.cfm?subject_id=155&res_feature_request=1 for a partial listing of federally funded sites. All of these sites promote climate alarmism. In other countries similar materials are provided online by alarmist groups such as EDF, WWF, and Greenpeace, plus a host of lesser sources.

    There is relatively little K-12 material that teaches a balanced view.

  53. Interesting quote from Einstein:

    “This world is a strange madhouse,” Einstein said. “Currently every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”

    Same old, same old.

    • Some things never change. A famous investor once said that when your door man gives you stock advice, get out of the market. It is herd mentality, tends to go too far in both directions :)

  54. Two comments on the Archer lectures – which I have viewed. It would be more satisfying to the skeptical minded if they added a few sentences explaining that the earths greenhouse effect differs in significant ways from the things that heat the interior of a greenhouse. Also I think it would be helpful if more stress was placed on the fact that the earth is very different from what the idealized black body radiator is like.

    At the end of the lecture, after carefully wading through some very complex calculations Archer summarizes the conditions on Venus, Earth, and Mars and seems to conclude that you can arbitrarily put enough layers in your model to make it all work. It’s not a good ending for the lecture. Overall, though, it’s a valuable exposition of Stefan-Boltzmann and some of the difficulties of applying it to planetary conditions. I learned from it.

  55. The dilemma with biased K-12 climate teaching material is a time bomb, which will most likely have exactly the opposite effect that the knuckleheads who are responsible for it had in mind.

    When the kiddos realize that they have been bamboozled, i.e. when the facts on the ground do not check with what they were taught in school, they will very likely swing to the other side with a vengeance.

    Human nature at work.

    Just like brain-washing of schoolchildren under autocratic regimes has the opposite effect when the regime collapses, this will play out in a similar fashion if it stops warming – or even starts cooling significantly.

    Max

  56. Jim D

    To get back to the K-12 classroom.

    If the kiddos are being taught about past warming and CO2 they should know.

    Over the past 160+ years it has warmed at an average rate of a bit more than 0.04C per decade, or 0.7C over the entire period.

    CO2 rose from an estimated 290 ppmv in 1850 to a measured 390 ppmv today.

    The warming occurred in three similar multi-decadal warming cycles of ~30 years each, with ~30-year cycles of slight cooling in between. The last two warming cycles (early and late 20th century) have been statistically indistinguishable, while the late 19th century warming cycle was slightly less pronounced.

    While both atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperature have risen since 1850, there is no observed statistically robust correlation between the two. The temperature record is a random walk, statistically speaking.

    Since January 2001 (before most of you were in school and before many of you were even born) global temperature has ceased to rise (actually cooled very slightly). Whether this is the start of another multi-decadal cycle of slight cooling or not is too early to tell and scientists have differing opinions on this today.

    Scientists know that there are natural factors, which have changed our planet’s climate over its history, but the magnitude and mechanisms for these changes are largely unknown today.

    Scientists also believe that greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and water vapor, influence climate through the warming caused by the greenhouse effect.

    Some of this greenhouse warming has come from human emissions of greenhouse gases, principally CO2, but scientists are uncertain today just how much warming this effect has caused.

    Scientists believe that this effect is logarithmic. This means that a doubling of CO2 level from 280 to 560 ppmv will have the same temperature impact as a further doubling from 560 to 1120 ppmv.

    Research work is going on today to learn more about our planet’s climate and what makes it act and react the way it does. This work is done by atmospheric physicists, meteorologists and solar scientists.

    This is an interesting field. Maybe some of you will pursue this when you grow up – and maybe you will help to solve some of the many mysteries that still exist about our climate.

    Max

    • Max, I agree with most of this, especially the end part, but would additionally advise against using short-term trends as indicators of anything, due to natural variability. Solar influences have been important in understanding other recent trends like the one up to the 1940’s and the LIA, possibly MWP. The Ice Ages are quite well understood in terms of Milankovitch cycles. The warmer paleoclimates are fairly well understood in terms of atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, including the Cretaceous period, 100 million years ago, which our CO2 levels will match by 2100. It is an interesting scientific field and an interesting time for today’s children to grow up in. In this century, our climate is going to change at a noticeable speed that will be a lesson to everyone.

    • Max –

      I’d agree with the bulk of that, although I’d have to add the observation that vast numbers of adults are running round telling each other (and everyone else) the the end of the world is nigh. So I’d use that to make the point that science often needs to be placed in a context, and with this example the context is the study of armaggedonology. Or perhaps the history of doom-mongering by alarmist apocalypsters. Certainly the psychology of fear, and feverish imagination.

      Perhaps children can use this as a quiet introduction to the kind of historical anecdote of interesting correlation so hated by Web (among others) that when humanity has little else to worry about it peers into the darkness of the future and has a habit of imagining ineffable disasters [to quote James 'barking' Hansen]

      Jim D –

      You make a lot of very reasonable supportable comments and then end your post with

      In this century, our climate is going to change at a noticeable speed that will be a lesson to everyone.

      It’s interesting – you may well be right. But my hunch is that what we’ll (just about) notice is that civilisation and life in general is a thousand times more adaptable than some people fear, that a change is as good as a rest, and at ‘the worst’ a small challenge generally brings forth human courage, innovation and progress. All will be well!

    • Anteros, I have nothing against optimism, as long as it is not blind optimism.

      • Isn’t that the real root of climate disagreements? It’s not really about our knowledge of the future because we basically only have hints and signs – that we interpret in different ways.
        But deep down we have a feeling about what’s going to happen and the opposition view either appears to be blind panic or blind optimism.b>Both positions feel intuitively realistic to their proponents. Both sides would like to describe themselves as ‘realists’ and therefore see the other side as unrealistic.

        Maybe that’s always been obvious to everyone!

        I say it because if you remove the obviously nutty from both sides and the obviously political, you have a lot of intelligent honest people seeing the world in very different ways.

        I think the other motivation for me saying that is because I think we fool ourselves if we think we have the view of the future that we do as a result of reasoning. If that were the case we’d end up all with similar views – when we think about the future, or change, or the effect of human agency, it is our emotional dispositions that determine our views.

  57. GHG theory is not the primary issue with skeptics. /blockquote> Willis Eschenbach is trying to fight this impasse as well. With that one post, he attracted over 1000 comments of people not being able to give a short-hand version of an alternate theory.

    I get the sense that skeptics are desperate for an alternate mechanism. You may argue this, but for any uncertainty analysis that we do, we have to apply it to a workable model. The workable model right now is the GHG theory that involves mainly CO2 and H2O to explain the 33C difference, and excess CO2 that drags along H20 as the earth heats up to explain AGW.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Can I be bothered with Webby’s tunnel vision? Or the endless repeptition? Aren’t these symtoms of an obsessive compulsive disorder?

      Funny – somewhere there is a link to a page. It opened somehow from here. Has climate etc been hacked? Anyway – it decribes in unflattering terms some of the contributing skeptics – including Webby and his unfortunate OCD.

      • Chief – enjoyed your comments in this thread. Any chance of you setting up your own blog to pursue the points you raise?

      • Chief –

        It is Web’s own page, and an uncharitable person might suggest he added himself at the bottom because he underestimated the depth of feeling he generated by listing sceptics according to their crackpot theories. Although some of us were peeved that we didn’t qualify..

        tonyb was especially irked because he’s on the list and he’s convinced he doesn’t even have a theory :)

      • “Can I be bothered with Webby’s tunnel vision? Or the endless repeptition? Aren’t these symtoms of an obsessive compulsive disorder?”

        Looks like I am touching a nerve. I would put Chief Hydrologist’s theory up on my list — that everything is based on Chaos® — but it is still in its embryonic stages. This is the best shot at an elevator speech that Chief has been able to put together:

        “Think of the most complex thing you can think of and then multiply by some other humungusly complex thing. “

        Wow, that is incredibly edifying and really does explain everything. :)

    • Web, It looks like Juan thinks you should add WebENT the theories list :)

      Up for a little RHC?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Excuse me if I drop in here – the nest is getting very unweildy. Webby doesn’t want to understand chaos theory and its application in both weather and climate. In weather deterministic chaos establishes limits on weather predictability of a week or two at most before model and reality exponentially diverge.

        Climate it is frequently argued is the statistics of weather. It is – it is said – simpler to determine climate in 50 years than weather in a month. In reality the ‘global coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’ (A UNIFIED MODELING APPROACH TO CLIMATE SYSTEM PREDICTION (2009) by James Hurrell, Gerald A. Meehl, Davi d Bader, Thomas L. Delworth , Ben Kirtman, and Bruce Wielicki)

        Climate shifts abruptly between quasi stable regimes as the result of chaotic bifurcation. Small initial changes cause non-linear responses as tremendous energies cascade through powerful mechanisms. In this context – the statistics of weather is a Procrustean bed in which unpredictable changes in climate states are forced to conform to an average state. In models this is accomplished by the subjective choice of plausible outcomes. ‘The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior. (http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full) In Webby’s case – it is by doing the calculations that can be done (Procrustes like trimming the system to the maths) rather than the using a more correct formulation that might not have a discreet solution. Very literally dispensing with complex data and a nuanced understanding of biological and natural systems and holus bolus applying a one size fits all solution to an astonishing number of issues.

        Assume for instance there are only 2 stable climate states (there are in fact many quasi stable regimes and rapid transitions between states) – and these states are represented by the phase space of the solution of the Lorenz partial differential equations. The solutions appear thus in the familiar butterfly shape. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lorenz.png – One can average the topology of the phase space – but at the expense of losing the critical understanding of the nature of complex and dynamic systems and the qualities of the discreet states.

        Statistics are appropriate for simple systems and for discreet areas in the phase space solutions of complex systems. There are 2 paradigms here. The first averages everything and fails to understand the properties of complex and dynamic systems. The second recognises the essential nature of the Earth’s climate system – and adapts our understanding to reality. While phenomenon like clouds have a proximate cause – they are part of a system and the system as whole that has generic attributes that we must take into account. This second paradigm is the future for understanding climate (and energy) dynamics.

        Webby repeats a claim for a 33 degree difference between no greenhouse gases and some greenhouse gases – as if it is some irrefutable truth. It is not even remotely true because the real world temperature is a function of both LW and SW – and changes result from a dynamic disequilibrium within which there is considerable scope for changes in either and for changes in energy stored in global systems as heat. The Earth doesn’t ever achieve energy equilibria – as it is in a constant state of change. There is no reality in a 33 degree calculation – as it ignores too many factors. We are on average 33 degrees warmer? Yeah right.

        And Webby fails to get the reference to Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy – the universe is very big – think of the biggest thing imaginable…? Failure to get humour? I withdraw my obsessive compulsive remarks. Engineers and scientists commonly have an autism sprectrum disorder. Let’s call it marching to the beat of a different drummer – we tend to apply logic to interpersonal relationships. It makes us very good at some stuff – and very bad at others – and is not something to make jokes about.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh right – I provisionally made the list. Yea. Might I suggest he add the NAS – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309074347 – the WHOI – http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455 – and the Royal Society – http://royalsociety.org/policy/publications/2010/climate-change-summary-science/ – to the list. Although I think the latter was only because Tim Palmer was on the committee.

      • Chief, Web can be a little bit of a cynical H. L. Menken type. And I note that he likes to pontificate on areas he knows little about. And then there is the fact that no one can check his credentials to determine how little he really knows. Kind of a game that serves noone except Web.

        You are basically right about nonlinear dynamical systems. The problem for the models is as you describe. The best justification I’ve heard is that the models all seem to “settle down to pretty much the same climate.” This is circular reasoning and tells me very little of much value. It may be true, but relies on some pretty strong assumptions about the nature of the attractor. My betting is on complex feedback processes that respond to changes in spacial distribution of the forcings causing ice ages and interglacials.

      • There is no reality in a 33 degree calculation – as it ignores too many factors. We are on average 33 degrees warmer? Yeah right.

        A failure to work upward from first principles. Most physicists work energy balance forwards, while apparently you like to work from a perceived solution backwards. The reality is that the notches in the earth’s emission spectra corresponding to CO2+H2O+CH4 blocking the infrared photons results in a higher average gray-body temperature. This is energy balance via statistical mechanics at work.

        The only energy balance mechanisms possible are due to electromagnetic radiation and gravity, and this is EM at work, not the gravity that the Jelbring advocates are pushing.

        Now we add some engineering to the mix to explain the missing 33K. The greenhouse gases such as CO2 are constituents in furnaces used in smelting. Engineers have combustion chamber data that they have tabulated over the years which integrates the spectrum.
        This is a workmanlike and simple explanation for the 33 degree warming.

        http://westy31.home.xs4all.nl/WorldEnergy/WorldEnergy.html

        Engineers who build control systems for furnaces have to know this stuff as well, as CO2 is a big part of the process.

        And Webby fails to get the reference to Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy – the universe is very big – think of the biggest thing imaginable…?

        I am sorry, I stopped reading SciFi in junior high school.

      • Oh right – I provisionally made the list. Yea. Might I suggest he add the NAS – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309074347 – the WHOI – http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455 – and the Royal Society – http://royalsociety.org/policy/publications/2010/climate-change-summary-science/ – to the list.

        Those explain ice ages, which obviously shrink the discrepancy. No problem. Solar perturbations leading to a positive reinforcement of CO2 and H20 and therefore cooling.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi David.

        A pleasure to see another chaos ‘purist’.

        As far as models are concerned – ‘atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.’ op.cit.

        As there are no systematic explorations of structural instability or sensitive dependence – and plausible solutions are determined subjectively on the basis of ‘a posteriori solution behaviour’ – when properly understood climate models are a scam of Madoff proportions.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’

        ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ (NAS expert committee on abrupt climate change – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1)

        It is all a bit difficult to process – we are all used to thinking in terms of simple systems. If there is an increase in greenhouse gases – there is an exponentially declining effect on IR radiative flux to space. And it is all very simple in one sense – it is all about energy – but that changes in complex ways.

        There is an energy equilibria of sorts at the top of th atmosphere –
        dS/dt = Ein – Eout – where dS/dt is the change in planetary heat content (plus enthalpy if we are being pedantic). But nowhere else on the planet is there anything remotely resembling energy equilbria. The complex pathways energy moves through the Earth system include wind, cloud, ice, ocean currents and biology. Here, for example is the La Nina in October 2010 – http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.11.22.2010.gif- and here is December 1998 – ttp://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/1997/anomnight.12.30.1997.gif – and there are vast differences between the 2 in terms of winds, cloud, ocean currents, dust, rainfall…. ENSO is deterministically chaotic – average El Nino and La Nina and get nonsense. ENSO dynamically modifies Earth climate and varies continuously in intensity and frequency. Can they read a graph? Here is an 11,000 year history charting the drying of the Sahel, the demise of the Minoan civilisation, the Medieval warm period and the little ice age. Is all that down to ENSO? There are obvious global hydrological implications, changes in cyclone activity, etc, but it is all part of a single global system.

        Albedo changes with cloud, ice, snow and dust – and we don’t have much of a record of that at all. The glacials might be initiated by orbital changes but they evolve through runaway ice and snow feedbacks. This could substantially happen within a decade – in our lifetimes – and we have very little understanding of where and how these feedbacks occur – of what causes the regular glaciations that have occured over the past 2.58 million years?

        It’s a mad world.

        Someone kindly asked if I would start a blog. I am in fact a little busy doing environmental monitoring for coal seam methane for a major American company in Central Queensland. I have a fantastic team, having heaps of fun and making heaps of money. How funny is that? Did I say I saw a wild dolphin doing a somersault over the weekend?

        Cheers
        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh here is the ENSO graph – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ENSO11000.gif

        Stop the presses – Webby has explained glacials (although he gets the terminology wrong) by solar perturbation and CO2 feedback. It’s got something to do with blast furnaces.

      • Chief Hydrologist insists on writing this in multiple comments:

        There is an energy equilibria of sorts at the top of th atmosphere –
        dS/dt = Ein – Eout – where dS/dt is the change in planetary heat content (plus enthalpy if we are being pedantic).

        Whereas in precise mathematical terms, the E terms are in defined in the dimensions of energy (and not power) so the correct formulation is:
        dS/dt = d/dt(Ein – Eout)
        What this says is that for changes in the energy balance over time (the right hand side) leads to a perturbation in the net energy flow (the left hand side). Over the long term, the net has to approach zero, otherwise we are not conserving energy
        dS/dt = 0
        This formulation allows us to apply Stefan-Boltzmann’s law where dEin/dt is the solar insolation (given in power per cross-sectional area) and dEout/dt is the statistical mechanical derivation of a black body radiator. This generates the first-order estimate of the planet’s temperature in the absence of GHG. Adding in the GHG’s gives us a gray-body modification that elevates the temperature beyond what the black-body SB law states.

        For purposes of a more sophisticated analysis, we can leave it in the non-zero differential form, as this is useful for defining a forcing function perturbation. In this case we can estimate the transient response and the evolution to a steady state value. This is where terms such as the ocean’s heat capacity would fit into a spatio-temporal master equation.

        Chief Hydrologist needs to go back over his arguments, as he is coming perilously close to joining the clown list I am compiling, where he can meet up with the other circus freaks, such as his brother Sideshow Bob.

        I know that the Chief has the reputation of the smartest man in the room among climate skeptics on this blog, but I tend to think of his rants as Krugman describes Newt Gingrich, “A stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.”. I wouldn’t let Chief get near a classroom.

      • WebHubTelescope: Over the long term, the net has to approach zero, otherwise we are not conserving energy
        dS/dt = 0

        All we know is that total energy is conserved. It does not follow that the total heat content of the earth remains constant; conservation of energy in the universe does not constrain the net of inflow and outflow at the earth’s top of atmosphere to be 0.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh Webby – it is a simple enough formulation. Energy in less energy out equals the change in energy stored mostly as heat. It is all in Joules of course. Do you suspect an engineer (and environmental scientist) of confusing Watts and Joules? The time term on the RHS is implicit. It is similar to the hydrological equation of storage where – dS/dt = Inflow – Outflow. Here there is conservation of mass where inflow and outflow is measured in metres cubed per second. Likewise the energies are unit energies.

        There is no real requirement for dS/dt to trend to zero as Ein and Eout are in constant change and the planet is always warming or cooling.

        I am clueless as to why you should persist in ignoring the most significant factor in energy out – which is the Earth’s albedo. This changes from 25% in the blue-green Earth to 50% in snowball Earth – some 85 W/m2 difference.

        But then you have such little understanding of the natural sciences and the uses of real data – and are so pretentious – that almost everything you say contains such egregious error or is expressed in such convoluted manner as to contain no meaning whatsoever.

      • Looks like you are covering your tracks for sloppiness, and telling more falsehoods. Even perfect reflecting albedo still requires 9 degrees of unaccounted temperature difference.

        It sounds like you just refuse to accept that greenhouse gases contribute to the planetary warming. If you accept this, then you can model + and – transient energy imbalances to your heart’s content. If you don’t, then you will have to explain how the earth can produce a surplus of radiated heat for millions of years non-stop.

        Do you really have no clue?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby – If you were in my class – I would give a lecture on the virtues of plain English and the evils of convoluted, pseudo scientific jargon. The latter does nothing for clarity of thought. I would put you to the study of poetry. A Gargantuan regime of study is what you need. Sports in the morning, mathematics and natural philosophy in the afternoons, food and culture in the evenings.

        A perfectly reflecting Earth might be something worth speculating about with someone else. Let’s assume for a moment that all incoming radiation is in the SW and that it is all reflected – the planet would be at nearly absolute zero – minus 273C.

        But let’s get real here – we have perhaps 5.7W/m2 extra greenhouse gas forcing by the end of the century – heat (Watts X time) trapped in the atmosphere and oceans. Equivalent to a 2% change in albedo – from cloud, snow and ice assuming everything else stays the same – which it almost never does. Clouds are complex because they work in the IR band as well. Snow and ice are simple – relatively. They reflect incident SW. But even then – one of the best things that we can do is limit black carbon emissions and subsequent deposition on bright surfaces.

        Here is the ISCCP-FD data on albedo – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an9090_ALB_toa.gif – the 92 spike is from Mt Pinatubo. Most of the rest of the change seems associated with cloud changes – the 1998/2000 change linked to a shift from a warm Pacific regime to a cool regime. Remembering that these are oceanic states (involving sea surface temperature changes) that shift abruptly from one condition to another and persist for years to decades at least. The reality is the states – and there are many other so-called oscillations of ocean and atmospheric states that are linked in the total system that is Earth’s climate.

        The reality of Earths abruptly changing climate leads first of all to a metatheory of climate as a complex and dynamic system and, therefore, to look for the attributes of complex and dynamic systems. Sensitive dependence and a complex chain of causality foremost – but also increases in auto-correlation and ‘dragon-kings’ that might allow prediction or diagnoses of points of chaotic bifurcation. Dragon-kings are defined as extreme events that occur associated with chaotic bifurcation. For instance – ENSO events in the 1976/77 ‘great Pacific climate shift’ and the 1998/2000 climate shift.

        A most colourful theory of climate shifts involves solar UV at the poles and heating and cooling of ozone influencing sea level pressure in the polar vortices. This pushes cold streams of polar water in Ekmann flow further into higher latitudes influences upwelling of deep ocean water in the north east and south east Pacific especially – with feedbacks in ice, dust, snow, wind, cloud, rain, surface currents, biology – which in turn influence climate.
        Complex sysrtems rather than simple causality.

        It is true that I am relatively clueless of all these processes and how they might influence the world in the future. But truly – Webby my friend – cluelessness engenders the intellectual humility that allows a flowering of knowledge. I think it helps to love the world also. Study minutely the flight of the albatross, mark the path of moray eel and turtle through coral gardens, trace the soft curve of a sleeping childs forehead, kiss a soft and fragrant cheek. Did I say I saw a wild dolphin do a somersault on the weekend? Such memories to cherish – such puzzles to ponder.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Yes, 9 degrees is for albedo the other way. So even if the earth absorbed all the radiation, it could only make up 24 of the 33 degree deficit, without the thermal properties of GHG.
        You are right about that and it shows that you know more than you are letting on. The climate is indeed sensitive to small concentrations of gases and particulates.

        The chief is definitely going on the clown list. The poetry is the capper.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But Webby – apart from changing from perfectect reflection to perfect absorbtion – an extra 50 odd Watts/m2 of unreflected sunshine at the surface is huge. I am afraid I will have to ask to see your work sheet. But I suggest not thinking in terms of absolutes – but of what actually is and how that might change in a real world.

        And as Springfields Chief Hydraulical and Hydrological Engineer – Cecil (He spent 4 years in clown school – I’ll thank you not to refer to Princton like that) Terwilliger said, in ‘some cultures this was a sacred calling’. But I am making allowances for your autism sprectrum disorder – shown by the failure to ‘get’ either humour or poetry.

        Perhaps we could try an experiment? Start with something simple – discuss the critical metaphor in “Baby you can drive my car.”

        I told that girl I can start right away
        When she said listen babe I got something to say
        I got no car and it’s breaking my heart
        But I’ve found a driver and that’s a start

        Baby you can drive my car
        Yes I’m gonna be a star
        Baby you can drive my car
        And maybe I’ll love you
        Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
        Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
        Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
        Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
        Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

      • The Chief has gone off the deep end.

        Ignoring the fact that he broke out into song, I don’t see how his ocean oscillations can stimulate a temperature differential of 33 degrees C for a short time, let alone sustain that for years. He won’t admit that greenhouse gases are all that the model requires; otherwise we have to assume he believes that the earth is a perpetual energy machine.
        None of the albedo arguments alone will do it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The song is the point – life is a cabaret my friend – come to the cabaret…

        And leaping into the deep end before looking is my specialty. Anyone who doesn’t have an autism spectrum disorder – and I am frankly not meaning any disrespect – would have figured this long ago. I can no more avoid exuberance, wearing my heart on my sleeve in over the top language, loud laughter or loving too much than I can voluntarily stop myself breathing. It is what it is – and criticising me for humour, poetry or breaking into song is an odd attempt to castigate me for my joie de vivre. It is not calculated to do anything to anything but make me laugh and attempt again to suggest to you that it is not all sturm und drang.

        I have often attempted to communicate with warmists – climate is not one thing or another – it is not simple causality – it is a complex and dynamic system with multiple forcings and multiple feedbacks. Review for instance – the Hurrell et al document on seamless modelling I quoted yesterday. Something that requires billions of dollars and thousands of times more computing power to achieve verisimilitude in climate modelling. But that still requires the human imagination to draw the multiple connections. Even then there are intractable problems of ‘irreducible imprecision’ from sensitive dependence and structural instability in atmospheric and oceanic simulations. These are not difficult ideas – but they are thresholds concepts. Ideas that open up new vistas for those willing or able to step over the threshold and into the new intellectual space.

      • None of that will matter because it is not sustained from a persistent external energy source.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is one power source – the Sun of course. The correct terminology for periodic glaciation in the past 2.58 million years is glacials interspersed with interglacials. The cause is thought to be related to orbital variation that initiates runaway snow and ice feedbacks. Substantial cooling has happened in as little as a decade. Just saying it isn’t so seems like a tactic – but not one that has any cred.

    • WebHubTelescope: I get the sense that skeptics are desperate for an alternate mechanism. You may argue this, but for any uncertainty analysis that we do, we have to apply it to a workable model. The workable model right now is the GHG theory that involves mainly CO2 and H2O to explain the 33C difference, and excess CO2 that drags along H20 as the earth heats up to explain AGW.

      The only theory we have is demonstrably both inaccurate and incomplete. Everyone should be desperate for a more complete and adequately accurate model. Just because we only have one theory does not mean that we should accord it any credibility.

      It is indeed hard to do a formal uncertainty analysis when you know that the only model you have is likely wrong. To believe any result of an uncertainty analysis with a model known to be wrong would be foolish. We are pretty much stuck with the fact that we do not know enough to make a decision that we know to be correct.

  58. Well Anteros and Max, discussing my meaning, I’m glad you worked it out between the two of you. :-)

    “What is actual (real) is rational” (Hegel, Philosophy of Right).

    What is ‘more actual’…

    Max gets a point.

    But you’ve hinted at a fresh new idea, Anteros. Yes… aA Dada collage of floating talking denier heads, or an update on the Mechanical Head with hair made from bills to represent the bankrolling of climate change denial in the Bush era. I like it. :-)

  59. Climate is way way (way) too specialized for underclass university, let alone K-12. Students need a background in calculus, physics, chemistry, physical geology, historical geology and oceanography first.

    Has anyone noticed, K-12 + undergraduates are terrifically under-performing in the basics of reading, writing, history, arithmetic, math and science.

    Climate education is superfluous.

    • I like the present US K-12 science curriculum, having studied it closely. Everything being taught is important to know. Nor are we underperforming, that is another case of alarmist hype, with which education is awash. We are doing just fine.

      There has been a shift from science to reading and math, over the last decade or so, due to Federal pressure. Science Ed is typically less than 100 hours per year, or just 2 .5 weeks FTE. In some places it is just 60 hours a year. If people want more something has to give. But everybody wants more of everything, as usual.

      • David:

        That is good to hear. I guess my anecdotal evaluation is all wet. Do you have a good link that shows how our K-12 students have continued to improve in the recent era (last 20-years).

        Thanks

      • Howard, I don’t know that they have ever improved. People are just people. You claimed that they were terrifically underperforming and that is what I disagree with. But maybe you think everyone should be above average.

  60. Science is about understanding, not belief. There seems to be a lot of people who do not understand this, even though they believe they do!

    IMHO, Climate change is not a science, it is the application of many other sciences, scientists of which would admit that their understanding of their own field is limited but developing.

    Anyway, if the science is settled, why not cut all the associated research budgets, we obviously do not need them in these financially tough times?

    I am a science teacher in a major teaching university, I do not think the science is settled, I am still looking for scientific evidence, not dogma.

    Besides as my mother would have said,
    “Saying it is so does not make it so!”

  61. MattStatt wrote

    curryja: Teaching critical thinking is at least as important as teaching “facts”, which are subject to change as new evidence accumulates.

    Some stuff has to be taught and learned by rote, and practiced to mastery before any critical thinking can be attempted.

    This is essential. Deeper understanding can be reached only when there is enough background material to serve as raw material for that.

    It’s useful to teach critical thinking, but the most valuable critical thinking may be the outcome teaching that doesn’t directly pursuit that goal.

    Already in high school a few students learn both content and critical thinking best, when they try to outsmart teachers, whom they doesn’t value very highly.

    Moving to difficult abstract matters like those that are central in mathematics or theoretical physics the only possibility may be learning first a lot of factual matters and then finally realizing, how they fit together.

    As a teacher at a university I have learned about many ideas that others consider to offer improves methods. Most of them are fine to a point, but more or less all fit well to some subject and some audience while they may be of little value in other cases. Concentrating too much on one aspect, including critical thinking, takes time from other goals. Multiple goals might be reached rather well with the same approach and material, if the audience would be totally homogenous and well known, but problems arise when some things are easy for one student and totally different for another.

    Fortunately the students are clever and they can very often compensate for the weaknesses of the teaching. Furthermore they may learn most when they are doing that.

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