Nullius in Verba

by Judith Curry

The motto of the Royal Society is:

Nullius in verba:  on the word of no one

“…it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion as a Body upon any subject either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”

The ‘advertisement’ to The Philosophical Transactions, 1753.

Andrew Montford’s new report provides a lucid account of the transformation of the UK Royal Society.

GWPF has issued a news release:

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is calling on the Royal Society to restore a culture of open-mindedness and balanced assessment of climate science and climate policy.

In a new GWPF report, written by science author Andrew Montford, the Royal Society is urged to ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in its public debates and reports and that the full range of reputable scientific views are being considered.

“As the Society’s independence has disappeared, so has its former adherence to hard-nosed empirical science and a sober detachment from the political process. Gone are the doubts and uncertainties that afflict any real scientist, to be replaced with the dull certainties of the politician and the public relations man,” said Andrew Montford, author of the new report.

In his report, Andrew Montford describes the development of the Royal Society’s role in the climate debates since the 1980s. He shows the Society’s gradual closing of critical scrutiny and scientific impartiality and the emergence of an almost dogmatic confidence that climate science is all but settled.

In recent years, the Society has issued a series of highly political statements demanding drastic action on energy and climate policies from policy makers and governments. On the issue of climate change, it has adopted an increasingly political rather than scientific tone. Instead of being an open forum for informed scientific debate, the Society is at risk of turning into a quasi-political campaign group.

The GWPF report criticises the Society for being too narrow minded in its assessment of climate change and for failing to take into account views of eminent scientists and policy experts that do not accord with its own position.

In his foreword to the report, Professor Richard Lindzen (MIT), one of the world’s most eminent atmospheric scientists, warns that “the legitimate role of science as a powerful mode of inquiry has been replaced by the pretence of science to a position of political authority.”

The report can be found [here].   Discussions are already underway at BishopHill and ClimateAudit.  Read the whole report, it isn’t long.  The conclusions are reproduced here in full:

Conclusions

As the Society’s independence has disappeared, so has its former adherence to hard-nosed empirical science and a sober detachment from the political process. Gone is its former focus on natural philosophy as a way to solve the world’s problems and in its place is a new science that seeks to conjure up, in the words of Mencken, ‘an endless series of hobgoblins’ – a stream of apocalyptic visions with which to assail the public. Gone are the doubts and uncertainties that afflict any real scientist, to be replaced with the dull certainties of the politician and the public relations man. As one of the fellows interviewed in the wake of the rebellion of the 43 said:

“I can understand why this has happened – there is so much politically and economically riding on climate science that the Society would find it very hard to say ‘well, we are still fairly sure that greenhouse gases are changing the climate’ but the politicians simply wouldn’t accept that level of honest doubt.”

The ability to speak scientific truth to the powers that be is the Society’s only raison d’etre, but even this has now been usurped: there is nowadays a network of science advisers throughout the government machine – if the government and the bureaucracy already have scientists’ advice on tap, why should they need the Royal Society? The answer is, of course, that the Royal Society is an independent voice – or at least it was until swamped with taxpayers’ money, when it became something more akin to a government department. Without its independence, there is no point in the Royal Society.

The reputation of the Society is now on the line – the fellows and much of the general public know that there is something seriously amiss and that the leadership do not speak for everyone within the organisation. Each year that temperatures refuse to rise in line with the nightmare scenarios trumpeted by one president after another, the risk grows that the Society becomes a laughing stock. If government money is a drug of which the Society cannot or will not rid itself, its leadership could at least remind itself of those words of Lord Adrian over 50 years ago:

“It is neither necessary nor desirable for the Society to give an official ruling on scientific issues, for these are settled far more conclusively in the laboratory than in the committee room.”

JC comments: In my recent presentation to the IAC, discussed on the thread Questions on Research Integrity and Scientific Responsibility,  I stated that I felt that issues of institutional integrity and responsibility were arguably issues of greater concern than the ethics and behavior of individual scientists.  Montford has lucidly described the “what.”  I am trying to understand the “why.”  I have an idea why individual and groups of climate scientists have been behaving this way (see my previous essay reversing the positive feedback loop), but why  the Royal Society?

I encountered Lord May at the Royal Society Uncertainty Workshop, and I liked his presentation Science as Organized Skepticism.  However at the end, or in the questions, he dismissed climate change skepticism.  Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from?  I am trying to understand this.

447 responses to “Nullius in Verba

  1. “Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from? I am trying to understand this.”

    Never underestimate a person’s natural tendency to let their moral-political worldview precede reason, regardless of how intelligent they are.

    As a fish in water doesn’t realize they are in water, so too does an individual swim in their own biases.

    • +1
      But I think there is another dimension here. It is not just a moral-political worldview that directs what reason can see. The master puppeteer is imagination and fear.

      When James Hansen says that coal is the greatest threat to civilisation and all life on earth, he certainly isn’t being led by reason, but the vision [which he genuinely believes in] is produced, directed and financed by feverish imagination.

      This is the way it has always been through every dooming, apocalypto-endian belief system. The irony of the superstitious age we live in is that the name under which this great fear is carried and justified is science.

      Is that not hilarious?

      • Humor is vanishing as reality sinks in:

        We are all trapped – like rats on a sinking ship – together with leaders of nations, scientific and financial institutions who led us here with grant funds, honors, and consensus predictions made by Nobel-prize winning models of reality computed by our most expensive computers!

        This morning I received an email from a well-known, consensus scientist at a major university warning that economic collapse is imminent.

        Hilarious as a ship of fools.

      • +1 +1

        Imagination and fear are the absolute centre of this. I was thinking about this yesterday as I emailed the two fellows of the Royal Society I’ve had recent contact with to let them know about Andrew’s report. One of them hasn’t had the advantage of knowing me since we were both 18 and as I wrote to him I was very aware of the fear issue – not just fear of what terrible things climate might do, which is likely to be way in the future, but the fear of being thought a fool by one’s peers, of being mocked and called a denier, or at least listening to deniers, in the here and now.

        I have to say that his reaction exceeded my own worst fears! The two dread words ‘Nigel Lawson’ were enough to tip him over the edge and demand that I never send him another email, ever again.

        Where to go to deal with our fears? Not many people have heard of the German psychologist Fritz Kunkel. A bright kid, his ambition was to be a surgeon but as he lay on a First World War battlefield with his right arm blown off he knew he had to face his own fears, big time. His later work has been a help and inspiration to me.

      • Yes, Anteros, the master puppeteers used imagination and fear
        To direct the construction of models of events inside the sphere
        Of nuclear waste products that formed the blinding photosphere
        Hiding a nuclear furnace that made each atom of the puppeteer

        By strengthening the puppeteers’ illusion of great importance
        The models actually hastened restoration of self-governance.

        See page 11: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1
        “Life and subatomic particles evolved together on opposite sides of the photosphere, the brightly glowing layer that is commonly referred to as the Sun or the surface of the Sun.”

      • From the advantage point of being on-board a “Ship of Fools,”
        with capitalists that own patents to GM-foods, paupers that use government-issued food stamps to buy GM-foods, communists, environmentalists, socialists, atheists and persuasive leaders of movements and causes), we may now see truth vs falsehood in

        1. Stuart Clark’s book, “The Sun Kings”
        http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8370.html

        2. “The Bilderberg Model of the Sun”
        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1968SoPh….3….5G

        3. Verse 1 of the “Twin Verses of Buddha”
        http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe10/sbe1003.htm

        4. Debate on Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”
        http://www.climatecrisis.net/
        cei.org/pdf/5539.pdf

        5. Ancient claims that “Truth is always victorious”
        Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85
        Numerous verses in all religious teachings

        We can’t escape the ship; We can appreciate its advantage.

      • 1. Mutual corruption of politics/science over my 50 year research career http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Summary_of_Career.pdf

        2. The GWPF Report on “The Royal Society and Climate Change”
        http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/montford-royal_society.pdf

        3. Information here and elsewhere documenting continued intransigence and unwillingness of the US NAS, the UK RS and the UN IPCC to openly consider all high quality experimental observations and measurements

        4. Questions in Australia and Germany over government reports about “The Clean Energy Future” http://barnabyisright.com/2012/02/11/an-oscar-for-the-clean-energy-future/
        https://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/germany-in-skeptical-turmoil-on-both-climate-and-solarwindfarms/

        5. The impending release of a new book, “Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution” by co-founders and national coordinators of the Tea Party Patriots: Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin

        May lead to an effort by citizens of all member nations of the formerly “Free West” to join together in a “United revolution to restore public control of government.” That would be a disaster for government science in the West, but it may be the only way that leaders of the US NAS, the UK RS, and the UN IPCC will awaken to reality.

    • Never underestimate a person’s natural tendency to let their moral-political worldview precede reason, regardless of how intelligent they are.

      Oh absolutely. Well, other people anyway.

      • Well, other people anyway.

        Trouble is, that’s what everybody thinks (and yes, I do include myself)

      • Quite so. So we either abandon any hope of rational discussion on any subject, or we assume people’s views are reached at through reason until we have actual evidence to the contrary.

      • “Oh absolutely. Well, other people anyway.”

        Wholeheartedly agree. People are horrible at looking for contradictory information. I would never claim I have transcended this, it’s impossible.

        As much as we long for a harmonious society where partisan divisiveness is a thing of the past, I would argue that the liberal/conservative moral dynamic, for example, is actually vital to healthy society. Arguing, debating, scrutinizing, these are all indispensable. We will not seek out contradictory evidence on our own, or at least not as well as an opponent would.

        This has been known in the scientific sphere since Francis Bacon. While some may see ‘consensus’ others see homogeneity and aversion to dissent.

        I recently stumbled across a great blog post about “intellectual diversity”, it can be read here: http://whywereason.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/why-intellectual-diversity-is-important/

      • So we either abandon any hope of rational discussion on any subject, or we assume people’s views are reached at through reason until we have actual evidence to the contrary.

        Yes, but we don’t bet the farm on it until it’s been thoroughly tested.

    • Bob May is a physicist and mathematician turned population biologist and a modeller par excellence. Perhaps his belief in the power of models is what lies at the root of his climate change science position.

    • equilibrium…

      “As a fish in water doesn’t realize they are in water, so too does an individual swim in their own biases.”

      So the current head of the “Royal Society”, a conundrum in and or of “its self”, chooses to communicate to the “wee folk” the meaning and purpose of Science.

      We live in very interesting times?

  2. I think it’s one more tragic aspect of what Harold Lewis in his resignation from the American Physical society called “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life.”….that is the degradation of once proud scientific institutions, from venerable societies to well respected science journals.

    • Widespread, humiliating degradation of once proud scientific institutions was exposed by three events:

      1. Climategate documents and e-mails released in Nov 2009;
      2. A Nobel Prize for promoting flawed climate studies; and
      3. Responses of the UK’s Royal Society, the USA’s National Academy of Sciences, and the UN’s IPCC to irrefutable evidence of wrong.

      World leaders and leaders of “once proud scientific institutions” still fail to grasp that they destroyed their own credibility.

      The above events solved the political part an old mystery that plagued my career for almost 50 years, since I started research in 1960 on the origin of the Solar System and its elements.

      The solution to the scientific part of puzzle (from space age measurements) was blocked by a little-known political decision in 1967 [1]: Earth’s heat source is “in equilibrium”, like a modern furnace controlled by a thermostat.

      Precise analysis of samples returned by the 1969 Apollo Mission to the Moon brought evidence of severe mass fractionation in the Sun:

      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data1.htm

      Similar analysis of meteorites showed Earth’s heat source is the violently unstable nuclear furnace that made our elements [2] and then explosively ejected them five billion years (5 Gyr) ago at the birth of the Solar System.

      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data.htm
      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1994Data.htm
      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1996Data.htm

      1. “The Bilderberg Model of the Sun,” Solar Physics 3, 5-25 (1968)
      http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1968SoPh….3….5G

      2. “Xenon in carbonaceous chondrites,” Nature 240, 99-101 (1972)
      http://www.omatumr.com/archive/XenonInCarbonaceousChondrites.pdf

  3. There is nothing so noble, so true, that a need for Government money and political connections cannot pervert.

    The Royal Society is not alone. The recent brouhaha over the AGU position is similar. Every national (nationalised?) science academy and almost all professional organisations have to keep to the ‘politically correct’ faith.

    But why should the RS turn sceptic? Everyone knows that the majority of climate scientists accept the AGW consensus, and the RS now regards it’s job as representing the consensus to the public (see its Guide to the Science of Climate Change, 2010) and the politicians.

    Any high-visibility organisation that bucks this is going to have to explain itself to the rest of the world, including to AGW fans inside the organisation (eg: Bob Ward, formerly of the RS). To a subsidised professional organisation in todays world, that smacks of suicide. The RS would be under constant seige, and would be snubbed and sidelined amongst the great and good. Who in the RS needs that?

    So, go with the flow. Don’t make a fuss. We now stand on the shoulders of… whoever has the loudest contemporary voice.

  4. Judith, if I am not wrong, you also dismissed climate change skepticism before. Why did you do it? Maybe Lord May dismisses it for the similar reasons.

    People are misled on this. It’s a very bitter pill to swallow. People have to accept not only that they were wrong, but also that they suppressed the science.

    • This is a good point – for all of us that have profoundly changed our views about something. Isn’t it true that we rather easily forget what we once believed, and how convinced we were?

    • Climategate.

      Prior to climategate Judith didn’t realize that political biases can affect how people interpret science. Now she realizes that such biases exist, and dominate the IPCC, The Royal Society, etc. (but not the Heartland Institute, the Marshall Institute, etc.).

      Prior to climategate, she didn’t realize that the “consensus” could be wrong. Now she realizes that all examples of the “consensus” being wrong proves that the IPCC is wrong.

      Prior to climategate, the predominance of expert opinion was decisive. Now she realizes that the predominance of expert opinion is irrelevant (except the predominance of opinions at Climate Etc.).

      Prior to climategate, Judith didn’t realize that “appealing to authority” is a fallacy. Now she realizes that (except when she does it).

      I could go on, but it’s clear that climategate removed the scales from her eyes.

      • I think in Juduth’s case it started before climategate, which was only another nail, albeit a very big one.

      • For once I agree with Joshua. But I’m very surprised that he wanted to look under that particular stone right now.

        Climategate was an absolutely huge turning point. It laid to rest, in the most spectacular way – from their own private writings – the myth of

        ‘Trust Us, We’re Climate Scientists’.

        It showed that they have no especial call upon our trust, no moral authority, no special insights. But are just another bunch of quite bright – but not outstanding – guys on the make. Fr cahs, prestige, status influence and the fraternity.

        And it caused many people, me for one, to change the way I looked at their work. No longer is my default assumption that they are presenting a bit of disinterested science and have done so for the pure intellectual joy of discovery. Now I – and many many others start with the Paxman question (named after a much-feared British TV political interviewer)

        ‘What is this lying bastard lying to me about this time?’

        And never forget that CG3 is waiting………

      • Joshua

        I commented on Bob Tisdales blog in Aug 2010 about her paper of the same year concerning accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean
        http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/08/on-liu-and-curry-2010-accelerated.html

        I do not see any sign of scepticism in her stance in that paper, which to me showed a touching faith in official data, in this case SST’s.

        Of all the official data sets in which to have touching faith SST’s are the last in line. Climategate started in November 2009.

        I realise you are being facetious but Judiths change in stance-but by no means is she a sceptic- happened more recently.When? I’ll leave you to ponder that, as I said in my other post to you I’m just off out.
        tonyb

      • It’s really naive or more likely gratuitous to claim Climategate was all that important to informed parties that have been close to the debate over the past 25 years. You would have had to spend a long time hiding under a rock to make such a claim.

        As for the idea that Joshua clings to that there is equivalent “bias” in the debate from Heartland etc. only proves ignorance yet again. Skeptics don’t need to falsify the AGW hypothesis, all this time on the board he still can’t figure out a basic part of the scientific method. It’s pathetic. The burden of PROOF is on the proposed hypothesis by those advocating it. Where is the evidence or conclusive arguments??? Nowhere on this planet to date. It has zero to do with Exxon or Heartland. We just can’t fix stupid on this talking point.

        Heartland bias = IPCC/Consensus bias??? How lame can it get?

        The fact that AGW agenda setting fits one virulent, fear/anger based social agenda certainly was a pretty good clue to inspect it closely. Clearly, it failed the test at huge social costs.

        Again Joshua, why can’t Dr. Curry name the political culture you, the WWF, IPCC, Greenpeace belong to directly? Why do you or any of these parties merit such decorum and respect to have your political cultures obfuscated under the title “advocates”? I can’t think of a good reason.

        Cry us river with your frustrations wth the good Dr., she is still part of your culture. She offers you and your kind protections. The sad truth of the situation as it simply slows the debate to a crawl.

      • The burden of PROOF is on the proposed hypothesis by those advocating it.

        This is one of the arguments I find interesting – because it is so deferential to “authority.” Some “authority” (In some people’s mind) dictates the rule of who has the burden of proof, and so then people argue about what should match the authoritative designation of responsibility.

        The whole concept of “burden of proof” in this case is essentially just trying to shirk the responsibility for making a solid argument. Each sides shirks responsibility under the cover of claiming that the burden of proof isn’t theirs.

        Establishing who does or who doesn’t have the burden of proof is obviously subjective. It’s just like the other juvenile aspects of the debate.

        “You have the burden of proof.

        “No, you do.”

        “Well, you appealed to authority,.”

        “No. you did.”

        “Well, you used an ad hom.”

        “No, you did.”

        It’s like folks want to all appeal to some authority to confirm that they are right, because they don’t understand that who is “right” and who is “wrong” is inherently a very difficult assessment to make with any level of objectivity.

        Make your argument as best you can. Listen to the intelligent arguments made by people on the other side of the debate. Give good-faith consideration to their viewpoint and offer your analysis of their view in return. Pay attention to the emotional and psychological experiences of yourself and others as you engage in the discussion. Stop playing some endless rhetorical game to score points. In the end, there is no arbiter, there is no one to decide who has the burden of proof, other than yourself.

      • Do you have any science background at all Joshua? This was once taught in the middle school. Hypothesis……..evidence……leads to theory. Theory always open to question and improvement.

        Just to know, how old are you?

      • What does questioning theory and having room for improvement have to do with your appeal to authority over who has the “burden of proof?”

        Of course AGW theory should be open to questioning and it has room for improvement.

        This is some kind of deep insight for you?

      • Bruce Cunningham

        Oh I think Judith was aware of these things long before climategate. Remember, she had invited Steve M. to Ga. Tech to present his analysis long before that. She was the first university scientist to do that (only 1 of 2 to do so, so far! John Christy of U. of Alabama Huntsville was the other). That alone took great courage and a willingness to suffer abuse. She knew or suspected what was going on, and had the integrity to follow through with what she knew was right, and give Steve’s findings the light of day, instead of trying to bury it!

  5. Hi Judith,

    your link text “reversing the positive feedback loop” does not link to your post on that subject, but to Lord May’s MP3 presentation. Looks like a cut and paste error.

    Regards

    /ikh

  6. Andrew Montford quotes the Royal Society ‘advertisement’ to The Philosophical Transactions (1753):

    “…it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion as a Body upon any subject either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”

    In 2010 I quoted Nature’s Mission Statement (1869) to the editor of Nature and asked for his resignation for failing to follow those guidelines:

    ” . . . to place before the general public the grand results of scientific work and scientific discovery; . . . to aid scientific men . . . by giving early information of all advances made in any branch of natural knowledge throughout the world, and by affording them an opportunity of discussing the various scientific questions which arise from time to time.”

    Such discrepancies between current practices and founding principles of research organizations show that the Climategate emails and documents were only the visible tip of a deep cancerous growth that had seriously compromised basic scientific principles in the West for decades, . . .

    Probably at least since the decision was made that Earth’s heat source will forever operate “in equilibrium” after the meeting in the Bilderberg Hotel in April 1967: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1968SoPh….3….5G

    Since the Bilderberg (standard solar) model did not explain cycles of deep-seated magnetic fields poking through the photosphere as sunspots, evidence has been suppressed that the Sun’s deep-seated magnetic fields drive Earth’s climate ["Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate", Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002)]: http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0501441

  7. Plus ca change, really. For some discussions of the historical suppression of dissent by orthodox science, see:

    http://amasci.com/supress1.html

    (although his enthusiasm for Cold Fusion is his special bugbear)

    http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/99rsppp.html

    Quote: ‘In this context it is worth quoting C. Wright Mills commenting on university teachers: “the deepest problem of freedom for teachers is not the occasional ousting of a professor, but a vague general fear – sometimes politely known as ‘discretion’, ‘good taste’, or ‘balanced judgment’. It is a fear which leads to self-intimidation and finally becomes so habitual that the scholar is unaware of it.’

    Congrats, Dr. Curry, for extricating yourself from this trap!

  8. Judith,

    I find meteorologists are more open to new science than climate scientists are. Climate scientists are in the protection mode than looking to enhance their knowledge.

  9. Steve Milesworthy

    The RS is clearly battling anti-science, and so it should. That doesn’t mean it is in a war against people who put forward good scientific arguments against a position.

    For example, the criticism of a bunch of people who have successfully created a media storm around a particular speculative theory should not be conflated into a criticism of the theory or the scientist who came up with the theory (even if the theory is highly questionable).

    Even if you are a biologist you can tell when someone is making a good argument and when someone is misrepresenting things. Still if one is going to criticise him because “at the end, or in the questions, he dismissed climate change skepticism” it would be good to have a bit more detail about what exactly he “dismissed”.

    • @steve m

      ‘The RS is clearly battling anti-science’

      Examples please. Coz it isn’t necessarily clear to me.

      Have they given a recent opinion about spiritualism or homeopathy or astrology? Or is it just climate scepticism that floats their boat?

    • Steve,

      The wheels are coming off AGW activism. “Anti-science” was a small price to pay in the larger context of the “cause” as Michael Mann put it.
      Talking about tactical flaws is one thing, to really reform RS would require an open omission that science communities and intellectuals are loathe to do; they are emotionally and politically driven toward AGW belief. No different emotionally then what you might find at an Earth Day Rally in the 70′s. The further you move to the top, the more you might find this to be the case. Their professionalism has been reduced in the process, their status lowered. Certainly shooting the messenger isn’t a surprise reaction.

      The hero in the history book is Dr. Lindzen who pegged it all 25 years earlier. He puts more weight on money than I do. He too came from the very political culture that are now advocating AGW policy controls. Why the science community is so far behind the logical street views and Dr. Lindzen is tragic for our world.

      Skepticism is dismissed because the “cause” of carbon controls are so rewarding at every human level in the communities involved. Theory and science has very little to do with it.

      • Yes, Lindzen’s the true hero. Where would we be without his cold, hard, unbiased and objective analysis?

        You know, like when he analogized environmentalists to Eugenicists?

      • Before he signed on to “Reductio ad Lysenko.”

      • “You know, like when he analogized environmentalists to Eugenicists?”

        Why do you think this inaccurate? Both were based or (dominated) by dubious science for social/political intent. A wider more diverse range among Eugenic supporters as rule but the process was very similar.

        Environmentalist are diverse also, the core leadership far less so.

      • cwon -

        Why do you think this inaccurate?

        Bingo. Indeed. And the comparison to Lysenko is spot on also.

        Just cold, hard, objective analysis. No tribalism there.

        Nosireebub!

      • Joshua

        Not all environmentalists are happy with the RS position:

        September 21, 2006, Vancouver – Greenpeace co-founder and former leader Dr. Patrick Moore said the United Kingdom’s Royal Society should stop playing a political blame game on global warming and retract its recent letter that smacks of a repressive and anti-intellectual attitude.

        “It appears to be the policy of the Royal Society to stifle dissent and silence anyone who may have doubts about the connection between global warming and human activity,” said Dr. Moore, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Vancouver, Canada-based Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.

        “That kind of repression seems more suited to the Inquisition than to a modern, respected scientific body,” said Moore.

      • cui bono -

        That’s interesting. Do you have a link? I Googled a text string and didn’t get any good hits.

      • Patrick Moore has been a corporate shill for years. He was not a “Greenpeace co-founder” as he joined after it had already been founded. Deniers who quote him never bother to mention this.

        http://www.desmogblog.com/patrick-moore

      • Holly,

        The usual – anyone who goes apostate on the whole ‘we’re doomed’ thing is a ‘corporate shrill’.

        Do you think all of the sceptics on this blog are enjoying their massive secret payouts from Exxon? No, some of us are deeply troubled when the monthly cheque for the six-figure sum comes through in a plain brown envelope. But, shrug, what you gonna do, we have families….

      • No, I assume that most of the people here are deluded and prefer to live in a denialist bubble, though there may be a shill or three among them. But Moore earns his living by shilling for corporations and is often falsely presented as a founder of Greenpeace.

        Stupidity and knavery: two different things, which may exist alone or together.

      • Holly, have you ever wondered why the only deluded people around are those who disagree with your viewpoint?
        Do you actually understand what this particular thread is all about?

      • cwon14: ‘…omission’? should that be ‘admission’?

    • Even if you are a biologist you can tell when someone is making a good argument and when someone is misrepresenting things

      No, you can’t just tell – regardless of how intelligent and knowledgeable you may be.
      Which is one of the big reasons the RS was formed in the first place.

      “The easiest person to fool is yourself” – Richard Feynman

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Yes you can because you should have a good understanding of the scientific process, an ability to interpret graphs and statistics and, probably, a broader scientific background than just biology.

        Anyway, all we have is Judith’s word that he “dismissed” scepticism in a way that displeased her. Did he dismiss industry-funded lobbyists or did he dismiss something a bit more contentious that would require expert knowledge he didn’t have.

      • @steve M

        Where are these ‘industry-funded lobbyists’ you are all so keen on obsessing about? Can you identify them by name ..or even by organisation? Do they even exist? They can’t be very effective lobbyists if nobody has actually ever seen one or read anything by them or met one.

        Please send their address and phone numbers as I’d like to apply to join?

      • Yes you can because you should have a good understanding of the scientific process, an ability to interpret graphs and statistics and, probably, a broader scientific background than just biology.

        And you can still turn out to be 100% wrong

      • for Steve Milesworthy | February 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

        see Lord May’s Q&A comments:
        http://downloads.royalsociety.org/audio/DM/DM2010_03/May.mp3
        start at 33:44

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I listened to the Q&A and didn’t hear any “dismissing” of climate sceptics.

        So unless there was another bit I missed it sounds like there is some poisoning of the well going on here.

        May *did* discuss the importance of including dissidents where science was uncertain, but also he pointed out that where the public were getting the wrong end of the stick of the state of science due to a preponderance of “dissident” publicity, the media preference for dissident views and the preference of people to accept dissident views, that bodies such as the RS should *consider* getting involved to rebalance the argument towards the science.

      • …the media preference for dissident views…

        He’s evidently never heard of the BBC, the Guardian, the Times, amongst many others, then.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter, I take it you don’t know what the word “preponderance” means.

      • I take it you don’t know what the word “preponderance” means.

        You simply have to be joking!
        Perhaps you can list all the ‘dissident’ media, so us Earthlings can see what we’re missing.

        Besides which, the RS have no place playing politics. What does it matter what a few ‘dissidents’ think anyway?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Only someone looking to shut down scientific debate would claim that correcting the scientific distortions used to support policy choices is “getting involved in the politics”.

      • Oh, Please!

  10. “I am trying to understand the “why.” ”

    I guess it’s a start. The fact is you know exactly “why” but you simply can’t cross the cultural/political orthodox you are part of. If we discussed that orthodox in detail and honestly there would be know question as to “why”.

    Go ask Dr. Lindzen or many others.

    The article is very worth reading but foolish “decorum” from the 1950′s prevents them from spelling out exactly what “politics” means in the context of AGW activism at RS for example. It’s butt stupid to maintain these conventions at this late stage of history. It’s also one of the most useful tools of obfucation for the green orthodox culture that exists. It simply should not exist and you enforce the politically correct convention all the time. It’s time to recant. RS leadership are owned by AGW/Green Culture and money politics. How much about “why” don’t you get?

    You know exactly “why” Dr. Curry. Renounce and come intellectually clean. We can hold a private service for the warming/green trolls later on after you do. You might need a bodyguard or join the witness protection program when you admit to “why” but science is advanced and the scam mitigation agenda of AGW is one step closer to the grave.

    • cwon14 – ‘You might need a bodyguard or join the witness protection program when you admit to “why”‘.
      :-)

      • cui bono -

        ‘You might need a bodyguard or join the witness protection program when you admit to “why”‘

        Yeah. Just like the gulags and death sentences with Lysenkoism, eh? :-)

      • Josh – there are enough CG emails wishing at least career death on the Teams opponents.

    • “Yeah. Just like the gulags and death sentences with Lysenkoism, eh?”

      You seem to miss the obvious Joshua (no surprise) that you are on the side of gulags and Lysenkoism. If Dr. Curry was direct and honest on the topic you will have a board kiniption. In fact it may have started already.
      If Dr. Curry did address “why” who did you think I was suggesting a body guard from? (Try a mirrror)

      • cwon -

        You seem to miss the obvious Joshua (no surprise) that you are on the side of gulags and Lysenkoism.

        Yeah. I guess I just missed it. I always advocate the death sentence for anyone who disagrees with me. And like eugenicists, I’m a big fan of forced sterilization for people I consider genetically inferior.

        If Dr. Curry did address “why” who did you think I was suggesting a body guard from? (Try a mirrror)

        Heh. Yeah, I’m going to come after her.

        I would say that Judith has been focusing on, and stating a position on, the “why” for quite a while now, although she likes to play games about it. She has spoken directly about tribalistic and political motivations. To some extent, I agree with her. I don’t think those elements are as categorical as she thinks, and I think that they are abundantly evident in places that she turns a blind eye to, but for her to suggest that she hasn’t been discussing the “why” seems disingenuous to me.

    • “I think that they are abundantly evident in places that she turns a blind eye to, but for her to suggest that she hasn’t been discussing the “why” seems disingenuous to me.”

      It isn’t “her” that is “suggesting”, it’s “I” who who am telling you. It isn’t at all the same to refer to “politics” or “why” and go “no comment” when everyone in the informed room knows exactly the specifics of the politics and the why questions. Try talking about 1930′ politics in Europe without using the “N” or “C” word. It’s pointless as is so much of what goes on here.

      AGW mitigation ambitions, funding and most important culture are creatures of eco-extreme left. The complicity of “moderates” who clearly do know better but have been gutless for a generation should be a topic in itself.

      • I think one need go no further than Crane Brinton and his finding in the “Anatomy of a Revolution” that once a movement gains power that are frequently replaced by more radical voices. In large part because moderates who fought together with others in a loose coalition against the establishment generally take a stand that there are “no enemies to the left”. It is almost impossible for them to come around and fight for a moderate position as that will be seen by the most vociferous of the true believers as supporters of the establishment with the consequent decrial and expulsion from the movement on which they had staked much of their future.

  11. “no question” that is.

  12. “science author” – hmmmm, I thought Andrew was an accountant.

    Oh, wait, I get it. This – “In a new GWPF report, written by accountant, Andrew Montford….” wouldn’t invoke enough……….authority.

    Michael – Science Author.

    • @michael

      You have published a highly regarded book about a bit of ‘science’ history? Regularly cited around the world and praised for its rigour and and clarity?

      Excellent. Good for you.

      What name did you publish under?

      • In just the last post, I looked at a historical document (AR4) and educated some poor unfortunate who had overlooked an important part of the fist page of the SPM and then further went on to accidentally truncate the references on another paragraph that led said person to be terminally confused.

        I might publish the episode so others aren’t similiarly led astray.

        Michael- Science Author.

      • Here’s another “science history” book on a “controversial” subject that seems to be highly regarded.

      • @andrew adams

        I hope you enjoy it. But I confess that Intelligent Design is a subject in which I have not the slightest interest. You might also choose to read The Selfish Gene and Dawkins and cronies other stuff about evolution.as well. A much more likely explanation IMO

        But then, as you seem to be convinced by all the AGW stuff, perhaps ID suits you too. Chacun a son gout.

      • But it seems so highly regarded – look at all those 4 and 5 star reviews. I didn’t notice the words “rigour” and “clarity” but the general sentiments are the same.
        Of course it might just be possible that it is easy to win praise and have your work taken very seriously when you have a highly partisan audience and you tell them exactly what they want to hear. Especially when you are portraying yourself as part of a brave minority battling against a wicked establishment.

    • I liked it better when:

      Michael – who is like God?

      Has a good point too.

    • Talk about an ad hom, as if only the self-selected (after a generation of Lysenkonistic U.N. weedy of a tiny science enclave) are only “qualified” to discuss it.

      Next we will hear again how Dr. Lindzen earned most likely less that 1% of his lifetime earnings from oil or tabacco interests and should be dismissed as well.

    • A post written by comedian Michael.

      Just don’t quit your day job.

  13. in the words of Mencken,… ‘

    Ah yes., In the words of Mencken….

    Mencken always considered himself a Southerner and from his father he had inherited a strong sympathy for the Confederacy. The Old Confederacy, Mencken felt, was a land “with men of delicate fancy, urbane instinct and aristocratic manner — in brief, superior men. It was there, above all, that some attention was given to the art of living — a certain noble spaciousness was in the ancient southern scheme of things.” …In his words, the Union victory was “a victory of what we now call Babbitts over what used to be called gentlemen.” But Mencken makes this caveat; “I am not arguing here, of course, that the whole Confederate army was composed of gentlemen; on the contrary, it was chiefly made up, like the Federal army, of innocent and unwashed peasants, and not a few of them got into its corps of officers. But the impulse behind it, as everyone knows, was essentially aristocratic, and that aristocratic impulse would have fashioned the Confederacy if the fortunes of war had run the other way.”

    Nothing quite like “the words of Mencken” to speak truth to the powers that be. You know. On behalf of the “unwashed peasants” in the name of preserving that “certain noble spaciousness” of people who owned slaves.

    • Joshua

      At least Mencken was on the side of Darrow in the Scopes trial. Although I once misquoted Bryan on a blog thread about AGW and poverty:

      “You shall not crucify Mankind on a cross of carbon”.

      • Where does the Royal Society fall out on Intentional Design? Are then in agreement with Spencer on the topic?

        http://theevolutioncrisis.org.uk/testimony2.php

      • I am in agreement with Spencer on climate science, and the RS is not. Fair enough. Why are any of his other views relevant? That’s just ad-hom.

        The RS is probably not in agreement with Menchen on his eventual extreme anti-populism, pro(ish) Nazism, etc. I’m not sure where the RS stands with regard to bimetalism, but it was a still a stunning speech by Bryan.

      • Mencken completely misrepresented the Scopes trial as did Darrow.

        http://www.chesterton.org/wordpress/video/

      • cui bono -

        Why are any of his other views relevant?

        I think that Spencer’s view on the scientific validity of Intelligent Design speaks to the power of biases in how people approach science. But yes, his view on ID is only indirectly relevant to the climate debate.

        However, when someone brings Mencken into the debate – as Judith did in her quote – as an appeal to certain ideals, then I think it is worthwhile to view Mencken’s perspective in the full context of his beliefs. It doesn’t negate the veracity of his statements, but when someone uses Menken’s words to justify the hard work of serious scientists as merely “a stream of apocalyptic visions,” I think it is reasonable to ask question many of Mencken’s perspectives they think justify their own. Mencken is often quoted by libertarians during the climate debate. Quoting Mencken, IMO, suggests a libertarian slant. When someone is making accusations about political bias – as Judith is endorsing in this post – then they should be open to examining their own political biases.

      • Josh

        Dr. Curry didn’t bring in Mencken. It was in Mr. Montfort’s conclusion, and specifically a reference to one remark he made – ” ‘an endless series of hobgoblins’ – a stream of apocalyptic visions with which to assail the public”.

        AGW is exactly like this, at least in MSM. Look at the stories every day. “N days to save the planet!!” Mind you, health isn’t much better – every day a new thing we should or should not eat / drink / touch.

        Whether the blame should be put on scientists or sensationalist science journalists I dunno, but when did it become one of the chief purposes of science not to inspire us but to scare us to death?

      • cui bono -

        Judith sometimes puts a disclaimer at the end of her posts. This time she put in an endorsement of a “lucid” analysis.

        Obviously, I don’t think that Judith endorses Menken’s views on the “certain noble spaciousness” of “superior men” who were slaveholders. But I think that she does turn a blind eye to political biases from on one side of the debate. I think that blind eye is reflected in her endorsement of the GWPF report.

      • Josh – I’m sure Dr. Curry will be grateful that you are not accusing her of being pro-slavery. :-)

    • Oh grow up, Joshua You are more than ever like a 4-year old.

      Montford just liked the phrase ‘an endless stream of hobgoblins’ and gave it due acknowledgement. If I use a neat quotation from Romeo and Juliet (eg ‘A rose by any other name) by Shakespeare it does not mean that I expect to have a lengthy discussion about his mischaracterisation (or otherwise) of Richard 3rd or the relevance of Henry 5th to contemporary Anglo-French diplomatic relations. Nor even the role of gang culture in West Side Story.

      It is just a neat phrase. End of story. Isn’t it time for your afternoon nap?

      • This is an “all in” topic for Joshua. It’s very close to the real bone of AGW, that can’t go by.

      • Latimer,

        I suspect the world will burn up from CO2 before Josh grows up. When he gets like this, I am reminded of someone in love with his own abilities.

    • Make you wonder what they are going to call this period, when it happens in China?

    • Josh,

      Why trash someone more accomplished than you – i.e. Mencken. Particularly by calling him a “southerner” and equating him with slavery?

      PS – it is always interesting to see how southerners are still considered to be a legimate group for making fun of. Always open season on them. Right Josh.

      • Whether Mencken came from the south, north or east, his opinion on aristocracy and peasants is pretty sour. His origins have nothing to do with the distaste I feel for his views as described in Joshua’s quote..

      • tim -

        I didn’t call him a southerner. In fact, he was far from that:

        The South, he claimed, was “almost as sterile artistically, intellectually, culturally, as the Sahara Desert — culturally about as dead as the Yucatan.” After referring to the South as a “gargantuan paradise of the fourth-rate” he declaims: “There is not a single picture gallery worth going into, or a single orchestra capable of playing the nine symphonies of Beethoven, or a single opera-house, or a single theater devoted to decent play.” Mencken goes on to bemoan the region’s paucity of writers, scientists, historians, philosophers and intellectuals in general.

        And I didn’t “[equate] him with slavery.” I pointed out that he felt, somehow, that slave-owners had a “certain spacious nobeleness.” He was also alarmingly elitist. It doesn’t mean that he favored slavery – just that he had a particularly bizarre and elitist reasoning process. As such, I think it odd that libertarians so often quote him and praise his perspective – usually libertarians like to present themselves as being anti-elitist.

      • tim -

        BTW – some of my best friends are southerners.

      • tim -

        Gotta go now. I’ll check back to read how you trashed Mencken for being so contemptuous of the south.

      • timg56 said, ” it is always interesting to see how southerners are still considered to be a legimate group for making fun of.”

        We are legit, seems we are one of the very few groups left that have a sense of humor. :)

      • Josh – “BTW – some of my best friends are southerners.”

        Well, whodathunkit? Josh has friends! :-)

      • Well, whodathunkit? Josh has friends! :-)

        Well, consider that they are southerners. Doesn’t exactly speak highly of my friends, does it? Consider Cap’n as an example.

      • Louise,

        The debate is about why organizations like the RS feel compelled to make policy statements about climate change. A quote from Mencken doesn’t require us to evaluate what sort of individual he was.

        Josh,

        You do love to split hairs, don’t you? Fine, you did not directly state “Mencken was a southerner.” But you do tie him to that label in your post. And throwing in the quote on slave owners is certainly an attempt to tar him with the slavery brush.

        I’m pretty sure this is just a game for you, but you might keep in mind that folks who may be interested in your opinion quickly lose that thought when you play these games.

        Bottom line here is that you use trashing Mencken to try to make a point that anyone quoting him, is by association of the same disreputable character. It’s an obvious, and in my opinion, poor tactic and I was wondering why you employed it.

      • Heh Capt!

        First invading Burmese pythons, now an invasion of African giant snails.
        What the heck is going on in S. Florida?

      • tim -

        And throwing in the quote on slave owners is certainly an attempt to tar him with the slavery brush.

        [...]

        Bottom line here is that you use trashing Mencken to try to make a point that anyone quoting him, is by association of the same disreputable character.

        That wasn’t what I was attempting to do. It wasn’t my point.

        My point is that Judith turns a blind eye to the politics on one side of the debate. Mencken is frequently quoted by libertarians. As such, when I see him quoted, I think it is worthy of note. There are reasons why people choose to quote specific individuals to make a particular point. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a cigar has a deeper meaning. There are any number of quotes that Montford could have used to reinforce the message that the RS issues “a stream of apocalyptic visions with which to assail the public.” The choice of Mencken doesn’t prove anything. IMO, the choice isn’t purely coincidence, however.

        The point of bringing up Mencken’s other statements is partially to take a dig at libertarians, and partly to make it clear that as with everyone, his views on politics are derived from the larger context. The other quotes help to contextualize Mencken’s perspective. He was an elitist who had contempt for those he considered not up to the standards of his beloved aristocracy of slave-holders.

        Read Mencksn’s quoted comment again (the full version quoted by tonyb aka cllimatereason), considering that larger context given by the quotes I provided.

        Does the additional context give you a different take on the quote Montford used? If not, then you should just disregard the added context I provided. I suspect, however, that you will read Mencken’s comment differently. If so, then I think that it will also affect your take on how Mencken’s quote was used in Montford’s article.

      • libertarians frequently quote Mencken.
        evidence?

        Libertarian here. never read him.

        but its interesting to note that Joshua has derailed another conversation.

      • :)

    • Joshua: in the words of Mencken,… ‘

      Mencken is cited as source, not authority.

  14. Judith -

    Montford has lucidly described the “what.” I am trying to understand the “why.”

    Could you explain the “why” behind why, when discussing the IPCC’s predictions, you neglected to include this:

    “The rise will not be steady because of other factors.”

    in your analysis? There’s the “what,” so where’s the “why?” Was that lucid enough?

    • Yes, Joshua, and you continue to ignore that if you take what they say about 2030 and how much natural variance there in, that it is either falsified as Dr. Curry stated or it is falsified in that the maximum rate that can be credited by what was stated is about 0.16 C per decade, not 0.2 C per decade.

      And since you were so astute to point out the other words of Mencken and what they meant, you will not mind otehrs pointing out the other part that persons, such as you, are failing to acknowledge. The IPCC set a limit to natural variability. We have exceeded that limt, at present, a falsification.

      • John -

        I think that the “implications” of the IPCC’s predictions seen against the temperature records is a worthy subject for speculation.

        I think that leaving out important caveats when discussing those implications reflects potential biases – even more so when after doing so, someone fails to discus the “why” they did it.

      • Josuha, I was not talking about implications. I was stating that at present there is a falsification of AR4 with respect to what was written. Further that one way of expressing it, not exactly correct, is how Dr. Curry stated it with respect to the last thread. The only thing I can see Dr. Curry being “guilty of” is a simplified, graphical description rather than mathematical. I would also point out that your “The rise will not be steady because of other factors” is also a simplification. What was stated in AR4 had a limit to variabilty. The temperatures to date exceed that variability as stated for the graph and section under discussion, and your statement is incorrect as to what has occurred, and what was claimed was going to occur.

        Simply, you are painting Dr. Curry in the same vein that you have painted yourself. But Dr Curry is correct as to the “implications.” However, you are not.

      • john -

        I have clearly limited skills and abilities, but from what I’ve read about the technical matters in question, it isn’t clear to me that a definitive refutation of IPCC predictions has been proven. Take that for what it’s worth.

        It seems to me that Judith believes that no definitive refutation has been proven. The Leake article suggested something similar (“The existence of such gaps, the critics argue, implies the climate models themselves are too flawed to be relied on – that is not a statement of belief that the predictions have definitively been refuted). Both Leake and she spoke about “implications” even as they neglected to mention the simplified statement I referenced and didn’t argue for a mathematical case to support your definitive conclusion.

      • john -

        I’d like to address your attention to this statement of yours:

        We have exceeded that limt, at present, a falsification.

        To wrap this up in case I wasn’t clear earlier – to me, that statement of yours gets to the heart of the matter. The implication of that statement is that the state of being a falsification is time contingent. That doesn’t seem logically valid to me.

        Leaving aside the technical merits of various viewpoints, and taking your view on the technicalities for the sake of argument, it seems to me that to be accurate that statement should read: “We have exceeded that limit when we project current trends going forward; at present, that (strongly?) suggests that at some point in the future the IPCC predictions will be falsified.”

      • The parts that are similar Josuhua are such caveats, “at present”, or someone saying 10 or 11 years is not enough for a system that is defined as 30 years.

        However, likewise, in that “at present” a trend is falsified can be true and is expected to occur with in a certain variation, as in your comment.

        However, your simple sattement is not all that the IPCC stated in AR4, and there are statements that persons are talking about and discussing.

        As pointed out, talking about 30 year trend and an eleven year trend is not one statement about one condition. In essence, there are persons talking past one another. Often, both sides are speaking correctly whithin the framework of a comment on a blog. In fact your inclusion of the word “definitive” is misleading. I stated the nature of the falsication, even the limits of it. One can simply take the statements, and do the math and state true or false. I did not venture that the falsification would hold for the prediction. I stated that the falsification of what the IPCC stated for 2030 had occurred. Now such a statement does not falsify the trend per se, it is not 2030. It may well not falsify it at a later date, for we may find that there was an anthropogenic varaible not accounted in the scenario that was way off, and once accounted for using the same model will yeild a correct number reversing the falsification.

    • Dikran Marsupial

      or the fact that when the uncertainty of the projection is considered the observations are clearly completely consistent with the projections.

      • True. The current observations do not falsify the data as they fall within the given uncertainty range. But given that the projections made in 2000 show anywhere from a decline of 0.3C to a rise of 0.6C, the chances of invalidating the projections after one decade were almost nil. In fact, the uncertainties are such that even if no warming occurred between now and 2020, the observed temperature would still fall within the model uncertainties.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/trends2000_2020.jpg

        On the flip side, this is hardly a ringing endorsement either. Maybe, we should look more closely into the projections to see what may be causing the shift from the middle of the range closer to the lower extreme. It is entirely possible that the deviation is still natural variation, however, the longer this continues, the less likely that is the case. Regardless, it would improve our standing if we could generate a model that more closely replicates the observations.

      • Dan H,

        I’ve posted this link a few times but take a look at this GISS forcing time series. Notice that there is zero increase in RF from 2000, mainly due to the timing of the solar cycle. What this effectively means is that the scenario we have followed since 2000 has been the ‘Constant Year 2000 Concentrations’ one, i.e. the one projecting ‘about 0.1ºC/Decade’ increase.

        The AR4 projections don’t include solar cycles so, if both models and reality contain an average increase of about 0.2ºC/Decade, the period from solar maximum to minimum in reality would be expected to exhibit a trend towards the low end of the range.

      • DanH which means that Prof. Curry’s assertion was clearly factually incorrect.

        Nobody is claiming that consistency is a ringing endorsement of the models. It is pretty much the lowest hurdle, which is why caliming inconsistency is a big claim and why it is important for Prof. Curry to retract the claim so as not to promulgate a falsehood and further reduce the signal to noise ratio in the debate.

        The really sad thing is the fact that so few seem to be able to bring themselves to explicitly say that the claim was wrong, when it so clearly is.

    • Joshua,

      The ’0.2ºC/Decade’ and ‘rise will not be steady’ statements were in different reports released 17 years apart. There are no explicit indications alongside the ’0.2ºC/Decade’ statement in AR4 to the effect that the rise should not be expected to evolve in a steady manner (though I suspect this is because they thought it would be obvious, literally ‘needless to say’).

  15. Thank you, Judith, for starting this thread. I believe it is by far the most important thread you have ever started. Because it goes to the very core of what is wrong with CAGW.

    What you need to realise that what the Royal Society (The American Physical Sopciety, and many other learned organizations) has written with respect to CAGW, is a travesty of science. It is so anti-science that I cannot imagine anything that would be more abhorrent to the “giants” of the past. Starting with Galileo and Newton, but going through names like Kelvin, and Faraday, and in the more modern era, people I knew, Dirac and Lawrence, . These people I am sure are turning in their graves when they see how low the Royal Society has dragged itself into the dirt.

    There is only one proper course fo action, which I hope you will espouse as well. ‘fess up. The only thing the Royal Society can do to save itself is to write a mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, and start afresh. In the end they will have to do it, so, IMHO, the sooner the better. Were they to do so now, and were you to do so now, not only would they restore their good name, but they would save the world trillions of dollars that will otherwise be wasted on a futile effort to make the world “green”; i.e. with too little CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • It is the most important thread.

      The “why” question will be assumed gratuitous until proven otherwise.

      I expect a freak show Joshua, Martha, Robert, WHT and others to begin shortly. If ever there was a topic that needed hyjacking in thier worldview it’s this one.

      • cwon. Why is expressing an different viewpoint “hijacking.”

        Do you not think that’s a tad ironic, given the freakin’ topic of this thread?

        But anyway, thanks for reading. It means a lot to me.

    • Jim, as you say, it isn’t just the RS.

      Why does every professional scientific organisation feel a need for a ‘credo’ on global warming? If there was an International Society of Toad Reseachers, they would be on board. It’s scientific nonsense, but makes perfect sense from the standpoint of the modern politics of science.

      • The General Secretary of the Intnl. Society of Toad Researchers

        The Cabinet and Central Committee of the International Society of Toad Researchers have instructed me to convey the following message to the readers of Climate Etc

        1. The ISTR send fraternal greetings (except to Well-Funded Big Oil Denier Scum)
        2. The ISTR fully support efforts to bring the issue of global warming to the forefront of the public’s mind
        3. The ISTR urges you to support the need for extra research into the very damaging effects of an increase in GAT from 288.4K to 288.6K in only 10 toad generations.
        4. We are applying to the government for travel and accommodation grants to hold our next 6-monthly convention in Hawaii for 3 weeks in May. Because of the wearisome nature of the task in hand, it is essential that our delegates fly First Class. Please support our applications
        5. Mindful of the reciprocal nature of such support, we pledge ours to your similar application, but ask you to note that the Hotel Majestic Super Wizzo Deluxe is reserved for our exclusive use.

        Yours in Toads. Death to the Deniers

        LA, General Secretary

      • Where can I send my donation Latimer?
        tonyb

      • :-) :-)

      • Stop global warming toad extermination.
        Adopt-a-toad-today!
        :)

      • ‘Adopt a Toad Today’

        But what if, perish the thought, the toad is called Joshua.

        You wouldn’t want one of those causing chaos in your back garden…….

      • There certainly are plenty of judith’s Toadies here that need help in some form or other.

      • It gets worse. This is a real one.

        The American Association of Pediatrics has a global warming policy statement:

        http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;120/5/1149

        “Any solutions that address climate change must be developed within the context of overall sustainability (the use of resources by the current generation to meet current needs while ensuring that future generations will be able to meet their needs). Pediatric health care professionals can be leaders in a move away from a traditional focus on disease prevention to a broad, integrated focus on sustainability as synonymous with health.”

        Oh, good grief!

      • DFM,
        Analyzing why the RS has abandoned its foudning principals is to be dismissed because you declare it ‘ad hom’?
        You offer no justification at all for your judgement.
        I think my assessment that you are simply looking for reasons to dismiss things that make you uncomfortable is spot on.

      • Cui bono,

        Yeah, just what I look for in a doctor for my kids – one that places sustainability as a guiding principle and is concerned about climate change. Caring about the health and welfare of my kids is certainly a secondary issue.

        Makes one wonder what sort of people work for these societies and organizations.

      • OK, that one even made me chuckle.

      • There’s a cane toad branch in Australia I believe :)

      • “Makes one wonder what sort of people work for these societies and organizations.”

        It is self evident that the “chiefs” of organizations/governments/etc enjoy the power that comes with the job/title.

        The beauty of the internet is that the power of so-called democratic bodies can be returned to the underlings.

    • The only thing the Royal Society can do to save itself is to write a mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, and start afresh. In the end they will have to do it, so, IMHO, the sooner the better.

      One would think so; however, I would not hold my breath waiting for this to happen. As I had noted in my own post on Andrew’s excellent chronology and analysis, the RS has a “Science Policy Centre” which claims to provide:

      independent, timely and authoritative scientific advice to UK, European and international decision makers.

      We champion the contribution that science and innovation can make to economic prosperity, quality of life and environmental sustainability and we are a hub for debate about science, society and public policy. [emphasis added -hro]

      The RS has gone from “‘withstanding the domination of authority” to providing ‘authoritative scientific advice’

      Their motto and principles have been abandoned not only in visual symbol, but also, well, in verba.

      • Prove that they have done anything wrong first. You can’t, can you, living in your bubble of conspiracy theorists.

      • “… and we are a hub for debate about about science, …”

        Oh, really? Where is the debate part?

      • @John Kannarr February 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm

        “… and we are a hub for debate about about science, …”

        Oh, really? Where is the debate part?

        Yes, I wondered about that, too. But perhaps (following the lead of CRU’s Phil Jones, whose dedication to “the cause” would lead him to “redefine” peer review) the powers that be at the Royal Society have decided to “redefine” debate!

  16. Dikran Marsupial

    Sorry, this is simply an ad-hominem against the Royal Society. A response to the content of the RS statement would be far more convincing, I am not particularly impressed by this sort of thing, wherever it is directed.

    • And it’s stupid.

      Read the RS statement on AGW,
      http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2010/4294972962.pdf

      And then read Montfords tendentious twaddle.

    • DM

      The narrative of the piece doesn’t seem to flow at all well. Its as if someone had assembled all the component parts in the wrong order. Andrew is normally a cogent writer so I guess I will re-read it and see what the subject matter and point to it was, but if I were a carbon zealot or even undecided I’m not sure I would plough through to the end.
      tonyb

    • ceteris non paribus


      Why does every professional scientific organisation feel a need for a ‘credo’ on global warming?

      Because there are so many non-professional, non-scientific, unaccountable, and scientifically clueless organizations that feel a need for a ‘credo’ on the same subject.


      Sorry, this is simply an ad-hominem against the Royal Society.

      Not only that – it’s by far the most important thread that Dr Curry has ever started.

      • Not only that – it’s by far the most important thread that Dr Curry has ever started.

        If I’m not mistaken, it is the seventh time that she has started her most important thread. Could be eight.

        I think that this thread may just drive the final stake through the heart of AGW. Does anyone have an extra final nail to put into the coffin? I had a whole pound of final nails, but I’ve used so many I’ve plum (plumb?) run out.

      • Joshua, it’s nature’s phenomena doing the nailing, anything else would be too weak against the dogma.

      • I think that this time the wheels have come off yet again (somebody is clearly putting them back on again)

        i downloaded on to my kindle and read Dr Mann’s new book (The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines) yesterday, he also comments on how these stock phrases that begin in places like WTFUWT and Morano’s cess pit end up being endlessly parroted in the MSM.

        BTW – it’s a bloomin’ good and gripping read http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hockey-Stick-Climate-Wars-Dispatches/dp/023115254X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328894614&sr=1-1 I wonder whether Dr Curry will read it or stick with the GWPF propoganda pieces?

      • She’ll probably post a 1 star review.

    • The Marsupial says:
      Sorry, this is simply an ad-hominem against the Royal Society

      Sorry, no. I realize the advocacy redefinition of “ad-hominum” is “discussing malfeasance committed by a person or entity holding the set of beliefs I am advocating”, but for non-advocates, the word has a slightly different meaning.

      Just as it is hardly ad-hominum to discuss the details to the fraud when one is actually accusing someone of fraud. If you are going to play the proof by authority card by claiming some organization is a set of “experts” that supports your opinion, it is hardly ad-hominum to examine both how much expertise an organization has and how politically driven its motivations may be. In Montford’s case, he makes specific charges. In your case, you redefine ad-hominum in an attempt not not face Montford’s specifics. Guess which statement anyone who is not an advocate is going to find more persuasive.

      • Oh boy! An argument about the meaning of ad-hominem. Never seen that before in the blogosphere.

        I predict next we’ll have an argument about who has the “burden of proof,” and what comprises an “appeal to authority.”

        Of course, that all those definitions will align with orientation in the climate debate is purely coincidental.

      • Dikran Marsupial

        Yawn. The point is that it is merely an attack on the source of an argument in place of an attack on the content of the argument. This is normally an implicit admission that a meaningful attack on the content could not me made. Ultra-pedantic quibbling regarding the definition of ad-hominem changes that not one iota.

        A refutation of the RS statement would be of interest, accusations of bias are not. It would be easy to make similar accusations against the GWPF, but at the end of the day the thing that matters is whether the science is correct, and that is what we should be discussing

      • The Marsupial says:
        but at the end of the day the thing that matters is whether the science is correct, and that is what we should be discussing

        Actually, I don’t think I could agree more. However, that doesn’t seem to be the general pattern of this debate. Montford’s work doesn’t in fact address the physics. Montford’s work addresses the propaganda. This only has bearing if some party is arguing from authority. If you want to argue the science, it says very little. On the other hand, if you are arguing that there is no bias or that systematic propaganda is not being spewed from public organizations, it clearly counters those arguments.

        I suppose this means some place like SkepticalScience is going to pull its consensus statements as meaningless ? They seem to indicates that it actually means something. Montford’s work merely indicates it means much less than is claimed.

      • “Yawn. The point is that it is merely an attack on the source of an argument in place of an attack on the content of the argument. ”

        Is that a principle that you apply equally in all cases?

  17. In case anyone is looking for Montford’s report and getting a 404 error, it’s now at

    http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/montford-royal_society.pdf

  18. Joerg Habermann

    more of that (retro)modern claptrap. truth to power. science vs. politics.
    … now prescribe some post-normal science and the silly game continues. endlessly, as it were.

  19. Most politicians were first lawyers before they were lawmakers. Lawyers in a courtroom know they can almost always find an expert witness to support their side of the case, no matter what side they are on. It is no surprise then that the “expert witness” has gone from providing support in a narrow legal setting to a broad policy setting. When science becomes the source of support as opposed to enlightenment it starts to resemble the role religion played in Karl Marx’s writings. It becomes the opiate to force people to accept extraordinarily painful solutions promulgated by those most vocal sounding the alarm.

  20. Maybe it’s time to convene a new society?

    I know of a very wealthy lady in Australia who’d probably kick start it with a few million

  21. We, all of us, wait for that Hal Lewis moment when he captured the spirit of motto of the Royal Society and delievered in front of the AGU and I think somewhat captures the thought processes preceding the conversions of so many scientists–like Lewis, Curry, etc.–to become skeptics of the politics of fear that has been fomented by UN-approved science authoritarians and adopted by the AGW True Believer Cult:

    “But I believe that when the house is burning, offense is a very small price to pay for saving the family. And especially after learning from scientists at AGU that my worst fears are not only confirmed, but exceeded, I will bear any charge against me to prompt action.”

    Happy Friday…!

  22. The curious thing about Bob May is that he has for some years (since he was Government science advisor over ten years ago) been writing and speaking about Science Advice and Policy Making.
    In his talks and in this paper he discusses the importance of complete openness, and consulting widely, and even says that one should actively seek out dissenting opinions.

    Yet under his leadership the Royal Society seems to have followed an orthogonal policy (eg paras 34, 41 of Montford’s report).

  23. I see Andrew Montford has only partially quoted my favourite H L Mencken saying, in full it is this;

    ‘The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    I think the word ‘politics; can be very widely drawn and should include all those seeking to make a point which promotes their viewpoint, not that the IPCC or its authors would ever do that of course. Sorry Joshua, if you want to deconstruct that I’m going to be out this evening. To a restaurant, seeing as you ask.
    tonyb

  24. We will have made some progress in the fields of philosophy, sociology and psychology — in addition to statistics and good old common sense — when everyone undertands and no one denies that MBH 98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) was scientific fraud,

    • It’s hard to think this pig of theory could have survived a 1955 peer review. Then again the money and politics (social rot) were not as advanced.

  25. The why is easily answered if you believe this is the appropriate role for “Learned Societies” like the
    Royal Society.
    ”This, as I see it, is one of the primary responsibilities of a national academy of science in the 21st Century – to be honest and open in our recognition of the shifting politics of knowledge. To ask and to help answer the burning social, ethical and political questions raised by and for science today.”
    James Wilsdon, Director of the Science Policy Centre at the Royal Society since 2008
    Now contrast that statement with the description of the Royal Societies Corporate Network and tell me if you don’t think they have may have lost their way.

    The independence of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Centre is fundamental to the authority and influence with which we offer our advice. The Science Policy Centre is funded primarily by private sources and the Society’s endowment. To expand the corporate links of the Centre and sustainably manage its activities, the Society has established a Corporate Network; bringing together academic and industrial leadership in an independent and influential forum.
    The Society seeks leading companies to actively participate in the work of the Centre and contribute insights, expertise and support.
    These partnerships may include:
     involvement in horizon scanning and identifying relevant policy issues
     providing evidence and input into policy inquiries as needed
     briefings on policy issues
     annual meetings with key staff of the centre to review progress and update on emerging issues
     reserved tickets for key events such as the launch of reports, annual Royal Society Science Policy Centre debate, monthly PolicyLab meetings.
    The Centre will also benefit from the Network in a number of ways including: a better understanding of corporate drivers, information about emerging issues, dissemination of policy messages and a source of advice on private sector issues.
    http://royalsociety.org/corporate-network/

  26. The pernicious effect of CO2 obsession requires rewriting science procedure, abandonment of ethics, inversion of the null hypothesis, and absolute adherence to apocalyptic claptrap of a quality to shame a Jehovah’s Witness.
    Magical thinking, conspiratorial fantasies, destruction and suppression of skeptics and imposition of censorship are just a few of the tools AGW beleivers rely on to sustain their movement.

    • Succinctly put :)

      • Louise -

        “I have thigh length leather boots and a whip if anyone wants to borrow them?”

        No, but would like to borrow you in them. :-)

      • Blast! The complexity of these threads could seriously harm my social life!

      • cui bono – you actually had me really laghing out loud then, priceless :-D

      • cui b,

        Stand in line. Louise supports nuclear power and therefore the sort of lovely lady I like to associate with. (Even more so if she wears them boots.)

    • Having had recent ‘engagements’ with two of the more thoughtful members of the AGW faith, I have been struck by just how little knowledge they have of the real basis of their understanding, and how ‘inward looking’ their belief system is.

      Perhaps this is true of any faith system that perceives itself (rightly or wrongly) to be ‘under siege’. Others with greater knowledge of these phenomena may be able to help us here.

      But they seem genuinely incapable of conceptualising even the idea that there may be other ways of looking at the world than the IPCC way …even down to the meaning of the words that are used.

      I seem to remember that Judith wrote a powerful piece a while back describing her gradual conversion from True Believer to her now more sceptical stance. And the guy in Germany has just done much the same.

      It may that all sparks of independent though have not yet been extinguished in the GW camp and that we shall see more making the painful choice to be less trusting and more sceptical. I hope so though whether there are any left in the RS remains a moot point.

      • Latimer, when you say “Having had recent ‘engagements’ with two of the more thoughtful members of the AGW faith”, if you’re talking about Dirkan Marsupial and Chris Ho-Stuart, you obviously got a spanking and we all watched it happen.

        You seem as fond of re-writing history as the next denier.

      • Louise,
        You seem particuarly sour today. Is everything OK in academic fantasy land?

      • hunter – I work (as a psychologist) in a large, global defence company. F knows how you came to think I’m an academic. I vote right wing, I support nuclear energy, I work ‘selling arms’, I favour market forces and am against unnecessary government intrusion. We realists don’t all fit your rage tinted spectacle view of the world.

      • ceteris non paribus


        Having had recent ‘engagements’ with two of the more thoughtful members of the AGW faith, I have been struck by just how little knowledge they have of the real basis of their understanding, and how ‘inward looking’ their belief system is.

        N = 2.

        Keep up the good work.

      • ceteris non paribus


        I vote right wing, I support nuclear energy, I work ‘selling arms’, I favour market forces and am against unnecessary government intrusion. We realists don’t all fit your rage tinted spectacle view of the world.

        And you spell “favour” correctly. Will you marry me? :-)

      • ceteris non paribus- possibly, what can you offer ;-)

        I did mention I’m a capitalist?

      • ceteris non paribus


        - what can you offer ;-)
        I did mention I’m a capitalist?

        Everyone’s a capitalist.
        Realists, however, are becoming exceedingly rare.

        I can offer you the whole universe, my darling. ;-)

      • I can offer you the whole universe

        You can offer all you want but, actually, I own the whole place ;-)

      • @louise

        Loth though I am to interrupt our first live ‘Climate Etc’ romance, I’ll just note that I feel entirely ‘unspanked’ by Chris H-S. Nor do I recall having any interaction at all with the other guy you mention. He was not who I had in mind.

        So I fear you are full of dreams today. Perhaps one day they will come true. But not right now.

      • I’ll just note that I feel entirely ‘unspanked’ by Chris H-S.

        Heh. Looks like Latimer just wants to get spanked harder.

      • Ah! Romance and spanking. All very British!

      • Joshua – you’ve clearly heard about Englishmen

        [ps - a certain poster here who recently said that he was English Public School educated will enlighten the uncertain]

        [pps - in UK, public school actually means private (fee paying) school whereas taxpayer funded school is called state school]

        [ppps - privately educated means professional tutor at home]

      • ceteris non paribus


        …our first live ‘Climate Etc’ romance…

        Really? – I must say I’m disappointed in you ‘denizens’ people.
        This blog was started in Sept 2010.
        Spankings for everyone.

      • I have thigh length leather boots and a whip if anyone wants to borrow them?

        hunter?

      • Louise,
        While your offer would be much better if you were the one wearing/wielding them, I am certain you are probably missing my original point.
        But now you have gone and distracted me.

      • Louise,

        You are loking better and better.

        And I haven’t even started drinking.

    • Hunter,

      Instead of digressing into details many skeptics can agree on why not call Dr. Curry out for what is clearly a gratuitous in reference as to “why” RS is the way Montford claims in such a “lucidly” fashion??

      Doesn’t this insult your intelligence?

      Of course she should spell it out. That’s how real change happens.

      • cwon14,
        Have you read “Lysistrata”? I would suggest that Dr. Curry and the other women skeptic academics are doing a very fresh and up todate version of the original. I am not going to get in her way.
        :^_)

  27. The Global Warming Policy Foundation has restored the original link to the report. Thanks Philipp and Ola.

  28. “I stated that I felt that issues of institutional integrity and responsibility were arguably issues of greater concern than the ethics and behavior of individual scientists.” I would go much further with this and suggest that it is inescapable that institutional integrity and responsibility of institutions in general derives from their constituents (i.e. individual scientists). Further and speaking from my own value system, this strikes me as a far greater problem than anything seen manifesting in meteorology. Are we to make life and culture decisions while standing on a foundation of group think rather than what science and math tell us, even if they tell us plainly and demonstrably that our projections are wrong? It is particularly disturbing as a precedent projected to future scientific discourse. Imagine genetic science based on the group think of a group of biologists while substantial questions of both ethics and science remain. It seems vague today but human nature is such that all will want to claim the power and prestige now held by group think meteorologists.

  29. Aside from wishing for a better class of troll than Joshua, why can’t Dr. Curry a lifetime member of the climate science community and a current debate focal point make specific comments as to the “why” question at RS and what the overly polite crux of the Montford article are?

    Why is this a blank that somebody else has to speculate on? How does the board just accept such a lame and gratuitous question about “why” the RS is a stacked warming deck of cards? How many people here really don’t know how/why professional and interest groups have been politically radicalized in the past 50 years on any number of topics and AGW in particular?

    More board make-believe.

    I don’t think fear of the Warming Tarpian Rock explains it at all but I would rather hear it directly from Dr. Curry. It couldn’t be “lucid” unless she does know. Why is this so hard a bridge to cross? The “why” question of the RS is a layup, the “why” question regarding Dr. Curry’s obfuscation is something else and very counter productive to reforms she claims to advocate. I can not believe I’m the only one who calls her out on this practice where wimpering alleged “skeptics” (useful idiots) abound.

    I will say this, “why” is a far better question than the sheer recording of facts by Montford. James Inhofe, Marc Morano or as James Dilingpole articulates below are far closer to the mark on the drivers;

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100136432/the-royal-society-is-a-joke/

  30. Judith, you ask “Why?”. I have just been for a long walk on a gorgeous winter day here in Ottawa, and did a lot of thinking. Maybe I can give you an answer. It is because we now have a culture that believes that, as long as you dont get caught, it is alright to lie, cheat and steal; just so long as you are on the winning side, and cross the finish line first.

    It was not always like this. I was educated at an English Public School, where we were taught that doing things the right way, was more important than winning. I was horrified to find out, when I first started looking at CAGW, that there is virtually no measured data to support this hypothesis. That Gavin Schmidt claimed that the “sweet spot” for the predictions of climate models was 30 years in the future. That one of the key numbers, no-feedback climate sensitivity, can never be measured. I could not understand how any physicist could have anything to do with this sort of nonsense.

    What I guess happened with the Royal Society, was that they forgot what was the right way of doing things, and were seduced into wanting to be on the winning side. They saw how much money was going to be available, and nailed their colors to the mast in support of CAGW. Now,, of course, it is too late for them. I also suspect the same sort of thing happend to you. Like St. Paul, you had a Road to Damascus moment during Climategate. Now let us hope you will realise the reason “Why?”, and do the right thing.

    Let me finish with a quotation from Grantland Rice.

    “For When the One Great Scorer
    comes to write against your name,
    He writes – not that you Won or Lost
    but How You Played the Game.”

    • Jim, respectfully;

      “It is because we now have a culture that believes that, as long as you dont get caught, it is alright to lie, cheat and steal; just so long as you are on the winning side, and cross the finish line first.”

      It isn’t that those actions can’t be found in the world. The point is they are rationalized by ideals that perhaps we agree in this case are false. AGW activity is a political, moral and social substuition of pro-Western or even traditional religions for many involved in it. They would never judge their own actions in the light you portray. It’s characterized by pompous self-rightiousness in the mainstream levels and even most of the leadership. Some obviously know better and are attached for cynical opportunism like money. Most rhyme with standard 20th century Progressivism and expert authority overtaking the perceived “establishment”. It’s about social and political power lust more than any single feature.

      This is why exposing hypocrisy, corruption and/or fraud really has a very minimal impact on the core of the movement members themselves. In their own minds they are morally superior like Crusaders, those who don’t accept the culture they offer are mere Pagans who have no right to judge the “greater common good” that indemnifies any tactic or rationalization required to advance the “cause”. I think it’s important to understand the self-indulgent hubris and self-delusions for what they are in the minds of the AGW promoters. They are on a sacred mission.

      At some level a core is going down the way of Zealots at Masada. It’s a mistake though to just focus on the rationalized bad behavior while ignoring the core drivers while inane are spiritual in nature.

      Dr. Curry is far from Damascus. She can’t even talk about common cultures that are at RS directly and are obvious. How long are you going to support such a politically correct board protocal before you say something? Asking “why” RS is this way is well reported. Google can solve this imagined mystery in 30 minutes starting from near zero. It’s just more shilly-shally and you should say so. It isn’t about her politics to demand what is obvious to observe about the RS leadership. There are no excuses for this silence policy. It’s just as bad as some of the social faults you listed.

      • cwon14, you write “Dr. Curry is far from Damascus.”

        Respectfully. I have the utmost regard for Dr. Curry, and under no circumstances will I say anything to her detriment. All I can hope, is that she will listen to reason, and change her mind of her own accord.

    • ceteris non paribus

      Jim Cripwell,

      You don the mantle of scientific respectability with all the practiced skill of someone who is completely unaware of how ridiculous he appears to scientifically informed people.

      On the one hand we have the Royal Society, and all the other national and international scientific bodies of the planet, thousands of peer-reviewed publications, and great heaps of supporting empirical evidence, almost all of which is public.

      On the other hand we have you with your English Public School morality-lesson, all “horrified”, and not understanding “how any physicist could have anything to do with this sort of nonsense”.

      Your concern trolling has been noted.

      • Back to self-selected consensus and profession of authority.

        It’s a joke CNP;

        Read it from your own Fritz Vahrenholt; “I feel duped by climate science”;

        http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,813814,00.html

        It’s pretty paltry stuff, sure to outrage Greenshirts here. My favorite observation;

        “Of the 34 supposedly independent members who write the synthesis report for politicians, almost a third are associated with environmental organizations like Greenpeace or the WWF. Strange, isn’t it?”

        Right! “Strange”. Like lightning striking twice!

        It’s all about the rhetorical protocal. Maybe Montford was talking about right-wing extremists running RS? Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?

      • ceteris,

        If I could interrupt your wooing of the Mann-buying Louise for a moment, we do have “great heaps” of something, but it’s not supporting evidence, and 50,000 statements on AGW from the bien-pensant Guardianista pseudo-intellectual Borg-assimilated academies and societies will not make it so.

        There, that feels much better.

        Btw, speaking as a pro-nuclear capitalist with interests in corporate psychology and arms sales, do you think I stand a chance with Louise? Thought not. :-)

      • ceteris non paribus

        cwin14:

        Back to self-selected consensus and profession of authority.

        And who appointed you?

        cui bono:

        …the Mann-buying Louise…

        OK – That’s actually pretty funny.

      • CNP you write “and great heaps of supporting empirical evidence,”

        Please supply me with the empirical evidence that claims the no-feedback climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is 1.2 C. Then let us talk.

      • ceteris non paribus

        Jim Cripwell,

        If you really cared about this subject beyond the level of the platitudes you’ve served up so far, you would do some serious research instead defiantly expecting others to do it for you.

        I have no intention of playing stupid “I demand this” games. I tried to talk with you previously on this blog, and supplied several references in the process, only to have the word “nonsense” tossed back at me as though you had made some sort of meaningful point. Juvenile.

      • CNP you write “If you really cared about this subject beyond the level of the platitudes you’ve served up so far, you would do some serious research instead defiantly expecting others to do it for you.”

        I have done the research, and it is impossible for there to be any empirical data that provides a numerical value for the no-feedback climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2. That is the whole point. You claim there is a lot of empirical data. This is simply untrue; it is a load of nonsense (There I have said it again). In the really vital parts of the physics which claims to prove that CAGW is real there is NO empirical data at all.

        If you dont want to have the word “nonsense” tossed back at you, then I suggest you stop talking nonsense.

    • Jim

      I concur with your general sentiments and with the spirit of that poem. Sometimes you have to do something because it is the right thing to do.
      Tonyb

  31. George Carlin is right…

  32. This article by the GWPF* features on Bishop Hill, Climate Audit, James Dellignpole’s Blog and now here.

    Does this mean that any attempt at pretense of neutral or luke warming has now been discarded? Has Dr Curry now become a fully fledged member of the denialati?

    *GWPF – noted for their impartiality?

    or not?

    • Louise,
      And you are implying the CRU self-described ‘team’ is impartial?

      • Where in my post did I mention CRU or the ‘team’?

        I did mention GWPF, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill and James Delingpole – do you recognise that these blogs have a particlular view-point?

        Do you acknowledge that Dr Curry’s blog is one with a similar view-point to these?

      • Louise,
        Since you are deciding that it is a problem if someone is not impartial, I would like to understand your definition of impartial.
        I think lumping dr. Curry into the other categories is mor an expression a perception problem of yours.

      • hunter – I have ‘lumped’ together blogs that have all featured the GWPF article, that is a specific feature. I haven’t grouped these blogs in any other way so it isn’t a personal expression at all.

      • How can what you write not be a self expression?

      • hunter, the blogs that I ‘lumped’ together had one thing in common – they featured the GWPF piece. That is not ‘self expression’ on my part but it is my noticing of a common feature. I can’t say they all featured cookie recipes or slimming tips because they didn’t. They DID all feature the GWPF piece. This is one thing that I have noticed that they have in common with each other. How is that my self expression?

        [if I notice that cars have four wheels and bicycles have two wheels is that self expression?]

    • The lukerati mostly hang out at Lucia’s
      all the conspiratorial crap from both sides is boring.

    • So, as this has now, by your definition, become a denialist blog, can we assume you will no longer be happy to have your name associated with it?

      We will miss you.

  33. You ask the question “why?” I believe you have already given the answer way back when, when you described the Team’s behavior as “tribal;” and so it is. A tribe is a narrow vertical organizational structure run by an oligarchy with a titular head. All resources flow to the top and favors and some resources are dispensed for an acknowledgement of who is boss. The titular head is either hereditary or closely follows pre-determined lines. Human social structure has been tribal for tens of thousands of years and is designed to preserve the status quo for each constituency. At times there comes a charismatic figure or, as in this case, a particular event that galvanizes the constituency to reshuffle the leadership. In the news today, “the Arab Spring.” Once one oligarchy is displaced, the scramble to establish a new and improved oligarchy draws upon the hostilities and tribal lines fermenting for decades into a bloody fight until a compromise candidate arises and unites some of the tribes, establishes the new order, and dispenses favors and resources accordingly. There are winners and losers. The losers are identified, vilified, and ostracized. Witness the inhabitants of the City of Homs in Syria. Witness the academics, bureaucrats, politicians, media personalities, etc who have lined up under the truth of climate change. In reality, it is little more than the ability to control others, and that is the answer to “why?” Scientists are no more or less human, have learned the same social lessons during their upbringing, than any of the rest of the constituency. For the Royal Society to change requires either a charismatic leader, or an event like snow, which it is currently doing outside my window, and the cold, as in a bucket of cold water, to be thrown on the climate hot house conjecture.

    • One repeated word: paragraphs!!

      • My first thought too. It’s Friday night and I’m drinking beer here, I need all the help I can get.

      • Louise,
        By the way, “rage”?
        How can I be as you claim when you have me laughing so much?

      • hunter – it’s the beer talking

      • or the cat

      • Louise,
        I understand completely. Enjoy your beer, cats, boots and whips. A great children’s fairy tale comes to mind, but that would get me banned.
        Cheers,

      • @louise

        The beer explains the increasing disjoint between how you perceive your contributions tonight and reality.

        Seek help now.

        Definition of an alcoholic…one who drinks more than their psychologist.

        Seek help now.

      • Don’t be a sore loser Latimer (put the yellow pages down the back of your trousers first next time).

      • Ms. Jones, my third grade teacher tried mightily to get me to make my writing structurally more readable. I freely admit that I have failed. “Its not your fault Ms. Jones.”

      • Man Latimer,

        What’s with your hard-on against Louise?

        Or is that it?

      • If Latimer told Louise that she has nice body, would she hold it against him?

      • ‘If Latimer told Louise that she has nice body, would she hold it against him?’

        Only if I couldn’t outrun the flying pigs to escape.

      • Very few men enjoy a public whipping

        [in private however......]

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are 2 defining attributes of the internet – misinformation and cyber sex. Please – try not to stray too far into the latter.

      • Mm. Just what the Internet needs – another adult chat room.

        Chief – that’s what Louise calls herself professionally – Miss Information.
        You (thwack) will (thwack) believe (thwack) in the (thwack) Hockey Stick (thwack)….

      • Good grief – Latimer got a public whipping on the previous but one thread – there for all to see and not even dished out by me.

        He’s now squealing and trying to pretend it didn’t happen. Ususal denier practices, what’s the big deal?

      • @Louise

        A wise man advised that it is not a good idea to blog when pissed or stoned.

        Your hangover will eventually go away. But your drunken remarks will stay in cyberspace for all to see forever.

        Think on’t.

      • Latimer – I can handle one bottle of Speckled Hen thanks very much, doesn’t alter the fact that Chris Ho-Stuart spanked your ass good style for all to see.

      • For Pete’s sake will one of you young studs on this blog please lay some raunchy American-style dirty-talk on Louise? I mean, she’s beggin’ for it, can’t you see? Let me tell you about English girls–they really eat that stuff up! Can’t get enough of it! I mean like it drives them totally crazy and all! An endearing quality, really–some fond memories there.

  34. Sadly, I suspect it takes a generational change for big ideas to change. Ideas die whne people do and fresh minds can start with better ideas.

    How often in history do powerbrokers change their minds? Politicians can when faced with political defeat. Scientists face no such threat or accountability.

    • And sadly, history is replete with examples of fresh minds with better ideas who were nailed to a cross by an ignorant and superstitious consensus with too much power and more ideology than science to guide their actions. AGW theory is not the first hoax to be accepted as fact but the hoax was exposed much more quickly than, for example, the Piltdown Man hoax.

  35. “Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from? I am trying to understand this.”

    Perhaps he has reviewed the growing body of evidence that the climate is changing now, just as predicted by the climate scientists.

    This isn’t really that hard, you know.

    • Holy stick

      Surely you do not believe that climate change is unique to our time?
      Tonyb

    • When has the climate not changed? Assuming you could stop climate change what would you pick as the ideal global agerage temperature?

      • In those other times humans were not burning massive amounts of fossil fuels and putting enough CO2 into the atmosphere to predictably cause the global warming which is happening now. If you went and read some real science instead of blogging denier lies, you would figure that out. Climate changes for various reasons, but no WE are the main reason our climate is changing.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

        Wagathon a lower temperature than we are at right now, since our agriculture is already being disrupted by climate change and extreme weather events. Check out Texas, which is now restricting water usage because the Ogallalla aquifer is so low.

      • Holly has religion Wag.

        I’m also betting she has electricity and probably natural gas as well. In other words, she doesn’t know what it means to be cold because she lives in a modern society that exists in large part due to the abundance of inexpensive energy.

      • Holly, skepticalscience is pure propaganda.

        You check out the Balkans and the brutal cold snap combined with heavy snow. No end in sight and it’s on the edge of collapse (power generation and distribution). No man alive here has ever seen anything like this. No one dares to even mention global warming and it seems that people are finally waking up. People are freezing to death here.

      • Edim – try ignoring the commentry at Skeptical Science and just follow the many links they include to the peer reviewed literature. That’s what I do at all sites, this one included. if they can’t go back to the literature to support their position then they don’t have a position worth arguiing.

        It doesn’t matter who ‘owns’ the site if they link to the original science. Try using that bench-mark. It works quite well (i.e. GWPF, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill and lately this blog refer to opinon pieces rather than the science, says it all really).

      • Edim, I’m sorry for the people who have died from the cold there, but you need to understand that it may be a result of global warming, which has different effects in different places. The Arctic has been warming faster than other parts of the world, and the Arctic ice melting may be affecting the movement of air so that more Arctic air is going to Europe:

        http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/item/jaiser_et_al/?tx_list_pi1%5Bmode%5D=6&cHash=d713b40c5778fa6fe4a0c2ab991af5a0

        http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2003

        I’m in western Canada and it has been an unusually warm and dry winter here.

      • Louise, thanks no (I tried). In climate “science” peer reviewed means approved by the Team, more or less. Very little science and very much paradigm gate-keeping. I believe in the ignorance of experts.

        I looked into CO2GW and it’s pseudo-science, IMO.

      • Edim – I too am Europe based and I still find plenty of references to anthropogenic CO2 driven climate change in the main stream media, e.g. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/science-behind-the-big-freeze-is-climate-change-bringing-the-arctic-to-europe-6358928.html?origin=internalSearch

      • I believe in the ignorance of experts.

        Me too, but not so much in the expertise of the ignorant.

      • Louise –

        The Independent has been rounded on by more commentators than I can list for that stupid article. Meanwhile Romm is complaining that the warm weather in the lower 48 States should have been attributed to AGW by the MSM.

        So, as usual, freeze or fry, it’s always AGW.

      • Tonyb:

        “…Even more worrisome, the draining of the High Plains water account has picked up speed. The average annual depletion rate between 2000 and 2007 was more than twice that during the previous fifty years. The depletion is most severe in the southern portion of the aquifer, especially in Texas, where the water table beneath sizeable areas has dropped 100-150 feet; in smaller pockets, it has dropped more than 150 feet.

        Unfortunately, that water is not coming back any time soon. The Ogallala filled slowly during the Ice Age tens of thousands of years ago. The southern portions get very little recharge today…”

        http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/07/texas-water-district-acts-to-slow-depletion-of-the-ogallala-aquifer/

        Funny, they don’t seem to think cycles are an adequate explanation; even the wiki article did not say that. Did you even bother to read the wiki article which talked about a lot more than cycles, such as “depletion”? Or did you just decide to dishonestly describe what it said?

      • cui bono, my point was that Edim’s comment of “No one dares to even mention global warming” is patently not true. Some elements of MSM are clearly mentioning it, regardless of whether they are then castigated or not.

        Edim was clearly over stating his case, a strategy that doesn’t work from either perspective.

      • And the fact that a lot of skeptical commenters objected to the article is entirely unsurprising and entirely meaningless.

      • Louise, yes I know and that’s the problem. The propaganda was even worse here, because much less people dared to question the “science” from the “developed” world. It was very Orwellian. But yesterday I watched the news and something was different. Like I said, the power generation/distribution is on the edge of collapse and they showed a big surface coal mine, without any carbon demonizing and GW verbiage. Poor workers are trying to mine the coal under unbelievable circumstances (-25 °C, strong winds, heavy machinery and equipment frozen). People are increasingly feeling duped. This is the opposite of what experts predicted. There are no environmentalists in a** freezing times.

      • Edim, read my post above and the links to the scientific studies about how melting Arctic ice makes the atmosphere unstable. The cold in your region comes from the Arctic because of that. The climate is changing, you just are not willing to learn how it affects different places.

      • Liberal utopianism creates the kind of superstition and ignorance that can only with, for example, the elderly in the UK burning books in the winter to keep warm.

    • Holy,
      One of the criticisms of the WSJ letter by the skeptics was that some of the letter’s signatories were not climate scientists.

      • What does this even mean? It’s irrelevant.

      • Holly stick
        Even Wikipedia cite the cycles of drought of the aquifer. It is being overused by too many people, what’s that got to do with agw?. Please cite your sources of doom so we can all read them.
        Tonyb

      • Tonyb, my response is above.

        hunter, I mostly ignore you, you have nothing to say worth reading.

      • Holly s,
        It is completely relavant.

      • Hockey stick said to me

        ‘Did you even bother to read the wiki article which talked about a lot more than cycles, such as “depletion”? Or did you just decide to dishonestly describe what it said?

        Why are you accusing me of bad faith? Here is the wiki article. It says exactly what I said. Why would I incorrectly cite something people can so easily check?

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

        Here is a further technical article which says exactly what I said and much more than I had time for. I quote some parts as follows

        http://www.kerrcenter.com/publications/ogallala_aquifer.pdf

        “While in 1950 the Ogallala irrigated 3.5 million acres of farmer land, today it is irrigating 16 million acres.12 As a result of the factors discussed above, for thirty years the High Plains irrigators
        have been consuming aquifer water at a rate conservatively estimated to be ten times the rate of natural recharge.”

        Also
        “While there were approximately 54,400 acres in irrigated corn in 1991, there were approximately 90,000 acres in irrigated corn in 1998.The growth of intensive hog operations contributed to a 66% increase in livestock water use between 1990 and 1995”

        “Sustainable development is extremely important in the context of High Plains farming where the Ogallala water levels have been rapidly declining due to uncontrolled irrigation practices. Not only are the water levels in these regions declining at ten times the rate of recharge, they are also losing topsoil each year. Cattle feed lots that run tens of thousands of cattle through their pens every year demand a minimum of eight to ten gallons of water per head per day. Today the plains are locked into high water consumption to grow the wheat and water the beef.”

        I don’t doubt that climate change is affecting the overall picture-the plains will have gone through numerous periods of climate change in the past with some periods wetter than others. Texas in relation to this aquifer has too many people, too much irrigated agriculture and not enough use of modern conservation methods. Hopefully that will change in the years ahead.
        tonyb

      • Holly stick
        Your nat geographic article makes one passing reference to the likely hotter drier times ahead. Why have you taken this as sure proof of agw?
        tonyb

    • Holly,

      Correct, the climate is changing now. It was changing previous to now and will continue to change into the future.

      Any other deep revelations you want to enlighten us with?

    • Holly.

      If lord May questioned AGW, you can well imagine what the attacks would be

  36. Reading a little bit of history after wonder on the origins of UK-centric global warming policy presented by Montford.

    According to Wikipedia, Al Gore was friends with Roger Revelle, a CO2 global warming theorist who died in 1991. Gore held congressional hearings into global warming in the late 1970s (multiple quotes but can’t find original source yet).

    • Did you read the book..or just the review at the website run by the main target of his criticism?

      About as much use as relying on R.M. Nixon’s review of All the President’s Men.

  37. The really sad thing here is that Dr. Paul Nurse, a renowned Nobel Prize winning biologist, would be so utterly naive to use his position as political head of the Royal Society take sides in the highly charged political battle surrounding the IPCC’s CAGW hypothesis – and then embarrass himself (and the society) in the process by blurting out scientific gibberish relating to a field of science where he knows no more than the average man on the street.

    His only solace is that other political heads of other venerable societies have fallen into the same trap..

    Max

    • His hatchet job on sceptics on Horizon was a disgrace, and amateurish to boot.

    • The sad thing is that you deluded inhabitants if this denialist/conspiracy theory bubble have lost touch with the real world and think you know more than a Nobel prize winning biologist does about science.

      When the bubble bursts will you learn? The first step is to admit you are not as smart as you thought you were, and that you were wrong. The next step is to apologize to the scientists you have libelled, to forgive yourself, and to humbly try to learn better.

      • Holly,
        If you were unable to use arguments from authority you would have nothing to say at all.
        Give it a try.
        Cheers,

      • Holly stick

        Who have I libelled and what is my theory?
        Tonyb

      • Right now it is snowing harder. This weekend is forecast to be a lot colder. The paradigm shift from global warming to global cooling is being felt directly by the larger constituency. Whenever the constituency feels the effects of colder, not warmer, then there is a regime change, political heads will roll as will the mouthpieces of the learned societies. I take no joy in the misery of others. I do glance out the window now and again though. As a suggestion, look out your window and ponder its implications.

      • Holly

        The question is who has “lost touch with the real world”: the climate scientists with their belief self-reinforcing pet models and theories, who think they have the planet obeying their every linear equation, or those of us who observe it and note that, from their point of view, it is misbehaving with a vengeance.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        “”Tonyb | February 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
        Holly stick
        Who have I libelled and what is my theory?
        Tonyb””

        Who are there libelous Hooly’s, whose phobias I must fear?

      • Holly Stick

        Winning a Nobel Prize in biology is a wonderful and remarkable achievement.

        Blathering stupidities and citing inaccuracies about our planet’s climate, a subject where he knows no more than the average guy in any pub, is a naive and dumb thing to do.

        It is really too bad that Sir Paul Nurse did such a silly thing and made a fool of himself.

        Max

    • Holly,
      He is a bloody genius at biology, but bad politics has nothing to do with biological achievement.
      There is an american saying to the effect that while a cowboy might not know much about science, he can tell the aroma of bs.
      Dr. Nurse is peddling bs.

      • “Nurse believes that scientists should speak out about science in public affairs and challenge politicians who support policies based on pseudoscience.”

        Right on!

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

      • Holly

        Couldn’t agree more. So when’s he going to start?

      • Holly – I meant when is he going to start having a go at the *real* pseudoscience de nos jours.

        Anyway, of all the accusations made against sceptics, the one that rankles most is that we are somehow ‘antiscience’.

        I have devoured science books since childhood, in all fields.

        I have bookshelves of science books from astronomy to zoology.

        I followed the progress, history and philosophy of science.

        I subscribed to CSICOPs Skeptical Inquirer which took aim at some real kooks – astrologers, spoon-benders, flying saucer nuts, parapsychologists, Californian pet-rock crystal quantum theory blah blah mystics. (As an aside on spoons, consider who was the ‘expert’ – magician/scholar James Randi or the various physicists who pronounced Uri Geller a genuine supernatural phenomenon).

        I took the opportunity at Oxford to talk to Penrose about twistor theory, 40 years before it became integral to M-theory.

        I have letters after my name, not all of them rude.

        In short, a true science geek. Not a scientist, but someone who sincerely wishes science well and is excited by it.

        All said not as a CV, but to try to convince AGW believers that this is not ‘science’ vs ‘anti-science’. It is ‘agenda pseudoscience’ vs. an integrated climate science which will be the great glory of proper climate scientists such as Dr. Curry and those who follow her over the next few decades, and who will look back at the idea of 2*CO2 = 3C as the control knob of climate as pre-Copernican.

        The sceptics want science back in the driving seat, where it belongs.

        We want our beautiful science Skoda, constantly needing thought and attention and being updated and improved.
        What we have is a Sherman tank of agenda-based rubrics riding roughshod over everybody.

        And again, just because it was a good misquote, “You shall not crucify Mankind on a cross of carbon”.

  38. That a guy of Nurse’s presumed intellectual heft can act like such a garden variety, closed minded putz is beyond depressing. I’ve been saying for a long while now that this thing has to come apart from the inside. It will happen, we all know that. It’s just a question of when. Meanwhile, we need more Harold Lewises, and Judith Curry’s, and Fritz Vahrenholt’s, and Martin Hovlands, and more…many more….letters to the editor signed by credible, credentialed, respected scientists.

    • Perhaps we can detect some change in the intellectual atmosphere.

      The Indy was the only paper to mention AGW re the Great Freeze. Even the Guardian is reporting doubts about Himalayan ice loss. Apparently the US media have not mentioned AGW re the mild winter over there (Romm, see above).

      The first sign that the MSM has begun to have doubts about a story is when they cease to mention it.

      The European / UK politicians are starting to annoy the Greens with changes in subsidy policies.

      A few scientists and environmentalists are going apostate.

      Something may be stirring, but the last bastion to admit any change is required will be the Consensus Science lobby, including the RS. That will last for decades, whatever the facts. Too much is invested….

      • You forgot to say the final nail’s in the coffin and the wheels are coming off. Come on, keep up with the latest denialist propaganda!

      • Couldn’t agree more, cui. Even as recently last year, I’m betting the NYT’s would have had a feature piece on the warm winter sprinkled liberally with quotes from the usual suspects to the effect that global warming was responsible. The silence is telling, and Mann and co. can hear it just as acutely as you and I. Hence the outrage…”journalistic malpractice”…re the lack of attribution.

        Something is indeed afoot. I think the recent tit for tat in the WSJ was significant.

        But as for the NYT”s actually admitting the science isn’t settled after all, Canada and the northern parts of the U.S. will have to be back under a mile of ice for that to happen…They’re just too deeply invested as you say. There’s no going back.

      • Holly – actually I don’t believe either wheels or nails. In a previous thread I said AGW was a shape-shifting monster that couldn’t be killed. Just wait and see, in 5 years time you’ll be telling us that cold is the new warm, and CO2 coagulates with aerosols to destroy the world, or whatever Hansen or Trenberths latest theory happens to be….

        Pokerguy – thanks. This thing is going to be a Hydra to deal with, but maybe the press is showing a bit more circumspection and the public..well, I think the public are just plain getting fed up with doom!

    • pokerguy, do you really think you are smarter than Nurse? What have you accomplished? Have you ever even passed a science course in school?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  39. No, I do not think I’m smarter than Nurse. How about this Holly, we’ll give everyone in the world an IQ test and we’ll put all those who score over 150 in charge of the rest of us. How do you suppose that would work out?

    • Better than a bunch of denialist bubble inhabitants who hang around together telling each other how you’re so much smarter than scientists that you are deluded enough to believe such nonsense.

      • Ok, try replacing ‘scientists’ with ‘economists’, and go back a few years.

        Now slanging match so exiting.
        No-one is against experts, Holly, providing they really are.

      • Now were getting to the real grist of the mill. A suprme arrogance displayed by the CAGW hangers on. Intellegence by association. We all want to be the smartest person in the room right? Right Holly? Right Louise?

      • Intellegence by association.

        That’s a good one.

        Mention that one to Judith the next time she appeals to Freeman Dyson’s authority, will ya?

  40. Markus Fitzhenry

    SUGGESTION:
    How to tell somebody why you don’t believe in AGW.

    Pherifical matters have always been a distraction to the main issue;

    Science, won the day for scepticism, the scientific method when properly applied won the day. It is the solid foundation that sceptics are able to base their argument upon.

    Science can’t be politicised, truth of fact can’t be denied, a syntax of logic will always destroy beliefs that are without truth.

    The Science says:

    Pressure is the required variable only if one compares Atmosheric Thermal Enhancement across planets. For any individual planet, it is the atmospheric mass that effectively controls tremal enhancement. There is no confusion with the pressure-controlled lapse rate with the atmosphere of a given planet.

    Why Now? It’s the science;

    • The climate of Earths’ atmosphere results from a formation of a climate machine by combining solar isolation and force of pressure. Coupled with spatio-temporal chaotic systems of irradiation and radiation of surface and atmosphere, dynamic heat distributions of oceans, a multiple pole thermodynamic atmosphere, with a gravitational velocity and planetary harmonics, spinning on an uneven axis around a Sun, with fluctuation of solar isolation, immersed in a space that has galactic electromagnetic winds.

    • The physical construct of a planet, with or without an atmosphere, retains ancient energy by the force of pressure on its mass. Otherwise planets could not exist.

    • Planets attract cold by the density of its mass and distribute heat by the dynamics of mass. Space attracts heat by the sparsest of its mass.

    • Heat rises, cool sinks. Atmosphere cannot back radiate heat to a warmer surface than the atmosphere which, cools with height. Thermodynamic gas laws describe the mechanisms of weather in the troposphere.

    Ref: General Remarks on the Temperature of the Terrestrial Globe and the Planetary Spaces; by Baron Fourier.

    The pressure of the atmosphere and bodies of water, has the general effect to render the distribution of heat more uniform. In the ocean and in the lakes, the coldest particles, or rather those whose density is the greatest, are continually tending downwards, and the motion of heat depending on this cause is much more rapid than that which takes place in solid masses in consequence of their connecting power. The mathematical examination of this effect would require exact and numerous observations. These would enable us to understand how this internal motion prevents the internal heat of the globe from becoming sensible in deep waters.

    Where NASA got the science wrong:

    Arrhenious in 1897 screwed up about the conservation of energy in gaseous mass , he flipped out about the relationship of carbon to life in a stupid greenhouse.

    Dopey Hansen in the early 80’s flipped out about Arrhenious’ mistake and caused all his stupid mates to believe in an invalid scientific principle.

    They spent billions in chasing argumentum ad populum. When, if they had followed a correct method of science, by applying scepticism, they would have found the answer that has been there, right under their noses.

    Climate is a multidisciplinary field of science, and cannot be treated as a pseudoscience, necessary of propitiation. Science will correct this fatal mistake.

    The force of pressure encloses our atmosphere not a greenhouse.
    So, when somebody asks why you don’t believe in AGW you can say;

    “It’s the science, stupid.”

    Ike Eisenhower gave a warning, philosophers expressed it, we fell for it. This time it came in the cloak of science

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin’.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

  41. Judith,

    Your finishing paragraph was interesting:

    “I encountered Lord May at the Royal Society Uncertainty Workshop, and I liked his presentation Science as Organized Skepticism. However at the end, or in the questions, he dismissed climate change skepticism. Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from? I am trying to understand this.”

    These characters are only likable in the sense that the Nazis on Hogans Heros are likable. Nazis are monsters.

    These characters Robert May, Martin Rees and Paul Nurse have taken down one of the most prestigious organizations developed by western civilization.

    The Royal Society is now a bad joke on the level of a Nazi Sitcom. This is a tragedy!

    • More lies and smears. Prove that they have done antything wrong.

      Dr, Curry, do you write that fuzzy-minded bilge in the hopes that your gullible denizens will pick up the ball and spread more lies and innuendo about decent scientists? Are you using them to act out your own hostility toward scientists who are smarter than you?

      • Holly-
        This desperate screeching more properly belongs on HP rather than here where the contributors are trying to be centered on the science. You do your cause no good by engaging in such low brow attacks

      • dennis, I just replied to a post that said “The Royal Society is now a bad joke on the level of a Nazi Sitcom ”

        Why aren’t you complaining at the idiot who wrote that? You think that was centered on science?

      • Holly stick

        Tom’s comments above were in poor taste and pointless.The Royal Society has not always lived up to its original ideals but to liken them to a nazi sitcom is nonsensical.

        I have replied to your aquifer concerns upthread. Please do not accuse me of bad faith and learn to differentiate betwen the different varieties of sceptics that are present on any blog such as this one.
        tonyb

      • You do your cause no good by engaging in such low brow attacks

        Outstanding.

        Dennis actually had to scroll past Tom’s Nazi comparison to make that comment to Holly.

        Spectacular.

      • Alright, tonyb, I’m sorry for implying you were arguing in bad faith.

        Is the aquifer affected by AGW? Probably, in that more water is being used to mitigate the effects of drought and to fight the fires, and maybe warmer temperatures cause more evaporation, the sources of recharge water may have been. affected by AGW.

        And yes, the growth of population and more irrigation over the years is helping to drain the aquifer, and likewise the increase in population over the years means more people burning more fossil fuels and causing more AGW. You recognize one gradual change, you need to recognize the other.

      • Andrew Russell

        The Royal Society has demonstrably abandoned the requirements of the Scientific Method. It chooses to stand alongside the anti-science, anti-human promoters of CAGW. Cherry-picked data (Yamal, Graybill) – just fine with the RS. Fraudulent statistical methods (short-centered PCA) – just fine with the RS. Refusal to allow independent verification (Thompson, Mann, The Hockey Team) – just fine with the RS. Literally inverting graphs (Upside Down Tijlander) – just fine with the RS. Participating in Oxburgh’s lies about his “eleven papers selected by the Royal Society” – just fine with the RS.

        What you catastrophe-mongers hate with a passion is the light being shined under your rocks by the likes of an honest man.

      • I shouldn’t have use the term “Nazi”. They are clowns like Col. Clink from Hogans Heros. They have turned a great organization into a “bad joke” per Delingpole et al.

    • No Nazis please. There may be some neo-Malthusian intellectual thugs around, but not in the RS.

  42. Godwin!!!!

    • Holly stick

      Thank you. Whatever the merits, it’s an interesting topic and one that will be played out in more places as an ever growing population demand ever greater amounts of irrigated produce. Whether climate change brings a wetter or drier climate I suspect our water resources won’t be able to keep up in many places and will be the source of much conflict
      Tonyb

  43. I listened to most of the presentation, Science as Organized Skepticism, and was struck but a number of curious statements.

    It appears Lord May feels skepticism is important at the beginning of scientific questioning but counter productive once a consensus has been reached. He seems to feel, the conclusions reached, though based on only a partial set of proven science, out weight continued scrutiny.

    I liked the fact that he places deniers and affirmers in the same category and dismisses both in favor of what he initially describes as the skeptics who fall in between. I also thought his point about admitting the uncertainties was quite insightful.

    Yet, he sees science as a way of asking the “right” questions, on a messy existential journey towards understanding that will never be fully complete, based on predictions predicated on unproven theories to be more than a disturbing basis for policy decision making.

    Go with your gut is now the new motto for the Royal Society?

    • It works for the denizens here. Not much evidence of brains or experience coming into play.

      • That’s a fair point Holly, I need to go back and listen to the complete presentation to see how he ties this view of science into policy decision making. But, I’ve been surprised by what he’s said so far.

      • You of course are not referring to my brains nor experience, right?

      • Holly – I posted a personalised rebut to your ‘anti-science’ jibe. It’s upstream somewhere – the threads have become very convoluted again. Hope you can find and read it.

    • Go with your gut is now the new motto for the Royal Society?

      Perhaps this might explain Phil Jones’ mode of doing “peer review”**. He aspires to Fellowship in the Royal Society.

      ** For details pls see: Phil Jones keeps peer-review process humming … by using “intuition”

    • I spent the time to listen to the entire presentation and Lord May doesn’t resolve the policy decision making aspect of his presentation. In fact, he doesn’t even touch on anything more valuable than the general problem definition.

      He doesn’t subscribe to a unified methodology leaving the methods to the various disciplines as appropriate to the research yet discounts any attempt to extend an understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics for fear of undermining the foundation of modern Physics. Is this a conundrum or telling as it regards Lord May?

      His views of science at the edge of the frontier are interesting and potentially beneficial yet applied to a seemingly parochial way.

      JC Comment: “Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from? I am trying to understand this.”

      Answer: He believes the science is settled to the point of consensus and skepticism to be counter-productive at this point in the process. There is no evidence, based on his comments, that his fuzzy forecasting approach qualifies him to pass judgement on the current state of climate science and I find his comments related to noted Physicists to be telling.

      Lord May goes with his gut feeling. I’ll leave it to you to decide if its of any value.

  44. My goodness, this thread is badly infested. I am wearing out my scroll wheel. Most of this is not contributing to a slow considered productive debate and is even devoid of wit.

    • Pjb – There’s plenty of wit! Most of it about whips, admittedly…

    • It’s not an accident either pjb253, it’s the usual sink into warmist mud when faced with social corruption as displayed in the featured article. You can’t even lie that easily about cherry picked data sets or what spagetti charts might mean under this topic. Only thing to do is smear skeptics and claim intellectual superiority, the NY Times argument policy the past 90 years. “we’re smarter, I’m telling you so”. Unlimited range for Joshua or Holly Stick delusions about how talented and knowledge driven the self-selected experts (“consensus” members as long as you “believe” in the true religion) of climate science vs. the unqualifed such as Dr. Lindzen who endorsed the article and gave it technical car blanche with the preface. Really, what kind of an idiotic approach is that from the like of the Holly Mule for example?

      Note also Dr. Curry vanished. No risk of the Warmer Tarpian rock with that policy. No risk she might say the wrong thing and end up back on the cover of Climate Depot twice in a week. She threw the grenade, gave herself deniability by throwing in the gratuitious claim of ignorance as to not understanding “Why?” things might be as Mortford recorded about RS and leaves. Skeptics say very little, warming trolls go on the usual smear campaign to claim intellectual superior authority over dissent. It really isn’t the wormish behavior of the trolls that are the most disappointing. Cowardly board moderation, mushy punching bag skeptics who ask for more abuse and don’t point out what was obvious and predicted very early on about this topic. The cult of personality seems to trump the importance of the subject yet again. Who is the most to blame for today’s topic destruction? A good day for trolls you might say but actually another day of avoiding the very topic the Montford report was directed at exposing. We mustn’t talk about what the cultural actually is over at RS too directly. It’s a form of political correctness and we have a passive aggressive skeptic personality cult here as part of the enforcement wing.

  45. Fred from Canuckistan

    Wow . . 3 centuries of scientific reputation flushed down the Great Green Gaia Toilet in pursuit of the Great Eco Religious Crusade.

    These 3 should be “honored” . . . right up there with the Cambridge Five and art experts like Blunt.

    For selling England out for personal reasons and gains.

  46. Markus Fitzhenry

    Are we going to a This Week In Review, this week Judith?

    Haaaaaa….

  47. As a youngster I harboured the ambition to become a Physicist. That did not work out and I became a Software Engineer and Computer Scientist. But I retained a strong interest in Physics and Mathematics. I learnt about rigour, uncertainty, and about never exaggerating claims. This was reinforced when ever I read papers and books from the likes of Dijkstra, Feynman, Hawkins, Penrose
    and many other fine scientists. All of whom readily acknowledged the limitations of their work and competing theories. I have always thought of
    science as an honourable profession.

    So it greatly saddens me to see the Royal Society debase itself by taking sides in a scientific dispute. Breaking well thought out philosophical rules that allowed the society to flourish for hundreds of years. And now they are destroying that impartiality and for what? A little bit of power and influence
    with the Government. Although, I’m sure that they convince themselves that it is for the best of the Society and the public. But both would be best served by honest science.

    It disappoints me.

    /ikh

  48. Andrew Russell

    Judith Curry asks, “Montford has lucidly described the ‘what.’ I am trying to understand the ‘why’…”

    Money. Even Ms. Curry knows that calling out the anti-science hacks like Mann, Jones, Trenberth, Briffa, and the rest of the CAGW establishment by name would probably cause such a firestorm that she would be soon out of a job.

    Willis Eschenback identified her real problem last summer: “The problem is not bad communication. The problem is bad actions by bad actors. It is compounded by the fact that you, Judith, and the overwhelming majority of AGW climate scientists, refuse to name names.” http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/25/a-scientists-manifesto/#comment-90161

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      You don’t have to name names to have a good laugh.

    • It’s odd, I don’t think money is the primary driver. It’s zealot political culture in my book. Money matters, it’s ho-town for sure in places but the nucleus are green ideologues. She can’t seem to say that either. I have my speculations as to why this posture is maintained.

      Yes, I recall the post.

      • ” … zealot political culture …”

        A far more accurate description is the phrase moral vanity. Money/power are simply concomitant

  49. Chief Hydrologist

    I am surprised that more was not made of the Royal Society 2010 climate summary – http://royalsociety.org/policy/publications/2010/climate-change-summary-science/. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this – although one might quibble about emphasis. It includes for instance discussion of both natural variability and dynamical complexity without saying anything about how and in what ways these are manifested in the world. The summary, however, is as simple and as authoritative as it gets and it is only to be hoped that the IPCC follows suite. This should be mandatory reading for anyone wanting to comment on climate science.

    I have no problem with anyone commenting. The central methodology in the modern understanding of environmental science is the team – not necessarily or even usually all scientists. I am a bit over mad theories and procrustean fitting of science to ideological agendas.

    I have given several examples from peer reviewed science of disentangling the residual from natural variability over the period from 1945. The residual is half the usual warming trend quoted. Not an exact science – and impossible to project far into the future.

    But we are in a cool mode for another decade or three and what that does for the politics is anyone’s guess. Although it still irrational to continue to ratchet up emissions as economies grow in this century – many times over as they must and will. So it all comes down to the path chosen – technological evolution or economic and social limits? Odd – I haven’t changed my preference for which path to follow on my blue pony – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg – in more than 2 decades.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

    • Yep pardner, that’s about right. It is a truly amazing system. Complex as it is, I still think they can do a much better job once they embrace a little non-linearity :)

    • Your “absolutely nothing wrong with it” paper clearly claims that the Earth’s surface receives thermal energy which is radiated from the atmosphere.

      This would be a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      It does not happen; it cannot happen. Your paper has no veracity.

      I have said it many times and linked papers such as this* peer-reviewed published German paper which clearly explains the breach of the Second Law by such assumptions as your linked paper clearly stated. They put their foot in it.

      Learn some physics …

      * http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

      “Unfortunately, there is no source in the literature, where the greenhouse effect is introduced in harmony with the scientific standards of theoretical physics.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Smile when you say that pardner – it’s a shibboleth. Then again – it was you I ws teferring to as self taugh – and the teacher is a moron. You bring T&G here and expect that it is either new or interesting. It would be very surprising if photons weren’t randomly emitted in all directions at once by multiple molecules. But it is not surprising that you sell ad nauseum the biggest pile of horse manure it has been my misfortune to see – well since yesterday – but that’s another story.

        I wouldn’t know where to start with any rebuttal – so I am not going to even bother. You haven’t got the sense God gave you when you were born yet you come in hijacking threads for no other purpose but sharing your long winded, bombastic and falacious thought bubbles. They are not even ideas – they are random compilations of barely digested verbiage. You are so full of crap that I can barely string enough perjorative terms together to describe it.

        I am not going to bother talking to you about energy in all forms and the second law in particular. You wouldn’t know the second law if you fell off it. If you haven’t figured out how it works already. I can’t help you. You are probably congenitally unable to process higher order concepts. You have in fact the IQ of an amoeba and probably the looks as well.

        Yours sincerely

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

  50. Montford has also stated the “it has stopped warming” meme here. They do this even without waiting for the next El Nino that coincides with a solar maximum, which hasn’t happened for a decade. When that comes and breaks global temperature records, all the credibility these people had in their own and each others minds will be destroyed. They have put all their eggs in one basket on this very shortsighted issue. It will be interesting going forwards to see how they back out of it, and it should be within three to five years that they face this.

    • The temperture sets are a dead end since it has nothing to do with causation for one thing. I understand the historic link to dumb-down science which AGW largely is. Many side topics regarding corruption and fraud (Hockey stick) etc. but I agree for likely different reasons. Temp data is joke and means very little if we are considering serious climate science. Again, Dr. Lindzen explains it very well on youtube if you take the time to look.

      That it refutes the idiotic claims of the IPCC summary committees is a lift but even if the IPCC had guessed right on short-term temps the field as it exists is still pathetic. Hoi Polli gets the clear fear mongering failure of the divergence of actual vs. predicted but it’s a shallow assessment of the total climate science abuse and failure.

      Really, there are many baskets going on at once. Temp sets are only one old time area of focus. Research fraud and political corruption are larger and more important.

    • @jim d

      Maybe you were reading a different text from me. I found this (para 82)

      ‘The IPCC had last issued predictions in 2000, ahead of the Third Assessment Report, and so by 2007 there were seven
      years against which to test the central prediction of a planet warming at 2°C per century. During that time there had been no recorded warming at all, so a claim that the models were ‘reliable’ was at least questionable, if not rash. The history of the following fours years, with still no warming observed, suggests the latter’.

      I note that Montford makes no predictions about what may happen in the future and comments only about the wiseness or otherwise of the RS’s assertions at the time they were made. Whether it warms or not in the future has no effect whatsoever on that point.

      I can’t conclude that you have read it in much detail because you seem somehow to believe that his document is something other than it is. It is not a critique of climate science. It is a history and critique of the recent actions of the Royal Society and its leaders. Different thing.

      In the same way his book, The Hockey Stick Illusion is primarily a well-documented history of the saga of its construction and subsequent deconstruction. Whatever those who have only read the lurid reviews by those who haven’t read it may lead you to believe.

      • From the conclusions I can see that Montford’s criticism is devoid of science, which is not the right way to attack a scientific view. Also, the skeptics prefer to ignore natural variability in decadal time scales that cancels out in the longer term. They were very fond of natural variability while it was warming in the 90′s, but not so much is heard about it in this decade, so they need to make their minds up on this issue. They draw conclusions on statistically shaky data when they used to pride themselves on knowing how to do statistics. It is a very disappointing showing on the topic of how to interpret a noisy temperature series with due caution.

      • @jim d

        Let’s see if I can get this straight

        1. You didn’t read the whole document, you just read the conclusions.
        2. The conclusions did not fit your idea of how to ‘attack a scientific view’
        3. Then you wander off into irrelevant generalities about ‘the sceptics’

        Which leads me to think that you have completely missed the point of the document, of Judith’s intro above and of quite a large part of the subsequent discussions.

        You didn’t even bother to read the phrase ‘It is not a critique of climate science. It is a history and critique of the recent actions of the Royal Society and its leaders. Different thing’, which I helpfully inserted above to make sure that you were not wasting our (and your) time in chasing phantasms that aren’t there.

        One more time. Repeat after me. You will look in vain for much science criticism in this piece by Montford. That is not its purpose. It is a critique of the actions of the recent leaders of the Royal Society and primarily concerns itself with that.

      • I can see how Montford takes exception to phrases like this that come out of the Royal Society which he helpfully puts in his report. Thanks to him for sharing it.

        “On one hand, you have the entire scientific community and on the other
        you have a handful of people, half of them crackpots. Nevertheless, this is
        still presented as an unresolved battle. That is simply not true. It has been
        resolved. Only the details of climatic change’s impact have still to be
        worked out.”

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oh God there is Doug on one side and Jim on the other. G&T and a concern troll about the state of our minds. We are at or near solar max and seem likely to get a weak El Nino sometime in the next couple of years.

      Over the past 400 years, Verdon and Franks report that climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO “occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th century.” In addition, and more importantly, they find that “phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.”
      http://www.co2science.org/articles/V9/N27/C2.php
      – but read the peer reviewed paper by all means.

      It all comes together in a big cold V in the central Pacific for 30 or 40 years – http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2012/anomnight.2.9.2012.gif -
      What can I tell you Jim – we are in a cool mode last seen between 1945 and 1976. You can’t accept this because you have a fixed idea and if you changed this you wouldn’t be part of the warmist tribe anymore. Just watch out for the kool aid.

    • Jim D

      Sounds like you are now counting on El Nino to save the AGW bacon.

      What happened to CO2?

      Max

    • Chief Hydrologist

      So decadal natural variability cancels out? In the 20th century it cancels out to a residual trend of 0.08 degrees C/decade. So what’s the freakin’ problem? And it’s cooling for a decade or three more. After that well who the freakin’ hell knows.

  51. Judith asks the question why would the Royal Society sign on to the IPCC view. They have no motivation to do this, no money coming to them, no influence to be had, by making their statement. They only do what other scientific societies, whether in physics, chemistry, geology, have done. They do this based on the science itself. Attacks such as Montford’s come across as political because they have not said anything about the science in their conclusions, which does them no favors when trying to win over a scientific society. Clearly that was not their aim, and it was more aimed at getting public backing against these societies that make considered their pronouncements on the science.

    • “They have no motivation to do this, no money coming to them, no influence to be had, by making their statement.”

      This is nonsense of course, 40% of the cash flow can tracked to government interests. Did you read the article? Try the Dilingpole link on the page as well.

      I’m not a big advocate of the money is truth arguments but these statements are twaddle. RS is an advocacy group in the spirit of Greenpeace on the AGW topic, likely for the same cultural reasons.

      • So, if Lord May is a biologist, how does that work? I think skeptic views on CO2 for example stimulate just as much biology research as the IPCC view. It is very unfortunate that the skeptics don’t lead these types of complaints with science. It is almost as though they know it is not a winning proposition.

    • @jim d

      But why do it at all? Why break the tradition of approaching three hundred and fifty years resolutely not to make such statements to do so at this time and on this subject?

      ‘It is based on the science itself’ and ‘all the other guys do it too’ are not only pretty feeble observations, but do not answer the ‘why?’ question.

    • “based on the science itself” ????

      This makes good reading … and I quote just one sentence from over 100 pages of the peer-reviewed published physics paper.

      http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

      “Unfortunately, there is no source in the literature, where the greenhouse effect is introduced in harmony with the scientific standards of theoretical physics.”

  52. Michael Larkin

    Why? Who knows.

    They do say there’s nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come – and maybe it doesn’t actually matter whether the idea has any worth or not; I can certainly think of ideas that in the past have taken hold of the popular imagination and led to deleterious effects on the lives of millions.

    Viewed slightly sideways, CAGW coud be seen as a popular fad, something that plays into Western guilt complexes and the vacuum left by increasing secularism. A comparatively long-lasting fad, unlike, say, hula-hoops and Rubik cubes, and one that has more far-reaching consequences.

    I don’t think educated and influential scientists would be specially immune, even when the fad isn’t in their specialist area. I doubt they are consciously part of a conspiracy, or merely want to help promote lots of funding for science. I think they may feel they are freeagents rather than subjects of conditioned reflexes.

    They may get their sense of certainty from the past successes of science; from success in their own field; from the tendency to credit most or all scientific fields with the same rigour and integrity. And perhaps, they’re a bit intoxicated with their own power and prominence: “I must be right because I’m head honcho of the RS” or whatever. Ultimately, it may be a surfeit of intellectual laziness, the disinclination to challenge orthodoxy because that entails taking risks and inviting opprobrium.

    I’m reminded of something I once read – that foolishness and lies are so much of a continuum that no useful distinction could be made; and this is something that bears reflecting on. I’m not suggesting conscious lying; it’s more a kind of self-deception, of being convinced one knows or understands when one doesn’t. It’s not helped when others one admires or respects are equally self-deceptive; there’s safety in numbers and the herd mentality. How very impoverishing for science, or any other human endeavour.

    • incandecentbulb

      It is what has been referred to as mass mania. Hot World Syndrome nothing more than a symptom of a far more serious problem: the Fall of Western Civilization. At least you can take some comfort in the fact that a society in decline still can be a pleasant place to live–e.g., dead and dying Old Europe. We will see it crumble in our lifetime.

  53. Dear General Secretary of the Society of Toad Researchers,

    Look, I am very interested in your Organization and share its aims. I have a little bit of money put by to invest and am anxious to become part of your team. Only thing is, I am not a toad, I am a frog, but I hope that this will not bar me from joining STR. I earnestly appeal to the principles of Taxonomy, which place you and i not too far apart on the genetic tree and I AM a green frog, so my political framework will fit your consensus.

    Yours sincerely,
    Litoria chloris. Green Treee Frog

  54. incandecentbulb

    It’s ironic. The science authoritarians must cringe at the energy that America wasted saving dead and dying Old Europe, and from what? The Warmanistas are the very same sort that had their boot heels on the throats of Europe during WWII.

  55. Judith,

    So, you are asking where does his (Lord May the biologist) conviction on climate change science come from? I am trying to understand this.

    Can we ask if you have any convictions on scientific issues outside your field? Even biological ones? Evolution maybe? If so, how can Lord May understand this?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Nobody gives a freaking rat’s arse. Why don’t you say something that isn’t a whine or is vaguely amusing.

      • Actually, I thought his point was an interesting one. I’d like to hear Judith’s answer to his question.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well what say we wait until until there is an article on genetics from Judith – until then why don’t you just ask something that someone does give a freakin’ rat’s ares about- if that is within your skill set.

  56. ceteris non paribus makes this ridiculous claim

    “ceteris non paribus | February 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm |

    Jim Cripwell,

    On the one hand we have the Royal Society, and all the other national and international scientific bodies of the planet, thousands of peer-reviewed publications, and great heaps of supporting empirical evidence, almost all of which is public.”

    I tried to engage him on the claim of “great heaps of supporting empirical evidence,”, but he does not seem to have any sort of science or numbers to back up this nonsense.

    The fact of the matter is that there is almost no empirical evidence to support the hypothesis of CAGW. Specifically the IPCC, using non-validated models, and other dubious scientific methodology, has a chain of estiamtions, which goes something like this.

    1. Estimate the change in radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2.

    2. Estimate the no-feedback climate sensitivity for this change in radiative forcing; i.e change in surface termperature.

    3. Estimate the amount this change in surface temperature is magnified by feedback mecahanisms.

    At NO stage in this 3 stage process is there any empirical evidence at all.

    I challenge ceruri non paribus to come up with some sort of scientific references to back up his nonsensical claim that there are “great heaps of supporting empirical evidence” to support the hoax of CAGW.

    • Jim,

      (1) and (2) seem to be generally estimated at ~ 1.1C, with general agreement (maybe +- 50%)?

      (3) is the real bugbear. Just take the figure from (1) and (2) and multiply by 3. This seems to have been invented ex nihilo by the warmists in order that the AGW theory match the real world data.

      Well, now the theory is not matching the data (ie: real world warming << model predictions). So I would also be interested in a defence of (3). It is still used in the AR5 FOD – "Therefore, although carbon dioxide is the main control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast
      30 feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a factor of typically three." (ch 8).

      Can anyone defend a multiplier of 3 without an excess of handwaving?

      • cui bone, you write “(1) and (2) seem to be generally estimated at ~ 1.1C, with general agreement (maybe +- 50%)?

        (3) is the real bugbear. ”

        In one way, I am in complete agreement with you. For (3) there really is no science to support it. And people like to concentrate on this.

        However, (2) is as bad, if not worse than (3), and I want to make this absolutely clear. There may be “general agreement” for a value of 1.1 C, but, so far as I can see, there is absolutely no science to support this number. And it is completely IMPOSSIBLE to ever MEASURE this number, So why everyone seems to think it has some sort of scientific value, I simply cannot comprehend. Can you explain why you seem to agree that the number of 1.1 C has some sort of scientific meaning?

      • Jim,

        Sorry late in replying. You may have a point – nothing is certain in the chain of (1),(2) or (3).

        The honest answer is I don’t know, but most sceptics seem to take (1) and (2) for granted and argue about the multiplier. Of course, if the multiplier is 0, it doesn’t matter what (1) and (2) are, as they will have no effect.

        My suspicion is that if there is a genuine query about (1) and (2), we will be deluged by citations saying that it is ~1.1C, whereas if you ask about the empirical evidence for (3) there will be the dulcet tomes of crickets chirping while some tumbleweed drifts by.

        There’s a wonderful and clear explanation of the believer vs. sceptic position on (1),(2) and (3) by Dr. David Evans:

        http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/dr-david-evans-the-skeptics-case/#more-19931

        He’s a sceptic, but didn’t question the basis for (1) and (2), so neither did I. (3), OTOH, is a different matter!

        Good luck in getting the believers POV from ceteris!

      • cui bono, you write “My suspicion is that if there is a genuine query about (1) and (2), we will be deluged by citations saying that it is ~1.1C,”

        Many thanks indeed for your answer.

        I sincerely believe there is a very definite reason to query (2). (1) is different. There are reasons to believe something like a significant change in radiative forcing does indeed exist.

        Maybe you would answer another question for me. Have you looked into all the really nitty gritty details of precisely HOW (2) is supposed to have been estimated? During my career, I learned NEVER to believe any number until I had gone back to the original documents and the original way any number was determined, and satisfied myself that the number was genuine. I have done this with (2), and I am absolutely convinced it is a load of garbage; notwithstanding the claim that people like Lindzen believe it is right. There is no proper physics to go from a change in radiaitve forcing to a change in surface temperature by ONLY looking at radiation effects. You MUST look at convection, convection and the latent heat of water as well to get a proper answer. And no-one knows how to do that.

        So, if there is a “deluge”, I for one would welcome any genuine discussion of (2) which came as a result of that deluge.

      • Jim,

        The problem with the no-feedback climate sensitivity is not in the calculation of this value. No-feedback is an artificial concept created to make the calculation easy and relatively accurate. The problem is in the meaning of this artificial concept. It’s not something that can be observed even in theory and its relationship to the more observable quantities like the full transient climate sensitivity is badly known.

        You should not ask whether the value can be calculated, but rather the relevance of the whole concept. I would say that the number is basically equivalent to the radiative forcing of a sudden increase in CO2 concentration expressed in temperature units with the help of Stefan-Boltzmann law (with small corrections that take into account something about the structure if the atmosphere).

      • Pekka Pirilä, you write
        “The problem with the no-feedback climate sensitivity is not in the calculation of this value. No-feedback is an artificial concept created to make the calculation easy and relatively accurate.”

        I am certainly not going to disagree with you. I consider no-feedback climate sensitivity to be a concept with ought to be abhorrent to any physicist who has any respect for this branch of science. It is a travesty, and utterly without anything good to say about it. I concentrate on the estimation (not calculation), because it is so obviously wrong.

        I know what happened. The GCMs cannot have, as an input, a change in radiative forcing. So, in order to try and justify the unjustifiable, namely the hoax of CAGW, the “physicists” invented no-feedback climate sensitivity. This CAN be used as an input. The problem is, as you point out, no-feedback climate sensitivity doesn’t mean anything.

        As I say, I concentrate on the estimation, because it is relatively easy to show that it is a complete load of garbage. No-one has ever justified the assumption that “the structure of the atmosphere does not change”; in other words, you can do the estimation by ONLY looking at radiation effects.

        When is someone who has some sort of clout in science going to stand up and say “No-feedack climate sensitivity has absolutely no meaning whatsoever”. My voice is far too weak. Quite rightly, no-one takes any notice of Jim Cripwell. But they would take notice of Dr. Judith Curry.

      • Jim,

        As far as I have understood GCM’s don’t care the least about no-feedback climate sensitivity. They can produce it as an additional output for people who wish to know that, but that’s the only connection.

        More specifically it’s certainly not used as an input to the GCM’s. Rather the input may be directly the CO2 concentration and its influence on the radiative energy transfer.

      • Pekka you write “More specifically it’s certainly not used as an input to the GCM’s. Rather the input may be directly the CO2 concentration and its influence on the radiative energy transfer.”

        Assuming you are correct, can you give me a reference as to how the GCMs convert change in radiative forcing into change in surface temperature.

      • Jim,

        As a reference you may choose any of the published model references, the most accessible is perhaps the Community Earth system model used by very many research groups. The related atmospheric model parameters are described here. Among them is -rad which specifies the radiation package. The CO2 concentration is used as input to this package.

        Basically the models start from the characterization of external forcings (like solar radiation) and the properties of the Earth system, which includes the CO2 concentration. The input is presented in this way, not as non-feedback climate sensitivity or even as radiative forcing.

      • I would add to Pekka’s answer by saying that, much like the atmosphere, climate models have convection, surface energy budgets, and radiative transfer processes individually that add up to the total effect. Things like sensitivity are emergent properties of the whole system.

      • There is a large spherical analog computer processing successfully all of your climate inputs, Jim D; our still pitiful digital simulacrums are too primitive to succeed yet. The emerging sensitivity from the analog computer is apparently low. So, you takes your sensitivity digitally and I’ll takes mine in the round and we’ll lays our monies down.
        ================

      • Thanks, Pekka. I will have to do some more research and thinking. If the process of converting change in radiative forcing into change of surface temperature is done within the GCMs, then why is anyone bothering about no-feedback climate sensitivity, and what it’s numerical value is? A purely rhetorical qudestion.

      • Jim, the no feedback climate sensitivity is a concept that arises in context of application of linear control theory to simple energy balance climate models. If you missed it first time around, we did two entire threads on this last year
        http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/11/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity/
        http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/14/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity-part-ii/

      • Jim,
        The no-feedback climate sensitivity is perhaps the most understandable of numbers that can be estimated rather accurately and that’s at least somehow related to the strength of the warming effect of CO2. It’s understandable, because it’s given in temperature units, climate forcing tells nothing to most, because the power per square meter is too strange for everybody.

        As the strength of feedbacks is badly known and as they could in absensce of further knowledge be as well strongly negative as strongly positive, the no-feedback climate sensitivity is not a good estimate for the real effects, but even so it sets the scale: The effect of doubling the CO2 concentration is likely to be somewhere in the range from a significant fraction of 1 C to a few degrees C.

        The no-feedback climate sensitivity differs only little (10-20%) from the change in the effective black body temperature of Earth that results temporarily from a hypothetical sudden doubling of the CO2 concentration.

      • No-feedback sensitivity is conceptually useful, but also valuable as a parameter used in one approach to estimating equilibrium climate sensitivity. The various approaches can be appreciated by comparing, for example, chapters 8 and 9 of AR4 WG1., Chapter 9 tends to focus on paleoclimatologic data, and often involves “inverse modeling” to determine parameters that best match observational evidence from the past.

        Chapter 8, however, focuses on approaches that use models to construct ECS from a combination of no-feedback climate responses and feedbacks. A good example of the parameter estimates used for these approaches is found in Soden and Held 2006 (see Table 1 and text). There is no explicit use of the term “no-feedback sensitivity”, but it’s implicit in the estimate of the Planck Response (see Table 1), which in combination with a 3.7 W/m^2 forcing for doubled CO2 yields an average of about 1.2 C/CO2 doubling – typical for this parameter.

        At this point, there is no method for estimating no-feedback responses directly from observations, but future improvements in our ability to detect the specific radiative signatures of individual atmospheric constituents may help us approximate it better. Theoretically, if we lived on a planet with no water or other substances that exist in equilibrium between vapor and other phases, it might be possible. (We couldn’t do it on Mars because some of the CO2 is present in the solid phase).

      • Pekka, you write “The no-feedback climate sensitivity is perhaps the most understandable of numbers that can be estimated rather accurately and that’s at least somehow related to the strength of the warming effect of CO2″

        That is not a problem for me. I look at CAGW and I see estimates of how much global temperatures should rise by 2100. I THOUGHT I knew how such numbers were arrived at. It was simple. Estimate change in radiative forcing; estimate no-feedback climate sensitivity; multiply by the feedbacks.

        Now I am told that the no-feedback climate sensitivity does not come into this estimate. The way change in radiative forcing is converted to change in surface temperature is performed in the GCMs. So, in order to understand what the supposed temperature is going to be in 2100, I need to understand how the GCMs work. That is a fornidable task. And no-feedback climate sensitivity is irrelevant. So, until I have done a lot of work, and thinking, I am confused.

      • Jim,

        What you propse is one way of discussing the issue, but it’s not the way large Earth system models (or GCM,s) do it. They attack the full problem directly, not through such steps. Their results can be described afterwards in terms of these concepts, but that’s not necessary.

        Some small simplistic models may proceed through the steps you described, but then they are indeed small simple models.

      • “I THOUGHT I knew how such numbers were arrived at. It was simple. Estimate change in radiative forcing; estimate no-feedback climate sensitivity; multiply by the feedbacks…. Now I am told that the no-feedback climate sensitivity does not come into this estimate.”

        Jim – What you thought was correct the first time, although not in as simple a fashion as you suggest. No-feedback sensitivity is not an explicit GCM output, but the climate response to radiative forcing without feedbacks is a critical element of the GCM estimates of ECS, and that response is then converted into a final forcing/temperature relationship by estimating the amplification or diminution contributed by the specific feedbacks, allowing for interactions among these feedbacks.

        A good overview is provided in AR4 WG1 Chapter 8, Section 6. As the section states, “Climate sensitivity is largely determined by internal feedback processes that amplify or dampen the influence of radiative forcing on climate. To assess the reliability of model estimates of climate sensitivity, the ability of climate models to reproduce different climate changes induced by specific forcings may be evaluated. These include the Last Glacial Maximum and the evolution of climate over the last millennium and the 20th century (see Section 9.6)… An alternative approach, which is followed here, is to assess the reliability of key climate feedback processes known to play a critical role in the models’ estimate of climate sensitivity.” The Chapter then independently assesses evidence related to the water vapor, lapse rate, albedo, and cloud feedbacks, acknowledging that differences in cloud feedback estimates tends to be the factor most responsible for differences in ECS estimates from different GCMs.

      • Pekka, It just occurred to me. The GCMs have never been validated, so it does not matter tinker’s dam how they solve the equivalent of no-feedback climate sensitivity. Any numbers they producde are useless and meaningless anyway.

  57. Curry, Montford and Lindzen’s nostalgia for a concept of truth and independence that they believe is captured in the history of the Society is touching at some level, but amounts to mythmaking. There was and always has been plenty of politics and patronage involved.

    “on the word of no one”

    The Royal Society’s motto and foundational philosophy was to view science as something apart from society, with unchanging knowledge. It introduced the idea of scientific patronage and the writing of blank cheques to beneficent elites. There’s also the matter of the refusal to admit women scientists: women were prevented by statute from being fellows of the Royal Society until 1945. That is thirty years after the rest of society gave women the right to vote.

    For those who believe the Society is now acting in ways it should not, I suggest it has admirably dragged itself up to 2012 and is increasingly more informed by a a socio-historical understanding of the activity of science and the role of scientific knoweldge in modern society.

    An uncritical appeal to the symbolism and nostalgia of the past, including mottos and ideals that amount to intellecutal, social and historical myths (even lies) is understandable but unrealistic. At the very least, Curry, Montford and Lindzen should recognize the need to be politically informed about both the past as well as the present.

    • In short Martha, evil is the order of the day and we should accept it as “progress”?

      As close to a concession statement as we are ever going to get from you.

    • Martha,

      You’re right, of course.

      Which rather begs the question of why we need science at all, when everything can be so eloquently explained by politics alone.

    • Martha, You are, unfortunatley, right about the history of the RS, particuarly with respect to their treatment of women. However, they were 3 years ahead of Cambridge University, which did not accept women as full members until 1948. But this does not mean that the RS did not, most of the time, live up to it’s motto of Nullius in Verba; it did, And just because it behaved badly in the past, is no excuse for it behaving badly at the present.

    • The RS report on climate science is carefully written to avoid excessive claims of certainty and all forms of alarmism. Thus it should be acceptable even to mildly skeptical readers.

      Having been several times involved in discussions on, how comparable societies should participate in public discussion and in making public statements, I’m still uncomfortable with the idea that the society expresses views on any issue of some controversy as a society. The society may well encourage its members to express their views individually or as groups of several individuals, but it might even now be wiser to avoid expressing views as a society. Nullius in verba is not an obsolete principle.

      • Pekka

        Unfortunately RS does not allow open discussion of their posts. They show only comments that generally support that we should have faith in the outputs of the current GCMs while ignoring and not posting comments that point out GCMs are either not matching actual observed results within the margin of error predicted on many criteria, or at the bottom of the margin of error range on other criteria. There is no reason to believe that the models are accurately predicting future conditions as a function of CO2. There certainly is no data to believe that conditions would be at the upper ranges of the models predictions which is where the harms would result.

        To see the situation otherwise Imo means people have faith without scientific reason. Reading the propaganda at places like Real Climate or Skeptical Science leads to incorrect conclusions

  58. “The RS report on climate science is carefully written to avoid excessive claims of certainty and all forms of alarmism. Thus it should be acceptable even to mildly skeptical readers.”

    Which is a major change from previous reports.

  59. The RS’ motto now begins to look the signage over a seedy used-car lot: ” ‘Onest ‘Arry — Trust ‘Im, ‘E Swears ‘E’s ‘Onest!”

    Self-betrayal elicits the most impassioned rationalizations.

  60. Holly Stick You said at

    February 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

    Edim, read my post above and the links to the scientific studies about how melting Arctic ice makes the atmosphere unstable. The cold in your region comes from the Arctic because of that. The climate is changing, you just are not willing to learn how it affects different places.

    Please explain to us where the melting Arctic ice is in mid February – or do you (like so many of the people you approvingly quote) have difficulty distinguishhing between weather and climate

  61. I think that Montford’s book is a good overview of how and when the Royal Society had been hijacked by Lord May and to a lesser extent by his successors, on the issue of the scientific validity of AGW.

    As with many defunct organisations, the Royal Society has made itself irrelevant and its membership can only hold themselves to blame.

  62. Alastair MCDonald

    “Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from? I am trying to understand this.”

    Lord May also believes that the sun will rise tomorrow but he is not an astronomer.

    Around the time when Charles Darwin published his “Origin of the Species”, John Tyndall showed that the greenhouse effect is caused by carbon dioxide and water vapour. Burning fossil fuels has raised the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by about a third since that time. It is just plain obvious that if we go on burning fossil fuels at an increasing rate then one day the planet will become uninhabitable.

    • ‘just plain obvious’. Show me.
      ======================

    • @alastair mcdonald

      ‘It is just plain obvious that if we go on burning fossil fuels at an increasing rate then one day the planet will become uninhabitable.’

      Wanna talk us through the logic of your statement? This being a sciency sort of blog, some rough kind of numbers would be nice.

      Here’s some ideas you might want to address in your answer:

      At what point does the planet become uninhabitable? How hot would it need to get, and where? If we burnt all the fossil fuel that we know of and all the worst theories about AGW are true, would we ever achieve that temperature? If so, when (about)?

      and so on…..

      Because without seeing those numbers and judging their provenance it may be plain obvious to you, but not so to many here.

      • Alastair MCDonald

        If temperatures keep rising then at some time the planet will become uninhabitable. Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere raises its temperature. Therefore if we continue adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere eventually the planet will be uninhabitable. That is simple logic and should be obvious to anyone, scientist or not.

        It is estimated that the P-T Mass Extinction was caused by global temperatures being 6C higher than today. While Man has existed on Earth, global temperatures have never been more than 2C higher than today. It is not known what climate sensitivity is, but it is estimated that it lies between 2C and 4.5C. So when we have doubled CO2 by 2050 the temperature will be at least 2C higher and we will definitely be in the dangerous range. When the temperature has risen by 6C in 2100, if not before, then we will have made the Earth uninhabitable for humans although perhaps not all life.

        It could be argued that we will stopped burning fossil fuels by that time because there will be nobody left to do it but the effects of carbon dioxide have what is called a commitment which means temperatures will continue to rise even after we stop emitting carbon dioxide.

        There is plenty of coal and gas to help us achieve that despite the fact that the remaining ~1,200 billion barrels of oil will have run out by 2050. There are 4,500 billion barrels of oil equivalent coal plus 1,200 barrels of oil equivalent natural gas.

        HTH,

        Cheers, Alastair McDonald.

      • Alastaire McDonald writes “Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere raises its temperature.”

        Agreed. The disagreement is HOW MUCH does CO2 raise temperatures. If the answer is at the rate of 0.001 C per century, then I for one am not worried. Produce the science that shows that the temperature rise is catastrophic, and then maybe, just maybe. someone might be interested. But I doubt it.

      • @alastair

        OK. I understand your logic (sort of). But it raises several questions.

        1. Who did the estimating you quote? There seem to be as many theories about the cause of the P-T Mass Extinction as there are people who’ve studied it. Only some have anything to do with climate change, and the refs I found have estimates of a temperature rise of +8C and a level of 2000 ppm of CO2 – approaching five times what we have now, and nowhere remotely achievable within the foreseeable future. There just ain’t enough fossil fuel to make it
        .
        2. Since humans didn’t exist in the Permian-Triassic period 250 million years ago, how come you are so certain that a repeat (even if likely) would make the Earth ‘uninhabitable for humans’ by a rise of +6C? Prima facie, even within Europe we have habitable regions with temperature ranges far bigger than that. The summer average in Rome is already 6C higher than London. I do not believe that if, at some point in the future, London were to adopt today’s Roman climate it would be in any way ‘uninhabitable’

        Sorry – colour me unconvinced by your very speculative projections. Since climatologits can’t even agree on what the climate was like within the span of written human history (MWP etc), I really need something more definite to make me wet my knickers than one possible idea among many about what might have happened 250 million years ago that may or may not inconvenienced a lot of insects. It really is a stretch too far to be taken seriously without a lot more evidence.

      • Alastair MCDonald

        Jim,
        You will find all the empirical information you need if you follow this free course: http://forecast.uchicago.edu/moodle/login/index.php

        Latimer,

        The 6C rise is an average which mainly applies to the tropics and sub tropics. There is a polar amplification which gives greater temperature increases at higher latitudes. A +2 C rise led to hippopotamuses in the River Thames, and a +6 C rise lead to alligators on Ellesmere Island. Without the Arctic sea ice the summer temperatures there reach sub tropical levels. There are coal fields in Alaska which formed there since it drifted into the polar region. The climate system is like the weather. It is non-linear. A 6C rise does not mean there will only be a 6 C rise everywhere. Nor does it mean that the rise will be slow and steady. Surprises are inevitable.

        HTH,

        Cheers, Alastair.

      • @alastair

        ‘Sub tropical’ does not mean uninhabitable. And much though I’d be surprised to see hippos in the Thames at the end of my road, I think we’d have sufficient notice to avoid them.

        Apart from that I can’t really see a point to your discussion.

        Why will the earth become uninhabitable to humans if the temperature goes up 6C? Or do the hippos come and eat us all? We end not with a bang but as a tasty snack?

        H’mm. Still unconvinced. Please try harder.

  63. Steve Milesworthy

    What about commenting on Judith Curry’s quote where it seems to me she has misrepresented what Lord May said.

    • So what did he say, and how do you think Judith misrepresented him?.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I felt he was making a general point about scientific controversies and he was specifically clear that identifying the point when a dissident viewpoint was no longer useful on a particular aspect of a controversial subject was a difficult point to call, and I think he said he himself specifically stated he would not give examples (except for one involving an AIDS researcher which he used as an example where for a time the researcher’s view was useful and then it became useful no longer).

        His concern seemed to be more about when the public understanding of the balance of a scientific controversy is wrong due to the clear misuse of science. My example (not his) is saying the climate has always changed is not wrong in itself. But if the statement is made to dismiss all discussion about all potential causes of changes in climate then the statement is misleading.

        I did not hear anything that would justify the statement:

        “However at the end, or in the questions, he dismissed climate change skepticism. Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from?”

        Why don’t you ask Judith Curry to quote which particular statements she resented?

      • Are there indeed people saying that the climate has always changed and using that to dismiss discussion about all potential causes of changes in climate? Who?

        I know of quite a few who can’t quite lather themselves into a frenzy of distress because the climate may be changing (again), and I am one, but that is a different question.

        Do you think that my opinion as a disinterested party with no possible career, financial or professional interest in the outcome should be dismissed as ‘misleading’ by those who have far more direct interests?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Latimer, You have to avoid distracting yourself with arguing about examples used to make a point, and the point itself. Or perhaps you are looking to distract others.

        What did Lord May say that made Judith Curry say:

        “However at the end, or in the questions, he dismissed climate change skepticism. Lord May is a biologist, where does his conviction on climate change science come from?”

      • I’m sure that Judith will reply if she thinks it is worth it.

        But prima facie, his statement about not wanting people to be misled by ‘misuse of science’ is just another way of restating his infamous and injudicious remark:

        ‘I am the President of the Royal Society and I am telling you that the science is settled’.

        Many of us look at the ‘science’ from an outside perspective and do not see much evidence – apart from self-assertion by the key players – that this is the case. Much of it hardly rises above the status of ‘plausible hypothesis’, and some does not even rise to that minimal challenge. There is no conclusive proof of any of it, other than climatologits own opinions of their own work.

        Seems to me that May’s desire to censor sceptical voices has less to do with protection of the public and more to do with the protection of the scientists reputation by not allowing ‘the science is settled’ myth to be challenged..

        But it may be that Judith sees it very differently.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I’m not interested in you dismissing May now and forever more for a comment that might have been explained by the context or that, in this case, sounds like he was being a tad ironic. Surely only Monckton would seriously use his title in quite that way.

        (BTW he appears to have said “the debate on climate change is over” which has a completely different meaning.)

        So other than your “prima facie” reinterpretation of what I said I think he might have meant, you don’t see anything that merits Judith’s criticism, then? Have you listened to the recording?

      • @steve m

        I do hope that you are not going to turn into another version of Joshua, who seemingly spends half his life trying to find some hairsplitting reason to criticise our hostess.

        No doubt she will speak for herself about her reasons if she feels the need to.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        We are all entitled to differently interpret what someone has said given our different points of view. But Judith Curry has only narrowed what she didn’t like down to somewhere in the last 10-15 minutes of the recording (assuming it was in the recording). So given she is busy this week I was hoping that someone more on Judith’s wavelength would point out more specifically what Judith had reacted to (time and quote or paraphrase).

        I don’t think hosts of blogs have privilege. I’ve crossed swords a couple of times with Lucia and in doing so understood better where she comes from.

        (PS. I have to ask again, did you really not sense the irony in what May apparently said to Harrabin? You *are* English aren’t you?)

      • @steve M

        Yes I am definitely English. Born in the very heart of England.

        (Unless it’s rugby when my father’s Welsh blood comes out in me. Spoilt as a youth watching JPR, Merv the Swerve, Gerald, Gareth, The King and all the other Boys in the Band. By comparison England’s lifeless performance against Italy was pretty crap)

        But I see no irony whatsoever in his remark to Harrabin. Entirely consistent with his general approach as shown in the recorded remarks linked. Roughly summarised

        ‘We welcome and encourage debate and scepticism until I decide that you are a fruitcake, after which you should shut the f**k up’.

        however urbanely and emolliently he may have put it.

        NB. Judith may differ. That’s allowed here. It is a discussion blog. The debate is the thing, not ‘The Message’.

        It is not a ‘We Great Ones tell, you humble ones listen and obey’ blog. Unlike others that you may be familiar with.

  64. Joshua….
    I have been researching Global Warming since the IPCC’s AR4 was published, and I still have a far way to go. Currently, I have the following two questions at the top of my list:
    1) Point me to a recent empirical scientific study that concludes that an atmospheric increase of CO2 causes an atmospheric increase of temperature greater than about 1C/100yr.
    2) Since water outgasses CO2 when it is warmed, how can the world’s oceans be both warmer and lower its pH at the same time? Is there a formula that includes both temperature and CO2 partial pressures?
    As I continue to search, maybe you candirect me to a web site that answers these two questions? If not, I will ask others for assistance…

    • “Since water outgasses CO2 when it is warmed, how can the world’s oceans be both warmer and lower its pH at the same time?”

      Because the oceans absorb more CO2 than they degas when humans pump 30 billion tons of it into the atmosphere each year.

      • Please show your working

      • Why do you always play the fool Latimer?

        You telling me you are so pig ignorant of the subject of climate change you don’t know the answer I gave is correct?

      • @lolwot

        There are two effects here, working in opposite directions. For your explanation to be correct, you need to show both flows and where the where the nett effect actually is.

        1. Increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere causes a higher partial pressure, hence more CO2 dissolved in oceans.. hence neutralisation of inherent alkalinity leading to pH moving to less alkaline. (pH nearer to 7.0 = neutral)

        2. Supposed increase in temperature of the oceans because of CO2 greenhouse effect. Warmer ocean can dissolve less carbon dioxide, so works in opposrition to effect 1.

        It is not just as simple as a blanket statement about 30 billion tonnes or whatever it might be, You actually have to do the sums (or better yet go and actually observe it) before you have a believeable understanding of what is going on.

        Might be ‘playing the fool’ in your book, but not in mine.

      • You know full well what I said was true.

        Your response was a classic attempt to sow doubt about a scientific fact.

      • @lolwot

        I know nothing of the sort since I have never seen the calculations.
        Nor, I’m guessing, have you. But at least I’ve outlined how you might want to attack the problem.

      • Lazy Lat who claims to be a chemist. Jeez, I could pick up the correlations of Mauna Loa CO2 with seasonal temperature, while the CO2 both in atmosphere and ocean kept rising.

        For someone like you (and all the skeptics) that claim to trust empirical data only, you have suddenly gotten cold feet. Don’t trust the data anymore, eh?

      • @webbie

        Suggest that one day you ought to start reading what I write before criticising it.

        No cold feet here. But I still haven’t seen the working for lolwot’s claim. You seem to think you have it. Please share.

      • Late asks me to show my work.
        Click on my handle and index to the Google docs text on the topic of CO2.
        I read what you wrote because I am many steps ahead of you.

    • Try http://www.realclimate.org/ where real climate scientists hang out.

      • Where no dissent is allowed. Just the way you like it Holly, one sided dogma 24/7.

      • Intelligent dissent is allowed there, but not lies, smears and denialist propaganda.

      • Real Climate Scientists? After reading hundreds of indictments of the climate establishment, I doubt such a thing exists. But if it keeps you happy…….

      • Holly

        Who are the real scientists you reference? Why does Real Climate refuse to post comments that are contrary to their propaganda like positions?

        Holly are you fearful about a world with higher CO2—why? I ask sincerely. I do not understand the basis of people being fearful when those fears are based upon the outputs of models demonstrated to be inaccurate.

      • Really? And what do they do there besides slap each other’s backs, generally deride sceptics and otherwise preach to the converted?

    • I know a very conscientious biologist who has done experiments on coral growth. She said that corals grow better in water with higher CO2 and lower pH. But nobody wants to publish information like that, because it swims against the tide.

      Instead, we have poorly conducted experiments that defend the prevailing view dominating the publications.

      • spare us the BS anecdotes and conspiracy whining

      • blouis79 – “…nobody wants to publish information like that…”

        See: Growth of Western Australian Corals in the Anthropocene

      • See also this paper. Lots of stuff out there.
        Ask your friend where she’s tried to publish.

      • @Pat Casses, those papers are the usual variety that says ocean acidification damages corals.

        I understand the premise is that acid is bad for calcified structures, which it is in vitro. My friend’s research results say that CO2 is good for corals.

      • blouis79 – Read those papers (and references therein) a little more carefully. They acknowledge that enhanced CO2 can sometimes promote coral growth, but they consider other factors (e.g. temperature changes) as well.

        My point was simply that there are many papers that report diverse effects – some good, some bad – of CO2 on different coral systems (although overall effects are predominately bad). Your friend’s contention that “…nobody wants to publish information like that…” is easily refuted by examining the literature.

  65. In a new GWPF report, written by science author Andrew Montford, the Royal Society is urged to ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in its public debates and reports and that the full range of reputable scientific views are being considered.

    Genuine controversies are reflected in the Royal Society’s works. Reputable scientific views are considered. Andrew Montford’s opinions have nothing to do with either, and the Royal Society rightly holds them in contempt, to the extent that they think about them at all.

    The successful quality control of institutions like the Royal Society should inspire people like Montford to educate themselves, do the work, and raise the level of their contributions to the discourse to the extent that the grown-ups do take notice of them.

  66. Why does the Royal Society behave like this?, Judith asks.
    ie, why does the Royal Society simply regurgitate climate alarmism?

    Follow the money – because the Royal Society is government-funded, and alarmism serves the interests of expanding the scope of government.

    Basically, it’s the same reason most government-funded climate science is tainted in this way. Government, like any organization, naturally selects the people and projects that serve it best. And in (climate) science, government funding dwarfs all others – hence the ‘consensus’.

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