5 logical fallacies that make you more wrong than you think

by Judith Curry

The Internet has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments.  But with all those different perspectives on important issues flying around, you’d think we’d be getting smarter and more informed. Unfortunately, the very wiring of our brains ensures that all these lively debates only make us dumber and more narrow-minded. – Kathy Benjamin, CRACKED

CRACKED magazine has a funny but insightful article entitled Logical fallacies that make you wrong more than you think.   Here are excerpts describing the 5 fallacies, with some commentary from me re some examples from the climate debate:

#5.  We’re not programmed to seek ‘truth’, we’re programmed to ‘win’

Think about the last time you ran into a coworker or family member spouting some easily disproven conspiracy theory. When they were shown proof that their conspiracy theory was wrong, did they back down? Did they get this look of realization on their face and say, “Wow … if this is untrue, then maybe the other ‘facts’ upon which I’ve based my fringe beliefs also aren’t true. Thank you, kind stranger, for helping me rethink my entire political philosophy!”

That has literally never happened in the history of human conversation. Whether it’s a politician whose point has been refuted or a conspiracy theorist who has been definitively proven insane, they will immediately shift to the next talking point or conspiracy theory that backs up their side, not even skipping a beat. They keep fighting to defend their position even after it is factually shown to be untrue. But what’s really weird is that process — of sticking to your guns even after you’ve been proven definitively wrong — is apparently the entire reason humans invented arguing.

It’s called the argumentative theory of reasoning, and it says that humans didn’t learn to ask questions and offer answers in order to find universal truths. We did it as a way to gain authority over others. That’s right — they think that reason itself evolved to help us bully people into getting what we want.

And as evidence, the researchers point out that after thousands of years of humans sitting around campfires and arguing about issues, these glaring flaws in our logic still exist. Why hasn’t evolution weeded them out? The answer, they say, is that these cognitive flaws are adaptations to a system that’s working perfectly fine, thank you. Our evolutionary compulsion is to triumph, even if it means being totally, illogically, proudly wrong.

Back when evolution was still sculpting your ancestor’s brains, admitting you were wrong to the person you were debating got you bred out of existence. These days, being able to admit you’re wrong is the greatest skill you can develop if you want to stay married.

JC comment:  The warrior like tactics being used by proponents in both sides of the climate debate aren’t getting us anywhere; if either side actually ‘wins’ in terms of policies, they might end up being totally, illogically, proudly wrong.  Staying married is a good analogy for what we should be doing:  seeking solutions and areas of agreement to support overall well being.

#4.  Our brains don’t understand probability

 Do you know a guy who keeps a loaded shotgun under his bed? You know, in case a gang of European terrorists storm into his house and try to kidnap his family?

If you throw a bunch of statistics at him about how unlikely that is (for example, that he lives in a low-crime suburb in Wisconsin where there’s only been one murder in the last 40 years, that he’s statistically more likely to accidentally do something stupid than ward off a criminal and that more people were struck by lightning last year than successfully shot bad guys in the middle of committing crimes), it won’t change his mind. Instead, he’ll rebut you by citing a news story or an anecdote about a guy who successfully fended off a Die Hard bad guy thanks to his trusty 12-gauge. For him, that single, vivid example completely overrides all talk of statistics or probability.

It’s called neglect of probability. Our brains are great for doing a lot of things. Calculating probability is not one of them.

As experts point out, when there is strong emotion tied to the unlikely event, our ability to continue to see it as unlikely goes out the window. Thus, any statement of “It’s very unlikely your child will be eaten by a bear, these bear traps in the yard are unnecessary and keep injuring the neighborhood kids” will always be answered with, “Say that when it’s your child being eaten!”

JC comment:  this one really strikes a nerve.  It explains how extreme events (especially as they influence you or your country) or the lack thereof explain the waxing and waning of support for climate change policies in an individual country.  It also explains the role grandchildren play in the debate.

#3:  We think everyone’s out to get us

If you’re smart and savvy, you know not to trust anyone. This is why we can excuse ourselves for using shady or flat-out dishonest tactics to win an argument. We’re sure the other guy is doing much, much worse.

The world is so full of hidden agendas and stupid ideologies that we have to do whatever we can to keep up. And “whatever we can” is often code for lying.

Think about all the people you’ve disagreed with this month. How many of them do you think were being intentionally dishonest? Experts say you’re almost definitely overshooting the truth. It’s called the trust gap, and scientist see it crop up every time one human is asked to estimate how trustworthy another one is.

We start assuming people have ulterior motives and hidden agendas as early as age 7 and from that point on, we never have to lose another argument for the rest of our lives. After all, if we assume the person we’re arguing with is lying, the only thing they can prove to us is that they’re a really good liar.

The more arguments you get into with those lying extremists from the other side of the aisle, the more you learn about how they lie, the faster your brain turns off after they start talking.

JC comment:  this explains the Peter Gleick episode as well as anything I’ve seen.  And the refusal of consensus climate scientists to enter into debates with skeptics.

#2.  We’re hard-wired to have a double standard

[T]he fundamental attribution error . . . is a universal thought process that says when other people screw up, it’s because they’re stupid or evil. But when we screw up, it’s totally circumstantial.

The process feels so obvious when explained — we simply lack information about the context in which the other person screwed up, and so we fill it in with our own.

The reality is, of course, that you were on completely different roads. The assumption that everyone’s circumstances are identical is so plainly wrong as to be borderline insane, but everyone does it.

JC comments:  Skeptics, pay attention to this one.  Accusing scientists of fraud and malfeasance with every mistake that is identified is not useful.

#1:  Facts don’t change our minds

Let’s go back to the . . . theory that people figured out how to build arguments as a form of verbal bullying rather than a method of spreading correct information. That means that there are actually two reasons somebody might be arguing with you: because they actually want to get you to think the right thing, and because they’re trying to establish dominance over you to lower your status in the tribe (or office or forum) and elevate their own. That means there’s a pretty severe cost to being on the wrong side of an issue completely separate from the issue itself.

That is why confirmation bias exists. We read a news article that supports what we believe, and we add it to the “I’m right about this” column. News articles that contradict what we believe are dismissed. We make up a reason — maybe the source is part of the conspiracy from the other side or whatever it takes to make sure the “I’m wrong about this” column remains empty.

Researchers have done experiments where they hooked up people’s brains to scanners and then made them read a story pointing out something stupid their favorite candidate said. The logical parts of the brain stayed quiet, while the emotional parts of the brain lit up. Their brains were weighing the story, not based on what it logically meant for their position, but on the emotional/social consequences of that position being wrong.

Backing down  . . . means letting down your team. Every inch of your psychology will fight it.

JC comment:  Ahhhh, the tribe, and the team!  The emotional/social costs of being ‘wrong’ in the climate debate have reached mammoth proportions. This is probably the scariest fallacy in terms of science, and we see ample evidence of this in the CRU emails.

496 responses to “5 logical fallacies that make you more wrong than you think

  1. … “and we see ample evidence of this in the” climate blogosphere

  2. this essay might explain quite a lot..
    http://ecoglobe.ch/motivation/e/clim2922.htm

    the author’s blog. http://www.climatedenial.org made an early appearance on Realclimate’s blog roll in 2006 and when Michael Mann wanted to contact George Monbiot (Guardian) he got Monbiot’s email address from the author. (In 2000, Marshall was 20 year greenpeace/rainforest foundation veteran)

    spot who shows up in the comments here (Harald – A RC moderator, and Scott Mandia)
    http://climatedenial.org/2009/11/22/swiftboating-the-climate-scientists/

  3. The beauty of this is each side will read it and say ‘exactly! That explains why they are so stupid”.

    I would add, especially after reading through the last comment thread – those who speak the most say the least. I think that is the fuel that keeps all this going.

  4. JC says: …”if either side actually ‘wins’ in terms of policies, they might end up being totally, illogically, proudly wrong.”

    So far the warmist “side” is “winning”. There have lots of policies that do lots of harm, waste money and will keep the poor poor.

    My “side” would not have funded Solyndra, not have a carbon tax, not have a renewable engergy requirement there by raising electric rates, ETC.

    My “side” would have allowed Keystone, allowed more drilling in the gulf, not subsidized windmills and solar in any way, no ethanol, etc.

    JC it matters which side wins to use your words. One will make us broke and reduce our standard of living. The other says adapt and let’s let all people enjoy the benefits of a modern, re: western, standard of living.

    • see #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5.

      • Robin,
        Losers always call for equivalence.

      • Robin if it does not matter who “wins” then why don’t you and ohers of your ilk quit and let those of us who think adding CO2 to the atmosophere is no big deal do all the policy making?

      • I’m not really worried about CO2, just pointing out your little rant qualifies for a tick in each category. I also doubt your dreamed of victory would turn off the spigots, or even redirect them much. I don’t see any sides with much of a record there if that is the crux of what is bothering you.

      • Robin I was not responding to the article but to Judith’s comment. And you are wrong about my “little rant”. I don’t dream of victory either. It does matter who sets policy and that is the point which you missed.

    • “JC it matters which side wins” – +1 to that.

      A common tactic (which I am not saying our saloneuse is here using) used by those who perceive their position to be threatened, is to decry the win/lose mentality. Just as even paranoiacs have enemies, there are some issues in which it is neither possible nor desirable to avoid outright conflict. CAGW is one of them. Its proponents are serial offenders, and need to be defeated, as humiliatingly as possible, if future transgression is to be deterred.

      To the list of logical fallacies one ought surely to add the fallacy that EVERY issue has a middle ground, and that people who occupy it are, axiomatically, more effective debaters than those who ‘refuse’ to do so. Anyone got a name for it?

      • That’d be the Law of the Excluded Middle, the corollary to the Fallacy of Black and White Logic.

        Though shouldn’t it matter which ideas are true and useful, rather than who gets to claim them?

      • andrew adams

        I prefer Okrent’s Law –

        “The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true”

  5. Judith said

    ‘JC comments: Skeptics, pay attention to this one. Accusing scientists of fraud and malfeasance with every mistake that is identified is not useful.’

    Nor is accusing them of perpetrating a hoax, being party to a conspiracy, throwing insults at them, or believing them to be stupid.

    There have been some very intemperate comments here recently, and if we carry on like this bona fide scientists will stop coming here and we will all be the poorer. If readers disagree with something, how about producing a considered reply based on the best available facts?
    tonyb

    • Well said. The less irrationally partisan we can be, the better.

    • It is a case of the conspiracy vs. the cock-up theory of history. It is possible that all major events are a result of lizards in human form, the Free Masons or the ‘Zionists’; however, most things happen because people screw up.
      Intellectual honesty is very difficult as the amount of emotion and intellectual investment scientist put into things is huge.
      It is very difficult to share the excitement and feeling one gets when you get a (conformational) result from an experiment you have designed. It is extraordinarily easy to discard data that does not fit in with your bias.
      I suspect that the vast majority of unwanted finding, in climate science and in other fields, are discarded by investigators for what ‘they’ feel are very good reasons. Again with all the ‘improvements’ made to the historic records, again, the people making them actually believe that they are making things closer to the ‘truth’.
      There is a very good reason for double-blind trials and why beer tasters have blue dye placed in their beer samples.

      • Ian Blanchard

        I think the recent Gergis paper is a great example of how a cock-up can look like a conspiracy to those who want to see it as such (particularly in light of how the paper was promoted in the MSM), and how confirmation bias of the authors (i.e. getting results that looked like their initial expectations) meant that the error in data processing didn’t get picked up.

        On another note, the #4 fallacy about probability and risk evaluation is something that has an effect in many people’s day to day life – compare how many people are scared of flying (to the extent that they will refuse to board a plane) and are scared of travelling in a car. And yet where are you more likely to have an accident, and which has the worse record for fatalities?
        The extensions of this one into the wider climate debate are interesting, with regard to the objections to nuclear power (too much risk of catastrophic accidents and from nuclear waste).

    • Having in the comment above advocated the humiliating defeat of CAGW, I ought to clarify – calling people frauds when the case for such a well-defined offence is not crystal clear is not what I have in mind. It’s a cap that doesn’t fit, and they are entitled not to wear it. I believe the proponents of CAGW are guilty of all sorts of deceitful behaviour, but I doubt if much, if any of it, constitutes fraud.

      Tonyb’s excellent tracts are humiliating to warmists. Just see how the word ‘anecdotal’ springs to their lips. The unfailing politeness with which tonyb defends his work is humiliating to warmists. Every piece of disconfirmatory evidence, presented in cool scientific terms, is humiliating to warmists, or at least to those who know enough about the Scientific Method to know when it is being employed. Calling them frauds just allows them some inner respite from having to confront the disconfirmation of their beliefs contained in tony’s work, and that of the many others who present their work without preemptively disparaging those they expect will disagree with it. They are the smiling assassins of this fight, and consequently the most effective.

    • Hear, hear!

  6. “The Internet has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments. ”

    Let me fix that sentence for you . . .

    “The IPCC has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments”

    There, much better.

  7. Dr. Curry,
    Great essay and great comments by you.
    Do you think that so many climate scientists and AGW promoters calling skeptics “deniers”, schills for ‘carbon industry’ (whatever that is), congenitally inferior, corrupt, ‘anti-science’, etc. etc. etc. etc. is as bad as skeptics pointing out that climate scientists are making huge mistakes, and then denying those mistakes?

    • Steve Milesworthy

      hunter,

      Not often I expect to say this, but thank you for cheering me up with that funny comment just before I go to bed. :-)

      • Steve,
        Despite your insincere smiley face, you are welcome. ‘Night ‘night, sleep tight.

  8. “The answer, they say, is that these cognitive flaws are adaptations to a system that’s working perfectly fine, thank you. Our evolutionary compulsion is to triumph, even if it means being totally, illogically, proudly wrong.”

    Sounds, hopeless wrong

    :)
    “Back when evolution was still sculpting your ancestor’s brains, admitting you were wrong to the person you were debating got you bred out of existence. These days, being able to admit you’re wrong is the greatest skill you can develop if you want to stay married.”

    But it applies to more than marriage. And not only could piss off a spouse, but it could encourage 4 guys to beat you to death with some rocks.

    I think a stupid caveman has more sophisticated brain than super computer.
    Also applies to a rat. That logic and reasoning is built in- needed for a slug to survive. The power of reasoning is not bullying but rather something shared, something many could “naturally agree with”.
    The man and women problem is man and women are different- men want to organize a raid, woman want to do a tea party. The need to resolve the plan is not needed in a tea party.
    New ideas and new anything is simply dangerous. Habits and things you know are safe.

  9. David Wojick

    I do not share this disheartening view of human nature. Everyone I know is trying to do the best they can. Beyond that, it is unfortunate that the science has become politicized but politics is a fight. One presents one’s strongest case and criticizes your opponent’s case. There is nothing irrational about this. Live with it.

    • But David! If there is a problem at hand with climate change etc etc, surely it is irrational not to try finding a synthesis, then an agreed action plan?

      • David Wojick

        Not for those of us who believe there is no problem. That is the issue.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Where the science appears to be giving results that dispute your political case, it is important to drag the opposing scientist into a political fight using all means available.

      • Why is that Steve?

      • In a sane world, the people concerned about climate change would be the ones looking for a synthesis and a shared agreed solution. It’s obvious that only fools, rent-seekers and the scheming would contribute instead to an increase in politicization of an issue.

        That’s why the Manns and Lacises of this world, assuming they’re not evil or idiotic, are truly unforgivable.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Because it gives one a remit to put aside fair scientific evaluation and use polemics. Quite regularly I’ve observed scientists being disdainful about scientific arguments about the wrong science cited in articles and books (eg. Istvan and Paltridge, recently, or the HSI “review” on realclimate) only to be told that they’re missing the point, building strawmen, avoiding the essence of the argument, being disrespectful to the writer and so forth.

        People not versed in the science can still understand a political ding-dong, and choose sides based on other metrics.

  10. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    On a positive note, history shows plainly, what science is only beginning to appreciate: the immense power of narrative for mind-changing.

    E.g., was any force for the abolition of slavery more powerful than Harriet Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Was any argument against racism as potent as the relation between Huck and Jim in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn? Were Charles Dickens’ (many) well-reasoned and passionately argued editorials for public sanitation and child labor laws as effective as Dickens’ own semi-biographical Oliver Twist, or of Dickens’ immortal fable, A Christmas Carol?

    That such transformation narratives can be consciously constructed is well-illustrated by the historical episode of George Marshall’s collaboration with Frank Capra in producing the WWII series Why We Fight.

    Assuming that AGW is real, serious, and accelerating — as climate science tells us — and further assuming that the evidence for AGW’s grows to be so strong as to convince all rational skeptics, then the question still remains: What evidence will suffice to remediate irrational skepticism?

    In coming years the answer will come not from science, nor even from rationality: it will come from the 21st century’s Stowes and Twains and Dickenses and Capras … it will come from the 21st century’s creative world’s story-tellers.

    Because against the power of narrative and science combined, the powers of willful ignorance, smears and abuse, denunciation and demogoguery, all are impotent.

    `Cuz gee … what do folks think James Cameron’s Avatar was *really* all about, eh?   :)   :)   :)

    • Fan

      Your post resonates with me, as for a forthcoming article I have been going through the Canterbury Tales, Domesday book, the Anglo Saxon Chronicles as well as numerous contemporary narratives wthin the scrolls our ancestors left us in such places as Cathedral libraries.

      They tell us that the 10th to the 14th century was very warm and settled, so presumably you will accept those chroniclers of our past climate in the same way you point to fictional works of the past century?
      tonyb.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Hmmm … since the above Marshall-Capra link has gone dead (temporarily?), try as an alternative Frank Capra’s personal recollections of working for Gen. George Marshall.

      This episode illustrates the process(es) by which the great issues of any generation are creatively transformed into great narratives.

      • stevenmosher

        “china syndrome” comes to mind.
        yes narrative has the power to transform, like everything for good or ill.
        which means of course that something else is at play.
        do you know what that is? I doubt it.

        If you want a really good case to follow read through the various versions of the faust narrative and see how that same narrative is used for various purposes. For that journey let me recommend my beloved mentor.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Heller

        “We have not yet grasped the demonic possibilities of mediocrity.”

    • RobertInAz

      I agree with the power of the narrative. The examples provided were starkly moral choices. Many alarmist want to make their anti-carbon agenda a similarly stark moral choice, but it is not so easy when the debate remains focused on the science.

      If the scientific debate is concluded in favor of CAGW with well defined and agreed consequences, then the moral discussion may gain traction.

      • I would say that people who recognize they cannot win a moral debate are frantically trying to create the illusion of a scientific one.

        While science continues to explore the possibilities, the theory of AGW is rock solid and certainly actionable. The need to resort to straw men like the imaginary “CAGW” (which is of course not a scientific theory) reflects the total failure of the attack on the science of AGW; if deniers could make a case against AGW, they would not have needed to invent “CAGW.”

      • Steve Milesworthy

        #6 Because you have referred to a scientific *theory* as rock solid you clearly don’t understand science.

      • Other rock solid theories include the theory of natural selection, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of plate tectonics.

        If you don’t understand what a rock solid theory is, I would venture that that is a problem with *your* understanding of science.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Robert, misunderstanding. I put the #6 there for a reason.

      • “Robert, misunderstanding. I put the #6 there for a reason.”

        You’re right, I totally missed that [blush].

      • Robert Austin

        “Rock solid” as in granite or as in pumice? “Rock solid” is synonymous with saying that the science is settled, we have nothing left to learn.

      • Robert, CAGW is the action issue, the reason we are here. AGW looks at the past, while CAGW looks at the future. It is so simple I marvel at your inability to grasp it. But then you seem to object to the language.

        Both are only rock solid in your mind. Outside there is a great debate.

      • Rob Starkey

        Robert

        The entire issue revolves around what the impact of AGW will have on issues which effect human lives. That depends entirely upon what the amount and rate of change that occurs due to AGW. If you do not understand the rate of change or even the amount of change, it is difficult to make intelligent decisions regarding the potential changes.

        Why are we not discussing the specific ideas that those that want to make changes suggest and evaluate whether those ideas makes sense? Is it better to invest a dollar to try to lower CO2 emissions, or is it better to spend a dollar on preparing to adapt to unpredictable future conditions?

      • Robert

        Sorry, but “deniers” did not “invent CAGW”.

        IPCC did.

        Max

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Robert: the theory of AGW is rock solid

        The match between the theory and the measurements of the shared (aka “real”) world is full of cavities. The theory may be “solid”, but it is inaccurate.

    • “was any force for the abolition of slavery more powerful than Harriet Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Was any argument against racism as potent as the relation between Huck and Jim in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn?”

      Uncle Tom is used as a prejudicial term for an African-American who ‘acts white’, or is successful or a Republican. just Google Uncle Tom and Clarence Thomas, or Bill Cosby or Herman Cain.

      Huckleberry Finn is banned in most schools because Huck, who is helping his friend to escape from slavery, calls African-American’s ‘niggers’. The authentic manner of Huck’s speech and his authentic to the time/place beliefs, such that slavery is the natural order of things, mean that this book is classed as racist.
      Huckleberry Finn ranks as the fourth most banned book in the USA:-
      http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Latest-News-Wires/2011/0105/Huck-Finn-Controversy-over-removing-the-N-word-from-Mark-Twain-novel

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, not just the examples you cite, but *EVERY SINGLE ONE* of the narratives that I cited, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Avatar, has received severe criticism and/or cries for censorship, originating from the ideological left *AND* the ideological right.

        Heck, that’s why I picked them!   :)   :)   :)

        Now, enjoy the first twenty minutes of Frank Capra’s Why We Fight: War Comes to America , and see how many artistic details you can spot, that were anathema to the ideologues of Capra’s generation!   :)   :)   :)

      • “cries for censorship, originating from the ideological left *AND* the ideological right”

        I cannot think of anyone on the ideological right wanting to ban either of these two books. Citation?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Far-right ideologues vehemently denounced — in public and by anonymous smears — both Frank Capra and General George Marshall as willing agents of international communism — Frank Capra’s recently-released FBI files in particular make for interesting reading!

        Far-right ideologues further charged that Presidents Roosevelt and Truman were both (of course!) leading agents of the conspiracy.

        As for Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, somehow I doubt that sales of either book were brisk at *THIS* 1923 far-right “Super Rally Konvention” (and Abraham Lincoln most likely would not have approved their use of his picture, either!)

        As for ideology-driven denunciation of James Cameron (Avatar), heck, denouncing James Cameron is Anthony Watt’s favorite pastime!   :)   :)   :)

      • In 1927 the KKK was was allied and controlled by the Democratic Party; it was not a right wing group by any means.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, the ideological left, the ideological right, and the dogmatically religious *ALL* have a predilection for censorship.

        Appreciating the universal appeal of censorship as a means of sustaining political power, the bedrock principle of free speech is among the most important checks-and-balances that the Framers embraced.

        According to the American Library Association, at present the most vehement calls for book censorship are coming from the religious right group Focus on the Family.

        My main quarrel with Focus on the Family is that they have *not* (yet) tried to ban Sherman Alexie!

        C`mon  … Alexie needs the sales boost attendant to banning!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Whoops! Spoke too soon. Conservatives in the PNW mounted a pretty sophisticated Sherman Alexie-banning effort … the band was rescinded after school-board members actually read the book. What a radical idea!   :)   :)   :)

        This kerfuffle is good for Alexie’s sales, one hopes!   :)   :)   :)

      • Berényi Péter

        Wow, Doc, this Huck thing is really over the top. Have all Americans gone actually insane?

        BTW, while staying in the US, I was forced to check Caucasian as my race on forms, which I had found highly embarrassing. For one thing I have no relation to the Caucasus Mountains whatsoever, what is more, I never used to think in terms of races. And it was getting beyond ridiculous, when a black African student (a visitor, really) was advised to check African-American on the form in spite of the fact he was not even remotely American. He kept insisting (in perfect queen’s English) with a wide grin, there should be a box with the N-word on the form and he was impudent enough to utter it in full in front of everybody. I have never seen so many gray & pale people in a bunch.

    • fan,

      I think you make an excellent point.

      I would argue that Al Gore’s Inconvinient Truth served this purpose for a period of time. It did form peoples’s opinion and helped to bring climate change into everyday conversation. However it suffered a fatal flaw. It wasn’t the “Truth”.

      You need more than a great story. You need for the story to be grounded in fact. For me AMC’s Walking Dead is a great story. But I can assure you I don’t make plans for dealing with zombies.

    • A fan of *MORE* discord

      On a negative note, history shows plainly, what science is only beginning to appreciate: the immense power of narrative for mind-changing.

      E.g., was any force for the Holocaust powerful than Leni Riefenstahl’s ‘Triumph of the Will’? Was any argument for racism as potent as Birth of a Nation?

      Cuts both ways, Fanny.

      :evil: :evil: :evil:

    • Hector Pascal

      “E.g., was any force for the abolition of slavery more powerful than Harriet Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Was any argument against racism as potent as the relation between Huck and Jim in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn? Were Charles Dickens’ (many) well-reasoned and passionately argued editorials for public sanitation and child labor laws as effective as Dickens’ own semi-biographical Oliver Twist, or of Dickens’ immortal fable, A Christmas Carol?”

      Historical note. The Slavery Abolition Act was enacted in the UK in 1833. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_Abolition_Act_1833

      Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom%27s_Cabin

      I would argue that the acutal abolition of slavery in the British Empire was a more powerful force than publication of a novel. It depends on one’s historic perspective, I guess.

      • The powerful force that abolished slavery in the USA was the Union army, backed by political will. The warmers have neither, as the movement sems to be failing. More stories will not help. People are tired of the stories.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Hector Pascal: “I would argue that the actual abolition of slavery in the British Empire was a more powerful force than publication of a novel. It depends on one’s historic perspective, I guess.”

        Hector, are the British narratives of writers like Mary Prince, Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho unfamiliar to you?

        How I envy the broadening of historic perspective that awaits you. Please let me commend in particular Jonathan Israel’s A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (2009), as an outstanding overview of history that (let’s face it!) is far too rich for most public schools, and for most politicians too.

        Do you have any further historical queries, Hector Pascal?   :)   :)   :)

      • stevenmosher

        Wilberforce, Sharp, Moore ( a former playwright ) Middleton ( influenced by Rev. Ramsey who served under him) would probably point to the story of Jesus. But nevermind.

  11. “JC comments: Skeptics, pay attention to this one. Accusing scientists of fraud and malfeasance with every mistake that is identified is not useful.”

    Sorry, it’s required.
    Making an error is no problem. Being wrong is not a problem.
    But the issue is science, and science is not one person, science
    way doing something. It’s method getting something right.
    The problem is not making an error, it’s not being rigorous in
    following the scientific method.

  12. “#1: Facts don’t change our minds

    Let’s go back to the . . . theory that people figured out how to build arguments as a form of verbal bullying rather than a method of spreading correct information. ”

    But spreading correct information is educational.
    A focus on education might be good idea.
    In terms of education facts may not education.

    But in say a court of law, facts *should* change your mind.
    It’s only in a flawed [and useless] a court of law that facts
    don’t change minds.

  13. It’s a nice summary of some important cognitive fallacies.

    While it would be nice if people could find common ground, sometimes ideas simply get beaten in the public discourse, and they have to go underground.

    The case for slavery, or for denying women the vote, or for instituting a command-and-control economy are recent examples of positions that simply ceased to exist as a practical political platform. People believed in them after it became social suicide to advocate for them in public, but eventually they lost critical mass and became a part of “history’s dustbin of discarded lies.”

    On the climate change issue specifically, denial that the world is warming seems to be gradually passing out of the public discourse. Climate deniers are moving down the line to other fall-back positions, low climate sensitivity, warming is good, etc., which will, in turn, become rhetorically untenable as they continue to fail the test of empirical reality..

    Much as I would really like to find common ground with science deniers, be they climate deniers or creationists or vaccine refusers or whatever, I’m not convinced that they want this or will allow it to happen. In which case pro-science folks have to keep hammering away at the lies and the gross failures of prediction until people are embarrassed to be associated with climate denial in the same way they are embarrassed to be associated with the Klan (which has a similar core demographic).

    If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.

    Winston Churchill

    • Robert says: “On the climate change issue specifically, denial that the world is warming seems to be gradually passing out of the public discourse.”

      Robert I am not aware of any person that deny the earth has warmed since the middle of the LIA. This arguement you put forth seems to be a red herring. And the use of “science deniers” get a grip fella’.

      • “Robert I am not aware of any person that deny the earth has warmed since the middle of the LIA.”

        Hang around here for a bit; or better yet, check out some of the older threads here or at WUWT or similar. You’ll find plenty who do deny it. As for your effort to push that embarrassing fact down the memory hole . . . I’m afraid you’re suffering from a bit of — dare I say — denial.

      • bob droege

        Do you want us to name names?

      • It depends what you mean by ‘world is warming’. Speak Orwellian? I see Robert does.

      • Robert you are talking nonsense. The existence of, shudder, unforced periodic warming and cooling in the recent past has been at the root of the majority of CAGW skepticism.
        Unlike Mosher, I think Mann’s various Hockey Sticks were central to the whole CAGW movement in suggesting that prior to 1960 the past temperature was flat.
        If you have a number of different, but not tightly couples, periodic processes which can redistribute heat around the planet you will have harmonics that produce both spikes and long warm/cool periods.
        Add to this the complete ability of the field to co-opt experts in other fields, then you have the mess you see now.

      • Main conclusion point from an SPPI report:
        “Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”

        Assertions that the world has warmed over the period 1850-1980 are not credible? This is denial of global warming in my book. They even had to put “global warming” in scare quotes! The SPPI aren’t dredging this stuff from some obscure backwater either, this is representative of arguments I have seen climate skeptics widely use.

        But I have noticed that skeptics making the arguments tend to cry foul if you call them out for denying global warming. They’ll shout back “strawman!” and exclaim something like “we accept the warming, we just question the cause!”.

        And they do. They do accept the 20th century global warming, and genuinely feel grieved at being labeled as denying it. But from what I’ve gathered the reason they accept 20th century warming is not of some overwhelming evidence it happened. No, the reason they accept it is because it makes them look stupid to deny the 20th century warming, so they’ve decided they accept it. It’s “politically correct” for climate skeptics to accept the world has warmed since 1900.

        Yet if they actually believed their pile-on of doubt against the surface records, proxies and theory, then they have no good reason to accept 20th century warming.

      • Lolwot, this may be the one hundredth time I have made this point to you, not that you will grasp it, but happy anniversary. Scepticism is a set of different arguments, often made by different people. So, for example, the error in the surface statistical models is larger than the warming they claim to measure, so we do not know that it has warmed. But if it has then emerging from the LIA is the most likely explanation. Is that so hard to grasp? I guess so. See you next time.

      • John Kennedy

        “the error in the surface statistical models is larger than the warming they claim to measure, so we do not know that it has warmed.”

        Do you have a citation for that claim? It contradicts the findings of a large number of assessments of uncertainties in global temperatures.

        See for example:

        Smith, T. M., et al. (2008), Improvements to NOAA’s Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006), J. Climate, 21, 2283-2293.

        Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004, doi:10.1029/2010RG000345P.

        Brohan, J.J. Kennedy, I. Harris, S.F.B. Tett and P.D. Jones, Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850. J. Geophys. Res, 111, D12106, doi:10.1029/2005JD006548.

        Morice, C. P., J. J. Kennedy, N. A. Rayner, and P. D. Jones (2012), Quantifying uncertainties in global and regional temperature change using an ensemble of observational estimates: The HadCRUT4 dataset, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2011JD017187

        See also the Berkeley papers.

      • andrew adams

        David,

        “Emerging from the LIA” is not an explanation.

      • “So, for example, the error in the surface statistical models is larger than the warming they claim to measure, so we do not know that it has warmed”

        So you are questioning global warming, not just the cause.

        And you use the word “we”.

      • stevenmosher

        Innumerate nonsense.

        “So, for example, the error in the surface statistical models is larger than the warming they claim to measure, so we do not know that it has warmed”

        David, why do you deny that there was a Little Ice Age?

      • Has anyone stopped beating the Baby Ice?
        ==============

      • andrew adams

        “emerging from the LIA” is not an explanation

        Actually, it is a very GOOD explanation, andrew, especially if it is followed by the phrase, “for reasons that are not fully understood as yet”.

        The reason for this is that there is NO reasonable doubt the the LIA existed and that it was a period of colder climate than before or after. What is not fully understood is why it occurred and why it ended.

        Max

      • “there is NO reasonable doubt the the LIA existed and that it was a period of colder climate than before or after”

        Science is settled you mean? Is there a consensus?

        What is the LIA based on? I assume you can’t trust the instrumental records so I guess it’s based on proxies is it? Are proxies solid enough to provide settled science?

      • andrew adams

        manacker,

        No, the end (and indeed the beginning) of the LIA is an effect of change in climate, not an explanation for it. No one is disputing that the climate cooled and then warmed again, the question is why.
        The likely explanation, or at least part of it, is the Maunder minimum which lasted from 1645 to 1715. Depending where you want to draw the boundaries of the LIA you could also include the Dalton minimum which ocurred not long afterwards.
        The trouble is that those events do not have any impact on modern warming which rather scuttles the “we’re still recovering from the LIA” argument.

      • “The reason for this is that there is NO reasonable doubt the the LIA existed and that it was a period of colder climate than before or after. What is not fully understood is why it occurred and why it ended.”

        Why is cools is far more important than why it warms.

        So how within a few centuries could present temperature cool?

        We have many who assume we could at the beginning of a cooling cycle which may last a decade or so, but this if it occurs should fairly minor.
        Change in the sun activity could have significant effect.
        Large volcanoes could have significant effect..
        Large forest fires.

        The solar effect which decrease temperature, would be related to increase in global cloudiness.
        Volcanoes or large fires would involve particle or soot in the atmosphere.
        And warming and cooling cyclic decadial changes may involve cloudiness or dust in atmosphere, but probably other factors.

        It is possible decadial and/or cycles of warming and cooling could related massive gain or loss of planetary energy. Something prevent heat from escaping, and so builds up like water behind dam, then mechanism ceases or is overwhelmed and gets a surge of loss of heat. And such surge of heat loss could pull more heat out of the system than it normally does. So there some talk of this regarding polar vortex, but it seems for global climate the south pole could much stronger effect. Because bigger black hole that such in lots of heat.

      • gbailki, “Something prevent heat from escaping, and so builds up like water behind dam, then mechanism ceases or is overwhelmed and gets a surge of loss of heat. And such surge of heat loss could pull more heat out of the system than it normally does. ”

        I think that is what we are seeing now in the Arctic. If the polar ice is balanced, the sea ice insulates the oceans more efficiently. When the Arctic gets more ice free, the oceans can dump more energy. The Antarctic land mass location prevents it from shrinking enough to “blow out” much more energy than it does.

        It would still take something else I would think to help, but that is a lot of energy being dumped.

      • LIA is written history, just as WWII is.

        Whatever caused it (low solar activity with uncertain mechanisms plus other unidentified factors?) was apparently reversed (high solar activity with uncertain mechanisms, AGW plus other unidentified factors?).

        So at least PART of the recovery from the LIA (which has been historically documented) was of unexplained natural origin.

        Just as Europe “recovered” from WWII, the world “recovered” from the LIA.

        It’s all history.

        Max

    • RobertInAz

      One of the conclusions I reached when reviewing the creationist “facts” and “research” is that, IMHO, the discipline was not really focused on convincing a skeptic. It was designed to provide confirmation to per-existing beliefs.

    • see #1, #2, #3, and #5. (I’d happily give you #4, but there isn’t really anything mathy enough to go in in there).

    • Steven Mosher

      There are plenty of points for common ground.

      1. archiving data is required
      2. showing your method is required.
      3. telling lies to steal information is bad.
      4. professionals who dont use best practices should not be trusted.

      people only argue against those when their tribe are in violation.

      So now Robert explain which of these you find illogical

  14. RobertInAz

    #1: Facts don’t change our minds

    I struggle with this statement. I personally have a number of examples in the health and fitness field where the Mayo clinic and other such sites have changed my mind about the approach I should take to getting healthy.

    I think the issue is when there are plentiful “facts” on each side of an argument and an intelligent, informed, and reasonable person wants to sort through the facts with minimal “appeals to authority”.

    It is interesting reading these threads and cogitating on who is intelligent, informed, and reasonable. I know many who hit two out of three.

    • These points are greatly simplified thumbnails of complex cognitive processes clinical psychologists are just beginning to explore, but in general, addressing your point about health and fitness, people’s ability to face facts relates inversely to our investment in whatever might be challenged by the fact.

      In the case of diet or fitness, you may have minimal investment in the way you do things now, and so find it easy to weigh the facts dispassionately. If you were a personal trainer who had been teaching a given fact over and over for twenty years, you might find it significantly more difficult. It would create a large amount of what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, which just mean a fact that challenges our worldview or self-concept in an uncomfortable way.

      Facts that challenge our ideology, or positions we have argued strongly in favor of, or facts that challenge our beliefs about ourselves (positive or negative!) are much more likely to get caught in our cognitive filters and chewed up.

      • RobertInAz

        Good point – while I am very invested in the health outcome, my major investment in the process is to be as pain free as possible.

        I would point out that the moral issue of slavery was “resolved” as its economic justification diminished. In WWII, the USA was never really pushed to examine the level of our involvement as we were in our various Asian adventures.

      • I’m not sure I understand what you are getting at by saying that “the moral issue of slavery was “resolved” as its economic justification diminished.” Slavery wasn’t abandoned voluntarily. I guess I am missing what you are driving at.

        Parenthetically, while slavery may not have made much sense from the point of view of the overall economy, if you were a rich planter with tens of thousands of dollars in capital tied up in slaves, you stood to lose quite a lot. As, one might say, coal, gas, and oil companies stand to lose quite a lot, although the economic analyses suggest that the world economy as a whole will be trillions of dollars richer in 2100 if we radically cut our emissions of greenhouse gases.

        Even if a change is overall a big win, there are still going to be some economic losers.

      • RobertInAz

        My point is that while the narrative was powerful, the pro-slavery incentives were fading away allowing the moral argument to gain greater traction. The country may have achieved abolition in a decade or three without civil war.

        Not related to moral imperatives, it may be that the climate wars fade away in a decade or three with no real consensus ever achieved on the underlying science around CO2 forcing:
        - Human CO2 emissions may not reach projected levels.
        - Atmospheric CO2 may not increase as projected in response to those emissions.
        - Other cooling forcing may become more important (solar, particulates, interstellar dust cloud).

      • “The country may have achieved abolition in a decade or three without civil war.”

        Well, we’re well and truly OT now, but I have to say I doubt this.

        At the time of the South’s attempted secession, the President had explicitly, loudly, and repeatedly stated that he had no intention or even inclination to “interfere with the institution of slavery.”

        So it is hard to see how slavery could have been left to “wither on the vine” avoiding civil war, if the mere election of someone who opposed the extension of slavery to the North was all it took to set it off.

        Not related to moral imperatives, it may be that the climate wars fade away in a decade or three with no real consensus ever achieved on the underlying science around CO2 forcing:
        - Human CO2 emissions may not reach projected levels.
        - Atmospheric CO2 may not increase as projected in response to those emissions.
        - Other cooling forcing may become more important (solar, particulates, interstellar dust cloud).

        While doubtless the climate wars, like all political conflict, will eventually fade away or transmute into something different, I find the specific scenario you outline extraordinarily improbable. Atmospheric CO2 has been steadily increasing at an accelerating rate throughout the whole of the instrumental record. Emissions could end up 10%, 20%, or 40% under — or over! — what analyses project — these are based on economic projections, which are not known for being highly accurate. But even if human emissions undershot projections, they would still be far too high to prevent atmospheric CO2′s relentless rise. Only deliberate, collective action can do that.

        As for “white knight” cooling influences — also very unlikely. The sun can’t do it — cf this graph of the projected effect of a new grand solar minimum: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2011/06/big-minimum-solar-discussion-in-one.html. Interstellar dust clouds? No. For many reasons, no.

        Much more likely that unexpected cooling in the 21st century is unexpected warming. Remember, the changes in the solar forcing that pushed the world in and out of ice ages are miniscule compared with the anthropogenic forcing. If those slight nudges can trigger 5-6C of global warming, what is the sledgehammer of AGW going to do?

      • Robert,

        The issue of slavery was a vexing one for the founders. At the time it was seen as a problem, one that was not conducive to man’s unalienable rights. While perhaps the majority recognized it could not realisitically exist under the Constituttion, in the end they were forced to reach an unsatisfactory compromise. In effect they put off the problem to another day.

        There is reason to believe slavery would have eventually lost out due to poor economics. If I remember correctly, it was the continued insistence by southern delegations to maintain parity in Congress that brought the issue into the public arena, providing abolishinists the motivation to take a far more active stance. One could write books on why a minority of southerners holding political power managed to control the debate. The same can probably be said about how a minority of people have managed to control the debate on climate. I suspect that these folks will find themselves on the same side of history as those southern politicians. namely the losing one.

      • Robert,

        RE your second post.

        It was not Lincoln’s position to oppose the extension of slavery to the North. That wasn’t going to happen even if the south controlled the Executive and Legislative branches of govt.

        Lincoln opposed the extension of slavery into new states and territories. He recognized that slavery was on its way out and was’t foolish enough to risk civil war to speed up the process. However he was not willing to extend it by allowing slavery to be exported to new states.

      • Robert, meet Jim Cripwell. Your sledgehammer has the heft of a flyswatter, and is apparently too weak to prevent one of your 5-6 deg C ‘nudges’ to the cool side, due soon enough.
        ===================

    • tempterrain

      “facts don’t change our minds”

      Well they do mine. I used to argue against nuclear power on the grounds that it was too dangerous.
      But I have changed this opinion. I now believe that we don’t have any choice but to make it safe and, indeed, the safety figures for the nuclear industry, even with the inclusion of the Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents, are very good.

  15. Darlin’ Beth,

    My alter ego – Chief Hydrologist – thanks you for the lovely poem ( @ http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/07/week-in-review-7612/#comment-216693 )about the mighty river. One thing about plovers however is that they could survive a nuclear war let alone a bit of industrial pollution.

    If we grow trees – it gives them less airspace to attack from. And think of the biodiversity gains and the carbon being sequestered.

    Best regards
    Captain (Robbo) Kangaroo

    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  16. Dr. Curry, you should stick to climate issues — some of these issues you don’t understand well enough to instruct. Take #5: Almost everyone should appreciate that arguments between two sides aren’t to resolve the issue logically between the two, but instead are to convince third parties (and not all of them either, but the open minded of the third parties).

    We seek the truth by building a consensus (politics) for our sides to include as many for our sides as possible to influence action.

    On #4 any thoughtful person should know that it isn’t so much “understanding probability” as understanding expected value. The argument about guns is a perfect illustration. While the probably of your home being invaded by terrorists is small, the cost could be high enough that the expected value of keeping a gun available is enough to do so. As for the likelihood of a criminal invasion, gun control advocates have been loosing this argument for years and death rates in states deregulating gun use for private protection have been declining compared to states maintaining strict controls.

    I could go on, but I’ve given enough reason for an open minded third party to dismiss the points of the article extracted.

    • I work with a Scout Pack and was asked to do a presentation of ‘how not to be dead’. I actually look up the statistics for deaths of young males. Traffic accidents is first, then fires, drowning and then FALLS. If your home has a swimming pool or trees, these these are more likely to kill your son than a firearm.
      No one appears to talk about the death toll of children caused by pools or trees.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        DocMartyn, statistics for the general population don’t really carry over to individual cases. For example, deaths by firearms are almost always caused, not by the possession of a firearm, but by the failure of the parent(s) to properly handle the possession of it. In the same way, most drownings are caused by children swimming when they shouldn’t be (unsupervised).

        It’s a shame there’s no statistics on preventable deaths in these categories.

      • Brandon,
        Most deaths in the US involving firearms result from deliberate acts of assault; followed in number by deliberate acts of self-defense. Accidental killings are third and most of these accidents involve hunting. Children accidentally killed because of lack of proper supervision are rare — occurring less than 115 times in 2002 according to the CDC for children 17 and younger — see http://webapp.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10.html.and understand some of these unintended for the older children are hunting accidents.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh really? In that case, the numbers for deaths by firearms are really misleading. If almost all deaths by firearms are intentional/hunting accidents, then there is nearly no risk in having firearms in the house.

        I couldn’t check your link though. I got a 404 error.

      • Dave Springer

        The majority of gun related deaths in the U.S. are suicides. In 2007 according to the National Vital Statistics Report there were 32,000 gun-related deaths, 17,000 were suicides, 12,000 were homicides, and 3,000 were accidental.

        On the matter of suicide that’s not my judgement to make except to say if there were less violent sanctioned options available for the tortured mind or body to find the ultimate relief the gun deaths would plummet. One might think police are at high risk of being killed a by a gun and that’s true enough but the sad fact is that 80% of police deaths by gunshot are suicides. The most dangerous gun to a police officer is his own.

        Of the homicides only 5% were by shotgun so it was pretty effing stupid to use a shotgun as an example unless one wants to talk about suicides. A twelve gauge shotgun is a preferred method for that. Single-shot 12-guage shotguns are cheap and easy to purchase.

        75% of gun homicides are by handgun. Most of those are in high poverty urban settings and gang related. But hey, look on the bright side, there aren’t many drunk driving fatalities in high poverty urban settings. I guess each demographic has its own unique cross to bear, huh?

      • To get to the link intended, eliminate the text following “.html”

        Suicide is a deliberate act of assault and so are murders and even self-defense killings. Accidents are rare relatively speaking — more people drown in swimming accidents.

      • http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_19.pdf

        “Table 18. Number of deaths, death rates, and age-adjusted death rates for injury deaths, by mechanism and intent of death: United States, 2007″

        has unintended firearm deaths totaling 613. A large proportion of these will be hunting accidents — while trending down in numbers, hunting accidents have numbered around 900 per year when I use to pay attention to them 10+ years ago.

      • Dave Springer

        Philip Lee | July 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

        “Suicide is a deliberate act of assault”

        In the same as is eating a bacon cheeseburger, moron.

    • Regarding the keeping of a firearm for protection – I believe this is best summarized by a quote from the movie True Romance. “Clarence, it is better to have a gun and not need it, than not have a gun and need it.”

    • tempterrain

      Philip Lee,
      I’ll just take you up on our argument that “death rates in states deregulating gun use for private protection have been declining compared to states maintaining strict controls.” In the USA guns are freely available just about everywhere, regardless of any attempted local state control.
      You could, if you really wanted to compare factual information. look at the death rate, due to gun use, for countries in which firearms are hard to come by. That’s the real test.

      • tempterrain
        This may not be the place for this debate, but 9 years back I analyzed suicide for the US and the state of Maryland. In that study I compared suicide for the US and other countries — some having severe restrictions on firearms (e.g. Japan). There are many countries with severe restrictions on firearms that have higher rates of suicide than the US (Japan had about twice the rate). People try to justify restrictions on guns from the fact that the use of guns for suicide is high in the US, but the experience in Australia and Canada and many other places is that restrictions on guns will drive down the gun suicide rate while leaving the overall suicide rate unchanged — people will find an alternative, See http://www.mcrkba.org/Suicide.pdf.

      • tempterrain

        Suicides? Yes. But what about homicides?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Wikipedia sez the *unintentional* gun death rate in the US is much greater than the homicide rate in the England/Wales or Scotland (and comparable to the homicide rate in much of Western Europe). The unintentional death rate in EW&Scotland is also very low despite a vibrant hunting industry (if you can call shooting tame birds bred for their stupidity hunting).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

        So you are as or more likely to be accidentally shot and killed in the US than be unlawfully shot and killed in Europe.

        The Northern Ireland figures are very high – they are from 1994 which was during the “troubles”.

      • tempterrain,
        As much as I would love to refute the old propaganda concerning guns and homicide rates, I don’t have the time. I suggest you engage in a course of study to really understand the issues. If gun availability (that is to both the lawless and to the average law-abiding), why are the murder rates in some severely restrictive countries higher than the US? Do you really understand the difference between how the US and other countries such as England classify murder for statistical and legal purposes (it isn’t as straightforward as you think). Beyond murders, how do you value home invasions and other assaults in the US vs other countries. Why do you think states like Maine, N. Dakota, and other border states have low rates of homicide than the adjoining provinces in Canada? Why do you think rural areas of the US (where guns are common) have low rates of crime relative to US cities where guns are not common? Why do you think that the actual rate of murder among Texas gun permit holders are so low compared to those not holding such permits.

        When you have studied these points and want a discussion, contact me.

      • tempterrain

        Philip Lee,

        Steve has the right idea. He makes an argument then back it up with some statistical data. Another figure to look at is the overall murder rate. Because no-one is saying that guns are the only factor in the equation and, even if the number of firearm deaths were higher and the overall homicide rate were lower, then you might still have a case.

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

        That may apply to a country like Switzerland for instance.

        This argument isn’t so much off topic as some may think. Its about using reasoned argument for making a decision. I’m in favour of the strict controls on firearms which the European countries impose because the figures, both for firearm deaths and the overall murder rate, suggest that to be the best policy. Similarly on the non-imposition of the death penalty. If the figures were different I’d change my views accordingly.

        But some don’t think that way. I’m not sure why that should be, but they don’t.

      • Done that temp.

        Are you aware that if you segregate out one subset of the US population, the US rate is right around the average for Europe and below that of a couple of the major European nations?

        It is also interesting to note that the rates for some European nations are increasing, as their population mix changes.

        We’ll leave off on property crime rates, other than to say you wouldn’t want to have them here.

  17. A very interesting article that shows the difficulty the “little guy” has in sorting out the B. S. from the real-deal in the public discourse on virtually any subject.

    Personally, I use the “yellow snow” test to sort things out. If someone with impressive, well-flashed credentials and an authoritative manner advises me that “eating the yellow snow is bad for you”, then I’m generally inclined, initially, to avoid the “yellow snow”. But, if, I then see those same know-it-all nags chowing down on the “yellow snow”, themselves, like it’s the best part–with the yellowest of the snow reserved for the dining pleasure of the most beautiful of the beautiful-people big-shots, then I call SCAM! HUSTLE!

    And that’s why the ubiquitous, carbon-piggie hypocrisies attached to the CAGW business prompts me to exclaim SCAM! HUSTLE!

    But, then, it’s a hard-coded “programming” of us “little guys,” who are the frequent targets of our betters’ devious, rip-off designs, that we see those, advocating a further reduction of our already marginal, peasant, peon, helot, serf lifestyle-existence, lead from the front and by personal example and practice what they preach–or we just don’t take their smarty-pants crapola seriously.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      mike, that’s going to lead to a bit of polar behaviour isn’t it. People will either be trusted experts or evil scammers in your eyes. I don’t believe a man who knows his apostrophe’s so well is really as simple as that.

      • What’s “polar” about my little “scam” detector, Steve? Some guy trying to pick my tax-payer pocket while exempting himself and his slicko, hypocrite buddies from the sacrifices he and they urge on others is a scamster. Pure and simple. Nothing “polar” about it.

        But, Steve, it might be hard to see all that, as obvious as it is, if one is–not you, Steve, of course,–a generously compensated stooge in the service of the CAGW hustle, for example, with a trough-full of “good-deal” carbon-swill to protect.

        On the other hand, Steve, I’m prepared to offer you a really great opportunity to invest in some Florida swamp-land. Just send all your money to, me, guy and sit back and wait for the big-bucks to roll in. And, please, Steve, don’t go all “polar” on me. O. K., guy?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Maybe if you could find me a nice hill in the middle of nowhere with good prospects for being a coastal property by the time I retire…

      • Lucky you, Steve! I got just the thing! Just send me all your money and I’ll send you a deed and some pictures. You’ll love it!!

      • Hey Steve! Been doin’ some further deep-thinkin’ like on your last and that has got me wondering just what you’re doing with all that “rock-solid” scientific CAGW scam knowledge you and “the team” are keepin’ so close-hold that even FOIA requests can’t pry it from your grasping little mitts.

        I mean, like, someone with a sure-fire knowledge of Florida sea-level rises within their working life-times just has to be in a position to make a big-time, real-estate “killing”, armed with that knowledge. So, Steve, since we’re such ol’ pals, and all, why don’t you, just between you and me, reveal just what really great, Florida properties you’re invested in? I won’t tell anyone else. Promise.

        And, Steve, don’t try to kid me or anyone else. I know you’re the kind of greenshirt who puts his money with his mouth is. So, I just know, you’ve got some great deals going for you in Florida, guy. You know, like Robert.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Actually, all my money is tied up in Quorn (TM) farms. Apparently those mycoproteins are just luvin’ this wet weather we’re having this side of the pond.

      • tempterrain

        Mike, Of course it is entirely possible that Al Gore , or whoever else you may have in mind, is just as bad as you say he is. It is entirely possible, also, that the Earth’s climate system takes not a blind bit of notice and operates totally independently of any hypocrisy in this world.
        Ever thought of that, when calibrating your ‘scam detector’?
        Its a classic example of a logical fallacy leading to self deception. Faced with a claim you find hard to accept, you find someone you don’t like who may be repeating that claim and therefore give yourself some justification for rejecting it.

      • temp,

        And just what might be the point, temp, of this last facile bit of reasoning of yours, temp? Could it just possibly be your best shot at keeping the CAGW scam alive that has been so good to you and your Lysenkoist hive-bozo buddies? I think so, temp.

        Temp, let me ask you this. Would you buy a stock on the recommendation of a broker that you knew was shorting the same stock, himself? I wouldn’t. And I don’t buy any carbon-peril scare-stories from a bunch of carbon piggie gluttons either.

        Temp, with regards to your trite, stale, carbon-demon-gonna-getcha! flim-flam–Yawn. And, of course, the point of the whole, CO2 bogey-man drill, temp, is for you and your flunky ilk to establish a pretext which your make-a-buck/make-a-gulag betters can then use to rip-off the “little” guy tax-payer big-time. Not to mention, temp, that the spillage from your masters’ tax-payer haul, fills your own good-deal, carbon-porker, hypocrite, hack-grade trough. I mean, like, temp, although it is surely a source of discomfort to your tender, greenshirt sensibilities, us “little” guys have figured out the con-job deal you’ve been pushing some while ago–sorry, guy.

        But my perfectly reasonable, no-brainer expectation that you and your Big-Green masters should be leading the carbon-reduction crusade from the front and by personal example has really stuck a nerve with you, hasn’t it, temp? I mean, like, it’s the sort of leadership expectation that us “little” guys respond to because it is the sort of leadership we admire, understand, practice ourselves, and respect. But, curiously, the idea that someone like you, temp, should lead from the front and by personal example scares the wits out of you, temp. Why, temp?

        I’ve got my own theory, why, temp. Allow me to share it. I suspect, temp, that you recoil from the idea of leadership by example because it philosophically clashes with your utopian dreams of the perfect hive-heaven. That is, I can well imagine you see your leadership style as one of Comrade temp, commissar super-dude whip-cracker strutting arrogantly like a giant among the cowering pygmies. You know, like, there’s temp! proud possessor of a much coveted, well-flashed, senior-cade, party-ration card!–I’m so sorry now that I called him booger-eater, geek-ball, sneaky little weasel creep-out in high school! You know, that kinda thing, temp.

        Temp, the only thing left at this point to save your dying CAGW scam is for you and Al Gore and the rest of the hive to take vows of carbon-poverty, don the hair-shirt, and set the example–personally and from the front. ‘Cuz the scare-mongering razzzle-dazzle has lost all its former magic. And, really, temp, why shouldn’t you set the example if you are really convinced of all this carbon doom-and-gloom?

    • And of course this calls for a respectful homage to Frank Zappa:

  18. Reads more like 5 fat fallacies that are a bit thin on logic. Mind you it is from ‘Cracked’ so probably meant to be so and yes I did find them funny rather than educational. But I like JC’s comments.

    Personally, if I argue with adults it is to inform and be informed, not to win. Arguments about winning are mostly with your children when they are small. When they are teenagers the arguments are about negotiation and when they are adults it is about information.

    Does anyone argue at work to win? Or with their spouse? How is that working for you?

    And ‘facts don’t change our minds’? That is plain daft. They change our minds all the time.

    But I guess this piece is mostly for entertainment, so fair enough. And the parallels with the Climate science debate are all too comic.

  19. Thank goodness real science can sort out truth from fiction. We will know the truth one day….

    • tempterrain

      If Judith, and all others who participate in the denialist/skeptic filibuster, have their way we’ll be totally convinced that the science is all just too uncertain until its all too late to do anything. Then we certainly will know for sure. We will know the truth one day.

      • Hey, tempterrain, you’re beginning to sound like the scruffy-looking guy I saw on the street with the “THE END IS NEAR” sign.

        My advice: cool it, take a deep breath and relax.

        Max

  20. Not at all unexpectedly we see again that pointing out fallacies has led mostly to comments that perpetuate fallacies.

  21. Strangelove

    “#4. Our brains don’t understand probability:
    Do you know a guy who keeps a loaded shotgun under his bed? You know, in case a gang of European terrorists storm into his house and try to kidnap his family?”
    I accept that our brains dont handle probabilty well, but this particular example has a flaw; it misses the asymmetry of gaining and losing something i.e the loss of my cheapo wristwatch causes a much greater negative change in my wellbeing than the positive change from say, being given a second identical watch.
    For example I lock the house door in case a ‘traveller’ steals the family dog – whilst the probabilty is low, the grief would be high.
    -Isn’t it the product of risk and damage that counts?

    • Steve Milesworthy

      The key point for me was a bit hidden: it is more likely that the shotgun will end up shooting you or your children (through accident or misuse) than it being used to save your life.

      • Robert Austin

        Your logic is flawed. You are forgetting (deliberately?) the fact that the possibility of man having a shotgun handy would deter a percentage of those that might target a person otherwise known to being vulnerable and unable to defend themselves. The weapon does not have to be fired or even brandished to have a deterrent effect.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Beyond that, almost all accidental firearm deaths are caused by people misusing their firearms. It makes no sense to compare deaths caused by irresponsibility to deaths caused by the mere presence of a gun.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        What about the possibility that a burglar will arm up and be ready to shoot in order to avoid the risk of being shot. Or that you foolishly misjudge a situation and shoot an innocent person and thereby end up in Jail.

        Brandon, people will always be irresponsible. If they are irresponsible when there are no guns around, less harm will come about.

        I’m from the UK. We’re funny about guns.

      • Dave Springer

        Steve Milesworthy | July 10, 2012 at 4:35 am | Reply

        “Brandon, people will always be irresponsible. If they are irresponsible when there are no guns around, less harm will come about.”

        Steve, people will always be irresponsible. If they are irresponsible when there is no beer around, less harm will come about.

        “I’m from the UK. We’re funny about guns.”

        That’s because you’re a bunch of drunkards and have leaders who are sane enough to know that guns & beer don’t mix.

      • Theory is taking precedence over facts here. Just an in climate science, observation trumps theory.
        “In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of “Wild West” showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender.

        The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.

        Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available – for the year 2005 – show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189.

        By comparison, the population of Morton Grove, the first city in Illinois to adopt a gun ban for anyone other than police officers, has actually dropped slightly and stands at 22,202, according to 2005 statistics. More significantly, perhaps, the city’s crime rate increased by 15.7 percent immediately after the gun ban, even though the overall crime rate in Cook County rose only 3 percent. Today, by comparison, the township’s crime rate stands at 2,268 per 100,000.

        This was not what some predicted.”

        http://www.wnd.com/2007/04/41196/

      • ah anecdotes

      • Steve Milesworthy

        “…requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun”

        Wow! Did they also require each household to take out appropriate insurance cover?

      • The gun IS the insurance. :)

      • lolwot | July 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | ah anecdotes

        No. Ah, facts.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Did you seriously just ask what if I “foolishly misjudge” a situation in response to me saying the problem is irresponsibility, not the guns? That’s silly.

        Being responsible with guns requires one not “foolishly misjudge” situations when you’re using them!

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I interpreted “irresponsibility” as being careless (leaving it loaded and accessible to children, mucking around thinking gun is not loaded). Misjudgement (foolish or otherwise) might be to assume a stranger on or near your property is a criminal who needs to be shot when in fact they are your children returning from a party they weren’t supposed to be at, or the neighbour looking for his cat, or a tourist who is lost or a kid out to buy a back of sweets.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        That’s an interesting interpretation. Any gun owner should know you never fire a gun unless you know what you’re pointing it at. That includes not just what you’re aiming at, but what’s nearby and behind your target.

        Moreover, self-defense only applies if there’s an imminent threat. Someone simply being on your property doesn’t count. Heck, somebody being on your property with a gun doesn’t even count (once they enter your house, it’s a different story).

        There is no way anyone who is responsible about gun ownership should ever shoot a person in any of your examples.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Side note. I don’t own a gun, but a couple weeks ago, I nearly shot a coyote so it wouldn’t attack a dog. And before I ever held a gun, I learned how to be responsible about them.

        If you want to protect people from me accidentally hurting them, make sure I can never drive a car. I’m far more likely to hurt someone in an automobile accident than with a gun.

      • This doesn’t usually happen.

        In general, most home intruders operate under the following two guidelines.

        1) try to ensure no one is home at the time of intrusion.

        2) do so without a weapon, as they know that a) the penalties for armed robbery are significantly higher and b) they conce inside they can arm themselves in the kitchen.

  22. 6. Tu Quoque fallacy –e.g., Oh yeah? You say my ‘hockey stick’ ist quatsch? Nazis killed the Jews. Only idiots and fascists deny the Holocaust. American capitalism is causing the global warming that is killing the polar bears displacing millions of coastal residents due to rising seas. Skeptics are deniers that should be hunted down and tried for crimes against humanity.

  23. A lot of these characterizations seem to work well amongst the world of blogging, but I do not think they apply very well to “the real world.” Even among blogs, these characterizations apply to a fraction of the different sites on the internet, usually depending on the degree of moderation and technical level of the target audience.

    Actually, these sort of characterizations are a useful way to gauge whether a blog is a “science blog” or whether it simply talks about scientific topics. You will find a stark contrast between the above characterizations and the environment encountered at Isaac Held’s blog, for example.

    • Everybody is subject to cognitive biases — it’s all a matter of degree. The degree is important, of course!

      One of the reasons science seems to work is because it resists the lure of these distortions better than most other enterprises, which is precisely why science has always found itself under attack from ideologues of all stripes.

      • stevenmosher

        One reason it works is because people share their power: data and code.
        When I share that I give you the power to prove that I made a mistake.

      • Once you spelled “fred” instead of “ferd”. I figured another mistake would not come around very soon, so I planted my flag.

      • Steven Mosher

        somebody is obsessive. I could use a good copy editor however, do you work cheap.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Thank you for the link to Held’s web-page: the level of detail in the ocean-dynamical simulations is astounding.

      • Well that animation has made me change my mind. Previously I was somewhat skeptical about the ability of researchers to reconstruct the sea surface temperature based on the approximate position of ships and the temperature taken by canvas/metal/plastic buckets and inlet manifolds.
        On review it is quite clear that such reconstructions are quite obviously valid, given that the system studied is not in anyway at all dynamic.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, were it not for conservation of energy, you would be absolutely right.

        Yet Nature wisely constrains herself, as she sloshes energy around with the vigor so evident in the animation, to strictly conserve the total energy, such that the heat fluctuations in all of those meso-scale eddies average to zero.

        For this reason, in a mathematically and physically rigorous sense, the overall heat budget of the earth is far smoother than the eddies that challenge our ability to measure it.

        More broadly it is absolutely correct to say, to assert that all of climate science is founded upon the principles of (1) strict conservation of energy, and (2) strict increase of entropy.

        What is your next question, DocMartyn?   :)   :)   :)

      • I do hope your analyst is on danger money

      • The concept of conservation of energy doesn’t seem to apply well to climate as far as I can see. Just take absolute horizontal energy transport and make the entire world the same surface temperature. Will the albedo remain the same as the current albedo? I couldn’t say for sure but it seems unlikely. I think the problem is that the world is not an isolated system.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … DocMartyn, your humor is keen … and also, you serve as a scout leader too. Good on yah for both!  :)   :)   :)

      • Steve Milesworthy

        fan’s answer helps sort out the issue of global and regional/basin average temperatures.

        Additionally, once you understand (with more detailed modern observations and with appropriate use of models) the local variability of temperature, you can reassess your past observations in the light of such variability thereby giving you a better assessment of uncertainty.

        You can perhaps also use your modern data to help you understand unusual past data.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steve Milesworthy, your point is excellent. When our day is hot we are hardwired to imagine “the world is hot!. Thus we mistake local fluctuations for global fluctuations.

        But the local fluctuations are fluctuations of energy transport, not fluctuations of total energy. The total energy is ramping-up smoothly (as climate science predicts). And this secular increase in the world’s net heat arises directly from well-understood, well-verified scientific principles of energy conservation, entropy increase, and radiative heat transport.

        This conclusion can be summarized two ways:

        ——————–
        Rational conclusion: The science of climate change is factually correct in its essential details, and the implications are fundamental to the great moral issues of our now-crowded planet.

        Irrational conclusion: A bunch of apes led by James Hansen are trying to steal all our precious bananas! Only a vigorous display of feces-flinging dominance behaviors can repel them. Climate-change science, it is wrong, wrong, WRONG! And this truth cannot be doubted.
        ——————–

        Judith Curry is entirely correct to observe that evolution has adapted us to the second behavior, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • Dave Springer

        Energy may be ramping up smoothly but it’s only 0.5W/m2. That’s enough to warm the entire volume of the ocean a mere 0.2C over the next 100 years. I’m supposed to be worried about that? Are you insane?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        David, unfortunately current forcing is 1.6W/m^2 and rising, leaving a Watt or so to warm the atmosphere. The energy will not so smoothly hide away in the deep blue sea.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Dave Springer asks a perennial question:

        Dave Springer asks “Are you insane?”

        Your posts often inspire that question, Dave … the comedic associations to your question are a much-appreciated contribution to this forum.   :)   :)   :)

        Needless to say, for rational skeptics a key indicator is whether the predictions of James Hansen and colleagues comes to pass, in particular, the prediction of “Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications” (arXiv:1105.1140v2, 2011) of “an acceleration of sea-level rise this decade.”

        Recent satellite observations make Hansen’s prediction more plausible, don’t you think, Dave Springer?

      • Is this pearls before a swinish med student?
        Fan,
        Look at the scale of the energy involved: 1.6 watts in a system that is in the hundreds.
        And honest scientists will admit that large parts of the overall budget and system are not well described as yet.
        Your rational conclusion is not actually very rational.
        Your description of the irrational response is shallow and reactionary.
        Many skeptics properly separate climate science from the social movement that promotes climate doom. The difference is profound.

      • “Look at the scale of the energy involved: 1.6 watts in a system that is in the hundreds.”

        Life on earth can only survive in a very tight temperature range within hundreds of kelvin.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        hunter asks “Is this pearls before a swinish med student?”

        Thank you for your question, hunter!

        Medical students do appreciate that mammals in general, and humans in particular, do regulate their temperatures within a range ±1/1000 (absolute temperature), and that substantial departures from this narrow thermal range are associated to grave illness or death.

        More generally, high-precision regulation/observation of *ANY* physical quantity requires that quantity to be dynamically conserved in proportion to the precision required.

        Thus, high-precision predictions of the earth’s heat-balance depend the principle of conservation of energy (which is believed to be exact), and upon the stability of the solar radiative energy input (stable to about ±1/1000), and finally, upon the level of radiative energy output.

        There is no question that anthropogenic increases in CO2 levels act to reduce the radiative energy output. The key physics question therefore is, do the associated changes to radiative output from H20 act to damp-versus-amplify the CO2-induced changes?

        Working through all the math, and carefully checking the math against the observations, James Hansen and his colleagues predict that much more global warming is in the pipeline. In particular, in their recent Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications (2011) they predict “acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade..”

        If the predicted acceleration is observed (and satellites already are beginning to see it), then we can foresee in coming years a substantial conversion of rational climate-change skepticism to rational non-skepticism.

        As for irrational skepticism, Judith Curry’s post is substantially correct in my opinion.

      • fan,
        Thank you for a civilized reply.
        SLR issues have been promised since at least the 1990′s and have failed to materialize.
        A projected warmer atmosphere does not directly impact slr, apparently.
        Additionally, humans specifically and life in general has done a great job of adapting to slr changes as well as a wide range of temperatures. Yes, the metabolic temps of mammals, and the efforts cold blooded creatures undertake to regulate their temps is amazing. Also it is amazing how plants adapt to variable temperatures. What does that have to do with a climate system whose dynamics are in tens of degrees?

      • stevenmosher

        yes, Held’s page is a place I go to to learn. I never comment. I keep my mouth shut and read. hard to believe I know

  24. Steve Milesworthy

    Most people who suffer from these 5 fallacies suffer particularly badly from #2 – they believe everyone else is illogical.

    Of course I don’t suffer any of them. I particularly don’t suffer from #5 – so no point in trying to convince me.

    My favourite specific logical fallacies are:

    Warming caused CO2 rise, therefore CO2 cannot cause warming.

    The warming is not statistically significant therefore it must be cooling.

    Reconstructions of past climate are flawed therefore the MWP was globally warmer than it is now.

    • Steven Mosher

      My favorite is: we cant trust the temperature record– except when we want to use it for sun spots and GCR..

      selective skepticism.

      Or show your work! except scafetta or countless other hacks.

      Or we need thousands of thermometers.. except look at CET or Vokings in greenland. many instances where one one hand thousand of data points are not enough to make a statement about global average, but one or two suffice to make a case for a extra warm MWP or a really cool LIA.
      selective weighing of all the available evidence..

      • Mosh

        Personally I wouldnt tbet the house on the accuracy and precision of any temperature record due to their inconsistencies and foibles until we get to the modern era and can use one consistent record such as the satellites (which have their own problems and only provide a short and therefore meaningless record of what may be happening).

        Within this context CET can, as Lamb remarked show ‘the tendancy but not the precision’

        Many leading scentists also think that CET provides a useful Northern Hemisphere proxy as I have previously cited, because of the location of Britain and that the record comes from three points. .
        tonyb,

      • Steven Mosher

        You need to think through the logic of your proxy argument.

        You have not thought that thru. Let me help by asking a question.
        what do you have to trust to say its a good proxy?

        That said, it can be shown that of you know the northern hemisphere
        you have a pretty good estimate of the southern hemisphere.
        And if you know the land you have a good estimate of STT.. within bounds of course. As a test. write down your best estimate of the land temps for
        1813. and tell me what you base it on. with error bars.

      • Mosh

        Ok, so if we know the Northern Hemisphere temperature plus or minus 0.5C (or more) what would the SH temp be, and what is the estimate of global SST from the vast number of points that make up oceanic SST’s. What are your bounds?

        By the way I can supply the email addresses of those that state that CET is some sort of reasonable proxy indicator for a wider area and you can take it up with them. I didn’t invent their beliefs.
        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        So, you saw the logic flaw in the argument that the record isnt reliable and CET is a good proxy for it, and decided that you couldnt man up and say “good point” I hadnt considered that.

        at some point tony you will see how your work can complement the other good science going on. complement.

        1813 please…

      • Mosh said

        ‘So, you saw the logic flaw in the argument that the record isnt reliable and CET is a good proxy for it, and decided that you couldnt man up and say “good point” I hadnt considered that.’

        Sorry Mosh I havent the faintest idea what point you are trying to make or what you believe I have or haven’t ‘manned ‘ up to so can’t say ‘good point’. Perhaps you can answer my 4.32 which is a natural extension of your original post?
        tonyb

      • Steven,
        Not speaking for anyone else, but my take on the proxy issue is this: if, using the records that the AGW alarmists build their case on, it can also be used to poke holes in the alarmist’s own claims, then that is enough to at the least question their claims, if not dismiss them outright.

      • Steven Mosher

        No hunter the point was this. Tony wants to attack the record of other stations as unreliable, yet at the same time argues that CET is a good proxy for the NH. well, you test that by ACCEPTING the record of the NH.
        But if you reject other records and cling to CET then the proxy argument can be flipped on you.

        At the core all you have are records. records are not observations. they are records. And you judge them by how they hang together.

        CET is a good proxy for the NH. That means our confidence in CET improves our confidence in the other records and other records improve our confidence in CET.

        The congruence between the satellite record and the surface record, increases our confidence in the record prior to satellites.
        IF the records since 1979 didnt comport we would have an issue.

        But there is no issue. there was an LIA. its warmer now. There was a MWP.. it MAY BE warmer now, hard to tell.

        But we know this. we know that GHGs warm the planet. they dont cool it.
        we knew this before a global temperature was ever calculated.
        We will know it even if it cools for another 10 years.

      • Steven,
        I understand your point. All I am saying is that the records show things pretty clearly that the AGW promoters like Mann spend a great deal of energy erasing out of their interpretation of the record.
        I understand GHG’s warm the planet. However, we are allegedly at a mega-year high in CO2. Yet temps, OHC, slr, extreme weather, etc. are not out of bounds that are generally recognized in the record. So I will keep pointing that out, and asking ‘what is the big effin’ deal?, and reminding people that unless it is a crisis, we should not spend resources on it as if it were a crisis.
        It is not, in my opinion, inappropriate for me to point out, for instance, that the talk about coral reef problems are not at well explained by the changes in CO2, but are well explained by polluted runoffs and development in reef zones. It is not improper to point out that the claims that islands are sinking right now due to CO2 are false.
        It is not improper to remind people that paleo evidence in the Arctic strongly suggests that ice cover in the Arctic has in the last few thousand years been in similar levels as now, and may have been in much more recent times.
        Should we pollute less? Yes. I think pollution includes cluttering up the land with windmill or vast solar arrays. It is the apocalyptic obsession with CO2 that is offensive. Expecially when the solutions pushed by the AGW community invariably don’t work without direct tax payer operating subsidies, if at all. And those pushing the subsidized solutions oddly seem to be profiting from them as well. But that is off track a bit. sorry.

      • Mosh

        Hadnt seen your reply when answering your post to me just above. I don’t want to ‘attack’ anything

        Any comments I make on CET as a proxy shoud be taken in the context that all historic temperature records need taking with a pinch of salt, unless you can be absolutely certain of all their provenance and even then there are large error bounds.

        Manley followed by Parker did a lot of work on CET -which covers several data points-and it has become the most scrutinised temperature data base on the planet. So whilst that doesn’t make it necessarily accurate I’m not really sure I would put it in the same category of doubt as say Uppsala or Padova where the thermometer readings have been radically altered . I described some of the problems with historic temperature readings here;

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/little-ice-age-thermometers-%E2%80%93-history-and-reliability-2/

        The problems with thermometer readings were observed as far back as 1900 and since then stations have continued to move to different microclimates, Uhi has got worse and original readings altered to fit the models epectations.

        It shoud be remembered that CET can be corrolated with the numerous other records we have. Britain has probably the greatest number of such records in the world and whilst you may dislike anecdotes Cet- with substantiated recors plus scientific studies- means that this record, probably more than any others, give us some sort of steer on what has been happening -with large errror bounds.

        I’m sorry I keep repeating it but as Lamb says ‘we can know the tendancy but not the precision.’
        So are you saying that you agree that CET is a good proxy for the NH?
        tonyb

      • Well said Hunter.

        I’ve pointed out more than once that there are real environmental problems we know about. Trying to get people concerned about CO2 sounds foolish when you compare the evidence on existing issues and the evidence for CO2. Unless of course your true objective has little to do with the environment.

  25. “Warming caused CO2 rise, therefore CO2 cannot cause warming.”

    This is my favorite fallacy of the convinced. I don’t think anybody thinks that. I think, since warming (or better warmth, according to the best evidence of MLO and other continuous measurements) causes change in atmospheric CO2, it’s likely that CO2 itself is not the Knob (not that it cannot cause warming!). Sensitivity must be low or there are some other ‘controling’ mechanisms/factors.

    Now, when I only speak for myself (‘sensivtivity is not sensible’ skeptic), my take is that if you accept the correlation, you have to accept that climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 forcing and vice versa. Isn’t it interesting?

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Edim, I accept your nuanced alternative (so I don’t suffer #5). But just because CO2 maybe argued as being the most important “knob” does not mean that your countering point must mean sensitivity is low.

      Of course there are other mechanisms including the fact that as temperatures rise, the uptake of CO2 by rock weathering processes speeds up. Simply put then, there can come a point where a meta-stable high warm/high CO2 scenario can be broken by a bit of cooling.

    • Steven Mosher

      The climate is really complex. We can never fully understand it.. BUT
      “Sensitivity must be low”
      ########################

      The right approach is pretty simple. It proceeds from the best evidence.

      Working engineering tells us that GHGs increase the opacity of the atmosphere which raises the ERL and leads to reduced cooling at the surface ( warming) Our first order estimate of this is 1.2C of warming for a doubling of c02 ( 3.7watts) Beyond that is the question of feedbacks..
      Do feedbacks increase this or decreases this. VERY TOUGH to know. TOUGH because we cant do controlled experiements. Tough because it cant be solved analytically. The balanced of evidence is for positive feedbacks outweighing negative. By how much? trillion dollar question.

      • “Do feedbacks increase this or decreases this. VERY TOUGH to know. TOUGH because we cant do controlled experiements. Tough because it cant be solved analytically”

        At steady state influx=efflux; experimentally what one does is to set either one to zero and measure the opposing flux.
        Typically, blocking the whole of the radiative efflux or influx is non-trivial. However, we are lucky that we have solar eclipse’s. and know their path.
        One lays out sensors of influx and temperature along the projected path of the unbra and uses chase planes, equipped with spectrophotometers, to measure influx and efflux.
        Whilst in the unbra influx is due to back radiation from the atmosphere and efflux is the radiation from the surface at local temperature.
        The line-shape of temperature vs time during the umbra is probably the most important plot as it gives one the relationship between influx and temperature. If the curve is shallow then climate sensitivity is high, if very sharp then sensitivity is low. If the line-shape isn’t first or zero order then there is no unique integer value of climate sensitivity.

      • …”leads to reduced cooling at the surface”…But what happens higher up?

      • yeah balance of evidence is the way to look at this stuff. Not demands for unobtainable proof and “if I can’t see walking dinosaurs with my own eyes I refuse to accept them as fact” kind of stuff.

      • lolwot,
        What skeptics are demanding the equivalent of seeing dinosaurs?

      • I’ve seen Night at the Museum, so I know there are walking dinosaurs.

        And little people. They don’t wear green suits and smoke pipes though.

  26. I got this far before running into a blatant LIE!!!

    “that he’s statistically more likely to accidentally do something stupid than ward off a criminal and that more people were struck by lightning last year than successfully shot bad guys in the middle of committing crimes),”

    And it started off so well.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Yup. It seems like our oh so logical and analytical author stepped right smack into the middle of a big, steaming pile of urban legend. As Johnny would say, :) :) :)

  27. Berényi Péter

    Notes

    #5.2 We are not programmed at all. We may be predisposed to do things (like rather win than lose), but that’s not being programmed.
    #5.1 This is why math is an indispensable part of proper education. And I do mean math, not merely playing around with numbers and shapes. I mean the very concept of mathematical proof, when there is only one way to win: to get it right.
    #4.3 The brain never understands anything, the mind does.
    #4.2 Probability theory is mostly useless in real life. That’s because a probability measure does not even make sense without a pre-defined sample space. Which is the set of all possible outcomes. But, except in very narrowly defined situations, one can never know what is “possible”. It can easily be demonstrated in fields where sophisticated probabilistic models are developed to predict likelihood of various modes of failure (like nuclear plants or aircrafts). Actual disasters, analysed after they have happened, almost always contain one or more events that no one thought of in advance, therefore they were missing from the model.
    #4.1 Rare events happen often. That is, the majotity of events shaping our destiny are once-in-a-lifetime events, which can’t possibly be modelled in advance. Real distributions have fat tails, completely lost in fog.
    #3.1 People tend to be dishonest all the time, that’s a fact. But it is never a sufficient reason to imitatate them, is it? Elevate your soul, don’t let it sink into the mud.
    “Why should I be honorable? I’ll be laid out regardless!
    Why shouldn’t I be honorable? I’ll be laid out regardless.”
    J.A.
    #2.1 We are not hard-wired, we are free.
    #1.2 Public debate is not for changing the mind of your opponent, facts or not. It is for changing the mind of the audience, and sticking to facts is one of the best vehicles to accomplish it.
    #1.1 This is why all details of science have to be laid out in public.

    • There is the ring of truth in everything you say except that to some it may be more of a bombshell to learn that people lie and honor is not pursued in a society that no longer values it. It can be pointed out in a lot of different ways that the morals, ethics and foundational principles of Western society have been thrown overboard but in his own way Dostoevsky captures it poetically well: “the West has lost Christ and that is why it is dying; that is the only reason.” Academia has sacrificed the right to have any sort of power over a free people. The promise of overcoming superstition and ignorance through universal education has been a failure. Mao’s red shirts drove all of the schoolteachers to the farms as a part of the revolution because he knew if they would stab society in the back they could not be trusted.

      • Berényi Péter

        Yep. Christ.
        Logos Incarnate.

        There was a tiny element missing from ancient Greek science and this is why it started to decline several hundred years BC. And was as good as dead by the time Christianity took over.

        To them, the World, especially the lower spheres, those below the Moon, were the realm of utter chaos. Only the occasional transient shadow of a higher order could be observed, and even then just barely.

        Logos (λόγος) is the key. The root of the word is lego (λέγω, say), but it came to mean the fundamental order of things, the reason below and above them. At the same time it was understood as discourse.

        The word logic (λογική) is derived from it, which is considered the basis of rational thinking.

        However, for the Greek Logos was in exile, so to speak. It certainly did not rule the world under the sky, Fate was in charge here instead, blind fate, for that matter.

        Experimentation, as it is understood in modern Natural Science, was an absolutely alien concept to them. To insist that experience has anything to do with Logic, was simply ridiculous. If someone had started rolling marbles on oblique panels and if asked about it would have said he was looking for the Laws of Nature, he would have been considered a jerk at best.

        Logic and experience were two separate realms. Then Logos was sent to the World.

        And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among vs (& we beheld his glory, the glory as of the onely begotten of the Father) full of grace and trueth. (John 1:14)

        Which changed everything forever. Suddenly it became entirely possible to compare logical constructs against experimental results, because Logos was supposed to dwell in all things of Creation.

        Still, it took a millennium or so for people to gradually realize the full weight of this option. Laws of Nature are first mentioned in Corpus Juris Civilis, the already Christian compendium of Roman Civil Law issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor, but only in contexts like a Father should take care of his offspring, because Nature dictates so.

        The long and painful transition started with Augustine of Hippo and culminated in the magnificient work of Thomas Aquinas. Still, this approach has only started to bear actual fruits some 4 hundred years ago. Until then it was blind faith.

        The idea that there is a hidden order (Law) behind everyday phenomena to be uncovered, even language to be understood properly, was considered almost too good to be true for a long while. But exactly this turned out to be the case.

        “Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these one is wandering in a dark labyrinth.” Galileo Galilei, The Assayer (Il Saggiatore), October 1623.

        So, there is Language behind phenomena. There are hidden Propositions. There is Truth to be discovered.

        Behold, these are methaphysical propositions, there can be no scientific proof of their validity whatsoever, quite the contrary. On the other hand there can be no Science-as-we-know-it without unconditional faith in these concepts.

        It is a particularly unfortunate (and accidental) twist of European history, that Faith and Science could be construed as opponents, even enemies.

        There is another strong stream of European tradition, ultimately based on faith as well, which contributes to Science. This is Free Speech. The ancient Greek were striving for it, but it was very far from being taken for granted at that time. Socrates was executed for his speeches on the order of a People’s court, some 500 random judges.

        Free Speech has its roots in medieval Knights Tournaments, which tradition was transformed by contemporary universities to Public Debates, in front of a properly educated audience. In these debates it was the audience that made winners or losers, based on their respective performance. Even now, speech in general is not protected by law, only Public Speech, which sticks to very specific rules and is meant to influence an audience.

        Science cut off of its roots is starving. People who have no faith in Truth, that is, faith in that it can be found if enough intellectual effort is put into research, may be inclined to construct it.

        This language thing, by the way, does not cease to fill people with wonder, even when Christian faith appears to be far removed from daily business of Science.

        The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences by Eugene Wigner

        Now, back to Climate Science. It seems mainstream folks in this field have abandoned faith that any Truth can be found out there. I mean they percieve the field so complex, that they expect no simple proposition can ever grasp its essence, so they have simply quit looking for such miracles.

        They have started to build computational climate models instead. Let us be crystal clear at this point. One is well justified in looking for the proper equation describing the behavior of some elementary particle, one may even find it. As it has happened to Dirac while searching for a relativistic eqation for electrons (and has predicted the existence of positrons along the way).

        But it is utterly hopeless to find the correct computational climate model among many alternatives, million lines of code each. The only thing one can hope for is to construct another one of his own making.

        But there is no telling how it would relate to the hidden thoughts of an entity which is no longer supposed to even exist. The guy’s reasoning goes something like there’s nothing out there just utter chaos and it is our job to impose order on it. If so, we can do it to please our peers as much as possible, can’t we?

        That’s the ultimate demise of science, but who cares any more?

      • +1

        I care Berényi Péter and that makes at least two of us :-)

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

        “Conceive then,” said I, “as we were saying, that there are these two entities, and that one of them is sovereign over the intelligible order and region and the other over the world of the eye-ball, not to say the sky-ball, but let that pass. You surely apprehend the two types, the visible and the intelligible.”

      • Berényi Péter

        Thanks. I don’t want to preach here, really. It is only a tiny subset of the Christian message, what is needed to

        support science, anyway. But that’s indispensable.

        1. It is as it is (objectivity).

        Certainly not the way we wish it to be. It may well be the way it is best for us though, but one never knows.

        Objectivity is usually linked to an ideal observer. This Observer is readily given in Christianity,

        otherwise a metaphysical tour de force is required to justify it.

        If a tree falls in a forest…

        If one is not extremely cautious, it can most easily (and rather erroneously) mixed up with

        consensus.

        2. It makes sense.

        From a general metaphysical point of view it may well be the case it does not. However, one has to be fairly dumb

        to spend his life on looking for something he firmly believes does not exist.

        To do science and do it effectively, requires faith in the existence of solutions even if they are hidden at

        the moment.

        The best bet to justify the message-deciphering nature of the scientific quest I’ve seen so far outside

        Christianity, is the anthropic principle. However,

        it is a full-fledged metaphysical theory itself, and as such, it is utterly unfalsifiable (therefore it does not

        belong to science).
        _

        So, I am not trying to tell you, one who is not Christian, can’t be a good scientist, but I do assert one still has

        to stick to several metaphysical principles, which are rather heterogeneous and unconnected outside Christianity,

        so accepting them all requires more, not less blind faith.

        Moreover, these principles, even if accepted, still lack any ethical reinforcement, which is, again, given in

        Christianity.

        Climate science with its overcomplicated computational models has most definitely went off the track. The very

        program of GCM building springs from a realization there may be no easy message at all behind climate phenomena,

        nothing to be actually understood. However, this proposition is far from being proven and only one who has

        lost faith can stick to it. By still using the language of science (math), but instead of trying to

        read the message written in it, writes his own version (of lines and lines and lines of computer code).

        Instead of looking for a true underlying principle.

        It is quite possible, the avenue is still wide open. I mean something like Garth Paltridge tried to do with MEPP

        (Maximum Entropy Production Principle). It is not the full answer yet, because it does not explain how albedo is

        regulated. As most of the entropy production happens when short wave radiation is converted to heat (that is, when

        it is absorbed), a black planet would certainly produce more entropy with the same incoming SW flux, than a

        blue/white one.

        But it is a step in the right direction. One has to work a lot on the thermodynamics of open systems in general,

        before venturing into a specific application like climate. That’s how science is done, or at least, this is how it

        used to be done in a time when people still had faith in the existence of as yet unknown, but humanely

        comprehensible answers.

        Maximum Entropy Production, Sandpile Avalanche Dynamics, Self Organized Criticality. Things like that. With no firm

        understanding of these and similar options, it is a desperate and hopeless attempt to create huge analitical-

        computational models of turbulent flows, when even the mathematical background is quite opaque (and the solution is worth $1,000,000).

  28. “And the refusal of consensus climate scientists to enter into debates with skeptics”

    This is a conspicuous failing in the climate debate and is a major reason why there are so many in the sceptics camp. The UN is full of people with causes and global warming is one such cause. The UN likes to set democratic examples in the way it works, but the practice of science is very elitist. So they support about 20 (different?) climate models when they only need one good one. They even thought there was some virtue in taking the mean (arithmetical?) of their various predictions. That may be democratic, but is it good science? If the models were truly independent then rms of the differences might be better. But this is shaky ground scientifically. So some of the heat in the debate should be directed at the UN, not the scientists. Timed was when the US ran the world, at least by default (Britain had tried earlier).

  29. #2) The fund

    #2) Fundamental attribution error. That’s me. I ascribed Lonnie & Ellen Thompson’s lack of archiving ice core data as that data may not be worth archiving or their data is not in a usable form and it would be too much trouble to begin archiving now. I mentioned that the raw data may now be effectively “lost.”

    All of the above was speculation of course. I wrote that somewhat tongue in cheek. However, such speculation may conjure up an inquiry, and official inquiry; and, produce what we all want…the raw data. I am justifying my illogical behavior.

    So, does my speculation fall within the fundamental attribution error? ascribing malfeasance or incompetence or, a slowing down reflecting an aging process that has resulted in lack of archiving ice core raw data?

    Just above, Berenyi Peter’s point 1.2..debate is for changing the mind of the audience.. seems more likely true. The Lincoln Douglas debates were not to convince Lincoln or Douglas it was the audience that was relevant.

    I am left in a quandary: should I or should I not say that my wife’s rendition of the dish my mother use to make is just like hers?

  30. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    An excellent post Judith, thank you.

    As a honest skeptic, I have to tell myself everyday that I don’t have a “team”, and when I see anyone say that the outcome of some comment or debate was a ‘win for the team” or +1, etc. I recoil from that. If you have a team, you are not an honest skeptic but a card carrying member of the true-believer or true-denier cult. The fact that you can’t see that you are a member of this cult makes you that much more blinded to it. I think an honest skeptic must embrace probability and speak only in the language of it– never being 100% scientifically certain, but only accepting things as provisionally true with a certain level of probability.

    An accurate perception and understanding of the underlying physical principles and dynamics of the universe should be the only goal for the scientific skeptic, and so as soon as the skeptic accepts something to be provisionally true with some level of probability, they should put full efforts into finding any possible data that might prove that provisionally true position to be false. It is this search for the exception to the rule that that will ultimately lead to greater understaning.

    • R. Gates,
      And please tell who ‘dishonest skeptics’ might be?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        A dishonest skeptic is a denier or true-believer parading around as a skeptic. They’ve actually made their minds up, with 100% certainty on their position, and if you listen to what they say or write, they exhibit many of the 5 fallacies mentioned at the top. They often mix politics with their “science”, indicating the strong ideological bent to their position and very frequently keep regurgitating speaking points that have long ago been proven as completely invalid..

        Real skeptics are open to changing (in fact, seek out data that might disprove the position they’ve taken as provisionally true), don’t have a side or team, stay away from the ideological in favor of seeking out facts and data.

      • Rob Starkey

        I guess that you would agree that there are probably as many dishonest “believers” as there are dishonest skeptics.

        A dishonest believer would support taking any action to reduce CO2 emissions- even if shown that the proposed action(s) would not be the best use of available economic resources?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I would completely agree with that assessment. I would and have characterized them as true-believers and true-nonbelievers. Ruled by passion and ideology, but certainly not skepticism.

  31. Beth Cooper

    Thx fer the message and warning on plovers, Captain (Robbo) Kangaroo.
    I had some doubts about those little critters with their spurs! I’ll take care … insurance maybe )
    I’m collecting some useful information here on soil fertilization and carbon management, the bio char links in w Freeman Dyson. Re charcoal, I use it now from fireplace at Redhill. Take care at the Rodeo, CRK.

  32. Dr Curry,

    While all this sounds interesting and has some validity, I’m not sure how much. I would like to believe my experience is close to the norm. I am more interested in being accurately informed than in being “right”, namely because if I am not so informed, the probability of my being “right” would tend to be low.

    Many has there been the times where I have seen information that runs contrary to my current opinion and ended up modifying that opinion and/or acknowledging the other person to be “right”. A good example was on taxation. I friend who is usually at the oppposite end of the spectrum on political issues made the point that the tax rate on the highest level of income earners has historically been much higher than today. I figured that was something I could check. Sure enough, for most of the time since the introduction of the income tax, the rate was between 60 & 90%. Look at the history of tax rates and you find the corporate tax rate has stayed fairly consistent and the rate for middle class earns has fluctuated, but the rate for the very rich has changed the most. That is a piece of information that puts arguments about taxation into better perspective for me.

    With climate science it is even more difficult to figure out what information is good or “right” and what is not, even though I have a Master’s in a field that touches closely on the topic. There are papers claiming tree rings can be used as temperature gauges. I find that a bit difficult to believe. I did so for studies saying they provide proof (perhaps evidence is a better term) of warming and I still do when seeing studies like the recent German one saying they provide evidence of cooling. One result of lacking the ability to determine who is doing good work and who isn’t – or – assuming most are doing good work – who is making the best interpretation , is to evaluate on how each party behaves. That’s a poor substitute.

    • You take two from the Chinese Tibetan tree ring study and one from the German tree ring study and pretty soon I’m studying the layers in my bamboo chopsticks and finding something wrong on the innertubes.
      ===========

  33. Beth Cooper

    It’s About Winning’ scenario: Time, dusk, 100,007 BC

    Rather hirsute homo erectus character: Say, entering that dark labyrinth cavern is likely dangerous. ( Thinks, ‘Big cats.’ )
    Even more hirsute homo erectus character: Hairy, I keep tellin yer – there’s nothing to worry about. (Thinks, ‘ I’ll show ‘em who’s boss round here.’)

    Time: two moons later.

    Rather hirsute character: He hasn’t come out yet ….. better go and tell the tribe.

  34. Beth Cooper

    Say Kim, wait till Tony b completes his Tomato-stem ring study. That ‘ll make them take notice.

    • Beth

      Send money quick if to complete stem ring study STOP Snails and Slugs massing for next attack STOP.Need 24hour protection for tomatoes STOP Valuable Research at risk STOP
      tonyb

      • Let ‘em come. I suspect a 9-Sigma outrage ring in the offing. If life gives you cherry tomatoes, make significant soup.
        ==============

  35. Dave Springer

    “Whether it’s a politician whose point has been refuted or a conspiracy theorist who has been definitively proven insane, they will immediately shift to the next talking point or conspiracy theory that backs up their side, not even skipping a beat. ”

    No kidding. I’ve seen them go from more hurricanes, to heat waves, to floods, to droughts, Himalayan glaciers disappearing, to children not knowing what snow is, to decreasing Arctic sea ice, to plants and animals becoming active earlier in the spring, to sea level rise, to hidden heat in the ocean, from global warming to climate change to global climate disruption, from increasing CO2 to more aerosols in China coal plants masking the warming… it never ends and none of it sticks.

  36. Dave Springer

    “JC comments: Skeptics, pay attention to this one. Accusing scientists of fraud and malfeasance with every mistake that is identified is not useful.”

    Good point. I try to always keep in mind that one shouldn’t suspect nefarious motives when incompetence is an adequate explantion. Or Harlan Ellison’s comment “The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” The Peter Principle also comes to mind when considering people like Hansen, Lacis, Santer, Jones, etc.

  37. Mark Kantor

    Thanks, Dr, Curry and Cracked. For the behavioral psychology research underpinnings to the Cracked article, I recommend reading “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by the Nobel Prize-winning behavioral scientist Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2011). iI is a very accessible book illustrating and summarizing the research over the past decades.

    The results have applications in all contested public policy fields, not just climate policy.

    Regards,

    MK

    • I was planning to write a similar comment although I have been reading the book slowly when other interest don’t get a higher priority and have therefore read so far only a fraction of it.

      Kahneman’s writing agrees often with what one would expect but in contrast of many other texts it’s not just intuitive reasoning but based on empirical research. Often the research seems to prove that people are often even more biased in their reasoning than one would expect intuitively.

  38. “We think everyone’s out to get us”

    That’s because they are.

    Or at least, they are out to get me. I bet you are planning it right now.

  39. I have to say – after reading many, many comments on skeptical blogs and on mainstream, warmist sites, I can’t see a dime’s worth of difference between 99% of the comments on each side. The vast majority – by both sides – is enemy talk. “They’re so stupid!” It would be painful for a reasonable person to have a dog in this fight on either side.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Markb, Judith Curry’s scrupulous hands-off attitude toward comments is compatible with the hypothesis that *we* are some student’s test-subjects.

      Possibly correlating climate-change skepticism with abusive posting habits? Alternatively, correlating non-skepticism with reasoned arguments and citations?

      The point being, perhaps concrete benefits *do* accrue to civility and rational discourse.

      • See, here’s the thing. As much as Steve Mosher, for example, and I have my differences, and my generally abrasive, uncivil, loutish and rash manners must irk him because my best intentions toward him from time to time read ambiguously as slags at him by pure accident (I wish I were really that clever, sometimes), I respect his intellectual gifts and the vigor which he uses to apply them. I think he’s right more often than I think I’m right, on the whole. Though I think I’m right.

        Oh wait. I can’t figure out, which camps are Mosher and myself supposed to be in? I’ve never been very good at this team identification thing.

        I guess my AGWdar is faulty. Skepdar? WUWTdar? What is the term?

      • stevenmosher

        Dirty little secret Bart, I agree with much of what you say and I enjoy the way you say it. I’m not so keen on some of the economic things you say, but I’m open minded.

        My first boss ( a full bird in the air force ) explained that all the important sentences had three words: I am sorry; I was wrong; I dont know.
        I can think of some naughty three worders.. ahem.

        I can say this. When I began my journey of looking at the temperature record I was sure they were wrong. I was wrong. I thought that a proper acounting of uncertainty would widen the confidence interval. I was wrong.
        I thought UHI would be easy to find. I was wrong. I thought station quality differences would be obvious once I got my hands on the data. I was wrong. I thought, that the models must be pieces of crap. I spent so many years with “scientist” code. Hmm. Iread modelE, I was wrong, gavin does a pretty good job. Lets see. When I first got the mails I was sure I would find a great smoking gun, bullets and dead bodies. I was wrong. What I did find was less than I expected. I once sent an FOIA to NOAA, sure I would find nefarious crap. I was wrong. 579 pages of reading and only one nugget. Lets see.. what else. I thought that skeptics would listen if I presented a good case and shared data and code. wow, I was wrong.
        I thought that some peoplewho believed in AGW would take Jones and Mann to the wood shed. naive, idealistic and wrong. I thought more people would call Gleick out. Wrong. After getting hurricane predictions right at the beginning I have failed miserably. Same with Ice. This yar I predict a new record. Now I have my doubts.

        One thing Im not wrong about. GHGs cause warming. The problem could be serious. Folks should take note of it. Problem could be so bad that I would give up some of my libertarian ideals to combat it. That’s actually not hard to contemplate since I am more sure of the science than I am of my political ideals. Heck I come from Grand Rapids ( home of Jerry Ford ) and I supported Carter. man was that wrong.

      • “One thing Im not wrong about. GHGs cause warming. ”

        So, which GHG are causing the most warming and how much?

        “The problem could be serious.”

        Explain. What most serious problem.

        “Problem could be so bad that I would give up some of my libertarian ideals to combat it. ”

        Why not use all your libertarian ideals to combat it?

        Or why would libertarian support the sole solution offered, raise
        taxes.
        As libertarian can explain what biggest good coming from 4 trillions dollar the government currently spends. And if government had 8 trillion to spend, where would spend most on, and where would spend a significant portion that you think would do the most good?

      • stevenmosher

        So, which GHG are causing the most warming and how much?
        #############
        That’s a good question. Your best bet is to play around with some radiative transfer physics. These are tools used by engineers who have to build things that work. To a first order that will give you some clue.
        You can learn this a couple ways. Best would be go to school. Second best would be to teach yourself. Worst would be to listen to me. So go do your homework and then you can suggest why the answers that working engineers use are wrong and why the devices they build should not work.

        “The problem could be serious.”

        Explain. What most serious problem.
        ##############
        I think the most serious problem, would be sea level rise. Thankfully we have a lot of time to plan ahead. If we were wise we would do that. Living below sea level is stupid. subsidizing people to in flood prone areas is stupid. As for polar bears and heat waves.. meh, I dont care so much

        “Problem could be so bad that I would give up some of my libertarian ideals to combat it. ”

        Why not use all your libertarian ideals to combat it?
        #################

        That’s also a good idea. I guess you missed the point. The point was the relative epistemic certainty I allocate to my scientific beliefs and my political beliefs. It’s far more likely that I am wrong about politics and economics than I am wrong about working physics.

        Or why would libertarian support the sole solution offered, raise
        taxes.
        As libertarian can explain what biggest good coming from 4 trillions dollar the government currently spends. And if government had 8 trillion to spend, where would spend most on, and where would spend a significant portion that you think would do the most good?
        ####
        who said anything about taxes? On the other hand I am somewhat intrigued by some of R Gates arguments. I suppose this comes from having spent many years in Philosophy where you are trained to recognize good sound arguments, from all sides. where you actually have to practice finding the best arguments against your own position.
        And where you have to admit the possibility that you could be wrong in fact detailing what counts as evidence against your views is part of the process.

      • Dave Springer

        I once thought I made a mistake. I was wrong.

        After being wrong so much, Steven, why believe you’re right about being wrong?

      • Springer, Drill sergeants are never wrong. They must always be obeyed. A few of us find your frothing at the mouth entertaining.

      • moshe, we don’t know what anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide will do with climate. We do know what will happen with human culture abandoning market economics in order to mitigate a possibly imaginary problem, and gutting our ability to adapt to change.
        ================

      • My first gut reaction isn’t wrong. Or right. It’s just a gut reaction. Like indigestion.

        My first gut reaction to any idea — new or old, mine or someone else’s — is almost always, “NO! THAT’S WRONG! THAT’S NOT HOW IT COULD POSSIBLY WORK!” Yeah, in caps in my head, shouted. With speckles of foam coming off the edges of the cartoon’s mouth, and arms waving around, fists pounding on the nearest convenient surface for emphasis. Immediate violent dismissal of every thought is an uncomfortable starting point. It takes hard work to skeptically and rationally confront the inner dismissalist and step by painstaking step work out from first principles every single notion to some balanced place to accept or reject each on something better than gut.

        I see you go through something like that yourself.

        I am moved to pity for those without the terrible priviledge of a demon in their skull they choose to face down and overcome; moreso for those who never figured out that’s how they’re supposed to manage it.

      • Steve,

        Too bad you are not the face for global warming. I’m far more likely to listen to what you have to say than many of the “leading lights” of climate science.

      • Abrasive and uncivil? Bart, whether I agree with you or not, you are one whose comments I always read.

  40. While it’s cute as a button that Climate Etc. is taking on the topic of fallacies, the fallacy that there is truth in humor depends on the ability of the audience to get the joke.

    Being irony-impaired myself, I can’t really expect this topic to really enlighten most Denizens.

  41. Hopefully when the IPCC AR5 comes out, this debate can go back to the science again, where people can quote papers to make points or dispute them. It is only against the background of the science that you can see arguments for what they are. (Yes, I expect this to be flamed here).

  42. The five points miss the big one. Humans are a smart animal, way smarter than we need to be in our day-to-day lives. The other animals are pretty smart too. The difference between us and them is not how smart we are, it is our ability to use what others have invented or discovered or learned. You didn’t have to invent the wheel or the iPod; somebody else did. A few of us lead, the rest of us follow. So the main thing is to pick a good leader. It’s a pity if media and fashion distort that choice. The five fallacies get in the way for those that think, but the masses don’t think, they just follow. The education system seems to have given up trying to produce thinkers.

    The Internet has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments. But with all those different perspectives on important issues flying around, you’d think we’d be getting smarter and more informed.
    No, just more and more polarized. Oh, and humans love to talk and argue.

    Scientists should handle this better than the rest; but so far they have not.

  43. There is a partisanship in this debate. You are either for AGW being true (2-4.5 degree sensitivity) or certain that it is not. A true skeptical position on AGW would permit that it might be true, but apart from Judith and a few that we might call warmists here, none of the self-described skeptics are in this category. They fall in the other category that we might call naysayers because the thing they are certain of is a negative, while they are not united on why, and some just support any non-AGW theory that comes along.

    • perhaps I should have said lukewarmists not warmists.

    • You can easily believe as you do if you could care less about the scientific method. Otherwise, you are leaving out a key element; and, all of the AGW True Believers leave it out too and that is why skeptics do not trust them. The null hypothesis that all climate change can be explained by natural causes has never been rejected.

      • Everything else is dogma.

      • From your statement, you permit that AGW might be true, but just needs to be proved better.

      • That’s what children say, right? Anything is p o s s i b l e, like it’s possible Obama died of a drug overdose and Castro’s brother reeived plastic surgery to assume his identity.

      • They just announced we had the warmest 12 months in US history. Might just mean something or could be random chance. Anything is possible, I guess.

      • What do the Minoan, Roman and MWP have in common? They were warmer than today. And now we have research that study shows that it was much armer during the time of the time of the Romans than previously known. And, the Sun is very quiet. Might just mean decades of global cooling…

      • They just announced we had the warmest 12 months in US history.

        So what? We are in a warming period, so we’d expect to be getting more ‘hottest days” in this particular warming cycle. However, unless there is something unusual about this particular phase compared with previous warmings, then it means nothing.

        It seems there is nothing unusual in either the maximum temperatures reached compared with other warm periods over the past 8,000 years, nor in the rates of warming.

        Therefore, the questions remains: So what?

      • stevenmosher

        “The null hypothesis that all climate change can be explained by natural causes has never been rejected.”

        That is not a null hypothesis. In fact as you state it, it is unfalsifiable. But you dont even understand what it means to state a valid null.

      • Calling that a null hypothesis might be justifiable if the warming since 1970 had been a surprise and we would be searching for explanation, but we know that the situation is just the opposite. The basic theory of GHE had been finalized before the warming trend really started and the warming was predicted, not accurately but qualitatively and semiquantitatively. That was the null hypothesis based on solid science. The null hypothesis must be that well verified textbook level physics is correct.

        The essential issue of climate sensitivity including all feedbacks was open – and remains only partially resolved, but stating that absence of AGW is the null hypothesis is totally wrong. It was wrong in late 1970′s and it has become more and more wrong ever since.

      • maksimovich

        The ill posed problem on the null hypothesis is well bounded by Ghil 2001

        We have cast a bird’s-eye view on selected problems among the ten formulated in the Abstract. This view has clearly emphasized strong interconnections between them, both pairwise and all around. Unified methods of solution are provided by dynamical systems theory. Each problem requires the use of a model hierarchy for its solution.To conclude, we briefly address Problem 9. More precisely, we ask whether the impact of human activities on the climate is observable and identifiable in the instrumental records of the last century-and-a-half and in recent paleo climate records? The answer to this question depends on the null hypothesis against which such an impact is tested. The current approach that is generally pursued assumes essentially that past climate variability is indistinguishable from a stochastic red-noise process (Hasselmann, 1976),
        whose only regularities are those of periodic external forcing (Mitchell, 1976). Given such a null hypothesis, the official consensus of IPCC (1995) tilts towards a global warming effect of recent trace-gas emissions, which exceeds the cooling effect of anthropogenic aerosol emissions. Atmospheric and coupled GCM simulations of the tracegas warming and aerosol cooling buttress this IPCC consensus.

        The GCM simulations used so far do not, however, exhibit the observed interdecadal regularities described at the end of Sect. 3.3. They might, therewith, miss some important physical mechanisms of climate variability and are, therefore, not entirely conclusive.

        As northern hemisphere temperatures were falling in the 1960s and early 1970s, the aerosol effect was the one that caused the greatest concern. As shown in Sect. 2.2, this concern was bolstered by the possibility of a huge, highly nonlinear temperature drop if the climate system reached the upper-left bifurcation point of Fig. 1.
        The global temperature increase through the 1990s is certainly rather unusual in terms of the instrumental record of the last 150 years or so. It does not correspond, however, to a rapidly accelerating increase in greenhouse-gas emissions or a substantial drop in aerosol emissions. How statistically significant is, therefore, this temperature rise, if the null hypothesis is not a random coincidence of small, stochastic excursions of global temperatures with all, or nearly all, the same sign?

        The presence of internally arising regularities in the climate system with periods of years and decades suggests the need for a different null hypothesis. Essentially, one needs to show that the behaviour of the climatic signal is distinct from that generated by natural climate variability in the past, when human effects were negligible, at least on the global scale. As discussed in Sects. 2.1 and 3.3, this natural variability includes interannual and interdecadal cycles, as well as the broadband component. These cycles are far from being
        purely periodic. Still, they include much more persistent excursions of one sign, whether positive or negative in global or hemispheric temperatures, say, than does red noise.

        The problem with climate sensitivity is it is open and irreducible.The first problem is the solutions are infinite .The second problem is the sensitivity of models to the feedback parameters eg Zalapin and Ghil.2010 2011 ie the spread of the models.The paradox here is the spread will be persistent.

      • When the issue is determining the value of a parameter, i.e. the climate sensitivity, the normal way of expressing the outcome is a likely range of values. AR4 makes following claims on the knowledge:

        - The equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2 – 4.5 C. This corresponds excluding to the null hypothesis that ECS is less than 2 C or higher than 4.5C with certainty of 68%.

        - ECS is very unlikely to be less than 1.5C, i.e. the null hypothesis that it is less than 1.5C is excluded with certainty of 90%.

        - Values substantially higher than 4.5C cannot be excluded. No upper bound can be given with the certainty of 95%, i.e. no null hypothesis that specifies some upper limit can be excluded with the certainty of 95%.

        Here we have three alternative null hypotheses that are discussed by AR4. I’m not fully convinced that the values are the best representation of what empirical and theoretical knowledge tells as they are dependent on the use of a prior distribution for the ECS that I don’t consider well justified. With some alternative priori an upper limit could be given with certainty of 95%. This tells that none of these values is fully objective, and that my application of subjective judgement would give a different result on that point based on exactly the same empirical evidence.

      • Pekka,
        Since the mid-1970′s were feared to be a precursor to an ice age by many scientists of the time, your point reaches the opposite conclusion.

      • Hunter,

        I had no direct interest in climate research at that time. Even so I learned the basics of GH warming in 1980. That was the reality already then, not some scattered ideas about approaching ice age.

      • Pekka,
        Sorry but that is not a good dismissal on your part.
        The fear of the 1970′s ice age was as well founded as today’s fear over global warming/climate change.

      • andrew adams

        “we conducted a rigorous literature review
        of the American Meteorological Society’s
        electronic archives as well as those of Nature and
        the scholarly journal archive Journal Storage
        (JSTOR)…the literature search was limited to the
        period from 1965 through 1979…
        The survey identified only seven articles
        indicating cooling compared to 42 indicating
        warming. Those seven cooling articles garnered
        just 12% of the citations.”

        http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf

      • You must be a schoolteacher. AGW True Believers simply assume global warming is manmade. There are no peer-reviewed studies that rule out ‘natural, internal climate cycles’–i.e.,‘natural, internal variability’–as the real cause of 20th century warming.

        And, that is the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming. The ‘null hypothesis,’ according to Dr. Spencer, has never been rejected, i.e., “THAT NATURAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY CAN EXPLAIN EVERYTHING WE SEE IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM.” ~Dr. Roy Spencer, 2-Feb-2011 [Emphasis added]

        “Natural climate variability is the null hypothesis. No one has ever ruled it out. They have only come up with a potential alternative explanation, which is fine. But it is being advertised as some sort of ‘proof’, which it is not.”
        (Ibid.)

        It is insanity to believe otherwise. Just during the lifetimes of most of us here, how can anyone simply rule out the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) as a primary driver in the climate system since 1979?
        Whether it is global warming or global cooling circulation changes are always happening. “All I am saying is it can also occur on multi-decadal time scales. How do YOU explain the Medieval Warm Period? Too many SUVs? Or the Little Ice Age? Too few SUVs? Or just deny they ever happened?” (Ibid.)

      • andrew adams

        Well this thread is on the subject of logical fallacies and that Spencer quote ends with a real stonker. Just because it is claimed that SUVs (to use Spencer’s terminology) have caused modern warming it doesn’t logically follow that SUVs must have been responsible for warming (or cooling) in the past. And if Spencer believes the AMO may be responsible then it is up to him to publish a paper demonstrating a causal mechanism and a correlation between it and past and current temperature changes, it’s not up to the rest of us to “rule it out”.

        One the general subject of the null hypothesis, not being a scientist I’m not really qualified to make judgements on this kind of question but it does seems to me there are several problems with insisting that we must adopt the one favoured by you and Spencer:-

        I see no reason for there to be a single null hypothesis – in general scientists can choose whichever one they feel appropriate based on the particular question they are asking.

        The one you favour is virtually unfalsifiable. People who support the mainstream scientific position (henceforth “pwstmsps”) have made the case that no known natural factures can explain the recent warming we have seen and “skeptics” have responded that this does not rule out unknown natural factors. Which is logically true but therefore makes your null hypothesis unfalsifiable because we will never be able to say there are no unknown factors and so will never be able to rule them out.

        The case for human GHG emissions causing warming exists in its own right based on the known radiative properties of CO2, CH4 etc and the observed effects of existing levels of GHGs in the atmosphere. Therefore it doesn’t make sense to frame the argument solely in tems of “natural” factors.

        Past “natural” changes in the climate have been caused by a number of factors, including changes in the level of GHGs in the atmosphere. So I don’t see how we can exclude them from our “default” explanation for modern warming just because in this case the changes are due to human activity and have not ocurred naturally.

        Ultimately it seems to me that often when people are arguing for a particular null hypothesis they are really saying “we should all assume I’m right unless you can prove I’m wrong”. Now if they provide a good enough case that their position should be the default one then fine, but that onus is on them.

      • And the Sun also rises. Falsifiable? Do you doubt it?

      • andrew adams

        If you say the sun will rise tomorrow then that’s falsifiable.

        I’m sure there are other things which are not actually falsifiable but I don’t doubt nevertheless but I’m not sure what that has to do with the point I was making above.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Wag,

        You could not be more wrong. There is of course no 100% certainty on this issue, but to a very high degree of confidence, you cannot explain ALL of the late 20th century warming without including the additional forcing from anthropogenic factors. Climate is not a random walk, energy doesn’t just appear or disappear from the Earth’s climate system without some positive or negative forcing, and the larger amount of energy, the larger the forcing. Despite hundreds of studies showing the anthropogenic factors at work in the climate system, this continual misrepresentation of the science gets frustrating. Warmists, such as myself, who are also honest skeptics, are always looking out for other natural explanations for causes of Earth’s energy imbalance, and take nothing for granted. But the sum total of all known natural factors do not add up to the kinds of warming we’ve seen in the late 20th century. There’s just too much energy accumulated in the oceans alone over the past 4 or more decades to have a 100% natural explanation as there has not been any known natural forcing that would have put that much additional (or kept that much additional) energy in the oceans.

      • Pretty soon the warmongers will have you believing humanity is about to experience a bizarre and unpredictable weather phenomenon known as ‘summer.’ Let me help you out here: we will experience summer. And, worrying about it won’t change a thing because it is entirely natural. It is not a hypothesis—it is what is known as a fact and without them statistics does not even exist. Even Socrates who said that he knew nothing believed in the existence of facts. If you want to believe that the warming and cooling of the globe is not natural you are free to do so. That is how science works, not the other way around. You may wish to entertain conjectures that late 20th century global warming is not natural and that catastrophe looms.

        Witchdoctors predict the future based on the casting of chicken bones or numerology and tarot cards. Do you believe the witchdoctors of AGW are using the scientific method to predict catastrophe in our future? Three of Japan’s leading scientists have said that Climate science amounts to ‘ancient astrology’ and that climate change is the result of ‘natural cycles’ not ‘human industrial activity.’ Kanya Kusano wrote that the IPCC’s “conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an improvable hypothesis.” Shunichi Akasofu stated that, “We should be cautious, IPCC’s theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis,” and cautioned that, “Before anyone noticed, this hypothesis has been substituted for truth… The opinion that great disaster will really happen must be broken.”

    • Jim D,

      Are you God? How on Earth do you know what other people think?

      You say:

      You are either for AGW being true (2-4.5 degree sensitivity) or certain that it is not.

      I don’t know what climate sensitivity is. My position is: even if it is 2-4.5 C, so what? What are the consequences? I am not asking about consequences in degrees C or in scary adjectives like: catastrophic, dangerous, bush fires, droughts, floods, storms, etc.. I am asking what are the consequences in terms of net costs (benefits minus damage costs), properly discounted over 50 or 100 years and properly taking into account our proven ability to deal with threats.

      I’ve asked this question numerous times on numerous threads and all the self professed experts on AGW have avoided it or obfuscated. They commonly change the topic to one of physics or climate sensitivity or some other irrelevant topic (i.e. irrelevant with respect to policy).

      • Peter, I would say the first question is how much warmer will it be in 2100, then we ask what are the consequences. Nobody will know the consequences for sure because we can’t predict global reaction to climate change effects, but we don’t even have agreement on the first question’s answer yet. The scientific question is easily framed, and hypotheses can be based on scenarios of anthropogenic forcing. Once we get agreement that it will be between x and y degrees warmer by 2100, we can think of the probabilities and consequences for that whole range, and how to plan for them. It is frustrating that we are not even at this point yet in the public debate, which makes any planning impossible. The IPCC have already answered the first question which should have helped move everyone to the planning stage, but only a few countries are even taking that and started doing something about it. It is all just very slow.

      • Jim D,

        Peter, I would say the first question is how much warmer will it be in 2100

        We’ve been working on that one for decades. The uncertainty has hardly changed in over 20 years. There is little sign of that situation changing.

        Furthermore, the IPCC figures are not trusted by many. The IPCC’s quoted climate sensitivity figures are almost entirely dependent on modelling. Analyses based on empirical evidence are sparse, and the data seems to get “lost” when the conclusions are challenged.

        The US alone has spent some $100 billion on climate policies and the World has spent much more. But still we don’t have a well constrained understanding of climate sensitivity.

        Therefore, you can keep bashing your head against a wall, or take another tack. If you want to keep bashing your head against a wall, please don’t ask or expect us to implement high cost, economically damaging mitigation policies on the basis of your beliefs and unfounded confidence in you beliefs.

        The other tack is to do the ‘what if- analysis. What are the consequences if climate sensitivity (2xCO2) is 2 to 4.5 C?

        Luckily, Nordhaus has done just this with his DICE and RICE models (2007 to 2012), and his 2012 paper: “Economic Policy in the face of severe tail events
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2011.01544.x/full
        In the latter he titled his conclusions: “Not so dismal consequences” and

        However, we conclude that no loaded gun of strong tail dominance has been uncovered to date.

        From these, Tol and others, it seems that warming is not so bad after all.

      • We need to have those debates. What if it rises 4 degrees by 2100, good or bad? I want to see both sides of that debate. So far there are not enough people even considering 4 degrees to be good to make a mark on that debate. Let’s see them write articles. They shouldn’t be afraid of being laughed down if they have good science to back them up. Hopefully they can be immune from lawsuits if their advice is taken and proved wrong, but I think I am seeing now why they are not stepping forward.

      • Jim D,

        What if it rises 4 degrees by 2100, good or bad? I want to see both sides of that debate.

        I don’t know what you mean by both sides of the debate. I just want to see objective, unbiased analysis like scientists used to do before they became overwhelmed by policy driven science, group think and government funding.

        Nordhaus’s work considers the full range of climate sensitivity
        reported by IPCC. (Why don’t you read it?). He concludes “not so dismal consequences”. And no evidence of severe consequences – yet.

        We also need to take into account we have limited resources to tackle threats and climate change is not the only threat we face. It would be bad policy to waste our wealth on a low risk, so we are not able to deal with higher risks (risk = consequence x probability).

        This article http://www.tnr.com/blog/critics/75757/why-the-decision-tackle-climate-change-isn%E2%80%99t-simple-al-gore-says was summarised in a post by JC some months ago. I think it is excellent and well worth re-reading. Below I quote three paragraphs from near the end (but I’d suggest reading the whole article because I believe it addresses your comment well)

        In the face of massive uncertainty, hedging your bets and keeping your options open is almost always the right strategy. Money and technology are our raw materials for options. A healthy society is constantly scanning the horizon for threats and developing contingency plans to meet them, but the loss of economic and technological development that would be required to eliminate all theorized climate change risk (or all risk from genetic technologies or, for that matter, all risk from killer asteroids) would cripple our ability to deal with virtually every other foreseeable and unforeseeable risk, not to mention our ability to lead productive and interesting lives in the meantime.

        So what should we do about the real danger of global warming? In my view, we should be funding investments in technology that would provide us with response options in the event that we are currently radically underestimating the impacts of global warming. In the event that we discover at some point decades in the future that warming is far worse than currently anticipated, which would you rather have at that point: the marginal reduction in emissions that would have resulted up to that point from any realistic global mitigation program, or having available the product of a decades-long technology project to develop tools to ameliorate the problem as we then understand it?

        The best course of action with regard to this specific problem is rationally debatable, but at the level of strategy, we can be confident that humanity will face many difficulties in the upcoming century, as it has in every century. We just don’t know which ones they will be. This implies that the correct grand strategy for meeting them is to maximize total technical capabilities in the context of a market-oriented economy that can integrate highly unstructured information, and, most important, to maintain a democratic political culture that can face facts and respond to threats as they develop.

      • Regarding the last quoted paragraphs. It advocates a middle road, or hedging, which is the part I agree with. Planning for 4 degrees by 2100 is a middle route that would allow us to deal with ‘tail events’ a little beyond 4 degrees too. Of course I disagree that free-market solutions are likely to benefit many, as they are designed to pick winners and losers. Rather an insurance policy where you keep government money in reserve to put to use where it is determined to be needed later to best benefit the people. In the likely absence of other government revenue, this reserve can be raised through a moderate carbon tax. The government can then also seed green industries and fund infrastructure development in areas such as green energy, transportation, irrigation, dams, and reservoirs, and they can support food and energy production through subsidies to maintain a stable public cost while meeting growing demands in the face of dwindling fossil fuels. So, yes, a middle road solution is good, but you will need money and coordinated national-scale planning, not individual market-driven profiteering competitors that have no big picture in mind regarding important things like the national water, energy, transportation, and food needs of the future.

      • Jim D,

        You have misunderstood the article and misunderstood what hedging our bets means. The article most definitely is not suggesting we go out and invest in mitigation options to deal with 4 C climate sensitivity. I fail to understand how you could have gained that impression. I’d suggest you read this and the other links I’ve provided, because you have misunderstood.

        What all this is saying, is that we should not waste money on mitigation. Our responses should be rational.

        The worst thing we can do is go down the route advocated by socialists, progressives and Left ideologues. That is certain failure, just as it always has been in the past.

      • OK, it says this.
        “we should be funding investments in technology that would provide us with response options in the event that we are currently radically underestimating the impacts of global warming. ”
        Which technologies would help us in that event, and what types of problems would we be trying to mitigate or adapt to? I listed some areas (water, food, energy) where attention is needed. I mentioned also that money is needed. I also don’t think reducing CO2 emission is going to be effective on climate change, but we have to plan to have resources for the potential consequences. Taking advantage of CO2 emission with a carbon tax provides those resources somewhat in proportion to the consequences of it. What does he mean by ‘radically underestimating’? Is it the skeptics underestimating or the IPCC underestimating. I think he means the former, as the latter is less likely to be an underestimate.

      • Also I would ask what he means by ‘investments’. It is not the usual monetary return. It is paying now to reduce loss later, which is a special type of investment that capitalists are not inclined towards, and somewhat more like insurance as an investment.

      • Jim D,

        Yes. He is advocating adaption and R&D into ‘just in case’ technologies. He is not arguing for us to implement mitigation policies. He is advocating ‘No Regrets’ policies. He is arguing much the same as Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus has been arguing for a long time.

        You ask:

        Which technologies would help us in that event, and what types of problems would we be trying to mitigate or adapt to? I listed some areas (water, food, energy)

        The answer is clear. Low cost nuclear addresses all these; see http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111744

        Also, Nordhaus makes it clear that a cost competitive alternative to fossil fuels would be by far the least cost way to reduce emissions.

        The CO2 tax is a really bad idea. The Australian CO2 tax and ETS will cost $10, for every $1 of projected benefit. But the benefits will not be realised:
        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/ Please make the effort to read this if you are a supporter of pricing CO2 emissions.

      • While I am somewhat in favor of nuclear power, I am guarded about profit-making companies running the operations. That is a sure bet for construction compromises, shortcuts and hiding things from regulators.

      • “While I am somewhat in favor of nuclear power, I am guarded about profit-making companies running the operations. That is a sure bet for construction compromises, shortcuts and hiding things from regulators.”

        The US gets about 20% of all electrical power from Nuclear energy.
        The US uses a lot electrical power, therefore US even though it has low percentage of electrical power provided by nuclear [as compare to France which highest percentage of any country [78.8%] US has most nuclear power plants in the world [104] France is next, 58, followed by Japan 50, and Russia 33.
        So US has a lot experience and track record of safely operating nuclear reactors. Not a single fatality in terms nuclear plant’s operation.

      • gbaikie,

        Good points. I am actually advocating low cost, small modular nuclear power plants, manufactured in factories, shipped to site, returned to factory for refueling. These to be cheaper than fossil fuels and to be rolled out across the world. see here: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111744 .

        If we want to reduce global emissions it is the developing world, and especially the underdeveloped world than we need to get onto clean electricity before they get onto fossil fuel burning electricity generation. To do this, we need a cheaper option than fossil fuel To do this, we have to make nuclear cheap, which it is not now. See the link to see more about what I am advocating.

      • “Good points. I am actually advocating low cost, small modular nuclear power plants, manufactured in factories, shipped to site, returned to factory for refueling. ”

        Oh, yeah, heard some things about it.
        There are some small isolated communities in US, that have used
        similar nuclear reactors [similar as in small]. Though they disposal rather than re-usable [something like 30 year lifetime- bury it, low maintenance.
        And low maintenance is selling point, but electrical cost not cheap- compete against small power plants which have higher costs.
        Supposedly China was quite interested doing small potable with I believe pebble technology.

        But you talking about something different. Was Bill Gates in involved?
        Or someone? Anyways last looked it was couple year ago, it didn’t
        seem ready for prime time at that point, but seemed promising.

      • gbaikie,

        Did you read the link? If so, did you want to ask a question about small modular reactors. My comment is about the future, not the now or the past.

      • “Did you read the link? If so, did you want to ask a question about small modular reactors. My comment is about the future, not the now or the past.”

        I had looked this link: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111744 .
        But then googled bill gates and nuclear:
        http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/24/bill-gates-wants-nuclear-reactor/
        Which was what I was trying to remember:
        “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is in talks with Japanese tech giant Toshiba to develop next-generation, mini-nuclear reactors, the electronics maker said.”
        http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/24/bill-gates-wants-nuclear-reactor/
        And:
        “Toshiba, which owns U.S. nuclear firm Westinghouse, said it was in preliminary talks with the Gates-backed firm TerraPower to develop traveling-wave reactors (TWRs), which are designed to use depleted uranium as fuel and thought to hold the promise of running up to 100 years without refueling. (Conventional reactors require refueling every several years.)

        Gates’ attraction to such out there technologies and even a collaboration with Toshiba should come as no surprise. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation states that “science and technology have great potential to improve lives around the world.”

      • OK,

        Now I understand your though path. There were a few jumps there I’d missed.

        I think TWR’s are likely to be a long way off. But there are a number of small modular reactors going through the regulatory approvals process. one of them is the Toshiba ‘Hyperion’ http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/advanced/hyperion.html

        There are many others and some are listed in the index in the left pane. Some of these have been held up for a decade in the regulatory process. No wonder the cost of nuclear is so high. Bernard Cohen reported in 1990 that cost growth due to regulatory ratcheting had caused a factor of four increase in cost by 1990. http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html . It’s probably doubled again since due to further regulatory ratcheting. So there is an enormous potential to reduce costs, if we can ever get past the anti-nuke nonsense and the radiation phobia it has created.

      • Jim D,

        On the question of private for profit companies running nuclear reactors – what would be the alternative? Perhaps a semi-independant federal agency like BPA or TVA (which does operate plants) might be an alternative. What almost certainly wouldn’t would be a federal agency such as FERC or the Dept of Energy. Take a look sometime at the cleanup issues at federal nuclear faciolities such as Handford and Rocky Flats.

      • gbailke,

        There are at least three competing small reactor designs. A Oregon State/Nucor design a Toshiba design and one based on current US submarine reactor design.

        If the US was really serious about either global warming or energy independance, we would alreqdy be building them.

      • Jim D,

        If you don’t like companies making profits, then I’d suggest you seek out a socialist/communist country to live in. This decision is silly because it is about ideological beliefs, not climate change policy. If you are not prepared to look at the links I’ve provided to address your previous comments, why should I waste my time answering any more of your comments?

        It always gets back to ideology doesn’t it? The Left want to regulate what we can do, say, think and eat. CAGW is a convenient scare for the Left to use to progress their agenda. It’s not about AGW, its about ideology.

        We’ll, I don’t want a bar of the Left’s ideology.

        We have a socialist/progressive/Left government in Australia. It is by far the most incompetent government we’ve had in my life time. The previous Labor government ran up a debt of $90 billion in 10 years. This Labor-Green government has run up a debt approaching $300 billion in under five years. Part of that is the $50 billion Nationalised Broadband Network. That was set up between the Minister for Communication and the Prime Minister during a plane trip. Labor campaigned on a promise of a $4.3 billion National Broadband Network, but it wasn’t getting the attention they wanted, so, on a plane trip they changed it to $43 billion. No cost benefit analysis was done. It’s increased since then. Anyone who made decision like this in the private sector would be in jail.

        This government has added 16,000 new regulations and removed just 78. If you have no understanding of business, as is the case for most of those who advocate Left policies, you wouldn’t realise the consequences of any of this. But you can look at USSR, Chile, Venezuela and now basket-case Europe, to see what socialist/progressive/Left policies and ideology gets you.

      • Profits are fine in some areas, better coffee shops, cheaper clothes, etc., but when it comes to the public health or worker safety or impacts on the environment, profiteers often clash with regulators, and their political proxies clash in government, and there is not usually a happy compromise. OK, not all managers are evil profiteers, but how do we make sure they live up to their environmental and safety responsibilities that are entrusted to them when money is a temptation. Actually government-run industries are no better when pressurized to meet targets for bonuses or if they face penalties for underproduction. There are good and bad ways to run things but taking money out of the equation generally helps when it comes to public safety.

      • “Actually government-run industries are no better when pressurized to meet targets for bonuses or if they face penalties for underproduction. There are good and bad ways to run things but taking money out of the equation generally helps when it comes to public safety.”

        Government run industries [none in US] generally have very poor safety standards. The US government did run an rocket operation called the Shuttle. Not easy but also not safe.
        One thing about “profiteers often clash with regulators” at least with the US government, government operation have no regulators. So only party regulators are able to “clash with” is private.

      • Jim,

        we have almost 60 years of safe successful operation of “commercial” nuclear power. The industry has one of the most envious records of any industry in this country. Would it only be that things like health care, transpotation, or non-nuclear energy production had a record even closely similar. Even the aviation industry, with an envious record in its own right (and one the nuclear industry borrowed practices from extensively), cannot equal that of nuclear power.

        Long before climate science came along, it was the fear mongering crap put out against nuclear power that spurred my interest in science education. The facts so overwhelmingly support use of nuclear power that to be opposed to it identifies one as either ignorant or an ideolgue.

      • Jim,

        This is just loony, Left ideological belief. It’s silly. To start with, the public sector is much more likely to make cover ups than the private sector. The public sector can get away with incompetence and cover ups for decades. The bosses and perpetrators just move and get a new better job. They are rarely called to account and put in jail as the private sector is. Furthermore, there is no way in the world the public sector can run the electricity industry, of get the finances, or manufacture equipment like nuclear plants.

        Did you read the links I gave you in answer to your questions, or do you prefer to rant on about your ideological beliefs?

      • The Nordhaus thing was far to abstract to make any plan from, unless you could see what he was suggesting. Yes, I find writing about leftist ideas is relaxing, and gets my thoughts together. I know it won’t work to convert a righty. I have no faith in capitalism serving the national interest as opposed to their own, which we see in its purest form in Wall Street, but I’ll leave it at that.

      • Jim D,

        I have no faith in capitalism serving the national interest as opposed to their own,

        So this is what its all about then, eh? You hate capitalism so jump on the CAGW alarmist band-wagon as a means to try to impose more regulations, more control by government, more bureaucrats, more taxes and ultimately world government.

        I find people with your beliefs basically ignorant idealists. Ignorant in that most of them get paid by the state and haven’t a clue where the money comes from to pay them. It comes from businesses who make profits (otherwise they go broke). The businesses employ people, and pay the employees. The company pays tax and the employees pay tax. Investors get a return on their investment and pay tax on that. If they didn’t get a return on investment they wouldn’t invest in that business and it would go broke – no employees and no tax. If you are paid from the public purse, your pay comes from the business who do the real work and make the country what it is.

        It’s amazing how many people are anti profit, but love getting the salary and benefits the businesses provide for all of us.

      • Ease up Peter.

        Jim at least is being honest in where he comes from. You and I may disagree with him and think he is misguided, but that doesn’t mean he’s someone you’d never have a beer with. Some of my best friends have very similar opinions to this. Doesn’t make them any less my friend.

      • Timg56

        Ease up Peter.

        Fair point timg.

        I retract my over-the-top-comments Jim D.

      • No, that is where you are wrong. I start with the science and see where it leads as countless of my posts here show. I find a lot of skeptics start with politics and they attribute the meme you just did to anyone who thinks it might warm significantly. We got started on the politics because of differing views on the solution, and there are divisions there too, obviously. My view of the solution doesn’t involve reducing CO2 emissions via some global deal, but just taxing it to drive more correct behavior and to pay for its impacts. It is too late for reduction to do much of anything anyway, so all we can do is be realistic and prepare for the climate of the future.
        On capitalism, there is good capitalism, but it gets bad when it tries to influence government for profit motives, whether lobbying against regulations or for pork-barrel projects, which is only a small minority of businesses hopefully. Those are the ones that give capitalism a bad name. The free market is great for profits and tax revenue. Government is great if it is allowed to function for the common good by the providing basic services, safety regulations and a good environment.

      • Peter, thanks for the later comment, but I didn’t take it personally because you attributed a wrong belief to me anyway. I don’t put politics ahead of science, and would be equally annoyed with anyone who did.

      • Jim D

        I start with the science and see where it leads

        The science is not everything. It is the start. (But it needs to be objective, and that has clearly not been the case with IPCC and climate science, so we have to be careful not to just accept the bad policies that are being advocated by the Alarmist scientists and scaremongers).

        After science there is economics, engineering, cost estimating, cost benefit analyses, risk analysis and policy.

        Also, the problem with science and scientists is that they are not directed. That is they do not work to schedules or budgets. In other words they’ll keep on researching forever. They do not have to make a decision as engineers and politicians do. There are thousands of examples where the science has gone on far too long and never been commercialised because the scientists wouldn’t let go and pass over to the engineers, entrepreneurs and business people. Climate science is no different.

        It is clear we do not have sufficiently reliable or sufficiently well documented information to justify the enormous expenses that are being advocated by the alarmists http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111418 . Therefore, we should not proceed with high cost and highly damaging government interventions like EPA is doing in USA, the EU Carbon trading scheme and the Australian mongrel CO2 tax and ETS. This is the real issue.

      • The link you pointed to was not even an alarmist, but it is better to look at how governments are already spending money on climate change or planning to, rather than speculate based on what random bloggers think they will or even want to do. Generally speaking, spending, or at least saving up, slowly over a longer lead time is better and leaves more flexibility than suddenly needing revenue later when the projects are about to begin which could lead to more difficulty for everyone as other spending gets cut. Saving is of course difficult for a government unless it is in a protected “lock-box” such as the way government pays for pensions, senior healthcare, etc. Unfortunately long-term planning such as this is also difficult for typical governments these days, but hopefully they will have some foresight. Can the private sector raise these future revenues in some way? I don’t think so, but am open to ideas. I think they will rely on the government having some funds ready for them.

      • There is an alternative which is to wait to the last minute and issue bonds as you need them for projects. This is also known as government borrowing or raising the deficit, which is currently frowned upon, because you are put on the hook for interest later.

  44. Michael Larkin

    Judith,

    Thanks for this interesting article in a popular magazine.

    Another I would recommend concerns the “decline effect”:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all

    It’s a fascinating article, and I think it can shed some light on the climate debate. Here’s the last paragraph of this longish article:

    “Such anomalies demonstrate the slipperiness of empiricism. Although many scientific ideas generate conflicting results and suffer from falling effect sizes, they continue to get cited in the textbooks and drive standard medical practice. Why? Because these ideas seem true. Because they make sense. Because we can’t bear to let them go. And this is why the decline effect is so troubling. Not because it reveals the human fallibility of science, in which data are tweaked and beliefs shape perceptions. (Such shortcomings aren’t surprising, at least for scientists.) And not because it reveals that many of our most exciting theories are fleeting fads and will soon be rejected. (That idea has been around since Thomas Kuhn.) The decline effect is troubling because it reminds us how difficult it is to prove anything. We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that’s often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe.”

  45. Beth Cooper

    Bart yer on the wrong thread, this is the “Hard Wired Brain” thread, not the “Irony- Impaired Brain” thread. No smileys for you … oh well… yer can have 1 :-)

  46. In the end the key fallacy is that we have been in a cooling trend for 2,000 years. This is what global cooling really looks like – new tree ring study shows 2000 years of cooling – previous studies underestimated temperatures of Roman and Medieval Warm Periods. ~Anthony Watts

    • Wagathon,

      In the end the key fallacy is that we have been in a cooling trend for 2,000 years

      May I suggest a small correction to your figure of 2000. According to James Hansen’s Figure 1 here::
      http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf
      We’ve been in a cooling trend for 50,000,000 years:
      We’ve been in a cooling trend for 800,000 years
      We’ve been in a cooling trend for 8,000 years
      We’ve passed the peak of the glacial-interglacial cycle and in a 80,000 year cooling trend towards the next glaciation.

      Therefore, risk analysis should consider whether or not an improvement in Earth’s ‘insulation’ might not be a good thing.

      • The entirety of all human experience on the face of the Earth is limited to the current interglacial. People as superstitious as 20th Century AGW True Believers have existed for thousands of years. We’ll get through as a species but Western Civilization is dying because of it.

  47. “You are either for AGW being true (2-4.5 degree sensitivity) or certain that it is not. A true skeptical position on AGW would permit that it might be true, but apart from Judith and a few that we might call warmists here, none of the self-described skeptics are in this category.”

    No one thinks the ocean will warm 2-4.5 degree within a century. True average temperature of earth could have decided in parallel dimension that Ocean temperature determines average global temperature. It makes more sense. Why land 5′ above the ground and in the shade? Because that is how weatherman traditionally have taken the temperature.

    Is it possible the average temperature as we measure today could rise as much as 4.5 C within century [or before 2100 Jan Or whatever CO2 doubles- which is what? 540 ppm or 800 ppm or some other number]. It seems possible that by 2100 Jan that average global temperatures could rise by 4.5 C. It is also possible for Alien contact to occur before 2100 Jan.
    It’s possible, because there is uncertainly. What is the sun going to do in next century?
    Earth has been 4.5 C warmer in the past, so that “proof” that earth could get this warm again. Measurement of past temperature is uncertain. And measure current global average temperature is somewhat uncertain.

    But the theory that explain or indicate that 4.5 C rise in temperature within range of certainty , is more improbable then merely reaching some temperature.
    The manner the temperature suppose to rise, small amounts now, HUGE increase as it approaches 2100 is very unconvincing.. To believe this is possible one have have some good reason to explain the last 15 years.
    As for 2 C rise by 2100 Jan, I said before there migh a fair chance of this happenning. It seems a high end what may be the temperatures by 2100.

    But it seems if we going to get gain of 2 C by 2100, we need to see some temperature increases in the near term. Because I am not buyer of the HUGE increases near the magical numbered year, 2100. Or other words, I expect temperature trends to vague follow the temperature trend of 20th Century, though possibly warming faster. But the 20th Century warming didn’t all occur in latter part of 20th century.

    Another thing is I can’t predict volcanoes. As far as I know, we had two very large volcanic eruptions in the 19th century and none in 20th Century.
    Does this mean we less likely to get such large eruptions as we head towards 2100? Or something like 19th Century?

    So I don’t think rise of 2 C by 2100 is the low end of possible global warming. Some government type want to keep to 2 C rise by 2100. And it seem if forget all about global warming it might get this warm.

    So here we have more than 40 known large volcanic eruption all throwing 1000 or more cubic km. None are in the most volcanically active region in the world because unfortunately it’s most under about 3 km of ocean, and there isn’t bus tours available to this location.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_volcanic_eruptions
    As for the 2 large one in 19th century, one is Mount Tambora which in
    April 10, 1815 had a ejecta volume of 160 cubic km
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora
    The most famous Krakatoa, Aug. 27, 1883.

    If we had something like Tambora [+100 cubic km] few would doubt it shouldn’t have a major affect upon climate. Though the more important thing is it would kill lots of people, immediately- probably regardless of where it occurred. Though specific affect on humans would depend on where and what of it.
    Of course for those interested in “global warming” the general idea towards it’s possible affects upon climate, should be ignored. But if we didn’t ignore it, there could say .5 to 1 C cooling affect, and it could more significant affect on climate than some global temperature change.

    Now, lots people thought the rather small impactor than hit Jupiter was neat. We no idea what could hit the Sun within next decade or 100 years.
    Would matter if something hit the sun. No idea. Though if big enough, it’s sure to do something. Perhaps we just think it’s kinda neat. Perhaps we missing some event which have already occurred.

    But the “real issue” what will rising CO2 levels mean in terms of temperature. I don’t think rising CO2 will cause all this 2 C increase which suppose to occur by 2100. But neither do warmists, instead it’s force other factors [water vapor being common theme].
    It seems fairly certain we aren’t going to get more water vapor in the tropics, yet we suppose to get droughts, so that makes zero sense.
    Maybe the thinking is the ocean will get warmer [seems likely oceans will get warmer, but the problem warming fast enough to have some effect before 2100].
    Anyhow it seems that planet will continue warming as more time passes from the time of LIA, and assuming the sun actively picks up, and there is no volcanoes which on the big side. and perhaps the rises CO2 level may add some warming. Though maybe global temperature will lower by .5 C by 2100, due to volcanoes, lower sun activity, and CO2 not warming as much as some imagine, and/or perhaps global CO2 levels will not get as high as some think it’s almost certain to do.

    • gbaike,

      You speculate about something hitting the Sun. I guess it wouldn’t matter if it hits at night, would it?

  48. Beth Cooper

    Listen Tony, it’s all about money with you, money, money, money. I sent yer a donation last week! :-) x 3. Fan’s influence!

  49. Beth Cooper

    Cover yer ears and jest make do, Tony :-(

  50. Darlin Beth,

    The irony impaired are somtimes just autism spectrum… Lucky – Australia is ideally placed to profit. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    Best regards
    Captain (Robbo) Kangaroo

  51. Beth Cooper

    ( Say, so many kinds of * brain *… I meself have recently been diagnosed on this very site, by Robert, Dr Robert from the Viennese School of Psychiatriatry? as being cracked.’ Cracked Brain Syndrome, OMG! … do you think I’ve got it? ( I know I’m a little bit eccentric … runs in jester families

    • Beth,
      You have confused Robert’s being a psychiatric patient with being a psychiatrist.

  52. Beth Cooper

    Hi judith, a couple of hours ago I posted a somewhat extended interview re logical fallacies with Socrates, Karl popper and FA Hayek which seems to have got lost in space. I don’t think it was out of order, jest hope it turns up. Thx Judith.

  53. Beth Cooper

    My apologies, Judith, I seem to have posted my interview with Socrates et al re logical fallacies July 7 3.34am on the wrong thread,( Week in Review 7/6/12.) Fallacies, mistakes, errors, it’s because I’m suffering from Cracked Brain Syndrome. :-(

  54. There is an easy fix to all of this;

    Recognize that the Scientific Method does not end with ‘Peer’ Review, but rather always welcomes ‘Critical’ Review.

    A college professor of mine explained that ‘Peer’ Review is a necessary step in the Scientific Method so one does not end up looking stupid when they publish something that looks novel to them, but is in reality a mistake due to what is most often an early error in their observations or recordings.

    Your friends (aka Peers) will not beat up up like the scientific community will. If you can pass a CRITICAL Review, your work is actually worth something.

  55. I find this post from Jim D
    “Jim D | July 10, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    There is a partisanship in this debate. You are either for AGW being true (2-4.5 degree sensitivity) or certain that it is not.”

    As I have pointed out many times, the problem with discussions of climate sensitivity is that we have very little MEASURED data. Just about everything claimed of the numerical values for climate sensitivity is based on the output of non-validated models. Pekka claimed that there was weak empirical data to support a value for total climate sensitivity, but never produced this data.

    Until we are able to actually measure climate sensitivity, we can never resolve the issue of what the proper numeric value is. And the only way that I can see that climate sensitivity can actually be meaaurred is to measure how much CO2 concentrations have gone up, and then show how much temperatures have risen as a result of this rise in CO2 concentration; that is we must identify a CO2 signal caused by increasing levels of CO2, against the background of natural noise. If there is another way of making this measurement, then what is it?

    • Jim:

      The other way to measure CS is to go at it from the temperature end, instead of the CO2 end.

      What we could do is wait until CO2 hits 560 ppm.

      This is the doubling from 280 which is the definition of CS.

      Then we calculate the global average temperature (as we do now every year) and subtract from the temperature when CO2 was 280 – and voila, we have measured CS.

      Once carbon hits 560 ppm, then we will have an actual measured CS, and all the debate will end (and the models will have to be redone).

      • Rick you write “Then we calculate the global average temperature (as we do now every year) and subtract from the temperature when CO2 was 280 – and voila, we have measured CS.”

        What you are suggesting is basically the same as I said. But you have left out one important part. How do you know that the temperature difference between when CO2 was 280 ppmv and when it was 560 ppmv, was caused by the increase of CO2? The difference could have been caused by many other things.

        No, you have to identify a CO2 signal that can be shown to have been caused by adding CO2 to the atmosphere. An identified CO2 signal is a sine qua non of any measurement of climate sensitivity.

      • Jim:

        I thought the very definition of CS was the amount of temperature increase from a doubling of CO2. So if we assume that all of the temperature increase is from CO2, and none for anything else, are we not going to get the maximum CS? It would only be lower if other factors (like solar variation, land use changes, albedo changes, cosmic ray cloud changes, etc.) also contributed to temperature increases.

        So as a rough measure, I would assume all temperature difference between 280 and 560 ppm was caused by CO2, and that should set a cap on CS.

      • Rick A, you write “So if we assume that all of the temperature increase ”

        In some fields, other than physics, it is acceptable to make assumptions, and not justify them. In physics, this business of making assumptions, and NOT justifying them is all too commen amnongst those who believe in CAGW. In my book, NO assumption can be made in physics, UNLESS it is justified. This is why I get annoyed with people like Pekka who cannot see that assuming that radiative forcing can be estimated by radiative transfer models, without justifying this assumption, is just plain wrong.

        So, no, you cannot assmue that all the temperature increase is due to the CO2. You have to prove this. It is true, that if you make this assumption, you will get a MAXIMUM value for the climate sensitivity of CO2, but this is a useless and meaningless number. There would be no proof that the true number was indistinguishable from zero, since ALL the change in temperature might be caused naturally, and have nothing to do with additional CO2.

        And you cannot argue, as Andy Lacis does, that the natural noise will cancel itself out. This only happens if the time over which the CO2 doubles is long compared with the time constants of the natural noise. Clearly some of these time constants must be measured in thousands of years..

      • Jim:

        I see your point.

        Still, if it turns out that CS is say 1.8C or less, measured as I suggested, when CO2 hits 560 ppm, AND if that is a maximum, then all the models and consensus are proven wrong.

        They may be a little wrong or really wrong, depending on how much of the temperature increase is natural variability – but the models would have FAILED.

        That seems like a worthwhile measurement to make, to see whether the models are confirmed or (as I suspect will happen) will be proven wrong.

      • Vaughan Pratt explains why climate sensitivity matters there:

        > I estimate that the same model that predicts a climate sensitivity of 1.8 °C per doubling on the assumption of no delay is likely to raise its estimate to 2.7 °C when it uses the IPCC-sanctioned delay of 20 years in its notion of transient climate response (TCR). Lengthening the delay to 25 years is likely to further raise the model’s estimate to 30 years, while the 30 years I favor, based on other considerations having nothing to do with climate sensitivity, may well yield 3.3 degrees.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/9020467714

      • RickA, you write “That seems like a worthwhile measurement to make, to see whether the models are confirmed or (as I suspect will happen) will be proven wrong.”

        I agree, but we dont have to wait any time at all. I recon that by this time there ought to be a CO2 signal in the temperature/time data, from which CS can be measured. No such signal is there. The question none of the proponents if CAGW will address is

        “How long do we have to wait for a CO2 signal to appear in the temperature/time graph, before we conclude that no CO2 signal is ever going to appear?”

        Incidentally, if you are looking for confirmation of model predictions, I recommend Smith et al Science August 2007. This forecast what would happen after 2009, and what the global temperature will be in 2014. Not too long to wait.

      • Jim Cripwell, hypothetically, if a variable was predicted to rise by five standard deviations of its previous variability, and that happened, would you consider that to be a signal and a correct prediction?

      • JimD you write “Jim Cripwell, hypothetically, ”

        I dont do hypothetically.

      • Steven Mosher

        No Rick you will not have an actual measurement then.

      • Steven:

        Why not?

        It will be impossible to tease out the change in temperature from just CO2.

        Are you really saying there is no way to measure CS?

      • RickA you write “Are you really saying there is no way to measure CS?”

        The only way you can measure CS is if you can identify a CO2 signal in the temperature/time graph. Period.

      • stevenmosher

        It’s pretty simple why not. If you dont understand then I will have to make a super simple example to explain it to you. The sensitivity is the response in C to a forcing in Watts. That’s the total system response to the total forcing. C02 is just one of many forcings.

        Lets use a car as an example. And lets use horsepower to the pavement as our forcing. We should note that other forcings are also at play. Drag, friction, lets use those two. Now, we can agree that increasing the horse power from 280 to 560 should make the car go faster. just like increasing GHGs should warm the planet. A change in one leads to a change in the other. force of horsepower leads to a speed response. Can you figure out “the” response merely by measuring the speed when 280 HP is applied and then measuring it when 560 is applied? Lets say, you apply 280 HP for 2 seconds and the car hits 45MPH. Now repeat with 560 HP and after 2 seconds the car is at 50MPH. will you be measuring the sensitivity of speed to HP? hmm transiently. So, lets say you apply 280HP until the car stops increasing its speed, until v dot equals 0 and then we test 560 and wait until v dot = 0. Thats better. basically, you cant get the system response measured until the system stops responding to the forcing. Thats what we mean when we talk about equilbrium sensitivity. The forcing gets applied and you wait until the system stops responding. With a car this is easy. just hit the track.
        With the earth.. not so easy cause we only have one run down the track.

        Next comes the other problem. With the car we can try to hold drag and friction constant. If I tested 280 HP down hill and 560 HP Up hill, you’d scream that the test conditions were different. and youd be right. If I test 280 with a high drag car and 560 with a low drag car you’d complain.
        With the earth we have the same problem. While C02 increases, other forcings change. so what can we do? we cannot run controlled experiments. we cannot hold other forcings constant while we increase C02. We do what is done in other sciences faced with similar problems.
        we create simulations that attempt to capture all the variables we know and we run “synthetic” experiments. Like with airplanes. So, in theory sensitivity is measurable. it is simply the TOTAL system response to a forcing at such time the system re establishes a new equillbrium state.
        in PRACTICE you cant measure this because
        A) you have to wait hundreds of years for the system to reach equillibrium
        B) you can hold other forcings constant
        Still you can estimate it, you can bound it. you can do this by studying

        1) paleo climate
        2) the relaxation response after volcanos
        3) run a climate model..

      • steven, you write “It’s pretty simple why not.”

        Would you explain to me how you can MEASURE climate sensitivity, however you define it, without first detecting an identified CO2 signal in the temperature/time graph.

      • Jim, this is basically the alleged human signal (which is more or less CO2 signal):
        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/climateqa/files/2010/05/natural_anthropogenic_models_narrow.png

        The signal is difference between human and no-human. I know it’s laughable, but that’s the hypothesis to be falsified.

      • “Jim, this is basically the alleged human signal (which is more or less CO2 signal):
        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/climateqa/files/2010/05/natural_anthropogenic_models_narrow.png

        The signal is difference between human and no-human. I know it’s laughable, but that’s the hypothesis to be falsified.”

        I can understand why without humans would be a flat line [ignorance]
        but why do they think a warming climate would decrease “natural CO2
        levels?
        Is simply because it works in their models?
        Hansen and heat hiding in ocean stuff?

      • Steven:

        Thank you for your reply.

        I am depressed to think that even after we hit 560 ppm, and even if we wait 30 more years, we will still be fighting about what CS is.

        It sounds like because we cannot hold the other variables constant, no matter what the actual global temperature is when we hit 560 ppm, even if we wait some period of time to reach equilibrium, we will still have plenty to argue over as to the other variables, etc.

        It doesn’t sound like we will ever be able to validate a climate model.

        Bummer.

      • Edim, you write “The signal is difference between human and no-human. I know it’s laughable, but that’s the hypothesis to be falsified.”

        Fair enough. But whatever the graph means that you show, the next step is the essential one. One must measure the climate sensitiviy of CO2 from the graph and put a +/- on it. Then let us see whether it makes sense.

      • Gbaikie, I think the consensus position is that without humans (net natural forcing), the temperature would have been falling since the ~1960s (start of AGW). Basically, more than 100% of the warming since ~1960 is caused by humans.

      • Steve mosher

        nice analogy.

        I would note you left out the motorcycle cop.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        We can do that now, just using the log to the base 2 of 390/280. The problem is, there are dynamics. If the earth were that simple (as Hansen seems to think it is, Fanny), we’d have this all figured out by now.

      • No – I don’t think we can do it now. We don’t know what the temperature will be when CO2 hits 560 ppm, so if you do it now you will have to guess. So that is not an actual measurement (in my book).

      • The problem is the dynamics. And the complex system. Dynamical complexity. Climate sensitivity could be positive this week and negative the next. Everything is dynamic in this system – and these systems change abruptly and rapidly down to the scale of a raindrop and over millennia and longer.

  56. For attention of Dr. Curry
    New hypothesis on the climate horizon, by NASA
    Going to Earth’s core for climate insights –by JPL /NASA

    I have promoted since 2009 the idea that the Earth’s magnetic field is a good proxy for climate and temperature oscillation.
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/41/83/04/PDF/NATA.pdf
    Shortly after I added some more information:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm
    (on this one Dr. Curry’s comment was very encouraging for a further investigation)
    Not withstanding the regular ridicule, it was brought to my attention only a day or two ago, that the NASA has recently started pursuing the same line of research, so I shall let NASA’s expert explain.
    Coincidence, numerology, spurious were attributes attached to my correlations.

    “So what mechanism is driving these correlations? Dickey said scientists aren’t sure yet, but she offered some hypotheses.
    Since scientists know air temperature can’t affect movements of Earth’s core or Earth’s length of day to the extent observed, one possibility is the movements of Earth’s core might disturb Earth’s magnetic shielding of charged-particle (i.e., cosmic ray) fluxes that have been hypothesized to affect the formation of clouds. This could affect how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space and how much is absorbed by our planet. Other possibilities are that some other core process could be having a more indirect effect on climate, or that an external (e.g. solar) process affects the core and climate simultaneously.”
    My thanks to Jean Dickey and Steven Marcus of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena for explaining so succinctly what I have tried to put forward for some years. http://phys.org/news/2011-03-earth-core-climate-insights.html
    Since it appears my research was not in vain, Dr. Dickey and Dr. Marcus let’s make another step forward:, as featured this graph:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm
    which shows Geo-Solar Oscillation as possible driver of the N. Hemisphere’s temperature natural change. ( It is my hope that ‘where vukcevic boldly goes, NASA cautiously follows’)
    Thank you all, all those who didn’t say ‘crank’, and also to those who did, now I hope you may eventually see that there may be something to it after all.

    • vuk

      Well done

      tonyb

    • Hi Vuk,

      Odd correlation but there is at least one top down mechanism – solar UV and ozone temperature. I was looking for a 20th century graph for the Hale Cycle but found this interesting collection of graphics.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/earthmagneticfield.htm

      • Hi Chief
        Ah, yes, there is one of my graphs there too. Ap (the old geomagnetic) Index that many researchers correlated to the temperature, has misled many, it has no energy, but correlates to the Earth’s field oscillations which have 1000s x more.
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Aa-CAM.htm
        it is possible that UV comes into same class of low energy, but I leave that to those better informed.
        However you look at it you need energy, so I am on another track, you may be able to expand a bit on the idea of the SST-atmospheric pressure energy exchange, whereby whole energy comes from the ocean, but its cyclical release is controlled by atmospheric pressure, which again in turn is controlled by SST, only an oscilating trigger is required.
        Gas Law and thermodynamics are not my forte, so I am using basic electronic components (professional and intellectual deformation) to demonstrate the elementary principle of phase relationships:
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAO-SST-ea.htm
        Any comment, particularly pointing at the flaws would be helpful.
        Thanks.

  57. Beth Cooper

    Hunter. when yer’ve been diagnosed with Cracked Brain Syndrome yer make these mistakes. Time fer me asprin.

    • Beth,
      It is truly an easy mistake to make.
      And it raises the question of the what to do if the shrink is also nuts?

  58. So, who exactly are “the team” members?

  59. Forget the psychological and anthropological mumbo jumbo about why some people think and act the way they do.

    Vanity.

    It is vanity that tells one he is always right, and those who disagree with him are either stupid or evil. It is vanity that blinds some to facts that do not support their beliefs. It is vanity that pushes “scientists” to put their advocacy before their objectivity.

    Case in point for the last:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/10/CDC-Hid-FL-Tuberculosis-Outbreak

    The solons of the CDC are at it again. They hid an outbreak of TB from the Florida government because they thought in some bizarre way they were protecting the homeless.

    Of course, this is nothing compared to the CDC’s efforts to lie about AIDS when it first reared its deadly head. Back then, when efforts could have been made to deal with a burgeoning epidemic among a then small segment of the gay community in the US, these self appointed elitists decided to lie about the groups primarily at risk, resulting in many more deaths among the very people they claimed to be wanting to help. It was better to let thousands more gay men die then publicize the initial nature of the epidemic, and maybe save many of their lives.

    “Scientists” have been lying to and withholding information from the public who pay their salaries for decades. Even in matters of life and death. And their vanity, their belief that they know what is best for people, that leads them to tell the public what they think will result in the policy they prefer. They call it messaging, or reframing, but their goal is not to communicate, but to make the sheep do what they are told.

    Progressives are progressives first, and everything else (including scientists) second.

    It is vanity, not a psychological condition or anthropological quirk, that leads one to believe that he is sufficiently superior to his fellow human beings that he should be allowed to control their lives. And to lie to them if necessary – for their own good.

  60. Judy,

    Regarding #2 and the way we readily impute bad motives to the other side — You should note that not every claim that the other side is guilty of bad behavior is an example of this fallacy. Sometimes they really are out to get the paranoid guy and sometimes the other side is engaging in less than honest behavior.

    In the great global warming mudfest, the Climategate e-mails created a reasonable presumption that alarmists on the team are engaged in fraudulent behavior. I would argue that, having been exposed for their bad behavior in the past, they have an affirmative obligation to be transparent and to employ the best in scientific methods. Their failure to do so leads rational people to conclude that they have not rebutted the presumption of bad faith.

    To give an example from a different (but related venue), look at claims of media bias in political reporting in the US. Conservatives point to stories that show blatant bias e.g. Wash Post has wall to wall coverage of a pro-choice rally in DC. An even larger pro-life rally weeks before got no coverage at all. People at the Post respond that they aren’t biased, they just have no one on their paper who knows anyone in the pro-life movement. That is, they didn’t do it on purpose. [note -- the Post's explanation confesses both gross incompetence and confirms the bias in coverage.] But here is the key point, having been exposed as ridiculously one-sided in its hiring and undeniably one-sided in its coverage, a fair-minded newspaper genuinely interested in meeting its supposed commitment to balanced coverage would have taken steps to address the problem. If changes aren’t made, when similarly biased coverage occurs again, the critics are being fair if they assume that the bias is by design!

    In climate science, the failure to adopt measures to fix the problem was a great tell as to the mindset of the miscreants and their supporters. They weren’t really interested in quality, honest science. see e.g. the whitewash investigations, the continued refusal to archive data, etc.

    • Stan,
      +1.
      It would be interesting to see some follow up on how these fallacies manifest on each of the ‘sides’ of this issue.

    • “In climate science, the failure to adopt measures to fix the problem was a great tell as to the mindset of the miscreants and their supporters.”

      Another example being limiting the terms of future IPCC heads, but not replacing Pachauri.

      “Oh, Master, make me chaste and celibate – but not yet!”

  61. Steve Milesworthy

    the Climategate e-mails created a reasonable presumption that alarmists on the team are engaged in fraudulent behavior.

    In some of the instances of alleged bad behaviour, should the later provision of context to the selectively edited emails have led to people having second thoughts as to whether their initial “presumption” was correct?

    I would argue that, having been exposed for their bad behavior in the past, they have an affirmative obligation to be transparent and to employ the best in scientific methods. Their failure to do so leads rational people to conclude that they have not rebutted the presumption of bad faith.

    Who is their/they? What evidence do you have that they have not changed their behaviour either sufficiently or at all. Aren’t obs data more accessible?

    Conservatives point to stories that show blatant bias

    Can you give a similar example of blatant bias in favour of your personal view (presuming you are “pro-life” rather than “pro-choice”)?

    • The Climategate emails were not taken out of context. They are the candid context. The curtain has been lifted on the malpractice of climate science.

      • Yet years later, you’ve completely failed to show any evidence of “malpractice.”

        Where is it? When are you going to find it? Is it with Saddam’s WMDs?

        Cite one single instance of proven “malpractice.”

      • Steve Milesworthy

        In the first week, everyone crowed about how “hide the decline” and “travesty” meant there was no global warming. In the second week everyone was back-tracking rapidly with fuller-context explanations of what they meant. You cannot seriously claim that the emails were not widely misinterpreted in numerous ways then. Not least because they are interpreted in numerous, but self-contradictory, negative ways.

      • Speaking of emails:

        > You need to take a close look at the reset ladder. We need 3M to stay low for the next 3 sets and then I think that we will be completely out of our 3M position. Then its on. [Submitter] has to go crazy with raising 3M Libor.

        http://buzz.money.cnn.com/2012/07/04/barclays-libor-email/

        YesButClimategate, I suppose.

      • Steve, you make the mistake of claiming “everybody”. They were widely misinterpreted, We saw erroneous news reports, but certainly it was not everybody. Mostly people who did not follow the climate fudging scam

      • Steve Milesworthy

        thisisnotgoodtogo, you are good at spotting technically erroneous generalisations in my posts, but not in realising that in essence the error doesn’t matter. Since you accept that the emails were “widely misinterpreted” the question to stan stands:

        In some of the instances of alleged bad behaviour, should the later provision of context to the selectively edited emails have led to people having second thoughts as to whether their initial “presumption” was correct?

      • As we know, the decline was in the data from tree ring proxies that were supposed to be telling us the temperature, like thermometers kind of.

        The treemometers showed the temp going down, and that was excised from the record and in some instances, e.g. Jones WMO, .tree ring data was completely switched out with Global Warming temperature signal.

        So if we believed as we were told – that the tree rings tell us the temperature story, then temp decline had been hidden.

        The false belief all hinges on belief in what the climate scientists told us.

      • Steve Milesworthy said:

        “In some of the instances of alleged bad behaviour, should the later provision of context to the selectively edited emails have led to people having second thoughts as to whether their initial “presumption” was correct?”

        Steve, when you say “should have led to ‘people having second thoughts’ ” it sounds as though it should be a general thing..that everything was misinterpreted – as if most of it was groundless criticism. That would not be true.

        Just because many people have large or small errors in their facts or perception does not mean the shady business did not happen

      • Steve Milesworthy

        My question was about whether people who had been misled by the initial garbled context such that it “created a reasonable presumption” of “fraudulent behaviour” should reassess that view. You have agreed that there was wide misinterpretation. So what is your reason for discussing the meaning of the emails. The point is irrelevant to my question.

        So if we believed as we were told – that the tree rings tell us the temperature story, then temp decline had been hidden.

        You had to stretch an awful lot of points and tell a lot of untruths to get to that. Strong elements of #5.

      • Steve, I believe you are being hasty and jumping to a wrong conclusion.

        You say “My question was about whether people who had been misled by the initial garbled context such that it “created a reasonable presumption” of “fraudulent behaviour” should reassess that view. You have agreed that there was wide misinterpretation. So what is your reason for discussing the meaning of the emails. The point is irrelevant to my question.”

        My reply, which you question as to motive for writing, was written before your post showed up telling us that your question stands.

        .

      • Steve Milesworthy said, quoting moi,
        ” ‘So if we believed as we were told – that the tree rings tell us the temperature story, then temp decline had been hidden.’

        You had to stretch an awful lot of points and tell a lot of untruths to get to that. Strong elements of #5″

        Steve, you give a nasty and unsupported assertion. Please explain and support your assertion…

      • Steve, you ask why I explained an email. Your post which I was replying to, crowed about it, That is why I talked about THAT email.

        See how things work ?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        thisisnotgoodtogo: I think your statement that the data were “excised” from the record is too strong as the excision was described in a Nature paper. I don’t think it is fair to say “if we believe what we were told”, that seems to be post-justification because the “we” you are talking about likely never saw that WMO report. The data were not “supposed to be temperatures”. Selecting proxies that align with temperature records is a perfectly open technique which necessarily means that lots of the data is not “temperatures”- the specific issue here was the divergence of some proxies that had passed the other tests.

        Apologise for the word “untruths”. I should not add to the hyperbole of insults that exists in the blogosphere.

      • Steve MIlesworthy ,

        You say
        “My question was about whether people who had been misled by the initial garbled context such that it “created a reasonable presumption” of “fraudulent behaviour” should reassess that view. You have agreed that there was wide misinterpretation. So what is your reason for discussing the meaning of the emails. The point is irrelevant to my question.”

        To your question:
        Persons who were “misled by the initial garbled context such that it created a reasonable presumption of fraudulent behaviour”

        should reexamine, of course. If they do, they soon find that the reasonable presumption was reasonable, and is reasonable ( under the commonplace vernacular use of the word “fraud” ),after finding out correct context.

      • Steve Milesworthy said:

        “I think your statement that the data were “excised” from the record is too strong as the excision was described in a Nature paper”

        “Excised:
        Cut out surgically”

        That is what was done. Now you complain that if a decline was described in Nature that then “surgically removed”,or “cut out” is wrong ? that’s a non sequitor.

        Steve, if recall serves me the “hide the decline” – data excised version – was actually ARCHIVED as THE.DATA by Briffa..

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        thisisnotgoodtogo:

        Steve, if recall serves me the “hide the decline” – data excised version – was actually ARCHIVED as THE.DATA by Briffa..

        That’s correct. However, you miss an important point.

        In a number of cases, when the series was used, it wasn’t just truncated. It also had data from the instrumental temperature record appended to it (the details of which vary by case).

      • Steve Milesworthy said
        “I don’t think it is fair to say “if we believe what we were told”, that seems to be post-justification because the “we” you are talking about likely never saw that WMO report.”

        Steve, you seem to be confusing yourself here. Correct that they likely never saw the shady WMO report.
        However, that has nothing to do with us being told that trees were providing very good temp readings for a longer than a thousand yrs back.

        Steve said :

        ” The data were not “supposed to be temperatures”. Selecting proxies that align with temperature records is a perfectly open technique which necessarily means that lots of the data is not “temperatures”

        Sure it is *IN THIS CASE*, after processing. Don’t you see it written as NA temp summer ?.
        It was a temp proxy, no denying it now. Thermometer readings are temp proxies too.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        should reexamine, of course. If they do, they soon find that the reasonable presumption was reasonable, and is reasonable ( under the commonplace vernacular use of the word “fraud” ),after finding out correct context.

        So by redefining the meaning of fraud you are saying that the climategate folk committed a weak, non-fraudulent version of “fraud”. Are you sure they didn’t get away with murder as well?

      • Steve MIlesworthy said, quoting me :

        ” ‘should reexamine, of course. If they do, they soon find that the reasonable presumption was reasonable, and is reasonable ( under the commonplace vernacular use of the word “fraud” ),after finding out correct context.’

        So by redefining the meaning of fraud you are saying that the climategate folk committed a weak, non-fraudulent version of “fraud”. Are you sure they didn’t get away with murder as well?”

        No, I do not redefine the meaning of “fraud”. It’s commonly used in the vernacular. in non technical non legalistic manner, to mean a cheat.or trick played on them. If we are discussing people misled by the media reports, then we should likewise attempt to understand how they use language, and thereby understand their meaning better.
        I assume many or most of those calling “fraud” did not mean it as a legal term, and give you an honest reply spelling that out..

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I assume many or most of those calling “fraud” did not mean it as a legal term, and give you an honest reply spelling that out..

        People are sensitive to terms like “fraud” so if one doesn’t mean fraud one shouldn’t say “fraud”. See #2

      • Steve Milesworthy said , quoting me

        ” ‘ I assume many or most of those calling “fraud” did not mean it as a legal term, and give you an honest reply spelling that out’.

        People are sensitive to terms like “fraud” so if one doesn’t mean fraud one shouldn’t say “fraud”. See #2″

        .
        So they are. Even frauds and people involved in cheating are sensitive to it. Very sensitive sometimes, eh ?
        No need to lecture me, though, because I do not use it carelessly.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        You also said “Therefore the decline had to be hidden.” and “It was treated like leprosy”.

        What I meant to say then was the best way of *getting everyone else to ignore it* was to publish in Nature.

      • You sound like a mouthpiece for the mob. When the FBI wiretaps are played in court, the mob lawyers always put up the “out of context”, or “it’s too garbled” defense.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        #7 Criminals use the “out of context” defence. Therefore it is fair to imply that anyone who uses the “out of context” defence is a criminal.

      • Steve,
        Perhaps if you were trying to do more than dismiss everything you do not like, you would accept that a common defense of people caught up in deceptive behavior is to claim they were misunderstood.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        hunter, a common defence of people caught up in deceptive behaviour is to claim that they were misunderstood. People can also fool themselves into thinking that the deceptive behaviour was not significant enough and not sufficiently deceptive to be wrongful. I am quite happy to accept that there is good evidence for both types of behaviour in the emails and in the communications that followed defending the emails. But that is not what I’m discussing here.

        The initial “hit” of reading snippets of emails coupled with over-simplified, erroneous and sometimes deliberately unbalanced interpretations from the media provides many people with a position within the debate that may suit their desires. Because of #1 “confirmation bias” and #5 “debating to win”, it can be hard to shift people from such a position.

        Even here we have “thisisnotgoodtogo” stretching a lot of points to convince him or herself and presumably anyone reading that the initial presumption of “hide the decline” being about thermometers remains (roughly) justifiable, thereby perhaps discouraging anyone from reassessing their understanding of the issue.

      • Milesworthy,

        You can’t cover up the totality of the seedy behavior revealed in the Climategate emails, by whining about some people’s misunderstanding of “hide the decline”. You are cherrypicking. Try something else.

      • “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

        This is context. We understand what it means.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        @Monfort,

        I’m not covering up anything. I was asked to justify why I said the emails could have been over-interpreted due to the missing context. I’m discussing how initial misinterpretations about the scale of wrongdoing impacts ongoing understanding.

        If you want more misinterpretations “travesty” was misinterpreted. The episode at the Climate Research journal was an own-goal because it involved inappropriate peer review, what you might call “seedy behaviour” of a sceptical review article. The discussion about the 1940s warming hump. Those are the ones I recall OTOH.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

        This is context. We understand what it means.

        It’s not a great quote. It’s even worse if the quote is used to blacken the name of “Kevin” by making it appear that Kevin is involved. So context matters.

      • Don Monfort

        You are just spinning, Miles. Like the mob lawyers, who tell juries that “whack him” doesn’t mean what they think it means.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Are you trying to wind me up my misusing my name?

        Context matters – it’s undeniably true. Bringing up mobster defence doesn’t change that.

        #2 Listen to Judith about the “fraud” thing.

      • Steve,
        To the contrary:
        I believe your acceptance of transparent ratinalizations and word parsing in defense of what the e-mails say in context is an example of the abuse of the confusion defense.
        The writers of these e-mails are all highly educated professionals, who write grant proposals, science papers, text books and speeches as a matter of course. They said exactly what they wanted to say in a frank forum when they thought they couls speak openly.
        The amazing self-deception of the believer comunity and the enabling media is a great example of how this fallacy is carried out.

      • Don Monfort

        Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Milesworthy. OK, now?

        There are thousands of emails in Climategates version I and II. Plenty of context. You are mouthing the talking points, but you can’t spin it all away.

      • Steve MIlesworthy said:
        “Even here we have “thisisnotgoodtogo” stretching a lot of points to convince him or herself and presumably anyone reading that the initial presumption of “hide the decline” being about thermometers remains (roughly) justifiable, thereby perhaps discouraging anyone from reassessing their understanding of the issue.”

        Steve, Let’s see. You’ve claimed I’m stretching a lot of points. When asked for your evidence, you only replied with you think “excised” is too strong.
        I replied to that, showing it means “cut out”, and that it was exactly what was done. You have not refuted it.

        Now your tack is to challenge my statement on “hide the decline”
        OK, let’s see how you operate your challenge,
        First, you misapprehend what I said.

        You claim that: I “stretch a lot of points to convince that “the initial presumption of “hide the decline” being about thermometers remains (roughly) justifiable,”.
        Notwithstanding that you’ve shown nothing in support of your claim,I will respond – by telling you that I did not stretch any points,

        Now as to your claim about convincing….you must remember your statement regarded people making wrong claims about “Global Warming”. after hearing of “hide the decline.

        “In the first week, everyone crowed about how “hide the decline” and “travesty” meant there was no global warming.”

        “No global warming” would have been a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the significance of the “hide the decline” emails.

        Now you have morphed it so that you have me saying that first presumption is justified. Wrong. The logically justifiable presumption following would be that hiding that particular data was hiding data showing temperature decline.

        .

      • Steve, the syllogism it goes like this.

        The tree ring based paleo reconstructions are given names like “Northern Hemisphere summer temp”.
        They are therefore showing temperatures.
        Deleting data is deleting temp data,
        The deleted data showed a decline,

      • Speaking of the FBI:

        > A 23-page statement of facts regarding Barclays was drawn up by the Justice Department and posted on its website and that of the FBI.
        The document paints a picture of a network of traders conspiring on both sides of the Atlantic to manipulate both the Libor and Euribor rates.
        The document, in a statement of facts agreed to by Barclays, said ‘interbank communications’ included ‘ones in which certain Barclays swaps traders communicated with former Barclays swaps traders who had left Barclays and joined other financial institutions’.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2167469/Libor-scandal-Now-FBI-investigates-14-Barclays-bank-staff.html

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Don, why would I get riled by an irritated man across the pond? I’m mentioning your behaviour so you are clear that I am not avoiding your behaviour.

        Yes there are thousands of emails which provide the context that was not always given in the reporting of the emails. I’m pleased that you finally accept that a two line quote may not give the full context.

        hunter

        They said exactly what they wanted to say in a frank forum when they thought they couls speak openly.

        That does not answer the question as to what the context of what they said is, does it? From the thousands of emails there are few very suspect quotes. If you are implying that scientists are improper if they are trying to browbeat each other with their opinions, then you are playing the innocent.

        I think I’m squeezing out a tacit acceptance from some that the context matters. It’s not a big confession to agree given that Steve McIntyre has been over them with a fine tooth comb adding his own opinions about the context.

      • Don Monfort

        Clowns do irritate me, milesy. But they also amuse. The disingenuous ones, mostly irritate. I am done with you.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Don, I’m not out to get you. If you are prepared to let your guard down I’m sure we can work out in a civilised manner where we agree and where we disagree. I don’t think we disagree on everything.

      • Steve, that’s a good sentiment.
        Now, we may be able to find some truth here.
        You claim that the excision was talked about in a paper in Nature. Please show your evidence.

        Thank you.

        Here is the email

        From: Phil Jones
        To: ray bradley ,mann@xxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxx.xxx
        Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
        Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
        Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,t.osborn@xxxx.xxx

        Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
        Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
        first thing tomorrow.
        I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
        to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
        1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
        land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
        N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
        for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
        data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
        Thanks for the comments, Ray.

        Cheers
        Phil

      • Steve,
        Your argument is apparently that even though we have complete e-mail conversations in full, we still do not know what these scientists actually meant. Does it require a baptism in the Spirit to gain full understanding?
        At best, your argument seems to challenge the limits of reason. At worst it is simply cynical. But it does come across as more of a pseudo-religious circular argument.
        No wonder the whitewashes of climategate by the faux investigators were so careful to actually not do any diligence or critical reviews.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        hunter, that is not my argument. I do believe I’ve stated it a number of times in the thread above. My argument, essentially, is that because the release was selective, the first impression was very strong. Even George Monbiot (UK leftie greenie) was calling for heads on plate. First impressions are hard to shift – as noted in the Cracked article, once people have a position they have a tendency to stick to it.

        I’ve seen scientists be horrible to one another in the field of astrophysics, so I was a little surprised by some of the emails but probably not as shocked as others.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        thisisnotgood:

        Nature 391, 678-682 (12 February 1998) | doi:10.1038/35596; Received 14 May 1997; Accepted 11 November 1997

        Reduced sensitivity of recent tree-growth to temperature at high northern latitudes

        K. R. Briffa et al

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html

        The email was initially interpreted by many commentators to relate specifically to the surface temperature record which given the blogospheric controversy at the time (surfacestations project) was the most obvious issue.

        As I recall (been a while) the email was evidence of the thought processes as the graphic for the front page of some WMO report was prepared. The email comes across to me as though it is being sarcastic about something Jones and others may have previously criticised between themselves about “Mike’s” graph? Mimicking something you have criticised is probably not wise, but this seems a case of self-promotion as it is not a formal presentation of a scientific result (which, as I always taught my students should be fully labelled, with titles, axes, units and captions).

      • Steve Milesworthy,
        Thanks. for the link. It was the one I was thinking of.
        I’ve been suspecting that you are confused, not lying.
        However, in the abstract there is not a jot nor a tittle about the excision as per Jones’ email above.
        I think you’ve been misled and I can tell, I believe, where you are confused.

        Anyway, if you can show where the excision is discussed, please do give a quote

        Thank you.

      • Steve Milesworthy,
        It might save some time if we note that the paper is dated 2 years earlier than the excision mentioned by Jones even happened.

        I’m afraid that you have been bafflegabbed by your compadres comments.
        I can show your source of confusion I think.
        5 posts should clear everything up so that we agree.

      • Steve,
        To hit on one obvious point of conflation, that of the different but related team tricks; “Mike’s Nature Trick” is not “Phil’s WMO Trick To Hide The Decline”
        The email is about Phil’s trick to hide the decline.
        That’s the subject,of course, and Briffa’s paper in Nature deals with reduced sensitivity to temperature in recent growth, not the excision and replacement with something close to the instrumental record.

        That would be like your MD sending you a chart of your blood pressure readings, and finding them not suitable to his presentation, removing some and replacing with other data. And not saying a word about it.

      • Steve,
        Here’s something that might help you wade through it.
        Jones apparently did not fully understand Mike’s trick, as he called it “adding in” instrumental temps, done after deletion from certain dates forward.

        Jones was just grafting or splicing in after removal.
        Mike’s trick was more subtle than that. He used instrumental temps for end padding values to cause the effect.
        He did not just substitute instrumental values or approximations , as Jones did.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        tingtg

        …bafflegabbed by your compadres comments.

        Who? This is my recollection of my interpretation at the time.

        To hit on one obvious point of conflation, that of the different but related team tricks; “Mike’s Nature Trick” is not “Phil’s WMO Trick To Hide The Decline”

        I said that. I said that I thought the “hide the decline” reference was a self-justification: “Mike did something like this, so I will to” so to speak. I can see that mixing proxies and temperature series is perhaps something that should be questioned but it is not an uncommon technique to put differing datasets in context with each other. In the scientific papers, the mixing in the graphs was identified by the captions and different style of lines though. In the WMO arty graphic there was no such captioning.

        …the excision and replacement with something close to the instrumental record.

        There is no justification for the un-commented replacement with the instrument record. The “excision” though is as far as I can tell little different to the normal practice of rejecting series that do not match the temperature record. The exception (that required the paper) was that this was a series that would have been included according to the normal test. The paper does not explicitly say “Thou shalt excise these trees and cast them upon the fire”, but it does say:

        the divergence…began perhaps as early as the 1930s; became clearly recognisable, particularly in the north, after 1960; and has continued to increase up until the end of the common record at around 1990

        and goes on to discuss two reasons why their continued inclusion could skew results.

      • Steve MIlesworthy,
        You say
        “There is no justification for the un-commented replacement with the instrument record.”

        If this were a pharmaceutical company presenting to doctors….”what FRAUD! ” ( done for financial gain )
        If this were a my doctor sending my blood pressure chart to the specialist, and he secretly removed a portion and substituted
        some values from respiration rate charts in order to present a tidy picture which agreed with his view of what my BP should look.like according to the regime he has me on… “what MALPRACTICE”

        Steve, you said:
        “The “excision” though is as far as I can tell little different to the normal practice of rejecting series that do not match the temperature record.”

        How can it be “little different” ? It’s the opposite.
        Instead of causing rejection of the whole proxy it was given prime time.
        Jones just removed the offending part and changed what the proxy was saying, in order to give the exact opposite appearance of what the data gave – spiking up rather than dropping

        The proxy temperature story disagreed with what they wanted to present, so they conferred, and Jones made the proxy agree, by chopping it off and replacing with an entirely different entity.

        Steve, you said:

        “The exception (that required the paper) was that this was a series that would have been included according to the normal test. The paper does not explicitly say “Thou shalt excise these trees and cast them upon the fire”

        Steve, your initial position was that since this “Remove-What-Does-Not-Match-and-Replace-It” job was documented in Nature, I was stretching things badly and not being very truthful..
        However, now it is plain to you that doing stuff like Jones did was not mentioned at all in that Nature paper.

        However, instead of just admitting that it does not do as you claimed, and revisiting your opinion that thisisnotgoodtogo was stretching things unbearably, now you bring up whether or not the Briffa paper instructs them to do such things, and of course, it did not. Red herring.

        Steve, you said
        ” In the scientific papers, the mixing in the graphs was identified by the captions and different style of lines though. In the WMO arty graphic there was no such captioning.”

        Ahem. No different lines, either . Just a continuous green line claimed explicitly to be from Briffa, derived from tree ring proxy.

        Who is stretching, Steve ? Me ?

      • Steve,
        Now I’ll try to show my position again.
        I think it not outrageous that many lay people called “fraud” over the Jones actions as revealed in that email.
        I think it was not supportable to claim that it meant “No Global Warming” in any way you look at it.
        However, those that did not err in that way ( inferring “no global warming”), but called it fraud because it was trick to hide something that was important. Hide it from whom ? From them, of course, hide it from the public

      • Sorry for the bad editing and leaving thought unfinished.

        Steve, let’s examine the position of those who were not claiming the emails meant “No Global Warming”, but were calling actions like Jones’ action, “fraud”,

        Were they being unreasonable ?
        It was hiding something important from them while advancing a position which Jones desperately wanted to be correct on, Even if it meant something very bad for the metaphorical patient, Dr. Jones is willing to wish the patient would get visibly sicker soon to prove his point. And he’s using a trick to hidesomething quite important from you

        So we have them being called frauds, instead of manipulative, untrustworthy jerks.

        Your not going to be broad brush smearing the response to the emails on that basis, are you ?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        If this were a pharmaceutical company presenting to doctors….”what FRAUD! ” ( done for financial gain )

        I do not believe that Jones would have published this graph as a formal result. It was a pretty picture, not a result. He appears to have been a good enough scientist to generate a correct measure for global temperature etc. so that suggests to me there is no evidence that he is dishonest.

        How can it be “little different” ? It’s the opposite. Instead of causing rejection of the whole proxy it was given prime time.

        No it is different (this is my interpretation) because the series passed the initial objective test so to reject it would likely be unscientific. You make a scientific judgement: is the series valid but with a quirk. Or does the quirk undermine the whole method chosen. Briffa et al chose the former because it was just one aspect of the data that was quirky. It is for others to justify the latter if they want.

        Steve, your initial position was that since this “Remove-What-Does-Not-Match-and-Replace-It” job was documented in Nature, I was stretching things badly and not being very truthful..

        You have remembered this incorrectly. I mentioned the Nature paper after you said the following.

        was excised from the record and in some instances, e.g. Jones WMO, .tree ring data was completely switched out with Global Warming temperature signal.

        You can see you were referring to “the record” on which the WMO graphic was based, not the WMO graphic specifically. I have already said that the WMO graphic was not captioned at all which means that a) you could indeed not see that there was a switch unless you were McIntyrean and b) it was not a scientific result. As a (former) scientist who has taught in labs I would not even look at a graph in a student’s log book if it was not properly captioned. The same mindset applies today which is why I completely missed Paltridge’s reproduction of the Lansney garbage MWP plot in his recent post.

        Who is stretching, Steve ? Me ?

        We are both interpreting. In the past I have happily collected my pay cheque while working for rubbish scientists in a couple of different university departments, and have told them (diplomatically) that I thought they were rubbish and in one case one of them (now a professor) agreed. So I am happy to recognise rubbish science if I see it.

        BUT, I think that as well as the “fraud” word being technically wrong it is also divisive, and for some people apparently this is intentional IMO. Those who maintain use of the word fraud on the basis that they are using it in the vernacular should realise that they will probably not ever be able to hold a civilised discussion with someone who holds an opposing view.

      • Steve, you said

        “If this were a pharmaceutical company presenting to doctors….”what FRAUD! ” ( done for financial gain )”

        I do not believe that Jones would have published this graph as a formal result.”

        Steve,
        A pharmaceutical company presentation to doctors is not a published formal scientific result either. Besides, we are not just talking about formal papers when we discuss honesty. If such a thing as Jones did for WMO was found out, the outraged members of the public would indeed call “fraud”, and teams of top doctors would not be out in public decrying the actions of those who called “fraud”..

        Steve, you said
        “It was a pretty picture, not a result. He appears to have been a good enough scientist to generate a correct measure for global temperature etc. so that suggests to me there is no evidence that he is dishonest.”

        Steve,
        Let me sum up. Your response is incredible to me. The logic is very faulty. Here it is in my words which might describe it more fully :
        It seems Professor Jones could make harryreadme fellow insert false values as tree ring proxy data after 1961, values which would mimic instrumental, Thus he appears to be a good enough scientist .
        Being a good enough scientist, means to me there is no evidence that he is dishonest”:

        Steve, the next couple of your remarks deserve separate posts, as the first jaw-droppers did. Continued.

      • Steve, you are raising the issue, it seems, of whether or not actions are done to “scientific results” vs in other places such as for WMO presentations. You’re marking the distinction it as if it is the important distinction to be made.

        Remember, IPCC reports are in the same category of work as the WMO report.
        Now wrt honesty, will you differentiate wrt whether the actions involve “scientific results” or IPCC work ?.

        I’m just shaking my head at your replies, Steve, I’m astounded at the way you think..

      • Steve Milesworthy

        A pharmaceutical company presentation to doctors is not a published formal scientific result either.

        I have never seen such a presentation so I don’t know what they do. Reviewing the WMO report which I have now found on the interweb I see it is labelled as including temperature records, but not on the actual graph itself.

        http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/wcp/wcdmp/statement/wmo913.pdf

        The issue to me is that more clearly labelling the graph does not in any way change the message of the graph. Either way the graph says “we think temperatures are warmer than ever”. I don’t know how much of the readership would be worried or concerned about the source of the data, and those that were could read the relevant paper (which was cited) and question whether the choice of splice point was valid or not.

        I think we’re going about the houses on this one a bit so I’ll sum up saying yes it was inappropriate, no this particular episode doesn’t impact the science, yes there is a clear indication that a bunch of scientists are looking to put the warmth of the current era front and centre in peoples minds, in principle this is not a problem to me as the current era is remarkably warm, and putting it front and centre does not stop other scientists from rebutting their point if they so wish. Obviously they didn’t anticipate that people would wrongly allege fraudulent behaviour down the line.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Remember, IPCC reports are in the same category of work as the WMO report.

        I completely and utterly disagree with this. The WMO is just highlights of the world’s weather. What is its circulation? A few libraries in research institutions?

        Suggesting this equivalence is an example of raising the importance of something you want to criticise. Akin to claiming harry-readme is core to the whole model development enterprise, or the hockey-stick is fundamental to our beliefs about AGW.

      • Steve,you said, quoting me:

        ” ‘Remember, IPCC reports are in the same category of work as the WMO report.’

        I completely and utterly disagree with this. The WMO is just highlights of the world’s weather. What is its circulation? A few libraries in research institutions?

        Suggesting this equivalence is an example of raising the importance of something you want to criticise.”

        Not at all, Steve. It was you offering the distinction of was it “scientific result” or not, You made the categories, and both WMO and IPCC are not scientific results..

      • Steve, you said:

        “The issue to me is that more clearly labelling the graph does not in any way change the message of the graph. ”

        Another jaw-dropper.

        Both The Team and IPCC put much effort into not allowing the decline to be shown in reports.

        There was a big fuss about ” message” control and how showing of the decline offers such a different impression, that for the IPCC work also, they did not want it shown. They were fighting skepticism. That’s what they were worried about, and why they did these things.
        So it strikes me as funny, that you dismiss this because really, all this makes no difference to the message.

      • Steve,
        You offered one bit that interests me, and it is somewhat important.
        That is, you discerned perhaps a problem in my claim, regarding what record was I talking about, and what excision was I referring to.

        I can accept that I did not state clearly what I was referring to.
        Not to change a word, I might like to dispute some of your commentary about it, but instead will pay attention right now to what happened.

        That, to me, means looking to the record the scientist involved claimed was being used, and also what was actually used – this for both the WMO presentation, and for scientific papers.

        I’d like to also explore the notion that Mann’s papers fully showed truncation and what he did wrt to that decline issue.

      • Take look at two Briffa declines ( the 2 now known removals ) when shown on the reconstruction graphics.

        Showing how the proxy data really looked like would hugely impact Team and IPCC ability to offer the particular rhetoric they used.

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/29/keiths-science-trick-mikes-nature-trick-and-phils-combo/

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Both The Team and IPCC put much effort into not allowing the decline to be shown in reports.

        I hope they put a lot of effort into deciding what they wanted in or out of the report. But I’ve done my time at climateaudit. Steve McIntyre is a master of aspersion casting.

      • Steve, you said

        “The issue to me is that more clearly labelling the graph does not in any way change the message of the graph. Either way the graph says “we think temperatures are warmer than ever”.

        Oh mY GOd..

        Graphs say what scientists think about something, rather than depicting what data shows.

        Now I get it..

      • andrew adams

        The best data we have shows temperatures in the 20C doing exactly as shown in Jones’s graph. That’s not to say the particular way he showed it was appropriate, but the fact still remains.
        The point about the divergence problem is not what it says about temperatures post 1960, ie “the decline”. The point is what it says about temperatures in the period before the instrumental record, ie are the affected tree ring series suitable proxies for that period.

      • Andrew said

        “The best data we have shows temperatures in the 20C doing exactly as shown in Jones’s graph.

        Of course. He made the graph look as if the treering proxy gives almost exactly the same temps as thermometers. No small wonder it looks just like instrumental.

        “That’s not to say the particular way he showed it was appropriate, but the fact still remains” .
        The point about the divergence problem is not what it says about temperatures post 1960, ie “the decline”. The point is what it says about temperatures in the period before the instrumental record, ie are the affected tree ring series suitable proxies for that period.”

        Yes, the underlying issue is really to hide what the divergence says about using the tree rings as a pillar to support saying things like…

        “THE WARMEST EVAH !”

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Graphs say what scientists think about something, rather than depicting what data shows.

        A graph of the raw data says what the data shows but often tells you very little of interest (or can be downright misleading).

        A graph of the data after the scientist has applied his or her judgement to analyse any problems with the data should show what the scientist thinks the data shows. Making judgements about data is what scientists do!

        A graph that combines data from different sources such as different surface stations of different designs, or perhaps a combination of land and ocean data appears to be acceptable if it is appropriately explained what it is even though each data set has a different range of issues. So in principle there is no issue in combining proxies and thermometer measurements – it is a question of scientific judgement.

        But you can always pick apart these judgements – no problems with that. Eg. McKitrick has had thoughts about the validity of global metrics of temperature. However, picking apart scientific judgements is one thing. Claiming that because the judgement is there to be picked apart it is evidence that the scientist haven’t properly explained the uncertainty (and adding in spurious claims that the subject in question is the cornerstone of AGW) is just FUD.

      • Steve Milesworthy said

        “A graph of the raw data says what the data shows but often tells you very little of interest (or can be downright misleading).

        A graph of the data after the scientist has applied his or her judgement to analyse any problems with the data should show what the scientist thinks the data shows. ”

        And not what the data shows after scientist applies appropriate tests and acts according to results.

      • Steve,
        You said, in reply about Jones’ WMO presentation, where totally false figures were clandestinely inserted

        ““The issue to me is that more clearly labelling the graph does not in any way change the message of the graph. Either way the graph says “we think temperatures are warmer than ever”.

        What you think is science is not science. If it were science, a graph could possibly show evidence of precisely the opposite of what the scientists believe is fact.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        What you think is science is not science. If it were science, a graph could possibly show evidence of precisely the opposite of what the scientists believe is fact.

        I had to read that twice. If a graph shows the opposite of what a scientist believes then a scientist applies his or her judgement and either changes what he believes or changes the way the graph was generated. Experiments often do give you the opposite of what you think (cf Michelson-Morley).

        If a graph shows the opposite from the “truth” then either the scientist submits it for publication and gets punished by reviewers or by the work being overturned, or the scientist uses judgement to recognise the error and does more work.

        That is science how I’ve practiced it and how I’ve seen it practiced. It’s not perfect and often draws wrong conclusions.

      • Steve Milesworthy said

        ” I had to read that twice. If a graph shows the opposite of what a scientist believes then a scientist applies his or her judgement and either changes what he believes or changes the way the graph was generated. ”
        but if it’s then changed by generating false figures which agree with the scientist’s beliefs, we call the scientist Phil Jones.

      • The Team wanted to send a particular message and would not allow anything distracting us from that message, to be shown.
        Therefore the decline had to be hidden. The graph was not allowed to be shown unless whatever they did not want shown was hidden.

        quite simple really.

        it’s only about the team producing that which supports their beliefs, and slandering critics.

      • Steve,
        If it were a cartoon that Jones produced by hand painting on a graphical presentation exactly what he believes is true according to his studies, that would be one thing.
        Once he generated false figures as input and presented it as if taken holus bolus from more scholarly works, it’s quite another.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        If it were a cartoon that Jones produced by hand painting on a graphical presentation exactly what he believes is true according to his studies, that would be one thing.

        Many people believe that this is a whole conspiracy to undermine a cartoon figure:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/mwp_figure1.gif

        but if it’s then changed by generating false figures which agree with the scientist’s beliefs, we call the scientist Phil Jones.

        The whole figure would be false in all circumstances because it was a schematic (unjustifiably smooth, no error bars etc.) It *was* a cartoon. That said, yes, the scientific “belief” that the divergence was an anomaly could be ignored is a belief. Aside from the “cartoon” the fact it is ignored is in essence traceable from the cited literature. If people have a problem with it being ignored they should scientifically justify why it should not be ignored.

        I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: inventing a Team, pretending proxies are a the most important thing for agw, (allegedly) feeding information to a serial plagiariser so he can present a case to the US Congress to support existence of a Team and of dodgy stats, and writing lots of column inches alluding to underhand behaviour (with a few get-out messages that he really doesn’t think there is a “smoking gun”) is unscientific FUD.

      • Steve, you said

        “The whole figure would be false in all circumstances because it was a schematic (unjustifiably smooth, no error bars etc.) It *was* a cartoon. ”

        Sure, in that sense, tape measures are false too. That’s a perhaps innocent misdirection from you..
        Jones’ presentation was in a style that mimicked proper reconstructions.
        Further, it falsely claimed to be actually taken from the literature cited.

        Steve, you said
        “That said, yes, the scientific “belief” that the divergence was an anomaly could be ignored is a belief.” Gotcha. The belief is a belief. Your point ?

        You then said
        “Aside from the “cartoon” the fact it is ignored is in essence traceable from the cited literature. If people have a problem with it being ignored they should scientifically justify why it should not be ignored.”

        Which has nothing to do with our conversation as far as I can tell. However, you offer something interesting with your false premise – the divergence, it’s a ludicrous claim, that it is ignored.

        “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: inventing a Team… FUD”

        teeheee. you dont know who coined the term ?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        “Gotcha”

        That’s a strange comment. I believe my judgements are reasonable. You believe yours are reasonable (possibly you believe they are faultless?). Jones etc. believe theirs are reasonable. The court of judgement is the peer reviewed literature.

        …the divergence, it’s a ludicrous claim, that it is ignored.

        If you believe that then get off your backside and prove your point.

      • Steve,

        You said
        ““Gotcha”

        That’s a strange comment. I believe my judgements are reasonable. You believe you are reasonable (possibly you believe they are faultless?). Jones etc. believe theirs are reasonable. The court of judgement is the peer reviewed literature”

        Steve, “gotcha” meant “I understand”, ” I get it”.
        It’s a bit odd how you give great degrees of freedom for scientists to use their judgment. Yet when their judgment fails them and they purposefully offer an untruthful presentation, and members of the public decry their actions, using their common sense , that is, they call purposeful untruth a lie, call the deceitful person a fraud, you are very much against THAT…something which is only a poor word choice from a person undereducated in the precise meanings and limitations involved with the word in certain fields.

        That high dudgeon seems quite unbalanced to me.
        These players are looking to change our world. They should be held to the very highest standartds, but are not. Not at all. Excuse after excuse is made for the untruthful behaviour.

        Look at what Mann declared about grafting on temps.NO researcher ever , huh ?
        Phil had conferred on the matter with emails to Mann et al. It’s highly unlikely that Mann knew absolutely nothing about the affair. His studies were being used.

        The excuse can be that Phil did not add axes to the graph, so it doesn’t count.
        Steve, you said, quoting me ;

        ” ‘the divergence, it’s a ludicrous claim, that it is ignored’.

        If you believe that then get off your backside and prove your point.”

        Steve, sorry if poorly written. What I was saying is that the divergence was scrutinized and became an object of great import. It was paid attention to, big time. No way it was ignored. It was treated like leprosy.
        The whole gig could come crashing down because of it , worrisome problems in the proxy supporting the paleo record and with that record, the Team rhetoric of “WARMEST EVAH:”

        So it was definitely not ignored

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Right. Without knowing the emphasis, “Gotcha” can mean “There, I’ve caught you out!”.

        It was paid attention to, big time. No way it was ignored. It was treated like leprosy.

        So what you are saying is that they thought that the best way of ignoring it would be to publish it in the highest profile journal in the world, and then never mention it again?

        I can see that that could work, but it is a courageous tactic! It opens up the result to scientists who might find plausible mechanisms for the divergence that additionally undermine the reconstructions. The divergence paper *has* been cited 381 times (according to Google Scholar) which is quite a lot.

      • Me:
        “So it was definitely not ignored”
        “It was paid attention to, big time.”
        ” No way it was ignored.”.

        Your reply:
        “So what you are saying is that they thought that the best way of ignoring it…”

    • The question I always have, as relates to the psuedoscandal of “climategate,” is why deniers do not feel that the their miles-long record of lies, disproven slander, faked graphs, empty allegations and faked credentials do not therefore create a “presumption of bad faith” which supposedly attaches to someone who writes in a private e-mail to a friend “I’d like to punch that jerk in the nose.”

      Deniers are proven plagiarists, fakers of data, and serial misrepresenters of real scientists work. They have been caught in lie after lie. So why aren’t they doing something to rebuild their own shattered credibility, rather than pathetically striving to pass themselves off as authorities in an area where they are demonstrably grossly deficient?

      • capt.
        Robert is simply creating more points on his idiot track to record.

      • Robert,

        Whether we will ever agree or not, I had noticed you being far more civil and unobnoxious this year.

        You just backtracked significantly.

      • “So why aren’t they doing something to rebuild their own shattered credibility, rather than pathetically striving to pass themselves off as authorities in an area where they are demonstrably grossly deficient?”

        Could provide some examples of people you call Deniers which are pretending to be authorities.

        Lots people which you call may denier make posts stating various opinions.
        I would say Robert is someone makes posts and give his opinion. I don’t think of Robert as authority, nor is he pretending to be an authority.

        Now, some posters make want to include some facts in their argument rather not include any facts. This isn’t a problem, probably an improvement.

  62. In Hawaii a legendary figure is revered and for all practical purposes sanctified for unifying all the islands of Hawaii. King Kamehameha, the greatest of all Hawaii’s kings, unified the islands not with the power of his ideas, not with the grace and majesty of his aloha, not with the strength of his pono, but with the power of English gunpowder.

    This revelation will not likely change any minds. I think there is much evidence in the world that the CRACKED article is spot on.

  63. Perhaps I’m naive, but these five “fallacies” have everything to do with politics and law, but nothing to do with how science SHOULD be practiced.

    5) “We’re not programmed to seek the truth, we’re programmed to win.” What is science all about, if not seeking the truth?

    4) “We don’t understand probability.” We can’t practice science without understanding it.

    3) “We think everyone is out to get us.” Why should any scientist be paranoid when someone tests their scientific work or theory? Testing is what science is all about. Scientists should be proud when others consider their results important enough to be worth confirming or contradicting! Should any SCIENTIST really care whether Spenser or Dessler is right about cloud feedback, or should they simply want to know the most accurate scientific answer to the question?

    2) “We’re hardwired to have a double-standard.” “JC comments: Skeptics, pay attention to this one. Accusing scientists of fraud and malfeasance with every mistake that is identified is not useful.” Scientific mistakes are not signs of fraud or malfeasance, but how scientists REACT when informed above possible or unambiguous mistakes can be. For example, numerous elite climate scientists lead by Santer showed that Douglas was wrong about the inconsistency between models and observations of the “hot spot” in the upper tropical troposphere, but M&M can’t get a comment published showing that the inconsistency is restored when the newer observations are added to the data analyzed by their methodology. What should we call this?

    1) “Facts [data] don’t change our mind.” Laughable. We can argue about what data is most accurate or provides the clearest answer, but we are still must acknowledge contradictory data.

    • Frank,

      Why should any scientist be paranoid when someone tests their scientific work or theory?

      The question should be put to the IPCC Coordinating authors and lead authors such as Michael Mann and Phil Jones.

  64. Fyi– Is the person posting here is as “stevenmosher” a ringer? The http for “stevenmosher” is: “http://climateaudit.org/” which of course is not “Steven Mosher.”

    So, that is a lie, right? Now, it could be that his real name is Steven Mosher. So what? What caught my attention wasn’t the name used but the pretense to knowledge. To not not understand what the null hypothesis is can never be worse than a lie but when you combine ignorance and lying you get global warming alarmism.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nope I’m me. I’ve never posting under anything but my own name.
      hmm. a couple posts as Moshpit, a couple as tristram shandy in 2007.
      and I always identified myself afterwords. You dont understand the null or how to form a falsifiable one.

      START by using numbers.

      Your null is ill defined because it does not specificy what to meausre.
      or what value to expect.
      these are specified before you begin.

      • You do not seem to understand basic statistics. Nature is reality–you don’t need a 100 or a thousand rolls of he dice to form a hypothesize about it. And, otyou cann falsify the real world either: It is a fact. Your understanding of statistics this what moved the boffins of Japan to compare climatology to the ancient of astrology. Trenberth went so far as to subsitute the the AGW hypothesis for reality and declare that it was up to skeptial scientists to disprove it.

        The fact is that the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: “That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system.” ~Dr. Roy Spencer

  65. This is off topic but #4 uses an unfortunate example of typical anti-gun propaganda.

    I carry car insurance, but have not been in an accident in 45 years. But car accidents happen all the time.

    I have a gun at home but I have not had any home invaders. But people’s homes are “invaded” or otherwise have intruders.

    Very few instances of crime is “stranger on stranger”. So any article proclaiming that you are more likely to harm a family member or friend is merely stating the obvious. Judging from the stats, lots of people have unsavory family members or friends.

    For more see the publications of John Lott, a well respected criminologist with mountains of peer reviewed work on this subject.

  66. “I assume many or most of those calling “fraud” did not mean it as a legal term, and give you an honest reply spelling that out..”

    (reposting from previous now seemingly moribund thread) For those who argue that climate scientists have committed no fraud and thus have done nothing newsworthy as per David Wojick: While I grant I was using the term loosely, I think it isn’t far off the mark when you consider many of the behind the scenes climate-gate machinations. Likewise, If you don’t want to use the term “fraudulent” with respect to the hockey stick graph and all that decline hiding, that’s your prerogative, but either way it’s unarguably sleazy as hell. Likewise the IPCC with its phony baloney claims of near certainty.

    David W: You think this stuff is not newsworthy? Are you kidding me? The many, many billions of dollars spent needlessly in an attempt to prop up what the esteemed Harold Lewis called “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life?”

    It’s newsworthy all right. It’s newsworthy as newsworthy can be.

  67. Right Kim…The good news (the newsworthy news) is that the truth will eventually out. It always does. Children grow up and figure out there’s no santa clause, and clueless adults learn to their sorrow that real estate prices can in fact go down. The only global warming taking place right now is from the friction of climate scientists rubbing the hands together in glee at all the easy money.

    It’s the story of the century in my humble opinion. The day of reckoning will come, and the NYT’s is gong to have to cover it.

  68. *their* hands. (crap)

  69. Now there’s an idea for a propaganda vid. Christmas cancelled because of melting Arctic. Something like a cross between Waterworld and Planet of the Apes. ‘Planet of the Polar Bears’.

    Of course – in a vid – you need someone to save the world. With billions world world adding to soil organic content – the effect could be dramatic. Can conservation farming save the planet?

    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2010/s2826833.htm

  70. tempterrain

    “#1: Facts don’t change our minds”
    This is such a sweeping statement that I can’t possibly agree. I would claim that my ‘mind’, as the author Kathy Benjamin puts it, is decided entirely (well almost !) on a factual basis.
    If the facts changed on climate change and the consensus of scientific opinion was that it wasn’t a problem, I’d change too. The same would apply to any scientific, or any other, topic and which would include political matters too.
    I can’t think of any reason not to.

  71. David L. Hagen

    Judith
    How do you recommend responding to:

    [Mann] There is no room anymore to have a good faith discussion about whether the problem is real.

    …[Blakemore] So, in other words the longer we delay, every day we delay according to the scientists, it makes it more costly. Tell us about that — why it is “a crime against humanity” in that sense, from your point of view.

    [Mann] I mean, I think it might be something even larger and greater than that. I think it’s a crime against the planet. But it’s certainly a crime against humanity . .

    Climate Denialists Worse Than Tobacco CEOs Lying Under Oath, Says Mann – ABC News

    • I find the fact that good and courageous folks like our host don’t feel impelled to stand up and make their opinions known in a more public forum, in response to this kind of poison, deeply troubling. I simply don’t understand the lack of fire. I never get much agreement on this point from fellow skeptics either, which I also don’t understand.

    • tempterrain

      David L Hagen, How would you recommend responding to it? I think Michael Mann is making the point that against the tactics of the filibuster. That is to just keep talking and talking until its all too late.
      Legal speaking its not a crime to talk something out but its still morally wrong.

      • temp (and fan),

        If you can’t recognize that use of buzz phrases such as “crimes against humanity” are a pretty sure indication of
        a) an agenda not yet ready for the light of day
        or
        b) someone without a clue

        then you have my sympathies.

        And if you agree with Dr Mann’s concept of committing crimes against the planet, you would appear right at home in a box of Fruit Loops. Exactly how does the planet have any sort of standing in law? Is it an entity of some sort? Gaia perhaps, with its daughter Mother Nature?

        Regardless of Dr Mann’s quality of work, making statements like this is reasonable grounds to question his thought process. Believing he has a point is reason to question yours.

      • tempterrain

        ” Exactly how does the planet have any sort of standing in law? ”

        You’re very probably right in thinking that the planet doesn’t have much if any, right now. Not that I know of in any country anyway. But that isn’t to say that it shouldn’t. The idea of war crimes is relatively recent. Crimes against humanity even more so. The concept would have been considered a nonsense, in the same way you consider crimes against the planet to be a nonsense, not too long ago.

        The law nearly always struggles to catch up to be where it needs to be, on many issues, not just on the environment. Its not there yet, as you suggest, but that could well change this coming century.

      • David L. Hagen

        tempterrain
        You first have to clearly show a moral obligation before you can say it is wrong. Jesus instructed us that we have an explicit moral obligation not to bury resources in the ground out of fear. See Parable of the Talents. Matthew 25:14-30. Mann et al. advocate “mitigation” of burying hundreds of trillions of dollars of wealth in the ground with negligible return. That is moral wrong.
        The IPCC models are predicting way too much global warming. We have the moral obligation to demand accurate validated models on which to base public policy. e.g. see new paper showing positive water vapor feedback is overestimated and negative cloud feedback is underestimated.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David L. Hagen, it is a matter of record that Mann’s views are modest, polite, centrist, and factual. So can’t we all get along?   :)   :)   :)

    • Dr Mann is drumming up future clients for trial lawyers. The planet can now be defended – at taxpayer expense of course.

  72. These are not logical fallacies, rather psychiatric problems. A logical fallacy is a symbolic falsehood that is intuitively true. The fallacy exists whether or not a single human being believes it, unlike a psychiatric problem which requires at least diseased belief.

  73. Joe's World

    FACTS ARE ALWAYS IGNORED for personal protection of careers and grants being received.

    Our planet facts are totally different from model theories.
    MANY, MANY areas of study are excluded!

  74. Joe's World

    Mathematical climate models use the art of averaging to generate a single calculation which cannot be replicated to the globe as then EVERY point that this number was taken from would have a very different value.

    It is the same thing as missing we have a core in models when scientists says that the axis has shifted. When in actual fact the shell of the planet shifted and NOT the axis!

  75. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Gee, what is it that Climate Etc. folks are objecting to?

    Mann says: I think people, you know, who read my story will be surprised to learn that one of the greatest heroes in this story was a Republican.

    It was the Republican chair of the House Science Committee, Sherwood Boehlert, an old-school pro-science, pro-environment Republican who actually stood up and defended my colleagues and me when we were under attack by his fellow republican, Joe Barton of Texas.

    And it wasn’t that many years ago when this really wasn’t a partisan issue, when politicians of conscience on both sides of the aisle recognized that we needed to have a good faith discussion about what to do about the problem.

     … I have friends who are Republicans and Democrats, and I absolutely believe that my Republican friends care every bit as much about their children and their grand children as my Democrat friends

    Gee, Mann like a pretty cool dude to me!   :)   :)   :)

    As for climate-change hockey sticks, isn’t there a new one pretty much every week? The evidence looks strong to me!   :)   :)   :)

    As for tobacco companies being criminal liars, isn’t that provably true? The evidence looks strong to me!   :)   :)   :)

    So can’t we all just accept the established scientific fact that climate change is real, serious, and accelerating … as recognized by Republicans and Democrats alike … and the established legal fact that tobacco companies are convicted lying racketeers … and all just get along?   :)   :)   :)

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Stupid comments are stupid:

      As for climate-change hockey sticks, isn’t there a new one pretty much every week? The evidence looks strong to me!

      Apparently to some, evidence looks strong because there’s lots of it, even if one never bothers to look at what any of that evidence is actually like.

      • If the only evidence you ever present are drawings that look the same as each other, it’s pretty apparent that you don’t really have any evidence.

        Andrew

  76. Beth Cooper

    SM,10/07 1.15pm cites Erich Heller on narrative. I’m reading Heller’s chapter on Otto Spengler and history now:
    ‘If Spengler is, after all, not quite out of date, this is because he has reduced to a wicked kind of absurdity a tendency of the mind which is certainly not unfashionable yet; the habit of applying to historical necessity for the marching orders of the spirit.’

    Wiki on Helger writing on Freidrich von Schiller. Schiller presented:
    ‘a striking instance of a European catastrophe of the spirit: the invasion and partial disruption of the aesthetic faculty by unemployed religious impulses.’ * and Heller, ‘Truth must be embodied in external reality.’

    * Green movement religious narrative?’

  77. Beth Cooper

    On a lighter note, ‘Give us back our old style globes, the new ones are sending me blind!’ .. need to read by lamplight, do you do that Fanny?

  78. Kind of off topic, but it isn’t every day you see a progressive Nobel Prize winner spanked in public. (Figuratively speaking of course.)

    Krugman looks like an aging, pudgy Harry Potter being dressed down by a Spanish Severus Snape. (Hey, my kids were teenagers when the books came out.)

    This is why progressives usually avoid debates like the plague.

    I love Krugman’s claim that austerity has been tried and failed in Europe. Ask the Germans if they think the Greeks’ retirement at 50 (for hazardous professions like hair dressers and pastry chefs) and 35 hour work weeks constitute austerity.

  79. Yr image on reading in bed, fan, that IS funny. I used to do it meself as a kid, but not ‘Lolita’, read that later, seductive language isn’t it? :-)
    Bader has a Nabokov haku but I don’t think i’ll post it )

  80. JC comment: It also explains the role grandchildren play in the debate.

    The save it for my grandchildren approach is a touch of ironic. Everybody knows (but not all will admit) that the environment and sustainability is only a problem because of population growth. The most serious environmentalists do not have any children (right?).

    • Right on the money, Diag,

      David Suzuki wants deniers of his take on things jailed. Since early on he has warned that we humans are maggots, an infection on Earth’s face.
      Naturally, he has five little maggots.
      He did more than the claimed cuddle and cry at night with his wife. Quite a bit more.

  81. Beth Cooper

    Enjoyable to hear Prof Krugman getting his come uppance here by Professor Shwarz re demand versus supply economics, Shwarz arguing that growth comes through supply via private sector savings and creating new knowledge and new growth, not unproductive government spending and increased public debt.. Krugman wants more of the same that got Europe into trouble in the first place, (ironic lol) debt and unemployment brought on by demand policy so more of the same will cure all ills?

    Reminder that, sadly, our Labor/Green alliance government in Australia is just as misguided as Professor Krugman, jest wiped the smile off me face. .

  82. Krugman sounds like my old rabbi. Too bad we don’t get to hear Shwarz’ response to Krugman’s rebutal at the end. Krugman of course appears utterly unpersuaded. Personally, I don’t think there’s any way out of this situation. There’s too much debt, and the only cure is default and probably world wide depression.

  83. Diag and thisisnotgood to go, I don’t have an issue about the size of Suzuki’s family, if you are able to look after them, large families are often happy and the kids are adaptable. tho’ yes, I suppose Suzuki is a bit hypocritical. What I do find shameful is the way he instilled his apocolyptic thinking in his children. In a film on this site, I heard his young daughter’s public message about her fears for the world. I can’t stand it when parents load fear and guilt on their kids!

    • Hi Beth.
      I don’t have an issue with someone who has produced a largish family.
      I have an issue with Suzuki doing it, being a denier by action, yet attempting to find a way to have leaders who disagree with his conception of what “the consensus” says, jailed.
      I have issues with that.

      tingtg

  84. Hypocrites ain’t admirable fer sure, tingtg, and messing with yer kids’ emotional well being is ^#!<(X shameful.

    PS What's yer name mean, it's cryptic, to go .. on or down or what?

    • Beth, I’m not really sure about the name.

      I was just thinking. When at school, for those needing some extra help they said “attendance mandatory”.
      I did a jig starting at 9:59 just to be safe.

    • This one has clearly suffered such psychological abuse – and then the ill child put in a spotlight, almost like locking him into that behaviour or even pushing him into an escalation and an acting out .

  85. “Edim | July 11, 2012 at 9:29 am |

    Gbaikie, I think the consensus position is that without humans (net natural forcing), the temperature would have been falling since the ~1960s (start of AGW). Basically, more than 100% of the warming since ~1960 is caused by humans.”

    Right, I forgot about that. That would make some sense.
    I wonder if that is still the consensus position, and what is the best guess
    of how cold it would be now and say next 20 years if humans had not saved the world.

  86. It’s very clear now, that because of the rising danger we must follow the Precautionary Principle.
    So far all the evidence says we have saved Earth from overheating for , let’s 10,00 yrs.
    We must continue doing as we have been doing OR ELSE – it might be too late to continue.

  87. Hey, Jude. Try re-writing the article with a new title:
    “5 logical fallacies that make me more wrong than I think”

    We all promise to read that VERY attentively!

  88. JC comment: The warrior like tactics being used by proponents in both sides of the climate debate aren’t getting us anywhere; if either side actually ‘wins’ in terms of policies, they might end up being totally, illogically, proudly wrong. Staying married is a good analogy for what we should be doing: seeking solutions and areas of agreement to support overall well being.
    ————————————————————-
    Judith, I never married the people I strongly disagree with on this issue. Your analogy simply doesn’t apply.

    Robert said:

    Parenthetically, while slavery may not have made much sense from the point of view of the overall economy, if you were a rich planter with tens of thousands of dollars in capital tied up in slaves, you stood to lose quite a lot.
    ———————————————————————
    Actually, one of the main reasons slavery in the U.S. failed is because it became economically uncompetitive. Slaves were nowhere near as productive as free workers, and their families had to be accommodated and fed (however poorly).

    Look, the trouble with this this kumbaya stuff is that it conflates (once again) politics with science. I am not interested in meeting on the middle ground about whether or not vaccination is a good thing, or whether or not economic growth improves people’s lives. I do not believe that I need to sleep with a shotgun under my bed in case of invaders, and reject the notion that because I choose to take a risk, it means that I do not comprehend it.

    Christopher Monckton did a comprehensive analysis and description of logical errors recently, and this doesn’t add anything new – as his didn’t, because they are as old as dirt. Describing partisanship, while useful as a reminder, hardly advances the discussion or resolves conflicts.

    I don’t know why this kind of pop psychology and its evil twin, longwinded pseudo-philosophy, fascinates Dr Judith Curry so much. Not only is it (slightly) upmarket fluff, it is generally uninformed by even the basics of economic and social history. As for suggesting that ‘evolutionary psychology’ is more than a legend in its own lunchtime – oh, dearie me. Bring on the unicorns.

  89. Do you know a guy who keeps a loaded shotgun under his bed? You know, in case a gang of European terrorists storm into his house and try to kidnap his family?

    If you throw a bunch of statistics at him about how unlikely that is (for example, that he lives in a low-crime suburb in Wisconsin where there’s only been one murder in the last 40 years, that he’s statistically more likely to accidentally do something stupid than ward off a criminal and that more people were struck by lightning last year than successfully shot bad guys in the middle of committing crimes), it won’t change his mind.

    Perhaps someone would like to explain why it should.

  90. Eugene Gallun

    Sorry, but you need to hang out more with the criminal class. There is a substantial portion of the population whose first impulse is to lie, cheat and steal. At least 2% of people in all professions are dishonest — doctors, lawyers, scientests. cops etc. When they work themselves into a position of authority and particularly when they find cronies they can do immense damage.
    Here is a reality check for you. When Michael Mann wrote his hockey stick paper do really believe that he didn’t knowingly falsify the conclusion? Do you really believe that the hockey team in verifying his work were being honest? Do you really believe that the climategate E-mails were just so much innocent blather? Have you ever seen a group of criminals psyching themselves up to make sure that all were onboard to commit a crime?
    I don’t know what womb you have been living in but you need to spend a year in the ghetto. After that you will keep a shotgun under your bed.
    Get this straight — sometimes you just ARE dealing with totally dishonest people.

    Eugene WR Gallun
    .

  91. Eugene Gallun

    About the “high the decline” controversy. Here is reality for you. If the tree rings had continued to show rising temperatures do you think they would still have been dumped? HaHa! I laugh at you people who deny such an obvious fraud.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  92. So many logical fallacies up their sleeves … argumentum ad absentis… what next? Argument ad baculum, the argument of force, jest you wait!

  93. Sven-Ove Johansson

    There may be a bit of an issue with ”#4. Our brains don’t understand probability ”.
    From wikipedia:
    ”In probability theory, the expected value of a random variable is the weighted average of all possible values that this random variable can take on.”
    It seems that in a situation of danger (or perceived danger and perhaps in many other situations) what is actually presented to the conscious level is the expected value rather than probabilities thus obscuring how well we can estimate probabilities in those situations. This is quite natural, probabilities are not important by them self, expected values are… If we encounter a bear which is well caged in we react in one way, if the bear is unrestricted we react in another way irrespective of any explicitly perceived probabilities…