Climate Etc. at 2

by Judith Curry

September 2  marks the 2nd anniversary of Climate Etc.  Time for some reflection, on where we’ve been and where we might be going.

I had a similar post last year on our first anniversary, interesting to look back at everyone’s reflections a year ago (including mine).

What’s new this year?  Well, the climate dittohead blogs now pretty much completely ignore me (which is a blessing, after trying to discredit me as stupid, etc.)  They did get excited over a comment at CE from Rich Matarese that they perceived as a ‘threat’ against climate scientists, but that fizzled.

To those that have predicted that this blog will be the ‘death’ of my academic career, I am happy to report that my ‘stock’ is rising in terms of the number invites to give lectures and other presentations  that I have received from prestigious venues and also invited journal articles.

Climate Etc. is reaching a broader audience.  While the largest number of ‘hits’ continues to come from WUWT, ClimateAudit and BishopHill, CE is getting an increasing number of hits from slashdot and Reddit, energy blogs and pjmedia.

External hits average about 15% of total hits.  Unless there is some sort of ‘big story’ that generates alot of external hits, most likely a ‘scandal’ that I comment on  (a sad statement on what people care about in the climate debate).  It seems that CE is mostly a destination blog for regulars.

The large majority of readers are ‘silent’ and don’t comment.  There is no way for me to know who these readers are, but I continue to be surprised by the climate scientists (and scientists from other fields) who I run into that tell me they read CE, and who send me an email commenting about something.  The community continues to shy away from engaging in the blogosphere.  Unfortunate, but I can’t say that I blame them given the generally vitriolic nature of the blogosphere.

CE averages about 500 comments per day.  WordPress has a new feature that allows tracking of the most prolific commenters per past 1000 comments.  On a typical day, the top 7 commenters account for about 25% of the comments.

I fully understand that keeping the CE community engaged and vibrant requires frequent, regular posts.  I shoot for 5 posts per week; sometime I can’t manage this owing to travel or an overly full schedule, or a big deadline.  I try to avoid gaps in posting of more than 3 days, but sometimes longer gaps are unavoidable.

In terms of topics, the rapid fire demands of trying to post frequently preclude much strategic thinking in terms of topics (and also my responding to many of the comments).  I mostly react to current news or current papers, although these may languish in my draft file for awhile and end up getting posted well after their ‘timeliness’ date.

In case you’ve noticed my blog roll, it evolves a lot, reflecting the blogs I’m currently following.  Not many people link from my blogroll; many of these blogs are almost certainly not of general interest to the CE community.

One of the most important sources of posts is email suggestions and links to other blog posts and recently published papers.  I am very grateful to those of you that send me material.

One of the most rewarding aspects of running this blog is being exposed to a broader range of ideas and papers that I otherwise would have encountered, and meeting new people.  This past week, I invited David Rutledge to give a seminar at Georgia Tech, as a result of his guest post at CE that originated from an email that he sent me after reading the blog (Dave packed the house and gave a terrific seminar, I hope he will have time for future blog posts).  CE has been invaluable in developing a network with really interesting and knowledgable people from a broad range of technical and professional fields.

So  . . .  I look forward to your comments and suggestions about what has been accomplished here, and what we might try to do collectively in the coming year.  Your suggestions on topics, blog format, moderation etc. are appreciated.

454 responses to “Climate Etc. at 2

  1. Green Freedom, is not cheap yet…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/countryside/9514247/Countryside-devalued-to-make-way-for-HS2.html

    What does it all mean for Joe sixpack Joshua?

    • Not familar with UK laws, but it seems putting bullet train thru the country could add value in term beauty of country- people get to see it.
      Plus what ugly about nice modern train- I think it could look nice.

    • The communication skills employed here by Professor Curry over the past two years have successfully communicated two unpleasant realities to the public for their consideration and eventually painful acceptance:

      1. The totally unpredictable source of energy that made our elements and gave birth to the Solar System five billion years (5 Gyr) ago [1] is also the source of energy that sustains our lives and exerts dominant control over Earth’s constantly changing climate.

      2. Reluctance to accept reality #1 when first revealed in the “nuclear fires” that consumed Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 and Nagasaki on 9 Aug 1945 convinced world leaders to form the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 and work together to build a one-world government that George Orwell correctly described in the futuristic novel written in 1984, “1984″

      http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/:

      Two years before Climategate emails and documents exposed reality #2 in 2009, Czech President Vaclav Klaus warned us this one-world government had engulfed the entire planet [2].

      [1] “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012) http://tinyurl.com/7t5ojrn

      [2] Vaclav Klaus, Blue Planet in Green Shackles (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2007,100 pp.) http://tinyurl.com/5z4j6g

    • I do not like being the bearer of bad news, but “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.,” including me and thee!

      We did not chose to be born and we do not choose our roles in life, but I do choose to correct a typo: George Orwell wrote “1984″ in 1948, not 1984, . . .

      Almost certainly after being warned by another British writer of science fiction – Fred Hoyle – that post-WWII science was being twisted into untruths. http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-720

    • The astute wife of an American history professor commented at dinner last night that loss of industry in the West was her major concern.

      That empirical fact – loss of industrial jobs in the West – and another empirical fact – the reduction of CO2 emissions from the West – are a clear indication that the AGW strategy worked well:

      Pinch off the tailpipe of the Western economic engine: The economy will stall, as surely as pinching off the tailpipe of an automobile stalls its engine !

    • So much for all the ranting about “the commons!”

  2. The main accomplishment, as far as I’m concerned, is the Climate Etc. uncovering of the stunning similarity between climate scientists and Darth Vader.

    • That is so; number Two.

    • he is the perfect straightman. If he would just read a little more and comment less he would not toss slow hanging curveballs..

    • Phil Jones beat us to it

      From: Phil Jones
      To: “Michael E. Mann”
      Subject: Empire Strikes Back – return of proper science !
      Date: Fri May 20 13:45:26 2005

      Mike,

      REDACTEDJust reviewed Caspar’s paper with Wahl for Climatic Change. Looks pretty good.
      Almost reproduced your series and shows where MM have gone wrong. Should keep
      them quiet for a while. Also they release all the data and the R software. Presume
      you know all about this. Should make Keith’s life in Ch 6 easy !
      Also, confidentially for a few weeks, Christy and Spencer have admitted
      at the Chicago CCSP meeting that their 2LT record is wrong !! They used the wrong
      sign for the diurnal correction ! Series now warms – not quite as much as the surface
      but within error bands. Between you and me, we’ll be going with RSS in Ch 3
      and there will be no discrepancy with the surface and the models. Should make Ch 3
      a doddle now ! Keep quiet about this until Bern at least. Can tell you more then.
      RSS (Carl Mears and Frank Wentz) found the mistake !
      The skeptic pillars are tumbling !
      Cheers
      Phil

    • What’s that you say, steve?

      Is it “Mommy, mommy, they did it fiiirrrsssttt?”

      Never seen that before.

    • Joshua,

      Thank you so much for continuing to contribute your wisdom and keeping us focused on science. And I think it’s great that you keep commenting the same things over and over. Your comments truly need to be read again and again for there are many intertwining layers of awesome in each one. We forgive you for trying to leave us those times. I know it didn’t really mean anything. I told my girlfriend the same kind of thing and her and I are back on the same page, so I know this can work out for all of us. Don’t ever think of leaving again.

      Andrew

    • Now Joshua, Jones discovered it first. Credit where credit is due.

    • Maybe you missed it. Jones refers to climate science as the Empire.
      Which would make them…..come on you have to know your star wars

    • CollinsWorld English Dictionary
      proper (ˈprɒpə)

      — adj (foll by to )
      1. ( usually prenominal ) appropriate or suited for some purpose: in its proper place
      2. correct in behaviour or conduct
      3. excessively correct in conduct; vigorously moral
      4. up to a required or regular standard
      5. ( immediately postpositive ) (of an object, quality, etc) referred to or named specifically so as to exclude anything not directly connected with it: his claim is connected with the deed proper
      6. belonging to or characteristic of a person or thing
      7. informal ( Brit ) ( prenominal ) (intensifier): I felt a proper fool
      8. ( usually postpositive ) (of heraldic colours) considered correct for the natural colour of the object or emblem depicted: three martlets proper
      9. maths, logic See also strict (of a relation) distinguished from a weaker relation by excluding the case where the relata are identical. For example, every set is a subset of itself, but a proper subset must exclude at least one member of the containing set
      10. archaic pleasant or good

      — adv
      11. dialect ( Brit ) (intensifier): he’s proper stupid
      12. informal good and proper thoroughly: to get drunk good and proper

      — n
      13. Compare ordinary the parts of the Mass that vary according to the particular day or feast on which the Mass is celebrated

      [C13: via Old French from Latin prōprius special]

    • I like your comments Joshua. I find them witty and urbane. I love the smell of condescension in the morning. I particularly love how open minded you are about everything.

  3. Posted on September 1, 2012

    Yesterday (Sept 2) marks the 2nd anniversary of Climate Etc. [emphasis added -hro]

    Hmmm … are you taking us back to the future, or is this a post that surfaced before its time? ;-)

    In any event … Happy Anniversary CE and many thanks, again, to our gracious hostess for providing this salon.

    If I could have one wish, it would be that a way could be found to divert the comments of the perennial thread-jackers after a certain number per post.

    That way, those of us who (for the most part) lurk to learn would not be subjected to their continual interferences of the irrelevant kind!

    • Indeed the “perennial thread-jackers” are a significant detriment and that is too bad given the quality of your postings. It takes a significant amount time to review some of the papers linked, but very little time to use a given posting topic to to segue to one’s pet grinds. Maybe such open blogs are the natural evolution of the office water-cooler…you say things differently at the water-cooler or kitchen than in a meetings room. And there is a lot of BS at the former.

    • Yes. Those darn “thread-jackers.”

      I actually love that term. You compare people who write comments that you don’t like, and get comments in return from people who respond purely on their own volition, to people who take over planes by force? Says quite a bit about your logic.

      This is the logic of much blog discourse, where opinion is confused with fact, where subjective criteria are confused with objective criteria, and where climate scientists are confused with fictional storybook fantasy characters. I find it quite amusing. A real tribute to the power of motivated reasoning.

      I wish that I could say that such fantastical thinking is limited to “skeptics.” Alas, it isn’t. But you have to admit that there is certainly a special irony when people who self-identify as “skeptics” indulge in fantastical thinking on such a regular basis, and hand-wring about the misery of having to endure reading my post and watching others respond at knife-point.

      Of course, I’m laughing on my way to the bank – for each post you write bemoaning my “thread-jacking” just adds another dead president to my collection. Devious, aren’t I?

    • John Carpenter

      gee Joshua, I didn’t notice anyone accuse you by name of thread-jacking so far…. why so defensive? I mean on this particular thread… hee hee.

    • John -

      hro001 has complained about my “thread-jacking” quite a number of times in the past. A few times at length. It appears that the new twist is to not write such posts to me directly, but to indirectly criticize me by writing posts about me but not directly to me and without mentioning me by name. Apparently in hro001′s view, that somehow makes it less laughably lame and hypocritical. Can’t say as I agree.

      It really cracks me up when people take the time to write comments targeting me to complain of being bothered that my comments are off the topic of the post. I like to highlight such comments because I’m a big fan of unintentional irony, and don’t want to let it such fine specimens of the genre go unappreciated.

    • Joshua, stop your dejectiing…

      http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/agnostic.htm

      you already know what you don’t want to know. See?;o)

    • …most likely…
      hay this is science.

    • Joshua has a point in that no one forces anyone to respond to him (like this). But I think I’ve figured it out.

      When I was a kid in the 60s. there was this old guy who shoveled coal into the furnaces in the basements of some of the apartment buildings in our neighborhood in Chicago. If you were walking by a window he had opened in the building he was working in that day, he’d say something innocuous and off the cuff to you. If you didn’t answer, no problem If you responded, you found yourself stuck in a “conversation” that could go on for an hour (an eternity at that age).

      Everything you said led to another question that led no where, but took up more and more of your time. He was simply brilliant at keeping you glued to the spot, talking to him. We figured out pretty early that the guy was just lonely, and talking to the neighborhood kids took away from some of the monotony of shoveling coal in the dark.

      Harmless, no content, a waste of time, but there was something about his neediness that made you feel heartless if you didn’t stop for a chat once in a while. Even though you knew you’d be stuck there for what seemed forever.

      Joshua is like that. You know you shouldn’t respond to him; you know there will be nothing of substance coming from him; and it’s going to waste lots of your time if you do; but every once in a while….

      Joshua, you ever shovel coal?

    • Michael, do you think Joshua:is a big *fan* of unintentional washing too?:o)

    • So when Jones refers to climate science as the Empire, you take that as a sign of motivated reasoning? Seems fair. Thanks.

  4. Judy,

    I think I wrote last year, too. Yes, I am a regular, but post less frequently now because I am running my own website, and it takes a lot of my time and energy. Mine is not devoted to climate matters, though that and music are the most frequent subjects. I am posting tomorrow a small essay about my Blogroll, stimulated by a poster who said I was unbalanced (that is, I only had RealClimate there from the orthodoxy. I thought about it and have rejigged my blogroll to be more balanced.

    A point I make there, and is most relevant here, is that I am no longer connected with a university where I could consult the latest journals as a matter of course. Your site, and WUWT and Climate Audit — and RealClimate, too — provide me with a short list of what is worth reading and following up.

    Furthermore, and I must have said this last year, I rely on yours and others for education. I do follow the debates, after scrolling past the time-wasters, and I get a lot from them.

    So, you have established yourself in the blogosphere, and are relied on for continuing to do what you do. It must be a lot of work, but I thank your for it, as I am sure hundreds of us do.

    • Hi Don, I’ve been following your blog, very nice addition to the blogosphere.

    • David L. Hagen

      I affirm Don’s summary of appreciating the current important papers, and needing to scroll past the time wasters.
      Screening/warning time wasters would help, and iIwill work towards more thoughtful posts.

    • Now this is interesting idea, one i might be able to manage technically (limited only by time). WP now tells me who the most frequent posters are for the last 1000 comments:

      Commenter Comments
      Peter Lang 60
      lolwot 54
      Joshua 50
      manacker 47
      David Springer 44
      jim2 33
      tempterrain 30

      Rarely does it get higher than 50′s or 60′s, but a few weeks ago Robert topped out at 109. So given the substance (or lack thereof) of these posters, would you recommend a blanket limit at a certain fraction of the most recent 1000 comments? Some of the frequent commenters for the most part provide substance, whereas others are repetitive or engage in p***ing matches. So it is a little difficult to come up with a blanket rule.

    • David L. Hagen

      curryja
      Excellent. If you can automate it, I would recommend limit of 20 of the last 1000 comments.
      Alternatively allow that portion of comments per week to encourage thoughtful comments. e.g. if 500 comments/post and 5 posts / week = 2500 comments/week; at 20/1000 = allow 50 comments / week maximum. That may feel like cutting the Federal budget back to the historic 20% (or preferably to the 10% it was a century ago.) However I think that would be very useful.

    • How about this: At the beginning of a day, you get to make 5 free comments, and then can only make one for every 5 total. IOW, when you hit the limit, you have to wait for five more by others before you can comment again.

    • peterdavies252

      Judith’s league tables tends to show that some people seem to have more time to spare than most others who need to work for a living.

      Now, about this little question that I asked of her before: Is it possible for the recent comments module to be accumulated to another file so that less frequent visitors to CE may follow their favourite contributors?

      The current format means that many postings come and go before the visitor can get to go on-line.

    • peterdavies252

      Judith, would it be possible for your technical people to have a look at this?

      http://www.gopiplus.com/work/2010/07/18/vertical-scroll-recent-comments/#.UEQLC8EgfSk

      This app seems to have the required functionality that I am seeking.

    • thx, will check to see if wordpress.com supports this

    • JC

      Please don’t waste your time with regulation.

      Is it that hard for each of us to skip a post that we don’t want to read. As long as a post is not abusive, just leave it. It might be of interest to some one.

      Let us leave the cencorship to RealClimate, OpenMind and Deltoid

    • Judith,

      There was an excellent feature on another web site that I think would suit your readers and not require a limit. That feature allowed the contributor to “hide” all the posts of a person they were not interested in reading. I might click the Hide button for say XXX. Only the name and time of that person’s comments show. I can click on the individual comment if I want to see it, or unhide all that person’s comments.

      Unfortunately, this was not WordPress; I don’t know if that feature is available on WordPress.

    • This is an important issue — Revkin has a same problem with ‘serial nonsense-commenters’.

      If there were a way you could see, in your Moderator screen, the number of comments from the user-name for the day, you could see who is filling-up the comments column. I suggested to Revkin a daily limit that when exceeded simply Flags the comment to your special attention in the moderation step — allowing you to pass it through (in the case where the over-limit is the result of a real on-going conversation between two or more commenters) or to transfer it to a bin where you put stuff to which you’d rather not subject your readers or simply hit a ‘limit exceeded button’ (either of which maybe posts the users name and time and the comment “Daily Limit Exceeded”).

    • Assign a pi**ing match factor from 1-5, 5 being most pi**ing. Divide 60 by the pi**ing number and give that person that many comments per 1000.

    • David Springer

      Interesting. Is lukewarmer position under represented in the top 10? The most vocal are usually the most extreme positions. Moderates don’t tend to fanaticism. Number of comments doesn’t tell the whole story either. Word count is also required. And of course neither of those metric speaks to quality which is more difficult to measure but personally I measure that by relevent citations to reliable sources like encyclopedias, textbooks, and high impact journals. That’s common practice though and part of due diligence with honest brokers so one has to watch for literature bluffing by the dishonest i.e. listing of irrelevant, unread, out-of-context citations merely to give the appearance of due diligence.

      curryja | September 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply

      Now this is interesting idea, one i might be able to manage technically (limited only by time). WP now tells me who the most frequent posters are for the last 1000 comments:

      Commenter Comments
      Peter Lang 60
      lolwot 54
      Joshua 50
      manacker 47
      David Springer 44
      jim2 33
      tempterrain 30

    • Your blog is seriously affected by too many comments from a few people. Shut them up so there is space to think, please. All of your Posts are interesting but frequently the discussion is not, due to the same boring, self-important voices who bring it all down. They simply talk too much. Please control them!

    • My post today is entitled What Blogs Should You Read?(www.donaitkin.com)
      Here is a small extract:

      ‘What follows is a comment on what is the core of my new list.

      My favourite is ‘Climate etc’, hosted by Judith Curry, a noted climate scientist at Georgia Tech. You could call her a lukewarmer, a label that would now apply to me, too. She encourages conversation between those of different perspectives, and publishes new posts regularly. I have learned more from the debates on her site than from anywhere else.’

    • Don,

      Surely you’re a bit old to be playing teachers pet? :)

    • David Springer

      In my experience teacher’s pet is the student who most often has the correct answer and one doesn’t play the part one is selected for it based upon merit. I think you’re confusing pets and ass kissers.

  5. Thank you, Ma’am, and keep up the good work. And I hope the two candles on your cake are carbon-free.

  6. Happy Birthday! May the force be with you :)

  7. Thank you Judith for your committment to science and the open society. With your many committments, If you need to present fewer posts here, then we will live with that. Happy anniversary.

  8. Thank you, Judith, for providing a useful forum for discussion of climate science. Many may think that the right place for such discussions is the professional journals and that is true, but who reads them? Norbert Wiener of MIT invented the science of Cybernetics (now taken over by sci-fi ) but throughout my career I found his book ‘The Interpolation, Extrapolation and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series’ very useful especially in Climate studies. Also a friend from GIT, Bill McCorcle, was very influential and is mentioned in a paper on my web site under ‘Guided Weapons’.

  9. There will be much more to comment in the future after new
    climate knowledge will be out and available until the years end….
    without SUBSTANTIAL new facts, we will turn ourselves in circles….and get tired. of it…..
    I am busy on the subject of new information in order to refreshen the discourse and reach new heights in knowledge
    Important is not to repeat what everybody is repeating…..the lema has to be new and never to discussed before…. this is what we need…..the AGW spirit is the spirit of followers, repeating what AGW-leaders excrete…
    we had this before, 1933 to 1945… history frequently repeats itself…the grey mass follows the AGW leaders….and will pay dearly….

  10. Just a regular, non science, technically minded, not well educated lurker / reader of your blog from which I often quote in another climate forum.
    Mostly a very interesting and for me, a very educational and useful blog.

    But I have pulled back from spending the hours reading all the very long list of comments some of which can be highly educational and very interesting.
    Large sections of the commentary have become a total waste of time when the small and utterly useless, fact free little sniping wars start, always seemingly provoked by a couple of obviously warmist posters.
    So sadly at times now, I just move on as I have better things to do than read a lot of BS to find those small but valuable nuggets of information in the commentary.

    • Too true. Some newspaper blogs limit comments to 500 characters. That’s too stingy in my opinion. But I can easily imagine limiting each poster to a certain word limit per day. There’s nothing like a budget constraint to focus decision making. It’s crazy that a handful of posters account for a quarter of the posts here.

    • I did implement a comment limit of 20 comments per day per individual, not sure if that is working tho? On technical threads, I try to get rid of the sniping wars

    • No wonder I read less comments from certain individuals

    • Can we sell on our unused comments?
      tonyb

  11. Unfortunately Climate Etc is far from shaping up as originally planned. Judith Curry , in her 2006 personality, and this is when I suspect the idea for CE germinated, had some very good intentions of coming down from out of the ivory tower to engage with politicians and the public.

    http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/AGU_IntegrityofScience_Curry.pdf

    Judith Curry (2006) wanted to “clarify the uncertainties” whereas Judith Curry (2012) is happy to just emphasise them.

    Judith Curry (2006) argued that “Effective framing of the science requires
    understanding the social and ethical implications, policy options and the policy process”. Judith Curry (2012) claims to want nothing to do with policy , except of course when she’s part of the same Republican scientific advisory team as Profs Lindzen and Michaels at Capitol Hill. Judith Curry (2010 onwards) has come down from the ivory tower with the helpful non-advice of “Policy makers can do what they want with energy and carbon policy” just as long as they don’t bother climate scientists with difficult questions and put them in the awkward position of having to give advice on policy issues.

    It seems like Judith Curry has come down from the ivory tower only to join forces with the ranks of AGW deniers.

    • Part of the problem is that Judith is regularly doing what she accuses others of doing – having a poor grasp of certain areas and commenting on areas outside their expertise.

      Judith has been skimming through the social sciences literature – which is highly prone to people reading into it what they want- and getting it wrong.
      I wonder what background Judith has in social science research or qualitative research? I suspect none. On her own advice, she would stay well away.

      There is some degree of the-speck-in-my-brothers-eye syndrome at play here.

    • yes I find a degree of the speck in my sisters eye at play in most of your comments

    • Very likely….and something I’d try to be very cautious of……. if I were making broad generalisations about an entire field of scientists.

    • It seem to me that she is simply providing links to some papers she found interesting and then giving her two cents. Some of the social science stuff I find too wishy-washy or swishy or something but I it’s her blog, she can post what she wants.

      If you are used to taking pronouncements from activist scientists as gospel, I can see why you are confused by someone who wants to stimulate conversation.

    • Michael how generous of you to make exceptions for yourself. Kinda proves the point

    • “Judith has been skimming through the social sciences literature – which is highly prone to people reading into it what they want- and getting it wrong.
      I wonder what background Judith has in social science research or qualitative research? I suspect none. On her own advice, she would stay well away.”

      Judith might appreciate someone pointing where she going wrong.
      I would say paying much attention any social sciences is mostly waste of time.
      But I could change my mind if some person wise in social sciences would say something intelligent, Ie, pointing something wrong.
      But it seems to be comprised mostly of waffle this and waffle that.

    • It is emerging as an important part of the debate. That is why we are looking at it.

    • @david wojick

      I’d agree that ‘social science’ is emerging as an entertaining part of the debate, We need some low comedy and slapstick now and then. But I take leave to doubt whether many policy makers take it very seriously.

    • If the social sciences literature is indeed

      ‘highly prone to people reading into it what they want’

      then its authors ought to get their acts together and write it more precisely and unambiguously to avoid such ‘misunderstandings’.

      To this observer at least a lot of it seems to be complete wafflegab and vapourware. And I draw my opinion about the authors’ abilities from the qualities of their product.

    • That’s very true Lati, and why extreme care needs to be taken when generalising the findings.

      Coming in with an activists agenda, ala Judith, you tend to find what you are looking for….whether it’s there or not.

    • @michael

      No doubt you will share my disquiet that anything that purports to be ‘scientific’ can be so prone to misreadings.

      And that anyone who claims to be a scientist (eg Lewandowsky) doesn’t spend some part of the two years between data collection and publication to firm up their paper with more work.

    • There you go again michael, finding your faults in others.
      quick, make an exception for yourself

    • No to be fair to Michael , Judith herself has written: “My advice is to just stay out of it, unless you are prepared to do the hard work”

      There’s lots of hard work in all disciplines, including the social sciences.

      Mind you, having said that, its worth noting that Judith doesn’t herself “stay out of it” and neither, for that matter, do I. However, the difference is that I don’t argue with the scientific consensus view either. You’d have to be either an idiot or a potential Nobel prize winner to do that.

      PS I do very much hope that I turn out to be wrong and that someone in the field of climate science, maybe even Judith herself, will actually win a Nobel Prize for showing, rather than just hoping, that it is in fact safe to allow CO2 concentrations to double this century.

    • re: CO2 – that would be nice if it turned out to be true.

      And on “the hard work” – my measure of that is getting it right. If you’re getting it badly wrong then you haven’t done the hard work.

    • TT

      You paint the hobgoblin:

      to allow CO2 concentrations to double this century.

      Double?

      Huh?

      From what level?

      “In this century” implies a doubling of the 2001 value by 2100. This would be 2 * 370 = 740 ppmv.

      Even IPCC does not estimate so high a level.
      http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/spm/sres-en.pdf

      “Scenarios and storylines” B1 and A1T1 estimate this at 580 and 605 ppmv, respectively.

      The other “storylines” assume that CO2 concentrations will increase from the current exponential growth rate of around 0.5% per year to 0.7-0.8% per year, despite the fact that UN estimates have the exponential rate of population growth decreasing from the current 1.2% to around 0.4% per year (to a level of around 10 billion by 2100). These are flat out unrealistic, as they imply that per capital CO2 generation will increase 4.5 fold from its current 4.3 tons to over 19 tons per year! [For comparison, it increased by a total of 10% from 1990 to today.]

      Or are you talking about twice the estimated “pre-industrial” level of 280 ppmv? Or twice the level estimated for 1900 of around 295 ppmv?

      This might make sense as an upper limit, since it assumes a continuation of the current 0.5% exponential growth rate to 2100. [This equates to an increase in per capita CO2 generation of 2.4 times from today until 2100, which is high but less unrealistic than the even higher assumption above.]

      But, hey, how much warming would we be talking about?

      As a physicist, you must know that the CO2 temperature impact is assumed to be logarithmic.

      We’ve had an increase to date from 280 to 392 ppmv. ln(392/280) = 0.337
      If this grows to “scenario A1T1 level of 600 ppmv by 2100, we have: ln(600/392) =0.426

      We had 0.7°C warming since the modern temperature record (HadCRUT3) started in 1850.

      IPCC assumes that 93% of this was caused by anthropogenic warming and that all other anthropogenic factors other than CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, etc.) cancelled one another out, so we have 0.65°C warming caused by anthropogenic CO2. [Other estimates put the anthropogenic fraction at around half of the total, but let’s stick with the IPCC estimates.]

      This means we’ll see another 0.426 * 0.65 / 0.337 = 0.8°C from today until year 2100. (YAWN!)

      Let’s go even further down “whacky lane” and play Hansen’s “hidden in the pipeline” game.

      If we assume that half of the past GH warming is still “hidden in the pipeline” (as Hansen et al. do), we would have:
      2 * 0.8 = 1.6°C warming from today until year 2100. (SNORE!)

      My advice to you: Fuggudaboudit, TT – it’s a fictitious hobgoblin.

      Even if “CO2 concentrations do double” (unlikely), there will be no serious warming.

      Rejoice!

      Max

    • Part of the problem is that Judith is regularly doing what she accuses others of doing – having a poor grasp of certain areas and commenting on areas outside their expertise.

      And indulging in partisan sniping, eg “dittoheads”.

    • Or perhaps she knows that reducing uncertainty in this highly diverse and complicated field is a matter of years and decades and needs to hear from all sides.

      Now granted, any blog that allows open comments without registration or a lot of heavy handed censoring will accumulate a few “characters”. That’s just part of the experience.

  12. MichaeI, you said that “I suspect none.”, is it now: Tiny Tim’s Tin Hat Time?

  13. Hi Judith..
    Congratulations on CE’s 2nd anniversary! I haven’t commented for some time, having long since tired of the vitriolic environment of the comment threads. I read the head posts still, of course, and scour the comment threads again after a few days to look for the input from commenters whose contributions are typically incisive and of value.

    I generally find that points that I would make are made by others within the first hour or two of your posts going live and so I consider that CE doesn’t suffer from my lack of input nor is it burdened by its volume. CE remains my #1 go-to site for rational analysis of climate science and I am immensely grateful to you for your continuing efforts and valuable insights here.

    Best regards,
    Simon

  14. Dr. Curry,
    Congratulations for your blog and your posts, which I think are one of the the most balanced and interesting ones in these matters. As a matter of fact it has become the only climate related blog I nowadays follow regularly after having being an avid reader of WUWT and a handful of others. Thanks a lot.

  15. Dr. Curry,

    Congratulations for 2 years of Climate Etc. I also find Climate Etc. provides the most balanced view on climate science. It is now my no. go to site on climate matters.

    I hope in Climate Etc’s 3rd year you may include more policy relevant posts. I hope such posts may provide insight to climate scientists about the importance of the economics of the proposed solutions, a better understanding of the relevance and importance of cost-benefit analyses of the various options and the need for the science to be directed to providing the inputs for economic and cost-benefit analyses.

    • Peter Lang,

      I also find Climate Etc. provides the most balanced view on climate science.

      Since when have you sought out anything like a balanced view? If your politics are anything to go by the more extreme, the more unbalanced, the better as far as you’re concerned.

      Your pathological hatred of anything leftish, or progressive, or pro-environmental suggests very a unbalanced personality on your part !

    • Hey TT

      It’s a birthday party.

      Not time to bash a fellow blogger with vitriolic ad hom garbage.

      Relax and enjoy the party!

      Max

  16. I am one of your many daily readers. I find the mix of articles thought provoking. I am also interested in the expertise of a lot of the commenters with crowdsourcing information useful.
    However, I do get turned off by the “regular” commenters who see to have their own barrows to push, in almost trolling or thread hijacking behaviour. Could not a limit be put on the number of times someone may comment on a thread? If someone can’t get a point across in say 10 comments, then maybe they aren’t focused enough to know what you are saying (yes Joshua, I mean people like you)

  17. Happy 2nd anniversary, Judith! :-)

    I’m glad the blog hasn’t hastened the demise of your academic career, indeed seems to have enhanced your kudos.

    Over the past few months, I have posted less and less at climate blogs. I find it all so depressing, really. It’s all been said, for and against, in more ways than there are positions in the Kama Sutra.

    There are some regular posters here who seem to have OCD. On some visits, I can end up scrolling past well over half the posts, because they come from the usual suspects. Entropy can sometimes be very high here. No fault of yours, really, this business of climate blogging seems to attract certain folk like moths to a candle.

    Seems to me your blog is big enough now to engage the help of moderators to prune much of the dross in line with what I’m sure would be a fair editorial policy.

    I wish you many more happy anniversaries.

  18. Judith, congratulations. I really don’t know how you manage to keep up with reading the posts that fly by ClimateEtc. Must chew up a big chunk of your time, but I suppose better than whiling the hours away reading FaceBook.

  19. Dear Dr Curry. I am a fan from Sydney Australia. Our government said the science was settled on global warming, and being a Thomas I naturally doubted that assertion and sought out sources that provided a more balanced view. Congratulations!!

    • My, how time goes bye… chow.

    • Evan Thomas,

      You may be interested in: “What the carbon tax and ETS will really cost
      http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

    • Peter, the following paragraph is from your article:

      “Actual costs are not easily derived – much depends on assumptions and estimates. From Treasury estimates, for instance, the cost will be more than $13,000 per person (every man woman and child), or more than $26,000 per worker, total to 2050 (in today’s dollars).”
      _____

      Peter, if I’m reading it right the $13.000 and $26,000 imply Australia has a 100% dependency ratio (i.e. a worker to dependent ratio of 1:1). I’m surprised it’s that high. In the U.S., the ratio is about 50% ( 2 workers per dependent). Australia must have a lot of retirees and children.

      Anyway, the $13,000 per person for the 2012 – 2050 period works out to about to $1 per day for each person.
      However, that money doesn’t just disappear from the Australian economy, so I’ll have to read the rest of your article to see how it’s used. One idea is dump it in the ocean, so no one gets it. That would then make every Australian’s dollars worth more.

    • Hi Max_OK,

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article, and read it carefully.

      The $13,000 per person and $26,000 per worker are just rough numbers to make it easier for the average person to get it in perspective. It’s based on an estimated population of 30 million (from memory, at half way to the projected 2050 population) and work force about half the total population. The ratio is not “workers per dependent” but rather ‘head of population per number of workers in the work force’.

      However, that money doesn’t just disappear from the Australian economy, so I’ll have to read the rest of your article to see how it’s used.

      No that comment is not right. The cost of the policy is the difference in GDP between with and without the carbon price policy. So all the sorts of things you raised are fully included in the figure. See the data (Chart 5:13 here: http://archive.treasury.gov.au/carbonpricemodelling/content/chart_table_data/chapter5.asp .

      The figure assumes all the projected benefits of reduced climate damage costs are fully realised.

      What is not included and would make the cost significantly higher is the future compliance cost. It is not being disclosed and has not been considered. The policy is starting with only the largest 400 emitters included. Transport fuels are excluded and all agriculture and all but the largest 400 emitters are excluded. But as Nordhaus makes clear, for the system to work, all emissions sources in all countries have to be fully included. So the ‘honey-moon’ rate we’ve started at will not last. Seer this link for more on the ultimate compliance cost: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13578&page=0

    • Latest ABS data: total population 22.718m, total employment 11.518m = 50.7%. The figure for the US in 2011 was about 57.6%, down from a peak of 63.8% in 2000. So in 2011 about 4 workers to 3 dependants in the US, 3 for 3 in Oz.

    • Faustino,

      Thank you for this information. I had no idea my rough figure was so close.

      The fact 33% more of the population works in USA than in Australia might be part of the reason why productivity is much lower and labour rates much higher in the Australia than in US. The construction cost premiums for large project in Australia compared with the US Gulf Coast are:

      Resource projects = 40%
      Schools = 26%
      Large shopping centres = 43%
      Hospitals = 62%
      Airports = 90%
      http://www.bca.com.au/Content/101987.aspx

      For other readers: this is one reason why nuclear power is not a viable option for Australia at anywhere near current prices.

      Translate that to the poor countries and we can see why the developed countries, especially USA, needs to remove the impediments to low-cost nuclear power if we want to make serious cuts in global CO2 emissions by 2050.

    • Peter, I wrote an EPAC paper on “Productivity in Australia” in 1989 or 90. On the latest OECD data then, productivity in Australia was about two-thirds of that in the US. For utilities (almost all government-owned at that stage), it was about 45% of the US level. From memory, that was total factor productivity. We had some gains from the Hawke era reforms, but no recent growth in productivity.

      Good night, the noo.

    • Fastinio, after my initial confusion about dependency ratios, I decided to take a look at current numbers for the U.S., and came up with a ratio of 50.2 percent or about 1 non-worker for 1 worker including military personnel. That’s what Peter Lange’s numbers imply for Australia.
      My data sources are described below.

      According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population was 314.3 million in August 2012. http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

      The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there were 155.0 million workers in the U.S. civilian labor force in July 2012. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.a.htm0

      I couldn’t find the current number of active U.S. military personnel, but the following source says it was about 1.5 million in September 2011.

      http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0509.pdf

      So we have a U.S. total population of 314.3 million, with civilian workers and military personnel representing 156.5 million of the total, and non-workers making up the remaining 157.8 million. Based on these numbers, the dependency ratio would be 50.2% (157.8 / 314.3 = 0.52).

    • Peter, I finally got back to this, and as you suggested downloaded table 5.13 from the report. Unfortunately, I couldn’t open it. However, I was able to see the following summary about GNI:

      5.3.1 Gross national income
      “Australia’s GNI per person (or real income) in both domestic policy scenarios — core and high price — grows at rates only slightly below those expected without carbon pricing. In the core policy scenario, GNI per person in today’s dollars will be $9,000 higher in 2020 than it is today and more than $30,000 higher in 2050 — an increase that is smaller than in the medium global action scenario, in which Australia does not price carbon, by just $320 per person in 2020 and $4,300 in 2050.”

      ” Real income will continue to grow under a carbon price, but at a slightly reduced rate as the domestic economy transforms to be more carbon efficient and as sourcing international abatement causes income outflow. From 2010 to 2050, GNI per person grows at an average rate of 1.1 per cent per year in the core policy scenario compared to 1.2 per cent per year, if carbon levels continue unabated along their upward trajectory. That is, Australia’s GNI per person continues to grow at a rate only around 0.1 of a percentage point per year slower than it would without carbon pricing.”

      Peter, the carbon pricing doesn’t seem to be any cause for alarm. Incomes might be slightly higher without the pricing, but then there wouldn’t be the benefits of carbon conservation.

      As bluesman Muddy Waters might say “You can’t lose what you never had.”

  20. Dear Prof. Curry. I’m normally a lurker, but I’m breaking cover to applaud your doggedness, persistency and courage in maintaining this blog in the teeth of some of the most continually outrageous ad hominum vitriolic abuse ever faced by any blogger anywhere on the net. Allowing those posts to stand in fact allows the perpetrators to underline the fact that they are merely intellectual thugs and I find them increasingly irrelevant to the debate. You are providing a clearing in the climate science jungle where sane and intelligent people can come and debate the issues and it is shameful that so many would prefer to stay swinging in the trees and beating their chests. I’m naturally a skeptic, but I can come here and read the other side of the debate knowing that most of the content will be real science, not propaganda.
    I can only wish you continued good health and the will to carry on providing the still, small light of Reason in the Darkness created by a toxic brew of bad science, political chicanery and overweening personal ambition.
    As others have noted, now that you have established your blog, maybe it is time to consider moderators and guest posts, both to ease your workload and build a support team to build and improve your blog.

    • Intellectual thugs. So true. And you are right. They are making themselves irrelevant by their transparent thuggishness.

  21. Hi Judith

    Congratulations on CE’s second birthday. Do you send us a piece of cake or do we have to drop into the University pessonally?

    For my part I would prefer 3 or so articles per week rather than five, as that gives time for a discussion to develop (and more time for thread hijackers to work out their strategies)

    I’m sure you must have explainred in the past, but why does Google not index the articles? That would be a good way for people to find their way to you.

    tonyb

    • Hi Judith,

      Since climate reason has made a suggestion, I’d like to make one too. First, I should say for the benefit of other readers, I am a relative newcomer to being a regular reader and commenter on Climate Etc..

      My suggestion is to remove the tree structure. I strongly believe the discussion on the threads would be greatly improved if the tree structure was removed. It makes it easier for someone to come back to the thread and catch up from where they left off. It is near impossible to do that with the tree structure, so I miss many good comments.

      Another benefit is that people will tend to stay on topic for the particular thread and post their comments on the relevant thread. Some threads will remain active and some may still be active up to a year later. As an example of this I’d point to BraveNewClimate. For about the first year or so it ran with a tree structure like Climate Etc. Then it was changed to no tree structure. It worked much better.

      Commenters refer to previous comments by the author and time like this:
      “climatereason
      @September 2, 2012 at 4:32 am.”

      It’s eacy to find them because the posts are in chronological order.
      Many different discussions can run on the thread in parallel . It is easy to follow.

      Here is a recent example from BNC (with ulterior motive for posting it of course):
      http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/
      Some BNC threads run over 500 comments.

    • Peter Lang, I think this is a two ways problem. It depends on whether you are reading in “conversation mode”, or later. In the second case, its easier the nested comments system because you can avoid the topics you are not interested in. Dog fights and so on.

    • plazame,

      I don’t agree with you on this. And the regular contributors at BNC would not agree with you either having gone through the change. As with any change, there were those who opposed the change for many reasons before it happened. The reason you stated was one. I was one of those who opposed the change. Once it had been made it was far better (although we did miss the displayed unique number for each comment. But that is not an issue on Climate Etc because there is no displayed unique number. But that doesn’t work anyway because it changes if comments have been held in moderation and later released. Then all the comments that referred to previous comments by their number, were referring to the wrong number.)

      The ‘no indents’ format is far better, IMO, for those involved in discussions. You may be involved in several discussions. Its nearly impossible to keep track and follow up on all the discussions you may be involved in if they are in tree structures. And with only four levels, you often end up replying to the comment at the fourth level rather than to the comment you are actually replying to. So the person you are replying to is not notified on your reply by WordPress.

      Here is an example of a site that has no limit on the number of levels of hierarchy. https://theconversation.edu.au/carbon-price-floor-axed-but-eu-market-links-a-good-substitute-8777. It also shuffles the tree according to how popular or unpopular is the comment at the top of the branch. It is a hopeless site (IMO). So it’s no good giving more levels either. That just makes the problem worse.

      (the link does not show the depth that some threads go to. Some threads scroll well off the page to the right. It’s hopeless, and seems to encourage an enormous amount of vitriol on any threads relating to climate change or related policy).

    • Good point about the nesting/trees. I tweak this occasionally, I will tweak it down one or two levels

    • I disagree strongly, because issues have a natural tree structure, which is central to understanding. I would prefer to see unlimited nesting, so as to capture every line of thought. See my little textbook on this, if needed: http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf

      Without the nesting we have the hopeless situation where detailed discussion of a specific, narrow issue is scattered throughout the entire string of comments. It is these structured discussions, not individual posts, that are important. What I would really like to see is visualization of these issue trees.

    • In principle, I agree. In practice, many of the threaded discussions degenerate into p***ing matches. I think changing the nesting number with each post might make sense, with more nesting on the technical threads?

    • Judith,
      @ September 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

      In principle, I agree. In practice, many of the threaded discussions degenerate into p***ing matches. I think changing the nesting number with each post might make sense, with more nesting on the technical threads?

      Would you consider a trial with no tree structure for one or more of the non technical threads and see how it goes and get feedback of what the contributors think? I’d suggest trial it for a few threads.

    • worth a shot, maybe week in review. I think however that if i turn off nesting it will be for all the posts, not just for a specific thread

    • Judith,

      IMO, a trial with Week in review would be great if it is possible to do run o nesting on just one thread.

      If it is not possible to run a trial for just one thread, and you don’t want to risk a major change to no nesting for all threads without a trial, perhaps you could run “Week in review” with one nesting level but urge readers in a comment at the top of the thread to not use the “reply” at all; i.e. simply post all comments at the end of the thread in order. It won’t be perfect, but people could trial it and see what they think.

    • I do not see why eliminating nesting should reduce nasty comments, but one could try it. It should just make it harder to see what each comment is about, because the meaning of a comment typically depends on the line of thought leading up to it. People will have to at least somehow indicate which comment in the linear string above they are commenting on. There are several conventions for doing this.

      But the point is that the line of reasoning leading to a given comment will be too hard to reconstruct. No one reads this blog around the clock, remembering every comment and which comment it addresses, but that is when the comments occur, around the clock. Most of the structure will be lost. Ironically the rapid back and forth, where a lot of the nastiness probably occurs, will be retained, because these comments will be close by in the linear temporal string of comments.

    • Nesting is a night-mare. Go numbers.

    • Michael (September 2, 2012 at 10:57 am “Nesting is a night-mare.”

      Agree 100% on that. I suspect it’s a major reason why discussion on this site hasn’t ever reached its full-community constructive potential. Tangled badly in a neverending thorny thicket is how I’ve personally felt trying to avoid inefficiency while reading here. Workable alternatives? Maybe run every 2nd or 3rd post treeless for the fun of seeing how it goes. (Maybe this idea is too unpalatable to our hostess. I respect the need for leader harmony.)

    • Michael,

      We agree. That’s great :)

      I’ve made a wee demonstration of how it could work following on from the excellent start by Pekka Pirila and Faustino here: http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/30/activate-your-science/#comment-235207

      (only slightly spoilt by Jim2′s comment. Consider it as if it had been posted on the top level.)

    • Woops, posted last comment before I’d completed it.

      Michael,

      We agree. That’s great. :)

      I’ve made a wee demonstration of how it would work following on from the excellent start by Pekka Pirila and Faustino here: http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/30/activate-your-science/#comment-235207

      (only slightly spoilt by Jim2′s comment. Consider it as if it had been posted on the top level.)

      However, Michael, I caution against using numbers. It causes problems. For example, on this site: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-112290 (be sure to read the relevant and very informative comment at that link :)), the numbers change when a comment that was held in moderation is released from moderation. As a result, when a comment refers to an earlier comment by number, the number can change. In a long thread that does spoil it somewhat. So I find the practice of referring to contributor, date and time date, to be better as used on BNC; e.g. http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/ (and what an important and relevant post that example is too, eh?).

    • David -

      I’m guessing that you can appreciate the reality that most of the times these discussions take place – many of the discussants are not facing up to the full measure of selectivity in their interests in how they want to see the discussion controlled. This creates follow-on problems with the logic of the solutions they propose. Of course there are inherent trade-offs in any particular structure.

      Personally, I find the very discussion itself to be rather amusing. Seems to me that if anyone doesn’t like reading a particular comment, they can just stop doing so. If they don’t like reading a particular commenter, they can just stop doing so. It takes only a nanosecond to just move on to the exchanges that you find more interesting. People have complete control over the trade-offs they want to make or not make. From where I sit, most of these discussions are rooted in people wanting to blame others (selectively) for their own failure to accept responsibility.

    • But the discussion, who says what to whom, is not controlled by how the comments are arranged on the screen. It is just a question of how easy it is to follow the discussion. But you are right in that nesting should make it easier to skip, or find, an given issue, which I do frequently. But people may have to learn this the hard way.

    • Hi Judith,

      Thank you for your reply to my suggestions (my second comment). I am not sure if you saw my first comment on this.

      I reckon it would be worse to “tweak it down one or two levels”. My suggestion is to remove the tree structure altogether. see my first comment @ September 2, 2012 at 5:34 am

      IMO, the problem gets worse and worse the more levels – as is displayed on this site: https://theconversation.edu.au/carbon-price-floor-axed-but-eu-market-links-a-good-substitute-8777.

      My suggestion is so have one levels; that is all comments are posted in date and time order. Only this way can comments be read in the sequence they were posted and in the order that the thinking and discussion developed.

      I gave the example of BNC which made this change and it was agreed by all (after the fact) it was a great improvement.

      You can always come back later and find comments you want to refer back to. It is virtually impossible to do that with a tree structure.

    • David Wojic,

      Your comment is theoretical. It would work if there was a highly structured system for controlling the discussions and where to post comments.

      That is not the case on blog sites. It is clear that what you are advocating is not working here. Nor anywhere there is a tree structure.

      Some people take advantage of the tree structure to post their comment near the top of the thread to get it more read. It is not posted in order.

      Some people post their comments at the bottom on the main tree whether it is a reply to an earlier comment or not (I am suggesting all comments be done like this and no tree structure).

      Often there are multiple structures with very similar discussion and comments.

      No structure is better. It does not work with a tree structure (unless you have the very stringent controls like in the sort of system you are advocating).

      Here is another site that runs without a tree structure: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-112290

    • Pete, I think it is working quite well. Keep in mind that the tree structure is there in the comments, no matter how they are displayed. (Historical note: I discovered this universal structure on October 14, 1973.) If it is confusing that is simply because human thought is not linear. Presenting a tree structure in a linear string cannot make it easier to grasp, it can only make it harder.

      There is nothing theoretical about this, rather it is the practical reality. But following the nested tree structure takes effort. Perhaps that is the problem. If you are only interested in the individual comments, not the lines of thought, then nesting is indeed a pain. I personally am interested in the complex issues. Others may not be.

  22. Now yer want CAKE Tony, lol?

  23. Anther word of congratulations from lurker sometime poster. This is the blog I follow most carefully and like others I tend skip the antics of some of the regulars and seek out interesting comments made. But I read every post and many of the comments.

    I personally find your approach to this most vexed subject to be amongst the most reasonable in the debate, it’s pretty refreshing and a nice counter to the madness on both sides of the debate.

    I’m glad to hear other climate scientists read this blog, because it might encourage some introspection and return some balance to the way the science is approached.

  24. Congrats, Dr. Curry. Very well done

    I find this particularly interesting:

    The community continues to shy away from engaging in the blogosphere. Unfortunate, but I can’t say that I blame them given the generally vitriolic nature of the blogosphere.

    Understandable, but a real pity. There must be a way to get a comfortable ambient for “the community”. Maybe a double page for some technical posts, where only some posters are allowed to participate? Let’s say, known scientists plus some others who have qualified in the “masses page”, or by other meanings?

    Hmmm … , not easy. But maybe worth to try to find a solution.

  25. Judith Curry

    Congrats on 2 years CE – and on creating a venue where the ongoing scientific and policy debate on anthropogenic climate change can take place in a balanced – if sometimes partisan – fashion and, above all, without censorship of conflicting opinions.

    You raise interesting and timely topics, which give us all food for thought, no matter on which side of the debate we stand.

    Thanks.

    Max

  26. Thank you for the touch of common sense and adherence to the scientific method.. Keep the sanity intact.

  27. > Someone who seeks to make sense of American politics, but delegates the task to a right-wing radio pundit, resulting in a chasm between what is believed to be true and objective reality.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dittohead

    • It’s not a mystery: dittoheads are comprised of folks who work nights, anyone with enough discretionary time and desire to listen to those who can tell them why they have no job, delayed listening techies like Howard Stern fans or truck drivers that want to exercise their brains while working.

    • Exactly the kind of people that I envision lurking the sites that Judy’s handwaving above.

  28. Dr JC, thanks for all your work.

    Unlike others, I’m pleased that there are many in the ClimSci community that are happy to stay informed about, but generally stay away from, the political aspects of the debate, although thier scientific input would be welcome.

    I really appreciate your interaction with industry scientists, social scientists, science historians, economists, energy researchers, etc. No doubt, you’ve benefited greatly from that interaction. It’s sad that there are so few people in academics that understand those benefits.

    thanks again,
    j

  29. Professor Curry,

    You bring the courage and wisdom of Kipling to the climate debate:

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

    http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_if.htm

    Thank you!

  30. The great thing about this blog is that it tracks the debate, rather than trying to lead it.

    • Given that CE is a good sample of the debate, there are some webometrics and content clustering technologies that might usefully be applied to the archive.

  31. @judith

    As a contrast from the various discussions about the sociology of sceptics, I;d be interested to understand more about the background of ‘climate scientists’.

    My hypothesis is that the majority have progressed through the standard route of school–>college–>university–>graduate student–>post doc and into academic posts with very narrow specialisations. This can only give them a very limited way of looking at the world, its problems and possible solutions. Just like a priest who has joined the seminary at age 18 will see everything through the prism of the church, the academic sees the world only through the prism of campus and papers and.publications and tenure.

    By contrast, sceptics come from a huge variety of backgrounds and career experiences. But the common thread (from my reading of the Denizens thread and personal knowledge) is that they all have a long history of solving real world problems and of working with a breadth of different views and skills. And this brings a healthy scepticism about a lot of seemingly ‘ivory tower’ academics.

    It is the contrast between these two world views – the deep and narrow compared with the broad and pragmatic that fuels much of the debate.

    Does anybody else feel that this would be a good topic?

    • interesting point/idea, not sure how to go about it tho

    • I was prompted in this thought by two recent conversations with very distinguished academics. One is active in climate matters, the other is an FRS in an unrelated field.

      Both of them are ‘fifty-somethings’, yet neither have ever held a job other than in academia, and while one has had the occasional sabbatical year abroad they are both proud that they have never really left the institution that they arrived at as 17/18 year old undergraduates.

      In the commercial world it would be extremely rare for anybody approaching ‘elder statesman’ status to have had such a limited breadth of experience. It would be seen as far too narrow to give the wide perspective that is needed in such a role. And in many other spheres of public life, appointments to leadership positions are made taking due account of breadth as well as depth of experience.

      So it seems to be a bit of a paradox how ‘climate scientists’ have somehow abrogated to themselves the conceit that they are and should be the only parties allowed to speak on the issue. And even odder that ‘we’ have let them get away with it for so long.

    • What has been a real eye opener for me has been my forays into the private sector, where real decisions and big $$ hinge on my predictions. Being spectacularly wrong on a regular basis is a sure recipe for having no contracts. Hence probabilities and scenarios and assessment of confidence level in individual forecasts is the name of the game. I wish more academics had this kind of experience. In govt, this is prohibited; in universities it is very cumbersome owing to ever changing conflict of interest guidelines.

    • When do you plan to retire from academia, Judy?

    • Whenever I see this kind of free market efficiency fetishism, I think of this:

      http://www.techrepublic.com/article/monday-pwc-consultings-new-name-creates-controversy-cackles/1038748

      Yeah – now that was a great idea, wasn’t it?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2163472.stm

      ‘Cause no one in academia would have had enough real world experience to able to figure out such a stupid way to spend $110 million.

    • And both the PWC rebrand and the Royal Mail attempt at ‘Consignia’ were such bombs that they were withdrawn within weeks and the consultnat who recommended it sacked.

      Remind me when was the last time a paper was withdrawn in climate science for being wrong or a numbskull academic terminated for incompetence?

      I wonder why the hockeystick keeps floating across my mind as I write these words. And a propos of nothing at all I see that Mike Mann is on sabbatical. Perhaps academe has other sanctions?

    • Remind me when was the last time a paper was withdrawn in climate science for being wrong or a numbskull academic terminated for incompetence?

      You just love you some playing the moral equivalence game, don’t you?

      Why do you feel it is necessary to duck the abundant evidence of phenomenally stupid outcomes of private sector processes employed by private sector business leaders? They are ubiquitous. And moving beyond stupidity that is so evident in the private sector, have you read the estimates of the cost to society of fraud in the private sector?

      The attributes that lead to inefficiency in complicated analytical process are not unique to either the private sector nor the public sector – although they are often very ironically very much on display when private sector fetishists attempt to draw such categorical distinctions through overt confirmation bias.

      The attributes that lead to inefficiency in complicated analytical processes are imbedded in fundamental attributes of human psychology and reasoning. If you would read the related social science material that Juidth links to, without applying the same sort of selective analytical process that Judith uses with that material to confirm her own biases – you would understand that.

      My personal favorite was when she linked to the Kahne study that showed a significant correlation between personal, political, and social orientation and belief on the dangers of climate change – yet she decided to focus instead in a barely existent correlation between scores on their numeracy and scientific literacy measures and “skepticism.”

      This is exactly the kind of logic I find in your nervous excitement that Judith might write a post that will confirm one of your favorite biases. It will be interesting to see her post and your response. I suspect that identifying the selective application of criteria, lack of validated evidence for claims made, etc., will not be difficult to spot.

      Fortunately, I believe, Judith is not so prone to selectivity in her scientific analysis. I appreciate her exploration into other areas. I just wish the she were more scientific in her approach to that other material.

    • Latimer, your preconception of academics being closed off in their institutions, in some sense, is not correct. The academic world is highly interconnected via journal articles, visits and conferences. Consensus forms quickly about the validity of any new ideas. If there is an interesting idea in a paper, a professor in a relevant field might assign a graduate student to test it out or expand on it. Bad ideas don’t survive long.

    • @jim d

      ‘The academic world is highly interconnected via journal articles, visits and conferences’

      You make my point for me. Academia is substantially a closed and self-selecting world.

      Thanks.

    • @joshua

      Wow!

      That’s a very long-winded way of avoiding my question. Did I touch that much of a nerve?

      9/10 for effort but 0/10 for effectiveness. Artistic impression only about 3/10.

    • Latimer

      I am not sure there is such a thing as a ‘climate scientist’ if by that you mean someone with a knowledge of the entirety of how each componemt of climate works individually and as a whole. There are of course very many people that know their piece of it very well but will have no idea how it all fits together.

      The IPCC are surely the only ones who, in fitting together all the parts for their reports perform the function of a ‘climate scientist’.

      Whether that is done accurately, objectively and scientifically or reflects the scientific, political and ethical attitudes of those assembling the IPCC assessment is perhaps another matter
      tonyb

    • Latimer, no they are not closed off. Any people with good ideas are welcomed to contribute them. It is very democratic that way. The ideas have to stand scrutiny or are rejected. As we see on blogs, there is a raft of bad ideas floating around with no filter resulting in a very confused blogosphere. Academia thankfully doesn’t have to deal with so much of it, allowing them to refine the best ideas.

    • Yes, academia will likely never allow the 30+ climate clowns with alternative theories to publish without going some sort of gauntlet. Academia would also not grant degrees to obvious failures in the classroom.

      What were you saying again, Latie?

    • @jim d

      I’ll take the liberty to guess that you are an academic.

      Just for fun, here’s the sort of questions that might be asked of academics to answer the question I posed

      How many of your close friends…those you hang out with day to day..aren’t academics? How many are?

      How many non-academic institutions have you worked in – for a minimum of three months?

      How many commercial institutions have you worked in?

      How many real world problems have you actually solved by doing them as compared with writing papers about them?

      Who do you socialise with at weekends and vacations?

      How much of your life since first degree graduation have you not been employed as an academic?

      How typical is your experience compared with your academic peer group?

      We can refine these a bit as we go.

    • Yes, academia will likely never allow the 30+ climate clowns with alternative theories to publish without going some sort of gauntlet. Academia would also not grant degrees to obvious failures in the classroom.

      What were you saying again, Latie?

      The funniest part of this discussion for me is that IIRC, Latimer was on here recently (in a moment of unintentional candor) telling us how in much of his private sector experiences, he spend time stragetizing how to overstate the relative benefits of the products he was offering for sale.

    • Latimer, I am not playing your game. How many journal papers or academic books on climate science have you read and understood? Do you feel qualified to comment on them? How? Did you learn everything you know from the blogosphere? Is there any anti-AGW idea that you disagreed with? These are the relevant questions if a debate is to be had. This subject is the home ground for scientists. Sit and learn :-)

    • The more I think about it, the more I appreciate Climate Etc to allow the 30+ crackpots with alternative climate theories to comment here. They rarely make top-level posts, just comments, which is an editorial comment with regards to the policy on this site.

      As someone once said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. When these wackos and assorted sockpuppets are allowed to relentlessly comment, it accomplishes two things – it eases the tension through the levity it inspires, and it really shows the lack of substance to the climate skeptic teams approach to changing minds.

      Here again is the climate clown parade, growing to 30+ in size.
      http://bit.ly/wyxkgy

      This is a mirror into your technical leadership, Go team!

      Go ahead, defend one of them. One just has to be correct, right? Which one is it?

    • @jim d

      I think my Bachelors degree in general Chemistry and Masters degree in Atmospheric Chemistry gives me enough background to be able to understand quite a lot of climatology. Unless I’ve really misunderstood something there isn’t any part of it that is completely different from any other of the standard sciences – physics, maths, chemistry. And lots and lots of stats.

      And a thirty year career in commercial IT – from sales, technical and management perspectives gives me enough experience to recognise bullshit when I hear it. Some simple stuff like examining if the claims match up to the data? And some about the way people interact and assessing their credibility as ‘experts’.

      It may be that there is indeed some secret store of knowledge of climatology that means only certifiable climatologists can even begin to think of understanding it. But I haven’t seen an indication that there’s anything ‘special’ about it yet.

    • @joshua

      You say about me that

      ‘ in much of his private sector experiences, he spend time stragetizing how to overstate the relative benefits of the products he was offering for sale’

      Lets put a bit of realism here. We didn’t ‘overstate the benefits’ .That way leads directly to the law courts which is a place only the lawyers benefit from. But we did spend time making sure that our proposals were presented in the best and most attractive way to our clients.

      And if you ever manage to get a date, maybe you’ll try to do the same to impress your new friend (if you ever get a friend).

      And it is this experience that gives the ability to quickly see when others are using the same techniques. Especially in climate science where the practitioners are rarely very good at it. They often rely solely on ‘Trust me I’m a Climate Scientist (*)’ which is only an attractive sales pitch to other climatologists and/or the feeble minded who hear the word ‘scientist’ and go weak at teh knees in case maths is involved. I am neither

      (*) Jim D makes a wonderful illustration of the ‘TMIACS’ approach elsewhere in this thread. It doesn’t work.

    • Hi WHT

      You are funny. Where do I say this, as claimed on your web site?

      “You see, Brown claims the painting was of a lowland area in Belgium, while the shape of the mountains suggest the Dolomites.”

      If you want to call everyone a crackpot that uses a painting by Breughel in order to illustrate the well known and extremely well documented climate down turn in the 16th century you will need to add a lot more authors to your crackpot list. Why not email Prof Brian Fagan to tell him he is in danger of being included?

      http://www.brianfagan.com/

      Here is the suggested email;

      “Dear Prof Fagan

      I know nothing whatsoever about Historical climatology but anyone using it is a crackpot and anyone referencing Paintings by Breughel to make a point about climate change doubly so. I am informed that you used such a painting on the front cover of your Book ‘The Little Ice Age.” Withdraw the book and its cover immediately or you will be added to my list.
      Yours with Best regards Web Hub telescope (not my real name)”

      To help you in your quest I will look in the Met Office library next time I am there carrying out research. On my last visit I noticed at least four or five authors using Breughel and others artists from that era on their book covers to illustrate historic climatic change. I will get hold of their names and contact details so you can continue to pursue your rather odd belief that historical documents should not be used to support information on historic accounts of climate change.

      Your friend
      TonyB

    • Lets put a bit of realism here. We didn’t ‘overstate the benefits’ .That way leads directly to the law courts which is a place only the lawyers benefit from. But we did spend time making sure that our proposals were presented in the best and most attractive way to our clients.

      Latimer – stop putting lipstick on that pig, my man.

      Anyone who is being even remotely honest (i.e., not blinded by fetish) about the private sector will have to admit that a goal in the private sector is often to overstate benefits relative to demerits of a product, often to the full extent possible without crossing legal boundaries, and sometimes even beyond. The goal is certainly not frequently to objectively present the relative merits and demerits of a product relative to the competitors – which is what should be the standard in academia.

      That isn’t to say that some people in the private sector don’t feel that best long-term outcomes are achieved with a completely open and objective presentation of the comparative benefits/demerits their product – but it is a very rare strategy indeed.

      My point in making this is not to demonize the private sector (it has a positive influence in balance), but to point out that the elements of bias that affect academia, or the public sector, are a product of the same human condition, the same attributes of human cognition and human psychology, that effect the private sector. My point is that your selective use of criteria to make simplistic categorical distinctions is actually a perfect example of the very natural phenomena I’m pointing to.

    • TonyB is the primo exaample of the anecdotal theorist. He drops in with his historical anecdotes about snow-capped mountains in paintings and intetsperses those anecdotes with his own anecdotes about his ski trips to Verbier and his expert anecdotal evidence as to whether the glaciers are receding.

      The 30+ climate clowns each occupy their own ecological niche. That’s what is fascinating about the crackpot ecosystem. They tend to repel each other due to some strange sociopathology. In contrast, normal scientists tend to build on each others work and if they do find something novel and unique, they spend their time seeing how it fits in with the collective knowledge at that point.

      On the other hand, the wacko finds something unique and just runs with it, not caring about implications or building confidence. Note that Tony has nothing critical to say about the other 30, as they all occupy some fantasy science world. Tony lives in Anecdote Land, which is orthogonal to Iron Sun Land, which is orthogonal to Sky Dragon Land, etc.

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      Recommend an Uncertainties Resource Page
      Re: “Being spectacularly wrong on a regular basis is a sure recipe for
      having no contracts”
      Is there a way to evaluate and post the accuracy of differing models in predicting real world results? E.g. like WUWT’s “Resource” page, to have a resource page highlighting posts and papers that identify and quantify the uncertainties, evaluate or track how well the various programs programs. I have really appreciated Lucia’s careful systematic evaluation of the uncertainties of the IPCC climate model predictions against subsequent temperatures and showing how that varies with base period, length etc.
      I have been amazed at how “spectacularly wrong” most of the IPCC models are in many areas.
      I found interesting Nicola Scafetta’s comparisons of the predictions his natural oscillation based models against IPCC’s.
      Similarly Fred Singer’s identifying how widely variant were the individual runs and how few reports showed those runs, and how few had sufficient runs to give good statistical significance.
      Koutsoyiannis’ evaluations of how “well” (poorly) the various models performed against regional weather was especially an eye opener.
      David Stockwell proved with hind/forecasting that the CSIRO’s climate models predicting drought instead of flood. etc.

      Suggest a post casting for categories, then taking each category and asking for submissions of papers highlighting the uncertainties in that area. You could probably get volunteers to help in their area of interest.

    • When I retire from Georgia Tech, I will be able to spend more time doing stuff like this. I did think of trying to add categories to the recent posts (say last 6 months), but some how the category option seems to have disappeared. I will try to get some help next week to get this back. Agreed, i would like to rethink the categories (with luck, I can wipe out some/most of the old categories and start over).

    • @joshua

      It seems that I am not the only one who can be careful with language

      For you say

      ‘The goal is certainly not frequently to objectively present the relative merits and demerits of a product relative to the competitors – which is what should be the standard in academia’

      And I’m sure we can all agree that would be a desirable end that it should be the way things are done in academia. ‘Should’ is a very useful word. ‘Should’ can describe anything you like.

      But we know that whatever the academic standard ‘should’ be, in practice it isn’t what you describe.. We can read the Climategate e-mails to see that objective truth comes a long way down their list of priorities and far behind stealing a march on those who they view as competitors/opponents. ‘Winning’ was far more important to them than being correct. ‘I’ll keep it out of the peer-reviewed literature, even if I have to redefine what peer-reviewed means’ does not show that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth was their watchword.

      And if we view a published paper as not only a description of the previous work, but also as an advertisement for the next tranche of funding and/or next career move, then it is clear that there is just as much pressure on the authors to make the bast case they can for their efforts being new and different and exciting and worthy of further study (and money) as ever there was for my efforts in IT.

      So I fear your morality tale of the white clad fearless academic seekers after truth compared with the dodgy back clad evil private sector sales guys tries to draw a distinction without a difference. We all try to make the best case we can – wherever we work – , and it is disingenuous to pretend that we don’t.

    • I see a few nerves have been touched. Good. Let me say “hear, hear” to what Judith said. There’s nothing more humbling than a spectacular screw-up in the real world. And nobody ever achieves anything significant without going through that rite of passage. I’m just glad that when I did it, I was quick thinking enough to be able to blame it on equipment, and learn from it not to do it again. But I did learn from the experience. The truly dangerous people in this world are the ones who screw up, weasel out, and get promoted over and over.

      Like that guy who isn’t in that chair.

    • David L. Hagen

      curryja
      I affirm restoring “categories” when you can.
      Encourage much more detailed categories to be able to better find posts on a particular subject. Especially break down your “uncertainty” categories.
      Random/Type A, Systematic/Type B, Total error;
      Conventional standard error, Hurst-Kolmogorov standard error;
      Random, Markov, Hurst Kolmogorov, Hurst Kolmogorov-Bias;
      Knowns, Known Unknowns, Unknown Unknowns.
      Global, regional, local. Land, Ocean, glaciers;
      Glaciers: Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayan, Andes.
      Noise: white noise, pink noise, red noise;
      etc.

      Systematic Type B may be as large as Random/Type A errors, but are rarely specifically identified, let alone quantified.
      The HK standard error (including long term persistance) is about double the classical standard error. Koutsoyiannis et al. at ITIA

    • I studied with world-leading economists etc at LSE, and was research assistant to Dick (R G) Lipsey at Essex. I’ve worked with, and drawn on the work of, many academics in my role as an economic policy adviser. I’ve also travelled widely, often for long periods, and lived in several countries. I’ve also worked as, inter alia, a building labourer, tree feller, journalist and teacher. I’ve had a brief (profitable but illegal) foray into business years ago. I’ve done voluntary work, often as chairman of a body, almost continuously since 1973. Economics often deals in aggregates and abstractions, travelling overland through Eastern Europe and Asia that the economic world actually consisted of myriads of people doing things, making decisions, in a great variety of ways and environments, on a daily basis. That’s my background for addressing Latimer’s point, and my experience (mostly but not entirely with economists) bears it out.

      For example, innovation is a major contributor to economic growth. If, like me, your focus is on drivers of growth, you have to be across innovation. I have several times had to seek academics from Brisbane’s three well-regarded universities to join government bodies on R&D and innovation, and found none with relevant experience or expertise. UQ did (in the 1990s) however have about 40 economic experts on subsistence farming in PNG.

      I’ve mentioned my critique of the Queensland Government’s economic policy paper Drivers of Economic Growth, which evolved from a group including SEQ’s leading academic economists, mostly expert modellers. At the first meeting I attended, I could immediately see serious problems with data presented, which none of the academics, all familiar with the work, had missed. The academics had no grasp of policy, and the policy proposals which emerged where in practice not viable in the Queensland public service environment; and the final papers which fed into the government’s policies were generally seriously flawed – I sent my draft critique to one of the authors, who fully accepted my criticisms, including that his conclusions were not supported by his data.

      The academics who taught me at LSE were all advisors to government and/or business; I understood economics as a tool to change the world rather than an abstract exercise. I’ve found those academic economists who closely engage with the non-academic world to have a much greater understanding of relevant and implementable policy than the many who do not.

      I would not therefore delegate policy development on major issues to academics with narrow expertise and limited non-academic experience. It appears that many climate scientists feel that their expertise in one particular area qualifies them to determine policies which will have a major impact on billions all over the world. They don’t, I’m glad some of them read CE and get some different perspectives.

    • Faustino
      @ September 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      I’d suggest you post a copy of that comment on the “Denizens thread. It let’s other readers see what you’ve done. It would be valuable for others who miss this comment to be able to see it.

    • “Any people with good ideas are welcomed to contribute them. It is very democratic that way.”

      That is just what LA is so bitter about; the discrimination against fantasy, ignorance, and stupidity. As long as that exists in science, LA and his fellow deniers, who have been so successful in attracting media attention and politic patronage, will find themselves at a disadvantage in the world of science.

      The objectivity of science is a threat to ideologues. Discrimination against stupidity is among its best features, but will always provoke a natural resentment from those that can’t make the cut.

    • Web

      Why do you make up things and then pretend other people such as me actually said them?

      I commented above that You claimed i made a comment about Belgium that I never said and now you have made up some imaginary comment about a supposed ski trip to verbier. You also made up the story about traversing the north west passage or didnt bother to check it

      Utter bilge. Do try and stick to repeating what has actually been said instead of making it up to suit your own purposes

      Tonyb

    • “What has been a real eye opener for me has been my forays into the private sector, where real decisions and big $$ hinge on my predictions. Being spectacularly wrong on a regular basis is a sure recipe for having no contracts.”

      Classic Dan Ackroyd line in Ghostbusters: “I’ve been in the private sector. They expect results!”

    • It seems it would be rather easy to assay the history of climate scientists.
      1. You know them personally.
      2. Most probably have CVs or bios.
      3. Survey them asking their education and work experience.
      The hard part will lie in getting responses.

    • Marvelously key point, here, Judy, upon which I wish you would elucidate. Why is ‘the name of the game’, judgment of uncertainties, prohibited in government, and encumbered by Con. of Int. in academia?
      ===============

    • I’m not asking you to defend ‘prohibited’ and ‘made cumbersome’ because I realize those are both very brief sketches of a profound insight. Maybe you shouldn’t answer quickly now, but consider the topic for a longer piece.
      ===============

    • @judith

      It would be very interesting to hear more about your experiences in the commercial sector and how it differs from that in academe. And equally from anyone with commercial experience who has found themselves in the academic world.

    • actually, i think we have enough material and ideas for a thread. will try to get one up in few days.

    • @judith

      Splendid! Please leave it till the weekend as I’ll be mostly away from the internet until then………

    • Uh oh. Now I’m gonna have to ‘deeply consider’.
      =================

    • curryja | September 2, 2012 at 10:59 am | stated:

      “…Hence probabilities and scenarios and assessment of confidence level in individual forecasts is the name of the game. …. In govt, this is prohibited; ”

      Prohibited? This is a generalization and as written is flat out incorrect. Just scratch a little at the surface:

      The extent to which uncertainty is ubiquitous in USEPA human health risk assessment methodologies, RCRA monitoring, Superfund contaminant cleanup-levels, on and on … a history of evolving positions, research, guidance documentation, software development, database development. I can point to a 1980 publication dealing probability, utility theory, etc. One of the first widely used geostatistics (think kriging*) came out of the EPA Las Vegas office in the 1980s. Use of geostatistics is considered in some EPA guidance. Modern statistical methodologies, monte carlo, bootstrap, data quality objective, inter-agency reviews, risk communication–all of this says that dealing with uncertainty is important, was funded, and was not prohibited. And much of the material is available. Do toxicology studies and databases prohibit assessment of uncertainties? No.

      * The ability to local uncertainty estimates is a key attribute of kriging–I prefer to say geostatistics. Uncertainty is so much at the core of geostatistics and it just baffles me that BEST fails to address this ‘standard fixture’ aspect in their presentation. This is especially so given uncertainty is the 800 pound climate gorilla.

      2.) The 1980′s were the golden years for USDOE support in geostatistics, risk and decision analysis.

      4.) Look at the efforts vis-a-vis uncertainty on Yucca Mountain.

      5.) What about PRA by the NRC?

      6.) What about DOE and NRC guidance/reference documents address uncertainty in fate and transport parameters–even attempting to quantify (with caveat) PROBABILITY distributions?

      7.) In the environmental arena the USGS and USACE also have been proactive in providing guidance in handling of uncertainty…and so has the DOD.

      Prohibited? No the government was there decades ago. Now, I am not judging and merits or failings with these efforts–that is not the pointer. But I certainly acknowledge the time and effort spent and the importance placed on uncertainty by many US government agencies. However, to state ‘prohibition’ is a disservice. Witness kim’s comments soon after Judy’s.

      My impression is that academia is many times poorly informed about what happens in government beyond their contact’s domain, and vice-versa.

      Latimer–it’s a darn good topic.

      mwg

    • I think her “this” refers to commercial consulting. Your partial quotation changes the reference of the “this”.

    • Heh, I agree; it makes more sense. Oh well, topic worth further deep consideration, anyway.
      =================

    • Hi David,

      I read ‘this’ to refer to ‘this kind of experience’ that in turn refers to experience in assessing probabilities, blah, blah. ‘forays’ aka experience is a couple of up. However, I do think your interpretation was likely her intent if not result. Saw double this’s as ambiguous and my parser went to entire preceding statement by default.

      Appreciate your read.

    • Government employees are prohibited from consulting (paid) for the private sector.

    • Latimer Alder

      Does anybody else feel that this would be a good topic?

      Yes. I think you make a valid and important point. I think it would be an excellent topic for a discussion thread.

    • Latimer,

      By contrast, sceptics come from a huge variety of backgrounds and career experiences…………….. they all have a long history of solving real world problems and of working with a breadth of different views and skills etc etc

      So you’re saying that a career in accountancy, or economics, or mining can be useful in climatology? Anyone can be an expert on any and everything?

      I don’t know about you but if I need my teeth fixing I go to a dentist. Maybe you’d be able to do just as good a job, but, thanks all the same, I’d rather not take the chance.

    • @tempterrain

      Dentistry is a very practical and detailed skill and requires many hours of training and experience to get right. It is also pretty much a unique skill. In UK at least I believe it is a five year university course before you are allowed to practice. And it is regulated by a quasi independent body.

      If and when you can demonstrate that the same things are true of climatologists, I’m prepared to listen.

      But I haven’t tye seen anything truly ‘different’ about climatologists apart from the fact that – like priests in a seminary – they all seem to think the same way about doomsday.

      And when it comes to critical thinking and rational assessment of evidence, then a career in any of the non-academic branches you mention is of great use. As is engineering and – dare I say – the law. In all of these you have to try to make sense of a lot of information that may be in conflict with each other. And you have to do that quickly and you put your balls on the line each time you do so. Not jst write a paper about it.That’s a skill and an experience that is pretty much invaluable for most professions.

  32. Bleeding edge would be to get a kill-file add-on working. Imagine how much more pleasant the blog would be if readers could choose to ignore, by name, lolwot, Joshua, fang of more discord, myself, and others. You’d be a real trend-setter in the blogosphere. Lack of kill-files like we had in Usenet forums is a major step backwards. Threading would help more if the threads were collapsible, by the way, but it’s an improvement nonetheless over non-threaded IMO.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David Springer and Latimer Alder, it must sober you — as it sobers all thoughtful citizens — to reflect that the physical reality of AGW, and the radiative transport processes that are its foundation, and the computing machines that are its engines, and the rockets that carry the main sensors of climate science, all were pioneered by the 20th century’s single greatest polymath, John von Neumann:

      Can We Survive Technology?

      All major weather phenomena are ultimately controlled by the solar energy that falls on the earth … The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by industry’s burning of coal and oil — more than half of it during the last generation — may have changed the atmosphere’s composition sufficiently to account for a general warming of the world by about degree Fahrenheit.

      Intervention in atmospheric and climatic matters will come in a few decades, and will unfold on a scale difficult to imagine at present.  … Such actions would be more directly and truly worldwide than recent, or presumably, future wars, or the economy at any time.

      All this will merge each nation’s affairs with those of every other, more thoroughly than the threat of a nuclear or any other war would have done.

         — John von Neumann (1955)

      That is a strikingly fore-sighted analysis, eh Latimer Alder?

      John von Neumann was himself an ardent and well-respected political conservative, and so perhaps the appropriate question for discussion here on Climate Etc is simply this: “How has it come about, that the brave, science-respecting, rational, politically conservative, foresighted statemanship of the 1950s, has devolved so horribly into today’s timid, science-denying, self-serving, short-sighted, politics-first sloganeering of the 2010s?   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :?:

      The world wonders, eh Latimer Alder?   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      How is it that American conservatism has devolved to be so stupid? How can discourse on Climate Etc help, to reverse this devolution toward timid short-sightededness and immorally selfish stupidity?   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

    • @A Fan

      No point in asking me about American conservatism. US politics simply baffles 98% of all Brits.

      I guess it all comes from you not having a proper monarch since your uppity insurgency a while back. Instead you have a succession of presidents of greater or lesser capability who come and go with monotonous regularity……………

    • “von Neumann clearly thought 15 degree F increase in temperature might be a desirable outcome might be desirable if we could predict the other consequences such as rising sea levels and altered hydrology. An ability that we might have by 2080.”

      It seems in the future we might want a 15 F or 8 C increase in temperature. Mainly because the no particular advantage for our world to be in million year Ice Age period.
      A 15 F increase in global temperature within a century exceeds any reasonable expectations, the effect of such sudden rise in temperature would have some affects, and melting polar caps seems to be most serious issue related to such increase.
      Whereas a 15 F increase in global temperature over the next couple thousands of years would significant difference in terms of being a serious issue.
      It seems rather nature causing such increase to be likely human purposeful caused such increase- because it would make the world a better place.
      The Russians were interested in the idea making large space reflectors, in order to provide mostly light during their winters. Such an idea if pursued could lead to warming of winter regions- thereby have an effect upon global temperature.
      I can envision in the future selective warming of certain regions. For example Canada as large islands in it’s northern territory, one of being Victoria Island:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Island_%28Canada%29
      ” It is nearly double the size of Newfoundland (111,390 km2 (43,008 sq mi)), and is slightly larger than the island of Great Britain (209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi)). The western third of the island belongs to the Inuvik Region in the Northwest Territories; the remainder is part of Nunavut’s Kitikmeot Region.”

      Suppose the native people would turn island into tourist location- a summer resort during the winter periods. So the buy satellites, which reflect enough sunlight to provide sunlight and warm conditions, for part of island.
      Such idea used in many parts of the world and perhaps over larger areas with maybe tropical condition, but rather not so darn cold.
      If this were to be commonly done and big enough regions, it could significant affect global average temperatures.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘All major weather phenomena are ultimately controlled by the solar energy that falls on the earth … The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by industry’s burning of coal and oil — more than half of it during the last generation — may have changed the atmosphere’s composition sufficiently to account for a general warming of the world by about degree Fahrenheit…(p40)

      Probably intervention in atmospheric and climatic matters will come in a few decades, and will unfold on a scale difficult to imagine at present. (p41) … Such actions would be more directly and truly worldwide than recent, or presumably, future wars, or the economy at any time… (p42)

      All this will merge each nation’s affairs with those of every other, more thoroughly than the threat of a nuclear or any other war would have done.’ (p42)

      There fixed the shameles cutting and pasting designed to take the quotes out of context and present as if connected in a cogent narrative about carbon dioxide. All so Fan of more BS can tell another of his nonsensical parables about the wise son and the foolish son – I would add the lying and dishonest son.

      von Neumann clearly thought 15 degree F increase in temperature might be a desirable outcome might be desirable if we could predict the other consequences such as rising sea levels and altered hydrology. An ability that we might have by 2080.

    • I’m a big Johnnie vN fan, but he also advocated a nuclear first strike against the USSR. His argument wasn’t unreasonable, and for a math genius he had a pretty good grasp of practical affairs, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to treat the guy as an oracle.

    • Mark B (number 2)

      I told a prolific poster (apparently the most prolific,according to a count made by Judith 2 weeks back) that I would simply ignore any comments he made about my postings. He had a little whine, then disappeared.
      But I agree that it would be better if I could just block these people from my view, by just pressing a button.
      (But fan brightens up the place with all these splashes of yellow and sensationalist headlines, so I wouldn’t want to block him) :)

    • Poor little Marky, I haven’t gone anywhere. I have this thing called a “job.” It’s part of the whole “responsible adult” thing which — well, it probably wouldn’t interest you.

      I loved it when you responded to the thorough spanking I gave you by promising never to argue with me again. I praised your wisdom in recognizing when you were out of your league. Yet here you are just a few days later writing about me. Having problems letting go?

    • Poor little Marky, I haven’t gone anywhere. I have this thing called a “job.” It’s part of the whole “responsible adult” thing which — well, it probably wouldn’t interest you.

      I loved it when you responded to the thorough spanking I gave you by promising never to argue with me again. I praised your wisdom in recognizing when you were out of your league. Yet here you are just a few days later writing about me. Having problems letting go?

      ———

      Dear Judith,

      This is the sort of irrelevant, self-righteous, juvenile last-wordism that increasingly blights your blog. Your blog was brilliant at the start and still occasionally is but it has been targeted by alarmists who are clearly afraid of its implications for “consensus climate science” and are, sadly, succeeding in bringing it down into the gutter. The repetitive personal attacks on you are very disturbing to the reader who comes to this blog in good faith to learn something.

      A blog is not a democracy for all and sundry with an axe to grind to make into a battle ground. PLEASE try somehow to cut out the strident, snide, nerdish and personal backbiting from the bunch of self-regarding twerps who now so disfigure this fine enterprise.

      When your blog first appeared I read it much more than I do today. Now I am just disgusted with the tone and content of so many of the messages. I don’t want to have to scroll by the trolls. I just don’t want trolls here at all – PLEASE!

    • “PLEASE try somehow to cut out the strident, snide, nerdish and personal backbiting from the bunch of self-regarding twerps who now so disfigure this fine enterprise.”

      Unfortunately, Dr Curry and the Warmer Trolls are interested in realizing the same outcome. I don’t think she’ll lift a finger to moderate them, so matter how ridiculous their comments continue to be.

      Andrew

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      I second marchesarosa’s requests.

    • It would also be nice to be able to highlight comments or open up branches based on time stamps. Make it easy to see what may have been added to a discussion later without having to wade thru it. Also I sometimes feel that it is not worth commenting on something that has slipped into the past. That would change if I felt that relevance did not necessarily fade by not being strictly current.

    • Agreed, but I wish I knew how to do this in word press

    • CMS,

      Make it easy to see what may have been added to a discussion later without having to wade thru it. Also I sometimes feel that it is not worth commenting on something that has slipped into the past. That would change if I felt that relevance did not necessarily fade by not being strictly current.

      IMO, this works best on threads with no nesting.

    • To me, that sounds like a pi**ing contest taken up a notch with technology.

  33. Can anyone think of any recent examples of the scientist-statesman?

    Where are the modern-day Ben Franklins?

  34. “Latimer Alder | September 2, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    I was prompted in this thought by two recent conversations with very distinguished academics. One is active in climate matters, the other is an FRS in an unrelated field.

    Both of them are ‘fifty-somethings’, yet neither have ever held a job other than in academia, and while one has had the occasional sabbatical year abroad they are both proud that they have never really left the institution that they arrived at as 17/18 year old undergraduates.

    In the commercial world it would be extremely rare for anybody approaching ‘elder statesman’ status to have had such a limited breadth of experience. It would be seen as far too narrow to give the wide perspective that is needed in such a role. And in many other spheres of public life, appointments to leadership positions are made taking due account of breadth as well as depth of experience.

    So it seems to be a bit of a paradox how ‘climate scientists’ have somehow abrogated to themselves the conceit that they are and should be the only parties allowed to speak on the issue. And even odder that ‘we’ have let them get away with it for so long.”

    Well surely climate scientists can just learn about the commercial world by reading a few blogs. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work the otherway round?

    • @lolwot

      You ask

      ‘Well surely climate scientists can just learn about the commercial world by reading a few blogs. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work the otherway round?’

      If the relatiionship was symmetrical you;d have a point. But it isn’t, and so you don’t.

      ‘Climate science’ is at heart an analytical pursuit. The purpose is to study, analyse and publish results. We can argue at length about how well it does this, but that is its essence. The practitioners are in general back-office studious types whose chosen form of action is via words and reports and blogs and ‘knowledge’. ‘Success’ in this world is measured by publications. There are thousands of journals about climate science and reports and all that sort of stuff for which the internet and blogs are brilliantly designed.

      By contrast the commercial world is an intensely active world. it is about trading and buying and selling and *doing things*. And few who are really successful at this have either the desire or the time to post on blogs…they are much more interested in doing the next deal or thinking about the next big project.

      The commercial world doesn’t do a lot of introspection. There is no real equivalent to making a lifelong reputation by publishing a good paper or two. To quote from Mick and Keef – who know the commercial world at least as well as they know Rock and Roll

      ‘Yesterday don’t matter if its gone’

      And there is absolutely no equivalent of ‘tenure’. You are only as good as your last achievement – and the promise of your next one.

      So – no – in practice you can’t learn about commerce from blogs or textbooks. Any more than you can learn all about driving a car from a textbook or become a forensic technician from watching CSI and dreaming of being Greg Sanders. They can give you the theoretical part of what you need to know, but not about the rest which comes from actually doing it.

  35. “I disagree strongly, because issues have a natural tree structure, which is central to understanding. I would prefer to see unlimited nesting, so as to capture every line of thought. See my little textbook on this, if needed: http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf

    Without the nesting we have the hopeless situation where detailed discussion of a specific, narrow issue is scattered throughout the entire string of comments. It is these structured discussions, not individual posts, that are important. What I would really like to see is visualization of these issue trees.”

    I actually prefer the single thread model and intend to stick to this myself.

    • I don’t know what you mean by a single thread model. The discussion diverges repeatedly, no matter how it is displayed, so there is no single thread. Without nesting we simply have a temporal linear sequence, which does not display the actual divergences in the discussion.

    • I don’t know what you mean by a single thread model. The discussion diverges repeatedly, no matter how it is displayed, so there is no single thread.

      Yes. If you allow only two levels of hierarchy, say, the detailed back-and-forth will pretty much just take place one level down. Perhaps there would be fewer comments between two discussants because people might get frustrated with the inability to target a reply to a specific comment without taking the time to do so explicitly (by referencing the time stamp), but I doubt the overall quality of exchange would be significant. If I’m not mistaken, Judith has already limited the levels of hierarchy – can anyone say that they’ve noticed a significant effect?

      I go to LGF a lot – and it has the best comment interface I’ve seen on the Internet. It is a flat hierarchy visually, but there are two “reply” buttons- one that automatically quotes the comment you’re referring to or, alternately, allows you to only automatically refer to the time stamp and nic of the comment you’re responding to.

      It works pretty well – but I don’t think it limits the number of vituperative exchanges because of the flat comment interface. It does make it more difficult, IMO, to follow the discussions that I find interesting – but trying to blame personal behaviors on the specific structure of the blog seems like a non-starter to me. No one forces anyone to read their comments. There is an inherent problem with someone is looking for an extrinsic structure to control their own behavior. I do have to say that I find such an appeal ironic when it is being made by “conservatives.”

    • ZOMG. LGF is the laughingstock of the blogosphere. According to Alexa, something like 95% of other sites load faster. Warts and all, at least WordPress was written by real programmers who have done more in their careers than “mouse-ka-mania”. Jeez, Louise.

      Read and learn: http://diaryofdaedalus.com/

    • Hmmm. Linking to Diary of Daedalus? Are you aware of the background of that site? Fascist apologize much?

      LGF does load very slowly.

      On the other hand, it has some great features. You have something like 90 seconds after you make a post to edit typos and the like. It has a very good preview feature. Like I said, you can automatically open a reply with a quote or a time stamp reference. It has buttons for formatting features. It is extremely easy to embed videos, images, and other kinds of links. The comment ratings system is interesting – although I don’t think that it helps much in reducing noise and probably only exacerbates the “Trolls are people I don’t like” phenomenon. You can set it up to automatically refresh to show new comments. The internal search engine is really useful – you can search a list of your own comments by keywords – or combine search terms among all the blog comments and posts. The pages features (where users can post their own pages that sometimes get promoted to the main page) is something that I think would actually be very useful at Climate Etc., – and might very well reduce the noise to signal ratio of the top-level posts.

      Anyway, I have not run across many comment interfaces that I think are less useful than this one. To each his/her own. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla. That’s why they have horse races.

    • Couldn’t help but think about this discussion here, when I read the following article about Eastwood’s “empty chair” speech:

      However, from the therapeutic perspective, one problem with the way Mr. Eastwood used the empty chair is that he did not sit in the chair himself and put himself in the president’s shoes. Often people feel better having the opportunity to excoriate someone in the empty chair. Certainly it’s enjoyable, and perhaps even cathartic, to be able to say angry and sarcastic things to someone who has hurt or disappointed us. Perhaps Mr. Eastwood felt better having that opportunity.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/01/opinion/what-the-chair-could-have-told-clint-eastwood.html?_r=1

      Looks to me like the calls for Judith to find ways to structure the discussion are essentially calls for more empty chairs.

      Pretty much climate blogosphere debate writ large.

    • I fired Clint Eastwood when he totally screwed up his movie about Iwo Jima.

    • George Washington had a fat ass.
      =================

  36. It might be interesting to count the lurkers, which could be defined and measured in many different ways. Say anyone who looks in an average of twice a week for ten weeks, or some such. I think it is typical for lurkers to outnumber posters by 20 to 1 or more. For example, I have run a miniature CE since 1998 in my Climatechangedebate.org Yahoo! group. We have a steady 300 or so members but fewer than 15 regular posters. Thus CE may have well over 1,000 regular lurkers, perhaps several thousand.

  37. JC

    You recently said protecting the integrity of science is a great cause.

    I agree. Hope we have many happy anniversaries of Climate Etc to protect that integrity.

    Continue not to be affected by your detractors.

    Thank you for Climate Etc.

  38. Dr Curry,

    Some comments drawing mostly on specific remarks in your posting. First, a preliminary–I acknowledge that everything has a cost, every little decision has an up side and a down side. This applies to hosting a blog.

    1.) “…Well, the climate dittohead blogs now pretty much completely ignore me (which is a blessing, after trying to discredit me as stupid, etc.)”

    Comment: More than a blessing–it must reflect some intrinsic maybe saintly virtue.

    2.) “The large majority of readers are ‘silent’ and don’t comment. There is no way for me to know who these readers are,… and who send me an email commenting about something. The community continues to shy away from engaging in the blogosphere. Unfortunate, but I can’t say that I blame them given the generally vitriolic nature of the blogosphere.”

    Comment: Participating while wearing scientist’s (engineer’s, etc.) requires a degree reflection on what is said and how–scientific integrity, professionalism and all that. That is time; vitriolic, off-topic meanderings and rapid fire work against time at the comment level. Also when one goes through a work day full of even routine aggravations how many sane people want to go and seek out more. And then some personalities are just naturally reticent to engage outside the own world.

    There are some parallels with the classroom here too.

    3.) “On a typical day, the top 7 commenters account for about 25% of the comments.”

    Comment: That horse has been thoroughly beaten, but it ain’t going anywhere.

    4.) “In terms of topics, the rapid fire demands of trying to post frequently preclude much strategic thinking in terms of topics (and also my responding to many of the comments). I mostly react to current news or current papers, although these may languish in my draft file for awhile and end up getting posted well after their ‘timeliness’ date.”

    Comment: Those same constraints that you work with in selecting a topic, also are imposed on on any commenter. Rapid-fire works against deliberation and costs time. Throw in the ‘thread-jacking’ and off-topic text dilutions, and a simple cost-benefit consideration by a potential commenter probably may well result in a ‘pass’.

    In the long-run rapid-fire is not conductive to serious consideration of science or policy (or religion, philosophy. …) In that context rapid-fire is about as useful as a d*mn factoid. It is too often vapid-fire.

    5.) “One of the most rewarding aspects of running this blog is being exposed to a broader range of ideas and papers that I otherwise would have encountered, and meeting new people.”

    Comment: And in turn this exposure informs your readers. The openness (relative to that of the genre) of the site and light-if-any moderation also facilitate outside contributions representing different camps. You get people into the room in a context more constructive than a raid into enemy territory, although such raids are still evident.

    6.) It is interesting that many blog postings have a palpable finite ‘useful content’ half-life–the measure of time being the number of postings. (The laws of [human] nature must be obeyed, just as those of nuclear physics must be obeyed). Blog renormalization: via bare comment interactions a posting is dressed, acquires mass and slows down.
    Perhaps some cynic should start a pool on how long you can maintain the blog in its present state. ;o)

    Anyway, congratulations on the anniversary and I hope you continue to have the success shown to date. Thanks.

    ctrl-D

  39. Dr. Curry:
    Thank you for the time and intellectual energy you have put into making this site a valuable contribution to climate news and climate science discussions…

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      danj posts  ” Dr. Curry: Thank you for the time and intellectual energy you have put into making this site a valuable contribution to climate news and climate science discussions.”

      *EVERYONE* who reads and comments upon Climate Etc can echo this sentiment! Thank you Dr. Curry!   :)   :!: :!: :!:   :)

      ————-

      BREAKING NEWS  The US Coast Guard icebreaker Healty is presently sailing at 82° North and is encountering only tattered remnants of sea-ice.   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      This is a huge change even from two years ago … the planet’s climate-change is accelerating beyond all expectations, eh?   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      ————-

      CONTINUING CLIMATE ETC LEADERSHIP  My dad was fond of a saying that was taught to him at West Point: “Good leaders figure out where events are going, and get out in front.”

      Following this leadership principle, here are three paths by which Climate Etc can be a leading forum:

      ————-

      Responsible Principle I:    Focus our data analyses upon datasets that are global, redundant, and accurate. Here the gold standards are ARGO sea temperatures, GRACE mass-loss, and satellite altimetry (this obviates denialist quibbles over local fluctuations in low-quality data).

      Responsible Principle II:    Focus our theoretical analyses upon energy balance analysis on generational time-scales (this obviates denialist quibbles over statistical fluctuations in decadal-scale turbulent dynamics).

      Responsible Principle III:    Focus our economic analyses upon optimizing welfare upon multi-generational time-scales (this obviates denialist economic quibbles that immorally discount the welfare of future generations).

      ————-

      Denialists will of course focus upon precisely the opposite kinds of analyses: short-sighted near-term economic analyses (“drill baby, drill!”), decadal fluctuations in climate dynamics (“we understand nothing!”), and cherry-picked local data (“we observe nothing!”).

      Know-nothing climate-change denialism amounts to foolishly irrelevant quibbling, eh?   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      Know-nothing climate-change denialism is no part of proper conservatism *or* proper progressivism, eh?   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      Know-nothing climate-change denialism is wrong scientifically, wrong economically, wrong morally … and just plain wrong for our children and grandchildren.   :eek:   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

    • Those who can’t obviate, bloviate

    • I do appreciate da Fan. I do think those 3 principles have great merit.

      1. We are stuck in a signal-to-noise limited environment. This isn’t like monitoring crude oil depletion, where the cornucopians try to hide the decline, but can’t. Instead, rely on a plurality of different signals, which increase our level of confidence, aka Bayes.

      2. I am a big fan of mean value analysis, which is often referred to as first-order physics. Most of the long-term outcomes rely only on the mean value of some macroscopic effect, be it radiative forcing, CO2 concentrations, etc. Fluctuations are just that, unimportant to the long term.

      3. What can I say but that is where the logic takes us. Humankind will eventually have to wean itself from its fossil fuel milk. The climate skeptic babies will cry and throw tantrums, but mommy’s milk is not meant to last. Go for the renewable bovine stuff perhaps, but do something instead of turning blue in the face.

      That is my paraphrasing of fan’s 3-principles view, which I think reinforces and perhaps crystallizes my own rationalization for treating this as an important scientific analysis.

    • The Left seems to live on the edge of a cliff of their own design and they are diametrically opposed to those who recognize their limitations and have an unquenchable desire to reach for the moon and fall among the stars. The Left should live like Al Gore if they choose to. The rest of us have the right to decide whether we will be that hypocritical. We have the right to choose honesty and truth over superstition and ignorance.

      As someone who personally experienced central planning and attempts to organize the whole society from above, I feel obliged to warn against the arguments and ambitions which are very similar to those we had to live with decades ago. The arrogance with which the GWD alarmists and their fellow-travelers in politics and media want to suppress the market, control the society, dictate the prices (directly or indirectly by means of various interventions, including taxes) is something I know well from the past. All the old, already almost forgotten economic arguments against communism should be repeated now. It is our duty to do so. ~Václav Klaus

      Skepticism is a part of the scientific method. To question science is called scholarship. I have the right to be skeptical about whether the Left will ever stop lying or preaching about the coming global warming doomsday brought about by modernity.

      Lying is the modus operandi of the Left—e.g., first, we begin with a flood somewhere in the world and the facts surrounding the flood – and then the Left will simply ignore any facts that do not conform with their ideologically-motivated preconceptions. For example…

      Illegal logging supported by the Taliban in the northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has felled as much as 70% of the forest in some districts. The lack of trees, combined with overgrazing by livestock, reduces the soil’s ability to hold water and leads to soil erosion. Flash flooding in the northern, mountainous areas then sends silt downstream, reducing the amount of water the river channel can hold. Diverting the Indus through irrigation channels has encouraged people to build closer to or even in the river channel. Many of the irrigation channels are built using techniques from the 18th century. (i.e., simple facts according to Curry and Webster)

      But the Left has its own facts. The Left says America caused the flood and then they marginalize scientific skeptics, demonize capitalism, stab the productive in the back for driving to work in an SUV and declare jihad on Wal-Mart, hamburgers and the entire free enterprise economy and attack Bush and Gov. Palin and every other political leader after them who have the courage to stand up for America.

    • @A Fan

      And if and when your ‘generational-level’ theoretical analysis has been shown by generational-level observations to be pretty close to what the real world actually does, then maybe I’ll be persuaded to listen to the rest of your CAGW sales pitch.

      But until then, you’re stuck with near real time stuff. And the theoretical analysis at this level is such crap when compared with reality as to be a joke. No wonder many (myself included) are even more sceptical of the longer ones.

      If you find accurately navigating on a short journey of a few years to be completely beyond your capabilities, whyTF should we rely on you to get us across a century or more?

    • @A Fan

      I should have read to the end of your ramblings where, right on cue, is the last vestige of the emotionalist who knows they have no case but wants to grab the heartstrings of any passing mental defective:

      ‘Will nobody think of the children?’

      Reminds me of Wilde’s celebrated one liner on Dickens’ famous scene

      ‘One would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without dissolving into tears…of laughter.’

      Grow up, A Fan! Save the emoting for your career in Am Dram.You’d make a good vacuous 1920s fop in an Agatha Christie. Preferably murdered halfway through Act 1. . And your bow tie is soooooo right for the part.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wagathon and Latimer Alder, please let me say that your questions are easy to answer, and indeed the answers are plain common-sense!   :)   :lol:   :grin:   :!:

      Scientists and engineers find it impossible to predict the second-by-second turbulent flow over a 787′s wings and through its engines.   :shock:   :dad:   :cry:   :?:

      And yet isn’t it remarkable, Wagathon and Latimer Alder — and fortunate for pilots and passengers! — that scientists and engineers CAN accurately predict a 787′s flight path, minute-by-minute?   :)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

      Aircraft like 787s fly safely because the long-term stability imposed by global conservation and thermodynamics dominates the short-term fluctuations associated to turbulent dynamics. Good!

      As with aircraft dynamics on a time-scale of minutes and hours, so with climate dynamics on a time-scale of decades and generations. In both cases the “big picture” is clear … and allows responsible conservatives *AND* progressives to accept the responsibility for rational stewardship of airplane passengers *AND* future generations.

      That’s why these principles are *NOT* complicated, Latimer Alder and Wagathon! Fortunately!   :)   :lol:   :grin:   :!:

    • @A Fan

      And the designers can demonstrate that the 787 can fly in practice as well as in theory by actually flying it for many hours.

      Using the same analogy, you currently have a theoretical model of an aeroplane. But it has never taken off, let alone flown successfully. And its predecessor blew up on the taxiway..

      When it has flown a standard fifty years without problems come back and we’ll talk about making a production model, not just a theoretical prototype.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Scientists have important news for you, Latimer Alder! Relative to the 1955 analysis of John von Neumann, humanity has now accumulated 50+ years of climate-change “flight experience”! :!: :!: :!:

      And what we see from the mast-camera of the USCG icebreaker Healy at 80°+ north tells us that climate-change control inputs are urgently needed!

      Because in piloting terms, our planet earth is getting “too slow, too low” with respect to climate-changing CO2 inputs. :shock: :?: :shock: :?: :shock:

      Is this plain scientific reality not both evident and sobering to you, Latimer Alder? :shock: :?: :shock: :?: :shock:

    • Hi Fan

      Just imagine how far North these captains from the early part of the 19th Century could have reached with ice breaking ships and navigation aids.

      Two exceprts from my article;

      Intriguingly “Mr. Scoresby, a very intelligent young man” had a renowned father. Whilst Scoresby (senior) like his fellow Whitby neighbour James Cook did not gain this £20,000 reward either, he did reach beyond 81 degrees in 1806, breaking through the ice at Spitzbergen only 510 miles from the North Pole. This achievement was not bettered for 21 years, and then only by travelling for some of the way over the ice, not on board a ship.

      The Arctic Whaling Journals of William Scoresby the Younger. Vol. I. The Voyages of 1811, 1812 and 1813. Edited by C. IAN JACKSON 2003. pp. lxi + 242. 9 monochrome illustrations, 5 maps. ISBN 0 904180 82 4.

      And this;

      http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EpwSAAAAYAAJ&dq=illustrations+of+greenland+1817&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=3cjiizphFa&sig=nFNcBtJE-Bv3DDAf9U4lK2Y-JYg&hl=en&ei=1eEySpGRB4iZjAeItuyBCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

      “We learn that a vessel is to be fitted out by Government for the purpose of attempting again the north-west passage, the season being considered as peculiarly favourable to such an expedition. Our readers need not be informed that larger masses of ice than ever were before known have this year been seen floating in the Atlantic, and that from their magnitude and solidity, they reached even the fortieth latitude before they were melted into a fluid state. From an examination of the Greenland captains, it has been found that owing to some convulsions of nature , the sea was more open and more free from compact ice than in any former voyage they ever made: that several ships actually reached the eighty-fourth degree of latitude, in which no ice whatever was found; that for the first time for 400 years, vessels penetrated to the west coast of Greenland, and that they apprehended no obstacle to their even reaching the pole, if it had consisted with their duty to their employers to make the attempt. This curious and important information has, we learn, induced the Royal Society to apply to ministers to renew the attempt of exploring a north-west passage as well as to give encouragement to fishing vessels to try how far northward they can reach , by dividing the bounty to be given, on the actual discovery, into portions, as a reward for every degree beyond eighty-four that they shall penetrate For the same reason we think it would be advisable for the merchants engaged in the Greenland whale fishery not to postpone the sailing of their ships to the usual season but expedite them at once so as to take advantage of the temporary fresh.”
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/
      tonyb

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Relative to the 1955 analysis of John von Neumann, humanity has now accumulated 50+ years of climate-change “flight experience”!

      And yet we have not demonstrated an ability to make an accurate 20 year ahead prediction. So we can not tell whether any action that we take now will make anything better, make anything worse, or have no perceptible effect by 2050 or 2100. Advocacy is based mainly on the propositions that all of the “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” are negligible.

      Except of course for my advocacy of hedging our bets: some investments in alternative energy sources, some investments in research, some investments in flood control and irrigation systems. I base that on the assertion that at least some of the “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” may prove to be extremely important, but we don’t know which.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: scientists and engineers CAN accurately predict a 787′s flight path, minute-by-minute?

      Before a 787 can carry passengers, it has to pass a bunch of certification tests, to show not only that it can theoretically fly, not only that it looks like its predecessors off the same assembly line, but that it can actually fly. I’d propose that each climate model be subjected so some long and difficult program of testing, and that it pass the tests according to pre-specified criteria for passage, before any one claims that it is accurate. To date, models have done fairly poorly in rather weak tests. At best it is like a 787 that has been made from parts that all might be outside their tolerance specifications, and has never taxied under its own power.

    • @A Fan

      You say

      ‘Relative to the 1955 analysis of John von Neumann, humanity has now accumulated 50+ years of climate-change “flight experience”! :!: :!: :!:’

      I think you’ll find that humanity has actually accumulated somewhere nearer 250,000 years of climate change experience. None of which has proven to be catastrophic.

      The models on which you place so much faith have absolutely no track record at all of successful prediction. Nobody has yet cut any metal for the prototype.

      Come back when its been flying for thirty years.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      MattStat, 787 flight models are required to predict fuel consumption within ±0.25% and to fly landing-patterns with 99.999% reliability. Your arguments would be valid if we required similar accuracy and reliability of climate-change models.

      Which we don’t, eh MatStat?   :!:   :?:   :!:

      That is why it is wiser to reflect upon Feynman’s remarks on certainty, eh MattStat?   :!:   :?:   :!:

    • Tony, you realize that there are maps that go back quite a ways and many russian records. It’s never been like this in recorded human history.

    • Mosh

      Yes, I have many of the maps and charts. They get less reliable the further back in time although I think those from such as the Hudson bay co and the whaling annals are very useful.
      I’ve got some maps back to the 15th century but trying to put those into the same context as those in successive centuries has proved highly problematic.
      Tonyb

    • ha. how would you know they are less reliable unless you have something to check them against, ahem. how do you know they are reliable without something to check them against? That is why history isnt a science.

      When I tell you that a the Healy is at 82N and seeing no ice, we have.

      1. the healy photos to look at.
      2. Aqua photos of ice
      3. Terra photos of ice.
      4. Bouy’s and moorings that report data.

      When captian ahab writes about moby dick, you’ve got an interesting story. might make sense if you have DIFFERENT types of source to to check against.. a proxy, but absent that… I dunno.

    • Steven Mosher
      Tony, you realize that there are maps that go back quite a ways and many russian records. It’s never been like this in recorded human history.

      So you submit that for the last 100,000 years, it has never been this way? Where’s your proof?

    • Never mind Mosh – you said RECORDED human history – a drop in the bucket.

    • Mosh

      A ‘dunno’ from you instead of ‘that’s nonsense’ means were making progress. There are various ways to double check things as you know, sometimes they contradict each other but sometimes they confirm a comment made by a third party.

      Obviously we can’t have photos but do you need that level of proof in the era of photoshop?

      I’m off to the Scott institute in Cambridge to check a few facts out for my next arctic article. The met office also has a good library and archives that I frequently visit.

      A moby dick type of account would be interesting but of no value other than entertainment in a serious article so I’m not sure of it’s relevance . However scientific journals from say the early 1800′s made by such as scoresby or slightly earlier by Cook are of considerable value
      Tonyb

    • Ha, moshe, I think it would be fairly easy to show that for several hundred years, maps got more reliable. Nature of such knowledge.
      =======================================

    • An accurate marine chronometer was developed in the 18th century. This means seamen could accurately determine their location. Wamistas can’t abide historical evidence because it causes painful cognative dissonance. The high priests might have to sacrifice some deniers if this continues.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Your arguments would be valid if we required similar accuracy and reliability of climate-change models.

      I am glad that you raised the issue, explicitly, of how much accuracy and reliability should be required of climate-change models. If we are to “believe” a 100-year forecast (of global average temperature), surely we should demand an inaccuracy of no worse than a half degree K for a 20 year forecast (of global average temperature.) So far, IPCC has not labeled any of its “scenarios” a “prediction”, so they come back to pick and choose among the “scenarios” that they like for some purpose. So we should require at least two things:

      a. a clearly labeled prediction (something other than a mere “scenario”) and

      b. a set of “tolerances” for the set of predictands: (SST, OHC, mean sea level, mean Antarctic ice volume, mean annual Mid-Western rainfall) or whatever is chosen.

      The Earth has a mean temp of about 288K, and the predicted “eventual” result of doubling of CO2 is 2K – 4K, or about 1% of the baseline. 15% inaccuracies in such things as the vertical absolute relative humidity profile at a time of day and height, non-radiative heat transport from surface and lower troposphere to upper troposphere, temperature change in the Southern Ocean, minimum summer Arctic and Antarctic ice volume, cloud cover response to surface warming, and such popular quantities, is probably not good enough.

      Inaccuracies documented to date may not be sufficient to “disconfirm” any particular model (discrepancies between predicted and obtained mean surface temperature may not be “statistically significant”), but they are a basis for “rational” skepticism. Who now would believe, say, a 50-year forecast for rainfall in Queensland Australia, or snowfall in Great Britain?

    • Obviously a prediction would involve predicting what exactly man is going to put into the atmosphere, gases and aerosols, let alone volcanoes, solar activity, farming and irrigation changes, deforestation, etc. This is why none of these are predictions, just scenarios.

    • Climate of Reason sez:

      “Just imagine how far North these captains from the early part of the 19th Century could have reached with ice breaking ships and navigation aids.”

      Navigation aids are one thing but “ice breaking ships”?
      This from two days ago is a good one for your anecdote files.
      http://www.canada.com/technology/Ship+historic+crossing+signals+extent+Arctic+melt/7176411/story.html

      “With a 9.3-metre fibreglass sailboat, Nicolas Peissel and his crewmates were able to do what seasoned explorers on hulking Arctic ships attempted over centuries but never succeeded.

      They crossed the northernmost route of the Northwestern Passages, which connects Baffin Bay to the Arctic Ocean in Canada’s far North.

      “There’s no reason why we should have been able to do that,” Peissel, who hails from the Montreal area, said Friday over satellite phone aboard the Belzebub II, three months into its journey.

      At any other time in history, the M’Clure Strait, the last stretch of land-bound water before the Beaufort Sea, would have been entirely covered in ice.

      But it wasn’t. And the boat, which would have easily been ensnared by ice like those of many explorers before it, is now sailing peacefully on the Beaufort as it heads to Alaska.

      “This is a clear signal that there’s climate change,” Peissel said. And this was the point of the whole journey. Thirty-five-year-old Peissel, his cousin Morgan Peissel, and Swede Edvin Buregren are making history to demonstrate how Arctic ice is at an all-time low, and the serious implications for humanity.”

      Once you go down the anecdote route, you can’t start to cherry pick.

    • Webby quoted an anecdote;

      ‘At any other time in history, the M’Clure Strait, the last stretch of land-bound water before the Beaufort Sea, would have been entirely covered in ice.’

      Do you REALLY believe that it would have been possible at NO other time in history?
      tonyb.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Jim D: Obviously a prediction would involve predicting what exactly man is going to put into the atmosphere, gases and aerosols, let alone volcanoes, solar activity, farming and irrigation changes, deforestation, etc. This is why none of these are predictions, just scenarios.

      An approach to that problem is to run a large ensemble of scenarios for a multidecade time span, say 2012-2032, each based on a different trajectory of forest change, agricultural change, solar change, aerosol change, CO2 change, and so forth, as Hansen did with his scenarios A, B, and C. Then as those other processes are observed we can look at how well the model based on the closest approximation to the observed trajectories. Do that for each model, and annually update some score (such as mean squared error, maximum absolute error, median absolute error), and annually rank the models according to which models are least inaccurate.

    • yes, jim2 I said recorded human history.

      the argument over ‘unprecedented’ is really quite stupid and besides the point. the simple facts are.

      1. we know from fundamental physics that adding GHGs will warm the planet not cool it.
      2. we observe sea in in the NP decreasing which is consistent with
      our understanding in #1.
      3. The truth of 2, doesnt prove 1. the truth of #1 rests on basic
      physics.

      Nothing in #1 implies that ice always had to be greater in the past
      Showing that ice was lower in the past says nothing about the truth of 1.
      basically, the ice is a side show. It’s consistent with our understanding.
      if all the ice disappeared tommorrow, tonyb would be here to explain that it wasnt strange or unprecedented. And if the whole arctic froze over today, that would not change the truth of 1.

      wrap your head around that.

    • Stevan (we could use a little more nesting here, as I had to go way up to make this reply), your #1 is false as usual. Increasing GHGs only increases temperature if nothing else happens. That is not this world.

    • Sorry it is Steven, but I had to scroll something like 8 to 10 feet up to make my reply, by which time I had forgotten the spelling.

    • That is, it is not the principle of science that you proclaim it to be. Increasing GHGs may or may not lead to increased temperatures. It depends on a host of other factors, many of which are not well understood. CO2 is not a control knob.

    • k scott denison

      I agree David. Steven and his ever popular “all other things being equal” comment on CO2. That is like saying “stepping on the gas pedal always causes a car to accelerate”. Yup, except when the car is in park or neutral or already moving at top speed or out of gas or the ignition is turned off or on jack stands or…

      What Steven never comments on is at what point in time are/were “all other things equal?” And assuming he agrees that the answer is “never”, then how about we stop talking in the theoretical and start talking in the real world?

    • It is willful to understand that we don’t know what extra CO2 does in the climate system, to understand that we don’t know where we are in natural cycles, to understand that the cycles are cracked by tempero-spatial chaos, to understand that colder is more likely and warmer is better, and yet be so adamant.
      ==========

    • Mosh

      What nonsense you sometimes sneak into your posts

      If all the ice disappeared tomorrow it is obviously unprecedented that so much could disappear in such a short time. So yes I would think it strange, abnormal, worrying. But it hasnt and it won’t
      tonyb

    • Hey guys I just thought, a real great way to support our political ideology is to keep claiming that nothing is known for sure! The less we know the easier we can deny any inconvenient scientific conclusions!. Does rising CO2 cause warming? We just don’t know! Is CO2 rising due to human emissions? Oh we just don’t know! Is man even emitting CO2? We just don’t know! It’s all just a guess! Does CO2 even exist? Has anyone ever actually seen a CO2 molecule. I haven’t so we just don’t know!

    • But make sure to claim we KNOW for sure that any action on reducing CO2 emissions will be catastrophic for the economy. We know that 100% of course, because it fits our ideology just fine.

    • Webby

      Aren’t you just the teenirst bit ashamed of yourself for trying to pull the wool over our eyes with your story of the supposed traverse of the north west passage? You must be getting somewhat desperate if you choose to present the story in the way you did.

      Here is a direct link

      http://belzebub2.com/home?lang=en

      First of all, on their own admittance they did not take what is recognised as the traditional north west passage route. Second they received a lot of external help in the way of hourly ice reports, thirdly if you check on “equipment’ in the link given above you will see a vast array of modern technology proving my point that such voyages are made easier today by such help which was denied the historic attempts on the real passage in the preceding centuries.

      Fourth they are not the first sail boat to traverse the route, that honour goes to the St Roch back in 1944 during the last time the ice melted.

      The similarities to the journeys of the past could not be less. That doesn’t mean to say the current voyage wasn’t interesting but given all the help the modern voyagers had I would still surmise the voyage could have been made at various times in previous centuries if those captains had access to the same facilities as are enjoyed today
      Tonyb

    • Mosh – I agree that warmists overuse the word “unprecedented.”

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Steven Mosher: 1. we know from fundamental physics that adding GHGs will warm the planet not cool it.

      As everyone reminds you, we can deduce from a subset of the fundamental physics that GHG’s will warm the planet, not cool it. It is the rest of the fundamental physics that calls into question whether that deduction is in fact correct.

    • ClimatReasn, If you think I give a FF about any anecdotes, yours included, think again.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Know-nothing climate-change denialism

      One of the advantages of Climate Etc is the good representation of well-informed skepticism. If there has been any “know-nothing climate-change” denialism here, I luckily have missed it.

      Your principles I and II are contradictory. You can not “focus” on the large scale data sets and “focus” on energy balances over generations because the large scale data sets are all recent. Perhaps you only need a minor rewording.

      I would like to recommend two other “responsible principles”

      IV: clearly describe and attempt to resolve the limitations in the knowledge, empirical and theoretical. For example, the energy balance based multigenerational models to date have not been shown to be accurate. Our hostess has admirably drawn attention to the limitations in some of her “uncertainty” posts and papers. At least a few AGW proponents “deny” that any of the unknowns or inaccuracies are important.

      V. Study and learn to describe as accurately as possible the energy flows within the climate system.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      MattStat, your remarks are well-reasoned and respectfully-expressed, for which this appreciation and thanks are extended!   :)   :)   :)

      With regard to Principles I and II, please note that the former is observational and the latter is theoretical; the theory of climate science is of course many decades other than global-scale observations.

      Please let me say that your posts’ Principles III and IV both are excellent common-sense IMHO.

      In aggregate, Principles I-IV are thoroughly reviewed (including more than 100 references) in Hansen et al. Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications.

      There is apparently no skeptical work of similar thoroughness and systematic integration of existing knowledge.

      Perhaps that is one reason why rational climate-change skepticism is thinning faster than Arctic sea-ice, eh?   ;)   :!:   ;)

    • It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to expect that the typical AGW True Believer will admit any fact that contradicts their ideologically-motivated preconceptions. Leftists global warming fearmongers are on the level of ‘meta-ignorance’ of all unconscious incompetents who refuse to even consider the possibility of error, as follows:

      Walker et al. (2003) categorize the following different levels of ignorance. Total ignorance implies a deep level of uncertainty, to the extent that we do not even know that we do not know. Recognized ignorance refers to fundamental uncertainty in the mechanisms being studied and a weak scientific basis for developing scenarios. Reducible ignorance may be resolved by conducting further research, whereas irreducible ignorance implies that research cannot improve knowledge (e.g. what happened prior to the big bang). Bammer and Smithson (2008) further distinguish between conscious ignorance, where we know we don’t know what we don’t know, versus unacknowledged or meta-ignorance where we don’t even consider the possibility of error. ~J. Curry

    • Last year it was 5.5, but this year the WUWT prediction was 4.9. the actual value seems to be below 3.9. Nobody predicted less than about 4.1.

    • Max_OK, ah cherry picking I see. Note that for the most recent forecast, we were on par with NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier and Dr. julienne Strove.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/13/sea-ice-news-volume-3-number-10-arcus-august-sea-ice-outlook-posted-plus-worries-over-arctic-storm-breaking-up-sea-ice/

      But I don’t suppose that will stop you from being irrational.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Anthony, everyone on Climate Etc can verify that the WUWT forecast of June 4 was 4.9M km^2, eh?   :)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

      Only 4% of WUWT participants foresaw an Arctic ice-extent of less than 4.0M km^2, eh?

      Are any of these facts stated incorrectly, Anthony?   :)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

      Incredibly, if the 2012 ice-extent declines below 2.9M km^2 — which perhaps is unlikely yet surely is by no means impossible — then Zwally’s “ice free” threshold” estimate (of 1.0M km^2) will have proved to be more accurate than the WUWT prediction, eh?   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      That is why rational skeptics are upward-adjusting their estimate of the probability that “James Hansen’s worldview is scientifically correct”, eh?

      By how much is WUWT rationally upward-adjusting its estimate of this scientific probability, Anthony Watts?   :)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

      The world wonders!   :)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    • fan,

      You are a genuine curiosity. I mean, like, what is an apparent man of your apparent years doing making a spectacle of yourself, at the cyclic rate, like some special-needs pre-schooler with incipient, “can’t-get-a-date/zit-popper syndrome” issues?

      And yes, i’m referring to all those moon-faced, yellow-fellows doing their best, but failing, to capture your own, unique, idiot grin, that you hang out with.

      I mean, like, just because you’re the class-clown doesn’t mean you can’t show some class, you know.

    • @A Fan

      Focus our economic analyses upon optimizing welfare upon multi-generational time-scales

      In the 1979 US EIA Annual Energy Outlook it was forecast that the US would be burning 2.4 billion tons of coal in the year 2010. Well, it’s the year 2012 and we will probably be burning about 1/3 of what was forecast in the US.

      http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/archive/aeo79/pdf/0173(79)3.pdf

      I’ll quote the EIA Adminstrator responsible for the 1979 Annual Energy Outlook.

      The long-term forecasts are even less to be thought of as revealing what the future holds. At most, we can expect those forecasts to indicate possible ways in which the future might unfold. Future qualities of embryonic technologies are critical to the long-term questions. What will be the costs, the environmental acceptability, the suitability for sectoral demands, of the various incipient technologies whose forms are not yet definite? Apparently, confident knowledge about these matters is not possible decades in advance.Therefore, some of the key driving variables for the long run cannot be known well enough to make trustworthy forecasts.

      And I’ll quote the EIA Administrator responsible for the 1989 energy outlook that only looked ahead 11 years.
      http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/archive/aeo89/pdf/0383%2889%29.pdf

      It cannot be stressed too often that the projections in this volume are not presented as prophecy. If one makes different assumptions at the outset (or if policies change, or if real-life events on the domestic or world scene surprise everyone) things might be quite different in the year 2000 from the way
      we have portrayed them.

  40. JC: “To those that have predicted that this blog will be the ‘death’ of my academic career, I am happy to report that my ‘stock’ is rising in terms of the number invites to give lectures and other presentations that I have received from prestigious venues and also invited journal articles.”

    And it is well merited. Congratulations.

    In the last six months I seem to be seeing some more balanced climate related work getting published even in journals that have traditionally been very “warmist” and excluded anything that was less than fully supportive of AGW orthodoxy.

    It seems you took some considerable professional risk in making your stand in support of scientific integrity. And you took it early enough for it to be important. Others, less courageous, will now follow as it becomes more acceptable to print what science indicates rather than what the mantra requires.

    congratulation on 2 years of this successful endeavour. I’m glad it has proved beneficial to you in all respects.

    best regards, Greg Goodman.

  41. Break Chains

    It is never too late to give up our prejudices. – Henry David Thoreau

    Global warming is not a problem but fear of it is. Global warming alarmism and politics of fear give power to the wrong people: people who only wish to take power from the people.

    [A]t the heart of the IPCC is a cadre of scientists whose careers have been made by the IPCC. These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process by which scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy. Not only has this brought some relatively unknown, inexperienced and possibly dubious people into positions of influence, but these people become vested in protecting the IPCC, which has become central to their own career and legitimizes playing power politics with their expertise. ~Judith Curry

  42. I suppose I am one of those “unknowable lurkers”, having commented only a time or two, so I will step out of the shadows to say this. I read CE daily for a number of reasons, for the takes on recent climate events, for the interesting perspectives on science and the like. But mostly I come here for those posts that transcend the bickering about climate science and speak to why people respond to the issue the way they do.

    Your “certainty” posts, the “5 Fallacies” post, the article on confirmation bias. These are the things that make CE a joy to read.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    I will now slink back into the shadows.

  43. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    I like the indenting format as it is now, in case you are tallying votes.

    To Dr Curry, congratulations on lasting 2 years. I am grateful for the opportunity to read and comment.

    I try to avoid ad hominem attacks and direct my comments to other comments, not authors (I can’t claim 100% success.) There are a few authors whose comments I always skip. But that’s just my style preference. Other styles are displayed.

  44. “The large majority of readers are ‘silent’ and don’t comment. There is no way for me to know who these readers are, but I continue to be surprised by the climate scientists (and scientists from other fields) who I run into that tell me they read CE, and who send me an email commenting about something. The community continues to shy away from engaging in the blogosphere. Unfortunate, but I can’t say that I blame them given the generally vitriolic nature of the blogosphere.”

    I am a loyal reader of your blog and WUWT but seldom comment owing to the sheer volume of comments. That sounds a little paradoxical. I tend to comment on blogs such as Chiefio, Atomic Insights, Tallbloke and DITC.

    Although my knowlege of climate science is limited (my field is Quantum Electro Optics), the way you handle scientific issues seldom triggers my BS detector. As long as that continues you can count on my continued loyalty.

    I am happy to hear that one can do well in academia without mindlessly supporting “Consensus Science”. Two of my ex-colleagues have been speaking out against CAGW and the IPCC; to date neither has been pressured to change their opinions even though our university receives bundles of government money for its pro-CAGW “School of the Environment”.

  45. Dr. Curry,
    Congratulations on your second anniversary. I deeply appreciate this site, it’s commentary and how much I have learned here.

    Best wishes for the future.

  46. The evolving thoughts in the field of Judith Curry demonstrate the real change in the climate: An opening mind. The Wikipedia® entry as of 15 July 2012 quotes the June 2011 essay that Curry posted on her blog in which she described how her thinking has changed since 2006:
    I’ve been engaging with skeptics since 2006 (before starting Climate Etc., I engaged mainly at Climate Audit). People were suspicious and wondered what I was up to, but the vilification didn’t start until I recommended that people read The Hockey Stick Illusion. The book itself, plus more significantly my vilification simply for recommending that people read the book, has pushed me over the ledge and into a mode of aggressively challenging the IPCC consensus. . . . It is my sad conclusion that opening your mind on this subject sends you down the slippery slope of challenging many aspects of the IPCC consensus.
    Shortly after I started Climate Etc., I received this email message from a colleague:
    A few years ago, I started interacting with a skeptic who somehow passed through my “ignore skeptics” filter. He has an engineering degree and is quite knowledgeable. My rationale that “all skeptics are troglodytes” has been tattered, and my view of the climate debate has irreversibly changed.
    Opening your mind on this subject is a slippery slope into listening to what skeptics have to say. Sure there are a lot of crazies out there, but there is some very serious skepticism at ClimateAudit and other technical skeptic and lukewarmer blogs. I look forward to a growing climate heretics club, where people that generally support the IPCC consensus (either currently or in the past) dare to question aspects of it.

  47. Hi Judy,

    Congratulations on your second year! Your blog is a great contribution. Thanks also to you and your colleagues for the hospitality during my visit.

    Dave

  48. You are doing a great job. Remember a discussion of Dr. Bein’s article on “Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers”? After some sharp words .. I would like to say that both sides learned something, he sure did and I did not, but it helped to clear the air. Thanks!

  49. “… If only 1 percent of it or 10 percent of what the skeptics say is right, that is time well spent because we have just been too encumbered by groupthink.” ~Judith Curry

    All of the land based data is corrupted by the urban heat island effect. We do, however, have accurate satellite and radiosonde temperature change data for the top layer of the ocean and lower troposphere (see below). We know the truth.

    The sun was very active throughout the 20th century and this led to global warming. It’s happened before. Now the sun is anomalously quiet and it has been quiet for a while now. It is not surprising to many scientists that the combined satellite and radiosonde temperature data now indicate that there has been a cooling trend for years corresponding with this observed change in solar activity.

    • Where’s the global cooling Wagathon claims? PDO switch and a deep solar minimum and yet temperatures just keep going up.

      Many skeptics on climate etc have claimed we have had only 0.23C warming since 1979.

      In actual fact, according to Dr Roy Spencer and his satellite record the world has seen 0.46C warming since 1979, twice as much as climate skeptics claim.

    • All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. ~Galileo Galilei

    • If you take a look at the AMSU page, this year’s global temp, LTROP, is right in line with 2002, 2005, and 2011. It’s not exactly an outlier.

    • 3 year running mean is currently at highest level
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/mean:36

    • OK, so the 3 year running mean is blah blah blah. That’s just a not-even-so-fancy way to cherry pick. Why not a 10 year running mean, or 15 year running mean?? What’s so magic about a 3 year running mean? Nothing, that’s what, lolwot.

    • Exactly, and–how about the mean from 2,000, 3300 and 4000 years ago when global temperatures were significantly warmer than current temperatures?

  50. Dear Judith:
    I think that you are providing a valuable service to anyone interested in climate change, whether professional or amateur. You provide use with digests of, commentaries on, and links to new publications, new postings and relevant activities. I have become very dependent on you in my studies of climate change. I never met you, but I think you are a wonderful and highly intelligent person. As I said in my book “The Climate Debate”:
    “The judithcurry.com blog has emerged in 2010-2012 as by far the best source of new ideas in climate science analysis with many stimulating new posts by Judith Curry. Unfortunately, the responses on these blogs have become so numerous (typically many hundreds) that the wheat often gets lost in the chaff. It is particularly disappointing to observe that a limited number of adherents clog up the responses to Judith Curry’s stimulating posts with mostly irrelevant, trivial or nonsensical entries. Most of these responses are contributed under psuedonyms.”

  51. Dr. Curry,

    I seldom have anything useful to add to the discussion, but I enjoy reading and am glad you are here and continue to put your vision of what CliSci should be in front of the world where it can be seen.

    Thank you for your valiant efforts, I imagine it must be an exhausting burden at times.

    Know that I, for one, appreciate it.

    Kip Hansen

  52. Judith, congratulations. Great job.

  53. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    ClimateReason, it is instructive to actually read some your favorite sources:

    Greenland, the adjacent seas,
    and the North-west Passage to the Pacific

    By Bernard O’Reilly (1818)

    “The stores of ice met with in the high northern latitudes have naturally given rise to an idea, that the farther north the nvaigator proceeds, the more obstruction he has reason to approhend from the presence of the body.”

    “Recent observations, and the experience of many years, have helped to remove that delusion. Wherever and extensive sea or ocean to the northward has been met with, the less has ice been found to prevail.”

    ClimateReason, these 19th century sources contain wild claims about the Arctic that (as we now appreciate) are completely and utterly wrong, eh?   :shock:   :?:   :shock:   :?:   :shock:

    Is it really prudent to cherry-pick so much material from unreliable Arctic material, ClimateReason?   :shock:   :?:   :shock:   :?:   :shock:

    More broadly, climate-change skepticism that is founded chiefly upon cherry-picked foundations amounts to self-deluding willful ignorance that is wrong scientifically, wrong economically, and wrong morally. And for this multi-dimensional denialist wrongness, YouTube posters have taken to poking utterly merciless fun — yet factually accurate fun — at WUWT/Anthony Watts, for example.   :shock:   :?:   :shock:   :?:   :shock:

    To prosper in the coming years, Climate Etc must continue to be more than a forum for ideology-first cherry-picking and politics-first slogan-shouting.

    So far, so good! Thank you Dr. Judith Curry!   :)   :)   :)

    • Fan

      You are incorrigible. Do you think that it is only since satellites that people have been able to report on the arctic?

      Man has been sailing in the arctic waters for millennia. Of Europeans the first account is probably from Pytheas who discovered the effects of tides. A thousand years later the Vikings sailed the arctic and settled in Greenland.

      Whalers have been visiting for many centuries, there has been trading going on for a similar period and the age of scientific exploration began two centuries ago. They didn’t have ice breaker ships or navigation aids we enjoy today but despite that they still managed to go very far to the north..
      Why do you find that such a problem to believe fan that you need to accuse me of cherry picking?
      Tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      ClimateReason, the passage quoted is straight from the 1818 book that you linked-to. This book’s thesis amounts to a prediction: “the further north is sailed, the less sea-ice will be found” … which proved to be delusional, eh?  ;)   ;)   ;)

    • Fan

      Do read the book, the context and note the author. It concerns an actual physical voyage to the area undertaken just prior to the scientific one.It was after several decades of intermittent substantial arctic melting, as noted by whalers (including from my home port)

      The Royal society had not been able to persuade the Admiralty to explore prior to 1817 due to their ships being tied up fighting some pesky colonials and the French. Banks-the head of the Royal Society- personally knew the Scoresby family and was keen to pursue the idea of finding the North West passage, being a renowned botanist who hoped it would lead the way to plant discoveries, amongst other benefical prizes. There are several accounts of reaching 84degrees north and several not quite as far.

      ” From an examination of the Greenland captains, it has been found that owing to some convulsions of nature , the sea was more open and more free from compact ice than in any former voyage they ever made: that several ships actually reached the eighty-fourth degree of latitude, in which no ice whatever was found; ”

      Coincidentally a few months after writing this article I came across someone locally whose ancestor had been awarded a prize for traversing the North West passage around 1809 which I was bemused about. I suspect they were one of the crewmen noted here as gaining a bounty if they could sail further north than 84 degrees;(extract from same book)

      “This curious and important information has, we learn, induced the Royal Society to apply to ministers to renew the attempt of exploring a north-west passage as well as to give encouragement to fishing vessels to try how far northward they can reach , by dividing the bounty to be given, on the actual discovery, into portions, as a reward for every degree beyond eighty-four that they shall penetrate.”

      I am sorry that historic arctic exploration so far north causes you such discomfiture Fan. No doubt you are eagerly looking forward to my forthcoming article ‘historic variations in Arctic ice -Part two-.

      Before I can fInish it however I need to pay a visit to the Scott Institute in Cambridge at the end of September and finish reading the hundreds of articles on the arctic I have obtained. As you will know the Arctic seems to melt with some regularity-at least seven major meltings in the last 6000 years and numerous partial melts. As yet I can’t determine if the current melting fits into the first or second category.
      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Please let me sincerely wish for you the very best reference-hunting ClimateReason! Pray do not overlook the wonderful correspondence between Banks and Scoresby during 1817!

    • The northwest passage was first traversed in 1903-06: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/northwest-passage

      Earlier voyagers travelled part of it but not the whole thing

    • More about all those explorers who tried to get through the Northwest passage and didn’t before 1906 because they were blocked by ice, surprise, surprise: http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/northwest-passage/titlepage.htm

    • Fan

      I am delighted to see that you are at last reading material other than from Nevens (excellent) blog.

      The sporadic nature of the melt is well known and the terrible weather of the preceding decades has been commented on by others as well as myself in my article ‘Bbah Humbug’ in which I traced Dickems life in climate terms and queried whether his formative years had an impact on his writing which in turn impacted on us in such books as a Christmas Carol.

      My surmise at present is that the ice at the time was in places rather thin and ,melted through a combination of wind/warmer temperatures. I would also surmise that had the ice breakers and modern navigational aids been available the North West passage might have been successfully navigated late in the 18th century or earkly in the nineteenth and possibly earlier (at times).

      That there is a definite correlation between thick ice and British summers appears debatable as we have had a string of poor summers recently although the ice has been reduced. I suspect the position of the jet stream has a great part to play and that has been meandering erratically since the earliest records I can trace, back to the 14th century.

      So Arctic ice melts, Its not new and we would be best to raise our sights from relying too much on the post 1979 data and spend more time trying to link up todays events with what has happened in the past. We should be able to link back to the Vikings when we should be able to make a fair comparison with modern day ice extent.
      tonyb.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      ClimateReason, please let me say that I personally — along with many Climate Etc readers — look forward to your coming historical article with great interest!   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      Pray do not overlook the wonderfully enjoyable article by T. H. Manning — the “Lone Wolf of the Arctic”, titled Narrative of an unsuccessful attempt to circumnavigate Banks Island by canoe in 1952

      Yet from an objectively quantitative point-of-view, this year’s disintegration of massive ice-shelves along northern Ellesmere Island, that had been stable for more than 4000 years, is for many folks (including me) more more compelling scientific evidence, than any anecdotal historical account, of the sobering reality of accelerating climate change.   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

      None-the-less, my very best wishes for scholarly happiness and success are extended to you, ClimateReason!   :shock:   :sad:   :cry:   :!:

    • peterdavies252

      I visited the Scott Institute while holidaying in the UK in June this year. Very interesting and well catalogued. Pity the Scott expeditition turned out to be such a foul up, all of them deserved better.

    • Readers should note that “fan” is actually the troll “A physicist” who was booted off WUWT for his inability to play nice.

      Heartening to see though that’s he’s fully embraced the hate now.

    • Isn’t there an Antarctic UHI that urgently needs your attention?………

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      It depresses me comments like this are commonplace on this blog. Even if this one doesn’t deserve to be moderated for itself, the fact there are so many with such a petty tone is just unappealing.

      This comment has an implied insult and basically tells another commenter to leave the site. And it’s considered mild.

    • Brandon

      Judith expressed the hope that this site would become a salon for discussion. Unfortunately there are a good number of people here with poor manners who are full of spite and vitriol and more eager to fling insults and lies rather than discuss science or climate. This was not specfically aimed at Michael who you are responding to, but just a general observation.

      tonyb

    • The irony just never ends.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      climatereason, that’s certainly true, but I think part of the problem is moderation. Since moderation on this site is light (and Curry doesn’t have that much time to spend on it), people can push boundaries a lot more than they might be able to otherwise. For example, there are some people who regularly make comments that are borderline, if not clearly, in violation of this site’s rules. I doubt they’d do that (at least as consistently) if a moderation presence was felt more strongly.

      I understand why that happens (moderating a blog like this wouldn’t be easy), and I know there are other problems, but I think a large part of the problem is people feel like “anything goes” here. Even if the people didn’t change, I bet their behavior would if moderation changed.

    • Joshua

      What was the purpose of that cryptic comment? Was it aimed at me?

      Robert

      Further down the thread you commented on ‘Tony’. Presumably you meant Anthony Watts?
      New rule- you must confirm who you are responding to or else there is a fine (payable to me of course)

      Brandon
      I don’t want to ban anyone. A little self control by certain people would go a long way towards creating a more serious tone and expanding the breadth of the conversation. The trouble with moderation on a nested site such as this is that removing posts quickly destroys the overall structure.
      tonyb

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      climatereason, I agree, and I’d hope nobody would get banned. But even just a comment every now and then when an exchange starts to get ugly (or just off-topic) can go a long way. The same thing can be especially helpful if “fights” regularly break out between the same individuals.

      As for more self-control, I definitely approve. I highly recommend community participation in “cleaning up” a blog. The problem with that is some individuals will usually try to sabotage any efforts at it. Without some form of guidance/leadership, it probably won’t get overcome. But I do approve of it, and I would happily do what I could to help.

    • tony (climatereason) –

      What was the purpose of that cryptic comment? Was it aimed at me?

      No. You are one of the relatively few commenters here that I generally find applies the principles of principled, good-faith debate.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      ClimateReason’s “Fan Club” includes me too. Thank you for your numerous well-mannered excellent posts, ClimateReason!   :)   :)   :)

    • I wish Judith would ban the smiley faces here.

    • Rob Starkey

      Nope. I’d be against banning them.

      They add “color”.

      And they tip us all off that it’s a post from “Fanny” – so we can simply scroll down past it without losing anything.

      Max

    • People often view the same situation differently. I also tend to simply scroll past his comments without reading due to the smiley faces.

      I actually appreciate the exchanges with people like Joshua, Robert, and Bart. Sometimes they actually outline what policies they think make sense in relation to the topic of climate change and it it can’t be shown that the proposed policies do not make sense, we should change our perspective and support their position. Today, their position does not seem supportable economically in the real world.

    • I think she should require the frequent use of emoticons of all types.

    • Tony, being banned by you is a badge of honor.

      Everyone knows how you react to serious criticism — the in-line reply, the snipping, and then finally the ban. It’s laughable how easily you can be made to curl up in the fetal position with your hands over your ears.

      In case you plan to make Climate Etc. a regular haunt, let me direct you to the site guidelines as they pertain to your ludicrously misconceived attempt at character assassination:

      Respond to the argument, not to the person. What another participant stated on another blog in another context should not be used to discredit or otherwise challenge the participant.

    • No!, Tony is breaking the commenting rules already!?

      Ban him!!!!!!! (ala WUWT-style)

      LOL.

    • David, thanks for the latest stats. Traffic at CE runs warm and cool. Traffic has been relatively cool lately at CE since I have been posting less frequently and less time for original content. RC stats are up just recently with more posts over there.

      While a certain level of traffic makes this rewarding, when my stats go high from outside links, it doesn’t seem to be the same quality of readership (in terms of where the traffic comes from and the quality of the comments). The most rewarding (and possibly influential) aspect of the traffic that I do have is the quality of the comments (from say 30-40% of the commenters) and the influential positions of many of the people that do read it.

      At the same time, if anyone has suggestions for increasing traffic, i will consider. (note I am not interested in active twittering, although I do automatically tweet each CE post).

    • ” RC stats are up just recently with more posts over there. ” – JC

      Are you sure about that??

      Last 2 months posting;
      August – CE 18 RC 8
      July – CE 21 RC 3.

    • 8 is greater than 3. More posts meant more there, not more there than here.

  54. “Time for some reflection, on where we’ve been and where we might be going.”

    “Unless there is some sort of ‘big story’ that generates alot of external hits, most likely a ‘scandal’ that I comment on (a sad statement on what people care about in the climate debate). “

    Happy (??) 2nd blog anniversary Climate Etc. & Dr. Curry.

    My interest remains natural climate variations.

    (Climate politics?
    A total bore — always has been.)

    —-
    New:
    Decadal-extent cross-ENSO annual-LOD by day of year:
    http://i50.tinypic.com/11he49z.png

    -
    Overview:

    1 coin
    2 sides

    A) J-N 12.8 year — annual LOD / wobble (polar motion)
    http://i46.tinypic.com/2zyac20.png
    http://i50.tinypic.com/11he49z.png

    B) J+N 11.07 year — semi-annual LOD / sun (westerlies)
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/image10.png
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png

    Robust across methods.

    (supplementary: http://i45.tinypic.com/bfxn4.png (total ozone))

  55. Dr. Curry, I regularly read your blog, and find your positions to be reasonable and calmly stated. I support you in your ongoing efforts to keep integrity in the scientific method, and applaud your recognition that some in your field are failing in these efforts.

    I hope you will flatly reject this Post-Normal crap (sorry, I can’t use any politer word and maintain my meaning). Post-normal means NOT normal. No one ever gave climate science a free pass on normal scientific methods, of if they did, the electorates around the civilized world don’t seem to have had a say. Let’s get back to the regular scientific method, where hypothesizing, observation, falsification, replication, openness, criticism, and self-criticism are embraced by the principle actors. If we keep the political activism out of the science, we keep out the suspicions of tendentious methods and analysis. If we don’t, we can’t. That’s a fact. Too many people are busily discrediting their future work with their political leanings. Don’t let this happen to you or your students.

    I also hope you’ll council great caution to your students about computer models. Models are very dangerous in some ways, because they can fool us into thinking a highly precise calculated guess is good enough to accurately reflect reality. Long-term model runs should be particularly suspect. Our collective history with most computer simulations is that they become less “accurate” as they project further into the future. This should be the default position for everyone in your line of work. It should not be seen as an outsider’s or “deniers” extreme position, in need of defending. Long term projections should be rejected almost flatly, and never used to promote any policy positions, for their almost certain massive uncertainties.

    And please teach your students not to buy into the latest “heads we win, tails you lose” methods of climate change activists, wherein every possible bad outcome from a weather event or outdoor natural change or even many social activities are blamed on CO2 induced AGW, whereas the good things that have happened because of acceptable weather around the world or positives from fossil fuels are simply taken for granted and never added to a double entry balance sheet.

    Good luck. Thanks for listening and thanks for having a forum that allows people to speak their minds without the heavy handedness of some other sites.

  56. I like Judith Curry because she is tolerant. WUWT is just the opposite. I wouldn’t post there if you paid me.

  57. Congratulations on a year spent reconfirming Minscky’s Corollary to Sturgeon’s Law.

  58. Two is not a good age. If this blog is entering the Terrible Twos, expect more food fights.

  59. Looks like the birthday party’s over and it’s back ter.. )
    Latimer, 02/08 9.31am comments that many denizens here come with a ‘ history of solving real world problems and of working with a breadth of different skills (compared to) …ivory tower academics,’

    As Latimer notes, in the real world there are consequences fer decisions and action – feedback loops, possible litigation … that encourage development of broad skills and pragmatic thinking. History records, including those ofTony B, ‘climate reason,’ reveal that weather had social and political feedback consequences, often dire consequences fer farmers, whalers, war lords, hungry populations and fer political stability.

    In climate science, the Climate Gate emails clearly showed in house thinking by climate scientists, pal review, a non-feedback environment and insular thinking. The science of modelling climate, tweak, adjust, try to calculate and include complex interactions, cloud behavior, isn’t real world feedback loop science either, seems ter me …

  60. Keep up the good work. I think some posts could use some better data visualizations. Many of us learn quicker visually.

    There are simply too many comments here for me to but only occasionally view. Not really a criticism, but a concession to my reality. Only about 10% of them are useful and interesting to me, and there aren’t any magic bullets for editing them in a useful general purpose way without restricting useful speech.

    Possibly a trusted moderator who highlighted “useful or interesting posts” might cut through the clutter (say by leaving the text highlighted). While we certainly won’t agree on what the threshold for useful is, we could all pretty much agree on what 75% of the comments are “not useful”. Probably not workable in practice though…

    • Tom,
      I use Firefox. I use the find feature. I do search for “curryja” and other names who write things that I find more interesting. When I have time, I will scroll through a complete blog, but stuff gets added in the middle.
      Any trusted moderator could be biased and steer the “useful or interesting posts” list in that direction. The 75% of not useful comments are not all the same for everyone. If I were the trusted moderator, I would trust me to not let something that I know is not true to get through. What if I am wrong about something.
      Now we are back to peer review and consensus laws and this Blog cannot exist.

  61. Re: “Being spectacularly wrong on a regular basis is a sure recipe for
    having no contracts”

    In the case of most generalizations, there are exceptions. In the above instance, Paul Ehrlich would provide a spectacular one.

  62. Dr. Curry,

    Thank for your blog and congratulations on its spectacular success.

    And I would especially like to note and offer my admiration for your courage, integrity and professionalism that is the foundation for this blog.

    My best understanding is that you challenged, with this blog, an entrenched, predatory, vindictive group-think, within your profession. And you did so at great professional risk, as you allude to in your post.

    Now that your blog is such a success and the “best shots” of your detractors have failed miserably, it might be easy to forget just what courage it took to launch “Climate etc.” But, for me, Dr. Curry, your courage is what I look up to most.

    Again, congratulations on your year 2 anniversary.

  63. Dear Prof. Curry,

    Thanks you for your informative and open blog.
    I like your attitude to science and your courage.

    Congratulations and Best Regards
    Günter Hess

  64. This page has links to some of the sites I visit.
    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page26.html

    Climate Etc is the site I visit most often. Thank you Dr Judith Curry!

    I have been studying Climate since 2008, when Tom Wysmuller spoke to our alumni group. You should look at his website.
    http://www.colderside.com/Colderside/Home.html

  65. Professor Curry,

    Your greatest accomplishment has been your ability to stay focused on one primary goal – restoring integrity to government-funded science – and to avoid getting trapped into either camp.

    Believers/Skeptics, Republicans/Democrats. Communists/Capitalists, etc.

    I most feared for your survival when you joined UC-Berkeley’s BEST team, but you displayed remarkably good insight and survival instincts in walking out of that well-designed trap.

    So again, Professor Curry, congratulations. You show remarkably good judgement and courage in addressing one of the most important, but also most intractable (obstinate), issues facing our troubled society today:

    Lack of confidence in politicians and their science advisors

    My complaint is that no major political leader in the West grasped the urgency of this issue after President Eisenhower’s warning in 1961 [1], although George Orwell had actually warned of this impending danger to post-WWII society twelve years earlier:

    http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

    And the President of the Czech Republic – Dr. Vaclav Klaus – reported it had engulfed the planet in 2007, two years before Climategate:

    http://tinyurl.com/5z4j6g

    [1] President Eisenhower’s warning in 1961

  66. Judith,

    ” I am happy to report that my ‘stock’ is rising in terms of the number invites to give lectures and other presentations ”

    That’s sad to know but I accept it to be true. Previously, you were just another climate scientist writing pro-consensus papers on such things as increasing hurricane dangers. That line is not going to get you an invitation to sit alongside Lindzen and Michaels on the Republican Climate team. They don’t want to hear about that.

    You still write pro-consensus papers, though, and I’d recommend this explanation, of yours, of why Antarctic ice is increasing, where you say the answer is tied up in a combination of natural variability and global warming.

    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/08/judith-curry-on-antarctic-sea-ice-climategate-and-skeptics/

    Its a pity you don’t say this sort of thing on Climate Etc. But then that’s not what Climate Etc is about is it? Its about increasing your “stock” with those who wouldn’t be too impressed with that sort of explanation.

    • @peter martin/tempterrain

      Give it a rest, mate.

      You – like Joshua – are developing an unhealthy obsession with overanalysing Judith’s motivations and finding imaginary sticks to beat her with (*).

      She writes what she writes. And allows you the freedom to post your own views – however daft they can sometimes seem. If you don’t like the venue or the hostess or the house rules or the general decoration, you are not obliged to come here.

    • If you don’t like the venue or the hostess or the house rules or the general decoration, you are not obliged to come here.

      Neither is tt obliged to avoid posting what you seem to find so objectionable. Suppose he doesn’t like what you post?

    • Vaughan Pratt

      There’s something about decency and proper behaviour towards the host while being a guest at somebody’s place, something neither you nor Tempterrain and your ilk seem to have the integrity to comprehend.

    • @vaughan pratt

      I’m quite happy for him to slag me off as much as he likes. And he does. But since his all-encompassing fear of the Imminent Great Catastrophe overwhelmed him in the last six months (or he stopped taking his meds) his attempts have become more and more irrational.

      My point was not about restricting anybody’s ability to indulge in robust debate. Bring it on and we’ll get down to it says I!

      But I do find it extremely rude of peter and joshua to take advantage of Judith’s hospitality just to slag her off. Maybe in Colonial circles it is OK to come to a party and metaphorically chunder over one’s hostess. But in civilised countries that is not the case.

      Still, perhaps TT will see the light and start on the meds again.

    • I beg your pardon? How does my willingness to defend to the death tt’s right to say this imply that I approve of what he says?

      Or are you from one of those totalitarian countries that makes dissenters simply disappear?

    • Sorry about the timing. My comment was in reply to Venter, not Latimer A.

    • Hah, VP can’t distinguish between Miss Manners and the Gulag!
      ======================

    • VP can’t distinguish between Miss Manners and the Gulag!

      Imagine the trouble I’d been in if I’d attacked the second amendment instead of defending the first.

    • Hah, VP can’t distinguish a deleted comment from a civil rights violation.
      ===================

    • LA and Venter,

      If I’ve said anything that’s shown to incorrect then I’m happy to retract it. I’m not making any cheap shots like LA does about the “meds”. Its all tough but fair comment IMO.

      I don’t remember having anything deleted previously so I do have to give Judith some credit for that. Judith can reply herself on the blog or she can email me privately if she thinks I’m out of line. Or, she can just ban me entirely if she likes. Judith can decide to have whatever moderation policy she likes.

    • PS @ LA

      Climate catasprophe? Yes if we don’t do anything to avert it.
      Imminent? No. It almost certainly won’t directly affect the elderly gentlemen, on this blog, who seem to have nothing better to do in their retirement than criticise what they can’t understand.

    • At this rate, Peter Martin will frighten himself to death long before he becomes an elderly gentleman.
      ==============

    • @tempterrain

      ‘Incorrect’ or not – it is downright unpleasant bad manners. And you demean yourself and damage your ’cause’ by posting such.

    • @tempterrain

      ‘the elderly gentlemen, on this blog, who seem to have nothing better to do in their retirement than criticise what they can’t understand’

      Luckily enough I took early retirement so am still young enough to have plenty of other things to do, so you must be referring to other folks here.

      And part, at least. of my criticisms of climatology and climatologists are based on the fact that I understand it all too well. Just like the academic sphere the commercial IT world has its fair share of dodgy characters and gullible fools. Of overblown claims and credulous punters willing to be persuaded that the moon is made of green cheese if it makes them feel good.

      I saw these guys at first hand…from both sides of the desk. They aren’t hard to spot. The are very confident and plausible until the moderately difficult questions begin. And then they rely on bluster, on trying to con the punter, on appealing to their own authority and supposed intellectual superiority like ‘Trust Me, I Am an Expert’. And when the really tough stuff like ‘show me it works under my conditions’ comes in, they scuttle off to look for another more malleable mark. Remind you of anybody?

      Once upon a time I too might have naively put my faith in climatologists and their doom laden pronouncements. But then I started to read what they said and what they predicted and first asked myself if it really was green cheese…or if there might be a tinge of blue. And then even to question whether it was cheese at all.

      And when I started to ask these questions the replies of the climatologists were exactly the same as the dodgy end of the IT business. Dressed up in academic language perhaps, but in essence no different from Messrs Sellit and Runn, IT ‘Consultants’ to the Naive.

      And I trust them just as much as I trust many climatologists. Which is not very far at all. .

    • Lati,

      Fair enough……to some degree. There are problems in academia, but there is also a winnowing system were, to a great degree, you have to prove your grasp of the topic. This is what the credentialing system achieves.

      OTOH, we have the interwebs……..chock full of weirdo’s, failures, frauds, cranks, crackpots, nutters, conspiracy theorists, loons, narcissists, brawlers and the deluded…..all keen to tell you that the ‘experts’ don’t have a clue, and they’ve figured out the grand unifying theory with no more than a slide rule and piece of string.

    • @michael

      I think you may be in danger of confusing the medium with the message. The various loons, crackpots and conspiracists you cite have always been there … all the interweb thingy does is give them a wider audience.

      And just for fun, here’s the most famous climate conspiracist of them all:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztKFTxC6kVI

      But it would be as foolish to ignore everything on the internet just because some loons get out there as it would have been to seal shut your mailbox 25 years ago because some nutters using green ink could send you a letter. That’s just throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

      And IMO the two most important things the internet has done are to shrink time and to lower the barriers of entry to many discussions. These are genii out of the bottle and however much traditionalists (in the scientific sense) may wish it not to have happened, they ain’t going to go back.

      Think back to the early days of scientific societies. The Royal Society for example held real time lectures for all its members where the scientist could expound his theories face to face and take questions there and then. They got immediate feedback…from people of all sorts of interests and backgrounds. And perhaps it was those discussions and debates that gave them their famous motto ‘Nullius in Verba’ = ‘Take Nobody’s Word For It’.

      Later on, they began to record the proceedings in written form to accommodate those who couldn’t attend the meetings because of the limitations of geography or infirmity or other engagements. And it was this recording of proceedings that evolved into the idea of the scientific journal. But the physical mechanism of printing words on paper and then shipping the paper around the world meant that publication was a very slow process…taking many months, and completely removing the immediacy of feedback from those early meetings. Instead came ‘peer-review’ ..a pale and tame shadow of the sharp and public questioning that the pioneers could expect.

      And the internet, wonderfully, frees us from many of those limitations. Time is no longer a problem. It doesn’t take three months for a comment made in Australia to get to a publisher in Germany and another three to find its way to a reader in Brazil. It is instantaneous. An article can be published in Surrey at 15:00 GMT and by breakfast time in London the next day many hundreds of people will have been able to read it and pass commentary. And there is no limit to the number of people who can join in. Geography is no longer an issue, nor shipping paper around the planet. There is no barrier to entry other than being able to access the internet

      This is the new model of how science will be published and criticised and reviewed and disseminated…and I doubt if today’s methods are the final step in the evolution. But the old paper-based stuff has gone and will never return (unless the internet disappears)

      We had a superb example of the power of this new way of business in the sorry tale of Gergis et al. She had a paper all set to go. It had wound its way through the conventional peer review route for a year or more, and was announced with great fanfare as ‘the Southern Hemisphere’s Hockey Stick’.

      It lasted (from memory) a little less than four days before a blogger from outside conventional climate science found a fundamental problem and the paper was put ‘on hold’, where it still languishes. Maybe one day it will reappear with its flaws removed. And it will get an even better going over the second time around. The contrast between the effectiveness of the immediate and wide dissemination to wide variety of skills and experiences and the narrowness of the conventional method is striking (*)

      So if I were a conventional climate scientist, I’d be thinking very very hard about how my work needs to change to accommodate the new way of ‘publication’. It’s clear that I can expect my papers to get a far wider scrutiny than I have been used to and that satisfying the needs of peer reviewers will be just a preliminary hurdle, not the final fence in the race to get known. And that I can no longer rely on ‘the community’ to respond in pretty conventional ways to my work. The good side is that word limits will probably rapidly fade away, but the downside is that I’ll have much more space and time to publish my methods and data in detail. And the extended community will rapidly come to demand this. No doubt you can think of other effects.

      In conclusion, it seems to me that any climate scientist who tries to ignore the internet is really missing the point. It is here and it isn’t going away. You’ll have to develop new ways of dealing with the changed world and the dramatic effects it will have. I can’t tell you what they are, but the idea that only ‘climate scientists’ are empowered to discuss climate science has gone for ever

      (*) It is also worth noting that Anthony Watts fell foul of a similar problem. But since his paper had not been anywhere near peer-review, the example is less striking.

    • ” I think you may be in danger of confusing the medium with the message……..all the interweb thingy does is give them a wider audience.”

      No, that was exactly me point.

      Academia has a quality control system, imperfect as it is.

      The intertubes are a magnet for cranks and snake-oil salesmen.

      The message is; be skeptical of the former, and super-duper skeptical of the latter.

      Climate ‘skeptics’ are paranoid conspiracy theorist ‘skeptical’ on the former and uber-credulous on the latter.

    • @michael

      Perhaps you’d like to read the rest of my post before commenting.

      I don’t think we are far apart on the topic of loons and cranks. But they are only a small aspect of a far wider effect.

      And jfi I am no conspiracy theorist either. It is just far too hard to keep a conspiracy going and there are far too high incentives to be the first to break it for them to be of much practical use.

    • …..and I agree about the potential for the internet, though it is a mostly unrealised potential.

      CCC is a good example – crowd sourcing with a clear objective and the focus to get there. Another example, but at the opposite end of the spectrum, would be Watts’ SS project.

      arXiv is a great idea too.

      The unfocused ramblings of a billion key-board warriors will continue to be forgotten by the next page refresh….

    • Lati,

      Patience – I had to attend to a screaming baby!

    • tt,

      I think Judith has a good strategy.

      As you say, just being one in the academic crowd doesn’t do much for your visibility, and Judith has made it pretty clear she wants to be a ‘player’, who has the ear of influential people, whatever she might say about others being ‘activists’. Nothing like a few controversial statements to get your face in a media which likes nothing better than a simplistic ‘both-sides-of-argument’ story.

      And it probably doesn’t hurt to get noticed, however you do it, if you’re thinking of quitting your academic position to move into private business doing hurricane forecasts……

      All in all, it’s a nice PR strategy.

  67. Just my sixpennorth about the nesting structure…I’m reasonably happy with things the way they they are. Three minor improvements would help me

    1. Increase the level of nesting to four.
    2. Give an easy way to make sure that a reply at the lowest level is really in the correct branch.
    3. Encourage wordpress not to screw up replies by putting them at the end when threads get long.

    On the topic of signal/noise. I don’t find the level of noise too distracting. Maybe I spent too much of my life in very noisy City pubs, but I find I can pick out the good stuff reasonably easily and scroll past the rest.

    And any ‘professional climatologist’ who claims to be able to analyse a thousand year old tree core, take out all the signals from localised weather and environmental effects to clearly show a ‘teleconnected’ effect of the global average temperature changes several thousand miles away should have absolutely no problem in doing so.

    • And any ‘professional climatologist’ who claims to be able to analyse a thousand year old tree core, take out all the signals from localised weather and environmental effects to clearly show a ‘teleconnected’ effect of the global average temperature changes several thousand miles away should have absolutely no problem in doing so.

      Fully agree. Those having problems with the noise should recuse themselves from any discussions of tree rings.

  68. Robert I Ellison

    ‘Because many scientists are extremely reluctant to change their fundamental assumptions about the Universe, major paradigm shifts are often delayed until the older generation of scientists dies. It is customary to refer to scientists who adhere to the old paradigm as “dinosaurs”. Note that scientists with new-fangled ideas that conflict with the correct paradigm should of course be referred to as “crackpots”.’ Annals of Improbable Research, Vol. 6, No. 2 , pg. 27.

    ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies…

    The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

    Don’t worry – I am making a list of dinosaurs. Vaughan is on top followed closely by Eli and Pekka. Webby is in a special taxonomy on his own – Crankasauris rex. Should we so crass as to start a pool on when – ahem – the paradigm shifts?

    • I’m not sure if this is a reply to Robert’s remarks about paradigm shifts (which I’m not sure I fully understood…sorry Robert) or just a general observation, but my guess is that within a decade we’ll start to see a more reasoned approach from the younger generation of climatologists.

      Just about all of the current batch will have started their journey on the climate science career ladder in the heyday of climate alarmism prior to 2009.

      For a young idealist with nerdy tendencies, where better could there have been if one was looking for an academic career? It wasn’t a tough course (you can avoid any complicated maths, you avoid quantum mechanics, for lots of it you can avoid thermodynamics), it is high profile in general discourse and it was expanding in terms of money, resources and academic positions, And you got the self satisfaction of knowing that you were doing something to save the world and could lecture other people about it. Fantastic!

      The truly deep thinker might just have had slight pause when she noticed that there is absolutely no commercial demand for climatologists and/or that degrees in the subject are not highly prized outside academe. People don’t want a climatologist who knows a wee bit of physics or chemistry when they can get the real deal who knows a lot.. But this was a minor blip compared with the advantages.

      But then came Copenhagen and Climategate. Suddenly all these advantages started to fall away. The public stock of climate scientists took a dive from which it seems that it will never recover. The academic posts stopped expanding…which – with the tenure system – means that it is dead men’s shoes for one’s career advancement. And there really doesn’t seem to be much left to discover. All the good stuff (if indeed it was) was done twenty years ago. It maybe that there is some Einstein of climatology ready to spring the equivalent of quantum mechanics upon us, but it doesn’t seem likely.

      So what was a very promising career plan in 2007 looks very very different in 2012. My feeling is that only those who are truly fascinated by the science will be joining nowadays and the activist/idealists will find somewhere else to go.

      And by 2022, those true scientists will be just about getting to grips with their first serious academic posts (assuming that enough of the old dinosaurs die off/retire) and we’ll begin to see the fruits of their labours.

      But for the next decade we’ll just see the last dying embers of the old regime of Houghton’s generation of activist ‘scientists’. Perhaps – as they fade into the sunset – they will reflect that by overplaying their hand so egregiously they have completely failed to Save the World.

    • Latimer, you are making a lot of empirical claims, for which I see very little supporting data. But there is little data on the climate science industry generally. Dr. Curry might tell us what the mood is in the community, as she attends the meetings.

      But in any case it all depends on what the policy makers decide to pay for. Adaptation and regional forecasting look to be the growth areas. The community is certainly making that pitch. And there are lots of scientific challenges in it.

    • @david wojick

      Sure. I prefaced my remarks with the words ‘my guess is’. I’ve no hard data. It’s just a hypothesis.

      But if we assume that putative climate scientists are rational actors, then as the wellspring of opportunities and career advancement and money dries up, the number who wish to join will reduce. I doubt that NASA was flooded with new recruits into rocket science the day after they cancelled the remainder of the Apollo programme. Same as climatology enters a period of ‘consolidation’.

      And which ambitious young scientist wants to see a future limited to work on ‘adaptation and regional forecasting’? Especially when their predecessors were busy ‘Saving the Planet’? Tame stuff indeed.

      PS: I thought that adaptation was a no-no. And that only mitigation had a cat’s chance in hell of saving us from the fiery furnaces of Thermageddon?

      Or was that last year’s doomladen message and ‘the community’ has decided that since mitigation ain’t going to happen, then adaptation is where the money is? Don’t blame them if they did – we all need to earn a living somehow – but I do wish they’d be consistent. If we only had ten seconds to save the world by mitigation back in 2009, how come we’re all still here and talking about adaptation in 2012?

      And such a dramatic change in direction gives the lie to the idea of the pure scientist chasing the truth wherever it lies. There’s nothing wrong with following the dosh, but doing so rather erodes the moral high ground on which they claim to stand.

    • But the money is not drying up. If anything it is increasing. That is the kind of data I am referring to. On the idealism side, the shift from saving the world via a global treaty to saving it via adaptation is not that great.

    • Good point about the money. The “deniers” have made absolutely no progress stopping the profligate funding of “green” initiatives based on “climate change” baloney. As much as climate scientists whine, they have the government in their back pocket and likewise the government has them. It is a symbiotic relationship. The liberal politicians get an emotionally charged cause – save the planet – to get elected. And in return they fund “green” “causes.” What a racket.

    • list of dinosaurs … followed closely by Eli

      Chief, if you can’t even tell the difference between a dinosaur and a rabett it’s hard to imagine you enjoying a visit to Jurassic Park.

      Should we so crass as to start a pool on when – ahem – the paradigm shifts?

      For your information, Chief, the paradigm shifted when Fred Seitz said it did, which was quite a while ago. If you have a different criterion for when it shifted we’re all ears.

    • Between the times when climate shifts with startling speed there are these times when climate does not shift with startling speed.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Ahem- I don’t really want to explain the joke on paradigms shifting when old astronomers kick the bucket. That would be too crass.

      COMMITTEE ON ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE
      RICHARD B. ALLEY (Chair),
      Pennsylvania State University, University Park
      JOCHEM MAROTZKE,
      Southampton Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom
      WILLIAM NORDHAUS,
      Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
      JONATHAN OVERPECK,
      University of Arizona, Tucson
      DOROTHY PETEET,
      National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New York, New York
      ROGER PIELKE, JR.,
      Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, Boulder
      RAYMOND PIERREHUMBERT,
      University of Chicago, Illinois
      PETER RHINES,
      University of Washington, Seattle
      THOMAS STOCKER,
      University of Bern, Switzerland
      LYNNE TALLEY,
      Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
      J. MICHAEL WALLACE,
      University of Washington, Seattle

      Nope – can’t find Fred Seitz.

      Climate is stable? Yeah sure whatever you reckon JCH. I know you are always right . Who are you and what do you do or know?

      It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

      ‘Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=19

    • Robert I Ellison

      And no I don’t really have a list – I will leave such juvenile activities to webby and co.

    • What does Tsonis mean by “a lot of changes in the past century (1901 to 2000) from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural”?

    • Robert I Ellison

      Since you ask so nicely.

      See in particular “A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts’ (top result) and ‘Has the climate recently shifted’ (three or four down on the first page).

      http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=related:2OAEv88bMN8J:scholar.google.com/&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ei=QoxFUPe-KcyaiAfd-4GoBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQzwIwAA

    • So if I said I think Tsonis thinks most of the warming 1901 to 2000 was externally forced (unnatural: the enhanced GHE), would you agree or disagree?

      Similarly, if I said I think Tsonis thinks most of the cooling 1901 to 2000 was internally forced, would you agree or disagree?

  69. There’s an old saying of popular culture, ter wit tempterrain:
    ‘If you get in for nothing you clap.’

    Well, tempt, open debate here, yer don’t hafta clap, but making snide attributions of motive to the host who allows yer the privilege of frequent and lengthy posting, as yer do, is jest ABUSING and/or TAKING ADVANTAGE of that someone’s generosity.

    (I refer yer to page three of the “Manual of Good Manners and Protocol fer Every Occasions,’ tempt.)

  70. Hmm …et comme on dit en francais, ‘Manuel de la Politesse.’ De la motivation, a la page sept, “Honi soit qui mal y pense.”

  71. I went ter the U. Melbourne, VP . We have a Melbourne versus Sydney rivalry, but we try ter observe la politesse.

    • @BC: I went ter the U. Melbourne, VP .

      So did my parents, as did my high school girlfriend whom I never heard from again.

      We have a Melbourne versus Sydney rivalry, but we try ter observe la politess.

      Dear BC, it is a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance. Here we have the Big Game between Stanford and Berkeley, and la politesse long ago went the way of french fries.

  72. Andrew Sachs, c’est une plaisanterie. lol.

  73. Not jest fer British audiences, Oz audiences too, Latimer. Doesn’t that little comic sketch remind yer of some of the talkin’ – past – each – other-scenarios that sometimes take place here, “Que?”

    Jest hafta :-)

    • Wal, ah reckon there’s one thang that’s shure frum where ah set – JC ain’t never fergot about that there “politesse” thang.

      (BC ain’t, neither.)

  74. Happy Birthday to Climate, Etc.

    It’s certainly an interesting community. It’s been interesting to see it play an evolving role in the denialosphere, as people whose previously denied that the world was warming or that humans are responsible changed their tune and embraced other rationalizations for inaction (It won’t warm much! Consequences are uncertain! It’s too late to do anything!) Unfortunately as what I think of as the WUWT crowd migrated over here it brought some of its less savory features with it, including a tendency to avoid substantive discussions and react to any genuine skepticism by becoming incredibly abusive.

    If there were one thing that could improve the site, it would be an “ignore” function. A lot of forums have them, but I doubt WordPress will be offering it anytime soon. This feature lets you set certain posters to “ignore” such that you can see that they’ve posted but not, unless you chose to, what they’ve said. I use my own personal “ignore” function with the more obnoxious denizens, but it does take a certain amount of discipline that not everyone possesses.

    In terms of the actual post content, I feel like the cognitive dissonance quotient has been amped up recently, which is unfortunate (the sea ice is going to stop melting soon and anyhow not going to vanish completely? We have Steven Goddard for insights like that.) But the wonderful thing about nature is that it is just going to keep repeating itself for as long as it takes!

  75. A visible and vocal member of the ‘climate science community’ has taken to responding to all and every criticism/comment/less than fulsome praise of his work with accusations that its all part of a Big Oil well-funded denial conspiracy talking point list. And hopes thereby to avoid answering the substantive points raised. His (few) adoring acolytes lap up his every word and repeat his message wherever possible.

    Personally I have never seen any such denialist conspiracy (but if its well-funded, please send the address,…I could do with a bob or two), but even if it were to exist, would its existence allow Mann (for it is he!) to duck answering any questions?

    If it were the Beelzeebub Lovers and Assorted Satanists and Baby Murderers well-funded denialists who raised a point about the hockey stick? Or the believers in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Or Greenpeace International?

    Are there any conceivable circumstances at all where the identity of the questionner of itself allows the guy to avoid the issue…rather than the relevance/merit of the question itself?

    For me, each time he pulls this trick it merely reinforces my idea that the man is a complete dickhead with a huge ego and minimal self-awareness. But some seem to find this acceptable. I just wonder why.

    • I’m sure that rant made sense to you……..

    • @michael

      Sure did.

      Which bit was unclear to you?

      Let me clarify in case you couldn’t keep up.

      Is it ever acceptable to reject a scientific criticism solely on the basis that you don’t like the questionner’s supposed politics/funding/race/orientation/age?

      And a supplementary:

      If you do reject criticism on those grounds, do you think that for undecided people it

      a. strengthens your scientific credibility
      b. weakens your scientific credibility
      c. has no effect. That you even thought of doing so proves you had none to lose.?

    • @LA: For me, each time he pulls this trick it merely reinforces my idea that the man is a complete dickhead with a huge ego and minimal self-awareness. But some seem to find this acceptable. I just wonder why.

      This merely reinforces my idea that it takes one to know one. (Not claiming originality for it, mind you.)

  76. I think the blog started fine with some good discussions about the strengths and limitations of the science between rational and educated people but alas it attracted too many mindless parrots.

    What I would like to see is a blog that was peopled by only anonymous members of the climate community, ie those who have published papers. I’d like the silent majority to get a chance to rationally discuss the science uncertainties without feeling they have to be policy loyal or being castigated for legitimate skepticism. Copenhagen proved that the scientists can be as overblown as they like but unless the energy policy is sensible then little will change so they should relax a bit more and denigrate the obvious fringe loonies that purport to speak for the silent majority.

    As I said the other day, I think it should be just be regarded as an engineering problem now regardless of the science. There was a lot of phony science and activism about both the aerosol and acid rain problems but we found engineering solutions. The basic sensible tenet to stick to is that we should avoid adding chemicals to the environment if possible. Adding CO2 scrubbers is not a particularly difficult problem!

    The main reason this issue has got out of hand is that there are too many who see it as an opportunity to dictate that we need to change our lifestyle. These types don’t want an engineering solution; they seemingly want either an end to growth or an end to oil consumption (which may lead to the same thing). Oddly they are the same types who used to want us to dig for coal when it was uneconomical or who wanted an end to globalism ie single-issue fanatics.

    • “Engineering solutions” to acid rain (cap and trade) and ozone depletion (global ban on CFCs) emerged from collective political action. I hope you will recall that part of the story.

      Unfortunately not everyone on the political right is as ready as you are to debate solutions. Hence the need to deny the existence of the problem. I think you’ll find many people engaged in this issue with no attachment whatsoever tounnecessary “lifestyle changes.” But in any ccase, it is much healthier to address the question of the best way to deal with the problem rather than denying the existence of the problem. I applaud your courage in that respect.

    • You are one of the parrots I refer to.

    • And I am not on the political right.

    • “As I said the other day, I think it should be just be regarded as an engineering problem now regardless of the science. There was a lot of phony science and activism about both the aerosol and acid rain problems but we found engineering solutions. The basic sensible tenet to stick to is that we should avoid adding chemicals to the environment if possible. Adding CO2 scrubbers is not a particularly difficult problem!”

      I am not aware any solution to acid rain, other realize it was a bunch nonsense.
      I am sure world is eager to discover these CO2 scrubbers which not a particular problem. Is there some kind conspiracy which blocking this new technology for being used?

    • When you are not aware of something, don’t just assume nobody else is. Nobody ever realized it was nonsense, it just dropped from the headlines to be replaced by the next big fake scare. The scrubbers are still being fitted and you know they don’t cost as much as was feared and emissions are much cleaner too.

      Conspiracy? You tell me. I don’t recall all this crap about lifestyle changes being required with the acid rain scare. We just got on with fitting things to clean emissions up. For some reason this has become an anti-growth crusade.

    • David Springer

      So James, I have some questions about the scrubbers.

      1. What is the cost of the scrubbers?
      2. How much will they reduce global warming?
      3. How much financial benefit will be obtained from the reduction in warming?

      Please excuse me for asking such boorish questions but I’m an engineer and these cost/benefit questions are part of our cultural heritage.

    • David Springer

      CO2 is a chemical but so is water and oxygen. CO2 is plant food. There is demonstrable benefit to the primary producers in the food chain from a modestly higher partial pressure in the atmosphere and no demonstrable harm done from same. In other words the upside is empirical and the downside is imagined. The earth, in its most bountiful climate configuration, when it is green from pole to pole, has up to 10 times the modern level of CO2 in it. Moreover the times when the earth was warmer and had far more CO2 in the atmosphere are 90% of its history since life crawled out of the oceans. Green plants evolved in that environment and are best adapted to that environment. Life today is struggling for survival in comparison. Under 200ppm CO2 and plants start suffocating for lack of it. The pre-industrial level of 280ppm is not a lot above basic survival needs. Plants do just great at 2000ppm and animals suffer no ill effects at all. Ice huggers, which is basically what the AGW alarmists are, make no sense from a green point of view. More CO2 is beneficial for green plants. They should want more of it not less if they are really greenies. Actually this makes ME the greenie. I’m the one that wants the optimal environment for the primary producers in the food chain.

    • @james g

      Unless I have missed something there is nothing to stop you creating such a blog.

    • I was hoping you’d point one out to me.

    • David Springer

      JamesG | September 3, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply

      What I would like to see is a blog that was peopled by only anonymous members of the climate community, ie those who have published papers.

      As I said the other day, I think it should be just be regarded as an engineering problem now regardless of the science.

      The climate community are scientists not engineers. You acknowledge the problem is an engineering problem but then exclude the engineering community from the discussion. Non sequitur.

      By the way, the day when science journals start publishing articles by anonymous authors is the day I’ll advocate for anonymity on science blogs.

  77. “Adding CO2 scrubbers is not a particularly difficult problem!”

    Are you being serious James?

    • Edim, it actually isn’t, relatively anyway, but it costs ~25% of the overall efficiency, so it is expensive as all heck. It is cheaper in the long run to process the Carbon into CO and add a coupla H2Ns for various future uses and convenient storage. 20 years ago, synfuel cost about $2 a gallon, equivalent to roughly $60 per barrel oil.

      Synfuels though are the greatest of Satan’s since any carbon source can be used if you have some H2 laying around. That is frightening to the ECO purists since just an announcement by the US that they are focusing on synfuel production for energy security would drop the cost of oil. Markets are weird that way.

    • David Springer

      Cheapest in the long run is to use the high partial pressure CO2 to rev up photosynthesis and produce biofuels next to the smokestacks. Pilot plants already doing this.

      http://embassies.gov.il/washington/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Carbon-munching-algae-turn-pollution-into-products.aspx

      The limiting factor right now is using natural cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Natual algae didn’t evolve to produce as much fuel oil as possible. Fuel oil is a metabolic bioproduct that has limited survival value to the organism. Synthetic biology is the solution to that problem. Through artifical construction of the genome we can modify the organism’s metabolism so it lives to produce to fuel oil. Then we artificially protect it from competition by such means as Monsanto did with Round-Up. We give the artifical organism an effluent pump in its cell membrane that pumps out an artificial herbicide like Round-Up and its natural relatives who would normally out-compete it are unable to to survive at all and we make the genetic modification for the effluent pump sufficiently complex that natural evolution can’t build one in a million years. We are really really really really close to being able to do that right now. It’s a big deal. When it happens fossil fuels will become obsolete because the synthetics will cost less to produce. We’re talking less than $10/bbl equivalent too not less than $100/bbl equivalent!

    • David Springer

      Cheapest in the long run is to use the high partial pressure CO2 to rev up photosynthesis and produce biofuels next to the smokestacks. Pilot plants already doing this.

      http://embassies.gov.il/washington/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Carbon-munching-algae-turn-pollution-into-products.aspx

      The limiting factor right now is using natural cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Natual algae didn’t evolve to produce as much fuel oil as possible. Fuel oil is a metabolic bioproduct that has limited survival value to the organism. Synthetic biology is the solution to that problem. Through artifical construction of the genome we can modify the organism’s metabolism so it lives to produce to fuel oil. Then we artificially protect it from competition by such means as Monsanto did with Round-Up. We give the artifical organism an effluent pump in its cell membrane that pumps out an artificial herbicide like Round-Up and its natural relatives who would normally out-compete it are unable to to survive at all and we make the genetic modification for the effluent pump sufficiently complex that natural evolution can’t build one in a million years. We are really really really really close to being able to do that right now. It’s a big deal. When it happens fossil fuels will become obsolete because the synthetics will cost less to produce. We’re talking less than $10/bbl equivalent too not less than $100/bbl equivalent.

    • David Springer

      If you can process CO2 into CO you can run the CO right back into the burner for the boiler and turn it into CO2 again and then into CO again and so on and so forth. If we use climate science math we can amplify the effect such that every natural gas fired power plant eventually just recycles a single CO2 molecule. /sarc

      Seriously, dude. Carbon monoxide is called maker’s gas. It’s highly flammable and you can introduce it at the air intake of any internal combustion gasoline engine and run the engine on it instead of gasoline. You fire a methane (natural gas) boiler with it too.

      So it’s just about the epitomy of stupidity to recycle the CO2 into CO because you can never be 100% efficient. It’s like having a company where you lose money on every widget you sell but try to make up for it in volume. Teh stupid! It burns! Literally in this case.

    • David Springer

      Uh sorry. The a.k.a. for CO is “producer gas” not “makers gas”. Mibad. Maker and producer are synonyms but you wont’ get any google hits on maker’s gas!

    • David, It is not converting CO2 into CO, it is converting C into CO ala Integrated gasification combined cycle and then adding HNH to make urea or ammonia.

    • David Springer

      I thought the conversation was about CO2 scrubbers.

    • David Springer

      I’m quite familiar with syngas but not with the conversion to hydrogen but it didn’t take long to get caught up with the water shift reaction. Not sure what the advantage is as you’ve still got just as much CO2 to dispose of but it’s at a different point in the process, at the end of the water shift reaction instead of at the exhaust of your combined cycle steam turbine.

      Not sure why you’d want to produce ammonia as that doesn’t dispose of the CO2 either. Any way you slice it or dice it you end up with the carbon in the coal as carbon in CO2. The only place to make gains is in the efficiency of converting the carbon bond energy into electricity. I’m skeptical that in practice you can increase efficiency by producing syngas from coal then firing a combined cycle gas plant with it vs. just burning the coal to make steam for a steam turbine. There’s a lot of screwing around with the coal turning it into clean syngas.

    • Providing plants with more CO2 is like providing people with more cars and homes and yachts but no salary to maintain them. Plants need nitrogen and moisture and warmth too. If you just pour on more and more CO2 you’ll kill them. Cars, homes, and yachts are holes in the road, ground, and water that you pour money into.

    • Edim

      Adding CO2 scrubbers would not be a very difficult problem technically.

      It would be an exorbitantly costly problem economically.

      But even more important, it would be a totally ineffective solution to the postulated “CO2 problem”.

      Using lime from limestone would mean generating just as much CO2 to produce the lime.

      Using caustic soda from salt would mean generating an equivalent amount of chlorine, which would have to be safely disposed somewhere.

      So you are right – this is a totally absurd idea.

      Max

    • There have been big advances made in mist-based scrubbers but nobody seemingly wants to know or buy the technology. We can easily remove soot too by the way. It seems that politics means that scrubbing the CO2 is just never discussed as an option because the fanatics want a carbon tax or carbon credits that will somehow magically encourage a new energy solution. Why not expend far less money and hope on scrubbers? As for costs, in this weird game don’t believe anyone who says anything about costs. The vast majority of people just make things up based on out of date ideas and useless ideologies.

    • Manacker is seemingly one of these people who just make things up. It is not an exorbitant cost. The truth is that he doesn’t even know the cost. I remember the cost projections for SO2 scrubbers – really high supposedly but we did it with no effect at all on the cost of energy afaik. As for the second point about the CO2 problem – why does he care? Millions are lost every day on this boondoggle. The money is already being used and wasted. If we get some fertiliser out of it then good and well. We are at the point of damage limitation here. Personally I’d rather just sack the scientists for pretending to know things they obviously don’t but I’ve been waiting 20 years for that and they are still proliferating faster than ever.

    • JamesG, I have seen a number of designs that optimize CO2 efficiency. that is different than just scrubbing and sequestering. The basic concept is optimal co-generation where as much of the flux gas heat as reasonably possible is used to power secondary processes like heating hot water or low temperature desalination, waste water/solid waste treatment etc. They only work with a very stable load and the more processes involved the more that can screw up. Theoretically, you can get 85% thermal efficiency which puts coal near natural gas in CO2 efficiency. When you add a blend of fuels, like biomass you can even get some “green” endorsement.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aved%C3%B8re_Power_Station

    • Manacker is seemingly one of these people who just make things up.

      Indeed. Anything he added to Wikipedia would immediately get a {{cn}} (citation needed) tag and be deleted when none was forthcoming.

    • JamesG,

      I think you are talking about part of the process of carbon capture and sequestration. The projected costs are very high. It is far higher to have electricity from CCS plants than from nuclear (all costs included).

      Latest estimates of cost of electricity for Australia is black coal with CCS would be about 50% to 100% more than for nuclear (in Australia).
      http://bree.gov.au/documents/publications/Australian-Energy-Technology-Assessment.pdf (Table 5.2.6)

      Furthermore, CCS is unproven at the scale required. There are some minor demonstration plants, but most efforts to do more demonstrations have taken the government money then collapsed in a heap.

  78. JamesG

    Denying the existence of a potential future “problem”, which is backed by solid empirical scientific evidence would, indeed, be silly.

    Creating a hypothetical hobgoblin backed only by rather dicey computer model simulations based primarily on theoretical deliberations, and taking dramatic action to “deal with the problem” before being real sure that there even is a real potential “problem” would be just as silly.

    Right?

    Max

    • Its been done many times before. Logic and facts are ignored. It seems politicians only listen to the loudest voices. Nobody read the result of the 20 million study that concluded acid rain wasn’t a problem. At this stage we need to just embrace scrubbers to prevent the fanatics closing down all our options imo.

  79. Congratulations Judy not only on surviving 2 years, but getting better in the process. – Anthony

    • Indeed. The topics covered are most interesting and relevant. The psychology, sociology, philosophy, morality, and so on are not so well covered elsewhere. There is much more to the climate story than climate science.

      On the plus side, this is one of the very few blogs where the commenters of different persuasions sometimes engage. There are commenters of all kinds here, which is rare for a blog.

      On the not-so-great side, each posting devolves (converges?) into the same arguments by the same commenters, mostly content free.

      What is the point of making a comment after hundreds of others if no one is still reading but the loud-mouths? Who has time to read (or even skip over) so many comments?

  80. Considerate Thinker

    Judith Curry, thank you for the time and courtesy you extend to all of us, and for your grit and integrity in standing up for science in the face of some practised bullies, who are in love with the image of authority they constructed to protect their crumbling version of Climate science.

    It’s rather delicious to listen to the indignant ranting of those like Tempterrain who are almost beside themselves, that your voice might be politically relied upon and respected above their idols, you know, the ones they always defend, and Robert adopting rather than earning, the high moral ground he never had, there must be some inbuilt jealous trait built in, or is it just a tribal reaction to change ?

    Again my personal thanks for providing a ring seat to observe these interesting specimens and at the same time learn from your other denizens, for their calm willingness to explain and expand our knowledge of science.

    Sorry if I sound like shades of Joshua,! it must come from lurking around here!!

  81. Integrity of Science.

    When we read statements like the following:

    We don’t understand cloud feedbacks. We don’t understand air-sea interactions. We don’t understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.

    are not we expected to conclude something is very wrong in side the team?

    The late Hal was right. This has nothing to do with science, but everything to do with politics. They are just trying to achieve their goal by using science as a cover.

    • “They are just trying to achieve their goal by using science as a cover.”

      “Pretense.” All the Warmers have it.

      Andrew

    • “We don’t understand cloud feedbacks. We don’t understand air-sea interactions. We don’t understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.”

      If you read the IPCC report this would be clear….

      But because it’s in a “climategate email” it must be something they are hiding from everyone…

    • Dare I say that skeptic’s exploitation of the quote “We don’t understand cloud feedbacks. We don’t understand air-sea interactions. We don’t understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.”

      is precisely why climate scientists are very careful not to make blanket statements like that in public as they are well aware how they can be twisted by skeptics.

    • @lolwot

      ‘climate scientists are very careful not to make blanket statements like that in public as they are well aware how they can be twisted by skeptics’

      Very difficult to read your remark as anything other than an admission that its all true but they are too scared to admit it.

    • It is true and it’s covered in the IPCC report. The scientists accept CAGW despite these uncertainties.

    • @lolwot

      Very difficult to reconcile your remark that ‘its true and its covered in the IPCC report with your earlier remark that ‘scientists are careful not to make such blanket statements in public’

      Seesm to me that the IPCC report is pretty public. Please explain the apparent contradiction.

      PS Which scientists ‘accept Catastrophic AGW despite these uncertainties’? Please name them.

    • “Very difficult to reconcile your remark that ‘its true and its covered in the IPCC report with your earlier remark that ‘scientists are careful not to make such blanket statements in public’

      The IPCC reports contain more details and context. It isn’t a nicely quotable sound-bite that climate deniers can use so brazenly.

      Perhaps you are unaware of the full quote which would help you see what I mean. Fundamental to this is that Girma has quotemined that sentence from a longer passage that provides more context and contradicts the narrative Girma is trying to push with it.

      “Many of us were pleasantly surprised that our leading scientific societies have recently adopted such strong statements as to the reality and seriousness of anthropogenic climate change. There really is a scientific consensus, and it cannot be refuted or disproved by attacking any single data set.

      I also think people need to come to understand that the scientific uncertainties work both ways. We don’t understand cloud feedbacks. We don’t understand air-sea interactions. We don’t understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long. Singer will say that uncertainties like these mean models lack veracity and can safely be ignored. What seems highly unlikely to me is that each of these uncertainties is going to make the climate system more robust against change. It is just as likely a priori that a poorly understood bit of physics might be a positive as a negative feedback.”

      See Girma stripped out a whole load of context-laden inconvenient stuff that contradicted the message Girma wanted to push. And this is why climate scientists have to be careful when they summarize stuff like this in public. A scientist would have to watch out and guard against the kind of extraction Girma had done. Sad, but true.

  82. The big problem I find with nesting is that it is hard to find my earlier comments, to see if anyone has replied. Nesting of later comments pushes earlier comments down the page. What we really need is being able to find all comments in a given thread by a given commenter. I do not see how to do that.

    • CTRL+F works for me.

    • Zacly. It’s amazing how many computer users don’t use all the universal ctl codes. I don’t know about Mac (never touched one in my life), but Windows and Linux both respond to the ctl codes. Makes life a lot easier.

    • Nothing amazing about it. Most computer systems have from 10 to 100 times more functionality than people have time to learn. Learning is the biggest cost by far, one which few can afford. The systems engineers (and sales people) seem oblivious to this reality.

    • @david wojick

      As a one time SE I rather resent that remark about systems engineers.. You can learn all the CTRL key combinations in a few minutes and they will save you a lot of time. If you choose not to, it is not the designer’s fault

    • Actually I doubt it is a few minutes, Latimer, probably more like a few hours. How many are there? Figure ten minutes each.

      I used to consult on this problem, where my rule of thumb was that the labor cost of learning to use a system was at least twice that of the software cost. I remember talking to an executive who was bragging about his new office automation system that cost $1.8 million. I asked if he could afford $3.6 million in lost labor and he said of course not. So they never really learned how to use most of the system functionality.

    • @david

      CTRL+C = copy
      CTRL+V = paste
      CTRL+X = cut

      That’s cut and paste done for the rest of your life. And if they took you thirty minutes, then you’re not as clever as you like to imagine.

      I’ll throw in CTRL+S = save and CTRL+P = print at no charge.

      So now, in the time it took you too read this, you can cut, paste and copy ..and save and print the results.

      If you really were a consultant on this sort of stuff, you’ll forgive me if I take the liberty of wondering just HowTF you don’t know this basic stuff already, and/or where on earth you got the ‘double the cost amount’ for learning as a rule of thumb. My experience of implementing complex commercial systems (for example SAP) does not give that metric.

    • @david wojick

      The earliest reference I can find to the use of CTRL+keys as shortcuts is in 1983 on the Apple Mac. They were copied into Windows in 1985.

      This is not new news.

    • Mark B (number 2)

      Its so easy to remember because its alphabetical:
      C =Copy
      P =Print
      S=Save
      X (looks like scissors)=Cut
      F=Find
      V (looks like the Roman no. 5, which is a hand with five fingers), so think of a hand pasting wallpaper: =Paste
      Z (looks like a squiggle that crosses out a mistake)=Undue

      I know this must seem ridiculously easy for some people, but this could be a good way of remembering for those who don’t know.

    • But aren’t there many other CTRL+ functions? We started with CTRL+F. I just did CTRL+D and added a bookmark. So I repeat my question, how many are there altogether? How many functions use the CTRL button? Does anyone even know?

    • Probably most of them. I just did N and M at random. N is a new browser window, M minimizes the window.

    • SAP is a good example, Latimer. I doubt that anyone knows how to use all of the functionality, or even most of it. 10% is probably typical, if that. My labor rule of thumb is what it would take for every user to know it all.

      But this tangent has little to do with climate change, except that I doubt anyone knows how a given climate model actually works either. Different people know how pieces of it work but the whole is probably beyond human comprehension. Modern computer systems are like that, with millions of lines of code, expressed in high level languages.

    • @david wojick

      I’m absolutely sure that nobody knows how to use all of SAP. Just like nobody knows how to use every function in Windows. The important thing is that they know enough about the bits that help them to do their job.

      Seems to me that your ‘twice the cost’ ROT is incredibly misleading because – if it refers to anything at all – it is to an unrealistic, unnecessary and unachievable target.

    • Thanks Latimer, but not being computer literate I have no idea what you mean by CTRL+F. What is the procedure? I design search and science mapping algorithms but I do not operate the computers.

    • I see now. After CTRL+F I enter wojick in the upper right little box at the cursor, then use the down arrow head to scroll through all occurrences of my name, most of which are my posts. Cool! Many thanks. Now I have no problem with nesting.

    • peterdavies252

      Hi David

      When you start reading a post topic just depress Ctrl key and the F key together and insert the commenter name in the drop down box.

    • Find the CTRL key on your keyboard. Hold it down and simultaneously press the F key. You will find a search box presented (depends on which browser you are using where it will come on the screen) Type your search text (for example wojick) in the box. And nearby you should see some arrows (mine with next or previous) that you can click on. They will take you to the next or previous occurrence of your string. So by repeated clicking you can find the headers of all your posts.

      BTW the technique of using the CTRL key and something else is widespread and very useful. Go here to start to learn them

      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/126449

      Good luck!

    • ” David Wojick | September 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply

      Thanks Latimer, but not being computer literate”

      I don’t think you meant that literally did you? A computer-literate person knows how to do computations and logic on a computer so one doesn’t have to do it by hand with ledger forms and truth tables.

      I hope that is not what you meant, and instead are just computer-hardware illiterate. No problem with that.

    • @webbie

      You mean that if you can use EXCEL you are computer literate?

      A skill that seems to have eluded the ‘famous’ climatologist and Climategater Phil Jones. Who is curator of one of the most important dataset in the history of humanity.

      http://climateaudit.org/2011/11/23/phil-stumped-at-calculating-a-trend/

      And they want us to trust them. They really must think we are totally stupid. I don’t know whether to laugh at them or cry for us.

    • Correct Web, I am actually an expert on some aspects of computer functionality, including some artificial intelligence. I just can’t use the damn things very well. I mostly type and do simple drawings.

    • peterdavies252

      Agreed. Either that or use the Find function in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

    • Which is exactly the same thing. CTRL-F is just a shortcut to the find function.

    • David -

      As another trick, If you’re looking for a response from a particular person, you can also easily locate comments that you’ve made that specific peson rather than just searching one-by-one though all your comments. Just make a unique feature in how you respond to that individual.

      I do that by adding a space and hyphen after the name of the person I’m responding to. In that way, if I want to see if you’ve responded to this comment, I can just search for “David -” [with the hyphen] and I will selectively get my comments to you returned from my search. Then I have at least cut down on the number of possibilities.

    • What a good trick! Maybe you should do climate modeling (just kidding). Thanks Joshua.

  83. (Let’s see if this works)

    HH HH A PPPPP PPPPP YY YY
    HH HH AA PPPPPP PPPPPP YY YY
    HH HH AAA PP PP PP PP YY YY
    HH HH AAAA PP PP PP PP YY YY
    HHHHHHH AA AA PPPPPP PPPPPP YY YY
    HH HH AAAAAA PPPPP PPPPP YYYY
    HH HH AA AA PP PP YY
    HH HH AA AA PP PP YY
    HH HH AA AA PP PP YY

    ## ## 222222
    ## ## 2222222
    ## ######## 22 22
    ########## 22
    ## ## 22
    ## ## 22
    ########## 22
    ########## 22
    ## ## 222222
    ## ## 222222

  84. F3 => Brings the search box.
    This is very helpful to search for a text in a page. I use it all the time.

    • Another tip => The Chrome browser is faster than Explorer.

    • Agreed, however, I also found Chrome more crashy than Safari, but I have an old operating system, so take it FWIW.

    • Mark B (number 2)

      OMG! I never knew about the F3 button. All these years I have been messing about with “Ctrl F”, making things difficult for myself.
      I’ll try all those “F” buttons, but obviously not while I’m logged into my Betfair. account.

    • David Springer

      I use the edit menu for searches usually because I’ve already got my hand on the mouse unless I’m actually entering text. I also use a lot of different programs where there are more than just simple finds in the search options like find in files and search & replace and it’s easier to mouse the commands off a menu so you don’t inadvertantly hit wrong keys which will get you lost really fast. One of my pet peeves currently is I got a new laptop with a full number pad (first one I’ve owned with a full number pad) and every time the stupid thing wakes up the NUMLOCK is set so when I go to hit the UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT arrow keys I’m not used to there being more keys to the right of them and I’m often off by one column so instead of hitting right arrow and up arrow I’m hitting 0 or 1 and entering text into the document. If numlock is off those keys are instead END and INSERT which doesn’t start sticking stray characters into the document. There may be a BIOS option for default NUMLOCK state on powerup but I keep hoping I’ll eventually get the motor skill to not miss the arrow keys and the annoyance is a motivation factor. Even MORE annoying with the new laptop was that the stupid track pad was enabled after every wake or power-on event. That’ll really screw you up if you use a mouse. I had to spend an hour manually editing the registry to stop that nasty behavior so now the trackpad is automatically disabled if a mouse is plugged in. What idiot at Lenovo figured someone would want to use both a trackpad and mouse at the same time fercrisakes?

  85. In reply to Jim2 at Sept.3 9:10 AM
    And on that note it might interest you to learn that Kansas governor Sam Brownback, a very conservative republican, is backing a plan to vastly expand wind farms in our state. Seems that no one is immune to subsidy backed economic activity.
    Dr. Curry, thanks very much for an informative and entertaining blog.

  86. Congratulations Dr. Curry!

    The blog is brilliant, but it’s hell reading it once the contributions (esp. troll vs. anti-troll) have built up. Can’t you limit contributions to (say) 10 per post? This may have been suggested many times before…

  87. And now for something completely different…

    We all know that Wikipedia is a useful resource when there is consensus on a topic and a failed resource when there is no consensus. This could be fixed by splitting each discussion into a pro part and an anti part, and not allowing cross editing.

    The blog discussions are good, but the same points get argued over and over again, and the good points get lost or forgotten. There is a desperate need for a summarization of the discussions, which could be done in a modified wiki dedicated to Climate Etc issues.

    This should be worthwhile enough that grant money could be found to support a few grad students to moderate it.

  88. How can anyone have used a computer for long without knowing how to search for a certain word in a document? Searches are probably the most basic widely used function of all. Whether it’s control-F or not is irrelevent because it’s on the edit menu of like everything. Wojick is computer illiterate in every sense of the word. I see it all the time. Old dogs and new tricks.

  89. I’d just like to congratulate Judith on the second birthday of Climate Etc. I’m a relative newcomer to this blog. My friend tempterrain suggested it to me. He’s a very nice chap but he does have some strange ideas on climate.

    He used to worry me at times and I couldn’t help but think, if he’s right, the future looked very uncertain. But thanks to Judith pointing out just how uncertain the science is about climate change , I’m more certain than ever that there’s nothing to be at all uncertain about, and we can certainly say that there is no reason whatsoever to be either certain or uncertain that carbon emissions are likely to be a problem so we can certainly and confidently oppose any pseudo-scientific case that they might be.

  90. Once upon a time, Climate Etc. seemed to almost sound like it might begin to work on actual solutions.

    http://irmt.org/ would have been a great link to have known about then, as a UK-based, grass roots, right-wing conservative think tank upholding the finest ideals, and supplying some thoughtful ideas that might raise awareness of what’s missing from the way climate scientists manage their data and inspire some to look into appropriate ways for the management of their scientific records.

  91. http://www.vipaffiliates.com The highest commissions and the best customer service available online. Period.

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