Should scientists promote results over process?

by Judith Curry

Science is the most powerful tool we have for understanding the natural world. Its power stems from the very nuance that forceful slogans typically gloss over. But with this power comes great liability: the potential to be wrong. – Tania Lombrozo

Tania Lombrozo has a very interesting article at cosmos & culture entitled Should scientists promote results over process?  Some excerpts:

Consider: two scientists are asked whether there’s any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. The first says, “It’s a fact humans are causing climate change – there’s no room for doubt.” The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”

The first scientist is probably a more effective spokesperson for the scientific consensus. But the second scientist is providing a more accurate representation of how science works.

This example defines the tension at the boundary between the realms of science and public opinion.

Science is the most powerful tool we have for understanding the natural world. Its power stems from the very nuance that forceful slogans typically gloss over. But with this power comes great liability: the potential to be wrong.

If this potential – and the uncertainty it entails – is a symptom of the very feature that makes science so reliable, then acknowledging uncertainty shouldn’t undermine belief in scientific claims. If anything, it should have the opposite effect: modeling science should effectively defend science.

In a 2008 paper, Anna Thanukos, Michael Weisberg and I found evidence that this may be so: undergraduate students who understood that scientific theories are subject to ongoing testing and revision were more likely, not less likely, to accept evolution.

If you don’t need to be a scientist for firm scientific beliefs to merrily coexist with scientific uncertainty, why the pressure to present science in overly-confident sound bites?

First, contemporary political discourse seems to equate an acknowledgment of the potential to be wrong with a lack of conviction. 

Second, some baseline understanding of science may be necessary for scientific uncertainty to corroborate rather than corrode belief in scientific claims.

In a 2012 paper, Anna Rabinovich and Thomas Morton found that people who saw science as an ongoing debate were more motivated to adopt environmentally-conscious behavior when messages about climate change acknowledged the existence of scientific uncertainty. For participants who saw uncertainty as “a sign of imperfect knowledge,” messages that conveyed greater uncertainty were (nonsignificantly) less likely to motivate environmentally-conscious behavior. 

Overstating confidence in scientific claims may similarly miss a long-term benefit for a short-term advantage: rhetorical oomph comes at the cost of an opportunity to educate people about how science works and why the products of science are our most reliable guides to the natural world.

 Jean Goodwin

Jean Goodwin is back blogging at Between Scientists & Citizens.  She has a related article entitled Three little words so hard to say (I don’t know).  Excerpts:

A scientist is making a presentation to a public (non-specialist) audience.  She’s asked a question relevant in a general way to her topic, but outside of her immediate research area.  She remembers reading something about it, but isn’t quite sure of the answer.  What should she say?

When she addresses such a public audience, the scientist in some sense represents Science.  Her audience may not have other scientists on call, so if she fails to answer, they’re going to be left with whatever knowledge they had before.  There’s also a question of how admitting ignorance is going to affect the scientist’s own credibility.  What would it sound like to duck a question–especially if she has to duck virtually every question she’s asked?

On the other hand, it’s only candid for the scientist to admit the limits of her knowledge. Saying something that turns out to be wrong will do far more damage to her credibility than will admitting ignorance. And she’s not likely to be effective anyways, since one of the basic precepts of critical thinking is not to trust experts speaking outside the expertise.

So here’s the question:  what should she say next?

Feynman

And here is what Richard Feynman has to say, clearly coming down on the side of process over results:

When someone says, “Science teaches such and such,” he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach anything; experience teaches it. If they say to you, “Science has shown such and such,” you might ask, “How does science show it? How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?”

It should not be “science has shown” but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.” And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments–but be patient and listen to all the evidence–to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.

In a field which is so complicated [as education] that true science is not yet able to get anywhere, we have to rely on a kind of old-fashioned wisdom, a kind of definite straightforwardness. I am trying to inspire the teacher at the bottom to have some hope and some self-confidence in common sense and natural intelligence. The experts who are leading you may be wrong.

I have probably ruined the system, and the students that are coming into Caltech no longer will be any good. I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television–words, books, and so on–are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science.

Finally, with regard to this time-binding, a man cannot live beyond the grave. Each generation that discovers something from its experience must pass that on, but it must pass that on with a delicate balance of respect and disrespect, so that the [human] race–now that it is aware of the disease to which it is liable–does not inflict its errors too rigidly on its youth, but it does pass on the accumulated wisdom, plus the wisdom that it may not be wisdom.

It is necessary to teach both to accept and to reject the past with a kind of balance that takes considerable skill. Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation.

JC comments:  The results or process debate  aligns with the debate on the consensual view of science versus the dissension view (e.g. No consensus on consensus).  Emphasizing the ‘facts’ versus the uncertainties is at the heart of the debates that Gavin Schmidt and I had in the blogosphere (mostly before I started Climate Etc.).  An interesting sociological study would be to survey climate scientists on their affinity for the consensus or dissension approach to science, and their preference for the  results or process approach to communicating science.  And at the same time, survey their political leanings and personality type.   JC’s survey results:

  • Dissension view of science
  • Process approach to communication
  • Politically independent
  • INTJ

531 responses to “Should scientists promote results over process?

  1. Mediums, tarot card readers, and global warming alarmists ply their trade by sounding credible.

    • You are right, Wagathon. Results may contain important new information, ” but in science there’s always room for doubt.”

      As Henry H. Bauer notes in his latest book, dogmatism stifles the search for truth:

    • And you ply your trade by sounding incredible?
      Go through your posts and see how many times you make statements without any regard to their uncertainty. Like many skeptics you think the truth of what you say is settled. There is no room for doubt in your narrow mind. Do you think man might have something to do with the rise in temperature? or is your science settled?

      • I am going to tell you something that you will find incredible. Belief in the scientific method is what separates scientists from the superstition and ignorance of unconscience incompetents.

      • Wag old buddy, you didnt answer the question.

        Is it possible that man had something to do with the rise in temperature.

        OR, is your science settled

      • It is not possible in e.g., the White Mountains of California or the snow-covered counryside of France but standing on the swept tarmac in jet exhaust at a French airport with an official thermometer in you hand is a different story.

      • And Wag old buddy.. are you sure about scientists “belief” in the
        scientific method? is that something you tested? or do you just repeat it cause you heard it or read it someplace? you seem mighty sure about it.

      • Perhaps if Socrates had known you he would at least have known something.

      • Steven, clever arguments do not change the recorded words of those who falsely claimed AGW dogma was “settled science.”

      • Steven,

        For the record I do believe humans are having an effect on the climate, I don’t believe we can detect that effect, and I don’t understand what part of the warming is a result of natural forcings. I also don’t believe that scientists can foretell the future using models they’ve created themselves with a foregone belief that CO2 is driving the climate. In fact no one can tell what the effect the increasing CO2 will have on our climate with even the remotest certainty. The IPCC told us that in TAR just before it slipped into an all out environmentally political organisation.

        So the question is do you believe the science is settled? because that’s what he climate science community are telling us. They, or at least their environmental spokespeople, with the silent acknowledgement of the climate science community are also telling us that 97% of scientists working in the field believe humans are increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and there will be serious repercussions. Forget this was 75 out of 10000+ scientists polled, it’s not the issue I’m getting at, do you believe that because 97% of scientists agree on a scientific theory it has to be accepted?

      • Mosher, by 1975 man was putting out 7 Pinatubo’s worth of SO2 into the atmosphere each year.

        So let’s say 3.5C of cooling.

        Then clean air legislation caused the amount of So2 to drop to 6 Pinatubo’s by 2000 and then China started to burn a lot coal and the amount of SO2 rose.

        A scientists would suggest that we have cooled the earth by 3C to 3.5C and some other factor has caused the earth to warm by 3.5C to 4C just barely cancelling out the warming.

        A propagandist like you would claim man has warmed the planet.

      • … just barely cancelling out the cooling.

      • Misrepresentation. The major components of radiative forcing are summarised in this table.

      • BBD, the maxium cooling admitted by the IPCC in that diagram is -2.7W/m^2 which is a lot.

        And I believe they are grossly underestimating.

        This paper suggests warming of 2.26W/m^2 just from the drop in aerosols from 1982 to 2008.

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/huge-increase-in-sunshine-reaching-earth-12-5-times-the-co2-warming/

        And the drop in aerosols is only about 1 Pinatubo suggesting that if all aerosols were removed the amount of extra sunshine would be 15W/m^2.

        That is massive.

      • And I believe they are grossly underestimating.

        Beliefs don’t count. Especially not those of ‘sceptics’ on climate blogs. Get actual research written up and published in a reputable journal and this will change.

        Which brings us to Wang et al. You are once again guilty of *misrepresentation*. Unless you just didn’t read the paper and so were unaware that the suggested change in surface forcing is confined only to the NH. It is not global, as you claim. In fact the SH trend is *zero*.

        Interestingly, the authors of the study do not suggest that their findings in any way undermine the scientific consensus on GW.

        My guess is that this is just another study misunderstood and/or misrepresented by ‘sceptics’.

      • I am not so worried about the SH since there is significantly less data being collected.

        I am not misrepresenting or misunderstanding the data. You just claim that because you hate the conclusions.

        A reduction of aerosols results in a large increase in solar energy striking the earth.

        From other papers we know the reduction in aerosols over that time period was quite small compared to overall SO2 increases.

        Man has cooled the planet by a large amount using SO2.

      • BBD,

        Are you being deliberately obtuse or are you so far gone in your “faith” that you are incapable of rational thought.

        The whole argument about whether certain data, events, estimations are global or regional is often a means to hide unwanted information or divert attention. So what if the Wang paper only applies to the NH. It is still 1/2 of the planet and therefor a significant piece of information. Your dismissing it from the debate does you no service.

      • BBD | November 12, 2012 at 11:14 am |

        “…..The major components of radiative forcing are summarised in this table…..”

        BBD, don’t neglect reading the right hand column of that IPCC page.

        The one headed LOSU: Level of Scientific Understanding.

        Note only 2 of the 8 listed rate a “High” on Level of Scientific Understanding.

      • “BBD, don’t neglect reading the right hand column of that IPCC page.”

        I doubt that BBD has ever read the IPCC reports, he parrots Skeptical Science and Science of Doom. All these papers he gives the impression of reading can be found there with the abstracts and explanations. Go check and don’t waste your time responding to him, he managed to get himself banned by Bishop Hill, which for those of you not familiar with that site, consists mainly of gentlemanly old brits, and much smarter and erudite, British ladies. Manners are de rigeur, althought the conversation can be forthright. The Bishop decided after a long time that he had a troll on his hands so after many warnings gave BBD his marching orders. Strangely when he first appeared on the blog he gave the impression that he was a sceptic, but after a few months told had a conversion because he’d read the science. Odd that.

      • Intrigued I googled for BBD and Bishophill and found this thread:
        http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1923523

        BBD is the only person on the thread to talk any sense.

  2. Bruce Cunningham

    Years from now, it will be apparent to all that the “science was not settled” on the issue of global warming, even though many people of high authority and influence were saying that it was. This post highlights the fundamental mistakes that were made, and will hopefully provide a lesson learned for future generations. Dr. Curry will a good example of how true science is carried out. Others, not so much.

    • But “the science is settled” – ask any alarmist.

      However, ask the motivations of any of those who say: “the science is settled” and the response will indicate total derision for what scientific research should be all about.

      • But “the science is settled” – ask any alarmist.

        Just curious. Are you even aware of how few scientists have ever said that w/r/t climate change? I can guarantee it is an order (orders?) of magnitude fewer than the time of times “skeptics” have claimed that scientists have said it.

        There are many “skeptics,” who if they ever bothered to actually try to be accurate, might become skeptics.

      • It’s not the quantum of scientists that have actually used the particular words, it is the fact that “authorities” proclaiming to represent a “consensus” of scientists have spoken on their behalf. A real scientist would necessarily “reject the is settled” dogma.

      • Oops … A real scientist would necessarily reject “the science is settled” dogma.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        No, not aware of how few, Josh.
        Am aware that APS says ” incontrovertible”

        ” (Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)
        Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
        The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

      • NGTG -

        Please look at what Watts and Judith and any number of “skeptics” say also. They say that most “skeptics” don’t doubt that ACO2 is warming the climate, and that few “skeptics” doubt that.

        At any rate, saying that ACO2 definitely warming the climate is not the same thing as saying that “the science is settled.” Don’t be coy. You know that “the science is settled” means that there are no questions at all to be answered – such as magnitude of influence from ACO2, or magnitude of “natural” variables. Whether or not we agree that they appropriately recognize uncertainty, virtually no scientists say that those factors are “settled.”

        The mischaracterization of the “uncertainty” of what climate scientists acknowledge is a big problem in settling how best to acknowledge uncertainty. Despite Judith’s reluctance to acknowledge it, the problem is on both sides of the debate. Look at what happened when what Mojib Latif was widely mischaracterized by “skeptics.” That kind of demagoging only keeps the battle lines drawn and gets people digging their trenches deeper. The whole “They said the science was settled” meme is along the same lines of nonsense.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshus, I believe that scientists receiving public funding bear a greater responsibility than other persons generally do. Scientific organizations making public statement carry a double responsibility..

        Therefore I give your argument some discount.on that factor alone.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua, you said:

        “Don’t be coy. You know that “the science is settled” means that there are no questions at all to be answered ”

        I am taking a quote as it is.
        What they are saying is about climate science.

        You now give your opinion on what “incontrovertible” or “settled” means within the climate discussion and you assert which people mean it which way about which details.

        ,but I do not do that.

        You asked, I showed something. You disagree with my opinion that it is an example of what you asked for. .

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua,
        Were you not being a bit coy not to notice that the physicists used an infinitely stronger word than “settled”?
        Were you not projecting your coyness onto me ?

      • What they are saying is about climate science.

        We are going around in circles. They are not saying that the science is settled. They are saying that it is incontrovertible that ACO2 is warming the climate. Watts says the same think, and that most “skeptics” don’t question that fact. If climate scientists are saying that “the science is settled” through your process of deduction, then so is Watts, and so is Judith for that matter.

        And you will also notice, that Peter used quotation marks in his original comment that I was responding to. In addition to being a straw man in a rhetorical sense, it is also flat out wrong in a factual sense.

      • TINGTG -

        Gotta run. A quick response w/r/t which adjective is “stronger.” I’d say that they are similar in strength, but that the adjective “incontrovertible” is not modifying “the science.” That is the difference.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua, you said

        “We are going around in circles. They are not saying that the science is settled. They are saying that it is incontrovertible that ACO2 is warming the climate. Watts says the same think, and that most “skeptics” don’t question that fact. If climate scientists are saying that “the science is settled” through your process of deduction, then so is Watts, and so is Judith for that matter.

        Even if it were true that we could say the same of Dr.Curry, it would not change my opinion that APS made a statement far exceeding “setled science” and it was precisely on the topic you asked about.

        You now claim “They are not saying that the science is settled.”
        The evidence:is incontrovertible> Global Warming is occurring.

        You know damn well what GW means to most lay people. And here they point to human GW only..

        Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
        The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua, you said:

        “w/r/t which adjective is “stronger.” I’d say that they are similar in strength,{/quote] One means cannot be overturned, the other means less than that. It means scientists are comfortable with the conclusion and are not pushing investigation to re-determine it. A closed book on a crime. That kind of notion. Not scientifically incontrovertible, by any means

        You also said:
        “but that the adjective “incontrovertible” is not modifying “the science.” That is the difference”
        It is modifying something, and that something is “the evidence”. The evidence is what the science is based on and evidence is what science is said to present. The presentation is incontrovertible.

        You can surely admit how the lay public would appreciate the statement, Joshua. This can never be overturned, is how.

        C’mon. you’re being coy.

      • Joshua

        incontrovertible [ˌɪnkɒntrəˈvɜːtəbəl ɪnˌkɒn-]
        adj
        incapable of being contradicted or disputed; undeniable

        Sounds the same as “settled” to me.

        Max

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Max,
        I disagree. “Settled” is sufficiently different from “incontrovertible” to show that one infinitely exceeds the other.

        “.
        1. To put into order; arrange or fix definitely as desired.
        2. To put firmly into a desired position or place; establish.
        4. To restore calmness or comfort to.
        6. To subdue or make orderly.
        7. To establish on a permanent basis; stabilize.
        9. To conclude (a dispute, for example) by a final decision.
        .
        1. To discontinue moving and come to rest in one place.
        5. To reach a decision; determine: We finally settled on a solution to the problem..
        6. To come to an agreement, especially to resolve a lawsuit out of court.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Try them out for yourself.

        “We’re taking the kids to McDonalds for lunch. That’s settled”
        “We’re taking the kids to McDonalds for lunch. That’s incontrovertible”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        “OK, we’ll dye your hair purple. It’s settled”
        “OK, we’ll dye your hair purple. It’s incontrovertible”.

        haha

      • Joshua, where exactly did he mention “scientists”?
        Or are “scientists” and “alarmists” synonymous in your world?

      • Josh,

        In this instance I think the one being coy is you.

        How often do we see the 97% figure? How often do we hear in the media the “go to” people for quotes say the evidence is incontroversial? While these may not be exactly the same as saying “the science is settled”, they effectively indistinguishable from it to the general public. The difference only matters to those who like to argue over nuances.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        It’s so much more serious when a scientific society says it than when Joe Public says it. Other people know Joe does not necessarily distinguish technical terms from common language and is also prone to overstate cases using inflated metaphorical imagery.

        By scientific societies, the public expectation of truth is raised .

      • Tim -

        I understand your point, and think it has some validity. Yes, the 97% figure is meant to indicate that there is no “controversy” (in the sense of being incontrovertible). But the subject about which there is no controversy is not “the science” but about whether or not ACO2 warms the climate. And some portion of the “realist” combatants do argue, yes, that catastrophic climate change is a highly probable development. But again, even the standard representation of the “realist perspective is that it is probable that somewhat more than 50% of recent warming is anthropogenically caused. That very statement is inconsistent with the statement that the “science” – as apposed to the GHE – is “settled”. And again, Watts, Curry, etc., l are in agreement with the statement that the GHE is incontrovertible. Judith says that she doesn’t listen to anyone who doesn’t agree. And again, using TINGTG’s logic, then they too are saying that “the science is settled” and the only ones who aren’t are “sky dragons.”

      • TINGTG -

        In many contexts there is a difference between “settled” and “incontrovertible.” “Settled” implies that people have discussed the issue and have come to an agreement; it doesn’t usually imply that there is no controversy.

        But the expression “the science is settled” is essentially the same in connotation as “the science is incontrovertible.” It is meant to indicate that there is no valid controversy. But once again, what is being referenced with the “incontrovertible” is not “the science” – it is the issue of whether or not GHE warms the climate. And once again, people who don’t agree that the GHE effect is controversial don’t merit listening to, according to Judith (which, of course, means that she ignores a significant number of denizens – but that’s another issue). I have explained this a number of times and you don’t seem interested in addressing that point. So I’ll just drop it here unless you want to bring something else to the discussion.

      • I understand your point, and think it has some validity. Yes, the 97% figure is meant to indicate that there is no “controversy” (in the sense of being incontrovertible). But the subject about which there is no controversy is not “the science” but about whether or not ACO2 warms the climate.

        This is an essential observation. Numbers like that 97% are almost meaningless because the questions leave so much freedom for interpretation that many of the climate skeptics could have answered that they agree as well (of course they would not answer so, but they could).

        What does an agreement mean when everybody may have an essentially different interpretation on the object of agreement?

      • Joshua,

        But the subject about which there is no controversy is not “the science” but about whether or not ACO2 warms the climate. And some portion of the “realist” combatants do argue, yes, that catastrophic climate change is a highly probable development.

        Clearly, you are in denial or being dishonest. The controversy is about CAGW, not whether “ACO2 warms the planet”. If it wasn’t that climate scientists, UN IPCC, Left leaning politicians, so called ‘environmental NGO’s’ and media were incessantly scaremongering about CAGW, there would be none of the two decade long, nauseous argument about CAGW, carbon taxes, world government to implement and then enforce the will of the Lonny Left, etc. (of course, they’d then adopt some other basis for their scaremongering)

      • Pekka -

        The problem that people don’t even bother to clarify what it is that they are disagreeing about is a strong signal of motivated reasoning. They are identifying strongly as being in opposition and castigating each other as “deniers” and “cultists” and “socialists” and “pissants” and “conspiracists” without even coming to a definition of terms.

        In fact, even the terms of “warmist” and “denier” and “realist” and “skeptic”, etc., have no clear definition as far as I can tell. Both sides use selective reasoning to create convenient definitions based on incoherent (at least inconsistent) criteria with absolutely no validation or qualification of correlation let alone evidence of causation.

        It’s a mess. (some) combatants on both sides are pointing fingers and shouting “Junk science,” even as they, themselves, fail to consistently follow even the most basic principles of valid science.

      • Peter Lang -

        Clearly, you are in denial or being dishonest. The controversy is about CAGW, not whether “ACO2 warms the planet”.

        I would suggest that you start actually reading what I wrote before attacking me personally.

      • Joshua,

        @ November 12, 2012 at 8:40 am you said

        NGTG -
        Please look at what Watts and Judith and any number of “skeptics” say also. They say that most “skeptics” don’t doubt that ACO2 is warming the climate, and that few “skeptics” doubt that.

        This shows that you are fully aware that the controversy is not about “ACO2 is warming the climate”. It is about CAGW.

        Despite this comment demonstrating you know what the controversy is about, just few hours later, @ November 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm, you said.

        the 97% figure is meant to indicate that there is no “controversy” (in the sense of being incontrovertible). But the subject about which there is no controversy is not “the science” but about whether or not ACO2 warms the climate. And some portion of the “realist” combatants do argue, yes, that catastrophic climate change is a highly probable development.

        The first quote above demonstrates you know full well that the argument is not about “ACO2 warms the planet”. It is about CAGW and especially the consequences of the policies the CAGW alarmists advocate and Left wing politicians want to implement. That is what the controversy is about.

        Therefore, you are using strawman tactics, and, I suggest, you are being dishonest.

      • Joshua,
        @ November 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm said:

        The problem that people don’t even bother to clarify what it is that they are disagreeing about is a strong signal of motivated reasoning.

        Or they use strawman arguments and misleading statements, as you do (as I revealed in my previous comment). Nothing could be a clearer demonstration of your continual motivated reasoning.

        They are identifying strongly as being in opposition and castigating each other as “deniers” and “cultists” and “socialists” and “pissants” and “conspiracists” without even coming to a definition of terms.
        In fact, even the terms of “warmist” and “denier” and “realist” and “skeptic”, etc., have no clear definition as far as I can tell.

        Guess who uses these terms continually? Joshua!

        Clearly, Joshua uses such terms continually for some reason. Perhaps because he can see the tide is swinging against the CAGW alarmists. Or is it just evidence of his “motivated reasoning”?

      • Peter -

        Again, your attacks against me are not only a logical fallacy (ad hom), but also just flat out wrong.

        There is nothing inconsistent about how I have characterized the controversy.

        I will review my argument for you. “Realists” say that there is no controversy as to whether ACO2 warms the climate. They do not say that “the science” is settled – as “the science” implies more than just the question of the GHE.

        Some “skeptics” also say that there is no controversy about whether ACO2 warms the climate, and they go further to say that virtually no “skeptics” disagree and those who do disagree aren’t worth listening to.

        Now I find much evidence that runs counter to claims on both sides that the GHE is “incontrovertible,” as I see “controversy” quite regularly. Both sides say that it is “incontrovertible” to indicate that they think that anyone who argues otherwise is not basing their arguments on valid science. Now I can’t evaluate the science. I see what looks like smart people with a lot of expertise who argue that ACO2 does not (or cannot) warm the climate. I see both sides use basically ad hom attacks to refute people who hold that perspective and I am not persuaded by ad homs. I’m also not persuaded by Judith’s attempts to throw the many denizens at this site who argue that there is no GHE under the bus. What I am, mostly, persuaded by is the prevalence of experts who consider the GHE to be a fact of science.

        In addition, I see an invalid argument. That is the argument that “most skeptics” don’t doubt the GHE. FIrst, I see direct evidence to the contrary. Second, I see arguments presented by those who say that they don’t question the GHE, but then then lay out arguments that are logically inconsistent with acceptance of the GHE.

        I have also argued that the attacks that all or most “warmists/alarmists” say that the science is settled is a straw man – and I have gone on to explain my position there.

        I think that about sums it up. Maybe I left something out – but either way, your ad homs are not only ad homs, but they are flat out wrong. If you insist that I have argued something that I have not argued, more power to you. And please, do continue with the ad homs. It does provide a nice example of the quality of your reasoning.

      • Peter -

        You will notice that when I only use three of those terms: “realist,” “skeptic” and “conspiracist.” I put realist and skeptic in quote to note the inadequacy of those terms. Even still, I usually try to use qualifiers. When called on an indiscriminate use of those terms, I acknowledge the error and rephrase with qualifiers. With the term “conspiracist,” I usually am referring to a very specific context. On the occassions I don’t, I usually use qualifiers. If you can point me to an occasion when I have done otherwise, I will acknowledge my error and rephrase accurately.

        Now refer back to just these few posts you have directed my way, and reflect on your unvalidated use of those and other similarly poorly qualified terms. I await your acknowledgement of your errors, and your rephrasing so as to be more accurate.

      • Joshua said:

        Again, your attacks against me are not only a logical fallacy (ad hom), but also just flat out wrong.

        There is nothing inconsistent about how I have characterized the controversy.

        What a joke!.

        “ad hom” hew says. Wow! How hypocritical!. Take a look at hos continually abusive and inflammatory language directed at what he calls “deniers”.

        “Nothing inconsistent”.

        What a joke. Not only inconsistent but intentionally so. Clearly, virtually every comment Joshua posts is driven by his “motivated reasoning”.

      • Peter -

        Perhaps because he can see the tide is swinging against the CAGW alarmists.

        This is one of my favorite “skeptical” (as opposed to skeptical) arguments.

        Please provide some evidence for your claim. I’m talking about validated and qualified evidence, hopefully controlled for any variety of variables such as the influence of the economy, the influence of short-term weather phenomena, and the influence of motivated reasoning/confirmation bias. If you cannot provide such evidence, then why are you making such a claim. Can you not see that making such claims when you have no validated of quantified evidence reflects a “skeptical” viewpoint and not the viewpoint of a skeptic?

      • Peter -

        “ad hom” hew says. Wow! How hypocritical!. Take a look at hos continually abusive and inflammatory language directed at what he calls “deniers”.

        I can guarantee that you can not find one example of me using the term “denier” except as a reference to the fact that some people use the term. I have never called anyone in these debates a “denier.”

        Again, you are just flat out wrong. You are saying things for which you have no, zero, nada, zilch, niente, bupkis evidence. And you are making false statements with complete (false) certainty.

        I do encourage you to continue with this line or “reasoning,” however, as it does show your approach to analysis and I find that useful.

      • I will say that back in the day, I did have some convoluted way to describe the full range of combatants -something like ranging from one spectrum of “skeptical-convinced/believer” and another spectrum of “skeptical-unconvinced/denier.” When people objected of that use of the term “denier,” I made it quite clear that it was a theoretical reference that there are at least some folks out there who do not evaluate information to formulate their opinion (actually, on both sides as similarly referenced with the usage of “believer” that has the exact same connotation). I always made it clear how the use of “believer” and “denier” were parallel, and that there was no reference to holocaust denial. I also made it quite clear that I never referred to any individual as a “denier.” Not one – as that would require first-hand knowledge of the individual.

        I later decided that describing the full spectrum of combatants in that manner was too convoluted and inconvenient, and switched instead to “realist” and “skeptic.” – both terms used by the combatants to describe themselves, and both terms put into quotes to suggest a putative connotation (as both terms may or may not accurately describe any particular individual who uses those terms in their self-description).

        I sometimes do deliberately refer to some people as “skeptics” in contrast to skeptic. For example, when someone uses the kind of reasoning that you have used in this exchange of several posts, I fully stand behind the assertion that skeptic does not apply, where as “skeptic” does. That is, quite simply, because you have come to numerous conclusions without sufficient supporting evidence. I suppose that is also a kind of ad-hom. I will have to further consider modifying my syntax. I should, instead, refer to you as someone who (at least sometimes) readily slips into “skeptical” reasoning and fails to use the skeptical reasoning.That also seems convoluted and inconvenient – but it is accurate and doesn’t use fallacious ad home reasoning. I’ll mull it over.

      • Joshua,

        More bla bla bla all of which is clear evidence of your own “motivated reasoning” – something you continually accuse everyone else of but don’t recognise that it drives everything you say. The fact you cannot recognise it is what motivates you is “denial”. the fact you so frequently accuse others of it is hypocrisy. The fact you repeatedly use strawman arguments (as clearly demonstrated by the bits of your comments I quoted in earlier posts) shows you use misrepresentation as part of your techniques. Your integrity is suspect.

      • Peter -

        Again you are just wrong. I have always said that motivated reasoning is a product of inherent characteristics in the cognitive and psychological elements of how we all reason – myself included.

        This is yet another example in a serious of flat out wrong statements in this exchange, just flat out wrong, including multiple flat out wrong statements in this last thread.

      • Joshua,

        I don’t find much to argue with you in your response to me. And I know you like to pick apart arguments from a nuanced perspective. That’s your thing. I’m not sure it advances the discussion of what climate change is and how does it matter to us. In fact any argument that includes labels has a strong inclination to do exactly the opposite.

        Yes there are people who make all sorts of claims both for and against AGW/CAGW and the state of climate change science. I think it a fair statement to say that there is a significant segment in the debate (I’m including journalists, bureaucrats and politicians here) who are very much trying to tell us the “debate is over”, that there is an “overwhelming consensus”, that the basic science regarding CO2 is “settled” and that we need to “act now”. One can quibble around the edges all day. I do not think it will impact the validity of anything I state above.

        I personally think the science is far from settled. Science has barely scratched the surface of understanding clouds. There is much we do not understand what goes on in the oceans. I’d go so far as to say science lacks a clear idea on where we should be spending our research dollars. A large portion is going to modeling. At some point I believe that needs to be reviewed. Those scientists engaged primarily in modeling will understandably disagree. I believe questions like this are more important than arguing over what is basically semantics.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua, I have addressed your objection that “incontrovertible evidence”, is not the same as “the science is settled”.

        You said
        “You know that “the science is settled” means that there are no questions at all to be answered”

        And I say that is merely your convenient invention. It’s absurd to say it means that every possible question is settled.
        It’s as absurd as to tell us that “You stole my money” must mean that you took every last penny that was in my laundry.

      • tim -

        I believe questions like this are more important than arguing over what is basically semantics.

        Of course those questions are more important, and that is exactly where the scientists who are doing the important work are focusing their energies.

        I don’t think that arguing about what is basically semantics is important. I don’t think that Peter, or a long line of “skeptics,” presenting straw man arguments about “the science is settled” is important. In my view, most of the people here take this stuff waaaaaaaaay too seriously.

        But it is what it is; if we are going to essentially waste our time with these blog arguments, then let’s at least discuss what is accurate, what is valid, etc.

        Discussing whether or not climate scientists acknowledge uncertainty sufficiently is certainly a valid discussion, IMO – but you won’t get to the meat of that discussion by distorting what they say. This is along the lines of what happened with Latif; inaccurate demogoging that takes place w/r/t what scientists do or don’t say serves no useful function.

      • Joshua,

        Making his usual straw man arguments and accusing others of doing so. What a dishonest individual he must be. Clearly lacks professional or intellectual integrity.

        I don’t think that arguing about what is basically semantics is important. I don’t think that Peter, or a long line of “skeptics,” presenting straw man arguments about “the science is settled” is important.

        What a joke. All Joshua seems to argue about is semantics – and selecting them to support his advicacy and ideological beliefs.

        Where is Joshua’s focus on what is important – i.e. the policy relevant information?

      • Policy is a done deal. Fossil fuel supplies need to be replaced with alternatives, no question in that regard. What Josh and myself like to discuss here is the science behind the uncertainty in the amount of warming; and as a side effect, why skeptics believe weird things with respect to the science and the scientific method.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        WHT,
        After Joshua got a prime example of what he asked for,he immediately challenged the meaning of the words.

        He needed to assert that “the science is settled” means every possible question is settled.
        Before that he changed the question from “alarmist” to “scientist” and asked if certain people knew how few scientists claimed it was settled.
        I answered by showing a scientific society’s claim..
        I could give David Suzuki’s name. But Joshua never did say how few, did he ?.

        Joshua’s first response to me after my first response to Joshua was to initiate a mild character attack.

        None of this is consistent with your claims WHT

      • phatboy -

        Joshua, where exactly did he mention “scientists”?
        Or are “scientists” and “alarmists” synonymous in your world?

        That is a legitimate point, to an extent. So by that I take it you agree that it is indefensible to argue that climate scientists are saying that “the science is settled.” That was part of my point – that Peter was ignoring, basically, what the scientists say. But maybe it was a bad move for me to go from “alarmist” to scientist. Point taken.

        So now let’s move on to the claim that “any alarmist” says that “the science is settled.” I think that here we’ll have to define “alarmist.” For example, Max has shown himself to be an alarmist on a number of issues. Many other “skeptics” have shown likewise. Do “any” of them say that “the science is settled?” So even at that level, it is obvious that Peter’s statement was erroneous. But obviously he was intending a selective definition of “alarmist.” So let’s even go with that. Where is your evidence that if you ask “any alarmist” they will say that the science is settled. In fact, the vast majority of people who Peter is labeling as ‘alarmist” agree quite readily that there is much about the science that is not settled. In fact, the iconic statement from the IPCC characterizing the estate of the science makes it quite clear that there is much that is not yet “settled.”

        Look – again, there is no doubt that “realists” say that it is incontrovertible that ACO2 warms the climate. But then again, so does Watts, so does Judith. In fact, Judith doesn’t listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with that the warming influence of ACO2 is “settled.”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua said

        “Yes, the 97% figure is meant to indicate that there is no “controversy” (in the sense of being incontrovertible).”

        Here Joshua continues to sow semantical confusion by equating “No controversy” with “incontrovertible”.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        I had wagered myself that Joshua would ,after splitting the discussion, to sow maximum discord through the introduction of “scientist in place of “alarmist”, would when pressed on what he did, further try to splinter it by introducing “climate scientist ” in the stead of his previous “scientist”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        It’s why I mentioned David Suzuki.

        That made Josh play his card.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua’s next move by that playbook would be to work through “self identified”, “currently publishing” climate scientist and so on, Anderegg, anyone ? ..
        But now I will not wager it.

      • Tell you what Josh, write to the leading 100 alarmist scientists and ask them to sign a document stating emphatically that the science isn’t settled. It seems to me that they’ve enjoyed the environmental foot soldiers telling the world that the science is settled, while staying silent on the subject, just as they have enjoyed giving the impression that the IPCC is forecasting the future without pointing out to the people that models quoted cannot forecast the future state of a coupled non-linear chaotic system.

      • RE Web’s comment at the bottom of this string.

        Perhaps someone should point out to him the IEA report saying the US is about to surpass Saudia Arabia as the leading oil producer in the world.

      • Peter the people who seem most convinced that the truth about their position is “settled” are the skeptics.
        Skeptics who are sure the MWP was warmer than today.
        Skeptics who are sure the sun explains it all.
        Skeptics who are sure that climate science is a hoax
        Skeptics who are sure that all climate science is a socialist trojan horse.
        Skeptics who are sure that C02 can have no effect, or a tiny effect, or good effects.
        Skeptics who are sure that the temperature record is a fraud. They are sure adjustments are bogus. Sure of the UHI effect, the list goes on.
        Skeptics who are sure that natural variation explains it all.
        you get the idea. Skeptics are rarely skeptical of their own ideas.
        And, here is the real shocker, I have more trouble getting code and data from skeptics than I did getting it from Jones and hansen.

        It’s only within actual climate science that one finds uncertainty. To be sure folks havent talked about that uncertainty as forthrightly as people like Judith would have liked. But on balance if you are looking for open minded consideration of alternative opinions.. you’ll find it more within the institutions of science than in the blogosphere.

      • The only way you can say and believe this is if you also believe your position is settled. Your move.

      • There is nothing in the scientific method that says people should not have strong opinions. That is a common fallacy. The point here is that claims of consensus are empirically false. I am sure of that.

      • Steven, I’m sceptical that we are at great risk from warming and that anti-emissions policies are a good use of resources, but I’m not “sure” about any of the propositions you list.

      • Steven Mosher—-the people who seem most convinced that the truth about their position is “settled” are the skeptics.
        JK—This skeptic is quite convinced that the alarmists are grossly exaggerating their case.
        This skeptic believes that Al Gore lied.
        This skeptic believes that CO2 followed, NOT led, temperature in AL Gore’s ice cores.
        This skeptic believes that Mann’s “hockey stick” is an intentional fraud.
        This skeptic believes there is good evidence that some previous warm periods were warmer than today.
        This skeptic believes that Steven Schneider said it OK to lie to the public about climate change. Same for Al Gore and Jim Hansen.
        This skeptic believes that the alarmist community is making billions off of the climate scare.
        This skeptic believes, in view of the above, that there is nothing unusual about today’s climate and therefore not a problem that needs attention.
        This skeptic is still waiting for actual, real evidence that man’s CO2 is harming the climate. (No climate models please.)
        Thanks
        JK

      • Steven, let me reply to each of your points. I believe I am a typical, reasonably well-informed, sceptic. I am also a practicing geologist in the private sector, possibly the most sceptical of all groups in regards to CAGW theory.

        “Peter the people who seem most convinced that the truth about their position is “settled” are the skeptics.” My position is we should be able to admit we now know enough about climate to realise that we only have a very imperfect understanding of this extremely complex subject and that making claims to the contrary, such as in the slavish belief of over-simplistic climate model predictions is as stupid, as it is dangerous.

        “Skeptics who are sure the MWP was warmer than today.” ‘Warmer or similar to today’ would be a more accurate statement. The MWP and previous Holocene climate optimums are an anathema to alarmists, due to the obvious lack, amongst other things, of coal fired power stations in those times. I personally have seen two instances which demonstrated the existence of the MWP: wine terraces at a now destroyed monestary in central Wales and the remains of giant tree trunks in the river banks of southern Iceland. The point here is that leading members of the Global Warming Industry, have gone out of their way to try and disprove the existence of the MWP, because it is inconvenient for their theories.

        “Skeptics who are sure the sun explains it all.” Our sun is a variable star and although this is not a significant factor affecting climate today, this may not have been the case in the not so distant past; we simply do not know. What sceptics do not like is the outright dismissal by alarmists that the sun can possibly have any effect on our climate.

        “Skeptics who are sure that climate science is a hoax” Climate science is now an industry into which tens of billions of dollars are poured each year. Those in the industry are all too often motivated by the perpetuation of their comfortable lifestyles. The problem here has become that unless the research produced is on message and scary, then there are employment consequences. What do you think would happen If most climate scientists publicly came to the same obviously correct conclusion of;”Yes, we have examined the subject of AGW and it does exist, but there is little or nothing to be worried about, and as for CAGW, that’s just the product of someone’s overactive imagination.
        The industry would almost cease to exist within a year. So “hoax” is not really the right expression, “routinely cavalier with the facts” is a much better one. The problem is the cure proposed by climate scientists for climate change, and gleefully leaped on by today’s dodgy politicians, is far more dangerous and costly than living with the status quo.

        “Skeptics who are sure that all climate science is a socialist trojan horse.” Many sceptics believe – and I am one of them – that people who do not really understand how the real world works (socialists rank high in this group) are more likely to want to introduce draconian counter-measures to what is essentially a mildly interesting non-problem. Climate scientists are almost all funded by government, or quasi-government, organisations, which want sound reasons to introduce greater taxation, and if it is at all possible these new taxes should be labelled ‘green and therefore good for you’, then their paymasters will be that much more happy. We return to the obvious problem of employment consequences if a climate scientist does not deliver what is required by his, or her, paymasters.

        “Skeptics who are sure that C02 can have no effect, or a tiny effect, or good effects.” I know of no sceptics who believe rising CO2 levels have no effect. I know of plenty of sceptics who believe the forcing effect on temperature of rising CO2 levels is obvious and measurable, but in terms of whether you want to recreate the LIA, or live in today’s more ambient temperatures, I would respectfully suggest most people would choose the latter. As you know, CO2 is nature’s natural fertiliser, so on balance I would say the recent rise in CO2 levels has been largely beneficial for the biomass of this planet and yet we are still nowhere near our planet’s long term norms of the Cenozoic Era (post Cretaceous). Your comment here is simplistic and requires a far more complex answer that there is time or space here – let’s just say that as a sceptic I resent alarmists claiming that they have a full understanding of the temperature feedback mechanisms, when nothing could be further from the truth. Alarmists are constantly saying we need to return to the climatic norm by fixing our world’s climate and making it stable. Well, there is this inconvenient concept of climate change, which has been with us for the past four billion years. Also, throughout the Cenozoic Era (except for the 2.6My long Pleistocene), both temperatures and CO2 levels have been higher than experienced today.

        “Skeptics who are sure that the temperature record is a fraud.” Every time there is an update of an official temperature series, two things always happen, the past always gets cooler, especially in the 1930s and in the late 19th century. As there are no exceptions to this, I think sceptics can be excused for say that the temperature records have been manipulated by alarmists for their own ends.

        “They are sure adjustments are bogus.” I am sure many of them are not bogus, but I am equally sure that there has been widescale manipulation of data.

        “Sure of the UHI effect” I cannot believe you do not believe in the UHI effect. Most sceptics quite rightly point out that its effect has generally been deliberately underestimated by climate scientists.

        “, the list goes on.” Of course, it does.

        “Skeptics who are sure that natural variation explains it all.” Most sceptics believe natural variations/climate cycles explain much of the warming witnessed over the past century; similar warming events (‘climate optimums’) have happened several times before in the Holocene. Unless you believe in Mann’s notorious Hockey Stick proxy interpretations, you will see the magnitude of this warming period is little different from those over the past 9,000 years. Most sceptics simply argue that we do not know how much of the recent warming is AGW and how much is not, while the concept of natural climate cycles is a grand heresy to alarmists. Alarmists believe AGW is only about rising CO2 levels, but sceptics say what about the impact of the other AGW factors, such as land usage, irrigation, soot emissions, UHI, aerosols etc?

        “you get the idea. Skeptics are rarely skeptical of their own ideas.
        And, here is the real shocker, I have more trouble getting code and data from skeptics than I did getting it from Jones and hansen.” I cannot comment on this as I simply do not know, but I would be surprised if either Jones or Hansen have given up more than a token percentage of their code.

        “It’s only within actual climate science that one finds uncertainty. To be sure folks havent talked about that uncertainty as forthrightly as people like Judith would have liked. But on balance if you are looking for open minded consideration of alternative opinions.. you’ll find it more within the institutions of science than in the blogosphere.” With respect, this statement is pure BS. Climate science is corrupted by its method of funding and the employment consequences of not always being ‘on message’. The bogusness of this statement can be demonstrated by the fact that climate scientists, almost without exception, refuse to publicly debate their science with sceptics for fear of being sliced and diced, while hiding behind lame excuses such as:”Why should I debate with someone who does not know what he is talking about, as he is clearly not an Establishment scientist?”

        As I have stated previously in Judith Curry’s blog: It is now the job of the sceptics to keep the Global Warming Industry honest. When: i) your financial resources are less than 0.1% of those you are trying to keep honest, and ii) you are up against an entrenched Establishment with its own agenda, it is obviously no easy task. This recent development of requiring honesty is something the industry clearly does not like; nevertheless a transformation for the better is slowly starting to take place.

      • A geologist. Say no more.

      • The quality of those who share your views can be seen in the one line comment by WebHubTelescope a little later on.

        “Yah boo sucks! He, he he.” is all too often the typical depth of alarmist commentary on climate.

      • Note that Mosher has not replied.

      • Peter -

        I believe I am a typical, reasonably well-informed, sceptic.

        Then why do you promote nonsense, such as we see in this comment from you:

        But “the science is settled” – ask any alarmist.

        That comment is inconsistent with that self-description you just offered.

      • Peter -

        Here again, we see evidence that your self-description is not accurate.

        The quality of those who share your views can be seen in the one line comment by WebHubTelescope a little later on.

        There is nothing in the character or content in WHT’s comment that you reference that can’t be seen in countless comments by “skeptics” in thread after thread, day after day in the blogosphere. Yet you use selective reasoning to describe the correlation.

        That is the reasoning of a “skeptic,” not a skeptic.

      • David -

        Note that Mosher has not replied.

        And what does that mean, David? You seem to be interpreting some meaning behind Mosher’s lack of response. What meaning would that be?

        Since you speak often of your expertise in logic, I look forward to your answer.

      • Peter Miller

        An excellent in-depth response to all the points raised by Steven Mosher.

        +100.

        Let’s see if Mosher rebuts or accepts what you have written.

        Max

      • Peter -

        What sceptics do not like is the outright dismissal by alarmists that the sun can possibly have any effect on our climate.

        Similar to your “the science is settled” rhetoric – this statement is a complete strawman.

        It is amusing that you have a +100 from “rational skeptics” such as Max, and approval from “skeptical” logicians such as David W., even though your comment is full of logical fallacies such as the one I just exceprted.

        No one “outright dismiss[es}” the possibility that the sun has “any affect on our climate.”

        What a ridiculous characterization of what “skeptics” say!

        Judith – are you reading this? Do you see what your “extended peer review community” views as solid and scientifically-based reasoning?

      • err… what a ridiculous characterization of what climate scientists say.

      • Cognitive myopia – Joshua, your “motivated reasoning” is showing.

      • Joshua

        Out of a very well-reasoned and detailed reply by Peter Miller to the many points raised by Steven Mosher (totaling over 1400 words), you pick out one phrase (and make a big deal out of it):

        Our sun is a variable star and although this is not a significant factor affecting climate today, this may not have been the case in the not so distant past; we simply do not know. What sceptics do not like is the outright dismissal by alarmists that the sun can possibly have any effect on our climate.

        Peter Miller acknowledges that solar variability may not be a significant factor affecting climate today, but objects to the ” outright dismissal by alarmists that the sun can possibly have any effect on our climate”

        Many “alarmists” have, in fact, stated that the sun has no impact on our climate, but he probably should have written (to make it conform to what IPCC really says in AR4 WG1 Ch. 2 and SPM, p.5):

        outright dismissal by alarmists that the sun can possibly have any a significant effect on our climate”

        There.

        That should fix it.

        Max

      • Max -

        Out of a very well-reasoned and detailed reply by Peter Miller to the many points raised by Steven Mosher (totaling over 1400 words), you pick out one phrase (and make a big deal out of it):

        Peter wrote three comments, all of which contained fundamental logical fallacies. I pointed out only three, but there were more.

        It reflects poor reasoning. It reflects a poor approach to discussing the issues at hand.

        Deal with it. Don’t make excuses for it.

        That is what a rational skeptic would do.

      • Now let’s look at the fallacies in your weak defense of Peter’s fallacious reasoning.

        Many “alarmists” have, in fact, stated that the sun has no impact on our climate,

        First, you an entirely useless qualifier or “many.” What does “many” mean in this context? A significant number? An insignificant number? Why would someone base a statement about the validity of various scientific views without specifying to any real degree how prevalent they are?

        Second, what does “alarmist” mean? See the first point I just made. Are we talking about climate scientists? Prominent non-scientist representatives of those who are concerned about AGW?

        Third – please give on example, or better yet, please indicated some way that we might confirm your assertion that “many” people discussing climate change have said that the sun has “no impact on climate.”

        In my view, that comment is absurd. The entire theory of AGW is an analysis of the sun’s effect on the climate. Scientists considering the impact of ACO2 over time consider the influence of the sun on our climate. Scientists like Gavin Schmidt have discussed these issues at length. Peter described himself as well-informed, and no doubt you would describe yourself similarly. How, then, could you be unaware of these simple facts.

        The fact that some scientists feel that they have controlled for the effects of the sun as an explanation for recent warming in no way implies that they think that the sun has “no effect on the climate.” Your statement is absurd. It is a straw man, just as Peter’s were.

        Please, if you want to discuss these issues, don’t just keep repeating the same fallacious arguments. It will get us nowhere.

      • Joshua:

        “And what does that mean, David? You seem to be interpreting some meaning behind Mosher’s lack of response. What meaning would that be?”

        It would mean that Mosher was up until 4 am ( about 4 hours ago )
        and is just getting up.

      • steven -

        It would mean that Mosher was up until 4 am ( about 4 hours ago )
        and is just getting up.

        You’d think that as an “expert” in logic, David W. might have consider such an obvious possibility. It’s a shame what happens when “skeptics” and logic meet.

      • Steve

        You overly generalize and as a result take an inaccurate position. You write: “the people who seem most convinced that the truth about their position is “settled” are the skeptics.” Upon what reliable data to you base this profound comment?

        As an individual skeptical that we understand the rate of warming, what the net harms or benefits will be to individual nations and what the response of the nation in which I am a citizen (the USA) should do from a policy statdpoint in order to effectively utilize our limited resources; I disagree with your conclusion.

        It seems to me that just the opposite is more likely to be true. Those who believe that they are sure that they know how much the earth is warming over what timescale seem certain that the change is greatly harmful and that they are sure that all people should fall into line and adopt their vision of what should be done in the future.

        With all due respect Steve, you seem overly confident of your position of heat in the pipeline.

      • Peter,

        Interesting response. Let’s demolish it.

        “Steven, let me reply to each of your points. I believe I am a typical, reasonably well-informed, sceptic. I am also a practicing geologist in the private sector, possibly the most sceptical of all groups in regards to CAGW theory.”

        1. I don’t buy for one minute that you are a typical skeptic. This argument has been tried before and it fails. There is no “typical skeptic” There are common skeptical tactics, but nothing one could call a typical skeptic. The “I am a typical skeptic” argument goes something like this. You ignore all the crazy things skeptics usually say, and focus on doubt, a typical skeptic tactic, but not a typical skeptic position. Second, as a practicing “geologist” you are not a typical skeptic. You are a highly specialized skeptic.

        “My position is we should be able to admit we now know enough about climate to realise that we only have a very imperfect understanding of this extremely complex subject and that making claims to the contrary, such as in the slavish belief of over-simplistic climate model predictions is as stupid, as it is dangerous.”

        Strawman. Nobody that I know in climate science has what could be remotely described as a “slavish” belief in climate model predictions. In fact the literature is full of the exact opposite. What is foolish is the the skeptic utter disbelieff in ANY and ALL models ( except those they like )

        ‘Warmer or similar to today’ would be a more accurate statement. The MWP and previous Holocene climate optimums are an anathema to alarmists, due to the obvious lack, amongst other things, of coal fired power stations in those times. ”

        Warmer or similar? How much similiar? How much warmer?
        Where? Are you certain? A warmer MWP is not an anathama to warmists. Look, I’m a typical warmer. Its not an anathama to me.
        ( haha I love the “Im a typical so and so argument ) A warmer MWP means two things.
        A) the climate is more sensitive than we thought.
        B) We understand natural varability less than we thought.

        A warmer MWP says nothing about the role of C02. We understand C02 and its effect independent of the proxy record. The first estimate of sensitivity ( 1C to 6C ) was made independent of any reference to to the past.. simple first principles.

        “I personally have seen two instances which demonstrated the existence of the MWP: wine terraces at a now destroyed monestary in central Wales and the remains of giant tree trunks in the river banks of southern Iceland. The point here is that leading members of the Global Warming Industry, have gone out of their way to try and disprove the existence of the MWP, because it is inconvenient for their theories.”

        It is not inconvienient for the theory. Witness the recent work by Esper. read the climategate mails where Osborn and Briffa criticized Mann. Some people working in the field have no issue with a MWP. However, Mann did lead people down the wrong path by thinking he could beat down skeptical arguments by beating down the wiggles in the shaft. He was wrong. I know this is a hard point to understand, but The HS has almost nothing to do with global warming. It DOES have something to do with attacking bad skeptical arguments about natural variation. In short, the AGW theory is just fine with a larger MWP.

        ” Our sun is a variable star and although this is not a significant factor affecting climate today, this may not have been the case in the not so distant past; we simply do not know. What sceptics do not like is the outright dismissal by alarmists that the sun can possibly have any effect on our climate.”

        You need to read more skeptics. You will find many skeptics arguing that the sun explains everything from lake levels to the temperature to volcanos. You will find Scaffetta and archibald making predictions based on the positions of jupiter and saturn. ya. sun spots done it, and whats crazier is that jupiter really runs the show. Or wait for this, glactic cosmic rays. Ya. explains everything.
        For the most part everyone in the AGW camp believes that changes in the sun effect he climate. Its not like we have ignored the faint sun paradox. And you must be aware of the many papers attempting to understand the LIA from solar forcing. And in Ar5 there is a whole raft of work done to understand the role of the sun in paleo.

        ” Climate science is now an industry into which tens of billions of dollars are poured each year. Those in the industry are all too often motivated by the perpetuation of their comfortable lifestyles. The problem here has become that unless the research produced is on message and scary, then there are employment consequences. ”

        Well you did not address the Hoax claim. Fail. Instead you flip to another claim. Unproven claims about people motivations. You think the climate is complex. Seeing into mens hearts is harder. Yet you do it with ease. Not very skeptical. Maybe you are the typical skeptic. Employment consequences? Really. If they were working in industry there might be. Again. you are making claims here without evidence. typical skeptic? yup.

        “What do you think would happen If most climate scientists publicly came to the same obviously correct conclusion of;”Yes, we have examined the subject of AGW and it does exist, but there is little or nothing to be worried about, and as for CAGW, that’s just the product of someone’s overactive imagination.”

        The vast majority would still have their tenure. They would still have their government positions. Those studynig paleo would still study paleo. Those looking at cloud physics would still study cloud physics. Those running models would still run models. Those collecting satillite data would continue. The paths of research would change, you would see less growth in hiring.

        “The industry would almost cease to exist within a year. So “hoax” is not really the right expression, “routinely cavalier with the facts” is a much better one. ”

        really? the industry would cease within a year? you sure of that. And if Hoax is not the right word, then you better go on WUWT and inform them. Did your ever see the reception McIntyre got when he said “Fraud” was not the right word to describe climategate?
        Google global warming Hoax. I will tell you what is atypical. Its atypical for a skeptic to claim that its not a hoax.

        “The problem is the cure proposed by climate scientists for climate change, and gleefully leaped on by today’s dodgy politicians, is far more dangerous and costly than living with the status quo.”

        really? is that settled? again, you make claims without evidence. Typical skeptic. I dunno. that was your claim. Seems like you are very sure about the cost of the cure and the cost of the status quo?
        You forgot my main point. Skeptics dont practice skepticism with regard to their own beliefs. You have decided. Its settled. The cure is worse. Thank you for making my point.

        More later.

      • Steve writes-
        “Skeptics dont practice skepticism with regard to their own beliefs”

        Imo, another overly broad generalization that is no more true of skeptics than of those who fear a warmer world. Imo, it is more true of those who see a warmer world as a disaster for humanity. Use Robert as an example of a typical “believer”.

      • Bravo, steven.

      • Peter Miller said in his 6:22 AM post on Nov. 12:

        “I personally have seen two instances which demonstrated the existence of the MWP: wine terraces at a now destroyed monestary in central Wales and the remains of giant tree trunks in the river banks of southern Iceland.”
        _____

        Peter implies that during the period between 1,000 AD and 2,000 AD Iceland was too cold for trees to grow and the British Isles were too cold for grapes to grow. I do not believe this to be true.

        ‘Among the first things that visitors to Iceland usually notice are that it is not as warm as where they came from and there is a lack of forests in the landscape.  Logically, they connect these two facts and come to the conclusion that Iceland is too cold for forests.  This impression is often reinforced when they see the “forests” of low-growing and crooked native birch.  However, over a century of forestry activity has proven that this is not the case, that it is past land-use and not climate that explains the treeless landscape.  In fact, forests grow as well in Iceland as they do in parts of the world where forestry is a major industry.’ 
        Throstur Eyesteinsson
        Iceland Forest Service

        http://www.skogur.is/english/forestry-in-a-treeless-land/

        Vineyards exist in the British Isles today, and I doubt there ever was a time during the last 1,000 years when winters were too cold for grape cultivation.

        “There are records of some vineyards in the 17th century.  The great botanist John Tradescant planted 20,000 vines on his employer Lord Salisbury’s estate in Hertfordshire and the vineyards became well-renowned.  In 1666, John Rose, Gardener to Charles II at His Royal Garden in St. James’s, wrote a treatise on the cultivation of vines in this country called “The English Vineyard Vindicated”, in which he discussed the question of site selection, vine varieties, pruning and training and care of the vines up to the harvest.”

        http://www.englishwineproducers.com/history.htm

      • Peter, continued:

        ” Many sceptics believe – and I am one of them – that people who do not really understand how the real world works (socialists rank high in this group) are more likely to want to introduce draconian counter-measures to what is essentially a mildly interesting non-problem. ”

        Well, this is really avoiding my point. The claim was that many skeptics believe that climate science is a trojan horse for socialism. You dont deny that. What you do is prove my point.
        You claim that there is no Problem. You call it a non problem.
        My point was that skeptics are the ones who seem SURE of their position. And what do you do? you Prove that by saying that its a non problem. You are not even open to the possibility of being wrong. your science is settled. that dear peter was my point. My point was the typical skeptic was less skeptical than the typical warmist. and you proved it. In spades.

        “Climate scientists are almost all funded by government, or quasi-government, organisations, which want sound reasons to introduce greater taxation, and if it is at all possible these new taxes should be labelled ‘green and therefore good for you’, then their paymasters will be that much more happy. We return to the obvious problem of employment consequences if a climate scientist does not deliver what is required by his, or her, paymasters.”

        Again, Peter you seem very sure of your explanation. I heard a man make the same kind of argument. His name was Michael mann. he argued that Skeptics like Mcintyre could not be believed because they were getting a big paycheck. A real skeptic doesnt look at the paycheck. A real skeptic looks at the data and the science. You prefer to argue against the man. You prefer to talk about motives you cant observe rather than physics. Again, this proves my point. You are the one who lacks skepticism. You are the one who claims to know that the science must be corrupted by money. No way can it be correct. Right?

        “ “I know of no sceptics who believe rising CO2 levels have no effect.”

        read this thread. read the sky dragons. Plus, my claim also include those who say it must have a small effect.

        “I know of plenty of sceptics who believe the forcing effect on temperature of rising CO2 levels is obvious and measurable, ”

        Really? point to one.

        “but in terms of whether you want to recreate the LIA, or live in today’s more ambient temperatures, I would respectfully suggest most people would choose the latter. ”

        That has nothing to do with the claim I made. My claim was that skeptics generally claim to be certain about the effect of C02. They tend to be certain that it can have no effect or a small effect.. or good effects.

        “As you know, CO2 is nature’s natural fertiliser, so on balance I would say the recent rise in CO2 levels has been largely beneficial for the biomass of this planet and yet we are still nowhere near our planet’s long term norms of the Cenozoic Era (post Cretaceous). ”

        Yes, and if humans were around in the cenozoic, that might be an interesting point. But here again, you prove my point. My point being that skeptics are not skeptical of their own “knowledge” they are more likely to claim a position they hold is settled.

        “Your comment here is simplistic and requires a far more complex answer that there is time or space here – let’s just say that as a sceptic I resent alarmists claiming that they have a full understanding of the temperature feedback mechanisms, when nothing could be further from the truth. ”

        Let me cure you of your resentment. Go find a paper that claims a full understanding of feedbacks. Guess what, the only paper you will find is a skeptic paper claiming full knowledge.

        “Alarmists are constantly saying we need to return to the climatic norm by fixing our world’s climate and making it stable. ”

        Huh? nice strawman. The primary concern is that we not pass a threshold seen in our lifetimes. Nobody talks about a stable climate.

        “Well, there is this inconvenient concept of climate change, which has been with us for the past four billion years. Also, throughout the Cenozoic Era (except for the 2.6My long Pleistocene), both temperatures and CO2 levels have been higher than experienced today.”

        Of course temperatures have been higher. The question more precisely is what has OUR species seen. What did we adapt to?
        Look at some point in the future the earth is going to get super hot. and then very cold. talking about past extremes is not on point. This is another skeptical problem. Are you sure that temperature of millions of years ago matters as much as the temperature under which modern civilization evolved? Are you sure of that? Again, dont forget my point. My point was that skeptics are not skeptical of their own positions. You proved it again. You think the temperatures of deep time are relevant. Are you sure? I will make this simple.
        Is the fact that we once had huge ice sheets on NA relevant to a discussion about the additional warming C02 causes?

        Lets see:

        Steve: Doubling C02 could raise temperatures by 1-6C
        Peter: Once upon a time it was colder.
        Steve: Peter.. over here, the conversation is this way.
        Steve: Doubling C02 could raise temperatures by 1-6C
        Peter: Millions of years ago before modern civilization existed
        it was warmer
        Steve: Peter.. over here, the conversation is this way.
        Peter: Im sure these facts are relevant.
        Steve: yes, and you have no doubts about that. maybe cause that is
        all you know and you hope its relevant.

        “Every time there is an update of an official temperature series, two things always happen, the past always gets cooler, especially in the 1930s and in the late 19th century. As there are no exceptions to this, I think sceptics can be excused for say that the temperature records have been manipulated by alarmists for their own ends.”

        Really. Do you know the physical reason why more records ( we are adding records as time goes on.. more stations coming out of archives ) will lead to in most cases to a cooler 1930s and cooler 19th century? Think..I will give you two hints. polar amplification and latitudinal bias in records.

        “ I am sure many of them are not bogus, but I am equally sure that there has been widescale manipulation of data.”

        really. widescale manipulation? you are sure of that? proved it for yourself. Looked at the data? looked at the code? Your prove my point. My point was skeptics have no skepticism with regards to their own positions. They never question themselves. they never question each other. Take the “data has been manipulated” lie. What data?
        and who did it. Again, for a skeptic you seem pretty sure.

        “ I cannot believe you do not believe in the UHI effect. Most sceptics quite rightly point out that its effect has generally been deliberately underestimated by climate scientists.”

        Really and where is the proof of this deliberate underestimation. Most of the work I have seen over estimates it. Some work underestimates. For the most part its a very complex problem and saying anything definite about it is really difficult. I’ve seen cities cooler than rural. Warmer than rural, the same temperature as rural. Go read my blog, you’ll see how difficult it is. But no, you are sure, like all skeptics. sure of your position and sure that your science is settled. me? im not so sure.

        “, the list goes on.” Of course, it does.

        Thank you for adding to the list. Skeptics are sure that the deep past matters. Skeptics are sure that climate scientists are on the take.
        Skeptics are sure that C02 is a non problem. And that data has been manipulated .. ya. list goes on. Thanks for proving my point.

      • mosher,

        you had me at “beating down the wiggles in the shaft”

      • I have to say, I’m beginning to think that I may be wrong in one of my primary arguments.

        I have said that there is no difference of distinction between lukewamers and “skeptics.”

        I don’t think that I’ve seen a valid scientific-type definition that validates distinctions between the two groups, but in a non-scientific truthiness kind of way, I will say that lukewamers, in general, tend to be more scientific (and skeptical as opposed to “skeptical”) in their approach. (At least at times. For example, mosher is also not infrequently unscientific in his approach – but not so much on the technical matters).

        Problems remain with the basic argument. For example, many “skeptics” identify themselves as lukewarmers – and by the common definition of lukewarmer, that may well be true. Many “skeptics” say that they don’t doubt that the Earth is warming and that ACO2 contributes to the warming (we just don’t know how much). The point there is that you have to look beyond their self-identification to see the inherent illogic (or lack thereof) to distinguish “skeptics” from lukewarmers. The exchange between Peter and steven in this thread is an excellent case study.

      • Steven

        I have to concede you made one good point. It is unlikely we could get rid of all those ‘climate scientists’ within a year, that was obviously far too optimistic on my part.

        As for the rest, I guess it all boils down to whether or not you think that ‘climate science’ has become corrupted or not.

        Most sceptics, like myself, believe far too much of climate science has morphed into ‘climate science’, aka the Global Warming Industry. This industry is like a cancer, it just grows and grows, and if unchecked it will eventually kill its patient, namely the world economy. There are many good climate scientists; the problem is they are heavily outnumbered by ‘climate scientists’, who are passionate believers in the alarmist cause/cult.

        It also boils down to the subjects of AGW and CAGW. You are clearly a believer in CAGW and incorrectly like to merge the two concepts together. On the other hand, I believe AGW occurs, but that it is of no great magnitude, while I do not think there is a shred of evidence to support CAGW except in highly dubious climate models. It has become a classic alarmist tactic to merge AGW and CAGW into one subject – the first is obviously real and the latter is a complete falsehood, supported by a BS interpretation of certain feedback processes.

        If no one took any notice of ‘climate scientists’ and the ‘cures’ they propose for a non-problem, then I would not really be interested in the subject. However, the ‘cures’: i) are extremely detrimental to the world economy, ii) savagely reduce individuals’ disposable income, and iii) are utterly pointless, as the growing industrial power house countries of Asia and South America only pay lip service to/ignore them.

        You talk of ‘climate scientists’ being open-minded, once again there is not a shred of evidence to support that, instead they are super-sensitive to criticism, routinely refuse to disclose original data, methodology or code, refuse to publicly debate sceptics, and are slaves to the wishes of their tax hungry paymasters.

        I see you long ago became excellent at arguing black is white, which I remember is what you used to do ad nauseam at WUWT. I presume being regularly sliced and diced there is the reason you only rarely comment there these days.

        I presume you believe Tropical Storm Sandy is definitive and undeniable proof of global warming. If so, then I fear there is no hope.

      • Max_OK. The records show there was no one growing grapes for wine, except possibly in green houses, in England between 1300 and 1900 AD for obvious reasons – it was too bloody cold!..

        Also, I referred to an old monastery in central Wales, this is an area much cooler than the wine growing areas of southern England today.

        As for Iceland, it is possible to grow forests there on well-drained, south facing slopes of some hills with elevations close to sea level. Most of these man-planted forests are sorry looking things. The tree trunks I was referring to are sometimes over a metre across in diameter. Nothing even remotely approaching this exists in Iceland today.

      • More Peter.

        ” Most sceptics believe natural variations/climate cycles explain much of the warming witnessed over the past century; similar warming events (‘climate optimums’) have happened several times before in the Holocene. ”

        Thank you for proving my point My point was that skeptics are the ones who believe their science is settled. That skeptics are the ones who believe that natural variation explains it all. They never test this. They never attempt to explain what they mean by natural variation or what causes natural variation. They never test their hypothesis. They never question it. C02 has little or no effect. they never even consider the possibility that they might be wrong. Climate science, onthe other hand, tries to explain the variation. Climate science of course accepts natural variation and points out that our best physics indicates that doubling C02 could add 1C to 6C of warming on top of natural variation. When it comes to the science being settled and being closed minded there is no competition. Skeptics are the ones claiming certainty.

        “Unless you believe in Mann’s notorious Hockey Stick proxy interpretations, you will see the magnitude of this warming period is little different from those over the past 9,000 years. ”

        Well I dont buy mann’s HS and comparisons between past warming and this warming are besides the point. The point is Why do we see the warming we see? “natural variation” is not an explaination. Its meaningless. We have a theory. that theory was liad out before Manns hockey stick was ever drawn. That theory predicted a rise of 1C to 6C on top of natural variation. The observations confirm that science. they dont disconfirm it. Of course, is possible, that the warming we see could stop. Its possible that a 1C effect is the truth. But, you wont see any skeptic questioning their belief that “natural variation” explains it all. Nope. they think that because it was warmer in the past that C02 can have no effect. Weird.

        “Most sceptics simply argue that we do not know how much of the recent warming is AGW and how much is not, while the concept of natural climate cycles is a grand heresy to alarmists. ”

        Hardly. you keep forgetting that most skeptics here argue that the warming we have seen is fake, and that natural variation explains all that fake warming. And you misrepresent climate science again.
        This is another thing you are sure about. You are sure that you understand the science and what it says about natural variation. You might want to read a bit and open your mind. Or prove my point and say your view of climate science is settled.

        “Alarmists believe AGW is only about rising CO2 levels, but sceptics say what about the impact of the other AGW factors, such as land usage, irrigation, soot emissions, UHI, aerosols etc?”

        You have not read Ar4 or Ar5. Let me pulls some stuff from those.
        1. C02 is not the only forcing. Skeptics are sure the science says this, but the science says otherwise
        2. Land use is characterized at 30% of the forcing changes. Sceptics are sure that land use is not considered. They dont even know about the Hyde 3.1 dataset.
        3. Soot is covered. Skeptics are sure soot explains it all. Skeptics claim the science doesnt consdier soot. Of course they are wrong. black carbon is a forcing
        4. UHI effect. Skeptics are convinced that UHI explains it all. The science says the effect is real, it is estimated to vary between
        10% and 25% of the post 1950 warming. You are sure that climate science says nothing about this. You are wrong.
        5 aerosols: Skeptics think the science says nothing about this. They are wrong, it is recognized as a forcing and highly uncertain.

        You proved my point yet again. You are so sure about what climate science says, but you dont even read the literature.

        ” I cannot comment on this as I simply do not know, but I would be surprised if either Jones or Hansen have given up more than a token percentage of their code.”

        Sorry, but both gave up their crown jewels. Again, you have an opinion that is not based in fact, but you cling to it. You could not possibly be wrong in your mind. rather than investigate the issue, you simply state your opinion. Not very skeptical. If you dont know, then reserve judgement. THAT is the skeptical path. Instead, you argue that you dont have the facts BUT you retain your position. That is exactly what I am talking about when I point out the fact that skeptics are not skeptical of their own positions. You believe, but have no facts, that Hansen and Jones are holding back. You could take the skeptical position: ” I have no facts. I reserve judgement” BUT, you dont take the skeptical position. You take the position that your uniformed suspicion is good enough. Ignorant and close minded. The typical skeptic I suppose.

        “It’s only within actual climate science that one finds uncertainty. To “With respect, this statement is pure BS. Climate science is corrupted by its method of funding and the employment consequences of not always being ‘on message’. ”

        Again, we find a skeptic that is sure of his position. He is sure that climate science is corrupt. What was my point? My point was that skeptics were not skeptical about their own positions. You proved that. Bravo.

        “The bogusness of this statement can be demonstrated by the fact that climate scientists, almost without exception, refuse to publicly debate their science with sceptics for fear of being sliced and diced, while hiding behind lame excuses such as:”Why should I debate with someone who does not know what he is talking about, as he is clearly not an Establishment scientist?”

        That’s not really an argument that addresses my point. Also, you seem mighty sure ( not skeptical ) about why scientists ( some) won’t debate in public. I could point out the exceptions. For the most part its futile to debate with people who won’t admit the possibility that they are wrong. Who think their science is settled. Who think that anyone who disagrees with them is “on the dole” or “protecting their job” or part of a hoax. In short, its futile to debate with skeptics because you have told us and proved over and over that you are not open to thepossibility that you might be wrong. Nope. Co2 has no effect. Climate scientists are only in it for the money. They are frauds and hoaxs and proof of that is they wont debate us in public where we can abuse them live and in person.

        ” It is now the job of the sceptics to keep the Global Warming Industry honest. When: i) your financial resources are less than 0.1% of those you are trying to keep honest, and ii) you are up against an entrenched Establishment with its own agenda, it is obviously no easy task. ”

        Funny, how can you claim the job of keeping other people honest is yours? Seems to me your job should be to keep yourself honest and keep the people who agree with you honest. Prove you can keep your house clean. For my part, I try to call out the BS I see. There is a book: CLimategate: the crutape letters. You should read it.
        When you have proved that you can keep the skeptic house clean, when I see you correcting folks living in your house, I might trust you with the job of helping me keep my house clean. So, you want the job of keeping other people honest. Start with the mirror. Then look around your house. Prove you can be fair.

      • You got it Steven Mosher, skeptics are not very skeptical of the Null Hypothesis (No Effect). Furthermore, warmists tried so hard to find some evidence for an effect and nothing sensible is there. Where’s the beef? Their behavior tells all.

      • Steven

        I repeat:

        I have to concede you made one good point. It is unlikely we could get rid of all those ‘climate scientists’ within a year, that was obviously far too optimistic on my part.

        It was the only good point, the rest was just ranting and empty rhetoric.

      • Steven

        Since you listed what “skeptics” believe about the climate, and since I happen to be a “skeptic”, let me correct your assumptions:

        1. Skeptics are sure the MWP was warmer than today.

        Not true. Skeptics believe that there is no conclusive evidence to support the IPCC claim that ”the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”

        2. Skeptics are sure the sun explains it all.

        Not true. Skeptics believe there are many natural factors, which may or may not be directly related to the sun, which have played a major role in determining our planet’s climate; they believe that there is no conclusive evidence to support the IPCC claim that ”most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid 20-th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases”

        3. Skeptics are sure that climate science is a hoax.

        Not true. Skeptics believe that the IPCC “consensus” claim of CAGW is not supported by empirical scientific evidence, therefore it is an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        4. Skeptics are sure that all climate science is a socialist trojan horse.

        Not true. Skeptics believe that IPCC has politicized climate science with its “consensus” process in order to further a political agenda; IOW that IPCC reports “agenda driven science”, but “socialist Trojan horse”? Not really.

        5. Skeptics are sure that C02 can have no effect, or a tiny effect, or good effects.

        Partly true. Skeptics may not argue that CO2 has “no effect”, but that the effect may not be potentially catastrophic, as IPCC would have us believe, and that there will, undoubtedly be positive effects, for example on agricultural yields.

        6. Skeptics are sure that the temperature record is a fraud. They are sure adjustments are bogus. Sure of the UHI effect, the list goes on.

        First sentence is false and second sentence is partly correct.. Skeptics believe that the “ex post facto” adjustments that are continuously being made to the past record, all in the direction of making current warming look greater, are suspect.

        Third sentence is correct.They are convinced that urbanization has been a cause of increased temperatures at urban stations, IOW that there is a detectable UHI distortion to the surface record.

        7. Skeptics are sure that natural variation explains it all.

        Not true. (See 2. Above)

        8. Skeptics are rarely skeptical of their own ideas.

        This one’s an oxymoron – who is “skeptical of their own ideas” – especially if these ideas are “skeptical”?

        9. I have more trouble getting code and data from skeptics than I did getting it from Jones and hansen.

        No comment

        10. To be sure folks havent talked about that uncertainty as forthrightly as people like Judith would have liked. But on balance if you are looking for open minded consideration of alternative opinions.. you’ll find it more within the institutions of science than in the blogosphere.

        I don’t know about “folks” or “the institutions of science”, but I do know about IPCC. In its interface with policy makers and the general public it overplays confidence and underplays uncertainty on every page; the AR4 WG1 SPM is nothing more than a “sales pitch” for the CAGW premise.

        So. Now you know what skeptics REALLY think.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher—-A warmer MWP says nothing about the role of C02. We understand C02 and its effect independent of the proxy record
        JK——————Actually it says a lot. You MUST explain what caused the warmer MWP and why that cause is NOT THE CAUSE of the current warm period, before you invoke a new cause of the current warm period out of left field (CO2).

        Thanks
        JK

      • David Springer

        I’m sure you’re a retard. I’m not very sure of any of the other things you pointed out.

      • Rob -

        Don’t know if you’ll see this – but I agree that as you say, steven is guilty of inaccurately generalizing the position of “skeptics.” But surely you see that Peter is making the the same error – both w/r/t “skeptics” but in addition to his characterizations of “realists?”

      • Joshua

        I agree and did not attempt to defend Peter’s position(s).

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        You take extreme positions and claim that is the average position of “skeptics”- without evidence.
        From what I have seen, many skeptics have read more widely and seen more “inconvenient” data that “alarmists” try to hide.
        For a reality check, see: Shock Poll: Meteorologists Are Global Warming Skeptics

        According to American Meteorological Society (AMS) data, 89% of AMS meteorologists believe global warming is happening, but only a minority (30%) is very worried about global warming. . . .among those meteorologists who believe global warming is happening, only a modest majority (59%) believe humans are the primary cause. More importantly, only 38% of respondents who believe global warming is occurring say it will be very harmful during the next 100 years.

      • Steven Mosher

        You are going around in ever decreasing circles, like the “Walahma Bird” with your silly oxymoron:

        My point was that skeptics are not skeptical of their own positions.

        A “skeptic” is “skeptical”. How can a “skeptic” be “skeptical” of being “skeptical”?

        A “believer” (as in “blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed”) is not “skeptical”. How can a “believer” be “skeptical” of not being “skeptical”.

        Give up on that line, Steven.

        It only makes you look foolish (and I know you aren’t).

        Max

      • Mosh, you appear to have lost it old chap. I am a sceptic, which by definition means that I don’t know, but it hasn’t been proven to my satisfaction. The diatribe above does you no credit, there may be people who call themselves sceptics who believe the things you’ve said, without attribution I might add, above, but I don’t know any of them. I have asked you before, and you seem to have decided that, the question wasn’t worth answering, but do you believe the science is settled? Do you believe that the climate scientists can attribute the 0.8C rise in temperature to be caused by human emissions in the late 20th century with 90-100% certainty?

        “And, here is the real shocker, I have more trouble getting code and data from skeptics than I did getting it from Jones and hansen.”

        Name names because that’s a real shocker for me too, and would find anyone with a published paper, of whatever side of the slanging match, reprehensible if they don’t provide the data and methods that gave the conclusions in the paper. So let us know who they are and I, and I’m sure other sceptics, will shame them into providing you with the code and data, or withdrawing their results.

      • Peter

        Imo there is an initial discussion of whether or not additional CO2 will have an impact on temperature of the planet if all other factors remain unchanged in the system. Imo, the science on that is settled and the answer is yes.
        The next question is how much that warming will be in the real system over what timescale. Imo, we do not yet reliably know the answer to that question within an acceptably tight margin of error. Current projections of the warming include both inconsequential warming rates and potentially alarming warming rates.
        The next question is what other conditions will change that will or could impact humans as a result of it warming. This includes things like sea level rising or a greater frequency of droughts or floods. In this area it does not appear that the rate of sea level rise is consistent with what many feared and we do not have reliable models to forecast changes to rainfall at specific locations.

        It is the rate of any warming that is key and what transpires as a result of any warming. Until you have those answers in seems premature to label it as catastrophic or as benign. Imo the issue is that it seems inappropriate to take drastic and expensive steps to change how energy is produced unless there is reasonably reliable evidence that there is something catastrophic on the horizon for those expected to pay the bills if they do not implement the sought actions.

  3. “Science is the most powerful tool we have for understanding the natural world. Its power stems from the very nuance that forceful slogans typically gloss over. But with this power comes great liability: the potential to be wrong. – Tania Lombrozo”

    And yet this potential with respect to the unfalsifiable “climate change,” remains all but unimaginable in the MSM and worse, among many of the scientists themselves…scientists who comport themselves with all the sober circumspection of rabid dogs.

  4. I have tried many times to leave a comment but can’t remember my word press account details. Can you suggest a remedy?

  5. Medication?

  6. Stephen Singer

    This is not a chicken or egg situation to me. Scientists should promote their results along with full disclosure of the process(equipment, items under study, and computer code) so that others may attempt to duplicate and/or improve the knowledge of the subject under investigation.

  7. Robert Bristow

    There should be a strict, clear procedures put in place for communicating science to the general public, not by leaks and shonky interviews with shady journalists, who put their own words into the mouths of others. AGW/Climate Change has been very badly handled and in fact because of the misinformation and confusion many of the general populace have become immune to arguments on both sides. Personally I believe in the vast computer modelling resources and effort by organisations such as U.K met office, NCAR and NASA, but the release of information and arguments for backing up things like the Kyoto protocol have not been attended to. Not everyone has time to refer to the information posted on the websites of these organisations and trust the writings of idiots like David Rose in the Sunday Mail. It is a shambles.. I just hope future generations of Homo Sapiens can forgive us for the dastardly mess they will inherit from us, by our inadequate action and pointless procrastinations.

    • I feel you are missing the point here. In fact the MetO more or less conceded Rose’s point, albeit grudgingly, but the key thing is the quiet, unheralded release of the data.

      If the MetO had said ‘Hurrah, the global temp rise has paused and we will not, necessarily, fry to death in the next century’, people wouldn’t have seen it as hiding something that they weren’t supposed to see.

      Every which way, to the layman/woman, it seems as if no one on the AGW side of the argument wants to open themselves up to scrutiny. The ordinary mind asks why, if the truth is with them, should they fight FOIA requests. The recent blocking of access to ‘green advisors’ to the BBC is a case in point.

      If you lock yourself behind doors, expect someone to try and get in to find what valuables you have tucked away.

      • Robert Bristow

        I do not think I am missing the point, the U.K Met has denied issuing anything and according to most sources I’ve checked out it is a completely false and fabricated misrepresentation of data – I believe the hadcrut4 data is being released monthly now – but this just strengthens my argument – David Rose has sown the seeds of doubt and why the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology agreed an interview with this shady character I’ll never know – I’m sure she didn’t need the money. This is not the way to prove AGW or climate change is a scam or not, NCAR with its high end Kray, IBM and DELL computer systems is far more convincing than a lame Sunday Mail report.

      • Robert Bristow

        I can post supporting HTTP addresses too, which illustrates my point about confusion and the immunization of the general populace :

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/16/daily-mail-global-warming-stopped-wrong
        I prefer to believe the reports and predictions of NCAR, NASA et al, with their massive supercomputer power, which although is not perfect, it is more convincing than skeptics and political views, and I repeat I hope our following generations can forgive us of the mess we leave them.

      • David Rose used their own data to highlight the situation. Are you expecting us to believe that he sat there drawing the graph in Photoshop and ignored the actual numbers?

        I’m sorry, but quoting the Guardian doesn’t constitute a defence of your position. I prefer to read other people dealing with science in a more analytical fashion, not an arm-waving newspaper that is undeniably tied to a green agenda.

        More Met Office Propaganda

        http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/more-met-office-propaganda/

        If you have problems with Paul’s assessment he has an open-door policy on his blog. Take it up with him

        I have no problem with addressing environmental issues and feel much damage is caused to the planet by reckless organisations. It’s the solutions on offer that offend me most. Why is that mitigation always means more taxation, never less?

        Please don’t give me the old argument that people need to be ‘encouraged’ to ‘do the right thing for the environment’. Ask me, on an unequivocal scientific basis, why I should do something and offer me a tax reduction to do it and I’d run with most things, I suspect, but please don’t lie to, or hide data from, dissenting voices.

      • Met Office – Dave Britton:
        “We agree with Mr Rose that there has been only a very small amount of warming in the 21st Century. As stated in our response, this is 0.05 degrees Celsius since 1997 equivalent to 0.03 degrees Celsius per decade.”
        http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-office-in-the-media-14-october-2012/

      • It would really be interesting to hear what Feynman would think of skeptics who ignore data:

        .07 per decade.

      • +1

        Surefire best way to make somebody want to read something is to write ‘Top Secret’ on the top of it.

    • Ya we need a ministry of information.
      not.

      • “The primary concern is that we not pass a threshold seen in our lifetimes”
        ha ha ha ha ha. check under your bed and FEAR.
        but you have your heroes:

        great science, eh? amazing logic.
        you already have your ministry of truth and it is you.

      • This is what Biochemists are like:-

      • Steven Mosher

        Agree with you.

        Ve vonce het a “Ministry of Information” – it vas das Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda oder “Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda”.

        Let’s don’t go back to that concept.

        Max

      • We have a ministry of information.

        It is called the IPCC.

    • Strict procedures sounds like a call for censorship. There are idiots on both sides but we let them speak because the alternative is worse.

    • A supercomputer does not make a poor model right, it just makes more mistakes per second. What you call a shambles is just the wreck of a hypothesis. Science in action.

  8. I am definitely in the process camp where science by its nature is always open to dissention. But what happens when the lions share of funding goes to support a consensus and the value of a scientist in an organization is proportional to his/her ability to raise funds?

  9. Berényi Péter

    Scientists should never get involved in real life processes, because then they should also take up the burden of responsibility, even that of criminal one in select cases (see the recent trial in Italy). At the same time they may be forced to abandon their genuine responsibility as scientists, which is to truth and nothing but the truth.

    This is why division of roles was invented in the first place. To apply scientific discoveries to real life requirements we have engineers, with their specific code of responsibility. Let scientists speak as it is fit to their role, in happy oblivion of any communication junk.

  10. Yes and No.

    Yes, between 1910 ahd 1940 Global average temperature rose by 0.45C.

    No, between 1940 and 1970 Global average temperature fell 0.1C.

    Yes, between 1970 and 2000 Global average temperature rose 0.5C

    No, between 2000 and 2012 Global average temperature was constant.

    These results may seem inconsistent, but they are not when the following factors are considered:
    (a) Quantum thermodynamics (or classical with molecular vibration limits).
    (b) Heat transport delays in the oceans.
    (c) Conservation of energy and a new global equilibrium temperature.

    See: http://members.iinet.net.au/~alexandergbiggs

  11. Quote: “Tania Lombrozo has a very interesting article…Some excerpts:
    Consider: two scientists are asked whether there’s any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. The first says, “It’s a fact humans are causing climate change – there’s no room for doubt.” The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”
    This example defines the tension at the boundary between the realms of science and public opinion.”

    ====================================================

    I see. Somehow Tania Lombrozo has omitted the third possibility: “CO2 can not cause warming by returning IR radiation back to the surface, because this returned/back IR does not warm nor does it slow down cooling. American physic professor R.W.Wood proved it long ago by a very easy experiment: http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html

    And then we could discuss the actual problem: some people selling this debunked fiction as science.

  12. The only one of the four questions I can answer quantitatively is the personality one.

    INTJ
    Introvert(33%) iNtuitive(50%) iNtuitive Thinking(38%) Judging(11%)
    You have moderate preference of Introversion over Extraversion (33%)
    You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (50%)
    You have moderate preference of Thinking over Feeling (38%)
    You have slight preference of Judging over Perceiving (11%)

    I presume INTJ = ‘perfect human’ – whose advice and opinions should be accepted as correct.

    • I was ESTJ. Extrovert(1%) Sensing(1%) Thinking(38%) and Judging(11%). So on 3 of the 4 I was close to 50:50 and given I thought some of the questions were unclear I could have easily gone the other way. As a professor and now that I know how to dance, it is hard for me to be a total introvert although I do like quiet as well. So I guess I’m fairly well balanced! :)

  13. Climate Weenie

    One source of uncertainty is how much energy is exchanged from the troposphere to the stratosphere. The mass exchange is not zero so neither is the energy exchange. But how much?

    • Quite a bit it looks like. Stratospheric water vapor due to methane oxidation or water vapor entrainment is around 5 ppm-v. Since that water vapor tends to stay at a fairly constant range, it has to react with ozone or be transported somewhere. I haven’t seen any solid numbers on the actual mass though and frankly, since the tropical ozone depletion seems to have been a touch unexpected, I imagine the total mass and energy impact will be a touch unexpected as well. Climate seems to have a few surprises left here and there.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      You must first decide exactly what forms of energy your interested in observing. One of the better ways of really seeing some forms of energy moving from troposphere to stratosphere is through EP Flux measurements, such as found here:

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/epflux/

      You can also of course get some rough idea if that flow from a heat exchange perspective by looking at the annual troposphere-stratosphere temperature profile as might be found here:

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/

      • Climate Weenie

        Thanx for the tips.

        Seems as if the modeled 3.7W/m^2 of CO2 forcing is not resolved by the 0 to 25 W/m^2 gradation ( http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/epflux/ )

        Could it be squeezing through to the upper atmosphere by planetary waves or other processes?

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Climate Weenie,

        1) The EP Flux chart is not showing W/m^2 units on the right. It is simply a neutral scale to show relative heat and mass motions in the troposphere and stratosphere. Other EP Flux charts actually show the EP Flux units as kg m/s^2. See: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CDB/Extratropics/figs7.shtml

        Also, you will never see 3.7 w/m^2 of CO2 forcing displayed on any monthly chart, ever. So don’t look for it. What you will see is Earth’s total non-tectonic energy energy increase as GHG’s increase (don’t forget about methane and N2O as they are increasing pretty rapidly as well!). This total non-tectonic energy increase due to CO2 and other GHG forcing will be spread among the four “spheres” that share and store solar energy– namely the hydropshere, the biosphere, the cryosphere, and the atmosphere. Each sphere has its own dynamics for the storage of solar energy, with different mixtures formed in each sphere of converting solar energy to other forms such as chemical, kinetic, latent, geopotential, thermal, etc.

        What the EP Flux and other measurements show is energy moving around the atmosphere, and in the case of the EP flux at the top of the stratosphere it is energy that is moving out of the atmosphere and out of Earth system. A big question in my mind during the very dramatic sudden stratospheric warming events is– how much energy are we talking about during one of these events and whether or not it is accurately accounted for in climate models looking at Earth’s energy budget..

        Take a look at this EP Flux from the large sudden stratospheric warming event of January 2012 and you’ll see it’s a lot of energy:

        http://tinypic.com/r/mh3qs8/6

  14. INTJ = ‘perfect human’ …no it can’t do, Peter Lang because
    I was INTJ too, somewhat lower than U on T however, few
    too many ‘F” answers, (WTF) lol.

  15. 1. Man walks into a doctor’s office and is told he needs his hips replaced. Doctor tells him, “I’ve done thousands of these and never had a bad result. You’ll be playing golf in a month.”

    2. Man walks into a doctor’s office and is told he needs his hips replaced. Doctor tells him, “I’ve done thousands of these and the vast majority have been successful but that’s not to say that you won’t have a less than perfect outcome. There are lots of things that can go wrong such as a bad reaction to the anesthetic, infection, post-operative or long term pain, different leg length, a blood clot, nerve damage or the new hip may dislocate. While the hip is expected to last about twenty years, it may fail or wear out sooner. Some of these problems will be minor but there is a chance that you will die. While these are all unlikely outcomes, they are possible and you must consider them while deciding whether or not to have the surgery.”

    3. Man walks into a climatologist’s office and is told he needs to stop burning coal, oil and gasoline. Climatologist tells him, “I have seen the future and it is bleak. If you keep doing what you are doing, the earth and all humanity will experience suffering heretofore unknown to man.”

    Who you gonna believe?

  16. The real communication problem is that there is no 3rd scientist who says something truthful like “we really don’t know but the data tells us there is no AGW signal yet detectable and there really should have been by now if the hypothesis was true. Another few years of non-warming and the game is up.” The public can smell what they are being shovelled.

  17. Consider: two scientists are asked whether there’s any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change.

    My answer:

    There is an unambiguous relationship of ENSO to CO2 concentration in the atmosphere=>
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/trend/normalise/plot/uah/compress:12/normalise

    This means the warming itself causes increase in CO2 concentration.

  18. That’s funny, I was just reading that Feynman article the other day.

    Honest doubt over comfortable lies any day.

  19. ENERGY IN EQUALS ENERGY OUT

    You should read it for yourself (see below) and if you do, I am sure you will agree that we now have a complete and coherent explanation for all global warming, and that all fair-minded persons can only come to one single, clear and unequivocal conclusion about global warming, as follows:

    Energy in equals energy out. ‘Runaway greenhouse theories’ are a myth and violate basic laws of nature.

    The Earth is in a perpetual state of radiative balance due to an unlimited available amount of water vapor that that varies in concentration around the globe and at elevation. GCM assumptions of a constant relative humidity cannot work.

    Fractional changes in the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere provide logarithmic radiative transfer effects that serve as a negative feedback to increases in other greenhouse gases including CO2. A change in atmospheric CO2 is irrelevant.

    The Earth is at all times in radiative equilibrium that is controlled by a special atmospheric transfer function – basic to all ‘Earth-type’ planetary atmospheres — that requires the continuity of the temperature at the ground surface. As a result, it is an inherent property of the Earth’s atmosphere that there always, “is a sustained planetary greenhouse effect with a stable ground surface temperature.”

    Greenhouse gas concentrations can never be the cause of global warming. A change in the greenhouse effect is not possible absent a change in the amount of energy that is input into the system from solar activity and any change in the amount of internally-generated thermal energy from within the Earth itself.

    ___________
    Miskolczi, F.M. (2007) Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres, Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service Vol. 111, No. 1, January–March 2007, pp. 1–40

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Waggy,

      This sounds more like a religion to me rather than science. This statement is especially suspect:

      “A change in atmospheric CO2 is irrelevant.”

      _____
      Wow. Being irrelevant means it doesn’t matter in the final outcome. Yet, without CO2 in the atmosphere, within a few decades our planet would return to the snowball Earth of the past. I think the difference between a snowball Earth and the rather comfy planet of today is quite relevant…and yep, thank that little trace gas called CO2 and the fact that it is a non-condensing greenhouse gas (concentration stays constant even at lower temperatures found on Earth).

      Sorry Waggy, you are once more grossly wrong.

      • Yes, a change is irrelevant to global warming but in as much as the geophysical history of the Earth shows that the atmosphere currently is oxygen starved, more atmospheric CO2 would certainly contribute to a greener Earth and increased oxygen.

      • correction… CO2-starved (e.g., See Will Happer).

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        But you said CO2 is irrelevant. Does it matter or not? Are you saying that if we took away CO2 (besides plants dying, that we would not return to a Snowball Earth? Which is it Waggy….is CO2 relevant or not?

      • yes, yes, a change in CO2 is i r r e l e v a n t, except that the more the better for plant life–it’s a fertilizer to plants and humans and plants go together like peas and carrots.

      • So wag.
        C02 is not relevant?
        Is that settled science?

      • Wagathon and Steven Mosher

        Saying that “change [in CO2] is irrelevant to climate” is no more saying “the science is settled” than saying “change in CO2 is relevant to climate”.

        “Irrelevant” does not mean zero – it just means “minor”or “insubstantial”, while “relevant” means “meaningful”.

        Max

      • And by extension, humanity is irrelevant to the Earth’s climate. Schoolteachers don’t understand that they do not control the weather. Crazed idiots with delusions of grandeur who believe they are world from modernity are teaching nihilism to the nation’s children and the productive are paying for it. That is one big reaon why America is going down the porcelain swirling vortex–parents just don’t care anymore.

      • manaker.

        So you are sure it is minor?

        Is that settled?

        you see your problem does not go away.

        How small?
        How do you know this?
        Do you know this for sure?
        Could you be wrong?
        What would convince you otherwise?
        are you open to the possibility of being wrong.?

        From the way you write it seems like you believe it is settled.

      • This is for sure: global warming is not a problem but fear of it is. The Governmental-Education Complex is destroying America and in the process is turning English into a language of liars.

      • Steven Mosher

        You asked me some questions, which I will answer for you.

        To my statement below:

        Saying that “change [in CO2] is irrelevant to climate” is no more saying “the science is settled” than saying “change in CO2 is relevant to climate”.

        “Irrelevant” does not mean zero – it just means “minor”or “insubstantial”, while “relevant” means “meaningful”.

        you asked

        So you are sure it is minor?

        Is that settled?

        you see your problem does not go away.

        How small?
        How do you know this?
        Do you know this for sure?
        Could you be wrong?
        What would convince you otherwise?

        First of all, your question has nothing to do with the earlier statement. I simply pointed out to you that saying CO2 warming is “irrelevant to climate” is no different than saying it is “relevant to climate”. Neither statement is saying “the science is settled”.

        Now to your questions.

        No. I am not sure it is minor, but I am also not sure it is significant, as there are no empirical data (Feynman) confirming this for me.

        No. It is not settled. Not until such empirical data can be shown.

        I do not know how small.

        What would convince me that the CO2 impact is relevant to climate is empirical evidence based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation demonstrating this (Feynman).

        Hope I have answered your question.

        Now I have one for you.

        Are you going to attempt to rebut my demolition of your “skeptics believe” post, which was full of errors, or are you just going to let it rest?

        Max

      • Wag is correctly summarizing Miscolczi who says CO2 is irrelevant due to negative hydro feedback. Try to keep up.

      • Skeptical Warmist

        You really need to improve your reading skills.

        You say Wag wrote:

        “A change in atmospheric CO2 is irrelevant.”

        Then you talk about what would happen if ALL the CO2 in our atmosphere were removed.

        Duh!

        Talk about a 100 ppmv (or 34%) change (as we’ve seen since 1850), NOT about ALL the CO2.

        Max

      • David L. Hagen

        Skeptical warmist

        Fred H. Haynie similarly finds that anthropogenic CO2 is inconsequential while Sea Surface Temperature controls CO2. See his detailed development in: The Future of Global Climate Change.
        http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Fred H. Haynie is sadly quite mistaken in his assertions. He should know better but doesn’t seem to.

      • David L. Hagen

        Warmist
        Sadly it appears you use ad hominem attacks rather than the scientific method of addressing the data, models, uncertainties, inferences and projections. Try again and see if you can provide a substantitive comment.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        David Hagan,

        Those of us who have been around this climate debate for any length have come across Fred H. Haynie’s ideas many times. I could do a point by point destruction of his notions, but one of the most basic and easiest to refute is the concept that is central to much of his thought which is that the ice cores and other such paleoclimate data vastly underestimate how much CO2 was actually present in the atmosphere during the past. In the document you linked above, as well as other writing by him, regarding CO2 concentrations, he writes:

        “Atmospheric concentrations were significantly higher than indicated by the extracted measurements.”

        Unfortunately for Fred H. Haynie and others who continually want to deny the role of the human activities, chiefly the burning of fossil fuels, in the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere over the past several hundred years, multi-proxy paleoclimate records corroborate each other very well and would refute their assertions that CO2 was (in the recent past, like in the past 800,000 years) as high as it is today. If we are in fact experiencing the highest CO2 levels in the past 800,000 years as all the data very strongly suggest, then much of Fred H. Haynie’s ideas crumble into the rather unstable ground they were built on. CO2 levels are increasing, human activity is responsible. Can we move on….

      • David L. Hagen

        Skeptical Warmist
        Again you make assertions with no substance or references. I see Haynie’s comment on CO2 levels as interesting to explore later, but peripheral to most of his evidence and arguments in his paper.

        Try addressing the substantive issues he raises in his document with references to support your arguments. e.g.,
        1) Why CO2 variations increase from south to north pole.
        2) Why the So Pole variations are 180 deg out of sync with North Pole.
        3) Why only the isotope depleted portion varies annually, while the non-isotope depleted portion follow the long term variation with temperature.
        4) The phase difference between ice melt and CO2. etc.

    • Re you sure energy out = energy in? is that settled?
      personally I though it was energy out = energy in + energy stored.
      but over long long periods the total out will equal the total in.

      And are you sure that greenhouse gas can NEVER be the cause of GW?
      is that settled science?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Solar Energy in=Solar Energy out + Solar Energy stored (biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere), with each sphere releasing that energy to the other spheres and eventually back to space at very different timeframes.

      • Steven Mosher

        You are falling into a logic trap (and you know better).

        No one has said that “greenhouse gas can NEVER be the cause of some GW”.

        Let’s say: 2xCO2 = 0.2C That would be some GW (but it would be “irrelevant”.

        That’s the argument here.

        Max

      • It would be settled if government funded witchdoctors were not paid to dispute the facts. A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

        What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998.

        It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo are due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

        Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.
        ________________

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Waggy said,

        “Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore.”

        ————–
        Your comment typifies the failure of many to grasp what GCMs can and can’t do, and to suggest they “simply ignore” things they were not designed to model shows a basic lack of understanding. A hammer does not “simply ignore” screws. If you want to put in screws, get a screwdriver.

        And by the way, Foster and Rahmstorf and others have clearly shown what most of those “countervailing” forces are.

      • You can’t turn a screw with a hammer but you can pound a nail with a screwdriver. GCM’s are nothing but ‘screwdrivers’ pounding nails. Using perameters GCMs can be made to say anything the Left wants them to say–e.g., MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) is a proven scientific fraud.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Waggy,

        It is the pundits of the denialsphere that attempt to make GCM’s something they are not, and then complain about them not living up to their unrealistic expectations. Climate models are always wrong in their “forecasts” because they are not really meant for such tasks and certainly can’t predict such things as volcanoes, ENSO, and solar cycles in any detail and these of course greatly influence short term weather and climate trends. Denialists try to make hammers into screwdrivers and then blame the hammer for not performing so well as a screwdriver. Absurd….

      • You are repeating the yourself–i.e., to use your analogy the Left’s use of GCMs for purposes of building global warming alarmism is like using a screwdyour to drive nails–e.g., see::

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/11/should-scientists-promote-results-over-process/#comment-266939

  20. The Skeptical Warmist

    “The first says, “It’s a fact humans are causing climate change – there’s no room for doubt.” The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.””

    ______
    The first scientist who said there’s “no room for doubt” would be forever guilty of confirmation bias and would have to resign from the official rational skeptics club. All scientific truths should be held as provisional, with the goal in looking at what might not confirm your truth– looking as it were, for the exceptions. More can be learned by looking for the exception than holding truth without doubt. It is the second scientist that has a greater chance at moving the science forward, to refine, expand, amplify, or completely modify the “truth” that the first scientist has removed all doubt in.

  21. I would be shocked if climate scientists agreed / allowed their political leanings to be documented. I can say with some confidence that there will be a large “consensus” of left lean here.

    But this is really due to the fact that academia in general has an overt left lean. Something on the order of 5:1 to 10:1 self declared liberals to conservatives has been shown several times, with US society in general not reflecting that balance. You tend to vote for the people who are paying your bills.

    Does it matter?

    Only for those scientists who choose to enter the policy debate who claim to represent “science”, when what they are really doing is representing a lot of left leaning “scientists”.

    Mixing the purity of science with the morass of politics leaves science soiled and politics unchanged.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      “But this is really due to the fact that academia in general has an overt left lean.”

      ____
      Tis true, and always has been the case throughout history. This is one reason, among others, that the academics are one of the first groups targeted by a totalitarian government coming to power. They represent the one of the biggest threats to that government.

      • SW,

        Yr: “…academics are one of the first groups targeted by a totalitarian government coming to power…”

        Perhaps before we over-romanticize academia’s heroic-martyrs and their misadventures with totalitarian governments, we might remember that “academics” typically constitute the main-force enablers and youth-master recruiters for lefty, totalitarian revolutions in the making.

        It is true, that in the post-revolution consolidation phase of most left-wing revolutions, academics are liquidated to some degree , but that’s hardly a unique fate–rather academic bone assemblages invariably make up only a very small part of a revolution’s archeological record, which is rather dominated by the stratified remains of land-owners, exploiters, deviants, counter-revolutionaries, kulaks, social-parasites, cosmopolitans, technicians, right-oppositionists, left-oppositionists, old-bolsheviks, wreckers, bonapartists, adventurers, egoists, miscarriages-of-revolutionary-justice, and the like by the tens of millions. All innocent victims, for the most part–by the standards of bourgeois morality, that is. And, curiously, bourgeois morality is held in contempt by lefty academics. Go figure.

      • …did you just imply that totalitarianism is a “lefty” thing?

        I’m amazed, truly.

      • Max TM

        “Totalitarianism” has been both “lefty” and “righty” in the past (20th century).

        “Le Livre Noir du Communisme” gives a good description of the “lefty” version.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

        The “lefty” version is still alive in a few pockets, such as N. Korea, Venezuela, Cuba. China has a modified “lefty” version today.

        Syria probably has a “righty” version as did Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya. Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is probably also a “righty” type.

        Then there is the religious “goofy” version, that is neither “lefty” or “righty” – e.g. Iran

        So, while both types exist today, it looks like “lefty” totalitarian systems outnumber the “righty” ones.

        Max (not TM)

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Mike,

        Academics are targeted because they are educated and can see the “writing on the wall” more clearly. In this way, they represent a threat to totalitarian regimes because such regimes rely on a strict control of information and messaging (i.e. propaganda). Because of their educated perspective, if they can, Academics are often the first to flee a country that is headed toward a totalitarian takeover.

      • MaxTM

        Yr: “…did you just imply that totalitarianism is a “lefty” thing?
        I’m amazed, truly.

        So Max, what am I supposed to make of your comment?

        The first part of your comment is a question directed at me, “…did you just imply that totalitarianism is a ‘lefty’ thing?”.

        And the second part of your comment is a non-sequitur report of a disturbance in your fragile mental condition that appears to derive from a tragic, life-long struggle with obsessive/compulsive, totally-off-the-wall, what-an-obnoxious-loser-and-pest-this-guy-is!, it-seems-none-of-his-other-class-mates-want-to-play-with-your-little-Max-or-have-him-on-their-team-when-the-kids-chose-up-sides-for-sports, “high-dudgeon” disorder–”I am amazed, truly”, you say.

        But what are you “amazed” at , Max? That, you don’t say, Max. The closest I can figure is that you are amazed “truly” at the bad-faith, booger-brain quality of your comment’s question. And let me idly further note, Max, that your recognition that your dumb-butt question is “amazing”–and we’re not talking in a healthy sense, here, Max–seems to indicate, on your part, a remaining, tenuous tether to reality, lucidity and, indeed, sanity itself–emphasis on “tenuous” with outlook negative. Not that I care, of course.

        First things first, MaxTM. I’m not a shrink. So you need to take your creep-out, weirdo, spastic-dork, psychiatric problems and redirect them to some sort of mental-health professional who gets paid a bundle to pretend they are concerned with you and your goobered-up, massively-dysfunctional, inner life.

        Now to the question you posed to me in your comment. No, Max, i did not “just imply” that “totalitarianism is “a ‘lefty’ thing.” So are you satisfied with that clarification, Max? Somehow, I don’t think so. I mean, like, Max, somehow I don’t think the point of your question was really to inquire into a suspected “implication” in one of my earlier comments. Right, guy? I’m amazed truly, Max

      • Gates,

        Yr: “Because of their educated perspective, if they can, Academics are often the first to flee a country that is headed to a totalitarian take-over.”

        So, Gates, is that the track record of “academics” in Mao’s China, Stalin’s Russia, Castro’s Cuba, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or the Eastern European countries whose puppet-governments hosted Soviet armored divisions in large numbers. Did “academics” associated with those regimesm pick-up stakes, while the getting was good, and seek a life as free men and women in the West? Or did your precious “academics” play the quisling and throw their lot in with their country’s oppressors, especially at the beginning, while mainlining solidarity and fraternal relations with lefty totalitarian lovers and apologists in Western institutions of higher learning? You know the answers to those questions, Gates, I’m sure.

        And, oh by the way, Gates, when refugee academics did occasionally show up in the West with their horror-stories of “scientific socialism” in actual practice were they feted and made local heroes by the lefty crowd that has always dominated our elite Universities? Or the opposite–were they treated as traitors to “the cause”? Again, purely rhetorical questions–you know the answers, Gates.

        And, just out of curiosity, Gates, why is it that academics, drawing on their smarty-pants insights, chose to “flee” a totalitarian menace, rather than fight back at it–fight for their liberty?. Cowards? Shirkers? Bug-out opportunists with no real stake in any particular nation’s people and their traditions of liberty? You tell me, Gates.

      • Go Swiss, better than ft. knocks too.

      • You’re cute, mike, I could practically hear the spittle hitting the screen from over here.

        Authoritarian positions aren’t generally placed on the left end of a political spectrum, and totalitarianism is just an extreme form of authoritarianism.

        The rest of your response to me doesn’t count, it’s just an opinion, but as long as it makes you happy to think it matters, you have fun with that.

      • Max (not ™) I’m pretty sure communism as practiced by the soviet union would be better described as state capitalism, trading private ownership of means of production for state ownership is quite different from public ownership of means of production.

      • MaxTM,

        Yr: “You’re cute, mike,…”

        You know, MaxTM, sometimes you lefties will slap me up beside the head with a comment that really knocks me off balance. So you really find me “cute”, do you, MaxTM? BACK-0FF HIVE-BOZO!

        On the other hand, MaxTM, thank you kindly for preserving those illusions of mine, which are such a source of happiness to me and a treasured prop to my golden years, regarding your utter fascination with my opinions that you esteem so highly.

        So, MaxTM, I’d say that little put-down booger you flicked my way and that initiated our little exchange kinda blew up in your face, didn’t it? Or, maybe, that’s just another of my illusions and, if so, one you’ll also preserve for me for the sake of my happiness.

      • Blew up in my face? I said you’re cute because you think your opinions matter, spoiler alert: they don’t.

        I don’t need to get insulting or rant at others, why do you feel the need to do so?

      • MaxTM,

        Yr: “I don’t need to get insulting or rant at others, why do you feel the need to do so?”

        C’mon, MaxTM, quit trying to make out like you’re the superior, above-it-all prig-master with a lock on the lofty, dignified-dork, put-down zingers. Give me a break, guy!

        And, oh by the way, MaxTM, I don’t “need” to “insult” others or engage in “rants” and, indeed, I never do either of those two things. On the other hand, I have taken the trouble, on rare occasion, to “screw” with an unrepentant lefty or two. And since you have shown such an interest in my felicity, MaxTM, you’ll be pleased to learn that “screwing with lefties” is another one of those things that makes me “happy”.

      • I’m not about to get wrapped up in a discussion about whether or not Lenin abolished worker collectives with a half-assed troll, you’re not nearly funny enough to bother with.

        I just had to correct some misinformation, so hopefully others who read your silly ideas don’t lend them much credence.

        Should you or anyone else like to see if I “just made this up”, here’s a nice collection of information from actual “lefty nutjobs” like myself.

        http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/index.html

        This part (http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secHcon.html) is interesting because you mentioned Bakunin, so you should already know this stuff, but apparently your memory for names is better than your memory for meaning.

      • MaxTM,

        Yr: “I’m not going to get wrapped-up…half-assed troll…not funny…silly ideas…etc”

        O. K., guy–you win! I can’t possibly top this last comment of yours.

        Say “HI!” to the good-comrades for me, Max.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Mike,

        It is clear that a student of history you are not, nor do you seem to have a good grasp of basic political movements. Popular uprisings, which may be “leftist” in origin as much as they often relate to basic worker and human rights, are the very the antithesis of totalitarian purges of the intelligencia and academics. Your own obvious right leaning political perspective seems to blind you to seeing a larger and more accurate perspective.

      • Gates,

        Yr: “It is clear that a student of history you are not…”

        Hey, Gates!–don’t spare my feelings, just come right out and say it! History is not on my side, right Gates?

        Wonder what percentage of this blog’s readership has the faintest idea what all that code-language of another era, you and I are exchanging, means, Gates? 10%? 5% More? Less? You know Gates, one never quite knows who one is dealing with in the blogosphere. MaxTM, for example, I take to be a naive, well-intentioned kid–a good kid. I’ll give him two, three years before he figures out that behind the left’s noble-language humbug, there is an irreducible, monstrous, nastiness and inhumanity. At which point he’ll move on, the better for having been, at one time, duped by you lefties.

        You, Gates? Could be wrong, but I’ve got you pegged as a real, old-Corps lefty. At least a pinko-diaper baby, but, more likely, a red-diaper babe-hood was in your past. A childhood of bitter family divisions, perhaps, as some went “Trot” and others stayed with Uncle Joe and some–distant in-laws, most likely–are pissed to this very day that the Soviets seemed more interested in taking out Spanish anarchists than Franco’s Moors. What else?–Abraham Lincoln Brigade vets, real-life Comintern grads, and relatives who emigrated to the Soviet Union to do their part for the revolution and haven’t been heard from since 1938.

        And, you, Gates, not quite on a first-name basis with the late Pham Van Dong, but you knew good-comrades who were. Also, just guessing mind you, your lefty family connections landed you a cushy, low-stress sinecure in academia long ago and you’ve been coasting along since, living the good life even as you spout the party-line B. S. that is patently at odds with your conspicuous consumption, carbon-piggie hypocrite lifestyle. I do hope I’m right about you, Gates–I really want my speculations about you to be true.

        Curious sub-thread–a little lefty button-pushing and I get a link to an anarchist site and the ultimate good-comrade put-down–”not a student of history”. It’s like hittin’ the jackpot playin’ the slots. Some flashbacks from my youth, even. Nostalgic stuff. Not without its affecting quality.

        And your last comment, Gates. Obscure, opaque, cant-laden, soul-destroying, lefty prose. Brings back surprisingly warm memories of whole shelves-full of that sort of clap-trap–whole little, red books of the crapola, even.

      • manacker,

        Saddam in Iraq and Assad in Syria were conservatives? Seriously?

        The motto of the Ba’ath party was ” “Unity, Liberty, Socialism.”

        The Ba’ath Party in Syria is called the “Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party.”

        Not unlike the National Socialist Party in Germany in the 30s and 40s.

        Your misunderstanding is evidence that if you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes accepted wisdom.

        Whatever else you can say about Iraq under Saddam, Syria under the Assads, and Germany in the 30s and 40s, they were all examples of the complete centralization of power over the economy in the government. The only reason they are referred to as “conservative” is the effective, decades long propaganda campaign of progressives to deny their own history.

        It is exactly the same phenomenon as the progressives in the U.S. successfully transplanting their own racist history to the Republican Party, in the minds of those who were subjected to their propaganda.

        The fact that lots of people educated by progressives believe something, doesn’t make it so.

        Totalitarianism is the ultimate centralization of power. It is the virtually inevitable end state of socialism, fascism and communism alike. There is nothing conservative about it. (And that is without even considering the Judeo-Christian ethic aspect of true conservatism in the west.)

      • I’m 32 btw, and a pure anarchist-socialist-libertarian, of the “if men were angels, this would be heaven” sort. There is no chance that I will suddenly cross the political spectrum and begin thinking government should be trusted or powerful. Government should be as weak as possible, and should only serve the people, never the other way around.

        If you want to see what my positions will be like years from now, go listen to George Carlin or Robert Anton Wilson. I don’t hold these positions because I’ve been lied to by lefty thinkers, I hold these positions because I don’t trust anyone who claims they can exert power over anyone else, myself included.

      • “I’m 32 btw, and a pure anarchist-socialist-libertarian….”

        No, what you are is a philosophical and economic illiterate.

        An anarchist wants no government.

        A libertarian wants a government that enforces liberty.

        A socialist wants a government that controls the economy.

        What you are is a progressive who wants to redefine other terms to disguise just how mundane and conformist your views really are.

        Here’s an example of what geniuses like you write on Wikipedia – “Libertarian socialists believe in converting present-day private property into the commons or public goods, while retaining respect for personal property.”

        “Convert” private property into “public goods” while “retaining respect for personal property.”

        Can you say idiotic cognitive dissonance? I knew that you could.

        But hey, it sounds oh so sophisticated.

      • Hush, I wasn’t talking to you, and don’t care about your indignant outrage over my usage of terms as they were originally defined. I favor horizontal power structures, from that you can deduce the rest of my political positions.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        “Academics are targeted because they are educated and can see the “writing on the wall” more clearly. In this way, they represent a threat to totalitarian regimes because such regimes rely on a strict control of information and messaging (i.e. propaganda). Because of their educated perspective, if they can, Academics are often the first to flee a country that is headed toward a totalitarian takeover.”

        Chris Landsea?

      • So Skeptical Warmist, “scientitists” have always held the same worldview as you? I very much doubt it, and doubt you have the evidence to prove it. I suspect that future sociologists will ponder why, after the world’s biggest experiment is socialist governments, that proved disastrous for the people living in them, there were still people around at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century, who smugly assumed that socialism was the way forward for ordinary people. Moreover, these were people who appeared in abundance in the “educated” classes.

  22. I have no problem with Gavin Schmidt or Richard Muller or Kevin Trenberth or Michael Mann or James Hansen articulating facts as they observe and/or interpret them. What alerts me to their dishonesty are the words that follow:” …and therefore…” Facts become commingled with their belief system which in my view make these characters unsavory and not to be believed including their perceived facts.
    I have learned a long time ago that scientists have an extraordinary narrow scope of expertise which some feel confident in generalizing into global prognostications. The scientists that I have known and respected have refrained from generalizing; i.e., reaching beyond their expertise. I realize that the press becomes tired of asking them for their opinions and move onto people more willing to state things which are really conjectures as facts. I have learned to listen carefully to those who are more often than not saying: “I don’t know.” The scientists that resist the temptation in saying: “…but I believe…” are well worth listening to. We are really constrained on what we truly know and it is refreshing and reassuring to hear that there are a few things we know and a whole lot we don’t. Now that fits my world of experiences which I trust more than some pronouncement of doom and gloom from someone who is a speculator in a world of uncertainty.

  23. “Consider: two scientists are asked whether there’s any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. ”

    A scientist should say, the term, “climate change” is invented label like “progressive”. It has no scientific definition.

    If use this definition:
    “climate change

    noun
    a long-term change in the earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature: Melting glaciers imply that life in the Arctic is affected by climate change. ”

    The question is foolish.
    Climate change as per above definition has occurred on Earth, long before humans existed on Earth.
    Nor is there any example of humans ever changing the climate any where on Earth. Some people imagine that Sahara desert was caused by human activity. If this were correct, this would example of humans causing climate change. But this theory or idea lacks any significant evidence, and theory regarding glaciation and interglacial period seems to provide more plausible scientific evidence as being the main factors involved.

    On small regional areas, such urban centers, there measurable increases in average temperature and affects upon local rainfall patterns. These types of change should not be called changing the climate. But if this what meant by climate change, yes, there has been climate change- urban areas and large areas of farming does alter the climate by some amount.
    And it should noted that all life processes are responsible for this degree or level of climate change and it possible in comparison all life processes, human only play minor role in global “climate change”.

  24. Judith

    “The results or process debate aligns with the debate on the consensual view of science versus the dissension view ”

    I don’t think this is an either or proposition. Science behavior ( doing science) always necessarily involves some element of the “consensual” view. That is, to even question established positions in science, to seek out the flaw, to uncover the uncertainty, we always have to start by accepting or agreeing to something. From that perspective the dissentional view is somewhat parasitical, but it’s also essential since all scientific truth is provisional, an insight we only garner from the dissentional perspective.
    Another way to put this is as follows. Science gives you the tools to work in either direction. To work toward consensus and agreed upon results.. expanding the theory, filling in the gaps. AND at the same time science gives you the tools to work against a consensus, to focus on the process.

    You have a theory. ( there is always a theory) There is an outlier. What does it mean?
    well it means nothing because there are always ouliers.
    But a consensus motivated person will look at that and say. “hmm, how do I make that go away so my theory is pretty and neat” Thats fine and totally acceptable. Utterly pragmatic. A “dissensionalist” looks at that and says
    ” whoaa, maybe the theory is wrong. look I found something to work on”
    Again, utterly pragmatic.
    What is the meaning of things that dont fit?
    What is the meaning of uncertainty?
    Depends on who you are and what you are trying to do, which is to say that we give these things meaning by doing stuff with them. Its not our view of science which guides us in the dissention path or consensus path. Both paths are always open. The appeal to “consenus or disenson” is made to justify the decision we made. In other terms the philosophy of science is always and forever late. It comes after the decision and is used to justify the actions we took. Sometimes we work for results. Sometimes we focus on the process. Science, the facts of the case, our philosophies of science, don’t determine what we choose to do with the odd bits. That is what makes odd bits so interesting.

    • “But a consensus motivated person will look at that and say. “hmm, how do I make that go away so my theory is pretty and neat” ”

      Well, I would never work that way, sweeping the dirt under the carpet rather than acknowledging it, I suppose that makes me a sceptic.

    • As Steven notes it’s not a question to be answered yes or no. What scientists should choose depends on what’s the particular task they have chosen to do or have been asked to do.

      Communicating about the process is important because there’s still so much misunderstanding on what scientific knowledge is. We read all the time that science has now proven something while the truth is that one study has found something interesting that hints on a new possibility. The distinction between the results of one study and generally accepted scientific knowledge is not understood. Neither is understood what generally accepted scientific knowledge is. (It remains open to contest but it’s very likely to be essentially true. What “very likely” means in that varies from case to case.)

      We have an inflation of science related news that may end up in reducing the trust in science. Many scientists are guilty of initiating that, university press releases are commonly worse, and the often one-sided interpretation by the media adds to the distortion. People start to notice that most science news (by count) turn out to be erroneous. Making the distinction between what scientists do and what those news clips tell may be difficult. The increasing number of science news helps little in adding understanding of science. Adding communication about the results may thus be counterproductive.

      As long as the nature of scientific knowledge is not understood it’s difficult to communicate properly of uncertain scientific results. When the results are as certain as textbook physics the problem can usually be disregarded and results reported as certain, but when the uncertainties are larger as they are in climate science that doesn’t work. The only good choice is to discuss openly the uncertainties and try to make it understood that decisions should take into account also uncertain information. Proceeding on that line the limits of what scientists can do as scientists are soon reached. Other knowledgeable people should take over to connect that knowledge with additional relevant information in making decisions or advising more directly the decision makers.

      • Pekka,

        What scientists should choose depends on what’s the particular task they have chosen to do or have been asked to do.

        That sounds like you condone the view – said in defense of the allegations of cherry picking in the ‘Hockey Stick’ affair:

        If you want a cherry pie, you have to pick cherries.

      • Taken literally most of your comment is right. If you wish to eat cherry pie today picking cherries is justified, but starting to learn how to grow a cherry tree is not a solution.

        Cherry picking to distort the result is a completely different matter. My comment had no (intended) connection to that. Presenting scientific results can in most cases be done honestly without the need to discuss the process.

      • Pekka,

        I am sure the researchers who picked the trees that gave the hockey stick result thought they were being honest and objective. They were using their “expert judgement” to pick trees that gave the result they were expecting and discarding the trees that did not. That’s why it is essential to explain the process. Your last sentence is equivalent to saying “Trust me. I’m a scientist / car salesman”).

      • Peter,

        I didn’t say that or imply that. You invented it yourself.

        I said that scientists can be honest also when they concentrate on results. I didn’t say that others should accept the word of any particular scientists any more that they should accept uncritically the word of anybody else. The history may have shown that a person has been honest in the past. That may add weight on her or his views but that’s earned not requested.

    • Steven Mosher

      You hit upon a key difference between the two approaches Judith describes, namely how each handles “outliers”

      Taleb spend some time on this topic, as does Kuhn.

      The “outlier” can be a simple instrument error – or it can be a “black swan”.

      In climate science today (as you know) “outliers”, which lie outside the box of the prevailing “consensus” paradigm, are often discarded or simply ignored (many examples in AR4). This follows the “results” method.

      In the “process” approach the “outlier” is examined more closely: is it telling us something, which our paradigm has not yet considered? Is is reproducible or just a “one-off” anomaly? If so, what impact could it have on our paradigm? Should we consider broadening or modifying our paradigm to include the “outlier? Etc.

      A basically different approach.

      IMO the first is “closed” (“the science is settled”), while the second is “open” (there is an ongoing debate”).

      I think that this is much of what the ongoing climate debate is really about, as a matter of fact.

      Max

      • Max,

        You make a claim. My judgment is that it’s without merit. I don’t think that the climate science is significantly distorted by the mechanism you propose. One argument that I have in mind is that concentrating on results is not a major issue in communication between scientists. It’s not a issue at all in communication between scientists studying a particular scientific problem because scientists cannot work without understanding of the supporting arguments behind the results others have obtained in their field of specialty.

        Can you substantiate your claim by credible evidence?

      • Pekka

        It appears that you have misunderstood my post when you write that “concentrating on results is not a major issue in communication between scientists.”

        I am not talking about “communication between scientists”, I am talking about communication to policymakers (and the general public), for example by IPCC

        It is not the “scientist-scientist” interface that interests me, Pekka, it is the “scientist-policy maker (and general public)” interface where the problem lies.

        For example:

        -That climate science (as exemplified by IPCC reports) overstates certainty in its conclusions and is “closed” to dissenting views.

        - That IPCC reports have ignored studies that raise uncertainty questions or conflict with the “consensus” view

        Max

      • What IPCC reports and more specifically the WG1 reports tell is not a single message. I have been most interested in the full report that’s written by scientists rather than accepted line-by-line by the government representatives as the SPM is.

        There are certainly faults in each of the WG1 full report but they do present also dissenting views and they do emphasize uncertainties. They don’t discuss every dissenting paper but neither do they discuss every conforming paper. False reactions to various situations were expressed in the Climategate emails but finally very many of those initial reactions were ultimately overturned by the same scientists.

        All very generic strong criticism of IPCC WG1 full reports has been based on highly questionable arguments. On more specific level the IAC review is a good example of criticism that tells about weaknesses of the work without dismissing the whole reports or their conclusions. A few weak points of AR4 WG1 have been discussed on this site but actually very few. Even those have not been outright false although some of them are likely to give a biased impression to most readers. It’s actually amazing how little to criticize has been found from the report.

        Where I sometimes agree with the skeptics is in situations where some scientists present strongly claims or conclusions that cannot be fully supported by the IPCC reports or by later science without recourse to cherry picking.

      • Pekka

        To go a step further.

        In my post to Steven Mosher, I commented on his post regarding how Judith’s two groups would handle “outliers” that defy the prevailing paradigm..

        My observation was that “consensus” climate science (e.g. IPCC) handles these in the “results” manner, i.e. either ignores them or rationalizes that they are meaningless.

        Do you believe this observation is incorrect?

        Can you provide any specific examples demonstrating that it is incorrect?

        Thanks for a reply.

        Max

      • Max,

        I think that you have nothing to substantiate your claim. Thus I consider it pure speculation based on prejudices.

      • Pekka

        One example:

        The question of solar forcing by a mechanism other than simply solar irradiance is raised by the cosmic ray / cloud nucleation hypothesis of Svensmark et al., which is now being tested at CERN.

        This hypothesis is backed by a good correlation between solar activity and temperature over many millennia, based on paleo data, but the nucleation mechanism had not yet been demonstrated experimentally when AR4 was published.

        But, rather than stating that this hypothesis might provide a partial alternate explanation for past climate changes, especially those that occurred before industrialization, IPCC simply wrote this hypothesis off as “controversial”, adding that the “cosmic ray time series does not correspond to total cloud cover after 1991 or to low cloud cover after 1994″.

        Slam! Door closed.

        An example of an “outlier” that was rationalized away:

        The post WWII boom period of slight cooling despite rapidly increasing human CO2 emissions is mentioned in a footnote: From about 1940 to 1970 the increasing industrialisation following World War II increased pollution in the Northern Hemisphere, contributing to cooling, and increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases dominate the observed warming after the mid-1970s.

        For other examples, see:
        http://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/ipcc

        Max

      • Max

        There’s an infinity of “possible partial explanations”. More is needed to earn stronger emphasis than being noted as a controversial proposal (there are several papers that have brought up the controversy in this case).

        There may be bias in the choice of papers. Some bias is intuitively plausible, but being sure of that is very difficult as that requires a assessment of the papers that can be shown to be more objective according to criteria than can be also shown to be appropriate. Perhaps some body created by national Academies of Science would have a change of doing that but probably the objectivity of any such body would be contested. IAC didn’t go into such an analysis as its scope was much more limited.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        My similar response from another post:

        The first scientist who said there’s “no room for doubt” would be forever guilty of confirmation bias and would have to resign from the official rational skeptics club. All scientific truths should be held as provisional, with the goal in looking at what might not confirm your truth– looking as it were, for the exceptions. More can be learned by looking for the exception than holding truth without doubt. It is the second scientist that has a greater chance at moving the science forward, to refine, expand, amplify, or completely modify the “truth” that the first scientist has removed all doubt in.

      • R. Gates

        The first scientist who said there’s “no room for doubt” would be forever guilty of confirmation bias and would have to resign from the official rational skeptics club.

        Would that be Sir John Houghton, previously co-Chair of the IPCC?

        Max

    • John Carpenter

      “You have a theory. ( there is always a theory) There is an outlier. What does it mean?
      well it means nothing because there are always ouliers.
      But a consensus motivated person will look at that and say. “hmm, how do I make that go away so my theory is pretty and neat” Thats fine and totally acceptable. Utterly pragmatic. A “dissensionalist” looks at that and says
      ” whoaa, maybe the theory is wrong. look I found something to work on””

      Well, I think another way to look at it is the consensus motivated person may have a more ‘glass half full’ worldview than a dissensionalists ‘glass half empty’ view. We can argue over whether a consensus motivated person is more likely to ‘fool’ himself into thinking he is certain to be right than a dissentialist is to ‘fool’ himself into thinking he is certain to be wrong. Personally, I look for ways to show I am not sure how a process works rather than be satisfied any particular result agrees with what I thought (though that is rewarding). There is a behavior to overlook outliers as inconsequential that I suspect to be more prevalent with a consensus motivated person than a dissensionalist. I would guess a dissensionalist would be more interested in explaining why the outlier exists and what it means, but that is mere speculation on my part and probably due to my own personal bias of having a more dissensionalist view.

      I agree it is not an either/or proposition, but whether you choose consensus motivated reasoning or dissensionalist motivated reasoning, the choice you make may be heavily biased by the way you personally view the world around you.

      • Anya sang: “I have a theory; it could be – bunnies.” But I think that was an outlier which could reasonably be dismissed. (Buffy: The Musical.”)

    • Isn’t the real point here that climate science has drifted into the arena of social science. We all watch with interest the efforts being made to find the Higgs Boson, and some, like the perennial sceptic I am, don’t know and want the proof, while others are wedded to the theory and desperately want to find it, while others think it’s bunkum and don’t want to find it. That’s science, the mirror of human nature.

      The climate change debate however demands instant changes to society if your believe in CAGW, and has found in its wake people who’ve been waiting for this opportunity to come along to impose their worldview on the rest of humanity. I’m not sure what the symbiosis is between these two groups, the scientists who warn of impending danger and the people who want to return us to a pastoral society, because the AGW scare arose in the late 20th century, by which time there may well have been converts to the “faith” humans are evil and must stop being so to save the earth, who had insinuated themselves into the scientific community.

      Let’s face it, sceptic, or believer, you’d not have skin in the game if there were no social consequences.

  25. On uncertainty, this from Nassim Taleb, on methodologies
    grounded in the Gaussian and embedded in the Ludic Fallacy:
    ‘We are teaching people methods from Mediocristan and
    turning them loose in Extremistan.’ (Ch17 The Black Swan.)

  26. I’ve just started David Deutsch’s The Beginning of Infinity. Science (as well as reason and freedom) was an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. He describes the Enlightenment as “a way of pursuing knowledge with a tradition of criticism and seeking good explanations instead of reliance on authority”. This seems to be aligned with the Feynman quote.

  27. Richard Lindzen: The Perversion Of Science
    Foreword to Andrew Montford’s Nullius in Verba: The Royal Society and Climate Change

    Andrew Montford provides a straightforward and unembellished chronology of the perversion not only of The Royal Society but of science itself, wherein the legitimate role of science as a powerful mode of inquiry is replaced by the pretence of science to a position of political authority.
    http://www.thegwpf.org/richard-lindzen-the-perversion-of-science/

    Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival
    The Conversation Continues
    DailyKos Essay: Weinberg, Dawkins, Tyson, Porco, Sloan, and Harris – Idiots of Science on Parade
    This is about the idiocy and the idiots at the La Jolla meeting, “Beyond Belief: Science,
    Religion, Reason and Survival.” The idiots of science were in attendance: Steven Weinberg, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carolyn Porco, Richard P. Sloan, and Sam Harris. I thought some of them were intelligent, until now.
    Science is the best hammer in humanity’s toolkit. It is the most useful tool we have.
    Because a few religious extremists have irritated the grand idiots of science, they propose to set up science as a religion. This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. It’s like a guy who has mice in his house. Instead of setting a few traps for them, he blows up the house
    http://thesciencenetwork.org/docs/TheConversationContinues.pdf

    Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions
    http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_s_right.html
    Evangelist (/sarc) Sam Harris
    Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions
    http://tinyurl.com/yfqcd26

    Can fMRI Predict Who Believes In Santa Claus? Or God? Part I

    Did you know that “regions” of your brain light up when you think about Santa Claus or God? And that these “regions” are thought to be “associated” with various behaviors like excess emotion, schizophrenia, and other, gentler forms of nuttiness?
    It’s all true. Scientists regularly stick people’s heads inside machines, ask the people to think of this or that, and then watch as the machines show “regions” of the brain glowing orange. The scientists then employ statistical methods guaranteed to generate over-confidence, but which allow the scientists to write papers which contain broad, even bracing, claims about all of humanity and of how everybody’s brain functions.
    This sort of thing is all the rage, so much so that hardly a week passes without new headlines about what secrets the Whitecoat Brigade have uncovered in the brain (this week: Study shows how scientists can now ‘read your mind’).
    It is therefore of great interest to us to examine this phenomena and see what it means. I have chosen one paper which I believe is representative of the worst excesses of the field. My goal is to show you that the conclusion, as stated by the authors, and one the authors believe they have proved, is actually far from proved, is in fact scarcely more likely to be true given the experiment than it was before the experiment, and that what was actually proved was how likely scientist’s are to find in their data their own preconceptions.
    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=4923

    WRAP UP: Can fMRI Predict Who Believes In Santa Claus? Or God? Part VII
    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=4942

    Scanning Dead Salmon in fMRI Machine Highlights Risk of Red Herrings
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/09/fmrisalmon/

    The New Divinity
    By Julian Huxley

    I believe that an equally drastic reorganization of our pattern of religious thought is now becoming necessary, from a god-centered to an evolutionary-centered pattern
    Snip
    Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sence of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.
    Though gods and God in any meaningful sence seem destined to disappear, the stuff of divinity out of which they have grown and developed remains. This religious raw material consists of those aspects of nature and those experiences which are usually described as divine. Let me remind my readers that the term divine did not originally imply the existence of gods: on the contrary, gods were constructed to interprete man’s experiences of this quality.
    Some events and some phenomena of outer nature transcend ordinary explanation and ordinary experience. They inspire awe and seem mysterious, explicable only in terms of something beyond or above ordinary nature.
    http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/jh_divin.htm

    Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975)

    He saw Humanism as a replacement ‘religion’, and as such represented an important strand in post-war humanist thought. In a speech given to a conference in 1965 he spoke of the need for “a religiously and socially effective system of humanism.” And in his book Religion Without Revelation, he wrote:

    “What the sciences discover about the natural world and about the origins, nature and destiny of man is the truth for religion. There is no other kind of valid knowledge. This natural knowledge, organized and applied to human fulfilment, is the basis of the new and permanent religion.” The book ends with the concept of “transhumanism”– “man remaining man, but transcending himself by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”.
    http://www.humanism.org.uk/humanism/humanist-tradition/20century/sir-julian-huxley

    Julian Huxley 1941

    “Eugenics and Society” (The Galton Lecture given to the Eugenics Society), by Julian S. Huxley, Eugenics Review (vol 28:1)
    Eugenics and Society* By Julian S. Huxley, M.A., D.Sc. The Future of Eugenics

    Eugenics, Dean Inge writes in one of his essays, is capable of becoming the most sacred ideal of the human race, as a race; one of the supreme religious duties. In this I entirely agree with him. Once the full implications of evolutionary biology are grasped, eugenics will inevitably become part of the religion of the future, or of whatever complex of sentiments may in the future take the place of organized religion. It is not merely a sane outlet for human altruism, but is of all outlets for altruism that which is most comprehensive and of longest range
    http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/html/eugenics/static/images/1823.html

    ‘Evolutionary Studies’ edited by M. Keynes and G. Ainsworth, Macmillan, pp 256, Pounds sterling 35

    JULIAN HUXLEY was born in 1887 and he died in 1975. From the end of the First World War through to the early 1960s, he enjoyed a formidable reputation as an evolutionary biologist, a science writer and broadcaster, and as something of a political activist. His creed was humanism, while his medium was the Eugenics Society and, for a time, UNESCO.
    With incredible energy, he helped to found the World Wildlife Fund, IUCN, the Ecological Society and the Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour. He received numerous awards and other honours for his services to science and to society. For example, he gained prizes for popularising science, for writing
    English verse, and for contributions to planned parenthood, conservation and evolutionary biology
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/evolution/mg12617155.100

    Evolutionary Psychology and Our Mythical Dark Nature
    Philip Yancey

    Meanwhile the leaders of the movement are cranking out books,
    writing cover stories for newsmagazines, and being feted at major
    universities. For the moment, at least, they hold the spotlight, and it
    illuminates a benign and knowing smile. At last we understand
    human behavior. At last we understand ourselves.
    http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps/rcq/issues/8-4.pdf

    Lovelock
    http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/systemic-thinking-on-causation/#comment-264203

    Maybe it’s about time to discuss whether “science” should be just an investigative tool (my view), or whether so called scientists should be promoting themselves as they IMO are (whether consciously or not), as a new source of authority, a new “Priesthood”

    all the best
    brent

    • David Springer

      Could you clarify that? Thanks.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Brent said:

      “Maybe it’s about time to discuss whether “science” should be just an investigative tool (my view), or whether so called scientists should be promoting themselves as they IMO are (whether consciously or not), as a new source of authority, a new “Priesthood””
      _____
      Given that science has replaced religion as the paradigm for looking meaning in the universe and our human place in that universe, for modern secular societies around the world, then scientists, like it or not, are the new priestly caste. They have their own esoteric form of communication (advanced mathematics) and for those increasing numbers of agnostics and atheists in the world, this priestly caste offers clues about the deeper truths of the universe. Science has replaced religion for hundreds of millions of people in offering meaning and order to the universe. This is the way things are, and, again, like it or not, when there are big natural disasters, you see a lot more scientists rather than priests or rabbis being interviewed. What does it mean? Why did this happen? Could it happen again? What can we do to prevent it? And on and on. Many scientists are certainly uncomfortable being cast is such a role, but a few actually seem to relish their now-and-then expert priestly role, almost being given a temporary “rock star” status.

      But the trust that is increasingly put into the new priestly caste is fragile indeed, just as it has been throughout the ages. Like all priests, the scientists are expected to have a direct communion with the “truth”, god, or otherwise be able to divine “what it all means”. If however, the priests begin to be seen in any way as charlatans, then the trust can be quickly broken. However, currently, in that the close cousin of pure science, which is applied science, brings so many wonderful new technical toys for the masses, those toys, and the obvious wizardry and mastery of the secrets of the universe displayed by the creation of such toys, there is not much chance of science being replaced or deposed from it’s priestly pedestal anytime soon.

      • “Given that science has replaced religion as the paradigm for looking meaning in the universe and our human place in that universe, for modern secular societies around the world, then scientists, like it or not, are the new priestly caste.”

        Science does not provide meaning.
        Atheism provides meaning.
        Marxism provides meaning.
        And neither is science. [And both are bonkers].

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Gbaikie,

        If you fail to see how the “truths” revealed by science provide meaning and context for millions of people around the world then you fail to understand why entire genres of literature and movies are so popular ad well. As religion ceased to offer the answers people were looking for in terms of humanity’s place in the universe, science has filled that void quite well.

  28. The most annoying part of the term “climate change” is that climate itself is something of an average of long term weather, weather is changing atmospheric conditions, so climate change is “long term average short term change change”.

    • I just noticed how Orwellian that sounds, doubleplusungood.

    • It is annoying and silly. But if you define climate as the “long term change in the weather”, then climate change is “a change in the long term change in the weather” which sounds more reasonable. The problem is that weather is notoriously changeable and “long term” could be 10 years or 1,000 years.

      So you have a useless definition that you can fit anything into, which was probably the point. Then people try to take one time events that happen over a week and say it is climate change. The last problem with it is that not all “change” can be correlated with increases in CO2 using science. And different regions have different predictions. So now you can say anything is “climate change”. Some places will get wetter, some drier. So now any big rain or big drought “could be” a sign of doomsday. It’s quite sickening to see it in action.

  29. There was an interesting article back in 2010 in the New Yorker that is getting further discussion now, regarding the “decline effect” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer
    It’s is mostly about social science and medical research but if you read it and think about what has been happening with the research of Mann and Trenberth and Gergis and paleoclimatology and confirmation bias and outliers in data and consider that some of the strongly held beliefs in climate science may actually be very similar to these trends in other sciences, it’s just that these other sciences are more mature and have been looking at their own deficiencies longer in a less politicized environment. Much of the beliefs and correlations in climate science may just be early outliers and further research may show the data approaching a less alarming and less “publication” and “politically” significant mean

    • That was interesting. And non-political, non-climate related. About a type of anti-psychotic drug that worked better in first trials and about a social science idea (verbal overshadowing) that showed the same inability to be reproduced later.

  30. JC comments:
    ………………….An interesting sociological study would be to survey climate scientists on their affinity for the consensus or dissension approach to science………….

    I have held the view now for thirty years or more, that about 90% of all people, including scientists and engineers, when push comes to shove or stick their neck out, will support the consensus or more often, keep quiet, rather than express any doubts as to the path to follow or challenge the view of the leader/s.
    I’ve always been in the “challenging” minority 10% and have, because of this, found life, well……difficult. People who aren’t scared to challenge conformity, are a breath of fresh air.
    The sociological study you suggest would indeed be interesting.

  31. Well I used to hold scientists in high esteem, not so much lately in regard to climate change. They should take a clear lead in informing the general populace, after all there are not so many points of data collection sources, satellites, monitoring stations . But they can’t get their act together can they – just argue on silly minor points. In fact they seem more interested in politics and nonsense than communicating the truth to fellow non scientific homo sapiens (like humble me). Now IPCC, NASA, NCAR, U.K met office seem to have convincing media sites. So why does the esteemed J.C put out stuff through the miserable U.K media “Sunday Mail” and worry about her photo. She is a head surely more responsible than this. U.S.A is one of the most dirtiest offenders with China.. yet cleaner countries (like mine) suffer . In the North the Inuits are getting into mining and oil drilling (instead of traditional hunting) and in the tropics Coffee and Cocoa crops are beginning to fail, yet the denialists keep blabbering their propaganda and not acknowledging the dangerous path we are embarked on . J.C as a scientist you have a duty to mankind .. honour it please… at least no more stupid interviews with morons like David Rose….you cannot be so out of sync with your colleagues can you ? Our Children’s Children depend on people like you

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Angry Bob said:

      “Well I used to hold scientists in high esteem, not so much lately in regard to climate change.”

      ___
      Then the masters of the denialsphere have been successful in programming your mind. Congratulations to them and sorry for you.

      • There are a few I hold in low esteem. But it is not restricted to climate science. Getting ready to publish a paper now and as I’m looking at some of my references more carefully I can see what a crappy job of science some of them did.

  32. “Science is the most powerful tool we have for understanding the natural world.” Wrong! Science is a way to measure the world and create predictions about those measurements. But understanding is far far more than mere measurements. There are a whole load of cultural, economic, social and other facets of “understanding”. Yes, if you limit your concept of understanding to the models … you could be right, but if you want “understanding” to mean the rich tapestry of human involvement with the natural world … that needs the engineer.

    Engineering is the use of science in the real world (where there are real people). So, it obvious that we are far more suited to a full understanding of the natural world in all its flavours.

    But the real truth is that science often falls flat on its face in the real world. It works in the cosy textbooks of academics, but when it hits a world full of real sloppy people and real unrealiable machinery and real complex multifaceted problems … you can throw your science out the window because it doesn’t help at all understand why someone wants to save their local nature reserve or how someone might lie about data about the climate. (Usually they took a short cut and then try to hide it)

    • Uh… I’m not sure I’d trust anything designed by an engineer who “threw science out the window” because they needed to consider the human element as well.

  33. “The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.””

    Where is this overwhelming evidence?

    • The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming

      Not for me for the following two reasons:

      1) Uniform warming since 1850 => http://bit.ly/SIMFJY

      2) And that warming increases CO2 concentration => http://bit.ly/UxSFYj

    • Judith Curry

      This is very interesting.

      My “take-home” (simplified):

      1 – “Result”; consensus approach, “the science is settled”
      2 – “Process”; dissension approach; “there is an ongoing debate”

      I’d definitely fall into category 2.

      [I scored "INTJ" on test.]

      Max

    • Myrrh

      A better sentence would probably have been:

      “The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there, but in science there’s always room for doubt.””

      “Overwhelming” goes in the direction of “the science is settled” rather than “there is an ongoing debate”

      Max

      • “Overwhelming” is something your pretty but prone to flights of verbosity girlfriend would say.

        A scientist would never use such a poetic term.

        Andrew

      • “The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there, but in science there’s always room for doubt.””

        Where?

      • Who let you out from under your bus?

      • That response epitomises the location of “there”.

        After all this time, let’s see, at least since the thawing out of “the big freeze is coming and mass starvation predicted for 2000″ from Climate Scares Are Us Inc of the 70′s, but this “there” also claims it goes back to Arrhenius as proof of AGW – so fetch.

        Let’s see a reasoned, comprehensive, scientific, show and tell – because – as is obvious to all who ask – this is never forthcoming.

        And not one of you “climate scientists” claiming there is evidence for AGW will ever take responsibility for providing it, or ever admit you can’t find it either.

      • Myrrh

        “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”

        The word “evidence” as used in this statement is a bit loose. It is computer generated “evidence” based primarily on theoretical physical principles plus some subjective interpretations of dicey paleo-climate data from cherry-picked time periods of our planet’s distant past.

        IOW, it is not “empirical evidence” from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman), but rather a hypothesis based on theoretical physical principles and computer simulations.

        It might be even more accurate to say

        The evidence The theoretical basis for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”

        Do you like that one better?

        Max

      • Max The word “evidence” as used in this statement is a bit loose. It is computer generated “evidence” based primarily on theoretical physical principles plus some subjective interpretations of dicey paleo-climate data from cherry-picked time periods of our planet’s distant past.

        IOW, it is not “empirical evidence” from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman), but rather a hypothesis based on theoretical physical principles and computer simulations.

        It might be even more accurate to say

        “The evidence The theoretical basis for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”

        Do you like that one better?

        Nope. The choice remains between two claims which say this “theory is there as empirical fact” based on nothing more than wishful thinking and proven fraudulent manipulation of the science, of data and terms. This isn’t the science method, and the two statements cannot therefore be about science or from scientists.

        They never fetch the empirical data because they don’t have it. So what they choose to argue about ‘doubt in science’ is irrelevant to science, it is in common parlance, mutual masturbation. They don’t have a theory, they don’t even have a common hypothesis because they refuse to fetch anything that can be tested, all they have is a common belief in AGW in which they can’t agree on any of the parts comprising nor provide any empirical science to back up any of the views they promote. Belief systems are based on faith and are antithetical to the science method, this question proves this, and, blogs such as this prove this, arguments about beliefs not backed by empirical real world science are interminable…

        This is the effectiveness of a priesthood created to promote a pre-conceived unproven notion by person or persons unknown and by misappropriation of the title ‘scientist’ fraudulently passing it off as based on empirical science – “the theoretical basis for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there”, is not there.

        All we have is the claim that the “theory is there as empirical fact” based on nothing more than wishful thinking, and proven fraudulent manipulation of the science, of data and terms.

        This question, therefore, isn’t about science, it is only about ‘what is the best way to bamboozle the ignorant non-science public to get what we want’ from the created illusion of ‘us masquerading as scientists who can’t even show a logical association or agreement in the parts to our claim that there is such a thing as the Greenhouse Effect let alone AGW?’.

        “The first scientist is probably a more effective spokesperson for the scientific consensus. But the second scientist is providing a more accurate representation of how science works.”

        So, neither is a scientist. The first, without any empirical real science evidence, etc., is merely stating loudly while plugging his fingers into his ears an already falsified opinion [there is no Greenhouse Effect, it is created by excising the Water Cycle, and is falsified in all its parts by empirical facts, Girma and CO2 for example, etc. etc. etc.]. The second is merely regurgitating the same faith claim, about which there is no internal agreement of its parts and without making it clear that they are in agreement within all the variations, with a pretence to the ‘science high ground of doubt, sceptism’ – which might on a personal level improve his chances of getting back to science as empirical examination of the world around us, but that is not inherent in his statement and is inapplicable to him in his statement as he is obviously promoting the lie that there is overwhelming evidence because no empirical data is ever fetched. And so both, fraudulently passing off this belief as a science hypothesis/theory based on theoretical physical principles and empirical data without having any capacity for joined up logic, the foundation stone of science thinking.

        So, who cares which of these comes across as the ‘most believable’? Only those interested in promoting the science fraud of AGW or unthinkingly caught up in the deliberate fraudulent doublespeak of its promotion as “consensus of scientists”.

        “It should not be “science has shown” but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.” And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments–but be patient and listen to all the evidence–to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.”

        We’re still waiting for the evidence to be presented..

        ..the question should be:

        - how much longer do we have to listen to questions about the effectiveness of those presenting the claimed consensus that “anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming there” when the evidence has never been presented to us?

      • There is no “there” there. Also, it depends on what your definition of “is” is.

  34. Our hostess writes “Emphasizing the ‘facts’ versus the uncertainties”

    I have enormous trouble with this phrase, and I am at a loss to understand what Judith is getting at. Facts, which I would call “empirical data”, must have uncertainties. No physicist would ever quote a measured value of some variable without a +/- value attached to it.

    The problem as I see it, is something which our hostess does NOT discuss, and which several people have already commented about on this thread. CAGW is, and always was, a hypothesis. It will remain a hypothesis until there is enough empirical data to support it. This empirical data is missing. Supposedly, CAGW started sometime around 1970. So a CO2 signal ought to have started to appear, in temperature/time graphs, around this time. There is no CO2 signal in the empirical data which has been collected since 1970, or at least I cannot find one, and no-one has demonstrated that there is a CO2 signal.

    So the question which the proponents of CAGW refuse to discuss is, how long do we have to wait for a CO2 signal to appear, and when no signal is observed, do we conclude that no CO2 signal is ever going to appear? And yes, I have defined what I mean by a CO2 signal, and no-one has said that this definition is wrong.

    • Jim Cripwell

      You raise a key question:

      What is a “CO2 signal”?

      A supporter of the CAGW premise might say: CO2 concentration has risen since measurements were installed at Mauna Loa in 1959, globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature has also risen since this period; since our models cannot explain this warming without attributing most of it to CO2 (plus some minor GHGs), we conclude that CO2 caused most of the observed warming, i.e. that is our observed “CO2 signal”.

      Greenhouse theory tells us that CO2 is a GHG and that increased GHGs trap outgoing LW radiation, thereby leading to global warming. That is the theoretical justification for our “CO2 signal”.

      The weak part of this argument is obviously the phrase “since our models cannot explain this warming without attributing most of it to CO2 (plus some minor GHGs)”, because this is an “argument from ignorance” – not “an argument from evidence”.

      This is compounded by the fact that there was another (statistically indistinguishable) period of warming in the early 20th century, which the models cannot explain.

      I’ve written this before, but it is the logic fallacy stated below:

      1- Our models cannot explain the early 20th century warming
      2- We know that most of the statistically indistinguishable late 20th century warming was caused by human GHGs (mostly CO2)
      3- How do we know this?
      4- Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

      The “CO2 signal” remains a theoretically posited and computer generated “will o’ the wisp”.

      Max

      • Max, you write “What is a “CO2 signal”?”

        Not quite, and I dont think I asked that questrion. I know what I mean by a CO2 signal. Global temperatures have been rising at a rate of around 0.06 C per decade ever since we have had decent records. There is no sign that this warming has ceased, and there is no known cause for this warming.

        If global temperatures are going to get to unacceptable levels by the end of the century, then, sometime in the future, there must be period when the rate of rise of temperature is considerbaly in excess of 0.06 C per decade. Should this occur, this would be the CO2 signal. In other words, a CO2 signal is a rate of rise of temperature above 0.06 C per decade for a prolonged period of time.

        I cannot see that there has been a CO2 signal in any temperature/time graph from around 1970, when CAGW was supposed to have started.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Jim Cripwell said:

        “I cannot see that there has been a CO2 signal…”

        ——
        And your vast intellect and visual review of the charts is more powerful than the banks of supercomputers around the world that have come to an opposite conclusion eh?

      • Jim Cripwell

        Since 1970 (4.2 decades)the HadCRUT3 temperature has increased from around -0.15C to +0.45C or by 0.6C:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/trend

        This is a decadal trend of 0.6/4.2 = 0.14C per decade.

        However, since 1998 (1.4 decades) the same temperature record shows no increase at all:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend

        And since 1850 (15.3 decades) it warmed from around -0.51 to +0.23 or by 0.74C:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/trend

        This is a decadal trend of 0.74/15.3 = 0.048C per decade

        I see warming in fits and spurts, but I do not see a “CO2 signal” (for the reasons I stated in my previous post).

        Do you?

        Max

      • R. Gates

        You have just fallen into the logic trap called “argument from authority”.

        Bring an “argument from evidence” (Feynman) instead.

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Max,

        Nope. Supercomputer output is not proof of anything, but of the two, Jim Cripwell’s visual scan of the data and a supercomputer looking in detail at all the physics of various forcings– I’ll trust the supercomputer. Just as a scan of the last decade of surface temps won’t show you what Foster and Rahmstorf’s analysis did. The lesson being that visual scans of the data by the human eye, no matter how sharp the mind is behind those eyes, can’t reveal what computer analysis can.

      • A visual scan of data vs the assumptions a model builder used for inputs, but because it’s a computer output it automatically seems more trustworthy, why?

      • Max, you write “I see warming in fits and spurts, but I do not see a “CO2 signal” (for the reasons I stated in my previous post).
        Do you?”

        No I dont. That is the point. Just go to http://bit.ly/V19Im8, and you will see the whole picture since around 1850; a linear trend of around 0.06 C per decade, with lim its or around +/- 0.25 C. Simple, thanks to Girma.

      • R. Gates, you write “And your vast intellect and visual review of the charts is more powerful than the banks of supercomputers around the world that have come to an opposite conclusion eh?”

        I dont claim anything of the sort. All I can say, is that I have looked for the CO2 signal , and cannot find it. This could well be because I have been looking in the wrong place, or that I dont know what I am looking for, or many other reasons. As I say over and over again, it is negative information.

        But you seem to claim that some supercomputers have found a CO2 signal. If that is your claim, then where is it? And I am talking about a signal that shows that global temperatures have been rising at a rate greater than 0.06 C per decade for a prolonged period of time since around 1970.

        Where is the CO2 signal?

      • R. Gates

        You “trust the supercomputer”.

        Great.

        I trust empirical data.

        That’s the basic difference in our approach.

        Max

      • Max, What the supporters of CAGW fail to realize is that the scientific method requires that all hypotheses must be tested against empirical data. It is perfectly acceptable to do all sorts of hypothetical estimations, and look at different sorts of data. But in the end if it is claimed that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise, then we must establish that this has happened. We know CO2 concentrations have risen abnormally in the atmopshere. This supposedly started happening around 1970. So also starting in 1970, global temperatures should have started to rise abnormally, and no only started to rise, they should have continued to rise abnormally. The fact that this does not appear to have happened, the fact that no CO2 signal has appeared, is the reason why I am convinced that the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere is negligible. Until I see a CO2 signal in the empirical data, I will continue to claim that while, in theory, adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise, in practice the extent of this rise is negligible.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Jim Cripwell said:

        ” All I can say, is that I have looked for the CO2 signal , and cannot find it.”

        ____
        In the four spheres (hyrdosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere) that store the solar energy that reaches the Earth and is transformed into a variety of other forms of energy, where exactly have you looked for the changes in Earth’s total energy balance that would be indicative of a positive forcing caused by accumulating greenhouse gases? Certainly to make the kind of strong assertions that you do, you’ve thoroughly checked all the research being done in all these spheres and have come to your rather strong conclusion– which goes quite against the majority of the research from the experts in each of these areas.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Jim Cripwell said:

        “What the supporters of CAGW fail to realize is that the scientific method requires that all hypotheses must be tested against empirical data.”
        _____

        This is not what the “scientific method” requires at all. As there could be an infinite number of hypotheses for any given effect, such a requirement would actually be impossible. What the actual scientific method requires is that for any given hypotheses that data be gathered or experiments conducted or models built that test or confirm or deny that hypothesis. Complex theories, such as anthropogenic climate change in which a large and complex system is involved require a series of related hypotheses. each one of which might involve different aspects of the complex system (hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, etc.) Each one of these individual hypotheses must be tested, and confirmed, denied, or refined as the data and/or models and experimentation suggest.

        But in no way does the scientific method require that all hypotheses be tested. That would be impossible.

        Finally, as a matter of practice, the most successful scientists, once they have established a hypothesis that seems to explain the data or is consistent with the data, then constantly look for any data that would refute their hypothesis. It is only in this way that the science can progress, as the wise know that even the best hypothesis is but a metaphor describing the shadows on the wall, and that what is really going on is always more complex, and by looking for the exceptions to their hypothesis they might actually refine their metaphor even more.

      • “And your vast intellect and visual review of the charts is more powerful than the banks of supercomputers around the world that have come to an opposite conclusion eh?”

        Do me a favor and get HAL to open the pod bay doors. Please!

        Oh, that’s right, we don’t live in a world where computers come to conclusions? That’s an entirely silly sentence you wrote there. It’s like saying my tape measure came to a conclusion about the size of my house. People conclude things from evidence provided by tools. If the tools are poorly made, then conclusions (by people, not machines) are poorly arrived at. If you loaned me a tape measure you made yourself, by estimating the marks and writing them on by hand, I don’t think I’d put too much stock in how big it “concluded” my house is.

  35. The media uproar following Sandy puts pressure on everyone to forget the process and come up with answers. The fear factor induces belief in a primitive notion: that we human beings can make sacrifices to assure more favorable weather. It’s been a recurring idea in many civilizations, but it’s surprising that these days the notion is embraced by so many otherwise educated people.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      That’s just plain stupid Ron. No one is trying make sacrifices to assure more favorable weather. Trying to harden infrastructure in areas that might be prone to certain types of extreme weather is the rational human doing the rational thing. Researching as to how much anthropogenic factors may or may not contribute to making hybrid storms like Sandy occur more frequently is also a reasonable and rational course of investigation.

      • R. Gates

        Agree with you this time.

        - Improving infrastructure to cope with future storms like Sandy is a good investment.

        - Serious research into whether or not a slowly warming planet (as we are witnessing long-term) could result in a higher frequency of storms like Sandy is also a good investment (forget the “anthropogenic” premise – that has nothing to do with it).

        Max

      • The sacrifices would be in terms of more expensive energy, lower standard of living, more people dying of cold and heat, all to stave off a future calamity where more people might die from heat. So, yes there are sacrifices being proposed. Same ones that Erhlich and Holdren have been touting since the 1960′s. In any environmental class, the first day is always that we have too many people, use too many resources and that “one day” we may need to put population controls in place, and that if we don’t want that, we need to cut our use of energy and lower our standard of living immediately. They may not call it standard of living but it is the same thing. And many say we really need a two child policy similar to China’s one child policy. It’s a scary read sometimes. Students leave their notes from what they are learning in env. biology and env. sociology in my lab and I see what is being taught. Sacrifices everywhere in order to “save the planet”.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        The sacrifices are made first OF the children.

        Here is my child’s Grade 11 Chemistry text on Combustion Reactions. The complete intro:

        “In some areas of the Arctic, large amounts of methane CH4(g) are entering our atmosphere.As the climate becomes warmer and teh ground thaws, bacteria produce methane from the remains of plants and animals. The release of large amounts of methane into the atmosphere is a concern because methane is an important greenhouse gas figure 30
        reseacher lighting a pocket f methane on a thermokarst lake in Sibera”

        McGraw HIll Ryerson. Chemistry 11
        Bias Reviewer Bev McMorris

      • Disagree with “no one”. Plenty of people calling for this, including Jeffry Sachs and Joseph Romm

      • To be more clear (connect the dots, as it were). Everyday someone in the media is saying the man-made climate change (AKA global warming) contributed to the Sandy storm. The claim is also made that, in addition to adaptation, there should be mitigation; i.e. reducing our CO2 emissions.

        The “sacrifice” is to raise the cost of fossil fuels by either taxation or emissions trading, and consequently raise the cost of everything requiring energy as a component. This, it is claimed will make us less likely to have such superstorms. I don’t buy it, but the voices are there, and my guess is we will be hearing more of this.

      • “The “sacrifice” is to raise the cost of fossil fuels by either taxation or emissions trading, and consequently raise the cost of everything requiring energy as a component. This, it is claimed will make us less likely to have such superstorms. I don’t buy it, but the voices are there, and my guess is we will be hearing more of this.”

        You have a political class squandering the public’s wealth- which wouldn’t be too bad, if they did their jobs.
        But Sandy proved they aren’t doing they jobs. None of have any excuses
        so it becomes very important to blame the public, and preferable everyone in the world, who must be held responsible for their failure to run a city in vaguely competent manner.

    • David Springer

      fossil_fuel == sacrifical_lamb;

      Awesome.

      +1

      • Commitment to mitigation is faith-based, since there is no rational consideration of the uncertainties embedded in the proposition.
        1) What is the certainty that raising fuel prices will reduce CO2 emissions?
        Experience with rising gasoline prices shows that consumption does not fall as with other commodities. And reduction efforts in California and Australia are dwarfed by growth in places like China and India.

        2) What is the certainty that reducing emissions will lower CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere?Emissions are calculated from consumption statistics to be about 6gt., while exchanges between natural CO2 sources and sinks are estimated to be about 200 gt. +/- 20 gt.

        3) What is the certainty that lowering atmospheric CO2 will cause global temperatures to cool?
        In this century temperature rise has paused while atmospheric CO2 has continued to increase. The disconnect is consistent with ice core data showing that CO2 changes follow temperature changes, and not the other way around.

        4) What is the certainty that cooling temperature will produce less extreme weather?
        During the modern warming period extreme weather has not increased by any statistical measure. In fact, history shows that more extreme weather is associated with cooler ocean temperatures. If there is more extreme weather in the future, it will be likely due to global cooling, not warming.

      • Sorry. I was mistaken in that last part. I should have said that more extreme weather is associated with warmer, not cooler ocean temperatures, rather than warmer air temperatures. The AMO cycles correlate with extreme storms, and are not caused by CO2.

  36. Algebra is a wonderful human invention, but sadly it only works when you actually have identified all the relevant variables. Otherwise you end up with very wrong answers.

    To me the bait-and-switch is that yes, a small handful aside, there is general consensus, even amongst skeptics, that there is a “A” in AGW. But generally, establishment types don’t just mean that, and certainly the public at large does not understand them to mean that. They actually mean practically all GW is “A”, and that nearly all of “A” is caused by C02.

    The real debate is the relative magnitude of the “A” contribution in overall GW, and even the relative distribution of “A” subset factors (land use vs C02, for instance) in producing that contribution.

  37. Man-bear-pig

  38. AGW has been exaggerated by a factor of 3.

    Where did I get this value of 3?

    1) Long term trend is 0.06 deg C per decade as shown => http://bit.ly/SIMFJY
    2) IPCC says the warming from 1970 to 2030 for 60 years is going to be about 0.2 deg C.

    There is no evidence for 0.2 deg C per decade warming for the period 2000-2030, as the trend for 2000-2012 was flat.

    Due to the enormous heat capacity of the oceans and their inertia, it is reasonable to assume the 0.06 deg C per decade since record begun will not change in the next decade.

    As a result,

    AGW exaggeration factor = IPCC Trend/Observed Trend = 0.2/0.06 = 3.33.

  39. Politicians are not to blame for accepting misinformation as “settled science” about the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 Aug 1945 and 9 Aug 1945, respectively.

    History will not be so kind in judging the guilt-ridden Allied scientists who sacrificed the government we had inherited from our founding fathers to establish a one-world tyrannical government under the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945.

    Background information [1, 2, 3]

    1. http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1743
    2. http://www.my-jia.com/The_Flight_of_the_Hog_Wild
    3. http://www.amazon.com/Brighter-than-Thousand-Suns-Scientists/dp/0156141507

  40. iJm Cripwell said:

    “I cannot see that there has been a CO2 signal…”

    ——
    R Gates wittily replies” And your vast intellect and visual review of the charts is more powerful than the banks of supercomputers around the world that have come to an opposite conclusion eh?”

    I’d laugh if the above were’t so pathetic. So now it’s “banks of “supercomputers.” is it? I feels so much better.

  41. Wasn’t it the unreliability of the banks supercomputers that brought us the financial crisis anyways?

    • My smiley got eaten, btw, not that it was all that witty anyway. :)

    • Wasn’t it the unreliability of the banks supercomputers that brought us the financial crisis anyways?

      Poor algorithms used to evaluate risk were a part of the problem. Those algorithms were written by humans. Humans decided to trust those algorithms, based on poor risk management and assumption that because the housing market hadn’t dropped in quite a while, leveraging assets up to 40-to-1 was justified so that financial institutions could buy bundles of bad debt. Supercomputers did not decide to develop deceptive marketing schemes to sell sub-prime loans to people who didn’t fully understand what they were buying.

      There were financial institutions that saw the irresponsible attitude about debt that caused the financial crisis. There were even those who made money by essentially betting on the poor decision-making of the financial engineers at other, massive financial institutions.

      Accountability. Blaming computers does not equal accountability. It wasn’t the computers that were “unreliable.” The computers programs performed in complete agreement with how they were programmed.

      • Joshua

        You have made a very astute observation:

        Accountability. Blaming computers does not equal accountability. It wasn’t the computers that were “unreliable.” The computers programs performed in complete agreement with how they were programmed.

        Will someone, some day say the same thing about the GCMs, which IPCC uses to support its CAGW premise?

        Max

      • I dunno Max – but what I do know is that “conservatives” many of whom are “skeptics,” were wrong about the computer models folks like Wang and Silver and others used to predict the outcome of the elections. They made the same kinds of accusations as many “skeptics” about the political bias of libs “skewing” the validity of the models’ output. Our friend GaryM was one of them.

        The election results shows that many of our “skeptical” friends don’t have a very good track record.

      • Manacker,

        Excellent comment and, oh boy, didn’t it expose Joshua’s motivated reasoning.

        Instead of Joshua acknowledging the equivalence you showed up so clearly, Joshua responded with:

        I dunno Max – but what I do know is that “conservatives” many of whom are “skeptics,” were wrong about the computer models folks like Wang and Silver and others used to predict the outcome of the elections …

        Every time he writs a comment he exposes his blatant biases and ideological motivations.

        And each time he writes that others use motivated reasoning, he exposes his hypocracy.

        What a joke. But that’s typical of the CAGW extremists, isn’t it?

      • Joshua

        Political elections are even harder to forecast accurately than weather/climate or the stock market.

        There may have been some “wishful thinking” that crept into the election forecasts you cite.

        But there was also a “Black Swan”, namely the grassroots manner in which the Obama team organized small groups, often using social media.

        I am convinced that the climate models can do no better – especially if they try to project what is going to happen over 50 to 100 year periods; there are just too many uncertainties.

        Therefore I regard all the IPCC projections for year 2100 as rubbish.

        Max

      • Political elections are even harder to forecast accurately than weather/climate or the stock market.

        Apparently not, Max. Take look at the following links. All these analysts, plus other analysts as well, predicted the eventual outcomes quite closely quite a long way out.

        http://pollyvote.forecastingprinciples.com/ (the website of notable libertarian “skeptic” J. Scott Armstong).
        http://election.princeton.edu/
        http://votamatic.com/
        http://themonkeycage.org/
        http://marginoferror.org/

        and of course, the more well known http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

        You might also consider the remarkable models that handled incredibly complex factors to very accurately predict the path of Sandy.

      • Max -

        Hmmmm. Hit a “moderation” snag. Let me try this – just add the obvious prefixes to the links:

        Political elections are even harder to forecast accurately than weather/climate or the stock market.

        Apparently not, Max. Take look at the following links. All these analysts, plus other analysts as well, predicted the eventual outcomes quite closely quite a long way out.

        (prefix)pollyvote.forecastingprinciples.com/ (the website of notable libertarian “skeptic” J. Scott Armstong).
        (prefix)election.princeton.edu/
        (prefix)votamatic.com/
        (prefix)themonkeycage.org/
        (prefix)marginoferror.org/

        and of course, the more well known (prefix)fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

        You might also consider the remarkable models that handled incredibly complex factors to very accurately predict the path of Sandy.

      • Joshua

        LOL The effectiveness of one program matters how in evaluating how well another program works?

        How well have GCMs done in predicting observed conditions for the things that matter to humans? Imo, very poorly. The fact that these same models were used in “peer reviewed” papers that predicted harmful conditions which were likely to result from the world becoming warmer is where the science seems to have gone off course.

      • Max -

        There may have been some “wishful thinking” that crept into the election forecasts you cite.

        Lol. Sure, if by “wishful thinking” you actually mean “epic fail based on paranoid delusional thinking that ignored basic math.”

        Given that definition, your “wishful thinking” is absolutely spot on.

      • Rob -

        LOL The effectiveness of one program matters how in evaluating how well another program works?

        Directly, not at all. Of course not. However, it is instructive to consider that many very similar criticisms, and personal accusations/attacks, were leveled at the election modeling and election modelers, and in a number of cases by the very same people.

        In itself, it proves nothing on an across-the-board scale – but it does show that in specific instances, say with our much beloved Climate Etc. brother GaryM and certainly with many others as well, an inability to control for motivated reasoning when evaluating the validity of Bayesian modeling. It also shows that some, if not all, climate “skeptics” are prone to making accusations of bias when in fact, there is no evidence to support their claims. It also provides us with a very nice example of how some “conservatives” see a bias in scientific analysis done by liberals, simply because it has been done by liberals, even though other evidence doesn’t support the claim. It also has shown us that some “skeptics” are unwilling to be accountable for their fallacious identification of bias in scientific analysis. In fact, with the case of Nate Silver, who is a moderate with libertarian leanings, it shows us that some “conservatives,” (who are also no doubt “skeptics”) falsely accuse analysts of “liberal bias” even though they aren’t even liberals – no doubt simply because they don’t like the results of the analysis.

      • Joshua’s is providing endless example of his ideologically biased ‘motivated reasoning’.

      • Joshua writes:
        “However, it is instructive to consider that many very similar criticisms, and personal accusations/attacks, were leveled at the election modeling and election modelers, and in a number of cases by the very same people.”

        My perspective: I do not understand how you consider it instructive except that you now have additional information by which to evaluate the critical decision making skills of selected individuals.

        Joshua writes:
        In itself, it proves nothing on an across-the-board scale – but it does show that in specific instances, say with our much beloved Climate Etc. brother GaryM and certainly with many others as well, an inability to control for motivated reasoning when evaluating the validity of Bayesian modeling.

        My perspective: Joshua- you really think it provides evidence regarding GaryM’s and others reasoning about Bayesian modeling overall or in general? Really? Isn’t it more likely evidence about his reaction to a specific situation or set of facts?

        Joshua writes:
        It also shows that some, if not all, climate “skeptics” are prone to making accusations of bias when in fact, there is no evidence to support their claims.

        My perspective: If you wrote that all humans are prone to making accusations of bias when in fact there is a lack of reliable evidence you would have been more accurate and less adversarial-imo.

      • Rob Starkey,

        Don’t waste your time responding to Josh’s comments about me, I don’t. Don’t necessarily believe them either. Relying on Joshua’s account of what someone else said is like relying on Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to tell you what Benjamin Netanyahu thinks. Chances are he might not be entirely honest with you.

      • Rob -

        My perspective: I do not understand how you consider it instructive except that you now have additional information by which to evaluate the critical decision making skills of selected individuals.

        Well, when I see the folks in the rightwing, including “skeptics” such as our much beloved GaryM, promoting conspiracy theories about how pollsters were “skewing” their samples in order to influence the election, and attacking analysis as being biased by liberals in contrast the the evidence, I think it is instructive. Further, when those “conservatives” fail to be accountable for why they were fully convinced about wild conspiracy theories even when they have definitively been proven false, I also consider that instructive.

        What I find particularly amusing is that often when some skeptics” find liberals or academics or statistical analysis to be wrong, they like to generalize about what that means and how it justifies skepticism about theories about climate change; but when despite their being fully proven wrong about their theories of such bias, then don’t think that any type of follow-on generalization (but not across-the-board characterization) is valid.

        It’s all information, Rob. It’s all information.

      • Rob -

        Don’t waste your time responding to Josh’s comments about me, I don’t.

        This, of course, is directly proven to not be true – as shown by the many times that GaryM has responded directly to my posts. (Of course, it is understandable that he is loathe to respond to my comments pointing out how ridiculously wrong he was about his conspiracies about how the pollsters were all skewing their results to give Obama an advantage). But you have to agree that it also rather amusing that he obviously reads my posts and thinks that in writing to other people about how he doesn’t respond to my posts (in contrast to easily available evidence to the contrary), he isn’t in effect responding to my posts. I mean you do think that is pretty amusing, don’t you?

  42. As usual, ol’ Dr. Feynman has the last word:

    “There is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science… The experts who are leading you may be wrong.”

    Feynman would have fun with the Hockey Team. Of course, his old pal Freeman Dyson gets in some sharp digs — not that the self appointed pooh-bahs of CAGW pay much notice….

    Cheers — Pete Tillman
    Professional geologist, amateur climatologist

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
    – Upton Sinclair

    • Feynman left this hint at what he thought of scientists like him beating up on climate science:

      In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. …

      • David Springer

        You mean like when climate scientists act like they’re computer scientists, biologists, botanists, futurists, statisticians, sociologists, geologists, quantum physicists, and so forth?

      • There is a hit in the 10 ring.

      • Yeah.

        And when they think they are “policy makers”.

        Max

      • Lol.

        Okay, name the climate scientists, a lot of them, who have repeatedly accused an area of scientific expertise outside of their field of perpetrating a scientific hoax.

      • JCH

        That’s not what Feynman said in the quote you cited. Read it again.

        And I can give you examples of exactly what he was talking about.

        Here’s one. James E. Hansen discussing extinction of species, carbon taxes, shutdown of coal-fired power plants, etc.

        These are all things which are outside his field of specialization.

        Max

  43. David Springer

    Define “facts” please.

    • David Springer

      No response. Unfortunate. I suspect my definition of a fact isn’t the same as the typical climate boffin’s.

  44. David Springer

    pdtillman | November 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply

    “the self appointed annointed pooh-bahs of CAGW”

    Fixed that for ya!

  45. “JC’s survey results:
    Dissension view of science
    Process approach to communication
    Politically independent
    INTJ”

    INTJ: A very complicated, sophisticated puzzle. That you are better off not solving.

    I am also an INTJ. INTJ is a fairly rare type (2.2% of the population I believe) and even rarer among women. I wonder how much this personality type defines the other survey results as I am also prone to dissension, politically independent, and although I don;t know what the process approach to communication is…I pretty much suck at it. INTJs are also known to be very objective, which explains the nature of this site and your blog posts.

    • David Springer

      I’m an INTJ as well. I imagine a fairly high percentage of the posters here are the same as engineers and scientists are largely INTJ. I would guess the average IQ on this blog is in the top several percent as well. I alone raise the average a quite a bit. ;-)

      • David, in a thread around 27-28 Sept 2011, a large number of denizens – 40-50 or more – gave MB scores. INTJ predominated. I anticipated INTP for myself then, in fact scored ENTJ, with the intuitive (N) being “distinctly expressed.”

  46. David Springer

    Joshua | November 12, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    “Please look at what Watts and Judith and any number of “skeptics” say also. They say that most “skeptics” don’t doubt that ACO2 is warming the climate, and that few “skeptics” doubt that.”

    Yeah but it’s like saying sesame seeds on the bun of a double bacon cheeseburger is making people fat. Technically true, since the seeds have a few calories, but as a practical matter the seeds are inconsequential.

  47. David Springer

    The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | November 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |

    “Nope. Supercomputer output is not proof of anything, but of the two, Jim Cripwell’s visual scan of the data and a supercomputer looking in detail at all the physics of various forcings– I’ll trust the supercomputer.”

    Actually you’re trusting the program as well as the computer.

    Computers do exactly what they’re told if the hardware is trustworthy. If they reach a conclusion it’s because they were programmed to reach it.

    Write that down.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      David Spring said:

      “Computers do exactly what they’re told if the hardware is trustworthy. If they reach a conclusion it’s because they were programmed to reach it. ”

      _____
      You really have no clue how complex GCM’s are do you? Nor do you seem to realize that they are simulating the complexities of an entire planet’s climate over a given time frame. No one knows the “conclusion” a GCM will reach because they don’t reach conclusions– they create scenarios, or “what if” situations and then simulate the climate given a certain set of input parameters and physical laws. But, because we are dealing with a complex dynamical and chaotic system, each run is unique and will create a different outcome and then after a series of runs (as research and computing time allow) a composite of the runs can be used. Then of course, since each climate model works on slightly different base assumptions, a an average or composite of different models can be used. But no one knows or programs the conclusions or scenario run of a climate model. Their results are unique to each run and often quite opposite to what a researcher expected.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        As the ensemble sizes in the perturbed ensemble approach run to hundreds or even many thousands of members, the outcome is a probability distribution of climate change rather than an uncertainty range from a limited set of equally possible outcomes, as shown in figure 9. This means that decision-making on adaptation, for example, can now use a risk-based approach based on the probability of a particular outcome.

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        We are still at the latter rather than the former. The ‘equally possible outcome’ is chosen arbitrarily based on ‘a posteriori solution behaviour’.

      • RG,

        If model output varies depending on the series of input parameters and assumptions, then is not true to say that such output is – least in part – dependant on input, even if the result is unknown at the start of the model run?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Sensitive dependence

      • Chief Hydrologist

        look it up

      • Chief,

        I did. If I understand what I read, then it appears the answer to my question is yes. Even tiny changes in input can result in changed output, perhaps significantly changed. To me that says output can be extremely dependant.

        Keep in mind my modeling experience is of the model ship and airplane type, involving plastic, glue and paint. No computers or code involved.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The divergence of solutions with time is exponential and unpredicatable. There are many divergent solutions possible within the bounds of feasible inputs.

      • Yes, we know how complex they are. Yet, the climate system coupled to the solar system and the hydrosphere is much more complicated yet. In any complex system you have to have simplifying assumptions and you are always limited by computer power. The protein folding problem, the economy, QM calculations on anything more than a few dozen atoms, all are extremely difficult to model. With QM you can get a testable answer though. But there are many problems in many fields where the experimentalists don’t really believe the results of the computer modelers. In an area as vast and complicated as modeling long term climate change, this should be even more true. It’s amazing the strides we’ve made in predicting hurricane paths but that problem is much simpler than modeling the climate.

      • David Springer

        The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | November 12, 2012 at 11:04 am |

        “And your vast intellect and visual review of the charts is more powerful than the banks of supercomputers around the world that have come to an opposite conclusion eh?”

        So you’re contradicting yourself about computers and conclusions now?

        ROFLMAO

        When you have no basis for your beliefs it’s hard to remember exactly what you said, huh?

      • David Springer

        Gates wrote to me:

        “You really have no clue how complex GCM’s are do you? ”

        Here’s what I know from 30 years professional experience in computer science, Gates. As the complexity of software rises so too does the potential for mistakes therein.

        Write that down.

  48. Jim, you say:

    “This skeptic believes that the alarmist community is making billions off of the climate scare.”

    Am I correct in assuming that your definition of “alarmist community” does not include international insurance instruments marketed through Lloyd’s Members?

    If I am correct, then this skeptic (me) believes that the alarmist insurance community is making Trillions (with a T) off of the climate scare.

  49. Joshua

    The Mosher/Miller exchange is getting a bit too long, with you plus me chiming in, so I’ll continue our exchange here.

    You questioned whether scientists had stated that the sun plays an negligible role in our climate.

    The “Union of Concerned Scientists” tells us
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/effect-of-sun-on-climate-faq.html

    The average increase in solar radiative forcing since 1750 is much smaller (~ 0.12 W m-2) than the increase in RF due to heat-trapping gases (~2.6 W m-2) over that same time period.

    IOW, GHGs were 22X as strong as the sun. Since the total warming over this period was less than 1°C, this makes the portion from solar forcing over the period 1750-2005 around 0.04°C (a negligible amount).

    I can cite other similar estimates, but that should do it.

    Max

    • Max,

      Thank you for the quote. It is recognised as an authoritative site. You can tell this by the name and the fact that the CAGW Alarmists frequently quote from it, especially the anti-nuke alarmists.

    • “During the late twentieth century, the average amount of solar energy reaching the surface decreased slightly due to atmospheric particles (aerosols), particularly in urban locations, that reflect the sun’s energy back into space. ”

      Not true. Just the opposite. Clean Air Legislation in the 60s and 70s resulted in less SO2 in the atmosphere.

      “However,
      since the mid 1980s a significant increase in
      visibility has been noted in western Europe
      (e.g. Doyle and Dorling, 2002), and there are
      strong indications that a reduction in aerosol
      load from anthropogenic emissions (in
      other words, air pollution) has been the
      dominant contributor to this effect, which
      is also referred to as ‘brightening’. In the
      Netherlands visibility, sunshine duration,
      surface global short-wave radiation and
      temperature have shown a significant rise
      during this period, consistent with direct
      and indirect aerosol effects, implying large
      regional aerosol effects on climate. The
      brightening has been stronger during continental
      windflow than during maritime episodes.
      This article discusses the evidence for
      brightening in the Netherlands and its possible
      connection to the accelerated warming
      since 1985.”

      http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~delde102/CleanerAirBetterViewsMoreSunshine.pdf

      http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/more-sunshine-in-the-netherlands/

      http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/category/sunshine/

    • Max.

      The statement that you quoted in no way indicates an “outright dismissal …. that the sun can possibly have any effect on our climate.”

      Surely, you understand logic well-enough to see that?

  50. “Steven Mosher | November 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    More Peter.

    ” Most sceptics believe natural variations/climate cycles explain much of the warming witnessed over the past century; similar warming events (‘climate optimums’) have happened several times before in the Holocene. ”

    Thank you for proving my point My point was that skeptics are the ones who believe their science is settled. That skeptics are the ones who believe that natural variation explains it all.”

    Apparently the word “much” was used, instead of the word, “all”.

    And “all” is shorter word to type.

    We have had glacier retreating since 1850.
    Is not glaciers global retreating significant evidence of global warming?

    Can not be characterized that much glacial retreat occurred before, say the mid point of 20th century?

    Was the retreat of glaciers worldwide prior to 1950 caused by rising CO2?

  51. Chief Hydrologist

    Consider: two scientists are asked whether there’s any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. The first says, “It’s a fact humans are causing climate change – there’s no room for doubt.” The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”

    The first scientist is probably a more effective spokesperson for the scientific consensus. But the second scientist is providing a more accurate representation of how science works.

    The options gloss over a great deal – especially complexity both in the dictionary sense and in the terms of complex systems theory. In any serious discussion there is room for a much more nuanced understanding than is commonly expressed by the space cadets. Indeed, I believe that the science consensus encompasses complexity.

    Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. Pielke Snr post – Wyatt et el 2011</a

    Simple ideas of cause and effect are confounded by multiple postive feedbacks in the system resulting in abrupt and nonlinear change. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean. Similar behavior has been found in coupled ocean/atmosphere models, indicating such behavior may be a hallmark of terrestrial-like climate systems [Tsonis et al., 2007].
    (Swanson and Tsonis, 2009)

    Capturing complexity in models has its own problems with dynamical complexity. It requires much more computing power and better data to produce forecasts that are made in terms of distributed probability in sytematically designed model families. Until that happens legitimate doubt extends well beyond the limits of the opportunistic ensemble of the AR4.

    Lest I be accused of wallowing in complexity – things are very much simpler at TOA. There it is energy in and energy out.

    ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ (IPCC 3.4.4.1) The ‘independent evidence for decadal changes’ has dramatic implications for attribution of recent warming.

    So what is the consensus on cloud, TOA power flux, dynamical complexity or low frequency variability of the climate system?

  52. The mid-century cooling period has presented IPCC (and its CAGW premise) a real dilemma.

    This post WWII period was a time of rapid industrial growth and increased CO2 emissions yet, unlike the preceding period 1910-1945, which showed rapid warming with much less CO2, the mid-century period showed cooling.

    IPCC made a feeble attempt to rationalize away the mid-century cooling as having been caused by human aerosols, which allegedly overpowered the GH warming from the rapidly increasing CO2.

    The trouble with this rationalization is that it backfires.

    IF aerosols were strong enough to cause cooling 1945-1975 (global dimming), then removing these aerosols in the mid-1970s (global brightening) would have been strong enough to cause the late 20th century warming.

    Ya can’t have it both ways…

    Max

    • Without anthropogenic CO2 the mid-century cooling would have been worse, and the late-century warming far less.

      ACO2 is always there; always doing its work.

      So they get to have it both ways.

      • Nice arm waving, JCH, but what is lacking are specifics. On Warwick Hughes blog, Hans Erren shows how aerosol pollution from SO2 could have been the cause of both the mid-century cooling as well as the late-century warming.
        http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=28#comment-233

        home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/usso2vst.gif

        SO2 data EPA, temperature data GISS (note SO2 emissions are increasing downward in the graph)

        Max

      • Lol. For a skeptic, your gullibility is just astonishing. I didn’t know Feynman hero worshippers were so singularly dedicated to completely fooling themselves. If ACO2 were not causing additional warming over background, how could the presence of aerosols reduce warming, and absence of aerosols increase warming? All it could do is reduce background when aerosols are present, and increase background when aerosols are absent. There is no enhanced aerosol effect.

      • SB – reestablish background when aerosols are absent.

  53. Max says, ‘I trust empirical data’ Say, Max, what else can
    yer trust, flawed humans,super computers?

    The super computer still relies on what yer feed it and that
    can include assumptions flavored with confirmation bias.
    Trust yer hypothesis’ss clash, and mebbe crash with the
    environment.

    ( I’m INTJ too so perhaps that’s why I’m a low-down -doubting-
    Thomas. I luv NassimTaleb, (swans there be, grey swans and black,)
    and Popper, ( no such thing as the innocent eye, yer accept yer conjectures only as provisional.) …. OMG! nearly forgot Socrates!

    • Beth Cooper

      Aw, dang it! Yew are so raht. Ya cain’t trust nobody – speshully them hoomins.

      But Ah shore am glad t’hear yew are in the “INTJ group” too.

      Kinda like almost makes us cuzzins, er somethin’ lak thet, don’t it?

      Ah reckon effn he behaves, we otta let the “Chief” join, too – dontcha think?

      Max

      • Captan Kangaroo (retired)

        I am an IPMT – incipient psychopath with megalomaniacal tendencies – on a blue horse. Hi HO Shibboleth.

  54. Steven Mosher

    You went out on a limb describing what (you think) “skeptics” believe.

    As a skeptic myself, I pointed out that you were almost completely wrong in your assumption.
    http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/11/should-scientists-promote-results-over-process/#comment-266997

    Are you going to try to convince me you were right?

    Or are you going to admit by default that you got it wrong?

    Waiting for an answer.

    Max

    • Mosher merely listed what some different skeptics in fact believe. His underlying argument is that skeptics should be skeptical of skeptism, which is nonsense. Skeptics are not criticizing warmers for having strong beliefs, but rather for having the wrong strong beliefs, unsupportable strong beliefs.

      • David Wojick

        The problem with Mosher’s listing of “what skeptics believe” is that it is contrived.

        Some skeptics may believe some of the things Mosher listed, others may not. In my case almost all of his points are wrong, as I pointed out to him.

        Generalizing :skeptics” all into one box is silly.

        Even well-known skeptics, such as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer do not agree on every single point, yet they are both rationally skeptical that the CAGW premise of IPCC is valid.

        The fact of the matter is that “believers” in the CAGW premise accept it all completely; all skeptics are rationally skeptical that the CAGW premise of IPCC is scientifically valid, but each skeptic may be rationally skeptical of some other part of the CAGW premise.

        It’s like Tolstoy writes about families:

        Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

        Believers of IPCC’s CAGW premise are all alike; every rational skeptic of this premise is skeptical in his/her own way.

        Steven Mosher should not try to put skeptics into a box. He should better try to substantiate the IPCC claims of which they are skeptical with empirical evidence.

        Max

      • First this from David -

        Skeptics are not criticizing warmers for having strong beliefs,

        Then this from Max:

        Generalizing :skeptics” all into one box is silly.

        After, in this thread alone, Max has written this:

        Skeptics believe that there is no conclusive evidence to support the IPCC claim that ”the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”…

        and this:

        Skeptics believe there are many natural factors, …

        and this:

        Skeptics believe that the IPCC “consensus” claim of CAGW is not supported…

        and this:

        Skeptics believe that IPCC has politicized climate science

        There’s more…but you get the picture.

        Now there are skeptics and their are “skeptics.” You make the call.

      • Joshua

        Instead of attempting to provide the empirical evidence to support the CAGW premise, of which I am skeptical for the reasons cited to Mosher, you chime in with senseless blather.

        Bring evidence – not blather.

        Max

      • Max -

        I showed clear evidence of how you contradicted yourself directly. Multiple times. And there are many more examples if you’d like.

        Make of it what you will.

      • Joshua

        What contradiction?

        Please try to be specific.

        Max

      • Joshua, there is nothing contradictory in the qoutes you list. Different skeptics are skeptical of CAGW for different reasons. What they share is this skepticism. In political language they are strange bedfellows. This is what makes Mosher’s list of skeptical beliefs so silly.

      • David W. -

        I notice that you didn’t reply to my comment that pointed out the logical fallacy likely underlying your comment about Mosher not replying to someone else’s comment.

        Now logic tells us that there could be quite a few reasons for that – and one of them is that your earlier post was highly illogical, and as someone who is an “expert” in logic you are having some trouble grappling with that fact.

        So what’s the answer, David?

      • Joshua, I merely pointed out that Mosher had not replied, which was true. I was hoping for him to reply, which he did. What fallacy do you see in this? You seem to be projecting some hidden argument of your own imagination.

      • David -

        Joshua, I merely pointed out that Mosher had not replied, which was true. I was hoping for him to reply, which he did. What fallacy do you see in this?

        Mosher wrote a comment, Miller responded, and a few “skeptics” then applauded what they felt was the quality of Miller’s refutation of Mosher’s points. Within that sequence, you then you commented: “Note that Mosher has not replied.”

        Often, in these debates, people “note” when someone doesn’t reply to indicate the lack of response as being indicative of some inability to respond or some inability to effectively refute the arguments of their interlocutor.

        Now in the context of the thread, as I just described, that seems to me a logical supposition as to the meaning of your comment. That is why I asked you why you were noting Mosher’s lack of response – because such an inference on your part would be logically fallacious and I like to note when you, as an often self-proclaimed “expert” in logic, make logical errors.

        But of course, there are other possible explanations for your comment. The one you just provided seems improbable to me. Your explanation is that basically your earlier comment was a non-sequitur. Why would you note a lack of a response in that particular exchange when all the time in these threads there are gaps between comments back and forth? If your intent was to indicate that you were hoping that Mosher would respond, then it seems logical that is what you would have written as opposed to noting his lack of response.

        At any rate, you might have entirely valid explanations for all of that. It is not possible to draw hard-and-fast conclusions here. But I’m quite content that people who are following this will draw their own conclusions about what is or isn’t plausible (and that in most cases, their conclusions will likely reflect their biases).

      • Joshua, I just wanted to hear Mosher’s response, as he frequently does not respond. If you are doing this kind of “hidden meaning” projection a lot it may account for why we often do not know what you are saying.

      • David W.

        Joshua, I just wanted to hear Mosher’s response, as he frequently does not respond. If you are doing this kind of “hidden meaning” projection a lot it may account for why we often do not know what you are saying.

        Once again, I find your explanation implausible. I’m not doing a “hidden agenda” projection – I am speculating about what seems to me to be a rather obvious meaning of your post 0 not some “hidden meaning.” If you say that mosher frequently doesn’t respond, then why would you single this case out?

        By way of your explanation, your comment would be a non-sequitur – unrelated to the narrative of the thread. It isn’t as if you might be cautioning people to be patient, in the sense of “Note, mosher has not responded yet..” You didn’t say, “I am hoping that Mosher will respond.”

        Anyway, as I said – your explanation doesn’t pass my bull— meter test. Obviously, I could be wrong, and I’m quite content to let others draw their own conclusions.

      • Really, fellas, that is quite stunning.

        Max writes that the beliefs of “skeptics” should not be generalized, and then I give multiple examples of him doing just that (and David as well), and then you both say there was nothing contradictory.

        I noted earlier in a brief exchange with Rob that both Mosher and Peter Miller made the mistake of over-generalizing about “skeptics” (and Peter as well over-generalizing about “realists.”) He agreed. You see, it is possible for combatants to acknowledge the problem of over-generalizing even among those whose views on the science they share.

        The over-generalizing is wrong, unscientific, and reflective of motivated reasoning. This is true no matter who does it. When combatants own up to their own motivated reasoning, the chances of the discussion moving forward will increase, IMO. I think that w/o such accountability, the possibility of the discussion moving forward is greatly diminished.

        In my view, in spite of the problem with over-generalizing, which is real, Mosher does validly outline some problems of selectivity in how some “skeptics” address the issue of uncertainty. He does his argument a disservice, and undermines his points, with sloppy over-generalization.

        What is amusing to watch – as someone who is primarily interested in how tribalism plays out in this debate – is how Mosher’s orientation within the spectrum of the combatants changes. It reminds me of what happened with Muller. The Rorschach ink-blot nature of this debate is fascinating to me.

      • Joshua

        Are you an idiot – or just pretending to be one?

        “Skeptics believe” was Mosher’s pitch.

        He was wrong as far as this “skeptic” is concerned, as I pointed out to him.

        And I fully agree that all rational skeptics do not have the same specific reason(s) for being rationally skeptical of the CAGW premise. I just listed some of my reasons in response to Moshers false generalization.

        And he has not attempted to rebut my reasoning.

        But I don’t suppose you are able to grasp that.

        Duh!

        Max

      • Stunning indeed Joshua, that you do not understand what we are saying.

      • Joshua

        Not to bad-mouth Mosher, who I believe is a brilliant guy, but he has the habit of tossing out provocative statements (sort of like lobbing in a hand grenade).

        He’s not big on follow-up if someone challenges his statement, but he figures his statement has made the desired impact and a follow-up discussion of details might reduce this impact.

        That’s my assessment.

        Max

      • John Carpenter

        “What is amusing to watch – as someone who is primarily interested in how tribalism plays out in this debate – is how Mosher’s orientation within the spectrum of the combatants changes. It reminds me of what happened with Muller. The Rorschach ink-blot nature of this debate is fascinating to me.”

        Joshua, I agree. I think this comes from well balanced reasoning on his part. He can, like few others, truley look at the debate from both sides and make valid arguments from both sides. It may look like he changes from side to side, but if you read his replys carefully here and at other blogs he is completely consistent in his understanding of the science and the behaviour of those in the debate. This thread simply offers an excellent example of how he can turn a common argument made by one side completely on its head and it’s one reason I read every single one of his posts. Fascinating it is.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua.
        Because of the meaning of “generalize” you’ve used, is not the “over” to your “generalizing” as “over” is to “exaggerating”?.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Generalize: To make generally or universally applicable.
        Over-universalize.

      • John -

        While I think that his reasoning is flawed not that infrequently (as seen in this particular thread in his over-generalizing), it is clear that he gets fire from both sides in part precisely because some aspects of his reasoning are consistent and from the “lukewarmer” perspective. It’s an interesting twist to the debate. Like Muller, there are other reasons – related to his persona – for why he takes on fire, and I think that he undermines his arguments in multiple ways at times, but there is a counterbalance in that neither side can completely disown him (although as we see in this thread, some will try).

        But it is interesting how someone who is (basically) consistent in his views (w/r/t the fundamental issues if not some of the more peripheral issues) can be seen as an ally or an enemy interchangeably by the same individuals even though his arguments haven’t changed.

      • TINGTG -

        I am a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist. My guess is that you know what I mean by overgeneralize. In case you don’t, I will explain. Some generalizations are valid, but they can be carried too far. When that happens, they become over-generalizations. Certainly, there might be other words to use to get that point across, perhaps some more accurately. The suggestions you make are good. Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe I’ll adopt those terms. But in case I don’t, you should now understand what I mean (if you didn’t before) when I use “over-generalize.”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        I would suggest that “over-generalize”, if it has a good use, would be to mean that the person made a higher number of generalizations than he should have made, rather than to mean the person went too far or exaggerated the one generalization.

      • Generalizations Joshua does not like are “over-generalizations”.

        Let me over-generalize: 1) Most *skeptics* are actually deniers. 2) The more publicized and popular Climate Scientists tend to be marginally competent. 3) Marginally competent scientists tend to put the policy cart before the science horse at the behest of their political patrons.

      • Howard -

        Generalizations Joshua does not like are “over-generalizations”.

        No. Generalizations I don’t like are wrong (IMO). Generalizations that I think are basically true but extended beyond accuracy are what I have called here “over-generalizaitons. ”

        More specifically, I think that in general, the “skeptics” I see in these threads are not very skeptical. They make errors that are not consistent with skepticism. But it isn’t true for all of them, and it certainly isn’t true for all of them all of the time. Hence, I think that mosher over-generalized.

        TINGTG made good suggestions for better terminology, and he made some good points about the problems with “over-generalization.” But the most important point is that no matter which term I use, people understand my meaning. I think that TINGTG got my meaning from the jump. Maybe not. Apparently you misunderstood even after reading farther into the exchange, so I hope that now you get my meaning with my further explanation.

        For me, the ultimate test of whether any particular terminology of mine should be discarded is if people (who are honestly interested in understanding what I have to say even if they don’t agree with my perspective) repeatedly misunderstand. I’m not really sure whether your misunderstanding fits that criterion or not. I suspect not.

      • Just dropped in to check Joshua’s comment to check that his ‘motivated reasoning’ is still being applied to all he says. And it is. Didn’t have to read far before his bias were displayed.

        More specifically, I think that in general, the “skeptics” I see in these threads are not very skeptical.

        Underpinning all Joshua’s comments is his unsubstantiated belief in CAGW and Left wing politics. Everything else he says follows as a result of his belief. So his comments start from an irrational and illogical initial premise. The rest is without foundation.

      • Peter -

        Underpinning all Joshua’s comments is his unsubstantiated belief in CAGW and Left wing politics.

        Consider that Mosher said something similar to what you quoted from me, except his comments were more categorical. But his politics are completely different than mine.

        Also, I suspect that you have no idea what I think about “CAGW.” Again, you are formulating conclusions w/o sufficient evidence. What evidence have you used to conclude what I do or don’t “believe” about “CAGW?”

        Formulating beliefs w/o a basis in evidence is a hallmark sign of a “skeptic” as opposed to a skeptic.

      • In political science terms CAGW skeptism is an informal coalition of widely differing views.

      • David ojick

        Thanks for that.

        This is exactly the point I have been trying to get across to both Joshua (who appears not to understand) and Mosher (who made generalized “skeptics believe” claims, which I pointed out to him are false in my case).

        As far as I’m concerned, we’ve beaten this to death.

        Mosher does not want to rebut my deconstruction of his “skeptics believe” post. So be it.

        And Joshua is only contributing meaningless blather.

        Max

      • Joshua is doing psychology and sociology of the debate, applying concepts like motivated reasoning and tribalism. It is not meaningless just largely irrelevant to the debate itself. He is not in the debate rather he is talking about the debate and the people in it. In logic this is called the meta level, where one analyzes an argument, as opposed to making it. This can be tiresome to those in the debate, like having a shrink looking over your shoulder when you are trying to work.

  55. Cousin Max, say, INTJ’s aren’t supposed ter be great team people,
    bein’ so doggone hornery, but we ain’t narrow neither and if we’re
    prepared ter join a club that would hav us as members, why we ain’t
    gonna exclude other possible members, even wild cowboys!

  56. JHC, and which *empiric* data would that be?
    ………………… It’s kinda like waitin’ fer Godot.

    • … which was an answer in yesterday’s Times crossword, to the clue: “On the stage he doesn’t appear to withdraw dowry” (5). Cryptic!

  57. Beth

    Them cowboys mebbe ornery but they knows whut a bull looks lak when they see one.

    Max

  58. The two scientist’s quotes in the example by Tania Lombrozo are BOTH unscientific IMO, because to date, I have not seen any convincing evidence that any climate change can be ascribed to human activity.

    It appears not possible to eliminate natural variability from the data so as to see any clear evidence of human causation. Hence the second statement that the evidence is “overwhelming” is not supported but that the second part of the quotation is undoubtedly true.

  59. “Should scientists promote results over process?”

    “results” = ends.

    “process” = means.

    Translation, does the end justify the means?

    If your answer to that is no, you are probably a skeptic.

    If your answer to that is yes, you are probably a progressive, aka a CAGW proponent.

    I wonder how many more ways we will find to ask the same fundamental moral questions that progressives try so desperately to fudge?

    There is nothing new in the climate debate.

  60. Seeing what goes on in politics and how truth doesn’t really matter anymore, whatever we hear coming from the government-funded global warming alarmists and skeptic-bashers is just what we should expect to see. That is what liberal fascism is all about. This is not something we should expect to change no matter what the facts show.

  61. Judith,

    I’m not sure how many ways you can find to say that the climate sensitivity to CO2 concentrations is more uncertain than the IPCC would allow. I’m forever amazed that you always seem to manage to find one more, then one more after that, then another one…

    So congratulations on this latest effort.

    But its still not obvious how widening the range can have the slightest effect on policy. Yes, AGW could be less severe that the IPCC say but equally, and by your own admission, it could be worse.

    So doesn’t the one cancel out the other?

    • tempterrain

      Ignorance (= uncertainty) does not cancel out ignorance.

      It remains ignorance.

      What is unknown is simply: is AGW a significant driver of climate?

      As long as we are uncertain on the answer to that question we are ignorant.

      And it would be senseless to undertake any draconian measured based on ignorance.

      Quite logical, actually

      Max

    • No, its a false logic which, for reasons best know to herself, Judith seems keen to promote. Its a ‘merchant of doubt’ type logic.

      It doesn’t make any difference whether the likely warming will be 1.5 -4.5 deg C (IPCC figures) or 1.0 -6.0 degC (Judith Curry figures), the policy implications remain the same.

      • tempterrain,

        Why should it be otherwise? So long as we don’t know at what temperature AGW becomes CAGW, and so long as we don’t know the probability of reaching that C temperature, doubt of the wisdom of decarbonizing the economy is the only rational response.

        Whether the range were .5 to 7.0, or 0 to 7.5, or -5 to +20, the only time decarbonization would become sound policy would be when there were sufficient probability that the temperature would rise to a C level to justify the enormous damage to the economy.

        We aren’t even close to that yet.

        But that will not matter. After the November election, decarbonization is now “in the pipeline,” just like all the missing heat (only real). The only thing that can stop it now is another pre-Copenhagen style awakening by the voters, sufficient to scare enough Democrat congressman to abandon the CAGW ship.

        Absent concerted congressional action, which would require sufficient Democrat Senators and Representatives to overcome a veto, the EPA is going to follow its til now dormant carbon regs with de facto decarbonization.

        I hear the train a comin’…it’s rolling round the bend…we ain’t gonna see sunshine til…I don’t know when….

      • The temperature at which AGW becomes CAGW? That’s largely a question of semantics.

        Going back to Judith’s figures of a 1-6 degC climate sensitivity (66% confidence level) would indicate there is a 1 in 6 chance of greater that 6 degC of warming.

        That must be pretty close to ‘catastrophic’ by anyone’s definition.

      • Temp

        I hope you wrote the 1 in 6 chance in an attempt to be funny. You certainly understand that the probability is not linear. It is not the temperature rise that makes it dangerous or cAGW, it depends on how quickly the temperature change occurs and what other changes occur as a byproduct of the tempererture change. If there was no change to rainfall patterns or sea level as an example it would probably be difficult to build a case to claim the change was catastrophic regardless of the temperature change.

      • These figures aren’t mine but Judith’s. She’s the qualified climate scientist – not me. I don’t think she intended any humour in giving them.
        They would suggest:
        Warming (degC) % likelihood
        Less than 1 16.6
        1-2 p1
        2-3 p2
        3-4 p3
        4-5 p4
        5-6 p5
        More than 6 16.6

        Yes, you’re right the distribution may not be symmetric, so that p1 may not be the same as p5. However, the probability of warming being higher than the range must be the same as it being lower, even if the distribution itself is asymmetrical.

        We don’t know the values of p1,p2 ….. p5 etc are other than they must add up to ~ 66.7% I’ve asked Judith but she’s not too forthcoming.

  62. Captain Kangaroo (retired)

    So what is the consensus on cloud, TOA power flux, dynamical complexity or low frequency variability of the climate system?

    If it were only that simple. That we had AGW on one hand and climate cycles on the other. Neither is the case but the world is not warming for another decade or three. Suck it up and move on or suck eggs space cadets.

    We are in a cool mode – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

  63. Myers-Briggs: there was a thread on this around 28 Sept 2011, perhaps 40-50 denizens gave a score, predominantly INTJ. At that time I wrote:

    At first sight, I thought I’d score INTP, but in fact scored ENTJ. The “intuitive” stands out.
    • slightly expressed extravert
    • distinctly expressed intuitive personality
    • slightly expressed thinking personality
    • slightly expressed judging personality

  64. Faustino i was very like u except.Introvert, (as I recall
    about 22%) Wonder what makes us such good dancers,
    Faustino? Is a mystery. )

    • Having two legs helps. Although I have danced while on crutches with one leg in a heavy plaster cast which I couldn’t put weight on. I was on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in that condition in 1968, but unfortunately didn’t get to dance.

    • Beth

      Ya gotta have that “boogie-woogie” in ya, as papa tells mama in John Lee Hooker’s Boogie Chillen’

      I heard mama ‘n papa talkin’ / I heard papa tell mama, let that boy boogie-woogie,
      / It’s in him, and it’s got to come out

      Max

  65. I think u have had a dramaticand intriguingly varied life,
    Faustino, write a film script!

  66. Is it possible that most of the observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is due to natural global warming (i.e more frequent El Nino than La Nina)?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/derivative/trend/normalise

    • Girma “Gobbles” is such a pathetic propagandist. He will never approach the big lie skills of his hero.

      • Web

        Play the ball, not the man.

      • Play the ball? You shouldn’t even be on the court, you are so overmatched. You don’t understand physics, you don’t understand statistics. All you know is propaganda Girma Gobbles.

      • Girma

        You bring empirical evidence, which shows a correlation between ENSO cycles and changes in atmospheric CO2.

        Webby objects (without really saying why.)

        The correlation appears to be there, but correlation does not provide evidence for causation.

        The “mechanism” is the temperature sensitivity of CO2 solubility in sea water (I haven’t checked out the magnitude of this) – so there is a plausible “mechanism”.

        Paleo climate data show a similar CO2/temperature relationship over thousands of years, with CO2 lagging temperature and several points where CO2 is high but temperature is decreasing and where CO2 is low and temperature is rising (so CO2 is definitely not the driver of temperature).

        So we have an observed short-term correlation, a longer-term correlation based on paleo data and a plausible mechanism.

        This still does not provide direct evidence of causation, any more than the greenhouse theory and the same data provide evidence of causation by GHGs.

        But it raises unanswered questions.

        Let’s see if Webby wants to come up with some specific answers (or whether he just wants to continue to insult you instead).

        Max

      • Max

        Thanks.

        The data shows CO2 concentration increases during El Nino and it decreases during La Nina. In the last 30 years, we had more frequent El Nino than La Nina, which increases the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/derivative/compress:12/normalise/plot/rss/compress:12/normalise

        All accept that El Nino and La Nina are natural. Their frequency depends on whether we are in the warm or cool phase of the PDO. During the warm phase of the PDO, El Ninos are more frequent. During the cool phase of the PDO, La Nina are more frequent. This suggest that the increase in CO2 concentration in the last 30 years is mostly natural as shown in the above graph.

      • doesn’t look natural to me
        http://iter.rma.ac.be/en/img/CO2-concenNEW_EN.jpg

        the consensus of scientists agree

      • lolwot

        What caused the oceans to rise for thousands of years?

        http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Sea-Level.gif

        Does not this sea level rise means increase in ocean temperature and release of CO2 from the oceans? Why should you be surprised at the increase in CO2 concentration?

        What caused the sea level rise for thousand of years?

      • Max,
        I have plenty of work to reference, including work of my own that anyone can read should they desire to click on the link on my handle.

      • Web

        Here is Rule #5 from the real Gobbles bible:

        5. Climate change must be ‘front of mind’ before
        persuasion works

        Currently, telling the public to take notice of climate change is
        as successful as selling tampons to men. People don’t realise
        (or remember) that climate change relates to them.

        http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/RulesOfTheGame.pdf

        That is the real brain washing.

        Fortunately, the brain washing is floundering.

      • There goes Girma Gobbles again, completely clueless about the self-inflicted mocking he puts himself through.

        Chief, Doug Cotton, StefTheDenier are the other Aussies that wear the dunce cap rather proudly.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So what is the consensus on cloud, TOA power flux, dynamical complexity or low frequency variability of the climate system?

        I wont ask the webster – I am sure he can’t understand the question.

      • That makes two of you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter – I have no idea at all what your problem is. Other than being deadly boring and tedious of course. Why bother for instance in dropping in solely for a snark? Are you defending the intolerable webster? The guy has such a narrow focus that nothing he says makes any sense at all in the broad church of climate. 98% of the time he is merely an abusive and self-opinationated bs artist.

        Be careful to not follow suit.

      • Chief,

        I have no idea at all what your problem is

        That’s the trouble Chief. I wouldn’t say you don’t have any ideas. You do. but they aren’t any good.

        Just thought I’d drop in “solely for a snark” :-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are studiously a space cadet. You repeat numbers and probabilities as if they had any basis at all. I ask quite seriously what the consensus is on cloud, TOA radiative flux, dynamical complexity and low frequency climate variability and you feel constrained to insult and abuse. Why is that? Just being wrong not enough for you?

        This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        What we have is space cadets who hang onto outmoded ideas for far longer than is warranted. Real science moves forward – real scientists modify their views.

      • Chief,

        You’re tending to overuse the term “space-cadet” again , I notice. Just something to watch out for in your prose style.

        Yes, real scientists do modify their views when the evidence changes. They don’t change for political reasons, to be recruited on the Republican climate science teams for instance, or on the basis of cherry-picked and misinterpreted comments contained in leaked emails.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I should take stylistic advice from a plodding and clumsy dullard such as you?

        Space cadet is of course shorthand for cult of AGW groupthink space cadet. I use the term deliberately to evoke a few ideas. The inabilty to process anomalous information, the millennialist impulse, the utter moral certainty.

        ‘n. A person who tends to space out often. He or she does not respond when directly spoken to. The space cadet is not necessarily a person of low intelligence or a heavy drug user, but rather one who is so easily lost in reverie that he or she loses all awareness of the surrounding physical world. ‘ Urban Dictionary

      • With Chief, I don’t think it is prose style, more like a mental defect. It could be Tourette’s, imagine him walking around muttering space cadet, space cadet, ….

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So – the attack smurf chimes in. The world is not warming for a decade or three more as a result of chaos in the sense of theoretical physics.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        How does it feel to be so relentlessly stupid.

    • Girma, this is another semantics trap. ENSO is defined as a quasiperiodic climate pattern. The PDO which appears to be linked to ENSO variations is an index like the AMO which is detrended to remove any longer term signal. None of these can be used to determine longer term variability because they are defined to not impact longer term variability.

      There are longer term climate patterns, some recognized, most not, that could impact CO2 over longer time scales. Most of that possible impact is not really related to temperature as much as it is the composition of the the ocean water.

      http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/stories/14288.html

      Stott mentions that temperatures lead CO2 by about 1300 years. 1300 years is within the typical time frame of the 1470 +/- 500 years Bond Cycles. or events.

      If a typical interglacial spans 10 Bond Cycles and for some reason one lasts longer or shorter, the amount of CO2 released from what was stored in the oceans during a glacial period would be different. Deep ocean water with a higher concentration of carbonates rises with overturning which raises the calcite compensation depth. So the rate of CO2 outgassing and uptake changes because of temperature and composition, not just temperature.

      So you are fighting a losing battle if you don’t consider the chemistry and longer time scales.

      • I agree with you.

        However, as their claim of man made global warming is based on the warming since 1970, the cyclic component (PDO) is important for this short period.

      • 1970, 1950, 19 whenever is too short. The 1940s had a large SH ocean shift which looks like it peaked in 1985 when the diurnal temperature trend reversed. This “pause” is not like any other “pause” in the temperature record. There is actually a legitimate CO2 signal over the NH land, but diurnal trends swapping is a nifty twist. So this is likely a bond peak, which there is no instrumental data to compare with. Interesting times.

        Anyway, Stott seems to be on to something.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        1000 year Law Dome ENSO proxy – Vance et al 2012 – more salt equals La Nina. As well as the multi-decadal flucuations common to both the proxy and instrumental records for both the PDO and ENSO – we have a clear indication of millennial variability in ENSO. The rainfall in the graph refers to Australian rainfall. ENSO event frequency and intensity co-varies with the PDO.

        Both the PDO and ENSO respond to the same polar drivers pushing cold water into the Peruvian and Californian currents – but they are both delicately balanced systems that shift abruptly and as a result of a number of feedbacks in winds, clouds and ocean currents. Which cause in turn major changes in global hydrology, biology and surface temperature.

        This system is at one extreme and should revert to the mean.

      • Chief, Shouldn’t something with millennial scale variability have a classier name that ENSO? Super Duper ENSO or the Mother of all ENSO? I mean they have already detrended the PDO and ENSO. How about a Hansen?

      • Chief, Thank you for the interesting Law Dome link. hmm

  67. WebHubTelescope | November 13, 2012 at 6:35 am
    Girma “Gobbles” is such a pathetic propagandist. He will never approach the big lie skills of his hero.

    I’m sorry, WHT, your cAGW cronies are very much the experts on propaganda.

    The ‘much-loved’ BBC has spent a fortune protecting the names of attendees at a special meeting in 2006, funded, I might add with licence-fee money. A decision was taken, at that meeting, to exclude ‘denier’ input into any program where the cAGW meme could be shoehorned, irrespective of the relevance or not to climate change.

    This contradicts the BBC’s Charter and denies (pun) any counter argument in a wide range of programme formats, not just science programmes.

    So, who were these so-called climate scientists and what were their qualifications; don’t forget, these people represented the ‘foremost scientists involved in climate research’ or so the spiel went.

    http://omnologos.com/full-list-of-participants-to-the-bbc-cmep-seminar-on-26-january-2006/

    Why on earth did the BBC fight so hard, and spend so much money, trying to keep this out of the public domain? You’re the expert on propaganda, you tell me.

    • Because… they’re Leftists?

    • Omnologos writes on the list

      •It turns out that only 3 were current scientists (all alarmists).

      I cannot understand how that is consistent with the only scientist on the list about whom I know something Mike Hulme. He was and is definitely a current scientist but how can he be considered an alarmist. His book Why we disagree about Climate Change could not be written by an alarmist, he has been active in the writing of the Hartwell paper with Roger Pielke Jr and others certain non-alarmists, …

      • I think Lord May was head of the Royal Society and he engineered the letters supporting CAGW from the various National Academies around the globe, at the time, the ones that are so often cited. He is an ecologist.

      • Climatology is nothing but a charlatan science with Leftist-libs doing the jiggery-pokery in your face while picking your pockets–e.g., CRUgate insider Mike Hulme should know better than anyone: “Claims such as ’2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgment, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen [UN-approved] experts…”

      • At least 2579 scientists believe human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures.

        http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1184&page=11

      • Lolwot, the master’s thesis that spawned this poll has been released and many of the respondents questioned the term “significant.” Some said they agreed but it might be as little as 5%. Most scientists agree with the weak claim that humans have some influence, which is all this poll shows. This is because saying humans have no influence is a very strong claim which few are prepared to make.

        Saying humans have some influence is a far cry from endorsing CAGW, another strong claim.

      • Simple polls are a very poor way of getting understanding on people’s thoughts on a complex issue. I manage to see almost every issue too complex for replying to a poll, as I have always the feeling that answering literally to the questions would lead to misinterpretation of my views. On the other hand I don’t want to deviate from literal interpretation hoping that the result would then be interpreted more correctly.

        The conclusion is that I usually decline from answering at all. Sometimes I have been forced to use results from a poll. Then again I doubt very many common interpretations.

      • Pekka, Delingpole’s view of Hulme:

        As Barry Woods notes at Watts Up With That, the scandal goes at least as far back as 2002 with this email (exposed in Climategate 2) by climate activist Mike Hulme.

        Did anyone hear Stott vs. Houghton on Today, radio 4 this morning? Woeful
        stuff really. This is one reason why Tyndall is sponsoring the Cambridge
        Media/Environment Programme to starve this type of reporting at source.

        Hulme is a slippery customer. In the aftermath of Climategate, he could often be heard on the radio posing as the voice of sweet reason and moderation. Privately, Hulme was one of the arch Post Modern Scientists (read Watermelons for more on this) who helped build the great global warming scam into the Frankenstein’s monster it is today. In that private email, he shows his true face. The Stott is Professor Philip Stott – one of the few scientists in the early days prepared publicly to speak out against AGW alarmism; the Houghton is Sir John Houghton, long one of Britain’s most shrill and influential alarmists. Hulme’s response to this unwelcome balance: to use money from his publicly-funded Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to shut down the debate.

        Scandalously, he achieved this with one of the BBC’s own reporters – the climate activist Roger Harrabin. It was Harrabin – together with another green activist Joe Smith (see list of names above) – who ran the Cambridge Media/Environment Programme. This organised a series of seminars, including the one above, designed to make the BBC’s climate science coverage more aggressively alarmist. As we’ve seen since, these seminars were very effective and have given Harrabin and the rest of his alarmist colleagues (David Shukman, Richard Black etc) an awful lot of self-publicity, money and airtime.

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100189491/28-gates-later-the-bbcs-nightmare-gets-worse-and-worse/

      • Faustino,

        I have read enough from Delingpole to dismiss everything he writes. The only positive thing about him is that admits openly his biases.

    • ColdOldMan,

      I must say that’s a good web moniker. It corresponds to my mental image of climate change deniers almost exactly. Elderly retirees with nothing better to do than write silly comments on their PCs in a cold office.

      I guess you could improve it slightly with ‘SadAndLonelyColdOldMan’.

  68. AGW is a new age apocalyptic conversion religion comprised mostly of Westerners who have faith in their belief that there is no other absolute power but the One Monophysical Element–CO2. However, the mystical properties that these new age Warmanists ascribe to their all-powerful One are not actually observed in nature.

    So, you must take everything the AGW Climatists believe on faith; and, making faith-based decisions concerning down-to-earth matters–like the business of living in a physical world–is insanity. Anyone with a brain is rightly skeptical. “Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer.” (Santayana)

  69. lurker passing through, laughing

    If the process is compromised it is not science. Science is a process, not a result.
    How telling that the issue is raised in the first place and then even considered to controversial. But Schneider’s corruption is very subtle.

  70. The brokest state in the brokest country in the world (to borrow from Mark Steyn) is implementing cap and trade.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/13/California-cap-and-trade

    If California were a corporation, you could get rich short selling its stock.

    • If California were a corporation the executive branch would be in prison for breach of fiduciary duty, self-dealing, stealing, corruption and giving aid to America’s enemies.

  71. Steve Mosher
    Well I dont buy mann’s HS and comparisons between past warming and this warming are besides the point. The point is Why do we see the warming we see? “natural variation” is not an explaination. Its meaningless. We have a theory. that theory was liad out before Manns hockey stick was ever drawn. That theory predicted a rise of 1C to 6C on top of natural variation. The observations confirm that science. they dont disconfirm it. Of course, is possible, that the warming we see could stop. Its possible that a 1C effect is the truth. But, you wont see any skeptic questioning their belief that “natural variation” explains it all. Nope. they think that because it was warmer in the past that C02 can have no effect. Weird

    Wow that was something I never thought I would see you dis the HS for years you have been defending it and now it’s not right hummm throw the Mann under the bus. And really as a scientist you can say with a straight face that the past does not matter ? But it did when you where all in the Mann camp and that nasty bit of warming was gone , You sir leave me just gobsmacked.

  72. David Wojak comments 13/11 @11.27am on Lord May as President of the Royal Society engineering advocacy for CAGW.

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

    The motto of the Royal Society, ‘Nullius in verba,’ was adopted
    in 1663, the purpose behind it, ‘to withstand the domination of
    authority,’ and ‘verify all statements as an appeal to the facts
    determined by experiment.

    Why then, should we take Lord May’s word that the debate on
    CAGW is over?

  73. Peter Miller said in his post on| November 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    “Max_OK. The records show there was no one growing grapes for wine, except possibly in green houses, in England between 1300 and 1900 AD for obvious reasons – it was too bloody cold!.. ”
    _______

    I’m amazed the British kept centuries of records on what wasn’t grown and why it wasn’t grown, and that these records show no grapes were grown for wine anywhere in the British Isles between 1300 and 1900 because it was too cold to grow ‘em.

    I don’t know if the Dutch kept records of what they didn’t grow. However, records show wine grapes were being grown by Dutch settlers in the 1700′s in New York State, which probably was colder than England. Did the Dutch know something about grapes the British didn’t know?

    Seriously, I suspect Peter is misinformed and doesn’t know grape vines can adapt to very cold weather.He might learn from Cornell’s Grapes and Wine 101.

    http://grapesandwine.cals.cornell.edu/appellation-cornell/issue-5/grapes-101.cfm

    • Winemaking is a business and a tradition and depending on the variety involves year after year of dry summers and being able to pick ripe fruit every year before the rains begin. There are many reasons why Leftists have no respect for–e.g., the beekeeper’s trade and one of the big reasons is they do not understand that success takes more than just being thirsty for another man’s wine.

      • I’m a wine taker, not a wine maker. That’s why I voted for Obama. I want free wine. I want free cheese. I want free love. I want us Americans to be like the French. They know how to live.

        I don’t know why you brought up beekeeping. Honey doesn’t go well with wine, except possibly some desert wines. I like a little honey mixed with beer and lemon aide.

      • Do you think if someone invests the time, effort and resoruces needed to raise bees that he or she should be able to do what you want with the honey? Or, do you deserve to have it for free just because you like sweet thngs too? The ‘you didn’t make that’ mentality of the Left has destroyed the culture.

      • Bees make the honey, then the Beekeeper steals the honey. People are parasites on these poor hardworking bugs. However, bugs as a group are more parasitic on humans (e.g., skeeters, bed bugs, ticks, head lice).

        BTW, beekeepers don’t raise bees. Bees raise themselves. The keepers are like slave masters on a plantation. You sure don’t know much about bugs.

      • Max,

        Just buy a ticket. Flights leave every day ( and possibly every hour or so) to France from the US. That way you don’t have to burden the rest of us who are fine with being American.

      • You miss my point. I want Americans to become more like the French, and less like angry old white coots. I think that’s happening.

        “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
        Washington Post, August 29, 2012

  74. Here’s an excerpt from the above linked Cornell University’s Grapes and Wine 101:

    “Each fall and winter, grapevine tissues produced during the growing season transition from a cold-tender to cold-hardy state. This process, known as cold acclimation, allows vines to survive low winter temperatures. It is a gradual process, which starts around veraíson in response to low temperatures and decreasing day length and continues after leaf fall when temperatures are below freezing. “

  75. Chief Hydrologist

    So what is the consensus on cloud, TOA radiative flux, dynamical complexity or low frequency variability of the climate system?

    These are all attributes of the Earth’s climate system that have been investigated for decades. There is evidence on all these things that you can access with google scholar.

    For instance – ‘Global climate change results from a small yet persistent imbalance between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the thermal radiation emitted back to space 1. An apparent inconsistency has been diagnosed between interannual variations in the net radiation imbalance inferred from satellite measurements and upper-ocean heating rate from in situ measurements, and this inconsistency has been interpreted as ‘missing energy’ in the system 2. Here we present a revised analysis of net radiation at the top of the atmosphere from satellite data, and we estimate ocean heat content, based on three independent sources. We find that the difference between the heat balance at the top of the atmosphere and upper-ocean heat content change is not statistically significant when accounting for observational uncertainties in ocean measurements 3, given transitions in instrumentation and sampling.

    ‘http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1375.html

    The implication here is that the missing energy from greenhouse gases has been found. One might concur if it were not that the changes in net radiative flux in CERES were predominantly in the SW. What are we to make of this?

    Before CERES the TOA radiative flux in ERBS and ISCCP-FD shows similar evidence of large changes in the SW component. We may question the data or we may provisionally accept it as saying something potentially meaningful about how clouds change. And look for corroborating evidence in ICOADS in the relevant regions or in Project Earthshine. Instead we get piecemeal dissection and dismissal of any single bit of evidence. What are we to make of this?

    Dynamical complexity challenges the fundamentals of how we think about climate. Instead of a knob and a response – there are interactions of complex components causing abrupt and nonlinear change. This is an idea that is beautiful in the way that special relativity is. It is elegant – parsimonius and has immense explanatory power. Yet most of you are stuck in some pedestrian view of linear sensitivity. What are we to make of this?

    We are most certainly in a cool climate mode. Here is the major reason why – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

    These multi-decadal variabilities were denied until they became undeniable – and there are more than a few holdouts still. They change fundamentally the attribution of recent warming. These multi-decadal variabilities have been known about for many years and I, for one, was most disappointed that this was not recognised in the AR4.
    It is, moreover, unlikely that the 20th pattern will continue. I suspect that the warming will be hidden and then hidden some more as La Nina reasserts itself over the next thousand years. What are we to make of that?

    But I would be remiss not to say that dynamical complexity suggests some risk of chaotic bifurcation and abrupt and large climate change – as economic growth pushes emissions of carbon dioxide to 4%, 8%, 16%, etc., of natural flux. However, if it is up to usual suspects to make compromises and suggest pragmatic ways forward, I suspect that we will be at this for another 20 years. I suspect, moreover, that the high ground is with the skeptics as we are quite certainly in a cool mode for a decade or three more.

    • Chief Hydrologist | November 14, 2012 at 1:53 am

      The implication here is that the missing energy from greenhouse gases has been found. One might concur if it were not that the changes in net radiative flux in CERES were predominantly in the SW. What are we to make of this?

      Make of it what you will, what I make of it is skullduggery by the manipulation of measured data to conform to the AGWScienceFiction’s The Greenhouse Effect as I’ve explained elsewhere.

      AGWScienceFiction has excised the direct, beam, heat from the Sun, which is thermal infrared, so that it can attribute any downwelling heat measured as being “from the atmosphere by greenhouse gases”. The fake fisics meme is “shortwave in longwave out”.

      Extracts from some previous posts on this to get you up to speed if you’d like to discuss it further:

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/09/climate-model-discussion-thread/#comment-266137

      I gave an example of how the climate science clowns use it here:

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/#comment-265825


      Here’s an example of how this science fraud is used, from Skeptical Science:

      “An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.”

      The AGWSF claim, because they say “no longwave infrared reaches the Earth from the Sun/the Sun doesn’t produce any”, is that all measurements taken are therefore “downwelling from the atmosphere as a result of greenhouse gases”, when should properly be attributed to increased direct thermal infrared from the Sun.

      Also In that post is a link to some cloudless sky measurements from Switzerland showing decadal increases in longwave infrared, as

      “Key Points
      •Significant increase of cloud-free downwelling long-wave radiation”

      What is critical to get one’s head around here, is that they have corrupted traditional physics by this simple sleight of hand of substituting the real thermal energy from the Sun to us, heat, for the Sun’s light which cannot heat up matter.

      When the simplicity of this swap around is understood it is quite mind blowing that they’ve managed it, they did this by introducing it into the general education system and by those like NASA changing from giving traditional teaching to giving this fake fisics AGWScienceFiction Greenhouse Effect meme of “shortwave in longwave out”.

      There’s another post from me in that discussion in which I’ve given an example of how NASA changed its teaching to conform to this fake fisics meme.

      Myrrh | November 9, 2012 at 8:13 am
      http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/#comment-265743

      Traditional physics of course still teaches real world, but the general public has been dumbed down in order to promote this scam.

      The Greenhouse Effect is created out of faked fisics, real world physics twisted by various sleight of hand methods. The world the models model have no atmosphere at all besides no heat from the Sun, no Water Cycle, no rain in the Carbon Cycle:
      http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/09/climate-model-discussion-thread/#comment-265988

      The models model a completely fictional world with its own fictional fisics basics.

      CERES is working to this AGWSF fake fisics Greenhouse Effect agenda just as NASA has changed its teaching from the, still, traditional phyics teaching that the beam heat we get from the Sun is the invisible thermal infrared. Shortwaves are not thermal, they are not hot, they cannot heat matter.

      Hence “The science challenge – Prove that visible light direct from the Sun heats the land and water at the equator intensely which is what it takes to give us our huge equator to poles winds and dramatic weather systems.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Wouldn’t know where to start and don’t have the moral fibre to try.

      • David Springer

        Imbecile.

        Begone!

      • I don’t see any real distinction between Chief, Myrrhhh, and Springer.

        Should it really be that hard to come with a rational coherent counter-theory to the AGW consensus to rally behind?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have the intellect of a flat worm.

      • I don’t see any real distinction between Chief, Myrrhhh, and Springer.

        Should it really be that hard to come with a rational coherent counter-theory to the AGW consensus to rally behind?

        What is the AGW consensus?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again – so what is the consensus on cloud, TOA radiative flux, dynamical complexity or low frequency variability of the climate system?

        The guy is a relentless idiot.

    • @Chief”…This is an idea that is beautiful in the way that special relativity is. It is elegant – parsimonius and has immense explanatory power.”

      The essence of non-linear dynamical systems has been well expressed by the foregoing quote but I still find that explanations of the interplay of these natural systems are far from clear.

      The PDF’s of weather observations and their likely effects on local and global climate from all time-space phases and the sudden shifts that sometimes occurs can only be studied retrospectively from empirical data as yet.

      Maybe until we can better understand and interpret the outputs from such systems, we are reduced to some form of discretising of these parameters so that we might at least better understand what the hell is going on ;)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The ways of analysing complex systems are quite rudimentary – for instance – http://www.pnas.org/content/105/38/14308

        But I look at it as the drunk under the lamp post – we are not going to find the keys by looking in the wrong place.

      • Agreed. Your citation would be a typical example of scientific analysis of past events to determine what preconditions there might be that may be interpreted as signalling impending sudden shifts in future.

      • However, I am also thinking that this type of analysis is assuming ergodicity of the climate systems in play. This assumption may be reasonable for short term trend analysis but not for prediction.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It uses an observed property of complex systems in an increase in autocorrelation – ‘slowing down’ – as the system approaches critical points.

  76. Feynman: “Science is belief in the ignorance of experts.” To expand a bit, experts know all about what is thought correct so far. They are heavily invested in knowing that. But science says the final ‘theory’ or ‘law’ will never be known, as any such (claimed) is always subject to disproof and refutation or being subsumed as a special case. And the ‘experts’ don’t know what those disproofs and subsuming new theories and laws might be.

    It is necessary to go beyond current expertise in order to do science at all, in other words. I.e., to consider current experts are ignorant about later improvements in their fields — and necessarily so.

    • Brian H

      Feynman’s words on the ignorance of experts was stated in a slightly different fashion by Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan.

      In making predictions for the future, it is not so important “what experts know” – it is much more important “what they do not know”.

      Taleb points out that “experts” often score worse in making predictions in their field of expertise than laymen. And this becomes more the case the longer the time period of prediction.

      .A key part of this is due to the way “outliers” are handled.

      The “expert” sees that these do not match his paradigm or “prevailing knowledge”, so often discards or simply ignores them a priori.

      The layman is not “expert” enough to know that they lie outside the prevailing paradigm, so he incorporates them in his prediction.

      And, more often than not, they are telling a message, which the “expert” fails to perceive, while the layman accepts.

      Thomas Kuhn has also pointed out how “experts” can get stuck in their paradigm.

      So, while it is counterintuitive at first glance, Feynman’s statement makes good sense.

      And, leaving aside any cases of outright political “agenda driven science” , this is what we are dealing with in climate science today.

      Max

      • Max apparently has not been aware of the evolution of fat-tail statistics that has built on the historical usage of normal Gaussian statistics over the last several years.

        Fat-tail statistics and extreme value analysis properly account for many of the outliers that naive statisticians who rely on normal Gaussian methods miss.

        When Taleb wrote the book Black Swan, to keep it readable, he barely scratched the surface on the math that goes into this topic.

        It figures that fake skeptics completely miss the point.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Extreme value theory or extreme value analysis (EVA) is a branch of statistics dealing with the extreme deviations from the median of probability distributions. It seeks to assess, from a given ordered sample of a given random variable, the probability of events that are more extreme than any observed prior. Extreme value analysis is widely used in many disciplines, ranging from structural engineering, finance, earth sciences, traffic prediction, geological engineering, etc. For example, EVA might be used in the field of hydrology to estimate the value an unusually large flooding event, such as the 100-year flood. Similarly, for the design of a breakwater, a coastal engineer would seek to estimate the 50-year wave and design the structure accordingly.’ wikepedia

        Here we are talking about skewed distributions. ‘The Log Pearson Type III distribution (for instance) is commonly used in hydraulic studies. It is somehow similar to normal distribution, except instead of two parameters, stanand deviation and mean, it also has skew. When the skew is small, Log Pearson Type III distribution approximates normal.’ The fitted distribution is used to define extreme events as indicated above. http://www.anthony-vba.kefra.com/vba/vbar6.htm

        In complex systems theory – they are related to the concept of ‘dragon-kings’ which are extreme outliers at points of chaotic bifurcation. ‘We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        No one imagines that normal distributions have much to say about climate. It just seems another excuse to pontificate on how difficult the math is. It isn’t.

    • That just tells us to belief in Feynmans ignorance

  77. Chief, 14/11 @1.53am:
    The Immense explanatory power of dynamical complexiry?
    ‘Yes’ if yr doin’ science…
    More like ‘justfication’ rules if yr doing politics, seems ter me.

  78. When the dust settles on Climategate, . . .

    it will be apparent that the world changed drastically when the United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945:

    1. Government-funded science became an instrument of the United Nations, rather than an instrument to protect national security.

    2. Our central government became independent of the states that had established it in 1776.

    3. Thomas Jefferson et al. were politically incorrect to suggest that some animals were endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights.

    4. George Orwell grasped the implications of this change in 1948 and warned us that the change would be apparent by “1984″

  79. Mechanisms for decadal variability

    The climate system displays variability over a broad range of timescales, from monthly to millennial and to even longer timescales. It is impossible to describe the full range of climate variability deterministically with one model, since the governing mathematical equations are rather complicated and analytical solutions not known. A numerical solution of the complete set of equations is possible but not feasible for very long timescales of many millennia, because the necessary computer resources are not available, and will not be available over the next years. What is therefore needed is a hierarchical approach: the application of complex models for short timescales and reduced models for long timescales. However, the hierarchical approach is intellectual challenging and by no means satisfying, as the omission of important physics, such as of small scale processes, is not justified in many cases given the highly nonlinear dynamics of the climate system. The climate system is comprised of components with very different internal timescales. Weather phenomena, for instance, have typical lifetimes of hours or days, while the deep ocean needs many centuries to adjust to changes in surface boundary conditions. Hasselmann (1976) introduced an approach to modelling the effect of the fast variables on the slow in analogy to Brownian motion. He suggested treating the former not as deterministic variables, but as stochastic variables, so that the slow variables evolve following dynamical equations with stochastic forcing. The chaotic components of the system often have well defined statistical properties and these can be built into approximate stochastic representations of the high frequency variability. The resulting models for the slow variables are referred to collectively as stochastic climate models, although the precise timescale considered slow may vary greatly from model to model. We describe in the following different types of stochastic models that were suggested for the generation of the internally driven decadal variability (Figure 4). The precise mechanisms underlying decadal variability will eventually determine the level of predictability we may expect.

    2.1 The zero order stochastic climate model
    We consider in the following discussion the atmosphere as the fast and the ocean sea ice system as the slow component. In the simplest case, the atmosphere is treated as a white noise process, i.e. the spectrum of the atmospheric forcing, such as the air sea heat flux, is white, which means that its amplitude is frequency independent. Internal atmospheric decadal variability is implicitly included in the white noise representation. We additionally assume in this simplest case that linear dynamics govern the slow system and a local model in which the atmospheric forcing at one location drives only changes in the ocean sea ice system at this very point; neither the atmosphere nor the ocean-sea ice system exhibit spatial coherence. The ocean-sea ice system defined in this way integrates the weather noise, and the resulting spectrum of a typical variable say sea surface temperature is red, which means that the power increases with timescale corresponding to the inverse of the square root of frequency. To avoid a singularity at zero frequency a damping was introduced by Hasselmann (1976).

    Frankignoul and Hasselmann (1977) have shown that observed SST variability is consistent with such a local model in parts of the mid-latitudes, away from coasts and fronts, whereas the simple stochastic model fails in regions where mesoscale eddies or advection are important. Hall and Manabe (1997) explained differences in SST and sea surface salinity (SSS) spectra by the simple model and report that a complex climate model does reproduce this behaviour. We note again that this model is linear and no coupling of different timescales is implied. Thus the ocean-sea ice system simply amplifies the variance present in the atmosphere at long time scales. Barsugli and Battisti (1998) by extending the Hasselmann (1976) model constructed a simple stochastically forced, one-dimensional, linear, coupled energy balance model and obtained important insight into the nature of coupled interactions in the mid-latitudes. They concluded that the experimental design of an atmospheric model coupled to a mixed layer ocean model would provide a reasonable null hypothesis against which to test for the presence of distinctive decadal variability (see also section 2.4). The follow-up work by Bretherton and Battisti (2001) examined the predictability of such a system.

    2.2 Stochastic models with mean advection and spatial coherence
    Several refinements were proposed since Hasselmann first introduced stochastic climate models. Lemke et al. (1980) applied a dynamical model based on white noise atmospheric forcing, local stabilizing relaxation and lateral diffusion and advection to explain sea ice variability. Longitudinally dependent forcing, feedback, lateral diffusion and advection parameters were derived by fitting the model to the observed cross-spectral matrix of the sea ice anomaly fields. Lemke et al. (1980) inferred that diffusion and advection of sea ice anomalies were important in sea ice dynamics. In particular, the model advection patterns agreed reasonably well with the observed ocean surface circulation in the Arctic Ocean and around Antarctica. Frankignoul and Reynolds (1983) described the use of a local stochastic model, including the effects of advection by the observed mean current, to predict the statistical characteristics of observed SST anomalies in the North Pacific on timescales of several months. They find that mean advection has only a small effect in general, although in regions of large currents, the advection effects were important at lower frequencies. Finally, Herterich and Hasselmann (1987) have fitted a more general nonlocal stochastic model, incorporating advection and diffusion, to observed SST anomalies over the same region. Their analysis, however, supported previous models in which the origin of mid-latitudinal SST anomalies on timescales of months to a few years can be basically attributed to local stochastic forcing by the atmosphere.

    Atmospheric variability on timescales of a month or longer is dominated by a small number of largescale spatial patterns, whose time evolution has a significant stochastic component (Davis 1976). One prominent example is the NAO, and we shall discuss the role of the NAO in driving variations in the AMOC below. One may expect the atmospheric patterns to play an important role in ocean-sea iceatmosphere
    interaction, and advection can play a role in this coupling. A one-dimensional stochastic model of the interaction between spatially coherent atmospheric forcing patterns and an “advective” ocean was developed by Saravanan and McWilliams (1998). Their model equations are simple enough and allow analytical treatment. The model solution can be separated into two different regimes: a slow–shallow regime where local damping effects dominate advection and a fast–deep regime where nonlocal advection effects dominate thermal damping. An interesting feature of the fast–deep regime is that the ocean–atmosphere system shows preferred timescales, although there is no underlying oscillatory mechanism, neither in the ocean nor in the atmosphere. The existence of the preferred timescale in the ocean does not depend on the existence of an atmospheric response to SST anomalies. It is determined by the advective velocity scale associated with the upper ocean and the length scale associated with low-frequency atmospheric variability. This mechanism is often referred to as “spatial resonance” or “optimal forcing”. For the extra-tropical North Atlantic basin, this timescale would be of the order of a decade. Interestingly, Deser and Blackmon (1993), Sutton and Allen (1997), and Alvarez-Garcia et al. (2008) find such a decadal timescale in surface observations of the North Atlantic. However, the studies differ in the derived propagation characteristics. The stochastic-advective mechanism may also underlie the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW, e. g. White and Peterson 1996), as shown in the model study of Weisse et al. (1999) who drove an ocean-sea ice general circulation model by spatially coherent but temporally white forcing. The same model experiment is also described below, when we discuss the
    stochastically driven variability of the THC.

    2.3 Stochastic wind stress forcing of a dynamical ocean
    We have considered so far no varying ocean dynamics and only thermohaline forcing, i.e. heat and freshwater forcing. Frankignoul et al. (1997) used a simple linear model to estimate the dynamical response of the extra-tropical ocean to spatially coherent stochastic wind stress forcing with a white frequency spectrum. The barotropic fields are governed by a time-dependent Sverdrup balance, the baroclinic ones by the long Rossby wave equation. At each frequency, the baroclinic response consists of a forced response plus a Rossby wave generated at the eastern boundary. For forcing without zonal variation, the response propagates westward at twice the Rossby wave phase speed. The model predicts the shape and level of the frequency spectra of the oceanic pressure field and their variation with longitude and latitude. The baroclinic response is spread over a continuum of frequencies, with a dominant timescale determined by the time it takes a long Rossby wave to propagate across the basin and thus increases with the basin width. The baroclinic predictions for a white wind stress curl spectrum
    are broadly consistent with the frequency spectrum of sea level changes and temperature fluctuations in the thermocline observed near Bermuda.

    Schneider et al. (2002) found some evidence for the accumulation of stochastic atmospheric forcing along Rossby wave trajectories in the North Pacific. Stochastic wind stress forcing may thus explain a substantial part of the decadal variability of the oceanic gyres, especially in the North Pacific. The importance of stochastically driven baroclinic Rossby waves was also described in Latif (2006) who studied the multidecadal variability in the North Pacific in a coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model. As such the bulk of the potential predictability found in the North Pacific (see Figure 8 below) is probably related to the propagation of long baroclinic Rossby waves (e.g., Schneider and Cornuelle 2005). The degree of air-sea coupling, however, needs to be considered in this context (e.g., Latif and Barnett 1994, Latif 2006), as well as the role of remote forcing by the tropics (e.g., Trenberth and Hurrell 1994; Gu and Philander 1997; Jacobs et al. 1994). It should be mentioned in this context that similar mechanisms could also operate in the North Atlantic.

    2.4 Hyper modes
    We describe now a case in which the atmosphere is no longer represented by a simple stochastic model but deterministically by an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM). The ocean is represented by a vertical column model (CM) in which the individual levels communicate only by vertical diffusion. Such a coupled model (AGCM-CM) was studied, for instance, by Dommenget and Latif (2008) and displays a number of features of observed decadal variability. Since varying horizontal ocean dynamics are not considered, air-sea interactions are still strongly simplified in the model. Yet some important aspects of the space-time structure of SST variability can be explained. The concept of a Global Hyper Climate Mode is defined, in which surface heat flux variability associated with regional atmospheric variability patterns is integrated by the large heat capacity of the extra-tropical oceans, leading to a continuous increase of SST variance towards longer timescales. Atmospheric teleconnections and coupled feedbacks associated with anomalous heat flux or wind mixing such as the wind-evaporation-sea surface temperature (WES) feedback spread the extra-tropical signal to the tropical regions. Once SST anomalies have developed in the tropics, global atmospheric teleconnections spread the signal around the world creating global hyper mode. Calculations with a further reduced stochastic model suggest that a hyper climate mode can vary on timescales longer than 1,000 years.

    The SST anomaly patterns simulated at multidecadal timescales in the AGCM-CM are in some regions remarkably similar to those derived from observations and from long control integrations with sophisticated coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models. The hyper mode mechanism could, for instance, underlie the Pacific Decadal Variability, whose structure is reasonably well reproduced (Figure 5). Ocean dynamics and large-scale ocean-atmosphere coupling may modify the hyper modes, especially in the tropics, and influence the regional expression of the associated variability. Equatorial ocean dynamics such as those operating in ENSO, for instance, would enhance the variability in the eastern and central Equatorial Pacific. Such feedbacks would make the model certainly more realistic, but are not at the heart of the mechanism which produces the hyper mode. If the hyper mode scenario applies to the real work, the decadal predictability potential would be only modest and not exceed that expected from an autoregressive process of the first order. However, considerable potential decadal predictability exists in the North and South Pacific (discussed below), indicating that variability in these regions is not solely due to the hyper mode mechanism.

    2.5 Stochastically driven AMOC variability
    Competing mechanisms were proposed for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation variability. One idea is that low-frequency AMOC variability, consistent with the stochastic model scenario, is driven by the low-frequency portion of the spectrum of atmospheric forcing. Mikolajewicz and Maier-Reimer (1990) describe results from a multi-millennial integration with the Hamburg Large-Scale Geostrophic
    (LSG) Ocean General Circulation Model that was driven by spatially correlated white-noise freshwater flux anomalies. In addition to the expected red-noise character of the oceanic response, the model simulated enhanced variability in a frequency band around 320 years in the Atlantic basin. This is due to the excitation of a damped oceanic eigenmode by the stochastic freshwater flux forcing. The physics behind the variability involve a dipole-like salinity anomaly advected by and interacting with the mean THC.

    Weisse et al. (1994) describe decadal variability with a timescale of the order of 10 to 40 years in the North Atlantic in the same experiment. It involves the generation of salinity anomalies in the Labrador Sea and the following discharge into the North Atlantic. The generation of the salinity anomalies is mainly due to an almost undisturbed local integration of the white noise freshwater fluxes. The timescale and damping term of the integration process are determined by the flushing time of the wellmixed upper layer. The decadal mode affects the AMOC and represents a discharge process that depends nonlinearly on the modulated circulation structure rather than a regular linear oscillator. It should be mentioned, however, that the (uncoupled) stochastically forced LSG model integrations described above were performed with mixed boundary conditions, which may considerably distort the
    physics of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system.

    Delworth and Greatbatch (2000), investigating the multidecadal variability in the coupled model simulation of Delworth et al. (1993), describe an internal ocean mode in their analysis of a series of coupled and uncoupled ocean model integrations. The multidecadal variability simulated in the model discussed in Delworth et al. (1993) is based on interactions of the gyre and thermohaline circulations, in which the anomalous salt advection into the sinking region plays a crucial role in determining deep convection. Delworth and Greatbatch (2000) show that the multidecadal AMOC fluctuations are driven by a spatial pattern of surface heat flux variations that bear a strong resemblance to the NAO. No conclusive evidence is found that the AMOC variability is part of a dynamically coupled atmosphereocean mode in this particular model. Griffies and Tziperman (1995) interpreted the variability in terms of a stochastically forced four-box model of the AMOC. The box model was placed in a linearly stable thermally dominant mean state under mixed boundary conditions (Stommel 1961). A linear stability analysis of this state reveals one damped oscillatory THC mode in addition to purely decaying modes. Direct comparison of the variability in the box model and coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation
    model reveals common qualitative aspects, supporting the hypothesis that the coupled model’s AMOC variability can be understood by the stochastic excitation of a linear damped oscillatory THC mode.

    Analyses of ocean observations and model simulations by Latif et al. (2006b) support this picture. They suggest that there have been indeed considerable multidecadal changes in the AMOC during the last century. AMOC variations were indirectly reconstructed in that study from the history of observed SST.

    Since AMOC variations are associated in climate models with variations in the poleward heat transport, a fingerprint of relative AMOC-strength can be defined as the SST-difference between the North and South Atlantic. Latif et al. 2004 previously showed that this approach worked well for decadal AMOCvariations in a climate model. The observed changes in the dipole-SST index are argued to be driven by
    the low-frequency variations of the NAO through changes in Labrador Sea convection (Figure 6a) and follow the NAO index with a time delay of about a decade, consistent with the ocean general circulation model studies by Eden and Jung (2001) and Eden and Willebrand (2001). North Atlantic SST is strongly influenced by AMOC changes, and the two quantities exhibit a clear lead-lag relationship in some models, as visualized in Figure 6b showing results from the Kiel Climate Model (KCM, Park and Latif 2008, Park et al. 2009).

    As direct AMOC observations exist only for the last few years, many studies used ocean models in forced mode using an estimate of observed surface boundary forcing to study AMOC variability. Here we describe results from Alvarez-Garcia et al. (2008) for the period 1958-2000. Multichannel Singular Spectrum Analysis (MSSA) was used to extract the dominant space-time modes of the ocean model data in the North Atlantic poleward of the Equator. The leading mode is multidecadal. It displays prolonged negative SST anomaly during 1970-1980 covering the whole North Atlantic (not shown) and is therefore a negative phase of the multidecadal cycle (see also Fig. 1, lower). The cold SST anomalies are preceded by a basin-wide cell of negative anomalies in the meridional streamfunction, and thus by a weaker
    overturning about 5 years before (Fig. 7). The anomalously weak overturning is a result of an anomalously weak NAO (Fig. 6) and the associated reduced heat loss of the ocean to the atmosphere in the Labrador Sea at this time. The snapshots of the ocean model’s streamfunction five years apart from each other, as reconstructed from the multidecadal mode, show clearly how the negative overturning anomalies develop in the 1960s and subsequently slowly propagate southward. During 1970-1980, the height of the cold phase in surface temperature, the tendency in the streamfunction is reversed and the negative anomalies start to weaken, until they are replaced by positive overturning anomalies in the mid-1980s in the north. The positive anomalies expand southward and initiate the subsequent warm phase in the 1990s which is characterized by an anomalously strong AMOC.

    2.6 Coupled variability involving the AMOC
    Coupled air-sea modes were also proposed to explain decadal variability. These also have to be considered in a stochastic framework, as we expect them to be damped and not self-sustained. Timmermann et al. (1998) describe coupled variability with a 35-yr period in a multicentury integration of the ECHAM3/LSG climate model. Variations of the AMOC are again at the heart of the mechanism. The mean AMOC is relatively strong in that model, which may explain the rather short period. Let us consider a situation in which the North Atlantic is covered by positive SST anomalies. The atmospheric response involves a strengthened NAO, which leads to anomalously weak evaporation and Ekman transport off Newfoundland and in the Greenland Sea, and the generation of negative SSS anomalies. These weaken the deep convection in the oceanic sinking regions and subsequently the strength of the AMOC, leading to a reduced poleward heat transport and the formation of negative SST anomalies, which completes the phase reversal. It should be mentioned in this context that salinity dominates the evolution of density anomalies in the sinking region.

    Eden and Greatbatch (2003) describe results from a simple stochastic atmospheric feedback model coupled to a realistic model of the North Atlantic. A north-south SST dipole, with its zero line centred along the sub-polar front, drives the atmosphere model, which in turn forces the ocean model by patterns of surface fluxes derived from NAO-based regression analysis as in Eden and Jung (2001). The coupled model simulates a damped decadal oscillation for sufficiently strong coupling. It consists of a fast wind-driven, positive feedback of the ocean and a delayed negative feedback orchestrated by the onset of an anomaly in the THC located in the sub-polar North Atlantic. This anomaly transports more or less heat across the sub-polar front, changing the sign of the SST dipole. The positive feedback turns out to be necessary to distinguish the coupled oscillation from that in a model without any feedback from the ocean to the atmosphere.

    Vellinga and Wu (2004) describe a coupled feedback on centennial timescales from a coupled GCM (HadCM3). They report that the ITCZ both strengthens and moves northwards if AMOC is anomalously strong. The increased freshwater flux into the ocean associated with a stronger ITCZ results in a freshwater anomaly in the equatorial Atlantic. The resulting negative salinity anomaly is then gradually advected northwards by the mean ocean circulation into the subpolar gyre on a timescale of a few decades, a mechanism also described by Latif et al. (2000) and Latif (2001). A negative salinity anomaly in the subpolar gyre reduces the density here resulting in decreased deep convection, providing a delayed negative feedback.

    Finally, the stochastic concept was taken up within the coupled framework by Kirtman and Shukla (2002) who introduced the interactive ensemble coupled strategy, a tool for understanding how atmospheric stochastic forcing affects climate variability. The procedure is to use multiple realizations of the atmospheric GCM coupled to a single realization of the ocean GCM. The ensemble mean state of the
    atmospheric GCM fluxes are coupled to the ocean model thereby affecting the evolution of the coupled system. The traditional approach for generating a coupled ensemble is to apply the ensemble averaging to a collection of individual realizations a posteriori. The interactive ensemble technique is distinct from the traditional procedure because here the ensemble mean of the atmospheric models continuously
    interacts with the ocean model as the coupled system evolves. Yeh and Kirtman (2004) used the method to quantify the relative roles of local and non-local noise on North Pacific variability.

    http://bit.ly/2X21Vg

  80. Wouldn’t yer think the publically funded BBC would have as
    its operational motto,’ Nullius in verba?’ … But no, seems its
    ‘Experto credo,’

    ‘The BBC has held a high level seminar with some of the best
    scientific experts* and has come to the view that the weight
    of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to
    the opponents of the consensus (on AGW)’

    *Except they weren’t! )

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/29/boaden_tribunal_information_refusal/

  81. Full list, legally obtained,) of participants in the BBC Seminar ‘Expert Panel” on AGW climate change, 26/01/12.

    http://omnologos.com/full-list-of-participants-to-the-bbc-cmep-seminar-on-26-january-2006/

    • Beth

      Yikes!

      Not even a “token skeptic” aboard.

      No wonder they broadcast rubbish when it comes to CAGW.

      Max

  82. Max,
    No need fer ‘token skeptics’ on board. It was a ‘secret seminar.’
    Beth :-)

  83. Earth to Al Gore: it’s the sun…

    Abstract… Average annual balance of the thermal budget of the system Earth-atmosphere during long time period will reliably determine the course and value of both an energy excess accumulated by the Earth or the energy deficit in the thermal budget which, with account for data of the TSI forecast, can define and predict well in advance the direction and amplitude of the forthcoming climate changes.

    Bicentennial Decrease of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to
    Unbalanced Thermal Budget of the Earth and the Little Ice Age
    Habibullo I. Abdussamatov
    Pulkovo Observatory of the RAS
    Pulkovskoye shosse 65, St. Petersburg, 196140, Russia
    Email: abduss@gao.spb.ru
    Received: September 22, 2011 Accepted: October 9, 2011 Published: February 1, 2012
    doi:10.5539/apr.v4n1p178 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v4n1p178

  84. Keywords: TSI decrease, Little Ice Age (Ibid.)

  85. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Should scientists promote results over process?

    1. The results are the part of science that get applied, so good results should always be promoted.

    2. Whether the applications fail or succeed is one of the tests of the effectiveness of the process. It generally leads to procedures to the improve the applications, so building applications is a part of the process.

    3. Results of research are always used to design the next experiments, which could hardly be carried out if someone didn’t promote the results.

    4. Lastly, results are the goal of the process, or more properly are the goals of the people who carry out the process.

    Aside from the fact that the essay contained a lot of nice quotes, I don’t see that it had a point, or a theme. Feynman worked on the Manhattan Project, as co-director of the computation program, carrying out the calculations to support the design. His quote: As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science. That’s justified when the applications clearly work, as did the bombs he worked on — he was one of the intellectual tyrants at the time. The intellectual tyranny is not justified when the applications from the results don’t work, when predictions are not confirmed, or when it is clear that the claimed knowledge is more precise or reliable than can be confirmed in public.

    I from time to time highlight omissions and inaccuracies in the climate science that I think undermine the attempted “tyranny” of the AGW promoters such as IPCC. I would suggest that the empirical results demonstrate that lots more process needs to be engaged before the resultant results support anything more than further research. One of the results of the climate science process that clearly needs to be promoted is the inaccuracy of all the mathematical modeling and forecasting to date.

  86. WUWT-TV To Counter Al Gore’s ‘Dirty Weather Report’ With Live Webcast
    24 Hour Live Webcast Will Air Starting today in the USA (Nov. 14) at 8PM EST (5PM PST).

    source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1tluw)

    Live Webcast: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wuwt-tv-live

    Speakers Include:
    Andrew Montford (Author of The Hockey Stick Illusion)
    Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan professor of Meteorology, MIT)
    Marc Morano (Climate Depot)
    John Coleman  (Founder of the Weather Channel, now at KUSI-TV)
    Chris Horner (Senior Fellow, Center for Energy and Environment, CEI)
    Steve McIntyre (editor of ClimateAudit.org)
    Dr. Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph)
    Dr. Roy Spencer (co author of UAH global temperature dataset)
    Joe D’Aleo (Certified Consulting Meteorologist, WeatherBell)
    Joe Bastardi  (Lead forecaster, Weatherbell)
    Senator Jim Inhofe (retiring from Senate EPW )
    Bob Tisdale (author of Who Turned on The Heat?)
    Dr. Ryan Maue (meteorologist, Tropical storm specialist, Weatherbell)
    Burt Rutan, (Engineer and Aviation Pioneer)
    Dr. Sebastian Lüning  (co-author of Die kalte Sonne)
    Harold Ambler (Author of Don’t Sell Your Coat)
    Donna Laframboise (Author of The Delinquent Teenager)
    Pat Michaels (former State climatologist of Virgina, fellow of the Cato institute)
    Pete Garcia (Producer of the movie The Boy Who Cried Warming)
    Christopher Monckton (SPPI)
    Dr. Timothy Ball (climate scientist, commentator)
    John Kehr (Author of the book, The Inconvenient Skeptic)
    Dr. David Evans (Author of The Skeptics Case)
    Dr. David Stockwell (Climate Modeller)
    Mike Smith (Certified Consulting Meteorologist)
    Steve Mosher and Tom Fuller (authors, The CRUtape Letters)
    Kenji (member – Union of Concerned Scientists)

  87. Someone better contact the WHO before the Greeks start killing all the birds by spraying DDT around.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204789304578089463387817162.html

    The article could also be seen as a cautionary tale about building a huge “free” national health care system, while piling up tons of debt to bribe voters to keep voting for you. But only if you aren’t a progressive/moderate/independent drone.

    • For non-subscribers, you can google the title of the article and see the article that way. The WSJ aparently has a deal with Google….

      Malaria, Once Mostly Eradicated, Returns as Crisis Erodes Government Safety Net

  88. re: “The second replies, “The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there’s always room for doubt.”
    and
    The third says, “The evidence for anthropogenic (ACO2) climate change is overwhelming but we don’t have a clue as too what degree, and in science there’s always room for skepticism.”

  89. Relationship between global mean temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/derivative/compress:12/normalise/plot/uah/compress:12/normalise

    Global warming occurs during the warm PDO phase when the warming due to El Nino is GREATER than the cooling due to El Nina. This results in an overall warming trend and increases the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

    Global cooling occurs during the cool PDO phase when the warming due to El Nino is LESS than the cooling due to El Nina. This results in an overall cooling trend and should decrease the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

    • Girma Gobbles knows how to propagandize the big lie suggesting that the atmospheric CO2 increase is not due to mankind.

      see this Climate Etc.comment:

      “Girma | April 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply

      In the following video, the kids in a classroom are all brainwashed to believe they will all die as a result of global warming.

      http://bit.ly/YrBo6

      Gobbles would not have done a better job!”

      He learned from his hero on how to reinforce the big lie through repetition, and that of Karl Rove to project your own weaknesses onto your opponents.

  90. It is not the scientists job or responsibility to recommend action or even interpret – that is a job for the lay people, just publish a peer reviewed report with unbiased, objective, scientific conclusion. Akin to the scientists who discovered the splitting of the atom – can be for the power of good or evil (it is up to the lay to decide), but beware of people trying to manipulate you and feed words into your mouths (both lay and scientists) there is a lot of it about. (But sometimes the lay may need a gentle hint or two if the subject is too complex).

  91. Oliver K. Manuel

    Glad to see you back on-line, Professor Curry! Hang in there. om

  92. Well it’s the old Schneider “dilemma” between the honest and the effective scientist. An effective scientist is doing politics, not science.

  93. Perhaps the biggest single piece of calculated deceit of all, is the the use of “denier” to mischaracterize skeptics. It continues to this day, identifying its users as being primarily motivated by politics, and hence favoring politically correct results (ie those favoring more politics) over the process of science.

    • Absolutely correct.

      And notice who the main culprits are on Climate Etc. They are clearly more interested in promoting their far-left ideological beliefs than in anything to do with climate science or rational policy.

  94. Evidence of the bad faith that permeates the entire climate profession – in particular the IPCC – is most easily seen from the arrogant and sullen ‘circling of wagons’ general attitude that developed in response to citizens having the temerity to examine the work of the so-called professionals that citizens were financing with their taxes. “Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll try and find something wrong with it”, is how IPCC leading light Prof Phil Jones told those financing him to basically get stuffed and leave him to his fiddles.

    The obvious science crooks heavily pushing the CAGW drumbeat that were identified in Climategate, may have been but few in number – and so big worry in itself, no barrel anywhere is without some rotten apples – the real problem was and remains the ‘deafening silence’ of much of rest of the profession, which gives the seal of approval to the systematic undermining of the science process that underpins the high degree of certainty given to CAGW.

    That Jones, Mann et al have to this day still not severely disciplined by the profession, tells us the bad faith in still in place.

  95. bluehost renewal discount

    Great in case you’re around the successful end but obviously bad
    if your inventory goes down bluehost renewal discount interest rates can become extremely
    high which enable it to be stressful on the individual who
    took out the loan.