Can we avoid fooling ourselves?

by Judith Curry

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman

How can scientists avoid fooling themselves.  Humility is a start.   Here are some additional suggestions from a post on criticalthinking.org entitled Valuable intellectual traits.  The material is posted below in full with JC comments:

Intellectual Humility: Having a consciousness of the limits of one’s knowledge, including a sensitivity to circumstances in which one’s native egocentrism is likely to function self-deceptively; sensitivity to bias, prejudice and limitations of one’s viewpoint. Intellectual humility depends on recognizing that one should not claim more than one actually knows. It does not imply spinelessness or submissiveness. It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness, boastfulness, or conceit, combined with insight into the logical foundations, or lack of such foundations, of one’s beliefs.

Intellectual Courage: Having a consciousness of the need to face and fairly address ideas, beliefs or viewpoints toward which we have strong negative emotions and to which we have not given a serious hearing. This courage is connected with the recognition that ideas considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally justified (in whole or in part) and that conclusions and beliefs inculcated in us are sometimes false or misleading. To determine for ourselves which is which, we must not passively and uncritically “accept” what we have “learned.” Intellectual courage comes into play here, because inevitably we will come to see some truth in some ideas considered dangerous and absurd, and distortion or falsity in some ideas strongly held in our social group. We need courage to be true to our own thinking in such circumstances. The penalties for non-conformity can be severe.

JC comment:  The IPCC SREX Report showed intellectual courage, in terms of pulling back from previous conclusions about the attribution of extreme events.

Intellectual Empathy: Having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand them, which requires the consciousness of our egocentric tendency to identify truth with our immediate perceptions of long-standing thought or belief. This trait correlates with the ability to reconstruct accurately the viewpoints and reasoning of others and to reason from premises, assumptions, and ideas other than our own. This trait also correlates with the willingness to remember occasions when we were wrong in the past despite an intense conviction that we were right, and with the ability to imagine our being similarly deceived in a case-at-hand.

JC comment:  The IPCC has a massive fail here, in terms of ignoring or misconstruing skeptical arguments.

Intellectual Integrity: Recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking; to be consistent in the intellectual standards one applies; to hold one’s self to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to which one holds one’s antagonists; to practice what one advocates for others; and to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in one’s own thought and action.

JC comment:  As per the ClimateGate emails, the hockey team wasn’t paying much attention to this one.  It seems that they are starting to pay some attention to this.

Intellectual Perseverance: Having a consciousness of the need to use intellectual insights and truths in spite of difficulties, obstacles, and frustrations; firm adherence to rational principles despite the irrational opposition of others; a sense of the need to struggle with confusion and unsettled questions over an extended period of time to achieve deeper understanding or insight.

JC comment:   Superficially, it would seem that IPCC would score well in terms of perseverance, with its 5 assessment reports over the course of decades.  However, there is a misguided sense in the assessment process that confusion and unsettled questions can be ‘settled’ at a high confidence level by expert judgement in a consensus seeking process.

Faith In Reason: Confidence that, in the long run, one’s own higher interests and those of humankind at large will be best served by giving the freest play to reason, by encouraging people to come to their own conclusions by developing their own rational faculties; faith that, with proper encouragement and cultivation, people can learn to think for themselves, to form rational viewpoints, draw reasonable conclusions, think coherently and logically, persuade each other by reason and become reasonable persons, despite the deep-seated obstacles in the native character of the human mind and in society as we know it.

JC comment:  The defenders of the IPCC that slag off on the ‘deniers’ are putting their own perception of the higher interests of humankind above reason.  The combination of appealing to the IPCC consensus authority and the pejorative dismissal of ‘deniers’ is not consistent with giving the freest play to reason.

Fairmindedness: Having a consciousness of the need to treat all viewpoints alike, without reference to one’s own feelings or vested interests, or the feelings or vested interests of one’s friends, community or nation; implies adherence to intellectual standards without reference to one’s own advantage or the advantage of one’s group.

JC comment:  Journal editors, grant program managers, and reviewers need to pay special attention to this one.

JC summary:  Well these should be included on our list of New Year’s resolutions, we should remind ourselves of these traits at least once a year.  And consider seriously at least once a year whether we are fooling ourselves.

Each of us as individual scientists struggles with these issues in our own scientific research, evaluating the research of others, and communicating with the public. Often it is expedient and rewarding (in the short term) to take short cuts on these.  Individual shortcomings should get shaken out in the course of checks  and balances of the scientific process.

However, when these shortcomings are institutionalized, then we have a substantial problem.  It’s not just an issue of concern for the IPCC, for also for the professional societies and funding agencies.

I like this list, and will include it in our course for beginning graduate students on Introduction to Research and Ethics.  Some of you might be interested in exploring the criticalthinking.org website, it is a rich resource that I want to dig further into.

692 responses to “Can we avoid fooling ourselves?

  1. Some misunderstand the meaning of “critical” in “critical thinking”.

  2. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman
    _____

    I doubt I’m the easiest person to fool.

    • Indeed, Feynman was a great physicist but in analyzing human reasoning he favors the glib metaphors which are deeply meaningless. One cannot actually fool one’s self because when you fool someone you know you are doing it and when they are fooled they do not know it is being done. So you would have to both know and not know it was being done. Rationality is hard enough to understand without injecting confusions like this. In fact we do not understand it very well.

      • Valiant effort but I fear the Feynman fusillade is nigh upon us and not to be avoided.

      • Ms Judy has set us up.

      • “One cannot actually fool one’s self because when you fool someone you know you are doing it and when they are fooled they do not know it is being done. So you would have to both know and not know it was being done. ”

        When you go to a magic show, you are buying a ticket to be fooled.

        You are always fully responsible for being fooled- no one can, in a strict sense, do this do you.
        Humans are in sense “condtioned” to be fooled- or there are plenty of excuses, or one could say it’s not your fault.
        Or one could say certain level sanity, requires person to being susceptible to fraud. It is certainly desirable to have certain level of “social conditioning” or for society to function requires certain types/level of trust.
        Example, we should be able to live in a world, in which one doesn’t need
        to lock your doors- that would be a society ideal world. It also is ideal world for thieves.

      • Perhaps that is the reason that print circulation has dopped across the country. People are sick of the show.

      • Wishful thinking is an everyday form of fooling oneself and a large number of people indulge in it on a regular basis. Rationality has little or nothing to do with it; it’s more a mild form of delusion.

        In the CAGW context it plays out as “we should all switch to renewables and stop using hydrocarbons to save humanity from frying”. And although in that example the wishful thinking it is considerably more delusional than dreaming about winning the lottery, in both cases those involved are fooling themselves.

      • David Wojick:

        “the glib metaphors which are deeply meaningless. One cannot actually fool one’s self because when you fool someone you know you are doing it …”

        First of all, “glib metaphors which are deeply meaningless” is a glib statement, and surely “deeply meaningless” is both glib and meaningless.

        Still, lets pretend that you’re not just using rhetoric for effect.

        “One cannot actually fool one’s self because when you fool someone you know you are doing it …”

        If this is the extent of your understanding of the human condition then please, please, just hush. Stop writing. Take a time-out. Reflect. Relax.

        Come back to us when you know stuff.

      • You fool yourself when you make an error in reasoning and do not realize it. You are satisfied, even convinced, that your conclusions are correct. But since they are wrong conclusions, you have indeed fooled yourself.

      • Excellent article, Dr. Curry. Thank you.

        David Wojick wrote: One cannot actually fool one’s self because when you fool someone you know you are doing it

        David, while I generally agree with most of your opinions, this has to be one of the more questionable things you’ve written.

        Feynman didn’t intend to imply intentional plotting or actively conspiring to deceive ones own self or others when he wrote that. He only meant that we can easily come to believe as scientifically true, things that are not yet in evidence, or even things that are demonstrably false, because we have imperfect brains, with complex and competing motivations. He’s warning that we are all incapable of being 100% objective, that each scientist should be aware of his own biases and motivations, and they should be circumspect about all conclusions. He was warning that we’re all capable of confusing faith (of any kind) with scientific learning.

    • Max_OK, You are a living example of Richard Feynman’s observation.
      Of himself no less. Drive on.

    • Understanding how to fool oneselves helps with this Richard Muller quote:

      I would love to believe that the results of Mann et al. are correct, and that the last few years have been the warmest in a millennium.

      Love to believe? My own words make me shudder. They trigger my scientist’s instinct for caution. When a conclusion is attractive, I am tempted to lower my standards, to do shoddy work. But that is not the way to truth. When the conclusions are attractive, we must be extra cautious.

      http://muller.lbl.gov/TRessays/23-Medievalglobalwarming.html

    • “I doubt I’m the easiest person to fool.”

      Bravo! An excellent example of what Feynman was talking about.

    • But, Max_OK, you are certainly the most humble.

      • jim2, I am too humble. I’m trying to fix that.

      • You are doing an excellent job, Max.

      • jim2, my goal is to reduce my humbleness to just the right level (i.e., not too humble, but not too arrogant). The problem is I don’t know what’s the ideal level.

      • Max,

        That is just one of many things you do not know.

        My personal favorite is you thinking that talking to produce in the grocery store has the same effect as talking to living plants.

    • Somewhat ironically, your statement proves the point – by doubting your gullibility and diminishing your all too human nature to “hang” new knowledge on “old” mental constructs, as well as displaying your ability to dismiss “nonsense”, you show the classic traits of, umm, let’s say a “believer”. Kinda scarey, innit, when you realise that the people you denigrate for particular actions are in reality not that much different from yourself.
      None of which means I disagree with a lot of what you say – in fact, I find myself in good agreement with many of your comments here. But not this one. Fooling yourself is something that humans are, for better or worse, particularly adept at doing, and everyone does it, to varying degrees, in all aspects of their life – the spouse that turns a blind eye to a cheating partner, the mass murderers neighbour that says “he was always a quiet, helpful, polite and gentle person”, or, as in this case, the one who dismisses an observation about themselves because they are “not like that”. Sure Max, you are a reasonably logical person from what I’ve seen of your writings here, but you are still human, with all the good and bad points that go with it.

      • Thank, you Neil. When I said “I doubt I’m the easiest person to fool,” I simply mean it’s easier for me to fool someone else than it is to fool myself, and having done both I believe I can say that with confidence. I like to pull practical jokes, so I know it’s easy to fool people.

        If I fool myself more frequently that I fool others, it’s because I have more opportunities to fool myself, and I rarely purposely fool others for advantage. But I really don’t know how frequently I fool others unintentionally.

    • Max_OK

      I doubt I’m the easiest person to fool.

      Try some (intellectual) humility, Max_OK

      Max_CH

    • “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman
      _____

      I doubt I’m the easiest person to fool.”

      Stop telling yourself that six inches.

    • You are always an easy person to fool if you have the same biases as the person doing the fooling. If you are the one doing the fooling you have exactly the same biases. That makes you the easiest.

    • I’ll take the under line for the number of people who will agree.

  3. These are all noble aspirations, but I’m afraid they remain just that, abstract values that have very little to do with real life. I’d say you have much more faith in human nature than I do, Dr. C. It’s a better way to live, with faith and optimism. I just don’t have it in me/. In fact, getting interested in so-called global warming has served to make me more cynical than ever.

    • Science properly practiced, is the rejection of ‘human nature.’ You miss the point entirely. I mean the point of science.

      • Science is a methodology, nothing more. Science is not a belief system and not a “rejection of human nature”, science is a methodology only and has nothing to say about human nature. The scientific method is a means to knowledge of the physical world, that’s all, nothing more, nada, don’t turn science/method into a religion.

      • Science, properly practised, is the study of reality as it is. That reality includes human nature. Re pokerguy, those values are not abstract, most of us to a lesser or greater degree try to live within certain values, e.g. honesty and integrity.

  4. The IPCC is not a person so it does not have these sorts of intellectual traits except in a metaphorical sense which is likely to be misleading. The IPCC is a complex political organization and an arm of a much larger political organization, so its behavior needs to be understood in those terms.

    As for these noble sounding traits they are of course contradictory because rationality is a balancing act. There also seems to be an underlying theme that humans are naturally irrational which is just false. But then these folks are selling training in rationality so it is important to convince us that we do not have it already.

  5. Acknowledgment of ideological motivations sets everything right. After that science can rediscover the scientific method and begin downsizing government by renounce everyone in the education industry that gave wings the delusion of the ‘hockey stick’ and refused to acknowledge every fact that was in conflict with their soco-political agenda. It is time to furlough the disinformation controllers who have been directing society from their ivory towers.

  6. “Can we avoid fooling ourselves?”
    ==============================================
    “It is difficult to fool an intellectual, but once it has been done it is almost impossible to unfool this person”. (It is not mine, I do not remember who said that.)

    The climate debate verifies that.

  7. Dr Curry says:

    JC comment: The defenders of the IPCC that slag off on the ‘deniers’ are putting their own perception of the higher interests of humankind above reason. The combination of appealing to the IPCC consensus authority and the pejorative dismissal of ‘deniers’ is not consistent with giving the freest play to reason.

    I think the casual use of the term ‘denier’ muffles your point. As we all know, there are sceptics and ‘sceptics’ (aka deniers).

    The former group includes (or should include) all scientists. It is on the work of scientists that properly sceptical observers base their opinions.

    The deniers deny the provisional scientific conclusions and the consensus that has arisen from them in an entirely unsceptical manner.

    Attacking the weak arguments, misrepresentation, absence of corroborating evidence, lack of scepticism and unfortunately, frequently evident bad faith of deniers does not involve constraining the free play of reason.

    Deniers seek to suppress reason, as they must. Denial is unreasonable.

    • BBD: What you call denial and we call skepticism is perfectly reasonable. You are a good example.of Dr.Curry’s point in fact. You specifically appeal to the IPCC consensus combined with a pejorative dismissal, matching the point perfectly. Very funny that!

      • David Wojick

        What you call denial and we call skepticism is perfectly reasonable.

        No, it is not. Denial is not sceptical. Denial is denial.

        <blockquote<You specifically appeal to the IPCC consensus combined with a pejorative dismissal, matching the point perfectly. Very funny that!

        I don’t think you have understood my comment David.

      • BBD: Climate skepticism is the name of a particular position in the debate over climate change science and policy. It has nothing to do with some vague personality trait or philosophy called skepticism, which you are invoking and I think few scientists posses by the way. A climate skeptic is someone who accepts one or more of several specific arguments against AGW or CAGW, neither more nor less. Denial is the pejorative term for those same people used by their opponents.

        In short you are playing a semantic shell game. Climate skeptics do not have to be generally skeptical, whatever that might mean. In fact being too skeptical of everything would be a debilitating illness.

        Moreover, skepticism is rational because the arguments in question have some merit. The fact is that reasonable people can look at the same evidence and come to opposite conclusions. This is an important fact about rationality, one of the most important..

      • Denial is the accurate description of a type of unreasonably rejectionist stance widely adopted by self-styled ‘sceptics’.

        In fact being too skeptical of everything would be a debilitating illness.

        See ‘unreasonably rejectionist’. And I agree. The results are pathological.

      • BBD

        Denial is the accurate description of a type of unreasonably rejectionist stance widely adopted by self-styled ‘sceptics’…The results are pathological.

        C’mon, now you cannot seriously believe that those who are rationally skeptical of some part of the IPCC “CAGW” premise are “unreasonably rejectionist” and hence “pathological”, can you?

        Max

    • BBD said, “The deniers deny the provisional scientific conclusions and the consensus that has arisen from them in an entirely unsceptical manner.”

      A fair amount of the “consensus” is BS. You need to figure out what part is BS before you can determine if the “deniers” are denying sound science or the BS that should not only be denied but brought kicking and screaming to the light.

      The “consensus” is that 2/3 of the impact of CO2 doubling is to be due to H2O amplification. Is that sound science or is that BS?

      • The “consensus” is that 2/3 of the impact of CO2 doubling is to be due to H2O amplification. Is that sound science or is that BS?

        Does the existing greenhouse effect demonstrate a synergy between non-condensing GHGs and WV? Or not?

      • BBD, Not and it should not. CO2 changes the effective radiant altitude and efficiency of one non-condensable gas. The synergy is assumed. If above the CO2 ERL is a higher colder place, there would be less H2O above that ERL because H2O is condensable. Below the CO2 ERL, it would be warmer. Warmer air can hold more water vapor, warmer air with more water vapor starts condensation at a higher temperature. The H2O ERL and CO2 ERL separation increases.

        I don’t know if you have noticed, but there has been a bit of discussion on tropical ozone depletion, Sudden Stratospheric Warming, increase in the diurnal temperature range, lower “sensitivity” estimates and less atmospheric water vapor than predicted. Is that consistent with your expected synergy?

      • Cap’n

        See Lacis et al. (2010). Science brief here.

        Discussed on this very blog by Dr Lacis himself.

      • BBD, I know, he actually made a few valuable comments here despite a hostile audience :) However, he still avoided the “red meat” of the issue. The red meat being, increased rate of convection, lowering of average cloud height, stratosphere ozone depletion due to water vapor/aerosol chemistry, less atmospheric water vapor, less than anticipated tropical and ocean warming, all the stuff that has Santers recommending the do over :)

        Remember, the IPCC range is not science based but politically based. Manabe was in the lower end camp and Hansen (with Lacis) in the higher end camp. That political compromise produced the “range of comfort” that Stephens mentions.

      • Capn

        You appear to be arguing that the climate system is insensitive to GHG forcing. I think this will prove difficult to substantiate. Or do I misunderstand you?

        all the stuff that has Santers recommending the do over :)

        What do you have in mind here? I’d be interested to read what Santer said in context – would you mind posting a link?

        Remember, the IPCC range is not science based but politically based.

        Let’s be clear: are you suggesting that the range of climate sensitivity estimates summarised in WG1 is ‘not science based but politically based’? Is that what you mean or do I misunderstand you?

      • BBD, “Let’s be clear: are you suggesting that the range of climate sensitivity estimates summarised in WG1 is ‘not science based but politically based’? Is that what you mean or do I misunderstand you?”

        That is exactly what I am saying and what Stephens was saying. The initial “range” was based on a compromise between two scientists. Once a “range” is established, it is difficult to move outside of that range.

        CO2 definitely has an impact, but there is no good reason to believe that it is linear by any stretch of the imagination or that water vapor response is in any way dominated by CO2.

        Judith’s humility and fooling yourself posts may be influenced by the opinion of Graeme Stephens and others that note the impact of a “range of comfort” both on the science and the funding of the science.

      • Capn

        That is exactly what I am saying and what Stephens was saying. The initial “range” was based on a compromise between two scientists. Once a “range” is established, it is difficult to move outside of that range.

        The Charney sensitivity was political? How is a median estimate based on limited data political? You will have to demonstrate this. Assertion will not do.

        And we’ve come a long way since 1979. But estimates for the most probable value for ECS to 2xCO2 have converged on ~3C. This is politics? It looks like science to me. WG1 reviews the state of the science.

        CO2 definitely has an impact, but there is no good reason to believe that it is linear by any stretch of the imagination or that water vapor response is in any way dominated by CO2.

        This is more argument by assertion. Have there been published responses to Lacis et al. (2010) demonstrating that its conclusions are wrong?

        I’m still very interested in the Santer link btw.

      • Sorry, Bubba, once the fog cleared, observation based estimates are closing on a figure barely over no-feedback sensitivity. Still lost in the fog? Lissen to the Cap’n.
        ==========

      • BBD, “The Charney sensitivity was political?” How do you build a consensus, scientifically or politically? Either by compromise or by over whelming need/evidence. Manabe had a lower estimate than Hansen. The final range is based on Manabe and Hansen’s combined range with an “agreeable” uncertainty. That would be a compromise.

        “This is more argument by assertion. Have there been published responses to Lacis et al. (2010) demonstrating that its conclusions are wrong?” Not that I am aware of. There are a growing number of papers indicating a lower end on the “range of comfort”. Solomon has a paper on stratospheric ozone depletion that steps gingerly around the low end, Santers paper is rather interesting, Trenberth’s turning to selected models also interesting, Stephens’ reduex Earth Energy Budget and comments extremely interesting, but no one has broken from the pack, other than the usual suspects. Though I suspect Annan and Hargreaves are close to bolting.

        So do you avoid fooling yourself by ignoring the growing evidence? Remember, the models were tweaked with aerosols to maintain the “range of comfort” despite constant denial that that had happened. Judith made a big point about that ref. attribution. How do you use a “tuned” model to determine attribution? You don’t.

      • Capn

        How do you build a consensus, scientifically or politically? Either by compromise or by over whelming need/evidence.

        Scientific consensus emerges from converging results.

        So far you have asserted, but not demonstrated, that:

        – ECS estimates from Charney to AR5 are political not scientific

        – The climate system is insensitive to GHG forcing

        – Lacis was wrong

        I’m neither shaken nor stirred ;-)

      • BBD, So you are not shaken nor stirred? I am shocked that you doubt me.

        I bet you even think I am fooling myself :)

      • I bet you even think I am fooling myself :)

        You are arguing from assertion…

        So what else can I conclude?

      • And where’s that Santer link?

    • Looking at all this from the outside, I think you have it all backwards. Watching the interaction and the reasoning between both groups led me to be more sympathetic to the so called deniers for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the lack of professionalism by the warmists.

    • mike –

      What’s up with the sock?

      • Darn! I just can’t seem to fool you, Josh. Bet BBD fell for the “sock” though–but I mean, like, he’s such a clueless dim-wit, who couldn’t get over on him! And I guess this means ol’ WebHub will be crankin’ out some cranky comment about the criminal immorality of “sock-puppetry” and all. I mean, like, I really hate it when WebHub chews my butt in public! Though if my sock-puppet moniker screws up Web’s little tracking system, then, I must confess, I’m really not that sorry about the whole deal.

        So what gave my “sock” away, Josh?

      • mike –

        So what gave my “sock” away, Josh?

        Why your searing logic, profound insight, and elegant prose, of course.

        No one else but comes even close to that stunning combination. Just one sentence is like a DNA analysis – I’d put it at six million to one odds.

      • oops, I uttered the name that is verboten! – comment to moderation!!!

      • Re: verboten name

        So now we can’t call out the crackpots?

        In reply to someone who called Michael Mann a crackpot, I listed 40 commenters who would be more deserving of that title.

        But my comment was held on moderation and never appeared.

        This place has jumped the shark and has started to protect the holy skeptical crackpots who reside here.

        Bye-bye. I am out of here for good.

      • Did Nadolf Nitler jumped the shark? That is alarming!

      • Mayan cliff–

        Not until America did the culture of a super power point to the immediacy of its own demize as job accomplished. For example, the Mayan culture in 3372 BC pointed to their ultimate demise five millenia hence when they predicted their culture would come to an end in 2012.

      • Socialism cliff–

        What the Mayans saw as thousands of years of prosperity ahead is what the Left sees today as the end of their world without more and more taxes on the productive to keep the good ship Ponzi afloat for yet another day.

      • IPCC Cliff–

        It is sort of funny, especially knowing what we know. Consider the science underlying the ‘hockey stick’ graph: it was an exercise in predicting from past data a future the likes of which has never occurred in the past. From a federal climatist’s perspective, climate was flat until the end of the 20th century. Warming and cooling never occurred. To the followers of the ‘hockey stick’ the MWP and LIA never really happened. AGW theory in a nutshell was showcased on the world stage using the ‘hockey stick.’ What you have to realize is that the Western academic community stood silent in the face of a political movement that used nothing but a computer graph to show that there was no climate prior to the end of the 20th Century.

      • Logic Cliff–

        “The most ancient parts of truth . . . also once were plastic. They also were called true for human reasons. They also mediated between still earlier truths and what in those days were novel observations. Purely objective truth, truth in whose establishment the function of giving human satisfaction in marrying previous parts of experience with newer parts played no role whatsoever, is nowhere to be found. The reasons why we call things true are the reason why they are true, for ‘to be true’ means only to perform this marriage-function.” (William James)

      • Webbie

        As I am one of your crackpots for daring to cite Breughel -as do many climate scientists- I suppose I ought to be glad to see the back of you in the hope you would take the time out to read up on well authenticated (by science) historical and literary references.

        However, your by now legendary short sightedeness on the subject of historical climatology aside, you sometimes say interesting things, so I must in all fairness point out that, as far as I am aware, the ‘verboten’ comment was nothing at all to do with crackpots and your reply was therefore irrelevant -and consequently the original comment on a verboten subject as well as yours was therefore moderated. There is no rhyme or reason sometimes for this, I have had three or four very innocous remarks removed myself

        Love the idea of being a prorected species as a ‘holy sceptical crackpot’. Is it salaried?

        I also love the idea of you becoming politer and more open minded to views that don’t coincide with yours, though that seems unlikely at present. Come back Webbie
        tonyb

      • Good points Tony. I agree that WHT sometimes comes across as rude and opinionated but I have always listened to what he had to say because he is passionate about the subjects that interests him. I hope that he continues to post further articles but suggest that he engages more with people who disagrees with his views on his website and not do the same thing that he accuses Judith in his parting remarks.

      • Peter Davies

        Well put! Let’s hope he returns and becomes more open minded
        Tonyb

      • The nesting issue in WordPress does indeed remove all comments under the original offending comment and drops them to the foot of the thread. I’m not sure that these comments would disappear entirely? It may well be moderation being applied but I disbelieve that Tony B would ever say anything offensive.

      • Peter

        Thank you for your vote of confidence

        Someone made a comment entirely unrelated to crackpots but related to a theory which is apparently verboten. I innocently responded to that asking what it was about. Webbie thought the subsequent moderation concerned his little list and took offence. As far as Im aware the offending and deleted comment had nothing to do with it.
        tonyb

      • Not so fast, Buster; you have bizness over on the millikelv. thread.
        =========

      • Who is Richard Windsor?

        Heh. Web calling the kettle a crackpot.

      • Someone called Michael Mann a crackpot? What should we do about that, lynch Dr. Tim Ball? Perhaps CRU and Penn State should be given a Nobel.

      • From global warming alarmism to the ruction of the traditional Judeo-Christian morals and ethics that underlie respect for truth upon which the scientific method relies, the 47’rs have pushed the country off the financial cliff.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        WHT,

        Don’t know what this business is all about, but hope you reconsider coming back. I hope that JC is not falling along the lines of WUWT in not allowing the term “deniers” to be used and to be called out as such, with appropriate distinction being made between real skeptics, deniers, and the True Believer AGW faithful. Skeptics can be warmists or not, based on their own experience and scientific understanding, but Deniers and AGW True Believers are more akin to each other in that their positions are based on belief (not reason) and ideology.

      • Gates, the names have always puzzled me. Too much religion for my taste.

        I am a foodie, so mild, medium, hot, red hot and nuclear would be more informative :) Web was pretty secretive about his sauce classification.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Captdallas,

        I agree on the “too much religion” point, hence why I am a skeptic, and clearly understand what it means to be such. An honest skeptic should clearly state and understand:

        1) What they hold as “provisionally” true
        2) Why they hold that as provisionally true
        3) What it would take for them to modify or abandon that position
        4) The necessity to to then proceed to look for any evidence to cause #3 to happen.

        This would make much better scientists, and we could leave the AGW “True Believers” and AGW “Deniers” alone to argue religion, politics, and other ideological notions with each other.

      • I’ll play :)

        1) What they hold as “provisionally” true
        That a doubling of CO2 will increase the resistance to atmospheric heat loss by approximately 4 Wm-2 per doubling.
        2) Why they hold that as provisionally true
        It is one of the only things that can be reasonably estimated :)
        3) What it would take for them to modify or abandon that position
        Some evidence that increased CO2 will cause a significant self-feedback, such as runaway outgassing or greater than expected uptake by the biosphere.
        4) The necessity to then proceed to look for any evidence to cause #3 to happen. Monitoring is in place in the atmosphere, could use more information on the oceans, quite a bit more actually.

        Sad huh? That puts me in the mild to medium sauce category.

      • You left out your comma.

      • Praise God anyway. Thank you.

      • There is nothing the government can do — in for example the name of global warming– that will not result in a net decrease in the net wealth of the nation. Fact are facts: going forward, other than downsizing the expense of government — i.e., eliminating itself — there is nothing government can do other than redistribute wealth in ways that will discourage the generation of net present wealth.

      • I hope it wasn’t anything to do with me pointing out to you that supercritical CO2 has nothing to do with its infrared properties – I thought you’d at least face up to your mistake.
        Having said that, you provided a classic example of the myriad ways that seemingly intelligent people can fool themselves – you by assuming a connection which simply doesn’t exist.

      • Webby, your mom would be proud

      • Well spotted Joshua, I always thought Mike’s choice of words tended towards being searing of warmists with far-out adjectives. The jaycurrie post was quite moderate in tone.

      • Peter,

        My post, to which Josh refers, was actually directed at BBD and his up-thread “denier”-laden riff. I agree with your characterization of jay currie’s post.

        Not that all that really matters since my sock-puppet comment is no more.

      • Thanks for your clarification Mike. I had made an incorrect assumption and butted in when I shouldn’t have. All the best for the new year.

      • The only explanation for continuing government wind power subsidies in 2013 is 20 years of too much government hot air.

      • Allowing government to plan the economy is like allowing the government to print money and tax what is left of the productive economy to fund studies on the most important words in the English language to use to communicate future laws that the people are responsible for understanding and following.

      • You may not like the government printing money, but I do. I wish the government would print a lot more money.

      • My previous comment was a reply to Wagathon, who doesn’t like money.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Wheelbarrows full of money, eh? Like this, from 1930’s Germany?

        $100,000 for a loaf of bread, eh? Walmart parking lots would then be full of empty carts and empty wheelbarrows!

      • Some people make out with inflation. I have, and look forward to doing it some more.

      • The ‘hockey stick’ may enjoy renewed popularity as a forecast of human-caused inflation.

    • Matthew R Marler

      BBD: I think the casual use of the term ‘denier’ muffles your point. As we all know, there are sceptics and ‘sceptics’ (aka deniers).

      I doubt that you could come up with useful, reasonably unambiguous, operational definitions that clearly distinguish between “sceptics” and “‘sceptics’ (aka deniers)”. I sometimes conjecture that AGW promoters use the word “sceptic” to denote a true believer pretending for a time to be skeptical.

    • BBD says: “Denial is unreasonable.”
      ===============================================

      I do not like the word “denial” because of the holocaust connotation, but the notion is valid, of course, and fully applies to warmists.

      The “warming via back radiation” hypothesis is 150 years old and was debunked 100 years ago by a simple experiment (http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html). Still, the IPCC maintains: “The Sun powers Earth’s climate, radiating energy at very short wavelengths, … the Earth must, on average, radiate the same amount of energy back to space … the Earth … radiates at much longer wavelengths, primarily in the infrared part of the spectrum (see Figure 1). Much of this thermal radiation emitted by the land and ocean is absorbed by the atmosphere, including clouds, and reradiated back to Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect.”

      This is so unreasonable from the scientific point of view.

    • Like the rest of the fools undermining climate science, BVD is convinced he can insult his opponents into submission. Works so well elsewhere.

    • Attacking the weak arguments, misrepresentation, absence of corroborating evidence, lack of scepticism and unfortunately, frequently evident bad faith of deniers believers does not involve constraining the free play of reason.

      There, fixed it for you.

  8. Everyone does realize that business pays a tax on every employee it hires, right? The government owns owns you and lets you to business for a fee. This is not your grandfather’s America. The grandfathers were not so easily stampeded by government scientists who peddle fears about the weather to maintain control over the herd.

    • Wagathon, your cowboy instincts are backwards. You don’t stamped cattle to maintain control over the herd. A reason for controlling the herd is to prevent stampedes.

      • Incomplete metaphor. Just add a cliff and a little musicology.
        ==========

      • Max_OK and kim

        Okie knows how the cowboys do it.

        But the Indians (native Americans, that is) did purposely stampede the buffalos over a cliff for easy hunting

        Check “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump” in Alberta.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-Smashed-In_Buffalo_Jump

        Max_CH

      • When you are lazy (Leftists call it thinking smarter) you stampede the herd in the direction you want them to go; then, they can just follow. Leftists don’t actually ‘work’ the herd; Leftist don’t actually care about getting top dollar for us beasties. The Left’s role is more like hectoring gadflies a ritual bleeding of those who actually do all the work. The idea of Jesus the noble goatherd is will always be lost on the Left.

      • Waggy, I urge you to stay away from livestock. Even chickens could get you in trouble.

        A never, and I do mean NEVER, fool around with wild animals, no matter how harmless they may appear.

  9. Even Oreskes (one of the more contentious and self-assured commentators on climate) said: “If the history of science teaches anything, it is humility …” One thing that we find in the climate debate is a near absence of humility. But maybe it mirrors the political debate where once again extremists on both sides are sure they are right?

    • The paradox of the ‘skeptics’ – they entertain no doubt as to the correctness of their views, while the arrogant scientists express their views in terms of levels of confidence.

      • I true sceptic asks for supporting evidence and seeks evidence to the contrary, then comes to a conclusion.

        Exceptions and outliers are where the interesting bits (and the grant money!) live.

        A true scientific discovery answers many questions well and the good ones then also ask many more, although at a “higher” level. The journey is endless and the path sometimes is convoluted, sometimes strays far from the straightest line or even goes backwards, but the variety of preconceptions brought to bear by the great diversity of our cultures eventually gets us to the next milestone. Inevitably, a great many things we thought we knew have, and will, turn out to be wrong, but that does not mean that we should not trust what we know, merely that we should be aware that it could be wrong or incomplete and so should not build too great an edifice using just logic, or we risk the old “fire, water, earth and air” view of the world taking hold of our “knowledge”! IMO, this is the path climate science is currently on, although it would appear to be taking a deep breath, the tiller is moving even and if the helm is slow to respond, we will make the turn back to the correct course sooner or later – hopefully before we hit the iceberg.

        Every one of the points in the post is important – fail at any one, and your “answers” will most likely be wrong at some point and in some way. It may even do so if you manage to follow them all. That JC believes “the establishment” has failed on at least one is cause for serious concern, IMO. YMMV.

      • <blockquote…while the arrogant scientists express their views in terms of levels of over-confidence.

        There. That fixed it.

        Max

    • But maybe it mirrors the political debate where once again extremists on both sides are sure they are right?

      I think it more than just mirrors political debate – it is largely a proxy for the political debate, or at least tribal warfare. It is just one battlefield in a larger war.

      • From Donald’s blog:

        Unfortunately, these websites invite anyone and everyone to submit their idiotic comments below each web report, and there is so much chaff therein that it is hardly worth the effort to find the few small nuggets of wheat buried in the hundreds of inputs, mostly by people with pseudonyms who do not have the courage to identify themselves and stand behind their comments. Many of these comments are personal and nasty.

        Oy!

      • David Springer

        “people with pseudonyms who do not have the courage to identify themselves and stand behind their comments”

        Hit a little close to home, did it?

  10. “Fairmindedness: Having a consciousness of the need to treat all viewpoints alike, without reference to one’s own feelings or vested interests, or the feelings or vested interests of one’s friends, community or nation; implies adherence to intellectual standards without reference to one’s own advantage or the advantage of one’s group.”
    ______

    Treating all view points alike sounds good to me, but should fairmindedness extend to critics of climate scientist who express their points of view in malicious, false, and defamatory statements? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine treating slander fairly.

    • “…malicious, false, and defamatory statements? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine treating slander fairly.”

      Then perhaps you could, at the very least, extend this to BOTH sides of the debate? It’s not only some sceptics that are frothing at the mouth certain they are right, you know – certain “believers” also display this very same trait. There are even hints of it in your very own post, no less.

    • Max_OK

      Slander is slander, whether it comes from a skeptic of the “consensus view” or a supporter.

      The same goes for malicious, false and defamatory statements.

      These are just examples of lousy behavior.

      What Judith is discussing is not being “fairminded” to lousy behavior but to other viewpoints.

      It’s not easy, to be sure, but it is a good goal.

      Max

  11. “sensitivity to bias, prejudice and limitations of one’s viewpoint”

    “we must not passively and uncritically ‘accept’ what we have ‘learned.’”

    “the ability to reconstruct accurately the viewpoints and reasoning of others”

    “the willingness to remember occasions when we were wrong in the past”

    ” to hold one’s self to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to which one holds one’s antagonist”

    “to practice what one advocates for others; and to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in one’s own thought and action”

    ” faith that, with proper encouragement and cultivation, people can learn to think for themselves”

    “persuade each other by reason and become reasonable persons”

    These principles are the antithesis of what is taught in public schools and universities today.

    There is only one truth.

    Those who disagree are stupid or evil or both.

    Outlets of dissenting speech are to be vilified, avoided, and if possible, shut down.

    Science is determined by polling the numbers who believe in the current consensus.

    Critical analysis of one’s own position is to be avoided at all costs, just like sources of dissenting opinion.

    Never admit any error, no matter how blindingly obvious.

    Don’t think for yourself, just accept what authority tells you.

    If you want to see the tatters in which our culture has left the concept of humility, just read the comments on that prior thread.

  12. “How can scientists avoid fooling themselves.”

    I don’t think this is the relevant issue.

    The relevant issue is “how can we best oppose the scientists that are trying to fool us?”

    Andrew

  13. Both this and the previous thread raise only one question:

    Who are the participants in climate discussion who have greatest problems with humility or who are fooling themselves?

    Both issues apply to individuals, not to organizations.

    • There is a feedback effect between individuals and organizations. Public statements by organizations, and institutional practices such as editorial peer review and consensus seeking, influence individuals. And of course collections of individuals influence the institutions. And funding is a feedback amplifier.

      • Good thing there ain’t no consensus seeking here at Climate Etc., eh?

        Certainly no public statements from organizations that create “feedback amplifiers” amongst “skeptics.”

        http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/246211-gop-platform-slams-military-focus-on-climate-change

        Jim Inhofe: “I have offered compelling evidence that catastrophic global warming is a hoax.”

        These phenomena only exist among those who disagree with Judith’s perspective on the science.

        Coincidentally, of course.

      • Uh oh.

        If I call “MMTDIF” on myself, does it get me off the hook?

      • There are feedbacks but I don’t think that the problems are related strongly to individual humility or fooling oneself.

        To the extent practices differ in climate science from other sciences with similar mixture of basic and applied science that seems to be due to the practical importance of the science (real or at least perceived) for policies and decision making. The way skeptics interested in science entered the scene was also new for scientists.

        In every field there are scientists who would benefit from more humility. I don’t think climate science is any different in that. The same applies to self-deception. The perceived direct importance leads, however, to the kind of questions Stephen Schneider was pondering and to many different choices in how to react to those issues.

  14. There really is a conspiracy: peek behind the curtain and you discover that those who work for the government are not there to serve your interests of those who are paying all of the bills and they could care less about what you want–to the government you are nothing but a mark and they are running a numbers racket on you. The government is selling you protection from the government and government-sponsored global warming alarmism is proof you are not getting your money’s worth.

    • Waggy, if you believe the government is playing you for a chump, you should take credit for your humility, and thank the government for giving you the opportunity to show how humble you are.

      • Social security is an example of the government perpetrating a ruse on the public. It has however been easily accessible knowledge since the 70s that the social security system is a ponzi scheme. Every voter that knowlingly acquieced in in the fraud has been foolish or worse. Anyone who really had no clue about the fraud was fool. Anyone who does not undestand that the chickens have come home to roost is fooling themselves.

      • Waggy, the best thing about Social Security is it’s the anti-government ideologue’s worst nightmare. Would second be Medicare or Obamacare?

  15. As St Paul said “Love of money is the root of all evil”. The above list does not even mention money and it would be a brave researcher who put their department’s funding at jeopardy by accepting some of the points of the sceptics. This might already have happened. The paper by Zhou and Tung (Deducing Multi-decadal Anthropogenic Global. Warming Trends Using Multiple Regression Analysis. J. Atmos. Sci.) which did something similar to Foster and Rahmstorf (F&R), but using the AMO rather than ENSO, showed that the underlying rate of global temperature increase was half that estimated by F&R.

    A Google search on Zhou and Tung + anthropogenic threw up handful of links; one of which was to WUWT and one to commentary on my own site:

    http://www.climatedata.info/Discussions/Discussions/opinions.php

    If they are right, a huge dose of Intellectual Humility will be required.

    • Ron Manley

      You say you had a paper rejected. What reasons were given?

      • That it would not be of interest to the readers.

      • RM

        Have you tried other journals? Z&T is an interesting, indeed controversial result. If your research supports that result, it is of interest.

        Perhaps our host might be prepared to let you present your results in a guest post here? Would you be prepared to ask her? FWIW, you can quote me endorsing the idea. It seems like an ideal guest post but that said, that’s not for me to say… ;-)

      • Ron

        I agree with BBD that it looks an interesting subject to present here

        Tonyb

      • Thanks to BBD and ClimateReason for the suggestion. It was at the back of my mind and I had already started working on a version.

    • “As St Paul said “Love of money is the root of all evil” ”

      Money is a tool of trade.
      Money represents and is something tradeable.
      The love of wealth might be a trap that ensnares one’s attention.
      But the love of opposite of wealth- poverty is perverse.
      Poverty is something that should be avoided. Though not feared or despised.
      Having world in which there is billions living in poverty, is not moral to be unconcerned about- it’s something that should be changed.

      I would change it to: “Love of power is root of all evil”.
      It is the love of power which causes there to be poverty in this world. The love power that includes idea that people should be kept poor [or confined to station that lacks opportunity] and no one should more powerful than thee, which the problem/root of evil.
      A tIn pot dictator has more power [locally] if the people which are ruled are poor.
      Poor people need this greasy scumbag and are dependent upon his every
      whim. If instead they were more wealthy they wouldn’t be so dependent on the dictator.
      When talking about poor people the love of wealth or money is essentially the love life- which hardly the root of evil.

      So the cause of poverty is all about power- not really about how much money a dictator has. For the rich to be more powerful they need poor people.

      And it’s the inhibition of trade which results in the lack of wealth. All tIn pot dictator are inhibiting trade in various ways- and they generally say it’s for the good of the poor [which it certainly is not].
      It not so much that the rich might channel trade, it’s that most others are outlawed and legally inhibited from engaging in trade. This can done in many ways and many reasons can given for doing it.
      But it should dead easy to see tyranny when tIn pot dictators are stopping people from leaving the hellhole they have created. The prevention of leaving “the plantation” is the most obvious indication of slavery. People should not forced to leave their homes, but they should have at least the right to get out of dodge.

      Btw, a more obvious source of evil in the days of St Paul was the commonplace of slavery. Perhaps he addressing this problem, by saying,
      “Love of money is the root of all evil”- because with money anyone could buy slaves.

  16. lemme guess.

    The answer to Judith’s question: “Are we fooling ourselves?” is that w/r/t herself, and “skeptics,” her answer is “no” or she is simply silent or apparently doesn’t think the question is relevant.

    W/r/t the IPCC, or scientists who disagree with her in the interpretation of the evidence, her answer is “Yes.”

    Of course, perspective on the science is purely coincidental to her answer.

    Of course.

    • Joshua

      On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being highly sceptical of cagw and 10 fully accepting it, where would you place Judith?

      I use the word cagw to denote serious warming and serious consequences as regards extreme weather events.
      Tonyb

      • tony –

        I have read Judith say that she sees no likely “existential threat” within the 21rst century. (I agree with her there – and as I interpret the work of most climate scientists, I think that they are in agreement as well.) So on that time frame, I’d put her at about a “2” or so?

        It is beyond that point were it gets tricky. I guess at beyond that point, we’d have to go with her assignment of probabilities w/r/t levels of climate sensitivity – which would maybe put her in the 4-6 range? It’s a tough translation to make, as the determination of where “serious consequences” overlaps with CS magnitude is somewhat vague. There seems little doubt that she advocates for adaptation at regional levels (well, except that she says that she isn’t an advocate).

        Do you disagree with my assessment?

      • Joshua

        Sorry for delay but I was watching the royal institution Christmas lecture on chemistry on tv. Very interesting.

        I first came across Judith a few years ago when she was using data from the southern ocean for a paper. I remember pointing out that we didn’t have enough data from that ocean to make any definitive pronouncements. At that time I would have put her at 7 to 8 ( that is now using a sort of decibel analogy whereby a 9 is far more pro cagw than an 8 and a 10 far more than a 9)

        Over the last few years I would scale her back to a 6 to 7,still decidedly from the warm side but edging towards a more neutral position If we take 5 as neutral. I certainly would not call her a sceptic (yet!)

        Tonyb

    • Joshua

      You guessed wrong.

      Max

  17. Interesting article in the WSJ on fooling yourself

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304543904577398173827749672.html

    I especially like the idea of the ‘pre-mortem’

    • “Experiments at racetracks and elsewhere have shown that people who bet on an outcome become up to three times more confident that it will occur than people who didn’t put up any money.”

      Gee, you’d think he was writing about the climate debate. And that’s just for those who bet on an outcome with a few spare bucks. Imagine how the percentage would skew for folks who had bet their professional reputation and future income (salaries, grants, etc.) on CAGW?

      • “Experiments at racetracks and elsewhere have shown that people who bet on an outcome become up to three times more confident that it will occur than people who didn’t put up any money.”
        _____

        HA HA ! That might explain why those who didn’t bet didn’t bet. And those who did bet were more confident or they wouldn’t have bet. I doubt the betters lacked confidence before betting, then became more confident after placing their bets.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Max_OK: I doubt the betters lacked confidence before betting, then became more confident after placing their bets.

        Actually, that is exactly what happened. The act of betting increased the levels of confidence of the bettors that they had placed good bets, i.e., that the alternatives they chose were the best alternatives. This was strictly a before/after comparison of the people who did bet, excluding non-betters.

      • I’m sorry, Matthew, but that makes little sense to me. I can’t relate to it. I used to play poker frequently when I lived in Vegas, and I never felt more confident after placing a bet, nor did I see any evidence of this in other poker players. The notion my odds of winning increased just because I bet or called a bet is ludicrous. But I consider myself and those I played with as fairly intelligent people. Perhaps people who play the horses aren’t as intelligent as poker players.

      • Max,

        That part above about not fooling yourself – you may want to reconsider.

        The fact you have played poker apparently makes you think you have a good understanding on the thinking process of a better. You’ve just managed to fool yourself.

    • Daniel Kahneman covers the pre-mortem process and cognitive biases issues and failings of human judgment in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow”. Good read.

    • Back when I was just starting we had a project where we were repairing and securing dilapidated contaminated structures at a radiological contaminated federal site. One of our requirements before boots were in the field was to formally assess those things that could go wrong, what the consequences might be, the costs/impacts of the event, how it might be marginalized to the extent possible, etc. This had to be done as upfront with formal documentation, review, and signoff. This was done both by the civil engineers and by radiological protection. I suspect a number of people here have seen/been involved with similar practices.

      I think the pre-mortem, while more informal, is very similar. It seems strange to me, that the further away one gets from the field (and the the greater the costs and impacts) the more remote such concepts seem. EISs were supposed to do this but they seem to be more pieces in legal gamesmanship than tools.

  18. When dealing with a subject like climate, where one wishes to model it and draw valid conclusions so that the precautionary principle can be sensibly applied to resource management, it should be recognised how it differs from most other areas of team based scientific endeavour.

    Most real world, team based science, is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, where some parts are discovered and some are manufactured to make a complete, manageable system. An example of this would be say medicine, where although the full system of a human body may not be fully understood, different components like surgical techniques, drugs etc are able to be individually developed, tested and integrated into a process with continual improvement to treat illness. Individuals involved in medical research may suffer some of the intellectual traits highlighted above but will be found out eventually if they compromise the science for other reasons, because ultimatley there will be results to measure.

    Some aspects are like climate where say new drugs may adversely interact with other drugs in a none obvious or predicted way but proper testing and trials will find most of these issues and processes will me modified appropriately for the good of the patient.

    From what I’ve observed of climate science over the 5 years I have been following the global warming/climate change debate/science, some things strike me. There is no subject matter expert that covers all the aspects of the system who can integrate them together (this is what models try to do but clearly fail). There are few trials that can be done to test/measure components of the system and their reactions to perturbations of other components. The single thing that the whole anthropogenic climate change debate is trying to assess is: Will it become more dangerous than the good achieved by its causes?

    So it has a simply stated objective, but a complex, non-linear, multidisciplinary scientific basis that compared to say medicine, puts climate science it in its infancy. There are no bits of a solution just an overarching solution that can only be tested over very many years.

    Hence humility on all sides of the debate is necessary, nobody knows the answer and anybody who claims they do is a charlatan.

    If one takes a narrow piece of science like General Relativity, within months of its formulation, Eddington was testing its predictions on the precession of the orbit of Mercury. I’ve seen no confirmed predictions of climate models.

    What is on our side is that the climate process is very slow and human technological development by contrast is very quick. Perfect for snake oil salesmen and considered precaution.

  19. There is another aspect of this as well. The most interesting, fascinating, and economically exploitable discoveries I’ve made have been derived from experiments that did not yield the result expected. We often create intellectual constructs to organize in our heads how we think a path of inquiry should proceed. But then an experiment gets done, not even necessarily in the same project, that says reality is somewhat different than theory. Sometimes when this happens you find you can do something that you previously had thought would simply not work.
    I suspect there are opportunities for significant discoveries in climate science where presumptions about natural climate variation have closed off avenues of research because they are presumed to be insignificant. I always wonder how constrained young scientists in this field must be because the easy money research dollars most always support a single mechanism.

  20. Someone else posted the comments below on another blog site. I copied them because I agree.

    “What does a “denier” deny? Certainly not Climate Change: nor global warming since records began in the late 19th century: nor the likelihood of human influence on temperatures. What, then? A “denier” denies certainty on a complex and still young scientific subject. A “denier” questions assumptions about the near irrelevance of solar, oceanic and other non-anthropogenic influences on temperature. A “denier” prefers evidence to model projections. A “denier” tests alarming predictions against
    actual observations. In short, a “denier” exhibits the symptoms of a genuine seeker after scientific truth.

    The term climate “denier” is a deliberate attempt at hijacking the historical
    relevance of the holocaust in order to prevent scientific debate. Scientists and journalists that use the term should hang their heads in shame.”

    • Bones uses the word “denier” six times in describing deniers, then concludes those who use the word ” should hang their heads in shame.” I like Bones’ sense of humor.

      • Max_OK

        You’ll note

        – that the quotation cited by “bones” is by someone else and
        – that the word “denier” is in quotation marks.

        Get it?

        Max

      • manacker

        A denier disputes the scientific consensus without providing a widely accepted scientific counter-argument. The problem here is that you need a robust scientific case to challenge a scientific consensus.

      • BBD

        A denier disputes the scientific consensus without providing a widely accepted scientific counter-argument. The problem here is that you need a robust scientific case to challenge a scientific consensus.

        FALSE.

        A “denier” does NOT need “a widely accepted scientific counter-argument” to be rationally skeptical of the IPCC “consensus” view on CAGW.

        All a rational skeptic needs to insist on is empirical evidence in support of the “consensus” view (Feynman).

        If that empirical evidence is lacking (as is the case today), the rational skeptic can continue being rationally skeptical.

        Pretty simple, actually.

        Max

      • manacker said on December 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm
        Max_OK

        You’ll note

        – that the quotation cited by “bones” is by someone else and
        – that the word “denier” is in quotation marks.
        ______

        So what ? Quoting the word is using the word, and Bones quotes that word a lot. I was shocked. I cringed each time I read that word.

        Now that I have re-read Bones’ post, I see he believes it’s OK to call someone that word if you like what they say (Bones’ quotes), but bad if you don’t. I’ll try not to use that word anyway, at least for a little while.

      • Max_OK

        This may be tough for you, but try thinking outside the box for a moment.

        A “denier” is someone who denies something. Right? (Forget the unfortunate “holocaust” reference made by some idiot – I forget who.)

        Some people “deny” that it has stopped warming over the past 10-15 years (despite all those thermometers out there – even the ones next to AC exhausts – that tell them it has not warmed).

        These folks are “deniers”

        Some people “deny” that it warmed over the previous 25-30 years (despite all those thermometers out there, which show that it did warm).

        These folks are also “deniers”.

        And there are those (like me) who agree that it did warm over the previous 25-30 years, but they “deny” that there is any empirical evidence to support the notion that this warming was principally caused by human GHG emissions.

        These folks are also “deniers”.

        And, finally, there are those who “deny” that there is no empirical evidence supporting the above notion, although they are unable to cite such evidence.

        These folks are also “deniers”.

        So it is a silly term for one side to use when referring to the other.

        Better terms would be “skeptic” (of the IPCC premise of CAGW) and “believer” (in the IPCC premise).

        This would put me in the “skeptic” category, and you (presumably) in the “believer” category.

        Right?

        Max_not from OK

      • Max_CH, I said I wouldn’t use that word for a while, so I won’t comment directly on your characterizations.

        However, as long as we are on stereotypes, as a Swiss or whatever you call yourself ( Swisser, Swissey ?), I suspect you eat a lot of cheese, a food known to constipate, and this may explain why you are so cranky.

  21. Perhaps we all ought to try this exercise: choose an hypothesis we might disagree with — for example, that climate models adequately represent the actual climate or ENSO has caused the rise of global SST — and employ these intellectual traits in defending it. It’s a bit harder but more revealing than standing ground on your own favorite turf.

    • Gary –

      choose an hypothesis we might disagree with — …— and employ these intellectual traits in defending it.

      What you suggest, I believe, is the prerequisite for a solid analysis. Any solid analysis should rest upon a careful rebuttal of a good-faith construction of a naysayer’s argument. A thesis must be arguable!!! or it is flacid.

      Such a failure is rather precisely the root of my criticism of Judith’s approach in these blog posts.

      • Consistent with this topic, exploring one’s ability to practice the intellectual traits is more important than winning a particular argument. After that, let better scientific inquiry proceed.

    • Gary

      I think it was Linnaeus who created a system of lectures whereby his students had to do exactly as you describe

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

      I very nearly once suggested to Judith that it would make for an interesting topic. I became interested in the guy as he was a rector of Uppsala university which was the home town of Arrhenius. Linnaeus was a botanist and through the gardens at Uppsala we are able to trace the considerable period of warming from around 1695 that lasted for several decades and prompted many exotic species to be planted in Sweden. the warming is just captured in the early instrumental records from the town and confirmed in CET.
      Tonyb

  22. Lofty ideals versus fame and $.

    For many mainstream climate scientists, no contest.

  23. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
    — Upton Sinclair

    • It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his IDEOLOGY depends on not understanding it.
      – Max_OK

      This is very true for libertarians, Ayn Randys, anti-government ideologues, market worshippers, religious fundamentalists, and other extremists whose cherished notions are threatened by science.

      • You really need to get unwrapped from around the political ideology axle, MO.

      • Occupational mobility is greater than ideological mobility.

        People working in climate science are not doing it because that’s all they can do. I doubt if our hostess. Judith Curry, would have to take a job flipping burgers if she lost her science job.

        I think switching ideologies is less common than changing jobs. The need or desire to change jobs can be compelling, but the need to change ideologies usually isn’t.

      • Max, your list of extremists whose cherished notions are threatened by science is short and very narrow. You convieniently left out a long list of anti-science goofballs whose political leanings would be to the left. I could make a list, but it would be far more useful if you would try to make a list yourself.

      • Dennis, I didn’t refer to anyone specifically, but if you want to talk about “goof balls,” you may find it hard to top the guy who talks to glowing raccoons, the guy who thinks he can find gold with a stick, and the guy who thinks the 9/11 memorial has a hidden meaning.

  24. “[...] a sense of the need to struggle with confusion and unsettled questions over an extended period of time to achieve deeper understanding or insight.”

    This notion of “need” for an “extended period” is failure in the extreme. What’s needed is a proper sense of expedience. The conventional brainwashing seems to be that only snail-paced incremental progress on understanding natural variation is administratively permissible —– epic bias that will meet the powerful force of natural justice.

    .
    “Journal editors, grant program managers, and reviewers need to pay special attention to this one.”

    Most of these people need to be fired yesterday. Focus the microscope here. Turn the heat on HIGH.

  25. So foolish the warmth;
    Guilt ridden and so fearful,
    Harlequin shivers.
    =============

  26. While this debate rages on actual data is accumulating and being analyzed. CO2 sensitivity is being quantified with greater precision. Temperature is being recorded. Hurricanes and tornados are being counted.

    The humility which should have been there from the beginning is being forced on the more outlandish “headline” scientists as prediction after prediction turns out to be wrong. Sometimes not even the sign is right, other times, greater certainty is achieved at less terrific levels. Nature is having her way with various models.

    In the face of greater certainty at lower levels scientists have two choices: they can continue to maintain that “the heat is in the pipeline but we just can’t find it” (and try and come up with data and process based reasons why this is so) or they can recast their models to more accurately reflect observation.

    It is the very opposite of humble to hold a position for which there is no data or for which the data is deeply ambiguous. On the other hand, recasting models to reflect observation is – with proper disclosure – precisely what scientists do and should do.

    The next few years will tell us who are the fools and who are the scientists.

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A fan of *MORE* discourse asked:

    Question  Is cherry-picking the climate data (etc.) just another skeptical strategy that you use as a denialist to make yourself feel better?

    Prediction  Within the climate-change denier community, the following rates will accelerate in the coming decade:
    ☐ cherry-picking,
    ☐ slogan-shouting,
    ☐ semantic quibbling,
    ☐ immorally short-sighted economics,
    ☐ amoral market-first reasoning,
    ☐ “outsider” physics,
    ☐ personalization,
    ☐ abuse,
    ☐ paranoia, and
    ☐ conspiracy theories.

    Because hey, let’s fact it … the statement “James Hansen’s climate-change worldview is mainly correct” has a substantial-and-increasing Bayesian likelihood of being true, eh?

    In which case the *ONLY* way to avoid fooling ourself is to simply say “Hansen’s right, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan

      Do you believe if Warmistas are capable of some or all of the traits you cite?

      Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Supposing that (a) Hansen is scientifically right, and (b) he and his coauthors maintains their present scrupulous good manners and well-considered moral sensibility, then your objections are nugatory, eh ClimateReason? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        Whereas willfully ignorant climate-change denialism is gravely harmful, and therefore, wrong both scientifically *and* morally. Isn’t that correct too? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\diamondsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\diamondsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        They weren’t objections. I merely asked if Warmistas are also capable of some or all of those things you put in your interesting list. It’s a straight question and I’m sure you are able to give a straight answer. Thanks for your attention

        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Climatereason, didn’t the Heartland Institute already answer your question … and pretty directly too, eh?

        As we all learned, the Heartland Institute‘s insistence upon answering wrong questions proved to be even dumber than insisting upon willful ignorance of right answers. The world wonders at the Heartland Institute’s dumbness, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        You are being very evasive, why is it wrong if i ask it but right if you do?

        I am not interested in what heartland believes I am interested in what fan thinks. Why won’t you tell me? It’s very simple, are Warmistas capable of some or all of those traits you cite or is it only sceptics that are guilty of them?
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        climatereason  “Fan, You are being very evasive, why is it wrong if i ask it but right if you do?”

        I don’t know, ClimateReason:

        ☑  you’ve answered none of my questions, and

        ☑  I’ve not criticized you for it, because

        ☑  strong tough questions beat flimsy flabby questions, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • fan

        I didnt answer YOUR questions because they werent directed at me whereas MY questions WERE directed at you. You have completely evaded them.
        tonyb

      • ☐ cherry-picking,
        ☐ slogan-shouting,
        ☐ semantic quibbling,
        ☐ immorally short-sighted economics,
        ☐ amoral market-first reasoning,
        ☐ “outsider” physics,
        ☐ personalization,
        ☐ abuse,
        ☐ paranoia, and
        ☐ conspiracy theories.

        1. Cherry picking. See trenberths recent paper of sensitivity. See ANY dendro study.
        2. Slogan shouting. The earth has a fever
        3. Semantic quibbling. See climategate.
        4. immoral short sighted economics. See burning fuel for food
        WORSE than merely espousing immoral economics, they actualy took action.
        5. “outsider” physics. Nope. none of that
        6. personalization. See attcks on mcintyre and judith and peilke and
        lombard
        7. Abuse: can you say ‘denier’.
        8. paranoia. See Mann on Anthony’s calender joke
        9. Conspiracy theories. Mcintyre the oil shill.

        Yup. tony, fan wont answer your question.

    • Come now fan,

      tony’s question was straight forward and fair. Tap dancing around it only gets you cudos for dancing, at the cost of credability.

    • David Springer

      Off topic much?

      • This presentation shows how to do what Judy’s trying to do.

        So perhaps it’s more topical than Big Dave can think, figuratively speaking, of course.

        Big Dave should note that the presenter does not try to pretend that he’s not advocating for anything. That would be silly, wouldn’t it?

  28. “How can scientists avoid fooling themselves. Humility is a start.” – JC

    I’d put the avoidance of moralising right up there too………

  29. Michael

    What name is verboten, or is this a Christmas quiz?
    Tonyb

    • I love it when the nesting goes awry.

      CR,

      I could tell you, but then of course this reply would also zoom off to moderation and you still wouldn’t know.

      Think a certain solar theory involving base metals.

  30. “The defenders of the IPCC that slag off on the ‘deniers’ are putting their own perception of the higher interests of humankind above reason. The combination of appealing to the IPCC consensus authority and the pejorative dismissal of ‘deniers’ is not consistent with giving the freest play to reason.” – JC

    Judith, the IPCC isn’t a sentient being – ‘it’ can’t have any of the intellectual traits you discuss.

    Let go of your obsession. Step back and take a breath.

    You’re in danger of turning into Judith ‘Don Quixote’ Curry.

    • Michael, comprehension is evidently not one of your strong points.
      Or are you simply suffering the effects of too much Christmas spirit?

      • Michael’s point is not that easy to dismiss.

      • He doesn’t have a point.

      • I believe that Michael’s point has been expressed in his first sentence:

        > [T]he IPCC isn’t a sentient being – ‘it’ can’t have any of the intellectual traits [discussed].

        What you were saying about reading comprehension, again?

      • JC wrote: ““The defenders of the IPCC that slag off on the ‘deniers’…”, and “The combination of appealing to the IPCC consensus authority…” (my bold)

        As I said, he misread.
        And you didn’t check properly.

      • Tell me how the defenders **as a whole** form a sentient being, phat.

      • The IPCC has a massive fail here, in terms of ignoring or misconstruing skeptical arguments.

        Ok now.

      • Yes phat, someone needs to read more carefully.

        “Intellectual Empathy:… JC comment: The IPCC has a massive fail here…”

        Sorry I didn’t quote every example of this fundamental problem with Judith’s piece. I, mistakenly it seems, gave too much credit.

      • …and Joshua is faster than me.

      • The defenders are a group of sentient beings.
        Geddit?

      • “Michael’s point is not that easy to dismiss.” Why? Because he believes that an entity, the IPCC, is required to have intelligence to be referred to by “its” actions? Or is it because he believes that Judith is tilting at windmills daring to believe the individuals behind the IPCC should consider a little introspection?

        Black Swans, Dragon Kings, Polar Bears, Goldilocks, Humility and Fools, interesting topics choices. Not your typical tofu and sprouts. Must be a shock to the sensibilities of some.

      • Michael, it might help if you actually quote the bit you’re trying to criticise.
        Man up, and stop trying to shift the blame onto others.

      • > The defenders are a group of sentient beings.

        Indeed, but what about the **group**: is it a sentient being?

        You know what is the fallacy of composition, do you?

        As I said, Michael’s point is not that easy to dismiss.

      • willard, please stop being obtuse.
        Nobody implied that a group is a singularity.

      • > [T]he individuals behind the IPCC should consider a little introspection?

        And to whom does “the individuals behind the IPCC” refer exactly?

        Everybody should consider a little introspection, like everybody should wear sunscreen.

        Yet another truism thrown was red meat.

      • Oh FFS!
        It was Michael who referred to the IPCC as “a sentient being”, and not the defenders as being sentient beings

        Cappiche?

      • > Nobody implied that a group is a singularity.

        Somebody implied that the group shares a lack of some (epistemic) virtue.

        How so?

        Thinking takes time. Everybody can do it.

      • Good idea. You go first.

      • Come on, phat. Here’s the first comment from Judy:

        > The IPCC SREX Report showed intellectual courage.

        How can a report show courage?

        What were you saying about that singularity, again?

      • You’re winding me up, aren’t you!
        Kindly restrict your comments to the passage Michael quoted.
        On second thoughts, I shan’t be responding to any more of your ramblings.

      • That’s too bad, phat, because here’s Judy’s second comment:

        > The IPCC has a massive fail here, in terms of ignoring or misconstruing skeptical arguments.

        How can the IPCC “ignore” and “misconstrue” if it’s not a sentient being?

        Please note that I’m not saying that it’s impossible for the IPCC to do such things. For all I know, it might only be a vocabulary thing.

        But Michael **did** have a point, and Michael’s point is not that easy to dismiss.

        Teleology, here we come!

      • This exchange highlights precisely the problem of virtue epistemology/ethics.

        It’s exactly why it had languished in well-deserved obscurity for centuries, until it’s late 20thC resurrection, the purpose for which remains unclear (possibly someone looking for a novel PhD topic, I dunno).

        Nevertheless, the corpse has been unearthed and the stinking mess now lies before us.

      • Willard said, “And to whom does “the individuals behind the IPCC” refer exactly?”

        It is an international panel Willard, kinda like a team. “They” would know. “They” should police “themselves”. That is why Judith is pointing out that some portion of the individuals involved in the IPCC process might need to consider more introspection. It is much easier on everyone if “they” humbly do “their” duty as representatives of “their” respective nations. Since I am from the US, the “individuals” would be those representing the US.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        The White House gave a press release today. Clearly, the building is sentient.

      • willard,

        Yr: “Michael’s point is hard to dismiss”

        You know, willard, we go back a ways and we all know you’re one super-smart dude, and all, and I luv yah like a brother, and everything, but I kinda think with this one you’ve, like, you know, entered into some sort of dissociative fugue state in which you’ve lost the ability to make a distinction between the “having a pointy-head” concept and the “having a point” concept.

        Here’s the Urban Dictionary definition for “pointy-head” incidentally:

        “A person who, whilst most likely possessing above-normal intelligence, annoys the living crap out of their friends and acquaintances due to a tendency to expound ad infinitum upon uninteresting topics, using lots of long words.”

        See my “point”?

      • Aye, aye, Capn: this is just the ol’ skool “us-vs-them” red meat throwing.

        Something was said elsewhere on the thread about lame excuses.

        Arrr!

      • David Springer

        Willard is easy to dismiss.

        Willard, you’re dismissed.

        See?

      • Willard, “Something was said elsewhere on the thread about lame excuses.”

        Are they lame? The IPCC is an international panel that is supposed to represent science and the interest of all nations. It is a political organization. When the “individual” from India mentioned that the exaggerated Himalayan glacial melt was allowed, even though incorrect, because it would be more likely to inspire action, that was a political decision. I think it is called over selling or sexing up the issues.

        So having concerns about scientists approving or ignoring “overselling” is a “lame” excuse? That food industry video you posted, you think some of the companies might be over selling? Is all over selling wrong or just what happens to offend you?

      • How can the IPCC “ignore” and “misconstrue” if it’s not a sentient being?

        Without getting into the fine points of semantics, it is quite possible that a body, which publishes voluminous summary reports (promoting its “consensus position” on anthropogenic influences on our climate) can “ignore” dissenting scientific studies in these reports or even “misconstrue” certain aspects, in order to more effectively get its points across.

        We have seen specific examples of this in the AR4 report.

        Max

      • Capn’,

        The answer’s over there:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/28/can-we-avoid-fooling-ourselves/#comment-280926

        Please also note that Yoni Freedhoff’s not using the “Defenders of the food industry” strawman.

      • Willard said, “Some kind of demonstration would be better for non-technical issues like the one where Coke is caught lying. We might be fooling ourselves to believe that it’s what we have right now anyway.”

        Coke caught lying? Coke said they had not specifically targeted marketing to kids if memory serves. If you are in the advertising business, you would know that marketing is based on demographics. Coke’s general demographic targets are young adult, family and nostalgia (that’s polite for old farts that like mixed cocktails). Now the good doctor, is likely a good doctor, but might not be a major advertising type guy. So I am inclined to believe that “Coke Lying” might be a tad confused if you are referring to their not specifically targeting juveniles.

        Now I know the first thing that pops in your mind is the cartoons. Cartoons have to target kids. Misrepresenting the truth in a cartoon is despicable and targets the most innocent and susceptible of our society :) I wonder if there is a good climate cartoon analogy?

      • Come on, now, Cap’n, I thought only bilge rats relied on parsomatics.

        Let’s have another smartly look.

        The 2011 Vienna City Marathon’s “Coca-Cola Kids Challenge”.

        719 different Coca-Cola branded toys on Amazon.com

        Coca-Cola Kids Dolls for Ages 3+.

        100 Piece Puzzles Advertised for Ages 5+.

        Barbi dolls.

        Toy cars.

        Legos.

        Stuffed animals.

        Wind up toys.

        Yo yos.

        http://www.weightymatters.ca/2012/03/if-coca-cola-doesnt-market-to-kids-why.html

        Perhaps it’s just a vocabulary thing.

        Nice ad hominem, by the way.

      • Willard, “Come on, now, Cap’n, I thought only bilge rats relied on parsomatics.”

        Who says I am not? :)

        I doubted that you would be swayed by simple logic. Mountain dew is a Pepsico product. They tend to “focus” advertising toward a younger audience. That is hard to deny. Coke sponsoring events for younger kids is not what many would consider “focused” child advertising in this media age. The memorabilia and collectibles having “age” ratings for younger kids is not quite like Chester Cheeto, Frito-lay subsidiary of Pepsico. I think the good doctor might has missed a better target. Coke, even though they stupidly introduced Powerade when everyone knows that Gatorade is the cats ass of sports drinks, does have a legitimate case relative to their competitors. Of course, if a target is set up, someone will shoot at it, often without thinking why.

        Now you will defend the good doctors choice, not because it was a good choice, but because you brought the subject up. Is that parsomatic? :)

        Happy Holidays BTW

      • Since you do seem to appreciate logic, Cap’n, here’s a nice syllogism:

        There are cartoons out there that don’t target children.

        This is a cartoon.

        Therefore this doesn’t target children.

        http://www.weightymatters.ca/2011/10/coca-colas-latest-predatory-cartoon.html

        And since you like to parse, here’s Coke’s pledge:

        Coca-Cola North America will not place any of our brands’ marketing in
        television, radio and print programming that is primarily directed to
        children under the age of 12 and where the audience profile is higher than 35% of children under 12.

        http://www.bbb.org/us/storage/0/Shared%20Documents/coke%20final.pdf

        This is not a lie.

        And Bill Clinton never had sex with Monica.

        Happy New Year you too!

      • Willard, OMG! How could Coke stoop so low! :)

      • Beats me, Cap’n, but here’s another brilliant gem:

        > “Coke is so popular that if we can, over time, get them to create healthier products or healthier messages, then we have won,” said Bhatia, chief of neonatology at Georgia Health Sciences University. “Coke’s Live Positively initiative aligns with healthychildren.org: to improve the health of children through educational resources. It doesn’t say, ‘Drink Coke.'”

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-coke-pepsi-health-20120205,0,4114983.story

        That would make for a good tagline:

        > It does not say drink Pepsi.

        I’ll let the good Doctor know of Pepsico.

        Thanks.

      • Dear Max,

        Amazing to watch you rebut your own arguments in the same post that you make them.

        Hype – “extravagant claims made especially in advertising or promotional material / deliberately misleading / extravagant, inflated, or misleading claims “.

        CS of up 7 at the far end of the probabilty range – as Mosher posted;a careful study involving multiple models published in the peer-reviewed literature suggests a high-end of 7.

        Watson says “could be as high as…” . Do you need to look up “could be” in a dictionary??

        Hype??????????????????????????

        Fool yourself once, shame on you. Fool yourself twice (or more) – climate ‘sceptic’ !

        SOD

      • Michael

        Sorry.

        NO SALE.

        Hype is hype and a 7C warming estimate by 2100 is “hype” even if it is only the high point in a range.

        If you can’t see this, fine.

        I can.

        (Apparently Mosh can, too, since he brought up the topic.)

        Max

      • Max,

        Simply reference to your own supplied definitions is sufficient to see that you have demonstrated no such thing as ‘hype’.

        The absence of any peer-reviewed lit. indicating that high a CS would support a claim of hype.

        There is, so ‘hype’ is out of the question….by your own definition.

        Excepting, your own claims about hype, which are, objectively, pure hype.

      • “>6″ does not entail hype.

        And it’s quite possible to hype “<3".

        It's even possible to hype "<2".

        But in the latter case, it looks less charitable.

        Hint: "<3" looks like a heart.

      • willard,

        if reading comprehesion is the topic of discussion, you don’t want to be siding with Michael on this.

        Care to show where Dr Curry indicates the IPCC is sentient or refers to it as a “being”? The sentence Michael quotes refers to the “defenders of the IPCC”. Unless Michael can specifically identify non-sentient, non-beings who defend some or all of the conclusions of the IPCC, then it is pretty obvious his comprehension abilities could stand improvement.

        Though realistically I do not think there is anything wrong with either his or your comprehension. I’m putting my money on it being a good example of “fooling one’s self” by believing a seemingly witty comment is automatically an accurate one.

      • timg,

        So you found the same nit others did a few days ago. Impressive.

        ***

        Here’s a related comment:

        > Who are the participants in climate discussion who have greatest problems with humility or who are fooling themselves? Both issues apply to individuals, not to organizations.

        Here’s another one:

        ­­> The IPCC is not a person so it does not have these sorts of intellectual traits except in a metaphorical sense which is likely to be misleading. The IPCC is a complex political organization and an arm of a much larger political organization, so its behavior needs to be understood in those terms.

        The first one is from Pekka, the second from David.

        ***

        I already quoted the first two instances where Judy anthropomorphized institutional processes. Here’s the third one:

        > Superficially, it would seem that IPCC would score well in terms of perseverance, with its 5 assessment reports over the course of decades. However, there is a misguided sense in the assessment process that confusion and unsettled questions can be ‘settled’ at a high confidence level by expert judgement in a consensus seeking process.

        The way we get from “perseverance” to “confused consensus” deserves due diligence. The way we go from the IPCC to its reports and then to the process and then to some expert judgement is even more intriguing.

        ***

        We certainly can ascribe mental traits to processes:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/belief/

        In our cases, I believe it quite clear that moral traits should be ascribed to processes, since it is processes that we wish to improve. And this means we think about the kind of epistemic virtues we wish that those processes implement. The way all the strawmen and underhanded accusations are being thrown around might not help oneself standing of any kind of moral high ground if we don’t try to do something constructive with the help of this newly injected conceptual apparatus.

        At the very least, we should RTFM.

        As I said, Michael’s (which is also David’s and Pekka’s) point is not that easy to dismiss. And when I’m talking about the point, I mean the point, not me: Big Dave can dismiss me all he wants.

      • Willard, “It doesn’t say think Pepsi.”

        So healthyclildren.org is a sham, a scam and big Coke cover up? You may have the breaking news story of 2013. A big corporation actually attempting to buy it way into the hearts and minds of our most venerable through promotion of health consciousness. I am appalled.

        http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/the-coca-cola-foundation

        You are right though, Coke with caramel color added and high fruitose corn syrup is a destructive combination in a sedentary society. It is not that our young sit on their butts all day that causes health problems it is the demon Coke and its partner in crime Coalacoala!

      • Glad to see that we agree, Cap’n.

        Instead of causes, I’d look for responsibilities.

        And since you watched the video, you know who the good Doctor imputes responsibility for this sad mess, right?

        I believe the same kind of conclusion applies here.

      • Willard, “And since you watched the video, you know who the good Doctor imputes responsibility for this sad mess, right?”

        Yes, as I said before, being from the US, I would be concerned with the :”individuals” representing the “US” interests in the political organization, IPCC. I have no problem with Judith “personifying” a political entity when discussing “can we avoid fooling ourselves?”. Scientists can make extremely naive politicians. Scientists going along with the political “sales pitch” tend to forget their main role. The whole “good of the cause” thingy.

      • When you speak about “US”, you’re burning, Cap’n.

        It is us, not them, who are responsible.

        Morality begins with introjecting responsibility.

        It is us that is responsibility for these corporate rascals. Corporate rascals do what they need to do to make a buck. They’re even obligated by law to do so.

        Now, what was our good Doctor’s answer to that moral judgement?

        ***

        If you find a problem with the IPCC, this is your problem.

        What moral virtue do you think might help solve this problem?

        Let’s speed up the process and provide this hint: your nickname.

      • Willard, “When you speak about “US”, you’re burning, Cap’n.”

        I am an us in the US so I am not burning, but prioritizing. As an us I think some of us have let the cheese slip off their cracker.

    • “The defenders of the IPCC that slag off on the ‘deniers’ are putting their own perception of the higher interests of humankind above reason. The combination of appealing to the IPCC consensus authority and the pejorative dismissal of ‘deniers’ is not consistent with giving the freest play to reason.” – JC

      Judith, the IPCC isn’t a sentient being – ‘it’ can’t have any of the intellectual traits you discuss.”

      The defenders of the IPCC could be classified as sentient beings.
      I think it’s bit of stretch but Judith is perhaps a bit more generous.

      • “Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” – Mohandas Gandhi

        He didn’t even eat meat. He saw it ages ago and here you are.

      • The point is that “the defenders of the IPCC” is either a strawman or a trivial referent, viz. “the one whom I’m talking about but I don’t wish to mention by name”.

    • > So having concerns about scientists approving or ignoring “overselling” is a “lame” excuse?

      If it’s used as a tu quoque, like it is right now, you bet it is.

      The end does not justify the means.

      Throwing red meat is mean.

      > That food industry video you posted, you think some of the companies might be over selling? Is all over selling wrong or just what happens to offend you?

      See how the narrator proceeded to show **that** some companies were overselling and **how** the overselling is wrong. He’s not reciting some epistemologimoral coda to armwave around the usual whipping boy.

      And more importantly, he does not present his talk as some kind of provocative self-reflection that is at the interface of science and policy.

      Judy’s overselling right now: does it happen to offend you?

      • All Aboard, hawks Gore,
        Train is leaving the station.
        Sold out, over sold.
        ==============

      • I am not easily offended. In trying to find a middle ground it is not at all unusual to have or think you have, to oversell a position so that the final compromise is agreeable. Judith proposed her Italian flag and was quickly condemned as being a whack job, which I personally think is a bit of an oversell. Trenberth refers to Spencer as a “serial offender” when his own work carried the same error for a decade, a tad of an over sell.

        To me it is kinda like watching geeks pants themselves :) All the indignant rage in the front and the school girl gossip in the back.

      • I know that all this ain’t nothing compared to slumming the seven seas, Capn, and that chumming’s par for the course.

        Nevertheless, you have to admit that moralistic chumming just tops it.

        If I ever have to provide an example of oblivious spiritual exercise, this post would be it, more so if we consider the self-reflective comments that it provoked.

        Virtues are **meditative** tools. To meditate is to think about and for oneself. Any other use can easily lead to moralistic crap, which is better left to professional preachers.

      • Yes Willard,

        “JC comment: The IPCC SREX Report showed intellectual courage, in terms of pulling back from previous conclusions about the attribution of extreme events.”

        And the Yoni general tone was we were fooling ourselves and need to learn basic math when shopping. Not just buy based on packaging :)

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/

        We really wouldn’t want to fall into the dihydrogen oxide banning club would we?

      • Indeed, Capn, the IPCC is showing courage only when they do exactly what I would like them to do.

        (But nobody’s interested in my self-reflectin’ here.)

        Jean-Jacques Rousseau should have known that trick and write **My Critics’ Confessions** instead of his **Confessions** simpliciter.

      • Willard, “Indeed, Capn, the IPCC is showing courage only when they do exactly what I would like them to do.” If you happen to like performing competently, then you and Judith have found common ground :)

      • Thank you, Cap’n, to consider that Judy’s stance and my paraphrase of it agree with one another.

      • willard,

        the narrator is not a part of the food industry, so self reflection wouldnt even occur to him.

        Judith, if you haven’t noticed, is a scientist. And she opens the question
        “what makes a good scientist?” That should in most cases raise some reflective moments, like “have i been a good scientist by my own standards”.

        There is also a puzzle of sorts here. She lays it on the organizations pretty heavy. personally, I don’t like that approach and prefer a more individualized indictment. Good examples. However, if one does good examples, then the response is “those are isolated cases”. The rejioner to that is “why not insist on best practices in all cases”, and the dance proceeds. Generic attacks are counter as being to generic ( the IPCC is not sentient) and specific attacks are attacked as being too specific.
        Climate science is the best possible science. there is nothing wrong with the institution. It never makes mistakes, or if it does, they are inconsequential.

        The same happens on the other side as well

      • Willard, No problem. I think competent representation is a good thing and I assume you would as well. How do you deal with incompetence, would be a better question.

        You tend to stay out of most of the technical discussion, but for grins, imagine you noticed some folks tossing around 95% confidence levels associated with nearly unbelievable levels of precision and you happen to know they are totally fooling themselves, what would you do?

      • There sure are many ways to deal with incompetence, Cap’n.

        What if I simply advise that a little bit of introspection from climate bloggers, and a little bit for those who defend them, and that this practice ought to get renewed once a year, for fear that some human failings get institutionalized?

        Don’t you feel the deflection?

        ***

        In technical cases, an usual way would be to showing incompetence by proving that our technical case is sound. Sounds preferable to presuming incompetence and to focus on letting loose of our moralistic fancies and jumping sharks and fooling ourselves that we’re provoking self-reflection.

        Some kind of demonstration would be better for non-technical issues like the one where Coke is caught lying. We might be fooling ourselves to believe that it’s what we have right now anyway.

        Even counting grams of sugar could suffice to show that there ought to be something done against the predatorial marketing practices of the food industries.

        Contrary to what defenders of the lukewarm gambit might think, it is possible for citiziens that can count grams to self-reflect about that.

      • sadly willard it is more complex than “counting grams”
        Nevertheless, there are examples.
        1. The himalayas.
        2. rash “predictions” of sea ice decline/
        3. talk about a hot house planet
        4. HS uncertainty intervals.
        5. Data gone missing (F2006)
        6. Hyping sensitivity in excess of 6C
        7. Trashing Skeptic papers by making stuff up out of whole cloth (ch3, ar4)
        8. Hide the decline

        The list kinda goes on. But I will tell you having done my fair share of interviews with the press.. details dont sell. Funny, one guy said” give it to me in 15 seconds”. in 15 seconds one can say “fraud” or climate science is the best science possible. I suppose if it were as simple as counting grams, you’d get it.
        Do I think these examples vitiate the need for action? Nope. They are not important enough to change my mind, neither are they trivial enough to ignore.

      • “Nevertheless, there are examples…
        6. Hyping sensitivity in excess of 6C” – Mosher

        I’d like to see an example of that rather than have someone tell me that there are examples.

        You know, scepticism, and all that.

      • > Look at what Zeke has done. Not an unkind word, some hard work, and some results that to a large extent confirm what we already knew. That is not a waste of time, confirmation is important.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/this-years-agu/#comment-107284

      • “a median probability of surface warming of 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees”

        Funny, I see a mention of the possibility of CS over 6 within a range of probability, but no sign of “hyping” CS over 6.

        I know you understand the difference.

      • Cookin’ with carbon,
        But coolin’ with some solar.
        Lukewarming cooling.
        ============

      • moshe, most of those catalogued sins were in pursuance of panic. Now that catastrophes are quelled, we should enjoy the feeble power of CO2 to warm us and the prodigious power of fossil fuel to improve the human condition and prepare for the inevitable cold spell ahead.
        ================

      • Michael

        You write to Mosh:

        “6. Hyping sensitivity in excess of 6C” – Mosher

        I’d like to see an example of that rather than have someone tell me that there are examples”

        Check IPCC AR4 WGI SPM page 13

        Projected warming (degC at 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999)

        “Likely range, scenario A1F1″, 2.4 – 6.4

        Hope that helps.

        Max

      • Michael

        Re your statement to Mosh. I’ve given you wrong info.

        It is NOT the projected warming, but the ECS estimate, which you challenged.

        So let me correct.

        A1F1 scenario projects CO2 level at 850 ppmv, or 2.4 times the 1990 baseline value of 353.3 ppmv.

        So assuming equilibrium is reached, 6.4C projected warming represents a (2xCO2) ECS of:

        ln(2.4)*6.4 / ln(2) = 5.1C (not 6C)

        Of course, if some of the 21stC warming is “still in the pipeline”, then it would equate to a higher ECS and Mosh is probably right.

        Max

      • Max,

        Thanks for getting that all wrong, and not even being able to come up with a range above 6, let alone anything even remotely like ‘hyping’ of a CS >6.

        You save the best bit for last where, with a denialists extraordinary ability for logical contortions, you declare Mosher ‘probably right’.

        All on a topic about ‘can we avoid fooling ourselves?’

        What delicious entertainment.

        More please.

      • The meaning of the word “technical” seems to have evolved. “Technical” now means “a word in a random news report” or “why we send FOIAs”.

        Must be a vocabulary thing.

        Or perhaps it’s just a way to recall ourselves of resolution lists.

        Must be the season.

        So here’s another one:

        Hiding the fact that one has the Yamal data all along for so many years.

        Breaking one’s promise not to tell that you’re reviewer A.

        Websucking a website with a “script” that does not pause between the slurps.

        Claiming that because it’s a script and not a robot, it’s OK.

        After many years of refusing to be called “skeptic”, finally claiming allegiance because it helps you throw some red meat against a cognitive scientist.

        In general, playing with the word “skeptic” so well we’ve never saw a better implementation of the Overton window.

        Claiming that one is into technical matters, whence this is clearly a political issue.

        Claiming that one is not advocating anything, because one stands on the policy-science fence.

        Harping about the formal meaning of uncertainty while fumbling on the first play when comes the times to offer a formal interpretation.

        And the list goes on and on.

        It’s not a list, in fact.

        It never ends.

      • A technical correction:

        > Dogwhistling Claiming that because it’s a script and not a robot, it’s OK.

        And a fair warning, let it be noted that encountering bad faith motivates to “read the blog”, whatever the blog there is:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/917366704

        Another incentive is that such showdown will even help me tidy up NA’s categories and close the shop.

      • Michael

        Your silly remarks do not change the fact that IPCC has “hyped” a high model-derived ECS estimate as Mosh has said.

        He said it was 6C.

        I could not find 6C (only 5.1C) but you, yourself, stated

        “a median probability of surface warming of 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees”

        “7.4 degrees?”

        Wow! That’s real scary!

        Sir Robert Watson pulled out that bit of hype at the last AGU meeting, but I doubt if very many people there really believed him.

        Let’s check what ECS assumption would correspond with 7.4C warming by 2100.

        IPCC’s highest scenario (A1F1) assumes atmospheric CO2 rises to 850 ppmv by 2100.

        At that CO2 level, it would require a (2xCO2) ECS of 6.6C to reach 7.4C warming.

        So we have a warming hobgoblin based on an ECS hobgoblin!

        And Mosh is right, no matter how you try to twist or rationalize it.

        It’s “hype”.

        Max

      • And here’s yet another lie by the IPCC …

        “They hid the decline! In the first graph, observational data ends about 2011 or 12. In the second graph though, it ends about 2007 or 8. There are four or five years of observational data missing from the second graph. Fortunately the two graphs are scaled identically which makes it very easy to use a highly sophisticated tool called “cut and paste” to move the observational data from the first graph to the second graph and see what it should have looked like:”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/30/ar5-chapter-11-hiding-the-decline-part-ii/#more-76591

      • Thank you for this cite, Jim, for here’s a real gem:

        > The caveats go to such ridiculous lengths that there is actually a quote suggesting that reality may well be within, above, or below the range projected by the models.

        So the IPCC’s either downplaying uncertainty, or provides caveats of ridiculous length.

        Let’s play Procrustes’ games while reminding them of Goldilocks.

      • Eli, prefers caveats to red meat.Tell him.

      • It seems to me it would have been word-wise more economical to just say “We don’t know where temperature is going.” There isn’t even ANY reason to mention the models when the wording is that imprecise.

      • > There isn’t even ANY reason to mention the models when the wording is that imprecise.

        Caps lock lacks humility. What if you were fooling yourself, Jim?

        ***

        Perhaps what justify this capslockin’s related to David M. Hoffer’s other gem:

        > Try to falsify that!

        Conflating projection with prediction is a rudimentary mistake which does not bode well for David M. Hoffer’s competence on a subject he does seem to have invested much time.

        What can we do against such incompetence, Cap’n?

      • Max,

        My request was simple.

        Mosher’s ‘example’ was of “hyping” CS > 6.

        Let’s be crystal clear here;

        – not mentioning it as possible

        – not giving a probabilty range that includes CS>6 at the far end of that probability

        Hyping it.

        Hyping.

        Hype.

      • Michael

        Hyping (bold face by me).

        hype (Slang)
        n.
        1. Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion: the hype surrounding the murder trial.
        2. Exaggerated or extravagant claims made especially in advertising or promotional material: “It is pure hype, a gigantic PR job” (Saturday Review).
        3. An advertising or promotional ploy: “Some restaurant owners in town are cooking up a $75,000 hype to promote New York as ‘Restaurant City, U.S.A.'” (New York).
        4. Something deliberately misleading; a deception: “[He] says that there isn’t any energy crisis at all, that it’s all a hype, to maintain outrageous profits for the oil companies” (Joel Oppenheimer).

        tr.v. hyped, hyp·ing, hypes
        To publicize or promote, especially by extravagant, inflated, or misleading claims: hyped the new book by sending its author on a promotional tour.

        When Sir Robert Watson, once head of IPCC, states in a presentation at the annual AGU meeting in San Francisco that man-made global warming by year 2100 could be as high as 7C,that’s HYPE

        Got it?

        Mosh may have other examples, including the one you quoted, but for me Watson’s hype is enough to qualify.

        Max

  31. We have just ended a political season with winners and losers going back over the campaign to see what went right and what went wrong.
    Since Climategate went viral, the CAGW proponents have thrashed around setting up committees and bodies to study and implement communicating the idea of catastrophe better.

    And now on Judith Curry’s blog we have had back to back threads on “intellectual humility” and now “how do we fool ourselves.”

    If we take a page out of the successful politician’s play book and a line from the Valuable Intellectual traits we get to what I see as the gist of all effective communication/teaching/inspiring:

    “Intellectual Empathy: Having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand them, which requires the consciousness of our egocentric tendency to identify truth with our immediate perceptions of long-standing thought or belief.”

    In short, one has to show one cares about the other person; care if the person understood what you had to say; address the other person’s issues &/or needs. One does that by taking the time by putting yourself into the other person’s shoes. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    The message is clear. It’s not new or earth shattering. Just do it.

    • RiHo08

      Following your good advice, I just put myself into James E. Hansen’s shoes.

      Ouch! They pinch!

      No wonder he is so negative about the future!

      Max

  32. “I like this list, and will include it in our course for beginning graduate students on Introduction to Research and Ethics”

    As one of a group of post-war older students who had turned their ways from better ways to kill to better ways to employ our intellect, this reveals the different world we live in today. The UN was the hope of the future for our unborn children and the Al Gore’s Research and Ethics were yet to come.

    Well, since politicians have taken on the job, it is more than time for professors to teach such ancient arts.

  33. The Skeptical Warmist

    I love this quote front the WSJ article Judith referenced:

    “Above all, remember that the smarter you are, the more easily you can fool yourself.”

    ——
    Smarter people become so much better at telling themselves the narrative fallacy and also at looking for everything that proves their hypotheses and becoming blind to ll that dies not. And this cuts both ways, just like the fangs of uncertainty monster, for both warmists and “skeptics” can be equally prone to fooling themselves.

    • I reckon those who believe they are above fooling themselves are those most likely to do just that.

    • I like this quite from the WSJ article interesting –

      “Monitor yourself for vehemence. If you find yourself tempted to ridicule anyone who tells you are wrong, you probably are wrong.”

  34. When writing pieces on this kind of subject the biggest, easiest and most obvious trap to fall into is confirmation bias – using the principles in question as a basis to criticise one’s opponents rather than considering how they might affect one’s own position and arguments. Once you do that it becomes not a serious discussion about the principles in question but yet another round of partisan point scoring. Or indeed more red meat for the pack.

    Judith didn’t so much stumble into this trap as dive in head first.

    • My comments encouraged self reflection. I reflected, I am not sure my personal reflections on this are of general interest.

      • > My comments encouraged self reflection.

        Wow. Just wow.

      • OK, maybe your own reflections might not be of interest to the audience but using every one of the principles in queston to have a pop at those you disagree still gives the impression of confirmation bias and of seeing one “side” as overwhelmingly guilty of not following those principles.

      • Well I complimented the SREX. And I voiced a concern re editors and reviewers (most of whom have nothing to do with the IPCC). I think that everyone should reflect on this. But as I stated in my essay, the real problem is when these problems become institutionalized, which happens in favor of one ‘side.’

      • “self reflection” – JC

        “Wow. Just wow” – Willard

        +1

        Reminds me of something earlier this year – Judith posted her critique of the IPCC that she was preparing to publish.

        I noted that one of her references didn’t check out – it was some cog psych paper that Judith claimed showed groups performed more poorly in decision making in uncertain conditions, than an individual. She somehow got the results completely the wrong way around.

        That might have been a sign that is twas time for some very serious self-reflection on two counts; one – the possibility of some nasty confirmation bias, and two – that the IPCC might indeed have some very significant advantages in its ability to come to meaningful conclusions, over the individual POV.

        The latter might also had some relevance to this latest post, which is, IMHO, seriously flawed.

      • Nope, I didn’t get the reference or a citation wrong. Here is the paper I published:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/28/climate-change-no-consensus-on-consensus/

        The citation in question:

        Recent research provides insight into the group dynamics of consensual judgments by examining how well a confidence-based strategy works in groups [35]. When most people did not know the correct answers, confidence-based group decisions were worse than those of even the worst-performing individual, because group decisions are dominated by the more confident member. An implication of this research is that in uncertain environments, groups might make better decisions by relying on the guidance of those who express the most doubt.

        [35] Koriat, A. When are two heads better than one? Science 2012; 336; 360-362.

        http://211.144.68.84:9998/91keshi/Public/File/41/336-6079/pdf/360.full.pdf

        From the abstract:

        A recent study, using a perceptual task, indicated that two heads were better than one provided that the members could communicate freely, presumably sharing their confidence in their judgments. Capitalizing on recent work on subjective confidence, I replicated this effect in the absence of any dyadic interaction by selecting on each trial the decision of the more confident member of a virtual dyad. However, because subjective confidence monitors the consensuality rather than the accuracy of a decision, when most participants were in error, reliance on the more confident member yielded worse decisions than those of the better individual. Assuming that for each issue group decisions are dominated by the more confident member, these results help specify when groups will be more or less accurate than individuals.

        From the sciencenews article on this paper:

        This finding raises the provocative possibility that, in uncertain environments where common knowledge can’t be trusted or doesn’t exist, groups should rely on the guidance of those who express the most doubt about a decision.

        For your penance, read my no consensus paper five times.

      • I did mis-remember the exact problem (I plead, your Honour, that it was 6/12 ago) with the reference, but problem is was;

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/13/no-consensus-on-consensus-part-ii/#comment-220253

        The editorial process of the on-line Journal of Early Piglet Weaning didn’t pick it up??

      • Well, that comment you cite doesn’t make a cogent criticism of what I wrote, but you score a point for trying to keep track of such things.

      • Pekka’s comment below did make a cogent argument.

      • Mis-representing and then drawing unsupportable inferences not cogent enough? OK.

        But thanks for pointing me back to that post.

        It reminded me that there was an even worse example of citation abuse; Goodwin (2011).

        Please, please tell me you excised that nonsense from the final draft.

        I did say I was going to check the rest (that only took us through the first few cites), but sadly I failed to follow through. Who knows what other horrors lurk in there.

      • “For your penance, read my no consensus paper five times.” – JC

        Hey, there’s the Geneva Conventions against that sort of thing!

      • Michael,

        No need to read that article, which basically handwaves to (Curry 2011a), which you can read over there:

        http://www.climateaccess.org/sites/default/files/Curry_Reasoning%20about%20climate%20uncertainty.pdf

    • “…as dive in head first.”

      As always…..

    • “When writing pieces on this kind of subject the biggest, easiest and most obvious trap to fall into is confirmation bias – using the principles in question as a basis to criticise one’s opponents rather than considering how they might affect one’s own position and arguments.”

      It seems to me, Judith isn’t an opponent of ….. What she suppose to be opponent of, exactly?
      I began this reply assuming since piece mentioned IPCC, that you meant the IPCC. But I guess since you were not specific there could other opponents you have in mind.
      But if you meant IPCC, it doesn’t seem like Judith is an opponent of IPCC- unless an opponent is anyone who doesn’t solely cheerlead something. And in general terms sycophants are essentially useless creatures, regardless of the topic.

      Generally my assumption is that Judith would happy if anyone she might have seemed to be critical of, would want clarify his/her position in regards to anything Judith may have said.

    • > [U]sing the principles in question as a basis to criticise one’s opponents rather than considering how they might affect one’s own position and arguments.

      In a nutshell, moralism stinks.

      • We have humility, we have empathy…

        While we’re on this particular road to nowhere, surely Judith has missed the best one (not morality as such) ?

        Chivalry!!!

        Surely science is lacking in this quality?

        I can see all science undergrads undertaking a mandatory intro course.

      • “We have humility, we have empathy…

        While we’re on this particular road to nowhere, surely Judith has missed the best one (not morality as such) ?

        Chivalry!!!

        Surely science is lacking in this quality?”

        I seems IPCC followers do pretty good on the first part:

        “Ancient Code of Chivalry

        The code can be summarized in ten “commandments”:

        Believe the Church’s teachings and observe all the Church’s directions.
        Defend the Church.
        Respect and defend all weaknesses.
        Love your country.”
        [Country being the international Landastan]

        Some little problems in other 6 commandments:

        Do not recoil before an enemy.

        A single coward could discourage an entire army. Even if the knights knew death was near, they would rather die fighting than show weakness.

        Show no mercy to the Infidel. Do not hesitate to make war with them.
        Perform all duties that agree with the laws of God.
        Never lie or go back on one’s word.

        Sincerity and honor were two of the most crucial traits of chivalric knights.

        Be generous to everyone.
        Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice.”

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

        Weak on the Sincerity and honor bit, and not very good at generous, though if word count defines generous, not terrible.

      • Michael,

        Virtue ethics is quite interesting:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/

        Virtue epistemology too, actually:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology-virtue/

        even if my online persona obliges me to prefer some kind of naturalization of epistemology,

        ***

        Please compare the cardinal virtues:

        – Prudence
        – Justice
        – Temperance
        – Courage

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

        with my alter ego’s:

        – conservatism (gasp!)
        – modesty (oh noes!)
        – simplicity
        – generality
        – refutability

        http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/phil/teach/intro/readings/Quine%20and%20Ullian%20-%20Hypothesis.htm

        You should see that during these discussions, no one was harmed.

        (Except perhaps astrologers…)

      • Paul, paid a price for Truth
        Believer or Denier…he said in his letters,
        Saint or Ain’t.

        Faith,
        take the ticket
        it is still free now

    • I wonder what different, if any, perspective a couple of anthropologists would have in threads like this. Just had that thought watching parts of the thread broadly developing along the lines of traditional value systems/schemes and psychology. Thinking in terms of how much of how we act (as as individuals and in groups) resides in the primate et al. part and how much resides in the uniquely human part. I am presuming a stronger observational nature for anthropology, ideally less encumbered by looking within–less reflexive.

  35. JC comment: The IPCC SREX Report showed intellectual courage, in terms of pulling back from previous conclusions about the attribution of extreme events.

    Good first step. Now here are some reports and statements IPCC should display courage and retract or correct.

    1. The renewable energy advocacy report
    2. advocacy for carbon pricing, renewable energy, legally binding international agreements with targets and timetables, penalties for breaches, etc. It is the wrong approach, unacceptable and doomed to failure as has been shown by 20 years of climate conferences, during which time GHG emissions have increased 46%.
    3. World bureaucracy to administer carbon reporting and enforcement of the rules and world tax to pay for it.

    There is a much better and simpler way. Simply remove the impediments that are preventing the world from having low-cost, small, nuclear generating units. The lead needs to come from the USA, and specifically the US President. he needs to remove responsibility for design approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions. That is a first, but critical step towards allowing the world to have cheap, zero emissions energy.

    • David Springer

      Peter Lang | December 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply

      “doomed to failure as has been shown by 20 years of climate conferences, during which time GHG emissions have increased 46%”

      Nah. They can claim success by saying that emissions would have gone up by 92% had they not had the conferences. When you’re in the business of inventing narratives you’re free to invent whatever alternative histories you need to make the actual record look good in comparison.

      • David Springer,

        I agree with your point. There is a lesson in your point for me, too. When presenting information like this, I should try to make it ‘spin proof’, or at least ‘spin resistant’.

        Would the following have been a better way to make the point:

        “doomed to failure as has been shown by 20 years of climate conferences, during which time CO2 emissions intensity of energy has declined by just 0.8%. This is a much slower rate of decline than before the climate conferences started. According to Roger Pielke Jr. in 1990, the CO2 emissions intensity of energy was declining at 2% pa. By 2009 it was declining at 0.7% pa.”
        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html (see figure 2)

        Is that statement ‘spin resistant, perhaps even’ ‘spin proof’?

        I could add, we can lay the blame for the slowing rate of decarbonisation squarely on the ‘Progressives’. If the ‘progressive’ Labor government had not run an anti-nuclear scare campaign in Australia’s 1993 election (just after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit), and if the Centre-Right parties had won the election and implemented the policies they presented to the electorate in the election campaign, Australia’s CO2 emissions from electricity could be 50% of what they are now, and just 10% by 2023 (10 years to first plant commissioned and then 1 GW added per year thereafter).

        If this rate or something like it was implemented across the developed world and other large economies, the GHG emissions issue could be dealt with in a reasonable way.

        Clearly, the ‘Progressives’ are the ones blocking progress, They have been for 50 years. But they just don’t get it. Or won’t accept the facts that are staring them in the face.

        [BTW, to clarify for Manacker and others, I recognise the practicality is we would replace coal fired power stations only when it is economic to do so.] While we had an opportunity back in the 1990’s nuclear would be expensive in Australia at the moment (but far cheaper then the renewables we are wasting enormous amounts of or money on). We need the USA to remove a lot of the impediments that are making nuclear power too expensive in the developed countries and far more expensive than it should be. The ‘Progressives’ are responsible for causing that too.

        Perhaps the ‘Progressives’ could make a New Year’s resolution to see the light in 2013 and become rational pragmatic. :)

      • Further to previous comment, CO2 emissions from electricity increased 71% from 1990 to 2010.

        What would be the causes for that?

        1. Kyoto protocol?
        2. Bad policies?
        3. Blocking development of nuclear power in the developed countries?
        Advocating renewable energy – which has zilch chance of making any significant contribution to global GHG emissions reductions?
        4. Developing countries like China and India have no other option than to use coal given that the development of nuclear power has been thwarted in the developed countries for the past 50 years?

  36. “Faith In Reason: Confidence that, in the long run, one’s own higher interests and those of humankind at large will be best served by giving the freest play to reason, by encouraging people to come to their own conclusions by developing their own rational faculties; faith that, with proper encouragement and cultivation, people can learn to think for themselves, to form rational viewpoints, draw reasonable conclusions, think coherently and logically, persuade each other by reason and become reasonable persons, despite the deep-seated obstacles in the native character of the human mind and in society as we know it.”

    The best advances in science and other fields of endeavour comes about not from rational thinking (which is linear) but because of intuitive thinking and/or lateral thinking (which is non-linear). The application of scientific method using rational thinking would complement the generation of new ideas by subjecting them to rigorous testing but never actually be the source of such new ideas.

  37. Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

    Judith,

    Interesting….

    But it does go beyond just the IPCC.

  38. Hi Judith,
    I like your post. I started out as a warmist. Now I am a sceptic. But, your post reminds me that I must continue to question. I must always question whether my sceptic position is still tenable in the light of the latest papers.

    I regularly read alarmist blog posts at RC, SkS, Tamino etc to see their side of a story I read here or at CA or WUWT or the Blackboard.

    The general conclusion I draw is that the Alarmist sites have a high degree of propaganda. But the only way I can conclude that is by reading both sides and seeing how the science and maths stack up. Understanding, rather than belief are, I believe key.

    I think, it is interesting that the key difference between the Alarmists and the Sceptics is that the Alarmists put most of their faith in the models. The Sceptics rely mostly on empirical data.

    And yet we all should know, that ultimately, models are the only solution to a science problem. Not parametric models where the parameters as set to achieve a result. But where the parameter numbers come from simpler models and the whole thing can be validated.

    It would be fantastic if a researcher could get funding to develop an open source set of models where Sceptics and Warmists were welcome.

    Maybe then we could see some real science brought to climate modelling.

    /ikh
    ]

    • Nordhaus has done that with RICE. http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/RICEmodels.htm

      The problem is with the very high uncertainty in the damage function, little attention to the decarbonisation rate (lack of understanding of what could be achieved) and no consideration of the probability that penalty schemes such as global carbon pricing could work in the real world. Uncertainties in the problem are a given. Uncertainty that chosen solution will deliver the expected benefits is unforgivable.

      • Sadly, spreadsheets really don’t cut it when you want to do a GCM. The current open source GCMs are all written in Fortran and poorly documented. They also seem to lack structure in the code. I looked at GISS model E and several others and it would take a massive amount of work to use them without insiders explaining what did what.

        If you want an open source model that open source programmers can contribute to it needs to be written in a modern language such as C++. It also needs to be documented in such a way that the barriers to understanding of the structure of the code are low so that new contributors can easily get started.

        It also needs good mathematical and statistical climate scientists who can make sure the model is correct. The maths needs to be well documented so that programmers can implement it without having to develop a deep understanding of the maths.

        No disrespect to scientists but I have yet to meet one who understands how to structure code so that it is easily maintainable and extendable.

        Ideally, such a model what also be implemented to use GPUs using opencl because this is a cheapest way of number crunching floating point numbers.

        The model needs to have a simple way to change the grid size both vertically and horizontally. Why? Because programmers need to be able to test for correctness and bugs using a home computer. Real runs of the model would need to use supercomputer time which is why we would need a research project with a budget.

        It should be split into sub-projects so that for instance albedo, OHC, sea level, surface temp atmospheric chemistry etc etc have well defined interfaces and can be run independently or linked together.

        These are just a few of the thoughts I have on how a GCM and also columnar models can be built.

        /ikh

      • Ikh,

        Sadly, spreadsheets really don’t cut it when you want to do a GCM.

        I am not talking about GCM’s. I’d suggest we should greatly reduce the amount of effort spent on playing with temperature projections. We’ve been playing with that for 20 years at least. But for what? The central projection of climate sensitivity and our uncertainty of it has changed little in 20 years. So we are spinning our wheels with GCMs.

        Climate sensitivity and temperature projections are of no use for making rational policy on their own. Climate sensitivity is just one of four important inputs needed for cost-benefit analyses (and I expect for robust analysis) which are essential for making rational policy; they are

        1. climate sensitivity
        2. damage function
        3. decarbonisation rate function
        4. probability that chosen solution will achieve the desired result.

        Nordhaus’ RICE model is calibrated to the GCMs. This is good enough for the purpose. The climate sensitivity is not the input parameter having the greatest influence on the uncertainty in the cost benefit analyses. The damage function is. (Table 7-2 here http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf )

        However, Nordhau’s RICE model doesn’t place much emphasis on the decarbonisation rate function. I suggest, being an economist, it is something he has little understanding of or interest in.

        But the most important omission in Nordhaus’s analyses is, in my opinion, he has made no attempt to quantify the fourth key input: “probability that chosen solution will achieve the desired result”.

        He advocates a global carbon pricing scheme. But the assumptions that his analyses depend on are totally impracticable in the real world. They are purely academic assumptions for the purpose of the economic modelling he has done. The whole basis of his analyses is flawed – from the point of view of informing rational policy – because he has not dealt with the forth key point on the list above: “probability that chosen solution will achieve the desired result”.

    • See my reply to your comment above.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      ikh said:

      “I started out as a warmist. Now I am a sceptic.”

      ____
      Funny, I started out as a skeptic (and still am) and then became a warmist. The two are quite compatible you know.

  39. “However, there is a misguided sense in the assessment process that confusion and unsettled questions can be ‘settled’ at a high confidence level by expert judgement in a consensus seeking process.”

    Excellent. The most important point IMHO. Consensus is meaningless were everyone is equally ignorant of the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns.

  40. The fact, dear Prof. Curry, is that if the “skeptics” throw spaghetti against the wall and demand everyone else winnow the chaff from the macaroni, don’t blame others when all you get is a horse laugh for telling us how serious the “skeptics” are.

    • That is a very lame excuse. The ‘skeptics’ are not a monolithic tribe. There are serious skeptical questions/arguments that are dismissed by trying to lump all skeptical concerns with silly skydragon arguments.

      • > The ‘skeptics’ are not a monolithic tribe.

        But the IPCC is.

        And what was the function invoked for such grouping?

        To dismiss.

        Wow. Just wow.

      • No willard, its’ ‘defenders’ are.

        Sheesh.

      • David Springer

        A common enough tactic refined and demonstrably workable in the much older mud-to-man evolution controversy. Lump all the evolution skeptics into the evangelical bible thumping Southern Baptist church. Call them Creationists with a capital C at every opportunity and there you go.

        We see this tactic all over all the time. Got a problem with Darwin? You’re a Creationist. Got a problem with Obama? You’re a Racist. Got a problem with climate science? You’re a tool of Big Oil. And the beat goes on.

      • “That is a very lame excuse. The ‘skeptics’ are not a monolithic tribe. There are serious skeptical questions/arguments that are dismissed by trying to lump all skeptical concerns with silly skydragon arguments.”

        If only the skydragons were the only skeptics making silly arguments!

        Eli’s characterization of skeptics as throwing spaghetti against a wall seems a correct analogy to me: The tribal nature of skeptics as one of food throwers trying to smear a target with their missiles in order to disrupt a food hall.

        Skeptic A is throwing potatoes and skeptic B is throwing spaghetti, but they are part of the same team, the same tribe, attacking the same target with the same agenda and patting each other on the back for doing so. There may be minor squabbles in the ranks, but overall they are a team.

        The skeptic tribe will disperse when they receive unwanted attention, disassociating themselves from each other to avoid blame. A kind of “it wasn’t us sir! We weren’t throwing spaghetti (we were throwing other food!)” excuse when someone asks who the hell got spaghetti on the door frame.

      • We saw this with BEST to give just one example.

        When Muller presented the BEST results that showed this was quite reasonably presented as a vindication of the existing surface temperature records from a number of attacks made by the climate skeptic in preceding years.

        The skeptic tribe responded to this by claiming they had always accepted the results BEST found and had never thrown food, therefore accusing Muller of making a strawman.

        This marvelous lie was accomplished by getting skeptics who had never thrown spaghetti to write articles stating that they hadn’t thrown spaghetti, with all the skeptics who had been throwing spaghetti standing quietly behind them.

      • “Skeptic A is throwing potatoes and skeptic B is throwing spaghetti, but they are part of the same team, the same tribe, attacking the same target with the same agenda and patting each other on the back for doing so.”

        With the recent passing of Jack Klugman, this brings to mind the Oscar Madison hard-scrabble mentality, and how skeptics always resort to the fainting couch displaying a Felix-like asthmatic attack.

        “Oscar Madison: Now kindly remove that spaghetti from my poker table.
        [Felix laughs]
        Oscar Madison: The hell’s so funny?
        Felix Ungar: It’s not spaghetti, it’s linguini.
        [Oscar picks up the linguini and hurls it against the kitchen wall]
        Oscar Madison: Now it’s garbage. ”

        Skeptics do not have an argument except for Felix nit-picking and trying to win style-points. Can you believe this — style-points are almost all they have. The rest is comprised of condoning their brethren crackpots who fling any old concoction against the wall.

        p.s. Carry on, Adam Klugman.

      • I love this metaphor you are working on. What about the linguini thrown against the model wall. Is it spaghetti yet?
        ================

      • So now we have, in addition to spaghetti charts, linguine charts too?

      • All the skeptics are the same, thinking that little gotcha games make any difference. It must be so hard for you to get over the old high-school debate days.

      • I don’t throw spaghetti or linguine. I throw macaroni and cheese. Sticks better, and the short noodles are better adapted to the short attention span of warmists.

      • Michael Mann’s spaghetti chart didn’t stick to the wall very well. The whole treemometer thing is suspect. Tree growth varies with the amount of sunlight, precipitation, and temperature. There is no compelling reason to believe trees make good thermometers.

      • Shine the light on Springer :

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barrett-brown/intelligent-design-online_b_253515.html

        Can’t hide a track record in the internet era.

      • Being wrong about one subject does not make one wrong in all subjects. That is a poisoning-the-well, ad hom attack.

      • Pointing to what someone has written is not an ad-hominen attack.

        Funding agencies will look at a researcher’s track record in deciding whether to fund a proposal.

        Is that an adhom attack as well?

        Would you fund a Springer proposal?

      • WHT – My point was that it seems right to me to take someone’s ideas and evaluate them one at a time. So, if his idea or concept were a good one in my estimation, hypothetically I would fund it.

        I’m an agnostic. So logically if someone chooses to believe in a god, it makes as much sense to me as someone who chooses to believe there is no god. I don’t hold it against either one. Believing the Earth is 6,000 years old is a horse of a different color. I can’t go along with that one.

        Anyway, I noted you said something about the fact that all the laws of physics were known, or something approximate to that, therefore we understand how climate works. I think you know that argument doesn’t hold water. We don’t understand how everything in the human body works, because it is complex. So is the climate and in that case also we don’t understand it all.

      • Eli first discussed this analogy several years ago based on a “list of the ten most important (denialist heart throb) papers”. The point was summarized by NT:

        You have missed the point. On this post (by Cohenite) he has used contradictory science to demonstrate that AGW is not real. You cannot use one paper to falsify one aspect, and then another paper to falsify another, when the two papers are mutually exclusive.

        He attempted to show that the Greenhouse effect is negligable. He posted a paper he said showed why (Minschwaner), it contradicts earlier an earlier paper he posted (Miskolczi). one claims there is a greenhouse effect due to greenhouse gases, the other claims it is due to optical depth. You can’t have it both ways.

        Skeptics use a scatter shot approach, using one kind of physics to ‘disprove’ one aspect and an opposing kind of physics to ‘disprove’ another. You need to have an internally consistent argument.

        and expanded by MT, who called it “the incoherence of denial”

        In short, do the work of winnowing your own arguments, if you leave it to others all you will deserve and get is snorts of derision.

      • Confucius say:

        If you throw noodles against wall – make sure noodles are cooked.

        Does IPCC follow this ancient advice by “cooking” the data it throws against the wall?

      • Good reply, Dr. Curry. For the majority of us, we are CAGW skeptics/AGW believers. This is, after all, a matter of simple classical physics, not quantum physics with its requisite “interpretation”, so all that is required is data, and unfortunately, those measurements are sorely lacking, or in the case of the Hockey Team, the math is horrible coupled with a lack of understanding Liebig’s Law.

      • lolwot wrote:
        “but they are part of the same team, the same tribe, attacking the same target with the same agenda and patting each other on the back for doing so. There may be minor squabbles in the ranks, but overall they are a team.”
        ————————————————————————————————
        Sounds a lot more descriptive of the alarmist side to me.
        As I’ve said before, it’s very strange that there don’t seem to be any identifiable extremists on the alarmist side.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Judith said:

        ” The ‘skeptics’ are not a monolithic tribe.”
        ____
        So true. Each will have their own particular reasons for skepticism, some being scientifically valid and some being quite the opposite, perhaps based on their own educational background. All, however, will be marked by:
        1) Keeping all truths as “provisional”
        2) Constantly looking for anything that might disprove their closely held provisional truths

        Then of course, other tribes entirely, are the “Deniers” and “AGW True Believers”, who do not adhere to either point #1 or #2 above. These tribes are more akin to each other, in that they are driven by ideology and emotion and hold all truths as absolute. As a Skeptical Warmist, I’ve got no problem admitting that AGW True Believers exist, and are aptly named, but for some reason, certain people find offense to admitting that Deniers exist.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        WHT said:

        “All the skeptics are the same.”
        ______

        If you mean “deniers” than say deniers, as this is a valid term for a certain segment of the population, but don’t give skepticism a bad name. I pride myself on being a skeptic first, and a warmist second as my skepticism led me to being a warmist. I’ve been around long enough to remember the “coming ice age” scare of the 1970’s and was very skeptical about that for what I thought were good reasons. Indeed, the physics behind the growing CO2 concentrations were enough to convince me that even if we were headed toward a natural cooling period, that the natural forcing would be swamped by the forcing from anthropogenic emissions. This, as it turns out, was a pretty accurate position if you look at some of the attribution work going on recently. But back to your point, the only thing that honest skeptics have in common is that they hold truths as provisional and use reason and the scientific process to constantly look for anything that might call into question those truths so that they are modified or abandoned entirely.

      • Seriously, it was the exact same Monty Python routine.

    • Jim, if you take any persons ideas one at a time, you will devote your life to evaluating them, a waste of time and energy. What people really do is only pay attention if there are signifiers that that the person’s ideas are worth spending time on, which means anyone holding 100 inconsistent ideas is a waste of time and energy. A person with 100 wrong ideas can occasionally be useful as a marker of what not to believe.

      • Eli

        Sounds like the old saw about the “quality” of questions asked to a lecturer.

        – A “good” question is one for which the lecturer can think up an answer on the spot

        – A “great” question is one for which the lecturer already has a slide with the answer

        – An “interesting” question is one, which the lecturer either cannot answer (or which raises serious doubts regarding the message the lecturer wants to get across) – here the question is ignored with the statement

        “that’s an interesting question, and I’ll get to than later on”

        Your approach appears to be the same as that of the lecturer, if I’ve understood correctly, i.e. ignoring the tough questions (i.e. those that are “wrong”) and concentrating on the easy ones (i.e. those that are “worth spending time on”).

        Max

      • Your approach appears to be the same as that of the lecturer, if I’ve understood correctly, i.e. ignoring the tough questions (i.e. those that are “wrong”) and concentrating on the easy ones (i.e. those that are “worth spending time on”).

        Droppings!

      • Eli – Well, IIRC, no one has put forth 100 ideas. There may have been 100 redundant arguments, but not 100 unique ideas.

      • WUWT, Climate Etc., now moving to three digits

  41. Willis Eschenbach

    Max_OK | December 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman

    _____

    I doubt I’m the easiest person to fool.

    Which proves Feynman’s point quite nicely, thanks …

    w.

    • We can’t all be the easiest person for others to fool -though there must someone, somewhere, who would be that person – but we can all be the easiest person for ourselves to fool.

      Feynman’s remark would indicate to me, that those who have a distinct right wing ideology, which doesn’t have any answer to a huge collective problem, are fooling themselves when they go on to argue that it can’t therefore exist.

      But, I know that those who are fooling themselves this way won’t be able to see it like that.

    • Willis, it is easier for me to fool others than it is for me to fool myself. If you believe it is easier for you to fool yourself than fool others, I can’t argue with you, since you don’t fool me.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Max_OK | December 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply

      Willis, it is easier for me to fool others than it is for me to fool myself.

      Perhaps, unlike myself and many folks here, you’ve had lots of practice fooling other people, and that’s why you’re so darn good at it. I don’t know, but in any case, congratulations on your deceptively … I guess …

      If you believe it is easier for you to fool yourself than fool others, I can’t argue with you, since you don’t fool me.

      Max, I gotta tell you the bad news.

      The man who claims that it is hard for him to fool himself is … well, not to put too fine a point on it, that man is fooling himself.

      By and large, we are far, far blinder about ourselves than we are about others. Why do you think that we have third parties act as judges and graders and arbiters and the like. If we couldn’t fool ourselves, there would be no need to call in others to evaluate us. When it came time for our annual job evaluation, we could just evaluate ourselves and be done with it … riiiight …

      Nor is this some new idea invented by Feynmann. As Robert Burns observed a couple centuries ago:

      “And would some Power the giftie gie us
      To see ourselves as others see us!
      It would from many a blunder free us,
      And foolish notion:
      What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
      And even devotion!”

      The problem is, we don’t have that power to see ourselves with the clarity with which other people see us. And as a result of this curious self-blindness common to all humans (as Burns and Feynmann and many others have observed, but you seem not to have noticed yet, although I hold out hope), we are free to fool ourselves in a myriad of ways.

      But hey, if you want to believe that you’re immune, that Max_OK is the golden boy, the gifted one, that you are among the very, very few select humans who are free of that particularly human malady of fooling ourselves, that you harbor no illusions about yourself … well, rock on, Max, I can’t stand in your way. I just wouldn’t bet the family farm on it, that’s all. Leave yourself an exit strategy.

      Me, I hold to the words of my grandmother in these matters. She was one of the most experienced and wisest people I’ve even known, she’d been places and done things to make John Wayne’s hair stand on end. She used to say:

      “You can believe half of what you see, a quarter of what you hear, and an eighth of what you say”.

      That’s worked quite well for me … but unfortunately, only when I can remember to remember it.

      Regards,

      w.

      • Willis, I suspect you have fooled yourself into believing I’m something I’m not. I will try to help you unfool yourself by giving you more information.

        I rarely try to fool others for advantage ( I stopped playing poker). I do, however, like to play practical jokes, so I know how easy it is to intentionally fool others. I have never tried to fool myself on purpose, and I don’t believe it would be easy, but your experience with yourself may be different.

        Of course I can unintentionally fool myself as well as others, but I don’t think it’s easier to do it to myself. Again, your experience with yourself may be different.

      • “The man who claims that it is hard for him to fool himself is … well, not to put too fine a point on it, that man is fooling himself. ”

        Except willis you put words in his mouth. What he said is that it is easier for him to fool others than it is to fool himself. fooling himself could still be easy.

        Feynman is clearly wrong and rather un scientific in his statement that “it is easier to fool yourself than it is to fool others”. Last time I was in China, I fooled a whole table of friends into to believing that all the apples trees in amercia were planted by one guy. On any given topic I can find someone who is easier to fool than myself. That doesnt mean its hard to fool oneself. Feynmans hyperbole, of course, isnt meant to be literally true, because its not. It basically boils down to understanding confirmation bias, but that’s less catchy than ‘the easiest person to fool is yourself” Of course, on particular topics, for particular people, it is true. But its only true for a minute.. cause there is a sucker born every minute, which is basically someone who is easiest to fool.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | December 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

        “The man who claims that it is hard for him to fool himself is … well, not to put too fine a point on it, that man is fooling himself. ”

        Except willis you put words in his mouth. What he said is that it is easier for him to fool others than it is to fool himself. fooling himself could still be easy.

        Ah, good point, thanks, Steven. However, I still hold that Feynmann was right in his claim. See below.

        Feynman is clearly wrong and rather un scientific in his statement that “it is easier to fool yourself than it is to fool others”. Last time I was in China, I fooled a whole table of friends into to believing that all the apples trees in amercia were planted by one guy. On any given topic I can find someone who is easier to fool than myself. That doesnt mean its hard to fool oneself. Feynmans hyperbole, of course, isnt meant to be literally true, because its not. It basically boils down to understanding confirmation bias, but that’s less catchy than ‘the easiest person to fool is yourself” Of course, on particular topics, for particular people, it is true. But its only true for a minute.. cause there is a sucker born every minute, which is basically someone who is easiest to fool.

        Here’s the thing. In order to fool someone else, you have to actually do some work. You have to consciously make up a believable story. You have to answer questions about it that make sense to the questioner, and the like. Holding up a line of bullish*t like that takes a lot of mental effort, it’s a worrying thing keeping all the deceptions in mind and not getting tripped up in the story.

        To fool ourselves, however, we don’t have to do a single one of those things. We don’t have to take one conscious step. We don’t have to deliberately perform one single action. Instead, it all happens on a subconscious level. Like the song says “Still, a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest”, and it doesn’t take the slightest effort at all to do so.

        That’s why you are the easiest person for you to fool, Stephen. When you fool yourself, there are no lies to keep straight, no need to invent a believable story, no requirement to fabricate coherent answers to probing questions. In short, none of the effort and work required to fool another person are needed when we fool ourselves, we just “disregard the rest” on a deep subconscious level, without any work, effort or striving of any kind … so tell me, which one is easier to fool?

        As I said above, I hold that Feynmann was literally correct.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach said in his post on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        “Here’s the thing. In order to fool someone else, you have to actually do some work.”
        _______

        If your intention is to fool someone else, yes, you have to do some work. You can, however, unintentionally fool someone else. Do we purposely fool others more frequently than we unintentionally fool them? My guess is no.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Max_OK | December 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

        Willis Eschenbach said in his post on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        “Here’s the thing. In order to fool someone else, you have to actually do some work.”

        _______

        If your intention is to fool someone else, yes, you have to do some work. You can, however, unintentionally fool someone else. Do we purposely fool others more frequently than we unintentionally fool them? My guess is no.

        Interesting question, Max. I’m not sure we can unintentionally fool someone else, absent special circumstances. Seems to me that there is a required element of intent in fooling someone. You have to want to fool them—if it is done unintentionally it would be called “accidentally misleading” someone, or a similar term, not “fooling”.

        It’s like Steven Mosher said above, he fooled a table of people (temporarily) into believing that one man planted all the apple trees in the US … I fear I don’t see how that could happen unintentionally.

        Sure, if you truly believed Johnny Appleseed did it, you could convince others of that incorrect claim … but I wouldn’t ever say that you “fooled” those other people, because it was unintentional. You did believe it. Seems to me it’s only “fooling” them if you deliberately distort the truth.

        All the best,

        w.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Mosher, some of those friends may have allowed you to fool yourself into believing you fooled them.
        Then what ?

      • Willis Eschenbach said in his post on Dec. 29, 2012 at 7: 14 PM

        ” I’m not sure we can unintentionally fool someone else, absent special circumstances. Seems to me that there is a required element of intent in fooling someone. You have to want to fool them—if it is done unintentionally it would be called “accidentally misleading” someone, or a similar term, not “fooling”.

        “I Seems to me it’s only “fooling” them if you deliberately distort the truth.”
        _________

        Willis, if as you say “there is a required element of intent in fooling someone,” then it seems to me intent would be a requirement regardless of whether that someone is yourself or another person. But while I can understand intent to fool another person, it’s hard for me to imagine a conscious intent to fool one’s self. How could you fool yourself if you knew you were doing it. I suppose one could have a subconscious intent to fool himself, as well as a subconscious intent to fool others, but how would you know?

        If we do not regard intent, conscious or subconscious, as a requirement for fooling, it’s easy for me to see how we can fool others without actually trying, simply by the way we dress and act. Years ago I new a very wealthy old man who dressed like a poor dirt farmer, and people who didn’t know him probably were fooled into thinking he was just a poor dirt farmer. I doubt he intended to fool strangers. I think he just liked wearing old worn work clothes, and didn’t give a damn what people thought.

      • Confucius say:

        Man who thinks he fooled others may be fooling himself

      • Feynman has said it is easier to fool yourself than to fool someone else.

        This statement was obviously made in the context of the scientific process – and actually it conveys pretty much the same message that Thomas Kuhn observed in his treatise on paradigms in science.

        So let’s see if Feynman’s observation holds outside the scientific process.

        An adult can obviously “fool” a naïve and innocent child more easily than him/herself.

        So that’s one exception. (But children are quick learners, and you can’t usually “fool” them for long.)

        An American sitting at a Chinese dinner table may be able to “fool” the Chinese at the table about some fact in American history (or maybe the inscrutable Chinese are simply being politely devious and “fooling” the American, in effect getting him to “fool himself” into thinking he has “fooled” them).

        So that’s (maybe) another exception.

        But let’s forget about the exceptions. What Feynman was referring to was scientific evidence.

        And there it is very clear to me (as Willis has also concluded) it is easier to “fool” yourself (into thinking you have a valid hypothesis supported by scientific evidence) than it is to “fool” others (into agreeing that you do, indeed, have that evidence and that your hypothesis is, therefore, valid).

        As a matter of fact, we see evidence of exactly that here on this thread, don’t we?

        Think about it, folks.

        Max

      • manacker said on Dec. 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

        “Feynman has said it is easier to fool yourself than to fool someone else.”

        “This statement was obviously made in the context of the scientific process.”
        _____

        Yes, Max_CH, Feynman was giving a talk on science when he made that statement, but fooling one’s self is “self-deception” no matter whether scientists do it or others do it.

        The Stanford Dictionary has a description of self-deception that fits the scientists and non-scientist alike.
        I will quote part of it, and provide a link in case you want to read the rest

        “Virtually every aspect of the current philosophical discussion of self-deception is a matter of controversy including its definition and paradigmatic cases. We may say generally, however, that self-deception is the acquisition and maintenance of a belief (or, at least, the avowal of that belief) in the face of strong evidence to the contrary motivated by desires or emotions favoring the acquisition and retention of that belief. Beyond this, philosophers divide over whether this action is intentional or not, whether self-deceivers recognize the belief being acquired is unwarranted on the available evidence, whether self-deceivers are morally responsible for their self-deception, and whether self-deception is morally problematic (and if it is in what ways and under what circumstances).”

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/self-deception/

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Willis Eschenbach:

        Interesting question, Max. I’m not sure we can unintentionally fool someone else, absent special circumstances. Seems to me that there is a required element of intent in fooling someone. You have to want to fool them—if it is done unintentionally it would be called “accidentally misleading” someone, or a similar term, not “fooling”.

        Max_OK:

        Willis, if as you say “there is a required element of intent in fooling someone,” then it seems to me intent would be a requirement regardless of whether that someone is yourself or another person. But while I can understand intent to fool another person, it’s hard for me to imagine a conscious intent to fool one’s self. How could you fool yourself if you knew you were doing it. I suppose one could have a subconscious intent to fool himself, as well as a subconscious intent to fool others, but how would you know?

        There is a requirement of intent, or at least of purpose, for deception (and thus fooling) to happen. They key to resolving the dilemma you two highlight is recognizing the human mind does not operate as a singular system. It is similar to a computer with RAM. It can load various things from a much larger source of memory, but it can only process so much at one time. What it has “loaded” determines what the system is at any given moment.

        Deceiving ourselves requires two contradictory thoughts not be loaded at the same time. You can say the decisions about what gets loaded at any moment are subconscious as opposed to conscious, that they reflect the “real you” or anything else, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is whatever controls that process (even if it is simply random) is what creates self-deception.

        Since we usually think of ourselves as our current thought system (i.e. whatever is “loaded” into RAM), “we” cannot unintentionally deceive others. What “we” can do is be passive transmitters of the deception that underlying process creates.

        (It’s worth pointing out people misjudging you because of something like your appearance is not an example of you fooling them. At most, you are provoking them into fooling themselves.)

    • I can see both sides of this argument about whether it is even possible to fool oneself. I would say it is. Here is a relevant example. If someone has been espousing a view very publicly with their name attached to it, many are going to be hanging onto that view even with strong counterarguments because the alternative, which is being humble and changing your public opinion, is too unthinkable for some. For them, humility=humiliation. For others it is possible, and this often happens with good scientists. Einstein admitted a mistake about the cosmological constant. Turned out he was right before, but nevertheless it showed humility.

      • Of course it is possible to fool yourself. It’s called cognitive dissonance.

        You can’t be a progressive without it.

      • barn E. rubble

        I’ve heard many times that a con man’s favourite mark is the guy who believes he can’t be conned . . .

  42. Most, but maybe not quite all, protagonists fall into one or two groups:

    Those who, largely for political reasons, have a problem with the the concept that the Earth is finite and human activity can have a serious and detrimental effect to the environment. In fact they don’t like the word environment and, still less, do they like those who refer to themselves as environmentalists. Therefore the members of this group have a strong tendency to dismiss, as merely the product of some UN based conspiracy to undermine capitalism, any scientific evidence which might suggest a problem. AGW, and increasing CO2 emissions, is the obvious example but they also have concerns about concepts such as ‘peak oil’ and often argue that the scientific theory of its fossil origins is incorrect. Similarly with the effects of DDT, CFC’s and the ozone layer etc.

    Then there those, in the second who do accept the mainstream line on all scientific topics. Sure, we accept the possibility that it may be incorrect but consider that , on balance, its more likely to be right than wrong. To the members of the first group we are just so gullible for believing it all.

    One group must be fooling themselves and each other. So which group is more likely to be right? I doubt there will be any agreement, any time soon, on that.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      empterrain | December 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      Most, but maybe not quite all, protagonists fall into one or two groups:

      ….

      One group must be fooling themselves and each other.

      Tempterrain, what you propose above is a common logical fallacy, sometimes called the “Fallacy of the Excluded Middle”. In that fallacy, you start by saying that there are only a couple possibilities … and then you say than one group or the other must be wrong.

      As you can see, the problem occurs if you don’t include all of the possible groups. In this case, you claim that there are only two groups,

      Those who, largely for political reasons, have a problem with the the concept that the Earth is finite and human activity can have a serious and detrimental effect to the environment. …

      Then there those, in the second who do accept the mainstream line on all scientific topics.

      So you say there are two groups. One group accepts the mainstream line, and and one group that doesn’t. You seem to think that one or the other of them must be right … but for starters, the first “middle” that you have excluded is the possibility that all of them, skeptics and AGW supporters alike, are wrong, wrong, wrong.

      Second, those “who do accept the mainstream line on all scientific topics” is a cohesive group. They will all either be right or wrong on any given topic. But those who do not accept the mainstream line are not a cohesive group in any sense. Instead, some think it’s the sun, some think it’s cosmic rays, some think something else …

      So the second “excluded middle” in your claims is are all of the different groups that you have lumped together. There is no “group” with common beliefs in opposition to those who accept the mainstream line. There are lots and lots of groups, each with different claims and theories. And as a result, the idea that “one group must be fooling themselves and each other”, simply won’t wash. They might all be wrong, or one group may be right and thus there would be a bunch of groups that are “fooling themselves and each other”.

      To paraphrase Hamlet, “There are more excluded middles in heaven and earth, Tempterrain, then are dreamed of in your philosophy”.

      In short, while there are valid arguments about climate, a claim like yours embodying the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle is not one of them.

      w.

      • Willis,

        Just to point out, to those who may not be familiar with the phrase “Fallacy of the Excluded Middle”, that it’s just another way of saying there is a ‘false dilemma’, or the more cliched ‘false dichotomy’.

        But is there really a false dilemma? We’ve, that is humanity collectively, has to decide if there is sufficient reason to curtail anthropogenic GH gas emissions. As readers of this blog will be aware, it’s a yes/no question and the contributors to the discussion will also be aware of which answer they advocate. There are the ‘er.. maybes’ and plenty of ‘don’t cares’ too, who probably don’t want to get involved in the discussion.

        There’s no getting away from that, but those in the middle ground certainly aren’t excluded.

        What’s the logical fallacy involved when someone argues an over-complexity which doesn’t exist?

      • Just on a spot of self criticism, I’ll have to plead guilty to a flagrant use of a tautology with the phrase “an over-complexity which doesn’t exist”.

      • TT,
        I think you have Mr. South Pacific Oil on the ropes.

        The discussion is absolutely polarized. We have to find some way to get off of fossil fuels for the long term. The majority of AGW skeptics don’t buy into this, even though it is an obvious objective. Uncertainty in AGW has become a huge strawman whipping-boy, which only serves to fool people. Example: if AGW was zero, we will still follow the path of alternative and renewable energies.

        This is a “No Regrets” policy.

        Unfortunately, the other side is in a “No Worries” mode.

      • tempterrain,

        “humanity collectively, has to decide if there is sufficient reason to curtail anthropogenic GH gas emissions. As readers of this blog will be aware, it’s a yes/no question ”

        It’s not a yes/no question.

        How much and on what timescale are important qualifiers. .

        All the existing energy infrastructure in the entire world will need to be replaced at some point. Everything that consumes energy will have to be replaced at some point.

        The world has a whole lot of clever people who spend their entire lives working on cheaper,faster,better.

        Do we keep what we have as long as we can to give the cheaper,better,faster people the maximum amount of time to invent something cheaper,better,faster or do we replace everything tomorrow morning at nine?

        Is cheaper,better,faster going to come out of some massive government research program or is it going to come out of someones garage?

      • I agree with tempterrain (the horror! the horror!)

        “We’ve, that is humanity collectively, has to decide if there is sufficient reason to curtail anthropogenic GH gas emissions.”

        This is indeed an accurate statement of the climate debate (the one everyone is arguing about), provided you add the word “now” to the end of the sentence.

        It is the C in CAGW that is the basis for the invocation of the precautionary principle as ground for decarbonizing the world economy.

        There are certainly myriad other debates; sensitivity, temperature records, the efficacy of models. But the central debate is on CAGW/decarbonization. And there is no rational middle in that debate.

        Once that debate is resolved, then all the scientists, academics and amateur enthusiasts can debate the rest to their hearts content. At which point the comments on blogs like this will likely drop from hundreds a day, to the teens.

        So while there is certainly a middle to be excluded on many of the ancillary issues in the climate debate, on the central issue of whether to decarbonize the world economy now – it is a yes or no question.

        I vote no.

      • WHT

        You have also fallen into tempterrain’s trap of polarization.

        The “excluded middle” are those who are NOT (as TT has put it) acting for ” political reasons, [or] have a problem with the the concept that the Earth is finite and human activity can have a serious and detrimental effect to the environment.”

        Believe it or not, WHT, there are intelligent people out there that do not fall into one of TT’s two groups – people who believe in protecting the environment or eliminating waste and also recognize that fossil fuel resources are limited and should be replaced with something else that is economically and politically competitive.

        The problem is finding that alternate today: nuclear fission competes economically for power generation, but has a political stigma in many countries plus a spent fuel problem, which can in all likelihood be solved with existing technology; to date there is no economically viable alternate for motor transportation. Wind and solar can be used on a small scale locally for power generation, but are not able to compete on a larger scale today, because of low reliability.

        Many of the people who realize that there is a fossil fuel limitation, do not believe that we must move away from fossil fuels today at all cost simply because of AGW. This is because they have concluded, based on the available data out there, that there is way too much uncertainty regarding the magnitude of AGW, with almost certainty that the net effect will not be harmful to humanity or our environment.

        These people also see that the projected impact from AGW is steadily decreasing: climate sensitivity estimates are coming down, uncertainty on extreme weather events caused by AGW has also increased, etc.

        And most of these skeptical individuals insist on seeing empirical evidence to support the claims of “CAGW” – this empirical evidence has yet to be cited (all the claims are based on model simulations largely backed by hypothetical deliberations instead of real-time physical evidence).

        Many of these also see that a carbon tax will achieve absolutely nothing as far as our climate is concerned (no tax ever did).

        They may also see that the mitigation schemes proposed so far are senseless, because we are unable to change our planet’s climate no matter how much money we throw at it.

        They may even have looked at the few actionable mitigation proposals made to date – and concluded that these would cost trillions of dollars to result in a theoretical reduction of global warming by 2100 of a few hundredths of a degree C.

        They may believe, as I do, that the sensible approach is to adapt locally and regionally to any climate changes Nature throws at us, if and when it becomes apparent that these are going to occur.

        Then there may be others, who object to some other aspect of the IPCC “CAGW” position.

        So that is the REAL middle group of people, which TT has overlooked in his black and white polarization.

        I’ll call this group the “rational skeptics” (as defined by Wiki and elsewhere).

        Max

      • Max
        TL;DR

        GaryM is one of yours.

        $100 a barrel oil with no chance of dropping means that decarbonization is happening now. No way to put the genie back in the bottle.
        Nothing you can do about it but complain about ancillary factors such as AGW.

      • WHT,

        “$100 a barrel oil with no chance of dropping means that decarbonization is happening now.”

        First, light crude is currently selling for a little over $90.00/bbl.

        Second, since decarbonization is already under way, I guess you are about to come out against all energy taxes, investment in “alternative energy” boondoggles, and general government regulation designed to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

        You’ve won. You just declared victory. I can’t imagine what reason you might have to even continue wasting your time engaging in a debate which is now moot.

        Congratulations.

      • So lawyer GaryM has admitted to losing the debate.

        Why does he continue commenting here?

        Probably to bash progressives.

        p.s. lookup the idea behind demand destruction.

      • Max,

        “You [GaryM] have also fallen into tempterrain’s trap of polarization.”

        Not really. There’s supposed to be a debate and it is quite normal at the end of it for their to be some kind of vote. There are always three possibilities. Yes, No or Abstain.

        I’m not setting any trap. That’s just the way it is.

      • Should be “there to be some kind…..”

      • WHT

        You seem to have some sort of a problem with $100/bbl crude oil.

        If oil gets too expensive because there is a less expensive alternate, people will stop using oil and start using the alternate.

        The same goes for coal – or natural gas.

        Pretty simple.

        Doesn’t require immediately stopping CO2 emissions to “save the planet”, as tempterrain would like us all to do.

        Doesn’t require all the fear mongering and other pseudo-scientific BS to try to keep the “CAGW” premise alive.

        Rejoice, WHT!

        Humans will move away from fossil fuels as soon as there is an economically and politically viable alternate.

        Nuclear fission (with some slight improvements) is already available as an alternate for the largest portion of the total energy requirement.

        Renewables (wind, solar) can help out locally, but will never amount to very much, due to inherent unreliability.

        Hey, nuclear fusion might even become a real alternate in the near future – who knows?

        So cheer up, man.

        And the “planet” is going to be “just fine” in any case

        You can relax.

        Max

        PS Don’t worry about tempterrain; he’s not REALLY worried about CAGW destroying our planet – and besides, once he sees that this is not happening, he’ll get his knickers untwisted and switch to something else to worry about (he’s just the “worrying type”, that’s all).

      • tempterrain

        “There’s supposed to be a debate and it is quite normal at the end of it for their to be some kind of vote”

        There is always another option…deferring the vote until more evidence is available.

        How is this R&D program going to work out?

        http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/55455.pdf

      • Rich. Another example of harnessing the infrared properties of CO2. Somebody should trademark the phrase “Venus in a box”

        Yet the skeptics continue to obfuscate and deny that excess Co2 would have anything to do with climate.
        Fortunately technologists don’t listen to you cretins. They go about their business.

      • WHT wrote: “Another example of harnessing the infrared properties of CO2.”
        ————————————————————————————————–
        I suggest you read up about what the supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle is all about before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.

    • There are two kinds of people: those who believe there are two kinds of people and those who don’t.

    • I just read this exchange and I am trying to figure out which was easier, for tempterrain to fool himself or to fool WHT.

  43. Herbert Gintis published yet another review, this time of Sowell’s **Intellectual and Society**:

    > This book preachs to a right-wing choir, a wordy version of the radio talk-show hucksters I so regularly avoid. There are many factual gems and cogent insights in this book, but they are smothered in invective. If you want to be preached to, this is the book for you. If you want insight, look elsewhere.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R1NX9L84XFXFY2

    The virtuous path is one of joyful sorrow.

  44. Skeptics are like snowflakes in that no two have the same scientific view, so it is fair for them to ask if they are fooling themselves because they actually are either the only person right (not a humble view at all) or just fooling themselves. There is no in between.

    • “Skeptics are like snowflakes in that no two have the same scientific view, so it is fair for them to ask if they are fooling themselves because they actually are either the only person right (not a humble view at all) or just fooling themselves. There is no in between.”

      This assume one or more skeptics, believe they have the answer, as compared being in a pursuit of looking for correct answers.
      The only reason one calls someone a Skeptic is mainly because they don’t accept what is presented as the truth or something with a high confident of it being correct.
      Being skeptical of Hansen’s 1988 global temperature projection is not really skeptical- it’s accepting what is obviously a fact: It was wrong.
      There also other latter “projections” of global temperature, which also appear to wrong, but within a decade or two, it will probably not be a matter of being skeptical, but again matter of simply accepting what is blatantly obvious.
      So also thing which blatantly obvious and not matter being skeptical or not- that is so, anyone who was skeptical, a decade or 3, ago, have shown that these skeptics were obviously correct. And the believer were obviously wrong.

      • Some other skeptics, possibly a majority, have accepted that short-range predictions can appear wrong because of natural variability. However you raise the point that many skeptics are more spectators than thinkers, and don’t even have ideas that hold together from the scientific viewpoint.

      • “Jim D | December 29, 2012 at 1:07 am |

        Some other skeptics, possibly a majority, have accepted that short-range predictions can appear wrong because of natural variability. However you raise the point that many skeptics are more spectators than thinkers, and don’t even have ideas that hold together from the scientific viewpoint.”

        I don’t think the non-skeptics “have ideas that hold together from the scientific viewpoint.”
        So rather than say there isn’t more than one, I would say there isn’t one.

        What you have is stupid ideas.
        If the earth was a blackbody, I would agree that average temperature should be around 5 C. Or more precisely the entire surface would be uniform temperature and that temperature would around 5 C.
        But Earth is not a blackbody. Nor is it something like a blackbody- or something one could call a greybody.
        If Earth was actually a blackbody, greenhouse gases would have no effect upon it’s temperature.
        No one has ever provide any evidence that greenhouse gases would increase the surface temperature of a blackbody.
        Or if had two greenhouses which were the same. One had vacuum and other had the most potent greenhouse gases available. the floor of the vacuum greenhouse would be as warm as the one with greenhouse gases.
        Suppose one had some blackbody type material- 4 by 8′ “plywood” which was 1 inch thick. Put it as the flooring of the vacuum greenhouse. And summertime with Sun at zenith and cloudless day. The temperature of the blackbody floor would around 80 C. On the Moon the same greenhouse with the blackbody floor would be around 120 C. This because on Earth one gets about 1000 watts per square meter, and on the Moon one get 1366 watts per square meter.
        If the Moon was blackbody it would higher uniform temperature than compared to Earth. But of course neither Earth or the Moon vaguely resemble a black or greybody.

        Suppose you had a blackbody at earth distance- uniform temperature 5 C. you add modest amount of atmosphere, a hundredth of earth’s atmosphere. Such a small atmosphere would stop the solar radiation from reaching the surface of planet. One might assume the air temperature to be somewhere around the temperature of the surface. But there could problems with such an assumption [it depends upon the exact nature of mythical blackblody material- and how sunlight and it interacts with gas].
        It should be noted, that this blackbody [with or without a thin atmosphere] would be invisible. A human eye would not see it. It would look similar to a blackhole. Though one might able to see this thin atmosphere reflect some sunlight- a thousandth or ten thousandth of the sunlight could be quite bright, especially considering the contrast of the inky background of the surface- and say you were in orbit or close to the planet.

        Now suppose we replace the blackbody material with plywood painted flat paint black. Now, visually one has quite different creature. To human eyes, earth covered black plywood would appear similar to the Moon- it would appear to be somewhat white and quite visible. And from Venus, earth look like Venus does from Earth- not as bright as, Venus appears as the brightest star, Earth would appear as a bright star.
        On earth with black paint plywood the surface with it’s thin atmosphere,
        would look blackish and if you had something painted white, then there would be big contrast- white would appear really white, and black would appear a darker black. And daytime temperature would be hot. The surface would hotter than we have anywhere now. The air would basically be a vacuum. Surface temperature around 120 C. And should get more dust devils than one gets on Mars. And more wind in general. But no kite flying. Pour water on ground, and boils and evaporates quickly. Pour enough water and it cools and perhaps freezes. Pour enough water that effects the local humidity and can get liquid water on the surface [boils if much warmer than 0 C- say, at around 5 C.
        Which means with this thin atmosphere one can’t get water warmer than 5 C. If add salt and it allows a slightly higher boiling point.
        A pond of water at equator should be liquid during day get up around 5 C, and perhaps freeze at nite.
        It should not make much difference to temperature of water if surface is painted black or white- at least at the regions near the equator.

        Increase atmospheric mass/pressure from 1/100th to 1/10th, and water boils at higher temperature- water could warm up more.
        I should get water phase diagram:

        http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/phase.html

        So, looks like 325 K boils at 1/10th atm.
        So ocean would have to get to 50 C to boil and so mud puddle might
        boil, but ponds,lakes, and oceans couldn’t boil.
        Now if covered planet with ocean [1000'+] the color of surface doesn’t
        matter at all. And one should have higher average temperature than Earth has. If instead you covered entire planet with 10 meters of water, the color of the ocean bottom would make some difference.
        Such a shallow ocean should give much warmer tropical areas, it seems questionable whether poles would freeze during winter.
        If there was more cloud cover than earth has now, then it’s possible poles could freeze.
        But I tend to think entire planet would be tropical conditions. With 1/10th Earth’s atmosphere and the same cloud coverage as current Earth, there would a significant increase of sunlight reaching the surface. Clear day with sun at zenith should be around 1200 watts or more per square meter. Or around or more than 20% increase in solar energy reaching the surface in the tropical region. But a higher increase of solar energy reaching surface in temperate and polar region. So clear day and noon and sun at 30 degrees above horizon
        on Earth, you get about 600 watts per square of solar energy- 1/10th
        atmosphere is would be 1000 watts square meter- or more than 40%
        increase in solar energy reaching the surface.
        [1/10th of atmosphere still quite a vacuum- one need a pressure suit to breath a provided air supply. Or if atmosphere was 100 % oxygen human could not naturally breath the air due to lack of pressure- one needs 2 1/2 times more pressure to be able to do this.]

        Increasing the atmosphere to 1/2 of Earth’s atmospheric mass, instead about 20% increase at tropics, it be instead 10% increase with temperate and polar having 20 to 30% increase in amount solar energy reaching surface. And water covered world should a higher average temperature, than Earth. And have enough pressure to breath [it would like the air at elevation of 20,000' on Earth].

        So, that’s my “model”.

      • gbaikie, you have over-complicated it. Yes, a black body would be about 5 C at earth’s distance from the sun. Give it earth’s albedo of 0.3 and that reduces it to -18 C. Add GHGs and that becomes the effective temperature from the earth and atmosphere together, but as the atmosphere is colder due to the adiabatic lapse rate, the earth has to be warmer to compensate to give you the same average. The more GHGs you have, the more warm the earth part has to be. It ends up providing the 33 K difference at the surface from a -18 C black body to a 15 C surface with still an effective -18 C at the top of the atmosphere.

      • “If instead you covered entire planet with 10 meters of water, the color of the ocean bottom would make some difference.”

        Btw, if surface was black and with this shallow ocean, this “Earth” from orbit would look similar the Moon. You would not easily see the water and it would appear bright and somewhat white. It might appear whiter and brighter than moon. Even if this earth surface was somewhat rough [small boulders] there would less shadowed region- the water would reduce shadows. Even changed model and added mountains {land area}
        the water would generally reduce the amount shadows- and you still not see the water, unless you at an angle to the sunlight where the water mirrors the sunlight].

      • “gbaikie, you have over-complicated it. ”
        Sorry, but I think what is more correct is I over simplified it.

        I did this because there a lot of unknown. A boatload for me, but also
        this applies to everyone at this time.
        But what should be obviously clear, is there less unknown now, then there was back in 1896.
        “Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) was a Swedish scientist that was the first to claim in 1896 that fossil fuel combustion may eventually result in enhanced global warming.”

        http://www.lenntech.com/greenhouse-effect/global-warming-history.htm#ixzz2GTTe2yWe

        I should not need to make list of all the unknowns of 1896, but
        everyone agrees that CO2 levels are not the major cause of interglacial
        and glacial periods- though one could still argue about the degree it may or may not have been some kind of factor. {As many do}

        “Yes, a black body would be about 5 C at earth’s distance from the sun. ”

        Let’s expand upon this. A body which is black is not the same as a blackbody. A blackbody has little to do with color- something closest to a blackbody could appear bright pink. Or reflective, or green, or whatever color it appears to the human eye.
        But generally, something black does normally absorbs more sunlight.

        All that needed is for one to know the moon is as black as asphalt [something unknown to Svante Arrhenius] and to go outside at night and look at the Moon.
        Of course Svante Arrhenius might not know what is meant by term, asphalt:
        “The first such patent was filed in 1871 by Nathan B. Abbott of Brooklyn, New York. In 1900, Frederick J. Warren filed a patent for “Bitulithic” pavement, a mixture of bitumen and aggregate; despite vigorous efforts by the Warren Brothers Company to defend its patent (and the name of the material), “bitulithic” was often used to describe any asphalt pavement. Other trade names for asphalt mixes included Wilite, Romanite, National Pavement, Imperial, Indurite, and Macasphalt. Many of these patented mixes were successful and technically innovative.”

        http://www.asphaltpavement.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=41

        “Give it earth’s albedo of 0.3 and that reduces it to -18 C.”

        Yes, but this is false.
        Because you mixing blackbody with color black and getting that
        wrong.
        Or if something is painted black and is put in the sunlight if will get hotter than something painted white, but the difference isn’t as much as 1/3rd of the temperature.
        So something black gets to say 160 F [71 C or 344 K] in sunlight.
        If white, it could instead be as much as 150 F [65 C or 338.7 K].
        And the type of paint [flat vs glossy and other physical characteristics] could be a bigger factor than color.
        And as I said the color of blackbody doesn’t really matter, particularly when talking about relatively cool temperatures [perhaps more exact, a "cooled object" which is what a blackbody would be]. So a white “blackbody” could be somewhere around 5 C, instead of being 23 K cooler.
        Apparent color not a big factor. Though blocking of solar energy reaching the surface, would be more significant- but whole thing about clouds is complicated- and one is making the whole thing more complicated by talking about mythical substance, a blackbody.

        “Add GHGs and that becomes the effective temperature from the earth and atmosphere together, but as the atmosphere is colder due to the adiabatic lapse rate, the earth has to be warmer to compensate to give you the same average. The more GHGs you have, the more warm the earth part has to be. It ends up providing the 33 K difference at the surface from a -18 C black body to a 15 C surface with still an effective -18 C at the top of the atmosphere.”

        One should keep in mind that greenhouse effect is about the temperature of atmosphere. And a blackbody is about the surface temperature [not surface air temperature]. In terms of temperature, these are different animals.

      • gbaikie, it is hard to tell if you are agreeing with me except for terminology. Yes, a black body is an ideal radiater. The earth has to radiate at an equivalent blackbody temperature of -18 C. With an atmosphere, it still has to radiate this amount from the top which is specified by the equivalent temperature but could also be expressed as about 240 W/m2, but now some comes from the colder atmosphere and some comes from the warmer earth.

    • And the alarmists by and large mostly share the same narrow view.
      I asked this question on another thread: Who are the extremists on the alarmist side? If you can’t answer that question then you have to consider that it may be because your views are extreme.

      • phatboy

        You ask: “who are the extremists on the alarmist side?”

        Two examples:

        Among scientists: James E. Hansen

        Among non-scientists: Al Gore

        Max

      • The true path is straight and narrow. Science constraints give little lee-way for pro-AGWers to stray so a symptom of being right is how so many people agree on the basics here. It is just because it holds together so well with many lines of evidence. You find the same thing with established science like gravity and evolution.

      • You just keep telling yourself that, Jimbo

      • phatty,

        stop fooling with yourself

    • Jim D

      Your snowflake analysis that “no two [skeptics] have the same scientific view” is false.

      Skeptics share one overriding viewpoint, namely that the IPCC premise of “CAGW” (as has been defined in detail elsewhere) is NOT supported by empirical scientific evidence (as has also been defined elsewhere)

      That is the “golden thread” in the skeptical argument – and (so far) at has not been scientifically falsified.

      Remember that.

      Max

      • only one problem Max, there is no IPCC ‘CAGW’ premise.

      • Jim D

        You write

        “only one problem Max, there is no IPCC ‘CAGW’ premise.”

        Oh yes there is. And it is well spelled out by IPCC in its AR4 report.

        Since you have (astonishingly) missed it, I will summarize the key parts of it below:

        “CAGW” is the name often given to the IPCC premise, as outlined below:

        1. human GHGs have been the cause of most of the observed warming since ~1950 [AR4 WGI SPM, p.10]

        2. this reflects a model-predicted 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2°C±0.7°C [AR4 WGI Ch.8, p.633]

        3. this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment from anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the range of 1.8°C to 6.4°C by the end of this century with increase in global sea level of up to 0.59 meters [AR4 WGI SPM, p.13]

        4.resulting in increased severity and/or intensity of heat waves, heavy precipitation events, droughts, tropical cyclones and extreme high sea levels [AR4 WGI SPM, p.8],

        5. with resulting flooding of several coastal cities and regions, crop failures and famines, loss of drinking water for millions from disappearing glaciers, intensification and expansion of wildfires, severe loss of Amazon forests, decline of corals, extinction of fish species, increase in malnutrition, increase in vector borne and diarrheal diseases, etc. [AR4 WGII]

        6. unless world-wide actions are undertaken to dramatically curtail human GHG emissions (principally CO2) [AR4 WGIII]

        That, Jim, is the IPCC premise, which has been generally called “CAGW” (for potentially catastrophic anthropogenic greenhouse warming).

        Max

    • manacker, the skeptics are united in their dislike for the IPCC reports, but you will find it is for different parts of it, and they have different reasons for disliking those parts. Some just don’t like the levels of uncertainty portrayed, but arguing about 95% versus 75% certainty is pointless unless the science itself is addressed, which is where the skeptics have fallen down by not finding credible attacks on the consensus views. Many skeptics give the IPCC sensitivity range a 0% chance of being right, but haven’t produced a coherent idea between them as to why, just lots of individual verbiage.

      • Jim D

        It would be very foolish of you to attempt to define what “CAGW skeptics” conclude to be the case (since you are not in that group).

        But I would point out that they are united in at least one thing:

        They are not convinced that the IPCC CAGW premise is supported by empirical evidence.

        And, Jim, there has been no “empirical evidence” to date, which would support the IPCC CAGW premise.

        In its reports, IPCC has been unable to cite such empirical evidence.

        You have been unable to cite such empirical evidence.

        Nor has anyone else been able to do so.

        And, until such empirical evidence can be shown, Jim, I (and a bunch of others) will remain rationally skeptical of the IPCC CAGW premise.

        It’s actually very simple – no need to make it complicated.

        Max

      • I don’t use the term CAGW. Just to be clear, is a 4 C rise since pre-industrial sufficient to be counted as CAGW or not? The science can only give the temperature change and some clue about the impacts. The 4 C rise could occur by 2100 or shortly thereafter. Does the speed of rise come into whether it is CAGW or not? I think some skeptics use CAGW as a way to say they are talking about impacts instead of just the temperature rise, because they know the temperature rise is happening anyway.

      • Jim D

        I know that you do “not use CAGW”. But it is a term that is generally used to describe the IPCC premise of a potentially serious threat to humanity and our environment from AGW.

        I have taken IPCC’s last report (AR4) as the basis, and the premise is fairly well described there.

        I posted a short summary to Vaughan Pratt (at his request) and he generally agreed that this was the IPCC premise known as “CAGW” (although he also does not use that term, himself).

        But I do not believe that we are quibbling about a “term” or “name” here, Jim.

        It is the concept on which we disagree.

        As a rational skeptic, I am simply telling you that no one (so far) has been able to cite empirical evidence (Feynman). which would support the IPCC CAGW premise (or “claim” or “hypothesis”, or however you want to describe it.)

        And, until someone does, I will remain rationally skeptical of its scientific validity.

        OK?

        Max

      • Jim D

        You ask (what appears to be a rhetorical) question:

        “is a 4 C rise since pre-industrial sufficient to be counted as CAGW or not?”

        Let’s analyze.

        There has been an estimated ~1 C warming since “pre-industrial”, (and we are doing just fine despite this warming, thank you), so the real question is:

        “is a 3 C rise above today’s temperature sufficient to be counted as CAGW or not?”

        IPCC has defined in AR4 its position on the projected impact of AGW. The AR5 draft indicates some backing down on projected temperature increases and weather consequences, but let’s ignore that for now and stick with AR4.

        A real “winners and losers” analysis has not yet been made, but pretty much everyone agrees that up to 2 C increase would be no real problem for humanity and our environment, especially as this increase would allegedly occur principally at higher (cooler) latitudes.

        So your question is really whether or not that added 1 C increase would be high enough to potentially cause “catastrophic” impacts for humanity and our environment.

        I’d sort of doubt it, but the second, more pertinent, question should be asked:

        what empirical evidence exists to support the notion that a warming of 3 C above today’s temperature is possible by when?”

        Let’s say the “when” is 2100 (a date used by IPCC). Projecting this far into an unknown future is foolish enough IMO, but going any further would be totally absurd.

        Latest estimates of (2xCO2) ECS are 1.6 to 2.0C (Lewis /Schlesinger).

        These are based on empirical observations, to the extent that these are available, rather than simply on model simulations, so let’s accept them as sound, for now.

        Let’s take the high value of 2 C.

        In order to reach warming of 3 C from CO2, this would have to increase to 1100 ppmv.

        ln(1100/392)*2.0 / ln(2) = 3.0 C

        This is more CO2 than would result from the combustion of all optimistically inferred fossil fuels still left on our planet (around 1000 ppmv) – something that no one predicts could happen by 2100.

        So the answer is: it is virtually certain, based on the evidence at hand, that warming of 3 C will not occur from human GHG emissions by year 2100.

        And to carry this a step further: it is virtually certain that the CAGW predictions of IPCC will not occur.

        I hope this clarifies the point you raised.

        Max

        PS Of course, the “science is NOT settled”, and if new empirical evidence is found to either falsify or validate the IPCC CAGW hypothesis, this could change the picture.

      • manacker, 4 C since pre-industrial requires only 705 ppm total CO2 at 3 degrees per doubling. Most would regard this as an easy target for business-as-usual. The so-called safe 2C is also since pre-industrial which is generally accepted to correspond to 450 ppm and very few expect we will remain below that even with attempted mitigation. I chose 4 C because that is at the center of the likelihood distribution for 2100 given emissions and sensitivity. If the world planned for that scenario, they won’t be far wrong. What planning is required? This needs to be what the experts debate, not whether we should do nothing or not. Very much like the fiscal cliff, things are being left until a crisis visibly emerges before action is taken, and I expect that to be the case with climate change. It is not a good method of governance, but is in human nature.

      • Jim D

        You are pulling a silly “rabbit out of the hat” with your phony calculation starting with “pre-industrial” time.

        The warming of ~1C that has occurred to date has already occurred (for whatever reason). And, hey, we are dong just fine despite this warming, so it is no problem.

        We can only project warming into the future starting with today – not from 260+ years ago!

        So for 3C warming from CO2 from today (392 ppmv CO2) by 2100, we would need 2×392 = 784 ppmv CO2 by 2100, if we assume a (2xCO2) ECS of 3C.

        At the more recently estimated ECS of 1.6C to 2C (Lewis / Schlesinger) we would need to reach CO2 levels of 1440 ppmv or 1110 ppmv, respectively.

        Since these levels exceed the CO2 concentration that would occur from combusting ALL the fossil fuels on our planet, it would obviously be an absurd level of warming at the new ECS values.

        So, it all depends on whether the old model-based IPCC estimates of ECS will hold, despite the new information, which is based largely on actual physical observations.

        If (2xCO2) ECS is 1.6 to 2.0C, then the “C” has been removed from “CAGW” and the whole hullabaloo is all about nothing.

        These new data have put IPCC between a rock and a hard spot. So, if you want to keep “CAGW” alive, you’d better “lobby” for IPCC to ignore the latest data and stick with its old model-based estimate for ECS.

        I personally think “CAGW” has died a natural death (no matter how IPCC decides to handle the new data) as the physical data are out there now for all to see and IPCC will look unscientific if they ignore them or try to rationalize them away.

        It would look like IPCC were trying to “fool us” by “fooling itself”.

        Max

    • By providing 17 years without warming, Mother Nature has sided with us Skeptics. 2013 is going to start with enough snow on the ground and temperatures so cold that the continued the lack of warming will continue for another year. I accept earth temperature data over Model projections that fail, time and time again. Look at the actual data. When the oceans are warm, it ALWAYS snows enough to cause cooling.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        This kind of statement:

        “By providing 17 years without warming, Mother Nature has sided with us Skeptics.”
        ______
        Is unhelpful in furthering any true scientific understanding of the processes at work in making up Earth’s climate because:

        1) It is inaccurate because it is too vague and too unscientific. It is akin to saying “the globe is cooling”. There is no such thing as “the globe” as far as the Earth system is concerned, except in a first grade geography class.
        2) Skeptics can only accept things as “provisionally true”, whereas nature, as in “the sum total of all physical processes occurring in the universe.” has no such boundary applied to the truth of things. Nature is that which casts the shadows on the cave wall, as well as that which perceives those shadows. Humans (as Skeptics) are only that which perceives the shadows, and as such we then deceive ourselves into telling stories about that which casts the shadows– some of us going on to become experts at story telling.

      • R gates

        Your 2 ,32 . Nice post. You recognise the truth of marcel leroux’s comments that the world has many climates. I wonder if politicians deciding our fates are aware of this, and that one third of the world is cooling to one degree or other, and the question mark of uhi that hangs over many others, or that dr mann’s hockey stick does not demonstrate the earths past climate accurately, or that trees are a terrible proxy for a number of reasons or….

        The uncertainty monster is present at every twist and turn of the climate science road but he appears to be wearing a cloak that hides his true form to those that need to see him most clearly.

        Tonyb

      • R. Gates

        The statement by Herman Alexander Pope, which you quoted could also be reworded slightly, as follows:

        “By providing 17 years without warming, Mother Nature has sided with us Skeptics provided empirical evidence, which – if this lack of warming continues for another decade or so, despite unabated human GHG emissions – will provide compelling evidence, which would essentially falsify the CAGW premise of IPCC”

        [IOW, 17 years is too short, but 30 years would be long enough for "furthering the true scientific understanding of the processes at work in making up Earth’s climate" and to falsify, not AGW, per se, but the CAGW premise of IPCC.]

        Do you like it better that way?

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        Your re-wording of H.A. Pope’s post is certainly better, but does not do science any justice. As AGW, catastrophic or not, is about the energy balance of Earth’s non-tectonic energy system, if one is going to posit that some part of that system is going to be losing energy (i.e. cooling) then one ought to very specific about 3 things:

        1) Exactly which part of Earth’s energy system is cooling
        2) How long that cooling has occurred and/or is likely to occur
        3) Where that energy is going to (either space or another part of Earth’s energy system
        4) Why additional energy is not flowing into that region of the Earth system so as to maintain the energy

        Thus, for example, if I say the top 100 meters of the Eastern Pacific ocean east of 150W and between 10 degrees south and 10 degrees north is cooling because that energy is going into the troposphere and is not being replaced as fast the energy from deeper upwelling warm water, nor by solar insolation and that this has been occurring for 3 months and shall continue for 6 months more, then this is a very specific, scientific, and testable statement.

        Saying “the globe” has been cooling for 17 years, or that the “planet” shall cool for a decade or three is not scientific nor testable as it has no dimension or specificity to test.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        In my last post, of course I meant to say:

        “,,,then one ought to very specific about 4 things:”

      • R. Gates

        A point well taken.

        In the past (when the thermometers out there played along) IPCC always connected AGW with atmospheric warming (using principally the global surface record of HadCRUT3).

        I would agree that this is only part of the picture, and (now that the thermometers out there are no longer playing along) IPCC is also moving to a different view, which includes the ocean, as well.

        We have no good record of ocean heat content (OHC) prior to ARGO in 2003. The data we have is so spotty and questionable, that we can essentially ignore it as far as a quantitative estimate is concerned. The first ARGO results showed cooling; the data have been “corrected” to now show essentially no warming or cooling. Not too convincing so far.

        So IMO we need at least 20 years of good ARGO readings (which we can agree are “correct”) before we can make any meaningful quantitative estimates of OHC trends.

        Since the ocean has so much greater heat capacity than the atmosphere, it will be a challenge to measure the very small changes in temperature at various levels to arrive at a meaningful OHC estimate.

        But, hey, Skeptical, no one in his right mind would worry about a net 0.05C or so warming of the global ocean – what they worry about is a predicted warming of the atmosphere of up to 6C (as projected by IPCC in AR4 by 2100).

        So if most of the warming eventually goes into the ocean, this means that AGW is not a threat at all, as we have a natural “heat sink” to absorb the added Joules without problem.

        Right?

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        I’ve never cared much for or agreed with the over emphasis on near-surface temperatures for the “smoking gun” on AGW. The lower troposphere is far too fickle over the short-term and has such low thermal inertia that it is best used as a rough gauge for increases in Earth system energy content over longer periods. The ocean is obviously the best overall gauge for overall heat content, but the cryosphere is better than the atmosphere from a thermal inertia standpoint, in that even though the energy content of the cryosphere is lower than the atmosphere, the thermal inertia is much higher, and thus it can serve as another indicator of steady accumulation of energy in the Earth system. Combining the energy increases we seen in both the cryosphere and oceans gives a pretty strong indication that energy is accumulating. The atmosphere, being more subject to short-term noise, requires a longer-period of time to see the trend.

        I do agree that data on the ocean heat content (especially prior to ARGO) is unfortunately based a greater uncertainty, but I also think that the paleodata and other direct measurements give a far better feel for overall trends than some are willing to admit. I have a very high degree of confidence that the overall trend in ocean heat content has been toward higher levels for many decades. Show me one credible study that would indicate this is not the case, and I’ll be glad to move them to the top of my reading list.

      • R. Gates

        You agree that prior to ARGO in 2003 the OHC measurements are practically worthless.

        Yet you ask for evidence that there was no ocean warming prior to 2003.

        Obviously, there is no compelling “evidence” of warming, cooling or no change in the ocean temperature prior to 2003.

        I will agree with you that it is logical to assume that, if the atmosphere warmed by some fraction of a degree C over a prolonged period (as has been measured, albeit with some warts and blemishes in the record), then the ocean could most likely also have warmed very slightly (by a much smaller amount, due to its much higher total heat capacity).

        But this is not “evidence” of increased OHC content prior to 2003.

        Let’s wait until we have 20 years of REAL data (with agreement on any “corrections” or “adjustments” made to the raw ARGO data) before we talk about increased OHC, OK?

        And, fer chrissakes, let’s not take worthless OHC data prior to 2003 to calculate a putative SL rise “from thermal expansion”, as IPCC has done [AR4 WG1 SPM, p.7].

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        The OHC content measurements prior to ARGO were not “worthless” but simply have much greater uncertainty. I think the general trends indicated by the data are quite useful (that is, the entire wider uncertainty band moves up or down in a reliable way). I have a relatively high degree of confidence in the notion that globally, ocean heat content down to 2000m has increased by about 0.5 x 10^22 Joules per year on average over the past 50 years– meaning that about 25 x 10^22 Joules have been added to the ocean heat content over this period. Thus, in general, I agree with the overall conclusions of this paper, with certain reservations that are not important to the overall findings on OHC:

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051106.shtml

    • Water, in all of its states is abundant and Water, in all of its states, is what regulates the temperature of earth. The temperature that Arctic Sea Ice melts and freezes does regulate the temperature of earth.

      When the oceans are cold and the Arctic is frozen, it does not snow enough to replace the ice that melts in summer and ice retreats and earth warms.

      When the oceans are warm and the Arctic is thawed, it does snow enough to more than replace the ice that melts in summer and ice advances and earth cools.

      Control of temperature for a massive system requires something that is Abundant and something that has a Set Point that can switch between heating and cooling. How many people control the temperature in their homes with CO2? How many people would even consider using CO2 to ?control the temperature of anything other than the whole earth. If it is not right for anything else, it is not right for earth.

  45. “…conclusions and beliefs inculcated in us are sometimes false or misleading.”

    An Example is IPCC’s current maximum 30-years warming rate claim of about 0.2 deg C per decade.

    This is incorrect because this warming rate includes a cyclical warming rate of about 0.12 deg C per decade, which makes the actual warming rate ONLY about 0.08 deg C per decade as shown:

    This result implies the IPCC has introduced a trend magnification factor given by

    IPCC Trend magnification factor = 0.2/0.08 = 2.5

    This will reduce IPCC’s climate sensitivity of about 3 deg C for doubling of CO2 to

    Actual Climate Sensitivity = 3/2.5 = 1.2 deg C for doubling of CO2.

    Conclusion=> IPCC’s claim of current warming rate of 0.2 deg C per decade is false!

    • Girma

      IPCC’s claim of current warming rate of 0.2 deg C per decade is false!

      That’s what all the thermometers out there are showing too, Girma (it hasn’t warmed for 15 years).

      Max

      • Careful, Max, you’re risking incurring the wrath of those who will swear that it has warmed slightly.
        They know that only because a linear regression applied with carefully-chosen start and endpoints shows a slight warming trend, or even that the previous warming trend is still in force.
        They don’t trust their own eyeballs, which show the temperature going up and down slightly, but largely remaining the same.
        So they invoke their flashy new toys – their regression models and the like, which they don’t begin to understand – to prove to themselves that their own eyeballs are in fact lying to them.
        They only fool themselves, but at least it seems they enjoy the experience.

      • phatboy

        Gotta admit you have a point.

        Models and convoluted analyses are the best tools for fooling yourself.

        For example, we had a brilliant scientist, Vaughan Pratt, on another thread using these tools to fool himself into actually thinking he had a CO2 temperature correlation that could predict the future to year 2100 to two-thousandth of a degree K.

        Now that’s some heavy fooling.

        Max

      • “They don’t trust their own eyeballs, which show the temperature going up and down slightly, but largely remaining the same.”

        “Drawing conclusions from data without performing a statistical test is referred to by researchers as eyeballing. The problem is that you can’t trust your eyeballs.”

        http://www.actualanalysis.com/eyeball.htm

      • phatboy

        They don’t trust their own eyeballs, which show the temperature going up and down slightly, but largely remaining the same.

        This statement is incorrect.

        So they invoke their flashy new toys – their regression models and the like, which they don’t begin to understand – to prove to themselves that their own eyeballs are in fact lying to them.

        We can see that the first claim is false without using regression. Go here, scroll down to ‘Global Surface Temperature’ and look below the main GAT graph at the panel ‘Time series: 1884 – 2010′.

        Steadily drag the slider below the map to the right until it reaches the 2010 end stop. Repeat in reverse. Now review 1884 – 2010 again.

        According to my eyeballs, this statement is falsified every time I follow the steps above:

        They don’t trust their own eyeballs, which show the temperature going up and down slightly, but largely remaining the same.

        You seem to have fooled yourself pretty comprehensively.

      • BBD,
        How in heaven’s name does 1884-2010 data compare with 1996-2012 data?
        Besides which, I’d be deeply suspicious of any graphic which shows 0 deg C as light yellow, particularly one which shows virtually the entire globe in deep shades of blue in the first few years, and then shows huge areas of red over the last few years in the Arctic, an area where GISS data is extrapolated over a very large area, and also diverges considerably from other data sets.
        lolwot,
        I think you’ll find the article you linked to doesn’t apply to time-series data.

      • BBD, In case you’re wondering, the discussion was about warming (or lacl of) over the last 15 years.
        You then responded by showing a link to data since 1884.
        How did you imagine that such a comparison was even remotely valid?

        Now what were you saying about fooling yourself?

      • “I think you’ll find the article you linked to doesn’t apply to time-series data.”

        you are only fooling yourself

      • You talk about the pitfalls of eyeballing, but ignore the perils of fitting regression models.
        See: http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/22/open-thread-weekend-5/#comment-280042
        and: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=6854

      • phatboy

        I took your statement to be a general observation about GAT. It makes no difference; over several decades what you say is nonsense. In the short term, you cannot infer anything from very short time-series other than that the data are noisy. Just ask William Briggs. Or anybody who has a clue.

        But you go on. With absolute predictability, you are now denying the data. In fact I’d say you were actually insinuating that GISTEMP is fraudulent:

        Besides which, I’d be deeply suspicious of any graphic which shows 0 deg C as light yellow, particularly one which shows virtually the entire globe in deep shades of blue in the first few years, and then shows huge areas of red over the last few years in the Arctic, an area where GISS data is extrapolated over a very large area, and also diverges considerably from other data sets.

        Right. So we’d expect to see significant divergence between GISTEMP and other major GAT reconstructions. Here we see GISTEMP, NOAA Global and HadCRUT4 compared. Your claim is shown to be false.

        BBD, In case you’re wondering, the discussion was about warming (or lacl of) over the last 15 years.

        The discussion is, as always, about misinformation and denial.

      • BBD,
        Firstly, I never suggested that you can infer anything from short time-series – quite the opposite, in fact. You cannot infer that it hasn’t warmed, but neither can you infer that it has, regardless of whatever techniques you may (mis)use in an attempt to show it up.
        Secondly, referring to the GISS diverging from other datasets, which part of arctic data did you not understand?
        Thirdly, kindly refrain from regarding other posters as idiots – you just might learn something.

      • phatboy

        I don’t think that you are an idiot.

        Firstly, I never suggested that you can infer anything from short time-series – quite the opposite, in fact.

        You are being disingenuous.

        Secondly, referring to the GISS diverging from other datasets, which part of arctic data did you not understand?

        Why is GISTEMP not diverging from other GAT reconstructions? Here’s GISTEMP and HadCRUT4. HadCRUT4 doesn’t use GISTEMP arctic extrapolations, although it does include more arctic station data IIRC.

      • manacker: For example, we had a brilliant scientist, Vaughan Pratt, on another thread using these tools to fool himself into actually thinking he had a CO2 temperature correlation that could predict the future to year 2100 to two-thousandth of a degree K

        Max is hard to fool, so if I fooled him into thinking I claimed anything remotely like that I have way underestimated my brilliance. ;)

        A more plausible explanation is that Max is simply following the standard climate skeptic protocol of putting words into the mouths of their enemies. My only fault there was opening my mouth in the first place.

        Perhaps the real lesson here is that anyone disagreeing with climate skeptics should shut their mouth.

  46. Willis Eschenbach

    tempterrain | December 29, 2012 at 12:26 am |

    Willis,

    Just to point out, to those who may not be familiar with the phrase “Fallacy of the Excluded Middle”, that it’s just another way of saying there is a ‘false dilemma’, or the more cliched ‘false dichotomy’.

    But is there really a false dilemma? We’ve, that is humanity collectively, has to decide if there is sufficient reason to curtail anthropogenic GH gas emissions.

    Sez who? Gotta love folks who go around telling humanity what we have to decide. News flash, bro … we don’t have to decide a dang thing.

    Already you’ve started in with a new false dilemma. No, we do not have to “decide if there is sufficient reason to curtail anthropogenic GH gas emissions”. For starters, humanity could go forever and never, ever decide that question.

    Or, as is more likely, we could arrive at some decision by chance, or by force majeure. We could make a half-decision, where some people curtail and some don’t … oh, wait, Kyoto, we already tried that one.

    The list is only limited by our imagination, tempterrain, and as much as I would love for it to be true, your idea that there is some clean “Yes/No” question to be answered is unsustainable simplicity.

    As readers of this blog will be aware, it’s a yes/no question and the contributors to the discussion will also be aware of which answer they advocate.

    As readers of this blog will be aware, there are few “yes/no” questions in human life. This is certainly not one of the rare exceptions. There are a host of things that we can do, either instead of or in addition to deciding to “curtail” GHGs. I’ve listed a few of the many possibilities above.

    What’s the logical fallacy involved when someone argues an over-complexity which doesn’t exist?

    I haven’t a clue, but if I see someone doing it, I’ll be sure to ask …

    Seriously, tempterrain, are you truly arguing that the science and politics of climate are not very, very complex?

    Are you really claiming that my listing of a few more options than your pathetic two choices is over-complexifying some question that is really very simple?

    Our host has described this intersection of climate science and politics as a “wicked” problem. If anything, I have underestimated the complexity, and I’m not sure it is even possible to “over-complexify” the tangled and intricately linked issues involved in the climate-politics nexus.

    w.

    • “Sez who”? {Re my question on curtailment of CO2 emissions}

      Lots of people. For starters, anyone who’s argued one viewpoint or another on a climate blog. Yes, there is lots of interest in other scientific questions too, such as whether neutrinos can achieve superluminal velocities, or whether the Higgs boson has actually been found.

      You might have noticed they don’t attract quite the level of interest as the climate question. That’s something else entirely. Have you ever asked yourself why?

      You don’t think has anything to do with the political and economic repercussions involved with the suggested scientific remedy?

      I think you’d be wrong there.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        tempterrain | December 29, 2012 at 1:40 am |

        “Sez who”?

        {Re my question on curtailment of CO2 emissions}

        Lots of people. For starters, anyone who’s argued one viewpoint or another on a climate blog.

        tempterrain, you have claimed that we HAVE TO ANSWER some question or other that seems important to you.

        The “sez who” was rhetorical. Nobody, including you, gets to decide what we HAVE TO ANSWER. We may or may not ever answer that question, and we are under no compulsion to do so. Sure, as you point out, some people on the blogs have argued that we do have to answer the question, but again … sez who? Nobody has that authority.

        Yes, there is lots of interest in other scientific questions too, such as whether neutrinos can achieve superluminal velocities, or whether the Higgs boson has actually been found.

        You might have noticed they don’t attract quite the level of interest as the climate question. That’s something else entirely. Have you ever asked yourself why?

        Have I asked myself why climate gets lots of ink and the Higgs Boson doesn’t? Not really, because to me the answer is obvious. There’s no activists running around and screaming that the Higgs Boson will cause huge problems for the planet right away, or at least really, really soon, honest, millions will die, the tragedies and cataclysms are right around the corner …

        You don’t think has anything to do with the political and economic repercussions involved with the suggested scientific remedy?

        I think you’d be wrong there.

        Dude, don’t try to guess what I do and don’t think. It just makes you look foolish. Of course the interest has to do with the economic repercussions, only a fool would think otherwise. I was born yesterday, it’s true, but I’m hardly a fool …

        The suggested “scientific” remedy (curtail CO2 emissions) will cost billions and billions of dollars, and even the advocates agree that it will make no measurable difference to the climate in any reasonable time frame. A calculation of the cost reveals that to control temperature by controlling CO2 (if it even worked, which we don’t know) would cost $1,900 trillion dollars per degree.

        So yeah, when you have braindead people claiming that the “scientific” solution is wonderful and working to ram it down our throats, when jerkwads are insisting that it should immediately be put in place even though we don’t know if it will work, when the proponents themselves put the cost of the “scientific” solution at over a quadrillion dollars per degree, at that point, yeah, tempterrain, I definitely think that the amount of interest surrounding this asinine, intrusive, and unnecessary plan is going to be high, and deservedly so.

        w.

      • Willis,

        And you yourself seem to be one of those who’ve weighed into the debate for precisely the political and economic reasons I’ve suggested drives the whole thing. If I’m advocating that humanity needs to curtail CO2 emissions then equally you’re advocating that its just too expensive or not necessary.

        You feel that the science and politics of climate change is “very, very complex”. Yes in a way it is. The workings of the human body are complex too but a recognition of that fact wouldn’t stop you visiting a hospital if your life were at risk.

        If you really felt that the politics and science were as difficult as you’ve just claimed you’d stay out the argument yourself. There probably wasn’t much in your Psychology course about the Physics of the atmosphere. You’ve never published any peer-reviewed work on the topic and yet somehow you’ve convinced yourself that mainstream science has it all wrong.

      • David Springer

        tempterrain | December 29, 2012 at 2:39 am |

        “You’ve never published any peer-reviewed work on the topic and yet somehow you’ve convinced yourself that mainstream science has it all wrong.”

        BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT. Wrong.

        http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=willis+eschenbach

        Dumbass.

      • E&E doesn’t count. It has let trough most terrible crap.

        Neither does a short comment on a published paper.

      • Pekka is myopic to the perversions of peer review documented in the ClimateGate emails, but peers through his electron microscope @ E&E.
        =================

      • Pekka said, “E&E doesn’t count. It has let trough most terrible crap.”

        Yeah, seems to require a bit a discretion before deciding what to site now a days. Luckily, the big name journals have a rigorous peer review process that insures crap free papers.

      • No microscope is needed to see that E&E publishes so bad papers that most scientist would consider a paper published there a discredit.

        I’m sure not all are equally bad but some that have been brought up in climate discussion have been really terrible beyond limits of imagination.

      • Pekka, this is just one example of how confusing it can be.

        http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/8r0352171238x3v4/?genre=article&id=doi%3a10.1260%2f095830509789876835

        This guy K. Kimoto published a paper on the confusion about Planck feedback parameters. His point was that errors from previous peer reviewed work could impact following peer reviewed work. Unfortunately, he picked a peer reviewed paper for an illustration that contained errors carried over from previously peer reviewed papers that had errors. Funny huh?

        So this K. Kimoto guy underestimates sensitivity because he used a paper that didn’t include about 20 Wm-2 of energy that was absorbed in the atmosphere. That “missing” energy became quite the rage for a while. :)

      • Heh, myopic and deaf about climate science peer review. C’mon, Pekka, I was starting to have a little more faith in you.
        ============

      • Kim,

        I was writing about E&E. That’s all this time.

      • All skeptics recognize that CO2 has a measurable but uncertain impact on global temperatures. Skeptics and alarmists alike have multiple opinions on what should be done about it. These range from do nothing to implementation of protective measure such as building seawalls and relocating at-risk populations to “decarbonizing” the global economy at enormous cost to reducing the population of the planet to under one billion people at much lower cost.

        In all probability, solutions will become more obvious with time as more data and more honest research (along the lines proposed by Dr Curry) permit more accurate definition and understanding of the problem.

        We should always remember the wise words of Donald Rumsfeld – there are thins we know we know, there are things we know we don’t know and things we don’t know we don’t know.

      • No, you were doing an ad hom on Willis. Please, Pekka, say it ain’t so.
        ==============

      • tempterrain,

        “You don’t think has anything to do with the political and economic repercussions involved with the suggested scientific remedy?”

        “Scientific remedy?”

        Now I’ve read about government imposed carbon taxes, and government subsidies of “alternative fuels,” and more taxes, and government imposed “duties” on airline emissions, and government regulation of all emissions of CO2, and more taxes….

        Which of these are the “scientific” remedies?

        Take the latest progressive/socialist power grab du jour…and just label it “scientific.” Now why didn’t anybody else think of that. Oh wait…y’all have been doing that for decades.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Pekka Pirilä | December 29, 2012 at 9:24 am |

        No microscope is needed to see that E&E publishes so bad papers that most scientist would consider a paper published there a discredit.

        Since Nature and Science have published loads of crap like the Steig Antarctica nonsense and the Hockey Stick, and those are just the tip of the iceberg of horrendous climate science papers that have been published in all of the prestigious journals, I fear you’ll have to disqualify the entire field once you start down that path. Papers that don’t pass the laugh test, papers with no data and no code whose authors flatly refuse to provide either, papers making ludicrous claims, I’ve seen them in Nature and Nature Climate Change and Science and all the journals.

        However, that’s not the point. You guys still don’t seem to get it. You seem to think it’s all about my qualifications, and whether I’ve published where. Truly, read my post called “It’s Not About Me”, because I assure you, Pekka, it’s not … the one and only that counts is whether or not a given claim of my is true or not. The rest is all just fluff that you guys use to avoid looking at the scientific questions I raise, by instead focusing on meaningless junk like my motives and my publications and my education and the like.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Link didn’t take, my post is called “It’s Not About Me“. Please read it before starting in with the ad hominem attacks on my publication list and the like.

        w.

      • Pekka

        You berate E&E for having published papers with which you disagree (or feel were based on poor science).

        Fair enough

        I suppose you also berate Nature for having published the Man (MBH) hockey stick, which was later found to have been based on bogus science.

        Right?

        Max

      • Willis,

        You’ll recognise this as a quote from a posting in WUWT:

        “……… the predictable increase in the usual personal attacks on me, as opposed to attacking my ideas and claims. People are rehashing Tim Lambert calling me a liar because he disagreed with my methods, as though that meant something about me rather than simply revealing something about Tim. They point out that I am an amateur scientist (as though that were other than a badge of honor). I’m told that I’m out of my depth. I am constantly assured that I am not qualified to offer a scientific opinion on climate, because of my lack of academic qualifications (BA in Psychology), and because of the shortness of my scientific publications list. The supply of reasons given to try to convince people to ignore my work is seemingly endless. To hear people tell it, I’m not fit to kiss the boots of a true scientist.

        My point is that none of that matters. Either my scientific claims are correct, or they are not. It’s not about me. Period. End of story.

        I can also quote you as claiming ” I have several peer-reviewed pieces on climate science published in the science journals, including a peer-reviewed “Communications Arising” in Nature magazine”

        When I asked you what they were, to be sure we were talking about the same thing you went quiet. I’d just make the point that the asking of questions can’t be regarded as a ‘personal attack’. You may feel they are awkward questions but that’s not the same thing. An ad-hominen attack is an attack on your person. Someone calling you a ‘sanctimonious prick’, just for the sake of example, you understand :-) , would qualify. Saying your opinion was unqualified, or that you didn’t know what you were talking about, wouldn’t.

        Max helpfully suggested a posting you’d made in WUWT but that’s hardly a peer reviewed journal and neither is E&E.

        Finally, we don’t feel ‘its all about you’. I doubt if anyone, other than yourself, has ever said that. Why would we care? Personally I’d hope that what you wrote in WUWT and elsewhere is correct. I’d be pleased to know the world didn’t have a warming problem. So is your claim correct? Why not take Roger Pielke Snr up on his suggestion of taking it further?

        If it is we’d like to know.

  47. I might be fooling myself, but I think I do pretty well on the various criteria!

    However, I take exception to: “Faith In Reason: Confidence that, in the long run, one’s own higher interests and those of humankind at large will be best served by giving the freest play to reason, by encouraging people to come to their own conclusions by developing their own rational faculties …” In Nepal in 1972, in effect on a spiritual quest although I didn’t think in those terms at the time, I decided that I’d gone as far as I could in self-understanding with the rational mind, there must be something else. A few days later, I found that “something else,” Vipassana meditation, as taught long ago by the Buddha and since 1969 by S N Goenka. Vipassana is a technique for observing the reality of the present moment with equanimity at a deep level within our own mind and body, developing experiential knowledge rather than thought which frees us from past conditions and allows us to develop wisdom and understanding beyond that possible with the thinking, so-called conscious mind. So long as you operate only in the latter, you will continue to be dominated by the much deeper so-called unconscious which drives our reactions and decisions. There is no substitute for direct experience of reality as it is, unmediated by the thinking process.

  48. Beware the slithey toad, me friend,
    The jaws that bite, the claws that claw,
    Beware the telescopic and
    The microscopic view when these
    Prescribe yer vision to …
    THIS chink THIS inability,
    Ter see the world without humility,
    Without empathy, (w/out laughter.)

  49. Oops! Slithey toad comment …
    Beth Cooper on Belinda’s com – put – er

    • This Belinda isn’t as good as Beth Cooper, and of course doesn’t hold the franchise for TFTD. We demand that you release the REAL Beth Cooper immediately or else or else…Well just wait amd SEE what we will do (h/t William Brown)
      tonyb

  50. Deer tony b

    Pleez send $500 dollars and we will relees Beth Cooper,
    Yers sinseerly,

    William Brown.

    • Dear William Brown

      We have an old (used) gobstopper found at the bottom of a pocket. Will that do?
      tonyb

      • Once she gets busy on ‘em, William Brown will give you carte blanche in a candystore to take her off their hands.
        =============

      • Kim

        William Brown would go to a sweet shop not a candy shop of course, but I will take your good advice and hold off on the basis that Beth Cooper will be as troublesome to William and the Outlaws as Violet Elizabeth Bott often proved to be. I can wait…
        tonyb

  51. Willis Eschenbach

    tempterrain | December 29, 2012 at 2:39 am |

    Willis,

    And you yourself seem to be one of those who’ve weighed into the debate for precisely the political and economic reasons I’ve suggested drives the whole thing. If I’m advocating that humanity needs to curtail CO2 emissions then equally you’re advocating that its just too expensive or not necessary.

    tempterrain, I’ve read that several times. I don’t see the point. You argue we need to curtail emissions. I say it’s not cost effective.

    So what? We both knew that going in. I don’t get your point.

    You feel that the science and politics of climate change is “very, very complex”. Yes in a way it is. The workings of the human body are complex too but a recognition of that fact wouldn’t stop you visiting a hospital if your life were at risk.

    You argued that I was making this “over-complex”. I said that indeed it was complex. But what does that have to do with a hospital? This must be some tortured attempt at an analogy, but I don’t see what you’re trying to say.

    If you really felt that the politics and science were as difficult as you’ve just claimed you’d stay out the argument yourself.

    Great. Now you are an expert on how I “really feel”. You don’t have a clue how I “really feel”, tempterrain, and you’ll hurt your brain if you try to figure it out. In any case, when did the point become how I “really feel”? What on earth does how I “really feel” have to do with the climate?

    There probably wasn’t much in your Psychology course about the Physics of the atmosphere. You’ve never published any peer-reviewed work on the topic and yet somehow you’ve convinced yourself that mainstream science has it all wrong.

    Not sure what you are on about regarding the “Physics” of the atmosphere with a capital P. Is that different from plain old physics of the atmosphere? But you obviously think that my physical knowledge is lacking. Clearly, I must have said something about the atmospheric physics that you think is wrong … but then why wouldn’t you have the nerve to point out my mistake to me? Seems to me if you actually had any actual evidence I’d made a mistake, you’d bring it out rather than just rattle your gums … so where is it?

    And yes, I’m a self-taught scientist, and oddly proud of it, actually.

    Finally, I have several peer-reviewed pieces on climate science published in the science journals, including a peer-reviewed “Communications Arising” in Nature magazine … and you?

    … Oh, wait, I forgot, you’re just some anonymous internet pop-up without even a name. If anyone catches you in an error, you can just assume another alias without any problem. It must be a great relief not to have to stand behind your words, huh?

    w.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach  posts typically [see above for texts]:

      ——————
      Evaluation of the post
      ☐  cherry-picking,
      ☐  slogan-shouting,
      ☒  semantic quibbling,
      ☒  immorally short-sighted economics,
      ☒  amoral market-first reasoning,
      ☐  “outsider” physics,
      ☒  personalization,
      ☒  abuse,
      ☐  paranoia, and
      ☐  conspiracy theories.

      Note  Within the climate-change denier community, the incidence of the above traits is predicted to accelerate in the coming decade.
      ——————

      Willis Eschenbach, you are capable of higher-quality discourse than this! That is why your post receives the grade “needs to improve”! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      Alternatively, we all know that there *ARE* climate-change forums where short-sighted, amoral, cherry-picked economic analyses, accompanied by personalization and abusive rhetoric, are normative discourse, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      As for being a “self-taught” scientist, that is neither here nor there … because *ALL* creative scientists are self-taught. After all, science isn’t about knowing what’s in the existing textbooks … it’s about writing *NEW* chapters for those books. Because no-one can fill those blank pages for you, isn’t that right?\scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      And finally, as you perhaps know, Willis, your disdain for anonymous public discourse is shared by Communist China’s oligarchs … and was adamantly *REJECTED* by America’s Founders, like Tom Paine, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Ben Franklin. Hmmm … perhaps we all ought to reflect whether advocacy of discourse restrictions puts us in good company? WUWT, eh Willis? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Willis,
      Self taught eh? The snag is that if the teacher doesn’t know much, the pupil is unlikely to be much wiser after the course than before.
      If you’re any good at anagrams you’d be able to figure out my real name, but if you can’t get it take a look under the denizens link where someone has kindly obliged with the answer. Its not quite so secret as you seem to think.
      “several peer-reviewed pieces on climate science published in the science journals, including a peer-reviewed “Communications Arising” in Nature magazine”
      Sounds impressive. Care to give us a list of references?

      • tempterrain

        You are only making yourself look foolish by trying to disparage Willis’ knowledge and achievements related to climate science.

        If you want to read things he has written, check it out on Google.

        You might learn something!

        Max

      • Max,

        I must admit that I’m sticking my neck out a little on this one. But I’m uninjured so far.
        You’re mistaking a posting in Wattsupwiththat for a ‘peer reviewed paper’ I’m afraid.

      • tempterrain

        When you “stick your neck out”, expect your head to get banged.

        As in this case.

        Willis has written a paper on an apparent self-regulatory mechanism in ocean temperature (which was published on WUWT).

        Roger Pielke Sr. has reviewed this paper, which he refers to as “an excellent new analysis” on his site, stating:

        “I hope Willis submits his important, much-needed analysis for publication in a leading peer-reviewed journal. We need more such analysis of the issue of self-regulation (i.e. negative feedbacks) within the climate system.

        Good ’nuff for ya?

        Max

      • “Good ’nuff for ya?”

        It will be when it’s submitted, peer reviewed and accepted, but not before.

        What else have you got? There’s supposed to be “several peer-reviewed pieces”

      • tempterrain

        You apparently do not even realize how arrogant and foolish you sound when you brush off a paper by Willis Eschenbach, which Roger Pielke Sr. calls ““an excellent new analysis” just because it has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

        Max

      • Didn’t Roger Pielke Sr claim Watts 2012 paper was “game changing” and then had to back down when fundamental errors were uncovered?

        So yeah I am with tempterrain. Absolute sht gets published at WUWT. Get back to me when someone competent has given it the green light.

      • Get back to me when someone besides lolwot calls Pielke Pere incompetent.
        ===========

      • Manaker. Go to WUWT. see the post on the ‘levels of hell” for climate scientists. See verity Jones attack people for promting work that hasnt been published yet. Then point out that peer review doesnt matter. or, decide that it does matter and criticise people for doing science by press release. In any case see if you can get skeptics to agree on some principles

      • Willis, it is Peter Martin, a typical, boring socialist Englishman.

      • Seven Mosher

        You are apparently confused.

        I have not given my personal blanket endorsement of everything that WUWT posts. Nor do I believe in the “argument from authority” as evidence that a premise is correct.

        However, I believe that when Roger Pielke Sr. goes on record saying that a climate study is “excellent”, this is a very positive evaluation by a very knowledgeable and unbiased individual.

        Don’t you?

        Max

      • Maybe an Englishman by birth – but now resides in or near Brisbane and (like another Aussie, Peter Lang) supports nuclear power.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Willis,

      You said: “You argue we need to curtail emissions. I say it’s not cost effective.”.

      ____
      For arguments sake only, suppose that the failure to ultimately curtail anthropogenic CO2, methane, and N20 emissions would lead to the extinction of both Homo Sapiens Sapiens, but also a large percentage of other currently existing species. Then would curtailing emissions, at whatever financial cost, be cost effective?

      I am absolutely not saying this will happen, but I am trying to understand your position on “cost effective”.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks, Skeptical. I fear I can’t answer theoretical questions like that. There are far too many unknowns. How do we know that it will lead to the extinction? When will the extinction come?

        What I can say, however, is that your method of CO2 curtailment proposes to buy cooling for the planet at a rate of $1,900 trillion dollars per degree … so given that, the entire GDP of the planet wouldn’t be enough to buy even one degree of cooling. That means your plan simply will not work because we can’t afford to buy enough cooling, so we’d better get another plan, doncha think?

        As a result, even if we knew for a fact it would kill all humans I wouldn’t recommend your plan. Why? Because we can’t afford it, which means it’s still not cost effective, even if everyone is gonna die. All your plan would do is just guarantee that we’d die broke … which is not all that attractive an option.

        Come back with a plan that makes economic sense and doesn’t bankrupt the planet, and we’ll talk.

        w.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Willis said: (about an imagined Skeptical Warmist’s CO2 curtailment plan)

        “…your method of CO2 curtailment proposes….”

        _____
        Of course, I’ve offered no CO2 curtailment plan so you are confused here Willis.

        But back to my question: Suppose that is was a fact (some super advanced alien race with advanced climate modeling and other examples from around the galaxy knew it or whatever) that if humans continue down the path of the current CO2, methane, N20 emissions and related increases in atmospheric concentrations, that it would result in mass extinctions, including humans within 500 years. Would curtailing emissions, at whatever financial cost or hardship, be “cost effective”?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        The Skeptical Warmist | December 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

        Willis said: (about an imagined Skeptical Warmist’s CO2 curtailment plan)

        “…your method of CO2 curtailment proposes….”

        _____
        Of course, I’ve offered no CO2 curtailment plan so you are confused here Willis.

        My bad, this is like one of those classic examples of leaving out a comma. What I meant was, “… your method, of CO2 curtailment, proposes …”. I follow that with the EPA’s estimated costs of CO2 curtailment. There are a variety of different estimates of the costs of curtailing CO2. No one has proposed an inexpensive way. If you have one, speak up. Until then, I’ve given EPA values

        But back to my question: Suppose that is was a fact (some super advanced alien race with advanced climate modeling and other examples from around the galaxy knew it or whatever) that if humans continue down the path of the current CO2, methane, N20 emissions and related increases in atmospheric concentrations, that it would result in mass extinctions, including humans within 500 years. Would curtailing emissions, at whatever financial cost or hardship, be “cost effective”?

        Only if it a) works and b) can be afforded. If it doesn’t work, it’s not cost effective. We can start there. And so far, we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all.

        And of course, if the cure costs more than you can afford, it’s not cost effective even if the alternative is death.

        So even with all your alien knowledge, your plan still may not be cost effective because it a) may not work or b) may not be affordable.

        Sorry for my lack of clarity,

        w.

      • Skeptical

        Would it be “cost effective” for a bullfrog to grow wings, so he wouldn’t bump his ass with every hop?

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Willis,
        Thanks for the clarification and direct answers.

        Max,

        If it was cost effective (from a localized negentropy standpoint) nature would have evolved bullfrogs with wings. Hopping (if even barely) rather than flying seems to suit them perfectly for the environment they are adapted to. Hitting their asses on every hop seems to be quite suited to the marshy world they live in. Oh to combine our imaginations with the infinite wisdom of nature!

      • TSW,

        Let’s not endow nature with intent, let alone concerns over cost-effectiveness.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Michael,

        Are humans part of nature? Do humans have intent? Do you think this quality is relegated only to one specific species on one specific planet in one specific solar system in one particular galaxy? Do you think the sweet smell of the rose is due to chance? You have far to go…

      • The grains of sand in the universe in Bromdingnagian. What are the chances on a distant galaxy grains of sand learned to think?

      • If you’re talking abut humanity, say so, not ‘nature’.

        ‘Nature’ has no intent, especially if we’re talking evolutionary biology.

        Did the rose set out to smell? No.

      • Willis

        ‘ And so far, we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all.”

        No evidence?

        we have plenty of evidence. that evidence may not convince you, but there is evidence. Dont say you are a sky dragon now and believe that C02 can have no effect.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Michael & Waggy,

        Does a rose “set out” to smell? No, don’t be silly. But from the first few nanoseconds when this particular universe existed, it was assured it would have roses that smelled sweet and noses to enjoy them and minds that would contemplate how amazing it is that both would find each other.

        Evolutionary biology is an incomplete paradigm, and assumes dumb matter and a dead universe that eventually produces the local areas of negentropy known as “life” in spite of the overall increasing entropy. What an odd thought.

      • ” assumes dumb matter and a dead universe that eventually produces the local areas of negentropy known as “life” in spite of the overall increasing entropy. What an odd thought.” – TSW

        If that’s a nod to intelligent design – no thanks.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Michael,

        Intelligent design? Ha! Not at all. A self-assembling living “clock” requires no clockmaker but humans seem inclined to want to posit one (usually, but not always in human form of course). To know if a self-assembling universe that has life is unusual or not would require that we study other universes. Perhaps one day we shall.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Waggy said:

        “What are the chances on a distant galaxy grains of sand learned to think?”

        ——–
        The same chances as in this galaxy I would suppose- since life seems to be one of the prime results of these little islands of gravity called galaxies floating in much larger ocean of antigravity (also known as dark energy).

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Michael,

        Highly recommend you read this book. Quite fabulous, and others may find it interesting as well:

        Ilya Prigogine resented that the Intelligent Design people used some of his ideas to support their notions.

      • R. Gates

        Just read the first 14 (free) pages of the book you cite. Sounds very interesting.

        Am just finishing one of the “cli-fi” books mentioned by or hostess on another thread (light holiday reading), but will look for this book (which will be a bit heavier, I’m sure).

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        Glad to see you took interest. I count it as one of the 10 most important books on science that I’ve ever read and think it has so far been highly unrecognized. One of the most important discoveries this year has been the proof that times arrow does indeed exist at the most basic levels, i.e. the universe is not reversible, but has a direction. This confirms Ilya Prigogine’s notions, and will hopefully bring more interest in his work. For those considering reading “The End of Certainty”, here’s a little summary that might wet your appetite a bit more:

        http://kremesti.com/portfolio/technical_writing/Academic_Research_Papers/End_of_Certainty.htm

        There is much here about uncertainty, thermodynamics, life, entropy, etc. It is a truly fabulous book– again, highly recommended.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      A fan of *MORE* discourse

      … Willis Eschenbach, you are capable of higher-quality discourse than this! That is why your post receives the grade “needs to improve”!

      Oh, fannie, you’re so cute when you get angry! I wish you’d do it more often. The best part is when you get that absolutely hilarious look in your eyes, the look you get when you’re either just about to either explode in fury or take a dump in your diaper and you haven’t a clue which one is coming … it’s so precious!

      w.

      PS—Wandering around giving “grades” to posts again, are we, fannie? You remember how the nanny spanked you last time she caught you doing that, you sure you want to start up again?

  52. Deer tony b
    I will xcept the gobstopper and 2 dollars.
    William Brown.

    Deer Kim,
    You are rong, she is no trubble.
    William and the outlaws.

    • Beth

      William had his heyday in the 1930’s and 40’s. You could usefully ask him for his memoirs of the climate of the day which, judging from the gardening book I have from that era, was remarkably similar to today. You could also ask him if he followed Bob Barttlets exploits in the melting arctic during that period, shown in the Pathe news reel film at his local ‘flicks’ .

      Phil Jones obviously knew all this as he references that the two warmest decades on record for Greenland were the 1930’s and 40’s.

      tonyb

  53. (with apologies to real poets, Beth, Kim and Belinda)

    Christmas time has come and gone
    But climate blogs continue on
    The best of all we find right here
    So as we’re closing out the year
    Let’s raise our glasses to our hostess
    Judith, we think you’re the “mostest”

    HAPPY NEW YEAR (to Judith and her denizens)!

    Max

    • YECCH ! I feel like puking.

      Where’s the BARF BAG ?

      Actually, Max’s poem isn’t bad, and I’m sure Judith will appreciate it’

      A HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too, Max.

  54. Thx tony b fer paying me ransome, tho’ being with the outlaws had
    its moments.
    Now that I’m free I second Max’s toast ter Judith, the hostess with the mostest, (virtuous attributes) and the leastest (intellectual baggage.),

    Happy New Year, Judith.

    • Beth

      Perhaps we could send her a ‘William’ book as a New year present as she must be completely bemused by the frequent references to him.

      A happy new Year to Judith and all the denizens.

      tonyb

  55. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your efforts to restore sanity to modern science.

    I agree that arrogance (the opposite of humility) and self-deception (the natural product of arrogance) are two key issues. Another one is false pride (pretending to know what we do not know).

    The flaws of modern science bear a remarkable resemblance to those Ralph Waldo Emerson identified in his 1836 essay on Nature :

    “Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?”

    http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/emerson/nature-contents.html

    The best available experimental measurements and observations from the Nuclear Age and the Space Age do not support the dogmatic opinions of those promoting AGW as a threat to humanity.

    1. Prof. Henrik Svensmark tried to explain that here:

    http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/219-news-2012/2117-did-exploding-stars-help-life-on-earth-to-thrive

    2. Dr. Alberto Boretti and I tried to explain it here:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Yes_the_Sun_is_a_pulsar.pdf

    Best wishes for the New Year
    - Oliver K. Manuel

  56. nice post

  57. Judith, Arthur C Clarke expressed it well

    the human mind’s capacity for self-deceit is beyond belief

    one wonders if this be too intellectual a concept for some!

  58. Case in point. Alec Rawls has a post now on WUWT that starts with a graph that is very damning to his own view that GCRs determine everything and he proceeds to argue to his followers that up is in fact down and everything is consistent. I am not sure if he succeeded in fooling anyone or just himself.

    • Considerate Thinker

      Jim D @11.38am
      You mean the graph used by Dana Nucittelli of SKS and then reproduced by Alec Rawls as part of his rebuttal to Dana’s nonsense ?

      Yawn – try again.

      • That’s the one and a fine example of damage control by Rawls. As someone commented, it look like he has a divergence problem.

  59. The Skeptical Warmist

    Some may find this research article, entitled, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.”

    http://gagne.homedns.org/~tgagne/contrib/unskilled.html

    to be of interest in regard to the topic at hand.

    Also, JC may have mentioned this before, but this is an excellent book on this very topic:

    • Looking what other books Amazon proposed we can find Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow which is also very much about wrong intuition. (Another proposal is Elementary and Intermediate Algebra which is obviously about something else.)

  60. Dr. Curry — One needs to run through this list, as self-directed questions, each time one is making a critical decision or reviewing critically the work or opinions of others.

    To do otherwise is unethical.

    We all are prone to these intellectual faults, and only avoid them by conscious application of avoiding them through intellectual will.

  61. In most fields scientists actually know that they carry intrinsic biases and so design experiments which include both positive and negative controls.

  62. “recognition that ideas considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally justified (in whole or in part) and that conclusions and beliefs inculcated in us are sometimes false or misleading.”

    Particals are particles and waves are waves and never the twain shall meet! would be a good example. When Einstein said ‘God does not play dice’ he was allowing his religious convictions to overule his scientific. He was not referring to the duallity principle, but to the uncertainty.

  63. Can we avoid fooling ourselves?

    Well yes if we don’t take anything posted here seriously

  64. “Can we avoid fooling ourselves?”

    In science we can at least acknowledge that we often do fool ourselves and so the scientific method was born, but I’ve yet to see anyone promoting the “Greenhouse Effect” as a claimed reality show anything to give this concept scientific credibility.

    Why not? Because it’s an illusion so no actual physical reality science can ever be fetched, but rather than facing this undisputable fact the promoters of this concept continue to act as if nothing is amiss with it.

    Which makes it a belief system and not science and those arguing the nuances of the Greenhouse Effect dogma among themselves (the AGW v CAGW) are typical of those arguing nuances of doctrines centred around any commonly held faith belief, they don’t appreciate their central tenet being trashed. So much so that they’ve even usurped the terms “skeptic” and “denialist” for use only within their arguments with each other – skeptic used to mean those who pooh-poohed the actual concept of the Greenhouse Effect.

    That Believers have no arguments against the non existence of the Greenhouse Effect, because they have no real physics to show it exists, doesn’t appear to bother them at all. It appears they get far more enjoyment from the disputes with each other to care whether they are fooling themselves or not.

  65. Surprised no one posted this yet! (of course, I might of missed it, and then I’d feel like a fool)

  66. In introducing this topic, our hostess started with various “Intelluctual” headings, the fourth of which was Intellectual Integrity. Max Anaker at December 29, 2012 at 6:56 am states “Skeptics share one overriding viewpoint, namely that the IPCC premise of “CAGW” (as has been defined in detail elsewhere) is NOT supported by empirical scientific evidence (as has also been defined elsewhere).”

    I have made the same point over and over again. The way I put it is that there is no empirical evidence that proves that when you add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, this additional CO2 causes global temperatures to rise.

    Now it seems to me that if the proponents of CAGW have any Intellectual Integrity, they would do one of two things. They would either show that Max and I, and other skeptics, are wrong, and the empirical evidence we are looking for exists, and provide a reference where this evidence is to be found. Or they would admit that Max and I are correct, and agree that this empirical evidence does not, as yet, exist.

    I am perfectly prepared to be show my intellectual integrity be stating explicitly that I cannot prove that such empirical evidence is impossible to produce. There is no reason why such evidence could not be found in the future. But it would be nice if the proponents of CAGW would agree that, to date, no such evidence exists.

    • Cripwell must surely take issue with the explanation for tides.

      According to him there is no direct empirical evidence, no evidence of a lunar “signal”, and no controlled experiment in which one can test the hypothesis. Any alignment of theory could just be chance.

      See how this works?

  67. “Jim D | December 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    gbaikie, it is hard to tell if you are agreeing with me except for terminology. Yes, a black body is an ideal radiator.”
    Which is a bit of understatement.
    An ideal global radiator.
    Spherical blackbody would be quite different than a panel which was a blackbody.
    A panel on Moon in sunlight is around 120 C. If spherical planetary blackbody, the same surface in sunlight is about 100 C cooler.

    A panel could easily boil water [at 1 atm pressure]. The spherical planetary blackbody makes an adequate temperature for a refrigerator in sunlight [or night or day- will not wilt the vegetables or freeze them- in some respects an excellent refrigerator- if you don’t need such things as ice cubes, frozen veggies or ice cream.

    “The earth has to radiate at an equivalent blackbody temperature of -18 C.”

    The Earth has to radiate as much energy as it absorbs- over the long term.

    The Earth has the capability to store enormous amounts of energy in various forms- more energy if you were to add them all up then total amount of sunlight that intersects Earth’s area in a year’s time.
    So Earth is like a strange bank- the more money you put in the more storing the “money” costs in terms of interest rate charge. The interest rate charge will not generally exceed 100% in a years time of the gross income of the sun.
    But if the earth wins the lottery and scores lots money, the interest rate could be raised so the yearly charge is more than the total sun’s yearly income.
    The Earth is very old, and has managed to win the lottery many times.

    What is the biggest capability of Earth to store energy? Oceans?
    Oxygen of atmosphere, fossil fuels [or anything which can burn with oxygen], water vapor, the atmosphere in terms of it’s kinetic energy.
    One should look at some of these and other types of ways to store the energy of sunlight. Roughly one can divide them into chemical energy and thermal energy.
    One could also look at coolants- the mass of ice, the mass cool oceans [thermal energy] and things are actively storing sunlight energy into chemical energy [life processes].
    What can you say about Methane Hydrates as a life engine that stores energy? For example does it have anything to do with sunlight?
    How about what I could call, volcanic energy storage or deficit, can we quantify it in terms of regional and/or globally? Is it related in any way to the energy of sunlight?
    Many questions.
    But we can say generally, it eventually balances out- if you are happy with ballpark numbers.

    “With an atmosphere, it still has to radiate this amount from the top which is specified by the equivalent temperature but could also be expressed as about 240 W/m2, but now some comes from the colder atmosphere and some comes from the warmer earth.”

    How much energy does earth atmosphere radiate per square meter surface area average per hour or second. Can give average for tropics, temperate, and arctic regions? Just the atmosphere. Also separated for just the clouds for these regions.

    • gbaikie, it doesn’t matter about geometry, it absorbs 240 W/m2, so it has to radiate 240 W/m2, otherwise it would not be in a steady climate state. You can measure that this is the global average near enough, and it comes partly from the atmosphere and clouds and partly from the surface. The average effective temperature to do this is -18 C, so the surface has to be much warmer because the atmosphere emits effectively from quite a high cold level and the lapse rate determined by convection and gravity means that the surface is warmer by 33 degrees than the effective emission temperature.

      • “gbaikie, it doesn’t matter about geometry, it absorbs 240 W/m2, so it has to radiate 240 W/m2, otherwise it would not be in a steady climate state. ”

        Whether on Earth or the Moon, “it” doesn’t absorb 240 W/m2.
        Your 240 W/m2 in and 240 W/m2 out is all about geometry and averaging a value.

        The Moon is easier. The Moon mostly absorbs around 1300 watts per square meter [assuming it was a blackbody- but the actual moon has this much energy reaching or intersecting most of it’s area [I don't want to use term "absorbs"].
        Or most energy which reaches the Moon and greatest portion of it’s total surface area is “near” the equator. Near being less than 1/2 of 90 latitude to the poles. So region between 45 degree north and south of the equator. This region is much more than half of total surface area of a sphere. If recalling right 38 degrees north and south is about half of of total surface area of any sphere. The tropics [ 23° 26′ north-south] is 40% of Earth total surface area.
        So “tropics” on Moon receive around 1360 watts per square meter, extend it up to 45 degrees and we are somewhere around 1300 watts per square meter. If want 90% of surface which receives almost all the sunlight than your average would somewhere between 1200 and 1300 watts per square meter.
        With earth you have the clouds, but if cloudless, one talking about around 800 to 900 watts average per square meter of the area receiving most of the sunlight.
        So it’s more accurate to say earth relieves +800 watts per square meter than compared to saying it receives 240 watts per square meter of sunlight. No one lives anywhere on earth which actual gets 240 watts per square meter of sunlight. [that sun is in the sky- and there is no clouds].

        Now if want average sunlight to include when is night, then get this 240 watts per square average. But not really averaging sunlight in an area or globally. It’s trying to average the energy of sunlight, because it imagines that Earth is similar to a blackbody.
        And I guess I wouldn’t have any problem with this IF Earth was vaguely like a blackbody.
        Though I might have problem even if was blackbody.
        Let’s see, if have a panel of blackbody receiving 240 watts per square meter, the temperature of the panel would be about 255 K.
        So blackbody receiving an uniform average solar energy of 240 watts per square meter would be 255 K. So doesn’t even work for a blackbody.
        But it’s kinda silly giving a blackbody a uniform sunlight- cause that is what blackbody would doing, if you fired a laser at it- it makes a uniform temperature.
        So if you had a blackbody which was 255 K it would radiate 240 watts per square meter at it’s surface.
        If Earth radiates 240 meter per square meter at it’s surface and it’s not 255 K at it’s surface then it is providing further evidence to Earth is NOT a blackbody [assuming you needed this information].
        If one had a blackbody at 255 K at it’s surface, and piled clouds and greenhouse gases on top of it, it would still radiate 240 meters per square meter at it’s surface. Which adds even more additional information that Earth is NOT a blackbody.

      • gbaikie, you are not understanding and need to read what I wrote again. If the earth was -18 C at the surface it would radiate 240 W/m2, you got that part. You put a GHG atmosphere on it, the atmosphere is cooler (maybe you didn’t follow why that is), so the emission from the top becomes less than 240 W/m2 which is now out of balance with the sun. The whole thing (surface and atmosphere) has to warm up to get back in balance. I have said the same thing about four different ways now, hoping you will understand one of them.

      • “Jim D | December 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm |

        gbaikie, you are not understanding and need to read what I wrote again. If the earth was -18 C at the surface it would radiate 240 W/m2, you got that part. You put a GHG atmosphere on it, the atmosphere is cooler (maybe you didn’t follow why that is), so the emission from the top becomes less than 240 W/m2 which is now out of balance with the sun. ”

        Ok I try to stay more focus.
        “If earth was -18 C”
        You mean if Earth had average temperature of -18 C.
        Which means Earth would have different temperatures depending on where on earth and what time of season and day it was.
        So earth doesn’t have uniform temperature of -18 C.

        Can spend some time with this point?
        What would be like to be at the equator?
        I think the tropics is fundamental aspect of earth’s climate.
        And don’t care too much about polar conditions, though I think
        the limit of how cold the poles might get would be somewhere around
        -150 C. But poles not important in terms of determining average temperature do to their being a small part of entire earth surface, the
        surface temperature is being averaged to get -18 C number

        I am particularly interested in how earth could get a cold as -18 C
        as don’t buy the whole idea of an actual “snowball earth” and seems to
        me a -18 C average temperature Earth would something getting close
        to an actual snowball earth [instead of snowballish type earth].

        So what does earth being -18 C average temperature mean in terms of
        temperature of tropical oceans or land areas.
        When think Earth being so cold, I imagine a very dry atmosphere- in terms of a global average.
        Things like miles high glaciers in North American, Europe, Asia, and South America and even Africa. And very dry in these regions. Sea level maybe 300 meters below current level.
        But none of this is very important. Land areas are not as important as 70% of the planet which is ocean. Not very important because again it’s small fraction of global area.
        Or the land could be all like Greenland- snow stacked up and open ocean in the summer. So North America at -18 C as average temperature will cause the world to have average temperature of -18 C.
        Rather it seems to get somewhere close to -18 C, the ocean off LA which now around 17 C, would have to be frozen to get somewhere within the ballpark of average global temperature of -18 C.
        Now during the winter this seems possible, as it is sometimes it might close 0 C in the winter [though not the water of course]. Constant frozen sea ice in the summer seems unlikely though.
        But frozen sea ice down to 30 degree latitude, during winter seem within the realm of possible. And gives more half the world below freezing during the winter and perhaps this is still frozen during spring and fall [if include the southern hemisphere].
        Now for this to be possible ocean water at the Equator [now around 26 C] would need to cool down to somewhere around 5 C or cooler.

        Now the half of the world being really cold, well below -18 C average yearly temperature, seems to me more likely having equator ocean freezing. Because means, no clouds, no rain, and under a constant daily “summer sun”

        Again:
        “If the earth was -18 C at the surface it would radiate 240 W/m2, you got that part. You put a GHG atmosphere on it, the atmosphere is cooler (maybe you didn’t follow why that is),”
        I understand that water vapor affects lapse rates:
        “When the air is saturated with water vapor (at its dew point), the moist adiabatic lapse rate (MALR) or saturated adiabatic lapse rate (SALR) applies. This lapse rate varies strongly with temperature. A typical value is around 5 °C/km”

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

        And dry is about 9.8 °C/km. So the greenhouse gas H20 halves lapse rate. So without H2O gas increased elevation would cool faster

        “so the emission from the top becomes less than 240 W/m2 which is now out of balance with the sun. ”

        Depends on what you call the top. The atmosphere would shrink.
        Or the troposphere in the tropics is higher, because the tropics has a lot water vapor in the air. One can also talk about warmer air, but I would think most would agree it mostly about the water vapor.

        And this gets back to how much air is suppose radiate heat.
        Say one is talking about a chuck 1 km in elevation of air [anywhere between say 2k to 10 km of elevation- you pick where it's suppose to be the most and how much is this most?]

      • gbaikie, first you have to understand the uniform temperature case before going on to more complex cases. So far it seems you are not following the simpler case, so that is step one. -18 C which is 240 W/m2 comes from 70% of the average surface solar radiation absorbed, and it is 70% absorbed because 30% is reflected. Bringing up snowball earth can confuse things because the sun was weaker back then too. The control knob paper by Lacis et al., showed that removing all the CO2 could return to a snowball situation where the only unfrozen water was near the equator. Obviously the albedo is higher then too, so it makes it also hard to compare with the current climate.
        In the simple case, the top is well defined, and being a GHG atmosphere it emits at its own temperature which is colder than the surface temperature. The surface has to be warmer than the average radiating temperature by an amount that depends how effective the GHG is. The temperature difference depends on the difference of the radiating level and the surface and how much gas separates them. This is also why Venus is so hot at the surface, because a lot of gas (90 atmospheres) separates its radiating level from the surface. For earth it is less than an atmosphere, but still that gives 33 K.

      • “gbaikie, first you have to understand the uniform temperature case before going on to more complex cases. So far it seems you are not following the simpler case, so that is step one. -18 C which is 240 W/m2 comes from 70% of the average surface solar radiation absorbed, and it is 70% absorbed because 30% is reflected.”

        So you saying -18 C is a uniform temperature.
        So similarly if one had blackbody and one had mirrors which shaded [and reflected the sunlight of 30% of the surface] therefore blocked a 30% sunlight from warming the surface the uniform temperature would be -18 C.

        This also essentially say less area is receiving the energy of the sun and giving more area radiating this received energy.
        [[And should pointed out one is giving this advantage to best emitter of radiant energy imaginable]]

        So it’s given with a blackbody it does not matter if sphere rotates and by changing geometric shapes one can also decrease area of sunlight and increase area which radiates.
        So with one side of a cube facing the sun one decreases the area receiving sunlight and one is adding more areas which radiates.
        And elongation of cube into rectangle [or using a cylindrical shape] gives even more area to radiate the energy.

        Let’s see, a cube 1000 km square, a million square km per 6 sides.
        6 million square km total.
        1000 km diameter sphere has 3.14 million square km.
        Remove 30% from 3.14 million square km and get 2.19 square km.
        And sun lite side is 1.1 square km and we have 3.14 million square km
        radiating.

        Though could also look at sphere as disk. A 1000 km diameter sphere has disc area of .785 million square km. And 70% of that is .549 million km
        So .549 million km receives solar energy and 3.14 million square km
        radiates it.
        The disc seems more accurate. What do you think?

        Anyhow, in comparison to cube with one side facing sun: .549 times 6 is 3.29 million. Pretty close to 3.14 million which the sphere
        radiates.
        So by removing 30% area which receives solar energy
        it’s similar to cube with one side facing the the sun.
        [I think it's interesting.]

        “Bringing up snowball earth can confuse things because the sun was weaker back then too. The control knob paper by Lacis et al., showed that removing all the CO2 could return to a snowball situation where the only unfrozen water was near the equator. Obviously the albedo is higher then too, so it makes it also hard to compare with the current climate.”

        I doubt there was ever a time on earth with less than 150 ppm of CO2,
        nor do I think it’s possible in Earth’s future.
        But since you brought up, and have wondered about this, how much warming do think an increase of CO2 from zero to 150 ppm would be?

        “In the simple case, the top is well defined, and being a GHG atmosphere it emits at its own temperature which is colder than the surface temperature.”

        Why does it matter how warm or cold the greenhouse gas is?

        “The surface has to be warmer than the average radiating temperature by an amount that depends how effective the GHG is. ”

        So a colder the gas several km up, helps somehow radiate more energy?

        “The temperature difference depends on the difference of the radiating level and the surface and how much gas separates them. ”

        Not a clear explanation to me.

        “This is also why Venus is so hot at the surface, because a lot of gas (90 atmospheres) separates its radiating level from the surface. For earth it is less than an atmosphere, but still that gives 33 K.”

        I will going pass on discussing Venus.

        So got planet which exactly like a blackbody and we have reflection
        of 30% of surface which would otherwise be warmed by sun.
        And it has an uniform temperature of -18 C.

        So question is when and how is an obviously non- blackbody called Earth is relate-able to this -18 C uniform temperature blackbody,
        An obvious point is Earth doesn’t have a uniform temperature.

        And is this 30% reflection is mostly clouds?
        if so does it somehow get around to include the loss of 360 watts per square which is the minimal loss of sunlight passing- perpendicularly thru clear skies [which at minimal loss is a 30% of the 1366 watts per square meter at TOA]?

      • The temperature of the Earth without any atmosphere at all would be minus 18°C – the AGWScienceFiction Greenhouse Effect con claims that is the figure without only its “greenhouse gases”.

        In other words – it is the real heavy blanket of the real gas AIR which is around 98% nitrogen and oxygen which is keeping the heat from the Earth from being lost too quickly, this is the REAL greenhouse gas blanket trapping the upwelling heat from the Earth [ which is heated direct by the longwave infrared from the Sun and not by the impossible fantasy of shortwave from the Sun].

        Do you understand that magician’s tricks are achieved by sleights of hand and misdirection? Do you see now what AGWSF has done here?

        These are subtle changes..

        Now, taking out water but leaving all the other gases in place, think deserts, the temperature of the Earth would would 67°C.

        The main “AGW greenhouse gas water” actually cools the Earth by 52°C – cools the mainly nitrogen and oxygen thermal blanket around the Earth in the Water Cycle.

        Have you got that? It’s actually a very simple trick, but is difficult to spot because the component parts are not brought together in AGWSF fisics – it misses out the Water Cycle altogether so you won’t spot the fraud of misattributing the -18°C to absence of its “greenhouse gases” only – your own minds fill in the rest for this con by assuming this means the minus18°C “must therefore have oxygen and nitrogen in place”.

        Please, do come back to me on this – tell me if you have understood what it is I’m saying here.

      • Jim D, said, “gbaikie, it doesn’t matter about geometry, it absorbs 240 W/m2, so it has to radiate 240 W/m2, otherwise it would not be in a steady climate state.”

        Actually it is totally dependent on the geometry. The concept of a “blackbody” is a half sphere shell heated by an internal round disc source. The depth or thickness of the shell has to be adjusted for the mean wavelength and the source has to be close to infinitely stable to produce a “blackbody”. The only point where emissivity is equal to absorptivity is at a non-existent “ideal” condition. Since there is not A shell or A stable source, there is a stable range not a stable point.

        Each shell has to be considered separately. The 33C is based on A shell not the whole object. That shell is assumed to be a perfect radiant surface when the isotropic emission of energy can be reduced to a simple up/down or in/out model, just like the ideal spherical shell with the stable internal disc heating source.

        Since the atmosphere above and below the ideal 240 Wm-2 “blackbody” shell has mass, energy is transferred in directions other than up/down. That internal transfer from the actual heated equator to the less heated poles is not the same as the ideal “blackbody” shell that is uniformly heated from the inside.

        So assumption upon assumption is required to reach the “Yocum’s Razon” idealized “Greenhouse Effect”. Geometry does matter.

  68. Thought fer Today.
    ‘…one flap of a seagull’s wing can forever change the course
    of the weather. Heck we don’t even know which butterfly!’

    H/t Lorenz

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.short

    The rich diversity of ElNino, decade to decade and century to
    century, reminds us of our uncertainty about climate …
    and whatever.

    Beth

  69. Good comment, Max, worthy of TfT. Do U intend ter apply fer the
    2013 franchise? )
    Beth,

    • Belinda

      Naw. The franchise is in good hands.

      I’ll just be a bystander and silent supporter.

      But thanks for asking.

      Max

    • Belinda Beth,

      Why did you change your name?

    • Beth

      The TFTD HQ receives tens of thousands of applications for the various country and blog franchises every day. (The exact number are compiled and statistically analysed by an ex climate scientist so I’m not aware of the precise numbers, but I am told the figure is robust)

      I must advise that it is a common ploy for potential comptetiors to feign lack of interest. Just saying, but remember what happened to Julius Caesar.
      tonyb

  70. Willis Eschenbach

    tempterrain | December 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Willis,
    Self taught eh? The snag is that if the teacher doesn’t know much, the pupil is unlikely to be much wiser after the course than before.

    Gosh, tempterrain, if that were true then nobody could ever be self-taught … does reality ever intrude into your world? Some of the finest, most original thinkers in history were self-taught. Under your theory, that could never happen.

    The missing link in your foolish equation, tempterrain, is BOOKS. It’s crazy, but if you pick one up and read it, you can end up much wiser than you started, despite the fact that you are self-taught. Who knew?

    w.

    PS—And no, I’m not comparing myself with the prior brilliant self-taught folks, I’m not that self-deluded. Being self-taught is no more a guarantee of wisdom than is a PhD.

    I’m just pointing out your logical mistake.

    • Willis,

      There’s no logical mistake. I did say it was unlikely, but not impossible. Yes you could perhaps get there reading books. Or BOOKS as you seem to prefer the upper case.

      But, they have to be the right books. You may well need some help there. If you’ve read books like Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth” you’d end up even dumber than you started. He’s supposed to be a uni Prof too so it may not be easy to know which to choose. Is that what’s happened in your case?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        tempterrain | December 31, 2012 at 6:28 am | Reply

        Willis,

        There’s no logical mistake. I did say it was unlikely, but not impossible. Yes you could perhaps get there reading books. Or BOOKS as you seem to prefer the upper case.

        But, they have to be the right books. You may well need some help there. If you’ve read books like Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth” you’d end up even dumber than you started. He’s supposed to be a uni Prof too so it may not be easy to know which to choose. Is that what’s happened in your case?

        tempterrain, since I’m the one who has been published in Nature, not you … and since I’m the one getting three quarters of a million page views per year for my scientific ideas that I publish on the web, while you are garnering, well, none … and since I’m the one with the balls to sign my work with my own name, not you … well, given that huge difference, I fear your endless yipping and snapping at my ankles like some psychotic weiner-dog regarding my level of education gives every appearance of being fueled by less than noble impulses.

        Yes, I’m a self-taught scientist. No, that doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. You seem to be suffering from the PhD sickness, where anyone without a PhD is deemed to be a lower species of creature, unworthy of notice. Meanwhile, Sir Patrick Moore is being mourned as a great scientist, and he was self-taught as well. And no, I’m not comparing myself to Sir Patrick, he’s one of my heroes, not my peers. I’m merely pointing out that dissing people for the lack of a formal education, as you are doing, is the act of a childish fool. People know what they know, and they have done what they have done. How they learned to do it is never the issue. The only issue is whether their knowledge is correct.

        Now, perhaps your desire to discuss my education is not fueled by baser motives as it seems, temp. Perhaps it’s fueled by an honest desire to see me improve my state of knowledge. Perhaps the impulse comes simply from your good-will, from wanting me to get more facts and more wisdom and be better equipped for my studies … but you know what?

        It doesn’t look like that in the slightest.

        Instead, what you have looks like a simple case of terminal envy and jealousy. As I said, that may not be what is really driving you … but it sure looks like it from here.

        Anyhow, my best wishes, and you have my sincere hopes that you find a cure for whatever it is that ails you. Because following me around the web and futilely attempting to bite my ankles is no way for a grown man to go through life, Señor Terrain, … it sounds boring as hell, among other reasons.

        w.

      • Willis,

        You say “Since I’m the one who has been published in Nature, not you”

        I have asked you for links to these claimed ” several peer-reviewed pieces on climate science published in the science journals” of yours but you seem quite coy on the matter.

        Presumably this is one of them?

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v430/n6997/full/nature02689.html

        “Pieces” can be anything, just questions. Anyone can ask a question, and that of course is fair enough, but they hardly qualify for inclusion on a CV.

      • Willis,

        I’ve just found this.

        Peer-reviewed climate papers by climate skeptics

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/peerreviewedskeptics.php

        They have you down with a zero, I’m afraid. They’ve given Judith a ‘1’ which is perhaps surprisingly high, as Judith gives quite a different message in her peer reviewed work to the one she conveys on this blog.

        The real stars seem to be people like Baliunas and Balling with ‘9’ s.

        Maybe you’d like to send your publication list to them and just check out if they’ve missed anything?

      • “I’ve just found this.

        Peer-reviewed climate papers by climate skeptics
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/peerreviewedskeptics.php

        That is quite list.
        Robert Balling seems pretty reasonable for a Climatologist:
        “Robert C. Balling, Jr. is a professor of geography at Arizona State University, and the former director of its Office of Climatology. His research interests include climatology, global climate change, and geographic information systems. Balling has declared himself one of the scientists who oppose the consensus on global warming, arguing in a 2009 book that anthropogenic global warming “is indeed real, but relatively modest”, and maintaining that there is a publication bias in the scientific literature.”

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

        I would say this would generally be the skeptics consensus view.
        But it doesn’t mean it’s correct but rather most would agree
        with it.
        Basically it’s political- hard to argue and it’s pointless to argue that
        CO2 doesn’t cause some amount of warming.
        So would guess, a doubling CO2 could cause as much as 1 C of
        global warming.
        Of course this suggest that other factors could cause much more warming and/or cooling and would be in line with idea that much global climate change is past [and future] was not and would not be related to CO2 level.
        “And such a view would align with what Mrs Clinton and other saying:
        More than one-third of current global warming is caused by short-lived pollutants.
        With politically correct disclaimer:
        “There is no way to effectively address climate change without reducing carbon dioxide, the most dangerous, prevalent, and persistent greenhouse gas. So this coalition is intended to complement – not supplant – the other actions we are, and must be, taking.”

        http://geneva.usmission.gov/2012/02/17/launch-of-climate-and-clean-air-coalition-new-global-effort-to-fight-climate-change/

        And this story is one stories of 2012 which Judith Curry thought was important-so politically one could claim that Clinton, Curry, and Balling
        are in the ballpark in their estimation of the effect of CO2.

  71. Given the two comments starting here http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/28/can-we-avoid-fooling-ourselves/#comment-281049 would it be fair to say, in all humbleness, that the loony-Left are responsible for global emission being 10% to 20% higher than they would have been if not for the policies advocated by the loony-Left?

    Then one might ask, in all humbleness of course, are they ignorant or stupid?

    Or is there some other explanation for why they are incapable of thinking rationally and logically?

    • “Then one might ask, in all humbleness of course, are they ignorant or stupid?”

      Fundamentally different tolerance levels for risk, especially ‘fat tail’ risk would be a better explanation.

      Hence, many who are ‘extremely concerned’ about potential catastrophic global warming are also ‘extremely concerned’ about the impacts of nuclear power plants cooking off.

      • harrywr2,

        Yes. That is a much better way to say it – and in the spirit of the improvements Judith is trying to get us to move towards on her web site.

        I accept that much better wording.

        Your point could lead to a very valuable discussion. I’d like to see a discussion on exactly that. I suspect where it would lead is to something previous threads have dealt with – we need to undertake robust analysis and develop robust policies. By the way, this is something Australian Geologist, Professor Bob Carter, has been advocating for many years.

        I believe, strongly, we CAN have our cake and eat it. The world can cut GHG emissions and be better off in many important way’s whether GHG emissions are a serious problem or not. But the policies being advocated by the IPCC, UN, environmental NGO’s and other groups are the opposite of wehat we should be doing. These groups are advocating for more regulation, more ‘big brother knows best’, more bureaucracy, carbon pricing, international agreements on targets and time tables, penalties for breaches, global taxation, huge compliance cost, inevitable international disputes. All this is the opposite of what we need.

        What we need is to reduce regulations, reduce penalties, reduce red tape, reduce bureacuracies, reduce taxation, reduce compliance costs. Remove the blocks we’ve imposed that are preventing us making the next leap up in energy density.

      • “But the policies being advocated by the IPCC, UN, environmental NGO’s and other groups are the opposite of what we should be doing”

        That what one gets when the solution is feared equally to the problem.

        I.E. If I have a tooth ache and fear the dentist my solution ends up being to give up hot and cold things and generally suffer. Eventually I end up going to the dentist. In hindsight, I should have gone to the dentist at the fist sign of trouble. Obviously people who don’t fear the dentist view my actions as irrational and of course the dentists bill to fix a small cavity is less then the cost of fixing a large cavity.

        Progress on cheaper, faster, less painful dentistry isn’t going to happen if I’m making the decisions. The old procedures were bad enough…I’m never going to agree to an ‘experimental’ procedure. I don’t care how much better the Dentist claims it is. The dentist that strapped me down in a chair at 8 years old, told me it was only going to ‘hurt a little’ and drilled away was a big effing liar so all dentists are liars.

        Which brings me back to the nuclear debate in the developed world. People were told it was 100% foolproof safe. It turned out it was only 99.999% foolproof safe.

        .
        The result is that the developed world is not going to ‘lead’ on demonstration of safer,cheaper nuclear power. There are just too many people who view nuclear power like I view the dentist. We might lead on the engineering and scientific investigations but not on actually building a full scale demonstration and seeing how it works, working thru the problems and trying again.

        The last I checked, a guy that feels the same way about nuclear power(nuclear waste in particular) as I feel about dentists is in charge of the US Senate and will most likely be in charge for at least another few years

        US DOE Secretary Chu can go to the Senate and say he needs $16 billion for advanced nuclear reactor research, development and full scale demonstration and no one will hear him and his request will never make it to a vote.

        The Chinese people all know what it means to be ‘cold and hungry’. Not from some Do-Gooder advertisement on TV…but from having actually experienced ‘cold and hungry’.

        Secretary Chu can trot off to China and say ‘here is how far we got’ on our Next Generation Nuclear R&D and the Chinese will say fantastic, we will throw a 1,000 engineers at completing the design work and start construction of the full scale demonstration in a few months.

        Building full scale demonstration projects of anything in the developed world has just gotten too difficult.

  72. LOL…does this mean I am a pseudo sock….

  73. Willis Eschenbach

    tempterrain | December 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Willis,

    If you’re any good at anagrams you’d be able to figure out my real name,

    Heck, you were posting under an anagram, how foolish of me not to have thought of that, it will reveal the truth immediately. So upon analysis, I figure you gotta be one of these three …

    Per Martinet

    Prime Natter

    or one of my personal favorites,

    Martin Tripe.

    w.

    • David Springer

      Prettier Man
      Emptier Rant
      Entire Tramp
      Enter Armpit
      A Preterm Nit
      Rear Tent Imp
      Tramp In Tree

      One of those?

    • Willis,

      No, I’m afraid you can’t have “Martin tripe”. Anagrams have to use each letter once, and only once, and no letters can be missed out. There’s too many I’s and not enough e’s.

      Dave Springer has the right idea below and I like his first effort!

  74. Doesn’t require immediately stopping CO2 emissions to “save the planet”, as tempterrain would like us all to do.

    “Immediately stopping” ? Max must be confusing me with someone else who may, or may not, have said that. It doesn’t sound at all realistic.

    What is realistic is to bring those emissions under some control. The first step would be to stop them increasing exponentially. The second step would be to stop them increasing at all. Thirdly they should be reduced with a preliminary target of about 50% of current levels.

    • “What is realistic is to bring those emissions under some control”

      Urbanization generally delivers a higher standard of living with for a given energy input.

      Urbanization requires a lot of cement and steel up front.

      The Chinese are going thru 2 billion tons of cement a year in order to achieve a level of urbanization if took everybody else a century to achieve in 20 years.

      If we curtail Chinese emissions do to their coal and steel industry now we are not going to be able to curtail emissions due to transportation later.

      The same will be true when the Indian building boom comes along.

      • Yes, generally I agree.
        I would say any steps towards increases in what one could called smart
        urbanization, is a step towards reducing CO2 and more importantly
        reducing energy use and pollution- increasing wealth in general- or way to reduce global poverty.
        Or a significant revolution in city planning and implementation could
        do a lot in terms of resolving many global problems.
        It could be called a “natural human evolution” which has been occurring for thousands of years

  75. Peter Lang,
    re ‘name change.’
    I’m in the bush, using a family member’s computer.
    Agree with yer comment, Peter, that ‘big brother does’nt
    know best.’ Utopia’s the fairy tale that in practice
    morphs into a nightmare.

    Beth Cooper
    .

    • Beth/Belinda,

      Just on a point of information: It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re on your own computer, you can put pretty much whatever you like the email address and name boxes on this blog.

  76. The Climate, Etc. message: certainty is bad, doubt is good, be careful not to fool yourself, and don’t doubt you will try to fool yourself. If all that makes you so unsure of yourself that you wonder why you even try, playwright and author Cynthia Heimel offers somewhat different advice:

    “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”

    I like Cynthia Heimel’s humor. Books by her include:

    Sex Tips For Girls

    Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I’m Kissing You Goodbye

    If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too

    If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?!

    • OK_, Now we are better able to understand your fears of women. You will need 50 shades too, from what you have written. Sweet dreams, Max…

      • Tom, I don’t fear women. I find women very appealing, especially young women. But I fear the women I find most appealing don’t find me appealing, and have not been able to fool myself into believing they do.

      • Loose some weight, a change of dress perhaps. All The Best

    • Should the Climate Etc mantra include – be sceptical of scepticism?

      • Ask Robert; the next time he finds you.

      • No, skeptics are skeptic-proof. You can’t touch them. Well, you can, but they get all huffy.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Real skeptics welcome being questioned and having their ideas challenged. If they are honest skeptics, that is what they are doing to themselves everyday. It would be true believers and true-unbelievers (aka deniers) that resent being challenged or questioned and get “all huffy” over such, in as much as their identity is tied up with their belief system. For skeptics, their identity is not tied up with what they believe in that their beliefs are always provisional. A skeptic’s identity as a skeptic is tied to the process of the search, not the end.

    • Self-deception (fooling your self) would seem to be a human flaw that disadvantages you. But that may not always be true. We may be hardwired to use self-deception to our advantage.
      The following statements are quoted from Scientific Americans interview with prominent biologist Robert Trivers, who probes the deep origins of deceit and offers a solution to the Darwinian paradox of self-deception.

      “From everyday life, we know that denial is a powerful force. Why? How on earth could selection favor our wonderful organs of perception only to systematically distort the information to our conscious minds? Where was the pay-off in that? It seemed to challenge the Darwinian paradigm at its core.”

      “I realized that if self-deception made it easier to deceive others, then it could confer an advantage. After all, deception only succeeds when undetected. Otherwise it may have most unfortunate consequences. So I imagined that self-deception easily evolved in the service of deceit—all kinds of improbably organized information to the conscious mind in order the better to fool others.”

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hdiden-logic-deception&page=2

  77. Willis Eschenbach

    steven mosher | December 30, 2012 at 1:12 am |

    Willis

    ‘ And so far, we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all.”

    No evidence?

    we have plenty of evidence. that evidence may not convince you, but there is evidence. Dont say you are a sky dragon now and believe that C02 can have no effect.

    Mosh, thanks for your thoughts. To start with, I never ever trust a man who claims to have evidence, but doesn’t cite or link to even the slightest shred of it.

    Second, I’m not sure what you mean by “CO2 can have no effect”. No effect on what? Forcing? Outgoing radiation? Temperature? I certainly agree that CO2 affects the absorption of GHGs, and is a part of the overall poorly-named “greenhouse effect”.

    And I agree that a change in CO2 is accompanied by a change in the radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere.

    Finally, I agree that we have observational evidence of those things.

    What we do not have evidence for is the claim that the temperature of the planet is a linear function of the forcing.

    In itself, the idea that a bit of change in the forcing will result in a proportional change in the temperature is contrary to my experience. I know of no other complex flow system which has the quality that the output is a linear function of the input. Instead, complex flow systems are constantly adapting and modifying to changing conditions. They are notorious for the output NOT being related to the input in any simple manner. Complex flow systems are constantly evolving as conditions change. So a small change in a minor component of the system may easily be compensated for by a correspondingly slight change elsewhere in the system.

    Downwelling 24/7 average radiation at the surface is about half a kilowatt per square metre. Change from a doubling of CO2 is slated to be less than 1% of that. That would be totally compensated for by a change in the albedo from 0.30 to 0.31 … hardly a tectonic shift.

    The great heat engine that is the climate has a throttle, which controls the energy entering the system. That throttle is the clouds, which in the tropics are absent when the surface is cooler, and present when the earth starts to warm.

    These clouds, indeed, are the one and only guard against the earth overheating. If the clouds were to decrease by even five percent on average, the temperatures would skyrocket … ever wonder why that never happens? It’s because in general clouds are a function of temperature, so they increase as the earth warms, and keep it from overheating.

    So I agree that the greenhouse effect from a combination of water vapor and to a lesser extent CO2 warms the earth. The clouds, however, oppose that warming. The clouds increase as the temperature increases. At some temperature, on average the increasing cloud albedo losses plus the increasing sensible heat losses plus the increasing evaporation losses matches the incoming sun … and that’s the temperature of the earth. It is actively maintained by the clouds going away when it is cooler and reflecting more sunlight when it is hotter.

    Now, the oddity of that system of temperature regulation by clouds is that it is a function of temperature. Clouds form based on the physics of wind and water vapor and temperature … and not on the basis of CO2 content, or TOA forcing. The regulatory system, the cloud system that keeps the planet from overheating, doesn’t have CO2 in it as a variable anywhere.

    As a result, I see no reason to think that a slight change of less than a percent of the surface forcing will somehow overwhelm the huge natural temperature limiting system of the clouds. And I certainly haven’t seen any evidence that an increase in CO2 is actually affecting the global temperature. Bear in mind that computer model results are interesting, but they are not evidence of anything except the beliefs of the programmers.

    Regards, and my thanks,

    w.

    • Willis

      An excellent summary of how clouds act as a natural thermostat.

      IPCC (and apparently Mosh, as well) have missed this completely, in their myopic fixation on CO2 as the main driver of climate.

      This is all the more astonishing since we have daily examples (especially in the tropics, where most of the solar warming comes in) of how clouds form when it gets warm during the day and then cool the surface by reflecting incoming solar radiation.

      Guess it’s the problem when you only stare at your computer models, rather than looking up into the sky from time to time.

      Max

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach posts  “To start with, I never ever trust a man who claims to have evidence, but doesn’t cite or link to even the slightest shred of it.”

      [ … a lengthy essay giving *ZERO* citations and *ZERO* links follows … ]

      Gosh Willis, it appears that by the time you finished composing your long post, you entirely forgot its beginning premise. WUWT, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      The American Institute of Physics website Further Uses of Primitive Calculations is a well-reasoned, respectfully-written, student-friendly, abuse-free, impersonal learning resource that is citation-filled and link-rich.

      The AIP’s admirable scientific/historical review well-repays careful study, isn’t that so Willis? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      Uh … and the weight of its scientific evidence rather thoroughly rebuts your (citation-free, link-free) chain of reasoning, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        Your fail to address Willis’ request for “evidence” but blather on about Willis not presenting evidence. Apparently you have misunderstood.

        Wiilis wrote:

        “And so far, we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all.”

        To which Mosh replied:

        “No evidence?

        we have plenty of evidence. that evidence may not convince you, but there is evidence.”

        But, despite his statement that there is “plenty of evidence”, Mosh does not cite any of this “evidence”.

        Got it this time?

        It’s really not that complicated, Fanny, when you concentrate a bit, but let me summarize it again for you.

        Willis says there is “no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature”

        Mosh says that “we have plenty of evidence”.

        BUT he does not put his “evidence” where his mouth is, i.e. he DOES NOT CITE ANY OF THIS “PLENTY OF EVIDENCE”.

        As a matter of fact, Fanny, this is the Achilles’ heel of the CAGW premise of IPCC – it is not supported by empirical evidence.

        Max

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach posts  “I know of no other complex flow system which has the quality that the output is a linear function of the input.”

      If you reflect upon your surprising claim, Willis, you’ll realize that everyone is familiar with plenty of complex flow systems [like aircraft and their jet engines] for which the [flight path and thrust] output is a linear function of the [pilot control and throttle] input. WUWT, eh Willis? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}.

      And there is plenty of excellent mathematics associated to this everyday practical reality! That’s good, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}.

      So maybe small inputs to radiative balance (like CO2) are like small inputs to the flight controls of a landing aircraft? Namely, they (1) elicit a linear response, that if ill-applied (2) can crash an aircraft … or a planetary ecosystem.

      That kind of science-and-engineering makes plenty of sobering sense, eh Willis? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\diamondsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\diamondsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}.

      • Fanny

        To Willis’ specific request for empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that CO2 is a major driver of our climate you cite “mathematics”, “complex flow systems like aircraft and their jet engines” tossing in a bunch of very artistic smileys, BUT

        You do not cite any empirical evidence as requested by Willis

        I will posit that this is NOT because you do not want to.

        It is because you cannot do so.

        Right?

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Willis Eschenbach posts  “I know of no other complex flow system which has the quality that the output is a linear function of the input.”

        Manacker, my post quoted Willis verbatim. Your post didn’t, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        Willis’ claim is directly contradicted by a sufficiently broad range of familiar nonlinear dynamical systems that it amounts to a “Proclamation of Willful Ignorance”.

        Consider for example combustion chambers, in which grossly nonlinear turbulent flows are generic. The (vastly complex and grossly nonlinear) dynamical process(es) of combustion are constrained however by two fundamental thermodynamical principles: conservation of energy (First Law) and increase of entropy (Second Law). The practical consequence is that the output of the combustion process (commonly heat and/or power and/or chemical products) can be regulated (in practice) to within very fine tolerances by simple linear feedback forcing (commonly by regulation of input mass flow and/or output back-pressure).

        And of course, seminal articles like Hansen et al. Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide similarly treat the entire world as (in effect) a thermodynamically constrained “combustion chamber” whose dynamics is nonlinear and whose response to small forcings is linear.

        Willis Eschenbach’s post exhibits utter ignorance that when nonlinear processes are thermodynamically constrained, they generically become susceptible to linear regulation/forcing … which plainly establishes that (in Judith’s phrase) “fooling oneself” is very easy, eh manacker? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        By what cognitive process(es) is willful ignorance of thermodynamical physics sustained, the world wonders? Perhaps a crucial step, is to be both ignorant and proud of that ignorance? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • So willis.

      You wrote :

      ‘ And so far, we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all.”

      I say there is evidence. and you switch to a long discussion about whether the effect is linear or not.

      I quoted you. I used your words. Simple question. Where you wrong.

      • It’s amazing how startling it can be when you misread ‘willis’ as ‘willard’ and try to impute what is written to a mistaken source.

      • Mosh

        Linear, shminear.

        Willis asked for evidence, specifically:

        we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all

        So far I’ve seen none – just talk.

        If you are unsure what “evidence” means, read the words of Feynman.

        Where is this “evidence”?

        Max

      • Is there an alternative theory why paleoclimates like the Eocene were warmer? I haven’t heard it. Perhaps some think the oceans outgassed the CO2 as they warmed up for other unspecified reasons? What’s the thinking about paleoclimate evidence among skeptics, or don’t they think about it, or haven’t they yet realized that there were higher CO2 levels and warmer temperatures back then? The debate should be broadened in this direction as it may be helpful as an independent line of evidence.

      • JimD, “Is there an alternative theory why paleoclimates like the Eocene were warmer?” Yes

        Kari Lawrence is supposed to be working on a new paleo ocean paper. She noticed that the southern oceans and deep ocean temperatures tend to lead interglacial periods as did Stott with CO2 in the southern oceans leading temperature. This mainly has to do with the ocean internal heat transfer and polar heat sink efficiency. The liquid part of the tale of two greenhouse effects is the more interesting of the two.

        I think even Gates would give that an Amen.

      • capt. d., hmmm. That doesn’t sound like it is going to address the Eocene or the other warm paleo periods. The skeptics need to come up with something.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        captndallas,

        A qualified amen, in the sense that amen means: “This is most certainly true”, and maybe that is why it is used in a religious way. As a skeptic, I hold nothing to be “most certainly true”.

        In regards to oceans, CO2, and glacial and interglacial periods, I find this paper to have much to closely consider:

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7392/full/nature10915.html

      • JimD, “capt. d., hmmm. That doesn’t sound like it is going to address the Eocene or the other warm paleo periods. The skeptics need to come up with something.”

        Actually it is pretty close. Since the start of the “100ka world” to quote Dr. Lawrence, the deep ocean temperature range is only ~+/- 2 C peak to peak. Hargreaves and Annan have been trying to model the LGM, which had one of the larger deep ocean changes of the past 800ka, and they have a rough sensitivity estimate of around 2.5C, but that includes quite a bit of albedo/ice area feedback. CO2 “forcing” would be a little more non-linear, higher impact at lower mean temperature, decreasing as ice/snow areal coverage decreases and open ocean area increases.

        The “100ka World” is mainly due to the southern oceans and the ACC. Since the ACC varies with SH sea ice extent and has been improving due to the opening and expansion of the Drake Passage with erosion, the SH ocean heat loss efficiency is much greater than it would have been before 900ka ago.

        I looks thermodynamically sound to me.

        There is a few million years of tropical ocean temperature reconstructions. If you want to travel further back in time, this is pretty neat.

        The top is the Drake Passage and the bottom is what may have been the Panama Passage millions of years ago. Since the scour patterns are similar, the orbital orientation could have been similar.

        This does though tend to validate Muller’s theory with the exception that not all the impact events were of space origin. More tectonic events would have to be involved, but it is amazing how the geomagnetic field shifts and climate correlate. Interesting stuff.

      • capt.d., don’t you have anything along the lines of the CO2 was declining for the last few tens of millions of years while the earth was cooling into the current climate? Where was the CO2 going, or the cooling coming from? Most would say it was driven by the rise of the Himalayas and geological removal, but that would not suit the skeptical view because then they have to explain the cooling by some other means.

      • manacker

        Where is this “evidence”?

        Rohling et al. (2012)

      • Gates, thanks for the link. What I have noticed is that the correlation between CO2 and temperature in the past tends to fluctuate. That is why I am pretty interested in the hopefully soon Lawrence paper.

        I plotted that to compare EPICA CO2 with north Atlantic and Galapagos temperatures. Both Lawrence and Stott noticed a SH temperature lead. I have been hoping that more of the ocean core calibration would be standardized to make it easier to compare, but I can pretty much show a lead or lag if one strikes my fancy. That can make it a little tough doncha know.

      • Cap’n

        Just read the Shakun paper. Stop talking. Stop the pretty pictures.

        Read. Think.

      • JimD, “capt.d., don’t you have anything along the lines of the CO2 was declining for the last few tens of millions of years while the earth was cooling into the current climate?

        Ah, yeah. If you looked at the blue curve, the tropical eastern Pacific from Herbert, that is a good indication of deep ocean mixing via the ACC since it is influenced by the Chilean current. The opening of the Drake Passage greater improved internal heat transfer allowing more SH cooling. About 3C as a matter of record.

        http://sam.ucsd.edu/sio219/toggweiler_bjornsson.pdf

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/jrt9502.pdf

        It is unlikely that the Drake Passage has been the same width since it first opened. Erosion and changing Antarctic ice configuration would tend to cause the longer term decrease in temperature and improved deep ocean mixing with colder temperatures would remove more CO2. It is not like I just made this up, doncha know.

        Where was the CO2 going, or the cooling coming from?

        See above and remember that geometry matters. Earth is heated across the equator not uniformly, internal heat distribution is pretty important.

      • Blah Blah Duh! How you doin’?

        You read the Lawrence paper right? You read the Tuggweilder papers right? You read the Stott paper right?

        “Cap’n

        Just read the Shakun paper. Stop talking. Stop the pretty pictures.

        Read. Think.”

        Shakun mentions a seesaw for the LGM and hand waves at a every second or third obliquity trigger. There are two end to this globe and more than one paper to read.

        Hope the Holidays done ya right :)

      • capt. d., are you saying ocean circulation changes caused the Eocene and past warming and it had nothing to do with CO2 levels around 1000 ppm? How sure are you of that, and more importantly, who else says so? Not that I think you are making things up, or anything.

      • Cap’n

        Blah Blah Duh! How you doin’?

        Hearty, thank’ee, shipmate. See yon’ reference thar, eight bells abaft the mizzen splice? The good ship PALAEOSENS she be!

        And see there! At her helm the great pirate captain Zachos Curve, a name that strikes fear into every sea-going man.

        Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

    • It should not be surprising that the response to a forcing change is linear. Anyone who deals with systems knows that when you change a forcing by only 1% (as with doubling CO2), it would be very surprising if nonlinearity showed up. In fact, the temperature may change by 1% in response to a 1% forcing change (coincidentally) according to the IPCC sensitivity. How can it be anything other than linear? We are dealing with small perturbations in the big picture, and things won’t go haywire with the system, but biological systems are acclimatized and 1% is a big deal to them.

      • 1 %, of the total atmospheric effect is about 3.4 +/- a touch Wm-2, which would result in roughly 0.8C degrees increase at the “surface”. Most skeptics have no problem understanding a 0.8 +/- impact, but to get to 3, 5, 7 C requires some creativity with non-linear amplification. IPCC “sensitivity” implies a 3 or more percent response to a 1 % increase in “forcing”. So you agree that 0.8 is a pretty good estimate?

      • Capt D, 1% temperature change is 1% of 288 K (=2.88 C) per doubling. Just doing the math for you.

      • Jim D, “Capt D, 1% temperature change is 1% of 288 K (=2.88 C) per doubling. Just doing the math for you.” So CO2 interacts with Kelvins instead of photons :)

        You do know that temperature scales are linear constructs of non-linear phenomena, right? And that 288K is not known to be the true temperature of the radiant surface impacted by the doubling. What is known is that a doubling of CO2 will increase the atmospheric resistance to outgoing thermal energy by about 3.7Wm-2 per doubling. To keep the relationship linear, you should not confuse Wm-2 with K degrees.

      • That’s why I said it was coincidental.

      • Jim D, “That’s why I said it was coincidental.”

        It seems that quite a bit of Climate Science is coincidental :) Just a coincident that things gravitate toward a range of comfort.

      • Hopefully you agree with the main point which was linearity is expected for small perturbations which is why sensitivity is expressed as a linear function for something as “small” as doubling CO2.

      • Jim D

        It should not be surprising that the response to a forcing change is linear

        Duh!

        Isn’t that the way the concept of “forcing” was thought up in the first place?

        What is NOT included are “non-included natural forcing factors/variability”, some of which (egad!) are not even known as we speak (so how could they be included?).

        “Forcing” calculations work nicely in theory (I.e. in models) when all other factors are equal.

        As the past 10-15 years have shown, they do not work so well when all other factors are NOT equal

        That appears to be the dilemma.

        This dilemma appears to have led to an overestimation by the IPCC models of the (2xCO2) ECS and an underestimation of natural factors, which in turn has led to an exaggerated projection of future warming from AGW.

        A dilemma that turns into a goof-up.

        Just my opinion, of course.

        Max

      • JimD, “Hopefully you agree with the main point which was linearity is expected for small perturbations which is why sensitivity is expressed as a linear function for something as “small” as doubling CO2.”

        I do completely, it is just that that small change has to start at the right spot or it may not be a small change.

        Consider the range of latent heat loss from the initial estimates to now. Trenberth started with just over 70Wm-2 and the more recent Stephens has closer to 88Wm-2. In the same period, the “atmospheric window” from the “true” surface has changed from 40Wm-2 to ~20Wm-2. We are closing in on more accurate estimates that would increase the probability of a linear (i.e. small) change, but reverting to the now obsolete data to predict that small change. Your 288K ranges from 287K to 292K. Most of the uncertainty is not in the impact but the initial conditions. Funny huh? The one thing we know best is the no feed back CO2 impact.

      • capt. d., well we know Clausius-Clapeyron pretty well too, and that the oceans supply the water vapor based on their temperature, so the water vapor part of the feedback depends on how quickly the oceans can warm. In a transient climate, the feedback may appear weaker because of the ocean lag and natural variability, but looking at land from BEST you end up with a transient sensitivity near 4.5 C per doubling for the last three decades, probably even higher in the Arctic region.

      • manacker, re “Duh”. Tell that to Willis.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Jim D said:

        ” Anyone who deals with systems knows that when you change a forcing by only 1% (as with doubling CO2), it would be very surprising if nonlinearity showed up.”
        ____
        The odds are against nonlinearity showing up at any specific 1% range of change, but greatly in favor of it showing up at some nonspecific 1% range. These bifurcation points exist in all unstable chaotic systems. You can’t predict exactly where they will occur, but occur they do. There are some predictors however of when you might be getting close to a point of one of these dragon-king bifurcation points:

        http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

      • Gates said, ” There are some predictors however of when you might be getting close to a point of one of these dragon-king bifurcation points:”

        Indeed. Pretty fascinating subject. I screwed up and read a A. M. Selvam paper on Self-organized Criticality and have been trying to see how it can be merged into thermodynamic efficiency. I am becoming a fan of Phinary.

        JimD, Since SOC is part of the dragon king and black swan realm, when a system exhibits bi-stable tendencies there is likely a reason. So back to initial conditions, the CC and 4.5 C estimates and all the basic talking points depend on what initial conditions are selected. I threw out my 0.8 +/- 0.2 prediction for a reason, the system somewhat bi-stable and from a 1981 to 2010 reference, there is a good likelihood that the system has reached the upper bi-stable “attractor” which will limit the response to CO2.

        The SSW, tropical ozone depletion, Arctic Ice melt, shift in diurnal temperature trend and change in cloud response are all somewhat indicative of a regime change, consistent with the upper bi-stable limit idea.

      • TSW, yes, jumps occur occasionally. They have been associated with ice cap changes, both in the ice ages and the formation of the Antarctic one. These are nonlinear processes, and we would be due for one as CO2 increases back to pre-ice-cap values. Climate sensitivity understandably doesn’t account for sudden albedo changes because the idea is a linear one.
        Capt.d., as always, you say bi-stable, I say tri-stable. The third one is the ice-free hothouse of the Eocene most recently, but also in other high-CO2 periods of paleoclimate. These stable states depend on continental lay-outs and permanent ice cap areas or lack thereof. We are in the intermediate of those three states with two limited ice caps. (Snowball earth might be a fourth state).

      • JImD, Bi-stable refers to the more likely condition. The pretty picture that Blah Blah Duh dislikes shows that even with a very long term glide downward and a turn upward ~900ka ago, the general tendency is bi-stable. In another 4.5 million years, conditions will likely change.

        The Tuggweilder links are recommended reading IMHO. Since a shift in the Drake Passage flow could produce a rather rapid 4 to 5 C global temperature change per their model, that region which impacts the AAO, SO, ENSO, PDO and AMO might be something to watch.

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      Willis said:

      “It’s because in general clouds are a function of temperature, so they increase as the earth warms, and keep it from overheating.”
      _____
      I guess I would like a few clarifications on your position on the issue that, according to radiation transfer models, increasing GHG concentrations will lead to a decrease in overall global cloudiness (owing to the rising effective transfer point of LW to space), and indeed, this is exactly what has been observed:

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00280.1

      And of course, the overall nonlinear nature of the response to increasing GHG is discussed in great detail recently here:

      http://scienceofdoom.com/2012/12/29/clouds-water-vapor-part-six-nonlinearity-and-dry-atmospheres/

      Unfortunately, certain people seem hell bent on claiming that the decreasing cloudiness is a cause, rather than effect of increasing GHG concentrations, without an explanation as to the nature of that cause, except for perhaps resorting to cosmic ray theories, which would then be subject to actually looking at the data which would not support those contentions. Either way, your increasing cloudiness/ negative feedback process to keep the Earth cool seems to have broken over the past several decades as we’ve seen the opposite happening, and a positive feedback process seems to be occurring whereby clouds are decreasing overall as GHG concentrations continue to increase. Explanation?

      • 1. Travel to the tropics, by the sea (that’s where most of the incoming solar radiation takes place)

        2. Get up early in the morning and look up into the sky.

        3. Note that there are not too many clouds in the relatively cool morning.

        4. Keep watching the sky as it warms up.

        5. Note that cloud cover increases as it gets warmer.

        6. Note that it cools off as a cloud blocks the sun from the surface where you are standing.

        7. Repeat this procedure over several days

        8. Understand.

        9. Go back and fix your models.

        Max

      • I would note this. It is less cloudy on land areas in summer than winter. Why? Because the relative humidity is lower. Why? Because the ocean is cooler than the land and doesn’t supply enough moisture to maintain the RH over a hotter surface. As climate warms, especially with land warming faster, we approach the summer-like situation. Cloud cover will decrease leading to a positive feedback over land, IMHO.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        Doing as you suggest would be great information for figuring out the local relationship between local heating of the ocean, afternoon clouds, etc. during certain periods of ocean cycles at certain latitudes, but would tell me little about how a complex global climate responds to increasing GHG’s. For that I would need fairly sophisticated radiation transfer theory and models combined with global climate models.

        But my question to Willis is based on the fact that global observation of cloudiness would seem to be proof against his overall theory…that is clouds have declined as temperatures have increased. I guess what I am asking Willis is, if he is an honest skeptic, he would have some notion of what it would take for him to abandon or modify his theory. What would that be?

      • It would seem that Willis is presenting the argument that clouds might impose a stabilising negative feedback on to the climate system.

        OK I can accept that. They might. Its possible.

        But is just the possibility that there may be an as yet undiscovered mechanism at work enough for us to say that therefore CO2 concentrations can be allowed to increase out of all control?

        What makes people like Willis so sure they can?

      • temp, “What makes people like Willis so sure they can?”

        Mostly, the BS. Like using dead tree published peer reviewed papers as a criterion for having a brain. Do you have any idea how often faulty papers are cited because of the assumption that being published in a dead tree journal is an indication of accurate science? Both Santers and Trenberth have published papers indicating that the models aren’t cutting it. Both used language that wouldn’t rock the boat too much, but the indications are that if all the data is used, things are not as bad as they once were. That means that a crapload of dead tree published peer reviewed papers are obsolete.

        Today is the last day of 2012. It would be nice to recognize that the past 12 years did exist and the data and science are marching on.

  78. Atmospheric political characteristics:
    Conservatives are windbags.
    Liberals are airheads.

  79. I second that tony b.

    Web, we all get a good run on Judith’s blog and
    it IS the open society in operation. Come back ter
    the agora.

    Beth from Oz )

  80. tony @30/12am,
    I would fain retain me “TfT” franchise tho’, peut etre,
    I feign reluctance …’tis jest me pride lest I not get
    acceptance with me ( ;feigned’ submissive )
    2013 submission. )

    Beth Cooper, Applicant 2935.

  81. You are all on the road to fooling yourselves who claim there is such a thing as AGWScienceFiction’s “The Greenhouse Effect” which claims “the temperature of the Earth would be minus18°C without its infrared imbibing greenhouse gases” – because it’s an illusion created by sleights of hand and misdirection tweaking real world physics basics.

    If you’re really the scientists you claim to be, then prove me wrong as I have explained here: Myrrh | December 30, 2012 at 6:01 am http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/28/can-we-avoid-fooling-ourselves/#comment-281144

    If you fail to take up the challenge or cannot prove me wrong and still continue to promote the fictional concept “the AGW Greenhouse Effect”, then you prove conclusively that you are fooling yourself.

    • David Springer

      Myrrh | December 30, 2012 at 6:18 am | Reply

      Have you figured out yet there’s no difference between a blue photon from the sun and a blue photon from a laser? Both will thermalize anything which absorbs them. Has to. Conservation of energy law at work.

      • David Springer | December 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

        All you have shown is that you are ignorant about the subject and unable to respond rationally, let alone scientifically, to what I have specifically stated is a science challenge.. The onus is on you to provide the science.

        The Sun is not a laser and your red herring bluster to distract from actually answering that particular challenge shows you have no proof.

        The challenge you keep avoiding in your promotion of the fake fisics from AGWScienceFiction’s idiotic claim of its Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget that “shortwave from the Sun heats land and water of the Earth’s surface and direct longwave infrared from the Sun (aka thermal infrared, the Sun’s radiant heat) plays no part in this”, is as follows:

        Prove that visible light from the Sun heats the Earth’s land and water at the equator to the intensity this is heated which gives us our huge equator to poles winds and dramatic weather systems.

        However, that is not the same challenge I am making here.. This is a different approach seeing that asking for proof of basic physics claims made by you AGW/CAGWs is giving an impossible task because you have nowhere to go to fetch such, because of course it doesn’t exist and you don’t even know where to start. Here I have shown the Greenhouse Effect is a deliberately created illusion, a con, and I have shown how it was done. The challenge is to prove you are not fooling yourselves.

        Have another go at it David Springer, the two relevant posts:

        “The temperature of the Earth without any atmosphere at all would be minus 18°C – the AGWScienceFiction Greenhouse Effect con claims that is the figure without only its “greenhouse gases”.

        In other words – it is the real heavy blanket of the real gas AIR which is around 98% nitrogen and oxygen which is keeping the heat from the Earth from being lost too quickly, this is the REAL greenhouse gas blanket trapping the upwelling heat from the Earth [ which is heated direct by the longwave infrared from the Sun and not by the impossible fantasy of shortwave from the Sun].

        Do you understand that magician’s tricks are achieved by sleights of hand and misdirection? Do you see now what AGWSF has done here?”

        And:

        “You are all on the road to fooling yourselves who claim there is such a thing as AGWScienceFiction’s “The Greenhouse Effect” which claims “the temperature of the Earth would be minus18°C without its infrared imbibing greenhouse gases” – because it’s an illusion created by sleights of hand and misdirection tweaking real world physics basics.

        If you’re really the scientists you claim to be, then prove me wrong as I have explained here: Myrrh | December 30, 2012 at 6:01 am http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/28/can-we-avoid-fooling-ourselves/#comment-281144

        If you fail to take up the challenge or cannot prove me wrong and still continue to promote the fictional concept “the AGW Greenhouse Effect” [caveat: because you believe it is real], then you prove conclusively that you are fooling yourself.”

  82. WHT

    Aw, c’mon, Webby – don’t take your toys and run away.

    We love ya here on Climate Etc., even when you’re sometimes cantankerous and surly.

    At least you don’t clutter the screen with smileys.

    Max

  83. David Springer

    WebHubTelescope | December 30, 2012 at 2:09 am | Reply

    “Bye-bye. I am out of here for good.”

    Great. One less anonymous coward polluting the blog commentary.

    Don’t let the door hit ya in the ass.

  84. WHT writes”According to him there is no direct empirical evidence, no evidence of a lunar “signal”, and no controlled experiment in which one can test the hypothesis. Any alignment of theory could just be chance.”

    Let me bring this this out as a new piece. First, Webby, you are wrong. There is an enormous amount of empirical data on tides. We do not even need a model. There are exact mathematical equations that enable us to calculate tide heights into the indefinite future.

    I dont have direct experience, but my brother-in-law lives in the UK, and for years owned boats which he sailed from Dartmouth. There were two dates which he, and whoever he rented moorings from, knew as far into the future as required; the highest tide before the winter, and the highest tide in the spring. Each autumn, he would take the boat at the appropiate time on the appropiate date, and put it as far up the river as required, safely away from winter storms. Then in the spring he did the same in reverse. I am sure he had a gentleman’s agreement, and both parties knew when the dates and times were.

    But that is not the important issue. The important issue is that Webby is trying to change the subject. It does not matter if there are other examples of lack of empirical data. The issue is CAGW, and the lack of empirical data. I put it to you, Webby, directly. Do you admit and agree that there is no empirical data which proves that as you add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, this additonal CO2 causes global temperatures to rise? A simple yes or no, is all that is required. Or will you be intellectually DISHONEST and refuse to answer the question?

    • Jim

      You may be “barking up an empty tree”, as Webby has announced that he is “taking his toys and going away”.

      Maybe he was only in one of his bad moods and pouting.

      But don’t look for him to come back with anything specific regarding evidence to support CAGW..

      He never does.

      Max

    • David Springer

      WebHubColonoscope concedes.

      No film at 11.

      • Please show sportsmanship, Big Dave.

        At least once a year.

        You would not want to have humility imposed upon you, would you?

      • David Springer

        Been there, done that. Water off a duck’s back. Is humiliation something that you personally fear? Fragile ego?

      • David Springer

        Humility imposed by experts practiced and refined continuously since Nov. 10, 1775.

        http://jy3502.hubpages.com/hub/MY-MARINE-CORPS-BOOT-CAMP-DAZE

        Been there. Done that.

        Show some respect for the people who volunteer to defend your right to be an anonymous blowhard internet creep.

      • Fear of humiliation is shared by many mammals, Big Dave, but I do wonder why you’re speaking of humiliation when I was speaking of humility.

        Perhaps it is because:

        > Whereas humility can be sought alone as a means to de-emphasise the ego, humiliation must involve other person(s) , though not necessarily directly or willingly.

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

        To “impose humility” does not sound right, perhaps. In that case, what about to “strongly suggest humility”, or “be confronted with the importance of being earnest”?

        I hope you that this time you do get where our conversation is heading before it’s too late.

        ***

        You know, I was not proposing to be the one to ask you to self-reflect on the possibility that you might be fooling yourself by thinking that because WebHubTelescope goes away, his detractors win by default. I believe that, sooner or later, poor sports lose more than people who show sportsmanship.

  85. Web leaving? Bummer! I have been polishing my crackpot just for him :)

  86. There have been a lot of crackpot scientists over the years and also throughout history but rewarding them with government funding in America. We have not seen that sort of thing in Europe since the dark ages and 30s-era Germany.

  87. Apologies for not reading all the comments, but … the question was a simple one, “Can we avoid fooling ourselves?”

    No. NO!

    Without addressing all the nonsense in the earlier post about humility, one might simply admit that he can (is likely to) fool himself and devise methods to detect it, for example:

    Making a serious effort to list all of the things which could be wrong with it, including defective earlier research by others (even peer reviewed).

    Better, running it past folks who have been critical of ones work in the past.

    If one finds himself never making mistakes, one might be even more apprehensive that he has made a career of fooling himself.

    I’m sure you can see the drift of this.

  88. captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | December 30, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    “Actually it is totally dependent on the geometry. The concept of a “blackbody” is a half sphere shell heated by an internal round disc source.”

    What you mean by “internal round disc source”?

    You do mean the disk smaller the disk diameter in which most of the sun’s energy is intersecting the sun lit hemisphere?
    Because that would make sense to me in terms of using blackbody. Or if you going blackbody in a model, it makes the most sense.

    “The depth or thickness of the shell has to be adjusted for the mean wavelength and the source has to be close to infinitely stable to produce a “blackbody”. ”
    I don’t really understand this. Are talking about atmosphere being shell, or top surface crust or both. Or neither?
    Nor this: “the source has to be close to infinitely stable”. What is “infinitely stable”? [Google wasn't helpful]

    “The only point where emissivity is equal to absorptivity is at a non-existent “ideal” condition. Since there is not A shell or A stable source, there is a stable range not a stable point.”

    I don’t think I agree with this. And it *seems* one talking about some exactness which I would regard as hopeless and unnecessary. As one starting from what you should think is not a very precise approximation.

    “Each shell has to be considered separately. The 33C is based on A shell not the whole object. That shell is assumed to be a perfect radiant surface when the isotropic emission of energy can be reduced to a simple up/down or in/out model, just like the ideal spherical shell with the stable internal disc heating source. ”

    Yeah, I don’t buy this starting premise of 33 C.
    Why do people consider this 33 C number useful?
    A different but really same question is what is the error bar with 33 C?
    I am not sure it’s within +/- 10 C. Yet the assumption seems to be
    it must be within +/- 1 C.
    It seems, it’s premise is based on present conditions. And the present
    conditions is: we are in an ice box global climate.
    So that’s one thing that would make this 33 C seem to be
    inaccurate. And there are other things.

    And I am getting idea the shell refers to atmosphere only, and
    problem being solved is the supposedly radiant caused lapse rate.
    And the fixation about radiant matters, rather than heat.

    Which brings to the question, why does anyone think a significant amount of heat of gases *can* be transfered to other gases, other than by the kinetic energy [motion] of gas.
    Or why is the definition of heat of gases all about the motion of gases, and specifically exclude the radiant properties, yet all hear about is the focus is on radiant properties of gases.
    What the big fuss about the path of bunch of weak energy photons leaving earth.
    Add to maniacal focus on photon leaving Earth, few seem concerned about the much more powerful stream of photons coming from the Sun passing thru Earth’s atmosphere.
    Is because if anyone can figure out how to efficiently trap “waste heat” they will instantly become billionaires? Or at least famous?

    “Since the atmosphere above and below the ideal 240 Wm-2 “blackbody” shell has mass, energy is transferred in directions other than up/down. That internal transfer from the actual heated equator to the less heated poles is not the same as the ideal “blackbody” shell that is uniformly heated from the inside. ”

    Well Jim didn’t provide any details about about energy that is suppose to be radiated from a particular segment of the atmosphere. And you appear to be talking about shells of atmosphere.
    So you get my question, what amount the energy of some shell which radiates the most energy into space- watts per square meter?
    In other words I don’t want the amount energy which happens to be passing thru the shell, I want watts per square meter of energy emitted by gases in a segment of column of air- say, 1000 meters of elevation of air.
    Assume people have measured it, as they are always talking about it.
    Is it constant? Does have range of quantity depending night or day, or what?

  89. Interesting paper on why people believe things:

    http://www.samharris.org/images/uploads/Harris_Sheth_Cohen.pdf

    Apparently, it’s often only necessary to be able to understand something in order to accept it as the truth.
    Disbelief, OTOH, requires a bit more thought.

    • “Apparently, it’s often only necessary to be able to understand something in order to accept it as the truth.
      Disbelief, OTOH, requires a bit more thought.”

      I think the first reaction to something new is disbelief.
      Then one gets familiar with something or fitted into
      one’s world in some manner.
      You could call this, accept as truth.
      So, just look at it as acceptance vs rejection.
      Or familiar vs foreign.
      Or one can rules or ways to do something so truth fits into
      these rules and how do things, and those that don’t fit are
      rejected or disbelieved.

      One can know something is true yet not believe it- because
      one isn’t familiar with it. Such going into space and sleeping
      on the “ceiling”.
      After some time it may become something you accept.
      And it becomes more than idea it’s possible and becomes
      truth that allows you to forget to even think about- it’s
      just the way it is.
      Truth in terms of science is fitting something in the rules
      built by the scientific method which are supposed to based
      upon objective reality. That is what makes something science
      rather than soft [or becoming a] science or not science.

      The vast majority of human culture or knowledge isn’t
      science- arts, philosophy, religion, politics, ethics, etc
      are not science.

      As for disbelief requiring more thought- it’s because whatever
      was seen as truth has to be disentangled. Or one needs to be
      “de-programed” and I don’t think people are ever very
      successful at doing this.
      So criminals tend not to be “cured” hence failure social programs
      intended to reform of criminals. In addition one have truth which is conditional/situational: when in space, you can sleep upside down on the ceiling when on Earth this is not true.
      When in Rome do as the Romans.

  90. Willis Eschenbach

    Steven Mosher | December 30, 2012 at 11:54 am

    So willis.

    You wrote :

    ‘ And so far, we have no evidence that changing the CO2 levels will change the temperature at all.”

    I say there is evidence. and you switch to a long discussion about whether the effect is linear or not.

    Thanks, Steven. Actually, I responded to your saying there is evidence, by asking you for some of the evidence that you stated you have.

    I followed that with a discussion of the relationship, but it was not a “switch” in the discussion. You had not (and still have not) offered any evidence that I might “switch” the discussion from.

    I quoted you. I used your words. Simple question. Where you wrong.

    Perhaps I’m having some block, but I have no idea what that means.

    w.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach Perhaps I’m having some block, but I have no idea what [Steven Mosher's critique] means.

      Willis, perhaps Steven Mosher meant to type the word “were” not “where”. More broadly, perhaps he is (very reasonably IMHO) advising you to show a level of impersonal rationality and comprehensive evidence-based analysis that is more nearly comparable to (for example) Spencer Weart’s admirable essay A personal note: what can we do about global warming, and what should we do?, that is hosted by the American Institute of Physics.

      It couldn’t hurt, eh Willis? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Willis, is fooling himself and doesnt recall what he has previously written about C02 and temperature change.

    • So, Willis, you are maintaining that there is no evidence whatsoever changing C02 levels will change the temperature?

      Or are you saying that there is evidence, but you are just not convinced by the evidence.

      And finally, what portion of the warming in the 20th century would you attribute to GHGs?

      Personally, I never took you for a sky dragon, but hey people change their mins

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | December 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply

        So, Willis, you are maintaining that there is no evidence whatsoever changing C02 levels will change the temperature?

        Thanks, Steven. Nope. I’m maintaining that you said there was evidence that CO2 levels causes warming, that I asked you to produce the evidence, and that so far, you have not done so.

        That’s all. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        w.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Willis Eschenbach  posts “I’m maintaining that you said there was evidence that CO2 levels causes warming, that I asked you to produce the evidence, and that so far, you have not done so.”

        ——————
        Evaluation of the post
        ☐  cherry-picking,
        ☐  slogan-shouting,
        ☒  semantic quibbling,
           Reason: others have produced strong evidence;
           willfully ignoring strong evidence is disingenuous
        ☐  immorally short-sighted economics,
        ☐  amoral market-first reasoning,
        ☐  “outsider” physics,
        ☐  personalization,
        ☐  abuse,
        ☐  paranoia, and
        ☐  conspiracy theories.

        Note  Within the climate-change denier community, the incidence of the above traits is predicted to accelerate in the coming decade.
        ——————

        Many thanks for illustrating a prediction coming true! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  91. J ferguson 30/12 @1.40 pm
    Liked yr list suggestion, ‘Did I..?’
    Prefer it ter Prof Schneider’s list:
    ‘THEY did …’
    Honi soit qui mal y pense.

    • Hi Beth,
      I don’t know how true this might be of the Climate Science gang, but you get into some disciplines, medicine for one, by never making a mistake. Friend on the faculty of a New England med school made it his business to help his students make mistakes – some of them never had, or if they had, had never realized it.

      The results were chastening. One should always have the possibility of having it wrong in mind. I don’t think this is innate but can certainly be self imposed. I suppose it is like humility, which if not innate, and I am sure it is not with many of us, can at least be emulated – and possibly with the same beneficial effect as the innate kind.

      There seems an unnatural phobia toward error-making in science, as there certainly is in medicine.

      I repeat, that if you aren’t discovering errors in what you are doing, you aren’t looking hard enough. Clausewitz seems to have been the first to realize this and to require of new-hire generals that they had made mistakes and recovered from them intelligently.

      Having written all of this, I think it possible that we outsiders are not privy to conversations about screw-ups within the climatology trade and because of this imagine that they don’t occur. This must surely be wrong.

  92. J ferguson,

    just returned from New Year Celebration, fireworks and champagne.

    Re trial and error elimination, Karl Popper on error elimination by
    way of tests argued that ‘ the main difference between Einstein
    and an amoeba ( as described by H S Jennings) is that Einstein consciously seeks for error elimination. He tries to kill his theories:
    he is consciously critical of his theories which, for this reason, he
    tries to formulate sharply rather than vaguely. But the amoeba
    cannot be critical viv-a-vis its expectations or hypotheses; it cannot
    be critical because it cannot face its hypotheses, they are part of it.’*

    Only objective knowledge is criticizable, subjective knowledge can
    be criticized only when becomes objective, and it becomes objective
    when we state what we think as a conjecture: and even more so
    when we write it down as a proposition. And I guess even if we
    try to inocculate our own theories and fool ourselves, once they’re
    out there others will criticize them if we do not.

    *(Objective Knowledge An Evolutionary Approach Oxford1979 Ch 1)

  93. Willis Eschenbach

    tempterrain | December 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    Willis,

    You say

    “Since I’m the one who has been published in Nature, not you”

    I have asked you for links to these claimed ” several peer-reviewed pieces on climate science published in the science journals” of yours but you seem quite coy on the matter.

    Presumably this is one of them?

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v430/n6997/full/nature02689.html

    “Pieces” can be anything, just questions. Anyone can ask a question, and that of course is fair enough, but they hardly qualify for inclusion on a CV.

    While “pieces” can indeed be anything, I specifically said above that I had a “peer-reviewed “Communications Arising”” published in Nature magazine’. It was indeed the one you refer to, although you seem to have missed where it says:

    To read this story in full you will need to login or make a payment (see right).

    I say that because what’s shown on the page you link to is just the abstract of the piece I wrote. The full piece is here.

    Next, I fear you reveal your lack of experience when you say that “anyone can ask a question”. The section in Nature magazine called “Communications arising” is not a place where anyone can ask a question. It allows only peer-reviewed objections to things which were published in Nature. The authors are also given space to reply to my objections. The idea that “anyone can ask a question” there, that’s nonsense.

    Again I say, however, the issue is the ideas, the science. Over and over you return to my achievements and my qualifications. I say again, that’s all ad hominem. The only valid issue is, can tempterrain (or anyone else) falsify my ideas?

    My education, my background, my publications, all of that is just dust you are trying to throw in people’s eyes. The issue is, can my scientific claims be falsified? And generally, the answer is, no, you can’t do it and no one else has stepped up and done it. Sometimes, yes, I’ve crashed and burned in full public view … ugly, but that’s science. But mostly, no, people haven’t been able to falsify my ideas.

    Curiously, temp, I subject my ideas to a peer review that the majority of the mainstream AGW folks don’t have the nerve to put their ideas through. I put my scientific ideas, along with the supporting data and code as appropriate, out on the most-read climate blog on the web, WUWT. Then I hand around the scalpels and the hammers, and everyone gets to see if they can smash or cut up my claims, if they can find any faults in my claims or my math or my logic or any of it.

    Here’s the thing, lemp. For the last three years or so, my scientific writings have been getting from three-quarters of a million to a million page views per year. I know that both sides of the aisle read my work regularly, if for nothing else than just to see what madness I’m up to now. The things I write are rarely dull, everyone reads them. I even have an honorable mention in the Climategate emails, because I was the first person, and for a while the only person to send a Freedom of Information request to Phil Jones at the Climate Research Unit (CRU).

    I am in a truly enviable position, and I am both well aware of and grateful for that position—I have a host of very smart people on both sides of the climate discussion reading my scientific claims on a real-time basis, and telling me of their ideas, objections, and insights … and that is worth more to me than any host of scientific journal articles arriving six months from now.

    So when I put out a claim, and people write comments about how my idea is wrong, I take them very seriously. And the times I’ve been wrong, few, to be sure, but way more than I like being wrong in public, I’ve admitted it publicly.

    As a result, when I put out claims and nobody can find anything wrong with them, I am greatly heartened, for two reasons. First, I’ve passed the peer review that is actually important to me, not just a few guys giving it maybe one morning but people actually challenging and replicating and exploring the ideas. When I pass that actual peer review, I breathe easier.

    More than that, though, I know that if I’m not shown to be wrong, that the smart folks and the experts that understand and can’t find fault with my ideas and words will incorporate them into their thinking. They will consider my ideas and sometimes discuss them on their blogs, or they will take them in directions I would not have thought of.

    Heck, if I’m really good, in time they’ll believe the ideas are their own, and then nobody will every convince them otherwise. I learned long ago that I can accomplish anything if I don’t care who gets the credit.

    So that’s why I pay no attention to the outward trappings of PhDs and scientific papers and endowed chairs and the like, tempterrain. It doesn’t matter if the person who finds the fatal flaw in some scientific claim of mine is the published scientist or the janitor … if the flaw is real, I’m going down either way. And if the flaw is only imagined, again, janitor or published scientist doesn’t matter, I’m not going down either way.

    So please, tempterrain, I implore you, give up this time-wasting focus on the trappings of papers and education and position and the like, stop your obsession with the record of my publications, and return your obviously above-average mind to the science. That’s the real issue, that’s where the real value is.

    My best regards to you,

    w.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach  pleads here:   “Return your obviously above-average mind to the science”

      Willis Eschenbach  posts there:  “dump in your diaper (?) … nanny spanked you (??) … [zero science follows] (???)”

      Irony wheeee!!! We love it! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      Seriously Willis, wouldn’t public discourse better-served, if skeptics directed their most rational criticism at the strongest science … instead of posting potty humor? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Willis,

      It looks like the only way I’ll get your publication list is to Google it.

      Just to change things slightly, I’m curious of the motives of people like yourself and other outsiders who dispute the scientific consensus, like Nic Lewis, who has posted on Climate Etc from time to time.

      How was it when you first heard that there was considerable scientific concern over the levels of GH gases building up in the atmosphere? Were your motives, in wanting to become more proficient in Climate Physics, to look at the evidence impartially so you could better understand it? If that were the case, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to engage in a course of of study at an established university.

      Or, was your primary concern more economic and political rather than scientific? You didn’t like the idea of what might be necessary to curb CO2 emissions, such as C&T, carbon taxes, quotas on country by country basis etc, so you decided to go in to bat for the side who were arguing against these measures?

      You’d already decided that universities were part of the problem and so decided to do your own thing, alone, instead?

  94. Willis Eschenbach

    tempterrain | December 31, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    It would seem that Willis is presenting the argument that clouds might impose a stabilising negative feedback on to the climate system.

    OK I can accept that. They might. Its possible.

    But is just the possibility that there may be an as yet undiscovered mechanism at work enough for us to say that therefore CO2 concentrations can be allowed to increase out of all control?

    What makes people like Willis so sure they can?

    In my case, evidence plus logic.

    My hypothesis, for which I have a variety of evidence, is that the temperature of the planet is kept within a fairly narrow range by an active governing system. The main feature of the system is temperature regulation by clouds and thunderstorms.

    You could start with my initial discussion of the hypothesis, along with initial supporting evidence, which is here.

    Then take a look at my post, “Further Evidence for my Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis“, you can likely guess the subject.

    I discuss the evidence from Pinatubo showing the kind of overshoot characteristic of my hypothesized governed system in “Overshoot and Undershoot“.

    I discuss the problems with analyzing a governed system in “The Details are in the Devil“.

    I discuss the evidence supporting the mechanism of the tropical governing system, as well as problems with the current paradigm, in my post “It’s not about feedback“.

    I show more evidence for the effect of the tropical governing mechanism using the TAO buoy array in my post The TAO that Can Be Spoken. I report on more evidence in “Cloud Radiative Forcing in the TAO dataset

    So, you ask why I think my climate paradigm (a governed climate regulated by a host of homeostatic mechanisms) is preferable to the current paradigm (change in temperature equals change in forcing times a mystery number)?

    Evidence, common sense, logic, experience, math, the existence of a coherent and specific hypothesis, and more evidence.

    w.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach  posts/b>  “My hypothesis, for which I have a variety of evidence, is that the temperature of the planet is kept within a fairly narrow range by an active governing system.”

      Thats terrific news, Willis! `Cuz most Climate Etc folks did not previously appreciate that Willis Eschenbach’s definition of “fairly narrow range” of temperatures encompasses the Lethally Hot Temperatures During the Early Triassic Greenhouse … that is, if we go strictly by the evidence!

      Golly … *that* means we can all rest assured that Willis Eschenbach and James Hansen are finally on the same page scientifically and also morally.

      Congratulations on your outstanding scientific maturity and moral insight, Willis Eschenbach! Please share these traits with your fellow skeptics, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Ya, thats funny, Willis’ “fairly narrow range” is pretty damn big and has states in which human civilization as we know it would have to go through massive changes to survive.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Guys, is that your best shot? A bit of ridicule? I’ve laid out a scientific hypothesis, along with a range and variety of supporting evidence … and that’s the best you can do in response?

        In any case, despite your ridicule, I do find the stability of the climate system remarkable. In the last century, for example, we’ve seen a variety of changes. Changes in ice cover, cutting of forests, changes in volcanoes, changes in ground cover, changes in solar magnetism … and despite all of that, the globe has only seen a temperature variation of ± 0.1%. Plus or minus a tenth of a percent with all that going on, to me that’s surprising.

        So Steven and fan, you are welcome to mock me for finding a system amazing because it is running with a temperature only varying plus or minus one tenth of one percent over an entire century. That just means you haven’t had much experience in running governed heat engines. That is amazing thermal stability, particularly when you consider the temperature is determined in part by things as immaterial and evanescent as clouds.

        For me, that stability is clear evidence of a governed system. I listed citations to the full analysis and lots of evidence above to support that view of how the climate operates.

        I’ve laid out the argument and the evidence. If sarcastic mockery of my use of “fairly narrow range” is the best that you can do in response, I’m home and hosed …

        w.

      • Willis,

        Don’t you think you are being somewhat disingenuous with +/-0.1%?

        The IPCC say the most likely climate sensitivity is 3K for 2xCO2>

        If we want to express that as a percentage too it’s +/-0.5%

        That’s the so-called “warmist” view.

        Your advocating for a particular argument in the same way as a court room lawyer in trying to put a certain spin on the figures. Scientists use K as the units of temperature. Not %.

      • Those interested in paleoclimate should look at some recent publications. I recommend Beerling and Royer (2011) – Convergent Cenozoic CO2 History, that shows convergence in our knowledge of Eocene temperature and CO2 amounts. Look for this paper on Royer’s site as it is paywalled otherwise. Also a free one is found by searching for “target CO2″ which is Hansen et al.’s (2008) arxiv paper with a great review of the Cenozoic changes in climate and CO2. Its main aim is to justify Hansen’s 350 ppm target, and show how it might be possible, but the review part is excellent as the multiple authors include Royer, Berner, and other top paleoclimatologists.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Willis Eschenbach  posts/b>  “So Steven and fan, you are welcome to mock me for finding a system amazing because it is running with a temperature only varying plus or minus one tenth of one percent over an entire century.”

        Thats incredible, Willis! It’s almost as though the earth were naturally equipped with a vast, deep thermal reservoir of some large-heat-capacity fluid … a reservoir that could average-out decadal term changes … but not millennial changes  … but what could that thermal reservoir be??? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Steven Mosher

        Willis, looking at the stability over a century?
        Dear god, look at the variability in 24 hours!
        Talk about cherry picking a time frame.
        You basically have no evidence for stability. None. you have data choosen to suit your theory. Look at shorter times. opps stability gone. look at longer times. opps stability gone.
        Its even funnier given that you know the system has inertia.
        Talk about fooling yourself.
        lets see, if we look at the stability over the human time span on the planet the range is about 12C to 16C. gosh. that would be a time scale that is relevant to our species. hmm. do you think we can live the way we live if it gets to 20C? are you certain
        and finally, lose the false sense of precision you have in your estimate.
        you only looked at 1 century

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Stability is the not changes. You guys are talking about the changes. Different subject.

    • Willis,

      I do find the stability of the climate system remarkable.

      Me too.

      Changes in ice cover, cutting of forests, changes in volcanoes, changes in ground cover, changes in solar magnetism … and despite all of that, the globe has only seen a temperature variation of ± 0.1%. Plus or minus a tenth of a percent with all that going on, to me that’s surprising.

      And plus of minus just 5% in half a billion years. Truly amazing stability. There must be an excellent natural thermostat operating somehow.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Peter Lang posts  “There must be an excellent natural thermostat operating somehow …”

        … that lets the world get lethally hot only occasionally, eh Peter Lang? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\diamondsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\diamondsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        … which is kind of like flying in an airplane that crashes only occasionally, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\diamondsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\diamondsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Let me get this straight, fan.

        Your argument against the existence of a governing mechanism regulating the earth’s temperature is that once in half a billiion years, events were strong enough to overcome the governing mechanism … and that after that high-temperature excursion, the temperatures returned to the previous governed range?

        How do you interpret that that to mean there’s no governing mechanism? Not sure I follow the logic in that …

        Again, to me the stability of the planet in the last 100 years is amazing, about plus or minus a tenth of a percent. You don’t need to get all paleontological to note unusual stability.

        w.

      • Willis,

        You don’t need to get all paleontological to note unusual stability.

        I agree. But it helps. Because it provides bounds to the Earth’s temperature range during the time life has thrived on Earth and it puts our current, relative cold temperatures in perspective.

        Further to your comment I’d add the planet’s normal operating temperature for most of the past 500 million years has been about 22C, range about 10C to 25C, and we are currently at about 15C. We have a long way to go to get out of the current cold-house period. Furthermore, we know that colder is worse for life and warmer is better for life. So anything we can do to reduce the probability or severity of sinking into another little ice age or worse should be weighed against the net benefits and costs of warming.

        To argue the planet happens to be at the perfect temperature is as arrogant and illogical as arguing Earth is at the centre of the universe.

      • Willis

        I expect the ‘perfect’ temperature-the one before Man supposedly starting interfering with it-coincides with the year of the respective commenters birth.

        We live in a truly benign time. The weather events of the past dwarf those of today. Are we grateful? No. Should we attempt to guard against weather disasters that will at some point return as natures pendulum shifts, by building a more robust infrastructure? Yes.

        tonyb

      • “Furthermore, we know that colder is worse for life and warmer is better for life. So anything we can do to reduce the probability or severity of sinking into another little ice age or worse…” – Peter Lang

        Another Catastrophic Global Cooling (CGC) alarmist.

      • Fan,

        I can’t think of a better argument to post under, “Can we avoid Fooling ourselves”. Between your and Willard’s logic we now know that Coke is the root of all evil and emissions control will prevent either, volcanoes the size of India or random impacts with Earth from destroying nearly all life.

        I look forward to your theory of AGW induced geomagnetic field reversal.

        http://muller.lbl.gov/papers/sciencespectra.htm

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Willis Eschenbach gets amazed: “Again, to me the stability of the planet in the last 100 years is amazing, about plus or minus a tenth of a percent. You don’t need to get all paleontological to note unusual stability.”

        Peter Lang gets amazed too: “Plus or minus just 5% in half a billion years. Truly amazing stability.”

        Yeah, the stability is ***INCREDIBLE***, eh? Uhhhh … provided we all just ignore that little glitch near the end! `Cuz hey!  … that glitch obviously is unnatural, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\diamondsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\diamondsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        Willis’ suggestion that we “not get all paleontological” is like a physician who says “Most of your skin looks fine … we’ll just ignore that funny-looking mole”, or “Most of your heartbeats are fine … we’ll just ignore that arrhythmia”, or “That small toothache is not so bad  no need for a painful expensive visit to the dentist”, or “Your weight’s been stable for a decade … we’ll just ignore that recent insignificant weight-gain.”

        Hmmm … is there perhaps a medical term for that kind of factually-flawed, scientifically-flawed, morally-flawed, fatally-flawed reasoning Willis and Peter? What is that term, again? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\diamondsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\diamondsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  95. “Can we avoid fooling ourselves?”

    Evidently not.

  96. Put the blame on meme, that ol’ confirmation bias …boys.

  97. Willis Eschenbach

    A fan of *MORE* discourse | January 1, 2013 at 7:18 am |

    Willis Eschenbach gets amazed:

    “Again, to me the stability of the planet in the last 100 years is amazing, about plus or minus a tenth of a percent. You don’t need to get all paleontological to note unusual stability.”

    Peter Lang gets amazed too:

    “Plus or minus just 5% in half a billion years. Truly amazing stability.”

    Yeah, the stability is ***INCREDIBLE***, eh? Uhhhh … provided we all just ignore that little glitch near the end! `Cuz hey! … that glitch obviously is unnatural, eh?

    Fan, I gotta give you credit for trying to play with the big boys, but over and over we get things like this. Everyone is discussing whether the temperature of the globe is surprisingly stable.

    Everyone is giving their ideas and claims about the temperature. I point to temperature stability on the centennial scale, and Peter points to temperature stability on the billion year scale.

    And at this point, you pop up, fan, to snarkily point to a graph of CO2, not temperature but CO2, and claim that it proves we’re all wrong … thus demonstrating, once again, that you are not paying anywhere near enough attention to play with the the big boys.

    You might start by looking up the difference between CO2 and temperature if you do want to stop playing in the junior leagues, fan. Let us know next month when you have that part figured out, and we can roll on from there.

    w.

    • Speaking of big boys, here’s an interesting quote from the exchange between Roger Brown and John Nielsen-Gammon, one of the highlight posts for 2012:

      RB: If anything, the Earth’s climate system appears to be brutally stable on the high side. Bearing in mind that the ocean holds far more carbon dioxide than the air, warm excursions have had every chance to trigger a transition to a still warmer phase if it existed for the current state of the world, sun, solar system and galaxy. The Earth has certainly had no difficulty running up from an ice age to an interglacial — well, that’s not really true, it has had a lot of difficulty (bobbles of transient warming in glacial periods) but when the stars (literally) are right it makes it. But it doesn’t show much tendency to run OVER it.

      You might argue that this is all BECAUSE of carbon dioxide that everything is regulated by the carbon cycle — but I think that the evidence for that (as opposed to arguments) is scant and highly susceptible to being “selected” in studies that are funded for the sole purpose of looking for it. Before everybody had a dog in the race, most paleo studies I know of fairly consistently showed CO_2 lagging temperature. Now somebody comes along and by mixing many different studies with special sauce he manages to get CO_2 — maybe — leading the temperature rise. I’m skeptical, and reanalysis of the actual data makes the result questionable (there’s a WUWT thread devoted to the paper if you’re interested).

      N-G: I’ve seen that thread…I think Willis Eschenbach disgraces himself by that argument. An experimental physicist would appreciate that often it takes some very careful data analysis to extract the signal from the noise, and I think Nobel prizes have been awarded for recognizing a signal that others missed. Willis did the opposite: he threw all the data up on the screen in one big fat mess, and said “see, no signal here!”

      Actually, all the paleo studies that showed CO2 lagging temperature actually showed CO2 lagging the temperature of the southern oceans and Antarctica. Shakun et al. (2012) does not contradict that.

      http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/07/skeptics-are-not-deniers-a-conversation-part-4/

      If you have not read that serie, go check it out.

      A question: was it advertized here by Judy?

      Another question: is John Nielsen-Gammon a defender of the IPCC?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach suggests:  “You might start by looking up the difference between CO2 and temperature if you do want to stop playing in the junior leagues, fan. Let us know next month when you have that part figured out, and we can roll on from there.”

      Willis, the major league players of climate-change science *AND* climate-change skepticism don’t shy away from these three fast-balls:

      • the thermal capacity of the oceans absorbs energy budget imbalances on decadal scales but not millennial scales, and/or

      • the theory of radiative heat transport predicts, and the paleo-record verifies, that sustained high CO2 is associated to lethally hot equatorial temperatures and total melting of the ice-caps, and/or

      • thermodynamic constraints on nonlinear/turbulent energy-transfer systems ensure linear response to small forcings.

      It’s evident, Willis E and Peter L, that these three fast-balls amount to “strike-three, YER OUT !!!” for WUWT-style climate-change denialism. Isn’t that correct? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      But hey … that’s no excuse for *NOT* taking a swing at scientific fast-balls, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      Whether players belong in the big-leagues, or not, is determined mainly by their ability to hit against *strong* pitchers, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  98. This thread seems to be petering out which is a pity as I do believe it goes to the heart of the so-called debate.

    Many on the left , IMO, are fooling themselves in thinking the problem is going to be in any way useful to them politically. Many too are fooling themsleves if they think the problem can be solved by higher levels of recycling and the use of renewable energy. They may have their place, but, the hard choice is in embracing nuclear technology. Its the only feasible solution to running a high tech low CO2 economy.

    Many on the right are fooling themselves that there isn’t a problem with CO2 emissions. They are fooling themselves in thinking that if they can persuade enough people to ignore the problem for long enough it will just go away. They are fooling themselves in thinking there is some international UN backed conspiracy to fake the scientific results. Even if they aren’t quite that paranoid they are fooling themselves in accepting arguments which imply that an uncertainty of just how bad things might get and how soon that may come about implies that it can therefore be assumed they won’t get bad.

  99. Craig Loehle

    Posting this far down is a fool’s errand, but here goes. One cure against fooling oneself is the counterbalancing fear of being shown to be a fool. So what I do when conducting research is to go all out on whatever my idea is, but when close to done, I try to see what holes a critic might find that would make me look foolish (exceptions, counter-examples, previously published work, logical gaps, alternative theories). After trying to address these, I try to get outside reviews. If these fail, the journal reviewers often point out your mistakes. The circling-the-wagons and never-admit-a-mistake stratagies of The Team (TM) are NOT in this category, but consist of preserving whatever illusions one might have.

    • Hi Craig

      I think its a great shame that people with differing views can’t work with each other. I would have liked to have worked with Mike Mann offering the perspective of a Historical climatologist when he was involved with his iconic papers.

      Tree rings Mike? are you sure…?
      You do know about the MWP don’t you?
      You havre HEARD of Vikings haven’t you?

      I dare say you would have liked a similar opportunity, but all joking aside testing each others data and perspectives is a good way to proceed before anything reaches publication

      tonyb

    • “when close to done, I try to see what holes a critic might find that would make me look foolish (exceptions, counter-examples, previously published work, logical gaps, alternative theories). ”

      It is always good to avoid looking foolish, and good to develop humility. But there is more to the upside of this practice. Often it leads to a better understanding of the problem and/or our limitations at the time, perhaps even extending the original effort. Also, this process helps with building empathy for towards others with whom we interact–something in short supply these days apparently. Or are humility and empathy even considered assets?

  100. thisisnotgoodtogo

    “The Monty Hall Problem” holds a tangential interest here..,

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

    …in that it took a computer simulation to convince the mathematician Paul Erdős.

    In climate there is belief in the simulated over the observed “evidence”..

  101. Climatologists rightly claim that back radiation slows the rate of surface cooling by radiation. But they fool themselves and the public. What they don’t mention is that the mere presence of oxygen and nitrogen at just slightly cooler temperatures at the boundary is what is doing the vast majority of the slowing. This is how the atmosphere supports the surface temperature, which could never have been as high as it is from direct Solar insolation. (Just consider Venus with its surface receiving less than 10% of what Earth’s surface receives.)

    What we now have is “A 21st Century New Paradigm for Climate Change”

  102. Albedo is being neglected.

    Almost all effort is put into greenhouse gases and nothing else is being considered seriously. All the eggs are in one basket. Albedo is said to be decreasing. Data says no. Albedo is said to be decreasing, lack of temperature increase says no. Albedo is said to be decreasing, Earthshine data says no. Wake up and consider other causes and look at the actual data. How many years of lack of warming will get any of you to consider the possibility that you are looking at the wrong cause. When earth was in the Medieval Warm Period, the Albedo of earth was lower than when earth was in the Little Ice Age. Consensus Theory and Models change the temperature and then change the Albedo. Simple Physics would change the Albedo first and use that to change the temperature. The simple answer is often the best. When it is warm, it snows more and then it gets cold. When it is cold it snows less and then it gets warm. Look at the actual data and look at the simple physics.

    When earth is warm, it snows more and then ice advances, albedo increases and earth cools. When earth is cold, much water is frozen, there is much less source for moisture, it snows less, ice retreats, albedo decreases and earth warms.

    This is all in the data and all ignored by most all factions in this debate.

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