Congressional testimony and normative science

by Judith Curry

Last week, the U.S. Senate held a hearing entitled Senate Briefing on the Latest Climate Science.
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The scientists testifying were:
The focus of this post is not so much the scientific content of the testimonies, but rather the role of normative science in congressional testimony.  Scientists are presumably invited to testify based upon their expertise, viewpoints, and positions of authority.  The opportunity to testify in front of Congress often leads to a desire on the part of the scientist to play politician, and advocate for policies either explicitly or stealthily.  Which isn’t really surprising given the political motivation and environment of these hearings, but I would like to provoke some dialogue and reflection on how scientists can most effectively and honorably participate in this process.
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Normative science
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For context, here is a recent essay from Robert Lackey of Oregon State University (retired from the EPA), entitled Normative Science, with subtitle It is easy – and wrong – for scientists to become stealth advocates.  Its short, but packs a punch, I reproduce it in entirety here:
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Scientific information is important in many policy debates in the Pacific Northwest (salmon; wildfire severity; human activities and climate; genetically modified organisms; water scarcity). Science is essential in such policy debates, but I am concerned that policy-biased science is increasingly common.

Science should be objective and based on the best information available. Too often, however, scientific information presented to the public and decision-makers is infused with hidden policy preferences. Such science is termed normative, and it is a corruption of the practice of good science. Normative science is defined as “information that is developed, presented or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy choice.”

Using normative science in policy deliberations is stealth advocacy. I use “stealth” because the average person reading or listening to such scientific statements is likely to be unaware of the underlying advocacy. Normative science is a corruption of science and should not be tolerated in the scientific community — without exception.

Let me illustrate with a current policy issue: “Should certain dams be removed to restore salmon runs?” Scientists can assess with some degree of confidence the likely effects of removing or maintaining a particular dam. Scientific information alone, however, is an insufficient justification for deciding to keep or remove a dam. There are biological consequences of dam removal (and maintenance), and those consequences may be substantial from a salmon perspective, but ecological consequences are but one of many elements that the public and decision-makers must weigh when making a policy choice.

Policymakers, not scientists, decide whether preserving salmon runs should trump flood protection, irrigated agriculture or electricity generation. As the public and decision-makers balance policy alternatives, what they need from scientists are facts and probabilities. What they do not need from scientists are their or their employer’s values and policy preferences masked within scientific information disguised as being policy neutral.

There are other common examples. In working with scientists, I often encounter value-laden terms like “degradation,” “improvement,” “good,” “poor,” “impact,” or “alien invasive.” Scientists should avoid these types of normative words in conveying scientific information. Such words imply a preferred ecological state, a desired condition, an accepted benchmark or a favored class of policy options. This is not science; it is a form of policy advocacy — subtle, sometimes unintentional, but it is patently stealth policy advocacy.

Consider the widespread use of concepts such as “ecosystem health.” It is normative science! “Ecosystem health” is a value-driven policy construct, but it is often passed off as science to unsuspecting policy-makers and the public. Think what the average person actually hears when scientific data or assessments are packaged or presented under the rubric of “ecosystem health.” Healthy is good. Any other state of the ecosystem must be unhealthy, hence, undesirable.

Scientific information must remain a cornerstone of public policy decisions, but I offer cautionary guidance to scientists: Get involved in policy deliberations, but play the appropriate role. Provide facts, probabilities and analysis, but avoid normative science. Scientists have much to offer the public and decision-makers but also have much to lose when they practice stealth policy advocacy.

Marshall Shepherd’s testimony
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Shepherd’s testimony begins:
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Key Takeaway Points

This topic is about impact to people – your constitutents, my fellow citizens, my two kids – not just polar bears.

1) Most of the warming of the past 50 years is due to human activity, and extensive evidence supports this conclusion

2) Climate change is increasing the probability of extreme events, and in some cases may be strengthening their intensity or increasing their frequency (i.e. we are loading the dice towards more Sandy or blizzard type storms)

3) There is strong evidence that increases in some types of extremes are linked to human-induced climate change, notably extreme heat, coastal flooding, and heavy downpours.  For other types of extremes, such as tornadoes, current evidence is much more limited.

His testimony closes with this statement from the recent AMS Policy Statement on Climate Change:

Avoiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse emissions . . . Technological, economic, and policy choices in the near future will determine the extent of future impacts of climate change.  Science-based decisions are seldom made in context of absolute certainty.  National and international policy discussions should include consideration of the best ways to both adapt and mitigate climate change.

While I am not a fan of the AMS Statement on Climate Change (see my previous post here), it does reflect the deliberations and imprimatur of a professional society.

There is no question that Marshall Shepherd is an effective communicator; he effective uses metaphors and taps into the values and concerns of citizens.  The twitter controversy surrounding Shepherd’s testimony is associated with his attribution of extreme weather events to AGW.  Roger Pielke Jr has a post on this, excerpts:

Unfortunately, as is so often a case when leaders in the climate science community find themselves before an audience of policy makers, on extreme events they go rogue, saying all sorts of things with little or no scientific basis. Let’s take a step back. The science on climate change, extreme events and disaster costs is clear and unambiguous. You don’t need to take my word for it, you can find the science well summarized in the IPCC SREX.  In a nutshell here is the state of the science (here I focus on the US as Shepherd did):

In a twitter exchange (and also in his testimony), Shepherd refers to a paper by Trenberth that justifies his statements.  The paper is titled Framing the Way to Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change.  Trenberth’s argument is basically:  All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.  I see two basic problems with Trenberth’s argument:

  • There is no empirical evidence for a moister climate (see the paper by Von der Haar et al. [link]
  • Warmer/moister does not necessarily imply more or more extreme weather events; weather events are controlled by atmospheric dynamics on scales from mesoscale to hemispheric.
Shepherd’s and Trenberth’s arguments are not consistent with the recent IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events (SREX), which was discussed on this previous Climate Etc. thread.  However, the U.S. National Assessment did highlight an increase in very heavy precipitation  particularly in the northeast U.S. (this is also discussed in Wuebbles’ testimony); this is something that I have not looked at closely myself but I am now motivated to do so.
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McCarthy’s testimony
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James McCarthy’s testimony was on Update on the Role of Oceans in Climate Extremes and Rising Sea Level.  His testimony is well written, consistent with assessment reports, and refers to recent research also.  At the end of McCarthy’s testimony,  he makes this statement:
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One very clear finding from these studies is that one of the largest uncertainties about future climate relates to the choices that we and our children will make regarding energy use.  The more dependent we are on CO2 emitting sources of energy, the more Earth’s climate will change.  The decisions we make today will affect future generations and should motivate us to wisely use knowledge from climate science to reduce risks of harm from unnecessarily disruptive climate.

Wuebbles’ testimony
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Wuebbles’ testimony is on  Our Changing Climate: An Update on the Science.   He provides a broad  overview that focuses on U.S. climate, drawing from the U.S. National Climate Assessment.  It is effectively presented, including a FAQ section at the end.  His closing statement:
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In conclusion, we are already seeing the climatic effects of heat trapping gases, it is important to recognize that the future lies largely in our hands.  Will we reduce our emissions, and have a future with less warming and less impacts, or will we continue to increase our emissions with more warming and more severe impacts, including more extreme weather events?  The choice is ours.
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JC comments:  I found all three of these testimonies to be very well written and effectively communicated.  I found all three wanting in terms of how uncertainties were acknowledged,  and also implicit acceptance of climate model attribution and projections that goes beyond the confidence levels that the IPCC provides.
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It is this implicit acceptance of climate model based attribution and future projections, and the associated UNFCCC policies, that underlies the climate science, which seems overwhelmingly normative at this point.  So, how do you think each of these testimonies stack up in terms of concerns about normative science and stealth advocacy.
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When scientists agree with or quote policy statements/recommendations from professional societies or other scientifically authoritative bodies, is this stealth advocacy, or is this simply the ‘norm’?
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Roger Pielke Jr raises an issue associated with Marshall Shepherd representing the AMS as its President:
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As President of the AMS Shepherd does not have the luxury of using that platform to share his personal opinions on climate science that may diverge from that of the community which he represents, much less stretch or misrepresent broader findings. Leaders of important institutions of science — like the AMS — speak for more than themselves when presenting science in public fora. They also represent the credibility of their institution and climate science more generally. In formal settings such as the briefing yesterday where experts meet politicians, I fully expect Democrats and Republicans to cherrypick experts convenient to the arguments they wish to see made. That is politics as usual. Leading scientific institutions play that same game with some considerable risk to their credibility.
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Your thoughts?  Any additional examples of Congressional Testimony that you found to avoid the traps of normative science (or not?)

859 responses to “Congressional testimony and normative science

  1. Dr. Curry –> This is, of course, an ethical issue — an issue of personal ethics.

    Each of the three have engaged in what has been defined in your piece as normative science. Each scientist has given testimony which represent actual scientific findings and their own scientific opinions (and we must allow for opinions when we call on ‘experts’) ” is infused with hidden policy preferences.” Well, not very well hidden preferences — but the preferences are presented as if they were part-and-parcel of the science.

    • Ignore the social pathology of academia engaging in baseless fear mongering about global warming and just consider for a moment the endless scandals, such as:
      ■PolarBearGate — Passing off a shopped photo as real to market a lie about a decline in the polar bear population caused by human CO2.
      ■GlacierGate — Hand waiving over the calving of Rhode Island-sized glaciers off the continent of Antarctica as if it was something unusual.
      ■PachauriGate — Passing off huckster journalism as peer-reviewed data.
      ■UN-IPCCGate — Showcasing the ‘hockey stick’ even though they knew that both the Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age were a part of climate history that could not of course just simply be statistically forgotten.
      ■CRUGate — Playing tricks with data to reach preconceived conclusions and refusing to hand over the raw data before simply losing it altogether and contining to claim that the foi2009.pdf disclosures were illegally obtained when in reality it obviously was the principled act of a whistleblowing deepthroat who became disgusted with the corruption of the government-funded climate change charlatans.
      ■SeaLevelGate — raising false images of coastal populations being wiped out by soccer moms driving SUVs.
      ■RainForestGate — The founder of Greenpeace, had the courage to confront the lies—See, e.g.: Confessions of a Greenpeace founder.
      ■ClimateGate — “Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.” ~Václav Klaus (Global Warming is a doctrine not science)
      ■TarmacGate — There has been no global warming in France over the last 70 years except during the winter, at French airports, where official thermometers are located and also where and when the snow is continually cleared so jets can take off. The same corruption has been discovered in Alaska and Russia where official thermometers were located. The motives underlying this method of positively skewing the data also explains why the temperature record of the White Mountains (where there has been no global warming for 100 years) and the temperatures at the coldest places on Earth are all just simply ignored. New Zealand has no temperature record because the official temperature was arrived at through a purposeful manipulation of the raw data without documenting the slightest justification for any of the adjustments made and then simply destroying the raw data altogether. The raw data for the temperatures at an official station in the Antarctic was corrupted by simply removing minus signs from negative numbers, introducing a warming bias where no warming exists. And, we now know there has been no global warming on Earth over the last 10,000 years — see e.g., Easterbrook Graph… a 10,000 year cooling trend.
      ■PennStateGate — The coverup of the statistical manipulation by Michael Mann and fellow sychophants in the scientific fiasco of the ‘hockey stick’ fraud has been likened to the university’s official coverup of Coach Sandusky child sex scandal.
      ■And, there are all the other Gates. For examples, we have Kiwi / HockeyStick / Hansen / WeatherStation / NASA / NOAA / GISS / EPA / Stern / Russia / China / Reef / Yamal / Amazon / Himalaya / Dutch / Consensus / &EtcGate.

      All of the Gates can be summarized by NobelGate — A Nobel was awarded to the IPCC, Al Gore and Barach Obama for their aiding and abetting of a moribund Europe, an immoral UN and a corrupt Leftist-liberal establishment in the United States to undermine George Bush and overthrow free enterprise Americanism.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Chad Wozniak, I am one of the peoplr who say humans cause global warming. In fact, I’ve written proofs of it in essays a number of times. By your rhetoric, I am either an idiotic dupe or a fraud.

      Guess how believeable I find that. Guess how believable others find that. Now guess how those who don’t believe it must view you.

      • David Springer

        Unlike you I can only speak for myself but, in your particular case, I find it indubitably believable!

        Thanks for asking!

      • David Springer

        Proofs?

        Wow!

        I guess all us doubters can just STFU and go home now that it’s been proven, huh?

        ROFLMAO@U

      • Brandon, you appear to have responded to a post that’s now not there. I believe it’s irrefutable that humans cause climate change, and even some warming, but that’s not the point. The point is whether the warming is going to cause climate related catastrophes, for which there can be no proof, because it’s in the future, and nobody can figure out the future state of a coupled non-linear chaotic system – even the IPCC has admitted that. Still, if you have essays proving humans caused most of the late 20th century warming I’d get them published, because it’s a massive hole in the AR4 SPM and no doubt you’d get into AR5 in a heartbeat.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        geronimo, a comment did get deleted. While you say the fact humans cause climate change is irrefutable, this comment denied it. In fact, it called (at least some) people promoting that basic idea liars and frauds. That’s why I said what I said.

        There are a lot of things we need to discuss and figure out about global warming, but before we can, we need to agree global warming isn’t just some total lie. And if someone says it is, even skeptics should speak up in disagreement.

      • Global warming is true, but so is global cooling. Global climate either warms or cools at all timescales. Thinking of AGW and speaking ‘global warming’ is just Orwellian.

      • David Springer

        Edim

        About a half a degree in 130 years is not convincing of anything.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/every/mean:240

        I’m highly doubtful that global average temperature could be determined with that kind of precision over a century ago. I’m highly doubtful that all the contortions the data has undergone to produce even a half degree of warming is without bias by the producers who are, every man jack one of them, biased in regard to policy i.e. they want to show as much warming as they can. Despite the questionable nature of the data, the biases of the producers, the warming slope from 1910-1940 is just as steep and long as that from 1970-2000 suggesting something other than anthropogenic causes. The data from 2000-2010 shows no warming and the data from 2010 to present is sharply down (not shown in the above graph).

        It appears to me possible, plausible, and now increasingly likely that anthropogenic global warming is a proverbial crock of shiit. The remainder of the decade will either confirm or refute it.

        This doesn’t even begin to touch on whether or not warming is harmful coming at the statistical tail end of an interglacial period when a big freeze is what nature inevitably has in store for us absent any anthropogenic interventions. Neither does this touch upon the political impossibility of getting enough coordinated action among nations to reduce greenhouse emissions enough to make any significant difference which means even in the unlikely event CAGW is true it’s unstoppable by any practically acheivable intervention so any half-assed attempt is just a waste of time and money. The only practical response at this point is to keep up the R&D for less expensive energy sources which will give us an economic leg up in adapting to whatever the future holds whether it be hotter, colder, or no change.

    • @Kip: issue of personal ethics.

      It is that, but it is more. When a leader of an organization replaces the organization’s stated position with the leader’s personal opinions, then the organization is ethically bound to take official action. Which is practically impossible. Was the leader presenting his own opinions and just happens to be a leader of an organization, or is the leader asked to speak because of that leadership position? Usually is purposely vague.

      This is a personal ethics case. An ethical leader would fairly represent the diversity of opinion in the organization and stick to what has been thrashed out. An unethical leader would take every advantage and opportunity of bias.

      The organization must rein in the unethical leader. But this is the Achilles Heel — the retraction, the apology, even an official admonishment or removal from office come too late to mitigate the damage of the misrepresentation.

      Someone at a hearing should ask if the testimony is personal or represents the organization. But then the answer will be that the testimony is personal and leadership of the organization is a resume point. Normative Science can continue unchecked. Only if someone explicitly contrasts the testimony given with the Organizations official statements can corrections be made, but that will happen long after the room has emptied.

    • From AMS Bylaws:
      ARTICLE II. Objectives
      The objective of this Society is to advance the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society.

  2. Normative science is pseudo-science and very anti-scientific.

  3. Climate skeptics advocate something like John Christy’s Testimony to the Senate EPW back in August this year. Where he cited Watts et al 2012, which had fortuitously been hurriedly “published by press release” on WUWT just a few days before.

    It was subsequently found to contain a fatal error. But fortunately this error was not found until after John Christy’s Testimony to the Senate EPW.

    I think this is the kind of process and quality control that climate skeptics are advocating.

    • Dr Curry’s post is not about climate skeptics. If you feel the need to make your own blog posts, I recommend starting your own blog, where those who find what you say interesting and of value can read your opinions. Until then, please try to make Dr Curry’s blog comment section readable and stick to the topic at hand.

      • On the contrary MarkB, Dr Curry’s post asks “Any additional examples of Congressional Testimony that you found to avoid the traps of normative science (or not?)”

        I am very much on topic in providing an example of the kind of testimony that climate skeptics praise.

      • turn in your shield and your gun. your career as comment cop has just ended.

      • Stop encouraging all the others. Or there’ll be no end to this. And just when is the bus scheduled, anyway?
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      • The skeptical scientists in front of congress (usually Lindzen, Michaels and Singer) have been the most normative people they can find who can be counted on to say things with no surprises to the anti-AGW view. The system is rigged (on both sides) to invite the no-surprises people who put forth least doubt or equivocation in what they say. How do we fix this without inviting Congress to visit the labs and conferences and learn from the regular scientists what the word in their corridors and halls is?

      • Each and every one finds a flaw in the SPM. ‘Summary for Policy Makers’ for you policy makers out there.
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    • David Springer

      Yeah, Watts should have paid his page fees and gotten published in the first issue of a schlock online-only vanity journal with impact factor of zero like this one:

      http://www.scitechnol.com/ArchiveGIGS/articleinpressGIGS.php

      • That would actually be an improvement since we would have access to the data ( the new station classification) and we would be able to see how Evan did the spatial averaging. It would allow people to check the real claim and either prove it wrong or STFU. For example, I’ve even asked that the data be released subject to a confidentiality agreement ( I agree not to publish anything or say anything prior to the publication of W2012) but that offer was denied. heck, I’d even offer to do the analysis and give them the code. FWIW, no money was paid. no fees were waived, and money was never even discussed. The reason why should be pretty clear, funny that you cant figure it out.

      • David Springer

        Glad to see there’s no disagreement it’s the first issue of a schlock vanity journal with an impact factor of zero.

        As to the rest of it, Muller did exactly the same thing using a reference to his unpublished work in testimony before congress. Doesn’t that make what Christy did just fighting fire with fire? Maybe someone should have told Christy never wrestle with a pig because you’ll both get covered with shiit but the pig will like it.

      • David Springer

        Tell us why it didn’t cost anything, Steven. Afraid to say it was accepted purely because the schlock journal wanted the names at the top while no self-respecting journal would accept it despite the names at the top?

    • Errors are especially fatal when the victim survives.

    • Is it then your position that everything that is published or presented to Congress must be beyond reproach? I think very little would ever be published.

  4. If we’ve changed climate in the past, it’s been for the good; if we can change it in the future, I hope it’s for our benefit, as it has been in the past.
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  5. [well, that didn't go so smoothly...posted half-way through the writing]

    The personal ethics come in when a scientist has a strong personal opinion — a compelling opinion — a certainty that because of his personal understanding, particular policies must be championed. Thus, he may feel that failing to champion the policies would be a personal ethical violation.

    On the other hand, scientists — at least those trained when I attended university — knew full well that when speaking or writing as scientists they must not go beyond the science that is actually clearly established by well-replicated science. If they go beyond, they must use the proper language to paint their statements as speculation, personal opinion about what will or may be discovered in the future, or give, properly labelled, the opinions of other experts. Any policy recommendation had to be couched in terms such as, if such and such is the case, then policy makers might want to …. To do otherwise is a clear ethics violation.

    When scientists such as these three (some guiltier than others) engage in blatant advocacy of policy solutions knowingly assigning levels of certainty to scientific concepts that are unsupportable by the data, then we have what I personally consider one of the worst types of scientific misconduct — a scientist using his position as an expert to knowingly advocate a policy based on false data or conclusions —

    the rub is, he knows he is testifying falsely about the data — but at the same time — he truly believes that the position he has taken is (or at least, will turn out to be) true, even though data supporting it is not yet to hand, and that failing to advocate would also be an ethical failing.

    The true mettle of a man is determined by his decisions in these types of ethical conundrums.

  6. The fall out from all this pseudo-science/social engineering is going to be hugely damaging to all the sciences, social and hard.
    More than a centuries worth of trust in the integrity of the scientific method and in scientific institutions to police themselves will be destroyed.
    The idea that a scientist could take an oath and then lie in front of a congressional panel is both horrifying and par for the course.

    • Hey w, this is everybody’s business. Democratic, no?
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    • blah blah….

      • societies function on trust and faith; money is a collective act of trust where we believe that pieces of paper or information stored in a computer can be exchanged for goods and services.
        Historically scientists have had a contract whereby they get taxpayers money and in exchange attempt to discover how things work. If scientists take the money, and then knowingly lie, how much longer do you think scientists can be funded?

      • Their word is as good as the paper it’s not written on. Oh, wait, is geschribben.
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      • Science is no exception to the old conundrum that people who seek power or influence are frequently the last people who should be allowed to have it.

    • DocMartyn | February 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm said: ”If scientists take the money, and then knowingly lie, how much longer do you think scientists can be funded?”

      Doc, have a faith in science – climatology is NOT a science.
      Meteorology is a science; because they have to deliver the goods.

      ”Predictions, hypothesis, tarot cards reading, horoscope and any other woo-doo science is only for entertaining and for rip-off. b] if medicos were doing, what the climatologist doo = they would have being all in jail, for malpractice.

      Not considering the part oxygen & nitrogen play in regulating the overall global temp / not taking in consideration my formulas – is the biggest crime of the new millenia, Time is against the both delusional camps.

      ”Warmist climatologist” have built their con theories on the quicksand theories; established before. Those quicksand theories are paddled now by the ”Fake Skeptics” as if they are factual. Small example: it was declared that 6000y ago, the WHOLE planet was warmer by 2C! their proof: because somebody found some preserved beetles in the pit-moss, somewhere in England, those beetles prefer 2C warmer temp today…? … climatology is not a science.

      Have a faith in science, Doc

  7. Normative science is the norm on the judicial side of government where each side often calls on expert witnesses to present its case. Wishing for this practice not to exist on the legislative side is completely impractical. The assumption that most people do not understand that this is advocacy is also unlikely to be true. If it is a problem then the solution is to make the advocacy clearer, not to fruitlessly wish it away. Advocacy is central to democracy so it is how policy relevant science will be communicated. There is no viable alternative.

    • David, advocacy is central, but advocacy by specialist policy advisers is not. As a government economic policy adviser, I often had strong views on optimal policy. In drafting briefs, I sought to present alternative policy options dispassionately, even those I thought harmful, and to provide the data and assessments on which decisions could be taken independent of my views. I trained my staff in this way, and it was the norm in several economic bodies I worked in. However, it was not the norm across the various public services I worked in, to the detriment of good policy. Recognising that those with different views will often produce advocacy-driven briefs is not a justification for me or any other specialist adviser to do it.

      “To thine own self be true.” “Truth will triumph.” You (in general, not DW specifically) sell out yourself as well as others if you don’t adhere to this.

      • Having openly normative presentations from both sides is of little value when the gap between them is wide. We might conclude that the most objective truth is somewhere in between, but we would still know very little about it. To learn something more the politicians must get testimonials that are less normative.

        One possibility is that the scientists explain in fair terms also those alternative views they consider less likely. They may, and should, state what they consider most likely and why, but they should make it clear that others disagree. Even that approach will always fail in being fully fair, but that could be a great improvement – and this approach does really work.

        The greatest obstacle may be in getting those scientists invited who would take this approach. When only few get invited, the normative ones will often be selected.

      • Faustino (and Pekka), this is all very nice but it is not the way democracy works. Democracy is an advocacy based system and there are good reasons for this. Wishing them away is not realistic. There is no such thing as an unweighted presentation. Every summary omits somebody’s argument. The way democracy works is so each side presents its own case. Then the jury decides, including the policy making jury. Your issue summaries are also useful but they are no substitute for advocacy.

        The underlying fact is that no one likes democracy because people they disagree with often get their way. All this anti-advocacy rhetoric is just wishing one’s opponent out of existence.

      • David, I understand that. When I write a letter to a newspaper or post on a blog, I am an advocate. As an economic policy adviser, I eschewed advocacy, and never wrote a letter etc reflecting my own views on a matter for which I had responsibility at work. Only since I retired have I written with my views on the topics most central to my former work. I have known other economists who adhered to this approach, why shouldn’t scientists?

      • Excellent point, F. At the risk of using ‘dismal’ I find I must. It has long been recognized that economists can fail with predictions. We are just getting to that insight with scientists, and climate scientists are leading the Charge of the Light.
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      • Speaking of advocacy-based systems:

        > As revealed in Mother Jones last spring, between 2000 and 2003, ExxonMobil donated $90,000 to two nonprofits Milloy operates out of his house in Potomac, Maryland. Milloy’s defense of Barton—and excoriation of Mann—is typical of his corporate-subsidized science reporting, in which he has attacked not only global warming, but also secondhand smoke studies and clean air regulations.

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/104858/smoked-out

      • Faustino:

        I have known other economists who adhered to this approach, why shouldn’t scientists?

        That’s, of course, what scientists mostly do, the opposite behavior is not typical for scientists.

        When we restrict the attention only to the scientists, who are most vocal, the balance is already different.

        When we restrict the attention to those that get invited to present their views at public congressional hearings, the balance may be very different.

        We may also ask, what’s the role of public congressional hearings. Are they to educate the politicians, or are they only a part of the theater where the politicians try to gather support for themselves from the electorate and other outside interest groups. Considering them as part of the theater gives a good reason for inviting only experts who are known to give the testimony the inviting politician hopes for.

        Learning about the issues is not done during the public hearings but behind the scene.

  8. Fewer than 4000 comments to go to reach 300,000, probably this month. Go team!

    • Yes, Sulfur very bad stuff, Carbon not so much. But if impacts really displace the core and make traps squirt out the other side, why is there no signal in the pattern of magnetic reversals?

  9. Here’s a question I’ve asked elsewhere, as people were discussing the asteroids.

    If science, science policy makers, climate boffins etc were to make any climate matter prominent, would it not be the thing that’s most likely to disrupt the climate, as well as world economy, trade, transport, agriculture etc in the near future?

    We shouldn’t exaggerate any fear – enough bedwetting! – but won’t we look silly with out solar panels and whirlygigs when some of this kind of action starts going down:

    http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/education/gases/laki.html

    http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/education/gases/tambora.html

    http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/education/gases/krakatau.html

    They say it’s the drawn out, high sulphur, basaltic eruptions like Laki you have to watch, more than the silicate biggies like Krakatoa. Not that Krakatoa would be any fun if its cooling and dimming effects were added to a coldwave such as India experienced this winter.

    If authorities were interested in the actual, rather than the taxable, wouldn’t there be more fuss and speculation over what Fuji or Rainier or good old “Vesevo struggitor” might do, and that in the very near future?

    Or is it just about James Hansen getting himself chained to Daryl Hannah for his next arrest?

    • Not content to be Superman, he’s got to be Merman, too?
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    • mosomoso,

      You illustrate why I can’t get worked up over global warming, even if all of the catastrophic impacts are sure to occur and are most certainly underestimated.

      They still pale when compared to a large volcanic eruption. Between the Icelandic super trio or our own Yellowstone super caldera, an eruption such as these will be far more devestating than human induced climate change.

      Now, if we could figure out a way to tax volcanoes, then perhaps we’d see climate change take a back seat.

  10. The determination to “transform” America, and the world, based upon fraudulent “science”–which has been proved such, over and over–offers any competent observer the very picture of a civilization, ideologically divided, in the very act of destroying itself, an insane civilization. (It is the Left doing this, and I call them the Insane Left: a new, evil creature that is the greatest enemy of America and our individual freedom today.) All of our institutions have been suborned, all of their leaders now blatantly lie with every pronouncement they make in support of unfounded hysteria promulgated as scientific fact. There is none of Judith Curry’s “uncertainties” in this; there is only delusion, deliberate misdirection and miseducation, and incessant lying, always and ever lying, compulsively and unapologetically.

    • I take it you think you are the competent observer looking down on the rest of us insane fools. Ridiculous. Civilization is actually doing quite well.

      • A Carrington Event will give us a bellyache. Hunger pangs. The twitters will cease briefly. Silver linings, always.
        ========================

  11. > However, my personal hope is that we will return to normative science, and try to understand how the climate actually behaves.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/18/profess-richard-lindzens-congressional-testimony/

    Maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing.

    • Funny, yes, depends what the norm is. This post defines the norm politically while Lindzen has a concept of a norm in science, which to him is obviously anything that agrees with him.

      • Jim, I don’t know if Lindzen, or Christy, or Muller have deliberately misled the politicians, but I do know that Shepherd, Hansen and a plethora of other alarmist scientists have. Worse yet they are representing the views of people who have so far failed to get more than a derisory popular vote in any democracy they’ve had the courage to run for government in, the environmentalists.

        I’m not sure you’ll ever get to the stage where a scientist doesn’t have an political opinion, and whoever they are, they’re certainly not going to have a political opinion that dries up their funding. However, here in the UK they have managed to persuade the politicians that CCS is just around the corner and would be an easy way to decarbonise the economy. Hence, we have a Climate Change Act, written by Byrony Worthington, on loan to the government from Friends of the Earth, whose scholarship extends to a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, who has never had a job in the real world, committing us to an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions from the 1990 level by 2050. Those of you good with numbers, unlike the now, Lady, Worthington, will realise that the current annual ouptut of CO2 in the UK is matched in 3.5 weeks by China. As far as I’m able to ascertain there is no signed off plan to achieve these targets while keeping the lights on. All this came from evidence presented to our politicians by activist scientists, not being normative, but putting a deliberate slant on the truth, and, of course, keeping the massive uncertainties away from the politicos.

      • I would say it’s more a consequence of a failure of global action.

        Western countries decided to go it alone and not enter a global agreement. Then came China. Too late now.

      • > James E. Hansen is a global warming alarmist.

        http://www.conservapedia.com/James_Hansen

        Enough said.

      • Hey, gero, someone over at the Bish’s invented ‘Bryony Brownouts’. I’m dying of envy.
        =========

      • lolwot,

        Your understanding of international affairs is woefully insufficient.

        Rule #1:

        All nations act first and foremost in their own interests. The concept of “acting globally” is one for people who are incapable of getting their own nations to act as they think fit or of those who believe in unicorns.

        Rule #2

        A majority of western nations did act together to sign Kyoto. However many were only willing to pay lip service and without China, India and Brazil on board, Kyoto wasn’t worth a fart in a windstorm. Refer to Rule 1 above.

    • Vocabulary or thought process? A linear no threshold thought process looks for the absolutely worst case scenario, that would be Hansen. Lindzen would be more “conservative” in his predicts thinking what is more “likely”. Since a linear no threshold provides a limit, instead of an expectation of reality, there is a conflict if you don’t recognize what each provides.

      That is an example of linear no threshold modeling that cost me money. Now if you choose to believe the worst, that is your choice, but realists look like optimists in comparison.

  12. If the same hearing was held in the House of Representatives, I wonder who would be invited and how much different the testimony would look?

    • House Science has said it will have a hearing and the witnesses should be rather different. The majority party picks most of the witnesses but often allows the minority party to pick one as a courtesy. This is normative science in action.

  13. > One thing we are certain of, though, is that the development of future technologies depends upon capital investment, and that it would be foolish to continue to spend such resources in expensive programs that will in fact do nothing significant to global temperature.

    http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/testimony-patrick-j-michaels-climate-change

    Unstealthy.

    • w. it’s amusing to consider that Bill Clinton once called CO2 ‘plant food’, probably a slip on his banana peel veep. Even more amusingly, he’s only said it once.
      =================

    • Pat Michaels’ testimony is one of the most sensible comments I’ve seen on global warming. His comments that we can not know what technology will be 100 years hence, only that it will be radically different and therefore projections of greenhouse gas emissions to the distant future is useless, reinforce points I’ve made here repeatedly about our inability to successfully predict the future.

      Anyone who supports long-term (50-years plus) policy advice on the basis of their projections of the distant future is not worthy of a hearing.

      • > Where ideology and science part company, Cato favors ideology, as shown by their open letter[2] published in newspapers in 2009[3] disputing the state of the science on climate change.[4]

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Cato_Institute

        [2] http://www.cato.org/special/climatechange/

        [3] http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/catos-climate-ad-campaign/

        [4] http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/03/with-all-due-respect/

      • eerr

        “Anyone who supports long-term (50-years plus) policy advice on the basis of their projections of the distant future is not worthy of a hearing.”

        last time I looked offering advice on policy that says do nothing because we know nothing about the future, is still offering policy advice.
        as in duh!

      • Mosher, my advice for many years has been to adopt those policies which foster creativity, entrepreneurialism and adaptability, and which increase out capacity to deal positively with, to get the best outcome from, whatever future emerges. We can sensibly look perhaps 20 years ahead, perhaps more for some variables, but we’ll still be surprised. I’ve opposed policies which, for example, create rigidities, which protect non-viable industries and which deter innovation. I have never said “the future is uncertain, so do nothing,” I’ve said that “the future is uncertain, but there is evidence that doing x will leave us better placed than doing y or z.” I’ve also said that the best option for government might not be to “do something” but to return resources to the community with tax cuts, on the grounds that that is likely to offer better outcomes than many proposed government initiatives.

        The economic modelling I have done or directed has generally been on a ten-year basis, we can get an indication of how alternative policies can pan out on that time-scale while not assuming that we can have accurate long-term foresight.

      • Faustino,

        It’s not just technology that we can’t predict, It’s also what policies will people want. I interpret Mosher’s comment as an argument in support of GHG emissions mitigation policies. But what policies should we implement. The policies that have been advocated by climate activists for the past 20 years, or more, clearly are wrong-headed and will never succeed in the real world. They cannot be implemented nor maintained to be effective at cutting global GHG emissions policies. The Kyoto Protocol and EU ETS policies demonstrate this. Both were strongly advocated by the climate activists. Both have failed. Neither has been effective. Arguably, the climate activists have caused a slowing, rather than an increase, of global decarbonisation rate over the past 20 years or so. (e.g. Roger Pielke Jr. Figure 2: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html)

      • Peter, I was not just referring to technology but to the whole kit and kaboodle of an ever-changing world.

      • “Anyone who supports long-term (50-years plus) policy advice on the basis of their projections of the distant future is not worthy of a hearing”

        Faustino, your response still misses the mark. You are offering a policy on listening to policy advice. In fact your advice has no time limit. In short you want people to never listen to somebody who speaks about the future 50 years down the road. Nice, so when a NEO is identified that has a 95% chance of hitting the earth in 51 years, you’d not listen to them?
        I get that. I just think I wouldnt listen to anyone like you who doesnt think ahead to counter examples that take me 2 seconds to construct.
        The physics of climate are such that we know more about what happens after 2060 than before. Strange but true

      • Steven, I’ll listen away – witness my being here – but I will discount projections and prognostications about the distant future, and will give them little weight in formulating policy. Let’s say that there is credible evidence of an asteroid which will come very close to Earth in, say 120 years, with a remote but feasible chance of a collision. Why worry? Those 90 years hence will be far more able to put in motion ways to deal with it than we can, any resources we put in to it now would be wasted. Modelling projections for 51 years out? Sorry, that’s not a sensible policy horizon, let’s adopt policies now which increase our resilience whatever befalls rather than on the basis of a possible far-distant future.

      • moshe knows more about what one forcing will accumulate to by 2060 than he does about climate. True but not the least bit strange.
        ================

      • “Anyone who supports long-term (50-years plus) policy advice on the basis of their projections of the distant future is not worthy of a hearing.”

        “Let’s say that there is credible evidence of an asteroid which will come very close to Earth in, say 120 years, with a remote but feasible chance of a collision. Why worry? Those 90 years hence will be far more able to put in motion ways to deal with it than we can, any resources we put in to it now would be wasted. ”

        See there, you’ve suggested a policy of why worry. And you base that on a projection that those 90 years hence will be more able to deal with it. So, by your first argument, I should not listen to your second argument.

        I generally don’t listen to people who cant spot their own inconsistencies.

        That said, I do agree that being more resilient is a good strategy, but not because there is some magically 50 year time horizon. Looking at the thermal inertia of the planet and understanding that what we put in motion today will still be in motion 50 years hence, can inform policy. One need not have much more detail to projections other than that.

        how about economics
        Running a huge debt, promising huge payouts to pensions, might result in an economic collapse 70 years hence. I imagine if someone came to you and said, we want to pay these people X dollars 65 years hence, that you could and would look at that and say..”wait, you’ll go broke in 65 years if you do that ” At that point I might repsond

        “”Anyone who supports long-term (50-years plus) policy advice on the basis of their projections of the distant future is not worthy of a hearing.”

        So, you would definitely give policy advice if a pension fund was projected to go bust in 65 years. And I suspect you would expect people to listen to your long term view.

      • Faustino -

        I would suggest a modification for your analogy. A more analogous situation would be if our current activities might increase the probability that the asteroid might hit us some 120 years hence, and/or possibly render future responses ineffective due to the influence of our actions (or lack therefor) during the interim.

        In such a case, would you still advocate a “What, me worry?” policy?

        http://tinyurl.com/b2y6hyl

      • Mosher- “The physics of climate are such that we know more about what happens after 2060 than before. Strange but true.”

        What a bunch of junk. There is so much unknown involved in the forcings and feedbacks, and other impacting variables like ENSO, AMO, that all are compounded by increased variability by length of time. Your statement is flat wrong.

  14. >Thus, if the country deems it necessary to de-carbonize civilization’s main energy sources, then compelling reasons beyond human-induced climate change need to be offered that must address, for example, ways to help poor countries develop affordable energy. Climate change alone is a weak leg on which to stand to justify a centrally planned, massive change in energy production, infrastructure and cost.

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/17595/Climatologist-Dr-John-Christy-Oil–other-carbonbased-energies-are-simply-the-affordable-means-by-which-we-satisfy-our-true-addictions-ndash-long-life-good-health-plentiful-food

    Plant food for thought.

  15. > Change the system to improve the science-policy interface and change the funding priorities. A top priority for research funding should be exploring the significance and characteristics of uncertainty across the range of climate science, not only the climate models themselves, but also solar forcing, surface temperature datasets, natural internal modes of climate variability, etc. Change the decision making framework from the classical “reduce the uncertainty before acting” paradigm to a robust decision making framework that incorporates understanding of uncertainty as information in the contemplation and management of environmental risks.

    http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/09/testimony-followup-part-ii/

  16. >Here’s an enjoyable piece of testimony from May 6th, 2010 by Lord Christopher Monckton before Congress. For the pdf of his testimony, go here. His point about science not being a matter of consensus is well taken and was stated even more eloquently by Michael Crichton in his 2003 Caltech Michelin lecture (go here). Also important is the point Monckton made about science functioning as a monopsony (one buyer for many sellers; in monopoly there’s one seller for many buyers). The buyer, according to him, is the public, but properly speaking it’s the government funding agencies that take our tax dollars. As effectively the only funder, it can dictate the type of product made, in this case, climate research that supports anthropogenic global warming (thereby keeping at bay all “sellers” who challenge AGW). Science as a monopsony also impacts the ID controversy. This is a point worth exploring.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/global-warming/lord-moncktons-climate-testimony-before-congress/

    An uncommon descent.

    • otherwise known as the funding effect. the funding effect doesnt create the wrong answer. Funding determines the questions asked. In the case of climate science correcting this would entail specific finding for crackpots.
      I have no issue with that. In industry the best boss I ever had hired a contrarian and assigned me to do data for him. he was inside the tent pissing out. not outside pissing in. in case u wanted to know what RC could do to diffuse radical potential.

      • I assume you mean funding for crackpots not finding, but this is just wrong. For example NASA has tried to get a sun-climate research program but so far without success. Instead we have a huge carbon-climate program. The Danes probably do more sun-climate reasearch than the USA.

        You are right about the questions and the US funds questions that assume AGW, plus assuming CAGW in many cases. It is a classic Kuhnian paradigm situation where the paradigm is not questioned, rather it defines the questions. Changing that would be relatively simple. All we need are some skeptics among the climate program managers who fund the research and specify the questions.

  17. Judith, you write “Scientific information must remain a cornerstone of public policy decisions, but I offer cautionary guidance to scientists: Get involved in policy deliberations, but play the appropriate role. Provide facts, probabilities and analysis, but avoid normative science. Scientists have much to offer the public and decision-makers but also have much to lose when they practice stealth policy advocacy.”

    I spent the majority of my career in doing Operations Research. What Harold Larnder showed in 1938, was that if scientists were to give their advice properly to the decision makers, they had to actually work for the decision makers. That is the essence of operations research. We belonged to a parent organization, who were responsible for our career progression, and scientific expertise, but many of us were seconded to the organisations who made the decisions.

    I am sorry, but scientists who are outside the organzations who make the decisions ,will never be able to properly advise those decision makers as to what they ought ot do.

    • I am sorry, but scientists who are outside the organzations who make the decisions ,will never be able to properly advise those decision makers as to what they ought ot do.

      Fully agree. The proper division of labor should be that the outside scientists should be advising the inside ones. The inside ones have their work cut out advising decision makers, they’re not in a great position to focus 100% on research. And if they don’t listen to the outside ones then there is the risk that two unrelated views of reality will result, the outside view and the inside one.

      • “scientists who are outside the organizations who make the decisions ,will never be able to properly advise those decision makers as to what they ought to do.”

        This statement is overwhelmingly true and hardly worthy of discussion. The alternate is to base their decisions on the positions of people they have not even talked to but may have read.

        Politicians, and agency leaders rely upon either in-house “experts” or consultants contracted with from outside their organizations for the analysis upon which decisions are ultimately made. Imo the key point is how the individual decision maker obtains the advice upon which the decision is made and how effective the decision maker is at critical decision making.

        Critical decision making skills lead to “better” decisions because by definition it involves the use of a process for the acceptance of a goal and the plan to achieve said goal. That does not mean there will be universal acceptance of the goal or the plan to achieve the goal.

        Imo it is interesting to examine the climate debate as a part of a larger longer term discussion of the “goal to make for a more efficiently operated planetary government” vs. the prior state of individual nations caring overwhelmingly for their own self interest. Transitions can generate outcomes difficult to predict.

      • Kirk: “Mr Spock, Scotty informs me that the engines are at their limit and we may be in trouble if we press on.”

        Spock: “Captain, logic informs me that the engines were built for sterner stuff than this. You can rely on them to bring us through.”

        Kirk: “Mr. Spock, Scotty knows engines, you don’t. And he can see the furshlugginer engines, you can’t. Why should I listen to you?”

        Analogy: Spock = the inside scientists advising the organization, Scotty = the outside scientists offering advice to the organization, ideally via the inside scientists for the sake of a good impedance match (otherwise why bother with inside scientists in the first place?).

        The fundamental problem here is that the scientists inside the organization are supported by the organization. Therefore they are strongly disincentivized to pay any attention whatsoever to the outside scientists.

        So you tell me, Rob, do you see anything wrong with this picture?

    • It’s quite common that experts who work for an interest group have two different faces. When they appear in public they show the face that looks like the group they work for, but when they appear behind closed doors for the group they show a face that helps the group to understand better, what others are thinking and why.

      • Finally, they admit it…….

        Scientists are two-faced and can’t be trusted!!

      • Scientists are human and politically and ideologically motivated, just like other humans.

        Scientists have no more integrity than any other discipline. Unfortunately, since most scientists are not accountable for their advice, as other disciplines are, they are less concerned about the repercussion of bad advice.

        Most scientists, including climate scientists, are not held accountable for bad advice (medicine is one exception and there may be others).

      • Scientists take the long view. In the end they want to be remembered for being right when the facts are finally defined, and that motivates what they put in writing under their name. In the long term, only truth matters, not politics which is local and temporary.

      • Jim D, that’s a very sweeping statement, I’m sure that many scientists must be motivated by shorter-term goals such as income, tenure, being liked, etc, and that this may conflict with taking a long view. I think that in the short term, not just the long term, truth is paramount, but know that many – scientists and non-scientists – do not operate in terms of that view.

      • Faustino, while they may have personal goals such as being lab managers or making sure they get funding, I think the average scientist has as their meat and potatoes getting published, teaching proteges, and being remembered for what they publish being right not wrong which also helps with their funding and standing in the long term.

      • k scott denison

        Peter Lang | February 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm |

        Unfortunately, since most scientists are not accountable for their advice, as other disciplines are, they are less concerned about the repercussion of bad advice.
        ______________

        Peter, I believe this is the crux of the matter. Scientists have set themselves up nicely by convincing funders that they cannot be responsible for their results lest that influence their research. This opens the door for skewed research, especially when one set of results is more likely to lead to more funding.

        The solution is to change the funding mechanism. Not sure I know how, but it is clear from this and the “mouse models” that the current model needs fixing.

      • @Michael: Scientists are two-faced and can’t be trusted!!

        Michael is faceless and can’t be trusted!!!

  18. “….2) Climate change is increasing the probability of extreme events, and in some cases may be strengthening their intensity or increasing their frequency (i.e. we are loading the dice towards more Sandy or blizzard type storms).”

    This is a scientific statement?

    • Exactly. It’s as scientific and as sophisticated as a religious zealot or bar-fly hinting vaguely about “all this strange weather we’ve been having lately”. In the stormy 1950s, one might be blaming sputnik or the A bomb. In Australia’s big decade for storms, the 1970s, one might blame…I dunno…maybe orange shag pile carpet?

      “This topic is about impact to people – your constitutents, my fellow citizens, my two kids – not just polar bears.”
      If only Marshall Shepherd had a pooch named Chequers! He could have slain ‘em with the pooch.

  19. Am I the only one who sees an “interesting” [as in Chinese curse] twist to what the three did? They were testifying before Congress as scientists, but to inform policy-making. While I find their comments essentially unscientific [bordering on the unethical], I also have to acknowledge that testifying before Congress is not the same as testifying about scientific facts.

    I appreciate the arguments Dr Curry and others make; but find them somewhat theoretical. They point out the problem, but offer no solutions in the context of what actually occurred. Congress clearly wants help figuring out what to do about policy. How about this as a poor man’s [er, sicentist's] “Code of Conduct for Testifying Before Congress:” first, relate the science (no opinions, just the science); then, if so moved, clearly state policy preferences as one’s opinions.

    • There is no such thing as science without opinion. The solution is to recognize he opinion being expressed and value it accordingly.

      • @DW: There is no such thing as science without opinion.

        David, two questions.

        1. Would you say all scientists are equally opinionated?

        2. Is it possible for a scientist not to be opinionated?

    • ” Congress clearly wants help figuring out what to do about policy.”

      Yeah, that’s not what is happening at all. Governments funded the IPCC and the climate science community in general for the purpose of accumulating “evidence” to support the policies they already wanted. The IPCC, NOAA and government funded scientists everywhere have obliged.

      Ever since the Democrat members of Congress colluded with Hansen in turning up the thermostat in the Senate hearing room in 1988, there has been virtually no dissent within the “climate science” community regarding the need for a government takeover of the energy economy,

      • Agreed, some politicians (inclined to central control) found the CAGW case expedient and did not critically assess the evidence before determining policy.

      • Gary you write as though the government is a person engaged in a conspiracy. A lot of people are sincerely concerned about CAGW including many scientists. The governments have responded accordingly. But since there are also many skeptics the responses have not been very strong. The demographics of belief explain the government actions pretty well. It is just a big fight.

      • David Wojick,

        “The demographics of belief explain the government actions pretty well.”

        No, actually they don’t. The governments created and funded the IPCC, and funded and directed the research of NOAA, NASA and “independent” climate scientists to create the narrative that would support their existing policy preferences. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a movement. It’s called Progressivism, and has been around for a long time.

        The politicians believe they are members of an elite that should run the economy rather than the stupid voters who elect them. CAGW is just the latest in a long series of rationalizations they have used to justify their attempts to take control of the economy.

  20. On Friday morning, the painter for the inside of our home asked if we had heard about the asteroid? Both my wife and I said yes and began confirming our awareness of the “fly-by” in the news lately. He said: “no no, the one that hit Russia.” We both expressed our ignorance and he went on explaining.

    The asteroid that hit Russia on Friday appears as a “game changer” in the narrative of Earth’s Ecology as viewed by the public. The location of impact, it suddenness and totally being unexpected, its comparison to atomic bomb explosions, its comparison to Biblical end of the World science fiction, et al.

    My comparison is the “jump shift” in the card game Bridge where the bid is escalated and shifted to another suit, shutting off further bidding in someone’s suit. The shift of the Climate Change dialogue would then be dropped and a new and very visible catastrophe, earth struck by a meteor, reverberates in science, engineering, media and Congress.

    This shift kinda leaves Barbara Boxer and the many in the “tribe”, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The merchant’s of CAGW and the ethically challenged warmists, will suffer what they advocated: “pay them no mind.” NASA can reclaim its legitimate space role, shed itself of the climate change advocates, leave the “normative science” position to the recently jettisoned cabal, and re-capture the imagination of a new group of students and faculty.

    By the time a cooperative agreement and new science is developed to address things from space crashing into earth, sufficient time will have elapsed that several decades of a temperature plateau will be realized. The CAGW meme will be a distant memory. Thus, during this temperature hiatus, weather research and funding will have a chance to improve the more than two week prognostic ability it currently has; alter the perspective to look to the heavens rather than our navel; add a sense of urgency to keep the science moving. All good things IMO.

    • The plumber called to de-defecate a doctor’s basement presented his bill and the doctor expostulated ‘I’m a doctor and even I don’t make this kind of money’. The plumber replied that he hadn’t either when he was a doctor.
      ====================

      • Kim
        Is this in reference to urgency and moving?

      • David Springer

        I think it was a veiled implication that doctors aren’t as bright as tradesmen.

      • Dave Springer

        You may be right. All it takes is an average IQ to be a doctor but an above average person, at least ethically. The latter of course, ethical, doesn’t seem to pertain to Senators and CAGW warmist types, no matter how “bright” they may appear.

        I took Kim’s doctor becoming a plumber as an illustration of how a “jump-shift” can turn out.

        The news media reports of a meteor strike. Talk about rare events having a life-changing effect. Back to the precautionary principle with a twist.

      • David Springer

        Nah. Greed more than ethics.

      • Heh, it was more about plumbers and painters having better sense than climate modelers and the like. Some of those Carhartts run model trains in their basement, and where they say the trains go, observations confirm.
        ================

  21. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Four recent wrong-headed Climate Etc assertions:

    A1: Jim Cripwell asks  “Show me the empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, it causes global temperatures to rise.”

    A2: Jim Cripwell changes his mind  “I should have written “Show me the empirical data that measures how much global temperatures rise when you add CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels.”

    A3: Robert Lackey (normatively!) demands non-normative science  “Normative science is a corruption of science and should not be tolerated in the scientific community — without exception.”

    A4: Judith Curry normatively endorses Lackey’s non-normative normativitity (whew!)  “[Lackey's essay] is short, but packs a punch” and she asks “How can avoid the traps of normative science?”

    Let us consider the following proposition: Assertions A1-A4 are expressions of denialism

    We reason as follows:

    A1 denies that valid science always is uncertain  It is sufficient to recall that proof is the domain of mathematics, not of science

    A2 denies that explanation is crucial to science  It is sufficient to recall that science founded solely upon data is crippled

    “To say that prediction is the purpose of a scientific theory is to confuse means with ends. It is like saying the purpose of a spaceship is to burn fuel. Passing experimental tests is only one of the many things a theory has to do to achieve the real purpose of science, which is to explain the world.”

    A3 and A4 deny that normative judgements are valid products of the scientific enterprise  It is sufficient to recall that the consilience of science has always attracted the progressive advocacy of leading conservative scientists, and that normatively conservative science has innumerable examples both past and present!

    “We will also come to understand the true meaning of conservatism. By that overworked and confusing term I do not mean the piestic and selfish libertarianism into which much of the American conservative movement has lately descended. I mean instead the ethic that cherishes and sustains the resources and proven best institutions of a community. In other words, true conservatism, an idea that can be applied to human nature as well as to social institutions.”

    Conclusion  Judith’s post provides considerable valuable material to Climate Etc readers … provided that the anhistorical, nonconservative, logically invalid, cherry-picked, regressive, discredited, denialistic arguments of Cripwell, Pielke, Lackey … and Judith Curry herself … are entirely disregarded!

    \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}

    • blueice2hotsea

      FOMB

      wrt Stealth Advocacy

      You insult Judith Curry (and others) as having arguments which are anhistorical, nonconservative, logically invalid, cherry-picked, regressive, discredited, denialistic .

      This is more than hinting that Curry may be a stealth (denier) advocate. That she’s not the climate angel that many imagine after all.

      But, hey! What about you? Maybe you are a not a true devil’s advocate after all. Maybe you are a stealth angel’s advocate who works through repulsiveness. It’s hard to tell. One can’t know the color of a horse by looking at the road apples.

      Luckily for people of *ALL* political persuasions, the smell gives you away, FOMD. :)

    • Fan apparently cannot distinguish descriptive and normative claim or understand that a scientist’s expertise pertains to the former and not the latter. Descriptive claims are of course relevant to policy advice–that’s why we try to find experts–but their advice can only be legitimately phrased in terms of hypothetical imperatives, i.e. “If you want to achieve a vector of values/objectives X, then the way to do that is probably to adopt policy Y.” When the scientists start trying by rhetorical or other subterfuge to smuggle their opinions about X into the science, or to distort their advice about the relationship of policies to values in order to advance their favored X, then they have corrupted their role. This is exactly the problem that Robert Lackey identified with the use of such cant terms as “ecosystem health” and that Fan is often guilty of here.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      srp deplores  “The problem [of normative science] that Robert Lackey identified with the use of such cant terms as “ecosystem health.”

      Srp’s flimsily supported assertions — and the comparably flimsy assertions of Lackey, blueice2hotsea, Cripwell, Pielke, and even Judith Curry herself — amount to claiming that normative medical science is not proper “science” and that normative medical standards of practice are not proper “standards”.

      Indeed, Lackey’s complete disregard for the vast existing literature on normative medical science is inexcusable, in view of its manifest overlap of normative medical science with normative climate change science.

      Q Does Lackey assert that “normative” medical science is (in Lackey’s own phrase)”a corruption of science [that] should not be tolerated in the scientific community — without exception”?

      These common-sense considerations help us to appreciate whey Lackey’s peculiar definition of “normative” is used mainly by … Lackey himself! … and that Lackey’s peculiar conclusions regarding normativity in science are shared by … only a tiny minority of practicing scientists!

      \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}

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        willard (@nevaudit) asks  “Is Lackey an ethicist?”

        No. Neither does Lackey have any evident training (or publication track record?) in the history of normative science. And neither does Lackey’s essay provide a logical rationale and/or verifiable references for his various assertions.

        Absurdly, Lackey seems to regard his non-normative conclusions as being sufficiently self-evident, as to require no supporting arguments of any kind.

        This trait of willful ignorance of course renders him an eminently convenient “Lackey” for well-documented commercial interests!

        \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 still doesn’t get it and still never responds directly to a specific argument such as mine above. Medical science is USUALLLY unproblematic from a normative point of view because there is no disagreement about the value vector X in the “if/then” proposition–everybody wants lower mortality and morbidity. (Sometimes there are tradeoffs that do create a need to be cognizant of the difference between values and empirical beliefs, as when treatments with different risk or side-effect profiles must be compared; in those cases Lackey’s distinction again becomes important, as we don’t want “science” claiming, for example, that a person’s loss of some bodily function is clearly worth it if it extends life by some amount, or the reverse.)

        Ecosystem properties are not something that everyone should be expected to agree about. Even nature-lovers of various stripes disagree about what kind of landscapes and ecosystems they prefer, and non-nature-loving values also need to be traded off. There is nothing “science” can legitimately say about such value judgments in themselves, as David Hume proved a long time ago.

      • Steve

        fan does not allow facts to get into the way of his beliefs

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        stevepostrel (srp?) claims  “Medical science is USUALLLY unproblematic from a normative point of view.”

        Srp, your post’s unsupported claim is entirely contradicted by the history of medical science … and it is contradicted too by plain common sense, eh?

        Check out (for example) the death panels of kidney dialysis> … which were ended only by NixonCare: the Republican antecedent of ObamaCare.

        A PubMed search for “normative” finds more than one thousand review articles, and more than fifteen thousand total articles … and so perhaps Lackey was ill-advised to entirely ignore this literature?

        \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,

        Indeed.

        Maybe steve has never heard of public health?

      • Still obstinately self-lobotomizing rather than conceding a point well-established in philosophy since the 1700s. Remarkable. But for amusement’s sake, let’s proceed through the latest set of diversions and fallacies.

        1. Kidney dialysis death panels are a perfect example of what I was talking about. IF you believe that extending kidney patients’ lives is worthwhile given their quality of life (the Brits like to pose this as pounds/QALY), THEN this is what it will cost and how much improvement you can expect. Science is about the THEN, not about the IF. The statements “we ought to federally subsidize dialysis for all kidney patients” or “if we have limited dialysis capacity it should be allocated in favor of patients with these characteristics” are not scientific statements. They are compounds of the IF and the THEN, and a scientist is no more qualified to determine the IF part than a florist.

        2. Further, and obviously, Fan, I said USUALLY. Most of the time, clinical trials for drugs and medical devices don’t run into serious VALUE disputes about whether the intended and achieved effects of the drug are good or bad, e.g. almost everybody likes less pain and discomfort, almost everybody likes longer life, etc. So the IF part can be suppressed for convenience, and the policy syllogism becomes an enthymeme:
        “Drug A adds two years of life on average to the patient with fewer side effects than existing treatments, therefore, Drug A should be approved.” Left out is the major premise “Longer life and fewer side effects are both good things.” It is left out because it is uncontroversial, not because it is a “scientific” principle.

        3. “Ecosystem health” is a cant term because there is not, and cannot, be a level of consensus about the perfect natural environment comparable to that achieved in dealing with states of human physical health. If you want the US forest system to look like the one the pioneers discovered, that’s a value judgment, and in fact it turns out that you can’t let “nature take its course” to get such a forest because the Indians created those majestic places by periodically setting fires and burning out the undergrowth. Some people prefer more-tangled undergrowth and a policy of neglect. These and many other land-management policies favor and harm different species. Policies that leave large tracts of land undisturbed for decades harm species that thrive on the borderlands of clear-cut or burned-out areas.

        In addition to the value tradeoffs within the “nature” sphere, there are also significant value judgments about land use for human purposes that cannot be “scientific.” England’s countryside is so far from wild that it isn’t even clear what “natural” would mean there, but there are still value conflicts there over the beauty of the traditional landscape versus the presence of windmills or housing. Calling one’s value judgments on such matters scientific judgments of “ecosystem health” is deceptive at best and abusively fraudulent at worst.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        stevepostrel (srp?) claims  “Ecosystem health” is a cant term because there is not, and cannot, be a level of consensus about the perfect natural environment comparable to that achieved in dealing with states of human physical health.”

        Srp, it is evident to every citizen of the United States, that (what you call) “the level of consensus” regarding health-care is *ENTIRELY* comparable to “the level of consensus” regarding climate-change.

        Namely, the level of consensus is about fifty-three percent in favor of careful regulation of *BOTH* economic spheres!

        \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 reason for this only-partial consensus is mathematically compelling: catastrophic market-failures, that originate largely in the Tragedy of the Commons, afflict both health-care markets and climate-change markets similarly.

        Isn’t that pure common-sense, and a plain political reality, oh SRP?

        Perhaps folks like you and Lackey need to consider more seriously the tough-but-fair question: How does one do economics [or science either!] in a world in which facts and values cannot be conveniently disentangled?

        What is *YOUR* answer to this tough-but-fair question, SRP?

        \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,

        why is it that wading through your posts for something of value is akin to wading through a cubic hectare of poo looking for that dime you swallowed?

  22. In the testimony, is some one going to show the real hockey stick?

    The sun’s activity since 1800

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:1008

  23. I wasn’t confident that I fully understood the term “normative science “so I looked it up. According to Wik. “In the applied sciences, normative science is a type of information that is developed, presented, or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy or class of policies”

    Clearly any scientist engaging in such activity has by definition forfeited the objectivity I’ve always thought a fundamental prerequisite for the conduct of good science. (I find the phrase “usually unstated” particularly disturbing.)

    The trouble is, “climate change” is inherently political in its implications. I’m not nearly smart enough to figure out how these competing values can and should be sorted.

    That said, I’m deeply troubled that it’s essentially the same handful of climate scientists .who have the ear of congress. Likewise the media. It seems to me any fair minded person would, or should, regard that as ominous in its implications.

    • Doing normative science, such as being an expert witness, is not the same activity as doing scientific research. No one thinks it is.

      • Kindly give me a break. Obviously not. The problem is that a scientist with a policy agenda can’t be trusted to do unbiased research. They are not the same thing, but the two activities can’t take place in a vacuum. One influences the other

      • Poker, if you are claiming that any researcher who engages in things like expert witness activity should have their research funding cut off then I cannot agree. The proposal is preposterous. You cannot eliminate the interface between science and policy.

      • @pokerguy: The problem is that a scientist with a policy agenda can’t be trusted to do unbiased research.

        I fully agree with pokerguy. The only way to do unbiased research on climate change is to hire the scientists that used to do unbiased research on second-hand tobacco smoke. They had no policy agenda there, so would they have no climate policy agenda either? Right, pokerguy?

        If you disagree, who would you propose to do unbiased research?

        If you don’t have anyone to propose then you’re wasting our time with your blathering.

      • k scott denison

        David Wojick | February 17, 2013 at 5:54 am |
        Poker, if you are claiming that any researcher who engages in things like expert witness activity should have their research funding cut off then I cannot agree. The proposal is preposterous. You cannot eliminate the interface between science and policy.
        ————–
        Would like to understand what you see as the negative consequences of not allowing scientists who accept federal funding to provide expert testimony (except in a court of law). I’m sure I’m seeing the downside to not allowing researchers to provide testimony to policy makers. If the policy makers want scientific advisors, hire them.

    • Clearly any scientist engaging in such activity has by definition forfeited the objectivity I’ve always thought a fundamental prerequisite for the conduct of good science. (I find the phrase “usually unstated” particularly disturbing.)

      Quite orwellian the way “normative” is used too – a kind of doublespeak, saying one thing but meaning another, with an added twist, in that “normative”, setting norms, makes it appear that this would be based on normal object science as a principle but it turns out “normative science” is anything that sounds vaguely “of science” enough to promote whatever agenda is being pushed and as here, that is fictions being passed off as science.

      http://www.orwelltoday.com/dblspkthennow.shtml

      • Derived from Wiki: Positive economics is the branch of economics that concerns the description and explanation of economic phenomena. It focuses on facts and cause-and-effect behavioural relationships and includes the development and testing of economic theories. Positive economics concerns analysis of economic behaviour. Normative economics is that part of economics that expresses value judgments about economic fairness or what the economy ought to be like or what goals of public policy ought to be.

        I studied with, and was research assistant to, the eminent economist Dick (R G) Lipsey, who wrote “An Introduction to Positive Economics.” Everyone who taught me at LSE was an adviser to government and/or business, but had the concept of positive – i.e., scientific – economics at their core.

  24. Brandon Shollenberger

    David Springer just called for the murder of climate scientists. Can we please have that deleted and him put in moderation? Calling for the murder of anyone is unacceptable.

    • David Springer

      I said dispatched like coyotes. I believe in more humane methods. In fact I’ve used these in the past:

      http://www.livetraps.com/live-traps/coyote-traps

      I’m unsure of where to release them where they wouldn’t be a danger to themselves or others. My ancestors used Australia. I’m thinking Gitmo but not sure if it’s big enough. There won’t be any water boarding however because it’s already demonstrated that climate scientists are in possession of no useful information.

    • charity. you could have asked him what he meant?
      I read it. and thought. Is Springer calling for people to be killed?
      hmm. that interpretation would fly in the face of what I have come to know about Dave. he’s a weak bully. a class clown. getting attention from bad borderline behavior. And smart. Too smart to outright call for people being killed. So I read the sentence more carefully, have I missed another meaning.. “dispatched” thats an euphemism for what? . so I do a little looking and conclude that he’s hinting at relocations. Charity can save you from making mistakes. So, thats an example of how charity would work.

      • Catch and release on the trail back to truth.
        =============

      • Brandon needs to put more links in his chain

      • David Springer

        steven mosher | February 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply

        “what I have come to know about Dave. he’s a weak bully. a class clown. getting attention from bad borderline behavior.”

        Class clown – no doubt.

        Borderline bad behavior. If by that you mean playing within the rules just short of breaking them, of course. Why would an honest player not leverage the rules right up to but short of breaking them? It takes skill to do that whatever the sport. Novices play well within the rules. Experts play at the edge of the envelope.

        I take exception to weak bully. I have no power whatsoever over anyone here. How is it possible to be any kind of bully in that circumstance? Please explain.

      • @DS: I take exception to weak bully. I have no power whatsoever over anyone here. How is it possible to be any kind of bully in that circumstance? Please explain.

        A very creepy similarity to the argument used by those cyberbullies that have driven people to suicide. I picture DS eagerly looking forward to the first suicide he can notch up on his belt while denying its impossibility all along.

      • Apprentice Pratt picks up the stick.
        ============

      • Touche, kim. Don’t know what came over me.

      • David Springer

        Good one, Kim. Hypocrisy is rampant.

        @Pratt

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberbullying#Legal_definition

        my emphasis

        - actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.
        - use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person
        - use of internet service and mobile technologies such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging with the intention of harming another person

        Note all three diagnostics require intent to harm. I have no such intent unless you equate the destruction of an idea with the destruction of the person holding the idea. I’m willing to entertain the validity of that equanimity. Ideally attacking ideas is held separate from attacking the person. This is often explicit in the dog-eat-dog world of corporate competition. If you haven’t seen the common sign in conference rooms “Attack ideas not people” then you need to get out more. Personally I’ve never understood how it’s possible to attack the idea without attacking the person as well. We are what we think and our ideas are therefore expressions of who we are. Thus if I attack your idea I attack who you are and there’s no getting around that without mincing words. I refuse to walk on eggshells worrying about how I can protect the self-esteem of others when deconstructing their ideas. If they can’t take the heat they should get out of the kitchen in other words.

      • David Springer

        In the improbable case of it causing confusion I meant to write equality above not equanimity.

      • Vaughan,

        akin to cyberbullies pushing people to suicide.

        Anyone who kills themselves because of what another person says, particularly on the internet, has serious mental health issues.

        It may sound cruel, but i do not have a lot of sympathy for people who take their own life, except perhaps in certain circumstances. I save it for the people they leave behind.

        Life is hard and then we die. If a person decides it is too hard for them and checks out, so be it. I don’t begrudge them doing so. I just put them far down the list of what I care about.

        Now if only the Paul Erlichs of the world would show the courage of their convictions and check out. I would not have any increased sense of sympathy for them, but my level of respect would increase. As of now, I have none for those people who tell us we are dangerously overpopulated and over using our resources yet continue to motor happily along in a comfortable – sometimes extremly comfortable – lifestyle all the while telling us how bad we are.

      • David, arguing that you cant be a bully because you have no power, is a non sequitor. Bullies succeed because of the perception that they have power, not actual power. Which is why its best to punch them in the nose.
        So, I’ll stick with my point. You’re a weak bully. You’ve proved that by admission. So, I fail to see why you cant agree with yourself on the matter.

      • Bully: a blustering browbeating person;

        I’m not sure why you would argue with this description of you Dave. its pretty much how you defined yourself and your behavior. Christ, were you lying about yourself?

        blustering? hey you called yourself an expert playing near the edge
        browbeating: heck your the one who says you cant help yourself from attacking the person and their ideas.

        And “weak” bully makes perfect sense as well. As you note you have no power.

        So explain to me again why you disagree with a description that you yourself produced?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        timg56, I’ve been unable to respond to the above comments due to moderation (I don’t know what standard is being applied, but whatever), but I feel I should point out most people who commit suicide do have serious mental health issues.

        That said, cyber bullying is like all bullying. It can cause real damage to people without any mental health issues. It can even cause serious mental health issues. It may be easy to dismiss it because it is on the internet, but the reality is the media bullying comes from means little.

      • @timg56: It may sound cruel, but i do not have a lot of sympathy for people who take their own life, except perhaps in certain circumstances. I save it for the people they leave behind.

        No you don’t, you have no sympathy whatsoever for “the people they leave behind.” Otherwise you’d be opposed to cyberbullying for precisely that reason. You’re a hypocrite.

      • Vaughan,

        Having experienced neighbors and family members of friends taking the suicide route, I’ve seen what they leave behind. In one case a wife and 4 kids, in another a pregnant wife and three kids. I know where my sympathy lies.

        Call me whatever names you like, if it makes you feel superior. I’m just curious about how you show your concern for those around you.

      • Vaughn fumbles with the stick. Maybe he can dowse up a geyser.
        =============

      • Our colour commentator
        has no ear for the sound
        of keisaku blows.

      • Just connecting dots, here. Trouble is, they keep running all over the field.
        ==========

      • Hehe nice willard..

    • Willard, thanks much for this link, this is very good, i am flagging it for a future post

      • From those August 2012 hearings:

        “As a result of the uncertainty caused by EPA’s GHG regulations, investment is estimated to decline by 5% to 15 % in directly impacted industries, such as the electric power sector, mining, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade which were responsible of 25% of overall capital investment in U.S. economy in both 2008 and 2009. A 5% to 15% decline in investment for only the directly affected industries would result in an approximately $25 to $75 billion reduction in investment outlays and could result in between 476,000 to 1.4 million fewer jobs in 2014″

        EPA has become THE problem rather than providing solutions. Who da thunk it? “We’re here to help you.”

      • RiH008,

        A 5% to 15% decline in investment for only the directly affected industries would result in an approximately $25 to $75 billion reduction in investment outlays and could result in between 476,000 to 1.4 million fewer jobs in 2014

        The costs are relatively easy to define. But what are the benefits? Where have they been defined?

        What is the uncertainty on the costs and on the benefits?

    • I couldn’t get that link, it timed out, I’ll wait for the future post.

  25. I have been saying for years that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change, as ‘documented’ by Climate Scientists, represents an existential threat to western civilization, if not the planet.

    Not because of any changes in the actual climate induced by the production of CO2 as a byproduct of civilization, but because ‘climate science’ was established for the specific purpose of providing ‘scientific’ justification for giving government essentially infinite power over us. Climate Science has been notoriously unsuccessful in establishing a correlation between empirically observed climate variability and human activity, including CO2 production, yet the message from climate scientists since day one has been: ‘The science is settled. CO2 injected into the atmosphere as a byproduct of human energy production is changing the climate of the planet dramatically and for the worse. The only way to avert catastrophe is for governments to assume control of energy production and consumption worldwide and for them to force dramatic reductions in CO2 emission. It is the most dangerous threat ever to face humanity and action MUST be taken immediately.’

    The symbiosis between climate scientists and the politicians and environmental groups who fund them has been astoundingly successful in generating laws and regulations using the above as justification. The above testimony illustrates why. When data is lacking, they simply make it up.

    We sow the wind……..

    • David Springer

      +0.9

      Dinged it a tenth of a point for lack of comedic flair with the melodrama. You can’t have your climate scientists destroying western civilization without also making them out to be buffoons who couldn’t give away blubber to Eskimos.

      • @ David Springer:

        Clearly you misunderstand. I never said or implied that climate scientists are destroying or could destroy western civilization.

        I DID say that the products of ‘climate science’ are being used by the politicians who fund the climate scientists as an excuse to aggrandize their power and implement policies that WILL destroy western civilization if they are successful in enacting them.

        Or do you not think that reducing the anthropogenic CO2 by 90% as advocated by climate and environmental experts will NOT effectively destroy western civilization? Or that western civilization will just motor along serenely as the population of the earth is reduced to around 1e9 +/- .5e9, as we are assured by climate and environmental experts is required to achieve the holy grail of sustainability?

        Or are you saying that the climate and environmental experts have NOT recommended either of the above? Or that the EPA and other government organizations are NOT implementing regulations to drastically reduce or eliminate anthropogenic CO2, with no allowable minimum in sight?

        Other than ridiculing me without actually addressing what I said, did you disagree with the premise that the relationship between the climate science community and left wing politicians is essentially symbiotic? Did you disagree with my statement that since it burst onto the scene in the 90′s the position of ‘climate science’ is pretty much as I described it? Are there ANY ‘legitimate’ climate scientists who publicly question that anthropogenic CO2 is changing the climate rapidly and that the impact of the changes is overwhelmingly deleterious? And as Jim Cripwell asks, is there any actual, empirical, unadjusted environmental data that demonstrates convincingly that they are right?

        Dr. Curry provided this:

        “JC comments: I found all three of these testimonies to be very well written and effectively communicated. I found all three wanting in terms of how uncertainties were acknowledged, and also implicit acceptance of climate model attribution and projections that goes beyond the confidence levels that the IPCC provides.
        .
        It is this implicit acceptance of climate model based attribution and future projections, and the associated UNFCCC policies, that underlies the climate science, which seems overwhelmingly normative at this point. So, how do you think each of these testimonies stack up in terms of concerns about normative science and stealth advocacy.”

        which I paraphrased as ‘When data is lacking, they simply make it up.’ Inaccurate?

        And I apologize for my lack of comedic flair. It is just another of my personal failings.

      • Despite lack of a nail, your shoe has held fast;
        The Hammer of Laughter smiths Truth on at last.
        ========================

      • Bob Ludwick,

        Don’t let the projection of progressive drones bother you. They are incapable of arguing with what skeptics actually argue, because they have been taught to never listen to, let alone think about them.

        In their minds, all conservatives are stupid, or evil, or in most cases both.

        The number of straw men thrown up by the progressives on this blog the last couple days would be enough to populate some of those ghost cities the Chinese have built.

      • David Springer

        The misunderstanding is due to me failing to see the difference between climate scientists and politicians. The politicians believe they’re expert enough in the sciences to know what’s right and the climate scientists believe they’re expert enough in policy to know what’s right. In my eyes that munges them into the same entity.

      • David Springer

        Bob,

        In 25 years of trying what change hath the doomsayers actually wrought?

        What makes you think they’ll be any more transformative in the next 25 years?

        And now the bottom is falling out of the narrative science with the earth steadfastly refusing to warm for 115 years despite CO2 emissions not only not decreasing but accelerating the whole time. More and dirtier coal is being burnt thanks to manufacturing being driven to where environmental regulations are less burdensome. Do you think China gives a fig about western posturing about global warming? If so you have another think coming.

        I submit to you the western progressive scientists and politicians are impotent buffoons. All hat and no cattle. I will however concede that kind of like compact flourescent light bulbs. I just leave the suckers burning constantly and it costs no more than turning incandescents off when I don’t need the light. So I have one less concern in life – don’t bother shutting lights off because the bulbs last almost forever and don’t consume much juice.

  26. Peter S. Glaser, an objective witness:

    > Peter practices in the energy and environmental law fields and is the chair of the firm’s Climate Change Practice Team. He represents electric utility, mining and other energy industry companies and associations, as well as other businesses, on regulatory and commercial matters. He specializes in environmental regulation and litigation, particularly in the area of air quality and global climate change. He has participated in numerous EPA rulemakings and judicial appeals and in various state, federal, and local siting and permitting proceedings. Given his strong background, he has testified numerous times before Congress on climate change issues. Peter has also represented numerous coal producers and coal purchasers on a variety of commercial and contract matters, including litigated disputes, and his experience extends to proceedings before the STB and FERC.

    http://www.troutmansanders.com/peter_glaser/

  27. > I suspect that all four of these witnesses were invited by the Republicans.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/03/28/congressional-hearing-on-climate-change/

  28. David Springer

    I always wondered what exactly informs you of the future.

    Now I know. I’m chagrined that I didn’t deduce it was Hollywood science fiction without your candid admission of same.

  29. J. Scotty Armstrong’s testimony:

    http://www.theclimatebet.com/?p=401

    I count five “alarmists” in this non-advocacy.

    • Willard

      Our hostess has asked for examples of Congressional Testimonies by scientists that avoided the traps of “normative science”.

      If one wants to speak of testimonies by climate scientists before Congress, I still think the most objective testimony was that by our hostess before the Baird Congressional Committee a couple of years ago..

      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ChangePan

      Let me quote some key excerpts:

      Anthropogenic climate change is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain.

      The threat from global climate change does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century even in its most alarming incarnation.

      Anthropogenic climate change on time scales of decades is arguably less important in driving vulnerability than increasing population, land use practices and ecosystem degradation.

      It seems more important that robust policy responses be formulated rather than to respond urgently with policies that may fail to address the problem and whose unintended consequences have not been adequately explored.

      There is nothing in that testimony that smacks of normative science.

      It’s like Jack Webb’s detective, Joe Friday, said in the old series: “Just the facts, ma’am”.

      Max

      • But her scientific claims are clearly arguable. They obviously have strong policy implications. Does not that make them strongly normative?

      • Given that it’s a testimony with clear policy leanings- it’s not much less ‘normative’ than the others .

      • Michael

        Specifics, please.

        Thanks.

        Max

      • Max,

        “robust policy responses”. Sounds normative to me.

        “ecosysyem degradation” said Judith – the very definition of ‘normative science’.

        ‘science policy interface’ said Judith – normative.

        Judith’s testimony had virtually no science that wasn’t ‘normative’.

      • MiniMax:

        > Our hostess has asked for examples of Congressional Testimonies by scientists that avoided the traps of “normative science”.

        Judy:

        > Your thoughts? Any additional examples of Congressional Testimony that you found to avoid the traps of normative science (or not?)

      • blueice2hotsea

        Thanks Max

        My uninformed executive summary of JC’s testimony is that a wise and honest policy will recognize the uncertainty of the impacts.

        To disagree with “impacts are uncertain”, is arguing that there is no honest disagreement. It will probably lose on multiple levels. That leaves arguing over the wisdom of leaping to conclusions.

        It is normative at a meta-level because it filters out unwise and stupid policies – presumably promoted with normative science at a more fundamental level.

    • David

      What points, specifically in the testimony would you personally, classify as “normative”?

      (Remember that the statements were all responses to specific questions by the Chairman, which you can check by watching the video.)

      Please try to be specific.

      Thanks.

      Max

      • The normative claims starts right at the beginning of the first sentence of the abstract, MiniMax:

        > The validity of the manmade global warming alarm requires the support of scientific forecasts [...]

        I doubt this requirement is a law of nature.

      • Max, of the four sentence/paragraphs you quote I judge the last three to be normative. Existential is not a scientific concept (s2), nor is vulnerability (s3). Sentence four is a flat out policy prescription. Sentence one while meta-scientific in nature takes a strong position on the central scientific question in the debate, namely the degree of uncertainty. It is as policy related as science can get.

      • Max, regarding sentence one the claim that something is highly uncertain is not a scientific claim about the physical world, rather it is basically a claim about the human world.

      • Willard and David

        You are both quibbling about words rather than meaning..

        Normative science in congressional testimony (as I understand the term from the essay) is science with an underlying message of advocacy for a cause.

        Normative science is defined as “information that is developed, presented or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy choice”.

        I did not detect this in the JC testimony, which I cited.

        Instead I detected clear statements of the limits of the scientific knowledge regarding the magnitude of anthropogenic global warming (IOW a scientist saying “we do not know, and – since we do not know – our best bet is to try to first of all better our understanding by clearing up uncertainties and then think real hard of all the consequences before we start implementing actions intended to correct the situation”).

        If either of you see “normative science” in such remarks, so be it.

        I don’t.

        I see simply presenting the facts as they are to a group of politicians that obviously wanted to hear supporting remarks for their political agenda (but didn’t get what hey wanted from our hostess).

        Max

      • You asked for examples – you got plenty.

        Maybe you have your own special meaning of normative, but in future it would be better to spell that out in the first instance.

      • > I did not detect this in the JC testimony, which I cited.

        Try harder:

        > Climate science used for public policy should be held to a higher standard, in a manner similar to medical/pharmaceutical research that is used in the health marketplace.

        If this is not normative science, nothing is.

    • blueice2hotsea

      willard -

      You are a philosopher. Will you please critique the following:

      JC’s “normative” testimony is a meta-level statement about clean science vs. normative science wrt standards and uncertainty. Proscribing normative science is not necessarily practicing normative science. But it could be.

      One case might be where unwise and corrupt policies are skewed. That is there has been an imbalance of normative science on one-side vs the other. Then, a scientist who simply advocates honesty and wisdom is practicing normative science.

      Is this one such case?

      Thanks-

      • blue,

        You may argue that your norms are better than your opponents’, but you must argue for them. Telling that your opponents are practicing “normative science” while dogwhistling that you’re not might very well be a dishonorable way to escape the necessity for this argument. This lacks INTEGRITY ™ — Show Some Self-Awareness.

        There is no dichotomy between facts and values, There is no dichotomy between science and meta-science. The only dichotomy would be between righteous hindsights and constructive thoughts.

      • blueice2hotsea

        willard -

        Here I am yet again, about to accuse you of pretending to be unable to follow the conversation. I retract. You are not pretending.

      • Blue,

        I answered your loaded question the best I could without getting too personal. What I am saying applies to whatever case you might consider. A prescription is always normative, be it scientific or metascientific. Think about what this entails, read the op-ed again, and read back the false dilemma you’re offering me.

        Everything you say can be held against you. It’s as simple as that.

      • blue,

        Since both of your cases are at best caricatures, my answer covered whatever case you might imagine. Prescriptions are normative; facts go hand in hand with values; most of scientific activities are meta-scientific, so much that the distinction makes little sense; everything you say will be held against you.

        Since both of your cases are at best caricatures, your “we’re having a conversation” gambit is quite moot, quite frankly.

      • Sorry for the double post.
        Damn spam bucket.

      • Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had have been about the nature of conversation. Good conversations foster mutual understanding. This one wants only to explain, but splits his tongue, and froths.
        ===========

      • Blue asks loaded questions and
        kim blames with colour commentaries.
        Mutual understanding alright.

      • Yes, it calms; oil on troubled waters.
        ==========

      • blueice2hotsea

        willard -

        My apologies for the provocative language. I tone it down and put less words.

        1. Normative science carries unstated presumptions about policy preferences. (WHAT policy is made)

        2. Normative ethics carries unstated presumptions about the morals of policy-makers. (HOW policy is made)

        Note: 2. is not 1., but could be

        The presumption of honest and wise policy-makers is normative ethics, therefore JC’s testimony of standards and uncertainty was not normative science.

        Or wait. 2 could be 1. For now, let’s not go there.

      • Blue,

        I have another spammed comment about stealth advocacy elsewhere, which took me a while to write. I’ll wait until it appears to follow up more completely. For now, I’ll agree with your distinction, with the caveat that the how-answer can also hint at the what-answer, e.g.

        – Do I have cancer?

        – Yes.

        – Is it curable?

        – Yes, but the treatment costs, is painful, and entails risks.

        – Should I get the treatment?

        – If you want to live, it might be a good idea.

        Most doctors would refuse codes on themselves, btw:

        http://www.npr.org/2012/10/09/162570013/when-prolonging-death-seems-worse-than-death

        ***

        My main constructive proposal would be to distinguish prescriptions to improve scientific deliberations from judgements against specific persons.
        If one wants better science, and only better science, one never needs to mention anyone, be it by name (“Jones”) or by descriptor (“clique”). Blaming people confuses the rhetorical modes [1]. A Congress hearing should be more deliberative than judiciary.

        When their team captain starts finger pointing, hockey players know they’re in for a long season.

        [1] See for instance http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/1489437127

      • Willard, you seem to be a spam magnet today, I will try to keep on top of it

      • Blue,

        The spam filter sucks. Here’s the latest comment I tried to post:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/43488800105

        Let’s see if it gets through by reducing words.

      • Judy,

        If you can find back my response about stealth advocacy, that would be appreciated.

        Perhaps I should take your spam filter as an omen and keep quiet for a while.

      • blueice2hotsea

        For now, I’ll agree with your distinction, with the caveat that the how-answer can also hint at the what-answer

        Good. Then we are agreed.

    • blueice2hotsea

      willard -

      To make my claim explicit:

      Proscribing wise and honest policy is neutral (and therefore not a normative science practice) in a case where policymakers enjoy balanced, distorted input from value-laden, stealth advocacy.

    • blueice2hotsea

      oh bother

      Proscribing wise and honest policy is not normative science provided that policymakers enjoy balanced stealth advocacy at the more fundamental level.

      There.

    • blueice2hotsea

      what?

      Prescribing wise and honest policy is not normative science provided that policymakers enjoy balanced stealth advocacy at the more fundamental level.

      dang i give up

      • The accusation of stealth advocacy is an ad hominem.

        An invalid one, to boot.

      • blueice2hotsea

        willard -

        “Stealth advocacy” does not exist? I find the notion childishly naiive, at best. However, out of respect, in all further conversations with you, I will instead use the phrase: “in the event that stealth advocacy actually exists”.

        how’s that?

      • I posted a long comment here, this morning. The short version should be:

        I did not say that stealth advocacy does not exist.
        What I say is that anything can look like it.
        “You’re a stealth advocate” can only be a self-sealing argument.

  30. How can we make progress on climate science when the main protagonists can’t even agree on their definitions of climate. When we discuss climate we are talking about a long term thing – not last year’s or the year before, but an average over many years. So you would think that these eminent climate experts would get together and agree on a standard formula for defining climate, just to make sure they are all talking about the same thing. But no, Donald Wuebbles continues to invite us to draw cunclusions from spiky graphs which only add to the confusion because they are spikey. It would be nore correct to say they contained unnecessary and irrelevant high frequency detail. Why can’t they agree on say, an eleven year central moving average, for example. Yes, the spikey graph looks normative because it looks complicated.

    Now consider James McCarthy. He came perilously close to divulging the Time Constant of the oceans, or some sort of temperature equilibriun to which the oceans would settle over time. a metric that all climate scientists would like to have, but actually a false ambition brcause it is not a time constant in the classical physical sense, but a transport delay. Those thousands of bouys that roam the oceans must have cost us taxpayers somethind so the least he can do is give us that vital unnamed metric. Perhaps he is reluctent to do so because his colleages in the IPCC appeared to ignore it.

    For an alternative view of its importace, see my website above.

  31. The interesting case of Fred Upton:

    > Take Fred Upton, the new chair of the House energy and commerce committee, who is working with Inhofe on the stop-the-EPA bill. Back in his moderate days, Upton called climate change “a serious problem.” But after a thorough lashing by his party’s conservative wing, Upton has changed his mind. This week he said at a National Journal event, “I do not say that [climate change] is man-made.” Surprisingly, he didn’t feel the need to explain his new stance—there was no personal conversion story. He recently told Politico that he probably wouldn’t bother to hold climate-science hearings. (Another newly minted GOP skeptic, Illinois’s Mark Kirk, explained his recent about-face by citing “the personal and political collapse of Al Gore.”) At the hearing on Wednesday, Texas Republican Joe Barton was content to quote former EPA economist Alan Carlin saying that the theory that humans were warming the planet failed to “conform with real world data.” (He didn’t trouble himself explaining what real-world data he was referring to. Record temperatures? Dwindling ice caps? Who can say?)

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/environment-energy/83196/epa-regulations-congress-inhofe-upton

    • Warming yes, but why and why not?
      =========

    • Willard

      Maybe it was simply that someone explained to him that there is no empirical evidence linking the recent warming or its current pause with human GHG emissions.

      Max

      • I can seldom figure out what Willard’s point is because he seldom states it. He seems to assume that we all think as he does which is far from true. There is no way to respond to such deliberate vagueness.

      • It’s defense.
        ========

      • Heh, one man’s ‘thorough lashing’ is another man’s ‘opening his eyes’.
        =========================

      • willard appears(in this manifestation) to believe that it is ideological persuasion acting upon Upton, when it is scientific persuasion instead. Correction: willard waves in the general direction of it all.
        ====================

      • Normative science at work.

        That’s all.

      • Somehow, on this bright, sunny Illinois Sunday, I think I would prefer to contemplate the effects of gravity on Kate Upton, than the effects of persuasion on Fred Upton.

        But if I were to ponder the effects of persuasion on those conservative conservatives like ,Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin, who have changed their minds on globalclimatewarmingchange over the years, what I would ponder would be how conservatives, when confronted with new evidence, can change their minds and admit they were wrong about something. While progressives, with a few rare exceptions, wear their inability to engage in critical analysis as a badge of honor.

      • Conservative politicians getting extra klout for their conversions:

        Normative science at work.

      • David,
        when willard has a strong case to make, he makes it.
        When the case is less strong he will point at something and say ‘See’
        when you dont see, and try to understand what he is pointing at, he will try to turn the tables on you. It’s not a very constructive approach to dialogue. But then he might not be interested in dialogue. That’s ok. Think of him as a cryptic version of Hank Roberts.

      • Next time I’ll have the opportunity to show David’s façade, I’ll try to be as clear as possible.

      • It’s only a fresh wound.
        ========

      • Willard

        Seriously, you have never tried to be as clear as possible. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver or have no intention of delivering. Half of the charm is figuring out what you mean.

      • Mosh,

        “As clear as possible” is relative, of course, but here would be one instance:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/AboutTruism

        A more recent example would be the episode about “où est le boeuf?”

        Imagine you’re a King’s Indian Saemisch player. It takes a while until the position is established, but if you play sound moves and keep on the look out for the cheap tricks, your space advantage wins by itself. This ain’t easy, but it works.

    • blueice2hotsea

      willard -

      [Barton] didn’t trouble himself explaining what real-world data he was referring to. Record temperatures?

      You have provided a cynical rhetorical answer to your own question. But what should record temperatures tell us?

      Roughly. The temperature range of the moon: -400 F to + 250 F; Earth about +- 130 F. Note the much greater range on the moon? Yet, the avg temp of the earth is higher than the moon, even while having higher albedo.

      Of course the reason given for the higher average temp and lower record temps on earth is greenhouse gases. Again, GHG is causing both increased average temp and lower record highs (as well as higher record lows).

      Given what we KNOW, why will more GHG cause an increase in record high temps?

      • Come on now, Blue.

        The quote was about Upton’s change of faith.

      • blueice2hotsea

        willard –

        Sorry. It still looks like I quoted you and not you quoting Upton.

        Since you brought up “Record highs”, you got the invite to expound upon it. Dont’ throw a stink bomb and run away. Talk about it (record highs).

      • You quoted the journalist, Blue: everything at the right of the ‘>’ is a quote.

        Go play the science meanie with him.

      • Jes another one whose mind is made up without understanding the science. They’re a dime a dozen, me included. Upton is one whose mind has changed because his perception of the facts has changed. What would willard do, M’am?
        ===================

      • kim has no idea why Upton changed his mind
        Not that it matters much since
        Upton’s word and the Party’s line
        Just look the same.

      • It would be useful to explore why the Party’s line has changed. Sarah Palin, as long as five years ago, said something to the effect that she was not one to blame all of climate change on Man.

        Like it or not, the public’s perception of global warming, climate change, and weather weirding is subject to change as facts emerge. By Golly, what a miracle.
        ===========

      • Exploring such why questions
        Is better left to colour commentators.
        When they divest themselves in speculative histories
        Everyone win.

      • So gather round, people,
        Your fears are forlorn,
        Your guilt isn’t given
        By children unborn,
        For the times, they are a changin’.
        =============

  32. > The 2012 election maintained the balance of power in the United States Congress. The Republicans maintain a majority in the House of Representatives, and the Democrats maintain a majority in the Senate. Because of this, the 113th Congress (2013 – 2014) could be much like the 112th Congress, in which over 100 bills dealing with climate change were introduced, two of which were enacted into law.

    http://www.c2es.org/federal/congress

  33. Inhofe feels nostalgic:

    > I must say it feels like we’re back to the good old days.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/08/deja-vu-at-senate-climate-hearing.html

  34. Brandon Shollenberger | February 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Chad Wozniak, I am one of the peoplr who say humans cause global warming. In fact, I’ve written proofs of it in essays a number of times. By your rhetoric, I am either an idiotic dupe or a fraud.

    Gosh, you’ve written proofs on human cause of the 33°C Greenhouse Effect illusion?

    Guess how believeable I find that. Guess how believable others find that. Now guess how those who don’t believe it must view you.

    And how must we view those who claim illusions are real and provide proofs and argue nuances? I suggest we’re already in the company of the writer of The Emperor’s New Clothes who recognised group brainwashing for what it was.

    But maybe only those not brainwashed by the AGW Greenhouse Effect scam can see that..?

    First prove the AGWScienceFiction’s concept “Greenhouse Effect” exists.

    • David Springer

      Brandon is evidently not familiar with the definition of the word proof. He also appears to be incognizant of how ridiculous the claim was that he’d written proofs of anthropogenic global warming. I’d use more colorful language to describe such buffoonery but I have to wait for Curry to grow weary of inspecting my comments first. ;-)

  35. Q: How much good would have been accomplished in the world w/o advocacy.
    A: Less.

    Interesting that Judith continues to have a selective definition of advocacy. All good is not advocacy and all advocacy is not good.

    • How much good would the right advocacy have brought?
      More.

      The issue isnt advocacy. The issue is who should advocate and how should they advocate. Personally, I think big multi nationals should advocate by buying politicians. hehe. you see the problem with merely attacking advocacy and merely promoting it.

      Judith’s argument, as I take it, is that there is real danger to science when certain forms of advocacy are promoted and/or allowed. That’s clearly a debatable point and one that quips don’t diminish.

      • steven -

        How much good would the right advocacy have brought?
        More.

        I agree completely. So the question is not about advocacy.

        Judith’s argument, as I take it, is that there is real danger to science when certain forms of advocacy are promoted and/or allowed.

        I take her argument differently: I see that her objection is to scientific advocacy contingent on the content being advocated – not the form of advocacy. The same form of advocacy seems selectively objectionable.

        As to “allowed” – I see that as non-starter. Even if I wanted to disallow some forms of advocacy (which I don’t), it isn’t consistent with our constitutional right to free speech.

        I am more than willing to debate what forms of advocacy are acceptable. Along those lines — Is Roy Spencer’s form of advocacy objectionable?

        “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

        I would absolutely love to debate Judith on that – assuming that she and I might have different perspectives.

      • WRT ” allowed.” I have no issue with organizations restricting their own advocacy so its not a free speech issue. that’s what Im hinting at.

        I think there is an interesting debate to be had on forms of advocacy.
        Maybe Judith will clarify her position, maybe you’d have no fight with her, so why assume you’d have one.

        frankly as a policy maker I’d disregard any scientist who said he had an informed view of a carbon tax or cap and trade that he wanted to share and I’d ratchet his credibility on science down as well. Any scientist stupid enough to think he has an informed view on tax policy or is stupid enough to suggest a tax policy is not smart enough to be listened to about science. Yes he gets to have his opinion on taxes, and he gets to keep his opinion to himself if he wants to retain his credibility. You might find that a bit harsh, but as a policy maker I would assume I have the right to listen to whomever I choose to. So, for example, I’d listen to hansen about the science and turn his damn microphone off when he talked about policy.

      • David Springer

        steven mosher | February 17, 2013 at 3:13 am |

        “So, for example, I’d listen to hansen about the science and turn his damn microphone off when he talked about policy.”

        Wouldn’t turning off his microphone deprive others of knowing he’s too stupid to know when to shut his mouth and then, like you, his statements on the science may be considered in light of that stupidity?

        And by the way, Hansen and Muller are interchangeable. It seems a common foible of left coast eco-loon scientists that they don’t know when to STFU.

      • This reminds me of the role of witnesses and a jury in a court trial.

        My youngest brother, who was a US Attorney, once told me that the most important thing to remember when listening to a witness or to evidence, was credibility. When I was selected to a jury in a quadruple homicide case – the contract killing of a woman, her two twin 7 yr old daughters and an unlucky 19 yr Coast Guard sailor by a Hells Angel member – all of the evidence was circumstancial. Basically testimony by convicted murderers, rapists, drug dealers and Deputy & Assistent Wardens and Guard Capitains.

        The former group testified for the prosecution. The latter for the defense. On the face of it, it would appear to be pretty simple to assign crediability. Except one would be wrong.

        Moving back to Congressional testimony and advocacy – any scientist whom I thought was coming from a position of advocacy would be one whose credibility I would discount.

        Other behaviors or testimony to which would indicate little cause for credibility:

        1) Claiming weather we are experiencing has anything to do with climate change.

        2) Any attempt to link “extreme” weather to climate change.

        3) Claims that climate change has already resulted in over 300,000 deaths and will create 50 million climate refugees.

        4) Claims we will experience sea level rises on order of 10 feet to 10 meters by the end of this century.

        I could go on.

        What would be interesting is for a group to put up a mock trial of climate change. The jury would be selected just as for any other major court case. Both sides would present expert witnesses and physical evidence. The jury would decide.

        One thing this might do is show how dependant climate science is on model projections.

    • Joshua

      You state that “All good is not advocacy and all advocacy is not good.”

      No one could argue with that.

      To your other point that “less good would have been accomplished without advocacy”, one could argue that less evil would also have been accomplished without advocacy.

      An example today.

      A few years ago several green advocacy groups, like WWF and Greenpeace lobbied heavily against nuclear power generation.

      Now it has become obvious that there is no short- to medium-term alternate to large scale fossil fuel fired electrical power generation other than nuclear power.

      So the advocates are now quietly backing off on their opposition to nuclear power in order to cut back human CO2 emissions.

      So what was “bad” a few years ago, has now become “good”.

      The problem is that the past lobbying was so successful that the general population and politicians in many countries are totally brainwashed against nuclear power – so the “evil” has been done, even though it all started (supposedly) with “good” intentions.

      Max

  36. I am impressed with Dr. Lackey’s normative science essay and endorse his suggestion: “Provide facts, probabilities and analysis, but avoid normative science. Scientists have much to offer the public and decision-makers but also have much to lose when they practice stealth policy advocacy.”

    Furthermore, I have been and continue to be a strong admirer of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society code of ethics (http://www.orafs.org/pdfdocs/ORAFS_codeofethics.pdf ) and especially this statement: “I recognize that my deeply held, professional convictions may conflict with the interests and convictions of others. I am obligated to be clear and honest in distinguishing between reports of results from rigorous study and my professional opinions based on observations or intuition. My professional opinions clearly so identified have value, but must not be put forward as fact. In addition, the temporal, spatial, and contextual limits of my facts and their confidence limits must be clearly acknowledged.”

    As a member of the American Meteorological Society I have become disillusioned because their direction seems to be headed away from these concepts. I was very disappointed in the recently revised Climate Change Statement because it removed important uncertainty caveat and certainly was an advocacy document. Dr. Marshall used his position in the Society to explicitly advance an advocacy position. I agree with Dr. Lackey and Dr. Pielke that these actions risk the credibility of the Society.

  37. The norm is the will of God.
    Watch thou for the Mutant.

    H/t John Wynham o Ye Mutants.

  38. I’m annoyed enough to repost this from above. I admit it. Tetchy.
    ___

    David Wojick | February 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    Doing normative science, such as being an expert witness, is not the same activity as doing scientific research. No one thinks it is.

    pokerguy | February 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    Kindly give me a break. Obviously not. The problem is that a scientist with a policy agenda can’t be trusted to do unbiased research. They are not the same thing, but the two activities can’t take place in a vacuum. One influences the other.

    • And I’m disappointed with Mosher’s comment at Feb 16 8.49 pm. Mosh, I’ve replied to it above.

    • Poker, I will then repeat my reply. You seem to be advocating that any researcher who does policy related things like being an expert witness should have their research funding terminated because they cannot be trusted to do unbiased research, whatever that means. This amounts to trying to eliminate the science and policy interface. The proposal is preposterous. If anything we want to increase and improve that interface.

  39. The temperature has gone up/down xxx degrees, or the temperature was yyy degrees yesterday and today it is zzz degrees could all be true, but they reveal something about the person who chooses one of the above expressions over the other.

    On the face of it, it might seem a ridiculous question, but is an obsessive use of anomalies either a cause, or a result, of normative science? (or just lazy journalism).

  40. Normative science involved in normative long term policy making
    is a problemo. Central long term planning -ter – what – end? As
    the perceptive Hayek noted, the social goal or common purpose fer
    which society is ter be organised is jest too indefinite ter determine
    a particular course of action. (Ch5 Road ter Serfdom.)

    We’ve travelled far from the tribal societies of primitive man, bound
    by fixed tribal rituals and taboos. We have no fixed, all encompassing
    moral code and the attempt ter treat all economic activity according
    to a single plan must fail ter meet the needs,or deeds, of a whole
    society, seems ter me.. Plato, fer all his human classifications, ‘you
    go there,’ was unable ter prescribe imaginatively fer all of us with
    his ‘thou shalt … thou shalt not …’

    One of the serfs.

    • Beth Cooper,

      Don’t you know? The central purpose of centralizing power in the government is “fairness.” Now, if you want to know what the central planners mean by fairness, you will have to be patient. They will tell you, right after they have the power they seek.

  41. Say Steve Mosher @ 3.27am on – the – dot,
    Counter examples constructed in 2 seconds takin’ place against
    the shiftin’ of continents and times wing-ed chariot? )

  42. Know your enemy, which is the enemy of science.

    http://www.thehiddenevil.com/psychopathy.asp

    “Later when I’m explaining how psychopaths always mask themselves when seeking positions of power, it will help to remember the following: If a rational person tries to apply their logic while trying to understand the reason for an objective or act of a psychopath, they will fail. This will be explained in more detail later. Likewise, when a rational person hears of the possibility that a massive lie has been told to a population by a trusted leader, and they attempt to use their logic to determine weather or not such a lie is possible, they will usually not believe the truth (that they have fallen for a huge lie).

    “The reason for this is that although most of us can identify with small lies, we find it difficult to conclude that such a massive lie is possible. When I use the term massive lie, I don’t just mean a complete falsehood regarding a major event, but also the scope of its influence (global) and the amount of people that have fallen for it.”

    ..

    “The mocking and controlling behavior exhibited by these federal agencies against their targets, appears to be part of the manipulative cycling which Dr. Meloy speaks of. This makes even more sense when we consider Dr. Lobaczewski’s premise, which states that the controlling psychopathic faction of a society (the financial elite), will recruit lower-level psychopaths to do their bidding. These lower-level deviants naturally seek employment in law enforcement, security, the military, politics, or other positions which they believe will offer them power.”

    The con of AGW and its Greenhouse Effect illusion was set up by pychopaths and deliberately introduced into the education system to dumb down the general population – who now think visible light from the Sun is heat and that no real heat from the Sun reaches Earth and that a trace gas practically all hole in the atmosphere is capable of being a thermal blanket ..

    “Summary
    A small portion of the population have a psychological makeup which is much different than most. They are completely aware of their difference. They also know that most people are not aware of this profound separation.”

    Pyschopaths know they are different, until the rest of us know they are different we will continue to be caught up in their machinations using science as their vehicle to control – embarrassing as it may first appear, it is vitally important for normal people to see they have been conned about “AGW global warming”.

  43. Judith Curry

    Thanks for a very interesting and timely post.

    “Normative science” (as I understand it) is the emphasis by scientists on scientific findings, which support a particular political agenda, while suppressing or outright ignoring those that do not.

    This is a natural human trait, but it is one that should be avoided by scientists.

    It is the basis for the IPCC “consensus process”, which has been discussed extensively elsewhere.

    The last paragraph of Robert Lackey’s essay on normative science tells it all.

    Scientific information must remain a cornerstone of public policy decisions, but I offer cautionary guidance to scientists: Get involved in policy deliberations, but play the appropriate role. Provide facts, probabilities and analysis, but avoid normative science. Scientists have much to offer the public and decision-makers but also have much to lose when they practice stealth policy advocacy.

    The story that AGW has resulted in an increase of extreme weather events, which will increase even further in the future is being told by IPCC in its AR4 WGI SPM report, but also by scientists, such as Kevin Trenberth, James E. Hansen, etc.

    Your summary of AGW and extreme weather events is pretty clear:

    In a nutshell here is the state of the science (here I focus on the US as Shepherd did):
     US floods have not increased over a century or longer (same globally).
     US hurricane landfall frequency or intensity have not increased (in US for over a century or longer).
     US intense hurricane landfalls are currently in the longest drought (7 years+) ever documented.
     US tornadoes, especially the strongest ones, have not increased since at least 1950.
     US drought has decreased since the middle of the past century.
     US East Cost Winter Storms show no trends (here also).
     Disaster losses normalized for societal changes show no residual trends (US, other regions or globally).
     Trends in the costs of disasters are not a proxy for trends in climate phenomena.

    This list with the cited references provides pretty compelling evidence that all the ballyhoo about increasing extreme weather events resulting from AGW is not based on fact, but is simply fear-mongering.

    In this case we have dissemination of a direct falsehood to sell a political agenda.

    I would consider this to be a step beyond “normative science”.

    Max

    • Max, I think there are a number of CAGW counter arguments and trends so your claim of direct falsehood is unsupportable. Has not Dr. Curry herself published on the increase in strong hurricanes? This is an honest debate.

      • David

        I have seen the IPCC AR4 reasoning on heat waves, heavy rain, tropical cyclones, extreme high sea levels, etc. (which is primarily “based expert judgment rather than formal attribution studies” – i.e. next to worthless) but nothing else.

        I have also seen the old study by our hostess on hurricanes, which is apparently superseded by new data. Do you have links to any other studies specifically showing increased incidence or severity of extreme weather events as a result of AGW?

        Thanks.

        Max

      • Max, since I make my living as a expert I do not agree that expert opinion is nearly worthless. It is just a matter of understanding its limits in any given case, often via disagreement.

        As for the rest attribution is not the immediate issue, just trends. I am sure AR4 has lots of citations, plus the IPCC and USGCRP both have special studies on this. There is a genuine scientific debate here. Accusing your opponent of lying is counter productive.

      • See Ryan Maue’s graph of Accumulated Cyclone Energy.
        =============

      • David

        The “truthful” answer is simply:

        “We do not know whether or not there was or will be significant warming from human GHG emissions, nor do we know whether or not any warming that might have resulted or would result in the future could cause any changes in the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events”.

        That’s what the limited data out there show.

        Any testimony other than that is not “truthful”.

        Knowing that you have much more to do with politicians and this type of testimony than I do, I appreciate that “truthfulness” is not necessarily what politicians are after when they request “expert testimony”.

        And “bending the truth” is often what is requested.

        But that does not change the fact that basically it is lying.

        Max

      • I consciously suggest that David’s been unconsciously suggested that the increased severity meme is valid. However:

        Does increased energy in the system increase severity, or

        Does the lesser differential polar/equatorial decrease severity?

        And, what about the recent study showing increased severity at the onset of glaciation and deglaciation? Just where we in that timeline, Major Tom?
        ================

      • David

        As I thought, you have no specific study results to back your statement that there are data out there supporting the posit that human GHG emissions have led or will lead to increased frequency or intensity of intense weather events.

        As IPCC tells it, it’s all “based on expert judgment rather than formal attribution studies”.

        Sorry. NO SALE.

        Max

      • manacker

        Heat waves.

        Extreme weather events.

        Fully referenced articles.

        For drought projections, see Dai (2012).

        Key figures from Dai (2012).

      • kim

        And, what about the recent study showing increased severity at the onset of glaciation and deglaciation? Just where we in that timeline, Major Tom?

        See Archer & Ganopolski (2005). I believe I’ve linked this study for you once or twice already. I may even have suggested that it’s time you actually read it. Allow me to repeat that suggestion ;-)

      • BBD

        I am confused. I thought the data showed there has not been an increase in observed extreme weather events.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/climatic-phenomena-pages/extreme-weather-page/

        Do you have some other information? Is it more reliable in your opinion to believe a model that forecasts that extreme weather events will increase or to look at the observed conditions that show there has not been an increase?

      • Rob Starkey

        This just in: Coumou et al. (2013)

      • k scott denison

        BBD – what percentage of your net worth would you be willing to wager that there is a direct link between CO2 and extreme weather events?

      • BBD

        LOL- your proof is a link to something about warming not extreme weather events. Warming in an of itself is not a problem. The potential problems are what might happen as a result.

      • Is a heatwave not an extreme weather event?

      • lolwot

        generally no

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We are used to seeing relatively short term analysis of hydrology – typically from the 1950′s which is when data becomes more available. It was still lacking in many parts of the world however. Too little too late – much longer and much better data is needed to distinguish large scale natural variability from any modest changes due to greehouse gases.

        Hopelessy limited by data – and really the chaotic models are not much use for anything.

        ‘The wetting trend over the USA results from the upward trend from the 1950s to the 1990s; thereafter, the USA as a whole has become drier (Supplementary Fig. S6a). These multidecadal variations are linked to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO; ref. 28), which switched to a warm phase with above-normal SSTs in the tropical Pacific around 1977 and entered a cold phase around 1999 (refs 19, 28; Supplementary Fig. S6b). The IPO has major influences on US precipitation and drought, especially over the southwest USA (ref. 28; Supplementary Fig. S6). As the IPO cycles in the twentieth century (Supplementary Fig. S6b) do not follow any known anthropogenic forcing, to a large extent they are likely to be unforced natural cycles that depend on the initial conditions of the coupled models and thus are generally irreproducible.’

        This and other factors are really quite evident from patterns of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure. The US in for a very dry time over decades to come at least.

        ‘…and increasing drought (Figs 5c and 2b) may be likely over most of the Americas, southern Europe, southern and central Africa, Australia and southeast Asia as the GHG-induced warming continues in the twenty-first century, although the ability of the models to simulate the precipitation and PDSI changes over these regions has yet to be validated.’

        It certainly has yet to be validated and may at best be probabilistic. I would forecast increased rainfall from the ‘unforced’ cycles of the IPO in Australia, Asia and southern and central Africa over centuries. And I have provided millennial scale proxies from the literature many times.

      • Rob Starkey

        As usual, the contrarian muddle is causing problems. Let’s try and sort out the mess.

        - The frequency of extreme weather events is expected to rise during *this* century as the climate system warms

        - Extreme weather events *do* include heat waves (obviously, duh), plus precipitation and drought.

        - Looking at twentieth century weather tells us very little about twenty-first century weather, which is why contrarians are always doing it.

        - Given all the above, establishing that the frequency and intensity of extreme hot weather events is increasing (Coumou 2013) is a necessary precursor to projected increases in extremes over the course of the C21st.

        - Extreme precipitation events and heat waves have been frequent during the first twelve years of the C21st. Perhaps it would be wise to keep an open mind about what will happen as over the next nine decades and beyond under continuing GHG forcing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The climate system shoes extreme natural variability – and the limits of variability are not captured by the instrumental record. Nonetheless – there is no suggestion that rainfalls or dry periods have increased over the entire 20th century. This is for Australia – but it is similar elsewhere where reasonable records exist.

        http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/extremes/timeseries.cgi?graph=R99p&ave_yr=0

        http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/extremes/timeseries.cgi?graph=CDDs&ave_yr=0

        “The merged satellite and in situ GPCP global precipitation annual averages were examined for 1979–2004. Most variations are associated with ENSO and have no trend. A separate mode of variation shows a trend over the period. Testing indicates that this trend is significant and is not caused by data inhomogeneities. The trend mode is associated with simultaneous tropical SST variations over the period, with increased tropical precipitation over the Pacific and Indian Oceans associated with local warming of the SSTs. Increased precipitation in some regions is balanced by decreased precipitation in other regions, and the global average change is near zero. Although the trend mode is strong for this period, the record length is barely long enough to begin evaluation of interdecadal variations.” https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2006/04/03/new-global-precip-papers-trend-is-zero-or-positive/

        There is evidence as well that greenhouse gases were a minor contributer to recent warming. Unless there is an ability to distinguish natural from the residual – it is all pointless and silly armwaving.

      • there is no suggestion that rainfalls or dry periods have increased over the entire 20th century. This is for Australia – but it is similar elsewhere where reasonable records exist.

        First, ‘there is no suggestion’ is simply incorrect. See Donat et al. (2013) Updated analyses of temperature and precipitation extreme indices since the beginning of the twentieth century: The HadEX2 dataset and John Nielsen-Gammon’s discussion of Sheffield vs. Dai on C20th drought trends.

        Second, what you say is to miss the point, which was:

        - Looking at twentieth century weather tells us very little about twenty-first century weather, which is why contrarians are always doing it.

      • There is evidence as well that greenhouse gases were a minor contributer to recent warming.

        Are you thinking of Zhou & Tung? Because if you are, I’m still waiting to see if you can spot the problem with their analysis.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You can stop repeating your inane questions – take it that I am not here for your studid questions.

        ‘Results showed widespread significant changes in temperature extremes consistent with warming, especially for those indices derived from daily minimum temperature over the whole 110 years of record but with stronger trends in more recent decades. Seasonal results showed significant warming in all seasons but more so in the colder months. Precipitation indices also showed widespread and significant trends, but the changes were much more spatially heterogeneous compared with temperature changes. However, results indicated more areas with significant increasing trends in extreme precipitation amounts, intensity and frequency than areas with decreasing trends.’

        Rainfall distributions change with large scale ocean and atmospheric patterns. It is called hydrology.

        Warming is neither here not there – most recent warming was quite natural. One would wonder why therefore precipitation becomes an issue. Changes in both temperature and precipitation do occur but the problem of data remains. One problem is that data tends to be in developed countries. Good rainfall data is sparse before the 1950′s in most places and that is too short a record for decadal inferences.

        You assume that things will change – and they certainly will. But most of it is quite natural.

        The reference is Tung and Zhou 2013 – http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/22/1212471110.abstract – and not Zhou and Tung. I have told you this already – and if you can’t get it right what credibility do you have?

        Again I say if you have a peer reviewed rebuttal – feel free – otherwise stfu.

        Elsewhere of course there is a wealth of evidence of impacts of large scale ocean and atmosphere patterns influencing decadal temperature trajectories.

      • CP

        You can stop repeating your inane questions – take it that I am not here for your studid questions.

        There is evidence that both precipitation and drought have increased. You were mistaken above.

        The reference is Tung and Zhou 2013 – http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/22/1212471110.abstract – and not Zhou and Tung. I have told you this already – and if you can’t get it right what credibility do you have?

        They are referencing themselves: Zhou & Tung (2013). It doesn’t matter which paper we use; my credibility remains intact.

        Again I say if you have a peer reviewed rebuttal – feel free – otherwise stfu.

        TZ/ZT confuses cause and effect. AMO is treated as cause rather than effect. Turn your nose up at blog science all you like, but can you show me where Tamino is wrong? Otherwise we are left with TZ/ZT regressing the AMO against global temperature and getting a borked result.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah duh,

        You use a paper that indicates that decreases in rainfall in some places might be more extensive than increases elsewhere – and that in many of these places the IPO is responsible. It is clearly the case rainfall redistributes globally as a result of these large scale and natural changes in ocean and atmospheric patterns. The IPO, PNA, AMO, IOD, SAM, NAM, etc. I gave you a link to that effect. It is certainly not clear that global totals have changed – there is a trend to more rainfall but none that is statistically significant. The differences are so minute if discernible at all that we are entitled to ignore them. You make too much of one paper – and make sweeping and incorrect claims about its import and do nothing in terms of comparing and contrasting. Also that it warmed recently. Now there be some who dispute that – but it is not me.

        I clearly don’t think you have the nouse to understand what you are putting forward as definitive studies.

        The reference I gave was to Tung and Zhou from the PNAS – not something you think is the same. This paper is accessible for US$10 – but the abstract is all that most people need – the ‘underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade, with superimposed AMO-related ups and downs that included the early 20th century warming, the cooling of the 1960s and 1970s, the accelerated warming of the 1980s and 1990s, and the recent slowing of the warming rates. Quantitatively, the recurrent multidecadal internal variability, often underestimated in attribution studies, accounts for 40% of the observed recent 50-y warming trend.’

        The satellite evidence – that we have discussed – suggests they are wrong and anthropogenic warming was even more minor. But for the Ponce from the Magic Flute to suggest the AMO is caused by anthropogenic warming is nonsense of stupendous proportions. Not even worth considering beyond the headline – especially compared to peer reviewed science. So I have answered your stupid question – I gave you a link tracing the AMO back many hundreds of years. So please not to repeat it. It was idiotic the first time.

        But the world is not warming for decades hence. You know what that means blah blah? It means you lose.

      • Chief Proctologist

        You make too much of one paper

        Ha ha ha. Self-awareness really isn’t your thing is it CP?

        What have we learned today?

        - We have learned that you can’t understand a paper which states, in the abstract that:

        Precipitation indices also showed widespread and significant trends, but the changes were much more spatially heterogeneous compared with temperature changes. However, results indicated more areas with significant increasing trends in extreme precipitation amounts, intensity and frequency than areas with decreasing trends.

        - We have learned that you are going to ignore Dai’s work on trends in global drought because, like Donat, it demonstrates that you are wrong. Again!

        - We have learned that you haven’t bothered to read the TZ/ZT references properly and bluster like a big kid when your carelessness is exposed!

        - We have learned that you aren’t able to understand that a non-linear change in forcing over the C20th that contaminates the AMO can’t be removed by applying a linear regression to the AMO – and that means TZ/ZT is *wrong*.

        - In summary, we have learned (as I told you some time ago, if you remember) that you aren’t as smart as you think you are.

        - Finally, we have again witnessed that when your errors are pointed out you take refuge in abuse and denial! Woo! Every single time. In other words, you are a very poor loser ;-)

        Cue another screed of personal abuse, bluster, long cut’n’pastes designed to obscure rather than reveal, basic misunderstandings and outright misrepresentation, much of which will be tediously repetitive…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Blah blah blah blah blah blah bah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah bah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bah blah blah duh,

        ‘Precipitation indices also showed widespread and significant trends, but the changes were much more spatially heterogeneous compared with temperature changes. However, results indicated more areas with significant increasing trends in extreme precipitation amounts, intensity and frequency than areas with decreasing trends.’ Donat et al

        ‘The merged satellite and in situ GPCP global precipitation annual averages were examined for 1979–2004. Most variations are associated with ENSO and have no trend. A separate mode of variation shows a trend over the period. Testing indicates that this trend is significant and is not caused by data inhomogeneities. The trend mode is associated with simultaneous tropical SST variations over the period, with increased tropical precipitation over the Pacific and Indian Oceans associated with local warming of the SSTs. Increased precipitation in some regions is balanced by decreased precipitation in other regions, and the global average change is near zero. Although the trend mode is strong for this period, the record length is barely long enough to begin evaluation of interdecadal variations.” https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2006/04/03/new-global-precip-papers-trend-is-zero-or-positive/

        You use a paper that indicates that decreases in rainfall in some places might be more extensive than increases elsewhere – and that in many of these places the IPO is responsible. It is clearly the case that rainfall redistributes globally as a result of these large scale and natural changes in ocean and atmospheric patterns. The IPO, PNA, AMO, IOD, SAM, NAM, etc. I gave you a link to that effect. It is certainly not clear that global totals have changed – there is a trend to more rainfall but none that is statistically significant. The differences are so minute if discernible at all that we are entitled to ignore them. You make too much of one paper – and make sweeping and incorrect claims about its import and do nothing in terms of comparing and contrasting.

        Many people have regressed recent temperature rises – to obtain similar results to Tung and Zhou. One of these was Swanson in that realclimate post. It is wrong. Most warming was entirely natural. It is just such an obvious result – from many lines of evidence. The world is not warming for decades hence.

        I have been quite restrained and have given you the benefit of my decades of experience in hydrology. It is quite an asymmetrical discussion yet you persist in copying a passage that I have already pasted and insist that it means something other.

        One reference repeated without understanding seemingly what it means and the rest stupid statements laced with abuse and complaints. Nothing new at all – no rational discourse. Bizarre and incredible.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘‘Precipitation indices also showed widespread and significant trends, but the changes were much more spatially heterogeneous compared with temperature changes. However, results indicated more areas with significant increasing trends in extreme precipitation amounts, intensity and frequency than areas with decreasing trends.’ Donat et al

        This is a very weak statement. Even if true of the limited available data – it is not something that is distinguisable from natural variability over these and much longer timeframes than we have evidence for. Yet you attempt to bludgeon people with it and back it up with bluster and abuse.

      • Not going to defend ZZZT?

        What about Dai (2012)?

        Still not clear about what Donat actually says? Deja vu.

        Here’s another one for you to misrepresent: Westra et al. (2012) Global increasing trends in annual maximum daily precipitation

    • Robert Lackey:

      > Scientific information must remain a cornerstone of public policy decisions, but I offer cautionary guidance to scientists: [...]

      Cautionary: Giving or serving as a warning; admonitory.

      Admonitory: Expressing admonition.

      Admonition: Mild, kind, yet earnest reproof.

      Reproof: The act, an instance, or an expression of reproving; a rebuke.

      Reproving: To voice or convey disapproval.

      Disapproval: The act of disapproving; condemnation or censure.

      Condemn: To pronounce judgment against.

      ***

      It might be tough to speak against normative science in a non-normative way.

      • You’ve recursed yourself into a tight situation.
        ==============

      • I’m not the one who argues against normative science, dear.

      • And poof, you’re out!
        =======

      • Kim might need it simpler;
        Judith gave up non-normative science to do normative science criticising normative science.

        Heck, this is normative blogging.

      • And Michael, he’s in! Let’s see the replay.
        ================

      • Willard

        Your tortuous progression from “cautionary” to “condemnation” reminds me of a game children play in school, forming a circle the first child whispers a word into the ear of the next child, and this continues until it comes back to the first child.

        By that time the word has changed so many times that it is no longer recognizable.

        Max

      • MiniMax refuses an engineer-level derivation showing that “to caution” can mean “to pronounce judgement against.”

      • Willard

        Let’s play your silly word game.

        caution => advise => encourage => strengthen => support

        Sounds a bit different from “condemn”

        It’s the children’s game, Willie, not an “engineer-level derivation”.

        Max

      • To caution implies the use of a norm, MiniMax.

        You can’t beat this.

        How many losses are you willing to endure?

      • ‘It might be tough to speak against normative science in a non-normative way.”

        hmm. i’ll try.

        normative science fails to generate consensus amongst sufficiently skeptical consumers.

        essentially it doesnt work very well with tough crowds.

        Of course, this implies the normative assumption that one presents science because one wants to convince people of something rather than just cataloging facts as if they were insects.

        In short, if your goal is to convince a tough crowd of your scientific views, it’s less than optimal to stray from that goal by extending your remarks to areas that are explicitly policy oriented: ‘ our study of tree rings indicates that we need a carbon tax” kind of funny when you cut out all the connective tissue in between.

      • k scott denison

        Mosher: you hit the nail on the head with that one. Here is a question back: if it is clear that normative science doesn’t do we’ll with skeptics as you say, and consensus scientists are obviously very bright, the why would they continue to present normative science? My guess: they have nothing else to argue with.

        It’s like the old saying about the law: when the facts are against you, argue the law…

      • “Less than optimal” sound normative to me.

        “Tough crowd” also brings some interesting connotations.

      • No willard less than optimal is descriptive. It describes how well somethings works. The normative part is “if you want to generate consensus”
        So, I’m suggesting that if your purpose is to inform and convince, then you want to use a method that works best. And the evidence is that , explicit normative statements from scientists, tend, more often than not, to decrease the probability of generating consensus, especially in the rhetorical situation of providing scientific evidence before congress, an audience that may have a strong belief in the possibility of non normative scientific disccourse.
        However, if your goal is not to inform and not to generate consensus, if your goal is for example to confuse and to generate division, then the best method is to make explicit normative statements: “Hi, i’m jim Hansen,climate scientist, I think the science shows we must adopt a carbon tax. That, evidence, suggests does not lead to consensus and it does little for civility.
        To the extent that all communication is an attempt to control, influence, channel, reinforce, the behavior of others, we can never really purge communication of the normative. However, certain forms of normative discourse are better than other forms in achieving their end. The speaker audience relationship in a congressional hearings, where the audience may react to overt normative statements by scienctists, is such that the best rhetorical practice may be to avoid as much as possible overt normative statements.

      • Scott denision.

        I don’t know why they continue with overt normative statements.
        It’s clear that in some situations stealth advocacy would work better.
        principally because it traps your opponent into making claims about conspiracy and claims about motives which makes them look less objective. The notion, hinted at by some, that we cannot escape normative discourse, is really trivially true and beside the point.
        The point is what kinds of normative discourse work best given the rhetorical situation. And yes “working” is normative. I assume that people want to achieve ends with their discourse ( even kim has a purpose ).
        Put another way, we all share that motive which puts it in a different class of normative statements.Nobody objects to me having a purpose in communicating.
        The fact that normative discourse is inescapable does justify all forms of normative discourse in all situations.
        I try to judge things by how well they work. The current mode of normative discourse aint working. Some folks need to realize that forms of denialism are not limited to one side of this debate.

      • Errata:

        ‘The fact that normative discourse is inescapable does justify all forms of normative discourse in all situations.”

        DOES NOT JUSTIFY

      • if it is clear that normative science doesn’t do we’ll with skeptics as you say,

        There are “skeptics” of all sorts, and their determination of “well” is contingent on their starting beliefs.

        Some “skeptics” like the normative from “skeptics” and dislike the “normative” from “realists.”

        Some “realists” like the the normative from “realists,” and dislike the “normative” from “skeptics.”

        The problems are exacerbated when people are selective in what they determine to be “normative,” and further, when they are closed to their own selectivity.

        The problem is when people adopt the selectively-reasoned principle I described above, and will describe again:

        All good is not advocacy and all advocacy is not good.

      • You’re shifting from the conceptual to the rhetorical, Mosh.

        On the rhetorical level, sounding more business-like might be a better strategy in congress, if only to create an aura of INTEGRITY ™. But your observation still carries that prescription: if you want to have INTEGRITY ™ in congress, try to sound business-like.

        On the conceptual level, this business-like strategy only hides the prescription. Compare (1) AGW is real and we should seek to implement a carbon-tax with (2) AGW is real; a carbon tax might reduce its long-term effects. The conceptual difference between (1) and (2) is not that (1) is normative, while (2) is not.

        The question we should ask ourselves should be this one: on what authority can you say (1) or (2)? All this is in Toulmin’s **Uses of Argument**. This is very basic.

        John NG says something along these lines there:

        http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2013/02/scientific-meta-literacy/

        ***

        Here’s Hansen’s 1988 testimony, btw:

        http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2008/06/23/ClimateChangeHearing1988.pdf

        I don’t see any carbon tax there.

      • The political climate science spokespeople have been preaching tipping points, it’s worse than we thought, no time left for delaying action for the last 15- to 25-years. They continue to present Normative Science because their pride won’t let them back down now.

        It would be an admission that they were wrong and/or hysterical. They are in up to their necks and will ride it out to retirement.

      • willard:

        ‘You’re shifting from the conceptual to the rhetorical, Mosh.”

        Huh. I’m a lanhamite. The conceptual is rhetorical.
        you think that thought exists outside rhetorical structure? Nice piece of rhetoric that.

      • Willard. I’m not referring to Hansens 88 testimony. Pointing at it is a lack of charity on your part. had you tried to make the most sense of what I wrote you would have

        1. Seen it as an example, not a citation.
        2. Looked at those places where hansen details his ideas on taxation.

        I’ll return to the other misunderstandings in a bit. But try not to derail with that kind of nonsense again

      • Moshpit,

        Twas just an example too…

        An example that might even be relevant.

        Please beware that, contrary to what you said elsewhere, my conciseness does not always conceal a weak case:

        http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/bigcat.htm

      • “Twas just an example too…

        An example that might even be relevant.”

        Implying that it might be relevant doesn’t make it relevant, and doesn’t address the observation I made about your lack of charity and what appeared to be an attempt to divert attention from the point my example was making. Yes, it too might be an example. My response to you is
        “Apples.”

        dont assume the conciseness of the response represents a weak case.

      • and willard you resemble

        http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/artfuldodger.htm

        on occasion.

        you realize that on the internet, you don’t get to define your character. eye of the beholder ya know.

      • Willard.

        “On the rhetorical level, sounding more business-like might be a better strategy in congress, if only to create an aura of INTEGRITY ™. But your observation still carries that prescription: if you want to have INTEGRITY ™ in congress, try to sound business-like.”

        “On the conceptual level, this business-like strategy only hides the prescription. Compare (1) AGW is real and we should seek to implement a carbon-tax with (2) AGW is real; a carbon tax might reduce its long-term effects. The conceptual difference between (1) and (2) is not that (1) is normative, while (2) is not.”

        you have a weird concept of what it means to sound business like.
        I’ll assume that you have been in business meetings and you just forgot how people conduct themselves. You are responsible for certain answers and keep your mouth shut about stuff outside your scope of authority.
        I dont tell legal how to do their job. They dont tell me how to do mine.
        A business scientist would say:

        3. AGW is real. The long term effects might be diminished by cutting emissions. As a physical scientist it is outside my realm of expertise to recommend or evaluate the various policy options toward this end.

        So, in a business like environment many folks understand that they need to provide information with as few “side effects” as possible. Legal guys may have an opinion about the color of my box, but they are paid to keep that to themselves. They get to comment on the copy and claims.

      • Moshpit,

        I don’t recall ever having to dodge any of your slap shots. If you believe so, you are not the great reader of character you think you are. Perhaps you are confusing with when I just watch the pucks going on the board and into the crowd, like this idea that I somehow believe that “thought exists outside rhetorical structure”, i.e. they are autonomous, whereas I simply claim that they are different, i.e. what you say is not only how you say it.

        Please do not confuse me with Junior. I am making every effort in the world to counter each and every argument thrown at me. I will prove this again, below.

      • > Implying that it might be relevant doesn’t make it relevant, and doesn’t address the observation I made about your lack of charity and what appeared to be an attempt to divert attention from the point my example was making.

        First, not only I did imply it was relevant, I claim it. First, you mentioned Congress:

        > [E]xplicit normative statements from scientists, tend, more often than not, to decrease the probability of generating consensus, especially in the rhetorical situation of providing scientific evidence before congress.

        Pending evidence, but nevermind for the moment.

        ***

        Second, you mentioned Hansen here:

        > [I]f your goal is for example to confuse and to generate division, then the best method is to make explicit normative statements: “Hi, i’m jim Hansen,climate scientist, I think the science shows we must adopt a carbon tax.

        Connecting the two ideas (which follow one another in your comment) suffice to show the relevance of referring to Hansen’s testimony before Congress, and of implying that it might apply a bit more to the first case than to the second. His **Storm of my Grandchildren** might even be kosher, considering that it might not target any “tough crowd” at all.

        ***

        Third, I don’t think I need to respond to your accusation of lacking in charity, if all you have is your word for it. I believe I just did anyway, while unpacking why you should not seek more clarity from me.

        You are skating on very thin ice right now, Moshpit. What you’re doing with Hansen is inappropriate and tasteless. I can dig that you don’t like carbon schemes, but please get hold of yourself.

      • > [In a business-like setting, y]ou are responsible for certain answers and keep your mouth shut about stuff outside your scope of authority.

        Exactly. I agree with that. This should not come as a surprise, since I introduced the concept of authority. The question should be: do we always try to speak as if we were in a business setting?

        What about this blog post, for instance?

        ***

        My example, by the way, was an abstraction to illustrate my observation that even business-like statements can get interpreted normatively in a deliberative process. I used (1) and (2) to show that. This practice has currency in analytical philosophy.

        By the way, I did not have Hansen in mind when I used my example, and so did not presume any authority or lack therof. In fact, I searched for Hansen’s testimony because I was wondering what were his formal statements and compare them to what I’ve written. This is the first time I had the incentive to read it.

        So thank you for that.

      • In a business-like setting, y]ou are responsible for certain answers and keep your mouth shut about stuff outside your scope of authority.

        I don’t agree with that. One of the most frequent questions I’ve heard from international executives is why do Americans, in a business environment, always pontificate so much about things outside their scope of expertise and authority. In fact, sometimes international businesspeople deliberately exploit that tendency among American businesspeople – so they as to gain information while divulging little in return.

        This goes back to selective reasoning: The advocates I agree with aren’t advocates. The only advocates here are those I don’t agree with. The people I agree with aren’t speaking beyond their areas of expertise. The people I don’t agree with are speaking from beyond their areas of expertise.

        The climate wars are unpredictable in some ways – but the assignation of negative characteristics tends to be very, very predicable.

      • You seem to be disagreeing about a statement of fact, Joshua, whereas I read it as a prescription.

      • It was not a statement of fact, Joshua, but a prescription.

      • Joshua
        “I don’t agree with that. One of the most frequent questions I’ve heard from international executives is why do Americans, in a business environment, always pontificate so much about things outside their scope of expertise and authority. ”

        I suppose you have to distinguish between a meeting of equals and what happens in a normal functioning business.
        I’m talking about the latter. If I call in the lawyers for an opinion on the copy I wrote, they dont get to change adjectives. And they know enough not to step on my turf or even make suggestions.

        Now, if I meeting with another businessman from another company of course I am going to try to dominate. OF course I am going to attempt to gain authority where I have none. Two different situations.

      • “The question should be: do we always try to speak as if we were in a business setting?”

        No, I dont think that is the question. That question is silly because the answer is obvious and it gets us nowhere.

        Here is what you said

        “On the conceptual level, this business-like strategy only hides the prescription. Compare (1) AGW is real and we should seek to implement a carbon-tax with (2) AGW is real; a carbon tax might reduce its long-term effects. The conceptual difference between (1) and (2) is not that (1) is normative, while (2) is not.”

        And I pointed out that #2 is not businesslike. Today we have Hansen Opining:
        ‘On Monday, I finally spoke to Hansen. His knowledge and sincerity are easy to admire, even if his tactics are not. He told me he would like to see oil companies pay a fee, which would rise annually, based on carbon emissions. He said that such a tax could reduce emissions by 30 percent within 10 years.”

        And I explained what businesslike might look like.
        3. AGW is real. The long term effects might be diminished by cutting emissions. As a physical scientist it is outside my realm of expertise to recommend or evaluate the various policy options toward this end.

        Now there is nothing on gods green earth that prevents a scientist from saying these words. And there is nothing that compels him to blather on about the effects of taxes. My point is simple. If hansen thinks a carbon tax is great, his best rhetoricial option is to keep his mouth shut about that and play the integrity game ” I’m Jim hansen, scientist, my options about taxes don’t matter, my knowledge about the climate does. Find a way to cut emissions. That’s the challenge that science gives to you policy makers. Don’t fail.”

        The other day I was talking to a nobel prize winner. And asked him his opinion on something I was working on.

        NPW: “ya know, mosh. I try to avoid the trap that other nobel prize winners have fallen into”
        Mosh; “whats that”
        NPW: You win that damn prize and then everybody expects you to be smart about everything. So, I have no opinion. But keep asking questions, I’ll answer when you touch on a topic where I have expertise.
        Mosh: ah, ok, best thai food in town?

      • I suppose you have to distinguish between a meeting of equals and what happens in a normal functioning business.

        Fair distinction – and in balance I think the distinction is valid. As such, your point stands.

        But I still think you’re being too categorical. For example (by way of a simplified caricature): Japanese executives have said to me that they don’t understand why Americans waste so much time in meetings – and I’m talking here about meetings here that are not just a group of people with equal authority. In Japan (so they have told me), everyone works on their responsibilities individually and then reports back to the boss who gathers the information and makes the decision. (And an interesting connection to that is that even though they weren’t responsible for the actual decision, people further down the chain of authority will take the heat for the boss if the boss makes the wrong decision).

        These execs of opined that In the States, we spend ridiculous amounts of time exchanging opinions and reactions, with those lower down on the chain of authority offering their views on how the information should be interpreted. This goes back to complex embedded social structures — views towards authority, the permeability of hierarchical distinctions, attitudes towards the value of divergent and creative thinking, attitudes about bottom-up vs. top-down processes, etc.

        In fact, the very point of distinction is, in some ways, the acceptability (and value accorded ) in an American context for authority and expertise to be challenged. I’m fairly agnostic about the relative merits of the distinctions in the working models – but many Japanese have made it a deliberate goal to adopt less rigid attitudes about authority and attitudes about power distribution in decision-making processes.

      • willard –

        As I alluded to in my comment immediately above, I think questioning authority – rather than just accepting it as a fixed power alignment – can have value. A mixture of bottom-up and top-down may be the medication that leads to optimal health outcomes.

        Ironically, what I’m speaking about there is the value of skepticism.
        In our society nothing prevents anyone from challenging whether someone else has over-stepped their authority or expertise (although some restrictions do exist).

        Let’s consider two prescriptions:

        (1) People are given the room to assert their opinions, and perhaps in the process overstep their authority and expertise. Other people are given the room to challenge the views expressed and assert that the opinions aren’t valid.

        (2) People are not given the room to assert their opinions. They are only allowed to speak to issues on which someone else (no doubt in a way that basically can only be boiled down to being arbitrary) has determined matches their level of expertise.

        I think we’d all agree that the first prescription is preferable. Wouldn’t we? Isn’t that the value of skepticism?

        What I see as the problem here is that some people want to prescribe those medicines on a selective basis. They want to prescribe the first to themselves and the second to those whose opinions they don’t agree with.

        A second problem is that succumb to conspiratorial mindsets, or become stuck in viewing themselves as “victims” of an external structure that forces them to take the second medicine while others are allowed to take the first. We see this manifest on both sides of the climate wars.

      • What’s up with the filter? I’ve tried to respond, willard – can’t seem to get anything through. Maybe one of my attempts will show up later. Otherwise I’ll try again later.

      • You seem to be disagreeing about a statement of fact, Joshua, whereas I read it as a prescription.

        Could be. So let’s move beyond debating about what is or isn’t an accurate statement of fact and look instead at what should be prescribed. As I alluded to in my comment immediately above, I think questioning authority – rather than just accepting it as a fixed power alignment – can have value. A mixture of bottom-up and top-down may be the medication that leads to optimal health outcomes.

        Ironically, what I’m speaking about there is the value of skepticism.
        In our society nothing prevents anyone from challenging whether someone else has over-stepped their authority or expertise (although some restrictions do exist).

        Let’s consider two prescriptions:

        (1) People are given the room to assert their opinions, and perhaps in the process overstep their authority and expertise. Other people are given the room to challenge the views expressed and assert that the opinions aren’t valid.

        (2) People are not given the room to assert their opinions. They are only allowed to speak to issues on which someone else (no doubt in a way that basically can only be boiled down to being arbitrary) has determined matches their level of expertise.

        I think we’d all agree that the first prescription is preferable. Wouldn’t we? Isn’t that the value of skepticism?

        What I see as the problem here is that some people want to prescribe those medicines on a selective basis. They want to prescribe the first to themselves and the second to those whose opinions they don’t agree with.

        A second problem is that succumb to conspiratorial mindsets, or become stuck in viewing themselves as “victims” of an external structure that forces them to take the second medicine while others are allowed to take the first. We see this manifest on both sides of the climate wars.

      • In case “Big Sister” (Judith, or the “eye in the sky”) is still reading – could you please delete my 10:36 and 10:37 AM (Feb. 20th) posts, if you get a chance?

      • Joshua:

        ‘But I still think you’re being too categorical. For example (by way of a simplified caricature): Japanese executives have said to me that they don’t understand why Americans waste so much time in meetings – and I’m talking here about meetings here that are not just a group of people with equal authority. In Japan (so they have told me), everyone works on their responsibilities individually and then reports back to the boss who gathers the information and makes the decision. (And an interesting connection to that is that even though they weren’t responsible for the actual decision, people further down the chain of authority will take the heat for the boss if the boss makes the wrong decision).”

        having worked with far east companies for over 20 years I have some real experience WRT the different styles that you are talking about.
        A simple example, will suffice. We have a decision to make about a product. Now as the product owner and business owner I will make the final decision. All my guys know that I will make the final decision. They all know my head is on the chopping block. And because they love me, they want me to keep my head. So we start a discussion. The emails fly fast and furious with arguments and counter arguments. The team in the far east says nothing. They are copied on this flame war that goes on for a week as my guys rip me apart and every idea I come up with. Back and forth, back and forth. One night I get a call from asian. “are you still in charge of your group?” “yes, why do you ask?” “It looks like a mutiny?” your men are disagreeing with everything you write. they show no respect. you have lost control.” I ask him what his guys think of the idea. He has no clue. They are waiting for him to decide what their position would be. So, I explain to him, In the end I make the decision. I realize that my guys know things I dont. Its why I hired them. I need my ideas tested by the sharpest arguments. There is no rank in these exercises. I let them talk freely BECAUSE I have power. They are free to disgree. In the end they have a choice: salute and follow my decision or leave. I give them freedom to make their best case. From the past they know I will change my mind if they have a strong argument. They also know that a guy who wins an argument will most likely get a promotion or get put in charge of something.
        Also, since I existed in a chain of command that was asian above me, I’m also aware of the process of just doing your work and passing your results up stairs to have a final decision made overseas.
        WRT wasting time in meetings. Hmm, they dont get the vital importance in our cultural of being allowed to speak your piece when the conditions are right. So, in a meeting I might announce “no rank.” while in other meetings rank had to be observed.
        A meeting between a japanese businessman and an amercian is a funny piece of business. I went to my first business meeting with Fijitsu and capcom alone. I thought it went great. I talked, they listened. without objection. Cool. Later my chinese boss would explain that this was not a good thing. That I had revealed too much information. Showed too much interest. So, you learn to adjust. With one boss, I never heard him speak in a meeting for over a decade. I would invite companies in to present. They would present. I would grill them. he would watch and say nothing. It freaked them out. he sat there poker faced. They always thought they had failed or given a bad presentation. “Steve, you loved our stuff, but your boss hates it” “huh, how do you know?” “he just sat there”
        “you will never get a read on him, so don’t try”
        hehe, I will say that meeting with a japanese business counterpart is vastly different than meeting with an Isreali counterpart–, let’s say one that emigrated from Russian to Isreal. That is a whole different experience. So, you learn different styles, or you learn how to shave the edges off your style, and you learn not to read a russian like a jordanian or a brit like a swede, or a indonesian like a canadian.

      • I will say that meeting with a japanese business counterpart is vastly different than meeting with an Isreali counterpart–, let’s say one that emigrated from Russian to Isreal. That is a whole different experience.

        Lol! I’ve conducted discussions with groups of execs comprising Israelis, Japanese, and Russians (among other countries).

        Fun experience, and fascinating opportunity to explore the nexus of culture, socio-pragmatics, language, and rhetorical conventions (including how information “should” be organized).

      • here willard

        “if your goal is for example to confuse and to generate division, then the best method is to make explicit normative statements: “Hi, i’m jim Hansen,climate scientist, I think the science shows we must adopt a carbon tax.”

        Connecting the two ideas (which follow one another in your comment) suffice to show the relevance of referring to Hansen’s testimony before Congress, and of implying that it might apply a bit more to the first case than to the second. His **Storm of my Grandchildren** might even be kosher, considering that it might not target any “tough crowd” at all.

        1. Its obvious that I used the conditional to show an “example” of how to generate division. Basically it’s not meant to be an exact quote but an example of how one would generate division.

        2. I wasnt referring to the 1988 testimony made no mention of the 1988 testimony. I was referring the the below.

        3. You could have asked what I was referring to rather than assuming I was talking about 1988, when we both know hansen didnt develop his tax ideas until later, so spare me playing dumb and coy.

        If you want to know what I was referring to consider the 2008 testimony where hansen describes his tax. I’ve never seen it written up, but I recall it vividly because of the neat transitional ploys. Very interesting rhetorical trick he plays.. First talking all about the science.. then at a point saying he is outside his realm of expertise, but its just common sense, then a return to the “science shows” and a quick transition to his tax plan. Shifting back and forth between areas of expertise and areas where he is outside his range, then back to science and a quick transition to the tax plan. What he violated was oppenhiemers rule: that you clearly demarcate your science from your personal judgement.

        So have a listen, to the whole thing as I dont recall the exact minute

        http://archive.org/details/Hansen080623

      • here willard

        [audio src="http://ia700200.us.archive.org/16/items/Hansen080623/Hansen_080623_Testimony.mp3" /]

      • Willard
        “I don’t recall ever having to dodge any of your slap shots”

        1. you claim that the 1988 testimony is relevant even though we both
        know he came up with his ideas post 1988 testimony. A piece of
        evidence that predates the development of the idea is not
        relavant. nice cross check.
        2. I provided you the the tape of his 2008 testimony. Listen.
        3. You didnt dodge the slap shot. you didnt see it. the puck is in your net.

      • Given willard’s 3:17 on 2/19, I’m a little curious about willard’s hypersensitivity over Hansen. Just a little thin edge of curiosity, don’t let it penetrate too deep.
        ===========

      • Naw, it’s 7:03 PM, 2/19/13. The mask slips.
        =============

      • > heck why stop at congress

        Because not only it is the context raised by Judy’s op-ed, but your own:

        > especially in the rhetorical situation of providing scientific evidence before congress, an audience that may have a strong belief in the possibility of non normative scientific disccourse.

        Try to touch the puck, next time.

      • > Here is a nice example of what is missed when climate scientists are called to testify while other sciences are left out of the conversation.

        Just when we thought climate scientists talked beyond their legitimate authority, now they’re “lying by omission”, so to speak. And here’s the nice example:

        http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/looping203.htm

        Indeed, all we can see is non-normative science at work:

        - “engineers are testing a clean coal technology”

        - “A new form of clean coal technology”

        - “chemically harnesses coal’s energy and efficiently contains the carbon dioxide produced before it can be released into the atmosphere”

        - “The commercial-scale CDCL plant could really promote our energy independence. Not only can we use America’s natural resources such as Ohio coal, but we can keep our air clean and spur the economy with jobs”

        - “Fan’s lab is unique in the way it processes fossil fuels”

        Clean. Harnessing. Independence. Spurring the economy with jobs. Unique.

        ***

        Let’s not forget the CO2 trees and all the other important breakthroughs that climate scientists miss when testifying.

      • Let’s put that quote on the table:

        > Phasing out the use of coal except where the carbon is captured and stored below ground is the primary requirement for solving global warming.

        http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/06/dr-james-hansen/

        Let’s note that Moshpit’s “clean coal” example is compatible with this recommendation.

        So much the worse for lying by omission.

      • The wired article provide this link:

        http://globalwarming.house.gov/pubs/?id=0045#main_content

        which leads to this:

        http://globalwarming.house.gov/pubs_id=0024.html#main_content

        Here’s the list of witnesses:

        General Wesley K. Clark, US Army (Ret.), NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe 1997-2000
        Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
        Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of the Waterkeepers Alliance
        Richard L. Kauffman, Chairman of the Board, Levi Strauss & Co.
        Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
        Kenneth Green, American Enterprise Institute

        Non normative science at work.

      • Searching this site, I stumbled upon the full hearings, “current as of 2009″:

        http://globalwarming.markey.house.gov/files/WEB/EIGWHearings/111_EIGW_hearings.pdf

        Seems that climate scientists are not alone with metadata difficulties.

    • @manacker: “Normative science” (as I understand it) is the emphasis by scientists on scientific findings, which support a particular political agenda, while suppressing or outright ignoring those that do not.

      Max, if some scientist who’d been manning an observatory of the planet with no contact with society for decades had emerged with findings that agreed 100% with the scientists you describe as “supporting a particular political agenda,” would you object to her findings on the ground that she obviously supported that agenda.

      Of course you would. You would have no alternative.

    • I thank Dr. Curry for the topic post, too.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Results showed widespread significant changes in temperature extremes consistent with warming, especially for those indices derived from daily minimum temperature over the whole 110 years of record but with stronger trends in more recent decades. Seasonal results showed significant warming in all seasons but more so in the colder months. Precipitation indices also showed widespread and significant trends, but the changes were much more spatially heterogeneous compared with temperature changes. However, results indicated more areas with significant increasing trends in extreme precipitation amounts, intensity and frequency than areas with decreasing trends.’

      Rainfall distributions change with large scale ocean and atmospheric patterns.

      Warming is neither here not there – most recent warming was quite natural. One would wonder why therefore precipitation becomes an issue. Changes in both temperature and precipitation do occur but the problem of data remains. One problem is that data tends to be in developed countries. Good data is sparse before the 1950′s in most places and that is too short a record for decadal inferences.

      You assume that things will change – and they certainly will. But most of it is quite natural.

  44. ‘Think what the average person actually hears when scientific data or assessments are packaged or presented under the rubric of “ecosystem health.” Healthy is good. Any other state of the ecosystem must be unhealthy, hence, undesirable.’

    Similar argument for ‘ocean acidification’.

    The correct term is ‘neutralisation’. But I loads of grant money do not follow the idea that our seas are becoming less chemically active and nearer to pure water in composition.

    But ‘acidification’ conjures up the image of foaming seas of fuming aqua regia. And ‘acid’ is what gets thrown at people and blinds them or scars them for life. ‘Acid’ is bad.

    Cue the hosepipe of grant cash.

    ‘Normative’? I’d suggest ‘disingenuous’ at best..and possibly something a lot worse.

  45. David W. You seem to be intentionally misreading what I said, perhaps in your eagerness to demonstrate how smart you are. I made no such “preposterous” proposal, and I challenge you to find it. In fact I was at pains to refrain from making any proposal at all. What I actually said after making my general point about the obvious tension between normative science and research was this:

    “The trouble is, “climate change” is inherently political in its implications. I’m not nearly smart enough to figure out how these competing values can and should be sorted.”

    You’re an educator, correct? Then perhaps it behooves you to work on your reading comprehension

    • Poker, you claimed that any scientist with a political agenda (as exemplified by expert witness activity) cannot be trusted to do unbiased research. That they should not be funded seems an obvious conclusion. We do not fund people we do not trust, right? It is your claim that is wrong not my interpretation.

    • Speaking of reading comprehension I just published a taxonomy of confusions that takes the science of readability to a new level. See http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/02/05/a-taxonomy-of-confusions/.

      • David, I like it. Are you interested in doing a guest post on this, or can I re-post?

      • David

        Hey, that is interesting.

        Judith’s right. It’s worth a separate post.

        I can see both sides jumping in.

        Max

      • Shortening the link to sspnet.org leads there:

        http://www.mobil.com/glp/

        Normative science at work.

      • @David Wojick:

        Read your link; nice job. I have always been a poor writer, for many of the reasons that your refer to in your matrix. I am able to recognize my errors when someone else points them out to me, but I am unable to recognize them and correct them ‘on the fly’.

        One of your examples caught my eye:

        “Opaque cross references (#19) refers to including references in sentences such that one cannot know the meaning of the sentence without knowing what the references say. A lot of legislation is written this way, making it virtually unintelligible.”

        I would suggest substituting ‘deliberately’ for ‘virtually’.

      • Err, sad to say the first commenter on your site rather nails it.
        For grins I would run the taxonomy on the document itself.. an explanation on readability should be readable.

      • David,

        Perhaps renaming it a ‘Recipe’ could increase its utility?

      • David -

        I think that Mosher has a point. If you’re trying to help people write more coherently (and cohesively), I would suggest that you start with consulting with people who have experience in working with writers to achieve that goal.

        Specifically, I would recommend the techniques described by Joseph M. Williams:

        That books contains some very useful discussion that explain the structural, syntactical, and conceptual attributes that accompany coherent writing.

        Why, if you need proof that it works, just read what I write! Heh.

        Here’s a nice example: Consider how you would use your taxonomy to explain to a student who wrote the following (very “cohesive” but completely “incoherent” passage from Williams’ text) how to make his/her writing more coherent:

        Sayner, Wisconsin, is the snowmobile capital of the world. The buzzing of snowmobile engines fills the air, and their tanklike tracks crisscross the snow. The snow reminds me of Mom’s mashed potatoes, covered with furrows I would draw with my fork. Her mashed potatoes usually make me sick, that’s why I play with them. I like to make a hole in the middle of the potatoes and fill it with melted butter. This behavior has been the subject of long chats between me and my analyst.

        Then read Williams’ text about coherence in writing — and re-consider whether an approach different than your taxonomy might be more practical.

      • Your taxonomy rather reminds me of a scenario I have seen many times, more or less:

        Teacher: “In order to improve your writing, you need to be more concise.”

        Student: “Yes, I realize that. Many teachers have told me that, but not have been able to help me to write more concisely. Perhaps you can give me some useful advice?

        Teacher: ‘Sure – just say the same thing in fewer words.”

        That scenario seems to me to be roughly equivalent to using your matrix to indicate that a text is “vague.”

        How do you think you can clearly delineate “vague” text from “overly complex” text or text that has “unnecessary detail” or text that is “inefficient” or “ineffective?” How would you recommend that someone address a problem of “inefficient” text differently than a problem of “ineffective” text or “vague” text?

        Good luck with that!

      • Achieving the promise of the first sentence:

        > My purpose here is to briefly explain a taxonomy of confusions which I developed years ago but never published.

        would have been nice.

        Also, what follows “which” could have been omitted. It is irrelevant to this promise and shows that the coherence analysis has not been applied to itself.

      • It has been my general experience that when David has a point to make about rhetoric it is both more useful and more comprehensible than when either willard or Joshua has. I’m also amusingly reminded of critiques longer than the original work.

        Now Shaw could do this on his own stuff. These guys, heh.
        =================

      • Just found a bad rip-off of David’s “taxonomy”:

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

        A taxonomy is rarely an ordered list of items, and almost never has item showing as strong dependencies as “needs examples” and “too many examples”.

      • Yet another unexplained link for our colour commentator:

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

      • Just to point out – (although not directly relevant to quantifying coherence when communicating in English) the concept of coherence in communication is culturally influenced. Rhetorical conventions differ by language and culture. For example, the optimal degree of detail can differ by cultural convention. Views of what comprises vagueness or appropriate numbers of examples may vary, and organizational styles are not universal. What is confusing in one conventional framework is not (always) found confusing in another.

        So one thing to consider is that while this matrix may help describe “confusions” within a particular cultural/linguistic context – maybe the leap from the matrix to generalizations about “coherence profiles” with broader implications to “human cognition” might be a bit ambitious?

      • kim -

        It has been my general experience that when David has a point to make about rhetoric it is both more useful and more comprehensible than when either willard or Joshua has.

        Out of curiosity – maybe you could explain why you find a reason to comment on the usefulness of my points about rhetoric relative to the usefulness of David’s points about rhetoric?

        The degree to which my points are useful or not has no effect, none whatsoever, zilch, nada, bupkis, niente, on David’s points. There is no zero sum gain here. The value of the one is completely independent of the value of the other.

        Is the point that you see it as a contest? If so, why does it matter who you judge to be the winner? Perhaps others do care about that, and place some measure of value in your assessment. Maybe some here are reading to find out your judgement – but I have to say that would be rather silly, as you judgements about anything I do or write could easily be predicted before your imaginary battle was even engaged.

        Well – I suppose you could ask me why I find it amusing to ridicule your fantasies of “connecting dots” to draw pictures of “Obama’s Muslim sympathies.”

        Funny thing, this Internet blog banter….isn’t it?

      • Joshua,

        I suspect that Judith has kim on a retainer to keep up the comment numbers – other explanations for the relentless inane one-liners seem less plausible.

      • These guys, heh. Like chalk dust to red pepper.
        ==========

      • @David Wojick: Speaking of reading comprehension I just published a taxonomy of confusions that takes the science of readability to a new level. See http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/02/05/a-taxonomy-of-confusions/.

        @Judith Curry: David, I like it. Are you interested in doing a guest post on this, or can I re-post?

        Since DW’s published taxonomy generated only two comments at Scholarly Kitchen, half of which were David’s (or 90% if judged by length), I fully agree with Judith and am strongly in favor of either a guest post or a re-posting in order to bring David’s taxonomy into the (badly needed) limelight. 20 comments on CE would be one order of magnitude more responses, 200, 2 more, 2000, 3 more, 20,000, 4 more, and so on.

        Judith, not that you need it of course but you have my full support here for a guest post by David.

      • Apologies, there is one other equally plausible explanation of kim – spambot.

      • I noticed, Joshua, that when I mentioned that Obama, during the long drawn out agony in Benghazi, took a rest and then flew to Vegas that you fell as silent as he. As you connect dots, I guess you’ll fall silent on the matter of Obama’s Muslim sympathies.

        moshe has a point. If that is what is in his heart, why can’t he say it?
        ========================

      • David Springer

        Vaughan Pratt | February 18, 2013 at 2:30 am |

        “20 comments on CE would be one order of magnitude more responses, 200, 2 more, 2000, 3 more, 20,000, 4 more, and so on.”

        Quantity does not equal quality but it can be reasonable proxy for page views if registration is not onerous and moderation light. If you were struggling with a great many words to express the simple idea that David would get more eyeballs here then I deem you correct. Hallelujah, you got one right.

      • @kim: I noticed, Joshua, that when I mentioned that Obama, during the long drawn out agony in Benghazi, took a rest and then flew to Vegas that you fell as silent as he. As you connect dots, I guess you’ll fall silent on the matter of Obama’s Muslim sympathies.

        The book of kim
        Was once more slim

      • What did kim know
        And when did kim know it?
        ===============

      • I think willard has nailed the point I was making with regard to document.
        I think it is almost universally true that most documents purporting to be guides for writing tend to fail living up to the standards they set.

        I’ll suggest that my late friend came very close to practicing what he preached

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Lanham

        I’d suggest Revising Prose and the book below.

        ( Dick was also a fan of Peckham who we might return to when discussing poetry with Beth )

      • Joshua,

        Read Lamham. Clarity is vastly overrated.
        see the chapters on the uses of obscurity, the delights of jargon, the opaque style.

      • Joshua, ” Teacher: ‘Sure – just say the same thing in fewer words.”

        This is your advice Joshua!. Have you considered asking for a tuition refund?

    • David,

      It suffers from No. 21.

  46. Let’s leave what I wrote aside for the moment. Let me ask you this:
    In general terms, do you agree that a scientist with a political agenda has become by reason of that agenda, less trust worthy wrt to the way he conducts research?

    If the answer is “yes,” then are you by some ineluctable David Wokickian leap of logic ipso facto calling for all research funding to scientists who act as expert witnesses to be stopped?

    Last time David, you’re obviously free to draw whatever conclusion you wish from my comment, but to do it you have to ignore my specific and pointed statement to the contrary. It seems to me that since it’s my comment, I ought to know what I meant. But that seems to carry no weight for you.

    I submit that your logic is faulty. Just because something is problematic it is not by definition necessarily to be eliminated.

    • No Poker I do not believe that offering expert testimony makes one untrustworthy as a scientist. I find the claim ridiculous.

      • I’m not gonna bother with this. I’ll depend on previous judgement that both these contestants are usually right.
        ==============================

      • I concede that was too narrow on my part, and I gave you wiggle room thereby. What I should have asked was, do you believe scientists with a political agenda are less trustworthy wrt to their research? The answer has to be yes it seems to me. So I repeat my question, are you then calling for all funding to such scientists to be stopped? I doubt it, since you’ve already deemed such an idea preposterous.

      • David

        Your statement is correct and I would agree:

        “I do not believe that offering expert testimony makes one untrustworthy as a scientist”

        A good example was our hostess’ expert testimony to the Baird Committee of US Congress a couple of years ago.

        This was not “normative” science in any form. It was just “science”.

        Baird tried to get her to come out in support of mitigation actions, but she stuck with the science and did not play his game (two previous witnesses, who were not climate experts, did give Baird what he wanted to hear).

        Check the Q+A it’s worth listening to all the way through.

        http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ChangePan

        Max

      • @kim: I’ll depend on previous judgement that both these contestants are usually right.

        What’s your track record, kim? Maybe all three of you are usually wrong…

      • Heh, you noticed they were both right, eh?
        ===========

    • On top of all the scandals the True Believers of ACGW (America-Caused Global Warming) also have sacrificed decency, dignity and integrity on the altar of Left-liberal Utopianism when they lie about the credentials of scientific skeptics and determinedly engage in the politics of personal destruction against all persons of good faith who have the courage to speak the truth about global warming alarmism. “People who live in an age of corruption are witty and slanderous; they know that there are other kinds of murder than by dagger or assault; they also know that whatever is well said is believed” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

  47. My thoughts on this FWTW

    Science is simply “science”

    It has been said that: “science is primarily a search for truth”.

    If science deviates from the “search for truth” in order to support some agenda it becomes “agenda driven science”.

    The IPCC “consensus process” has been accused of promoting “agenda driven science”.

    If “normative” science is supporting an agenda, it simply becomes “agenda driven science”.

    HOW this is done is another question:

    - by outright lying
    - by bending the results
    - by using “grey literature” to replace scientific studies
    - by discarding contradicting data points as “outliers”
    - by ignoring dissenting studies
    - by “accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative”

    Max

  48. Max, Nicely presented. It seems self-evident to me that agenda driven science is bad science. By definition it is, since if we accept your “search for truth” notion, truth must then become secondary. Or perhaps even irrelevant.

  49. Or perhaps in the worst case, truth actually becomes antithetical to whatever agenda is being promoted. Not healthy to say the least.

  50. We all must ask, has America been ambushed by academia? They killed the scientific method and with its death we must question everything as we all stray through an infinite nothing. Now more than ever, skeptics can never take a holiday again!

  51. The liberal idiots are now going to stage a push for Obama to act on “climate change.” I got this from the League of Women voters. They have been hijacked by the socialists. Climate has nothing to do with voting.

    “League of Women Voters

    Tell President Obama to Lead the Climate Change Fight

    “Climate change is not a hoax. More drought and floods and hurricanes and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And we can do something about it.”

    These are the words of President Obama during the 2012 campaign, and we couldn’t agree more. People are dying because of climate change. Our families, our communities and our planet are all threatened by it.

    Join the League by calling on the President, to take the historically necessary step of controlling industrial carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. The President can use his existing regulatory authority to make this happen.

    The world has known about climate change for decades, yet little has been done to address the issue. The U.S. came close to enacting a comprehensive climate change bill in the early years of your administration when a good bill passed the House, but it was blocked by special interests in the Senate. With the current gridlock in Congress, it seems impossible that any legislative action will be taken to protect our health and our planet.

    If President Obama doesn’t do it, it won’t get done. If the United States doesn’t lead, the rest of the world cannot follow.

    Tell the President that saving the world is a legacy worth fighting for.”

    http://participate.lwv.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6903

    • We scare the children with nightmare weather bogeymen, and the thief under the bed steals their inheritance.
      =================

      • I remember hiding under my bed in abject terror after watching a program on “the bomb” back in the late 50′s. Somehow we’ve become distracted from what by any reasonable measure is the thing we should fear most. Worrying about “climate change”…likely a few degrees at most of largely beneficial warming… while we essentially ignore the nuclear threat is beyond absurd.

        With each passing decade as more unstable nations with lunatic leaders acquire the necessary technology, the likelihood of a nuclear war becomes ever greater. Did Obama even mention this terrible and all too real threat during his recent speech? I doubt it.

    • Raise your hand if you hate America and want to be lied to by the EPA! This is the day all peddlers of Eurocommunism and radical environmentalism should just come out of the closet and support of the EPA government scientists of Climate Change Catastrophism.

      “But environmentalism, like every other ism, has the potential for dogmatic zeal and obsession. Do we really need one more humorless religion?” ~Stephen T. Asma (Green Guilt)

    • jim2

      As seen from over here, US President Obama needs to worry about US problems affecting US citizens who voted for him (plus the other half that voted against him).

      The biggest problem the USA faces today is looming insolvency resulting from chronic overspending.

      He should forget about “taking the lead in saving the planet” (from an imaginary hobgoblin that he could not defeat even if it were real) and get his own house in order first.

      Just my opinion as an outsider.

      Max

    • You all misunderstand what Obama is doing. You see the six trillion in debt he has added to the U.S. debt and see the potential insolvency of the U.S. as a crisis to be avoided. This is a mediocre mind who has been steeped in Marxist rhetoric his whole life. He has been frank about wanting to fundamentally change the united States.

      To you (and me), the collapse of the U.S. economy would be a disaster, for the U.S. and the rest of the world. To Obama and his acolytes, it would be a short cut to the transformation they seek. As it is now, implementing Obamacare’s takeover of the healthcare industry will take years, with numerous court fights along the way. The ERA will take just as long, and face as many court challenges, in the planned takeover of the energy economy. It is also going to take time to consolidate government control over the college education industry and housing industry.

      And there is always the threat that the American people will wake up by the next election or two. An economic collapse, in the fevered imagination of the progressives running things here, will just help them clear the debris of capitalism that much more quickly. They firmly believe that the people will turn to the government to “save” them from any economic collapse, just as Franklin D. Roosevelt used the Depression to implement the first massive wave of progressive centralization of power, including an assault on the Supreme Court and the Constitution.

      You all see the risk of economic collapse as a drawback to the EPA’s attempts to control the energy economy. They see it as a feature. Obama is making noises that he wants to be the next Reagan – a transformative president. What he really wants to be is the next Roosevelt.

      Never let a crisis go to waste, particularly when you can create it yourself.

      • Gary, that’s much more scary than global warming. I’d hide under the bed if it wasn’t so low-slung.

      • Boston Fed the mania.
        =========

      • David Springer

        +1

      • GaryM,
        GaryM,

        I often think that its quite paradoxical that those who support the capitalist system the most understand it the least.

        You need to understand the reason behind the decision of most Western governments to run quite high deficits at present. You might want to take a look at this:

        http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/23/apples-cash-hoard-reaches-137-billion/

        What are the wider implications of this level of thrift? Its $137 billion of potential spending power which isn’t being utilised. Its actually worse than that. If Apple were to spend this money it would be spent again by those who were to receive it. There would be a multiplier effect which would create many more jobs and economic activity than if it were just spent once.

        Of course Apple aren’t the only ones hoarding large quantities of cash. In effect what the US, and other governments are doing, by both borrowing and printing money is to try to make up for a high level of cash hoarding in the economy. That’s why they are able to indulge in so-called quantitative easing without it causing high levels of inflation.

        If Obama were genuinely a Marxist with a hidden agenda to topple the capitalist system he’d probably do exactly what the political right would wish. He’d put the US$ on the gold standard, cut government spending and try to balance the budget. You’d have riots in the streets in a matter of weeks or months. Is that what you really want?

      • Peter, your analogies are as bad as Pratt’s. What’s a more sustainable model, spending money you don’t have or not spending money you do have?
        ==============

      • ” What’s a more sustainable model, spending money you don’t have or not spending money you do have?”

        It can be one of either depending on circumstances. You need to understand what money is, and the way the money supply affects an economy, for a start. Its a variable which can be adjusted to speed or slow an economy with the aim of making it operate close to full capacity . The wealth produced in any economy, whether or not capitalist, is directly related to the what’s produced in the economy and not the amount of cash hoarded in bank vaults.

      • blueice2hotsea

        GaryM – thanks

        Mr. Martin – What you call hoarding large quantities of cash might be merely resistance to the dissipation of wealth by criminals and sychophants.

        Wealth can be both created and destroyed. And it is stored wealth that most people will one day rely upon when they become pensioners. A big problem is that criminals and megalomaniac idiots mandate and presume that they are best equipped to store the wealth for the benefit of those who have created and earned a share of wealth. The result is the debacle with which we now struggle.

      • “Wealth can be both created and destroyed” That’s true.

        “stored wealth that most people will one day rely upon when they become pensioners.” Possibly if the pensioners have built up a store of canned beans or whatever in their attics.

        Except you probably don’t mean that. You mean investments in stocks, shares, pension funds?

        This isn’t stored wealth in the same way. If you buy a product from an income derived this way it won’t have been stored. If anything is stored its nothing tangible – its just a paper asset. Gold isn’t much better. That’s way overvalued now but won’t be if things get really bad. Your best bet is to hope that Obama manages to keep the system going somehow.

      • Gary

        The US debt is not in quite as bad of shape as you think. The large percentage of US debt is now actually held by the US itself. We have basically printed money and replaced much of our debt with longer term low interest notes that we own. The process has actually reduced the percentage of our revenue that has to go to servicing our debt.

        Our current and projected future annual debt is a huge potential problem however. If not dramatically reduced/eliminated it will lead to other nations eventually abandoning US currency and massive inflation coupled with high unemployment.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Mr. Martin -

        You seem to be saying that wealth cannot be stored. Really. So, I say beware the man who has read only one book. Especially if it was written by Karl Marx.

      • Yes of course wealth can be stored. But the natural order of things means that anything stored is also at risk. A squirrel will accept that some acorns may decay or be lost in the storage process. There’s a cost and a risk attached to all forms of storage.

        In Australia there seems to be a scandal every so often whereby an investment companies has promised double digit yields on investments, and those, often pensioners wanting a better return on their investment, who’ve been foolish enough to believe what they read in the glossy brochure have ended up losing everything.

        I can’t feel much sympathy, I’m afraid. If anyone has a bit of spare cash and fancies taking a chance with it then good luck to them. But they do need to appreciate the risk involved. That’s just common sense, you don’t need to read Marx to know that.

      • @tempterrain: I can’t feel much sympathy, I’m afraid. If anyone has a bit of spare cash and fancies taking a chance with it then good luck to them. But they do need to appreciate the risk involved.

        What you’re overlooking here, temp, is that these con artists are capable of fooling even competent money managers with a prior spotless record.

        If even the best money managers can be fooled in this way, where can the average pensioner put their money other than in their mattress?

      • tempterrain,

        I think it’s so cute when progressives try to explain free market economics when they have no clue what they’re talking about. Like watching a dog riding a tricycle on Youtube.

        Apple and many other large companies are sitting on a lot of cash because progressive governance has made it unprofitable to invest, and made uncertainty as to taxes and regulations their central governing theme.

        Do you know how much it will cost Apple over the next five years to expand and hire new employees? Of course you don’t. Neither do they. Obamacare, “tax the rich” demagoguery, the impending takeover of the energy economy….

        And western governments are running high deficits, not for any reasons related to economics, but because sending people government checks gets them to vote for the progressives who run those governments.

        Oh, and as for the governments “borrowing and printing money…without it causing high levels of inflation…,” ask Argentina about how that works in the long run. Like most progressives, you get causation exactly backwards. Companies like Apple aren’t investing because the governments are running the world economy into the ground.

        Rob Starkey,

        “The US debt is not in quite as bad of shape as you think. The large percentage of US debt is now actually held by the US itself.”

        If you think that the government running up 16 trillion in debt to date (not counting trillions more likely needed to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) is not a problem because the government is loaning itself the money, see my comment above regarding Argentina. The dollar is no longer backed by gold. If the people of the U.S., and the rest of the world, lose confidence in the dollar, as is inevitable if things continue as they are, the problem will not be that other countries will abandon the dollar as the medium of exchange.

        The world economy is so intertwined, the threat of collapse of a few American banks and insurance companies in 2007 brought the entire world economy to the bring. I don’t think the world economy has ever in history been as integrated as it is now.

        The risk we are facing due to the degradation of the dollar is not higher unemployment and inflation, it is economic collapse.

      • GaryM,

        “I think it’s so cute when progressives try to explain free market economics when they have no clue what they’re talking about. ”

        Ok but why do you disagree? The most successful economist of the 20th century was undoubtedly Keynes who you’d also label progressive. Obama is following Keynsian economics. If he didn’t you wouldn’t just have a recession in the US you’d have a depression. Ok if you disagree, come up with a logical argument as to ‘why’. Use your brain for once and actually think about it.

        Rob Starkey is right in saying the US debt isn’t anywhere near bad as people think. The US government would be paying hardly any interest on its borrowed money. 0.5%? What’s inflation over there? 3%? I don’t know about you, but if I could borrow at 2.5% less than the inflation level I’d be borrowing as much as I possibly could.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Economies that are working owe much more to Hayek than Keynes – Australia’s economy is still working although compromised yet again by Labor. It is lucky that will not continue past September. There is no shortcut to balanced budgets, low taxes, and managed interest rate regimes.

      • GaryM,

        “Apple and many other large companies are sitting on a lot of cash because progressive governance has made it unprofitable to invest”

        That’s just not true. Apple have made so much money in recent years that they literally just don’t know what to do with it.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-24/apple-posts-record-quarterly-profit-sales.html

      • tt, he of the direct line to Apple’s Board of Directors, doesn’t explain why nobody much else wants to invest either. Not all of them have made so much money they don’t know what to do with it.

        Actually, they do; hang on to it for the stormy weather ahead.
        ==========

      • tt @ 2:13, consider what the US is doing, borrowing for its future taxpayers at a rate lower than inflation. Someone’s getting screwed here and it’s either the borrower or the lender. Since they’re the same anyway, I suspect it’s pornographic.
        ==================

  52. Our energy choices need to factor in both opportunities and risks. This testimony gives particular attention to why we must consider the risk of climate change, both on our resources being developed and utilized today and on our choices for development into the future. It concludes with the following recommendations:

    Congress should request that the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee review the current authorities of federal agencies and national laboratories, and recommend how consideration of risks associated with climate change can be more directly incorporated into decision-making.

    Congress should support efforts to better assess the impacts of climate change on America’s energy infrastructure and incorporate this into planning and investment decisions.

    Congress should keep in mind four important criteria in considering policies to drive more effective clean energy growth and competitiveness: any energy policy should be comprehensive, long-term, targeted, and inclusive.

    In capturing energy efficiency across the economy, Congress can play a constructive role in two key areas:

    Informed consumer choice: supporting and expanding programs to help ensure product labeling is accurate and publicly reported in a timely manner, to encourage energy-wise investment decisions throughout the U.S. economy.
    Efficiency standards: supporting and extending the ability of federal agencies to develop and update energy efficiency standards for vehicles, appliances, and other energy-consuming equipment that is sold into U.S. commerce.
    Congress must work toward reaching bipartisan agreement on national energy policies that encourage more efficient energy consumption, increase the diversity of domestic energy production, maximize deployment of low-carbon energy technologies, and minimize environmental impacts throughout our energy systems. In the near-term, it is also critical for Congress to provide funding and incentives for low-carbon and clean energy technologies.

    http://www.wri.org/publication/testimony-american-energy-security-and-innovation-assessment-of-energy-resources

    INTEGRITY ™ — Normative Science at Work.

  53. In a television interview today, I was asked whether global warming could explain this [2012/13 a top 5 snow year for the Northern Hemisphere]. I replied no, we get snow during cold periods not warm. Global warming would reduce the north south contrast and reduce the strength of storms. Also the warming models and IPCC and NOAA claimed warming would take the rain snow line most often near the major cities of the east and push it inland reducing snow for the cities. Not so. ~Joseph D’Aleo

    • Joe’s brilliant. I subscribe to his service (weatherbell) and find his presentations superb. He’s a good counterbalance….sane, measured, not too much ego…to his counterpart Bastardi who in my opinion is an emotional train wreck. He’s brilliant too, but perpetually biased cold and stormy.

      • We may see a return of the 18th century gin craze in the UK if the elderly again find themselves burning books to keep warm this winter because Lefitists have driven up the cost of the energy needed to heat homes.

    • “I replied no, we get snow during cold periods not warm.”

      Evidently he has missed the UAH satellite record for January.

    • Both Joes should also bear in mind that the influence of non-TSI changes of the Sun on global temperature is indistinguishable from zero.

      • lolwot, you write “Both Joes should also bear in mind that the influence of non-TSI changes of the Sun on global temperature is indistinguishable from zero.“

        What you dont seem to be able to grasp is that NOTHING is quantitatively correlated with changes in climate. It does not matter which hypothesis you care to mention, there is no quantitative relationship bewtween it and global temperatures. So, there is no signal from anything we know about. But this does not mean that climate does not vary; we know from empirical evidence that it does.

        However, this is where the warmists and skeptics come to different conclusions. We skeptics agree that something is affecting climate but we dont know what. The warmists claim that there is evidence that adding CO2 to the atmposphere casues a change in climate. That is the difference between us.

      • David Springer

        lolwot | February 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply

        “:Both Joes should also bear in mind that the influence of non-TSI changes of the Suncondensing trace gases on global temperature is indistinguishable from zero.”

        Fixed that for ya!

      • Jim Cripwell. You write:
        We skeptics agree that something is affecting climate but we dont know what. The warmists claim that there is evidence that adding CO2 to the atmposphere casues a change in climate. That is the difference between us.
        There is a bigger difference. They have consensus. We skeptics do not have consensus. We skeptics do not all agree that “we don’t know what”. Many of us skeptics do know what, but we don’t all know the same what. Skeptics don’t have consensus. Many of our “whats” are right and many of them do work together. Proper climate science will be skeptical of all the “whats” and consider all the “whats’ and have open discussion and debate and promote proper validated evaluation of all the “whats”.
        Many of the consensus scientists and the skeptic scientists know a lot about many of the “whats” There are many people with knowledge in areas that can help with this. It is most likely that none or few will have this totally right and it is most likely that none or few will have this totally wrong.
        It is really difficult to get an open discussion.
        Climate Etc does this better than any other blog, but even here, skeptics here do not consider that some consensus ideas are right and skeptics here do not consider that other different skeptic ideas may be right, we generally do not consider skeptic ideas that disagree with our own.
        Consensus people do have some advantage because they have consensus..
        Skeptic people have a huge advantage, looking at history, some skeptic will most likely be right and the consensus opinion will be squashed like a bug!

  54. “we need to agree global warming isn’t just some total lie”

    Brandon,

    This declaration is rather silly. “We” don’t “need” to agree to anything. If you can show me some convincing evidence of something I might start agreeing to stuff. Until then, climate-related declarations go in the recycle bin.

    Andrew

    • David Springer

      +1

    • Chief Hydrologist

      don’t recycle it only encourages them

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Bad Andrew, if you want to believe, or even just suspect, global warming is a total lie, you can. So can anyone else. When I say “we,” I refer to people who accept basic physics. Those people have a serious issue to try to resolve.

      • You don’t have any basic physics. The AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect is an illusion, if you disagree then prove it isn’t.

      • “we,” I refer to people who accept basic physics.

        I accept evidence. Let me know when you get some. You may present it at any time.

        Andrew

    • Andrew, you are not addressing Brandon’s point.
      1. You can believe the AGW is wrong.
      2. You can believe that “it” is a lie.

      Your position is this: Unless you can convince me, then it must be wrong.
      or goes in the recycle bin.

      A few logical points: Your agreement with the evidence says nothing about the truth of AGW. For example. You cannot convince me that you are intelligent. Therefore you are dumb. you’ve made the truth of AGW contingent upon your agreement. You’d be on better footing, if you said
      “Unless you convince me, I’m unconvinced” because convincing you or failing to convince you says nothing about the science and everything about you.

      Second: you claimed it was a lie. That requires you knowing two things
      A) it is wrong
      B) the people who espouse it know that it is wrong, but they lie.

      Well, you dont know its wrong. You only know that you are unconvinced.
      It is possible that you are wrong, because you dont understand the evidence.
      Its possible you are wrong because you havent seen the evidence.
      Its possible you are wrong, because the evidence doesnt exist yet.
      So, since its possible that you are wrong, its therefore true that you dont know that AGW is wrong. You are only unconvinced. And you are definitely wrong that people who believe in it are lying. I believe and Im not lying when I say Im convinced by the evidence.

      unfool yourself about the difference between knowing something is wrong and being convinced of its rightness.

      • “you claimed it was a lie.”

        In this thread I have done no such thing. I just disagreed with Brandon’s silly declaration.

        Andrew

      • “In this thread”
        The fact remains Andrew you have claimed it was a lie. You don’t deny that you claimed it was a lie. you think it is a lie. And you are lying if you say you don’t. As argued above that belief is not grounded in evidence. You have no evidence that AGW is wrong, you have no evidence that people who believe in it are lying about their belief. You claim to know things that you dont know ( agw is wrong and people who believe it are liars) while at the same time refusing to accept evidence against your own false beliefs.

      • “you have no evidence that people who believe in it are lying about their belief”

        I do. There are uncountable comments from Warmers on the intrawebs who do not have sufficent knowledge of the climate to have a scientific belief in Global Warming.Yet that is what they claim they have.

        Andrew

      • Wrong again, bad andrew

        “I do. There are uncountable comments from Warmers on the intrawebs who do not have sufficent knowledge of the climate to have a scientific belief in Global Warming.Yet that is what they claim they have

        A lie is saying something you know to be otherwise. Looking at the scale and seeing that you weigh 300 lbs and reporting that you weigh 200 lbs is lying. Claiming that you believe in AGW, when you do in fact, is not lying.
        Your judgement about what constitutes “sufficient knowledge” has nothing to do with THEIR judgment about sufficient proof. once again, you think you have knowledge and evidence, but you have neither.

      • “Claiming that you believe in AGW, when you do in fact, is not lying.”

        Implying or claiming you have a scientific conclusion like Global Warming when you don’t have the scientific knowledge to support such a belief is lying.

        And if you’d like me to present exhibit A, I submit all of your internet posting history, Steven Mosher.

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew,

        I happen to believe in DNA, Mendelian genetics, genes and chromosomes etc. But I’d have to confess that I’d be hard pushed to explain the science in any detail.

        So am I lying about that?

      • But Andrew, I do have the scientific knowledge to support the belief.

        You might disagree about what constitues knowledge, but then our debate is over the definition of science, and not over whether I have the knowledge I claim to have. You might disagree that the knowledge supports the belief, but then we are discussing the issue of warranted belief, and not whether I have the knowledge or not.
        The simple fact is that I do have the knowledge to support the belief, as all my posting shows. Unless you can convince me otherwise, you are lying

        ( hehe notice what I did to your convince me argument)

      • “The simple fact is that I do have the knowledge to support the belief”

        Unsubstantiated claim.

        Andrew

      • “I happen to believe in DNA, Mendelian genetics, genes and chromosomes etc. But I’d have to confess that I’d be hard pushed to explain the science in any detail.”

        This is simply an admission you do not have a scientific understanding of these things. Are you claiming you do?

        Andrew

      • moshe has a sysiphean task, to lift the skeptical out of their doubt. But, he’s gotta rock.
        =========

      • “This is simply an admission you do not have a scientific understanding of these things. Are you claiming you do?”

        No. I’m no expert but I do understand the basics of how a DNA molecule is built of four amino acids etc. Bit there lots of other science that I really don’t know much about at all. Apart from people like Chief Engineer all our knowledge is limited by our available time for study. But that doesn’t equate to my thinking its probably wrong.

    • @Bad Andrew: If you can show me some convincing evidence of something I might start agreeing to stuff.

      This reminds me of a legal agreement I’m currently trying to draw up with some neighbors. Not a big deal, just a few thousand dollars. They would agree with me if I could show them some convincing evidence. This will never happen, not because the evidence is not convincing but because they are not convinced by the evidence.

      I interpret your position as that there is no difference between the two.

  55. All this could be abstracted to the honestly broker dance:

    > Framing the questions posed to scientists in ways that separate scientific judgments from policy advice is one way to avoid falling prey to the value-free ideal.

    http://www.issues.org/27.2/br_pielke.html

    It might take an effort to miss the contradiction, but nobody said that the brokering path was easy. After a while, the contradiction disappears from the broker’s mind.

  56. Been reading a biography of Einstein. He had socialist, world government ideas yes, but I’m pretty sure he’d have been appalled at the current attempt at practicing science by consensus. The author, Walter Isaacson, writes of Einstein: “Skepticism and a resistance to received wisdom became a hallmark of his life.”

    In Einstein’s own words:”A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.”

    • The worst is averaging the results of a bunch of different computer models of unknown quality and then claiming actions needs to be taken based on the results

    • Thanks. I will try to use this.

    • @pokerguy: I’m pretty sure [Einstein]’d have been appalled at the current attempt at practicing science by consensus.

      Agreed. So what? Are you supporting the 1939 Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paper and rejecting John Bell’s 1967 analysis of EPR and everything that followed from it? Einstein would be thrilled by your support.

      In Einstein’s own words:”A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.”

      I take it you’re recommending putting your faith in truth then?

      Would you be willing to put your money where your faith is? I can help you invest it according to your faith.

      • Faith in Beauty. The money gets all mixed up when Truth and Beauty are a Unity.
        ========

      • @kim: Faith in Beauty.

        Estée Lauder would buy that (or sell it).

        Why must there be beauty in truth?
        An ugly rumor confirmed by investigation remains ugly.

        And why must there be truth in beauty?
        Most beautiful stories are too good to be true.

        –Chairman of the Royal Australian College of Knowledge Prevention by Obfuscation of Technology.

      • Vaughn chomps on base metal, and spits out glittery nuggets.
        =============

      • blueice2hotsea

        VP -

        heh. I find your ugly rumor about Truth to be Beautiful.

  57. Chief Hydrologist

    Models are chaotic. There is no single deterministic solution. The solution provided to the IPCC as an ensemble member is selected on the basis of subjective plausibiity from a state space of unknown dimensions. The great weapon of the climate war is reduced to a childrens game of stick the tail on the donkee.

    The world is not warming for a decade or three more. Beyond that lie ‘dragon-kings’. Predictability is difficult. Especially about the future.

    Climate science is being used by both sides as a proxy battleground of social values. Springer wins. Nah nah nah nah.

    • Models are chaotic and Earth Temperature is well bounded. Apples and Oranges. One should not be expected to forecast the other, and it does not.

      • David Springer

        “Earth Temperature is well bounded”

        Indeed. That’s the polar opposite of chaotic.

        +1

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Earth’s Quaternary climate is well bounded between multiple equilbria that include glacials and interglacials. It is little comfort that the bounds that tie are so broad.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Although you are right in one way Herman.

        ‘In 1963, Lorenz published his seminal paper on ‘Deterministic non-periodic flow’, which was to change the course of weather and climate prediction profoundly over the following decades and to embed the theory of chaos at the heart of meteorology. Indeed, it could be said that his view of the atmosphere (and subsequently also the oceans) as a chaotic system has coloured our thinking of the predictability of weather and subsequently climate from thereon.

        Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      • David Springer

        The difference in temperature between glacial and interglacial is less than 10C. You can babble until the cows come home and that fact still remains.

      • That darned butterfly can’t hide forever. They caught Dorner, didn’t they?

      • Like a moth in a flame.
        =========

      • For the last 870k years, temperature bounds have been bounded in a range of 15 degrees C in Antarctic and bounded in a range of 20 degrees in Greenland, according to ice core data.

        http://popesclimatetheory.com/page6.html

        http://popesclimatetheory.com/page9.html

        For the past ten thousand years, the temperature of both have been bounded in a range of 4 degrees, according to the ice core data. It has been well bounded within plus and minus 2 degrees of the average, all of the last ten thousand years. It has been within plus and minus 1 degree most of that time. This is the new standard. This is where it will stay unless something major changes. CO2 is a trace gas and it cannot be something major. Water in all of its states is abundant and it controls the temperature bounds. Look at snow accumulation on this chart that I got from NOAA.

        http://popesclimatetheory.com/page11.html

        When oceans are warmer it snows more and when oceans are colder it snows less. This keeps earth temperature bounded.
        The temperature that Arctic Sea Ice melts and freezes is the set point for the thermostat of earth.

      • A butterfly in the hand explains abrupt shifts in climate states. On the other hand it seems quite mad to define 10′s of degrees changes in places in as little as a decade as climate stability.

        ‘It is still unclear how the climate on a regional or even global scale can change as rapidly as present evidence suggests. It appears that the climate system is more delicately balanced than had previously been thought, linked by a cascade of powerful mechanisms that can amplify a small initial change into a much larger qualitative shift in temperature and aridity.’ http://dieoff.org/page127.htm

  58. Chief Hydrologist

    In moderation again. Such a modest crime of calculated shades. I’m sure I will be released.

    In the mentime.

    There is a tide in the affairs of men.
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat,
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.

    Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

    • David Springer

      Chief Hydrologist | February 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply

      “In moderation again. Such a modest crime of calculated shades. I’m sure I will be released. ”

      As usual, I’m way ahead of you. I’ve been in moderation for about 24 hours now. It’s not so bad if you leverage the fact that Curry is the only reading the moderation queue. It’s a rare opportunity knowing that she is hanging on your every word!

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Bags for womens heads. “Dispatching” climate scientists – although the later explantation that you meant by “dispatching” putting them in the post rather than anything more sinister is noted. Jibes of an anti-g_y nature. Can anything be less appealing?

      Your science is more deductive then inductive. Starting with shaky foundations, proceeding through well rehearsed but misapplied concepts of atmospheric physics to a meaningless grand dénouement. Simple narratives for a simple man.

      I doubt that Judith is hanging on your words as much as choking on them. It is a testament to tolerance that you haven’t been booted.

  59. Fer policy don
    yr advocate’s red hat or
    science hat true blue.

    Hat tip Edward de Bono

  60. If I had the chance, the following are the amazing climate relationships I would present at the testimony:

    1) There is a roughly linear relationship between sun spot count and global mean surface temperature as shown:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/compress:12/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:1008/normalise

    2) There is a nearly perfect linear relationship between Global mean surface temperature and CO2 concentration as shown:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/from:1958/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/to:1981/normalise

    These results show the increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is due to the increase in solar activity.

    • I’d get them to sit through this episode of Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey Episode 3

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dq1h0

      and hope reality would dawn.

    • 1) There is a roughly linear relationship between sun spot count and global mean surface temperature as shown:

      You mean temperature rising after 1960 while sun spot count is going down?

      Are you assuming US voters elect idiots? (I’m not taking a position either way on that.)

      • David Springer

        Afraid not, Vaughn. Sunspot count plateaued at the highest level ever observed in 1960 and didn’t begin to retreat until very recently. This plateau is what’s called a solar grand maximum and this particular one is called “The Modern Maximum”. This is encyclopedic information. Wiki it.

        The relationship Girma posits didn’t break down until 1990 which is far too late to blame the usual suspect CO2. I suppose it’s possible there’s a longish delay between solar magnetic activity level and climate response that isn’t smudged out with a 20-year mean but I don’t see any delay of that magnitude in the prior history so I’m hesistant to give that explanation any weight. Girma smudging it out with a 1000-month mean doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, obviously, but your claim that it breaks down in 1970 is not correct either.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/every/mean:240/scale:100/plot/sidc-ssn/every/mean:240/offset:-75

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And yet….

        ‘We need to understand why studies using solar activity as a proxy for net sunlight seem to have real value, even though we know that there are terrestrial imprints of the solar cycle when the implied changes in solar
        irradiance seem too weak to induce an imprint.’

        http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

      • Leif Svalgaard agrees with you, CH. Just because sunspot numbers were down early in the 20th century is no reason to assume that Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) was any lower in 1900 than in 1950. It’s not as though the heat was coming directly from the sunspots.

        Wikipedia is only useful for knowledge that stabilized decades ago. This question of the relationship between SSN and TSI was still being hotly :) debated at last year’s annual Fall Meeting of the AGU.

    • David Springer

      The relationship between sunspots and temperature breaks down rather badly starting 20 years ago. The chart you present hides this with an extremely long mean. With a 20 year mean the breakdown is stark:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/every/mean:240/scale:100/plot/sidc-ssn/every/mean:240/offset:-75

      You must explain the breakdown in a reasonable manner not hide it with a 1000 month mean!

      • David

        We must first remove all the oscillations from the GMST so that we don’t mix the change in the GMST due to the sun and due to ocean cycles. The recent warming has a warming due to ocean cycles and this must be removed. This is the GMST that we should relate to the sun:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/compress:12/normalise

        So we must make sure that at least we have a running mean of 732 months to smooth out the oscillations.

      • David Springer

        You didn’t remove it in previous cycles. It shows up in the mean spread out over 84 years. All you do is remove the lumps. In removing the lumps you also remove the last 30 years of data because there isn’t enough history to calculate a mean beyond that point. I don’t think you’re fooling anyone except perhaps yourself.

  61. CH let’s hope so, )

  62. Let’s put it this way: as it relates to climate change and global warming, in the absence of definitive empirical science, which really won’t be available for several decades (I would guess), it’s to be expected that you are going to hear nothing but normative science in front of Congressional committees that are controlled by one party or the other.

    Which is why those who say we just don’t know are the closest to the truth. I leave it to all you geniuses out there–legislative bodies, bureaucrats and fatcats, et al– to come up with a program of action based on “we just don’t know.” Please try and do better than you are doing now. And by that I mean please stop bleeding the taxpayer and the ratepayer unnecessarily.

    We don’t know for sure what is causing the warming. We don’t know if the warming, if we are causing it, will be detrimental. We don’t know if most of the warming is due to natural variation or even unnatural variation of some kind that has nothing to do with human activity.

    We do know that enormous problems around the world, e.g. disease, water quality, environmental abuse, etc could be remedied or at least more energetically engaged if scientists and politicians invested more time and money in them than climate change. Climate change is taking all the air out of the room as it regards science and if the science as it is being presented by experts turns out to be in error, science itself will suffer in the eyes of peoples around the world.

    theduke.

    • Great post duke. Welcome to this blog. Now watch out for the CAGWers – lots of noise but lacking in impact – fortunately.

      • @Peter Davies: Great post duke. Welcome to this blog. Now watch out for the CAGWers – lots of noise but lacking in impact – fortunately.

        I’ll bear that in mind, Peter.

      • pottereaton’s last paragraph is why FOIA blew his mighty whistle. How do I know? Let me count the ways; there’s one in every scientific discipline, and also in the manifesto.
        ====================

      • kim, the more FOI the better AFAI’mC’d.

        Climate change is taking all the air out of the room as it regards science

        What incredible BS. Industry is working its butt off to make sure climate change doesn’t get a penny compared to other science. It’s exactly like gun control, which the government has ensured can’t get any significant money to do research into the impact of guns. As a result no one has a clue whether the 2nd Amendment is more or less beneficial to US society. It’s all just opinions, opinions, opinions and no serious investigation.

      • Vaughn, the more who view this voodoo science, the more who wonder who do science?
        ===========

      • Heh, a necessity, not a thing to be valued beneficial or not. I read it somewhere.

        By the way, I believe the founders put ‘well-regulated’ and ‘shall not be infringed’ in the same sentence so that we would argue about it rather than shoot each other about it.
        =============

      • Now to the nit. I love the precise way you accurately use the term ‘exactly like’. Such maths rigor. For art, though, next time try ‘uhzackly like’ or maybe ‘pregzackly like’.
        ==============

      • I love the precise way you accurately use the term ‘exactly like’.

        Oh come on, no one uses exactly exactly. Well, not me do, maybe you do.

      • A nitwit. But even the fleas flee your analogee.
        ======

      • So did the fleas.
        ============

      • David Springer

        @Kim

        http://constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

        It means (perhaps not precisely exactly) in proper working order.

        Then we need to ask why a militia in proper working order is essential to the security of a free state. Why not a police force or standing army instead of a militia? I believe the answer is because when an armed force is maintaining the security of an unarmed populace then that population is not free. So a militia isn’t required for the security of all states only free states.

        “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

        Semper Fi.

      • Vaughan Pratt,
        If we did not have guns, we would still be British and we would not have an American Constitution to amend.
        That is the impact of guns, our freedom.
        Take away our guns and then it will be easy to take away our freedom.

      • HAP,

        Australia has tight gun control laws. That’s not to say that no-one can own a gun but Australian law does take the view that a farmer doesn’t need to own a semi automatic assault rifle to keep the rabbits down in his paddock.

        And incidentally, on a point of information: Australia wasn’t reclaimed by Britain when the laws came into effect over a decade ago.

      • The gun advocates justify high-capacity magazines as a defense against the government in case they send the Army to take away their freedoms. Besides being a highly paranoid view, if the Army wanted to take your house they have grenades, mortars, gas, and a bunch of weapons that your high-capacity gun won’t help against. This excuse fails at the practicality hurdle.

      • I was just wondering about definition of the term “arms” in the USA? When the US constitution was written there wasn’t anything much more deadly than a musket. So the US constitution can be interpreted to mean than all citizens can own whatever is technically available.

        But, Is it legal to own anti tank rockets, anti-aircraft missiles, landmines, phosphorous shells, nuclear weapons even? I’d guess not – but just where is the line drawn? And is that line unconstitutional?

      • RE Gun control:

        It is off topic – but then I didn’t bring it up.

        I am not now, nor ever have been a member of the NRA. I am a veteran and did qualify on three weapons plus a couple of pyrotecnic devices. My undergrad degree is in History, with a number of graduate level courses in militart history.

        One of the first things I notice when the topic of guns come up is that for the most part, the folks advocating for various controls tend be extremely lacking in their knowledge of guns, history or both.

        Take Jim D’s comments. He claims that citizens who believe (correctly) that the purpose behind the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that government does not have a monopoly of force are paranoid. Jim also incorrectly adds the specification of such force being in the form of the US Army. From that he goes on to argue that possession of militarily equivelant small arms is rediculous when compared to all of the modern weapons systems available to our military forces.

        The Army is not the only means of armed enforcement available to government. It is also the least likely to be used in any civil conflict. There are even laws preventing that. But even if we grant Jim the point for the sake of his argument, we would still run up against his lack of understanding of history (and military tactics). History is repleate with examples of successful rebellions, revolutions and wars of independance which have succeeded against what appeared to be superior forces. The name Vietnam alone should make this clear to Americans. We do not have to go that far back in history. Look at Afghanistan. US and Coalition forces can win any time the opponent decides to stand and fight in a conventional manner. Yet there are areas of the country they have effectively conceded. (A nephew just returned from his 3rd deployment. Ask him if we are “winning”. You may want to define “winning” first.) The point is that armed citizens are an extremely effective brake on the use of force a government can bring to bear. Still, that does not stop people making dumbass comparisons between small arms and nuclear weapons. Any government who resorts to nuking their own citizens has already lost its legitimacy and will fall.

        Another uninformed argument is the comparison of the small arms available when the Constitution was written and those available today. It usually goes along the lines of “they couldn’t imagine a modern “assault rifle” back then. They were thinking of single shot muskets.” A musket was state of the art back then. Exactly where in the writings of the founding fathers does one observe a limitation based on technology? A modern military style rifle is exactly the sort of firearm the 2nd Amendment is designed to protect.

        Other indications an advocate of gun control is coming to the debate unarmed? Statements similar to this one – “Who needs a gun whose only purpose is to kill people.?” Nearly every firearm ever designed was done so with the express purpose of killing, with other people being considered the primary target. Most firearms used for hunting are derived from designs originally meant for military purposes.

        If you are not knowledgeable about firearms or history, I recommend Vaughan’s approach. He at least stakes out one aspect of the debate – public health, in order to better define how the opposition can come at him. But even should he win on that ground, it is but one field in a much larger theater. (It is also one that can be pretty easily taken by someone who knows what they are doing.)

        At least these people are not alone. Vice President Biden regularly is exhibiting how little he knows. Just yeaterday he stated that “rather than a hard to control assault rifle, the best means for home defense is a shotgun.” While I tend to agree with him on which type of weapon I’d choose for the purpose of defending against a home intruder (which is not relevant to the 2nd Amendment in any case) it most certainly is not for the reason Mr Biden mentions. Having qualified on the M16, I can assure you it is one of the most controllable firearms one can shoot. The Vice President went on to say that since he lives in a secluded area and thus may be more susceptable to a home intruder, he has advised his wife that if she ever feels threatened, she should go out to the porch and fire both barrels of her shotgun in the air. His first statement can be chalked up to being uninformed. His second is more closely attributable to being retarded.

      • Take Jim D’s comments. He claims that citizens who believe (correctly) that the purpose behind the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that government does not have a monopoly of force are paranoid.

        Can’t agree. If you look at the full context, there is much reason to conclude that the rationale for the 2nd amendment was to help empower government to fend off foreign invasions, and to fend off insurgencies – not to limit government’s monopoly on power.

        And so you superior understanding of history leads you to think that the success of the Viet Cong translates into a domestic armed citizenry being some kind of realistic threat to the American military.

        Interesting!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        timg56, it is the height of ignorance to say the founding fathers only had muskets in mind. They were aware of other weapons. As I recall, they even contemplated buying gatling guns and had a demonstration of one put on for them.

      • tim -

        Let’s say we grant you the hypothetical argument – that somehow an armed citizenry would act as a deterrence to the American government using military force against the American public to some significant degree…

        Do you really think that there is any chance that it might actually play out that way in some realistic scenario? If so, please do attempt to describe such a scenario. What scenario do you envision where, realistically, the government would contemplate using widespread military force, only to be deterred by an armed citizenry (keeping in mind how they are armed in comparison to the weaponry the military has available).

        But give me a couple of minutes before you respond. I want to go prepare some popcorn – as I’m sure that watching you respond (and/or other of my much beloved Climate Etc. “skeptics”), will be quite popcorn worthy.

      • Re: my 5:40 post.

        I should add that there is also evidence for the rationale for the 2nd amendment being that an armed citizenry would be a deterrence against governmental tyranny. My point was that tim’s claim (ironically made after he raised himself on a pedestal of superior understanding) was inaccurately simplistic.

        (Hoisted with his own petard, so to speak)

      • “armed citizenry”

        52 million of American households owning 260 million guns

        But Joshua has the knowledge that enables him to conclude that people shouldn’t have guns.

        He’s the Steven Mosher of Gun Control. They make up the elite class of super smart blog commenters.

        Andrew

      • But Joshua has the knowledge that enables him to conclude that people shouldn’t have guns.

        Fantasizing about me again, eh?

        How else to explain why you imagine me conclude things I’ve never concluded?

      • “How else to explain why you imagine me conclude things I’ve never concluded?”

        Well Joshua, here’s your chance to show how wrong I am. What is your conclusion about gun ownership in the USA? Should it be restricted? By how much?And who gets to decide? Get as specific as you like.

        Andrew

      • I love that, Andrew.

        First you tell me what my conclusions are, and then you give me the “chance” to tell you what my conclusions are. What did I do to deserve to be so lucky?

        You “skeptics” just kill me.

      • k scott denison

        timg56 | February 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        RE Gun control:

        It is off topic – but then I didn’t bring it up…
        ————–
        +100
        For those who don’t see the wisdom of timg56′s post, please explain why not having arms was good for the citizens under Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.

      • please explain why not having arms was good for the citizens under Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.

        The logic of a “skeptic” is a work of art and a thing of beauty.

        (1) By what measures have you determined that Germany under Hitler, Russia under Stalin, or China under Mao are analogous to our country?

        (2) By what measure have you determined that Hitler, Stalin, or Mao would have been significantly deterred had the citizenry of German, Russia, or China had weapons, but been so vastly out-armed as are the citizenry of our country compared to our military?

      • The gatlin gun was patented in 1862.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        steven, you’re right. I was thinking of the puckle gun, not the gatling gun.

      • The reason for having no, or lax, gun control laws is to give the US citizenry some defence against their own government should hostilities erupt. ie a Civil War. Have I understood that right?

        When civil wars do start I haven’t noticed that the legality, or otherwise, of firearm ownership has had much bearing on the outcome. Perhaps I haven’t been that observant.

        There’s one going on in Syria at the moment. Maybe the Assad government just needs to do pass suitable laws declaring all non-government armaments illegal? The rebels will then have to hand them in and afterwards all they will be able to do is complain bitterly: “Well of course we would have won but for those laws. It’s all just so unfair”.

      • It is similar to a gatling gun. Here is the version we had when I was in air defense. It was a blast trying to hit model airplanes with it. I was lucky in that I never had to worry about anything more threatening.

      • Temp, “Well of course we would have won but for those laws. It’s all just so unfair”.

        If you outlaw guns, more Americans will be outlaws. If you impose excess taxation, more Americans will be tax evaders. If you outlaw drugs,… well, we know how that is working out.

      • “my conclusions are”

        …that you are liberal/progressive weenie who can’t state what his conclusions are.

        But that’s old news.

        Andrew

      • …who can’t state what his conclusions are.

        Once again, displaying a complete lack of skepticism.

        Simply because I laugh at your notion that you’re giving me a “chance” to state what my conclusions are doesn’t mean that I can’t state what my conclusions are.

        Such logic is typical of “skepticism,” not skepticism. You folks give skepticism a bad name, but it’s worth it for the laughs.

      • Just because we laugh at you, don’t conclude we think you’re funny.
        ======================

      • “There is a disposition to do away with the carrying of firearms, and we hope the feeling will become general. The carrying of firearms is a barbarous custom, and it’s time the practice was broken up.” – Dodge City Times, ~1882

      • Joshua,

        I am uncertain what “full context” you are referring to. My definition of the term includes the many statements and written opinions on the subject by the men who formulated and signed the two documents.

        It is unarguable that the driving force was a fear of a central government gaining too much power. This is clear both in the opposition to a standing army and an insistence of every man retaining the right to be armed. They saw the two to be opposite sides of the same coin. If limits were to be placed on standing armed forces, then there obviously would have to be a pool of citizens that could be called upon quickly in the face of a foreign threat. At the same time, they also understood that the ultimate defense against the possibility of a over reaching central government was in the ability of its citizens to resist force with force. Arguing that the primary purpose behind the 2nd was only for the provision against foreign agression is to ignore most of the “context”. Nice try though.

        Regarding your request to explain how armed citizens might fare against our own military forces – you willing to pay for either the entertainment or educational value of an explanation? Based on how you phrase you question, you leave the impression that you do not have a lot of familiarity with firearms or our military. But at least you are putting to use some of the standard ploys from the climate change debate.

        Ploy #2 – the strawman. (Ploy #1 being cherry picking only part of the evidence – i.e. intent.)

        As I stated in the first post, the scenario of Americans having to confront the US military is an artifical construct. It is extremely questionable if they would obey any such orders. However the military is not the only instrument of force available. But let’s play your little game. Lets assume that armed Federal agents are involved in an attempt to sieze weapons and make arrests at a gun show and things go terribly wrong. People are shot and killed. Only instead of this happening on a mountain in Idaho, it’s in a large metropolitan area. Since we are assuming, we will assume that this incident provides the same spark as the events at Concord in 1775. Afterall it was exactly such an attempt which transformed what had been political objection into open, armed rebellion.

        Communities form their own militias. Perhaps one out of a hundred get involved. That’s several hundred to a couple thousand armed individuals. There isn’t a police department in the nation that is designed to confront something like that. Look at what it took to run one guy down it LA last week. So the National Guard gets called out. They can help law enforcement protect buildings and installations and maybe provide response forces when shooting incidents occur. But it is questionable if they have the manpower to track down every one person of the hundred. At best they could go door to door and search for firearms. (Which is exactly what one of the proposals here in Washington would allow for.)

        How do you think that would go over with the majority of people who were uncommitted? Rather than continue on, may I suggest you read up on wars of insurgency. From there go to what DoD guidelines and strategies are on counter insurgency. Do that and I’ll be happy to discuss with you which counter insurgency measures you think are or are not applicable when directed against US citizens.

        Hope you enjoyed your popcorn Josh. Oh, that pedestal you say I’ve placed myself on? Until you drop ploy #3 – avoidance of verifiable evidence – I’ll have no problem agreeing that on this subject I am far more informed than you. But I’m happy to be proven wrong.

      • When it comes to successful insurrections in the USA and its territories:

        USA – undefeated
        Insurrectionists – zippo

      • k scott denison

        tempterrain | February 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        The reason for having no, or lax, gun control laws is to give the US citizenry some defence against their own government should hostilities erupt. ie a Civil War. Have I understood that right?
        ———-
        No, you have not understood that correctly. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect free citizens from tyrannical government. Pretty simple actually. And while today our government does not appear tyrannical, the Constitution was written anticipating that the US would survive for millennia. Hence the need to protect against potential tyranny, which, by the way, has worked to this point in time. Yes, even through the Civil War, which did NOT end in a tyrannical government controlling the citizenry.

        Not hard to understand correctly, actually.

    • Yes, science will suffer temporarily, but it will be good in the long run. Truth hurts, but the hurt heals.

      • This carbuncle festers, though, and other systems are feverishly involved. Quick, get the mouse model.
        =============

    • Captain Kangaroo

      I am totally in favour of Gum Control. There is far too flapping going on.

    • JCH

      Break out your history book.

      The first armed insurrection created what is now the USA.

      Here the established power (the British colonial rulers) lost to the insurrection.

      The second (and last) major insurrection, if you will, was the Civil War.

      In this case, the established power (the USA) won against the insurrection.

      The guys in charge don’t always win these.

      Max

      • Max,

        There are more then the ones you mention.

        The Whiskey Rebellion was the first threat to the new nation. It’s failure was due to two factors – the quick action on the part of Washington (that’s George, not the city) to send in troops and the lack of leadership on the part of the farmers attempting to avoid taxes.

        The following the Spanish American war, the US was engaged in a long insurrection in the Philippines (13+ years). The ultimate resolution was a promise on self-governance. One can argue who “won” this.

        While perhaps not “insurrections”, the various conflicts of the Indian Wars could arguably be included. Personally, they were more a form of invasion than insurrection. The native peoples were defeated and not assimilated.

        One could possibly include US military action in the Dominican Republic and Nicuargua in the 1920′s, but that would hinge on how you define “territories”.

        Of course none of this means JCH makes any sort of valid rebuttal. More a chirp from the peanut gallery.

      • The American Revolution was an insurrection against England and its various colonial governments, and Tories among the citizenry. My ancestors lived in Virginia and the western territories, and they were rebels.

        Often when there are successful insurrections, there is some sort of proxy war/conflict among superpowers that benefits the rebels in significant ways. Without that, I would think most insurrections against stable central governments fail.

    • Hey, how ’bout we outlaw alcohol?

      Wouldn’t that be a good idea?

      Max

    • pottereaton

      Great post.

      You’ve hit the nail on the head.

      Even with abnormative science, WE JUST DON’T KNOW…

      (And now let’s put together a robust action plan for immediate implementation in order to resolve the problem.)

      Max

      PS Welcome to Climate Etc.

  63. Chief Hydrologist

    Indeed so Beth.

    Feynman calls for ”a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, and the progress made possible by such a philosophy, progress which is the fruit of freedom of thought. I feel a responsibility to proclaim the value of this freedom and to teach that doubt is not to be feared, but that it is to be welcomed as the possibility of a new potential for human beings. If you know that you are not sure, you have a chance to improve the situation. I want to demand this freedom for future generations.’

    A philosophy of ignorance is missing from both sides of the debate – they are all so certain usually of utter rubbish. But it is not about science it is a war of cultural values in which narratives of science are a weapon. If one narrative ‘wins’ then it is one set of cultural values – if the other then a different tribes triumphs.

    There are of course ways forward on all fronts – http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/Climate_Pragmatism_web.pdf – but that would be too easy.

  64. Some interesting parallels between health experts exaggerations of flu shot effectiity and hyping of climatists’ predictive abilitiies:

    “There is a real downside to the promotion (of the current flu vaccine), as it dampens serious investment and shuts down any real interest in start-ups to create a more effective vaccine,” Osterholm said. “There is a sense that a 59% match is better than zero, but we wouldn’t accept this with a disease like measles, which we seem to take more seriously.”

    With the global warming alarmists, a sense of providing utility to politicians became all that mattered and that is why their product cannot be take seriously by scientific sceptics.

  65. Chief 2 12,25am:
    And sometimes the science turns out ter be thin,
    like the Emperor’s suit he thinks he looks good in.

    Hat tip Hans Christian Anderson.

  66. The “Complete” Green Matrix
    Diane Alden

    Scientists tell me that the deceit involved in the Canadian lynx study is only one of many dots in the green matrix, as once again “science is put in service to a political agenda.”
    Trace the motive behind the fraud to an international agenda. An agenda adopted years ago when the U.N. and UNESCO were looking for ways to create a global economy and social structure – a collectivist utopian vision of the collective “good.”
    That ultimate “good,” of course, is decided by the world’s elites, the “good” of the collective as opposed to the welfare and primacy of the individual. What would be created is a despotic utopian world where where our lives, property, economics, education, jobs and the environment are centrally planned.
    The cover for the collectivist vision is the environment – and environmental policy. In order to use the environment to achieve a centrally planned global economy and culture, various groups and individuals took the necessary step of inventing the “science” of biocentrism and conservation biology.

    To legitimize this unproven science, the Society of Conservation Biology was created by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) in 1985 and was initially funded by various foundations. The true goal of conservation biology was made clear when the journal Conservation Biology began publication in 1987. Michael Soulé, founder and then president of the Society of Conservation Biology, outlined the radical purpose of conservation biology.

    Soulé stated, when the Society was founded, “We assume implicitly that environmental wounds inflicted by ignorant humans and destructive technologies can be treated by wiser humans and by wholesome technologies.”

    I wonder if Soulé is pals with Agent Smith from the Matrix?
    In modern conservation theory, the notion of man as a cancer on the land is a recurring theme. So the new “science” helps explain away the harsh implementation of environmental regulations that may indeed destroy individuals and communities.

    In cases such as the Klamath farmers, for instance, and the destruction of an entire area by the bogus listing of a species of owl that was not endangered, we have “science” serving policy.

    That science is called “biocentrism.” It uses “conservation biology” and “ecosystem management” as tools to implement “managed” science. Like managed news, it is not about discovering the truth but rather about manipulating data to serve an agenda. In addition, the main screwdriver in the tool box of “biocentrism” is the concept known as the “precautionary principle.”
    snip

    The lynx hoax did not happen in a vacuum. Blaming some puny federal bureaucrats who fudged a study while ignoring the larger institutional problem is bogus.
    The problem is not that federal “scientists” cooked the data on one aspect of listing the lynx as endangered in a specific “ecosystem,” but rather that the entire premise of “ecosystem” is accepted as “science” in the first place.

    http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Environment/complete_matrix.htm

    • This extract from Australia’s IPA is on a different topic but shows the dangers in centralised regulation and direction. Those advocating massive economic and social change to deal with CAGW might ponder it:

      Since at least the 1960s, advocates have called for firms to be socially responsible. Governments have responded. But what does it mean for firms to be socially responsible? And do government subsidies and regulations help?

      Calls for firms to be socially responsible suggest that they are not. But firms are perhaps the greatest social invention after families. Firms are a way for people to cooperate to earn incomes and create wealth. They are able to do this by providing goods and services that people want and need. Firms invest in infrastructure, land improvement, capital equipment, and people. Firms encourage innovation by spreading entrepreneurial risk and sharing the rewards. Finally, the activities of firms provide dignity and meaning to the lives of the people that work in them.

      Firms have a strong incentive for doing good: they are rewarded by profits. They are also punished for causing harm: by losses, by penalties from contract and tort laws, and by damaged reputations. Regulators, on the other hand, seldom receive clear and timely feedback about the effects of their regulations.

      To determine whether efforts by advocates and regulators to force firms to be even more socially responsible are justified, I looked for evidence on the effects of corporate social responsibility regulations with my colleague Wharton Professor Scott Armstrong. We started by asking what conditions would need to be met in order to be confident that corporate social responsibility regulations would improve people’s lives.

      The basic conditions regulators need to meet are to, first, know the endowments, relationships, and preferences of people who are affected. Second, to identify how the situation could be improved for them. Third, to design regulations that would produce the intended changes and no others. And, fourth, to implement and enforce the regulations so that they do produce the intended changes, and no others, in such a way that the cost is less than any benefit.

      It is hard to imagine how such detailed and specific knowledge could be available to a regulator. For example, we are ignorant of our own true preferences-including those related to social and environmental matters-until we are faced with specific choices. Having made our choices, our reports of how we made them are unreliable. What is more, making our own choices is important for our happiness. (Imagine a day with someone else making all of your choices for you!) Regulation substitutes the choices of the regulator for our freedom to choose what we believe is for the best. For some that is sufficient grounds to reject regulation, but even for those for whom it is not, it is surely socially responsible to ask for good evidence that we would be better off with the regulation.

      http://www.ipa.org.au/publications/2143/should-government-force-companies-to-be-responsible-

    • the deceit involved in the Canadian lynx study

      If it’s not in Conservapedia it’s not true.

    • No we don’t think that dismantling markets is an appropriate response. The appropriate response is a multifaceted one that embraces technological innovation and economic development. .

  67. Who needs research when Vaughn’s got Bellesiles and phonied up stats about the danger of gun possession. He’s been bullshat and begs for more. What kind of serf is this elite?
    ===============

  68. Say, Vaughan … i am unable ter tell yer what is *true*

    Like Socrates ) I only know that I know … nuthing. But since we’ve
    been discussing *hats,* rhymes with *cats,* (also dunny rats,)
    the cheshire cat tells us ‘We’re all mad.’ Hope this helps.

    BC

    • Beth, I am in awe of what you know. It’s deeper than quantum mechanics, weightier than a neutron star, bigger than the universe, and to help me fall asleep I merely have to focus my mind on it.

      We’re all mad. Hope this helps.

      Greatly. (I knew it was true of everyone but you and me, and I suspected you a little too. Now I see we’re all in it together.)

      • We have met the enemy, this host of hope.
        ===================

      • David Springer

        You conflate weight and density when saying a neutron star is weighty. The neutron star is dense. I’d point out the density of the person who made the mistake but it would likely be snipped so I must refrain.

      • Spoken like an unlicensed poet.

        There was a mistake but not that: “greater” would have been better than “bigger” as an adjective applied to what someone knows.

  69. Everyday, out there, helpin’ others…it’s me life’s work, VP.Sleep well)

  70. Normative? Its not a word that crops up in everyday discussion. Do we all understand what it means?

    Saying smoking cigarettes has adverse health effects such as causing cancer and heart disease, or eating too much processed sugary or fatty food can cause obesity aren’t normative statements. But take that a step further and suggest that people shouldn’t smoke or should eat less of these types of food and they do become normative. Back up these suggestions with scientific evidence and that becomes “normative science”.

    So on the climate: Saying that CO2 and methane are greenhouse gases and saying that on present trends the emission of these gases will cause a doubling of pre industrial levels by the end of this century isn’t normative. Saying this will cause a likely warming of between 1.5 degC and 4.5 deg C isn’t normative. Saying that the Arctic ice cap will disappear in summer in about 50 years time isn’t normative. Saying that sea levels could rise by several metres if the Greenland ice sheet melts , again, isn’t normative. But start to argue that it might be preferable to control GH gas emissions and ……..

    I don’t remember scientists who reported on the tobacco issue being required to keep from stepping over the line into ‘normativity’, if that is the right word to describe it. Except maybe the tobacco companies would have argued that they shouldn’t. But they were the bad guys and they would have used any argument possible, wouldn’t they? Are those who are making the same argument on this issue any better?

    • k scott denison

      Lets see… On the one hand we have direct, observational, epidemiological evidence of the impact of cigarettes and processed sugar/fatty foods and on the other we have direct observational evidence of…. Oh, that’s right. We don’t have any direct, observational evidence of climate sensitivity.

      Huh.

  71. OBSERVATION BASED ESTIMATE OF CLIMATE SENSITIVITY.

    Climate sensitivity = Increase in Equilibrium GMST for increase in CO2 by 280 ppm.

    Almost perfect correlation between Equilibrium GMST and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:732/from:1958/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/to:1981/normalise

    The linear regression of the above data gives a climate sensitivity of 1.85 deg C:

    Change in Equilibrium GMST = 0.0066 * Change in CO2 = 0.0066 * 280 = 1.85 deg C.

    • Girma’s reasoning has enough correct bits to make it worth analyzing.

      @Girma: Climate sensitivity = Increase in Equilibrium GMST for increase in CO2 by 280 ppm.

      That part’s ok provided 280 is the correct preindustrial level. It’s likely to be in the range 270-290, but narrowing it down is harder so let’s stick to 280.

      Almost perfect correlation between Equilibrium GMST and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere:

      That part’s also ok, because both plots curve smoothly upwards and are concave upwards to a similar degree, making it easy to get a reasonable fit.

      Change in Equilibrium GMST = 0.0066 * Change in CO2 = 0.0066 * 280 = 1.85 deg C.

      That makes no sense. Because of the “normalise” in both time series your “almost perfect correlation” throws away a constant factor that needs to participate in this bit of the reasoning. There is nothing in this that gives a clue when 560 ppmv will be reached.

      There are other problems too. For example 1958-1981, when CO2 rose from 314 to 339 ppmv, only covers about 11% of the rise from 280 to 560 (log2(314/280) = 16.5%, log2(339/280) = 27.5%, log2(560/280) = 100%) and is centered about 22% of the way up that rise, which is not much to go on when the rise is concave upwards. Also the AMO drops very steeply over that period reducing observed climate sensitivity. Then the delay from the oceanic mixed layer needs to be estimated. And so on.

      As it stands however your formula is simply algebra salad producing a meaningless number without even the right units.

  72. pottereaton writes “Which is why those who say we just don’t know are the closest to the truth.”

    It is nice to see someone elase writing this. I have maintained this for years, basicly for the same reason you give; lack of empirical data. However, if true, it has extremely important implications. It means that the certainty with which the IPCC presents it’s conclusions in the SPM to the AR4, are simply just plain wrong and unscientific. And from the look of things, the AR5 is going to be no better.

    Until we have empirical measured data on the value of total climate sensitivity, with an accuracy expressed as a +/-, no-one has the slightest idea of how certain the conclusions of the CAGW hypothesis are.

  73. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    tempterrain notices  “Normative? Its not a word that crops up in everyday discussion. Do we all understand what it means?”

    The word you are seeking, oh tempterrain, is the ancient Hebrew word shibboleth. As in:

    Climate-change denialists have lately embraced “normative science” as a shibboleth for reliably identifying the members of an astro-turfed network of ideology-driven denialism.

    The phrase “normative science” refers to a hyper-idealized anhistorical vision of science (and medicine, economics, engineering, etc.) that does not correspond to any past, present, or future practice of science.

    \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}

    Question for Climate Etc Discourse Is “normative science” purely a shibboleth of Lackeys?

    • FOMD,

      I seem to recall people objecting to the normative science of medical companies and tobacco companies. The ideal of non normative science is not ahistorical. In fact, one can view the history of science as man’s struggle to separate “is” from “ought”, as man’s struggle to remove the bias of individuals, the bias of religion, the bias of culture and the bias of politics.
      Whether there has been any advance toward that ideal is a separate question. The issue is this: fully recognizing that normative statements are hard to remove from science, fully recognizing that divesting science of all external interests is hard if not impossible, is the best response to embrace normative science or to double ones efforts or to control for it explicitly. Merely noting, as you do, that the ideal has never existed, is so trivial that I hard see what if anything it adds to the conversation. Noting the fact is not a solution.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher, that is a thoughtful reply, for which appreciation and thanks are extended!

        \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}

        One lesson-learned that comes from medical science, and also from sociobiology, and also from the history of science, is that science and society both benefit when the normative elements of science are made: (1) explicit, and (2) stronger, and (3) plainer.

        An outstanding example of normative science that is explicit, strong, and plainly-stated is the recent article by Hansen et al. Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature.

        Congressional testimony along Hansen’s explicitly normative lines can only benefit the practice of democracy, eh?

        For obvious reasons, Climate Etc’s lurking denialists will be swift to disagree, eh?

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      • making the normative explicit is one of the benefits of Post Normal Science. Most folks here dont like PNS. the want a naive return to science without politics.. using politics, of course, to get to neverland

    • ‘GK: Listen, ma’am. I am a cowboy. I am a fundamental synergistic and iconic element of the American milieu.
      SS: Iconic.
      GK: That’s what I said. Iconic.
      SS: A real cowboy wouldn’t use the word “iconic.”
      GK: A cowboy can talk any way a cowboy wants to talk.
      SS: Not words like “iconic”.
      GK: That’s what I call a shibboleth.
      SS: Ha! Cowboys don’t use words like that.
      GK: Whatever words express the unbidden vicissitudes of our soul.
      TR: Sissy who?
      GK: Vicissitude.
      SS: You don’t even know what it means.
      GK: If a man only used words he knew the meaning of, he’d never learn anything—–’ http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2012/01/21/scripts/cowboys.shtml

      Why I even have a horse called Shibboleth – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg

      He can smell dem cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. Aye FOMBS.

  74. Vaughan

    In your example I see that Kirk failed to use his critical decision making skills. If Scotty said the engines were at their limit, Kirk should have asked follow on questions including but not limited to:
    What specifically is at its limit, what leads you to this conclusion? What would be the result of exceeding the limits and when? A good decision maker frequently needs to ask follow-on questions to make good decisions.

    Vaughan- In the real world the climate is a complex system that is only partially understood. Imo the key questions are:
    1. Does additional atmospheric CO2 result in warming the planet if all other conditions remain unchanged?
    2. At what rate will earth actually warm over timescales important to humans?
    3. What other conditions important to humans will change as a result of any warming?
    4. Will the changes in conditions lead to net positive or net negative conditions for humans and to what extent and where?
    5. ***If one determines that the net harms exceed the net benefits or if it is believed that significant harms are created then an analysis should be conducted to determine the most efficient path to reduce the undesirable harms without creating additional harms to the public.

    In the case of climate science, the answer to #1 is yes, to #2 is we really do not know yet, #3 we really do not know yet, and #4 we really do not know yet. In spite of that, many strongly advocate specific mitigation actions as the only or desirable action plan.

    Vaughan—does that seem wise to you under the circumstances in the real world??? If you disagree, why?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rob Starkey’s four simple questions [abridged] 
      —————
      Q1  Does additional atmospheric CO2 warm the planet?
      A1  Yes.
      —————
      Q2  At what rate will earth actually warm?
      A2  On a scale of centuries, sufficient to permanently drown all of Florida (along with every other low-lying societies around the globe), irrevocably acidify the oceans, and irretrievably disrupt all terrestrial ecologies.
      —————
      Q3  What conditions important to humans will change?
      A3  Stability of property rights will be destroyed, global markets will massively fail, and the security of future generations will be grievously harmed.
      —————
      Q4  Will these changes be negative?
      A4  Yes.
      —————

      Rob Starkey, when your four questions are stripped of redundant verbiage, the answers are strikingly clear.

      Thank you for providing this simple clarity to Climate Etc, Rob Starkey!

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    • many strongly advocate specific mitigation actions as the only or desirable action plan. Does that seem wise to you under the circumstances in the real world?

      Good question. But how does it bear on my point that basic scientific information needed by organizations is best acquired by outside scientists? I’m fine with the inside scientists focusing narrowly on research into questions that the organization urgently needs answered, leaving the outside scientists free to pursue more broadly based research.

      If you’re claiming the outside scientists should not be seeking specific mitigation actions you’ll find broad agreement with that viewpoint at geophysics meetings. And of course you’ll find the opposite viewpoint there too but nowhere near as well represented.

      • Vaughan

        Personally I do find the issue of inside vs. outside “consultants” to be critical. The merits of the position is critical and not from where it came. It would not matter if the vast majority of CO2 mitigation actions were recommended by an internal or external individual, the recommendation would still likely be a poor use of limited resources. That said, if someone can show such an action that makes sense I’d support it.

      • I think we’re talking at cross purposes. You’re concerned that the cost-benefit analysis of particular mitigation actions shows them to be ill-advised. I was talking about where and how organizations might get their scientific information from in general: scientific information could either flow directly from outside to HQ, or be filtered by inside scientists on its way, or be generated internally by inside scientists. I was leaning towards the second.

  75. How is normative science different from post modern science, different from motivated reasoning, different from tribalism, etc., etc. ad infinitum?

    They are all ways of saying that the speaker/scientist is influenced by his/her perception of non-scientific matters in making public his scientific “findings.”

    You don’t deal with any of those issues by telling the scientists to shut up. You deal with it by looking at the science, looking at the scientist’s motivations, looking at dissenting evidence and opinion, and making your own conclusion.

    What matters is not the motivation of the scientist, but his honesty. Expert witnesses in civil and criminal trials are virtually all paid for their testimony. That doesn’t mean you don’t allow the use of expert witnesses, it means you allow the opposing party to examine the witness about his compensation, and his past history of testifying, and leave it to the judge or jury to decide who is credible.

    If Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen firmly believe that their research shows the sky is falling, it would be morally repugnant of them not to say so. Think of the latest threat to mankind…the sky literally falling, in the form of an asteroid. Imagine an astronomer spots an asteroid, does his calculations, and determines that the asteroid is going to his the Earth and cause catastrophic damage. On what planet should he just report his calculations?

    The proper response to bad speech (testimony from climate scientists before Congress ignoring their true uncertainty), is good speech (by competing scientists outlining the real level of uncertainty in myriad aspects of the CAGW/decarbonization argument).

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      GaryMsays   “The proper response to bad speech is good speech.”

      Yes. When joined with the common-sense historical reality, that normative science upon occasion has entailed:

      removing literal “pump handles” …

      removing fluorocarbon “pump handles” …

      removing NOX, SO4, and CO2 “pump handles” …

      Because guarding the Public Commons from the devastating “pump-handles” of market-failure — in all its well-understood forms! — has been a time-honored (and outstandingly successful) role of democratic government.

      Aren’t these normative scientific and economic realities both historically accurate *and* plain-and-simple common-sense GaryM?

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    • Gary

      I agree. Unfortunately those who believe based upon their faith (such as Fan) seem unable to digest an exchange based on data.

      • Rob Starkey,

        True, but of no real concern. Progressive drones like Fan are impervious to evidence. Fortunately, they are not the target of the “good speech” I was writing about. Elections are not won by convincing the MSNBC kool aid drinkers. They are won (if at all), by educating the run of the mill “moderates,” “independents,” “swing voters” and others who spend their lives living, and don’t know about the relentless propaganda campaign they have been subjected to since preschool.

        It is a long, arduous process. Reagan and Thatcher being the only two prominent, genuinely conservative, heads of state in my lifetime. But if we can’t convince the voters of the truth, we have no business governing anyway.

      • Gary

        You may be correct, but I fear that an ever higher percentage of the US electorate is becoming more easily swayed by bad data and good public relations. It takes patience and effort to slowly go through the validity of their fears and proposed solutions. People such as Fan state that I do not want to take any action. This is completely wrong. I simply want to do what makes sense.

      • Rob Starkey,

        You are absolutely right. History is full of human made disasters where those who opposed the inexorable centralization of power were unsuccessful. The 1930s and 40s in Germany, Russia, China, Japan and Italy being recent examples. There is no guarantee we can stop the progressive movement. Obama was just re-elected with one of the worst records of a sitting president in U.S. history.

        But my money is still on the American people. They have been suckered by progressive economic and social arguments because conservatives have not understood the means by which progressives had gained control of the education and media establishments. But there is an ever more active dialogue on the legitimate right now, realizing the decades of hard work progressives put into their recent success.

        We won’t turn back the tide with massive Karl Rove style ad campaigns every four years directed at select counties around the country. We have to be willing to work as hard at telling the truth, as the left has at spreading their fantasies. We have to invest years in taking back education and popular culture, just as they did to get to this point.

  76. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    FOMDposts regarding the normative science of: 

    removing literal “pump handles” …

    removing fluorocarbon “pump handles” …

    removing NOX, SO4, and CO2 “pump handles” …

    Because guarding the Public Commons from the devastating “pump-handles” of market-failure has been a time-honored (and wonderfully successful!) role of government.

    GaryMresponds  “Reagan and Thatcher [were] the only two prominent, genuinely conservative, heads of state in my lifetime.

    LOL … GaryM, it’s heartening that you have learned so much from the above removing fluorocarbon “pump handle” link, oh GaryM!

    Perhaps a future coalition of true-conservatives will wisely create for CO2 the same wise market-cap systems that Ronald Reagan wisely created for CFx!

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    • Yes, Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol, and Reagan also believed the lies of progressives on immigration “reform,” and trading tax increases now for spending cuts in the future…. Thatcher is a good example of how conservatives finally came to see the “environmental movement” for the progressive trojan horse that it was.

      Unfortunately, while Reagan was the first conservative president in my lifetime, he got less than half of what he wanted. But we have learned from his mistakes so the next one, in the words of Peter Townsend – “won’t get fooled again!” (I hope.)

      So Fan, I join you in calling for the election of another Ronald Reagan.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Yes, in signing the Montreal Accords, Ronald Reagan wisely appreciated that Nature cannot be fooled, and in prudent accord with this higher wisdom, Reagan abandoned his short-sighted ideology-first free-market allies, and wisely signed the Montreal Accords.

        Ronald Reagan did what any truly conservative President would do, eh GaryM?

        We have also come to understand the true meaning of conservatism. By that overworked and confusing term I do not mean the piestic and selfish libertarianism into which much of the American conservative movement has lately descended. I mean instead the ethic that cherishes and sustains the resources and proven best institutions of a community. In other words, true conservatism, an idea that can be applied to human nature as well as to social institutions.”

        That is why we may all devoutly hope that a future coalition of true conservatives — acting in Ronald Reagan’s name, and for the sake of the Republican Party — will wisely embrace for CO2 the same market-cap systems that Ronald Reagan wisely embrace for CFx!

        GaryM and FOMD agree:  The Republican Party has lost election-after-election by repeatedly failing to nominate true science-respecting conservatives!

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      • Fan

        How do we know whether or not there hasn’t always been an ozone hole of some description prior to the creation of the instruments that could measure it back in the 1950′s?
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Tonyb asks: “How do we know whether or not there hasn’t always been an ozone hole of some description?”

        The same way we know (from geology) that the Creator didn’t insert fossils into rocks, just for fun, when the Earth was created 6000 years ago.

        The same way we know (from molecular biology) that HIV/AIDS isn’t a plague inflicted by the hand of God.

        The same way we know (from mathematics) that free markets are subject to catastrophic market failure.

        In short, we know from the science of atmospheric chemistry.

        Tonyb, it is a pleasure to respond to your curiosity regarding science and its methods!

        \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}

      • Tonyb asks: “How do we know whether or not there hasn’t always been an ozone hole of some description?”

        The short answer is we do not no.There is no proxy for O3 that is not ambiguous say in the uptake of 14c or the effects on stomata.

        There are some good arguments on this problem in the WMO review 2006 (Mckenzie et al)

      • Fan

        So you obviously know more than the experts at Cambridge university and the max Planck institute who confirmed to me that they didn’t know whether or not the hole had existed prior to modern instrumentation?

        How refreshing that in you fan we have expertise on the subject greater than at those two great institutions. The denizens are truly privileged to have such knowledge readily to hand.
        Tonyb

  77.  

    For the “latest science” see new paper …

    ABSTRACT

    The paper explains why the physics involved in atmospheric and sub-surface heat transfer appears to have been misunderstood, and incorrectly applied, when postulating that a radiative “greenhouse effect” is responsible for warming the surfaces of planets such as Venus and our own Earth.

    A detailed discussion of the application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics endeavours to settle the much debated issue as to whether or not a thermal gradient evolves spontaneously in still air in a gravitational field. The author is aware of attempted rebuttals of this hypothesis, but cogent counter arguments are presented, together with reference to empirical evidence.

    The ramifications are substantial, in that they eliminate any need for any “greenhouse” explanation as to why the surface temperatures are as observed. No other valid reason appears plausible to explain how the required energy gets into the planetary surfaces, this being especially obvious in regard to the high temperatures measured at the surface of the crust of Venus.

    The paper includes some counter-intuitive concepts which sceptical readers may be tempted to reject out of hand. Physics sometimes has some surprises, and so you are encouraged to read and understand the argument step by step, for it is based on sound physics, and unlocks some mysteries of the Solar System, including core and mantle temperatures, not previously explained in this manner to the best of the author’s knowledge.

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/PROM/PROM-COTTON_Planetary_Core_and_Surface_Temperatures.pdf

  78. FOMD, I have to admit that I’ve developed a grudging respect for you. I know, I’m as surprised as you are :-). Of course, I disagree with almost everything you say, and I find your patronizing style as infuriating as ever, but you’re good at what you do (whatever that is exactly), and your energy and determination to so it seem boundless.

    A moment of appreciation for comrade FOMD!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      pokerguy says  “You’re good at what you do (whatever that is exactly) and your energy and determination to do it seem boundless.”

      LOL … must … resist … temptation … (quickly yields) … that’s what she said!

      Thanks, pokerguy … you’re no slouch at humor yourself! Heck, there’s sufficient ill-humor and abuse getting posted, that there’s no need for us to increase the supply!

      \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}

      • I’ve been rough on you at times and truthfully I feel kinda bad about it. Actually I’m a big softie. Just ask my 3 doggies. 2 of whom are currently in my lap as I write this.

      • Not that you can’t dish it out yourself of course, And damn effectively. Not for the faint of heart, this so-called blogosphere.

  79. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘The paper includes some counter-intuitive concepts which sceptical readers may be tempted to reject out of hand.’

    Right again Doug.

  80. So, simply hopping on the post-normal bandwagon is the best way to deal with the fact that Politicians have found a way to use willing scientists to redistribute wealth and remove personal freedoms? Really? I can’t believe what I am reading on this thread. The USA is doomed.

    • “simply hopping on the post-normal bandwagon”

      Yes, and Steven Mosher could have done that with far fewer comments over the years, I reckon. Unless of course, the comments were designed to mislead more people. Then I can see why the quantity.

      Andrew

    • The new post-normal of Eurocommunism in the USA brings about limitless possibilities for corruption in all government-funded activities.

  81. Chief Hydrologist

    Dear FOMBS,

    Science is inevitably good – if it sometimes moves in circuitous paths. The ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ of 1976/77 – for instance – is the most significant and mysterious climate event of the past few decades. This event is seen as an abrupt shift in the frequency and intensity of ENSO and a shift from a cool PDO to warm PDO. More intense and frequent La Niña to 1976, El Niño dominant to 1998 and a return to La Niña dominance since. See for yourself.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

    http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fed/oeip/ca-pdo.cfm

    Here is another taste from NASA – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    Look here for the characteristic cold “V” of the cool Pacific Mode – http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2013/anomnight.2.18.2013.gif

    The cool mode will intensify over another decade or more. You do know what this means FOMBS? You lose.

    Best regards

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chief Hydrologist claims:  “The cool mode will intensify over another decade or more. You do know what this means FOMBS? You lose.”

      That’s odd, Chief. The Anthony Watts/WUWT CO2-versus-T data plainly shows that (CO2 doubling) = (20+ C heating).

      So if we go purely by Anthony Watts’ zero-adjustment style of science, then James Hansen’s worldview is dismayingly optimistic … and so humanity loses, eh?

      Chief, it appears a whole lot of folks here on Climate Etc don’t appreciate that the IPCC/Hansen adjustment-style scientific methods yield hugely optimistic future scenarios … compared to WUWT-style no-adjustment pure-correlation climate-change scenarios.

      Yikes.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\clubsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\clubsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      morediscourse@tradermail.info
      A fan of *MORE* discourse

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I’m astonished that you put so much store in WUWT. But let’s take a little peer-reviwed tonic before revisiting.

        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an
        increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ S&T 09

        Indeed it has and the evidence is before our eyes – is it not FOMBS?

        But here is what WUWT has to say – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/20/shifting-of-the-pacific-decadal-oscillation-from-its-warm-mode-to-cool-mode-assures-global-cooling-for-the-next-three-decades/ – not that I ever put much store in it.

        ‘Addressing the Washington Policymakers in Seattle, WA, Dr. Don Easterbrook said that shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from its warm mode to its cool mode virtually assures global cooling for the next 25-30 years and means that the global warming of the past 30 years is over.’

        But I am astonished also that you can ignore NASA and the JPL as well as many others.

        You have lost the battle of the sciences – and merely sadly reguritate dated missives from the usual suspects. So sad too bad.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chief Hydrologist wonders “I’m astonished that you put so much store in WUWT [quoting NASA data].”

      Better boost the gain on your sarcasm detector, Chief!

      The point is that Watts/WUWT routinely posts paleo data that — on the face of it! — indicates HUGE climate forcing (of order 20 degrees C per doubling of CO2).

      Absurdly, Watts/WUWT then criticize James Hansen and colleagues for models that are far more moderate in their predictions, than are strictly data-driven models. By the way, you do the same, Chief!

      Conclusions  (1) Pure-data approaches to determining CO2 sensitivity predict CAGW as an inescapable reality. (2) James Hansen and colleagues are climate-change moderates.

      \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I got it first time FOMBS – no need to repeat. These large scale ocean and atmospheric patterns have shifted into a multi-decadal cool mode. No warming for decades more at least. Get used to it. You lose.

      • Whip ‘Concatenation of Cooling Phases of the Oceanic Osclillations’ on him. That one leaves marks and froth on the lips.
        ===================

      • Well, it doth if you thpell it right.
        ============

  82. “Science is inevitably good –” But then, wouldn’t you say the jury is still out on that chief?

  83. Or perhaps you could say science is good, though it can be fatally (in the larger sense) misapplied.

    • The sentence in my post above is a link to an article by Seth Borenstein. On Judith’s blog the links are not of a contrasting color.

  84. “Typically in pseudoscience, there is a hard core of believers. The number of supporters rises, peaks, and slowly declines, but is only brought to zero by retirement and/or death.”

    ~Greg Kochanski (writing about Irving Langmuir’s indications of pathological science)

  85. lurker passing through, laughing

    Another group of rich academics promoting their prejudices that just happen to be supported by the discoveries they made their fortunes with.
    In b movies the scientist who just happens to discover not only the threat to Earth but also the solution is a fun plot tool.
    Why do these clever rich guys think we are living in a cheesy b movie?

  86. Call me cynical, but would we have seen this item on normative science if it had been Inhofe holding a briefing on climate science where he trots out Lindzen, Michaels and various other Heartland favorites, to say that CO2 is not causing much global warming and business-as-usual won’t be a problem in the future?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Your something other than cynical – a climate war partisan perhaps. The reality is that the world is not warming for decades. Get used to it – you lose.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | February 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply

        “The reality is that the world is not warming for decades.”

        Really. You’ve visited the future and come back to tell us all what happens. Was there a DeLorean and a flux capacitor involved? Or maybe you were aboard the Starship USS Enterprise as Captain Kirk performed a slingshot around the sun at warp 10?

        I’d continue but it’s not likely to survive moderation as it is.

        ROFLMAO

      • David Springer

        Seriously though… you’ve written (over and over ad naseum) that the climate system is chaotic. So how does that square with you now predicting the temperature trend for the next few decades? It would appear you’re contradicting yourself. Please explain.

      • Dave, there are determined and undetermined elements in climate. A while ago I had the same question for Robert, but settled it myself. It is the concatenation of cooling phases of the oceanic oscillations which will most likely determine climate over the next few decades. Chaos intervening does not make Robert inconsistent.
        ==========

      • CH, just pointing out an asymmetry in thinking here. If you are going to call average mainstream scientists normative because they present mainstream views to a panel, you certainly have to include minority scientists whose views just happen to fit the agenda of anti-AGW senators, so that they get invited disproportionately to their numbers.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t know why any of this would be a surprise. We used to think of cycles – decadal, centennial etc They are in fact abrupt and nonlinear shifts in the climate system.

        Here for instance – http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/16/congressional-testimony-and-normative-science/#comment-296932

        Try to keep up springer.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        I don’t know why any of this would be a surprise. We used to think of cycles – decadal, centennial etc They are in fact abrupt and nonlinear shifts in the climate system.

        Here for instance – http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/16/congressional-testimony-and-normative-science/#comment-296932

        Try to keep up big dave.

    • If as scientist in front of a Committee says that he doesn’t think there is enough empirical evidence to treat global warming as an imminent threat, I don’t think it classifies as an example of normative science, since people on both sides of the issue have taken that position and many of the so-called consensus scientists have voiced grave doubts over the science the precautionary theory is based on. “There is much we do not know.” Skepticism is not normative science; it is NORMAL science.

      I believe the science becomes normative when people confidently assume they know what will happen to climate in the next fifty years. The claim that most of the warming we’ve experienced is due mostly to rising levels of CO2 (and future warming will be also) is not supported by empirical evidence in any meaningful way.

      theduke

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Uncertainty cuts both ways. There are many who have argued that uncertainty is the best rationale for action. Amongst these Curry and both Pielkes. Anything other is an argument from ignorance.

        The question only remains as to what is the best, most rational and effective policy response.

      • The point is whether he was invited to that panel precisely because he is one of the minority who thinks that. The senator could have chosen a climate scientist at random to inform the panel, but no, these are carefully selected for their hardline unwavering minority views in some cases.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No the point is what is the most rational multi-objective policy to meet the multiple needs of humanity

    • Jim D | February 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm said: ” CO2 is not causing much global warming”

      Jimmy boy, that’s loaded comment! you should correct it to: ” CO2 is not doing any global warmings, nothing, zilch, zero. Your loaded comments are same as saying: man cannot get ”much” pregnant…? if you want warmer climate – come here in the tropics – if you are scared from nice / warm climate, go to the Arctic; you will be happy there

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Pregnant is right Stefan. CO2 causes male pattern baldness which is related to declines in male fertility. By 2100 the human race will survive by female parthenogenesis and only a few selected animals – similiarly reproduced – will remain.

        Warming is the least of our worries.

      • @CK: Warming is the least of our worries.

        Ok, CK, I get that male pattern baldness and male fertility are even bigger worries for you. One might reasonably deduce from this that you’re male.

        Apparently “our” has its 19th century meaning, namely “we males.”

        Which would presumably leave the other 50% of the population free to worry about warming.

        Add a few bleeding-heart male liberals and pretty soon you have a majority.

      • No more loaded than the post suggesting that people like Marshall Shepherd are participating in normative science, which is a far more extreme position than the one I presented regarding Inhofe-types and their typical panel invitees.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        parthenogenesis is the loneliest number there can ever be…

        I was saving this for the week in review but..

        http://www.belgraviacentre.com/blog/more-evidence-that-hair-loss-in-young-men-is-increasing-446/

        ‘Institut Marquès has been studying the quality of Spanish males’ sperm since 2003. First, in Tarragona, in a study presented at the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society) Congress, and then in Barcelona and Corunna in a study published in Reproductive Biomedicine. Finally in the whole country (I national study of youth’s sperm quality published in Andrologia and in collaboration with 62 reproduction centers).

        We are proud that we have contributed in refuting previous misconceptions about causes for male infertility; (stress, tight trousers, alcohol, etc) they are all myths.’ http://www.fertility-experiences.com/why-is-male-fertility-decreasing/

        It is really CO2. Now is the time to panic. But I suggest you take off the skin tight leather disco pants anyway Vaughan – it’s just not a good look.

      • Captain Kangaroo | February 19, 2013 at 1:07 am said: ”Pregnant is right Stefan. CO2 causes male pattern baldness which is related to declines in male fertility”

        captain, tell us how to make female infertile. By 2100, there will be 9billion people. Indira Gandhi was castrating some men; but all the ladies, for some unknown reason were still getting pregnant…?

        If male libido drops down, ladies will be devastated – the higher male libido = the more ladies can control men.

        2] by 2099, there will be an ice age… things shrivel like prunes…
        Yes, better remember: by 2099 I ”predicted” money back guaranty, that it will be a big ice age!

      • Jim D | February 19, 2013 at 8:12 am said: ”No more loaded than the post suggesting that people like Marshall Shepherd are participating in normative science, which is a far more extreme position than the one I presented”

        I don’t know what Marshall Shepherd said, so, will not argue with you. BUT, will point this: if you found somebody spews more bull than you – that doesn’t make you an angel… doesn’t was your hands / sins

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Take my word for it Stefan – by 2100 there will by 2 million women and no men. If that’s the kind of world you want go ahead and keep your money back BS guarantees that you won’t be around to deliver on. I know total cr@pola when I hear it – I know you probably stick your head in the oven and your arse in the fridge and say to yourself – hmmm – just the right climate for me. How do you explain that Stefan? You can’t can you? Ice age equals global warming somewhere else you say over and over and over again and again. Maybe you got brain in fridge and not arse. Just like you to get it back to front.

      • Captain Kangaroo | February 20, 2013 at 1:57 am said: ”Take my word for it Stefan – by 2100 there will by 2 million women and no men. If that’s the kind of world you want go ahead and keep your money back BS guarantees that you won’t be around to deliver on. I know total cr@pola when I hear it”

        Skippy, ice age for year 2099, money back guaranty! put your money where your mouth is – double or nothin’

        You can recognize ”cr@pola” You, as a top B/S merchant are expert in that field, good on ya! b] GLOBAL warming for year 2100 is same crap, but you consume / distribute more of that ”cr@pola” than most of others, protecting your own trough. Friendly warning: B/S is fattening, slow down.

        P.s. my head&ass are in the tropical paradise – 8-9C warmer than in Europe, north America. When Canadians, Poms, Russians are scared of 1-2-3C warmings… proof that the Shrinks will be the biggest beneficiaries!

        P.s. married twice / divorced twice… they can all become Hermaphroditus, as far as I’m concerned.

      • Vaughan Pratt | February 19, 2013 at 5:40 am said: ”Which would presumably leave the other 50% of the population free to worry about warming”.

        Vaughan, you must had sheltered life; male boldness and infertility / libido worries more ”the other 50% / the ladies, than sissy old lefties like you.

        You love people to worry about your phony GLOBAL warming… BUT, I suggest to you: start worrying, for when people discover that was one big expensive lie… castration will be reintroduced, for conmen like you… snip – snip, with a blunt scissors – sniiiip…!!!

      • Captain Kangaroo

        ‘Skippy, ice age for year 2099, money back guaranty! put your money where your mouth is – double or nothin’’

        Double or nothin’ cr@pola – stefanthecrier. Ice you say means warm elsewhere. So if ice age – your arse is fried just like your brain. Turn around and stick it in the fridge – cause it’s done.

  87. fan oh fan,

    The history of science shows evolution of theories from Ptolemy ter Copernicus. Galileo ter Newton …The history of climate shows
    variation of weather, a history of glacial and inter- glacial epoques.
    In our recent inter-glacial, we humans have experienced a medieval
    warming, little ice age, and 20th century- warming-cooling-warming.
    Now it’s cooling, fan, like Kim says.

    Considering above, narrative science, value laden,and too confident
    doesn’t seem appropriate as a basis fer policy. so herewith a ‘Thought
    fer Today’ fer policy planners:

    ‘You ought to be very careful where you’re going, because you might
    not get there,’

    H/t Yogi Berra. (The Black Swan Ch 13.)

    • After some sciency sounding utterances, references to non-Kardashian models and to some highly recycable “papers” issued under the giddy-making Publish-or-Perish system, our Green Betters are really happiest just doing what those Jehovah’s Witnesses do on our front porch on a weekend they manage to catch us at home.

      They ask us to agree that “there’s all this stuff happening more and more to the weather these days”. And because “all this stuff” is much fresher in the mind than “all that stuff” which used to happen, we’re supposed to nod and agree. Should we fail to nod and agree…

      “When I want your opinion, I’ll ask me.”

      H/t Samuel Goldwyn.

      • @mosomoso: our Green Betters are really happiest just doing what those Jehovah’s Witnesses do on our front porch on a weekend they manage to catch us at home.

        Oddly enough one never finds this very compelling line of argument in a scientific paper. Evidently science needs to get caught up with the new logic of 21st century rational dispute.

      • Jehovah’s Witnesses can be graceful about leaving to your own devices.
        =============

      • Compare ‘We’re here from the Watchtower and we’re here to help you’ with ‘We’re here from the EPA and we’re here to help you.’
        =====================================

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper claims “Fan oh Fan […] it’s cooling, Fan, like Kim says.”

      The satellites say different, eh Beth?

      Hmmm … this sure looks like “the acceleration of sea-level rise this decade” that Hansen and colleagues predicted, eh?

      So if sea-level rise continues its present rapid acceleration … isn’t that pretty much game-over for data-driven climate-change skepticism, Beth?

      \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,

        3 mm a year – here is math you can do. At that rate it takes 8 years to get an inch of rise. Can you figure out what that means for the end of the century?

        If you get 10 meters or even 10 feet, you are an alarmist or incapable of 6th grade level math.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        timg56 claims “3 mm a year [sea level rise]“

        Uhhh … the data says two centimeters in the last two years … did anyone (except James Hansen) see that acceleration coming, oh timg56?

        Name some names (if you can!)

        That’s why scientific predictions of sustained rise-rate acceleration are mighty sobering, 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

        If such a short time scale as 2 years means anything at all-which of course it doesn’t-one would look for a scientific reason for the sharp drop in sea level and its subsequent rebound. They would find the reason on the very link you provide

        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/2011-la-ni%C3%B1a-so-strong-oceans-fell

        The sea level dropped because of the La Nina and in the 40 months or so from its plateau in september 2009 it has risen around 9mm. Why does this worry you? Indeed the whole sea level data is derived from very recent satellite computations dating only to 1992. Sea levels have been rising gently for several hundred years.Temperatures for at least three hundred years.
        tonyb

      • And there are some who would blame man for all of that rise. Such a thing to blame!
        ================

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        timg56 claims “Sea levels have been rising gently for several hundred years.”

        Indeed. The paleo data show plainly, that from Roman times to the early 20th century, sea-level rose at a languid 0.5 mm/year … isn’t that right, oh tonybclimatereason?

        Then in the 20th century, that slow sea-level rise accelerated many-fold … isn’t that right, oh tonybclimatereason?

        And now in the 21st century, we are seeing the beginning of another many-fold acceleration in the sea-level rise-rate … isn’t that right, oh tonybclimatereason?

        An acceleration that scientists like James Hansen *did* foresee … and few or no skeptics foresaw … isn’t that right, oh tonybclimatereason?

        \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

        As you did not appear to actually read my post here it is again

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/16/congressional-testimony-and-normative-science/#comment-297104

        The reasons for the fall then rise are given. You do not construct a theory from two years data unless you are desperate
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Tonyb says “You do not construct a theory from two years data unless you are desperate.”

        LOL … desperately wrong, that is!

        \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No one makes much of short term ENSO changes – not even WUWT. This is not so much error as clutching at straws – aye FOMBS?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Tonyb says “Short term ENSO changes [are] not so much error as clutching at straws”

        LOL … indeed it is peculiar, that self-styled “skeptics” so commonly turn a blind eye to the astoundingly large 20th century acceleration in sea-level rise-rate!

        Why do you suppose they do that, Chief and/or TonyB?

        \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

        I never said anything about clutching at straws, you are so keen to promote your wild theories that you are not looking at what people have said.

        So, if you can invent wild theories about sea level rise based on 2 years data you will no doubt agree with me that the calamitous fall in temperatures in Britain in such a short period of time over the last few years, as recorded by the met office, are a harbinger of an imminent ice age?

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        Tonyb

      • Fan

        The trend is very similar to prior periods during the 20 years we have had more reliable data isn’t it? Look at 1997 to 1999. Let’s see what happens over the next few years. Even if the accelerated short term rate continued it would not rise by 1 meter by 2100 would it?

      • Fan

        By the way you do realise that your link to sea level rise from the Romans,in which you have claimed a modest .5mm a year rise until
        Last century when it accelerated rapidly, is behind a pay wall?

        Fortunately no one need pay the 39.95dollars demanded as I wrote on this very subject last year

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

        For the fullest highly detailed version follow the link in the first paragraph.
        Sea levels were higher in roman times than today, fell, rose, fell and are rising again. They are currently doing nothing at all out of the ordinary
        Tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Indeed invention seems overly indulgent for what FOMBS is indulging in.

      • fan,

        The graph you link to says 3.2 mm per year. Your 2 centimeters is part of the cubic hectare of poo I refer to above.

        Based on your reasoning, the fact it is currently 50 F here in Bellevue and the predicted high for next Monday being 44 F, we will have seen a drop of 6 degrees in just one week. At that rate it will be 28 below zero come Memorial Day.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason says “Sea levels were higher in roman times than today, fell, rose, fell and are rising again. They are currently doing nothing at all out of the ordinary”

        ClimateReason, isn’t it a bit odd, that all of your chief measures are literally founded upon readily eroded/deposited mud-and-sand grounds (e.g., the muddy bay of St Michaels Mount) and/or old word-of-mouth tales? Whereas your opponents — whose analysis finds a marked 20th century acceleration of sea-level rise-rate — literally ground their measures upon rock!

        \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
        St michaels mount is not a muddy bay. This is granite country so not at all easily eroded. The numerous other studies I cited are also not easily eroded. The tidal record you cited comes from a tiny number of historic gauges most of which have moved and only cover the blink of an eye in historical terms, not 2000 years which allows us to see the context.

        . Simon Holgate confirms global sea level rose faster in the first half of the twentieth century than the second half.(although not statistically significant)
        There is no evidence of accelerated change to a dramatic level that would match DR Hansens highly alarmist guesses.

        Bearing in mind yourapparent belief that two years is a good guide to the future I am sure you are deeply concerned at the sudden dramatic fall in Brtish temperatures as noted by the Met office which surely-using your logic-is a harbinger of another ice age within a decade?Or perhaps extraploating a short term trend only works with sea level?
        tonyb

      • Fan

        You should have read your own link

        As it says, the older record is based on 1 gauge . are you extrapolating a global sea level estimate based on one gauge?. And what do you mean ‘grounded in rock?’ Many gauges are set into harbour walls-such as the one two hundred yards from my home. They are not banged into the ground, in any case allowance needs to be made for changes in ground movement due to glacial rebound etc.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason says “St Michael’s Mount is not a muddy bay. This is granite country so not at all easily eroded.”

        LOL … at low tide these St Michael’s Mount boats sure ain’t sitting on granite! … 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}

      • Fan

        I live near here. Precisely what is your point in showing boats at low tide. That was one of the prime points of my article. At low tide it is no longer an island which provides exellent references ponts to its high tide state and from which we can trace its history back to Roman times. There are lots of other studies as well. You inked to a tide gauge explanation which only served to confirm how inadequate the modern record is.

        Nothing untoward is happning Fan. You ae merely trying to throw a smokescreen over the discussion with your links. you can not try to prove hansen is correct by referring to the last two years data.Sea level needs to rise dramatically very quickly before his guesses can be taken more seriously.
        tonyb

  88. Lol mosomoso , Sam Goldwyn another shrewd cookie.
    like Yogi Berra and Captain Kangaroo.

    Yogi Berra is mich too clever
    ter succumb ter the error
    of thinkin’ we’ll ever
    predict the weather,
    or climate, a hundred years
    from today. Most we can do is take Judith Currey’s suggestion
    ter think about uncertainty, black swans and what ever …
    try ter set up fer early warning signals, adapt and innovate
    so we’re flexible, be pragmatic and not dogmatic.
    Amen.

  89. er ‘much’ not so smart meself. Hey did yers know today is Copernicus’ Birthday?

  90. Apologies Judith fer spellin’ yer name with an extra ‘e’
    Consider it an ‘E’ fer ‘excellent’ and I’ll take me trusty
    lasso ter anybody who argues with that … whoosh .)

  91. Captain Kangaroo

    Promises promises Beth.

    Someone asked the question of whether we wanted ‘externalities’ to be included in the price of energy. Even if we knew what these externalities were and how to price them – the answer is emphatically no. Energy is a fundamental economic input and tightly coupled to global development and economic growth. Restraining energy price increases to the absolutely unavoidable is the key to maximising the opportunities for human dignity for many billions alive today and in the near future.

    The key to mitigating carbon is in the development of cheap energy technologies and in social innovation that enhances the health, education and wealth of humanity.

    • @CK: Restraining energy price increases to the absolutely unavoidable is the key to maximising the opportunities for human dignity for many billions alive today and in the near future.

      Whoosh. Can I get back to you in April on that?

  92. Love your pro-people position, Captain. They’re my all time fave species – and I’ve got koala habitat here in Dondingalong!

    Are there some words that should not be used at all? I’m thinking “ideation” and “externalities” for starters. (Even spellcheck hates ‘em). They have real creep factor. Theyr’e worse than “sustainable”, just as sinister and more smug. Spewful words.

    • @BC: And how do can yer predict (with any confidence), a hundred years from today …?

      With 98.5% confidence I predict that the date will be February 19, 2113, and the day of the week will be Sunday.

      I also predict that the Southern Hemisphere will be warmer than the Northern, along with the date of the next full moon.

      The 1.5% defect is for meteors, asteroids, takeovers by civilizations on other calendars, etc.

      I’m less confident about the winning ticket number for the next trillion dollar lottery.

      • David Springer

        @Pratt

        Good illustration of what can be predicted with confidence and, left unspoken, what cannot.

        Now lets say we want to know if the second decade of the 21st century will be warmer than the first, or the third warmer than the first. The consensus 95% confidence level for the past 15 years fell into the 5% hidey hole they left for themselves. How badly was that confidence off if there’s no warming for seven more years?

        The global warming narrative is falling like a house of cards. The bravado of the nattering nabbobs of climate negativity in the face of this is a wonder to behold. The ignorant sycophants exemplified in commenters here aren’t skipping a beat even while those in the field with reputations and jobs to protect are scrambling to save face. We live in interesting times. Too bad the interest is in watching the esteemed edifice of public trust in the institutions of science built up in the 20th century unravel. Thank God I’m an engineer and don’t have to defend or dissemble about my confidence in things like cell phones, routers, and fiber optic cables.

    • I’ve got koala habitat here in Dondingalong!

      So you commute to the Yarra now and then?

      Heading north, Dondingalong is on the way to Coraki but still 180 miles short of it.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      I hate koalas – one bit me once – and we all know about evil drop bears but…

      People are my favourite animals

      Glorious and resplendent, brave and beautiful.
      The only thing I haven’t figured out
      is why we aren’t dancing in the streets
      with joy in out hearts and love in our lives.

      In my own dark days of the soul
      I thought poetry dead,
      and the ‘eschatological promise would
      burst like a new and frightening dawn
      on the consciousness of humanity’.
      But I still know where poetry lives.

      With vision and imagination in out minds.
      In the nexus between past and future ready
      to define experience and express it is the instant
      expanding to embrace eternity and infinity and humanity.

      It’s in quotes – so I think I must of stole the eschatological line from Henry Miller. Don’t tell anyone.

      Ideation – mosomoso bon ami – should be taken in moderation with a shot of expresso and a hashish cigarette. Externality is an abomination

  93. Someone somehere said that cheap energy underpins
    advances in human well being, and i believe ‘im or ‘er.

    … Say, re ‘parthenogenesisis’ what would that mean ter
    the future of the Arts? ) And how do can yer predict
    (with any confidence), a hundred years from today …?

  94. We do understand a great deal about global climate change, and these are dramatic shifts in temperature taking us in and out of the IceAge we are currently in – brief respites of interglacials are not our norm.

    Those arguing that carbon dioxide drives these global changes are simply ignorant of just how much we know, most of them now would have had several miles of ice on top of them 10,000 years ago.

    Get real.

  95. Pick an area and take a look at its history through our IceAge – here’s one:

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlkik/ihm/ancient.htm

    And, it’s the Sun which drives these great climate changes.

    http://www.livescience.com/6937-ice-ages-blamed-tilted-earth.html

    Go on, show how differences in levels of the trace Carbon Dioxide drive us in and out of our Ice Age..

  96. Look Vaughan @ 5.53am, jest because i failed ter include provisos
    such as :
    black swans from outer space, changes in climate, epidemics, famine,
    financial melt downs, global power alliances, nations’ political movements, skirmishes and wars, et-cet-er-a et-cet-er-a , doesn’t mean, in the world
    of Extremitan, yer on very thin ice, or boilin’ mud, if yer aimin’ ter predict
    the future a hundred years from today.

  97. Thought some folks here might find this interesting:

    http://pubpeer.com/

  98. Trust a bunch of academics to misspell pub beer.

    • A slip twixt the cup and the lip I can understand, but the mess down their front looks a lot like carelessness to me.
      ==============================

  99. Fan @ 5.03pm, sea level measures in rock? Say here’s one
    alarmists try ter rebut, cut into the cliff in Port Arthur by explorer
    Captain James Clark Ross in 1841.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/467007.stm

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper posts “[a single, dubious, cherry-picked sea-level datum]“

      Ain’t it funny, that a cherry-picked, single-year, single-location, poorly-documented mark-on-a-rock … yields a markedly different picture from a careful analysis of all known tide-gauge data.

      Why do yah suppose John Daly’s solitary cherry-picked dubious datum is so *very* unrepresentative, Beth?

      \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Without sea-level acceleration, the 20th-century sea-level trend of 1.7 mm/y would produce a rise of only approximately 0.15 m from 2010 to 2100; therefore, sea-level acceleration is a critical component of projected sea-level rise. To determine this acceleration, we analyze monthly-averaged records for 57 U.S. tide gauges in the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base that have lengths of 60–156 years. Least-squares quadratic analysis of each of the 57 records are performed to quantify accelerations, and 25 gauge records having data spanning from 1930 to 2010 are analyzed. In both cases we obtain small average sea-level decelerations. To compare these results with worldwide data, we extend the analysis of Douglas (1992) by an additional 25 years and analyze revised data of Church and White (2006) from 1930 to 2007 and also obtain small sea-level decelerations similar to those we obtain from U.S. gauge records.’

        http://www.jcronline.org/doi/full/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

        What we know is that it is decadally variable – following natural variations. But it is slowing down in keeping with expectations about global warming. A 1000 year high plateau. Most recent warming was quite natural and the planet is in a cool mode for decades and centuries hence. Do you know what that means FOMBS? It means that you can dissemble as much as you like – but you lose.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist vehemently claims “The planet is in a cool mode for decades and centuries hence [UHHH … OR … IS … IT?]. Do you know what that means FOMBS? It means that you can dissemble as much as you like – but you lose.”

        Gosh-golly CH … here’s an idea … perhaps if you turned your attention to global sea-level data-sets … and surveyed all the literature … and included all the instruments (satellite and tide-gauge) … then you might reach very different conclusions, eh?

        Because the practice of cherry-picking individual articles, that exclusively focus on small areas of the world, using only small subsets of the available data, is scarcely conducive to achieving reliable scientific understanding.

        Isn’t that plain common-sense, Chief Hydrologist?

        \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        FOMBS,

        I give you global and validated data sets on sea level that show no acceleration.

        But unless you look at decadal variability in many different data sets – you are likely to be mistaken.

        1. instrumental arctic temperature trends
        2. ocean and atmospheric indices – and millennial proxies
        3. cloud observations
        4. satellite radiant flux measurements
        5. hydrological variability
        6. ocean upwelling and biological productivity
        7. dynamic variability of MOC
        8. global surface and ocean temperature trajectories

        And not just silly little claims about 2 years of sea levels or short term ice extent.

        Here is a taste for you to study – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 – the world is not warming for decades hence.

        I suggest you go away and study these things and come back when you have a clue.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist, thank you for providing that wonderful EarthObservatory link!

        Uhhh … but did you read its conclusion, Chief???

        Chief Hydrologist kindly provides this link:

        What makes scientists think
        humans are causing global warming now?

        Scientists think the current warming is not from natural influences [bacause] over the past century, scientists from all over the world have been collecting data on natural factors that influence climate—things like changes in the Sun’s brightness, major volcanic eruptions, and cycles such as El Niño and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

        These observations have failed to show any long-term changes that could fully account for the recent, rapid warming of Earth’s temperature.

        Chief, the final emphasis is NASA’s, not mine!

        The EarthObservatory data are compelling too, don’cha think Chief?

        The science is strong, eh?

        But mighty sobering regarding the accelerating reality of AGW.

        \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Large, abrupt climate changes have affected hemispheric to global regions repeatedly, as shown by numerous paleoclimate records (Broecker, 1995, 1997). Changes of up to 16°C and a factor of 2 in precipitation have occurred in some places in periods as short as decades to years (Alley and Clark, 1999; Lang et al., 1999). However, before the 1990s, the dominant view of past climate change emphasized the slow, gradual swings of the ice ages tied to features of the earth’s orbit over tens of millennia or the 100-million-year changes occurring with continental drift. But unequivocal geologic evidence pieced together over the last few decades shows that climate can change abruptly, and this has forced a reexamination of climate instability and feedback processes (NRC, 1998). Just as occasional floods punctuate the peace of river towns and occasional earthquakes shake usually quiet regions near active faults, abrupt changes punctuate the sweep of climate history.’

        ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=R1

        Well obviously someone is right and someone wrong – the NASA page you link to or the NAS Committee on Abrupt Climate Change consisting of many of the world’s leading climate change researchers.

        Odd – I think I provided this link – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 – and here is the conclusion.

        ‘Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”’

        It seems pretty clear that we are in a cool mode. Look for yourself.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fed/oeip/ca-pdo.cfm

        La Nina and cool PDO (cool IPO) to 1976/77, El Nino and warm PDO (warm IPO) to 1998, and La Nina and cool PDO since (cool IPO). They say these modes last 20 or 30 years – but it is more like 20 to 40 years in the proxies. This evidence seems pretty obvious to the unbiased observer – aye FOMBS?

        So the NASA page you show is wrong on both counts by a long way. Do you think they should take it down rather than mislead more innocents? Or allow people like you to practice to deceive? I think so. It seems written by a Rebecca Lindsay – listed as a technical writer rather than a scientist. It seems that both she – and you – have got it all wrong.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist, it’s easy to reconcile this literature!

        The secular warming of AGW dominates the quasi-periodic warming/cooling of the PDO.

        There. That wasn’t so hard, now was it Chief?

        The NASA explanation is clear, concise, and fully-referenced, eh?

        Good on `yah, NASA!

        \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}

      • Captain Kangaroo

        A fully referenced blog article from a ‘technical writer’? Repeated?Seriously? Got nothing else to add?

        Here’s some real NASA and JPL scientists, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/29/nasa-pdo-flip-to-cool-phase-confirmed-cooler-times-ahead/

        The world is not warming for decades at least. You lose.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … NASA backs up a three-paragraph climate-change summary with six recent peer-reviewed survey articles.

        The Captain and the Chief back up their climate-change assertions largely with … references to out-of-date WUWT blog posts?

        Comedy!

        Is it any wonder that young people are abandoning climate-change denialism?

        Good on `yah, kids!

        \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}

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Odd indeed – but going around in circles FOMBS. A bad habit?

        Your technical writer is incorrect as is shown by quotes from the NAS – Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises as well as the NASA page on the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation and other peer reviewed literature.

        The reference to WUWT was not deliberate – here’s the NASA page they were reporting on – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        You might certainly make the link yourself because it is certainly there. Do deliberate lies and misdirection form part of the strategy or are you so lost in delusion you can’t tell anymore?

        It is clear to many reputable scientists that the world is not warming for decades at least.

        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’

        Swanson and Tsonis 2009 – has the climate recently shifted?

        Has the climate recently shifted FOMBS? You will find that it has and as a result you lose. So sad too bad.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        It’s a fact: No one under the age of 28 has ever experienced a month in which global average surface temperatures were cooler-than-normal.”

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\spadesuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\spadesuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

        So when’s that string gonna end, CK/Chief?

        No wonder young people have abandoned climate-change denialism, eh?

        Which is smart of them!

        \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}

      • Captain Kangaroo

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC 3.4.4.1

        Just part of the evidence. It seems very real and means that all of recent warming was quite natural. There is low frequency climate variability over decades to millennia. Ready for Bond Event Zero FOMBS?

        Increasingly kids are rejecting ‘doom’ courses like environmental science for ‘opportunity’ courses like business management. As an environomental scientist – I think this is a shame. But the lack of warming is a big deal – and quite likely to continue for decades at least. People are laughing and it is only going to get louder – aye FOMBS?

    • It’s actually a pretty poor record as far as documentary records go. Very uncertain and no way to verify. More skepticism please and thank you

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A little less leaping and a little more looking would be appropriate mosh.

      • I’ve looked at it before. It’s entirely unclear and unverifiable as to whether the mark was high tide low tide or something in between. basically you have a mark and a recollection. I’ve discussed this case with others here. So, who is leaping?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Nothing more was claimed in the article – it was entirely unobjectionable. Your comment however was quite objectionable in leaping to unwarranted conclusions. Looked at it before? I’d suggest next time looking at it again before shooting off your mouth.

      • That sea level rise. Whom do we blame? Napoleon? Beethoven? Jane Austen? Somebody started it back then.

      • “Nothing more was claimed in the article”
        Really? Beth asks us to rebut a mark, but no-one’s saying whether it was mean, high or low? Then what is there to rebut?

        John Daly is quoted:
        “But when we look at the Ross-Lempriere 1841 bench mark, one thing becomes crystal clear: There has been no sea level rise this century – none at all.”
        How is it crystal clear if no-one is claiming it is MSL?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The article also quoted John Hunter. What are we to make of that? Journalistic objectivity? Surely not. It is just a mark in stone that is of some historical interest.

        http://soer.justice.tas.gov.au/2003/casestudy/4/index.php

        Try to rebut it if you will – but I would be inclined to pay more attention to more modern records. Such as the one I link to above. The question is one after all of modern acceleration of rises. Something that is nonsense and will be nonsense as the world stubbornly refuses to warm.

        Someone is surely lacking in objectivity – aye Nick. So sad too bad.

      • Nick

        Personally I am agnostic on the Daly mark but MSL has a very specfic meaning in Ordnance survey terms. I note this from Beths link;

        “Thomas Lempriere was a very bright environmentalist for 1841 and I think he did very good work. And when we have the CSIRO data, we’ll then be able to make a direct comparison of the sea levels in 1841 and 1999.”

        Has there been a scientific follow up by CSIRO that takes into account land movement as well and would enable us to determine the scientific value of the mark?
        tony

      • Tony,
        I don’t know what the CSIRO could do to determine the value of the mark. The fact is, it seems to be just a mark. No-one seems to know what it was supposed to represent. I expect the high or low tide level would have been of most practical significance there.

      • Sea Levels that are reported are ‘adjusted’

      • Chief, long ago I went beyond that article to the source. My comment is warrented. Deal with it. documentary sources shouldnt be trusted by any skeptic worth the appellation. turn in your badge and gun

      • mosh

        if you scroll down further to the end of the thread you will see we have got WAY beyond that reference.
        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Mosh,

        We have had a look at it before – and I provided the John Hunter 2003 paper as well. Where have you been?

        The article linked to originally also quoted John Hunter. Balanced journalism rather than partisan claims. And presented as is – with some humour. You simply assumed something incorrect – didn’t bother even reading the article – and shot off your mouth making an idiot of yourself and then compounding your error by insisting on it. A bad habit?

  100. Matthew R Marler

    Whether the next 25 years will have a warmer or cooler global mean surface temperature than the past 25 years, the variability will be as great. So they should plan for highs (temp, rainfall, etc) to be a little higher than the maxima over the past 25 years, in the locations where they build, and for the minima (temp, rainfall, etc) to be a little lower. Or they could look farther back, say 100 years, and plan for the possibility of a “hundred-year” event (high or low, this or that) in the next 25 years. Compared to knowing the empirically recorded extremes and variances, knowing a hypothetical small mean change is not worth much.

  101. fan oh fan, @8.48pm, you asked fer marks in rocks and that’s what
    yer got, not cherry picked or dubious recordings but the oldest known
    such bench mark in the world, historical empiric data with provenance
    fot the Southern Hemisphere.
    ‘A bench mark coinciding with high tide was cut into a near-vertical sand
    stone cliff on the Isle of the Dead on July 1, 1841.’ (Daly.)

  102. Wagathon, you say:
    “New Zealand has no temperature record because the official temperature was arrived at through a purposeful manipulation of the raw data without documenting the slightest justification for any of the adjustments made and then simply destroying the raw data altogether.”

    That is a rather extreme viewpoint. NIWA say they cant find all the original data. However, there are other historical sources, from which it can be verified that they have not adjusted the original measured data. Some early data may have been misplaced by NIWA, but much of that data is likely to be present in the NZ National Archives, where NIWA can not tamper with it.

    I agree that the NIWA version of the NZ instrumental temperature history is poorly justified at present. I also agree that their splicing technique (for station moves and equipment changes) is not particularly robust. But at least they have documented what was done on a site by site basis.

  103. We throw billions at medical research.We see the benefits,We throw billions at climate science.We see ????When are you guys going to be able to tell us what years to expect bad flooding?When are you guys going to be able to tell us months before a tornado strikes or a hurricane forms?When are you guys going to be able to tell governments the amount of snow that will fall every winter?Governments have been told the AGW mantra over and over.Why are we spending billions on climate science to be told the same thing year after year?We get it…global warming will cause all sorts of bad things to happen.After a while there is nothing more to say..so I would like to tell climate scientists your message is not worth paying billions to hear year after year.Real results is worth paying billions for.When was the last real advancement in climate science?

  104. Ive jest come back on the site and note the discussion of the
    Daly issue which i guess i initiated,and which Chief, Tony and
    Steve M have discussed. My sister had ter have back surgery
    today, successful, ) so i’ll try and follow up later tonite, fer what
    that’s worth… or not. Don’t want ter do a fly-by.
    Beth.
    .

  105. I’m just wondering how else science can be labelled besides ‘normative’.

    What about ‘impartial science’ ? That would mean that scientists looked at the evidence and were initially equally open to the possibility that CO2 sensitivity could be high (>6 deg) or low ( <1 deg) or intermediate. ( ~3 degs)

    We'd all choose CS to be low if we could, but preferences don't count for anything at all. We have to ignore them. Impartiality is much more important than normativity and we all have to accept, at least the possibility, that CO2 CS may turn out to be high even if then it is then argued that Climate scientists should have no input into policy decisions.

    • Peter, you write “What about ‘impartial science’ ? ”

      Simple. Physics, in the end, is based on measured, empirical data; that and nothing else. Sure we need hypothetical estimations to help us design the crucial experiment, but until that final measurement is made, we dont know what the number is. If we dont have actual hard measured data, we dont know what the numbers are. And we dont know how accurately those numbers have been measured. That is the essense of physics and the scientiifc method.

      What warmists will NEVER admit, is that there is no hard measured empirical data on total climate sensitivity. Zero, nada zilch. If only the warmist denizens on CE would admit this, then we could have a proper scieitific discussion.

      But it is never going to happen.

      • Steven Mosher

        Of course there is empirical evidence.
        Sensitivity is defined as Delta C / Delta W
        change in temperature over change in forcing.

        Very simply; from 1750 to today we have a change in C ( say 1.5C)
        And we also have a change in forcing ( say 2.5Wwatts)
        and there you have it.

        Jim: if I ask you what your speed is walking, what would you do?
        You would.
        1. Walk some distance say 20 Miles
        2. Time your walk, say 5 hours.
        Then you would say 20/5 =4.

        Sensitivity is no different. you need to measure two things and divide them.
        its been done dozens of times

      • Steven, OHT matters and that does not necessarily have a linear relationship with forcing. According to this model a 15% increase in OHT can warm the climate by 2 C. The same forcing can have completely different outcomes depending upon the amount of heat that gets transported. It does complicate things somewhat.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/91JD00009/abstract

        Just as a curiousity the volume of transport for the gulf stream was a 5-10% increase for the period of ~ 1750 – 1950 in this reconstruction.

        http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n6/fig_tab/ncomms1901_F5.html

    • Linear no threshold and non-linear. In linear no threshold you are just looking for a relationship to establish a boundary. Non-linear you are looking for as much information as possible.

      If you ask, how bad could it possibly be? You get linear no threshold. If you ask, what are the realistic expectations, you get non-linear. Ideal versus reality.

    • tempterrain

      I’m just wondering how else science can be labelled besides ‘normative’.

      How about just, “science”, as in “the search for truth following the scientific method”.

      Pretty simple, actually.

      Max

    • tempterrain,

      “That would mean that scientists looked at the evidence and were initially equally open to the possibility that CO2 sensitivity could be high (>6 deg) or low ( <1 deg) or intermediate. ( ~3 degs)"

      That would be quite convincing if true. Can you point us to the learned papers published early on in the discussion of CS where this debate took place? You know, papers that did not take as gospel the Hansen theology of CAGW?

      When was there ever a debate among "climate scientists" about whether ACO2 was such a danger that the government needed to throttle emissions?

      It could have happened, I first started paying attention to the CAGW facet of progressive environmental activism about the time the Summary for Policy Makers of the AR4 was publicized. Surely there was vigorous, cantankerous, open debate among climate scientists before the "consensus" was arrived at.

      Because, if there wasn't, that would suggest that the concept of the need for the government to control ACO2 was just so attractive to the government funded scientists who knew an opportunity when they saw one, that no one wasted their time arguing against CAGW.

      Got any citations to these earlier scholarly debates on CAGW?

      • Well, there was Stephen Schneider trumpeting deception, swanning around the globe, and Ben Santer goring oxen in Madrid in ’95.
        ==========================

    • GaryM,

      That [impartiality] would be quite convincing if true. Can you point us to the learned papers published early on in the discussion of CS where this debate [on climate sensitivity] took place? You know, papers that did not take as gospel the Hansen theology of CAGW?

      For a start “as gospel” isn’t normally a phrase used in scientific discussion. :-)

      You should know the answer to this yourself if you’re familiar the argument “they said it was cooling in the 60′s and 70′s”. That is something of an exaggeration, though. In the 60′s and 70′s opinion among climate scientists was divided between those who predicted no change, cooling and warming. With the 80′s came the realisation that Arrenhius , who’d predicted AGW in the early part of the 20th century had probably been right all along.

      You can’t have it both ways though. You can’t say, in one blog post, that climate scientists only ever took the AGW line, and then, in another, accuse them of changing their opinion since the 60′s.

      Or maybe you can? Have you ever used both arguments even though they are contradictory?

  106. blueice2hotsea

    I’m just wondering how else science can be labelled besides ‘normative’.

    What about ‘impartial science’ ?

    ‘Impartial science’ may be normative science.

    For example, start with an unstated presumption (erroneous or not) that CO2 mitigation is the preferred policy outcome of those requesting testimony. To then focus on providing impartial climate sensitivity estimates is an example of practicing normative science.

    • Might we be able to flip that around?

      For example, start with an unstated presumption (erroneous or not) that CO2 mitigation will cause harm – and is only promoted as part of a “hoax” where the real goal is to destroy capitalism and line the pockets of researchers. To then focus on providing “impartial” climate sensitivity estimates (that selectively estimate it to be low) is an example of practicing normative science.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Joshua -

        “that selectively estimate it to be low”.
        This is not impartial. So could be both normative science and stealth advocacy.

        My comment was actually meant for tempterrain who I believe sincerely meant impartial.

      • Joshua

        You can “flip anything around”.

        But it loses credibility when you do so.

        The issue here is whether or not “normative science” is justified to support the political agenda of CO2 mitigation, as is being done by IPCC with its “consensus process”.

        Max

    • BI2HS

      You have just described “agenda driven science”.

      A “political agenda” (CO2 mitigation) requires “science”(the CAGW premise) to back it up.

      Therefore the science is adjusted to meet the needs of the political agenda.

      The adjustment includes:

      - ignoring dissenting scientific studies or data
      - exaggerating the data or findings, which support the agenda
      - use of gray literature
      - outright fabrication of data to meet the needs

      This has been the essence of the IPCC “consensus process”, an excellent example of “agenda driven science”.

      Max

      • blueice2hotsea

        Max -

        Yes. Normative science can be agenda driven science, but not necessarily.

        What about reworking your CV so as to emphasize skills which you actualy have and which you presume a recruiter is looking for? Perhaps is the recruiter who has the agenda, one of which you are unaware.

        It has to do with the nature of the unstated presumptions of policy preferences.

      • BI2HS

        “Rewording your CV” is part of a sales pitch (selling yourself to a prospective employer).

        “Agenda driven science” (as I described it) is also part of a sales pitch (selling a preconceived political agenda).

        Problem is that “science” and “sales pitches” should have nothing in common, if one accepts the definition of “science” as “the search for truth following the scientific method”.

        If it is found that a researcher for a pharmaceutical company “bends” the scientific results in order to promote the sales of a product (i.e. discarding test results that came out negative for the products efficacy or showed that it had serious side effects, for example) this researcher can get into serious difficulties.

        If this scientist is being paid by public funding (FDA, for example), wouldn’t this be an even more serious offense?

        Shouldn’t the same hold for a taxpayer funded climate scientist that “bends” the data to make AGW appear to be a serious problem (by ignoring dissenting study results or data, for example?

        IOW “normative science” is, in itself, an oxymoron. Either it’s “science” or it’s “agenda driven” (i.e. “normative”).

        Max

      • blueice2hotsea

        Max -

        ok I understand your point, but one degree of nefarious activity does not get a life sentence, only 1st degree.

        And what you call selling yourself, I call looking for a good match between expectations and performance.

  107. blueice2hotsea

    There seems to be a lot of frenzied argumentation caused by differing definitions of “normative science”.

    From the head post, normative science is:

    information that is developed, presented or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy choice.

    0. stealth advocacy uses good science corruptly.
    1. normative science is not stealth advocacy, but could be.
    2. opposition to normative science is not normative science, but could be.
    3. impartial science is not opposition to normative science, but could be.

    => impartial science is not corrupt science, but could be.

    • Lol! “Frenzied.” Normative, perhaps?

      • I liked ‘frothy’. willard the thnowman.
        ========

      • blueice2hotsea

        Ok Joshua. I give up. What unstated presumption of preferred policy outcome was willard’s frenzied posting supposed to support?

        Or do you presume too much?

      • blueice2hotsea

        oops. I see that you said “normative” not “normative science”.

        Change frenzied” to “flurry”. h/t kim

    • BI2HS

      impartial science is not corrupt science, but could be

      Yup. (If the measuring instruments are “corrupted”, for example)

      But the odds are much lower than with “partial” (i.e. “normative or “agenda driven”) science, which is, by definition, corrupt.

      Right?

      Max

  108. Tony @ 10.41am, thx for thr link, Tony, I’ve been reading
    through Pugh, Hunter in the debate with John Daly on
    Port Arthur sea level

    The tidal bench mark cut into the rock in 1841 by explorer
    Captain James Clark Ross and amateur meteorologist
    Thomas Lempriere is of interest for its implication about
    sea rise in the current global warming debate. Considered
    one of the earliest bench marks and showing what is claimed
    to be a mean sea level marker some 30-40cm above today’s
    level undermines claims of current increasing sea rise rates.
    For stealth advocates of either side of the climate debate
    there’s the question of who benefits from findings of ‘high tide’
    marker or mean tide marker.

    The public debate between Dr Pugh/ Dr Hunter pro AGW meme
    and dissenter John Daly offers on the internet papers and
    commentary by Hunter and Pugh, but every reference to Daly’s
    critique comes up ‘Account Suspended, so you don’tget to hear
    his refutations of their claims. We know from7/10/1999 url above
    that Daly was asking for the recovered Lempriere archival material
    paid for by the public, but that still seems not to have been put
    in the public domain,at least not in 2006, ref, Climate Audit
    12//06/o6, comments requesting access to data, (eg.16th @
    6.5am, 7.06am and SMcIntyre,18th @8.40pm.)

    So what about Ross and Lempriere’s actual aims and practice?
    James Clark Ross states their aims in his 1846 log as scientific,
    to implement a proposal by baron von Humbolt that bench marks
    be struck at locations around the world to enable future scientists
    to monitor earth crustal movement relative to the sea.

    Several times James Clark Ross refers to his purpose ‘to establish
    a permanent mark at the zero point, or *general mean level* of the
    sea as determined by the tidal observations which Mr Lempriere
    conducted with perseverence and exactness for some time.’

    And this: ‘The trades in the Derwent were too irregular being
    influenced by the prevalence of winds outside and the freshes
    from the interior so that we could not ascertain with the require
    degree of exactness the point of 8mean level.’*
    …Cited in D Pugh J Hunter et al 2006 Historical Narrative (B)

    NB A comment at the Climate Audit discussion claims that
    naval measurements were always ‘mean’ and not high water,
    don’t know whether this is so. But the above at least seems to
    show what Ross intended … and he had no apparent motive
    in the context to mean something else, whereas… today it’s
    a charged debate ;)

    • Beth, Nautical kinda guys I hear use the mean of the higher high water. So it should be a high tide mark based on the higher of the two daily high waters. Depending on when the mark was made and how long they observed it may include spring tides or be limited to just spring tides.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It seems that they had one of the first stilling tube tide guages. Here’s the John Hunter report.

        http://staff.acecrc.org.au/~johunter/bamos_pap.pdf

      • Chief

        Good find on the hunter report. I have two problems. The first is the length of time the tide was observed before placing a mark. Here is the uk standard at newlyn.

        http://www.ntslf.org/tgi/newlyn-tidal-observatory

        To determine the height physical observations were made every fifteen minutes for six years.

        The second problem I have is the contention that most of the rise should be attributed to the period post 1890. It is claimed this is based on historic tidal gauges. That is nonsense. There was perhaps seven gauges all but one of which had moved and all in the northern hemisphere. The data was interpolated by modelling and is as invented as historic sst’s.
        Temperatures had been rising for two hundred years prior to the date of the mark and sea level likely rising with it. It still remains below the peaks attained in roman and medieval times allowing for land movements and that averages disguise many scenario
        Tonyb

    • Interesting stuff ain’t it Beth? My take is that the mark, whether it be the mean or just a high tide marker (accepting Tony B’s point that many, many obs are required for the setting of any mean sea level marker and that this particular event may not have strictly followed this process) the fact remains that sea levels in this area were significantly lower in the 1840′s than they are today, despite continued warming over this period.

      • Damn I meant higher in the 1840′s

      • Peter Davies | February 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm said: ” My take is that the mark, whether it be the mean or just a high tide marker”

        Peter, high water mark every day is different – depends on the position of the moon / sun!

        #2: ”the fact remains that sea levels in this area were significantly lower in the 1840′s than they are today, despite continued warming over this period”.

        Peter, Peter… it’s same amount of water now on the planet, as it was in 1840′s! seawater goes up, when inland becomes more deserts / + higher erosion b] if Aral sea is empty, lake Chad almost empty, and many other similar places; where do you think that water is gone? If they were worried about sea-level rise – they would forgot about CO2, instead should initiated more dams to be built in dry countries; to attract rain and improve the climate. BUT, they are back to front on everything!

        small example: they say that: during the ice age, the sea level was lower. In reality, because at that time Gibraltar straights didn’t exist – Aegean, Adriatic, Ionian, Mediterranean, Aral, Caspian, Black seas were swamps, same as Dead &sea of Galilee are now. Those above-mentioned seas now contain much more water than water trapped in the Greenland’s &Antarctic’s ice. b] 5m3 of water saved in new dam, attracts another 5m3 of rain on the land = 10m3 less water in the sea. That lowers the sea-level on 10km2 by one millimeter of sea surface, only 10m3. of more water on the land. More water on land = more water vapor in the atmosphere= more ice on the polls and glaciers, you can ad more proofs yourself

  109. Beth

    Doesn’t matter whether the mark is “mean high tide” or “mean tide” level.

    It wasn’t done by satellite altimetry (controlled by NOAA) so it’s purely “anecdotal” anyway.

    Them’s the rules.

    Max

  110. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘In summary, we have learned (as I told you some time ago, if you remember) that you aren’t as smart as you think you are.’ blah blah duh

    I can assure blah blah that I am as smart as I think I am. Statistically indistinguishable from Lisa Simpson smart. That is – smart enough to get myself into trouble but not the rarefied heights of – say – Sheldon.

    I have well honed skills in readin’ and writin’ and broad exposure to the global cultural commons – as well as quite hard won knowledge of such diverse areas as we cover in engineering and environmental science. In other words – training in immensely diverse field and quite a lot of reading, writing and modelling since. I used to think that eclectic was just another word for a lack of depth in any particular area. Perhaps so.

    ‘Environmental science is an multidisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, (including but not limited to ecology, physics, chemistry, biology, soil science, geology, atmospheric science and geography) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.’ wikipedia

    It is all too much for Larrinkin Bob by meself – so we like to work in teams in a structured and synergistic way to solve problems that go well beyond the expertise of any single person. About the best that the individual can do is have expertise in specialist areas and the language to communicate between disciplines.

    It helps as well to have the nouse to be a classic enlightenment liberal and not a pissant progressive – and not listening to blah blah is its own reward.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Hey Lisa! You’re hogging the mirror again.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        I used to think that eclectic was another word for dillettante. But a mean little snark is still a mean and smarmy little snark – and from a drunk in some midnight choir. If you must do a one liner – remember that humour springs from empathy, wisdom from kindness and poetry from love.

        ‘Like a bird on the wire,
        Like a drunk in a midnight choir
        I have tried in my way to be free.
        Like a worm on a hook,
        Like a knight from some old fashioned book
        I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
        If I, if I have been unkind,
        I hope that you can just let it go by.
        If I, if I have been untrue
        I hope you know it was never to you.’

        Bird on a wire – Leonard Cohen

        There is a take home message – that is that the complexity of the science and the systems precludes easy answers and of the limitations of individual approaches to these sorts of questions.

        We are all wrong – some more so than others. I would take that as a well meant object lesson and learn it well blueice. That way – through a ‘philosophy of ignorance’ (Feynman) – lies true humour, real wisdom, fine poetry and trancendance of the pissant snark.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Don’t Have a Cow, Man!

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Well if you can’t be smart – blueice – I suggest discretion.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Captain Kangaroo -

        Ode to the (Omphaloskeptic’s) Commmode.

        It’s getting crazy
        Past the door,
        Yet you lay gazing
        On the floor
        Amidst the stains,
        Where stench is strong
        While patience wanes
        And lines grow long.
        They’ve come to seek
        The rapt’rous pool,
        Concede the need
        And share the stool.

        bi2hs

        Does that smart enough for you?

      • Captain Kangaroo

        The dogs are barking again. We should not mistake the noise for wit or the doggerel for verse.

      • blueice2hotsea

        CK -

        ok. Not into my first attempt at doggerel. But I still need to repay you for all of the advice you have offered. I try for smarter doggerel.

        Ode to Omphaloskeptic

        The gleaming fixture’s languid gaze
        Holds redolent scenes from yestered days.
        The steaming mixture’s ego’s food,
        Does fuel outlandish raging mood.

        what do yer think so far?

      • Yellow Bird up high in banana tree
        Do not cry they sing much prettier than thee.
        =================

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Still crap blueice – you need a new subject.

        ‘All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
        Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
        Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
        And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
        Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.’

        Alfred Tennyson – The Lotus Eaters

        Although I fear that is not too far from the source of your inspiration. It is an example of a quintain in iambic pentameter with an ababb rhyming scheme. While such formal arrangements are not strictly necessary – it helps to work within limits of rhyme and meter first before breaking the rules. The result otherwise is juvenile doggerel such as is found on toilet doors.

        Might I suggest you stop playing with it? Do something else with your very modest talents? A street performance statue? A ventriloquist dummy? A préposé de toilette where it seems you will be quite at home?

      • blueice2hotsea

        i have already advanced to juvenile doggerel? Thank you for the encouragement.

        Poem 3 will be more better. I chose a terrible subject.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        If you are aspiring to doggerel and toilet doors – by all means. I can’t help thinking that there is a spiritual dimension to poetry that…

        You can see it in the purity of Tennyson – by which I mean simple imagery combining to powerfully create a world in a stanza. There is nothing mean spirited about it – it comes from a different place. It comes from where people are the noblest we can be – where we aspire to see infintiy in a grain of sand or to open the doors of perception of heaven and hell.

        So if you aspire to poetry – it comes from love.

    • Chief Hydrologist | February 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm said: ”I can assure blah blah that I am as smart as I think I am”

      Fellas, if somebody would like to become a big millionaire, for a very small investment, here is how: ”you buy the Chief and pay a fair price for what he is worth – then sell him for what HE thinks that he is worth; by $3 investment, from the dividend you will become filthy rich.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        stefanthecrier,

        Someone should collect all the cr@pola that comes out of you and sell it for fertiliser. They would be richer than Bill Gates. We could make methane and solve global warming. You don’t even have to take your arse out of the fridge and your head out of the oven – or is it the other way around. Perfect climate either way. You can do your bit to solve C02 induced baldness and infertility – do all the heavy lifting so to speak. If we ever breed a new species of parrot – we can call it after you – something or other stefanthecriereri.

      • Captain Kangaroo | February 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm said: ” If we ever breed a new species of parrot – we can call it after you – something or other stefanthecriereri”

        Be ashamed off yourself! I’m not repeating / parroting after anybody! I have my own theories, proofs and facts; everybody is a witness! Most of you are a bunch of Gallahs; keep repeating the whole year, what IPCC, Hansen & Plimer say!!! Shame, shame! All 6 of you, are making a flock of parrots. Not one of you can see that is NO global warming, CO2 / warming, it’s all crap, mushrooms are prolific on crap. Now, apologize in writing; for insinuating that I’m parroting / copying anybody!!!

      • Captain Kangaroo

        stefanthecrier,

        No you should apologise in writing to everyone for having skippies loose in the the top paddock. You know what I mean. It’s because you had it in the fridge too long and now don’t know whether you are arthur or martha. Actually – now that I think of it – are you sure you are not martha? Seems quite likely to me – you’re both spotted drongos in safari suits.

        Why do you think we should believe anything? You’re as miserable as a bandicoot and wouldn’t know a map of tassie from a moke. You’re a sandwich short of a picnic and shonky as a crow flying backwards.

        So why don’t you give us all a break and apologise in writing. If you are martha – you will have to apologise twice as hard.

  111. captdallas on ‘high tide mark,’ then all I can say is I jest don’t know.
    Max, guess I’m out-of-me-depth, better start swimmin’ fer shore )
    Beth.

  112. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Not going to defend ZZZT?

    What about Dai (2012)?

    Still not clear about what Donat actually says? Deja vu.

    Here’s another one for you to misrepresent: Westra et al. (2012) Global increasing trends in annual maximum daily precipitation. ‘ blah blah duh

    I am getting a bit bored with blah blah.

    1. I am not going to defend a peer reviewed paper – Tung and Zhou 2013 http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/22/1212471110.abstract – from partisan blog science that suggests that the AMO is caused by AGW.

    2. Here is global rainfall – http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/precipitation.html – it shows decadal variability in hydrology in the clearest connection to IPO patterns in the Pacific.

    Here again is what Donat et al say. ‘Precipitation indices also showed widespread and significant trends, but the changes were much more spatially heterogeneous compared with temperature changes. However, results indicated more areas with significant increasing trends in extreme precipitation amounts, intensity and frequency than areas with decreasing trends.’ Donat et al

    They suggest that there is an indication more areas show increasing trends than decreasing. This is really to be expected with the natural patterns of variability seen over decades and longer. There is more rainfall in cool decadal modes – and this is distibuted over Australia, Asia, India and Africa. The US in contrast is entering a dry period – as a result of the IPO but also of conditions in the north Atlantic.

    Westra et al show links of temperature with extreme rainfall. Here is the data for Australia – which is a pretty fair regional proxy. – http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/extremes/timeseries.cgi?graph=R99p&ave_yr=0 – show me the data and not just some silly link to an abstract with no explanation or argument. Give me a reason for reading yet another short term and partial analysis of precipitation and temperature trends. Again if we go back to Tung and Zhou (and many others) – the claims of anthropogenic warming have been wildly exagerated.

    These patterns of global hydrology and temperature are locked into an intensifying cool mode. The planet is not likely to warm for decades hence. I have warned warministas of this for a decade. I have studied hydrological regimes for decades. Yet what we get is silly little amatuers continuing to make extravagent claims about barely understood literature out of almost total ignorance about the field of study.

  113. Jest fer the record, Chief, , the Hunter article refers to Shtott’s
    recording of the missing plaques wording stating the time of
    the benchmark but this is in disagreement with the article in
    The Australian newspaper, in 1892 which also recorded the
    wording of the plaque and a different time suggesting the mark
    was originally near mean sea level. To be satisfied, I would like
    to read Daly’s side of what was a debate but try ter find it, the
    slates wiped clean, it seems we’re one account.
    Beth

  114. Tony, thx fer the Newlyn tidal bench mark history of how UK mean
    sea-level was found, It’s fascinating. Beth.